He had an entire dialogue worked out in his mind, what to say, how to say it
He had an entire dialogue worked out in his mind, what to say, how to say it, how to be standing so as to express nonchalance....
His intentions fluttered off like butterflies on amphetamines at his first glimpse of familiar gold hair, shimmering with highlights that most women would be more than happy to kill for. Twice.
He wondered if it was still so luxuriously soft?
It was tied up, left to hang and blow loosely in the slight breeze, far less utilitarian than the braid he had sported for so many years. It was the tiniest of changes, but one that made Roy's heart lurch a few times before regaining some semblance of stability. Thankfully it was an internal struggle for balance and he was able to shuffle himself into a fair mimicry of his old arrogant indifference.
Something must have shown on his face, for Ed snorted his amusement and came to a stop, hands shoved casually into deep pockets. It took Roy a minute, but he finally figured out what was...wrong.
It was more than the fact it was Ed smirking in an arrogant fit of humor, it was more than the fact Roy found himself glaring at the insolent brat from around his eye patch...it was the fact that, somewhere along the way, Ed seemed to have gotten rid of the coat and battered suitcase that had always been there, no less a piece of the ornery alchemist than his hair or his eyes.
"Inspecting." Roy corrected with a slight frown. Had he been staring?
Yes. Yes he had. He had missed the little bastard, had spent an inordinate, inappropriate amount of time worrying about him. Roy pointedly looked Ed from head to toe before relaxing a bit. No need to let Ed have the upper hand immediately.
"So. To what do I owe the honor?"
That got Ed to frown, scuff his left foot in a familiar way.
Which really had no business inspiring the less refined and restrained corner of Roy's mind to dance some sort of spastic jig of glee. Ed needed something, and had come to him. To him.
"You've gone grey."
Roy's mental jig faltered and his self esteem plummeted like a game bird. It wasn't that bad...more of a distinguished salt and pepper... "Stress will do that." He scoffed, refusing to go on the defensive. "I seem to remember a certain obstinate alchemist causing me all manner of stress not so long ago." That got Ed to bristle a bit, but didn't inspire the typical argument. "Anyway. I'm told I look rather dashing. Mature."
Someone else had apparently matured. Ed seemed...calmer. Much less inclined to rip anyone apart at all manner of perceived slights. Living with Al must have done wonders for the older brother's temperament, now that everything was resolved. More or less. "So how are things?"
Ed gnawed on his lip for a moment before answering, another action that was so familiar Roy's innards tried to leap for joy. "Remember...back before...when you said if I needed anything..."
Oh, how it must gall Ed to be asking for anything. Roy refrained from instinctual gloating. Just barely. "You need but ask. What can I do?"
Ed bristled for a moment, his pride trying its damnedest to weasel him out of whatever decision he had come to. Then he deflated with a sort of sigh and turned resigned eyes towards Roy. "Do you still have that guest room?"
Subduing an impromptu victory celebration that wanted him to shout his joy to the heavens Roy reminded Ed, in a rather quiet voice, "There's always the left side of my bed. It's where you used to stay."
"I thought maybe...after everything...you wouldn't..." Ed muttered.
"It's been awhile." Roy acknowledged.
"Yeah. So, I mean, the spare room was always clean..."
Roy cracked a grin, despite the anxiety curdling the breakfast in his stomach. "Are you saying my room is a mess?"
"I don't think mess is quite the right..."
"Biological war zone is what Maes called the entire apartment." Roy sighed, a crooked smile on his face.
"That's about it." Ed smiled then, finally, and Roy's stomach ceased pumping acid at an alarming rate. Nothing promoted ulcers quite like exposure to the Fullmetal Alchemist.
"Well then. At least let me treat you to some lunch. You came all this way."
"Actually...I seem to remember you having a damn good flavor of coffee back at your place." Ed peered at Roy. "That is, unless you would rather..."
Awkward courting, Elric style. The sheer familiarity of it brought a gentle smile to Roy's face, smoothing away habitual worry lines. "I think I could brew us some coffee. Also, I read this book last month I think you would like."
The tension left the determined set of Ed's shoulders, melted from his smirk, leaving an honest smile in its wake. "Really?"
The beauty of it all was the fact Ed didn't flinch, didn't complain as Roy threw an arm over the younger man's shoulders. "Indeed. It did this thing with arrays that was positively fascinating..."
It really had been a long time. A damn long time.