ZaKai Stonewall (zakai_) wrote,
ZaKai Stonewall

The More I Learn to Care for You - Chapter 6

Title: The More I learn to Care for You - Roy's POV
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Main Characters: Roy Mustang, Ed Elric
Rating: R
Warnings: Language, sex
Summary: One person’s reality is not necessarily another’s. Can Roy figure Ed out before their differences overwhelm their fragile relationship? [RoyEd]

A/N: This story is being co-written with kikiko_haru I am writing Roy’s POV and she’s writing Ed’s. All of Ed’s dialogue in what I post belongs to her, but everything else is mine.

kikiko_haru is writing a companion story to this (with the same name only with ‘Ed’s POV’ in the title) where all of Roy’s dialogue belongs to me, and the rest is hers.

The More I Learn to Care for You

Chapter Six

Human Error

Roy opened his eyes, waking suddenly from a dreamless sleep at the sound groaning; which made him feel like groaning too. His headache wasn’t as severe as it had been, nor the nausea, but it was still there making him wish he was still asleep.

At another groan, he turned his gaze to rest on the young man sleeping beside him and frowned. Ed’s face was screwed up tight, as if he was having a nightmare. Roy wondered if it would be best to wake the teen. Normally Ed didn’t like being woken and tended to get cranky, but in this situation...

Deciding to chance Ed’s pissy attitude, Roy reached over and shook him. “Hey...” he whispered, more for the sake of his own head than for Ed. At this, Ed simply groaned again, clutched his stomach and rolled into a ball.

Roy’s frown deepened. Ed didn’t often get sick, but it wasn’t unheard of. Trying to be a little gentler than he had before, Roy slipped a hand under Ed’s bangs to see if the teen had a fever and grimaced at the sweat there.

Well, at least he doesn’t have a fever, Roy thought, before taking his other hand and rubbing it along Ed’s bare back. “Edward...” he whispered in a kinder tone than before.

Ed grimaced and panted, “Fuck...” before curling his body even tighter.

Roy moved his hand from Ed’s forehead and wiped it on one of the pillows. “What’s going on?” he asked feeling a little concerned.

Ed cracked an eye open and groaned, “My stomach’s fucking trying to kill me...” The teen gazed at him as if Roy could do something about it, then relaxed.

Roy frowned. “What did you eat for breakfast?” he asked, wondering if the kid had drunk the same shitty coffee he’d brought over. If so, then he’d be sure not to drink the rest of it...

Ed swallowed again. “Nothing. I haven’t–” he began, but fell silent.

Roy’s frown deepened. Ed hadn’t eaten anything for breakfast...? “Okay, well, maybe it’s what you ate for dinner last night,” he said, trying to puzzle out what could be wrong with the teen. If he knew what it was, then he could do something about it. Right now though, Roy felt a little helpless, and he didn’t like that.

Looking sheepishly away, Ed said, “Yeah, maybe...” Reaching out, Ed draped his arm over Roy’s chest, trying to get him to lie back down before moving his body closer to Roy. “How’s the head? Sorry I woke you...”

“The head still hurts, but it’s not too bad,” Roy said, still rubbing Ed’s back. He wasn’t sure if that qualified as a lie or not given that his head did still ache badly, but he didn’t dwell on it, and Ed didn’t need to know. Right now he was more interested in how he could help Ed feel better than focusing on himself. “Well, if you didn’t eat breakfast, that’s probably your problem.” He paused. It wasn’t like Ed not to eat... “Why didn’t you eat breakfast anyway? You’re usually starving by the time you get up.”

“I couldn’t... I...” Ed brushed his hair back over his shoulder. “I rushed over to the office to talk to you and then came here... so, don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine,” Ed said, a small smile on his face and suddenly he was painfully reminded of the conversation they’d earlier that morning. Ed’s words, so flattering and almost believable ran through his head, but he tried to push them away; tried to push the negative feelings away.

He didn’t like to think that somehow Ed had picked up hollow flattery from him, but for some unknown reason he found the idea that Ed had somehow learned it on his own even more bothersome. Roy had never been on the receiving end of hollow words and pretty lies, at least that he knew of, and the thought that he was now, with someone he cared about, made him feel empty inside.

He tried to push the thoughts away, but Ed was smiling up at him so sweetly, yet he was lying through his teeth. Ed wasn’t fine. Something was obviously wrong, yet he refused to tell him what it was. Hurt flashed through him at the thought that perhaps Ed didn’t want his help. Perhaps Ed was trying to distance himself in preparation for breaking up their relationship...

“You rushed over to the office...?” Roy asked, trying to ignore the numb feeling that was starting to spread through him. “You must be sick...” It was true. Ed going in early was like Jean Havoc going a day without smoking. It just didn’t happen. “You didn’t eat breakfast, and you showed up for work early?” Roy reached over and felt Ed’s forehead again, ignoring Ed’s smirk. Most likely there was a smart ass comment floating around inside his head, and Roy didn’t want to know what it was. He would take care of Ed right now and deal with the other later... or at least he’d try... “Well, you don’t have a fever,” he said, wiping his hand on the pillow again. “You wouldn’t be sweating this much if you did. I think you need to eat something.”

“I only went to talk with you. Really, it’s okay, I don’t think I can handle food right now,” he heard Ed say as he sat up and, turning his back to Ed, swung his legs over the side of the bed. Roy stopped and frowned when he felt Ed’s hand on his arm. “It’ll go away soon, I’m sure.”

Roy turned his head and upper body so that he could stare at Ed, who was smiling softly. This was very, very, unusual. “You don’t want food?” he asked quietly, more to himself than to Ed. Ed shook his head to indicate that he didn’t want anything. An unpleasant thought occurred to him that maybe Ed just didn’t want food from him... “When did you eat last?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” He didn’t know? Roy felt frustration well up inside of him. How could Ed not know when he’d eaten last? Food was to Ed as water was to a fish. “Come on, lay back down,” Ed said and tugged at Roy’s shoulder. “It’s gone, so don’t worry about it, okay?” Roy worked hard to keep his face smooth. Don’t worry about it? Sure... of course... he just wouldn’t worry about it... “Come back to bed,” Ed said suggestively with a small smirk.


Of course.

Probably the one thing they really had in common; they both liked sex. A lot. Of course he’d said no sex until the date, but he probably wasn’t going to get that date. Wouldn’t it be better to get what intimacy he could from Ed while they were together? Maybe sex would spur Ed’s appetite as well.

“Come on,” Ed coaxed again with a small tug on his shoulder. “I’d be honored to have you come back to bed.”

Roy turned his body back so that his back was facing Ed and ran a hand through his hair. Ed would be honored, huh... More meaningless flattery... or maybe Ed was making fun of him... Cold anger spread through him. Sure. He’d give Ed what he wanted. The kid was obviously trying to manipulate him, so he’d give in. After all, sex was probably the only thing Ed wanted from this relationship anyway. He wasn’t sure why that bothered him so much, after all, sex was sex... Did he really want more from Ed that much? Had he sunk so low that he actually wanted a real relationship with someone? When the hell had this happened?

He turned around fully and crawled over the bed, pushing Ed down on his back, then straddled Ed’s hips. He felt himself getting hard at the prospect of fucking the teen, but inside he felt no real excitement. He felt angry that he let himself believe he had something with Ed; angry that he allowed himself to get to that point. The game was to screw Ed and take him off his self made pedestal. Not to fall himself...

He ignored the pain in his heart that begged him not to shut Ed out, but it was too late. Roy had pushed his share of lovers away; watched them leave with tears in their eyes after he broke things off with them, and he’d be dammed if he’d let Ed do that to him.

He let his eyes and hands wander over Ed’s body. He would not be the one to leave crying. He wouldn’t be the one who agonized over being dumped. No... no way. He leaned over and started kissing Ed’s neck and playing with one of the teen’s nipples.

“Is this what you want, Ed?” Roy asked breathily. Is this what you want, you little whore? he thought coldly.

“Yes, I want this...” Ed answered. Of course he did... Roy moved his hand down to Ed’s groin and felt the teen arch up, pushing himself against Roy’s hand. He continued fondling Ed and dragged his tongue wetly down Ed’s throat, then to his chest, claming the teen’s other nipple in his mouth. It was just sex. That was it. This wasn’t lovemaking. It wasn’t, and he wouldn’t let it be. He unfeelingly told himself that he was fucking Ed and that was it. Just like so many others before him. It was all about getting laid...

“AH!” Ed moaned and arched off the bed. “Roy...”

No... Roy thought, feeling the pain rise up inside of him again. Don’t say my name. Don’t call for me as if you care about me. Ed brought his hands up to Roy’s head and kneaded the back of his head for a moment before he felt Ed trying to pull him up, for a kiss probably...

Roy refused to do what Ed wanted. He wasn’t going to kiss him... He wanted to, but he couldn’t... Kisses were reserved for people who cared about each other. In a way, they were much more intimate than sex. If Ed didn’t care about him, then Roy didn’t want to make that connection again. If he did make that connection, he’d only be setting himself up for more pain later...

No, this was about sex. Ed wanted sex, not intimacy, and he wouldn’t let the little shit convince him otherwise. He’d already fallen into that trap... Moving his hand from Ed’s nipple, Roy reached over, opened the nightstand drawer and clumsily felt around inside. He’d give Ed what he wanted and Roy would finish playing the game he’d started out playing.

And he would win.

Oh yes... He would definitely win.

Roy never lost...

He found what he wanted and pulled it out before shutting the drawer. He released Ed’s nipple from his mouth and pushed back on his heals, ultimately moving off of Ed and easing the teen’s legs open with his so that he was sitting in between Ed’s open legs. He gripped the bottle in his hand and glanced at Ed who was gaping at him, mouth open slightly and hands at his sides, working the sheet between his fingers.

I never lose... he thought to himself, but deep inside he felt like he’d already lost.

He snapped the cap open and squeezed some lube into his hand before looking down and pressing a lubed finger against Ed’s opening and sliding it in. He felt the muscles there contract around his finger and his cock jumped in anticipation.

“This is what you want, right, Ed?” he asked quietly. This is the only thing you want from me... just sex. Tell me I’m right, Ed, so that I can let you go, he thought. A part of him knew that he wasn’t being fair. The kid wasn’t a mind reader, and it wasn’t fair to expect him to read the deeper meaning to the question in the middle of sex, but...

Ed gasped and his eyes rolled back. “Yes...” he sighed. “Yes, yes...” The teen shifted and Roy’s finger moved in deeper. “Roy...” Ed moaned and arched his body again, using his flesh foot to rub along one of Roy’s legs as he licked his lips and watched Roy intently.

Roy looked down and worked another finger in. His body felt cold and a little tingly as he tried to convince himself that Ed knew exactly what he’d meant by the question. He glanced back up and said in an even tone, “Beg me, Ed. Beg me to fuck you. Convince me that this is what you want.” Convince me you’re like everyone else. Tell me it was all a lie...

Ed groaned and flushed darkly. “Roy, please, I want you to fuck me, please. I’ll do anything. I need you, please. I want your cock inside me.” Ed swallowed hard with the last sentence.

There. He admitted it. Ed would do anything to get Roy to fuck him... That was all fine and dandy if it was all about sex, but... but... it hadn’t been... right? It hadn’t all been about sex right? Not all along... It couldn’t have been. Roy forced those thoughts away angrily. He felt like he was fighting against himself and it was so frustrating and confusing...

“You’ll do anything, huh?” he whispered, as if saying it out loud made his suspicions correct. He slowly worked in another finger watching as it disappeared into Ed with the other two. “Would you tell me what I wanted to hear to get what you want?” he asked evenly, ignoring the fact that he was leading Ed to say what he wanted him to, a skill he’d picked up from interrogating prisoners of war during the Ishbal conflict.

Ed groaned at the added finger. “Yesss...” he hissed. “I...goddamn...just do it, please!” he begged, his body shaking with need.

And why not? Why not just give it to him... Roy’s body certainly wanted it; his cock hard and erect. Pulling his fingers out, Roy squeezed more lube out and spread it on his penis before maneuvering Ed’s legs up onto his shoulders, careful not to hit himself in the head with the automail leg. When he felt the angle was good, he touched the tip of his erection against the stretched opening before shoving his cock up Ed’s ass, then grabbed Ed’s legs before they could slide off his shoulders.

Roy felt Ed’s muscles tighten at the quick entrance and he held still for a minute. They were both breathing hard and he could tell by Ed’s gripping at the sheets, his open mouth and his closed eyes, that it was a little more than he had expected all at once. Roy felt a pang of guilt flash through him. That was how he treated whores or maybe one night stands, most definitely not how a long time lover should be treated...

“Tell me, Ed,” he said through heavy breaths. “Tell me what you want from me.” Do you want me just for this or is there more?

Ed simply panted for a few moments then rolled his hips, “Move. Fuck me, just move!” Ed said, his voice rising in anticipation as he reached for Roy.

Just sex... “Is that it?” he asked pushing the ridiculous pain away. What did he care if Ed just wanted sex? He was being ridiculous. A real relationship with someone Ed’s age wasn’t possible. He should have known that before... Why was he finding this so hard to accept?

“Is that it?” Ed asked, a look of confusion on his face. He seemed to contemplate this for a short second before saying, “Kiss me. Hard.” He stared at Roy intently and shifted again.

Roy thought about the request briefly before he snatched Ed’s flesh hand and pressed a hard kiss against it; his lips pressing against the scar Ed had from when he’d hurt himself on New Year’s Eve. He wanted to kiss Ed on the lips, wanted to lose himself in Ed’s embrace, but he couldn’t allow himself to do that. He couldn’t allow himself to connect; not when he knew it was all a lie...

He let go of Ed’s hand and quickly grabbed one of Ed’s legs tightly for balance, then wrapped his other hand around Ed’s cock and thrust into the smaller body, pumping at the teen’s erection.

Fucking he could do. It didn’t require emotional attachment, just the desire for pleasure. He glanced down at Ed holding onto the bed for balance. His eyes were closed and he panted and moaned in a way that made Roy want to just forget everything else that was going on in his head and immerse himself in the feel of Ed under his hands and lips. He longed to feel Ed’s arms around him, but he refrained.

“I’” Ed panted, then gasped as he climaxed hard; his eyes closing firmly with the pleasure. Cum squirted forcefully up, hitting the exposed part of Roy’s lower stomach. Smaller squirts didn’t reach up that far and simply dropped back down onto Roy’s hand. He waited a moment for Ed to start going down from his high before letting go of his softening sex and, without bothering to wipe off his hand first, grabbed tightly onto Ed’s other leg. His body wanted release, no matter how much his mind wanted to push Ed away so that he didn’t have to think about what was going on.

Roy plunged quick and hard into Ed, watching the smaller body move with each thrust. He moaned at the pleasure, then held his breath and squeezed his eyes shut at the moment of climax. He pushed forcefully into Ed one last time, then let his body relax with a hard exhale.

Sitting back on his heals a little, Roy watched as Ed lay on the bed, body totally relaxed, with eyes closed, and fought a sudden urge to kiss the teen. After a moment, Ed’s eyes cracked open and his lips moved into a small smile before letting out a sigh.

“I thought—not that I’m complaining—but...” Ed said, but trailed off near the end.

Of course Ed wasn’t complaining. He’d gotten what he wanted... Roy pulled out and let Ed’s legs down before getting up and walking to the master bathroom connected to his bedroom. Roy was usually pretty pleasant after sex too, but right now he couldn’t help feeling as if Ed were somehow manipulating him by being a little shit whenever he wasn’t getting something he wanted; in this case, sex.

“Are you hungry now?” Roy asked loudly as he reached into the cupboard and pulled out a roll of toilet paper. He felt irritated that he still cared whether or not Ed was feeling better. He didn’t want to care...

“No, not really,” he heard Ed say, his voice still contented. Roy pulled off some of the toilet paper and cleaned himself off. “Are you coming back?” Ed called, then a note of concern entered his voice. “Are you okay? Is your head bothering you?”

A stab of guilt hit him, but he ignored it. That was just Ed being Ed. He had a certain amount of general concern for everyone. It didn’t have anything to do with Roy in particular.

With the roll of toilet paper in hand, Roy walked out of the bathroom and tossed the roll to Ed so that the teen could clean himself up. “I think you should have something in your stomach,” he said, ignoring Ed’s earlier questions. Yes, his head still hurt. No, he wasn’t okay. He felt shitty both physically and emotionally. “It’s not normal for you not to be hungry, and stomach pains might be a sign that your body is unhappy with you depriving it,” Roy said conversationally, trying not to show the negativity he was feeling. He wanted to get Ed fed, and out the door before he said something he would regret later.

And he would regret it later. He always did. It wasn’t that he liked hurting people, but it made him feel a little better making someone else feel just as bad as he was. He remembered some of the mean and cruel things he’d said to previous lovers, and the looks on their faces... Oh, it had given him some sort of morbid satisfaction in that moment, but later, when he had time to dwell on it, he couldn’t help thinking that he had to be the biggest bastard ever to walk the earth.

He’d worked hard to keep himself in check when with Ed, at first because it could have caused problems for him professionally, later because he cared... because... Even if he had to turn around and walk away, leaving Ed to wonder for a while, it was better than the other.

Ed caught the toilet paper, and frowned. After a moment of chewing lightly on his lip, Ed started cleaning himself up. Pressing his lips together, Roy picked up his pajama pants and put them on, then let his eyes follow Ed as he walked to the bathroom, soiled toilet paper in hand. After a moment Ed came back out and leaned against the door frame.

“I don’t think I like you drinking or hung over,” Ed pronounced.

Biting back a comment on how Ed could mind his own damn business, Roy grunted and walked over to the teen. He put a hand on Ed’s cheek, trying to ignore Ed’s fine and very naked body, and slid his thumb over Ed’s face. “I don’t see what the problem is. You got what you wanted, didn’t you?” The urge to say more was weighing heavily on him and he decided that he needed to get away. He needed to pull himself together before his negativity became too much to hold back. Taking his hand away from Ed’s face, Roy turned and, left the room. As he started down the stairs, he said loudly, “Come down here when you’re ready.”

When he got to the bottom of the stairs, Roy glanced at the front door and suddenly wished he wasn’t in his pajamas. If he were dressed then he could just leave. Leave and go for a walk. Cool his head...

Instead, he walked into the kitchen and quickly started the coffee. Turning, he grabbed a mug out of the cupboard and put it next to the coffee maker, then after a moment’s thought, snatched a small glass and moved to the refrigerator. He filled the glass with milk, put it on the counter, then moved back to the coffee pot.

After a moment, he heard Ed walk into the kitchen behind him. Without looking, Roy pointed in the general direction of the fridge and said, “Drink it. It will help your stomach.” He didn’t know that it would definitely help, but he’d seen people swear by it, so it was the best he could do for now.

There was a moment of silence, then, “I don’t do milk.”

Again, not turning, Roy said flatly, “I did you, so do the milk.” He knew Ed hated milk, but it wasn’t as if he were serving it to him for some sort of refreshing beverage. It was meant to be medicine, and medicine didn’t always taste very good. Pouring his coffee into his mug, Roy felt a wave of pain of the earlier nausea flash through him and he wondered if perhaps he should be drinking some milk too.

He heard Ed snort. “That’s not equivalent.”

Roy turned around with his coffee in hand and frowned. He couldn’t believe Ed was fighting him so much on this, especially after he’d given in about the no sex agreement. “Fine, Ed. Don’t drink it.” He didn’t want to argue. It was hard enough to hold his tongue right now without flared tempers. “I’m not your mother,” he added before he could stop it. Gritting his teeth against saying more, Roy grabbed the muffin Ed had brought him and walked to the table.

“What the fuck’s your problem? We just had wicked sex and you’re acting like a prick!” Ed yelled and slashed the air angrily with his hand. “I know I didn’t do anything this time so what is it!” he added, and glared.

Roy glanced up at Ed feeling anger burn deep within him. Taking a sip of the coffee, Roy said calmly, “The milk will help your stomach. Why are you acting so childish when I’m trying to help you feel better?”

He knew he could have said in a less confrontational, and accusing way, but he wasn’t feeling very nice at the moment. Even though everything was pointing to Ed ending what they had, Roy had still tried to take care of the little shit. Deep inside, he knew it was because he cared that much for Ed, but he didn’t want to think about it. If he did, then he didn’t know if he’d be able to face the prospect of being without him...

“Don’t turn this back on me. You know what I’m talking about. I may have been caught up in the moment, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t notice!” Ed exclaimed, then added in an offended tone, “You wouldn’t even fuckin’ kiss me!”

“You find the taste of vomit arousing?” Roy asked calmly, then took another sip of the hot liquid. “Are you trying to start a fight with me, Ed?” Here’s your opening, Ed. I’m giving it to you on a silver platter. If you want to end this, then do it now. Don’t drag it on... Roy thought.

Ed pressed his lips together. “I kissed you when I first got here, you didn’t worry about it then. But fine, I got shit to do. You’re getting better, so I should shove off,” Ed said, then turned around to go back upstairs for his jacket and coat.

Taking another sip, Roy watched Ed go, then turned his attention to the muffin. He didn’t feel especially hungry, but Ed had brought it for him and it would probably be best if he ate some of it...

He shook his head and began picking at it a little. Ed had brought it... and that disgusting excuse for coffee. It really had been a nice gesture on his part... Something Ed didn’t often do... nice gestures that is... With a sigh, Roy rubbed at his eyes. He wasn’t sure what to think anymore. He couldn’t help but think that this must have been what some of his former lovers must have felt like as he prepared to leave them. He never realized until now how awful it could be to be on the other end.

He was so confused and frustrated. He didn’t want it to end, but he was too proud to ask Ed to stay. Instead, he found himself getting ready to do what he did best: Being the one to leave first.

He heard Ed coming down the stairs before he saw him, given that the teen had put his boots back on. Passing by the kitchen, Ed waved and headed for the front door.

Roy watched, feeling as if this was all happening to someone else. Suddenly anger washed over him, hot and scathing, and decided that if Ed was going to walk out that door, it would be because Roy wanted him to, not because Ed had decided it.

“It’s rather telling, isn’t it, Ed?” Roy said calmly, yet loud enough to hear. Ed stopped, mid-step and turned slightly. “I give you what you want, and you get angry at me for asking you to do something as simple as drink a glass of milk... for your own health.” He knew he should stop there. Knew he should get up and walk away, but he didn’t. He couldn’t. He felt a cold, calm anger deep inside of him and he couldn’t stop his tongue. “Your selfishness never ceases to amaze me...” he added, then took a sip of the coffee, as he calmly studied the teen.

When Ed turned around to face him, Roy saw that his face had reddened, in anger he supposed. With deep, jagged breaths, Ed opened his mouth to speak. “I...” he stopped for a moment, clenching and unclenching his jaw. “I better go,” Ed finally said stiffly. “Before I do something I’ll regret later.”

Roy glanced up at him, eyes lazily half-lidded, and coldly calculated each step he needed to take to throw Ed off his guard and put him in his place. Ed’s emotions were too easily triggered. Five minutes with the kid would show anyone that by how quickly he became angry.

“You do that, Ed. I understand that you don’t have full control over yourself.” He paused to watch Ed’s reaction. Ed let out a shaky breath and clenched his hands into fists. Anger first. Anger is the child of pain, so he’d start there first and work his way in. “It must be hard on you, knowing that you’re not really an adult yet.” Another pause as he made a show of taking a sip. He needed to pace his words, so that Ed could digest them. “If you were, you’d have more control over your actions and you wouldn’t have thrown a fit when I asked you to do something that would help you.”

Ed grimaced and pulled his lips back in a silent growl. “I thought you said you liked my energy,” Ed said defensively. “Isn’t that what you said and then right after you slapped me in the face by flaunting your past flings? I do have control, or else I’d be over there right now punching your fuckin’ face in!”

“I don’t recall flaunting my past flings in your face,” Roy said evenly. Really, he didn’t. He couldn’t even think of what the hell Ed was talking about. It was probably just Ed blowing one or two words out of proportion, like always... “It might be best if you didn’t take things out of context, Ed.” He took another sip of the coffee. It was all tactics really; attack and defend, just like a battle. All I ever needed to know for ending my love life, I learned in the military, he thought sarcastically.

But now that Ed was defending one thing, it was time to bring in the real attack. Anger was good only up to a specific point. Hurt was the best weapon, and he intended to use it. Shaking his head, Roy said, “You have such violent tendencies, Ed. I can only imagine this is partially why your brother stays away from you.” At this, Ed gasped and took a step back with a horrified look on his face. “Of course, I can imagine that just seeing you brings many bad memories that he’d like to avoid.”

“ that back...” Ed stammered.

“Sure. I take it back. But that doesn’t change the reality of it,” Roy returned, then put down his coffee and gave Ed his full attention. “When was the last time you saw Alphonse?” He paused again, knowing full well that the next thing he was about to say was cruel, but at this point he really didn’t care. “You ruined his life. Yes, you got his body back, but how many years were wasted? He knows you can’t control yourself, just as much as I know you can’t. I’m sure he doesn’t want to chance having you do something even worse to him.”

In obvious distress, Ed gripped the front of his shirt over his stomach and drew in a shaky breath. “No...that’s not...” he whispered, then yelled, “That’s not it! He’s...he’s not scared of me!” The bright red of a few moments before drained away, leaving Ed’s complexion pale and washed out. “He’s NOT!”

Roy shrugged. “I’m sure you don’t threaten to hit him as often as you threaten to hit me, but you’re really just an accident waiting to happen. You’ve really hurt a lot of people with your careless attitude.” He paused and frowned at the sudden thought that he’d never see Maes again. He could mention that to Ed, but... he couldn’t. What he was saying was enough without mentioning names... “People have died because of you and your selfish carelessness...” He trailed off, not able to say anymore. It was too much, even for him.

Ed gasped and swallowed hard giving Roy a look that radiated deep pain as he backed away toward the door. His hand worked over his stomach, opening and closing and his eyes were focused on Roy as if he were unable to take them away.

Roy picked up his mug, and took a sip, suddenly feeling even worse than he had before. “I’m sorry, I’ve kept you. You said you were leaving.” He took another sip and wished that Ed would just leave so that he could go up to his room and be alone in his misery. “Go on. Run away from the truth. Humans are good at lying to themselves to make reality less painful. Go home and tell yourself that everything I’ve said is a lie. Continue to believe that your brother is only staying in Rizembool because he has a love interest.”

It was hard to keep the emotion out of his voice and he had to work hard to keep his tone steady. “Go. I’m tired of trying to do things for you, only to get pushed away or have my words twisted into something else. I’m sick of your selfish attitude.” Ed shook his head and Roy could see tears gathering heavily in his eyes. Part of him screamed for him to stop this, to not do this to Ed, but he was past the point of listening to his inner self.

“All you think about is yourself, and you don’t even stop to consider what someone else might be thinking or feeling. I don’t know why I thought this could ever work... You’re obviously not interested in having a mature relationship.” He paused when he realized he was putting too much of his own feelings into this, and changed his direction back to calculating. Giving Ed a hard look, he said coldly, “Get out.”

Ed stared at him like a deer stares into the lights of an approaching vehicle, frozen and immovable. The tears that had welled up in Ed’s large, golden eyes finally overflowed and trickled slowly down his cheeks.

“Roy...” Ed whispered in a soft plea that made Roy’s heart drop. In all the times he’d unfeelingly made his lovers cry, he’d never once let them affect him at the moment he was doing it.

But this was Ed.

And Ed was different...

Roy watched silently as Ed continued to stand there and cry; sniffling softly as the tears overflowed. His fingers itched to reach out and pull Ed close; to apologize for everything and make it all right again.

But he couldn’t.

He started and now he’d have to go through with it. If he hadn’t done this, then it just as well could have been him crying instead of Ed, and that just wouldn’t do. No, Roy had too much pride to allow himself to get that low.

Setting down the coffee, he said, “What? What more do you want from me?” It was a sincere question, but at the last moment he was afraid to know the answer, because the answer could be something to indicate he’d been wrong. And if he’d been wrong, then what he’d just done to Ed...

“No, wait,” he said quickly and put up a hand, palm facing forward. He closed his eyes. “I think I already asked that this morning and you said you wanted me to fuck you.” He opened his eyes and gave Ed an accusing look. “Well, I did. I gave you what you wanted. I’ve given you everything I have to give.”

Hurt raced through him like a fire in a forest of dead trees. Part of him wanted Ed to understand that he didn’t want this to end. “I’ve given you more than anyone before you and I tried to convey that to you this morning, but you simply turned it around giving me hollow flattering words, then accusing me when I didn’t do everything the way you wanted it done.” His eyes ran over Ed as he continued to cry, and at his last words, Ed gave a moan.

Then there was a part of him, the proud and stubborn part, refused to back down. “How do you expect me to have a relationship with someone as self-centered and inconsiderate as you?”

He paused trying to pull the two sides together and suddenly he felt very tired. He didn’t want to play anymore games; he just wanted the pain to end. “You’re obviously ready to end this, so I’m giving you want you want. I always give you want you want in the end, don’t I, Ed?” he said, and realized it was true. He really did give everything to Ed. He did it because... He paused and pushed the thought away. If that thought were true, then he was in worse shape then he’d originally believed.

“But now,” he continued, “I have nothing more to give you.” Roy looked down at the coffee mug and whispered painfully, “Go. Just go. I can’t even look at you...”

“That’s not...I didn’t,” he heard Ed sob. “I don’t want this to be over, Roy!” He heard Ed’s boots move against the floor. “I want you, I do! Please, Roy...” he begged. “I didn’t mean it.”

Roy tightened his grip on the mug and felt his eyes sting. Why was he doing this? Why hadn’t he just let Ed leave? Why was he so stubborn and proud? Why couldn’t he and Ed just stay together and have a good relationship...? Ed’s sniffling, though actually quite soft, echoed loudly in his ears, and he had the urge to get up, put his arms around the teen and toss his damn pride out the window by begging forgiveness.

Working up his courage, Roy looked up and opened his mouth, when suddenly the phone rang. He closed his mouth and glanced up to his room as it rang again, then quickly stood and dashed up the stairs. He wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved at the interruption or frustrated.

Grabbing onto the receiver, Roy picked up the phone and said, “Mustang.”

“Colonel,” came the voice on the other line and Roy sagged. It was General Hakuro...

“Hello, sir,” Roy said, none to pleased at hearing the general’s voice.

“The note on my desk says you’re sick, but you sound fine to me,” Hakuro said and Roy growled inwardly.

“I am feeling a little better, sir, though I wasn’t able to keep anything down this morning.”

“I need you to go to South Central Head Quarters and meet with Colonel Wolfe about what we talked about the other day?”

Roy frowned. “Today...?”

“No, next year,” came the sarcastic reply. “Of course today. In fact, I’ve already called her and let her know you’ll be there in about...” A pause. “A half hour from now, so you’d better get moving.”

Roy rubbed his forehead. “I’m feeling a little better, sir... But, I’m still not completely well. It might be better if...”

“Are you arguing with me, colonel?” Hakuro asked.

“No, sir...” he said dejectedly.

“Good. Be sure to have her give you those documents as well.”

“Yes, sir...”

“And, colonel,” Hakuro said, and paused.

“Yes, sir?”

“Don’t flirt with the woman this time.”

Roy scowled. “Yes, sir...”

When Roy heard a click, he turned and sat heavily on the bed and stared dully at the receiver for a moment before dialing head quarters and then Hawkeye’s extension.

“Division 352. This is Lieutenant Hawkeye.”

“Lieutenant,” Roy began.

“Sir...” she said, sounding a little surprised. “How are you feeling?”

He sighed into the phone. “Honestly? I feel like shit.” Not just physically, but emotionally... “I need to hold a conference with Colonel Wolfe in a half hour. Would you come pick me up?”

There was a moment of silence, then, “Sir... I can’t. I have that mandatory training today.”

He laid back on the bed with a sigh. He’d forgotten about that... This meant that Lieutenant Havoc wouldn’t be available either since they both had the training... “Alright. That’s not a problem, lieutenant. I’ll just drive myself.”

There was another long pause before she said cautiously, “Sir... I’m sure I can find someone to drive you...”

He sat up and ran a hand through his hair. “No, don’t worry about it. I’m only a couple of blocks from the military garage, I’ll just walk up there. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”

“It wasn’t you I was thinking about...” Hawkeye muttered, and Roy scowled. He knew he wasn’t the best driver in the world, but she didn’t have to be so blunt about it...

After hanging up the phone, Roy quickly shaved, combed his hair, and threw on his uniform. He turned to grab his coat and paused when he saw it wasn’t on the floor where he’d dumped it. Blinking, Roy cautiously walked to the closet and looked inside to see it hanging neatly on a hanger.

He stared at it for a moment. He vividly remembered dumping it on the floor... Which meant that... He took it off the hanger and stared at it in his arms. Ed must have hung it up... Why would he do that? Why...? Roy frowned and slipped the coat on. It was the kind of gesture that wasn’t made by someone preparing to break things off... He moved to leave his room, then stopped and rested his forehead against the wall before letting out a heavy sigh. He still needed to deal with the mess he’d created with Ed...

He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to think. His mind felt slightly clearer now that he was dressed and had been able to let go of the intensity of the moment, but that only served to make him feel like shit... worst than shit... The fact that Ed had been crying loud enough for Roy to hear him this whole time made him feel that much worse, though now the teen seemed to be calming and Roy could only hear an occasional noise from downstairs.

Opening his eyes, Roy pulled out his pocket watch and glanced at it. He shook his head. This wasn’t something he could deal with now. He needed to go, but he didn’t want to leave this hanging. Either they were going to break up or they were going to talk things over and make it work, but Roy wasn’t sure which one was surer.

If he left without them settling it, Ed could take off to parts unknown before Roy could do anything about it. This meant that he would have to keep Ed around until they had a chance to discuss it.

Taking a deep breath, Roy retrieved the toilet paper he’d given Ed earlier and started downstairs. When he made it to the bottom of the stairs, he saw Ed standing in the same spot with his automail hand covering his face, the other one hanging at his side. The teen’s lithe and compact body seemed tight and drawn in as small sniffs and an occasional shutter coursed through him. Seeing this only made Roy have to work harder to keep from comforting him. Now wasn’t the time. There would be time later, but not now.

“That was Hakuro on the phone. He apparently doesn’t care that I’m sick,” Roy said, trying to make his voice all business, and slapped the roll of toilet paper against Ed’s chest. “I need to go down and meet with Colonel Wolfe at South Central Head Quarters and you’re coming with me, so stop your whining and clean your face.”

He turned and walked to the table where he grabbed the coffee, took one last drink, then dumped it in the sink.

“We’ll need to walk over to the military garage and get a car,” he said and turned around to grab the mostly whole muffin to put it in a container for later. Glancing to his other side, Roy saw the milk still sitting on the counter and felt irritation bubble up in him again. “And drink the damn milk,” he added, walking out of the kitchen.

After a minute, he heard Ed walk up behind him. “Roy,” Ed said, his voice soft and hesitant. “You’re not really going to break up with me, right?”

Roy squeezed his eyes shut and tried to block out the thought that perhaps he’d made a mistake. Somewhere in his thinking he’d made a mistake and now he’d totally screwed up what he and Ed had... Trying to pull himself together, Roy finished buttoning up his coat and turned around. He frowned when he saw that Ed still hadn’t wiped his face. Snatching the toilet paper roll, he grabbed Ed’s chin and tipped his face up before cleaning him up, making Ed grunt as he roughly dried the wetness from his eyes and cheeks.

His fingers tingled at the contact with Ed’s skin and he quickly let go and turned to open the door. This wasn’t the time... After the meeting with Wolfe, then they’d talk... “Hurry up, Fullmetal. I’m supposed to be in South Central in twenty minutes, and we still need to go pick up the car.”

“Roy!” Ed cried angrily and slammed the door shut. “Talk to me!” Roy could hear him sniffling as he followed behind. “You can’t shut me out!”

Roy stepped up his pace. He wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible so that he and Ed could talk. Despite this, he was nervous about it too. It seemed that he might have made a big mistake, and if that were so, then Roy might have to swallow his pride and ask for forgiveness if he wanted to make things right with Ed.

“Apparently Havoc and Hawkeye are unavailable to drive us,” Roy commented neutrally.

“Roy!” Ed yelled and pulled on his arm. Roy twisted his arm around so that he was holding Ed’s arm instead of the other way around. Picking up his pace, Roy began pulling Ed along. “Fuck, Roy, slow down, and answer me for fuck’s sake!”

Ignoring Ed’s plea, Roy continued on until they reached the military garage, then stopped and opened the door. Letting go of Ed, Roy swiftly walked toward the car that had been assigned to their unit.

“What exactly is it that you want me to answer?” he asked quickly while signing the car out and getting the key.

“I wanna know about us, I wanna hear that we’re not breaking up. What the fuck else is there!”

'I wanna hear that we’re not breaking up.’ Ed’s words rang loudly through Roy’s head and he felt sick to his stomach. Roy didn’t make mistakes often, he was much too careful, but this time... Deciding not to answer Ed right now, Roy got in, put on his seatbelt, and started the car. “Get in,” he said and shut the door. After his conference with Colonel Wolfe they’d talk. He didn’t see it being a pleasant talk either...

He glanced to where Ed was standing, and saw the teen glaring at him through the windshield, then stalked to the other side of the car, got in, and slammed the door closed. “And?” Ed demanded, settling himself into the seat so that he’s sitting sideways, facing Roy.

Roy turned on the car and put it into gear. “And put on your seatbelt,” he said. Roy pushed on the gas and suddenly the car moved backward a couple of inches. Cursing under his breath, Roy put the car in the right gear and it started forward.

“Stop stalling and tell me the god damn truth!” Ed yelled. “Tell me you don’t have feelings for me, huh! I know you’ve never fucking said that you love me! You’re just looking for some easy ass, that you can treat however the fuck you like, without having to think about my feelings or emotions. I’m sure you’ve been all over town the whole time, fucking and screwing anything you could, haven’t you!”

Roy frowned and felt anger wash over him. He’d never once cheated on Ed, but it seemed that Ed seemed to always throw that at him when it suited him, like when they’d been out on New Year’s Eve. He’d cheated on some, most, of his previous lovers, but never on Ed, and to be accused of doing so yet again really pissed him off.

“I can’t believe I ever THOUGHT that I had strong emotions for you, you fucking bastard!” Ed’s voice was getting louder and louder. “And you tried to use Al against me! How the hell could you do that to me? To ME!” Guilt mingled together with Roy’s anger. He supposed he deserved that, but... “You know how fucking hard I’ve worked to right that mistake, and you casually throw it in my face! I should pound you for being the heartless bastard that you are!”

Roy drove the car out onto the road, trying to ignore all the bouncing around Ed was doing, and growled, “That’s right, Ed. I’ve never had feelings for you, I just wanted sex. That’s why I’ve kept you around all this time. Because we both know how difficult it is for me to find someone to fuck. Very brilliant deduction on your part. It just makes perfect sense that I would keep you of all people as a fuck-pet while I went out and screwed the rest of the town.”

Roy felt himself losing control of his emotions, and he desperately tried to regain control, but he couldn’t. Shaking his head, Roy pulled the car sharply to the left to avoid a dip in the road. He felt so angry at both himself and Ed. He also felt guilty for what he’d said before, and even though he knew Ed had a right to be angry, he couldn’t help feeling hurt at Ed’s words.

“Good job,” Roy continued, his voice hard, angry, and full of sarcasm. “You’re so brilliant, Ed. Now I see how you passed the state alchemist exam.” He shook his head and swerved to miss a pothole. He didn’t want to hurt... that’s what he’d been trying to avoid. He’d promised himself he’d never let it get to that point again. Never again... Feeling threatened and trying to protect himself once again with anger and harsh words, he said, “But at least you’ve finally voiced the truth about you wanting to end this.”

A small voice inside of him screamed at him, asking him why the hell he was doing this again when he knew Ed didn’t want to end it, but he ignored it. “As for your brother,” Roy said, then slammed on the breaks when he got to a stoplight, causing Ed to slide off his seat. “You’re doing a fabulous job at telling yourself things to make you feel better. Keep going. Tell yourself what a bastard I am.” Because I am... “And how, of course, Alphonse would never stay away from you. He’s just too busy to talk to you. Of course, being too busy for your own brother makes a whole lot of sense to me too,” Roy said, his voice wild and out of control, then slammed on the gas when the light turned green. He swerved to miss hitting a pedestrian. “But go ahead. Hit me. Pound me for being a heartless bastard, because like you said, you have control over yourself.”

“Fuck!” Ed yelled. “Watch what you’re doing!” Out of the corner of his eye he saw Ed turn around in his seat.

Roy’s fingers clutched the steering wheel so hard that his knuckles were turning white, then turned his head, taking his attention from the road, and looked directly at Ed who was looking at him. “And, Ed...” Roy said very coldly, with more of his earlier calm. Ed turned back to face him. “Don’t fault me for never saying something you’ve never said to me.”

Ed frowned, then glanced away a little. Suddenly, Ed’s eyes widened and it suddenly dawned on Roy that right now he was driving. His head snapped forward and saw that he was in oncoming traffic. Panicking now, Roy slammed on the breaks and turned the steering wheel hard, but it was too late. They hit one of the oncoming cars head on. It slammed into the front passenger side, but instead of stopping, their car rolled once... twice... Roy cried out when he felt a sharp pain in his arm, side, knee, and head, then another car slammed into them.

After the loud noises associated with the crash, it was eerily quite. Roy moved in his seat and gritted his teeth at the intense pain in his arm, wrist, and knee. He grabbed a hold of his arm and squeezed his eyes shut for a second, then glanced to see a large bump in the skin on his arm where the bone must have broken and was now sticking up. Trying to ignore it for now, he moved his gaze to where Ed was sitting.

Ed’s head was lowered and a large amount of blood was flowing through his hair, dripping off the strands forming a small pool in his lap. Roy blinked, trying to force coherent thought into his mind. Ed must have a head wound somewhere. That would make sense since head wounds bleed a lot... Roy moved his gaze down and winced as he took in Ed’s left side. A part of the door had broken off and impaled the teen from his back and it came out just above his hipbone.

“Ed...” Roy croaked, feeling shocked and horrified at amount of bloody innards that had been torn from Ed’s body. He’d seen blood and gore plenty of times in the war, but this was Ed... this was... his Ed... Ed’s head shifted at the sound of Roy’s voice. A groan, then a gasp sounded from Ed when he moved. Roy could hear people outside the car now, some of them were yelling for a doctor, some were just yelling to know what was going on. Help would come soon...

Roy began to move toward Ed, then stopped when he realized he was being restrained. He looked down and felt something trickle lightly down his cheek. Reaching up he swiped at it and hissed at the stinging. Bringing his arm back he saw blood and bits of glass... Ignoring it for now since it wasn’t anything serious, Roy glanced down again and focused on the seatbelt. He blinked at it before reaching down with his uninjured arm and undoing it. As he started again to move toward Ed, he felt a sharp pain in his arm and knee, and winced painfully, but still continued moving.

He searched Ed with his eyes for any more visible injuries, but he couldn’t seem to concentrate. He wanted to help, but knew there was nothing he could do for Ed’s stomach wound. He was a soldier, not a doctor... but he could help somewhat with the head wound...

Gritting his teeth, Roy pulled off his over coat, wincing when it pulled on his injured arm, and laid it over Ed’s knees to keep him warm, then, more gently this time, took off his military jacket. He ripped off the sleeve and moaned at the intense pain that shot through his wrist and arm before leaning over, and, gritting his teeth against the agony, started to wrap it around Ed’s head.

“Ed... you have to stay awake, okay?” he said, then tied the makeshift bandage over the wound. Ed’s eyes fluttered closed and he tried to move his head away, but Roy tightened his grip on Ed’s head, forcing it to stay still.

“Edward!” Roy growled out through his own pain, he couldn’t let Ed die... “Recite the basic rules of alchemy to me!” He patted Ed on the cheek, trying to keep the teen awake. Ed gasped for air, as if he was trying to find the breath to speak.

“” Ed moaned, then swallowed before giving his right hand a confused look. “Um...” His mouth turned into a frown, but nothing else came out.

Roy gave him a worried look after finishing with the bandage, then grabbed Ed’s head and started petting his hair with one hand. “Just look at me, then,” Roy pleaded. “Look into my eyes and stay awake, okay? Help will be here soon,” he murmured.

Ed blinked and stared at him with an unfocused gaze; eyes dilated unevenly. He started to shake and what little color Ed had, drained from his face. “R-r-roy...?”

He continued to stroke Ed’s hair, then kissed him on the forehead before pulling back again and looking into Ed’s eyes. “That’s right. I’m here, Ed,” he said, trying to reassure him. “Now just stay awake...” He just couldn’t let Ed die... not only because he cared, but because they had so much between them that they needed to settle.

“Wha-w-what...?” Ed looked down at the twisted metal coming out of his stomach and his left hand moved to touch it.

Roy moved his own hand up and caught Ed’s, then winced again at the shooting pain. “Don’t touch it. It will bleed more if we pull it out, and I’m not a doctor...” He slowly tipped Ed’s head up by grabbing Ed’s chin gently, then kissed Ed’s forehead again. “Stay with me...” he whispered desperately, then gave Ed’s forehead another kiss. “Stay awake...”

Ed blinked, his body shaking, and looked up at Roy vaguely. “ w-want me?”

Tears gathered in his eyes and he tried to blink them away. This was all his fault... “Yes, Ed. I want you,” Roy whispered. “I’ve always wanted you...I...” He sniffled, trying to hold himself together. Now wasn’t the time... “Just stay awake,” he said and patted Ed’s cheek softly.

“You’re n-n-not mad?” Ed panted. He swallowed and licked his lips, swiping at some of the blood that had trickled there from the blood-saturated bandage.

Roy gently moved Ed’s hand down, then wiped at the blood on Ed’s face with the sleeve of his work shirt. “I’m not mad,” he answered in a shaking voice. “So just stay awake.”

“Good...” Ed whispered and closed his eyes.

“Ed...” Roy said, fear welling up within him. He patted Ed’s face but got no response. “Edward!” he yelled, but it was no good. He smacked Ed’s face a little harder, trying to wake him, then the teen became blurry in his vision as the tears finally came. He blinked and they spilled out. He could feel them run down his cheeks, but he paid them no mind. If Ed died, he’d never forgive himself...



Tags: stories, the more i learn to care for you

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