Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Rating: NC17 (rated for one small sex scene)
Pairing: Roy/Al, slight mention at end of Ed/Winry
Reference: 1st anime, CoS
Type: Character study (Al), Oneshot, Angst
Warnings: Armor sex
Word Count: 6,262
Summary: Ed always seemed to get to experience everything first, and Al wished he could be first at something for once.
A/N: I had a hard time deciding on a rating for this story. I finally settled on NC17 just to be on the safe side, but it’s not focused on sex like a PWP is, so I’m really leaning toward R... but NC17, just to be safe...
Also, please note that this story time skips a lot.
Al walked slowly down the sidewalk. It was after midnight, but he often took walks at this hour. After all, it wasn’t as if he could sleep... But Ed slept, and it was nice to get out for a while.
Just Alphonse Elric.
Not that being with his brother was a problem. No, Al loved his older brother and—figuratively—looked up to him... most of the time... But at night it was just so lonely when he was the only one awake.
He turned a corner and suddenly a cat scrambled out of a garbage can, frightened by the clanking of his armor. The can tipped over and spilled out a few empty bottles, a bunch of papers, and some magazines.
Looking around and seeing no one, Al decided that it was partially his fault that the garbage had spilled over, so he bent down and started picking up the trash. When he got to the magazines, Al felt surprise and embarrassment at what he saw. They were filled with images of men touching each other and licking parts of each other’s bodies. Some of the men had other men’s privates in their mouths, and some had them up their...
Al glanced around quickly again, then scooped up the magazines and put them inside his armor. He hurried away until he reached a dark alleyway. Once there, he pulled out one of the magazines and stared fixedly at the pictures. If he could, Al supposed he’d probably be blushing, but he didn’t need a physical body to feel embarrassed. Yet, despite that, he still felt compelled to look at the magazines.
Sex was no real mystery to Al. He knew what a man and a woman did together; knew the names of all the parts of the body and how everything worked, but he really didn’t think much about it. He’d always supposed that was because, before he’d lost his body, he hadn’t reached a point in his life where the opposite sex was sexually appealing to him in that way.
But these pictures...
He obviously wasn’t aroused by them in the physical sense, but they captured him and intrigued him. Perhaps saying that they aroused him in an emotional sense would be a more accurate term. He wondered how it must feel to do some of those things and how it must feel to have them done to you.
It took him almost two hours to go through the stack; and when he was done, Al stared at the pile in dazed wonder. Was it normal for men to do these things with each other? It wasn’t as if Al had really heard about this type of thing before, but then he never talked about any sort of sexual things with anyone.
Was he normal if he liked what he’d just been exposed to? Maybe he should find some magazines with women in them to see if they had the same effect. He was already abnormal, given that he didn’t have a living body. He didn’t want to be seen as strange in other ways too...
Looking down at the magazines, Al realized that there was no way he could take these with him. He and Ed didn’t own that much, and he was pretty sure Ed would notice if he was trying to hide something from him. But he didn’t want to give up his new possessions either...
After making sure he was still alone, Al transmuted a hole in the cement and dumped the magazines inside, before sealing it up. He made note of the place, then hurried away into the night.
Over the next two years, Alphonse Elric became a avid collector of a wide variety of pornography. As he and Ed moved from city to city in their travels, Al had realized that he’d need more than one collection or else he might have to go weeks without looking at his magazines and pictures. Given that he never slept, Al was able to find places that sold what he was looking for. He was also able to buy whatever he wanted because he looked like an adult.
Most of his collection consisted of nothing but good looking men doing other good looking men, or handsome men posing for the camera in compromising positions. He did have a few things with females in them, but they were all from when he was first trying to decide if it was simply the act of sex that interested him or the gender of those he saw.
He’d quickly learned that females held no attraction for him, and it had bothered him for a while before he realized that it really didn’t matter at this point in time. He wasn’t expected to date in the condition he was in, and Ed rarely talked of dating or sex anyway, so it wasn’t as if he had to pretend to be interested in something he wasn’t.
Al did feel a little bad keeping his interests from his brother, but the one time he’d mentioned a man dating another man, Ed had thought about it for a moment and stated in an offhand manner that he thought it was sort of weird. There was no point in having a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender because only a male and female could perpetuate the species, Ed had pointed out before getting caught up in another topic. ‘Weird’ was not how Al wanted to be seen by his brother, so he simply kept it as his little secret.
His dirty little secret...
Being seen as an adult by the rest of the population, Al was also able to gain admittance to some of the most... interesting... places. Places where people stripped for a fee and would even have sex for the audience, depending on the establishment. Al kept mental notes on some of what he saw in hopes that someday he’d have the chance to give it a try.
But, at the moment, Al wasn’t thinking about men or sex—at least not directly—nor was he thinking about his dirty little hobby. Now wasn’t the time for it. Instead, he was watching Ed shave for the first time, and feeling extremely envious. Ed’s face was mostly hairless, but he’d been getting a light fuzz recently and had decided it was time to be ‘manly’ and shave it off. But at least his brother had the option of shaving.
Turning his face from side to side, Ed studied himself critically in the mirror, then looked at Al. “What do you think?”
Al thought he was jealous... jealous that Ed would have this experience and he might never. Of course, he couldn’t tell Ed that; it would only make his brother depressed and Al didn’t like seeing Ed sad.
“I think it looks good,” Al said after inspecting his brother’s face. There were two minor cuts, but Ed had gotten all the fuzz and now had a perfectly smooth face.
“That’s such a pain,” Ed said in annoyance, rinsing his face off then patting it dry. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with this,” Ed said in an offhand manner. Al almost said that, no, he wasn’t lucky that he didn’t have to deal with this, but Ed caught what he’d said before Al had a chance to say anything and looked up at him with regret in his eyes.
“Al... I mean... I didn’t mean...” Ed stammered.
“I know, brother; but don’t worry, we’ll find a way to get my body back,” Al said, trying to reassure Ed despite the fact that he really wasn’t sure he believed what he was saying at the moment.
Right now, he felt like there was no way he’d ever be able to feel or smell or taste... He’d never be able to have the experiences that Ed was having... And even if they were successful and Al did regain his body, he might not ever have all those ‘first’ experiences the way Ed did.
He and Ed should be experiencing these things together. They were both so close in age... They should have reached puberty together, should have started shaving together, should have had so many experiences together... Even if Ed was a little older, there was no saying that Al might not have needed to shave first, or that his voice wouldn’t have deepened before Ed’s. Perhaps it was a little selfish, but Al not only wanted these experiences, but he wanted to be first at something!
He was never first at anything... ever.
Al stared up at the cloudy night sky for a moment before shutting the door and starting his walk. It looked like it was going to rain, but a little moisture wasn’t going to bother him. He couldn’t catch a cold and he wouldn’t feel any discomfort due to dampness.
He passed the residential area and made his way into the commerce section of East City. Most of the businesses were shut down for the night, but some sections thrived on the nightlife—bars, brothels, strip clubs, sex shops, and small eateries that catered to those who frequented these parts of the city.
And, just as he turned down the street he wanted, the heavens opened and rain poured down. People ran under awnings, into buildings, or hurried into cars and drove away with their latest squeeze or the prostitute they’d hired.
He was just deciding where he wanted to go when a noise up ahead caught his attention. The door to one of the bars opened and a man staggered out, instantly becoming drenched in the downpour. Another man stepped out and steadied him, and as Al drew closer he could hear what they were saying.
“Hey, you wan’ me ta call ya a cab o’ sumthin’ buddy?” the second man asked the obviously plastered first man.
The first man shook his head and pushed away. “I’m fine,” he said. “I’m not’hat far.” Al stopped and listened more closely. The voice sounded familiar.
“Ya, but man... it’s comin’ down, and ya just fuckin’ drunk.”
The first man straightened unsteadily, pushed his short, and now very sodden, black hair back, and shook his head. “I’m good; I’m fine...”
Al walked forward just as the second man seemed about to speak. “I’ll walk with him,” Al offered, trying to put the second man at ease. “We know each other.” The colonel glanced up at him in surprise, then nodded and allowed Al to steady him. The second man, an employee of the bar, considered it for a moment, then nodded and stepped back inside.
“A li’l late f’r you t’be out here, isn’ it?” Colonel Mustang asked in a slurred voice.
“Not really,” Al said. “I don’t sleep, so I always take walks at night.” The colonel leaned against him as they walked, and Al tried as best as he could to shield him from the rain with his large arm.
“Alphonse... I don’t usually go to those types of bars...” Colonel Mustang said fuzzily.
Al looked down at him, then glanced back toward the bar, only now realizing that it had been a gay bar that the colonel had been leaving. Al had been too focused on the man to pay attention to the place.
“It doesn’t bother me, sir,” Al said, looking down at Colonel Mustang in a new light. He knew of the man’s reputation, so it had never once crossed his mind that the colonel would have any of the same interests that he did. In fact, Al didn’t know anyone well that had the same interests as him. He’d never gotten friendly with anyone at any of the places he’d gone to for this type of thing for fear that it might backfire on him, so he’d never had the chance to actually have a real conversation with a man who liked other men.
Colonel Mustang had suddenly become very, very, interesting to him...
The colonel gave directions to his apartment and Al made sure that they got there safely. The place was in a decent neighborhood—nothing like the hidden alleyways of the nightlife section they’d left behind.
As they came inside, Al deposited the colonel on the couch, then shut the door behind him before looking around for towels. Finding them, Al brought a few back to where the colonel was laying down.
“You should get out of those clothes...” Al said worriedly. “You don’t want to catch a cold.”
When the colonel didn’t move, Al pulled him to a sitting position and peeled his shirt off of him, then stared at his half naked body. It wasn’t as finely cut and muscular as some of the men in his magazines, but the colonel did have a rather nice build and it was obvious he worked out. Al’s eyes traveled down to the colonel’s stomach and then to the crotch of his pants before moving back up to his face.
Al tried to push the thoughts of sex and men together out of his mind, but they wouldn’t go; and, as if by another’s volition and not his own, Al reached down and rested his large hand on the colonel’s shoulder, then slid it along his back and then to his chest. He couldn’t feel anything. No matter how much he wished he could, there was nothing. What would it feel like to touch the colonel with hands of flesh and blood? What was the colonel feeling now as Al moved his large metal hands over his skin?
The colonel let out a small moan, then said quietly, “That prob’ly shouldn’ feel as good as it does...”
“Why not?” Al asked, continuing to lightly move his fingers along the colonel’s skin.
“I’m still a real person,” Al said quietly. “Inside of this armor, I’m still real. I still have feelings.”
Colonel Mustang lifted his hands and rested them on Al’s large wrist before looking drunkenly up at him. “You don’ know what y’re doin’ to me, Alphonse...”
“Yes, I do. I’ve seen more than you think,” he said, trying to sound knowledgeable. He didn’t want the colonel to think of him as a kid.
“But you don’know what y’re doin’ t’me physically. You... you don’t understand how this is affecting me...” the colonel said. His tone was still slurred, though he was speaking more slowly now and Alphonse had the feeling the colonel was trying to better articulate his words through his drunken stupor. “You haven’ had that experience so you can’t possibly understand how this numbs my already weakened sense of morality...”
“Y’re still so young... Don’let me make this mistake...” the colonel pleaded drunkenly.
“Colonel,” Al repeated. “Like you said, I’m young. I’m not experienced in things like this, but I have seen a lot. I understand about men being together. I understand it very well.” he added in a smaller voice. “I don’t have a flesh and blood body, Colonel. If I did... and you wanted it... I would let you...” He paused and gazed down into the older man’s eyes. “I wish I knew what it was like. But since I have nothing to offer you, then I don’t really see why you have to be worried...”
The colonel sighed and looked away. “Oh, Alphonse... You don’t need a flesh n’ blood body t’do sex’al things... Ther’re plen’y of creative s’narios we could do together that I’m sure I would enjoy very much, but I can’t do that to you...”
“But I want you to!” Al said, realizing that he actually had a chance and not wanting it to slip away.
Colonel Mustang looked back up at him with a frown. “Why? What does it do f’r you...? You can’t feel anythin’ that happens...”
“But I want to have the experience,” Al said quietly. “I want to touch someone and make them feel good. I want to try some of the things that I’ve seen and I want to learn more. I also don’t have anyone to talk to about the things I feel and what I like...”
“I’d still feel like I was using you...” the colonel said, worry in his eyes.
Alphonse was silent for a moment before speaking. “Then use me. I want you to. I want to see what you’ll do with this metal body of mine because I can’t imagine that it could possibly do that much for you...”
Eyeing him drunkenly with watery eyes, the colonel stood up unsteadily, held onto Al to keep himself from falling over, and whispered, “Take off the rest of m’clothes...”
Al was quick to obey and the colonel was soon free of the wet clothes. The colonel pressed his groin to one of Al’s thick legs and slowly began to rub himself against the smooth metal of Al’s body.
“Touch me, Alphonse...” the colonel said. Al put his hands against the man’s body, and slowly moved them all over his bare skin. He reached down and gently pressed one of his fingers in-between the colonel’s legs, then slowly moved it against the crack of his butt before letting it slide up his back.
“There’s lube in the drawer over there,” Colonel Mustang said, nodding to an end table. The man slid unsteadily to the floor and waited for Al to retrieve the lube, then he said, “Cover one’a your fingers in that.” He paused, then added, “A lot of that...”
“Are we going to... I mean... inside of you?” Al asked, feeling excited and nervous at the same time. He had very large fingers... would it fit? It might. He’d seen pictures of men sticking large things—like bottles—into their bodies. From what he knew, there needed to be a lot of preparation and the man had to be used to large things. Al eyed the colonel in thought. Colonel Mustang seemed to think he could handle something big, and since Al didn’t really know the man’s sexual history, he couldn’t really call him on it. After a moment of thought, Al decided on his pinky, just to be safe. He watched the colonel get on his hands and knees, the slipped the finger between the man’s butt cheeks and pressed it against his opening.
Reaching down with his hand, the colonel began to touch himself, then said, “Do it, Alphonse...” He wiggled his rear a little to show that he was ready, then added, “Your other hand... bring it to my mouth...”
Al did so and watched as the colonel began to suck on one of his fingers. Colonel Mustang bucked his hips back to remind Al that he was supposed to be entering him, and Al began to move his finger forward, trying to imitate the thrusting motion of a real body.
He worked slowly, often with the colonel reaching back to move his hand slightly, giving his finger a slightly different angle. After several minutes—how many he didn’t know—Al watched in amazement as his finger begin to sink slowly into the colonel’s body. The man’s opening widened as he advanced, allowing him entrance. A low moan of pleasure sounded from the colonel and Al watched as the colonel moved his hand over his cock as he moved his hips. Colonel Mustang opened his mouth wider and tried to take in more of Al’s finger as if the large finger up his ass wasn’t enough to fill him. Or maybe the man was imagining he was being taken from both ends.
Saliva began to dribble down the colonel’s chin and down the finger he was sucking on, and his hip movements became more erratic. His body began to tremble and Al could hear muffled cries as the man lost himself in pleasure. Al watched in fascination, wondering what kind of sensations were flowing through the colonel’s body. He wanted to know, wanted to experience those kind of erotic desires and passions. Some day he would. Someday he would find out. For now, though, he was satisfied with being able to experience bringing someone else pleasure. He’d been given the opportunity to explore his curiosities at the closest level he could. Maybe it would never happen again, but if that was the case, Al would always be grateful that he’d had the chance.
With a muffled scream, that Alphonse was sure would have been loud enough for someone on the street to hear, Colonel Mustang came. Cum leaked down onto the carpet underneath him, and his body trembled from the energy he’d put out. His nostrils were flaring with each breath and so Al pulled his finger from the colonel’s mouth, letting the man gulp in more air. His body sagged, then collapsed bonelessly onto the floor as he gasped for breath.
“Wow...” Colonel Mustang breathed. “Just wow...”
Al looked at his hands, the used fingers soiled and wet. He felt amazed that he was able to give the colonel that much pleasure by the simple act of sticking his fingers inside of him like one of those Xingian finger traps.
By the time he looked back down at the colonel, Al realized that the man had fallen asleep on the floor. Not sure what he should do now, but knowing that it probably wouldn’t be nice to just leave him there, Al took the towels he’d brought from earlier and cleaned himself and the colonel from their recent activities, then used another to dry the colonel’s hair and body. After that, Al gently picked him up and carried him to his bedroom, where he laid him on the bed and covered him with a blanket.
Looking down at the sleeping colonel, Al couldn’t help feeling pleased. He hadn’t reached any sort of physical climax himself, but he’d just gained valuable experience. Without a doubt, Al knew that his brother hadn’t been involved in anything like this, and he couldn’t help but feel a little pleased.
For once, he had been first.
“Why does Mustang want to see you?” Ed asked, irritated by the simple fact that the colonel’s name had been mentioned in his presence so early in the morning.
“I don’t know,” Al lied. He had a very good idea what this could be about, and he wasn’t sure if it would be good or not.
It had been Friday, the night he’d gone to the colonel’s apartment; and, of course, Al hadn’t seen him at all during the weekend. He never did. But as soon as they’d gotten near East City Headquarters, a soldier had caught up with them and relayed the message that Colonel Mustang wanted to see Alphonse Elric in his office as soon as possible.
Ed grumbled all the way up to the colonel’s office and pounded loudly on the door before slamming it open. “Hurry up and talk so we can leave,” Ed demanded.
“Brother...” Al admonished, feeling a little embarrassed by his attitude. Not that Ed wasn’t like that often, but this time it was different. This time it involved his business.
Colonel Mustang, who looked much more professional this morning than he had the other night, raised an eyebrow and said, “I don’t believe you were invited to this meeting, Fullmetal.”
“I... well...” Ed looked up at Al, then back at the colonel, then finally said, “He’s my brother.”
“And this is my office,” the colonel countered easily. Ed opened his mouth, but the colonel overrode him. “Goodbye, Fullmetal.”
“You can’t just kick me out!” Ed spluttered, then looked at Al. “You’re just going to let him kick me out?”
“Well... it is his office...” Al said. “I’m sure it won’t be long,” he added, then stepped aside and held the door open for Ed to go through. Shooting a glare over his shoulder at the man at the desk, Ed stomped out the door as Al closed it on his heels.
“Lively this morning, isn’t he,” the colonel said easily.
“He’s always ‘lively’ when he has to do things or see people he doesn’t want to,” Al said, turning back to him and walking toward the desk.
The colonel studied him for a moment, then said quietly, “Do you know why I’ve called you here?”
“I can guess...” Al said, then waited nervously for the colonel to continue.
There was a long moment of silence in which Alphonse rehashed in his mind the worries he’d had all weekend, because he knew that he wouldn’t be able to avoid the man. What the colonel would say? Would he be upset? Had Al done wrong? Colonel Mustang wasn’t going to tell his brother what happened, would he? No, probably not unless he had a death wish.
“About Friday night...” Colonel Mustang paused and tapped a pen lightly against the desk as he looked at Alphonse. “Have you talked to your brother about that?”
“No,” Al answered nervously.
Some tension seemed to leave the colonel and he said, relief in his voice, “Good. I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention it to him... or anyone for that matter. It could cause some problems that would be difficult to deal with—definitely for me, and possibly for you.”
“I understand,” Al said. He understood very well.
Looking away, the colonel continued a little more hesitantly now. “While it wouldn’t be prudent to inform others of our... activities... I would be interested in...” He glanced up at Al with calculated interest. “...perhaps meeting with you again? You did mention you wanted someone to discuss specific things with...”
“Yes!” Al said at once. “I... yes, I would like that a lot,” he added in a quieter tone. Not that the walls were that thin, but he thought it might be best to imitate the colonel’s demeanor. “I would really like to meet up with you again, Colonel.”
The man smiled, seeming pleased and relieved, then said, “When we’re alone, Alphonse, you may call me ‘Roy’.”
If Al could have, he would have smiled. As it was, his voice radiated his pleasure at being allowed the familiar term as he said, “I would very much like to meet up with you again... Roy.”
Al glanced down at the paper in his hands, then looked at the number on the door before putting the paper away and knocking. Reaching up, he pushed his bangs back out of his face. It wasn’t quite as long as he wanted it yet, but Al had been working on growing his hair out just like Ed’s.
Wearing his brother’s old clothes and trying to look like him as much as possible tended to help him a lot on his search. People recognized the outfit and would sometimes mistake him for Ed, but that’s what Al wanted. He wanted to be approached. It helped him find more people who had known his brother during the time he couldn’t remember. There was always the hope that one of them might have a lead he could follow.
The door opened and a tall, dark-haired man with a large eye patch over one eye stood there, looking down at him in surprise. “Alphonse?” the man asked.
Al nodded. He’d met Roy Mustang once before in passing, and the man had given him a letter that had basically said that if he needed anything, anything at all, then he wanted Al to ask. It had been at least a year since then, but now that Al was taking up his journey to find Ed, any information would be useful.
“I... hope it’s okay that I came to your home...” Al said nervously. “I went to Central Headquarters, but they said that you were here and that you’d be leaving soon...” The man nodded, then opened the door wider for Al to come in. When he did so, he saw that most of the apartment was packed up in boxes. “Where are you going?” Al asked, knowing that it was none of his business, but not able to resist feeding his curiosity.
“I’m being sent up north as a border guard,” he explained.
“Oh... well...” Al fidgeted nervously. “Mister Mustang, I—” Al began, but was cut off.
“Please, Alphonse...” The man put a hand on his shoulder and said softly, “Call me ‘Roy’.”
Al felt a bit of surprise and asked, “Are you sure?” It just seemed too familiar for someone he’d just met...
Roy nodded. “Yes. You used to call me Roy when we were alone together.” He motioned toward a couch. “Have a seat. Would you like something to drink?”
“No thank you,” Al said, sitting down and watching the man do the same. “Why did I call you ‘Roy’ when we were alone?” he asked. While always searching for information on his brother, clues about his own past were just as valuable. It had been a little surprising to him just how few people there were who had really taken the time to get to know him beyond him being Edward Elric’s brother.
Roy smiled a small smile, then said softly, “I think the best way to put it would be that we became very good friends.” He paused, then added, “Better than I’d thought could possibly be. What had started out as... well, perhaps I should say a physical activity of sorts, became more than that. A mutual meeting of the minds, if you will.” He searched Al’s eyes for a moment, then said, “You never ceased to amaze me with how brilliant you were...”
Al searched his mind hard, hoping for even a glimmer of a memory. Whatever friendship he’d had with Roy Mustang seemed to be important, but like any other time he’d tried to recall anything from the past, nothing came.
“I wish I could remember...” he said quietly. “I’m sorry...”
“Don’t be,” Roy said kindly, with a touch of sadness, then touched Al’s cheek gently with one finger. “But if you ever remember anything...”
“I’ll let you know,” Al said, feeling a little embarrassed now by the familiar attention he was receiving. They must have been very good friends for Roy to act this way toward him.
With a sigh of what Al thought to be regret, Roy dropped his hand and said in a more businesslike tone, “But enough of that. I believe you came here to ask me questions about your brother.”
Al nodded and began to relate his story and ask his questions, all the while wishing—yet again—that he could remember his past.
Al looked back behind him, past Roy, to where Ed was standing in the doorway of the aircraft. His face was solemn and full of regret.
“Fullmetal?” Roy asked quietly.
Then, without warning, Ed dropped down, clapped his hands together, and separated the main part of the ship from where he and Roy were standing.
“Brother...?” Al asked, not believing what he was seeing. Ed wasn’t doing what he thought he was... was he...? He rushed forward, but Roy caught him and held him fast. “Brother!” Al called again, now feeling his heart sink within him.
Ed stood up and said, “You should be able to make it back with that much material.”
Al felt tears well up in his eyes and he wanted to speak, wanted to say something, but his throat had suddenly tightened and nothing came out but a small squeak. Al thought Roy must have heard because his arms tightened around him, and he asked, “Where are you going?” Exactly what Al had wanted to ask... Somehow Roy always seemed to know...
“I’m returning all of this beyond the gate,” Ed said, indicating the ship.
Suddenly, Al’s throat loosened and he shouted desperately, “Brother, you don’t have to!”
“I need to destroy that gate... And so do you, Al,” Ed said seriously. “We need to make sure it never opens again...”
Al watched as Ed turned away, then he shouted out, “What about Winry?” He knew his friend loved his brother, and from the little he’d learned about that time, Al guessed that Ed had some feelings for her as well. Ed wouldn’t leave her, would he?
Turning back, Ed smiled and held up his automail arm. “Tell her thanks for this,” he said, then turned away and started back into the ship.
“Brother! Brother! Brother!” Al cried. After searching for so long, he’d finally found his brother, and now after only a short time they’d have to say goodbye again! And it wasn’t just goodbye until later, Al knew. It was goodbye forever.
“Alphonse,” Roy whispered in his ear.
“Roy...” Al cried. “Brother...” He pressed his face into the man’s chest and sobbed hard. He could feel Roy rubbing his back, then a small kiss on the top of his head.
“I’ll close the gate, Alphonse...” Al gasped and reared back a little to look at him. Roy’s face held a pained look; one of regret and sorrow. He gently touched Al’s face, then said, “I’d always hoped you would remember... But, the two of you need each other, and it would be selfish for me to keep you here.” Leaning in, Roy pressed his lips against Al’s, making Al open his eyes wide in surprise. Pulling back, Roy smiled sadly and said, “Promise you’ll never forget me.”
“I...” Al said, feeling stunned. “I promise...”
Nodding, and all business now, Roy said, “You need to get on that ship.”
“What are you doing out here, brother?” Al asked, walking out to see Ed sitting on the front steps of the inn.
“Thinking...” Ed said quietly.
Sitting down next to him, Al asked, “What about?”
Ed touched his right arm and was silent for a time before saying quietly, “Winry...”
Al nodded. “You miss her...”
Ed smiled a painful smile. “You know, I’d always thought that one day...” He shook his head. “Well, we were sort of... waiting for each other... I told her we couldn’t be together until after...” Ed said with a small sigh. “But now it’s too late.” He gave a short, mirthless laugh. “Maybe I should have taken her up on it when I had the chance...”
“But you wanted to wait,” Al said, trying to comfort his brother.
“Yeah, well... Now I’ll probably never land a girl,” Ed said, trying to keep his tone light. “I’m destined to be a virgin forever.”
Al laughed and shook his head. “If it was all about that then I’m sure you would have found someone by now. You just want it to be special. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Ed nodded, and Al found himself marveling at the fact that his brother was still inexperienced in that area. Not that Al had been with anyone since getting his body back, but being with someone he was in love with wasn’t something that he’d particularly cared about when he was younger.
A lump formed in his throat and he touched his fingers to his lips. He hadn’t remembered all those times with Roy when he’d kissed him goodbye, but he remembered now, and the realization of what Roy had done... He’d let him go so that Al could be with Ed, despite the fact that he wanted to be with Al again.
He missed Roy fiercely and he wished he could have had one night with the man as he was now, flesh and blood. How many times had he touched Roy and held him, how many times had he caressed his skin, only to feel nothing on his end? If only he could have that... even if it was just once...
Putting a hand on Ed’s shoulder, Al said, “If it makes you feel any better, I know how you feel. You’re not the only one who left someone behind...”
Ed blinked at him, then asked curiously, “Who?” Al laughed and shook his head. There would be no telling until he was sure Ed wouldn’t reject him for his basic preferences.
“Maybe someday I’ll tell you,” Al teased, then gave Ed a serious look. “Once we find the bomb, do you think we could focus some of our time on returning?”
Ed looked down at the ground with a frown on his face. “We could... but I don’t really know if it’s possible without doing something like forcing the gate open, or...” he shook his head. “Without alchemy it really makes it an almost impossible task.”
“We found a way once, we can do it again,” Al said hopefully.
Ed looked up at him and smiled before patting his hand. “Maybe you’re right.”
“I’m right,” Al answered confidently. He thought of Roy and felt his determination solidify. He would find a way back, and when he did, he would experience every joy and pleasure there was to be had in Roy’s arms.