Catie (catystorm) wrote,
Catie
catystorm

FMA Fic: Miles Apart 2/4

Title: Miles Apart (2/4)
Pairing: Roy/Ed, Ed/OFC
Genre: AU crossed over with canon
Rating: Hard R
Word count: 7065
Summary: "Well he can't stay with me," Havoc said. "I don't have a couch."
Warnings: AU/Crossover; Ed's rather extensive and occasionally offensive vocabulary. Tomfoolery.
Notes: Crossover with a fusion!Supernatural universe. Ed is a hunter, not an alchemist. He's also not at all what Roy expects...

Part 1



Ed was beginning to contemplate worse things to do to the clurichaun than just kill it. It was increasingly clear that he was completely out of his depth here, in an entirely different world that held these mockeries of the people he knew. That fake-Mustang … not coincidentally, also named Roy Mustang … he kept giving Ed a look that he couldn’t quite decipher. He clearly didn’t quite believe Ed was who he said he was, but as the other participants in the early-morning brawl had been released there was no reason to keep a civilian incarcerated.

After access to some clean towels and bandages Ed finally got to wash his face off in the men’s restroom. He scowled at the gash along his hairline before bandaging it tightly. His jaw was bruising a little too, from where the largest of his opponents had slugged him. Al would give him shit for getting into that fight, if he ever got home to tell him about it. Ed gripped the sides of the sink and stared down into the white porcelain. Did the clurichaun go back for Al and the girl, or did they get away? Fuck, with Ed gone Al might decide there was nothing left to it and finally give in, what if he got back and his little brother wasn’t his little brother anymore? The thought made him sick.

Mustang at least left him alone in the bathroom. Not that Ed could escape unnoticed here, the windows were too small for him to think about wriggling through, even if they were easily accessible (which they were not). Ed exhaled and stared at himself in the mirror. He’d lost his cell phone and maglite in the fight, the arresting MPs took his gun and knives. He was weaponless, lost in a strange new world with these bizarre other-people, and he had no ideas on how to get home.

The bandage settled under his bangs nicely, wrapped tight around the rest of his head. He was far too experienced at bandaging his own head injuries; he really needed to learn how to duck. Ed flicked the ends of his bangs; his hair was in need of a trim. Al usually took care of that for him, but who knew how long that would be? Ed scuffed his fingers through the rest of his hair. He was in desperate need of a shower and a shave, but this would have to do for now. At least he didn’t look like he’d just staggered out of a bar brawl, even if it was the truth.

The Roy Mustang of this world – Ed still couldn’t get over the resemblance – was waiting outside the bathroom, looking mildly uncomfortable. It was warmer in this building than it had been in the cell block. This world clearly didn’t have air conditioning. Mustang’s bangs were sticking to his face with sweat, but he still wore that neutral expression that showed no signs of discomfort. His Roy liked to taunt him with that same expression, the man had an iron curtain around his emotions that he could pull out effortlessly and it was an aggravating thing to be confronted with.

This Mustang looked just a touch younger than his, though. He was missing a few lines around his eyes and the scar on his chin from taking a swan dive down a flight of stairs after a vampire. He also noted with great satisfaction that Mustang seemed genuinely uncomfortable with the fact that Ed was just a hair taller than he was. He remembered high school well, and the anger there that he hit his growth spurt so damn late. If the Ed of this world (shit, he really had to stop thinking that because it was TOO DAMN WEIRD for words) was only fifteen, that growth spurt was still a few years in the future.

“Feel better?” Mustang rumbled, his eyes searching Ed’s face for … what, he wasn’t sure. Ed let him look for a second, then smirked at him.

“I’d feel better with a shower and a shave and a beer, but good enough for now.”

Mustang nodded. “We’ll see what we can do about the first two, but first I have an errand to run.” The look that he gave Ed told him that he was going to be accompanying Mustang on this errand, whatever it was.

“First I want my shit back,” Ed said. “My gun, my knives, all of it.”

“Unfortunately, I’m going to have to hold on to those for you,” Mustang said smoothly. “We don’t allow civilians to roam about on military bases armed to the teeth.”

Ed scowled at him. “The gun I’m fond of, but it’s replaceable. One of the knives is not. One knife.”

“This is not a debate, Edward.”

“No,” Ed said, getting right up into Mustang’s personal space, eyes blazing. “You do NOT get to call me that. No one does.” Mustang’s face was impassable, but there was a subtle widening of his eyes, he clearly had not expected the outburst of anger at his name. He knew what to look for, with Mustang. He knew it too well. “And fuck debates anyway, you are giving me back my knife or else I am going to make your life miserable. Think your teenage me is a pain in your ass? You ain’t seen nothing, I can guarantee it.”

They stared into each other’s eyes for a long moment; Mustang’s impenetrable dark gaze and Ed’s narrow gold one. The tiny hallway was suffocatingly warm, and time seemed to freeze at their battle of wills. There was a microscopic relaxation of Mustang’s features. “I suppose there is no harm in allowing you a single knife,” Mustang murmured, Ed clearly too close for his comfort. “It’s not as if your counterpart couldn’t do as much damage with his arm just as quickly.”

Ed exhaled; he hadn’t realized he was holding his breath. “It’s an important knife,” he said. He could lose the gun, the throwing knives, hell even his wallet was replaceable – it wasn’t like there was much cash in it at the moment – but the demon-killing knife they had taken from Ruby? Al would string him up by his shoelaces (if he was lucky) if he lost that. It was one of their very few trump cards, and Ed would do anything to make sure it didn’t leave his possession again.

Mustang cleared his throat and looked at Ed pointedly, and Ed realized how close he was to the man and took a conspicuous step back. Personal space. This wasn’t his Roy.

The attendant gave Ed a suspicious look as Roy signed out his personal items. Ed snatched the demon-killing knife off of the tray and slid it back into its empty sheath. Roy had his other weapons bagged and carried them under his arm – he wasn’t going to discard them. Ed felt slightly grateful for that, even if he currently felt naked without the comfortable weight of his gun at his back.

It had to be almost lunch time, but Ed wasn’t feeling the time difference. He squinted in the hot sunlight as they walked out onto the street. Really, he hadn’t paid too much attention when he was hauled out in cuffs to the area that the brig was in, too busy with trying to slip out from under the hands of the MPs and failing because they were actually competent. It was a military complex, full of large white buildings that shone in the direct sunlight. He really didn’t like military complexes, they were usually under layers and layers of security and if he was near one, he was either in handcuffs or they were deep undercover. Oddly, with Mustang here, even a fake one, he felt a lot more at ease.

Ed grinned at several secretaries who were obviously on their way to lunch; they had all flashed flirty grins at Mustang as they passed, but then their eyes were drawn to Ed trailing behind him, so he winked at a brunette that caught his eye. She blushed and fled after the others. Ed cocked his head as he watched her go, nice body, tight little ass … the smirk came unbidden to his face, and he almost walked into Mustang’s back. The man had stopped when the secretaries has passed them and now was giving Ed a strange look. “Watch where you’re going,” Ed complained.

“Hm,” was all Mustang said.

Walking into the main building was like walking into a brick over. Ed groaned as the wave of heat hit him, shoved up the sleeves of his long-sleeved shirt and contemplated just going ahead and stripping to his tee shirt. They didn’t pass too many other people, most of the soldiers who would be there working had the logical sense to go the fuck home on a Saturday.

There were some dedicated workers there (or something). The few soldiers that Ed observed were wearing that same peculiar blue uniform. Most had their jackets off, and some people wore button-down shirts, other tee shirts, and still others had sleeveless tops on. There was some construction going on down the hall and Ed paused a moment as Roy started up the stairs, then caught up.

The outer office that Mustang led him into was even stuffier than the hallway. Ed lingered in the doorway and tried not to sweat through his shirt as Mustang walked through to his inner office to collect whatever it was he had left behind here. Ed’s eyes darted to where he put down the paper sack containing Ed’s stuff, and grinned.

“Excuse me,” a woman said from behind him. Ed half-turned in the doorway and he smirked again. She was about half a head shorter than him, blonde hair pulled back tight, intelligent, dangerous brown eyes and a great figure, even hidden under the bulky, blue, and apparently unisex uniform.

“Hello there,” Ed said, leaning on his elbow against the doorframe, still blocking the entrance to the office.

Her lips were pressed into a flat line as she looked up at him. There was a flicker of familiarity there; Ed recognized the spark lit across her eyes. She wasn’t seeing him at all, and his smirk grew a little more distant. It was disconcerting when people did that, imagining whatever sort of brat the this-world version of him was, in his place. At least he already recognized the look.

“Please move,” she said. “I won’t ask again.”

Ed flattened back and allowed her past, watching approximately where her ass would be under her uniform in the hopes of catching a glimpse of its figure. “So,” he said, following her into the office properly. “What’s a pretty thing like you doing working in a military office on a Saturday?” He put both of his hands on the desk and grinned at her. She filed the paperwork she had in her arms without looking at him.

Mustang was standing in his open doorway when Ed looked up, an expression of comedic horror on his face. “I take it you found our imposter, Colonel,” she said, opening a file folder and holding a pen out to him. “I just need your signature and then you can go for the weekend, sir.”

“Hey,” Ed said, insulted. “I’m not an imposter.” He turned around and watched her walk over to Mustang, leaning against the desk with his hands braced against the lip. “I’m just new to town.” That same grin came easy. “Maybe you could show me around, I’m sure you know some of the best places in town to grab a drink.”

She spared him a glance, looking him up and down, and then took the folder and pen from Mustang’s nerveless fingers. She filed the folder away, placed the pen back in a cup that sat on the desk and with the same methodical precision, pulled out her gun and shot two bullets into the ground on either side of Ed’s boots.

“Will that be all, Colonel Mustang?” she asked, holstering her firearm.

“Thank you, Lieutenant,” Mustang said. “Have a good weekend.”

“You too, sir.” Without even looking at Ed again, she walked out of the outer office.

Ed was staring down at the two smoking bullet holes, which by some miracle of precision didn’t even touch his boots. He moved his feet gingerly away, expecting to have lost toes, leather, something, and wiggled his feet. “Why didn’t you warn me?” he asked, peeling his fingers from the desk.

“I honestly couldn’t find the words,” Mustang murmured. “I was going to have her file the paperwork to put you up in the barracks for the weekend, but I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea now.” He sighed.

Ed shrugged. “I can find my own way, Mustang; you don’t need to babysit me.”

“If you’re going to be cooperating the least I can do is find you a place to stay the night,” Mustang said. “I have a friend who might be able to put you up; we’ll go to see him later.” Mustang stopped beside where Ed was still leaning against the desk and smacked Ed on the shoulder almost playfully as he passed. “I do have to commend you though, you have a stronger bladder than Havoc and for that I am quite glad.”

*

The day melted into dusk as Ed followed Roy throughout the town on his errands. They were just a handful of things, a stop in a coffee shop here, at a bookseller there. Simple conversations, but Roy soon noticed that Ed lingered just in earshot, listening alertly. As he bid farewell to the florist and strode along the sidewalk, Ed dropped into pace beside him instead of behind him.

“You have an entire network of contacts in this city,” Ed said in a low, impressed voice. “That aren’t affiliated with your military at all. Planning a coup, Colonel Mustang?”

Roy glanced at Ed with only his eyes, fighting the smirk down. “I have no idea what you could be talking about,” he said evenly.

Ed shook his head and grinned, looking up at the sky.

*

The street lamps had just started to come on, warm amber lights suspended above their heads as the last of the daylight faded into night. The heat hadn’t broken but seemed softer, more comfortable. Moths and flies buzzed about the street lamps as Roy turned down a familiar street. He was surprised that Ed had kept with him; he had given the man plenty of opportunity to slip away throughout the day. He had, actually, lost Ed for about half an hour but Ed had returned with two sandwiches and Roy’s wallet.

(He still wasn’t sure when Ed could have gotten it.)

*

Their last stop of the night was a pub, a worn-down looking place with one of the lights above the sign broken and the door busy with people entering and exiting. There were groups of people clustered around outside, most in some layers of the military uniform that Ed even now was getting used to seeing everywhere. No one gave them a second look as they passed, but Mustang spotted someone. He stopped in front of a man leaning against the tired brick of the pub, a cigarette somehow staying in his mouth by sheer force of will.

He started to drag out a sloppy salute for Mustang, but then he spotted Ed behind Mustang’s shoulder and he stopped, his eyebrows shooting up off his face and into his hair somewhere. “I take it your date with Viola didn’t go as planned, since you’re here,” Mustang said, drawing the man’s attention back to him.

He dropped his cigarette and ground it out with his heel. “I don’t even want to know how you knew,” he grumbled. Then he looked at Ed, standing a foot back with both hands in his pockets and an amused expression on his face. “Who’s that?”

“My guest, tonight,” Mustang murmured.

“He looks like the boss.”

“I have a name,” Ed said, more content to watch the confusion. He had to let it be entertaining after a while, otherwise he would just get angry.

“Ed, I would like you to meet Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc,” Mustang said smoothly. “One of the men under my command.”

Ed stepped forward, offered Havoc his hand. Havoc looked down at his hand, confused a second, and then took it. “You’re not… are you related to the boss?”

“I bet you’re not talking about Springsteen, are you?” Ed asked.

“Who?”

“Are you ever going to get tired of that?” Mustang asked mildly as Havoc looked to him in confusion.

Ed’s grin again, sharp in the street lights. “Nope.”

“So, Havoc,” Mustang said as they stood outside the pub, the clatter of glassware and chatter of voices leaking out onto the street. “Since your date with Viola ended in such tragedy, perhaps you could lend your couch to Ed here. He doesn’t have anywhere to stay the night.”

Havoc eyed Ed, and then shook his head. “I don’t have a couch anymore, Colonel.”

Ed snorted despite himself. “I’ve heard a lot of excuses before, but that one-“

“No,” Mustang said, rubbing his chin. “He’s telling the truth, I remember now.” Ed looked between Mustang and Havoc, an eyebrow cocked.

“Ex-girlfriend,” Havoc said sheepishly.

“Ah,” Ed said. “That bad, huh?”

“Put a dead fish in it.” Havoc hung his head, then pulled out a fresh cigarette and clamped his teeth on it. “I was on a mission, gone for two weeks.”

“That’s why you never take them back to your place,” Ed murmured. “Women prefer their own beds anyway.” Mustang and Havoc both, very slowly, looked at him. Ed looked between them, irritation rising at their expressions. “What?”

“Roy!” A jovial echoing down the street drew all their attentions. Another man, taller than both Ed and Mustang slung a companionable arm over Mustang’s shoulders and grinned as he flipped a wallet out from his pocket. “My darling Elysia has got a new bathing suit, look!”

“Maes,” Mustang said, clearly somewhere between tired and annoyed.

The man identified as Maes looked up at Ed and Havoc, and his grin didn’t even slip for a second. He was good. “So, you’re our Edward impersonator, then?”

“Impersonator?” Havoc repeated.

“I’m no imposter,” Ed said dangerously. “I’m Ed Elric.”

“Right, right,” Maes said, nodding his head and waving his hand in the air. He stepped forward and peered right in Ed’s face, invading his personal space in a quick motion that made Ed jerk back, startled. “The resemblance is uncanny. Like looking into the future, huh, Roy?” Maes turned and waved the pictures still in his hand under Mustang’s nose again. “See, here she is at the pond! Look, she’s feeding the squirrels!”

“Maes,” Roy said again. “Why don’t you show Ed the photographs of your lovely daughter?”

Ed’s eyes widened in realized horror as Maes turned an attentive eye on him, then straightened with a predatory grin.

*

“Jeez, colonel, did you really have to be so hard on him?” Havoc sat in the middle of the long booth, Breda boxed in beside him. Roy sat across, with his hands folded across his face. All three of them had been shooting looks at the bar for the last half an hour, as Ed sat with his shoulders slumped; Hughes beside him and more pictures than one could imagine that would fit in a pocket wallet spread out between. “There’s gotta be laws against cruelty like that.”

“I have seen those pictures,” Roy said slowly. “Seven times in the last two days. Desperation does strange things to a man.” He took a sip of his drink, the whiskey sliding over the ice and down his throat, a familiar, comfortable burn. “This is something you should know well, Lieutenant.”

Breda scoffed and Havoc winced. “That’s low,” he muttered into his drink.

Roy made a humming noise of assent, watching as Hughes turned to find something – either another photograph or his knives, he was moving a little clumsy, and Ed took the opportunity to slip off his bar stool and into the crush of people. Ed slid into their booth next to Roy without hesitation, dropping his stein of beer onto the stained wood, followed quickly by his forehead. “What did I ever do to you?” he groaned at Roy as Havoc and Breda both laughed.

He simply cocked an eyebrow, looking down at Ed and, pausing. There was something slowly surfacing there, restricted by the alcohol and common sense and Roy didn’t know if he wanted to see that on Ed’s face, in front of all these people.

Fortunately, a barmaid came by to collect Roy’s empty glass, her long brown hair catching the low light. Both Ed and Havoc stared at her, and then glared at each other. As she left Ed leaned across the table and hissed at Havoc, “Fifty, what is your currency, cenz that I get her phone number before you do.”

Havoc’s face flushed dark at the implication that Ed, even such a different one, would be able to get a girl’s information before he would. Breda hooted as he slammed back the rest of his drink, dropping the glass to the wooden table with a loud clink. “You’re on,” he said angrily, slipping out of the booth and heading unsteadily for the bar.

“How do you plan to pay him if you lose?” Roy murmured, shifting to check for his wallet just in case.

Ed’s eyes, predatory in a way he wasn’t familiar with. And that sharp grin, not the full-teeth smile that Fullmetal was so fond of but far more measured – I know something you don’t – “I’m not going to lose.”

“Ed!” Hughes plopped down into the booth, opposite both Ed and Roy, pictures spilling out of his hands. “I lost you, I didn’t get a chance to show you the pictures from my darling Elysia’s last birthday-“

Ed stood, smacked the table with one hand. “Wouldn’t you know,” he said. “It seems that the Colonel here was just telling everyone how long it’d been since he’d seen those pictures, I think he wanted a chance to see them again.” He held up a single handed wave as he purposefully headed toward the dartboards at the far side of the bar.

Hughes screwed up his mouth, looked after Ed, then back to Roy. “Oh, he’s good,” he said in amusement. “I turned around and he was gone. Didn’t even hear the barstool scrape.”

“Don’t know how you’d hear anything in this cacophony,” Roy murmured, as a different barmaid delivered a new round. Roy lifted his eyes to the bar, saw Havoc leaning against it and talking earnestly with a barmaid – but not the one that had been by their table before.

Breda looked over at Hughes. “So you think he really is who he says he is?”

Hughes watched Roy’s eyes track Ed throughout the pub as he moved through the crowd, stopping only for pretty girls. “Yeah,” Hughes said. “He’s Ed all right, but not our Ed.”

“I thought that much was obvious,” Roy said.

“Well, you never know with your crazy alchemy and what have you,” Hughes said cheerfully. “If a stone can make someone immortal, who’s to say something similar couldn’t age them, too?”

Because Ed aged forward wouldn’t have this easy grace, this confidence in himself and the way his body moved. He wouldn’t look at Roy like that, at all. Ed aged suddenly forward would be clumsy with his new height and breadth, and it would be all Roy’s fault, surely. It had to be the alcohol, because suddenly Roy’s mouth went dry.

“What do you think, Roy?” Hughes said. “You think he’s Ed too, don’t you?”

It was the eyes, he knew those eyes. They had seen more things, different things and probably worse things than Fullmetal, but they still reflected the same way. They still pierced him through the same way. Roy took another drink, realizing that Hughes was staring knowingly at him, and then said as if after much thought, “Yeah, I do.”

Havoc dropped into the booth, this time beside Roy as Hughes had taken his spot beside Breda. He hung his head, putting a fresh drink on the table. When they looked at him expectantly, Havoc groaned. “She wouldn’t even talk to me; I got pawned off on another barmaid.”

Hughes looked between Havoc and Breda as Breda began to laugh. Roy looked back over to the dartboard, where Ed was yanking several colorful darts off the corkboard as a soldier Roy didn’t recognize held out several bills. Leaning against one of the tables not a few feet away from Ed was the barmaid in question. Havoc followed Roy’s look questioningly, then groaned louder, both hands on his head. “Do you have fifty cenz I could borrow?” he asked Breda loudly.

“She might not even have a telephone,” Breda said pragmatically.

“She might not even have a telephone!” Havoc repeated hopefully.

Roy was ignoring them, watching the way the woman looked at Ed, smiling for him and he said something to her with that same calm smirk that Roy recognized so well; and once again felt his stomach seize in the wrong way. Hughes’ eyes were on him, considering, but he didn’t care. He could pass it off on a little too much to drink later.

He was going to have to.

*

Ed seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth, into the crush of people in the pub and never reappeared. Roy had glanced around the pub several times but as the hour grew later more and more people began turning up and even with Ed’s brilliant blond hair he was impossible to spot in the mess. At least he hadn’t walked past them to slip out the front, their booth was too close to the door, and one of them would have seen him leave. Besides, Ed didn’t seem too interested in making a break for it, more like making a buck. He hadn’t come back to collect off of Havoc yet, and Havoc was already bemoaning the loss of most of his drinking money for the night and hadn’t even paid up.

Roy sighed as he opened the men’s bathroom door. The small two-stall washroom was usually quite packed on any other night, and Roy found it quite surprising that no one was in line for its use at the moment. Several men had watched him go in with eagle-eyes and Roy kept his attention around himself, in case someone was thinking about trying to mug him in the men’s room.

The lack of use became clear, because as he stepped into the washroom the sound of heavy breathing greeted him, along with the hitch in a girl’s voice as she moaned. Someone wasn’t able to wait until they got home.

Roy groaned quietly, he had to relieve himself more than he wanted to exit the restroom. He tried to ignore the sounds coming from the stall behind him, but they were persistent and did not slow despite the fact that someone else had clearly entered the bathroom. It was rather hard to take a piss when the sound of wet flesh slapping and the woman’s breathy pants were beginning to get overwhelming. Aggravated, Roy zipped up and turned on the stall, pulling the door open to give the soldier a lecture on military decorum even in public.

The woman – the barmaid, Roy recognized her right off the bat, her dark curly hair falling to partially obscure her naked breast - let out a gasp of shock, balanced precariously on Ed’s lap. Ed glared up at Roy, his legs spread wide to give her better balance, one had on her hip and the other on her chest. “Do you mind?

Roy – stared, how could he not, he was sure his mouth was open because of all the places he’d figure Ed would be in this lousy bar, finding him fucking the barmaid in the bathroom was not even something that had come up on his radar. He still couldn’t reconcile the flirting. He was staring at where they were joined, her skirts hiked up over her thighs, and Ed noticed it too, jogged his hips up into her and she whimpered for him, hands on either side of the stall for support. “Like what you see?” Ed said softly, looking at Roy without shame.

He snapped his mouth shut, turned and walked out of the washroom, ignoring the handful of guys emboldened by Roy’s exit. He returned mechanically to the booth, where Breda and Havoc were trying to drunkenly recall a song. They were both too far gone to notice the peculiarity of Roy’s expression. Maes however, damn him, quirked an eyebrow and read Roy like a book.

Not long after Roy returned, Ed followed as well; his face flushed from booze and sex. Roy could still see the sweat in his hair. He didn’t get in the booth beside Roy, thankfully. Roy didn’t know if he was going to be able to restrain his hands and having to explain to Breda and Havoc, never mind Hughes, why he was so upset was not something to look forward to.

Ed’s look at Roy was very pointed, and very heated.

Havoc nudged Breda and chuckled at Ed. “Where ya been, boss?”

“Yeah,” Breda said. “Did you get her number?”

Ed didn’t look at the pair of them, still staring at Roy. “She didn’t have a telephone,” he murmured. “So I fucked her in the bathroom.”

Havoc inhaled instead of exhaled and started coughing, and Breda had to smack his back several times. Hughes pressed his lips into a thin line, he was still looking at Roy and not Ed, and Roy wasn’t drunk enough after all.

Ed was smirking lazily at Havoc, who had opened his wallet and then looked at Ed with pleading eyes. Breda pointed at Ed. “The bet was for phone number, not sex,” he said.

Ed shrugged, ran a hand through his hair and glanced again to Roy, who was staring into his empty glass as if it had all the answers.

Hughes leaned forward, his hands folded around his own empty glass. “Sorry to say we don’t have any room for you to stay,” he told Ed, his eyes suddenly sharp. “But I think Roy still has a spare bed.”

Roy’s eyes shot up to Hughes’ face like he’d been betrayed. Hughes ignored him, shoving Havoc into Breda beside him. “It’s been a long day, and these two geniuses are probably going to need help getting home. Perhaps we should call it a night, then?”

Mouth dry, not looking at Ed, Roy said quietly. “Perhaps we should.”

*

The night was still quite warm outside of the bar; but the air was clear of the smoke that hung heavy in the air. Ed raised a hand, waving as Havoc and Breda staggered off, arms over each other’s shoulders as if that would keep them upright. Hughes had given him a particular look that Ed wasn’t sure he was comfortable with, but bid them a good night, before herding Havoc and Breda in the right direction.

Several street lamps had burned out along the street that Mustang led him down and after a while Ed just stopped, taking in the starry expanse of sky above him and trying desperately to find a familiar constellation to make him not feel so suddenly alone.

Even the breeze was warm. It was some relief without the sun high in the sky, but it was still completely uncomfortable. Mustang walked ahead of him, his military jacket open and the top few buttons of the shirt he wore beneath it undone. Every time he glanced back at Ed there was some kind of accusation there, something unspoken and angry that hung in the air between them. He had forgotten, however briefly, that he didn’t know this man. The eyes, the voice, the easy smirk … they were all the same, but he didn’t know this man the way he knew his Roy.

The silence between them was awkward and sullen. Mustang walked with measured, even strides – the gait of a man who knew he had a little too much to drink but had enough self-control to mask it. Al was the same way, measuring his stride meant he didn’t have to think about the reason he was drunk in the first place.

Things were so weird here. Ed felt a strange companionship; he felt welcomed by the people here but it was far too alien for him to relax. Mustang’s cronies were nice, but they looked at him like he was fifteen fucking years old, when he hadn’t been fifteen in at least that long. He knew he didn’t LOOK fifteen, there was no way anyone could mistake that about him, but he knew what they saw when they looked at his face and it made his gut burn.

He wanted to get home; this game had gone on long enough. Therein lay the problem, of course … there was no way for him to get home, not without finding the clurichaun and demanding it magick him home again. That was assuming the clurichaun popped through into this weird mirror-world with him and didn’t go back after Al and the little girl. Even if it did come over with him, Ed wanted to put an enchanted bullet or three through its skills before it zapped him somewhere worse. He didn’t know that fae could teleport people to other worlds, but considering all the other things they could do, it really didn’t come as a surprise.

Ed was so absorbed in his thoughts he didn’t realize that Mustang had stopped walking and turned to look at him. Ed paused, beside a lamppost and stared right back at the colonel. His eyes were dark and impenetrable from this distance. “What?” Ed asked.

“In what universe,” Mustang began his voice scratchy. “Are those actions appropriate, in public?”

Ed shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans, and cocked his head. He was trying to decide if he should be insulted or amused at Mustang’s indignation. He thought about it, but his thoughts fell back to her brown hair, the way it felt as it ran through his fingers and how she needed little urging; she’d been watching him since he walked into the bar in the first place. The smirk on his face must have told Mustang exactly the course of his thoughts because he gave a disgusted noise and turned away.

He put one shoulder against the metal light-post – cool even in this weather – and wondered suddenly if this Mustang would taste the same. The man stopped walking several houses down, and pushed open a gate, obviously that was his residence. Ed licked his lips, thought about Roy’s pulse in his throat and came to a decision even as Mustang stopped and glared down the street at Ed loitering.

Maybe Ed had more to drink than he realized, as he followed Mustang into the house. It was an easy gesture, catching Mustang by the shoulder and spinning him into the wall, barely waiting for the door to latch closed behind them. He was breathing hard and fast, the faint haze of alcohol coloring his vision. Mustang had stiffened under his hands, gone rigid and while his face gave no indication of his thoughts his eyes were wide open for Ed to read.

It all made startling sense. “The reason you’re so upset,” Ed breathed, his face inches from Mustang’s, not giving him anywhere to retreat to. “You weren’t angry, you liked what you saw. You’re jealous.” His gold eyes on Mustang’s dark ones, unblinking. “Do you look at your Ed the same way you did me?”

“Don’t-“ Mustang croaked. “He’s not- he’s just a child, I can’t-“

One hand flat against the wall beside Mustang’s head, he had nowhere to go but to face Ed. “You can’t what, look? I know you do, you’ve been comparing me to him since you first laid eyes on me. There’s no way you’re less perverted than him, no fucking way.” He wasn’t touching Mustang, close enough that they were sharing breath but not a finger touching him. “Do you know what I was doing when I was fifteen?” He shifted his weight, moved a little back from him. He could sense Mustang shifting forward to eliminate that space between them; he wanted to touch Ed. “I was fucking cheerleaders in supply closets.”

Mustang tried to suppress his groan, only partially succeeded. “That’s different,” he said, and swallowed. He tried not to wet his lips and failed. “The age difference, our positions, it’s fraternization-“

“Fuck the age difference, and fuck anything else,” Ed straightened and gave Roy a slightly disgusted look. “If you really wanted him, you wouldn’t let shit like that stand in your way.”

For the first time a different expression crossed Mustang’s face, anger. “I don’t know what it’s like where you’re from,” he snarled. “But the consequences, it’s not something I can risk-“

“If it were simple,” Ed said, “everyone would do it.”

*

Ed left Roy standing there, pressed back against the wall inside the foyer like it would save him from himself. He waltzed into Roy’s home like he knew it intimately, although after a moment of orienting himself it was clear he didn’t. But a kitchen was a kitchen and the light flickered on, bathing the hallway in cold artificial light.

Roy took a deep breath, trying to collect himself and his scattered thoughts. With Ed right there, possessing him without a finger on him … is that what his Edward would grow into? Ed possessed the room like he owned it, he wasn’t afraid of Roy’s eyes or anyone else’s, for that matter, on him. He was confident in himself, in his sexuality and in the fact that he got what he wanted.

He straightened one hand still on the wall in case his legs had really turned to jelly like they felt. Ed called in annoyance from the kitchen, “Don’t you keep anything worthwhile to drink in here?” as he ran water from the tap. Couldn’t keep the smile from his face, despite everything, or maybe because of it this man was still so much Ed.

Roy leaned in the doorway of his kitchen as Ed drank straight from the faucet, doubled over and giving Roy a spectacular view of his ass in denim. He had opened his mouth to direct Ed to the cupboard where the glasses were held, but found no words and just watched him. Ed straightened and ran the back of his hand over his mouth, turning off the faucet and turning around, meeting Roy’s eye with a flicker. “Nothing but milk in your fridge,” Ed said, his voice pitched with enough disgust that Roy knew some things would never change ever, and watched as Ed leaned back against the counter and regarded him.

“I get it,” Ed said after a long moment, and Roy startled, realized he was staring. “Your situation is a hell of a lot more complicated.”

“That’s an understatement,” Roy murmured.

Ed’s mouth quirked in an almost-smile. “You need to be straightforward with him,” he said. “If he’s anything like me, he’s going to break your nose if he catches you staring at him. He’ll understand.” The way that he was looking at Roy, there was a strange softness in his eyes, a look that Roy recognized all too well. Ed was in love-

-with him.

Not him, Roy corrected himself quickly, his heart already in his throat. The other world’s version of him. The other Roy Mustang, the one who knew this man intimately, had to have seen him grow up, seen him through everything-

Another expression that Roy recognized well closed Ed’s face off to him. He didn’t understand the pain that Ed just tried to mask from him. “Trust me,” Ed said quietly. Then he sighed and looked away. “Don’t you have any, beer or something here? I could really use another drink, the buzz is fading-“

Roy shook his head. “I … don’t entertain much.” He had his good scotch, and the brandy he kept in the drawing room but Roy had an idea where things would go very quickly if they broke out the good liquor.

Ed laughed a little, and then straightened. He looked directly into Roy’s eyes again, the amount of direct eye contact Ed got out of him was unnerving, it was like he could read through Roy’s most stonewalled expression just by looking into his eyes. Roy didn’t like that, he liked his barriers. They were there for a reason, after all-

-to keep Edward out, and to keep Roy safe-

“So,” Ed said, licking his lips. “Where am I sleeping?”

Roy clamped down on his words before his far too overeager libido answered for him. “I apologize,” he said after a moment. “Maes was mistaken, I don’t have a spare bed, but I can sleep on the couch.”

This time Ed did laugh, snorting through his nose. “No worries,” he said, waving off Roy. “I’ve slept in far worse places than a couch with sheets and a pillow.”

“I must insist,” Roy said. “You’re my guest, it would be rude of me not to offer my best accommodations-“

Ed crossed the kitchen faster than Roy anticipated. Toe to toe with him, Ed maybe had a half inch of height on him but it still felt to Roy like he towered. “Roy,” he said, and it was the first time he’d said Roy’s name since Roy found him in the brig. The inflection of one syllable made Roy’s stomach twist as Ed leaned in close, whispered – “I’m not sleeping in your bed alone,” and then somehow slipped around Roy into the hallway. “I’ll sleep on the couch,” Ed called as he found the stairs. “I’m borrowing your shower, hope you don’t mind.”

The door to the bathroom upstairs banged noisily shut before Roy remembered how to breathe again.

Part III
Tags: catie needs to write more, edward get out of the fridge, elrichesters
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