Genre: AU crossed over with an AT canon
Rating: Hard R
Word count: 4012
Summary: "My sofa does not smell."
Warnings: AU/Crossover; Ed's rather extensive and occasionally offensive vocabulary. Violence.
Notes: Crossover with a fusion!Supernatural universe. Ed is a hunter, not an alchemist. He's also not at all what Roy expects...
The call came at about three in the morning, the telephone’s noisy jangle cutting through the silence of the night like a sharp knife. Roy turned in his bed; he had been staring sleeplessly at the ceiling for far too long. He wasn’t allowed to think these things. He wasn’t allowed to feel these things, the emotions he had kept tight in his gut kept threatening to boil over and he could not let them out.
He had self-control, once.
The phone rang again before his hand closed on its carved handle, clumsy in the dark as he groped. Roy dragged it to his ear. “Mustang,” he murmured; his voice scratchy with sleep.
“Colonel.” Roy didn’t recognize the voice on the other end of the line out of hand. “There’s been an incident.”
They wouldn’t have called him in the middle of the night if there hadn’t been. Roy swung his legs off the side of the bed and found the dangling chain of the lamp, wincing at the warm amber light that spilled from beneath its shade. “What kind of incident?”
His military uniform was thrown haphazardly against the chair kept in the corner of the room. It was wrinkled but Roy took no notice, closing the complicated clasps on his military jacket as he padded down the stairs. His boots, still in need of a shine, were sitting beside the door so he wouldn’t wake -
Ed, who was standing at the bottom of the stairs, wolf-gold eyes glinting in the wan light. “What’s going on?” His voice was as hoarse as Roy’s had been, the effects of alcohol and little sleep.
And, he had been wearing a longer-sleeved shirt the entirety of the day, he had shed that to sleep in his undershirt, a tee shirt that seemed to almost be a size too small. Paired with those jeans… Roy coughed, passed him at the foot of the stairs and paused in the foyer. “Nothing that concerns you,” Roy said, picking up his boots and realizing that there was no dignified way of tugging them on. He took them back to the stairs, sat and started pulling them on. “Go back to sleep, Ed.”
Fingers tangled in long, loose hair – Go back to sleep, Ed. Roy swallowed, stared at his boots and realized the Ed that stood beside him had his hair cut short, the longest thing about it was those ever-present bangs.
Ed had leaned an elbow on the railing, looked down at Roy with a considering expression. “You’re going out in the middle of the night in your full uniform, that’s not nothing.”
“Ed, really, it doesn’t concern you.” Just a disruption outside a military facility, just a hostage situation; just something else he’d have to deal with tonight. Roy pulled on his second boot and then stood up, testing that they sat right around his feet and ankles. He would never live down the time he was too drunk and forcing his feet in the wrong boots, he didn’t even remember why he’d taken them off -
The flash of blond in the moonlight made him remember. It had been Edward, of course it had been – limping in late to the office to use the medical kit but instead found Roy and Hughes drinking brandy in Roy’s office. Edward had bolted like a frightened rabbit but Hughes caught him, herded him back and coaxed Edward into sitting down so he could see the injury, patch it up with those calm, sure, father’s hands.
Then it came time to remove Edward’s boot and see what was jammed up under the heel of his automail and Edward – refused. He didn’t want them, either of them to see it but his eyes had flicked inexplicably to Roy’s. Roy had looked at him, considered through the haze of brandy and kicked his own boots off. Hughes followed suit, and then Roy leaned his elbows on the desk and purred that they weren’t wearing their boots, so that made Ed the odd one out for still wearing his, after all –
Later, once Hughes had gently extricated the very large fang – What have you been getting into, Fullmetal? – None of your fucking business, that’s what - and Roy had far too much to drink, it was time to stagger home. Hughes was, he had to be down the hall in the washroom because Roy couldn’t sort out his boots, couldn’t quite get them to fit his feet right. He had keened in frustration, about to set one alight when a gentle, strong hand forced him back into his desk chair, provided the right boot for the right foot and Roy had stared down in confusion at blond hair and a flushed-to-the-ears Edward ... helping him. Kneeling between his legs.
Oh. That was why he wasn’t allowed to remember it.
There was a familiar click and it snapped Roy out of his reverie. Ed was putting the clip into his gun and checked it before the thumbing the safety on and tucking it securely into the back of his jeans. Roy stared at him. “When-“
“You left my shit on your desk,” Ed said calmly, pulling his tee shirt down over the weapon as if it would be easily hidden.
“I couldn’t have turned my back on you for ten seconds-“
Ed grinned, Cheshire-sharp. “I’m very good at what I do. And,” he added as Roy pulled on his gloves. “I’m coming with you.”
“This is a military incident, there’s no need for you to be involved,” Roy said, smoothing his hands over the front of his jacket. “Go back to sleep.”
Ed’s eyes glittered in the moonlight, and he said simply, “No.”
It was different, so different when they were matched in height, and Ed’s sheer willpower threatened to overrule Roy’s carefully nurtured control. Roy let his eyes narrow slightly, the spark between them growing strong enough to ignite on its own. “That’s an order.”
“I’m not in your stupid fucking military,” Ed growled at him. “You can use me, we both know it.”
“You will stay here,” Roy said icily as he heard the car pull to a stop on the street outside. “This does not concern you, Edward.”
Roy slammed back against the wall, both of Ed’s hands in his shirt and contained fury in his eyes. “Don’t call me that! Don’t you ever call me that again!”
Their eyes locked, and the silence after the sudden flurry of activity seemed deafening. He could hear the car idling louder than possible, every click and rumble of its engine as it waited for Roy. Ed relaxed his hands, let Roy’s uniform jacket go. Then without another word, he stormed to the door, slammed it open and headed down the walk.
Roy straightened, tugged the bottom of the jacket in the hopes of forcing the wrinkles out and … followed.
Ed opened the passenger side door of the car, surprising Havoc as he slid into the front seat. The man looked bad, his hair rumpled and bags under his eyes, he still stank of booze. “Are you hung over or still drunk?” Ed asked, leaning back against the seat.
Havoc whimpered, and it was enough of an answer for Ed.
Mustang opened the rear passenger side door then and Ed glared into the rear-view mirror. He was offering to help and Mustang was, Mustang was so Mustang, it was infuriating. He should have expected this, hands down, that Roy Mustang would be the same bastard in any universe but he seemed so different at first. So much younger than his Roy, he was disciplined in different ways and full of a different sort of fire. But the layer of bastard always seemed to shine right on through.
Fuck, if that wasn’t what he tended to like about Mustang in the first place. Ed bit back the groan, channeled his fury at himself into the energy needed to be alert, and looked over at Havoc as Mustang settled himself in the back seat.
Havoc glanced between Ed and Mustang, his eyebrow cocked high, the unlit cigarette in his mouth threatening to fall but Mustang spoke before he could. “Status report, Lieutenant.”
“But, I-“ Havoc’s eyes flickered to Ed’s face and back to the mirror, to check Mustang’s.
Ed watched the darkened world trundle by as Havoc explained the particulars to Mustang. It was so dark here, when someone extinguished the lights they extinguished all of them, the neon glow of a city at night simply didn’t exist. The street lamps were still lit, warm amber and not cold neon, but they were the only beacons in the night.
He listened attentively, a civilian had come onto a military research facility and killed two guards – he would have been in and out if not for a State Alchemist who was working late. Ed still entirely didn’t understand this State Alchemist business – alchemists licensed to be weapons of the military in exchange for research facilities and a military stipend. A means to get by, but was the price worth it? Then Ed checked his thoughts and realized how patently ridiculous the whole thing sounded, alchemy, magic being licensed by the military for use? Sometimes he wondered if he wasn’t going to wake up in a hospital bed after the head trauma he must have had to dream this.
Then something Havoc said caught Ed’s attention. “What?”
Havoc paused, glanced over at Ed. “The guard, one of the ones who got away said he’d already shot the guy, but it didn’t seem to bother’em.”
“Clearly he was mistaken,” Mustang murmured from the back seat.
“Yeah, the guy was pretty shook up,” Havoc said. “Said the guy looked like a demon or somethin’, his eyes weren’t right. It was only luck that he got away alive.”
Ed’s expression hardened. Even here. “What would someone want in this facility?” Ed asked.
“Military secrets, I’d imagine,” Mustang said, and Ed twisted to look at him. “It’s where a great deal of our alchemists do their research, there’s no telling what this man is looking for.” Mustang’s expression twitched and Ed slammed a gate shut in his face, cutting off the emotion before it could entirely give him away. “Unless … you have some idea?”
“No,” Ed very clearly lied through his teeth. “I haven’t the first clue.”
It appeared to be all over with by the time they got there. The building was cordoned off by larger vehicles than the car that Havoc drove and the few curious onlookers were beginning to drift away. There were MPs and regular soldiers drifting around, running various tasks and keeping busy.
The two alchemists were sitting on a low stone wall, bland gray military blankets slung about them. Roy gave them a cursory glance, he’d recognized the name of the State Alchemist from his proficiency exam, and he’d had some unique theories but scored on the low end of passing. Then Roy looked to the body, covered with a tarp lying out on concrete in front of the old warehouse. There was a dark pool leaking from under one end of the tarp.
Hawkeye was talking to several military police, giving instructions to those cordoning off the area and dealing with the aftermath. She glanced up and saw Roy on his way toward her, the relief flashed in her eyes to the point where she didn’t even scowl to see Ed with him.
“What happened?” Roy asked.
“The civilian had a gun,” Hawkeye said, fatigue in her eyes. “I dropped him before he could shoot the girl.” She nodded to the couple, pressed against each other and heads tilted inward. Roy noticed the girl’s shoulders were shaking. Hawkeye’s grin was cold. “Turns out we didn’t need a negotiator after all, Colonel.”
No one stopped or challenged Ed, or really paid all that much attention to him as he ducked under a line of tape and approached the tarp. Havoc’s words were heavy in his mind, but if this was a demon, he wouldn’t be playing dead, in danger demons just flat-out fled from their meat suits. He frowned, staring at the form, the lights from the research facility giving them plenty of illumination. This was probably nothing at all, but all the same…
He crouched beside the body and flipped the edge of the tarp over, exposing the dead man’s face to the air. The bullet had blown out the back of the man’s head, he lay where he fell, blood pooled around his head, slick in his hair and coagulating in the warm night.
There was no indication that this man had been possessed, that it could just be a crazy coincidence, he was insane enough that the guard mistook it for something else- but he had to be sure. The Latin was clumsy on his tongue, Al was always so much better at this than he was. But he knew the words by heart now, pronunciation be damned. He murmured the words and –
The corpse jerked, head lolled a bit to the left, and then its eyes snapped open and focused on Ed. “What the hell is that?” the dead man asked Ed in apparent disgust.
Ed had expected many things, up to and including the corpse twitching but if there had been a demon inside the body reading a rite of exorcism would have cast it completely out of the body. He scrambled, trying to get out of reach as the corpse grabbed him. “Fullmetal brat,” he spat, fingers digging into the flesh of Ed’s right arm hard enough to bruise. “Always interfering-“
The next words out of its mouth were cut off in a long howl as Ed yanked him forwards, drawing the demon-killing knife out of his sheath with his left hand and with no hesitation slamming it up to the hilt into the side of the corpse’s head. The shriek of pain and rage as Ed sliced half the creature’s face open got everyone’s attention and Ed rolled backwards, grip still tight on his demon knife as gore spilled from its face.
It moved faster than Ed thought, rising to its feet and lunging for him as he scrambled backwards, no time to get to his feet. It grabbed him by a handful of his hair; it was going to snap his neck before he got solid purchase enough. This was no demon; the knife had no effect on it. Silver, he had a silver blade somewhere-
Abruptly the creature dropped him, shrieking in pain as he erupted in an intense conflagration. Ed could feel the reflected heat as he rolled further away, but it regenerated again the moment the flames ceased. He was running down the checklist in his head but was coming up empty, too many options.
“Ed!” Mustang shouted as he got to his feet. “Get away, so we can shoot it-!”
Ed didn’t turn his head as the creature’s eyes popped back in, face different from before, paler and more inhuman. Golem, Ed thought, drew his gun. He only had four shots; he had to make them count.
It was absolute chaos. The dead man had come back to life and lunged for Ed and Roy had to bark an order for the men to hold their fire, lest they hit Ed. The thing, whatever it was, took a knife to the face and Roy trusted his precision far more than anyone’s, save Hawkeye’s.
It was such a simple chemical equation that produced the most extreme reaction. Ed getting to his face, clothes singed and smoking and not standing back, drawing his gun as Roy shouted at him to get away –
- just as a long, black spear struck the soldier standing behind Roy through the throat.
It was the woman, throwing off her military-issue blanket, ripping her fingers from the man’s throat with a spray of blood. Hawkeye, blood splatter on her face, unloaded both her guns straight into this woman, her body jerking backwards with each slug.
The impacts didn’t even seem to slow her down. Roy turned and concentrated, snap, click – and her entire form went up in flames. She didn’t stop moving either. The military police couldn’t figure out whom to shoot at first. The moment that the flames burned out Roy snapped again, the smell of roasting flesh hanging heavy the night air.
She got closer to them, and then stopped. The flames had burned out yet again; her skin cracked and charred black before settling and knitting fresh. She looked directly into Roy’s eyes, and then was gone, moving so fast through the crowd that it was hard to track her. She sliced open the tires of several of the larger vehicles before vanishing into the night. Roy stared after her, adrenaline buzzing in his veins as the soldiers around them ran in a panic, checking comrades.
Havoc had run to the man that she had been sitting next to, but the alchemist was already dead, abdomen sliced neatly open and innards spilling through his fingers. He’d died trying to hold himself together.
What was going on?
The creature hissed at Ed, his hair falling long over his shoulders. “You’re not the brat,” he said, sounding surprised. Ed wasn’t sure which weapon he was going to need the most, he had his gun in his right hand, and at this range precision wasn’t an issue, the knife still in his left.
“I get that a lot,” Ed said between clenched teeth. “You’re not a demon, and too self-aware to be a golem.” The creature was moving slowly, but still moving, and Ed tracked him carefully, gun held level and knife held in close, ready for nearly everything.
It moved quickly, and Ed took the defensive, taking a step forward and ducking even as the creature’s arm grew longer than possible Ed slammed the demon-killing knife into its gut, raised his gun and put it against the creature’s chin, blowing the top of its head off without a second’s hesitation.
It wasn’t dead, Ed knew right off the bat, but it fell back with its brain splattered into the night. There was a firefight going on somewhere behind him, but he didn’t take his eyes off the creature for a moment, wiping his face off carefully.
The creature got to its knees, then its feet, head still reforming itself. “It doesn’t matter,” the words whistling weird as the hole in its jaw repaired. “I wanted to kill you, but we got what we needed anyway.”
Then the creature was dressed in the same blue military uniform as everyone else here. “No!” Ed shouted as he slipped into the writhing mass of soldiers. Ed gave chase but he lost him almost instantly, with the way he could change his face like a chameleon there was no chance. Ed snarled in rage as the night fell into chaos.
Roy was standing over the dead alchemist’s body as they were loading it up into one of the vehicles, talking with Hawkeye in low tones as the injured and handful of dead were taken to a local hospital. It had been a long night already, longer still now that there had been an incident.
He resisted the urge to yawn or rub his eye with the palm of his hand. Ed had stalked over to him earlier, covered in gore and with something frightening in his eyes, he’d glanced over Roy and company and found them somehow lacking. He turned and retreated, sitting against the low stone wall, blood dried on his face and clothes. He was angry, but not in the loud destructive way that Roy was used to. It was unnerving, but Roy had a job to do and catering to pissed-off Elrics was not what he needed to be doing right now.
The fact that there were causalities, and the death of the alchemist, weighed heavily on Roy’s mind even as they dealt with the clean-up. The sky was beginning to lighten along the edges when Hawkeye told him to go home. There would be plenty of paperwork to deal with tomorrow – the two crews of soldiers that had immediately taken off after the monsters had returned empty-handed. There was nothing more that could be done at this very moment.
So Roy went and sat beside Ed. Ed had borrowed a towel to clean his face and hair, and, unable to concentrate on anything else had begun to clean his gun. He didn’t look over at Roy as he put the pieces back together expertly, didn’t look up at all. “I didn’t kill it,” Ed said heavily, into the silence. “I couldn’t kill it; I don’t even know what it was, fuckin’ failure that I am.” Sliding the clip back into the gun, he thumbed the safety on, and then laid it on the towel. He exhaled, finally looked at Roy with tired eyes. “Was that you with the fire thing?”
Roy held up his still-gloved hand, the red stitching bold against the white glove. “I’m not called the Flame Alchemist for nothing,” he murmured.
Ed let out a derisive laugh. “I should have known,” he said. “You’re an alchemist too, fuckin’ alchemy’s everywhere.” He sighed, leaned back against the wall and stared at the significantly paler sky. “I misjudged the situation,” he said.
“You’re being awfully hard on yourself,” Roy said. Ed was shit at masking his emotions, he was learning – he could do it sometimes but most of the time his face was as easy to read as a book. The look he was giving Roy right now, for example, was full of self-loathing.
“No,” Ed said, getting up. “The problem is I’m not being hard enough on myself.” He picked up his gun and slid it into his jeans, it sat comfortable at his lower back and Roy made a note to himself that if this Ed was going to be spending any length of time with the military that he would need to find him a holster. He glanced down at Roy and there was the ghost of a smile on his face. “So did you come over here just to cheer me up, or do we get to go back to your place now?”
Roy opened his mouth, closed it, looked closely at Ed’s face but he had stretched both of his hands above his head and yawned hugely, not caring who saw it. “Man, I think I’ll even sleep on that lumpy-ass sofa of yours this time. What do you keep in it, dead cats?” Ed scratched the side of his jaw, looked down at Roy speculatively. “Would explain the smell, actually.”
“My sofa does not smell.”
“When was the last time you put your face in it, Mustang?” Ed surprised him by holding out a hand, helping pull Roy to his feet. “It stinks.” Ed’s hand … lingered, oddly, a second before dropping. “God, I’m hungry. Are you hungry?” Eyes on Roy’s face. “’Cause I am freaking famished. Is there even anything open this late? Probably not.”
“Ed,” Roy murmured, just to stop the flow of words. Ed looked at him, curious, and Roy had to fight the smile down. “I have food in my icebox.”
“Good,” Ed said and Roy tried to ignore the shadows under his eyes. “I’m starving.”