Between This Moment
Published on / 2 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)
Anger turns to comfort in a moment of mutual need. Full title: Between This Moment and the Next.
Chapter 1, Things Left Unsaid
"I can't believe you didn't tell me!"
Roy resisted the urge to sigh outright, resisted the urge to rub his forehead—resisted a lot of things.
"What else have you been keeping from me?"
"I have no obligation to tell you anything." He barely kept his tone civil.
"You fucking lied to me."
Teeth grit, he dropped his uniform jacket over the clothes stand and gave the liquor cabinet a longing stare. He might have expected Ed to confront him like this, but he hadn't thought he would track him down and barge into his home. Dealing with Ed could be difficult under ideal circumstances; here, late, in the small space he tried to keep private, he was almost unbearable.
It wasn't that he didn't sympathize. Of course he did. Ed was hurt, confused, grieving, lashing out in anger because anger was his default, anger was safe. Roy sympathized—but he didn't have it in him to be the convenient target. Not now. Not when he had so much anger himself that he didn't know how to grieve.
"Go back to your hotel, Fullmetal. I have nothing to say to you tonight."
Ed gripped his shoulder to turn him around. "Don't you fucking brush me off—"
Roy grabbed his wrist and rounded on him, shoving him away. Ed hit the wall, his flinch turning into a snarl as the other man loomed over him. "The world does not revolve around you!" he snapped. "What I do is my own business and you don't—"
"You lied to me!" Ed's free hand, the automail, twisted in Roy's collar, millimeters from his throat. "You looked me in the face and you fucking lied—"
"I had my reasons—"
"Bullshit! Stop treating me like a child and bullshitting me with this—"
"Then stop acting like a child!" Roy shot back. "You came here throwing a tantrum and instead of acting like a mature adult—"
"You want mature—" Ed lunged upward.
It was more an attack than a kiss. On a better day Roy probably would have seen it coming; Ed broadcast his emotions for the world to see. On a better day—Roy probably wouldn't be kissing back.
The only good thing he could say about his momentary lack of judgement was that it threw Ed off. He stumbled back against the wall as Roy pressed into the kiss, a soft mewling escaping the back of this throat. A second later he collected himself and tightened his grip, going up on tiptoe to fight for dominance.
Roy finally came to his senses and broke the kiss, turning his head aside and leaning his hands against the wall. Ed had both hands in his shirt now and was leaning his forehead between them, muttering "Fuck . . . fuck."
Roy took a deep breath and forced his voice to be steady. "You should go."
Ed's grip tightened. "Don't brush me off!"
Roy could recognize a desperate, needy undercurrent inside the anger this time, and he closed his eyes. Something deep in his core resonated and wanted nothing more than to reach out and meet that need. "Fullmetal—Ed. We shouldn't. There are rules—"
"Fuck that!" The venom in that declaration made him look over. "Are you really trying to hide behind rules when—you—" The young man floundered for words, but the challenge was clear in his eyes, along with a fair amount of hurt. "I didn't imagine you kissing me back."
He knew what he should say.
Things are not that simple.
There's more at stake here than you realize.
This goes beyond either of us.
But the words froze and he was just too weary to keep up a front.
Ed was kissing him again. Roy could imagine his thinking: if the results of the first experiment were inconclusive, repeat. And against his better judgement, against all sanity, he let himself reciprocate.
It was fitting, in a way, trading one emotional release for another. All their interactions lately had walked the knife edge of tension between anger and attraction. Ed was still being aggressive, still on the edge of violence. Roy let him. He encouraged him. He knew he shouldn't. Knew that morally, ethically—legally—he should stop this. But he had been worn thin from doing what he should do and that veneer had broken. Instead, he was pulling them toward the bed. He was hooking Ed's ankle and twisting them so that as they landed he could pin the smaller body beneath him. He was biting down on Ed's collar bone hard enough to make him gasp.
He knew he shouldn't. But he needed this just as much as Ed.
Ed cursed him out in a steady stream as he clawed at him, bunching and probably tearing the other man's clothing as his hands sought skin. Roy returned the favor, and the young man's jacket and shirt quickly ended upon the floor.
Ed took advantage of the pause and flipped them, catching Roy's hips between his knees and pinning his shoulders, gold eyes burning with challenge. Roy grinned, acknowledging the challenge—and shoved his thigh right against the bulge in those leather pants.
Ed cried out and pitched forward and Roy quickly took the upper hand, starting them in on a tussle that ranged across the bed and onto the floor, leaving both of them bruised and winded; a wrestling match that gradually lost its antagonistic edge. Before he quite knew what was happening, Roy had his hands buried in Ed's hair and his leg hooked shamelessly over his hips, more concerned with skin-to-skin contact than with gaining the upper hand.
Ed was artless, more enthusiasm than intention, his hands and his hips moving haphazardly. The sincerity behind it was refreshing—but it was aggravating. Roy finally pinned him, using his greater weight to keep them relatively still while he wrapped his hand around both their shafts.
Afterward, Ed clung to him as he gulped in air, his hands twisted in what clothing hadn't been shed during their tussle. Roy had his face pressed into his neck, trying to convince himself that he should let go, get up, bring things back to some semblance of normal. It had been an awkward, messy, bruising encounter that never should have happened.
He took a deep breath, and let it out, somewhat steadily, then tilted his head to survey the collateral damage. "You've made a mess of my apartment, you brat."
Ed's body jerked with sudden laughter, his hands relaxing their grip but staying in place. "You can't pin this one completely on me, Colonel Shit."
Roy snorted, shook his head. He pushed up, enough to meet the young man's eyes.
Ed's expression sobered. His left hand moved up, hovering for a bit before settling on the other man's shoulder. He looked like he wanted to say something, but then he shook his head and turned away.
A dozen things ran through Roy's head, from what he should say—we'll pretend this never happened—to what he could say—we don't need to make this a big deal—to what he wanted to say—I didn't know how to tell you—to what he couldn't bring himself to say—stay. Please. Finally he closed his eyes, and rested his forehead against Ed's with a resigned sigh.
A hand touched his hair, hesitantly at first, and then with more confidence. "I'm still pissed at you."
He sighed again, feeling the stress and the loss and the guilt all over again. "I know."
It was weird, but the way Ed was rubbing his hair almost seemed like he was trying to comfort him.
Ed stayed the night. They didn't discuss it; Ed didn't leave, and Roy didn't ask him to. He wasn't sure what to think about having this young man sound asleep in his bed, sprawled half on top of him and drooling into his shoulder, but he couldn't bring himself to regret what had happened, no matter how much he knew he should.
He eased the tie from Ed's braid, carding his fingers through the thick gold strands and gently working out the tangles. The action was so mundane and yet was so out of place in his life. Ed muttered in his sleep and squirmed, settling in against Roy's side. Not as if he belonged there, but as if he was going to damn well make himself fit there.
Tomorrow they would need to talk this out. Reestablish boundaries. Bring this back to a working relationship—or what had passed for a working relationship between them.
Roy grimaced, dreading that inevitable discussion for reasons he couldn't put into words. But for now, he shifted Ed's hand to keep the automail from digging in, and decided he was done thinking for the night.
He woke, sometime in the early morning, to the sound of alchemy. He rolled over in time to see Ed sit down on the end of the bed, clad only in his leather pants. "Fixed your lamp."
Roy got up and reached for his robe as Ed pulled on his shirt and then shook out his jacket.
"I—look." He fussed with something on the front of the garment, eyes downcast. "I know we—can't. This. I know it's not—something we can do."
"Ed. . . ."
"You've got—what you're doing—it's too important." He finally pulled the jacket on and reached for his boots. "And I've—I can't get—distracted."
"So I know—I'm not—I won't be looking for—for this kind of thing, or anything. I know we can't."
"Ed." Roy put a hand on his shoulder, startling him into looking up. The hopeless but determined look on his face mirrored what he himself was feeling, and made the hollow in his stomach all the more pronounced.
He sank down onto the bed, using the moment to gather his sleep muddled thoughts. "Ed, just . . . pause, for a moment?" he finally said. "Please."
Ed sighed, and sagged forward, like a deflated toy. Roy slid an arm around his shoulders and drew him in, tightening the embrace when the smaller man tucked himself against his shoulder. He closed his eyes and pressed his face to Ed's hair, indulging in one more brief moment before they both had to return to the real world.
Ed took a breath. "I know we can't . . . right now. But . . . d'you think . . . maybe after all this is over . . . we could. . . ."
He had to smile. "You don't think we'd end up strangling each other?"
"I dunno. Maybe. But maybe . . . we wouldn't. We didn't last night . . . as much as I wanted to," he added in a mutter.
"Maybe if. . . ."
He sighed, kissed the top of his head. "If we both make it through this alive . . . maybe we can find out."
He didn't see the grin so much as feel it reverberate though his body. "Maybe by then you'll be less of a shit."
"Insubordinate little brat."
Ed elbowed him in the gut and pulled away, only to twist back and catch him in one last kiss. Roy squeezed his arm. He knew they shouldn't leave it at that. That had addressed the bare minimum at most. But when Ed pulled back, the smile he gave him in spite of the pain still in his eyes made the hollow in his stomach feel just a bit smaller.
After Ed was gone, Roy rubbed a hand over his face and finally stood, moving to start the day, trying to convince himself that he could pretend the previous night hadn't been anything exceptional.
Commenting is disabled for guests. Please login to post a comment.