Pairings: Roy/Al, Roy/Ed, Ed/Ling, various others implied
Warnings: Semi-con, mindfuckery, AU.
Summary: Alphonse is -
- quietly, unassumingly brilliant, which is a refreshing change in so many ways. His pride is malleable, his patience almost infinite, and he never complains. Roy's cozy life with a newly restored Al unravels.
Dedication: to devils_devotion, happy birthday! Sorry this is so late and so...fucked up. In any case, you are awesomely talented and a great friend, so I hope you like it anyway.
Notes: This fic features, amongst other things, my first sex scene. Be warned.
Music: Chihiro Onitsuka – Infection, a beautiful, powerful ballad with amazing lyrics. The fic is of course named after it.
Previous Parts: Everything You Want and South of the River, East of the Sun
Alphonse is -
- quietly, unassumingly brilliant, which is a refreshing change in so many ways. His pride is malleable, his patience almost infinite, and he never complains. Most times he flashes a smile, transparent and bright, and does whatever he’s asked without a fuss.
Alphonse is a much-needed slice of normalcy in a life filled to the brim with far too much peculiarity, and none of it good. He’s comfortably lacking in sharp edges, in contrariness, and for that Roy is grateful.
Alphonse is a surprisingly lousy cook, but at least he makes the effort, so Roy eats the results of the younger man’s culinary experiments without complaint. They make a strange picture of domesticity, the two of them, if only because it seems so damn effortless.
Alphonse is all clear eyes and long silky hair just one shade south of perfect gold, deceptively thin form coupled with strong wiry limbs, and all of it full of the purest passion for life.
Alphonse is all unrestrained gasps and moans, miles of soft skin marked only by fine blonde hairs, and he chants Roy’s name when he comes, like a benediction and a prayer.
Alphonse is not Ed.
Ed on the other hand is going to kill him when he finds out.
Roy glances at Al’s sleeping form and has to fight the urge to rub at his forehead one more time in a final attempt to dislodge the frown lines etching themselves in. There are dangers inherent in this relationship beyond his eventual untimely demise by Fullmetal’s hand, dangers he knows all too well. While Alphonse is thankfully an adult and not a member of the military, he’s also male and quite a bit younger than is appropriate for a man of Roy’s respectable years. If their relationship were to become public, his ever present political enemies would no doubt use it against him without any hesitation.
He understands the implications well enough; for one, the ever-reliable Riza Hawkeye had respectfully but firmly reminded him upon – somehow - finding out.
“Permission to speak freely, sir?” she asks stiffly, face unreadable.
“Of course,” he says, inexplicably hurt that she thought to ask. “You know you always have that with me.”
Her back straightens almost imperceptibly at that. “I believe that your relationship with Alphonse is politically dangerous.”
“I am aware of that, Captain Hawkeye.” Roy smiles to show her that he appreciates the concern, nevertheless. He can’t blame her – they’ve all worked hard to attain their collective goal, and it would be a shame to let all that hard work go to waste.
She almost seems personally unhappy, though, and he can’t quite figure out why.
When Al had turned up on his doorstep with a scrap of paper and a sheepish grin, it had been all he could do to stop staring. Alphonse Elric, in human form at last – not only that, but grown, glowing and beautiful in a way that was entirely different from his brother.
Roy had recognised him, of course, before he even spoke. The resemblance ensured that.
He remembers thinking, with a hollow sense of shock, so this is what he wanted. This is what he was chasing, all those years. And bitterly, was he worth it, Fullmetal? Was he worth all those pieces of your heart and soul, in the end?
If he ever got a chance to ask the blond about it, the answer would probably be a firm yes, he was, and that’s just sad and twisted and insane and inalienably Ed.
“Brother’s still recovering from the transmutation – I think it’s been harder for him than it has for me, to be honest.”
Roy feels something twist in his stomach. “H-how is he?”
An almost delicate pause, and then – “Fine,” Alphonse says, bronze eyes dark with something that could be sorrow.
Ed was most definitely not ‘fine’, although he is now - at least according to Al, who also claims that no one can find his brother. Roy has the sneaking suspicion that Al knows exactly where Ed is.
He isn’t cruel enough to ask, although he wants to – oh, how he wants to, and in the worst way possible.
His heart is probably hammering loudly enough for Alphonse to hear, and he’s too tired to care.
“I - ” Al sneaks a look at Roy’s face as he speaks, and whatever he sees there makes him swallow his words. “He’ll come back, Furher Mustang.”
Roy wants to say ‘I’m sick of waiting for scraps from him’, but he doesn’t.
He isn’t quite that unfair, after all.
There had been a lot of confusion at first – no one knew what had happened to restore Al and subsequently drive Ed into seclusion, and the only witness wasn’t willing to talk.
Alphonse had become quite an eager conversationalist with time. The depth and breath of his knowledge continues to surprise Roy day after day, although he still doesn’t talk about his brother.
"What did your brother lose?"
"Nothing that wasn't already broken, he said.”
A heavy sigh. “I don’t understand it either.”
Al wrinkles his brows in sleep. It’s an unaccountably endearing gesture and makes him look frighteningly young, which he isn’t, not really. Roy has trouble remembering that Al is an adult sometimes, oddly, but it’s not something that worries him in the end. Age was never one of the things that bothered him about his arrangement with the elder Elric, and so it is the same with the younger.
Like his relationship with the elder Elric, this had also been an accident. Happily, though, it’s turned out to be a much nicer form of accident.
Curled around himself, Al looks impossibly small in sleep for a reasonably tall adult. Roy can’t help staring, just for a moment, in complete fascination. In moments like these, he feels like he can almost understand Ed.
Al’s eyelids flutter half-open, and Roy finds himself riveted by the hazy, open glaze overlaying placid bronze eyes. Dazed, he leans down and places a light kiss on Al’s lips - which are unbelievably soft and Roy knows instantly that he can and will get addicted - almost involuntarily.
The sleepy glaze is gone from Al’s face when he draws back, though, and reality sets in. This is, after all, an unbelievably bad idea.
“I-I shouldn’t have done that, Alphonse. I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay,” Al says, grinning sheepishly. “I don’t mind.”
“I don’t mind at all.”
Later, sleepy and docile in his bed, Al had grabbed his wrist with a tired, almost drugged looking smile and whispered –
“- I know, don’t worry.”
Al is probably the one person who really knows Edward Elric, so maybe he does understand some of the twisted knot that is Roy’s relationship with his older brother. If so, Roy thinks with a twisted smile, he would be the first one.
“T-there’s something you h-have to understand about my brother,” Al says brokenly between pauses to gulp in more air, pale skin flushed and glistening with sweat all the way from neck to pelvic bone.
Roy would speak up and tell him that maybe now isn’t such a good time to talk through his numerous issues with Ed, but all his concentration is going into attempting to shut down his gag reflex with each thrust of Al’s thin hips.
Long fingers tangle themselves almost roughly in his hair, and Al goes on, although the pauses are becoming more frequent, the words more strangled.
“H-he isn’t very g-good at l-liking p-”
Roy hums around Al’s cock, cutting off the rest of the sentence as Al finally gives up on speech and keens, hand tightening in Roy’s hair almost painfully.
It’s nothing he didn’t already know, anyway.
For all their mutual silent understanding, there’s an Edward-sized gap between the two of them, and it just will not close. No matter what he does, that is and has always been and probably will always be the one constant of their relationship.
Roy is a great liar, especially to himself, but even he recognises what he and Al have for what it is – a pause, companionship and pleasure found in the blank spaces between two paragraphs of a story that doesn’t belong to him.
He isn’t particular surprised to return late from headquarters one night to find Ed lounging in his favourite chair, comfortable and sleek with his long braid and Xingian-embroidered black shirt.
Still, for a moment, he can only stand and stare. Ed raises an eyebrow at him and lifts a glass of amber liquid in a silent toast. Roy recognises the contents as some of his most expensive scotch, but he can’t bring himself to mind, if only because it makes sense, somehow.
Ed is nothing if not expensive.
He breaths in deeply and steels himself to speak. “Breaking and entering into His Excellency the Fuhrer’s own property, Fullmetal?”
Ed drains his glass and sets it down carefully, softly, as if afraid of waking his brother, who is, of course –
- sleeping fitfully in Roy’s bed.
“You are the world’s biggest bastard,” Ed says, slowly and tonelessly.
He doesn’t sound angry or even surprised, which throws Roy for a moment. He has only ever thought up one way to deal with a quiet and reasonable Edward, and he grasps for it now as a last resort.
“Were you expecting a warmer welcome?” he asks lightly.
It is perhaps unfortunate that his last resort in dealing with an emotional Edward is to act like an utter bastard.
Ed’s eyes narrow dangerously, and then he pounces in a flash, dragging Roy down by his collar before he can even think of moving and kissing him hard, with lips and teeth and perhaps a fraction of the anger he’s feeling –
- and Roy is almost resigned to the sharp spike of longing that rises up in him, the realisation that yes -
- he has missed this.
When Ed pulls back, his eyes are hard and gleaming. “Something like that, yeah.”
His voice is cold and soft, now, and he hasn’t let go of Roy’s collar. Something about the way he’s holding himself sets off warning bells in Roy’s mind. He has seen Ed angry, and this isn’t angry. This is far worse.
Ed shakes him once, hard. “No, you shut up. You don’t get to talk.”
Roy fights the urge to snap back. He is after all the guilty party here in some respects, and perhaps Ed does deserve free rein to vent his concerns. It’s a little uncomfortable to be dragged down - a surprisingly small amount – though, so he raises an eyebrow at Ed and glances deliberately at hand on his collar.
Ed snorts and lets go abruptly. “Go make yourself comfortable. Lazy bastard.”
Roy inclines his head as a sardonic ‘thank you’ and sits down in the chair Ed had just vacated.
“Old bones comfortable enough now, Your Excellency?” Ed asks bitingly, and doesn’t wait for a reply. “Now you can listen. Very carefully.”
Roy raises an eyebrow at the venom in Ed’s tone, but remains obediently silent – for now.
“I don’t suppose Al told you where I went. No, he wouldn’t have. You see, I assumed that I’d lost something as an equivalent exchange when we got Al’s body back, so after Al had recovered I went away by myself to try and figure out what it was.”
He pauses to take a deep breath before going on, slowly. “Ever since Al was restored, I had been feeling…odd. Unfocused. So I figured something was taken from me.”
“But that was my mistake.”
Ed starts pacing in measured steps in front of Roy, clearly ignited and starting to talk faster. “Our method of restoration was a combination of Amestrian alchemy and the ancient Xingian equivalent. We found out that they used to have a way of animating and controlling dead bodies by using alchemic sigils, and eventually we modified that into a method of attaching the soul. I thought we hadn’t managed to bypass equivalent exchange by using that method, but we have.”
He stops directly in front of Roy, staring hard into his face. “There were almost no bad side effects.”
Amazing how a single word can send a thin sliver of ice down his spine. It also makes him forget that he’s not supposed to speak.
“What’s wrong?” he says, hushed and inexplicably horrified.
Ed doesn’t seem to have heard him. He goes on, eyes locked on Roy’s and voice growing somehow more hushed.
“I’ve been studying the sigils and arrays we used, sir, and I’ve found something very interesting.”
He pauses and leans down until their noses are almost touching, forcing Roy to stare into his own reflection in cold golden eyes. “Listen to this part very carefully, and think about it.”
“You see, I found out that since the sigils were made for control, Al lost some of his capacity for free will.”
It can’t be.
The shock of it fills his mind with white noise, and when Ed pounces this time, he can’t move even if he might want to.
Ed’s hands are suddenly there on his chest and the light of the transmutation races up Roy’s form before he can even flinch. His clothes fall in shredded ribbons.
Roy wants to protest, but somehow the words are stuck in his throat.
Ed kisses him again, hard enough to bruise, his gloved hands wandering down Roy’s bare chest, stopping at one nipple to give it a vicious twist. He doesn’t want Ed’s tongue in his mouth and Ed’s hands on him – it’s invasive and uncomfortable and painful – but the jolt of pure pleasure that races through him is unmistakable, and he can feel his cock stirring in interest.
Ed breaks off the kiss with a bite to his upper lip, and he can speak now, push Ed off –
- he does none of these things.
It must show on his face, because Ed smiles, beautiful and terrible, and says –
"- understand now? This is what he feels.”
He stands up, dusting his hands off, and turns to head into the bedroom where his sleeping brother awaits.
“This is why you are a criminal."
It begins with a kiss, their last meeting, amongst the flowers and columns of the imperial gardens.
There are probably eunuchs and servant-girls lurking around every corner, but for now, Ling can’t bring himself to care. Somehow, he knows that he’s never going to have another chance.
After, he smiles widely and invites Ed to go for a walk amongst the willow trees. Surprisingly enough, Ed agrees. They take a stroll where there is no paved road and speak in hushed tones.
“What are you doing here, Edward Elric?”
Unbelievably, Ed grins, and it looks almost genuine. “I’ve come to say goodbye, Your Majesty.”
Ling closes his eyes and exhales slowly. He knew this was coming, after all. “I’m glad you were able to reach your goal.”
Ed’s smile is almost painfully radiant this time. “Thank you, Ling.”
It may just be the most heartfelt thing Ling has ever heard from the alchemist. He can only swallow the lump in his throat and smile back.
Some say that –
“What do you want from me, Edward?”
“Now we’re talking. I want all records of my service in the military wiped; a nice retirement pension and unlimited access to the military’s alchemical records so I can work on fixing Al; oh, and the government to never bother us again.”
“You do realize that you’re asking quite a bit.”
“You owe us.”
- love is -
Ed frets over every aspect of his life. Al finds it rather endearing. He falls asleep every night with his head in Ed’s lap, gloved fingers stroking through his hair and a smile on his face.
“You’re safe with me, Al,” Ed would say, softly. “I’d never make you do anything bad.”
Ed never says ‘I love you’. That’s okay, though. His brother has always been like that.
Ed shows him, and that’s enough.
- a grave mental disease.
fin. (..."what is love?" And the wise man said...)
Author’s Notes: *cough* yeah, apparently said wise man is Plato, although I'm not too sure. This ended up being 1500 words longer than I thought it would be and I at no point in the planning stage decided to include a sex scene. Feedback is adored.