In the Middle, Where We All Meet

He tilted his head back, feeling the snake of the hair drifting over his back, over that comfortable red coat. Their voices drifted from downstairs, light, that fake little sound of cheeriness that warped this house of love into a house of lies. He blocked them out, turned them off, wouldn't listen, couldn't listen, would never listen, because what did they know? What did they know?

They had forgotten. They had their memories, but they chose to forget. Forgive and forget.

But he couldn't, wouldn't, never. Someone would get him back, someone would be reunited with him, and they didn't deserve it, not if they turned their backs, not if they closed their eyes.

So he would be the light. He would be the sun to the cave dwellers, would show them their shadows, and if they ran back into the dark, then it would be their prerogative.

But damned if he sat back and did nothing.

Tugging on the gloves, the ones with the circles, with the arrays printed over his palms, he let his lips draw into a devilish smirk. Was this what he was? An imitation? No, no, a testament, a testament to one who couldn't be here at the moment.

Staring, he couldn't tell the difference aside the eyes, aside from the cloudy sunlight of his hair, just a whisper darker than his beloved's. And that was good, was beautiful, because it kept Brother safe, kept him near, kept him close, in his heart, his face, his mind.

Hands pressed against the cold glass of the mirror, and he smiled as his lips brushed it, his lashes drawn low. "I've missed you, so much."

Lines blurred when one smudged them with an errant thumb, and reality was no different. When he closed his eyes, tipped back his head, he could feel the weight of automail, the weight of pain and suffering, of guilt and agony, could hear his brother's voice, brother, brother, brother. He purred in the back of his throat, opening his eyes, gazing at himself, at himself with that long ponytail, with eyes that were correct if only because the mind couldn't tell the difference anymore. His lips shook in their weak smirk, trying, trying to believe, because believing was the only way.


He turned on his heels, staring up at Roy who was standing in the doorway to the room, Roy in blue, in solid, stark blue. Roy, who made jokes at his expense. Roy, the Flame Alchemist.

Roy, with the sensual jaw, and the single dark eye, and the lips, the lips he watched touch him, no, no, he felt touch him. He felt those lips on lonely nights when no one was looking, felt them as they pulled away so eager teeth could nip enticingly at his throat. And those gloves would come off, come away, and hidden beneath were uncalloused hands, strangely soft regardless of the of the military work.

"Al? Al, are you all right? The others told me that haven't been yourself lately."

But he had, had been more like himself than he ever had, had been the only one true to himself. He was smiling as he strolled up to the officer, lips curled in a smirk, in a wicked little smirk that belonged to him, him, not Al, but him! His hands found the ironed blue uniformed, running over the chest, up, up, around strong shoulders, around a sturdy neck as he nuzzled it with his nose, taking in the delicious musk of his cologne.

"Shhh," he whispered, breath warm puffs against the flesh, tongue rushing out to lap at it warmly for a moment. "Everything is fine."

Protests were swallowed by an eager mouth, an eager tongue, invading, diving, driving home the "truth" of perfection. Roy attempted to pull away, but it was half-hearted, weak, tired; how could he move away when...when he looked like...when he tasted like...when he was...

He fell backwards in a wave of blue and black when his knees struck the bed, and the Elric was straddling him before he could find his bearings. Gasping, pleading for a breath from surprised lungs, he started to crawl back along the bed, tried, but the weight was enticingly restrictive on his hips. When the long pale hair snaked over a slim shoulder and pooled on his chest, the struggles stopped, stilled, and hands went to slim hips as breath was shared between the meeting thresholds of lips.

It had been a long time, a long time, and when the fingers were prying open the buttons on his uniform, he could imagine that one set was colder, frigid, unwavering and steel. When he squinted, he could see the glint of metal, the way it shone, and the deep puckered pink flesh of old scars and sins along shoulder joints. When he wanted to, when he craved it, Roy could imagine that the body on his was a little heavier, a little shorter, a little more golden.

His back arched, high off the mattress, and they were both naked, both, and he was being ridden, was taken on like a fucking horse, and he couldn't think, couldn't think, didn't want to.

"Alphonse," he hissed, his voice low and broken amid pants. His eye was open, staring, while the erratic thump-thump-thump of the headboard struck the wall, again, again, again.

The brother atop him laughed, low, mingling with a purr as he doubled over, nose to nose with the military dog while he rocked back and forth, deeper, always deeper. "Alphonse?" he growled and purred, wrapping the two sounds into one lustful braid that drifted from a teasing tongue. "He doesn't live here anymore."

He shoved back onto Roy as the older man cried out, reaching that pinnacle through desire and fear. And after he lay, panting, recovering, the one on top hissed against the lips he had bit and kissed, today and days when he was someone else, a long life, a long life that he was carrying on, creating again, bringing forth.

"You can call me 'Edward'," he hissed, before the end swallowed him, and there was nothing but the sweet release, and the thud of two hearts in repair.