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Play on Nerds

chapter 1. Abstinence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Roy takes a large sip of coffee and surveys Fullmetal over the rim of the cup. "I've got a library" had been the selling tool, no, the bait which he had used to lure the blond over to his apartment. He wasn't even sure why he was offering bait, why he was suddenly willing to cross all of those lines, break all of those boundaries. He is confident, sure, he has known Fullmetal for nearly four years now; it is easy enough to understand when 'no' means 'no', and when 'fuck no' means 'yes please'.

"Fuck no,"Fullmetal had breathed the first time Mustang had kissed him, for example, throwing on his coat and stomping out the door, slamming it hard enough to rattle the light fixtures. The dark-haired alchemist had written it off as a rare loss—painfully instructive and sickeningly disappointing; all those rules broken for nothing— until, two days later, the rain had flushed a waterlogged Fullmetal out of his hiding place and back into the older man's apartment. Fullmetal had grumbled something then about Mustang's books having footnotes—'easier to read than the ones at the library, and don't you dare laugh, jackass!'—and trudged inside.

Roy knows better than to mock him, knows better than to say anything, because then Fullmetal will leave, and he certainly doesn't want that.

He isn't sure what he wants, he only knows that it's rather amusing to watch the boy stare fixedly at his copy of Introduction to Alchemy, unaware that he's 'reading' the text upside down, and that it is also amusing—and to some degree, flattering—to stand up from his chair, stretch, and watch twin yellow orbs gawk at his lithe form.

It's really no different from women, and yet it is—this is, after all, Fullmetal—a teen who would prefer to kill him rather than kiss him, if for no more reason than to provide a stand on ceremony. He has made it a point to deny Mustang everything, even if it means denying himself, and the older alchemist is aware of this.

So Roy has entertained in his head two options when it comes to dealing with this situation; the first is lengthy and careful and comprised of unspoken challenges, verbal implications, and pre-planned touches. The second is a much more straightforward route involving several lengths of industrial strength rope, an indignant Fullmetal Alchemist, and gratuitous use of Roy's tongue.

The problem is, he shouldn't be thinking about this at all, because this is a very fatal path he is walking, one that will surely lead to not only his destruction, but Edward's destruction, as well. But Edward cannot keep walking the same path he is walking, either, because it will certainly burn him up, like a candle lit from both ends.

He has noticed, of course, the subtle changes in the boy's body—not going to be a boy for much longer, he amends ruefully—shoulders broadening, an inch grown here or there(he would never be much taller than Roy's shoulders, which was almost a shame—almost), voice deepening and cracking at odd intervals, and it seemed as though he had the tendency to blush more frequently than usual. Especially around Roy.

And the older man has made it a point to stubbornly ignore these things—they are dangerous things to be thinking, after all, like sending out a letter from behind enemy lines—he brushes off stumbling as the adaption to lengthier limbs and crimson cheeks to be little more than the usual indignant anger, because he will not allow himself to think any more of it than that. Ignoring the basics such as a fourteen-year age gap, the military's policy on relationships with subordinates, hell, the military's policy on homosexuality; there was still the most primitive, most troubling concept of all, known by definition as 'pederasty'.

A fourteen-year difference is a big thing when you are young, and fifteen is exasperatingly young. Edward would deny it vehemently, if he were to find out about it—'who the hell is short enough to be the infant of an infant?!'—but Roy cannot deny it, will not deny it; it is almost impossible to believe it, because Edward Elric has never had a crush in his entire life, and Roy Mustang has never seriously considered broadening his playing field past that of the fairer sex; yet it is real and glaring and dammit, he will do nothing about it.

So it is with no small degree of perversity that he orders Edward to bring the paper to him.

"Fullmetal,"Mustang orders aloud, feigning indifference,"hand me the newspaper."

A snarled "Get it yourself,"is the response, and Roy quirks an eyebrow, reminding the youth just who's apartment they're in, and who's books he just happens to be reading. There is a stubborn staring match for a minute or two, but in the end, Edward is no match for the Colonel, and he stalks over to the other man's chair.

"Here, take your fucking paper,"he grumbles peevishly, a telltale blush already spreading across high cheekbones, hurling the thick newsprint into Roy's lap. Edward turns abruptly to stomp away, clearly nettled by the lack of distance between he and the object of both his loathing and desire, but a hand snakes around his wrist.

'Dear God, What the hell am I doing? I have included a self-addressed stamped envelope; kindly send me your wise-ass, all-knowing response ASAP. P.S.—Please let neither Hawkeye nor Alphonse find out about this, as they will fucking kill me. Thank you.' is a bit of what flies through his head, and while he doesn't deny the existence of God, he doesn't really pray to the man, either, so he does not count on any assistance from the deity. It was stupid, he was asking for a million different forms of trouble—he should've gotten the damned paper himself.

"Hey! What're you—?!"Fullmetal's nervously indignant squawk is cut off as Roy kisses him clumsily, clumsy because he is distracted with the task of pinning the youth's arms behind his back, and this in turn puts him at an awkward angle. He is also consumed with the task of kicking Fullmetal's legs out from underneath him, which he manages with some effort, and knocks the boy to the floor.

It is a bad angle, he is taller and forced to angle his face downward at a steep incline; a painful crick starts to develop in his neck and he shifts, letting Edward wrench his mouth free.

"No, no,"he pants, and Mustang freezes for a moment—perhaps this wasn't such a good idea; it was never a good idea—he was a fucking idiot and had misinterpreted Edward's uncharacteristic awkwardness as an adolescent crush—and now he was going to be transmuted into a walking, talking, asshole—which would probably be a slight step up from what he actually was, a walking, talking, pederastic asshole."No, fuck no, you shit Colonel, God I fucking hate you—"

Ah. Roy relaxes, and lets Edward struggle to a sitting position. The boy is fighting back now with the tenacity of someone who is torn between their happiness and someone else's misery."Do you, now..."he murmurs, settling back on the heels of his palms. He's confident, now—he has neither been transmuted into a chastity belt nor punched in the face, and everything after that will go like clockwork.

Face an interesting shade of crimson, Fullmetal hastily backs into the coffee table. Well, at least as smooth as something could be when Edward Elric was involved.

"You're a pervert, a nasty pervert,"Fullmetal is ranting, golden eyes wide,"and I'm so getting out of here—"

He even makes the motions—grabs ahold of the coffee table to hoist himself up—but he's slow, far too slow, and careless, too. Roy recognizes the signs; the boy is moving with the exaggerated actions of a person wanting to be caught.

He is familiar with this situtation; he has courted enough women who have giggled and tried half-heartedly to push him away, all the while spreading their legs wider for better access—and yet he is unfamiliar with this situation, because this is, after all, Edward Elric, who is never half-hearted in anything he does. Unless...

Mustang grins, and there's wry understanding in it. It's easier for Fullmetal to cling to his precious bravado; he will be able to claim foul play later should he change his mind, and like in many other things, he can shift the blame to Roy as easily as himself. He'll run, but slowly, and accuse the Colonel of cheating when asked how he was unable to get away.

"—and I'm only fifteen—"Edward is saying when he is dragged across the carpet by the ankle. He yelps, honestly caught off-guard, and flails out with his other leg, catching Roy in the ribs. Winded, the older alchemist lets go, doubling over against the wall.

"—And you should be thus able to understand—"Roy gasps, trying to dodge but sent flying down the hall, flipped over Fullmetal's shoulder. His head hits the floor, hard, and he tries to roll to his feet, but the teen fills the gap with remarkable speed, skidding on his knees to sit atop Mustang's shoulders, thighs framing the older man's face.

"—Just how much I hate you,"Edward says definitively, hair falling in his face as Roy, at the same time, wheezes out the words, "—Just how much you want me."

An impasse.

"Bullshit."

"It's not bullshit, Fullmetal,"Roy protests mildly, wincing slightly as Edward grinds down on his collarbone pointedly."As a matter of fact, your latent sexual frustration is probably the reason why so many buildings seem to be left demolished in your wake..."

"I blow them up because they fucking get in the way,"Edward hollers, now truly incensed,"not because I have problems getting girls—not that I do, thank you very much!"His eyes are narrowed dangerously, little twin suns meant to scorch anyone foolish enough to look directly at them. He is angry, true, but he is also afraid, desperate that his embarrassing thoughts are being revealed, his defenses stripped away. Roy meets that gaze, unflinching.

"I have no doubt that you do,"he replies, voice still neutral."All things considered, you are a very attractive young man."

It was happening too fast; he shouldn't have admitted that, and now he cannot retract it. There is still plausible deniability on the whole statement; he has not said anything about how attractive he finds the scrawny blonde to be—his reputation as a womanizer has not been put on the line, thank God—but Fullmetal, even when overwhelmed by emotion, is still dangerously sharp. He will not forget, and Roy sighs internally; he is going to die, he is already etching his name into the Christian Book of Life... No—for a shameless pervert like him, they will plaster his name atop the gates of hell.

Edward gurgles, face reddening even further from a combination of anger and embarrassment, and his mouth twists unpleasantly."WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!"he roars, froth flying from his lips in an almost comical spray."STOP SPEAKING IN RIDDLES, DAMMIT!"

Mustang stifles a laugh by biting down on his tongue, and that only makes him curse."I'm not speaking in riddles,"he says crossly, irritated at both Fullmetal and the pain on his tongue."I'm saying that you're sexually repressed, because you're too foul-tempered to ever charm yourself a date- "

"WHAT?! WHO'S FOUL-TEMPERED?! I'LL KILL YOU, YOU FUCKING BASTARD—"

Roy gives a long-suffering sigh—an angry Edward is a distracted Edward, at least—and bucks the boy off his shoulders, surging forward in the same motion to pin the irascible youth on the floor."You're foul-tempered,"he repeats, and kisses Fullmetal bruisingly, perhaps a bit harder than he'd intended, his abused tongue seeking retribution from Fullmetal's own; the blonde opens his mouth willingly, perhaps stunned into obedience.

Perhaps obedient because he has secretly been longing for it, but the older man will not play host to that evil thought for very long. He will stubbornly cling to every ounce of self-control he has; to prove his point, he wields his tongue as he would a pen, hastily spelling out the letters P-E-R-V-E-R-T with his saliva, occasionally meeting the boy's own tongue—using the roof of the boy's own mouth as a psuedo-pencilboard; it was bound to happen, and he doesn't bother trying to dodge—feeling flesh and fluids mingle with his own, leaving behind a fragmentary, slightly cloying taste.

After some time, Roy backs off, slowly. Edward remains still, eyes unfocused, mouth still open slightly. He looks decidingly shell-shocked, and Roy takes that as a good sign, though admittedly he has never seen anyone fall into an actual stupor simply from being kissed.

Fullmetal's eyes sink closed, his expression shifting to distress. He is mumbling something frantically, and Roy leans forward, straining to catch the last bit.

"...ergo, alchemy be used to accelerate the molecules necessary for...for...—fuck, fuck, fuck, what the hell is that next part?—...right, collision, thus creating a limitless energy source..."

Alchemy? What the hell did that have to do with anything? This wasn't some book, this was real life, and he couldn't go running to books every time he had a problem; there were some things that couldn't be explained, or tuned out, with hard fact—

But it's so very like him to try, isn't it?

Roy blinks, once, then smiles a small smile that Edward cannot see through his closed eyes. He tugs the glove from his right hand off with his teeth—he had still been in military dress when Fullmetal had showed up unexpectedly at his door—and covers the young alchemist's mouth with his hand.

"That's what I've been trying to tell you,"he says patiently, and Edward's eyes snap open in barely supressed panic."I'm sure you've got some excellent reasons—regaining what you've lost is indeed a very important goal, and of course it's not fair for you to indulge in the pleasures of human flesh while your brother has been reduced to little more than a living doll—but ignoring your bodily desires, or trying to drown them out with alchemical fact, will only make it worse."

Like a candle burning up from both ends, he thinks, though he doesn't say it aloud.

Fullmetal looks marginally embarrassed now, and miserable by no small measure. He tries to speak, and Roy hastily removes his hand."...do?"Fullmetal swallows hard and tries again."What should I do?"he whispers, voice cracking somewhere around the word 'should'.

Mustang can think of a few things, a few decidingly lewd things, but none of which Edward would appreciate. The question requires a clinical answer, but a clinical answer will send the blonde out of Roy's apartment and back to his own dorm room, where his only company would be various pin-up magazines and his fist, which wasn't really pleasant company at all. But if he ventured...

Dangerous, it is very dangerous. Dangerous, wrong, and certain to send him to each of the nine planes of hell, but—

- half the appeal is in the danger, and he'll likely come to his senses soon and sock me in the nose -

—he sighs, dredging up a real smile from the depths of his face."You can let me,"he says simply, the sentence fragment having many meanings and endings, and traces the contours of Edward's collarbone with his tongue.

Edward stiffens; tries once, half-heartedly, to push away, then thumps his head back onto the floor with a sigh. Roy's lips are moving at the junction of neck and shoulder as though he is speaking, but no sound is coming out."Let you what?"Edward asks shakily, and receives a sharp nip to his Adam's apple in response. He glowers, a bit of his old confidence returning."What, I'm not allowed to talk? And your floor's uncomfortable, you bastard, you're too heavy—"

The second statement has some priority with the Colonel; he raises his head for a moment and tosses out the options."Couch? Bedroom? Ah...bathtub?"The last is suggested a bit hopefully; there is still an ache in his neck and there will be bruises on his chest tomorrow from Fullmetal's automail leg, but he doesn't put too much hope in this option.

Hands fist in his hair and tug upwards."It's, er...it's your house,"Edward falters lamely, coloring again and avoiding Roy's eyes."You decide."

Roy smirks."I'm going to say the bathtub, so you'd better make up your mind or else you'll complain about it horribly afterwards, and I'll have no choice but to burn you to a crisp—"

"Ah, um...your room; I've, er, never seen it, so I'm just curious, that's all..."

And of course, Fullmetal will try to bluff himself out of any disadvantageous situation; he will quell any insecurity with mind-blowing ego, and Roy lets him, lets him jump to his feet and march down the hall as though the entire thing is his idea.

Edward stops and looks around cautiously."The center door at the end of the hall, Fullmetal,"Roy supplies helpfully, ignoring the stiffness in his knees but looking regretfully at the bathroom door as he passes it. Later, later he will take a soak in scalding water until his aches fade away into languor; for now he will put Fullmetal out of his misery, though that is a task that will certainly detriment his pitiable knees even further.

Later he can lick his wounds and lament; bitterly lament for stealing a child's innocence, simply because he felt like entertaining an abominable whim—

But is that true? Edward is not innocent, no, he is jaded enough to know that his battle scars are not trophies to be put on display; he will cover his scars and automail in clothing out of both discretion and escape—they are not happy memories that have given him these scars, and he is mature enough to know it—but he is innocent in this, and, sadly enough, in matters of the heart. He does not understand that this will not be love, it will simply be letting go -

And perhaps Edward won't care. Perhaps he will. Perhaps an assassin will put a bullet through both of their heads in the middle of the deed, and they can both die smiling in ecstasy. Roy is given to cool thinking during critical moments, for careful planning and tactful duty, and as he meanders into his room he finds himself wondering what it would be like to act on impulse.

He shuts the bedroom door behind him quietly, but the click is still audible and Edward jumps as though he has been shot."F-Fuck!"he swears, a finger hooking around his jacket collar and tugging anxiously."The hell, sneaking up on me like that, shitface?"

Roy ignores him with the air of one who has much practice in that area, shrugging out of his coat and hanging it in the closet."Are you comfortable in those? Your clothes, I mean."

"W-What?!"Edward howls, automatically leaping to the wrong conclusions from the non sequitur, jumping back and hitting the bedside drawer, causing it to wobble precariously."Awfully forward, aren't you, you pervert shitface—"

Mustang tosses his gloves onto the dresser next to the closet, the portrait of serenity."I'm asking you if you'll be content sleeping in your current attire—and you will sleep, Fullmetal, I'm certain,"he interrepts, forestalling the impending argument with a wave of his hand,"so your cooperation in this matter would be beneficial to the both of us."

Yes, Fullmetal will sleep, and it's neither arrogance nor experience speaking, it's simply the fact that if he does not sleep the first time, then Roy will go a second time, and a third, and so on, until golden eyelashes curtain closed, and shallow breathing evens out into peaceful respiration. It is just a release thing, and he will make sure that it is a sufficient release, an easy, pleasant, and exhausting release; he does not tack the word 'memorable' onto the end, and he is glad to note that his restraint is still admirable, still intact. He thinks once, bitterly, that there was never anyone to do this for him when he was fifteen(uncharacteristically enough, he hadn't gotten his first girlfriend until he was twenty-one), but he banishes the thought instantly. He and Fullmetal are polar opposites, anyway, it is only natural that their situations be equally as opposed.

He will not—will not—think of that abyssmal age gap. Nor will he think of fragile-looking little boys lying in bed, bleeding and bandaged, with two stumps in place of an arm and a leg, unsure of neither life nor death. So very dangerous. He needs to—

- love, hate, perhaps both at once—

- let go.

There is a rustle of cloth off to his left, and Edward kicks a pile of clothes with his foot, rubbing at his bare arms as if he is cold. He is shirtless, though he has firmly retained his black leather pants and belt."I don't see the point to all this,"he is muttering awkwardly,"seeing as how I don't think I'll have any clothes left when we're done, you goddamn sadist—"

He is cut off as Mustang advances suddenly, relentlessly, and catches his lower lip with square, even teeth, worrying gently at the sensitive ridges. Fullmetal inhales once, deeply, just before Roy covers the boy's mouth with his own. Fullmetal had refused coffee earlier, and there is a strange taste on his lips in its place; Roy probes hesitantly with his tongue and, like before, is granted access to the inner caverns of the blonde's mouth.

Edward is an awful, inexperienced kisser, actually gagging twice in about twenty seconds, but Roy doesn't mind. Edward has never claimed to be a genius at kissing, though other areas were certainly targets for his ego, and as was the case with those other areas, he would become skilled at it given time. He is determined, however, that he will never find out just how experienced the boy will get. He will masochistically remember the here and the now—sticky, hesitant, awkward kissing; the boyish shuffling of feet on the ground and hands clenching tightly at the front of his shirt—and hope disgustingly that the youth in front of him will never grow up, never get experienced at kissing.

This inexperience is probably the reason that Fullmetal has been weaving his tongue away from the Colonel's, as though their meeting would make him gag again—though who knew, it just might—but Roy manages to thrust through a careless parry and catch a taste of that indeterminable flavor that had left a slight aftertaste on his lips. He doesn't recognize it at first; nearly draws back to ponder it as he would a particularly difficult math problem, but instead chooses to dance tongues with Edward again, seeking another taste.

Candy. Sunshine, lollipops, and cute puppy dog eyes—why doesn't the boy hum a nursery rhyme along with it?; it would be as fitting as a morgue and equally as homicidal. Most women taste like their most recent food or drink; an unforgettable drunken encounter with Havoc had filled his mouth with the unpleasant taste of stale tobacco for three days; if one would have to go by scents, then Roy had always imagined that Edward would taste like what his title described—hard, solid metal—but no. It is goddamned candy, and for a moment he nearly falls between that monstrous fourteen-year age gap—that hideous reminder that every mother, all but a very few odd children, and most men would consider what he is doing to be pederasty—but then Fullmetal makes a soft noise in his throat and leans into Roy's kisses, an obvious tightness to the boy's pants, and he shrugs it off. It is just a release thing, a chance for the blonde to vent his frustration onto his commanding officer, and it is no different from the times when Fullmetal has screamed at him, or threatened to bash his head in.

So he tells himself, anyway.

"Nonono, this is way wrong,"Edward is saying when Roy abandons his mouth for the line of his throat—the boy likes to talk, after all, what he's saying is absolutely correct, and it's entertaining to indulge him—"you're eons older than me, you're—technically—my boss, for God's sake, you're too damn tall; something, anyth—ah!"His tirade abruptly changes into a shaky moan as Roy licks the sensitive part behind his ear, one hand lightly scratching at the back of his head where his hair first starts twining together to form the braid.

"'Eons' older, Fullmetal?"questions Roy, managing to look affronted while shamelessly nibbling at the younger alchemist's neck."Don't you think that's somewhat of an exaggeration? I'll have you know that I am a young man in my prime; this is the spring of my life, after all..."He grunts displeasure at his fingers jamming in Edward's braid yet again, and offers a murmured, "If you'd like to do something besides stand there uselessly, then feel free to unbraid your hair", to which Edward spits an insult at him, but speedily complies.

He is eager, dear God, the boy is eager—eager to discover himself(in a manner of speaking, more like, watch himself be discovered by someone else), eager to learn; to be taught something new, fuck; eager to please—and the thought is sickening, enchanting, and arousing at all once.

He really needs to let the fuck go.

There is a moment when Roy pauses and surveys his hands; he has more experience with the right, but the left has noticeably fewer callouses, and he ponders several related issues with these facts, all the while lipping Edward's gloriously unbound hair.

It is with his right hand that he caresses Fullmetal's wiry torso, however, it is his left thumb that brushes over the teen's nipple; he muffles the resulting gasp with a kiss, and further ministrations in that area cause Fullmetal to tear his mouth free to groan, head whipping off to the side.

The resounding crack reminds the two of them where they stand in relation to the wall; Edward curses and his hand flies to the side of his head, but Roy's hand is already there, rubbing placatingly, and he smiles in apology."Bed?"he suggests good-naturedly, and a scowl is offered in return. "Yeah, fine, whatever,"Edward growls, but allows the older alchemist to twist fingers through his belt loops and lead him towards the bed.

"That was a mood killer, wasn't it?"Roy smirks conversationally, pushing Edward down on the sheets and spreading his legs wider, neatly undoing his belt from the leather.

"Tell me about it,"Edward grouses, then freezes, staring in unadulterated horror at Mustang's hands fumbling with his pants. The dark-haired man waits, patiently, for either rebuttal or consent, hands stilling but remaining atop trembling hips. Rebuttal, consent, or the even more preferable gunshot wound to the head; he waits patiently for any of those things, perhaps all of them. It is not a matter of what he likes or dislikes—no matter what choice Fullmetal will make, Roy will be relieved; the matter will not be in his hands, Edward will decide what it is that they will do, and that alone is liberating—but it is instead a matter of who he likes or dislikes; he likes Edward, oh yes, he likes the boy enough to do something like this, but right now, he really does not like himself, a dislike deep enough to secretly hope that Fullmetal will say no.

Edward swallows, visibly, then opens his mouth, and words fall out in a rush."Sorry, sorry, it's just that I really have no fucking clue what's gonna happen after this,"he babbles hysterically,"and I really feel like I should be doing something else besides laying here like a goddamned corpse, but I don't have any idea what to do, because it's you, and you're so damn intimidating, but I'm having a great time, really I am, and, uh, um...ah—Er...don't stop?"he finishes lamely, small body twitching like a cat's tail, both metal and flesh hands trembling minutely.

Roy knows that the boy's fears are grounded, and that laughing won't help the situation, but he has to fight the urge, anyway. He was having problems, he was having a sudden bout of insecurity? It is almost enough to make him want to set Edward afire, to watch him burn from the outside instead of the inside(though both methods would be sure to make him writhe), but he does not, feeling suddenly tired, and more than a little like he wants to forget this whole thing. Instead, he tugs on short legs until Edward's knees are bent over the edge of the bed, his feet dangling to the floor, and catches shaking fingers in his own longer, surer digits. He then kneels between the blonde's outstretched legs, allows himself a momentary chuckle—it is sort of funny, in the same sense that a person accidentally shooting themself in their own foot is funny—and speaks calmly, reassuringly, as he peels leather down and away from narrow hips.

"Disregarding how humorous your previous outburst may have been, Fullmetal,"Roy begins, raising his voice around the middle of the sentence to camoflauge the noise of a descending zipper—wouldn't do to have the youth panic again—"I can assure you that your fears are misplaced."He allows his hands to dance up Edward's sides, lingering for a moment to tap out a random rhythm along the boy's ribs; it is probably the tune to some long-forgotten nursery rhyme from his youth, a careless tune where a simple 'cradle rocking' can be misconstrued for the particularly heinous 'cradle robbing' and children will remain children forever, for he is stupid and simply masochistic like that. And starting to grow numb to it."I'd hardly expect you to do anything in this sort of situation—you're horribly inexperienced; I suspect a neutered chimp would suffice far better than you—and while you have another twenty or thirty years to improve your technique, I still wouldn't demand anything from you; it's terribly inhospitable—ah, lift your hips, please,"he throws on at the end, tone not shifting at all, and Edward obeys without thinking, intent on listening; in the fractional space of time that he has, Roy yanks down on both pants and undershorts as quickly and as easily as he can muster, before picking up his conversation thread hastily."And while I'm sure that some certain no-good, melodramatic subordinates of mine would love to say otherwise, any credible source can automatically vouch for my character; I'm very well-liked, you see..."

The deed of drawing tight leather down to combat boots now complete, he spares himself a moment to—now that all obstacles have been removed—lasciviously eye Edward's freed erection; takes in the lines and ridges of it, the unusual curves here and the throbbing veins there, committing it to memory; he will probably never see this again, because this is just a one-time thing, like civil war before Fuhrer Bradley took over or First Lieutenant Hawkeye in a miniskirt, and he'll take note of it now—he has a photogenic memory, and if it weren't for burning Ishbalites imprinted on the back of his eyelids he'd be grateful for it. As it were, charred human meatsacks are slowly being replaced with the patches of sensitive skin where heated flesh(though not of the flaming type) begins to meet wiry, southern-grown, gold hair; he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, and when he does, the image of Edward sweaty and splayed out above him does not fade.

He thinks, quite juvenilely, upon completion—'when you look at it from a propotional sense, he's way more stacked than I am...and that is a fucking bitch', but there is no real venom in the words, no ill-feeling behind the unnecessary thought, and if there is any, then it is at least directed at himself. If he hadn't stared for so long, maybe it would've looked smaller. Hell, maybe it would've been smaller—perhaps it is like Fullmetal's ego and swells under appreciative surveillance—and the thought is enough to make him snicker despondently to himself.

"Who the hell could like a smarmy bastard like you?"Edward challenges, unable to hide his delight at the fact that he, for once, was the one looking down at the Colonel. Roy knows this—had known it—and that was why he had decided some time ago that he would kneel, that the boy would be sufficiently mollified by the height difference, and less prone to panic. Panic would have been amusing, but he's not in a very 'ha ha, funny!' mood; he wants to go out into town, seduce a nice young lady back to the military barracks, and love her relentlessly until he can forget about this whole thing, and go to bed.

"I'll mail you my address book,"he counters aptly, or perhaps ineptly—Fullmetal flinches, resentment flashing through lowered eyelids. He mumbles something, so low that Roy has to ask him to repeat it.

"...You're still gonna go out on dates with girls after this, aren't you, you shit Colonel?"are the words that come out of Edward's mouth, but they're so uncharacteristic of him; so unlike him to care, so unlike him to sound so wounded(even if he is trying to bury it under insubordination)that Roy very nearly doesn't believe it.

Instead, he stills, keeps his face bland and his voice neutral."Does it matter?"

Please, don't let it matter.

"Hell yes, it matters!"Edward shouts, sitting upright roughly."I'll go home and toss and turn all night, I don't care; I'm not gonna suffer through all this and then have to watch you go out on dates with all these idiotic women, knowing that you—that you—!"

The rest, it seems, is too painful to say.

"Suffer?"Roy inquires politely after a moment, eyes pointedly traveling to the blonde's still-hard penis.

His attempt at a ruse is discovered; Edward snarls at him ferociously."Say it,"Edward demands, hands going for the older man's shoulders, but clutching instinctively around his throat—unbreakable, but not painful, not yet. He wants it to be painful, if only for the fact that it will give him a reason to back out of this."Say that you're gonna stop going out on dates; that you're gonna pitch that address book of yours, that you're gonna replace your stupid alchemical code with something other than girls' names—say it, damn you, or I'll...—!"

He'll what? Leave?

The concept both relieves and terrifies him at once; Fullmetal is getting way too serious about this, and anyone with half a brain would have sent him back to his dorm with a copy of Understanding the Human Body by now—and yet he cannot help but find beauty in their position; he, a full-grown, fully-clothed, hell, taller man, reduced to kneeling between the legs of a nearly nude, short, blonde boy, his life hanging in the balance by the small, shaking hands that grip his throat in a collar only appropriate for a dog of the military.

He is probably exaggerating about the second half; Fullmetal is not choking him, but he'll blame it on asphyxiation anyway, but he does not know what to do, either. Give up women? What, become a monk? Better, become a eunuch. Edward cannot, should not think that this is going to become a common occurance, that Roy will always be there for him to fall back on. He does not mind, every now and then, because it is, after all, just a release thing, and it is no different from when Fullmetal screams at him, or threatens to bash his head in—but even he will not allow the boy to rage at him all the time; there has to be rules, limits, or...

Or what? The world would fall into ruin? Clocks will run backwards and the dead will come back to life? Would the very order of the universe be thrown out of whack? No, worse; the world would become overrun with dastardly smirking closet pederasts like himself, and one of them would become Fuhrer instead of him. But as for women? And Edward?

Roy sighs, thinks wistfully of dinner dates, melodious female laughter, and soft, lightly perfumed skin...—stops then, and considers Fullmetal.

Fullmetal would not endure a dinner date; if he did, he would eat half of Roy's paycheck in an evening, complain about the food the entire time, and probably demand some sort of extravagant favor in return for it. His laughter is loud, piercing, and more than a little obnoxious; it has the tendency to grate on Roy's ears given time, and the dark-haired alchemist is certain that it has given him some sort of lasting brain damage. Fullmetal's skin is not soft—it is battle-hardened, inappropriately scarred, and rippling with layers of sinewy muscle—nor is it pleasantly scented; right now the teen smells of salt and sweat and sex, as well as underlying currents of oil and iron.

However...

There could be, at length, amicable(if not studiously argumentative) excursions to the East Branch library; Roy has yet to hear the gentler side to Edward's laughter—perhaps it is quite appealing in smaller doses—and he must not mind the boy's skin that much, given the position that had started this whole battle to begin with.

There are many arguments and reasonings behind it—perhaps when adequately satiated, Fullmetal will retract his slightly dubious terms of service; realize that this is, after all, Roy Mustang, who would be more likely to set himself afire rather than give up dating entirely; perhaps he will even forget the entire thing took place, which would be even better—but the older man is vaguely aware that there is no way he could have hoped to win, not when faced with those defenseless, raw, golden eyes.

The thought is discomfiting, at best—suicide-inducing at worst. He very nearly scans the room for a pistol.

Roy sighs again, but there is a tiny smile lurking in it, this time."All right,"he relents, leaning his head against Edward's thigh, thinking completely unrelated and absurd thoughts about the sacrifices one makes for love—unrelated, and stupid at that; this is not love, this is letting go—"but only on one condition."Fullmetal jerks at the unfamiliar weight in such a strikingly familiar area."What?"he asks warily, emboldened by his near-success enough to twine hesitant fingers through Roy's dark hair.

And he likes it, dammit, he likes it; he shouldn't like it, it should be little more than a release thing, but it's already teetering over that precipice, slowly sinking into the abyss that will take it to something more than a release thing, which would make it a what—...? A what thing?

"I had an engagement for this Thursday; it'll be easy enough to cancel, but I've already bought the theater tickets..."

He has already rented a suite at the Four Kings Hotel, too, though he will not mention that. He doubts the knowledge would be pleasantly received.

Edward barks a startled laugh."That's it?"

"Well, if you'd give me some more time, I'll gladly think of some other things,"Mustang smirks, rolling his shoulders confidentally."How would feel about...say, roleplay?"

"Eh?"The joke is clearly lost on the teen; Hawkeye would have rolled her eyes but gotten it, Havoc would have nearly set himself afire by dropping his cigarette, and Hughes would have grumbled jokingly that there was no way you could ever really change Roy Mustang; but Edward doesn't understand, and that's fine, too.

Fourteen years is a long time; has roleplay really fallen out of style since when he was a teen? Or perhaps it is because Edward is young, too damn young, and since roleplay has naught to do with human transmutation or the Philosopher's Stone, it is quite likely that he will not care. Fourteen years... God. If he'd have been a busier little adolescent, he could, in theory, be old enough to be the boy's father.

He tries, because he is, when all is said and done, a masochistic bastard, to imagine raising Edward as a baby, watch him take his first steps and say his first words and transmute his first piece of dirt into a clay statue... Nope. The image will not settle, like the fuzzy images of a picture movie screen, that newfangled invention that was floating around Central. Perhaps his brain, like the prototype of that picture movie screen, is simply broken. Either way, he is not Edward's father, can't really imagine what it would be like to be as such, but he is old enough to be, and he does not feel better.

"Nothing, just a bad joke,"he murmurs, shifting his head to the left and flicking his tongue at the back of Edward's knee, subtlely trying to regain the mood.

"Your sense of humor does suck,"Edward agrees smugly, but his voice isn't entirely steady, and his hands have started shaking again. It is not, however, a nervous sort of shaking; it is a anticipatory sort of shaking, a 'hurry-up-and-get-on-with-it' sort of shaking. And while Roy doesn't consider himself to be a particularly sadistic bastard—oh, he agrees with Edward enough to say that he is a bastard, just not a sadistic one('masochism' is flashing through his head and he has no idea why)—he is forced to admit that watching the teen battle to keep his fragile control over his excitement is enough to make him want to prolong the whole thing. After all, this is what he does—teases Edward until the poor boy submits to his emotions; doesn't think, but rather feels; rants, explodes—and almost always feels better afterward.

It it just a release thing, he tells himself, as he rises from his knees—a bit stiffly; he had been prostrated like that for quite some time—and it is no different from the times when Fullmetal has screamed at him, or threatened to bash his head in.

"You're not amused by my witty banter?"Roy asks, mock disbelieving, and straddles Edward's hips, feeling the hard lines of the boy's pelvic bone digging into his thighs."A pity; I'll have to find something else to make you laugh." Hands drag laboriously over ribs, the bend of an elbow is tongued, dark hair is brushed feather-light under a sharp chin; there are uneven sighs, sudden hitches of breath, and small noises deliciously close to whimpers, but there is no laughter.

Roy smirks."Isn't this just hilarious, Fullmetal?"he prompts, lightening the touches even further, barely touching at all, but by now Edward is too turned on to find anything remotely ticklish about them.

And it is hilarious; Mustang is finding himself more and more amused by the entire situation, though he reckons it is something more akin to laughing at a funeral, as opposed to laughing at an amusing anecdote. More like laughing at his own funeral, and he makes a sudden vow then—that the only person who will have ever earned the right to laugh at his funeral would be the wild-eyed blonde who was twisting below him—and he honestly has no clue why he thinks this.

"Yeah, yeah, hi-fucking-larious,"Edward agrees breathlessly, arching up into that touch, trying to give it substance, make it harder."But you know what'd...er, really make me laugh? If you'd, ah...go faster. Yeah, go faster."

Roy thinks to argue—opens his mouth to do so, actually—but stops, gives a lopsided grin, writes himself off as much too soft-hearted—probably only one-quarter sadist(—hundred percent masochist), and how pathetic is that?—and pities the youth, wriggling upward to Edward's eye level, dragging the toned skin of his stomach along the rigid length of the boy's erection; feels buttons from his shirt catch on lines and ridges, feels the underside of said buttons scratch teasingly up his abdomen.

Edward makes a slight choking noise, rubbing shamelessly at the contact, and the older man briefly wishes he had shared Hughes' fondness for cameras, for this is truly a picture perfect moment. Not for blackmail, though the angry blush and predictable temper spasm would be amusing, but just for his face—flushed and vulnerable and waiting, teetering on that unique tightrope of agony and ecstasy, blessedly uncaring. There are lines on his face, but they are not the lines born from grim determination rooting itself before the skin has even stopped growing, nor will they be permanently etched there when he drifts off into a languid sleep brought about from climax.

It is darkly humorous, reflects Mustang, drawing the fingers of Edward's flesh hand into his mouth, and damn near physically nauseating for him to be deriving so much pleasure from this; a loosely bloused white dress shirt camoflauges peaked nipples and the bulk of standard-issue military pants hide an aching hard-on, but he cannot let it show on his face, he cannot let it show on his face. It is just a release thing, no different from the times that Fullmetal has screamed at him, or threatened to bash his face in, but he has to remind himself that it is Edward's release thing, and not his own—for him to seek his own would be appalling, disgusting, damning; he should not, would not, could not let this turn into something more, something more than what it is, and God, he cannot let it show on his face. Fullmetal is dangerously sharp, even when drugged on sensation, and he would figure it out; everything would fall apart, and even the most meticulous of alchemy would not be able to piece it back together.

"A-Ah, I'm growing a beard down here waiting f-for you, C-Colonel,"Edward is snapping impatiently; though the stuttering eases the harsh words somewhat, Roy can almost hate him in that moment, carelessly flinging out stones about his age—Roy has been shaving off potential beards for twelve years now; the razor edge eerily similar to one he is walking now—but he cannot, because it is no different from the times Fullmetal has screamed at him, or threatened to bash his head in; but it is with some cruelty that he rips fingers out of his mouth, finds them sufficiently lubricated, and guides them ruthlessly down the boy's shaft.

Boy, boy, boy, his head is taunting him, even as he forces his lazy smirk back into place and Edward jerks, startled to find that the fingers skating over him are none other than his own, though excellently puppeteered by the raven-haired alchemist bending over him. He bucks and thrusts; Roy takes his own fingers away, belatedly remembering a word that sounds like 'tutorial'—after all, if Fullmetal learns this lesson himself, then he will have no need to return to his commanding officer's loathsome, pederastic grip, and it would be better for both parties involved—but Edward slows and stops, looking confused. His mouth opens—he would burn faster than Ishbal if he dared address Roy as anything other than that, be it 'sir' or 'Colonel'(though he might settle for 'Mustang', if it was devoid of the epithet 'Mr.')—then closes just as abruptly.

"I get it,"he says finally, staring down at his sticky, spit-covered hand, a sheepish grin on his face,"I finally get how people deal with this sort of thing; I really feel like an idiot for not being able to figure it out on my own—I mean, who the hell am I supposed to ask?—but...but..."He trips over his own tongue, words awkward and phrases incoherent, until firmly, resolutely, he settles back onto the sheets, raising both hands to cover his face."...but please, don't stop,"comes the muted but desperate whisper, and Roy can only stare at him.

His first thoughts are 'damn you, Fullmetal, damn you', but something new swims to the surface. He cannot hate the younger alchemist for wanting to push aside all thought and just feel; it is what he is good at, feeling, and Roy is equally as good at the thinking part; it is why they are good together, because they think and feel enough for the other, but never for themselves. Edward will go, find that he feels like blowing something up, and Roy will follow, thinking of ways to turn the situation to his advantage. It is always harder on Roy, always so much more work and planning and finesse than simple destruction, but he now has no doubt that Edward, too, falls into his bed at the end of the day and thinks to himself 'I am so fucking tired, damn it all, damn it all to hell'. It is as exhausting to feel as it is to think, and Roy very belatedly remembers the explanation he offered to Edward about his clothes—Fullmetal, you will sleep, and now it seems more like a promise than a fact.

Roy smiles; shoves thoughts concerning sacrifices and love to the back of his head—he has loved, sure, but he has never sacrificed, and the fact that he will do so for the Elric brothers brings up unpleasant questions that he doesn't want to answer yet—and staggers off of Edward, once again kneeling on the floor, a dark-haired man's head between a blonde boy's legs.

Mustang has fought, bled, and struggled quite valiantly to keep his omniscient, arrogant bastard mask in place during the entire ordeal—and let them put it on my tombstone, he thinks suddenly, for I no longer have the strength to fight—but perhaps because it is Edward(though he shouldn't, he really shouldn't because it is Edward), he carefully, very carefully, lets the mask fall, and looks upward.

Fullmetal's hands are still covering his face. And Roy cannot help it; he laughs, laughs because things have suddenly gotten a million times easier, a million weights have lifted off his chest, and just let God try and damn him for being a pederast; he'd pay for it his own way, sooner or later, but the truth was, he just should not, would not, could not deny Edward Elric anything.

And that, in itself, is just a release thing; it is no different from the times Fullmetal has screamed at him, or threatened to bash his head in—it is a release thing for both Edward and himself; by freeing himself, he would free Edward.

Edward lifts his head, once, to call out a hesitant "Colonel?"(and perhaps Roy has gone mad, because the detestable words sound delightful to his ears), and uncovers his eyes long enough to see Mustang grin, sharklike, then swallow him whole.

And he has probably noticed that look in Roy's eyes—after all, a Fullmetal Alchemist, even when drugged on sensation, is still dangerously sharp—that tumultuous sea of emotions; hungry and heated and hunting, soft and lazy and wryly understanding, possessive to a hideous fault and always laughing infinitely at some unknown joke; but Roy does not care, he has came, saw, and conquered, and let them eat cake instead of bread, because he is probably going to hell, and he wonderfully, artlessly, and more than a little stupidly—does not care. All he cares about right now is the feel of Edward in his mouth, foreign and pulsing and much too hot; beautifully and horribly and inexpressably alive, a moving portrait of the boy himself.

And perhaps Edward is not so innocent, perhaps he has realized the gravity of the situation after all—the fact that Roy has offered him his jealously guarded eyes, something seen but rarely given—because he arches back onto the bed at the catch and tug of the first suck, and in return offers Roy his voice.

It would be incorrect to say that Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, has never offered anyone his voice; he offered it to anyone and everyone who would listen, young and old, rich and poor alike, sometimes disregarding whether or not they wanted to listen at all. He has offered Roy his voice over and over again; his lazy drawl, his irritated growl, an insecure mutter or two, and sometimes—a rare treat, though to call it a treat would be as sadistic and loathsome and as wrong as what he was doing to the blonde right now—he would even cry; though near Roy, it was never for Roy, and he is somewhat relieved by that fact.

Edward Elric was always offering his voice up for others to hear, but he had not at this. There were times when he couldn't help it, when the flood of sensation was too much for his small, unaccustomed body to handle; it would either trickle out his mouth or he would implode, but they were little more than shuddering breaths and the occasional muffled gasp; he cursed frequently and twice he actually whimpered, but it was nothing compared to this, this insanely personal and absurdly pleasing outburst of sound.

He moans, loudly—the neighbors will most likely hear, and instinctively guard their children from now on, and the thought is as darkly humorous as the situation itself—curses appreciatively at teeth scraping lightly along the easily stimulated skin of the head, growls ardent encouragement at a slick tongue tracing hot wetness along large veins, actually laughs once, shakily and far too loud, at the sudden ticklish sensation of moist breaths puffing along downy blonde pubic hair; Roy cannot help but think then that his sense of humor really does suck, shakes in silent laughter at the double-entendre, but does not move to tell Edward. Instead, he bobs his head up and down obediently, somewhat experimentally—it has been a while since he has done this; though official records would blatantly state that he has never done this at all—and slowly begins to pick up speed.

Suddenly, as though a switch has been flipped, there is a pounding noise in his head, blood is rushing to his ears at an alarming speed, and his throat is suddenly, painfully, impossibly too small; he grapples with immovable hands—choking, dying, drowning—and twists free, gagging and coughing up a frightening amount of spit and precome. His vision clears, blessedly cool air is being allowed free passage into his lungs again, and he spares a cursory glance at Edward, who is frantic and bewildered, babbling something and shaking from head to toe.

The situation starts to make more sense as he pieces it together; the boy's natural instinct would be to press in as deep and as hard as he can, and he could not have possibly known that following his intuition would end up suffocating the older man; ignoring the fact that it feels as though someone has ran a cheese grater up and down the inside of his throat, he rearranges Edward's shaking hands back over his face and coaxes him, gently, to lie back again. He is irritated at this new moodbreaker, but knows that it was inevitable—too late he remembers being fifteen, and the fact that he can remember puts him in a better mood—besides, a little pain is probably good for him; it would serve as a reminder that this is not his release thing, that it is something else, something quite alien and foreign and strange indeed.

Edward is still mumbling panicked apologies through his fingers, and it is damnably cute; Roy takes a moment to delight in it—today he will just act, live, feel; tomorrow he will do enough thinking to put his name in the obituary, but not right now—because he is suddenly aware that it is not the danger that is the appeal in all of this, it is simply Edward—youthful and bright-eyed and ambitious, driven and dangerous and delicious, blazing, bold and quick-witted, fiercely loyal to those worthy of his devotion, and horribly, beautifully, inexpressably alive.

"It's been a while,"Roy confesses softly, leaning his forehead against the younger alchemist's knee."I'm sorry; I was too slow."

Hands are lowered for an instant to glance at him, disbelieving, then raised again slowly. It is not the first time Edward has given him such a patently dubious look; it will probably not be the last, and the knowledge is soothing. He shifts, and sits higher on his knees—if he hadn't been slouching, it probably wouldn't have hurt so much—and fights to keep the rawness out of his voice."You can thrust, Fullmetal,"he says simply, only slightly hoarse,"but you'll have to be careful."

"...Guh?"is the response he gets, but at least Edward is listening.

"You can buck with your hips, if you'd like,"he repeats patiently,"but you'll have to put up with me guiding you—detestable, I'm certain, but necessary—lest I choke again, and perhaps this time I really will expire—and you most certainly would not want that, would you?"

Edward does not rise to the challenge, but a small grin is offered to show that it was appreciated. He despises being led around as though on a leash, but Roy knows that he is sometimes grateful for it, that sometimes he thinks he would be totally lost without it; he shifts lower in invitation, in offering, and exhales loudly."Okay,"he says sheepishly, then tardily:"Sorry; I couldn't help it."

"Of course you couldn't,"Roy smirks then, hands clasping loosely around slender hips; readying, steadying—Edward is light enough to float over the chasm of fourteen years; though Roy will more than likely crash and burn, he will jump with him anyway—

- letting go -

- and lowers his head again, remembering offhandedly that some foreign religions frequently offered young virgins as sacrifices to appease their gods; he is not a god, he is barely even human, but the boy is offering all of himself anyway, as clearly and as wholeheartedly as transmuting the bed beneath him into a silver platter; it is amusing and arousing and oh so damning; Roy smiles and wraps himself around an entirely different sort of mortal coil.

And for some time there is nothing more than sensation; Edward does thrust, uncertainly at first, then deeper and faster, desperate and frenzied—Roy fights to relax his throat(after all, this is new to him, too; he has done many things with many people, but that list has never included letting someone fuck his mouth raw); he is letting Edward drive in too far, to the point of discomfort; he struggles to get air in through his nose; damn, his throat is going to hurt like a bitch tomorrow, his lips are cracked and swollen and bruised; God, how he does not care; it is what masochists do, after all, and he does not mind offering his pain for this boy's pleasure—Edward is keening high in his throat, knuckles white and gripping the sides of his face—the automail will probably leave bruises; hips lift hands that are no longer restraining, but rather, supporting; a pitifully small ribcage heaves up and down hysterically, and twitching feet lift from the carpet to dig heels into Roy's middle back, pinning his arms to his sides—as though it mattered, because he wasn't leading anymore, wasn't guiding Edward towards any path or purpose; it is just a release thing, after all, and it is no different from the times that Fullmetal—Edward—has screamed at him, or threatened to bash his head in—

- and then it is suddenly over; Edward thrusts in particularly deep and orgasms, shuddering from head to toe, dropping his hands to reveal pure and unadulterated ecstasy rolling across his face; it is the loveliest face that Roy has seen in his entire life, and though he has conquered many a beautiful visage in his career history as a playboy, none of them can compare to this expression of puerile bliss; the blonde cries out as he climaxes, high and loud and shaken—Roy notes; dully, flatly, that the voice that cries out beneath him is nothing more nor less than a sinfully angelic boy's tenor.

He sputters at a few more jerky, finishing thrusts; draws his head back slowly and swallows both Edward's fluids and the bile that is threatening to rise in his throat, tastes them both, and they are both salty and bitter on their track down to his stomach—dear God, it feels as though he has somehow managed to eschew semen out of his nose, like one would milk or tea when told an especially humorous joke or tall tale—and finally rises from his knees, hearing them pop mercilessly. He is tired and sore and appallingly pleased with himself—this beauteous golden-haired youth sprawled spread-eagled and satiated on his bed is his doing; cheeks are tinged rosily from his teeth, limbs reduced to liquid by his tongue—and for a moment he can only stare, drinking in the sight with his eyes; he has this photogenic memory, after all, and if it weren't for burning Ishbalites imprinted on the backs of his eyelids he'd be grateful for it; as it were, as it is, he will block them out with an entirely new set of images from an entirely new transgression.

Edward has gone still, hands limp and useless at his sides, eyes blinking owlishly as though he is confused by his own gratification; golden lashes very nearly curtain closed, but flutter back open with some effort. For the last time that night, Roy goes to his knees; he fumbles with boot laces and tugs them off, removing socks and black leather in succession, only hesitating at the elastic waistband of cotton boxer shorts. "Off,"Edward murmurs sleepily, trying to assist but failing. Boxers are also shed, carelessly thrown to join the pile near the door; perhaps he will do the wash while Edward sleeps, though he very much doubts it.

"Shower,"the blonde is whispering when Roy straightens, and while it is true that he could probably use one—unbraided hair pillows beneath him in a damp disarray, weary limbs are coated with an ostensible sheen of sweat, and the area from his abdomen to his thighs is secreted with saliva and a generous amount of ejaculation—it is also true that he cannot even support his own weight; he might fall in the tub and die, and Mustang would have a hell of a time trying to explain it to the military police. Instead, he lifts Edward's legs up onto the mattress and, feeling indulgent, dips his head to lick at the boy's stomach, cleaning gently with his tongue.

Edward bears it all with uncommon lassitude—and God, how Roy would love to brag about it at the office tomorrow; he can almost(masochistically speaking, of course) imagine himself telling Havoc about the night's events in vivid detail—'Hey, when I was out last night getting my jollies off of little fifteen year old Edward Elric, I managed to put him to sleep just by sucking him off—that's right, stubborn, irritable, and hopelessly spiteful Fullmetal, reduced to idiocy by my superior skills—and don't you wish you had my skills, Second Lieutenant!'—but he won't; he feels as though he too has orgasmed with Edward(but not entirely; his body is still twisted into feverish knots, and his clothes are still itchy and too tight); he too is aching and drained, but by no means satisfied.

Roy stands up, abruptly—his actions are ridiculous, his spittle is most definitely not an active cleansing agent—and Edward tugs at his arm weakly, gold eyes spreading open slowly."Bed...?"he invites, lazy yet hopeful, and staring at those once-disdainful orbs—now dulled by pleasure into complacency—fills him with bitter self-loathing, justified nausea, and an atrocious desire to leap astride the bed and possess the boy once again; he stumbles backward, out of that hazardously innocent grip, and wills a superior smile to fix itself in place.

"Bath,"he says tartly over his shoulder, walking to the door—his footfalls are loud and curt even to his own ears; his knees hurt, after all, and his neck aches on both the inside and the outside; a bath is plausible and most certainly not an evasion.

"Then bed?"Edward entreats optimistically, rolling himself snugly in powder blue sheets, tongue practically lolling out as he grins drowsily.

Roy shuts the door on that naively happy face.

Out in the sanctuary of the hallway—there are only dingy walls dotted with imitation oil artworks out here, and neither of those things fill him with any sort of carnal urge—he takes in breath through his nose and blows it explosively out his mouth, surveying his hands dismally. His hands are not stained with blood this time, rather a more viscous, whiter sort of fluid, but he has sacrificed another innocent to gain this all the same.

And he laughs then, harshly, pushing up his sleeve and dipping his fingers in the salty liquid to scrawl out the word 'S-I-N-N-E-R' across his arm; stares at it for a moment, closes his eyes—thinks then of Edward's face; sacrificial lambs have never looked so passively content, as though dying was absolutely delightful—and laughs again, this time with feeling; the road to hell is paved with good intentions, after all, and his are the best—and lowers his head to lick his arm clean. After, he stares at the offending limb—slightly shiny with spit, but there is no 'pervert' or 'sinner' or 'pederast' forming there from the remainder—reminds himself that it is just a release thing, no different from before; that it is letting go, not love, though love is not entirely out of the question—and drags his tongue assiduously along the rest of his hands, slipping it through his fingers and rolling the digits in his mouth, tasting something that is not just uniquely Edward, but a part of the youth that is blended with a part of himself. And he laughs, yet again, laughs weakly, hysterically; laughs until he cries, sinking down on the floor with his head bowed between his legs and his shoulders shaking, grinning like an idiot even as the tears drip freely down his cheeks.

Eventually Mustang draws a bath, jerks off fixedly at a voluptuous female form, and dries off, standing in the too-bright light of his bathroom, painfully concious of a flopping noise coming from the next room over—Edward must be tossing in his sleep—and turns the lights off in his apartment, one by one, saving the bedroom light for last.

He pads cautiously inside—Fullmetal doesn't stir—and clicks off the lamp, feeling the darkness wrap around him comfortably; he cannot see, and stumbles into the bedtable as he exits, but it is better than looking at his bed and seeing something there other than the typical, nondescript female frame.

Edward may or may not grumble about it in the morning—he may do a variety of things in the morning, such as forcing the Colonel's teeth out the back of his head with an automail fist—but Roy takes the couch; he will not let the youth make more of this than what it is, he will not succumb to the roiling urge to wrap his longer limbs protectively around smaller ones and sleep, waking up in the morning to sun-kissed skin and hair—the couch is too short and cuts off at the knees; Roy notes loathingly that it would have been a perfect fit for Edward.

For the first time in his life, he is uncertain. He has played a game without knowing the stakes, without being sure that he will win. He supposes that he has won, that he has gained something, at least; he will have to brew two cups of coffee in the morning instead of one, and he will still have to pull long hairs out of his shower as though nothing has gone amiss, yet he has lost much, too; given as good as he has gotten, paid for his indulgence with inhumanity. There are plenty of issues that will need to be addressed—he will think tomorrow, dammit, think long and hard about the dangers of sin—but for now he will curl up on his sofa, pulling blankets up to his chin, and taste the salt of skin; feel the satisfying ache born from juvenile love.

Roy sleeps then, and dreams of Edward.