The Flooding Dark, The Evening Strange

chapter 9.
There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them.—Niels Bohr

South to Schwarzwald, boarding the earliest morning train, Edward fingered the tickets in his pocket as if examining a talisman. He stood alone on the platform, chilled from the cool pre-dawn air, staring at the purple sky dotted with fading stars and the marching mists ordered west by the approaching sun. Morning, breaking with nausea and an empty stomach. Edward was too nervous to eat.

Clouds gathered on the eastern horizon, preparing to scatter before the coming light, and the wind was almost sharp as the fainter stars blended into the atmosphere. Tightening his cloak around him, Edward stood and looked down off the platform into the sleeping city. October was coming. Before that, however, would come the date of equal day and night, autumn's equinox in late September. Michaelmas, the time of harvest, a feast for gathering. A time for bonfires and sacrifices.

It was on this day, which was quick approaching, that Edward had calculated his gate.

Before he could steep in morose thinking, Scar came up behind Edward, holding two cups of hot coffee and handing one to the shivering alchemist. This whole morning the man had been silent, saying nothing as he came to wake Edward at his flat and help him carry to the station the military-grade duffel bags that they'd packed together. The cups were plain metal and would be repacked once the coffee was gone, but Edward waited a moment before taking a sip, wanting to enjoy first the way the heat bled into the fingers of his left hand, working to calm his entire body.

Scar could warm him up, if he dared put his arms around Edward's body, but the man did not dare and Edward continued to shiver, the effects of the coffee short-acting and unsatisfactory even as he began to gulp down the strong, almost clove-flavoured liquid. Edward's elbow grazed Scar's thigh as the man moved to stand beside him, holding his own cup of coffee with both hands as he stared out into the dark and hard-to-see landscape of Köln, dominated (as always) by the black outline of the massive cathedral. For early September, it was very cold.

He would have liked to travel by barge down the Rhine, but such a method of transportation was far too leisurely for someone as purpose-driven as Edward Elric. It would have been nice to see the castles and vineyards of this country from their most advantageous view, but travel by train was quicker and Edward did not intend to waste any time. Besides... and this hurt a little to think about, but was logical... why should he spend any more time than he needed creating memories he would probably forget?

This thought caused him to look up at Scar. To call his time in Germany barren would be a lie; it was here that Edward learned to be a man on his own. So many thing had happened in this world, and just the memories of that might be enough to take him safely home... he had a mind full of new sciences and technologies, useful knowledge that would be very valuable in Amestris, where such technologies were virtually unknown. He also had a body that had been baptized with sex, aroused to new touch and sensations by this man he thought of and kept as a lover.

Edward would gladly forget it, and forget it all, if he could hold on to even one memory of Alphonse as his brother, or if he could continue to remember the smell and look of his long-dead mother. And yet, looking at the impassive and unreadable face of Scar, Edward felt certain pangs. His body promised to miss what his mind forgot, promised to long for these feelings even if he replaced them. Back home he could find a new lover, possibly even a better one — Edward's mind lingered for one guilty moment on who that could be, feeling somehow treacherous. Even supposing that next person was superior in all ways, however, he or she would still not be Edward's first. That was a truth that superceded memory.

The clothing that Scar wore for this final trip was the same as what he had worn the very first time Edward saw him; black and white, wool and cotton. The man didn't appear to be cold at all, but that was not so surprising for a former inhabitant of Ishibal, where the weather tended to run to great extremes. Feeling Edward's gaze on him Scar flickered his eyes to the side, but he did not turn nor did he open his mouth in any question. Words were idle, at this point, and the two men had exchanged more than their share of them in the weeks that had passed.

In the end, Scar had agreed to learn the alchemy for opening the gate to their world, just as Edward assumed that he would. The result of the man's prayers dovetailed with Edward's accurate ability to analyse him, and Scar ended up reading in translation what Edward had discovered in code, learning the array that he would need to write on the earth and learning to understand the complex process by which they, together, would savage death in order to reclaim their right to home. This was difficult for Edward to teach, and even more difficult for Scar to comprehend, but both of them were persistent and in the end it paid off.

Scar now knew as much of this world's alchemy as Edward himself did. Whatever it cost the man to learn these things, Edward had not dared to ask.

"I'm glad you're here," Edward said, feeling the words to be inadequate as he shuffled his feet, standing at the edge of the platform to look at the tracks interspersed with rocks and weeds.

The man didn't reply, but he did step take one half step backward and subtly slide into place behind Edward, standing over him like a guard in a way that allowed Edward to feel some of the warmth radiating from his tall form. Feeling rather then seeing the man looming over him, looking down on him from above and evaluating the smaller alchemist from a position of relative security and anonymity, it was hard not to feel strange. Scar must be thinking about him, thinking about what Edward meant to him, and knowing this was as uncomfortable as it would be to move out of the man's sheltering presence. After a minute Scar placed a hand on his shoulder.

Perhaps it was possible that Scar felt a little possessive over him, too. This was a speculation that would be delicious under other circumstances, but now it just made Edward feel sad.

"We'll be leaving soon," Edward continued, kicking idly at nothing. "No coming back, I guess."

"You're babbling," Scar chided quietly. "Hush." Edward felt a kind of numbness wash over his body as the man squeezed his shoulder, a total silencing of his nerves that was replaced in a moment with an almost unbearable flash of heat. It was not fair, not fair to want the man so much, especially when Scar hadn't so much as kissed his body in the past several weeks. Touch like this was torturing under such circumstances, but Edward endured it because he knew that if he wanted a reason for Scar's recent abstinence, he need look no further then himself.

A high-pitched whistling note screaming plaintively in the distance signaled the approach of their train, and upon that noise Scar stepped away from Edward, his motions smooth as he went to heft both of the main bags, leaving to Edward nothing to carry other then the tickets in his pocket. One of those bags was for him, so Edward reached forward to take it, but with a shrug and the shifting of his weight, Scar refused to allow him a chance to grab it. No touching, no holding, no carrying... it was altogether undignified, but not at all undeserved. Holding his head high, Edward pretended not to be concerned with the implied humiliation.

Once the train rumbled into view Edward looked around, but no one had added themselves to their small queue while Scar had moved in to briefly touch him. Sheltering his eyes as the single light of the engine illuminated the platform head-on as it bounded a turn, Edward wondered what it would be like to spend the next week with this man, all alone. Would his last days on earth, this earth, be filled only with the lonely quiet that marked this morning?

Boarding the train was a familiar routine, something that Edward had done so many times that his body functioned on autopilot. Since they'd be headed south and because it was morning, Edward headed for the seats on the right side of the train as he walked down the aisle towards the rear of the car. The sun would rise in the east; to avoid it, Edward would lead Scar to the seats on the west. Hefting the duffels one at a time, Scar placed them in the overhead compartments, and this time Edward didn't even try to help.

Most of the time, when Edward used to ride in trains with Alphonse they would sit facing each other. Partially this was because of how large Alphonse's armor-body was, but mostly this was because the two brothers liked to talk, and to do that they liked to look at each other. Edward was not sure what he'd expected from Scar in terms of seating; probably he hadn't really thought about it at all. Still, after Edward slid into the seat with the backwards-facing view, he was a little surprised when Scar slipped in next to him.

The fit was snug, but it worked. Edward felt the skin in his face tighten as he tried to hold back a blush; Scar was not dainty in the way he sat, preferring to sprawl with his knees bent out. It was a relaxed and completely male way to sit, and would have suggested nothing to Edward if the man had only been facing him instead of blundering with rough pressure against his body. To accommodate the man, Edward would have to sit small.

Unless... well, unless he didn't mind letting it look like something questionable.

There was no one else in the car. Dammit. Edward would take up as much space as his ticket allowed. With determined casualness, Edward parted his legs in a replica of Scar's pose. There was no way he'd let the man squeeze him against the boards, not without a determined struggle, and if the man thought he could size-out Edward into sitting like a girl, the man was sorely mistaken. With a satisfied sniff, Edward closed his eyes. Who cared if they looked like loons?

"You're very amusing," Scar said suddenly, pulling together his knees into a somewhat less aggressively territorial pose.

"No I'm not," Edward said, glaring at Scar for a moment and treating him to one of his most gruesomely childish poses before relaxing once he realized that it was supposed to be a compliment. "How so?"

"You take things so seriously," Scar commented, almost archly, and Edward was going to be really mad before he remembered that he'd once told Scar the very same thing.

It was, maybe, a way of the man for saying that they were not so different from each other.

"Yeah? Well..." Edward puffed out his cheeks, playing out his anger for a minute before exploding into a kind of relieved smile that broke into an anticipatory smirk. "You must be my best friend ever."

Surprisingly, Scar began to laugh, his laugh hearty and... free. And then they laughed together, laughing out loud and without any kind of rational restraint.

Really they were, both of them, totally like loons. It would have been fucking embarrassing except that there was no one around to see.

Perhaps the week wouldn't be so bad, after all. Even if it was filled with events that neither of them later would be able to remember... the suffering didn't need to begin now. Edward could almost cry, he was so relieved. Whatever sacrifices that Scar was preparing to make in terms of his own self-belief, he... that man, his lover... he'd live before he committed the sin in which he would allow himself to be damned. The laughter made both of them relax, and slowly, slowly Edward allowed himself to lean against the man, leaning and closing his eyes as the train shuddered to life.


The train ride was an all-day affair. The morning had begun chilled but clear, but as the day progressed a drizzle of rain and mists settled over the land. Bonn blended into Koblenz, which traced the Rhein closely from Mainz to Worms, crossing over the silver snaking river at Mannheim. Just past Mannheim the train grazed Heidelberg and Karlsrhue as it entered into the region of the black forest, Schwarzwald that bordered the northern marches of Switzerland. Passing Achern, the final stop for Scar and Edward was in a lonely town east of Strasbourg called Appenweier.

Hiring a room for the night was not difficult, but this time Edward did not make use of any Hohenheim contacts, instead relying on his own innate charm and the fact that his father had bequeathed him with a rather largish sum of money for this last jaunt. This was a burgh much smaller than the city of Köln, bright even in the grey wet with late sunflowers and marigolds, dahlias and gold-hearted daisies. The houses were white trimmed in dark timber, and the scent of roasted chestnuts and seared meats coming from the private hearths of the townspeople made Edward's mouth water.

This was the first time in a while that Edward had any occasion to sleep in a hotel; it didn't immediately occur to him that Scar had never been in such a place before, especially since he was taking the lead anyway in arranging for the night's lodging. But when a porter came out to take the bags from Scar to carry them up to the room, Edward saw a look of uncertainty on the man's face that made it all too clear. It was hard for him not to feel embarrassed as he tried to signal that this was customary and not an affront to his manliness. Looking over at Edward, Scar nodded as he read the boy's face, and let the porter take the heavy bags, but he scowled as the man (pudgy and unprime) struggled up the stairs with the burden that was clearly too much for him.

Unlike his room with Ilse, this was a proper hotel room, with a large bed made up in white sheets and substantial pine furniture. There was a desk in the corner, and even a leather couch by the window which looked out expansively over the rolling farmland outside of the city. The porter placed the duffels down at the end of the bed, and Edward tipped him absently, waiting for the man to leave before collapsing on his back on the bed, the universal gesture of exhaustion after a day's hard travel.

"Why is there just one bed... Edward?"

"It's cheaper." Turning his head wearily, Edward eyed Scar, who was darkening the room with his fierce and probing glare. "What's wrong?"

"How can you possibly think this is proper?"

Considering the uptight and difficult look on Scar's face, it was not hard for Edward to divine the problem. Still, he flushed a bit... he'd never actually slept with the man before. Sleeping the night through with a lover; wasn't that an intensification of intimacy? "It's common for men to share a bed in a hotel. The people here won't care, trust me."

"You're sure?" Scar's frown subsided a bit, but he did not look convinced. It would be difficult to intensify something that had been importantly staved. "It seems questionable to me."

"Hey, they let us do it, didn't they?" Edward shrugged, which was not easy to do when lying down and looking to the side. "If anyone cared they would have put us in separate beds." He took a breath. "Don't tell me that you have personal problems with this."

Scar answered him with silence. Considering that they hadn't had sex in weeks, this question was unnecessary, but Edward was hoping to maybe seduce the man into a slow slide back into interpersonal congress, by first sharing a bed and then innocently feeling him up. The idea of touching that body again was dangerously intoxicating. But Scar seemed to be having nothing of it... although the man seemed ready to relent, he did it with a poverty of grace, stalking over to the high-backed couch and making a show of sitting down. Scar did, however, kick off his shoes, turning his head to look out the window in the kind of brooding that could only be called purposeful.

For some time Edward was content just to look, taking in the clean lines of Scar's body and the deep lines of his scowl, as framed by the fading green of the dying light and filtered dully by the ongoing rain. The window behind Scar was open, and birds shrilled their high-pitched goodbyes to the unseen sun while the thick, rich smell of rain filled the room; it was the kind of rain that fell without any slant or wind but which still managed to deliver with it the coolness and freshness of a higher sky. There were candles in the room for light, none lit.

"That's not a good place for you to sleep," Edward said finally, not moving but feeling the need to speak as the late evening gloam seemed to collect in Scar's distant face.

"You tempt me," Scar said finally. "I do not think I can control myself if I lie so near to you."

Framing pleasure as a sin; of course it was Edward's fault that the man was talking like this, but he wanted his calculation of weeks past to hold little sway now that Scar was here with him, seemingly committed to going through with the plan. This was clearly wishful thinking. Edward didn't want his lover to control himself, but this was not the point... Edward knew that Scar did not think of sex as a sin, but indulging in it was inconsistent with penance, and so obviously the man intended to refrain now that his lapse had been laid bare. Scar needed to be convinced that having sex now would make the sacrifice of his memories later a deeper sort of penance.

How to do this, though, Edward had no idea. "I want to touch your body," Edward said after some reflection, his tone half-confession and half-reproach. And then, "I'm cold."

"Do you want me to close the window for you?" Scar's tone was conversational, almost completely ignoring the plea in Edward's words, but even in the gathering night it was clear that the man was looking right at him, looking without blinking. That was some seriously repressed desire that the Ishibalan was telegraphing, and Edward felt his body shiver, an ache of coldness and want that started at his automail junctions and delved deep into the center of his chest. Night was coming, and coming quickly.

"No." Reluctantly, Edward got up, and with meticulous deliberation he took off his shoes and socks, and then tugged the gloves off his hands. The gloves were set down on the nightstand, the shoes placed neatly near the head of the bed. Edward stood up, stepping behind Scar to click the window shut and then turning to look down at the top of the man's head. The white hair was still easy to see. Edward reached down to stroke the short-cropped hair slowly, brushing it first forward and then back, noting that Scar said nothing as he touched him from behind.

"I like to touch you," Edward said, his tone a lot calmer than he felt. Scar continued to look forward, not arching his head up or back, not bending into the fingers exploring his surprisingly soft hair. The man had baser instincts; surely he was being forced to confront them now. Edward admired his lover's restraint, and continued to touch, at first restricting the range to the scalp but slowly branching out, invading the skin of Scar's face and finding the man's cheeks and lips. He closed his eyes, outlining the shape while remembering how those lips felt on other parts of his body.

"I don't understand," Scar whispered. "You shouldn't want me... so much."

Pressing the dent on top of Scar's upper lip, Edward didn't answer. There was no answer. Perhaps it was true that Edward should not want him to the point of pressing his chances like this. But 'should' was not a word of reality, only one of morals. And Edward had left that kind of narrow thinking behind a long time ago.

His lover's breath as he exhaled from his nostrils was warm and moist, and the lips that did not move as Edward touched them were tender and straight. Using his thumb, Edward felt at the edges of Scar's left eye, and finding it closed he splayed the man's lashes by putting some gentle pressure on the lid. It was obvious that Scar wanted him too. Knowing this for sure would make the rest of this rather easy.

So what if Scar would not come to bed with him? All that meant was that Edward would have to initiate sex with him here.

Keeping his fingers on Scar's face, Edward moved around to the front of the chair, and in one smooth motion he lowered himself into his lover's lap, knees bent hard into the cracked leather as he kept his bottom situated somewhat back from the man's groin. All of his weight, scant though it may be, fell onto Scar's thighs. Saying nothing, Edward stripped off his shirt and then leaned forward, putting his left hand on Scar's chest while using his automail arm to curve around Scar's body and pull him closer by applying pressure to the small of his back.

In all of their lovemaking, it was not common for them to sit face to face like this, and Edward found that he could not meet Scar's eyes, looking down as he made a show of touching the man's clothes, the touch only lightly transmitting through to his chest. Scar did not seem to be looking at him either; the man's chin was tilted up and away, and if this exposed quite a bit of neck it certainly took the man's lips rather far away from him.

They had never kissed. Not mouth on mouth.

With a rush of newly-stamped desire, Edward decided he wanted to change that. "Kiss me," he whispered.

Slowly, slowly, Scar's arms circled around his body, and Edward closed his eyes. Edward felt Scar's mouth find his chin, dropping light kisses as he moved hesitantly up to his lips, where he stopped and simply pressed his closed mouth against Edward's suddenly tightly clamped lips.

Somehow this didn't feel like manipulation. It was too scary for that. Together he and Scar had done so much but they'd bypassed this kind of kissing, and even though Edward could think of no reason for that now, suddenly it felt like such a huge step to take. But Scar didn't pull back and slowly Edward relaxed, and when he relaxed Scar did too, and before he knew it his lips parted, and Scar's tongue slipped into his mouth.

The taste was so different than what he expected; Edward had never kissed anyone like this before, and as a rule he could not taste the inside of his own mouth, just sometimes the residue of food left behind. It was sweet and nice but also strangely bland. Scar's tongue, so hot on other parts of his body, did not feel so warm now; this was probably because its temperature closely matched the heat inside Edward's own body. But if it was strange, to have the man inside of him at the same time that he used his own tongue to explore inside Scar's mouth, it was also wonderful. Devouring, consuming; he wanted to take in everything, and be completely subsumed.

Edward began to grind his cock hard against Scar's groin, and the man was hard as he returned the desperation, clutching at Edward and half-lifting him as he made Edward's body and spine stretch, tilting his own head back even as they kissed just so that more of the boy's body could come into contact with his own. Scar's fingers in his back hurt, and Edward clutched his automail hand in response, pinching hard the smooth flesh under Scar's shirt. They were hurting each other; they were kissing each other.

It would be ideal if they were both naked but Edward didn't want this feeling to stop. For as long as it was possible to tolerate, Edward and Scar kissed without break, finding novelty in the experience even as the newness faded, an echo of wrongness that somehow sustained lust. This was a man, after all, whom he'd tried to kill in another world. Significantly, this was also a man who had set out to kill him. Both of them were now stripped of their previous killing power, but not the kind of lusts that drove it... or them. Edward, who was always so desperate to be alive... and his lover, who had been whipped into vengeance by death. The only way they could truly meet together was in loss. And through this.

Hard to say the moment that Scar began to strip Edward further, taking down his pants and underclothes and revealing the naked cock underneath. The room no longer felt cold, and it did not matter that it was becoming very dark. His pants pooled inelegantly at his mid thighs. Scar still was wearing everything, and now that Edward was almost completely naked he felt this lack of clothing as a power differential in Scar's favour, but it didn't matter, it so gloriously did not matter. Edward reached down and touched his own cock with his automail arm, and for once the coolness of the mechanism didn't repel him.

The kisses now were punctuated by pauses, but whenever they resumed they felt more greedy than ever. Scraps of whispers from Scar, foreign words of Ishibal, accompanied the pauses from time to time. Edward knew the man well enough by now to know that he was not uttering words of benediction, or even words of love, but simply the basic unimportant things that anyone would say during lovemaking, such as 'more,' or 'please.' The fact that Scar retreated to his native tongue at times like this indicated acceptance and a lack of artifice; the change in pitch of Scar's voice intensified the depth and clearness of Edward's receipted desire.

Edward repeated some of the words, not knowing what they meant exactly because the man did not usually care to translate during sex. But when he murmured them, tongue tripping over the foreign cadences as well as the sounds his mouth just did not know how to make, Scar kissed him harder.

Holding his own penis carefully with his false fingers, Edward used his hand as a kind of cage to keep it from bending against Scar's body, forcing himself back and putting a barrier in his lover's way. The automail was strong, and made him stronger than he would otherwise be; Edward pressed the inside of his steel left thigh hard against Scar's hip, grunting in pleasure as Scar offered up a willing moan. After a moment Edward let go of his cock, and he cupped his right hand against Scar's groin.

"Take me to bed," Edward whispered.

Edward barely needed to wrap his arms around the man as he was lifted, but he wasn't really able to get his legs around Scar's body because of the way his legs were still bound above the knees. Damn clothes. Before he could complain, however, Scar slung one arm under both legs and scooped the boy up into a sideways embrace. A little light was left in the room, but not enough for clarity; it was the greywashed darkness of an overcast sky just past dusk. Step by step Scar approached the bed, moving carefully so as not to trip, and Edward could not see his face.

Edward was placed somewhere left of center in the rather expansive bed, and the man crawled in after him, staying to one side so that he could help Edward finish finding complete nakedness by pulling off the mess of trousers and flinging it off somewhere in the corner. The man's hand was rough and calloused against Edward's skin, reflecting all the manual labor he did in the monastery. Lying side to side, Scar touched first Edward's flank and then his chest, and then cupped his chin to lean in and claim yet another kiss.

Why hadn't they done this before? Was it because they were both men? Scar's tongue filled his mouth but was a lot softer and less predictable than his cock. How the man managed to keep his kisses dry, with minimal saliva, was a mystery. But it was also quite nice. If this was what a diet restricted to berries and greens and a variety of grains did, Edward was all for it.

"You want me," Scar said, stumbling a bit over the words as if either astonished at their truth, or in a clumsy parody of Edward's preferred flirting style. But despite the hitch his words had conviction, a kind of reverent conviction.

"Yes," Edward affirmed, reaching up with his automail hand to touch the man's face, before allowing his metal fingers to stray elsewhere. "I do."

"I will do my best to please you, then," Scar said softly, kissing the outside of Edward's lips.

"You think?" Edward replied, hand migrating from chest to muscled stomach and then down below the flat bones of the pelvis, feeling the man's hard penis and groping for his balls through his clothes. "Don't pretend that I don't see through your not-so-clever plan." Rejecting Scar's kiss in a business-like flurry of motion, Edward sat up and started to undo the buckle of the man's belt. "I'm going first."

Angst! Edward wished he could see whatever consternation was in Scar's face, because it would surely be worth witnessing. The heavy silence that fell was quite telling, however. This far aroused, Edward was shedding guilt like scales, and the idea that he might be making Scar uncomfortable did not currently have the power to annoy him. In fact, that added to the spice. Unbuttoning Scar's trousers and reaching in to free his cock, Edward dug in with his fingers, small on Scar's body.

"I wonder how big you'd be if I measured right now," Edward said conversationally, figuring that if he was going to incinerate Scar with shame he'd might as well drop some real A-bombs. It was so nice to stroke the man's erection lightly, making it twitch. "Because, mmm... I do want you. A lot." As if to confirm this for himself, Edward's own cock ached. "Too bad you can't fuck me like you did that one time, don't you think?"

"You're treading a fine line, Edward... Elric," the man managed to blurt out, and Edward smiled secretly as Scar struggled to sit up, leaning on his arms but still leaning back, allowing Edward to find a place to sit between his legs.

"Perhaps," Edward mused, kneeling in turn so that he could bring his penis in contact with Scar's own. "This would be a lot easier with your pants off, though." He leaned forward to unbutton Scar's shirt, and licked the pectoral muscles where they dipped to the sternum. If the gesture was at all suggestive of using his mouth in a more naughty way, that had to be simply because his lover had a dirty mind.

"I will hold you down if you try it," Scar promised, tone falsely dire, allowing the meaning of the word 'it' to be inferred from his strangled tone. He spoke very slowly. "So why not just let me..." The man's voice trailed off, clearly unable to describe in detail exactly what he wanted to do.

Edward had no similar qualms. "Suck my cock until I come?" There was some nipple licking. He could barely see the outline of the man's head when he finally looked up. Scar nodded mutely. "Ah. But even though I want you, you want me more. Admit it."

At this, Scar groaned quietly, not disagreeing. "Does your brother know you are so brazen?"

Interesting tactic, the WWAD approach. "What? Fuck no. I've never slept with him." Not that he hadn't... well, never mind. Scar didn't need to know those kind of details. "I dare you to ask him, when we get home."

Touching Scar's chest and then groin, thighs and then flank, moving his hands quickly and avoiding the penis for a little bit, Edward leaned in and upwards, taking the man in with a deep tongue kiss. Scar must have been rendered temporarily helpless by his wit, because he yielded without taking advantage and using his own tongue. Edward decided to pull back after a few moments, but before he could Scar wrapped his arms around Edward and forced him to stay for the entire duration of the kiss, stay on his own terms, stay until Scar was satisfied that his own tongue had enough work. It was a long time before the man pulled back.

Initiative... mmm. Words of Ishibal were flung at him, a string of passionate nonsense pitched low and deep. When Scar rolled him over onto his back and then stood up, getting up off the bed and flinging away the remainder of his clothes with almost scornful intensity, Edward knew that he had him.

Guilt-ridden Scar was not nearly so sexy as Scar the sinner, God's executioner, and it was the latter who was stripping now. Edward wasn't precisely sure how it worked, but maybe there was some sort of disconnect within the Ishibal religion that allowed penance to be accrued like debt, and thus to be deferred when it was inconvenient to pay. It was possible, however, that the man just didn't think that it was at all likely that he could ever be forgiven by his god, and had basically given up.

Whatever. Scar needed to go home, and die where his brother had died, and live where his brother had lived. And right now, lying back and trying his damnedest not to stroke himself into a quick and dirty orgasm, Edward really didn't much care where Scar's guilt lay. He just wanted to touch Scar's naked body, and put his mouth on the man's cock, and have that quantifiably large cock in his ass. That wasn't so hard, was it?

"Fuck me," Edward whispered. He wanted that pain again. He wasn't sure why, but he wanted it. Badly.

"I'm not," Scar said with a measure of contempt, coming in to lie next to Edward's body after every scrap of clothing had been discarded. "I won't." In a flash, an unexpected sweeping motion, Scar soon had both of Edward's hands clamped together firmly at the wrists, holding them together with his one of his own in a vice grip above Edward's head. "You are far too confident, Edward." Using his pelvis and just one of his legs, Scar immobilized Edward's lower body and leaned in to kiss the boy on the lips. "Don't think that I don't see through your far-too-clever words."

"We appear to be at an impasse, then," Edward whispered. "If you hold me, you can't go down on me. And if you let go... well, I'm going to get you to come so fast that you won't know what happened."

"If I have to, I will tie you," Scar threatened. "And then you will be forced to endure my mouth on your body, wherever I choose to use it."

"Would you seriously?"

"You seem to deserve it," Scar replied, half caustically, before going in for another kiss. Edward didn't dare to bite the man, and thus went his last bit of autonomy. It was too sexy for words; Edward squirmed as much as he could.

"Oh come on," Edward said, but his voice was half-hearted as he tried to rally a protest. "I'll be good." He wouldn't, really. This sub-res meaning was probably made pretty clear by the insincerity of his tone.

"When we're both naked? What kind of fool do you take me for?"

"One who wants it."

"I want it," Scar affirmed, bending to lick under Edward chin and along his neck. "But that is beside the point. Either we do this my way, or not at all."

"I guess you'll just have to tie me, then," Edward replied, licking his lips a little as he considered it. "But it had better the fuck not hurt my automail."

"Come with me," Scar said, putting his arms around Edward's body and sliding him toward the edge of the bed, forcing him to sit and then stand up, walking with Scar's arms wrapped firmly around him over to one of the large duffels. Scar forced him to kneel against the wall, and then switched to holding Edward's wrists in place, one-handed, behind his back while he used his free hand to both unzip and dig through the bag.

Scar had been the one who packed; he knew where everything was; the man had a system. In seconds a rope was pulled out. Edward knew it because he felt the man using the rope to tie his hands together securely above his head.

As expected, the knots were secure but not painful. "How's that?" Scar said as he tested the knots. "You're going to sleep with those all night, you know."

Damn. "Could be worse," Edward hazarded. "This is really... mmm, kinky." Edward gasped as Scar's hand moved down his side to touch his buttocks. "For your information."

"I don't know what that word means," Scar said, but his tone was so dry it was not at all clear that he was telling the truth.

"It means..."

"I think I'll have to tie you to the bed," Scar said, interrupting him. "Just to be safe."

Before he knew it Scar was marching him back into bed, lying him down, and then attaching the rope to one of the bars in the headboard, thoughtfully giving him a foot or two of purchase.

It was weird to think that he'd allowed himself to be trapped like this, but there was no other way to explain how Edward found himself staring up into the pitch black, forced to twiddle his thumbs and ache and ache until finally Scar resumed kissing, taking his old leisurely time about it as he began up at the top and took the local, with many stops, on his meandering way down Edward's compact body.

"Explain to me," Scar said quietly in between a kiss to navel and one to the skin just over his bladder. "...What it is you get out of this."

That was so unfair; it tickled. "It should be obvious," Edward spat, not really up to talking right now.

"I want to know," Scar said, his tone simultaneously slightly sadistic and quite a bit masochistic; a nice trick. "Tell me."

"Specify, then," Edward demanded, wanting to buy some time from having to talk, or think, while Scar was circling the area of his groin. Current kiss locations included his right inner thigh and the tender strip of flesh where thigh met scrotum. "Get out of what?"

"Touching me. Having me touch you. Everything."

"I like you," Edward said, tone confessional. "That's all."

"That's all?" Scar lifted Edward's hard cock, pressed it against his belly, and began licking it. Edward wished he could see. "That's certainly enough. But.." Edward pulled against the rope and tried to move his legs, but Scar was holding those down now with his arms. "Why?"

Ah, the perennial 'why me?' Asked by all men, including far lesser men than Scar, and about all sorts of different things. Edward knew that there was a problem with being too specific with his reply, mainly in that the question itself was too meta for there to be any answer that justly dealt with the underlying self-doubt. Beside, at this point Edward was far too horny to really want to get into it. "You... come... highly recommended."

Yes. Even Alphonse would approve of that answer. Scar seemed to approve, too, because there were no more questions, just the inexorable slide into sucking, using the technique he'd perfected over many previous encore performances. Being tied up and unable to respond other then with small noises, however, was maddening.

Coming was inevitable, and because of all the foreplay it happened rather quickly. Edward, once he felt it coming on, strained to try hold it back for just a few more strokes inside Scar's mouth. This was futile. Per his usual habits, Scar swallowed, taking in everything as Edward spilled into him. Edward gasped, making animal noises. Keep it in... he wanted to keep it...

Bottoming out was always hard after sex, particularly after good sex, but the sense of irreparable loss was momentary and soon replaced by drifting bliss. Being tied up meant that Edward had no responsibilities to even try to coerce Scar into orgasm now... if the man wanted it, it would be pretty damn easy with Edward trussed up for him like a fucktoy. So, Edward would let Scar worry about his own cock, and he would concentrate just on breathing and feeling heady and on top of the world.

Tugging the sheets and blankets back from beneath Edward's body, Scar covered him up after a moment and then slipped in next to him, naked and hard and holding him so, so tightly.

Night came in full, and many minutes passed, minutes dragging into what felt like hours.

It was a long time before Scar's erection finally subsided on its own, longer still before Edward felt the grip around his body relax and his lover fall quiet into sleep. It was somewhat harder for him, because with his arms held high and his body wrapped in another man's arms, full relaxation was a lot more elusive.

Damn the man for being so uselessly, pointlessly, hypocritically noble.