Waiting was always the trick, that ticking of time that seemed to elongate each second, how it twisted each breath that would seep from frantic lungs. Waiting was a sport for those with patience, was something that normal people could accomplish with ease, and he never claimed to be normal. Or part of the definition of "people". Nerves did a dance in his stomach, that little jitterbug twist through his blood, and he found his hand hesitating as it crept to the doorbell.
What if he wasn't in? What if he was gone, or had people over, a whole houseful that would sit and laugh? What if he was sleeping, and therefore, grouchy when he awoke and stumbled to the door? Would his hair be down, or braided still? Would that little blonde spike still defy all laws of gravity, or would it be frizzled and crimped from being pressed into the pillow?
God, he was so fucking cute.
He drew in a breath, nodded, and shifted from delicate foot to delicate foot. Okay. Okay. Calm down. Nothing to be afraid of. The kid was a nothing little bean, after all; what's the worst that could happen?
He could say 'no'.
Well, there was that. Another cough was expelled from tight little lungs, but he raised his heavy hand, lifted it, and rapped the knuckles against the door. One. Two. Three. A short little succession, a march of a handful of steps.
Now, more minutes to blow, and he was almost, almost ready to turn away (after several more knocking episodes and a few pebbles thrown at the window) before a very disheveled, very tired Edward stood on the doorstep before him. He was perfectly caught in a yawn that in no way seemed human (although someone who saw him eat might not be as surprised when they saw the actual circumference of his mouth), and a few pillow lines darted across one cheek.
Are those little flamels on his pajamas? Where the hell does he shop, Alchemist Cliches 'R Us? And... hey, the spike is crimped. Right there. In the middle. It looks... like a fucking boomerang.
"What d'you want?" Edward slurred, leaning against the doorframe heavily. Moonlight danced like dangerous fingertips over the curve of the automail, sliding over it sweetly, an intimacy born of poetic license and wanton imagination.
There was a clearing of a tense, clamping throat, and he looked up along the dark lengths of his eyelashes to peer at the sleepy creature in the doorway. "We've been dating for a long time," he started.
Edward Elric snorted and yawned, playing havoc on the mood.
"What I'm saying is..." The flicker of a metal finger twirling interrupted him, and he growled a little before he felt the blush seeping into his cheeks crimson enough to rival the explosions he heard about during that Great War. He dropped down to one knee, a velvet ring box produced, held high over the dark head as he bowed it, humble, eagerly.
"Ed, will you marry me?"
There was a moment of silence, before another yawn cut through the midnight hour. Arms entwined around his neck, the small nose nuzzling against his cheek, and he could taste the blonde hair, could feel the small body against him as Edward snuggled warmly, gently, lazily. "Mmm," was his cordial response, and he knew, knew it was a 'yes'. "I want two-point-five kids and a house with a white picket fence."
He laughed, stroking his beloved's back with the hand not holding the box, feeling the ripples in the nightshirt, feeling the tension sliding out of those muscles. There was the metal from where one arm began, and that was a scar from where he got into a fight with The Slicer some time ago; Ed's body was a map with historical terrain. "I'm going to make you so happy. I promise. I swear to you. I love you.
"I love you, too, Envy."
It had been a stupid endeavor, this little experiment to understand the allure that people had to something as frivolous as sleep; he almost forgot why he had tried it until he remembered the curiosity after listening two women talking about some happy, joyous dreams they had the night before. He had wanted to see, to understand, to know what was so great about such a ridiculous thing as having your eyes shut for eight hours.
No one had ever said anything about nightmares, frightening terrible nightmares that felt far too real and made him shudder in the sheer fear of it all! Especially nightmares that involved that short little shit!
Hell, he felt dirty now, disgusting, all shades of off. When the sun came up, he was going out on the town and kicking some puppies.