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Aegria Somnia


There were some things, Roy knew, that were universal. Mail always came on Tuesdays (and often to the wrong address), the First Lieutenant never seemed to run out of ammunition (though she surely had to have, for all she shot off her gun), and he was forever doomed, it seemed, to be hopelessly, fatally attracted to one of the Elric brothers (and that thought itself was just plain morbidly depressing).

Dismally, he bounced a pen back and forth between his hands and pondered the issues of similarity, eccentricity; hell, legality, even—there some crimes that (weren't worth committing) only worth committing when the spoils didn't necessarily mean jail time for the victor... He sighed, and rolled his head back towards the ceiling. It'd been easier with Edward.

Well, it was only natural that it had been easier with Edward, because of course no one in their right mind would believe the preposterous notion that a spunky kid like Fullmetal could find any interest in a man who annoyed him as much as Roy did, and so their little "affaire de coeur" had been kept safely under lock and key. With Alphonse, it was a bit trickier, and not just for the obvious reasons.

For all anyone knew, he spent his time indulging the cheerful blonde with a broad variety of cute kittens (four of the damned things, and they ate and shredded everything) and alchemical chronicles simply because it was something he'd never been able to do for Edward, who would have scoffed and asked him loftily just what it was he was trying to pull, but the truth was, he felt rather like those perverts he had seen in the newspapers, offering taffy in one hand and tears in the other.

Roy imagined it was a bit of both, really. It was true that he occassionally spoiled Alphonse because it was something the boy's brother would have never allowed of him, ever, but at the same time... He closed his eye, felt the grip of the pen cool and smooth in his one hand, and imagined a warm wet mouth sucking taffy off of the fingers of the other.

When the door opened, he dropped the pen, where it stuck straight up in the carpet, and nearly fell out of his chair. He imagined he was a sight to behold, all gaping mouth and hunched back, but thankfully, the boy in the doorway didn't seem to care.

"Quitting time, Colonel," Alphonse announced good-naturedly.


On the way home—for they lived together, now; what use was there in pretending they disliked each other's company?—Roy stopped at the five and dime store to buy a belled collar for one of Alphonse's cats. No longer a kitten, because it had been around for nearly a year, and it had gotten terribly fat during the everyday course of things, namely because the boy was guilty of overfeeding it every time it mewled. No, it was a hulking beast of an animal, one that jumped on the stove and licked out of the pots and dragged half-eaten voles across the brand new carpet, but naturally, Roy was utterly powerless to suggest that they even try letting it say, live outside. He wanted a dog, but while the younger alchemist certainly wasn't adverse to dogs, he had fidgeted and sighed and made terribly pathetic faces over how the cats (then kittens, at the time) would react to another animal, and so the dark-haired man had shrugged, smiled painfully through gritted teeth, and crossed out another thing on the List of Things He Really Wanted To Get Upon Promotion.

He remembered how Hawkeye had tutted at him and shook her head helplessly as he cleared out the storage room in his apartment to make room for a guest room, sleeves rolled up and dust in his hair, but at the same time, he had noted how the woman had smiled through her stern face, and offered to give him the spare bureau from her own dorm room, chuckling slightly. He supposed that the First Lieutenant actually thought it was charming that he had absolutely refused to let Alphonse stay in the dorms all alone (with Fullmetal it had been one thing, because the brat could have clearly taken care of himself, and he hadn't been all alone, as his brother was now), but he found that there was a certain degree of selfishness in his actions, too.

"I reorganized your bookshelf again," the honey-haired youth said, almost as if on cue, when Roy returned to the car. "I hope you don't mind, but it sort of annoys me to see everything placed all out of order." He at least had the grace to look a bit ashamed about it, twisting his hands in his lap a little bit and furrowing his brow slightly, but the Major-General waved it off dismissively with one hand.

"I should probably be thanking you, actually," he admitted, and though the words were jocular, his face was solemn and bland as they started down the road again. "I don't think anything would get cleaned up if I was left to my own devices." He averted his eye from the road for a second to smile a bit sheepishly at the boy, which probably wasn't the smartest of ideas. It had taken him an entire month to convince Havoc that he could see perfectly fine out of his one eye, thanks, and that he didn't need to be ferried around like an invalid; to wreck the car now would mean that he'd never be free of the man for the rest of his life.

"Sometimes I think you took me in just so I'd pick up after you," Alphonse laughed, digging around in the bag that contained the cat collar.

Quickly, damn near worriedly, Roy asked: "Do you mind? The housework, that is. It was something you started to do on your own, and if it's a bother—"

"What?" For a moment, those fantastically bronze eyes were locked on him, and it was somehow terrifying. "No, I don't mind. You gave me a place to stay, so I should do my share, you know?"

Eyes on the road, you idiot. Trying to kill the both of you, or something? "Oh, please don't think that way," he insisted, shaking his head. "I rather enjoy your company, Alphonse, and it's my pleasure to have you stay with me. If you'd prefer not to do the cooking or the cleaning, just let me know, and I'll hire some help."

The truth was, it wasn't really his pleasure to have the boy stay with him, but he kicked that thought away and fought the urge to chew impatiently on one of his knuckles; goddammit, he was never satisfied with anything, whether it be one thing or the other.

"Ah, I don't mind," Alphonse shrugged, pulling the tie out of his hair and scratching the back of his head idly. "I think I'm too much of a neat freak, you know? If I see something that's a mess, I just...have to clean it up, and I guess that's off-putting to some people. Lieutenant Havoc told me he likes his organized messes, so I think he was a little upset at me the other day when I tried to put some loose papers on his desk back in the filing cabinent."

"The filing cabinent?" Roy frowned, seemed to recall Fury, Havoc, and Breda all huddling around the filing cabinent like it was a thing to be guarded; he remembered Fury's red face, and Breda's leer, and barked out a sudden laugh, startling both himself and his companion. "Oh! Oh, that filing cabinent." He smirked, thoroughly amused. "I wouldn't take it personally, Alphonse. The Second Lieutenant is fond of his privacy, that's all."

He made a mental note to request access to that particular filing cabinent from the Second Lieutenant personally, though he didn't say so aloud.

"Fond of his privacy...?" Alphonse repeated, then looked slightly perplexed. "Then you're not, Colonel...?"

Roy shrugged, without moving his hands or his eyes, and attempted to change the subject. "I don't suppose it'll do me any more good this time to remind you that it's 'Major-General' than it did the past hundred times, eh?" he chastized lightly, but his heart wasn't in it. They had the same conversation nearly every week, and the boy's answer was always, achingly, the same as ever.

"And I have to keep reminding you that you'll always feel like 'the Colonel' to me," the younger alchemist reprimanded him, tossing his hair behind his shoulders in a gesture that was somehow more fitting of his elder brother. "I don't know why, I don't even remember knowing you as a colonel, though Lieutenant Hawkeye says that you were one. I guess it's just a repressed memory, or something." A careless shrug. "I've told you all this before; does it really bother you that much, that I call you by a lower rank than what you actually are?"

"Well..." Roy willed his brain to think of an excuse, and think of one fast. "Well, when you get older, you have a hard time remembering things, see?" His smile, even to him, was strained. "So when you call me by that title, sometimes it doesn't always register that you're speaking to me, and not to someone else."

"Mmmmm." Alphonse eyed him suspiciously but seemed willing to drop it, which was something Roy was eternally grateful for. The boy could be scarily persistent when he wanted to be, but if the matter wasn't a terribly important one, he would always forget it without question, and it was a passively perfect personality trait to have.

It's not even that Edward used to call me 'Colonel' all the time, because though it was always somehow more of an inside joke between us than my actual rank, it was because Alphonse would call me 'Colonel', too, and it's hard for me to think of him then and to think of him the same way now. If he weren't the same person...if he were someone entirely different than the younger part of the 'brothers Elric', then...who knows? I might have even been able to forgive myself for thinking the way I do about him.

He had to force himself to remember that he hadn't even known what Alphonse had been like in the flesh, but he was fairly certain that he hadn't been a polished and polite doppelganger of his older brother. He just plain didn't know what the hell was wrong with him, whether he was sick or twisted or just plain lonely, but he did know that the way he hid ulterior motives in everything was downright despicable.

For example.

"Hey, is this for Marshmallow?" Alphonse asked him eagerly, holding up the silver studded collar that Roy had bought at the pet store, the large bell attached to it jingling softly. "It's a little big, don't you think?"

Ironically, the cat's name was 'Marshmallow', and it was ironic because the damn thing was starting to resemble a marshmallow, all doughy and white and roly-poly, from the way Alphonse spoiled it to death with table scraps. It was the first kitten he had ever gotten for the boy, a tiny bundle of white fluff that had mewed at him so piteously from its spot in the gutter that he had wrapped it up in his coat and brought it home (sort of like Alphonse himself, who had bumped into him, dirty and wet and lost on his way to headquarters, and Roy had offered him his greatcoat and a ride in the car), and he hadn't planned on keeping it at all.

Clearly, his powers of resistance were rock-solid when he was faced with either one of the Elric brothers. And by rock-solid, he meant, "crumbling bit by bit into the sea", sadly. But the boy's weakness to fat felines was something he could probably turn to his advantage, that is, if he wasn't too much of a coward to seize the opportunity as it arose.

"It's adjustable," he said aloud idly, in reference to the collar, which was still jingling almost impatiently in the boy's hands, and put the car in park—they were finally home. "I think...it was originally a collar meant for small dogs." He grimaced. "We feed the animals too much, I'm afraid to say."

After Marshmallow had come Cinnamon, a scrawny, foul-tempered ginger cat that absolutely loathed Roy but positively adored Alphonse; ate bits of food from the boy's fingers while it would take a swipe at the older man's legs every time he walked by. Alphonse had been the one who had to put the collar on Cinnamon, because when Roy had tried, he had nearly lost his other goddamned eye.

"I know, I know," Alphonse sighed, tossing his hands up in a helpless gesture that, for some unexplainable reason, made Roy smile fondly. "I can't help it, though—they've got such a good home now, so shouldn't we spoil them a little bit?"

For a moment, it seemed like Roy's smile froze on his face. There is no way in hell...

After Cinnamon had come Sai-Ming, a hoity-toity sort of slender cat with startling blue eyes and chocolate point features who turned up her nose at the generic brands of cat food and who slept on the furniture, instead of the bed they had laid out for her. She had the loudest, most obnoxious meow of all, and often tripped the pair of roommates up by weaving back and forth between their legs persistently, especially when they were trying to go back or forth through a doorway.

Sadly, Sai-Ming was the only female Roy had had in the house since Alphonse had moved in a little over a year ago, and while he knew that nobody was forcing him to remain a chaste man, at the same time, he would stroll through the park with his date for the evening and think painfully of a lone golden statue swathed in red, sitting alone at a table and hanging it's head lowly over the remnants of a leftover dinner, and he would always make up some excuse and then dash off for home.

(Objectively, he knew that Alphonse probably did none of those things, because after all, he had the cats to keep him company while Roy was away—the cats, the fucking cats—but he was protective of the slender blonde in a more extreme way than he had ever been of Fullmetal. Appearance, and all that.)

"If you spoil them, they'll get fat," the Major-General said at last, sighing mockingly. "And they're not healthy if they're fat, you see? It's for their own good."

"Hmph." The blonde snorted, but in good humor. "You know, this is why they like me so much more than they like you..."

For a moment, Roy felt like he could breathe again. "I'm insulted, Alphonse," he huffed, but with a smile to take the sting off the words. "I'm nothing but a perfect gentleman, you know, so when you say those terribly untrue and hurtful things about me..."

"I'll make it up to you later, I promise, how's that?" the boy offered, and though Roy knew he shouldn't have, he stiffened where he sat and felt his throat shut down once again.

After Sai-Ming had come Magpie, named as such because the damned thing would not shut up, no matter how many treats it was fed or how many times it was scratched behind the ears. It was a beautifully sleek and shiny cat that kept itself perfectly soft and groomed, and had amber eyes that were akin to those of a panther, or...understandably, an Elric.

He couldn't breathe, but Roy was getting rather skilled at smiling through those gritted teeth of his. "I look forward to it," he said.


The cats swarmed around their legs while they ate like some terrible vultures of fur, purring and meowing loudly, and just all-around being pains in the ass. Surreptitiously, Roy kicked out with one of his legs, and was rewarded with a hiss and the feel of sharp claws scratching down his calf—Cinnamon, no doubt—and he swore.

From across the table, Alphonse looked up. "Are you antagonizing them again, Colonel? They'd be nice to you if you'd only—"

"Forget it," the older man shrugged off brusquely, standing from the table with his plate in hand. "I'm done, anyway."

Alphonse leaned back in his chair and eyed him shrewdly, arms crossed and looking rather strangely like his missing elder brother. "Something's bothering you, sir," he said clearly, eyes all dry determination, sparkling with a perception envious of topaz, "and therefore, it bothers me, quite a bit." A pause, and a fascinating roll of his lower lip under his upper teeth that held the Major-General's almost panicked gaze. "I...don't want to try to presume to know everything about you, because I've only really known you for about a year, though I guess I met you a long time ago. Agh, I'm not making any sense," the boy sighed in annoyance, running a hand through his bands distractedly. "Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, if...if..."—and here he really seemed to falter—"...if there's...anything I can...do..."

For a moment, Roy eyed him in utter perplexion—he couldn't possibly mean...—but then Alphonse stood abruptly, as well, scaring off the rest of the cats into the living room, and went over to the sink to start cleaning up the dishes. When the older man approached him cautiously to hand him his own plate, the boy took it without another word, and put his back to him pointedly. Knowing a dismissal when he saw one, Roy sighed—damned near in relief, too—and walked away.

He was half-blind, so it was easy for him to ignore the flash of color that had spread high across those narrow cheekbones when he had approached the younger alchemist, and the way Alphonse had jumped when Roy's fingers had accidentally brushed his.


Feeling some part of him starting to slowly go insane, Roy cracked open the liquor cabinent that evening and was prepared to get wonderfully and solidly drunk when there came a crash from the kitchen. Fearing some accident of untold proportions, he dashed from the shadows and out into the light to see Marshmallow—damnable thing that it was—alighting atop the kitchen table, having knocked over a plate off of the top of the stack during his leap through the air.

"Ignorant thing!" he cursed, and took a swipe at it, where it proceeded to growl at him and dart off into the foyer, green eyes glowing nearly eerily. He hadn't put the new collar on it yet, so he hadn't known that it was sneaking into the kitchen, otherwise he would have chased it out before it could have broken one of his—expensive, dammit!—china plates.

Roy tiptoed around the shards of china on the floor and was pondering the best way to clean it up when there was the sudden pounding of feet on the floor, and Alphonse bumped unexpectedly into his back.

"Ow," he breathed, surprised for a moment as well, then craned his head upward over Roy's shoulder to survey the mess. "Oh—sorry!" A cringe. "Was it Marshmallow again...?"

His response was a flat look, and he swallowed visibly. "Um, sir, why don't you take a seat in your chair with the paper, okay? I'll...I'll clean up in here, it's no problem, not at all." The boy seemed anxious for the entire thing to blow over, and though Roy swore that he would one day relieve that absurdly fat cat of all of the guts in it's body, he found that he lacked the ferocity necessary to stay angry at Alphonse, either, so he let out a sort of growling sigh and stomped out into the living room to sulk.

Amusingly, he was the one more prone to sulking and petulant anger than Alphonse was, despite their very large gap in age, which was yet another way the boy really differed from his brother. Roy didn't compare them as often as he thought he would—as he should have, even, considering what Edward had been to him—but on occassion, he would look at that head of honey-colored hair and think wistfully of gold. It wasn't even a comparison, really, it was simply a silent salute to the different ways how he could always have one brother and yet still not be satisfied without the other.

Though it was terribly shallow and depreciative of him to say it, he could honestly say that when he was with Edward, he didn't really lust after Alphonse, because that would have required a new level of oddity that he wasn't even sure he possessed (his obsession with twisted teenagers notwithstanding). But he always regretted keeping Alphonse on the outside loop, because the boy had already been shunned by society as some sort of unnatural abnormality in the chaotic calm of Roy's office, and that he, in some perversely amoral way, simply wished that the circumstances had been different, so that he could have loved them both freely, and not necessarily in such an illicit way, either.

(He had often wondered that, especially while drunk. If they hadn't met under the circumstances they did, would he have been a father, perchance, to Edward Elric and his brother, as opposed to a lover? The thought, while depressing as all hell, at least kept him from doing anything with Alphonse that he would have regretted later.)

Today, his grossly misdirected anger had stemmed from the childish thought that it seemed as though the young blonde cared for his damned cats more than he did for Roy, which was actually probably true, but it wasn't his right to get upset over it, either. In a less obvious fashion, he had spoiled Edward in the same way, as well, though it seemed as though he had graced the shorter blonde with more shameless compliments and sexual favors than any tangible gift, but Edward had eaten it up all the same. It was almost...noxious, really, the way two sharp boys like the Elrics were so easily taken in with such mundane things.

Perhaps, he thought then, sourly droll, if I buy the younger one another cat, I'll finally be able to get him to go down on his knees.

His fate, he had known for some depressingly long time, would forever be to play both punching bag and prostitute to Edward, but the dynamics of his destiny seemed to be altered subtlely with Alphonse, and he wasn't sure which he liked better. Edward, at least, noticed him in some cosmically unflattering way, but in a way, it created a small segment of power that the older man could hold onto, to keep from going entirely insane. (Because, undoubtedly, Edward would drive him insane. He just would. He had that effect on people.) Alphonse, sadly, didn't even seem to notice Roy until he was gone, and then the boy would look at him, slightly hurt, and ask why he had gone off without saying anything. (Of all the nerve. He kept telling himself that one day he would leave without saying a goddamned word, and stay gone for good, but of course he never did.)

So Roy sat in his chair, and watched Alphonse draw an array on the floor to fix the plates, and boggled slightly at the fact that the boy seemed to have run for the kitchen from out of the shower, from the way he was wearing nothing but a towel slung lowly over his hips, a towel that seemed to be clinging on for dear life but fading certainly, much like the Major-General's self-control. There was a flash of blue light, a crackle, and then all of his dinnerware was back to normal in a perfect stack, which Alphonse picked up—God, he bent over, he bent over, and I could see up his—and started to put back in the cabinents.

His upstairs neighbor thought that it was terribly noble of him to take in such a young boy and give him a good home, and those sorts of sentiments were the type that oftentimes made Roy gag. It was a humdrum sort of emotionality, a vague understanding that wasn't really an understanding at all, and he didn't much care for it. People simply assumed the best about him, not the worst, and he wished that someone would see him for what he really was, a terrible two-tongued viper who hissed promises out of one corner of his mouth and licked toned, lightly tanned flesh with the other.

And of course, he didn't expect Alphonse to see him that way, though Edward probably had, when he was around (though Edward was quick to forget it, as well, when he was stroked or sucked in a particularly engaging fashion). Alphonse was a sickeningly stalwart optimist, who was almost unappealing in his own right, who would probably blink at him in confusion when asked, rather harshly, to keep the candy either in or out of his mouth, not half-and-half between (because it was terrible to watch a peppermint be passed slowly back and forth between those fingers and that mouth and secretly yearn that it was something else).

Probably. But who knew? Both of the Elrics were strange little brats, for better or for worse.

The Major-General was just pondering rising from his chair and getting a good, stiff drink, when there was the sudden clink of ice cubes in a glass, and a shot of amber whiskey was thrust under his nose. He threw his head back, and his one black eye was met with the sight of two bronze ones, looking a bit anxious but softly endearing, nonetheless—he felt his anger at the situation subside, though not entirely.

"Ah, Alphonse," he sighed, plucking the glass out of those small fingers and smiling wistfully, "you're too good to me, I swear." A lie, of course, but he wasn't about to complain, not with a shot of hard liquor dangling so temptingly in front of his mouth. He indulged himself with a sip of the shot, and sighed again. "Paper?" he asked hopefully, aware that it wouldn't take much for him to lean forward and grab it off the coffee table himself, but at the same time sadistically wanting to see just how far the boy would go before he got annoyed with the orders. (Farther than Edward, more than likely, who would grumble when asked to retrieve something even as mutually beneficial as the lube.)

"Here, sir," came that same high-pitched voice, softer than it had last been, and it was ironically perfect. Not a lazy drawl, or an irritated growl, or even a full-blown shout, just something nice and fetching and strangely fey. Roy took the newspaper, but didn't open it, and instead kept his head tilted backwards to stare warily at Alphonse.

Well, hell. I've always gone this far, but never any farther. I'm feeling rather reckless today; perhaps I'll see where a bit more prodding will get me. He rubbed his neck, sighed loudly, and made a big deal out of cracking his shoulders, to which the slender blonde started, and asked him, tentatively: "Is something the matter, Colonel?"

Some perfectionist part of him wanted to remind the boy that he was a Major-General now, but that part was quickly drowned out with the sight of those shockingly amber eyes, and he offered up a sheepish grin that probably made him look like the fabled wolf in disguise, but he didn't care. "The downside of growing old, I'm afraid," he murmured, putting in just the right amount of despondent soul into his tone, focusing on making his eyes look as utterly pathetic as he could. (Thankfully, he'd had enough practice in that area with women, though his charms had gotten a bit rusty over the years, namely because Edward knew his bullshit when he saw it, and thus could call him on it. But it was enough to suffice, or so he hoped.) "My shoulders have been aching terribly, as of late..." He pretended the idea had just occured to him. "Say, Alphonse...if you wouldn't mind, could you give my neck the old rubdown?"

He smiled winningly, but the effort wasn't even necessary, because the boy's hands were already atop his shoulders before he could even finish his sentence, and he quickly abandoned pretense for the simple joy of pressure.

Roy was startled to find out that he actually was tense, wound up like a clockspring, and that the feel of those hands rubbing slow circles over his shoulders was actually relaxing him, as opposed to inciting him. He sank down further into his chair, pillowed his head on the headrest, and downed the rest of the whiskey in one gulp. (It burned like hell, and he fought the urge to cough, because coughing was not-so-suave and most definitely not debonair.)

"I'm sorry about Marshmallow," Alphonse apologized quietly, and while the subject was one the older man could have done without, so long as those hands didn't stop moving, he couldn't muster up the energy to care. "You...really won't make me get rid of him, will you?" His eyes caught the empty glass in Roy's hand. "Oh, Colonel, do you want another drink? I know where all the bottles are kept..."

How he did, and how he knew what was in them, was something that Roy could only blame on himself, or perhaps on Breda, who had that bad habit of corrupting any sort of youth, no matter what their age. (Better to blame it on himself, then, because he was the same, if not worse.) He thrust out his hand without preamble. "You wouldn't be trying to butter me up, would you...?"

"Well..." The blonde fidgeted and squirmed from one foot to the other, clearly uncomfortable at being caught at his game. It was stupidly sensual; God damn him.

Roy shrugged, and smiled tiredly. "By all means; butter away." He stretched out his legs and curled his toes contently. "As a matter of fact, my calves have been rather stiff lately, as well. And I like that pasta dish you sometimes make; it would be nice to have that again sometime this week..."

Alphonse laughed, and took the glass from him lightly, heading down the hall towards the liquor cabinent, which was—no matter what Havoc said, nor how often he said it—mostly there for show...he was still wearing nothing but that towel. God.

People often likened love to feeling as though they were drowning, but Roy found this unintentional sort of seduction to be the worst kind of entrapment imaginable; it was somewhat like tripping over an angel and falling into quicksand, quicksand that smelled of salt and sweat and held the groans of both the dying and the devoted. He sank even lower in his chair, and was nearly surprised when Alphonse came up behind him then and tapped him on the head.

He sat up, abruptly, and was graced again with the view of those narrow shoulders, that skinny neck, and the cascade of stringy bronze hair. He refused to believe that he was actually feeling rather awkward at being faced with this display of comfortable almost-nudity, so instead he blamed it on civility as he coughed out, "W-Why don't you put on some clothes?"

Alphonse seemed to regard him with a somber calculation that belied his natural naivete, but then he shrugged and said, simply: "No."

For the second time that evening, Roy boggled at him. "What?" Surely he'd misheard. It wasn't as though he doubted the boy's ability to refuse anything, but rather, he didn't expect refusal over something clearly so sensible—sensible, sensible... He stared at the lines of that wiry body and wondered why the hell it made him so possessive. He dug his fingers into the chair and resisted the urge to drag the both of them down onto the floor.

But then the sharply smart look faded from Alphonse's eyes, and he smiled so suddenly with a cheerfulness that was terribly disarming. "So, sir, what else can I do to butter you up, hmmm?"

For a moment, Roy seriously considered the you could always put your clothes back on option, but then he realized with an idiotically belated start that that wasn't really what he wanted, of course, and that to look such a gift horse in the mouth was the sort of stubborn assininity that was more common of Fullmetal than of himself. So he shrugged, and supplied mildly, with just a touch of want: "I'd expected no less of you, Alphonse, but you're really quite talented with those hands of yours. This old man's neck here thanks you in advance."

The blonde handed him his second shot of the day before moving on to rub the older man's shoulders with a firm determination that was nothing short of heavenly.

If there was talk made, Roy didn't remember any of it, so it must not have been that important. He sat like a king on his throne and sipped his whiskey, rumbling slightly from his chest in pleased relaxation, and felt no guilt when the alcohol ran dry and he held out his hand wordlessly for another one. And wordlessly, Alphonse trotted off to bring him another one, though surely the kid had to be annoyed with him, right? A doddering old drunk sitting in his ancient armchair and eyeing him up as he slaved over shots and shoulder rubs; hell, he'd probably hate himself right about now, if he wasn't too busy being so goddamned pleased with himself.

"Jeez, if you keep this up, you'll probably fall asleep in your chair," Alphonse commented exasperatingly, but it sounded as though he wasn't entirely annoyed, rather...amused? Roy tilted his head at the boy curiously, but all that greeted him was a pointed stare and a raised eyebrow, and he gave it up to turn around and sigh in contentment as he was subjected to the royal treatment again and again.

"Would you..." he murmured after a while, from behind eyepatch and closed eyelid, "...mind terribly...if I did...fall asleep in...the chair...?"

The blonde snorted, and took his hands away to—as Roy noticed when he cracked open his eye blearily—place them on his hips. "You didn't answer my question," he reminded the older man, almost as though he was lecturing him, which was just absurd. "You're going to let me keep the cat, right?"

Cat...? Right, cat. Cat?! That damned thing?! He wasn't really annoyed with the obese creature any more than the usual irritation, but the fact that Alphonse was trying to play him up was something that truly irked him, and so he dragged himself up from the depths of sleep, and willed the remnants of his sobriety to rally and make a last stand on his countenance. "You'll...have to try harder than that," he challenged, a smirk gracing his features, and he wondered again, sadistically, just how far he could push the boy to go.

A flatly bland stare, and still that arched eyebrow. "Oh? Is that so?" And then—damn forever all "and then"s—the blonde grinned again, and took the shot glass out of the Major-General's hands. "I guess I'll just have to get you drunker, then, and work on you even harder, eh?"

Any harder, Roy thought dryly, and I'm afraid, dear boy, that I'll rip my pants clear in two. Aloud, his words were not any better than his thoughts. "If you really wanted to think of a way to sway me, then you'd forget about me completely and get yourself disastrously drunk instead."

(He had no idea why the hell he said that. Maybe it was his own level of alcohol-induced idiocy talking, or perhaps he'd simply grown so frustrated with his own clumsy attempts at persuasion that he'd finally snapped, and decided to throw all caution to the winds, and lay all of his cards out on the table, for once.)

For a moment, Alphonse simply stared at him, mouth hanging open slightly.

(With Edward, it had been so much easier. All he'd had to do was kiss the boy, and drown out the sounds of his initial protests with the sound of his own pleading moans. But, of course it would have been easier. The shorter blonde had been the same age then as his brother was now—though Roy preferred to think that they didn't get very serious until he got older—but Edward had always felt strangely older, as though he were some great sage trapped in the body of a youth. At the very least, he hadn't felt like as much of a nasty pervert as he did now.)

And then—damn forever all "and then"s!—Alphonse grinned cheekily, and went to get himself another glass.

"Well," he said good-naturedly, "we might as well get disastrously drunk together."


Bourbon, Roy decided, was probably the liquor that came the closest to matching the color of Alphonse's eyes, and he thought to say so, but couldn't bring himself to mind it. He was really...fucking...drunk. Probably more drunk than Alphonse himself, who swayed a bit on his feet and laughed a bit too loudly and whose eyes were just a little too bright, but otherwise seemed in absolute possession of his wits, which was almost...infuriating.

The dark-haired man poured himself another shot and cursed as some of it sloshed from the bottle onto his hand. He went to wipe the offending hand on the armchair, but froze suddenly as a warmer, smaller hand took him by the wrist. He nearly felt his innards leave the rest of his body as Alphonse suddenly drew the top of his hand to his lips, and licked.

(As a matter of fact, he nearly threw up, which was not nearly as romantic as he had hoped their first encounter to be. But it was a terrible influx of sensation that made his stomach leap into his throat and push his heart out of his mouth and onto the floor.)

Roy was surprised that he still had control over his voice, and was still more surprised when it groaned out an almost painful "Alphonse..." as though he was having his soul sucked out of his body through his fingertips.

His groan, for all it was worth, was completely and utterly ignored by Alphonse, who seemed to take it upon himself to become both Roy's guardian angel and his deliver unto hell. Every thought, every feeling, seemed to be focused on his hand and sent spiraling out his fingertips like the fire he had used to control in the days long past, and to have such a focal point somewhere on his body was enough to nearly make him queasy; he managed to fumble around with his other hand and push backwards softly on that honey-colored head. "D...Don't."

The blonde looked up at him quizzically, still infuratingly sober, which just made the situation even more wrong. Dammit, he was a Major-General, for God's sake, he wasn't the one who was supposed to be taken advantage of, rather, he should be the one doing the taking! "What's the matter, sir?"

"What's the matter?". That has to be the most inar...inan... STUPID question in the goddamned universe, I swear. Miraculously, words found their way to Roy's lips and they weren't entirely assinine. "...y-young." A gulp, and a swallow. "Too damned...young."

He expected an explanation, somehow similar to the one Edward had given—"I'm not too young, you bastard, and if you think so, it just means you're too goddamned old!"—but there was nothing there, only a lamb waiting quietly for the inevitable slaughter, and bronze eyes that sometimes changed their color to that of a clean slate. Patient, even, which was terribly ironic because it was Roy's job to be patient, Roy's job to wait for the younger ones to crawl towards him on their knees and open their mouths eagerly for their feed.

Oh, fuck it. (He was just drunk and horny and really in no position to refuse. For God's sake, if the boy hated it, he would say so, wouldn't he? Wouldn't he?)

He held up a finger, decided that said finger wasn't nearly as blurry as it needed to be, and grinned like a besotted fool. "One more for the road," he slurred, and downed the bourbon that was the perfect shade of amber to go with Alphonse's eyes. And then—there it was again, that "and then"—he reached out clumsily to crush those soft, girlishly pink lips with his own; a mockery of a real kiss, a sham of true desire, but hell, his hard-on stretched against his pants and he didn't have to fake a single moment of it, which was a pleasant change from...everything.

"S-Sir," Alphonse panted when Roy left his mouth to trail a bunch of sloppy, alcoholic kisses down his jaw to his neck, hooking his fingers almost nervously into the older man's shoulders. The Major-General froze for one razorblade instant, baring his teeth nearly on accident and breathing harsh and low.

"Yesssss?" he growled dangerously, half-slurred and stupid, but he didn't care what he sounded like, or what the boy asked of him, so long as it wasn't something so terribly unproductive, like the word "stop".

"...Your floor's cold," was all the blonde said, however, moderated and meek, and his tone alone was enough to make Roy groan, and knock him back onto the floor, lips working furiously at that skinny neck, but suddenly there was an immovable hand on his chest, and that same soft voice, saying close to his ear: "The bedroom, please. I won't do this if we're on the floor." And the words sounded oddly threatening, and strangely fatalistic, so the older man summoned all of his willpower and sat up, finally letting the youth beneath him breathe.

"Al'ight..." he muttered, shook his head in a desperate attempt to slam some intelligence back into his brain, and was suddenly overtaken with the urge to do something so disgustingly indulgent that he nearly fell into his chair and decided to say to hell with the whole thing.

It took him three tries, to which the boy sighed and even rolled his eyes in a very Fullmetal-ish fashion, but he managed to sling Alphonse into his arms (albeit ungracefully) and stumble down the hall. He slammed into the left wall and felt a painting crash to the floor and break ("More work for me tomorrow," sighed the little devil in his arms), then stumbled twice into the right wall, sending a vase from the hall table also smashing to the floor ("Well, I've got to fix the painting, anyway," replied the little wretch almost good-naturedly to that). He hit his bedroom door hard with his shoulder, grumbled a bit at it, but didn't complain when Alphonse reached down to turn the knob himself, shaking his head in a depressingly amused fashion.

(Yes, definitely too sober. The little minx had probably planned it from the start, but he could always afford to complain about it later, after that insufferable itch of his had finally been scratched. He didn't even bother to wonder why the little minx had planned it that way, only knew that it rightfully infuriated him so.)

Roy didn't want to be rude, even as drunk as he was, so he managed not to drop the young blonde on his bed, but rather, set him down as gently as possible, before overbalancing and falling onto the bed himself, earning an emphatic "oof!" from his companion. Dammit! He tried to spiritually wish himself sober, gathering together his will in an attempt not to make any more of an ass of himself than what he was already, but the effort made his head spin, and it seemed like there were two bodies on the bed beneath him, instead of just one.

"There; bed," he postulated clearly, shooting Alphonse what he hoped was a meaningful stare. "Happy now?"

He was rewarded with a dazzling smile, and the younger alchemist replied with a mumured "very", that was far more alluring than it had any right to be. And then, almost offhandedly, "And no slobbering, please. I'd rather not drown in someone else's spit, if you don't mind."

(His attitude towards the situation was more casual than even Edward's had been, and through his intoxicated haze, Roy found himself wondering just what other sort of quirks the younger Elric brother had buried deep within the darker parts of his psyche. Edward, he had always assumed, was simply slightly unbalanced, but he had never stopped to think that crazed dedication was something that could have run in their family.)

"Mrrrph," he said aloud, the most eloquent of replies, and dragged his tongue messily over the boy's lips before remembering that the blonde had wanted 'no slobber', and covered them with his own.

All he could really think of the moment was that it was absurdly hot, like he was being eaten alive by his own flame, and instead of backing off from it, he dove into it, mumbling and groaning and shifting around desperately in an attempt to find an angle that was comfortable for the both of them. He seemed to recall Alphonse responding in kind, though slower and neater and generally less frantic than the advances of the man panting agonzingly above him, brow furrowed as though in concentration, mouth moving as though he was taking notes, and Roy broke away for a moment to laugh, wildly and off-kilter.

"You're...a funny kid," he managed, to which Alphonse replied with a vague smile and the words, "Not at all, Colonel. I think you're the funny one, honestly."

There wasn't much talk for a while after that, because the Major-General realized that he would rather torture himself with skin-on-skin contact than talk, and so he screwed up his face in a terribly unattractive concentration and focused simply on keeping the momentum going forward.

He started out with what he hoped was something mild, a series of gentle yet probably sloppy kisses to the blonde's neck, feeling a pulse beat frantically under slightly sweaty skin that belied the unnatural calm the boy was expressing in the face of this unwitting danger, and he relished it, savored it under his tongue; he could have control over this one, too, he could. He refrained from using teeth, because that was intimidating and probably somewhat unattractive, given his current state, but as the pace sped up and his eyes caught reddened skin that had been suckled so thoroughly as to leave marks the next day, his restraint began to crack.

The older alchemist could smell himself all rolled up in his bedsheets, and he wondered hazily if Alphonse could smell it, too, all charcoal and cologne and the occassional nights he had spend in Edward's company, but the boy gave no sign, which was just as well. He simply sighed, and shook slightly, and twisted his hands restlessly into the blankets, speaking volumes with his face without really saying anything at all.

In the midst of all the panting, and the wet noises, Roy actually groped from within his conciousness and found something somewhat witty to say. "Al...Alphonse—I don't think...I feed you enough," he managed throatily, feeling the intensity of his own gaze burning out of his eyelid; "you're terribly skinny. Or do you..." he guessed, grinning like a loon and looking undoubtedly silly, "...feed it all to the cats, and that's why they're...so fat?"

"Weight just seems to burn right off of me," the blonde replied matter-of-factly, only a hair out of breath, which was surprisingly irksome. "My brother was the same way, they tell me."

(Fuck whoever 'they' were. Roy most certainly did not want to hear about Fullmetal while he was about to have sex with Fullmetal's little brother. Preposterous! Almost as preposterous as the situation itself, but only almost.)

"No Edward," he said then, loudly and definitively, startling them both in the quiet of the room, and he tried hard to think of an excuse. "I won't divi—"

"No, you know what? It's fine," the younger blonde said then, almost wonderingly, and smiled that damned disarming smile of his. "I don't really want to think of him right about now, either."

There was an underlying sadness in the words, though, and Roy sought to dispel it the only way he knew how—through mind-blowing pleasure, the same way he had done it with the other one. He grinned, fuzzily, and let his traitorous hands roam.

When his hands brushed terry cloth somewhere around the boy's hips, he was reminded unwillingly of the only obstacle that kept Alphonse from complete and utter nudity, and he jerked with his hands and lifted narrow hips and finally threw the towel across the room, where it landed diagonally across his vanity mirror, covering the reflection of the half of the room where they were.

(It was fittingly appropriate. While he really was entirely too drunk to stop, the dark-haired man didn't relish the thought of watching the alcohol burn it's way out of his body in the most fantastically fucked-up way possible.)

Roy ground down with his hips and was rewarded with a gasp. He rather liked the sheer volumes of emotion that the simple outburst conveyed, so he did it again, but the reaction wasn't as severe, a simple hiss and a wriggle, and he nearly stopped out of utter perplexion, but remembered then his desire to keep the momentum moving forward.

(It was a terrible thing, to be drunk and having sex with someone who was obviously a virgin, because he was the one who was supposed to be guiding the motion, calling the shots, and all the like, and yet he couldn't even keep his vision straight, or his thoughts in order. Hell, he could barely keep from throwing up, which was a problem he'd never had before, drunk or sober.)

He brought his focus upwards, to a skinny chest with the ribs sticking out slightly, and felt a strange pang of remorse, that he really wasn't feeding the poor boy enough, obviously. Alphonse wound a tentative hand in his hair and whispered something that could have been anything from "grow up" to "good luck" to "God, just fuck", and, with a feeling strangely akin to resignation, Roy lowered his teeth to those ribs and neatly began to nip. The blonde beneath him squirmed deliciously, but yanked on his hair in a manner that was pretty painful; the older alchemist jerked the offending hand out of his hair and pinned it to the bed, kissing through the hollow of a slightly fuzzy armpit up to the bend of an elbow, which he tongued, then all the way up to idly twitching fingers, where he took his final revenge upon Alphonse and brought those fingers into his mouth, sucking on them one by one.

(He was nearly punched in the face for that one, though he was—fairly—sure that it was entirely by accident. He made a note to keep in mind that the boy was tiresomely ticklish, should it ever arise in future interactions.)

"No...pulling," Roy said bluntly, when he finally let the younger alchemist's hand go to backtrack down the course of a wiry torso to gnaw yet again on some spare ribs. He pondered for a moment, then threw out, drunkenly, "Rub instead."

A shaking laugh was his answer, but the hand that returned to the top of his head did rub, monotonously and in idle circles, but it was perfectly all right. The Major-General contented himself with other concerns, such as the line of kisses he was currently trailing along the sharp blades of a pelvis, or his hands that could never entirely get tired of that soft bronze hair.

He loved slowly and clumsily, and thought somewhere in the fog of his thoughts that Alphonse was probably getting terribly impatient, and the uncharacteristically strangled half-shout that he got when he finally latched his lips and tongue onto the blonde's nipple only proved his theory.

He picked up the pace, almost out of apology, and sucked with harsh breaths, nearly chewing in the distasteful urge he had to please the brat, and wondered almost hysterically when the hell he had gotten so pathetic. (Actually, it was probably around the time he had first heard that Edward was missing. Not only had life become unbearably dull, but it had also become unbearably...dead.)

Alphonse breathed out all sorts of encouragements, but he didn't breathe out any endearments, which was both a cosmic insult and a chronic relief to Roy, who only knew that if he didn't keep going forward now, that he was never going to make it up the next hill. Forward momentum. He nearly fell asleep, teasing that nipple, with his body on auto-pilot, but the boy suddenly kicked him in the side—accidentally? or not?—with one of his legs, and he was jolted into exploration again.

He wasn't even sure how far he planned to take this digusting little tryst, but first, he was going to be damned if he was going to sit here and spread so much attention onto someone else's pleasure without receiving anything of his own for it, so he flung himself backward with a tremendous effort and sat up with his knees bent.

"...Your turn," he said hoarsely, not caring if it came out rude or not, "and try your hardest to make it good, all right?"

There was about a half-minute of time when Alphonse blinked at him, looked severely put-out, then shrugged it off with his infuriating good cheer and sat forward, peering almost interestedly at the line of Roy's body underneath of his clothes.

(God, very different from his older brother, who would have never stood being interrupted so rudely, especially not when he was having such a good time. The Major-General smirked cruelly to himself and thought that perhaps Alphonse was simply like himself, and had patience that could outrival a tree stump.)

"You're terribly rude when you're drunk, aren't you?" the boy observed, sucked in breath in a moment of hesitation, then set about undoing the buttons of Roy's shirt. "I shouldn't really reward you for it, but I guess it's all right. This is for you, after all."

Straaaaaaaange thing to say, Roy thought, but the buttons on his shirt were slipping open with an almost inaudible little popping noise and it was strangely compelling. He closed his eye and tilted his head back, and nearly jumped out of his skin when there were suddenly soft lips mouthing almost fishlike at the curve of his neck, and he groaned helplessly through clenched teeth.

"I hate you," he growled, harshly and unforgiveably, "and your goddamned infinite patience."

"Mmmm," was the response, and the fact that it sounded slightly amused only succeeded in raising his ire. Small hands brushed the shirt off his back, and he pulled out his arms slowly, unsure of what the hell do with them. "I guess you're just as impatient as my brother was, eh?"

"I said...no talking...about him," the older alchemist panted blurrily, feeling for a moment that he might pass out, but it was simply light-headedness brought on from repressed arousal, and yet he still refused to believe that the planitive whine that came out of someone's throat was his own.

It was slow going on Alphonse's part, as well, but it was simply due to his lack of experience, or, perhaps, that damnable patience. Roy wanted to grab his head and beat it into the wall, almost, but instead he settled on a tug to that long bronze hair, and a couple of growled threats, with gestures in the obvious directions.

And then—ahahahahah, "and then"—there were hands tentatively touching him, stroking through his hair in a slow pace that was nearly unforgiveable, passing over his shoulders, hooking under his armpits and scratching down his back, ghosting over his nipples and tapping lightly down his abdomen, to rest almost awkwardly over the button of his pants.

"Go," he urged hoarsely, nearly shouting, pushing himself forward eagerly and dropping kisses onto the boy's slightly tanned shoulders, either giving pleasure or giving ideas, and he nearly overbalanced again, cursing his own drunken immobility.

"Going, going," Alphonse replied mildly, sounding more out of breath than he had been before, and the older man smirked in glee. See how he liked it, ha. The blonde worked the button for a moment before finally snapping it open and wriggling his hand enticingly inside, slipping past the layer of cotton boxers as though they didn't even exist, and found the bulge there, which he stroked, curiously.

(It was probably, at that moment, that Roy seriously felt like he was going to die, or something of that same terribly cosmic magnitude, because he hadn't felt anyone's touch besides his own in a whole fucking year, and he didn't even care that the shout he made probably could have woken the neighbors.)

He fell into a respective rhythm during the time he spent in that strange suspended animation; rock hard with his hips, grinding up and always forward, and he would swerve down with his head to kiss whatever reached his lips first, whether it was head or hands or heart, and he felt oddly like a child lashing out at an adult in a paroxym of unexplainable anger.

"A-Alphonse," the Major-General said then, suddenly and seriously, gripping the boy's wrist with fingers of iron, "on your back, now."

It was an awkward moment. The blonde kept his hands still and his gaze level, but there was a melancholy there that spoke of a deeper wisdom than his brother's ever could have been, and again Roy was forced to wonder at the sheer surreality of this boy. And Alphonse lowered his head for a moment, and shook it tiredly, and when he looked up again, his eyes seemed terribly and infinitely sad. "I...don't think so, sir."

Recalling only experiences with unsure women (and an embarrassed Edward, but he wouldn't think of that, not now), the older alchemist retaliated with a slur of regurgitated words that meant nothing and in the end, probably comforted no one: "Don't worry, s'all right. You don't have to worry about...worry about...a thing, just lie back an' try to relax..." He wasn't sure what the hell he was saying, but he remembered saying words of a similar topic that way before, and he nodded his head assuredly. "Just... Just lie down, dammit—"

That earned him a small laugh, but the laugh was followed with brutally blunt words. "Sir, you're drunk. You don't understand, and it's all right, just...we—we can't, you see? I'm too... I'm...too..."

And then—oh, God in heaven, and then—that last word fell out from the boy's lips flatly, and landed with a splat on the bed. "...young."

"...Young?" It was croaked out, and in a manner of complete and utter disbelief. "You're too...young...for that, but not for...?" He left the sentence open-ended, figured that it had more weight that way, and was, sadly, correct. He was morbidly aware of the blonde stretching out his arms and pulling him into an embrace, idly stroking his stomach in what was supposed to be a comforting manner, but his impressive erection was somehow that much more painful for it, and he felt like both child and pervert; hell, childish pervert, even. "...I didn't...think you were him..." he swore softly, screwing his remaining eye shut and grinding down on his teeth. "I swear. It's terrible, b-because I...because I love the both of you, and not a damned person in th-this world would understand..."

"Oh, I didn't think that at all," Alphonse replied, and seemed surprised that he had even brought it up. "You were..." And for the first time that night, he blushed and truly seemed his age, and it was unnerving. "...one of the few people who were actually nice to me, as opposed to just pitying of me. It's really terrible, because..." And here he gestured around helplessly; towards the room, towards Roy, towards himself. "Well, everyone tells me that I'm twelve, but I've got...these...strange quirks, you know? Almost like I'm older than what I am, which I guess doesn't make any sense. And I know that every kid my age likes to pretend that he's grown up, you know, but there are some times, like when I'm with you, that..." A deep breath, and an unwavering blush. "...That I feel like I'd want you inside me, buried up to the hilt, and it's bizarre, because I don't even remember learning what a phrase like that meant, only that I somehow knew it." The boy's face seemed, for a moment, to collapse inward, but he put himself back together again and scrubbed a hand through his hair distractedly. "It's not healthy, it's not normal, I know, for a twelve-year old to want the things I do, but that's really how I feel."

It was a lot to digest, and Roy could only stare at him, mouth hanging open and—probably—drooling slightly, eyes wide and slightly hazy, but most comprehending, and for a moment, he scoffed inwardly at himself and wondered just who was the adult in their relationship, anyway?

"...It's hard, because outwardly, I am twelve," the younger alchemist continued, a bit more dismal than before, and tilted his head back towards the ceiling with a sigh. "So even if I honestly want you, there's no way I can have you, because I'm too...damned...small!"

Swear words felt strange, coming from Alphonse, and the Major-General told the boy that in no uncertain terms, and while he was telling him that, a glorious revelation descended from the heavens to give him enlightenment, and he grinned suddenly, putting the young blonde on guard.

"...What?" Alphonse asked warily, then shrugged.

"Not as...impossible...as you'd think," Roy pointed out, holding up a finger and grinning drolly when the one finger he held up blurred and refracted itself back to him as three.

(Yep. Definitely drunk enough.)

"Keep going," the older alchemist encouraged, trying to will himself to relax, even as his muscles fought the urge to clamp up and thrust down; he wriggled himself around a bit, still a little uncomfortable with the harsh reality of fingers being jabbed up his rear, but it was an acceptable alternative when he compared it to the other.

(Besides, he was drunk. Really, really, drunk. It probably would have been a hell of a lot more painful if he had been sober, and Roy Mustang was the sort of man who knew what to count as a blessing and what to count as a bane.)

Alphonse didn't look any more comfortable with the situation then he did, but he stretched and scissored and soothed as best as he could, and when he rubbed his fingers together suddenly and hooked them down, Roy bit down on one of his knuckles and groaned.

"X marks the spot?" the blonde supplied brashly, raising his eyebrows, and though Roy would have loved nothing more than to think of a witty comment, all he could do was take his fist out of his mouth and nod.

"More or less," he panted, and knew just how ridiculous he looked when he spread his legs and hooked them over the boy's shoulders, but he was too drunk—no, make that too devoted—to care.

"I think you're really drunk, Colonel," Alphonse admitted as he readied himself, and seemed almost sorrowfully somber for the event, smoothing a hand fondly over the older man's knee, "and I don't think you'll remember this in the morning. You just looked like you wanted me to do it, and I wanted to do it, too, so of course we'll do it." A shrug, that made Roy's legs bounce almost comically. "I just think there's something really wrong with us, sometimes." The blonde laughed, ruefully. "The both of us, too old for a child's body."

The barb stung, as it was perhaps meant to do, and just as the Major-General opened his mouth to seriously protest, Alphonse bumped foreheads with him affectionately and pressed in, silencing his protests.

And the thrusts were sweet, and they burned and burrowed in all the right ways possible, and a meekly obedient hand followed his hoarse commands to drop between his thighs, but there was something rather poignantly not there, like a jigsaw puzzle piece that was too loose for the slot someone had crammed it in, and it bothered Roy quite a bit, but he couldn't bring himself to kill the mood by bringing it up.

Instead, as the pace rose and his putrid pleasure with the situation was almost at his peak, he leaned forward, and whispered miserable words lowly in the boy's ear.

"...Can you forgive me?"

A start, but it didn't matter anymore, that spasmodic jerk of the hand was all he needed to soar over the edge, and then he was gone.

He was fairly sure he passed out almost immediately afterwards, but not before a few blissful, bittersweet words followed him down into his dreams.

"...I don't see any reason why I'd need to."


"Colonel, you're going to be late for work." A hand was shaking his shoulder, but Roy felt so goddamned sick that he couldn't muster up the strength to push it away.

"...'arf," he managed eloquently, the very picture of grace, then dry-heaved into the the recently emptied trash can at his beside.

Alphonse sighed, and shook his head hopelessly. "I'll call the First Lieutenant," he said, and walked away, footsteps padding lightly on the carpet and the thick bronze rope he called hair swishing behind him distractingly.

For a long time, the Major-General lay in his bed, groaning weakly and trying to figure out just what the hell it was he had done last night. According to Alphonse, he had come home from work, eaten dinner, promised to buy the two of them another cat, and then gotten royally and impressively smashed, before stumbling down the hall and passing out in his bed.

It didn't explain why his ass was sore, and why there was a bath towel flung halfway over his vanity mirror, but there were some things, he had decided, that just weren't worth the embarrassment of knowing.

He only hoped that he hadn't managed to make too much of an idiot of himself in front of Alphonse.