Little Failings

He wants it all. All, including the things he's not allowed to want, can never have. He wants to be the ruler of his country; he has reasons, yes, but there's still that element of pure avariciousness.

His notebook is filled with phone numbers, each leading to a beautiful hairstyle, a delicious body. It's never enough; they're never enough, they never quite fill up his desire.

And most of all, he wants the gold; huge fierce eyes like coins, spun-gold-thread hair, young, sun-bronzed skin. Even more than ambition, this is forbidden; perhaps that is why he wants it the most.

Roy Mustang doesn't know how good he has it, the lazy bastard. Ed hates him for that, as much as he hates his confident smirk, his too-deliberate-to-be-unconscious good looks, his rapier-sharp wit and his quicksilver brain. Rank, power, women, money, leisure... Mustang has it all. Nobody ever mistakes him for a child, denies his right to do and say what he wants to, needs to do.

And most of all, he has his own body, his own whole body; an incredible body, one Ed can't stop himself from envying, can't stop himself from wanting.

And he hates Roy for that.

Ed always ate a lot, slept a lot, Al knew—but this was a little much.

"Brother," Al said doubtfully, watching the ever-growing pile of snack wrappers with worried eyes, "don't you think you're overdoing it?"

"Don't worry about it, Al," Ed assured him, tearing open a new package. "You just pick out what you want of the comics, and I'll pay."

"But..." Al trailed off. "Brother, can we really afford all this? We have travelling expenses, too..."

Ed laughed, an almost maniacal note to match the glint in his eyes. "No worries, Al. It's all on the Colonel's tab."

It started out—honestly—as an attempt to punch the bastard in the face, it really did.

Who would have thought that the lazy desk-job Mustang would have such good reflexes, to catch Ed's fist mid-punch and yank it to the side? A move that left them face-to-face, staring at each other in a moment of high emotion and hot blood between them.

"I hate you more than words can say," Ed hissed.

"I know," Roy said, and kissed him. And, even if Ed didn't pull away, he did bite him. Hard.

It just so happened that Roy bit back.

"Seriously, Fullmetal. I have a reputation to uphold."

"You bastard, who'll ever find out about it unless you tell them? Were you gonna boast to everyone about me, huh? Your latest conquest?"

"On the contrary, Ed, I'm more worried about your lack of discretion."

"Hey! Who'm I gonna tell? 'Al, guess what, I banged the Colonel last night!' Yeah, right. Like I'd tell my little brother that."


"Never nothing! You're so full of hot air! I refuse to play bottom to your overblown ego!"

"We'll see."

"Wha—-! Stop—-! You perv—!"

There was no more fighting after that. Verbally, anyway.

One dark eye cracked open, watching the young man hopping one-legged around the room, trying to get on his boots.

"Leaving so soon?" Roy murmured. Ed shot him a look, as he searched for his hair tie in the pile of discarded clothes.

"I've got to get back to studying." He found it tucked into Roy's coat pocket.

"Youth—always so impatient," Roy teased, then sobered. "Edward... some tasks just require patience."

"Not this one." Ed scowled. As a concession, though, he came over and let Roy braid his hair.

"Someday," Roy whispered, kissing his neck, "I'll teach you laziness."

There's a word that's never spoken between them, never, not even in the very heights of passion, when both of them are gasping nonsense and shouting obscenities.

There's a word that's forbidden to them, no matter what insults they fling at each other in the heat of temper, or endearments in the heat of passion. There's a word that Ed can't give, not when his brother, his purpose overshadow all that he is. There's a word that Roy is not allowed, not if he is to advance, with nothing holding him back.

There's a word that's a promise; love, someday.