Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Pairing: Roy Mustang/Edward Elric
Disclaimer: I do not own, and never will, the characters of Fullmetal Alchemist.
Notes: This is a fic i wrote under another name a long time ago and it's now finished
Chapter 5: To Be Touched
After two years all Roy wants to do is touch Edward
Roy has a dream. He dreams of Edward Elric walking into his office no longer weighted down with automail, with Alphonse completely human beside him and Roy dreams that Edward speaks.
In the dream Ed’s voice is a clear tenor, ranting the words his flailing hands have always voiced before and the one word that Roy wants to hear more than any other is a constant refrain throughout.
“Hey Roy! You bastard Colonel! What the fuck did you mean sending us to the forsaken village! They kept their pigs in their houses, Roy! We had to fumigate the damned hovel they called a hotel before we could even get in the door! And then there was nothing to be found. Dammit Roy, you got to…” Hey Roy… Roy … Dammit Roy… Roy… Roy.
Roy knows that Ed hasn’t spoken since the night he and Al tried and failed to resurrect their mother. Roy knows that Ed screamed himself mute that night, tearing vocal chords while alchemy tore arm and leg away as he lost his brother only able to save Al’s soul with a tenuous bond to a suit of armour.
Roy knows that it’s been two years since Edward disappeared leaving behind a restored, younger and amnesiac Al and with each passing month Roy finds it harder to understand why he still hopes. And dreams.
The fact that he’s in a hot air balloon is the only reason he knows he’s not dreaming when he sees Edward again. He knows exactly how he got here, running to the rescue, believing he was saving Central. Not knowing Edward had returned. Edward who was obviously trying to save Central as well, Edward is hanging from the side of a shaky alchemical stone tower with his brother while under heavy gunfire. Roy snaps automatically and the guns are obliterated in fire.
He stares at Edward across what seems an endless stretch of sky but is probably no more than twenty feet. The wind tugs at golden hair and unfamiliar clothes as it streams between them. Roy sees Edward open his mouth and recognizes the shape of his name and he smiles almost brokenly in response.
A metal hand lets go and reaches for him and golden eyes are fixed on him. There is shock and determined purpose in those eyes and it doesn’t quite hide the longing.
“Get a grip, Edward!” Roy shouts harshly, his fear of Ed falling over-riding all else and he nearly collapses in relief as Ed grips at his tower with both hands. He can see Al hanging from the other side and he shouts again, hoping to get the young man moving. “If you’re going to strike, do it now, Fullmetal!”
His balloon rises higher but he can see the brothers scrambling back onto their platform and alchemy flares brilliantly as a stone spike spears straight through the black flying machine. Roy snaps again destroying new guns as they erupt from the sides of the plane. He jumps and lands on the spike a few steps ahead of the Elrics and stays in front of them, racing and snapping their way upwards.
“Not quite how I was expecting to see you again, Edward,” he tosses over his shoulder as they run. “But I should have realized you’d bring trouble with you.”
They reach the plane and duck behind a fallen truss. A metal hand grips his shoulder and he is turned to see Edward grinning at him quite unabashedly. A raised eyebrow and fingers come up flicking at his eye patch.
Roy easily reads the question. “The Fuhrer and I had a falling out,” he says with a twist of his lips. His gloved hand reaches for Ed’s fingers but gunfire rattles around them and Roy is up with fire racing out to silence the guns again. “You have to go now Fullmetal, and finish this, I’ll guard the entrance.”
The look they share is not enough and the urge to reach out and touch, hold and stay is incredibly strong, but Roy is a soldier and he knows that duty must come first. Ed too, has been a soldier and he understands it as well. But more than that Ed is an alchemist first and foremost and he has seen – he has created one - the abominations that alchemy can spawn and that bring destruction and unbelievable suffering. He’s not about to let another one live. Eckart must be destroyed.
Edward swallows hard as does Roy before Ed turns away and then the Fullmetal Alchemist is running into the belly of the beast without a backward glance.
Al scrambles to follow him and Roy knows he can call neither back. Instead he stands tall and blows everything he can up.
When an explosion not his rocks the plane he knows Ed is responsible. When the plane starts falling apart as the alchemy holding it together fails he runs towards where he hopes Ed is.
Ed isn’t there but Al is. Al is kneeling at the edge of a burnt and twisted circle and screaming. Screaming for Ed, crying for his brother. Roy staggers and doesn’t know if the terrible pain in his chest or the falling plane caused it.
“Al! AL!” Roy shouts and grabs Alphonse, shaking him out of his despair. “Where’s Ed?!”
“Gone,” Al could barely speak for the sobs choking his throat. “He … he made a Gate and … and took Eckart with him.”
Roy frowns. “Can we make one of these Gates?”
Al’s head shakes violently. “No, no, it’s … a Gate is…” Al stops and stills completely. His eyes suddenly widen. “Equivalent Exchange,” he breathes. “We have to get out of here. I know … I know some place that we might be able to … to…”
“To find Edward?” Roy asks with the faintest of hope.
Getting down from the machine is easier than getting up to it was. Running through the broken streets and avoiding other soldiers and well-meaning friends was slightly more challenging, but finally Al leads them to a collapsed building. With alchemy they tunnel their way through collapsed brick and debris.
Roy looks out over what had once been the ruin of a lost city. A vast empty space that is seared with alchemical symbols and circles is all that remains. He can smell the alchemy in the air.
“There’s a Gate here,” Al says in a hushed tone that still echoes. “I used it to try and get Ed back but…”
“But something else came through,” Roy finishes for him with a sigh.
“Brother said there was a link to the world he was in,” Al whispered.
Roy closes his eye and takes a deep breath before he manages to say the words. “We need to close this Gate.”
“But Brother…” Al’s protest is a thin whine of pain and denial.
“I know,” Roy replies as his eye fills behind its closed lid.
Sacrifices, the prices of victory.
Roy’s heart pounds as studies the circles. It is loud in his ears and makes his hands shake. There should be a limit to the amount of pain a man could feel he thinks because he doesn’t want to survive only to feel like this the rest of his life. He studies the circles and picks out the lines that will close the gate while granting him his wish.
He searches for the controlling links and finds a point where he can ignite a sequence and cause a catastrophic failure. He follows the links and circles and sees where he will lose control of the fire. Al must be gone by that time. He doesn’t want Al to die as well.
He is about to tell Al – well, not quite all of his plan - but enough to keep the boy from sacrificing himself as well when the roaring of his blood rushing brings him to his knees.
Out of the middle of the array that is starting to flare with blue lightening Edward, Edward is walking towards him. Edward - with his stomping walk that synchronizes exactly with his pounding heart – is alive and walking towards him.
“Edward,” he breathes out and Al rushes to grab his brother tightly. Ed grins over Al’s shoulder and Roy staggers to his feet. He steps closer wanting to grab and hold and touch but the ground shakes and lightening explodes across the array.
“Run!” Roy orders and they start fleeing through crumbling tunnels and debris. They stumble out into the broken streets of Central and shelter behind what rubble they can find as dust billows out and the tunnels are sealed completely.
Later Edward will write his words on Roy’s skin as he tells him how he gave Eckhart to the Gate, how equivalent exchange isn’t really that equivalent at all and how the Gate is now closed to both sides. Later Roy will whisper the words Edward will never be able to say.
But for now they stand in the rubble of a Central street and Roy’s ungloved hand is holding tight to Edward’s flesh hand as metal fingers grip his dark hair and Roy’s other hand is curled at the back of Ed’s neck with their foreheads touching as they breathe each other in.
Now that he finally has Edward back Roy doesn’t intend to ever let him go again and Edward is more than fine with that.
Note: Much of this last chapter comes from the FMA movie Conqueror of Shamballa with which, it is obvious, i have taken considerable freedoms with.
The first four chapters of this were written nearly 3 years ago so i'm really pleased to have finished this even after so long.