Ed gets home after a rather rough trip. Fluffy Drama, I-2.

Character(s): Edward Elric, Roy Mustang
Pairing(s): Roy/Ed

Ed’s fingers were too cold and stiff to fumble around with his keys, so he knocked instead. When Roy opened the door, Ed glared at him.

“I hate being cold, I hate giving reports to stupid Generals, and I hate sleeping on train seats,” he declared, stepping in out of the biting chill.

“Mm. Makes you wish you were still short enough to fit on one neatly, doesn’t it?” Roy shut the door, shooting a sly smile over his shoulder.

Ed was in no mood for banter, and gave him a flat look and a cold, “No.” He ignored Roy’s raised brow in favor to trying to get out of his coat. It was a real trick when it hurt to lift his arms above chest height. He slumped a little in relief when Roy came to help.

“You’re that stiff from sleeping on the train?” Roy asked rather skeptically.

“No.” Ed swore he could hear his muscles creak as he made for the kitchen. “I’m that stiff from sitting in endless meetings, chasing idiot criminals over rooftops, sitting in more meetings and sleeping on the train.” To his delight, the kettle was already on. He eyed the cupboard that held mugs, doubtfully. Could he reach that far right now?

Roy’s hands slipped over his shoulders. “You’re walking like a ninety-year-old with arthritis,” he noted. “Sit down.”

“If I sit down I’ll fall asleep,” Ed protested.

Roy came around to face him, and brushed the backs of his fingers against Ed’s cheek. “Edward. You’re home now,” he murmured.

Ed, listening to the echoes that sentence made in his mind, closed his eyes, and leaned against Roy for a moment. Roy’s arms closed around him gently, careful not to stress sore muscles. When Roy nudged him toward a chair, Ed let him. He watched a bit enviously as Roy reached down a mug without a single twinge or wince. The man didn’t appreciate his blessings, that was what.

Once he had folded Ed’s hands around his tea, Roy looked Ed up and down, and pursed his lips. “Stay here for a bit,” he directed on his way out.

Ed spared the retreating back an incredulous look. There must be something more interesting than he had expected in the tea today, if Roy thought he would voluntarily move ever again.

Faintly, Ed heard water running.

Well, all right, maybe he would move, then. Just not yet.

Roy returned, collected some glasses and a pitcher of water, and left again. Ed looked after him quizzically before deciding it didn’t matter and finishing his tea. It was getting easier, as the mug got lighter.

“Ah, good, you finished.” Roy took the mug away and held out a hand. “Come on.”

Ed winced at the mere thought of standing and walking, and eyed Roy, trying to judge how determined he was. Roy looked amused.

“I suppose I could carry you,” he offered. “Do you really want me to?”

Ed weighed his options, and reluctantly came down on the side of dignity. He hauled himself, slowly, out of the chair, only too glad to let Roy support him as he hobbled down the hall. Pleasure at the sight of the bathtub full of steaming water warred with his awareness that getting his boots off would be a serious trial. Busy contemplating the geometry involved in that effort, Ed blinked as Roy sat him down again and started to undo the footgear in question.

Well, that would make things easier.

Ed was unsurprised that Roy helped him with the rest of undressing. He had obviously observed how limited Ed’s current range of motion was. He tilted his head, however, when Roy stripped off his own clothes.


“I somewhat doubt you would make it over the edge without dunking yourself just now,” Roy told him.

Ed had to admit, if only to himself, that Roy had a point. Ed loved this bath; it was deep enough to sit upright in and still have water brushing his chin. But that made it rather tall, and his legs weren’t any happier about lifting than his arms.

With a good deal of hissing and grumbling, not to mention assistance, Ed managed to lower himself into the tub. It felt boiling hot, which was just about right.

He noted another advantage to Roy’s presence once they were in the water. He made a handy backrest, and kept Ed from having to lean on still-chilly porcelain. Best of all, even if Ed fell asleep, Roy was here to keep him from drowning. Ed rested his head on Roy’s shoulder.

Slowly, the water began to feel less searingly hot to his fingers and toes, and Ed began to relax. He drifted until Roy nudged him back to awareness.

“Mmm?” Ed asked.

“Drink something before you get too lightheaded.”

Ed opened his eyes to find a glass of water in front of him. Temporarily too content to argue, he took it. It was pleasingly cool in his throat, and Ed felt a bit more reconciled with the world as a whole, sipping his water and leaning against Roy’s chest. When he was finished he stretched, cautiously, feeling a bit less like that arthritic old man Roy had compared him to.

“Feeling better?” Roy asked.

“Everything still hurts, but it isn’t all one piece of pain anymore,” Ed decided after a moment’s thought. Roy chuckled.

“If you feel like you can walk, I’ll see what I can do about that.”

Ed managed to dry himself off, but let Roy wind an arm around his waist to help him up the stairs. He greeted their bed with a happy sigh. He would have liked to flop over onto it, but wasn’t that flexible. The best he could manage at the moment was a crawl that ended with a sprawl in the middle. Roy pulled up a blanket to keep him warm, and knelt beside him. Ed flinched a little as Roy’s fingers pressed into his back.

“Hm,” Roy commented. His touch lightened, stroking the grain of Ed’s muscles. Ed sighed. “This may take a while,” Roy told him, as he moved to straddle Ed’s hips.

Ed made ah and ack and ggh noises as Roy’s hands loosened his muscles, pressed pain out of them to be swept away.

“Breathe,” Roy reminded him as he worked on Ed’s shoulder.

“Trying,” Ed hissed between his teeth. His next exclamation was a good deal less articulate, as Roy found a knot and pressed down. It loosened with something like a snap, and Ed lay panting as Roy’s fingers smoothed up and down his neck. “Ow,” he remarked at last.

Roy leaned down to kiss the back of his neck lightly. “All right?” he asked.

“Mmph,” Ed answered.

Roy laughed quietly as he moved to sit crosslegged where he could reach Ed’s arm. After his shoulder and sides, that only rated a few erks from Ed. He was dozing again by the time Roy pulled the blanket over his shoulders, and moved down beside Ed’s leg instead. That got a variety of noises again, including a few gniis. Ed’s hamstrings felt like they’d been twisted until they double-kinked, and he twitched uncontrollably as Roy pressed his palm down the back of Ed’s thigh. He didn’t relax again until Roy started kneading his hips and rear.

“I think you almost pulled something here,” Roy said, passing his hand over Ed’s left cheek. “There’s a bit of swelling.”

“I can tell,” Ed winced.

“Hang on, then.” Roy was back in a few moments, and Ed felt something warm drip onto his skin. He smelled peppermint a moment later, and felt the warmth spread out as Roy rubbed it in. “You’re getting too old for this,” Roy teased.

“Oh yeah? Then what are you?” Ed grumbled.

“Too wise to do such things to myself,” Roy told him.

Ed would have retorted, but Roy had picked up his foot, and dug his thumbs into the center.

“Aaahh,” he sighed, instead. He snuggled into the covers, humming happily, and wriggled his toes. He was deeply disappointed when Roy finished. As far as Ed was concerned, no foot rub could possibly last long enough.

Roy lay down beside him, one hand on Ed’s back. Ed stretched, very slowly, feeling many of the knots in his body finally come undone.

“Thanks,” he murmured, sleepily, turning over. Roy’s hand came up to touch his face.

“My pleasure.” Then he grinned. “One of these days I really will make a recording of those sounds you make.”

Ed glared though half shut eyes. He growled, and reached up to wind his arms around Roy’s shoulders so he could pull Roy down and kiss him. Roy stroked his hair back.

“One more glass of water, and then you can sleep,” he said.

Ed growled some more, but let Roy coax him out of bed long enough to get a drink while Roy put the covers back to rights. He was better pleased when Roy joined him on his return to bed, and drew Ed into his arms.

“Welcome back,” Roy murmured into Ed’s hair.

Ed pressed closer against the length of Roy’s body and smiled.