When it comes down to action everyone has to find a way to handle the stress. Plot With Porn, I-4.

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

When he got the note that Mustang wanted to see both Ed and his staff in his office, Ed figured it was probably bad news. Mustang’s expression certainly seemed to confirm it, mouth tight and eyes distant. His first words sounded like good news, though.

“We’re being recalled for assignment in Central again.”

“What area?” Havoc wanted to know.

The tight mouth twisted. “Administration. Precisely what I hoped for.”

Everyone looked at each other, and then back at their commander, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“According to my network,” Mustang went on, “Bradley will be making an unannounced visit here in three days.” He looked down at his hands, braced flat on his desk. “I will be going to Altlast to meet him before he arrives in East City.”

“Alone?” Hawkeye asked, sharply. Mustang’s expression stilled.

“No. You’ll be coming with me.”

Hawkeye relaxed, but Ed also noticed her eyes narrowing and her right hand tensing. His stomach lurched, and his gaze snapped around to Mustang.

“It’s time.” Those two quiet words echoed through the room. Or maybe it was just inside Ed’s head. About once every week or so he remembered that he’d given his loyalty to a man who intended to assassinate their head of state. He generally shoved the memory back in its box as quickly as he could, because it made his stomach twist. Somehow, he didn’t think that was going to work this time.

“Why?” he whispered. “Why now?”

Mustang’s mouth drew down before he sighed and answered. “Because he’s coming for me. Everything points toward him suspecting what I’ve been doing, and coming to catch me at a moment of disorganization and confusion to confirm it.”

And if he confirmed it… Ed shivered and lowered his head, suddenly wishing that Al were here for him to lean against, and in the next instant fervently grateful that Al wasn’t here and wouldn’t be involved.

“I need the rest of you to conceal the fact that we’re gone,” Mustang continued, quietly.

Havoc whistled. “Tall order.” He contemplated his cigarette for a few moments, thinking, before he nodded. “I think we can do it; it’ll take a little character assassination, though.” He grinned at Hawkeye.

“How so?” she asked, warily.

“Hell, no one wants to be anywhere you can see them when you’re in a bad mood,” Havoc grinned. “All we have to do is act scared and no one will come near this office.”

Hawkeye’s expression chilled.

“Er, case in point, ma’am?” Fury pointed out tentatively.

“We will take what advantages present themselves,” Mustang said. Hawkeye glared at her smirking superior a moment before she sniffed and settled.

Ed listened with half an ear as deadly serious strategy was jokingly debated. He didn’t think he was the only one made queasy by this whole thing, but you would never have known it by their tones. Ed found himself looking at Mustang’s hands, eyes tracing the circle on the back of his glove, thinking about the fire that would leap out from it. A visceral memory of that glove moving down his back washed through him, and Ed had to take a few deep breaths to keep from choking on that juxtaposition. What was he doing involved in this? Finally, Mustang turned to him.

“If the timing could look anything but suspicious, I would send you away, but that isn’t possible. I want you to keep as low a profile as you can until this is over, though. If you have some research that’s been waiting, that would be perfect.”

Ed leveled an evil glare at him, suddenly angry at Mustang for repeating his own thoughts. For offering him such an escape. For taking all the danger on himself. “You would send me away?” he repeated, voice grating.

Mustang’s gaze turned piercing, and his tone took on the edge of command that he rarely used with Ed. “You will not be involved in this.”

“You think I want to be?” Ed snapped, swinging sharply back to his original distaste. Mustang’s face closed, his eyes frozen now.

“Do you think I do either?” he asked in a perfectly conversational voice.

“No, that’s not…!” Ed broke off, not wanting to try to untangle his revulsion and fury and fear in front of their current audience. Roy’s expression was very distant, now, and Ed’s fear for him gained the upper hand.

“Sometimes problems solve each other,” Roy murmured in such a detached voice that ice threaded down Ed’s spine. He recognized that voice. He’d never heard Roy use it, but he remembered it. Years ago, in the rain, the offer of a trade… Al had been so furious with him after. Ed could feel that fury in his own chest now. Roy couldn’t possibly mean to…

Ed pulled in a deep breath, not at all sure what he wanted to say with it. Before he could decide, or, alternatively, howl with frustration, Hawkeye stepped in front of him and laid a hand on his shoulder.

“Edward-kun.” When Ed looked in her eyes he saw a promise there, to guard Roy’s life as she had for years, and a request that he trust her. Did she hear it too? Would she guard Roy from himself? Ed chewed on his lip, and eventually nodded. Hawkeye nodded, firmly, back.

As they all left the office, Ed felt Mustang’s eyes on him.

Ed trudged down the street, hands in his pockets.

It had only taken about forty-five minutes of watching him pace the room, stopping at unpredictable moments to stare at nothing, before Al had thrown him out. Well, all right, Al hadn’t actually thrown him out, but his brother’s voice had been more than usually exasperated when he told Ed that he should just go talk to Mustang-taisa already. Because that man was the only thing that ever got his older brother so wound up.

Al was right, and Ed had to find out what was going on with Mustang. Why had he spoken like that, earlier? Could he honestly think it would serve something if he didn’t come back? Who else did the idiot man expect to pick up the pieces?

There was no answer when Ed knocked at Mustang’s door, so he let himself in. He could hear, faintly, music coming from upstairs, and followed it. When he found the source he stopped short in the door of Roy’s bedroom.

Roy was perched in the broad window ledge that usually served as an auxiliary desk, and he had a violin tucked under his chin. His fingers slid smoothly over the neck, other hand sweeping the bow across the strings. Delicate, ringing notes swirled through the room.

At the scuff of Ed’s boots, Roy looked up, music pausing. Ed was seized with the fear that Roy was sufficiently withdrawn, or upset, or unbalanced, or whatever the hell he was that he would turn away. That he would hide this revelation.

“Don’t stop,” Ed breathed, barely audible even in the sudden silence. After a still moment, a tiny smile crossed Roy’s lips, and he closed his eyes again. His hands slowed, the returning music softer than before.

Ed stayed where he was, entranced. He had seen Roy concentrating before, but never with such emotion. His face showed nothing, but the changing tones of the music set Roy himself on display, sharp, languorous, dark, dancing. Pure. One last note was drawn out, sustained without break for so long Ed saw spots because he’d been holding his breath, waiting for it to end.

As Roy started to pack the instrument away again the passion faded out of the room. Ed didn’t want it to go, didn’t like the distant look that was back in Roy’s eyes. He wanted to call back the brilliant intensity that had surrounded Roy while he played.

Well… there was another set of circumstances under which Roy often showed him something similar. And despite Roy’s past claims of not being a sex maniac, it was an offer he never hesitated to accept when Ed made it. And then, maybe, he would be here and warm and… alive again.

As Roy settled, a bit wearily perhaps, on the foot of his bed, Ed came to him and lifted Roy’s left hand.

“So that’s where these came from,” he said softly, brushing his thumb across the calluses on Roy’s fingertips. Roy only lifted one shoulder, sketching a shrug.

“I haven’t played often lately; they’ll hurt tomorrow, a little.” Ed was really starting to dislike the detachment in Roy’s eyes. Time for a more direct approach, then.

“If you die doing this, the way you think you’re going to,” Ed growled, lifting Roy’s chin until they were eye to eye, “I swear I’ll bind your soul to your damn desk, and you’ll spend the rest of eternity buried in paperwork.”

That got a brief laugh, and Roy’s eyes warmed, but he still didn’t reach out for Ed and Ed was tired of waiting. He slid one knee onto the bed and closed the distance between them, the hand under Roy’s chin tilting his head further back so that Ed could kiss him properly. Roy stiffened for a heartbeat, two, five, and then, surprising Ed yet again, relaxed, opening his mouth under Ed’s. If Ed had expected anything, it was for Roy to react by pulling him down to the bed and kissing him senseless in retaliation. Instead, when they broke apart, Roy leaned back on his elbows, watching Ed from under his lashes.

With a mental shrug, Ed decided he could work with that, too. It wasn’t the first time Roy had given him the come-hither routine. He toed off his boots as he climbed all the way onto the bed to kneel over Roy’s hips. As an after-thought he got rid of his shirt, also. Roy did nothing as Ed unbuttoned his shirt as well, only watched with an odd waiting expression until Ed pushed the shirt off his shoulders. Then he stretched under Ed, curving his back, baring the line of his throat.

Ed paused. Did he…? Was he…? To test the hypothesis forming in the back of his mind, Ed leaned down and kissed the underside of Roy’s jaw. Roy responded with a low sigh, letting his head fall back still further.

As if to let Ed take the lead. A tingle shot down Ed’s nerves. He had thought about this before, but the only time Roy had ever invited it had been… different. That had been Ed’s gift to Roy, and Roy had still been the one directing things. Now…

Why now? Did Roy simply want to return the gift?

“Roy,” Ed murmured against his neck, “are you serious?”

“Are you?” Roy returned, with no inflection at all.

Ed considered for about half a second. Was he serious about making love to Roy? Easy answer. He leaned up and kissed Roy fiercely. “Yes.”

When Roy opened his eyes and looked up at Ed he was completely present again, eyes heated. “Then don’t stop,” he whispered. Ed smiled slowly.

“I won’t.”

Ed trailed open-mouthed kisses across Roy’s chest, and slid the fingers of his right hand, lightly, down Roy’s spine. Roy arched up into him and moaned softly. Ed had to rein back an answer in his own throat at that husky sound; he couldn’t remember Roy ever being so responsive so quickly before.

But, then, Ed had never been near while Roy prepared to kill someone. Maybe Roy needed to not think, tonight, needed to only feel. Needed to let someone else do the planning and maneuvering and considering.

Like how to best get their damn pants off. Ed growled a bit over the recalcitrant buttons.

He was interested to note, though, the way Roy gasped when Ed’s metal fingers brushed against his stomach. He trailed them deliberately over Roy’s hip, and a shudder swept through Roy. Ed smiled wickedly and set out to tease, little, random brushes of chill metal catching Roy’s breath again and again while Ed’s left palm slid, firm and slow, over Roy’s skin, soothing. Roy’s answer to Ed’s kiss was a little wild, now, but his hands stayed light where they grasped Ed’s hips.

Ed was discovering a few new things about Roy’s body. He’d known that Roy’s sensitive spots included the hollow of his shoulder and the palms of his hands. He’d known that Roy’s ribs were usefully ticklish. He hadn’t known that Roy liked to feel teeth on his throat, though he might have guessed that. He certainly hadn’t known that rubbing the tendon that ran up the inside of Roy’s thigh turned him limp and boneless.

Of course that only lasted until Ed ran his right thumb, delicately, up and down Roy’s hardening length, and Roy arched up off the bed, every muscle tensed.

Ed understood, now, why Roy concentrated so intently on him when they were in bed. He’d known how overwhelming it was to experience the play of tension and relaxation, of building pleasure, but to watch it happening, to watch his own hands calling it out of Roy’s body, fascinated him. The image of Roy calling music out of the violin flashed through Ed’s mind.

He leaned over Roy, sliding his right hand between Roy’s legs, back, parting him. Roy stretched, spreading his legs, inviting Ed further. But Ed kept his touch light, circling, never quite entering Roy’s body. Roy twisted under him, panting for breath now, eyes closed, lips parted, and Ed had a hard time pulling his attention away long enough to fish in the nightstand and find a familiar bottle by touch.

He had no idea how Roy managed these things one handed. Ed used his teeth to help him open it.

And then he hesitated.

He knew that the sensible thing to do would be to go slow. The one other time they had done this it had taken a while for Roy to relax, and Ed certainly didn’t want to hurt his lover. But the line of Roy’s body, the flex of his hips as Ed’s fingers slid into him, was suggesting something else, suggesting a welcome that sparked a fire in the pit of Ed’s stomach.

The heat in Roy’s eyes when he opened them only fanned it higher.

“Ed,” Roy whispered, “now. Now.” There was a tone in that velvet and steel voice Ed was far more used to hearing in his own. Need. Entreaty. It drew him like iron to a magnet. Screw slow, then.

Ed ran his hands up the backs of Roy’s legs, and pressed into him, steady, deep. Roy’s body let him in, heat so tight around him that Ed felt sweat starting on his skin.

Yes,” Roy breathed. “…yes…” There were more words, low and rough, but the hot shift of Roy’s body drowned them out. Ed already knew what they came down to anyway; Roy had said it earlier.

Don’t stop.

Ed bit his lip, no longer completely in control of his own movement as his hips flexed to drive him into the grip of that heat. He freed his still-slick left hand to close around Roy’s length, and the words dissolved into soft, raw sounds. Ed bit down harder, wanting to hold on, to wait for Roy, but he could feel the edge, feel the shiver that started at the back of his neck and would sweep down…

It caught him by surprise when Roy’s body seized him, and for an instant Ed was frozen by the shock. Then reflex drove him forward, and the heat closing around him stole his breath, his sight, stole everything but the electric tide pounding through him.

It finally left him slumped over Roy, forehead resting on his chest as they both gasped for air. When Ed finally levered himself up he wondered for a moment whether Roy was still conscious. He had never seen Roy in such a relaxed sprawl when he was awake. But Roy’s eyes opened, slowly, full of lazy satiation. Ed felt rather smug about that, even if his legs did wobble a bit on his way to get a towel. He was especially pleased since it likely meant Roy would be interested in doing this more often, which Ed would very much like. Just the memory of Roy giving himself so freely to Ed’s touch was enough to make him shiver.

When they had curled together under the covers, Ed’s head on Roy’s shoulder, Roy spoke very quietly.

“Thank you, Edward.”

Ed woke up to the rustle of someone getting dressed. Since Roy seemed to be trying to keep quiet, Ed pretended to still be asleep.

At least, until Roy’s fingers brushed lightly over his hair. Then Ed reached up and grabbed a handful of cloth.

“A desk,” he reminded Roy without opening his eyes. “For the rest of eternity.”

“I’ll remember,” Roy assured him, lightly.

“Besides,” now Ed opened his eyes so he could give Roy a meaningful look, “we have to do this again sometime.” He tugged Roy down to a hard kiss.

“I quite agree, my hawk,” Roy laughed against his lips. Ed let him go.

“Gyrfalcon,” he stated. “Don’t let that be anything but the truth.”

Roy straightened, dark eyes searching Ed’s. Ed held that gaze with an effort, knowing he had just told Roy to kill.

“Who flies whom today?” Roy murmured, but Ed saw something relax in him. Roy touched Ed’s lips with his fingertips and nodded.

And left.

Ed slouched in a library chair, staring at an open book. The same book he’d been staring at for the last three days. And, despite his love of and respect for books, he was about ready to hurl this one across the room from sheer nerves.

Where was Roy? He had said three days, it had been three days. If he’d managed to screw up and get himself killed, Ed really would…

“Research going well, Edward-kun?”

The deep, familiar voice struck through Ed like lightning. He closed his eyes, swallowing against the tightness in his throat.

“Everything is fine,” he managed at last, turning to see Roy Mustang, neat and precise as always, lounging against the shelves with a faint smile and pained eyes.

“It’s time to be moving,” Roy told him.


Ed: You know, this arc started with humor. How’d we wind up here?

Branch: This arc started with you, how do you think?

Ed: …you have a point.