Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Fiction ❯ Underneath it All ❯ Still Untitled-Teaser ( Chapter 13 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Ok my ever so patient fans, old and new, of this fic. I have not abandoned it. *hugs on you for not giving up on me* I am wrangling with my muse on how to progress things on the tail end of their road trip, get the fellows out of Hayden and back to central and still set up the things I’ve already ironed out or set in motion for the plot. I shall try to get this out in its entirety the moment my muse has an epiphany on how to accomplish all of this…lol. If you guys and gals want to drop any ideas my way I am all ears!
So without further delay (because a year has been more than long enough) On with the fic!!

Underneath It All 13 - Still Untitled
Even though Roy and Ed had gotten through the rough spot between them, Roy still had trouble sleeping. Getting separate rooms seemed like the appropriate thing for Roy to do at the time but now that it’s done he found he missed the constant presence at his side as he settled in for the night. It had all started with the room at Lou’s Inn having one bed but it had continued throughout the trip. Even when there had been multiple rooms to choose from at Levi’s the two had bunked together more out of habit than anything else but they bunked together all the same.
Now here it was after two in the morning and Roy Mustang was still staring at the ceiling. Tired of chasing the sleep that wouldn’t come he shed his pajama bottoms, pulled on his pants and shirt then headed for the door. With any luck, the lounge was still open and perhaps another scotch on the rocks would do the trick.
When he opened the door, the unmistakable sound of another door opening almost in unison reached his ears. When he looked towards the sound tired golden eyes met his and he realized Ed wasn’t sleeping well either. Having felt like a coward for longer than he cared to admit Roy gathered his nerve, stepped aside and motioned for Ed to come in.
How would the eldest Elric take this gesture he didn’t know but he had enough what-ifs hanging over his head to last him a lifetime and he was thoroughly sick of adding more. When Ed didn’t move right away his heart started hammering in his chest and the first true vestiges of doubt and rejection crept in.  
Roy began to wonder how in the hell he would explain this if the other man simply looked at him as if he were crazy or started asking questions.
To his immense relief it never came to that. Ed plastered on a weak smile and walked through his door.
Nothing was said between the two as Roy crossed the room and headed toward the bathroom to change his clothes. When he emerged, Ed was already in the bed with the blankets pulled up over his shoulder. Roy climbed in as carefully as he could and as soon as he was comfortable Ed drifted a bit closer and all was right with the world.
The next morning Ed awoke and began jabbering on as they usually did about what they were going to that day. Ed was oblivious to a lot of things but not being able to fall asleep in an empty bed was kinda hard for even the densest person to miss. Just because they were choosing to not discuss it didn’t eraser the event, if anything it magnified it.
Part of Ed wanted to thank Roy for putting himself out there and offering but another part of him didn’t want to think about what it truly meant, it screamed that’s what he…what they were both missing. He had thought it to be the stress of the day keeping him awake but that theory had no weight once he found himself in the calm confines of slumber moments after Roy settled into bed.
They only had one more night before they headed back to central and Ed didn’t want to dwell on or discuss such weighty matters. He wanted to meet up with Preston, let the green-eyed smooth talker drag him and Roy all over town, eat too much rich food and fall into bed exhausted and happy.
Even with this desire lying heavy in his heart, he still felt like they were ignoring the elephant in the room, so to speak. Upon further thought, Ed pondered if it really mattered since the tension was gone and both parties were happy. He supposed that was what was truly important and decided to sweep the incident under the rug.
When he left to return to his own room to shower and dress Roy simply smiled and waved at him saying he would wait there for him to return.
Roy was fighting quite the internal battle with himself. Part of him wanted to say something to Ed and be rid of some of this burden he carried but the thought of passing that weight onto Ed was unthinkable. He knew the young alchemist had to realize something between them has changed…for both of them. He felt torn, sick and happy all at once. A mix of emotion that really shouldn’t be possible, but there it was all the same.
Knowing he needed to talk he picked up the phone in the room and rang Maes. Knowing if anyone could give him some peace of mind it was Hughes.
When the jovial man answered his work phone, he was all business until he realized it was Roy. His tone turned light and stayed that way until he heard the tension in Roy’s speech.
“You sound bad, Roy. What happened?”
Roy gave him the condensed version of events covering his realization and subsequent bad reaction before falling quiet waiting for his friend to respond.
“I was hopeful and afraid this would happen at the same time. Are you going to say anything to him?”
“How can I?”
“How can you not?” countered Hughes.
“Look he doesn’t feel the same about me and opening my big mouth would just make the last day or so of this trip awkward.”
“The man could only fall asleep once he was beside you. For fucks sake Roy what more do you need to take action?”
“I’m not sure but it’s going to have to be more than that,” Roy sighed.
“It’s your life Roy but I’m telling you all the signs are there. What are you so afraid of?”
Roy’s throat went dry at the question and he stayed silent so long Maes felt the need to call his name to see if he was still there.
“If I screw up my friendship with him I couldn’t live with myself Maes. That would mean losing him all together.”
“But what if this turns into something way deeper than friendship?”
“I don’t have a good track record Maes and you know it.”
“Hell, I didn’t either Roy, but that all changed with Gracia.”
Roy sighed but held his ground. Maes backed off and promised to take him out and get him properly wasted when he returned. Roy thanked him and hung up the phone.
Roy sank down on the bed, threw his arm across his forehead and let his thoughts wander. Before long, the fact he’d only gotten a few hours sleep caught up with him and he’d dozed off.
Grass. Lots and lots of grass.
A glimpse of blond hair and the sound of laughter caught his attention. He looks up and Ed’s standing in Levi’s cow pasture a few feet away saying, “Catch me if you can old man,” before darting away and disappearing over a hilltop. Roy gives chase and like two little kids, they are running around laughing without a care.
As soon as Roy closes in on Ed the scenery changes and suddenly everything is dim and Ed’s in front of him wearing those green leather pants and nothing else. His hair was down and he was beckoning Roy forward with a hooked finger and a devilish grin.
When Roy advanced on him, he didn’t run this time. He wrapped strong arms around Roy’s neck, pulled him close as a hot moist tongue licked the shell of his ear. When Roy leaned in to return the favor Ed pulled away and suddenly the blond was tugging him down the corridor of a lodge or inn and all the doors had the numbers 005 on them. Ed dangled a key in front of him before stopping at a door. Roy grabbed the keys and pinned Ed’s body to the door with his own.
He’s kissing on Ed’s neck while fumbling to get the key in the lock. When the door opens Ed falls backwards into this void and it’s only by chance that as Roy fell forward he grabbed one of Ed’s wrists. This left Roy lying partially across the threshold on his stomach, one hand clinging to the doorframe and the other desperately holding onto Ed.  
The tenuous grip on Ed’s wrist slips until it’s only their fingers that are interlocked, as that starts to go Roy looks down into golden tear filled eyes as he feels the tears rolling down his own face. Ed smiles sadly at him before whispering, “It’s ok Roy, let go before you fall too.”
“NO!” Roy shouts as his grip on the doorframe weakens and he slides further forward.
“Goodbye Roy, don’t forget me,” Ed said smiling at him again before he relaxed his fingers…
Roy sat bolt right up on his bed. Chest heaving, scream caught in his throat.
It was just a dream.
Just a stupid fucked up dream.
He’d just stepped in the bathroom to splash water on his face when Ed strolled in. He was all smiles and energy; it was nice to see after the nightmare. Ed didn’t bring up the fact Roy wasn’t dressed already he simply sat at the small desk in the room and waited.
When Roy emerged, they locked the room and left to begin their day. The nightmare Roy had kept weighing on the edges of his mind but he did what he could to keep those shadows at bay.
They drifted through the streets of Hayden until they came upon Preston’s Print shop. When they pushed open the door, a loud bell clanged and the man they were searching for appeared almost instantly.
“Ed!” he shouted as he hopped over the low counter he was standing behind and swept Ed up in his arms before twirling him around. Ed let out a startled yelp but the grin on his face said he didn’t mind at all. Preston introduced them to the other workers of the shop before he gave them the grand tour.
The shop itself was a lot larger than either alchemist envisioned and both were impressed with what they saw. When the tour was over, they ended up in Preston’s office so he could show Ed some of the forms he intended to send to the Führer. Ed was delighted with what he saw and thought most of it was exactly what Oswyn Cross had in mind, he suggested a few things, Preston took notes and that was that.
Preston announced to his crew that he was off for the day and instructed an older man to lock up when closing time came.
The three of them went into the city with no direct plan choosing instead to play it by ear. Preston was in the midst of describing one of the local parks that had a waterfall on its northern end when Ed’s stomach growled loudly.
The green-eyed man arched a brow at Ed, “I thought we were meeting up AFTER you had breakfast?”
“Uh well Roy and I kind of had a late night so we didn’t get up as early as we usually do.”
“A late night you say?” Preston inquired as he looked back and forth between the two. Once Roy got what he was implying he rolled his eyes at the man.  Preston laughed, Ed looked lost and Roy just wanted to know where the closest eatery was.
When they reached the nearest restaurant, it was fairly empty. They walked in and as soon as Ed sat down at a booth, the lady sitting across from them had her eyes on him. She had long wavy brown hair and looked to be about Roy’s age. That in and of itself wasn’t a problem for Roy it’s just that the look in the woman’s eyes was almost predatory. She had on a short black skirt and a low-cut red blouse that fit like a second skin. As she looked at Ed, she appeared as if she wanted to devour him instead of what was on her plate.
Roy’s brows narrowed and he asked Preston if there was another restaurant close by and even though the man looked confused, he answered with a yes.
Ed looked at Roy quizzically and asked, “Some reason you don’t want to eat here?”
Yes, there was but nothing he could come out and say to Ed. Roy was in the midst of telling a fabulous lie about how the smell of something in here was getting to him when the woman pounced.
She slid in the booth alongside Preston, edging him down so she was face-to-face with Ed. She leaned in, clasped her hands together and all but purred at him from across the table. Ed swallowed hard as Preston and Roy leered at the crass woman.
She introduced herself as Ivy and went straight into how she’d never seen him around here before. Ed stuttered out a response and slid closer to Roy. She reached across the table, slid a scarlet painted nail up and down the length of Ed’s left arm, and said, “Well since you’re new here I’d love to show you around. I’m free all day…and night,” she added as she fluttered long lashes at him. Roy could feel the panic coming off Ed as he tried to figure out how to respond to this lady…if you could call her that.
Preston noted the death glare Roy was giving the woman as well as the panicked look on Ed’s face. He rightfully assumed that this woman must be why Roy was giving them some lame excuse to leave. From the way Roy was glaring at her, he knew if he gave Roy a chance to speak this would turn ugly.
He cleared his throat gaining the woman’s attention and said, “He’s got plans today Miss, sorry to disappoint you.”
She looked Preston up and down then did the same to Roy before saying, “Oh, so I take it you fella’s don’t share.”
“No ma’am we don’t,” Preston answered smoothly with a smile, “now if you’ll excuse us.” He finished as he moved to stand as Roy and Ed followed.
However, this vixen was not giving up so easily. She grabbed Ed by the elbow as he stood and said, “Have you ever considered he might want to learn a thing or two?”
There was no stopping Roy’s explosion at this point and Preston was almost looking forward to the show. This woman made his stomach turn and he wanted rid of her.
Roy grabbed the woman’s wrist and removed it from Ed’s elbow as if the limb were diseased. Hard cold eyes leveled on the woman and in a voice that sent chills up Preston’s spine Roy said, “I believe you were told no. And unless you want to spend the next decade of your life rotting in a military prison for assaulting an officer I suggest you get the fuck out of our way and go play your little games with someone who’s interested. You will not be warned again.”
The woman paled considerably before backing away without another word. Roy wasted no time ushering Ed out of the restaurant, but he leveled another glare at the woman as he passed. Once all three men were outside everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
It was obvious Ed was visibly shaken by what had happened and Roy was seething so openly both of the younger men kept their distance. They walked in silence for a few blocks before Preston said, “Damn Ed sorry about that. Usually the Sheba’s and hookers don’t venture this far over nor start so early in the day.”
Ed stopped dead is his tracks, skin turning an even sicker looking shade of white. “She was a hooker!” he shouted causing several people on the street to turn and look at him.
“No I think she was more a Sheba…she wanted a piece of you bad. That one wasn’t charging you a thing.”
Ed swayed on his feet and looked ready to either hurl or kill something. He was sputtering partial questions mixed with obscenities left and right despite Roy trying to silence him.
“We need to get him inside somewhere,” Roy mumbled to Preston. He nodded saying his house wasn’t far from where they were at now.
As Preston leads them through the streets of Hayden he was thinking on Roy’s reaction to the woman. At Roy’s age and with his looks Preston was sure the man had encountered this type of thing before so that wasn’t his issue. The issue was her touching Ed. He was livid at the thought of that woman getting her claws on him. This just further confirmed Preston’s assumption from last night. Roy had a thing for Ed and he had it bad, he looked like he wanted to break every bone in that tramps hand, Preston believed he might have done so if she hadn’t backed down.
He glanced back at Ed and the short blond was still switching between fits of angered disbelief and muttered obscenities at the woman’s gall. Preston couldn’t help but smile a bit at the blonds’ reaction. He really would have figured this sort of thing happened to Ed all the time, but of course a person tended to be shy when faced with someone who has as much presence as Ed has. That coupled with the fact Ed is seeing some guy named Jean but yet here he is out and about with Roy (again) who is quite the guard dog it seems.
He’ll have to ask Ed what’s up with him and Roy. Preston didn’t know this Jean guy at all, having never met him and only knowing him from what Ed mentions in letters, but it seems Ed spends a lot of time with Roy. It’s really none of his business but Preston was nosey like that, so he would ask anyway. You don’t get answers if you don’t ask questions.
When he got them settled in his home, he volunteered to go down the street and bring lunch back from a sandwich shop down the street. Before he left, he told Roy there was a bottle of wine in the icebox and a flask of scotch on the counter.In Preston’s eyes, Blondie looked like he could use it.

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