Pairing: Roy x Ed
Word Count: 1568
Angst! Might contain movie spoilers, but I twisted some things a bit so it's more of an AU, really.
Notes: Well, I have this AU playing in my mind for a while where Ed is allowed to say goodbye to everyone before he returned to Munich, and I totally blame this bunny to strawberrykaoru and that drawing I drew for her. XD;; And I totally disregard the fact that Al has Ed's coat in the movie. Yep. XD;;
Music: I'd say Someday We'll Know by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman. I think the mood and the lyrics of the song fit the story, partly because I was listening to that song
and watching AWTR repeatedly, but you all know that already while I was writing this. ^_^
"Today I begin to understand what love must be if it exists; when we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence." - Goncourt
“So you came.”
Edward tilted his head a bit at the familiar voice - just enough to see the man he’d been waiting for a few meters away from him. It felt really weird to see Roy Mustang in casual clothing when he was so used to seeing the man in his boring military uniform wherever he went. “That’s right, Mustang,” he said in a half-mocking tone. “You know, for someone who asked me to come here early, you came really late. What took you so long, anyway?”
“I’m sorry,” Roy said, looking down at the big box wrapped in cheap brown wrapper in his hands. “I was on my way here when I forgot something, so I decided to go back home and take it with me.”
“Really,” he said back, not sounding impressed in the least. When Roy finally stood next to him, Edward turned around to face him. In spite of the darkness, he could still make out an unsettling smile creeping on Roy’s face as the man looked at him from head to toe - it was getting unnerving. “What now?”
“You've changed,” Roy noted from nowhere.
Edward raised a single brow at him. “Should I take that as a compliment?”
“Of course,” Roy agreed, that smile never leaving his face. “Especially now that you’ve grown taller.”
If Edward was still a child, he would have made a big fuss over it, but he was no longer that scruffy fifteen year-old anymore. Making a fuss would just be sheer exaggeration. “Yeah, right.” He waved his hands dismissively. “And that big patch on your face doesn’t fit you at all!”
Roy only chuckled, unaffected, and Edward couldn’t help but return the smile despite of himself.
“It‘s been a long time,” Edward said, crossing his arms over his chest. “You know, Colonel -”
“I’m not the Colonel anymore so just call me Roy.”
“- Okay,” Edward said, a little surprised. Now, that would be tough! “And you should stop calling me Fullmetal as well, because I’m not part of the military anymore.”
“...as you wish, Fu-...I mean, Edward.”
Edward looked up at the man and laughed. “Heh...don’t you find it all weird?”
This time, it was Roy’s turn to sound surprised. “What do you mean?”
“For you to call me Edward, and me calling you Roy?” Edward’s grin grew. “I guess I’m just used to calling you ‘Colonel’ more than anything else.”
Edward did a double take. “...What?”
Roy faced around, smirking. “Bastard,” he said, as if the word was too foreign to his ears. “You used to call me that as well.”
“Oh, that. Right.” Quickly, he turned to face the sea once more to hide his blush from the older man‘s view. “Actually, I was going to ask you if life treated you well like the others in the past few years. I mean, after everything that's happened and all, but -“ he looked down, “- but looking at you now, I don’t think I need to ask that question to you at all.”
There was a long pause, and then: “You know, I...“ Roy tightened his hands around the box. “We all missed you.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Edward said, forcing a grin as he watched the city lights dance before his eyes. “Things will always go back to the way they were and everyone will go on with their lives even without us. I bet it’s easy for you to find a new lover, what with your charisma and everything, so I hardly think you remembered my name after all that.”
Roy only stared at him first before shoving the box, the thing he’d been holding on the whole time, in Edward’s hands. “Open it.”
At first, Edward was hesitant and he looked up at the man to check for any uncertainties, but curiosity won over him in the end. Slowly, and carefully, he unwrapped the box and opened the lid, pausing as he saw the thing inside. The thing happened to be a red coat, slightly tattered from its old age but the fresh smell told Edward that it was just taken straight from the laundry by someone - to be given back to its rightful owner.
“Yes.” Roy nodded, smiling. “It’s your coat.”
“I kept it,” Roy explained. “I kept it because I always knew you were alive and hoped that one day, if you returned to this world again, I would personally return it to you.”
Edward could only stare, mouth hanging and looking utterly flabbergasted. So all this time, Roy had been waiting for his return? Somewhere inside him felt glad that his lover - can he still call him that? - still remembered him after all these years when Edward thought the man had already found a replacement for him back then when he was still in Munich. It was a sad thing they weren’t given much time to talk or even catch up on things again. In the end, they both had other important things to take care of - had different lives to work out.
Edward looked down again and forced his mouth to speak. “Look, Roy, I...” And what was he supposed to say, anyway? That he would take Al with him to the other world this time? That they had to close the gate for real now so chances of them returning to Amestris again was already zero?
That they should put this futile relationship - if they still had any - to an end now before any of them could get even more hurt than they already were? Should they bid each other a formal goodbye?
To Edward, all those words would only make matters worse, but somehow, Roy Mustang always knew and understood what Edward had in mind even before he said it out loud. The man just smiled, relaxed his shoulder a bit, and said the worst.
“I know you and Alphonse are leaving tomorrow,” Roy said calmly, so calmly it surprised Edward a lot. “Hawkeye told me everything. I had a feeling you wanted to inform me about it but never found the right time to say it, so I decided to call you to meet me in the same place we’ve met before our last meeting.” Edward admired the fact that despite the present situation, Roy could still keep a straight face and laugh at the irony of it all. “Who would have thought we’d end everything in this place as well?”
Edward plastered on a rueful smile. “You really do know me that much, don’t you?”
The man smiled as an answer, and while it usually aggravated Edward to know someone aside from his brother knew him by a long shot, he couldn’t help but feel glad about it. How he wished he also knew Roy the same way, but watching the man before him, it felt as if he was dealing with a total stranger from the start - he just allowed himself to believe that he knew the man in the past because it made him an equal, but in all truth, it was just Mustang who made an effort to understand him in the first place.
Perhaps Alphonse was right: Edward was merely taking Roy for granted from the start. For someone who was known for his ability to charm any woman, Roy Mustang could love faithfully and unconditionally. It was only right to free the man so he could give his love to someone who deserved it. However...
“But since this will be the last time I’ll see you,” Roy said after some time, looking down at the startled teen. “Can you at least give me something to remind me of you?”
“Roy -” Edward’s words were cut when suddenly, Roy leaned down to kiss him not on the lips but on the forehead. Roy’s mouth felt cool and soft against his heated flesh. Even if their shared nights of pleasure were probably the most prominent memory he would have of Roy, Edward would miss the man’s overall presence and his minty scent more. He noted absently, that the scent lingered in the air even after he moved away.
Yes, he would miss this moment most of all.
He meant it as a warning to stop the man from doing anything further, but nonetheless, Roy took Edward’s hand and held it tightly in his own. “I lo-...” He paused, opened his mouth to say what he intended to say in the first place, but thought better of it. “...I won’t forget you.”
Edward told himself he wouldn’t cry; told himself he was ready to say goodbye; told himself that he’d managed to survive those years without Roy by his side. Things wouldn’t be much different if he finally ended their relationship now, but somehow...just somehow, his eyes felt hot all of a sudden and he couldn’t help but look down and block his tears from the older man‘s view.
He wanted to say the same thing; wanted to say he never wanted to leave in the first place; wanted to say he still felt the same way towards Mustang after all these years, but then, his pride wouldn’t let him. Hence, all he could say were those two useless words.
“I’m sorry,” Edward couldn't stop his voice from cracking. “I’m really sorry.”
Love can truly be cruel sometimes.
"The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost." -Gilbert K. Chesterton