Title: Moments In Time
Rating: M - Just to be on the safe side. I might change it later though
Pairing: Roy/Older Al
word count: 2168
Series: Post FMA Brotherhood
Warnings: Spoilery, angst, boylove
Summary: Sometimes life takes you to places you never thought you would go. For Al, finding his place in the world turns out to be harder than he first thought. Thank you to my beta Jazz_trousers, you are awesome and thank you for all the help!
Disclaimer: I dont own FMA, nor will I ever
Ch. 3 - The Office
Alphonse Elric: 20
Central City, Summer, 1920
Brother and I were always honest with each other, always shared what was on each other's minds. We had lived so long side by side that it had become second nature just to lean over and talk to him when the mood struck or when something was bothering me. But I didn’t tell Brother about Roy, or at least not right away, although I did give him clues enough to know that there was someone who I had taken an interest in. He was happy, and wanted to meet the mysterious someone. I wasn’t sure how that would go exactly, I wanted him to be able to accept who I had chosen without him blowing up, and blow up he most assuredly would do. I needed a plan to tell brother, because telling him would be a Very Big Deal.
It wasn’t because of the gender I had chosen to be with that kept me silent; I knew that no matter what I would be accepted and loved by him. But those first few weeks of being with Roy were just so special, magical and right that I didn’t want to ruin it. I wanted to savor each and every touch of his hand against mine, the softness in his eyes when he looked at me, the smell of his skin right behind his ear, the way my name would be whispered against my lips when he kissed me, the feeling of utter contentment that seeped into my bones when his body fit so perfectly within my arms.
I had never really thought it would be a man that I would choose, and coming to terms with that was something that took a little time. But once the realization struck I felt… Awake. Alive. Exhilarated. Like my life was no longer in limbo and all I needed to do was stretch my fingers upwards and I could truly touch the vastness of the sky above and harness that everlasting source of power for myself. I knew my life would be more complicated with this turn of events, especially a being with a General in a Military faction that although didn’t outright deny homosexual relationships, definitely looked down upon them. In order to make sure Roy stayed on his narrow path to the top we needed to be discreet, and I was learning to deal with that day by day. Something I found difficult to live with too because once I had figured it out inside my head all I wanted to do was shout from the rooftops everything I felt.
Contentment born from self acceptance wrapped its gentle arms around me, and I was more than happy to find those arms attached to a tall, dark General in the Amestrian Military. His smile was still sad, and his eyes still had the weariness of a man who had seen too much in too short of a timeframe, but when he was looking at me, the problems surrounding him seemed to dissolve from his face a little bit. Whenever that happened I could feel the smile on my own face grow and change to something warm and happy, tender and kind. He had explained to me without words how much he needed me, and I found I needed him just as much, although maybe not in the same capacity, but the urge to be near him was always itching just under my skin. An itch only he could scratch.
It was Hawkeye that found out first. I had stopped by Roy’s office after a morning lecture at one of the Universities. They had wanted me to speak about the culture of Xing, and so I had gladly gone and told all those bright students everything I had seen, and even brought a few things with me when I spoke, like the outfit Ling had me wear because it was the traditional clothing one had to wear when in the presence of an Emperor (although I didn’t mention that he made me pay for the thing) and I enjoyed it, more than I had expected to. Teaching those students, although not much older than I was, came naturally and I found myself wondering if that was something I wanted to do. It also reminded me of all the things I had yet to see, the lands and countries just waiting to be discovered.
I entered his office and dropped the bag of things on the floor, then gave him a quick kiss and a flash of a smile.
“Well, this is a nice surprise.” He said, dropping the pen in his hand and wrapping it around my wrist to bring me closer. The touch sent a tingle up my arms like the crackle of a transmutation.
“I had a lecture at the university a couple blocks away, I thought I would come visit you.”
“And how did it go?” The tired look seemed to fade from his eyes when he asked me.
“Really well, everyone was hanging on every word I said, and I was able to show everyone that the countries beyond Amestris weren’t scary or full of weird people.”
“Except for Xing’s Emperor that is.”
“I didn’t get into too much about that. I think he might need a separate class entirely.”
“It’s probably a good decision, you might scare the entire country away from travelling if they knew the leader of our neighboring country couldn’t pay a dinner bill to save his life.” He stood up from his chair, stretching his hands above his head and working out the cricks from sitting at a desk for hours on end. “Do you think it’s something you might end up doing? Teaching I mean.”
“It’s definitely a possibility. I still want to travel a bit more before I decide on a career.”
“I see.” The words held weight, and I could see thoughts churning in his head, thinking about that future of his and wondering if I'd be in it. I didn’t have the answers for him, I barely knew myself, I was only twenty and still in love with life and learning and the world in general. I didn’t know how to tell him my worries or fears about the scarily large possibility of us walking down a road I couldn’t see the end of, or the blurry future we had together, and I couldn’t put more worry on his already heavy laden shoulders. What I did know, was that in the here and now, he was all I wanted.
“But before that happens…”
I pulled him close, warm arms wrapped around my waist and my hands tangled into the short hairs at the back of his head. Kissing Roy was always better than any food or drink I could consume. It was like swallowing fire, hot and searing and heating every part of me.
“Sir I have the files General Treevers asked—“ In my haste of coming to see Roy I had forgotten to completely close the door, and there Hawkeye stood in the doorway, the perfect look of wide eyed shock painted across her features. A bizarre mixture of relief and abject fear tore through me because it would have been so easy, so simple for someone else to have walked in and caught our quiet moment together, and Roy’s work could have possibly been set back by my forgetfulness.
I don’t think I had ever been so relieved to see the Lieutenant in my life, although I’m pretty sure her ideas on that differed quite a bit from mine. I was certain that if she wasn’t holding a stack of files, her hand would be at her mouth to stifle her gasp. But Roy didn’t even bat an eye, didn’t move away from me as if we were guilty teenagers caught by a stern parent, although I could feel every muscle tense and harden with unvoiced concern under my hands.
“Thank you Lieutenant, can you place them on the desk? I’ll have a look at them once I’m done.”
“O-of course sir.” She replied, and as if working on orders alone, she placed the files carefully on one of the few empty places on the desk, and left the office. This time the door closed properly.
“Sorry I didn’t close the door.” I said in genuine apology. Roy waved a hand in dismissal.
“Don’t be, I’m not. People will eventually find out about us if we decide to pursue this.” It was phrased almost as a question, with the upward rise of his voice on the last word. I leaned myself against the desk and took his hands in mine. I could feel the scar tissue on each palm and traced it with my fingers.
“I like the idea of us.”
His face softened and his body finally started to relax again. “I do too. Although I have a feeling I’m going to get an earful from Hawkeye later on.”
“Just tell her I seduced you.”
“I could see it now: The youthful adventurer seduces the distant General.”
“We could turn it into a radio show. The ratings would go through the roof.”
“Maybe if I had more time on my hands I could write it. I’m surprised you didn’t pull away.” Roy said with a squeeze of his hands in mine.
“Why should I? I don’t feel bad about being with you.” I leaned up and kissed him once more before standing up properly and taking a look at the little clock above one of the many bookshelves that lined his office walls. “It’s almost lunch. I could treat you this time?”
“With all the meals I’ve eaten with you I’m sure I will end up fat.” He said dejectedly, but the corners of his mouth lifted fractionally at the corners, and I had no idea why, but it made me ridiculously happy to see it.
“You won’t get fat. Besides, you need a little meat on your bones.” I slid my hands around his waist, where my hands could slide far too close together. He always kept his attitude the same, even when he was in the throes of the most stressful situations; it was the typical Mustang control that I had always known him for. But his body took the brunt of it. At this angle I could see how lean he had become, not quite gaunt, but if it were to keep up he would start looking like that, and soon. “I bet you didn’t even bring a lunch with you today.”
“I did so, and I will have you know it’s a delicious sandwich.”
“That you’ll forget to eat because you have so much work to do.”
“A General’s work is never done.” He sighed dramatically and pulled me closer.
“Just come with me, that way I know you’re eating, and you’ll get a break from all this paperwork.” I kissed the side of his neck and whispered, even though there was no one to keep the secret from, “I might even throw in desert.”
I could feel his teasing smile against my neck. “With comments like that your good boy identity will be irreparably shattered in my eyes.”
“Forever? Well that won’t do.”
“Mmm… I know.” The rumble of his voice carried through my chest, making me shiver with the sudden realization of how close we were, pressed tight to one another, chest to chest and hip to hip. I had grown since I had seen him all those years ago, and it was startling to find that we were the same height.
“Tell you what, if that ever happens you can still call me a good boy… Just in private.”
It was rare, if ever that the great General Roy Mustang blushed, and I had found that making the man’s face brighten a personal vice. Seeing that soft rose color dusted across the bridge of his nose and the apples of his cheeks, his eyes go wide and the hollows in his cheeks look less severe was almost breathtaking in its contrast to the person I had grown up knowing. It said that he was a man, not a tightly controlled and put together General like he so often showed the world. And I think he needed it as much as I wanted to give it. There was also something about knowing I could affect him to such an extent that filled me with glee and knowing this had spurned me into saying things and doing things just to see his face go pink. Sure enough that pretty flush rose up in his cheeks, and he opened and closed his mouth like a landed fish twice before he was able to get his voice to work.
I couldn’t help but laugh, and it bubbled up into my throat and out of my mouth before I could stifle the sound. I took his hand and started walking for the door.