I gave into this bunny after fighting it for quite a while (It's almost been a year now). I was a little worried it would break my sparkly clean-fic resolve, but I think I managed it well enough. I can't believe I actually wrote something suggestive, even if it is just a 'morning after' scenario. (Am I turning into a pervert? ;_;)
Pairing- Ed/Russel (... sort of)
Spoilers- End of Series
(If I got any of the... four German words wrong, correct me PLEASE! They felt kinda necessary here.)
He didn't have to open his eyes to sense that it was a beautiful morning; or, more accurately, he didn't want to, preferring to keep it a mystery; to take it in through sensory osmosis that the room was warmer, that the birds were singing as though they had all been awoken and prompted as to their duties in filling in the cliche. He didn't need streaming sunlight in his likely bloodshot and weary eyes to tell him the dream was over. No, he could remain, exist, just keep his little slice of the world in mental view, far away from anyone else's perception but his own. When he did this, he could convince himself that outside the glaringly bright window, there were grassy fields, and quaint farmhouses like those he had grown up seeing in his childhood; the wholesome little world he had been programmed to associate with what was good and safe. He could feel, for just a moment, as though a certain familiar presence was there, the next room, that same voice that called for him many times. Not telling himself that it was Al, there with him and it was all over now- he knew that even he couldn't lie to himself that much, but he had retained the philosphy that little by little, it was alright to substitute small bits of reality, deep within the private recesses of his mind; if he didn't do this, he would have gone insane.
But it wasn't all in pictures that he needed those escapes. Even with the far more drab coloring, and odd architecture that surrounded him, it was easy enough to fancy any beer hall or lodging house or library in Munich to be in an odd corner of Central. And yet, he had to constantly fight his painstakingly scientific and sharply cynical mind in order to find some sort of peace within that deniable musing. It was just a small brick pushed in the wall of logic that he so firmly held, that he could allow himself to believe; to keep an emergency reserve of comforting thoughts from a place that felt like home, to himself and himself only. A rose colored lining could form itself around the most unpleasant moments, and wrap itself wantonly around him, making anxiety go away, push him to move forward, to seek the truth just a little bit more; even by dishonest means, comfort was comfort.
He tried for as long as he could to pretend to sleep; tried to lull both himself and consequently the other into a few more moments of rest, hoping he could buy more time in the sweet lie before reality came crashing down again and life resumed. He listened to breathing, soaked himself in the sound and made it something to weave into his deepest inner lie, until a long sigh came, the breath was no longer the restful rhythm of sleep, and he knew that he was no longer the only one awake. A little cold spot grew in the pit of his stomach; apprehensively wishing to avoid this confrontation. He stirred and hummed, trying to perpetuate the facade that he was not yet awoken, but he sensed that the fib wasn't buying him any time.
So, tentatively, heavy lids draped and slid off of the gold they had hidden. And there, he saw-
Him. Perfectly there. It was no illusion, at least not one of the eyes for that matter. The face, those eyes, that subtle smile, even the way his light blond hair draped over his face just ever so slightly. It was perfect, an absolute dream, and yet-
"Guten morgen... mein lieber..."
-it wasn't him.
And Edward couldn't hide the uncertainty that swept over his features.
He had struggled for so long to study and stumble through the damned language; he had picked bits up hap-hazardly through his travels, read countless books and fumbled with the rich and utterly unattractive pronounciations, and he learned to tolerate the odd sound of how it rolled off his akward tongue. And yet, this was the first time that one of it's words struck him as so noble and yet so ugly all at once.
Had he really meant that?
He couldn't help but curse himself for taking it this far; for decieving this man who looked... so much like the one he loved; even had the same first name; had even studied at the same university. It seemed that fate had the most generous, and yet all at once the cruelest sense of humor. He should have known that he couldn't stop things from going this far. That he couldn't stop the way it would be percieved by either of them. It was 'the' deed; the sealing act. It was what should have bound them together.
And yet, that word stabbed him like a thin dagger in the gut; because it was meant to be so deep. And yet it had meant nothing to him; thinking about that made him him feel like... like...
A cheap whore, if there were no other words for it.
Russel drew his hand to Edward's chin gently, his face softening in concern.
"Don't feel guilty," He soothed, in that harsh language that could still somehow sound like poetry coming off his lips, "It's alright. We're here together. This is a good thing."
Edward couldn't respond, only bit his lip and looked up wistfully. How could he possibly say that this didn't mean anything; that this was all just a game, a dream, a messed up part of his sick needy mind? The fingers on his chin moved up and twirled a strand of long golden hair, tucked it away from his heavy eyes, gently as though the other man would break.
"A sad face dosen't suit you, Edward," He said, calmly, closing the space between them, letting their lips touch in a quiet, innocent kiss, with hopes that it would calm the regretful aftermath. And though the alchemist remained still, complied, he didn't- couldn't- kiss him back.
"I'm sorry, he said, when he slipped away, hurriedly dressed, collected his things, tried to tidy his share of the bottles of whatever cheap brandless alchohol it had been they shared the night before, "I- I really have to go. A-... class, I have to get to this morning." He hastily buttoned his coat and slung his beaten knapsack over his shoulder. He glanced back only once and wished he hadn't. He didn't want to see such a face; especially not one that looked so dear to him; look so forlorn, so hurt, so lost. And yet, he couldn't bring himself to confess; he couldn't be that cruel; couldn't be so heartless as to tell him, that there was nothing honest between them; that it was only the illusion of a love long lost that brought them together, with the aid of his own self-delusion, made as a shoddy substitute.
And he couldn't help himself from feeling even emptier that he had before.
Maybe, he thought to himself, Lonliness was just what he deserved.