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On The Streets Of Dublith

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   " Nam , I'm going to bed. Please let the dogs in when they bark."

   Without turning to look behind him, Jamie waves goodnight to his older sister. He's too busy focussing on crocheting to turn around. The fear of making a mistake is always with him. He's working on a commission for someone. A large blanket with a transmutation circle on it. Having had to restart it three times already he really doesn't want to have to go through that all over again.

   With an earbud in his ear, connected to his phone in his pocket he listens to music. Keeping himself focussed as he changes the color of the yarn he uses the earbud to skip the song. Looking up from his hook, Jamie sighs heavily. He is tired and his hands ache from crocheting all day. It doesn't help that he is sitting at the dining room table and not the couch where at least he could relax.

   But his butt is numb so there is no way he is getting up. No way.

   The crocheting continues and he finds himself proud of what he has made. It's one of his hardest projects to make. Why couldn't someone just ask for one of his easier blankets? Like his pride flag blankets. Those he can make without even looking at what he is doing. He's tired but he knows that if he tries to sleep before midnight he'll wake up way too early and be pissed off the entire day. So he crochets, and crochets, and crochets. Only getting up when he spots the dogs at the sliding glass door through the reflection on the China cabinet.

   Smiling he stands up and opens the door for them, watching them race inside and up the stairs. It's all quiet in the house, It's just Jamie, the three dogs, and his older sister. His parents are out on vacation, and his elder brother is working overnight. Now that he's up he locks the doors and moves over to the couch to sit back and finish it up. It takes time. He's been working on it for a week or so, nonstop, already and he can't wait to be done with it already.

   The sigh of relief that leaves him as he ties a knot at the end of the blanket makes him flinch from how loud it is compared to the quietness of the house. Looking down at it he smiles and stands up bringing it back over to the dining room. "Finally.." Laying it across the table he stretches his arms over his head, his shoulders giving a loud pop as he does so. Putting the crochet hook down on the table he runs his hands along the circle.

   He didn't expect it to start sparking purple and red. Why would he have? No one in their right mind would have expected the lights to start to flicker and break as they were engulfed by small dark hands.

All one can do is scream.

 


 

   It's bright. Painfully bright. All that he sees is white light around him. "This is what I get for stopping my anti-depression meds so suddenly. I'm fucking losing i—"

"You know you shouldn't be here."

   Jamie turns around and tenses up. Yep, he is losing it. There's a person.

   No, that thing is not a person. It's white as paper with everything but eyes. Truth, it called itself. "I shouldn't be here? You shouldn't exist. You're a character. You don't exist other than on paper or on a screen." Running his fingers through his hair he touches his pockets. Everything is gone. All he has are the clothes on his body.

   Not that it matters. He probably just passed out from exhaustion on the couch. In reality, he probably hasn't even finished the blanket. This wouldn't be the first time he had a lucid dream so vivid. It's like those dreams where—

"Where you think you've attended class but all along it was a dream?"

   Looking back up at it Jamie glares and steps forward. "Wake me up. I don't want to be here. I'm not losing anything. I'm not losing everything! Wake. Me. Up." A grin forms on its face and it makes him freeze. He knows what's coming. "This is it? That's what I am losing?" There are hands sticking to his face, pulling him back. "Where will I go? When will it be?!" He shouts, tears forming in his eyes.

"I'll let you chose that one. Good luck Imitation Alchemist… "

 


 

   His eyes open and all he sees are stars.

   He groans and rubs at his eyes, he must be laying down outside. Frowning he sits up and pushes himself up. Biting his lip Jamie stands up and looks around. It's actually happening. He's read stories like this never in his life did Jamie think he would be a part of one.

   His eyes scan around looking for something familiar. But there are no signs, even when he finds them nothing is in English. Jeez even if it was in Spanish he would have a chance of getting around. A small chance but a chance nonetheless. It's cold and it looks like it's going to snow. He's lost and he's going to die. "Fan-fucking-tastic!" He shouts and pulls at his hair, the hair tie holding his hair up snapping in the process. "Oh even better! This night can't get any worse!"

   Biting his lip he looks down and takes a deep breath trying not to cry as he walks around aimlessly. It when he can see his breath in the air that the tears form and he starts walking faster. All the lights are off and he's got nowhere to go. He doesn't even know where he is. He doesn't know the date or anything that could be helpful in the slightest. It doesn't help that his glasses are cracked and he can't see that well.

   As he walks through the unknown town he spots some stairs. There’s a sign that seems to be in English but its broken. De Nes. “Deh-knees? Anime Denny’s…”

   He can hear noise from it. Noise equals People. People equals warmth. Warmth is what he needs right now. Rubbing at his eyes he walks down the stairs and presses up against the door. It's much better already. The warmth feels so good on his face. He can't help but tear up more but it doesn't last long because as he sits down the tiredness from earlier hits him like a rock. Maybe if he's lucky the next time he opens his eyes he'll be on the couch of his living room with the dogs at his side smothered in blankets.

   As fate would have it nothing is going his way. At least he wakes up with one of those things. Fuzzy warm blankets. There are bright lights and he sits up so quickly he gets a massive headache. "Boss she's awake!" Groaning he rolls his eyes and burps. Jamie hates that moments later there is bile all over his lap. "She's awake and puking! Mart' go get some clean clothes. Ulchi, go get Boss. You good there kid? Know where you are, who you are?"

   "No...And James..." Jamie burps again and covers his mouth only to let it all out once there is a bucket in front of him. Rubbing at his stomach he listens to everyone talking. It makes him cringe. "I—"

   "Those are some wild bruises you got there. Who are you running from?"

   Jamie looks up and over to the voice. Oh. Oh fuck. Tensing up he looks down. He's— No. This is all some warped dream. An exciting dream but it's still warped. He knows that shitty fur collar. He knows that voice. Wait a second. What is he talking about? Looking at his arms he covers them up. Bruised. His dogs were playing rough from him. He couldn't help it. Opening his mouth he gets cut off.

   "Don't try to deny it, Roa pointed out the scars on your arm too. Someone, including yourself, is hurting you. Now tell me, Princess. Who are you running from?" Biting his lip he sighs. He should have taken hormone therapy when he had the chance.

   "I don't know…" the room fills with silence and all of a sudden he's being lifted off the sofa in the middle of the room. "Are you guys going to kill me? What's gonna happen to me?"

   "A bath is gonna happen to you. You reek and you've got dirt all over you from sleeping on the floor." He looks down and frowns at the shorter man. Dolcetto or Dorochette. He has a bet going on how it’s properly pronounced. "Martel is going to clean you off and then maybe we'll find out some more things about each other."

   Nodding his head Jamie sighs. But he knows a lot about them already. As he is carried through the halls he thinks to himself. They're all alive. How much longer until their demise? What world did he get dumped in? There are so many ways for this to go wrong if he doesn't know. How should he act? What story should he come up with?

   "Roa and I will leave you here...Martel should be here soon. Don't do anything stupid." The larger man, Roa puts him down and opens the door for him. He sits down on the floor and takes a deep breath finally alone.

   The tears are back. God, he is such a cry baby. "We aren't going to hurt you. You obviously have been through enough. Now strip." Tensing, Jamie peels his clothes off and places his hands over his chest. Uncomfortable like this. "Your name is James? That's an odd name for a girl."

   "I'm…" God, he hates coming out. Now he has to do it to people he could never imagine coming out to. "Not a girl. Please don't call me one Martel…" he looks over at her as she starts the tub. Nodding her head she notions him over. Taking off his glasses he puts his hands back on his chest and steps over to the water. It's warm. Way better than the cold night. Martel reaches her hand over, holding a soapy towel in her hold. "I-I can bathe myself please…" he hates being vulnerable. It's uncomfortable. Sighing Martel turns her back to him and leans against the tub. He watches her as he scrubs himself down. The water turning grey. It's gross. "Why aren't you asking me questions…?"

   "I hate repeating myself. Figured everyone would. The questions can wait until after you're dressed when everyone is going to ask you them." Nodding Jamie stands up and drains the water, making Martel look at him. Standing up herself she hands him the towel and the clothes. "Dolcetto-" he can't help but snort at the name. He was right about the pronunciation. Thank goodness she doesn't question it. "-found you as he was kicking people out of the bar. He dragged you inside and panicked. If it wasn't for you crying in your sleep he would have thought you were dead." She turns and looks at him as he dresses. She's...trying to talk him down. Keep him feeling comfortable. How nice. Pulling the shirt over his head he tugs it down and pats his curls dry. So much hair. "Let's go."

   Standing behind her they walk through the halls and push through the doors back into the main room. The bar. "Look who's back." Adjusting his glasses Jamie tenses behind Martel at Greed's voice. "Come sit down and we can all have a friendly chat." Frowning he looks up at her and gets a nod in response. Hesitantly he sits down in front of all of them. His head down to avoid eye contact. He's always been horrible at confrontation. Martel whispers something in Greed's ear and it makes Jamie tense even more. "Oh. Shit really? You're a boy?" Jamie nods his head and bites his lip. Shifting as he feels the weight on the sofa change as Dolcetto sits at his side. "Damn, sorry for calling you, princess. Now interrogation time." Looking up he counts the people in the room. His favorite is missing. "Who are you?"

   "James...Jamie." Taking a deep breath he looks back down and Greed leans forward. Getting close to his face. Another question. "No...I don't. Can someone please tell me what the date is?"

   "December fifth nineteen twelfth ." Tensing he looks over at Dolcetto and frowns. He's trying to remember basic trivia. The Elric's tried to bring their mother back when they were what? No, he doesn't know the answer to that. When did Ed become a State Alchemist? Was it when he was twelve? That means that was last year. There's still so much time before he comes to Dublith and ki— "You good there kid?" Jamie shakes his head and covers his face.

   "I'm sorry...my head hurts...What was your question? How old am I? Nineteen...I turned nineteen in July…" He admits, his hands shaking. This is all so crazy. It's still not registering that he is here. In the Devil's Nest. Pulling his legs up to his chest he shuts his eyes and sighs. He really feels crazy. None of this should be happening.

   "Pretty boy, don't fall asleep again we aren't done yet. I've got a lot of questions for you. Like, do you know where you came from? Were there others where you were getting hurt?"

   The image of his older sister comes into his thoughts. A lump form in his throat and the floodgates open. He's never going to see her again. He has no one anymore. The only one he had on his side was her. What will she do now that he is gone? Will they think he was kidnapped. It hurts to breathe just from thinking about it.

   "Do I need to send my subordinates out to kill these people?" Shaking his head he wipes his face. Hiccupping. He's always wanted to escape to a world like this but he never imagined it would hurt so much. "Dammit, I'm no good when it comes to people crying. Ulchi, get him a drink— and do not put anything weird in it."  When he looks up there is a glass square cup in front of him. Now is not the time to say he only likes wine and shitty wine at that. So he just curls up on himself.

   "Greed. Maybe we should give him some air. He obviously isn't doing good." Jamie takes a deep breath and shakes his head, sitting up properly as he wipes his face. "Must have had it rough. You're safe now kid. Whoever you were running from can't hurt you anymore. You're with us." Dolcetto puts a hand on his shoulder and flashes a smile. Trying his best to comfort him. God what a good dog. Without thinking he throws himself at Dolcetto and hugs him tightly.

   He expected to get peeled off but the pat on the back was much more acceptable. The questions come to an end and Jamie is left to sit on the couch as everyone tends to their everyday needs and wants. People come in and out of the bar. Some ladies joining Greed at the bar. This is normal. Jamie knows that. He can't help but feel uncomfortable though. As if he makes one wrong move and everything in the world will change. Maybe that's for the good. He could save all their lives if he tried.

   What if something goes wrong that way?

   He'll have no control over anything if he changes even one too many things. Jamie has to make sure things follow the right timeline.

   Just knowing that makes his heart hurt. There's nothing he can do but prepare himself during the next three or so years. All he has to do is make sure he doesn't get too attached to them. It was hard enough when they were just characters to him but now they are real.

   "Pretty Boy!" Jamie's head snaps up and he tilts it back to look up at Greed who is standing behind him. "Ha, you answer to it. I have a question for you. Are you bored here? Do you need something to do?" Shaking his head he bites his lip. Don't make a mistake. "You look fucking miserable. Go sit at the bar and keep Roa company or something you kicked puppy."

   Nodding his head he gets up and takes a seat on one of the bar stools. Looking up he makes eye contact with Roa and looks down. He is massive compared to Jamie. He's massive compared to anyone. Feeling a heavy hand on his hand Jamie looks up and for a second he swears he saw Roa smile.

   Smiling back, Jamie sways side to side in his chair. The bar starts to get filled as the hours go by. There is smoking and drinking. It hurts his lungs. Coughing he covers his mouth and looks down startled by the noise his stomach makes. Oh, that's right. He hasn't eaten since he woke up. Slipping off the stool Jamie sneaks around the bar-stand and starts rummaging through things until he is lifted by the back of his shirt and placed on the counter.

   "There's nothing for you back here." It's Roa again.

   "Mr. Roa?" Roa looks down at him and pours a drink sliding it over to a lady at the end of the bar. "I...Where can I get something to eat?" The two stare at each other for a moment before he nods his head walking over to Martel. The two stare at each other in silence before Martel looks at Jamie and nods. How do they do that? When Roa returns to his side Roa pours Jamie a drink. It doesn't look like alcohol. He sips at it slowly. Apple juice. Roa picks him up again and puts him back down to stand at his side.

   The taller man hands him an empty glass and a bottle of liquor. Blinking Jamie starts to pour the liquid into the cup until Roa puts a hand on his shoulder stopping him. "Who-" Roa points over to Greed. Frowning Jamie takes the glass over to him and places it by his feet that are up on the table. Trying to not disturb him as he converses to the two ladies at his sides.

   As he turns back to stand next to Roa he gets a thumbs up from both Roa and Martel. He can't help but snort as he goes back to his side. Martel pushes a plate in front of him and pats his head before disappearing somewhere. "I like peanut butter…"

   Roa gives his head a pat too and watches him as he eats, sometimes refilling his glass when it is close to being finished. The sandwich sits in his stomach like a rock. It hurts but that's to be expected as he went almost the entire day without eating anything at all. Holding his stomach he lowers to the ground and wraps his arms around his legs. It really hurts.

   Biting his lip he slowly stands and heads for a door. He knows that he walked through here when he showered earlier. Now to find that bathroom. Walking through the halls he frowns at finding out he is lost. Extremely lost. He knows he's way too deep downstairs.

   "It's all clear! I found him." Turning around he spots Dolcetto jogging up to him. "Trying to run away again kid? You aren't going to get far down here." Frowning Jamie looks down and follows after the older man, holding onto the back of his shirt as they make their way back to the bar. The smoke inside has started to fade and there are fewer people. "You can let go now." Tensing he nods and drops his hand. Looking around the room he takes a seat on the couch where Greed is and sits on the farthest cushion. Jamie curls his legs up and rests his head on the arm of the sofa. The weight of the sofa shifts as Greed stands up and walks over to the main entrance. Standing there is a face that brings a smile to his lips. A bald head he was excited to see. The tail gives it away.

   "Mister Greed! I got the cuts you asked for!"

   Greed grins and pats Bido's head taking the paper bag out of his hands taking it out of the room. Bido follows after him and Greed laughing can be heard shortly after. The bar must be closing because the amount of people has dropped dramatically. The smell of cigarette smoke gets replaced by the smell of cooked vegetables and meat. One by one the chimeras all head through the door. Jamie frowns and follows after them. Finding a table full of food and drinks. Everyone seems to have their own seat. Standing in the doorway Jamie fidgets and turns around. Heading back to the bar.

   "Oh no, you don't."

   Letting out a yelp as he is tugged by the back of the shirt he looks up and finds Greed dragging him. The other thing he finds is Greed wearing an apron around his waist. Oh, how he wished he had his phone to take a photo. It makes him want to laugh.

   "Sit down and eat." Using his foot to push a chair over, Greed drops Jamie onto the chair and moves to sit at his own. Sitting up, Jamie sits there awkwardly as everyone starts passing dishes around quickly. Plates are filled and faces are stuffed. Jamie reaches out to fill his own plate but there's a lump in his throat trying to ruin his appetite He grips his own stomach and frowns. He can't eat this. He doesn't want to eat this.

   He wants to be home and eating dinner with his sister. She promised that she would make him pork chops and even brownies because he had been having a rough week. He doesn't know he is crying again until a full plate is put down in front of him.

   "It's going to be okay. We'll protect you."

   But that doesn't help his tears. They make it worse. He knows things they'll never be able to know. It's not fair. He'd give anything to have chosen any other world to be in. Just not this one. Why couldn't he at least have been brought here in the post-canon timeline? That way he would have the freedom to do as he pleased. He wouldn't have to carry the burden of not being able to protect these people.

   Looking up from his lap Jamie catches everyone staring at him. They aren't eating. Frowning he reaches down and grabs a fork picking up a piece of chicken. As he takes the bite everyone turns back to their own meals and begins eating. Talking. Cracking jokes. Even Jamie joined in on the laughter. Telling himself that he just needs to take it one step at a time.

   That’s how he will survive this scary mess.

   For the night he sleeps on the sofa in the bar. It’s hard to sleep here. His brain is running miles per minute. It doesn’t help that every hour or so someone comes in, turns the light on, and looks at him for a moment before walking off. As if they are checking to see if he has run away yet. It’s no use. He’ll have to take a nap later in the day. He has always had an issue with getting sleep.

   Again the light is turned on and this time he sits up to see who it is. Poor Roa, having to duck to get in the room. He can’t help but chuckle. Not only at this struggle of entering a room but at the ducks that decorate Roa’s pajama shirt and the cat pawprints on his pants. Flashing a tired smile he crosses his legs, pretzel style, and waves at Roa.

   “Mr. Roa…? Can I ask something of you?” The tall man walks over to his side and sits down, knocking Jamie back with the change in weight. “Can...I arm wrestle you?” Roa’s eyebrows furrow and he moves to the other side of the table propping his arm up. Excitedly Jamie gets up, sitting in front of him and props his own arm up. His small hand squeezes Roa’s. “Three...Two...One!”

   Grunting loudly he puts all his weight on his arm and tries to take him down. Jamie knows he won’t win but he goes wide-eyed when he catches Roa looking down at him. He isn’t even trying to defeat Jamie. If anything he is letting Jamie win, with a lot of struggle.

   In a fit of defeat, he slaps his free hand onto his arm and tries using both arms to take him down. The groaning continues until the door opens and Jamie spots Dolcetto with his leg in the air from kicking it open. His arms busy dragging a blanket behind him. “Roa, you’ve been out here long enough, Come back t— What are you two doing?” Roa turns his head and waves a large hand at Dolcetto. “Are you— Ah fuck, let me help you. You can’t beat him alone.” Dolcetto takes a seat beside Jamie and puts both of his hands on top of Roa’s.

   The two of them face off against Roa with a struggle. They hear footsteps from the floor above them and then the door opens again. This time is Martel. She stares at them before slowly shutting the door. Staring at each other they shake their head and start to struggle once again.

   Jamie wheezes as he climbs on the table really putting his whole body into this. Martel returns and this time the whole gang's here. Even Greed. Greed stays standing in the doorway as everyone sits beside him all leaning to the side to get Roa’s arm down.

For a second Jamie could have sworn Roa had smirked before slamming them all into the table with plenty of ease.

   Groaning Jamie sits up and moves back over to the sofa. Everyone does. It’s a big couch pile/ Greed snickers and cracks his knuckles before sitting in front of them. Ready to face off Roa. The two set their arms up and nod their heads. He doesn’t even blink and the table beneath their elbows is broken down the middle. The floor is cracked but no one has won yet. Jamie leans over and watches in anticipation. That is until Greed’s arm just.

Snaps.

   With wide eyes, he covers his mouth and tries to not scream.

   Everyone turns to him and then they realize that not everyone is used to watching Greed get hurt or die all the time. It makes his stomach twist, even more, when Greed just twists it back into place. “I guess we have some explaining to do…”

   He gets the whole story. Martel being blown in half and experimented on. The whole crew getting experimented on. Everyone’s DNA match. Greed saving them. Giving them work and a place to live.

   “You’ll get one too. A room that is. Roa is going to have to teach you how to work the bar too. Everyone has their role. That’ll be yours.” After making sure Jamie is okay with all the information he just received they all part ways and head to their respective rooms leaving Jamie to the couch. Alone for the night.

   He doesn’t like it.

   Standing up he wraps the blanket around himself and heads down the halls. Walking through the halls until he finds the stairs that lead upstairs. Trekking his way up he walks the halls again until there is an open door to peek into. It’s Roa and Dolcetto. Asleep in bed, Dolcetto laying against Roa’s legs as the larger man stays sitting up, reading a book. Frowning he turns his head away and takes a few steps away before he hears a voice calling out to him.

   “Puppy, what are you doing wandering around?” Turing his head he sees Greed walking over this way. The taller one ruffles Jamie’s hair. “Go back to sleep.” Frowning Jamie swats his hand away and sighs.

   “I can’t go back to sleep…” He grumbles and pulls the blanket closer to his body. Looking up at the homunculus Jamie takes a deep breath. It’s all unsettling to him. That all of this is happening. It’s going to be so hard to get used to this. Greed shakes his head and takes his hand. Oh.

   Oh.

   Okay, how does one react to this? As they walk through the halls Jamie is concentrating on not freaking out, out loud. His hand is so small in Greed’s hand. Greed has warm hands. Oh god, he's holding hands with Greed for fuck's sake. How is he supposed to not freak out? Quickly he tugs his own hand away and looks down at the floor making Greed scoff.

   Greed grabs the collar of his shirt and starts to drag him through the halls and out through a door. Stumbling forward he looks up at the bed that’s up against the wall. It’s so large. This must be Greed’s room. Why on earth would Greed such a big bed? Jamie’s face reddens at the thoughts that raid his mind only to snap out of it when Greed slaps the back of his head.

   “Keep your mind out of the gutter would ya? The sheets are clean, go lay down.” Running his hands through his hair Greed rolls his eyes and takes a seat on the edge of the bed. Jamie looks down as he crawls to sit in the middle of the bed. He holds onto the blankets and pulls them towards himself. Greed kicks his shoes off and turns to the smaller one. “I’m gonna go bathe. You better be asleep when I get back, Puppy.”

   Nodding his head Jamie lays down and curls up under the blankets. Pulling a pillow into his arms he takes a deep breath and shuts his eyes. He listens to Greed walk away and then the sound of running water close by. Greed must have his own bathroom as well as his own room. It’s so weird to think of Greed needing a bedroom. He’s a homunculus. He shouldn’t need to sleep. Maybe he just likes to sleep, Jamie can understand that. Sleep is a nice thing. Naps can be the best on their own. It makes him wonder if Greed dreams. Can Homunculi dream? The footsteps draw in and he tenses, closing his eyes tightly. Pretending to sleep before Greed spots him.

   The door closes and the weight of the bed shifts. The feeling of someone pinching his cheeks makes him open his eyes. Greed is very close to his face. “What did I tell you?”

   “To be asleep when you got back…” Jamie gets a good look at Greed. He’s never seen him without his hair waxed and spiked. Not even in art. It’s weird to his hair down. He reaches a hand over to touch it but Greed grabs his hand. That doesn’t stop him. His fingers just reach it. “Soft. Almost like mine, maybe thicker.” Dropping his hand Jamie sits up and leans against the headboard.

   “Go to sleep, Puppy.” At the nickname, Jamie rolls his life and reaches to put a pillow behind his back.

   “Why the name Puppy? Is it my cheeks?” Greed snorts and lays back on the bed, starfish mode.

   “I guess you could say that. It’s a lot of things. Like when you get called on you respond like a puppy. Or your chubby stature. Everything about you is like a puppy.” Glaring at the man Jamie curls his legs into himself to make more room. “Too bad you can’t follow directions like a puppy. If you could you would be asleep by now.”  Rolling his eyes Jamie nudges him with both of his feet.

   Greed grabs both of his feet and tugs on them making Jamie screech in the process. Greed pulls him into a light choke hold and glares down at the smaller one. Not moving. “How do you expect me to go to sleep like this? I’ll wake up with a crick in my neck.”

   Rolling his eyes Greed lets his hold around him go and lays on the bed. Jamie turns to lay on his side having his back facing Greed. He tries to sleep he really does. But only when the sun is up and his body is exhausted is he able to finally slip under.

Chapter Text

   Waking up with his arms wrapped around the homunculus. Who is wide awake. Just watching him. Is another thing he didn’t expect. None of this seems real yet. It’s freaking him out. With a sigh, Jamie peels Greed's arms off of himself and slips out of the bed. He walks into what seems to be Greed’s bathroom. Washing his face he runs his tongue over his teeth and cringes. He needs to brush his teeth so badly. Looking around he snoops into the cabinets until he can find a toothbrush that doesn’t seem to be in use. Thank god.

   Never in his life did he expect to get excited to brush his teeth.

   With a clean mouth, he sniffs his armpits and cringes at the smell. He really just needs to completely wash himself. Time to go clothes hunting. Sighing he leaves Greed’s room and walks through the halls. Learning to find his way around the building. Pushing into the bar he smiles as he finds Bido sweeping the floor. “Morning…”  Jamie can’t help but frown as he watches Bido flinch. “Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you…” Shaking his head he looks around the room and finds Roa wiping down the counters. Walking up to him Jamie gets a head pat from the large man and it brings a smile to his face. “Mr. Roa, I was wondering if I could borrow a large shirt of yours so I could take a shower?”

   The bull nods his head and walks off, prompting Jamie to follow after him. He walks him to his room where Dolcetto is sitting in the window frame, his feet crossed under himself. He turns around and waves at Jamie. “Morning.” Roa moves into his dresser and tosses him a large shirt. One that will probably reach his knees. Jamie catches it and smiles before standing over beside Dol.

   “What are you watching?” He leans against the windowsill and looks outside.

   “Just the sky.” Dolcetto places his hand on Jamie’s shoulder and nods, pushing off and standing on the roof. “Call me down when it’s time for breakfast okay Pup?”

   “Will do.” Taking the shirt he heads back to Greed’s room and finds him sitting up on the bed, spiking his hair up. “Morning.” He whispers and ducks his head down as he moves to the bathroom. Shutting the door behind him he peels his clothes off and starts the water. He washes his hair and scrubs down while under the hot water. The knocking on the door makes him flinch and let out a shriek. “Y-Yes?”

   “Hurry up, I’m making breakfast. You better be down in twenty minutes.”

   Sighing heavily, Jamie rinses off and shuts the water down. He steps out and dries off with a small washcloth.. The large shirt is put on and he just keeps his underwear on. He’ll have to wash them later but he doesn’t have enough clothes. So a shirt that is almost a dress it is.

   Heading out to the bar he smiles at the sight of everyone chilling at the sofas and at the bar stand. He moves around and finds Greed and Roa cooking. “What are you so happy about?”

   Flinching Jamie looks away from Greed. “Nothing…” Moving over to the stove to see what they are cooking he tugs on the end of the shirt. Pancakes. They’re huge too. The smell of bacon and eggs makes him happy. Makes him feel comfortable and at home. “Mr. Roa? Can...Can I make cinnamon rolls?” The large men look down at him and Roa smiles while Greed grins. Either way, he gets his hair ruffled by the both of them. A thumbs up is the response he gets.

   Nudging the men out of the way he sets up the oven and then panics. “Wait— Celsius or Fahrenheit?”

   “Celsius. Who in their right mind use Fahrenheit in an oven?” Sighing heavily Jamie turns the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and moves to look around in the cabinets. Tying his hair he washes his hands and moves to sit at the table to get the rolls ready. He loves how good it smells in the kitchen. Cinnamon rolls are his favorite. “Ah fuck what the hell are you crying about now?” Flinching he touches his face. Oh. It’s wet. Greed’s right he is crying. He didn’t even notice.

   “Sorry...I just—” He shakes his head and looks down at the log of dough in front of him. “My mom made us Cinnamon rolls when she wanted to show us she loves us…” Sighing he grabs a knife and puts the rolls in a pan before tossing them in the oven and heading out to the bar. He takes a seat and looks around. Dol is still upstairs. Groaning he stands back up and heads up the stairs to find him. Lying comfortably under the sun. Knocking on the open door he walks over to the window and smiles. “Breakfast is ready.”

   “Thanks, Pup.” Rolling his eyes Jamie steps away from the window so Dolcetto can come in. “I saw that. Do you not like the nickname?”

   “I don’t mind it. It’s just Greed told me why he calls me it and I don’t like that. I’m...I’m not some kicked puppy.” Dolcetto pats his back before they head downstairs. Walking into the kitchen to check on the cinnamon rolls he watches Greed take them over to the table. “Oh...Thank you.” Taking a seat at the table he waits for everyone to start heading over. He finds it funny that they eat at the table like this all because it’s what Greed wants.

   Greed may never admit it but they all know he views them as a family. His family.

   Plates are served and food gets passed around. A nice breakfast, it reminds him of Christmas morning breakfast. Making Jamie wonder if they do this every day. God, he would get so fat if that happened. Everyone helps with cleaning the table but then leave to do their own thing.

   Jamie’s new thing is hanging out with Roa and learning how to run the bar. It’s really a matter of remembering who likes what seeing that they don’t get new faces around here. It’s more of an on the job practice so it leaves him until night time to do whatever he wants.

   He really needs to find something to occupy his days.

   “Puppy!” Flinching he almost falls off the couch as he hears him being called. Sitting up he looks over the couch and see’s Dolcetto standing in the doorway. “Come with me. Roa and I are going to go pick up stuff to make you a bed.” Frowning he stands up and shakes his head.

   “You don’t have to do that...I’m more than okay sleeping on the couch. It’s more comfortable than my old bed.” Fidgeting with his hands he looks down. He feels a slap on his back pushing him forward and he turns quickly to glare at the attacker only to step back at the sight of Greed standing there.

   “Just go with them and get the damn bed.” Huffing he turns away from Jamie and walks off. Going to do whatever Greed does. Glaring at the back of his head he sighs and stands over at their side. Stepping out of the bar they walk up the stairs and into the sunlight. It’s warm on his skin and it gives him the chills.

   As they walk around, Jamie stays close to their side. They head to the safer areas of town where the nice shops are and hit up a carpenter. That’s where they get plenty of wood to build the frame. They can get a mattress later. Together they carry different sized bundles of wood and carry them back to the bar, heading right up the stairs to put the wood in the attic for now. They still don’t have a set room for him yet.

   “Don’t worry about it Pup, you’ll get a room. Even if you have to share it with one of us.” Jamie smiles as they head back down the stairs. It’s time to clean up and get ready to open the bar. It’s quick and easy, it cleaning up after they close that is a pain in the ass. No one likes it but no one complains either. It's something Jamie just has to get used to until he finds something to help him pass the time.

   For now, he’s chilling on the very top roof, drawing with a lamp to give him more light than the moon is providing. It’s flat so it’s the perfect place to hang out on.

   “What are you up to?”

   Flinching he turns around to Greed sitting down at his side. It makes him reflexively crush his drawing in his hand.”Dammit..” Unraveling the drawing he frowns and stares at it. “Ugh, now it’s smudged..” As he goes to shred it, Greed takes the paper right from his hand and looks at it.

   “This is going on the fridge.” Greed pats his head and stands up heading for the door. “Good job, kid.” Blinking Jamie watches him as he leaves. Greed thought his art was nice? Smiling Jamie takes another piece of paper and starts to draw again until he can hear someone calling for him from outside. Peeking his head over the ledge he sees Ulchi standing in the street. Waving he collects his things and heads back inside blowing the lamp out as he shuts the door behind him. Walking down the stairs he peeks his head into the room until he finds everyone sprawled out against the floor.

   “Long night…?” All he gets in response is a collection of groans. It makes him chuckle as he moves and sits on the floor beside the table. He joins everyone in the laying down session.

   “Alright you little shits, not you Roa you’re the biggest turd out there, dinner is ready. Someone help me serve because by the looks of it we aren’t making it to the table.”

   Again they all groan.

   “Oh cut the shit!” Crossing his arms over his chest, Greed does a random pick. "Alright. I'm thinking of a number one through fifteen. Start." Jamie says ten. Martel says zero which makes Jamie snort. Bido says seven. Roa is thirteen. Ulichi and Doc say nine. Dolcetto was the unlucky one who guesses right and said two. He was the one Greed made help him out. Still chilling on the floor everyone begins to eat once there is a plate in front of them. It's quiet. Everyone must be too tired to bother communicating. Taking a deep breath, Jamie stands up and heads into the kitchen with a few plates in his hands. He puts them in the sink and starts washing them. It's nice and quiet today. 

   It's only when he starts to think of home does he realize it being quiet is no longer a good thing. Quietness gives him room to think about things. Things he doesn't want to think about because they bring him pain. So he stops and distracts himself with making some cookie dough. Part of him is tempted to eat the entire batch but the other side wins and tells him to bake them so the others can have some too. 

   It makes the kitchen smell nice. As he takes a tray out he spots some heads looking into the kitchen. He smiles and puts them down on the table. Getting the others to sit down in the process. In return he gets a pout from Greed.

    "I guess thats one way to get everyone to the table." His pout fades as he ruffles Jamie's hair. "Good boy, Puppy." 

Chapter Text

   Seeing snow as Jamie woke up was nice.

   He wrapped himself up in blankets and headed up to the roof to see how much piled up. By the struggle he had opened the door, he knew there was plenty. With excitement in each step, he ran back down the stairs to steal a jacket right out of Dolcetto’s closet. He must have been loud coming down the stairs because he ran into the room, Roa and Dolcetto were sitting up in bed watching the door.

   “You better return that!”

   “I will I promise!” He smiles and throws it on as he makes his way through the halls again. Others peeking their heads out as he runs past their rooms. It hadn’t snowed at all since he first arrived and that was just a flurry. For the rest of December, it didn’t know either. Snowfall was a great way to start the new year.

   “What are you so excited about so early in the morning, Pup?” Jamie skids to a stop and smiles at Martel. She’s wrapped in so many blankets that Jamie wouldn’t be surprised if she stole all of them from everyone’s room.

   “It’s snowing!”

   “You’re excited….over snow?”

   “Yep!” He smiles and wraps her in the blanket he had been dragging around before running back up to the stairs. He struggles yet again with getting the door open as he makes it up to the roof. Jamie has to suck his stomach in to squeeze through the door. The wind blows right through him making him shiver almost instantly. Jamie squeaks and starts to kick the piled up snow out of the way as he shuts the door.

   As snowflakes stick to his curls he smiles and stomps down the snow to make a path to the other side of the roof. He looks over and smiles at how snowcovered everything has become. Looking down at the streets he spots Greed walking down towards the bar. “Boss!”

   Greed looks around and then up at where Jamie is waving down at him. “Kid, what the hell are you doing up there? Go inside! It’s freezing!” Smiling Jamie shakes his head and lets himself fall back onto the roof into the fluffy snow.

   It’s so soft. It’s not fighting snow at all. It must be super fresh but coming down hard. It’s good snow.

   At the sound of the door opening, Jamie looks up as he feels something grab his ankle. He squeaks and sits up. “Inside, Boss’ orders. You’re going to get a cold at this rate.” Puffing his cheeks out at Dolcetto he takes a handful of snow and throws it right at his face despite the delicacy of it. Dolcetto blinks and drops his ankle in shock.

   Jamie can’t help but snort and break into a fit of laughter at the look of Dol’s face.

   “Oh, now you’re getting it!”

All he can do is screech as he gets snow kicked at him. It’s war now.

 


 

   “I tell you to bring the kid in to avoid him getting a cold and now the both of you are sneezing messes!” Jamie frowns as he clings to the blanket wrapped around him that he’s sharing with Dolcetto. Greed has been scolding them for a while now. Martel hands him a glass of tea and ruffles his frozen hair with a warm towel. “Next time listen to orders.”

   “Yes, Boss.” They say in unison as they sip the warm drinks. They had fun so they aren’t complaining over the occasional sneeze. Even if Greed does glare at them anytime either of them let one out. It wasn’t long before Roa sat down between them and the two chilled messes cuddled up against him. Roa is a human heater. No wonder Dolcetto sleeps in the same bed as him. Must be nice during the winter.

   “I doubt anyone is going to be stopping by tonight, so anyone who isn’t cold-blooded grab a shovel and start cleaning around the building. I died three times already today because of this nuisance powder falling from the damn sky.”

   Whining Jamie frowns as Roa stands up and leaves the room, returning with a coat and hat on. With shovel in his hands, he heads outside to get to work. Jamie looks over at Dolcetto and sighs leaning against him for warmth. It makes Dol tense. “What the hell, kid, your hands are freezing!” Jamie grins and touches his face with his hands, getting a squeal out of him.

   For that, Greed threw them both out the door into the snow to help Roa.

   With a sigh, Jamie takes a shovel and gets to work. Roa tackles the snow in the road while they clear the sidewalks. It’s a good way to work up an appetite while Greed worked on making breakfast. Soup on a day like this was a great idea and it was gone before they knew it.

   As Jamie helps Mart with the dishes he turns around at the feeling of a hand on his shoulder. “Yeah Greed?” Wiping his hands dry on his pants he steps back to look up at the homunculus.

   “I need you to do a grocery run. We need to stock up the freezers before the real snow storm hits.” Greed hands him a small bag. It’s heavy. Must be money. “Get meat. Lots of it. There are plenty of butchers. Just pick one.”

   “Am I going alone?”

   “Yeah, take a backpack. Think you can handle it?”

   Frowning, Jamie nods and puts the small bag into his pocket before heading upstairs to take a bag with him. He bundles up in dry clothes and walks out the main door. It’s cold out and the snow doesn’t seem like it is going to slow down anytime soon. Checking how much money was given to him. He wonders how much everything will cost. Pocketing the money he sighs and burrows his face into his jacket.

   The cold wind hurts his cheeks.

   Taking a deep breath he keeps his eyes peeled for a certain shop. He may not have all the freedom in the world but Jamie would like to use what he has to meet others he’s only dreamed of meeting. What better excuse to use than Greed wanting him to get meat to head to the Curtis butcher shop. Pushing through the snow he finds the small building and smiles at its OPEN sign.

   Stepping through the door a small bell rings as he wipes his feet on the welcome mat. Dusting the snow out of his hair he takes a deep breath, chills running up his spine at the warmth. “Excuse me? Anyone home?”

   Jamie could hear a soft “Just a minute!” from somewhere in the shop. Taking another deep breath he fidgets with his hands. “What can I help you with?” Flinching, Jamie looks up and standing at the counter is Mason. Stepping forward Jamie takes out the pouch of money Greed gave him. He puts the backpack down and smiles.

   “I’m really new to this so I apologize in advance. This is the first time I was allowed to do a grocery run—” This gets a chuckle out of Mason and it makes Jamie flush red in embarrassment. “ — so I just...How much pork, chicken, and beef can I get for this? My boss uh. Has a bar and wants me to get as much as I can.” Mason takes the bag and looks inside. His eyes widen as he looks inside.

   “You’re going to want to take more than one trip if you are doing this all alone, kid.”

   “You know...You probably aren’t that much older than I am. I’m turning twenty soon. I'm basically a grown man.” It wasn’t a complete lie. He is turning twenty. Just not for another six months.

   “Oh? You’re pretty small for someone your age.” Jamie shoots him a glare as Mason sharpens a knife. “Ha! That face. Reminds me of a brat I know.” Blinking Jamie frowns and shakes his head. Edward. “I’ll cut you up as much as you can carry okay? Then you can come back and get more if you need any.” Smiling Mason starts wrapping the cuts in butcher paper before handing them to Jamie.

   The sound of the bell above the door ringing makes Jamie turn around.

   All the blood rushes to his face as he watches the Izumi Curtis wipe her boots on the mat. “Mason I'm done shoveling.” Quickly Jamie looks down and starts putting the cuts in the backpack. "My goodness, are you having a party?" Tensing Jamie looks up at her and zips the bag shut once he has as much as he can fit in it. It's cold enough outside for the walk back without the food going bad.

   "No...I was just told to pick up as much as I could so we wouldn't have to worry if we got snowed in." Biting his lip he looks over at Mason who is handing him one last packet. "If you have a paper bag I can still carry more. I'm stronger than I look." This gets a snort from Mason as he starts cutting into more meat. "I know I'm gonna make more than one trip but I'd like to carry as much as I can in the first one." 

   "You are going to pay for all that right?" Frowning Jamie watches Izumi slip behind the counter to look at what Mason is cutting into. 

   "Don't worry about it, Izumi. He already paid for everything. You should get a photo of him; he's our best customer yet." 

   Jamie's face reddens as he takes the now full paper bag. "I-I'll be back for the rest. Sorry for all the trouble." He bows his head politely and turns for the door. Mason waves a hand as he puts another cut into a fresh paper bag. 

   "Have a safe trip, Kid." Jamie smiles at Izumi and waves a hand at her as he steps outside. 

   Fuck it is cold outside. 

   Taking a deep breath, Jamie makes his way back to the bar. It's a bit of a struggle with all this extra weight, but he hates taking more than a necessary amount of trips. His older sister was nicknamed Hercules because she would try ( and ninety-nine percent of the time succeed at ) bringing all the groceries in from the car in one trip. Rachel did rub off on him for that. Taking a turn he freezes at the sight of someone being cornered. Taking a deep breath he slowly backs away, hoping the people wouldn't notice him. As he steps back, his shoes lose traction and he slips on the icy snow making the wrapped cuts fall out of the paper bag.

   "Dammit..." He whispers and quickly starts to fill the paper bag back up. As he reaches for the last one a foot steps on it before he can grab it. Looking up he frowns and holds the bag close to his body. "Please just take the pork, I need to get home before dinner time." Standing up he steps back but bumps into another person. 

   "Well look what we have here. What's a pretty girl like you doing out here on your own?" Jamie cringes as he looks around for an escape. "Lemme see what's in the bags." Jamie squeezes the bag close and shakes his head. God. He is going to be in so much trouble if he gets hurt or worse, late for dinner. "Hand it over, kid." 

   "What's with everyone calling me kid today? I am not a damn kid. Just let me go. My boss is going to kill me at this rate. I still have more errands to run." He takes a deep breath and tries to push through the group only to have his hair pulled on. He shuts his eyes and hisses in pain as he is kicked to the ground and his back is stepped on, pinning him down. He can't tell what weighs more, the meat or the foot keeping him down. Looking up he frowns and bites his lip at the sight of the meat packets spilled out on the snow. 

   "We'll be taking this— and you know what. We are taking you to." Tensing up he goes wide-eyed as he is picked up. He squirms and tears threaten to form in his eyes as he starts shouting. 

   "Greed! Dolcet—" A hand gets placed over his mouth as he is thrown over a shoulder. 

   "Nope. We are not having any of that." Biting his lip Jamie shuts his eyes and starts to cry. God dammit. Nothing can ever go his way. Shaking his head he takes a deep breath and starts to squirm. He feels a hand grab the back of his shirt and he is lifted in the air. "Cut the shit kid. Crying and kicking isn't going to get you anywhe—" 

   Without finishing his sentence the man drops Jamie and screams out as his hand falls with him. 

   Blood coats the snow under is and Jamie is quick to scurry away. As he makes a run for it two strong arms wrap around him and he starts to squirm away. He needs to get the hell out of here. "Puppy, calm the hell down, it's me." 

   Greed. 

   Sighing heavily in relief he wraps his arms around the homunculus and squeezes him close, crying into his chest. "Hey hey hey, cut that out. There's no need for that. Look, Dol is taking care of everything." Without letting Greed go, Jamie watches as Dolcetto kicks ass. The five men are unconscious in the snow as Dolcetto walks towards them, holding the paper bag of meat in his arms. He hands it to Jamie before tilting his chin up. 

   "They didn't do anything to you, did they? And wounds?" Jamie shakes his head and hugs the man tightly. His shoulders shaking in fear. As if it wasn't over now. "Good...Boss, I think we need to train him to fend for himself." 

 

Chapter Text

   Jamie wheezes as he topples over.

   Holy fuck Greed can pack a punch. They aren’t holding back on him either and he feels like he is going to throw up at this rate.

   They’ve been at this for almost two weeks now and Jamie isn’t getting any better. He can’t even manage to land a punch on Greed and it’s making him feel pathetic. It’s like the man isn’t human. Oh, wait.

   He doesn’t move from his spot on the floor. His legs are too sore and his back is exhausted. He can’t support his own weight like this. Greed picks Jamie up by the back of his shirt and forces him back on his feet. His legs shake beneath him. Like a newborn deer.

   “Jeez, Kid, even real puppies have a sharper bite than you.”

   Snapping his head up he glares and wipes the sweat from his forehead, his arm falling limp at his side right away. Before he has a moment to think, Greed swings a fist and Jamie stumbles back to dodge it only to stumble over his own feet.

Waking up on his bed in the process.

   Taking a deep breath he slowly sits up, an ice pack falling onto his lap as he turns his head. Wincing he looks around and rubs at his eyes. “It’s too bright.” His head is pounding and the lights are only making the pain worse.

   “Boss! He’s up!” Flinching Jamie covers his ears and rolls onto his side to get away from the harsh light. “For a moment, Pup, I was worried you were going to wake up. Those are some gnarly stitches Mart had to give you.” Dolcetto’s words make him tense as he feels around his head until his fingers run over some crusted blood. The back of his head must have cracked open when he fell over.

   “I’m glad you’re alive. But don’t think I don’t know what you did. Giving yourself a concussion so you don’t need to practice fighting.”

   Sitting up he glares over at Greed as he makes his way over to Jamie’s side with a fresh ice pack. “I didn’t mean to almost kill myself you jackass.” Flipping him off he swings his legs over the side of the bed and stands up. It takes a moment for him to compose himself. God his head is pounding and he can’t stop thinking about it. Thank goodness its so quiet or else the pain would probably be even worse. It’s nice and quiet. Oh. That makes him think. “What time is it? Did you guys not have the bar open?”

   “We did. It’s morning already.”

   Oh. That makes sense. That’s why it is so bright out. Taking a deep breath he rubs at his eyes and leaves the bedroom, heading downstairs to get something to eat. He’s awfully hungry. Stepping into the kitchen he walks in on Martel sitting down at the table wrapped in a surplus of blankets. She looks over at him and smiles.

   “How’s your head feeling?”

   “Like shit. How’s being cold-blooded during the winter feeling?”

   “Like shit.” The two snort as Jamie looks through the fridge to find something to make at least a sandwich with. Grilled cheese it is.

   As he gets the stove on and a pan heated he makes the sandwiches before making another two for Martel in hopes to warm her up. Putting the two on a plate he smiles as he places it in front of her. “I can start a fire in the basement fireplace if you want. That way you’re not so cold…” He puts his plate down and cuts it in half.

Triangles because he isn’t a heathen.

   Taking a bite he rubs at his face, smearing crumbs on his cheeks in the process. When he looks up Martel is gone and so is her food. All that is there is an empty plate in the sink ready to be washed. Sighing he takes a deep breath and eats alone. Reaching for the second sandwich Jamie tenses as a hand reaches and takes it from his own. “Hey!” He turns around and glares as he watches Greed take a bite from his food. “If you wanted a grilled cheese you could have just asked me to make you one like I did for Martel.” Huffing he leans forward to prevent Greed from stealing anymore.

   “Speaking of Mart; she’s waiting for you in the basement. She’s cleaning the chimney right now.” Taking a deep breath he takes one of the triangles and heads out of the kitchen.

Leaving the last triangle for Greed to eat.

   Walking down to the basement he stops outside first to grab some dry firewood. Using his foot he kicks the door to step into the basement. “Mart? I brought some wood— I’ll be right back. I need to grab more.” True to his word he came back but with larger logs this time and a box of matches. Oh, he even had Roa help him out with bringing pillows and blankets down there.

   Jamie used a few old newspapers to start the fire then tosses those on the smaller logs. He finds himself only relaxing once the logs themselves catch fire, warming up anyone close to it. Taking a seat next to Martel he pulls a pillow into his arms and lays back. It's nice and warm. The wood smells good too.

   It’s not long before Bido makes his way into the room. Ulchi too.

   Jamie snickers and turns to them. “Welcome to the Reptile Retreat.” Bido chuckles and curls up tighter around his tail. Martel rolls her eyes and gently punches Jamie’s shoulder while Ulchi does the same to his other.

   With the fire going steadily, Jamie stands up and leaves the room. They should be able to keep the flames alive without him. First, he goes into the kitchen to wash his and Martel’s plates only to see that they’re already dried and put away. Smiling he peeks his head into the bar area and spots Greed standing in the doorway, looking up the stairs to the outside. Taking a deep breath Jamie sneaks up behind him and punches him the back with a grin.  

   “There. I finally landed a hit on you.”

   Greed turns his head and looks down at Jamie before ruffling his hair. “I guess you did.” Jamie smiles and looks out the door then back at Greed.

   “What are you looking at?”

   “Waiting on Dolcetto. I’m having him run out and get something for me.” Greed crosses his arms over his chest and leans against the doorframe. Nodding his head Jamie steps back and moves to sit on the couch. He lays back and rolls onto his side. Unable to understand why he is so tired despite just waking up a couple of hours again.

   He’ll blame it on the stitches.

   Getting comfortable enough to fall asleep on his couch isn’t hard. He feels himself slipping under until he feels someone lift and then drop his legs. Without sitting up, Jamie looks over his shoulder and blinks at the sight of Dolcetto sitting under his legs, a plush….Alpaca? Yes. The sight of Dolcetto sitting under his legs, a plush alpaca in his arms. When Dolcetto notices Jamie is looking at him he smiles and hands Jamie the plush. “Here, from Boss. He felt bad for knocking you out— but don’t tell him I told you that.”

   Holding the creature close he smiles and flops back over, using it as a pillow as he goes in for another nap.

   If anyone needs him he knows they’ll wake him up. There’s nothing to worry about.

Chapter Text

   Jamie finds himself carrying the alpaca with him everywhere he goes. It’s so soft and it's adorable. What matters most is it reminds him of home. Of his dreams. His dreams were ever changing but they always had been connected to agriculture in some form. From wanting to grow plants to floral design. There were those years he wanted to run away and work on an alpaca farm. It’s somewhere he thought he would find himself happy.

   He carries the thing with him around the bar, he carries it in his bad when he goes out on runs for food. The thing watches when Greed spars with him. It’s his new favorite pillow when it’s time for bed.

   That’s where he is right now, laying in bed holding Harry close in his arms. His stomach has been hurting all week. “I’m just ovulating, Dol. You can stop pacing the halls. I’ll be okay in a couple days.” He curls in on himself as Dolcetto stands in the door frame.

   “I don’t know pup, you look like garbage— no offense.” Dolcetto takes a seat on the edge of the bed and crosses his legs together. He leans forward and presses the back of his hand to Jamie’s forehead. “You’re burning up, kid. Is Greed pushing you too much?”

   “No! It’s— just a cold.” Jamie frowns and pulls the blanket over his head. “I’ll just sweat it out. I’m fine.” He’s sick. He knows it now. This happens every year. He has never had a great immune system. He’ll just need to have some hot tea and stay in bed to sweat it out until it’s gone. It’s not going to be fun but it’ll pass.

   But—

   It’s not passing. It’s getting worse.

   From the puking to Roa having to get a doctor they know to hook him up with some fluids because he’s throwing up in the bin faster than he can put food into his system. He feels so pathetic. He knows that he gets sick easily but it hasn’t been this serious since he was a small child. When his kidneys almost shut down and he couldn’t bring himself to even go to the bathroom without it.

   It’s scary.

   Not just for Jamie but for everyone. Walking in to help him go to the bathroom. Wiping him down in the tub. Even trying to get him to eat. He looks like he is on death’s doorstep.

   He’s lost track of how long it’s been. Everything happens in shorts scenes to him. A new one every time he blinks.

   “Kid...You need to eat. Just because I can eat and not have any consequences doesn’t mean you can live that way too.” Greed pushes his hair off of his face and lifts the spoon to his mouth. Jamie keeps his lips tight and turns his head away, making Greed grab him by the jaw to feed him. “Eat dammit.”

   “I’m just going to throw it up….It’s too cold.” He frowns and shuts his eyes tightly. He doesn’t have enough bodily fluids in him to cry but he feels them forming. “It’s so damn cold…” Greed sighs and puts the food down. His arms scoop under Jamie and he lifts him, careful and weary of the IV port in his arm as he wraps the blankets around him. Jamie curls in on himself and holds onto Greed tightly.

   The homunculus carries him down into the basement and sets him on the pile of pillows. He turns to the fireplace and starts setting up the logs. The crackling of wood gets Jamie’s attention. The soft burn warms him up and he shuts his eyes. Taking comfort in the feeling of a tight embrace around him. For once he starts to feel rested in the sleep he gets.

   That is until he throws up right into the bin. God, he is so tired of being sick.

   When his eyes open he sits up and looks over, Greed is still laying at his side. Frowning he wipes his mouth and holds the bin close. “Greed…” The homunculus looks over and rubs at his back. Trying to comfort him. Everything just hurts. “I think— I think I’m dying.” Greed glares at him and pinches his cheek.

   “You aren’t dying, you over dramatic brat. No one is allowed to die on me. I won’t allow it.”

   Jamie rolls his eyes and puts the bin down. It smells and he swears if he breathe in its stench one more time he’ll throw up again. His stomach hurts because there’s nothing to pump out but his body insists on trying. Slowly he tries to stand, having to use the wall for support. He has to go to the bathroom.

   He gets one step out of the room before his knees buckle and he drops to the floor. Creating a very embarrassing moment.

   “Kid you need h—”

   “Do not come over here!” He shouts rubbing at his eyes. If Greed were to see this he wouldn’t be able to live here anymore. He is grown. There is no reason for this type of lack of control over his own body. “I-I’m fine …” He bites his lip and stands up, shakily making his way over to the kitchen. “Towels…” Moving around he finds the towels and heads back to The Reptile Retreat, as he calls it, as fast as he could. When he gets there, Greed is already cleaning up his mess. “Don’t! I’ve got it.”

   “Last time I checked. You don’t got anything. Go head to the showers. I’ll get you some clean clothes.” Jamie frowns and looks down at himself.

   This is so painfully embarrassing.

   “Go!” Tensing, Jamie flinches and starts to waddle away. He’s tired by the time he reaches the bathroom. He sits on the floor and leans over the tub. Exhausted, he takes off his clothes and tosses his pants into the sink. He’ll have to hand wash them.

   Gross.

   Taking a deep breath he slowly crawls into the tub and starts the water, boiling hot because his body is way too cold. The heat, the steam, the burn. They are all welcome. It makes him feel better as he scrubs his body down. When he’s done he’ll plug the tub and just relax in the hot water. But right now he needs to scrub down the nasty feeling that is clinging to him.

   A knock on the wall makes him look over. He quickly shuts the curtain until only his face is visible as Greed puts some fresh clothes on the top of the toilet lid. He sits down and presses his back against the tub. “Before you say anything, I’m staying. I don’t trust your pathetic ass not to drown without supervision.”

   “Thanks. I’ll just drown with supervision.” He snorts and rinses off the suds. He reaches for the plug and lets the tub fill. His skin is so red and raw but this is the best he has felt in weeks. He can’t wait for the snow to stop falling that way he can start to really feel better. Resting his head on the edge of the tub he runs his wet hand through Greed’s hair. Smiling at how surprisingly soft it is despite the intense amount of gel he must use. Greed tilts his head back and watches Jamie.

   “I expected it to all be spiky. How do you manage that?”

   “Patience, and I keep my head upside down when I do it.”

   Jamie blinks and sits up, the water splashing down in the process. “Really?”

   “No. That’s too much effort. It just dries like this.”

   Pouting Jamie glares and sits back in the tub. The hot water makes him feel tired. A good tired. Not that gross groggy feeling that he hates. This is a nice sort of sleepy. Like a cat laying in a sunny spot on it’s back. He knows he shouldn’t fall asleep in the tub, that it is dangerous, but he can’t help it.

   Thank goodness for Greed because he was right; he would have drowned without supervision. With Greed he was able to wake up dressed, warm, and have Harry in his arms. He’s grateful for everyone here. Helping him when he cannot help himself.

Chapter Text

   Jamie was grateful the illness started to pass as quickly as it did. It was just sad and pathetic that is was almost the start of spring when we were finally allowed to go outside of his bed again. But with the permission of being allowed outside meant that training was starting back up.

   Jamie was not grateful for that.

   Sure he is getting faster and is sometimes able to block Greed’s punches but this isn’t fun. He is still getting over whatever has been destroying his body for over a month. What he hates, even more, is that Greed has been making him go on walks with him too. His body is sore and he doesn’t like how sweaty it makes him. There is still snow piles on the streets slowly melting away. He shouldn’t be sweating like this.

   “Pick up the pace, Puppy.”

   Jamie glares at Greed’s back and flips him off when he isn’t looking. Taking a deep breath he keeps on jogging, trying to catch up to the homunculus all while trying not to slip on ice. It’s difficult. Letting out a heavy sigh Jamie grumbles and drops to his knees. He can’t walk anymore. He’s so tired. He’s so hungry.

   He just wants to lay down in front of a fire and go to sleep.

   Squeaking he feels arms wrap around him and lift him off the ground. He looks up and Greed is carrying him. The two stay silent as Greed carries him back to the bar. Greed is surprisingly warm despite being dressed so light. It’s comfortable. Almost as good as sleeping in front of the fire. Maybe he’ll just sleep here for now.

   “Wake up…” Jamie stirs slightly only to cling tighter to whatever he has a grip on. “Dammit kid, wake up. You’re all sweaty. You need to bathe or else you’ll get sick again.” Frowning Jamie pulls his head back and rubs at his eyes. Oh. Greed. “C’mon. Go take a hot shower and get clean clothes on.”

   Greed puts Jamie down before walking away. Jamie sighs and moves down the hall to head to his own bedroom. Taking out a big T-shirt he grabs a towel and heads toward one of the bathrooms. A hot bath is nice. Makes him ready for bed again. He knows he needs to get out when he finds himself leaning against the wall under the hot water.

   So he makes his way to down to the basement. The smell of the fire is comforting. It doesn’t take much for him to throw himself onto the pile of pillows and blankets next to the semi-sleeping Martel. He curls up next to her and shuts his eyes. The sound of the wood crackling puts him to sleep easier than any lullaby could.

   He’s so comfortable he has completely forgotten about how hungry he was just a moment ago.

   With the seasons warming up the bar starts to open again. More people are showing up and business is back in order. As great as that sounds, Jamie is not having any of it. he’s busy working the bar he’s busy doing errands its never-ending work. despite his workload Greed isn’t cutting him any slack with training either. the night runs continue, boxing in the basement continues, all he really wants is a good nap but he isn’t going to get one of those either.

   Walking up the stairs to the entrance of the bar, Jamie lifts the sign up and shuts the door behind him. Locking it, Jamie runs back down without hesitation throwing himself onto the couch with a heavy sigh. it’s been way too long of a day. maybe if he’s lucky he can shut his eyes for a moment without interruption, but that’s too good for him because the second he gets comfortable he feels the back of his shirt get tugged on as he is lifted back onto his feet. Glaring up at his captor Jamie huffs at Greed.

   “Roof. Sparing. Ten minutes.”

   Those are the only words he receives before Greed leaves him in the Bar while Martel wipes the counter clean. Rolling his eyes he lays back down on the couch and curls up for a moment. Taking as much time as he can to rest.

   Screw training. Greed has been training him to the bone. Sure his body feels healthier and he is grateful for that but enough is enough.

   Standing up Jamie walks out of the bar and heads over to his bedroom. The idea of laying in bed wrapped in a bunch of blankets makes him yawn as he kicks his shoes off in the doorway. Crawling onto the bed he pulls a blanket over his shoulder and curls up tight. Never in his life has he had an easier time sleeping than now.

A warm bed and a bit of exhaustion will do that.

   Jamie doesn’t know how long he managed to sleep for but what he does know is that he is freezing his ass off when his eyes open. Looking around he sighs. He isn’t in his room.

   “Took you long enough to wake up.”

   Rolling his eyes he turns around and spots Greed sitting on the edge of the roof. Standing up he takes a deep breath and goes to the door. It’s too cold outside for this shit. Greed takes a hold of his wrist and pulls him away.

   “Not going inside until I say so.” Biting his lip Jamie tries to pull away. He even has to resort to punching and kicking like a toddler to get Greed to drop him.

Right on his ass. Boy that hurt.

   Glaring up at the homunculus Jamie stands up and shoves him forward. "I'm tired, Greed! I get that training is important and that I need to be able to defend myself. But you know what else is important?" He shoves his chest forward again and shakes his head. "Getting a break. Taking time off and not overworking myself! If I'm always tired I'm not going to be able to work properly and when the time comes I won't be able to save myself because I will be so tired!" Frowning Jamie looks down and sighs. "I just want a break, my legs hurt. My body is tired. Can't I just sleep for once? Not everyone is immortal like you Greed..." 

   Looking up at Greed Jamie sighs and pushes him out of the way to head back inside. Greed grabs his wrist and Jamie doesn't even think before shoving him over the edge. Right into the dumpster. Tensing he looks over the roof as he hears a loud thud and then a crunch. Frowning he runs back inside and down the stairs. "Shit shit shit." Running through the bar he grabs a jacket and some shoes. 

   "Pup, what's wrong?" Jamie doesn't even look at Dolcetto as he runs up the entrance stairs to help Greed. 

   "I pushed Greed off the roof on accident!" Running outside he wraps around the building and climbs over the dumpster where Greed is laying with a bent arm. "I'm so sorry! Are you okay Gr —" Jamie shrieks as Greed pulls him into the dumpster beside him. "Goddammit! I was worried! It smells like shit in here..." Sitting up he frowns at Greed's broken arm and sighs. He reaches out and just snaps it back into place. "Better?"

   "Better." Standing up, Greed climbs out of the dumpster and helps Jamie out as well. "We both need a bath now. Let's go." 

   Jamie's face reddens as he stops and stares at Greed as he walks away. In shock, he blinks and squeaks. "T-Together?!" 

   All he gets in response in a loud laugh and a wave for Jamie to follow. Jamie runs to catch up to him and when he does, Greed pulls him into a choke hold and ruffles his hair. "You are such a kid. You shower first. I have to do something." Glaring at Greed he huffs and walks with him to his room to use his shower when he finds the other bathroom occupied. It takes a few time of scrubbing and rinsing to get the smell off but once he does he sits down and just bathes. The hot water is nice and relaxing. He'll wait for Greed to kick him out to get out for now. 

   He never did get a response for if he will be getting a break or not. He'll ask about it later.

Chapter Text

There are three possible outcomes from falling asleep in the tub.

 

Outcome #1: Jamie dies. BAD ENDING

He fell asleep and rolled onto his face. He inhaled too much water before he could regain consciousness leaving him to drown before Greed could kick him out. Goodbye world it was nice knowing you. Yeah right. As cool as this world is life for Jamie has not been the most fun thing in the world.

 

Outcome #2: Jamie fucking dies. BAD ENDING

Instead of rolling onto his face the water just gets so cold and he dies from that. Greed has forgotten to take a shower or just didn’t bother to kick Jamie out instead taking a shower in the other bathroom. What a shitty way to die. Maybe he’ll have better luck in his next lifetime.

 

Outcome #3: Greed finds Jamie and takes him out of the tub. GOOD ENDING JUST EMBARRASSING.

Jamie falls asleep in the tub and when Greed is tired of waiting for him to get out of the shower he goes to kick him out. He finds Jamie in the tub with his head resting on the edge of the tub. He sighs heavily and grabs a larger towel, wrapping it around him as he lifts him out of there. Taking him to bed he dresses Jamie and tucks him in under the blankets before taking a shower himself only to join Jamie in bed moments later.

 

   Honestly, Jamie wishes he had gotten one of the first two endings. If he had died he wouldn’t have to find out that Greed had to dress him and put him to bed. It’s so painfully embarrassing that Jamie can’t even look at him in the eyes. Especially after waking up to himself clinging to Greed in his sleep. At first, he thought it would pass, he would be able to look at Greed as if nothing ever happened. Not being able to look at Greed’s face did make training easier. He was able to focus on his moves instead of where he was looking.

Knocking Greed on his feet was something worth celebrating.

   He wanted to have a drink and take a nice cold shower before taking a celebratory nap. The drink went well but ever since the incident Greed has been sitting on the toilet while he bathes. Sometimes it’s on the floor by the door or up against the side of the tub. It’s as if he doesn’t trust him to take a shower or bath by himself.

   Sighing heavily, Jamie peeks his head out from behind the shower curtain and glares at Greed. “Are you gonna sit there every day when I shower like I’m two years old?”

   “Yes.”

   Jamie groans and moves to rinse his hair out. It’s growing well. He’ll need a haircut soon. His hair length isn’t helping his status at all. When he goes out he is constantly mistaken for a girl and he is getting more and more tired of it. Running his fingers through his wet hair he squeezes some of the water out before shutting the showerhead off. Peeking his head back out he frowns at Greed and makes grabby hands.

   “Can you pass me the towel?” Greed looks up and over at him before standing up to hand him the towel on the edge of the sink. “Thank you.” Wrapping the towel around him he steps out and grabs the smaller one to try and dry his hair out. Reaching out for his clothes he stares at Greed for a moment before groaning, pushing him out of the room. Shutting the door he locks it so he can get dressed in peace.

   Once clothed he steps out of the room and throws himself onto the bed. It’s only noon so there is time to nap before the bar opens up. Curling up he pulls the blankets over his head and shifts when he feels Greed taking a seat on the space beside him. Peeking his head out from under the covers he sighs and rolls onto his side. “You know you don’t need to watch me all the time.”

   “Maybe I want to take a nap too.”

   Jamie smiles and lifts the blanket enough for Greed to lay down. He thinks its funny how much Greed likes to nap. And he does. He really sleeps and experiences dreams. It’s amazing.

   He really is human like the rest of us.

   Rolling onto his side so his back is facing Greed he pulls a pillow close and shuts his eyes, letting sleep take over easily. A nap every once in a while is good for everyone involved.

 


 

   Jamie wakes up in bed alone and he feels groggy.

   He must have slept in for much longer than he anticipated because he can hear the loudness of people talking down in the bar. Pulling his hair up in a loose bun he slips out of bed and rubs at his eyes making his way to the bar. Stepping through the door he smiles at Roa who is pouring drinks with Martel. He walks over and leans against the counter.

   “You feeling okay, Jamie?” Martel pushes his bangs back and presses her hand to his forehead. “No fever.”

   “Just tired. No worries.” Looking over he spots Greed flirting with a group of women that are sitting around him. Their arms draped over him lazily. “I guess, I’m sleeping in my room tonight.” Sighing he shakes his head and looks back over at Roa and Martel only to find out they were staring at him. “What?”

They just shake their heads at him.

   “Puppy! You’re up, c’mere!” Groaning Jamie turns and shuffles over to Greed who hands him a small bag. It’s heavy in his palm. Money. “Go on a run and pick up meats again. Go before everywhere closes.” rolling his eyes he nods and heads towards the entrance. He takes a large bag and a light jacket before walking up the stairs.

   The sound of people gets quieter as he walks down the darkening streets. The lamps turn on as he stands in front of a familiar shop. Reaching for the door he tenses as Izumi steps out to flip the open sign to closed. “Oh, it's you. You bought so much last time. Round two?”

   “Yes— but if you’re going to close I can come back tomorrow.”

   “Nonsense, it’ll give me something to do. It’s been a slow day. Come on in.” Smiling she holds the door open for him urging him to come inside. Jamie smiles back at her and bows his head as he steps in. He wipes his feet on the matt and walks up to the counter. “You got so much last time, do you have a big family.”

   Family. He did. He had a very large family. Jamie is the seventh child. That in itself can count as a large family but on top of that, his niece and his two nephews, as well as their mother, lived with them. Not only that but his grandparents were almost always there. Nine. Four. Four. Almost seventeen people in one house at one time. That isn’t even counting the ridiculous amount of dogs and other pets.

   A large family indeed.

   “No...I just have a large number of roommates. Plenty of mouths to feed.”

   New rule. No more thinking of home. Home is gone. There’s no point in thinking about it. Then again…He misses his mother. His older sister. The dogs too. Maybe he’ll start writing about them. He won’t let himself forget them.

   “I can imagine. It took how many trips for you to take all that home?”

   “Three trips, Miss.”

   “Izumi.” He looks over at her as he puts a chair down in front of the counter. She smiles and motions for him to sit down. He obeys and keeps his head down. “And what's your name?”

   “It’s James, Miss— Izumi.”

   Taking out the bag of money he looks over at her and hands it to her. He still doesn’t understand how money in this world works but he is starting to get the hang of it. Looking into it she bellows into laughter before sharpening a knife. “What meat do you like most?”

Is it bad that Bambi came into mind?

   “Venison...But I can settle for a good pork loin. Venison is more of a treat.” He rubs his hands over his knuckles and frowns down at his lap.

   “I’ll slip you a small venison roast okay? I have a feeling I’ll be seeing you around a lot.” She smiles as she starts cutting into meats, weighing them and wrapping them. As each is done he puts them in his bags and smiles as they fill.

   “Izumi dinner is set!” Oh. That was Mason.

   Jamie looks up from the bags and frowns at Izumi. He doesn’t want to get in the way of her family. “I’m a bit busy having a conversation, tell Sig I’ll be there in a moment.” It’s not long before Mason walks into the shop and blinks in surprise at the sight of Jamie sitting there. “Oh good. Come help me with this. It might be a while.” Izumi sharpens her knife again before looking at Jamie. “James, will you join us for dinner?”

   Oh. No, he can’t do that. That’s only asking for trouble.

   “I won’t take no for an answer.” Sighing heavily Jamie nods his head. “Good boy. You can leave your bags in the cooler while we eat. Mason go set a plate for our guest.” Frowning Jamie looks over at Izumi as Mason leaves the room.

   “Miss Izumi. You don’t have to do this. I should get home, I don’t want them to worry.” He rubs the back of his neck and takes a deep breath. “They’re troublemakers. They will riot if they think someone tried to kidnap me again..”

   “Again?”

   Ah, fuck. Frowning he takes his bags behind the counter and puts them in the bottom of the large room like cooler. “It’s nothing to worry about. It’s why I’m training. To keep that from happening again.” Turning around she hands him another package before moving to wash her hands. Once she dries her hands she lets her hair fall down onto her shoulders immediately. “You’re going to make me stay anyway aren’t you?”

   “Of course I am. You’ll be fine. There’s no need for your friends to worry, now come and eat.” Izumi takes his wrist and walks into the house through the back door. She leads him into the dining area and makes him take a seat in front of her, right beside Sig. “This is my new friend, James. I invited him to eat dinner.”

   “T-thank you for having me…” He stares down at his lap for a moment. Finding himself feeling too awkward to eat. It’s only when Sig places a large hand on his shoulder before he eats.

   “James, dear, are you sure you’ll be fine taking those bags home all by yourself?”

   Adjusting the straps on his shoulders Jamie turns and lifts the final paper bags into his arms before looking over at Izumi. “Yeah, I will be. If I won’t be all my working out will have been for nothing.” He jokes lightly as he steps out of the door Izumi is holding open for him. Slowly he walks backward to maintain eye contact. “Thank you for the meal, Miss Izumi.”

   “Will you be back?”

   “You bet. Rest well okay?” Smiling at the woman he turns around and starts walking towards the bar. A warm feeling seeps into his stomach and his smile won’t stop growing. He knows his cheeks are going to hurt at this rate. Making a turn down the alley, Jamie tenses as he sees a group of people just standing there smoking. Taking a deep breath he keeps his head still and walks forward. Not trying to start anything.

That goes to shit the second he feels a hand on his waist and his fight or flight instincts kick up.

   Dropping the paper bags in his arms he tenses and grabs the person’s wrist flipping them onto their back. Blinking he looks at the man on the ground and frowns. The people around break into a fit of laughter as Jamie moves to pick the bags up. He’s so close to the bar. God dammit.

   The man on the ground does not like the sound of his friends laughing at him so he stands up and swings right at Jamie. Panicking he kicks him right in the stomach, sending him flying into the wall. What a beanpole… When he looks at the man he tenses again at the sight of him unconscious on the floor. “Oh fuck—” Turning to the other people he looks down and drops to his knees to pick up the items that fell to the ground only to have them spill to the ground when someone grabs his ankle and drags him back. Kicking and squirming he gets the person in the stomach making him fall onto his side, knocking the air right out of him.

   Coughing he scurries to get what he can and get the hell out of there.

   That is until he sees a man holding the venison roast Izumi gave him with a recipe card attached to it. Balling his hand into a fist he slugs the man in the stomach and takes it out of his hold.

   “Leave me alone you sick, fucks!” He shouts only to have to knee the man in the nose, getting blood all over his pants. With three unconscious men on the ground, he looks at the others and glares. “Take them to a hospital, I have dinner to make, you assholes.” Their friends gather the knocked out men and he turns. Greed jogging towards him catches his attention. His face lights up and he puts the bags down onto the ground. “Greed did you see that?! I told you I’d be okay!” He smiles and crosses his arms over his chest. “I can protect myse—”

   “You should have just dropped the stupid food and ran you, idiot!” Jamie tenses and steps back. Greed has never yelled at him like this before. He couldn’t help but flinch as the man raised his hand to Jamie. He expects to get smacked but the arms just wrap around him tightly. “Dolcetto heard you scream and I ran out to see if you were okay…” Greed kneels down and squeezes his shoulder. “We were worried.” There’s a silent I was worried…. that Jamie can hear despite the lack of movement on Greed’s lips.  Jamie frowns and stares down into his eyes. Biting his lips Jamie shuts his eyes and leans forward.

   And just presses their lips together.

   It wasn’t even a full second before Jamie pulls back fully and steps back covering his mouth. “I- I’m sorry…” He looks up and spots Dolcetto standing in the middle of the alley.

   Tensing up he leaves the bags there and runs past them, right into the bar. He doesn’t stop until he gets to his room and once inside he locks the door and hides under his blankets.

What has he done?

Chapter Text

   Curling up on himself he clings to his blankets as Dolcetto knocks loudly on his door, trying to coax him out of his room. Biting his lip he wipes his cheeks dry and hides his face against his knees. He crossed a line he shouldn’t have. He told himself not to get attached. He’s got no more than two years left in this place. He should have never stayed here. This was never a good idea.

   But where else would he have been able to stay? Izumi’s?

   He had no choice. But now he has ruined the only good thing he had left. It’s not like he knows how to go back home. He would be there weeks ago if he did. It’s not safe here in Amestris. Hell, it’s not safe anywhere. War is everywhere right now. Aren’t the uprisings in Liore about to happen soon too? So many bad people are still alive right now.

   “Puppy, please come out. You aren’t in trouble..” Dolcetto says softly against the door. Looking up at the door Jamie shakes his head and lays forward on the bed. He curls up against a pillow and takes a deep breath. “Boss...I think he’s asleep.”

   He can hear Greed sigh heavily before there is another knocking on the door. Scrunching his nose up he stares at the door for a moment. “Pup, if you’re up can you open the door? I just want to talk.” Taking a deep breath Jamie stands up and unlocks the door cracking it open just enough to look at Greed. Dolcetto sighs in relief before walking away. “You’re awake...Let me in?”

   Jamie frowns and shakes his head silently shutting the door a little bit more. Wanting to just hide in embarrassment.

   “I just want to talk. The kiss. What was that all about?” Jamie bites his lip and looks up at Greed. He steps back to shut the door and lock it but Greed is one step faster and pushes the door open shutting it behind him when he steps in. “The way you reacted. You wanted to do that for a while now haven't you?”

   “You have no idea…” Jamie steps away and sits down on the bed. Greed sits down at his side and stares down into his palms. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was just so happy that I did well and got too excited. It won’t happen again.” Jamie frowns and curls up against his knees, his shoulders shaking.

   “Puppy— James...I’m not going to hit you. You can stop shaking.”

   “I don’t think you’re going to hit me Greed. I told myself I wouldn’t get too close...Nothing good would come out of getting this close.”

   “What are you afraid of?” Greed places his hand on his shoulder and tilts his chin up to look Jamie in the eyes.

   “Losing you…” Jamie frowns, tears threatening to fall down his cheeks, as he tries to look away but Greed holds his face in a way to make sure eye contact is maintained.

   “None of us are going anywhere. Not even you. You’ve got nothing to worry about. You are safe here.”

   Jamie's shoulders tremble as he leans forward, wrapping his arms around Greed tightly. The tears fall as Greed rubs his back slowly trying to get him to calm down. Looking up at the homunculus Jamie sighs heavily and shakes his head. He goes to pull back but Greed pulls his face in and presses a kiss to his forehead.

   Taking his hand, Greed stands up and walks him out of the room. Walking through the hall he keeps his head down. Too embarrassed to look at anyone who happens to be in the hall. Greed pushes past a door and steps into the door. Oh, his bedroom. Shutting the door when Jamie walks in Greed takes his vest off and hands it to Jamie.

   Sighing heavily he holds it close and takes a seat on the bed. Watching as Greed takes his shades off he tilts his head. Confused about what is going on. Slowly dark grey engulfs Greed’s body. This is the first time since he arrived that Jamie got to see it.

His ultimate shield.

   Greed steps forward and kneels down in front of Jamie, taking his hands and squeezing them. “Even seeing this do you still feel the way you do?”

   “I do.”

   Jamie didn’t expect Greed to kiss his lips. He didn’t expect to be pushed into the mattress either. Greed drops his ultimate shield and runs his fingers through Jamie’s hair letting his hair fall out of its tie and down his shoulders. Jamie tenses and sits up, pressing against the headboard. “Stop..”

   “What’s wrong?” Greed sits up and leans forward. “Do you not want to?”

   “I do but...I just. This feels wrong. We shouldn’t do this.” Standing up on the bed he moves to jump down but Greed grabs his wrist. “I should have just stayed in my room. I don’t want anything to change Greed.”

   “Then it won’t change.” Jamie turns to him and frowns as Greed holds him close. Sighing against his chest he wraps his arms around him as Greed lifts him off his feet, back onto the bed. Where they lay down in each other’s arms. Embracing each other in a way Jamie could have only dreamed of before today.

   “Relax.”

   Jamie glares up at him as Greed runs his hands up his shirt. He tugs the shirt down and turns his head away. Greed sighs and presses his face into his neck, kissing down his skin to try and ease Jamie’s discomfort. Greed feels up his shirt again and Jamie snaps to grab his wrists.

   “Puppy.”

   “Stop touching my stomach...I don’t like that area.” He hates his stretch marks. They're puffy and feel weird. Greed stares at him for a moment and without hesitation his hand moves down into his pants instead, getting a soft squeak out of the smaller. “Well, that...is better.” Jamie chuckles awkwardly into his hands, covering his face in embarrassment. He feels Greed’s hand move and he squeaks again, his shoulders relaxing against the pillow.

   “Better?”

   “Much…” Greed snorts and peels Jamie’s hands away from his face to press their lips together, making his eyes go wide.

   “Do you need to keep your eyes closed?”

   “I might.” Greed softly sighs and pulls Jamie’s pants down to his ankles before dropping his head between his legs. Well. Jamie’s eyes are open now.

   He doesn’t know what to make of this. It’s all so fast and doesn’t feel real to him. Like it really is just a dream.

   Some dreams can really come true if you want them hard enough. That doesn’t mean you can’t regret your dreams. Jamie knew he shouldn’t have let it happen. He shouldn’t have gotten close. All he has to do is keep his distance for the next year or so.

But that’s easier said than done.

 


 

 

   Avoiding someone you’ve learned to love so dearly is hard especially when you live with them. The only way he gets away with not being alone in a room with Greed is by going on small runs outside whenever he can. Whether to pick up food from Izumi or even firewood with Roa. He’s just too awkward for his own good.

   For once he had a moment of peace to himself as he relaxes in the kitchen. Everyone is off doing their own thing so he decided to take the opportunity to make a batch of cinnamon rolls. He wants to give them to Izumi as a thanks for the Venison roast he made for dinner last night. He misses food like this.

   The things he would do for tostones right now is ridiculous.

   Back to cinnamon rolls.

   Cinnamons rolls for Jamie are his favorite way to de-stress. The kneading, the smell of yeast blooming, the way the whole kitchen smells so good when they are baking in the oven. Cinnamon rolls are a simple blessing to Jamie’s life. The only true constant since he has been living with the others.

   As he is placing the tray in the warm oven to raise he feels hands on his waist and he can’t help but screech. Almost dropping the tray in the oven he turns around quickly and Greed is standing there with a grin on his face.

   Glaring at Greed, Jamie shuts the oven door and steps away from him. Greed isn’t having any of this and grabs Jamie’s wrist, pulling him close. “You’re avoiding me.” Jamie looks down.

He’s been caught.

   Greed lifts him up by his waist and sits him down on the counter. He cups his cheeks and tilts his face up. Jeez, what is with him and eye contact. Without moving his head, thanks to Greed’s grip on his face, Jamie looks away. Staring at his lap to avoid looking directly at him.

   “What did I do wrong?”

   Nothing. He did nothing wrong. Jamie is the one who is in the wrong. He slept with Greed. He let himself get close when he shouldn’t have. There’s not a lot of time left and it’s not like he can save them. It’s not fair. If he saves them people will die. Millions of people will die. People will die no matter what and he has no control over it. Things must play out the way they were meant to play out. There’s no chance to save them all without risking the entire world.

   He hates these thoughts. They’ve been plaguing his mind since he arrived here but since that night in Greed’s room, the thoughts have grown louder. He can’t save them all. He can only save one of them but not until the promised day and even then—

   It won’t be the same Greed.

   “Why are you crying now? It couldn’t have been that bad.”

   “I shouldn’t have gotten close.”

   “Again with that?” Greed scoffs and wraps his arms around Jamie tightly. Jamie looks up at him and frowns. Wrapping his arms around him in return he sighs and rests his head against his chest. “You can’t help but fall for me.”

   Greed is right. He can’t help but fall. And he was falling.

   Hard. And there is nothing he can do about it but be prepared for heartbreak. That’s going to be a problem for future Jamie to deal with.

   With a swift move, Greed lifts Jamie into his arms and carries him to sit at the table while he waits on the cinnamon rolls. He finds himself getting comfortable in his hold only to be interrupted by the timer going off. Sighing he peels himself away from Greed and takes the tray out of the oven before preheating it to the right temperature.

   “Who are the buns for, Pup?” Jamie looks at them for a moment before turning to the homunculus. He smiles and walks over to him, slumping forward to rest his head on his shoulder.

   “The butcher gave me a free roast, the one from the other night, and they let me have dinner with them. It’s why I took so long. I figured I should thank them. So don't touch any. Not everything belongs to you.” He snorts and steps back once the oven beeps. Putting the tray back in, he sets the timer back up and turns to spot Greed standing behind him.

   “ Everything belongs to me. The bar, the food, the drinks, the crew, and even you.” Greed tilts his chin up and presses their lips together for a moment, letting a light dusting of red coat Jamie’s cheeks, before pinching his nose. “You are all my possessions. Get used to it Pup.”

   Rolling his eyes Jamie steps away from him to finish working on the buns. The icing needs to be made and he needs to find a nice container to carry them to Izumi’s in. Which is hard to do when Greed is following his every step, distracting him from the task at hand. Taking a deep breath he turns around and grabs Greed’s wrist, tugging on them roughly.

   “Greed can you please give me room to walk around without you holding onto my hips? I’m not a baby that needs to be watched because they’ll get hurt so easily.”

   “I like to take care of what belongs to me. You guys break so easily.”

   Jamie rolls his eyes and squeezes his hands, staring up at the taller man with a look of disappointment. “ You guys ? You mean us, humans?” Greed nods and leans forward but Jamie stops his advances by pressing his hand over Greed’s mouth. “You’re just as human as the rest of us Greed. You just heal much faster. You might be a homunculus but none of us see you as any different.”

   He can feel Greed’s lip curl into a smile against his palm and his own do the same as he pulls his hand back.

   “Boss we’re bac— oh I didn’t mean to interrupt.” Jamie tenses at the sound of  Martel and the others walking into the kitchen. His face reddens and he quickly turns away from Greed, checking on the cinnamon buns as an excuse to get away from him.

   Greed snorts and steps away heading into the basement only to return moments later with a pile of blankets in his hands. Jamie takes a seat at the table and watches the oven from his chair. Avoiding the smirk on Martel’s face as she walks past him. He can’t keep the reddens out of his cheeks and it's horrible.

   Walking back into the room Greed returns with new blankets and heads down into the basement. He must be redoing the blanket fort.

   It’s not long before the buns get pulled out of the oven and he has to fight the others to keep them from stealing any. He hasn’t even frosted them yet. He really is living with a bunch of animals. Greed walks in on Jamie trying to fend them off by threatening to beat them with a pan.

   He claps his hands together twice very loudly, making everyone turn to look at him. “Everyone back off. If I don’t get one, nobody does.” The crew steps back and Jamie smiles at him as he begins to ice the cinnamon rolls before putting them in the container.

   “You’re going soft boss.” Jamie turns and looks at Mart. “You’ve always had a soft spot for dogs. First Dol. Then the stray that the old lady a few streets down adopted. Now it’s Pup over here.”

   Jamie looks down as he covers the container. He fidgets with his hands for a moment before stepping out of the kitchen into the bar. “I-I have to deliver these...I’ll be back.”

   “Nice going Mart, you embarrassed hi—”

   And he was up the stairs before he could hear the rest of what Dolcetto had to say. Making his way down the alley and into the more busy part of town he smiles at the sight of Mason sweeping the leaves off the sidewalk. Walking over he smiles at Mason and steps inside of the shop.

   “G’Afternoon, Miss Izumi.” Izumi looks up as he greets her and a smile forms on her face. Mason walks in after him and Jamie puts the container on the counter.

   “What brings you here, James? You couldn’t have finished all that food already…”

   Jamie can’t help but chuckle and shake his head as he opens the container up. “I wanted to thank you for dinner so I made a batch of cinnamon rolls.” Smiling he rubs the back of his neck and looks down.

   “They look lovely. Thank you. Is this all you came over for or did you have something else you need?” Jamie shakes his head and smiles down into the container. “Well then, thank you. Get home safely okay?”

   “Yes, Ma’am.”

   Izumi ruffled his hair before sending him on his way. The weather is lovely today so Jamie takes his time getting back to the bar. He watches the little patches of grass start to grow in as well as the clouds move in the sky. It’s warming up and he loves it. When he gets back inside he takes his shoes off and throws himself onto the couch to relax. The second his eyes start to shut he feels arms pick him up and it startles him.

   It’s just Greed.

   Greed carries him down into the basement. The blankets and pillows have been replaced with new clean ones. Greed sits down with him laying in his arms and pulls a blanket over them.

   He feels a kiss pressed to his forehead as he drifts off into the warmth of Greed’s arm. Comfortable and content. Deep asleep to the point that he doesn’t feel the others curl up around them. It’s communal nap time. Maybe he should just indulge in this experience for now. He’ll never have another chance like this.

   He should let himself be happy for once. Two years may not be a lot of time but it is more time that he was ever given in the past.

Being like this with Greed doesn’t sound too bad.

Chapter Text

   When Jamie says he fell hard it wasn’t an exaggeration.

   It was really the little things Greed would do. Like, run his fingers through his hair while he slept or letting him sleep in for a little longer than usual. The icing on the cake was when he found out on nights when they would sleep in the same bed together Greed wouldn’t sleep at all just to watch Jamie get rest. Greed even convinced Jamie to wear his hair down because he liked how unnaturally curly his hair is when it's down.

   “You can’t call it unnatural when they are one hundred percent natural.” Was his response but his hair came down nonetheless.

   From what he can tell, the team knows about them. Them . What are they exactly?

   They aren’t dating….right? Should he even put a label on them? All they are doing are sleeping together. He’s too embarrassed by these thoughts to even ask Greed about it. All he would say is—

   “You’re my possession. What else do you need to know.” Greed cups his cheeks and presses their lips together. Despite his wording, Jamie knows exactly what he is trying to say. That’s all the answer he needs from him. He is his possession. They all are. But each time he says it means something else. With Dolcetto it means brother. With Roa, it means his friend and his brother’s partner. Bido, Martel, Ulchi, and doc are his friends that he cares deeply for.

   With Jamie its. Well, that's for Greed and Jamie to know.

   Sitting up, Jamie reaches for a shirt and puts it on before standing up and putting on his shorts. He snorts when he hears Greed sigh heavily followed by the creaking of the floor. Clothed he turns and watches Greed walk over into his bathroom. Standing into the doorway he leans against the frame and places his hand on his hip. No clothes necessary. The man has no shame whatsoever.

   “You coming or what?”

   “I already did.” Jamie snorts and that gets an eye-roll from Greed as he stands up and follows Greed into the bathroom kicking his clothes off in the process. Smiling he ties his hair up and looks in the mirror for a moment. Looking over his face for anything that could be wrong. Watching Greed reach forward toward him through the mirror he squeaks when he tugs on the end of the hair to get his attention.

   Turning around he glares and fixes his bun before Greed steps into the shower, the room filling with steam thanks to the hot water. Jamie sits on the edge of the tub and scrubs down. He washes up before being pulled into the now plugged up tub. Greed holds him close and for moments they sit in silence, the water filling up to Jamie’s shoulders.

   Shutting his eyes his head rests against his chest and he finds peace like this. Comfortable in his arms no matter where they are. He finds himself like this for most of the day until the bar opens up. He’s too busy making food and pouring drinks to do anything else.

   Speaking of drinks.

   Jamie fills a tray with drinks before putting it down on the table beside Greed and the girls sitting around him. He smiles before taking the tray back to the counter. Martel slides him a drink for himself before squeezing his shoulder.

   “I’m happy you aren’t the jealous type, Pup.”

   Blinking he looks up at her and takes the drink in his hand. Taking a slow sip of it he shrugs his shoulders. He really needs to get better at drinking stiff drinks like this. “I am but I don’t care with him. He’s Greed. He wants everything the world has to offer and those girls are a part of it.” Looking down he rubs the back of his neck as he feels it warm up. “But I don’t care. I know what I am to him. It’s not like he calls them his possession.” Smiling he looks back at her and puts the drink down. “Besides. I like what we have. I’d love to be like Roa and Dol but I am happy with what I have.”

   The large man snaps his head over to him at the sound of his name and stares for a moment. It makes Jamie snicker.

   “You aren’t very subtle. Neither of you are.” Smiling he playfully slaps Roa’s arm before heading into the kitchen to make something to snack on. Loaded fries it is. Taking a seat at the bar stand, he smiles and shares with Martel. The sound of people talking and having a good time has become relaxing for him.

   He really has become comfortable here and he is grateful for that. He is grateful for the crew, the bar, the town, and the fact that he has started to forget that he shouldn’t be getting this close to everyone.

   Work keeps him nicely distracted from those thoughts. It’s become routine for him to the point that just by his gut feeling his knows when to grab the broom and start sweeping as the bar starts to empty. He even knows a few of their regulars by name at this point. Even the girls that flirt with Greed all the time.

Susanna, Marie, Carson, and Lake.

   “I wish they would just throw out their cigarette butts.” Jamie sighs heavily as he sweeps the floor only to empty the dustpan into the bin. He groans and smells his fingertips only to cringe and wipe his fingers on his pants. “I need to wash my hands. I hate the way they smell.”  Walking into the kitchen he slips past Greed and Roa, who are getting dinner ready, to wash his hands. “They’re all gonna get cancer with how much they smoke.”

   Greed ruffles his hair and pushes him towards the table to sit down. “Then that is on them. Don’t worry about them and just serve yourself before Dol sees we made stew and eats it on his own.”

   “Stew!?”

   With wide eyes, Greed takes Jamie’s bowl and serves it as much as it can fill just to be safe. Dolcetto runs into the kitchen and spots the table and its contents. He grins and pumps his fist into the air in excitement.

   “Hell yes!” Dolcetto washes his hands before taking a seat and serving himself. Roa clears his throat and Dolcetto puts the ladle down. Dolcetto sighs and sits down properly. Roa takes a seat at the table as he puts a large tray of stewed vegetables down at the table. Everything smells so good. Greed sits down between Martel and Jamie and breaks off a hunk of bread for them each to eat.

   It tastes as good as it smells. Jamie is happy Greed filled his bowl to the brim because fighting Dolcetto for extras was hard enough for the bread and he didn’t want to even try fighting for more stew. His stomach is full and warm. Going to bed tonight is going to be super easy.

   Jamie helps with the dishes before heading up to his room. He throws himself onto his bed and pulls Harrison into his arms kicking his shoes off as well as his socks.

   The alpaca’s name is forever changing. Last week it was Benjamin but Jamie scrapped that instantly, sticking to the Harry theme because of how fluffy the plush animal is.

   Curling up he yawns and reaches to pull the blankets over his shoulders. The mattress creaks as the weight shifts and Jamie looks over his shoulder to see who it is.

   Greed.

   Sitting up he holds Harrison in his lap and smile. Leaning forward he presses his face against Greed’s cold shoulder. Nice on his warm forehead. Greed takes Harrison from him and replaces it with a heavy book. Staring down at it he flips through the pages. It’s completely blank it doesn’t even have lines. Oh. It’s a sketchbook. Looking up at Greed he tilts his head to the side.

   “What’s this for?”

   “For you to draw in. Or anything. It’s yours.” Greed rubs the back of his neck and hands the plush back to Jamie before moving a bit closer. “I figured you’d like that better than drawing on sheet paper.”

   Jamie smiles and puts the book under his bed before taking Greed’s hand in his own, squeezing it. “I don’t mind drawing on sheet paper, I like that it goes on the fridge. But thank you Greed. I’ll make sure to use it.” Leaning forward he goes to rest his head against him but Greed takes his by the cheeks and presses their lips together, pushing Jamie into the mattress. Jamie can’t help but chuckle as Greed nuzzles his face into his neck. Wrapping his arms around him he smiles and runs his fingers through Greed’s hair.

   “A gift and a makeout session? Is today a special occasion?” Jamie looks over at the calendar on his wall and notices the date. February Fourteenth. Oh. His face reddens as he turns to look at Greed. He smiles and pulls back kissing him again.

   “I don’t do that mushy stuff on Valentine’s feast day.” What a what day? Jamie snorts at the different name. It’s a different world. He shouldn’t be surprised by little changes. “But I thought you probably do if you even know what it is. So I got the book and I figured I’d eat you out too.”

Welp. That gets Jamie to choke on his own spit.

   “What? Do you not want me to?”

   There’s no way his face can get any redder than what it is now. “I-It’s not that I don’t want you to. I just…” He sighs and sits up looking down on his body. Literally and metaphorically. “I don't like the way I look from the underboob down and I bet you’re the type to stare up at me while you do it.”

   “You bet your ass I am.” Sighing heavily he shakes his head and cups Jamie’s cheeks. Pressing their foreheads together Greed shuts his eyes. “I’ll keep them shut okay?”

   Smiling Jamie kisses his lips quickly before nodding. “You better.”

 

***

 

   With that, Greed takes Jamie’s pants off and slowly peels his boxers down to his ankles. He runs his hands down his thighs before pressing slow, wet kisses down his skin. Jamie balls his hands up into fists close to his own face in nervousness. Besides kissing and heavy petting, all of his firsts have been with Greed.

   He won’t tell him that though. It would just boost his ego.

   Greed takes his time marking him up. Trying to make him feel good and relaxed. His hand slips between his legs and it gets a squeak out of Jamie making Greed chuckle. The taller man sits up slightly and looks down at the smaller. “Will you let me take your shirt off?”

   “You said you’d keep your eyes shut...What’s the point of being completely naked.”

   “I said I’d shut my eyes when I am going down on you. Yes or no.”

   Jamie takes a deep breath before pulling his shirt over his head with the help of his partner above him. Greed grins and stares down at Jamie below him before kissing down his chest, taking the time to fondle him wherever he can to get a pleasant sound out of him.

   Wrapping his arms around him, Jamie sighs softly falling into the mattress as his body falls limp. This is only making him more tired but anytime he goes to shut his eyes Greed rubs him or bites him in just the right spot to get him to open his eyes again. Jamie sits up and Greed sighs softly as he repositions the pillows in the right way to have his head comfortable while his hips are propped up.

   “Comfortable?”

   “Very.” Greed snorts and presses their lips together before ducking his face down between his legs. Jamie’s hands reach out and he grabs onto Greed’s hair. He can feel Greed’s tongue press against him and it makes his shoulders tense. It’s when he feels a finger slip into him does he grunt and buck his hips up. He tugs on Greed’s hair and whimpers when he feels the movement become more intense.

   His body tenses around the fingers, or is his tongue now? He can’t tell. Ah nevermind. It’s wet and rough. That’s Greed’s tongue.

   Slowly Jamie sits up as much as he can and looks down at Greed who looks like he is enjoying this way too much. Eating him out cannot be that great. Licking his lips he lurches forward and squeezes his head with his thighs. Jamie covers his mouth and bites on his palm whimpering as softly as he can. He would hate to be caught.

   But his softness just eggs Greed on. The man really has no shame nor does he have any fear. Greed sits up and grins leaning forward towards Jamie’s face.

   Jamie’s eyes widen and he covers Greed’s mouth with his hand. “Do not try to kiss me after your mouth was just all over my snooch.”

   “Snooch?”

   Jamie glares as Greed bellows in laughter. Greed licks his palm and Jamie yelps, pulling his hand away quickly. Huffing he lets himself fall back onto the pillows only to have Greed lift his legs up over his shoulders. Greed holds his hips up and instantly Jamie’s toes curl as he covers his face with a pillow.

   Greed is having too much fun with this.

   Biting the pillow he takes a deep breath and throws it at the wall. Sitting up Jamie looks down at Greed and tugs on his hair a few times to get his attention. “E-Enough, I can’t take it anymore. Tongue isn’t enough.” What a lie. He was close. He just didn’t want to finish on his face

   Greed quirks a brow and sits up for a moment. He pulls Jamie’s legs forward until his hips are seated on his lap. Greed slips two fingers into his pussy and uses his thumb to rub at Jamie’s clit. He gasps loudly and reaches out to hold onto his shoulders. His nails dig into his shirt as his head drops. Overwhelmed by the sudden stimulations.

   “G-Greed…” He whines and breathes heavily. Greed reaches out with his free hand and pulls his face forward letting Jamie rest his head on his shoulders as he curls his fingers and thrusts faster. Jamie grunts and bites down on his shoulder to try and hold back. He clings to Greed as he tightens his inside around his fingers and whimpers, going quiet other than the sound of his labored breathing.

 

***

 

   Greed turns his head and smiles, running his clean hand over his head. Petting the puppy like the good boy he is. Pulling his fingers out he wipes his hand on his pants and pulls back to stand up. He carries Jamie in his arms, making him latch on so he can have some sort of privacy as he wraps him in a sheet and walks out of the room. Carrying Jamie to his own room he puts him on the bed and moves to the bathroom to wash his hands.

   Jamie curls up around a pillow and sighs, a yawn breaking out. He shuts his eyes and keeps them shut even as Greed dresses him in an overly large shirt. Comfortable. Yawning again he spreads his legs when Greed pulls on them. His eyes snap at the feeling of something wet and warm brush against him. Greed is wiping him down with a washcloth.

   Smiling he sits up and wraps his arms around him again. Hugging him tightly. Greed presses a kiss to his cheek before standing up to throw the cloth in the sink. Jamie rolls onto his side to watch Greed walk back inside. Greed sits on the edge of the bed before throwing himself next to Jamie. Jamie rolls over again to be able to hold him and Greed reciprocates the hug.

   “Will you actually sleep this time, Greed?”

   All he gets is a snort as a reply before he falls asleep in Greed’s arms. Where he dreams of a house of dogs in paintings and happiness with a child and a husband who is loving and understanding. But the child is faceless and nameless just as the husband is as well. It’s an odd dream that he forgets all about in the morning so he won’t be able to tell anyone about anyway. He hates dreams where he remembers none of it.

   Jamie wakes up to Greed lightly scratching at his scalp as he runs his fingers through his hair. He smiles and keeps his eyes shut to try and enjoy this for as long as he possibly can. He hears Greed humming and it makes him smile. For a moment he swore he could have heard three important words as Greed kisses the top of his head but he doesn’t want to get his hopes up so he ignores them. The bed shifts as Greed sits up and Jamie whines at the lack of warmth he feels without Greed beside him. He sits up as well and moves to hold onto him.

   “Morning, Pretty boy.” Looking up Jamie smiles and shifts to sit in his lap. Greed wraps his arms around his waist and kisses the side of his neck.

   “I’m hungry...Come to the kitchen to keep me company while I make breakfast?” He looks over and slowly stands while holding Greed’s hand.

   Greed chuckles but follows him out of the room anyway. The two walk into the quiet kitchen and look through the fridge. Sighing Jamie takes the eggs and milk out before moving to the pantry to take the bread out. French toast it is.  Moving through the cabinets he takes out a large square pan and makes four slices at a time.

   “I really need to stop eating this stuff again. I’m gonna gain twenty pounds in a week.” Greed rolls his eyes and flips the slices for Jamie as he cuts up a banana. “But it tastes so good. I can treat myself every once in a while.”

   Jamie smiles and grabs two plates quickly putting the finished french toast onto them so he can make more. After he puts the slices onto the pan on he washes his hands and takes a seat at the table. Watch Greed cook is nice. He always seems so concentrated. Taking a deep breath he stands up and walks up to Greed, wrapping his arms around his waist from behind. Letting his face rest against the curve of his back. So wide and muscular.

   Greed gently pats his arms before waddling slowly so that Jamie doesn’t need to let go of him as he moves around. Greed places the new slices on the plates and puts them on the table before turning to face Jamie. “Let’s eat.”

   Jamie looks up at him and smiles softly only to take his hands in his own as he begins to sway side to side. “It can wait a moment. Dance with me.”

   “But there is no music.”

   “That’s okay. We can make up a melody.” Resting his head on his chest he shuts his eyes. Happy. Like this, he can’t see the soft smile on Greed’s face. It’s almost…

Loving.

   The two dance like this until Greed kisses the top of his head and pulls away, making Jamie sit down to eat. He eats slowly. That happy feeling of being close like that still lingering in his fingertips. The sound of footsteps gets his attention so he turns around and spots Martel coming up from the basement.

   “Boss. Pup. You’re up early.”

   Jamie smiles and nods his head, stuffing his mouth with more banana slices. His favorite fruit. Martel ruffles his hair before walking off to do whatever it is she does with her day. Taking a look at Greed he takes his own plate and stands up and washes his dishes.

   Feeling a pair of arms wrap around him, Jamie smiles and rubs the arms softly. “You have gone soft, Greed.” Tilting his head back he smiles up at him and turns to hug him tightly. “Did you like it?”

   “It was like sliced bread pudding. What do you call it?”

   Ah fuck. What should he call it? France doesn’t exist. This is going to be a never-ending struggle with him.  

   “It’s just sliced...sliced bread pudding.” Nice save, James. Very smooth.

   Smiling Jamie reaches up and grabs a hold of Greed’s cheeks, pinching them lightly. Greed huffs and lifts him up and over his shoulder. Letting out a squeak he holds onto the back of his shirt tightly in hopes that Greed won’t drop him. Not that he would do so willingly. Greed walks into the bar with Jamie slumped over him and sits down on the couch. He lifts Jamie again and lays him down, his head right on his chest. Greed kicks his legs up onto the arm of the couch and cards his fingers through Jamie’s hair.

   Laying between his legs he wraps his arms around Greed and takes a deep breath. Despite just waking up he finds himself yawning as he gets cozy. It’s easy to fall asleep in Greed’s arms.

   Having small constants in this world is the only thing keeping him sane.

   They bring him comfort and keep his thoughts from drifting off. Liking boxing with Dolcetto and Greed. Helping clean and make dinner every day. Relighting the fire in the basement. Visiting Izumi and exchanging recipes when he is buying meats. Going grocery shopping with Roa.   

   It’s a routine. It’s something he desperately needs to stay at peace.

   But little breaks like this also help. It’s crazy how they become family in these past months. It’s crazy that he’s become a possession in just these months. He is happy here now.

 


 

   Today was a sit at the table and write all day sort of day. Despite Spring getting closer the world decided to snow over a whole foot. Drawing and writing take up his free time like they would at home. Especially with him having to completely rewrite his story from memory. One hundred fifty-seven pages of writing lost when he began living his life here.

   He’ll sit at the table in the bar and spend the day trying to remember everything he wrote. Some scene changed but they all had the same feeling. That’s what matters.

   Sometimes Greed will come and take the notebook right out of his hand to read it. “A cell phone?”

   Jamie rubs the back of his neck nervously, How the hell does he explain that. “It’s...It’s a phone you can fit in your pocket.”

   “You would need huge pockets for something like that.” Greed chuckles and hands him the notebook back for him to continue writing. “And it would be pretty pointless then.” Jamie shakes his head and shuts the book before grabbing the one full of memories of the past to write in. His prized memories. Things he would be devastated to forget.

   “It’s small. It fits in your hand and has buttons on it for the numbers instead of a spin dial.” He smiles and flips to the current page. Writing about his dogs and how much he loves them. Most of the entries are like that. He really wants a dog but in reality, he has become the dog.

How sad.

   “What are you writing about now?” Greed leans forward his chin on Jamie’s shoulders. Jamie shuts the book and stands up. He holds the book close to his chest and shakes his head.

   “Personal stuff. Don’t worry about it.” Nodding his head he walks up to his room and hides the notebooks on the highest point of his closest and then puts some blankets over them. Nice and safe. Taking a deep breath he sits down on the edge of the bed. Letting himself fall back he sighs and rolls onto his side. It gets so dark so early but the sun is starting to stay up for longer with each day.

   Sometimes he just wants to lay in bed all day. Alone. It’s not that he doesn’t like spending time with the others. Or Greed. He just—

   Needs alone time every once in a while.

   He hates feeling like this. He always thinks he should be used to this by now but depression just isn’t something you get used to. The skipping meals, the forgetting to brush his teeth and bathe, the biting his nails a little too close to his skin, sleeping too long or sleeping too little. Those are things you get used to but with the others always around him, he isn’t able to do any of that. He should be grateful for it but it’s just so tiring.

   So all he has is a painful twisting growing in his chest and into his stomach.

   Clinging to his plushie he grabs a blanket and pulls it over his shoulders. He uses the plushie as a pillow as he stares at the door until his eyes shut. It’s nap time and nothing will stop him from getting a good nap in.

   Nothing except Dolcetto shaking him awake.

   Blinking he looks around and Roa is holding him in his arms. He frowns and rubs at his eyes. Oh. They’re wet. He was crying? Turing his head he stares at Dol for a moment. “Who is Rachie?”

   Jamie tenses and looks down. He has no idea what he was dreaming about again and he hates it. His only clue is that he was crying and Rachel was in it.

   “A girlfriend you had? You were crying and calling out for her. Bee heard you and told us.”

   Jamie looks around and spots Bido peeking his head into the room. He frowns and wipes at his face. Why is he still crying? What the hell was his dream about. He hides his face against Roa’s chest and holds onto him tightly. “She was my sister…”

   And the floodgates are on full blast.

   The room goes silent as Jamie cries. Bido makes his way into the room and sits on the bed. He takes Jamie’s hand and squeezes it, surprised when Jamie pulls him into a hug. That explains the pain he has been trying to ignore.

He misses his family.

Chapter Text

   Anytime someone tries to bring it up he walks out of the room. He doesn’t want to talk about his family. It just makes him more and more upset. Why won’t anyone just give him some room to breathe?

   Greed is the worst about it. His touches are much more reserves now. They are hesitant and it is making Jamie want to scream. He isn’t some fragile porcelain doll.

   Sitting up in the bed he pushes Greed off of him and slips out of his bed. “I’m going to my room.” Sighing he picks up his sweatpants and puts them back on heading for the doorway. As he reaches for the doorknob Greed grabs his wrist and tugs him close, looking down at him. Jamie glares and snaps his hand back. “Don’t look at me like that. I expected you out of everyone not to treat me differently. It was just a nightmare!” He shakes his head and opens the door heading down the hall to his own room.

   “Yeah, it was a nightmare but it happened a week ago and you are still shaken up about it. There is nothing wrong talking to us about it. Telling us how you feel is not a bad thing.” Greed follows behind him and picks up the pace to wrap around and stand in front of him, blocking the way into his room.

   Jamie glares up at him and just pushes him through the doorway only to try to push him out once he himself is in the room.

   “Oh, you’re one to talk! Telling us how you feel is not a bad thing ? Seriously?!” He raises his voice as Greed holds his wrists above his head to keep him from pushing him anymore.

   That won’t stop his legs from kicking though. He knows he looks like a child but he is so tired of this.

   “How about you tell the crew how you really feel about them? All you do is call them your possessions because you’re too scared to tell them you care for them! They know you care but it’s different actually hearing it. Tell us you love us in the ways we know you do!”

   Jamie squirms and manages to step back, knocking himself down onto the floor. Greed moves to help him up but he slaps his hand away. “You can tell people you care about them. You’re human too!”

   “And so are you.”

   Tensing up Jamie looks away. He curls up on himself and Greed sighs heavily; putting his hand on his shoulder rubbing it softly. “Are you gonna talk about it?”

   “I miss my family…” Jamie looks up and there are tears in his eyes. “I miss my sister. I miss my mom. My dogs and best friend’s stupid cats.” He bites his lip and wipes at his face.

   Greed frowns and wraps his arms around him, rubbing his back as he lifts him off the floor to put him on the bed. Together they lay in each other's arms. Jamie crying while Greed tries his best to comfort him. Greed pulls his hair loose and combs his hand through his curls, lightly scratch at his scalp as he kisses his forehead.

   “I’ll tell the others to lay off okay? But, try to talk to them about stuff like this. They care about you. We all do.” Another silent I care about you , makes Jamie sigh and nod his head. He wishes Greed would just say it. But he knows he never will.

   Jamie doesn’t bother moving for the rest of the day. Even when the bar is up and running he stays in his room. To exhausted to deal with anything. So he sleeps. He dries his tears and sleeps. Hoping he’ll dream of something lighthearted and warm. Of an army of dogs cuddling him in the sun. One of each breed. They’d be veteran army dogs because Jamie loves the idea of adopting a senior dog. Especially if they are a Bull breed. Pits, staffies, English bull terriers, the whole family.

   Those are his favorites.

   He wakes up in the middle of the night and contemplates for a moment if he should leave his room. His bladder tells him there is no time to wait so he stands up and walks down the hall and heads to Greed’s room. His bathroom is closer; he’ll just take care of his business and head back to his room and maybe go back to sleep if he is so lucky.

   Jamie pushes through the door as quietly as he can, unsure if everyone is in their rooms or not. It is pretty quiet and he would rather not get caught moving around now. Luckily for him, the room is empty. Sighing in relief he shuts the door behind himself and heads to the bathroom door. Turning the knob to open the door he leans forward and—

   Wow, that opened too easily.

   Looking up he tenses as Greed stands on the other side of the door with a towel wrapped around his waist and draped around his shoulders as well. His face reddens and he steps back quickly.

   “I-I’ll just use the other bathroom!” He turns away and heads back for the door until Greed grabs his arm pulling him close.

   “Just use it. Mart is probably still taking a bath in the other one.”

   Sighing heavily Jamie looks down and nods his head. He walks into the bathroom and shuts the door, locking it behind him. Taking a deep breath he does what he needs to and washes his hands after. He stays in there for a moment to compose himself before stepping back out into Greed’s room. Greed is sitting on the back drying his hair with his back turned to Jamie.

   Holding his breath he heads for the door. Ready to go back to the room without being noticed.

   “Puppy.”

   Jamie tenses as he reaches for the doorknob. He turns and spots Greed looking at him. “Yes..?”

   “Sleep here tonight.”

   Blinking he looks at Greed for a moment. Sighing heavily he walks over to his side and sits down on the bed. Greed wraps an arm around him almost instantly and holds him close. Shaking his head Jamie rests his head against his arm and takes a deep breath. “You’re warm..”

   “I did just get out of the shower.” Rolling his eyes Jamie looks up at him and pulls back for a moment. “Where are you going?”

   “I’m hungry...Join me?” He sucks at asking for company especially after acting the way he has been. Green grins and stands up letting the towel to the floor, which gets a flustered squeak out of Jamie as he puts on a pair of sweatpants. Greed takes his hand and squeezes it before walking out of the room.

   It’s so weird when Greed shows little signs of affection like this. He doesn’t think he will ever get used to it. The handholding, kisses on the forehead, kisses on his lips, the cuddling, the way Greed likes to play with his hair.

   The sex.

   Jamie shakes his head and looks away in hopes that Greed won’t notice how red his face is. The sound of Greed snickering just tells him he failed at that. Miserably. Together they walk down into the kitchen and Jamie makes them both grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s quiet in the kitchen. It’s nice and they get to eat peacefully. Looking over at Greed he stares for a moment until Greed notices him.

   “What’s wrong?”

   Jamie shakes his head and stands up, leaning down to press their lips together as he cups his cheeks. He smiles and pulls away.

   “Okay, for real. What’s up?”

   Jamie snickers and takes a seat on his lap. Holding him close. Comfortable and safe in his arms. Greed sighs and wraps his arms around him before lifting him up, carrying him over to the bar to lay down on the couch together. He isn’t tired. Neither of them are. It’s just nice to spend a few hours together in silence in the comfort of each other’s hold alone like this. No unnecessary touches. Just a good hug.

   They don’t bother going to sleep until signs of the sun rising starts to show. Even then they don’t get up from the couch. They stay put and rest. A long deserved break. It makes getting up in the morning much easier to help Roa with making dinner ready. It’s cold so they are making stew and its gonna take a few hours before it’s ready. Roa has him dealing with the cutting of the meat. Keeping him nice and busy while he tries to multitask cutting the meat and keeping Dolcetto out of the kitchen.

And they call Jamie a puppy.

   Looking up when he feels a heavy hand on his shoulder he smiles up at Roa. Roa squeezes his shoulder and smiles right back at him. “You alright now?”

   “I am...Sorry for the past couple of days.” Roa nods his head and ruffles his hair before dumping the load of vegetables into the pot, Jamie doing the same in a separate pot. Prep work is done and now there is time to relax while the food cooks away for the rest of the day. All he has to do is keep Dolcetto out of the kitchen until the bar is closed.

   But that is easier said than done.

 


 

   Things return to how they used to be and Jamie is grateful for that. Snow is nowhere in sight until the next winter. This is great because it gives Jamie time and room to explore the town more. He feels like he knows nothing about Dublith.

   He’s been taking a bag and his sketchbook Greed got him to go on walks and just draw or write whatever he can. it is so nice. He’s tired of having to stay inside all day. His only outside experience is when he is out, hiding on the roof reading or drawing. Being able to walk without any supervision is so nice. Refreshing even.

   He didn’t mind that he was sort of lost. It took him a few laps to figure out his way back but he didn’t care; the weather is lovely and trees are starting to become full with healthy, live leaves. The little patches of grass growing bring a smile to his face too. He wonders if he’ll be able to make a garden this year. He’ll have to make it on the roof. It’ll be quaint and adorable. He’ll have to figure out what to grow.

   Looking up at the skies Jamie smiles at how cloudless it is. it is so comfortable he didn’t even bother bringing a heavy jacket with him, just Greed’s vest because he insisted he leave with something to keep him warm.

   As he is walking he spots a nice bench by a small pond and takes a seat pulling his sketchbook. This is the perfect spot. Kicking his legs up to take up the bench he gets comfortable before taking out a pencil to draw with. He doesn’t paint what is around him but being out here helps him figure out what to put down.

   “James?”

   Looking up from his book he blinks at the sight of Izumi carrying a large amount of bags. Groceries. Putting his sketchbook away quickly, he stands up and moves over to her side. “Miss Izumi, can I help you with that?”

   She bellows with laughter and smiles at him. “I won’t say no to a little help.” Izumi hands him a few bags and pats his head. He doesn’t mind being treated like this despite being almost twenty, it reminds him of his mother. “What were you working on?”

   Looking up at her he shrugs his shoulders and adjusts the bags to make them easier and more comfortable to carry. “Just some drawings. I am writing a book and I like knowing what the characters look like on paper not just in my mind.” Izumi nods her head and together they walk side by side to the shop.

   “A book? What is it about?”

   Now he has to think about this. How should he explain his book without making it seem like he is batshit insane? it is bad enough Greed teases him for ‘imagining’  a world where plays can be watched on a screen in one's own home or where you can carry a phone around and call whoever you want without needing a phone operator to connect you through.

   “It’s about a family. The main character’s younger brother dies and he is devasted. They don’t really have parents but they have friends that are like parental figures in their life. Later…” He takes a deep breath and looks down. “They die and he is responsible for the child they left behind. The thing is the baby has a name really close to his brother’s name and it hurts him a lot. So it is about him grieving over his brother’s death all while trying to be a father.”

   “That's...intense.” Izumi chuckles and uses her foot to open the door once they arrive. She holds the door open for Jamie and leads him inside to the house part of the building. “You’ll have to let me read it when you are finished.”

   Smiling he nods and starts unpacking the bags. As he is helping put things away the sound of footsteps gets his attention. Turning around he squeaks at the sight of Sig standing behind him. “James.”

   “H-Hello Mr. Sig.” Smiling nervously he looks down and continues to help until everything is put away. “Well— I should get going.” He rubs the back of his neck and walks backward to leave only to bump into Mason. “Ah, Hi Mace. I’ll see you guys again later.” He smiles and shuffles out of there. An uncomfortable feeling pools into his stomach and he doesn’t like it. So he heads out walking down the street.

   “James!” Tensing he turns around and spots Izumi standing outside the shop. He stops as she starts walking towards him. Smiling Izumi takes his hands and hands him a small package. “If you ever need a quiet place to write or draw or study anything you are welcome over at any time.”

   Frowning he puts the small package into his bag and looks down. “It’s nothing against you Miss Izumi but I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I just don’t want to intrude.”

   Guilty. That’s what the feeling pooling into his stomach is called.

   It is bad enough he has gotten close to the others but he shouldn’t let himself get too close to Izumi too. Especially because he knows he’ll be seeing her in the future if everything goes the way fate plans it to.

   “Well...I’ll keep the offer open. You get home safely okay?”

   Looking up at her he stares for a moment before nodding his head. “Yes, Ma’am.” He smiles and turns on his heal, walking off towards the bar. As he turns down the alley he spots Greed talking to someone outside.  Walking up behind him he wraps his arms around him and looks around him. Greed looks down and smiles at him before ruffling his hair.

   “Welcome home, Pup.” Jamie smiles and squeezes him before stepping to stand at his side. “Did you have a good time?”

   “I did. I’m gonna take a nap.”

   Greed snorts and nudges him to walk down the stairs. Jamie pouts and Greed pinches his nose. “I’ll join you. Just go warm up the bed. This is important.” Sighing he nods his head and walks down into the bar. Dolcetto is sitting at the bar stand and turns to smile at him.

   “You’ve got cake?”

   Jamie blinks and steps back when Dolcetto steps towards him. That must be what Izumi gave him. Dolcetto steps back and goes through his bag before Jamie can even try to stop him. He takes the package out and opens it up.

   “What flavor is it?”

   “I don’t know— the butchers gave it to me.”

   Dolcetto stares down at it and smells it. “Carrot. Do you like carrot?” Jamie nods his head and Dolcetto hands the small cake back to him. Smiling Jamie looks down at the cake then back to Dolcetto as he walks away with a small pout on his lips. Jamie reaches out and grabs his wrist, stopping him.

   “Here.” He breaks the cake in half and hands the other half to Dol. “Do you like Carrot cake that much?”

“Not really Roa does though. I can’t bake for shit and it is his favorite.”

   Jamie can’t help but smile at this. He loves that they try to be subtle but they both fail miserably. Roa and Dolcetto that is. Looking at his own half he wraps it and hands the whole thing to Dolcetto.

   “Here. I can make more later.” Dolcetto smiles and playfully punches his shoulder before running off. Probably to go find Roa. Smiling he heads out of the bar and walks up to Greed’s room.

   Throwing himself onto the bed he curls up and pulls a pillow into his arms. Squeezing the pillow close he crawls under the blankets and shuts his eyes. Wondering what Greed was doing outside anyway. A knocking on the door gets his attention so he sits up spotting Ulchi in the doorway.

   “What’s up?”

   “Boss told me to tell you he might be a while he has to go out to check on something.”

   “He’s been doing that a lot. Do you know what he is doing?” Ulchi nods his head and steps out of the room as if he is going to leave. “Are you going to tell me?”

   “No can do. Have fun napping.”

   Sighing heavily Jamie lays back down and shuts his eyes again. Whatever. That feeling pools back into his stomach but it is slightly different this time around. He can’t put his finger on it. He’ll just have to ask Greed about it when he gets back. Taking a deep breath he moves around in bed until he gets comfortable in the little patch of light that hits the bed from the window in the hall. it is warm and it puts him to sleep like nothing else can.

   The feeling of the mattress moving with a change of weight wakes him up but not enough for him to bother opening his eyes. Especially when he feels arms wrap around him. Greed is back. Rolling over he wraps his arms around him and even a leg, shifting until he is comfortable enough to fall back asleep.

   “You up?”

   He nods his head and nuzzles into his chest. He smiles at the sound of Greed chuckling. He can feel the rumbling in his chest when he does. It sort of tickles his ears. Greed presses a kiss to his forehead and the two fall silent. Sleep is easy for Jamie to fall back into but he wonders if Greed took a nap too. He wonders if he just likes laying down together while Jamie sleeps. But that is probably too soft for Greed. Then again if he thinks it is too soft for him it is probably just soft enough for him to get away with

   Naptime doesn’t last for much longer; the bar needs to be opened.

   Thanks to the weather warming up they are much more busy that than they have been this past couple of weeks. it is keeping everyone on their toes.

   Walking up to the bars stand Jamie crouches down to try and hide for a moment. His feet hurt and he needs a serious break. On top of all that his stomach has been hurting like crazy. Guilt pains have never hurt him like this before.

   There’s only one thing left it can possibly be.

   Standing up he walks out of the bar and heads upstairs to the bathroom. Taking a seat on the toilet he grabs a wipe and—

   He just wants to scream. He should have known.

   Taking a deep breath he cleans himself up and folds toilet paper until it is thick. He tucks it between his legs and moves to his room to grab clean clothes to change into. God, he hates this shit. As he steps out of his room he shrieks when he bumps into Greed. Stumbling onto his ass he sighs and just lays there on the floor.

Given up.

   Greed laughs and kneels down to help him up. “You suddenly left. You good?”

   Jamie whines and shakes his head as he is lifted back onto his feet. Greed snorts and lifts him into his arms. Greed carries him back into the room and lays him on the bed. Sitting down at his side he leans down and pinches his cheek. Jamie swats his hand away and curls in on himself.

   He hates that when he notices his period has started that the pain sinks in more.

   “Please tell me you aren’t getting sick again. If you are I’m gonna have to call Doc again and get the room ready in advance.” Greed pushes his hair out of his face and smiles down at him. Jamie frowns and shakes his head, resetting the placement of his hair without meaning to.

Sorry Greed.

   Greed sighs and lays down, wrapping his arms around him loosely. “Is this something Mart would be more helpful with.” Jamie tenses up and sighs nodding his head. “I’ll go get her then.”

   Jamie squeezes his arms and shakes his head. “It's okay. Just lay down with me. I just need something warm on my stomach.” Greed’s hands slither down and up his shirt to rest his palms on his skin.

   “Warm enough?”

   “Not at all but it’ll have to do…” Jamie rolls over to face him and Greed adjusts his hands. Greed’s hands slither up his shirt and it makes Jamie shiver. “Greed...not tonight.”

   “It’ll distract you from the pain give it a shot.” Jamie frowns and grabs his wrists. Stopping them from moving up any further. “Fine fine fine.” Leaning forward Greed kisses his lips before pulling him close. He lifts the blanket over their shoulders and shuts his eyes. Jamie tries to get comfortable he really does but wherever he lays the pain seeps into that area. He can’t help but whine and whimper into Greed’s chest.

   All he can do is count down the days until it is over.

Six

   Sitting up in bed Jamie clings to the small trash bin Martel brought him in the middle of the night. He’s so tired of waking up just to puke to run to the bathroom to die on the toilet. Three times already. All he wants to do is sleep this away.

   The first three days are always the worst for him.

   At least he has his trusty hot sock.

   A hot sock is something his mother taught him and his sisters to use. They would fill an old sock with dried uncooked rice and heat it up in the microwave. It was just a heating pad that didn’t rack up the electricity bill. His grandmother told his mother that it is what they used to do before heating pads were truly a thing when they were living in Cuba. But they would use sand and heat it up on the stove. It works for all sorts of things, not just period cramps.

   Earaches. Muscle pains. Cricks in the neck.

   Even just staying warm in the winter.

   Without a microwave, it is a bit difficult. He tried to heat the rice on the stove but it burnt way too quickly. It was the same with the uncooked beans. He felt bad that he had to get Roa to go get sand but at least it is reusable for next time.

   He wonders what Martel does to ease her pain.

Five

   He is able to walk around more but the bathroom breaks are still a thing. He hates this. He misses when he was able to lay on the couch with his dog laying her head on his stomach to ease the pain. It was a mixture of heat and pressure and it worked enough to put him to sleep.

   God, he misses his dogs.

   For the most part, he is on bed rest. He comes out of his room for food and for the bathroom. If he is really lucky Greed will bring him snacks and he won’t have to leave his room in the middle of the night. But not leaving his room makes him nervous. Who is cleaning up cigarettes if not him?

   Taking a deep breath Jamie slips out of bed, holding Harrison in his arms as he walks down into the empty bar. Everything is clean. He doesn’t know why he worried so much. Of course, his chores were covered. Sighing heavily he turns around and—

   Screams dropping Harrison on the floor.

   “Greed, you asshole, you scared the shit out of me!” He grasps his own chest and shakes his head. Stepping forward he rests his head on Greed’s chest calming himself down.

   “You weren’t in your room.” Greed leans down and pushes his hair back, exposing his forehead for a kiss. “I thought maybe you were in the bathroom but you weren’t.”

   He’s worried but he won’t admit it.

   Jamie smiles and squeezes him close.

   “You should just stay in the room with me so you don’t have to run to the bathroom so quickly.” Greed cups his cheeks and tilts his face up. Jamie can’t help but smile.

   “That sounds nice.” Letting go of Greed he picks Harrison up and takes his hand. Shutting off the lights they walk up back to Greed’s room. it is nice and warm. Greed scoops Jamie up into his arms and carries him to bed. They lay in each other’s arms comfortably.

   Until an hour or so passes and Jamie is running to the bathroom to purge his stomach.

Four

   The pain is starting to go away throughout the day. It only hurts when he lays down for too long. Which on one hand is great. He gets to walk around outside and help around the bar. He gets to help with making breakfast and snacks. It’s great. On the other hand, he just wants to take a damn nap. But the pain in his side is so bad he keeps having to roll over. He can’t sleep like this.

   He can’t really do anything if he isn’t walking around.

   Which is making this really awkward for him.

   Sitting up he grabs Greed’s wrists and stops him so he can get out of bed. “I can’t. It hurts too much.” Frowning he stands up and grabs his shorts putting them back on. Greed pouts and stands up too. “I’m just gonna go fill up the tub. It might make this feel better….Sorry Greed.”

   Shuffling over into the bathroom he sits on the toilet and wipes himself down before taking his clothes off and filling the tub. The room fills with steam and it makes chills run up his spine and goosebumps begin to litter his skin.

   Greed steps into the bathroom behind him and looks at the steam covered mirror before looking over at the tub. “Are you trying to boil yourself alive?”

   Jamie snorts and shrugs his shoulders, pressing on his abdomen to try to alleviate the pain before stepping into the tub, immediately he turns the cold water on as he hisses. His legs are bloodshot red as he sits down in the water. But the pain from the heat distracts him from the pain of cramps. Shutting his eyes tightly he grits his teeth together and curls up.

   The cold water starts to ease the pain and that's when he shuts it off. He lays in there for a while letting his muscles relax under the intense heat. Taking a deep breath he leans forward at the feelings of Greed’s hand on his neck. Blinking when he feels something behind him he turns his head and smiles tiredly as Greed sits in the tub behind him.

   “If you fall asleep I’ll take you to bed so don’t worry about being in here for too long.”

   Nodding his head he shuts his eyes and rests against his knees until Greed sighs and pulls him into his arms to use his chest as a pillow instead. Much more comfortable. As he lays in his arms Greed uses a container to slowly pour the warm water over him. It’s relaxing. He’s lucky he gets to actually sleep the night away without waking up in the middle of the night.

Three

   Although he didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night he did have to wash his clothes and the sheets they slept on, in the morning. He even had to shower.

   Waking up covered in uterus chunks is not fun. Even if it is a small amount.

   The cool thing about having said uterus is that you can tell if your period is going to be over soon by the color of it. The browner it is the less amount of days left. It may not be like that for everyone cursed with a functioning uterus but that's how it works for him. It gives him something to look forward to.

   At this point he doesn’t need to constantly reheat the sand in his hot sock; he only needs to when he lays down.

   So fuck that; he’ll go for a walk instead.

   With a light jacket on, he walks around the small town of Dublith. He picks up snacks and even picks some cute flowers from the ground in the park in hopes of being able to dry them properly and decorate his room. it is spring dammit. There aren’t enough plants in the building. He will single-handedly change that if he has to.

But one can only walk around for so long before they get bored out of their minds. So a U-turn is made and he starts back for home.

   Home.

   He’s been calling it that more. Its making accepting his fate a little easier. This bar is his home. Dublith is his home. Amestris is his home now. He is getting better at admitting it. But that doesn’t change his want to go back.

   Amestris is his home until he can get home on the promised day. If he can get home on the promised day. Why does it have to be so far away?

   The things he would do to cuddle his dogs right now.

Two

   God, he loves being able to nap the day away without an issue. Anytime someone tries to wake him up he does flip them off. He can finally lay down peacefully. No need for a hot sock.

   The feeling of his shoulders being shaken makes him rolls his eyes behind their lids. Sitting up he grabs their wrists and opens his eyes.

   “Jesus, fuck, Greed. What?”

   “What the fuck is a Jesus?”

   Choking on his own laughter he shakes his head and throws himself back on the bed. He’s still sleeping in Greed’s room.

   “You need to eat. We are gonna open soon.”

   Ugh. Work. Just another day or so And things can go back to the way they should.

   Sitting up he slips out of bed and puts on a new set of clothes. He has a small pile of them in Greed’s room for days when he spends the night in here and doesn’t feel like walking to his room. Especially when there is a bathroom connected to Greed’s room. Turning around he spots Greed sitting on the bed, just watching him.

   Rolling his eyes he huffs and walks over to him. Jamie cups his cheeks and presses their lips together. “Pervert.”

   Greed grins against his lips and reaches out to squeeze his hips. “Pretty Boy.”

   “Pretty boy?” He tilts his head to the side and leans back. Avoiding the neck kiss Greed is trying to give him. He never trusts that kiss, it always turns into a bite. A bloody one. Which leads to the crew staring at him and Martel teasing him. He doesn’t need that.

   “Yeah. I thought we were stating obvious things. I’m Greed. I’m greedy. I want everything you can possibly imagine. I want money and women, power and sex, status, glory! I—”

   Jamie rolls his eyes and slaps his hand over his mouth to shut him up before talking in a mocking tone. “ I demand the finer things in life weh weh weh. We get it.” Huffing he turns around. Trying not to laugh at the look of shock on Greed’s face.

   He can’t believe Greed actually said it. Walking out of the room he smiles down as he heads down the hall. He hears footsteps behind him and stops so Greed can catch up. Together they walk downstairs to the kitchen to eat. He takes a seat at the table and everyone is staring at him.

   Well more so at Greed who is standing in the doorway. Dumbfounded.

   “Jeez, pup. I think you broke Boss. What the hell did you do?”

One

   Chilling in the kitchen he draws at the table while Greed cooks on the stove. The kitchen is full of nice smells so he is very happy he convinced Greed to make him chili with his recipe. They even got cornmeal so they could have cornbread on the side.

   The weather is colder so its a perfect day for this.

   Roa and the others are out in the woods getting firewood for the next season so they are plenty busy. It’s just Greed, Jamie, and a big pot of chili. It makes him think about what their life would be if there wasn’t an expiration date on what they have. If Greed had been able to live on Jamie’s side of the gate with him there. If everything was the same but just...over there. Would Greed even look at him the same way? Would he even know he exists?

   “Pup, what are you thinking about?” Snapping his head up he spots Greed’s face oh so very close to his own. His cheeks redden and he looks down at his drawings. Taking a deep breath he crumples the drawing in his hands, taking it over to the trash. “Woah, woah, woah! What is that for? That was a nice picture.” Greed leans forward and takes the paper out of the trash, unfolding it and spreading it flat against the counter to try and make it smooth. Sighing heavily Greed puts the drawing on the fridge next to the others. Jamie’s art is starting to take over all the space there once was on the refrigerator.

   Stepping forward Greed grabs Jamie’s wrist and pulls him close. He lifts him up and sits him on the counter. Tilting his chin up he presses their foreheads together and sighs.

   “You feeling alright? Do you want to lay down on the couch?” Jamie shakes his head and wraps his arms around. “Alright...Food is almost done. I’ll just put the lid on and leave it off until its time to eat. We can take a nap upstairs.” Pressing a quick kiss to his lips he steps back and searches for the lid. Once it is found he turns the burner off and covers the pot. Without hesitation, Jamie raises his arms for Greed to carry him to bed.

   Greed smirks and lifts him into his arms letting Jamie hold onto him tight as he carries him up the stairs. The trip to his room is silent even as they lay in bed. There isn’t anything wrong with that. Sometimes there is nothing better than lying quietly in the arms of the person you love simply listening to each other’s heartbeat to put each other to sleep. it is a good way to end this week-long disaster.

   A cuddle session, a few kisses, a few things a little more than that and Jamie is asleep comfortably in Greed’s arms. There might be a lack of pants but that is alright. Nothing is wrong with that. Especially with how he is able to remember his dream when he is woken up for dinner having slept through the work shift.

   There were cakes and fireworks. Drinks and plenty of laughter. It must have been a party and he was having a great time, which admittedly is a bit difficult for him to believe because he hasn’t been the best at parties. He is good at talking and keeping the happiness high and active but it was always exhausting for him afterward. There were rabbits he got to play with, with a baby he has never seen before as well as a faceless child. It was nice and warm and allowed him to wake up with a smile.

   Being surrounded by people that seemed to be friends or even his found family gave him a sense of comfort that got him through the night. All in all it was a great dream. That being said he did forget it over eating. It wasn’t too hard to fall back asleep after dinner. It just took a nice hot bad and Greed brushing his hair.

 

Chapter Text

   Taking a deep breath Jamie slips out of bed and goes to his closet to pull out some clean clothes. The weather is really nice out so he knows he can get away with wearing a light jacket without being scolded by Greed for ‘wanting to have a cold’. Sighing softly he rubs at his eyes and heads downstairs into the kitchen to find something to eat. He fell asleep really early last night and didn’t eat dinner because he managed to sleep through the night without having to get up again

   “Morning, Pup.”

   Jamie flinches as he hears his name. He looks over and Dolcetto is seated at the table reading a book. Sighing heavily he walks over and hugs his shoulders from behind. Still a bit tired he rests his head against Dolcetto's back and shuts his eyes. He can hear Dolcetto chuckle, it's a low rumble against his ear.

   “Still tired?” Jamie nods and stays put for a while. Dolcetto is always so warm and it just makes him even more tired. He wouldn't mind going back to bed but it is hard to do standing up. “You can sleep in. Boss is out so you won't get into any trouble.”

   “No...I'm alright…” opening his eyes he peels himself off of Dol and moves to the pantry to find something to eat, the thing he left bed for in the first place. Their supply is running low and it makes Jamie pout. He's going to have to deal with eating just a banana for now.

   That's just another thing on his list of things he has to do now. Go on a grocery run. He is going to need another person for that though. Maybe even two. There are a lot of things he needs to pick up.

   Peeling the banana, Jamie takes a bite as he sits at the table. He waits until he has finished his…. meal, to turn to Dolcetto and ask “Do you know where he went?”

   Dolcetto looks at Jamie and opens his mouth to say something only to shut it and hum for a moment. Thinking about his words. “Nowhere for you to worry about.”

   He's hiding something. A knot forms in his stomach and he has a bad feeling about this.

   He can't possibly be looking for Alphonse already. It's too early. None of that needs to be happening. He won't let it.

   No. He can't—

   Oh God, he wants to cry. There's nothing he can do to stop it. He knows that. He's helpless.

   Standing up he throws his banana peel out and walks out of the kitchen. He needs to find Greed and make sure nothing bad is about to happen. He steps into the bar area and puts his shoes on before heading up the stairs and outside the building. He covers his eyes to shield himself from the harsh light before walking down the street.

   ”Puppy!”

   Jamie turns around and stops when he spots Dolcetto heading his way. The man catches up to him and frowns.

   “Where are you going?”

   Jamie frowns and pockets his hands, rocking back and forth on his heels. “I'm gonna find Greed and keep him from doing something dumb.” he sighs and shakes his head, shrugging his shoulders. “If I don't keep him out of trouble who will?”

   Dol chuckles and rubs the back of his neck before squeezing Jamie's shoulder. “If you keep this up, Mart is going to start calling you the Boss’ wife— err the Boss’ husband.”

   Jamie's face burns red as he lets Dolcetto's words sink in. He turns his head away and seething with embarrassment he storms off. He's going to find Greed and make him go grocery shopping with him even if its the last thing he ever does.

   Jamie walks up and down the streets of Dublith for what feels like forever. He knows it's only been an hour at the most but he's tired, it's early, and he feels like if he doesn't try and keep Greed from doing something dumb it's all going to be over and he isn't ready for that. He's too far down the rabbit hole.

   The sound of a bell ringing gets his attention.

   He turns around and spots Izumi walking out the door of the butcher shop. She makes eye contact with him before walking towards him.

   “James are you alright? You look like someone is in trouble.”

   “Well, he is going to be if I don’t find him.” Taking a deep breath he shakes his head and continues to look around with his head. He can’t just walk off from Izumi that would be rude.

   Do you know what else is rude? Letting the love of your life  your friend die. Jamie, you need to get your priorities together and find Greed.

   “Have you seen a stupidly tall man walking around? He has a shitty taste in clothes and is handsome? Well. He’s ugly but so ugly he’s handsome? God, I’m going to kill his stupid ass if he’s up to no good.” He grumbles that last bit but Izumi must have heard it because she chuckles and shakes her head.

   “No, I haven’t. You have an odd way of describing someone you love.”

   His face reddens as he stares at her for a moment. How does he react to that?

   Luckily he looks over her shoulder and spots a certain stupidly tall ugly handsome man walking out of a building. “Oh! Nevermind. I found him. Thank you, Miss Izumi!” Perking up he steps back and waves at Izumi before storming off. Thank god for that. He could not deal with anymore embarrassment today.

   Running up to Greed he slows down when he spots him wiping his hands on his pants. Red. Blood.

   “What were you doing in there?”

   “Who was that you were talking to?”

Oh. They said that at the same time.

   Shaking his head, Jamie grabs Greed's hand and starts walking off. “I asked first so you answer.”

   “We spoke together don't even try that, Pup.” Greed squeezes his hand before walking at his side, not bothering to let go. “It's nothing for you to worry about. I was just…looking for something.”

   They're hiding something and Jamie doesn't like it.

   “Your turn. Who was that woman?”

   Jamie rolls his eyes and looks up at Greed before sighing. “She is a butcher at the shop I get our meats from. She’s nothing to worry about.”

   Greed huffs and tightens his grip on his hand.

   Oh my god. Is he—

   Jealous?

   Jamie snorts and lifts his hand up to his mouth to kiss his knuckles before tugging on his hand. “Come on. We have to go to the market and do grocery shopping to do.” Walking in front of Greed he starts to pull him in the direction he wants to go. To think his short ass five foot two self is dragging this tall menace to the market.

   It’s almost funny.

   Walking hand in hand to the marketplace Jamie swears he heard Greed grumble something. He turns his head up and watches as Greed looks away. As if he was caught saying something he was embarrassed about. “What was that?”

   Greed won’t look at him.

   “Greed the Avaricious.” Jamie glares at him only to smirk when he notices the redness on the tip of Greed’s ears. “What did you say?”

   “I said— you’re my possession. I can worry all I want.” The taller man barks out making Jamie stare in shock. He was right. Greed is jealous of Izumi. Jamie smiles and comes to a stop making Greed’s arm jerk. Greed turns to face him and Jamie steps closer. “What’s the look for?”

   “What look?” He can feel what his face must look like in his cheeks. That love stuck smile that makes his eyes crinkle. Jamie squeezes Greed’s hand and stands on his tiptoes to try and get as close as he can to his face.

   “You’re thinking about something.”

   “Yeah. I’m thinking you should kiss me.”

   Greed scoffs and rolls his eyes before cupping his cheeks to press their lips together. This is nice. His chest feels so warm. For a moment Jamie forgets all about having to buy groceries at the marketplace and he doesn’t mind.

   Going on grocery runs is fun to Jamie; Greed doesn’t understand why but he does accept it. It’s just another reason for him to go outside and not be locked up in his room all day. Fresh air and the smell of trees. It’s the smell of home.

   Only better because now he doesn’t live by a sewage plant that smells like literal shit in the summer.

   As Jamie lifts a bag filled with apples and other fruits he feels Greed’s hand on his shoulder. He looks up and smiles, handing him the bag so he can continue to get more produce. “What’s up?”

   Greed frowns and adjusts his hold on the bags in his arms. “Pup...If you could see your family again would you?”

   Jamie tenses and stares at Greed for a moment. What is going on? What brought this up? “Of...Of course I would— What is this about?”

   “It’s nothing I just thought—”

   Jamie continues walking through the stalls with a little bit of a faster pace. He doesn’t enjoy talking about his family. He’d like to avoid the topic at all costs. “Thought what?”

   “I just thought you’d be happier if you could be with them again. So I started looking-” Jamie stops and snaps his head to stare at Greed. He’s looking for his family? “-and I couldn’t find anything. The way you talk about them makes it seem like you’ll never see the again-” Because he won’t why the hell is Greed so insistent on reuniting Jamie with his family? It’s never going to happen. “-and you never talk about your father so i got to thinking, Maybe his dad is an asshole—

   “Correct.”

   “— and killed his family so he ran away before he could could him too. So I started looking for the fucker.”

   Jamie frowns and stares up at Greed and then down at his hands.

   The blood . Oh god—

   Jamie shuffles over quickly and gets close enough to whisper, “Did you fucking kill someone Greed?” Greed looks away and it makes Jamie’s stomach drop. “G-Greed. I won’t see my family ever again because they’re far away. Far far away. Not dead. As much as I wish my father was dead, you shouldn’t value my life enough to kill him yourself.”

   Greed sighs heavily and puts the bags down on a bench to wrap his arms around Jamie’s shoulders. He didn’t even realize he was shaking until Greed got him to stop. “I didn’t kill anyone…”

   “But the blood on your hand—”

   “I just hurt him a bit, he was a scumbag anyway. He’s lucky I didn’t kill him though.” Greed kisses the top of his head and then tilts his chin up so he can make eye contact with the smaller one. “I didn’t kill him. I just wanted you to be happy. You’ve been so sad recently…”

   “Is that what you’ve been up to all these times you’ve been away?” Greed nods his head and picks the bags back up before taking Jamie’s hand in his own free one. Jamie hates that he sighs in relief. At least he wasn’t looking for the Elrics. There is still time left.

   Precious time…

   “Let’s just go home...We have enough for now. We’ll go home and put everything away before making Dol come and help us out. The more hands the better.” Jamie leans forward and takes a bag from Greed, carrying it close to his chest.

   Greed nods his head and together they walk back to the bar in silence. It’s awkward and Jamie feels like it is his fault.

   As Greed walks down the steps to get into the bar Jamie tugs on the back of the vest. Greed turns around and looks up at Jamie with a soft smile, one that he is horrible at hiding. Jamie takes a deep breath and leans down to kiss his lips. “Thank you for caring about me Greed.”

   “Anytime, Pup.”

Chapter Text

   With spring here and in full blast, going outside as often has come to a halt. There’s so much rain that even with an umbrella and a good raincoat he still gets soaked to the bone. He’s finding himself bored throughout the day. There’s only so much writing and drawing a person can do when they aren’t actually working. He feels like he is losing it.  It isn’t fun. The antsy feeling is getting to him to the point that sometime he’ll just pace around the halls and walk up and down the stairs just so he has something to do.

   He hates this level of boredom. It’s made him start cleaning in his free time. He hates cleaning when he doesn’t have to. Hell, he hates cleaning in general.

   “Puppy just lay down, take a nap. You don’t need to be constantly moving.” Greed takes his wrist and tugs him close. Jamie sighs and shakes his head as he rests against the taller man’s chest. “You’re going to exhaust yourself like this. The rainy season will be over in a couple of weeks. You can handle it.”

   “No way. I hate cabin fever. I need to do something.”

   “ Lay down. That’s doing something.” Greed wraps his arms around him and throws him over his shoulder so he can carry him to his room. Jamie has been spending more nights there than in his own room. Even his clothes have a dresser drawer in Greed’s room.

   Jamie clings to the back of his shirt and pouts as Roa walks past them. He swears he caught him smirking. Greed tosses him onto the large bed as he steps into the room. Jamie lets out a soft oomph as he almost bounces off the bed. He sits up and watches as Greed pushes him back down against the mattress, making him lay down. Jamie sighs and wraps his arms around his shoulders, his nails lightly scratching at the back of Greed’s neck as he shuts his eyes.

   His eyes pop open as he feels Greed kiss his temple gently. He smiles and pulls his head back to lay against the pillow. He watches Greed’s eyes as they scan over his face. “What's up?”

   “I never noticed.”

   Jamie tilts his head to the side as Greed reaches to undo the bun on his head, his curls falling against the pillow. “Noticed what?”

   “How long your eyelashes are.”

   Jamie’s eyes shut as Greed leans in and kisses his eyelids. It gets a chuckle out of him as he squeezes Greed close and lays comfortably beneath him. Jamie fixes the pillows under his head as Greed spreads his legs to lay between them. He rests his head on Jamie’s torso and wraps his arms around the smaller man.

   He must be tired.

   Jamie takes a deep breath and cards his fingers through Greed’s hair. Together they lay there quietly letting a soft nap take them in. Days like these are nice. Not just for Jamie, but for Greed too.

   It makes getting out of bed hard when either of them wakes up. If only they could stay in each other’s arms all day. Lucky for them with all the rain no one really shows up to the bar. Martel spends time in the basement next to the fire, it's still not warm enough at night to not have the fire going. Roa spends his rainy days sitting in bed with a book in his hands and a Dolcetto curled up next to him, sometimes he’s reading too. Bido can be found anywhere but Ulchi is never found. Jamie wonders what he is up to.

   Looking down as Greed shifts he sits up and Greed’s head slips down to flop onto his thighs. Greed looks up and tilts his head to the side. Jamie nods and smiles. A silent conversation. A language they have built for each other. Greed sits up and the two switch positions, Jamie laying against Greed instead this time. Far more comfortable for the both of them this way. Jamie wraps his arms around Greed and shuts his eyes, humming softly.

   “What song is that?”

   Jamie looks up and shrugs his shoulders. It’s an older song he listened to when he was little. It nothing Greed would know. That is unless the Jonas Brothers magically exist in this world. If they do, Jamie just got another reason to keep on keeping on.

   “It sounds nice.” Greed reaches down and pulls Jamie closer before rolling onto his side. He presses his face into his neck and takes a deep breath. It makes Jamie’s face redden at the tickling sensation. Greed’s arms wrap around his waist and he kisses his skin. Jamie rolls onto his side to face Greed and he presses their lips together slowly; he swears he can feel Greed smiling against his lips.

   Chuckling he reaches up and cups his cheeks, pulling away. “Hey.” Greed blinks and tilts his head to the side. Jamie smiles and kisses his lips. “You thinking what I’m thinking?”

   Grinning Greed nods and sits up a bit, supporting his head with his hand on his jaw and his elbow against the mattress. “I take off my clothes and you peg me?”

   Jamie’s face reddens and he busts out into a fit of laughter as he sits up and throws his legs over the bed. “No, I was thinking we— Wait you’re into pegging? You’ve been pegged?” He turns to Greed confused, all Greed does is nod and stand up. He doesn't know why he continues to question anything that comes out of Greed’s mouth. With him anything is possible.

   Standing up he sighs and walks over to the door. “You are ridiculous. One it wouldn't be pegging, I'd be fucking you, Two I was thinking that we go downstairs and we can get the record player going while I bake us up some things.” Greed scoffs and shakes his head as he moves to walk behind Jamie as he leaves the room.

   “Not as fun but alright. Yeah. Let’s go do that.”

   Nodding his head Jamie reaches his hand out to be held as Greed catches up to him. “You’ll have to tell me what things you like to eat. That way I can make them and surprise you with them.”

   “I’ll eat anything you know that, well at least I hope you know that by now.”

   Jamie frowns as Greed squeezes his hand. “I know you’ll eat anything but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a favorite dessert.” Shrugging his shoulders he sighs and looks down as they continue to walk. Hand in hand they walk into the kitchen where Jamie lets Greed go. Greed takes a seat at the kitchen table. Jamie stares at the taller man waiting for an answer. When Greed just stares back, Jamie crosses his arms over his chest and leans against the counter.

   Greed mumbles. Jamie hates when people mumble. But he knows Greed only mumbles when he is embarrassed. He’ll tolerate it for now.

   “What was that?”

   Greed just looks away.

   Jamie smiles and walks over to where Greed is seated, taking a seat on his lap so he can cup his cheeks and make him look at him properly. Jamie kisses his lips and rests his head on his shoulder. Greed takes this as the okay to wrap his arms around his waist. Holding onto his sides he rests his own head atop Jamie’s.

   “Opera cake. My favorite sweet is Opera cake.” Jamie blinks and sits up with a smile on his face. “That is other than your ass, Pup.”

   Jamie’s face drops and he stands up.

   “Way to ruin the mood, Greed.”

   Greed laughs and kicks his feet up onto the table as he knocks the chair back to lean against the wall. Jamie subconsciously wishes he’d knock himself over for ruining such a perfect mood. Jamie moves through the cabinets to check out what there is in the kitchen. They don’t have any coffee so Greed is going to have to wait a little longer for a special cake.

   “An opera cake huh..?” He surprised that Greed would have a cake like that as his favorite. “So fancy…” Jamie smiles into his palm and takes the flour out before moving to the fridge to take the eggs and milk out. Moving back to the pantry he looks through the canned fruit. “It’s really an over glorified tiramisu…” He continues to mutter while pulling the cans out.

   Peaches. Pineapple. Nothing good really.  This is gonna be a boring cake.

   As he stands up he spots canisters full of tea leaves. They’re Roa’s and Mart’s. Opening them he takes a whiff and smiles. He hit the jackpot. It’s not the star ones but—

   “Anise seeds.” He stands up quickly and moves to the stove to steeps the seeds in the milk to get a good flavor. The sound of footsteps catches his attention as he stirs the seeds in the milk.

   Heavy but not stomping footsteps. Roa. Speak of the devil.

   Roa peeks his head into the room before walking over to see what Jamie is doing. “Tea?”

   “For cake.”

   “For cake?” Jamie nods with a smile. Roa stares at Jamie and pats his head before walking away making Jamie chuckle. He leaves the tea to steep as he starts the batter. Well now he can put those peaches to use and it won’t be bad. Man, he loves baking.

   “Hey pup, where did you learn to bake like this?”

   Jamie turns around and shrugs his shoulders as he strains the seeds into a bowl to separate them from the milk. He measures the milk and mixes it into the batter. “My mom. She didn’t bake a lot but I learned to love it from her and the books she had.” Moving around he gets the foil and lines a pan before slowly pouring the batter in. Popping into the oven he moves to sit down beside Greed. He pushes his feet off the table and rests his head down on the nice cold wood.

   “I have to get carrots from the market because I told Dol I would make a carrot cake for him to give Roa.” Looking over at Greed a smiles tiredly and shuts his eyes. He feels fingers card through his hair for a moment before he can hear footsteps get quieter as they move away. A few moments later he hears music and smiles as the footsteps get louder. “Thank you. Greed.”

   “Anytime, Pup.” Greed puts his hand on his shoulder and squeezes softly. “We gonna dance or what?”

   Jamie snorts and stands up, tying his hair into a ponytail. He looks up at Greed and takes his hand in his own smiling when Greed pouts. “You like my hair down too much for your own good.”

“That is true.”

Chapter Text

   With an umbrella keeping him dry, Jamie pulls a wagon behind him.

   Roa made it for him so he could do grocery runs on his own with ease. When Izumi saw it she couldn’t help but laugh at him. Nothing is funny about being able to make a whole grocery run in one trip. It’s pretty amazing honestly. He just hopes he picked up enough carrots and apples. Greed told him he could buy himself anything he wanted but Jamie decided against that. He’d rather save the money for an emergency or a day where he wants to treat himself to a craving or something nice.

   He’s finally getting a hold on how the currency works here. He thanks Greed for that. He’s been helping with filling out bills and buying things for the bar. That’s how he learned that the Bar is under Doc’s name to keep people from finding them. Doc has a nice name too but Jamie promised him he wouldn’t tell anyone what it is.

   So you are shit out of luck. Loyalty is important.

   The rainy season is almost over and Jamie knows Summer is right around the corner. When he is almost home he is able to shut the umbrella and put it in the wagon for the rest of the trip. The sun is out again and the clouds are clearing.

   He can’t wait for summer. He loves summer for many reasons. From swimming and gardening to celebrating his birthday. He’s been talking his mouth off about it. How he is gonna bake a cake and wants to play card games with the crew.

   Jamie takes the back alley home so he doesn’t have to carry the wagon down the stairs. He is just able to bring it inside and get help bringing the bags upstairs instead. It is a lot easier this way.

   Carrying as many bags as he can up into the kitchen he looks around for the others to help him bring everything inside only to find out that he is home alone. That is a first.

   He doesn’t know how to feel about this. Something in his gut tells him that something is wrong. There’s no use in panicking though. He has no idea where everyone could be, with his luck they are all out in different areas and it would take forever to find them. He’ll just have to wait for someone to show up so he can ask where the others are.

   So he busies himself with taking the groceries in by himself and grating the carrots he got today. At least if no one is home he can have the whole kitchen to himself. He pauses for a moment to wash his hands and to get the record player going to take away the uncomfortable quietness. He’s never been good dealing with this type of quiet, especially when he is worried about the others.

   Jamie hums to the music as he squeezes the extra water from the carrots with a cheesecloth and then again with a normal handcloth to get them as dry as possible before putting them in a bowl. He takes a few apples out and peels them while sitting at the table. He grates them as well before getting a pot and cooking the shredded apples on the stove. It makes the cake nice and moist. That’s his secret ingredient. Homemade apple sauce.

   Now if only he could have gotten his mother’s recipe for carrot cake.

   He ends up using the last of the eggs in the fridge for the batch but it’s a good thing he picked up more at the market.

   The kitchen smells so good, he can’t wait to see what Roa thinks about his cake. He puts the cake in the oven and sets the countertop timer before moving back to the table. He takes out his sketchbook as well as his notebook and gets to work. He keeps the timer next to him as he draws, that way he doesn’t forget about the cake. As it bakes the smell only gets stronger. Cinnamon vanilla and ginger. A great scent combination. It reminds him more of fall than summer.

   Letting out a yawn he rests his head on the table and waits...and waits...and waits.

   Falling asleep while baking is never a good idea. Thank goodness for the fact that he kept the timer right next to him even if he did wake up screaming.

   The sound of laughter makes him flinch as he walks into the bar area. Sitting on the couch is Dolcetto reading a book. “You good there, Puppy?” Frowning Jamie glares at him for laughing at his panic.

   “Yeah...When did you get back?” Jamie walks back into the kitchen to check on the cake. It still needs a few minutes but he knows it’ll continue to bake enough and cool if he turns the oven off.

   “No more than ten minutes ago.”

   Jamie coughs into his elbow and stops. No. It’s fine he is just choking on his own spit. Stupid body. Jamie walks into the bar and takes a seat on the couch beside Dolcetto. He rests his head on his shoulder and shuts his eyes. He’s tired and going back to sleep sounds so nice right about now. “There is a carrot cake in the oven cooling...I made it for you and Roa.”

   “Nice. Thank you.” Dol pats his head and then turns to look at him. “You’re burning up, kid. You feeling alright?”

   Jamie nods his head and curls his legs up onto the sofa so he can lay more comfortably. “I’m alright. I just need a nap.”

   What a joke.

 


 

 

   Coughing into his elbow Jamie sits up and wheezes, the wet washcloth falling into his lap as he does so. Greed turns around in his chair to look at him and stands up frowning. Jamie bites his lip and looks down at the cloth, it’s warm again. Greed takes the cloth and puts it in the ice bowl before putting the cold one back on his forehead.

   “Why do you get sick so easily, Pup?” Greed lays him back down and pulls the blanket up to tuck the smaller one in. When he is sick he looks so much smaller and frail.

   It’s scary to watch but to Jamie it feels even scarier.

   To think it’s been a month of being locked up in Greed’s room away from everyone. The only people he gets to see are Doc and Greed. He knows it’s to prevent his health from getting worse but it sucks. The only joy he gets is when Greed leaves the door open in the day. The window in the hallway brings in enough sunlight to hit the bed and keep him warm. It puts him to sleep nice and easily.

   When he was lucky Dolcetto would sit in the hallway and read him a book or even the newspaper but Greed caught that and put it to an end real quick.

   Jamie understood that Greed didn’t want anyone bringing their germs near him but he can’t stand being alone locked up like this all day. Who knows when he is going to get healthy again.

   “Stop thinking so hard, Pup...You look like you are going to cry.”

   Jamie looks up at Greed and shakes his head. “I feel like I’m going to cry...I know I get sick easily but this is ri—” Jamie sits up and coughs loudly into his arm. It hurts his chest and he sniffles as he turns away from Greed. “Ridiculous…”

   Greed lightly presses on his shoulder to get him to lay back down. He stands up to grab his chair and drag it over to the bedside so he can stay close. He takes Jamie’s hand and squeezes it tightly. “You know...Rumor has it that there is someone who figured out immortality better than what I’ve got.”

   Jamie’s eyes widen and he bites his lip. No…

   This can’t be happening.

   “The worst part is it’s a bunch of brats that figured it out. How to attach a soul to armor. No need to eat, sleep, bathe. To live truly forever.”

   Jamie shuts his eyes and turns away from Greed. He can’t have Greed see him crying. He would ask ‘whats wrong?’ and Jamie can’t tell him the truth.

   “I’m gonna find ‘em. Maybe I’ll do it for you. That way you can’t get this sick anymore.”

   Jamie covers his mouth as his shoulders begin to shake. It’s really happening. Why did he believe that maybe if he could influence them hard enough they wouldn’t ever be on the lookout for the Elrics? He was really beginning to feel willing to change the timeline. He was willing to take them and run away for the rest of their lives. It would be okay.

   He is a horrible person.

Chapter Text

   Slipping out of bed Jamie holds his breath to try and not disturb the sleeping Greed on the other side of the bed. He’s not going to do anything crazy.

   He just wants a glass of water and he wants to get it on his own.

   He’s turning twenty in a couple of months he can get himself a glass of water dammit.

   Slowly he walks down the halls, careful where he walks to try and avoid the squeaky parts of the floorboards. Anytime he does land on one he flinches and goes tense not moving a single muscle until he is sure no one heard him. Walking down the steps he holds breath again and hopes no one is downstairs. He doesn’t want to get caught. He doesn’t feel strong enough to listen to Greed tell him he needs to rest without breaking into a fit of tears.

   He keeps talking about achieving immortality and Jamie is tired of having to pretend he is sleeping to get Greed to stop talking. It hurts too much to hear.

   Once in the kitchen, he takes a glass out a fills it with cold water before taking a seat at the table. He rests his head against the cold wood and smiles tiredly. He needs to drink this water, go to the bathroom and then head back to bed. Doc is going to be stopping by with an IV because Jamie is severely dehydrated and it is only making this illness worse. The antibiotics aren’t doing shit for him now.

   He begins to wonder if his body is rejecting them or if they aren’t the medicine he truly needs.

   Slowly he sits up and takes a drink of water. He hopes it’ll do him well. He gets through half the glass before it sits in his stomach like a rock. He has to get up and eat something. Real food. Not mush. Even if he throws it up he’ll feel fine. He’ll feel better because he’s just so hungry.

   Standing up he starts to look through the pantry. He needs to eat something, he would even settle for a damn peanut butter sandwich. No jelly, he hates that stuff. Unless it's strawberry jelly on cream cheese because that is like have cheesecake on toast.

   Pulling the bread out he sits down after making a sandwich. All he gets in him is a bite. He’ll try to eat it again later. Standing back up Jamie—

   “What are you doing out of bed?”

   Jamie flinches and drops then sandwich on the floor as Greed steps into the room. Jamie drops to his knees to pick it up but Greed stops him and pulls him up by his wrist. Jamie tenses and shuts his eyes tightly. The room is quiet and Greed lets his wrist go.

   “Don’t...Don’t make that face. You know I would never hit you.” Greed steps back and sighs rubbing the back of his neck nervously, not knowing how to react. “You’re not in trouble, just come back to bed. You shouldn’t be moving around.”

   Jamie frowns and picks up the sandwich before putting it on the table. Greed extends his hand out again and Jamie stares at it for a moment before taking a hold of it. “I—” Greed turns his head to look at him and brushes his hair back out of his face, the sweat making it stick to his forehead. “I just wanted to eat something.”

   “You should have woken me up.”

   Greed lightly squeezes his hand and walks him up the stairs to their bedroom.

   Their. It’s such an everyday word but it means so much at this moment. Greed was the first to call it that. He isn’t one to share. Everything is his it’s never ours only ever his. For Greed to admit he is sharing the room with Jamie and that it is also Jamie’s room now means a lot to him and it should make him happy but it really just makes him want to cry. The fact that everyone is looking for the Elrics and Jamie knows he can’t do anything about it….

   Makes him feel like he would rather be under the wrath of his father’s action than deal with the pain of losing his new family.

   He has no idea how much time he has left with them. He just knows he needs to be ready to go for when it arrives.

   As they get back to the room, Greed holds the door open for Jamie before sitting on the edge of the bed. Jamie lays down and pulls the blanket over his shoulders as he pulls a pillow into his arms. Greed shifts and lays beside him. “You need to get healthy faster.”

   “Not everyone can heal themselves like you can Greed.” He grumbles softly.

   “That’s not what I meant, Pup, and you know it.” Greed sighs and pulls the smaller one into his arms. He presses his face into Jamie’s neck making him shiver at the cold touch. “You’ve been talking about your birthday...I don’t want you to be sick on your birthday.”

   Jamie wants to smile so badly, Greed is being so sweet how could he not smile, but it hurts so much. Jamie rolls over to face Greed and burrows his face into his chest as he wraps his arms around him tightly. “You know...I don’t know when yours is.”

   Greed chuckles and kisses his neck gently as he runs his fingers through his curls. “My birthday? I don’t really know when the real day is but the crew celebrates the day we all came together. June twenty-eighth in its place.” Jamie nods his head and pulls back a bit. It’s too warm in Greed’s arms he knows he must be sweating a lot. Greed tilts his head to the side and sits up. “Water?”

   “Please.” Greed stands up and leaves the room to get him his glass of water. Sighing heavily Jamie stands up and moves into the bathroom. He starts filling the tub with water, leaving it a bit cold in hopes of dropping his fever. He sits down in front of the toilet and takes a deep breath. He knows he is about to retch and he hates that feeling.

   When the deed is done he wipes his mouth and rinses it out with water from the sink.

   Jamie takes his clothes off and steps into the tub only to be shivering within seconds, his body temperature must be just that high. He curls up in on himself and takes a few deep breaths. This will be good for him. He remembers when he was little his mother would let him jump in the pool for a bit to calm his fever down before sending him to bed.

   “Pup?”

   Jamie looks up and knocks on the edge of the tub to notify Greed of his location, scared that if he opens his mouth to talk he’ll end up throwing up again.

   “Jesus, what are you doing in there?” Greed taps his shoulder with the class making Jamie look up at him with those sad eyes of his. He really is just a puppy. Jamie takes a glass and slowly sips from it only to gag.

   He can still taste the vomit in his mouth.

   Greed sighs and takes a seat outside the tub, his own head resting against the tub right next to Jamie’s. Jamie puts the glass down on the edge right next to the bar of soap before dunking his head under the water really quickly. He sits back up and ties his hair up into a wet sloppy bun. He squeezes as much water out as he can before turning to face Greed. Greed watches him for a minute before Jamie nods his head.

   Greed smiles and nods his head back before kissing his lips softly. He stands up and grabs a towel before lifting Jamie up and wrapping him up in said towel as he walks back to the bed. He puts him on the bed and pulls his hair back down so he can dry it properly. Greed hands him so clothes and dresses him nice and warmly even if he knows Jamie is going to complain about how sweaty he feels.

   It’s for his own good, he will have to suck it up.

   Greed takes a deep breath and stretches his arms over his head before laying back down in bed. Jamie pulls him close and curls up against him making Greed chuckle. It’s not long before Jamie is out like a light.

   Being sick like this mean he falls asleep easily but he wakes up even easier. It’s a never-ending cycle of small naps. Hopefully, when Doc shows up he’ll feel better and this will all be in the past.

If only it could be that simple.

   “Do you want me to hold your hand?” Jamie glares up at Dolcetto in the doorway as Doc sanitizes the IV needle.

   “I am fine. I have gotten this done before. My cramps are ten million times worse.” As Doc gets close, Jamie takes a deep breath and stares up at the ceiling. Before he knows it he is taping the tube down and hanging the bag of fluids up. Jamie sighs heavily and looks back at Dolcetto. “See? I’m fine.”

   Dolcetto sighs and takes a step into the room only to be cut off by Greed. The two stare at each other before nodding and Dolcetto makes his way to sit at the edge of the bed. Jamie smiles and takes his hand anyway. It’s nice to finally have company. Greed takes a seat on the other side of Jamie before looking at Doc.

   “Before you ask, no it’s not the same thing as last time. It’s just the flu. I’ve just never seen someone react to it like this. It’s almost like you don’t have an immune system at all, James.”  The three on the bed cringe at the name. “What?”

   “It’s just weird not hearing you call him Puppy.”

   “It’s just weird not being called Puppy.”

   Jamie breaks into a small fit of laughter as they say it in unison. It only takes seconds before the laughter is replaced with coughing from deep in his chest and it hurts so much.

   “As I was saying...It’s almost like you haven’t gotten your shots.”

   Jamie sighs and shakes his head. “I’ve gotten my shots.” He frowns and lays his head down against the pillow. He reaches both his hands out and waits for Greed and Dolcetto to hold them before shutting his eyes. “No immune system at all.”

   Jamie’s eyes widen and he sits up quickly as bile makes it way up his throat. It makes so much sense now.

   That’s what the gate took from him.

   His immune system. It’s like Izumi’s inner organs being taken from her will most likely be the death of her, all the vomiting up blood. His loss of an immune system will be the thing that kills him. That or a minor cold. It’s sad. Pathetic even.

   Greed picks up the trash bin and puts it in front of Jamie before he can throw up all over the clean sheets.

   “Nice save, Boss.”

   Jamie and Greed both glare at Dolcetto.

   Wiping his mouth Jamie looks at Greed and frowns. Greed nods and stands up walking into the bathroom only to return with a glass of water. Jamie smiles and takes it to rinse his mouth out, spitting the gross water into the bin before taking a large swig of water. It sits painfully in his stomach like it did last night thanks to the newfound emptiness of it.

   Jamie turns to watch Doc walk out of the room and he crumbles up a wipe before throwing at his back to get his attention. He smiles softly and puts the bin down. “Thank you…”

   Doc bends down and tosses the wipe right back at him and shakes his head. “Anytime...Puppy.”

   Jamie naps with a smile on his face this time. Comfortable in bed with Dol and Greed. Not too warm or sweaty. Just...Comfortable.

   In the morning he swears he is feeling good. He is able to get out of bed and get to the bathroom without any walking help. He even managed to convince Greed that he is well enough to be outside, even if the only outside he convinced him to let him have was the rooftop. Outside is outside and he is grateful for that.

   “Are you sure you’re okay enough to be outside, Pup?”

   Jamie squeezes Dolcetto’s hand nodding his head as they walk up the stairs, Dolcetto holding his IV for him. They’re making their way up to the roof. “I just want to sit outside. I’m tired of being stuck in the room.” Pushing through the door he smiles at Greed who has two chairs set up outside. He’s unfolding a blanket when he notices Jamie standing in the doorway.

   “You ready Pup?”

   “As I’ll ever be.” Jamie and Dolcetto walk over to the chairs where Jamie sits down and Greed hands him the blanket, bundling him up nicely. Greed takes a seat on the floor in front of Jamie while Dolcetto sits down in the chair. Jamie sits back and lets his head back, soaking up as much of the warm sun as he can. He reaches up and lets his hair down and hums. “It feels so nice out here.”

   Taking a deep breath of fresh air he sits up and looks down at Greed, his curls falling forward tickling his nose. He smiles and runs his fingers through Greed’s hair.

   “Thank you, Greed.” Greed looks up and shrugs his shoulders as he lets his head rest against Jamie’s knees.

   Dolcetto stands up and puts his hand on Jamie’s shoulder. “I’m gonna get snacks. Do you want anything?” Jamie looks up at him and smiles tiredly.

   “Just water is fine.” Dolcetto nods and leaves back into the building. Jamie takes a deep breath and yawns before slumping forward to wrap his around Greed. Greed pats his arms and shuts his eyes. “Two months or so until your birthday Greed.” He burrows his face into his hair and smiles. “What do you want to do?”

   “The usual. We’ll have a big dinner. Probably stew or we’ll barbecue something up here on the roof. We’ll open the bar and everyone will get totally shitfaced and I get to help them all out in the morning. Happens every year.” Greed knocks his head back to look at Jamie and squeezes his arms gently. “Think you’ll be okay by then? April is almost over.”

   “I can eat and drink again now...I know I’ll be okay again by then. You don’t need to worry about me.” Jamie presses a kiss to his forehead and sits up.

   Dolcetto walks back outside and hands Jamie a glass of water before handing Greed a bowl of potato chips.

   “Did Roa make these?” Dolcetto nods his head before sitting down with his own bowl.

   “Yeah, with vinegar for you Boss.”

   Jamie chuckles and reaches forward to take a chip from Greed’s bowl. “Ooh, they’re warm.” He smiles and sits back, pulling the blanket close. A happy, warm, human burrito. The sound of the door opening catches everyone’s attention so they turn around to see who it is. Roa and Bido are standing in the doorway. Jamie smiles and waves them over. “Everything okay?”

   “Yes. It’s just…” Bido’s face reddens as he looks away. Walking over he takes a seat on the floor in front of Dolcetto while Roa sits at his side, Dolcetto patting Roa’s head. “Martel started her….cycle. So she and Ulchi are….”

   “Going at it like rabbits, Pup.” Greed cackles and hands him another chip. “They are worse than us.” Jamie blinks and stares at him for a moment. His own face reddens and he hides it in Greed’s hair. Embarrassed to kingdom come. Greed chuckles and squeezes his arms. “I guess we are stuck out here for a while aren’t we.”

   “We are. It's a good thing we have a blanket,” Jamie mumbles into his hair squeezing Greed close. “That and Dolcetto. He radiates body heat like a fire.”

   It takes a while before the five of them are able to go back inside and open the windows to air out the place, the entire time Dolcetto is teasing Martel. Jamie is back to being stuck in bed but he is okay because sleep comes easy thanks to sitting in the sun all day. He only wakes up because Doc made too much noise setting up a new IV bag.

   “How are you feeling James?”

   “Better. It should be over soon.” Jamie smiles and sits up stretching his arms over his head as he turns to face the man. “That is either a good thing or a terribly bad thing.” He jokes and throws his legs over the edge of the bed. “Greed let me sit outside today. It was nice. The weather was really nice so we spent most of the day out there.”

   “That’s good. There’s only so many vitamins you can get from drinking juice.” Doc takes a seat on the edge of the bed and takes a deep breath. “You should try and get out more. It sounds stupid but it might just help speed your recovery up. That being said your dehydration symptoms have basically disappeared so this might be the last night with that needle in your arm.”

   “I’ll talk to him about it.” Jamie stands up and looks at Doc. He smiles and takes a deep breath. “Doc, where do you get all this stuff? How do you afford it? It can’t be cheap.”

   “I run a hospital deep in town. The nicer side.” Doc stands up and walks to the doorway where he stops and turns back to face Jamie. “Greed saved my daughter from being raped and murdered...Anytime someone gets hurt I come to help. I don’t care how much this costs. It will never reach the cost of her life.”

   Jamie smiles and shuffles his way over to his side to grab his wrist. “You’re a good man, ——-.”

   Doc smiles and pats his shoulder. “Take care of yourself kid.” Jamie watches Doc walk down the hall until he can no longer see them. A hand on his shoulder makes him flinch and turn around quickly.

   It’s just Greed.

   “Did I scare you, Pup?” Jamie shakes his head and takes both of Greed’s hands. He squeezes them and walks backwards to the bed. “What are you thinking?”

   “I just want to lay down and be with you for a bit.” Greed shakes his head and Jamie notices that small smile on his face. He loves that smile with all of his being. Jamie lays down on the bed and Greed climbs in above him. Jamie smiles back at him and reaches up to cup his cheeks. He presses their lips together and let's go so Greed can sit beside him. He rolls over onto his side and wraps his arms around his leg, his head resting comfortably on his thigh.

   Greed pats his head and runs his fingers through his hair. “Your hair is getting longer...Are you going to cut it?”

   “I don’t think so. You’d be too upset if I did. My curls are sometimes nicer when my hair is short but you like playing with them too much.” Jamie looks up without moving his head and chuckles. “You act so tough but you really are just a big baby.”

   Greed rolls his eyes and shoves his head off of him. “Shut up.”

   Jamie chuckles and clings back onto him before holding onto the blanket. “Doc says I won’t need this IV after tonight.” Greed looks down at him and continues playing with his hair, pulling on the coils to watch them spring back. What a kid.

   “That’s good, that means you’re getting better right?”

   “It does. He also says to go outside more. Once I get this thing out of me I can go on short walks until I’m really better again.”

   Greed shakes his head at that. He doesn’t like that idea and Jamie knows it. Greed is very protective of all of them. He doesn’t blame him, he is concerned for his own health as well. Being like this is scary. He just can’t wait to get out more. The only entertainment he gets locked up in this room is hearing the chatter from the bar through the floorboards. He gets to read and Greed moved one of the record players into the room. He even bought him a radio so he can hear what is going on outside the building. It’s enough. It’s not a lot but it’s enough.

Chapter Text

   “Pup, are you sure you’re going to be alright?”

   Jamie looks up as he ties his shoes and nods his head as Greed extends a jacket out to him. It’s almost eighty degrees out, he is not putting a jacket on but he takes it and puts it in the wagon to appease his partner. With no IV in him for a week, Greed is finally letting him go on a grocery run. He let him go for a walk the day Doc took the needle out of his arm, Jamie was so happy being able to move around and do what he wanted.

   “I’m going to be fine. Besides I know the butcher, she probably thinks I died and I would like to reassure that I am in fact not dead. I am very much alive.” He stands up and starts pulling the wagon up the street.

   “Hey wait!” Jamie tenses and takes a deep breath. He feels like he knows what is coming and his face reddens at the thought.

   The thought that Greed might admit verbally that he loves Jamie. One can only wish.

   Jamie turns around and Greed is standing there almost looking nervous. The taller man takes a deep breath and reaches out to squeeze Jamie’s shoulder. “Be careful okay?”

   “I will.” Jamie smiles sadly and tilts his head to kiss Greed’s tattoo before walking off. Once far away enough from Greed he frowns and pushes his glasses up onto his head. He rubs at his eyes and sighs as he makes a turn. Fixing his glasses he shakes his head and continues for the butcher shop.

There is no sense in feeling bad over something he knows won’t happen. He knows how Greed feels about him and he should know it goes without saying.

   But some things are just nice to hear every once in a while.

   Jamie continues walking, taking his time because of how nice it is outside, and comes to a stop when he sees the shop in front of him. The sign is outside so he knows they are open, thank goodness. Taking a deep breath he nods his head and pushes past the door, dragging the wagon in with him.

   The sound of the bell ringing makes him smile as well as the sound of a familiar voice calling out, “I’ll just be a minute!”

   “Take your time, Miss. Izumi!” He calls out and takes a seat, pulling the money pouch out of his pocket. He counts through it and starts to think about how much he’ll be able to bring home. The sound of footsteps catches his attention and looks up as Izumi walks in the room.

   “James! I thought I heard your voice.” She smiles and puts her hands on her hips as she walks over to the counter. “Where have you been?”

   “Sick, bedridden for a little over a month…” He rubs the back of his neck and stands up walking to the counter. “I’m feeling much better now.”

   “I know how you feel.” She smiles and steps back looking at what they have. “You taking everything again?”

   Jamie chuckles and shakes his head, “Not this time.” Smiling back at Izumi he takes a seat and shuts his eyes. He might be feeling better but that doesn’t take the tired feeling away. He is probably going to take a nap when he gets home. “Just the usual cuts of beef and pork. My….partner’s birthday is coming up and we are going to barbecue to celebrate with the rest of the crew.”

   “The one you called, what was it…. stupidly tall and so ugly he’s handsome ?” Jamie’s face reddens and he looks down. He didn’t expect Izumi to remember that in fact, he forgot about it until Izumi brought it up. “Thought so.” Jamie chuckles nervously and rubs the back of his neck. He’s been caught. “He was pretty tall. Almost as tall as my Honey.” Jamie tenses and looks up. Did Izumi see his face or just the back of him when Jamie ran up to Greed? That could be troublesome. “Did he get into trouble like you said he would?”

   “He did, I scolded him plenty for being an idiot.” Jamie shrugs and looks down at the jacket in the wagon, it belongs to Greed. He reaches out and pulls it into his arms squeezes it close. “Well...He had good intentions.” Jamie takes a deep breath and starts to wonder if he should open up to Izumi about his past at all. “The thing is I don’t have a family anymore. I...I ran away because my father was—” Jamie grits his teeth together and balls his hands up into a fist. “A bastard. He’s the worst type of scum there is. My partner found out about it and was on the lookout for him hoping to reunite me with my family.”

   “He sounds like he cares about you a lot.”

   “I sure hope so…” He mutters as Izumi begins wrapping the cuts in butcher papers before stacking them. Jamie stands up and starts putting them in the wagon, it’s a lighter trip than his past ones so getting it all home should be easy enough. “I thought he was going to say I love you today but…” He just shrugs and sighs softly. “I wish he could be more like you and Sig. You two are so open about your love.”

   Izumi nods her head and sighs at him. “He’s probably just one of the tough yet shy guys. And you’re both men. It’s nineteen ten, it did just become legal to get married. People are still scared.”

   Jamie blinks and stares at her for a moment in shock. Gay marriage is legal? Jesus America fucking wishes they stepped up their game this early.

   “Give him time. He’ll say it eventually.”

   Jamie nods his head and smiles softly. “Thank you...I needed to hear that.” Taking another package he puts it on the wagon until they are all in. He walks back to the counter and starts pulling bills out. “How much do I owe you?”

   With a smile, they exchange bills before Jamie is on his way back to the bar. As he makes a turn down the alley he spots Greed waiting outside. He smiles and runs up to him, skidding to a stop so the meat doesn’t fly out of the wagon. “Told you I could handle it.”

   Greed smiles and ruffles his hair before lifting the bags out of the wagon, leaving only one for Jamie to carry on his own. Jamie smiles and lifts the last bag up before walking inside, holding onto the back of Greed’s vest. Together they put the groceries away before heading upstairs.

   “I am ready to nap.” Jamie throws himself onto the bed and spreads out sea star style for the maximum comfort. Expecting Greed to join him only to receive an empty bed, Jamie sits up and spots him standing in the doorway. “Come lay down with me…” He extends his hands out and Greed rolls his eyes and walks towards him. Sitting on the bed he takes Jamie’s hands and squeezes them as he kisses his lips. Jamie blinks and smiles as he lays down. Jamie wraps his arms around his shoulders and takes a deep breath.

   “You’re thinking about something. Should I kiss you again?”

   “You should but that wasn’t what I was thinking...I was thinking. I know you aren’t a... vocal person when it comes to the way you feel but— will you ever tell me how you feel about me.”

   Greed goes quiet and presses another kiss to his lips before gravitating to kiss down his neck. He pulls back and smiles down at Jamie. “The way I feel goes without saying.”

   He doesn’t know what he expected.

   Taking a deep breath Jamie smiles and pulls him back down. “I love you too Greed.”

Chapter Text

   Laughing as he falls onto the bed, Jamie pulls a pillow into his arms and smacks it against Greed’s face. There was a downpour on their way home and Jamie happened to make the mistake of laughing at Greed because all the wax washed out of his hair. Greed chased him all the way home, Jamie’s laughter never stopped not even for a second.

   As he continues to hit Greed with the pillow, Greed grabs his wrists and pins him down onto the bed. His face reddens and it’s impossible for him to stop laughing. He’s just having a great day. He’s at the top of his health, Greed and him went to the park so Jamie could draw, and there was a dog there they spent over an hour petting. A day really can’t get any better than this.

   “Oh my god, let me go you big baby!” Jamie whines and smiles. He shakes his head and uses his legs to push Greed off of him. A little too hard because he fell back off the bed. Blinking he stands up and moves to help him back up. “You good?” Extending his hand out he help the taller man up before pressing grabbing him by the vest and pulling him down for a kiss.

   “Yeah, brat.” Rubbing the back of his neck, Greed steps back and moves to sit on the edge of the bed.

   Nodding Jamie moves to the dresser and pulls a towel out as well as some comfortable pants he’s been excited to wear since he bought them last week. “I’m gonna take a shower so I don’t get a cold. Will you join me?” Greed looks over at him and slowly stands up walking over to his side. Standing in front of Jamie he cups his cheeks gently and leans down to kiss his head. It makes him smile widely. A big toothy smile as he takes Greed’s hands and walks backward into the bathroom. Greed leans forward and presses their lips together, using his foot to shut the door behind him. It gets a chuckle out of Jamie.

   “Not in the shower. That’s unsafe.” He warns and Greed stares down at him with his eyebrow quirked.

   “You’ve turned into a pervert, Pup. All I was doing was kissing you.” Jamie rolls his eyes and peels his shirt off putting his clean clothes on the toilet lid. Taking a seat on the edge of the tub and starts running the water.

   “I’ve always been a perv. You just emphasize it because you too are a pervert.” Turning his body so his feet are in the tub he smiles and reaches for the washcloth so he can wash his feet while the water warms up. Jamie squeaks at the feeling of hands on his neck squeezing lightly and knocks his head back quickly to see what Greed is doing.

   “Your face is so red, Pup. Don’t tell me you’re getting sick again. I can’t handle that again. You better not be.” His grip tightens ever so slightly and Greed stares for a moment before bellowing into a loud fit of laughter. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” He lets go and Jamie looks down covering his face. “You’re red because you’re into choking!?”

   Jamie snaps his head back and glares at Greed before taking a handful of water and throws it at him. “Do not make fun of me!” He pouts and crosses his arms over his chest as he steps fully into the shower.

   “It’s payback for my hair.” Greed chuckles and Jamie shuts the shower curtain in his face. Shaking his head Greed undresses and opens the curtain so he can step in as well. He wraps his arms around Jamie’s shoulders and rests his head on top of Jamie’s. Pressing a kiss to the side of his face Greed smiles and slowly let's go, only for Jamie to keep his arms where they were with his own hands. “You know if you just asked I would have done it all the other times.”

   Jamie’s eyes widen and he just bites down hard on Greed’s arm. Greed laughs and let's go. When they are done showering they spend a little bit of time in the tub before getting dressed. “Man these pants are so comfortable…” He looks at himself in the mirror before crawling onto the bed to lay in Greed’s arms. Wrapping his own arms around him Jamie rests his head on his chest and curls up.

   Greed pats his head and grabs the hair tie keeping Jamie’s hair in a bun and just

Snaps it.

   Tensing Jamie looks up at him as his hair falls to his shoulders. Greed has a big grin on his face all Jamie has is a scowl. “That was my last hair tie. You need to stop breaking them just because you want my hair down!” Slipping out of bed he walks over to the bathroom and looks through the drawers until he finds a pair of scissors. Greed’s eyes widen as Jamie gathers a large chunk of his hair,

   “Wait don’t do it—" And cuts it off. The two stare at each other for a moment before Jamie takes the remainder of his hair and goes to cut it to make it even but Greed runs over and smacks the scissors out of his hands. "Don't cut your hair." Jamie glares up at him and bends down to pick up the scissors. Greed shakes his head and lifts him over his shoulders before he can get the scissors. Jamie shrieks as Greed drops him onto the bed. 

   "Greed I need to make it even you asshole!" He kicks at his chest and sits up. Pouting he slips off the bed and takes both of Greed's hand dragging him to the bathroom. He sits the taller man on the toilet lid and picks up the scissors pointing at him with them. "Stay there." He huffs and looks in the mirror, slowly cutting away at his hair. Taking a deep breath he runs his fingers through the short curls.

   He hasn't had hair this short since his mother truly accepted him as her son. It was an emotional moment. It's not that she didn't accept him she was just scared. Her youngest child was claiming they are a boy and she knew what happened to people like him. It was only after she started learning about the suicide risks and the chances of him never talking to her ever again did she get fully on his side. The first step was going to the hair salon and—

   Enough of that. There's no point in thinking about it.

   Turning over to Greed, who is still not looking at him, he takes a deep breath and sighs. "We have clippers right? Stuff to get real close to the scalp?" Oh. That gets his attention. "Don't worry I'm not gonna shave it. I just want to do the side.." 

   Greed stands up and cups his cheeks, turning his head around to see how his hair looks. "We do. But keep it this way." Greed leans forward and kisses his forehead before walking out of the room. Sighing Jamie tilts his head under the tub faucet and runs the water to get the little cut pieces that are stuck out of his hair. Grabbing the towel he dries off his hair and Greed returns with the broom and dustpan, cleaning up the hair on the floor. Shortly, Dolcetto and Mart make their way to the doorway and stare at Jamie.

   "You really did it...It's not a bad look." Jamie smiles at Martel and hangs the towel back up. "Well, now we know how to bride you, Boss. Next time we'll just put scissors to Pup's hair and make you back down." 

   Jamie laughs and Greed glares at him for it. Shaking his head he steps out of the bathroom and takes a seat on the bed. He pulls a pillow into his lap and smiles as the two bicker. Dolcetto turns to Jamie and smiles before sitting on the edge of the bed beside him. He reaches out and ruffles his hair. "It's much curlier now." Jamie nods and shuts his eyes. 

   "That's what happens. The weight of my curls was cut off so it allows for these to be springier." Yawning into the pillow he stands up and stretches his arms over his head. Walking out of the bedroom he walks down the hall to go into his own bedroom. Heading straight into his closet he moves things around and pulls out his journal. He thought of his mother today. He's going to write this all down. 

   "What are you doing?"

   "Jamie shrieks and drops the notebook before stepping away from the closet. "Greed you scared the shit out of me!" Now he needs to find a new hiding spot for his works. Great. "Nothing, I'm just gonna write for a bit." Picking the notebook up he moves to sit on his bed with a heavier book to use as a table. Greed stares for a moment before sitting on the bed behind him. He wraps his arms around Jamie's waist and rests his head on his shoulder. Jamie sighs and shuts the book. "I love that you want to keep me company, Greed but this is my journal I write personal things in it." He tilts his head to the side to rest against Greed's and frowns. "Things I don't want others to know because I don't like people worrying about me." 

   Tossing the books to the side he turns around and takes Greed's hands in his own, squeezing them as he looks down. "Last time  you worried about me you almost killed someone." Looking up at Greed he leans forward and kisses his lips before moving off the bed to grab the books. He holds them close and puts them in his nightstand drawer for now. He'll move them when Greed leaves the room. As he turns to look at Greed, Greed grabs his wrist and pulls him into his arms. He presses his face into his neck and holds Jamie tightly. 

   "The last time I worried you were the one that almost died."  

   Blinking he looks down at Greed and wraps his arms around him. He sighs heavily and pushes Greed's face back so he can kiss his lips. Greed smiles against his lips and pushes him down into the mattress. The two lay in each other's arms for quite some time, giving each other small doses of affection until they need to break away and head downstairs. 

   The entire night Jamie can feel the tingly feeling of Greed's lips on his own and all over his body. 

   He doesn't know how anything can top that. It really can only get worse from there on out. But why did he have to think that? His dumbass just had to jinx it and get himself sick for over a month again. What an idiot. How did he manage to miss not just Greed's but his own birthday like that?

Chapter Text

   "You sure you're feeling alright, Pup?" 

   Jamie looks up at Greed as he cuts into the pumpkin they bought at the market and nods his head. He puts the pumpkin on a sheet tray and puts it in the oven before moving to the other vegetables. "It was just a fever and it only lasted a week." Smiling he starts cutting into the zucchini. He is making a bunch of soups so they can freeze them to last the winter. It's getting colder out and everyone is getting ready for Jamie to get sick again. It's starting to fall into a schedule which on one hand is a great thing but on the other everyone including himself wishes he could just be healthy. Soups are soft foods are the only thing he seems to be able to keep down so he is making all of his favorites. 

   Greed sighs and finishes cutting into the sweet potatoes and yams. The smaller squashes go on a sheet pan together with the sweet potato and they take up the other rack in the oven. "The second you feel even slightly off you need to tell me. I'll call Doc and get him over here." Nodding his head Jamie takes the tray of pumpkin out and puts it in a pot with a little bit of milk. Fumbling around he looks for the potato masher. Once he has it in his hands he turns the stove on and starts pureeing the pumpkin trying his best to get it as smooth as possible. 

   ”I'll keep that in mind, Greed.” Smiling he puts the lid on the pot and moves to sit on the counter. Looking over at the taller man he makes grabby hands until Greed comes and stands in front of him. Jamie leans forward and presses his forehead against his chest. It's nice and cold against his warm skin. Greed wraps his arms around Jamie and presses their lips together as he tucks the short piece of hair behind his ear. Jamie chuckles against his lips and smirks. He can tell Greed is getting frustrated with how short his hair is. It'll take so many months to get his hair even remotely close to what it was. To get it to that point where Greed likes it down. 

   Jamie rests his hands on Greed’s hips and lightly digs his nails in as he pulls him closer with his legs. 

   ”Please don't have sex in the kitchen, we eat in here.” 

   Jamie squeaks and pulls away so quickly he knocks his head on the cabinet behind him. Whining he rubs his head and frowns over at Dolcetto as he passes through the kitchen. ”We were not having sex!” he shouts and looks down. Embarrassed. His face reddens and he rubs his thumb across his lips. Looking up at Greed he frowns and takes a deep breath. ”Sorry.” he shakes his head and lifts the lid off, stirring it with the potato masher before turning the stove off for now. Jumping off the counter he grabs the oven mitts and takes the squash tray out of the oven, putting it on the table for now. While those cool Jamie and Greed begin to ladle the souls into big jars. Once those are finished they put them in the fridge to cool until they are cold enough to move into the freezer. 

   This is how they spend the day. Making soups and dancing to music in the kitchen. It's the calm before the storm. Everyone remains on high alert, especially when Roa hears Jamie coughing in his sleep that night. Thank goodness it wasn't anything serious. 

   That morning, Jamie wakes up in his own bed and rolls over to find Greed asleep in a chair next to his bed. Smiling he stands up and rubs his chest, it hurts from coughing so much. Walking over to his closet he grabs his bag and goes to walk out the door only to stop and stand beside Greed. Leaning forward he presses a kiss to Greed's lips and walks out of the room with his blanket wrapped around him. Quietly he walks downstairs and right into the bar area to head outside. Leaning against the entrance's archway he smiles at the smell of the air. The sound of leaves moving around on the ground thanks to the wind makes him chuckle.

   October is almost over and there are so many leaves covering the streets of Dublith. Heading back inside he gets the broom from the kitchen and heads outside to sweep the leaves into a large pile. As he is sweeping a big gust of wind blows through the trees and Jamie spots a red maple leave flying his way. Jumping up he catches it with a smile. He flinches at the feeling of arms wrapping around his waist. Turning around he smiles at the sight of Greed. "What do you have there?" 

   Jamie's smile widens as he shows Greed the red leaf. "They say...If you catch a maple leaf as it is falling, you and the person you are walking with are destined to be lovers." Looking up at Greed his cheeks redden and he walks back inside, tucking the leaf inside a book for safe keeping. Returning outside he picks the broom off the sidewalk and continues sweeping the leaves down into the alley so they are off the walking path. 

   "I guess I was right about you being into all that mushy stuff." Jamie nods his head and holds the broom close to his chest as he walks over to Greed's side. Greed leans forward and cups his cheeks, pressing their lips together. "You are up too early. Come back to bed." Jamie shakes his head and leans the broom against the wall. He puts his hands on top of Greed's and peels them off of his face. 

   "No way. Let's stay outside today. You know I am going to be locked up in the room forever soon. Let me enjoy this while I can." Greed sighs and nods his head. He takes the broom before heading inside without Jamie. "You know what? I'll be right back. If you heat up the carrot soup I'll eat it in bed and lay down with you." He calls down the stairs before walking off. Walking through the crunchy leaves he smiles and stands outside of the butcher shop. Staring at the building he notices the closed sign on the door. Nodding his head he takes a seat on the ground and clings to the blanket while taking his sketchbook out of his bag and begins drawing. 

   He gets a few sketches of the shop, as well as the building on the street, done and he smiles. He has never been good at drawing buildings inside or out. At the sound of a window opening his head shoots up and he looks around to see where it is. "James, dear, is that you?" He knows that voice. Standing up he spots Izumi standing by the window in her sleepwear. He smiles and waves tiredly at her. "What are you doing out here so early? Is there anything I can help you with?" She beckons him over and he walks past the gate and up to the window. "With how easily you get sick is it really smart for you to be out here like this?"

   "No, Ma'am." He shakes his head and holds his book close. With her hands out she notions for him to hand her the book. Blinking he nods and opens to the pages he was working on before handing it to her.

   "You are very talented, young man." 

   Rubbing the back of his neck he smiles and looks down. The respect he gets from Izumi and the others makes his chest warm. "I'm actually an adult now Miss. Izumi. I turned twenty in July. July twenty-seventh." Looking up Jamie is handed back the sketchbook which he tucks in his bag. "I don't get to get out much because everyone knows I am about to get sick again so if I wake up early enough I can get out and breathe fresh air...That being said I should get back before my partner gets worried." 

   "Get home safely then." Nodding his head he walks through the gate and heads back to the bar where Greed is waiting for him in the doorway. Running into his arms he hugs Greed tightly before being taken to their bedroom.

   Greed has a bowl of soup on his desk that he hands to Jamie when he gets situated in bed. It's good— which is to be expected Jamie did make it. It just needs a little salt but he's okay without it. Greed lays on the bed beside Jamie, his head on his lap comfortably with this arms around his waist. Jamie pets his hair as he eats and chuckles making Greed look up at him. Jamie shakes his head and puts the bowl on the nightstand. ”It’s nothing. I just think it's funny that everyone calls me Puppy but you act more like a puppy than I do.” 

   Greed rolls his eyes and shifts a bit as Jamie lays down. Jamie pulls the blanket over his shoulder before wrapping his arms around Greed. Nuzzling into his chest Jamie smiles and shuts his eyes. With warm food in his stomach sleep comes easily to him. It's that and having someone you love at your side that makes it so easy. 

Chapter Text

   Flipping the page of his book he takes a deep breath and yawns. He can smell the food cooking downstairs and it brings a tired smile to his face as he shifts in the bed. He can't seem to get comfortable under the blankets. One second he is sweating the next he is shivering and whining that it's so cold in the room. Staring out into the hallway he watches through the window as snow falls onto the streets only to have his view obstructed by Greed walking into the room carrying a tray of food. 

   "Hey there, handsome." Jamie smiles and shuts his book, using his maple leaf as a bookmark to hold his page. Greed puts the tray on his lap and presses a warm kiss to his forehead. "How's it going down there?" Greed takes a seat on the edge of the bed and shrugs his shoulders.

   "It's alright. Everyone is just going to eat first. Doc might be stopping by for food and to see how you are doing. Which brings up the question...How are you feeling?" He reaches out and runs his fingers through his curls, they've grown to the end of his ears. Greed is happy to see that. Jamie leans his cheek against Greed's palm and kisses it. It makes Greed smile. "What does that one mean?"

   Jamie has been talking about meanings a lot. He's been reading them in the romance books he's been getting Ulchi to get him. When he learns the meanings of different kisses, he gives them to Greed and explains what they mean. 

   "It means. You hold my heart in your hands." He chuckles before coughing into his elbow. Greed sighs and wipes his forehead dry with a hand towel. "I'm feeling better I swear. It's not going to be like last year I promise. I think I'll be good to go again by new years." Looking down at the tray of soup in front of him he picks up the spoon and slowly begins to eat, washing each spoon down with water. "Is Dolcetto really picking up a cake?" 

   Greed moves over and sits on the bed beside Jamie and nods his head. "He is. You might have joked about this but we took it very seriously. You've been here for a whole year Pup, we are going to celebrate whether you like it or not." Smiling Jamie nods and puts the tray down beside the bed before laying down. Maybe he can get a small nap in before everyone comes up. He wraps an arm around Greed and rubs at his eyes. 

   At least he knows he is healthier this time around, he doesn't need to be hooked up to an IV and he can keep his food down with the help of a little bit of water. He'll be healthy again in no time.

   At the sound of the floorboard creaking, Jamie sits up and looks over at the door. Standing in the doorway is Bido with a small stack of books in his hands. Smiling Jamie tucks a piece of hair behind his ear as Bido climbs onto the bed handing Jamie the books. Putting the books on the nightstand he smiles and looks over at his current read. It's starting to get good. Old fashion romance books are his guilty pleasure. The floorboard creaks again and Jamie looks up. Shimming his way into the room Roa carries chairs in and puts them around the bed before leaving the room again. 

   "Damn we are really throwing a party in here, huh?" He turns to Greed and smiles as he pets his hair. 

   "Well we would have it down in the bar but someone just had to get sick again." Jamie glares at Greed and gently tugs on his ear as punishment. 

   "It's not might fault and you know it. I'm just a magnet for diseases." Sighing he shakes his head and crosses his arms over his chest. 

   "Good thing I'm here." Doc steps into the room with a metal box. Sitting in a chair he opens it and inside is a set of syringes and small bottles. "I figured we could try to get you on some shots and hope that it helps prevent you from getting this sick again." Jamie frowns at the tin and takes a deep breath before sticking his arm out and looking away. "Oh come on. Don't act like that. You do fine with the IV but you're scared of a few shots?" 

   "Shots hurt more. They stay sore for a couple of days. With an IV I can forget it's in there." Jamie shuts his eyes at the feeling of Doc taking a hold of his bicep. He takes a deep breath and just like that it's over. Rubbing his shoulder he frowns and sighs heavily. "Is that it?" 

   "That's it." 

   Taking a deep breath he rests against the headboard and flips his book open again. 

   "Pup you better not be going to sleep. I brought cards to play with. I'm gonna teach you how to play blackjack." Dolcetto steps into the room and sits in a chair next to Doc so he can get Jamie to shuffle the cards.

   "Dolcetto, I already know how to play blackjack. I'm just bad at it because I don't know when to quit." Putting his book on the nightstand with the others he picks up the deck of cards and begins shuffling the cards. Handing the cards back to Dol he smiles and looks over at Bido who is laying at the foot of the bed. "Dol." He hands him a pillow and points to Bido. Nodding his head Dolcetto stands up and puts a pillow under Bido's head.  "Thank you." 

   Greed sits up and slips off the bed and walks over to the door. He stands in the hall and Jamie swears he can hear him talking to Mart. A few moments later Greed walks into the room with a cake in his arms. Jamie smiles and lifts the tray back up, he puts the bowl on the nightstand to make room for the cake. His face lights up as he looks down at the cake and grins at Greed. 

   "It's so cute. What flavor is it?" 

   "Pumpkin." 

   "Fuck yes." Chuckling he is handed a knife and begins cutting even slices before putting them on plates to be passed around. "I...I can't believe it's been a year already." Smiling sadly he takes a deep breath before taking a bite of his cake. No one comments on the tears he knows are streaming down his cheeks as they all eat. It's been a year since he has seen his family and knowing that it hurts him. It's a painful thing to acknowledge. 

   Dolcetto is the first to break the silence by starting up the card games. For once Jamie does pretty well at old maid. He loves the game with all his heart but he has never been good at it. He's good at two card games. Go Fish and Sevens. But those are more of a chance game not a paying attention and counting cards game. He's happy to say it was a great night the next morning despite having dreamed of spending time with his mother and their dogs. He has a feeling this is what New Years will be like too. Just with a lot more drinking.

 


 

 

   "Puppy!" 

   Jamie flinches as he looks around to see where his name was being called from. When he looks up he spots Dolcetto standing on the roof. He smiles and waves his hand and continues dragging the wagon behind him as he gets closer to the bar. "What are you doing up there?!" He shouts as he stands across from the bar. Continuing to look up he blinks as he feels snow land onto his cheeks. The first snow of the season. 

   "It's snowing! Just in time for Yule!" Chuckling he shakes his head and takes the wagon around back to take the groceries into the kitchen. Putting everything away he heads up to the roof where Dolcetto is sitting on the edge of the roof. 

   "Yule?" 

    Dolcetto turns his head around and nods his head smiling at Jamie. "It's on the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth. It's a kid's holiday but it's cute I thought you'd like it. People give gifts and go ice skating on the pond. Can you skate?" 

   Jamie shakes his head and moves over to sit on the edge with him. "I can rollerskate, not ice skate." Rubbing his arms under his jacket he shivers and stands up. "It's cold out here. You should head inside Dol. We can only handle sickness in the bar so many times." He jokes lightly before heading back to the bar. 

   "I'll go in in a moment. You go warm up, Pup." 

   Nodding his head he walks through the door and walks down the stairs till he gets to the basement. Taking a seat in the pillow pile he smiles and wraps himself in a blanket as he faces the fire. It's nice and warm down here. The sound of footsteps catches his attention and he knocks on the wall to see if he can find out who it is. Greed peeks his head into the room and Jamie notions him over. Greed sits down in front of him and moves to lay in his arms. He really has gone soft. Wrapping his arms around Greed, Jamie presses his cheek into his hair and lightly scratches at the back of his neck. Pressing a kiss to his hair Jamie knocks his head back and shuts his eyes. 

   "Yule, huh?" 

   Greed shifts and sits up to look at Jamie. "Did Dol say something?" Jamie nods his head and whines at how cold he got because Greed moved, making him lay back down in his arms. "He gets sad around this time of year so...be careful." Jamie looks up and frowns and he adjusts the pillows beneath him. "He had three daughters and they died. It's why he joined the military...Now he's here." 

   Frowning Jamie sits up and takes a deep breath. "That..."

   "Sucks. Yeah, it does. It was his kids' favorite holiday. He'll probably want to go ice skating and Roa will go with him just to make sure he doesn't kill himself in the process." Greed presses his face into his neck and clings to him loosely. "He'll be fine so you don't need to worry about him too much." Greed presses a kiss to his neck and pulls away. "But Yule does start tomorrow...Is there anything you want?" 

   Thinking about it for a moment Jamie shrugs his shoulders before smiling. "You?"

   Greed chuckles and pulls his arms over his head holding them down against the pillows. "That can be arranged."

Chapter Text

   Sitting down on the edge of the roof, Jamie lets his legs swing over as he looks over the view of the town. It's nice and quiet up here. It gives him room to think. Pulling his little pouch out of his bag he begins counting the money. He has about twenty thousand cens saved up so far. He needs to keep saving up. It's not enough yet. Taking a deep breath he puts the pouch back in the bag and stands up pulling his hair up into a ponytail. Stepping down he walks over to the door and heads back inside. As he is headed down the stairs he walks past Roa and Dolcetto who are carrying firewood up to the steps as well as wire racks. Dolcetto turns his head as he continues up the stairs and smiles at Jamie. 

   "Pup can you make sure Boss isn't doing any work? Also, can you bring the food in the icebox up? Anything in the black garbage bags. Careful though, they're heavy and have a lot of juice in them." Nodding his head he speeds down the steps and heads into the kitchen. Opening the doors he grabs the smaller bags before looking into the bar, Greed is cleaning. Sighing heavily he steps over and kicks him right in the shin. 

   "Stop working you jackass. It's your birthday. You should be relaxing." He glares at Greed and takes his hand, dragging him up the stairs and up to the roof. "He was cleaning." Everyone sighs collectively and Jamie makes Greed step down. Jamie puts the bags down and looks over at Dol and Roa. They must be building the grills. Heading back downstairs he continues running up and down with the bags in his arms. When all the small bags are up Dolcetto starts putting the meats on the grill. They take longer than the vegetables do. He has to get Martel's help to bring the large bag up, it's too heavy on his own. "Anything else?" 

   Dolcetto looks over at Jamie as he wipes his hands on his pants. "Yeah, get the garbage bins and fill them with ice and drinks." 

   Jamie salutes and heads back down into the kitchen. Sighing he leans against the fridge for a moment. He's tired from running up and down the stairs so many times. Shutting his eyes he rests his head against the cold fridge and takes a deep breath. He feels arms wrap around his torso and he looks down at the arms. Smiling he pats the arms and turns around. "Hey there." Smiling up at Greed he pulls him down by his vest and presses their lips together. "Happy birthday, Greed." Pulling back he takes the garbage bin out from under the sink and puts a new bag on it before slowly filling it with ice. With each layer of ice, they put down beer cans and bottles as well as juice boxes and sodas. Once it's filled Jamie and Greed bring it up to the roof. 

   Jamie heads back down the stairs and tosses his bag into his room before moving to the closet to grab the gift he made for Greed. Taking a deep breath he heads up to the roof where everyone is hanging out. Martel brought the record player up as well as the radio so they've got plenty of entertainment. Jamie puts the package down on a chair when he spots Dolcetto, Bido, Ulchi, and Greed playing card games. He sits down between Greed and Ulchi and leans his head on Ulchi's shoulder. "What are you guys playing?"

   "Old maid." Greed grabs his arm and pulls him into his lap. He rests his chin on Jamie's shoulder and shows him his cards. The sucker has the queen. "Want to play next round?" Jamie nods and shuts his eyes. 

   "I suck at old maid but it is a fun game. I should teach you guys how to play Spit." Everyone stares at Jamie in confusion and it makes him laugh. "It's a card game I used to play. It's really fast and competitive." Chuckling he sinks back resting against Greed's chest as the cards continue to get passed around. Finally, Dolcetto takes the queen out of Greed's hand and Greed takes the last card out of Bido's hand making a match. 

Making Dolcetto the Loser when Ulchi takes Dol's seven and puts down a match.

   "God dammit.." 

   Jamie chuckles and reaches forward to pick up the cards and shuffle them. He brides the cards before dealing them to everyone. With his back against Greed's chest, he starts to pull his matches out and toss them to the center. It's fun playing like this. With Dolcetto playing card games, Mart takes over grilling the meats with Roa. At one point she heads down inside and returns with a few bags of bread rolls. The food must be ready soon. He'll have to teach them how to play spit another time.

   The five of them break away to get plates of food when Mart calls them over. They keep the fire going even when the food is on the folding table as it gets darker. It's nice. Jamie is happy he gets to experience this when everyone. He wonders what will happen on his birthday this year, last year they didn't do anything because Jamie got sick again from a week before Greed's birthday all the way to his own. Taking a deep breath Jamie stands up and moves to where he has the package. Lifting it off the floor he walks over and kneels down in front of Greed. Smiling he hands him the gift. 

   "Happy birthday, Greed."

   Greed and the others stare at him for a moment before Greed opens it. Inside was a blanket. Jamie made it, no sewing or crocheting necessary. "How did you get this?" 

   "I saved up money for the fabric since your last birthday, I felt bad I didn't get you anything for your birthday that time. I got the two fabrics and cut around the perimeter and tied the cut pieces together." He doesn't trust crocheting anymore. It's ruined for him. Jamie smiles at the flannel blanket and Greed pulls him close wrapping each other in it. 

   "Thanks, Pup." Jamie nods his head and lifts Greed's hand to his mouth to kiss his knuckles. It's a good night. 

   Thanks to the barbecue they are going to have enough leftovers for the rest of the week maybe even longer. Which is great for days like this.

    It's summer already and it's too hot to properly cook when you are inside. Greed says there is a pond to swim in but Jamie says he's fine. He doesn't like the idea of wearing a swimsuit around others. But Greed isn't going to tolerate that. 

   "Just wear a dark T-Shirt and a pair of shorts. You walk around the bar like that anyway." Jamie glares at Greed as he sits at the table drawing in his sketchbook. "You know what. What you are wearing is fine." Before he has time to react Greed picks him up and throws him over his shoulder. Shrieking, Jamie holds onto Greed's vest tightly. Greed carries him out of the bar and down the streets. 

   "Oh my god, Greed put me down. I can walk on my own!" He shouts as he punches his back. As they walk they pass a familiar face and it makes Jamie tense. 

   "James? Are you alright?"

   Jamie frowns as Greed doesn't bother stopping at the sight of Izumi. "I'm fine! We are just gonna go swimming!" Greed snorts and Jamie bites his shoulder. "Greed put me down or I will bite you on the dick!" 

   "No you won't, now shut it." Jamie shrieks and lays limp on his shoulder. God this is so embarrassing. Greed doesn't bother putting him down the entire time not even after Jamie complained that his stomach hurt from being up there the entire time. Jamie doesn't know who is more stubborn. Greed or himself. When he feels Greed shift to put him down his eyes light up only for him to scream when Greed throws him into the water. As he crashes into the pond he is quick to hold his glasses against his face, they are his only pair he cannot lose them. It's bad enough they are super cracked. 

   Jamie gasps for air when he surfaces and moves to a point where he can stand up in the water. He glares at Greed and walks over to him. "You are such a jerk." He huffs and stares at him for a moment. "How the hell are you wearing leather pants?" Greed shrugs his shoulders and begins to undo his pants. It makes Jamie panic and turn around. 

   "What the hell are you turning around for, I'm wearing underwear and you've seen me naked you brat." Without turning around Jamie flips him the bird and walks off to keep his feet in the water. At the feeling of a hand on his shoulder, he turns around and greed is shirtless and in his boxers. The real question is how did Greed manage to wear boxers under leather pants without them scrunching up? 

   Grabbing his hand Greed drags him into the water. Despite being brought here against his will it was nice. The sun was warm and the water was just cold enough to be comfortable. Too bad Greed let bringing towels slip his mind so they end up having to walk home dripping wet and the ground was hot on Jamie's bare feet so Greed carried him. Piggyback style. Jamie is going to have to start leaving towels by the doors because he has a good feeling this is going to happen again.

Chapter Text

  Stepping back Jamie smiles and wipes his hands off on his pants. He's been working on this all summer since his birthday. All he asked for was cinderblocks and a lot of soil. No one questioned it. They all just pulled through and got him them as gifts. It was for a rooftop garden he has been planning. He wipes his forehead off and smiles as he gets the watering can. The flowers are growing so tall, it's his pride and joy. The sunflowers are almost as tall as he is. The vegetables are doing well too. His smaller flowers have been cut and he needs to go inside to dry them and turn them into more bookmarks.

  Looking up at the sky he smiles at the sun as it begins to be covered in calm white clouds. Watering the plants he uses the can to rinse his hands off before heading inside to take a shower. It's so hot out but with the cloud coming out he knows it's going to cool off a lot. Maybe he can convince Greed to come with him to the pond. He could go for a good swim. If that's the case, maybe he won't go and take a shower. It would be pretty pointless if he did. Taking a deep breath he turns and walks over to the door and heads inside. He walks through the halls to see if he can find Greed only to hear him laughing in the bar. He is so loud it's ridiculous.

  Peeking his head into the bar he smiles at the taller man and sits down on his lap. He rests his cheek against his shoulder and sighs. "Nice and cold." Greed snorts and wipes his forehead making him blink on confusion. What's so funny?

  "You've got dirt on your forehead, pup." Jamie shrugs and nuzzles into his neck.

  "Greed lets go swimming." Taking a deep breath he pulls back and stretches his arms over his head, his shoulders popping in the process.

  "No can do this time, brat. It's gonna rain today." Jamie pouts and slips off his lap and stands up.

  "How can you tell?" He sighs crossing his arms under his chest. Jamie moves into the kitchen and grabs a glass of water. Change of plans again. He will be taking a shower but maybe he'll take a cold bath right after.

  "Martel can feel it in her bones." Jamie stops and stands in the doorway, staring at Greed weirdly. Confused.

  "Does Mart even have bones?"

  Greed chuckles and nods his head standing up. He walks over to Jamie's side and ruffles his hair."She does. She can just stretch them very far." Walking past him he takes a can of beer out of the fridge and cracks it open after pressing it against Jamie's neck. It's nice and cold. "Besides. September is halfway over already. It's getting too cold to go swimming." Jamie huffs and nods his head.

  "Yeah, I guess you're right." Sighing Jamie finishes his water and heads upstairs to his bedroom to collect his clothes and take a shower. He wants to get all this dirt and sweat off of his body. He wants to wash his hair and maybe even take a nap before the bar opens for the night.

  Walking down the hall he pushes past the door and moves to stand in front of his dresser. He grabs a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. He takes a towel off the hook on his door and makes his way over to the bathroom in his hall. The tub is bigger than the one in Greed's bedroom. He'll be able to relax in there for a while. With a sudden change in mind, he scurries back to his room and grabs a book to read before jogging back to the bathroom.

  Getting out of his dirty clothes he starts the hot water and lets his hair down. He is happy to say that his hair is back down to his shoulders and he knows Greed is happy about it too. Everyone, including Jamie, has lived up to their word of threatening to cut his hair whenever Greed acts up. Maybe he should have done it to get him to go swimming with him. It's too late for that now.

  Stepping into the shower he squeaks and quickly adjusts the temperature so it's more comfortable. The water by his feet turns brown as he scrubs his body down until the water runs clear again. He tilts his head back under the showerhead and scrubs at his scalp as he washes up. His hair will feel so much better after this. Conditioning his hair he doesn't bother rinsing it as he starts filling the tub up with colder water. He'll let it set so his hair smells nice and it'll feel nice too. Plugging the tub up he reaches out and dries his hands before grabbing his book and sitting on the floor of the tub.

  Relaxation mode activated.

  Jamie stays in the tub until he has cooled down enough to lay his head back in the tub and lightly rinse the conditioner out. He's got a few more chapters of this book left. He really wants to find out if Marleen ends up choosing Christopher. He hopes she doesn't choose Phillip, she's too good for Phillip.

  As his hair dries in his towel nest up on the top of his head he dries the rest of his body off and puts his clean clothes on. Letting his hair down he drapes his towel around his shoulders and steps out of the bathroom into the hall. With his dirty clothes in his hands as well as his second towel he heads back to his room to toss them in the hamper. He'll do laundry tonight that way he has clean clothes for the next couple weeks.

  Once the clothes are in his hamper he moves to lay on his bed and curls up with Harrison in his arms. He's surprised the stuffed animal has lasted this long but at the same time, he isn't. Jamie takes really good care of it. He sleeps with it almost every night. Whether to cuddle or to use as an extra pillow he really gets used. It really helps him when he wants to nap but he doesn’t want to bother Greed to lay down with him.

  A knocking on his door makes him roll onto his side to see who is there as it wakes him up. He hates that he is a weird mix of a heavy and a light sleeper.

  It’s Dolcetto.

  Sitting up he smiles and squeezes Harrison close. “What’s up?”

  “It’s dinner time. Come eat.”

  Oh shit. Did he sleep through the work shift? “Why didn’t anyone get me earlier?” He scurries off the bed and puts his slippers on as he grabs his hamper so he can throw a load of wash in.

  “Boss said you were feeling hot and we didn’t want to wake you up if you were getting sick.” Jamie sighs and waddles past him taking the clothes down the hall to the laundry room.

  “No, I am fine. I was hot because I was gardening all day today. The sun was really nice today. I actually have a farmer’s tan.” He chuckles and lifts his sleeve up to show off the difference in tone. He’s shocked he didn’t burn. He almost always does. He turns into a lobster and it hurts so much.

  Once his clothes are in the wash he walks downstairs into the kitchen behind Dol and takes a seat at the table. He smiles at everyone and rubs at his eyes tiredly.

  “Look who finally woke up.” Jamie glares at Greed and shakes his head deciding to ignore him now. Together they all begin to eat. As they eat Jamie begins to wonder. Where is Bido? Did Greed send him on a grocery run because Jamie was napping? But he doesn’t wonder for long because—

  "Mister Greed Mister Greed!" Everyone stops eating at the sound of Bido calling out as he runs down the bar entrance stairs. Greed puts his fork down and stands up before walking out of the kitchen. Everyone goes quiet as they try to listen but no one can hear anything so Jamie is the first to make a move.

  Stepping out the kitchen he walks in on Greed hugging Bido tightly. "What's going on...?" Greed smiles widely and runs at Jamie hugging him tightly once he is in his arms. He then hears a set of five words that make his heart sink into his stomach.

Those Elric brothers are in town.

   He wants to cry.

Chapter Text

   Taking a deep breath he lays in bed just stares at the ceiling for what feels like hours. Curling in on himself he bites his lip to keep from crying. It’s happening. He needs to get his shit together now.

    Jamie stands up and starts packing a tote. He puts his journals in first and then his stuffed creature. He frowns at its face and kisses its fake fur. He puts his best clothes in the bag until it’s completely full. He has two bags put together before he hides them under his bed.

    Bido said he saw a suit of armor walking around and it made Greed excited. Greed talked about bringing him there and finding out the secrets they hold.

    At the thought of what is most likely already here, Jamie lurches forward and grips his stomach.

    This was all a mistake. He should have never gotten close to them. He always reminded himself not to but when you live with someone for so long it’s hard not to. Especially when they’re so kind. Caring and gentle. Nothing Jamie told himself could have prevented him from getting close to them.

    Once he gets the tears to stop he steps out of his room with his blanket wrapped around him. Jamie heads through the halls until he stands in front of Greed’s room. Peeking his head into the room he frowns at its emptiness. Despite Greed not being in his room, Jamie moves and sits down on the bed. He pulls a pillow into his arms and squeezes it close as he lays down. Shutting his eyes he curls up and sighs. His eyes open as he feels the weight shift in the bed. He rolls over and spots Greed wrapping his arms around Jamie’s waist.

    “What are you doing, Puppy?”

    “Couldn’t sleep.” Jamie wraps his arms around the taller man and sighs. The two stay silent in the bed before Jamie shifts and sits up to press their lips together. “Thanks..I’m gonna head back to my room.” Standing up he moves out of the bed but stops when he is standing in the doorway. He turns back to look at Greed who is just watching him. Frowning he squeezes the blanket around him and sighs.

    “Just sleep here for tonight.”

    And he does without any second thought.

    It’s a place of comfort for him. Greed’s arms that is. It’s something he doesn’t want to let go of. And yet when the sun peeks into the room through the window across from the doorway Jamie slips out of bed, giving Greed a kiss as he heads to his room. Looking under his bed he takes his bags and quickly puts them safely outside. Behind the dumpsters. Heading back inside he flinches as he watches Dolcetto and the others walk into the bar.

    “We’re gonna go pick up that thing for Boss. You wanna come with us, Pup?”

    Shaking his head he flashes a smile. “No thanks, Mart. I’m gonna clean my room up and maybe go grocery shopping. Be...Be safe okay?” He gets a few head pats as they walk past him. The whole building is so quiet. It is making him anxious. Stepping into the kitchen he makes himself a few sandwiches. Wrapping them and putting them in paper bags.

    “What are you doing?”

    Dropping his butterknife he turns around and sees Greed in the doorway. “Making everyone lunches. It’s gonna be too hot to cook anything today. Sandwiches sound nice.” Sighing he bends down and picks up the knife, washing it right away. “I’m going out today. Gonna head to the butcher shop and pick up something good to eat. So...don't wait up on me.” Turning to face him, Jamie smiles and takes a seat at the table. From his seat, he smiles at the drawings that have started to fill the fridge. There’s no space for anything other than his art.

    Greed takes one of the sandwiches out of the bags and cuts it in half before splitting it with Jamie. “Did you sleep well?” Taking the sandwich he takes a bite and nods his head. “Good. You looked really upset. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. You’re not normally a crier when you sleep with me.” He grins. It makes Jamie frown and glare at him

    He knows Greed is trying to be funny. To cheer him up. “Pervert..” Standing up he wraps the sandwich up and puts it back in the bag. For later when he gets hungry on the train. Taking a deep breath he looks at Greed. Staring at his face. It’s taking everything in him not to stay. To change the timeline and just be happy. They could run away and live their lives.

    But that’s not fair to everyone else in the country.

    With another sigh, he steps forward and smiles. “I’m gonna head out now okay? Will you walk me out?” Greed pushes himself up and walks behind him out the steps to the outside. Jamie turns and smiles, standing on his tippy toes to kiss his cheek before walking off.

    “Puppy!” He flinches and turns around. Walking behind him is Greed. Greed takes his wrist and kisses him roughly on the lips. When Greed pulls away both of their faces redden. “Don’t get into any trouble. If you do, Roa will kill me.”

    “I won’t get into trouble. I promise.” Jamie tenses and shakes his head. “Don’t die Greed.”

    “I promise I won’t.” Greed takes his hand and presses his lips into his palm. Jamie tenses.

You hold my heart in your hands.

    God, he wants to cry so badly. None of this is fair. With that Jamie walks away keeping his head down as he turns down the alley, wrapping back around the bar to get his bags.

    This is it. He’s running away. The entire time he is walking to the train station, tears won’t stop falling down his cheeks. He feels like a coward. He feels so pathetic. He isn’t saying goodbye to anyone. Not even Izumi and the others.

    Wiping his cheeks he holds his bags close as he pays for his train fee. He takes a seat on a bench as he waits for the train to arrive and starts to finish his sandwich. He’s always been an emotional eater. The train hissed as it comes to a stop in front of him. Putting the food away he wipes his mouth and moves quickly to take his seat. It’s going to be a long three days. All spent on the train. He has a plan. He has to make a stop in central and find work. Find somewhere to work. Somewhere to be safe because the one chance he has to get back home is in a year or so. He needs to lay low and not cause any trouble.

   He promised Greed he wouldn’t get into trouble. He’ll keep his promise even if he knows Greed can’t.

   Getting into Central, Jamie is exhausted. It’s dark out. He doesn’t have enough money for a big hotel. He needs to find an in or somewhere where he can crash and not get into trouble in. Like a library. It’s always colder at night so he has to take his jacket out of his bag to warm up.

   Central is pretty. It’s the first time he has seen it.

   He doesn’t even mind how tired his legs are from walking around because of how nice it is to look at. The shops. The buildings. What a pretty place to live. “Greed would have loved it here…” He mutters. Who knew six little words could make him start to cry. He can’t stop them. He is being strangled by regret. The regret of not telling them their fate. The regret of falling so hard for Greed. The regret of staying there in the first place.

   But it is getting cold and he has no idea what time it is. He needs to find somewhere to stay. There is no time for regret right now.

   It’s gotten to that late part of the night where only the street lamps are on. He heads towards the brighter areas to try and find somewhere safe.

   Wiping his face he steps in front of a building. “Well...This probably isn’t the best place to look for shelter but when I have ever been good at decisions?” Taking a deep breath he walks into the bar and wipes his feet on the mat in front of him.

   “If that’s not a face that needs a drink I don’t know what is.” Looking up he frowns and shakes his head. Holding his bags close he takes a deep breath. Trying to hold back his tears.

   “I don’t need a drink, Ma’am...I need a place to sleep and maybe a job.” Walking up to the bar stand he takes a seat and wipes his face. “I know I look young but I’ve been working behind the bar these past two years and I ca—”

   “Kid. Calm down and take the drink.” Biting his lip he frowns as a drink is put out in front of him. “I’ve never seen your face. Where are you from?”

   “Dublith, Ma’am..” He reaches out and takes the drink, slowly sipping from it because of how strong it is. “I worked at a bar named the Devil’s nest.” Staring down in the drink he shakes his head pushing the drink away.

   “Why did you leave?” Looking up Jamie pushes his curls back out of his face into a small bun.

   “My family was mur—”

   “Madame!” Tensing Jamie turns around and watches as a woman walks over handing her a slip of paper. “I got it.” She takes a seat beside Jamie and smiles.

   “Good job, Vanessa.” Chris looks back down to Jamie and reaches out to empty his drink. He’s only taken two sips from it. “Vanessa, clear a space in your room for this one.” Jamie frowns and looks up at her with a sad smile. “What’s your name?”

   “James...Some people call me Jamie.” He grips the empty glass and takes a deep breath. “Some call me Puppy.”

   That gets a chuckle out of Chris. “I can see that. You kicked puppy.” Chris takes the glass from him and cleans it before putting it away. “Interview starts now. How old are you?”

   “Almost twenty-two Ma’am…”

   “You said you worked the bar. Can you cook too?”

   “Yes, and bake too. It’s one of the things I take pride in.”

   The conversation didn’t go on for long. Jamie was shown to a room where he could put his things and get himself together.

   A knocking on the door got him to look up and peeking her head into the room is a smiling Madeline. “It’s….Puppy right?” Jamie nods his head and puts his journal back into his bag. It’s almost full. He’ll need to get a new one soon. “Madame wants to speak with you and see what you can do. It’s dinner time.” standing up Jamie rubs at his arms and follows her out of the room and into the kitchen where Chris is standing, peeling potatoes.

   “Show me what you can do.”

   Tensing Jamie fixes his hair before washing his hands in the sink. He turns over to her and takes a deep breath. She is so intimidating.

   “Can I use anything?”

   Dinner went well and he even took the time while the girls ate to make a batch of cinnamon rolls. That really got him on Chris’ good side. For now, that is.

   “Kid, you’re going to sit down and eat too right?” Flinching he puts the oven mitts down and scurries over to the table. He takes a plate and fills it heavily with pasta. Nothing better to cure heartbreak like a fuckton of carbs.

   He knows he is crying but no one comments on it. It only makes the tears worse because it reminds him of his first dinner.

   The first dinner he had at the Devil’s Nest.

   And everything hurts again.

   Jamie helps take care of the dishes before he realizes it’s just Chris and him in the kitchen. He tenses and keeps his head down as he dries them with a rag. “Murdered, huh?”

   Jamie frowns and puts the rag down. So she heard that part? “Yes, Ma’am.”

   “Am I going to read about it in the paper?” Again, he shakes his head. “No? Why’s that?”

   “Because...Because the government did it.”

   “And they didn’t get you too?”

   Balling his hands up into fists he bites his lip and wipes his face. He is tired of crying. He did this to himself and this is his punishment. He needs to get over it. “I don’t exist to them. I have no birth records no— anything. I wasn’t home when it happened.” Looking up at the woman Jamie sighs and pulls at his face. Exhausted. He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to sleep.

   Every time he shuts his eyes for more than a moment he can picture their faces. The things they experienced before their demise. But at least that room would be an escape from the pity stares he gets from the girls

Chapter Text

Hello, everyone. I know I said I am taking a month off to work at my own pace and relax after that heart-wrenching chapter. But I thought about something. I'm gonna do a Q&A. Any comments on this chapter will be answered even after I start updating again. Feel free to ask more than one question. I am going to do my best to answer the questions. Thank you guys so much. I hope you hear from all of you. These questions can be about Jamie. Jamie and Greed. Roa and Dolcetto. Anything about the plot just....not stuff about the future. That is stuff you will have to wait to find out. Ask about Jamie's past or any headcanons I have. Anything basically just no future plot. Ask away!!