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Starlight

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Edward had grown a fondness for heights. It was odd, although prior to this he had not been particularly bothered by heights, he had never sought them out. Suddenly though, getting up high was how he cleared his mind to think. There was a strange comfort in being higher than everyone else; the solitary sentinel standing above a silent, sleepy world.

The night sky was completely clear of clouds. It had been overcast earlier in the day, the dark clouds threatening to dump another round of snow upon them, but they had moved out of the area quickly, bringing colder temperatures behind them. A thousand stars cast over the sky like the spray of ink off a paintbrush, twinkling softly in the cold winter sky. Edward sat on the roof and stared up at the heavens.

He saw the light from the second-story door opening and Roy stepping out onto the porch. Roy rubbed his hands together and blew on them, before crossing his arms and tucking his hands under them to keep warm. Edward smiled, his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands as he watched Roy too, stare up at the night sky.

Roy was pretending not to know that Edward was right behind him, sitting in the snow atop the roof of the house. He was checking on Edward without checking on him, which was sweet.

They had had a bit of a fight. It was not a big fight - just an argument - but Edward had been pissed and stormed off. He was supposed to be an adult now, whatever that meant, and not throw temper tantrums or slink off to sulk. But sometimes Roy was infuriating, and Edward was sarcastic right back. It was normal.

It also still hurt.

They had come here, back to Resembool, for the holiday. Roy somehow was still keeping track of the days; Edward had long since lost count. He could not tell you what month, or, really, the year any longer. When one day full of snow and chores and sleeping in a great warm bed with a heavy quilt bled quietly into the next, it was nearly impossible to keep track of the date.

It had been a surprise visit - Alphonse and Winry had not been expecting them. Alphonse had tackled his brother out the door and right past Roy into the snow behind them. Alphonse had grown taller still, now taller than Roy himself, his shoulders broad and voice deep. He was as much an adult as Edward pretended to be, and Edward tried not to envy him that. He would never see that age, stranded eternally as a teenager on the threshold of full maturity.

He had been excited to see Alphonse and Winry, but some of that excitement had dulled now, with the realization that the disparity between them was only going to become more pronounced with the passing years.

Winry and Alphonse were engaged to be married. They had been trying to figure out how to get word to Edward and Roy hidden deep in the mountains, so their arrival could not have been more perfect. Edward had been enthusiastic, it was hard not to be when Alphonse was describing what they wanted to do for the ceremony with great sweeping gestures and Winry was laughing at them both. They were his family, his only family for so long and he was slowly, imperceptibly losing them both to the passage of time.

And then he had fought with Roy over something silly that he could not even remember, and he had slunk outside and up to the roof to think.

Resembool was spread out before him. Small dots of light were homes warmed by electricity and roaring fires; families both new and old curled together on the cusp of the holiday. It was supposed to be a time of celebration, and here Edward was doing his best to spoil it was a tantrum.

And then, Roy’s hand was warm on his shoulder. “Ed,” Roy said quietly. “Aren’t you cold up here?”

Edward did not jump, although Roy had definitely improved his skills if he was able to sneak up on him like that. Edward sighed out a long breath, visible in the cold night air. “No.”

He felt the warmth of Roy’s wing brush over his back and encircle him. Roy’s wings were gorgeous, Edward had told him many times that the dark feathers fading into a mottled gray color were some of the prettiest that he had ever seen - his own wings were plain, a simple if brilliant white. Roy’s wings had personality.

Roy’s shoulder leaned against his as he tucked his wing in tight over Edward’s form. “Do you want to talk about it?”

His voice was so warm and comforting. Edward sighed and lifted his head, not looking at Roy sitting on the roof in the snow with him, but tilting his head back to look at the stars in the night sky above him. So many of them, thousands upon thousands of little points of light above his head. It was one of the few things that really made him feel small that was not a direct insult.

“Not really,” Edward said finally.

“Then I’ll sit here with you until you do.”

Edward smiled, his face pressed into his hands still. Roy was stubborn, just as he was - a fact brought to light now when they quarrelled over chores. He had realized that they really were more alike than different and that was just another connection that they had. “I’m sorry I called you an arrogant jackass,” Edward said finally. “I didn’t mean it.”

“You’ve called me far worse and meant it,” Roy said. There was a tinge of fondness in his voice. He forgave Edward a lot, and that only fed into Edward’s guilt. Edward was a brat and he knew it. “Besides, it would not be a regular week with you if we didn’t have a tiff over something ridiculous.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t hafta do it in front of Al an’ Winry.” Edward scrubbed his hands over his face and realized how bitterly cold his automail had become. Just how long had he been out here? “I just, I feel like a kid still, an’ they’re all grown up. I’m always gonna be the kid.”

There was a long silence from Roy, and then he sighed. Edward looked over at him as Roy put his arm around Edward’s shoulder, shifting his wing just a little to accommodate. He pulled Edward to him, so that Edward’s head bumped his shoulder, and he laid his cheek atop Edward’s head. Edward stiffened at first, but then he slowly relaxed, Roy’s breath warm across the crown of his head. “Oh, Ed,” Roy murmured. I’m sorry, I’ve never even thought about it.”

“Yeah,” Edward said softly, his laugh a little bitter. “I just hope you’re content with me, Mustang, because things aren’t gonna change.”

“I am quite happy the way things are,” Roy said softly. “I do wish the road to here hadn’t been so bumpy, but...” he breathed against Edward’s head and Edward sighed at the brush of Roy’s lips in his hair. “I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it.”

“Good news is that I’m not going anywhere,” Edward said. Roy’s body heat was warming him again and that was helping to dispel his melancholy somewhat. He always felt better when Roy was touching him; like his strength added to Edward’s own. It really was a shame Roy could not touch him all the time.

“Yes, well, I am willing to be that your brother and Miss Rockbell are quite worried about you.” Roy shuffled his wing a little, the tips of the feathers skimming the thick snow on the roof. “Shall we go back inside and join them?”

“You can call her Winry, you know,” Edward said, his head still laying on Roy’s shoulder. “She’s practically my sister already, so it’s not like this will change things.”

“All the same-”

“Besides, you’re my family,” Edward said suddenly, lifting his head quickly. Roy looked at him, surprised. “You’re just as much a part of this family as she is, so you can call her Winry.” He was so sudden and fierce in this proclamation that Roy was only a little startled. “And if she has any problems with it she can take it up with me. I’m not afraid of her stupid wrench any more.”

Roy was shaking. Edward turned his attention back to Roy to find that he was trying desperately to hold back laughter. “I’m NOT. She can fling as many wrenches as she wants-”

He was cut off as Roy wrapped both of his arms around Edward, hugging him to Roy completely. “You are absolutely priceless, Ed,” Roy squeezed out between barely restrained chuckles. “Absolutely priceless, and I love you.”

Edward closed his eyes and pressed his face into Roy’s throat. “I love you too,” he said, softly, as Roy continued to chortle merrily.


Promises to Keep: Prompt 10 - Starlight