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as a fever, rattling bones

Chapter Text

Lay where you're laying, don't make a sound
I know they're watching, they're watching
All the commotion, the kiddie like play
Has people talking, talking”

 

Fullmetal is back from a mission and he is moody, miserable, maledicent.

He's got the heels of his dirty boots up on the coffee table, leaning back where he is slouched on the sofa cushions, tugging at his collar, twisting, complaining about the dry heat of the radiator and the grey January weather.

Roy snaps his eyes up from the messy report he had been trying to decipher, zeroing in on the boy that drags havoc with him wherever he walks.

“Fullmetal,” he says shortly, sharply. “The least you could do is show some modicum of respect.”

Ed jerks a little at the whip of his voice but then pulls his feet off the polished wood, all slow reluctance, burying his soles in the poor rug instead, sitting up straight.

There is still a slump to his shoulders, but it's less disregard and more... not deference maybe, but... as though he were trying to appear smaller. A truly ridiculous notion for Edward Elric was loath to ever admit to being short of stature.

Roy narrows his eyes but then lowers them back to the paper. He has other things to worry about.

 

Edward is what people like Gracia kindly refer to as a late bloomer. Late to grow, late to mature, late to present. At age fifteen, Ed is still blissfully untouched by the mayhem that puberty wreaks upon the human body. It's a good thing, too, because someone as driven and determined as him would hate to be distracted by something as obnoxious as hormones.

But, as always, even that idyll has to be shattered eventually.

Fullmetal sweeps through the outer-office with nothing but a wave of his hand, and then he is already barging through the door, making everyone wince when it bangs shut.

Roy looks up, glares, his nostrils flaring – and then the words falter in his mouth.

“Gimme a mission,” Fullmetal tells him, nervously walking up and down in front of his desk. “Field work, research, anything. I need something to do.”

“Fullmetal,” Roy says, slowly because he cannot believe it himself right now, but the proof is undeniably there, right in front of him.

Roy has a keen nose and Edward Elric reeks.

“What,” Ed gripes, still stalking around like a tiger in a cage, running a hand through his hair. “Come on, don't you always lecture me about being more enthusiastic about work? So this is me, showing initiative. Aren't you proud?"

“Fullmetal,” Roy repeats in exasperation but then stops himself. “You... haven't even noticed yet, have you?” he realizes, watching as Ed comes to a stop.

“Noticed what?” Ed asks, tilting head to the side, utterly oblivious.

Roy refrains the urge to rub a hand over his face. When he had recruited the boy, the possibility of this sort of situation had never even occurred to him. But Fullmetal has no parents, and his brother has no sense of smell. So as luck would have it, the dubious pleasure of having the talk with him now falls to his commanding officer.

“This may come as a surprise to you,” Roy says, trying to cushion the blow a little. “But it seems you have just presented.”

“Presented wh-,” Ed begins, frowning, but then it freezes on his face and he stares down at himself as though that might yield a more thorough explanation. “No,” he says, shaking his head. “No, what?”

Roy brushes a knuckle under his nose, trying not to breathe in too deeply, but the taste is already on his tongue anyway.

“It appears,” he says, not knowing how else to phrase it, “That you are an omega.”

 

 

 

Roy is an alpha, one of many among the brass, and he is not too proud to know that his status had additionally helped him rise through the ranks.

The rest of his team, on the other hand, consists solely of unmated betas who are probably the easiest to work with in an institution that relies on such a strict hierarchy. They both give orders and follow them, always depending what's needed at the moment. And they do not have a mate or a family who might come between them and their duty.

Roy has not specifically chosen them because of those reasons but he finds that their statuses leave their office well-balanced and in an agreeable mood.

Fullmetal had always been the thorn in his side, in that regard. He'd been loud and belligerent and did not take kindly to being at someone's beck and call.

He'd have to be an alpha for sure, Roy had thought and not been alone in it. It was only a matter of time until it was official.

Yet now... this.

“That can't be,” Ed claims, though it's with that kind of tone that speaks of denial instead of conviction. “I'm not... I don't feel any different.”

“But your scent has changed,” Roy points out. “And you are rather restless. Your first heat might-”

“Don't,” Edward growls, and that right there is the reason why it's so difficult to imagine him as an omega. “Don't talk talk about it so bluntly, you bastard.”

“I'm not trying to embarrass you,” Roy sighs. “But this is a serious matter. We need to discuss a strategy.”

“What for, this has nothing to do with you, so shut-”

“Edward, you are an omega, underage and unmated, and I am your commanding officer,” Roy tells him curtly. “This has everything to do with me.”

Traditionally, only mated omegas are allowed within the military, and even then they are unlikely to rise through the ranks, either employed as secretaries, engineers, or forever remaining as privates. An omega major is certainly unheard of.

But then again, it's not the first time that Edward Elric has managed to defy the ways of the world.

Fullmetal must know this, too, because all of a sudden he goes quiet.

“Will they... will they kick me out?” he asks, worrying at his lower lip.

Very quickly, multiple scenarios flicker through Roy's mind.

The Fullmetal Alchemist is an asset, but like this he is also a liability. If it is indeed decided that he would have to be discharged, then everything up to this point would have been for naught. The past four years would have been wasted on something that had not yielded results in regards to the Elrics' quest. And that meant that, once again, Edward would blame himself for why his brother was still stuck within the armor.

The decision then is easily made.

“I will defend your case to my superiors,” Roy promises, pushing his chair back and standing up. “But we'll have to find an actual solution for your scent.”

The boy looks self-conscious, and it's admittedly strange to think that he must be barely aware of it himself while Roy's entire world seems to be filled with it.

“But...,” Ed looks doubtful. “I head about those perfumes and the like-”

“Nonsense,” Roy cuts him off. “Those don't work. They only try to drench the natural pheromones and, let me tell you, it's not a pleasant combination.”

Instead, Roy begins to unbutton his uniform and then the dress shirt underneath.

Ed stares. “Er, what's happening right now?”

But Roy just tosses him the shirt and walks over to the closet in the corner to get himself a new one.

“Wear that,” he says over his shoulder and catches Ed's disgusted expression.

What?

“Bathe in the evenings and then wear it to sleep,” Roy instructs, unfolding the new shirt and slipping into it. “My scent should be enough to keep others away from you.”

He turns around in time to see realization flicker through Ed's eyes, but he still doesn't seem sold on the idea.

“I don't wanna smell like you, you bastard,” he complains.

“It's a proxy for scenting,” Roy explains. “My pheromones will protect you.”

Because even outside of their heat, omegas were still a source of interest for alphas, and that might both pose a direct threat to Edward and also make the brass less willing to let him maintain his rank.

“If you'd rather,” Roy adds with a smirk as he steps back behind his desk. “I can, of course, directly transfer my scent.”

“Ugh.” Edward shudders. “No, thank you.”

“Thought so,” Roy chuckles, some of the tension finally leaving him. “Come back in a couple of days to return the shirt and I will give you a new one.”

The corners of Ed's mouth pull down but he at least he nods in agreement. “Anything else?”

Roy sighs again.

“I can't believe I'm telling you this,” he begins reluctantly. “But make a point of proving to others that your nature does not influence your decisiveness. No one must suspect that anyone, especially outside of the ranks, might make you follow their orders just because are an omega.”

Edward grins.

“That,” he announces devilishly. “Will be absolutely no problem.”

 

 

 

After Fullmetal has left again, Hawkeye steps into the office.

“Sir?” she asks when she sees Roy standing by the open window.

“Just letting in some fresh air,” he tells her pleasantly, but of course she doesn't buy it for a second.

“I don't think the rest of the team noticed yet,” she points out. “He was here and gone so quickly. Alphonse seemed unaware as well.”

“He'll find out soon enough,” Roy knows. Tonight, at the latest, when Edward was forced to explain why he was sleeping in a shirt that was obviously not his.

“How will we precede from here on?” she wants to know, watching as he sits down at his desk and turns towards his paperwork once more.

“Just like always,” he says and twirls his fountain pen between his fingers. “We'll take things as they come.”

 

 

 

It's badly timed and Roy should have predicted it, but Fullmetal's first heat hits while he is on a field mission up North.

He returns looking exhausted and embarrassed, but his report specifies his longer-than-usual absence as nothing more than 'unforeseen complications'. Which probably meant that he had locked himself up in whatever inn he happened to be staying at and just waited it out.

For a moment, Roy had felt a flicker of worry at the thought that some stranger might have taken advantage of the situation, but Edward's scent is unchanged and his neck unmarked.

“Did anyone give you trouble?” Roy asks nevertheless and they both know that it is not the actual mission they are talking about.

“No,” Ed replies but his eyes are in the corner of the room. “The shirts worked. And... Al guarded the door. So.”

So no one had dared to get too close to the doubtlessly delirious omega. Strange to think that Alphonse's condition allowed for him to be totally unaffected by anyone's scents and behaviors, tempting, threatening or otherwise. He might well be the reason why Fullmetal would be able to keep carrying out his fieldwork.

Roy gives a curt nod.

“From now on we will schedule your missions so they are not compromised by your cycle,” he says, ignoring Ed's indignant squawk. “Also, I advice you to leave the dorms during that time and rent a room in appropriate accommodations.”

There are special inns for omegas where they could wait out their heat, the staff only consisting of other omegas who were indifferent to the pheromones. Good ones – and discreet ones - are a bit of a pricey affair but it isn't like a state alchemist wouldn't be able to afford it. It's better than to have half of the troops in disarray because they can smell Fullmetal through the gap under the door.

“Um,” Ed says and a shuffles a little. “I heard that some people use blockers and-”

“Don't even think about it,” Roy interrupts him. “Those are nothing but potentially dangerous cocktails made of chemicals. Their side effects haven't be properly studied yet. You might irreparably upset your hormone level. Which is why most of them are illegal and only available on the black market.”

He gives the boy a stern look. “You will not buy any of those blockers, Fullmetal.”

“Fine,” Ed hisses. “Gee, I was just asking.”

“I understand that experiencing heat on your own is uncomfortable,” Roy amends. “But it's best to just wait it out.”

“Easy for you to say, bastard,” Ed huffs and if his cheeks are distinctly red then Roy ignores that, too.

 

 

 

Little over two months later and Fullmetal requests a couple of days off without having to say anything else.

It's not much of a problem, considering the boy generally never takes any sick days, apart from when he is injured on the job, which is also one of the reasons Roy's superiors had been surprisingly accepting of when Roy had explained the situation to them.

That, and it would not look good in the eye of the public if the Alchemist of the People was discharged because of his class. Most likely there would be an uproar which was something the military always sought to avoid.

So it comes as a bit of a shock when early on Tuesday morning, Alphonse Elric bursts into the office, looking as harried as his blank face allows.

“Colonel Mustang,” he says, sounding almost breathless, as soon as he has closed the door behind himself. “Something is wrong with brother.”

And immediately Roy is on alert because he trusts Al's judgment more than he does Ed's.

“What happened?”

“I don't know.” Alphonse is wringing his hands. “His, um, his heat started so we went to a hotel, but this morning he was acting really weird and now he won't respond at all.”

“Dammit.” Roy is out of his chair and by the door in a matter of second, barely even remembering to grab his coat. “Do we need a car?”

“It's not far,” Alphonse says, so Roy waves a dismissive hand at Havoc who had already jerked upright at his desk station.

“Did he say anything?” Roy demands as he and Al fly down the stairs together, the armor clanking with every step.

“Just gibberish,” Al replies. “But I didn't know whether I should call a doctor because, well.”

Because whatever Ed had done, whatever he had taken might have been illegal.

“The lady who runs the hotel is taking care of him now,” Al adds, leading the way down the street. “But she was really upset because brother went against the house rules.”

Roy curses under his breath and just quickens his pace.

When they arrive at the hotel he is red in the face and sweating, but the flight of stairs they need to take is just another small hindrance. The receptionist, however, cries out when she sees him.

“No alphas allowed!” she calls after him, sounding panicked. And not without reason because an agitated alpha among omegas in heat might pose a dangerous threat.

“Military business,” he only barks out, knowing he'll have a letter of complaint to read first thing next morning.

“Down here, Colonel,” Alphonse says, leading him along a corridor and then opening a door, not even bothering to knock.

“What on earth-!” An elderly lady rises from where she had been sitting by a bedside. “The audacity! First you are taking drugs in my establishment and now you bring an alpha in here!”

“I'm terribly sorry, ma'am,” Al bows deeply. “I didn't know what to do.”

“What's his condition?” Roy cuts in, striding through room. The pheromones in the air are downright pungent so he breathes shallowly through his mouth. It gets even worse when he kneels down by the bed and peels back the cocoon of blankets Fullmetal has wrapped himself in.

“Hmmm,” Edward hums listlessly. His shoulders are bare and his hair is a mess.

“Alphonse,” Roy says, quickly scanning the room for evidence. “Do you know whether he bought some sort of blocker?”

“He didn't tell me,” Alphonse answers and then adds meekly. “But I think he might have been experimenting himself.”

Roy's stomach takes a pitfall. To think that someone like Fullmetal was stupid enough to try and come up with his own brand of blockers was almost ridiculous.

He reaches out, his thumb peeling back one of Edward's eyelids. As expected, his pupil is blown wide and unfocused.

Valium, Roy suspects, which is not unheard of as a means to help someone through their heat. But it's obvious that Edward must have overdosed, probably thinking he could suppress some if not all of the symptoms.

“We need to call a doctor,” Roy announces, looking towards the proprietor. “Now.”

The woman merely rolls her eyes at him. “Already did that,” she says dryly. “I've been in this business for a while, young man.”

“Thank you,” Roy tells her and then forces himself to remain calm.

On the bed, Edward's hand has found his and he presses his face against the palm, purring quietly.

 

 

 

When the week's over and Roy can safely assume that Ed is no longer high nor in heat he goes to visit the boy in the hospital where he has been kept for supervision.

Ed doesn't look over when the door opens, must have already expected this visit from the moment his brain chemistry returned to normal levels.

“Don't even start,” he drawls out and Roy feels a spike of anger surge up in him.

“Trust me, I wish we wouldn't have to have this conversation,” he replies with an edge to his voice. “But it's obvious that we do.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Ed crosses his arms over his chest. “So talk.”

“You promised me,” Roy reminds him, “That you would not try to use any sort of blocker.”

“No,” Ed growls. “You told me not to buy any. Which I didn't. And also, when have I ever followed any of your orders?”

“This is no laughing matter, Fullmetal,” Roy says, stepping closer, not to pull up the chair that's standing by the bedside but to lecture more effectively. “You could have very well killed yourself.”

Ed doesn't quite flinch, but his shoulders hunch up defensively.

“Wasn't my intention,” he mutters.

“That isn't the point.” Roy shakes his head. “I just don't understand you. You endured automail surgery as a child but now you are unwilling to suffer through a few days of discomfort?"

Finally, Edward turns his eyes on him but when he does he glares.

“How can you even compare that?” he hisses. “I got the automail so I could help Al. This- this whole omega thing is nothing but a hindrance. That's why I took the drugs in the first place.”

“How was any of that conductive to helping?”

“I thought if I reigned in the symptoms, I might be able to at least continue my research, get some reading done.” Ed blows out a harsh breath through his nose. “And at first it worked, but the effects are really short-term. So I took more. And then, well, I guess I overdosed.”

“You guess? Your brother thought you might die, Fullmetal.”

This time, Edward does flinch.

“It's just...,” he whispers, more to his clenched hands than to anyone else, “That while I'm wasting time with that whole heat thing we're not getting any closer to getting his body back. I feel... I feel useless.”

And once more all of Edward Elric's vices are explained by all of his virtues.

Roy takes a deep breath.

“You are not helping him when you are high as a kite,” he points out. “And I supect he will forgive you, whether you are losing a couple of days or not.”

“Yeah.” Ed gives a vague nod. “He said that, too.”

“Then if you don't believe me,” Roy tells him, “Believe him instead.”

 

 

 

He had thought that would be the end of it but with the Elrics it just never is.

Three months later and when Roy least expects it there is a knock on his door, late one evening.

“Fullmetal,” he says in surprise when he sees the boy standing on his doorstep and then the first thing that follows it is. “How do you even know where I live?”

“I have my sources,” Edward replies enigmatically and then just pushes past him into the house.

“Aren't you supposed to be on leave?” Roy points out but the words have barely left his mouth when he is already getting a whiff of the boy's scent.

“Are you insane?” he gasps, covering the lower half of his face with his hand. “You're in heat and you're wandering around in the middle of the-”

“Yeah, see, that's something I don't like about this thing,” Ed huffs, kicking off his boots as though he were planning to stay for a while. “Why are omegas always the ones who are at fault when alphas can't control themselves? How is that fair, huh?”

“Fullmetal, if you are planning to join a debate group, please do so at your own leisure, but not in my home. Or in my immediate presence,” Roy cannot help but growl. “I am an alpha as well, in case you have forgotten.”

“That's why I came here, actually,” Ed shrugs off his coat as well, stands on his tiptoes to put it on the rag. “I must say I'm pretty damn impressed by your self-control. Most alphas would've tried to jump me by now. Despite the fact that I'm covered in your scent and all.”

And there he stands, dressed in his ridiculous leather pants and one of the shirts Roy had given him just a couple of days before. The shirt he was meant to wear to sleep so that the scent would linger the next day. Not to cover himself from head to toe like a mark of ownership.

“Fullmetal,” Roy says very calmly, even as he fights with himself over whether he should take a step back or forward. “What are you doing here?”

“So, here's the thing,” Ed says. “Blockers are no good, right? And waiting it out drives me nuts and also takes ages. So why not just give in to the biological urges?”

“What on earth are you talking about,” Roy says because he already has a suspicion sneaking up on him.

“An unattended heat takes at least five days to run its course,” Ed explains like reciting from a scientific journal. Which he probably is. “But with a partner, the worst of it can be dealt with within just two days. That's a huge difference.”

“No,” Roy says and this time he does step back, blindly reaching for the red coat to throw it at the boy but all that does is throw more pheromones into the air. “You're insane. This is just those same biological urges speaking right now.”

“I'm not that out of it yet,” Ed huffs. “And I thought about it before.”

He lifts a hand to his face, sniffing at the cuff off the too long sleeve that is bunched up around his wrist. “I already noticed last time, actually. You don't smell all that vile. So I guess it'd be okay.”

“Edward,” Roy grits out, hoping that the use of his given name will get through to the boy. “I am your commanding officer. I cannot be you heat partner.”

“I've been wearing your scent for months now.” Ed shrugs. “No one would have to know.”

We would know, though, Roy's mind screams at him. And then what? How long would this go on?

“You're too young,” is what he says instead.

“I just turned sixteen, so fuck off.” Ed rolls his eyes. “Also, I know for a fact you don't have another partner at the moment or you wouldn't just go handing me your shirts like that. And... and if you don't do it then I'll be forced to go find some other alpha. And I don't know all that many, so I'll just pick anyone. Literally anyone, like, whomever I meet first once I walk out that door.”

Roy stares.

“Are you,” he asks slowly, “Threatening me with the prospect of you throwing away your virginity?”

“Yeah,” Ed says. “So?”

At that flippant reply, Roy draws himself up to his full height, hands on his hips, knowing full well that it makes him look intimidating.

“You cannot coerce me and you certainly cannot seduce me,” he declares, attempting to stare Ed down. “I will not do this just because it is convenient to you.”

“Dammit, that's not what I-.” Edward looks somewhat guilty but mostly frustrated. “I just... I have to do this.”

And he turns his pleading eyes upon Roy.

Damn him. Damn him and his genius and his determination. Because showing up here at the beginning of his heat when he was smelling the sweetest and while he had already been smelling of Roy for months was just devious. Not to mention that, seeing that Fullmetal was his protegé, Roy was already more inclined towards wanting to help him. All of Roy's instincts were telling him that this was a marvelous idea, and the tiny part of his rationale that was objecting against all this was quickly losing the fight.

“Come on,” Ed tells him, taking a step closer and awkwardly tugging at Roy's sleeve.

Roy inhales, belatedly realizing how that only makes everything worse. But then again, his decision is already made.

“This will never enter the office,” he says, banishing the trembling from his voice. “We cannot risk the potential consequences.”

“Fucking finally,” Ed says and smirks.

 

 

 

Scientifically speaking, the biology behind everything is quite simple. The instincts are nothing more than a leftover from a previous evolutionary stage. Male omegas can no longer conceive but maintain some atavistic features. Apart from their heat and their pheromones, a smaller build is common, but there are other less obvious features.

Edward had been quite composed when he had shown up at the door, but as soon as Roy puts his hands on him it becomes apparent that he is deeper into his heat than he had first let on. His skin seems almost scalding hot and soon enough his eyes are glassy with the fever.

Roy doesn't quite know how to get them into the bedroom what with the boy trying to rub up against him right then and there. In the end, he sighs and simply throws him over his shoulder.

“Bastard,” Ed hisses in token outrage, but there is a shiver to his voice that betrays that this is exactly what some part of him had wanted.

Fullmetal is exactly that, though, and not exactly a lightweight so, once in the bedroom, Roy unceremoniously dumps him onto the mattress, making him bounce and glare up from between messy bangs.

And this is the part that Roy hates because he revels in it, revels how this particular moment is defined by their roles as predator and prey. Most omegas they give up the pretense easily enough and just surrender, but Edward Elric is of a different caliber. Even if he was the one who initiated this, he will not make it easy for Roy. He'll want a hunt.

There's a split second as their eyes meet, a flicker of realization that they have both understood where the other stands.

Roy can't quite follow the thought process in his own mind, but one moment he is just waiting there and the next he lunges himself at Edward who scrambles up the bed. Roy gets a hold of his automail ankle but Ed just kicks out, frees himself, rolls off the mattress. He makes for the door, but Roy ducks down and literally pulls the rug out from under his feet. Ed yelps, goes down, catches himself, makes the mistake of wasting time and throwing a look back over his shoulder.

Before he can even blink, Roy has him by the end of the braid, jerking his head back, and then grabbing the scruff of his neck, giving him a good shaking like one would a disobedient dog.

Ed flaps indignant hands at him but can't quite reach, starts kicking again, until Roy lifts him up further and he is forced to balance on his tiptoes.

Ed is growling, glaring, scratching at Roy's hands while simultaneously trying to hold on to them, trying to ease some off the weight of his scalp. But Roy isn't cowed in the least, just drags him back over to the bed, and then the little shit is laughing because he is obviously enjoying it.

The little fight has only served to enhance their pheromones, and Roy can tell Ed is almost giddy with it. Roy himself is able to show more restraint, but he is not unaffected either.

This time, when he is pushed onto the bed, Ed goes willingly, yet Roy still follows, moving to hover above him. Edward's face is flushed now, his pupils wide, and he gazes up at Roy with something akin to hunger.

They could move everything along very quickly now, though Roy stills himself and takes a very deliberate moment to focus.

At some point in their mad scramble Ed's hair tie must have gotten lost and now his braid is coming undone at the end. So Roy allows himself to reach out, to rake his fingers through the strands and slowly unravel them. Underneath him, Ed's breath hitches, and Roy marvels.

He has never simply touched the boy before, has he? Most of their physical interactions had at least some sort of violent undercurrent to them, a natural extension from their constant verbal sparring.

There's none of that snark now, just a certain kind of tension, like a dam about to break. Or, less severe maybe, two raindrops on a windowpane slowly sliding towards each other and converging.

Tentatively, Roy runs is hands along Edward's body while Edward watches him attentively, as though warning him of making even one wrong move.

Roy's thumbs caress the rough leather of Ed's pants before he goes to unbuckle the belt, eases the tight fabric off his hips, down his legs. The mere sight of all that skin uncovered, however, sends a rush to his brain and the next thing he knows he is reaching for the shirt Ed is wearing, that shirt that has so delightfully mingled their scents. The buttons pop, the seams tear, and Ed's chest and belly are exposed as well, golden like the rest of him, safe for his right shoulder where dark scar tissue morphs into clean steel.

Ed doesn't seem to mind having his past revealed in such a manner, just eagerly slips out of the tattered remains of the shirt. Is it the need that keeps him from being self-conscious? Or is that caused by an altogether different thing, a thing that is Edward Elric down to the core?

Roy doesn't get much time to contemplate, because then Ed is already turning the table, attempting to wrestle him out of his clothes as well, annoyed little grunts spilling from his pursed lips.

It turns into a small whine, though, when he finally does get his hands on Roy, and the dual touch of hot and cool is like electricity pulsing through Roy's body. He flips Ed around and then pulls him against his bare chest, embracing him from behind. It's a perfect position for scenting and Ed immediately tilts his head back so Roy may rub his face against his neck.

Roy has another thing in mind, though, and he first puts his hand on Ed's navel as a sort of warning before inching father downwards. Ed's jump in anticipation and when Roy's fingers sneak under the waistband of his underwear he lets out a low mewl.

Roy, however, is nothing if not a tease, and so he very pointedly bypasses Ed's hard cock and instead slips a little lower. There, just below the base of the shaft, he finds the small uneven ridge where the labia used to be. A very sensitive spot, as Roy well knows, so he carefully skirts his fingers across it, making Ed writhe. Only then does he wrap a warm palm around his cock.

He plans to jerk him off, to take off the edge before they move on, but patience has never been one of Edward's virtues. Before he can reach his orgasm, he grabs Roy's wrist and pulls his hand away, even if he makes himself whimper at the loss of touch.

Then he scrambles to his knees, shimmies out of his shorts, and presents himself ass-up, face-down.

The more gentlemanly part of Roy revolts at the thought of taking him like this, but he also knows that this is the easiest position for Ed's first time. So he crawls after Ed, running a soothing hand up along his shivering spine, while the other reaches for the nightstand, pulling open the drawer and riffling through it in search of slick and condoms.

Luckily, Madame Christmas had raised him well and thus he is always stocked up on the necessities for similar scenarios. Not that Roy had ever been in a situation quite so enticing and delicate at this, but it never hurt to be prepared.

Literally, in this case, and so Roy makes to slowly and methodically work Edward open. Edward himself seems caught between reveling in the sensation, wanting to complain, and trusting the alpha to know what to do.

Soon, Ed is at the edge again, his knuckles white and clenched in the sheets, and Roy knows they are both ready. He unwraps the condom and carefully rolls it down along his length. Ed watches from he corner of his eyes, head twisted around, pupils dilated, a breathy wail spilling from his lips, impatience, anticipation.

Roy swallows, his throat dry, and lines himself up, the thumb of his other hand rubbing soothing circles against Ed's hip, the skin still marred with the imprints of his pants' seams. Then he pushes in.

Ed bucks, apparently not sure what to do, wanting to grind back and pull away at the same time, so Roy keeps him still, keeps him in place, gives him time to adjust before pressing in more deeply.

“Breathe,” he says, the first word spoken since they entered this room, and it is a reminder for the both of them.

Ed lets out the breath he had been holding and then takes a shuddering inhale.

“Mmmhh,” he whimpers, incapable of anything else, and he is practically thrumming with it.

Technically, Roy knows, the penetration is not necessary. Technically, it would be enough to get each other off, to mingle in each others' scent, to just prolong the skin contact. Male omegas cannot breed and evolution has done away with the corresponding sexual organs, but that urgency is still there, that urge to be fucked and fucked hard.

Ed is throbbing, clenching around him, so Roy bends over him, hooks his chin over his flesh shoulder and an arm over his chest to hold him tight. Like this, it would be an easy thing to mark him, to just bite down at the tantalizing patch of skin that seems to be Roy's for the taking. But he refrains, just grits his teeth and gives the first vicious thrust, followed by another, and another.

And underneath him, Ed comes apart, comes undone. Underneath him, Ed comes.

 

 

 

Roy goes to get something to drink and make them some sandwiches because Edward had actually apprehended him before he could have dinner and now his stomach was rumbling in complaint. He has no doubt that Ed was similarly affected.

Yet when Roy places the plate and the glasses on the beside table, Ed stays huddled underneath the blankets, only the tip of his nose sticking out.

And here was their first crisis, Roy thinks.

“Everything alright?” he asks kindly, sitting down on the mattress, because for once this is not a moment where teasing Ed will yield any desirable results. But Ed just stays silent for a long moment, until Roy eventually just reaches out and plucks the sheet from his face.

Ed is looking at him with yellow eyes, wide and searching.

“Is it... is it always like this?” he wants to know, something like trepidation in his voice.

Roy brushes some stray strands of hair out of his forehead, keeping his touch gentle and unobtrusive. “Like what?”

“This... intense.” A shiver runs through Ed as he tries to put it into words. “This maddening.”

“I don't know,” Roy answers truthfully. “I hear it gets better over time.”

Age and experience helped, and so did mating bonds. But for now Ed was stuck with having to endure losing control over himself again and again.

Hoping to offer some solace, Roy lies down on his side and lifts his arm in silent invitation. After a moment's hesitation, Ed dives forward, pressing close, so he is mostly shielded yet with none of the oppressive weight.

“I don't like it,” he grumbles against Roy's chest. “I don't get why anyone would ever want to grow up.”

“Well,” Roy muses, very well knowing that he will be made to regret it. “Strictly speaking, you're not exactly grown up.”

Ed, of course, immediately tries to smother him with a pillow but somehow that seems worth it.