pandora_culpa: (Ed golden eye)
[personal profile] pandora_culpa
Title: Nightswimming
Rating: Pg-13ish (for swearing, and a brief mention of boy bits)
Word Count: 1366
Summary: "Yeah, very picturesque. Can we go now?"

A/N: This story has been kicking around in my head for nearly a year now, but today it demanded to be written. Luckily, I was able to oblige. (And yes, I blame R.E.M. for this.) Also good lord, this is pure fluff and sap. Spluff. I think I may be allergic to my own story. Read with caution, folks, this one may cause cavities. Thanks as always go to [livejournal.com profile] evil_whimsey for being generally awesome, and telling me it was okay.




“You're an idiot.”

“Why? This will be fun.”

“An idiot and delusional.”

“Come on, give it a shot. Look at the moon on the water tonight. It's lovely, isn't it?”

“Yeah, very picturesque. Can we go now?”

A sigh. “Are you really so set against this?”

“In theory? No. But I think you're missing something really important when it comes to putting the theory to practice.”

A pause. “I can't imagine what. It's a beautiful night, and we're quite alone, if that's what's bothering you. No one will see us.”

“Not there yet.”

Another sigh, this time sounding more exasperated. “What, Edward? You know you have nothing to be embarrassed about in front of me. It's just the two of us, just you,” voice dropping to the velvet baritone that always sends a shiver down his spine, “and me, so very in love with you. All I wanted was to treat you to a nice night, something that's always been special to me...”

He almost feels bad about bursting the man's bubble now. “That's great, Roy,” he answers glumly. “Really. And I appreciate it. But there's one major problem with this plan that you've failed to address.”

At the water's edge, his lover straightens from placing his neatly folded clothing on a log. Naked and pale in the moonlight, completely at ease in his skin and fucking gorgeous enough to steal his breath, Roy regards him with frustrated curiosity. “What, then? Or are you going to keep me guessing all night?”

Ed relents, lets just a little of the disappointment he's feeling show. “I can't swim.”

Roy, that utter bastard, just stares at him.

“It's not that I don't know how,” he defends quickly. “Used to swim all the time, as a kid. But the automail...” He raises an arm in explanation. “It weighs me down. Go straight to the bottom.”

He lets that sink in, while staring out over the lake Roy has brought them to. He's got to admit, Mustang is right about it. The water reflects the black of the night sky, stippled with sparks of light, while a bright trail breaks across it; the echo of the full moon above. Dense pine forest rims the shores; they'd had to hike for nearly half an hour along a needle-lined trail to reach this beach, their footsteps hushed and nearly silent against the backdrop of nightbirds and cicadas. It's beautiful, a beautiful night, the ideal place to shed their clothes and slide into the water to escape the pervasive summer heat.

He feels himself begin to simmer with bitter anger. Because he wants to be in that lake. To swim and dive and play with the man he loves, to be fucking normal, and able to appreciate the evening that Roy has planned for them. But he can't. He never will. And it's his own damn fault, something he stole from himself long before he ever knew there was anything to lose. This night, this moment... the smiles on Roy's face, lit only by the moonlight...

Strong arms encircle him, lips pressing just below his ear. “Trust me,” Roy murmurs, the words a ticklish buzz against his skin.

And he does, even knowing it's a lost cause. Lets the other man gently peel his shirt over his head, drops his belt to the ground without prompting, shivers when a light breeze brushes over his belly as Roy pushes his trousers and boxers down. Keeps his eyes on the idyllic playground that won't ever be a place he belongs as Roy holds him flush against his own body on the beach, large hands stroking up and down his spine in a reassuring, repetitive motion.

“C'mon.” The warmth departs, one hand sliding down to twine with his remaining flesh one. A light tug, and Ed follows him down to the water's edge. Encouraging him to lead, Roy follows him in, up to his ankles, his knees, his thighs. The water is warm, but still he can't help flinching when it first laps against his flaccid cock. Roy chuckles, the sound vibrating against his back, and he growls in annoyance.

“Asshole.”

They keep moving. The water covers his waist, climbs up his chest. Half his body feels buoyant now, weighted by the inevitable anchors of his metal arm and leg, which seems to be trying to bury itself in the soft floor of lake. It's awkward and unnerving, and Ed knows from experience that before long his back will be a knot of fire from fighting the drag of his right shoulder. He's about to turn around, insist on moving back toward the shore, when he feels Roy's smile against his hair.

“Lean back.”

It's not like he hasn't dealt with pain before. And Roy wants this; hell, he wants this, so Ed acquiesces, if only for a little while. Tilts his head back, against the pillow of his lover's chest, right over the steady beat of his heart. Those arms are around him once more, one looped across his stomach, the other beneath his automail arm, lifting and supporting it against its desire to sink. The taller man leans back, pulling him gently along to follow, until Ed is half-reclined against Roy's body, his face lifted to the brightly spangled sky above.

“Fuck,” he whispers.

It's... it's goddamn perfect. It's like they've been captured in a bubble, or a bell jar, sealed into something almost too good to exist in this world. The lake, the night, everything etched out in clean black and white, from the water to the pines up to the multitude of stars above, just like back in Riesembul. He can still feel the weight of his arm, so much more pronounced as his body tries to lift in the water, but it's not so bothersome now with Roy mitigating its constant pull, and he's almost forgotten about his leg. All this beauty, and they are part of it, their own microcosm within something greater, a perfect fit because tonight, they belong here. His head rises and falls with each of Roy's breaths, the other man's lips brushing his forehead from time to time, and that is perfect too.

For an incalculable time they hang in this suspended moment, swaying a little with the motion of the water, listening to the wind and the sounds of the night, their eyes filled with stars and darkness. Eventually Ed rouses enough to turn in Roy's arms, taking the weight of his arm back for a little while so that he can wrap it around his lover, stretch up to scatter kisses along his jaw. He knows the wonder from this night he's still trying to process is strewn plain across his face as he draws back to look at Roy, but he doesn't even try to hide it. Not when Roy has given back to him what he so blindly threw away, long ago.

“Thank you,” he tells him, lifting a hand of waterlogged flesh to trace the elegant line of Roy's cheek.

Eyes as black as the water, as bright as the stars, regard him without a trace of teasing. Only warmth and affection, as deep and desperate as his own. “I love you,” he replies, so softly Ed can barely hear it above the gentle lap of the water.

Heat rises in his cheeks at the open admission, something that he can still rarely hear without squirming in discomfort. But he doesn't grumble, nor duck his head away in embarrassment. Instead, letting the blush rise uninhibited, his face melts into the tenderest edges of a smile. “Yeah. I love you, too.”

Because he does. Deeply. Forever.

The night is quiet as he settles against Roy once more, caught in an embrace that is the only snare he'll ever fall to. Above the lake the moon begins to sink, its silver path washing over the two and gilding them with frosty light. Painting them into the scene, and as he closes his eyes, Ed feels like he is floating.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:14 pm (UTC)
psiten: (Roy x Ed)
From: [personal profile] psiten
They're so sweet here. I've always loved that song, and this piece is a great match for it. I especially liked the descriptions 'round about where Edward is being upset and frustrated, and Roy says, 'Trust me'. That felt very right for them. Thank you for sharing!

Date: 2011-09-23 12:37 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
The bones of this story struck me quite a while back while listening to that song, and it was only today that I *felt* the tone well enough to get it out. I'm really glad it resonates. Thank you so much for reading! :)

Date: 2011-09-22 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bob_fish.livejournal.com
Awwww. ♥ This is adorable and atmospheric. I was having trouble getting in a writing mood; thanks for cheering me up. And very timely REM mention. (Sidebar: this (http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-%26-entertainment/u2-still-refusing-to-take-the-hint-201109224336/), from the Brit equivalent of The Onion, is my favourite link so far from coverage of the split.)

P.S. I think you forgot the pairing from the summary? Not a worry over here, no doubt, but maybe of use to folk from fm_alchemist trying to work out who the story's about before they click.

Date: 2011-09-22 10:44 pm (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Ed- happy Ed)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Thank so very much! I'm really glad I could cheer you up some; the writing blahs are not fun at all- until this piece, I'd been in their doldrums myself. But dude- fluff! From me! This makes me laugh til my sides split, seriously.

And thanks for the heads-up on the pairing. Although even that didn't seem to be quite enough... :/ But whatev's. All better now, and lesson learned, and all that rot.

Main thing is, you enjoyed it. And I managed to write something. So there. :)

(thank you for reading!!)

Date: 2011-09-22 06:37 pm (UTC)
ext_7375: Tsuzuki, OMG yaaaay. (Default)
From: [identity profile] japanimecrazed.livejournal.com
This is lovely.

Date: 2011-09-23 12:38 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. :)

Date: 2011-09-22 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alasse-mirimiel.livejournal.com
Oh, hello there cavities!

Very sweet, the kind of story that leaves me smiling like an idiot. Loved Roy cutting into Ed's bitterness with his 'trust me' and how readily Ed does (even if he thought it wouldn't work).

<3

Date: 2011-09-23 12:39 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
I so rarely write these. Fluffy, happy things, I mean. So I'm never sure if there's too much treacle, or if it hits the right notes. Either way, I'm glad to have left you smiling. Thanks for reading! :)

Date: 2011-09-23 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alasse-mirimiel.livejournal.com
I got into the FMA fandom recently so the only story of yours I read (not long ago, I think) was Frozen. It wasn't fluffy but it was fun >:D Two of Us and Rusted Dawn are on my to-read list.

Anyway, I love fluff as long as I can buy it. For example, a story like this, with Roy planning something private I can buy. On the other hand, a story with him declaring his love for Ed in the middle of Central HQ, for example, would feel too OOC and so I wouldn't like. I don't know if the explanation makes sense.

Date: 2011-09-22 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brinylon.livejournal.com
Oh, this was really cute <3

Date: 2011-09-23 12:39 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)

Date: 2011-09-22 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdiversion.livejournal.com
Insufficient yaoi indication in the headers for me to avoid a fic-subject not to my taste. I was expecting embarrassed buddy-banter.

I stopped reading at this line: voice dropping to the velvet baritone that always sends a shiver down his spine, “and me, so very in love with you.

My 'complaint' if you will, is just that the header might have given more indication that the genre here is (at the least) romance. Apparently people who like romance like this so you probably did a good job on it; I just gag on romance.

Date: 2011-09-22 08:20 pm (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Ed- blue and gold)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Ah, sorry about that. Which community did you link from; I can add a genre listing to the header. I had gone back and added a Pairing: Roy/Ed line on several comms, which I'd thought would be sufficient to alert readers to the fact that it was a paired fic, rather than a Roy, Ed fic. Semantics, I suppose.

Anyhoo, sorry you ended up somewhere you didn't want to be. I'll try to be more explicit in the future.

Date: 2011-09-22 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdiversion.livejournal.com
Oh, regarding semantics, I probably should read more carefully, but not everyone is diligent about slashes vs. commas so it's not a reliable indicator.

so as an aside on semantics:

Image

XD

Date: 2011-09-22 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bob_fish.livejournal.com
Future reference: if you see two names on a fic summary in fandom and there's a slash between them, 99.5% of the time they'll be a pairing. This is standard fandom shorthand to indicate a pairing and on a fic summary, most people will consider that / between the names your due warning. There you go.

Date: 2011-09-22 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdiversion.livejournal.com
Lately I've seen a lot of gen fic using the slash though. :sigh: I'll try to be more diligent in reading the descriptions, but it does help to say 'romance' or 'gen' or 'h/c' or whatever.

Date: 2011-09-23 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bob_fish.livejournal.com
Well, I don't know where you've seen that, but that's how the slash is used here on LJ and on platforms like Dreamwidth and archiveofourown. I've seen hardly any exceptions to this. If it's important to you not to read/be put off by romance and pairings, then you should always assume a pairing when you see a slash. That's a fairly straightforward thing to do, and I don't think it would take you long to do it before clicking a link.

Any violations of this rule (and it is a rule) that you've encountered do not change the fact that this is the standard labelling/warning system. Given that, I suggest that you could more usefully approach those you've found writing X/Y and delivering pure gen (shippy hints and flirting will likely be quite fairly labelled with a slash, by the way, because if Roy/Ed isn't someone's cup of tea, they're not going to enjoy them flirting and eyeing each other up). Hope this helps.

Date: 2011-09-23 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomdiversion.livejournal.com
In the interest of not threadjacking fic-feedback,lets take any further discussion of this to private messages--off-thread. Thanks.

And thanks for clarifying the convention (though I have seen it violated).

Date: 2011-09-23 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bob_fish.livejournal.com
Actually, I think we've pretty much covered this point, that was all I wanted to say! :D

Date: 2011-09-22 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vince-moon.livejournal.com
Hey, great story.

Date: 2011-09-23 12:40 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Date: 2011-09-23 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyndall-blue.livejournal.com
:Wibbles: This was a wonderfully sappy thing to find on my f-page. It's like fate was saying Happy Birthday!

Date: 2011-09-23 01:13 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Aw, is today your birthday? Is so, many happys!! (and if not, then save those well-wishes for the actual day. ^_^)

It felt so strange, to be writing fluff. But it's nice to make people smile. I'm glad you liked it; thank you for reading! :)

Date: 2011-09-23 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyndall-blue.livejournal.com
I'm normally capable of turning any sappy story into intense angst, so I know the feeling. The last sappy story I wrote was a guy walking around a house covered in post it notes from his girlfriend because he had extreme short term memory loss. He plans from note to note to surprise her. And the ending? Surprise! She's dead! :(

I love the Roy/Ed dynamic, and every now and then there's a sap that really works. This is one of those little gems. :D Also, thank you! I officially entered the bizarre no-man's land of my mid-20's today. :/

Date: 2011-09-23 01:53 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Ed- I'm evil)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Oh wow. That... sounds like the kind of story I'd love to read, actually. ;)

I don't know how it happens, but most of my fics- even (especially?) the ones that come from the most innocent of prompts generally turn out miserable and painful. One was Ed and cocoa, and someone perving on him. I ended up turning Kimblee loose on the poor kid.

I strive to keep my stories plausible, so it's nice to know that the sap played well. Hard for me to tell where those limits are, since I seldom venture into that spectrum. So far, so good though!

Oh, mid-twenties. I liked those, mostly. Hell, I miss those... ;) Have a great year!

Date: 2011-09-23 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyndall-blue.livejournal.com
:3 Obligatory icon love. OMG that grin! Sorry that this is drawing out but I've had a few inhibition lowering glasses of wine with my chicken fingers to celebrate my birthday. Mid-twenties are pretty cool minus the being broke and all :p

And, same as you, the stories that start out being cute, turn into the most horrible things. Also, I lul'd at your example for real. I will have to hunt that down! :stumbles off through the internet to do so:

Date: 2011-09-23 02:03 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Ed- I'm evil)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
*grins* I love Ed's evilface. And no worries about the convo- I like to chat. :)

FWIW, that story is linked in the crappy fic index at the head of this journal. It's called Heresy, aka Kimblee Is a Sick Fucker. Because I have great titling Skillz like that. ;)

Date: 2011-09-23 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyndall-blue.livejournal.com
XD My titling skillz are at about the same level. With such classics as "fever pitch,"in the rain," and the Ouran Host Club bestseller, "a matter of inches"

My title fu is especially weak. If you're bored enough to entertain a drunk girl eating chicken fingers and drinking wine on her birthday while stumbling through working on a big bang fic, my AIM is FlamingBentley87. I'm sure you have a beta already, but I always enjoy having more steak thrown on my plate :D

Date: 2011-09-23 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prides-gf.livejournal.com
Aww this was really nice! Great job. :D

Date: 2011-09-23 01:13 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
*beams* Thank you so much! :)

Date: 2011-09-23 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfen.livejournal.com
Mmmmm... *happy sigh* So lovely and perfect. I adore the song myself, and this was a wonderful companion for that piece of music. Thank you.

Date: 2011-09-23 05:04 pm (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you! I'm glad the story matched up to the music. Like I said in the A/N, this had been in my head for a long time, and when the news of R.E.M.'s breakup hit, it immediately drew this song to mind. I guess it had stewed long enough, because yesterday it wouldn't let me not write it. I love it when stories do that.

Anyhoo, I'm beyond pleased that you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for reading! <3

Date: 2011-09-23 02:46 am (UTC)
amethyst_koneko: (RoyEd for me!!)
From: [personal profile] amethyst_koneko
<33333333 You had me at "trust me"! :) Such a lovely fic. What I wouldn't give to for someone to draw that last scene! <3

Date: 2011-09-23 05:06 pm (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
*grin* Sap is so hard for me. I always want to scale it back to subtext.

And illustration? Ooh. Is that a hint? ;) (seriously, now that you mention it, that's... not inconceivable. The water would be the most difficult part. Hmm...)

Thank you so much for reading. I'm really happy that you liked it. :)

Date: 2011-09-23 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-valarien.livejournal.com
This is realy beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Date: 2011-09-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you. Glad you liked it! :)

Date: 2011-09-24 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynx212.livejournal.com
Perfection my dear complete and utter perfection. What a beautiful moment between those two to capture with words. Thanks for sharing it was just what I needed to read. *hugs*

Date: 2011-09-25 12:13 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Always nice to be able to deliver something timely. ^_^ I'm really glad you liked it, and that it turned out okay. Thanks so much for reading! :)

Date: 2011-09-28 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binaryalchemist.livejournal.com
I've always loved that song--and oh, this was just lovely. Beautifully done!

Date: 2011-09-30 01:30 am (UTC)
ext_27574: (FMA- Roy/Ed orange)
From: [identity profile] pandoraculpa.livejournal.com
Me too. :) I hope I did it justice. Thanks a lot for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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