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 [ 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.


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.
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