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Fic: Unabridged

Title: Unabridged
Authors: sky_dark and bob_fish
Characters: Roy/Ed
Rating: R for a sweary Ed, some naughty photographs and some implied wartime violence. Also, shameless melodrama.
Word count: 7511
Summary: Love in the time of war and celluloid.
Notes: Epistolary fic, written in the form of letters. Two illustrations by bob_fish, one of which is a little bit NSFW.



B Company
8th Division
April 12th, 1922

Dear Ed,

It's been two weeks out and we've finally gotten a little R & R. It was a relief to let the men settle down a bit. As you know, negotiations are tentative and I must sadly share some of the charm I usually save for you with these stubborn men. Wish us luck. I'm enclosing a photo taken during a moment of water splashing pandemonium; you would have enjoyed the scene, it's just your style.

Yours always,
Roy

***


Central
April 14th, 1922

Hey there,

I see you still can't stop yourself from showing off when someone waves a camera in front of you. Also, I think you may actually be getting a tan. Is that the first time in your entire life?

Things are pretty boring here. I've been getting a bunch of work done, and people keep ambushing me and taking me out for food, which I guess means everyone has worked out I don't do the cooking round here. Anyway, the house is weird without you. It's too quiet. Did you know our plumbing makes a ton of noise at night? I never noticed before, I think something's up with it or something.

Hope it's all going okay. Don't die out there, all right? Or I'll kick your ass.

Ed xxx

***


B Company
8th Division
April 17th, 1922

My dearest Edward,

Never have the crickets sounded so bereft as when I'm alone here with just the night for company. I hope you are making good use of your time as when I return you won't have a moment to yourself for a while. I am glad you are being watched after in my absence; it makes me less anxious in this difficult time. If you can fix the plumbing I encourage you to do so, but please, no alchemic jury-rigging you will forget to mention to me and I will inevitably stumble across as the most inopportune time.

I miss the way you smell after a shower and the feel of your back against my chest.

I promise to be home as soon as humanly possible,

Yours always,
Roy

***



Central,
April 19th, 1922

Hey there,

Hope everything's cool. The fucking plumbing is driving me nuts, it keeps waking me up in the middle of the night now. Did it ever wake you up in the night? Is it always this noisy and I just didn't notice before?

There was this whole stupid thing in the office where everyone said I should send you a photo to show you what you're missing. It was really embarrassing, but then Al said they were right. So, you better not show this photo to anyone. I don't have one of those things you squeeze to take a photo of yourself so I just held the camera at arm's length. I guess it'll get past the censors because you can't really see anything, but I feel weird that they're looking at that. So. Here you go anyway.

I know you'll do a good job out there, you always do. Get it done quick and come home, okay?

Ed xxx

***


B Company
8th Division
April 22nd, 1922

My love,

I cannot express the joy which your photograph has brought me. I keep it in the pocket of my uniform jacket for convenience of viewing when I feel the need for fortification. You look so cute, if a bit over-exposed, and I love the little blush on your nose. In reciprocation, I send you this photo I took last night, in the showers. I had to borrow many lanterns but I think the lighting is sufficient. I, too, held the camera at arm's length. I hope it warms your night as your photo has warmed mine.

The plumbing is as it ever was; it was only that before I kept you too busy to notice. I think of that now, as I lie here on my bunk with your picture. It's such divine inspiration and it will help me make sufficient use of my time before morning. Remember, if you decide to tinker with the plumbing, please keep it to building codes.

Also, thank Al for me.

I miss you more than I can express in mere ink on paper.

Yours always,
Roy

***


Central
April 24th, 1922

Roy,

Fuck, how did you get that photo past the censors, did you bribe someone or something? Wait, don't answer that, I guess you can't exactly tell me in a letter because, censors. Anyway, when you get back I wanna hear how you got away with it. Shit you look great. The climate must be agreeing with you or something. So yeah, if you wanted to blow the top of my head off, mission accomplished. I have been looking at the photo a lot, although I'm not crazy about the fact that all that's a billion miles away and not in my bed. You really need to come home soon.

Also, the fucking plumbing is still a pain in my ass. I still can't track down why it's making all the noises. I keep lying awake at night listening to it. Actually, being awake then really makes me remember how empty the house is right now. This place doesn't really feel like home without you. At least I have your photo to keep me going, ha ha.

I love you. Get your ass home soon.

Ed xxx

P.S. I took another one. I dunno if this picture will get through or not, it's kind of blue, but knowing you I wouldn't be surprised if you had that covered. So I thought it was worth a shot.

***


B Company
8th Division
April 27th, 1922

My love,

I guard this jealously. Such perfection, and mine alone. Every line, every plane, the blond of your hair, the gold of your eyes, all this exquisite visage and you chose to share it with me. It has joined its fellow in my uniform pocket, and just knowing it is there carries me. I ache for you in a way previously unknown. It's torture not having you there, in touching distance. The pain of separation grows steadily and I really wish I had had the mystical knowledge you would be mine one day, because it might have swayed my choice of careers. I wish to be finished with this mission and there seeing you smile at me. The nights here are long and barren. I think of nothing but you in these moments.

Please take care with the plumbing. Remember the building has some years to it and some of the plumbing might be fragile in a way that shouldn't be tampered with by an alchemist with a gripe, and I'd rather pay a plumber for preventative measures than to repair chaos.

I love you so much. I envy this sheet of vellum knowing it will be in your hands before I am there to hold them.

I want to be where you are right now.

Yours always,
Roy

P.S. Rank has its privileges.

***


Central
April 30th, 1922

Hey Roy,

Well, I think this mission has established beyond doubt that you've done something to my brain. Even with Al and everyone and going out a bunch, I feel like I'm going nuts without you here. I think it's something to do with the empty house or something. Anyway, I'm bored and I'm lonely and I'm really really hoping that that thing my third-grade teacher said about excess masturbation causing blindness was the unscientific bullshit that I said it was at the time.

I hope everything is going okay over there. Stay safe, okay? Have you heard anything about how long it might be now? I guess maybe if you did know, though, you maybe couldn't say that in a letter.

The good news is that I think I worked out what's up with the damn plumbing. I just have to turn the water off, take a couple walls down and then fix it up. Don't worry, I'll be careful and I'll put it right back after.

Send more photos. We have two each now, so I've put something in with this letter too. So if you send one back it'll be fair.

love
Ed xxx

***


B Company
8th Division
May 2nd, 1922

My love,

This sweet, sweet torture. I have been running my fingers over this print and pretending I am there, feeling your skin warm beneath them. I think you've missed your calling in a way, not sharing this magnificence with the world; however, this is mine, and I intend to keep it close to me at all times. Also, your flexibility is astonishing; I am always humbled in my own bed. If your third grade teacher's dire predictions were true I would have been blind long ago and it would have been your very own fault. Even now I add to this sin for want of you.

Take down walls? I rather like the configuration of walls as they are now; are you sure it's necessary? I've grown familiar with the brown spots and scraps, so take care for some have sentimental value. Keep in mind that innovation in a field you are unfamiliar with, i.e. plumbing, might not be as simple as you suppose it to be; are you sure you would't rather hire a plumber? Please don't flood the house, I am very fond of the sofa in the living room.

I have enclosed a photo that should need little explanation; you are the inspiration for it and it was difficult to get a photo such as this with one hand. I'm sorry for the lack of face, but I wanted you to see the enthusiasm other body parts displayed at your recent visual missive.

I wish I could tell you when this would be over; but the truth is tensions are high. There has been much sabre-rattling and I fear, perhaps, we might have more than we wanted on our hands. But never fear, as you know, I'm irresistible and I will do my best to lay waste to their ill will. I will be safe, I have you to come home to, and that is all the incentive I need.

I miss you, I love you, I know this is a recurring theme in the signature of these letters; but it remains the indomitable truth and I have to say it to you repeatedly.

I would give anything to kiss you, so I kiss this photo instead.

Yours always,
Roy

***


Central,
May 5th, 1922

Hey Roy,

So, I learnt a bunch of stuff about plumbing today, which was interesting. On the other hand, the living room floor got kind of soaked, although I did manage to fix it before it got through the basement ceiling, and I was talking to Al and we think we can fix up the floorboards so you can't even tell. And the sofa is totally fine!

I keep reading about how things are going in the papers, and I talk to everyone at the office. I hope things are better than they sound. I know you can still fix things up, you're good like that.

I've been looking at the photo you sent a lot. It's really fucking distracting. I miss all of you, but I seriously miss that part of you. You are going to get a welcome home like you won't fucking believe, you better be ready.

Love,
Ed xx

P.S. I sent another. If I've gotta suffer, you've gotta suffer.

***


B Company
8th Division
May 8th, 1922

You sexy beast,

I do hope the toxicity of this photographic paper and chemical is at low levels because I swear I have almost licked the page white. How do you do these things? I feel I must challenge myself to demonstrate how horrible the longing for you is becoming. I fluffed this pillow up in an approximation of your splendid backside and here is a photo, laboriously taken, demonstrating my affections upon it; it is a poor substitute and doesn't make your delicious sounds.

I have decided for the sake of the theme of these letters to not request more plumbing updates; I think it's best for my sanity. Please make the floorboards safe again.

It seems we are dealing with a splintered faction now; no one agrees to anything. But never fear, I am good at getting people to like me, don't you think? I'll win them over and make them see reason even if I must strangle them in the process; they keep me from your side.

As always I dwell on the fact you are there and I am here when I retire for the night to re-read these precious letters. I miss you to the point I sometimes fear this ache in my chest will be permanent. Please keep writing to me; I must have some link to you. I love you.

Yours always,
Roy

P.S. None of the censors will be able to look me in the eye.

***




Central
May 10th, 1922

Hey,

I have no idea how the fuck you are managing to get these photos through. In a good way.

On a related note, I'm discovering some interesting stuff about what prolonged sexual frustration does to my brain. Apparently one effect is increased selfishness. Example: I know what you're doing out there is important, but you send me pictures like that and all I can think is sort it out fast so you can come home to me and I can wrap my mouth round you and you can. Well. The things I think about doing to you. Is it normal to think about sex at least three times an hour?

I know you said you didn't want to hear but anyway the living room is almost 99% fine! I still keep waking up in the middle of the night anyway, which is weird because the plumbing noises are basically all gone now. Al says I'm projecting my feelings about you being away so long onto the house. He's on a psychoanalysis kick, apparently. I think I just need you to come home to me, that's all the therapy I need. I actually mean that.

Okay, I just read that back, and I think another effect of sexual frustration seems to be increased sappiness. I should do a larger scale study or something. But next time I want to be in the control group.

Anyway, I'm sorry to hear it sounds like such a mess over there. I know you can sort it out.

love
Ed xxx

P.S. This is like a regular thing so I sent another one. Fuck, that last photo. I'm kind of embarrassed but also I'm glad I have it. It makes me think about you.

***


B Company
8th Division
May 17th, 1922

My love,

I'm sorry this finds you outside our regularly scheduled missives. We've had a bit of a problem and it has caused our unit to move with abruptness and not much notice. As you can see writing supplies are rather thin at the moment, and the best I could find was the back of this case labelling. That should all be rectified soon when people see sense and we can stop to breathe. I do hope this reaches you soon as I'm not sending via the usual route ,but with a special envoy back for supplies.

Please don't worry, it's not as bad as you might suppose, just the usual posturing and jockeying for position. I wear the gloves but have not really had cause to use them.

I miss you so much. I'm sure the house looks wonderful, it quite does in my memory, complete with you there on the couch, scowling that lovely scowl at me. Arrange a picture of that, would you? I would like to wear it over my heart with my others.

I love you, I promise to make short work of this and to keep you with regular updates as I am able.

Take care of yourself for me,
Yours always,
Roy

***


Central
May 21st, 1922

Hey Roy,

I actually don't know where you are right now. The guys at the office said that if I just sent this letter to your division, it'd get redirected. So here's hoping this reaches you. I sent a picture of me on the couch. I had to go buy one of those squeeze bulb things from a camera shop because given what I was wearing there's no way I was getting someone else to take the picture. So, I hope you're looking at this and not some nosey asshole who opened your mail.

Nosey asshole who opened Roy's mail, if you're reading this, you better stop now and seal the envelope up and get it to Roy and hope I don't find out because I will track you down and have a fucking conversation with you about reading other people's mail. You heard me.

Good luck (I'm talking to you again, Roy). Don't take long, okay? I feel like it's been years since you were home.

love
Ed xx

P.S. Did you ask for the couch picture to check the living room isn't destroyed? Admit it, I know you did. As you can see, it's totally fine and you should trust me more.

***




***


Central
May 23rd, 1922

Hey Roy,

It's been nearly a week now since your last letter. I hope everything's okay out there.

Someone we both know pulled some strings and now I know a bit more about what's going on out there. I guess I'm glad I know because you know me, I always want to know, but - well, I'm almost not glad I know. I know you'll do everything you can to stop the thing people are worried might happen from happening. If anyone can, it's you. You didn't hear it from me but you're really good at that shit.

Take care. Write soon.

love Ed xx

P.S. I took some more pictures with the squeeze bulb thing. I think I'm actually getting kind of into photography. I've been reading up on composition and the technical aspects and all that. Did you know they used to use egg white to make negative paper?

***


Central
May 27th, 1922

Roy,

It's been ten days now since you wrote last. I've found out what I could without getting you into trouble. I guess because it's you I can admit that I'm pretty worried. I thought that I'd be at least able to find out if you're okay or not, but it seems like no one even knows. I'm writing to you anyway.

I keep thinking about going out there. I know that sounds crazy, and that it's probably a really bad idea. I can't help thinking about it. If things are that bad I want to be by your side.

Please be okay. Please write soon.

love Ed xxxx

P.S. More photos. I think I'm getting pretty good at this! I hope you get to see them.

***


B Company
8th Division
June 1st, 1922

My love,

I hope this finds you well. I'm sorry it's been so long, I'm sorry to have worried you. We've been able to establish a stable area now, so I can have a regular tent again with a bunk and the capacity to write to you. I have your letters, I have them all, I keep them in the inner pocket of my long coat, the photos closest to my heart. The living room looks good and of course I trust you. You however look better, much better, there, on your back wearing leather. I am so glad I invested in that corset, those boots, those gloves. This is almost cruel seeing you like this and not being there to cover you, kiss you, press into you ... My imagination does not do the flesh of you justice. I am crossing my legs now in case someone were to wander into the tent.

I really can't tell you what I want to tell you. Know that I am safe, we are all safe and I have made some success. There are still of course, people here who beg to differ with the popular opinion, so it's up to us now to persuade them as we can. As you know I'm very persistent, very practical and very charming. I'm sure, given time, they will come around; but of course to achieve that we need to be here as a constant reminder. It's a heavy burden to be the most persuasive man in all of the Amestris army. I'm always in demand.

I'm sorry, again, for the lack of proper stationery. I find myself saving every scrap I can find. As you can see, on the flip side of this letter there is a rough list of provisions and distribution. I'm finding I am developing a great disinterest for beans. I think we might have to strike them from the menu for a while; and while I realize this limits your available side dishes, you'll have to indulge me. It won't hurt you to learn to cook greens; it's something you can practice for my return home.

Please don't worry and please, please, please do not come here. Please, I need to know where you are, how you are, you are my strength. I have to make the world over to be a better place for you; one mission at a time.

I am sorry, too, for the lack of a photograph, but I've lost track of the camp photographer; I'm sure he'll turn up.

I love you, I will always love you,
Yours always,
Roy

***



Central
June 3rd, 1922

Roy,

It's really good to hear from you. Really good.

Short letter and just one photo this time round. There are a couple more I didn't develop yet, but I wanted to send this letter to you by the return post so you got it straight away. I don't know what you're about to do, but I know you, even from a letter, and I can tell that it's really dangerous.

I wish I was there with you. I wish I could protect you. I hate that you won't let me go or get me assigned or something. I do get that you want me to be safe. That's what I'd want for you if things were the other way around. But it fucking kills me that you're out there on your own. Even if you have a battalion watching your back or whatever, they're not me and they're not Hawkeye (who's the only other person I trust to look after you). So. At times like this I almost wish I believed in something so I could burn an offering or pray and that I didn't know the truth, which is that there's absolutely nothing I can do to keep you safe.

I don't know what to say now, I feel like I should say everything I feel about you, everything I want you to know, but I can never say this stuff right the way you can, and I've got no time, I have to finish this and send it. So I guess I'll just say that I love you so fucking much, you made my life good and gave me so much that I never thought about having. I hope I've done at least some of that for you, and I really fucking hope we get to carry on making each other happy. There's so much more, but I don't have time. So I hope you already know the rest.

I love you. Good luck. Take care of yourself out there. Remember how sometimes in firefights you get too caught up and get overconfident and forget to watch your back? Don't do that.

Ed xxxxx

***


Amestris Army
Sgt. L. K. Morton
Camp Clerk
Field Officer with the 8th Division

June 3rd, 1922

Dear Mr. Elric,

It is my regret to inform you that General Mustang is missing in action. We have no information of his whereabouts at this time. Please be assured we will employ all means available for his safe recovery. We will be storing his mail until the time we are able to forward it to him.


Sincerely,
L.K. Morton
Camp Clerk
Sergeant, 8th Division

***


Central,
June 10th, 1922

Dear Roy,

I knew something was up from that last letter. Why did you tell me you were safe, you asshole? I can tell when you're lying, you should know that by now.

I know it doesn't make much sense that I'm still writing you when I know you won't read this. Except I've got to hope you'll be back, that you'll pick up your letters and you'll read this.

It's been a week, and you're still gone, and there still isn't any news. I tried to go out there. I know you'll be mad at me for that, but I don't care, I had to. But the whole area's sealed off. I'll tell you the truth, I would have tried anyway, but Hawkeye stopped me. We had this big talk about it and we both shouted a lot, and in the end I had to admit she was right. If I go out there when I don't know what's going on and I interfere with it, I could make this whole thing blow up worse. I don't want to mess up your good work. We're getting all the information we can, which isn't enough. You should know a lot of people are worried about you, a lot of people care.

Al came to stay at the house. I guess you'll be glad to hear I'm not on my own. Everything still sucks, but it's good Al's here.

I love you. I hope you can hear me.

Ed xxxxx

***


B Company
8th Division
June 9th, 1922

Dear Mr. Elric,

You don't know me, my name is George Harris and I am a private that serves with General Mustang's unit. I know you have probably gotten a letter from the clerk telling you that he is missing and we don't know where he is, but I know they probably don't tell you why he is missing. I wanted you to know that he is a good man and a good leader and I would always want to be in his unit. On that day he saved a lot of men. He's not like the other officers, he keeps us safe and some of the others just want us to get in the way so they can be safe. I know I can't tell you a lot of things because they read these letters, but you need to know that General Mustang is a hero and he got between us and them instead of the other way around. He is a hard fighter, maybe you know that, so don't give up on him. We are trying to find him and I hope we will. I use to help him in his tent and I hope you don't mind but I saw your address on all his mail and I know he use to mail you a lot because he'd have me take the letters to the post to mail. Since I know they don't tell you nothing, I wanted to at least tell you something, so you'd know he was keeping us from being outflanked and surrounded and that is when we lost sight of him.

I know a letter from someone you don't know probably doesn't make it better. But I think he will be ok,

Sincerely,
Pvt. George Harris
8th Division

***


Central,
June 11th, 1922

Dear Pvt. Harris,

Thank you for your letter. It was really decent of you, and it does mean a lot - I mean both hearing that you guys are doing your best for him and the other stuff. Like you say, the General is a tough bastard and he'll fight his corner, both for him and for his people. I've fought with him too and I know. If anyone can make it out of a thing like this, it's him.

Thanks again.
Regards
Edward Elric
Fullmetal Alchemist

***


June 14th, 1922

Dear Roy,

I'm still writing. I'm not mailing this one. I'm going to give it to you when you come back, and then I guess you'll know what was going through my head during this time. It's good to think that and imagine that you're going to be sitting on this couch (which is totally intact) reading this. I hope it's true.

Not much is happening here, just a whole lot of waiting. Al's still here a lot of the time. I went to your mom's bar a couple times. She's doing okay. She's pretty worried about you, though, as I guess you can imagine. To tell you the truth, I was always kind of scared of her before, she's a tough lady and I'm not sure what she thought of me. But we're getting along good now. So I guess when you come back one good thing will have come out of this whole shitty time, haha.

Hawkeye finally managed to pull those strings and she's out there right now looking into things and trying to find out where you are. Now I don't have to worry about the censors I can tell you that the whole thing sounds like a total clusterfuck. Hawkeye didn't say clusterfuck, of course, she said 'mismanaged', but she said it in that voice she does. You know the one. Not you, you did great and from what we hear stopped it all getting worse than it was, but the other brass out there sound like assholes. Anyway, I hope she finds something.

love
Ed xxx

***


AMESTRIS MILITARY CABLE AND TELEGRAPH SYSTEM

JUN 16 1922

= MAJ EDWARD ELRIC 28 ECKHART ST CENTRAL 7789

EDWARD =

REGRET TO INFORM GEN MUSTANG STILL MIA

FURTHER INFO WHEN RECEIVED

= LT COL R HAWKEYE

***


June 16th, 1922

Dear Roy,

So Hawkeye reckons you might be alive out there. She told me a bunch of code words she'd use in her telegrams before she went out there. She's pretty smart. You're lucky you've got smart people looking out for you, since apparently you suck at looking out for yourself.

I guess this is good news and I should feel hopeful and stuff, but actually right now I keep going back and forth between being so damn mad at you for going out there, and thinking horrible shit that doesn't do any good about what might be happening to you out there. I feel like my head's spinning around the whole time. The only thing I do know is that I fucking love you, and I wish you were home.

Ed. xxxx

***


My Dearest Edward,

Please forgive the lack of header and date, for I'm not sure where I am or what date it may be.

I wish I were writing you from more favorable conditions. I am alive, I am breathing and I've found a place to hole up before the bare bit of sunlight I have left withers away and it's too dark to see what I am writing. You may wonder why this is written on the back of one of the very self-same envelopes yourself sent, but I fear I have little to write on as I, my love, am on the lam. I hope you are proud of me, not only did I manage to get away all by myself, but I have also managed to elude pursuit up until this point, I might also add I managed to get my long coat as well. You wonder why that's important? Your letters mostly, but also for this nub of pencil I hoard jealously so I might be able to write to you. Please forgive any poor penmanship on my part, it's very hard to write out here in the not-so-open, and it's getting too dark to see. I know you will forgive me before I even ask; because that is who you are. And I know, too, you will forgive me for this folly, even though I know at this moment you are madder than a wet hen. See? I do listen to your expressions.

To more personal things, in the event this should reach you before I can hand it to you personally ...

Always be you; don't let anything change you. Not time, nor tide, or absence. You are far too precious a person to withhold from the world, even though I try sometimes. You are far too important to be mired in anything other than your determination and spirit and love. You, above all others, know how to love; how to give love; how to show it and most importantly how to accept it. Your acceptance is so complete and consuming, there is no doubt left who Edward Elric loves; and I only hope, that in our time together, you saw how much you changed me; and how much you taught me to love you. And I love you, with everything inside me. I love you, and I wish, more than anything, for others to know your love; to learn your lessons. Never stop loving Edward, promise me that above all else.

I can barely see to write now and I've taken up both sides of this envelope. I hope to have a chance to tell you these things in person, but if not, I hope this finds its way to your hands.

I hope to dream of you,
Yours always,

Roy

***


June 22nd, 1922

Dear Roy,

So, now I've had the chance to try it out properly, I've come to the conclusion that I pretty much hate waiting. I've made people wait for me enough times in my life, so I guess it's fair or something that now I get to find out what it feels like. I called Winry to ask if she had any tips on what to do when you're waiting around to find out if an idiot you care about has gotten himself killed. She said stay busy. So that's what I've done.

Research is good, there's lots of that to keep me busy for sure, but I'm finding that if I'm alone with my books I start thinking too much. About you but not in a good way, about the worst stuff that could have happened to you or be happening right now. Apparently I have a pretty vivid imagination, because I can see this stuff like it's right in front of me. So I'm trying not to be alone too much. Don't laugh, but I finally gave in and let Al give me some of his students. So now I give tutorials at the university a couple of days a week. I haven't even killed any students yet, haha.

love
Ed xxx

***


Edward

I know you hate it when I'm pessimistic, but it's come to the point in time to be realistic about my situation. I have been following the stars, but you know how I am about direction. I'm so thirsty I would even drink your coffee. I don't want to leave you, know that, I would do anything not to leave you and please believe me when I write this, I'm doing my best. It's another of your envelopes, doubling as a letter. I hold it to my nose, pretend it smells like you, you probably think this is silly. You smell like musk and oil and everything good, everything I love to smell. I miss you so much. I must not fall to self pity, I am writing this to tell myself that. I am grateful to have my long coat at night here but not grateful to realize I sometimes share my little den with night faring wildlife. How did you do this? I wish you were here. Look at me, I'm whining, you'd pinch me for this, you'd scowl and tell me to suck it up. I'm sucking it up. This letter is not very eloquent, is it? I find I've lost my eloquence somewhere in these woods and have yet to find it. I love you, I don't want this pitiful scribbling to be your last memory of me. I want to come to you. Forgive the bad handwriting, I think I have broken fingers. All I have left to do tonight is sleep and I hate sleeping without you, did you know that? Hate it. I don't know how I did it before I had you.

Sorry, I seem to be whining, I'll stop now

Yours always,
Roy

***



June 29th, 1922

Dear Roy

You know it's been three months today? That's way too long to be apart already.

So, the working theory now seems to be that you died that day. Shit, I hated writing that sentence. I was there with my pen hovering over the paper not finishing it for like ten minutes, I'm such a loser. Anyway. For a while we were pretty hopeful because we thought if they had your body they'd tell everyone, so since they weren't saying anything, you must be alive. But of course if they had you alive they'd want to use you as a bargaining chip, so they'd say something then too. Anyway, now, because everything's such a mess with all the splinter groups, we think the most likely thing is, whoever found you or found your body didn't know who you were. Of course, there's also a chance you could be still out there alive. Stranger things have happened, and I know you're pretty resourceful and you're a lucky bastard. I really hope you're alive and okay, but right now I'm trying to prepare myself for whatever happens.

I say 'we think' that. To be honest, it's taken me a while to be able to think it at all. Hawkeye and Al both said false hope wasn't good for me. I got pretty mad, I felt like they were betraying you. Which is crazy, they both love you. But I was feeling kind of crazy. Anyway, we had some big rows about it. As you can see, though, now I'm kind of trying to accept how things are.

Hawkeye is coming home at the end of the week. She did everything she could out there, she was amazing. Things are apparently calming down, and it looks like they're going to be able to hammer out some kind of agreement after all. I know you'd be glad to hear that. When things are more stable and we can cross the border without starting a war, Hawkeye and I are going to head over to the other side and try and find you, or at least find out what happened to you. Maybe now everyone's talking again, somebody might be able to give us some answers. We're not giving up on you. We're not.

Otherwise, things aren't great. I'm trying not to be totally useless, but I don't seem to work very well without you. I know - it sucks to write this - that I might have to learn to work without you. I'm going to try really hard not to pin everything on you being okay, because I know if you're not you would want me to keep on moving forward. Everyone keeps talking about that, about what you would want. I don't like that way of putting it. It makes me feel like you're going further and further away. But I guess that's how it really is, it just sucks, that's all.

I seem to keep writing that. But it does suck. That's about all there is to say.

Except that I love you. I always have to say that. I wish I could say it again to you so you could hear it, just once even.

I love you.

Ed xx

***


National Military Headquarters
Lt. Col. R. Hawkeye
Institutional Support Officer
8th Division

July 2nd, 1922

Dear Edward,

We weren't able to reach you by telephone either at home or at the university, so I've had this note couriered. Please call the office as soon as you've read this through.

A few moments ago, I received reliable information that General Mustang was picked up alive yesterday evening just this side of the border. He's in military hospital. Apparently he has some injuries - I hope not serious ones, but I haven't been able to get a full medical report yet, or any more details of what happened to him. You'll know more as soon as I do.

I'm sure you'll share my indescribable relief at this news.

I know you'll want to get on the first train you can, but please be patient. Travel is still restricted in the area. Knowing your strong feelings on military bureaucracy, I should point out that the current situation there is still delicate; that a lot of people, the General included, worked hard for that peace; and that the sudden unauthorised presence of a 'human weapon', if you'll forgive the expression, could be most destabilising. However, given your State certification, I'm hopeful that we can arrange authorised access for you. Give me a couple of days to make it happen.

Regards,
Lt. Col. R. Hawkeye

***


B Company
8th Division

July 3rd, 1922

Dear Mr. Elric,

This is George Harris. I'm writing this letter for General Mustang because he has to keep his hands still. So the writing will be different but the words will be his, I got promoted to his official camp secretary now.

My love,

I'm so glad to be able to finally write to you. I am sorry for any worry I caused you being so out of pocket for so long. Aren't you proud of me? I survived. You will never know how much the thought of coming home to you aided in this. I have been in the company of a lovely farm family some miles from the border. I happened upon the man and his daughter in their fields and was able to persuade them to give sanctuary. I'm good at getting people to like me, as you know. It just so happened that a couple of days later I was able to ride in the back of a wagon of goods that put me within walking distance of our own troops, and here I am. Private Harris has insisted on taking a photo to send you, please don't be alarmed; as they say it looks worse than it is. They were unhappy at some point with my ability to create fire by merely snapping and took out their ire on my hands, but I am assured I will make a complete recovery. If you want to come to me now, I will not complain. Selfish I know, but I miss you and I love you and I will restrain myself from further endearments as not to make Pvt. Harris uncomfortable.

(It's ok with me what he says, so you know)

Please take care and I will see you soon
I would never leave you
Yours always,
Roy

***




***


AMESTRIS MILITARY CABLE AND TELEGRAPH SYSTEM

JUN 16 1922

= GEN. ROY MUSTANG B COMPANY 8TH DIVISION PLS REDIRECT TO HOSPITAL

ROY =

GOT YR LETTER

HAWKEYE GOT ME CLEARANCE STAY PUT GETTING NEXT TRAIN WITH YOU TOMORROW A M

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

= ED

***



June 17th, 1922

Hey Roy,

Well, I hope you're happy, you got me saying mushy stuff to a telegraph operator. Actually, they made me change some of the message. Did you know you're apparently not allowed to say 'fucking' on a telegram? Seems like a stupid regulation to me, people should be able to say whatever they want in their own telegram.

I'm writing this in the crappy uncomfortable chair next to your hospital bed, while you're sleeping, which you're doing a lot because they gave you the loopy kind of painkillers. I know little notes and stuff like that are your thing, not mine, but there's a reason for this one. The thing is, I wrote you a bunch of letters while you were missing. I didn't have anywhere to send them, I just kept writing to you, even after they told me you were probably dead. I'm glad you finally get to read them, I wondered a lot when I wrote them if that would happen. And I thought I'd write this letter to explain, so I can give you them all at once without looking too much like a dick. I don't know why really. These have been a weird few months, I think I might have gone sentimental or something.

It's so good to see you, I can't even tell you. I have to keep repeating to myself what the surgeon told me about how your hands are going to be fine, because when I see them I want to go back over the border and find the guys who did it and wreck a peace treaty, which don't worry, I'm not going to.

Anyway, I just read the letters you wrote me that were on the envelopes in your coat. It's so weird that we both kept writing. I guess we've been together long enough that our brains synchronised or something. It kills me to think about you going through all that, by the way. But at the same time, I'm so glad it wasn't worse. You asked me in one of your letters how I did it, being on the lam those few years ago. Well, to be honest, it wasn't the worst thing I had to do back then by a long stretch, but still, it's an easy question to answer. I had something to keep going for. I guess you could say all that too.

I don't know what else to say here except for I love you, one more time. Also, don't ever fucking scare me like that again. Okay?

By the way, you're snoring right now. You think you don't, but you do.

All my love
Ed xxx

Comments

( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
brinylon
Jul. 24th, 2012 10:47 am (UTC)
Oh man, this is awesome. I smiled, i teared upo a little, it had all the good goop. Thanks!
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
\o/ It was SO MUCH FUN to write, I loved pushing all those drama buttons.
aristastarfyr
Jul. 24th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
Those letters kept me on the edge of my seat, man! I loved them. The suspense and pain was real and ... omg I'll just flail a bit here. Thanks.


(Seeing the aftermath with some new characters in a fic wouldn't be a bad thing, either.)
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed. This was a ton of fun to write and draw.

(Not sure what you mean by seeing the aftermath with some new characters? Do you mean you liked Private Harris?)
(no subject) - aristastarfyr - Jul. 24th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC) - Expand
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sexkitten426
Jul. 24th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
Fucking love this - it's not a telegram so I can say what I want! I've got these letters but I don't think most of the photos made it out of the warzone, which is a damned shame 'cause there were a few well-licked ones I'd have love to seen (so I could lick my computer screen XD) Brilliant!
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 11:11 am (UTC)
I would have loved to have made this fully illustrated but it would have taken me a good while - I'm not the fastest artist. O_o Thanks, so glad you enjoyed - it was such a fun collab, pinging each other letters.
shell_mel
Jul. 24th, 2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
Aww... This is so sweet. I was so scared it would have a sad ending, but I'm glad everything worked out okay. :)
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 12:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad the suspense and the sappy ending worked for you!
a_big_apple
Jul. 24th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Hilarious and beautiful, you've made me cry on the commuter train! I love everything about this, but particularly Roy's flowery language and Ed's hedging about the plumbing and the glimpses of Riza and Al andI love George Harris and the art and also Ed's outfit in that illo!!
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
\o/ Sky wrote Roy and I wrote Ed, if you haven't guessed already! I love how Sky writes Roy being charming on paper, and I agree with the George Harris love (he was all her work too :D). I wrote Riza. Her character voice is a lot of fun to write, given how restrained she is. Anyway, we had so much fun writing this and I can't believe we made you cry on the train! *pats you* This is revenge for when you made me cry with Twenty-One. :P
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azure15
Jul. 24th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Amazing! I can't believe I was so worried that Roy wasn't going to make it, I had to stop myself from reading ahead to see whether he did or not.

Both Ed and Roy are captured perfectly, as are the other characters, and I love how the entire story is told just through those letters.

Beautiful work!
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's great to hear the suspense was working for you.
meredavey
Jul. 24th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
^__^ What a great morning after a night of nightmares!

This has got to be my favorite line, "If you can fix the plumbing I encourage you to do so, but please, no alchemic jury-rigging you will forget to mention to me and I will inevitably stumble across as the most inopportune time."

I really love doing fic in the form of letters. ^^;;

You two need to collaborate more.
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

Sky wrote Roy's letters, so she gets the credit for that line! Her Roy

Writing in the form of letters was really fun, definitely something I'd like to try again.

We've actually done a few other collabs (they're all listed in my fic index). I love co-writing, it's a lot of fun and the other person's contributions get you inspired.
catw00man
Jul. 24th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Awwww this was GREAT! I enjoyed the whole thing, especially the pictures. Roy's smirky smirk was just precious and so Roy!

You guys did an awesome job telling this story! I loved all the little details from the plumbing to the very well used other characters. The plumbing especially got to me because it really is one of the first things you notice when you're suddenly alone! I could totally see Ed going bonkers over it.

Beautiful work to you both! Thanks so much for sharing it!!! :-D
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The whole fic was fun to put together from the letter exchanges to the pics. I thought after escaping from the jaws of death, Roy deserved to be a little bit smug.

I've lived in a few old houses with interesting plumbing so that came pretty easily! But that was pretty much where I was going with that (with Ed hearing the plumbing in the silence and fixating on it), and I'm really happy that someone noticed and enjoyed that detail!
sky_dark
Jul. 24th, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
You fabulous artist you <3
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the inspiration!
bay115
Jul. 24th, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
So having skimming through and after looking at the two illustrations (both are awesome by the way...haha smirking Roy in a hospital, love it! ), was curious over the story behind those pics. Have to say, I quite enjoyed this a lot!

LOL I too have to wonder how some of the photos get bypassed through the censors. Also can see Ed being interested in photography and making it as a hobby.

I like the mention of Ed visiting Madame Christmas. I think cornerofmadness is the only one I know that does a fic or two with Ed having at least a one line interaction with Christmas. There should be fic of him talking to Roy's "sisters", which shall be interesting. XD

Glad that Roy is all right! Ha indeed he's good with people to like him.

Again, really fun read there and great work the both of you!
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think Roy basically bribed the censors handsomely in order to get his naughty photos through. Either that or the censors don't care about censoring naughty photos and just enjoy the show they get when they go through everyone's love letters and from the front. XD

Yes, I know CoM's written that. I always enjoy her Chris stuff. metisket wrote a pretty hilarious take on it too.
alphonseelric22
Jul. 24th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
That was wonderful and sad and I love it. X3

And the part with "You can't say fucking in a telegram" was just priceless XDDDD
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! \o/

Yes, I like to imagine Ed all embarrassed dictating his mushy, sweary telegram, then getting on his high horse because the telegraph lady says no F-bombs.
(no subject) - alphonseelric22 - Jul. 25th, 2012 06:35 am (UTC) - Expand
remaintobreathe
Jul. 24th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
That was so sweet and a bit on the sad-side, I loved it, such great work! And what a marvel idea, the correspondence route conveyed so much emotion and character and yet kept a rather sprawling story in-and-of-itself from being too terribly long :).
bob_fish
Jul. 24th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed. I'm really warming to the epistolary format too.
lunaria_kitty
Jul. 25th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
I loved this so much. Y'all have done so well with capturing their voices in letter form. From Ed's bold bluntness, to Roy's eloquence (with a slice of ego to boot!)

The back and forth (and increasingly hot naughty) pictures was awesome torture, and Ed's bit about sexual tension made me laugh.

Also Ed going on about the plumbing. *laughs* I was waiting for disaster to strike once he got annoyed with it enough. Though it was actually less of a disaster than I thought it would be. Which I'm sure Roy's grateful for. (Though I can picture him mentioning something about the couch really being intact, or the stains on the walls being misplaced/absent once he goes home. If only to see Ed's reaction.)

The last half was hard to get through (and I mean that in a good way!), even had me tearing up a bit. Ed worrying over Roy's absence, and then Roy's letters losing their eloquence and sounding more like goodbye rather than his usual strong confidence. And Ed going sappy, it takes a lot for him to get sappy, so to see it all poured out in a letter was heartbreaking. It just hurt to see them both like that.

I'm glad Roy was okay though! It had to be hard writing with broken hands, though it's touching to see that he still did it. Even if only as a comfort to him to take his mind off the situation he was in and try to regain a bit of his confidence.

*snickers* Ed writing to Roy while sitting right next to him while he slept was great. I love his rant about not being able to curse in the telegram and the bit at the end about Roy's snoring.

I love that this was told completely in letter/telegraph format. It's been a while since I've read anything like this (or diary form, those are fun too), I forgot how engaging it can be! Well done! This made my day. :)

Well done on the illustrations as well! I love that you included the actual letters under them. (Ed was looking right sexy in that outfit, it's no wonder he was paranoid about 'nosey assholes'.)
bob_fish
Jul. 29th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for such a lovely long review! Glad you enjoyed.

Ed's obsession with the plumbing was a lot of fun to write. I also enjoyed pushing him further and further towards sappy with the fic's events, hopefully plausibly! I like it when undemonstrative characters get pushed to emotional openness by teh drama.

I love letter/telegraph fics! There's an amazing one in the ACD Holmes fandom called Sub Rosa by prof_panagea, I think - the author photoshops them onto real 19th century telegram forms and everything.

Thanks too about the illos! They were fun to draw.
amethyst_koneko
Jul. 25th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
CAPSLOCK CANNOT FULLY EXPRESS MY LOVE OF THIS FIC!! :D

If you hadn't told me this was written by two people, I never would have guessed it. It flows so seamlessly. :)

Love the little grin on Roy's face in his pic! <3 Ed's pic, win! Nice package there Edo! I like how you discreetly worked in the photo squeeze bulb cord there. :)

Loved Ed's threat to the censors! XD None of the censors will be able to look me in the eye. I'm almost jealous that they got to see these luscious photos and we didn't! ^_^
bob_fish
Jul. 29th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Sky wrote Roy's letters and I wrote Ed's. The pics were a lot of fun to draw too. :D
seta_suzume
Jul. 25th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
Awesome and excellent!

Now I kind of want to write an epistolary fic...!
bob_fish
Jul. 29th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This was a ton of fun to write, and it's made me want to write more epistolary fic.
crazyloststar
Jul. 26th, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
;________________________________;
bob_fish
Jul. 26th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
\o/
drredhead
Jul. 29th, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
This is awesome - thank you both! I was so caught up in the suspense you created, and the distinct voice that came through for each character.
bob_fish
Jul. 29th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it - Sky wrote Roy and I wrote Ed, and we had a lot of fun taking the suspense as far as we could.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 3rd, 2013 10:15 am (UTC)
From Kiiroi Yumetobu
Oh, you can comment on LJ without an account! Wonderful! I totally loved this. There aren't many people who can pull of a fic entirely written through letters and telegrams, but you totally had my attention from beginning to end. The letters were so funny -sex and plumbing, what a hilarious combination! I was sitting in the library reading this with the security camera right above me at the right, so the library staff can see me trying not to laugh out loud and 'aww' for a whole hour. In other words, you did a great job! Not an eloquent review either, but I'm too happy to care! (sorry)*applause*
bob_fish
Apr. 3rd, 2013 11:38 am (UTC)
Re: From Kiiroi Yumetobu
Hi there! So glad you found and enjoyed this! The letters came surprisingly easy — I think it was co-writing with Sky (she wrote Roy's letters, I wrote Ed's) but we actually wrote the whole thing in a couple of days. I had a ton of fun going for comedy and then shameless heartstring-tugging melodrama. XD
zachemja
May. 19th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
Ahh! Love this. So sweet. I was this close to tearing up.
bob_fish
May. 21st, 2013 10:05 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you! <3
freres_toujours
Aug. 27th, 2013 03:25 pm (UTC)
Wow. These letters are so beautiful. But the one that really made me cry was actually Private Harris' letter. That boy's gonna make someone really happy one day, that letter was so sweet! Ugh, I'm so glad this was done epistolary style so I could read and enjoy it. I'm so bad at angst, a prose version would have killed me.
bob_fish
Sep. 1st, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Sky_dark is 100% responsible for Private Harris. I loved him too! Glad you enjoyed, and interesting to hear the epistolary style made the mean things we did to the boys go over a little easier. <3
( 50 comments — Leave a comment )