Word Count: 1032
Summary: The toughest thing about starting sleeping with someone new is working out how to sleep with them.
Notes: Written and drawn for a_big_apple's birthday. Happy birthday, Apple, apologies for the lateness and hope you had a delightful day. ♥
That first morning, Roy woke up to a vague consciousness that something was different. Then he rolled over and nearly winded himself on a metal arm.
The first week of his non-relationship with Ed brought about as much property damage as Roy might have expected, had he actually been thinking about what he was doing. There was a ripped shower curtain, torn sheets, several items of clothing that would never be the same again. There was even, bogglingly, a hollow cast-iron strut from Roy's headboard, bent out of shape by Ed's right hand when he'd grabbed it in a particularly excited moment. The automail got the blame for most of these incidents: automail and mutual enthusiasm.
It was all enough to make Roy nervous about actually spending a night unconscious next to the man; but he needn't have worried. As it turned out, the real problem with sharing a bed with Ed was the exact opposite: he didn't move. He really didn't move. He would pass out on his back, limbs splayed and taking up most of the bed, and then become immovable. Poking him didn't have any effect; two automail limbs made him too heavy to roll. Shaking him awake led Ed to turn onto his stomach, in the exact same pose, taking up the exact same amount of room. Roy would have to arrange himself around the awkwardly-shaped space Ed left. In the end, despite the boundaries they'd set themselves - no strings, no romance, no serious stuff - Roy would find usually himself invading Ed's space and using him as a pillow.
It wasn't so bad. There was something comforting about holding another person like this, skin to skin, as you fell asleep. Even when they were snoring in your ear.
After two weeks, it seemed they hadn't yet killed each other or called a halt to proceeding, and Roy was still finding three-quarters of his bed annexed at night. He decided to bring the matter up for debate.
"You splay yourself out like a starfish," he muttered into Ed's ear at 1am. He knew it was 1am because he'd been checking out the phosphorescent hands of his alarm clock for the past hour as it painfully crept forward, and he got no closer to sleep.
Ed replied with a loud snore. Roy did the mature thing: he pinched Ed's nose shut. A couple of interesting noises later, Ed was awake and scowling. Roy repeated his observation about the starfish.
"I'm asleep," said Ed. "I'm not having this conversation with you now. Because I'm totally asleep."
"That's a paradoxical statement," said Roy, rubbing his face with a hand.
"No, it's just a strategic lie. But I was asleep. I will be asleep. Might as well split the difference and say I'm asleep now."
"Why are we arguing semantics at 1am?"
"Why did you wake me up at 1am?"
"Because you splay yourself out like a starfish when you're asleep, limbs everywhere, and I get to use about a quarter of my own bed."
"Well, you hug on me in your sleep like a limpet."
"Now, that is a lie. I do not."
"You do it when you're asleep. And then you're impossible to move, it's like you're attached with suction or something. Limpet."
"Why are we comparing each other to marine life at 1am?"
Ed snorted. Roy chuckled. Their laughs merged, and faded out, and they shifted towards each other.
It took at least forty minutes of tossing, turning and colliding limbs before they found a position they could both manage to sleep in. When they finally got there, Roy did his best to make a mental note of what it was.
Three weeks into the affair, Roy woke in the night to find himself pinned down by the shoulders and snapping barehanded, reflexively.
He breathed hard and blinked. From the streetlights sneaking marginally between the curtains, he made out big, round eyes, and the compact outline of Ed's torso.
"Roy?" Ed's voice was an oddly uncertain little sound.
"Ed." Roy dropped his hand. "What's going on?"
Ed flopped off of Roy and put a hand into his hair. "Shit, I'm sorry. Did I hurt you? Are you okay?"
"Yes," said Roy, slowly, still not quite processing this situation. "Are you?"
"Mm. I think I was asleep back there."
Roy blinked. "So. We - attacked each other in our sleep?"
"Had a bad dream. Sometimes" - Ed huffed out a breath - "I just wake up really sudden, I get confused. It hasn't happened in a long while." Roy reached out, and his fingertips found Ed's right shoulder. He slid them up past metal and scar tissue to where Ed could feel them. There was a fruitful moment of silence. Then Ed said, "You snap in your sleep?"
"Apparently." Roy was himself slowly recalling the unpleasant scraps of a nightmare. He sighed, and drew closer to Ed. Ed met him halfway, and Roy planted his nose into Ed's neck, his cheek on Ed's warm shoulder. "Perhaps we'll kill each other in our sleep one night," he muttered.
He felt Ed's chest shake in a silent chuckle, then, momentarily, lips brushing his forehead. Roy mentally chalked up yet another incident where they'd crossed the lines they had drawn for themselves, and started acting like two people who loved one other.
It was too late at night. The sick feeling the bad dream had left rolling in his gut was fading, pushed away by the warmth of Ed's skin, the rise and fall of his chest and his soft huffs of breath.
They rearranged themselves, to the position they'd found a few nights ago. Ed splayed out on his back, Roy rested his cheek on Ed's chest just below the collarbone and hooked a leg between Ed's. Ed's automail toes twitched and curled against his calf.
The fit was perfect: both comforting and delicious. Roy felt as if he'd solved a puzzle, or assembled something without the instruction booklet. Slotted together like this, their bodies made sense; he couldn't help but fall towards sleep. As for the feeling in his chest - expansive and tender, as if the two of them were somehow breathing from the same lungs - it could wait until morning.