Word count: 634
Summary: Written for fmagiftexchange, for a_big_apple's prompt "Roy/Ed - 'But I want to go on from here with you / fighting the temptation to make a career of pain.'"
two people together is a work/heroic in its ordinariness - Adrienne Rich, Twenty-one Love Poems
Back in Ishbal, he had fought to survive, with everything he had; but at the time, he'd had no understanding of why he was fighting so hard to survive. Having committed so many crimes, what was he now?
Hughes hadn't got it; or maybe he'd just disagreed. "I want to survive because I want to survive," he'd said. "Of course you want to live, to get out of this shithole and get back to something ordinary and happy and sane. We all do. It's human. I don't see why you need to analyse the shit out of it."
The disagreement had stretched over the years.
"So you're not looking to settle down with anyone," Hughes had said, years later. One of Roy's visits to Central; after work beers at the outside tables of a street café. Gracia, four months pregnant, was coming to join them for dinner.
"Because I'm busy." And he was busy - very busy. He was trying to overthrow a country; marriage and kids were hardly top of his agenda. And he wasn't exactly that sort of person, now.
Hawkeye had told him once, after Ishbal, "My life isn't for myself now, it's for the generation after me."
"Your problem, Roy," said Hughes, irritatingly sage, "is that it's all or nothing. Why not do both?"
Then events had overtaken them.
It's a decade later. Roy is in the middle of a policy meeting with his vice-president and her husband, over breakfast in the spring garden of the Presidential country retreat. Unselfishness didn't turn out as planned for either of them.
And somewhere at the end of the garden, Roy's lover tears around the lawn. Hawkeye's children run after him, shrieking and giggling. He's pretending to be a dragon, and they're fighting him with swords made of air. He catches Hawkeye watching them with a little smile, and he thinks, when did we put our own happiness back into our plans? Did we get more selfish, or just older?
He asks the same question in bed that night. And Ed just groans. "How do you always come up with this stuff at midnight? Quit over-thinking and stop fidgeting around, you're supposed to be my pillow here."
"I'm just asking you if I've changed, that's all. These last few years."
Ed's eyelashes flicker against his breastbone. "You seem - mellower? You used to be a cranky bastard. Power agrees with you, power or me."
Ed mutters, "You smile more, these days."
Roy pushes his nose into Ed's hair, brushes Ed's bangs out of his eyes. Ed sighs.
A few moments later, as they start to drift, Ed mutters, "By the way. You have to be happy, it's compulsory. Because I want you to be. So. I've settled that, and you can shut up about it." He wriggles, and then definitively slots himself against Roy's body, with his leg hooked tight over Roy's hip and his warm left palm flat between Roy's shoulderblades.
"Okay," says Roy. And the President of Amestris does what he's told.