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Fic: The Small Hours

Title: The Small Hours
Characters: Roy/Ed
Rating: PG for sap
Word count: 894
Summary: Fuhrer Roy attempts to work through a bad cold; Ed leans on him.
Notes: Several years post-manga, AU for pairing and automail arm. Written for sky_dark's prompt.

It was keeping him awake. Ed wasn't sure, exactly, what it was; but he could pin it down to one of a few things. It could be the intermittent scratching of Roy's pen, which he could hear through the open door. It could be the tapping of the typewriter keys, or the rustle of paper, or Roy's discontented breathing. It could very likely be the sound of Roy thinking, a highly unscientific concept which nevertheless described the phenomenon well: Roy was up thinking, and it was keeping Ed awake.

After the alarm clock on the nightstand hit two, something had to be done. Ed headed out for the inevitable argument.

Roy was where Ed had left him when he went to bed: at his desk in the study, surrounded by fat folders full of dossiers on this and briefings on that and reports on the other. The wastepaper basket was full of crumpled tissues. Roy hadn't been crying his eyes out; he just had a very nasty cold. A cold Ed had, incidentally, given him.

Time was, long ago, Roy would have happily not only called in sick, but made his team bring him chicken soup and light reading matter. Theoretically, being boss of the whole country should have made this easier. But apparently, instead it had made Roy decide that he was never allowed a day off, ever.

Roy didn't look up. Scratch, scratch, scratch, went his pen. He tutted. He breathed thickly, blew his nose, dropped the tissue into the wastepaper basket, turned a page.

Ed came and leaned on the edge of the desk. Roy looked up after a moment. He looked even worse than Ed had last seen him before heading to bed: his eyes were pink-rimmed and puffy, his nose was red and sore, his shoulders slumped.

Roy looked at Ed for a moment. "You're wearing my pyjamas," he said. The sleeves and ankles were rolled up. These days, Ed had gotten over ninety per cent of his annoyance about the height difference.

"Yes," Ed said. "They're dorky, but it's cold and I don't have any pyjamas. Whatcha gonna do?"

"Why are you awake?"

"Because I can hear you thinking."

"Sorry," said Roy. "I won't be long."

"That's what you said three hours ago when I went to bed."

"I just have to finish this," Roy said.

"You said that, too."

"Well, I do." Roy sniffed, then grabbed another tissue and blew his nose noisily.

When he was done, Ed arched an eyebrow, lifted Roy's chin with a thumb, and put his lips to Roy's forehead. "You've got a fever."

"That's a very inaccurate method of testing."

Ed put his automail hand against Roy's forehead instead. Roy sighed and leaned into it. "That feels so nice and cool."

"Because you have a fever."

"Even so."

"Is it a good idea for a head of state to make decisions while he's burning up?"

"I knew you'd pull that one."

"You're overtaxing yourself."


"You can't work through this. That's how you've ended up with a fever in the first place. C'mon, remember last time?"

Roy sighed. Ed shifted towards him, and Roy leaned his head against Ed's chest. Ed stroked his hair, felt the scratch of stubble on his hot cheek. Roy wound his arms around Ed's waist, and Ed bowed over him and stroked his back. They both sighed.

"Come to bed," Ed said. Roy made a small noise. "Come to bed. I'll call up the doctor first thing." Then it would be out of Roy's hands. Even the Fuhrer had to obey doctor's orders.

He only fully realised how crappy Roy was feeling when Roy put his pen down, just like that, got up and followed him into the bedroom. Ed carried Roy's glass of water and the box of tissues from the desk, and deposited it on Roy's side of the bed.

They got in. Roy took a sip of water, blew his nose one last time, and turned to face Ed.

"You are so gross and full of snot right now," Ed said. "Maybe I should exile you to a guest bedroom." He stroked Roy's cheek with a thumb.

Roy touched his wrist and smiled, apparently too tired for a comeback. Ed put his light out, then opened his arms. Roy wrapped himself around Ed, and settled his cheek on Ed's chest. He shivered for a moment. He really was sick. Ed hugged him back, and tangled their legs together.

Ed was so married now; it was embarrassing. And here he was, worrying about Roy's health and trying to stop him working too hard and getting him water and calling doctors. Was he turning into a political wife? This was reminding him too much of that time Mrs Bradley had tried to give him First Lady pointers: he twitched reflexively every time he found himself inadvertently obeying one of her gems of advice.

Still, Roy looked after Ed sometimes, and Ed looked after Roy sometimes. So it balanced right in the end, didn't it? And now Roy was already sleeping in his arms, breaths coming soft and slow. Ed felt tender, and protective, and like an unbelievable sap. This was where love brought you, apparently: pyjamas. Snotty tissues. Worry. Nagging. Sap.

His dignity might be tarnished forever, but still. This wasn't a bad place to be.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
So sweet...
Loved it. Like rolling up in a heating blanket on a rainy day.
Feb. 12th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Re: So sweet...
Thank you! I wrote this one to cheer myself up, and it got pretty sappy. :D
Feb. 12th, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
Poor sick Roy... :(
He is sooooooooooo lucky to have Ed!
Feb. 12th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Colds are horrible but Ed is a pleasant mitigating factor.
Feb. 13th, 2012 04:34 am (UTC)
that was just too sweet and caring!
Feb. 13th, 2012 09:35 am (UTC)
Thank you! It came out pretty sappy. XD
Feb. 13th, 2012 06:06 am (UTC)
Now that was priceless. Edward getting advice about being the Fuhrer's "wife" from Mrs. Bradley. That'd be a lovely little scene. haha I can see Ed hating every minute of it. This fic was pure unmitigated fluff and I must say I enjoyed every minute of it. ;)

I think this line was my favorite "This was where love brought you, apparently: pyjamas. Snotty tissues. Worry. Nagging. Sap." Oh and the part where the automail being cold actually helped Mustang feel better. That was cute too. This was an awesome little fic. Cheers to you and thanks for the fanservice fluff.
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
Yes, I really want to write that scene! Ed would hate it but was raised right enough to sit there mumbling and going beetroot. If Al was there he'd encourage Mrs Bradley on like the sneaky evil person he is. XD

Thanks so much! These guys do occasionally take me to the sappy place. I love them domestic. :3
Feb. 13th, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
*sniffle* My favorite sort of sap fic. I love the way they push and pull, Ed calm and sensible when Roy is stubbor here, Roy the sensible one when Ed is riled up the rest of the time...it's just lovely.
Feb. 13th, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, I very much agree! One of the things that makes them so real and identifiable to me is that they're pretty similar in some respects, which is good and bad - they understand the workings of each others' minds, but they're equally stubborn and can rub each other up the wrong way.* I know a lot of couples like that! What makes it work in RL and in fiction is finding the balance and learning to listen to each other.

I never get tired of writing these guys ;_;

*and also the right way XD
Feb. 13th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
I love that you feel a need to footnote your dirty mind, as though I wasn't thinking exactly the same thing about rubbing in various ways...XD
Feb. 13th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Well, f you were tired I wouldn't want you to miss out on perfectly good innuendo. XD
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Lol. Btw, did you get the various emails I sent late last week and over the weekend? I say various, but I think it was just two. Did you send me back things that I haven't gotten? My email is behaving suspiciously.
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
Two emails? I got the one you sent in response to my Big Bang pic, but were there other emails? Do you mean the Reichenbach one?

Work is a bit mad at the moment, hence swiss cheese brain and no new Big Bang drafts headed your way yet O_o
Feb. 13th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, forgot about the Big Bang pic reply, yes. But also a Reichenbach reply, and gratuitous hive pictures for Dr H.
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
I think I got the Reichenbach reply but not the hives (and I'm sending this late because my hard drive asploded, so, unreliable old laptop dug out of mothballs while I try to work out why the new HD won't work ;_;). Resend hives?
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh nooo! Did you lose anything? That's horrible, hard drive failure SUCKS. I will resend, and cross my fingers for your drive.
Feb. 16th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
I back up everything but applications online with Backblaze! Thank goodness. It's more that I have work deadlines and a non-fandom illo and Big Bang, and I'm getting behind on everything already. *sweatdrop* I installed the new hard drive this morning, but it's refusing to partition. My new theory (based on Googling the problem) is an issue with the cable ribbon connecting hard drive with (I think) logic board. That would be good as cables = cheap, but logic boards =/= cheap. I have an appointment with a tech wizard at the Apple Store on Saturday morning. Wish me luck!

And please do resend!
Feb. 16th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Yikes, logic board would be a horrible bitch to replace, here's hoping it's the cable. I'm glad you've got a backup of everything, though! *hug* good luck with all the deadlines and things you've got going! And here I thought I was behind with just the Big Bang...
Feb. 14th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Too. fucking. cute. I love Ed being able to hear Roy think and taking pointers from Mrs. Bradley and being so stupidly in love. ♥_____♥
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I like that Ed can hear him think too. He describes it as like a grinding noise XD
Feb. 14th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)
*gasp* I read sap and I really liked it.

Don't tell anyone. >.>
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
*grabs megaphone*

XD Thanks!
Feb. 14th, 2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
The true definition of love: letting someone get their snot all over your chest XD. Ed is such a sweetheart in his own way, Roy is lucky to have him. Or he really might work himself into a coma.
Feb. 16th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ed is definitely a sweetheart in his own way! And I think putting up with a snotty, gross, sick, possibly whiny partner is definitely true love. <3
Jun. 12th, 2017 01:49 pm (UTC)
Lovely and so them. <3 May those two idiots lean on each other forever.
Jun. 12th, 2017 10:30 pm (UTC)
<3 May they do so indeed! Thank you.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )