Pairing: past Roy/Hughes, pre Roy/Ed
Summary: "I lost him . . . I lost him twice."
Notes: Just a little fanfic-as-therapy one-shot vignette (Roy/Ed is my comfort food)
"I lost him . . . I lost him twice."
Ed glanced up from trying to work the other man's boots off. It was the first significant thing Mustang had said since Ed had run into him at the bar, drunk enough that the bartender had been on the verge of calling a cab. He'd guessed at the reason for the binge, but hadn't thought his suspicions would be confirmed so plainly.
"Never had him. Not really." Mustang draped an arm over his face as the younger man finished with his boots, as if trying to block out the world. "Was a fool to think I ever could."
Ed sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. "Maybe." He loosened his belt, then got to work on the jacket's fasteners. Military uniforms were not kind to the drunk or incapacitated. "Or maybe you weren't the foolish one."
Mustang's head flopped from side to side against the pillow. "I wasn't what he wanted . . . couldn't be what he wanted. Now he's gone . . . but I'd already lost him."
The young man could only sigh once more as he tried to make his former commander as comfortable as possible. A few years wasn't a long time and he wasn't surprised Mustang was still hurting, but he hadn't expected to find him quite like this.
His arm slid away from his face, bumping into Ed's knee as it flopped against the mattress. "Bet you're gonna hold this over my head . . . hm?"
"Don't have to be the . . . proper commander for you anymore. But . . . didn't really want to show you this. . . ."
"S'okay." He stopped fussing with Mustang's clothes and drew a blanket over him.
"Yeah, 's okay. You never did think much of me anyway."
That made Ed pause. He watched as the other man turned onto his side, one arm tucking around the pillow.
"Guess now you know I'm just a drunken fool. Doesn't matter. You can think what you want." His hand bumped against Ed's leg again and there was an odd, almost-smile on his face. "'S okay because . . . you came back. He never would have come back . . . not really. Not to me." Mustang sighed into the pillow, his hand brushing against the young man's shin as he breathed. "Then I lost you, but . . . you came back. So you can think what you want."
Ed closed his eyes for a moment, running a hand through his hair as he debated. This clearly wasn't the best time, but on the other hand, he couldn't just let that slide. Finally he let out his breath, and reached down to take the other man's hand between his own. Mustang looked startled, but didn't seem to mind that his fingers were lacing with metal. "You idiot, you have no idea what I think of you," Ed muttered. "You really are a fool." He smiled wryly as the other man grunted in agreement. "That's okay. It's not always a bad thing." He squeezed his hand. "And of course I came back. You're here, after all." After a moment, he added, "Does that make me a fool?"
Cross-posted to the usual places.