|Skeren Dreamera (skeren) wrote,|
@ 2005-12-25 06:17:00
|Entry tags:||fma, maes, roy, violent leisure|
Violent Leisure ch 4
Title: Violent Leisure
Co-written with severed_sanity
Pairings: This chapter is Roy-centric, again, we’re going to ultimately end up with at least a GreedxKimbleexRoy
Warnings: Head games, Rape, torture This chapter: getting into after affects and mindsets
Rating: NC-17 without a doubt, this chapter? R
Notes: We’re finally getting somewhere. None too certain if that’s a good thing mind, but we’re getting on with this half of the plot at least.
Groggy, disoriented, and practically blind. That is how Maes Hughes suddenly found himself just a few short hours later. Actually, he never remembered falling asleep so it was a bit disconcerting to find himself just waking up. And the strangest thing was he honestly forgot where he was for a few moments after opening his eyes. That didn't last long though, the previous events from the day came cascading back over him like a raging tidal wave and the ache he'd felt earlier in his chest became apparent again. Of course he didn't get to dwell on whatever dark thoughts he was having because something nearly socked him in the face. That's when he remembered that Roy was sleeping against him and immediately became worried. His friend was more than likely having a nightmare and guess what... he was right tightly snuggled against him. Well that was just perfect.
The light moans tore at him because Maes had a very good idea just what the poor man was dreaming about. And if he wasn't then whatever it was was just as bad because the squirming and pitiful struggles against the covers showed he was trying in vain to get away from whatever it was. His limbs felt a little numb because of how he slept, aided by the fact that Roy had practically used his upper arm as a pillow. Now when he moved from his chest to his arm? Who knew but those tiny pinpricks one gets after a weight has been lifted made it painfully obvious that it'd been awhile ago. He cautiously raised a hand to his friend's face, smoothing over the cheek before going to rest on the exposed shoulder. He nudged it lightly.
"Roy... Roy wake up." He called out quietly, his voice still racked with sleep.
The reaction wasn't exactly the one that the other man could have hoped for. He jerked back a little from the contact, sending them toppling off the side of the bed, which they’d at some point gotten allot closer to. They both hit the floor in a pile of bodies and blankets, a pillow even sliding off to nail Maes in the head of something of an after affect. Roy, of course, didn't sleep through that, and he opened his eyes a bit too wide, still mewling from the nightmare. His eyes weren't focused on anything outward though. "Don't!"
Aside from being absolutely unprepared for the impact, the aching back and backside, the wind being knocked out of him by a none too light body crashing on top of his, and the lovely ending addition of being clobbered in the face by a pillow, this wasn’t so bad. But as soon as he heard the fear filled plea escape his best friend's lips, and felt the all to real trembling filter through into his body, he immediately pulled his hand up to rest against the cold sweat covered face. "Roy!! It's Hughes, remember Maes? Your best friend and current bunkmate ...albeit on the floor now, but Maes all the same. I won't hurt you, I'd never. Shh, it's me." He cooed quietly but firmly.
He made a low noise of distress at the initial contact, but as his friend continued to speak, his eyes focused a bit. As soon as he was aware of who it was he was on top of, Maes was on the receiving end of a nearly painful hug, as Roy latched onto him tightly, still shaking.
He gasped out when he felt his ribs nearly break at the grip Roy was holding him, with but he didn't dare complain, instead he wrapped his own arms around the trembling shoulders. Gawds how he wanted nothing more than to make all the pain and anguish go away, be able to flip some switch and make it as if it never happened. But that was fantasy, not reality. Maes felt like crying. "Shhhh, I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere... so a little air would be nice."
Roy eased his grip a fraction, breath still a little stuttery as he tried to calm down, his forehead against Maes' collarbone. "Sorry..." It was a murmur, though he apparently wasn't about to go anywhere, and wasn't quite with it, voice trembling and soft. "Not leaving?"
Maes loosened one of his arms up so a hand could gently pet through the slightly damp mop of unruly hair that tickled his bare neck. "Of course not. I told you I wasn't planning to leave for a very long time. I would, however like to make a few phone calls later otherwise we'll have everyone from my wife to the office lackeys tracking us down. And we both don't want that to happen."
He leaned up into the light touch, releasing a quiet breath as he did. "Okay..." He didn’t sound like he even wanted to make that concession, but it was needed, and he knew it was. He cracked his eyes open, looking at Maes as he slowly lifted his head. "I can come with you... right?" Apparently he'd at some point decided that Maes was going to stay in his sight at all times.
He smiled softly at the man atop him, though it was probably obscured by the dark. Then again everything was slightly more obscured for him since he wasn't wearing his glasses. Maybe it wasn't quite as dark and hazy to Roy as it was to him. Oh well... he just cursed his faulty eyesight for the billionth time in his life later. Right now he was more focused on the form of his friend rather than his features. "Yes, but only if you feel up to it. I don't want you collapsing like you almost did in the bathroom. And even if you can't I won't be gone long at all, I'll even make sure you can hear me if you like." He was hoping to convince his friend to stay in bed since he didn't get the chance to clean up the kitchen just yet. He very much didn't want Roy to look at that ever again.
He curled his fingers a little and shook his head, taking a deep breath. "I'm coming with you." And there wasn't any chance in hell of keeping him from following his friend around at the moment. He would likely have a breakdown if he tried.
Well, there went that idea. He sighed heavily closing his eyes as he spoke. "Alright. We'll take it slow and easy then. I don't want you tiring yourself out just because you want to come with me. If you do get tired let me know and even if you loathe the idea I'll carry you."
He was quiet for a moment, then shifted his grip a little, sighing. "You wouldn't be able to carry me around, you were complaining earlier." He shook his head, then settled down, putting his head back where he was resting his cheek along Maes' throat.
"I don't see a point in there worth validating Mustang." He retorted lightly. "Besides, what else is there to do if you're too tired to make it into the living room? It's not exactly a hop and a skip away you know. No, I was merely thinking it'd be easier if you rested in here while I went and made the phone calls and got us both something to wake us up. I don't want you to over extend yourself." He knew it was futile but he was going to try and convince his friend to stay here.
"I'm going with you." He said it slowly, as though to a little child. Of course, there was no way he'd be latched onto a little child with the veracity he had on Maes. The man would be lucky to get the other to let him go for a bathroom break.
"Fine fine, you're going with me." He said in submission. He knew it wasn't going to work but he did try. His only hope, now, was that Roy wouldn't be tempted to look into the kitchen. They had to pass by it to get to their destination and he seriously didn't want the man to break down even worse than he did just a few hours before. It would set them both back from the progress they'd made. If he had to rebuild what he'd been hard pressed to piece together Maes was sure he wouldn't make it.
He relaxed a little with the concession and nuzzled into him a bit as he eased his grip a fraction. Now that that was out of the way, he was free to calm down a little. "It's dark out, you'll have to do those before Hawkeye comes looking. Where did you leave your glasses?" All this was said without him moving.
"Any faster and I think you would have choked. Hmm... yes we definitely do not want her to come looking for either of us. She’s dangerous... did I mention that before?! I'm sure I had." he mused and tried to settle against the floor. He thanked whomever built the place for installing carpeting in the bedroom. "As for my glasses, they're somewhere in the floor behind your headboard. I dropped them their earlier so we wouldn't crush them. And no I didn't place them on the night stand because I always manage to knock them onto the floor and step on them when I drag my carcass out of the bed."
"You didn't use the nightstand to crawl out of bed this time." He uncurled, one hand curving against Maes' shoulder as he lifted his head, peering under the bed next to them before extending his arm under it to collect the item in question, overlarge shirt covering even his fingers as he retrieved the glass and metal object. "And they could have remained up there, then what would you have done?"
"Well," Maes stated evenly, grabbing the glasses from his friend and placing them on his nose. He could see properly again and for that he was grateful. It was still dark, but now, at least, he could see Roy's pale face through it. Features were nice to have after all. "Since I didn't plan on ending up on the floor on my back... I don't know Roy."
"Better you than me on the floor." He quirked his lips slightly at his own admittedly bad joke, pulling his hands back under the covers as the evening chill got to them. "It got cold at some point too." He gave the window an annoyed look before ducking back against Maes with a huff.
"Well move your lumpy arse so I can go close it then." Oh annoying wasn't even the right word for Roy Mustang. It was something far more dirty! The brat... insufferable brat. Maes almost told him to go close the damned thing himself but pulled away from that avenue almost as quickly as he spun onto it. He didn't want to move any more than Roy did actually. "Or we could just camp out on the floor for the rest of the night and suffer the chill. Either way, I'm game. Just as long as I get a pillow under my head and not in the face again."
"I've been gone all day, you have to call." Not I, not we, you. There was no way he was going to even try to talk to someone else right now. "And the door isn't locked..." It was a murmur, and he sighed a little. He didn't really want to mention he hadn't eaten since breakfast the morning before.
"I don't even think I closed it...or did I?" He asked himself as he squinted towards the ceiling. "But I doubt that'll be a problem. No one wants to bother a State Alchemist, especially one that has been dubbed with a title like Flame. Ugh, not to mention I could use a drink, a shower, a change of clothes, and something to eat. Doesn’t even have to be in that order, but I'm figuring you're about in the same boat. So looks like we're up for the day then."
He nodded a little, dropping his forehead back to his friend's chest as he took a deep breath. The familiar earthy scent soothed him almost immediately. "I'm sure I have something that would fit you in my closet somewhere. Even if you are rather too tall."
"I’m not going to take that as a crack at my person, rather I'll just smile and say thank you." He kidded, happy to be able to just talk with the man. He never really gotten close to anyone else, not like this. He felt so at ease with Roy and it wasn't just because they'd been friends since the dawn of time or anything. This was something far deeper and richer. He was going to enjoy that for as long as he could. "Now the question is... can either of us move after that landing?" He asked with a laugh as he tried to wiggle his toes.
"I'm sure you can manage since you need to get up. It's more a question of if we can get the blankets to come with..." He gave a last rub of his cheek against his friend's shoulder before pushing himself up a little, undoing his hold a fraction.
"Well if you roll of me and then we tug I'm sure we can get this thing to go anywhere we want. Though I imagine it'll be around you most the time anyway. How about we get it from around me first?" He gestured to his side and gladly laid an arm open for Roy to roll onto and rest so they could situate the covers. When he stopped to not think about the situation they ended up in... it was kind of funny.
Roy wasn't all that happy to move, but he rolled off of his friend, perfectly happy to trap his arm if it ensured he wasn't going anywhere. He knew the clinging was very unlike him, but he deserved a bit of something after all that. He didn't even spare his outfit a thought, aside from wondering if the draft would be too bad without pants.
Okay just exactly how did his left leg get completely wrapped in this mess? He growled low in his throat as he tried to free the appendage with a few shakes and tugs. Of course it wasn't getting him anywhere because along the course the covers that were trapping his foot were underneath him and somehow wrapped around Roy. What the heck did they do up there, the tango? It was getting a bit ridiculous.
Roy couldn't help a little snicker as Maes looked about to throw a fit over the blanket. "Need some help?" He shook his head, leaning to tug at the blankets so that his friend would quit pulling them all over the place with him in them.
"Oh thanks Roy for offering ow after I almost had the thing." He was a bit grouchy over that little fact and didn't have any problems with letting his best friend see him pout haughtily. The prick could have offered beforehand or told him that he was in this predicament. But no, he let him tug and grumble for a good few minutes before saying anything and to top it all off... he was laughing at him. Jerk.
Roy just smirked and pulled the blanket fully free, though the sudden draft made him shiver. He curled his legs a little, the cold air, well to him anyway, a bit much as the shirt only hit to about mid thigh. "I had to give you a chance to figure it out by yourself, didn't I?"
"Shut. Up." Immature, oh yes, but definitely worth it. He looked the man from the corner of his eye and practically choked. He'd completely forgotten that neither had managed to get Roy completely dressed before they had lain down. He felt the familiar hot shoots of his blush creep of from his neck to spread across his cheeks and quickly turned his head pretending to uncoil himself from the rest of the blanket’s evil, evil clutches. Casually he tossed over his shoulder, "Well, no wonder you're about freezing. You're barely dressed man."
Roy snorted softly, tugging himself free of the coil as he sat up, the dark green of the shirt falling across his lap as he pulled his legs up. "Like pants would really be comfortable at the moment anyway. Honestly Maes, get with it."
"Did I mention, shut. Up. You're the one complaining about the cold." He snickered though he was shivering slightly himself. "Well, that's not really a problem I guess since you'll be bundled up anyway. Welp, let's see if either of us can walk after that tumble. My back is killing me!"
Roy gave Maes an amused look, tugging one of the blankets up around his shoulders as he watched him, lips twitching. "You did land rather hard, or were you complaining for no reason? I think we should check these to make sure the jarring didn't reopen any of them..."
"Mm yeah. I don't think they did since you just happen to have had a soft landing. Better safe than sorry though." He turned to the side and leaned on a hand reaching towards the PJ top. His goal was to push the material up to have a look at his friend's chest. "I know the ones neck up are perfectly fine. How's your chest and back feel?"
Roy intercepted his friend’s hand on reflex, then shifted a little so he could get at the top himself with his other hand. "My back seems okay for the most part." He pulled a knee up a fraction before tugging the shirt up.
"That's good. Hmmm." His hand snaked along the bandaged and battered areas of his friend's chest moving downwards in their search. None were too bad but they would need changing eventually today. But as far as he could tell in the limited light, they were relatively good to go for a bit longer. He pulled back and smiled warmly. "Looks like you're alright for now kiddo." He just couldn't resist.
Roy gave his friend a decidedly unamused look and released his shirt to cover himself, his other hand still keeping his friend's free hand captive. "I'm no where near young enough for you to use that phrase on me."
"Younger than me so deal with it. Now that I know it annoys you I might just have to keep using it. Maybe around the office." Maes sent an amused look back at his friend. After the scare earlier it was a nice change to laugh and antagonize the poor kid.
"Do it and I guarantee you'll be the first person on the receiving end of my renewed flame happy tactics." He raised an eyebrow, tugging at Maes' hand where it was captive in his own. "There were calls to make?"
The bespectacled man gave a chuckling sigh and tugged at his hand lightly. "Yeah, so there are. Now... just to get up and get there." He made an obvious effort to get from his bottom to his knees then from his knees to his feet. Bit wobbly and aching but he got there eventually, then bent forward offering Roy a hand. "Come on. Let's get them done then"
Roy took the offered limb in one hand, securing his blanket cloak with the other as he rose unsteadily to his feet, eyes closing against an onset of dizziness. It was both from blood loss and hunger, but this time he didn't nearly collapse for the effort of it, even if he swayed a bit much.
Maes quickly stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his friend's waist with a worried expression. "Are you ok? Looks like you had too much to drink but we both know that's not the case." He narrowed his eyes at the woozy man. "When was the last time you've eaten anything? An empty stomach combined with your injuries spells disaster."
"I think yesterday at breakfast I had some toast..." He frowned a little, obviously thinking about it, though he wasn't all that sure. He knew for a fact he had dinner the night before that at least. He just wasn't sure if he had eaten that morning or if he'd been in too much of a rush.
"With the way you take care of yourself Mustang, I'm surprised you make it to work at all." Maes grumbled as he helped his friend out of the bedroom and towards the living room. He was careful to put the alchemist on the opposite side of the kitchen opening. That way he could effectively block any attempt for the man to look over. But they were going at a pretty decent clip so he didn't have to worry so much. He was more than a bit surprised the man was doing as well as he was. If it'd been anyone else…
"I take care of myself fine... I know I had at least ten cups of coffee yesterday." He was being moved along mostly under Maes' power, and he couldn't help a bit of nausea as he caught the small as they passed the kitchen. He closed his eyes and let himself be more or less dragged along. His voice was a bit weak when he spoke. "The phone is near the armchair."
With a bit of maneuvering he got Roy through the jungle of the living room and sat him gingerly onto the couch, pulling his feet up on the cushions and tucking the covers around them. "Thanks. Now since I don't want to be a dead man in a few hours I'm going to call Hawkeye first. She'll be up or at least will forgive me for waking her up... this time. Then best give the wife a call. Another woman that will have my head if I don’t give her a ring. Everyone else can go stuff themselves. I’m being lazy damn it."
Roy nodded a little, leaning into the other man as he waited for him to start his calls. "I'm shocked Hawkeye didn't come try to find me yet... Last time I missed a day, I think she tried to shoot my lock off..."
"You've got me to thank for that one. I told her I was heading over to your place. Thank gawds she trusts me... or something along those lines because she said she would leave me to it but wanted a report of just why you didn't show up for work. I believe you have unfinished paperwork to attend to." He laughed and grabbed the phone from the hook.
"The mere idea of trying to go into work tomorrow is petrifying." He shook his head and shuddered, the action almost exaggerated. Almost. He hunkered lower in the blanket after that.
"Will you be quiet? I'm not letting you go to work for at least a week. I'll concoct a sick leave alibi for now. But ... well we'll breach the subject of a doctor again at some point. Not now though, I really don't want to argue with you this early... er late? Whatever time it is actually." He dialed Riza's home number and hoped he'd get to live past tomorrow.
The phone was picked up rather quickly, and the response on the other end was a bit clipped. It didn't sound groggy though. "Hello?"
Maes fought past the sudden lump in his throat. "Hawkeye? Good you're awake. Hughes. I need your help in convincing the brass that Roy is sick and needs the week off. Yes he is sick and no he doesn't want me to tell you. I'm here with the dolt and he hasn't moved from the couch." Yes he was rushing but he seriously didn't want to talk to her any more than he had to. He wouldn't lie to her as long as she didn't ask the obvious.
"Hughes..." She practically growled the reply. "You better tell me what's going on soon, because your wife called me last night when nobody else told her where you were yesterday. I'll set up the leave, but you owe me details. I have some calls to make."
"Sorry to have worried her and sorry to call you so late afterwards. But it was necessary. I'll give them to you as I get permission... otherwise you'll get the severely edited version that everyone else will get until Roy is up to talking." He hated to be so formal but right now wasn't the time for finesse, it was time for action. He knew she could get things rolling and left her to it. "Thank you Hawkeye. I do owe you."
"I'll do what I can." A moment later the phone clicked as she apparently put it down from her end.
Roy raised an eyebrow at Maes, apparently curious as to just what exactly the woman had said. "Was she sleeping?"
Maes returned the receiver to the stand but didn't let go. He was a bit pensive so it took him a moment to actually answer. "I don't think so. She may have been more worried than I thought because I get the distinct impression that she was going to rip my head off through the lines. Not one that likes to wait is she?" He didn't get to interact with her on a daily basis like his friend did so he wasn't privy to the subtle nature that was Riza Hawkeye.
"How exactly did she react?" He leaned closer, frowning at the phone pensively. The reply, well, clearly she'd wanted details.
"Agitated but calm. She's an enigma. I have a strange feeling that she also might come after your head as well. She doesn't buy that you're sick, so she knows I'm lying to her though she didn’t say anything. Smart, pretty, deadly… are you sure you two aren't having some sort of affair? She's to damned protective of you sometimes."
"Very sure, if anything, I think she views me as some sort of baby brother she has to watch over." He shivered a little. "I'm so glad I don't have siblings for that very reason..."
"To be ever so lucky... or unlucky." Maes commented half seriously before picking the phone back up. He dialed his home with a sense of dread. He just hoped his wife was as forgiving when he laid the same cock and bull story on her. As the phone rang and idea slammed into him like a freight truck. He turned to Roy, "Alright... maybe I do want to argue with you. About the doctor. What about my darling wife? She may not be a doctor but she's a practicing if semi-retired nurse?"
Of course, Gracia picked up the phone in time to hear the tail end of that. She'd had to fight with their baby girl the night before to have her go to bed without her daddy, and hearing that on the phone first thing in the morning wasn't reassuring. "Maes, who needs a doctor?"
Smooth, real smooth. But he hadn't expected her to be up so early. He had expected the phone to ring a bit longer, at least long enough to get an answer out of his buddy. "Good morning sweetheart. Can you forgive your wayward husband for not calling you last night to explain where I was? I actually fell asleep taking care of Roy." Well it was more of less the truth so no direct lie. He really didn’t want to keep things from her if he could help it. He just hoped that she could be the happy medium they needed to reach.
There was a pause, and her sharp mind slid the pieces together. "So Roy needs a doctor and you didn't call me to let me know you needed help? Why? I called all over the place for you, and nobody answered the phone when I tried there."
Now he was in a bit of a bind. He honestly didn't hear the phone if it rang while he was here... and if it was before he got here he knew why Roy didn’t answer the phone. But he still hadn't gotten an answer for Roy that meant he would have to skirt around the truth as best he could until he got one. He pointedly looked at his friend as he continued speaking with his wife. "I'm sorry love. What time did you try? I'm afraid if it was in the last several hours... we were both zonked."
Roy eyed Maes for a moment before reaching up to take the phone, focusing on that for the moment. He jumped in before she got a chance to reply. His voice was soft. "Gracia? Just come over and I think it could be explained then..." Then he passed the phone back without waiting for an answer.
Okay... score one for Mustang in the ‘what the effin hell’ category. But he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth even if he was gaping at said horse for all he was worth. "Erm, yes please dear. Though I would love to see my little angel as well I think it best you drop her by your mother's for the rest of the day. I'll make it up to her somehow so hopefully she'll forgive her daddy for not being there."
Gracia was quiet for a moment, having never heard her husband’s friend sounding like that before. "Yes, I think I will... Do I need to bring anything with me? Have you eaten?"
"Umm, no. Neither of us have. I was planning to rectify that after I called sweetie." He was truly a blessed man. He was still only half believing that she was being so calm in this situation. If it’d been him… well he didn't react too well yesterday. She must have the patience of a saint.
"I'll bring something with me. When I get there I expect a full explanation. I'll be there in about an hour. See you then love." She waited to see if he'd add anything.
"Thank you love. We'll be waiting for you. We may be in the bedroom by the time you get here otherwise you'll see our mangy mops on the couch. Love you." He waited until she hung up before he did the same and turned to continue gaping at his friend. "You throw a bitch fit when I suggest a doctor or the thought of Riza coming over... but my wife gets the stamp of approval?"
He shrugged a little, leaning against Maes again and more or less hiding in the blankets. "As nice as she is, she isn't very imposing. I'm almost completely sure that I won't react badly to her."
"I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear that you trust her not to hurt you. Of course she did only threaten you that one time. But if was your fault after all. She doesn't enjoy having her husband charbroiled." He smiled as flashes of that faithful day Roy came to kill him over some assignment that the alchemist was not to particularly pleased with. It wasn't Maes’ fault that time but apparently it didn't matter. The Intel man was a convenient target. "She'll be here in a hour or less so I think we should clean up and I should clean."
"You had to remind me about that time didn't you?" He gave Maes a look that implied he could very well have lived without being reminded of the day he had to run from the angry housewife. Her nearly skewering him with a serving fork wasn't really the thought he wanted in his head right before she was to come over.
"Well it came to mind, thought I'd share." The humor was too good to keep all to himself. He managed to find his feet again and offered the same hand to Roy as he had done earlier. "Come on. I highly doubt you want her to see you like that."
Distracted from the previous line of thought, he blinked at his friend as he took his hand on reflex, letting himself be drawn waveringly to his feet. "See me like what?" He had to lean against his friend as he nearly fell.
"Beside bed mussed? Sorry to tell you this Mustang ole pal... but you be scruffy looking. I have a feeling I'm not much of a sight either. So to the showers we go." He said cheerily as they made their way back to the bedroom, speeding as quickly as he could manage past the kitchen. "But we're going to have to compromise over you coming with me everywhere. I need to clean the kitchen since I’m sure you don’t want Gracia to see what's in there. So I am going to leave you in bed during that portion...alright?"
He bit his lip against the protest he felt rising, and instead just tightened his grip on Maes' arm considerably as he dropped his gaze to the ground in front of them as he was steered back into his room. "I doubt I'm that scruffy, it's not as though my facial hair grows quickly."
"Ha! What facial hair? You're like the epitome of youthfulness. Takes at least four or five days before you get anything of a shadow. You kill me. Must be the genes." He shook his head leading them both into the bathroom. His arm was beginning to ache but he could work past the slight discomfort. It kinda felt nice to be the security blanket but he really needed to get that mess cleaned up. It was more for Roy's sake than his wife's.
"You know my father was the same way, you met him once, when we were younger." He took the direction easily, leaning into the other man as he got a little dizzy from all the moving around. Though, even that didn't ease up the death grip that he'd formed on his friend.
"I vaguely remember Mr. Mustang. Weird man, your dad. Then again, I was more interested in your Mom. She was a bit different than other moms. Mother never did get along with her either. Didn't understand that one myself because she liked your Dad. Go figure." Slowly he eased Roy atop the tub's edge, leaning him against the wall connecting.
He blinked out of his daze as he realized where he was, feeling the dizziness ease a bit. "My mother was a very frightening being. I think my father was so odd simply because he was terrified of her... I think she's where I got my fascination with fire from actually..."
"And you wonder why I loved your mother?" He asked jokingly as he tugged at the top. "Lift your arms up. We're going to get you cleaned up first. I think a shower this time around will help. I know you're a bit wobbly but standing for a bit will do wonders for your circulation." He wondered how he was going to get a shower of his own but more than likely he'd just double with Roy. Kill two birds with one stone. "Alright, lets get you out of that then I'm going to grab some towels. Think you can run the water?”
"I'm not an invalid... And you just loved my mother because you never knew anyone else with that color of hair." He rolled his eyes, then stared dismally at the bandages. They had to come off if he was to shower.
"So says the man that took after his mother." He grinned cheekily. The towels were thankfully close by so he could keep his eyes on Roy and get to him in enough time if the dizzy spells caught him while he was messing with the bandages. Now all he needed was Roy to let go of his arm so he could retrieve them. "Never said you were an invalid... just a bit clingy. All well and good but we need towels and I need to shed some clothes. Though would solve the problem of tossing them in the washer and something for me to wear." Of course he was kidding.
"I only have your arm." He pointed that out simply, fingers tugging at the bandages that had to come off before he could wash. At least no stitches had been required, even if just sitting how he was hurt something horrible. He didn't say anything though because it kept the dizziness off him.
"So noted but that doesn't get me over to the towels with you grabbing me." He watched Roy fumbled over the bandages and shook his head. He knelt in front of the alchemist and began to gingerly peel the larger bandages off. He tried to be as careful as he could. "Hmm, I think another bath might be better. I don't think you could stand for to long."
"I don’t think I could either." He sighed, giving up on the bandages and instead releasing Maes to tug the shirt off of himself, picking almost immediately at the bandages over the burns on his arms.
Some of the bandages came off without much trouble but there were a couple that decided to stick with the dried blood rather than come away peacefully. Maes sucked in a breath and winced as he peeled away a rather nasty one, knowing it might be stinging like a bitch to the actual hurt party. With that one gone he raised up slightly and turned the taps on, stopping the tub. "Stop picking at those. We'll get you in the water then see about those."
Roy glanced sideways, finally getting a finger under the bandage, and he pulled it off without any preamble. It wasn't exactly a pleasant sound. Though, despite that, he didn't really flinch. It was rare that Roy up and showed no care for being in pain. It had only happened perhaps twice that Maes had ever seen. "No need, I can get them off now."
"Roy..." Maes stared up at the man above him with a slight pained look. He didn't like to see his best friend in this state and definitely didn't like him showing no worry over his injuries the way he was. It wasn't healthy... and to be honest it scared him. "Please don't."
His fingers twitched a little, hovering over the bandages on his other arm, then he clenched his hand into a fist and dropped it away. He turned his gaze to the side. "Fine. It's not such a big deal Maes."
"It is so stop acting as if it isn't. You're hurting yourself. You may think that is alright but I think it is damn wrong. I won't even pretend to know what you are going through on the inside nor will I try to tell you not to do something that you want to except when it comes to hurting yourself. I stopped you from doing something like this after the war and I'm here to stop you from doing it again. The situation is different but the theme is the same. All you have to do it let me try."
"I'm not stopping you from helping me Maes." He dropped his chin, hands uncurling as he leaned back a bit more against the wall. "I wasn't hurting myself, it simply didn't matter, they needed to come off anyway." He shrugged a little, voice softer, and it was apparent he'd given up the argument, or in general really, for the moment.
"They did but... sometimes I think you aren't really listening to what I have to say. You look at me sometimes and you stare straight through. Something is wrong, we both know that but apparently I'm the only one willing to accept that. It's okay... for now. I won't argue with you over this because I know you know I'm right. Let's get you into the water and I'll see about cleaning the kitchen."
Roy moved his legs over the side of the tub and hefted himself in, sweeping his hands over where he'd been a moment before. He was almost sure that all the moving around had started him bleeding again, but the warm water would help. "Get your shirt first Maes, if you insist on cleaning it, you really don't want it on you."
Well that was a dismissal if he ever heard one and he had heard quite a few non-verbal ones in his life. The familiar sting of guilt crept up his chest but he refused to give its goal. With a plainly forced half smile, he rose and swept out of the bathroom without so much as a look back. Roy was being stubborn and in a way hateful, but he'd pushed him to being curt. Maes would just have to live with the results. Though if Roy thought that the same song and dance was going to work on his wife... he had another thing coming.
Roy looked sideways as his friend left and then ripped the other bandage off before it could get wet, his fingers going to the remaining ones, and he completely didn't care if they were irritating his skin to hell. As soon as he was naked again, he let out a breath, etching an array with the blood on his fingers from the edge of the tub, he more or less heated the water to his chosen scalding. Then he sank almost completely under. He'd be fine with Maes not being there as long as he was in here.
It was nearly an hour from the call exactly when Gracia came to the door, knocking on it. She figured it would be best to not just walk in this time. The tones of speech had been enough of a warning for that.
Maes was leaning against the counter, bloody cloth in one hand crimson colored bleach water in the other, when the knock resounded through the empty space around him. It nearly caused him to jump, and for Maes Hughes to jump over a tiny sound like that was saying something about his state of mind. He dumped the water as fast as he could down the kitchen sink then turned the tap on to let it rinse out the residue that was sure to be caught before he headed towards the door. The cloth was tossed over his shoulder without him really looking, but by his skill he figured it would land safely behind the counter. His shirt was worse for wear, but thankfully only minute traces of red were scattered across the cloth. He pasted a small smile on his lips and opened the door.
"Early even." He bent to kiss her forehead. "Come on in. Forgive the mess, you know how us men can't clean to save our lives."
Gracia stepped inside, letting him close the door, then she ran evaluating, worried eyes over him quickly, not missing the blood on him. Nor the rather strong smell of bleach, even over the food in her hands. "But you were cleaning up anyway." She cast a smile up at him. "Where should I put this? Kitchen?"
"No!" He called out in alarm before catching himself. "Umm no, that's alright love. I'll take it. Why don't you sit down a moment? I’m sure you've a couple of questions before we go see Roy. I know he'll hate me for talking about him while he's not in the room but I feel it only fair to brief you as much as I can on what to expect." He took the rather large dish from her hands and made his way back to the kitchen. Careful to side step the soiled rag he sat the dish onto the newly cleaned counter though if one looked closely enough there could be seen some small trace of oddly colored grit and slime just off to the back.
Gracia frowned a little, staring after her husband for a moment before moving to sit. That had been something akin to panic. Yes, something was very wrong here, and apparently it was revolving around Roy... What could possibly have happened?
Maes lingered in the kitchen, trying to regain his composure. Maybe it was the lack of adequate sleep or food... or something… but he was sure panic-mode wasn’t what he was wanting to convey to the love of his life who rarely saw him even close to this state. He took a deep breath then entered the living room again, the same wane smile adoring his lips. "No trouble out of our little angel then? You are a bit early after all."
Gracia got back up almost immediately, eyes far too sharp. "Love, she's a bit upset not to have seen you last night, but she was calm enough this morning. Now, what happened?"
"That's the woman I know and love. Always quick to the problem and more so to the answer. Remind me again why you married me?" He was trying to stall and of course he knew Gracia wouldn't take kindly to that tactic but he had reservations about telling her something so horrible this early in the morning... ever! Though if he kept it up then Roy wouldn't get the much needed help. "Roy was attacked two days ago Gracia."
"Because I love you." She shook her head. "Now who could anyone hurt him badly enough he'd need a doctor in the first place, and where's the body?"
"Best not do that dear." Maes closed the distance between them and took a hold of her hand. "Believe me when I tell you that bringing something like that up will not be a good idea. Roy has always been an odd bird, love. Always following his own tune no matter him joining the military. Sure he's made certain concessions to get where he is today but... back when we were young and the war was still raging Roy was a very different person. Someone that hurt him long ago had came back..." Well Maes wasn't sure hurt was the proper term for it. Scared the hell out of might better fit but it was an easier method to explain things, sort of. "From what I’ve been told and pieced together on my own, Roy was attacked shortly after he returned home. Kimblee, the man whom attacked him, did his level best to get under Roy's skin and into his head. It worked and Roy was essentially powerless to stop him. He didn't make it to the snap even when he brought himself out of whatever hold Kimblee had over him." He steered her towards the hallway, careful to keep himself between her and the kitchen. Even though the blood and debris had been clean he still didn't want her in there, for the same reason he didn't want Roy in there. If he could stand and work through the muck and be nearly overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness, pain, and insanity... then so could they. "It was quite ugly to say the least."
She looked to her husband, then fell quiet. She was sure she'd see soon enough exactly what he'd meant. She'd just prepare for the worst though. Apparently, whoever hurt Roy was still up and running around.
They stepped into the dimly lit bedroom without trouble but Maes hesitated. "I'm not going to say that this will be easy nor hard considering your history but I will say that I wished neither of you have to go through this. Just remember that he is hurt, a bit scared, and ready to lash out at any sign of perceived danger. He's not too jumpy but I still don't want to startle or upset him any more than need be." With that said he released his wife's hand to go knock on the bathroom door. "Roy. Gracia is here."
Roy, having heard the knocking at the front door, had slipped into a very defensive mode almost immediately. He had gotten together one of the darker, non-blood based materials in reach, knowing that he couldn't keep using his blood like that, and had his hand on the edge of the array, eyes narrowed on the bathroom door as he hunkered down in the water. He was almost sure the person on the other side wouldn't hurt him, but he knew that no matter who it was, it wasn't just Maes, and therefor he simply had to be ready.
Some little voice in the back of his head told him he was overreacting, and that he really shouldn't be on guard, but he couldn't help himself. He kept his hand on the array, sinking a bit further into the soothing warmth, though now he was thinking of a couple dozen ways to use it for himself. "I think I changed my mind." His voice was barely loud enough for Maes to catch, but damned if he could help it.
Gracia stepped forward with a thin frown. This wasn't at all what she expected to have to deal with when she'd been phoned earlier. At worst she thought the two of them had gone drinking and had gotten themselves into some sort of trouble. She'd been worried sick that something had happened to her husband, only to get the rather early phone call to find out it was Roy that was the man in need. Apparently when dealing with one you dealt with the other and she had grown accustomed to that. She loved Roy dearly, he was almost like another part of her little family, a fact of which she was more than pleased to always remind him about. Whether or not he took that to heart she never knew. Now he was in need and all she could help wondering is 'What did he do this time?' It wasn't his fault that he'd been attacked and she was more than ashamed of her thoughts. But she couldn't help wonder just who from the man's past would want to come back to hurt him as badly as her husband had let on. And did she truly want to know. Of course she would have to be told the real problem before she was going to be able to start the healing process. It's just that she wasn't sure she wanted to.
Maes glanced over his shoulder and gave a small nod before pushing the door open slightly. "Roy." He answered softly. "You have every right to change your mind about this but Gracia is only here to help. You and I both know that she wouldn't hurt you. Just give her a chance like you've given me. I'm not going to go anywhere during this so you don't have to worry."
Oh dear, Roy thought she would hurt him?! The incident from a few years ago came crashing through her thoughts, which only deepened her frown. She didn't mean to actually do anything more than teach the man his lesson about coming after her loved ones. Now it seemed even that small show of force on her part was going to hinder her in this situation. She wasn’t going to get anywhere by just standing still and begin quiet so she took the initiative to step closer to the door without going in. "Roy. I'm pretty sure that you dearly wish that I wasn't here but I am and don't think I'm going anywhere just because you've decided that you can live without my help. I won't accept that and neither will you, because from the feeling I'm getting from both your home and my husband we both know that you need some form of help. You clearly do not wish to see a doctor nor have one come to see you. I am the next best thing and frankly the last option. Try to understand that I'm not here to cause you more hurt, just help."
"I’m not... worried about me. It's just not a good idea now." He hunkered down lower, hearing the strain in his own voice. God, why was this such an ordeal? He'd never been so flame happy before, but now he couldn't help but be on full defensive, which for him tended to be fully offensive. "It's really not... I thought I'd handle this better Maes..."
Caught between agreeing with his wife and wanting to protect his best friend, it was not a place Maes wanted to be. This wasn't going to work but for one fleeting moment he thought he'd had the answer with Gracia. He gave her a weak smile and shook his head. "I... I guess this wasn't such a good idea."
Gracia's expression didn't change much except for the hard gleam she got in her usually soft eyes. She shook her head in reply. "No, not like this it won't. Roy Lariel Mustang you listen and you listen up good young man. I am not some flunky that comes when called. I am your best friend's wife and what I would like to think is your friend as well. I will not be tossed away like some used tissue because you're in a mood and don't want to deal with your problems. I do not work that way and neither do you."
Roy twitched a little with that and there was a slight sizzle before he swept his hand, eyes closed tight as he tried to reign himself in. "I don't want to risk hurting you Gracia." His voice was really small, and he curled back into a corner of the tub, the now burned in array still in reach.
"Roy, you didn't hurt me back then and even though you think you might you won't now. I am your friend and whether you like it or not I'm coming in." She glared at her silent husband and pushed him aside to enter the bathroom. It too was dimly lit but she didn't need the light to find her target. She didn't move any closer. "I'm not leaving."
He shrank further into the corner of the tub, one finger tracing blindly over the lines of the array as he eyed her. He was completely tense, sinking back into the shadows made by the curtain of the tub. He mentally smacked himself for the incredibly wary reaction, but he couldn't help it.
Maes was seriously fearing for his wife's life and his friend's sanity by this point. Roy was like a cornered animal, ready to strike out with deadly force. He wasn't ready to be a single parent or loose the biggest chunk of his heart either. "Roy, it'll be alright. She's here to help. You asked her to come remember? All she needs to do is check your wounds."
She felt the despair wafting off of her husband and could very clearly sense the powerful flame energy that Roy commanded with a snap of his fingers. This was a very volatile situation and she'd been a little less than prepared for it. But now that she was here she wasn’t backing down.
Roy relaxed a fraction as he heard Maes' voice, and he moved enough for the overheated water to splash a bit as he more or less lunged to latched onto Maes' hand the moment the man eased into reach. He didn't want to hurt Gracia, but god... He wanted to get her away from him so badly. "I know..." His voice was positively tiny.
"In order for this to work I'm going to have to take stock of your injuries." This was slowly starting to sink in, what her husband had been hinting at. This was not ordinary attack, this was something far worse. Idly she wondered if she even had the proper tools to handle this alone. But she wouldn't let down her friend nor lose her husband's confidence in her. She'd been too long out of practice and Roy was in need. Bad day didn't begin to describe today.
Maes bent beside the tub as his thumb ran over the back of Roy's hand. He needed to calm him down so Gracia could get close enough to actually help. Though he did wish, in this one instance, that she wasn't so headstrong and damn good at her job. If this kept up he was going to have to get the burn cream.
From that angle, Gracia could see few of Roy's wounds, and his wet hair obscured the livid bruise on his face as he ducked his head, trying to get himself under control. "See why I said no before? I didn’t think it'd be so bad with her." It was a murmur, and he reeled Maes in with the hand in his grip, nearly quivering with the tension of keeping himself from slamming his hand down on the array.
Maes was going to have to be patient with both of them. His wife needed to do what she came for and Roy needed to let her. So why did he not want either to reach their goal? Probably because somewhere along the way someone had to get hurt. Isn't that how it always ended up? One would be hurt by the other while trying to receive help. Help was given then the other injured party would leave with guilt and pain. Some time later the first hurt party would eventually seek out the second to apologize and everything was supposed to become happy again. Though with these two he doubted Gracia would live past the pain. He remembered all to well the horrors he'd seen from the war. "Maybe we should get you dressed first, then let Gracia take a look at the most obvious wounds?"
Roy tightened his fingers on Maes' hand, trying to focus on his friend as he took a few long, shallow breaths. He shouldn't be like this! He shouldn't be such a mess! He was almost fine earlier, and this was what a person would call an extreme over-reaction. "I just... need to calm down."
"I believe that is a wonderful idea. You should get dressed, you'll feel less exposed. I'm not helping the situation by being the antagonist in your mind's eyes so I believe I shall see about setting up something to eat. Maybe then you might be willing to accept my presence here... and maybe allow me to help." Without a second glance she turned and hurried out of the bathroom with something that oddly looked like tears sparkling in her eyes. She was right, she wasn't prepared enough for this. She didn’t expect a broken man to mend. She expected Roy Mustang, bloody arrogant good-hearted idiot that he was. She'd forgive him but would she forgive herself?