Pick me up at Central main station in two days, Edward had said, I need to show you something.
That phone-call had been the first sign of life he had gotten from him in person in three years.
Sure, the former Fullmetal Alchemist had kept in contact with Alphonse and Winry, who in turn had kept Roy up to date, but he himself hadn't received as much as a postcard.
And now he was waiting for a train that would deliver the ex-alchemic prodigy (and who was he kidding, Ed still had all his gate given knowledge, he could still run circles around almost every other alchemist in Amestris, even without the ability to actually perform alchemy…) back to him.
Roy spots Edward first. And he has to rub his eyes and look again. Because… Because.
Because Edward is completely covered in alchemic circle tattoos. His arms are basically black, if Roy had to guess every circle had precisely the size it would need not to become unusable with age and not a millimetre more, there is a circle each on the back of his hands, they just so peak out of his shirt collar and when he stretches to look across the crowd he sees them on the sliver of skin where his shirt rides up.
And the implications of this are… they are…
Edward has spotted him. He grins, drops to the ground and seconds later there is a giant cannon pointing at Roy's head.
And all he can do is smile. Edward smiles right back and he is beautiful.
"How," he asks once Edward is back on the ground and the canon has disappeared once again. "I thought… I thought you couldn't, without your Gate?"
Edward grins and shoves his right hand in Roy's face. On it is one of Ed's favourite arrays, the earth manipulation one. But there is an extra circle that looks like…
"Is that a feedback loop?"
"Something like that! Down in Creta they got fed up with how much energy performing alchemy takes out of the alchemist, what with feeding the tectonic energy through our personal gate first and then using it, that they just… erased the gate from the equation. This feeds the tectonic energy directly into the array! It's not as precise as normal alchemy, and extremely hard to keep in check, but it works!"
Of course Edward would tattoo unstable alchemical arrays all over his body.
"If anyone could control it, it would be you," Roy has to admit, thinking back to the canon from the train station.
It didn't have the usual embellishments, but Roy had thought maybe the blond had just grown out of those.
"Exactly my thoughts," he grins.
Roy only notices that he has lead them to his house without even asking Ed when they're already at the front gate.
"Ah," he says. "I don't want to assume, but if you have no prior engagements can I tempt you with dinner and a guest room?"
Ed gives him an amused look.
"Do you even have to ask?"
Ed comes back to the kitchen, damp from a shower and dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt he borrowed from Roy while the older is cutting vegetables.
"Didn't know you could cook," the blond comments, rubbing a towel through his long locks. The T-shirt he's wearing originally belonged to Maes and is still way too tight around Ed's shoulders.
It takes everything Roy has in him not to stare.
"What are you making?"
"How's Hughes?" He asks, picking at the shirt he's wearing.
He had of course no illusions that one of Roy's t-shirts would even remotely fit him.
"No change, really, but they transferred him to Central Hospital, at least, so he gets more visitors. Would you like to go while you're here? No one can be certain he can hear us at all but…"
"Yeah, I think I'd like that."
Roy isn't sure how they wind up on the couch with Ed's arm carefully cradled in his hands.
It's still a miracle to him, to feel warm flesh where cold steel used to be. He hadn't seen much of Ed after the promised day, even if they had kept slightly more in touch while he and his brother were recuperating in Resembool.
"This one?" He carefully traces an array a bit above the other alchemist's elbow.
"Mmm. Cotton," Edward explains, taking a sip of his drink. "Kept thinking about how many times I ripped my clothes during assignments."
"And you fixed them instead of writing them into your expense reports? Dare I say I'm impressed, Fullmetal?"
"Oh shut up," the nineteen year old grumbles, hiding his face in his drink.
But something had shifted in his expression.
"Is… everything ok? I hope I didn't overstep?"
"No. It's just… you called me Fullmetal."
"Oh. I didn't mean to-"
"Do you think I could get recertified?"
Whatever Roy had expected it wasn't that.
"Re… I was under the impression that the military had served its purpose for you, Edward?"
"Yes but. You're not Führer yet, are you? And I can do alchemy again, which means I can help you again and, and… I mean, if you don't want me I understand. I. We never really saw eye to eye, and I was probably a pain in your ass most of the time, but…" He bites his lip and Roy can't take it anymore.
He reaches out and tilts Edwards chin towards himself.
Leaning in slowly while sliding his hand from the younger man's jaw into his hair, he gives him more than enough time to pull away.
But he doesn't.
And Roy slots their lips together, just a small innocent kiss.
"Oh," says Edward, pupils blown.
And then he leans back in.