Title: A Broken Trust (The Seed of the Fire- Chapter 13)
Pairing: Roy Mustang x Maes Hughes
Rating: PG-13 for violence and language and gross bodily functions.
Disclaimer: AU, Set before the anime started, while Maes and Roy were roommates at the military academy.
Author Note: The story is going to start following a bit more of the manga, although it may have elements of both later.
Summary: When things look thier worst, it can get ever more horrible.
Read all of the chapters so far HERE!
Roy was cheerily fixing some toast and eggs with cheese when Maes walked into the kitchen, dressed only in a white tank top and boxer shorts. Roy, on the other hand, had decided to dress fully in a pair of comfortable black slacks and a black button up shirt with a collar that hugged the curves of his body almost perfectly. Maes groaned lightly.
"Hey, love!" Roy called happily, while flipping the toast over in the pan. "You hungry?"
"Not really." Maes answered honestly.
He took the pan of the stove and turned around, coming over to give his lover a kiss. "Ah. If you are worried about that little comment in the shower about us leaving in a couple of days, don't worry about it. I mean there is nothing we can do about it. No need to make yourself sick worrying about something you can't change. We just need to enjoy the time we have before we go."
"Yeah, sure." Maes slumped down in one of the chairs at the kitchen table and picked up the newspaper that the general had thoughtfully arranged to be delivered. Roy shrugged. He wasn't sure what was wrong, but he smiled, thinking that he had some ways to get to the bottom of it. He went back to finishing breakfast.
Not long after, two plates were set before the men, and Roy went about ravishing his portion. He was almost already halfway through his meal before he noticed that all Maes was doing was poking his fork in his eggs, like he was trying to stab at something trying to get away from him.
"Now, Maes. You will get plenty of knife practice later. Why don't you eat now?" Roy smiled, trying to get his friend to open up, or at least feel a little better.
"I am sorry. I am sure it is good, but I am just not hungry." He pushed his plate towards the middle of the table.
Roy's face darkened, a mix of anger, frustration and confusion on his features. He crossed his arms. "Alright, Maes. You need to tell me what the hell is wrong. I thought we just stopped being mad."
Maes sighed, and looked down at the table, pushing his glasses to the bridge of his nose. "I am not mad, Roy. Don't worry. I promise, it isn't anything you did."
"Are you worried about Ishbal? I mean I know it is scary, but we will be close by, and I know we will be alright."
Maes shook his head. "No... yes.. well, I mean that I am scared about Ishbal, I won't lie about that. But.. it is something else." He sighed again, keeping his head down on the table, forehead pressed to the wood that was cool to the touch.
"Something else? What is wrong?" Maes could hear the worry in his lover's voice. He knew that the man sensed that something was wrong. For a moment, he almost couldn't do it, couldn't tell him what the man deserved to know. He took a deep breath and exhaled.
"Roy, I need to tell you something. Something that will be hard, but you need to hear it, even if it hurts." Maes closed his eyes, his nose pressing into the wood of the table, tears starting to pool under his face. He could hardly talk, his throat was closing on him.
"Roy, when we went away for training, and we were at different bases, I... started talking to a girl. She is a civilian who works at a bakery, so she made deliveries pretty often. At first it was nothing, just hello in the mess hall, then we got to talking, and she is a real nice girl. Her name is Gracia, and she is only a year younger than me. She is real nice, and we never did anything much.. I think I held her hand once and I think she tried to kiss me a couple of times, but I never did anything else, I swear..." He hadn't realized how much he was rambling on until he suddenly found himself out of breath. He sucked in a deep gulp of air and waited.
He wasn't sure what he was waiting for, a fist to the face maybe, or a plate at his head, or even worse, a snap of the fingers. Roy never kept his gloves far from him. They were probably in his pocket. How long would it take him to get the glove out, put it on his hand, and snap his fingers? He figured probably less than ten seconds for sure.
Had it been ten seconds yet? It seemed like it. He hadn't heard Roy stand up to get his gloves. Maybe he could reach into his pocket while still sitting down.
He waited some more. Still nothing.
He wanted to raise his head, but he was afraid. His heart raced. What would he find?Anger? Sadness? Regret? Two fingers poised to strike?
Maes wasn't sure if it was a minute or an hour before he finally got up the nerve to raise his head. His heart skipped a beat, his red, teary eyes slowly moving upwards from the table to the space across from him. Roy was still there. He didn't have his glove on. In fact, he hadn't moved at all, it seemed. He still had a fork full of eggs raised halfway to his mouth, gravity making small clumps of the yellow mush fall back to the plate.
The older man tried to say something. He opened his mouth, but his throat was dry, his lips cracked, his stomach felt like someone had kicked him and then was sitting on him. Roy's face was blank. There was no emotion there, like it was a face chiseled from stone. There they sat, staring, gold-green eyes to black, and Maes' face wilted. He never could stand up to the fire that burnt so hot behind those eyes, and he had never seen the heat so intense than at this moment.
After what may have been an eternity, for all Maes knew, Roy placed two hands on the table and pushed the chair back with a loud screeching noise against the cold linoleum floor. He stood up, and Maes tensed, wondering if this was the end of his life. He thought about pleading for the man to spare him, but then he wasn't really sure that he deserved it.
Roy said nothing. He simply turned away from the table and walked through the kitchen, out into the main room, then out the front door, not even bothering to take a coat with him. The door closed, not with a slam, but with a soft creak and a satisfying thud.
And that was it. Roy was out of the house, and as far as Maes knew, out of his life. He wasn't sure if he was going to go AWOL from the military, or come back just to gather his stuff, or maybe he was going to find a girl to cheat on like he had. It would serve him right, he thought.
Maes didn't care that he was a grown man crying, his hot tears stinging his eyes and running down his face. He pounded the table with his fists, over and over, harder and harder, until his knuckles bled and his skin was rubbed raw. And when he didn't have any more tears to shed, and his knuckles refused to bleed any more, he got up and went over to the general's liquor cabinet and pulled out the first bottle he saw, not even bothering to look at what it was or get a glass to pour it in, he opened the top with a loud *POP* and took a swig of something that burned going down his throat, and it burnt just as much- or even more- coming back up a few seconds later.
In his alcohol induced haze, Maes couldn't be sure what time it was, although he knew it was very late. The sun had gone down hours ago, and in between bouts of drinking, vomiting, and passing out, he watched the clock on the wall's hands move steadily around the face one full time and start with a second round.
He had already finished one bottle of a clear liquid, and was most of the way thru another bottle of a spicy brown liquor that tasted like cinnamon and cloves when it forced itself the opposite direction up his throat. He tried to stand up, on wobbly legs, his hands shaking, which sloshed the small amount of liquid that was left in the exotic looking bottle. Maes was only able to take a couple of steps towards the front door when he fell to his knees, the bottle rolling out of his hand and across the floor. Amazingly it didn't break, but the last of the liquor soaked into the hardwood floors, not that Maes really cared anyways.
"Roy.." he hoarsely croaked, the first word that he had said all day, since the breakfast table. He reached out a hand towards the door and fell flat on his face, his glasses falling and cracking under his weight, small shards of glass embedding themselves in his cheek. His nose started to bleed, but he couldn't feel it. He was unconscious before he hit the hard floor.
Birds chirped outside, and sunlight streamed in through the two wide windows on either side of the front door. Maes slowly opened his eyes. It took him a few long movements to focus. His eyes ached. His whole body ached, his stomach muscles ached, his head pounded like a jackhammer, and his face was burning.
He groaned, finally getting himself to a sitting position. He used a hand to shield his eyes from the light, thinning his eyes to slits. He instinctively reached for his glasses, when he saw them crushed under him. He felt his face and hissed in pain, the pads of his fingers rubbing over shards of glass and dried, caked on blood and left over vomit.
Slowly, he crawled over to a chair and used it to help himself up to a shakily standing position. "R-roy?" he groaned, his voice not sounding like his own. He looked around but didn't see any signs of movements. There were no sounds other than his ragged breathing. "Roy?" he called out a little louder. He wasn't sure if he could walk, but he didn't have much of a choice.
Silently he thanks whatever deity was above that the house was a small, one story affair. It only look him a few minutes to search the 1 bedroom house. He was not surprised at all when it turned out that he was only person in the place.
Maes sighed and walked to the bathroom, where he relieved himself before facing the inevitable face in the mirror. He shivered when he saw himself. He had never in his life had he seen himself so low. His eyes were red and puffy, bloodshot. His nose was at a slightly odd angle, blood caked from where it had hit the floor last night. His face was full of little bruises from the hardwood, his lip was slightly split and swollen, and he had little trails of spit and vomit on the sides of his mouth. He was lucky that only a few shards of glass had stuck in his cheeks, and they were big enough to see and pluck out with a pair of pliers.
When he was done with the grizzly task, He washed his hands, which had bruises from falling as well, and his face as best he could. As much as he would love to have taken a shower, he needed to find Roy, and the thought of the last time he was in that shower still stuck in his mind like a rat to tarpaper.
He put a few little bandages on his cuts and put on a new set of clothing, then went out, not really sure where to start searching in the capital (and largest) city in Amestris for one man who most likely doesn't want to be found.
The looks that he had gotten as he was asking people around town if they had seen Roy Mustang (who he had luckily kept the old picture of them on day they graduated from the academy), ranged from shock and confusion to pity. Some people thought he had been mugged and offered him some lunch or change, which he politely refused. There was no way he was going to tell them that his was what he did to himself in a drunken stupor. He was at least glad that he had one more change of civilian clothes, or else it would have been his dress blues, and that would have been even more awkward to try to explain.
It was well after lunch when Maes finally checked the right bar. There were only so many bars that Roy had frequented, but they, of course with his luck, were scattered all around town, and he severely limited himself on cab rides, considering the amount of sens that the military paid him was hardly enough to live on.
When he finally found Roy, it was outside the Rusty Barnacle Pub. He had always thought that was a weird name for a landlocked town, but it was one of Roy's favorites, and he silently cursed himself for not checking it sooner. It was so far on the other side of town he wanted to check some closer ones, even though they were less likely to be housing his lost lover.
He wasn't in the pub itself, but in the filthy, dingy alleyway on the side, next to the door where the bouncers eject the drunk and unruly. Maes almost missed him. He was laying, face down next to a pile of garbage. When the garbage groaned and started to move, he knew who he had found.
"Roy!" he yelled and ran full tilt into the alleyway. He rolled the groaning man onto his back where he sputtered and coughed, blinking his eyes, and trying to get them to focus.
"Roy!" Maes exclaimed again. He didn't even have time to blink before a fist hit him squarely in the face, instantly bloodying his nose yet again. Maes reeled back, stumbling backwards a couple of steps before regaining his footing. Before he could say anything, Roy was up on his feet stumbling forward towards him.
"Please, Roy, please wait!" Maes cried out, holding his palms out towards him, shielding his face. "Please, Roy!" He sighed audibly when Roy took one more shaky step, then crumbled to his knees, his eyes red.
"Maes. How could you?" he asked softly, his voice barely over a whisper. "I was faithful the whole time you were gone. You think I didn't have my pick of the women on the base? Do you think that I didn't get phone numbers and propositions? I had to make up one lame excuse or another to get out of it." Roy tried to get up, but stumbled back down to his knees again.
"I trusted you, Maes. I trusted you to be faithful. I trusted you that there was no one else in your life. I believed you when you said you loved me. I loved you. I LOVED you, Maes. Don't you understand that? That isn't something that I just fall into. I have been with a lot of women, but I didn't really love them, not like I loved you. I wanted to spend my life with you, and damn the rest of the fucking world who thinks that it is wrong."
Maes took a step forward, almost within arm's reach of Roy. He got on his knees, his breath ragged. "Roy, please. I want to try to explain..."
"Explain?! EXPLAIN?! what is there to explain, Maes? You were seeing someone on the side, and you expect me to... what be happy about it?" Roy took a deep breath and used a dumpster to his side to stand on his feet again. "I am going home, Maes. I don't really care if you follow me or not."
He was expecting another punch, or a kick while he was on his knees when Roy walked past. Maes tensed his muscles and closed his eyes, but nothing happened. He heard Roy's footsteps file past him, and then behind him, eventually fading into the distance. He softly let out the breath he didn't even know he was holding.
"Oh God, Roy. What did I do?" Maes murmured.