Author's Notes: Listen. I just meant to reply an anon question on tumblr, but it sort of turned into an accidental prompt? The question asked me to consider Roy's and Edward's reactions to Aidan asking one of Edward's kids out on a date. I started to think about it and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write it and then I remembered how stupidsexymustang and I were talking about writing a series about Aidan and Rebecca and Havoc's kids since we have a bajillion headcanons about them – and then this happened. It was supposed to be one scene. How did it end up like this? At least I'm keeping these organized. They won't be in chronological order, but better than random one-shots.
Disclaimer: I don't own FMA or any of the characters. The credit for the Havolina kids, Bran and Ally, goes all to stupidsexymustang; they are her brain children and I adore them. Aidan is mine, but besides that, I own nothing.
Chapter Summary: Aidan's first dance is coming up, something he's not too excited about. According to Roy, his best chances of getting out of having to dance with girls is to bring a date to the dance. But who is he supposed to ask anyways?
we'll give the world to you
reliable with the ladies
Riza knew that something was up the moment her son laid a folded piece of paper on the table and stood silent as could be with his eyes averted to the ground. Aidan was naturally a quiet kid, something he'd obviously inherited from her since Roy could ramble on for hours, but he was at least open with her. Whenever he couldn't meet her eyes or became fidgety, as he was now shifting on his feet, she knew that something was wrong.
Cautiously picking up the paper, she wondered if perhaps he'd gotten in trouble at school. It didn't happen often, not unless he allowed Rebecca's children to drag him into something, but it had happened. Riza snuck one last glance at Aidan, who was determinedly staring at his shoes, before flicking open the paper and reading it.
"Oh," was the only thing to come out of her mouth.
Aidan's cheeks flooded bright red.
Roy peered into the kitchen as he fixed the lapels of his uniform. "What's in the letter?" He complained all the time that there was so much more to the uniform now that he was the Fuhrer, but it never stopped him from looking good, even now that he was in his late forties. It hit her while reading this letter just how old she was. Her son - their son - was growing up. "Don't tell me he let Ally convince him to pull another prank."
Riza looked up to her husband, an amused look on her face. "No, it's a letter from his school about the homecoming dance next weekend."
"Homecoming dance?" Roy stepped fully into the room and fixed his son with a look. "If it's next week, why is this the first time we're hearing about it?" Aidan shrugged his shoulders, definitely avoiding looking at his parents now, his face still flushed. The poor boy was embarrassed. He had avoided telling them about it, most likely with the hope of avoiding the whole thing. He hated fancy events about as much as Roy did. "This is your first dance! You should be excited. We'll go find you a nice suit tomorrow night. Luckily my sister Claire works at a nice shop too. Not to mention you'll probably be the only boy that can dance. Every girl will be lining up to dance with you."
"I don't want to dance with every girl," Aidan mumbled in a rush of words, clearly horrified by the prospect of being forced to dance all night long with the girls from his class. Riza couldn't help but smile at that. He was a lot more like her in that respect (honestly in many more respects), but that seemed to confuse Roy. Why wouldn't Aidan want to be the center of attention for a bunch of girls? The truth was Aidan didn't like the limelight and never had; going from nobody to the Fuhrer's son had been a struggle in itself.
And it only got worse as he got older.
Roy tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Well, there's one way you can ensure that no one will dance with you."
That caught Aidan's attention. He looked up sharply to his father, his dark eyes shining with curiosity and maybe a hint of desperation. "How?" Hopefulness blossomed on his face, to the point where he missed the fact that a sneaky grin was working its way onto Roy's face. Oh, Aidan, so lost in his own attempt to get out of this whole thing, he didn't know what that look meant, not like Riza did.
"You get yourself a date," Roy said, ruffling his son's already messy hair. "You bring a date with you, dance with them all night, and you've effectively got yourself a shield."
Aidan's jaw dropped, all hope dashed from his face. "A date?"
"You should count yourself lucky," Roy pointed out as he returned to fixing his uniform. "I'm the Fuhrer and bring your mother to events as my date and I'm still forced to dance with every woman that asks me."
Leaning over to kiss Riza on the lips, he winked at them and then strode out of the room, leaving Riza sighing and Aidan staring off into the distance. Whatever he saw in the not-so distant future, it didn't look good. A distraught expression was captured on his face as he tried to think of a way to get of this. She could see his mind working overtime the same way that Roy's did. Whenever he did get in trouble with Bran and Ally, Havoc and Rebecca's two kids, he was always the one that managed to get them out of hot water usually.
However, it appeared as if he couldn't find one. He could tell Riza that he didn't want to go. She would never force him to go. But he could also tell that Roy was genuinely excited about Aidan having his first dance. If there was one thing he truly hated, it was disappointing either of his parents in any way. The both of them could tell him it was fine and that it was his life, but he would never see it that way no matter what they said. Roy had already expressed his excitement, unintentionally settling things in his mind. Aidan could also feign sickness, but unless it was to help someone else, typically Bran or Ally, he didn't like to lie. He was too much like his mother for his own good.
"I'm sure you'll have fun," Riza said as she set the letter back down on the table.
Aidan snatched up the letter and gave her a sour look. "Like you have fun at those galas and fundraisers with Dad?"
Well, he had her there. He was also too smart for his own good sometimes.
The week went by without much to say. As promised, Roy took Aidan shopping for a suit the next day. They hadn't done that together since the wedding. It had been the first time they'd done something alone as father and son in public. Riza remembered how nervous Roy had been and Aidan's own excitement. Despite the fact that he was reluctant to go to the dance, Aidan did come back home grinning lopsidedly and told her everything that they did. Unlike some thirteen year-olds, he seemed to enjoy spending time with his parents, perhaps because he'd spent the first four years of his life not having the both of them together.
However, when Roy broached the subject of finding a date, Aidan was at a complete loss. It didn't matter to him that he was the Fuhrer's only son and good-looking for his age. ( "He has my good looks, after all," Roy pointed out cheekily.) He was still a teenager and teenagers were awkward as hell if nothing else. The prospect of asking a girl out, even if it was just for one night to a dance, made him terribly uncomfortable. To make matters worse, it appeared as if his best friend, Bran, had already found a date. Fourteen year-olds, according to Aidan, were way cooler.
"There isn't a single girl at school that you have a crush on?" Roy asked over dinner.
Aidan picked at his food and shook his head mutely.
"What about Ally?" Riza pointed out. "You're already friends, so you're comfortable around her."
A panic-stricken look crossed Aidan's face, and it appeared as if his face didn't know whether it wanted to blanch or blush. "Ally?" He blinked rapidly, twirling his fork in his fingers, until finally his face turned red and he began to shake his head. "N-no, Ally is like my sister. That would be weird."
Well, Riza didn't see why Aidan would react so terribly to her suggestion. He had known Ally since she was born, practically grew up with her. Maybe it did seem weird since he was best friends with her older brother, but they were friends too. They'd done sleepovers, went trick-or-treating together, played together, and everything. She thought that part of the reason Aidan was so hesitant over asking a girl to a dance was because he was uncomfortable around them. He could be a complete charmer when he wanted to be, but he wasn't an overly outgoing kid. He was only extroverted when it suited him. Right now, that side of him was failing. She'd figured Ally going with him might bolster it again. She always managed to bring out Aidan's more confident, extroverted side.
A more knowing look on his face, Roy watched his son as he ate his food. "I'm sure you'll figure something out. Maybe it'll be more fun going stag to the dance. You won't be so tied down then."
That didn't seem to set well with Aidan at all, but after sighing, he began to eat again. Riza knew that it was a good sign. It meant that he'd made up his mind. She glanced at Roy, who waggled his eyebrows at her. She had a feeling that he knew something that she didn't. She'd just have to pry it out of him later tonight. She had her convincing ways after all.
"Thanks for letting us stay for the weekend," Edward sighed as he took the mug of tea from her and relaxed down on the couch. "It wouldn't have been a problem finding a hotel room on such short notice, but-"
"But that's nonsense," Riza told him as she sat down across from him. "I'm sure you've plenty of talent in that area, but we have enough space to accommodate a small army. Two more people isn't going to hurt us."
Indeed, the Fuhrer's house was larger than either of them liked. There were so many rooms that she didn't know what they were supposed to do with half of them. At least she wasn't forced to decorate them. Neither she nor Roy were the best at interior design. Even Aidan's baby room at her old place had been decorated mostly by Rebecca. Roy hadn't fully moved in until after they were officially engaged. He'd hated the idea of living alone in such a huge place. She only knew what to expect because of her time being held captive and forced to work under King Bradley.
"Plus," Riza added as she glanced in the other room, "it's nice to have visitors."
The doors to the library were open, making the two occupants visible. Aidan was animated as he showed Sara Elric all his favorite books that had been left behind by old Fuhrers of the past. As his first daughter and second child, Sara looked very much like Edward, although her hair was a little lighter like Winry's. She was also Aidan's age, a sprite thirteen year-old, three inches shorter than Aidan. According to Edward, his oldest son Ben was blessed with Winry's early growth spurt while Sara lagged behind like Edward once had. Because the two of them had grown up together, they often kept in contact, although they didn't see one another as much as Aidan did Havoc's kids.
"How long has it been?" Edward asked.
"Over a year," Riza answered. "We came out for a weekend when Alphonse and May visited."
Edward shook his head. "How they manage to travel so much with three kids is beyond me." He pointed at his daughter, who was balancing precariously on a ladder trying to grab a book from a high shelf. "Sara's got the same travel bug that I had growing up, always asks to join me when I go on trips to make a speech or something comes up with my work." He rubbed his face with his free hand. "I keep thinking that she's so young, but I was traveling on my own at her age. Why you and Mustang thought letting two kids run rampant was a good idea…"
"Oh, we didn't," Riza added with a light laugh. "But we didn't have much an option either. There was no way that we could've kept you close by in Eastern. It was safer to keep you out of the higher up's reach anyways."
"We did a lot of crazy stuff back then," Edward said, a distant look in his golden eyes.
Riza could understand how he felt very well. Whenever she looked at Aidan, she thought about all the things Edward had done at his age. State Alchemist at thirteen, technically a Major in the military, forced to carry out commands that Roy gave him, traveled around Amestris with only his little brother as his guide, determined to get their bodies back. That was a lot of pressure for a thirteen year-old kid. She considered it a blessing that Aidan's only concern right now was school and the dance in two nights.
"How are you all anyways?" Edward asked curiously. "I read about the peace treaty with Drachma. I honestly never thought I'd see that in my lifetime."
"Roy always has been more diplomatic than you gave him credit for," Riza pointed out with a smile.
Edward snorted. "He's still a bastard."
"That's Fuhrer Bastard to you, Fullmetal," Roy proclaimed as he strolled into the room. Edward rolled his eyes. Unlike in the past though, there wasn't a hint of anger in either of their actions. The banter would always be there, but the heat behind it was gone for the most part. "Insult the leader of your country one more time and I'll be forced to put you out on the streets."
"You wouldn't do that to a kid, would you?" Edward questioned.
A smug grin crossed Roy's face. "I only said that I'd kick you out. Sara can stay. She's a sweet kid, unlike you, who has never been sweet in your life."
As the two of them continued to trade barbed remarks at one another, Riza sat back and relaxed. She liked watching them like this, comfortable and at ease with one another. They easily switched from half-heartedly insulting one another to talking about the current political affairs that Roy was involved in and then to Edward's research and his speech at the college downtown. It was of special note since it involved the State Alchemist Program. Both Roy and Edward had special stakes in it, especially Roy, who had spent the past fifteen years slowly fighting to change it.
"Uh, Uncle Ed?" Aidan's voice interrupted.
The two men quit talking and all three adults focused their attention on the two children that had made their way into the room. Sara was smiling brightly while Aidan wore that same uncomfortable look that said he'd rather be anywhere else in the world than here.
"What's up, kid?" Edward asked.
Aidan cleared his throat, standing up straight, and spoke in such a strong and confident voice that contrasted his nervousness earlier. "Sara said that you two were going to be in town through the weekend, so I was wondering if you would allow Sara to come with me to my school's dance Saturday night." It was the perfect, eloquent request of a gentleman asking out a young lady. Riza could only imagine Roy saying the same thing when he was a teenager. Hadn't he done that when he'd asked her to join him at a festival a town over?
"What?" Edward asked, like he hadn't heard the question right.
"What?" Roy asked, like he had and didn't believe it.
"Mom had a point the other night," Aidan explained in a matter-of-fact voice. He didn't seem to notice the shocked look on both men's faces. "I should go with someone I'm comfortable with and know, but I don't want to ask any of the girls at school. I've known Sara for forever and we're friends. Plus, she's never gone to a dance either."
"Oh, please, Dad!" Sara exclaimed, rushing forward and grabbing Edward's hands. He gaped down at his daughter, seemingly at a loss. "It'll be so much fun! There's supposed to be music, food, and games too. Aidan said he can give me a tour of his school since he really doesn't want to dance much."
"I…" Edward looked from his daughter's pleading golden eyes to Roy's wide dark ones. Aidan stood calmly, having not moved. Now that he'd made his decision, he appeared to be at ease. Roy couldn't even manage to get a word out of his mouth. Out of all the girls for his son to ask to the dance, it was Edward's? None of them could have ever anticipated that something like this would happen in their future. "What will you wear?"
When she saw Sara wilt as the thought crossed her mind, Riza chimed in, "I'm actually going out with Rebecca tomorrow. We were going to take Ally dress shopping and Bran some new shoes. Sara can come with this. It'll give you and Roy time to compare notes on the State Alchemist Program."
"Please, Dad!" Sara pleaded.
"We'll be back as soon as the dance is over," Aidan said. She had no doubt about that. He never broke curfew, mostly because it was somewhat impossible, what with all the guards surrounding the Fuhrer and his family.
Edward rubbed the back of his neck. "Ah, what the hell? You can go." As Sara cheered, kissing her father on the cheek and then bounding towards Aidan, Edward looked decidedly wary. He watched as Sara bounded towards Aidan, grabbing him by the arm, and unceremoniously dragging him back into the library. Once the two of them were out of earshot, Edward shot Roy a glare. "You're lucky I know he takes more after Riza than you."
"You're acting like this is my fault?" Roy held his hands up in the air.
"Your son asked my daughter out on a date!"
"Very politely, I might add."
Riza took a sip of her tea and glanced at the kids out of the corner of her eye. Aidan and Sara were back to rifling through the books, probably something on alchemy, completely oblivious to the fact that their fathers were currently arguing about them. "Aidan likely doesn't see it as a date."
"Not as girl-crazy as Mustang?" Edward scoffed.
"I was never girl-crazy," Roy replied quickly. "For the last time, that was a cover, you dolt. I couldn't exactly date the woman I wanted to date."
"You two are worrying too much," Riza said. "It'll be fine. Let them have some fun."
Both Roy and Edward folded their arms across their chest and mumbled under their breath, perfectly mirroring one another. Riza fought the urge to roll her eyes. Men, sometimes, were more difficult than children.
The idea of finding not one but two dresses put Rebecca into a near exhilarated frenzy. She was more than ecstatic to have another girl join them on their shopping trip, just as Bran was relieved that Aidan would now be joining them so he wasn't the only boy. Although Sara was familiar with Bran and Ally and had met them quite a few times, she wasn't nearly as close to them as Aidan was and vice versa. Sara still lived in Resembool while Aidan and the others lived in Central. And so Aidan had insisted on joining them, so that he could be the bridge between all the kids.
Times like these definitely reminded Riza that Roy was Aidan's father. He already had a knack at smoothing things out and helping build relationships. If he ever decided to go into the military, he'd be good at it. For now though, he kept whatever dreams he had about his future to himself, though she knew that it would come up sooner or later. He was the same age as Roy was when he'd first started his alchemy apprenticeship with her father.
"Oh, what about this one?" Rebecca asked as she picked out a soft blue dress.
Ally immediately shook her head. Mother and daughter stared each other down, brown eyes against blue, before Rebecca put the dress back up and moved on. Riza noted that Ally was being strangely quiet. For all the excitement that had bubbled in her about the dance this whole week, she didn't seem to be having any fun right now. She hung behind her mother, a slight frown on her face, and said no to almost everything. Her being quiet was what threw Riza off the most. Ally was very rarely quiet.
When Rebecca finally found a dress that seemed to appease her daughter, she wandered off to find an employee who could get the right size down. Ally stayed behind, sticking near Riza. Instead of watching her mother though, she was staring off towards where the other children were. Bran, Aidan, and Sara were crowded together looking at the collector cards in Bran's hands. It was something all three kids were involved with, but apparently not Ally. She was the youngest one in the group, but only by a year.
It was also quite obvious that Ally was not just watching them play at something that excluded her, but that she was glaring at them as well. Out of the entire group, Ally was the most social. Bran could be quiet, though not as much as Aidan. Sara was bubbly and bright, but nowhere near as much as Ally, who took very much after Rebecca in her personality, if not her father in her looks.
"Are you feeling well, Ally?" Riza asked.
Ally glanced at her with sharp blue eyes, pressing her lips into a thin line. It was the same kind of look Havoc used to give whenever he was mad at Roy for "stealing" a girl that he had a crush on and would glower at the door to Roy's interior office. The fact that she recognized that same look on his daughter would've made her laugh out loud if she was not sure that Ally would stomp away in anger, just as Havoc would when someone on the team pointed it out.
Before Riza could say anything further though, Ally exploded, unable to keep it in any longer. "Why did Aidan ask Sara to the dance?"
Riza quirked up an eyebrow. That was not what she had been expecting. She thought that maybe Rebecca giving attention to another girl was bothering her, not Aidan. "Well, he assumed that if he brought someone with him, he wouldn't have to dance with other people."
"That's dumb," Ally proclaimed flatly. "He could just tell girls that he doesn't want to dance with them."
"You know how he is," Riza pointed out gently. "If a girl asked him to dance, he'd say yes, even if he didn't want to. He wouldn't want to hurt their feelings."
"Then I would tell them to leave him alone if he was too scared," Ally said. Riza did smile at that. She could picture that all too well: Aidan standing off to the side, trying to appear invisible, when a girl shyly comes up to ask him to dance; before he could reluctantly say yes, Ally would pop up and tell girl off and shoo her away. She would protect him without even thinking even as Bran laughed. That was how they worked. They protected one another.
Bran came up with the ideas; Ally carried them out; and Aidan got them out of trouble somehow. Beginning, middle, end. Except now Ally was feeling left out of their group and perhaps even replaced.
Riza thought about that knowing look on Roy's face and the strange way Aidan had reacted to Riza's suggestion that he ask Ally out to the dance. He'd taken her advice in the end, but for a different female friend. "Did you want Aidan to ask you to go to the dance with him?"
"No!" Ally denied vehemently, but it was also too quick as well. Just like when Breda teased Havoc about having a crush on Rebecca back when they all worked in East City, years before everything went to hell. He had denied it then too with everything in his soul, even as his face turned bright red. "Whatever. I don't care. He's going with Sara now."
"I'm sure he'll still dance with you if you ask him," Riza said in a gentle voice.
Ally shook her head. "I don't want to dance with him."
Sure she didn't. Riza breathed out a sigh as Rebecca wound her way back to them, dress in hand. The two of them disappeared into the dressing room area so that Ally could try on the dress. By the time she was done and ready to step out, Aidan had returned to Riza's side. Unlike Bran, who go fidgety on outings like this, it never seemed to bother him whatsoever. She thought it came with the times that he went out with Roy whenever he had to get a new suit or something tailored or how he and Riza always went shopping together. This was normal for him.
"Alright, let's see it!" Rebecca called.
"I...I don't know if I like it," came Ally's muffled response.
"Oh, just come on, Ally cat. I'm sure you look cute."
The door slowly opened to reveal Ally. The dress had a floral top, a black belt that tied into a bow in the back, and a white skirt. Nothing too dressing, but still bright and colorful. Like Rebecca, she didn't go for simple things. It was indeed a very cute dress and it fit her just fine. Ally was almost never shy, but as twelve, even she had her moments.
"Aw," Rebecca gushed, "you look so adorable!"
Ally beamed, her earlier shyness and moody nature forgotten.
"I think you look very pretty, Ally," Aidan stated. He wasn't shy in his compliment either. To him, it was just a matter of facts and he sounded as such. Roy made jokes about how important it was to tell a woman that she looked pretty, but Aidan took the comments to heart. Growing up, he always told Riza that she looked pretty whenever she was dressed up.
However, it caused Ally's cheeks to burn pink and she rushed to slam the door shut. While Aidan wore a quizzical look, confused as to what had just happened, both Rebecca and Bran laughed, knowing full well what was going on. Riza merely shook her head. How her son managed to twist Roy's flirtatious behavior into something that resembled her personality was odd, but it never ceased to be amusing at least. Oh, the kids were certainly growing up and fast too. Right now, Aidan wasn't really thinking of dating, but when he did…
Well, Riza and Roy would cross that bridge when they came to it. For now, Riza was going to enjoy Aidan's oblivious and awkward nature for as long as she could.