a fullmetal alchemist fanfic
Date: 8/9/17 6:00 am
Summary: In which Roy realizes that he's got at least one son.
A/N: This was going to be posted two days ago but my computer went on the fritz. And believe me, I'm aware how long it's been since I posted anything.
On the bright side, I might have a companion piece to this coming up within a week or so (that's a big might right now; I had an idea but lost it completely) AND I have two long paparoy-ish fics that'll hopefully be coming up around October or the Christmas season, maybe earlier, so keep an eye out for those, too!
Disclaimer: Do not own.
Night fell on a crowded hospital in Central. The hospital was remarkably quiet for this time—Although Roy supposed that was just to accommodate the sleeping boy before him. He had not only his own room, but his own hallway to himself and his brother, to ease him out of his sensory deprived, easily overloaded current state.
Alphonse Elric slept on in his bed. He had been sleeping for hours now. Ed liked to say that he was now closer to the animal he loved, spending nearly sixteen hours sleeping a day. Roy figured he was just catching up on lost time.
At first, Ed and Al had shared a room with two other men, but it quickly became clear that Al's sensory deprivation would prove to be a huge problem. He suffered regular panic attacks from sensory overloading, and it was severely damaging his already-poor health and was making healing almost impossible. As soon as a room cleared up, Ed and Al were moved, but even that was proving too much for the newly restored teen.
As soon as they were able, the boys moved to the hallway all their own. And since then, Al's panic attacks had diminished severely.
Roy rather thought that Ed and Al deserved each and every second of privacy they could afford. After all they had went through together, all they had lost and suffered, all they had given up, now that they finally accomplished their goal they deserved that time together.
Ed, no longer doomed to hospital food now that he technically didn't need to be treated, was out with the guys "celebrating". The only reason he left at all was because they had insisted and he didn't want anyone disturbing Al's rest. He likely didn't know that Roy had come in here at all, had in fact been in, watching both of them as they rested, every night since the return of his vision.
He couldn't really help himself. He was just… so amazed. What a part of him had once thought impossible was accomplished, well and truly accomplished. Edward had went beyond the land of the living and essentially returned his little brother from the dead.
A small part of him feared this was a dream, and someday soon he'd awake to a world without Alphonse, to a world where Edward hadn't thought of that brilliant way to bring him back.
He feared waking up to a world without Alphonse Elric.
Al twitched in his sleep and Roy sat back, waiting for him to suddenly awaken. But Al just stretched and adjusted, flopping onto his side facing the window heavily. Roy reached his hand back up from where it had been, stroking his bangs and marvelling at the brittle hair that not too long ago hadn't been there at all.
Since spending a few days blind and spending that time navigating the world by touch, he had become considerably less adverse to the sense. It stopped bothering him like it used to, and he found his amazement increasing two, three, even four-fold every time he touched Al's dry and cracked skin or felt his brittle hair. He knew that, in part, his new non-aversion was directly due to Alphonse, who both liked and feared being touched when he was awake. Roy accommodated him best he could (when Ed wasn't busy doing the same), indulging a random need to be touched (and Roy's sudden need to remind himself that this was real) but understanding the feeling of being overwhelmed by the smallest contact.
Roy looked back over his shoulder. Hawkeye stood in the doorway, looking as astute as ever despite the hospital outfit and bandages around her neck.
"Sir, a nurse may be on his way to interrupt you soon," she warned softly, striding in. "I thought you might want to be gone before he comes, or Edward returns."
"...Yes, you're probably right. You know something?"
Roy shook his head and placed his bandaged hands on the bed. "I still keep thinking I'll wake up, and this will all be some sort of dream. Ed will still have his automail and Al will still be in the armor, or worse, Ed won't have his automail and Al won't be around at all."
Riza smiled softly, looking down at the amazing boy who slept on. "...You said that yesterday, sir."
"...Doesn't make it less true," Roy sniffed. He pushed himself up as Riza turned out of the room, bracing himself on the bed.
The mattress beneath his hands shifted, as did the boy on the bed. Roy turned away guiltily just as Al stirred and stretched.
Let him fall back asleep, he needs his rest…
Rather than the easy way, though, Al turned his head up and blinked through bleary eyes. Apparently spending so long in an endless, pure white place had ruined his vision. Al would probably need glasses for the rest of his life. Until he could get them, which wouldn't be awhile because apparently they were still deciding how badly they wanted him to see, he would be seeing things in blurry images and dulled hues.
Roy headed to the door quietly; if Alphonse didn't see him, maybe he'd fall right back asleep, awoken just by the noises of the hospital. Al watched his back and then, almost silently, he whispered, "...dad…?"
Roy froze in the doorway, eyes going wide. What did he just…? What…? Surely Roy had misheard.
After all, Roy and Hohenheim looked nothing alike. There was no way Alphonse could confuse Hohenheim's broad, tall stature with Roy's thin, short one, no way he could confuse Hohenheim's blond hair with his black… no way he could confuse Hohenheim's absence with his presence… how could he possibly mix them up at all…?
He looked over his shoulder to the boy, who blinked blearily in an attempt to clear his vision. "Wha…?" He asked incredulously, glancing in Hawkeye's direction for a second for help, but she appeared to have tactfully disappeared…
"Where're you goin'...?" Al answered the question he thought had been asked.
"I'm, uh…" How was he supposed to answer a question that Alphonse had to have no idea he was really asking? "...I'm just stepping out, Al."
Al looked up with confused, bleary eyes. He still looked exhausted—Roy couldn't imagine sleeping for around sixteen hours a day and still not getting enough rest, but he still knew that was the case.
Al turned over onto his back and closed his eyes, face turned to the ceiling, but Roy knew that wouldn't be the end of it. Ed had mentioned a few days ago that Alphonse couldn't fall asleep on his own. He wasn't sure if it was that Al couldn't, or he refused to (although Ed had been leaning toward 'refused to'), but to his knowledge Al always needed someone at his side, and often in his line of vision, to fall asleep.
...Well, Roy didn't know when Ed would be back, and really, was it so bad?
"...Do you want me to stay with you, until you fall asleep?"
A silent second passed, and then Al turned over onto his side to face the door. He gave a tiny, barely perceptible nod.
A soft, surprisingly pleased smile drifted over Roy's face. Over the years, he had been many things. A son, friend, lover, enemy, a monster, a killer, a commander, a colonel.
Of all those things he had been, adding 'a dad' certainly wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to him. Maybe it would even have a nice place right near the top.