Disclaimer: The Taskemus does not own Fullmetal Alchemist.

Author's Notes: OK, I haven't seen the whole series, just bits and pieces, so I don't know much about this - tell me if anything's wrong. Also, this is un-betaed and has only been edited a few times.
I know Hughes' perception of Mustang is OOC... but if it's what he thinks, it isn't, right? Well, anyways, if that makes it OOC then sorry. I think I'm fitting all of them right into their so sorry about that. Reading this over, Gracia's out of character too... Sorry for all this. I feel bad now, but I'm posting it anyway because there might be someone out there who'll appreciate this.

Update: Don't use Internet Explorer to read this, or you'll lose a lot of the story. Sorry about that.

Elicia! You missed your daddy, didn't you? I know I missed you! Honey, do you see how much she's grown? Doesn't she just get more adorable every day?

Hughes rocks his daughter in his arms, stopping only to give her a quick kiss on her forehead. Gracia yells out an answer from the kitchen and Hughes walks over and puts an arm around her.

Elicia and Gracia. They're his family, what he boasts about to everyone he knows. In fact, they're so dear to him that he has a snapshot of them, in his left pocket.

Today, Hughes doesn't reach into his left pocket but his right.

Honey, look! Hasn't he changed so much?

His wife peers down at the grainy picture, still idly stirring the stew that she's cooking for dinner.

Changed? I haven't seen that picture in years! Is that really Roy Mustang? she says, squinting.

That's right - it's all I have. Nice to see him wear something other than his uniform, don't you think? Hughes grins and steals the wooden spoon from her hands, seeing as she isn't stirring anymore. Irritatedly, she jerks it back.

Why are you still carrying that dirty old thing around with you? Ask the guy for a new photograph, won't you? I can barely make this one out.

Gracia keeps squinting in disbelief for another second, and then it's all forgotten to her as she realizes the meat might be a tad overcooked. She hasn't noticed that at her words Hughes' grin has subsided and he has walked back out into the living room.

There will never be another photograph. Roy would never let it happen - he's told Hughes so explicitly.

Roy has changed. Hughes tries to grasp that, but it's a foreign concept.

Things are different now, Maes. I don't have time to chase after these imaginary butterflies, get lost in the sea of young ignorant love.

In the photograph, Roy is youthful, beautiful, carefree. He's smiling a genuine smile, one smooth sleek arm slung around his shoulder, the other reaching up to touch Hughes on the cheek. It's a gentle, innocent touch, but Hughes knows that with it Roy is pouring his heart out to Hughes.

I'm not the same anymore, and you're not either. We're beyond this.

Now, Roy's eyes are darker, clouded with deceit and power, his gaze disdainful and rock hard. It's a gaze that's seen blood, murder, all the evils of the world, one with no room left for compassion.

Today, he would stand stiffly for a photograph.

There are times when Hughes tries to bring out the good in Roy's heart. He doesn't care about himself anymore - there's Gracia now, after all. Hughes would throw a party if he saw Roy give a casual glance to even Envy! Although lately he's been pushing for Hawkeye, since they're such good friends already. A wife would really do the man good, Hughes thinks.

Anyone, just so he's happy. Roy needs more happiness in his life, he muses aloud, sighing.

The voice is Gracia's, from the kitchen still. Sorry, didn't catch that. Want to come in here and give me a hand with the potatoes? You know you're better than me at peeling them.In a second, okay? Elicia just spit up on my shirt.

In reality, she's asleep, but for some reason, there's no guilt this time at lying. Normally he would feel it creeping up his throat like a toxic poison or an ounce of sickly vomit, especially if it was about his daughter, but today there's nothing.

It's Roy, Hughes thinks. Roy has always emitted some sort of unknown holiness, a reason for anything to be right.

Roy. Even though Hughes has always been trying to set him up with others, secretly he still wishes that it was him who had such power over the Lieutenant Colonel, him who could curb the man's fears with just a smile. Him who Roy could depend on to hand him over the world.

Roy Mustang is just too stubborn now, Hughes thinks. There is no way that he could open up, fully, to anyone.

The photograph is still in his hand, and Hughes takes a good long look at it. What he really wants is the old Roy, the one that smiled and grinned and had an optimistic view of the world. The one that he knows is now long dead.

He hugs the photograph to his chest for one last second before tearing it in half down the fold in the middle, so quickly that there's no time for second thoughts.

The new Roy doesn't need his affection, or anyone else's for that matter. He is a different man now. Hughes is finally ready to accept that.

Maybe he doesn't need the false comfort of a photograph any longer.

Maybe when it's gone he'll stop holding onto one small piece of reality, of his past, and begin to live in the present again.

Maybe it's time to move on.

Authors Notes: Wow, I just learned that my spelling and grammar is awful after midnight. Just look at what the original draft of this said: He doesn't matter about himsf anymore - there's Gracia now, after all. Hughes twould throw a party if he saw saw Roy give a casual glance at even Envy! And those aren't typos, either, because I wrote this by hand. That's sad.
Yes, thanks for reading this pointless blurb. You may go on to read better fanfics now, or review this one if you feel like it.