Title: Introductions

Author: Zalia Chimera

Rating: PG

Pairings: None

Disclaimer: Don't own Fullmetal Alchemist unfortunately.

Summary: Ed's arguments with Roy are getting out of hand until Havoc steps in, forcing Ed to rethink his views.


It was always easy to tell when the Fullmetal Alchemist was in headquarters.

Havoc sighed as the door to the Fuhrer's office was slammed shut and Ed stalked out, muttering under his breath. Havoc slid lower in his chair as he approached, hoping to avoid Ed's latest tirade against 'that bastard, Mustang'.

It was to no avail. Ed reached his desk and slammed his hands down, glaring viciously at Havoc. "Take a message for i him /i for me," he snarled, gesturing wildly towards Roy's office door. "Dear bastard Colonel." He paused for a moment, eyes narrowing. "No, forget the 'dear'. Bastard Colonel. I hope you're fucking happy..."

"Ummm, boss?" Havoc said, wincing when Ed's glare increased in force. "Don't you think it might be an idea to use his proper rank?"

Ed snorted. "He doesn't deserve it! Smug bastard, always being insulting and sending me out on crap missions and treating me like a fucking child!"

Havoc felt his anger beginning to grow at Ed's words. "Edward," he snapped by way of warning, but Ed ignored him and continued with his tirade.

"I don't know how the hell he got to be Fuhrer anyway. Smug prick probably lied his way there, the way he fucking lies all the time! Lying about leads and just... everything."

Finally it was too much and Havoc raised his hand in warning, except it didn't quite stop at just a warning.

Ed pressed his hand to his cheek where Havoc's slap had connected. He rubbed his fingers over still stinging skin and stared in disbelief and shock at the older man. "You... you..." he sputtered, anger beginning to make its way into his eyes.

"You deserved it, you little brat," Havoc snapped, still glaring daggers at the alchemist. His knuckles were beginning to turn white as he gripped the edge of his desk. "You have absolutely no fucking idea what Mustang is like because you never bothered to find out! You have no idea how much he has looked out for you and Alphonse, how much he fucking risked to keep you two safe and this is the gratitude you show?"

Luckily for Havoc, Hawkeye chose that moment to enter the room, saving him from becoming one of Ed's alchemy experiments. She looked between them, sharp eyes narrowing as she took in Havoc's furious expression and Ed's reddened cheek. Before she could demand to know what had happened, Ed rushed past her towards the door and into the corridor.

Havoc winced, the enormity of what had happened just beginning to hit him. "Fuck," he muttered and reached into the top draw of his desk to take out a pack of cigarettes. He fumbled the packet open with slightly shaking fingers and pulled one out, putting it to his lips and lighting it.

"What happened?" He took a drag on his cigarette before answering Hawkeye.

"He was talking about the Fuhrer again."

Hawkeye's glare turned to an expression of sympathy. They had all been subjected to Edward's rants on several occasions. She continued with her interrogation but her tone was softer, less accusatory than it had been. "That doesn't explain why Edward felt the need to leave so suddenly."

Havoc sighed morosely, watching the smoke curl away from his lips towards the ceiling. "I think I overreacted." Deciding that it would be easier to simply admit his mistake, rather than wait for Hawkeye of Mustang to drag the story out of him painfully, he began to explain what had occurred.

----------

He didn't bother to look up when the door opened, despite the fact that no-one else should have been there that late. "Please close the door behind yourself, Fullmetal," he murmured, scrawling his signature across the bottom of another form, only checking what the form actually said as an afterthought. Ah... a request from the commander of a platoon in a desert outpost to allow his men to wear uniforms of a lighter material. How absolutely i thrilling /i . He sighed heavily. Who would have thought being Fuhrer would be so utterly dull?

Ed gave a short laugh and did as he was told. "I'll never understand how you always know when it's me coming."

Roy looked up and favoured him with a friendly smirk. "No-one else comes to my office at this time of night. In case you haven't noticed, even Hawkeye has left and gone home. And everyone else knocks." He gestured to the large leather couch against one wall of the room. "Please, have a seat."

Ed grinned and slipped off his coat, casting it carelessly over the back of the sofa before sprawling lazily on it. Roy shifted the pile of finished paperwork to one side, noting sourly that it was still smaller than the pile he had yet to look at, and screwed the cap back on his fountain pen. He stood and stretched, trying to relieve the aching in his arms.

He wandered over to the drinks cabinet in the corner of the office, unlocking it and pulling out a decanter of whiskey . He pulled out the stopper and poured a little into a crystal tumbler. "Can I offer you a drink, Fullmetal?"

Ed shook his head. "No, thank you for the offer. I remember what happened the last time I drank the stuff. Besides, it tastes revolting." He wrinkled his nose in an expression of disgust. Roy smiled. "Well, I suppose it requires a sophisticated palate to appreciate such a fine beverage. Maybe when you mature a little... if that ever happens." He was rewarded for the jibe with a rather rude two fingered gesture. "Why Fullmetal, how very adult of you."

"Bastard," Ed muttered.

Roy picked up his drink and walked across the room to sprawl next to Ed, savouring the scent of the alcohol before taking a sip. "I can recall a time, not so long ago, when you would have tried to kill me for saying something like that."

Ed shrugged. "I changed, I suppose. After everything I... we went through; Liore, Dante, the homunculi, it doesn't seem such a big thing anymore. I achieved what I wanted to, so nothing people say really makes any difference." He shot a glare at Roy. "Still doesn't mean that I like it though."

Roy stared at him, surprise etched across his features. "I think I should take my comment back. You have matured."

Ed fought down a flush of pleasure, feeling a little like a kid being praised. He didn't bother to hide his smile though. "I think..." he started, then paused, biting his lips before continuing. "I think there are a lot of things I should take back. I guess, I want to say... I think... I think I misjudged you, Sir." He lowered his eyes, not wanting to see Roy's undoubtedly smug expression.

But Roy didn't say anything. When Ed finally looked up at him, his eyes were wide and shocked. After a moment, he regained his composure. "Fullmetal, are you sure you're feeling well? I know there has been a bug going around."

Ed glared and batted away the hand that had come to rest on his forehead. "I'm perfectly well. I just... look. After earlier, Havoc got me thinking and I checked a few things out." He lifted his head to meet Roy's gaze squarely. "I read some old reports and things. I never realised, I never even thought about how much you protected me and Al. I was so obsessed with getting Al's body back that everything that didn't lead directly to it seemed pointless. I was blinded by it. I never realised how many times you covered for us, or nearly got in trouble because of something we did." His voice went quieter. "I never knew how much danger we put you in because we wouldn't listen. So what I mean to say, I think is... thank you. For everything."

There was silence for a long moment and then Roy replied. "Well, I'm not entirely sure what I should say." He gave Ed a wry smile. "I certainly never expected thanks." He held up a hand to stop Ed's protest. "No, not because I thought you ungrateful. I just don't think you need to apologise. I did what I did freely, Edward, and I certainly had ulterior motives for what I did, don't forget that. But," he paused for a moment, considering, "you both were so young, so devoted and so driven. You deserved every chance to fulfill your dream and I wanted to give you every chance I could."

Another silence as both parties considered their words.

"I guess," Ed finally broke the silence, "that maybe we could start again. I'd like that."

Roy smiled softly. "I think I would like that too." He held out his left hand so Ed could take it with his flesh one. "I am Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist. Pleased to meet you."

Ed grinned at him and shook his hand firmly. "My name is Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist. Very pleased to be serving under you, Sir."

"And I am pleased to have your service, Edward. Very pleased."

The two ginned at each other for a moment and then began laughing at the sheer absurdity of what they had just done.

After a moment, Ed stood up, still snickering. "I should be going, Sir. Al will be wondering where I am."

"Very well then. You are dismissed."

Ed saluted smartly and slipped away, leaving Roy still smiling as he finished his drink.