Title: Gossip

Author: Zalia Chimera

Pairings: Mention of HohenheimXTrisha

Disclaimer: Don't own Fullmetal Alchemist unfortunately

Summary: Trisha takes a young Edward shopping, but the rumours follow them everywhere.

Notes: Came from a discussion with a friend. Risembool seems like a small town and in that kind of time period, in that sort of place, it would have been damn unusual to have a single mother. It would have been cause for gossip and nasty rumours because sometimes, people are nasty like that.

'They weren't even married, you know.'

'Really? How scandalous!'

Ed scowled fiercely and clutched harder at his mama's hand. His mama looked down at him and smiled then patted the top of his head.

The gossip started again as soon as they turned the corner.

'Such a shame. She's a nice girl.'

'A good family too.'

'I can't imagine what her poor parents, rest their souls, would think if they saw her now.'

'I'd be so ashamed if my daughter ended up like that. Why, I'd have to disown her!'

Ed glared at the floor and dragged his feet. "Wanna' go home, mama."

His mama dropped his hand and tilted his head up to look at her. "The way you eat, I'm surprised we don't need to shop more often," she teased gently, earning a tiny smile from her son who grabbed her hand again.

She lifted him up in her arms so he could reach the top shelf. "One of those, Edward," she said, guiding him to pick up a bag of flour. He grinned at her and dropped it into the basket.

'Anyway, she just takes up with this strange traveller. Nice enough man, I suppose, but hardly proper.'

'Not appropriate. Wearing that great coat all the time and spending every moment with his books.'

'Did he even work?'

'Didn't seem that way. Heard mention of him being some alchemist, but he didn't have a proper job.'

'And then he just upped and left!'

Ed felt his mama stiffen by his side and tugged at her hand to get her attention. "Mama, when's papa coming home?"

The smile she gave him was somewhat strained and sad. "Soon, dear."

Ed returned the smile as best he could. He missed papa. He missed getting piggy-back rides and story times in his papa's strange voices. Mama couldn't give him piggy-back rides, or do funny voices or laugh off the nasty words people said about them.

He didn't like the sad look in her eyes when she heard what people said.

'Of course, the fault can't entirely be laid at his feet now.'

'Of course not. If she hadn't led him on, got him interested...'

'Any lady would have insisted on a ring before sleeping with a man. She's no better than a common prostitute otherwise.'

He didn't understand all of the words they were saying but he knew they were bad. They always were. He tore himself away from his mama and ran towards the group, wide eyes anger filled and fists clenched. "Keep your mouth off my mama!" he screeched, ignoring the shocked looks the women were giving him. "She's stronger than any of you."

He didn't wait for his mama to scold him, but bolted from the shop, scrubbing at suddenly teary eyes.

'Well, you can't expect bastard children to act any better than animals, can you?