Just to confuse you, this tale occurs during the time 'Parting Gift' was happening. But you don't have to have read 'Parting Gift' to enjoy this story. I never really tackled a Roy and Riza fic so I thought I best give it a shot. Just to clear it up for those who won't know, Grace is Ed and Winrys child and she is about 20 years old (here anyway). I hope this catches your attention and there will be romance as well as angst. FMA still isn't mine.
After twisting her neck this way and that Grace dropped her head backward and stared at the ceiling. She had been writing for about four hours now and she was feeling it in her back. She decided to make herself some tea to re-energise her body, her mind could go on forever but her body could not.
She had been living away from her family for two years now and was settled. The local residence still knew her as the Elric daughter but to the friends she made she was Grace, expert author and storyteller. She had finally released the life story of her father a year ago and it was an instant best seller. More people then she ever could have guessed wanted to know what had happened to the fullmetal alchemist, others just appreciated it as well written and informative. Either way her name became well known in the capital and she became accustomed to visitors. Truth be told she liked her own company above anything; unless she was with her family that is. Men had never been a part of her life and friends came and went. She couldn't let herself down so solitude was the safest way to be.
She had many ideas for books but they would not be like her first. Although it was a story her first book was based on true events. Grace had lead a relatively quiet life and so had no other true life to go on. Mustang was determined she should write a book on him but his life was too stern for her to care about. Not from her point of view anyway. His loves were all flings, his interests were all military; he was a war novel waiting to happen. Grace preferred tales that ended happily after times of trauma. Mustang had no end to his tale and so a story could not be told.
James provided good character ideas. He was such a character in himself she was sure she would write about him in years to come. He was brash and headstrong it was true, but underneath he could be as soft as a kitten. They had fought when they were younger but now they weren't living together things had calmed. She still found him immature but then he was still only seventeen.
She took a gulp of the warm liquid and settled into her favourite chair. Tea had become an addiction and she drank about five cups a day. Warm sweet tea was the only way to start the day. That and some honey on toast.
She was just pondering these random thoughts there was a knock at the door. She didn't real feel like visitors but she didn't want to be rude either. With a sigh she stood up and headed for the front door. Even before she reached it she heard two familiar voices chatting together through the door. The spinster twins, just what she needed.
Now in their late sixties the spinster twins still didn't understand the concept of keeping their noses out of other peoples business. Grace had become a victim of their interference. They believed she didn't eat as well as she could and that she should integrate herself into the community. Basically they believed she was a recluse obsessed by books. She was glad they never met Schezka.
'Hello you two, wonderful weather today,'
'Oh it is,' they sang together, 'what a wonderful day for you to meet our nephew.'
That was why they were visiting today. Their nephew was in his thirties, dreadfully dull and only cared for making model boats. Yet they believed him to be a perfect match for Grace and tried every which way to get them together. She was having none of it.
'It would be, but I am afraid that I am meeting someone later. I am ever so sorry.'
Bite your tongue you liar.
'That is a shame. Who are you meeting?' Poppy asked.
Edward was never a very good liar at the best of times and poor Grace had inherited it from him. She froze as her mind struggled to come up with something quick.
'It's another man isn't it dear? No need to be ashamed we understand. Your young and pretty it's only right you go out on dates. Come on Daisy, we'll leave her.'
Daisy nodded at her sister and together they left her standing in her doorway gawping like a fish. Grace blinked once or twice before half nodding and shutting the door.
So she had told a little white lie, who didn't? They had decided she was meeting someone and not given her any time to come up with a better excuse. As long as she remained hidden in her house they would be none the wiser. The twins were not known for their intelligence so she was sure all was well. At least for the moment for they would be back she had no doubt. As much as they annoyed her, they were harmless and perhaps only looking out for her best interests. They were the meddling old Aunts Grace would never have herself.
Little did Grace know that for the rest of the afternoon they spied on her, waiting for this mystery date to appear. One thing they were sure of, he would not be as good as their nephew. The silly girl had no idea what she was missing out on. They took turns in looking through the net curtain, waiting for him to arrive. They ate their ginger biscuits quickly in case they concentrated on the taste too much and they stopped their spying. It was an important job they were carrying out after all for their nephew was getting on. Grace needed a man to care for her, not some boy to play around with. Nobody her own age would be mature enough to handle her.
The afternoon was about to turn into evening and the twins were going to go round again when a figure glided up the path to Grace's front door.
'Poppy, come look!'
They both studied him as best they could from the back. He was tall and slim in a long expensive looking coat. His shaggy hair was a deep brown and he held an air of importance. The twins had nothing to say to say to this. They wouldn't mind such a man arriving at their door.
Grace had other ideas. She groaned as the doorbell rang fully expecting it to be the spinster two come to torment her once again. But once she reached the door and she saw a tall outline she new it wasn't them. Slightly apprehensively she opened the door and averted her gaze upward.
There was something about his grin that turned something over in her stomach. If it had been any other girl it would have been thanks to his dashingly good looks. Dark features, heavy lidded eyes and an unspeakably fantastic taste in clothing. Yet to Grace the feeling in her stomach was nerves. Something in his knowing smile made her want to slam the door and go and hide. But she was just being silly so she remained where she was.
'Grace, Grace Elric?'
He nodded which made her angry. He was making it obvious he knew something that she didn't.
'Can I help you?' she asked perhaps a little too lowly than normal.
'Yes you can. My name is Max,' he sighed. She shrugged her shoulders.
'My name is Max, Maxamille Mustang.'
It was a lot to try and take in all in one go. Grace had ushered Max in and indicated for him to sit down, but so far she had said nothing to him. He hadn't uttered another word either and waited for Grace to speak up.
'Why did you come to me?' she asked. It wasn't exactly the first thing she planned to ask but it was something she wanted to know.
'I read your book Miss Elric, which I thought was fantastic by the way. You tell a tale well.'
'So you want me to tell your tale?'
He laughed, 'I would love you to but my life is of no real interest; not in comparison to Edward Elric anyway. My father, I know you speak to him.'
Another moment of silence. He really was trying to tell her he was the son of Roy Mustang after all. She didn't buy it not for a second. If Mustang had a son she was sure she would know about it and her father certainly would. No, this guy was after something else thinking he could use this lie to get somewhere.
'You know my father,' he carried on, 'and my mother. But you are closer to them then I have ever been.'
Fighting the urge to roll her eyes she studied him once again. She knew his mother as well did she? There was no doubt he did look like Mustang and perhaps also…
'Miss Hawkeye? Oh come on. What do you really want? Because if you don't tell me I will ask you to leave.'
He smirked and nodded again making her frustration grow. He was so arrogant it was untrue and she hated people like him. He had been sent by someone she was sure of it. Reporters forever stalked her father and now Grace had to suffer as well. Sometimes she cursed having a famous family and name.
He stood and filled the room with his presence. She hated him even more and she rushed passed him to open the front door and usher him out as quickly as was possible.
'It is far fetched isn't it?'
'I'm so glad you noticed,' she snapped, 'I would thank you not to make lies about good friends of my father.'
He stopped where he stood and she had a good mind to push him to get him out. He still smiled and she began to shake, suppressing a scream. Nobody but her brother had ever wound her up so much.
'Did you ever think to ask them?'
'I think I would have noticed you around Max!'
'What if I wasn't wanted? What if it would damage their career to have me around?'
She laughed at his ridiculous words, 'He may be as arrogant as you, but Roy Mustang would not give away his child. Riza would certainly not do something like that. Now leave, I've had enough of listening to you.'
'Very well,' he sighed, 'It was nice to meet you Grace Elric. I am sure we will see each other again.'
Not if I can help it she thought before slamming the door.
She flopped down upon the sofa and tried to calm her nerves. He had put her on edge and she was prone to be quick to temper. Normally she would have laughed this sort of thing off, but he was so full of himself she wanted to hit his smug little face hard. If her brother was around she would have given him permission to belt him, or at least alchemize Max's mouth shut.
She glanced down at the table. He had left something there; no doubt it was his number. Sure enough there were the numbers to call him up.
She flopped back down and marvelled at his persistence. Perhaps she would be a child and prank him, just to irritate him. No, that was far too childish; to just ignore it would be enough. She threw the card next to her and it flipped over. There was a picture on the back, probably Max posing. She picked it up anyway as it would be good for a laugh.
But laugh was the last thing she was going to do.
Riza rubbed the towel through her hair in an attempt to get it dry. It took a while but she couldn't face having short hair again to long it would stay.
Someone banged on her door. She started to walk toward it when they knocked again harder. This time it didn't stop and before she opened the door Riza checked she had a weapon to hand.
The moment she undid the lock a figure burst through the door panting heavily.
'Goodness Grace you scared me. What's wrong?'
Grace stood glaring at her, gasping for air. She had run all the way from her own house to headquarters. She burned with rage and confusion, the woman in front of her not who she thought she was. She wiped away an angry tear still clutching the number in her hand.
'Do you have a son?' Grace snapped breathing heavily.
Riza stopped short, 'I…of course not…when would I…'
'Then how do you explain this?' Grace cried, thrusting the photo at Riza.
She took it and glanced at it for what seemed an age. Grace took her silence as shock that she had been found out. On the picture was Riza, heavily pregnant with Mustang stood next to her.
'Why did you never tell us? Why did you just give your son away like he was worthless? Was your job and reputation so important to you…?'
'No Grace! Stop. It's not what you think.'
'What is it then Riza? Your evil twin hell bent on destroying you?'
Riza bit her lip and Grace shed another angry tear. The pair stared at each other in silence before Riza spoke again.
'It is me Grace, but it's not what you think. I never wanted to give my child away.'
It was now Grace's turn to bite her lip. Her temper had driven her here and now it had achieved its goal it ebbed away. She shouldn't have believed Riza would ever give up her own child. Grace knew how much Riza wanted to leave the military and have a family; the opportunity just never came up. Grace had done something terrible and guilt began to set in.
'I'm sorry Riza. I didn't mean to accuse you. I was just so…confused.'
Riza nodded. 'I understand. We never wanted this to get out, but secrets can rarely be kept from an Elric,' she sighed, smiling ever so slightly.
Grace blushed. Her bloodline had cursed her again.
'I had better explain to you what happened. But you must swear Grace not to tell a soul.'
Grace agreed and settled herself down to hear a tale as unbelievable as one she had already told.