All right. This is gonna be short, sweet, and an incredibly quick post. I'm so ready to end this thing . . . plus, I sorta wanted to wipe away the bad taste of the last chapter. That was definitely not my best and I know it, I'm sorry. (begs forgiveness)

So, here y'all are. The last chapter. Tada!

Disclaimer: I would trade my soul for a portion of FMA, but Hiromu Arakawa isn't accepting my offer.

Chapter XII: Acceptance

Roy Mustang stared down determinedly at the empty glass on the table before him, unable to bring his onyx eyes to look anywhere else. The Major General sat not a foot away, doing pretty much the same exact same thing. Neither one had spoken to each other.

Harpocrates would have been proud.

The Flame knew that his mother had forced the two men to sit together and work everything out—and that, until either of them attempted it, she and the others would inevitably stay hovering just outside the door; however, if the homophobic Amestris officer wasn't going to attempt to talk, then Roy certainly wasn't going to bust his back bending over backwards to make it happen . . .

Let his father rot for all he cared. He could wait. Heaven knew he could wait. However, why heaven, Jannah, Paradise, Swarga loka, or whatever other name it had, had any concern over how much patience the sacrilegious colonel had was a mystery to him.

Possibly because he was still sobre.

"You've killed people."

The comment had come out of nowhere, slashing through the delicate membrane of silence that the two men had built up around themselves like a razor against the wrist. The blade cut deep, sending nerves, anger, fear, and a hundred other emotions spilling out onto the table and floor around them like life plasma. The Major General looked up at his son, malcontent apparent in his blue-green eyes—his son, who looked just as shocked to hear the words escape his own, bruised lips.

The older man glowered at Roy for a short time, the bruise on his left cheek already rimmed in blackish-purple. Finally, his moustache twitched in annoyance—giving Roy the distinct impression that a mouse had crawled up and attached itself to the Major General's upper lip while the man was asleep—and he all to expectedly answered, "So have you."

He didn't even blink as the accusation left his mouth.

Well, not accusation, really—more like a cold, hard fact. He spat it out upon the table to mix with the bleeding silence and stared back at the young colonel, vehemence radiating from his eyes.

The Flame sighed exhaustedly. He knew that his father was ready to dig in his heels and go down fighting—or maybe the more appropriate expression would be to 'go down in a blaze of glory.' But, frankly, the alchemist had been running himself ragged the past week, what with preparing for the herd's near-unexpected arrival, trying to keep the Major General from discovering he and Edward's relationship, plus the unforeseen task of dealing with his long-deceased best friend/love interest coming into the picture and screwing with he and Ed's emotions.

It had been a long, draining week . . . and he was too damn tired to get into a pissing match with his stubborn father now.

"I know," Roy admitted in a hollow, defeated sort of voice, wincing as he heard the words. He'd said and heard them before . . . but that didn't make it any easier. He had murdered people and had been honoured for it with a badge, a steady paycheck, subordinates, and an office in Central. How many lives had paid for that?

What the hell type of equivalency was that?

"I know," he repeated quietly, gently shaking his head from side to side. "The difference is . . . I don't pretend that I haven't. I don't . . . try to convince people that I never sinned . . . that I never failed. I'm not the one at this table who pretends as though he doesn't have automail."

Even in his slightly dysphoric state, Roy felt just a hint of satisfaction at the decidedly scandalized look that crossed his father's quickly paling face. "H-how . . ." he stammered. "How did you . . .?"

Looking back down at his glass, the dark-haired alchemist allowed a small chuckle to escape the confines of his throat. "It's funny . . ." he explained placidly. "I really didn't notice when I was a kid. I mean . . . you were away a lot; Tamalynn and I didn't get to see you very often . . . so, I guess that it was an easy secret for you to keep. It's funny," Roy slowly repeated, a grin creeping onto his face. "I only realized what you had been hiding . . . after I got Edward as a subordinate. It only took a few months before I came to recognize . . . to distinguish his footfalls as they approached my office. It was subtle, but I noticed . . . your walks were the same."

The Major General stared at him, jaw slack and one eye twitching uncontrollably; after nearly a minute of this sideshow-worthy performance, he finally hacked forth a noncommittal cough and gave the subject a delicate nudge, causing it to shift direction slightly. It, nonetheless, stayed on the right course.

"Why . . . him?" he asked, stretching the question in the middle and biting off the end.

His stoic mask not slipping an inch, Roy carefully sidestepped and rerouted the inquiry. "Why mom?"

The Major General, obviously not prepared for this, sputtered and coughed like an old car engine attempting to turn over; he swelled up indignantly, turned five shades of red, and made a sound like air being let out of a wet balloon . . . before suddenly going very still, like he had just reached the end of some orgasmic fit, his mouth opening and closing wordlessly.

Roy smiled and said as kindly as he could past his pride (which, coincidentally, had taken quite a thrashing, as well), "I didn't choose who I fell in love with, either . . ."

At these words, his father seemed to recover from his stupor, straightening in his chair and turning a rather hideous shade of grey. "But son," he reasoned, as though he had completely forgotten that he had disowned said child not twenty minutes previous. It is a sin. It's condemned by God and the chu—"

"So is murdering people," Roy cut in smoothly as he looked away. "But that didn't stop either of us. Quite frankly, Father, I'd rather screw a guy that be forced to shoot another innocent person in the face." The man seemed to undergo a very minor akinetic epileptic fit at the words, but held his tongue as the younger man continued. "Besides . . . what's one more sin to the sinner?"

The Major General looked as though, had not been so terrified of what his own wife would do to him had he attempted it, he wished to backhand his son right then and there; however, that fear grossly outweighed his temper . . . and the man quickly stayed his hands. He clenched his meaty fists against the table, nails digging fine rivulets into the already scarred wood, and averted his cobalt eyes back to his own glass.

"Father . . ." Roy stated softly, bringing his ebony eyes back to rest on the Major General. "There is so much that I have done wrong in my life. No amount of praying could possibly fix it. If . . . if there is something after death . . . then, there is no doubt in my mind where I'm going. So . . . I'm begging you . . . let me have this piece of heaven."

And after that, there were no more words.

What else could possibly be said? The two men simply gazed at each other for a short time, black deadlocked with blue, before the Major General let out a long-suffering breath—sounding every bit as tired and old as Roy felt—stood . . . and gently patted his son on the shoulder. He then turned away from the table and slowly plodded over to the swinging kitchen door, exiting the room and leaving the colonel to his own devices. Roy knew that, despite how it may have looked, it wasn't a consent by any means—merely . . . an acceptance. A knowing that nothing better would come.

A truce.

If it was possible for one person to be more happy about seeing three visitors piling into a car and driving away, hands waving at him through the dark glass, Edward Elric didn't know about it. He grinned and stood tall, hand extended upwards in a jubilant wave goodbye.

Though the blonde admitted that he would miss Mai Yao and Tamalynn dearly, he also knew that, for now, he had had his fill of them. Too much of something, no matter how wonderful it seemed or how much one enjoyed it, was never a good thing.

He'd heard of colic.

Roy stood beside him, one hand shoved down into his jacket pocket, the other ushering his family out with a much more subtle wave than his lover's. A minuscule smirk touched his bruised face at the sight of Ed standing on the tips of his toes, waving his family off. "Gonna miss them?" he asked.

The blonde didn't look at him, but Roy heard the exaggerated huff he released. "Oh," exclaimed Edward suddenly, his hand not leaving the air and his eyes not leaving the car at is started up and began to pull away. "Did I tell you that I found out why they came home so early?"

"No," Roy admitted. "Though, I'm guessing that it's because Father found out about us somehow . . . Correct?"

"Yep," said the Fullmetal simply. He switched arms suddenly, sticking his left arm into the air to wave as the automail one became too heavy for his shoulder. "Tamalynn let it slip."

Roy let out a sigh as the car reached the end of the driveway, waiting to merge into the almost non-existent traffic. "Hm . . . I figured as much," he confessed. "That girl is too intrusive for her own good. Did she say why she did it?"

"Eh," Edward shrugged. "Something about how we had to tell your father anyway and how she warned us that she'd do it if we didn't. Something like that . . . it was hard to tell, really—I was strangling her."

Roy smirked to himself and silently congratulated his lover, watching as the black car containing his departing family exited the driveway for a final time and disappeared down the street. Letting his waving hand drop down onto Edward's shoulder, the Flame gave it a gentle squeeze and sighed. "Come on. Let's go to bed."

The blonde let his own arm descend to his side, pursing his lips adorably and rolling his eyes up at the older alchemist. "Roy, it's the middle of the day," he pointed out.

At this comment, the colonel smiled wickedly and simply said, "Well, I'm not tired."

Ed gave his golden optics a spin, but said nothing as he turned and led Roy back into the house, closing the door behind him with a small smirk.


In the weeks to come, Ed found out several things that he hadn't known before.

One was that, if both the Flame and Fullmetal took the same week off from work, not only did people begin to talk . . . but Hawkeye got extraordinarily cranky and particularly trigger-happy.

Roy was lucky, the doctors said. The bullet had only grazed his arm.

Lucky nothing.

Hawkeye was just a damn good shot.

Another thing he discovered was that, even though he and Roy now told each other "I love you" on a daily basis, it didn't change much in their relationship. The love, though unspoken, had always been there . . .

And, after a bit of researching that had sprung from the depths of his inconceivably bored mind, Ed found out the real reason that Roy had decided to change his name. It didn't take very long sifting through baby name books at public library before he found the meaning behind both of the Flame's names.

Royce: 'Son of the King'

Roy: 'King'

Edward didn't doubt that his lover had known this when he had asked for a name change, and hadn't done it just because Roy sounded better.

The also found out just how strange of a family he was ultimately getting involved with. Around two weeks after their departure, he and Roy both received a rather delightful letter from Mai Yao, inviting the two of them up for a visit to the main Mustang demesne for Christmas. She wrote how it would be so nice to have all of her children there to celebrate the holidays and how Edward would thoroughly enjoy their extensive library and the stables.

The blonde was a bit confused about the stables part, until Roy recovered from his fit of giggles and explained that his mother had a very wry, but often lewd sense of humour.

Ed stared.

Then understood.

Then blushed.

And that court-martial, you may ask? It never came.

That's it! Ring the bells and sound the alarms! I'm out of here! I hope to see and talk to y'all all pretty soon at my Mpreg. It'll be called 'Levitas Fragosus' and will be up pretty soon, so watch out for it . . .

I love you all so much for sticking with me through this and for all of your wonderful reviews! Oh, speaking of which, review responses are below. I know that I already responded to some of you, but I figured that I'd do it again for the sheer heck of it. (grins)

Truthfully, there were just too many reviews last time and the chapter itself was so long—the thing would have been endless had I responded personally. Well, here y'all are:

Prozacfairy: Yes indeed. It's Roy's family—how could you not expect a turbulent past there? Thanks for the review!

inuyashabooklover5188 (laughs) Calm down, honey—it'll be okay! No, I don't think that anyone does the steak thing anymore either, but you have to remember that this was back in the early 1900s (the series ends in 1921) . . . so they would still do that at that time. Thank you! I'm glad you found it so enjoyable!

(nods) A lot of people were concerned about those two following the M.G. They were like, "Why did they go with him!" . . . I hope that last chapter sufficiently explained that they were going after him, not with him . . .

I think I explained in the message I sent you, but if I didn't then, "Xi dai no!" means "I will not!" and "Xu dai vernai xus takasa, Gerald!" means "You will talk to your son, Gerald!" (grins) Hope that helps!

And, again, I must say that last chapter was not my best work . . . I probably meant to put that, but was tired and sick . . . so, yeah . . . Sorry.

Ah! A poke! No! Not the dreaded poke of doom! (cough) Anyhoo . . . hope you liked the last chapter! Thanks for the review!

J-chan Hagane No Chibisan You know why it has to end, silly. Hope you weren't late for school and thanks for the review!

Edo-kun's Angel: (laughs) Hope you liked the ending! Thanks for the review! (stomach growls) Hm . . . I'm so hungry . . . Hey! A cookie! (tackles you)

Sakuranbo Nayamu (laughs) Um . . . thanks?

littlefiction: Thank you!

Sirokage: Thanks!

death lies2: (laughs) Yeah, he kinda did . . . Thanks for liking it and I hope that you enjoyed this chapter. Thanks for the review!

Different Child: I'll be back at my apartment (and able to IM you) in a few days! Right now, I'm . . . well, actually right now this very second, I'm typing. But right now, in general, I'm helping my dad paint the kitchen. It's an ongoing project that only happens when I'm home from college and my dad is in from offshore. (sigh)

Thanks for the review!

imyourvillian: Glad you liked it! The only thing I liked about that chapter was the RoyEd scene. I thought it turned out well . . . the rest, however . . . eh.

Anyway, I'm glad that you liked it and I hope that this was a suitable ending. Thanks for the review!

xX Konoha Ninja Xx (laughs) Again, I'm sorry that I almost killed you with the Greek mythology reference. Did you catch the one this chapter?

Thanks for the review!

Aemi-Kaishima (laughs) Sorry. Again, I won't continue, for I have no where else to take it . . . But I do hope that you check out the Mpreg! Hope you liked this chapter!

Thanks for the review!

new moongirl: (laughs) Extremely soon, as it turns out. Thanks for the review!

Pickles: (laughs) That's interesting . . . and slightly frightening. I have a reoccurring dream where I'm being chased through this dilapidated, black-and-white city by this mother and two sons on bikes. There's this grizzled old blacksmith and he tells me that the only way to escape them is to jump the bayou (that's a small, dirty river in Louisiana) into the coloured world. So I jump the swirling vortex on my little bike and land on the roof of a hospital where my friend is having her baby . . .

I really need to get that psychoanalyzed by someone.

Thanks for the review!

anmbcuconnfan Yay! A fellow broke college student! Nice to meet you! Glad you liked that chapter—it really seemed to be people's favourite . . .

I'm doing an Mpreg next (see title above). The first chapter will be out in a few weeks or so . . . I hope to see you there! (smiles)

Thanks for the review!

Alexandria AKA Shippo: (laughs) Thanks, I guess.

Yumiko Yoshihana: Wow. Glad you love it!

(laughs hysterically) He started reading it? Boy, I'm glad it wasn't the lemon chapter! (laughs) I loved the fact that you went into 'rabid fangirl' mode—it makes me happy!

Thanks for the review and I hope to see you at my Mpreg later on! Bye!

Well . . . that's it! Bye guys! Bye! (waves)