A/N: This story was written in response to NeoDiji's challenge to write some sort of story where Trisha finds out about what's going on with her sons after her death. It was also supposed to have Roy/Ed in it as well. Thus the idea for this story.
Edit: (8-14-07) For those of you who have read this story before, and are reading it again, you will notice that many of the author's notes have been removed from the chapters or have been shortened. I have also gone through these chapters to fix any errors that were present in the original posting of this story. The story was originally unbetaed and had a few errors that needed to be fixed.
For those of you reading this for the first time, I hope you enjoy the story, and I would love to know what you thought about this story after you finish.
Seven-year-old Edward Elric looked up from the book he was reading and over to his younger brother. Alphonse had fallen asleep, and was snoring loudly. The boy rolled his eyes, and looked at the clock. When they had been really little, their mom used to put them down for naps around noon. Edward had kicked the habit almost two years ago, but his brother still fell asleep around mid-day half the time.
Edward grinned mischievously, and grabbed one of the pens his mom had let him use to practice drawing arrays. Quietly, he crept to his brother's side, and began drawing a moustache on the sleeping boy's face. After that, he began to color in a beard when he heard, "Edward Elric!" Cringing, he looked up to find his mother standing in the doorway with her hands on her hips, looking very displeased.
"Give me that pen right now!" she hissed softly, in an effort not to wake Alphonse.
Edward tried to look sorry as he handed the pen over to her, but when he glanced back at his brother, he couldn't help the grin that formed on his face.
Scowling, his mother pointed toward the doorway, and he trudged slowly out of the room, knowing full well that he was in trouble. His mother followed behind him, and when they were both out of the room she looked down and said, "I want you to go to the back room and stay there until I come and get you. I want you to think about what you did, and why it wasn't very nice. When your brother wakes up, I want you to tell him you're sorry. Understand?"
The blond boy nodded. He understood… understood that as long as he apologized to his brother when he woke up, all would be forgiven even if he didn't really mean it. Moping all the way to the back room, Edward looked back to see if his mother was watching him.
Quickly, he ran into his father's study, grabbed a random book from one of the shelves and a piece of chalk, then rushed back to the nearly empty back room for his 'punishment.'
Trisha Elric shook her head when she heard her son rush into her husband's study, then to the back room. She could go back and tell him to put the book away, but she didn't. Now she didn't have to worry about how long he stayed in there. Being shut up in a quiet room with a book was no punishment at all for her oldest son.
Trisha shook her head and smiled. She loved her boys. They were the joy of her life, and without them she knew she'd never survive the loneliness that was so prominent in the evening hours when the boys were sleeping.
Tears came to her eyes as the loneliness touched her heart, and she blinked them away. There was no time for that. She had a lot to do before making supper...
"Excuse me ma'am"
Trisha glanced up from her laundry to see a tall, dark haired man in a military uniform walking up to her. He was handsome and looked to be a few years younger than she was.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
He rubbed the back of his neck with an embarrassed grin. "Well, I think I'm lost… I was supposed to go to the train station but…" A nervous laugh. "well… I just started walking and never found the station… amazing amount of empty space there is once you get out of Rizembool's town proper…"
She smiled at the young man and nodded. It was very easy to get lost once you got out in the countryside.
"You must have been walking for a long time," Trisha said sympathetically.
The train station was a four hour walk from her house.
He flushed and shrugged.
"Well, I don't mind helping you. I can give you directions, but it might be best if I draw you a map."
When he nodded, Trisha put the piece of clothing down and walked toward the house. He followed her and when they got inside, she bent down, gabbed one of the papers near Alphonse and took the pen she had taken from Edward out of her pocket. When she heard him walk up behind her, she glanced up and saw a look of surprised amusement on his face as he stared down at the sleeping child.
She blushed delicately and said, "My oldest son is a bit of a prankster. This is my youngest. I think he's going to have a bit of surprise when he wakes up." He nodded, and she motioned to a chair. "If you'd like to have a seat you may. This might take a little bit." She paused then offered, "Would you like something to drink?"
He nodded hesitantly and said, "Water would be fabulous, but please don't go out of your way."
"It's no trouble at all, Mr…?"
"Mustang," he said. "Major Roy Mustang. State Alchemist." The last was added with a bit of pride.
She nodded, smiled, then gave her name before fetching him a cup of water.
"You look a little young to be a State Alchemist," she said, sitting down to begin the map.
He chuckled. "Well, actually I just barely passed the test."
"Really? You must be very talented."
"That's what they say…" he said. She heard him pick up one of the papers and turned to look at him. He turned his gaze to her and said, "You seem to know a little of alchemy yourself…" It was to be a statement, but she heard the question in it too.
"No… my sons are the ones who know about that. Not me."
He looked down at the sleeping six-year-old, and raised an eyebrow. "How many sons do you have?"
"Really…? How old is the other one?"
The major glanced down at the paper in amazement, then said, "I'd love to come back in ten years or so to see how they've progressed."
She nodded unhappily. He'd like to come back and try to convince them to join the military, she supposed. Feeling a strong desire to take the focus off her boys, Trisha said, "Have you heard any news from the East?"
He sighed and sat back down. "Right now it's just some minor skirmishes, but I'm afraid that something might happen that will trigger a full out war."
She thought he didn't sound very happy about that, and supposed she understood why. If war broke out, and it couldn't be contained, the State Alchemists would be deployed to help deal with the problem.
She shivered at the thought. No, she didn't think she liked the idea of this Major Mustang coming back in ten years to 'see how her boys were progressing'; not one bit.
Suddenly there was a sharp cracking noise from the back end of the house and the sound of screaming.
"Edward!" Trisha shrieked, remembering that her oldest son was still in the back room.
Before she could blink, the young man in the military uniform was up and running toward the noise. She rose from her chair, but her skirt got caught in the wood and she had to pull the fabric out before she could follow him. When she finally freed herself, Trisha heard another scream join the first. This one deeper; a man's scream.
Let Edward be okay, she thought. Please let my boy be alright.
As she dashed down the hall she heard two more screams join in and confusion washed over her.
Before she reached the room the loud noise and the screaming stopped.
The door was slightly ajar, and when she pushed it open she saw four figures lying on a large alchemy array that was drawn on the floor; her little Edward, two dark-haired men in military uniforms, and a blond teenager with a braid and a long red coat.
Rushing forward, Trisha turned her son over, and checked his breathing. When she saw is chest rise and fall she exhaled in relief and looked around the room. Although the other three were lying on their stomachs, she could tell that they too were alive and breathing.
But… where had the two other people come from?
Curiously, she walked over to the two men in uniform. One was slightly taller than the other, and more filled out. One had the body of a man who was barely in his twenties, while the other had the body of a man just about to enter his thirties. But each had the same type of hair, the same build, the same… well…
Nervously, she turned the younger man over onto his back. Major Mustang groaned, but didn't awaken. Heart beating quickly in her chest, she turned the other man over and gasped. They were the same. Oh, one was definitely older than the other, but they were the same!
Amazement filled her as she compared the two State Alchemists, then a thought accrued to her, and her head turned to where the blond teenager lay. If this older man looked like Major Mustang, then…
Apprehension and excitement filled her as she moved to turn the blond teenager over onto his back. Her eyes drank in the boy's features with wonder. She glanced from her oldest son to this stranger in astonishment.
This boy… this teenager…
She ran a finger gently over the soft features of his face.
This teenager was her Edward.