Title: The Whole of the
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist, nor the song "The Whole of the Moon." They belong to Hiromu Arakawa and the studio that produced the anime, and The Waterboys respectively. No profit is being made and no copyright infringment is intended.
Summary: Post-movie. After Edward and Alphonse return to their world, Roy contemplates his feeling for Edward.
A/N: I got the idea for this fic from "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys. It's such a lovely song and I used to lyrics to show how Roy sees Ed. I hope you enjoy the fic.
Rainbows were pretty look at. They were beautiful, colorful aches in the sky, looking down at him on rainy day, brightening his world in just simple seven colors.
Roy had always taken those colorful arches for granted until the day they vanished from his life in a bright flash of light, a speck of red and gold moving quickly away from him to face the unknown. He searched desperately for them after that, but there was just no sign of them.
Until one day, years later, the rainbow appeared in the blue sky again, in the form of a young blond, amber-eyed man who now came up to his nose. Roy had stared at him dumbfounded at first, trying to grasp at reality, not letting his imagination rule his head.
But it wasn't. Edward Elric was back. And he was here to stay.
And then, the rainbows were back, too, almost on a daily basis, whether it was day or night, the rainbows were always there. Roy was glad to have them back and he couldn't stop smiling, even when Hawkeye would dump loads of paperwork on his desk, he would still accept them rather than trade them for a world without rainbows. And with the rainbows, came back almost everything he had lost – his position, his title, his social life, his dignity. But most important of all, Edward Elric.
That afternoon, Edward dropped by at HQ to have tea with Roy. It was a sunny afternoon with a light drizzle and the rainbows had somehow managed to penetrate his office, decorating everything in violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
Right now, Edward was sitting before him, sipping tea and looking a little thoughtful. Roy admired the way the rainbow colored the blond hair of the boy – no, young man – so prettily. The golden hair was tied neatly into a ponytail, somehow giving him a more mature look. Since when had Edward given up braids for ponytails?
A young deep voice broke into Roy's thoughts.
"General Mustang, huh?" There was a twinkle in Edward's eyes as Roy looked at him.
Roy raised his eyebrow, half-amused. "You don't like the sound of it?"
Edward shrugged. Roy watched.
"Does Hawkeye still point her gun at you to make you do paperwork?" Edward smirked.
"Do people still call you short?" Roy retorted with a smirk of his own. He half-expected the younger man to blow a fuse now but apparently, years away from his own world had made the latter more tolerant.
Nevertheless Edward gave him a half-glare. "I'd still have to be short for them to call me short." He paused, realizing what he'd just said. "Not that I was ever short before!"
Roy couldn't suppress a chuckle.
Even now, when Roy looked into those amber eyes, he would be amazed to find a sort of wisdom, a sort of maturity, determination to achieve his goals no matter what. For years, Edward had traveled through Amestris in search of the Philosopher's Stone, letting nothing stand in the way of him restoring Alphonse's body. Sometimes, Roy felt that Edward was facing the real danger while he remained in his office, signing paperwork and making snide remarks. He felt almost jealous that in a way, this young man knew more about life – and the universe, in general – than he did.
Then, in a more somber tone, Roy asked the younger man the question that had been hanging in the air. "So...what did you see there?"
Edward looked up at him, golden eyes startled at first, reflecting blue, but then he understood. He was quiet for a long moment and Roy thought he wouldn't answer. But then he spoke.
He spoke of a world where there alchemy was not only impossible but also considered ridiculous. Instead of alchemy, this world had technology that could be used to help and harm mankind. It could kill people as effectively and in great numbers as a State Alchemist. This world had its own religions, its own traditions, its own legends. The people were the same and yet they were different. There were parallels of us in this world, he said. He met someone like Rose, his brother, Hughes...
At the mention of Hughes, Roy saddened. He sighed. "Is...is he well?"
"Hughes?" said Edward. "Oh, yeah. Before I came back here, I heard he got married." He laughed a little and shook his head. "Guess some things never change."
"Hmm." Roy nodded. And then he dared to ask, "Did you meet anyone like me?"
It sounded so ridiculous and desperate and Roy could feel the heat rushing to his face. Even Edward looked taken aback by this question. And to think that this young boy had seen the Door of Knowledge at the tender age of eleven or twelve. But that was Edward – always reaching for the stars, things beyond his grasp and actually succeeding. And Roy would give up sometimes, but not without a fight.
"No," he said softly, "you were the only one I didn't meet in the other world." And then he frowned. "Come to think of it, I don't think I met Havoc, Breda or Fuery, either."
Roy could tell from the look in Edward's eyes how much he'd missed home. He'd gone with Alphonse two years ago to destroy the gate in the other world.
"It wasn't enough," said Edward, looking nostalgic again. "I tried to fit in there. I kept telling myself that that world was my world. It was a little easier to have Al with me – but I just couldn't." So he had been desperate to find a way back.
It was so like Edward to not accept his limitations, to keep trying to make his dreams come true. Roy remembered plunging into an abyss of despair after Ishbal. He'd never seen Edward despair. While Roy had accepted his limitations, Edward had surpassed his and filled the skies. At such a young age, he'd done things that most people only dream of.
"How exactly did you return?" Roy asked curiously.
"Well," for the first time, Edward grinned. "I used to study rocket science there...and we never destroyed the gate. Al and I just made another rocket and we set the gate to self-destruct as soon as we passed it." He shrugged.
Roy stared at him. "Rocket science?" he echoed.
"It's a long story," said Edward, finishing his tea. "Maybe I'll tell you about it another time." He looked at Roy's eye-patch. "So, what's the story behind that, Mustang?"
Roy told him. Edward stared and shook his head. "I wish I'd been there to help you," he stated simply. Roy was surprised at this unexpected display of caring.
The older man gave a small reassuring smile. "It's all right, Edward," he said, "I've gotten used to it. And you had your own goals. You can't save everyone. You've...done things...seen things...that most people only imagine. You can't save everyone." And it still amazed him how easy Edward made it all look. People would try to figure out answers but Edward just knew how to do the right thing.
Edward looked thoughtful. And then he looked sad. "I don't like to see people get hurt." And then he scowled. "Even if it's you, you bastard."
Roy laughed. "I'm flattered, Fullmetal."
Edward flinched at his old title but said nothing. Maybe someday, Roy thought, he'll go down in history books as a great explorer or adventurer. Edward Elric – State Alchemist and the One Who Crossed The Gate Between the Worlds. He was a little jealous but it didn't matter anymore. All that matter was that the old shrimp was back home safe.
They sat opposite to each other as the minutes flew by. No one dared to speak, basking in this comfortable silence. They just cast sideway glaces at each other. The sun started to set but the rainbows were still there.
Finally, Edward got to his feet. "Maybe I should get going," he said in an uncertain voice. He looked at the setting sun outside. The sky looked beautiful, a mixture of dark blue, gold and red. "It's getting late."
Roy stood. "Is Alphonse waiting for you?" He hated to think that Alphonse Elric had been waiting outside all this time while they were catching up on old times.
"Oh, no," said Edward. "Al's actually living with Winry and her grandmother at Risembool. But I should still get going." He looked uncomfortable all of a sudden.
"Of course," Roy nodded graciously. He slowly walked the younger man to the door.
Tell him, you twit! Tell him how you feel. Ask him to stay – you both want to.
Roy put his hand on the doorknob. So did Edward.
Their hands touched, warm flesh against cool steel. And yet, Roy couldn't suppress a shudder that passed through him as he felt a tingle of adventure and danger at the touch of the younger alchemist's hand. This boy made him feel younger, made him want to do things that he normally wouldn't do on his own. Neither of them pulled away.
Taking a deep breath, he reluctantly opened the door a crack. Edward seemed a little relieved.
And then Roy closed the door. He was trembling inside but he was too proud to show it. "Fullmetal –"
"Don't..." Edward's voice was breaking. Roy looked at him in surprise, cursing himself because now was not the time to offend the one who'd brought back the rainbows in his life. The younger man's face crumpled in pain and frustration. "Don't call me that." His amber eyes were half-closed, making him look breathtaking.
"Edward," Roy conceded softly with a nod. "I – while you were away...there were so many things I never had the chance to tell you. I mean, I had the chance but I was too proud. Or maybe I was too afraid."
Edward looked up at him, surprised at this sudden flow of words because Roy was never known to be sentimental.
Still, Roy went on. "I want you to know, Ed, how much we missed you – how much I missed you...and how much I respect and appreciate you."
Edward's mouth dropped open at the older man's confession but he said nothing. It was amazing how this young man was ready to face unknown dangers with a taunting face, ready with a witty comeback for just about everything, but was rendered speechless at a confession of affection.
There was another moment of awkward silence. Neither of them knew what to say. And then Roy braved it and reached out to grip Edward's flesh hand, lacing their fingers together. Edward was startled and he held his breath. But he said nothing.
Roy pulled him closer and smiled tentatively. "Stay," he said softly, looking into Edward's eyes as if looking into his soul, obsidian merging with gold.
A faint blush appeared on Edward's cheeks. And then he smiled, lighting up the room. "I will," he said quietly.
Hours later, they were still holding each other. And Roy knew that this time, the rainbows were here to stay.