Title: Post Script
Notes: Mild spoilers for the end of the series. AU after that.
Summary: The first New Years for Roy and Ed and so many things have changed.
It was the first New Years since Al's body was restored. The first New Years since Roy became Fuhrer. Since he promoted his subordinates, since they defeated the homunculi and since they lost Hughes. Since... since... oh so many things and Ed had given up trying to list them a good hour and a half ago when the labels on the bottles started to get blurry.
There had been the official military gathering to attend, of course. As stuffy and formal and dull as Ed had expected it to be with the seemingly endless lines of snotty sycophants clamouring for the attention of the Fuhrer and his closest advisors. The men, some of them ones who had patronised and scorned him as a childish brat only months before, were now desperate to engage him in conversation and he thought that Lust had shown him less cleavage than some of the women.
They'd all slipped away as soon as possible. He hadn't been entirely sure if it was allowed but Roy had smirked and declared that he was Fuhrer so he could do whatever the hell he wanted and that included hijacking two military cars to take himself and his guests home.
Roy's official residence was built a few miles out of the city, surrounded by a high wall and elegant gardens. He only ever used about half of the house though. The front of the building, with it's huge entrance hall and numerous reception rooms, was designed solely to impress visiting politicians and dignitaries. The actual living space was reached from the back and was much more welcoming; the little personal touches like the slightly worn furniture and the photographs made all the difference.
The smaller party was far more satisfying, in Ed's opinion. From the relieved expressions he saw, everyone else agreed with him. It had felt good to loosen his collar and kick off the tight, shiny new boots he'd been required to wear with his uniform. The dress jacket was unceremoniously dumped onto the back of one sofa as though he belonged there instead of being just a guest in Roy's house. It had been worth the disapproving look he got from Al just to see the way Roy's fingers lingered on it for a moment before he scooped it up to go and hang it near the door.
Ed stared after Roy as the older man slipped through the door to the cellar to fetch some more wine. He half hoped that Roy would turn and catch him watching, beckon him over. It was the first New Years since they...
A glass of wine was thrust into his hand and he looked up to meet Winry's smiling face. "You're thinking too much," she said and flopped onto the sofa next to him, resting her head easily in his lap. He grinned down at her and stroked her hair gently with the automail hand.
"Nothing like that, just thinking about which of Mustang's expensive wines to test next," he said teasingly, taking a small sip from his glass before settling it on the floor near his feet.
"Sure you aren't thinking more about Mustang himself than his booze?" she teased, face pink with alcohol flush.
Ed felt his own cheeks turn red with more than just the alcohol. "Winry!"
The girl laughed softly, tapping her fingers over the automail absently. "Ed's in love!" She said it loudly enough that a few of the other guests turned towards them; Havoc's raised eyebrow and Hawkeye's knowing smile made him want to vanish into the sofa in mortification. "Winry!" he hissed again, clamping his hand over her mouth and then smiling innocently at the people until they turned away.
He removed his hand from Winry's mouth and leaned down so he that hopefully no-one would overhear. "How do you know?"
She smirked. "Women's intuition."
Ed narrowed his eyes at her and she pouted slightly before giving a bright laugh and patting his cheek softly. "You were staring at him again," she said bluntly. "When he's around, it's like you can't get enough of him, like you've been deprived and you're saving up what you can get for later."
He looked at her wide-eyed for a moment, seeming suddenly more like his real age instead of the adult he'd become. He should have known that Winry of all people would see it. She'd never been deceived by any of his pretences. Out of all of his friends, she probably saw the most, maybe even saw more than Al, blinded by gratitude, could. "I..." he began, needing suddenly to justify himself to his oldest friend.
"You don't need to explain," she said quickly, smiling reassuringly.
"But you hate him," he said, guilt creeping into his voice. Roy had always been a taboo subject once Winry had found out the truth. It had hurt her to know that Ed was so close to her parent's murderer, although she seemed to tolerate him now, seeing the good he was doing for the country.
"Well, he isn't my favourite person," Winry admitted, then continued before Ed could leap in. "I can't just forget what he did and I haven't forgiven him. I can't." She sighed heavily, pushing herself up so she was sitting properly next to Ed. "But you like him, so he can't be all bad." She pushed a few strands of hair back behind her ear and chewed her lip for a moment, an uncharacteristic sign of hesitance. "I saw the two of you when he stayed in Risembool that time. You were asleep but he was just sitting next to you, watching like he thought you were going to disappear." Her expression turned to one of chagrin and she gripped his flesh shoulder hard. "Not that he was unfounded in that belief. Don't think you've been forgiven for that yet, Ed." She gave him a sickly sweet smile that promised long hours of automail examinations in the near future. He hoped, really hoped, that someone had dissuaded her from bringing tools with her.
"Winry! Do you want to dance?"
Ed turned to his saviour and shot him a grateful smile. Al looked slightly flushed and was tugging at his bowtie, looking eagerly at Winry. Ed felt slightly disapproving that his brother had been drinking, but couldn't really bring himself to care too much. They'd earned this and it was still too good to see him whole and human after so long, to want to spoil it with anger. Even if Ed would probably be the one clearing up if Al got a hangover the next day.
Winry nodded happily and took Al's hand when he offered, allowing him to pull her to her feet. She leaned down and kissed Ed's cheek softly. "I want my brothers to be happy," she said, smiling.
Al grinned at him. "Sorry, brother. I need to steal this lovely lady away."
Ed shook his head and waved them away. "Go on, shoo. Have fun!" He watched as they walked into the centre of the floor, happily involved in each other. Another event that at one point he'd thought he'd never see. The first New Years since he'd seen Al's first smile in his restored body.
He let his eyes linger on them for a moment longer and then he stood, walking quietly to the top of the stairs leading down to the cellar. Roy still hadn't come back upstairs. He glanced back into the lounge where people were still chatting happily. No sense disturbing them. He'd just go check that Roy was alright. Ed rolled his eyes. He was probably passed out drunk down there or something.
He swallowed, wiping a suddenly sweaty palm against his uniform trousers. Now or never, he supposed.
He jogged down the stairs, blinking slightly in the dim light after the brightness of upstairs. "Roy?" he called, walking warily through the racks and barrels that lined the rooms of the cellar. He felt silly being so on guard inside Roy's house of all places. It was probably the safest house in the country. He just couldn't seem to break the habit built on years of travelling from danger to danger.
He found Roy near the back of the cellar, sitting on the floor with his back to the wall, an open bottle and glass of wine at his side. He smiled slightly when he saw Ed approaching, and beckoned him closer. "Come and sit down."
Ed sighed softly in relief and took a spot at Roy's side so they were not quite touching. "Good wine?" he asked, leaning over for the bottle and examining the label.
Roy nodded happily. "Very good. I'm being horribly selfish and not sharing it."
Ed snorted and put the bottle back down. "So you just came down here for a drink?"
Roy shrugged, slowly sipping the last of the wine from his glass, savouring every drop. "Drinking. Thinking." He turned, fixing Ed with a single dark eye that seemed too sharp for someone who was supposed to be drunk. "Hughes was here last New Year," he said. "He invited me to his home for dinner and drinks and I refused because I had to go to some stupid officers ball. So desperate to get noticed." He sighed and grabbed for the wine but ignored the glass this time, swigging from the bottle instead.
There wasn't much that Ed could say to that. It was always difficult to deal with Roy when he fell into one of these moods. He settled for squeezing the other man's shoulder in silent sympathy. Roy turned to him, leaning in close so Ed could feel his breath as he spoke, as though he were about to impart some state secret.
"It was a fucking awful ball too," he said, tone wry.
"Trust you to think like that," he grumbled, leaning his head against Roy's shoulder. "Not enough pretty girls?"
Roy shook his head. "Mostly the wives of old generals. Twice as scary and about half as attractive as their husbands."
Ed couldn't hold back a soft laugh at that. "I don't think anything could be that ugly, thinking about some of the Generals I saw tonight," he said, grinning. "You're making it up."
The other man shook his head solemnly. "I swear, I tell nothing but the truth."
"Do you even know what the truth is?" Ed asked sceptically.
Ed snatched the bottle away and took a swig himself, feeling it burn down his throat. He didn't really appreciate wine in the same way that Roy seemed to. Roy savoured it and hoarded it while Ed enjoyed the taste, but couldn't really care less for vintages and vineyards.
"We hadn't done a lot of stuff last New Year," Ed said quietly, setting the bottle down with a clink. "We've been to war since then. We've killed since then." Died since then, but Roy didn't need to know that part and there was only Ed left to remember.
Roy shrugged. "We've changed the country since then."
Ed smiled wanly. "Yeah, we have, haven't we?"
Another silence, longer and thoughtful. Ed contemplating the changes while Roy's expression was unreadable.
"First New Years since we agreed on that," Ed said, almost absently and Roy looked at him, startled.
Ed nodded, smirking. "Of course I remember it. It isn't the kind of thing you just forget."
"And?" Roy said after a long moment. Ed could practically feel the tension in the other man's body.
"Do you think we changed enough?" he asked in reply, taking Roy's wrist in his hand, smoothing his thumb over his skin, circling the nub of bone in the joint.
"I don't know," Roy whispered, leaning closer so their cheeks brushed, the eye-patch scratchy against Ed's skin. "We lost people."
"We gained stuff too." Ed thought of Al dancing with Winry, the way that Hawkeye and Havoc and the others seemed to have lost the lines born of worry and realised that he didn't care.
Ed turned, wrapped his fingers in Roy's collar and tugged him down, meeting his lips insistently with his own. Roy's visible eye widened for a moment before closing in pleasure. Roy tasted sweet and Ed lapped insistently at his lips until Roy opened his mouth, allowing him to press his tongue inside, swiping over teeth and tongue.
They parted after a moment when both ran out of breath. Ed licked his lips, a smug expression on his face. "Does this count as a fresh start?" he eventually asked, nuzzling his face against Roy's neck, feeling him shiver. "It's the right day for it."
"I don't know," Roy said, tracing Ed's spine through his shirt. "I might need some more convincing."
Ed nipped at the other man's throat lightly, then laved the spot with his tongue. "We aren't short of time, for once," he said softly. "That's one change."
"You haven't recovered your arm and leg," Roy pointed out.
Ed shrugged. "We said we had to achieve our goals. Al was restored, but the arm and leg was always his goal more than mine. I won't risk him for something I can survive without."
"Cheat," Roy said fondly, sliding his fingers up beneath Ed's shirt.
"If we waited until everything was perfect and the past had no hold on us, then we'd be waiting forever," Ed said solemnly, leaning back against Roy's chest comfortably. "And all this thinking is bad when you're drunk. Kiss me again."
"Who am I to argue with such an order?" Roy replied, smirking as he obeyed. Ed hummed in pleasure, kissing back enthusiastically.
"Does this make me the Fuhrer's consort then?" he asked when they parted, grinning widely.
"The Fuhrer doesn't have a consort, he has a wife," Roy said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "I'll have a dress ordered for you to wear to formal occasions, Fullmetal."
"Bastard," Ed grumbled, punching Roy lightly in the shoulder.
"Don't joke about dresses then," Ed said, turning his nose up.
"But I think you'd look cute in one."
The only response was a rather vicious glare from Ed.
Roy held up his hands in surrender. "Fine, no dresses. How about a garter?"
Thankfully for Roy's health, Ed's reply was cut off before he could begin when the sounds of people counting down the seconds drifted downstairs. Ed tugged his pocket watch out and glanced at the time. "I hadn't realise it was so late." He pushed himself to his feet and offered Roy a hand. "We should go back upstairs and join in."
Roy smiled and leaned in to kiss Ed again, holding him until the countdown stopped and the cheers died down. He pulled away, brushing Ed's fringe out of his face and then kissed his forehead. "Here's to a New Year."