Ah, I knew I said I had a RoyEd coming, but I wanted to get this one in. The idea is bugging me.
First in Maes' POV, second in Roy's.
This is a kind of angsty Hughes, though it really doesn't stay that way. This was something that came to me reviewing an old conversation with Yuki. No one seems to think Maes can angst! Course he can, he's human dammit! So. I wrote this for her. Crappy, but, well, it counters all the cute, funny fics I've been doing lately.
This ruins the storyline of FMA. So what. xP I actually kind of /like/ this one. It changes at episode twenty-five. Obviously, Maes lives. xD So, there is your warning.
More Hughes/Glacier than anything. Slight HyuRoi.
What do I say? What do I do? She is gone, and there's nothing left for me…
Elysia stood there, her cries cutting deep. What do I say? What do I do? She should not be shedding those tears. I should have protected her mother. The day those vows left my lips…I should have been there!
"Daddy! Make them stop! Mommy…mommy promised to bake me cookies!"
I cringed. But I did not stop them. I stood there, too hurt for tears. I could not do such a thing in front of them. Not Elysia, not Glacier's family, not even Roy.
The wind blew, the strong scent of roses wafting through the air, the bright thoughts that once brought be joy, now only made my heart ache. I had no choice. I had no life. Nothing was my own anymore. I wanted to go from this place. I wanted to hide, to stay in bed, drink all the whisky my body would allow, and go off into an eternal slumber. I didn't have that luxury. I had to care for Elysia. I had to make sure that sweet child was cared for, even if that meant moving on with my life, and taking in the very thing I swore to myself that I would never do, to find someone else to aid me through this time…to give me something to live for.
Elysia tugged on my hand. Her pleas for me to stop them turned into cries for me to tell her what was going on. How do I explain that? What could I say? You mother's dead. You'll never see her again. You have to be strong. No crying. Death is natural. Live with it.
Simplistic answers to her questions. Easy ways to get out of it. Cold. Cruel, but straightforward. Who wanted to waste time in the sea of longing? It was just as cold, cruel and horrible as the answers that I could have given her. They were dangerous, especially to a seven year old child. She understood it, though, I knew. She didn't want to, but I knew she did.
"Elysia…why don't we go for some ice cream?" The calm, cool voice of Riza Hawkeye broke into my thoughts.
I knew Elysia looked at me, asking if it was all right. Of course it was, I wouldn't deny her something like that, especially now. She deserved something to make her happy; she needed something to distract her, and what better way than to taking her to get one of her favorite treats.
"It's all right, Maes…you can let her go." That voice, the silky, strong voice, repressed due to the situation, quiet but firm, caring but cool. Roy…why did he have to say something like that? It wasn't as if I was /latching/ onto her or anything. It was then I felt strong, gloved hands upon my own, pulling. I was…I was latching onto the last thing I thought I had in my life. What Glacier left me, our beautiful daughter. I couldn't bear to let her go, even though I knew that she would be safe. Hawkeye would allow no harm to come to her, but I couldn't do it…
'Don't make me let her go too!' My mind screamed, my grip tightened, unintentionally. I had no idea what was going on. My body was acting of its own accord, not allowing any reason to come to light. Reason was the last thing that I sought. I wanted…I wanted her back! Why…why couldn't I have her?
Let her go…
Watch her be taken as well…
Lose the last thing that has meaning…
"I won't do it!" The last sentence had not been spoken in my mind…no, that one had escaped my lips before I could stop myself. No…I wouldn't let her go, watch her be taken, loss the last thing that had meaning to me. But still those strong, but almost delicate hands remained, the touch gentle but sturdy lingered over my grip, still trying to pry me off.
My hands let go. My fingers that had been wrapped around her hand, the one that had grasped my arm as she tried to get my attention, fell away, taking the next thing close by, the gloved hands that had freed Elysia. The familiar cloth I remembered well. The ones that had saved my life, that had taken the life of the Fuhrer…the ones that had not been used in so long.
The cloth I remembered he liked to use…before I met Glacier, before I ended our taboo of a relationship, during our nights together. They were actually pretty smooth, with light, feathery touches. It was when force was exerted that they were much more dangerous. Causing sparks, and even burns when rubbed against bare flesh. "Roy…"
He didn't say anything. I didn't want or expect him to. He was there, he was my lifeline now. I knew he hadn't been back in Central for long, and he probably wouldn't be here much longer…But…I wouldn't let him go back. Not until I knew…knew that he would be safe, that he would take care of himself, and that he would come back. I didn't harbor those feelings so strongly for him anymore, since I was mourning Glacier's death, but still, I didn't mind clinging to him as I once had, and he to me.
"Taisa…" Riza's voice cut through my thoughts again and Roy pulled one of his hands away. I could not see what he was doing, but I knew it had something to do with a salute. He had to, out of respect, didn't he? No matter what she called him.
The grass rustled beneath their feet, the sound growing more and more distant with each step. They were leaving. And I turned. For the first time since that day, I saw everything so clearly. The bright blue sky, the gorgeous green grass, the retreating backs of Riza and my delightful, dutiful daughter, Elysia…
"Maes…let me take you home."
I would not protest that idea. I wanted to relax, to see the end of it all. I didn't want to see her name upon that smooth stone anymore. I didn't want to smell the colorful roses. I wanted to sleep…"All right."
He stared at the table. Stricken with grief. Gently I placed the china tea cup before him, noting the simplistic design of it, definitely Glacier's choice. What could I do for him, besides sit there, offer him the chance to express his pain, and wait for Elysia to return?
I couldn't stay here long. My job up north was calling, my post left empty for now, not even a substitute was available for me to position there until I was able to get back. However, for the current point in time, I was needed here, and I refused to allow myself to leave this man on his own. Not until I knew he was going to be all right.
'I was jealous of her, Maes. She took you from me, and I often wondered what would happen should she have died. Would that leave you, Elysia and I a nice family? No…not with that look on your face. That…mask that you put on when you hurt, that small smile you used to show that you were hurting, but wanted no one to know. I knew you much too well, Hughes.'
He kept uttering my name, like if he stopped saying it, I would disappear, leave him as well. Never. I could never be gone that long, not even on my posts. I would have to have some contact with him. It wouldn't be fair should I have left him on his own. "Hughes, I'm not going anywhere."
"I know…" But…did he really? No. He was afraid of anything at the moment, expected. Just as I had been, when I arrived in Central, watching someone flee the scene that night he was shot. I don't know how he survived. Everyone was equally surprised, and my cauterization of his wounds shouldn't have made any difference. But I couldn't say that I wasn't glad. Of course I was. He was alive, that was all that mattered, all that I wanted.
"Roy, you never told me…how your eye happened. Or that scar."
My visible brow rose. Scar? Oh…I remembered, I had taken off the blue jacket that had become so hot, leaving the white shirt beneath it. When I rubbed the aching spot, a signal that it was going to rain, you could see it. Faintly, but visible. "It was from the fight with the Fuhrer. Remember?"
He was losing it. His mind no longer focused on anything other than the day, the loss of his wife. "Hughes, maybe you should lie down."
I nodded slowly, going into his liquor cabinet and pulling out the beautiful, unopened bottle, returning to him and his tea, pouring it in to his idea. He shouldn't have been drinking, but there was no harm in it. But, for once, I was not willing to join him. I had to care for him, be the strong one. "Hughes—"
I grinned. "All right. Maes. You shouldn't hold it in. Not even for Elysia. She expects you to cry."
What did it matter if I cried or not? "I didn't know her as well…"
"She was still close to you."
"Maes, she was your wife."
He remained silent for a moment, probably trying to find a good way to express himself. Fingers wrapped around the delicate cup, the tips of his fingers about the only thing that had room on such a small item, their owner looking down at the ginger colored liquid. "Roy…I used to believe that my life was anything but complicated. An unerring path before me. Now…now I'm lost. I don't have any idea where to go from here."
I sat down, a small smile lifting my lips as I watched him, before turning back to the tea in front of me. "Maes, that's just it."
He lifted his yellow, green-tinged eyes; I could feel the inquisitive gaze on me. He didn't have to ask for me to know what he was thinking.
"You are where you should be. You can't know where you will go. You can't expect the answer to come out. You can't move on so fast. Wallow. Grieve. Weep for your loss. Not because I want you to, or it is what is expected of you, or not even for Glacier. Do it for yourself. Do it because you need to, because you want to, because you must feel." The words felt strange, flowing off my tongue so easily, quickly. This must have sounded so weird to him as well. But that just proved…I wasn't the same man I was…before everything changed. I wasn't always that bastard that annoyed Edward, or the man that everyone thought only cared about a promotion. I had a wise side to me as well.
Maes grinned. I had looked up from my tea, no longer interested in gazing at it, or otherwise. "Roy. Do you realize how…/me/ you sounded?"
I chuckled softly. Yes, it was quite a surprise to me, but, then again, telling him that didn't help any. I could be proud that it was something I learned from experience. "It's true, though, isn't it?"
"Yes, Roy, it is."
"Look." I stood, reaching and grabbing his hand in my gloved one, dragging him to his feet. The beautiful sky outside...we stood on the small porch just outside of his door, the scent of rain heavy in the air, the streets and walks darkened with the tear drops of heaven. "She weeps for you."
He, himself, allowed a smile, watching the cloudy sky with a glint in his eye, the glint that told me he was beginning to accept it. "You don't always have to be the strong one, Maes."
What else could I say to that? Nothing. We had come to a mutual understanding in it. He knew what I thought, and I knew what was clouding his mind, his concerns, and I redirected them. Sure, I wasn't the best at it, but that didn't matter. The only thing that did was the idea that he didn't have to suffer alone, that I would be his friend through it all, and he would survive. "And look, Maes."
He lifted his brows in question, turning his head towards me, already tilted to the sky as I pointed with a pale, white finger…to a beautiful phenomenon of light, a rainbow, bright as the sun peeked through the clouds dimly. "Look. There is your unerring path."