1Chapter Five

Roy woke to the sounds of voices and the delicious smells of food. He flopped over in the bed, glancing first out the window - it seemed dark - then over at the crowd of people in his cozy little hotel room. Everyone but him lounged on the spare bed or sat at the little table near the window, eating. "It's dark. Why'd you wake me up so early in the morning?" He ran a hand over his face. The scent of chicken made his mouth water.

"It's nighttime, Mustang," Ed said, taking a huge bite of chicken leg.

Roy's hand stilled. He peered through his bangs at the young man. "What?"

"You slept through the day, Roy. It's evening," Riza said, coming over to him with a thick, folded robe in her hands.

"It is not," Roy grumbled, sitting up, the covers puddling at his waist. He considered the logistics of getting into the robe in front of a crowd. He was glad he had on the good silk underwear and not the silly military issue ones that he always feared getting caught dead in.

"Yes, it is, sir," Al said, moving a bit so Roy could get a better look at the feast. "We're saving you some dinner."

Roy made a half-hearted attempt to smooth his hair. "You're not kidding?"

"No, and you still look like hell," Ed put in as he kicked his feet up on the bed and rocked back on two legs of his chair.

"You really do, Roy. Next time you get stabbed in the lung and try to pass it off as nothing, I'm going to hurt you," Maes said with a sour look. He got up from the table and crossed over to Roy. He put a hand on Roy's shoulder, a hurt expression on his face. "Understood?"

Roy made a face, nodding his head.

"You were practically asleep before we got up here," Riza said, gently jostling Roy to get him moving. He proved resistant.

"Yeah, you're a pain. You're heavier than you look and I had to half drag you up here," Ed said, reaching for more bread.

Roy got up finally, slipped on his robe and shot Ed an obscene gesture as he stumbled toward the door and the bathroom down the hall. Maes ended up coming down to the communal shower with all the toiletries Roy had forgotten. The water was warm and wonderful and he almost fell back asleep on his feet. He almost wished Maes had stayed just in case he collapsed. By the time he made it back to his hotel room, a space had been cleared for him at the table. He collapsed down there and Winry put a bowl of soup in front of him.

"You need to eat. That's just for starters. I know how you like to merely pick." Winry scowled at him, wagging a finger.

"She does know you, Roy." Maes smiled, sitting on a chair at the table so he could supervise Roy.

Roy snorted, starting on the vegetable soup. "Tell me what I missed out on with what happened to Leonard and his men. Didn't anyone notice at work that I was missing?" He turned his gaze on Riza. "Why'd you let me sleep so long?"

"I couldn't wake you so I called you in sick. I am your adjutant after all," Riza said, taking the seat on the other side of Roy. She hoped seeing he was hemmed in would encourage Roy to behave and actually eat. "You needed to sleep, Roy. Even before the last two days, you haven't slept well. You haven't slept well since Ishbal, so I was not about to interrupt the best sleep you've had in years."

"I could sleep more," he admitted, hating that admission of weakness. "Never thought I'd say that." Roy dipped some of the crusty bread in his soup. "So, what did I miss?"

"They're taking Leonard and his men to Central. Who knows what will happen then," Ed said, rocking back further on his chair. From her place on next to Al on the bed, Winry leaned forward sneaking a hand closer to Ed's heel and Roy wondered if she'd pitch him heels over head. "And the Parliament wants to talk to you about moving out of our new home and out of Rush Valley."

"And we don't want to," Winry said sharply, sitting back hard against the head board when Ed glared, deducing her plan.

"I don't think there's much choice," Roy replied, setting aside his soup half-eaten. Riza immediately replaced it with a chicken breast and some soft cheese with fruit. He scowled at her unnecessary speed.

"Listen to them, Roy. They've thought this out," Maes said, tapping the plate as if Roy might miss seeing the huge chicken breast.

"We're tired of running," Al said wearily, squirming against the pillow he was using as a buffer between him and the headboard.

"And Winry has given up so much to be with us. Even if she went home now alone, she'd always be in danger from anyone who knows of our connection," Ed said, grabbing a handful of grapes out of the fruit bowl. "She could train here in Rush Valley. I mean this is the Boomtown of the Broken Down, right? It's perfect for Winry."

"I've already found someone willing to mentor me," Winry said, sitting forward excitedly. "We were thinking we should stay in Rush Valley."

"No one would expect that. They'd think we'd run," Riza put in, thrusting the plate at Roy because he had yet to take a bite.

"We can stay here at the hotel until we find a new house," Al said, his brown eyes eager. "Besides, we don't want to leave Hughes behind either and we're pretty sure you don't either."

"My wishes...often they have to come second to my duty, like it or not," Roy said flatly, hiding away all emotion as he took a tentative bite of the chicken piece he had stripped from the bone.

"I think the kids have thought this out rather well, Roy. Maybe you can't stay...no I suppose there's no maybe's about it, General Mustang." Maes' eyes clouded as he took his glasses off for a polish. "But at least for now, while you can, stay."

Roy looked over at Riza, and took another small bite before pushing away his plate. "You agree?"

"I think so. If I have to stay here with them alone, I will," Riza said, pushing the plate back. "At least until everything's settled. You could assign me here temporarily."

Roy nodded. "I could. I'll think about it." He rested his chin on his hands. "My head's too fuzzy for this right now."

"Maybe because you didn't eat anything." Winry gave him a critical look. "Mr. Hughes, Riza, make him eat."

Roy glared at the girl and pointed at the plate. "I ate."

"Two bites of chicken and some swallows of soup is not eating, Roy. Eat something," Maes instructed, nudging his friend.

Roy rolled his eye. "I'm sleepy. There's too many people in my bedroom and I'm not hungry."

"Eat the fruit at least," Riza said, stabbing up a slice of apple. "And the kids will go to their own rooms soon. You can sit up for a little while since you slept for a day."

Roy nibbled the cheese and fruit. "I suppose. So, now we need to find a new place to stay if we stay here."

"I know where, too," Winry said, her eyes like blue marbles. "That big house just a few blocks off the market with the columns. It's for sale I think, and it has to have a lot of rooms. That way if someone wants to come over and stay, like Mrs. Hughes and Elicia, they could do it without anyone getting wise, if Mr. Hughes has to keep his cover longer."

"The octagon house?" Roy shot her an 'are you crazy' look. "That'll cost a fortune."

"You were just promoted," Winry argued, swinging her legs off the side of the bed. "Besides don't you state alchemists have lots of money? I've seen Ed with lots of money."

"She likes to spend my money," Ed grumbled, setting his chair back down on all fours.

"I don't know what will happen to the budgets for the state alchemists now that there's technically not a State," Roy said, going for another slice of the dark bread.

"You and Riza could have the third floor all to your selves," Winry wheedled, batting her eyes at him a little clumsily. Roy suspected she was more used to strong-arming than to using her feminine wiles.

"Yeah, so we wouldn't have to hear you," Ed put in, getting up.

"Brother!" Al groaned, tossing a pillow at him.

"Oh, just for that, next time you're really going to hear." Roy glowered, accepting another apple slice that Riza was waving at him.

"Even if he has to just make up sounds to see if he can make you nuts." Maes smirked, pushing another wedge of cheese on Roy

"He would, wouldn't he? He is that evil." Ed stretched out over the foot of the second bed.

"You do rather beg for it sometimes, Brother," Al said, curling up his feet to make room for Ed. He shot Ed a sharp look.

Ed waved him off lazily. "So, we'll look at the big house tomorrow?"

"I said I'd consider the idea, not go hunting real estate," Roy replied, polishing off the apple. "We should be renting not buying. We won't be here forever."

"I'll see who you need to talk to about the house," Maes said, pointing to the chicken.

"No one's listening to me," Roy lamented, pushing the chicken off the plate and onto the platter minus the two small strips of flesh he had pulled off.

"Go back to bed now, Roy," Maes said, tossing his hands up in defeat.

"No arguing here." Roy got up, taking some grapes with him to the slept-in bed. He gazed back at Maes.

"No making eyes at me. You're sleeping alone until you actually heal up. I'm not going to let you damage yourself. Besides, I've a home to go to," Maes said with a stern look. Ed made a face. Al blushed and Winry was suddenly interested in the painting on the wall.

Roy pouted and turned his gaze on Riza.

"Technically I'm sharing a room with Winry. The hotel owner gave us all doubles. You can have this room all to yourself," Riza informed him, putting her hand on Winry's shoulder. She grinned wickedly at her lover.

His pout deepened. "But I don't want it all to myself."

"Oh, like she'd let you really sleep alone." Maes got up then noticed how red the teens were. "Boys, why don't you take the rest of the food. I'm sure you'll make good use of it."

"Oh, they will," Winry said, gathering up some of the plates while the brothers got up and did the same, looking happy for the escape route. "Good night."

"Try not to look so much like hell tomorrow, General Shit. We have a house to go buy. They won't sell to someone who looks like a beat up beggar," Ed said as he sailed out the door.

"Maybe I'll just give him to the loyalists," Roy groaned, making another obscene gesture at Ed's back.

"You'd miss him," Riza said, helping him out of his robe. Roy flopped back into bed.

Roy snorted. "Like hell. Is there a radio? Some music would be nice." He looked around the plain room for one.

Maes turned it on. "You catch up on your rest, Roy. And don't you even think of pushing yourself like this again."

"It was worth it." Roy smiled wickedly then held out his hand. "Stay, Maes, just until I sleep. I know Riza will stay all night... but I'd like you to stay just until I fall asleep."

Maes smiled as Riza climbed into bed with Roy. "I think I can do that."

He got into bed with them. Roy leaned over and kissed him. "Thanks, Maes."

Mustang kissed Riza, too, then snuggled up against her, sliding an arm around her waist. Maes tossed his arm over them both. In under two minutes, Roy's arms slipped down bonelessly as he succumbed back into a deep slumber.

Riza smiled over at Maes. "He'd love it if you were here when he woke up. Can you stay?"

"I suppose that wouldn't hurt anything." Maes got back out of bed and locked the door. He stripped to his boxers then got back into bed with them. He put his glasses on the stand before gazing down at Roy. "I like him when he sleeps. He almost looks innocent."

"Looks can be deceiving," Riza laughed. "He is sweet like this." She ran her hands through his hair.

Maes tangled his fingers with hers, feeling the silken strands of Roy's hair between them. He could still see the pain in her eyes even as she tried to hide it. She could barely look at Roy's face. Later, he'd have to talk to her about forgiving herself. For now, he was content to just lie still and luxuriate in being back with his family. "Too sweet." He leaned over Roy's sleeping form and kissed her. "Good night, Riza."

"Night, Maes." She settled down against Roy.

Maes watched until she was asleep, too, before he was willing to let himself drift off to dream, his lovers in his arms.