A/N: I've noticed this for a while, but I wondered if anyone else did. So I just thought I'd write a fic about it.

Summary: Hughes has an interesting book to show the unit until Ed comes along and points out a disturbing fact.

Warning: Slight ooc. And a disturbing revelation winks

Disclaimer: I haven't even seen half the series…

Edited: I just edited when I was looking over the reviews and 'nameless wonder' pointed out a mistake, nothing has changed though, only some grammar and spelling

Happy Endings and Fairy Tales

"See! Aren't they're the cutest collection of stories you've ever read?"

"No," Havoc muttered under his breath.

"I can barely remember them" agreed Falman. Unfortunately, Hughes heard him.

"I know! Reading this brings back so many memories! You know, I really liked-"

"Hughes…" the Colonel ground out. "What exactly is your purpose here?"

"Huh? My purpose? Oh! I just came to drop off these papers."

"Then please do so and leave sir." Hawkeye was (very obviously) at the end of her patience. "These men do have work to do and your interruptions aren't helping." Huhges noticed the fidgeting of her hands and decided that it would probably be best to leave. Before he attracted a shower of bullets.

"Fine then," the man sniffed, settling his glasses on his nose. "If this is what I get for trying to bring excitement to your otherwise dull lives, then I'll take my leave. I know where I'm not wanted." As he turned to the door, the other officers let out a sigh of relief - that quickly turned into a groan when the door crashed open.

"Fullmetal," Mustang groaned. "What brings you here?" He really didn't want to deal with his shrimp-sized subordinate right now. Hughes had been bad enough, his head couldn't take much more. By the looks on the faces of his unit, the same could be said for them.

Ed quickly assessed the situation. Whenever Hughes was in the vicinity, hours of torture were bound to follow. Aka, looking at seemingly endless pictures of Alicia. What he needed to do was to get out of there fast.

The small blonde approached the desk and threw a quick salute. "My report Colonel, seeing as you're busy I can give you the verbal report tomorrow." Mustang blinked, then realized that Ed was discreetly eyeing Hughes. The Colonel smirked, Ed wasn't getting off that easily.

"Thank you Fullmetal. We are rather busy right now. Perhaps you could escort Major Hughes out at the same time? He was just leaving. And I do believe he would like to show you something." Grins sprang up on the faces of his unit as they realized what Mustang was getting at. Ed on the other hand looked horrified.

"That's right Ed!" yelled an excited Hughes. "Take a look at this!" the Major proceeded to wave the book of fairy tales under the boy's nose, making him go cross-eyed.

"Huh?" muttered Ed, momentarily dazed; never a good thing to be in front of this particular Major.

"Ed! You're a hell of a lot younger than these guys so you'll remember these stories, right?"

"Yeah, what's your point Hughes?"

"You believe in happy lives and romantic endings, don't you?"

Ed seemed to freeze upon hearing the words 'Happy Endings'. The surrounding faces sported confused looks. Mustang frowned.


"I believe in equivalent exchange Hughes," replied Ed. The others looked even more confused. "Check those stories again, they may have gotten a happy ending, but what was the price?"

Ed quietly slipped out. The adults in the office stared at the closed door. For a few moments, there was nothing but silence.

"What did he mean by that?" Demanded Havoc.

Hughes proceeded to flip through the book.

"Snow White practically died and spent years in coma. The thorns surrounding Sleeping Beauty's castle destroyed the lives of princes. The ugly Duckling had to put up with constant teasing. The Little Mermaid gave up her voice and endured ceaseless pain, but in the end, it was all for nothing." Explained Hughes gloomily

"Rupunzel was trapped in a tower with no connection to the outside world. In Rumpelstiltskin, the queen had to promise to give up her first-born in order to save her life." Continued Riza, suddenly understanding

"I get it, I get it!" Protested Havoc. "Wow, I never knew children's tales were so bloodthirsty."

"Tell me about it," remarked Hughes. "I wonder if I can still read these to Alicia…"

"That was interesting." Roy suddenly pointed out.

All eyes snapped to him. The Flame looked a little sad

"Colonel, what's wrong?" inquired Hughes.

"We've all heard those stories countless times when we were younger… but I've never heard anyone point out that – very obvious – fact."

"You're right," sighed Riza. "I never knew how cynical he was."

"I guess he isn't a kid anymore…" Havoc trailed off.

"Has he ever been?" Questioned Hughes dully.

No-one answered out loud, but everyone understood. No, Edward Elric had never really been a kid. Not in the four years that they had known him.

A/N: Umm...I have a twisted mind? Most nursery songs are like that too: Death of Cock Robin, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Three Men in a Tub, Owl and the Pussy Cat, Ring around the Roses...I could go on... (btw, English/British nursery rhymes)