Genre: Angsty/Fluff… Flangsty?
Rating: T for Teens
Summary: Epilogue… :D
Disclaimer: I hate this part; it just reminds me of my lack of owning such a great story.
"Yes! He's here!!"
Edward handed Amber to Roy and bolted for the front door.
"Ed! Don't attack the ice-cream man again. You want him to come back tomorrow right?" Roy called after him while balancing the toddler on his hip.
Amber smiled and clapped her hands while Roy looked for the spatula. "Kitty ice-squweem?"
He smiled at her and sat her down in her play pin with her cousins. "Something like that."
"These steaks are burning! Hey Mustang! I you're the Flame Alchemist but that doesn't mean I want my beef no fire!"
Roy gave Gracia a pathetic looked. She smiled and waved him off in response. "Just go Roy. I'll watch the children just fine on my own. I am a mother after all."
"Of course…" Roy looked at his daughter in the pile of young children with a worried look. What if they picked on her?
"MUSTANG! The meat!" Breda yelled from the backyard.
Roy grabbed the spatula from his utensil rack and waved to Gracia as he exited the back door of his kitchen. Flames were erupting from his barbeque.
"What did you do?" he shouted as he struggled on his gloves.
"Well… I was hungry now…" Breda tried to explain, gesturing to a bottle of lighter fluid and shrugging.
He turned of the barbeque but the flames still pillared around their dinner. Tapping the array on the back of his hand, Roy cut off the oxygen to the fire. This worked but Roy was regretful it came to that. The smell of ozone was not very appetizing with steak. Ed would argue otherwise, but the man also ate fried salmon scales.
At the moment Edward walked into the backyard with chocolate smeared on his face and an armful of cold treats from the ice cream trolley.
"Hey Ed, let me give you a hand." Winry offered and took half his load.
Roy watched longingly as they went into the nice cool kitchen. Why did he insist on grilling their meal? Oh right… something about being the Flame Alchemist in his element… dammit. The sun glared off the tin slide mockingly as Breda started to lick his spatula.
"Breda, what do you think you're doing?" Roy growled and shifted out of the reflected light.
"Helping you clean up?" he said hopefully.
Roy used the tongs to remove the steaks onto the plate. He double checked to make sure all was off and turned to Breda. "You want to help out? Round up the kids from in the house."
Breda saluted in a joking fashion and hurried off. Roy sighed and took the plate over to the very large picnic tables Al and Armstrong had fabricated in an over exaggerating display of alchemy for the children's benefit. He was surprised when Ed didn't offer to help with the arrays, but the blond had shrugged and said they needed to learn for themselves. Roy was still trying to figure out why Ed was so hesitant about alchemy. Maybe it had to do with his… condition.
Roy scowled and placed the plate down next to the potato salad and coleslaw. He tried to remember the last time he had even seen Ed perform alchemy when a Jordan poked him in spine rather hard. His blue eyes, blond hair and rather abrupt manner were exactly like his mothers. "Where's Dad?"
"He's helping bring all the dishes out, why don't you contribute too?" Roy smirked as the boy groaned. It looked like he wouldn't be able to avoid chores anymore.
Maes came out with a horde of children in his wake. Roy was almost glad he only had one of his own. Kids old enough to feed themselves piled onto the green and pink picnic table while the adults gathered around the brown one. Edward sat beside him on one side while Amber's highchair was on the other side. He had feeding duties today. Amber could eat on her own, but he was there to help the process along, mainly making certain the food went in her mouth and nowhere else.
"Roy, where' Fuery and the mutt?" Ed leaned close to ask.
Roy did a quick look about and confirmed that they were the only two missing were indeed the ones Ed was looking for. "I guess they'll be in later. You know Havoc; he keeps Fuery all the time. I can't remember the last time either of them was early for something."
"Yeah I guess…" Ed sighed and looked at his plate as if it was suddenly interesting. "I just had something to ask Jean. It can wait."
Everyone at their table was to busy in their own conversation to notice how sad Edward looked for a spilt second. Roy blinked and it was gone. "Ed? Are you ok?"
"Of course I am Bastard. I'm going to get some more steak sauce, with the way Armstrong and Breda are going, they won't have enough to make their steak paste. Be right back."
Before Roy could stop him, Ed was up and walking briskly into the house. Dammit, what was wrong with him? Roy asked Gracia to watch Amber and hurried after the blond. Roy opened the backdoor that lead to the kitchen and was quickly pulled down to the floor. Ed covered his face and flicked his eyes deliberately to the right.
Roy peeked that way but saw nothing. He kept looking around when he heard a whisper.
"Come on…if we don't go they'll look for us."
"Don't worry, Breda and Armstrong look like they decided to make a paper plate fortress. That buys us some time."
"Can I at least change back? If someone sees me like this I don't feel like explaining it."
"Jean, you don't have to explain anything to anyone. You are you and shouldn't have to hide it. You never hide from me, why your friends."
"It's different… I don't want just anyone seeing my between form. It's personal."
"You let Ed see you with puppy ears and a tail, why not the rest?"
"Cain, you just gotta understand that it's hard. With Ed is different because we're the same but I don't go the courage to just waltz into the barbeque looking like some werewolf."
"You're not a werewolf Jean!"
"Tell that to that mob of children out there. Holy shit Al and Hughes have a lot of kids."
"Do you think Ed hides?"
"I don't know. When we get together for cards we don't worry about that stuff."
"Fine Jean, but I still think you should trust your friends with the truth. They all think you and Ed are 'cured' and that's a lie."
"That's because there is no cure for being a chimera."
"No, it's because you don't need one. I love you, like this, and any other way you choose. To me, you're just Jean. I don't see this whole 'Puppy Jean' and 'Human Jean' categories you put yourself in."
"Fine, fine, lose the tail and let's go get some food. You're practically drooling."
Roy and Ed were hidden from their view behind the kitchen island as Havoc and Fuery passed by on their way to the backyard. Ed removed his hand and they sat in silence for a long time.
Roy couldn't take it anymore. "I never really believed you, that you were 'cured'. I hoped, in time, you would tell me it was a lie."
Ed stayed silent, looking the other way.
Roy continued, "Amber, she calls you 'Kitty', does that mean you share that part of your life with her, but not me? What are you afraid of?"
"It's hard, just like he said. I don't really want to share it. Amber sees me half and half all the time because she and I spend the day alone together. If I don't change willfully everyday, I lose that ability. I found that out the day she was kidnapped. Circumstances force changes without control. I didn't want you to know…" Edward was looking at his knees with tear brimming eyes.
Roy reached over and dragged the blond roughly against his side, causing Ed to yelp in surprise. "You have to be the most stubborn man I know. If I didn't love you, I'd beat it out of you. So now that it was out in the open… can I seem them… the ears?"
He tried not to sound too hopeful. In truth, Roy wanted to see them, touch them and do countless other things. He felt guilty about the stress it caused Ed in hiding his chimerahood, but maybe now, they enjoy it together. Ed was looking at him with big eyes, then he turned away. Roy pouted then grinned broadly as two blond ear sprouted from the top of Ed's head.
Without hesitation, Roy ran his finger along the edge. Ed began to purr and Roy was almost certain that the younger man didn't know he was doing it.
"Hey Ed?" Roy asked as he massaged the cat ear tip with his thumb and fingers. "Can we keep this between us? I know it's selfish but I really don't want to share this, share you with anyone."
Ed nodded and smiled. He was still looking away but Roy wasn't concerned. He leaned in close and whispered with hot breath, "Come on, lets get the cakes served so we can clear everyone out of here. Amber is stay with her cousins tonight and I have a million news things I want to do."
"Like what?" Ed asked with a shudder, playing coy.
"Well, let's just say you can't join me without an invitation?"
"Yeah, it's a tail only admission. I think you can get in. This ride has no height restrictions."
Roy grabbed a cake from the fridge as he ran from a very human looking Ed.
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT HE CAN'T RIDE THE 'MUSTANG MOBILE'?"
Unfortunately, for everyone but Roy, Ed's voice carried all the way out to their party. He smiled and waved his goodbyes as everyone cleared out in a hurry. He decided he was going to have lawn parties much more often.
There you go, the final piece to this sad story. I even made it fluffy. I just wanted to thank everyone who has been patient with me and my sporadic updates. I have a busy life that fluxes more than my weight. Sometimes I have time for three or four updates in a week then nothing again for a month. I meant to have this up for my birthday but that didn't happen. It didn't occur to me that trying to update two fics on one day would be hard. Not to mention I'm not a hermit and went places for celebratory purposes… yeah I'm a year older… rejoice?
Anyways, I hope you move onto to some of my other fics and enjoy your valentines!
On a side note, read Four Suits if you like the fluffy angst of this fic. Okay, done shamelessly advertising for now. Have a great February and 'awsum' weekend!