We're here, at this bittersweet moment. The final chapter everyone, and I think now I need to go much on chocolate... I truly am going to miss writing this story, I've had so much fun. Thank you, everyone, who's read this so loyally. Those of you who have reviewed, and alerted, and favorited... I wish I could give you all hugs. I hope to see a lot of you tomorrow when I put up the next fic installment. You guys truly are amazing, thank you.
Days filled with merriment and visits to see Gracia and Elysia melted into weeks filled with laughing over the phone to Alphonse. At the end of two weeks Edward found himself waiting at the train station to receive his guests. He'd be following them back to Risembool for a few days when they left. With preparations keeping even him busy, he would have felt guilty running off for a few days before the official ceremony to induct Roy as the Fuhrer.
Personally, Ed couldn't see why they needed an official ceremony. It seemed a brilliant waste of time to him. Especially considering how many flowers he'd been forced to create under threat of gunpoint. He could have opened up his own warehouse to store the things. Once Edward transmuted them back it'd seem like an even bigger waste of time. But if Roy wanted those flowers, for whatever reason, then he couldn't really have turned it down.
Edward's head turned with a grin as Winry and Alphonse came running towards him, suitcases in hand. "Al! Winry!" He delighted and was suffocated in hugs by both of them as they dropped their suitcases alarmingly close to his feet. "I'm so glad you made it."
"How much longer?" Al asked.
"We have time to go out to lunch." Edward smiled, "my treat. We can swing by the hotel first though so you can drop off your things if you like."
"You're still not going to let us stay with you and Roy?" Winry asked with a wink as she hauled her suitcase back up again.
Edward rolled his eyes and held out a hand, "here, let me." He offered, and Winry transferred her suitcase to him with a "well, well, you've become a gentlemen at last."
"Brother always has!" Al protested good naturedly. "But yes, what about the house with you and Roy?"
Edward chuckled and started leading the way as they fell in step with him. "I've told you, there's only one room. And I am not making my brother and his fiancée sleep on a couch downstairs or on the library couch."
"So tell me, Ed, how is it knowing you get to come home to the once famous womanizer of Central each night?" Winry drawled with an evil gleam in her eye.
Al rolled his eyes, and Ed laughed, "it's always an adventure, that's for sure."
A week ago the new military rules had been published into the new issues of handbooks. It had taken a few days for the press to calm down. But now practically everyone knew that gay and lesbian relationships were quite acceptable. There had actually been a sudden outpouring of people coming out of the closet, so to speak. Things were going well, but Edward and Roy had still not made their relationship official, though rumors had started to leak. Rumors they'd not tried to contain. Ed knew that Roy planned to get the word out today… and he had an idea of how. The party afterwards would prove the suitable stomping grounds to engage in some sort of… tame… expression. At least, Ed planned to make sure it was kept tame.
Edward drove his brother and Winry to the hotel, and helped them check in before they headed out for a private lunch before the ceremony.
"Have you two set a date yet for the wedding?" Edward asked after they'd been seated at a sunny window table.
"No." Al smiled over at Winry, "we want a cliché spring wedding."
Winry laughed, "nothing about any of our lives is cliché."
"I could second that." Edward smiled. "Let me know when the cliché spring wedding is. I'll clear my schedule."
"We want Roy to come too, if that's okay." Winry said, and sipped on the water that was brought to her.
"Of course, I'm sure he'd be happy to."
"Have you thought about getting married, brother?" Al suddenly asked, causing Ed to choke on his iced tea.
After Edward got his breathing back under control he looked over at the two grinning hyenas. "We haven't been together as long as you two have… I think marriage proposals are going to wait at least a few more months." He said weakly.
"Do you want to marry him?" Winry asked, not to let him off the hook so easily.
Edward didn't even have to think about that, "I do. I know that what we have together is hardly something that will fade over time. I want to spend the rest of my life knowing we'll be together."
"Then I'm sure we'll have a wedding to attend in the near future." Al said with a wink over to Winry.
"I wonder, who proposes in a case like this?" Winry mused and then turned on Ed, "the more dominant one right? So, who is it?"
Edward couldn't help but blush furiously at the question. "That's a bit personal." He practically squeaked.
"Oh please, Ed." Winry gave him a reproachful look complete with raised eyebrows, "I've been your mechanic for years, I've seen you in nothing but boxers for years. That's pretty personal, so don't go getting shy on me."
"Well it's another thing when my mechanic is going to be my sister in law!" Edward hissed at her, trying to get his blush under control.
"I'm thinking it's Roy." Al reasoned, watching his brother's reaction.
"Mmm, you might be right." Winry nodded.
Edward lost what ground he'd made on controlling his reddening face. "Thanks for the vote of confidence. For your information, oh never mind. It's not something appropriate for public discussion at a lunch table."
The two laughed at him, but the subject was changed at Ed's wishes. They had their lunch, and sat talking for nearly an hour before it was time to leave. Edward drove them back to military headquarters and showed them the way inside and where their seats were before he excused himself to go find Roy.
He found the man up in his office getting ready with Hawkeye's help. "Al and Winry are here. They're inviting you to their wedding."
"I'll have to thank them." He said and smiled over at Edward. "You look happy to have them here."
"I've missed them." Ed admitted and walked over to sit on top of Roy's desk.
"Okay, you're all set. Just don't blow the speech." Hawkeye said with a wink and nodded towards Ed. "He has twenty minutes." She said and walked out of the office, closing the door but not before calling back over her shoulder, "don't muss him up too much, Ed!"
Edward grinned and met Roy's glance. "Now why on earth would she think I'd want to muss you up right now…?"
Roy gave him a mocking look and walked over to stand before Edward who was taking up space on his desk. "I don't know, it'd be kind of hard for you to mess up the hair seeing as how you're so short and all sitting on a desk."
Edward whacked him soundly in the chest with his flesh hand before sliding off the desk to stand pinned between it and Roy. "You know," he said, fingering Roy's tie thoughtfully, "they asked me who the more dominant one is in our relationship."
"What'd you tell them?" He laughed as he pondered whether or not Ed would let him get away with untying his hair from that accursed braid.
"I told them it was not appropriate conversation for the lunch table." Edward admitted and suddenly looked up into those black eyes. "If I had told them how we figure that out, they'd have turned more red than I was."
"Best you didn't then." Roy grinned knowingly and allowed Edward to pull him in closer, after all, the blonde had a good hold on that tie around his neck.
The two of them only broke apart when a knock sounded at the office door.
"Damn." Roy growled as he stepped away from Edward.
"Language, language." Ed chastised him with a grin, and straightened both his and Roy's clothes quickly. "Your hair's fine, we'll finish this later."
"Better believe we will." Roy laughed.
Edward had left Roy in Hawkeye's capable hands once they'd reached the assembly area. He parted with a wave and went to go sit with Al and Winry who grinned at him. "What?" He asked as he sat in his seat gracefully.
"Nothing." They both echoed.
"Right." Edward muttered with a roll of his eyes, and sat back to watch Roy.
The speech was quite honestly, actually interesting. Roy was having to pause every so often for applause, and Edward took these moments to catch Roy's eye before letting his head loll sharply back and make like he was snoring. Each time Roy began to speak again, he'd shoot his head up and watch the man attempt to keep his mask in place and not crack a grin at Ed's antics. He knew the blonde was trying to pester him. He'd get him later.
"-and with that, I think we'd best get to that party!"
Edward couldn't agree more with that statement, which was met with even more applause and cheering. "Best thing you've said all day." Edward said upon reaching Roy's side up near the podium where Hawkeye was keeping most people back at a distance and headed for the party.
"I'm going to make you listen to it all night tonight." Roy threatened through a smile.
"We'll see about that." Ed smirked at him.
"Hey sir." Al said, walking over past Hawkeye who smiled at him.
"Hi!" Winry said as she reached them.
"Alphonse, Winry," Roy greeted with a smile. "Congratulations on the engagement."
"Thanks." They said together with identical happy smiles.
"Come on, party time!" Ed announced, and dragged Roy forward.
And so the party began, rowdy as it was. Edward eventually found himself back with Roy after he'd been dragged off to go sing karaoke with Al. "Well, what'd you think?" Ed asked, raising an eyebrow at the laughing Mustang.
"I'm glad you rarely sing." Roy laughed.
Edward rolled his eyes and suddenly looked around to see Fuery watching them. He knew why, even though he couldn't see it. He took that as his cue, especially once he saw quite a few others besides those of Mustang's personal team glancing their way. "I think they think we're going to do something…"
Roy looked around as well and smirked. "I think you're right."
"Well, can't disappoint." Ed grinned back.
As the two kissed, there was much clapping, and whistling, and money changing hands while Edward was too occupied to notice. When they finally pulled away from each other, breathing a bit unsteady, Ed smiled over at Roy. "Congratulations, Roy. You finally did it."
"Not without you." Roy corrected, "never without you."
"You never will be without me." Ed promised, and grabbed Roy by the front of his shirt to pull him back for another kiss while another round of applause went up. Yes, this was where he belonged. He'd finally found it. Right here, with him, like this. It was where he had always belonged, it just took him some time to realize it. Now that he had, Edward knew he'd happily spend forever with Roy Mustang. "I love you, bastard."