Author – D M Evans
Disclaimer- all rights belong to Arakawa
Rating – PG-13 (with a few naughty words from the potty-mouthed boys)
Characters – Ed, Roy
Timeline/Spoilers- consider it spoilers up to the current issue though not many direct ones, speculative future fic with a little twisting around of the seasons to make it fit my purposes
Summary – Ed has a lot of things to say that he should have said a long time ago
Author's Note – written for SJ Smith's Never Forget October 3rd challenge.
"Aren't you a little young to be in here?" Roy eyed the blond who settled on the barstool next to him.
Ed shrugged. "Do you really care?"
Roy slugged back the whiskey before pushing the glass toward the redheaded beauty behind the bar. "No. Can't help wondering why you're actually seeking out my company."
"Don't make it sounds weird," Ed waved at the redhead. "Can I have a ginger beer?"
"Put extra straws in it, Heather. He always has to have something in his mouth," Roy said.
"A girl could grow to like that, Roy boy." The young lady grinned at Ed who flushed.
"Can you not be strange for five minutes?" Ed grumbled. "And I came because I have something to say and I wanted to know why you've been holed up here. Everyone says it's a brothel on top of the bar."
Roy gave up a short laugh. "Everyone who? You've been listening to Havoc again."
"Hard not to with him in town so you and Marcoh can work on healing him," Ed replied then nodded toward a dark-haired, heavy-set woman watching them from the shadows of one corner of the bar. "That's Madame Christmas, right? I've seen you with her before."
"Have you now?"
Ed rankled at the amused tone Mustang favored him with. Heather set down drinks for them both. "Yes. Can't figure out why you're here in a brothel though. You and Riza hardly fooled anyone. Bradley figured you out, Envy, too. It was pretty obvious then that you loved her, so why are you here? Is it because of that?" Ed pointed with a straw to where Roy's arm rested in his lap.
Mustang lifted up his arm, staring at the white, fluffy bandages that padded the truncated wrist. One of Wrath's swords had taken the alchemist's hand but it hadn't stopped him. Ed had to admire that.
"I'd understand that, being self-conscious," Ed added quietly, drumming his still-metal fingers on the bar. He didn't get his limbs back but he had Al back, whole and alive and that meant just as much.
"I'm sure you would. No, Edward, I'm not ashamed of my injury and your brassy little friend is going to make me hand soon." Roy rested his injured arm on the bar, wearing an odd little smile on his face. "Miss Rockbell reminds me so much of Riza at that age. I never told you but I trained with her father. I've known Riza for a very long time."
"I can see the resemblance between her and Winry," Ed said and he could see the one between himself and Roy but he wasn't confessing to that. "So why are you here in a brothel with that old woman?"
"This isn't a brothel, Edward and that's my mother, Chris Mustang." Roy smirked as Ed's jaw all but slammed into the bar top.
"Christmas is my adoptive mother. I was orphaned when I was even younger than you and Alphonse, though I suppose you're not technically orphans. Then again, maybe neither I am. Never knew who Dad was." Roy shrugged. "I'm here letting my mom and my foster sisters take care of me because my arm fucking hurts like hell and I want babied."
Ed snorted, accidentally blowing bubbles in his soft drink like a little kid. "I can believe that."
"So what did you want to talk to me about besides my cheating on Riza with a passel of prostitutes?"
"Just some things that need to be said. I absolutely hated you for a long time," Ed said.
"Glad you hunted me down to say that." Roy rolled his eyes. "And it's not a state secret."
"No, but do you know why?" When Mustang didn't answer, Ed continued. "Because you threatened Al that first time we meet. I hated you so much for that and I hated that you were so smug and so strong and that your alchemy is really amazing because back then I felt weak. You manipulated me into the military and I hated you for that, too."
Roy drained his whiskey again. Heather took the glass but slid him a glass of water in return. "I had reasons."
"I know that now. I realized what you were doing. You were trying to galvanize me, get me out of that wheelchair and get me moving forward," Ed said hesitantly, hating that words like this came so hard to him when he knew they came easy to the older man. "You weren't threatening Alphonse, you were showing us the threats that existed, what could have happened to us. You manipulated me into service because there you could have me under your command and you could look out for us. It took me a while to see that but it was pretty obvious you were trying to help. I mean, you let me do pretty much whatever the hell I wanted and all I ever did was bitch to you and about you." Ed glanced away. "I wanted to say I was sorry for that."
"Didn't expect to hear those words," Roy said. "Thank you, Edward. I was also a bit selfish, too, though. You and your brother are powerful alchemists yourselves and I wanted to be the one who had a hand in that, to use if I needed it which I did. We wouldn't have survived the Promised Day on our own."
"No, we wouldn't and that's why I'm here. I might not have liked you but I did respect you. Pretty sure you knew that," Ed mumbled.
"I did. And the feeling is mutual," Roy replied, pouting at his water.
"Today is the day I burnt my parents' house down," Ed said.
"Nothing but grand gestures for you," Roy shot him a wicked grin. "Though, I suppose I did blow up my mother's place, too."
"Figures." Ed wagged his head, sucking on his straw. Just what he needed, one more thing in common with the bastard. "I guess the date got me thinking about all we've been through, Al and me and everyone around us. And it got me thinking I should make some amends and think about what I'm going to do in the future. I don't want to stay in the military but I have no home to go back to. I'm not sure I want to go back to Resembool. What is there for me to do in a town like that? Not even sure if Winry wants to settle there once she's done training. I do know I don't want to live in Rush Valley."
"Can't say that I blame you but I see you're including the young lady in your plans. About time," Roy's grin broadened and Ed flushed.
"Maybe you should, too. You're so old now, it's practically pointless in you getting married," Ed shot back.
"I'm barely into my thirties," Roy snarled. "And I'm not too much older than Riza. I'm sure she'll have a thing or two to say about your assessment."
"With her gun." Ed frowned. "At least Winry only has wrenches, then again she's freer with her weapon of choice. Anyhow, bastard, I wanted to say thanks and that you're not really free of me yet, not until I decide that to do with myself."
"Or even after that. Your father's promised to work with me, show me some of his alchemy." Roy's grin turned on the full wickedness he possessed.
Ed palmed his face. "That bastard was supposed to die, it's what he wanted." Ed looked at Roy. "Guess I'm glad he didn't but I'm not sure how forgiving I'm feeling of him yet. Still, the things he knows…"
"You, Alphonse and I might be together for a very long time, studying." Roy chuckled.
"Kill me now." Ed pointed to his drink. "Miss, can you put some whiskey in this for me?"
Heather patted his head. "Sorry, sweetie."
"Fine, I'm inviting Izumi into this study group to control you," Ed stabbed a finger into Roy's shoulder.
"Why do I see this backfiring?" Roy slid off his stool and patted Ed's back. "Come on, Edward, I want to introduce you to my mom."
"You're not going to tell her I thought she was a hooker, are you?" Ed whined, getting up.
"Would I do that?"
"Yes!" Ed groaned but he followed the injured man anyhow. He felt lighter somehow, having made his confession. Mustang was the easy one. Next he had to face Winry and make a whole lot of things up to her. Before he left this bar, he was going to pump the master for tips on how to do that. Until then, Ed braced himself to meet the formidable looking woman Mustang called Mother, happy that his life was finally moving forward unfettered.