I awoke to the smell of bacon and the sun trying to shine though my curtain's. Pulling myself out of bed I stretched and went to open them to see out of the window.
Outside it was sunny and kids where running down the road in school clothes. The street I lived on was rather small and seemed to be on the edge of the town. There road was pretty much empty, it was nice.
I walked toward my drawers and began pulling though all my new clothes. As I was getting dressed I heard Roy call me.
"Are you awake yet?" He was yelling from the bottom of the stairs.
"Yeah! Gimme a sec, gotta get dressed. Are you cooking bacon?" I yelled back.
"Sure am, come down if you want some!" Pulling on my shirt I ran down the stairs two at a time and burst into the kitchen. Roy was glaring at a pan on the oven with spitting bacon on. The heat was on way too high, walking over I turned it down and smirked.
"You really, really suck at cooking." He grimaced and looked at the half burnt, half uncooked bacon. I flopped and the table and watched him prod it in silence for a few minutes. After a while he just gave up and dumped it on two plates and made some toast, somehow without burning it.
Placing the food in front he took his and sat across from me, the same way we where last night. "So, what do you want to do today?" He asked while cutting his food up. "A good friend of mine is coming over at lunch but until then we are free." I nodded and thought it over. Truthfully, I had never had much spare time before. I was always doing chores, or getting into troble for something stupid. Then I remembered.
"I need to do my exercises but that's pretty much it." He looked up with a mouth full of food and I watched him swallow.
"Exercises? Like what?" I looked down at my food and picked at it with the fork.
"Just stuff for my automail... It's nothing really." He nodded like he understood, but he wasn't looking at me any more, I could see his gazing at my arm. Fidgeting under his gaze I crammed the rather badly cooked food down. It was rather okay if you swallowed it in one go. I hope Roy will learn to cook soon before he poisons me.
Finishing my breakfast off first I dumped the plate in the sink and strolled into the living room. The little figure was still on the coffee table. I wonder how Roy felt about me using alchemy? He used a lot in his work, and clearly knew a lot. So he surely wouldn't mind me knowing, even if I learnt it for different reasons...
I heard him walk behind me and hid under my long blonde bangs. "Could you make me something else?" Looking thought my hair I saw him smiling but I shook my head. I knew he would ask about the clapping transmutation and I really, really did not want to talk about that. He looked disappointed and I felt guilt was over me. He had given me a home, clothes and some terrible food. I was going to say something else about alchemy but he already seemed to be thinking about other things "Okay, you want to get some exercise then?" I nodded and we walked outside together.
Our garden was big, something I didn't notice in the dark last night. There was the pool on the very far left with a sun lounger on the side. At the very far end there was a battered looking shed and in a corner there was some heavy looking weights. We walked barefoot together into the middle of the lawn. "So what do you need to do?"
"Um.. Well I have to do leg and arm stretches to help keep the automail going." He nodded and watched me closely as I showed him. After I had done three arm stretches he copied me.
"So you have to do these every day?" I nodded. "What happens if you don't?" I paused and scratched my head. I didn't really like to think about that, I had heard a few story's of people who had not done them and it didn't sound nice.
"Well I can skip them for a few days so long as I am fit. But if I didn't do them for a long time the weight of the automail would just pull down. It wouldn't work properly and if I was really, really unfit it would pull on my skin have to be taken off completely or it could kill me." He looked horrified. "But that only would happen if I was really horribly unfit." I smiled and carried on. Most people really didn't know how much work automail needed, and the pain that comes with it.
"Have you... Always had them?" Looking away I shook my head. "Oh." He seemed to be thinking it over, I could almost hear the cogs turning in his head. Please, please don't ask how I got them.
"... So whats it like with them? " He asked instead, as if he could read my mind. I began on my leg stretches and thought about it.
"They suck. I mean they are awesome for fighting and stuff and they are much tougher then real limbs but you know... I can't even feel anything in them and they always ache slightly. They hurt so much when it rains as well, but you just have to get used to them y'know?"
He really had no idea but nodded anyway. I smiled, a lot of people where freaked out by them. I had never had someone take real interest in them and my well being before now.
"Lets, go in the pool." I looked up to see him walking towards the house. Quickly I ran to join him. "Lets have a swim! Yesterday I said we could go in if it was sunny and now it's brilliant outside!" A vaguely remembered him saying something about the pool yesterday when we first got home. "Go get changed and I will meet you in there."
"Uh.. Okay." I mumbled running into my room. Pulling through my drawers to find my trunks I began to panic. He really knew nothing of automail. I couldn't swim, I would sink right away. I guess I could just hang around in the shallows and tell him I couldn't swim. But then he would try to teach me when I already knew but couldn't.
Sighing I undressed and pulled my trunks on, ran into the bathroom and grabbed a towel and wrapped it around myself self consciously.
Walking outside I saw Roy under the water, swimming like a expert. I walked over to the edge and watched him swim up. "Your a good swimmer." I commented. He smiled and pulled himself out. When I saw him I gasped.
He had big muscles, I had never noticed before as I had only seen him in bulky clothes. He had a six pack, the kind most girls drool all over. But he was covered in scars, just like me. I looked away and heard him walk over to the deeper end. With a splash he jumped under the water. It looked so cooling.
"Coming in?" He yelled bobbing back to the surface. Throwing my towel aside, I slipped into the shallow end. Ah! It was so cold, but it felt so nice in comparison to the hot sun. I looked at Roy in the deeper water, there was no way I could swim out there my automail. No way at all.
"Do you know how to swim then?" I watched him tread water while I was still standing in the shallows.
I shrugged and looked away. "I... I am not sure I can any more.." He laughed at me then and swam over.
"You can't just forget, it's like riding a bike. You never forget!"
"... I haven't ridden a bike."
"Hm. Well that's not the point, the point is you can't forget." He grabbed my hands and began slowly pulling me in deeper. The water began creeping up my neck and I panicked as it reached my chin. He's gonna drown me!
"Stop! I am gonna sink!" He frowned and put his arms underneath mine and tryed to pull me up.
"Try to kick!" He yelled, still unsuccessfully trying to lift me. I kicked hard, knowing full already it would be no use. My automail was just to heavy. "You are so heavy, it must be all that food!" Bastard! I pulled away and punched him making him let go of me. I tried to walk back to the shallows but my foot caught around his and I fell under the water. It was all so blurry and light. I reached out but I was already sinking, my right arm bending me backwards.
Suddenly he was there, arms around me pulling me out of the water. Guiding me, just like four years ago. He pulled me along back into the shallows where I could stand on my own. I choked on the water in my throat and he slapped me on the back. "You okay?" I shook my head, wet hair clinging to my face. Grabbing the edge of the pool I pulled myself out and sat on the edge. Trying to slow my ragged breathing and watched him watch me. "Your automail. How heavy exactly is it?" I blushed and looked away from his onyx eyes.
"How should I know!" He shook his head and took my metal arm. Slowly he rubbed his fingers along it, measuring it out. I pulled it away from him and covered it with my flesh hand.
"It's to heavy for you to swim right?" I nodded still not looking at him. "Why didn't you just say?" I shrugged. I didn't want to tell him about my automail. It's just a reminder of how much I have screwed up. "Well if you had told me sooner I would of gotten this right away." I looked up to see him climbing out of the pool and walking back into the house.
He returned a few minutes later with a huge crocodile float. He threw the thing at me and I almost fell back into the water trying to catch it.
"Woah!" I yelled in surprise at the sheer size of it, it was bigger then me. He grinned driving into the water again. Surfacing he shook the water out of his hair and nodded at the crocodile.
"My friend got that for me but I never wanted it. You can have it if you want." I slowly laid it on the water and began inching myself onto it. I really didn't want to die sinking on a floaty crocodile. I looked over to Roy who pretended he wasn't watching me.
Blushing I pushed myself onto it and waited for it to sink, but somehow it stayed afloat. I kicked the side of the pool and began to float to Roy. "How is it not sinking? Isn't it just cheap rubber?"
"Ah, I may of made it a bit stronger then that. Just in case you did sink." He pushed the crocodile away as I clung to it.
"Don't do that! If I slip I will- AHH!" He had splashed me and watched me float across to the deeper part of the pool. "Get me out of the deep end!" I yelled at his smug face. Man I wanted to wack him so much right now.
"No! Float over here, all you have to do it kick your legs!" I looked down at my legs either side of the crocodile and began to kick. I looked so stupid but he was right, it was working. As soon I was close to him I splashed his stupid face.
"Jerk!" I yelled kicking water at him as well. He swam backwards easily laughing. "Get back here coward!"
"Coward? Bahaha!" He sat on the edge of the pool and watched me kick my way across to him.
"I hope you know I hate you." He shook his head. "No you don't."
Grimacing I knew he was right. I tried to splash him again but missed, I pushed myself closer to the edge and tryed again. But this time I over balanced and slipped. I watched the water come closer to my face and closed my eyes tight getting ready to sink into it. But I felt nothing, opening my eyes looked down to see Roy's arms around my waist trying to pull me onto the side. Kicking away from the water we both fell over onto the pool side. We lay there, me on top of him for a moment until I jumped up.
"Ah... Sorry." I looked away from hum until I felt his hand on my shoulder. I looked at him and saw he looked... Happy.
"Don't apologize, you did nothing wrong." I nodded and watched him lay on the sun lounger. "Get back in if you want, I won't let you drown." Looking back at the crocodile float on the side I grinned.
It had been years since I was able to go in such a large amount of water without having to worry about drowning and just like that Roy had fixed it. I could swim and if I fell he would be there. It... Was more then anyone had done for me in years.
Stupidly I felt my eyes begin to water, I rubbed them fierily with my arm jumped onto the crocodile once more.
We passed the morning in this fashion swimming, sleeping, eating. I was laying along the crocodile with my limbs hanging over the side in the water when I first met Hudges. At the time Roy was asking if we bought any suncream the day before, to which I replied with a grunted no. I had already used all my energy on kicking. I didn't want to talk, but he still kept of blabbering.
That's how I noticed someone else was in the garden, he had finally shut up. I looked up and saw a man, with a messy beard and glasses. He was dressed in what I guess was the fire station's uniform and was staring at me.
"Hudges!" Roy heaved himself off the sun lounger and walked over to his best friend. "I would like you to meet Edward. My..." He looked over at me awkwardly and I shrugged. "My adopted... son. Edward, this is Maes Hudges, my best friend."
The man, Hudges looked between Roy and me for a moment then slapped Roy on the back. "About time as well! Now all you need is a cute little wife!" Roy sighed and shook his head.
"Ignore him Edward he is always like this." Weakly nodding I kicked my legs and began to float over the the pool side.
"I am glad to see someone likes my crocodile!" I looked his grinning face to Roys exasperated one. "I bought that for Roy months ago and he just shoved it in a closet! Honestly!" I smiled nervously in reply and began to look around for my towel. I didn't want to explain my automail to a stranger when roy didn't even know everything about it yet. He saw me looking and ran to get it for me.
Taking it from him I tryed to cover myself as best as I could. "You better go get dressed Edward." Roy suggested. Nodding I ran into the house.
I watched Ed walk into the house with the towel wrapped tightly around him, but not tightly enough. I heard Maes let out a lot whistle. "Those are some nice prosthetics he as there." I sighed and nodded.
"Please don't mention them to him, he is pretty sensitive about them." He nodded as we walked into the kitchen. Sitting across on the table he looked me over.
"You look happy Roy." I tried to say otherwise but he cut me off. "I mean it. Who is he?"
"Remember the fire four years ago?" I watched Maes sigh, of course he knew, everyone knew. That fire was horrific, and everyone knew what I did to me.
"Yeah. I do."
"Edward was the only survivor."
"What! One of the siblings?" I nodded. "When did you adopt him?" Good question, since I hadn't filled out any forms he wasn't legally mine. I plan to sort that out soon however.
"Yesterday." I looked up as the floorboards creaked. "Anyway he should be down soon. Please don't smother him in photo's of your daughter."
He smirked. "I can't promise anything, you should know that by now." He reached into his pockets and fished out a handful of photo's. "Look these are all new! She looks so cute in this one! And here she has her new dress on! But this is the best so far! She looks so adorable with her mommy!"
I mentally slapped myself for starting him off. I tryed to pull them away from him but he just got more out of his pockets. I heard a small cough and turned to see Edward by the door looking bemused.
"Edward! That was your name right? Come look at these photos of my lovely daughter Elicia! Isn't she just the cutest?" Edward walked over slowly and looked at the stupid photo's.
"... She's lovely." He was smiling at the photo's but his eyes seemed to unfocused. Rubbing his eyes quickly he gave the photo's back. "How old is she?"
"Two! In the winter she will be three! We are going to have just the best party ever for her!" I watched Edward nod but something seemed wrong.
"You want something to eat Edward?" He looked over to me and slowly nodded again. Getting up I opened the fridge and watched him look at more photo's of Elicia. Pulling out some chilled pasta I dumped it on the counter and looked for a clean plate. "You want some Maes?"
"Well since you dragged me over here in my only lunch break, sure." I piled the pasta onto three plates and took them over to the table. Edward took his and sat on the counter while me and Maes stayed at the table.
"So Ed, I can call you that right?" Hudges asked Edward, he jumped at the words and stared at his pasta. "I won't if you don't want me to-"
"No." His gloved hand clenched the fork. "I like it. No one has called me Ed in years..." Years? Was he called Ed by is family then? I wondered if it was really okay for other people to call him that.
"Okay, well Ed, what do you like to do?" Eating my pasta I saw Ed shift on the counter under Maes glare. He twiddled the fork thinking about it.
"I like alchemy..." Maes nodded. "Anything else?" He prompted. Ed picked at his pasta frowning.
"I guess I like fighting as well." Maes smiled. "Seems like you found the perfect farther." I shot him a look and Ed froze up. I still knew very little of his family, and last night he made it rather clear he wasn't ready to talk about it yet. Edward slid of the counter and left the room in silence.
I turned to glare and Maes who got up. "Sorry about that. I didn't realise..."
"Yeah, well just don't mention anything like that to him again. As I said before he is very sensitive over it." He nodded and looked at his watch.
"I best be going, tell Ed I am sorry, I really didn't mean to upset him. Perhaps next time he could come over my house and see Elicia!"
"I will ask him about it, don't tell the guys at work about this yet okay?" Nodding he left and I walked upstairs to see to Edward.
I was curled up on my bed shivering, arms around my legs. I remembered doing this before, in the fire. It is such a stupid thing to do. Back then I could of tried getting to Winry or Getting Alphonse out. But instead I curled up and cried. After all these years I you would think I would of learnt from my mistakes, after all I could of saved their lives is I wasn't curled up. But no, here I am once more on my bed crying.
It wasn't his fault. I knew that, he had no idea. But It hurt so much. It felt like a hole in my stomach. It took me everything to keep myself together. My automail leg dug into my legs, hurting me. Just another reminder of my stupidness.
I closed my eyes, it was dark and I could remember it all. The fire, his screaming, his death. It was all my fault, I sat and did nothing. Then I did all those stupid things after he died. If he was here he would be ashamed.
I heard a door somewhere in the house shut and wondered if Hudges had left to go back to his lovely family. I shivered thinking of the photo's he showed me. They reminded me so much on Win. Elicia looked nothing like to her, but her happy face...
I gripped my knee's, the pain rippling though me again. I remembered her sweet face, even when she was angry she looked amazing. She was the best sister I could of asked for but now she is gone forever.
I waited for the pain in the pit of my stomach to slow before opening my eyes again. I hear someone knocking on my door. How long had they been there?
"Edward?" It was Roy, he sounded worried. "Can I come in?" I tried to reply, but my throat was in knots from thinking about Al, Win and dad. I coughed instead and he slowly opened the door. Buring my face into the bed I felt him sit next to me.
He put a hand on my shoulder and simply said. "Hudges didn't know."
I nodded, sobbing into the pillow. Gently he rubbed his hand up and down my back. It felt nice but made the hole in my stomach ache even worse. "Do you want to talk about it?"
I sat up and rubbed my sore eyes, my whole body was shaking. I nodded then shook my head. I didn't know what I wanted any more. He put his hand on my shoulder again and I leaned into him.
He didn't respond for a few seconds. Had I upset it? Maybe I should back away? But then as if reading my mind he put his arms around me and held me. We sat like this together on the bed for a few minutes before I pulled away.
Sitting myself next to him on the bed I nodded again.
"Yes?" He asked uncertainly, not knowing what I was nodding at.
"I guess I might talk about it..." I chocked out, my voice hoarse from crying so much.
"Okay... What do you want to talk about?" He asked apprehensively. "Your dad?" I stiffened up at that word but nodded. "He left you when you and your mother when you where still very young didn't he?" My fists clenched the bed thinking about him leaving us. If he is still alive and out there, I would love to punch him so hard. I could still remember the look on his face when the three of us got up to go to the bathroom that morning.
"Yeah. He just... Left us." Roy nodded. "Mom waited for him... She died waiting for him. He hasn't been seen once since leaving us. Not even after the fire." I looked at my fisted hands, wishing so hard I could hit him. It's his fault mom died and me, Win and Al alone.
"So after she died, you kids where left alone?" I nodded. "Who looked after you?"
"People from the village, everyone knew us... So they helped us out. They were really nice but they weren't mom." I pulled the blanket up from behind me and wrapped myself slowly in it. It was still really hot, but I liked the feeling of it around me.
"Have you visited her grave?" I bit my lip. I had a few years ago after the fire. It wasn't something I liked to remember.
"Yeah... Once." He looked at me sharply then.
"Only once since the fire?" I nodded. "Didn't they let you visit her grave?" Shifting from side to side on the bed I shook my head and nodded at the same time.
"I- I screwed up once. They said I couldn't-" I shivered clutching my stomach, tears forming in my eyes again. I closed them and tried to forget the faces of those who pulled my away from the graves.
"Would you like to visit her again?" My eyes snapped open and I stared at Roy's calm face.
"Yes. So much. When?" He delved into his pocket and brought out a silver pocket watch. Opening it he hummed.
"Maybe not today, I have to sort out some papers but I will try to go soon. Is that okay?" He looked truly apologetic but he didn't realise that another day was better then nothing. Until now I thought I would never see their graved again.
Nodding I smiled and got up. "Thanks Roy."
"For.." I shook my head trying to think of all the things he had done and promised me. He had given me so much, a future. "For everything."
I am so sorry this chapter took so long to get out. I really hope you like it! Also Annon I can not thank you enough for your review. Ever time I felt like deleting this stupid chapter I read your review and smiled. You are so epic and I love parental Roy as much as you!