Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. Fullmetal Alchemist, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, belong to Hiromu Arakawa.
Just a note: Takes place in the "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" timeline.
Pat. Pat. Pat.
The rain falling on the roof of Central Headquarters did no favors for Coronel Roy Mustang's mind. He stood, staring out the window with his hands clasped behind his back. A solemn expression on his face concealed deep emotions and haunted memories. He remembered a time when he was a young soldier in training for the Military, to a time when everything was alright; back to a time when Maes was around.
Maes' death had come as a shock to the Coronel. He had been out of town and Maes had been trying to contact him. Perhaps if there had been an easier way for them to communicate, then he'd still be there at Roy's side, pushing him to the top. Roy tried not to think about it that way, but he couldn't help it. Not when the evidence seemed so close to him.
Turning away from the window at the sound of a doorknob turning, Roy wasn't surprised when a certain blonde waltzed in, dragging his feet.
"Fullmetal?" Roy wondered.
Edward Elric, the 'Fullmetal Alchemist', looked up at the sound of Roy's voice. They made eye contact.
"Why are you here?" Roy asked.
"You called me in." Edward said.
"I don't recall that." Roy shook his head.
"You don't remember much, do you?" Edward gave him a look. "You think it's your fault?"
Roy looked away from Edward. "Do I think that what is my fault?" He offered.
"Cut the bullshit, Coronel." Edward said. "You know what I'm talking about. Don't act like you don't."
Roy looked at Edward's reflection in the window. The rain was coming heavier now. "And what if I really don't?" He asked. "There's no bullshit to cut."
Edward rolled his eyes and flopped down on one of the Coronel's office couches unceremoniously. He looked over at the Coronel, one arm bent over the back of the couch.
"To hell there isn't." Edward knew he was pressing buttons that he shouldn't have even thought about touching. "You know full well what I mean."
Roy gave him a look with a raised eyebrow, but he didn't say anything.
Roy tensed at the name. "What about him?" He wondered.
"You blame yourself for what happened." Edward said. "Well, get over it. You didn't shoot him."
"Probably someone who's fled the country by now."
"That matters very little."
"Sure it does." Edward said. "So what are you going to do about it?"
"What's your plan?" Edward wondered. "Gonna let your emotions get in the way of revenge?"
"Revenge is not something we should concern ourselves with." Roy shook his head. "The way you beat up Tucker put a pretty big blemish on your record."
"The bastard deserved it." Edward shrugged his auto-mail shoulder. "You and I both know that."
"Yes, but, I won't go and do something reckless and have the same type of blemish on my record." Roy said. "Revenge isn't something to get mixed up in."
"Preaching to the choir, Coronel." Edward shook his head. "You can't just sit here."
"And what do you propose I do?" Roy turned on his heal towards Edward.
"Round up some military forces and go after the sons of bitches responsible for his death."
Roy didn't say anything and chewed on the inside of his left cheek. "Do you remember what I called you in here for?" He asked.
"You can't avoid the situation, Coronel Jackass." Edward said. "You didn't tell me why you wanted me to come down here. You just said to come when I got the chance. Sounded urgent, whatever it was. What's the matter? Afraid of the storm?"
Thunder rolled across the sky and lightning flashed.
"Of course not. I've dealt with worse."
"But your alchemy isn't really set to work in wet conditions." Edward smirked. "Need some protection in case they came after you next?"
Roy glared and sat down at his desk. He laced his fingers and leaned forward on his elbows. "I don't need protection from a midget."
Edward stood quickly. "Who are you calling so short he can't see over a steering wheel without sitting on a phone book?" He sneered.
Roy smirked, knowing he was grating on Edward's short fuse. 'A flame lighting the fire', he thought with a chuckle.
Edward sneered at him. "What's so funny?"
"You are, of course."
Edward said nothing and slowly sat down again, legs wide open and body lax. "Whatever you say." He said. "Bastard." The last word was muttered, but Roy could hear it loud and clear.
"I honestly don't remember calling you down here, Fullmetal, but I don't want to hear any more verbal berating, so kindly leave if you have nothing else to say."
Edward didn't move. "I don't have anything more to say." He said.
Edward leaned forward a little bit. "Make me."
Roy snapped the fingers on his left hand and a flame lit up, dying off quickly. "You and I both know that I can make you do pretty much anything that I want."
Edward smirked and huffed air from his nostrils. "You and I both know you wouldn't dare."
Neither said anything for a moment or so, just looking each other over.
"It isn't your fault, you know, what happened to Hughes." Edward said at last. "The truth was discovered too late, and that's that."
"The truth should have been discovered sooner." Roy countered. "Maybe if I knew more, this wouldn't have happened."
Edward slammed his fleshy fist on the coffee table in front of him. "Damn it, Roy, stop moping!" He ordered. "Stop blaming yourself and get a grip!"
Roy pulled his bottom desk drawer open with his left hand, never taking his eyes off of the younger State Alchemist.
"Get a grip?" Roy asked, pulling a bottle of cheap whiskey from the drawer. "I have nothing to get a grip on." He smirked. "Just speaking metaphorically, of course."
"I fail to see the metaphor." Edward's eyes fell on the bottle. "Plan on getting hammered?" He asked. "Well, I'd best be going, then. No need in getting in your way when you're out of your mind." He was about to grip the doorknob when Roy's voice addressed him.
"Where do you think you're going, Fullmetal?"
Edward's hand dropped from midair and he looked at Roy over his shoulder. "Anywhere but here."
"You weren't dismissed." Roy smirked. "Besides, one drink isn't going to kill me. I'm not a lightweight." He filled two shot-glasses with the whiskey before putting the bottle away. "Care to join?"
Edward turned around. "Join?" He asked, eyebrow rose. "Not for me."
He started to leave again.
"Sure?" Roy wondered.
"Are you begging me?" Edward turned to him.
Edward caught the Coronel's cocky smirk and sneered. "I suppose I can't let you stay here and drown in your sorrows alone."
"I take that as a yes." Roy chuckled.
Edward walked over and took the shot-glass from the Coronel's outstretched hand. He sat on the end of the desk and took a sip from the shot, letting his mouth adjust to the bitter taste before swallowing the rest in one gulp. Roy didn't bother to taste it before downing the small amount of liquor. He poured a few more shots for each of them, which they both quickly swallowed, trying to beat the other to it. Once the bottle was half empty, Roy put his shot-glass away before taking Edward's from him and putting it in the drawer as well.
"I still don't remember why I called you in here." Roy said.
Edward got off of the desk and walked towards the door, turning his back to the Coronel.
"Whatever you say, Coronel." He left through the door, slamming it harshly behind him.
Roy smirked and leaned back in his chair. He laced his fingers over his chest and crossed his feet on top of the desk. "You know what, Maes? I think things are going to turn out just fine. I'll stop those bastards before they do any more harm." He closed his eyes and tried to let sleep overtake him.
The shimmering specter in the corner cocked a smile before it vanished.