A/N: This fic was beta'd by my awesomeful friend. 8D And...that's really all I have to say this time. Enjoy! :3

DISCLAIMER: I don't own FMA. ;-;

Promises in the Subtext

Fuhrer Roy Mustang sighed and leaned back in his chair. He rubbed his eyes, which were sore from staring at nothing but paperwork all day. Ah, paperwork. It was always paperwork, paperwork and, yes, even more paperwork, every single day. Sometimes, an irritable Roy Mustang would wonder if being Fuhrer was even worth it. Then he would cast the thought aside, knowing full well that it was more than worth it. With that in mind, he would tackle his ever-growing pile of paperwork with renewed vigor.

A knock at his office door pulled Roy from his reverie. "Yes?" he called, hurriedly pulling another piece of paper from his stack so that it would appear as if he were working diligently rather than slacking off.

"A Mister Edward Elric here to see you, sir," came the reply. "I told him he needed to make an appointment, but he said it was okay and that you know him..."

"Damn right he knows me!" a familiar indignant voice shouted. "Now let me in already!"

"I'm sorry, sir, but I couldn't keep him away. I know you're busy, but—"

"It's alright," the Fuhrer interrupted, already tired of listening to the apologetic, muffled voice talking anxiously through his closed door. "Let him in."

The door flew open, hitting the wall with a resounding BANG!, and Roy found himself smiling despite himself. Same as always. "Please try to refrain from breaking down every door in your path, Fullmetal," he said lightly. "I don't want to pay to repair them all."

Edward strode into the room and snorted. "Whatever, Colonel Bastard."

"It's Fuhrer, Fullmetal. Fuhrer."

"Okay, Fuhrer Bastard." Edward rolled his eyes. "Then it's Edward to you," he added. "I'm not a dog on your leash anymore."

"Of course." Roy paused, waiting for Ed to explain his presence in his office.

"Tight security you have," he commented idly instead. "Do you know how damn annoying it was to get here?"

Roy rolled his eyes. "If you'd made an appointment, you could have avoided the fuss."

"It was a last minute thing. I have to go again soon," he replied shortly.

"I see. You've enough time to drop by for a chat, though?"

Ed shrugged. "A bit."

With a slight nod, Roy took a moment to take in his former subordinate's appearance. "Hmm...I see you've grown a few inches over the past few years." It was a bit of an understatement; it looked as if Edward had finally hit a growth spurt, as he had grown considerably taller since their last encounter, which was just after the Promised Day.

"I AM NOT SHORT!" Edward yelled, stomping his leg angrily. "I BET I'M TALLER THAN YOU NOW, YOU JACKASS!" When all Roy offered in response was a raised eyebrow, Ed pointed at the man and ordered, "STAND UP! RIGHT NOW!"

Roy stood obligingly and walked around his desk to stand in front of Edward, grinning smugly and not saying a word. His grin widened, if possible, when he saw the young man's eye twitch when he realized that the top of his head only came up to about Roy's nose. Yes, he was taller, but he had still failed to surpass Roy in height.

"Agh...DAMMIT!" shouted Edward. "SCREW YOU, YOU STUPID BASTARD."

Roy couldn't help it. He laughed. Loudly. Edward stared at him incredulously for a minute, then shoved the elder man away angrily when he wouldn't stop.

"What's so funny?" he demanded. "You're just freakishly tall, okay?"

Still laughing, Roy wandered over to the couch in his office and sat down. Edward followed him impatiently and sat beside him, waiting for an answer.

After taking a few deep, calming breaths, Roy managed to say, "You."

Edward gave Roy a look that demanded clarification.

"You really haven't changed at all, have you, Edward?" Roy asked. "I was starting to miss your obnoxious yapping, to be honest."

"What's that supposed to mean?" growled Edward.

"Everyone gives the Fuhrer so much respect. It's really no fun. I thought it'd be great, but now everything's so quiet and boring. I actually missed your insubordination."

"I was not insubordinate!" protested Edward hotly.

"Sure you weren't."

Edward harrumphed and turned away from Roy, arms crossed.

"So, why did you come?" Roy asked after a moment, though he felt he already knew the answer. "I don't really believe that you came just to catch up."

"You're right. I came to repay my debt," Edward responded, then added with a wry grin, "As if you didn't know." He reached his hand into his pocket before withdrawing it again to produce a small handful of coins. "Congratulations on making Fuhrer. I believe I owe you this." Though he didn't say anything else, Roy heard the unspoken addition to his statement. Thanks for not dying.

"Thank you. I'm glad you remembered," said Roy, holding out his hand to accept the money. You're welcome. And thank you, too, he added silently, knowing that he wouldn't need to speak any words for Ed to hear him.

"It's just 520 cenz," snorted Edward as he dropped the coins into Roy's open palm. "The way you're talking, anyone would think you'd lent out a fortune." He looked thoughtfully at the coins for a moment before snatching them back out of the man's hand. "I'm borrowing it again," he reminded Roy. "I'll give it back when Amestris becomes a democracy." So don't you dare die before then!

"Of course," the Fuhrer replied easily. "But you'd better not forget." I won't. You'd better not die, either.

Edward tucked the money back into his pocket. "Don't worry; I'll remember. I always keep my promises. And I promise I'll pay you back." And I promise I won't die.


With the issue of Edward's debt settled, the two chatted idly for a while, talking about various things and catching up. After all, they hadn't seen each other for nearly three years. A short time later, though, Edward stood up, explaining that he had to go; his train was leaving soon. He was on his way to visit Alphonse in Xing and had only stopped by Central briefly after hearing about Roy becoming Fuhrer of Amestris. He turned and headed for the door, but Roy spoke again before he left.

"You absolutely cannot forget, you got that?" I refuse to let you die before me.

Edward stared at the Fuhrer. The feeling is mutual. "I won't forget," he answered. "Worry about yourself; you have to make this country a democracy before you get your precious money back." Don't worry about me. I'll be okay.

"Later, Mustang," he called, slamming the door shut as he left.

Later that day, Roy's subordinate would ask him why an important person like him took a debt of merely 520 cenz so seriously. The Fuhrer would just smile knowingly and return to his paperwork without offering an explanation.