Title- Bereft

Author- D M Evans

Disclaimer- all rights belong to Arakawa-sensei

Rating- FRT

Characters/Pairing- Roy, Chris, implied Roy/Riza and Ed/Winry

Series - manga

Timeline/Spoilers- set post 108 so spoilers for all

Word Count - 323 (about 70 words more than the contest version

Warning - angst

Summary - Some anniversaries just hurt.

Author's Note - This was written (in a 250 word version) for fma_fic_contest's 'family' prompt and won first place! So cool. Thanks guys. Thanks to SJ SMith for the beta

XXX

The smoky taste of whiskey rolled over Roy's tongue. He never made it through this anniversary well. It had been a while since he'd felt this badly, though. Riza had gone to see Winry, stranded out east while Edward was stuck in the north. They'd agreed Winry shouldn't be alone just in case she went into labor.

So tonight, he sat alone in the bluish haze at the bar. Usually by now, Maes would be telling him jokes and Riza would be promising him intimate comfort. Why were so many people in his life missing big chunks of their family? Elicia would grow up barely knowing her father. It was unfair to know that pain so young. Too many friends had lost their parents as children.

Roy knew that was why he had been so moved to help Edward and Alphonse. He understood too well their pain, their desire. He knew that array the moment he saw it, had considered it himself at their age. Roy remembered the soul searing agony of being a boy and being told his parents were gone, both at once just like Winry, one of the reasons he agreed Riza should go even though he might need her. All of them suffering their own personal painful anniversaries.

If he closed his eyes he could see the orphanage he was in for two months while the authorities searched for his aunt. She had back from a job in Drachma to the horror of losing her brother and inheriting his son. Having Ed and Al around felt like having brothers but they were going their own way as families did.

Feeling a hand on his shoulder, he looked up into his aunt's face. "I miss them too, Roy boy." She took his whiskey away and urged him up off the stool. "You're staying in my guest room tonight."

"You've always been too good to me, auntie."

"That's what family does."