Two is better than one A/N: This was
Disclaimer: Hiromu Arakawa owns the characters; I'm just… playing with them. : D If there's something you don't recognize, it belongs to me.
I'm not sure yet how many chapters there will be… I have already finished this fic but I have to edit it. It might take some time since I'm quite busy with school and other writing projects. But since I have a holiday atm, I'm trying to update this as much as possible. c: Anyways… enjoy the fic!
A/N: This wassupposed to be a short little thing but ended up being the longest fic I've written… :D And the longest thing I've ever written in English… since it isn't my native language. That is why there might be a lot of mistakes and why the text might not be that fluent. Sorry about that… Please review and let me know how I could improve my writing.
When Ed finally started to have time, when he finally started to live the way he was supposed to live, he had realized something. That he was young. And even though he had pretty rough past behind him, in his future there could be so many things, they were just waiting for him. And even if he had plenty of reasons to give up or just to act like he knew everything about anything, like there couldn't be anything to experience anymore, that he had been past all that, still Ed put that all aside.
Maybe that was because of Al and the fact that he had finally gotten his body back and was enjoying his life more than ever. Maybe that was… inspiring Ed somehow. Maybe he had just realized that life was there, right in that moment and never again, every single moment was there only once and then they faded away. It was sad, for sure but… Ed had decided to see the light side of things. If he lived fully through those moments, as if he could die tomorrow, then every little moment could have a meaning.
For so many years Ed had spend by reading and being busy, dealing with death and desperation, now suddenly, he was free. His childhood ended pretty quickly and roughly when he had made the biggest mistake of his life but none of that mattered anymore. Because he had promised to himself that he wouldn't waste his youth totally.
So he suddenly was like any young person, he had quitted military, he was going to school, studying alchemy of course, suddenly he had plenty of friends and he spend a lot of time with them. He was just… having fun. It was all so new for Ed. But he enjoyed every single second of it.
Well, of course he was still Ed – he spent a lot of time by reading books about alchemy but somehow… He felt like he was free for the first time. Free from his past, free from everything. Ed knew that those days would be over too, that he would be an adult, he would get a job, maybe as a teacher who taught alchemy, he would settle down with someone and everything that… normal people usually did.
He liked being who he was, Edward Elric, nothing more, nothing less. A normal guy with a normal brother and friends. A normal life. For Ed and Al too… it was a heaven.
One day Ed was hanging out in the central with his friends when he was laughing and walking, watching at Keith who was goofing around as he usually did. Then suddenly Ed bumped into someone.
"Oh, I'm sor –"
Ed's sentence was never finished when he realized who he had bumped into. Ed could only stare at the man in front of him, unable to say anything.
"Well… this is a pleasant surprise."
A familiar smirk appeared on Roy Mustang's face.
"No, not anymore."
Ed blinked and then he realized. "Oh yea, you finally managed to be the Führer. Congrats…"
It was strange for Ed to look at the dark eyes which had gotten so familiar to him. For some reason, he had no idea how he should be around Mustang.
"I did. But then I had to quit the military."
Ed's eyes widened. Quit… Mustang of all people had to give up military? Mustang glanced around and Ed realized too that his friends were looking at the two of them looking pretty confused.
"Anyways, this isn't the right time or place to discuss about that. I'll see you around."
And then he passed Ed with a nod. Ed turned around to see his back getting further and further away.
"Who was that," Gregory asked with pure confuse in his expression.
"He was… someone I've known for a long time. Sorry guys, I've really gotta go," Ed muttered and before he got any answers, he ran after Mustang.
"Why did you quit the military," Ed asked out of breath when he caught the man. Mustang looked pretty amused when he glanced at Ed but Ed didn't mind about it.
"You're still the same, aren't you?"
Ed shrugged and looked at the man next to him, admitting to himself that he was curious. Not only when it came to Mustang quitting the military but… maybe for personal reasons too. He wanted to know how he was doing because Ed hadn't seen the man for a long time.
Mustang led him to an apartment building and Ed followed him inside to the staircase.
"So, this is where you live…?"
Ed heard Mustang snorting.
Ed snorted too, remembering how annoying Mustang could be when he always managed to make Ed feel like a total idiot. They climbed the stairs to the second floor and Roy opened the door, letting Ed politely in first. Ed went in because he had always been pretty straight forwarded person.
He looked around shamelessly and then glanced at Mustang who was looking only more amused. He went pass Ed who followed him into a room which turned out to be the kitchen. Ed watched as Roy unpacked the paper bag he had been carrying. Coffee, bread, some fruits, tooth paste…
"Care for a cup of coffee?"
Ed nodded and sat down as Roy put the pot on the stove. Ed watched as Mustang spanned around the kitchen and then Ed looked more around. In the hall he had seen the living-room, couch, bookshelf, coffee table and a door to the balcony. There was most definitely also a toilet, a shower and Mustang's bedroom. It was a small apartment but somehow it was also rather cozy. Mustang gave a mug to Ed and poured some coffee.
"You drink it black, right?"
Ed nodded and was a bit surprised that he remembered. He poured himself some too and sat across Ed. Mustang drank and watched – no, stared – at Ed.
"I was retired," he suddenly said and seemed to enjoy the fact that Ed nearly choked on the coffee. "Retired…? What the fuck, you're not that old, are you?"
"Do I look like I'm that old?"
Ed glanced at him for a while and shrugged.
"The hell I know…"
"I wasn't able to work no more. It would've been the end of my healthiness. The fact that my lungs are fucked up from all the smoke and the fact that I'm half blind… well, those sure weren't good qualities when it came to war for example."
Ed looked at the man, seeing the shadow appearing on his face. Ed realized that it must've been hard for him. Finally, when his dream had came true, it was taken away from him, everything.
"Well… they suck anyway so it wasn't that big loss for you," Ed said and wondered if Mustang would glance at him with that look which told that he was just a kid who knew nothing.
Mustang smiled a bit.
"So… What you've been doing? Have you gotten a job somewhere?"
Mustang chuckled a bit.
"Nah, with the money military gave me, I'll survive easily to my death bed. It feels pretty weird though, having so much free time, waking up, realizing that I don't have to go anywhere if I don't feel like it. It's weird but… nice too."
Ed looked at him and he looked back and they both knew exactly what Mustang was talking about.
"What about you? I heard you've started studying."
"That's true. It's awesome… I think I wanna teach alchemy some day."
Mustang grinned widely.
"What," Ed groaned.
"Oh, nothing at all… Just a funny thought. Wouldn't it be amusing if your students were taller than you are?"
Ed rolled his eyes. "Ha-ha, very funny… I'm not that short anymore…"
"Sure. But you'll always be short. And when you get older, you'll start shrinking and you'll be even shorter. Too bad I won't be seeing it."
Ed snorted and realized that Mustang hadn't changed at all.
"How about Al? How's he?"
Ed felt a smile appearing on his face, as always when it was about Al.
"He's doing damn well. He's been studying but he can't seem to decide what he wants to do in the future so he has changed his main subject pretty much. And he has had plenty of girlfriends," Ed added grinning. Mustang snorted a bit and watched Ed for a while.
"How about you?"
For some reason Ed felt himself pretty confused as Mustang's stare was that… intensive?
"Um, well… I've dated some."
It was only a white lie, right? In reality, sure, Ed had been on dates but never really dated anyone…
Mustang took a sip from his mug.
"It's amazing how some girls like shorter boys, isn't it?"
Ed gritted his teeth. Nowadays he barely ever got pissed about when it was about his height but… Old habits die hard. Mustang was still damn good at provoking Ed.
"Fuck off," Ed muttered as Mustang smirked.
"Have you been in touch with the others from the team," Ed asked then. Roy nodded.
"Mostly with Hawkeye, but I've been drinking with Havoc and everyone else too. But no one has seen you around for a while..."
Ed had no idea what Mustang was thinking, Ed couldn't tell, he had never been able to do that but he was sure that he wasn't the only one.
"Yea… I've been pretty busy, with all the new stuff and all… But I think I could come drinking with you guys sometime…"
Mustang nodded and grinned once again.
"I'd love to see how much you can take before you're completely wasted. You know, being that small and all…"
Honestly, did that man never stop?
"You seriously have some weird obsession about my height, don't you?"
Why was Ed feeling like that? Somehow… confused because of the fact he couldn't interpret Mustang's expressions at all… Why was he feeling a bit nervous? But then Mustang changed the subject and Ed could relax again and forget his weird feelings.
The time went by and neither of them seemed to realize it. The coffee had turned cold long time ago, the clock had ticked on the wall, but they had just talked – about everything. Military, alchemy, their lives… Ed had lost his track of time until Roy rubbed his neck and looked outside, saying: "It's getting dark."
Ed glanced at the clock and jumped up.
"Fuck, is it that late? I gotta go."
Mustang got up and followed Ed to the hall.
Ed grinned a bit when he heard the name Mustang had called him. Old habits really die hard, Ed thought. "It looks like it's gonna rain. Take this," Mustang said and handed Ed an umbrella. Ed took it and once again he felt himself confused. Wouldn't it be more like Mustang to let him get totally soaked in the rain…? Maybe he had changed after all…
"Um, thanks… I had… fun, I guess."
Mustang smiled, no grin, no smirk, but a smile. It was weird.
Ed opened the door and said: "See ya… Flame."
Ed went in to the dark staircase and he almost managed to the stairs, when Mustang said:
"Fullmetal… Come by again sometime."
Ed nodded and watched as Roy closed his door, leaving Ed to the darkness. Ed jumped down the stairs and went out. The rain was already pouring down. Ed opened the umbrella and walked home, feeling himself really happy.