Title - Nothing in the World

Author – D M Evans

Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all

Rating - FRT

Characters/Pairing - mostly gen, implied Ed/Winry and Roy/Riza

Timeline/Spoilers -post 108

Summary - Sometimes Roy just wants to hide from his family

Author's Note- written for fmagiftexchange (livejournal) for the prompt -Roy: ugh my family is so embarrassing. Thanks to SM Smith for the beta

To an adolescent, there is nothing in the world more embarrassing than a parent.
Dave Barry


Some of the Madam's strays became her adopted children and her spies. Others, less quick of wit and not as gifted in the art of memory, were still rescued by the Madam and given other jobs no less importance, cooking, cleaning, bartending, laundry, gardening, whatever was needed at the various establishments the Madam had going. Roy hadn't known Amy, who answered the phone and assured him that she'd pass along to the Madam that he was coming with guests, but when he got to his mother's new place, Roy was sure Amy wasn't one of the girls on the track to become a spy.

Instead of a sedate evening at the club, the joint was hopping. They had a band in one corner next to the smallish dance floor her new place had. The girls were everywhere and they were apparently entertaining half of what was left of the upper ranking military men. He could hear Ed, Al and Winry's jaws bouncing off the floor. Even Riza snickered under her breath.

All he had wanted to do was to prove to Edward that he hadn't been found vegetating out of a manure pile and that he did have a family. Besides, the boys might need a little work until they got on their feet and the Madam could probably use them in the research department. Edward would be useless in flirting for information. Alphonse had a bit more promise.

Vanessa ran over in a black silk lace dress that would have been stunning – a bouquet of roses over a fine netting of leaves – if the shell under it hadn't been nude. It was perfect for her job, less perfect for impressing teenaged boys. All they noticed was 'boob' and 'butt' anyhow, the packaging barely registering. "Roy boy." She flung her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.

"Hey Vanessa, I'm afraid to ask but is the Madam in?" Roy said, noting Alphonse couldn't take his eyes off Vanessa's boobs.

"I'm right here, Roy boy. This is unexpected."

Roy turned to see his mother holding court over by the edge of the bar. She was in fine form tonight, wearing a teal silk velvet jacket that swept past her knees. The above cuffs and everything from the thigh down were gold embroidered roses over silk. Snow white fox fur burst around the cuffs and the collar. Everyone was going to notice. "It wasn't supposed to be. Amy should have told you we were coming."

Christmas's face pinched. "I have to talk to that girl."

Edward leaned over, asking, "Bastard, did you bring us to a brothel?"

"Yes, Edward. I thought I'd get you and Alphonse laid for the first time. I had you bring Miss Rockbell because I thought she'd make a great addition here and it would help pay her way through a low-paying apprenticeship. Hell, Riza dances for the money they throw every weekend because lieutenant's pay stinks."

"Roy." Riza swatted him.

"And Winry couldn't work here. No one would look at her!" Edward snapped then flushed. "That came out wrong." He whipped around to face his girlfriend. "I meant they'd look at you." His eyes widened as hers narrowed. "I mean, I wouldn't let strange men stare at Winry's boobs."

"They'd have to elbow you aside to do it anyhow," Alphonse muttered.

"Not a bad instinct, Edward," Riza said, shooting Roy another murderous look.

"And of course I didn't bring you to a brothel, Edward. It's just a club," Roy said just as Annalise sashayed by in an aqua sequined, plunge-necked dress that barely covered anything. Edward gave Roy an 'are you sure' look. Alphonse moved along in Annalise's wake until Edward anchored him. "I wanted you to meet someone. Madam, remember, we talked about this?"

"Yes, but I didn't realize that was tonight. Grumman is coming over within the hour with his staff." She smiled. "I don't want to miss out on that."

Roy exchanged embarrassed looks with Riza. "I do not want to know."

"Bring them on back to the office. I can spare a little time now. They can stay for the dancing if they want," Christmas said.

"My brother's still too weak for that," Edward said, reaching out for Alphonse. Roy noticed the younger Elric was drifting off after Lin-Mao in her sheer black chiffon.

"Your brother can speak for himself. I can dance a little," Alphonse said, not looking back.

"Worry about it later. Come on," Roy said, trying to salvage something of the night. At least in the madam's office, Alphonse's hormones might settle down before the top of his head exploded.

They followed the madam back into her smoke-scented private rooms. She picked up her silver cigarette case but paused to take off her jacket. That was probably how the fox fur trim stayed so pristine. As she hung it up, Roy's eyes nearly popped out. His mother had really dressed up for Grumman's visit. She had on an exquisite black silk gown covered in beaded designs of mountains with Xingese temples on them, clouds and chrysanthemums but the eye popping detail was the whole front the dress was open, pinching together only at the waist. Granted, she had on a nude half slip, but her generous cleavage strained the silk to its limit.

In her younger days, Chris had been a knock out. She hadn't gotten any more demure with age, but her frame had succumbed to age, booze and smoking. Grumman would probably lose his mind. Alphonse was still staring like he hadn't quite seen that much breast at any one time. Until tonight, he probably hadn't. Not that his mother ever dressed conservatively, Roy had hoped she would be out of character for this meeting.

"What's with that face?" she asked him.

"Nothing, just don't like you smoking," he said, glad her training had held and his voice remained level despite his consternation.

She scowled. "So introduce me, Roy boy."

"I'm sure you already guessed who they are. Edward and Alphonse Elric. The lovely young lady is Winry Rockbell. They grew up with her. Edward, you keep saying that I formed spontaneously out of a manure pile, I thought maybe you'd like to meet my family."

"I stand by my manure pile theory," Edward smirked.

Chris laughed. "I see what you mean, son. Nice to meet you boys, Miss Rockbell. Most people know me as Madam Christmas but a select few, those I trust, those Roy trusts, know me by my real name. I'm Chris Mustang."

Edward's eyes widened more at that than at any of the scantily dressed girls in the bar. "What?"

"You're his mother?" Alphonse asked, equally incredulously.

Edward turned on Roy. "You never mentioned you had a mother."

"Well, I did have to come from somewhere. You never needed to know about my mother."

"It's nice to meet you, ma'am. From Ed's stories, I was beginning to believe that the general did form from the ether," Winry said, offering her hand.

"Manure," Edward corrected. "Did you grow up here? It would explain a lot."

"He is a little mouthy, you're right about that, Roy boy." Chris grinned around her cigarette, ignoring Ed's tirade about the word 'little.' "And this place is new but he grew up in one similar until I sent him to his alchemy master. I think my boy turned out pretty good."

"You're really his mother?" Edward asked as if he couldn't believe it.

"Technically his aunt. My brother and his wife were murdered and I inherited Roy when he was four."

"I don't really remember my parents much," Roy said. "I thought you might like to talk to Mom. She could use a few bright minds when it comes to research."

"But today I have no time. Bring them back in two days, Roy boy, if they're still in town."

"Oh, I'll make time to talk to you," Edward assured her quickly. "I can wait around to hear idiot baby Roy stories."

"Don't you dare, Mom." Roy leveled a finger at her.

She laughed, a cloud of smoke rising up. "That'll cost you. Go on out, food and drink are on the house. I need to get out there before one of the girls thinks to snap up Grumman. If anyone is getting a private tour of the Fuhrer's mansion, it's me." Chris got up and crushed out her cigarette before pulling on her impressive jacket. "You know the way, Roy boy," she added before sauntering out.

"You know if she marries Grumman down the road we'll be weirdly related," Riza grinned at Roy and he groaned.

"What?" Edward asked.

"Never mind." Roy rubbed his face. "Go take Miss Rockbell dancing, Edward."

"Introduce me to one of the girls, sir," Alphonse said.

"Sure, why not. Come on." Roy tried to herd them back into the bar.

"Your aunt sure is something," Winry said. "That was a pretty dress."

"Ugh, my family is so embarrassing but they do know how to have fun. Go on, let them show you," Roy said as Riza took his hand, giving it a squeeze. From the evil grin Edward shot over his shoulder, he was never going to live this down.