Author: Sage SK
Comments: Much thanks to Kris for the inspiration and beta read!
Roy Mustang couldn't find it in himself to drink tonight. He had a full bottle of whiskey in hand. Spoils of war, they had told him. Such spoils would have been destroyed, but tonight someone decided to be generous. The soldier that handed him the bottle told him to enjoy himself.
What was there to enjoy, Roy wondered, as he sat against the nearest wall inside the military compound. He had no reason to celebrate. Today, he had exterminated an entire group of Ishvalans on the west side, and was praised for his swift actions. Just like any other day.
Just like any other day regarding this stupid campaign, he thought bitterly. Setting the bottle aside, he rested his arms against his knees, then gingerly massaged the area between his eyes. There wasn't a day when he didn't wonder if it would be his last day. He was fighting to survive, yes, but at a great cost. So many dead, all with the very alchemy he swore he'd never use recklessly. If his teacher saw him now...
And, the only other person in his life that had willingly followed him to Ishval...
"Why is alchemy, which ought to bring happiness for the people, being used for murder?!"
'I don't know,' he thought again. 'I'm sorry, Riza.'
He then looked up, hearing footsteps next to him. His first reaction was to snap his fingers, but he then remembered that he was on military grounds.
Then, he wondered if he really was drunk, but he didn't remember ever opening the bottle or taking a swig. Next to him stood a young boy, about four or five years of age.
"Are you sad?"
Roy opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. The boy wasn't Ishvalan. He had a full head of black hair, and calm, brown eyes gazed at him quizzically. In the boy's arms was a teddy bear, and he was dressed in what Roy had guessed were pajamas, walking barefoot.
"Why are you sad, Poppa?"
Alright, really, just how drunk was he?
"You're sad, Poppa. Why?" The boy wasted no time in going to squeeze his way into a bewildered Roy's lap. "Don't be sad, Poppa."
Eyes wide, Roy wasn't sure what to do. Who was this child? And... why was he calling him 'Poppa'?
"I'm... I'm not...," he managed.
The child giggled. "'Course you are." He buried his face into Roy's uniform. "You smell right. You always smell like smoke." With that, he clung to the young soldier.
None of this was right. Roy never had time for dating when he went into the military. This Amestrian child was clearly mistaking him for someone else. And... where did he come from?
"You... you have me mistaken for someone else...," he said softly.
The boy once again shook his head. "I know it's you." With a smile, he added, "You need to smile, Poppa. Momma doesn't like it when you're sad, either."
This had to be a dream. There wasn't any other explanation. Cautiously, Roy then asked, "If I'm your father, then who's your mother?"
The boy returned, "Momma." Obviously.
Okay, that was a little funny. With a soft chuckle, Roy asked, "What's Momma's name?"
Roy sat frozen, trying to process what he had just heard.
With a giggle, the boy hugged him again. "You're funny."
This was a dream. Of that Roy was sure. And, if this was a dream, it was okay to play along, right? He wouldn't be called to fight for another few hours.
Relaxing, he gently wrapped his arms around the small child. Small, Roy realized, defenseless, but with a smile that could light up the dark area where he was sitting.
"Don't be sad again, Poppa." The child curled up in his arms, and in no time he was fast asleep.
Roy held him close, gently brushing hair aside to look at his face. What was his name, he wondered. If... if he had a son, what would he have named him?
"What was that?"
Hearing a different voice, Roy woke up with a start, then gazed up into the eyes of his best friend. "Oh... Hughes." Rubbing away at his face, Roy accepted the hand Maes Hughes offered to help him off the ground.
"You've been out here for a while," Hughes returned. "I know the cots they gave us are lousy, but they're infinitely better than the ground."
"Sorry. I think I dozed off."
Chuckling, Hughes threw an arm around Roy. "Well, we're not gonna be called for a few hours. Wanna hear what Gracia has to say?"
With a resigned sigh, Roy nodded. Then, before Hughes could continue gushing about the latest love letter he'd gotten from Central, Roy turned to look at the full bottle of whiskey they were leaving behind.
"Hey, Hughes? Do you think I'd make a good father?"
"Of course!" Hughes answered immediately, not even bothering to question Roy's sudden interest in fatherhood. "Oh! And, if you have a son, you better name him after your best friend!"
At that, Roy managed a smile.