Disclaimer: Don't own. Title is from... a Keats poem? I forget actually..

A j o y forever


"He's a strange sort of a fellow," Pinako says "But he's a good man, or at least he means to be, I think. That's what matters in the end."

It's before she met him, but she had seen him. He was hard to miss, with his tremendous size and golden hair, even if he only went into town rarely.

All of Resembool was curious about this guest of Pinako's, especially since nobody actually knew where he came from.

"From the east," was what he had apparently claimed, but it was hard to get further east in Amestris than Resembool. Still, nobody questioned him, and that was that.

(when she heard, she thought it sounded sad, but couldn't explain why)


The first time she actually meets him, it's one of those almost kind of accidents.

She stopped by Pinako's to give her the tomatoes she had been growing and, as it is in Resembool, a trip that should have taken five minutes drags out into an hour.

He walks in just as she is recounting her battle with a particularly nefarious cucumber.

"Pinako, where is the-" he starts, but when he sees her there he tries to turn back, sheepish in the doorway.

"Van Hoenheim, I don't think you've met Trisha. She grew up with Urey."

Cornered, he shakes her hand and half smiles. From up close she can see that his eyes are golden, though he tries to keep them downcast and hidden through his glasses, and she decides that they are beautiful.

"Nice to meet you, Trisha."

"Nice to meet you too, Van Hoenheim."

And that is that.


"Do you love him?" Sara asks one day as they walk into town.


"Van Hoenheim, do you love him?"

She stops in her tracks, face turning red. Sara turns to her, eyes rolling.

"Don't pretend that we don't know why you are suddenly so interested in coming to dinner at Pinako's so often."

"…He smiles sadly, doesn't he?"

Sara looks confused.

"That's an odd way of avoiding the question."

And that is that.


"Be careful, Trisha," Pinako warns her one day after she and Sara had come to visit. She wishes she could feign confusion, but she knows that Pinako is far too sharp for that.

"Pinako, you told me that he was a good man. I'll be fine."

Pinako scoffs, which isn't entirely reassuring.

"I said he means to be a good man. But Van Hoenheim… He doesn't seem to live in the same world we live in. Throughout my life I've been able to become used to his sudden comings and goings because I've learned not to rely on him… Trisha, he means well, but you can't expect him to truly live a life with you."

She twirls the bows on her dress before answering to Pinako.

"I know… But I trust him. That's what matters in the end, right?"

Pinako snorts, but she thinks she sees the older woman smile just a little.

And that is that.


"I'd like… I'd like to live with you Trisha," he announces as she slices the tomatoes.

Though he had been coming to her house often, she had to admit that she was surprised by this.

"Usually that's what a marriage proposal is for," she replies, raising an eyebrow. She immediately regrets it, though, when his eyes turn downcast again, clouded by his glasses.

"I can't give you that. I'm sorry."

She cups her hand around his cheek, reaching on tiptoe, and forces him to look at her.

"It's ok, I was just teasing. I'd… I'd like to live with you too."

And when he smiles with her she thinks it still looks a little sad, but it's getting better.

She returns to slicing her tomatoes and he kisses the side of her neck.

(she thinks it's not much of a sweeping romance, but that's the beauty of it all, so she smiles happily enough for the both of them)

A/N: I've had this floating around for quite awhile - I initially posted it at the fma fic contest but wasn't quite happy with it so I thought 'oh yeah, I'll totally edit it before posting it on ffnet' and then it just kind of sat there. All sad and lonely. And then I grew sort of content with it so I decided to heck with it and post it anyway so erm, enjoy!