Another oneshot? Lucky you guys! This is also my first FMA oneshot not totally Ed-centric, and that contains dialogue! Title inspired by the short story "A Jury of Her Own Peers" which I read a couple of years ago. Some swearing, and slight reference to alcohol.
Jury of His Own Peer
"Honestly, Roy, you need to keep better tabs on those two. Normal adults don't let two teenagers wander around the countryside battling thugs and military uprisings. My Elysia would never be allowed to." Roy didn't know why Hughes had chosen this topic as they sat at Madam Christmas' bar in Central, but he had. And it wasn't really one that he felt like talking about on one of his few social visits.
"Fullmetal knows what he's doing, or he should. And he's smart enough to take care of Alphonse. Besides, as a state alchemist, he's not really a minor anyway, and no guardian has spoken up." The last part was a weak argument, and he knew it.
So did Hughes, who narrowed his eyes at his best friend. "Those boys are orphans, and you and I both know that."
Roy shrugged, and took another sip of his drink.
"You should be less worried about your womanizing reputation, and more worried about how you come across as a role model to them. A father-figure."
And there went Roy's drink down the wrong pipe. Hughes pounded him on the back sympathetically while the Flame Alchemist coughed and spluttered.
"A father-figure?" he finally managed, voice still a little hoarse, but incredulous. "Maes, the last thing I want to be compared to is a father. Especially in Fullmetal's mind; he hates his father. He dislikes me plenty already. I don't need that connection."
"That's just sad, really," Hughes shook his head, seeming wounded on the behalf of Fullmetal's father who, of course, was absent from their drinking session, "how can that young of a kid hate someone who's dead?"
Roy blinked then looked at his friend strangely. "What are you talking about? Did a report come in recently?"
"About Ed's dad? No, he's dead." Hughes seemed very sure of this, for someone who didn't even no the name of the person being discussed.
"Not to my knowledge. Unless some new report just came in, Van Hohenheim is very much alive."
Now Hughes was the one who looked confused. "You said they were orphans."
"Yes, Maes, they are. Hohenheim abandoned the Elrics years ago, before his wife died." Roy didn't understand the expression on Hughes' face. Why did he look so…angry?
"He abandoned them?" The tone was controlled, but some strong emotion was being restrained. Roy nodded. "Why?"
"Why would he leave his family?" Definitely anger. Hughes' glasses were removed to wipe the start of indignant tears from his eyes.
"I don't know; the Elric Brothers never talk about it. Alphonse doesn't remember much, and Fullmetal just calls him 'That Bastard'."
"Hell yes, he's a bastard!" Hughes was livid. "Do they ever get letters? A call? A visit? Is it that too much to ask?"
"Maes, calm down, it happened years ago!" A couple people were glancing curiously at them. "It really doesn't matter that much—"
"Oh yes it does, Roy. It matters. That man is the lowest of the low. He left his sick wife and two children! If he had been there, maybe those boys would be fine, maybe they'd be happy!" Maes downed his drink in one gulp, something he didn't normally do. "Those boys—those boys should be the most precious things in his life; and he walked away from them. Why? What could possibly drive a man—a father to do that? Edward's right, he's not a father. He's a bastard."
And all Roy could do was bewilderedly pat his friend on the shoulder as he cried over his empty glass, all for two boys he barely knew.
What do you think? Too over the top? In my mind, I always thought that if Hughes ever heard about Hohenheim leaving, he'd take it kind of like this. I don't totally hate Hohenheim, but he seems like a jerk at first. Then he gets better.