Photographs Never Forget

A/N: For "Don't Forget FMA Day" (Oct. 3) on fullmetal-alchemist(dot)com. Takes place a little after Roy becomes Fuhrer.

It surprised no one that the Fuhrer's desk was littered with photographs.

He was sentimental. For that, some called him a fool, but to most, it was endearing, and was even promising of his intentions to keep the peace in Amestris and abroad. It was said that every day, at the end of the day, the Fuhrer sat and contemplated each progression of photographs, remembering something different each time.

This was, actually, true.

To the very left, there were the pictures of the Elric brothers, starting with a few Winry had dug out of an attic showing the boys when they were very young. There was even a picture of the boys and their parents—much to Ed's chagrin, though not nearly as "embarrassing" as the picture of the boys and Winry sleeping on the floor all cuddled together after a snow day. From there, the photos progressed to Ed's recovery after receiving automail, and his time in the military. A particularly amusing one (taken by Maes, contributed by Gracia) showed Winry napping with her head and arms on Ed's hospital bed, Ed holding one of her hands and smiling tenderly.

There were few photos with Alphonse from this time, understandably, but one of the more notable ones showed Al sheltering… well, nobody had ever really bothered to count how many kittens, but it had been quite a few. Another beautiful shot showed him sparring with Ed, and one from a few moments later showed the younger Elric triumphant.

There were many more photos of Al after he regained his body, though. A few showed his own rehabilitation, but, unlike his older brother, Alphonse was positively jubilant in every single one.

Pinako had snagged one of the boys' return to her home, showing Winry tackling them both, all three laughing and crying hysterically. There was another Al had grabbed when Ed and Winry hadn't been looking, far too absorbed in (kissing) each other, though Winry had gotten him back the first time Mei came to visit Risembool. There were some pictures of her and Al in Central before they'd returned, as well, and it was clear that they were just as smitten with each other as Ed and Winry were.

Yet another collection showed Ed and Winry with their children—a photo from after each birth, one of the four, and another including Al and Mei.

Al and Mei also had a few photos with Ling and Lan Fan, who, despite their protests to the contrary, had been married a year or so after arriving back in Xing. There was one the proud now-emperor had sent of himself, his wife, and their child just recently, as well.

Finally—always finally—there came Roy's family. There was a picture with his parents before he was born, then one of a younger Chris, when Roy had been ten or so. A photo from his apprenticeship showed himself and Riza curled up in their own chairs in the front room of the Hawkeye house, reading. One from Roy's time at the military academy showed himself and Maes after they'd been in a "philosophical dispute" over the treatment of Ishvalans. A few from the front lines of Ishval showed various combinations of Roy, Maes, Riza, and Havoc.

One from a few years later showed Roy and his subordinates, plus Alex Armstrong, Maes, Maria Ross and Denny Broch at a fall picnic. There was a picture of Maes, Gracia, and a very young Elysia, as well. Another photo showed Roy's team in the rec room at Eastern before their move to Central.

There was a time gap, and then there were several pictures showing Roy's subordinates where they'd been scattered to and had decided to stay. There was one of Havoc and Rebecca's wedding, and another of Roy's inauguration.

Those were all the pictures on the desk, but inside a hidden compartment in one of Roy's drawers, he kept a picture of himself and Riza, relaxing just after they'd been discharged from the hospital. He was sitting with his back to a tree, Riza sitting with her back to his chest, and Hayate curled up beside them. Gracia had taken the photo discreetly, and had given it to Roy with just as much caution.

It was, he never failed to think, as Riza appeared in the doorway to end the day, his favorite. She'd always smile knowingly and he'd give her a soft smile in return before they left to just be simply Mr. and Mrs. Mustang for the night.

People certainly change—one could hardly argue otherwise, or want to, for that matter. Sometimes the change is for the better, sometimes for the worse. They go through life never really knowing where it will take them next, and while some memories cling and others fade, photographs never forget.

A/N: FMA touched my life in so many ways, and I hope it's touched yours, too. If it has, or if this story has, let me know! And, most importantly,

Don't Forget

3. Oct. 11