Title: How to Save a Life

Category: Anime/Manga » Fullmetal Alchemist

Author: Nutella Alchemist

Language: English, Rating: Rated: T

Genre: Hurt/Comfort/General

Published: 12-23-11, Updated: 12-23-11

Chapters: 1, Words: 3,283

Chapter 1: Chapter 1

How to Save A Life (from the song by The Fray) 'T' for use of alcohol. Roy-centric. Warning for nuclear Royai bombs that shall be drop on you. This was supposed to focus on the Hughes-Roy relationship, but as a Royai worshipper, I could not help myself. So I Incorporated both. The Inspiration for this came from an amazing glee-fiction named I will wait for you if you do for me. It essentaily follows the same layout. Disclaimer: The Cow in fighting panties owns all.
...

"Lt. Colonel Hughes' dead."

The sound of the train's whistle blares through Central Station. The sounds of people talking buzz, and Major Roy Mustang and Captain Maes Hughes step off the train. The war may have ended, but the nightmares would last an eternity. The thing the Major had done seemed to stain his soul red with blood of those he'd killed. His obsidian eyes look dead, defeated, and his glare is confined to his shoes.

Maes Hughes examines his surroundings, glancing to his left and right. "She said she'd come to meet me in her letter but. . ." He says to no one in particular, letting his voice trail off as continues to peer around Central Station. Roy just follows his gaze.

"Maes!" A surely feminine voice cries out.

The two soldier's head snap to their left, looking for the source of the voice. There is lithe young woman running towards them. She halts, and her wide blue eyes fill with hope as she locks eyes with Maes. The corners of her lips gently pull into smile.

The Captain lets out a small gasp, and a similar expression comes to his face. "Gracia!" She cries out, meeting her half-way. He pulls his love into a soft embrace. The gentle, loving-kind. They mutually break from the embrace, and their gazes hold each others. There is no longing in their eyes, as if they desire each other. They look... complete. It must be what love looks like.

"What I've done here," Roy remembers him yelling in Mustang's tent during the war, as Maes gripped the collar of Roy's uniform. "I'll take in all alone, and smile when I'm in front of her."

Hughes . . . Roy thinks, as his gaze on the two falters.

You're strong . . . He gazes at his left hand, his glove hand, the hand that which may have mercilessly died at.

. . . .I don't have you're strength . . .

Roy blinks.

Hughes is gone.

He's not embracing his wife.

Instead of looking at his best friend, He is staring silently at a headstone.

Maes Hughes

"Colonel," says a voice beside him. "Are you going back?"

1885 – 1914

"We, alchemists," Roy responds dully, "as a whole, really are horribly creatures."

Brave Solider,

She doesn't react.

"A part of me. . ." he tells his Lieutenant, keeping his eyes locked on the grave of his best friend."A is desperately trying to develop a theory on human transmutation."

Loving Father,

"Now I understand how those boys felt when they tried to transmute their mother." Colonel Mustang repeats her flatly, holding back his tears

Treasured Husband,

. ". . . Are you alright?" she asks. Their eyes meet momentarily. All their emotions poor into each other in that one, pregnant moment. As expected of a good solider, The Lieutenant keeps a good composure, and a stern face, but her eyes. The amber orbs flicker with worry.

"I'm fine," Roy responds, forgetting she had even aged in the first place. He knows he doesn't need words to tell her he's most certainly not fine. "It's just a terrible day for rain."

True Friend.

"What are you talking about? It's not-" She is about to say, before Riza looks at her Colonel. She sees the tears streaming down his cheeks. The first Lieutenant corrects herself, "Yes... It is."

Her stern expression fades as she looks at the headstone. Roy can tell that her eyes burn, but The Lieutenant does not want to cry. Not anymore. "Let's go back," She says, "It's getting cold."

It is more than a request than a suggestion.

"Maes Hughes is dead, Colonel."

Maes beckons for another drink from Madame Christmas, as he chugs downs his bottle of whiskey to the last drop. His hazel eyes are completely bloodshot from behind his glasses, but he is smiling politely right on through. Maes slings his arm around Roy, and lets out a whoop.

"This man right here!" Hughes yells, looking around the bar. It is empty apart from himself, Hughes, the Madame, and a few of her girls. "Is gonna be the fuhrer one day! I swear on my grave!"

Roy chuckles. The Lieutenant Colonel of the Amestris state Military knows he should probably take his friend home soon. "You could be a bit more discreet, you know?"

Hughes ignores him, and shoves his finger in Roy's face. "You need to promote Warrant Officer Hawkeye!" He yells, but sings the last couple words as he completely topples out of his chair.

Roy catches him first, "I can't say a promotion isn't long over due for her, maybe after that transfer to East City," He squeezes out as he lugs Maes' weight over his shoulder. He waves his goodbyes to the girls of the bar and the Madame, and heads out the door.

"No!" Hughes yells, not noticing his late reaction. "When you become fuhrer," he hiccuped, "You should promote her to," his eyes are calculating, as if he is recalling something important, "First lady!" He yells, his hands in the air.

Roy tosses Hughes in the passenger seat in his car, and shuts the door. He steps around his old black car, and crawls into the driver's seat. He ignites his engine, and steadily drives along the streets of Central City.

Maes stirs, "You know. . ." Hughes drawls on, his eyes half-closed. "I just want you to have the happiness a family brought me," Hughes shrugs, "Who knows. . . maybe Elysia will get a new playmate..."

Roy looks over.

Maes isn't beside him in his front seat anymore. He is now the one in the passenger seat, completely helpless. First Lieutenant Hawkeye is next to him, driving his car for him. The night lights of Central are passing him by. His mind is distant, not even considering information he gathered today from Major Armstrong and Sargent Foster. His mind was still submersed in the old memory, as he stares at his Lieutenant.

She glances at him from the side, and stops the car abruptly.

"Roy?"

Roy straightens up. Roy was not a name she called him in roughly fifteen years. Roy was an awkward teenage boy who she shared warm conversations, naïve dreams, and first kisses with over hot chocolate at his sensei's house. The Colonel looked at her still looking taken back by the informality.

"What are you going to do, now?" she asks, as Riza turns to him as she pulls over on the side of the road.

"I'll continue with my transfer back to Central." He sighs, crossing his arms across his chest. He has not honestly thought about it at all. Of course, he would hunt down his killer. But aside from that, what is he he going to do? He is going back to Central, but he is going to be farther away from his best friend than ever. He could one think of one thing to ask, "Are you ready to follow me again, Riza?"

Roy's gaze meets Riza's. Her eyes practically scream, you know you don't need to ask. Roy knows it did not take a genius to see his pleading for comfort. Riza sighs. "It's okay to hurt, Roy." She tells him, before averting her gaze from hers.

Tears begin to roll down Roy's face. They come hot and flash. He grabs a ball of his black and hair, and slammed his other fist again the door of the car. "He's gone!" He yells, anger, sadness, and regret swirling through him. "He's gone..." He says, his voice breaking, becoming weaker. It did not even sound like himself. It was robotic. He desperately tries to take breath, but he feels as if they're is not air around him as he desperately clings onto Riza's chest. Her arms wrapped around him, embracing him. "Stay with me again." he says into her chest.

He feels complete.

"Did you hear me? Sir! Say something. . . please."

The sun beats down on him like a heavy burden. Under his BDU's, he can feel himself drenched in his own sweat and blood, making his movement seem more dense, slower. The concentrated air is ridden with the cruelly bitter scent of blood of his own people. It makes the ripples of frustration run straight to his core as he stared up as the figure above the symbol of Amestris.

Fuhrer King Bradley.

Mustang feels the bitterness he felt towards the man run through his veins. How could this man be their leader? One who smiles for camera's, and is good with words be responsible for so much suffering and bloodshed.

"The power of one man doesn't amount to much," Major Mustang tells Hughes. his eyes, his voice, his composure they are lit with determination. "But I'll do everything humanly possible to protect the ones I love, so that they can protect the ones they love. It's seems the least we tiny humans we could possibly do for each other."

Hughes beams. He seems to be staring at the fuhrer himself. "Sounds like a pyramid scheme." He says, chuckling a bit as he slid his glasses up his nose. "but if your goal is too ultimately protect everyone, than you'll have to be at the top of that pyramid." Hughes adds with a smirk as he points to Fuhrer Bradley.

"It must feel good up there, Hughes," Mustang says humorlessly. "But I'm confident, I can't get up there with only my own power."

Hughes beams once again, but he is not longer looking to Bradley. He seems to be gazing in the distance. "Well, you've got my support. I'm kind of curious to see how your naive ideal might change this country.

In that split second, Roy Mustang swears he sees King Bradley look directly at him.

"Just Answer it." Second Lieutenant Havoc says, jutting his chin at the phone. He removes his cigarette from his mouth to say, "They're just going to keep calling.

The Colonel sighs, and glares at the phone. "I know who it is already. He always calls at this time." Mustang spins his office chair to look at the clock. It is eleven O' clock. The normal time Hughes calls to brag about his daughter, and how see was being to look like her mother everyday.

When he is off guard, Havoc abruptly picks up the phone. "Hello?" He asks into the receiver, "No. This is his subordinate, Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc." Havoc covers the end of the receiver with his left hand. "Second Lieutenant Ross? To what do I owe the pleasure?" He says, a suspiciously flirty tone edged in his voice. This has obviously never heard of fraternization laws or sexual harassment. Havoc's eyes widen, and the color falls from his face. His cigarette falls to the ground.

"Lieutenant!" Roy yells, snatching the phone from his hands. "Lieutenant Ross? What's going on?"

"Lt. Colonel Hughes' dead." She chokes out through the end of the phone. Her voice is strained, hard like straw. She has been crying.

What? Dead? That's Impossible -

"Maes Hughes is dead, Colonel." Ross repeats, almost yelling at him.

- He called just me last night.

"Did you hear me? Sir! Say something. . . please."

"When?"

- Did I say that?

"Last night. Twenty-two hundred hours,"

"How?"

- Is that my voice? It sounds so robotic.

"He was shot."

"A phone booth in Central. He was trying to call someone."

"I have to go now."

"Roy!"

He disregards her, and hangs up the phone. He sits in his office. Lieutenant Havoc is watching his superior cry over his paperwork.

Roy Mustang finds himself driving home that night. Roy doesn't even remember the other half of his day, nevertheless getting in his car. He is driving home. The only thing he knows is that his best friend is dead, and he's driving home, doing nothing about it. He needs to book train tickets to central, he tells himself. Not know how to bring even himself up.

He brings himself to the door of his small, rental home. He unlocks the door, and tumbles in. I need a drink. Anything to forget. He plans are canceled. Riza Hawkeye is sitting on his couch in civilian clothes.

She does not look at him. "I heard," she says, desperately clutching the hem of her skirt. "I came to see if you were alright."

He disregards her.

"Have you talked to the Hughes family?" The Lieutenant asks. The Colonel sees that she's purposely avoiding his gaze.

"What are you doing here?" He asks, "It's your day off."

She looks up at Mustang as he makes his way into the kicthen. "I was worried about you." The Lieutenant says.

"What's for dinner?" Roy asks, "I can get take-out from the Xingese place down the steert."

What is he saying? He hates Xingese food.

She rises from the couch, and follows him into the kitchen. "Look, that's not important. Besides, I have it covered. I have to ask-"

"I could whip up something. I know how much you love - "

"Colonel!" she yells. Roy's head snaps up, eyes wide, alarmed at the harsh tone his Lieutenant used. She steps clsoer to him, and puts her hand on his shoulder. "Stop this! He was your best friend - "

The words impact him. The past tense - was your best friend, throw him off the edge. Impulsively, he throws himself into the Lieutenant's chest, clinging to it as it is his life. Hod tears begin to wet her blouse.

"Perhaps you needs to be left alone." she says uncomfortably. Riza couldn't recall a time where so close.

"Stay." he mutters into her shirt.

"We have to go to work tomarrow."

"Stay." he repeats.

"Colonel, I have to feed Haya - "

"Stay."

"Alright." she complies, slowly slipping her arms around his waist.

After the funeral, Roy Mustang gets his transfer to Central with all five of his most loyal suborninates. Roy moves into a small rental home, adjacent to Lieutenant Hawkeye's complex. He picks Elysia up from school, and brings her to dance class on Tuesdays. At first, he visits Maes' grave. Soon, it becomes once a week. Somestimes, he just sits there and talks. Ocasinally, he'll cry over it. Mostly, he sits there and stares at Maes Hughes' grave, wondering how his whole life had been torn apart by one Hommunclus.

At the grave side, he sits, basking up the sun. His eyes are closed, and his head is buried in his arms. It has been five years since the death of his best friend. Nothing has changed, but everything has changed.

"I'm going to find myself that wife today," he says, stroking at the small, black velvet box in his hands casually with the back of his thumb. The breeze picks up, as if its its a response from Maes himself. Roy sighs. "It's not exactly first lady, but I think she'll appreicate it," he chuckles, "Crazy old-man Grumman. He repealed the fraternzation laws. He's her grandfather, you know? I can't believe they didn't think to tell me. He had me running around in circles when he was telling me to marry his granddaughter," he picks his head up, and stares at the grave, skimming his fingers along the brim of the head stone. "Elysia's going to make a beautiful flower, girl."

He sighs. "I'm going to stop coming every week." He expects some sort of negative response, but nothing happens. Everything continues. "But I can't move on if I'm always here."

He gets ups, and turns away smiling.

"Hey... Mustang."

Roy double takes, expecting to see someone from the Military. He looks around, and sees Edward Elric standing near the bench he's sitting on. He hasn't seen him since the wedding of him and Winry Rockbell.

"Hello Full-" he cuts himself off, "Edward."

Fullmetal takes note of his almost-mistakes, and exhales. The former state alchemist sits next to Mustang, and crosses his arms across his chest. "Bastard." he regards him.

"You've gotten taller since the last time I've seen you."

"Don't forget it." he mutters, still resentful of his former midget. "I just got back from the West."

"Well I hope you didn't come all the way to Central just to be bitter, Edward."

Ed smirks, and opens his fists. Roy recognizes the coins in his palm. Five Hundred and twenty cens. "Congratulations on becoming Fuhrer."

Roy smiles wryly, and gladly takes the money from Ed. "You're a man of your word." He assures the blonde.

Edward's face remains bitter, and stares out onto the playground ahead of them. "One of them yours?" Ed asks, jutting his chin at the group of children playing.

Roy nodds. "The little boy with black hair." he explains, pointing at his son, who was running around the playground, climbing up colorful metal structures, crawling through tunnels, and sliding down slides.

"What's his name?"

"Maes." Mustang tells him, beaming at his son.

Ed makes the connection between names immiedately. He conciously gazes at his hands. "Mustang, can I borrow five-hundred and twenty cenz?" Ed asks.

He nodds and returns the change Ed gave him. Ed clutches it in his palm, and pushes himself off the wooden bench. He walks away, and waves.

"I'll see you when this country's a democracy."