Title - Twenty Years Later

Author – D M Evans

Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all

Timeline/Spoilers - post 108 by twenty years

Summary - How people remember the Promised Day changed with the years.

Author's Note - written for October Third for the prompt of "Twenty years later, what people say about the Promised Day," given to me by evil_little_dog

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Al watched his son arguing with Ed's eldest over barbequing rights. Their other sons egged them on. A decade ago the anniversary of the Promised Day was officially made a holiday and Al made an effort to come home from wherever he was to be with Ed and Winry and his family. He didn't go back to Xing much anymore, not since…. Al shook his head, keeping his attention on his teenaged, half-Xingese son who was oddly looking more and more like Fuhrer Mustang than anyone else. It must be how those traits mixed between their people.

It was funny to hear how people talked about that day. Fifteen years ago, it was mentioned only in whispers. People remembered too vividly that point where their souls had been ripped free. Ten years ago, Roy had tried to demystify that day, to strip away the fear a little, making it a day of remembrance. By then history books had made Mustang and his men, Armstrong and her men, he and his brother, not to mention Ling, Lan Fan and Mei, look like heroes from legend. It was an epic battle of good versus greed and lust for power. Funny that, Father thought he had stripped himself of those negative emotions, but he still had them in the end. Add a few festivals, some fireworks and well-crafted speeches and the people began to move from fear to civic pride.

Twenty years past that day and the kids seemed to think it was something that might not have even happened, that their grandparents and parents exaggerated. To them, it was ancient history. For those who lived through it, the parades and speeches, cast far and wide over the wireless, brought back quiet moments of contemplation. For the Elrics, it was a time to hole up in Ed and Winry's home, away from people who recognized them and said things like 'wow, you were really there. You're the ones who saved us.' It got embarrassing after awhile, even for Ed who was an attention seeker since birth. Well, it had taken awhile for Ed to admit it was a bit much.

At least they had an escape. Roy had to do speeches and whatever else was expected from the Fuhrer on a day like this. Often there was a big charity ball but the Elrics never attended. One year Al might go. It could be interesting but he was just as happy sitting in the back yard, eating lamb skewers and topping the day off with one of Winry's apple pies.

Al jumped feeling something cold touch his shoulder. He looked up into his brother's face. Ed handed him the beer bottle he had poked Al with then dropped into the chair next to his brother's. "Thanks."

"Think we'll have to step in and cook the dinner?"

"I'm shocked you gave up the grilling tools in the first place."

"Zach pointed out he's the same age I was when the Promised Day happened. If I could save the world, surely he can grill meat without me fussing." Ed sighed. "How'd he get so old?"

"I don't want to think about it." Al glanced back at the house. "Does Winry need help?"

"Nah, she's talking to Riza. She'll be out soon." Ed took a swig of his beer. "Twenty years, can you believe it?"

Al snorted. "Not likely. You're older now than Mustang was then when you gave him so much shit for being old."

"Thanks for reminding me." Ed stared out over his back yard. "We saved the freaking world, Al."

Al nodded. "We sure as hell did." He met his brother's fist bump with practiced ease, not even needing to look. Al looked back at his son and nephews, thought about his and Ed's girls who were inside listening to the wireless, none of which would be here, if not for the pain and sacrifice of that day. Maybe being remembered as a hero wasn't so bad.