Rating: PG13, dark subject matter-ish
Pairing: Gen but with a dash of Roy/Ed
Spoilers: Episode 25, if you want to be picky.
Notes: Written for fma_7sins' April Fool's Fic Challenge. My prompt was "Roy Mustang celebrates a promotion with his friends" which I shamelessly and gladly took for the title as well.
(I keep editing after posting, mostly corrections and formatting stuff.)
He left his apartment absurdly early, dress uniform perfect, hair mussed just so, stepping out into the street where the sun was shining painfully bright. The entire city of Central felt like it was jubilant, the very air buzzing with excitement, everything sparkled. A special day today, a day of celebration, the day the new Fuhrer would be installed. Parked in front of his house was a gleamingly polished military car, Havoc waiting behind the wheel, who got out to open his door as he saw him approach.
It was a glorious, triumphant day and yet Roy Mustang was suddenly overcome with a faint but nagging feeling he was unable to shake that something was not quite right. Havoc saluted crisply, like the model soldier he never was. He was dressed to the nines, all spit and polish with shining boots and everything and Roy stared at him for a moment.
"Good morning," Havoc said cheerfully. "This is the great day! Let's go."
"Good morning," Roy replied as he got in the car. "You look all spruced up, Lieutenant."
Havoc grinned broadly, shrugged.
"It's not an ordinary day, is it?"
Roy smiled, because it was not, it was a special, wonderful day and he should lighten up. He leaned back in the seat, his arms crossed in front of his chest.
The street were lined with people, all dressed up in their very best clothes, waving little Amestrian flags. Pretty girls in smart little dresses everywhere, flocks of white pigeons flew overhead, and the glaring sun in a flawless blue sky. It was getting quite hot in the city.
During the ride Roy felt, even through the massive crowds, the marching bands, that the world seemed strangely muted, as if all the noise was filtered somehow. The sound of the car was a faint buzzing and for some reason it seemed like everything was slowing down. He briefly wondered if he was coming down with a fever. He tugged at his collar, the dress coat was quite warm in this weather.
Once they arrived at Central headquarters Roy hurried inside while Havoc parked the car. The first person he came across in the otherwise empty foyer was Edward, standing all by himself, and who looked stunning and strange in his dress uniform, his hair in a long braid down his back. He wanted to comment on Ed's unusual yet amazing appearance, tease him a little, but was distracted because Ed didn't look happy at all, he was looking pained. Just as Roy wanted to get closer to him, to ask him what was wrong, the far doors swung open and a whirlwind of people entered, every face familiar and welcome, some people he hadn't seen in ages and were such a sight for sore eyes! He stood a little straighter and smiled at them. The foyer was full of people in an instant, buzzing with activity. Among them a tiny figure in a foamy white dress, running around in circles through the crowd like a dancing snowflake: Elysia.
And lastly, beaming in his moment of triumph, the new Fuhrer entered the room on the arm of his smiling wife: Maes Hughes. Roy thought his heart would burst as he saw his best friend with the familiar trappings. He allowed the crowd to move him along, trying to get closer to his friend. Across the room he caught a glimpse of Edward and he noticed that tears were rolling down the young man's face. He stood rigid in the distance, not moving along at all. Roy tried to move back to him then, to get to him but wasn't able to go against the thrumming mob.
He was reminded of a ball, which should be later in the day, but the way the crowd moved in groups and in pairs like a cloud of people was like a dance, Impossible to penetrate unless you were able to find the rhythm which seemed to continually elude him. He was surrounded by people he would call his friends, who made him feel warm inside but there were only two he really wanted to talk to, to touch and he couldn't get at them. The movement of the crowd took him along whether he wanted to or not and then they were outside on the square, in front of the gathered crowds.
And it was absolutely quiet, deafening, roaringly silent under the gleaming sun, the sky now the colour of lead. A hot wind blew over them. There was something white by his feet, he noticed and looked closer. A dead pigeon. He blinked. When he looked up very slowly, slow motion, Elysia went by him, twirling, her white dress stained with red.
He turned around, looking for Ed but he was nowhere to be seen and an awful, terribly familiar scent entered his nostrils, the smell of burned flesh. He turned again, ever so slowly, looked at the crowds but they were no more, there were only mounds and mounds of blackened corpses. His hand hurt, fingers sore from snapping for hours on end. Shaking, he felt exhausted and bone dry under the merciless sun. And in despair he sought out Maes, and saw him standing alone among the charred corpses, blood pouring from his chest in an unstoppable flow and turning to him with empty eye-sockets.
He woke with a strangled gasp in the dark room, tangled in the sheets and the arms of his lover. His own bedroom in a world were Ishvar had become a distant memory and Maes was still a vivid one but no longer as painful as it had been.
"Shh," said the lover, voice hoarse with sleep, stroking his hair.
"You dreamed, just a dream, it's okay, it's all okay."
He pressed his face in Ed's metal shoulder, taking deep breaths.
"I remember seeing Maes," he whispered. "He had become Fuhrer. And you were there, looking pretty amazing in dress uniform."
As if Ed wouldn't know that that could not be why he woke up in the middle of the night sweating and shaking. He didn't care, he didn't want to think about the rest and focussed on Ed's hand stroking his hair. In the dark, at times like these, Ed was nothing but gentle.
"He would have made a great Fuhrer," Ed commented. "But he wouldn't be so stupid to think he could get me in an uniform."
He knew better than to press for details and didn't try.
"I wish he could have been here to see how everything turned out," Roy confessed to the shoulder, allowing himself to show this little weakness.
"Me too," Ed said and it was clear he meant it. "He might not have liked the current situation at all though, you told me once that you two were plotting for you to become Fuhrer."
Roy smiled now, small but genuine, and lifted his head to press his lips to Ed's.
"He would have loved to see what the country had become; that the people would have been able to choose a Fuhrer, even if it's not me."
"I bet he would have been proud," Ed mused, kissing Roy in return. "He was good to us, he really cared. He would have liked Al being in charge."
Roy had been surprised at the time by how little the loss of the election had stung. It had definitely helped that the reasons he had for his ambitions in the first place had mostly evaporated but the greatest balm had been Edward.
Ed had been obviously torn during the election campaign but had held himself in a way that had left Roy more than a little impressed. Afterwards, when Roy had returned home, numb from the defeat, chagrined, Ed had been there for him instead of celebrating with his brother as would have been his right. Roy suspected Ed was actually quite pleased with how things had turned out: his adored brother in the highest office and his lover basically available at all times. He would never utter a word just as he stubbornly declined revealing just who he had voted for in the end. Roy wasn't sure anymore he wanted to know, he was truly grateful for what he had and more than at peace with how events had played out.
"We all do," Roy assured him. "And the people chose him so those who don't like it can go stuff themselves."
"Good," Ed sighed. "I would hate to have to kill you for treason."
"Does this mean you are with me to keep an eye on me?" Roy teased, leaning on an elbow, playing with a strand of gold hair. "Are you making sure I'm not a threat to your brother's rule?"
"Why else?" Ed grumped. "Don't be stupid bastard, go back to sleep."
Roy curled around him and buried his face in his neck.
"I love you," he said.
"Love you too," Ed said in a breath, hardly audible. "Go to sleep."