Author: lilshorty7923 (StillNotGinger10 on FF.net and AO3)
As they say, slow and steady wins the race. You have no idea how long I've been slowly chipping away at this chapter, finishing it line by line, and IT IS FINALLY DONE! I'm so excited to finally be able to post this, and for all of you to finally be able to read it. Thank you for your continued reviews and support. And a special thanks to Sheehan_sidhe on AO3 for talking things out with me :)
The reason this chapter took so long was because real life got in the way - graduating from college, moving, family drama, researching grad schools, new job, etc. etc. I should be updating sooner (hopefully), but the next couple of chapters I post will probably be for Rewind. I will keep working on the next chapter for Redo though. Rewind chapters just take less time to write.
To make up for the long wait, this chapter is the longest yet for either story! I hope you like it!
Ed woke up to the warm comfort of sunlight on his skin, and when he opened his eyes he saw the relaxed, beautiful face of a smiling, bed rumpled Roy Mustang. It was a perfect sight, and his favorite one to wake up to.
"Why are you just staring at me, bastard? You're so weird," Ed grumbled, but he smiled as he lay on his side and stared back at Roy.
Roy's smile grew. "I like staring at you," he said. He lifted his hand and traced the outline of Ed's face with the back of his fingers, keeping his hand centimeters from Ed's skin, careful not to touch, and when Ed turned his head to get closer, Roy pulled away.
Ed frowned as Roy smiled. Then he rolled his eyes and inched a little closer to Roy on the bed. "I had the weirdest dream," he said. "Al and I were sent to the past, and you were a grumpy bastard of a colonel." He smirked up at Roy, but then his expression faltered, falling back into a frown. "You couldn't remember anything," he said while looking into Roy's eyes. "We had to do it all over again and I was alone. I mean, I had Al but I—" He cut off, clenched his eyes closed, and turned his face slightly into the pillow.
"Well, I'm here now," Roy said. Ed smiled but didn't open his eyes; he just let his face relax. "So how about I make it up to you in the shower?" Roy asked in a low voice.
"Pervert," Ed said with a laugh.
"And then we'll go downstairs and have coffee," Roy continued. "And then I'll let you give me a massage so that you can reassure yourself I'm here by rubbing your hands all over me."
Ed laughed again. "Really, you'd let me do that? You're too kind, bastard." Eyes still closed, Ed reached over to Roy's side of the bed, whispering, "I missed this." But when his hand reached the covers, they were cold and empty.
Ed's eyes snapped open only to be met with the unfamiliar guest room of Roy's house in East. There was no king-sized bed to share, no clothes or books around the room to show that it was his, no chessboard or gloves mixed among his mess to show it wastheirs. It was just an empty room, with two full beds and a picture hung on the wall to pretend it was homey. It had all been a dream. He wasn't back, he was still stuck in this room where the sun shown less brightly than in his dreams and there was no Roy to help warm the bed.
Ed stood up and stretched with a yawn. As he left the room, he waved to where Al was reading on the side of the room farthest from the beds.
Roy ran his hand through his hair. He glanced in the mirror as it the strands fell into place.
Coffee? Yes. Need. Right now… Downstairs.
Roy groaned as he left the bathroom and began the long trek all the way to the kitchen, where he would then have to wait for the coffee to brew before he could finally drink it. He groaned again as he dragged his feet off the last step.
As he turned down the short hallway to the kitchen he inhaled the most welcome, heavenly aroma that had ever graced his house. The Coffee Gods must have blessed his house so that coffee appeared just because he thought of it. Finally! He'd been praying for this to happen every morning for as long as he could remember, and his prayers were finally fruitful.
Roy stumbled into the kitchen, and gratefully accepted the cup held out for him by a metal hand. He closed his eyes and breathed in the smell of freshly brewed coffee that took no effort on his part. He thought another thank you to the Coffee Gods before gulping a quarter of the mug. Perfection.
He breathed in the warm air again, appreciating the perfect temperature and the perfect taste, it was just what he needed. Roy opened his eyes to see Ed staring at him, the corners of his mouth turned up slightly in amusement and his own mug of coffee in hand. Either the Coffee Gods worked in mysterious ways or Roy was sending his thanks to the wrong place.
"Thank you," he said while looking Ed in the eye.
Ed nodded and raised his mug in small toast before taking a sip.
"Still reading in the guest room. He can't really do coffee with… you know," Ed said while staring down into his drink.
"Hmm." Roy nodded before taking another sip. Roy imagined he could see the weight of the world settle onto Ed's shoulders. It draped around his neck and down his back, molding seamlessly into his every curve. The burden somehow both pulling him down, yet also forcing his back to straighten with the determination of one used to the weight.
Roy's eyebrows scrunched together as he stared into the half filled depths of his mug. He watched the liquid inside tilt as he turned his hand back and forth. "This isn't poisoned, is it?" he asked.
Ed's head jerked up. "What? No, of course not, bastard."
Roy shrugged. "Never know with you."
"I did something nice for you and this is the thanks I get?"
"Well I am letting you stay here rent free. Some would say making me coffee in the morning is the least you could do."
"Oh not this again. Don't get used to it, bastard, I'm not making you coffee every morning."
"Maybe you should," Roy said with a smirk.
Ed scoffed. "Yeah right,"
Roy drank more as he watched Ed fighting a smile as he looked away. "So," Roy said, "You didn't wake up this early just to make me coffee in a show of appreciation for my selfless hospitality?" He paused as Ed rolled his eyes. "Why then, are you up so early, Fullmetal?"
"Habit, I guess," Ed said with a shrug.
They both went back to drinking their coffee before Ed broke the silence once more.
"What?" Roy asked.
"Umm, you should call me Ed. I mean, I'm not really used to Fullmetal anymore, so it'd be easier, you know?"
Is he blushing? Roy wondered as he failed to catch Ed's eye. "Wouldn't it make more sense for you to get back in the habit of answering to your title?" Roy asked.
"You're the only one who ever used it really," Ed said before the red in his cheeks increased. He shrugged before saying, "It's fine though; you can call me Fullmetal. Other people did on occasion, so I guess I should get used to it." Ed brought his mug back up to his lips.
"So, Ed, I suppose you're going to continue to call me Roy rather than colonel."
Ed shot him a grateful look over his mug. "Seems like it," he said before taking a sip.
A glance at the clock told Roy it was time to go, so he drank the last of his coffee in one more gulp before walking over next to Ed, placing his cup in the sink and filling it with water.
"Thank you again for the coffee, Edward," he said. Ed shivered. Did he really expect so little gratitude from Roy that he had to jump from a simple thank you?
Roy shook his head as he left the kitchen. He slipped on his jacket and boots before walking out the door and to Havoc's car.
"So, anything new?" Havoc asked as they pulled away.
"They've decided to stay rather close lipped."
Havoc snorted around his cigarette. "Sounds like them."
"Hmm." Roy turned to look out the window. "They're stuck here." He felt the second lieutenant's glace, but stayed silent as the gaze returned to the road. "They've fused with their past selves. We can't get our Elrics back, and they can't go home to their future."
It was quiet as they drove past one block, then another. "They're still our Elrics though, right Chief?"
"Yes. We may need to remind them of that," Roy said as he watched the pavement speed under the front of the car.
"They don't trust us."
"They haven't decided yet," Roy said with a smirk, "I suppose we'll just have to make sure they reach the right decision."
Roy would make sure they did. It was his future too, all of Amestris' future, and he deserved to have a say in it. Whether the boys were old enough now to handle the responsibility didn't matter. They didn't have to, and they didn't have the right to decide for all of them. Roy and his team were here to help, just like they had always been, and the Elrics were going to see that this time.
"Did they get Al his body back then?" Havoc asked as Eastern Command came into view.
"No. Ed said they had things to do while Al was still in the armor."
Havoc gave a low whistle. He rolled down the window and flicked his cigarette out onto the pavement before pulling up to the guard stationed outside of headquarters. After giving their credentials, he closed the window and drove toward the parking lot. "What could be more important than fixing Al? The boss has had tunnel vision for his brother for as long as I've known him," he said.
"What indeed," Roy said as they parked. They got out of the car and walked to the office.
Roy's desk was covered with the usual morning paperwork. He sat down, and flipped through a few pages. Boring, boring, boring. The usual. He sighed and sat back in his chair. He looked over his desk and saw Hawkeye watching him. He quirked his lips in a small, weary smile before making a show of picking up his pen and starting his paper work.
He read and signed until he felt free of scrutinizing eyes, then with a quick glance to confirm he wasn't being watched, he pulled out a blank sheet of paper.
Got bodies back
- Edward's arm at least - leg still metal
Ed gave up alchemy
Alphonse's human body will be weak
- Age: 22 and 21
Stuck here - fused with past selves
- Fullmetal appears 18
- Alphonse is armor
Brothers' bond as strong as ever
I'm a Brigadier General
I'm stationed in Central
Fullmetal actually grew
Stopped dressing like a punk
Learned respect – maybe, a little?
Without looking away from the paper, or letting go of his pen, Roy answered the phone on his desk. "Mustang."
"Roy, how's it going?" Hughes' enthusiastic voice called into his ear.
"I'm working, Hughes."
"Really? I'm riding a train."
Roy looked up. "You're on your way already?"
"Left early this morning. Everyone on the train is so busy; they don't have time to look at any of my pictures of my beautiful wife and daughter. Poor souls."
"So I decided to sneak into the communications car and give you a call. I know you always have time for stories of my little Elicia."
Roy sighed and put his head in his hand. "When are you scheduled to arrive?"
"Six tonight. You're going to pick me up, right?"
Roy smirked, and looked back down at his list. "Of course. You'll have to share my guest room, but I don't think you'll mind."
"Ohh, the new source is staying with you then?"
Roy doodled a smiling face next to the note about him being a brigadier general. "Yeah. I can't wait for you to meet."
"But you still won't tell me about them?"
"I'll tell you on the car ride over."
"You're no fun."
Roy laughed. "I think tonight will be a lot of fun actually."
"Aren't I supposed to be the one of us that knows all of the information?"
"I'll see you tonight, Hughes."
"Wait, but, Roy, I didn't get to tell you about Elicia's-!"
Roy hung up the phone, and turned back to his list and wrote.
No longer part of the army
They helped with assignments even after quitting
Cares what I think? What the hell?
Edward teaches at a University in Central
Alphonse is in a serious relationship with Winry Rockbell
- They live in Risembool
Fullmetal has a boyfriend
- Alphonse feels comfortable talking about it with the office
- Not a secret or they just feel that comfortable with us?
This was all caused by the "Time Alchemist"
- Researching factoring time into transmutations
Showed Edward my house in East once
- He remembered where it was
They feel comfortable enough to invite themselves over – Fullmetal more so?
Knows where I keep my key
Knows how I like my coffee
Will be sent to Lior soon – why?
Have to save the world?
He looked up at the sound of a throat clearing to find Hawkeye in front of his desk. He gave her a sheepish smile as she held out more paperwork to him.
"Thank you, Lieutenant."
"Sir." She watched him until he started reading, then she walked away.
Roy spent the rest of the day doing his paperwork and researching clues given to him by the Elrics. By the time he had to leave to get Maes, he was able to cross off the 'why?' he had written next to Lior on his list and convince his staff that there was no need to worry about him taking a car from the motor pool. He was a perfectly good driver; they had no idea what they were talking about.