Straight Up

Ed/Roy. PG. ~300 words.
Ed’s grown up fast.

Roy hummed a bar of a catchy new tune he’d heard, closing the office door behind him. Or, at least, he tried to, but familiar metal fingers grabbed the edge and shoved it back open again. Rather than fall flat on his face in an undignified sprawl, Roy took a slightly less undignified hop to the side, and laced his fingers together behind his back.

“Good morning,” he said easily as a teenaged storm of billowing red coat and flying blond hair raged into his office.

“Where’s Al!?” said storm demanded, settling in the centre of the room and beginning to resemble something more human. A furious human named Ed.

“Alphonse?” Roy echoed.

The maelstrom exploded again, something about cats and aprons and hospital bills, and a river might have been in there somewhere. Roy listened carefully, then not so carefully, expression sliding into one of muddled bewilderment.

He slapped a hand down on the approximate location of Ed’s shoulder, and ended up with the top of a blond head. Ed glowered, and Roy took advantage of the momentary calm needed for him to switch ranting gears.

“Your brother went to visit Nina,” Roy said, referring to the small stone tablet laid on the cemetery hill.

Ed abruptly deflated. “Oh,” he said. He flopped into a chair, the teenager vanishing under the weight of too many waking nightmares. His eyes looked like Hughes’s in his serious moments, not saddened but jaded.

It prompted Roy to do for Ed what he’d do for Hughes. He preferred Hughes laughing and Ed ranting, especially if the alternative was that weary exhaustion. A moment later, he pressed a glass of whiskey into Ed’s right hand. He’d almost watered it down, but if Ed could look at him with eyes that’d seen more than most adults ever did, then he deserved to drink like one.


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