Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Fiction ❯ Future Memories ❯ Punishment ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Future Memories
Chapter Five
Ed watched in amusement as various emotions played out on the younger Mustang's face. First there was surprise, probably at seeing the watch. Second there was disbelief, most likely directed at Ed's age. Third there was shock, probably at the fact that it was actually true given that the Colonel wasn't denying it. And finally a look of irritation before the man said, “How long have you been a State Alchemist?”
The blond chuckled. This was definitely Roy Mustang. The man was already wondering how much weight his rank held.
“Almost four years.” Ed answered in delight.
Oh yes.
How great it was that he had seniority over the arrogant ass hole.
Well… this Mustang wasn't exactly the same as the Colonel, but hey, Ed wasn't going to complain about little technicalities like that.
“Four years?” The man whispered in disbelief.
Ed nodded proudly. “That's right. Became a State Alchemist right after I turned twelve, so just a few months short of four years.”
“Twelve?” The Major gasped. “I don't believe it… How is that possible? Twelve… Just a kid…”
“I'm a prodigy, if you haven't already noticed by my younger double.” The blond bragged.
It truly was entertaining to watch the twenty one year old Mustang gape at him with wide eyes. Yes indeed, Ed didn't think he'd ever had this much fun. Suddenly the Major's eyes went to the Colonel and he pointed at the man. “You! You knew!”
“Of course.” The older dark haired man said, unfazed by the other alchemist.
“You could have told me!” The Major complained.
The Colonel shrugged. “I work on a `need to know' basis, and I didn't think you needed to know.”
“Why you…” The younger Mustang growled, but Ed interrupted.
“I work on a `need to know' basis too, and I don't think my mom needs to know about this; at least not from you. It's mine to tell if I want, so you'd better keep your mouth shut about it if you know what's good for you.”
“Are you threatening me?” The Major asked in irritation.
“Not yet, but I will if I have to.”
“You really think you can take me?” The younger Mustang asked confidently as he pulled out his gloves.
Ed grinned and moved into a fighting stance. “Yeah! I do!”
“Enough!” The Colonel barked, and walked over to his younger double. The older man put a hand on the younger man's arm and studied him with a look Ed had only seen a few times; it was a sad but knowledgeable look… After a moment the Colonel said softly, “You need to learn to control your temper. It isn't going to help you later in life…”
The Major glared at the older man, but said nothing.
“You can't take Fullmetal in a fight; he'd kick the shit out of your inexperienced ass. Maybe in two years you'd be able to take him, but not today. Not like you are now.”
Ed listened as the Colonel spoke, and felt some pride when he heard his lover say the Major couldn't win him in a fight. However, he also felt slightly… what? Embarrassed? Out of place? The conversation just seemed so personal all of a sudden…
But then the moment passed and the Colonel said flippantly as he walked to the door, “Well Fullmetal, you'd better get to work. Come Major!”
“What a bastard.” The Major and Ed both said at the same time.
They looked at each other in surprise, then grinned. As the younger Mustang followed the Colonel out of the room, Ed thought that perhaps he and the Major might be able to get along after all.
Ed looked up from the book when he heard a squeaking sound behind him. The blond lifted his head to see his younger double looking at him from behind the slightly opened door. The two boys stared at each other for several moments.
Ed couldn't help feeling slightly irritated at his younger self. The kid had done something incredibly stupid by messing with this array, and in only a few short years, the boy would make the biggest mistake of his life.
Stupid kid…
It was then that Ed had a flash of insight on the Colonel's behavior toward the younger Mustang. There were things the dark haired man had done that he wasn't proud of, things he hated himself for… perhaps the older man was directing his anger and loathing toward the Major. In his mind, Ed could see the confused, and sometimes hurt, look on the younger Roy's face each time the Colonel said something mean, spiteful or insulting.
In that instant Ed decided he didn't want to do the same thing to his younger self.
“You coming in?” Ed asked the boy.
Hesitantly, Edward slipped into the room and shut the door behind him. The child seemed a little unsure, but walked over to where Ed was sitting on the floor.
“I thought they were going to talk to you…” Ed said.
The boy shrugged. “They're talking to mom right now.” Ed grunted and the child continued. “They seem pretty nice. They're nice to mom so that's good.”
The older alchemist rolled his eyes. They'd better not be too nice…
Sighing, Ed looked at the boy and said, “So, what were you trying to do here?” Edward glanced at the large array and a slight blush appeared on his cheeks as he shrugged. It was obvious that his double was embarrassed, and Ed was pretty sure that the kid had been up to some sort of mischief.
“Come on.” Ed coxed. “You can tell me. I swear I won't tell anyone.” When the boy still looked hesitant, the older alchemist grinned and said, “You know you can trust me.”
The blond kid folded his arms and lowered his head in thought. It was almost a full minute before the boy glanced up at his older double, studying Ed's face intently. Taking a deep breath, Edward stepped closer to Ed and sat down next to him. “Are you…” The child began, but paused as if nervous to ask. “Are you really… me?”
Ed nodded, but stayed silent. He had a feeling that the boy had more to say or ask. Amazement filled the young boy's eyes. “Wow…” Edward breathed. “I mean, I thought… but, wow!” The child moved onto his knees and practically crawled into Ed's lap. The seven year old alchemist brought his face close to Ed's and stared hard into the older boy's eyes.
Ed was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable with the boy's close proximity, but decided to let the child satisfy his curiosity. The young State Alchemist put the heavy book aside and pulled his double fully into his lap. The boy grinned and wiggled a little until he found a comfortable position, then reached up and grabbed Ed's braid.
“Why did you grow your hair long?” He asked, with a disapproving look.
Frowning, Ed sighed and said, “I don't know…”
The older alchemist wasn't sure what he should say, or how much he should say. His mother had always cut his and Alphonse's hair. After she died, Ed's hair grew and became rather scraggly since he wouldn't let Pinako touch it. After Izumi had agreed to teach him and Al, the woman had practically held him down so that she could cut it. The second, and last, time Izumi had cut his hair had been right before they had come back to Rizembool. Ed had complained, but his teacher hadn't needed to hold him down. By then Ed had begun to see her as a mother figure, not just a teacher.
Of course, the fact that she could whoop his ass had nothing to do with it…
“You don't know?” Edward asked skeptically.
Ed shrugged. “I guess I just got too lazy to cut it, that's all.”
The boy didn't seem to buy the explanation, but left it alone. Instead the child asked, “How come you're wearing this?” Edward plucked at the long red coat.
“It's winter from my when.” Ed lied, then said, not wanting his double to ask any more questions, “Okay, my turn to ask some stuff.”
Edward looked disappointed, but nodded.
“You know, I think you were trying to use this array so that you could play some sort of prank on Al, but of course I don't know for sure, so why don't you tell me what were you trying to do with this. And don't give me that `I don't know' shit.” Ed added when he saw the boy begin to shrug.
Edward's eyes widened and he said, “You swore!”
Ed rolled his eyes and stared dolefully at the seven year old. “Who the fuck cares?”
The kid's cheeks puffed out as if he were holding his breath, then he jumped off Ed's lap and ran to the door. Grabbing the doorknob, Edward grinned and shouted, “I'm telling!” before pulling the door open and running out of the room.
“We're truly sorry to impose on you…” The Colonel lied smoothly.
Major Mustang rolled his eyes. His older double was a conniving, manipulating, slime of a man, and yet Roy couldn't help but feel jealous of his older double's abilities. The man practically had the Elric woman in the palm of his hand. As much as the younger alchemist disliked the man, he had to admit that he was impressed.
The brunette woman shook her head, blushing slightly, “It's really no trouble at all. I just hope this all gets worked out…”
The Major nodded. That was what he wanted too. He just wanted to go on with his life and pretend this morbid nightmare never happened. Roy didn't like to think that he was going to end up an arrogant bastard with no redeeming qualities.
And then there was the brat.
Roy was sure he and the blond teen could become friends if they spent a little time together, but…
A State Alchemist?
At twelve no less…!
How the hell had that happened?
Besides the fact that Mrs. Elric seemed to be besotted by the Colonel's charm and good looks; she obviously cared very little for the military. He had no doubts that the woman wouldn't be sad to see him and the older man leave.
So why would she have let her son join the military?
And ever more curious: Why had the military allowed it?
Roy really hated not knowing what was going on.
Someday he hoped to know everything, and be able to keep others in the dark. He knew it was petty, but that's really how he felt at that moment.
The Colonel took the brunette woman's hand in his and was about to say something else when the sound of a door crashing open and squeals of laugher met their ears. They turned as running feet against the wooden floor announced the rushed arrival of seven year old Edward Elric.
“MOOOOM!” The boy yelled.
A moment later the teenaged version of the small blond rushed into the room.
When Edward collided with her legs, Trisha was nearly bowled over by the force, but the Colonel, still holding her hand, steadied her. The boy looked up at her and again wailed, “Mooom!”
Frowning, Trisha studied the boy's face. Edward had that look on his face that he always had when he was trying to get Alphonse into trouble. It was a look of cunning delight. Although the two boys usually got along very well, she still worried about her youngest at times. Edward liked to push the limits. He liked to know why he wasn't allowed to do thing, and when her oldest didn't have a reason that was good enough for him, he would do it anyway, often dragging Alphonse with him.
And, at times, Edward wasn't above pinning the blame on his brother. Trisha knew her sons well enough that she could see right through whatever Edward was saying, but other adults were different. Many times poor Alphonse ended up getting the worse punishment and often her youngest wouldn't put up too much of a fight. The sandy haired boy was a follower, not a leader like his older brother.
Trisha was often afraid that one day Edward would drag Alphonse into something neither of them could escape.
A tugging on her skirt brought Trisha out of her thoughts. “Mooom! Didn't you hear what I said?”
“You little brat!” The fifteen year old yelled.
Her oldest turned his head and screamed, “DON'T CALL ME LITTLE!”
“Boys!” She said, trying to get their attention, but couldn't be heard over the fighting.
The boy turned slightly and pointed at the teenager in fury. “WHAT ABOUT YOU? YOU SAY YOU'RE FIFTEEN, BUT YOU LOOK MORE LIKE YOU'RE TEN!”
Boys!” Trisha tried again.
“BOYS!” Trisha yelled, interrupting the teenager. The two blonds looked at her as if surprised she was there. “What in the world is going on here?”
“Nothing.” Ed began to say, but Edward quickly overrode him.
“Mom, Ed swore.”
Edward nodded seriously, then after a few seconds of silence added, “Twice.”
For a moment, Trisha said nothing, only stared down at the boy, then she brought her head up and looked pointedly at Ed. “Edward Elric, you know I don't like you boys swearing. Because you're older I expect more from you. You need to be a good example. Now, I'm not going to wash your mouth out with soap, but I do want you to think about what you've done. Go back to the back room until I come and get you.”
Trisha watched several emotions play out on the teenager's face. Anger, most likely directed at little Edward; embarrassment, probably because she was addressing him the same way she would either of the younger boys; thoughtfulness, Trisha had no idea why; then finally acceptance and understanding.
At least, she hoped it was understanding.
Trisha wasn't sure what right she had to discipline the older boy, but if she did nothing her little ones might get it in their heads that they could get away with it too.
So it was a compromise.
She would send him in the back room. It had never been much of a punishment, but it showed that she didn't accept the action either.
Ed nodded and turned to go to the back room, but stopped and glared at the Colonel. She looked over at the man and saw he was grinning. The blond's eyes flitted down and Trisha felt a squeeze on her hand. In all the commotion she had forgotten the man still held her hand! She quickly pulled her hand out of the older man's grasp. She didn't want he son to get the wrong idea.
Without taking his eyes off the teenager, Colonel Mustang said, “You are correct, Mrs. Elric. It is important for the older generation to be a good example.” The man turned his head and looked at her. “You are truly a wise woman.” The last was said softly, the tone almost a caress.
She blushed. How did the man do that?
A growling sound came from the older blond and she looked at him. “Shut up old man! If it's such a wise statement maybe you should follow that advice.”
Trisha saw that although the man glowered at the teen, a small smirk also played around his mouth.
Again something struck her as… odd… not quite right…
The brunette mentally added it to the list of questions she had for her teenage son.
Trisha watched as the blond stalked out of the room. What she really wanted to do was follow him and talk to her son now, but she still had a few things to do around the house, before it got completely dark, and then of course there was getting the two boys to settle down and having them ready for bed. Her gaze turned to the two dark haired men. She also had guests that needed to be seen to.
Part of her just wanted to scream in frustration, but she knew she would just have to be patent. After all, Trisha Elric hadn't lasted all these lonely years, being a single mother with her husband gone, by selfishly acting on her own desires.
She would talk to Ed.
When she retrieved him from the back room, there would be time for talking.
Okay, I know some of you might have been hoping for more action (i.e.: some sort of talk between Ed and Trisha) than this, but you can be sure that you'll be getting some of that next chapter.
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