Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Spoilers: through 51
Summary: Roy hasn't learned from other people's mistakes
Previous Parts: Prologue
Notes: How many ways can I sing tatooine's praises? Not enough, I tell you. Anyway, this might be the most anyone's getting for a while, as I am feeling the writer's block. Feedback always helps me write faster. Just saying.
Roy walks in with an eyepatch one day, and no one mentions it. Falman, who doesn't quite know the office dynamics, seems tempted, but he follows everyone else's lead and stays silent. Havoc hands him today's assignments without batting an eye. Hawkeye stares, but her expression gives away nothing. Breda doesn't seem to notice anything is even different. Fury twitches every time he sees Roy.
No one mentions the eyepatch the same way no one has said Hughes' name in the past few weeks.
In his office, Roy does his best to keep up appearances, to keep up the impression that besides the eyepatch, nothing is different. He glares, he orders, he's a bastard. It doesn't quite work. He feels agitated and confused, though he should be happy to be alive. Many an alchemist has died attempting what he did. He's one of the lucky ones, one of the strong ones.
The thought doesn't make him feel any better.
It wasn't a success. The thought cuts through everything Roy does. Failure hangs heavy in the air around him. There's a saying that goes, "Better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all."
Roy thinks that's complete bullshit. There are things that shouldn't be attempted in the first place.
He doesn't want to think about what he's created. It hurts too much. Better to think about the upcoming move to Central. This was just a side trip, and he came out of it wiser and more experienced.
Stop lying to your self, Mustang. That was the stupidest thing you've ever done, the obnoxious voice in his head tells him. He can't help but agree with it.
To distract himself, he reorganizes his desk, throws himself into his paperwork. Sign, fill out, sign. It was easy, repetitive, simple. He can do this. He can.
Hawkeye walks into his office under the guise of giving him a few papers to sign. She hands them to him with her usual rigidity, but he knows that the little bubble of forced silence is about to burst.
"What should I say when people ask about it?" she asks. There's no hesitation; she cuts straight to the chase, and Roy likes that about her. She can say things that are both direct and round-about simultaneously. His hand automatically reaches up to touch the eyepatch, feeling the rough texture of it. He might not ever take it off again, from the looks of it.
"I got into a fight," he says with a straight face. Hawkeye doesn't even crack a smile. It's an obvious lie, but one that won't be questioned. The brass are strange that way. If they do start questioning, it's only a simple matter of forging documents and making sure that certain people have their stories straight.
"Of course." She nods and leaves the room. Roy wants to call her back and tell her the real reason, but he's had one too many emotional breakdowns in front of her. A man has to keep some of his dignity.
Roy hates himself for being selfish. He lost an eye, endangered his mission, and basically wrecked his house. Good thing their transfer was coming.
It still hurts, and it's something that Roy can't think about either. It hurts so much that Roy can taste the pain on his tongue, feel it on his skin.
He signs the documents Hawkeye gave him after skimming them to make sure he isn't selling away his soul. There's a lot he has to do before the transfer. Better start working on that and not dwell on his own foolishness.
A woman greeted him. Her smile was bemused and cruel, black lips twisted into a bow. The red tattoo on her chest stood out on her pale skin. A few other people, if that's what you could call them, watched the man with thinly veiled curiosity.
"Well, if it isn't a familiar face," she drawled. Her fingers ran down his cheek, before he ripped them away with more force than absolutely necessary.
"So you knew me?" he asked, demanded. There was no need to yell, but he did anyway, vibrating with confusion and rage.
She laughed. "Yes, we knew you, Wrath. We killed you."