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Mission No. 4 Entry

Title: What Might Have Been
Author: freaky_zero
Rating: PG
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Pairing: EdxRoy, EdxWinry-ish
Notes: Entitled and inspired by the song What Might Have Been by Lonestar. Some spoilers for the end of the series/the movie.
Word Count: Approx. 1,000
Summary: Edward gets married.

I try not to think about what might have been
’cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can't go back again
There's no use givin’ in
And there’s no way to know
What might have been
--Lonestar, What Might Have Been

Ed turned, watching as Winry walked slowly up the aisle. She was beautiful; there was no denying that, but he’d never expected to be standing here, reaching out to help her step up before the church’s altar. No, he’d never imagined himself here, getting married, especially not in a church or to the woman currently sliding her cool fingers into his sweaty palm. But here he was.

If anything, he’d expected this of Al. Alphonse was the one who had been in love with Winry all along; so that’s what he’d expected, his little brother and their childhood friend. This wasn’t the Winry they’d grown up with, though, and Al could hardly be expected to adjust to accept that the way Edward had.

This side of the gate was a new world; one Ed had gotten a few years to adapt to before the younger Elric had come to join him. Silk and lace rustled next to him, as Winry turned and they faced each other, drawing Edward back to the happenings around him. He smiled nervously, apparently seconds too late if the appraising look she was giving him was any indication.

Inwardly, he cursed, because if she had noticed his reticence, the bastard standing as his “best man” in his brother’s absence had surely noticed it as well. Ed knew it would gain him yet another ribbing about cold feet from the other man; he took his friendship duties to an entirely new level. The trait was different from his Amestrian counter-part, but the same; Mustang had always been loyal. He just had weird ways of showing it. Or maybe it was just that this man was carefree—open—in a way that the Colonel hadn’t been.

It was another thing he’d never imagined—Roy Mustang as his best man. In fact, if anyone had suggested it to him when he’d first become a State Alchemist, he’d have broken their nose. And after that, once he’d gotten to know the Colonel more… intimately… Well, he’d have done the same, but for entirely different reasons.

He thought that Al should have adjusted better, but truthfully, he could understand his little brother’s feelings—especially in regard to Colonel Bastard. Edward knew this Mustang was different; knew this wasn’t the man who’d given he and his brother the help they’d needed getting Al’s body back.

The Roy Mustang here was only someone who looked and talked and laughed like the Colonel. Just like this Winry was a ghost of the girl Ed and his brother had grown up knowing. He knew all too well, how Al felt. The woman Ed was marrying today wasn’t the one Al loved, but she was close enough that it stung when she’d chosen his brother. Even not being able to love her (the way that he’d loved their childhood friend at least), Al couldn’t stand to be at the elder Elric’s wedding to this world’s Winry.

And Ed understood; that slicing pain when it sank in that the one that you’d loved in another world wasn’t meant for you in this one. He’d felt it dully when his path had first crossed with Alfons’ in Germany; heartache at seeing the face of the little brother he hadn’t thought to see again; one he wasn’t sure he’d even fulfilled his promise to. It had come again (doubly sharp) when he and Al had come across this “Texan” version of Mustang in this new world.

The elder Elric understood all too well, whenever he watched the man with his lover’s face kiss his wife or hug his children. It was difficult to imagine Colonel Roy Mustang married with children. But then, in this place it seemed like ladies men were almost frowned upon; more so than in Amestris, at least. Here, it was expected that men get married, have babies and take care of the family business, whatever that might be.

He’d hated this world without his brother in it; he hated it more now that he and Al had found what couldn’t be theirs. This place was so backwards and drab that it physically hurt him, sometimes. Even if Roy hadn’t been married, there was no one in this world who would accept them as they were. In Germany, Ed was what Hitler had been speaking out against, beside the Jews and Gypsies. There was no place for him here, not even in this “free” United States.

Silence rung loudly in Edward’s ears; once more drawn out of his thoughts. He smiled nervously at Winry. She looked amazing, different from the girl he’d grown up with; instead of coveralls and automail oil, she was wrapped up in the lace and silk of her grandmother’s wedding dress. Her grandmother had gotten married during the Civil War (Ed could remember her telling him about it, but he hadn’t been paying attention).

It was a pretty dress, as far as he could tell. Something most women would probably like: full skirt, a laced bodice, rustling silk and an elaborate veil. Ed had been watching Roy play with his youngest son as she described it to him, explained its history. He’d been too busy remapping the contours of his lover’s face in his memory, contrasting them with the living ghost in front of him, to listen.

Slowly, he forced a smile at the woman across from him. He hated his brother for doing this to him, hated himself for doing this to his brother, hated Winry for choosing him, and hated Roy for not. Swallowing thickly, he stared into the clear blue of her eyes, he could see the days and years that would follow this moment.

They would leave on a train for their honeymoon tonight; she would expect Ed to be a gentle, attentive lover because he’d been that kind of friend, before the wedding. He would have to force himself to touch her, imagining the hard curves and lines of Roy’s body as he did so. She would end up disappointed in him; he would be disgusted with himself.

For a few years, they would force themselves, maybe even have a child or two, but finally she would grow cold and he would stop pretending. No one would be happy, not his brother, not Winry. Not himself. But even knowing that, Ed couldn’t stop the words from breaking past his lips, if only to keep himself from ruining Roy’s life here.

“I do.”


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
wow. this is really depressing but well executed. my heart just broke about five times while reading this ;_;
Jun. 14th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
D= Oh, dear. I didn't mean for this to break any hearts! But if it happened 5 times, I must've done something right. =3 Thanks for reading.
Jun. 12th, 2007 10:01 am (UTC)
Oh, teh angst. Can totally see this... But really, it's heartbreaking ;__;
Jun. 14th, 2007 06:45 am (UTC)
It is rather angsty, isn't it? I didn't mean for it to be...it just kind of happened!

Thanks for reading~ =)
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
So very sad! Wonderfully written, but the foreshadowing of misery ahead makes me so very upset...More?
Jun. 14th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
Thanks! The foreshadowing was one of those inspirations that hits in the middle of the night and you have to get up and write down or you'll forget it...

More of this fic? Or more writing in general? I might get something else out of this, actually...
Jun. 14th, 2007 11:52 am (UTC)
More of this fic and more writing in general would be fantastic!
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
That last paragraph got me teary. Very well done.
Jun. 14th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
*hands tissue* Thanks! =3
Jun. 12th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
I am such an angst junkie I loved it! :o)

Well written
Jun. 14th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it~ ♥
Jun. 13th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Le sob! Poor ed. *sniffle* Beautifully written.
Jun. 14th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, Ed definitely takes a lot of abuse, doesn't he? Thanks for reading =)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )