Disclaimer: Don't own them alas.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Notes: Well, this is my first post here (promised I wouldn't post until I'd seen the end of the series ^^;). This fic is set before the series starts just before Hughes' wedding to Gracia. Roy is, of course, the best man.
Ummm, hope you like it!
Maes, usually so rational, is acting like nearly every other man in his position since time began. Roy has been watching him run around in a state of high panic all morning, fascinated and amused as to how his friend can be so calm in the middle of a battlefield and yet be terrified at the mere thought of walking down the aisle.
His amusement is starting to wear thin, however.
“What if she says no?” Maes asks the mirror, then starts to pace the floor again. Roy stifles another sigh knowing an answer isn’t required. He’s been asked the same question numerous times since they reached the church. “Maes,” he says, hoping to stop his friend before he’s subjected to the entire rant for the seventh time.
Maes runs a hand through his hair. “What if someone objects?” He starts another circuit of the room.
Roy pinches the bridge of his nose, beginning to wish that he’d worn his gloves. “Maes!” he snaps.
His friend ignores him and continues to pace, tugging at the collar of his shirt. “What if...”
“HUGHES!” The snap of military command is in his voice and Maes stops at the beginning of his fourth circuit, looking towards him in surprise.
Roy stands and walks towards his friend, grabbing his shoulders. “Gracia will not say no. You’ve been dating her for nearly two years. I think you’re both adult enough to be sure of what you want at this stage. Although,” he smiles wryly, “after watching the way you’ve been acting today, I’m not so sure.”
Maes grins at that then sighs, pressing his face to Roy’s shoulder. “I should have asked Gracia to elope with me,” he mumbles against the fabric of Roy’s suit. “I can’t deal with all of this insanity.”
“Maes,” Roy moves his hands from Maes’ shoulders to rest just below his shoulder blades. He can feel the knots of tension there and wonders whether his friend got any sleep last night. “You’ve dealt with assassins, missions gone bad, life and death situations countless times! What can be so scary about marrying the woman you love?” He doesn’t quite manage to keep the amusement from his voice.
Maes moves away from him and pushes his glasses back up his nose with a grin. “Ill ask you the same thing when you get married! I can’t pull a knife on anyone if things get hairy. Especially since you wouldn’t let me bring them.”
Roy shakes his head. “You are truly hopeless, Maes.”
“Says the man who had to be pried out of that damn glove!”
Maes’ smile fades and he slumps into a chair, clutching at the arms until his knuckles whiten. “I know how to deal with all of those things, Roy. I’ve been trained for them. I’ve never been trained for this! What if I make a terrible husband? What if we have children and I’m a lousy father? I’m in the military, what if I die? What if Gracia gets upset at something?”
Roy pauses for a moment, hoping he isn’t about to make everything worse, then kneels on the floor in front of Maes, resting one hand against his friend’s knee. “You dealt with me.”
Maes opens his mouth to say something but Roy silences him with a glance. “Listen to me. You dealt with me. You got through to me when no-one else could have. You knew exactly what to say and do in any situation to make it right. You always knew what was best for me, knew when to agree and when to tell me I was being an asshole.” He pauses for breath, eyes stinging a little. Heartfelt confessions have never been his forte. “You’re that way with everyone. You give support when it’s needed but aren’t afraid to play devil’s advocate when the situation requires. You’ll make a wonderful husband to Gracia. A wonderful father.”
Maes looks down at him. “When did you get so smart?”
Roy smirks. “Learned a few things from a military intelligence officer who helped me through a few bad times.”
Maes grins back, reverting to his usual teasing. “Anyone I know?”
“No. Not that I know of.”
That earns him a swat to the back of his head. “Bastard.”
Roy adopts a haughty tone, turning his nose up at his friend. “I’ll have you know that my parents were happily married, thank you very much.”
Maes laughs. “You always have a retort for everything, don’t you?”
Roy stands and brushes imaginary dust from his trousers. “Of course. I’m surprised you haven’t realised that yet. Then again, you never did know when to give up on a lost cause.” A soft, almost sad expression flickers across his face for a moment. “For which I am truly grateful.”
Maes shrugs, suddenly serious again. “Then I suppose I’ll just have to keep trying until I win and prove it isn’t a lost cause then.” There’s more beneath his words than either of them would ever express openly and Roy is undeniably grateful for them. “I’ve always got your back, Roy.”
Roy clasps the hand offered to him and closes his eyes. “I know.”
Their moment is interrupted by a sharp knock at the door and Havoc announcing that the bride will soon be arriving and to get their asses out there soon before Armstrong moves on to the other side of his family.
Maes stands and moves towards the door but Roy stops him with a touch to his shoulder. “Just one thing.” He crouches down to rummage through his bag and pulls out a nearly empty bottle of whisky and two glasses with a triumphant smile. “Can’t let you go without having a last drink as a single man!”
He sets the bottle down on the table with the glasses and pours them both a drink, leaving the bottle empty. Roy picks up one of the glasses and hands it to Maes before taking his own and settling into one of the chairs, swirling the drink around and staring at it critically.
Maes is slower to sit and sets his glass back down, picking up the bottle instead. his eyes widen when he sees the label. “Roy,” he chokes out, “ this is...”
Roy nods. “I know.”
Maes is still staring at the label in disbelief. “I thought you’d have finished this by now. You’ve had it for years. We opened it just before...”
“The night before I went to Ishbal, yes,” Roy finishes. He takes a deep breath of the whisky, drawing its thick scent onto his tongue. “I’ve drunk some of it, of course. But it didn’t seem right to finish it on my own. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. And what could be more special than the wedding of my best friend?”
Maes still looks shocked but he places the bottle back on the table and picks up his glass. “Heh. Guess it’s appropriate. Seeing in a new life by finishing off the old. We should make a toast. Can’t drink something this special without making the most of it.”
Both men think for a minute beofre Maes raises his glass. “To friends and the future.” He stares at Roy expectantly, noticing the smile that has begun to curl his lips. Finally, Roy speaks, clinking his glass with Maes’.