I posted it here because it's pending moderation at Familiar and I'm a comment whore. XD
How You Word It
It was late fall, just past Harvest Festival. Frost hadn't yet started to last past sunrise, but the clocks had been set back days before. So as the children streamed out of the small school in ones and twos, wrapped in heavy jackets and the occasional scarf or mittens, the sun already sat fat on the horizon like a huge red coal. Two particular figures walked into the sunset, one carrying himself with an apparent calm, the other looking like he wanted to hide under a convenient rock. Their blonde hair was dyed a strawberry red by the setting.
Rowan wished it was still earlier in the year, for a number of reasons. One, he was currently very cold, and he hated that. Two, the dying red light highlighted his father's face in a way that made him look far more imposing than usual, which he really didn't need right now. Third, the warning signs of winter always made the other students a little more rowdy than usual, as they realized that the cold season would soon set in and they wouldn't have their outdoor freedom for much longer. Which was how he'd gotten himself landed in this current predicament.
Edward Elric leveled a very parental look at his only child. He was obviously less than impressed with having to pick up his 12-year-old son from school. Rowan tried to shrink further into the collar of his jacket, wincing as the fabric rubbed harshly against one of his fresh scratches.
"So. Mind telling me what that was all about?"
Fully expecting a scathing lecture, the boy blinked in surprise at his father. Ed's lips tugged in a way that might have turned into a smile under any other circumstances. "Don't worry, I fully intend to deliver The Lecture when we get home. But first I want to know why you decided that other boy deserved a punch to the face."
Ed patiently waited, a number of emotions flickering over Rowan's bruised face as the boy struggled with his answer. He finally burst out, "He was saying bad things about you and Mom!"
Rowan watched as a shutter dropped over his father's emotions, but not before he was sure he saw a spark of raw anger in his eyes. "Is that so?" he questioned, seemingly nonchalent. "Like what?"
Rowan's eyes dropped to his shoes and he fell silent. He reached up to rub one eye, as if he had a piece of grit in it, and worked hard to keep his shoulders still. Nevertheless, his father seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to things like this, and he felt his larger hand settle warm and comforting on his shoulder.
"Do you believe him?" Ed asked softly.
Rowan sniffed and dashed at his eyes again. "No!" he stated vehemently, half-angry that his dad would even ask such a thing.
"Then it doesn't really matter, does it?" His father shrugged.
"But other kids are starting to believe him!" Rowan protested.
"Hmm." Ed rubbed his chin with his free hand as if pondering something, his face splitting into a grin, the kind of smile Rowan usually only saw right before his dad and his granpa started snarking at each other. This time, it looked a little scarier than usual. "Guess we'll have to fix that."
Once home, he got The Lecture, as promised. But after supper, his dad took him to one side and gave him a very different sort of instruction—after extracting from him the promise that this was a last resort and if he was caught using it without good reason he was grounded for at least a month. Rowan promised and listened solemnly to every word his father told him.
The next morning at lunch break, fellow students were congratulating Rowan for the most thorough, detailed, and effective verbal thrashing the class bully had ever had to experience.
There were no more incidents after that.
Yeah. Sorry about that. XD *is shot* I don't like the ending. Comments and criticism more than welcome.