Title: Long Distance
Rating: PG for a single swear :o
Pairing: Friendly Hughes and Roy (No sexual tensions? BLEASPHEMY!)
SPOILERS: Episode 25
Hughes often wondered why he had to die in a telephone booth. Why couldn’t he have found a nice, old, creaky house to get murdered in? Even a company warehouse would have given a bit more sense of dignity than a cramped box. Who’d ever heard of a haunted telephone, anyways?
Military officers and family friends would make visits to his box every once in a while, but after they had paid all the dues they were going to pay he became rather lonely. Even his dearest, most wonderful family had left him and moved on, probably to his grave site where he would never see them again! People never came to make calls either, as it seemed nobody enjoyed the prospect of making a call to their wives in a telephone booth where a man had been shot down, and even those that did try their courage came once and never again. It’s not like Hughes could help watching them all the time, he had nothing else to do!
The one person he never saw during the mourning period was the one person who meant most to him; a certain Roy Mustang. Hughes understood perfectly well that the man was busy with other things, such as cleaning windows, not working, looking for a suitable wife, not working, attending to the Central Garden’s wildlife, and among other things, not working. Of course, Hughes also understood it may have been too painful.
On one particularly muggy day when the spectre of the booth was simply itching for a camera and some shots of Elysia in all her adorable cuteness, the door to his prison slid open, and a casually dressed individual walked in and leaned on the telephone, drawing the receiver and holding it to his ear. Hughes was surprised that someone would brave the poltergeist that has sent many screaming in terror (so the stories said, of course), until the man looked up to speak and he was able to get a good look at him. He smiled. It was Roy.
“After all this time, Roy, what do you have to say to me?” Hughes mused, finding a corner of the booth where he wouldn’t bump into his friend too badly (he was worried it may frighten him off, and it was none too comfortable for himself if he managed to go through him) while the dark-gazed man monologued.
He started off with that wry grin that Hughes had come to know so well. “I’d heard that something was haunting this phone booth, and this one made a bit more sense than your average ghost story…” The grin faded, his face sobering “I’m sorry. You said yourself your job would be to push me up from below, and I should’ve known that I would put you in danger.”
Hughes couldn’t help but shake his head. Like always, Roy was thinking of himself. “It wasn’t you this time, you pyro.”
“I should’ve kept a closer eye on you, noticed that strange things were happening that day.” Roy paused, “Did you know you’re at a higher rank than me right now, you bastard?”
Hughes grinned, “I’ve heard. Sorry ‘bout that.”
There was a comfortable silence in the cramped booth, and Roy let out an almost nervous chuckle. “There are so many things I never got to say to you, about you.” He tapped the phone receiver he held with his finger, “And don’t you dare tell me to get a wife… I’ll be working on it.”
“Finally taking my words to heart, eh?”
Once again, silence reigned until Roy hung up the receiver with an almost resounding click. “I have a carpet to vacuum. Got to find some way to make me feel less crazy. Talking to a phone booth… Jeeze…”
Before the alchemist even had a chance to turn and leave, Hughes took a grab at his arm, holding firm enough that he might feel it but not too hard that he should go right through. Roy froze, staring at the indent in his shirt where an invisible hand held on tight. He smiled. “Not so crazy after all, huh?”
“Not at all.” Replied Hughes soundlessly, leaving his last impression as a caring pat on the shoulder on his best friend. “Good thing you showed up, too. I was getting tired of this little box...”