Eyes On Me, Daddy
Rating_ K (G)
Summary_ Gracia Hughes could honestly say she wasn’t surprised when, at the age of eight, Elysia had begun to plan a future in the military.
Legalities_ All characters mentioned in this fic are property of Arakawa Hiromu, I claim no rights whatsoever.
Mission Statistic Warnings_ Spoilers for episode 25 and manga chapter 15, sadnessMission Status Report_ One-shot
_End briefing-Begin Document_
Gracia Hughes could honestly say she wasn’t surprised when, at the age of eight, Elysia had begun to plan a future in the military. She would smile and simply say, “Of course, dearest one”. She had believed it to be a child’s ambition; believed it was the innocence of youth in her daughter, she only wanted to be like daddy. Gracia was certain Elysia’s few memories of her father would fade as she would grow older, after all, the child had been so very young then. She was certain the child’s aspirations for a military career would pass.
When her daughter began studying texts on alchemy- quite often in confusion- at the age of twelve, Gracia couldn’t help but feel somewhat concerned. Perhaps Elysia wasn’t quite ready to let her father’s memory become just that, a memory. Part of Gracia believed, still, that it would pass, believed that Elysia was just holding on to her only memories of the man known as Maes Hughes. There was a more realistic part of Gracia that knew, however, that Elysia’s newfound interest in alchemy was not a fleeting trend, and it was this part of Gracia that silently wept for her daughter’s future.
One day, she asked her daughter why she studied so hard, why she had her goals set for the military. A smile crossed Elysia’s face at that moment, a smile far too heavy, too sad for a girl of twelve.
“I just want to be like daddy,” she had responded, “The way I remember him.”
Elysia knew that her life would not be guaranteed, and Gracia had tried often and in vain to dissuade the girl, but Elysia insisted that she would approach her military career as an alchemist, rather than an officer. She had tried to comfort her mother with the decision, though Gracia felt even more unnerved than reassured.
Through the passing years, Elysia studied countless texts, practised theories and transmutations in repetition, and prepared her body for life in the military.
On the day her daughter was to take the State Alchemist qualification exam, Gracia Hughes prayed. She did not know, really, to whom she was praying; she only knew that for once in her life, she wanted to be selfish. She wanted to keep her daughter- if only a little longer- from a life of state service. It was one thing to bury a husband, but to bury a child was quite another.
At age sixteen, Elysia Hughes failed her qualification exam.
The adolescent was undaunted by her defeat, though, and only worked herself harder. Elysia faithfully avoided her father’s grave over the past years; still she avoided it while preparing for her second chance.
At eighteen years of age, Elysia Hughes passed her qualification exam. When asked why she wanted to become a State Alchemist, her response was the same as the first time, “I wish to follow the path my father set”. The same as the last time, she found herself choking on the words.
At sunset only a day after receiving her silver watch, Elysia, dressed in the blue military garb of Amestris, stood in the State Military cemetery at the foot of the grave of Maes Hughes. She flipped open her watch nervously as she found her words stubbornly congesting her throat.
"Well Daddy,” she managed, “your little girl's a woman now; I passed the State Alchemist qualification exam. There's finally another Hughes in the military. “
She was met with a sunset breeze as the first stars emerged on the crimson-stained horizon. Fifteen years… It hardly seemed possible that she had been without her father for fifteen years. The few memories she had of him were hazy at best, like an antique photograph; every year they blurred a little more.
“Mom's worried... I know I might be doing something stupid, but I want to follow in your footsteps... with changes. I don’t want to forget you… but I think I am.
"You'd be proud of me, I know, Daddy. I passed the exam without anyone helping my studies... how could I? Brigadier General Mustang scares me a little. I know you'd probably laugh and tell me there's no reason... but I don't know... I just don’t think I know what you’d do… So I studied; I've been at it for years. Your little girl's a major. Major Elysia Hughes...
"I hope I'm doing the right thing... I really do. Mom says State Alchemists do the dirty work of the military; I'd lie if I said I'm not a little scared, because I am, Daddy. I wish you could be here, I need you to help me... to tell me if I'm making a huge mistake. I don't want Mom to cry anymore... I don't want to be the one to make her cry again, so I'll be strong; I'll be a strong soldier, Daddy. I'll finish the work you never had a chance to finish.”
She felt hot tears in her eyes, her throat constricted just a little more as she saluted her fallen father, Brigadier General Maes Hughes,
"If you aren't proud of me now, I'll make you proud; keep your eyes on me, Daddy."
At twenty-two years, Elysia Hughes is a Colonel. She sees enough despair and bloodshed to last a lifetime, yet she has made friends among the soldiers. The thought of leaving behind her life in the State Military has only crossed her mind once, at the funeral of a close comrade. She has become a strong woman, a strong soldier, as she promised at her father’s grave those four long years ago.
She is strong, and she has the respect of peers and subordinates alike, but at twenty-two years of age, Elysia Hughes still cries in her sleep for her father.
Shine bright morning light
Now in the air the spring is coming
Sweet blowing wind
Singing down the hills and valleys
Keep your eyes on me
Now we're on the edge of hell
Dear my love, sweet morning light
Wait for me, you've gone much farther, too far
Post-Mission Analysis This is the result of crack!FMA with Alesca and the angst of my playlist consisting of:
Fake Wings- .hack//SIGN
Light Before We Land- Gunslinger Girl
Inerasable Sin- Fullmetal Alchemist
Higher Than Hope,
Tenth Man Down,
Dead Boy’s Poem,
And Nemo- Nightwish
I hope everyone enjoyed my first Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic. Maybe someday you’ll get some RoyAi from me… as soon as I finish my NaruSaku fic.