Characters: Maes, Gracia, and Elicia Hughes, Roy Mustang.
Summary: Why Hughes forbade Mustang to set foot in his house.
Notes: This doesn't really fit into the timeline of the series, but the plotbunny was too cute to let go. One shot.
Every other day Roy Mustang received an invitation for dinner with the Hughes. He declined almost everyone of them through the means of excuses which ranked from the most valid argument to the silliest one ever heard in the country. There were times, though, when the colonel was too tired and couldn't think fast enough. Those rare occasions Roy had no choice but to go to his friend's home.
There was a routine, nearly a rite for those visits. Roy entered the house with a doll for Elicia, which was a double edge knife: the present guaranteed the proud father's good will, but also meant Roy'd have to look —again— Elicia's album, and praised the photographs taken and added since the last time he was there. Yet, it was better than arrived empty-handed. Then Maes would give him a lecture about manners, and Elicia would look at him with big, disappointed eyes, wanting but not daring, to ask him about the usual present. If there was one thing Roy couldn't stand, was to disappoint a woman, no matter the age.
When Roy was lucky, the cooking was already finished, and Gracia would meddle in the Retelling of Elicia's Life by taking the album away from her husband's reach for the day. As much as she loved her daughter, she was aware that even the most tolerant guest had their limit, and that Roy was far to be that tolerant. The next day, Roy'd sent her a thank-you note, in which he'd state, half joking, he lamented her having such a husband.
The meal was always excellent. Little Elicia would eat a little of everything, and then she'd be sent to bed after dessert. Of course, she would protest mildly the unfair treatment, because she knew that visitors meant she could stay downstairs for somewhat longer. It worked most of the time. Fortunately, the child kept quiet and would draw on the living room's floor while her dad and uncle Roy chattered over cognac glasses. Only once in a while she'd interrupt the adults to show them a portrait she had just finished. Maes then would become an accomplished art critic and praise both composition and perspective. Eventually, Elicia would fall asleep over her newest masterpiece and be taken to bed by her mother.
About midnight, Roy would apologize for keeping his friends awake for so long and bid goodbye. But he wouldn't leave without Maes's advice to get a good wife and start a nice family in his ears.
For quite a while, this routine was followed with little variation until, one night, Elicia dropped her red pencil and went to pull her dad's sleeve. "I want earrings like Winry's," she said as serious as only a three-year-old could be.
"Uh?" replied Maes.
"I want earrings like Winry's," said Elicia again, pointing her own ears. "She has three."
"But, darling..." began Maes while Roy tried to cover his laughter with a sudden cough fit.
"Elicia, you're too young for that," said Gracia.
"But I want to..." pushed the girl, using her I-get-everything-from-daddy face.
"When you're older, dear," said her mother.
Elicia turned to Maes.
"Yes, sweetheart," he said. "Your mom's right. You'll have your earrings when you grow up."
Roy was surprised by Maes's words. He didn't expect his friend to have such self-control, specially when attacked by the eyes Elicia had at the moment. Then again, maybe it wouldn't be a good idea for him to contradict his wife in front of their child.
"When I grow up like Winry?" asked Elicia.
Both parents nodded. Roy could've sworn Maes was internally swearing he'd do everything possible for his baby never to grow up.
Elicia sighted and went to sit down by her drawings. Cognac and conversation carried on for a while until, suddenly, Elicia dropped her blue pencil and raised her head. "When I'm all grown up like Winry," she announced, "I'm going to get married."
Maes's cognac went to all the wrong places, including his own lungs and Roy's face and shirt.
"Honeypleasedon'tsaythat..." Maes managed while Roy hit his back to help him breathe again.
Gracia laughed, though it was hard to tell if it was because of her cute daughter or her silly husband.
"And I know who I want to marry," continued Elicia after a pause, unaware of the chaos her innocent words were causing.
"Who would that be, love?" asked Gracia, really amused.
"Him," answered the child, pointing Roy with one of her chubby fingers.
The colonel barely had time to jump out of the window Gracia opened while Maes loaded the gun.
The invitations ceased forever, even after Maes stopped sulking weeks later and began to speak with Roy again.