Disclaimer -- Arakawa owns all
Rating -- teen
Characters/Pairing --Roy, Maes, Madam Christmas
Word Count -- 746
Warning -- none
Summary -- Roy brings his new friend, Maes, home to meet his aunt on their first furlough from the Academy.
Author’s Note -- Written for kristensk for the fmagiftexchange. This could be considered an extension of the story I did for sonjajade for the exchange. The Match
“I can’t believe we’re finally here. I was thinking the Pearl was a figment of your fertile imagination.” Hughes slapped Roy’s back nearly making him drop his rucksack.
“My imagination wouldn’t come up with this.” Roy grinned. He hadn’t told Maes all the secrets the Pearl had. His aunt and her girls were best experienced. He didn’t want to spoil all Maes’s fun. “We’ll be staying here.” Roy pointed to the old brownstone hotel attached via a breezeway to the Pearl.
“And you aunt really is an intelligence agent?
Roy pressed a finger to his lips. “You need to keep that quiet, but yes, freelance.”
“I find that fascinating.”
“You and Aunt Chris will have a lot to talk about.”
“I’m a little nervous after what you’ve told me about her.”
Roy smiled. “You should be. She knows everything about you.”
“You told her about the quiche, didn’t you?” Maes punched Roy’s shoulder before Roy could even answer. “Bastard.”
“You should talk.” Roy walked into the Pearl. It was mostly empty. Blythe, a woman about his aunt’s age, was behind the bar, taking care of the few afternoon drinkers. Blythe helped Aunt Chris managed the bar. She smiled brightly.
“Roy! Nice to see you. Go on back. The Madam is waiting for you.”
Maes arched his eyebrows.
“Not that sort of madam,” Roy hissed, stalking down the hall. “Though occasionally information gathering requires getting naked.”
“Have you ever had to get naked to help out?”
“No! I’m an alchemist!” Roy felt his face burn as red as his aunt’s favorite dress.
“You have!” Maes laughed. “You’re my hero.”
Roy scowled. “Can’t you be serious for five minutes?”
“Do you really have to ask?”
Roy huffed then knocked on the door. His aunt called for him to come in. She met him halfway across the office, giving him a quick hug. She had picked up a little weight since he last saw her.
“You look gaunt.” Chris tapped his cheek, then eyed Maes. “How many times did the beanpole steal your food?”
“Just that once, ma’am.” Maes held out his hand. “I’m Cadet Maes Hughes, but I’m sure you already know that. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Roy’s told me a little about you.”
Aunt Chris put a cigarette in a long silver holder, lit up and took a drag. “I bet he did. Come along, let me show you to your rooms. Roy, Yvonne is making a welcome home dinner for you.”
Roy sighed happily. “Your taste buds won’t know what hit them, Maes, after six months of that mess hall slop.”
Roy let his aunt and Maes talk as they went to the hotel, but it didn’t take long to realize that might be a mistake. They hit it right off, and Roy had long since learned Maes could talk like his tongue was motorized. He tried to derail them once Maes got Aunt Chris on the topic of Roy’s misspent youth, but he might as well not be there for all they noticed.
Finally Aunt Chris got up from the window seat in Roy’s room and ran a hand over her slightly wrinkled skirt. “I need to get ready for the evening. Dinner is in an hour. Why don’t you introduce Maes to your sisters.”
“Roy, you never really mentioned sisters.” Maes favored him with a prime stink eye.
“As if I’d trust them to the likes of you.” Roy snorted.
“And he wonders why he gets picked on at the academy,” Maes told Aunt Chris who laughed.
“Oh, he doesn’t wonder. He knows he’s a brat.” She sashayed out the door on that note.
“So, sisters?” Maes beamed.
Roy knew they would be in the greenroom downstairs, preparing to work the Pearl or head out if his aunt needed them to go to a party or the like. He wasn’t entirely sure who would be home, but it really wouldn’t matter in the end. They would all be stunners. Roy led Maes downstairs, then knocked on the greenroom door. “It’s Roy. I’m home.”
The door was flung open and Roy got yanked into the room, passed from one girl to the other for hugs. When he was able to extricate himself, he saw Maes standing in the doorway, gaping. Roy slipped an arm around Linae and Mary’s waists on either side of him.
“So, Maes, how do you like my sisters?”
“You are officially the best friend ever!”