Winning

A FMA Fic

By Jaelle



Disclaimer: Not mine. No infringement intended.

POV: Ed's thoughts during a debriefing.

Actual conversation during debriefing.



Blah blah blah... I’m so tired of giving reports. It’s stupid and boring and pointless anyway. You already know how I did, and what I did. Smug bastard. I hate you.

I hate you.

I hate you.

I hate you because you have already won.

The battle is still going, the fighting is fierce, but in the end it’s all futile. You’ve won. You know it. I know it. But I’ll be damned if I’ll admit it.

I hate to lose, you know that? Of course you do, why am I even asking that question?

Don’t answer that.

There’s nothing in this world I hate more than losing. I’m not good at it. I’m a bad loser. I’m not a great victor either, but I’m really a very bad loser. I suspect you’d be even worse than me, but since I’ve never seen you lose, I guess I’ll have to wait to find out. I’m not sure I want to be around when that happens, or if it ever happens, but I won’t back down. You never backed down from me, so I guess I can return the favour.

If you smirk at me ONE MORE TIME I swear I’ll kill you. Right here. Right now.

Yeah, that’s right, get into your lecture mode. Shit, for a fire-wielder you sure know how to turn on the ice. Yeah, yeah, go on, call me a child. Yep, there it is.

Asshole.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I were to do something completely insane in front of you. Strip naked, or try to kiss you, or start singing about the summertime. You’d probably think it was a prank. Then you’d get all cold again. I hate it when you’re cold. I hate it because you’re at your most honest then, and some days I just can’t cope with honesty.

Not that you care. I’m sure you think it’s for my own good.

And who the hell said that you got to decide what was for my own good? You’re not my father. You’re not my teacher. You’re not my mentor. You’re just my boss.

Oh fine. I suppose you are all those other things too. Well obviously you’re not my ACTUAL father, but if I calculated the amount of time spent with each of you and the amount of life lessons learnt during that time you’d win by a huge margin. Again. I hate the way you win all the time.

Hey, now there’s a thought. What if I started calling you “Dad”? I bet that would be hilarious the first time. You’d be wondering if it was just a slip, and then you’d start freaking out about what this meant and whether I was serious or not and...

And then you’d probably ground me or something. Damn. No, too risky. Okay, you get off this time. Bastard.

What the hell did I do to deserve YOU for this? Well, besides the obvious. Alright, alright, yes, it’s my own fault, I should have looked before I leaped, should have thought, should have done something, ANYTHING differently, should have not been such an arrogant little shit as to think I could defy the Gods and everyone and do the impossible and move the heavens and earth with my will. I’m sorry. I promise never, EVER to do it again. But sorry doesn’t fix things, no matter what other stupid adults tell me.

Do NOT make a comment about my height.

I TOLD YOU NOT TO MAKE A COMMENT ABOUT MY HEIGHT!!!

YES I LOST MY TEMPER AGAIN! YOU CALLED ME SHORT!!! WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU EXPECTING?!!!

Aarrrgghhh!!! You are the world’s most infuriating man, you know that? I have never met anyone who can piss me off as well as you do. Another thing you do better than anyone. Like you even needed another one, Colonel Perfect. Okay, okay, FINE. I will reign in my temper. I don’t need Al to hold me back. I can behave. See? I’m mature! I’m an adult. I’m a State Alchemist and a dog of the military and all sorts of other unpleasant things so just shut up and get in a dig at my expense.

Ouch. That one really hurt. Jerk. Fine, I deserved it. I’m sorry, again. Yes, I got your point. No, I won’t do it again. Can we get back on track now? Yes? No? For the love of... I don’t WANT to follow your twisted thinking! I don’t! Stop trying to make me!

I am going to deliberately misunderstand the very next statement that comes out of your mouth.

Sucker.

Don’t look at me like that. DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! I am not a child! Well, yes I am a child, technically, but that still doesn’t...

You don't get to be disappointed with me. You don’t. You’re not allowed. And I shouldn’t have to feel like I let you down. I don’t owe you anything! You’re nothing to me! We have a deal, that’s all, and you have a hold on me but you need me and I’m just a tool and that’s all I should be and I shouldn’t have to feel like the world’s just dropped out from underneath me just because I made you think that I was still too naïve to truly understand and I do but I don’t want to. I don’t want to. It hurts.

And I hurt you too. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. I was just... just... Why are you letting me hurt you? I shouldn’t have that kind of power over you! You shouldn’t have it over me! Please don’t be angry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Sorry doesn’t fix anything. I know that. But I don’t want to know all the answers sometimes, because it hurts. And I don’t want to see things the same way you do, because that hurts too. It’s too much pain. I don’t know how you bear it. I have enough pain of my own, I don’t want to shoulder more. But watching you lift it all for me... it’s too much. It’s too heavy for you. It’s too heavy for anyone.

I don’t want to see this, I don’t want to know this. But I can’t hide from it much longer. I can’t hide from you much longer. The battle between us is still raging, and I could keep the fight going for months. But would it be worth it? We both know how it will end. There are worse things in this world than you. I know that better than anyone. Can I justify continuing to expend my resources against an opponent who isn’t really my enemy, just out of childish spite?

And in just asking the question, I’ve answered it. I'm thinking like you now. You’ve won, Colonel. You won weeks ago, I just wouldn’t acknowledge it. But too much is happening now. I can’t keep fighting you and everyone else at the same time. So you win again, like always. It’s time to stop being a bad loser.

“Fullmetal? Do you understand your orders?”

“Yes.”

“Then was there anything else?”

“Yes. Do you ever get tired of winning?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Winning. Do you ever get tired of it?”


Yes, look me in the eyes. I’m serious. I mean it, I want to know. There’s a white flag waving in my head. I surrender. You win. It won’t make either of us happy right now, but it has to change.

I’m so tired of fighting all the time. I would like to try peace.

“Victory doesn’t always taste like ashes, Fullmetal. Nor is it always sweet. It varies, depending on the circumstances and the behaviour of the combatants afterwards."

I'm curious now, but I can't quite keep all the sarcasm out of my voice.

"So how does this one taste?"

I wonder if I'll get an answer. You seem to be thinking about it, and your smirk has gone.

"Like hot steel."

And I guess I can live with that.

"Thank you, Mustang-taisa."

“No problem. And Fullmetal?”

“Yes?”

“Good luck on your mission.”

“Thank you, sir.”


Thank you.



A/N: And Roy & Ed mentor/protégé + father/son relationship beats in my head again. I so hate to admit this, but the “I am going to deliberately misunderstand the very next statement that comes out of your mouth” is something I’m still prone to doing in arguments when I'm feeling obnoxious and want to piss someone off. Bad me.



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