A Small Love
By : DC
Disclaimer : Not mine. Even the plot because I shamefully based it on a manga (I'll post it at the end so points for those who can guess what it is).
Summary : "No! I promised I'll take care of you and give you your happy ever after!" said the blond kid. Who was half his size and looked like half his age. Roy can only stare in mute horror and wondered how he will get out of this. Roy x Ed.
Rating : Just cursing.
It was officially the worst day of his life.
The day started out sunny like all great days were supposed to be, which was why Roy chose that day to confess to his best friend.
"I like you."
He had expected, and had even braced himself, for a rejection and was only praying that he wouldn't see that look of disgust that could only mean the end of their friendship. To his surprise and relief, he was only met with silence and a hesitant smile.
"Roy…" A light touch to his shoulder, warm and friendly, "I like you too. A lot." His heart immediately soared at the words but as he looked at his friend's face, he understood. It was gentle, very gentle, but still a rejection with different words.
He looked away, trying to ignore that sudden pain in his chest because, hadn't he already expected this? And with this gentle heartbreak, at least he can move on. He turned back to his friend and tried to smile, "Yeah, I know. Thanks Maes." Breathing in, he continued, "Gracia told me that she'll be waiting for you at the cafeteria after her class by the way." The delightful widening of eyes behind glasses before it turned back to concern made Roy smile genuinely despite the tightness of his throat, "Go on, shoo. I'll see you by the school gates later as usual."
Knowing that staying would only make it harder for Roy and with the reassurance that they'll meet again later, Maes smiled warmly and gave him a hug before leaving to meet the girl of his dreams, leaving Roy by himself beneath the shade of the large tree.
He watched his friend's retreating back until it disappeared inside the high school building. Now, alone by himself, it became harder to ignore the ache in his chest. Despite everything that he told and prepared himself, it still hurt. It hurt to love someone who doesn't love you the same way, and it hurts even more because he couldn't even hate the person doing this to him.
He tilted his head up and blinked his eyes furiously, trying to keep the tears in. It was not like him to be emotional. And he already knew how it would end, didn't he? Which is why he chose this perfect day and perfect spot to confess to the person he loved. So that when his heart gets broken, at least the weather wouldn't add to his depression.
So why was it still hurting so much?
The small whisper at the back of his mind which he tried to ignore up to now returned in full force. Because the truth was…
He pressed his fingers across his closed eyes to stop the tears from spilling down to his cheeks. The feeling of cool fingers against his eyes alleviated the swelling a bit, but some tears still leaked out at the edges. And in the darkness with only his mind for company, the whisper became louder, speaking the words that he would never admit out loud.
That perhaps a small part of him had been hoping. Hoping that Maes would somehow say yes despite the fact that he was straight and head over heels in love with Gracia. Hoping that Maes would love him enough to at least try to be with him, selfish though it would be for Roy.
Or perhaps... he was just hoping... wanting...
But only the silent breeze heard his wish.
He opened his eyes and looked up at the sun dappled leaves of the tree that rose above him, letting it soothe him with the sound of gentle wind rustling through the branches. He watched as the branches swayed back and forth and would've continued watching...
...if not for the wide golden eyes amidst the different shades of green.
Quietly staring back at him.
Letting out a startled shout, he stepped back in panic and almost lost his balance on the uneven ground while the golden eyes gave a squeak along with the sound of snapping branches. Before he can register what was happening, a heavy weight crashed on top of him, painfully dragging him to the ground and knocking his breath away.
He gazed up at the sky, disoriented for a while before the pain at his back and various body parts made him groan and curse. Slowly, he sat up and registered the small blond kid that was lying across his lap, groaning as well before glaring up at him with those fiery golden eyes like everything was his fault.
"What the… fu- heck?" he bit out, changing his colorful language to a more appropriately rated one. The kid got off him, almost kicking him there in the process, the brat, and he heard a soft mutter of "stupid bastard" before slowly walking away from him as if he hadn't been hiding in the tree where Roy just confessed his heart out. To another boy. And getting his heart broken.
He looked at the brat incredulously before angrily getting up as well and running after the boy. "Hey you midget brat!" he started but stopped mid-way when the kid gave him such an evil glare worthy of a trademark. Visibly bristling like a cat stoked the wrong way, the kid launched into a lengthy rant about how he wasn't a midget and he wasn't hiding and that it wasn't his choice a stupid bastard chose that place to get a boyfriend and in the first place, he was there first, before going off with an angry huff towards the elementary school at the other side of the street.
He stared blankly at the kid. Well, that was unexpected. He didn't even say anything that merited the kid's reply, except perhaps the midget part. And shit, they had the same alma mater. It would only be a matter of time before news about a big bad and gay older kid was bullying a little kid. He'll surely be killed then, if the pain in his heart won't kill him off first.
He sighed and started to go back to the high school buildings to wallow in self misery and perhaps go hang himself in the process (Yes, he was being melodramatic but cut him some slack okay?) when he saw a pink car driving down the road. It wasn't anything special, just a standard auto that wasn't even moving that fast, considering it is a school zone, but for some reason, he couldn't seem to take his eyes off it. Wondering if it was because of the sheer pinkness of it (It was a neon pink! Seriously!) he idly watched the car as it turned towards the road leading to the elementary school.
Where the kid earlier was about to cross the street.
In front of a parked truck.
Perfectly hiding himself from view of the moving car.
And the stupid brat isn't even looking anywhere but on the ground.
Feeling a slight worry that was not turning into panic as his overactive imagination eagerly supplied images of accidents that usually show in dramas, he quickly started towards the kid, hoping that the moving car would see him or that the kid would look up. "Hey kid, stop!" he shouted, but the kid either didn't hear him or was choosing to ignore him (the brat).
Whatever the case was, he needed to run. Fast. Because the car wasn't slowing down and the kid was still ignoring him and he can already see the disaster that will unfold right in front of his eyes. Just great, Roy thought, breathless as he pumped his burning legs to get to the kid faster, the downhill slope and the panic building inside him giving him the sudden burst of speed to lunge towards the startled kid and braced himself for the impact.
A squeal of tires and the smell of burning rubber later, Roy was, for the second time of that day, looking up at the sky, disoriented once again and in pain. Lots of pain. Nothing like having a kid fall off a tree and land on top of you, but the shortness of breath certainly felt the same. He wonders if it's because the kid's on top of him again or if it's because blood was filling into his lungs when loud panicked sounds and the feeling of small hands tugging on his uniform brought his mind out from the clouds and his morbid imagination.
Oh look, the kid was on top of him. Good.
And he is crying. Shit.
Feeling bad for making the kid cry, he lifted his hand to reassure the kid when a burning sensation pulled at his side and made him groan in pain. Which made the kid cry even harder.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Please don't die mister!"
Kids. They always exaggerate, right? Coz he certainly didn't feel like dying, immediately ignoring the blood-filling-into-lungs thought he had earlier. He just can't catch his breath because of that damn pain at his side.
"I promise! I'll apologize for calling you a bastard and for falling on top of you and… and… for listening in on you being dumped…"
Fuck, now the kid was airing out his dirty laundry for the world to know. He really better get his breath back and stop the kid before he says anything more. Good thing the driver of the car was busy talking on the phone. Perhaps to call 911.
"Please, please be okay! If you do, I... I'll make sure your wish comes true! Just please...!"
God, the kid was becoming hysterical. And the driver had just hanged up and was approaching them and he'd be able to hear all the incriminating things the kid is blabbing out. So despite the unbelievable pain, he raised his hand and gave a gentle pat on the kid's head to calm him down and painfully gasped out two words.
And promptly passed out right after.
The first thing he registered was white. White paint.
That looks reassuring. Because if he's seeing white paint, then he's most likely in a hospital. And not dead.
Thank god, it seemed that the kid really was exaggerating.
He rolled his head towards the side and felt his heart warm and break at the same time. "Hey," he said quietly, startling his best friend from the book he was reading. He watched fondly as Maes' face smiled in relief, committing them to memory because it won't be long now when they won't have these precious moments with only the two of them together.
"How're you doing?" Maes asked, moving closer and reaching out to brush the bangs away from his eyes. "We missed you at PE."
He almost leaned towards the touch but prevented himself and gave a smile instead. "Well, let's say I would've aced track and field for today."
He heard his friend chuckle and his heart soared even as it ached. Despite everything, he still loved his best friend and he wanted nothing more than to stay there beside him. And he wonders how he will get used to not having that anymore.
"Well, that you did, and you even got yourself a fan." His friend replied, still grinning as he gestured to the other side of Roy's bed, making him turn his head.
It was the kid. Sitting there, awkwardly glancing at them as he fidgeted with his fingers.
They weren't as alone as he first thought.
Well, he thought as he saw the kid look up at him and quickly look back down, that's a surprise. He never expected that the loud kid he met can be so meek and timid. And quiet. Which doesn't seem like him.
"Hey kid, you okay?" he found himself saying, and the kid just nodded and continued to twiddle his fingers together, not looking up. Which irritated him, for some reason.
That did the trick.
He watched amusedly as the kid bristled and gave him that fiery glare he remembered. He can already see him inhaling the oxygen he needs in that little body of his to launch into the same lengthy rant as before until he was red in the face, and the thought of that made him laugh out loud.
Which then made him remember why he was in the hospital in the first place.
Groaning at the pain that suddenly attacked his midsection, he felt Maes gently straighten him back in the bed, telling him just now, thank you very much best friend, that he had broken three of his ribs. Great. And the kid looked like he was trying not to cry.
Feeling that he'd rather break another rib than make the kid cry once again, he gestured towards the kid to come near. The kid glanced at Maes, whose hand was on Roy's midsection to prevent him from moving his ribs, and back at him. And shook his head.
He sighed. Wow, so the kid can be shy as well. He looked at Maes and raised his eyebrows which Maes replied with a chuckle. Having grown in an orphanage and being the oldest one there, Roy had always been the one whom the smallest of the kids went to for comfort so he knows how to handle them. And his friend knew this all too well.
Not that he had a weakness to kids, sad and crying kids especially. No.
"Well, I think I better be going now." Maes said out loud like an actor in a play as he stood up and gathered his books. "I'll come back tomorrow to give you my mom's super delicious and healthy get-well-soon soup that you'll totally adore with a side of brownies and fudge cakes lovingly baked by precious old me."
He rolled his eyes at this but can't help the smile that was tugging at his lips. "Yeah, well, don't forget to take down notes during the lectures. I don't want to miss anything about class more than I have to."
"Oh the horror!" His friend continued to dramatically sway and swoon around the room which Roy can't help but smile fondly at. "My loving preparations to be ignored in favor of school! I cannot continue to take this injury any longer! Adieu, mon ami." And with a wink and flying kiss, he was gone.
He looked at the kid, who was looking at him with a sad expression on his face. Sighing, he gestured to the kid once again to come near him, which he now did. "Hey," he started, nudging the kid gently. "I'm perfectly okay now, so don't be sad."
"But you're not." The kid mumbled, still not looking at his face.
He thought for a while and tried a different tactic. "Well, if you hold my ribs steady, it will make the pain go away. Would you like to help?"
Having something to do (even if the action doesn't really do anything, but the kid didn't know that) always makes the kids back in the orphanage feel better. And he was not disappointed. The sad look on the kid's face was replaced with determination. "Okay." The kid said as he slowly placed his small hands on top of the bandages at Roy's side. "Like this?"
He nodded and smiled. "Yup."
The kid continued look at him earnestly and continued, "This makes the pain go away? So as long as I keep my hands here, you won't feel any pain?"
He blinked. The kid is not actually planning on staying like this forever, is he? "Um… yeah… but you don't need to hold it all the time. Once is enough." The kid nodded and said, to his horror. "Okay. I'll do this once a day then. I'll make sure to take good care of you!"
Not once a day! His mind screeched and made a mental face-palming. "I-I mean, once ever is enough." he started to correct, but the kid was already shaking his head.
"No, I'll do this until you're well. This is my fault so it's my responsibility to take care of you until you're fully well."
"We-ell…" He tried to think of another tactic to discourage the kid from coming back. Hospitals aren't really a place for kids and his parents would surely be worried. "It's okay, you don't have to take care of me. I'm already a big boy you know." He smiled at the kid, hoping it will convince him.
It didn't. Instead, the kid got a stubborn look in his face that spelled doom for him. "No! I promised to make your wish come true! And since I'll be your special someone and give you your happy ever after, I have to take care of you."
He stared at the kid incredulously. "What are you talking…?" And he suddenly remembered.
Or perhaps... he was just hoping... wanting...
"Is it too much to wish for a special someone who I can live with happily ever after?" Roy had whispered to the wind.
But only the silent breeze heard his wish.
And he had whispered it out loud. Fuck. He looked at the kid earnestly. "Kid, listen to me. I appreciate that you want to take care of me but I can take care of myself. I don't need you to take care of me and I certainly don't need you to make my wish come true. Okay? So just go home and rest. Your parents must be pretty worried about you." Now that will make things crystal clear and the kid wouldn't have an excuse not to leave. Except...
With trepidation and horror, he saw the kid's eyes slowly water and lower lips tremble. "B-but… I...I promised..."
Attacked by that innocent face and small, wavering voice, he tried to be strong and firm because there is no way he's going to back down on this. But when the tears started falling, he felt his defenses crumble one by one until there was nothing he can do but close his eyes in defeat. "Okay, okay." he sighed helplessly, "You can come back here. But! I have conditions."
The kid sniffed and wiped the tears from his face (thank god!). Nodding eagerly, he scrambled nearer to listen.
"First," he started, mentally ticking off the important things. "you can only come here after school. And leave before six in the evening. And if your parents ever say that you can't come, you can't. You also can't come if you're sick or if you have any unfinished assignments or big tests for the next day." Okay. That should cover most of the basics.
"But-but…" the kid started to argue but he gave him a stern look. "If I learn that you got sick after your visit here, or if you failed a test or submit a homework, I'll tell the nurse not to let you come in again." Hoping that the kid was stupid and was having a hard time in school so that he'd have a reason to stop the kid from coming back...
...but the kid seemed ready enough to accept the challenge. Well, thinking of anything else he would need to add to make sure his babysitting days would be as pain-in-the-ass-less as possible, he added, "And finally, you promise to follow whatever I tell you."
The kid nodded. "Then I'll be your special someone? I'll make sure to give you your happy ever after!" the kid said confidently and he felt like banging his head on a wall for saving a kid who had a perfect memory with a one-track mind like an ox. But there's no way he's going to be a pedophile. Oh no. Not even in the threat of having the kid cry again. "Not until you're much older." he said sternly.
The kid pouted. "How much older?"
He smirked. "18. So that's going to be looong time from now." And surely by then, the kid would have already given up on the idea.
The kid shrugged. "It's okay."
Remembering the kid's stubbornness, he quickly added in, "AND taller than me." With the kid's current height, it doesn't look like he'll grow to be very tall, moreso, taller than him. "That's only when you might have a chance to be my special someone. And this is a secret okay? You should never tell this to anyone until then." He'll never live it down if word of this ever leaks out.
"My father is really tall you know!" the kid pointed out, dashing his second hope. "And my mom said that I'll start growing in a few years!"
Oh well. Genes can skip some generations. And it's still years until the kid reaches 18. Surely by then, the kid would have forgotten all about this. "Yeah yeah, for now, you're still a midget, so I'll still call you kid, or brat, depending on how bratty you are at the moment." The kid growled and he hid a smile. In any case, he almost forgot the most important thing.
"By the way, I'm Roy Mustang. What's your name?"
The kid looked up and smiled at him, and he found that the kid had a nice smile. "I'm Edward Elric."
Hope you liked it!
Author's Note: This is based on Mishima Kazuhiko's Puchi Puri. I changed the situation, dialogue and events, but the inspiration was from that manga.