Hello everyone. I have been reading a ridiculous amount of Parental! RoyxEd and this idea popped into my head. After all, if I come up with so much angst, I'd better use a little of it!

I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist

It was cold and raining, fitting enough and the streets were relatively lonely. However, that's just what the young man needed. He shivered, though not just from the cold, damp air. He slightly regretted leaving his coat behind, but he didn't want to be recognized. He didn't want anyone to see him like this. His eyes scanned the street, making sure that he didn't get lost again. The funny thing was that he had the way memorized, but he kept missing the turns-or dodging them depending on your perspective-to arrive at his location. He absentmindedly put his hand on the package he was to deliver. He desperately wanted to rid himself of it. However, he was afraid of seeing them. If he saw their faces, any bit of control he had would be gone. Not like it wasn't on a thread anyway…

Realizing he had almost missed the turn, he dragged himself into the alley way and onto his destination. He looked up at the house. It used to be a source of joy to him. Times had changed. Things had happened. Things he was to blame for. Things he was stupid enough to let happen.

He bit his lip, willing the tears away for the nth time that morning. He couldn't think about that. Not at that moment. He forced himself to walk up the stairs up to the door. He tried to open the door, but it was locked. He swore silently. The package couldn't get wet, but he didn't want to see the recipients either…

Deciding the best course of action was to knock on the door, he placed the package down softly below the door. He glanced over to see the package for the last time.

To: Gracia Hughes

From: Edward Elric

Then, fearing the worst, he rapped on the door and sprinted away, jumping almost comically into the bush. Part of him wanted to make sure she even got it. The door opened revealing little Elysia Hughes who proceeded to look around.

"Daddy? Daddy? Where are you? Stop playing hide and seek!"

At that, Edward bit his lip so hard it drew blood. Elysia looked down, to see the small white envelope and pick it up with all the curiosity of a three year old.

"Mommy! I found a letter!" She picked up and waved it in the air.

Gracia walked out to see Elysia's display. "That's nice dear. Where was it?" She was slightly worried it had been 'found' in the neighbour's mailbox.

"On the welcome mat!" Elysia smiled and held it up for her mother to read.

Gracia accepted the letter and opened it. Edward stifled a nervous gasp. He thought she would at least read it inside. Still, his eyes remained focused on Gracia, as his sins were laid bare to her. When she furrowed her eyes, he couldn't take it no longer as his self loathing mind made it clear that she was angry at him. He ran out of the bush-no longer being able to witness the event. As he ran down the street, he was almost hit twice, but he didn't care. He had to get away. He had to run…but how do you run away from yourself? Ed eventually ran out of breath and collapsed outside of an abandoned house. Crawling inside, he pushed open the door and fell onto the floor. At this, he burst into tears, being unable to keep it inside for any longer.

Gracia hadn't been mad at all, however. In fact, she had been worried. She scanned the letter again.

Dear Gracia,

I want to apologize to you about your husband's death. I know you probably don't want to hear it, but I need to say it. I killed your husband. I know I didn't fire the gun, but he died because of me. Because I was an idiot. Your husband got involved with the case of Laboratory 5-something he wouldn't have done if I hadn't run in without thinking. I know this isn't enough and you'd be right to hate me, but I am so sorry.

Edward E.

Gracia frowned deeply. She needed to talk to Ed-to thank him and then say she wasn't mad and he wasn't at fault, but she couldn't leave Elysia alone. She really hated being a single parent for all the reasons one could. Maybe he was on the property still-the letter's casing wasn't very wet.

"Look Mommy! Footprints!" She pointed to a muddy trail leading out from her blueberry bush. "We have a blueberry thief! Let's catch the thief!" Elysia declared, and Gracia smiled, already visualizing what would happen. Maes would have a huge smile on his face and pretend to go on a case to hunt the 'thief' with her.

However, Gracia wasn't Maes and she knew who it led to.

"I think we should call a professional in for this one." Not like blueberries were overly important, but Ed was.

She led Elysia inside and dialled the number to Roy's office.

Roy was practically buried behind a mountain of paperwork. He sighed. You think there would be more 'action' than 'paper' involved in catching a serial killer. Not to mention all the financial records trying to repay the damage the Elric brothers-check that, Ed-did. It was a relief when the phone rang, but despite it being right beside his desk, he almost missed the call as he was struggling to get around the piles of paper.

"Roy Mustang speaking…Gracia? What's going on? Are you okay…I see…I'll be right over." With that, he hung up. He couldn't help but wonder what Ed had done now.

"Riza, I have some business to attend to. Can you do the paperwork while I'm gone?"

From the look on Riza's face, that wasn't going to happen any time soon. He sighed as he grabbed his jacket and went out the door. Looking outside with a scowl at the rain, he got in his car and drove to the Hughes' residence. When he got there, he saw Elysia run over.

"Uncle Roy! Uncle Roy! We have a blueberry thief! Let's go catch the thief!"

'Uncle' Roy wondered what Elysia was going on about. That was until he saw the muddy footprints leading from their blueberry bush. Gracia gestured for the two to come inside.

"Elysia, Roy and I need to talk about grown up things. Why don't you go play with your dolls?"

Elysia wanted to argue with her mother saying this was also her house and catching a blueberry thief was something she could do just fine with the adults and that her father would have let her join, but seeing the strange glow in her mother's eyes, left it alone. So instead she went upstairs, pulled out her Barbies and fantasized a world where her father and her went out to find the thief-a Ken doll she had written 'bad guy' on the head.

With Elysia out of earshot, Gracia got to business. "I'm worried about Ed. He left me this letter, and I think he ran off."

"What do you mean he 'ran off'?"

Gracia sighed "Just because you and Ed consider him tough as nails, doesn't mean he is. He left this on my door. I think he was hiding in the blueberry bushes, but ran off at some point. He left a trail if that helps."

Roy looked outside to see that the clouds had had their fill and had stopped-for the moment.

"Yeah. That does help. Thank you. May I see the letter?" He wasn't sure if he should ask, but it might give some insight into the situation.

She didn't say a word, but handed the letter to him. He quickly read it-a skill he had developed from all the paperwork he dealt with on a daily basis-and frowned.

"So Ed is trying to blame himself for everything-again." He didn't know how much he did this, but he had sensed a massive amount of self-loathing from the boy after the young chimera died. He had tried to talk to him when it happened, but was shoved away and while Roy had kept his eye open for trouble; he mostly reported it to Hughes, who had been a league away from Roy on the subject of dealing with 'troubled teens'.

Hughes wasn't here now. Now it was his job. He fought the urge to put his hand to his forehead, thanked Gracia for the information and walked out to go find the kid.

While Ed had taken all the back roads and alleys that he could find in the area and even down the main street at one point, he hadn't gone far. He had to admit to being worried about the two tire skid marks on the pavement. Still, he went on his way, following the mud that was still left from the rain. Twice, he almost went the wrong way, but had caught himself before that happened.

That's when he saw the hand prints. It was if the boy had crawled into…he looked at the abandoned house. It was shabby-though that was a rather nice description of it. It looked like it had been deposited by a tornado. He resisted the childish urge to look for the ruby slippers.

He heard a strange sound. It sounded like a shaky sigh. Slowly opening the door praying it wouldn't creak, he saw the boy shaking and in the smallest ball he could make himself. He had found Ed. Taking his jacket off, he put it around the boy and sat down.

"You know, you gave Gracia quite the scare. She was very worried about you. She called me in the middle of working hours for me to find you."

Ed didn't say a word, but Roy continued. "So what was with the stunt with the letter you wrote?"

"I needed to apologize." He heard a weak voice come from the bundle that was Ed.

"For what? That people die? That some idiot murdered…" He fought the words 'my best friend' and continued "Hughes?"

"Yeah. This idiot." He pulled his automail arm out of the bundle and made an exaggerated gesture and used his thumb to point at himself. Roy was glad he read the letter; otherwise this story would have taken a very dark turn.

"Ed, listen to me. Just because you were part of the laboratory case-even the one who started it- doesn't mean you killed him."

"B-but I did!" His voice rose, becoming more hysterical.

"Ed, unless you shot him in that phone booth, you don't have the right to say such a thing."

Ed sprung up at this and started. "YOU'RE WRONG! IT'S MY FAULT HUGHES IS DEAD! IT'S MY FAULT NINA DIED! IT'S MY FAULT AL IS TRAPPED IN THAT DARN BODY! IT'S MY FAULT MOTHER DIED! IT'S MY FAULT FATHER LEFT! IT'S ALL MY FAULT! MINE! MINE! I SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN!" though his voice grew even more hysterical with each word, he quieted down to a whisper. "I should be dead. I shouldn't be alive. I don't deserve to be alive…" He scowled.

With this he ran off. Roy's eyes widened and he sped off in pursuit. "ED!"

Thankfully, Ed tripped on…something…and didn't bother to get up and just shook, muffled whimpering sounds emerging from the boy. Roy slowly lowered himself to the floor.

"Ed?"

He got no response. So, copying what Hughes had done with Elysia-and even him once or twice-he picked up Ed and placed him into his lap with his head facing his chest. He held him tight, and decided to speak his mind in the gentlest voice he could muster-it wasn't the most gentle, but it was the best he could do. "No, you are wrong. Your father didn't leave because of you-besides don't blame yourself for what every scumbag does, even the ones related to you. You can't control life and death," he smiled for a second comfortingly "unless you have some power I don't know about yet, so how could your mother die because of you? It wasn't like you dragged your brother into it. He wanted to do it too, and while it went badly, you didn't understand what could happen," he heard a soft sob at this, and Roy started rubbing the boy's back "so it's not your fault. As for Nina, no one saw that coming. Shou Tucker was good at concealing his madness-too good if you ask me, so it's not your fault. Above all else, it is NOT your fault Hughes died. Hughes was a good man, and an even better officer. He would have gotten involved, even if you threatened him not to. Even if Riza did, and let me tell you, that is devotion. He would be horrified if he knew that you blame him for his death. None of this is your fault. Even though you do leave a trail of property damage…" Roy couldn't keep the contempt out of his voice for the last two words "you do so much good for Amestris. Don't ever forget that. Ever. If anyone is at fault for anything, it's me for not being there for you when you obviously needed me to be there."

Edward wanted to tell him that he wasn't at fault, and the colonel was being an idiot for suggesting such a thing, but he broke even more before such a thing could happen.

While Roy expected this would happen, he didn't expect that much. Edward cried-no, he wailed. He clutched on to Roy and might as well have released a world of burdens. All Roy could do was rub his back, but it seemed to do the job. Even Roy felt a small tear go down his cheek. After what felt like an eternity, Ed's wails turned to sobs, and after another eternity, into whimpers and after another, silence. Roy rubbed his back the whole time. Ed had fallen asleep against the colonel. Roy figured that much release would probably conk one out.

As if for the sole purpose to ruin the moment of serenity, his dang phone rang. He grabbed it quick and answered.

"Hello?...oh, Gracia it's you…yeah, I found him…I'm not sure, but I think he's feeling better…(at this point, Ed started to stir)…I'll ask him…"

"Ed? Gracia would like to talk with you."

Groaning slightly, Ed picked up the phone. "Hello Gracia."

Gracia smiled back at her home "Hello Ed. You don't need to blame yourself. Even if you tried to stop my husband, he still would have gotten involved. He was just that type of person. Don't let this eat you up. You are a good person, and Maes was very proud of you-and your brother. In fact, he has an album of pictures of you, Al and Winry. He loved the three of you. Don't forget that."

Back in the abandoned house, Ed smiled and a small tear trailed down his cheek, but it was a happy one. "Thank you. I know now."

Gracia grinned, though she knew he couldn't see it over the phone. "Would you like to come for supper? All four of you? Including Roy, who I'm assuming is with you?"

"Well, Winry is back home, but…" He asked Roy if he was available, to which he agreed. He had a few days to get it all done. "We'll come. I just need to get ready. 5? Sounds good. Bye!"

He hung up the phone and passed it to Roy. "You need a ride home…shorty?"

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT THAT HE COULD RIDE THE BACK OF A MOLECULE!" Yep, balance was restored.

As Ed suspected Al would be, he was delighted that they had been invited, but still fretted like crazy when he saw Ed's puffy eyes. However, with a little explaining-despite how inaccurate the story he told was-Al stopped, though Ed knew he would get it later. Ed washed his face and put on some new clothes. However, he missed an incriminating blue stain on his human arm...

When the brothers reached the door, Ed was in much better spirits. Gracia opened the door with a smile and hugged both of the boys and led them inside. "We have a roast ham on the menu!"

Ed frowned slightly when Gracia turned around, remembering Al couldn't eat, but Al nudged him and whispered. "Don't worry about me. Just enjoy yourself!" Ed smiled back. He looked over to see Roy on the couch, who just waved silently, inviting the two to come into the living room.

Both complied and saw Elysia colouring in her book. She looked up to see the brothers.

"Al! Ed!" She ran up to them and gave a big hug, and moved to sit in Al's lap. She had a huge grin…until she saw it. On Ed's arm, was that a blue stain? Blue stain…blueberry…blueberry bush…blueberry thief…

Elysia's mouth dropped in horror. Ed looked at her quizzically. "What's wrong Elysia?"

"You did it. You're responsible…"

Ed had a strange look on his face. Roy went to make a move to go talk to him, while Al snuck a hand to Ed's shoulder. The tension filled the room.

"You were the blueberry thief!" She stuck her finger out accusingly.

Everyone paused. It was quiet in the room. Until Ed started to laugh.

"Hey! Can't a guy get hungry?" He chuckled

Elysia seemed to take this as a good excuse. "Well, ask next time. Stealing is rude. I'll let you go this time, but next time you're going to jail. Besides, you missed out on some ice cream. That's punishment enough."

At this everyone burst into laughter-much to Elysia's confusion.

"What are they doing? I can't see. I have a cloud in my way." A little girl called up to the man laughing above her. He looked down at her and picked her up.

"Hey! It's bigger big brother and littler big brother! Is that Elysia? You're right! She is my age!" The little girl yelled happily.

"Sure is, sweetheart!"

"When they come up here, we can be a family, Uncle Maes!"

"Yep. Definitely, but I think we have to wait awhile before that happens."

She frowned slightly.

"Cheer up! There's no frowning in heaven. Besides, we'll have an eternity with them!"

"Okay!"

"Guys! Time for our supper!" A woman joined beside them.

"Oh, hello Trisha." Maes smiled.

She smiled back, and the two walked back for supper. Trisha took a look at the scene.

"I am so proud of you two." She smiled and went to go for supper.

The End