Pairing: Roy x Hughes (and of course implied Maes x Gracia)
Rating: PG for a little language and implied violence.
Spoilers: Set after the end of the TV series (avoiding the movie), around 1920 or so. (around 35 years old)
Disclamers: The characters are obviously not copyright me.
Read all five parts of the story arc HERE!
The clock ticked off another minute, one of the thousands that had gone by since Maes Hughes had died.
Another Christmas had come, another year that his lover was not here.
It had been.. what... 5 years now? He thought that time would make the wounds heal, make the pain go away. But it only seemed to be getting worse. The achng hole in his heart grew with each birthday that passed, with each Christmas and Valentine's Day that he wasnt able to share with his lover.
As he did every year, on the day before Christmas, he visited Gracia and Elysia. Small wrinkles were starting to seep into Gracia's face. A few stray gray hairs were sneaking in as well. He wasnt sure if that was age, or stress. Elysia was getting nice and tall, like her dad. She was taller than all the other 8 year olds in her class. She had his eyes, but mostly she was all her mother, which may have made it easier for Gracia to look at her every day. He was glad for that, it would have been torture for the poor woman to have to look at Maes every day for the rest of her life.
The meeting that day had been a rather awkward affair. He had always guessed that she had known about himself and Maes. But in the years after his death, they had met many times, yet talked very little. And they had never brought up the relationship that the two men had, whether it be it friendship or otherwise. Today has been no different. Elysia was busy over at a friend's house for a while, and Gracia had poured an elegant tea with some little cakes for them to munch on. Not a single cake left the tray. Neither of them were hungry much around this time of year. They were empty with something that nothing physical could ever fill.
After the tea was over, Gracia got up and put some logs in the fireplace. She looked rather awkwardly at her visitor, slightly annoyed that she had to ask for help, and slightly embarassed for the same reason. "Could you...um, give me a hand, please?" she asked him.
"Oh, okay. I am sorry. I was just.... thinking." He snapped out of his daze, not really having heard the question, but when he saw her kneeling down by the fireplace, he realized what she wanted. He got up from the chair with a groan. He tried to forget how the cold affects his numerous old injuries, but they dont let him forget for long. Joints creaked and popped as he kneeled down beside her and raised his hand. *SNAP*! a burst of fire exploded from the ignition cloth and lept down into the dry tinder, setting it aflame and causing Gracia to reel back at the sudden heat.
He looked at her, a sad look to his almond shaped eyes. "I am sorry. I didnt mean to scare you. It is just.. well... I dont use my flame much any more. It is hard to control it if you dont constantly practice. I apologize." He stood up, then bowed down to the woman who was still kneeling, warming her hands on the
now crackling fire. "I think I better get going, but I appreciate your company, and your tea." He bowed again. Gracia started to get up, and he gently layed a gloved hand on her shoulder. "It is okay, Gracia. I know the way out." He forced a warm smile to his face, and she reciprocated. He turned around and walked to the door.
He hesitated, just for a moment there, and looked back at Gracia. He had never really noticed how pretty she actually was. It seemed like he had always seen her as a rival. He didnt hate her, but he was very jealous of her because she was the one who had ended up with Maes and not him. Of course he knew that even if for some odd reason he had been the one to end up with Maes, no one would have been able to know anyway. Men who liked other men could be ostracised at best, and at at worst..
He just shuddered, not wanting to finsish that thought.
It wasnt a long walk back to his house, though the howling wind and blowing cold made it an even more miserable trip than it would have been otherwise. He was very glad when he finally saw his little brick abode come into view, and he quickened his steps to get back to the warmth, and emptiness of his house.
That last thought made him slow his steps once again.
His fingers, frozen even inside his gloves, fumbled with the key. He finally got it open and quickly shut out the cold behind him. But it wasnt a warm house to come into. He hadnt bothered to put up any sort of Christmas decorations, save a very small tree he downed from his spacious backyard, which had only a couple of sparse decorations on it, and two stockings hung on his fireplace.
A long sigh escaped his lips as he looked at the two stockings. He really didnt know why he bothered to put them up every year. Something just.. complelled him to do it, like Maes would wave wanted him to or something ridiculous like that. He kneeled down at the fireplace, with the already well charred logs inside, and once again snapped his fingers. it came a little easier this time, he could control it a bit better, and it made the leap this time right to the wood, where it started to crackle and groan with the heat right away.
He stood back up, not even bothering to take off his snow-laden coat and boots, and went to his liquor cabinet. It was looking a bit empty, and he figured that was rather approprate with the way he was feeling right now. The holiday season always put a major dent in his liqor supply, and it usually took him half of the next year to stock it back up again. But right now he didnt really care. he grabbed an old dusty bottle of scotch. Eagerly he popped off the top and started to pull the strong smelling liquid to his lips when he noticed out of the corner of his eye something that almost made him drop the rather expensive bottle.
The date. It was scotch from 1885.
That was the same year he was born. It was the same year... his lover had been born as well.
Even though Maes was a few months older than him, as well as a few inches taller, he had always been the more serious of the two. He was always one to study harder at the academy, and he was always the one, though he procrastinated as much as he could, to get the job done right the first time, no matter what that job was.
His hand shook, and somehow he just couldnt will himself to move that scotch up to his mouth.. It reminded him of Maes, even though he had hated alcohol and was always pissed off when he had too much to drink. With a shaky hand, he put the stopper back in the bottle and put it back into the cabinet. He grabbed a shot glass and a cheap bottle of whiskey instead, and poured. He poured, and drank, and poured again, hoping the drink would take the pain away. He started to cry as he drank, not for any reason in particular, but for them all. Tears stained his cheeks and ran down his round face, soaking into the alrady snow dampened State blue jacket that he still wore. He bit his lip, still trying to force the pain to go elsewhere. He felt the copper bitterness of his own blood in his mouth and over his tongue, but he didnt care.
He just kept drinking, each shot of liquor taking away more inhibitions, breaking down more walls that he had built up to not care about anyone else ever again, including himself. With each wall that came down he cried more, untill he literally had no more tears to cry. The bottle was empty and he dropped it to the floor with a satisfying clink.
"Merry Christmas, my love." He sniffled, staring into the fire and now fingering a small revolver in his right hand. "I hope I will be with you soon."