Word count: 1128
Summary: The Fuhrer's supposedly loyal subordinates are plotting against him. Again.
Notes: Written for fmagiftexchange's Yule 2011 round. About four years post-manga. Fuhrer Roy. Obviously, slight ending AU due to pairings and such.
The highly suspicious timing of the thing clued Roy in immediately: he likely had a conspiracy on his hands.
The Executive Council meeting had finished on time for once, on the dot. When the chair had called "Any other business?", there had actually been a resounding silence.
In his private office, Roy ditched the hat and long dress uniform jacket, both of which he was growing to dislike intensely. He opened up the window wider, put his boots up on the desk, and rolled up his shirtsleeves. For a moment, he felt himself drift. These bouts of exhaustion were getting more frequent and more irritating. Well, at least the meeting had finished early. A nap was appealing, but in truth a terrible idea. He'd only be half-awake and cranky at his four o'clock meeting. Perhaps a cup of coffee and the papers for ten minutes, though?
Clara's usual perfunctory knock sounded on his office door, then she strode in. "Your four o'clock's been rescheduled to Tuesday, sir."
"Passive voice," said Roy without opening his eyes. "If it's been rescheduled, who rescheduled it?"
"The Ambassador of Adwe has a head cold," she said smoothly.
Roy cracked open his eyes and swung his feet off the desk. "In August?"
"Apparently," Clara said.
Clara was a frighteningly clever, crop-haired twenty-four year old, recently appointed as his personal aide. Riza had hand-picked her, and it showed, not least in her implacable poker-face.
Roy crooked an eyebrow at her. "That seems very unlike -"
In the outer office, the telephone rang.
"Excuse me," said Clara, leaving Roy's half-sentence just hanging there. She hurried out, and a few moments later, Roy's own telephone rang. "Edward is on the phone," she said, and transferred the call before he could ask her.
"Hello?" said Roy. This was starting to smell like shenanigans, although what kind of conspiracy might a person's trusted friends, colleagues and lover collude in?
"Hey there, you," said Ed. "I'm dropping by the office in ten minutes."
"How interesting," said Roy. "The meeting I have in fifteen minutes was just inexplicably cancelled."
"Well," said Ed, "correlation doesn't imply causation. It's probably a meaningless happenstance coincidence, human cognition tends to erroneously perceive patterns in random sets of data, I wouldn't read anything into it."
"You're a shit liar, Ed."
"See you in ten!" said Ed, too quickly, and hung up.
Five minutes later, Ed walked into his office without knocking, and handed him a sealed letter. "Read it in the car," he said.
"What car?" asked Roy flatly, beginning to guess.
"My car," said Ed, with that gleeful tone that always crept into his voice when this subject came up.
When Roy recognised Riza's handwriting on the envelope, he knew he was sunk. He let himself be steered out of the office.
Clara saluted him on the way out. "Have a good time, sir." He raised an eyebrow at her.
Riza's note was brief.
Your continued determination to work yourself into the ground has forced us to take action. You need to take a break before the next round of Eastern trade negotiations, and that's that. We've arranged everything: security arrangements are fully in place, I'll take care of the country in your absence. Have a nice time!
By the time he'd read it, Ed had already walked him outside and round to the passenger door. Roy briefly considered a last ditch rebellion - could he at least take some papers with him? But no, if things had been taken to this pass, of course he couldn't.
Ed reached over and put a hand to the back of Roy's neck. "Look," he said, "when Riza Hawkeye tells you to stop working and get slacking, what does that tell you, huh?" He gave Roy that funny, owlishly wise look he did sometimes: chin down, peering over a pair of imaginary glasses. Roy wondered where he'd got the habit.
Roy folded his arms. "So what is this, a coup?"
"This is an intervention. You know how tough these last few months have been on you. You're not sleeping, you're not concentrating right, you're exhausted. The next bunch of trade negotiations are gonna be a bastard, you know you'll need your energy. And you've refused to take a break, like, three times. So."
"So, you all went behind my back? How many people are in on this?"
Ed shrugged. "Most people?" Roy had thought he saw a guilty look on Havoc's face towards the end of that Executive Council meeting.
"So, how long are you kidnapping me for?"
"Just a weekend," said Ed. "Little house, middle of nowhere, and we fixed up the security so discreet you won't even know they're there. There's food and coffee and a lake and you don't have to do anything for a couple of days." His voice was energetic, a bit too fast. He must have put a lot into getting this organised. And - to take things to this extreme, how worried must they have been?
Roy looked at Ed, one hand to the wheel, steering confidently as the suburbs of Central started to zip by the car windows. He slid a hand to Ed's knee and squeezed it. "This is a sad state of affairs," he said. "A carefully-planned mutiny from my most trusted subordinates, abduction, my own vice-president making a bid for power."
"Pretty much," said Ed cheerfully. A few moments later, he flicked his eyes over to Roy's. "Is that it? Really?"
"I figured you'd fight it a lot more. Why didn't you just say yes the last time I asked you to come away?"
Roy shrugged. He wasn't even sure of the answer himself. He leaned his head back onto his seat's headrest and exhaled harshly. "I suppose I am exhausted," he said. The thought of dropping everything for a weekend was slightly terrifying; but already, it was also starting to feel exhilarating.
The suburbs were vanishing behind them; they were in the green of the country now.
Roy stretched his arm out, wrapped it around Ed's shoulder. He fingered the ridges of his automail brace, then shifted his hand to stroke the back of Ed's neck. Roy caught Ed's eye, smiled and shook his head. Ed grinned back at him, jiggled his eyebrows.
"I warn you, I'm pretty wired, though," Roy said. "I'll try not to be too much of a nightmare."
"Don't worry," said Ed, voice dropping low, "I'm going to make really sure you relax." His left hand reached out and squeezed Roy's thigh; briefly, but with some intent.
Roy caught Ed's accompanying look. He exhaled, watched the winding road ahead of them. He felt lucky. And a bit nervous. But mostly very, very lucky.