Series: Brotherhood/the manga
Word Count: 500
Characters: (Greed!)Ling/Lan Fan
Summary: She meets every single one of his standards; the only problem is that she doesn’t meet theirs.
Warnings: general mild spoilers regarding Ling’s character, some angst, some fluff.
Notes: I have never written Ling before, so please be gentle! ^_^ I haven’t seen all of Brotherhood, nor have I read all of the manga, but I haven’t exactly avoided spoilers. *LOL* After last night’s episode of Brotherhood on Adult Swim, I had to write this. Written for fma_fic_contest. Won second place for prompt 72: Standard.
Because the odds are stacked against him, he is taught at a young age to forget any ambition of becoming the next Emperor—is taught instead how to defend himself, and is taught to appreciate what he can have, instead of whining over what he can’t have.
He is also taught at a young age the qualities that a potential wife should possess: beauty, loyalty, and the ability to bear strong sons.
He quietly asks about love.
He is told that love will come in due time after marriage.
He thinks they’ve got it all backwards.
He hasn’t given up on his goal to become Emperor. He won’t. He has a plan; he’s going to set it in motion.
He is assigned bodyguards, despite his protests. He doesn’t need them; he can take care of himself.
He grows to learn that he does need them, though. He needs Fu to knock some sense into him sometimes, and Lan Fan… well, his reasons for needing her are of a different nature entirely.
Love blossoms just as naturally as the flowers during Spring, and he doesn’t even realize it until she’s lost a limb and is calling herself useless to him, apologizing for no reason.
“You will never be useless to me,” he insists.
It makes her smile through her tears.
Ling needs her like he needs the air, but still gives her the chance to go, to avoid the risk of further injury.
She departs, but returns to him with an automail arm, and tells him that she wishes to stay by his side.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is a glimmer of what-could-be before reality settles in: he cannot have her. She is not a woman that his family or his people would approve of. She is below their standards; she is his bodyguard, his servant. He is a prince.
“We can’t,” he whispers against her hair, fiercely wishing that, for once, things could be different.
“He wants you.” It is Greed that whispers it, against the shell of her ear, his grip light around her waist.
She averts her eyes. “The young master knows that he may have me.”
Greed thinks he’s a coward.
At the end of it all, after immeasurable sacrifice and sadness, the throne is his.
He’s realized that there are more important things to consider.
“I want to be with you, if you’ll have me,” he tells her, in broad daylight; the disapproving stares and surprised gasps do not bother him.
Her gaze lowers. “My lord, I am but a common--”
He silences her with his lips against hers. “There is absolutely nothing common about you.”
His only real standard for marriage is love, and she’s given him that for years. Beauty and loyalty are secondary.
And who knows? She might bear him strong sons as well, though if she doesn’t, he will not love her (or the children) any less.
Regardless, they have plenty of time to practice.