Title: Father Christmas
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Type: Holiday fic, gen, slight AU
Warnings: Some Language
Summary: Through the reluctant efforts of one man and his eager ‘elves’, Christmas is brought to Central City and most especially to two young alchemists.
Chapter Listing Here
Roy sat at his desk and watched his subordinates chat among themselves. All they were missing was Fullmetal and his brother, and then they’d be able to begin. He tapped his fingers on his desk impatiently. Didn’t that brat know what it meant to be on time? At that moment the door opened and the two Elric brothers stuck their heads into the room.
“Sorry we’re late,” Ed said, sounding like he actually meant it.
“Yeah, it’s fine,” Roy said irritably. “Come in and find a seat.”
Ed frowned, opened his mouth as if to say something, then seemed to think better of it. He walked in and waved for his brother to join him. When Al entered the room, Roy saw that he was wearing wreath around his head.
“Very nice,” Breda chortled when he saw it.
“Thanks!” Al said happily.
Ed shook his head, muttered something under his breath, then sat down on the couch. Al stayed standing, given that there wasn’t enough room on the couches with everyone else there.
Now everyone in the room turned their attention to Roy. He looked down at the folder before him, then opened it and smoothed the papers with his hand. If only he didn’t have to do this... Reluctantly, he looked up at his staff, cleared his throat, and began.
“I’ve called you all in here because the fuhrer has given me a special assignment.” He paused, tapping his fingers on his desk. “He has decided that all of Central is going to celebrate Christmas.”
There were looks of surprise from that, but Roy continued on. “He’s going to announce to the public, and to all the media, later today that the twenty-fifth will be an official holiday.”
“Does that mean we get the day off?” Havoc interrupted.
“Yes,” Roy said flatly, not pleased at being interrupted.
“Sweet...” Breda whispered with a grin.
“This is going to be huge,” Roy continued. “There’s a lot that needs to be done. Trees, decorations, etcetera, need to be readily available for the general public. Not only that but the people need to be educated on this holiday, and fast. It has to be everywhere. The whole city is going to be decorated.”
“Wow, sounds like a lot of work,” Fuery said.
“Yeah, I pity the poor sap who has to take care of all of that,” Havoc said with a laugh.
“No kidding. I think I’d kill myself. It’s going to be a mad house,” Breda said.
Roy just watched them with a flat stare. If he could get away with burning them all to a crisp, he would have. He glanced at Hawkeye who was not laughing, but who had understood immediately what this was about. Ed also seemed to have understood because he had a horrified look on his face, as if he couldn’t believe this was happening. Roy guessed Al understood too, but without the ability to change his expression, Roy couldn’t read him.
Clearing his throat, Roy said loudly, “Funny you should mention having to take care of this mess...” All eyes were on him now and he raised an eyebrow meaningfully. With that, all grins were gone as the rest of his crew realized what was going on.
“That’s right. I will be in charge of this project. And you, my faithful minions,” Roy added dryly, “will do my bidding or you will feel my wrath...” He stared flatly at Havoc and Breda.
When they simply looked at them, he glanced down at the documents he’d prepared. Contracts with several plant nurseries to order in loads of ‘holiday’ plants. There was Clinton and Sons, the largest logging company in Amestris, who would get a contract to bring in truck loads of trees and set up tree lots. He had several stores to talk to, contractors with the city who own empty lots to store trees and other materials. Not only that, but he needed to meet with a contractor who he hoped would take on the task of making Fuery’s lights. Once he got that set up, he’d have Fuery be over that...
He looked up and quickly explained all of the preparation that were being made and what they’d be over. Roy could tell they were not exactly enthusiastic, but neither was he.
“Any questions?” he asked, looking around. When no one said anything, Roy continued. “Now, Fullmetal, you and your brother—” Roy nodded toward Alphonse. “You’ve celebrated this before, so I would like your input and suggestions.”
Ed snorted and rolled his eyes, but Alphonse stepped forward and said eagerly, “This is going to be great! I have some ideas that might help.”
“Just what I was hoping for,” Roy said, sitting back in his chair and giving the younger Elric brother his full attention.
“Most of what you’re doing is great, but I think you should have someone who can play Father Christmas publically. In Rizembool, we always have someone who dresses up like Father Christmas and the children come and sit on his lap and tell him what they want.
Roy nodded. Seemed like a good idea to him. “What if we had someone there who could write down what the kid said and give that to the parents?” he mused out loud.
“I don’t like how you’re making this all about money,” Ed finally put in.
“Fullmetal,” Roy said calmly. “Shut up.”
“I thought you wanted my opinion,” Ed snapped.
The words ‘I lied’ were on his lips, but instead Roy said, “I do, if it’s relevant.” Ed folded his arms across his chest and glared at him, but said nothing; so Roy looked back at Alphonse. “Please continue,” he said.
Al looked at his brother, then back to Roy before saying, “You could try to get kids to write letters to send to Father Christmas too.” Again Roy nodded. Perfect. That would boost the revenue for the postal service and it would give parent a chance to see what their kids wanted.
For the next ten minutes Al gave his ideas and they all listened. When he was done, Hawkeye asked, “Who will we have play Father Christmas for the children?” There was a moment of silence before everyone looked at Roy.
“Not a chance,” he said defiantly. He’d already been talked into playing Father Christmas for the Elric brothers, and now he was in charge of getting this new holiday going.
“Can we call this guy F.C. for short?” Breda asked suddenly. “You know, just to shorten it?”
“Why don’t we go with ‘Santa Claus’,” Fuery suggested. “Then you could shorten it to ‘Santa’.”
“Santa?” Hawkeye asked with a frown.
“Sheska... uh, the librarian? She mentioned it was one of the names he was known by.”
“What’s wrong with F.C.?” Breda pressed. “It sounds hip and modern.”
“It sounds stupid,” Ed said. “If you shorten it to that then no one will remember the name.”
Roy wrote ‘Santa Claus’ on one of the papers, then got up and grabbed one of the books he’d used to research the holiday. Flipping through the pages, Roy finally stopped in a section where some old pictures showed how different countries and peoples viewed this Father Christmas character. He walked over to his staff and set the open book on the coffee table, then pointed to one of the pictures. It sported an older looking fat man wearing red and white clothing.
“That’s him. Santa.”
They all stared at the picture for a moment, then Falman re-asked Hawkeye’s question. “So who will it be?”
Roy pressed his lips together in thought. They could have some auditions, but that could take days, and people wouldn’t really know what they were auditioning for. No... he needed someone right away, and he needed someone he could trust...
Glancing down at the picture, Roy tried to think of someone he knew who seemed to be ‘jolly’. Someone ‘happy’ and ‘delightful’ as this Santa Claus seemed to be. Suddenly the image of Alex Armstrong with a fake beard, dressed all in red and white, and laughing merrily—practically sparkling with jolliness—came to mind.
He forced the idea from his mind immediately and shook his head. Armstrong would be good for the position in many ways, but no... that was just a little too jolly. And Armstrong’s size and overzealousness might scare the kids—especially the little ones. Not only that, but it might put the parents off as well...
No, not Armstrong...
Again he searched his mind. Jolly... happy... would definitely have to love kids...
And then it came to him and he smiled widely. “Men,” he said, looking at Havoc, Fuery, Breda, and Falman. Glancing at Hawkeye, he said with a small nod, “Women...” Then he looked at Ed and smirked, “Midgets...” Ed nearly bounded out of his chair in anger, but Alphonse held him back. Roy grinned then announced, “I think I know who our Santa will be.”