The first time he put on a military uniform, Roy had allowed him to cry.

He watched as Ed stood before the mirror, eyes growing dark and shadowed by his long blonde fringe. That day, Ed had pulled his hair out of a braid and tied it up into a neat ponytail. He threw his old clothes away and accepted the uniformity of the military outfit.

"You are still a Major," Roy had told him, "but now you can officially move up in rank."

Ed was not sure he liked this added responsibility. He enjoyed the days of his youth, when even as a dog of the military, he could still spend time on research and his own ambitions. Now, he served the ambitions of the military. While still one of General Mustang’s subordinants, he could not be fully protected by the General. He had to look out for himself, now. Be held fully accountable for his actions. He was no longer a child.

Being a State Alchemist, he had no need for a gun at his hip. Ed was greatful for that. Although alchemy was meant for the good and betterment of mankind, he didn’t think he could hold a gun and aim at someone. Alchemy was a bit more impersonal; he could manipulate the elements from a safe distance. Bullets were only so accurate.

"All this," Ed had said, "is for my brother."

At that moment, Roy truly looked at Ed. He no longer saw the bratty, loud-mouthed child that grew up before his eyes. He saw a man, hardened and knowledgeable from experience, yet still at the core the same. The way those gold eyes stared back at him in the mirror...Roy saw the distinctive "Thanks" that could not be vocalized.

It was a well-kept secret that the General played a major role in the restoration of the Elric brother. In the end, only Al had gotten his body back, but Ed could only be happy.

"He’s lucky to have you, Fullmetal."

Ed did not ask for gloves, but Roy gave them anyway.