Roy Mustang hated sewing.
He remembered what it was like when he was a young and ambitious soldier, fresh out of military school. Already being a State Alchemist beforehand, his mother used to sew his flint gloves for him.
His first pair belonged to once to his father. His mother painstakingly drew the array on the backs of the gloves. He then infused the flint powder into the fabric. He was very proud of them. So was his mother. She just adjusted his collar and told him what a striking man he had become. She also said, it was too bad his father didn't live long enough to see him enlisted in the military. He grinned widely at her and promised to keep them forever.
They were destroyed barely two months later. In Ishbal.
When he returned home, Roy was devastated when he found out that his mother was dying of the consumption.
He buried his father's gloves with her.
Roy bought dozens of pairs from the stores and infused them with the flint particles. He then drew the flame array. But only it was only a matter of time before he threw them all away.
They were made of wool. Whenever it rained, they shrunk. True, it allowed the stone fragments to be retained. But he could no longer wear them.
He tried the cotton gloves. They soon joined the old ones in the trash bin. They didn't shrink for a change, and were comfortable even when soaked.
He had nearly been killed. In the middle of a battle during a spring shower, he realized in horror that the flint particles were easily washed away, rendering the array useless.
Luckily for Roy, he was rescued by Hughes, someone from intelligence. The other man was skillful with his knives, and had held the attackers at bay; giving enough time for escape.
He had to resort to drastic measures. Buying bolts of synthetic fiber, he successfully bound the flint into the fibers. And to his delight, subsequent testing proved that his newly created flint cloth was easy to dry when they got wet. Best of all, they didn't shrink either.
However, what he created was cloth. Raw material. He needed a skilled tailor to make them into gloves. But it was suicide to entrust someone else with them. He was quickly rising among the ranks, gaining many enemies in the process and he couldn't afford to be dependant on someone who might as well be in league with those who hated him. He then decided that he had to make them himself. But there was one problem.
Roy Mustang could not sew.
He had briefly considered asking his assistant, Lisa Hawkeye to teach him how to.
She would have shot his brains out for even implying that she was the motherly type.
He proceeded to humiliate himself by begging Gracia Hughes to teach him; with Maes Hughes snickering in the background. Giggling, she proceeded to do so. Roy first learned how to stitch. Running stitch, backhand stitch... even embroidery. He learned to control his temper and resist stabbing his best friend with the delicate silver needles. Gracia taught him how to measure his hands, cut the basic patterns, to estimate the margins and to finally sew the seams together. He was a fast learner. Because of this...
Roy Mustang hated sewing with a passion.
He kept stabbing his index finger with the needles.
Hughes wondered how that was humanly possible even when said index finger was protected with a thimble.
He hated the fact that he had to rely more often on his right hand when he practiced "blowing up poor maltreated inanimate objects," as Hughes bluntly said. And even more humiliating to note that he couldn't properly snap the fingers of his left hand due to the multiple stabbings.
Roy got his revenge by making Hughes run around the parade grounds. It was so much fun to see his so-called 'best friend' trying to avoid the explosions.
The gloves were uncomfortable. He remedied that by coating only the outside. But that did not stop the microscopic granules from slipping inside the inner layers and chafing his skin.
Oftentimes, his hands were rubbed raw until he added a second protective layer against abrasions.
That only made it harder for him to stitch the cloth pieces together.
Did he already mention that he loathed sewing?
Until one day, he walked into Fullmetal's dorm room. He caught his young charge repairing his coat with neat, precise stitches.
He remembered finding himself asking why the Fullmetal Alchemist would be the one to patch his own clothes. After all, there were perfectly good tailors in East City.
The blonde boy glared at him. And grudgingly told him that their teacher had made them learn. Besides, it was cheaper to do so.
Why? He asked. Wouldn't it be better to use alchemy to reconnect the cloth fibers?
Fullmetal admitted that it was. But it wouldn't be the same, he argued. The clothes didn't hang right. Tailoring wasn't in the realm of science. It took skill and talent to be able to create clothes.
Roy also remembered praising Fullmetal's teacher for teaching him how to sew.
It was necessary, Fullmetal said while tying off the last thread. Al in his current state couldn't stitch well. The armor's hands were too big and awkward. Even years of getting used to the hollow shell doesn't allow for the refined movements that only human muscles could create.
Roy then asked if the clothes Fullmetal was wearing were hand-made?
No. They were store bought, and repaired if damage was minimal. Then if it was necessary, he would buy again.
But then, what use was the lesson their teacher taught them? He then asked the boy.
Fullmetal looked up, and suddenly he wasn't the tough teenager Roy was looking at anymore. Fullmetal, looked... childlike and vulnerable all of a sudden.
It was very useful. Fullmetal assured him.
"I had lots of practice sewing up my own wounds."
His memories of what happened after were a blur. Roy then found himself in his own bed, in his own apartment.
He looked at the gloves lying on his dresser. He stood and examined then carefully for any seams missing.
Even if he hated to sew, it was necessary. Sewing his gloves could save a lot of lives. With his abilities, he could change the military and free the people from further oppression.
But Fullmetal... no, Edward Elric did it to survive. He did it to be able to live for his brother. He sewed because he was the only one who could. Edward was the only one who could restore Alphonse.
And it was the same way Roy did it because he was the only one who could.
Spying a rip, he pulled out a needle and a spool of thread.
There. Good as new.
Maybe he didn't hate sewing as much as he used to. However...
Roy Mustang would rather die than admit that it was all thanks to Edward Elric.