“You get a lot of hate mail. Did you know you?” Ed shifted through another stack, weeding out letters about actual political issues and the—far fewer—fan letters. “I mean, a lot.”
Roy shrugged. “Why do you think I keep putting off general elections? I don’t want to be giving a speech in some backwoods town and have a crazy old man shouting at me about,” he waved a hand. “I don’t even know. Electricity prices.”
“Electricity prices are high.”
“Don’t start. Just sort the mail and leave me in peace.”
“I thought it would be a lot more exciting to be an Advisor to the Fuhrer. How bad do you think it would look for your administration if I quit?”
Roy hummed, leaning his chin on his hand and stared out the window. You could put the lazy bastard in the highest office in the land, but you couldn’t apparently make him do any fucking work. “Pretty bad. I’d probably be better off firing you. Did you know Hughes already has a press release for when it happens?”
“I’m not surprised.” He got to the bottom of the last pile. “Here you go. All the mail that’s fit to read, and nothing your sensitive eyes have to worry about.”
Roy took his mail, letting his fingers brush against Ed’s. “It’s not my rule. Hughes thinks it’s not good for me to see them.”
“Everyone thinks it’s not good for you to see them. Your Advisors, your doctors, your family, your friends. The press. No one wants to read about how the Fuhrer made a visit to someone who wrote him a crackpot letter. It creeps people out.”
“It was only the one time. And I thought, you know, if we could talk face to face, he might see his feelings were unwarranted.”
Ed sighed and began making notes about security needs based on the letters. “Yeah, I don’t know if you knew this, but the way to make people feel like they’re not living in a police state is to stay out of their houses. Not show up on their doorsteps and tell them their letter is stupid. You have people for this.”
“Yeah, I have people. But you ignore most of the letters.”
“Because they aren’t a threat. I know this is hard to understand, but not everyone loves you. You can’t change everyone’s mind. Suck it up.”
Roy snorted. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve been at rallies. There are literally throngs of people waiting to see me. I have to wait ten minutes to talk because they keep cheering.” He leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs at the ankle under the desk. "It’s almost embarrassing.”
“Please. The only thing that would embarrass you is,” Ed paused. “Huh. You know what? I actually don’t know what would embarrass you. I was going to say having one of your admirers throw herself at you on stage in front of thousands of onlookers, but, well. We all know exhibitionism is one of your kinks.”
“I don’t know.” Roy closed his eyes and tipped his head back. Apparently it was afternoon nap time. “It might be a little discomfiting when you killed her.”
“You’re the one going through someone else’s mail.” His voice was quiet and he didn’t open his eyes.
Ed began sorting the hate mail—political, angry, angry and dangerous. Hardly anything ever came from the letters. Ed was pretty much an expert when it came to inappropriate displays of impulse control. But it made him feel better to check, it made Hughes feel better and honestly, when they checked these things out, everyone had a better day.
“You really have a gift.” Ed shook his head. “It really takes something special to piss people off over wheat. Not wheat prices, just wheat.” He looked up when Roy didn’t respond and found him sleeping, the lines of worry eased, making him look younger and almost carefree. He looked almost the way he did in the pictures Hughes had before Ishbal. Before loss and fire and war burned it out of him.
Ed stood, collected the letters into a neat pile and tucked them under his arm. He cross the room and brushed a single stray hair that had the audacity to be out of place on Roy’s artfully disheveled head. He placed a soft kiss on the corner of Roy’s mouth and left him to sleep in peace.