Jun 16 2005, 11:21 AM
::.Chapter one, Introduction.::
Don’t own FMA.
This fic holds spoilers for end of series! It also will have some spoilers in manga up to chapter 48!
Please finish the anime series before reading this fic. Also, if you get the opportunity, read the manga (easy to find online). It will be very helpful to you for later in this fic.
You might find some of the characters slightly OOC. Please, don't be scared off. Times change and so do people.
I gave Ed some humor in this fic. I know in the series he’s not strongly portrayed as being a humorous character, but I figured with age and in the circumstances he’s in, humor might be a refreshing way for him to express himself.
This fic is Non-yaoi! RizaXRoy. EdX? Ed will end up with someone, but for plotline sakes I have decided to keep Ed's love life a secret. When the time is appropriate I will announce his significant other. I know some people require to know certain couples so if you can not wait for it to be announced then please give me your email address and I will send you the information. Just realize if you do this it will take away some of the mystery of this fic.
This fic starts 2 years after the series ended. Ed says that he has been stuck in ‘our’ world for 2 ½ years. My reason for this is its obvious some time has gone by in the series since Ed transmuted his brother back to his human form (you know, after the whole Dante scene) to the last time we see Ed in Germany. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, if you look at Rose’s baby in the final clips of seeing her, it’s defiantly not an infant anymore.
And for my blabbering conclusion… Held (the title of the fic) is actually 'hero' in German. Because in English it means 'to hold' I figured Held would make a good title. As I look at it, I am twisting the German meaning with the English one. It’s to represent the physical/mental holding on the hero Ed use to be. He’s desperately holding onto his past while trying to move forward in life.
By The Gomp
Germanys winter of 1923.
I looked at the array on the paper and had to hold back a bark of a laugh. The professor’s eyes glowed with anticipation. “Its perfect, isn’t it?” I forced an assuring smile on my face.
“It’s very good. Maybe be a bit more careful when drawing the hexagon.” In actuality it was just terrible, but, I refused to offend the man.
The professor began to rub his chin as he examined his work. “I see, I’ll work on that. It’s amazing how knowledgeable you are with alchemy.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I studied it when I was younger, I suppose you could say it used to be a hobby of mine.”
The professor nodded as his hand crept to rub the back of his neck. “You would make a fine chemist if you ever decided to head in that direction.”
I shook my head while my hands flattened the paper that had the alchemy array on it. That wasn’t the first time I had received a comment like that. “I hope this helps you out with your class.”
The professor nodded as he picked up the paper and began to roll it, he used a paper clip to keep the paper bound. He lifted his brief case and placed the rolled paper inside, but then proceeded to take out a leather bound book from his bag. I looked at the book with curiosity.
“Your father suggested that I should give you compensation for all the help you have been giving me, he said you’re interested in mechanics. I figured since you’re also good with chemicals this book might interest you. It’s written by an American author, English is your first language if I‘m correct.”
He handed me the book, the book was called ‘A thousand and One Formulas: The Laboratory Handbook for Experimenters.’ by Sidney Gernsback. I flipped through the book duly. I gave the man a weak smile and nodded my head to show my gratitude. I could feel anger beginning to run through my veins, but, did my best to hide it, it was better not to offend an innocent bystander.
“That’s very kind of you sir. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to head back home, I’m sure my father is waiting for me.” The word 'father' I had to practically force from my throat.
Professor Schlesinger placed his hat on his head and nodded his approval. With that, I grabbed my coat and left his office.
Why couldn’t my old man keep his mouth shut? Heh, the word ‘old’ was an understatement, he was more like ancient. I could feel the anger still burning inside me; I never liked it when Hohenheim talked about me with others.
I looked at the leather book in my hands; I knew I should be grateful for Schlesinger’s gesture, but just knowing that he gave it to me because of a suggestion provided by my father just made the gift feel ineffectual.
As I approached the entrance doors of the University I pulled my wool jacket tighter around my body, I could feel the cold winter air creeping through the cracks of the doors. I pushed one of the doors open with my left hand and took a deep breath of the numbness of the outside world.
The weather in this world was nothing like the weather of Amestris, I missed the bright sun and colors that used to constantly surround me in my own world. I smiled at the memories, but frowned when I realized I was just toying with myself again.
It's been 2 1/2 years since I last felt the bright sun of my world and entered the hell hole of this one, for 2 1/2 years I have breathed in the stale air of Germany, it just sucked.
As I reached a corner, I took one last look at Ludwig Maximizing University of Munich before it fell out of my view. My father had somehow gotten himself a job at the university 2 years back with barely any credentials, but I suppose it’s not too surprising considering the state Germany was in, especially this past year with major inflation dominating the economy. The Weimar Republic has kept promising that the economy would become better by next year, I was curious of how well they could keep their word.
I mindlessly walked through the familiar snowy streets. A few times I had to stop to rub cramps out of my right shoulder and left leg, but it didn’t take long for me to finally reach my destination.
The house me and my father lived in was… well sufficient. It wasn’t much to speak of, but it supplied both our needs. It was a two stories and in a middle class neighborhood. The house's outside color was short on being pleasant, the brown paint was beginning to peal causing the house to have an antique atmosphere, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the first one to jump up and down in anticipation to repaint it.
I jiggled the door key around a few times in the lock before I heard a satisfying click. Pushing the door open, I was greeted with my fathers loving arms. Ha ha, if that man ever did that I would probably kill him, but, I did find him in the lounge sitting by the fire place, engrossed in a book.
I threw the leather bound book I had received on the coffee table. I tried to fold my arms over my chest with the intention to shoot my father a dirty look, but my prosthetic metal arm didn’t want to agree with me, I only got it to move about half way which ruined the look I was going for. Lucky for me, my father didn’t look my way.
His words came out in a sigh. “Is your arm bothering you again?”
That bastard, how the hell did he know without looking! I growled at my father for being right, but brushed off his question. I had much bigger fish to fry. “Why did you tell Professor Schlesinger that he should give me compensation?”
My father flipped a page in his book and ignored my question, I kicked the coffee table with my good foot to try and emphasize that I wanted him to answer me. Finally looking up at me, my father closed his book and gave me his attention. For some reason I had the feeling he was annoyed. Annoyed? By silly ol’ me! I’m sure he was not nearly as annoyed as I was with him.
“You do this every time; I can take care of myself! I choose to help him; alchemy is one of my specialties.”
“Its mine too.”
If looks could kill, my father would have been six feet under. It almost felt like a blood vessel was going to burst in my forehead. My words came out in a partial growl. “Then why don’t you help him out oh-mighty-one?”
My father stood which caused me to automatically look inferior, but of course, I just pretended to be oblivious to that fact. His voice was deep and almost… soothing as he spoke. It caused small chills to run up and down my spine.
“When are you going to realize that I’m just trying to help? This isn’t even about the book or me talking to the Professor, is it? You’re just trying to push me farther away.”
My eye gave a slight twitch. I hated moments like these; they were supposed to be warm and squishy with the intention to make me think. I just wish my father would realize I had an ego to maintain.
“Stop acting like you know me, old man!”
“I have been living with you for quite awhile now, I think I‘m beginning to learn at least a few things about you. Now, let me see your arm, the weather is bothering your joints again, it’s obvious.”
Every. Damn. Time. Every single freaking time I try to argue with the geezer he always found a way to change the subject. Call me stingy, call me annoying, call me the king of irritation, I just have a fetish for argumentation. But, before I could make a good comeback, and I mean a good one, one of my back muscles began to spasm causing me to groan.
My father pulled off my jacket and unbuttoned my vest. I stared at him with pure annoyance; he only gave me a look of concern, he really knew how to ruin my moments.
My father yanked at one of the buttons on my white dress shirt to get my attention. “Will you help me here? It’s not easy to undress you.”
My eyes narrowed daringly but I did what I was told. See, I was a good boy.
He pulled off my white dress shirt and looked at his makeshift auto-mail; he ran his fingers over the area that connected my arm to the tin-man part of me. I gave a slight gasp as he hit a sore spot; his hand automatically began to rub the aggravated muscle. Sometimes when he did that it made me want to melt into his touch, which was actually rather disturbing if you want to know the truth.
“How is your leg doing?”
A glared at him hoping he didn’t think he was scoring brownie points. “It’s fine.” My voice came out more threatening then I meant it to.
He lifted his hands in a surrendering motion and took a step back. “Just making sure.”
I sighed while my fingers ran across the cold metal of my right arm. “This is starting to get annoying; I miss my old auto-mail.” If Winry could hear those words it would be like a magnificent symphony to her ears, too bad she wouldn’t be hearing those words anytime soon.
“This world lacks nerve research, I did the best I could with the little knowledge I have and the lack of proper tools. Stop complaining.”
I sat down on the couch. I knew he had done his best to recreate a leg and an arm for me, and I was grateful for his effort, but compared to my old arm and leg, the limbs just didn’t cut it. I could move my arm at the elbow joint but none of the fingers had mobility, my leg bent at the knee but I didn’t have mobility in my toes either.
I picked up the book my father was originally reading and began skimming through the chemistry formulas. I was then suddenly, and very rudely, interrupted by getting my shirt thrown in my face. My glare would have made fly’s drop, but somehow my father was immune.
My father picked up my new book and began to flip through the pages. “Doesn’t seem like anything interesting, I would have expected Professor Schlesinger to be a little bit more generous.” A nice plop sound was made when my father dropped the book onto the table.
I shrugged my shoulders. “He’s in your department so you will see him tomorrow, you can complain to him then.”
My father took a seat next to me; he grabbed his book out of my hands and searched for the page he was last on. Since the room suddenly fell silent I figured the conversation was over, so stood to leave, but I was stopped by my father grabbing by the wrist before I could make my get away. His face was still shoved into his book as he spoke.
“Dinners in the kitchen.” Upon that statement I could feel my stomach do a hula dance, oh yes food, I loved food. I quickly pulled on my dress shirt and made a beeline towards food.
I sank comfortably into my bed. If there really was a heaven I always thought the best thing heaven could be was a bed, after a long hard day of work the bed becomes your comfort zone, well, at least for me it does. Sometimes when I find myself overly stressed all I have to do is imagine that I’m sinking into the blissfulness of my bed and I begin to feel better, nice, eh?
At that moment I was skimming through one of my many mechanical books hoping I could learn something new, but since I’d already read the book twice it was becoming obvious that I wasn’t going to learn a thing. I sighed while placing the book on my bed stand and removing my reading glasses. That’s right folks, I’m slowly going blind, ohhh the horrors. I blame it on a random sorcerer who has some type of grunge against me; my doctor still tries to convince me it’s from my poorly lit reading sessions. I wonder whose right.
I took a look around the room. My room was small with a hard wood floor; somehow I mysteriously was able to fit three bookshelves, a bed, and a desk in the cramped space. The shelves were jammed packed with books while my desk was covered with notes. In some strange way it has become a homely feeling for me to have my room that way.
It’s actually still odd to this day to say ‘my room‘. Considering that for years I had not had a place to call home, and then there’s the fact that I never even had ‘my’ own room, it had always been Alphonse and I.
I closed my eyes as memories flooded in. I still wondered if Alphonse made it home, my father has assured me that he did, but it can be hard for me to believe at times. Because after all, I was still alive.
After I had sacrificed myself for Al I had awoken to find myself in the world I presently lived in, I woke up in the same spot where the ‘Edward’ from this world had died. To this day I still feel horrible about that incident; I had killed that boy by lack of responsibility.
It didn’t take me long to realize I was missing the limbs my brother had returned to me. What made it even worse was I hadn’t had my auto-mail returned to me either, sooo if you can put two and two together; I was missing two limbs and stuck on the outskirts of London. But it was my lucky day! A milk delivery carriage was making a delivery a town over and the nice man stopped to help me out, he was even nice enough to help me find my father who luckily was still in London at the time. Who ever would have thought that I, Edward Elric, would be thanking whatever God’s there were that milk delivery carriages existed.
Shortly after that, my father and I moved to Munich because he received his teaching position. My father also had to recreate my limbs for me since, at that time, I wasn’t in the exact best mental state to do it myself.
That was so long ago, even though it all seemed so recent.
…I blinked a few times to try and recollect my wondering thoughts and bring myself back to the present. Heh, God, where did the time go?
I swallowed back a manic laugh while reaching towards a familiar drawer; I lifted out the liquor bottle and took a sip of the contents.
Ok, I just probably gave the wrong impression. I haven’t gone totally crazy and I’m not an alcoholic, unless you think that because I drink sometimes with my father’s colleagues and take a sip of hard liquor before bed time (which helps me sleep better) would entitle me as an alcoholic. And, my lack of mental state at that time was not caused by a mentality shut down but was caused by a serious case of ‘pneumonia‘. My immune system had never been introduced to an illness like that so it got pretty serious. Considering their lack of medicine in this world and the stress I had been under, it was a tough battle, but I made it out ok.
Since then I’ve been desperately doing research on mechanics. At first it had been rough to find intellectual people who would actually talk with me, but once my fathers name started to become well known it became much easier. I’m still interested in learning more about rocket ships, but Oberth and almost everyone else interested in the subject have shut me out, talk about frustrating. As I see it though, they are often criticized for their work so their actions are understandable.
So, instead of lying around and wasting my life I began to work on my own set of theories for a way to go home, but there was one thing that was putting a huge damper on my whole situation…
When I flew through the gate I had seen this world inside and out along with all of its little secrets. I had learned many truths and horrors that this world possessed. If I was totally willing to admit the truth to myself, then I would know that the rocket ship theory was not going to take me home. According to what I saw there was almost no way that I could get home. But I couldn’t admit that, I would not believe it. I had seen many impossible things in my life time; there was a way for me to go home.
There had to be.
I rubbed my nose in a poor manner, winter was almost over but somehow I had mysteriously caught the sniffles.
“Oh Mr. Elric, I didn’t know your father was expecting you.” I looked at the bubbly secretary and shot her a charming smile. Just keep smiling and make the conversation short, that’s how you do it.
“Yea, the old man forgot one of his books; I’m here to bring it to him.”
The young woman nibbled on her pencils eraser while she contemplated what I said, for a second I thought there was a possibility that I had translated something wrong in German. Some might call me a genius but I sure as hell was no linguist. The woman noticed my concern and smiled reassuringly at me. “He’s not here at the moment.”
My mouth fell open and one of my eyes twitched. “Then why the hell did he call me here! He knows how much of a pain in the ass it is for me to walk all the way out here for his little necessities, that bastard. Ohh he will pay, dearly he will pay.”
It took me a second to realize that I just said everything out loud. The woman’s face would have made a good postcard to look at on a rainy day; the shock on her face was just priceless. I blinked a few times before I allowed the same charming smile I had used before to reemerge on my face. “I’m sorry; can I wait in his office?”
The woman recovered quickly and smiled back at me. “It’s ok; your father has mentioned your outbursts. I believe your father left his office unlocked, he should be back shortly, you can head right in. Would you like something to drink while you wait?”
He did it again; he talked about me, AGAIN! I shook my head as I walked past her.
My father’s office was nothing to brag about, it was rather small and dull, but I suppose it was hard for anything to beat his office at home. The office at home was the biggest room in the house, originally it was the library but my father claimed it as his, some days it made me jealous.
I sat down in the wooden chair he used for his students; I threw his book on his desk and relaxed a little. I could have just dropped off the book and left, but I wasn’t ready to face the chill of the outside world. Nope, this was much more comfortable.
The door opened as my father trotted his way in the room, he looked at me once and then at the book on his desk. “I hope this wasn’t any trouble for you.”
I stretched out my arms and legs and looked at him lazily. “Where did you go?”
My father took a seat behind his oak desk and began to check some papers. “I had a phone call; I decided to take it outside.”
I raised my eyebrow at that. “What’s the paranoia for?”
My father glanced at me but then shrugged and went back to his papers. This could only mean one thing; he was talking to one of the Thule society members. I was never a big fan of this part of my father’s life, but, at the same time, I knew very little about it. He met with the members twice a week and sometimes they would call at the house, that’s about really all I knew. The thing that I didn’t like about it was how secretive they always were.
“Edward, do you have any plans for tonight?”
My father was looking at me with concern, I suppose I had gone in a daze for a second and missed something he had said previously. “I’m probably just going to do some reading.”
“Ancel has someone he would like you to meet; he wanted to see if you were interested in having dinner with them tonight.” Ancel was one of my father’s students, I frequently saw him around my father’s office since my father had gained a liking towards him.
I contemplated what my father said; I knew all to well where the conversation was going.
“Is this another female?”
My father smirked as his pencil doodled notes on a students paper.
The demons anger burned inside me. “Whose idea was it this time?”
“It was his; I learned my lesson last time.”
I stood up and walked to his desk, my good hand gripped the oak furniture. “When are you two going to realize that I’m not going to get involved with anyone? I have no interest in dating.”
“Who said anything about dating? It’s called socializing Edward, you’re the one who is jumping to conclusions.”
“I…I…” The man was right, it was a hard thing for me to admit, but he was right. “Why does he want me to meet her?”
“There are no strings attached, he just wants to get you out of the house. You do spend awfully large amounts of time stuffed in your bedroom, it’s either your room or you’re at work.”
That’s right, today was one of my days off and instead of me relaxing at home, this rotting geezer forced me to drop off his book, oh the pains I go through.
My words were in English which meant I was serious. “I socialize enough to satisfy my own needs, you know why I spend most my time studying so don’t act like you know what’s good for me.”
My father sighed as he placed down his pencil and looked at me; his words were in English as well. “I know you want to go home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a break and relax every now and then. What if you never make it home? You will regret the years you wasted.”
The conversation wasn’t a new one; it was actually quite common between me and my father. It always made my stomach twist in angles I didn’t like. “Please tell Ancel that regretfully I can’t join him tonight, maybe we can do it some other time.”
My fathers gaze saddened for a moment before he turned back to writing on papers. He decided to change the subject. “I won’t be around tonight.”
I eyed him carefully. “Do you have a meeting?”
He nodded; this meant he wouldn’t be back for dinner so I didn’t need to worry about cooking for two, yippee.
I looked at the clock which hung behind his desk, it was almost noon. “I suppose I should go home.”
“Are you ok walking back alone?”
I nodded as I buttoned my coat. “I should be ok; the weather is getting a lot better. My joints don’t feel too bad.”
The conversation ended at that.
I slide the book into its proper shelf. I looked at the next book on the cart and made my way towards the fiction end of the library. Skimming through the books on the shelf, it didn’t take me long to find the proper place where the next book belonged.
Yes the library, it was my home away from home, the great thing about it was I got paid to be there now. Now, the pay wasn't nearly as generous compared to the days of the military, but it was enough to mildly help pay for living expenses.
A tug on my shirt caused me to look behind me. A girl no older than ten smiled up at me, I looked down and smiled back. Oh the joys of being taller. Oh! I haven’t shared the fantastic news, I have grown, and I am very tall now! Ok, maybe an average height for my age. Well, maybe a little below average. Er, maybe I shouldn’t use the word ’average’, more like mediu- just drop it.
“Yes young lady, do you have a question?”
The young girl shook her head at me while tapping her foot nervously on the ground. I raised an eyebrow but tried to wait patiently for her to answer. You always had strange kids like that; ones who were shy to ask questions so would take forever to speak. After a few more seconds of waiting, I grew very impatient.
“Is there a problem?”
She tugged on my shirt again and motioned for me to bend down. I knelt on one knee and looked her directly in the eye; she gave me an innocent smile and leaned forward to whisper in my ear.
“I think you have pretty hair.”
That caused me to blush. “Er, thanks, that’s very kind of you. I think your hair is pretty too.”
She giggled at me which caused a true smile to spread across my face. Someone then tapped me from behind causing me to look behind me, ahh too many people. This time it was a boy who seemed around the same age as the little girl.
“May I help you young man?” The boy smiled at me, his eyes seemed very bold and pure, and he spoke with confidence. “I have a question for you.”
I turned my body so I was fully facing him. “And what would that be?”
“Is it true that you’re made of metal?”
My face faltered at that. “I suppose so, why?”
“Can I see it? Please!”
I sat for a moment and just stared at him, I wasn’t really sure how to respond so I just lifted my right hand. The boy’s eyes seemed like they were going to pop out of his head with amazement. “Whoa, they weren’t lying, you are a freak.” He took off in a quick run.
I looked at his retreating back in shock, this wasn’t the first time that this has happened and I doubt it was the last. When I was younger I had always feared people would respond to me like that. When I first lost my limbs I was so scared I would be considered a freak that it caused me to go into a mild depression, but I suppose with how common auto-mail was, no one ever had any problems with it. During those days I was still capable of functioning properly, here, it’s different.
But that was when I was a kid, these days I didn’t care if I was considered a freak.
The devils fire burned inside me. “That punk, I’m going to beat the shit out of him!” I stood to run after him, but a small voice caught my attention. My movements haltered as I remembered the young girl that was still behind me, I could feel some shame nagging at me.
“Don’t hurt him, please.”
I turned towards her and gave a soothing smile. “I won’t hurt him… I think. Do you know him?”
The girl nodded while looking at the ground. “He goes to my school, he’s just a jerk.”
Ha, ha, you little punk, if a sweet little girl called him a jerk than that meant he was the king of pathetic-ness. I made a mental note to mark him down on my ass kicking list.
The little girl grabbed onto my shirt and motioned for me to come closer again, I leaned down and she began to giggle, she was so freaking cute it made my right foot toes curl.
“You have very pretty eyes.”
I giggled back. Yes, I was a man and giggled, if Roy Mustang ever heard me do that he would never let me live it down. That bastard, I really wondered how he was doing… I shook my head to get my mind clear.
“Thank you; do you know how sweet you are?” The girl shook her head causing her curly brown hair to sway. I smiled at her. ”You’re just adorable, but I think you better get back with whoever you're with.”
The girl nodded and skipped away, these were times that I actually contemplated on having children. Heh, little Edward Elric’s. Oh God, the horror.
“Edward!” I looked to the side to find another worker walking towards me, her name was Nixie, and she was a year older than me. For some strange reason I always thought she had a good sense of fashion, she was always so creative in the things she wore. And the way she did her hair was nice too…
...sometimes I really wondered about myself.
Nixie smiled as she approached me. “Your shift is over.”
I looked at her in surprise; I didn’t even realize how much time had passed. “I didn’t finish the cart.”
She frowned for a second then shrugged. “I can finish it; the boss wants you out though. You know he can’t afford to pay you over time.”
I nodded. “Sorry I have to make you do the dirty work.” I looked at her warily. “A couple of kids distracted me.”
She laughed which made me raise an eyebrow. “What?”
“I saw the whole thing, it was rather amusing.”
I eyed her. “I’m happy you think so, you could have helped me out.”
She wagged her finger in front of me. “What would be the fun in that? I didn’t want to hurt your pride.”
I blew some of my bangs out of my face as I shrugged. “Yea sure, whatever. I suppose I better go before the boss literally kicks me out, have a good day.”
The women nodded as she grabbed the cart and looked through the books. I made my way to the back room and grabbed my hat and jacket.
It was spring time and I planned to enjoy the weather, I was going to take the long way home.
I flipped through one of my books while sitting at my desk. Do you know how frustrating it is trying to figure out machines? Oh, what a pisser offer.
I slammed my book closed with the feeling of hopelessness. I sighed as I began to doodle on a blank piece of paper; it took me a few before I realized I was drawing an alchemy array. I remember how nice it used to feel to just clap my hands and have the law of conservation take place; it seemed almost like a life time ago that I was back in my own world.
My head slammed hard against the desk… which actually rather hurt, I groaned.
A small knock took me out of my self dwelling; the door didn’t open so I called out to the occupant on the other side. “What do you want?”
My father opened the door just enough for his head to poke through. “Is everything ok?”
I stuck my tongue out at him and turned my head to the other side so I wasn’t looking at him; my father sighed and entered the room. “When are you going to grow up?”
I only allowed another groan to escape my lips.
“You’re not a kid anymore.”
“You act like I don’t know this. And I am grown, see, I’m bigger.” I gestured towards my body.
My father sat down on the bed causing me to have to look at him, he folded his arms over his chest and sat silently. After a few moments of silence between us I started to become mental disturbed by his presence.
“What do you want?”
My father only took a deep breath and allowed it to escape slowly.
I didn’t exactly know what to think of this, you would think for a 400 year old man he would have more say. “Do you just think I’m pretty to look at? I’m gorgeous aren’t I?” I lifted my head up and flipped my hair around as if in a sexual manner.
“Shut up, I’m trying to think.”
“So you chose my room out of all places to sit and think?”
“I’m thinking about you.”
I stopped for a second, my head went blank. All I could say was an “Oh” and began to look at an invisible spot on the wall beside myself.
“How have you been cooping with things?” His question surprised me.
My father’s eyes looked intently at me, there were only a few times that I'd seen him use that certain stare. The stare held a mixture of purpose, curiosity, intent, and a tad of wisdom; it meant that he wasn’t leaving without some answers.
“It’s getting close to being three years, I’m fine. Now leave me alone.”
My father shook his head stubbornly. “You’re not fine; it’s hard for me to compare the boy I first met in Rizenpool to the boy in front of me now.”
“Then don’t compare. Trust me, people change.”
My father’s eyes narrowed. “You don’t think I know that, I’ve been alive many more years than you have.”
I almost laughed at the statement. It was just too funny. “That’s the understatement of the century; you’re a geezer beyond comprehension.”
I think I took my father by surprise with my teasing tone; a small smile crept on his lips.
“Yes, I’m a geezer. But Edward please be serious with me, are you ok?”
I took a deep breath in and considered holding it till I passed out, but I decided against it and allowed the air to escape slowly. I went deep into thought which caused me to take awhile before I answered. “It’s… just not easy.”
My father nodded. “You choose a dangerous path in life.”
“I never choose to be here, sometimes I wonder if it would have been better if I died. I never imagined that one day I would be in another world and out of all people, I’d be here with you.”
Now ladies and gentlemen, please don’t think me and my father are always as open as this, this was actually a very rare conversation. But there are times in ones life that you have to talk; I think everyone needs a good conservation now and then.
Not saying my father was my top pick of people to have it with, but I did live with the man.
My father brushed aside some of his hair and ran his hand over his pony tail while he went into thought. I looked at him curiously; I've always thought that it would be interesting to read my fathers mind. Not for sentimental value, but for the pure fact that he was literally the oldest man I had ever met, oldest man that was alive I would hope. Just imagine what type of knowledge he might contain.
Ok, maybe he didn’t contain that much.
“Don’t worry about me, your going to make your head hurt.”
My father gazed at me hauntingly; it sent chills down my spine. “You’re my son; I’m going to worry about you.”
The line I hated, more like despised. I had been living with my father for some time, but, that didn’t make up for all the years that were lost. I could never forgive him for leaving us, to me he was just my father through blood, he would never be my father at heart.
Nope, don’t like him, never did, never will.
I drummed my fingers against my desk in annoyance. “I am telling you not to worry about me.” Yup, I’m about to ruin our moment.
“Hohenheim, don’t ‘please’ me.” Oh no, he’s looking at me with those pleading eyes. I HATED the pleading eyes.
“Are you ever going to call me by my proper name?”
I tapped my chin and gave a confusing face. “Well, let’s see, I always thought Hohenheim was your name. Would Mr. Elric satisfy you more? Or I can go back to calling you ‘The bastard’.”
The look on my fathers face crushed me. I don’t know why I did things like that, maybe just to push him away. I wanted to reach out for him and say I was sorry, but I didn’t have the courage to. He was right, I really hadn’t grown up.
I looked away from him not wanting to see his face, I could only think of one thing to say. “Can you please just leave me alone?”
My father stood, which was shortly followed by footsteps, and the bedroom door opening. His voice called out to me in a whisper. “Dinners on the table.”
I mumbled, “I’m not hungry.” and then heard the door click shut.
He wasn't the bastard, I was.
Ok, this fic has already been written up to chapter 18, so updates will be fairly stable. My first few chapters of this fic were horribly written and edited, so I am going back and re-editing all of them. Every time I finish re-editing a chappy I will post it on here. And just so everyone is aware, all chapters but one is 10-20 pages long.
Jun 16 2005, 05:53 PM
Lol! I'm so glad that you posted on here! And you know that I just love your hoho-papa don't you?
Well since I have already read this, it's good to read over again and see what I missed because it's such an awesome fic.
Ill burn your fic and do stuff with Edward if your not careful!
Jun 16 2005, 06:18 PM
Saturn... you crack me up. Now go back to the sky like you belong.
Jun 17 2005, 09:16 AM
::.Chapter two, Priceless Gift.::
Don’t own FMA!
Warning! You might experience some minor gross scenes, but hold on tight! You just might enjoy the ride.
By The Gomp
The day was starting out like a great summer day. Now, I was never a big fan of hot weather, but in Germany the sun was never too harsh. Earlier I had received word from Oberth that he was finally willing to meet with me; I think almost two years of harassing had finally gotten to him. Oh what a great day it was.
Oberth was going to be spending a few days in London and had suggested that we met up there. We were planning to meet in three weeks; my own world was suddenly feeling more in my reach.
I walked to the front door of my house. I reached for the keys in my pocket and was prepared to unlock the door, but upon closer observation I realized the door was already unlocked.
“I didn’t think he was going to be home so early.”
I walked into the house and listened for any noise, there was none. I took another approach to seeing where my father was hiding. “Hey gooney! Where you at?”
Again I listened, but I didn’t hear anything, suspicion began to take over. I opened one of the drawers in the hallway and pulled out a small revolver. I looked at it for a second then decided to put it back, guns just weren’t my style.
I than realized I had no other defense mechanism unless I planned to swing my right arm around like a mad man. I gave up and shoved the gun in my pocket, I felt pathetic to have to turn to such a product.
I walked as quietly as I could to the lounge area, nope, no one there. A sound caught my attention, it was very soft, but I knew I heard it and I knew where exactly it came from. I walked to the hallway that led to my father’s office and was greeted with another sound.
This time it was louder, bingo.
I pulled out the gun from my pocket and crept my way to my father’s office door, I opened the door as quietly as possible, but the hinges decided to squeak in retaliation. Mother Fuc-
My fathers face was scrunched up and his expression gave the impression that the end of the world was coming. He was sitting at his desk with papers held tightly in his hand; he looked at me with shock on his face. “Your home?”
I looked at him strangely since that was supposed to be my question. I made my way into the office, shutting the door behind me. “Is something wrong? You don’t look to good.”
My father rubbed his free hand over his forehead and then used it to hide is face.
I grabbed the papers out of my fathers other hand and looked at them, I read over them once, twice, then a third time. “I uhh, don’t get it.”
The papers were just chemical formulas. I raised an eyebrow at him. He just kept his face in his hands, his voice came out husky. “The papers are just for class… I think I’m going out tonight.”
“Oh, well that’s fine. But, do you mind explaining to me what’s going on?”
My father looked up at me for a second then hid behind his hands again; it reminded me of the game peek-a-boo. On another note, I never really realized how big my father’s hands were before. I looked at my left hand for a second, I was feeling small again.
His voice surprised me. “They found out.”
I was confused, yup, ultimately lost in what he was saying. There were too many ‘they’ and to many ‘found out’.
“Would you mind elaborating?”
“The Thule Society, someone told them that I can do alchemy.”
That was rather odd since really he couldn’t do Alchemy, well, in this world at least.
“Who the hell said that?”
His big shoulders shrugged. “That’s just it, I don’t know. The Thule Society is unhappy that I have been hiding this type of ’magical powers’ from them. Whoever told them has them convinced that I can do it. Edward, this isn’t good.”
I thought for a second. “Just tell them whoever said it is a lair. We can’t perform alchemy here so it doesn’t matter. It’s not like they are going to kill you over this.” My father’s expression was to confusing to decrypt.
“That’s not the point, someone knows.”
He was right, someone knew. But who? “Well let’s think logically for a second. You are a Chemistry Professor so automatically you have some knowledge on the subject. Second, we have both talked to other people about alchemy; it’s possible because your so knowledge on the subject someone might have presumed that you can actually do it. I don’t know about you, but some people in this world seem kind of nutty to me.”
My father shook his head. “Whoever this is, they know too much. They brought up my decomposing body. Convincing the Society with accusations like these would be a hard thing to do, that means either they have sufficient amount of proof or an officer position. But, my main concern isn’t that the Thule Society knows, I am more worried about the fact that someone out there knows.”
“Maybe someone saw you getting changed and freaked out, your body isn’t the most pleasant sight. Seriously, I think your worrying yourself to much.” I patted my father on the head. “Maybe you should consider getting out of this club of yours.”
My father shook his head. For some reason he reminded me of a lost puppy, how disturbing.
“It’s not that type of ‘club’; I can’t just stand up and leave.”
That worried me. Slowly, as time passed, I was learning more and more about this ‘society‘ of his. “I see, why did you even join it in the first place?”
He didn’t answer as he stood up.
“Where the hell you going?”
“I’m making dinner.”
I could only stare at him perplexed.
It was a week later after that confrontation. Life seemed to be moving relatively normal, but there was one little thing that stood out of place. It was a Thursday night and my father was still home.
I sat in the chair across the room and watched him consume himself in a book. He had gone to the Thule Society’s meeting on Tuesday but he was missing tonights. Since he had joined that association I had never once witnessed him miss a meeting without a sufficient reason. Reading a book just didn’t seem to be sufficient enough.
I tried to return my attention to my book, but I found it too hard to concentrate with him being there. I slammed my book shut hoping to get his attention, nope, no response. I cleared my throat before I spoke.
“Why are you here?”
“This is my house so I can be here if I want. Besides, isn’t it nice to spend quality time together?”
I was tempted to throw my book at him. “I wouldn’t exactly call this ‘quality time‘.”
My father closed his book and looked at me. “No? Would you like to talk? Or we could play a round of chess if you would like…”
I took off my reading glasses and placed them on the table beside me. “Stop messing around old man. Be serious, why are you here?”
My father placed his own book down. He looked at me thoughtfully then just shrugged. “The meeting was canceled.”
Now if you ever wanted to see pure utter shock on my face, this was the time. The Thule Society did not have the reputation to cancel meetings, it was simply astounding. I might not know much about them, but I knew they were very punctual. “Did they say why?”
He shook his head. I leaned back in my chair as I looked my father up and down. “You didn’t do anything stupid last time, right?”
“Do you think of me as that irresponsible? Hold your father in higher regards. No, I simply explained the situation and they seemed to believe what I said.” I was tempted to ask how he explained himself, but decided not to.
“Who told them?”
“They refused to say, but they assured me that they were going to take care of the situation.”
These were the times I really wished I knew more about the Thule Society. My father had warned me many times to not get involved with them so I just never bothered, but now I wish I had.
“Why did you join?” When I asked that last time he walked out on me, I was curious how he would respond this time.
My father looked at me for a moment then he ran his fingers through his hair and down his ponytail, I found it as a rather feminine motion.
“I thought I told you I didn’t want to discuss the Thule Society with you.”
I shook my head. “That’s not what I was asking. Why did you join?”
My father leaned in his seat while considering my question. His lips pursed together. “If I tell you, will you drop the subject after that?”
I nodded while I sat forward with anticipation. “Well?”
“I joined it for you.”
The man was doing well tonight in surprising me. “Me! What the hell do I have to do with anything?”
My father shushed me; he shushed me like a child. “I want answers!” He shushed me again and shook his head. The stubborn old goat. “Just tell me why!”
“You’re not dropping the subject Edward.”
I groaned at him as I laid back in my chair. He could be so frustrating.
Ok, before I continue with my little story I just want to say one thing… There are days when life just blows. Heck, the word ‘blow’ doesn’t even do justice. While keeping that in mind, continue!
There was a moment of silence that spread across the room, but it was shockingly broken by a faintly familiar voice. A familiar voice that didn’t belong to my father nor I. It answered the question that my father was refusing to reply to.
“The Thule Society believes in magic, Hohenhiem figured it was the closest thing he could find to alchemy. He probably wanted to send you home Fullmetal shrimp.”
My body suddenly felt totally hallow, if someone was to have tapped me I wouldn’t have doubted that I would have broken.
The voice was the voice that haunted me in my dreams late at night, the type of dreams
I hated having. Oh god, this couldn’t be real. This was a joke, a simple joke that we would laugh at. There was no way he was there. I never even heard the door open, never heard someone come in.
The person behind me laughed which just confirmed their existence.
I watched my father stand to look at the intruder. I didn’t want to turn around, that would be admitting that specific person was really there. The intruder spoke again.
“So it is you, Hohenheim. Finally I’ve found you. I didn’t expect to find the Fullmetal, but that just means my stay is going to be more exhilarating.”
My father looked at me, I couldn’t read his expression. My mind wasn’t responding to well.
“Fullmetal, aren’t you going to greet your brother? Oh Hohenheim, take responsibility for your children, make Edward greet me.”
It was then I heard even more voices in the room, they were whispering stuff too quiet to decrypt. I couldn’t help it, I turned. I faced the truth, and trust me, I didn’t like the truth.
Standing before my father and I was the man who once killed me. The man my father once helped produced. The homunculus my father had created. Envy. It wasn’t ‘Envy’ the Sin I had gotten to know so well, but Envy in the form of my fathers son, the son that would be my half brother. Behind Envy stood two other men who were holding guns.
One of the men spoke out. “Professor Hohenheim, this is your son if I’m correct?” Envy turned around and looked at the man curiously.
“You guys are still here? I almost forgot about you. Well I must thank you for helping me find my father."
Envy shot a smirk towards my father. "See Hohenheim, when I found out that you were part of the Thule Society I just had to confirm it was really you. Their reaction to how similar we looked gave it away. The Thule Society seemed quite upset that you never told them about your past, keeping secrets from people is not a good thing! I’m here to collect you for their punishment, but see, what they don’t know is I’m planning to give you my punishment right here.”
Envy turned his wicked smile back to the two random men. “I believe there is no need for you guys anymore.” I knew what was about to happen, but I was in too much shock to even move.
In one swift motion Envy broke one of the men’s necks, it gave a sickening snap. The other man stared at his dead comrade in shock. He then looked at Envy. “Don’t…don’t come near me!”
He shot his gun; he shot Envy point blank in the middle of his forehead. Envy only laughed as he grabbed the man’s gun and threw it under the table that was next to me. He proceeded to break that man’s neck too.
Envy turned to my father and me with a smile. He licked blood away from his lips as it streamed freely down his face. My mouth tried to form words, but I couldn’t convince my vocal cords to function.
The bullet wound on Envy’s forehead wasn’t disappearing, the sight was just disgusting.
My father spoke in a factual tone. “Your body can’t regenerate.” He said it more as a statement than a question.
Envy smirked. “Your right, I won’t regenerate, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to die.”
My father’s deep voice rang out in the room. “That is why you’re in that form too, isn’t it? In this world you don’t have the power to transform and regenerate, but you’re still not human so you won’t die.”
Envy opened his arms and shrugged. “You figured out my little secret, oh Hohenhiem, what should I do with you now?”
Envy began to advance.
It’s amazing how I had fought Envy plenty of times when he could still regenerate, yet this time I was scared shitless.
For some reason I was getting the feeling that this situation was slightly my fault. I saw Envy pass through the gate; but for some reason I never even dreamed he had actually made it through. I found no need to ever tell my father about it, partially because I didn’t want to talk to my father about him having another son. If I would had been smart I would had made sure Envy hadn’t made it through. Yet, there he was now, standing in front of us ready to finally take his revenge. It sucks when you don’t play it smart.
That day so far had been a really shocking day. Really, it had.
I pushed myself out of the chair as Envy began to advance towards my father, my voice sounded shaky to my own ears. “Don- don’t go near him.”
Envy stopped and looked at me; he placed his hands on his hips as he analyzed me up and down. I was tempted to shut my eyes, it felt like I was standing naked and he was able to see every ugly scare that graced my body.
“My, my, Fullmetal, you have grown, I never thought I would see the day. So does the now taller scarier Ed plan to take me on? Usually by now you would be on top of me.”
A growl grew in the depths of my throat. I took one step in his direction, but was stopped by my fathers booming voice.
I looked at my father with surprise. He kept his eyes steadily on Envy. “Why are you here?”
Envy laughed at my father. “Pops', is it a problem for me to visit? Can’t you take seeing the face of the child you abandoned?”
I felt like I was an intruder who was listening in on a personal conversation. This seemed between a father and son, I felt like the third wheel.
Dante had told me what happened between my father and Envy. I couldn’t say if my father was right or wrong in what he did. I mean, in a sense I did the same thing too. I abandoned the thing I had created which was once my mother. But, then again, I was 11 years old and didn’t even know something like that could have survived. Argh, who knew!
My father looked at Envy without even a blink, for a second I thought this was going to turn into a staring contest, but Envy finally looked away in irritation. “Can’t answer your own son? You truly are a pathetic creature, no wonder why mom never held you in high regards.”
This conversation was sounding too weird to my ears. Dante, Dad, Envy? That just sounded like one messed up family.
My father swallowed loud enough for everyone to hear. “Will you please just leave?”
This man had to be kidding me! Envy leave? I could just imagine it now: Envy apologizing for the rude intrusion, bidding us a good day and a farewell. It just wasn’t going to happen.
Envy swayed his hips and took a few steps closer to me and my father. “Hohenheim, I can’t do that. Now how would I like to kill you two? Hmm, let’s see, I have been after father for many years now so maybe I should just kill him first. But, it would be rather pleasurable…” Envy eyed me. “…to see…” He advanced in my direction. “…you watch…” Envy pulled out a large ass knife from what seemed like no where. “…Edward DIE!”
It felt like slow motion, I was reminded of the time I first confronted Scar. I wanted to move but my feet were refusing to respond. It had been three years now since I’d been in my last battle, fighting seemed almost foreign to me now. The knife was heading straight for me. As it inched closer I could think of only one thing to do.
I lifted my right arm in the air so it would take the blow, the knife cut halfway through my cheap prosthetic arm; the force caused me to fall backwards.
From the corner of my eye I could see my father running towards me. Envy pulled out the knife from my arm and began to turn towards him. I begged my voice to work; I swallowed hard and just allowed my voice to run free.
My voice was met with silence.
I was just too late… I was too late and too slow. Envy smirked as the knife embedded itself into my fathers abdominal. My instincts final began to kick in.
With one swift kick with my good leg, Envy fell onto his back. I jumped on top of him and began punching him. He only laughed manically at me.
“Edward, you sure take pleasure in beating up your older brother!”
I kept smacking him over and over with my left hand. “Shut up, JUST SHUT UP! You are not my fucking brother!”
Envy smirked. “Denial, your just upset cause Pops' is about to die.”
I stopped my beating and turned to look at my father. He was against the wall while holding the butt of the knife, the knife was still inside him and blood was beginning to soak through his clothing. He seemed like he was still alive. I had to finish Envy quick or there would be nothing I could do to save him.
Envy grabbed my attention by roughly grabbing my right arm.
“You’re weak without this fake arm of yours.” In one quick motion he tore my metal arm in half; right where the knife had cut through. I looked at the metal stump that was left; I could only smirk at Envy’s stupid choice. With one quick motion I cut his throat open with the sharp tip of metal he had created.
Envy’s eyes widened as he grabbed his throat.
I pushed my self off him and looked down, Envy tried to speak but no words would form.
He wasn’t dead yet, it was going to take much more to kill him, it would take more time than I had at the moment. So I broke both of Envy’s legs, it assured me that he wouldn’t be able to do something stupid without me noticing.
Envy just stared at me with pure irritation.
Oh god did he look so disgusting! I swallowed some puke that threatened to come up. Just think about it, he had a hole in his head, a cut throat, and two legs placed in odd angels. It was just horrifying; he defiantly made it up to the top three scary ass things I'd seen in my life time.
I stumbled my way towards my father. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry-” Those three words kept running out of my mouth. I didn’t know how serious my father’s condition was. I forced him to move his hands away from the knife which was still jammed into his stomach; I looked at the stab wound carefully. I sighed in relief upon closer examination, Envy had missed vital organs. But, the blood loss was going to kill him if I didn’t get him to a doctor quick.
Now, you might ask why I magically knew so much about human anatomy. Well, you gotta know that type of stuff if you ever plan to do a human transmutation.
I smiled reassuringly at my father. “I got to get you to the hospital.”
My father stubbornly shook his head. “No one can see my decomposing body, you can’t take me.”
You would think being in a situation like the one we were in the man wouldn’t think of dumb stuff like that. “I’ll make up a disease, I refuse to los-”
The sound of the gun seemed distant in my own ears. I looked down at my right side to see blood beginning to pour out, the bullet had gone straight through. It’s funny, it didn’t really hurt.
I turned to look behind me. Envy was sitting up with a smoking revolver, the same gun he had thrown earlier, the same gun that had been thrown under the table that I had been right beside. What a miscalculation.
I fell to my knees while grabbing my side, shock was starting to take over my body. I had never been shot before. I took a moment to look at the wound. It seemed Envy was going on a bad streak, he missed vital organs again.
It took me a second to register my surroundings. Once the wheels in my brain began to work again I came to the realization that something bad was about to happen.
I saw my father running towards Envy with a knife in hand, blood was pouring freely from him which told me he had jerked the knife out of his stomach… I didn’t even hear him get up let alone do that.
I began to stand, but fell from my wobbly knees. Oh god, I knew what was going to happen. I began to crawl towards them in a sad attempt to do something…anything.
The gun rang off three more times, my heart missed a beat every time. Flashes of ancient memories danced through my mind, memories of the time before my father left and my mother died, memories of when Alphonse and I were just little children with our innocence still intact, memories I thought I had buried deep inside me.
My mind suddenly blinked. When I opened my eyes I found my father lying motionless on top of Envy, I waited for one of them to move, but neither did.
My heart felt constricted, all I could think was this couldn’t be happening… It’s not possible for the world to hate me that much.
God, you can’t hate me that badly, can you?
I crawled my way towards my father. My voice seemed like a whisper. “Dad…” Nothing. “Dad.” Still nothing.
My stomach twisted in angles that were long forgotten, it twisted the same way when I lost my mother. I felt something slightly familiar run down my cheek; I licked at the salty substance. I didn’t want to cry, I couldn’t be crying.
I made my way to the two motionless men; I looked at them from the side and waited for one to look back. It was then that I realized Envy’s head was completely severed from his body, what made it worse was his mouth was still moving while his eyes blinked. Oh my god, he was still alive!
I finally puked.
After dumping out what was in my stomach, I turned back to the horror scene. I wasn’t sure what to do. I did the only thing I could think of, I grabbed my fathers shoulder and pulled him off Envy’s body. There was no way I could leave anyone on something like that, it was just wrong in so many ways.
I sat motionless for a second with my father’s heavy weight laying halfway on me. Looking at his face I couldn’t tell if he was dead or alive, I was too scared to check. More tears began to escape.
…if my father was dead, then that meant I truly was alone.
My voice was strained and slightly beyond a whisper. “I don’t want to be alone; you can’t leave me alone here.” It was the truth; I was scared to death of being alone. I didn’t want to imagine a life with no one in this dark cold world.
“…You won’t be alone...”
My father’s eyes were still shut as he spoke, he was still alive! A laugh of joy began to build up inside me, but it quickly disappeared when I looked down at my father’s body.
His cloths were the color of a divine red, there was just too much blood. I wasn’t ignorant enough not to know that he was going to die. “No.”
My father’s eyes slide open slightly, they were glazed over. It just confirmed that there was no hope. This was going to be the last few moments I was going to have with my father. I began to cry more strongly, I was surprising myself by how hard I was crying. This wasn’t the Edward Elric I knew so well; I was feeling foreign in my own body. The child part of me was finally surfacing after years of suppression.
I didn’t care, this was my father. And I was about to lose him for good this time.
“You can’t leave me here alone, I won’t let you.”
My father’s lips formed a faint smile.
“Dad, please don’t die on me. Daddy, just don’t go. I…I finally got you back after all of these years.”
Where these words were coming from I had no utter clue. But they felt so honest, so relieving…. I was scaring myself.
My father pushed himself up into a sitting position. I grabbed him by the shoulder to stop him, but he pushed my hand away. “Edward, this is the first time you have called me dad.”
I wiped some of the tears away. My nose also was running, but I ignored it. “Lay down, your going to make it worse.”
My father shook his head. He looked over at Envy and took a deep breath. “Edward, I see the gate before me.”
I didn’t have to ask what he was talking about, I already knew. My body began to shake against my own accord, I felt like I was in a place even worse than hell.
My father hovered over Envy; I couldn’t make out what he was doing until he pushed himself away. There were arrays drawn in blood on both of Envy’s cheeks. Envy kept looking around not sure what was going on. I could feel puke warning me of its presence, but I ignored it.
I looked at the two arrays carefully, they seemed slightly familiar to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on how. “What are you doing?”
My father looked at me and smiled, the moment he did so he began to cough violently. Blood began to drip from his lips. Once the coughing subsided, he spoke in a whisper.
“Giving you a gift.”
He used his own blood to draw the same array on his forehead, it hit me then. This was the same array I had used on myself when I sacrificed myself for Al.
“Dad you can’t! Are you crazy? Alchemy doesn’t exist in this world, what do you think you’re doing?”
My father shook his head. He wiped blood off the floor and drew a different type of array on my hand and then on my forehead, I had never seen an array like the one he drew on me before. “What is this?”
My dad grabbed me into a hug. At first my hand laid at my side, but for the first time since my mother died, I gave a hug back. His voice was so quiet and pain stricken that more tears found their way to my eyes.
“Edward, I have loved all of my children very much, you especially has made me very proud. I have to do this for you, please just let me. I need you to open the gate inside yourself. Since I am mentally and spiritually at the gate it will be enough for me to use alchemy, I will be able to convert myself and Envy into the power source that will be needed to take you out of here. I can send you home... please, let me do this.”
My heart fell apart. “Dad, if you become energy your soul will disappear, you will become nothing.”
My father pushed away from the hug so he could look at me. His face was the sickening color of a dead person; I had to force myself not to look away. “In this world when you die you become energy anyway. I want to do this for you, please allow me to do this.”
It hurt, it hurt like hell. All my life people had sacrificed themselves for my own needs; this was just going to be another one. I couldn’t argue with him. I never wanted to make it home in a way like this, it felt so wrong… but, I was going to do it. I was going to do it because he wanted me to; he wanted to do it for me.
My father was about to give me a priceless gift, this was going to be the last time I would ever be able to give him something in return. I wanted to give him something that was hardest to say, but it was purely the truth. Oh god was it the truth!
I took a deep breath to try and calm myself and looked him squarely in the face. “I know I wasn’t the best son…” A sob forced its way out of my throat, my stomach was twisting tighter. It hurt so fucking much, but I had to finish what I wanted to say. “…I want you to know that I forgive you for everything…I always had. I know you left us not for your sake, but for our own. Dad, I love you. I loved you even after you left, but I’ve just been too stubborn to admit it to myself. I‘m so sorry, I‘m just so sorry.”
I clung to him wanting to never let go, I began to cry on his shoulder like a baby. After a minute or so passed my father made me pull away. He wiped a few of my tears away with his thumb and forced me to look at him directly in the face.
The image of my father smiling was the last thing I saw before I closed my eyes and allowed the gate to take me home.
Questions you might have…
1. Why it is that Edwards father can send Ed through the gate?
I actually wasted a whole ten minutes of my life to figure out a logical way to send Ed home. (Trust me; the story isn’t done yet folks.) In the series Dante was able to use Roses baby as a way to open the gate because a baby lacked a developed conscious. So when people die and are loosing their state of conscious, wouldn’t that mean they would be able to open the gate?
I took that into strong consideration and I also took thought about Christianity too (The gates of heaven are actually the gate, In FMA terms, well, this is what I got. My theory is that when people die in this world they must see the gate and then are converted into ‘energy‘. So, mentally and spiritually Ed’s father would be seeing the gate when he was dieing (he wouldn’t have his body since well, it died on him.) Next chapter I will talk a little bit more on this subject.
Now we all know that humans from this world are converted into energy! Sooo what did Ed’s father do? He used Alchemy (my theory is he used Envy for the energy source to do alchemy) to pull all of Ed (body, mind, soul) out and used himself as a catapult so he could send Ed through the gate.
Still confused? Err sorry, I tried.
2. Also, you might be wondering why is Ed so emotional? He never liked his father!
Ok kid, let’s tune into reality for a second. I'm not even close to my father but if he died I would still feel some emotions. You might notice some contradicting between chapter 1 and chapter 2. The whole point is Ed convinced himself that he hated his father. But when it came down to it he actually never hated him at all. Sure there is some anger but hate is a very strong word.
Jun 17 2005, 03:39 PM
The son and father moments are so beautiful! Showing that underneath Ed really did love his father *Cries*
Jun 21 2005, 12:30 AM
awesome! at least if the movie dosent end in a manner I see fit... I still have this! :-D
Jun 21 2005, 04:24 AM
Yep, her post fic shall help us get through the trauma that is waiting for the FMA movie
Jun 21 2005, 09:07 AM
::.Chapter three, Death of Fullmetal.::
Wahoo Fma! To bad I don’t own it.
Read: Here’s when we start mixing the manga with anime. To lazy to read the manga? Well, read my profile, I have a link that talks about the neighboring countries of Amestris world and Ling.
By The Gomp
When I came-to I found myself lying on a cold hard marble floor. My head felt like it was going to split in half.
I looked around the area I laid in to take in my surroundings. The room was dark and the air tasted stale. It took me a second to realize I was in the mansion that I’d last fought Dante and the Homunculus in; I was sitting in the center of the alchemy array I had used years ago.
My body felt bruised all over as I sat up. A pulsing pain from my side screamed for my attention, I was still bleeding from my shot wound.
I sat for a second trying to sort everything out in my head, too much happened in a short amount of time. I stared blankly at the marble floor; there was a nice coat of dust that I was sitting on.
I slammed my fist hard into the ground, causing some of the dust to fly around me. I wanted to scream, I wanted to yell, hell crying like a baby again would be good. But all I could do was just stare blankly. My face felt sticky from previous tears.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen this way.” My voice rang out in the empty room. “It wasn't supposed to happen like this!” I slammed my fist repeatedly into the ground; something inside me felt like it was snapping in half, it hurt so much. I finally screamed, it was so loud and pain filled that I couldn’t believe it was my own.
I couldn’t protect someone again… instead, he protected me.
I forced myself to stand, I could contemplate everything later. A few drops of blood fell from between my fingers, if I didn’t get help soon then my fathers sacrifice was going to be in vain.
I forced my eyes to keep focus as I pushed my way through the murky halls; my feet caused loud echo’s to resonate throughout the building. After a few minutes of searching, I found the entrance doors; I forced one of the ponderous doors open and walked out into the underground city. My eyes were beginning to lose focus from the blood loss, I had to hurry.
Even though it had been three years since I last walked through that hell hole, I still remembered my way out. I jogged my way through the empty roads and made my way through the dark passage that led to the hoary church that was aboveground. By the time I made it to the church’s front doors I could feel my body getting ready to give out, but I wouldn’t let it.
I yanked the front doors open to the freedom that was beyond, the sun shined brightly in my eyes.
I walked out of the church and found myself in an alley street, the distant noise of Amestris society sent shivers throughout my body. I was home; I truly was in my own world.
I looked between two buildings to see the street that was ahead, the street looked to be a market of some sort, people were socializing and shopping throughout it.
My movements were slow and forced, but I had to get to the market. I was only inches away when my knees decided to finally give out.
My voice sounded like a whisper, it was raspy and even hard for me to understand, I swallowed some saliva to try and clear my throat. I knew I had only one more chance to get help before my body was going to give away; I had to make it good.
I took a deep breath and screamed at the top of my lungs.
“SOMEONE HELP ME!”
The world suddenly went black.
The next few weeks were a total blur. Now and then I would hear random voices, but I couldn’t tell if they were from a dream or if they were real. Sometimes I would hear the sound of a steady beeping and other times I thought I heard a women’s voice telling me comforting words.
There was this one time that I was pretty sure that I was really beginning to wake up. I heard many voices talking at once, some of them were screaming while others were mumbling incoherently, then someone started yelling for people to move out of their way. Shortly after that my world went back to a peaceful ignorance.
During my unconscious moments memories toyed with my mind. Some nice, some I would rather forget. I think I had a few dreams here and there that had nothing to do with the reality of life, but I couldn’t really remember.
Then on one not so particular morning my body seemed to be filled with energy, it was encouraging me to wake up. It was as if my body had been dead for so long and now it was ready to be filled with life again.
I blinked a few times as a light that was too bright for its own good entered its way into my vision. My vision was still pretty blurry so I rubbed my hand over my eyes to encourage their focus.
My fingers had that sleep feeling to them, you know, the one that felt like a thousand needles were pricking at you all at once. I groaned in annoyance and shook my hand to wake it up.
I took a deep breath while trying to figure out where I was. This wasn’t my room, I was sure of that. I looked from side to side to see if I could find anything of familiarity, there was nothing. The room was simply white and bore-some. The sound of a steady beep grabbed my attention. I looked to the far right of myself to find a strange contraption; it seemed to be reading my heart. That caused my eyes opened in shock.
“Where the hell am I?”
I sat up in the bed and felt up and down my body, the outfit I was wearing defiantly wasn’t the last thing I remembered having on. I groaned in pain as my hand grabbed my right side.
It was then that realization dawned on me. My father, Envy, the gate…
Images of the gate flooded my mind. The gate…this time going through the gate had been different; I had learned many new things. I suppose sacrificing both Envy and my father was a bigger fee than I had ever given before. A smile stretched across my face; this time around the gate had told me something very precious.
It seems that to the people of the other world, the gate was a place they called ‘heaven‘. In that world I had heard people mention a flash of light before death then they would be sent to the ‘gates of heaven‘, but, what was really happening, was they were actually going to the gate (or the gate of truth as I liked to call it). My father had once told me that the people of the other world were converted into energy when they died, then that energy was used for alchemy by the people of my own world. But see, the energy that's created isn’t the people’s souls or the people themselves; instead, the energy that’s created is from their lives. Their memories and life story’s are converted into energy that we then use for alchemy. Wait, I still have more! In compensation for these people to lose their memories, their souls are then reborn into my own world, like a form of reincarnation. If you put everything together, it’s the law of conservation taking place.
…yet, my father still had given up himself without knowing that fact.
I brought my hand to my face, it hurt to breathe just thinking about what happened. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be overjoyed that my father would gain life again or sulk from losing him, I was going for the later.
This time I had lost him for real.
A helpless moan came from between my lips. I was so tired of being in these types of situations, they hurt and simply weren’t fun to be in.
The door to the room I was in suddenly opened, it caused me to look up in surprise. The woman standing in the doorway gasped when she realized that I was alert. “You finally woke up!”
I looked at her in confusion, well, wasn’t she just stating the obvious.
“Hold still sir, I have to get the doctor.” Like I had anywhere to go?
The woman rushed out of the room before I could ask her the millions of questions that I had, I stared at the doorway for a second before I leaned back in my bed. I then looked at the empty space of where I once had an arm, my prosthetic was obviously gone, even the outer rim that connected the nerves was missing. Instead, my shoulder was fully bandaged up.
Slight disappointment nagged at me, there was no reason for me to have had my arm and leg returned, but one could hope… right?
It didn’t take long for a doctor to enter the room; he was carrying a clip board. He smiled when I looked at him.
“Mr. Elric, you gave us quite a scare, I’m glad that you’re finally awake.”
I stared at the man not sure what to say. How did he know my name? The doctor's smile only grew when he saw my confusion. “A military officer is here to see you; he’s been waiting almost an hour for you to awake.”
I swallowed hard, the military had already found out. Did that mean everyone else already knew? If they did, wouldn’t that mean they were waiting also? “What about friends or…relatives? Where are they?”
The man lifted an eyebrow. “We were told not to contact any family members. When you were first brought here we had no way to identify you, we called the police to do a background check and amazingly one of the officers recognized you. You’re the legendary Fullmetal, are you not? We contacted the military right away; it seems you have been missing in action for quite some time now.” Yea and I wanted it to stay that way.
I didn’t want to be mad at the man but my voice came out harsh anyways. “How long have I been in the hospital?”
The man just ignored my tone and flipped through his chart. “For almost a week, we drugged you so you wouldn’t wake up, your body seemed in desperate need of rest and it needed proper time to heal. At one point you gained a fever, but we were able to contain and vanquish it pretty quickly. You’re a lucky young man, if we hadn’t gotten you here as quickly as we did, it’s highly possible you would have died, you lost a lot of blood.”
My left hand grabbed my right side again; I could still feel the dull pain of my gunshot wound. “Send in whoever it is to see me.”
The doctor eyed me for a moment; he walked closer to my bed. “Do you mind telling me what happened?”
Before I could say a word a familiar voice grabbed both out attentions. “That information is classified Doctor, please leave.” The doctor looked at me once almost as if he had more to say, but without a second glance he followed his orders. The soft sound of the door closing behind him penetrated the silence that fell across the room.
As one could expect, I never thought that the first familiar face I would see would be the same crappy Colonel I had to dealt with for most of my teenage years. My mouth fell open from shock when I got a good look at him, he had an eye patch over his left eye and needed a cane to stand up right, oh boy, oh boy, was this a real treat.
“Well Edward Elric, you're not dead after all.”
I didn’t really have any words to say, hell, what could you say to that? Instead, I just bid him to come nearer. Mustang limped his way to my bedside, his face remaining neutral. I looked at his uniform like the kid I was and lifted a shaking finger to touch it; the fabric was rough under my finger tips, a smile spread across my lips. I then did something I didn’t even plan to do.
I laughed like a freaking psycho would after making his first kill, I laughed so hard that my stomach began to hurt. Mustang’s right eye stared at me in shock.
“Are you alright? Do you still have drugs in your system…?”
I could only laugh harder. I didn’t know why I was laughing. There was no humor in the situation, maybe I laughed just because it felt so damn good to be alive. Laughing just allowed the pain to go away and reality to sink in, I really was home. Roy…he was so familiar, so alive, it was just unbelievable.
“Edward, please calm down, if you don’t, I’ll be forced to get a doctor.”
I took a few deep breaths to try and get the fit of laughter out of my system, after a few minutes of struggling I seemed finally able to control myself. I looked at Colonel Roy Mustang with a smile on my face. “Doesn’t seem like you've changed much, still stern as ever, I presume.”
Mustang looked at me with a smirk. “Things have changed. Welcome back, I was told you were dead.”
I looked at Mustang curiously, I suppose like a new born child would after seeing his parents for the first time. Roy and I had always had an odd relationship, he was the jerk and I was the brat. What was so weird was that I was sure that the last time we had spoken was going to be the last I would ever see him again, but here we were, both men, seeing each other once more. The world truly was a strange place.
“I thought I was dead too.”
Mustang looked at me with a purpose. I ignored that look and stared at the eye patch, it seemed so foreign on his face. He noticed my stare and subconsciously placed his fingers on the black cloth. “I lost it during the night I fought the Fuhrer, Colonel Archer got a few good shots at me.” He tapped the side of his leg with his cane to add some emphasis.
Something else caught me totally off guard, I had to blink several times to make sure I was seeing right, there was no way. I pointed at the object that seemed almost offensive being there. “ Wha- What’s that? Don’t tell me your marr-”
I nodded a few times. The military’s womanizer… Who the hell would marry him!
Mustang’s smile only broadened, his actions seemed to carry a hint of humor. “I’m married and my wife is expecting.”
Ok, that did it; I laid back in my bed and began to laugh again. Roy, a daddy? It was simply priceless.
Between my fits of laughter, I was able spurt out the question that nagged at me. “Who would marry you?”
Mustang chuckled at that, at least he wasn’t taking offense towards my rude behavior. “Who else? Riza Hawkeye.”
My laughter suddenly haltered. “You and First Lieutenant are married and you’re having a baby?”
Mustang could only nod as his response.
“Maybe the gate made a mistake, maybe it took me back to the wrong world! This cant be right!”
I, of course, said this all out of humor, but Mustangs face faltered. “You went through a gate?”
I looked at Roy for a moment with stupidity written all over my face, shit.
The atmosphere in the room suddenly seemed to darken. “I don’t want to talk about it, especially when it's involving someone from the military.” My voice was threatening, but I only spoke the truth.
“There will be no military involvement; this is just between you and me. The higher ups don’t even know that you’ve surfaced, once I got word that they identified you; I put in false rumors so you wouldn’t be found. I’m only here as your friend, the only reason I was presented to you as a military official is because it was the only way I could see you and get control of the hospital fee‘s and such.”
I didn’t believe him; I never trusted the military and I never fully trusted Roy. And friends, when did Roy and I form a bond of friendship? Last time I checked, Roy was just a Colonel who was trying to control a rebellious teen. “Then why haven’t you allowed anyone else to see me or be informed of my presences?”
I wanted to ask why no one had informed my brother, oh God did I want to ask. But I couldn’t, I was too scared. If Roy was to tell me that my brother wasn’t around anymore than I would have no meaning left in life.
“They all still think your dead.”
Well Roy, that just made life all better, how about I give you a nice applause for your lack of brain activity?
“I had to make sure it was really you, I needed to speak with you and confirm that you were the real Edward Elric before I informed anyone else. There has been a lot of suffering for your sake, not just with your family, but with others too. I refused to lead anyone on just incase you were an imposer. Now tell me, what happened?”
And, of course, Roy had to ask the one question I didn’t want to answer.
I pulled at the blankets that surrounded my body and threw them to the side. I figured so, my make shift prosthetic leg was also missing. I looked at my bandaged stump and groaned, nope, couldn’t run away this time.
“Get me the damn doctor; I want to bitch about my prosthetics.”
Roy shook his head as he watched me look around the room for something that I could support myself with. His words were spoken evenly, as if everything obviously made sense. “I told the doctor to remove them. That was a cheap imitation of auto-mail you had, you deserve much better.”
I gave a frustrated growl, Roy was pissing me off! “Don’t tell me what I should have for an arm and leg! Now, get the doctor, I want my prosthetics back and I want to get the hell out of here.”
I didn’t want to see Roy’s face, he wanted answers and I didn’t want to talk until I came to terms with everything myself. Besides, Roy wasn’t the top pick of people to sap my heart out to. I knew if I stayed there he would force me to speak, the hell with him.
All I wanted was to go home, I wanted to show everyone I was alive. The idea of them thinking I was dead left a foul taste in my mouth. I grabbed the I.V. that was in my arm and yanked it out. I started pulling off the suction cups that connected me to the weird contraption that was beeping behind me. Roy grabbed my shoulders to try and settle me.
“What the hell are these things? Get these things off me!”
Roy tried to stop my hand movements, but my left hand was quick. “Ed, leave them on, they are just part of the heart monitor. Haven’t you seen one before? It’s been around for two years...”
I looked at the man as if he was crazy. The hospitals in this world were more technologically advanced than the ones in the other; I supposed it shouldn’t had been too surprising that they would have invented something like that.
Roy looked at me curiously, he was beginning to catch onto something and I didn’t like it.
“Edward, will you calm down? You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to.”
The image of my father danced around my head. I swung my leg over the side of the bed and pushed myself off the mattress hoping that magically I could keep balance. Falling flat on my face proved me wrong, the marble floor was cold to the touch.
“I want out of here!”
Mustang knelt beside me with concern consuming him.
I knew I wasn’t thinking right, hell, I really wasn’t thinking at all. I was tired and just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to answer anything; I wanted nothing to do with the Military. I could only imagine how big of an idiot I looked sprawled on the floor the way I was.
“Edward, please calm down.”
A nurse suddenly knocked on the door. “Sir, I was told to check up…oh my. Is he alright? I’ll be right back; I’m going to fetch the doctor.”
Roy lifted his hand in a gesture to stop the women from leaving. “No, please, he just needs some time alone.”
I looked at the nurse with pure frustration. “Get the doctor and tell him to give me my damn leg back.”
She looked between me and Roy indecisive. Roy shook his head and motioned her to leave. For some reason she followed, willing to leave me alone with Roy. Damn her, damn her to hell!
Roy grabbed me by the shoulders and flipped me around so I was facing him. I refused to make eye contact.
“You remind me of a little child. I will inform your family of your safety if that will make you feel better.”
For some reason it didn’t. I slammed my fist into the ground not sure of what to say, my mind was running a mile a minute. “I want to see them…” My voice got groggily. “I want to see them for my-myself.”
I covered my face with my left hand so Roy couldn’t see the tears threatening to spill. This was just getting annoying, I could never cry when I was a teen, but now that I was an adult I was easily able to cry like a baby.
Roy lifted my body up gently. “You’re not at a healthy weight Edward.”
I still refused to face him. Roy laid me carefully on the bed and pulled the blankets tightly around me. I turned to the side so I wouldn’t have to look at him.
His voice was soft. “I will retrieve your leg, but I refuse to allow you to have it connected again. It’s possible for that type of alloy to cause an infection from bacteria. When they found you, your arm was totally scrapped. Would you still like me to retrieve that too?” I nodded my head; I was going to need them.
“Now, do you really want to see your family for yourself or would you rather I inform them of your return?” His kind tone was disturbing me; I took a chance and looked at him. He looked at me as if nothing had happened; he was looking at me still as a man.
I contemplated what he had asked me. “Can you tell them something is up, don’t tell them exactly what, but tell them someone is coming so they need to be all together. I want to surprise them…” I gave a weak smile.
When I spoke of family Roy knew I meant the Rockbell's and…. Al, I was still too scared to ask about Al.
Roy smiled at me. It was a genuine smile that I had never seen him use before; he seemed so much older now.
“It would be my pleasure. I will find a good prosthetic leg which you can function with, and I will also get a train ride ready for you. Is there anything else you think you need?”
I thought for a moment to only have my stomach beat me to the punch, it growled for attention. I gave him a guilty smile.
“I‘ll make sure you get some food too.”
I got stuck in the hospital for three more days. They refused to allow me to leave until they were positive that I was physically stable.
I didn’t get any more surprise visitors, but Roy checked on me once a day. His visits were short, he was even kind enough to drop off a few books to try and give me something to do. I thought the gesture was kind, but I couldn’t read the books without getting a headache because of my eyes, what a let down.
It didn’t take me long to discovered that I was at a leading hospital. When they originally found my body they had to transport me to the closest hospital that had proper supplies for surgery. You wanna guess what hospital that was? No guess? Come-on! Well all right, I‘ll tell you. It was Central‘s! Yup, good ol’ Central… grrr.
This meant I was in the center of military heaven. I didn’t want to face another military personnel for a long time, Mustang was enough to handle.
I spent most my time just thinking about what happened with my father. Slowly I was coming to terms with stuff, but that didn’t mean I was ready to talk about it, I had a feeling it was going to take awhile for that one.
On the last day of my hospital stay Roy produced a substitute leg prosthetic and a ride to his house.
I looked to my left and watched Roy drive. He defiantly looked older these days. “Why am I going to your house again?”
Roy changed the shifts of the car then gave me a quick glance. “Your train doesn’t leave till morning, how many times do I have to tell you this?”
I tapped my pointer finger against my chin. “Yet, you haven’t explained to me why I am going to your house…”
“Because I’m not paying for you to have a hotel room.” I sighed as I sat back in the car seat. I suppose it would be cool to see Riza, I was curious of what she looked like now. She had always been a fairly attractive adult, I wondered if Roy had driven her sanity away and caused her to age far too quickly.
“What happened to the money I made from the military?” It was a dumb question; I just had to confirm it.
“Your family inherited it. They are also being compensated because you died ‘in action‘.” I loved how I was dead.
A small spark flickered behind my eyes. The only way the government would give compensation was if they had a blood relative to give it to, but for some reason I wouldn’t be surprised if Mustang had pulled some strings so Winry and Granny could have been taken care of. I slide in my seat from my depressing thoughts.
“You really haven’t been home at all, have you?”
I looked at Roy. I wanted to go ‘well duh’, but it wasn’t his fault for not knowing, he had no clue what had gone on in the past three years, no one did.
I ignored his question. I just slide further down the seat.
“I know what happened.”
That caused me to sit straight from surprise. My eyes went wide, but I tried to ignore what he was saying, he knew nothing.
“A heart-rate monitor was introduced two years ago; it was on the news everywhere. The reason for the publicity was because it had a battery backup system, first to be introduced in the world. If you were on earth you would have heard about it, it was a huge step for medical technology.”
I blew some of my long bangs out of my face. “Maybe I just never saw one before.”
Roy shook his head. “You’re not like that, your to observant. You also never returned from the final battle with Dante, no one has seen you since. Many speculations have been made about what happened.”
My mouth fell open. “How do you know about Dante?”
Roy pulled the car off to the side of the road. He looked at me intently, but I looked at my hand instead of facing him. What a man I was, fierce in battle, but pussy in an adult conversation.
“You crossed some type of ‘gate’ and now your back; it’s the only possible explanation. This ‘gate’ must lead to another world because you defiantly weren’t hiding around in this one, that’s for sure.”
My mouth went into a firm line. He already knew most of my story, yet, earlier he tried to get answers from me. I sighed and looked at him. “Your right, now do you want to take me back to the military as a lab rat? Bet you could get a nice penny with my good looks.”
Roy smirked. “The military has changed greatly since you left. When you see my wife please don’t refer to her as First Lieutenant, she is now Colonel. And I am General.”
I began to choke. “H-Holy crap! Even in your condition?” Yup, the comment was rude as hell, but I couldn’t help it.
Roy lifted an eyebrow as he started the car again. “The military isn’t the same. It has no more power, we handed it over to Parliament. My position is nothing more than a title and hours of paper work.”
I rubbed my chin, eww, stubble hair. For some reason I didn’t see Parliament in charge as being a bad thing, yet, something didn’t seem to fit right. “So you’re telling me you still got a high position even though you tried to kill King Bradley?”
“I did kill King Bradley. I used to play chess with a superior of mine, when the government switched to the Parliament he was elected as one of the chairmen.”
“So he covered for you? I suppose it does pay to make friends in high places.” Roy only shrugged in response.
Silence began to stretch in the car, it wasn’t really uncomfortable, but sitting alone with Roy never was something I favored on doing. Roy was the one who broke the silence first.
“Why haven’t you asked me about your brother?”
Butterflies began to dance in my stomach; he was bringing up the most sensitive subject to talk about. I looked out the window pretending I didn’t hear him.
“Do you want to know about him?”
My palm began to sweat, I wiped it against the hospital pants that the hospital had provided me with. I looked at Roy, my voice came out shaky. “What is there to say about him?”
Roy only smirked. A bit of hope welled up inside me; did that mean what I thought it did?
“What do you want to know?”
I felt like I was in a damn guessing game, I hated it when people danced around a subject. Roy knew exactly what I wanted and was forcing me to say it out loud. Stupid crappy Colo-General, argh.
“Are you saying he’s…”
“Yes, he’s alive.”
I will never be able to put into words of how relieved I felt. I wanted to scream, shout, cry, do a dance on the roof of Mustangs car. There were a million good feelings which were welling up inside me; it was as if I finally felt whole.
Roy seemed confused; I don’t think he was able to decrypt the expression on my face. I hadn’t noticed, but he had stopped the car and was looking at me oddly. I gave him a smile and he smiled back as if finally understanding.
“Well, that seems to have put you in a better mood.”
I could only nod absently. I had so many things I wanted to say to my brother, I had a million stories’ to tell and now I had a life time to tell them. Thank you to whatever god or holy divine there was out there, my brother made it out alive! He was alive and I was alive along with him.
“He’s not in a suit of armor anymore, right?” Mustang nodded.
Life was good, life was too good. My brother was alive and better yet, he wasn’t the suit of armor anymore. It bloody worked, that day when I transmuted him, it actually worked.
“I think I should tell you something else about your brother though-”
I cut Roy off by a quick gesture with my hand.
“Is it anything life threatening?”
Mustang shook his head.
“Then save it, I’ll find it out on my own. Thank you so much for everything.”
Roy smiled at me as he shrugged his shoulders.
A knock on the window made me jump. I looked out my window to be greeted with Riza waving at us. She motioned for me to roll down the window, so I did.
“Do you boys plan to come in or just sit out here all day? Dinner is waiting for the both of you.”
I looked at the house that was in front of the car. I hadn’t realized it, but when Roy had pulled over he actually had parked in his drive way. I looked back at Riza and smiled. “I heard the good news, congratulations.”
Riza placed her hands on her rather large abdominal. Her hair was undone and was lying on her shoulders; she was wearing a maternity dress that was pink with blue and green flowers. I had never seen her out of uniform before, she looked very different now.
She smiled at me and opened the door. “Well, if you would have come home earlier we would have invited you to the wedding.”
I gave a nervous laugh as I got out of the car. “Yea, sorry it took me so long.”
Riza looked me up and down while biting a nail “Ed, you have gotten taller.”
I wasn’t sure if I should have been happy or annoyed by her comment. Why did it have to be the first thing she noticed! “Yup, so I’m not a small bean anymore.”
Roy got out of the car and walked next to his wife. Seeing the two together actually seemed right somehow.
Roy‘s smirk was devilish. “I wouldn’t go that far.”
In an immature manner I stuck my tongue out at him. I turned my attention back to Riza. “When are you expecting?”
She rubbed her tummy a few times. “I have a month and a few days left. Do you want to touch?” She gestured towards her stomach.
Memories of the last time I touched a pregnant women hit me. “Ehh no, that’s ok…”
“Shy Edward? You still scared of females? Oh lil’ Edward is still scared of a women’s body, what a pansy.” The devils fire flared to life.
“Who are you calling LITTLE! And I’m not a pansy!”
Roy only laughed at my outburst. “Still a kid at heart.”
I placed my hand on my hip. “Better to be a little kid than an old man beginning to gray.”
Mustang ran his fingers through his hair, he tried to look up but his hair was too short to see. Riza shook her head at his stupidity.
“Well come inside boys. Dinner’s getting cold.”
I was afraid; I forgot how terrifying life could be with Armstrong around. Armstrong only stared at me in pure adoration. He was wearing a dress shirt with blue jeans, his mustache was now gone, shaved away. But his legendary curl was as curly as ever.
I eyed Roy and leaned over to whisper in his ear. “And how many people know of my return?”
Roy whispered back. “You know how annoying he can be. Besides, he was the one that informed me about you. It’s not like I could deny something he already knew.”
Armstrong had a glow to him that just frightened me. “Oh Edward, you have gotten so handsome.” I moved farther away.
Riza came into the room with drinks, she handed each of us our own. “Edward, we’re just happy to have you back.”
I smiled at everyone, hoping they would leave it at that. It was my lucky day, they did.
Roy took a sip of his drink and turned serious. “I think we should discuss some political matters.” Oh boy! Political matters, my favorite.
“Is it appropriate to discuss that type of information with me? I thought I made it clear that I quit being the military’s dog years ago.”
Roy‘s expressive face told me that he wanted my attention, I could only look at him with confusion.
“I know you quit, but we are getting in desperate need for some good officers.” You would think the man would know better.
I looked around the room. Everyone’s expression fell slightly, I had no clue what was going on.
“For the past two years a neighboring country has been slowly advancing in on our borders. When King Bradley was... assassinated we lost many of our allies. Our military has become nothing but a joke, I can guarantee you if this neighboring country decides to attack we will fall without much effort.”
I sat for a moment not sure what to think, this conversation was becoming unsettling. “Cant you guys just make peaceful agreements with these guys? This country is rather wealthy when compared to others, just pay them off.”
Roy looked at me as if I was joking, but I wasn’t, I was dead serious. “It’s not that simple and you should know that. Our country is filled with natural resources; if any other country was to get a hold of our resources they would become very powerful. Also, back when King Bradley was still in charge we didn’t leave a good impression with them.”
“How do you know this country is even serious? To start a war would be dangerous on their part; it would be expensive and demand organization. Last time I checked, all of our surrounding countries were very unstable.” Ha, ha, last time I checked was three years ago, but I wasn’t going to say that out loud.
Roy stood up and walked to a desk that was hidden in the corner of the room; he opened a drawer and pulled out a map. He brought the map back to his seat and pointed to the country that was east of ours. He didn’t say anything, just pointed. I looked back and forth between Mustang and the map, I didn’t get it.
“Do you know what country this is?”
I scratched my head. What was this, geography class? “Xing, its run by an old geezer that has a bunch of kids, each kid represents a separate clan, all the clans make up the country. I use to read about the country for alchemy purposes, they have pretty powerful alchemy techniques, but they only use alchemy for medical reasons. A lot of important alchemy texts came from there.”
Roy sighed as he sat back in his chair. “Almost two and a half years ago the king of Xing died, a large war took place between all the clans for the thrown. A young man named Ling representing the Yoa clan somehow stopped all the fighting and convinced everyone to follow him. Alchemy since then has been used beyond medical purposes; we’ve had two attacks from this country in the last six months which both times alchemy was used. They are making it obvious that they want to begin a war with us. They are now organized and using alchemy as a weapon. What’s worse is they now have political relations with Aerugo and Creta.”
I shrugged. “We have some pretty powerful alchemists in this country, fight fire with fire.”
Roy laughed at me, it seemed like a rather odd moment to laugh, but I suppose if it floated his boat he might as well do it.
“We don’t use alchemy anymore.”
My mouth fell open and my eyes went wide. Our country held its powerful position mainly because of the alchemists. “What do you mean?”
“The Parliament found out about the fifth laboratory, chimera, events that happened in Riore, and many other corruptions, even rumors about homunculus have surfaced. The Parliament felt alchemist’s were abusing their rights and were getting much too powerful. Only state alchemist’s can use alchemy and we are only allowed to use alchemy if it’s pre-approved, pre-approval means hefty paper work and only in extreme circumstances. They aren’t considering Xing‘s threat as a extreme.”
This had to be a joke, stuff like this always seemed to happen when you placed a bunch of old fogy’s in a powerful position.
I placed my face in my hand so I could try and concentrate, if alchemy was practically outlawed than that meant they were depending primarily on fire power. “Why are you telling me all of this? I am an alchemist, if alchemy has been outlawed than I serve no purpose, not saying I really want any purpose to serve.”
Armstrong cleared his throat informing us he was still present. He looked at me with intense eyes. “The Fullmetal was loved by the people. Our country is losing order; more and more rebellions are taking place against the Parliament. If we could use you as a symbol of hope it would be possible for Amestris to band together and maybe then we can save this country. Edward, you once were the hero of the people, can’t you be the hero again?”
None of these people had a clue of what they were talking about; their talk of symbolism and hero’s was all mythological stuff. What made it worse was they were saying I was the ’symbol’ and the ‘hero‘. Me, out of all people! Heck, Al and I were only trying to get our bodies back during those days, when we helped people it was usually for the good of our own purpose.
My voice came out flat, but what I said was honest. “Fullmetal died during his last battle. This country isn’t going to be saved by a symbol of hope; the only way would be if the Parliament was replaced. But even then, if the Parliament fell Xing would find it a prime opportunity to invade, you guys are simply fucked.” I seemed to have a way to use beautiful terminology.
The room went silent; everyone seemed caught in their own thoughts. I reached for my drink and took a big gulp.
Riza broke the silence first. “So, are you saying there is no hope?” I have always found Riza as a bold woman, this was the first time I ever heard weakness creep into her tone.
I sighed. Why these people were interested in my opinion was beyond me. Hell, I hadn’t even been in their world for three years, sad that people might actually base their political decisions off my advice.
“The only way I can think of is if the Parliament was modified from within the system, that way Xing wouldn’t see a big opportunity for invasion. But to do something that extreme without going unnoticed would be extremely difficult.“ I stopped for a second to see if anyone had anything to say… Someone? No one? I see… so I continued.
“Look, if the citizens of Amestris aren’t agreeing with the Parliament than the only way to change public opinion is to change the source of their problems, once you change the source, everyone will be happy and will fight willingly. It’s just too bad none of you have enough political power to influence the system.”
I took another sip of my drink while trying to look innocent; I didn’t want to piss anyone off.
Roy tapped his finger on the coffee table that was in front of us, he seemed like he was in deep concentration. Armstrong just looked at the floor while Riza played with her glass of juice.
I looked around the room not sure what to do. Politics was never my favorite subject, but I suppose it was better than talking about myself and being asked about the last three years of my life. I began to hum a melody that my father and I would often listen to on the radio.
It took me a second to notice everyone was staring at me.
Roy smirked. “I never knew you to be the music loving type.”
I shrugged. “Are we done here?”
Mustang sighed while picking up the map to look at it more closely; the map covered his face while he spoke. “Edward, is the Fullmetal really dead?”
I stood up and grabbed the map from the Generals hands.
“Yes, and it was I who killed him.”
Jun 21 2005, 10:49 PM
Oh wow. That is one good piece of literature. :3! Keep going! n.n
Jul 24 2005, 09:49 PM
::.Chapter four, A Life's Reunion.::
Don’t own Fma, but if you wanna give me legal bindings I’ll be more than happy to take.
By The Gomp
I looked at myself in the mirror; I was unimpressed by my appearance. I pulled at the white collared dress shirt in a poor effort to give my body more ventilation. I looked like... a mini blonde haired Roy Mustang. But I supposed it comes with the territory if I plan to wear his clothes.
Ok, so it wasn't all that bad. Better than the hospital wardrobe that I had been wondering in the previous day. I sighed at my reflection. The clothing was two sizes too big, I was missing my right arm, and as a person I looked like hell. I un-tucked the white dress shirt from the pants and unbuttoned it. I had a white tang-top under the dress shirt so it wasn’t like I was revealing anything. I pulled the pants even higher up my stomach and tightened the belt with my one hand. That at least assured me I wouldn’t trip over my pant legs.
My style was getting a little better even though it wasn’t really an appropriate style for a young gentleman. Ha, me a gentleman? So I suppose the outfit was good to go.
I ran my hand through my bangs and than along the back ponytail. It was a trait my father used to commonly do. It always reminded me of a rather feminine motion… I shook my head at the intruding thoughts.
My hair was now past my mid back, nearing the waste. For years I had contemplated on cutting it, but a bit of sentimental value had found its way into the locks. I’m not exactly sure what that ’sentimental value’ was, but there was something there. It was something that told me to not cut my golden mane.
I looked around the small bedroom that the Mustangs (haha, Mustangs) had allowed me to sleep in the past night. There was nothing special about it. The room was painted blue and had a bed, a dresser, and a closet. A full body mirror was nailed to the far left wall and that’s what had been entertaining me for the past half hour. Exciting, Eh?
A knock at the door grabbed my attention. “Yes?”
“Are you fully dressed?” I opened the door for Riza. I moved out of the way so she could walk in. She looked at the bed surprised. “Thanks for making the bed. It’s hard for me to get even Roy to make our bed.”
I nodded. “Manners. I am a guest in this house, I should clean after myself.”
Riza gave a soft smile while she leaned against the dresser. “Turn so I can see what you look like.”
I did a turn for her hoping for her approval. She began to bite on her thumb nail. “I really wish we had something smaller. Do you feel comfortable?”
I looked in the mirror again. Really, I didn’t. But in actuality, it didn’t matter. “Its clothing, so who am I to complain? Trust me, I would rather Al saw me in this than hospital clothing. I don’t want them to get the wrong impression.”
Riza laughed. I smiled in humor upon hearing her laughter. Her laugh was rather masculine to belong to a woman, but I supposed that sort of thing happens after spending years trapped with men in close quarters.
“I doubt your family is going to care about your fashion sense. They're just going to be happy tosee you again.”
I rubbed my freshly shaved face. The skin was smooth to the touch. “I hope you're right. Well, I’m sure you're right. I think I‘m just nervous.” My biggest fear was that everyone had changed, changed so much that I didn’t have a place to be in their lives anymore. I mean, deep down I knew that would never happen, but fears are fears. Humans live off those things.
“Don’t be nervous. Everything is going to go great. Do you want me to hem the pants? I’ll have no problem getting them done before you leave.”
I looked at the clock that sat behind the bed. I still had five hours before the train was to leave. It was only six in the morning. I scratched my head sheepishly. “Would you mind?”
Riza shook her head. “No, don’t worry about it. I actually had a military course on sewing when I was still in prep-school. So, if I do say so myself, my sewing is rather efficient and I’m excellent with timing.” Yup, that’s military talk for you.
I unbuckled the belt in attempt to slide the waste line down, but instead the pants decided to just fall right off my body revealing my boxers. Riza lifted an eyebrow at me. Want to talk about embarrassing. “Sorry sorry!” I grabbed the pants and pulled them back on as quickly as possible.
A cough from the doorway made me jump. My face flustered when I saw who it was. “Edward, I come here with great news and what do I find! You, trying to flash my wife.” Roy held a humored tone.
“Shut up! It was an accident.”
Riza and Roy shared a smile together; I only looked at them irritated. Riza bent down and began measuring the pants.
“What do you want?” My voice wasn’t the least bit friendly.
Roy tapped his finger on his chin while looking me up and down. “I just wanted to see how good my wardrobe looked on you. I must say, the clothing is beautiful, but the occupant inside does it no justice.” People have always wondered why I was never too fond of Roy. This was just one of the many reasons.
“It’s not my fault that you're fat so the clothing won’t fit right.”
Roy’s mouth fell open. Wahahaha, my comeback gave me the desired response.
Riza looked over at Roy. “Roy, you’re not fat. Trust me, you really aren’t. He’s just trying to upset you.” I gave Riza a playful-dirty look for ruining my moment. She only smirked while going back to measuring.
Roy eyed me carefully. “I see. Well, I did come here with a meaning. I have some fantastic news for you.”
I waited a moment hoping Roy would continue, but he waited for me to play along. I gave an exasperated sigh. “Oh what ever could the fantastic news be?”
“Well, it looks like I’ll be joining you.”
I stared at him for a second trying to decrypt what he just said. “Huh?”
Roy nodded. “I think it’s going to be a really nice day today too.”
I growled at him. “Will you elaborate more on what you previously said?”
“Oh, you mean about me joining you? Well, see, originally Armstrong was supposed to be your escort, but he’s been given orders that must be carried out immediately. So instead it will be me. Exciting, don’t you think?”
I tried to stay calm. I made sure my voice came out natural and mature. “I can take care of myself. You have a pregnant wife who is due soon. I don’t think it would be appropriate for you to leave her alone.”
Mustang walked into the room and slapped me playfully on the back. “Aren’t you just the gentleman? Don’t worry, Riza says its fine. Isn’t that right sweetens? Besides I‘ll only be gone for a few days.”
Riza nodded to confirm.
Sweetens. To hear Riza Hawkeye being called sweetens by Roy Mustang was very disturbing.
My voice came out a bit more timid. “I don’t need an escort. I’m 19 years old.”
Roy laughed with glee. “See, that’s the problem. You're 19 and your hormones are running wild. Just don’t know what might happen if I left you on a big train with possible female companions all by yourself.”
I wondered if two horns were going to grow out of my head. I began to growl uncontrollably. Stay calm... must stay calm. “GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER! Once I get my auto-mail back you are going to regret the day you were born.”
Riza stood up, finishing her measurements. “Edward, act your age. Besides, Roy isn’t going because he wants to be your escort; there is some other business there that needs to be taken care of.”
I looked at Roy curiously. “Business?”
Roy sighed while looking at his wife. “You always have to ruin everything for me.” He turned back to face me. He ran a hand through his dark hair. “Yea, really it’s nothing serious. I just have to do a yearly routine check with the military facility there. You know, make sure there isn’t any problems or such.”
The military facility in Rizenpool has always been practically, well, nothing. They always had three service guards who were more like police officers. “Why do you have to see them personally? Can’t they send paper work or something? Seems a little costly for something so minor.”
Roy shrugged. “Parliament law. It seems they want us to be more aware of what takes place in every single little military facility that exists in this nation.”
That really did seem like too much. “It’s almost as if they don’t trust their own people.”
Roy gave thought to what I said before he answered. “I don’t think that’s it. Parliament is just trying to keep better track of the number of civilians and what takes place throughout the country. A lot has to do with the rebellions. It’s easier to maintain them this way.”
Riza coughed to grab both our attention. “Yes dear?”
Riza ignored Roy and looked at me while pointing at my pants. “Off.” I eyed her then looked down at the overly sized blue fabric.
“Well can you guys leave and then I’ll give them to you?”
Riza shrugged while grabbing my pants like a mother would. She undid the button that was barely keeping them up which gave her the desired effect she wanted. The pants fell directly to the floor. I blushed while stepping out of them.
“Thank you.” She grabbed the pants and left.
I felt practically naked and very uncomfortable. I was standing with Roy Mustang in crisp white boxers.
Roy looked me up and down for a moment. He had a smart remark, I just knew it. It was coming.
“Anyways, really what the Parliament is doing is probably a good idea in the long run. If a war does break out than the military will be even more prepared.” Yup, that’s my favorite General. Right.
I looked around the room for the hospital pants I had been wearing. They were curled up in a ball on top of the dresser. I picked them up and slide them on. “Yea, yea, whatever. Look, I don’t care. I just want to get home, so don’t annoy me. I suppose you will be sitting with me on the train?”
Sometimes I really loved my life.
Loved it so much I wanted to stick a fork in it and twist really, really, hard.
I looked through the racks in hopes to find a decent pair. A pair of blue rims caught my attention. I placed the glasses on my face and looked in the mirror. They would work. I made sure the prescriptions were right and paid the shop owner.
I looked behind me to find Roy waiting patiently. I smiled at him. “That’s it, let’s go.”
Roy nodded as we began to shove our way towards the train station. Even though it was still relatively early, central was busy and alive.
“So, are you excited?”
Roy looked at me surprised. I supposed he wasn’t expecting me to speak. “Excited about what?”
“About the baby.” I personally had always liked children even though I still wasn’t sure if I would ever settle to have my own.
“Well yea, it was my idea.” I stopped for a moment to look at Roy. Roy wanted kids? The only thing I remembered Roy ever wanting was… eww.
“Your idea? It wasn’t Riza’s?”
Roy shook his head with a smirk on his face. It seemed like he was getting enjoyment out of my surprise. “I actually had to convince her. I’ve always wanted children of my own, just was never sure when.” Odd…just odd.
“Have you chosen names yet?” Roy nodded as we approached the train station. The train station looked as plain as ever.
“Avena if a girl and Maes if a boy.”
The name Mae’s caused my heart to skip a beat. “I see.”
Maes Hughes, a man I would never be able to forget. It seemed very appropriate for Roy to name his boy Maes considering there old friendship.
Roy and I stopped walking as we reached the proper train tracks. I looked for a bench to sit on, but my eyes stopped dead when they landed on a certain muscular beast.
“What the hell are you doing here? I thought Roy said you had other orders...”
Armstrong nodded his overly large head. “I was asked to give something to Roy before I left on my own journey. Anyways, Edward Elric, you must be so excited! I’m so happy for you.” I had to bite back a scream when he wrapped his arms around me.
“Armstrong, let the poor boy go. What business do you have here?” Armstrong suddenly allowed my body free which caused me to stumble slightly.
“I was sent here to deliver some papers to you General Mustang, Sir.” He gave a hefty salute.
Armstrong turned and grabbed a leather brief case that was still on the bench. He pulled out a packet of papers and handed them to Roy. Roy flipped through them with bored eyes. “Thanks Major. You are relieved.” Armstrong nodded.
His eyes... they stared right at me. I looked away pretending I didn’t notice. He began to step towards me so I took a few steps back. He was such a freak sometimes.
“Edward, I’m going to miss you.”
I nodded my head while still stepping back. “Yea yea, I’ll miss you too.”
With one easy swoop, I was back in his arms in a bone breaking hug. “Take care of your self. You have a fragile body.”….yea, that’s because you’re always damaging it.
I pushed the man away and straightened out my outfit. “I will. Bye Armstrong.”
Armstrong nodded while wiping a few tears away. “I’ll miss you.” And with that, the beast of all human kind left.
It’s not that I hated Armstrong; he’s actually a very kind man. He just knows how to scare the be-jezzes out of me.
The morning sunshine teased my eyes. We had been on the train all yesterday and all through the night. It was still early in the morning, precisely 6:42 if you must know, and there was a half hour left till the train would make its stop at Rizenpool.
It was still hard to believe that I really was going home. I was going to see everyone again and maybe; just maybe, this might finally end in a happy story.
A soft moan grabbed my attention. I looked to the seat that was across from me to find Roy still curled up asleep.
Surprise, Surprise, it actually wasn’t that bad traveling with him. We had played some chess and he filled me more on what has happened in the past three years, which was nothing that was really note worthy.
I stretched out my limbs to help more circulation. The country side danced across my face as I looked out the window. The air was fresh and nature was running wild. Oh how I had missed this world.
Another noise from Roy made me look at him again. He was still fast asleep in his own little world. I looked down at the brief case that laid next to him. On top of the brief case were the papers Armstrong had given him.
You would think for someone with such a high raking military position they would be more responsible. What if the papers were top secret or something? I eyed Roy for a second. What if the papers were... very important?
I couldn’t help it; I grabbed the papers and looked at them. They weren’t written documents like I had expected. Instead they were surveillance photographs.
My mouth fell open. There was just no way. Each photo covered certain sectors of the Great Desert. To the untrained eye it would seem like just sand, some holes, and some rubble. But to the military trained eye you could see much activity. Too much activity.
There were hidden trenches and camps by the hundreds. Heck, maybe even more than that. The trench’s were dug deep into the sand while the camps seemed partially buried in the ground with tents that were between a #E0DEB8-#FDFBDB color code. All in all, it was a perfect blend.
“They want to drag us out into the desert.” I jumped in shock when I heard Roy’s voice. Oopsy, got caught.
“How do they plan to do that?” Roy shrugged. “Still not sure, but it’s a brilliant strategy for them to do so. Half their country is part of the desert. They are used to harsh sandstorms and the beating sun. Our troops however...”
“They can’t even survive a hot summer day. You're right, it is brilliant. It would also take away from civilian causality’s. How long has this been going on?”
Roy sighed while he took the papers from my hand and began to flip through them. “We didn’t find out until a few weeks ago. I would say they have been working on the camps for about six months.”
War… War was a scary thought. It was even scarier during the days I was still in the military. I always dreaded that a war would happen and I would have to fight in it. But now… “Is this going to affect my life?” It was a dumb question, but I had to ask.
Roy considered what I asked. His face began to scrunch up while in concentration. “Well, war will affect everyone. If this country is taken over then we will be under the Xing rule which is a dictatorship. Many of your free rights will be taken away.”
“I don’t want to go to war. I don’t want to be pulled into this mess.”
Roy gave a look of disappointment. Everyone wanted me to go back to the military, but it sure as hell wasn’t part of my plan. I had done my years of military service and I still had a strong dislike towards the military. “I will do my best to make sure that you don’t get pulled in.”
I smiled at his kind gesture. Roy was usually good at keeping his word.
“Thanks. What’s going to happen to Ishbal?” Ishbal was located between Amestris and the Great Desert. We had colonized the country last time I had been in this world, but you just don’t know what could happen in three years. Hell, a lot has changed.
“Ishbal will be evacuated and the citizens will be pulled into this country. The process is taking place as we speak. Since the Ishbal’s are still under our jurisdiction it’s our duty to protect them.” Man, Ishbal seemed to be the country that gets poked at the most.
I had seen a glint in Roy’s eye as he spoke of Ishbal. I had a feeling that he was making it his personal duty to protect them. I wouldn’t be too surprised if that was the case. After all, he did owe it to the country.
A bell rang throughout the train. My heart bounced at every ding. Mustang pulled out his pocket watch and looked at the time.
“Train will be stopping at Rizenpool in ten minutes. Are you ready?”
I looked at Roy not sure what to say. Was I ready? Hell, I’ve been ready my whole life. But was I scared? More scared than the time I had died.
My hand wrapped around the heavy case I had been lugging around all day. It carried my metal prosthetics. Roy gave me a warm reassuring smile. “It’s going to be fine. Relax. Would you like me to come with you?”
Our plan originally was that we would split ways at the train station, but for some reason I felt like I needed someone, someone to walk that long twisty road that led to the Rockbell's house with. I gave a nervous swallow and nodded my head. I didn’t care if it made me a wussy, I just needed some support.
“I’ll walk with you till you get to the house. I can’t stay too long since I have a train to catch by night time.” I nodded absently while I looked out the window. My body had a numb feeling to it. It was a numb feeling mixed with excitement, fear, and whatever other emotions existed in the world.
The train finally slowed to a stop. Roy literally had to pull me up by the shoulders to get me to move. Sad thing when you can’t even walk on your own. Once we got out of the train I could only stare at the things around me. There were a few new shops that lined the walk way to the small train station.
A few people watched me. I wasn’t sure if they recognized me or if it was such an odd sight to see an armless guy and a guy missing an eye. We looked like war veterans who had just returned from their final battle. Hell, we practically were.
Roy used his hand to push me forward. My feet didn’t seem to be responding right. I took a few deep breaths to try and clear my conscious. My brain was running a mile a minute and didn’t want to give reality the time of day.
“Ed, do you need to sit down?” I shook my head. I had to move forward. My steps first started slow, but once I got into the motion of things they began to move faster. It reminded me of the process to teach a kid how to walk.
We past farms, trees, lots of grass, and animals of all sorts. Yup, Rizenpool was the place to be.
The walk was a pretty good distance. Amazingly Roy had no problem keeping up. It seemed like his leg was no obstacle even though he still needed a cane.
After awhile of walking I finally came to a sudden stopped. I stopped as we entered the road that led to Granny Pinako’s house. Roy walked right into me, but I was able to keep my balance.
I swallowed hard. “I’m about to find the truth of all truths.”
Roy placed his hand on my shoulder and gave it a light squeeze. “Just walk forward. There is nothing to be afraid of.” Ha, nothing to be afraid of? I had everything to be afraid of. Funny that ‘walk forward’ used to be my famous Fullmetal line. Shows how ignorant one can be.
“What if they don’t want me anymore? Or what if something has happened to Al?”
Roy looked at me as if I had suddenly grown a second head. “Al’s fine, I already told you that. And why wouldn’t they want you? Everyone has been waiting for you for three years.”
My stomach twisted while I could hear my heart beat in my ears. So this was it. This is what I had waited for, for three years. No, I’ve waited almost my attire life.
We walked up the dusty path that led to Granny’s. There was nothing different. It all looked the same from grass, to the mountains, to the trees. It always looked the same. Every time I came to Rizenpool I always felt safe because things never changed.
The house slowly began to come into view. The more I looked at the fading yellow paint the more heavy my heart felt. I was tempted to fall to my knees and scream from joy and then cry in despair, my emotions were running wild. But I had to keep walking forward. Roy told me to walk forward.
The silence stretched between him and me. For the first time in a long time I felt I had to say something to fill the void of quietness. “Do you think they will be awake?”
Roy shrugged. “I told them to expect someone around 7. And if you look right in front of you, you will see someone already waiting.”
I took in a deep breath of air as I turned my head. We were still a good distance away so it was hard to see who he was talking about, but the closer we approached the more I could make out the tiny figure smoking away on their signature pipe. Granny Pinako looked across the vast mountain ranges that surrounded her house. As long as I’d known her she would always come out in the early mornings just to take in her surroundings. I smiled at that.
Roy gave my shoulder a friendly squeeze as we finally approached the house. Granny smiled at us after pulling out her pipe. I could only smile back.
“Roy Mustang, I wasn’t expecting to see you. What a pleasure it is to be in your presence again. How is your wife doing?”
I looked between Granny and Roy. For some reason I had expected a little bit more attention. I bit at my cheek, must. remember. manners.
“She’s doing very well, thank you. The baby blankets you sent us, I assure you, will be put to good use.”
“I’m happy to hear that. I hope the baby will have your eyes. Such beautiful eyes that child would have.” Granny, the flatterer? That was something new.
“Ms. Pinako you always know how to give the best compliments.”
My mouth fell open as I dropped my suitcase. I was being ignored. I mean, IGNORED! No tears, no happy shouts, no limbo dances…ok I wasn’t expecting a limbo dance. But I mean you would think that she would give a flying hoot!
“I am only stating the truth. So, who’s your friend?”
…she didn’t recognize me. I think if my mouth could have fallen any more open you would have been able to stick an 8 ball in it. My eyes were wide with shock while I pointed at her. My mouth tried to form words, but I was too astounded to speak.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Roy gave me a friendly shove. He could be a little bastard at times.
Granny Pinako took a big huff from her pipe. She looked at me from head to toe. It was then that her eyes opened wide from her own shock. Her pipe fell from her limp hands.
All we did was stare each other. It felt like an ice age had passed before a smile crept onto her face. “Edward... is it really you?”
My own smile spread as I nodded my head. Granny Pinako walked over to me. I got on one knee so I would be eye level with her.
She placed her small wrinkled hands on my cheeks. Her touch was so gentle, something that was so rare. “It…it really is you.”
I placed my good hand over one of her small hands while just nodding my head. I wasn’t really sure what to say. Millions of emotions played with my soul while I looked at the old women. Her tiny hand felt so real in my own.
“My, how you have grown.”
My gentle eyes turned to irritation. “Is that how everyone is going to greet me?”
Granny Pinako gave a jolly laugh. It was refreshing to my ears. A laugh I had missed very much.
Granny turned for a moment and screamed towards the house. “Winry, everyone, get out here at once! We have a big surprise!” Her voice echoed throughout the country side.
I didn’t bother to stand as the front door opened to reveal Winry and my old Master Izumi. I watched the two women carefully as they stretched out their tired body’s not really paying attention to the world below. Winry looked at Granny curiously. “Granny, what’s going on?” Winry’s hair was about the same length as mine, maybe a little longer now. She had curves that didn’t belong on her, but then again I supposed these days she was a woman. I was tempted to run up and yell ‘hello‘, but something was distracting me.
Izumi seemed oblivious to the world as she watched me. Her gaze was piercing and actually…rather frightening. I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to say something or run and hide. So instead I just watched her.
Before I knew what was happening, I found Izumi wrapping her arms around me, giving me a massive hug. I forgot how quick my old Master could be. I gave a squeak of surprise. “Edward, is it really you?”
I wrapped my arm loosely around her. Hugging was never really my thing. My voice came out almost in a whisper. “Yea, it’s me.” I could feel her running her hand through my hair as if it was something totally foreign to her.
I looked over Izumi’s shoulder to look at Winry. Winry had fallen to her knees and had her hand over her mouth while she watched me. I could see tears falling freely down her face. I rolled my eyes but gave a soft smile towards her. She always cried when it seemed least necessary. But then again, for how many emotions were running through me, I was tempted to cry myself.
Winry stood up and walked back into the house. I watched her curiously not sure why she left.
Izumi left the hug and pulled me into a standing position. She brushed away the dirt that had gotten on my shirt. “I can’t believe its you… how...?”
I stared at her not sure what to say. I swallowed in a poor effort to clear my throat. “Does it matter?” Izumi shook her head causing her hair to sway.
Someone gasping caught my attention. I looked in the direction that I heard the noise. My life felt like it stopped working for a moment. I fell forward to my knees while I looked at the young boy who was standing on the porch. “Al.” Al stood on the porch with Winry standing behind him.
I blinked a few times making sure that my eyes weren’t playing a joke. My brother was in the flesh. There was no more armor, he was a real boy. My brother slowly began to walk down the porch steps. We both were entranced by what we saw.
The closer my brother approached the more loudly my heart seemed to beat. Memories of the steel armored boy taunted me, telling me that it was impossible that this was the real thing in front of me. But Al was real. And he was a real boy coming closer to me.
He seemed so small, so fragile. “Edward?”
It felt like a big bubble had clogged itself in my throat. I tried to speak, but I couldn’t form words. I gave him a nod to try and assure him who I was. My brother walked up to me. It was then that I realized something wasn’t right. He was so small... too small. He was almost the same exact boy that I last saw when we did our mothers transmutation. He didn’t look like the 18 year old boy he was supposed to be. I forced my voice to work. “Al?”
My brother nodded as he placed his hands on my shoulder. He ran his hands down my chest and than over my face. His hands were so small, like a child’s.
“Al, is... is it really you?” My brother nodded again as he played with my hair curiously. We watched each other carefully not sure what to say. I ran my own hand through his hair and down his back.
A few tears fell from his eyes. “Brother?”
I nodded more quickly as I wiped his tears away with my hand. My brother let out a loud sob before he collapsed onto my body. He hugged me and cried. I hugged back while trying to be the man I was to comfort him, but it didn’t take long before my own tears began to silently fall.
We hugged, we cried, and we laughed.
The world seemed so perfect.
Which was odd because life never seemed to like me.
So the only question I had to ask was how long did life plan to stay this way...
Jul 25 2005, 02:51 PM
As wonderful as ever, when shall you update your other fic?
SuGaR aNiMe FrEaK
Jul 31 2005, 10:33 PM
OMFG!!! YOU ROCK!!!
Heck, your story is SO much BETTER than the ones I read on fanfiction.net!
BTW, I understood the theory on how Ed's dad sent Ed home.
Actually, I don't know how I understood it...
Aug 3 2005, 10:01 AM
::.Chapter five, Playful Torment.::
Don't own FMA, but I probably should.
By The Gomp
The flames of the candle danced around in front of me, the room had a soft glow giving it the feel of surreal.
I looked into the blissful darkness of the coffee that sat in front of me. Oh yes, coffee... it had become one of my favorite beverages. Wouldn’t it be great if coffee had the answers to life? You know, like if you took a sip of coffee and it would share the secrets that you yearned most for. Hey! One could dream, couldn’t they?
“Auto-mail you say...”
It was late at night, well more like early the next morning, and I was sitting in the kitchen with Granny Pinako. Hmm, nothing like sitting with Granny while pumping yourself full of caffeine. Everyone had long since gone to bed after the day’s excitement, but for some reason I wasn’t ready to sleep. My body begged for some slumber, but my brain firmly told me not yet.
“I can pay you. Well, that is if Al hasn’t wasted all my money yet.” That boy would die if he had gone on a spending spree.
Granny shook her head causing some of her wrinkles to flap slightly. I was entranced by how wrinkly she had gotten. Oh, the joys of getting old. “Al hasn’t wasted any of the money; it’s been placed in the bank.”
I sighed with relief. The military was generous in the amount they used to pay me so there was a lot of money at stake. And also considering that Al still was receiving compensation for my ‘death’, that also meant more dough. All in all, Al and I were set to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. With that much money I could also help Winry and Granny out too.
Going back to the topic of discussion, Granny eyed me warily. “I hope you understand doing the surgery once was risky, but doing it twice is beyond dangerous. Nerve endings are very sensitive, I have to stimulate the endings to connect the auto-mail sensors and doing that is a very risky procedure. If I ruin the nerves than it is possible to fully handicap you. Since I already stimulated them once it’s very likely I’ll literally fry them this time. You will also have to go through the recovery process all over again. And that’s just the procedure, you know auto-mail is very hard on the body‘s structure. Your muscles and bones aren’t meant to carry so much weight for long periods of time.”
My hand gripped the coffee mug tightly. Auto-mail was my choice and I already knew the risks. I hated it when the old woman would give me speeches. “That’s all dandy, but I want auto-mail back. I know the risks and I’m willing to take the chances. Cheap prosthetics have never really enticed me; I want stuff I can move freely with.”
Granny looked at me with dismay which gave me a pinch of guilt. That’s the problem using your once legal guardian as your auto-mail surgeon; you begin to actually care about their opinions.
She took a big puff of her pipe. The smoke reminded me of the industrial smoke of Germany, it stank. “Its going to take three years to recover, or in your case one.” That’s it, think highly of me women. Fill this ego of mine!
I shook my head while taking a big sip of coffee. The coffee had a hazelnut taste to it. Add two spoonfuls of sugar and a tad, and I mean only a tad, of milk and I can only describe it with one word... yummy.
“I bet you I can recover in six months.”
Granny leaned back while eyeing me carefully. I gave her a stern stare, daring her to challenge me. I was only 11 when it took me one year to recover. I was older and more durable so there was no way I planned to allow a year to pass this time. I had better things to do than to lie around all day and wallow in my pain.
She smirked. “This will be interesting to see.”
I smiled, I had gained a victory.
There was a moment of silence as she smoked her pipe and I tried to seduce my coffee. Than the old hag spoke. “So, how long do you plan to stay this time?”
I looked at her in shock. I was tempted to jump over the table and whack her in the head.
“I have no reason to leave. I believe I told you earlier, this time I’m here to stay. Al has gained his body back so our mission is complete.”
Granny took another big puff of her pipe, her nose flared as smoked seeped out. “You gave up on your own limbs?”
I nodded. Deep down I would love to have my real flesh and bone, but come on folks, there is a time when you must seek out reality. “Trust me; I’m here to stay for good. Finally Al and I can live in peace.”
Granny lifted an eyebrow at me. “You boys have always amazed me. You two never know when to give up on each other. Did you know Al has been illegally doing alchemy to try and find a way to bring you home? Now that your home maybe your right, maybe you two can live in peace.”
I looked at the old geezer slightly surprised by her comment. “Al has been doing a? I suppose that explains why Izumi is here.” Izumi... she had given me one hell of a speech earlier that day (a few smack round’s are pre-included). It was amazing how she denounces us as her dispels, but still feels she has the right to over power us. She was one hell of a woman, that was for sure.
Granny nodded at my question. “Even at a young age and after losing all of his memories, Al was determined to bring you home.”
I sighed when she remarked about his age. Al and I had a six year gap year gap between us now. Him losing the past few years made perfect sense. With no physical body, how could he grow and maintain memories? Even though it all made common sense, that didn’t mean I had to like it. Just another thing to add to my pisser-off list.
Granny gave me an easy going smile. You know, one that beams at you. “I hope you know we are happy to have you back.”
Ahhh no! Have you ever had a phrase repeated to you like a million times that it slowly was driving you mildly crazy? Well, this was becoming one of them. I bit back an annoyed groan. “Yea, yea, I think you guys made that pretty clear. Today I’ve just been swooned and cooed at.”
Granny’s face suddenly turned serious, almost like someone flicked a switch. She began to tap her fingers against the table. “And you haven’t told any of us where you have been in the last three years.”
I looked at Granny like a child would after being caught, than went back to staring at my coffee. I gave the suitcase that was next to me a slight kick with my foot. I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.
The women gazed at me with too much age and wisdom. “You have never been much of a talker when it comes to your personal life. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprise that you will refuse to tell me.”
“A lot has happened.”
“A lot can happen in three years.”
I ran my hand through my hair. I knew that sooner or later I was going to have to talk. Granny was probably the best person to start out with.
The women smiled gently while giving me her full attention.
The click of the door interrupted my much needed sleep. I was tempted to throw a pillow at the intruder, but that meant I would have to pick it up afterwards. Besides, the pillow was much too precious to sacrifice.
I blinked a few times to try and focus my eyes. My voice came out heavy from sleep deprivation. “Get out.”
“Do you plan to sleep all day?”
I groaned at the familiar voice. “Yes, do you have a problem with that?”
Winry was standing over me with her arms folded. She gave me a playful smile which caused me to glare; she was getting too much humor out of my suffering. “Well, considering Al has been waiting all morning for you to get your butt up, I suppose I do have a problem with it. You missed waving Izumi off.” She pulled the toasty warm blankets away from my body ignoring my protests.
“It’s still early!”
"Early?" Winry picked up the clock that was behind the bed and shoved it in my face. I looked at the clock in surprise; it was in the middle of the day.
I shrugged my shoulders and smiled sheepishly. “Granny and I were up all night.” Which was true, I didn’t get to bed till about six that morning.
Winry handed me the prosthetic that was next to the bed ignoring my excuses. Man did I hate cheap prosthetics, they always made my stump feel so freakin' sore by the end of the day. I sat up and connected the cheap plastic to my body.
Winry sighed while she opened the curtains to the room; I had to squint as the sun light blinded my vision. “You’re cruel, very cruel.”
She only laughed at my remark. She picked up the articles of clothing that were scattered around the room, once she had them all together she tossed the bundle at me. “Get some clothing on yourself.”
“Yes mother.“ The hassles of living with women, they always thought they could tell you what to do! I muttered some curse words under my breath as I began to dress. It took me a few seconds to notice that Winry was watching my every movement intently. After I got my pants on I started getting disturbed by her watchful eyes.
“Winry?” She blinked a few times as if she was in a daze. It just made me more confused. “You ok?” She shook her head as if trying to clear it. Sometimes Winry could be one strange cookie.
She straightened out her clothing in a poor attempt to compose herself. “Sorry... it's just...”
“What, you finally plan to ask me to marry you? Well it’s about time... but sadly my answer is no. I found someone much better. Her name is Granny Pinako and she is one major babe.” I learned in Germany that if you ever wanted to lighten a conversation, make a dumb joke.
Winry shot me a dirty look but had an upwards twist to her lips. She sat down on the bed next to me. “Edward, you have a lame sense of humor.”
“I know, I try.”
“Really though, it’s just hard to believe that your back.”
I pulled on the white dress shirt not even bothering to button it. It revealed my o-so-sexy chest. Right. “Well, I’m back. You better start believing it.”
Her eyes still held a distant type of look to them. I could only look at her with a child’s curiosity.
“Ed...” She scooted closer to me, too close for comfort. I leaned back slightly to add some space between us.
My voice came out slightly choked. “Yea?”
We stared at each other for a long moment, neither of us blinking. Then the unexpected happened.
Winry grabbed both my cheeks and started to stretch and pull at my face. I narrowed my eyes at her. Man, she really was weird. “Do you mind?”
Winry gave a soft giggle as she allowed my cheeks free from her grasp. “Naa, I don’t. Hurry up. Like I said before, Al has been waiting for you.”
Al... I looked out the window that was by my bed. It was a bright sunny day and the wind gave a lift to the atmosphere. The type of day that make's you want to frolic in the fields.
“Where’s Al at?”
Winry shrugged her shoulders causing some of her hair to fall back. She looked so much older than the last time I saw her, it was so strange. “I’m not sure. Last time I saw him he was helping Granny in the kitchen. Speaking of Granny, she informed me you wanted auto-mail again.” Her last sentence had a dark tone to it. Almost like it was a sin for me to want auto-mail. Great, last thing I needed was another ’talk’.
I stood from the bed while stretching out my arm. “Well I’ll go find Al. I’m sure there is a lot for us to talk about.”
Winry stood and grabbed my shoulder causing me to look back at her. She frowned at me. “Ed, it’s your choice with auto-mail. I’m sure Granny has already given you an earful. The only reason I brought it up was sometime today I got to measure you.”
I gave her a soft smile. Whahaha, I wasn’t gonna get a speech this time. Freedom! “Ok.”
I grabbed my boots that were by the bedroom door and brushed off the mud that was plastered to the soles.
“Well, that’s why I didn’t go through with it.” I threw another stone into the river. This one didn’t like me; it just sank right to the bottom.
“I just don’t get why they would try and force you to do that.” Al chucked the rock that was in his hands. He got two skips, little turd.
I shrugged my shoulders helplessly. How do you explain homunculus to a kid? I hadn’t even gotten to the part about our mother, now that one was going to be a bitch to explain. “They aren’t able to use alchemy. But one named Wrath, which comes along later in the story, will be able to.” That’s right, think of it as a story. Not the tale of your lives.
My brother flopped back into the grass. He gave a loud groan of frustration. “How many homunculi were there all together?”
“I don’t get why they didn’t like us.”
“Well it depends which one you’re talking about. Not all of them hated us. Actually, only three held personal grudges. The rest just wanted to use us so they could become human.”
My brother glared at me. His glare almost matched mine on a bad day. I didn’t take offense to his look though; I knew it was from frustration and confusion, not from hate.
“Look Al, this is going to take awhile. We did a lot together and I‘ll admit that I suck at talking about this stuff.” I threw another stone in the river. Oh yea, three skips. Who’s the man.
“You're right, Winry and everyone else explained stuff a lot better.”
I stuck my tongue out at my brother for defense. Heck, I was a scientist, not a storyteller of folklore. I laid down next to my brother. The clouds in the sky had an orange and pinkish tint to them from the setting sun. Nature was music to our ears.
“How did you get home?”
“How many times must I tell you? Another day.”
My brother sighed as he began to twirl some grass between his fingers. It was so amazing just to look at him. He wasn’t the armored man I once created, he was a real boy. His hair was brown with blonde highlights and his eyes were a lovely brown that held a subtle gray tint to them. When I was a kid I actually used to get jealous of my brothers looks. He looked more like our mother than I did. I even resented it more growing up, after our father left. I hated it because I ended up becoming almost the splitting image of our father. But now I didn’t mind it anymore. In away I was actually proud to look like our pops.
My brother tapped me. I had totally blocked out anything he might had previously said. “Oh sorry, what?”
My brother sat up while looking at the river. “I asked, do you mind talking to me about the past?”
“Huh?” I pushed myself into a sitting position. “Of course I don’t mind, why would I?”
Al tossed another stone into the water; he made no attempt to skip it this time. “I don’t know. I-I don’t want you to be forced into this. I mean, it’s not your fault that I can’t remember.” I knew it wasn’t my fault. It was all part of the law of conservation, even though the law of conservation could go to hell sometimes.
“Really, I don’t mind. If anything, I think it’s good. You know, maybe it’s like therapeutic for me to talk about it. And for you, you really need to hear this stuff.”
My brother gazed at me. One of his hands suddenly reached out and touched my shirt, but then his hand fell to the ground.
I eyed him carefully. “Is something bothering you?” I moved closer to my brother and grabbed his fallen hand. His hand was so small compared to mine. Al's eyes also fell to our clasped hands and it was obvious he started thinking the same thing too.
His voice was quiet. “I’m happy your back.”
I forced a smile on my face even though I desperately wanted to roll my eyes. “Yea, I am too. Just remember I came back to be with you. Don’t think I’m bothered by having to tell you all this stuff. Well, that is if you really want to hear all these stories.”
My brother looked up at me, lifting his eyebrows. “Of course I do.”
I smiled at him. Man was he a cute looking kid.
“Once I get out of surgery we will be able to spend all the time in the world just talking and being together. Also, if you want you can even show me some of your alchemy skills.” My brother’s face twisted with surprise. Yup, I knew his little secret, tee heh.
“Granny.” See, I wasn't that mean, I explained myself.
“I see.” A smile spread across my brother’s face. “So, can you tell me what happened after you refused to make the Philosopher Stone?”
A week passed since the reunion with my brother and today was another bright sunny day for the Rizenpool community. To bad I wasn’t able to enjoy it.
“Oh god, it hurts!”
Winry placed a cold washcloth on my forehead. She fluffed my pillow to try and make me more comfortable. Sure, I loved lying in bed, but not when I felt like utter-crap in it. My body felt like a million people were cutting, tearing, and chewing the flesh off my bones. The pain was becoming almost unbearable.
“Suck it up. You took this better your first time around.”
I really wanted to glare at Winry, but it hurt to even move my head. I had over a dozen tubes connected to the areas where my arm and leg should have been. Different types of fluids were being pumped in and out of my body to cause the nerves to stimulate. This was always one of the most painful parts of the auto-mail process.
My words came out in a moan. “Oh, just shut up.”
Winry sighed while she sat in the chair next to the bed. I turned my head carefully so I could look at her. She had her arms folded as she silently watched me.
“Do you like watching me suffer?” I shot her a playful smile. Even though I was joking, somehow I wouldn't had been surprised if she really did.
Winry tapped a delicate finger against her chin. “Well, hmm. Do I like to watch you suffer? …possibly.” Her smile was just as playful. I guess I would just be left with wonderment.
Another wave of pain suddenly hit my body. I gripped the sheets of the bed trying to calm myself. It hurt so much. I had to suppress a scream as I felt tears squeeze their way out of my eyes. Trust me; this wasn’t my definition of fun on a Saturday afternoon.
Winry forced my fingers to release the sheets. Her hand slipped into mine. I gave her hand the death grip until the pain began to slowly reside. I forced my breathing to return to normal. Oh man did this totally suck!
I released her hand slightly embarrassed. “Sorry.” Hell, I couldn’t lie. I knew I had one hell of a grip.
Winry brushed some hair away from her face while shaking her head. “No, its ok. You need to relax or you’re going to make things worse.” I didn’t even want to know how things could get any worse.
Winry picked up the glass of cold water that was sitting on the bed stand. She placed it against my lips silently telling me to drink. I complied. The water felt good running down my throat, it helped cool my body as I felt it run through my system.
“Do you want me to get Al?”
“No.” My voice was hoarse. The last thing my brother needed to see was me like this. I was feeling bad enough that Winry had to watch.
A sheen of sweat covered my body causing me to feel very uncomfortable. I grabbed the blankets that were covering my lower body and pushed them away. I felt so hot. But the sad thing was the instant I pushed them away, I began to feel cold. I couldn't win, could I?
Winry grabbed the wet washcloth that was on my forehead and dumped it into the bucket of cold water that was next to the bed. My eyes were beginning to become blurry. “Winry please, just shot me. I’m not joking.” I really wasn’t.
Winry placed the now cold cloth on my head again. The cloth felt nice against my hot skin. God, I felt sticky and warm all over.
“Ed, you gotta calm down. I’m being serious.” Her fingers smoothed out some of the hair that was sticking to my face. She grabbed the blankets that were at the end of the bed and pulled them back up.
I watched Winry curiously as she took care of me. She was being nice... too nice. Could it be that she matured? Oh my, what a strange revelation that might be.
To bad I still hadn’t grown up.
Some more pain shot through my body. This time, I did scream.
My brother sat at the end of the bed waiting for me to continue.
This had been the same ritual for the past month. Every morning my brother always came to visit me in my room and I would tell him a story. He then would leave for school. Once he got back he would come to visit me again for about an hour. Then he would do house chores and school work. And after all of that was done, we would finally spend the rest of the evening together.
And what did I do in the times between his visits? I sat in my bed bored as hell.
“So, you thought she was pretty?”
I blushed slightly at my brother’s comment. I was never one to speak of my hormonal side. “Well, I suppose. She wasn’t ugly that’s for sure.”
My brother picked at a string that stuck out of the quilt that was covering my body. “I think she’s pretty.”
I rolled my eyes at him. He thought every girl was pretty. “Great. Well if Rose ever comes for a visit I’ll make sure to tell her that.”
Al pouted at me. “Your mean.”
I shrugged my shoulders helplessly. “You shouldn’t have said anything.”
He stuck his tongue out at me. Aha, he was so fun to torture.
“So Dante used Rose’s baby to open the gate? Rose once mentioned that to me, but I didn’t understand it at the time. Her memory of the situation seemed kind of blotched.”
“Ehh, she wasn’t really with it. I think Dante had done something to her.”
My brother chewed on his bottom lip while trying to collect his thoughts. I didn’t tell my story’s in chronological order so sometimes he had a hard time piecing everything together. Hey, don’t blame me, I was doing my best.
“I see...” My brother looked at the clock behind the bed. He sighed as he stood up while grabbing his books off the chair. I always hated this part.
“Do you have to go? Cant you just skip out?”
My brother eyed me. Yup, I admit it. I was being an irresponsible adult.
“I have to go to school. Granny says so. If I skipped out I’ll just get in trouble.” My brother picked up the book that was on the bed stand and handed it to me. “I’ll be back in a few hours.” I took the book from my brother’s hand and sighed. Stupid school. What the hell was the point? I never finished it and look where it got me!
Ok, please don’t look.
“Fine, fine, I guess I’ll waste my life in this lonely room. No, you go. You have fun with ‘school’ and your ‘new friends’. It’s fine. Just leave me all alone.”
My brother groaned at me while handing me my reading glasses. “I am going to go! I don’t want a guilt trip so just shut it.” Wow, my brother was beginning to get an attitude. Someone at that school must be influencing him. Damn whoever that brat was.
My brother left the room in haste. I could only give a sad sigh at the closed door. Since Winry and Granny were busy with the Auto-mail business I was always left alone till lunch time. I pushed the reading glasses up my nose while I flipped through the alchemy book Izumi had sent through the mail as a present. To find alchemy texts these days was a rather rare thing considering all the laws. So I was grateful for the generous gift.
It was a pain in the ass to flip through the book with only one hand. I still had to wait another month and a half till they could connect my new auto-mail. Oh, I was getting antsy just thinking about it!
A knock on the door surprised me. I looked up from my book as the door creaked open. Granny waltzed in while smoking her pipe. “Edward, how are you doing today?”
I smiled at the small woman as she crawled into the chair next to the bed. “I’m doing good. Still pretty sore, but good.”
Granny nodded while she examined the wires that dangled from my right shoulder. “It’s looking pretty good. You seem to be healing quickly.” Well, that was always a good sign.
I eyed Granny suspiciously. She never visited unless she had a reason or if it was time to feed me. I still had three hours till lunch so she wasn’t there for food. I waited patiently for her to get on with the point. The old woman just puffed on her pipe while she looked out the window.
I tried not to sound rude. “Granny, why the hell you here?” I said I tried.
Granny smirked when she turned to face me. “Always straight to the point. Well, I just wanted to know how things are going with you and your brother.”
I pushed the book off my lap and took off my reading glasses so I could look at her better. “I think things are going pretty well. They aren’t perfect, but we are working out the kinks.” Really, things were going a lot better than I originally thought they would. The age difference was still hard for the both of us, but we were adapting. Al and I didn’t have the word ’quit’ in our vocabulary.
“Have you told him yet?” She didn’t need to elaborate. I already knew what she was talking about.
“No.” Al had always wanted to know our father. After he lost his memories no one had the heart to tell him that he actually met our dad once, he just couldn’t remember it. So here I was left to explain our father’s death to a boy who desperately wanted to know him. It seemed like they wanted to leave all the dirty work to me.
I turned away from Granny’s intense gaze. She disapproved of my hiding the truth from Al, but I was becoming as guilty as everyone else. I didn’t have the heart to tell him. I had no clue what to say and even if I did know what to say I wasn’t sure I would actually be able to say it.
I mumbled. “I’ll get around to it.”
Amazingly enough Granny had good ears. She picked up what I said. “You better. He needs to know the truth.”
I slammed my left hand against the bed out of frustration. I didn’t want to get angry with Granny, but I didn’t like it when people told me the obvious. “I know, I know, I’ll do it. Ok? Just let me get better.” My words came out a little harsher than I meant them to. Granny seemed unfazed.
She took another puff of her smoke. “Good. He deserves to know the truth.”
She was right. The old fogy was always right.
…one and a half months later.
I looked at the auto-mail arm and leg memorized. They were much lighter than the previous ones I had owned. The steal seemed much more durable and it was very shiny. Purdy.
“What do you think?” Winry beamed at her workmanship.
I rolled my eyes. “Ok, I’m impressed.”
Winry laughed as she twirled with the auto-mail in her hands. “I knew you would be. I’ve worked on these really hard.” Her eyes narrowed. “You better not wreck them.” Ack, girls!
“How the heck am I going to wreck them? I’m not in the military anymore, calm down.”
Winry nodded as she practically drooled over the arm and leg she created. I sat back in fear.
Granny examined my leg stump. Her hands ran over the steal rims that were the connecter pallets. She looked at the various wires that hung out. “Well, everything seems ready to go.” She picked up a metal cylinder and began to connect various wires to it. The cylinder was going to be the port that would connect the actual auto-mail. Every time she pulled a wire and connected it, it caused a strange sensation to run through my body. It felt like someone was tickling me while at the same time trying to pull my hair out. Weird eh?
Winry began to do the same thing with my arm. I bit on my lip not sure if I should laugh or cry. Sometimes during these times I wished they would just drug me.
It took them a few minutes till they finally had everything connected. I could feel the weight of the new metal. It felt strange, but at the same time it felt like it belonged, like I was feeling more whole.
“Ed, remember to relax all your muscles when we connect you, your body’s going to convulse. It’s been a long time since we connected auto-mail to your nerves so you’re going to react harshly to it.” The very first time Granny had connected my auto-mail I had nearly bitten off my tongue from the shock. It was bad enough missing an arm and leg; I didn’t need a miss tongue to go along with it.
Once the auto-mail was connected I still was going to get really sick for a few days or so and I wasn’t going to be able to move anything for a few more months. Why, you may ask, is this going to happen? Well, the nerves have to re-adjust to the foreign objects and it was going to take the nerves a long time to do that. This sucked.
Granny and Winry placed the auto-mail near their ports. They began to connect even more wires that dangled freely from my limbs. The anticipation was beginning to get to me.
Winry's movements suddenly stopped which caused me to look at her. Her fingers ran along the metal rim that was connected to my shoulder. I lifted an eyebrow at her.
“Is something wrong?”
“You have a lot of scars on your body.” You know, that’s a comment I wait all day just to hear. Right.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean it offensive, I just never really noticed how many you had before.”
My left hand subconsciously ran over the scare on my right side. “It’s ok.” I was walking scare tissue; it was the truth, so I couldn’t really get mad. But I did have the defense that the scars were during fights that the opponent provoked. Well, most were anyways.
Winry continued on with her work. Both women finished at the same time. The only thing left to do was to connect the nerves. The part that I feared most. I warn you, if you ever want auto-mail be ready for some major pain, a lot of hassles, and possible regret. It’s not as great as some make it out to be.
Winry and Granny looked at each other. I could only bite my lip in anticipation.
“One, two, three.”
My head slammed against the back of the seat as my body jerked. My vision blacked in and out. My teeth were clenched so tight it surprised me that none of them broke.
I could barely hear Winry’s and Granny’s voices as they tried to calm me. All that I could hear was the loud thump of my heart in my ears. It was almost deafening. It took me awhile to realize I was screaming. My body didn’t want to agree with the metal limbs, pain tore through me as if in protest.
It didn’t take long for the world to go black.
The gun rang off three more times. My heart missed a beat every time. Flashes of ancient memories danced through my mind. Memories of the time before my father left and my mother died. Memories of when Alphonse and I were just little children with our innocence still intact. Memories I thought I had buried deep inside me.
My mind blinked. When I opened my eyes I found my father lying motionless on top of Envy. I waited for one of them to move.
My father’s body was suddenly thrown carelessly to the side. My eyes widen in shock as I watched Envy stand up. He was covered in blood. There was so much, it covered him head to toe. Envy licked at the trickles of blood near his mouth.
He merely smirked at me as he lifted the gun and aimed it at me.
My eyes snapped open. My heart was beating so loudly I was surprised the room didn’t shake. The world felt small, too small for comfort. The air had a suffocating feeling to it making it hard to breath. And my body, oh god, my body hurt all over. It was so hot and sweaty. I could feel the tears running freely down my face as I desperately searched for a container or something. The room was so dark I couldn’t see anything in front of me.
A voice broke the silence which made me jump.
My voice came out strained. “I-I...need….”
A bucket was handed to me as I dumped out everything in my stomach. The tears wouldn’t stop squeezing their way out of my eyes as images of my father danced around my head.
I felt a hand pull my hair away from my face. I tried to move away from the touch. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this. No one.
The bed sunk as the extra person sat on the bed. “Settle down.”
I shook my head as I puked again. I couldn’t stop. It felt like my body was tearing apart. My body felt like one massive ache.
Winry ran her hands down my bare back in a comforting manner. Her touch felt freezing against my hot skin. I took a few deep breaths to try and relax my body, but it didn’t help much. I began to dry heave.
“Edward, you have a fever. Please, just calm down.” She whispered the words into my ear. I wanted her to get away from me. I didn’t want anyone near me. My father's death kept playing against my eye lids.
My voice sounded pathetic in my own ears. “Get out.”
I could feel Winry shake her head. I was tempted to push her away, but it hurt too much to move.
“Granny told me to keep an eye on you. You passed out after we connected the auto-mail. Now just calm down and let me take care of you.” I didn’t need anyone to take care of me. I had always took care of myself.
A sob tore its way from my throat. I didn’t care if I had a fever. I refused to let anyone see me cry. I could feel Winry’s hand run its way through my hair. The physical contact felt like a sin.
“Don’t touch me, just get out!”
Winry sighed as she moved off the bed while picking up the bucket. The room was so dark I could only make out the outline of her form. In vain I tried to wipe the tears away from my eyes. They wouldn’t stop coming.
Winry opened the door as she carried the bucket into the hall. I heard the bathroom door open so I could only presume she was dumping out my mess. It took her a few minutes till she reemerged. The door gave a soft click as she closed it.
Her feet padded softly against the carpet. Her voice was quiet as she spoke. “Who’s Envy?”
My eyes widened in surprise. I took a sharp in-take of breath and then allowed it to leave slowly. This time I spoke with more control in my voice. “Didn’t I tell you to get out?”
Winry sat in the chair that was by the bed. She leaned forward as she looked at me curiously. “You talk in your sleep. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard you say his name.”
I shut my eyes willing the world to just disappear. It hurt to breath. I didn’t want to answer the question.
“Just leave me alone.” Again the tears fell. My brain didn’t seem like it was working right at all, it felt like gelatin that was melting in the hot atmosphere of the room.
She continued on, ignoring my pleas. “I asked Al if he knew who Envy was; but he couldn’t give me a direct answer. All he said was you mentioned him as one of the seven sins. But when I asked Granny...”
I laid myself carefully on the bed trying to take in everything Winry was saying to me. After a short while my brain finally processed the information. “I see.”
The tears seemed to slow down as my body relaxed. I could feel the sticky residue on my face from the salty substance. Winry’s expression was gentle as she lifted a glass cup to my lips. I eyed her for a moment before I began to drink the cold water. She took the glass away when I was done.
“Where does it hurt?”
The question was so stupid I wanted to laugh. ‘Where didn’t it hurt!’I wanted to yell at her. It obviously hurt everywhere. But instead I just shrugged my shoulders and turned my head so I wasn’t looking at her. The room was almost suffocating to be in. “It’s hot.”
An uncomfortable silence fell over the room. After a few minutes of hearing nothing I finally turned my head. Winry was staring at me with an expression I couldn’t read. Her voice was a whisper. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“That it was hot?”
Winry shot me a dirty look. Yup, I always tried to crack jokes at the wrong times. “You never tell me anything.”
I wanted to say something to comfort her, but I couldn’t really find the right words. She was only stating the truth, I never told her anything. But at the same time she always found shitty times to want to talk seriously.
“Winry I...” I tried to form more words, but I couldn't find any other words to say. For some reason it was just so hard to speak.
Winry picked up a washcloth and dumped the remaining of the cold water from the glass onto it. She sat down next to me on the bed again. She placed the cold cloth on my forehead.
“You have always been silent with me for years.” She gave me a soft smile. “It’s fine. I understand why you never tell me anything. But I am your friend. I just want you to know that if you ever do want to talk, I am here to listen.”
I tried to interrupt her speech, but she silenced me with a finger to my lips. “Ed, I know you suffer. But the longer you hold stuff in the more its going to hurt you. If you can’t talk to me about stuff, than talk to someone. I hate waking up to your cries at night.”
Well, that was all news to me. I blushed, slightly embarrassed. If she heard me in my sleep than that meant probably everyone else had too at some point.
Winry ran her fingers down my cheek. Her physical contact was all done in a friendly manner yet it felt so weird to me. I wanted to flinch at her touch, but I forced myself to remain calm.
Questions you might have.
1. You might be wondering why everyone is so negative about Ed getting auto-mail back, especially because Winry suffers from an auto-mail obsession.
Well my reason for negative comes from the series and manga. Both make it pretty clear that auto-mail surgery is very painful and auto-mail itself can cause problems to the body. There is a line Granny says before Ed going to surgery in the manga which has sorta haunted me. ‘You will be coughing up blood’. Now, when you cough up blood that is NEVER a good sign (if u do I suggest you go to the hospital right away). So with that notion I felt the surgery is extremely dangerous and no matter how much Winry loves her auto-mail, she still cares for Ed’s safety. I know, it’s so cute.
2. Ed said this: Well it’s about time.. But my answer is no. I found someone much better. Her name is Granny Pinako and she is one major babe.” I learned in Germany that if you ever wanted to lighten a conversation, make a dumb joke. Winry shot me a dirty look but had an upwards twist to her lips. She sat down on the bed next to me. “Edward, you have some of the lamest jokes.”
In my opinion this is extremely un-Ed like. Then why did I write it? Well my point is to show Ed has gotten a little older and isn’t so serious about life anymore. I love lame jokes.. so sue me.
3. Ed puts milk in his coffee!
Haha, someone finally found my flaw! Yes, I wrote thatEd put milk in his coffee and it actually was a flaw on my part because I forgot about Ed's milk... problem. BUT! I do have a form of self defence. In the manga (and I also think the anime series actually)Ed points out that he still eats alot of products that has milk in it, he just refuses todrink milk straight. I know in the manga Ed complains about how stew (and I also think he mentions soup) tastes so good but its like a sin because it has milk in it. So, I will not remove the milk comment, but I wont deny my mistake.
Aug 3 2005, 07:50 PM
Last post was by me, I just was unregistered on accident.