Categories > Anime/Manga > Full Metal Alchemist > Pains of War


by Roy-Fan-33 9 reviews

Sorry, folks, fanfiction.n is being evil, so I'm posting here for now.

Category: Full Metal Alchemist - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Edward Elric, Roy Mustang - Warnings: [!!!] [R] [V] [X] - Published: 2006-08-25 - Updated: 2006-08-26 - 8282 words

I want to thank everyone who reviewed! I really love feedback! And, I am dedicating this chapter to The New Fullmetal Alchemist who is now my beta! Let's all giver her a round of applause! .::claps::.

I own FMA! Wait... Is my name Hiromu Arakawa? No? Okay then, never mind...

Be sure to check out my website at: www . freewebs . com / roy - fan - 33 (Get rid of the spaces, and don't mind the warning, unless you want to!) The New Fullmetal Alchemist and I are holding a contest, and there are some great prizes, so be sure to drop by!

Oh yah... Spoilers if you haven't seen through episode 51 from NOW ON, so be warned! (Also, this is mixed with manga AND anime events!)

Also, sorry for the whole thing of it taking me half a year to post this...


Edward swore as the tray in his hands slipped, tilting dangerously and threatening to spill its contents. Luckily for him, Alphonse had a quick hand and in a matter of milliseconds he had a strong hold on the pale blue plastic, supporting it.

"Brother, you can't carry this with your arm in a sling; it's too heavy!" Al chastised, steadying the sloshing drink so that the orange contents would not splash from the rims of its glass enclosure. Edward narrowed his eyes.

"Why? You already have your own tray in your other hand! Which is the same as when I carry it with one hand!" Edward hissed, trying to yank the tray back into his hold without moving his food around. Al yanked back.

"Yeah, but I'm not hopped up on muscle relaxers and pain killers!" Al said, grinning. Edward's face drooped, and he let his grip on the tray slacken. Al pulled it close to his chest, and continued into the empty hospital cafeteria to find a cozy table, Ed hobbling behind him.

Alphonse: 2,891. Edward: 0

"Ed, is your arm bothering you?" Al asked, setting his and his brother's trays down and pulling out a chair for himself. He would have pulled out a chair for his brother if he hadn't had the fear that Ed would complain about it. His brother always hated to feel weak.

"It's fine." Ed stated bluntly, cramming a roll into his mouth as he flopped into his own chair. Even hospital food tasted amazing compared to what he had been eating on the field. Ed recalled when things had gotten so bad that the only food they had had was hardtack - a mix of water, flour and sugar. Now, he had meat on his plate, and he didn't care if its selling title was "mystery meat." "I mean," Ed swallowed hard, "It could be worse!"

Al nearly fell out of his seat. "Brother! You were shot! How could it be worse?" Edward rolled his eyes, and Al took a bite out of his own bread. A roll, chicken and an apple didn't seem too tantalizing to him, but Ed seemed to be enjoying it.

"Well, I could have been in Mustang's place." Ed whispered, leaning across the table so that his hushed voice would reach Alphonse and Alphonse alone. It didn't seem to matter to the teen that the only other occupants of the room were yards away. Better safe than sorry when it came to war information, Ed figured.

"What exactly happened? How does someone like him get captured, anyway?" Al whispered back, also leaning in. The only thing that Ed had told Al about Roy since he first arrived was that he had been captured and taken prisoner for a good amount of time.

Edward slowly placed his utensils onto the grainy wood table, bowing his head slightly. A mental battle raged in his mind as to whether he should tell the whole truth or not. It was true that Al was not little anymore - at the age of seventeen he was quite old, despite what his twelve-year-old body made him think, but never the less, he would always be Ed's little brother, and it was his job to protect Al from such horrid information.

It was what he had to do as the older brother. Ed closed his eyes, taking another bite out of his roll. "Can we change the subject?" he asked, chewing noisily. "I really don't want to talk about it."

Al was a bit taken back by his brother. "Sure, Ed." Alphonse took his main focus away from his brother and back to his food, and remained quite. Al contemplated all that he knew about his brother, occasionally looking up to cast a wary gaze at Edward. He had changed so much since he had last seen him. Not only was he taller, but he had filled out quite nicely, and no longer sported his original slim frame. Al had always thought that Ed's body build had made him look a bit feminine.

But, he had changed in other ways, too. His face was worn, and his once bright eyes had been dulled just slightly. Al wondered what his brother had seen in the war so far. If it was anything as bad as he could imagine, it scared him to death.

It wasn't until his brother stood to leave that Al began conversing again, and it was then that he had noticed that Ed's very aura had changed. He had pushed away the formalities and let his wall drop, only for him. He was a sad sight.

As they were dumping their trays, Ed stuck his un-eaten apple into his pocket. Al gave him a questioning glance and Edward rolled his eyes.

"It's for Colonel Bastard. I'd hate to see what they're making him eat..."

Al nodded then followed his brother out of the dinning hall and onto the third floor of the hospital. Those same florescent lights filled Ed and Al's vision, and the stench of chemicals burned their noses. Ed made a face, but continued on, pulling his portable IV line along with him.

Heaving a sudden sigh, Edward cast a weary look outside the hall window and out over Central; it was so strange to see civilization after being stuck at muddy camps for so long, where everyone was hurt or ill. Just seeing a functional society was a bit depressing. Then, it occurred to Ed that by the time the war was over, he may be unable to properly return to his old style of life. Talk about a total culture shock.

"Brother?" Al's hesitant voice broke his daze, and he realized that he had stopped walking altogether, and had been simply staring out the window.

"Sorry Al... Just lost in my thoughts..."

Al nodded, and began walking again only after making sure Ed was following. He cast his eyes down to the pale white tiles, his brain a muddled mess.

"Ed... You've changed."

It was more of a statement to himself, not meant to be responded to, but that had never stopped Ed before.

"Well, yeah; you've changed, too!" Ed responded, reaching out and clasping his brother's shoulder firmly with his auto-mail hand. A soft grin graced his lips.


"Edward! There you are!" Ed's eyes went wide with terror, and he turned on his heels to see an angry nurse storming her way up the hall toward him and Al.

"Damn! Come on, Alphonse..."

Al stood still for a moment, deciding that he could wait to talk personally with his brother. It would be best to do that in a nice, quiet dorm.

The two listened as the nurse chewed them out, giving a harsh reprimand for leaving the room without permission. Finally, they reached the room, and the nurse opened the door for them.

"And for God's sake, stay in your bed this time! If not, I'll keep you here an extra week!"

Ed was just falling into his bed when the nurse let loose this threat, and upon hearing it a most horrified expression crossed his face. Alphonse gave a soft giggle, and bowed politely as the nurse left.

"Ugh... She's evil!"

"No, Fullmetal, she's doing her job and you don't make it any easier for her."

Ed and Al both turned to the source of the voice - Mustang. Al gave a quick start, then bowed.

"Hello, Sir."

Roy grinned in spite of himself. Without the bulking armor, the little bowing Alphonse looked awfully cute. "Hello, Alpho-"

Roy was cut off mid-sentence when an apple landed in his lap. He raised a single eyebrow, and turned to Edward.

"What? You don't want it?" Ed asked in mock surprise "Right, I'm sure you'd prefer what THEY bring you! If you'll just pass that over..." Edward said, smirking and holding his hand out.

Roy glared, picked up the ruby red apple, and took a solid bite out of it. His eyes closed momentarily as he savored the sweet fruit.

Ed grinned. "A lot better than what they gave you, isn't it?"

"Mmhmm... Say, did the nurse tell you the good news?" Roy asked, suddenly remembering why he even remained awake, waiting for Ed's return. He swallowed what was in his mouth with a painful gulp. His throat was still terribly sore and he would be amazed if his stomach didn't reject its first real food since capture.

"Hm?" both brothers asked at the same time, giving him the same curious look. Roy rolled his eyes.

"If your physical exam goes over well tomorrow, they'll let you go home and- " Roy was once again interrupted as Ed gave a shout of joy, punching the air with his auto-mail arm. Al joined in on this little celebration; the two of them were looking forward to spending some good, quality time together, obviously.

"Hell yah! Man, this is great! I can't wait to get back to my dorm!"

"Sorry Ed, but you probable no longer have a dorm." Mustang's scratchy voice popped the two brothers' jovial bubbles.

Ed's arm dropped, and he turned to glare at Roy. "And why the hell not?"

"The military is currently recruiting as many people as possible, and they need places to put the fresh meat - the ones not quite ready for battle. That's where our dorms come in; since we were officially sent into war, they emptied out our dorms for them. They probably threw your possessions into one of the warehouses."

Edward moaned, flopping down onto his bed. "I just wanted to go to some place I could call home."

"We could go to Resembool..." Al offered, nudging his brother in the side. Edward shook his head.

"Can't, Al. I don't think the military would like their star State Alchemist running off..."

Roy scoffed quietly to himself. "Star" his ass. Ed shot a quick glare at Roy.

"You could stay at the same hotel that Winry and Pinako are in..."

"Do you have the money for another room, 'cause I sure as hell don't."

Al sighed. His brother was just going to be stubborn. Sometimes Al wondered if Ed actually enjoyed being miserable.

Roy's eyes lit up with a sudden idea. He knew that the next words out of his mouth would do more harm than good, but with all the drugs he was taking, suddenly it didn't matter. Besides...

"You could stay at my place."

Ed's jaw dropped, and he nearly fell from his bed. Al's eyes were as wide as dinner plates, staring at the colonel in shock. Roy fought the urge to rub his temples at the oncoming headache. Seems he'd have to explain yet again...

"Calm down you two," Roy pleaded wearily. "I won't be able to return home for a bit, so until you can find proper lodgings, feel free to stay in my house. I'd be happy to help you out."

Ed shrugged, turning to Al. The gray-eyed youth gave a curt nod, and like that it was decided. Edward turned to Roy, a few of his golden locks falling around his shoulders.

"We'll take you up on that offer, Colonel!"

Roy grinned softly, closing his eyes. If he was lucky, the two would realize that there was no food in his house, and fill up his pantries for free.

"Okay, but don't trash my house. And if you break something and fix it with alchemy..."

Ed and Al squirmed.

"I'll know..." Roy added an extra sinister tone to his voice, and he could feel Ed's glare against his closed eyes. He wondered for a moment if Ed would ever grow up.

"What ever, you morally corrupt-colonel with a God complex..." Edward muttered, crossing his arms.

Seems not.


The next morning, Ed was up bright and early. Al had left later the night
before, and was going to come in that morning to visit, and, if Ed was
lucky, take him to Roy's house for the rest of his leave.

He still had about an hour until the nurse brought his pills, so, in
boredom, he sat and watched Roy sleep... He wasn't weird... Just really bored.

It was almost sad to listen to his raspy breathing and hear him cough in his
sleep. With pneumonia, various wounds, and his ragged mane of hair, it was
almost too depressing. But that didn't bother Ed.

He knew from experience what it was like to be nothing more than a mess of
wounds laying helpless, even if he didn't like to think about it. If Roy
ever needed to talk, Ed would be there. Of course, there was very little
chance of that happening. After all, the colonel had his pride.

Edward smiled at the irony of it. The colonel had even become angry when Ed
had not gone to Roy for help. Instead, he had jumped into trouble, and
become a fugitive from the military. (1) There had even been orders put out to
kill him. Ed was thankful it was Roy's platoon that had found him then.
There was a chance that he could have been executed. Of course, Roy had
yelled at him, and had talked about his own attempts at killing himself.

Ed's mind vaguely wandered to the rest of Roy's men. When he had been
recently injured, he was brought to straight to Central, but the rest of his
friends and co-workers had been left at the base of the Briggs mountain

Pulling his knees up to his chest, a picture of Riza with a bullet hole
through her head and brains oozing out filled Ed's mind. He shuddered
violently. He had seen so many die, and some of them he himself had killed.

It was strange. When he was little, it was like nothing could ever go wrong.
The world was just this perfect place. Nothing bad would ever happen to him
or his loved ones, and he would live happily ever after with his mother and
little brother. Then, Winry's parents were killed. Still, Ed had never
thought anything would happen to him directly.

When his mother died, those childish thoughts were shattered along with the
rest of his foolish views. As he grew older, he learned how cruel the world
could be. Death after death after death.

Edward swallowed a lump in his throat, wrapping his arms tighter around his

He remembered the first man he had killed in the war. (2) Really, he hadn't even
realized what he had done until he had to pull his auto mail blade out of
the thick bone of the man's spine, blood flowing down his faux arm and
coating his sleeves.

It had been a spy, trying to gather information. But the look on the man's
face before he died was burned into Ed's memory. He might have been the
enemy, but he was still a human.

'And he never did anything to me...'

"Damn..." Ed whispered to himself, closing his eyes and resting his forehead
against his knees, gently rocking back and forth on his haunches. Edward
stayed up for nights on end following that man's death - he knew that if he
closed his eyes for even a moment the haunting images of the man - dead,
with Edward holding him up limply by his auto-mail - would plague his mind.
He didn't want to see those man's eyes each time he closed his own - the
lifeless eyes that reminded him so much of his mother's eyes as she slipped
into death.

But Ed had gotten over it, and killed again only a week later. Except this
time the body count rose from one man to ten. The rebels had been foolish
enough to attack a military train transport. It was believed that they were
after the weapons the state had been shipping for the troops. Ed had been
sent along with a squad of people he didn't even know, and he had been
ordered to engage and kill every enemy, and that was just what he did.

Edward swore softly once again. After all that he had said to Mustang,
bringing him down for what he did in Ishbal, now he himself was no better.
He was a lowly killer who did it just because some fool with a few more
badges and stripes told him to.

For the first time in his life, Ed felt dirty for no reason, like his body
was covered in tiny prickling bugs that he could feel but not see or remove.
It was disturbing.

Edward's muscles strained, yelling to be stretched from their cramped
position. Giving into pain, Ed leaned down onto his bed, sending tiny pieces
of dust and fabric into the air. Edward stared up at the specks as they
floated into the golden light of the rising sun and sluggishly lazed across
his vision.

Heaving a huge lungful of air, he exhaled and watched as the dust swirled
with his breath like a wave. Yes, he was very bored.


Al sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and yawing. Early morning light
streamed through the window, just reaching the foot of his bed.

He had stayed the night in the hotel rooms he, Winry and Pinako had reserved
for the visit. He glanced around the vintage room, blinking drowsily. He had
been woken up by something, he was sure.

There it was again - a banging from the opposite room. Al stood up and
slipped on a shirt; he had fallen into the habit of sleeping with only
boxers on. He simply enjoyed the feel of cold air hitting his chest when he
slipped out of warm sheets in the morning. After years of feeling nothing at
all, it was a greatly valued feeling.
Al treaded over to the door that split his room from Winry and Pinako's and
set his hand on the handle. He thought twice before opening it - what if
Winry was changing or something?

Ever since he could remember he had had a huge crush on Winry. He and Ed had
even fought over who would marry her when they were young. Alphonse,
however, hadn't been serious during those times, but as he grew older, his
feelings grew for her grew, too.

He had never acted on them, though. Having been no more than a suite of
armor for many years he was not able to have a real relationship, so why
bother even trying? And who could love a suit of armor?

Now that he was human again he could act on his feelings... If he could gather
up the courage, maybe they could even have a relationship.

Al blushed a deep crimson and knocked lightly on the door with the back of
his hand.

"WHAT!" A muffled and angry voice shouted back to him. Al took a step back,
eyes wide. Maybe it was that time of the month for Winry or something.

"Is everything okay? I heard banging of some kind..." Al called meekly through
the door. There were some shuffling noises, and then suddenly the door flew
open, knocking Al hard in the head and chest. Falling to the floor, he swore
quite loudly.

"Get your butt in here, Al! You can help me!" the irate blond yelled as she
picked up a half conscious Alphonse from the floor and dragged him into the
adjoining room by the bend in his elbow.

Groaning, Al pulled himself out of Winry's iron grip and stood. "What's
wrong? Did you get your hair stuck in your brush again?"

Winry's face flushed red at the comment. It had only happened once!
Apparently Al had good memory.

"No! I can't get my suitcase shut! Sit on it for me, Granny isn't heavy
enough!" Al chuckled and dragged his sleepy body over to the brown case on
the floor and dropped down butt first onto it.

"I'll take that as a compliment..." Pinako said as she stepped from the
bathroom fully dressed, hair done up in its usual style. She grabbed a coat
off of the bed and threw it on. Winry smiled and clicked the lock on the
case shut.

"There! Thanks, Al!" Winry grinned, helping him to his feet and off of the
suitcase. "But I wish I didn't have to leave! I only got to talk to Ed
once," she said, her face falling. It had been so long since she had seen
her childhood friend after he had been sent to war, and he never even wrote.
All Winry wanted was to spend some time with Edward and just enjoy his
company like the old times. Maybe even throw a wrench or two at his head
along with some short jokes, not that they really even applied to him

"You know you have work to do back at the shop..." Pinako said, stepping over
to her granddaughter and offering a sympathetic look. She would have placed
her hand on Winry's shoulder, if she could have reached it.

"Yeah, I know..."

Al grinned gently. "You know, you can always come up and visit. He'll be
here for a few weeks, if you get some time off."

"I guess so!" Winry smiled back. Everyone in the room seemed to agree that
concentrating on the negative things was a bad idea. "Thanks, Al - really."

"No problem," Alphonse said with a soft smile. He was sure Ed would kill him
if Winry decided to visit randomly, but in the end he would probably end up
enjoying her stay. The look on Edward's face when she stood at their doorway
would be well worth it anyways.

Al had to pull himself from the moment, remembering what he should have been
doing. "I'm going to get ready. I need to pick Ed up and then we'll both see
you off at the train station."

"Okay..." Winry said, throwing her suitcase onto the bed, its dark green
sheets crumpling beneath it. Al was about to shut the door when Winry asked
another question. "Wait! Isn't your teacher coming to visit today?"

Al's hand froze over the doorknob for the second time that morning. His face
paled and he swallowed hard. "Yeah..." the dirty-blond boy whispered. "I had
called her right after we got the call from the military..."

"So she doesn't know his condition yet?" Winry asked. Al nodded. When the
command center had contacted him, they had only informed him that Edward was
injured and being shipped to the hospital in Central. Well, the look on Ed's
face would sure be interesting this time, too, Al figured.

"No, she doesn't... For all she knows, Ed could be in a coma... She's so going
to kill us..." Al breathed out.

Winry laughed, and Al disappeared through the doorway to ready himself for
the challenging day ahead.



"No! You can't make me!"

"Take the damned pills, Fullmetal! You're acting like a child!" Roy barked,
jumping into the argument between Ed and the nurse.

"I don't need them!"

"Mr. Edward, if you do not take these pills yourself I'll give you a few
injections instead! Now decide!"

"Ed... I'm ordering you to take the pills!"

With a low growl Edward snatched the small paper cup from the nurse and
quickly popped the assortment of medication into his mouth.

"Swallow," both Roy and the nurse instructed. Ed rolled his eyes and gulped
down the bitter pills, some for fighting infection, and others for pain.

"That will be all for now... The doctor will be in later to check you out and
give you the information you'll need to know before leaving." The young
woman sighed, turned and left, her neck-length brown hair flaying as she
walked, a clearly tiered look about her. Roy waited until the door shut
before he turned to Ed.

"Now, since you will be living in my house I have a few rules to set down."

Ed rolled his eyes again.

'Here we go...' he thought. "Lay 'em on me."

"Under no circumstance should you have women in my house. If you attended to
any such related needs, do it in the bathroom..."

Ed hit his head against the nightstand a few times as Roy talked. "Colonel,
I promise I won't do anything dirty in your home..."

"You can cook, just be sure to replace all properly washed dishes to their
respectable homes..." Roy continued on, ignoring the clearly disturbed blonde.

"Like I'd eat off of your dishes..." For a brief moment, Ed considered
transmuting all of Roy's silverware into tiny Armstrong statues once he
arrived, but decided against it - far too much time and effort would be
wasted on his part.

"Stay out of the attic... Even though I'm sure with your stature you'd fit
quite well..."

"I'm not short any more, damnit!" Ed shouted, knowing full well that this
was only half true. He had grown, sure, but just not that much.

"And if you get a call for me, be sure to take down the proper name and
number. There should be paper and a pen by the phone."

"So, I guess there's a ton of women who've been waiting for the valiant
return of Mustang the War Hero?" Ed scoffed, glaring at Roy. The man ignored
him, keeping his eyes on his hands as he counted off the rules by finger.

"I don't have a key with me, but there's a hide-away under the left side of
the front door, beneath the porch," Roy continued on, trying to keep
conversation light. Roy was going to stay as far from serious talk as
possible. He was tired of fighting with Ed.

"Can't even keep track of his own house keys..." Edward mumbled, taking a
mental note of the information. This was one thing the Colonel was telling
him that he couldn't afford to forget... Or choose not to pay heed to. Roy

"Be quiet, you short tiny midget with lift boots who could only be seen with
an electron microscope on HIGH power."

"What. Did. You. Just. Say?" Ed hissed, baring his teeth. Why Roy always had
to pick and prod at Ed's emotions, he wasn't sure, but he was getting sick
and tired of it.

"Oh, I was just making sure you were the same Ed as always..." Roy said with a
snort. Ed's eyed darkened.


Roy seemed taken aback. He hadn't expected to be countered. "Well, I haven't
seen you in almost two years... Just trying to..." Roy's words died in his

"Make things right? Normal?" Ed questioned, finishing the sentence.

"Yeah... Something like that." Roy clenched his hand into a fist. So much for
staying away from these kinds of conversations.

"Well, maybe we should just grow up."

Roy laughed. It was just so stupid. Somehow, he always managed to slip up
around Ed. His façade would crack and fall when he was around him. Whether
it was from Edward's personality, or his own liking for the man, Roy wasn't

"We should, shouldn't we?" Mustang tried to sigh, but only resulted in
nearly coughing up a lung from the prickling sensation in his chest.
Spitting out the fluid he'd hacked up, Roy lay down, groaning.

"I hurt fucking everywhere..."

"And you sound a bit like Havoc..." Edward mentioned, pushing down his sheets
and letting them pool at his feet - he was getting a bit warm. Roy snorted
at Ed's comment, choosing to not respond. Mostly because Ed was right, he
did indeed sound like a chronic smoker.

'Same whiny Colonel as ever...' Ed thought. His shoulder gave a stab of pain,
but Ed forced his body still, fighting down a wince. Roy took no notice.

The two enjoyed a moment of comfortable silence, Ed just sitting and staring
at a wall and Roy at the ceiling, both in thought.

Roy realized a long time ago that the current fighting could escalate,
possibly even turning into another Ishbal, and not only would the economy
suffer if that happened, but many men would die. There had been problems in
the north since he could remember, especially since Drachma was just beyond
the Briggs Mountains. If it weren't for Fort Briggs, there probably would
have been countless attempts for seizure of Amestris' northern cities by

But Fort Briggs wasn't built to control the actual northern citizens, so
they sent in troops from other main bases. The possibility of Ed dying
because of a stupid war seemed impossible - it felt like just yesterday that
Ed was a twelve-year-old kid mock-barking at him from the bottom of the
Eastern HQ entryway stairs. (3)

It was like Edward had only just defeated the prophet of Lior and escaped a
fight with Scar. Roy could recall the countless times Ed had been in
near-death situations. After living through so much, it was just simply
ridiculous for a war to kill him, so Roy wasn't going to let it happen. He
hadn't let it happen, not yet.

"Ed, I want you to stick close," Roy whispered, keeping his eyes firmly
planted on the wall before him. Beside him he could hear Ed as he shifted,
turning to look at him with liquid gold eyes.

"What for? I can protect myself fine," the young man retorted. His brows
fixed themselves into an irritated furrow. Roy sighed. It was foolish for
him to harbor the same feelings he had built up over the years, the feeling
and need to protect Edward, but he couldn't ignore the feelings, either.

Roy turned to Ed with a wave of pain that racked his body from various
wounds and lesions. "I know you can Ed, but as long as you're under my
command you'll do as I say. Besides, I've got information that you'll need
if you want to be ready for what the enemy is going to throw at you."

Growling, Ed tossed his legs over the side of his bed, his feet meeting the
cold tile with a soft pad and clank - flesh and metal. "God damnit Roy,
that's probably how you got yourself into this situation, right?" Ed hissed.
"Sticking you fucking nose where it didn't belong?"

Roy had sat up as well, glaring back at Ed. "Shut up," he snarled. Roy hated
this trademark of Ed's - he would jump to conclusions without considering
the affects or facts. He had no idea how Roy had gotten into his situation,
and thus made said situation much worse. Besides, Roy was in the shape he
was because of Ed.

"So, you're angry because I'm right? Figures, you'd do just about anything
to get a damned promo-" Roy's fist knocked Ed right below the jaw, jostling
his head to the right. For a moment, Ed felt as though his brain had been
shaken and banged around before being thrown haphazardly back into his
skull. Slowly, the sharp pain dulled to a throb. Roy, on the other hand,
felt every wound in his body burn with pain, his vision filling with black

Ed returned his head back into a forward facing position, his neck jolting
with sudden pain.

"I told you to shut your mouth." Roy's legs shook beneath him.

Ed glared his response, rubbing his neck gently. Roy's breathing was
labored, and a light sweat shined against his pale skin. Pain was obvious in
his eyes and body as he slowly brought his hand back against his side.

"What, then?"

Roy didn't answer, merely laying back down. "Al should be here soon to take
you home."

"No, you're not just dropping this! What happened?"

"You're a very stubborn child, Fullmetal."

"And you're a foolish man."


Izumi stormed down the platform of the train station, her husband Sig only
feet behind her. Izumi had been impossible to manage the entire six-hour
train ride. One moment she would be depressed and quiet, and the next she
would be screaming, yelling, and threatening to throw other passengers out
of the moving train. To put it simply, Izumi did not take well to the news
of her apprentice being injured in the civil war. And it was quite scary,

Currently, the two were heading straight to the hospital in the cold, bleak
late-autumn afternoon.

"Do you suppose we'll be able to catch a ride?" Sig asked, stepping up
beside his wife, matching her strong strides. Her face was drawn tight into
a scowl. She did not respond, but merely walked on.

Sighing, Sig straightened the two brown suitcases in his hands. He
understood very well that Izumi was greatly and deeply worried about Ed's
well-being. After all, he was like a son to her. Both Edward and Alphonse.
She had already lost one child, and wasn't ready to loose another.

The two turned onto the main streets and down East Chapmen Road, heading
straight for the hospital.

"Do you think he's okay?" Izumi asked, not slowing or turning. It was the
first time she had actually confronted the idea that Ed may really be hurt.
Most of Izumi's rants were over Ed's stupidity for getting injured in the
first place.

"Ed hasn't stopped for anyone or anything yet to get his normal life with Al
back, and don't think this war is any different. He won't stop until he's
achieved his goal."

Only the wind responded, blowing scattered paper and leaves across the
ground. The hospital's roof rose up into the skyline, the bleak beacon
entering the duo's views.

At that moment, Al, Winry and Pinako both started out for the same hospital,
from opposite ends of the city, the same roof gracing their sights.

Both groups met at base of the grand staircases that led to the hospitals
doors. They stopped and exchanged glances, Izumi's eyes meeting with Al's.

Alphonse was greatly shocked. Izumi looked so scared. His teacher had
survived for three months on the Briggs mountain range, a human
transmutation gone wrong and countless homunculi, yet now that same strong
and stubborn woman was looking at him like her soul had been ripped from
her. Al's entire body froze up on him as he stared into her foggy eyes.

Winry and Pinako looked curiously between the two as Sig stood frozen like a
statue, eyes closed.

Turning quickly from the dumbfounded boy, Izumi trotted up the stairs.

"Teacher! Wait!" Al took off after her, the rest following behind as the
glass doors closed behind Izumi.

The entire group stormed up to the front desk.

"Where is Elric?" Izumi yelled, slamming her hands onto the polished
counter. The young woman at the front desk stuttered, eyes wide. The poor
woman didn't get out a single word before Izumi grabbed Al and continued to
storm down the hall.

"Lead me to him!" She yelled, thrusting Al out in front of her. Having to
quicken his pace as to not get trampled, Al jogged towards Ed's room,
everyone in their small group in tow. Al soon wouldn't forget the looks he
received from the people he passed.

He stopped short, trying to tell Izumi to not worry, but seeing the look on
her face, he decided his chances for life were greater if he kept jogging.

Reaching his brother's room, he pointed to the door and stood back.

Without a moment's hesitation she opened the door furiously, nearly ripping
it from the wall. From the other side of the door the only thing Alphonse
could hear was his brother's terrified scream.


When Izumi barged into the quiet hospital room, Ed's heart nearly jumped from his chest. Roy just stared at the crazed woman like she had stripped and told him she liked peanuts.

Ed screamed, confusing Roy further. Suddenly he wished he had his gloves with him...

"Edward... Elric..." Izumi was on him in a second, inspecting all parts of his body. Blushing, Ed scooted away from her.

"What th-"

"Is that your only wound?" she pointed to Ed's shoulder. He nodded. "You mean to tell me that you had me ride a train down here worried to death only to find you perfectly healthy?"

Edward paled as he watched Izumi's eye twitch dangerously. He nodded, very slowly.

Yelling and screaming, Izumi beat, punched, kicked, and whacked Ed with all her might. Ed cried out for help to his brother in the doorway. Al only turned away. Winry was looking back and fourth between Izumi and Al in shock.


"Would you jus-"


"You insolent BRAT!"

Krak! Roy winced.

"Yes Ma'am!"


"You half-pint midget!"



Roy's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.

Izumi slowly lowered her right hand, her left still tightly gripping Ed's collar. Scared to move, Edward sat still. Sighing, Izumi wrapped her arms around Ed's broad shoulders. He still felt the same, smelled the same...

"You've grown, Ed..." she whispered into his matted blond hair. Smiling softly, Edward returned the embrace.

"It's good to see you again, Teacher..."

"What in the name of Alchemy is going on?" Roy asked, looking from Izumi, to Ed, to Al, then back to Izumi again.

"Oh... Colonel, this is Izumi Curtis, my alchemy teacher..." Edward said, pulling away from Izumi. She let go reluctantly. Al and the rest inched into the room. Sig smiled down at her, placing a large hand on her shoulder.

"Wait... I've seen you from somewhere..." Izumi murmured, squinting her eyes at Roy.

"Hey! You're the one who barged into Fullmetal's hospital room after he left for Dublith!" (4) Roy yelled, pointing an accusing, bandaged finger. "I remember that brutish fellow was with you!"

Ed's eyebrow rose curiously. He remembered he had left for Ishbal, using the story that he was going to visit his teacher as a cover. Winry had gone with them and they had stopped at Rush Valley. From there things had gone to hell. Apparently, his teacher had made a stop to the good men of the military.

Before anyone could say something about the situation, the door opened once again, and an aging man stepped into the room, Edward's medical chart in hand.

The doctor looked around the room curiously with soft brown eyes. "I wasn't aware Mr. Elric was having visitors..."

"Um, sorry! We let ourselves in..." Al stepped forward, bowing slightly. The doctor smiled.

"That's okay, but next time, please check in with the front desk!"

Al laughed sheepishly, and Izumi gave a low grunt.

Edward gave a quick glance to the man. He had a few wrinkles here and there, perhaps around the age of fourty, with brown hair streaked with wisps of gray from age. His nametag read "Dr. House." (5)

"All right, Mr. Elric, let's take a look at that shoulder of yours!" Dr. House said with a bit more enthusiasm than Ed would have appreciated.

Izumi and Sig had wandered over to where Al was, catching up with each other now that everything had calmed down.

The man stood patiently as Ed slowly untied the strings of his gown, pulled it down to his waist, and took an extra moment to make sure that everything was covered as the doctor pulled on a pair of gloves.

Dr. House gave an approving nod before gently unwrapping the bandaging from Ed's shoulder, the quiet chatter from his friends a calming noise in a moment of discomfort.

"I'm taking the gauze off now..." The man paused a moment, assessing the situation. "There might be some trouble getting it off..."

Ed rolled his eyes. "I've been shot, beaten and battered... I think I can handle the pain of a stubborn wad of gauze."

The doctor cringed. He knew from experience it was going to hurt like hell if it decided to stick to the wound, but the blonde had a point. And with that, House pulled the gauze back, and, sure enough, it stuck, pulling away fresh and tender skin from Ed.

House be damned, the boy didn't even flinch.

"Alright?" he asked.


Smiling in spite of himself, Dr. House threw the bloody gauze and wrappings into a near-by bio-disposal.

Ed sat patiently as his shoulder was inspected. The stitches would need to be taken out in two weeks, or perhaps a bit later. According to the surgical report, repairing the bone had gone well, and there were no complications.

"Well, Ed, looks like you're free to go!"
Edward breathed a sigh of relief and gave a happy grin to Al, who in return gave him a thumbs up before returning to his conversation with Izumi about Mason's mishap last summer.

Dr. House re-dressed Ed's shoulder, then handed him a bag of bottles, all filled with medication.

"There's a paper in there with directions about what's to be taken when. It's quite straightforward, and I wrote it myself. If you have any problems, call the hospital and they'll transfer the call to me," he said, writing off a few things from Ed's personal folder.

Edward jostled the bag and gave a depressed groan. More meds meant more side-effects. Roy vaguely glanced over at Ed, wondering if he'd even take the pills. If both a nurse and himself were needed to force Edward to take the pills, then what would he do when the decision was left to him?

'Oh, yeah...' Roy thought, 'Al and his guilt trips!'

"Alright, just one last thing..." House dug into his pocket as Edward slipped his gown back around his shoulders, tying it in place. When Ed turned his eyes up from the knot, he came face to face with an uncapped syringe.

"Holy fuck!" Ed was off the opposite end of the bed in a second, butt meeting the floor with a painful thud. House seemed genuinely shocked.

The guy would just sit there and let you tear half the new skin off his shoulder, but show him a needle and he flips his lid.

Roy was too busy laughing to give one of his usual snide comments. Roy decided that Ed couldn't have had a stupider look on his face if he had tried, and that he'd never laugh that hard again.
Al had quickly rushed over and was helping his brother off the ground as the rest of the group hung back, laughing lightly.

Ed's face flushed in anger and embarrassment. He just wanted them to stop laughing, goddamn it! Getting to his feet he turned and glared at every last person. Everyone but Izumi's laughter died, and Ed would have rather put up a loaded gun to his head and pull the trigger than try and make his teacher stop whatever it was she chose to do.

Edward snapped back to the doctor, ignoring Al's flustered yelp. He shot his arm out and glared. "Go ahead, then!"

House stood, grinning. "Actually, Mr. Elric... I'm going to have to ask you to bend over and raise your gown."

Dear Christ, Roy stood corrected.


Things had been wrapped up quickly after the doctor left the room and the laughing had died down. Roy had handed Ed a slip of paper with his address, and directions were given orally. Ed had no problem remembering every turn and street name.

Izumi and Sig had left for their hotel, where they had booked a room from the hospital lobby after the address had been given to Ed and a copy to her. Izumi had some catching up to do. Of course, Roy had made it perfectly clear that it was all right for their company in his house.

And as soon as that was brought up, so was another rant that Ed could not have anyone but 'family' in the house. Ed had snapped back with, "Like I have family, anyways." Al then dragged everyone from the room, leaving Roy and Edward alone.

The door shut, and Ed, sighing, turned to Roy, who was propped up in his bed by pillows. Ed stood there, looking down at Roy, Roy looking up at him.

"Get well soon, okay?" Edward said, offering his hand. Roy reached forward with his good left hand and gave a gentle squeeze and shake. A smile pulled his lips despite the sorrow he felt. With Edward gone it'd be a terrible stay.

"Will do. And Ed, if you don't find a place to stay by the time I'm out of here..." Roy pulled his hand away. "Feel free to stay anyway."

Shock flashed in Ed's eyes, but he nodded his thanks. The door was closing behind him before Roy got his chance to say farewell.


Ed took a deep breath of the crisp, chilled air, slowly exhaling as he burst through the hospital doors. Grinning, he trotted alongside of Winry, Al to the other side of him. Winry didn't see too terribly excited, not compared to Ed, at least, who was bouncing around, happy to be free of the hospital.

"So, I might come down and visit you guys after I get my stitches removed," Ed told her, trying to bring a smile to his friend's face. He could understand - Winry probably wanted to hang around a while. After all, he had been shipped off to war, and Winry happened to be a person who worried non-stop in the first place.

"That'd be great, Ed."
They both knew that Ed wouldn't come down. Pinako gave her granddaughter's hand a reassuring pat.

The walk to the train station was quiet, overcast sky and cold winter winds depressing any happy topics. They arrived and Winry quickly purchased the tickets as Ed and Al helped load the luggage aboard.

As Edward jumped the last step on the train, Winry stepped up to him. He opened his mouth to say goodbye but instead was pulled into a strong hug.

"Ed, take care, okay? And promise you'll write next time," she choked out, her voice quivering from holding back tears, "so Granny and I will know you're okay."

Edward wrapped his good arm around her, pulling her tight against his chest.

"Okay, Winry, I will," Ed whispered into her hair, rubbing her back soothingly as she cried into his shoulder. A knot formed in his stomach. He had to say goodbye for a second time, and it was harder than before. Edward felt tears sting in his own eyes, but he blinked them away.

"Come on Winry, the train's loading up..." Pinako beckoned to her granddaughter.
Slowly and reluctantly Winry pulled away from the young alchemist, wiping at her tears with her coat sleeve.

"See you later, Edward," Winry sniffled, looking Edward in the eye. She had given up on wiping away her tears.

"I'll visit the moment I get back..." Ed told her with a soft smile.
Al moved in and gave Winry a hug himself, reassuring her with words that he would be straight back to Resembool the moment Edward was shipped back out.

Edward stood in a daze as Winry boarded the train, and it wasn't until the iron horse began to move that he returned to his senses. Al stood beside him, watching the train as it began to gain speed out of station.

"Come on, Al. Let's head to Mustang's," Edward said, turning his back to the train and trudging away from the platform. He tried to ignore the large lump in his throat. Al followed him closely.

Edward swore as he turned and glanced after the train as it disappeared into the horizon. The soot that hung in the air burned as Ed breathed it in. His golden eyes tracked the train as it headed towards his original home. Finally, it glided out of his vision, leaving only a trail of smoke. After one final glance,

Ed continued off the platform, and off into the bleak streets of Central, his brother at his heels.



(1) Episode 43 Roy confronts Ed when he runs from the military.

(2) I made careful note to make sure that I wrote, "the first man he had killed in the war", because Ed had killed BEFORE the war as well. He killed Majhal from episode 4, Greed in episode 34 as well as Sloth in episode 47. (Though, Majhal's death was accidental for the most part. Did I miss any?)

(3) This is from the manga, volume 6 on page 125. Just a little play on the "dog of the military" idea that floats about the series.

(4) Episode 26, Izumi barged in on Roy, Ross, and Hawkeye in Ed's old hospital room. This was after Hughes dies, in episode 25.

(5) I love House M.D. It's a great TV show so I decided to name my Doc House! But he doesn't act much like the House I know...

That was NOT EdWin! Okay? And did I write Winry okay? I don't like her too much.

Hmm... so it's ED'S fault Roy got captured! But how? (Dun dun dun!) And wow... 8,322 words...

.::holds up a new sign::. Sign reads: "Will write lemons for reviews"

.::wink wink::.
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