Roy and Ed's first moments in the hospital.
Edward gave a soft sigh and sank lower into his bleached-white hospital pillow, searching for a haven from the pain that plagued his body. Edward groaned. It wasn't a sharp pain, but a dull, aching one, the kind that drove Edward /crazy/.
But, it could have been worse. At least once he received medical attention the doctors were able to use the incomplete form of the Philosophers stone to patch him up somewhat. (He hadn't been happy at all that there were any forms of the Stone being used at ALL, but it wasn't in his favor to complain) While the stone wasn't a cure all, it helped, a lot. It advanced his healing by at least three to four weeks by fusing bone fragments back in place.
The blond lay staring up at the blank hospital ceiling, his eyes hazy with sleep from having just woken up from a drug induced slumber. He let his mind wander over the events of what had happened over the past day.
When the doctors first looked him over, they were appalled, and pissed. He had left his own wounds unattended and the already torn muscles were only damaged worse by splinters of bone. By the time Ed had gotten into surgery, he had lost so much blood the doctors were shocked to find the alchemist was still conscious. Ed, however, had not care much about his own body at the moment.
After being taken from surgery and being shipped around Ed finally arrived at Central Hospital, where he was instantly pumped full of morphine and passed out.
Edward shifted awkwardly under the tight covers, agitating his wound. He wouldn't complain. He had done so much... Ed deserved more pain than he could ever receive.
He had killed so many people. He had murdered every last one of them. No matter what the military said, there was no justifying what he had done. Edward had killed to live, even after he had lived for so long believing that one life did not equal another. And sometimes he just killed. Half the enemies he faced couldn't do a bit of harm to him, but Ed could cut them down like they were helpless sheep.
The resistance wasn't that strong. There was no sense to what Hakuro used to justify the slaughter of people. It made Edward sick
/How the hell has Roy lived like this/... Edward thought with a sad sigh. The murder was a big pill to swallow, but Ed was ready to accept it, even if it did eat at his soul. War was war, and he was a State Alchemist.
Edward wrinkled his nose in disgust at the thought of going back out on a pointless mission, as he was doomed to do, or even worse, being sent out onto the front line.
That was the last place a solider wanted to be. It was noting but pointless bloodshed. Of course, there was hardly a front line at the time. There was hardly even a war, just a large group of resistors. All the front line was were a bunch of men sitting around staring at a mountain range.
He closed his eyes for a moment and breathed out slowly, in an attempt to calm his stressed nerves. It didn't work. He was always going to be stressed. Stressed and angry.
War was what had happened to Roy, and Edward didn't like it.
/God damn war is going to kill Mustang/. Edward thought, breathing out quickly in a huff.
When Ed had brought the man in, along with himself, he had been told there was extensive damage, and that Roy probably wouldn't live unless he was transferred. The base medical tent didn't have the supplies to properly treat Roy, so the used the Stone on what they could then shipped Roy and Edward off, both under intensive care the entire trip.
Ed remembered thinking very clearly that Roy could have very well died had he not shown up. During that one moment, Edward was glad that he had been sent to war, sent to save his best friends life. Edward choked.
If he's my best friend, I need to get out more often...
No other soldier would have gotten the excellent treatment they received, but they were State Alchemists, which the Military highly prized during war time, especially now when so many were being slaughtered or captured. Hakuro was blindly recruiting men as State Alchemists and sending them out. More bodies came back than the military could afford. The new men were untrained and inexperienced and hardly stood a chance. The more matured State Alchemists had success in every mission they were sent to, for the most part.
Which led to one question in Ed's mind: How did a living weapon like Roy get captured?
Edward was just glad he was allowed to go with the man back to central. For some reason, Edward felt as though if he were to leave Roy's side, even if just for a minute, he would simply be letting him die. It was foolish and childish, Ed knew that, but he needed Roy, just for a little bit.
Ed relaxed a bit, letting his muscles go lax. He and the Colonel were safe for now, and Ed was thanking God for that. It was just emotion, he still didn't believe that a higher being like God could actually exist.
Edward's eyes fluttered open, and he gently turned his head to the side, glancing to his left to the neighboring bed of Colonel Roy Mustang, The Flame Alchemist.
Ed's expressionless face quickly turned into a deep scowl as he looked over the visible parts of the man's body. He was at least half the size of his former self, and with his shallow cheeks, paled complexion, and various bruises and burns, Roy looked dead. The machine that beeped out his heart rate was the only thing keeping Ed from believing just that.
Splintered ribs, punctured lungs, shattered wrist, broken leg, sever pneumonia, burns, cuts and bruises... Edward was pretty sure that covered the main list of physical injuries...
But one thing, one single thing that he remember the nurse had told him that would change his view on the man for the rest of his life.
Roy had been raped. Edward recalled telling the nurse as she pulled the bullet from his shoulder that she must have been mistaken. No Bastard Colonel he knew would let such that happen to his arrogant-ass self.
Seemed Edward was mistaken. Ed closed his eyes, a feeling of loneliness suddenly washing over him. It was strange, he thought, as he drifted off back to sleep.
Roy coughed deeply into his pillow, the images of his nightmare drifting through his minds eye. His body was shaking involuntarily, but the tremors were slowly receding leaving only tears as visible proof of his distress. Soon, he would be able to move again. It had always been the same after a nightmare, a schedule he would follow. Like a lost child, Roy hugged the crumpled sheets of his bed closer to his body, searching for any kind of warm comfort. The bed was a nice new addition to his schedule, a deeply craved item he had lacked for many nights.
Roy's deep black eyes, once clear and sharp, were now hazy as he stared blankly at the wall across from him, tears staining the fabric he was wrapped in. He tried to stem the flow, but simply could not muster the energy to do so.
Whether they were tears of sadness, happiness, or both, Roy did not care.
He had been saved.
For a short amount of time Roy wondered who had saved him, but such thought were pushed away, as new, unpleasant thoughts took their place.
What am I going to do now? After I heal they'll just ship me back out... I can't handle that...
He had been raped, over and over again. It was just another fact that Roy couldn't bring himself to comprehend, even after living through the horrid events. Now that he looked back, it seemed the only memories that were clear were the rapes, while the beatings remained fuzzy and unclear.
Because I was beaten until I passed out... Better that, than go a round with Jack...
Roy's body gave another shudder as he pictured the said man, looming over him, a smirk plastered on his face. Ironic, that it was the same smirk that Roy use to wear...
I deserved it... After Ishbal, I deserved every bit of it, but that doesn't make what he did alright.
Roy knew his masochist thoughts were pointless and his own personal pain did not make his wrongs rights. All it did was to help him cope. It was as Edward put it, "Live and be content while you can." or something of the other. Roy had never really taken to listening to Ed.
Roy coughed a few more times, cold air ripping at his lungs. New tears stung at the corners of his eyes as he gasped, trying desperately to get a solid breath of air between hacking.
"Be quiet... God damn Colonel..." Edward mumbled sleepily. His mind subconsciously processed that the colonel was the only occupant in the room who could make such a loud, annoying, sleep interrupting noise, because other than Roy and himself, the room was void of patients, but Ed was too drugged to take in what noise had awakened him.. He was tiered, and that stupid bastard was making some pointless racket, keeping him awake...
Roy closed his eyes tight, and wondered what cruel fate had taken action to have him placed next to Edward Elric. Roy felt his lungs sting, and he coughed deeply for a moment longer into the stiff fabric of his pillow. When the spasm finally stopped and he lay panting, he pulled his head away, and stared in a bland state of shock at the blood that stained the pillow. With a renewed distaste for the sight of blood, Roy shoved the pillow off the side of his bed to the right. Without even turning, he managed to hit Edward directly in the face.
"Hey! What the hell was-"
Edward cut himself off as he looked at the pillow he was about to throw harshly back at the man. After sitting himself up full Ed lay the pillow in his lap. He hadn't expected it to be covered in blood. Ed swallowed and stared hard at Roy's back.
/Wait... He was coughing... That's what woke me.../
Suddenly, Edward felt a bit guilty. He really didn't know how to work out his feelings. Ed was worried for the man, but at the same time he was worried about caring too /much/. He knew more about what had happened to the man then he would care to know, but maybe it was for the better. Now, the question was whether Ed should let Roy know that he knew.
Ed gave a defeated sigh, and lay back in his bed. He figured it would be better if he just got it over with. Roy needed to know. Everything.
"Mustang, are you awak..."
Edward froze mid-sentence, but quickly recovered from his shock. "Yeah?"
"Who saved me?"
Edward, for a moment, completely forgot what he was going to say.
"Saved", not liberated, rescued, helped out, but "saved" and his voice was so empty and god it just wasn't right for anything to have happened to him... Ed drew a shuddering breath and then replied,
Roy smirked to himself. What a strange thing to happen. Someone must have forced Ed to do bust into that damned facility. Roy refused to believe that Edward would save him on his own free will. He could have just left him there and told his superiors that all cells were empty or the men were all dead... The fact remained that Edward didn't care for Roy.
Roy scoffed. Like hell Ed would, but he couldn't help but want to hug the short blond.
Damn him... Damn feelings...
"Why?" Roy asked, his brows knitted into a furrow.
Edward couldn't answer that. Why? Was it because he had taken pity on the man? Maybe because no one deserved to be put through what he had? Because Edward was his friend. Because Ed cared about him. Because he couldn't face a life with out him...
"I was ordered to liberate prisoners and bring them back. I was only doing my job." Edward stated blandly, his own flowing like venom from his mouth.
Of course he doesn't care about me... He hates me. He's Edward...
Edward watched with great sorrow as Roy's back sagged sadly. He had no intentions of hurting the man's feelings, but at the same time he didn't want Roy to know he actually liked him.
God, he's going to be impossible to deal with... Edward thought miserably. Like he wasn't a pain in the ass before all of this...
"That's it, damnit!" Edward yelled, sitting up with a jerk and turning violently to face Roy. "Hey! Look at me when I'm talking to you!" Edward demanded throwing the pillow he had clutched in his hand. Roy jerked as the plushy item impacted with his right shoulder, then turned lazily over, his narrow eyes shifting to lock onto Edwards liquid-gold orbs.
"Did you just order your commanding officer, Fullmetal?" Roy asked with a displeased glare plastered on his face. Edward stuttered for a moment, but quickly regained his composure.
"Yah. You need to get over that shitty attitude of yours!" Edward yelled pointing an accusing finger at Roy, who stared wide-eyed at Edward. Hell, he was shocked. He hadn't seen the boy since he was sixteen, but he was still as hotheaded as ever.
"Edward, don't talk like you know what happened..." Roy hissed under his breath, bringing his eyes back to glare at the boy. Edward bowed his head, letting out a slow breath in an attempt to steady himself. Roy raised an eyebrow curiously.
Since when did Fullmetal try to control his temper?
"I know what happened, okay?" Edward finally blurted, keeping his eyes on the white fabric he now had tightly clutched in his fist. "The nurse told me... Everything..."
Roy's breath hitched and caught in his throat, which was sloppily covered up with a cough, or maybe the man really was coughing. It was hard to tell.
Roy choked a few more times, paling almost to the shade of the walls. Edward knew what exactly? Panic rose through Roy. He was sure that if the young alchemist had found out, he would never get any respect from the man again.
"Go ahead and laugh..." Roy growled, forcing himself to stare at Edward despite the urge to run from the room and thoroughly destroy anything he could get his hands on. "This is the moment you've waited for! You know you want to! Dear old Colonel Roy Mustang finally got what he deserved, only you didn't get to beat the life out of me, instead some lowly bastard did! What a bloody shame... And to top it all of, some sicko had fun with him!" Once Roy was done with his ranting, he turned to Edward but instead of finding the boy laughing and pointing out his horrible fate like Roy was sure Edward would do, he stared at the man for a moment, eyes and face laced with a sadness he had never seen.
"Why would you say that?" Edward asked, his voice barely audible. It seemed crazy to in the younger alchemist that Roy would think Edward would find the terrible occurrences any way amusing. Sure, they teased around a lot, and Edward said some pretty crude things, but he never thought the Colonel would take them so seriously. It was just their was of playing around. After all, on many occasions, the Colonel would really help Ed out.
What if he really thought I hated him, and was trying to make a peace offering all of those times. . . But he's not that dense is he?
Ed swallowed hard. Every time the Colonel had done something of the sort, he had shot him down, insulting him for his over friendly attitude. Edward remembered a particular time when he had been especially stressed about an assignment, and had nearly broken down in front of Mustang. Roy had quickly rushed to Ed's side, offering a hand on his shoulder and words of support, and Ed had slapped him away. Said he didn't need the "bastard" to interfere...
"I... I can't do this..." Roy finally groaned, unable to bring forth a more complex sentence. Edward felt like crying as he watched Roy take hold of his blankets in a tightly clasped fist.
He was ashamed of himself, yes, for acting so unlike himself in front of his subordinate, but he really didn't know who he was. He had lost himself long ago, and he wasn't sure if he would ever be the same again.
Edward sighed, and finally knew what he had to do.
"Roy, I am so sorry..." Edward whispered. "Really..."
Edward bowed his head, golden bangs sweeping in to cover his face as he prayed Roy would forgive him for all of the pain he had caused the man.
The elder's eyes widened, and shock, relief, and confusion all washed over him, all at once.
Roy allowed himself a soft grin. Maybe Fullmetal did have a heart...
The door to the room creaked open, and both of the room's occupants glanced to the doorway, the disturbance interrupting an important moment.
After an immeasurable amount of hugs, attempted murder, and accidental injuries, Ed finally managed to say a proper hello to his visitors, Al, Pinako, and Winry.
"Brother! You were shot!" Alphonse yelled for what seemed like the hundredth time, clinging tightly to his brother's hospital gown. The smaller boy had jumped onto the bed when he first saw his brother and refused to leave the spot since. Edward was just happy to see his brother. He had changed so much in Ed's eyes.
"You were shot!" Winry screamed, giving poor Ed a good strong whack over the head with her wrench. Ed gave a quick yelp, and turned to glare at Winry. "You jerk!" She screamed, tears in her eyes. Ed stuttered for words.
"It's okay, really... I mean, I'm fine! It doesn't even hurt!" Ed shouted, waving his arms franticly. Sadly enough, it didn't hurt. It should, but drugs were funny things, really...
Insane woman! That wrench did more damage than the bullet!
Alphonse still had not let go of him; so moving about was hard, even without all of the IV lines stuck into his flesh arm.
"You could have been killed..." Winry sniffled for a moment, her shoulders trembled as she bowed her head and then she joined Al hugging onto Ed, who could only blush very deeply and weakly demand for the two to get off.
"Well, Shrimp, you've done pretty well!" Pinako chimed, standing on a chair to properly reach the height of Edward's bed. However, when Ed didn't go into a ranting fit after the word "shrimp", the sobbing, screaming, and criticizing that had been filling room went silent. So silent Edward was sure he would go deaf if someone didn't speak soon. After a few more seconds of surprised stares and no talking Edward took the liberty upon himself.
"What? I'm sick and lightheaded. Can't I get a day off of being ridiculed and screaming because of it?" Edward asked as he tossed his hands into the air dramatically, throwing Al and Winry off from his shoulders, both of who were staring at him in shock. "And don't call me short." Edward mumbled, glaring at the stout woman, who chuckled. He didn't have any intentions of letting that slide. Besides, the group could use some comic relief. Winry looked about ready to have an emotional breakdown.
God! You people are yelling enough! If I went on a ranting spree... Well, Roy would wring my neck the moment he got out of bed. Damn, I nearly forgot, what am I gonna do about him? Edward thought, his lighthearted glare turning into a look of deep thought. He cast his eyes towards Roy, who had turned his back to Ed. Worry dulled Ed's features.
"Brother? Are you okay?" Al asked, "Do I need to get a nurse?" Al's eyes widened considerably at the thought of his brother going into sudden cardiac arrest or a violent seizure. Edward broke off from his trance, cast a quick glanced at Roy, the shook his head no.
"I'm fine Al! I'm more worried about you! How has things been going? Have you been sick? Any strange pains?" Ed asked, suddenly drawing Al in close, inspecting his body. He had just managed to get Al back to normal when the small rebellions turned from minor violence to sever bloodshed, and the military needed every last drop of man-power it could get its bloodied hands on to even give the rebel forces a good fight. Edward was there for Al for the first few months, but was shipped out to war soon after.
It had crushed his and Al's heart.
Alphonse, after being assured that Edward would not become suddenly ill, was paying no attention to his brother, his natural curiosity getting the better of him. He glanced over to the bed Ed had so carefully lay eyes on. He couldn't tell who the man was, but there was something familiar about him. There was a tuff of not short but not long black hair sticking out from under the blankets and a slim body was outlined in the sheets. Al couldn't see the man weighing over a hundred and twenty pounds.
Soon, Ed noticed that Al wasn't listening to him, and once he took a good look around, he noted that no one else was either. They were all staring at Roy.
In that kind of shape, I guess he draws attention to himself... Edward thought with a sigh. Winry leaned in close to Edward from the side of his bed, and quickly whispered into his ear,
"Ed, who is that?"
"Yah," Al asked as well, "He looks familiar..."
Edwards jaw dropped. He was at least hoping Al would recognize the man he had worked under for the past seven years. He heaved a heavy sigh. How was he going to explain all /this/?
"That's /Mustang.../" Edward practically whispered back, for some reason his body refused to allow him his normally very vocal tune. Every last one of the visitors gasped, even Pinako. "I know, I know, just don't bother him right now. He's... I'll explain later..." Ed said quickly, his eyes locked on Roy's sleeping form.
Winry stood, staring for a few moments longer than everyone else. She knew that that was the man who had shot and killed her parents, and she had always wanted revenge for them, but there was something about the way that man looked that shattered those thoughts. For so long Winry had wanted to see the worst pain inflicted upon Roy, such as his family dying or for him to lose his job and way of life. She knew it was wrong of her to wish that upon anyone, but she always had.
When she looked at Roy now, she could only feel a numb sense of satisfaction, if not a bit guilty and sad.
/What ever happened to him, he's paid for what he's done, one way or another/. Winry decided, finally bringing her attention back to the group.
"So..." Ed blurted, desperate to start any kind of conversation to take the topic away from Roy or the war, his least two favorite subjects. He racked his brain, and then a brilliant thought occurred. "Winry, I think my auto mail could stand a look at..."
Winry jumped to Ed's side immediately and began to take rough measurements she babbled on to Pinako about the parts she would need. Edward happily caught up with Al, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.
/Hell, maybe this won't be too bad of a hospital stay/... Edward thought, grinning happily as he tousled the honey colored hair of his brother.
Roy lay still, staring blandly at the wall in front of him trying not to cry.
So, Al has his body back and just so everyone knows, Ed is 18, which makes Al 17 even though his body 12.
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