Categories > Anime/Manga > Full Metal Alchemist > The Greater Good

Chapter 1

by Zuppi 1 review

With threats against Winry increasing, Ed is forced to make a difficult decision. Heavy spoilers for Chapter 68 of the manga. EdWin

Category: Full Metal Alchemist - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Romance - Characters: Edward Elric, Winry Rockbell - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2007-03-18 - Updated: 2007-03-18 - 2822 words

Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of the characters contained within this fanfiction. It is the property of Hiromu Arakawa, Square Enix Co., Ltd.'s and Monthly Shonen Gangan. I simply worship and adore... and sometimes write fic.

Spoilers and setting: This fic is set in the manga verse and contains spoilers up to and including chapter 68. Please bear this in mind when reading.

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'Brother, are you sure this is a good idea? It could be a trap." Al clanked alongside Ed.
"It doesn't matter." Ed replied curtly. "He said he has Winry. If anything happens to her it'll be our fault." His heart hammered in his chest and adrenaline surged through his veins. A thousand vile scenarios played over and over in his mind.

They ran side by side through the dark hallway of the abandoned laboratory. Wrath had only given the directions once but every word remained clear in Ed's mind. He burst through a set of doors and onto a platform above a large, more open experimentation area. The room extended before them into the darkness. It was cold, Ed's breath condensed into wispy clouds before him as he struggled to control his rapid breathing. A quick survey of the room revealed it to be empty.

Ed snarled in rage. "Damn it!" He punched the wall with his auto-mail hand. "The bastard tricked us." He turned to Al.

"Now, now... is that any way to speak of your beloved leader." From the shadows Wrath emerged.

Ed inhaled sharply, while Al gasped. Held tight against his chest and kept subdued by a long, thin blade was Winry. Her eyes were wide and fearful as Wrath pushed her forward. It was clear she had been mistreated; her clothing was dirty and torn, while above her left eye a deep wound was slowly oozing blood.

Ed instinctively took a step forward, gripping the railing before him. His eyes darted quickly around the room for any signs of the other homunculi.

"Ah-ah." Wrath warned, pulling Winry against him. She cried out as the blade pierced her skin, a drop of crimson blood running down her neck and staining her t-shirt.

Ed and Al halted their advance.

"Let Winry go." Ed's voice was quiet and deadly.

His vision sweeping the scene, Al inquired further. "What do you want?"

"I warned you." Wrath sighed. "I warned you not to pry into things that don't concern you-"

"Let her go!" Ed's heart was racing. His body trembled all over. Winry's eyes never left his. Tears were flowing freely down her stained cheeks.

"Your transgressions cannot go unpunished." Wrath snarled. He stared directly into Ed's eyes. With a deep breath he savagely sliced his sword across Winry's neck before pushing her away from him.

For Ed, time seemed to slow down. He watched helplessly as Winry's neck opened up and blood began gushing from the wound. His stomach turned as he jumped over the railing and onto the concrete floor below. A stabbing pain surged up his auto-mail leg as he landed. It dragged heavily as raced forward just in time to catch her falling body. He cradled her in his arms as her blood began to soak both of their clothes. Desperately he covered her wound with his left hand, revolting at the feel of her torn flesh against his hand. "Winry." He gasped fruitlessly as her wide eyes stared into his, knowing without a doubt there was nothing he could do.

With a sickening gargled sound her eyes glazed over and she slumped like a rag doll in his arms.

Ed stared down at her for a second, his mind refusing to believe she was gone. "Winry?" He shook her a little, tears finally leaking from his eyes as her head merely lolled back and forward lifelessly. "Winry." He bit his lip as he voice cracked with emotion. He glanced up at Al before pulling the limp body against him. With a strangled sob, he buried his head in her shoulder, crushing Winry's blood soaked body against his own.

This couldn't be happening... It couldn't be... It wasn't possible that he was holding Winry's lifeless body... She couldn't have been killed because of them... because of /him/.

"Brother?" Al voice was strangled with emotion. He knelt down beside Ed, laying a cold heavy hand on his shoulder.

Ed ignored him, crying out in anguish as he rocked back and forth, holding her body closer. He thought he was going to be sick. His chest was tight and each breath was agony. He couldn't think, couldn't move... couldn't do anything. It wasn't happening... it couldn't be... Winry just couldn't be dead.

When Ed first heard the giggle he dismissed it as his imagination. His mind was creating the sound of Winry's laughter on it's own. She was dead, her throat ripped out, she couldn't be laughing... but when the body pressed against his chest took a breath, Ed sat back in disbelief.

His eyes were wide in uncertainty as he looked at Winry. Her own eyes once more filled with life, but the sadistic glint in them was distinctly foreign. Catching his fearful look, the body beneath him began to laugh uncontrollably. "Oh Full Metal, I didn't know you cared!"

Ed's brow furrowed in confusion before the figure before him began to distort. Winry's face melted away to reveal the androgynous form of Envy.

Ed stared at the homunculus for a beat before savagely pushing Envy away. He scrambled backwards before Al helped him to his feat.

"You... you..." Al seemed too furious to form words. His hands were clenched and he appeared to be shaking.

Envy gracefully got to his feet, laughing sadistically. Wrath took up place to his left. "You have been warned. The next time it will be the girl."

Ed shook his head in disbelief. "This was all a trick?!" He laughed humourlessly. "This... you... You sick bastards!"

"Keep out of our business and nothing will happen to the girl." Wrath warned once more, his patience obviously running out.

"I-I'll kill you." Ed surged forward only to have his auto-mail leg fail him. He fell to the floor but quickly pushed himself back up.

"With a broken leg and snot in your nose?" Envy teased. "I don't think so."

"Stay out of our business." Wrath cautioned one last time before the pair melted back into the darkness.

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Roy Mustang marched towards the laboratory, Riza following quickly behind. He frowned as he eyed the lumbering form of Al supporting a clearly injured Ed. They appeared to be arguing, with Ed struggling to get away. Sighing in frustration, Roy ran forward.

"What is the meaning of this, Fullmetal? Why-"

"Get out of my way." Ed limped forward. "I have to phone Winry."

"Brother, you're injured." Al caught up with Ed and put his arm around his elder brother. "I'll phone Winry but you need to get off your leg."

"I'm fine!" Ed shouted, worry and rage getting the better of him. "I have to know she's ok."

"What happened?" Riza exchanged a look with Roy.

"The bastards, they... they... they said they had Winry. They contacted us in the north to say they had her and they were going to kill her." He limped forward, his eyes frantically searching for a phone. "We got here and Wrath had her hostage... he... he..." Ed bit his lip unable to continue. He lowered his head, allowing his hair to obscure his face.

Roy looked at each person assembled. "Damn it, what the hell happened?!"

"Envy was disguised as Winry." Al explained. "When we got to the meeting place it looked like Wrath had her hostage. He warned us we were prying too much and then," Al paused, looking down as he tried to block out the images. "He cut her throat. Envy didn't reveal himself for a few minutes."

Roy winced at the explanation, shaking his head in disbelief. He looked to Riza. She shared his concern, sighing in sympathy. She placed a hand on Ed's shoulder only to have him shake her off.

"We don't have time for this!" He resumed his painful shuffling along the path. "We need to contact her now.

"Fine." Roy nodded. "Get in the car, we'll find a phone."

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"Come on! Come on!" Ed bounced on one foot as the phone rang. He looked to Al. "It's taking too long. Something has happened, we need to get to-"

"Hello? Auto-mail repair, how-" A very chirpy male voice on the other line asked.

"Winry?!" Ed shouted into the telephone, his attention immediately focused on that.

"What? No, it's Garfield."

"Where's Winry?" Ed barked.

"Who's this?"

"It's Edward Elric. I need to speak to Winry immediately." Ed pounded his fist against the glass of the phone box.

"Oh Mr. Elric, is she running late?" Garfield sounded a little confused.

"What?" Ed glanced at Al. "Running late for what?"

"Did she not receive a phone call from you asking for her assistance?" By now the older man sounded very concerned.

"No." Ed's heart was racing. "Where is she?"

Garfield hesitated. "She left this morning. Her train should be arriving in Central soon. I-"

Ed did not wait for Garfield to continue. He pushed Al out of the phone box and began limping back towards the car.

"What's happened, Brother?" Al quickly caught up with Ed.

"Winry's on her way here. We need to get to her before they do." Ed glared at Roy. He pushed past him and slipped into the back seat. "We need to go to the train station. Now!"

Al, Riza and Roy exchanged knowing looks.

"Edward, you leg is badly damaged. You need to get off it." Riza explained calmly.

"My leg is fine. We need to leave right away. Get in the car." He addressed Al and Roy.

"Edward, you're covered in blood." Roy crossed his arms over his chest. "Lieutenant Hawkeye will take you home and myself and Al can go pick up Winry."

"No!" Ed slammed his fist down on the seat. "I-"

"Damn it, Edward, follow my orders!" Roy snarled, surprising all. "You would only hold us back in that state. Go back to your apartment with Riza and get cleaned up. Alphonse and I are more than a match for whatever may be in store."


He cut Ed off once more. "You're only delaying us." He nodded to Riza. "We're faster on foot. We'll call you as soon as we pick her up." He slammed the car door closed. "Now go!"

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Riza opened the door using Ed's key before stepping back to let him in. Ed hopped along, his auto-mail leg limp by his side.

"Why don't you clean up?" Riza offered. "I'll wait for them to call."

Ed nodded but did not reply. He slowly made his way to the bathroom, using the wall for support. He closed the door behind him, leaning back against the hard wood and closing his eyes. He breathed deeply, squeezing his eyes shut.

Once calm he made his way to the washbasin. With shaking hands he ran the hot water and began to clean the blood from his fingers. He empted the sickeningly red water before refilling it again. For the first time he looked into the mirror, gasping loudly at his appearance.

His face and neck was streaked with blood. His eyes were blood shot. He looked a mess. His hair had come loose from his braid, with strands hanging around his shoulders and face. In parts, this too, was red with blood. Unable to control his emotions any longer he let out a sob and covered his eyes. A second later he dashed as quickly as possible on one leg to the toilet and vomited.

Images of Winry's dead body flashed through his mind, over and over, without any control. Her dead eyes staring up into his... He threw up once more, tears forcing their way from his eyes.

He sat back against the wall, breathing deep and slow in an effort to calm. He squeezed his eyes shut in a vain attempt to shut out the images assaulting his mind. Sighing deeply, he pulled himself to his feet and hopped over to the washbasin. Without looking in the mirror he washed his face, his hands shaking as the water once more ran red with blood.

He empted the basin and was refilling it when he heard the door open. Instantly his blood ran cold, he listened intently for a second before rushing to the door and flinging it open.

"E-" Winry stopped in the middle of calling to Edward. He was standing in the doorway of the bathroom his face white as a sheet. She gasped as she took in his dishevelled form. His hair was wet and streaked with blood, his clothes seemed to be saturated in it. "Ed?" She took a step forward. "What happened to you?"

Ed let out a strangled sob. He thought he would feel better seeing Winry alive and well but somehow it made the whole experience more real, more frightening. If not for the fact the homunculi need to control them so badly Winry could easily be dead.

He bit his lip as tears began to sting his eyes. He shuffled as quickly as possible on one leg to where Winry stood dumbstruck in the hallway. Without waiting for permission he engulfed her in an embrace. He buried his head in her shoulder, as his body began to shake uncontrollably.

"Ed?" Winry looked to Al in concern before bringing her own arms gingerly around his waist. "Ed, what happened?"

Ed only responded by shaking more. His breathing came is gasps and sobs, he squeezed his eyes shut in an effort to refrain from crying.

"Ed, please talk to me." Concern was evident in Winry's voice. She tried to pull back, to look into Ed's face but he resisted. In the struggle, his good leg collapsed beneath him. He refused to let Winry go and pulled her to the floor with him. Finally she gave up on getting the truth from him and instead hugged him against her.

Ed was distantly aware of Roy and Riza whispering to themselves and the sound of the door closing shut in their wake. Al seemed to decide against interrupting them, instead choosing to retire to the kitchen.

Ed couldn't be sure how long he held Winry for. It wasn't until he got his breathing under control that he even began to think about how awkward the situation was or how he was going to struggle to explain his actions. Winry's right hand rested on his waist, her thumb idly stroking back and forth while her left hand was tangled in his loose, damp hair. He sighed, the sent of motor oil and soap floating around him.

"Ed, are you ok?" Winry pulled back slightly, her eyes searching Ed's face.

Ed sighed once more before sitting back against the wall. "I'm fine." His voice was barely above a whisper.

"What happened?" Winry inched closer to him. She reached out for his hand but Ed flinched away.

"Nothing." Ed ducked his head, his hair falling to obscure his face.

Winry sighed in exacerbation. "Ed, you're covered in blood and you just hu-"

Ed pushed himself up against the wall, struggling to stand with his heavy automail leg weighing him down. "I need to wash up."

"Ed." Winry sighed. She reached out to help him but he pulled away. "Ed, come on!"

Ignoring her Ed, shuffled along the hall to the bathroom.

"Ed, you have to talk to me. What happened? Your leg-"

Ed shut the bathroom door in her face, quickly locking it. He sighed, resting his forehead against the wood.

"Fine!" He heard Winry shoot from the hall. He winced as she kicked the door and stormed off down the hall.

He pushed away from the door and walked over to the bath, turning to sit on the side. He pulled his shirt off and threw it on the floor, grimacing as the still wet blood brushed against his face. With difficulty he removed his shoes and pants before turning his attention to his automail. He gave it a short inspection, not bothering to spend much time puzzling over what was causing it to malfunction. Ed ran his hands through his hair before stepping into the bath, pulling the shower curtain across and turning on the water.

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Author's notes: Sorry to cut off there. I had planned to post this as a one shot but it's turning out the be the longest one shot ever so I've decided to split it into parts. I'm still in undecided as to whether it'll be two or three parts. Hmm...
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this first part. I plan on posting the second chapter in the next day or so.
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