Brittney Ryan (irridescentsong) wrote in fm_alchemist,
Brittney Ryan

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Hi, everyone! GUess what? I have finally conquered this fic that has been kicking my ass every day! Yes! I have officially changed it's title from "Chapter One" to "Prologue". So there. ::kicks the fic in the ass:: Yeah, this took me a total of ten hours to write, two hours to type and another half an hour getting all of the revisions up. Comments appreciated and rewarded with fangirl cookies, con. crit appreciated and taken into consideration!! Without further ado, I present Tortured Soul {Prologue} Enjoy!!

Title: Tortured Soul {Prologue}
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Angst, Yaoi, AT
Status: Continuing
Pairing: RoyxEd
Arc: Confrontations
Summary: I regret to inform you that the Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric is dead.
Word Count: 3951 (New record for me! Yay!)
Total Time to Finish: 12.5 hours
Beta: miokohagata

A knock came at the office door and before a reply could be made, the door swung open. Lieutenant Colonel Hawkeye held an envelope aloft. “Sir! There’s a letter!”

Roy Mustang looked up from the papers he had been reviewing and responded, “Letters come for me every day, Lieutenant Colonel. What is so interesting about this one?”

“It’s from Alphonse, sir.”

At the name ‘Alphonse’ the rest of the staff crowded into the office, eager to hear news of the younger Elric ad his older counterpart.

Hawkeye handed the envelope over to the General, who opened it, unfolded the papers inside and began to read aloud.

To General Roy Mustang of Central Military Headquarters
From Alphonse Elric
Regarding The Fullmetal Alchemist

Dear General Mustang,

Congratulations on your promotion is what I must say first. News travels quickly, though by the time it reaches Rizenbul, it has become old news.

It has been four years since anyone has seen or heard from the Fullmetal Alchemist. It has been four years since the Elric brothers left with their discovery and finally set out to accomplish their goal. It has been four years since my brother restored my body using the cursed Philosopher's Stone. It has been four years since I killed my brother.

Let me start by saying that I am sure you expected this letter. It would have been from my brother or myself, I am sure that you knew something had gone wrong. I regret to inform you that the Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric is dead. He died four years ago as a result of a transmutation with the Philosopher’s Stone. I regret even more having to tell you that it is through my actions that my brother is dead.

Let me explain. It was about to rain that day...

"Niisan, Lets go!" Alphonse Elric, age 16, ran down the path that led to the remains of their childhood home. The dark clouds hung inhospitably-like in the sky and threatened to drop their burden on the world below.

"I'm coming, Al," Edward Elric said, rubbing absently at his right shoulder. The rain always made him more fidgety than normal. "I'm coming," he said again, more to himself this time. He watched his younger sibling run down the path that led home. 'That's not right. That place isn’t home to us any longer,' he thought. 'We don't have a home to go back to anymore.'

Alphonse was already at the house, clearing out the fire-ruined basement when Edward finally caught up. "Niisan, don't be lazy! Help out!"

"I could just use alchemy to clean it all up," he muttered under his breath. With a grumble, he jumped down into the basement and started to help clear it out.

After an hour's worth of hard work, the rubble was cleared out and they could see the concrete floor again. They had had to scrub away the remains of the first array they had painted on the unyielding concrete, the one they had used on That Night. Now, the floor was clean, once again ready for another big project.

"Well," Edward said with a grin, "let's get started." From his pocket, he produced two paintbrushes, and a screwdriver, filched from Winry’s house on their last visit. It was of a regular size and surely she wouldn’t miss it any time soon. From the suitcase Al had been carrying came the line compass and two cans of paint.

Alphonse only nodded. He could feel a metaphorical knot tying its way into his stomach.

"Stand in the middle, Al. We've got to make this perfect," Ed told his brother. Mentally, he added how this was their only shot, that it was this or nothing.

Al moved and Ed stretched the rope out to its fullest. Taking a bit of charred wood, he transmutated it on the end of the rope to serve as a paintbrush holder. He flipped open one of the cans of paint using the screwdriver and began to paint the outer circle of the Array.

Standing in the middle of the circle, Alphonse realized that this Array was not all that different than the one they had used on That Night. The memory served as a reminder to the brothers as not only to their goal, but of their failures and what had come of them. The risks were heavily ingrained in both of their memories, and were something they wouldn't soon forget.

Edward had stopped moving when the outer circle was complete and was now ruffling through some papers that he had taken from his pocket. They consisted of plans for the very Array that they would be working with today. He sorted them into two piles, and gave one stack to Al. "Here, Al. That's your portion."

Al took the offered pile of papers and walked to the other side of the circle, a bit of hesitation setting in.

"Hey, Al."

"Yes, niisan?"

"Think you're forgetting something." Edward tossed a paintbrush at his brother. "Can't really do the Array without it."

"Yeah." Alphonse nearly missed the small brush, but settled down to start work on his section.

When he was about halfway done, Al looked over at his brother and ventured a question that had been festering in his mind since they'd begun work on the Array. "Niisan, do you think this will really work?"

Ed was at the center of the Array, taking precaution for where the Philosopher's Stone would go, re-painting the glyphs for accuracy. "Of course it will, Al. It's the Philosopher's Stone, how could it not work?" He kept working through his response, however, his reply somewhat off-hand and automated.

"You'll be back to normal too, won't you?" Alphonse had stopped working and sat very still, watching his brother work.

"Yeah, if everything goes according to plan," Edward said aloud. In a lower voice, he added, "Let's hope so."

It did not do any good that the person whom Al looked up to so much was skeptical about this particular project. With a hollow sigh, he returned to his work, not entirely convinced that something wouldn't go wrong. When he realized he'd been painting the same line of sigils for the past ten minutes, he looked over at Edward, watching him work.

Blonde hair was coming out of the ever-present braid his brother always wore and golden eyes were focused on the project. He was, in a word, determined.

It wasn't that Edward was just determined, he had a promise to fulfill to two of the people who mattered most to him: his brother and his lover.

It was a Saturday morning and both of the men were facing the after-effects of last night’s affair. That is to say, the affair had officially begun.

It was the tightening of arms around his stomach, the snuggling closer of a body that smelled faintly of smoke and wood, and the feeling of warm moisture on his neck that awoke Ed that morning.

No hesitation, no grogginess, his eyes just snapped opened, his body telling him it was time to get up and that he’d had enough sleep. He reached out to turn the alarm clock to face him to check the time, and couldn’t reach.

Roy’s body spooned his from behind and he gave the older man a sharp elbow in the chest. Roy awoke, released Ed and sat up coughing. “Might I inquire,” he said with a yawn and a rub to semi-bruised ribs, “what that was for?”

“I couldn’t get to the clock and you wouldn’t let me go,” Ed responded, reaching over for said clock and checking the time on it. It was only 6 o’clock. He slammed the clock back down on the nightstand and pulled himself off the bed to go make coffee. A few minutes later, Roy followed after the blonde, coffee and discussion on his mind.

In the kitchen, Ed was rummaging through the ice box, looking for something to make for breakfast. Eggs, ham and cheese were set on the counter next to the stove as he reached for a pan and began to cook.

When Roy wandered into the kitchen, he poured a cup of coffee and set it in front of the older man wordlessly. He went back to the stove to finish cooking.

Roy looked down at the cup in front of him. Something was…wrong with Ed this morning. He’d barely spoken at all. Even the way he was standing at the stove, poking roughly at the food in the pan, hair loose around his shoulders was wrong. He was…stiff and guarded.

Ed cut the gas off on the stove, covered the pan and went into the formal hallway to use the phone. He pulled the receiver off the hook and spun the dial, letting it ring.

After four rings, the recipient answered and said, “Good morning.”

“Morning Al,” Ed replied into the phone.

“Ah, niisan. How are you feeling?”

“Somewhat better. I got some more research done last night.”

“Where are you niisan? I thought you’d come home after going to the doctor’s.”

“I’m at the Colonel’s house. He saw me walking and said I could stay over to get out of the rain. I borrowed his library last night.”

“Oh,” Al said, voice falling just a bit.

“I’ll be back in a few hours. Just going to take a shower, maybe get something to eat.”

“Okay, niisan. Did the doctor give you any medicine?”

“Err, um, nope. No medicine.”

“Niisan, I wish you wouldn’t lie to me. Take your medicine.”

Ed sighed into the receiver. “Okay, okay. I’ll take it.”

“I’ll see you in a few hours then, niiisan.”

“Bye, Al.”

“Bye, niisan.” An audible click was heard and the steady tone that followed signaled the end of the conversation.

Ed replaced the phone on the hook and sighed, laying his head on the cool metal of his automail, which rested on the phone. He stayed that way for a few minutes, unwilling to go back into the kitchen and face the man there.

In the kitchen, Roy had barely moved when Ed returned. He was still sitting, watching his coffee cup as if it would grow legs and scuttle away. Some of it was gone, so Ed assumed that Roy had, indeed, drank some of it.

He poured himself a cup and took a drink of the hot liquid. Rummaging through different cabinets, he located two plates and pulled off the lid of the pan, putting eggs on each plate. After finding a grater lying in a drawer, he grated the cheese over both.

“Err, Fullmetal, what are you doing?” Roy asked, breaking the silence.

“What does it look like I’m doing? Making breakfast,” Ed retorted, obvious anger in his voice.

“I meant with the cheese,” Roy replied calmly.

“What, you’ve never eaten it like this before? Too bad, I cooked, you eat.” With that, he set Roy’s plate in front of him, found the drawer that held the silverware and pulled out two forks, placing one in front of Roy.

When he looked around for napkins, he was not entirely happy to see them residing innocently in their holder on the top of the icebox. He had to jump to try and reach them, but only succeeded in pushing the holder back farther. He was muttering curses when Roy came over, smirking, reached over the shorter blonde’s head and plucked a napkin from the holder.

“Bastard,” Ed stated, snatching away Roy’s napkin and heading to the bar to eat.

Roy said nothing, just got another napkin, but stayed at the icebox, back towards Ed. “Listen, Ed, about last night-“

“Don’t start, Colonel. I don’t need your excuses.”

“What I was going to say was that it wasn’t supposed to happen. Not like that.”

"How can you say me trusted you and then ruining it, claiming it wasn't supposed to 'happen like that'? I trusted you and you seduced me, you bastard! You're a mother-."

It was sneaky and underhanded, but it achieved its purpose- it shut Ed up. The Colonel yanked Ed by the hair and kissed him roughly. Ed practically melted into the kiss, until he realized exactly what Mustang was doing.

“What the hell are you doing?!” he nearly screamed at Roy. “Did you not just hear me?”

“Just shut up, Ed. I’ve waited too long for this.”

A shocked look crawled across Ed’s face. “What do you mean you’ve waited too long for this?”

“You’re a smart boy, Fullmetal, you can figure it out.” Roy’s hands were strategically placed on the boy’s shoulders, ready to give him a rough shake if necessary.

Realization replaced the former look of shock on Edward’s face as he figured out just what Roy had meant. “You mean-all these years?”

Roy gave a slow nod. “Now that I have you, I’m not letting go. Not now, not ever. You’re mine.” Just like that, ownership was established.

“But Al-!”

“You’ll keep going and restore Alphonse to his body. You’ll stay with him until he’s ready But, in the end, you’ll come back to me, hear me? I want you to promise me, Ed.” Roy gave the younger man a shake. “Promise me that you’ll keep going and you won’t quit, not until Al’s restored.”


“Now, Ed!”

Ed looked past Roy to the floor. Sometimes he wondered how they were going to do it. The apprehension was there. “I promise.”

Mustang released to boy momentarily and then, in a moment of recognition, pulled him into a close embrace that jerked him out of his chair. “Good.”

Ed sighed, dropping his shoulders, and quickly pulled back. “I still don’t forgive you for seducing me last night.”

With a smirk, Roy calmly replied, “Shut up, Ed. At least I can reach the top of the icebox for a napkin without having to steal it from someone else and having to jump.”

“Who’re you calling short?!”

Roy ‘heh’ed and took his seat at the bar, not wanting his food to get cold. “I guess I’m calling you short, Edward.”

Ed gave the officer a cold glare then sat and began to finish his earlier abandoned food.

After a few minutes, Ed spoke. “Colonel?”

Roy looked up from the newspaper he had been reading. “Mmm?”

“Thanks,” he said a semi-smile on his lips.

“You’re welcome.” He wasn’t confused in the least.

“Niisan?...Niisan!...Hello, earth to niisan!”

“Huh-Wha? Oh, sorry, Al. Just thinking about something,” Ed explained. “That bastard. I’m gonna pound him into the ground next time I see him.”

“I’m all finished over here, niisan.”

“Oh, good. I’m just about-,” Ed replied as he looked at his work, “heh heh, scratch that, I’m all done too. Well, you ready?”

Out of nowhere, a female voice floated down to the boys in the ruined basement. “Edward! Al! What are you guys doing back?”

“Winry?!” Al called incredulously. “What are you doing here?”

“I live just up the hill, remember? I saw you both walking, so I thought that you’d have come to say hi by now.”

“Winry, you won’t believe it, but we got it!”

“Al, enough. Winry, you’ve got to go.”

“Ed, give me a one good reason why I should leave. You’re like my brothers and I can’t let you do something reckless, not to mention dangerous, without knowing if you’re going to be alright and what’s going to happen.”

“We don’t know exactly what is going to happen. The alchemic overflow might be too much and then something really bad could happen. But, I don’t think that it will come to that.”

The taller blonde frowned. “What if something happens to you or to Al! Who’s going to take care of you then?”

“Niisan, she has a point.”

“I’m staying, Ed.” Winry hopped down into the basement, mindful of the drying lines of paint.

“Just stay out of the way. Ready, Al?”

With a nod, Al stood and walked over to his brother. “Just think, niisan, we’re going to finally achieve what we set out to do four years ago!”

Ed reached into his pocket and pulled out a velvet pouch and set it behind the protective glyphs he had drawn. “Let’s do it.”

They retreated to the edge of the matrix and kneeled just outside the edge of it, just outside the lines that gave the process a purpose.

“Winry,” Ed intoned, before clapping his hands together,” no matter what happens, don’t come any closer than that.”

He reached out and touched the edges of the circle at the same time Al did and activated the matrix’s power, amplified one hundredfold by the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Gate.

It loomed over them as an ominous presence. As they stood before it, they were ready.

“Ready, Al?” Ed looked up at his brother.

“I’m ready, niisan. I want my body back.”

“Let’s go then.” Ed walked to the Gate and stopped at its threshold, Al only one step behind him.

The doors of the Gate opened.

Concrete. It was hard and cold. Something wet was sticking to his hair. Paint and ...rain. Al sat up, blinkingly looking around at his surroundings, looking at his body, made whole again. “Niisan! It worked! Niisan?” Al looked around, overwhelmed by the sensations. He could touch and feel properly, could smell and see properly too.

There was one body that remained. Winry, sitting closer than Ed had warned. She was staring at Al. “Al...”

“Winry, where’s niisan?”

“I don’t know, Al. He was here wasn’t he?” She looked around the room and spotted the body Al had missed. “Al, let’s go. We need to get you to Grannie’s house.”

“What? No! Winry! Where’s niisan, Winry?”

“Al, please,” Winry pleaded, tears welling in her eyes. “Let’s just go.” She stood and pulled AL to his feet, meeting more resistance than she expected from the mild-mannered boy. She had seen what Al could not.

Al finally spotted his brother’s body, whole now, automail discarded on the floor next to him. He looked perfect, almost too much so, but no amount of perfection could save him from what he had become now. His breathing was shallow. He was unconscious. He looked like one on the verge of death.

“N-niisan?...Niisan!” Al broke from Winry’s grasp and stumbled over to his brother’s form, tears falling as he gathered Ed’s body into his arms. “Niisan...What have I done? It’s entirely my fault...”

Winry had run off by that time, headed for her home. “Granny!” she called, still crying. “Granny!”

Pinako came out of the kitchen. “What is it, Winry? What’s wrong?”

“It’s Ed,” she choked out.

“What did that boy do now?”

“You have to come! He needs help. And Al. Al needs help too.”

“Winry, what is wrong with Edward?”

“He’s dying, Granny. Edward’s dying...”

*Six months later*

“Niisan, are you awake? I’m back. Remember how I told you that I was thinking about going to Central and doing some research there? Well, I decided that I’m not going to. I think it would be better for both of us if I stayed here. I mean, who would look after you? Winry and Aunt Pinako said I could stay here. I can help them around the house. You’d like that wouldn’t you?” Al touched the headstone lovingly, running his fingers over the carved top of it. He ran his fingers down over the stone, tracing the carved name of Edward Elric, the birth and death dates. A vase of flowers stood by the stone.

“Al? Are you up here again?” Winry stood underneath a tree, a basket of flowers on her arm.

Al smiled. “Just having a talk with niisan, that’s all.” Turning back to his brother’s grave, another smile graced Al’s face as he whispered the words of the end of every visit. “See you tomorrow. I love you, niisan. Thank you for everything...and I’m sorry.”

I am sorry for burdening you with such heavy news, General. I had a favor to ask of you, really, as well as of the rest of your staff. Would you please come visit my brother?

I only ask this of you because I know it would mean a lot to him. In all honesty, there is some small part of me, albeit a rather small and irrational part, that believes that my brother is not dead, but very much alive, just not
here. I think his spirit and soul may have gone across the Gate, but I am unsure.

I know of your relationship with my brother. Although I did not agree with it, I have to say, overall, my brother seemed somehow
renewed after visiting you. I had not had the chance to thank you for that. Thank you for making my brother happy and thank you for believing in us.

I have my brother’s watch that I am sure the Army wants back, but if it is possible I would like to keep it. Do you think that you could arrange for this? If it is too much trouble, don’t bother with it.

Again, thank you for everything, and I apologize for laying such a burden upon you. May you always do well in your endeavors.

Alphonse Elric

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