[Author] Mara D (Watarisgirl/Lady Jade)
[Series] Fullmetal Alchemist
[Spoilers?] Yes. Lots. Amen.
[chatter] Violence warning. I also am letting you know, this is /not the last chapter/. That should be some comfort to someone somewhere. ^_^
Sig was as comfortable as he was likely to get. Roy and Ed had retired for the night to the guest bedroom.
Neither of them had eaten. They had marginally had a glass of water between them.
Ed sat down on the end of the bed, and Roy leaned against the window, hands holding on to the sill.
There were no words to say really, everything just felt wrong. Like someone had ripped part of Ed’s soul out and smashed it against the ground. All Ed could do now was watch the sparkling pieces fall shivering to the floor.
He didn’t want to be touched, and neither did Roy. All they could do was stare at each other in disbelief.
Part of Ed wanted so badly to crush Roy to his chest, to feel that heart beating close and know that he was alive. There had been too much death, and the fear of losing Roy was coming roaring back to him.
“I don’t know where Dad’s lab is. Roy…I don’t have the first clue.” He groaned as he smoothed his hair back out of his face frustratedly.
Roy just shook his head and stared glazedly at the floor.
“If anyone does Edward, it would be you…do you want the first watch or the last?” Roy asked quietly.
“You didn’t sleep, you watched over me on the train. I’ll take first watch.”
“As you wish.”
Ed sat, wide awake until well past when his watch was due to end. He was perched, sitting in the door frame on the floor, listening as if his life depended on it, and thinking very hard. Why? Where? If he were his father…where would he hide a laboratory in Dublith?
He listened to Roy breathing slowly, and turned to watch that broad chest rise and fall peacefully.
He had strongly suspected that Roy had cried himself to sleep, but he had tried to give the other man some distance. Right now they were both on edge.
He heard it then.
The sound of voices.
A woman…a voice that chilled him to the very marrow…and Sig’s voice as well..
“Tell me where it is…”
“I told you, I don’t know.”
“Can I kill him? Please?!”
“Roy! Wake up!” Ed hissed, leaping silently to his feet, wincing a bit as his knees protested the sudden change in position.
His lover rolled over and grunted tiredly.
“What is it.”
“Dante is here, and so is Envy. They have Sig!”
“How?!” Roy asked, sitting bolt upright in bed. “I laid out an array at every entrance that leads to this room, it would glow here if anyone crossed any of them.” Roy pointed to the array on the floor by the bed.
“She’s Dante Roy! Hurry up!”
Roy was on his feet in half a heartbeat, his gloves on very quickly.
“Where?!” He asked lowly, sliding into the doorway next to Ed. Ed was silent and inclined his head.
“Tell us where…I will bring her back for you.” Dante’s voice echoed.
Sig’s laughter could be heard all the way down the hall.
“Woman, do I look that foolish?!”
“Roy, I’m going to try and draw her outside. I’m leaving it up to you to think of something that might work.” Ed whispered softly as he stepped out into the hall.
“Fullmetal! This is insane!” Roy hissed. “We need a plan!”
“No time! Wish me luck!” Ed said, flashing Roy a thumbs up before he slipped away down the hall.
He half turned his head, and he could see Roy’s arm outstretched as if the man had thought he could stop Ed from leaving.
No time for that, no time for the way it made Ed’s stomach jerk with worry. He would protect Roy, protect Sig, or die trying.
As he peered around the doorframe to Sig’s room however, he realized that part of that internal promise would be wholly unnecessary. The man was already dead.
His heart had failed…Izumi’s heart had failed…
“Dead.” Envy spat in disappointment as he dropped Sig’s massive form back to the bed.
The smell was what made Ed blink. The smell of rotting flesh. He recognized the style of the dress, but the small woman in front of him was shrouded in a hooded cloak. The smell of perfume was overwhelming, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the stench of decaying flesh.
“Dante.” Ed growled.
He wasn’t angry, or even enraged. No. The way he felt went far beyond that. A cold, calculating and icy /death/ lived inside of him. This woman, this homunculus had caused him too much pain. Caused everyone around him so much agony…and Envy? Envy had killed Maes Hughes. Made Gracia a widow and made Elysia just another little girl without a daddy. They would kill Roy if they could, they would destroy the tentative peace throughout Amestris in Dante’s tormented search for a cure.
The woman whirled around.
“Edward Elric.” She breathed. “I thought I sensed your Alchemy here…you and the Flame Alchemist. Tell me, is he well?” She asked, her voice sounding like gravel rattling in a mixing bowl.
So it was eating her inside as well.
“Better than you’re gonna be you fucking bitch.” Ed said lowly, clapping his hands together and then brushing his automail with his flesh palm, shaping a long and wicked blade with the metal.
Envy was tensed now, whirling around, his hands in fists.
“I’ve been waiting a while Fullmetal brat.” He snickered. “Brother…tell me, how is your little brother, little brother? I bet he won’t ever be…the same.” Envy smirked.
“Same bullshit, different day Envy. And you are /not/” Ed enunciated the word very clearly. “Any brother of mine.”
“Ohh…sticks and stones.” Envy cooed.
“You know I’m going to kill you.” Ed said quietly, his voice lowering an octave.
His tone of voice obviously made both of his opponents in the room blink. Ed was all bluster, but he was seldom quiet and deadly business.
It must have passed the minds of both that they very well might die this morning.
Ed had a chance to put a stop to all of this, and he would not fail this time. This would end, one way or another. Now.
Envy formed his forearm into a tentacled spear a heartbeat later, and snapped it at Ed. Ed was prepared this time, and so he ducked. It missed and sheared through a dresser and put a hole in the far wall.
“You’ve gotten faster, Fullmetal weasel.”
“That,” Ed replied. “And your aim sucks.”
Envy glowered, face contorting into a violent rage, eyes alight with the sheer joy of imminent death and bloodshed.
The next blow actually clipped Ed’s shoulder as he threw the blade up, severing the tentacle. The injury was worth the damage he did to Envy, the tentacle dissolved and writhed until it became just an arm, severed from its master, who was now screaming unintelligibly and clutching at the stump.
Ed would have smirked, but there was the sound of a clap and then crimson light flooded the bedroom. Everything exploded around him. There was the shriek of bending wood, crushing concrete and breaking glass, and then he was flying through the air. There was no time to react, just the sensation of impacting something heavy, more shattering, and then hitting the ground with a grunt.
He rolled for several feet, his body recognizing grass and cooler air caressing the side of his face. He was singed and aching and coughing. His heart aching and lungs tickling unbearably.
He coughed and coughed, trying to get air and just wheezing for all he was worth.
He just barely rolled away in time as a blade buried itself in the dirt next to where his head had just been.
Dante was coming at him again a moment later.
Ed shoved himself to his feet, wobbling unsteadily. He had just been blown out of a second story window.
A quick glance over his shoulder proved that Izumi’s house was on fire and almost completely leveled. He spared a thought for his suitcase with a small mental sigh before he stumbled backwards away from the wipe of a spear point just before he fell over again.
He couldn’t see straight, there was two of everything, and then…then…the spear was coming for him and he couldn’t get his body to move fast enough. The point brushed against his throat, and then stopped. There was an arc of flame, the spear dissolving to ash and the steel point clinking to the earth.
There was a blaze of blue and gold standing over him defensively, hand poised for another snap.
Ed laid there for a moment. All fighting had stopped momentarily.
Envy was struggling to his feet, and where Dante brushed his shoulder, a new arm began to grow. The hooded woman was regarding Roy now, not Ed.
“Flame Alchemist…there you are.” She said roughly. “Why must you and your bothersome boyfriend always stand in my way. All I want is a cure.” She said lowly.
Roy shook his head, good eye was unreadable and as hard as obsidian in the predawn blue.
“You kill needlessly. You deserve to die.” Roy said softly. “I have never enjoyed killing anyone in my life, but for you, I will make an exception.”
“Are you so sure?” Dante asked, dropping her hood to her shoulders with a gloved hand.
Ed couldn’t believe his eyes, and even Roy made a sound of disgust and horror.
Dante’s face was a ruin, flesh rotting away in strips of violet, muscle and teeth and bone visible. The eyelid on the left side was gone, making the eyeball make a small wet sucking noise every time that Dante shifted her gaze. The smell was nauseating, and ten times worse now that she had freed the stench from inside her cloak.
“If you were me…” She growled. “You would kill to find the truth, find an answer too.”
Ed watched the muscles in her throat work as she talked, noticing where pus had congealed on the sides of the few gaping places where flesh had receded between jaw and collar bone that he could see.
Ed could get air, could get up, and so he slowly crawled out from under Roy, standing a bit more steadily. Smoke was filling the air as the house burned.
“You are a monster.” Roy said levelly. “Even worse than me. And what better way to fight fire than with fire?” Roy asked as he made the first move, snapping.
Dante threw her palm up, blocking the flame, deflecting it.
That was the incentive Envy had to leap to his feet and bolt for Ed in his newly repaired body.
Ed would have helped Roy against Dante, but instead he was beating Envy off with all he had. The homunculus was enraged. Normally his opponent being this sloppy would have been in Ed’s favor, but Ed was struggling to move correctly still. When he glanced up again, he noticed that he was being backed into the array that his master had drawn yesterday. He held up his blade, using it to block more tentacle attacks.
Envy was furious, but he wasn’t that bright. Anyone else would have figured out by now that the last time they had tried this had had disastrous results. Not Envy.
“What!?” Ed teased as sparks leapt from his blade as he blocked another swat. “Not going to change shape?!”
“I can’t anymore, and it’s your fault! Your fault!” Envy screamed as he struck at Ed over and over again. Ed’s forearm was trembling under the impact, automail creaking ominously as Envy punctuated each word with a strike.
He was driving Ed backwards.
There was a huge gout of flame and a shout of surprise from Roy some distance away.
Ed looked up, worried, and that was when Envy struck him full in the chest.
Lucky for Ed, it was not with the tentacle blade. It was just a fist, but it was enough to slam Ed backwards into the bricks of the well. He could go no further, and Envy was making an overhead strike.
Ed arched his shoulders and braced his back against the lip of the well, raising his automail to block the blow and bracing automail arm with flesh.
He and Envy were inches from each other, nearly jaw to jaw, and Envy was smiling that smile, and Ed was slowly losing.
He was exhausted and wounded, and he still couldn’t breathe. His eyesight was dimming around the edges as Envy finally overcame him. He had a vision for a moment of Roy’s horrified gaze, of flame and a wash of Dante’s power roiling around Roy as he deflected it almost reflexively and took a helpless step towards Ed.
The blade slid into his chest and made Ed grunt in surprise, and then gurgled on blood. Still Ed’s eyes did not leave Roy’s face. He was looking beyond Envy to Roy even as he shuddered and convulsed.
He wondered briefly, if Roy would even make it.
“Go swimming Fullmetal pipsqueak.” Envy snapped as he yanked the blade free and shoved Ed backwards down into the well.
And Ed was falling. When he hit bottom, he didn’t even feel it.
Roy turned at the sound of blade in flesh, it was a distinct sound, and one that filled him with foreboding. He looked on in time to see Envy yank the blade free, to watch Ed gasp and gurgle and then be shoved down the well.
Roy made a sound low in his throat then.
“Ed?!” He called in horror, and then had to spin as Dante charged him again, her power rending the air around Roy.
He forced himself to focus then. Focus because he might still be able to help Ed if he could defeat Dante and Envy.
Roy turned on Dante, quiet fury in his eyes.
“I will take you apart, piece by piece, and I will enjoy it.” He said lowly just as he snapped again, and this time he was surrounded by blue flame. He parted it expertly then into two different directions. Envy and Dante screamed almost simultaneously.
Ed could hardly breathe.
He should have been drowning, but he wasn’t. He was lying against hard packed dirt.
He coughed again, glancing up. He had fallen through some dirt covered boards, and one of them had socked him in the head on the way down.
He found though, that he could move despite the fiery pain in his chest and shoulder and the throbbing in his temple.
He crawled out from under the scraps of wood. Looking directly upwards he could see flame roiling. Roy must be pissed.
This well…it wasn’t really a well…he noticed as he glanced around. He had landed in the middle of an array. A very familiar one. He got unsteadily to his feet, coughing blood, and leaned against a wall that turned out to not be a wall at all as the door gave under his hand.
He sprawled into a dark room.
Ed coughed some more blood, and then traced his finger in the dirt, drawing an array for light. He fed power into it and was surprised to see the room light up to reveal…
His eyes traced dusty glass and stacks of books…cupboards and drawers and glass cabinets.
They hadn’t lost yet.
Especially, he noticed as he staggered towards a locked cabinet that had a very familiar feeling surrounding it.
Ed had been right…now if only…if only he could get to Roy in time.
Roy went down in a tangled heap under Envy, the homunculus poised to make a kill shot. He of course, didn’t get to make it as a familiar jolt of raw power blasted the homunculus off and into the air with a shout of rage.
“Ed?!” Roy barked sharply as he turned his head to see Ed standing knock kneed next to the well. Soaked in blood and struggling to stay upright. He was clutching something in a sack, clutching it in blood soaked fingers.
Dante made another pass at Roy, the flames at her command rising into the air. Roy raised a wall of carbon dioxide in response. The flames died, and Roy took the opportunity to bound to Ed’s side. They both put the well at their backs as Envy staggered to his feet again finally.
“I’m going to kill you…” Envy hissed, his face contorting in rage at Ed’s cavalier treatment of him.
“You’ve said…” Ed paused to cough. “That before.”
“I mean it this time.” Envy snarled.
“Yadda yadda go to hell.” Ed said flatly as he took the sack in his hands and slammed it up against the edge of the well.
Envy convulsed, crying out in pain before falling flat on his face.
“Is that?!” Roy asked quietly.
“Sure is.” Ed said as his knees buckled. “I don’t have much longer Roy…let’s do this.” Ed said as Dante stalked back towards them.
“No, Ed, you can’t, you’ll die if you exert yourself any further.” Roy whispered, his voice trembling.
“I’m going to die anyways. Let’s do this Roy.”
Roy fell to his knees beside Ed, and ignoring Envy, ignoring Dante, he closed his eyes and rested his forehead on against Ed’s bloody one. Roy understood. He hated this as much as Ed did, but he understood. They had had this, this one small moment in time together. It was more than either of them probably deserved, but to prevent more suffering, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few.
Roy lifted his hand, felt Ed’s flesh hand come up to twine their fingers.
“I love you bastard.” Ed said softly.
“I love you too.” Roy breathed as the power began to build between them.
“Let’s send this bitch back to meet her maker.” Ed said softly, coughing blood against Roy’s blue jacket.
“Yes.” Roy said lowly. “Let’s.”
Dante tried to attack them again and again as the power swirled around them, nipping and brushing, building and building until Ed’s heart stopped under the sheer stress of holding the power, under the stress of blood loss and damaged lungs filling.
Ed knew he was basically dead. He felt his heart stop, but he rode the power anyways, rode it until it was practically a vortex of golden light. Dante’s attacks could not touch it, and it kept building. Building until it was so powerful it felt like it would tear the world apart.
“Now!” Ed heard Roy shout.
Ed used the last of his strength to hold up the sack of Envy’s remains between he and Roy’s chest. He thought hard about Dante and he let the power go. Roy let it go as the same time as Ed. There was a screaming sound, and a flash of light. The earth shook, and everything faded into blackness. The last thought Ed had before he closed his eyes was that this felt an awful lot like falling asleep. Falling asleep in Roy Mustang’s arms. And that felt good…felt safe.
He could sleep now.
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Cross Posted to: steelandsparks fm_alchemist fma_yaoi