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18 January 2006 @ 08:00 pm
Gilded Cage  
I have more Gilded Cage. major Angst coming up in the next two chapters. But right now, I sort of have to give AL a break.
Gilded Cage

Chapter 12

Possible movie Spoliers.
FMA
General fic, bent on Action aventure and angst.
Gilded Cage
Characters Ed and Al, and Noa
Crossover: with New Doctor Who, Jack Harkness
Rating PG-13
Warnings: Elric Whumping,and Angst (Possible Slash implications and Het implications (if you read into them which is fine with me but these have nothing to do with the plot)
Summery: Al recovers from his beatings. And Ed argues with his new doctor


Chapter 12
Breaking point

Alphonse

Al didn’t know when he lost consciousness, only that one moment he was swimming in pain, watching his brother seat himself at the devil’s desk, and the next, he was blinking at the red velvet canopy of his bed.

Some time must have passed. The room was dark, and Alphonse heard the warm crackle of the fireplace. Noa smiled down at him, dark features streaked with tears, but filled with relief. “Are you all right, Alphonse?”

Was he all right? He should have been feeling more pain, but he felt an alien floating sensation that blurred his thoughts with feelings of detachment. He was numb, and the world shifted around him in a blur of color, blinding his mind with tingles of pleasure.

He had been beaten, Edward was breaking, and they were prisoners but he oddly didn’t care.

Alphonse licked his lips, unable to remember details of the day, only that he must have been drugged and now was coming off the effects enough to be aware of himself. “Edward?”

Noa brushed his bangs from his brow. “With the Kaiser’s Doctor.”

“Doctor?” Alphonse asked. It was difficult to focus enough to understand her. The boy heaved a breath, rolling his head. A gray lump jumped on to the bed, and bounded to him. It purred shoving it’s wet pink nose into his eye.

“Hello, Einstein.” With an effort, he lifted his good hand and stroked the fine grey fur. It was soft and he wanted to get lost in its warmth. Beneath his fingers and cat arched its back and nuzzled him.

“Yes, Kaiser sent him. He checked you over and gave you some opium to ease the pain.“ Noa explained. Her hand dropped away and she poured a glass of water. Carefully, she nudged her free hand underneath his neck and back, and helped him to sit up. She pressed the glass to his
lips. “You need to drink something, before you get dehydrated.”

Clumsily, Al curled his good hand around the glass and tilted it. The liquid was cool and felt good in his mouth, so he gulped it down thirstily. “Opium. No wonder my mind isn’t clear.” He collapsed back, head pressing into the pillow. “Who is this doctor?”

Noa shrugged. “I don’t know. Jack doesn’t like him though. Before he arrived, Jack had your injuries all bound. He called the man a moraless fool, and for Jack to say that, I can only imagine what kind of person Doctor Schilling is.”

Schilling the name was familiar. “A very well known medical Scientist I think.” Alphonse tried to recall more, but his mind was foggy at best. He closed his eyes, wishing he could slide back into sleep, but knew it was best to puzzle things out and clear his head. “I think he
did research on tropical diseases.” He wasn’t sure, but he thought the name came from one of the journals he had studied on diseases of the blood. He associated Schilling’s name with malaria.

Not leukemia, so why was he here? Was he a friend of Kaiser? The boy forced his eyes open and looked around the room. It was empty save for Noa and himself. “Where is Jack now?”

Noa offered a faint little smile. “I am sure he is home, now, but he was reluctant to leave. If you ask me, he was worried about you. He might even like you, Alphonse.”

He felt prickling from his bandages as he sat up and propped his pillows behind him. It was an effort, but the motion helped him to focus some. He was already feeling a little better but was aware of a dull ache in his arm and all over his body. He glanced down at himself seeing he was dressed in an open night-shirt and that his chest was
bound rather tightly with white bandages. Rudolph’s strikes broke ribs. “Am I wrong to trust him?” Al asked the gypsy. He vaguely recalled Jack had saved him from a real beating.

The woman sighed, and reached over to the bed stand where there was an ice pack. She took it in her hands and pressed it to Al’s brow. “No. If it means anything to you, Al, I feel he wants to help. Other than that, I am not sure. My instincts say he has an agenda as well as a heart.”

Alphonse considered her words. Noa’s psychic ability let her read people rather well and according to Edward, she could read minds if she was allowed near to her subject when they slept. He proved this with several tests the week before his collapse. But they hadn’t a chance for her to get to Jack while he slept, so her instincts could easily be just speculative.

The boy met the woman’s gaze. Her eyes were deep and filled with hurt, but with that hurt was a dept of wisdom and understanding he could never fully comprehend. “What does your heart say? Am I wasting my time trying to get him to come around? Do you think he’d help us if I
asked?”

She moved the icepack to his cheek and looked away, deep in thought. “You trust me after everything I have done?”

Alphonse nodded. “You did it to help Edward, Noa. And yes, I do. I know you have a gift, and that gift is very special, like you are. “ He took the ice pack from her hands and moved it to his other cheek. The movement was awkward with his right arm dangling limply in a
sling, but he managed. He missed having his right arm.

Noa blushed. “Alphonse, you are too kind. I don’t deserve it.”

“Edward would say the same thing.” Al smiled. “Please let me be the judge, Noa. I am the one on the outside.”

Tears filled her eyes and she wiped them away with a lace hanky from her skirt’s pocket. “Very well, Alphonse. No, you are not wasting your time. I believe, even though he has his own motives being here, he can help us.”

Einstein bumped his side as if in agreement with Noa. Alphonse sighed. It appeared the kitten was trying to give his two cents about the security guard as well. Alphonse dropped the icepack and lifted the kitten so their noses touched. Einstein swiped at his bangs. “Hump, I
didn’t ask you, Einstein, I know for a fact you can’t think clearly on the matter. After all, he did save your life…”

Gathering the icepack from the pillow, where it had fallen, Noa offered a faint smile. “As he did yours, Alphonse.”

He couldn’t deny it. Alphonse placed the kitten on to his lap. “Yes, I’m not very impartial on the matter. And I’m sure brother has told you about my people sense.”

Noa repressed a giggle. “He used obscenities to describe it.” She explained, than become serious. “But I think Edward has become very cynical in his lifetime; so cynical, he can’t see the goodness in others if he decides he dislikes them.”

To Edward, Jack had a lot to prove, Alphonse thought. He shivered, and pulled his blankets around his waist. Was that why Noa was so unforgiving of herself? She was worried about what Edward thought? “He likes you Noa, he really does. I’m sure he has already forgiven you.”

She sniffled. “Yes, I suppose I’m being silly. He forgave Alphons, when he betrayed him, but I think that is because he loved him. I don’t think I have that grace, so yes I am frightened.”

Alphonse put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it. “I think you underestimate his feelings for you, Noa. He does love you. Edward just doesn’t know how to say it. So he shows it, by protecting you. My brother is a very straightforward man, but he’s crippled in the emotional intelligence department. Give it time. You’ll see.”

Leaning forward, Noa kissed his nose, and came to a stand. “I don’t need him to tell me, Alphonse. It is not his way. But I appreciate your words. You’re very special too. Now I think you should rest, and I shall get you some broth, ok?”

It was hard to see himself as special. In the past, he made mistakes; grave ones. With a weak half smile Alphonse Elric nodded. “Deal.”
&&&
Edward

“Opium is addictive. “ Edward Elric announced, meeting Dr. Schilling’s gaze with cool anger. He was feeling ill that day that day and was not in the mood for a check up, but had little choice in the matter. As a result, he decided to confront the man on his approach to his and Alphonse’s conditions. “Neither of us should be on it.” Edward
explained sitting on the couch, shirt opened while doctor Schilling listened to his heart with his stethoscope.

“Keep still and quiet, young man.” Schilling scolded. “I can not hear.” He moved the cold microphone of the stethoscope across Edward’s chest, listening carefully, then asked Edward to breath.

Resigned, Edward decided not to argue the matter until the man was finished. After all, the data collected would be useful to treating his condition: if he could convince Schilling to give him the data.

The exam continued another ten minutes, as Schilling asked Edward to take off his shirt, and listened to his back, checking Edward’s lungs. “You are short of breath.” He remarked. “And your heart rate is accelerated.”

“I watched my brother get beaten yesterday, what the hell do you expect?!” Edward snapped. He studied the coffee table. Books and papers were scattered all over its surface. It reminded him how he was trying to continue his research. Yet it seemed useless. He was running
out of time, and he would have to give up his research if they were to escape.

Without asking, Schilling wrapped a cuff about his arm and pumped full of air. “Your blood pressure is up as well. You must take better care of yourself, Edward.”

What a fucking hypocrite. “Sure.” Kaiser assigned him Dr. Schilling 24 hours ago and he hated the man. Dressing, Edward glanced across the room and at the golden flames dancing in the fireplace next to his desk.

Not far away Alphonse lay in bed, twitching in an opium-induced slumber. Dr. Schilling had ordered the boy two daily doses of opium to dull his discomfort. It was against Edward’s better judgment; he suspected ulterior motives, but Schilling didn’t care about his opinions. He just followed the Kaiser’s orders.

“IS there anything else, Herr Schilling?”

Schilling looked up from his equipment and nodded. “I have studied the components of your tonic, young Elric, and it seems a reasonable solution for your condition, but it is best for you that I prescribe injections of a variant of the material. It may help your stomach problems and at the same time, deliver the solution straight to the blood.” The older man placed his blood pressure gauge and stethoscope
in his medical bag. He was in his fifties, with salt and pepper hair and a sharp beard. His features were hawkish, and failed to show any real concern for either Edward or Al. “If you fail to have any results, than I suggest radium injections. I understand they are doing some experiments with it. You strike me as a man who does not mind
taking risks, if your cell count does not improve in a few weeks, I will prescribe it.”

“As an experiment?” Why did he expect that? Radium injections were risky and only tested on lab animals. Edward shifted uncomfortably. He coughed, and felt his stomach twist uncomfortably. He didn’t fancy becoming a test in experimental medicine. It was just a reminded him
of how hopeless his situation was. “And let me guess, my name will be in medical books along with yours…”

Schilling smiled. “You do not exist anymore, Herr Elric, you will just be another nameless subject in the name of medicine. Besides, as long as you have the cancer, what is there to lose?”

“It is different when I perform the experiment, but I will think about it.” Edward heaved a breath, knitting his fingers together. “Until then, I assure you, the serum will work.”

The man shrugged. “I will have the serum to you within the week, until then use the tonic and a alkaloid solution to ward off the nausea.”

Mouth twitching, Edward brushed his bangs from his face. Schilling had no reason to kill him. Kaiser hired the physician to keep him alive. Still he didn’t trust the man. He met Schilling’s gaze with scrutiny. “You will of course, provide the ingredients to your serum?

“If that is what you wish.”

“Then I will consent to it. As for the opium, I refuse to use it.”

The German lifted a curious brow. Evidently, he wasn’t use to the blatant disobedience of his orders. “It is necessary. It will help your pain as well as help you to relax. Kaiser says you are uncooperative and loose tempered and that is not good for your cancer.” Schilling closed his bag.

“You want to make us fucking addicts.” With an effort, Edward came to his feet, and waved an angry finger at Schilling. “I’ve lived with pain all my life. I didn’t ask for a Doctor, or your goddamned drugs!”

Schilling frowned, and shook his head. “You are not a physician, Edward, Opium and morphine are used for the treatment of cancer.” He opened his suit jacket and removed a slender case from a pocket in the lining. “You are foolish to question my orders. I know my field.”

“And Al?” Edward grit his teeth together. “He’s not that
uncomfortable. Yet, you gave him….”

“To sleep, Edward.” Schilling replied in a condescending voice. “If you have not noticed, your brother is under a great deal of strain and the Kaiser wishes for him to be calm.”

“Complacent, you mean.“ Edward snapped. It annoyed him. Who did Schilling think he was fooling? Edward Elric was a goddamned Alchemist; he knew how chemicals affected the body. Disgusted, Edward pointed to the door. “I’m not an idiot, don’t treat me like one!”

“I see you insist on making this difficult.” His free hand dropped on to Edward’s shoulder, and pressed down. Weak as he was, Edward wobbled, than collapsed on to the couch. “You are dying, Edward Elric. You need me, and you will not get rid of me. I only take orders from
Kaiser. Mark my words, your arrogance will be reported.”

And Al would be beaten, or kept on opium. Edward’s heart thudded heavily against his chest. How could he play games with his brother’s life? Hadn’t he learned earlier to control his temper? “I can’t work drugged.” Edward explained through gritted teeth. “I don’t need to spend my last few days in a stupor. How am I to work? Ask the Kaiser that!”

He considered Edward’s words, and returned the case to his pocket.“Very well. I suppose if you insist on being a masochist, who am I to argue?”

“Damn right. Now get the hell out of here.” Edward gripped the cushions under him and stood up once more. His human leg felt like rubber and his automail was so heavy he could barely balance himself. Weakness swept over him, but sheer determination kept him up.
Edward impatiently gestured to the door, hoping the physician got the message. But he seriously doubted it. Men like Schilling were arrogant and didn’t like to be told how to do their job. Yet neither did Edward Elric.

The German Doctor regarded him with mild amusement before checking on Alphonse, and leaving.

The door behind him swung close with a quiet thud. Silence, save for the whisper of hissing flames in the fire-place followed.

Edward Elric flipped him the finger, and sank down to the couch. “Hump, and Kaiser thinks I have a difficult temperament, yet he employs arrogant bastards like that! At least I’ve earned my arrogance, Alphonse!”

The boy in the bed made no response.

Huffing, Edward Elric folded his arms. Ill or not, they had to escape and do it soon, before it was too late. “Ahh bloody hell, God must really hate me.”
**^&^&*^
 
 
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