Author: xxDream Theaterxx (me)
Pairing: EnvyxEd (Slight)
Rating: Pg-13 for now
Type: Orignally a oneshot, but not anymore
Links to: www.fanfiction.net/~xxDreamTheaterxx
Notes: This is actually considered an a/u because it is alternate events in the series. I am changing how things came about. This takes place after Sloth has been killed but I'm making it so Al never was the Stone. Yeah...no mystical powers or any o' that. Yeah...so Scar's attempt at making the Philosophers stone was a failure but he died anyway. Lust is gone as well. So yeah...Envy never took Al and now Ed and Al are searching in Dante's mansion for clues...m'kay? They have no clue of Dante switching bodies. That's how this story is k? Sorri if you don't like that....yeah. Onward!!
"One step...." Thump
"Two steps..." Thump
"Three steps..." Thump
"five...six..." Thump, Thump
Ed awoke with a start in a panting sweat. His legs were tangled in the sheets of the hotel bed and he couldn't help but sigh in grief. This had been happening every night for the past couple of weeks and it was always the same. He could hear a voice, a child's voice, and it was completely dark except for the sounds of footsteps as they were ascending stairs. He could hear the child, which was probably a young boy, whispering in a taunting sort of way as the footsteps continued on their way. Did it mean something or was it just a freakish dream that only meant he was overstressed?
"Brother...are you alright?"
Ed glanced at the suit of armour that sat on the ugly brown carpeted floors of the room near the bed to his left. Ed hesitated answering at first because he hadn't told Al of the repeating dreams he kept having. After all, he didn't want him to worry about him to much.
"Yeah Al, just had a bad dream is all."
He gave his brother a forced smile that he probably couldn't even see in the darkness but then again, maybe he could. He wouldn't let Al worry anymore about the matter lest it become even more exaggerated and the both of them didn't need that.
"...are you sure Ed?"
"Yeah Al, I'm fine. How about you? Want to talk?"
Ed couldn't help but feel guilty. It was his fault that Al was like this and it made him feel hatred towards himself. But in his mind, he knew he would get Al's body back; he knew.
"No brother, you need your rest! Go back to sleep, alright?"
"Yeah, okay...but if you want to talk just ask, k?"
Al didn't answer but he hoped that that meant a yes. Resting his back once again on the hard mattress that was the bed, he closed his eyes as his head sank into the pillow. He hoped things wouldn't be too bad anymore. With that final thought ringing in his ears, his eyelids droped and he went back to sleep.
Thump Thump Thump
"Hush little baby, don't say a word, mama's insane and daddy's absurd. No one remembers that I'm still here, so no one should know when I disappear...mmh."
Thump Thump Thump
"Ed, are you okay? You were rolling a lot it your sleep...did you have a nightmare?"
That voice...that child's voice...he sounded so...deathly.
Ed snapped out of his thoughts and let his head turn to the side to see his younger but taller metal brother as they walked out of the disgusting hotel. "Hmm? What'cha say Al?"
"Brother..." Al didn't hide the fact that he was worried about his brother. The night before he had watched him roll and groan out soft jumbles of words. It started to get him really worried about what was going on inside his head but most importantly, what he was hiding from him.
Ed sighed as he walked next to his brother with his back a bit sagged. "Sorry Al, I'm just tired."
Al wanted to press the matter further but thought it best if he waited til later. They were to be off on the train soon to Dublith. Ed wanted to ask Izumi about Dante's old victorian mansion and about Dante to help further them to getting closer to the truth behind what was really going on.
"Are you regretting what you did? To..." Al let the question fade as he hesitated to ask the rest.
"No Al...I'm not. She wasn't our mom...she wasn't..."
Al sighed as they neared the train station. He had this feeling in the pit of his non-existing stomach that she really was. He just felt it.
When they bought tickets, boarded the train, and took a seat near the far back, Ed finally looked to his brother and let a small sad smile grace his lips. He looked beyond where Al sat across from him to see a young girl of maybe four or five years of age sleeping against her, supposedly, mother. The women, who had dark brown hair pulled back into a ponytail and looked rather petite, stroked her daughters hair while singing soft soothing words.
"Hush little baby, don't say a word. Mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird and if that mocking bird don't sing, mama's gonna buy you a-"
"...diamond ring..." Ed whispered.
"Hush little baby, don't say a word, mama's insane and daddy's absurd. No one remembers that I'm still here, so no one should know when I disappear..."
The words and voice rang through Ed's mind and unintentionally, he ran a hand through his silk golden bangs.
"Brother...?" Al glanced around to see what had held Ed's attention and couldn't help but also feel put down by the sight as cute as it was.
Ed shook his head and kept the sad smile on his face. He couldn't nor wouldn't understand any of the deep feelings he held. Maybe it was for the best.
"How was the trip boys?"
Izumi has come to pick the boys up so that way, they could head straight for the mansion without any disruptions. Ed was grateful that his teacher was willing to come and help them. It was for the best and maybe they could even find out about the homunculus. After all, evidence showed that Dante had something to do with those homunculus as it was and they would figure out more with Izumi's helpful experiences.
"It was good, teacher. How have you been?"
"Always the polite one Alphonse unlike Edward here."
"So how should we go about this then?" Izumi tilted her head to side glance her two past students. Her expression was as hard as stone and her eyes were intense. Ed looked up to her and shrugged.
"We want to take a look around and since, of course you were her student, you could help us identify some of the things. Maybe this would lead us closer to why Greed had supposedly killed Dante."
Al tilted his metal head to the opposite side; not facing Ed. "I don't think Greed did that brother," he whispered more to himself. Ed caught it and narrowed his eyes to focuse on him.
"Why not Al? The lady's bones were dumped and he was there...what more is there to say?"
"I don't know. I just don't think he would do something like that..."
Suddenly without warning, a hand came and smacked it on the back of Edward's head as well as Alphonse's metal one. "This is no time to be arguing over such nonsense, boys."
"OWWW! WHY THE HELL DID YOU DO THAT!?"
"WANT ME TO DO IT AGAIN?!"
Alphonse couldn't help but to let out a nervous sigh. He just hoped it wouldn't be like this the whole time...
Izumi growled a little under her breath as she walked on. "Such disrespect, Edward."
Ed, as well, growled as he walked slouched as if he were about to pounce someone any minute.
"Brother, please calm down. It isn't that big of a deal and you sound like a lion right now growling the way you are..."
Ed pouted in the least noticeable way he could by lowering his head and grunting softly under his breath. 'Brother can be so stubborn sometimes...' Al thought.
"Well boys, we'll try to make this as quick and as educational as possible without any yelling involved."
"So where would you like to go first?"
"Is there anywhere that Dante wouldn't let you go? Maybe she held something dear that maybe the homunculi wanted?"
"There were only a select few doors in this house that I wasn't permitted to enter such as the basement, her bedroom, two doors on the second floor..."
Ed rubbed his chin in thought and hummed a thoughtful hum under his breath. Maybe they should check the basement first...usually everything that's wanted to be kept a secret is hidden in the basement. "Yeah, let's check out the basement first."
Izumi nodded her head and turned on her heel to the stairs and quickly made a right from the stairs with Ed and Al following. They entered some kind of office which, in Ed's mind, needed to be checked out later. It contained a desk, some shelves of books, a few chairs, and another unknown door.
"This door," Izumi gestured to the mentioned door, "leads to the basement."
Stepping ahead of her, Ed reached for the doorknob and gave it a quick jiggle with no avail. "It's locked."
Izumi walked to the formentioned desk and opened the bottom right draw, pulling out a key. Walking up to the door, she fit the key into the keyhole and gave it a turn, unlocking the door. She turned the knob and opened it, looking down the dreary dark pathway of steps that led to the basement floor.
"You can go first brother..."
"Awww...are you afraid Al?"
Izumi started down the steps with a twitch to her lips. Sometimes her former students could be a handful...or at least Edward could be. Alphonse was too sweet.
"WAIT UP IZUMI!"
The brothers followed close behind her down the dranky and dreary stepway, being careful not the slip into god knows where.
"Al, you stepped on my foot."
The lights were switched on as they reached the bottom for Izumi had found the switch. What they saw amazed them. The basement room almost looked like it came out of laboratory five in Ed's opinion. The machines, tables, tubes...it almost looked like the person who created laboratory five created this as well by the way it was set up.
Ed walked up to one of the many laboratory's science tables. On it, was a pair of dusty glasses, a file of blank papers, dirty empty chemical tubes, and a framed photograph. Intrugued, he picked up the picture, which was one that looked to be very old due to the lack of color. In the picture, there was only but a child with ear length baby curled hair. Due to the lightness of the hair in the photograph, he could only guess the child's hair was blonde or perhaps a very light shade of brown. The boy was sitting in an armchair that looked to be four times his size and the child wasn't smiling. Instead, a stone cold expression was worn. His eyes were piercing and if Ed were to look long enough, it almost was as if the child was actually staring into his soul through the picture. Raising an eyebrow, he strided over to Izumi with the photo in hand. Handing her the photograph, he muttered, "Does this kid look familiar? Did Dante have a kid or something?"
Izumi raised an eyebrow in turn and shook her head. "This child doesn't look familiar in the least. The maids didn't have children here when I was around and even if they did, why would Dante of all people have a picture of the child? Dante, for certain, didn't have a child."
Ed shook his head in confusion and placed the framed photograph in his coat pocket for later analyzing. It could come to some use maybe later but why did he get the feeling that he's seen this boy before? He shrugged a shoulder and sighed lightly. Oh well, maybe it could become useful even though it would probably end up having no value whatsoever in this matter. Taking a glance over at the rest of the room, he picked up the pair of glasses and studied them. Perhaps it was a pair of reading glasses? Could be but it wasn't worth checking out at the moment; maybe later on. He put the pair of glasses back on the surface of the table and turned back to face his two companions.
"Maybe we'll come back for one last glance after we're done checking everything else out. It's contents don't seem important in our investigation but the fact that the room looks like it was taken right out of Labratory Five could be a main element. We'll check it more carefully later on," Ed explained as he nodded toward Al who nodded back with a clanking sound.
"Where would you like to go now Edward? The maid quarters?" Izumi questioned.
"Were you permitted in there during your stay?"
"Dante really had no care when it came to the maids as long as they did their jobs so I'm guessing it shouldn't really be bothered with."
"Were there any rooms that she wouldn't let the maids clean or wouldn't let you go near?"
"You're making it seem as if she's the bad one now Edward," Izumi replied as she tried to unmask his expression.
"You know, by seeing this basement, I'm starting to get suspicious. Maybe she had something the homunculus wanted..."
They started back up the stairs, careful to leave the lights on for further investigation later on. When they made it to the top of the stairs, Izumi carefully shut the door and turned back to face the two teens.
"There's a hallway down the west wing of the second floor with only two doors down it. Dante told me she would rather me not go down there because she has some type of 'personal memories' as she put it, down there. The maids weren't permitted down that hallway. Perhaps it's more? I wouldn't know." Izumi gave both a stern face as she started out of the office and toward the stairs. Startled, both Ed and Al followed her toward the questioned destination.
Izumi stepped up the stairs of the staircase with the boys followed close by and made a left into the west wing which led to three seperate hallways. One way to the left was pleasantly decorated which was assumed to be bedrooms or guestrooms. The second way, which was straight ahead was also pleasant with paintings on the surrounding green walls. The last way, which would be on the right, was painted green as well with framed photographs that Ed couldn't make out from their position. Down the way, Ed could see only but two plain white doors.
"This one," Izumi pointed to the hallway to the right, "is the hallway I wasn't allowed to go down."
Ed started down the hallway but stopped abruptly when he saw the first photograph that lined the wall. Putting a gloved hand into his coat pocket, he pulled out the photograph he had found earlier and compared the two. In the photo on the wall, was the same exact child as the photo in his hand. This picture though had the child laying on white satan sheets on a large bed with a pillow clutched between chubby hands. But just as the first, the child's expression was the same; cold as an iceburg. His eyes were a dull gold and had no exact direction of looking. The child wasn't facing the camera but rather to the side. Walking up beside Ed, Izumi and Al stared at the framed photograph in interest.
"Are you positive that Dante didn't have a child and he just aged or something?" Edwards face was downcast behind bangs.
"It couldn't be possible. Dante said she didn't have any children."
Ed lifted his head to reveal narrowed eyes. "Possible but then think about it. What if she did and he died?"
"What are you getting at Edward?"
Ed shook his head and went down the hallway toward the two doors. As he walked, he glanced at the photographs and noticed that child aged each time except he took notice in how the last photograph had the child only about nine years of age. Ed put that fact in his mind as he opened the door to the right. Inside this room was an elegant bed of satin white sheets and furnishings that looked to be decades upon decades old . The flooring consisted of hardwood flooring. Taking a step in, Ed looked around and something percular made its way into his thoughts.
"Izumi, you said that the maids weren't aloud to clean down this hallway or in any of these two rooms right?"
"That's correct," Izumi answered as she and Al stepped in the room besides him.
His mouth twitched and his eyes narrowed. "Then wouldn't there be dust in this room?"
The three remained silent until Al asked the question the rest upon these rooms. "How could the room remain clean then, brother? I mean, the office was dusty but that was always cleaned before, right Izumi?" Al faced her in question.
"Yes and that's odd. Do you think..."
"Yeah. Someone's living here still."
Ed walked out of the room and looked to the oppisite door. Would they find someone? What would be in it...?
He grabbed the doorknob and twisted it slowly and pushed it open. The room was a...child's room. There was a small bed pushed up against the middle of the far wall, a crib of pure white was pushed into the far left corner to the left wall, a few other pieces lined the light blue walls including a dresser, a small bookcase, a changing table, and a night table, and at the core center of the room, sat one rocking horse with a light brown stuffed teddy bear on it's saddle.
"Charlie, when I get better, we should run away somewhere. Do you have any family in the forest nearby? Yeah? Maybe we can live with them! It would be better right? I'll bring Blue and some clothes and some nighty pajamas. It'll be like one big sleepover without them with us...Maybe Spots can give us a ride huh? You can help me get better right? Yeah...I hope I do get better soon Charlie..."
A light brown teddy bear came into view with chubby small hands making it's head nod.
Ed quickly shook his head. One of his old reaccuring nightmares ran through his mind...but how could that exact teddy bear sitting on that rocking horse be in a nightmare...or 'dream' as he liked to call them. He had never seen this bear before and it was the same one from his dreams. It was the same color, had the same worn white ribbon around it's neck and same hole on it's left arm with bits of white stuffing sticking out. How could that be possible...?
Slowly, he paced himself nervously over to the rocking horse and picked up the teddy bear with gentle care. How could-
"Put Charlie down chibi-san."
Ed's eyes widened gradually as he turned around to face one of his greatest enemies. But wait, where were Al and Izumi?!
"WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THEM ENVY?!"
Tilting his head to the side, Envy raised a thin eyebrow in question. "Do with whom?"
"YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHO I'M TALKING ABOUT!"
"Why are you here Edward? You have no reason to be."
"Why are you here then? You don't belong here. You homunculi are filthy creatures; damned."
"I have more reason than you could ever have. Now, why are you here pipsqueak?"
Ignoring the comment of his height, Ed could only try to understand what had happened. Where had Izumi and Al gone? Why was Envy here?
"You didn't answer me yet. Where are Izumi and Al and why are you here?" Ed's eyes narrowed as he prepared himself for any oncoming attacks. Envy gave him a long stare before slowly walking near him and just as Ed was prepared to defend himself, Envy reached around and gently picked the teddy bear up and walked over to the small bed and placed himself down.
"So Charlie, did O' chibi-san hurt you? I told you he was troublesome and see? He just barges in out of nowhere and touches you." Envy mocked in a caring tone.
Ed watched on in confusion. What was happening? What was going on? Ed narrowed his eyes further and stepped a step closer to his enemy. The one who had killed without a thought and tormented him was now talking to a stuffed animal? Envy looked up at Edward and shrugged.
"So what is your matter in being here Fullmetal? Do you have a reason for just barging in?"
"Why are you here Envy? You belong here less than I do."
"Oh is that so? Well to help your oh-so-confused-self, I live here runt." Envy smirked as he hugged the bear closer just before enclosing his thin fingers around the bears neck and throwing it across the room past Ed's head. "Your turn to answer."
Widening his eyes in disbelief, he stuttered, "Li-live...her-...here?" He clenched his fists and balled them out in front of him. "YOU LIAR! WHY ARE YOU HERE REALLY?! WHERE ARE IZUMI AND AL?! ANSWER ME ENVY!!"
Envy held Ed's eyes with his glaring ones. (A/N: Picture that literally and it's freaky) "I didn't see anyone with you and second, I do live here small one and I don't care if you believe any of it anyway." Envy lifted himself from the bed and walked past Ed; bending down and picking up the teddy bear. He held the bear eye level with his own and muttered, "Damn stuffed shit never did help me."
Envy turned his back to Ed and threw the stuffed animal over his shoulder and onto the floor. "Maybe'll do you some good chibi-san." he replied neutrally as he walked out the door and down the hallway. Ed, in a state of confusion, quickly stuck his head out the door to spot Envy but he was gone as if he were never there. Glancing back into the room, Ed spotted the stuffed animal and knelt down and picked it up. Petting the fake light brown fur, he turned it over and spotted a stain on the back of the arm; a red stain.
"I don't want to. It doesn't taste good."
"You want to get better right?"
"Drink it then right now and soon...you won't feel the pain anymore..."
Remembering Izumi and Al, he took the bear and placed it in his other coat pocket before running down the corridor and searching around for his lost companions. Running down the stairs, he heard a faint murmuring in his ears but tried to ignore it best he could. 'It's just a mind trick...nothing more...' Ed thought to himself with calmness.
One step...." Thump
"Stop i-it..." he mumbled to himself between ragged breaths.
Three steps..." Thump
Ed rubbed his eyes as he took each step best he could.
"...seven steps...eight steps...n-nine..."
He rubbed his temples in annoyance and agony as he slid on his current step and slipped down the rest of the remaining ones.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Edward groaned in pain as he had fallen on the side of his flesh leg. Why wouldn't the voice stop?
Ed was glad when the darkness allowed him to close his eyes and be taken away.
"You're getting better now, my child."
"Don't try, my child. I don't want you hurt now."
"Yes, I am your...mommy."
"Yes, I know it hurts my child but you must be strong. You must not bother with anything else but eating your stones alright?"
"Now for a name...what shall we name such an amazing masterpiece? I was considering one of the deadly sins based upon the actions of the creator who created you. Let's see...ahh...how about Envy? You did envy what your creator paid attention to when you were human. You always wished that that attention would be focused on you... Yes, Envy will be your sin. Your name is ENVY."