Author: Shell Mel
Rating: PG - 13
Warning: Some violence and near death scenes. Also for Ed's swearing.
Spoilers: Spoilers for episode 22 and end of anime series.
Characters: Edward Elric, Roy Mustang
Summary: AU Edward never though much about the incident back in lab 5 with the red water. He doesn't really remember it that much. He's seventeen now, repaying his debt by helping Mustang reach the top now Al finally has his body again. But what happens when he and Mustang become targets for assassination?
Author Notes: Alternative ending to Anime series. Prologue is based in episode 22, while the rest is a year after the series.
Another surprise holiday chapter! Hopefully the formatting doesn't die this time.
Roy decided that despite Armstrong's glowing recommendation about their doctor, he definitely did not like him. The man was beyond rude, patronizing and demanding of everyone, but his patient. Which in this case was Edward. The kid was doted on, spoken to gently and given the utmost care.
Roy didn't like being patronized or demanded of by a stranger. Rude wasn't an issue. It was just another annoying feature. Though it might have been the fact that Edward was being treated in a way that the boy would normally reject almost violently, and yet didn't seem to be able to, that Roy detested the most. Edward was never one to like doctors in the first place, let alone ones that treated him like this. However, the boy just quietly allowed the doctor to behave in this manner as the doctor examined him.
They were still in the living area when the doctor arrived. They were all immediately reprimanded for allowing the young alchemist to not only leave his bed, but also not returning to his bed for proper rest, and for not feeding him enough of the protein mixture.
"This child needs lots of care and consideration," the doctor insisted. "Not to be walking around, having his rest disturbed by the noises of the manor, and left in the incompetent care of questionable people."
The doctor was so lucky Roy had managed to have three cups of coffee before he had arrived. Especially as during this speech the man practically glared at him. Then again, if Fullmetal had been himself, the doctor may have not even gotten past the word 'child'.
"My men are more then capable of ensuring Fullmetal's needs," Roy said dryly.
"It's not your men I'm talking about," the doctor muttered grumpily.
Roy held his usual cool, calm and collected mask. However, subconsciously he was rubbing his thumb across his middle and forefinger. Just because the doctor just so happened to walk in when he had been trying rather unsuccessfully to get Edward to have some more of that protein shake, did not mean his was incompetent. Edward just seemed more interested in sleeping or leaning on Roy then food at that moment. Another worrying behaviour.
The doctor ignored them as he turned his attention back to Edward. From his case he brought out a thermometer and carefully slipped it into the boy's mouth.
"That's it, son." The doctor cooed Edward. "Just relax for me."
While he waited for the temperature check, he went around checking other things such as pulse, ears, eyes and other things. Roy decided he definitely needed more coffee if he had to deal with this man much longer.
Havoc stayed with Edward and the doctor, while Falman went with him. Not much was said. Roy was still annoyed over the doctor's comments.
Just as Roy managed to get his cup refilled in the kitchen before being shooed out once more, Armstrong approached him.
"Sir," The larger man said quietly. "I have the information you requested."
This got Roy's interest right away. It was better then going back to watch the doctor.
"Let's take it into a private room," Roy suggested. "Falman, could you go back and get the update on Fullmetal? Once you have it and the doctor has departed, let us know."
"Of course, sir." Falman nodded, pausing only to see which room they had selected before leaving.
Once within the private room, Armstrong handed Roy the folder. It was larger then he thought it would be. How often had Edward suffered the listed symptoms?
"Have you had a chance to look through these?" Roy asked, as he flipped the folder open.
"No, sir." Armstrong replied. "I did not want to intrude on young Edward's privacy. Also, I do not have the time. I must be off or I would be late for work today."
As much as Roy was aware that Armstrong was under the command of another unit, he wished it wasn't so. The man was not only useful, but a good member of their team when they were able to work together.
"Very well, Major," Roy nodded. "Thank you for this and everything else you have done for us. If you could keep an ear out for any information that would be useful, I would appreciate it."
"Of course!" The man said rather enthusiastically. "Anything to be of assistance!"
With that, Armstrong left him. Roy sat down behind the desk and started to go through Edward's medical files. They were organized chronologically, which made things easier. To begin with he skipped ahead to the date of the lab five incident. It was about the time of Elicia and Edward's birthday. It made the time stamp for the incident much easier. The majority of the file was before this date. Roy had a feeling the incident at lab five was the starting point of what was happening to Edward. He set the smaller pile of reports aside and began with the larger pile, dating back to when Edward first joined the military. While lab five might have been the start, Roy wanted to be sure it couldn't have happened before that.
Going through the reports was tedious work. He didn't even recall over half of these incidents. This probably wasn't even half of Edward's actual medical file. The kid was in the hospital for injuries more then illnesses after all. Though the picture these reports painted of his youngest subordinate, shows for all those years of searching, he had been running himself practically into the ground.
There was a soft knock on the door, interrupting his train of though.
"Come in," He told them as he put the files back into the folder.
Falman appeared and gave him the best news he had heard all day. The doctor was gone. With very little hesitation Roy went back to the living area to hear a full report on what the doctor had to say. Havoc was easily getting Edward to drink the protein shake as the kid leaned against the smoker. So now the brat was hungry.
"Report?" He requested.
"Yes, sir," Came Falman's reply. "Edward is doing better then yesterday. His fever, while still present, is lower. He is much more alert, though still rather disorientated. Overall he seemed to be on the mend. The doctor believes he will make a full recovery given time. There is a possibility of course that Edward's recovery mentally may not run as smoothly as his body will, but the doctor doesn't believe it will be that bad. Doctor Knott shall return tonight for another check up before we retire for the night."
Mental recovery? Roy frowned as he looked at the kid. He hadn't even considered any sort of lasting or prolonged damage to the young prodigy's mind. Could that have been the cost for what they got?
Roy spent the rest of the day in the same room as Edward, worrying about the consequences of what the kid had done, while slowly went through the medical files Armstrong had left him.
Chapter 4Chapter 6