shell_mel (shell_mel) wrote in fm_alchemist,

How to Die - Chapter 18

Title: How to Die
Author: Shell Mel
Rating: P G - 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 thought 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.

Chapter 18

Roy glanced at Ed through the darkness.

“So what happened?” He asked, wondering why the scene wasn’t continuing.

“I went to the gate,” Ed shrugged. “Though I was there for longer than the time I showed you. I don’t think my reaction happened as instantly as it had before for some reason.”

There was a silence before the darkness lifted. They were still in the opera house. Roy could see the dark skinned girl cradling Ed’s head on her knees, while holding a baby in one arm. He wasn’t conscious, but Mustang could see he was breathing at least. Even if every breath seemed to be pained. Close by, he could see someone new. Alphonse. A very naked Alphonse, only just waking up.

Alphonse was slow to wake. He curled up into a ball, shivering on the ground. Then suddenly his eyes burst open. He began to look around frantically.

“B-Brother?” Came the timid voice.

The girl looked up at the boy.

“Alphonse?” She whispered.

“W-Who are you?” Al asked. “Where am I?”

The boy suddenly became aware he was lacking clothing and was quick to scrabble behind the nearest pillar. The girl merely smiled at the shy behaviour.

“It’s Rose,” She said softly. “Don’t you remember me?”

Al peeked out from behind the pillar to shake his head. His gaze landed on Ed and frowned. Edward may have aged but he still resembled the boy from all those year ago.

“Who’s that?” He asked.

“Edward,” Rose said calmly. “Your brother?”

Al’s frown increased.

“But…” Al began. “He’s old… He’s not that old!”

Al was starting to cry. He was scared, cold and so lost. The girl lifted Ed’s head and placed it gently on the ground. She put her baby down as well in the crook of Ed’s real arm. She went over and tore a nearby curtain down and approached the boy.

“Here…” She placed it down by the pillar before turning her back. “I’m sorry I don’t have anything else for you.”

Al watched her back for a few moments before darting out to grab the curtain. As quickly as he moved out, he bolted back to his hiding spot. The curtain was ridiculously long, even if Al had been adult sized. Now it was practically a tent.

“I need to go and get help for your brother,” she told the boy as she went back to pick up her baby. “Could you watch him?”

Al was silent. Obviously, unsure of if this really was his brother and being left alone with the unconscious boy.

“I won’t be long,” She promised as she retrieved her baby.

“O-Okay…” He stuttered.

She left and the darkness returned.

“She got help,” Ed said. “We went to the hospital and I had a hell of a time recovering and convincing Al about what had happened. Took months to get him to believe so much time had passed since that night and I was really his brother. Even with me in his head for a short time.”

Roy nodded, unsure about what to say. He wasn’t even sure if any of this had even helped really.

“Rose Thomas,” Ed said quietly. “She saw it all. If there are any clues, she has them. You need to find her.”

Roy blinked. Of course. During the time Ed died and Al woke up, a lot happened. The Homunculi were gone, so was the other lady and Al was human. They had an eye witness!

“Any ideas where she is?” Roy asked.

“Liore,” Ed said. “I sometimes still get letters from her.”

“Got it,” Roy said with confidence.

It was a small clue, but it was better then nothing.

“One more thing,” Ed said, his voice suddenly firmer. “Don’t leave me behind tomorrow.”

Roy frowned.

“What are we meant to do?” Roy said. “Drag you to work with us? Don’t be stupid. You’ll be a sitting duck and make work harder on everyone else.”

“Mustang,” Ed said seriously. “I’m asking you to trust me on this. My gut is telling me that something really bad is going to happen if I’m not with you.”

“Your gut?” Roy said, unbelieving. “Oh! That changes everything! Fullmetal’s gut has a bad feeling! Sure! We’ll take you, and then we’ll both die again!”

“At least there’ll be a chance it won’t be permanent!” Ed fired back.

“But how long will this continue?” Roy questioned him. “Is it an ability that will never end? We don’t even know the true cost of it yet!”

“Fine!” Ed spat. “Leave me! Then you’ll die, and you’ll stay that way!”

Ed’s words were left hanging in the air. The blond was seething. Roy was unmoving in his decision. He would not risk Edward more than necessary. Especially in his current state. After a long silence, Ed spoke.

“I thought you counted me as part of your team,” Ed said quietly. “That you trusted me.”

“And I thought you said we need stop being selfish,” Roy remarked. “Asking me to take you is selfish, Ed. You’re risking everyone’s lives for a gut instinct.”

“If I can somehow keep you all from a permanent death,” Ed said firmly. “Then I don’t care about the cost. You are my friend. I don’t want you died and know that somehow I could have prevented. You wouldn’t be of much use to this country dead after all.”

Roy was conflicted. Ed was always placing so little importance in his own being. He had a point, but they couldn’t rely on Ed’s strange ability. There was too much risk. He sighed heavily and closed his eyes. This was just giving him a headache. Only Fullmetal could give a headache within his own dream. When Roy reopened his eyes, he found Ed was gone.

Roy opened his mouth to call for the alchemist-

“Edward?” His eyes sprang open.

He was back in the waking world.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17

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