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06 July 2014 @ 10:27 pm
How to Die - Chapter 23  
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.

Roys sighed heavily as Edward bolted off the couch. Havoc moved closer to Edward just in case he should be come unsteady, but the boy took this as an insult.

“Back the fuck up, Lieutenant!” Edward commanded.

“Ed-“ Havoc began.

“No!” Edward snapped. “I don’t want to hear it.”

Edward took long, confident strides over towards Roy. Roy smirked at the boy. How long has it been since he’d had to give Ed an order that the boy would not follow? There was no way to manipulate him otherwise at this stage. He’d instructed Hawkeye to keep the boy upstairs to avoid this confrontation.

“Major,” Roy said in a calm but stern voice. “You’re going to stay here today. Rest and be ready to join us tomorrow.”

“But-“ Edward tried to protest.

“That’s an order, Fullmetal.” Roy instructed.

“Fuck your orders,” Ed snarled at him. “Since when do I ever listen to you?”

“Never too late to try something new,” Roy suggested with a smirk. “But seriously, Fullmetal. Do you really think you are in any condition to be going anywhere?”

“So you’ll just leave me behind?” Ed asked. “To sit on my ass here, while something happens to you at work? Because normally when a murder sees they have failed, they just give up. Obviously you’re just too hard to kill.”

“Sarcasm won’t help you,” Roy informed him as he went to walk away. “Or anyone else for that matter.”

“And leaving me behind will?” Ed asked as he grabbed Roy’s arm to stop him from leaving. “Something bad will happen.”

Roy frowned at this, having a sense of déjà vu come over him.

“What makes you say that?” Roy asked carefully.

“It’s a gut feeling,” Ed admitted, not letting go of Roy. “If you go, I don’t think you’ll come back.”

“And if you come with us,” Roy said, breaking away from Edward’s hold. “Then neither one of us will come back.”

“What makes you say that?!” Ed snapped, taking the comment as a person insult.

“Edward you look like shit,” Roy said as he dusted off his uniform. “And that’s the nicest way I can put it. Unlike you, I don’t deal in ‘gut feelings’, I deal with facts. This morning the simplest bit of alchemy almost made you faint. And you’re going to tell me you aren’t feeling even the slightest bit tired? What use are you in this condition? I will manage one day without you, as I managed before I you were a constant furnishing in my office.”

Ed’s jaw dropped. It had been such a long time since Roy had had to be this blunt with the child. In recent times Edward could have been considered one of his best councils for situations like this, but his judgment was obviously clouded.

“Unlike you,” Edward said quietly. “I’m not a one trick pony. In your team no one can match me in hand to hand combat. At the very least I could fight. Be an extra set of eyes in case someone tries again.”

“Edwards,” Roy sighed heavily. “We are not risking everyone’s safety on a childish whim.”

“Then let me prove myself,” Ed demanded. “If I can’t last in a fight against Armstrong, then I’ll stay behind. No arguments.”

Roy raised an eyebrow at the suggestion. Should he give in and allow the fight? Surely Armstrong could take Edward in his current condition no problem. Unless the gentle giant felt too softly about the boy’s condition and allowed him to win in a moment of weakness.

“You’re being selfish,” Roy stated cruelly. “Just because you can’t grow up and accept that you don’t need to be at the centre of every fight.”

“You’re such a fucking bastard!” Ed screeched at him. “It’s your fault I’m like this in the first place. I saved your fucking life!”

“And you have my gratitude,” Roy said smoothly. “But that doesn’t mean it gets you free rein to make such idiotic demands that could reverse what you have done.”

“When have I ever let you done?” Ed demanded as he stomped his foot. “Why don’t you trust me? If it was Hawkeye saying this to you or Havoc-“

“I would be saying the same thing,” Roy cut Ed off. “Stay. Rest. Be ready for tomorrow.”

“If you leave me behind,” Ed threatened. “I will walk to headquarters myself. I will march into whatever is left of your office, probably only to find I’m too late, and find you dead.”

Roy felt his heart sink. Edward was one of the most resourceful alchemists he had ever met. No one he knew had been able to immobilize the brat for longer than a few hours or longer then Edward deemed necessary for whatever explosive plan he had in mind. Even without his arm and highly restrained, Edward always managed to turn everything his own way. If Ed walked, then he could be putting himself in more danger then taking him along. He would be without any of them to cover his back and probably weak from whatever alchemy he had used in order to free himself. It was a tough decision. His conversations between the two Edward’s had him questioning his own judgement on the matter.

“Armstrong,” Roy said, looking at the larger man. “What do you think?”

“I’m not sure the stress would be good for him,” Alex said, looking uncertain.

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” Edward growled. “I’m not made of glass!”

“You heard him, Armstrong,” Roy said folded. “He’s not made of glass. If he loses he’ll stay here and rest. Surely you could easily restrain him, right?”

“I would do my best to restrain rather than hurt him,” Armstrong confirmed.

Edward rolled his eyes.

“Let’s get this over with,” Roy said as he took out his pocket watch. “Or we’ll be late. Havoc and Breda, move the furniture out of the way.”

“Here, sir?” Hawkeye asked.

“Unless Armstrong has a better suggestion?” He said looking at his fellow alchemist.

“Here will do,” He confirmed.

Everyone but Roy, Edward and Armstrong moved the furniture. Edward and Armstrong were stretching, while Roy watched Edward, searching for any reason for the boy to stay behind. His movements were slow and deliberate as he stretched. Armstrong’s stretching was much more theatrical when his shirt and jacket was suddenly cast aside. Roy pinched the bridge of his nose. This was going to be a very long day.

Edward took an offensive stance when he was done. Armstrong quickly followed suit.

“There is no shame in taking a day of rest,” Armstrong said gently. “It would be the mature thing to do.”

“I can’t just wave goodbye at the door and hope you all come back safely,” Edward frowned. “I can’t just sit and hope for the best.”

At that Edward sprang into action, taking off only a faction below his usual speed. He leapt into the air and pulled his automail arm back to launch a punch at the larger man. Armstrong side stepped around the attack, grabbing Edward as he landed around the neck in a chokehold. Edward twisted and turned in attempt to break the hold, but couldn’t move far. The muscle in Armstrong’s bulging arm muscles was restricting his airflow. This could be over sooner rather than later.

Edward brought his automail arm and took hold of Armstrong’s wrist, forcing it away from his throat slightly. Then in a suddenly move, Edward managed to flip Armstrong’s bulky mass over his own, forcing him down into a crouch, as Armstrong’s back hit the floor. In a flash, before anyone could say anything, a blade was protruding from Edward’s automail and resting on Armstrong’s throat.

“I win,” Edward declared with laboured breath as he shot Roy a shit eating grin.

“And you’ve managed to wear yourself out,” Roy said disapprovingly. “You were told to lay off the alchemy.”

“I know my limits,” Edward declared. “I just need a decent meal.”

Roy watched Edward dematerialize his blade. The boy looked pale, but did not suffer a fainting spell. Perhaps he would be fine. An extra set of eyes wouldn’t hurt, and Edward was the best fighter on his team. Perhaps if Edward carried a knife, rather than using his alchemy to make one, he wouldn’t have to waste energy in a fight he didn’t have to spare today?

“Armstrong?” He said, as the man put his shirt back on. “Would it be possible to borrow any sort of knife or sword from your armoury? To prevent Fullmetal’s need to use unnecessary alchemy today?”

“Sir, you can’t really be allowing this?” Riza interrupted. “He will be a liability.”

“Good to know everyone has faith in me,” Edward sulked as he took a seat.

“Edward,” She turned her attention to him. “In any other situation and circumstances we would, but from what we’ve seen the last few days, it was very clear you would not have been in a situation to defend yourself.”

“Well I’m fine now!” Edward snapped. “Fine enough that I’m going. If you try to leave me behind I will simply walk to work.”

Riza narrowed her eyes at him. Roy noticed she was tense. She was worried for the boy. That much was obvious. Edward wasn’t letting her fuss and mother him like he had allowed earlier.

“Lieutenant,” Roy stepped in. “It would be easier to allow him to come. With any luck nothing will happen today. If anything tomorrow, when the enemy has time to organise themselves, will be when the bigger risks are.”

Riza did not say anything. She chose to instead bow out of the argument and focus on getting the remainder of their party ready for leaving. No doubt they would suffer her wrath later when they began their paperwork for the day.

“Armstrong,” Roy tried again. “Is a weapon for Fullmetal possible?”

“Most definitely,” the giant said. “If you could follow me Edward?”

Ed eyes Roy suspiciously, as if the decision would be changed if he left the room, but eventually he followed Armstrong out of the room. This was going to be a very long day indeed.

Prologue
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
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
 
 
 
amethyst_konekoamethyst_koneko on July 7th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
As much as I like this comm, I must say that tiny white letters on a black background are damned hard to read. :/ Wonder why this post is different from the previous ones...

Why am I not surprised Ed is being clingy with Roy? :) Fandom, at the very least, always has Ed being extra over protective of newly restored Al so it follows that he would be the same with newly restored Roy. :) One has to wonder tho if Ed's gut feeling is the result of something he knows, however subconsciously, from previous encounters with the Gate or if he's just scared of losing someone close to him. I'd be willing to bet it's a little bit of both.

Edward brought his automail arm and took hold of Armstrong's wrist, forcing it away from his throat slightly. Again the automail saves his ass! ^_^ If not for it and him being so damned wiry and wiley, this woulda been over before it started!

"Armstrong," Roy tried again. "Is a weapon for Fullmetal possible?" *grins* I'm now imagining Ed lugging around some ridiculously overly ornate short sword (Couldn't very well use a long sword now could he? *runs* XD) that's been passed down the Armstrong family line for generations! I am now highly amused! This is a much better mental image than the Alex bathtub! XDDD
shell_mel: Edward Batmanshell_mel on August 31st, 2014 06:49 am (UTC)
Wow... I have no idea why this is so different. That's weird. >.>

I am glad that someone else is seeing my logic with the characterization for Ed. He's just the sort of person who wants to save everyone. :)

Without that automail I dare say that Ed wouldn't have gotten out of half of the situations he manages to get himself into. But yes! All hail his size and automail. :P

Well he manages with a spear half the time. But maybe a short sword would be a long sword in his case. Hehe. Now I have two images stuck in my head that would make some hilarious fanart... I shall have to work on my drawing skills to see if I can get something half decent out. Talking with you always get's me very inspired. :)