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.
Mustang’s team and Armstrong were split between too cars. Edward and Mustang were placed together. Edward had managed to pick up a few knives which were now hidden on his person, as well as a rather large sword which was not so hidden, but instead hung off of his belt as he sat in the back of the car. The sword was, thankfully, rather ordinary looking. Roy could only imagine something very exotic or ghastly bouncing around on Ed’s belt instead. Something which no doubt, would have had a very long history with the Armstrong family.
All in all, Ed seemed to be doing well for the moment. He was currently working his way through a second bacon sandwich with great gusto. Roy had to look away, due to feeling sick at the sight of it.
Hawkeye and Havoc were in the front. Havoc was driving, while Hawkeye continued to hold her silence. Her fingers were twitching. She disagreed with everything about how the plans for the day had changed. Today wasn’t going to be easy as it was, let alone with a twitchy and hyperaware Hawkeye added to the mix.
They pulled up at Headquarters, where Armstrong left them to go about his own day of work, and they prepared to make their own entrance. With Roy leading the way, Edward on his right, Hawkeye on his left, and the rest of the team taking up the rear, they marched their way into the building. At the security stops there was very little discussion. A few surprised looks and words about people being relieved that they were okay.
The closer they got the Fuhrer’s, the less obvious the outward reactions became. A few General’s had to do a double take, but most were discreet. Roy glanced over at Edward, checking on his status. For the moment his movements were still strong and confident, but Roy did notice that Edward’s breathing was not as relaxed as it usual was. The long walk was getting to him. Not a good sign that they had made the right decision in allowing the younger alchemist to come.
The building itself was looking in good shape considering the attack it had sustained. They probably had the state alchemists and local contracted alchemists fixing it up yesterday. Hopefully that would mean his office was fixed, even if the team’s personal effects were destroyed.
Roy almost breathed a sigh of relief when they finally reached the Fuhrer’s office and Edward was still standing. He looked a little pale, but holding himself together well enough for appearances sake. Once they were assigned to a new office, they could breathe slightly easier and give Edward a chance to rest a little.
“Fullmetal,” Roy said. “Stay with the others. Hawkeye, you’re with me.”
Edward didn’t argue, only nodded and watched them enter the outer office of the Fuhrer.
Hakuro was talking to his assistant when they entered. Roy and Hawkeye snapped to attention before the man. The Fuhrer frowned at them. He gave them a salute, allowing them to stand at ease.
“Brigadier General,” Hakuro said coldly. “I was about to list you and your crew as among the dead. Where have you been?”
“Apologise for not reporting in yesterday,” Roy said smoothly. “I was having my crew checked quite meticulously by our doctor. He has provided us with notes for our absences.”
While the doctor that Armstrong had in his employ was annoying and insulting, he did have his uses. He had written them all up for the day’s rest. It was a weak excuse, but they had needed the day to recover, take stock and plan. Hawkeye offered the paperwork to Hakuro, but he just waved it away. Instead his assistant took the paperwork from them.
“And a phone call was too much to ask for?” Hakuro scolded them.
“The lines were engaged,” Roy countered smoothly. “It would be no surprise to think most of the lines were busy yesterday considering everything.”
Hakuro grunted as he seemed to accept the excuse.
“We’ll discuss this further in my office,” Hakuro said as he turned and walked towards his office doors.
They followed without delay. The office seemed to have avoided being attacked and looked the same as it had during all of Roy’s visits. It led more to the train of thought that Hakuro was involved in what had happened the other day. It would be no surprise really considering Roy and Ed were attacking his position in an attempt to remove some of the power it had.
As soon as the door clicked behind them, Hakuro turned towards them.
“I don’t know what game you’re playing, Mustang,” Hakuro spat at him. “But I don’t like it. I could have you and your entire squad court marshalled for your absenteeism after the events that happened just the other day.”
“And that would be your decision,” Roy accepted, allowing a small smirk to appear on his face. “Shame about the timing of the attack, isn’t it?”
Hakuro frowned at him, taking in his meaning.
“I don’t like your tone,” Hakuro remarked. “Nor your line of thought.”
“My apologises then,” Mustang offered. “As I said, the decision is yours. I would much rather return to my office and start work for the day. Presuming the damage is no longer there of course.”
“You should consider yourself lucky to still have it,” Hakuro said as he turned and headed for his desk. “I was getting ready to promote someone else and have them take the office.”
“Very lucky,” Mustang said as he observed the man. “Thank you, sir. May we take our leave then?”
“Get out,” Hakuro said as he sat down.
Roy and Hawkeye saluted and turned to leave. Roy couldn’t help but notice that Hakuro picked up the phone as they left. A legitimate call or telling someone to finish the job? He’d have Fury sweep the office for bugs when they got back and check for a phone tap. If Fullmetal were feeling up to it, he’d have him send a power surge through the office. That would ensure any bugs were destroyed so they could begin looking into leads. If not they would just have to be careful about how things were phrased around the office for a few days.
Roy marched out of the office and towards his crew. Edward was sitting down in one of the spare chairs with the receptionist taking back and empty glass. The boy was still a little pale and judging from the way he sitting in the chair, the walk was still taking its toll on him.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Edward said, looking up at him. “I’m fine.”
“Of course you are,” Roy said, not willing to have this conversation here. “Our office awaits us.”
Roy walked past him, not stopping to see if he got up. He knew that Havoc at the very least would stay by Ed’s side and make sure he got back to the office fine. He’d have to send for some food from a local café. Considering the likelihood of another attempt on their lives, he was unwilling to trust the military food at this time.
The office that awaited them was naturally different from how they normally had it. Though the alchemists had done a decent job of trying to put it as it once had been. After inspecting the inner and outer office for another suspicious or out of place, he turned to his crew. They were waiting patiently for him, their own eyes looking around for anything out of the ordinary. Edward was with them, though had taken to sitting again while he waited for Roy to finish his inspection.
“Fury,” he said, looking at the smaller man. “Take some time to go through things. Make sure all our personal things are as they should me. Naturally some might be gone, but let’s take stock.”
Fury saluted him. He went into the inner office and started his bug search there. His team knew exactly what he wanted, even if he wasn’t explicit.
“Breda,” Roy said, turning to his next man. “I think we should celebrate our return to the office and to find it standing. I’m sure you’ll know what we need.”
Breda saluted him. He left the office altogether in order to get them food. Roy hoped he could bring enough. It might help Edward pep up a little. Food seemed to have that effect on the boy.
“Falman,” Roy looked at the older man. “Prepare the workstations for each of our team members.”
Falman saluted and went about his business. He would watch the door and make sure no one came in while most of the team was busy.
“Hawkeye and Havoc,” Roy looked at both of them. “I’ll need you two to assist Fullmetal and myself in preparing for the day.”
They both saluted him before following him into the office. Edward was much slower to follow them. It was starting to annoy Roy. The boy had insisted on coming and so far he was just taking up too much of his attention. Roy needed to be alert for possible danger and he just found himself wondering if Fullmetal would make it through the day.