"Sir, I have a letter, from Edward."
Roy Mustang lifted his head from the dull paperwork at the mention of the familiar name, and raised an eyebrow. "Wonder what he needs now?" He questioned, murmuring a thanks to the lieutenant as she handed him the white envelope, stamped with a red seal. "More money, perhaps?" He muttered, as he slid his thumb across the fine paper, tearing the seal. He opened the letter and took the slip of paper out of the envelope, setting the white carrier aside. He unfolded the paper, and read the try-hard cursive handwriting.
How's it hanging, bastard? I bet you think I want money or some shit like that, but I'm actually just writing because I can. Since I haven't been around to be able to nag you recently, I'd figure I'd do it by letter instead. Al and I are separated now, we went two different directions, with different groups. I stayed with Kimblee, while Al went off with Marcoh and the rest of his gang. Major Miles is suspicious of Kimblee (as anyone should be) and he's planning something soon, although he won't tell me, because it's "none of my business being a kid." Anyways, how's Central been? I feel like it's been years, but really I've only been gone, what, two months? Knowing you you'll probably ignore this because you've got more "pressing" matters to attend to, but I thought maybe if somebody would write to your sorry ass it would distract you from work, or, something. By the way, you better not show these to anybody, or I'll have your head the next time I see you!
Edward Elric (Fullmetal)
Roy let out a chuckle. It was unusual for him to ever receive any letters that had no significant importance, especially if it was from Fullmetal. He spread the sheet out next to him neatly, and opened one of his drawers, pulling out a fresh sheet of paper. He grabbed one of his ink pens, and began to scribble on the white surface, his ballpoint pen flowing with every movement.
"Getting sick, red runt?"
Ed stiffened at the degrading name, sniffing. "It's just a cold." He insisted, his golden eyes moving up to meet ice cold blue. The General outstretched a hand, containing an official military sealed letter. "This was to be delivered to you." She said simply, before she walked out of the room without another word, slamming the door shut.
Ed winced at the fierce slam, and turned the letter over in his hands, frowning. He worked the seal open, and grabbed the paper inside, tossing the envelope to the side. He unfolded it, and smirked when he noticed the prissy handwriting. "Mustang."
I will admit, I'm surprised to be getting a letter from you, although I can imagine the insufferable pain of having to be apart from my charming good looks and impressive characteristics. However, I do admit it is quiet in the office without your disrupting behavior. So you've met up with Kimblee, I see. Last I heard he'd just been released from prison, I'm surprised he made his way to The North that quickly. No matter, I do hope you are being cautious around him. Major Miles is right; he is a very dangerous man. If you didn't know already, he was one of the state alchemists like me who participated in the Ishvalan War. Central's been quiet. No new investigations at the moment, Scar was the lead case of the year, it seems. Pressing matters? Give me some credit, Fullmetal. Knowing you, you must have desperately wanted somebody to talk to if you wrote to me, so the least I can do is reply. Besides, you're right, it did get my mind off of work momentarily. I appreciate the letter.
Sincerely yours, Roy Mustang
Ed laughed, and let the letter fall limp in his hand. "Cocky little bastard. Who does he think he's trying to impress with those fancy words?" It was after his laughter had ceased when he reached over for the pen on his tableside, clicking it open. He searched around the room for a fresh sheet of paper, and slammed it down onto the table when he'd located one, grinning.
Roy jerked his head up at the harsh tone, his eyes flaring open. "Hnn?!" He murmured, a piece of paper falling off his cheek as he raised his head from his desk. In front of him stood an angry Riza Hawkeye, whose hand was outstretched with a letter. "It would be wise if you went home early today, sir. You've got dark circles." She announced. "Another letter, from Edward."
Roy blinked a few times at his lieutenant, focusing on her figure. "Right. I'll make the effort to finish my work early, then." He murmured, letting a wide yawn stretch across his face, his hair pointing all different directions from the way his face had been laying on the desk. "Another?" He repeated, taking the letter from her hand. The lieutenant nodded, with a small smile, before she turned heel and left the room again, silent.
Roy watched her leave, before he began to tear open the letter, careless due to the lack of sleep. He took the slip out, and read over it, his eyes widening as he focused on the printed words.
Hey, you actually wrote back! I'm proud of you. Heheh. So, you're that bored back at the office, huh? I'd never thought I'd see the day when Roy Mustang actually didn't have anything to do. But I bet you've still got a shit load of paperwork, am I right? Of course you know I'm in the North. I swear, I'll never figure out how you know these things. It's really creepy, by the way. So, anyways, I got a cold from all of this damn weather we've been having. Snow, snow, and more snow. It won't stop! I almost caught frostbite on my way up, forgot to mention that. Thankfully Winry came up here and replaced it with some Northern Automail, which is so much lighter. Apparently, Miles says we're going to ambush Kimblee tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes I guess. By the way, how long does it take for these letters to get to you? I wrote this one on Sunday, the 22nd. Talk to ya later bastard, I've gotta get some sleep. I can barely keep my eyes open.
Edward Elric (Fullmetal)
Roy's eyes were fully open by the time he'd finished, a small smile on his face. "Damn kid." He muttered, frowning when he read it over again. "Tomorrow? That would've been a few days ago." He told himself, reading over his mental calendar.
He took a pen in hand and prepared another letter for his subordinate, his eyebrows furrowing together as he concentrated on his task, even something as simple as writing a letter proving difficult with the amount of sleep he'd been getting.
It'd been three weeks.
"Lieutenant, have any letters from Fullmetal come in recently?"
"No sir, I haven't gotten any."
"Right. Thank you." Roy pressed the bridge of his nose, letting out a small breath. Work had been piling up, and he couldn't seem to keep his focus these past few days. Part of him wondered if it was because Edward hadn't written him back in such a long time, and part of him wondered if it was just because he was so damn tired. He released his hold, and slid his hand down his face, feeling the prickle of his stubble as he ran down his defined face.
Why hadn't he written back?
Mustang shook the thought out of his head. He knew he wasn't always in a position to sit down and write letters, with the lifestyle he currently owned. But he couldn't help but think back to Ed's most recent letter, mentioning an ambush with Kimblee. The more he thought about it the more his stomach knotted. Solf was the Crimson Alchemist, and he had amazing alchemical powers, dealing mainly with explosives.
Roy stood from his desk, and pushed out from his chair. "I'm going to the library." He announced to his lieutenant, who simply nodded. "Don't be gone long sir."
He made quick haste to the nearest Central library, presenting the front desk with his military pocket watch. "I'd like access to the records on file of Solf. J. Kimblee, please." The librarian nodded and left, before returning shortly with a file. "Here you are sir."
He returned to his office within minutes, and sat down at his desk, spreading the files out evenly. His dark eyes searched furiously for a known location. His hand grabbed hungrily at the first paper with locations, and slid the others aside, bringing the single sheet close to his face to read.
SOLF J KIMBLEE:
LAST KNOWN LOCATION: BRIGGS MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN AMESTRIS
Roy scanned lower to find the date of the location.
DATE OF LAST KNOWN LOCATION: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD 1915
Shit. There were no more recent dates, none. Roy scavenged through every paper available, but no additional information was any use to him. The 22nd was the day Fullmetal had written to him, and the ambush was to have taken place the next day, the 23rd. He clenched the paper in his hand, and then slammed it down on his desk, gathering up the rest of the papers, shoving them into the file. He left again swiftly, returning the report to the library. When he exited the building, he leaned against one of the pillars, his hands in his pockets as he stared up at the sky. It was beginning to rain, small droplets of water forming on the ground below him. "What the hell happened, Fullmetal?"
Six months had passed.
"Sir. A letter."
Roy raised his head immediately from his work, snatching the envelope from his subordinate. "That'll be all, Hawkeye." He dismissed hastily, working the letter open quickly. He felt his chest tighten the closer he was to removing the paper. Once he'd finally worked its way out, he opened it, scanning the paper quickly.
Long time no see, huh? Don't worry, I got your letter. Just now got around to reading it, really. Truth is I wasn't in any state to write, or read a letter. I'm fine now. Three days huh? Not bad, considering it's gotta go from North to Central. Listen. I've got a feeling I won't be back for a while. Something's going to happen, and you need to be ready for it. The day of the eclipse. Remember that for me, okay? Don't show this to anybody. Make sure the seal isn't broken when you get it. Anybody finding out you know could get you in a lot of trouble. Even talking to me could get you in trouble. So, I won't sign. I'll explain all of this when I see you, but for now hopefully you're smart enough to keep your nose out of things. I don't want you ending up like Hughes.
Be careful. Please.
What the hell was going on? Roy turned the letter over, but there were no more words. He clenched his teeth, and set the paper down, running a hand through his hair, resting it just above his forehead. He was thankful Ed was alive, but the tone in the letter was unlike him. It was sloppy and short to the point, like he was being rushed. "The day of the eclipse.." he murmured, closing his eyes as he tried to process all of what he'd just read. After another minute of silence, he read through the paper again, and soaked in the words, before adjusting an ignition glove onto his hand, snapping a small flame. The paper was eaten hungrily by the small ignition, and was gone in seconds. "Whatever you're talking about, I hope it's something we can handle."
Roy groaned, squeezing his eyes shut tighter as he tried to block out the hissing.
Roy flinched at the contact, and opened his eyes slightly. He frowned when his blurry vision slowly focused into his dark room, nothing in sight but his own belongings. He let out a sigh and turned around in his bed, not surprised in the least that he was hearing things - he was so tired. However, when he turned around, a dark figure met his vision, and his eyes widened, immediately going to shout.
A metal hand cupped over his mouth.
"Shh! Shut-it, will you?!"
Roy tensed at the cold metal on his warm skin, but widened his eyes further when he recognized the hushed voice. He raised his eyes up to the crouching figure on his bed, giving him two blinks.
Ed let out a small sigh, relaxing his grip on the older man's mouth when he was recognized. "Sorry, but this was the only time I could come to see you."
Roy pushed the metal hand away from his mouth. "What time is it?" He croaked, his eyes drifting to the pocket watch on his headboard.
"I dunno, like, two am?" Ed shrugged, snapping his fingers as he tried to return Roy's focus to him. "Did you get my letter?"
Roy took a moment to respond. "Yeah." He couldn't help but look over Ed. He'd gotten taller; much taller since he'd last seen him. His features were more prominent, Roy could tell, even in the dim light. His hair was definitely longer, and his voice, deeper?
A sigh echoed throughout the room. "Good. You didn't go snooping around, did you?" He asked again, frowning.
"No, I didn't. Not too much, anyways."
Cold metal struck the side of his face.
"Dammit Fullmetal, that hurt!"
"Good, maybe it'll knock some sense into you!" He retorted, sighing as he plopped down on Roy's bed next to him. "It's good to see you."
Roy's gaze softened, his cheek throbbing. "Good to see you too. You had me concerned those few months. What the hell happened?"
"Nothing of importance. " He responded quickly, dismissing it. "We need to talk about the Promised Day."
"Promised Day?" Roy decided to drop the subject for now. He'd get back to that later.
"The day of the eclipse. They're calling it the Promised Day." Ed elaborated, running a metal hand through his hair. "We've figured out what they're going to do." He told Roy sternly, who was now beginning to sit up, the covers shifting to roll of a shirtless Roy.
"Care to elaborate?"
"The homunculi's creator, the bearded bastard wants to become an almighty God. He's planning to use Amestris as one large transmutation circle, for a philosopher stone." He murmured, his tone lowering. "It's a repeat of Xerxes."
"The entirety of Amestris?!"
"Yeah. Sloth has been digging a tunnel for god knows how long underground to connect the circle."
Roy took a moment to process this, pinching the bridge of his nose. "And how are we supposed to stop this?"
Ed hesitated. "Not sure."
Roy let out a half-hearted chuckle. "Right. Anything else to report?"
"They need five sacrifices in order to make the transmutation work." Ed began, his hand clenching. "Al and I are two, the others though, we're not sure." He muttered, his gaze shifting to Roy's cracked door, avoiding his superior's gaze.
"Sacrifices? As in, you'll be used for alchemic material?"
"As far as I know? Yeah, sounds about right."
Roy held his breath, feeling the tension in the room build as the two sat in silence. It was only broken when Ed spoke again.
"I should be heading out. Get some sleep, Colonel."
"Wait. Where will you go?"
Ed turned his head and grinned. "Dunno. But I can't stay here. We both know that."
Roy let his shoulders fall, his gaze moving down to the bed sheets. "Wherever you go, just don't die. Understand?" Roy muttered, raising his gaze to meet Ed's golden eyes. "That's an order."
Ed let out a light chuckle, something Roy had missed the most in his absence. "You know I was never good at following orders." He responded, giving Roy a loose salute, before he began to head for the door. "I'll be seeing you Colonel."
And he was gone.