Full Metal Alchemist is copyright Square Enix, GanGan Comics and Arakawa Hiromu-sensei, and not me in any way, shape or form.

Rated for language and theme. Implied RoyEd.

.:Child Arsonist:.

Children with guns. It was an image Roy had never wanted to see again. It was bad enough when he did not know the person holding it.

Ed with a gun.

It was almost surreal. Roy watched him, waiting for some sort of reaction at being issued his first weapon in preparation of being shipped off to war. Even Roy with his desk job had been drafted to fight this time. He supposed the higher ups couldn't afford to let any State Alchemists go without participating in the fighting this time. They really were dogs of the military.

But then, that had been their choice. Hadn't it?

Roy stood behind Ed, watching him watch his gun. Watching him contemplate this new piece of metal he had been given. Watching and waiting. Waiting for his reaction. Expecting anger. Expecting him to complain about how this would put his search for the Philosopher's Stone on hiatus. Expecting him to question what would become of Alphonse. Expecting him to rant. Expecting him to react in some way that Roy knew how to deal with.

Ed turned and looked up at Roy.

He was terrified.

Ed began trebling, the foreign piece of metal and machinery in his hand rattling at the force of his shivering. His chest heaved in tiny, audible breaths on the brink of hyperventilation. His eyes shined with the threat of tears a child like him would never shed. It took him several tries to get his voice around whatever it was that clogged his throat.

"What... What do I... Do with this..?" Ed finally managed between shaky breaths. His eyes kept switching from the man in front of him to the source of his terror that he currently held in his hand.

Roy grimaced. He did not know how to deal with Ed like this. Different people reacted to support differently and Roy was sure Ed would react negatively to the kind of support most people needed in this state.

He had heard, from a woman he had dated a very long time ago, that the best ways to get rid of tears were kisses and hugs. Girls could be sentimental like that, and it certainly seemed like it would work. When dealing with girls, that is.

But Ed was no sentimental girl. In fact, he was against most displays of affection that did not end in sex, or at least something that closely resembled it. That was how their relationship worked and that was the kind of people they were. Roy had never seen a problem with how things were going before. Then again, Ed had never really had problems like this before either.

Ed looked down toward his feet when Roy did not respond. The time to effectively help Ed was beginning to pass.

Ed's breath was becoming deeper and heavier, but its rapid pace remained. Roy placed his palm on Ed's cheek and the boy looked up, a little confused but no less scared. Roy showed him a smile he had never shown anyone.

A smile that said, 'It will be ok.'

A smile that said, 'You'll make it through this.'

A smile that said, 'I won't let anything happen to you.'

"I'm here for you."

A hot tear rolled out of the corner of his eye only to be stopped by Roy's waiting finger.

The gun hit the floor with a loud clank.

Now those trembling fingers were latched onto Roy's coat. His face was pushing into Roy's hand, eyes shut tight to keep more salty drops from escaping.

"Where do they get off," Ed sniffed loudly and let out a long, strangled breath before continuing, "drafting a kid to fight in this damn war!" Ed tried to shout, gasping every few words to make sure air actually entered his lungs. "What the hell am I supposed to do? I don't know how to use... That! I can't kill people!" Ed shoved his face into Roy's chest with one last cry and after that, the only sounds he made were sniffles and gasps. Roy held him in place and didn't say anything.

This was Ed trying to be who he was, and almost failing. He was putting up a front while he sobbed pitifully behind it. Trying to climb up the adult ladder and only making it half way before falling painfully to the bottom.

Not only that. His innocence was taking the ultimate fall.

A fall harder than when he and his brother had tried to bring their mother back to life and failed.

Even harder than when he had found out how to make the Philosopher's Stone and had considered the possibilities.

Harder still, than the first time they had slept together.

A fall so great, that Ed's innocence would be nonexistent afterwards.

And Roy had to watch.

Watch and know he could do nothing to stop it.

He held Ed tighter against him, leaning over to kiss the top of his head in both comfort and contemplation.

Roy had not been a child when he had shot one who held a gun.

Ed will be a child that will shoot one who holds a gun.

But, Ed will not be shot by a child who holds a gun.

"Fullmetal," Ed pulled away from Roy, rubbing gloved hands violently against his face. Roy could have chuckled if the situation permitted. But Roy could not get Ed out of this. The major consequence of being in the military was that neither of them could escape. Ed would need to move on, and face those consequences he had known about from the start.

"I'll get you through this," Roy was not sure if he could really promise something like that. Guarantees were worthless when you did not follow through on them, but he could offer Ed nothing else. "I just can't get you out of it." Ed shook his head as he finally lowered his hands.

"I... Can do this," he replied, sounding like he was trying to convince himself more than anything. "I just can't leave Al all by himself."

Always the little brother. Roy allowed himself to laugh a little. He took the boy's face in both hands this time and kissed his forehead, ignoring any strange faces Ed may have been making.

"You'll come back to him, Edward. We both will."


This was written for a contest, actually (I got second place. The first place entry was amazing. You can read all the entries at: livejournal (dot) com (slash) community (slash) steelandsparks (slash) 30495 (dot) html) It got second place, and I think I made some people cry XD; But I need to get back to work on Sniffles of Change. That one is going to have four chapters, total.

I hope you enjoyed this Please review, too 3 I'll love you forever and bake you cookies.