Bakura: So they're replacing us now huh?
Leo: I can't help it! They're so cute! ...:huggles Roy and Ed:... I hope you like it! I have eventual plans for another one if this one does well...
Roy was sitting behind his desk, attempting to get his paper work done. More and more it seemed his mind would wander. It would stray to things he would rather not think of, but that didn't stop it from happening. Because of this his demeanor had slowly, over time, began to change. And everyone had noticed, though he thought otherwise. They never said anything though. Which was good, he didn't want them to. But he felt so alone.
The others did make attempts. They tried to set him up with a nice young girl for a relaxing afternoon date. But he simply turned down the offer. Which was most shocking to everyone, knowing how much he used to enjoy that sort of thing. That was the eye opener that something was wrong.
But no one could even begin to imagine...That inside he was in agony. The only person he'd ever shared his pain with had been Hughes. His best friend, who was now dead...Yet another thing that pained him.
He dropped the pen on his desk as his head began to throb. He leaned his head back and tried to force out the thoughts that were forming in his mind and the things that haunted him constantly.
The images flashed through his mind and he leaned forward placing his head in his arms on his desk as the dull ache, became more painful. The things that haunted him, the horrible things he'd seen...and done. The things he could never forgive himself for...They tortured him.
The girl he'd torched, because she was from Ishbal, a scared girl, scared for the life he was about to take...The towns he'd leveled under the orders of his superiors...But the one that hurt him the most was killing Mr. and Mrs. Rockbell...The doctors...They were saving people...and what had he done? He'd murdered more than he could count. And probably more that were never found. He regretted...regretted becoming a state alchemist. That was not why he'd become one...to become one of the governments legendary...murderers. In truth, he was more a dog of the military than Edward was.
He began to shake as the images continued with more force, and he began to hear the screams. Of pain, of fear. That he caused. His ears began to ring as the cries became louder, until he could hear nothing else, in a room so silent that any form of movement would be heard. Including his own sobs. But he couldn't hear them...No, the shrieking that only he could hear blocked out his grip on reality.
He felt closed in. Like he was drowning. The air he was breathing didn't seem enough and everything was spinning. The images, still taunting, threatening to suffocate him. He gasped for air, and his breathing increased steady, until he was almost choking.
Everything his senses could pick up was threatening to tear him apart. As if he wasn't already damaged enough. He wanted to stop it...but he knew he deserved this suffering. This pain. Unlike those innocent people, who didn't deserve to die.
He felt like someone had wrung the air out of his lungs and he couldn't seem to get the amount of air he needed. But this was nothing compared to the searing pain in this head. The throbbing so loud he could hear it in the background of the screams.
His sorrow weighed him down so heavily, that he knew if he fell, he wouldn't he able to pick himself up. That he would give into the raging depression and madness that lingered in his soul for so long. And no one could pick up the pieces, and even if by some miracle they did, they could never manage to help put him back together. He was broken...No, he was shattered. Each broken piece a sin that he'd committed...more than any person could mend.
With out any realization, he stood, his head hung low. He slowly felt his way toward the window. With mindlessly moving hands he unlatched the lock and flung the window open, leaning out in an attempt to breath easier. But it only seemed worse. Like his air passage was collapsing on its self.
In desperation he placed a foot on the window sill and leaned out. With out a second thought he leapt out the window. If he was going to fall, he was going to make it impossible to get up, and he was going fix this pain his own way.
"Al, you don't have to come with me you know. You're not a 'dog of the military' you should go hang out with the others. I'm sure a few of them aren't busy."
"But big brother. I want to go with you."
"Okay," the older, yet shorter brother shrugged as he walked sluggishly down the hall.
"Why do you not want to get into a fight with Colonel Mustang with me around?" Al asked innocently. "Or for me to see that you actually enjoy your fighting?"
"What! No! He's a jerk!" Ed fumed. His reaction a clear sign to Al. That he was right.
"Hello Edward." First lieutenant Riza slightly bowed to Ed, then looked up at the suit of armor that harbored Al's soul. "Alphonse."
"Hello first lieutenant." Al said politely.
"Where's the bastard Taisa?" Ed huffed. "I'm supposed to report to him." He folded his arms.
"I haven't seen Taisa all day, but I'm sure he's in his office, though I doubt he's getting any work done. I'll escort you there." She led the two toward the office. Even though they already knew where it was, it was nice to have Riza with them. That way incase Major Armstrong decided to make an appearance...They could escape and leave her to deal with him. Which she was fairly good at now.
"So...Anything new happen around here? We haven't been in central for quite a while." Ed asked idly trying to make small conversation.
"Nothing of real interest. Though," she stopped for a moment but then continued. "Taisa's been acting out of normal as of late."
"What do you mean lieutenant?" Ed let that sound a little more concerned than he wanted to.
"Hey! Pipsqueak is back!" Havoc grinned widely as he turned the corner with Major Fury behind him.
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A MIGITY PINT SIZED RUNT THAT YOU CAN'T SEE WITH OUT A MICROSCOPE?"
Havoc casually ducked as Ed jumped up aiming a kick at him...Some things never change.
"Nii-san..." Al sweatdropped. "He never said all that..."
"Nice to see you again, I'm sure Taisa is just dying to pick you apart. It's been awhile since he's cracked a short joke on you." He mentally noted Ed's twitch. "Maybe that's why he's so depressed."
"Depressed?" Al and Ed questioned in unison.
"Yeah, he's been so distant." Fury spoke.
"That's a good word to describe it." Havoc commented as he went to light a cigarette. Of course he halted the action as a bullet whizzed passed his head.
"No smoking inside major Havoc." Riza said calmly as she replaced her gun in it's holster.
"Y-yes...ma'am.." He took the cigarette out of his mouth quickly.
"I guess I have to talk to the Colonel now." Ed sighed as he stopped a few feet before the door.
"Well we'll see you later!" Havoc waved and turned to walk down the hall with Fury and Riza in tow.
"Good luck nii-san! Talk to you later!" He followed the other three.
Ed opened the door and entered. It was dark. Unusually dark. He called out to Roy but he got no reply. And at first assumed that the Colonel was simply not there. But then he noticed light coming from an open window, and standing in front of it, was Roy.
He called out and a confused looked crossed his face when he got no reply. When he saw Roy's foot move to rest on the window sill, realization hit. He dashed toward the window.
"ROY!" He leaned out the window and grabbed the older man's hand just in time to save him from and eight story trip to the ground.
Instead of snapping out of his current state, like Ed had hoped he would, he fought against Ed's grip.
"AL! HELP ME! RIZA! HAVOC!" Ed cried desperately as he was losing his grip. "I NEED HELP!"
The Four walking down the hall heard Ed's shouting and stopped. They heard him call for help and they all ran. Making a mad dash into the room Al was the first to reach Ed.
"Nii-san! What's wrong!"
"Al, help me..." He said struggling to lift the older man. Al leaned out and grabbed Roy's arm, helping Ed pull him back through the window.
The other three entered the room in utter shock of what they were seeing. Ed and Al were trying to get Roy back in the room, but he was struggling against them, making it very hard to do so.
Al grabbed the man's shoulders and pulled him in the room. He hit the floor with a thud and Ed jumped forward trying to restrain him as he thrashed about madly. Ed looked down at him. There was no glimmer of recognition in his eyes. They were blank. Empty. The man had lost it. He was hanging on his last strings of sanity. And no one had known...
"Riza! Grab me that blanket!" Ed pointed toward the small couch, often used as Roy's bed, since he hardly left his office anymore.
Riza grabbed it and moved closer. Together the two wrapped it tightly around his upper body, preventing him from thrashing about or hurting himself, which they were sure he would try, in his current state of mind.
Riza stepped back with tears brimming her eyes. Roy was trying so very hard to get free, he was rolled over on his side. He broke down into heavy sobs. Curling up and wailing into the folds of the blanket.
The sight was breaking the heart of all the people who cared about him...everyone in the room. Ed especially felt a wrenching pain in his chest. The Colonel was always the strong one. He was the one who told Ed to be strong...And Ed had at least come to live with his life's miseries. So he knew Roy's pain was enormous, and had most likely been eating away at him, and breaking down his tough exterior for quite some time.
"D-did he..just..try to...?" Havoc attempted to ask. Ed nodded, remembering the look of desperation he'd seen in the other alchemist's eyes.
Riza dropped on her knees next to Roy trying to sooth him in some way. After a while, he stopped struggling. Exhaustion had finally set in and he didn't have the energy to fight anymore.
"Is it safe to move him?" Riza looked up at Ed.
"I think so. He looks tired out. Al?"
"Right nii-san!" Al understood what his brother was asking. Al could easily carry the older man, and he wouldn't have to worry about being hurt, should the colonel go into another fit.
Al picked him up and he curled up. Al looked down at him. He didn't really know the man well. Not like his brother anyways. But he couldn't help feeling the sorrow for him. His brother almost ended up like that.
"Let's take him, to the medical room." Riza stood.
The others backed out into the hall as Riza and Al left the room. Ed didn't leave right away. He stared back at the window. He thought about what had happened. What if he hadn't gotten there when he did? What if he hadn't caught him? What if Roy had succeeded? How would that have effected him?
He placed a hand over his heart and felt the heavy thumping. For once in his life he'd felt afraid of something. Something other than losing to an enemy or losing his brother. He was afraid to lose someone he'd really never admitted to having feelings for, not even to himself.
It took Roy jumping out a window to make him see that he did care. What Al said was right, he did enjoy fighting with the man. And all those times he bitched and complained...he was actually happy to walk into the colonel's office.
Ed only wished he'd seen that before. That he much preferred the company of his cocky superior than he did his childhood friend, Winry. That no one could rile him up quite like Mustang could. That there was almost never a dull moment when they were in the same room. That the two worked in perfect sync when they needed to. That he was happy to see Roy smile. That all the times he felt uncomfortable around him wasn't because of anger...That he loved him...
Ed sniffled as he realized his stupidity. He moved to close the window and draw the curtains. He couldn't handle that image anymore. He turned and left the room, closing the office door as quietly as he could. Even still people had noticed and they, like anyone would, wanted to know what happened.
But he ignored them. He brushed passed the people and left them with no answers. They didn't need to know. It wasn't their business. But in reality, he didn't want to explain it to them, because he knew the tears that were threatening to fall would.
He walked quietly down the corridors toward where they had taken Roy. Maybe, just maybe they could help him. He only hoped. If he stayed that way, to Ed it would be as if he had died.
He stood in the door way of the room they'd taken. He walked in and closed the door. He didn't feel that everyone needed to know what happened. They'd placed him in a bed, where he was already passed out.
"He's finally asleep, I'm going to stay with him tonight, in case he wakes up." Riza spoke not even turning around, her eyes fixed on Roy.
"Let me." Ed spoke. This time she did turn. Her eyes locked with his and though she wanted to question why, she could clearly see in his eyes and she refrained from voicing it. She nodded.
"I think we should let him rest." Riza cleared her throat. The others, knowing when she was insinuating an order quietly shuffled out of the room. She glanced back at Ed and followed the others behind.
"You should go too Al. I'm sure Hughes wife would love a visit from you." Ed said giving his brother a forced smile.
"Yes nii-san." Al nodded and made his way out as well. Al knew His Brother was hurting. He could see it. He always knew his brother did care about Colonel Mustang. But he was stubborn. They both were.
Ed sat next to Roy's bed in silence for a few minutes. The urge to cry only became stronger.
"What were you thinking?" He whispered staring down at his lap as his vision began to blur. "Stupid Taisa...why didn't you...Say something? Did you think we would have ignored you? Laughed at you? Did you think you could handle it on your own?" Several tears fell against his hand as his voice slowly rose.
"Did you think we wouldn't help you? Or were you too proud to ask for help? I would have been here." He wiped his tears. "I would have come back in a heart beat. I would have comforted you. That may not mean much...but I would have." He sniffled. Unaware that Roy could hear everything he said.
"You're such a bastard...You pick on me because I'm short, you nag me when I mess up, send me off on missions like a dog, but...I like you that way. What would I do if I didn't have that in my life? Have you in my life?" He sniffled again wiping his eyes with his sleeve. "Look what you've done, you've turned me into a sap."
Half consciously Roy listened to Ed. At first be thought what he was hearing was delusions created by his tired mind. But then he felt a hand brush the short hair out of his face. A tear fell against his arm and he realized Ed was crying.
"Don't you dare do that again." Ed sobbed putting his head down on the bed next to the person he thought was sleeping. He'd never intended Roy to hear. He was just ranting to ease his frustration and lingering fear. "Because I love you, you bastard."
Slowly Roy opened his eyes. He was afraid he'd imagined what he'd heard. He turned his head to look at Ed, who had his head in his arms leaning on the edge of the bed beside him.
The movement grabbed Ed's attention and he looked up. His golden eyes meeting dark ones. He paled as he realized that the colonel had heard what he said.
"Uh.." He blinked and sat back, fighting back the urge to blush.
"Did you mean that?" Roy spoke softly.
"Huh...uh..huh?" Ed blinked and looked down at his lap. "Yes..." He said too embarrassed to look up.
He felt a hand brush against his cheek and he looked up as Roy sat up. Roy leaned closer to Ed. Ed blushed as he felt the other's lips against his. He leaned into the sensation. The kiss deepened as their tongues danced against each other.
Roy pulled away and looked at Ed. His eyes were almost pleading.
"Help me..." He spoke in a low whisper.
Ed leaned close to capture him in an embrace. "I will...You don't have to be afraid to ask." He whispered. "And if you try that again, I'll kill you myself."
"Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of saving me?" He gave a small smile.
"You're such a smart ass..." Ed rolled his eyes.
"And I don't hear you complaining, shorty." The colonel smiled as he rested his head against Ed's shoulder.
"That's my Taisa. And who are you calling a tiny little runt that you can't see with out squinting?"
"I didn't say that." Roy chuckled.
"Heh...I know. But you wanted to." Ed smirked as Roy closed his eyes and stuck his tongue out.
Before Ed could realize it, Roy had fallen asleep against him. Ed gently laid him back in his bed. And stood. He would be okay. All he needed was someone to prove that he had something to live for. Someone to help him come to terms with his demons. Someone to love him with all their heart. To slowly help him put all the pieces back. It WASN'T impossible. He needed someone whose shoulder he could cry on.
And Ed would be the one to do that...
Leo: Geeze...talk about sappy angst...I hope they weren't too out of character. This isn't my first Fanfic, but it is my first for FMA. I hope it didn't suck. But I'm sure you'd tell me if it did right? Well REVIEW for me please!
Ed and Roy: ...:hugs the readers:...