Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist and the characters affiliated belong to their respective creators. This story is written for fandom entertainment purposes only.
Author Note: Before this begins I'd like to make a few things clear. This doesn't follow the episodes perfectly, nor do all the facts line up with that the anime states. If there are facts that do not coincide with that of the anime I do apologize, but that is how they are in this fic.
When Al and Ed arrived at Central they were greeted with utter chaos. Soldiers were running past them, bumping into them in their haste. Ed quickly scanned the grounds for the source of the pandemonium but could discern nothing. "Brother, what's going on?" Al questioned, his mechanic voice hinting at his confusion.
"I don't know Al, but it doesn't look good." Ed responded, his eyes searching for a familiar face amidst the Alchemists that were running in several different directions. Finally he spotted a familiar head of jet-black hair that could only belong to one person. Ed promptly dropped his suitcase and hurried over to the Colonel, afraid he'd lose sight of him amidst the passing soldiers.
Al followed behind his brother, keeping his eyes trained on the Colonel in case Ed lost sight of him.
"Colonel, what's going on?" Ed demanded as he reached Mustang, gold eyes taking in the Colonel's mussed appearance. That alone was enough to set off warning bells in Ed's mind. While Roy Mustang was far from a perfectionist, it was rare for him to be seen in such a state of disarray.
Roy turned upon hearing someone address him, his eyes widening when he saw the Elric brothers behind him. "What are you doing here?" He demanded, ignoring Eds question. His dark eyes looked slightly panicked at the sight of them. Ed began to protest but was silenced by the Colonel. "You're supposed to be in Xing!" Mustang snapped, running a hand through his already disheveled hair.
"There were no leads to follow up on and the mission was easy enough. We have the report-" Ed started to explain though his voice revealed his uncertainty.
"Fine. Then get to the base and be quick about it!" Mustang snapped, once again silencing Edward. He saw Ed regard him silently and grabbed the boy's shirt collar. "That's an order, Fullmetal."
"Colonel, what's going on?" Al questioned, echoing his brother's initial question. The look the man gave him was enough to make Al wish he'd kept his mouth shut. Though he was a suit of armor, the Colonel could easily take Al.
"Scar's here." Mustang said through gritted teeth, his hands dropping to fist at his side. The raven haired man clearly was finished wasting time on idle chatter, without giving the brothers time to protest he grabbed Ed's shoulders and spun the blonde around so he was facing headquarters. "Go. Now."
Ed had other ideas, but Al picking him up shocked him into silence. "Brother, we had better listen to the Colonel. He's clearly worried." Alphonse stated, surprising Ed once again. His little brother was siding with Mustang!
"If it's Scar then his amateur Alchemists don't stand a chance!" Ed protested, wiggling with all his might. There were some advantages that came to having automail limbs, one of them being that Ed could strike at the suit of armor without his hand throbbing too horribly. "Let me go dammit!"
Al continued ignoring his elder brother, his face as unreadable as ever (not that a helmet really was expressive to begin with). "We're following the Colonel's orders, brother." He said, his voice calm if only through force. He didn't want Ed to notice how badly the look in Mustang's eyes had unsettled him. There was something that the Colonel wasn't telling them, of that Alphonse was certain.
"Like hell we are!" Ed protested, his thrashing growing in intensity. "Those guys don't stand a chance against a guy like Scar!" The blonde glared over his shoulder at his younger, but much larger, brother. Why wasn't anyone listening to him?
"The colonel is with them. You believe in Mustang, don't you brother?" Al knew that while Ed refused to admit it, he did hold a certain degree of respect for the Colonel. Had he been able, Al would have grinned when he saw the shocked look his brother gave him. The blonde's mouth opened and shut several times though no sound came out.
"Traitor." Ed finally muttered, turning his eyes forward to avoid Al seeing the slight blush that stained his cheeks. He really didn't need Al teasing him right now.
Then something clicked in Edward's head. They needed him on the battle front. Ed was the only one with prior experience fighting Scar. He knew what to expect from the man, the others could only imagine the power Scar held. There would be no way they would survive, not even Mustang. The cocky bastard would underestimate his opponent, and Scar would use that to his advantage. That would be the end of Colonel Mustang, the Flame Alchemist.
With that thought in mind Ed's thrashing became too much for the suit of armor and Al finally lost his hold on Ed. As soon as Ed's feet hit the ground he raced back to where he had originally saw Mustang. Ignoring his brother's pleas for him to come back he pressed forward, gold eyes searching out the mop of raven hair. Ed was almost out of breath when he finally managed to spot Mustang, his breath catching in his throat at the scene before him.
Bodies lay scattered on the ground with blood coating the once green grass. Two lone men stood amidst the carnage, one covered in blood though none appeared to be his own. The second man's eyes were fixed on the other, his dark eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Mustang!" Ed called out, his voice desperate. Mustang couldn't possibly hold his own against Scar. Images of Mustang's defeat flashed before Ed's eyes, each more gruesome than the last.
The raven haired Alchemist's eyes snapped over to Ed and the look the blonde received far from warm. The blonde swallowed but took a determined step forward. He hadn't made it a full three steps before the Flame Alchemist turned to him, his right arm poised.
"Take one more step and I'll kill you myself, Fullmetal."
Edward winced at the harshness of the older man's tone. Ed studied his face for a moment before he realized the Colonel was completely serious. "Mustang you can't-"
For the seemingly millionth time that day Ed was silenced. "Alphonse, restrain him."
Ed blinked in confusion at Mustang's words. Meaning kicked in when he felt metal arms encircle his own, preventing further movement. "Hey! What the-" Ed sputtered, thrashing unsuccessfully in the viselike grip once again.
"I'm sorry, brother." A mechanical voice replied, the owner sounding truly regretful. "It's for your own good."
Ed was having none of this. He promptly kicked Al in the shin, hoping beyond hope the blow sidetracked his brother long enough for him to break free. His desperation rose when the armor seemed unaffected.
Then again. A blow below the belt didnt have much effect on armor, did it?
Scar looked on silently and raised a brow at the struggling youth. "Don't worry Fullmetal, you will get your turn." He assured, his smirk in place. Before the teen could answer Mustang stepped forward, his face stone cold. Scar noticed and his grin only widened. "Ah, Colonel Mustang- The Flame Alchemist. What an honor for you to come greet me in person."
Mustang answered with a smirk of his own, his dark eyes never leaving the man before him. "I make it a top priority to make visitors feel welcome." Mustang raised his right hand, his self confident smirk never slipping. His left hand rested in his pocket, something Scar noticed but didn't think much of.
"So far you're doing a marvelous job." Scar grinned and flexed his fingers, crouching down in a ready stance. He regarded Mustang a moment longer before charging towards him. Mustang's smirk didn't waver as the man responsible of murdering countless of his men charged at him. He waited until the man was within several feet of him before snapping his fingers.
Scar read his move and feinted to the side, the flame barely catching his left arm. "Not bad." He commented, his grin returning slightly. He was going to enjoy killing this one.
He was rewarded with another smirk from his opponent.
Ed looked on in horror, unable to find the will to struggle. He was too caught up in the fight before him. He watched the way Scar would run at Mustang, the way Mustang stood there unflinchingly until the man was within reach and then make his attack. Scar dodged most of the attacks, not a one hitting him directly. Likewise Mustang always seemed to just avoid Scar's blows. Just watching them was enough to cause Ed to forget to breathe.
Scar ducked low to the ground as the Colonel's flame attack went over him, the heat of the attack causing his breath to grow irregular. He looked up and saw Mustang standing over him, his right arm poised to snap at any moment. He grinned up at Mustang before pivoting and trying to kick the man's legs out from underneath him.
Mustang read Scar's attack and jumped over the sweeping legs, landing with a foot on Scar's right arm. Scar groaned but brought his legs up to kick at the Flame Alchemist, sending the other man back several steps. He scrambled to his feet once again and ran at Mustang.
Mustang read the move and raised his hand once again, sending a burst of flames to his left. Scar feinted to the right seconds before Mustang's flames were released, managing to get within an arms length of the Colonel. Before Mustang had a chance to try and counter the move Scar had a grip on Mustang's right arm with his left hand.
Ed realized what Scar was going to do a second too late. He watched in horror as Mustang brought his left hand to Scar's to try and pry it off. Scar used the moment of distraction to bring his right hand to Mustang's leg his real goal. Ed closed his eyes to try and block out the inevitable.
Mustang's sharp cry of agony chilled the brothers to the bone, both having turned their eyes away at the last moment. When Ed finally found the courage to open his eyes his breath caught once more in his throat. Mustang lay on the ground holding the stub that was all that remained of his leg as Scar crouched over him, smirk still in place. "Mustang!" Ed screamed, thrashing in Al's grasp. The younger boy who unable to tear his eyes from Mustang's leg, was also unable to put up much of a fight against Ed's desperation, allowing the smaller boy to break free. Ed ran to Mustang's side, not caring that Scar was still there.
Scar brushed a strand of jet black hair from Mustang's eyes, his look a strange mixture of regret and triumph. "Pity. I expected more from the military's lapdog." He sighed, his hand slipping behind Mustang's head and sneering at the glare he was receiving from the Colonel. He fisted his hands in Mustang's hair and jerked the man's face closer to his own. "Who knew the killers of my people were truly so weak."
Roy forced a smirk despite the pain that was coursing through his body. "I hate to disappoint my guests. Maybe you had something more like this in mind."
Scar didn't have time to ponder the man's meaning before he felt a sharp pain in his abdomen. He looked down in shock to see the hilt of a dagger protruding from his lower stomach. His eyes snapped to Mustang in time to see the man raise his bloodied hand and snap.
The Flame Alchemist shoved the man off of him before the flames could engulf them both, his breath coming in pants now. His eyes began to drift shut as his vision wavered. The last thing he saw were golden eyes before his entire world went dark.
Authors Note: Hey guys! After a writers block of apocalyptic proportions Im back in the game. Before I resume work on the sequel to this story, Im going to go through and proof Take It All Away for typos and whatnot. Please keep in mind that this story was began in 05, so my writing style has evolved somewhat since the time this part was written.
So in short, please dont hold these first few chapters against me.
Thanks for sticking with me!