Don't own Fullmetal Alchemist.
This is an AU, slightly OOC, and NonYaoi fic. You have been warned.
Plotline collaboration- Gomp and Saturn Stars
Written by Gomp
Edited by Saturn Stars
ReEdited by Han-chan
The noise of the restless bar held a high pitch. The smell of liquor and smoke teasing his senses. It was just another night at work one may say. His glass of whiskey was held carelessly with his fingers, the ice cubes clanked around as they hit the sides of the glass within the liquid
If he listened closely he could hear the patter of rain as it lightly fell from the sky in the outside world. He gave a chuckle to himself, rain was good. It always made his work cleaner.
His long black lustrous jacket covered most of his form, his long blonde locks covering his face and drifting in waves down his shoulders. He blended well with the crowd, looking like just another commoner. But the one he watched so intently stood out with his business suit, perfect complexion, brown teased hair… his whole attire and attitude didn't jive well with the darkened bar. The boy smirked at the idiocy of the businessman. It made the man look too obvious, too idealistic...
Yes, he had a feeling that he would make it home early tonight.
"Sir, would you like more?"
The boy blinked a few times, being brought out of his train of thought. He looked up to the woman who had spoken to him. Her make up was heavy, her dress filled with holes that revealed much more than he wanted to see. She was a pretty girl he decided, that was, if she would clean up more. She held the brand of whiskey he had been drinking in her hands; she gave him an almost erotic look, swaying her hips lightly. "Would you?"
He looked at his glass cup which was still partially filled.
"No thank you."
He didn't need anymore of the toxic substance in his body; it wouldn't be long till his business was done. He watched the businessman who sat across the bar, the man's wobbly form enjoying another drink. He had a feeling the man would be done drinking soon, so why should he get more himself?
The woman walked away unfazed by his decline of another drink. Her high heels smacked against the wooden floor; she hunted down another customer, offering them more of the whiskey.
He took a sip of his liquor, tasting the bitter liquid. It teased his throat, left a warm feeling as it drifted down his system. He was living the good life and he knew it. Hell yeah, this was the way he liked to live his life; it was what made him enjoy every moment of it.
He suddenly became alert as his job stood up from the bar, paying the tab. Finally, it was show time, what he had been waiting for. He quickly drowned the rest of his drink. He dug into his pocket and pulled out his rolled up money, change fell loudly from his pockets but he didn't care. He waved to the bartender. The bartender had a smile playing across his face, acting like they were old buddies of some sort, even though both knew they would probably never see each other again. Ha, funny how the world seemed to work.
The businessman was a few paces ahead, picking up his coat and hat off the stand by the door. The man took his time to place on the articles, but once they were securely on his body he pushed open the swinging door and made his way out into the dark rainy night.
Rain, the thick droplets would annoy most, but to our assassin it meant a clean slate. He smirked as he followed the businessman, wrapping his jacket tightly around his body. When he left the bar the rain ran in droplets down his leather black coat, his long hair stealing in the moisture. He watched as the businessman looked both ways before crossing the street, followed as the man crossed the pavement of the road.
His boats splashed into some puddles, dampening his baggy pants and causing them to stick to his skin. He didn't care though, all he cared about was the man a few paces ahead.
The man turned down a street; his steps at an even pace, his stance slightly wavered with his tainted prospective.
This was going to be easy… too easy. He could tell the businessman was flustered and more than just slightly buzzed from his evening treat at the bar.
The businessman made an abrupt turn, sneaking down an empty alley way which was well hidden between two apartment buildings.
Lifting an eyebrow, he followed his future victim. The man was simply making this even easier for him.
He turned down the same allay, not sure what to expect, then abruptly stopped.
The businessman had stopped in the center of the lot; mist from a heating system filled the atmosphere around him. It was like a horror scene, the assassin quickly decided.
"I saw you from the start." The businessman's words held a slight slur.
He was not surprised by the man's words, only slightly disappointed he had been caught. He stayed silent, realizing there was no point in speaking.
"I knew someone would come for me one day, it was only a matter of time. But I'm surprised they sent you, seems like they might be over doing it."
Aa, the man truly recognized him. What a very pleasant compliment, very few knew his alias, almost none knew his face. The man had done his research and he had done it well.
He did not hesitate as he pulled out his Mark XIX Desert Eagle gun. Its 10 inch barrel glistering from the reflection of fallen droplets, the .357 magnum caliber quite impressive. The engraving of three letters etched deep inside the shined golden texture of the gun, sticking boldly out. Three letters which stood for, or more like proclaimed, the man who carried the weapon of mass destruction.
He cocked the gun, the click telling him it was ready to be fired. Oh how he yearned to smell the smoke of the pistol, the smoke of a fired bullet.
"So you really have come to kill me, I see. Who sent you?"
No words, none at all. Silence always gave him more motivation and inspiration rather than speaking, the silence of the world was like a sweet tune to his ears.
The businessman slowly turned, curious to see the face of the man he heard so much about, the man whose name was only spoken in hushed whispers.
The golden hair… the piercing eyes.
"It is you…"
The gun was held steadily out in front of the assassin, ready to make the kill. He so desperately wanted to hear the satisfying 'thunk' of a lifeless body. His lips upturned; proud he was becoming so famous.
Both men stood for a moment, both staring.
Then the assassin made his move, his finger wrapped around the trigger, began to pull back…
It pulled back… pulled back… pulled back…!
Shit! The gun…it was jammed!
He thought he had told his brother to clean it that morning…
The businessman took the cue and began to run down the alley.
He would not allow this man to get away; the man was this month's rent money! He quickly shoved his gun back into its holster, taking off after the guy.
The assassin was hot on the businessman's heels, determination written in his every step. He could not allow this man to get away or he would never hear the end of it. His youthful feet were too fast for the elder drunken man's, it didn't take long for him to catch up, to grab the man and shove him into the hard brick wall.
He wasn't sure if he was seeing rain or tears running freely down the businessman's face, nor did he care.
"Please, don't kill me, I-I didn't know!"
His words were threatening, dark and gloomy almost. "Obviously you did."
The clap of his hands rang out, the electric blue of the alchemic reaction causing a soft glow to consume the two men for only a few moments.
The sharp pointy blade breaking through the leather glove, tearing it apart. The blade shined from the street light, its point sharp.
The man's eyes rounded. Alchemy… it was such a rare sight to see. "So that's why…"
"You truly are the Fullmetal Assassin."
Manic glee consumed the young boy as he finished his work. A quick thrust of the deadly edge completed his job for the night. Blood leaking down his metal arm, soaking into the fabric of his clothing. But he paid no heed to the offending liquid, oh no, none at all. He had been after this man for almost a week, it was about damn time he finished the job. The dead body slid against the cement wall, its gory display not a very pleasant sight.
The assassin sighed, only one thing left to do…
He pulled open the man's jacket, avoiding the splatters of blood on the white material. Digging deep into a hidden pocket he found his treasure, what announced his victory. Pulling out the man's wallet, he flipped it open, pulling out the dead man's driver license… not minding much as he also took a credit or two. Ok, so he took more than that, but hey, what would a dead man need his money for?
He loved his money; the wealth his victims helped provide him with was always worth the hass-
"You did it again."
Huh? He turned, looking at the one who spoke to him. A boy a year younger than him crossed his arms, irritation written into his stance. He was wearing an ugly brown colored outfit. You could see two handles of identical swords peering out from behind his back.
"Edward! You were supposed to wait for me; didn't we agree you wouldn't kill him without me? I mean, come-on, you even made a big flashy show of it this time!" The boy walked forward, looking between his brother and the dead man.
Shit, damn, argh!
"Did you-you didn't! Edward! How many times have I told you not to use your blade! It always stains your clothing! When are you going to listen to me? Now it's going to take me all day tomorrow to just get your shirt clean!"
Edward rolled his eyes, his little brother always found a way to ruin his moments. "Al, look at what I'm wearing, it's black. No one is going to see blood stains on black clothing, calm down."
"I will not remain calm! I don't care if no one else will see it; I will know it's there! You do this every time, I'm getting really sick of it." Edward was tempted to add 'Not as much as I'm getting sick of you.' but used all his might to hold back, no use on upsetting his permanently pms-ing brother off anymore than he was.
Ignoring anything else his brother had to say, Edward threw down the man's wallet and turned on his heels. He had someone he had to see, he didn't have time to listen to his brothers complaints.
Alphonse, as always, followed behind. "Edward, don't you walk away from me!"
Let the opening credits begin!
Excitedly conceived during a night of hopeful originality, authors Gomp and Saturn Stars bring you our experimental AU and OOC Fullmetal Assassin fic!
Beta'ed by the ever loyal galley slave Han-chan… They don't feed me! freedom some day
"You're ignoring me again Ed!"
Edward stopped in mid-step, turning around to look at his brother. "Al, look, I know I should have waited before I finished the job, but he tried to run away, I couldn't let that happen. I promise you next time you can be the one who gets to finish it." That's right, if he feed his brother lies he would get him to leave him alone. Smile, just look pretty, let him fall into the deceitful trap.
Alphonse Elric knew he could be annoying at times, but he also knew that few people had ever lived with Edward. If you lived with Ed you would finally understand why Al was forced to act like a responsible adult. Hell, he did it in pure self defenses!
But when his older sibling smiled at him like that… oh it always made the anger go away. His brother did promise, right? Why would Edward ever lie to him?
He caught up to his brother; they now walked side by side.
Flame Alchemist- played by Roy Mustang.
Friendly Whore- Riza Hawkeye
Sluty Whore- Rose
Fighting Squad- Seven Deadly Sins
Sparkly Body Guard- Armstrong
"So you want to go get something to eat after we see Flame?" Edward smirked as he looked over at his little brother. "I'll buy." He gave a wiggle of his eyebrows.
Al thought for a moment, considering if his tummy yearned to be stuffed. How about that, it did. "Sure, just no Italian restaurants this time."
Edward inwardly chuckled at the memories of their last trip to an Italian diner. Who would have thought the local mafia owned the place? Ha, the same mafia that he had recently killed the head honcho of too.
Edward chewed on his lower lip. What sounded good to him… "What about that new Japanese place? I hear it has great sushi."
"Yuck, you eat that stuff?"
Edward's smirk turned into a smile. "Yup, that's where we'll go."
Stealers of the spotlight!
The courageous Winry Rockbell- Hot woman… yea, that's just it. Hot as
Edward Elric- F.M.A. our Fullmetal Assassin. Kicks ass and is sexy in
Alphonse Elric- …he's…special.
Sheshka- Winry's best friend who is just…dorky, but cool.
Now to the fic!
Edward Elric, the proud man he was, threw open the door and walked boldly inside. His younger brother followed in his wake.
The man who had been patiently waiting for the two wasn't impressed with their display. "What took you so long?"
Edward gave a toothy smile as he plopped down on the stool right next to his dear old friend, boss, and mortal enemy. Edward pulled out the driver's license of one recently assassinated 'Professor Majihal.' He twirled the laminated piece a few times between his metal stubs.
"So Flame, how much do I get? I say this deserves at least four digits."
Flame grumbled. This specific associate of his was always one who liked to notch up prices to unbelievable standers. I mean, Flame was a businessman, not some charity fruit. His fingers drummed loudly against the oak table.
"Two hundred credits."
"Wh-wha-what!" Edwards face paled immediately. He knew this game, the stupid bastard always tried to rip him off. Oh no, not this time! "I want more!"
Flame gave a yawn as he leaned back in his chair. "He was not much of a challenge, two hundred credits."
The card fell from Edwards fingertips, his fist smashed down on the wooden furniture. "What the hell is wrong with you?" Ed would have continued, but someone else's voice piped in to stop all other words.
She walked out from the corner shadow; her dress was so tight you would think it was part of her skin. With every step she gave a sway of the hips, every step you heard the sultry click of a heel. It was almost as if sex could walk.
"Control your temper."
Edward grumbled at the blonde haired woman. She always did this to him. "Riza, he's ripping me off!"
"It was my decision, so calm down little one." Even though Edward had grown quite a bit these past few years, Riza still referred to him by his short stature from many years ago. God damn her!
His little brother's hand was suddenly placed on his shoulder. "I think two hundred credits is reasonable brother."
Edward's eye twitched as he looked at Al. He knew for a fact his brother had the hots for Riza, hell, sometimes he thought he had the hots for her too. The way her hair fell, the way her lips pouted, how her legs looked, traveling up her legs, following the curves….
The holster of a gun planted right under her dress, upper thigh. Right.
Flame ran a hand through his dark hair, getting annoyed with him. "Three hundred."
"Five hundred and that's as low as I will go, I'm sick of your shit Flame." Edward's eyes narrowed dangerous, silently telling Flame to not challenge him. Oh yes, if he was challenged there would be hell to be paid.
Flame gave the young lad a teasing smirk. "Aa, five hundred it is."
Edward grumbled as Flame pulled out his stash of money and handed half of it to him. Even though it was much less than he had originally wanted, he had to admit it was a lot more than he usually got. He lifted an eyebrow, usually Flame would have fought with him much more, sometimes it even resulted in a brawl. Something wasn't right, why was Flame being… nice?
Flame straightened more in his seat. Riza stood behind him, one arm falling over Flames shoulder. Flame pulled out a cigar from inside his jackets pocket. With the snap of his fingers the cigar was lit.
Edward simply folded his hands, his nose lifted up in the air. "So, why do you look so smug?"
Flame gave a smirk before he took a puff from his cigar, the smoke sneaking out from his nostrils. "Smug you say? I didn't realize I looked that way. Tell me Fullmetal, how has the business been treating you?"
Edward's fist tightened, Flame had something up his sleeve and he knew it. "You should know, you're the one who is hiring me."
"Eh? Well isn't that a rather direct observation." Flame took another strong puff from the cigar, thick smoke leaving his mouth. "You are one of the best out there Fullmetal, your resume is quite impressive to say the least."
Edward rolled his eyes; he just wanted Flame to get straight to the point. "Flame, what do you want?"
"Hmm, who said I wanted anything?" His smirk turned devilish. "But, since you brought it up, there is a job I have come to propose you with."
"Then just say it."
"Recently there has been major activity in an organization called Rush Valley Inc. I am sure you are aware of what this business specifically deals with."
Edward looked at his auto-mail hand. Dried blood speckled the shiny steel of his finger tips.
"It seems there is a rotten egg in the firm, I need you to take them out. But, considering the popularity of the industry, it will be quite the challenge."
"Who's the rotten egg?"
Edward gave a look of surprise. "You mean that old hag who everyone calls Granny?"
Flame gave a bark of a laugh. "For goodness sake Fullmetal, don't you pay attention to the news? She retired months ago; her granddaughter now is in charge. Ever since she took over suspicious activates have been popping up everywhere. She's our guy, or girl as you might care to put it."
Edward sighed. Taking out the queen of the auto-mail industry was going to be one tough cookie. Auto-mail was a revolutionary concept for prosthetics. Around a year ago the military suddenly became interested with the idea of auto-mail, they used it for injured soldiers and there was also talk of taking the nerve research from auto-mail and creating new types of weapons. Taking out the head of Rush Valley was going to be probably his toughest mission yet. But hell, he loved a challenge.
"Count me in."
Flame gave a bright toothy smile. "Good. I want this taken care of immediately. And when I say immediately, I mean it. The quicker we take her out the easier my job will be."
With that Flame stood up, putting out the remainder his cigar in the ashtray. He grabbed his hat off the side of the chair, placing it firmly on his head. "Do I make myself clear?"
"Yea, you're clear."
Flame dug into his pocket until he found what he was looking for. He stuck on his police badge. He smirked. "Well, I'm on duty now. It seems I need to solve the case of the mysterious killing of one Professor Majihal."
He walked towards the door, giving Riza a wink. He was about to open the door, but stopped before turning the handle all the way. He narrowed his eyes as he glanced over his shoulder.
"Immediately Fullmetal, and I mean it."
The loud snores coming from the boy on the couch were almost too much to handle. Alphonse Elric was tempted to shove a sock in his brother's mouth just to shut him up. Even in his sleep his brother knew how to aggravate him!
Alphonse stared at his brother's gun, trying to figure out why it hadn't shot the night before. Everything seemed ok… what the hell was wrong with it?
Alphonse bit his tongue in concentration. There seemed like nothing was wrong, everything seemed perfectly fine. He couldn't find one single reason…
Al suddenly narrowed his eyes.
He turned the gun to the side, looking at a specific button. "H-he left the damn safety on!"
Alphonse was tempted to throw the gun down in disgust. Leave it up to Edward to be that stupid! After they had returned that night Ed had given Al a good scolding, claiming his brother had screwed up his baby. Well, Alphonse was now curious if he punched Ed in the face if it would screw up his brain! Stupid brother of his!
Placing the gun back into its holster, Alphonse stood up and walked into the kitchen. He and his brother owned a small apartment in the outskirts of the city Central. Central was a big hot spot for business, it paid rather well. They had moved there years ago. Right after…
Al looked into the sink, soapy suds filled it. He shoved his hands into the bubbles, grabbing onto his brother's shirt. He pulled it out making sure he had gotten the blood out. The shirt had various well hidden stains on it; his brother was always the messy type.
"It will just have to do."
He took the damp shirt and walked out the kitchen door onto the small patio they had. Reaching up, Al clipped the wet clothing to the hang line; he knew the warm rays of the sun would do its work and dry the material.
It was a rather nice morning. Not too hot, but not too cold either. Al knew that once his brother woke up they were going to have to get straight to work. They needed to find as much information as possible about their next victim. Flame wanted the girl dead as soon as possible.
Sighing, Al headed back into the kitchen, but was totally surprised when he found Ed stumbling around with his eyes half closed, braid rather messy, scratching his stomach and giving a rather loud yawn. Al was tempted to run over and trip his brother, but had the feeling Ed would kick his small behind if he did so.
Ed blinked a few times at his brother. He then shrugged his shoulders and headed towards the cupboard that contained their bowls.
"Ed, hurry up and eat, we have to get to work."
"Al, stop being so paranoid all the time. You act like we have time cards or something." Truth be told, Edward did love his little brother, but he sometimes was tempted to beat some sense into him. His brother was a worry-wart. Edward headed towards the shelves in the corner of the room and reached for his favorite morning meal. It was a grained oat cereal that, in his opinion, was simply divine.
"I am not paranoid! You're just totally irresponsible. Flame told us to get the job done immediately."
Edward sat down at the kitchen table; he filled his bowl up with the cereal. Al, already knowing the basic morning ritual, headed towards the fridge and pulled out a carton of O.J. Before he shut the fridges door he eyed the carton of milk that sat in fridge. Oh, the temptation of pulling an evil prank on his brother was just so high…but he did value his life a little.
He handed Edward the carton of orange juice.
Edward began to crunch down on his spoon full of cereal while Al's last words rang through his head. Flame wanted the job done immediately…
"Don't you think he was pushing us a little bit more than usual?"
Al took a seat across from his brother. "I don't know, maybe."
"He really wanted the job done quickly. I mean, there have been certain situations that I saw probable cause to get the job done fast, this time I have to admit I do see some cause, but he seemed to really push us. Heck, he even gave us more money than usual for last night's job."
Al sighed, not really getting the point. "Edward, just eat, we have a lot to do."
Ed leaned back in his chair. One of his arms fell over the back of the furniture while the other played with the spoon in his cereal. "It was just a thought."
He popped a spoonful of the delicious morning meal in his mouth. "Just a thought."
The office was silent minus the double clicking of heels which walked in bold steps. Heads turned, mouths opened, boys drooled.
There was a young girl with short hair and thick glasses. She held a notebook close to her chest, her outfit slightly baggy. But that wasn't what the boys were staring and drooling at. A bulky man with the single dangling blonde curl which popped from his head wasn't what the men were drooling at either. Oh no, not either of them at all.
Long blonde hair flared through the air as the head of Rush Valley Inc. made a sharp turn. Her tight blouse and short skirt would make any man suddenly walk into a wet dream. She turned behind her and gave her assistant a small wink. "It's show time."
The quiet clanking of keys rang out in the dark room. The only light being provided was the dull glow of the computer screen. Alphonse Elric scanned the files, his eyes shifting through the various folders.
The crinkle of paper disrupted his concentration. He turned his head and looked over his shoulder. In an irritated whisper he spoke. "Edward, what the hell are you doing?"
Edward stretched his arms in the air; he looked at his brother bored. He didn't even bother keeping his voice quiet. "Minus the fact I can barely see since you are so intent on keeping the lights off, I am trying to read the stuff in these folders. I don't think there are any files on this chick."
Al turned fully away from the computer; he dug in his pocket and yanked out a flashlight, flicking the switch on. The beam of light suddenly shot through the darken room, Ed standing in the center of the bright light. "Damnit Al! Shut it off, now you're blinding me!"
Al smirked as he tossed his brother the light. Edward easily caught it.
"Use the flashlight and keep quiet."
"Al, this is a damn filing closet, no one is going to find us."
"I said keep quiet!"
Edward rolled his eyes and turned back to the big gray file box. "Whatever." Edward was always the one who took the physical aspect of the job, but Al was the one who dealt with the informational part. If his brother wanted silence, Ed knew he had to give it to him.
Alphonse clicked the enter key a few times, then proceeded to type in a password. He chewed on his lower lip as code letters began to scroll down the screen, a green light at the bottom began to blink. It took only a matter of seconds before an image of a smiling blonde popped on the screen, memorizing sea blue eyes staring right at him. All of her personal information being stated to the side
He smirked. "I got it. Her name is one Miss Winry Rock-"
Winry sat in the center seat of the conference table. She blinked a few times at the elderly man who was speaking to her.
"Do you agree with the plan?"
Winry glanced around the room. Everyone in attendance of the meeting stared at her, waiting patiently for her to speak. She eyed all of her overly paid employees, all of them in expensive business suits. Each with a leather suit cases at their sides, each with ballpoint pens which would cost more than some people made in a week.
This was Winry Rockbell's everyday life.
She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear before she spoke. "Releasing model C. 173 would be the most appropriate, so yes, I do agree."
Everyone nodded to each other in the room, pleased thinking that they had impressed the young mistress.
Winry folded her hands in her lap; she leaned slightly back in her chair. Her eyes were piercing as she gazed at every present body. "Tonight, as most of you know, is the twenty fiftieth anniversary since my Grandmother founded Rush Valley Inc, I hope you will all be attending the celebration."
"She's the same age as you brother."
"Well isn't that just jiffy."
"I think it's neat. Imagine, she's running a major corporation at such a young age."
Alphonse flipped through some of the papers he had printed out. He sat at the small table in their kitchen trying to take in as much information as he could on Winry Rockbell. He found it intriguing of how she had been a famous auto-mail mechanic at such a young age. She had produced various popular models which many auto-mail users had fallen in love with. Alphonse took a quick glance at his brother who was lounged on the couch consumed into a book. His brothers own auto-mail hand flipped through the pages of the tattered paper back.
"She's real pretty Ed, you should look at her."
Edward gave his brother a brief glance. "Al, get over it. With in the week she will be dead, don't get too attached. And be quiet, I'm trying to read."
Alphonse groaned. "Why does Flame even want her dead? She seems to have a clean record."
Ed carelessly shrugged his shoulders. "Who knows. It's not my place to really ask questions. He said she is a 'rotten egg', so obviously she isn't as innocent as she sounds. Now shut up, I want to finish this."
Alphonse flipped the next page of the printed papers. His eyes began to skim down through all the wording. He was near the bottom of the page when his eyes went to a sudden halt. "It seems both her parents were murdered when she was eight. They got caught in some type of cross fire. See Ed, she's an orphan just like us."
Edward's eyes suddenly narrowed. In one quick motion he sat up, pushing himself into a sitting position. Memories began to flood into his head, but he did his best to chase them away. His voice carried his obvious annoyance. "First off, we're not orphans. The man who helped produce us abandoned us. Sadly, he's not dead. And second, since you can't shut up I'm leaving."
He stood while placing his thumb on the page he had left off at. His voice was low. "You know where I'll be." And with that he left.
Alphonse eyed Ed's retreating back. He was pretty sure his brother wasn't leaving because he wanted peace and quiet. He grumbled at his own stupidity.
"I still can't even mention mom and dad in front of him. Come on Ed, it's been years." But then again, how could anyone get over the type of tragedy they had gone through? Especially Ed…
Winry sat in her office. It was much larger than the other offices in the building, the air at perfect temperature; the view from the window was the best in Central. Yup, she was living the good life, yet she still wasn't totally satisfied.
Winry allowed a deep sigh to slowly escape her lips as she used her hands as a chin rest. The auto-mail industry was of course booming, but sometimes she felt she wasn't really a part of it anymore. Ok, well, let's restate that. All Winry ever did was paperwork and long conference meetings. She used to be an inventor, one of the mechanics that actually worked on the prosthetic machines. She remembered the feeling she always had once she would finish a limb, knowing deep down she was going to give someone new hope in life with it. These days she knew her work was important, but she missed that complete feeling she used to always have. She missed being part of the action, not the one who looked down upon it. Another sigh escaped her lips.
"Are you alright?"
Winry practically jumped as her eyes shot up to the open door. Her assistant and best friend, Sheshka, smiled at her.
"Do you feel ok? You look slightly blue."
Winry shook her head, trying to compose herself. "I'm fine, really I am. Did you need something?"
Sheshka nodded as she took a step into the room. In her hands was a fair-sized stack of papers. She loudly plopped the papers onto Winry's desk.
"I need you to read through these and sign where it is appropriate for your signature."
Winry was tempted to roll her eyes. There was always a line to sign, papers to read through. Man, at that moment she was so tempted to call her Grandmother and curse her for giving her the head position! Heck, she wasn't given it! She was forced into it!
Ack, she really hated paperwork.
"Tell Armstrong to not allow anyone in for the next half hour." She eyed the stack of papers as if it was going to bite her or something. "Wait, make it an hour. This is going to take me awhile."
Alphonse pushed aside the bush which was blocking his path. He was cautious that he didn't trip over any stumps or rocks. Every step he made the crinkle of dried up leaves rang out as a response.
He had given his brother a good few hours alone, now it was time to retrieve Ed and get back to reality, back to work. Flame had sent a message to him and told him about some type of celebration that was being held that night. According to Flame it might be the perfect opportunity to make the kill.
The sound of birds, the wind blowing through trees, and shuffling the leaves was the only sounds that the forest carried. Considering Ed and Alphonse's apartment was on the outskirts of Central, if you walked about three-quarters of a mile you ended up in farmlands and forests.
Al suddenly broke an offending stick which had poked him.
Around the time Al and his brother had first moved to Central they had done a little bit of exploring, during their time of exploration they had discovered a building deep in one of the forests. The said building had once upon a time been a pristine white and a strong structure, but with age and the growth of ivy vines climbing the abandon buildings walls, the building now held a dusty brown color to it and was becoming rickety.
Spotting the clearing, Alphonse parted two plants which blocked his path. He stepped through them and entered the clear space. The old church loomed over him; the dead leaves of the fall season polluted the land around it. Al sighed as he walked towards the front doors of the church. One of the doors was pushed open informing him of his brother's presence. He did not hesitate as he grabbed the knob of the other door and threw it open.
"I expected you earlier."
Alphonse took in his brother. Edward had himself sprawled across one of the dusty pews, his book lying over his face. Various colors danced over his brother, sunlight shone through one of the stained glass windows which his brother was laying by.
"Flame called, didn't he?"
Alphonse took a step into the gloomy sanctuary. Many of the pews had fallen apart with age. It was a one roomed church, a rather simple one at that. Stained glass windows lined up and down the walls which allowed various colors to consume the room. A podium sat in the middle of the front of the church, banisters ran along the side of the podium. There were a couple of books still slipped into wooden pockets at the back of the pews, but Alphonse had the feeling that if he touched one it would fall apart.
"Yes, there is a private celebration being held at the Rockbell residence. Flame has gotten us invitations. We need to head out in a few hours."
Edward finally removed the book from his face. He turned his head slightly, allowing him to look at Al. "Fine."
Alphonse walked over towards the pew his brother laid on. He brushed off some of the unwanted dust before he sat down on it. "She has no other relatives. It's just her, her Grandmother, and her pet dog."
Alphonse folded his arms over his chest. "Try to be social tonight, not too obvious. We need to get her alone."
Edward rolled his eyes before he pushed himself onto his elbows so he could get a better look at his brother. "You mean that I need to get her alone."
"Hey! You said I could make the kill this time!"
"Yea, that was before I knew it was going to be the queen of the auto-mail world. This kill needs to be done right; I can't afford any mess ups. Sorry Al, you're out." Ed was tempted to tell his brother that he had never planned for him to be able to make the kill in the first place, but he didn't need a bigger argument.
Alphonse growled. "Edward, you're not fair!"
Ed smirked. "Well damn, I never knew life was supposed to be fair."
Winry glanced at herself in the mirror. Her blood red kimono with black lace trim was practically plastered onto her form. Her blonde locks were pulled tightly into a bun behind her head, two long strands falling to the sides of her face.
Her lipstick was slightly darker than her dress, her eyes decorated with a silverfish glistening color. She had a feeling that she was going to make her Grandmother blush when she saw her.
She held two pointy objects in her hand. She was careful as she slid them into the fine bun of her hair. She angled them perfectly so they crossed each other in the bun. Her silk gloves were black and sleek against the skin. But, amazingly, there was enough room to for her wrist sheaths to fit.
"This better be the best party I ever went to."
She walked towards her bedrooms door. Before she shut off the lights, she took a quick glance around the room. Deep in her heart she hoped she would wake to this room in the morning. She flicked off the lights and opened the door.
A man that was nothing but pure muscle had been waiting outside for her. "Are you ready?"
She smiled up at him. "Yea, I think so."
"These pants are chaffing me."
Alphonse was tempted to slap his brother.
Edward on the other hand had every right to complain. The pants were rather tight. He was pretty sure he hadn't gotten fatter, maybe he had just gotten more muscular since the last time he was forced to use his good suit. His hair was pulled back into its golden braid, his black penguin suit looking drool worthy on his form. Edward rolled the shoulder joint of his right arm a few times, trying to get his leather shoulder holster feeling more comfortable. The great thing about wearing a suit was that it was fairly easy to conceal weapons with.
Alphonse stopped his brothers walking with his hand. "They aren't doing metal detector checks. Strange…"
Ed was tempted to whack his brother upside the head. "Al, it's practically like a freakin' auto-mail convention in there, why would there be metal detectors? Most the guests would be ringing up a storm. Just be grateful that I don't need to sneak around them now."
Edward made sure his white gloves were securely over his hands. By the time they reached the entrance of the mansion, both Al and Ed had their 'invitations' in hand. A man took them and checked them. With a polite smile, he spoke. "I'm sorry sirs; I need to see some ID."
Both of the brothers looked at the man confused. Ed spoke first. "ID? We have the invitations, why do we need bloody ID's?"
The man did not seem to be pleased by Edward's harsh tone and choice of vocabulary, but ignored it. "I am sorry sirs, but these invitations are not signed. I simply need to see ID to verify you are on the guest list."
Both brothers looked between the other. Edward silently cursed Flame while Al began to feel nervous. Both reached in their jackets and pulled out their ID cards. They handed it to the man.
The man took both the ID's and scanned them through a computer system. He gave a nod of approval, which surprised both brothers. Damn, Flame was good.
The man returned the ID's. "Go ahead in."
Edward practically ran for the door.
It only took Alphonse a few big strides before he caught up to his brother. He noticed Ed had stopped and was looking around. Alphonse was curious to what his brother was looking at so gave a look himself. He almost tripped over his own feet when he got a good look at the interior of the house. "It's like a heaven!"
Edward's mouth was dropped, but he nodded in agreement with his brother. "It's almost unbelievable that someone could live in a place like this."
Bright lights caused the room to glow. They stood in the center of a giant ballroom. The room was painted a light silver color. The curtains seemed heavy, a dark royal blue. A chandelier which seemed bigger than the boy's apartment covered most of the ceiling. The floor was a shiny gray marble beneath their feet. The room might have been breath taking, but the amount of people who roamed around socializing was almost astounding.
Under Edward's breath he mumbled. "Flame said this would be a good opportunity? How the hell am I supposed to do the job here?"
Alphonse heard Edward's complaint and answered for him. "This place seems huge, take her to a backroom."
Edward narrowed his eyes. "And how the hell am I supposed to do that?"
Al gave Edward a grin. "Mom used to say you were a great lady charmer."
If they hadn't been surrounded by high class socialists Edward would have knocked his brother's teeth out.
"Flame mentioned that he wanted me to get some data from their computer system here. I suppose while you're off getting the job done I can put my hacking skills to use."
Edward scratched his head. "Are you going to be ok by yourself?"
Al nodded. "Yup, I got the doubles on me."
Edward had a pretty good idea of what Al was referring to. "You mean the retractable folder hook ones?"
Alphonse grinned. "I'll be good."
Both brothers nodded before splitting up and going their own ways.
The quartet which had been providing the tune of entertainment for the evening suddenly went silent. The first violinist raised their bow, silently silencing the melody of the moment.
In an instant the whole room of chattering guests followed in the quartet's actions, becoming silent themselves. The only sound being made were the muffled sounds of steps descending down the red carpeted stairs which sat in the center of the room. The blonde beauty of grace and her elderly Grandmother of intelligence descended the stairs in almost a royal manner.
Behind them walked a bulky man, his eyes darting around the room making sure it was safe.
As they made it the middle of the stair case, the three stopped. The blonde cleared her throat before she spoke.
"I am so happy you could all join us this evening. We appreciate your strong devotion towards Rush Valley and we hope for another twenty five years of success. Rush Valley isn't a cooperation with the desire to sell; we hold the desire to help. I hope to bring good fortune to the future of Rush Valley. And I hope all of you will stay part of this future. Thank you once more for your attendance."
As expected, the room broke out into a loud chatter of agreement and applause.
Winry looked bored around the crowd. Her Grandmother had written that speech, had forced her to say it. She felt her Grandmother touch the mid of her back, urging her to walk forward. Winry was about to take a step when her wondering eyes went to a sudden halt.
Yellowish gold locked with sea blue iris's. Winry's stomach suddenly did a flip.
They did not blink as they stared at each other, neither allowed a breath to pass as their piercing eyes were connected. It was like a moment in time when the world froze. No noise penetrated, no movement existed. All that belonged in this world was the two of them.
Winry's head suddenly snapped towards her Grandmother, shocked. "Ye-yes?" She stammered.
"Walk forward child, you're blocking the stairs."
That was right; she still stood on a step. Winry took a step forward and then another. She lifted her head to try and find the mysterious boy once more, but when she looked up she discovered he was gone.
Alphonse dug through his pocket. He was happy that he had found a decent suit which had deep pockets, he desperately needed pocket space. His fingers danced over the items which filled the two holes on his sides. They passed over bolts, wires, screws, minor explosive items and then…
He pulled out one of his lock picks. He jammed the pick into the lock of the door, trying to get the door open.
He had found the room he needed deep in the basement of the mansion. He was pretty positive it was the computer lab which held the motherboard of the whole mansion. He concluded this by what the door stated in big red letters, 'Systematic Database.'
"Talk about being obvious." He muttered to himself.
He knew he couldn't really scold the people for labeling their doors. The place was so damn huge and he had a feeling that this wasn't their only residence. If he was in their rich situation, he would probably do the same thing too.
It didn't take long before hearing a satisfying click. He was surprised that they didn't have a code lock like he had expected. "Some people are just too old fashioned."
Pulling out his flashlight Al flicked the switch on and opened the room's door. He gave a low whistle as he peered inside.
"Hell yeah, that's what I'm talking about!"
Sadly, the one thing he wasn't aware of was the well hidden security camera which sent images to the security staff of the house.
Edward strolled around the ballroom in no particular direction. The room was so jammed packed with buzzing businessmen and women that he wasn't sure exactly where this 'job' of his was.
"Why did she have to look at me like that." He mumbled under his breath. Those deep blue eyes had captured him for a moment, but only for a mere moment.
His eyes took in the fancy paintings and statues which decorated the area. One of the statues suddenly caught his sight. To his shock and horror it was…
…a nude man.
"What the hell, that isn't art!"
"Why sure it is, rather fine art if I do say so myself."
Edward spun around to come face to face with a burnet female with thick framed glasses. Her dress was a dull brown with various blue designs. Not exactly the latest style in fashion.
Edward forced a smile. "I did not realize I was speaking so loudly."
The girl blushed slightly. "I apologize; sometimes I tend to eavesdrop. So why do you not think nudity as art?"
Edward lifted an eyebrow. "I don't see it as appropriate for a naked man being used as an art display. That's all."
The girl gave a chuckle. "So, we should hide from the truths of our own world? Humans are beautiful creatures, if I do say so myself. I think we should appreciate our own anatomy. That is, as long as it is not done in an inappropriate manner."
"That's the problem right there. What exactly can be considered inappropriate? We all have our own definitions of the term."
The brown haired woman gave a shy smile. "I see your point." She held out one of her slender hands. "My name is Sheshka, what's yours?"
Edward eyed the hand for a moment. He had done many jobs where he had to act social and high-class; this was not new to him. He grasped her hand delicately. "Edward, Edward Elric."
Sheshka's eyes widen just slightly. "Are you one of the famous Elric brothers?"
Edward was tempted to growl, but stopped before he did so. See, in true reality it was a great thing that he had a semi-famous name. People were always so distracted by the name 'Elric' that they never put two and two together. Edward Elric was also the Fullmetal Assassin.
And as he looked at it, if someone was to ever figure out the truth of his identity, he always had Flame to cover his ass.
"Yes. But, my lady, I would not exactly use the terminology that you used to define us." They weren't famous, he wanted to add. The only one who was famous was their father.
Sheshka nodded her understanding. "Your tale is a sad one, I have heard much about it. I understand. Well, I am surprised to be meeting you here. I did not know that the Elrics had any association with Rush Valley. I am Ms. Rockbell's personal assistant; I'm surprised she hasn't mentioned your name."
Shit, he didn't recognize her as Rockbell's assistant. He did his best to cover the shock. "Yes, well, I am more of an observer than with association. I was invited by a dear friend of mine, not directly by Ms. Rockbell herself. Besides, Ms. Rockbell might not even recognize the Elric name. If I am correct, she is a woman of mechanics, not exactly of science. To be frank, I am surprised you recognized the name."
Sheshka blushed again. "I read your fathers biography not too long ago. I am, what you may call, 'a bookworm', I read anything I can get my hands on. Sorry, the only reason I know your name is by fluke."
Even though Edward was feeling rather uncomfortable with the conversation concerning his father, he still plastered a friendly smile on his face, one which usually made females weak in the knees, and continued on.
"Understandable. My fath-"
"Sheshka! I have been looking all over for you!"
Both heads turned to look at the person who was yelling for her friend.
Ed's eyes narrowed.
Al stuck the disk in. The computer beeped twice before it informed Al that it was copying the data he had recovered.
Al looked at the watch strapped onto his wrist. He had 2 minutes and 32 seconds before the file transfer would be complete. If there was one thing he hated about hacking, it was the waiting. Computers were supposed to be fast, you weren't supposed to wait!
But there he was, with another 2 minutes and 03 seconds to go.
Without warning, Alphonse's back suddenly began to itch. He groaned. There was no way he was going to be able to scratch it, but it itched! Ack!
Alphonse was careful as he began to reach down his suits jacket and passed the pointy objects strapped on his back with leather straps. He was almost there… just about to reach it…
A hand fell right onto his shoulder. A big, strong, not-Edward-like hand.
Al looked back at the intruder, trying to muster the most innocent face he could produce.
A mischievous smirk grew on the much larger man's face. "Trust me; no excuse is going to work."
Alphonse smirked. "Damn, thought I could get away with it too."
His eyes darted between the two.
"Edward Elric, no, I don't believe I have heard of that name."
"His father's theories are practically revolutionary. Well, that is if you actually paid mind to them."
Winry gave a helpless shrug. "I apologize; I just haven't heard the name before."
Even though the females were obviously talking about Edward, they did not even spare him a glance while they submerged into conversation. Edward was becoming mildly disturbed.
"I think I still have his fathers biography, I'll lend it to you."
"You know I don't have time to read."
Edward gave a sigh before he finally intervened "Lady's, would you care to get a drink with me?"
Both girls looked over at him surprised. Edward did his best not to look at Ms. Rockbell directly in the eyes, but for one single moment, their eyes ended up connecting. That same rush from before occurred between them. It sent shivers down Edward's spine.
Winry took a step back. "I apologize, Mr. Elric, how rude of me. We still really haven't been properly introduced. I am Ms. Rockbell."
Edward looked towards the floor. This wasn't right, he didn't like the way she made him feel. He was a man and he knew what mild hormonal attraction was… it could cause a moment of weakness if he did not act properly on the unwanted emotions. Edward shook his head not pleased with himself at all. She was his job, she was a big job. There was no way he was planning to screw it up just because mini-Edward wanted to come out and play.
In a stiff-like manner, Edward held his right hand out. "It's a pleasure, I am Edward Elric."
They clasped hands for a moment, shaking. Because Edward's eyes were towards the floor he did not get to see the flash of knowing eyes which looked at him.
"Well Mr. Elric, I am happy you could join us this evening. Sheshka and I will gladly join you for a drink."
Alphonse grunted in pain as his back compacted hard against the cement wall.
"Who do you work for!"
Between clenched teeth, Al spoke. "Do you have any clue of how much that hurts!"
The bulky man spoke. "I am using a technique on you which has been passed down through generations of the Armstrong family! It's supposed to hurt."
Al smirked. You never give your name to an assassin, it just wasn't smart. But, as things were going, Al wasn't sure if he was going to be an assassin much longer.
The man pulled Al's shoulders forward than thrust them quickly back again. "Tell me, who do you work for?"
The computer suddenly beeped informing Al all of the files had been transferred. For a moment the Armstrong fellow who had been holding him turned a curious inquiring gaze towards the computer. That small moment was enough for Al.
The trio stood together on the balcony, each taking a sip of their own drinks.
Much to Edward's relief, he found that Ms. Rockbell was actually a rather boring person. Sure, she was rather attractive, especially if you considered what she was wearing, but her personality did not live up to his expectations.
"So, when Russell told me about the new floor plan I was simply ecstatic. Imagine our work shops being so excess-able, it's simply brilliant."
Edward quickly drowned his drink hoping a small buzz would provide him with just a tad bit more entertainment.
Ms. Rockbell offered him a tiny glance again, a shy one almost. He noticed that she constantly did so every so often. Good, he thought, she likes me. It would make it so much easier if she liked him and he didn't have to put much effort towards flirting with her. He hated being forced to flirt. If she liked him it was easier to get her to be alone with him somehow.
"Winry, don't drink so much, you know you still have another speech to give."
Winry gave a grin at her friend while shaking her head. "Don't worry Sheshka, I'll be fine."
Winry suddenly did the unexpected. She leaned in and whispered into Edward's ear. "According to everyone, I'm a light weight. I don't see it."
Edward could tell these actions were not exactly in character of the young heir of Rush Valley. He inwardly smirked. Yes, it seemed she was getting slightly tipsy.
Maybe he should offer to get her another drink.
Al was small and flexible enough that he quickly squirmed from the man's grasp. To help loosen the man's hold on him, Al had kicked him right where no man wanted to be kicked. Right in the groin.
The man quickly allowed Al free and stumbled backwards, landing right on his butt. Pain was written all over him as he cupped himself to try and relieve some of the throbbing.
Al mused to himself. His brother had once told him it was stupid of him for wasting money to get his dress shoes professional altered with a steel toes. Ha, looked like Ed was wrong.
Al did not hesitate as his suit's jacket fell to the floor. Both hands quickly reached for his back, in one quick motion he pulled out the well hidden weaponry he had concealed on himself.
Two Chinese twin Shuang Gou hooks were in his grasp. But, they weren't normal Chinese Shuang Gou hooks, oh no, these were specially made just for him. They were sharpened towards perfection, handles made of leather. The blades rounded at the top in a hook-like fashion which is where they got their name. What made his hooks so special was the fact that the blades were specially made so that they could fold into the handle, that it was much easier to carry them.
With a quick flick of the wrist both hooks flipped out from the handles, ready to be used A gleam of devils play burned in Al's eyes.
The man on the floor watched the much younger man who was standing above him. The young man seemed almost manic as he stood there.
In an instant he knew who the boy was. "You're the one who is known as the boy in a suit of armor. They call you that because no one can get past your defense." The muscular man's eyes suddenly opened in shock. "No…then that means…Ms. Rockbell…"
Al showed his purely whites. "Yes, the Fullmetal Assassin is also here. Don't worry; he will take care of that young lady of yours. "
He had the excuse that it was her idea, not his. Not long after Edward had gotten Winry another drink, he had excused himself from his company of the night claiming he needed the restroom. Sheshka had nodded her understanding; Winry gave him another one of those dumb sweet smiles of hers.
Edward really needed to pee, but right before he was about to reach the facility, Winry had stopped him.
Now they were walking around her mansion alone together. For some reason she had wanted to give him a grand tour of the palace like atmosphere. He had no objections as she led the way. In his opinion, she was simply digging her own grave.
"I think you drank a little too much."
The female who had her arm around his slapped him playfully. "Don't be foolish, I'm fine." She hiccupped. "…fine." She assured herself. The blonde gave him a small smile. "So, what exactly is it you do for a living Mr. Elric?"
Winry gave a soft giggle. Without warning, the young female suddenly stopped. Edward looked at her, giving her an inquiring gaze. She looked at him shyly before she turned and pushed open two ponderous doors simultaneously. "Many things? That's rather broad, don't you think?"
Edward did not answer. He simply lifted an eyebrow and followed suite. They both walked into the rather large room which Winry had led them into.
It was a personal library, bigger than he had ever seen both in width and length. The room was filled with books, books beyond imagination. Staircases spiraled all around. There were two rather large windows which stretched the walls, but a green velvet curtain blocked the moonlight from seeping in. Winry lit an oil lamp to give the room a nice delusional glow.
In the center of the room sat a work table.
Winry wasn't sure if he was referring to the room or the whole house, nor did she care.
The two of them walked more into the room. Edward couldn't help himself, he gazed up, entrapped by all the books. He was quite the reader himself. He was curious to what collections the young woman carried. He was about to ask her when she suddenly spoke up.
"My grandmother is rather attached to this house. I personally prefer my old house. It's in the northern country side. Rather beautiful view, even though the house is small itself." Winry watched him for his reaction.
Edwards face scrunched slightly. He never liked the north; he and his brother never visited it much.
The girl walked to the work table. She turned and sat on top of the table while folding her hands over her chest. "The library is rarely used in this house which is why I have turned it into my work space."
It was then that Edward noticed the shelves which were behind the work table. The limited light barely illuminated the auto-mail and tools which sat on the shelves, but he could make them out now that she mentioned it.
"So." For a moment Winry opened her legs then crossed them over one another. In that small moment Edward got a nice show of what Ms. Rockbell had on underneath. Yes, very nice, very nice indeed.
He shook his head roughly, must keep focus.
Winry gave a small innocent smile. "Take off your glove; let me have a look at that right hand of yours."
Edward gave a quick glance towards his right gloved hand. His eyes widened slightly. How did she…?
Her innocent smile turned more daring. "You didn't think I would notice, Edward Elric?"
Her daring smile turned devilish. "Or should I call you Fullmetal?"