Wow! I'm so excited that I got reviews on my last two stories. All the reviews on Mother's Day were really encouraging...I didn't think it was all that good. But thank you for the feedback, C.A.M.E.O.1 and Only, tear drops of flaming darkness, rexbandit, Flava Sava, unexpectation, okenshi, Soyokaze, igbogal, An Insane Video Game Nerd, BloodRoses1619, lashingcries, DaisyAnimeluvr, Crystalazer, crazyanimefreak15, and Ronya. I love you all.

Now, this one is going to be in two parts. It was supposed to be a one-shot, but I just like it better this way. Someone asked me to do something with Roy and Lust (not a pairing...) and so...I did. (I take requests if any of you want to see something in particular). The actual awesome discussion between Roy and Lust is in the next chapter (I'm pretty proud of the way it's turning out) and should be done this weekend.

Tell me what you think...if it's worth updating...blah, blah. I really liked your feedback.

Oh yeah, and tell me if my action is okay? Reading it over, I think it sounds a little dry, but I'm not sure.

I apologize for the title...I honestly couldn't think of anything better. But I think that the title will become more signifigant in the next chapter...

Spoilers : There is something about a homunculus that hasn't been played on Cartoon Network for all you dub fans out there, but it's nothing major, and I don't even know if any of you will catch it. So, no big deal. Just don't want to ruin something for you guys.

Disclaimer: No, I don't own FMA. But one can dream.

Enjoy.


He was asleep. That damn kid was finally asleep. If Roy believed in a God, he would be thanking him right now. True, his dreams were probably haunted by fever-induced nightmares, and the tiny, choked coughs that issued from his partially open mouth ensured that his night would not be a restful one, but he was asleep nonetheless, and that in itself was enough to reassure Roy for the time being.

He sat back, and placed his hands behind his head, making the best of the uncomfortable infirmary furniture by carefully propping his feet on the bed of the young illness-stricken alchemist.

"You're lucky, pipsqueak," Roy suddenly felt the need to break the heavy silence engulfing the two lone occupants of the room. "You just get to sleep the night away. I, on the other hand, get to be the lucky bastard stuck watching you." He whispered as he spoke, looking expectantly at Ed upon finishing each of his sentences. He knew he would receive no answer (unless he woke Edward and risked the wrath of Alphonse) and that he didn't really want or need an answer anyway–Edward really did need his rest after all. But still, the fact that Edward Elric's sleeping form offered no response was unsettling to Roy.

For once, Edward was not in the hospital because of a grave injury of some sort, which was a relief. That meant he hadn't been getting into fights, or he was just now getting smart enough to cover up the fact that he had been in a fight. No, today he was just sick. Terribly, horribly sick. For the better part of the day, he had been delirious with fever. When he wasn't mumbling incoherent phrases, he was lashing out at the doctors that were trying in vain to subdue his weak thrashings and lower his dangerously high fever. The fever skewed his sense of reality, and he spent most of the time in which he was conscious thinking that he was somewhere else entirely. In the past few hours, he had gained a better grasp of his surroundings, and had whined insistently that he was close to a breakthrough on the stone and needed to get out of bed now.

After hearing Alphonse's account of the past week's events, it was obvious why Edward was ill. Quite simply, he had overworked himself. Between military assignments (which more often than not took place outside...in the rain) and his own personal study time, Ed had very little time for himself. And he refused to put aside his work or his all-important research in order to make time for himself. Al made a point to say that it was very hard for him to gauge his brother's needs anymore. He didn't remember when he should feel hungry, and he didn't know when he should feel cold. He could take a guess, but it usually wasn't terribly accurate and attempting to intervene usually left Edward in a terribly sour mood; so he stayed out of his brother's personal affairs and hoped that Ed would have enough common sense to take care of himself.

It was apparent now (as it had been many times before) that Al had put far too much faith in his older brother's judgement. And this was the result. This was always the result. Edward's attempts to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders as well as his fervent efforts to return Al to his original body always ended miserably for Edward, always ended with Edward in some sort of pain–whether it be the mental or physical sort.

The Fuhrer's secretary herself had shown up at the door of the hospital room earlier that very day and told Mustang to leave, and take the night off. Roy had of course told her that he would, not wanting to reject the orders of someone so near to his superior. She had stated that he was overworking himself, and someone else from the military would be there later on in the evening. Roy had decided to wait for his replacement, who, most irresponsibly, had never shown up. So, Roy was stuck watching Edward for the night. Why did he feel Edward needed protection? He really had no idea. But he simply couldn't leave the poor pipsqueak alone.

Edward squirmed and let out a sharp, pained breath, but then slept on. Roy smiled and pulled the heavy quilt up to meet Ed's chin. "Yeah, you'd better sleep. Come Monday morning, you've got quite a few assignments to make up for, Fullmetal." Roy's smile widened when he saw Edward's brow furrow; it was remarkable to Roy that the only time Edward really listened to him...was when he was asleep.

Just when Roy was about to test one of his more recent, ingenious remarks regarding Ed's height (or rather, lack thereof) on the sleeping boy before him, the door opened slowly, rusty hinges creaking in protest, and a pretty young nurse entered the room. Roy raised his eyebrows, removed his feet from the bed, slicked his hair back with his right hand, and reminded himself to thank Ed later. He then put on his most charming smile and prepared to greet her in the most witty fashion appropriate for a hospital setting, when something...odd caught his eye.

She had stopped in the doorway, looking at him with a bemused, interested expression gracing her beautiful features. Roy had, of course, been giving her the once over; his eyes slowly traveling up her well shaped legs (that nurse's gown just didn't do them justice), to her perfect figure (he made a note to change the hospital uniforms when he became Fuhrer, as well–certainly it was possible?), then to her sharp, pointed, intelligent features. Full lips, a perfectly formed nose, and a pair of clear, smiling, and somewhat...ominous, violet eyes, which sharply contrasted to her smooth, milk-white skin and were nearly hidden beneath flowing locks of midnight black hair. She was lovely, that was for certain, but he had a sneaking suspicion that she was not there to take care of Edward, and that she would not be available for dinner theater next Friday evening.

So, rather than beginning with the special pick-up line he had formulated specially for this occasion ("I sure am glad that there's a nurse around, because I just got a bad case of love sickness," it wasn't one of his best, but hey, he had a whole book of the things) he took a more...direct approach. If his intuition was correct, this mysterious woman was not someone he wanted in a hospital room with a sleeping, heavily sedated, and utterly helpless young and highly coveted alchemist.

"Who the hell are you!" he spat, disgust evident in his tone. "And what are you doing here?" He hastily picked himself up from the chair and moved between the woman and the bed as she advanced toward him; she was grinning now, and there was something almost manic about her expression.

"Colonel Roy Mustang. Flame Alchemist. We finally meet." He looked at her for a moment.

"Well then, how rude. You know my name and I have yet to learn yours." He smirked in attempt to draw attention away from his hand which was slowly making its way toward the pocket containing his precious spark gloves, but it was in vain. With incredible speed, she lunged at him, throwing him into the wall at the foot of Edward's bed, but Ed slept on. Roy's eyes widened in amazement when the mysterious woman's fingers seemed to elongate as she stood before him, her hand extended elegantly in his direction. Roy quickly decided that the points of the fingers did not look like something he wanted driven into his chest, and he dodged to the left. But she was fast, and Roy knew that had she wanted to kill him, she would have done so right there.

The deadly sharp points of her index and middle finger tips plunged into the wall on either side of his delicate neck, pinning him to the wall. A movement in any direction would mean decapitation. So he waited, glaring into her violet eyes with his own black ones, waiting for her to make the next move.

"Lust." His eyes widened.

"Excuse me?" He stuttered. Surely she didn't mean what he thought she was implying...

"You did ask my name." Lust? Her name was SERIOUSLY, Lust! What the hell kind of a name was Lust!

"Well you haven't answered my second question yet."

"The answer should be rather obvious to an intelligent man such as yourself, Mr. Mustang. I mean honestly, if I had wanted your head, I could have just come to your home." She purred as she spoke, a deadly and seductive quality to her voice. "So naturally the boy must be why I'm here, don't you agree?" A smile graced her lips, and she slowly walked toward him. "Now. About this little problem of you being here and all...I don't want to kill you, really. Sloth told me that there would be no one here...sneak in, sneak out...this was supposed to be easy. But, I'm sure you know by now nothing is ever easy. So, I'm really very sorry, but death seems to be the only solution at this point and Gluttony will appreciate it."

His tone of voice did not betray his racing heart, and he was pleased by how calm–dangerous even– he sounded when he spoke next. "I don't think you need to kill me." He gave her his most charming smirk, one that would melt the hearts of most women he came in contact with. Unfortunately, it didn't seem that this Lust character was anything like other women, and he doubted that she had a heart to melt, anyway.

"Oh? And why is that?" Her tone was cocky, and Roy hated to admit it, but she had every right to be. He was pinned.

Just then, Edward shifted in his bed and groaned in discomfort. He blindly felt around the bed for a moment, not bothering to open his eyes, and upon finding what he was searching for (a bucket reserved especially for this purpose) he began retching, regurgitating seemingly endless amounts of bile and water into the pale yellow infirmary bucket. Lust turned to look at him, momentarily distracted by the rather grotesque display. That moment was all Roy needed, and he made a mental note to thank Edward for the second time that day.

Snatching his spark gloves from his pocket with incredible speed, Roy snapped. The resulting plume of flames lit the room, and the noise and hideous stench of burning flesh was enough to snap Edward out of his rather preoccupied state. He looked from Roy to Lust, mouth agape. The flames, meanwhile, had found their way to her, and she was enveloped by them, not a single sound escaping her lips as the flames she was shrouded in destroyed her flawless skin.

The flames receded, and Roy crossed the room, turning on the light to look at the still-smoking, and rather charred remains of what once was a beautiful woman (one who, had the circumstances been different, Roy would have liked to have gotten to know better) lying on the floor. He turned to Edward, who was currently slumped against his pillow, eyes wide, shock evident in his expression, and a few flecks of vomit still lingering on his chin.

"I'm sorry I woke you..." Roy stuttered as an explanation. He was convinced that the battle was over and had ended quite well, given the circumstances. Right now, he was just feeling guilty for having to move Edward from his current room so that his men could investigate the crime scene. Edward merely pointed a flesh finger at the burned corpse on the ground, his expression growing more and more horrified. "What?" Roy replied hoarsely, his patience wearing rather thin. "You've seen enough death in your days to...Edward?" The finger began shaking, and Roy rolled his eyes, turning his gaze to the body on the floor.

What he found upon looking over surprised him. Something wasn't quite right...the "body" in question wasn't on the floor any longer. It was beginning to regain it's feet, and as it did so, it regained everything else as well. The areas where Roy could see bone were quickly being covered by thready sinew and gleaming red muscles, and the areas where skin was still present (but burned beyond recognition) was quickly beginning to recover the pale appearance of when they had first met. The last thing to regenerate was her face, and Roy noted with horror that she was smiling, smirking with a kind of glee that one could only attain by way of participating in a very pleasurable activity.

As her body regenerated (and her clothing, Roy had thought sadly), she casually ambled to Edward's bedside and looked at him sternly.

"What have you been doing to yourself you stupid little twit?" He looked at her, moving his lips as if trying to formulate words, but the combination of fear and a parched throat was preventing him from doing so. Roy stayed frozen to the spot, looking upon the scene, too horrified to make any kind of move to help poor Edward. He could still hear her tissue reforming itself in his mind; he could hear the odd squelching noise of flesh spreading over bare bone and godammit if the effect wasn't paralyzing.

Finally, Ed found his words, hoarse though they were, they sounded a hell of a lot stronger than Roy felt right then. "Do...do I know you?" She let out a low, mirthless laugh.

"We've met before, if that's what you're asking." Why she was suddenly ignoring Roy, he had no idea. Perhaps she didn't consider him a threat? He would show her. He snapped again, and she dodged the resulting flames easily.

"I won't fall for the same trick twice, Flame." To Roy's horror, the quilt at the foot of Edward's bed caught the full blow of the flame attackthat was intended for Lust, and soon, his bed was in flames. Edward looked at the fire for a moment before registering the heat that was creeping up his legs was connected to the glowing amber flames at the foot of his bed. Upon this realization, he scrambled from under the quilt and collapsed in a tangled heap on the clean linoleum floor. He backed away, sliding his rear across the floor in a hasty attempt to get as far away from the glowing bed as he possibly could. The sweat beading his skin already from the high fever was soon joined by the sweat from the growing intensity of the heat of the flames. It was then that Roy realized that Edward was still very ill and he knew that the smoke now filling the room and agitating Ed's airway wasn't helping his condition any. Aviciouscough that tore from the young alchemist's throat confirmed Roy's assumptions, and within seconds Ed was vomiting anew on the floor.

Screwed...Roy thought. He was utterly screwed. He had a sick teenager to assist, a fire to extinguish, and a practically, for all Roy knew, immortal female psychopath to kill.

Lust grinned maniacally once again, an expression made all the more frightening now that the dull, flickering light of the fire was playing across her face. "Your move, Flame."


You like? Review, please! And look for an update soon. The next chapter should be longer.