Of Ballet and Bullets

Part 16 – Fatal Attraction

A Full Metal Alchemist fanfiction, By Serenanna

Warnings and Disclaimers: I don't own Full Metal Alchemist or any of the characters. I'm just borrowing them to play with. I'll return them later, promise. There is violence, adult content, and sexual situations in this story. So, if you're under 18, leave now before your virgin eyes are scarred forever, if you're over 18, enjoy! Also, this is some very, very foul language in this chapter, but I suppose that should be the least of your worries.

Story Notes: I'm begging you, dear readers, for the enjoying of everyone else reading this fic eventually, don't spoil it by giving away the plot twists about to drop from here on out to the end of the climax (heh). Given the build up to this point, it would be a disservice to your fellow readers.

Time frame for this fic doesn't matter as my knowledge of FMA is a bit scattered but obviously before the ending and Maes's death, and set during the anime series. Also, this is an Ed/Winry and Roy/Riza fic (Two for the price of one!). Being this is fanfiction, liberties were taken with the actions of the characters and certain parts of the fic are not canonal, I just don't know which ones. Read the above disclaimers again if you're still squeamish about reading this, blood splatter included, but I assure you, it'll be worth it in the end probably. Again, no pieces of automail, skirts, guns, tuxedoes, or ballet dancers were harmed in the production of this piece of . . . well . . .

This was not the situation she had hoped their night would end in. The two men looming over her snickered to themselves, as if they found it terribly funny for one of the women of the State Military to be capture so easily and bound helplessly to a rickety wooden chair. Perfect. The night could not be more perfect. The louder one of the pair leaned over into her face, giving the blonde a very unwanted view, and a whiff of a very dirty mouth, "Ever want to handle a shotgun over your boyfriend's squirt gun?"

Riza's eyebrow twitched in annoyance, "Those pick-up lines don't seem to work for you. Perhaps it's time you retired them, along with your toothbrush. That isn't working either."

"Why you-!"

He raised his hand to slap her only to have his friend hold him back by the wrist, "Hey, hey! No damaging the goods! There's better ways to teach her smart ass some lessons in manners than making her all ugly and shit. If we're gonna be fucking her for a while, I at least want to look at something more appealing than your ugly mug."

The man sniffed, scowling with narrowed eyes, "What the hell is that supposed to mean, jackass? Besides, crazy boss lady said to kill her anyway."

"What crazy boss lady won't know would get us both killed. I'm tired of being all nice and polite to that bitch with the money. Besides, she looked like loads of fun for a few hours on end. No use for us to put it to waste."

"Bullshit. That woman will kill us just like that douche Jenkins she wasted for one cock up. Let's just bang her, get our rocks off, and kill her like we're told."

"Like the good little whipped cock-suckers we are," He cursed in a sweet, sing-song tone before glaring at his friend. "Oh, yeah, where's all the fun in that? Damnit! I haven't had pussy in at least a month and she's fucking ripe, don't screw this for me just because that crazy bitch makes your balls retreat up your ass."

"Fucking hell, so what if she does make my balls retreat up my ass? At least I'll still have a virgin ass while she'll ram a gun up yours for not following her orders to a 'T'."

"Oh, shut the hell up."

"No, you shut the fuck up, little shit. This bitch ain't worth dying over, so can we fuck her and kill her already."

"No, not till we're straight on how we're gonna do this."

"Oh goddamn fucking ass shit motherfucker-."

Riza's brown eyes rolled upwards while repressing a sigh. And Margie had paid these dolts while trying to reign over them through sheer terror? She could have gotten more loyalty and service out of a pack of dogs with half the effort. Her foot tapped on the ground in distraction, slowly pulling the gun from the low back of her gown and repositioning it over the lock to the chain shackles. The pair argued over their treatment of her heatedly enough that neither of them noticed the Lieutenant glance over her shoulder towards the door she'd been pulled through. He had better be ok. How much longer was this going to take till they were stupid enough to drop their guns and attempt to rape her already? The sooner they were defenseless idiot, the sooner she blow off the chains, kill the two bastards, and blow the chains on her ankles tethering to the chair, and all the more sooner she could free Roy as well . . . and kill that crazy bitch. Well, maybe not kill her. Locking Margie away in a cell to rot for the rest of her miserable life sounded more appealing, after she clawed her eyes out of course. She never wanted to see another green-eyed woman for a long time.

The Lieutenant was nearly distracted by her own thoughts of vengeance when she noticed how the two men had stopped arguing to talk, softer, as if they were edging closer to an agreement. Well, that was quicker than she thought, but they still hadn't decided on anything yet. She stiffened, holding the gun ready for when they stopped talking and turned on her. Her heart sped up, adrenaline flowing through her blood in anticipation. This was her chance, but as confident as she was, she still knew anything could happen. Anything at all could happen once she fired that gun, even the worst. Her heart beat faster, brown eyes narrowing on the two men. She had to free herself, and the Colonel

And yet, as her senses heightened in the rush, Riza could barely hear a rumble through the walls. She blinked, and shook her head. It was nerves; that was it. She must have been hearing things. Yet, when the two goons started to look around the room as well, she knew the noise wasn't just her imagination.

The rumbled grew louder till it sounded like a plow being taken to stone, the hard crunch of earth being forcibly moved. Her eyes widened, whispering under her breath, "It couldn't be . . ."

"What the hell-?" one of the men cursed as the noise became all too clear, coming from the stone wall to her left. They pulled the guns from their shoulder, rifles aimed at the rock as it suddenly slid down. Riza's eyes widened at the sight of a familiar golden blond cowlick. "I told you this way is-," Edward's voice said over the rumble, stopping at the clicking of guns, "Oh shi-."

The Lieutenant's heart leapt into her throat. This was it.

She squeezed the trigger.

Riza screamed in pain. The recoil made her arms jolt, wrenching her shoulders as gunpowder burned her wrists. Metal shrapnel from the broken chain links tearing into her skin wasn't pleasant either. She panted with a hiss of troubled breath, trying to push the pain aside. This wasn't a time to be weak. The room seemed to move at once, the hole in the wall closing again, and quickly, as the two men opened fire onto it. The Lieutenant shook the now loose chains from her arms and brought the pistol up as she stood. Taking aim and bracing her arm with the other, she shot one of the two thugs, bullets tearing into his side as he dropped to the floor. His partner turned on her, rifle leveled to her head just when she took aim on him as well. "Drop it, you dumb bitch, or I'll shoot your head off," he growled, sweat pouring down his face.

"Go to hell," she murmured back, brown eyes narrowing down the sight of the gun.

He pulled back the hammer of the rifle with a click. At the sound, a spike shot out from the wall, sailing through the air and right through the gun's long barrel. Riza's hand tightened on the trigger, about to fire off a shot when the wall broke apart. Edward charged out though the opening towards the startled man. His fist jabbed right into the thug's jaw, knocking him aside and sprawling back onto the floor. The Lieutenant lowered the gun at the sight of the young alchemist, exhaling in relief, "FullMetal . . ."

Ed turned to her, grinning broadly, "Glad to see you too, Lieutenant. You looked like you needed so help."

She smiled slight, "Well, thank you for the timely rescue, but I could-."

"Behind you!" Winry's voice yelled from the opening in the wall, her hand pointing behind the blond boy. Edward ducked just in time to avoid a fist, scrambling to the side as the man he thought he had knocked down surged to his feet. "Come here, you measly runt!" he growled while trying to grapple the teenager.

"Who you calling so small he's the runt of a litter?!" FullMetal shouted as he almost dancing out of the way before straight towards his attacker. Fists and feet flew by so quickly now that the young alchemist was angry that Riza had a keeping up with the fight until a punch landed squarely on his right shoulder. The thug yelped in pain at the ding of metal, shaking his ruined hand while Ed smirked, "Oops?"

He punched back, hitting the man in the gut with a metal fist. Riza cringed as he fell flat on his back. Well, at least that was-.

She sighed as the thug staggered back up and charged on Edward who easily sidestepped the attack. When it seemed like the fight would be a while, she sat back down in the chair to wait. Winry stepped out of the opening in the middle of the brawl, watching while quickly sneaking around the perimeter of the room then up behind the Lieutenant. "Don't worry. Ed can handle him . . . I think," the mechanic explained as she lowered herself to her knees gracefully in the ruined formal gown, dropping a crude wrench to the side, "He's handled about ten other men so far that were chasing us after we got out of the cell they put us in. It's no big deal."

Riza blinked at the story, and even more so at the hairpin Winry pulled out, "What? How did you two even-?"

The girl pulled on the chains still around the Lieutenant's ankles, inserting the hairpin into the lock. In a matter of moments, it clicked open. Her eyebrows arched as her question was answered, "Oh, so that's how . . ."

She decided not to question the how's or why's anymore as Winry went to work on the second ankle chain. Just as that one opened as well, a resounding crack ended the fight as the man finally toppled over with a heavy thud on the floor. Both of the women looked up at the sound, finding the blond alchemist standing over the body with a grin of relief that quickly turned into a puzzled look, "What?"

Riza stood up and walked over to the man she had shot with a shake of her head. He groaned as soon as she nudged him, still alive. Ignoring the protests, she rolled him over, "Later. First, I need to save Roy then we're all getting out of there."

"Where is Colonel Bast-?"

"Ed, can't you be more sensitive at a time-?" Winry interrupted him before being interrupted herself as the blonde woman produced a rifle from under the man, unbolting it a moment to check the chamber before ramming it closed again, "Expecting more trouble?"

"He's being held by Margie just through that door," Riza answered with a nod of her head in indication before moving on. Searching the other man as well, she found a pair of handguns and a set of clips, holstering them on the garters around her thighs. Ed grumbled, kicking the man he had fought one more time. Both of the women looked at him, especially Winry as the wrench thumped against the palm of her hand threateningly, ". . . What are you doing?"

The boy shrugged, "He twitched."

Neither of them seemed to believe that. Riza sighed and slung the rifle over her shoulder, "There's more to it than just Margie extracting her revenge. She- . . . I don't have time to explain."

She moved quickly towards the closed door she had been pulled through earlier. The two teenagers followed closely behind her until she waved them off. "Stay back," the Lieutenant ordered, "I'll slip in alone. I'll shout if I need help"

"But-," Ed started to protest till a severe look shut him up again. One glance of her brown eyes towards Winry said enough as he backed down, moving in front of the young woman. "I hope you know what you're doing . . ." he muttered even as she smiled back.

"I'll be fine. Protecting Roy is my job after all," she said with a serene look that didn't quite reach her eyes. He could feel it creeping over him, a sense that something wasn't quite right. Peeking over his shoulder, the mechanic looked on curiously as she slowly opened the door, seemingly frozen before quietly slipping inside and closing it again. It didn't occur to Winry at all why the Lieutenant had ordered them behind until she felt the young alchemist's hands reach for hers. Something very wrong had happened that she didn't want them to see. She felt the young man standing in front of her stiffen then take a step forward towards the door. "Ed?" she whispered in his ear, "What is it?"

"Stay here," he mumbled as his grip on her fingers tightened, "You'll be safe."


"I'll be back in a moment as soon as we free Colonel Bastard. Nothing will happen," he reassured her, but it didn't work, "Be safe, ok?"

"Ed? I don't scare easily, remember? If this is just another excuse to ditch me, I'll-," Winry gritted through her teeth, letting her temper take over until he wheeled on her. The quick hug he pulled her into silenced her growing disquiet. For the moment, everything felt right, even if he was leaving her alone. "Everything will be fine. Trust me," he whispered in her ear as she melted.

What choice did she have but to trust him? Edward let go of her and walked towards the door. After opening it a crack, he froze as well. Something was very wrong, yet, just as she shuffled forward to join him, he slipping out of the room and into the other. The door locked with a distinct click. Winry's hand shook on the wrench before she willed it to be still, "Everything will be fine. Everything . . . will be fine."

All Riza could see was red; all she wanted to see was red and nothing else. Maybe then the image before her would be wiped from her sight. She didn't want to see this happening, but couldn't help but look anyway. What choice did she have to do anything but look? It was the last thing she ever wanted to be, another woman on top of her Colonel and against his will. She heard the redhead moan and it felt like ice and fire poured together over her heart. Margie moved to kiss him, and Roy cringed painfully, turning away from her lips, "Leave me alone . . ."

Her hands grasped his hair, pulling on it roughly till he started to yell. The crazy redhead lunged in to kiss him even as he struggled in the chair. Riza's hands stay absolutely still on the stock of the rifle even as her knuckles turned bone-white. She would kill her, as sure as her aim was, she would kill her if it was the last thing she ever did. Margie pulled away with a giggle too sinister to be sweet and too crazy to be sane. Her body moved against Roy's, making the bile rise in the Lieutenant's throat. Even if she couldn't see what her hand was doing to him under the long green skirts, she could imagine too well. "What's the matter, Mustang?" the redhead asked, a pout on her full lips, "You used to like this?"

"Get off me . . ." he muttered under his breath.

"You used to like me, a lot. You're not even getting hard for me . . . I know you can get it up for me. You've never had that problem before. Don't you want to love me?" she whined, kissing his face and neck. Roy tried to push her way, but there was no fight in the effort. In return, Margie tugged his head to the side, her teeth biting his neck. He shouted, trying to get away from her now, "I never liked you! Haven't you done enough?! Just leave me alone!"

"No! She's dead now, and I won't let her take you!" she yelled back, her hand striking the side of his face repeatedly, "You're mine! Mine and no one else's!"

The barrel of the rifle nudged into the side of Margie's head then pulled back to rest a mere inch away, "Get off of him . . ."

Roy looked up in shock to see his Lieutenant standing over his assailant, her beautiful face contorted in most furious look he'd ever seen her give another person. His heart leapt into this throat at the sight of her. She was alive. Riza wasn't dead. How was this possible?! He was sure he heard her scream, and then the gunfire, and a body, how-?! He looked at her, almost sure that it wasn't really her but an avenging spirit or something. She couldn't be alive . . . could she? "Riza . . ." her name came from his voice in a choked whisper, sounding both reverent and curious, "You're alive?"

A small smile crossed Riza's face at the utterance of her name before turning back into a hardened stare at the redhead. Margie's head turned slowly, her vicious glare meeting the blonde's despite the rifle pointed between her eyes, "You're supposed to be dead . . ."

"So should you be for what you've done," she said while pulling back on the hammer with a click, "Don't make me repeat myself."

"You'll have to shoot me first."

"You have no idea how much I would like that. I could kill you on the spot and no one would think I didn't do the right thing," Riza hissed back as for a moment the barrel seemed to waver, "Get off him now."


"Then I will make you get off of him," she threatening, prodding the barrel against her forehead. Margie shot forward at the threat, clinging to Roy as the Lieutenant tensed, "Come on. Kill me. He's still mine . . ."

Her trigger finger itched to do just that. All she had to do was shoot one bullet and their nightmare would be over. Margie would be dead for what she did, and would Riza ever be glad of it. One bullet would crack that beautiful face that sneered victoriously still at her like an overripe melon, and oh how she wanted to do it. Bloodlust was not a feeling that came to her often, but when it came to protecting her Colonel, what wouldn't she do? Even damning herself to save him wouldn't be price enough. "He never was yours, ever," the blonde growled back, her grip on the rifle tightening.

"Go ahead then! Kill me! I'll still win! My Roy would never want a cold-hearted murdering bitch!"

"Last warning, get off of him . . ." Riza ordered her, voice dripping with ice.

"Make me."

"Riza?" Roy whispered, looking up at her still in disbelief, as if he couldn't tell if anything unfolding before him was real or not.

An evil little smile flickered on the Lieutenant's face for barely a moment before turning back into cold fury. Suddenly, the rifle flipped in her hands and jabbed forward hard, the stock ramming into Margie's face. The redhead's grip on him broke. She went sprawling off of Mustang's lap from the force of the blow, landing on the ground with a heavy thud before rolling away. Blood gushed from what must have been a broken nose as she spat more onto the floor, "Bitch."

Riza slung the rifle back over her shoulder, "You did ask for it."

Still watching the redhead wearily, she glanced out of the corner of her eyes at the Colonel. He looked up at her still in shock, and still as if he was seeing a ghost and not her, "Roy, you alright?"

His mouth moved to answer, but no sound came out. For once he was at a loss for words. How had this happened? As much as he had thought he was delusional when he heard her voice, watching her beat Margie in the face with the rifle had proven she was indeed quite real. But it had sounded like she-. How could she be-? Why had-? "Roy?" she asked again, growing increasingly worried when he just looked at her, "Say something?"

"You're alive . . ." he whispered again, as if questioning her as much as stating a startling revelation, "How did . . . ?"

The blonde's face softened, giving him her full attention, "Ask me later, when we're out of-."

A scream cut off her statement before she could finish. Riza winced at the near-deafening noise, looking over at the source, Margie. She sat on the floor in the corner with her back against the wall, shaking as she wailed. For a moment, the Lieutenant considered slugging her if only to silence her from attracting the guards when she stopped, glaring daggers at the blonde, "Like hell I'll let you go anywhere with him! He's mine!"

A grim frown set on Riza's face as she took a step forward, "It's over, Margie. He never was yours to begin with. Get over it."

"Liar!" the redhead shouted as she clawed at the walls, staggering back to her feet. Tears and blood ran down her face, but she didn't bother to stop either except with a sniffle. "He . . . he loves me . . ." she said weakly, looking over to Roy, "Don't you?"

He didn't return the look back, only shifting in the chair uncomfortably under her eyes. Puzzled, Margie continued to stare at him, her voice strained in rising hysteria, "Don't you?!

Slowly the Colonel looked back up towards Riza, barely keeping the crawling feeling under his skin in check, "Get me out of here, then get her away from me."

"Sir," the blonde replied with a dutiful nod at the orders. Margie flinched at the answer, as if she'd just been struck across the face. He, he didn't want her near him. He was leaving without her and with another woman. This wasn't supposed to be happening. He was supposed to realized that it was all his fault, beg her to take him back, and be hers again. Roy was supposed to love her, not, not throw her away. She wanted his love, wanted him, but he didn't want her anymore. The realization that he didn't want her at all, made her flinch again as well as a sudden sob to her throat. The noise brought another, along with more tears. He really didn't love her. She screamed again through the crying, but this time neither the Colonel nor the Lieutenant paid any attention to her breakdown.

Margie collapsed to the floor again in the corner, rocking back and forth. No. No! She wouldn't let this happened! There had to be something she could do?! He was hers! She'd never let him be taken from her! He wouldn't leave her! Never! She looked up just as Riza turned slightly to reach for the chains on his wrists, her sorrow quickly turning back to anger. In the end, he would still be hers.

Unnoticed by the pair, the redhead reached for her ankle and the small pistol strapped there. There was no way she would let him leave her behind, never again. Drawing the gun out, she raised it up and aimed towards Roy.

The flash of metal got Riza's attention from where she stood beside him, quickly drawing one of the handguns holsters on her legs. Both guns clicked at the same time, but no one fired. Margie's aim had shifted from Roy to the Lieutenant, both women staring down one another without words till the blonde spoke first, "Put it down."

"You first."

"It's over, Margie! Put it down!" Roy yelled then tensed as the gun was pointed back at him.

"No, Roy, it'll never be over between us. I just love you too much to let you go," she said, sounding surprisingly sane and sober, "If I kill you, then she'll kill me, and you'll still be mine in heaven or hell."

"Don't do this . . ." Riza growled, unable to keep the tenseness of her voice down.

A blissful look of sublime adoration fell over the redhead's face, "If I kill him, will you kill me right away, Lieutenant? Promise me? I don't want to be without him for long . . ."

"He's not going anywhere, not before I get a chance to wring his neck for screwing up my night," a third voice said off to the side, followed by a clap.

Blue-white light sparked through the air just to the left of Roy's chair then the sound of rock moving. A long stone spike emerged from the wall, pointed directly at Margie and moving fast. The redhead tumbled to the side along the floor and quickly fired towards her third opponent. The spike stopped moving as Edward's transmutation was cut short when he ducked out of the way of the bullet. Riza's gun fired as well, missing when Margie ducked again. Both guns clicked at the same time, reloaded and aimed at one another. "This is between me and him," the redhead muttered, glaring at the other woman.

"No, this is between you and me. He is my Colonel, the one I serve and protect, and you've hurt him. I won't allow you to hurt him anymore," Riza growled back, her knuckles bone-white on the grip, "He isn't yours. You say he loves you, but you know it's a lie, don't you?"

Margie screamed in rage, "Don't say that, you fucking bitch! You don't deserve him! I do! He's mine! We're meant for each other! He doesn't love you! You're just his whore!"

The Lieutenant tensed, a grim set in her brown eyes as she said nothing. Roy tensed as well, watching the barrel of the redhead's gun waver as she sobbed, then exhaled slowly, "Put it down, Margie. You don't want to die here."

"You sure know how to pick'em, Colonel Flamer," the young alchemist grumbled from the floor, glancing up at his superior officer. Mustang's eyes rolled upwards, forgetting for one moment that the woman he loved was in a standoff with the woman he hated, "Shut up, Ed. You're not helping."

Margie sniffled, loudly, as her green eyes drifted between the Colonel and his Lieutenant, "I'm going to die anyway for what I've done. Even if the military lets me live, my company won't. I know that. It doesn't matter anymore. I am already dead . . ."

She looked back at Roy, her sight focused on him, "And if I'm dead already, you're coming with me . . ."

Her pistol moved through the air with a slow, hesitant jerk.

Riza's heart leapt in her throat. She was going to kill him anyway, knowing the Lieutenant would shoot her regardless. Edward's eyes widened. He sprung to his feet, barreling into the chair under Roy that broke the wood. Both guns fired at the same time with a loud bang followed by the sound of both men hitting the floor, the gunfire passing overhead. Margie was thrown back against the wall as the bullet shot into her chest. She still managed to stand and scream, aiming the gun again on the Colonel when another shot hit her arm. The gun fell from her hand. Blood splattered across the wall and the floor. The bullets didn't stop as she staggered forward, hitting her in the abdomen, chest, shoulder, and neck in a rain without end. She finally sank to the floor on her knees, blood drenching her green silk gown. Her eyes looked up at the blonde one last time then closed before another bullet punctured her forehead.

Margie's body fell over, dead. The bang of gunfire stopped as well, replaced instead by the soft metallic clicks of Riza's empty gun. Edward stared wide-eyed up at the Lieutenant as she attempted to shoot the corpse more, seething and struggling to keep pulling the trigger. He then looked over to Roy as he glanced at her as well, a look of profound sadness in his dark eyes. The gun clicked again, and the Colonel's attention turned towards him with a frown, rattling his chains, "Get me out of these, FullMetal."

"Gee, second time I've saved your rotten life in one night, and this is the thanks I get?" Ed groused as he got up to his knees, "See if I save you again from one of your homicidal ex-girlfriends."

"Edward . . ."

A short clap and small release of light, and the chains fell away from Roy's wrists, turning into a long metal rod. Quickly followed by another, another rod clanged on the floor, transmuted from the ankle chains. Free, the Colonel pushed up from the ground slowly, ". . . Thank you."

"You're welcome, bas-," Ed started to say before cutting himself off. It didn't seem appropriate or funny anymore. He watched the man stand up again, and muttered, ". . . You're welcome."

An unreadable look fell over the Colonel's face as he watched the Lieutenant still shooting an empty gun, "How much did you see?"

The teenager's gold and amber eyes drifted between the pair. He had seen everything since entering the room just behind Hawkeye. He had seen and heard too much, more than he ever wanted to see and know of what happened to Roy Mustang. A shudder passed through him in recollection. How could-? What kind of woman would-? The shudder turned into a sickness that made he stomach turn into knots. It could have been worse though, couldn't it? At least he was still alive, but that thought didn't make the retching feeling clamming up Edward's throat go away. What could he say? What could he do for a man he didn't understand when something so wrong was done to him? Ed stood up as well, brushing the dirt from his pants. He then looked across the room towards the door Winry was behind, walking towards it as he lied, "Nothing, I saw nothing."

". . . Thank you."

Ed stopped and grumbled, "Don't thank me, bastard . . ." he then nodded towards the Lieutenant, "Just take care of her? Before she goes crazy on you too?"

Roy snorted and moved across the room towards Riza. He watched from in front of the door as the Colonel put his hands over the gun, stopping the clicking, "That's enough . . ."

The blonde shook and lowered the weapon, each breath she took making her shudder. Slowly, she looked over towards Roy, as if noticing him standing beside her for the first time. Edward could see the tracks of tears on her face, but she didn't sob. Instead, the Lieutenant collapsed again Roy, her face buried in his ruined shirt and jacket as she sniffled, "You're safe . . ."

Mustang's arms hesitantly touched her shoulders then circled his arms around her body before pulling her tightly against him, "You're alive . . ."

Edward frowned, and unlocked the door. He had seen more than enough, and they needed some privacy. Well, he wanted some privacy too with the blonde mechanic waiting for him. Winry, damn, she was probably going out of her mind as well, with all the sound of guns and screaming. In fact, she should have been pounding on the door for him to open it, but she hadn't, which worried him even more. He opened the metal door and slid inside the room, closing it behind him. She sat on the floor, curling up with her face buried in her violet silk skirt and his black tuxedo around her. The tips of her fingers showed out of the cuffs and not much else of her hands, yet the knuckles he could see were clenched and white. She didn't even look up at the sound of the door.


At the sound of her name from his lips, the mechanic looked up. Her blue eyes stayed on him, dried tears rimming her eyelids, yet they weren't focused, as if she was seeing right through him. When her eyes did focus though, there was a glint of anger in their depths. Winry uncurled to pick up the ugly wrench at her feet, knuckles clenched over the handle. That wasn't good. Edward blinked, mildly confused, "You . . . ok?"

The blonde mechanic sprung to her feet, stomping the floor till she stood right in front of him. If it were possible for him to feel any smaller than he was already under her glare, he felt it. ". . . Do I look ok to you?" she asked tersely, wrench arm shaking.

Ed couldn't bring himself to look at her, slowly lowering his head, "I'm sorry . . ."

The wrench dropped from her hand with a clang then both fists rose up to pound uselessly against his chest and shoulders, "Sorry? Sorry?! That's the best you can say to me!? After you left me behind to screaming and gunshots?! Do you have any idea?! Any idea at all, you stupid-! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! You could have been killed! I almost thought you were killed! And I was worried about you, you idiot! I was so worried that I could kill you right now for making me worry! You moron! And all you can say is you're sorry?! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!"

No matter how much she pounded on him, Edward didn't move a step, only swaying under the force. He didn't say anything either as her ranting stopped, turning into a heavy pant as her hands slowed down. The alchemist reached for Winry only to have her shrug out of his grasp and back away sluggishly, keeping him at arm's length, "Don't . . . I really hate you right now."

But since when did Ed do anything as he was told?

He grabbed the blonde's hands as they rested on his chest and pulled her close to him. This time she didn't fight him off as his arms hugged her tightly. The mechanic's fist thumped against his chest one last time before pressing her face into his ruined shirt collar, "I really do hate you . . ."

A small grin she couldn't see passed across Ed's face for barely a moment, "I know . . . and I'm still sorry . . ."

"Is this how it is for you? All the time?"

" . . . No, but it is a job."



". . . Don't leave me behind again, promise? I . . . I don't want to have to worry about you like that again."

He cringed as his hand caressed the uneven loops of fair hair hanging in tangles at the back of her head. That wasn't the type of promise he could make her and hope to keep. There would be no telling what could happen in the future. Didn't he make that clear to her a while ago? Edward's eyebrow creased together in worry, "Winry . . ."

"I know, I know. Don't promise me then. Just tell me you won't leave me behind again? Lie to me a little and maybe it'll go away."

Her arms encircled his neck, pulling him closer till he could feel every breath she took. His arms dropped from her hair to her waist as his forehead rested on her shoulder, "I won't leave you behind again. We'll get out of here and go home, see Al, and forget this night ever happened, just . . . just a little while longer and it'll all be over."

"Thank you . . ." Winry trailed off then slowly looked up at him, still obviously worried, "Is Miss Hawkeye ok? And the Colonel? All the screaming, and guns, and stuff, and-."

"Fine," Edward said, cutting her off, "They're just fine."

The quickness with which he said those words gave way to the lie she thought she heard in them. Why would he lie to her unless they weren't fine? A cold shiver passed through her despite wearing his jacket, "Ed . . ."

A flicker of guilt passed his gold and amber eyes. Before she could ask again, Edward's arms tightening around her, as if just holding her would make her believe him any. She opened her mouth to say just that when he beat her to it, "They're alive, Winry, relatively unharmed, and together, that's good enough as can be. They just need to be alone for a little."

The mechanic exhaled, not about to pursue the matter, "Alright . . . as long as they're just fine . . ."

"They are."

"You won't tell me what happened in there, will you? With the guns?"

". . . The Lieutenant killed the woman holding the Colonel."

"That Margie woman?"


"So . . . it's over?" Winry asked tentatively. Edward snorted in a short burst of laughter at the upturn of her face, eyebrows arched in hopefulness. She frowned at his reaction as he dissolved into chuckles. He didn't even stop laughing as her when she smacked one of his hands off of her shoulders, turning away, "Oh, grow up already and be serious for once, pip-squeak."

Instead of his usual outburst for the 'short' insult, Ed pulled her back towards him suddenly. The mechanic yelped in surprise, yet became even more confused as his lips covered her. She should have fought him off. She had every right too for the night he had put her through. The kiss though became very persuasive in changing her mind for her. Winry let him kiss her, tongue and all, and let him hold her since he seemed to need it as much as she did, if only to know that everything was still right in their world. Edward pulled away eventually, his forehead pressed against hers as his breath blew over her warm cheeks, "Yeah, everything's over . . . practically."

With a sigh of relief, Winry let out the breath she had been holding, "Good . . . I think . . . Maybe you should kiss me again, just so I know we're not both still dreaming . . ."

For the longest while, neither of them said anything. Hearing Edward leave with the lock clicking closed behind him brought both of the officers back to reality. Roy pulled away instantly, slowly walking away to stand on the other side of the body between them. Not that she noticed. No, she felt much too numb to do much anything productive except to look at what she had done, that she had killed Margie, emptied almost an entire clip of bullets into the woman. While she knew it was justified, it didn't make her feel any better about killing someone. She may have threatened violence to keep their men in line, but pulling the trigger was a different matter against someone that desperate. Her hands still shook long after the Colonel had forced her to lower the gun. Her skin still crawled at the sight of the cold, bloody corpse too, green eyes staring soullessly up to the dull ceiling above. She was justified in killing her for what she did to Mustang . . . right?

The tears she had shed dried up as soon as she knew they were safe, that the redhead couldn't touch him anymore. It wasn't even over that woman that made her eyes run with tears, but what she had done to the man she supposedly loved. Riza shuddered, her hand gripping her forearm as she watching the blood slowly spread across the floor, staining the stones. She had saved Roy, it was her duty, and so she was justified in killing her. She was justified for saving the man she loved . . . right?

Slowly, the Lieutenant's brown eyes turned away from Margie's dead body to look upwards at Roy. For the first time she noticed how horrible he looked. His handsome face was marked with purplish bruises, dirt, and small cuts to his nose and mouth. Dried blood coated his mouth down to his throat, a ghoulish sight that she did not want to know the cause of. A mixture of fresh and dried blood matted down his dark hair on the side of his head. The Colonel's tuxedo and shirts were torn open, barely hanging on. Her eyes fell to his pants and instantly she turned away. They were still open. Roy must have finally noticed too as she heard him shuffling away from the body. She glanced over to see him trying to fix his ruined clothes, and it sunk in to her mind what had happened to him.

She hadn't been hallucinating after all. Margie had molested him.

Riza gasped softly, but loud enough that the sound immediately got Roy's attention. She watched the changing emotions in his eyes, shock, anger, shame, guilt, and then finally nothing. If he felt anything, it was numbed now and blocked, leaving the dark orbs of his eyes hollow. Mustang looked away from her for one moment then continued to meet her gaze again. He didn't have to say a word to convey what he was thinking in that moment. Roy was back to himself, his armor back in place, the Flame Alchemist once more, and from the way he looked at her, he was silently asking something of her. The blonde already knew what he wanted even if it made her throat constrict. At that moment, Colonel Mustang didn't want Riza Hawkeye, his lover, but First Lieutenant Hawkeye, his second-in-command and personal bodyguard. All business and no questions even if it killed a small part of her heart in that moment, the part that wanted to hold him and imagine none of this had ever happened.

She was a woman after all, but at that moment, she needed to be a soldier again.

Her fist tightened over the handle of her gun, then let go with exhausted sigh. She slipped the empty gun back in to one of the holsters on her thighs.

"We should get moving, quickly. There are still guards everywhere, and we do not know the way out," Riza looked up as she finished, seeing that Roy didn't seem to be paying attention. In fact, a spot on the wall seemed more interesting to him at that moment than her. Stepping lightly around the body, she couldn't stop herself from putting the back of her hand on his cheek, nudging away some of the dirt. No sooner than she had touched him had he snagged her wrist, his grip making her hiss in pain from the gunpowder burns and cuts. Roy flinched, pulling her hand away and letting go in one motion, "Don't . . . I'm fine."

Somehow she didn't quite believe that. The look in his dark eyes said enough as he backed away from her. He already knew what she wanted to ask, but wasn't about to let the words out of her mouth, "I'm fine, Lieutenant. I'm just glad you're . . ."

"I'm fine, sir," Riza chirped back as he trailed off. He wouldn't have finished that thought anyway if he could let himself allow it, "We should really get moving . . ."

Yet, she trailed off as well as she noticed that the Colonel was staring at her damaged wrists, "Really, I'm fine, Roy. We should be more worried over-."

"That's from blowing the chains off, isn't it? And it's the reason you screamed?"

She let out a soft breath, "Yes, the recoil wrenched my shoulder too, but I'm fine now. Honestly, sir, you shouldn't look in the mirror for a while."

Roy gave a short, bitter chuckled. The Lieutenant turned away from him a moment only to feel his hand on her shoulder, stopping her feet cold. He grabbed her hand before she could pull away, running his fingers over the powder burns and shrapnel cuts. Riza hissed in pain, yanking her wrist back on instinct as a tinge of blood colored his fingers, "I said I'm fine, Roy, or at least I was fine. Ow . . ."

Not saying anything, he lifted a section of her black chiffon skirt, tearing a piece off of the already-ruined gown. When he reached for her wrists again, the Lieutenant didn't pull away as he wound the cloth over her wounds then tied the ends off, "You're hands are too important right now to risk."

"You know how to fire a gun too, sir."

"But you are a better aim. We also need to find my gloves."

"We also need to gather the kids and any more weapons and ammo if you're planning what I think you are planning," Riza said as she looked up at him. They both nodded, silently agreeing on something that only they seemed to know. For a moment, a small version of his usual smirk graced his lips as he glanced darkly at the body in the room, "You shouldn't have wasted so many bullets on her, Lieutenant. She wasn't worth it."

The blonde's mouth set grimly, purposefully ignoring looking at him, "Respectfully, I disagree, sir. It was worth it."

Riza turned away as he finished with the bandages, moving across the room. Roy's eyes followed her as she started to search for more guns. For a moment, he wondered what she meant by being 'worth it', if she meant killing Margie or protecting him. He shook his head of that and every other thought over what had happened in that room. They were alive, for now, but not safe yet. When they were safe there would be time to think, to let it all affect him more than he let on. Much later, he could break down to her and be human, and not be a dog of the state.

Mustang turned back to the corpse, and held down a shudder of revulsion. Crouching down, he lifted the pistol from where the dead woman's had dropped it. It was a revolver style gun unlike the ones Riza favored. He flipped open the cylinder, dumping the shell casings into his hand. Roy cursed under his breath at seeing that all of the rounds were empty, tossing them onto the floor in disgust. Shaking his head, he stood back up while shoving the empty gun down the back of his pants and stopped, looking at Margie's blank face. How could he have been so . . . ?

He turned away, walking across the room to the door Edward had left through as Riza stood in front of it, "I'll handle them. Check the hallway. There should be another body out there. Maybe there's a guard station or something since this looks like a prison block."

She nodded grimly and moved along the wall, "I remember, sir."

"Be careful."

"Yes, sir."

"And Riza?"

The blonde stopped, turning to look at him, "Yes?"

"You're still wrong. She really wasn't that worth it. Ask me later, and I'll tell you why."

A ghost of a smile graced her lips as she nodded solemnly, "Sir."

Riza moved away to go about her business, leaving Roy to face the door and the two teenagers with probably a dozen questions. How was he ever going to explain to them what had gone down there that night? He should have left that part to his Lieutenant, diplomacy was more her thing. Working up the best serious, authoritative expression he could, Mustang pushed the door open then stopped, staring in shock. Roy then cleared his throat, loudly, "Do you two need another minute?"

In the middle of the room, Edward, who stood with is arms all over Miss Rockbell and who's mouth seem to be merely an inch from hers, nearly jumped to attention. He laughed nervously as his head slowly turned towards the source of intrusion, "Colonel . . . didn't expect to see you that quickly."

Roy smirked, eyeing both teenagers suspiciously. Since when had Edward been kissing girls? It looked like he was about to kiss her, if he hadn't walked in. Yet, now that he had seen that much, it made a lot of sense from how the young alchemist treated his mechanic. He could have kicked himself for not seeing it before. A good-natured grin sprung up on the Colonel's face, marred by a malevolent glint to his dark eyes, "What were you doing, FullMetal?"

"Nothing," Ed grumbled in denial. Winry stood beside him, clenching an ugly wrench while blushing a delicate pink shade. Roy's grin widened then dropped in an effort to keep it to himself. There always was something fun about turning the kid's screws. "That didn't look like just nothing. Wait! Let me guess, you were just checking her teeth? Right?" he surmised, thoughtfully tapping a finger on his chin, "No, that can't be right . . ."

Ed spluttered as the girl went from pink to red, "Nothing happened, you bastard, at least not with you around sticking your nose in, damnit!"

The Colonel grinned broadly as Edward cursed to himself under his breath. Damnit! He shouldn't have even opened his mouth. Every time he did for the past week, he got a taste of his own feet. He frowned and looked over apologetically at Winry, "Sorry."

"For what?" she asked, still blushing vividly.

"For getting us caught."

"Was going to happen eventually anyway," the blonde said before laughing softly to herself, "You never were too good at sneaking around."

"What's that supposed to mean, gear head?"

"Exactly what I meant to mean, alchemy geek," Winry said with a cheery smile.

Roy coughed, interrupting them as much as he was clearing his throat, "If you're both finished . . ."

The pair looked away from each other, seeming to be pointedly ignoring the presence of the other. Somehow those pet names had taken on a veiled meaning of affection that neither of the two seemed to consciously pick up on, but Roy got it alright. He frowned, and tried not to roll his eyes at the kids. This was why they shouldn't have been messing around in the first place. They were still much too young and immature to know what they were doing. "When we get home, I'm personally putting locks on your doors," Roy smirked, then turned away, "I can't let you do anything Mrs. Pinako Rockbell's granddaughter now can I?"

Both of the teenagers glared at him for a moment before looking at each significantly. The Colonel could try locking their doors all he wanted, not that it would stop them. "Come along, FullMetal," Roy called from the other room when they didn't follow, "We're not out of this yet."

Ed took Winry's hand as they both went through the door together then stopped as he felt the girl tug on his hand to stand absolutely still. He looked at the blonde confused a moment then followed her gaze to what made her pause. She had seen the body, staring at it, "That's . . . she's the one that caused all this?"

"Yeah . . . Her name was Marguerite, Margie, and she's dead."

"She was at the ballet tonight. I remember seeing her in that green dress . . . I was a bit jealous, because she was so beautiful . . ." Winry admitted, stepping along the wall when Edward pulled her with him, "Why did she do this? She was involved in some military thing?"

"It's a long story . . . I'll tell you later."

"No, you won't," the mechanic said with a frown, "It doesn't matter anyway. She's dead and we're going home."

"No, this time I will tell you, when we're safe. And this time I promise," Ed said with an encouraging smile, looking at her from over his shoulder, "Come on."

They walked through the second doorway, into a hallway, and found both of the officers fiddling with weapons. The first thing that caught Ed's eye was the pair of white gloves on the Colonel's hands, an elaborate alchemy circle in red printed on the back. He smirked, "Colonel Flamer once again."

"Shut up, Ed," Mustang groused, adjusting their fit as Riza loaded her rifle with more ammunition.

"I found them on Margie when I searched her," the Lieutenant said as she stopped and pull two round packages of bullets out from a new bag hanging across her body. She tossed them at Roy, who caught them easily, "For the revolver, found them on her too."

"Do I want to know where you found them?"

"No, but you will want to know that I raided the empty guard station to this block while you were away," an oddly happy smile graced the Lieutenant's face, "I found all my guns again."

"I'm happy for you both, truly," Ed said sarcastically before his foot slipped in something slick on the ground. As soon as he looked down at what he'd stepped in, he cursed, "Shit!"

Winry stared wide-eyed at the second corpse, "Who is that? Or who was that?"

Roy and Riza both looked at each other and answered together, "Jenkins."

Ed frowned at the two adults, "I'm tired, sore, cranky, hungry, miserable, and just a slight bit anxious to get the hell out of here. Can we get going now?"

The Colonel smirked, "FullMetal, language."

"Bite me."

Winry sighed, "Oh, can it, angry bean. You're not the only one that had a bad night."

"Who are you calling an angry bean that's so small-?!"

"Both of you save it for later," Roy said before turning back towards the empty hallway, "Lieutenant, take point. I'll be right behind you. FullMetal-."

"Rear guard, got it. Winry-."

"Smack anyone that get past you two, got it," she muttered, hefting the wrench over her shoulder, "If I don't feel like hitting either of you first."

Riza smiled to herself as she led the way. At least some things, no matter what happened, would never change.

"Are you sure we're going the right way?"

Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes frowned for what felt like the twenty-fourth time in the past half hour, "Jean, if you ask one more time, I swear I'll shove my foot up your-."

"Now, now, Hughes. He's only as anxious to find Mustang as we all are," Armstrong said, trying to sooth the Lieutenant Colonel's fraying nerves, "It is natural in this situation for us to be concerned about the welfare of our dear Colonel and his beloved First Lieutenant, the radiant Miss Hawkeye as well as the spirited FullMetal Alchemist and his sweet mechanic Miss Rockbell. Every time I think about what could have happened to them, I feel the pangs of sorrow know that at this very moment they could be helpless in the hand of their captors, or lying dead in the barren wastes of-."

"That's enough, Alex," Breda groused, "I think we get the point."

"And my point is that I feel like we've been going round in circles since we entered this building and no closer to finding the Colonel," Havoc grumbled from his post in the rear behind the Strongarm Alchemist, "We also haven't encountered a single guard since the first firefight. Where did they all go to?"

"For the amount of weapons storage we've walked past, you'd think there'd be an army down here," Heymans chimed in over Alexander's other shoulder, directly behind the tall alchemist, "Something isn't right. Where did they all go to?"

"They probably smelled your cologne, Breda."

"Oh, shut up, Jean. At least I picked up a woman tonight."

"Yeah, the crazy one that orchestrated this whole thing," Hughes grumbled, continuing the march onwards down the corridor. And these were supposed to be the military's finest. He rolled his eyes, "We could always split up . . ."

"I don't think that's too wise. I remember the story my great great grandfather Arthur Armstrong would say about how his unit split up on a mission to rescue another unit in the north, and-," he start to say before cutting himself off, "On the good side though, the story did inspire one of my sisters to follow in the prestigious Armstrong family tradition . . ."

Jean blinked, "You have more than one sister?"


"Is she single?"

A frown formed on Alexander's face, almost hidden under his moustache except for the downward turn of his chin, "I don't think you're her type . . ."

"Too handsome for her?" he grinned cheekily, the cigarette in his mouth pointing upwards.

"No, too short."

The cigarette pointed downwards as Havoc frowned, grumbling to himself. Ignoring the banter, Maes pressed on, "We're not finding them any faster as one unit. Breda, Jean, next fork in the paths, you talk one way, and-."

The Lieutenant Colonel was cut off by what sounded like gunfire in the distance followed by a loud whooshing sound. All four of the men ducked on instinct and peered around for the source of the noise. Armstrong sniffed the air, "Smoke."

As soon as the word was out of his mouth, a loud claxon sounded over their head in warning followed by another whooshing noise except this time it sounded distinctly like water. One by one, the sprinklers overhead of them turned on with a deluge raining down on them. The four officers look at one another and said one word in unison, "Roy."

Riza glared from behind the exposed concrete pylon at Mustang, resisting the urge to turn the rifle she had pointed at the guards before them onto him. As if the deafening alarm wasn't bad enough, she could add being wet to her list of troubles. And it was all his fault! Instead of having vengeance on the Colonel, she wiped a hand over her face to clear away some of the water now raining down on them, "Was that really necessary, sir?"

"No, but it scared the shit out of them," Roy shot back, reloading the revolver he carried as he crouched behind the wall, "Even if I'm all wet."

"That's your fault. I told you not to, but no. Do you ever listen to me? No!" She yelled, firing another series of shots towards the mass of guards.

"I do to listen to you, but this isn't the time to discuss this!"

"Yes, it is!"

"No, it's not!"

"Would you two shut up and argue later?!" Edward yelled from behind them, huddled with Winry back down the corridor they had just come from as bullets whirled by them, "I blame you both and your idiocies for this mess, so just shut up and keep firing!"

"Some help you are, FullMetal! And you think you're better than me! I'd like to see you do something for once!" Roy yelled at him, reloading after firing the pistol.

"I do stuff all the time, you cocky bastard! I've save your life twice tonight! You're on your own for the third!"

"You ungrateful, little snot!"

"You got us into this mess in the first place! You lead us this way! You said left while I said right!"

"No! I said right, he said left, and you said nothing, Edward! And he did lead us here!" the Lieutenant yelled them both, reloading her rifle.

"Same difference!"

"You short, miserable brat! If I wasn't out of ammo, I'd shoot you too! Insubordination! The whole lot of you!"

"Roy!" Riza yelled at him, tossing another set of bullets his way. Mustang caught them, quickly reloading before ducking again as the gunfire got closer to their positions. More rifle shots followed from the Lieutenant, but none of them sounded like they connected to their intended targets. Edward groaned, rolling his eyes.

"Ed . . ." Winry said as she looked up at him, huddled under his arm as he tried to shield her from the water, "Do something?"

What could he do? Alchemy wasn't magic that he could summon on cue. After the amount he had used tonight already, he felt more than drained by it. Edward glanced to the side and into the ruined room thanks to Mustang's flame alchemy. There wasn't much left for him to work with but stone and concrete, "What can I do?"

He ducked again as a series of bullets hit the wall, pulling Winry closer to him. Even Riza crouched down finally as the rapidity of the gunfire increased. "I think this party just got more crowded!" she shouted at Roy, "Colonel?! Orders?!"

"Shit . . ." he cursed, nearly lying on his back as the bullets whittled away at his cover, "Edward! Do something!"

"I'm thinking, bastard!"

"Don't think, just do!"

"Shut up!"

"Ed! Think-!" Riza yelled before being cut off by another round of fire chipping away at the pylon, diving for the wet floor with a startled yelp.


Damnit, he had to do something! Think, think, think, alchemy genius! Nothing stopped him from this type of action before . . . except the sight of Winry's large blue eyes gazing at him in both hope and fear, "Edward?"

He had to do something.

"Stay put," he told her as the gun fire died down. The mechanic didn't say anything except to watch as he quickly scrambled out from their cover and into the room. Bent over, he ran headlong over the chucks of stone and concrete, sliding through the water to a halt beside Lieutenant Hawkeye as she lay on her side in a puddle of it, the rifle propped up on more stone. The stock braced against her shoulder, she fired another round, shooting someone as they both heard a thud. "Any ideas?" she asked, looking down the sight of the gun.

"I'm working on it . . ." he muttered, looking around for an idea. A burst of gunfire chipped at the pylon overhead, the dust mixing with the water as it rained down on them. Riza groaned, feeling it seep into her skin, "Any more of this and we're going to be stuck here as statues."

Edward blinked, "Statues . . . Statues?"

"Yes, between the water, the stone dust and ash from Roy's little explosion, and the cement residue, it's making liquid concrete under us."

"You're a genius!" the young alchemist crowed, "Liquid concrete! No, I'm a genius! It'll work!"

The Lieutenant blinked at him as he laughed hysterically. For a moment, she thought he was broken. Roy glared at her while looking questioningly at the kid. All she could do was shrug. The Colonel growled, rolling over to fire another shot, "Stop laughing and do something, FullMetal."

Edward did something alright as the clap he made resounded throughout the room. Riza stopped shooting and shielded her eyes as the light became too bright to see in. The noise was too loud as well, forcing her to cover her ears in the crackle. In the middle of it all, the young alchemist knelt down, pressing his hands not onto the floor but into it. As the light died away, the floor rose up, moving in a small liquid wave of solid grey out from his fingers, "Would you both please move now unless you want to become permanent residents?"

Roy and Riza moved quickly alright, diving behind him and back into the corridor as the entire room seemed to shake. The wave grew upwards from Edward, the bullets passing right through it. Suddenly, it surged forward, rushing over broken stones and barricades, between cracks, and onto their attackers. He could hear the screaming and panic shouting of the guards, but the noise didn't break his concentration. He could do this. Move the concrete, oxidize the water into air to harden the concrete, and no one would get hurt. It was pure genius out of madness. He could heard the shouting still, as well as the crackle of rapid hardening, and then it was over, silence, and no bullets.

Ed looked up at what he had done, the panicked face of men looking at him yet they stayed as still as statues. Concrete covered them all from the mouths down, still alive, but not moving anywhere anytime soon. The three of them emerge from behind the wall, staring in shock as his handiwork. Wobbling slightly as he got up, Edward looked over his shoulder at them, water dripping all around him, "I'm so . . . smart . . . and tired too . . ."

His amber eyes rolled upwards into the back of his head. Winry rushed forward as he collapsed, grabbing him as he fell onto her with a heavy thud. Roy plodded through the water up to them as Riza stood behind him, "He picks wonderful times for naps."

The mechanic snorted a slight giggle, brushing away the golden hair plastered to his face, "He always did overdid thing."

Just as Roy opened his mouth to comment on that, another rumble shook the room. He frown, raising his pistol as he heard Riza's rifle as well, "Now what?"

The rumble grew stronger in vibration and closer to them, making panic rise in his throat, "Everyone down!"

They dropped to the ground as Winry threw herself on top of Edward. Rocks jutted out from to their left, as if the wall itself was peeling away in a roll. When the noise stopped, they finally looked up to see the gregarious face of Alexander Armstrong smiling at them and never had there been a more comforting sight. Peeking over his shoulders were three more familiar faces, a relieved Maes Hughes, a grumpy Jean Havoc, and a smirking Breda Heymans. They were saved. Colonel Roy Mustang sighed, rolling over onto his back as he let the water fall on his face without a care in the world, "Now you show up."

To Be Continued in Of Ballet and Bullets, Part 17, Cold Around the Heart.