Hello again. Sorry if this is a little late getting up or short but I actually forgot what day it is. Can you believe that? Lol

Also you may have noticed the rating's changed. There is a reason for that as you will see in this chapter. Not for the squeamish! You have been warned.

Anyway hope you enjoy and that some previously asked questions get answered.

It was amazing how even though he'd slept for such a long time all Edward wanted to do was crawl back into bed and slip back into blessed unconsciousness. It wasn't like him to be so tired, bone achingly so, and weary. He couldn't explain it but he felt somehow less. As though pieces of him were slowly being stripped away, including the mask he kept so carefully cultivated.

Ed trudged forward, blinking from the harsh sunlight, and muttered half hearted apologies to the people he bumped into.

He was so out of it, his mind stuck on the ethereal girl he'd met and wondering who was selling roses this time of year because the air was full of the stench of them, that when he walked into the man clad all in blue, he didn't realize he was a soldier.

"Hey," Edward snapped, rubbing his now sore nose.

The man barely passed him a glance before mentally dismissing him and the blond could almost hear his thought process, He's too small. Just some kid, and had to remind himself that punching the man, who obviously needed some sense to be knocked through his head, would land him back in Mustang's office in the blink of an eye.

Something white fluttered out of the corner of his vision and he gazed behind the officer, catching sight of other soldiers milling around a large white tarp, covering a very human shaped bulge, large dark red stain in the middle of it grotesque and vivid.

Before he'd even thought to do so, he'd taken a step forward and was immediately blocked off by the officer he'd crashed into.

"Sorry, little guy. Military only," he said gruffly, and he patted-- patted-- Ed on the head.

Edward's whole body twitched in irritation before he let a sickly sweet smile curl his lips. He really shouldn't enjoy what he was about to do but....

The blond dug his hand in his pocket and extracted his sliver state issue watch, holding it out so that it was plainly visible. He let the smile drop. It would give him away if he looked too evil.

"That's okay," he said dismissively, pleased that his voice came out even, " I was just conducting an investigation in this area but I suppose I'll let the Fuhrer know that not only am I not allowed here but that the staff guarding it can't even recognize their superiors let alone their comrades."

The man went pale and started stuttering apologies before practically grabbing Edward and ushering him to the crime scene. The blond waved him away, feeling as though he'd aged ten years.

"What's happened here?" Ed asked another soldier who was studying a file he had open.

The soldier gave him a once over before answering hesitantly, "There's been another murder, sir. Latest in a long rash of killings in the area. All women. All between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. She was found not two hours ago by a Mr. Jack Mitchell who was walking by--"

Edward kept half his concentration on the litany of facts the soldier was quoting as he hunched down and gripped the rough fabric of the tarp, pulling it back in one quick motion.

Bile immediately rose to his throat and he choked, his brain quickly telling him that what it had revealed wasn't real despite what he could see.

The body of a young teenage girl lay on the ground, her arms spread out awkwardly, her legs skewed. Her torso had been carved open from one neat line starting at her navel and ending just below her breasts, exposing gleaming wet organs and a cracked ribcage. Her head was turned to the side, as though she were looking at him, and his stomach flipped as he realized that her eyelids had been brutally slashed, and that both eyes had been smashed to a pulp in their sockets. A lock of wavy brown hair hair lay gently across one tan cheek.

It wasn't the stench of blood that fled his nostrils nor was it the sight of a body so torn up that had Edward's stomach rebelling or had him feeling lightheaded.

He knew this girl.

I remember you.

Because he'd met her not fifteen minutes ago, caught in a bustling crowd, hands reaching out for help.

I used to see you walking down the street sometimes.


"W- what's her name?" Ed gasped.

"-- haven't contacted the family yet. What? Oh, her name is--"

Her name was Sarah Mattison and she was seventeen years old.

"-- Sarah Mattison. Seventeen years old. She got the same marks as the other victims as well," the man continued, oblivious to the blond alchemist's suddenly trembling frame.

He stepped forward next to Ed and bent down, pointing at a cut the blond had missed in all the blood.

It was on her chest, a deep continuous cut in the shape of a heart, blood drying in spikes around the wound.

That's an interesting tattoo.

No. There had to be an explanation for this. He had not seen a ghost.

Who are you?!


He stood on shaky legs and walked away, ignoring the soldier's protests and questions. He kept his mind carefully blank, letting his feet take him where he wanted to go. To who he wanted to see most right now.

Trust your heart like you used to.

The small apartment came into view, the flowered bushes out front swaying with a subtle breeze.

The blond felt the blood drain from his face. The door was barely hanging from it's hinges, deep gouges cutting through the dark wood and around it. The door's handle was laying halfway down the path.

"Alphonse," he whispered.


Review please!

Song I was listening to: Semi Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind