Disclaimer: Hahahaha. Me? Own FMA? Ya right. But I do own Inu Yasha. Hahahaha. Not really.
A/N: Funky! Sorry it took so long...gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah...I hate my computer and it's weird ability to save the files I don't need, but lose the files I do. I had the next chapter for GAST, but it got lost. BUT I AM ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! And I went to see PotC3. Anyone else see it? LITTLE WILL! 8D Gave me inspiration.
Two Princes And A Pirate King
by Me And My God Complex
Chapter Three: The Shadows Of Cartaden
Clara's teaching was cut short when a voice (probably the Captain's) bellowed, "WE'VE REACHED CARTADEN. COME HERE, SO I CAN DECIDE WHO STAYS AND WHO GOES."
Edward jumped and Clara simply grinned. "First time hearin' him shout, Eddy? Don't worry. He doesn't do it a lot. Only at times like these." The nurse informed as she put away her lock picks. Edward blinked, and scowled.
"Don't call me Eddy, please." He pouted, and Clara winked. "And, what on earth do you mean 'times like these'?" The younger blonde questioned as he and the nurse began to head on deck.
"It means, he makes other pirates think there are people on the ship, when we've really all gone." Clara replied as she swung out of the hatch. She helped Edward out, before continuing, "Eddy, you should stop talking like that."
"Speaking like what?" Inquired a puzzled Edward. The two blondes joined the small crowd surrounding the Captain. Edward pointedly ignored what the dark haired man was saying, looking up at Clara.
"Kinda like a noble kid." Replied Clara, blue eyes twinkling. "Not like I have much experience with 'em." Edward gulped nervously, not exactly dancing at the prospect of having his secret discovered. Then an answer hit him, as clear as day.
"I worked in the Palace." It wasn't a lie. Pirates began to depart the ship, and Edward and Clara followed the flow. "I guess I picked it up from my bosses." Edward mentally prayed that he would be believed. After all, talking like a 'noble kid' was thanks to his mother's teachings that he speak properly, like he would if he had been raised by his father.
Clara gave him a suspicious look for few seconds, before shrugging. "See ya later Eddy!" She turned and headed off in the darkness of the poorly lit streets, leaving poor Edward, all alone in a pirate's town.
The blonde boy looked around nervously. He was surrounded by drunkards, cutthroats and thieves. One of the very few people who he recognized had left. Some of the said drunkards, cutthroats and thieves was eying him in away that made the boy swallow back bile.
"Well..." He scratched the back of his head nervously, before squaring his shoulders. This was for Alphonse, as he constantly reminded himself. So he set off down the street that looked the most lit, desperately seekning out at least someone he knew. He'd even settle for the bastard-that-was-Mustang. Really.
As if the gods were smiling on him, he spotted the man walking with his confident swagger, smirking at all the women he passed by. As Edward faked a gag (the other was SUCH a ladies man it was sickening) he glimpsed Mustang disappearing into a random building. Eyes widening (no way in hell was he getting left behind again) he chased after the elder and ended up following him into the building, which turned out to be a pub.
It was named The Blue Pheobe, which Edward could only remember from listening in on noble tutors meant 'The Blue Moon', since Pheobe was another name for moon in literature. Or something. The only thing really surprising was that such a . . . uneducated slum would have a pub named this. Shaking his head free of these thoughts, he glanced around the room he had had just entered.
The inside was noisy and full of pirates, mercenaries, thieves, killers and whores. Everyone was rowdy, filling the room up to the rafters with shouts, catcalls, songs, conversations, arguments, and even some very bad animal imitations. Tables were set sparodically, the floor was grimy and the barmaid looked like she could bite your head off if you tried to to touch, and touch many would want to since her blue-eyed, blonde-haired curvy figure just screamed good-looking. There were stairs that lead to a second level, which maybe had rooms for the prostitutes to take their customers up to. He had grown up in a pub similar to this, just not as violently crazy.
The final feature was the large fireplace which sat crackling away, that had a scrubbed table set in front. Oddly enough, the people who sat here definitely looked like they were in control of everything; and Edward suspected it wasn't just because they were situated in front of the focal point of the room. They held a certain authority (there were three) and surveyed the room with clever eyes (well, two did) as they drank their ale. One caught Edward's eye, and gave a suggestive smirk, leaning forward a bit to show her considerably . . . freakin' huge chest, and a odd tattoo that tickled the back of the blonde's memory.
His only response to her obvious flirtatious movement was to shake his head and move on, looking for the dark-haired pirate who he had once again lost. As he searched the general chaos for him, he decided that the woman from earlier didn't look like a common whore. She looked a dangerous pirate.
Perhaps it was his thinking of them too much, but he ended up by their table again and began to watch them. He didn't know why, they just seemed important. Maybe it was how weird they looked. The woman in the low-cut dress with the long, dark wavy hair and tattoo. The man with no hair and was very short, squat and fat, and looked like he wasn't that smart. And the third (who Edward assumed was male from lack of breasts, but they were definitely highly girly) wearing a short skirt with shorter, tighter pants underneath (what were they called? Shorts?) and a tight top that cut off just after his chest, and weird greeen hair that fell in long strands. Edward decided the green-haired she-male was definitely the oddest of the trio.
"Hey, pipsqueak, you just gonna stare or are you gonna join us?" Asked the green-haired fellow, giving a pretty creepy grin at the blonde, who stomped over fuming. Why he was going to pound this guy's face in!
"I AM NOT SHORT!" He screamed, right into the stranger's face. His yell was so loud everyone actually paused from their festivities to stare at them, before resuming. And the person (who's eyes were violet and flashing in a mixture of amusement and annoyance) simply patted the chair next to him.
"Sure, pipsqueak. Sit down, drink something." Before Edward could punch the feminine male's face in (who actually almost looked like the Queen. (Hohenheim's wife; oh really, he couldn't be bothered to marry his mother) Maybe it was his purple eyes) a hand settled on his shoulder.
He glanced in surprise at Mustang, who was now standing behind him with a guarded expression on his face. "Midget, why don't you not accept invitations from strangers?" The man said, before clapping a hand over Edward's mouth to prevent a violent outburst. "Hello there, O famous royalty." The boy noted that this was said with thinly-veiled distaste and sarcasm, as the elder gave a mocking bow from around the smaller.
"Mustang." The woman greeted, giving a small smirk as she sipped her drink. "You're looking as attractive as ever. Settled down yet?" She said this with such familiarity that Edward could only wonder if they knew eachother. So caught up in his thoughts he didn't notice when the hand was dropped from his mouth.
"No, not yet. Though Unforgettable is being blessed with a biological child, if we're talking families." The pirate captain didn't sit down and continued to stand there stiffly. He spoke to the strange woman with ease, dispite his awakward body language, and obviously didn't mind her as much as he minded the green-haired man (who looked to be only in his teenaged years).
"Really? I bet it'll be a cute kid." She sent a warning glance at her emerald-haired companion when he opened his mouth, and turned to the Elric boy instead. "Oh, we should introduce ourselves. I'm Lust, the guy next to me chewing on the table--" he really was "--is Gluttony and the freak across from me is Envy. We're from The Dark Sin, current Aquarius Royalty."
The golden boy narrowed his eyes slightly. He knew of Aquarius Royalty, attending so many private meetings as a servant allowed him to. Those who worked for the currently strongest, deadliest, fastest, most skilled, richest and well-known pirate ship on the seven seas got known as Aquarius Royalty, while the captain was the King/Queen of piratry (the current monarch was a Queen). The main ship (since they could be in control of a fleet) of Aquarius Royalty was called 'The Pirate Palace'. All of this together was called 'Aquarius Monarchy'. The Dark Sin and its members had possessed the title of Aquarius Monarchy for several years now.
This also made sense as to why their tattoos were so familiar. The snake (or dragon; it was often argued over) biting its own tail, plus some embellisments. The Orobourus. Also one of the most recognized signs in piratery, the mark placed on all members of The Dark Sin.
They were the ones who had his brother. But they were also on the top of the Most Wanted lists. So Edward was careful as he nodded and shook the well-manicured hand presented to him, though he truly wanted to smack the woman across the face and demand she give back his brother. "Edward." He greeted, not using his last name. He knew better than to tell such a thing to deadly raiders.
"Edward . . . tell me Mustang, where did you find such a cute little boy?" Asked Lust. Before Edward could growl out a usual, "not short!" Response, the dark haired man next to him replied.
"In my travels. He's staying with us until his father can pay back his debt to us." If the blonde hadn't known that the other was lying, he would have truly believed this statement. However, it was a lie, and a funny one at that. As if the King couldn't pay back a debt to a single pirate ship run by an over confident bastard. Haha. "And now we must head out. Early day tomorrow." As if. Haha. Edward never knew how funny the Captain could be to listen to.
"Well, in that case, good bye." Lust commented, while Envy began to wave in a cheerful (and almost loopy) fashion. "C'mon Gluttony." Lust poked the large man next to her, and the trio got up. Roy and Edward quickly headed to the exit, not wanting to walk next to the other pirates, slipped outside and leaned against the wall of the building, which was submerged in shadows.
Edward had a feeling they were almost hiding. Turning to his Captain, he asked, "what are we waiting for?" Obsidian eyes blinked down at him, and the man put a finger to his lips.
"Ssh. Envy has some of the best hearing you'll ever find. And we're waiting." The elder whispered, pulling Edward closer to the wall and further into the shadows. As the seconds ticked by, the golden-haired boy began to get irritated.
"Mustang, what the hell--" He was cute off by a loud scream, as from the doorway to the Blue Pheobe came Lust, Envy and Gluttony. But they weren't alone, for the protesting cries were coming from the blonde that Edward recognized as the barmaid. Amber eyes blinked in confusion, and he could almost feel the anger radiating off Mustang. Theirs was one of the few reactions, as the other pirates simply continued to amble down the street.
Wait—there was one man at the doorway, who had a pretty enough middle-aged woman behind him. They were glaring furiously and chasing after the trio. Edward watched, almost like he would watch a play, as the man glared at Gluttony (who was carrying the barmaid) and shouted, "put my daughter down!"
"Father!" Screeched the girl (who Edward decided was only a few years older than him). With an angry noise she bit the man holding her, but he didn't seem to notice the pain while Lust turned to Envy.
"Envy, take care of them. We'll be waiting at the ship." With a psychotic grin, the green-haired teen nodded. Lust and Gluttony rushed off into the darkness, while Envy slowly approached the barmaid's parents, like a predator approaching his prey.
It was against Edward's moral conduct to just stand there while Envy (who was clearly dangerous) killed the pair. But as he made a move, Mustang only tightened his grip on the blonde's arm and hissed, "the girl is more important, Edward."
"But--" Replied the angel-esque boy in the same tone. Before he could finish, Mustang pushed him in the direction that the dup and their kidnapped had left.
"Trust me. Go. I'll take care of Envy." With this promise, Edward began to run down the street. Envy, who had been circling his opponents, finally noticed their audience and turned with an angry noise.
"Pipsqueak—Mustang---" Edward didn't hear what Envy said as the darkness of the unlit streets enveloped him, but he did hear the crackling of . . . fire? After that was a shout and two high, piercing screams.
A Bit Earlier
Alphonse Elric kneeled in the dark-ish room, his eyes glued to the floor. He had been ordered to not lok up until he was told to, and he thought it would be best to obey his captors. They had proven to be violent and easily angered during his current three weeks on the ship, and he did not want to light a fuse to their tempers.
His first few days, he'd cried, begged to be set free and had worried over his older brother. Now, although his anxiety over his big brother hadn't faded, he no longer pleaded for freedom. He knew it was no use, and no he spent his time doing the tasks they ordered and plotting his escape.
He knew better than to consider running out of the room and off the ship. The entire ship, being the Pirate Palace, always had to be on guard, and was almost always ready to sail away unless they were in their secret port. Outside the door to his room was a guard, a tall, tinted glasses-wearing man with pointy teeth and a fur-lined jacket. He went by the name of Greed, and although he got along with Alphonse quite well, his loyalties lay to The Dark Sin.
A small creak sounded, and he tensed as the unmistakable noise of the door opening sounded. Although he did not lift his head, he began to build a mental picture of his guest as the door clicked shut. This was just like a game he and his brother would play. Being servants, it would be rude to lift their heads and openly stare at the nobles, so instead they settled for trying to recognize who was who by what they could hear, see or smell.
There was a light, wafty scent that was obviously woman's perfume. There was something about it that was almost familiar to Alphonse, but this thought was replaced by shock at the fact that from what he could see of the hem, this woman was wearing a noble dress, one they might wear when doing intimate socializing with friends or family. There was no mistaking the quality and style. Had this pirate stolen it? For only a pirate would be on a pirate ship, he reasoned. (Him being an exception to the fact, of course.)
It was possible, he reasoned. The Royal Family's summer palace was only a few miles from the pirate port, Cartaden. He remembered this fact solely because it caused a great stir when the palace was first built. There had been mutterings about King Hohenheim being a tad silly. But what Alphonse and Edward knew that no one else did was the fact that the seaside summer retreat was built only because their mother had once commented that she had grown up there and it was the most beautiful place she had ever knew.
But enough of that. The strange woman's jeweled shoes glittered in the half-light, and Alphonse found himself wishing he could look up. Why wasn't he allowed to?
"Because you will be shocked by who I am." He jumped a bit, startled. How had she known—was he really that obvious? What got him the most though, was that calm, soothing and almost friendly voice. That voice was . . . familiar to say the least. This was a voice he'd grown up to.
"Is it . . . but how--" Before he could finish his sentence, a delicate, manicured hand appeared in his vision and cupped his chin. The gentle, but firm pressure on his jaw was a simple signal for him to tilt his head upwards, and he did. As his thoughts on the person's identity were confirmed, Alphonse could only gape in shock.
"See, I told you. Now, Alphonse, I have a preposition for you." As he stared up into that pretty face that he could attach many of his childhood memories to, the young boy could only nod dumbly.
"What?" He asked, large eyes blinking curiously. The woman—he couldn't quite believe it was her—laughed softly, and let her hand go from his chin to pat his cheek, then ruffle his hair.
"I want you to work for me for the next four years, and then I will deliver you to your brother. Wouldn't that be nice, Alphonse dear?" There was a cunningness in her eyes, a cunningness that would belong to the Pirate Queen. Which she was, and that realization struck Alphonse hard.
What choice did he really have but to go along with this though? He would do anything to return to his big brothers side. So with a small sigh, Alphonse closed his eyes and whispered, "I will."
A deal was struck with the devil.
Back To Current Time
Lust and Gluttony weren't moving terribly fast, and Edward could run very quickly when he needed to. Taking his mind completely off subjects that could impair his thoughts while fighting—(just as his old teacher in the subject of fighting, who was also his adoptive mother for a short time until Hohenheim took him to the palace)--he slowly shoved Alphonse, the barmaid's parents, Envy and Mustang to the back of his head.
As he caught sight of Lust and her partner, heading towards a ship that Edward had a haunting feeling was The Dark Sin. As he finished running with a skidding stop, he glared at the duo while panting in a mixture of anger and exertion. "Put her down!" In Edward's mind, it didn't matter what she'd did or who she was, he couldn't stand by and let her get kidnapped. Besides, Mustang (a kindapper himself) seemed to have a problem with it, so it must be bad.
"We need her though, for a little . . . exchange of ours with a certain person." Lust commented, while Gluttony absent-mindedly chewed on the blonde girl's hair. Edward narrowed his golden eyes angrily, and stalked forward until he was a foot away from the duo.
"I said, put her down."
"You two. We have to leave now." The blonde boy turned in shock to the ship from which the voice had come from. That voice texture and shape, it was eerily familiar. But he couldn't quite place it. Where--? Wait. With her glossy brown hair falling around her face and blank, green-grey eyes, she looked like someone had tried to paint a picture of his mother and forgot to put in his mother's love of life, happy yet somewhat sad all the time eyes, to make her hair tied over her shoulder.
As he stared in surprise, unable to form a conherent thought, Lust began to speak. "Well, I hope you have room for our captive." She gestured at the barmaid, who was continuing her furious biting of Gluttony.
"There's been a change of plans. With all the time that will be taken with Alphonse, she is not the most important thing at the moment. We wouldn't have used her until later anyways." The chestnut-haired woman said this in a creepy monotone, which was another thing wrong. His mother would never talk like that.
"Alphonse? Al? You have Al in there?" Completely forgetting about the barmaid, who Gluttony was releasing as Lust glared angrily at the brown-haired look-alike, Edward glared at the woman on the ship. "You better give him over, or I'll sure as hell beat you up!" He shouted this angrily, fists clenched at his sides. He was prepared to go smack that strange woman, ignoring the fact that he was outnumbered, when he felt a large impact to his head.
Expecting an attack, he swung his leg out, only to stop short when he recognized the barmaid, who had apparently been the one to bruise his skull.
"What did you do that for?" Anger at the teen he had just saved made his priorities shift a bit, as he glared at the lighter-coloured blonde. (In the background, Lust and the mysterious woman are staring blankly and Gluttony is chewing on a stick.)
"You moronic midget, you can't just go attacking members of Aquarius Royalty!" She replied, fists propped on her hips as she stared him down. Gah! She was taller than him!
"Like you should talk, you were trying to chew chubby's arm off! AND I AM NOT SHORT! GOT THAT GIRLY?" Edward found himself thinking, 'what an . . . infuriating girl!' The blonde boy must have been mad if he was resorting to using 'big words'.
"C'mon, I've seen five year olds taller than you! And that was self-defense, not blind and moronic charging! And lastly—my name is Winry Rockbell, and you better damn well remember it!" As Edward and Winry glared at eachother, the shorter suddenly came to a realization. He hadn't been paying any attention to their enemies or surroundings. Stupid stupid stupid!
"Al? Alphonse?" He turned his head around, and found himself gaping. It was all gone. The ship. Lust. Gluttony. Mystery Woman. Where were they? Where was the answer to getting his little brother back?
". . . Shorty, we got a lot of work to do on you if you're going to become a pirate and get your brother back." Edward turned, and was greeted by the sight of Roy Mustang, staring blankly at him in a kind of disgust. Winry however, was giving the man a curious look.
"Are mother and father okay? Are they waiting for me back at the Pheobe?" The sole female asked, and an unreadable look came over the pirate captain's face he lowered his head slightly.
"I'm sorry to say that . . ." Mustang trailed off, apparently not feeling the need to explain to the girl, who plainly got it as she brought her hands up to cover her mouth as cerulean eyes widened in horror.
"But—they---they--can't---be dead, you're not saying—you're lying--" The Rockbell began to babble, as her entire face crumpled and tears began to form, quivering but refusing to be shed. "They're my parents—no—no--no . . . are t-their bodies there?" She seemed determined to be strong, something that reminded Edward painfully of himself.
"My fire . . . got to the corpses." Roy seemed to be truly sorry, but he soon snapped back into his brisk, captain-esque mode. "Now, we need to get you into hiding Ms. Rockbell. It's what your parents would have wanted. And your grandmother has kindly agreed to take you in."
As Mustang and Rockbell began to sort out the details, with a supposedly impassive Roy and a near-breakdown Winry, Edward leaned against a post, trying to get his mind wrapped around the fact that Alphonse had been so close and he'd let him slip away over an argument, around how everything was going so fast.
With a sigh, he allowed his hand to drop from where it was massaging his temples and to swing past the pole, effectively brushing a sign that was attached. Curiously, he glanced down, and was greeted by a Wanted sign for, ironically, The Dark Sin. Perhaps they stuck it uop as a reminder to other pirates of just how much they were worth. Even he could whistle at the number for one of their heads.
Suddenly, he snatched the sheet off and crumpled it angrily. This was unfair, this was fucking unfair. And he'd show those bastards how he felt about this unfairness next time they met. This was it. If he ever wanted Alphonse back, he was going to have to get serious.
END CHAPTER THREE
A/N: If it's poor quality near the end, I apologize. I was tired and just wanted an update for my awesome reviewers. I love you guys so much. Now let me touch you. 8D