Well, here it is! Finally! I had a good excuse, though…I left what I thought was a nice review on somebody's Trauma Center story and they totally flipped out on me, writing a really rude note about me leaving "thoughtless reviews". So I got all depressed over that (for a grand total of five minutes), but don't worry, I'm back to normal! Right…this fic is for Cold-Foxx, who wanted a Parental! RoyEd war fic, and who also left me my first review! So I had to write this, and I was pretty pleased with the turnout. Wow, this note is getting long! Well, I hope you enjoy the angsty goodness!
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA. I own nothing but thirty dollars, not thirty million dollars!
Guns. To those who were uneducated, the gun was just a coldly glinting, slightly menacing object that didn't look capable of destroying someone in a fraction of a second.
But to anyone that had fought or was fighting in a war, it was a symbol of both life and death. It bore the responsibilities of both defending one's life and taking that of another. It was a meaningless instrument of death in a normal realm, but in the world of war, it was an absolute necessity.
That was another oddity on the concepts of war…killing. At home, the thought of taking one's life was not a wise one, an unbearable one at that. It was unjust, illegal, or that was what everyone told you. And yet on the battle field, it becomes perfectly legal, even encouraged. Men are suddenly capable of killing people as many times as they needed. As a price, the horrible memories, the guilt, the crying spirits, resulted.
That was the truth, and quite frankly, Edward Elric was learning it the hard way.
It was his first time at war, in an armed uprising at the city of Liore. If the sorrow came strong for those simply fighting in war, poor Ed was experiencing even more grief.
It was, even though anybody close to him hated to admit it, his fault about the battles at Liore. Had he not dispatched the prophet, Cornello, the new civil war would never have happened. But he was so foolish, and now his debt, or perhaps it be destiny, was to kill all, including those he had been acquainted with during his brief stay.
Ever since Ed's drafting to fight in the war, Roy Mustang had tried to help him in as many ways as possible. Roy was a veteran at war…he had fought in a rebellion in the east city or Ishbal long ago, making him a hero, even though traces of the past continued to haunt him even now. Ed was a mere child of fifteen, and children were so easily swayed.
Ed didn't deserve to go off to war, anyway. In war, one had a great chance of being killed. Ed had made a promise to his younger brother, Alphonse, and a big one at that. A person with as many burdens as he had shouldn't have to die in battle. But Ed had joined the military himself, and he was a dog on their leash. They were in control of him now.
It hit Roy particularly hard on glum, stormy day, that Ed needed someone to care for him more than anyone would ever think. It was the day after a huge invasion that Ed and Roy had helped in. The luck had turned in favor of the military and soon, more than half of the soldiers of Liore were dead. The narrow margin of those who were alive had managed to escape, but were probably running to their death bed. The entire city of Liore was hopelessly surrounded.
It was Ed's first major success in that war, but Roy swore he would never forget the haunted expression Ed wore as he walked, very slowly, around the field. The bodies of hundreds of men lie dead, useless, in the hot desert sand, their faces contorted in an expression of horror and blankness. It was a morbid, slightly surreal facial expression.
Roy wanted nothing more than to take Ed in his arms and hold him after the invasion. It was the weirdest impulse, especially in Roy's mind, but he had a right to feel that way. The kid looked confused, lost, and disgusted (he had obviously never smelled the scent of corpses and the stench of blood…or maybe it was the thought that it was his fault that there were so many fatalities). He had dropped his gun to the hot sand with a thump where it lay useless. Roy had wondered whether or not he would ever pick it up again.
After a full twelve hours of rest and some blatant "food", Roy's unit, not sure what to do, remained stationed at their same position. It was almost like linear opposites that stormy day at camp. Some men were yelling and wildly celebrating the tremendous victory, others kept to themselves, looking upset or deep in thought. Ed was one person that was lost in thought.
Later that day, it began to rain, and the whole unit tramped inside the tent for a tight, crowded fit. Ed remained unchanged, sitting in his corner, with a thoughtful stare. Roy had managed to scrounge for many excuses to stay close to Ed…shine his boots, polish his gun, and finally get down to reading the book Lieutenant Hawkeye had sent him.
The rain fell heavily in thick, uneven sheets, showering the already damp earth. Roy sat cozily on his bed, ignoring the elements and pretending to read, occasionally peeking at Ed, who was curled on his own bed, staring into space. He looked lost and lonely and somewhere deep inside, untouchably deep, afraid.
Roy felt weird watching the boy, but he couldn't help it. Ever since the kid was drafted in the military, Roy felt some weird instinct in him. IT was almost a niche, one that couldn't stand to see the boy upset and that longed to comfort him somehow. It was a warm feeling where his heart beat, that pulsed and glowed.
Hell, it was annoying. But it was persuasive, in a way. It screamed at him to watch Ed, and after all, that was what he was doing in his spare time now.
Ed felt as lost as he looked. He couldn't help but remember the glimmering crimson splatter when he pulled the trigger from behind someone's back. He didn't even know what he was fighting for. What good could possibly come out of fighting and killing civilians of a different city? He pulled his knees tighter to his chest, huddling to find some useful warmth. Ever since the start of the war, he was always so bitterly cold.
A figure caught his eye out of the gloomy light that shone through the flap. Through the sheets of rain, it moved like a shadow or a ghost. It was hunched over and was draped in what looked like an oversized cloak.
Ed's curiosity died the second that shadow had faded, disappearing in the almost invisible sheet of rain that poured from the heavens.
Ed sighed and lazily rested his chin on his knee. He felt out of it…totally and completely out of it. His normal self would have followed the figure through the mist, despite what his superior officers said. But the war-hardened, battle-trained version of him ignored it, nonchalantly carrying out business…which happened to be nothing but getting warm.
Not two seconds after the figure disappeared had Lieutenant Colonel Archer entered the tent. Silence reigned for a half a second, before the soldiers all lined up in a straight row. Archer smiled a mirthless smirk that had always complemented his pale, pointed features.
"Well, men, it appears that there is an intruder in our camp," stated Archer in a calm, nonchalant voice. Ed felt a glimmer of interest. So he may have chance to find that mysterious individual who had snooped around. It would be somewhat more interesting than sitting in the tent.
Archer walked up and down the rows of soldiers, stopping and looking at the renowned shine in Ed's eyes with his own cold ones. "Major Elric, why don't you and Colonel Mustang go and check them out?" he asked, even though he knew the other two would answer yes. He help up the tent flap, letting the two soldiers, freshly armed with shined, loaded guns, out of the cramped tent.
Ed scanned the dark night, trying to see through the heavy sheets of rain. Roy was behind him, his gun already out as he was searching. Ed didn't want to touch his gun. Not after what he had done yesterday.
Ed slowly patrolled the camp, his blue jacket now soaked with rainwater. He longed for his warm, familiar red cloak, but it was with Alphonse at home.
Ed froze when he thought he saw the familiar shadow. He began to run, his curiosity finally returning to its usual peak.
Upon closer examination, he found that the figure was standing several yards behind the medical tent. Ed squinted as he moved closer, craving a closer look. The figure slowly let out its thin hand, and reached it up…then pulled off its hood.
Ed let out a mortified gasp as he moved closer still. It was Rose.
Rose…the memories of her smile and help on the first day he had spent at Liore were gripping him in a tight fist. He blinked, making sure his eyes were correctly adjusting to the pitch-black night.
Her hair was stringy and clung to her face, but her face was definitely recognizable. But her face…there was something different…huge pink spots, visible via the wicked flash of lightning that had struck seconds ago, had appeared on her cheeks, which were too thin. Her eyes were red and bloodshot, and her tiny, fragile frame was swallowed up by her cloak, which was billowing out behind her in the strong wind.
He heard a click of metal as Roy, now standing next to him as he had caught up, aimed his gun at her and readied himself to pull the trigger. Ed reached out his automail hand and used it to grip the front of the gun. Roy looked at Ed with an expression of bewilderment, but didn't shoot, much to Ed's relief.
Rose said in a soft, barely audible voice, "God. I have failed my people, and I have received this illness as pension…" She began to cough, her body shaking alarmingly as each heavy blow made her kneel further down lower. "Please…w-welcome me t-to…your mercy…"
It all seemed to have happened in slow motion. Thunder rumbled dramatically as Rose began to fall, slowly, to the ground. Finally, she landed with a thump; to the sandy ground.
Ed felt a thrill of horror begin to rise up his spine. Before he could register his motion, he was running toward her at a breakneck speed, fast, choke breaths pumping his body.
He fell to the ground in front of her, only to find her body still, cold, lifeless. All of the pains of war that had flooded through him burst through his dam of self control, and he absolutely broke down, his body quaking heavily with sharp sobs.
Roy was completely taken aback at the pathetic scene developing in front of him. Ed had always been so strong…seeing him break down now was downright bizarre. Now, he had no idea what to do.
That feeling that had been warm to his heart was now pulsing at a high sped. For some reason, his instincts were telling him to go forward and reassure Ed.
The warm niche began to pulse harder, and Roy had no choice. Slowly, he began to saunter toward Ed, who was still leaning on Rose. HE kneeled down by Ed, his onyx eyes fraught with concern.
"Edward," he said harshly. "Ed, there's nothing you can do now. It's over. Let her go."
"Damnit…this isn't…this…this was my fault…" he stuttered in a strained whisper.
"No, it's not," said Roy gently, putting a hand on Ed's arm. "Let's go."
"NO! WHY DO I LOSE EVERYONE?" screamed Ed loudly, looking directly at the rain and the bright flash of lightning. Roy felt that pulse get warmer and faster, and he hesitantly wrapped an arm around Ed's shoulders, pulling him close.
Ed leaned into Roy's warmth, sobbing lightly like a small child.
Ro felt like he was going crazy. His head was thinking, "What the hell?" But his arms were holding on to Ed, stroking his golden hair slowly. He could feel his own body moving in a slight rocking motion, and his grip tightened on the little alchemist.
Whatever he was subconsciously doing, it seemed to be calming Ed down significantly. His crying had slowed into a gentle weeping, which had slipped to silence, but gentle even breathing as the kid was so exhausted, he had fallen asleep in Roy's arms.
Roy felt a small smile pull at his lips. Ed really was a child. He gently picked Ed's too light form, and proceeded back to the tent.
It was weird, but…some of the warmth Ed lost at the start of this harsh war was replaced by Roy's embrace that night.
Done! Well, it was a bit rushed and sometimes confusing, but I was copying from a sloppy notebook. Yep! Well, I hope you enjoyed, and don't forget to leave a review on your way out! Thanks for reading!