"Roy?" Ed whispered, jumping up from the plastic waiting chair in the hall, his furry ears pulled back as he glanced worriedly back in forth between Roy's shoulder and the man's face. The bandage cover the entire shoulder blade and most of the man's upper arm, the effect making it look worse than Roy said it was.
"You said it was just a stray bullet." Ed deadpanned, walking up so he was directly in front of Roy. Letting his flesh hand come up, Ed ran feather soft touches to Roy's skin, making the man shiver at the sensitive touch.
"I'm fine Edward." Roy closed his eyes as he grabbed the hand that was still trailing a pattern over the bandage and placing it in his own to try to regain whatever kind of mask he had left when in the presence of the blond. "But what about you? Are you hurt?"
Ed silently shook his head no, Roy glaring at the answer. That wasn't the answer he wanted. He knew that Ed wouldn't tell him anything about the pain he was in, little or big. "Fine." He said, not realizing he said it out loud. "What did the-"
Roy abruptly cut himself off as he heard something that made his heard jump to his throat. Voices. Familiar and yet unfamiliar ones at that. Giving the wall that had shadows of people approaching around the corner, Roy tugged the hoodie of Ed's jacket that Al had gave his brother over the blonds' head, the cat ears going instantly flat against Ed's head. Perfect, it almost looked like Ed didn't have the ears at all.
Trying to appear nonchalant, Roy shrugged on his shirt and began buttoning up the pearls just as two boys rounded the corner. Normally, it would be strange for Roy to be shocked by someone who was walking through headquarters, and maybe it should have worried him some as the obviously older one walked right up to him and crossed his arms, leaning back on one of his heels as the younger one's eyes darted nervously between Roy and the other.
Dark Chocolate clashed with Onyx before Roy broke eye contact. "Come on Fullmetal, let's go." And tucking an arm around the boy's shoulder, guiding the blonde in the way that the two brunettes came.''
Roy cursed silently as he heard the words hastily spat from the others mouth, and turning around, Roy looked to see the older of the two pointing an accusing finger towards him. "What." He replied, voice edged with something that said 'I don't have time for this.' He had hoped the boy wouldn't have recognized him, and be able to keep Ed's identity safe for the moment but…
"It's you. I've been looking for you two." The brunette smiled, his brown eyes narrowing down to the blond Roy was desperately trying to keep from view. "I'm Chelles. And you Blondie Neko, are what we need."
"What the hell are you talking about? I don't know any 'Blondie Neko' as you say. You must be mistaking us for someone else." Roy butted in, reverting the conversation back to him. Now if he could just keep it there…
All hope of that died though when 'Chelles' began laughing. "You've got to be kidding. You think I would forget a face like that. And the prize that comes with it too?" He stopped laughing "Priceless. Now, I have a matter to discuss with the two of you, and I think my brother and I can help your Blondie Neko there."
Help. How could they help Edward? I mean they are being rude as hell and… unless. "Help how?" Roy asked, suspicion etched into his voice. Glancing down at the boy beside him, Roy swallowed. There was only one way they could help Edward.
Roy was shocked however when the younger of the two brunettes spoke up instead.
"Well… m-me and my… brother are…s-state alchemist in the far north. We work in the Chimera's department… and you know the recertification thing is coming up soon, and we don't have anything new to work on besides the fact that we can separate even the most tightly bound chimera compound into their original form." He paused and let his gaze fall on Edward, the quickly reverted his eyes back to the floor. "We have figured out and successfully converted a chimera like yourself, Mr. Fullmetal, back to her original state, only to have discovered that she used us and ran away before we could show anyone the final result. It was very hard to find someone else like that so-"
"And it is against our morals to change someone into a chimera." The older one butted in.
"ANYWAY! So we were wondering if we could strike you a deal. We change you back, and then you get us recertified."
Could this really be happening? An opportunity like this just dropped in their laps? The only problem was if they could trust these two people with something so important as Ed's humanity.
But this wasn't his decision. He could only stand behind Edward (literally and figuratively) and let the blond choose what to do, after all, it is his body.
"So let me get this straight," Ed said, stepping forward. "You two come out of the blue, saying that you are certified state alchemist and not only that you work with Chimeras!" His voice had a laughing tone in it. "You do realize that Chimera's are illegal, right. How do you expect me to believe that the state would allow you to do that sort of things you are claiming to do?"
"Simple." The younger brunette stated. "The law states that it is illegal to make chimera's, not to change them back. There for, we are not breaking the law but actually turning thing illegal back… if that makes since."
Ed, for once, was speechless. What could he say though? 'Sure no problem! Even though I have no clue who you are and if the military position you claim to have is valid, just go ahead and cut me open?' Heck no. First, he had to ask Hughes to do some research.
"Hmm… okay. Roy gimmie a pen." Ed demanded, taking his research journal out of his jacket pocket and flipping to a clean page, the turning towards Roy as he waited for a pen.
"What makes you think I have a pen Edward? I was shirtless less than ten minutes ago." Roy bickered, falling into place as their usual banter.
Ed huffed. "Fine." Then promptly stole the pen off the waiting desk he was sitting at before Roy came out. "Names."
"Umm… Arion Walker." The younger said. "This is my older brother Chelles Walker."
Scribbling. "Uh-huh. State names."
"The Reforming Alchemist." Chelles said as he sat down in the waiting chair, previously hosted by Ed and began taking apart the pen that sat innocently by the many magazines on the end table.
"The Blood Stained Alchemist." Arion replied, getting uneasy by the questions. "Um… we can give you a demonstration if you like… but only me. Chelles works only in the chimera separation process.
"Fine. Go ahead." Ed gave, crossing his arms as he leant back against the wall. At least this should be interesting.
"Okay, please watch closely." Then proceeded to take a pocket knife out of his pants pocket and flick it open.
Ed's eyes widened at the blade, flinching involuntary as he began piecing together what this could mean. A knife, the 'blood' title. Could the boy be planning to-
"Wait stop!" Ed cried, but it was useless as Arion brought the blade to his forearm, cutting deeply into the top part and not the sensitive and vulnerable underneath part. Blood seeped through the cut, thick and unwavering as it ran down the arm.
"Blood." Arion whispered, looking at the bright red substance. "I've cut myself, now watch." He clapped his hands together, Ed getting only a little glance at the transmutation circle on the left hand as the brunette brought his hands to his chest and took a deep breath.
There was no crackle or any indication of the alchemy, but Ed gave a small gasp at the cut. Slowly, and yet quickly it formed as a scab, then it began turning a dark maroon… finally to fall off a few seconds later, showing no indication at all that the cut was even there to begin with.
"You transmuted the ions in the blood, making them react and bounce off faster, the used them to get the white blood cells to the cut quicker then that produces the scab then the scab which is really blood still has the ions that are still transmuted in them…meaning that the healing process is quickened." Ed mumbled, not realizing the brunette grinning widely at the comments.
"Correct. It helps if we have sever blood loss' patients' Though they still have a scar, I'm trying to find a way to get rid of scars on the people and animals we work on. Though I doubt the animals care that much but," Arion shrugged "Who knows."
"Roy, can you do me a favor and call Hughes for me?" When the Colonel gave a nod, Ed gave Roy a hug, secretly slipping his research journal into one of Roy's pockets. "Maybe we all can go out to dinner or something… I'm starving!"
Roy laughed, knowing it was all a cover. "Sure thing Ed, can't keep someone like you hungry for to long… you just might eat all of Central if we don't. Well I'll go do that now, see you Edward. Chelles. Arion." And with that he began walking down the hall, not really wanting to leave Edward at all.
'But if it helps get Edward back to normal, I guess I just have to go with it. After all, Ed asked me to.'
"Hughes, I need you to do some research for Ed." Roy stated as soon as the man picked up the phone. He really wished he could have this call in person though.
Yeah… bought what? Chimera's?
"Yes and no. Two boys round there twenty's say that they can change Ed back. They say there from the north branch of the military, so Ed took down their information." Roy continued to read off the list, all the while hearing the computer keyboard clicking rapidly on the other end.
Bingo Hughes finally breathed out after a while, the typing coming to a stop as he began mumbling the information.
"Hughes, you found something?" Roy asked, which was greeted by an affirmative hum.
Well it turns out these boys are State Alchemist. The older ones twenty one, they younger eighteen. Both seem to have good profiles and their work has been very good. Arion's even worked in the hospital for a while with his 'Blood Stained' alchemy. Seems like they both have pretty good reputations.
But could they trust what was on those documents? Roy gave an irritated sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose.
Not what you wanted to hear, Roy?
"No- I mean yes. The fact that they have a good profile makes this even more complicated than before." If they had a bad profile, then Roy would tell Ed, and they would get the hell away from the two, but since they don't… "I have to go Hughes, thanks for looking that up for me."
Sure buddy, say hi to Ed for me.
"So, Blondie Neko, who's your... friend." Chelles asked from his chair beside Ed, Arion straddling the chair in front of the two.
"What... oh you mean Ro- wait... why do you say friend like that?" Ed questioned, an eyebrow raised. They couldn't mean... oh hell...
"Welllll?" Both of the older boy's said simultaneously, leaning towards the blond.
Ed's head hit the back of his chair, covering his face with his hands to hide a bright red blush. "You've got to be freaking kidding me."
"God those guy's act like freaking girls gossiping." Ed mumbled to himself as he walked through the halls, wondering where Roy was at the moment. Tugging at the hood that was flipped over his ears, he pulled it down toward his eyes and pushed down his ears as another military officer walked by.
Now if he could just find Roy he wouldn't have to be such on ends about all this. He was still unsure about the two brunettes and how much of what they say is true. And the younger one... isn't his alchemy a minor human transmutation?
He just hoped Hughes could find the answers.
Walking into the Colonel's office, he was greeted by an over-happy Altair who had shot up from his laying position as soon as he saw Ed enter the room. "Hey Altair, have you been good?" The huge mat that the chimera had been laying on seemed to be the only thing that had been touched by the bird, and everything else in the room seemed to be in the same condition as when they left.
It was only him and Altair in the room, or so he thought until the tall chair behind Roy's desk that had previously faced the window spun around, revealing the Colonel.
"Roy!" Ed shouted surprised. "I didn't think anyone was in here besides-"
"I won't let you do it Ed."
Ed blinked. "Do what?" He paused. "Do you mean being separated by Arion and Chelles?"
Roy stood abruptly at that, the chair pushing back and crashing hard against the wall. "You're to trusting Ed." Roy said, moving over to in front of Ed. "You trust anyone that says they're telling the truth, and the fact is, you believe anyone!" He was shouting now.
"So, you found something-" Ed began but was cut off.
"You trust me even though I'm just a manipulative bastard. I have been manipulating you ever since you came in my room with that chimera transformation." He locked his eyes with Ed's. "You weren't mad or anything when I came to the hideout, when clearly it was my fault. I am someone you think you can trust, and you shouldn't."
"SHUT THE HELL UP!" Ed screamed, bringing up his left hand and thrashing it at Roy, who easily caught it and tugged Ed into an embrace. "No! Let go!" Ed struggled, pushing against the man. Fear raced through him, his heart pounding into his chest as the Colonel's arms that seemed so strong and protecting not so long ago held him in a terrifying embrace.
"Tell me what you feel Edward. Why do you trust me- me the person you've hated for so long- and are so happy around me?" Roy hissed in Ed's ear, the blond freezing as he heard these words.
"Because... I love you." Ed whispered, golden eyes wide. Why... why was he doing this? What had happened to make Roy act in this way?
Then... everything stopped. The tense state of the room fell, Ed's heart returning to its regular pace as Roy turned Ed around to face him. "I'm so sorry Ed. I was afraid of this."
"This?" Ed questioned, hands fisted in Roy's white shirt.
And Roy told him. About Lee, his past, and why he was so afraid that Ed would say those words. He poured his heart out, telling Ed everything that he had been keeping from the blond. While Roy told Ed everything, Ed kept his face downcast, his gaze locked with the floor and his face unseeable. Only when Roy finished did he look up. "Bastard... you think that... you thought..." He trailed off giving a light laugh.
"Ed?" Roy questioned, but was silenced when Ed shook his head.
There gazes locked, Ed giving Roy a small smile before stepping closer to the man. Bringing his right hand up to Roy's shoulder, he wrapped the other around the man's neck, before, on his tip-toes, he kissed Roy.
It was soft and gentle, and yet it let all his emotions flow through, letting Roy know just exactly how he felt. Pressing his lips a bit harder to Roy's, his eyes screwed shut, Ed felt a slight flush run to his cheeks, his arm around Roy's neck pulling the man closer. After the initial shock wore off, Roy wrapped his arms around Ed's waist, smiling on the inside.
Ending the kiss, Edward slowly lowered himself back to normal height, stepping away from Roy and looking the other direction.
"Edward?" Roy asked, searching for an answer for the boy kissing him. Not that he minded it was just the suddenness and directness (not the going-around-the-bush that he was used to) surprised him. The boy's face was a mix of confusion and concern, his bottom lip sucked in as the blond worried it between his teeth.
Finally, Ed let out a breath he did not know he was holding. "I can't believe you would have thought that I would not be in control of my feelings. I mean- seriously!"
"There's no way of telling, Edward." Roy said crossing his arms.
Ed paused, looking up at the older. "Yes there is. And you are not saying no."
Realization dawned on Roy, the man instantly grabbing the boy's wrist in a hold, eyes locking with each other. "Ed, I don't want to see you hurt." He paused. "Who knows what could happen if those two try to separate you."
"It's my decision, Roy. Can you just stand behind me this one time?"
He wanted to say no. He wanted to drag Ed out of the military HQ, and hide him from all the people that could harm him. But he knew if he would do that, Ed would never forgive him, and maybe end up hating him for forcing him to not do something he was obviously set to do.
"Okay Ed, I will... but I'm going to have a chat with the two alchemists... just to ensure you being safe."
Chelles and Arion sat on the two chairs in one of the research labs that they had specifically set up for Ed if he would agree to the deal. Roy, pacing back and forth in front of them while waiting for Ed to come back after changing into the robe that would be easier for the two alchemists during it all, began piecing everything he had to say to the two boys' in his head.
"First off," He began, stopping the pacing he had been doing for the last ten minutes and face the two brunettes. "If you hurt him, I swear I will burn you to a crisp." He paused. "Slowly."
"Second. Ed will not be a lab rat for you two. He is a human being and if I think that you a treating him not as such, I will not be afraid to step forward. Last of all, if you do anything that will leak this to the major public, I will come out with my own information that will burn your careers as state alchemist to the ground." Roy finished, not noticing Ed walk into the room, his hair down and thrown over his left shoulder, clothed in a blue robe that came down all the way to his knees.
"Is something wrong?" Ed asked, glancing at the wide-eyed Arion and Chelles, their nails digging into the arms of there chairs.
Chelles swallowing visibly got up from his chair to stand in front of a large information desk, cords and wires running to every machine in the room to attach to the desk. "No, nothing is wrong. Can you go behind that screen?" He pointed to a machine with a frosted screen on it, making everything behind it just a blur of color. "We're going to give you an X-ray and see how much of you is Chimera and how much is Human."
Nodding, Ed walked behind the screen, now only a mix of colors to Roy and everyone else.
Moving behind a small stand by the 'operation' table, Arion began typing in information on the keyboard, small beeps and tones coming from the speakers that were on the side of the stand. "Scanning." He Arion said in a dead panned voice, pressing a button on the stand.
Instantly, a bright light buzzed on near the top of the X-ray machine, moving downward to touch the floor, the going back up as it scanned the length of Ed's body. Groaning to a stop, the light flickered off, Arion giving the 'scan off' signal before typing frantically at the keys.
Roy, waiting for the information to pop up on Chelles screen, did not notice the mechanical arm that came down behind the fogged glass, only to jerk his head up in Ed's direction when a surprised 'ow' came from the blond.
"DNA sample complete." Arion muttered, continuing when he saw Roy's heated glare. "Just a pinch of the skin under the finger nail. Nothing serious."
Giving a grunt, he turned back to the screen that now showed a blank body with its arms stretched out, a bunch of random -or so it seemed to him- numbers on the outside of the body.
"I've got the results back. Twenty percent Chimera, Forty percent Human, Forty percent other." Chelles said, translating the confusing number.
"Other?" Could Ed be another thing besides Chimera?
"Probably the automail." Chelles answered. "It does make up half of his limbs and automail often messed up the percentages.
"Okay, now what?" Ed asked as he stepped over the many cords that ran along the floor.
"Now that we have the percentages, we can safely do the transmutation. Ed, can you please take off your clothes and lay down on the table.
Ed froze. "Take off my clothes?" He glanced back and forth between Roy and his robe nervously. "But...uh-I..."
That is just to cute. Roy thought, realization dawning on him. Ed was embarrassed!
"Edward." Roy broke off Ed's rambling, enveloping Ed in an embrace. "I can leave if you want me to." He hissed in the blonds' ear.
"But I want you here!" Ed protested. "I just don't want to be-" naked.
"How about this Ed? I'll be waiting for you just outside." He placed a hot kiss on Ed's ear and headed for the door, ignoring Ed's protesting 'buts.' Giving the two brunettes one last threatening glare that Ed couldn't see, he left the room, shutting the door behind him and landing against the wall with a 'thunk.'
Well. Roy sighed, sliding to the floor. I guess there is nothing to do but wait.
Roy opened his eyes slowly, squinting at the bright hallway lights. What… was going on? Glancing to the side, he found a crouched Riza Hawkeye looking worriedly at him, a neatly trimmed hand on his shoulder.
"Roy, where's Edward?"
Edward? It took a few seconds for his sleep fogged brain to register on the name. Oh god how long was he out?
Sitting up straight, he ignored the sharp pain that ran through his back, his head instantly pulling up his sleeve to stare at the time. Seven o' clock blinked in neon green at him, making him realize how long he had been out.
They had to be done in three hours…
Hand on the doorknob, he stared blankly at the door, hand shaking as he wondered what could be behind that door.
A flash, and he could almost picture it –blood –Ed's blood- everywhere.
Shuddering, Roy pushed the door open, a sigh going through his body when he saw no one. But then… where was Edward?
"Mustang?" A voice came that he hadn't heard in so long. Turning around, Roy let his hand holding the doorknob fall to the side as he stared amazed at what he saw.
Edward –non chimera Edward stood in front of him in his usual attire, hands shoved into his pockets. Gold locked with onyx and Ed smirked, giving a little shrug. "You know Mustang, I think you were right about my feelings and such, I feel much like myself now."
Roy's heart fell to the pit of his stomach. So Ed was giving him a gentle let down. Telling it was all just the transformation talking about him loving Roy.
Not letting his face show what his heart was feeling, Roy stood straighter, acting more like the commanding officer he was.
"I am glad you are feeling well Fullmetal and it is good to see you back in your normal state. Now I must be going now." Roy said, walking off in the opposite direction of Ed. He couldn't stand being even in the same room as the blond at the moment. He never felt before as if he was in the hands of a cliché. The phrase of an old show he once saw kept repeating over and over in his mind as he got farther and farther away from Ed.
I feel as if my heart has broken into a million shards.
I feel as if my heart has broken into a million shards.
I feel as if my heart has-
"Mustang. There is one thing I am curious about."
Roy paused in his step, breath caught in his throat as he turned back to Edward. The blond was staring at him with lazy golden eyes, messing with his long ponytail that fell over his shoulder.
"And what is that Edward?" Roy strained, his throat closing up. He had to get out of there fast if he didn't want Ed knowing how much it pained Roy that Ed didn't feel anything towards him.
"That," He was right in front of Roy now, walking sluggish as he talked. "Even though I am no longer a Chimera."
Roy could see a tuff of blond fur in the place where Ed's cat ears were. That was all that was left of them.
"Even though I am a hundred percent human…" He continued, a white wave of heat washing over Roy.
Get to the point. I have to get out of here.
"Why do you think Roy… do I feel the same for you?"
Roy paused, blinking. Did Ed… just say what he thought he did? "Ed." He croaked, his throat dry.
He slammed their lips together, fusing himself with Ed as he pushed the younger against the nearest wall, devouring him as he swiped his tongue against pink lips, asking for entrance. Granted, tongues swirled with tongues, teeth nipping and biting as both seemed to wrapped up in their own world- one that only contained the two of them.
Parting, Ed gave Roy a sly grin, wondering when Roy had wrapped his arms around his waist or when he had circled Roy's neck with his arms. "Had you sweating there didn't I Roy?"
"Yes, you did you brat. But you know what?" He began nipping at Ed's jaw line.
"Hmm?" Ed asked, eyes closed.
"I love you."