Disclaimer- I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist

Attack at Eastern Command

The two Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, had just returned to the Eastern command headquarters after yet another failed attempt at tracking down the legendary Philosopher's Stone. Edward, the elder of the two brothers, was incredibly annoyed at their failure and he was grumbling aloud as he and Alphonse walked down the street.

Al shook his head as he listened to his brother moan about his upcoming meeting with the colonel. This was nothing new and the younger of the two siblings was only halfway listening to his elder brother. Al knew that Ed never enjoyed these meetings and he had the feeling that by the time they reached the eastern HQ he would know a few new words.

"I can't believe we came back empty handed again," Edward grumbled. "I can practically hear Mustang now. Colonel sarcasm will be out in full force today, I can feel it. 'I can't believe you failed again Elric. How much longer do you plan on indulging in this fruitless search? The military can't keep blowing it's money to fund this wild goose chase of yours. Why don't you do something of real value for a change?' Hey Al, what do you say we just skip the meeting with the Colonel and go on to the next town?"

"I don't think that will work Ed," Al said. The younger Elric was always the voice of reason and this time was no exception. "We need the Colonel's help with leads on the Philosopher's Stone. I don't know about you but I have no idea where else to search."

Ed bowed his head and clenched his hands into fists. "I guess you're right. Well I suppose we might as well get this over with. Waiting isn't gonna make it any easier, I can tell you that. Come on, Al."

Al nodded and he and Ed began their journey toward the military headquarters where they would meet up with Colonel Roy Mustang, who was directly in charge of their search for the Philosopher's Stone. It was late evening by this time and the sun was beginning to set.

"Look on the bright side brother," Al said in an attempt to help his brother emerge from his lousy mood. "At least we'll have a nice place to stay tonight."

"Yea, I guess," Ed said, seeming not to think that this small perk was worth the grief that Mustang was going to give him.

As the boys walked they noticed someone they knew walking toward them on the sidewalk.

"Look," Al said pointing. "It's Major Hughes' wife Gracia and their daughter."

Ed looked in the direction that Al was pointing and saw that the two people walking toward them were indeed the major's family. "Hey Gracia," the boy called out, lifting his arm in a friendly wave.

"Hello Edward," Gracia said, walking up to the two boys. "Alphonse. Where are you boys off to?"

"We're on our way to the eastern HQ," Ed replied, the slightly annoyed tone returning to his voice. "To meet with Colonel Mustang."

Gracia smiled at the boy, picking up on his obvious displeasure over the situation. "Let me guess. You're not looking forward to this meeting."

"Not really," Edward said, although he made an attempt to keep some of the gruffness out of his voice. "So what are you guys doing here?"

"Maes was summoned out to the east and since things have been stable here for awhile now he decided that Elicia and I should accompany him," Gracia replied as she gazed at the two brothers whom Maes had sorta adopted as surrogate sons. "Elicia and I were just on our way to Eastern Command to meet up with him and see if he wants to go out for supper with us."

"Why don't you walk with us then?" Al suggested.

"That sounds like a good idea," Gracia said with a smile.

So the group continued their trip to the eastern HQ, together this time. They were half way there when a hand protruded from a back alley and grabbed three year old Elicia by the arm. The child screamed in fear as she was dragged into the alley by the arm and quickly vanished from sight.

"Elicia!" Gracia screamed.

"Mommy!"

"Let's go Al!" Ed yelled, ducking into the alley, followed closely by his brother.

The two brothers ran to the end of the alley and came face to face with a huge man. The man had transmutation circles tattooed on both biceps. The man held a struggling Elicia by the arm, preventing her from escaping.

"Let her go!" Ed ordered.

The man released his grip on the child who immediately cowered against a wall, as far away from her attacker as she could get. "Gladly. It wasn't her I was after anyway. It was you, State Alchemist Edward Elric."

The man took a menacing step toward Ed.

"Have it your way," Ed said, silently wondering who this man was and why the man seemed to know him. He slung off his red coat and prepared for battle. He clapped his hands together and through the use of alchemy his auto mail arm was transformed into a blade.

"Let's do this."

The two fought for awhile, neither gaining any advantage over the other and then the man turned his attention back to Elicia, who had been joined by her mother. The man took a few steps toward them.

Ed saw what the man was planning and he quickly ran toward the two defenseless people. He knew that he wouldn't be fast enough to stop the attack, so he decided to endure it himself instead. He ran toward Gracia and Elicia and as the man attacked Ed jumped in front of them and used his body to shield them from the attack.

Ed was hit by the full brunt of the man's assault and he was stunned. He dropped to the ground in front of Gracia and Elicia. "Uhn," the boy moaned, wiping a small trail of blood from the corner of his mouth. "That attack was stronger than I had anticipated."

"I knew that you would choose to save them in the only way that you could boy," the man said with a sneer. "And doing so was a mistake. Now you're too weak to fight off my attacks."

"Al," Ed said through clenched teeth. "Take Gracia and Elicia and get them out of here."

"But Brother," Al began.

"GO!" Ed ordered, knowing that Al was going to protest but also knowing that it was the only way he was going to be able to fight with everything that he had. He didn't need the distraction of making sure that they were all safe. He needed to be able to focus one hundred percent of his attention on the battle. "I can't afford for that to happen again and we both know that he's not above using innocent people for his purposes. I need for you to get them to safety Al."

Al nodded. The young boy encased in the suit of armor didn't want to leave his older brother to the mercy of their attacker however he knew that Ed would be able to better focus on the fight when he no longer had to worry about them. He walked over to the spot where Hughes' young daughter was cowering and gently picked her up. Then he helped Gracia to her feet and the three of them fled the alley, leaving Ed to face the man on his own.

Ed got shakily to his feet and faced the man, his eyes narrowed in anger. "Now, you have no one to use against me."

"I don't need anyone," the man said, his voice completely calm. "They served their purpose. You're weak now and no match for me."

"We'll see."

"Yes we will."

The man ran toward Ed and grabbed the boy by the collar of his shirt. He picked the boy up by his collar and held him so that they were eye to eye. Blood dripped from Ed's injuries as he dangled above the ground, seemingly too weak to put up a struggle.

"Bad move," Ed said through clenched teeth. Ed clapped his hands together and his right arm transformed into a blade. The young alchemist swung the blade in the direction of his attacker's head.

The man blocked the blow, dropping Ed in the process. The boy hit the ground with a thump but quickly jumped to his feet. He tried to get a safe distance from the man, so that he could catch his breath, but his injuries slowed him considerably and he wasn't fast enough to evade the man's next attack. Ed stumbled as he tried to get away and the man managed to grab him again, this time by the throat instead of the collar.

"Now you die State Alchemist," the man growled.

As he spoke the transmutation circles on the man's biceps began to glow and his grip tightened around Ed's throat and as his air flow was cut off Ed's vision began to grow blurry. The boy fought hard to remain conscious but eventually lost the battle.


Meanwhile Al was running along the street, with the mother and child in tow, when they came face to face with a group of military personnel one of whom was none other than Major Maes Hughes, Gracia's husband and Elicia's father.

"Gracia!" Major Hughes gasped as his gaze fell upon the trio and he registered the fact that his wife and daughter were with Alphonse. "Elicia! What are you doing out this time of night?" He looked at Al for an explanation.

"We don't have time for all these questions Major!" Al exclaimed. "We have to help my brother."

"That's right," Gracia said. "Edward's in danger and he's already been injured."

"Lead the way Al," Major Hughes said.


The man was just about to finish the boy off when he heard voices. Lots of voices. The tattooed man dropped the boy and led. "You got lucky today State Alchemist," the man muttered as he fled the scene of the attack. "However your day will come."

"He's over here."

Lights illuminated the alley and a group of people walked over to Ed's limp form. Al, Gracia and Elicia had returned to the alley, accompanied by several members of the military and the new arrivals had come without a second to spare. Any longer and Ed more than likely would no longer have been among the living.

"I don't see any signs of Ed's attacker," one of the military men said.

"Brother!" Al bent down and scooped his brother up into his arms.

"His injuries look fairly severe," Major Hughes stated, staring at the limp and blood stained boy lying in Al's arms. "We should get him back to HQ, ASAP."

Al nodded. "You're right Major Hughes."

"Come on."

The group quickly traveled the remaining distance to the eastern HQ. They quickly entered the building where they were met by several more members of the military. A tall woman with blonde hair stood at the center of the group. "What's going on Major? Your return was later than anticipated." Then she noticed that Al held his elder brother in his arms and that Ed was bleeding profusely. "What happened?"

"Edward was attacked on his way here," Major Hughes explained. "He's injured and in need of medical attention."

"Havoc!"

"Yes Lieutenant Hawkeye."

"Go and find the doctor," Lieutenant Hawkeye ordered. "Alphonse bring Edward and follow me."

Al nodded and fell into step behind the lieutenant.

Lieutenant Hawkeye led Alphonse down a small hallway and into an equally small and sparsely furnished room. The room contained a bed and a small table beside it and that was the extent of the room's furnishings.

"Lay him down," Lieutenant Hawkeye ordered.

Al walked over to the bed and placed Ed upon it. Lieutenant Hawkeye walked over and removed Ed's torn and blood stained shirt. She gazed intently at the gashes on the boy's shoulder, chest and back and attempted to discern what kind of weapon had caused the injuries.

"These wounds weren't made by an ordinary weapon," Lieutenant Hawkeye said with certainty. "The person that attacked Edward was definitely an alchemist."

"I guessed as much when I saw the amount of blood Ed was loosing after the man's first attack," Al said. He gazed at his brother's now exposed wounds, seeing there severity for the first time. "Do you think that Brother's gonna be okay Lieutenant Hawkeye?"

"Of course Alphonse," Lieutenant Hawkeye said. "It'll take more than this to bring down your brother. He's too stubborn to die from injuries like these."

At that moment the door opened and a man entered the room. The man was dressed in a white coat and carried a black bag. He walked up to the bed, placed the bag on the small table and leaned over Ed, his gaze focused intently on the wounds that the young man had suffered.

"So what do you think Doctor?" Lieutenant Hawkeye asked when the doctor concluded his examination.

"This boy's injuries are quite severe," the doctor told her. "However if he has a strong enough will he just might pull through."

"Oh he has a strong enough will alright," Lieutenant Hawkeye said, once again thinking that the boy was just too stubborn to die like this. "You're treating none other than Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist."

"I see," the doctor said, taking another look at his young patient, paying attention to his face for the first time. "Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric. The legend himself."

"You know about my brother?" Al asked the doctor, shocked.

"Of course," the doctor replied. "There isn't a single person in this military that hasn't heard of him. Youngest

State Alchemist ever." He extended his hand to Al. "And you must be his brother Alphonse."

Al nodded, taking the doctor's extended hand.

"You're quite famous yourself," the doctor said. "I'm Dr. James Pierce."

"Pleased to meet you," Al said.

Dr. Pierce nodded. "Don't worry Alphonse, I will take good care of your brother."

"Thank you," Al said.

"Lieutenant Hawkeye,"

"What is it?"

"It's time to treat this boy's wounds. I'll need lots of bandages and clean water," Dr. Pierce said.

"I'll send for them immediately," Lieutenant Hawkeye said. She left the room, returning a few minutes later followed by two men. One of the men carried a pile of white bandages while the other carried a large bowl of water.

"Set them down on the table," Lieutenant Hawkeye ordered the men.

"Yes sir Lieutenant Hawkeye," both men said in unison.

The two men placed their burdens down on the bedside table.

"You're dismissed."

"Yes sir." The two men saluted and exited the room.

Dr. Pierce washed Ed's wounds and then bound them up with up with clean, white bandages. The process took about thirty minutes and by the time the doctor was finished Ed resembled a mummy that had come partially unwrapped.

When he'd finished wrapping Ed's wounds Dr. Pierce covered the boy with a blanket. "There. We should let him rest."

Lieutenant Hawkeye nodded. "Come on Al."

Al stared down at his brother for a few minutes, reluctant to leave him. Then he nodded and followed Lieutenant Hawkeye to the door. The doctor followed a short distance behind and together the three of them left the room. Lieutenant Hawkeye led Al to an office down the hall from the room Ed occupied. When they entered they found Major Hughes, Gracia, Elicia, and Lieutenant Havoc all waiting.

"So Lieutenant," Havoc said. "How's Fullmetal?"

"He's resting," Lieutenant Hawkeye replied. "His injuries are fairly severe but Dr. Pierce thinks he has a chance."

During the treatment of his brother Al had noticed that Lieutenant Hawkeye seemed to be commanding the military personnel in the building and now that his brother had been taken care of he found that this fact aroused his curiosity. "Lieutenant Hawkeye, where's Colonel Mustang?"

"The colonel is off on a mission at present," Lieutenant Hawkeye informed him.

"I see," Al said. "So Ed was dreading this trip for no reason. All that moaning and complaining for nothing. The colonel isn't even here."

"Poor Ed," Major Hughes said. "Nothing's going right for him today."

"Hmm," Lieutenant Hawkeye said. "Now that we have Edward taken care of I'd like to hear about how someone managed to injure him so severely."

"That's right," Lieutenant Havoc said. "I think we'd all like to know how someone managed to cause such grave injuries to Fullmetal."

Major Hughes nodded.

"Tell us what happened Alphonse," Lieutenant Hawkeye said.

The group turned expectant eyes on Al.

Al nodded. "Brother and I were on our way here to meet with Colonel Mustang when we ran into Major Hughes' family. They were on their way to HQ as well so we all decided to walk together. Then, while we were walking down the street, a hand suddenly came out of the shadows in one of the back alleys and grabbed Elicia by the arm. Elicia was dragged into the alley, so Ed and I followed. That's when we encountered the man with the transmutation circles tattooed on both biceps. Once he saw us the man immediately released his hold on Elicia and squared off against Ed. He said that Ed was the one he was really after because he was a State Alchemist. The two of them began to fight and they seemed to be fairly evenly matched, neither could gain the upper hand against the other. That is, until the man decided to play dirty. He focused his attention on Gracia and Elicia but Ed refused to allow them to get hurt and he dove in front of the man's attack, taking the full brunt of the blow. After that Brother ordered me to get Gracia and Elicia to safety so that the man couldn't use them against him again. The three of us left and Ed fought the man alone."

"And apparently the kid didn't fair too well," Lieutenant Havoc said.

"Let's put you up against an alchemic mad man and see how well you fair Havoc," Lieutenant Hawkeye said.

"The man that attacked him used alchemy?" Lieutenant Havoc said in surprise.

Lieutenant Hawkeye nodded. "Edward's wounds aren't consistent with any known form of weaponry and therefore could only have been caused by alchemy."

Al nodded. "Brother's initial wound was far too severe to have been caused by the man's bare hands and he didn't have a weapon."

The group discussed the attack for awhile and then they parted ways. The Hughes family went home, Lieutenant Havoc went back to work, and Lieutenant Hawkeye and Al went to check on Ed.

When they entered the room the found that Ed was still unconscious and his condition hadn't really changed. Al walked over to the bed and knelt down. "Brother, you'd better get well soon. If you don't I might have to hurt you."

A few minutes later Lieutenant Hawkeye called out to Al. "Come on Alphonse. Edward needs to rest."

Al nodded and stood up. He walked over to the door and followed Lieutenant Hawkeye outside.


A few days later Dr. Pierce came into Ed's room to check on the boy. Dr. Pierce examined the boy and discovered that Ed had developed a high fever however he found himself unable to do anything for the boy because as soon as Dr. Pierce touched him Ed sat up and began to struggle against the doctor.

Dr. Pierce placed a hand on Ed's shoulder. "Calm down Edward."

"Let me go!" Edward exclaimed in a frantic voice. "Where's Al? Al!"

"Your brother's fine," Dr. Pierce assured the boy as he fought against the boy's attempts to get up. "Now calm down."

Edward seemed not to hear the doctor's voice. He continued to struggle and call out for his brother in a frantic voice. "Alphonse! Get your hands off me! Alphonse where are you?!"

Dr. Pierce released his grip on the struggling boy and ran over to the door. He quickly wrenched the door open and peered out into the hallway. He glanced up and down the hallway, in search of anyone who could help him with his delirious young patient, and after a few moments he saw Lieutenant Havoc walking down the hallway.

"Lieutenant!" Dr. Pierce called out.

Lieutenant Havoc turned around. "Yes sir?"

"Go and find Lieutenant Hawkeye and bring her here immediately."

"Yes sir."

Dr. Pierce reentered the room and walked back over to Ed's bedside. The boy was still thrashing around as though he were involved in a fight. "Calm down Edward," the doctor ordered, once again attempting to restrain the struggling youth.

A few minutes later the door opened and Lieutenant Hawkeye entered the room. As soon as she entered the room Lieutenant Hawkeye knew why she had been summoned to Ed's room. She ran over to the bed and helped the doctor restrain the struggling young boy.

"Edward," Lieutenant Hawkeye said firmly. "You need to calm down kid."

Edward continued to struggle, paying no heed to Lieutenant Hawkeye's orders to stop. It was as though he hadn't even registered her words.

"This is no good," Dr. Pierce said, gazing down at his patient and immediately noticing the bright red spots that had appeared on the white bandages. "The boy's wounds have reopened."

Lieutenant Hawkeye glanced down at Ed and saw the red spots beginning to appear on the white bandages. Deciding that something would have to be done about Edward's current condition she walked over to the door and opened it. "Havoc!"

"Yes Lieutenant Hawkeye?"

"Go and find Alphonse," Lieutenant Hawkeye ordered. "And once you've found him bring him here immediately."

"Yes sir."

Lieutenant Hawkeye walked back over to the bed and once again assumed her firm grip on Ed's shoulder. "Edward, you're okay kid. Stop struggling."

"Al!" Ed yelled, seeming not to have heard Lieutenant Hawkeye's words. "Alphonse where are you?"

Suddenly the door opened and Lieutenant Havoc and Alphonse hurried into the room. Havoc stopped at the door while Al ran over to his brother's bedside.

"Brother," Al said, kneeling beside Ed's bed and placing his hand on his brother's shoulder. It was impossible to judge facial expressions due to the armor that housed the young boy's soul however there was no mistaking the concern in his voice. "It's okay, I'm here."

Ed immediately stopped his thrashing and lay still. "Al," he mumbled. "Thank goodness you're safe. I was so worried."

Al turned to face Dr. Pierce. "Why was Brother acting like that? It's not like him."

"The fever's made him delirious," Dr. Pierce explained. "He doesn't know where he's at. He thought that he was still fighting his attacker and he was afraid for your safety."

At this moment Ed groaned, his eyes clamped tightly shut.

"He's in pain," Al said, a sad expression on his face. "His wounds are making him suffer terribly."

Dr. Pierce shook his head. "No, it's the fever he's suffering with now."

"Havoc."

"Yes Lieutenant Hawkeye?"

"Go and fetch some clean bandages," Lieutenant Hawkeye ordered. "In his delirious struggle Edward reopened his wounds."

"Yes sir," Lieutenant Havoc said. He left the room and returned a few minutes later clutching a pile of starched white bandages. He placed the bandages on the table beside Ed's bed and then took a couple of steps back so that he wouldn't be in the way.

"Thank you," Dr. Pierce said. He removed the blood soaked bandages, cleaned the boy's wounds, and then wrapped them with the clean bandages that Lieutenant Havoc had brought. "Now, let's hope that Edward doesn't have any more nightmares or else his wounds will never heal."

"Alphonse."

"Yes Lieutenant Hawkeye?"

"You should probably stay with Edward since your presence seems to give him comfort."

Al nodded.

Dr. Pierce stood up and walked toward the door. "I'll be right back."

Lieutenant Hawkeye nodded.

The doctor left the room, returning a few minutes later carrying a bowl of clean water and a wash cloth. He placed the bowl on the table beside Ed's bed, dipped the folded wash cloth in the cold water, wrung out the excess water, and placed the folded wash cloth across Ed's forehead.

"There," Dr. Pierce said. "That should help with the fever. I'll return in a few hours to check on Edward. Please try and keep him calm."

Al nodded. He vowed right then and there that he wouldn't leave his brother alone again no matter what.


Nearly a week had passed since Edward and Alphonse had arrived in the east. Edward had spent the past six days lying in bed, after having been carried to the Eastern Command headquarters by his brother, torn and bleeding after an encounter with an alchemic mad man.

The boy had had a rough road to travel since that fateful day. He'd developed a serious fever only a few days after the battle and was just now beginning to recover somewhat. His fever had dropped slightly and he had brief periods when he was conscious.

Now that Ed's fever had dropped he no longer suffered from delirious hallucinations. That meant that Al no longer needed to remain constantly by his brother's bedside. He could now leave the room without Ed becoming frantic and reopening his wounds. Even so, more often than not, Al chose to remain close to his brother, either in the room or right outside in the hall.

Al was sitting in the room with Ed when Dr. Pierce arrived to examine him. The doctor walked over and placed his black bag on the table beside Ed's bed. Taking that as his cue to leave Al got to his feet, bowed politely to the doctor, and left the room.

Once outside Al had no idea what to do with himself, so he simply began to wander down the hallway. As he approached the turn in the hall that would take him to the building's lobby, Al heard voices. He paused just before turning the corner and stood listening.

"So Hawkeye, is it true that Fullmetal was attacked?"

"Yes sir. And it appears as though his attacker used the power of alchemy in his attack."

"Is that a fact? I heard that Hughes' daughter was the intended victim and that Edward was injured simply because he interfered."

"That was how it first appeared sir. However after having spoken to Alphonse and, to some extent Edward, I no longer believe that was the case."

"And why is that Hawkeye?"

"His attacker knew too much about him. The man knew that Edward was in town and that he was a State Alchemist. Plus he was more than willing to switch victims as soon as Edward confronted him."

"You said you've spoken with Edward. The boy has regained consciousness then?"

"He has moments when he is coherent. However they're usually brief."

Having heard enough of the conversation Al turned around and headed back to his brother's room. As he walked he muttered quietly to himself. "I wonder when the colonel arrived back in the east." He grimaced as he thought about the reaction that Ed would have when he found out. "Brother's not gonna be happy when he finds out."

Al walked down the hall to his brother's room and knocked softly on the door.

"Come on in," a voice called out.

Al entered the room and walked over to his brother's bedside. "So how's he doing Dr. Pierce?"

"He's recovering," Dr. Pierce said. "Slowly but surely."

At that moment there was another knock at the door.

"Yes?" Dr. Pierce called out, not sure who the new arrival was.

The door opened and Lieutenant Hawkeye and a new person entered the room.

Dr. Pierce stood at attention and saluted. "Good afternoon Colonel Mustang. When did you arrive back in the East?"

"I arrived this morning," Colonel Mustang replied. "So tell me doctor, how is the boy's recovery coming along?"

"The boy is recovering fairly well considering the severity of his wounds," Dr. Pierce told him. "Although he would be further along in his recovery if he hadn't came down with a fever. The fever caused him to hallucinate and that caused him to reopen his wounds a couple of times."

"I see," Colonel Mustang said, thinking to himself that the boy was born to cause trouble.

At that moment a new voice joined the conversation. "What the hell are you doing here?" Edward murmured weakly.

"Well, well," Colonel Mustang said, a smirk on his face. He walked over to the bed and stood over Edward, gazing down at his young subordinate with an expression that was impossible to read. "It seems the pipsqueak has decided to rejoin the living."

Ed made a face but unfortunately didn't have the strength to get up and knock that obnoxious grin off the colonel's face. "Don't call me a pipsqueak."

"Doctor, this boy's gonna be just fine," Colonel Mustang said, a knowing tone in his voice. "See how much vigor I can get out of him with just one word?" And as though to further illustrate his point he said again, "Pipsqueak."

"Grrrr," Ed growled, gazing angrily up at Mustang. The boy attempted to sit up but stopped half way when he was rewarded with severe pain from his injuries. Ed propped himself up on one elbow, grimacing in pain, and glared at the colonel.

"Calm down Edward," Colonel Mustang admonished. "You'll end up reopening your wounds again and then you'll be useless for an even longer period of time. We can't have that now."

"Don't lecture me," Edward said angrily.

While Edward and Mustang were arguing, Dr. Pierce turned to face Lieutenant Hawkeye. "The boy isn't very respectful to his superiors, is he?"

Lieutenant Hawkeye rolled her eyes in the direction of Mustang. "Don't judge the boy on the basis of his interactions with the colonel. The two of them are always like this and it's a mutual effort."

"I see." Dr. Pierce turned his attention back to Ed and Mustang. "Sir, I must ask that you either cease the argument immediately or leave the room. I'm tired of re bandaging this boy's wounds and if this argument continues I'm certain that he will reopen them."

Colonel Mustang gazed at the doctor for a moment before nodding. He pulled a chair up beside Edward's bed and sat down. "So Fullmetal, tell me about the man that you fought with."

Ed lay back down on the bed and stared up at the ceiling for a few minutes, debating whether or not he wanted to tell the colonel anything. Then he closed his eyes and pictured the scene that had unfolded in the alley on the day he fought with the unknown alchemist. "Al and I had just arrived back in the east and we were on our way to Eastern Command when we ran into Major Hughes' family. Their destination was the same as ours, so we decided to walk together. As we walked past an alley, a hand reached out and grabbed Elicia and drug her into the alley. Al and I followed and confronted the man. At that point, he released his grip on Elysia and focused his attention on me. The man knew my name and that I was a State Alchemist."

Colonel Mustang interrupted the boy at this point. "Describe the man for me Edward."

"The man was tall, at least six feet, and he had black hair and dark eyes. He wore a sleeveless shirt and he had identical transmutation circles tattooed on both biceps."

Colonel Mustang nodded, committing the man's description to memory. "Alright. Go on with your story."

"After the man told me that I was the one he was after he and I began our fight. I wouldn't call it an even match, however I was holding my own against him until he decided to play dirty. The man went after Elicia again and because I didn't have time to counter the attack I leapt in front of Elicia and protected her from the blow. After that, I ordered Al to take Elicia and Gracia and get out of there, so that the man couldn't use them against me again. He complied and once they were gone, I continued my fight with the attacker. But I'd already been injured by the man's attack on Elicia and I could no longer hold my own against him. He grabbed me by the throat and as I began to lose consciousness, I saw that the transmutation circles on his biceps were glowing. And that's all I remember."

"I'll dispatch troops to see what can be done about this man that attacked you Edward," Mustang said, getting to his feet. "You should rest."

Ed growled low in his throat at being treated like a child by his commanding officer however the fact that he was exhausted soon won out and he drifted off into a dreamless sleep surrounded by his brother Al and those he called friend.

A/N - and that's the end. Poor Edward, not only did he get the crap beaten out of him but he still had to deal with Mustang. Things just weren't working out so well for him. Hope you enjoyed this fic, feel free to review and let me know what you thought.