Title: Foreshadowed, Not Shadowed
Author: Calenlass Greenleaf
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist does not belong to me. If it did, Royai and Edwin would have long been officially canon. But I doubt I'd have the guts to do what Arakawa did to Roy in chapter 102…that was brutal and unexpected. But I digress.
Spoilers: Major spoilers for manga chapters 39 (especially pages 38-39) and 102. Some spoilers for chapters 24 and 95. Quotes taken from OneManga. And spoilers for Brotherhood, I guess.
Warnings: Violence. Angst. Censored swearing for the sake of characterization. No yaoi.
Characters: (1) Roy, (2) Ed, (3) mentions of other characters.
Summary: Back then, he had killed her and thought that was that. He had forgotten her final words. Well, at this point, what could he have done? Speculation on what happens after Chapt 102, will probably contradict 103.
A/N: Written to deal with stress. Barely proofread because of that fact; you see any mistakes, let me know. Also, I haven't written Roy that much, so tell me if I don't have his character right. Thank you.
I had nearly forgotten Lust's words until someone brought it up on LJ. The plotbunny took off from there.
Foreshadowed, Not Shadowed
'I like those determined eyes of yours…
'…I can't wait…
'The day…your eyes will be filled with torment…
Back then, he had killed and thought that was that. He had forgotten her final words. Well, at this point what could he have done?
His sight was gone. His hands were punctured and his gloves were useless.
He, Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist was useless. This wasn't like the times it rained and he couldn't make a spark. Nor was it like the time he had fought Lust and nearly bled to death. Back then, he had had his sight.
At least his fingers weren't trembling visibly—he hoped. He swore in his mind. Someone was speaking, but he was barely paying attention. Nothing mattered except the fact that he was blind.
He didn't even want this. He knew what human transmutation entailed. Nothing would make him do it…that is, unless you were forced against your will by a two near-immortal people.
It wasn't fair.
Bitterly, he once again remembered that female Homunculus' words and wondered how she could have had that sort of premonition. He pressed his hand over his face, as if trying to imagine he could see his fingers.
I should have reacted faster…before letting Bradley grab me…
Somewhere behind him, he heard Edward shouting at his brother. Then he heard Pride—or was it someone else?—announcing "the fifth one is here."
It barely registered in his mind. He heard Fullmetal spitting out some challenge before he was rebuffed. Sounds of scuffling and the clanging of metal echoed in the room. He felt himself being roughly dragged.
"I can walk," he muttered.
He didn't look up. The person I least wish to speak to…why are you here?
"Hey, Colonel Bastard!" Edward was shaking his shoulder. "Snap out of it."
"What is it, Fullmetal?" he ground out. Fingers wrapped around his wrist and wrenched his hand away from his face. He jerked in surprise. "What are y—"
"Stop looking like that."
"…looking like what?"
"Like you just died."
"I might as well have."
"No, you didn't."
"Your point is?"
"Stop looking sorry for yourself. You got yourself into this mess, so you can get yourself out of it."
He didn't want condemnation right now. Not when he was already blaming himself. "Fullmetal, don't—"
"Shut up, Mustang." The hand on his shoulder tightened.
His tempter was fraying. "Are you trying to be insubordinate?"
He didn't expect Edward to punch him in the side of his face using his automail arm. He fall backwards, banging his head against the cold concrete.
"Nii-san?" Alphonse shouted from the ruckus. "Did you just—"
"Ed!" That was Curtis's voice.
"Listen, you bastard." The younger alchemist ignored the others, yanking him upright. "This is not the damn time for you to be pulling rank on me," he hissed. "I don't care if you're the Colonel, or even the Führer himself. If we're going to get out of this alive, we can't do it alone and I'll make you help us if I have to. You can court-martial me after this is all over."
"You're expecting me to help?" He tried to wrench Edward's hands away from his coat. "I can't see a thing. How do you expect me to do anything, Fullmetal?"
He felt himself being shaken.
"You're just going to give up? Just like that?" Without warning, the hands released him, and once against the back of his skull collided with the ground.
Through the ringing in his ears, he could still hear the other. "You're an alchemist, Mustang!" Edward was shouting at him now, his voice harsh. "Don't tell that you're going to give up when you're needed the most." He punctuated his words by jabbing a finger into Mustang's chest. "Weren't you the one who told me that all soldiers were supposed to be damn emotionless, obedient fighting machines? Huh? So where's that soldier now?"
All right, so he was being a hypocrite in this situation. Well, then what did Edward want from him? To be stupidly optimistic? To paste a fake smile on his face? "You haven't lost your sight."
"Well, no s#%*." A humorless laugh. "But at least you have the rest of your body."
"Then tell me how I'm supposed to lead a country like this. How I'm supposed to use my alchemy."
"Look. I'll say this once and I won't say it again." The scraping sounds indicated that Edward had sat down. "You remember, back then, when you and Hawkeye came to recruit me and Al as State Alchemist?"
"What about that day?"
Fullmetal inhaled. "Don't you think…it's ironic that our places have been switched?" His voice was quieter now, and his expression wasn't hard to picture. "And aren't there people depending on you? Hawkeye? Falman? Fuery? Havoc?"
Out of habit, he blinked and frowned, thinking back to four years ago.
He had grabbed the boy—eleven years of age at that time—by the front of his shirt, hauling him out of the wheelchair. 'We went to your house," he had snarled. "What was the hell was that mess? What the hell did you make?'
Those golden-colored eyes had dared to give him one glance before they dropped away towards the ground.
But he had seen the glazed, empty look of despondency and emotional pain.
His brother had stepped in then, saying sorry.
And he hadn't cared. What's done was done. So he had gone ahead and told the kid the pros and cons of being a State Alchemist. No sugar-coating, just the straight, brutal truth. Back then, he thought if a boy was tough enough to commit a taboo, he should be strong enough to live up to paying for his sins.
'To live your life with hopelessness and a piece of armor for a brother, or to sell yourself to the military for the possibility that you can recover—it's your choice.'
Those eyes had then sparked with determination. Determination with anger…and no small amount of wounded pride.
Hate me all you want. He had been satisfied to break through that dead look. He hadn't cared that his words were abrasive. I'm just doing my job, and it's up to you whether you want to gain something out of it.
Because, back then…he hadn't understood. Didn't want to. He understood a little of it when Hughes had died, but even then it was only a sort of "Ah, I'm sorry, and I guess I'll treat you a little nicer" understanding.
But now he did. Painfully so.
And then he remember Havoc…he hadn't shown much sympathy towards him, either.
I'll be waiting at the top…
It wasn't that he wanted to be callous, but he wasn't one to shower platitudes on people, either.
He was honest.
At least he liked to thing he was.
But now, could he realized how that honest made him look.
"You get it now, don't you?" Edward's voice jolted his, his words close to the thoughts in his mind.
"I guess…" he rubbed the back of his head. Why did most floors have to be stone or concrete? "It's equivalent exchange."
"Payback's a b%&$#."
"Hn." He reached up to touch his face, letting his fingertips linger over his eyes.
Looks like I have no other choice.
"I don't care if you're blind. Or crippled. But…this country needs you."
"Are you saying—"
That you support me?
"So what if I am? There are people depending on you, anyway."
He racked his mind to say something.
A pipe near them snapped, making Edward yank him hard to one side as a horrendous crashing sound filled his ears. "Nii-san, a little help right now would be nice!" Al shouted.
"Give me a few more seconds!" His brother shouted back before facing him. "Well, are you going to let this hang over you? Or are you going to follow your own advice and help?" He heard Edward get to his feet. "The others are waiting for us."
Taking a breath, he also stood, though a bit shakily after blood loss and the abuse his skull had suffered. "I…need you to be my eyes." The alchemy equations were running through his mind, and he realized he could now do what the Elric brothers did—press the palms of his hand together to form the transmutation circle.
"I'm not really good with that sort of thing…"
"You're supposed to be a genius, Fullmetal. Work with me and maybe I won't court-martial you for hitting me." He reached up to touch his swollen cheek. "And did you have to use your right fist?"
"Sorry." He heard Edward chuckle a little. "But I've always wanted to do that. Ever since we met."
"I'm sorry, too."
"Well, you're still a bastard."
"And you're still a shrimp."
"Hmph." But he could hear the smile behind that grunt before the younger alchemist gripped his arm. "Don't blame me if you trip."
"I'll try not to."
"You're such a pain in the a$$, Mustang…"
And he let Edward drag him through the place, all the while listen to him muttering under his breath. The sounds of battle were nearer now, and he drew a steadying breath. He would be a fool if he let this setback get the best of him. He had survived a war, survived near-death experiences.
Some part of him vaguely remembered chewing out Hawkeye when she thought he was died.
'Never stop thinking.
Never give up the will to live.'
I'll be damned if I don't listen to my own words.
"…yeah, yeah." But he could tell Edward was flustered. He smirked.
The younger alchemist must have seen this because his next words were, "When we get out of this, I'm expecting a promotion and higher pay, Colonel."
When, not if. "I'll think about it."
"You still owe me money."
They both shared a small laugh.
So what if Lust's words were right? They were just words, and they didn't have a hold over him.
I am the Flame Alchemist…
He clapped his hands.
Please try to remember that next time.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed this. *waits anxiously for chapter 103 to come out on Jan 12th so that she can see how far she's off in her predictions* Wishing everyone an early Merry Christmas! ~Cal