A/N: Heey, guys, long time no see ^^ Surprise? If there are any errors, I apologize! I'm still pretty rusty.

"Did you see it yesterday?"

"Yeah. I had no idea how strong Fullmetal was. I mean, I sorta had an idea, but that strong? It's ridiculous."

"He got that guy in one fucking hit. One hit! As if it were nothing! Then he walked off. I am seriously never crossing that guy."

"I thought the arm sorta made him look weak. Like, made him a handicapped. But I was definitely wrong."

"They weren't lying when they said he's a blood thirsty killer."

Roy sat there at the table during breakfast. Ling was seated next to him, in silence, poking his fork at the substance in the bowl before him. All the things Roy was hearing about Fullmetal were horrible. Did Fullmetal really kill that guy on purpose? And they found him out within days. How was he seriously going to do this?

All night Roy could just imagine Fullmetal finding him out and putting a metal fist through his face. He couldn't sleep until pure exhaustion had dragged him under. Such strength in one arm. So easily killed.

"You're not eating. What is the matter?" Ling asked, that abominable grin still stuck on his face. Was this guy for real?

"Nothing, just...nothing." Roy said, shaking his head as he ran a hand down his face, leaning an elbow against the top of the table. Staring down at his breakfast he could feel his stomach stretch out a gurgle as the hunger pains started.

"Ever since the Fullmetal killed that traitor you've been on edge...are you a traitor?"

Visibly jumping, Roy slammed his hand down on the table, whipping his head over at Ling, "You are joking, right?"

Ling just shrugged, just smiling. Did he have any other facial expression? Yet this smile looked as though he knew something.

"What are you still doing here, anyways? I thought Winry threw you out."

"Ah, but I spoke with the Fullmetal. We have an agreement. I am staying for now, yes?" Ling replied, pushing his bowl away and lifting his hands as a sign of innocence. His english seemed slightly broken, yet a feeling in Roy's gut told him that this guy was hiding his true colors.

Roy ignored him, trying to talk himself into eating the food set before him, but suddenly the sound in the dining room ceased and Roy felt the hair on his arms stand. He looked over at the doorway that lead to the stairs, spotting a short irritable looking blond immediately.

Fullmetal, looking a lot worse than he did yesterday, was entering the room, ignoring the stares and whispers. Within a moment, those exotic gold eyes were on him and the blond was making his way over to his table.

Roy felt his stomach drop as his heart started racing. Shit! Shit, shit, shit!

Glancing around the room quickly, he tried thinking of any means of escape. But there was nothing. There was no way he could outrun the stocky blond, and there was no way he could protect himself.

Staring at the table, Roy accepted his fate, he would be a fool to believe he would never be caught. He heard the bootsteps stop next to him. Mentally cringing, he half expected a fist to collide with the side of his head. Sitting awkwardly for a second Roy glanced up at Ling, who was looking at Fullmetal curiously, the permanent smile never leaving his features. Turning around, he tried not to look sheepish as he looked up the Brat'ja leader.

"I need to talk to you," Fullmetal said, not giving Ling a single glance. Roy felt his blood run cold as a shiver shot up his back.

This is the end of me. I am so dead. Maybe if I beg for forgiveness and not be mouthy, like that prick Jacobson, he'll let me off with a warning!

No, Roy. Have a little pride.

But what did pride ever do for a dead man?

Letting out an indiscrete sigh through his nose, Roy nodded, "Sure. What did you want to talk about?"

The blond didn't seem angry as he jerked his head over his shoulder, indicating Roy to follow him out of the dining room. Steeling himself and expecting the worse, Roy stood up pushing his chair back, following Fullmetal out of the room.

Fullmetal led him up the top floor and to Roy's bedroom. Pushing the door open, he let Roy go in first and he shut the door behind him.

Roy stood next to his bed awkwardly, putting hands in his pockets as he watch Fullmetal lean against his back against his bedroom door, crossing his legs at the ankles and folding his arms across his chest.

"I haven't had the time to really talk to you these past few days. And I wanted to be sure we're not overheard," Fullmetal looked away and around the room, as if he were a casual visitor. Looking back up at Roy, he pursed his lips, "I just wanted to tell you how...grateful I am. I know I'm not the easiest person to live with and that I can be a dick. But really, Mustang. I just want to thank you for saving my brother's life. You risked your own life to save him."

Blinking stupidly, Roy sat down on his bed, never feeling so relieved in his life, "Um...you're welcome...I guess. I just couldn't exactly let that thing tear him apart..."

"Well, then again, I'm not sure if you didn't just do that to get on my good side so you can trick me later."

Roy tried swallowing, but his mouth and throat had gone dry, he tried a weak smile, this guy was still looking for excuses to be suspicious of him?

"Hey, I'm not going to-" he started, " I- I couldn't just-"

Fullmetal suddenly grinned, a rare sight, waving a hand at him, "Chill. I'm just joking. I'm not really afraid of you trying to betray me. It's not like you could lay a scratch on me."

Not sure if he should be insulted or relieved, Roy smiled back at Fullmetal, a little more genuine this time.

"And I also wanted to apologize...for overdosing you on that tranq. That was totally...a douchebag move. I shouldn't have done that, I know. I was just...I was really caught up with Al. I just...thought I lost him, you know?"

"I understand. I probably wouldn't want to have been awake during that time."

"There is another thing I want to ask of you..."

Roy was slightly taken aback, "What is it?"

Shifting his hands, Fullmetal drove them into his pockets, looking slightly uncertain.

"Well...you were in the military not too long ago. Have you heard anything about the chimeras? Maybe about who's been creating them?"

Oh so that's what he wants. Devious little bastard. He probably didn't mean any of that.

Taking a deep breath, Roy shrugged, "I've heard many rumors. Mostly about this crazy Bindist. They say he has a underground lab near District 8... A lot of people tried finding it, but it's just rumors. No one really has a clue where the chimeras really come from."

Hopefully giving this information out to him will help get me into his favor more.

"District 8? That's nearby Chimera Alley," Fullmetal mumbled, looking a bit distant. Looking back up at Roy he asked, "Bindist?"

"You know...Binding? That science where insane biologists sew animals together? They're called Bindists. Although it's just a story, the animals wouldn't survive the second you cut off their life support."

"If it's just a story than how the hell are there chimeras running around? Maybe there's some truth behind it...These animals aren't meant to exist, yet I've seen animals three times their normal size, animals morphed together," Closing his eyes and leaning his head back against the door he shrugged, "I'm not sure what to do. I'm pretty curious...and you're the only ex-military officer here. I guess you're a little more useful than I thought."

"Well, if you need information I'll be glad to tell you...anything you need," Roy affirmed, interlacing his fingers together as he glanced down at the floor. But just how much information are you gonna need, Fullmetal?

Opening his eyes and lifting his head back up, Fullmetal fixed that gaze back onto Roy, "So you're sure there isn't anything else I need to know about the Chimeras? Are there other rumors of areas this...Bindist could be in?"

"I didn't really hear much. They kept most of the information in the circle of the higher ups," Roy scoffed. "I didn't even know that you're the one that killed them all...well, most of them. They made it seem like they had it taken care of."

"...So, District 8, huh? Maybe we should go check it out. And maybe give this Bindist my thanks," Fullmetal sneered, standing up straight.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?"

"Hey," The blond pointed at him, demeanor changing and looking suddenly serious. "I'm in charge, you shut the hell up and do as I say, got it?"

And just when I thought we were going to start getting along. I'm seriously deprived of social contact or something and will take anything at this point.

"Yeah...sorry," Roy mumbled, biting back a retort.

I'm not in the least bit sorry, you little midget.

"Well, then. Now that I've got that out of the way I'm going to go take care of some other things. By the way, don't trust anyone, none of these new recruits, alright? And not that Xingese... The one that broke into your room?"

Roy rose his eyebrows, "Ling? He's the Prince of Xing. What's he doing here?"

"I...I figured he'd be useful. Look, just stay the hell away from people. I know you're a social butterfly and all, but keep your head low and it won't get blown off, okay?"

Are you looking out for me, Fullmetal?

"Yeah, sure. Whatever you say," Roy nodded, " You're the boss, right?"

"Good. I guess...I guess I'll see you later. Be ready for a mission soon... Oh, and you might want to thank Winry for that new blanket and stuff. She bugged some of the guys to go rob one of the furnishing stores. You're pretty lucky that she likes you, or you'd still be sleeping on rags still."

Fullmetal gave him a last wave, awkwardly, before leaving the room, shutting the door behind him with a click. Roy stared at the door for a few minutes. Thinking.

He's really not that bad of a kid once you get to know him...

Don't think like that! You're supposed to be finding out his name so you can turn him in! He killed one of your former officer in command. It's only a god given miracle he

Turn him in to what? Those labs? Did you ever really think through what you're doing, Roy? The kid just wants a life and you're working to send him back to labs. And they aren't exactly home sweet home.

But what do I do? I can't just desert my position in the Military. Colonel Jameson is relying on me to do this. I have to find out his name!

Yeah, just look where that got the last guy...

No, you're not doing this. You can't live in this dump all your life, Roy. You've gotta make it up in the military. You've got your whole life ahead of you. Don't throw it all away because some kid is being a little nice to you.

The approval is a nice change of pace though.

Gritting out a sigh, Roy laid back on his bed, covering his face with a hand. This was normal. Of course he felt some sort of brotherly comadre for them. He was just enjoying finally being accepted. But you have to remember your real purpose, Roy. Don't get sucked into this.

He was going to find out that kid's name. Whatever it took.

Making his way down the hallway, Edward was heading towards his room, feeling slightly better about how everything was going. Pulling the key out of his pocket, he unlocked his door and shut it behind him as he entered the bedroom. His stomach was still churning from that morning. He had woken up throwing everything he had eaten the night before up onto the floor, burning his throat.

About to pocket his key, Ed reached up and held the back of his hand to his mouth, trying to overpower the feeling of nausea and then he suddenly froze, sensing somebody else's presence in the room.

"You know, I'm only going to play along with this intrusion so far, Ling," Ed growled, glaring over at his desk, where Ling was casually perched.

"I was just doing research, boss. I thought we had an agreement?"

"Yeah, you call it an agreement. But I don't know the real reason why you're here, my Prince," Ed mock bowed his head as he took off his jacket and threw it in the general direction of his closet. "Why don't you just come out with it and say what you're really after. I can't imagine why a prince would want to live in a dump like this."

"What about that man, Edward? Why did you kill him?"

Back stiffening, Ed snapped his head over at Ling, hissing quietly, "You keep calling me by my real name and you'll be next, prick!"

"No, no! Do not worry. I have my bodyguards on alert for any eavesdroppers. Our conversations will always be confidential."

"Bodyguards? What the fuck, Ling. I thought you were the only one who knew my name?" Ed said, exasperated. The more people who knew his name the more dangerous this was getting.

"They live only to serve me. They will not be seen and they will not converse with others. You have my word. Besides, I rather like your name. 'Edward' has a very classic touch, as they say."

Starting at Ling for a moment, Ed made a noise through his nose, rolling his eyes as he sat down on his bed.

"You are losing control of it, are you not?"

Jumping a little, Ed fixed a look onto Ling, "What are you talking about?"

"Your H.A.E. side, Edward. You're becoming like one of them. It's really only a matter of time before you're slaughtering everyone in this hotel," Ling laughed, causing Ed to feel even more sick. "Maybe you should just turn yourself in and have your control unit replaced?"

Quickly getting to his feet, Ed strode over to Ling, trying to hold back every part of him that wanted to just chuck a good swing at this guy.

"Just use your flesh hand if you want to go punching any guys in the face," Kevin grinned.

"What do you want, Ling?! I know you're fast, but I'm pretty fast myself. You are not going to harass me like this! What-do-you-want?!" Ed spat, grinding his teeth so hard, he could swear one was starting to crack under the strain.

The smile slipped off Ling's face as he suddenly looked serious. Ed was taken aback.

"I want immortality, Edward."


"My country has been corrupt for many years. When I become its emperor, I want to be there for it for a very long time. I need more time to restore its peace it had so many years ago."

"Wow...here I was expecting you wanted to be a rich emperor all of eternity. You sure that isn't a perk?"

"Yes, of course this is what you call a perk. But it isn't my main reason, I give you my word. I will not abuse the power of immortality," Ling's head bowed slightly, and Ed had to bite back a fit of laughter.

Was this guy for real?! Immortality?!

"You're kidding me, right?" Ed asked, barely suppressing a grin.

"How would I be kidding? This is not a joke," Ling said, still serious-faced.

"Dude...I hate to break it to ya, but I'm not immortal. I'm just as mortal as the next jerk off on the street."

"You misunderstand me. Do you know the real reasons of why they created H.A.E's?"

"Oh..I get it. You think that if you become an H.A.E. that they'll somehow make you immortal? Like they've been trying to do for decades? It's not gonna happen! I'm sorry about your country, man, but really, becoming an H.A.E. is definitely not worth it. It took them years just to get me running," Ed sighed, rubbing the back of his head. "I mean, even you can see that I'm losing control of it. Is it really worth the risk, Ling?"

"There always is a way. And I will stay here and gather information. In return I will help you find the man that has been creating Chimeras. Roy Mustang said he used Binding, correct?"

Eyes widening, Ed ground down on his teeth again, "You were eavesdropping?! What else have you been doing? Spying on me?!"

Throwing his hands up, Ling opened his eyes, shaking his head, "I assure you I have not been spying on you! I've only listened to that conversation. I don't trust that man, Edward. I can't afford having you taken back to those labs!"

Face still a little red, Ed breathed out heavily, "I trust Roy for now. He's saved my brother's life and mine. I don't exactly trust you either, Ling. You'd let me get carted off to those labs the second I became useless."

"I would not, as long as you help me. Then I'll forever be in your debt," Ling said, jumping off the desk and walking by Ed, towards the door. "I'm not as bad as you think I am, Edward."

"So you interested in checking out that chimera lab?"

"Actually, I am. I'm sure a Bindist would have a lot of information pertaining to making such a creature live, maybe even some research on a life force? When you are searching for the impossible, you have to believe in every little rumor, yes?"

"Yeah, I guess so," Ed murmured, thoughts reeling. "But this immortality, Ling. It doesn't exist.

"Mmm. Yes, that's why I'm relying solely on the H.A.E's. At first, I didn't think they existed, but I'm standing in front of one. I can't deny that you exist, Edward."

"Just don't go spewing that information around, or this H.A.E. will be carted off."

"Have you heard of a philosopher's stone?"

Ed didn't reply, he was becoming increasingly annoyed with this slanty eyed man. He was searching for something impossible and he expected Ed to help him in return of not turning him in. Hearing his automail fist beginning to screech, he shook his head, glancing away.

"The idea of a philosopher's stone has been around for millennia. Even some claim the first mention of the stone emerges as far back as to the first two humans in Christianity."

Snorting, Ed couldn't help but give a dubious look at the guy who was spouting all this insantiy. "Christianity? Philosopher's Stone? I can't take you seriously and help you chase fairy tales. Do you realize how stupid you sound?."

Giving the gang leader a small shrug with his shoulders, Ling seemed to drop the subject for the moment as he retorted, "I also couldn't help but notice you have your own little H.A.E. pet. But that big man of yours won't let me pass. And stranger enough, there isn't any windows."

"There isn't a damn thing you don't know about this place anymore, is there?" Ed snapped, earning an apologetic grimace from the prince. "Al wouldn't exactly let me kill him. Winry's trying to find a way of reverting him back to a more human state of mind... Do you know anything about that?"

Ling nodded, his hands behind his back he said, "I have read about reversion. One must simply fix or reset the 'control unit'. It has been proven helpful to revert an H.A.E. back to normal for the time being, yet I did not read if it was a permanent fix."

"Winry doesn't know about that...Do you know where it's located?"

"What I read wasn't very precise. But it should be located near the brain...stem?"

Suspicion wriggled its way into the back of Ed's mind as he furrowed his brow, staring Ling down, "What exactly was it that you read this from?"

"Some leftover documents recovered from that fire and break out scheme so many years ago," Ling said as he smiled knowingly, blatantly enjoying this leverage. " I went to where the State's laboratory relocated. They're not the official State scientists, but they work for the State secretively. The ones who have been working on the H.A.E."

Going over to his closet, Ed picked his jacket back up off of the floor, dusting it off as he slipped it back on, pulling the tab of the zipper up. Looking over at Ling as he walked to the door, still feeling a bit skeptical, "Come with me, then."

Winry had just finished attempting to feed the red haired H.A.E. boy. He seemed to be refusing to eat every time Winry tried to feed the boy in attempt to nourish is severely underweight body. His aggression was nearly non-existent, but those creepy black eyes remained, him staring at her and never speaking a single word. Sometimes it creeped her out enough to force her out of the room, unable to stifle the unsettling feeling that settled itself underneath her skin.

She also couldn't tend to the boy without Jeremy nearby, the man's large presence was somewhat comforting, since they had been in a somewhat silent friendship for many years she knew Jere was very loyal to his friends and wouldn't allow anyone to hurt them. For some reason she couldn't admit it aloud, her fear of the H.A.E., but Jeremy seemed to understand every time she asked him to go with her when she went. She was afraid of the H.A.E. boy and her pride wouldn't let her just ask Ed to accompany her since he was always busy and because he hated the H.A.E. boy with every fiber of his being. But that didn't matter at the moment, because at the moment she doubted Ed wanted to see her after what happened the previous day.

Double checking the boy's restraints on the bed, Winry folded a part of her hair behind her ear, straightening back up. Today he didn't seem to act like he knew she was there, staring blankly across the room, not even reacting to her touch. Was he ignoring her?

The door opened and Winry glanced up, expecting to see Jeremy, but instead a thinner, much smaller man came in, making her frown automatically. The black haired Xingese prince, Ling, followed in behind, giving Winry a pleasant smile.

"Hey, Win. Ling here did some research on the H.A.E's and we might have a way to revert this kid's...condition," Ed said, not looking directly at her, the tone of his voice didn't give a single clue away of what he was thinking or how he was feeling, further deepening her guilt.

Ling walked over to the bed, looking curiously at the red haired boy. IIt was the first time Winry had seen Ling's eyes so open, irises so dark they appeared black.. She tried her best not to look over at Ed, still standing aside silently, as she watched Ling examine the H.A.E.

"Yes. I read about the H.A.E's losing use of their control unit, it said it was located inside of the brain stem. If you can fix that, or reset it, then it would be possible to reverse his current state. There is many different chemical hormones causing the aggression, the unit is triggering it, or so I have read in the State's reports."

Feeling uncertain, Winry wrung her hands, "I'm not very good with the neural side of H.A.E's. I'm not sure if it would be a good idea for me to meddle with his neural system..."

Ling looked up at her, giving her a warm smile as he walked over next to her, "I have very high regards of you, Miss Winry. I have heard of your mechanic and medical skill. It is something to be proud of, do not be modest."

Confused, Winry gave him a small smile, "Well, I'm not necessarily being modest-"

"Oh yes. You are. You fixed Edward's automail, something you have never seen before. You also grasped the concept so easily. I have attractions to such lovely, intelligent women as you."

That did it. Winry felt the blood rush to her face as she looked away from Ling. She heard heavy bootsteps as Ed came over, glowering at Ling.

"I didn't bring you in here to hit on Winry, Ling!" Ed suddenly shot in, looking lividly between her and Ling. Oh, now he'll acknowledge me.

"Why don't you mind your own business, Fullmetal? I don't think it concerns you," Winry shot back, making Ed blink as he looked like he was slapped across the face.

Scowling, Ed crossed his arms, scoffing.

Looking interested between Ed and Winry's exchange, Ling suddenly grinned. "I don't want to come become between a lover's quarrel! I do apologize-"

"As if we've ever been together! There's no need for apologies, Ling," Winry said angrily, not missing the hurt look on Ed's face as she turned towards the H.A.E. still laying in the bed. He seemed to have perked up in response to the conversation, but his eyes were focusing on Ed like a magnet. What was going through his mind? Winry wondered.

"I guess I could take a look at this control unit'. It would be useful to know how to repair because then maybe we can help other H.A.E's who have malfunctioned."

"Yes, yes, like Edward," Ling piped, still lazily smiling.

Twisting her head back from the H.A.E. and over to Ed, Winry forgot her anger in an instant.

"Have you been malfunctioning, Ed?" She asked breathlessly, briskly moving over to him and taking hold of his automail arm.

Ripping his arm from her grip he was still scowling, "I haven't been malfunctioning at all. You'd believe a piece of shit like him over me?"

Becoming cross, Winry placed her hands on her hips, "It'd explain why you killed that man yesterday without a single thought...like some mindless killer. Is that what you're becoming, Edward? Are you just going to let yourself malfunction and not tell me about it so you can slip up kill somebody else?!"

"Shut up, Winry," Ed scathed, looking away from her.

"But seriously, Ed! You're supposed to tell me these things so I can help you! I can't help you when you just let it get out of hand. Do you think you're some kind of martyr doing this? Never telling me when there's something wrong?!"

"I said, shut up, Winry!" Ed shouted at her, quickly becoming red faced. "All you do is bitch at me, no wonder I don't tell you!"

Ed stormed out of the room, golden ponytail swaying as he roughly slammed the door making it rattle in its frame. Winry stood there, stunned into silence.

As the initial shock left her she let out a shaky sigh, rubbing her arm, as she started feeling horrible. There was a small noise behind her and she looked, seeing the H.A.E. boy straining at the leather belt across his chest, restraining him to the bed. The small ropes tying his wrists down to either side of the bed was being cut into his skin as he tried pulling himself loose.

"Stop it, we don't need you acting up either," she muttered, staring in confusion at him. She reached out to touch his forehead, as he seemed to have enjoyed before, but he jerked away from her, a guttural growl reverberated in his chest.

"Now, that's interesting. He's reacting to Ed's emotions just now," Ling observed, reminding her that he was still in the room with her.

It seemed Ling was right. The H.A.E. boy that she thought she had bonded slightly with, was now looking at her angrily, as though he were on Ed's side.

"That's great, everyone's mad at me now, huh?" Sighing she went over to the chair next to the H.A.E.'s bed and sat down, burying her face into her hands.

I am pretty horrible to him, aren't I? Probably the reason he'll never want to be with me. But why does he defend me so much? Is it the typical man in him to protect women? Am I his family and nothing more?

I'm sorry, Ed. But I'm not going to be alone forever. And you can't keep scaring off every guy that so much as looks at me and act like the protective boyfriend, but then never actually be that.

Shoulders sagging, she could feel the tears building up as she unseeingly stared at the H.A.E.

Why did they have to keep up with this stupid gang? Why couldn't they just leave this stupid, miserable country and start somewhere new? Just her, Ed, Kevin, Jere, and Al. Just like the old days when they were only supporting each other, not constantly worried about a raid, or being found out, or someone dying in a turf war. Winry even had the fleeting thought of just leaving by herself, but that idea was stamped out quickly. Of course she couldn't leave Ed, especially not since she was the only one that could care for his automail. She was stuck with an obligation to help him and whomever got hurt. Her conscious wouldn't allow her to be so selfish. Ed himself was stuck with leading these people. Trying to all survive and stay off the streets where they would surely be picked off.

Wiping at a tear, feeling foolish for being so selfish, Winry felt a hand rest on her shoulder. She slightly jolted, looking over her shoulder up at Ling.

"It's not that bad, is it? He is very stressed. Do you want me to speak with him?" Ling asked, smile gone as he looked at her with serious black eyes.

Winry pulled away from Ling's hand, making him let go of her shoulder, "I'm sorry. But...you're not exactly the good guy here. You're threatening to expose him if he doesn't do what you want."

Smiling again, Ling said, "Yes, but I assure you, there isn't much I can make him do. I have only made him that deal so I could become a part of the Brat'ja. I am very interested in H.A.E's for my own personal reasons. I wouldn't harm Edward."

Staring him down, Winry huffed, "You'd better hope you don't. Or else you'll have to answer to me."

"I will gladly answer to you, Miss Winry," Ling said, deliberately exaggerating.

Feeling embarrassed at how...straightforward this guy was, Winry turned her back on him, focusing her attention on the glowering H.A.E. boy on the bed. He was now acting very agitated.

"I'm going to go ahead and get to work on finding his 'control unit'. I'm going to have to ask you to leave," She sniffed, replacing her fluster with a feeling of irritation.

"You love him?" Ling asked, crouching next to the bed as he leaned an elbow against the mattress of the H.A.E.'s bed.

Feeling the heat burn on her face, Winry pursed her lips as she made the red headed boy turn his head to face the other way, so she could get a look at the back of his neck. He refused at first, but with gentle persuasion he eventually gave in.

"As a friend and a leader, yes. But...there's nothing between us. There never has been, Ling, so don't get the wrong idea."

Ling was looking up at her intently, watching her as she ran her fingers down the back of the H.A.E. boy's neck, trying to feel for any tell tale sign of a control unit. Ed would've noticed something hard in the back of his neck, wouldn't he? Or maybe it was higher up...?

"How is it that a woman as beautiful and intelligent as you isn't taken? I'm honestly confused."

"Because, Ling, I have more important things to do than date," She gritted, watching the H.A.E. cautiously in case he decided to turn his head around and bite her. He had gotten her a few times, but he didn't seem to be putting all his strength into it. Almost like he just wanted to keep her away, but not hurt her. The poor boy must have once been a sweetheart, maybe someone like Alphonse.

The idea of Alphonse being turned into something like this pulled at her heart and made her resolve to try her best to revert this boy as best as he could.

"What would you say if I asked you on a date?" Ling grinned wider as she looked over at him, eyes wide. "I am a prince after all."

"Don't be ridiculous! I can't do that," Winry said, refraining from yelling at him as she glared at Ling. "I've got more important things to do I said-"

"So you are in love with him?" Ling pressed, cocking a curious eyebrow.

"No, I'm not!"

"If you're so worried about what Edward thinks, then I would say you are. I am just wondering if this isn't a mutual thing, then why do you keep each other from pursuing anyone else?"

Rolling her eyes, Winry moved her fingers up to the base of the boy's skull, prodding a little harder. He twitched slightly, but otherwise remained still and calm.

Why is he so relaxed now but not going back to his human consciousness?

And why the hell is Ling so hell bent on Edward and I?

"Ling, will you just leave? I'm not interested in dating or even becoming friends with someone who blackmails someone important to me."

Standing back up, Ling shrugged, his devious smile slipping off his face as he cocked his head to the side.

"I am harmless, really. I can assure you I won't harm him or allow anyone else to. And he also has extra protection by my Xingese bodyguards. Nothing will ever happen to him as long as everyone is cooperative."

"Because he has something you want. You're forcing him to allow you to stay here and gather information from him... like he's some animal."

"I refer to it as more of a sped up friendship, or an alliance actually. In return of him helping me gather information on the H.A.E.'s I will help in with whatever he needs. I'm at your disposal."

"Then why don't you dispose of yourself right now and get lost? I'm working," The agitated blonde muttered, not feeling anything in the H.A.E's neck. She didn't know if she dared try a surgery without knowing for absolute certainty if there was a control unit in there. If something happened to the poor boy she would never forgive herself. Then again she was all for killing the boy a few weeks ago.

Realizing the Xingese prince was still watching her she glared at him and finally snapped, "You better leave before I call Jeremy in here to make you leave."

"If you insist I'll leave you to it, then," Ling chirped, easily slipping back into his cheerful demeanor as he gave her a parting wave with a broad closed eye grin before exiting the room.

Giving a disgusted roll of her eyes, Winry set about to start preparing for an xray of the back of the boy's neck.