Media: Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga)
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Arakawa. Dance with the Devil belongs to Breaking Benjamin.
A/N: This will be taking place in the manga. Also worthy of note, I wrote this awhile back and it's more of an experiment with a writing style I used to use frequently in my writing (with some alterations, of course). For those concerned, I will update my other stories…eventually. Until then, I hope you find this story decent and/or to your liking.
Extra: I have a pole in my profile in need of votes. Will you do your part to end the pole's loneliness?
Dance with the Devil
Darkness hung in the cold sewers, what little light there was showing nothing but a grisly scene of dead corpses and other such remains of a battle. Dust began to fall from the roof and the sludge on the walls began to run, the quaking accompanied by the rumbling of engines.
Gold eyes migrated upward, slightly parted lips closing and jaws setting. "Sounds like Mustang's in position," a young male voice whispered, those same eyes lowering to the tunnel ahead. "You guys ready?"
A series of soft grunts, as well as vague movement that could be guessed as the nodding of heads, answered the question. One of the humanoid forms stepped forward, slowly walking toward the owner of the voice.
"You aren't hurt?"
Gold eyes turned toward crimson ones for a second before resuming their gaze down the tunnel. "Not badly, no. And even if I weren't, I'd still want to fight."
The taller figure owning the newest set of eyes nodded knowingly, crimson gaze joining the stare down the path they were soon to take. "Same here. Everyone else has the same thought, as well."
Rustling of loose cloth was heard, two gloved hands reaching to where a less-than-neat gold braid was. "Good." The fingers finishing their task of tidying the braid, they lowered to the blood-red hood and straightened that up, running down the sides of the cloak and grasping the dust-brown belt at the waist. All the while, dull thudding of rubber-soled boots reverberated off the brick walls of the dank sewers. "Hopefully, things will go back to the way they're supposed to after this battle…"
Here I stand
Helpless and left for dead
The boy donning the blood-red cloak swerved to the right, narrowly dodging the earthen spike projecting toward him. Clapping his hands, he slammed his palms against the broken stalactite and thrust his hands toward the opponent in a pushing manner. In a flash of electrical energy, the weapon reformed itself and started flying in the direction of whence it came.
An un-protected hand raised itself and swiftly grabbed the tip of the weapon, sparks flying as the earthen spike broke into several smaller stalactites. The hand opened and instantly each new weapon was heading back toward the young boy in the cloak.
"Edward, stop playing around!" yelled a rather angry voice, onyx eyes narrowing at the boy's running form. "Make your move or get outta here!"
Gold eyes narrowed right back, a slight snarl forming on his lips and nose wrinkling. "I'd like to see you try making a proper attack on him, Mr. Toad!" Noticing the sound of impact dying down, he skidded to a stop and dropped to one knee, left hand swiftly maneuvering in a quick design before the boy jumped back to his feet. "We're almost set!"
Amethyst eyes narrowed faintly, blonde brows furrowing in a slight frown. "Almost set?" the man repeated in a slightly questioning but overall calm tone, his gaze turning from the boy a few feet in front of him to the brown-skinned man behind him. "What could a State Alchemist and a rogue Ishvaran be working together for?"
Crimson eyes turned up to amethyst ones, the usual seriousness adorning his otherwise manly face. "You'll see soon enough, Homunculus," he answered with just as much calmness with a slight undertone of venom, lifting his bloodstained hands off the floor after making a similar design as the boy and sprinkling a white, powdery substance over the bloody insignia.
"All set!" yelled the same deep voice that had scolded the blonde boy, onyx eyes skimming over the layout of the whole room before landing on a specified person. "Do it, Edward!"
Nodding, gloved hands slammed against a chalk-covered bloody line, gold eyes narrowed slightly in concentration. "Time to send you back to The Doors, you freak!" the brave youth shouted as sparks of electricity flew up and caused a whole circle to light up. Now could be seen what the fighters had been working on while simultaneously warring with the man called Homunculus, which was a large circle with series' of equations running the entire lap.
The boy's frame stiffened, gold eyes flashing shock and alarm amidst a blank, wide-eyed face. They turned up to the man who was being viciously attacked by the sparks and streaks of electricity that continually launched themselves at his chest.
"What do you think you're doing!?"
Gold eyes widened more as a pale hand roughly grabbed the hood and yanked the youth back and away from the array, sharply turning upward to meet a new pair of angry albeit pain-filled amethyst eyes. "E-Envy!" His mouth stayed open as if to start stuttering but quickly snapped shut as the walls started rumbling. Looking around, he struggled to his feet as the ceiling began to start caving in. "Everyone, get out –!"
His warning was cut off as an avalanche of stone and brick came tumbling down and mixing with the wild flurry of bright-blue shocks of electricity.
"Look out!" The same pale hand grabbed the boy's shoulder and pulled him to the side just as a particularly large stone fell from above, amethyst eyes glancing at the cloaked child for a few seconds before scanning the surrounding chaos.
"What's going on!?" the shorter of the two demanded in a mixture of fear and anger, sending a pressuring glare at the only other humanoid he could see in the thick mist of dust that was quickly rising.
Amethyst locked sharply with gold, a vicious snarl on the character's youthful face. "Idiot humans, acting before thinking!"
"Just tell me what's going on!" Edward demanded with more force, roughly grabbing the other personage's bare shoulder and pulling downward. "Why is your father's lair falling apart like this!?" Gold was instantly hidden behind lids as the other plunged a fist into the shorter's diaphragm, blood-red cloak rustling before the boy's body found itself landing ungracefully in a pile of brick.
"Stay put and you probably won't die," growled the somewhat masculine voice of the other youth, amethyst eyes turning away from the slowly weakening child.
The blonde wheezed terribly, the impact of the landing with the combination of the attack itself having caused some bodily shock. He struggled to a sitting position, watching the other begin to walk away with faded-gold eyes that were becoming less focused. "No…this, this wasn't…how it was supposed to happen…" Blood-red cloak gave a final rustle as the body it wrapped slumped to the side, gold bangs covering the youth's face in shadow.
Close your eyes
So many days go by
Easy to find what's wrong
Harder to find what's right
Stale yellow eyes slowly brightened as life entered their depths, parted lips closing and dirty gold bangs sifting to the side as the boy turned his head in the direction of the voice.
"Hah, so you are alive."
The grogginess quickly left his eyes as he sat up, gaze still firmly locked on the same person who had attacked him, and saved him, earlier. "Envy…what did you –?" His voice halted itself as gold eyes observed the slight grimace that flitted across the other's face and instance of blue electricity shooting out of the other character's chest. "…you…you're hurt?"
Envy let out a breath after the electricity disappeared, raising a slender brow at the human not too far from his position. "You made an impressive show back there, although you made it quite clear you didn't understand what you were doing." A faint smirk tugged at one corner of his mouth when he saw the confusion in the other's gold eyes and stubborn determination on his young face. "Is there something you'd like me to explain?"
"First of all," Edward started, instantly taking up the offer, "Why are you here? I thought Scar said Marcoh took away your powers and Mae was on her way to take you to Xing." He glared at the grin the humanoid gave him.
"That Ishvaran didn't lie to you, Marcoh made an attack and disarmed me." The grin broadened devilishly as he tilted his head forward slightly, amethyst eyes like freshly cut gemstones glittering with devious delight. "But you should never leave a homunculus in the hands of a little girl…you never know how easily deceived she could be."
Gloved hands tightened into fists, black boots supporting the boy's weight as he unceremoniously pushed himself to his feet. "You killed her…?"
A look of feigned shock came to the humanoid's face as he straightened his posture, raising one of his knees and placing it in front of his chin. "You really think I'd kill the very human that saved my life? You wound me, Fullmetal…" His lower lip puckered into a pout, lowering his head as if pretending to hide behind his knee. This little display was instantly let go of as more electricity shot out of his chest, a grimace coming across his youthful face before being replaced by a blank look after the light show stopped. "No, I let her go before Father realized she even came."
Edward's frame sagged invisibly, the fists loosening dramatically. A softer expression came to his face as he continued, "Second, do your wounds mean we succeeded?"
"No." The humanoid's answer held no emotion, though amethyst eyes were beginning to lose their dullness as amusement entered their depths. "Your efforts were to kill Father, were they not?" He tilted his head forward slightly in a single nod, his gaze not failing to notice the slight flicker of surprise in the other's gold eyes. "The fact that I'm still alive tells of your failure. I assume you want me to explain how I know that."
Gold bangs swayed slightly as the red-cloaked boy turned his head away slightly, gold eyes narrowed slightly in thought as a gloved thumb started stroking his chin. "That bearded weirdo created you with his own blood, right?" Gold shifted toward amethyst long enough to receive a nod. "And, if I understand the process well enough, he inserted part of his soul into you."
"So if the master part of the soul were to be vanquished, then the lesser parts would disappear, as well." The gloved hand returned to its former position at the boy's side as gold eyes watched another electrical attack transpire on the young homunculus. "But you being harmed means we partly succeeded…right?"
An exasperated, pain-filled sigh escaped through gritted teeth, amethyst eyes turning up toward the human almost coldly. "Yes, but in the process took down the entire sewer system and Central Headquarters."
Edward blinked forcibly and almost staggered backward, shock and utter surprise radiating from his now very stiff being. "W-We…the sewer system…?"
"Like I said, it was clear you had no real idea what you were doing."
"And Central City…?"
"Probably caved-in, probably still standing. I can't tell you how much of the city relied on the support of the sewers." Amethyst eyes narrowed slightly, a curious frown tapping its way to Envy's face and almost making him seem worried. "What are you thinking of…?"
"Envy." Black boots carried the human to the homunculus, a serious look adorning the blonde's face. "Do you have your powers back?"
Raising slender brows, the only personage still sitting replied nonchalantly, "I haven't really tried after your little display back there, but…" He leaned forward, sparks beginning to fly off his body as it began to slowly change. Raven-black hair shortened slightly and started going down the length of his lengthening neck, handsome young face stretching out into a snout with a velvety nose on the tip, ears climbing to the top of his head and becoming more pointed, hands and feet rounded and hardened into coal-black hooves, and his overall body composition changed into the general shape of a horse. Before the transformation was complete, however, powerful sparks emitted off his chest and a pained squeal escaped his newly formed maw as he began reverting back to his human form.
A look of mild disappointment replaced the initial expression of alarm, Edward's shoulders sagging more visibly. "You have your powers back, alright…but it looks like you're injured too badly to use them." He placed a gloved hand on the homunculus' shoulder after this second transformation was complete, waiting for the other's panting to subside before stepping back. "Oh well…looks like we're taking the long way out," he murmured, gold eyes scanning the result of chaos around him more thoroughly.
"So…" Envy sighed, cautiously rising to his feet and watching the other male carefully. "We're working together again?"
"Yep." Gold locked onto amethyst, a determined yet somewhat friendly smile gracing his lips. "Well, let's get started."
I believe in you
I can show you that I can see right through
All your empty lies
I won't stay long
In this world so wrong
"You still need to eat."
Gold eyes narrowed further than they were previous, gritted teeth beginning to grind together as a strangled growl emitted from Edward's stomach. "Both of you shut the hell up…!"
Amethyst eyes studied the boy in front of him and a little to his right a little while longer before both shoulders rose in a subtle shrug. "Oh well, it won't make any difference whether or not you starve yourself."
"Then why are you still pestering me about it, huh?" The blonde gave the raven-haired male a pointed glare before continuing his trek through the rubble, right arm covering his abdomen as it gave another undesirable sound. "If you're really that worried –"
"Tch!" Envy cringed as more powerful sparks of electricity shot out of his chest, the force of the obvious pain causing him to double over.
Waiting for his companion's attack to subside, he muttered in a soft voice, "Is there anything I can do for you?"
Raising a finger, the homunculus straightened his posture and leaned against a nearby wall of disheveled bricks. "Doubt it," he answered when he caught his breath, looking down at the dirt-and-grime covered floor blankly. "How pathetic, eh? Me unable to use my powers, and you unable to use your alchemy…"
A subtle frown settled between the human's brows, gold eyes hardening in slight agitation. "Psh, life's a real bitch…"
A small smirk wormed its way to Envy's lips, the dullness in amethyst eyes wearing away some. "It does have that tendency, doesn't it?" Stepping away from the wall, femininely slender body twisting ever so slightly as he made a slight twirl in the direction he had decided to start walking, he made a small motion with his hand. "Anyway, we should keep going."
Nodding, Edward's face contorted slightly in a miserable grimace, hand clutching harder at his abdomen as another strangled growl emitted from its depths. "So hungry…"
Amethyst eyes watched the cloaked boy for a while before the owner offered, "You know, if there are still rats around, I could do a little bit of hunting for you."
"Ack!" A snarl instantly found its place on the human's face, brows knitted and eyes flaming 'til they almost looked orange rather than gold. "I'm not eating any rats!"
"Okay, okay," the taller male surrendered, raising both hands. "I won't make you eat rats."
"Good." Turning sharply, the blonde started stomping-slash-stumbling down what was left of the crumbled tunnel, the heat starting to fade from his expression. "Now, let's just try finding a way outta here…"
As we dance with the devil tonight
Don't you dare look at him in the eye
As we dance with the devil tonight
Faded yellow eyes opened slowly, Edward's breaths coming out slow and faintly ragged. Rolling onto his side, he flinched when his left hand accidentally brushed against his abdomen. "God, how long have we been down here…three days…?"
Gold tinged the yellow and a slight frown found a position between his brows when there was no response to his question, a sound mixing a sigh with a grunt escaping his slightly parted lips as he pushed himself into a sitting position. "Envy?"
The frown deepened, worry bubbling in the gold depths of his gaze as it swept the boy's surroundings. "Envy?"
He struggled to his feet, stumbling some and raising his left hand to massage his temple. "Envy, where are you?" Still finding no one within sight, the cloaked boy started walking up the path that revealed foot-shaped splotches where there were absences of dust.
Leaning heavily against a slightly crumbled wall after turning a corner, he let his gaze follow the rest of the trail. Gold eyes widened slightly when they caught sight of the form slumped against a strange metal object, dark splotches resting beneath the form. "Envy…!"
The form twitched, pale amethyst eyes opening and slowly rolling toward the human's location. Alarm partly replaced the almost lifeless dullness when they noticed the other male stepping toward him. "E-Edward, stop…!" Amethyst hid behind tightly closed lids and a half-moan, half-scream escaped through gritted teeth as another attack of electricity made itself known, the homunculus writhing slightly as his body tore open and healed itself arbitrarily.
Gold eyes widened in horror, grime-caked boots taking the boy faster. "Oh my god, Envy!"
"Don't you dare come any closer, Edward Elric!"
Edward stopped dead in his tracks, fear and alarm easily readable on his expression. Confusion also steadily leaked into golden depths, confusion at the cold, angry command that the other hissed at him. "Why?"
Panting after the electrical attack had subsided, Envy leaned back against the wall almost limply, barely visible amethyst eyes showing little-to-no life. "Don't you…understand?" he breathed, hurrying to explain without waiting for himself to catch his breath. "My Philosopher's Stone is…nearly depleted. It…it's trying to suck in…whatever life is out there…" Shifting his position so slightly it seemed he was weak (which was supported by his anorexic-like physique), tilting his head ever so slightly, cold, almost dead amethyst eyes locked with gold ones. "Edward…if you come any closer…"
Before he could finish his sentence, another burst of powerful electricity erupted, his body folding in on itself and wildly tearing open and resealing the openings.
It wasn't just the show itself that startled the human into stepping back, but it was the sounds of crackling electricity mingled with screams of searing pain that frightened him. "Envy, you…you're dying…" Gold vibrated as pupils trembled as badly as his voice, the same dread reflected in his half-question and trembling body.
"Yes…" The homunculus didn't try altering his position after this attack, remaining on his side and covered in his own blood. "S-So…are you…"
Trembling worsening to the point he could scarcely stand, the cloaked child dropped to his knees, eyes heavy with sadness tried searching for those of his companion. "I know, Envy…" Leaning forward slightly, he whispered, "Just…try to hang on, okay? If I…if I can hold on for long enough, I'll get help." Struggling terribly to get back to his feet, he swayed slightly as he began to walk away. "D-Don't fade out on me, okay?" Lifting his left hand and rubbing beside his left eye with the tip of his gloved fingers, dim-gold eyes seeming barely to hold back tears, Edward walked on down the tunnel, giving the other male a final, almost longing look before disappearing into the inky shadows.
Crawling across my skin
Feeling your cold, dead eyes
Stealing the life of mine
Onyx eyes narrowed, gloved fingers tracing each scribble made on the map before letting go of the paper entirely. "You've scanned the area thoroughly?"
"Yes, sir," replied a feminine voice, maroon eyes locking onto onyx ones.
"And you've found no trace of Edward or his group?"
Gloved hands ran through jet-black hair as an exasperated sigh escaped through slightly gritted teeth. "Dammit, Fullmetal…why the hell haven't you come back yet?"
Onyx eyes turned toward azure ones, the firmness on the former man's face barely diminishing at the arrival of the other male. "Did you find anything, Brosh?"
"That's…" the other man started hesitantly, looking away for an instant and placing his hands in the pockets of his military pants before looking back at the colonel, "What I came to talk to you about."
The dark-haired man and the woman near his side fully faced Brosh, curiosity and worry in their eyes.
"What is it?" Mustang enquired in a low, almost whispery voice, onyx eyes narrowing slightly.
"I really regret saying this, and I really do…" The blonde man took a breath and held it, azure eyes filled with uncertainty. "But…I don't think Edward's coming back."
Maroon eyes froze with slight horror while onyx hardened almost angrily.
"What gives you that idea –?" The commanding officer's question was cut short and onyx eyes widened when they beheld a grime-covered, blood-red, shredded piece of fabric.
"This is from his cloak, isn't it?"
"Yes," replied the woman, maroon eyes lowering slowly. "It is…"
"…did you find the body?" Onyx eyes narrowed when the blonde shook his head. "Then why are you so sure he's dead? Get more men down there and step-up the search, we're running out of time!"
I believe in you
I can show you that I can see right through
All your empty lies
I won't last long
In this world so wrong
Grimy, glove-covered hands trailed along the filthy walls, palms planting firmly to give the traveler time to catch his breath every few seconds.
Weak pants escaped through chapped, parted lips, stale yellow eyes clouded over from exhaustion vaguely aware of the stone and rubble beneath grime-covered boots.
Edward stifled a cough, hanging his head in a way that his face was completely hidden in shadow, filthy bangs helping to hide his faded eyes. "No…" he rasped, trudging forward to keep from collapsing. "Gotta…get back…"
Straightening his posture slightly, gold began to return to stale yellow as determination filled their depths, a drive finding its hold on the youth. "Just hold on…a little longer, Envy…" With renewed energy, the cloaked boy sped up his pace, leaning less and less on the wall beside him.
A small smile slipped its way to his lips, eyes misting over in memory. "Yeah, I remember that…heh, you always had to find something positive in everything, don't ya, Al…?" The smile widened slightly as something related to a weak laugh exited his lungs. "Envy'd get a real kick outta that, huh?" Yellow eyes turning up toward an invisible person, the happiness in the smile dissipated and sadness entered, the trembling in his body beginning to pick back up. "I just hope he's still there…"
Heaving out a heavy sigh, Edward continued his trek down the tunnel, muttering on to the invisible person beside him about things of the past.
As we dance with the devil tonight
Don't you dare look at him in the eye
As we dance with the devil tonight
Pale, bone-thin fingers grasped the cylindrical object, the arm attached pulling the frail body forward. Dull amethyst eyes slowly looked from the pipe to the inky blackness ahead, a sense of determination barely visible within their depths.
Envy's painfully thin body convulsed for a split second, left shoulder grinding against concrete as he struggled to a crawling position. Although there was no longer a show of electrical power, his flesh tore open, blood oozing out of each wound and dribbling through slightly parted lips only to land on the grimy, dust-covered floor. Each breath came in ragged but otherwise even, each rib visible as he took in the filthy air of the sewer.
Reaching forward in the beginning of mobilization, his hand landed on something unnaturally soft in texture and slightly manipulatable when he weakly clenched it in his hand. Amethyst eyes widened when they took in a grimy, red-colored piece of cloth, surprise and worry glinting in them. "Ed…?"
As he carefully vocalized his concern, small sparks of electricity flew off his wounds as they slowly closed, leaving behind splotches of blood and newly formed skin. Sharper amethyst eyes noticing all this with alarm, the homunculus shakily stood up and started jerkily walking forward, eyes desperately searching the darkness.
"Edward, you'd better not be –"
He cut off his own sentence as he noticed the form of a familiar person, eyes widening in horror. "Oh, hell no…!"
Laying face-down a few feet away was Edward, nothing to indicate any life within causing some panic in the raven-haired male.
Carefully making his way over, Envy slowly lowered to his knees, amethyst eyes searching for the familiar gold of the other boy's. "Psh, pathetic little…"
He bowed his head for an instant, allowing his dirty black hair to fall over his face before raising it slightly. "Why'd you come back, you idiot…?"
His right elbow buckled and he barely escaped completely falling to his side, bone-thin body again tearing open in tiny explosions.
"Did you…really have…that little…faith in yourself…Edward…?" Amethyst eyes hardened trying not to let out tears, jaws setting and lips thinning, breaths snorting out through flared nostrils. "Idiot humans…!"
A wild flurry of electricity exploded from his chest, sending his entire body into convulsions as it writhed in pain.
The attack over within a few seconds that seemed to stretch on for an eternity, the homunculus struggled terribly to drag himself to his dead companion's side. He lay on his left side, facing the face of his former enemy.
"You know…" he started, panting growing weaker as what life was left in amethyst eyes slowly drained away. "You weren't really…all that bad. Ya know?" Pale fingers inched their way forward, gently brushing against the fabric of the other male. "Just, well…you're a human. Can't very well…try making friends…with your sort. Father never let us…" A small smile graced his lips as fingers found their way to Edward's cold face, gently brushing away filthy bangs to make seeing the albeit closed eyes easier. "But you know…something?" He inched closer, beginning to slowly lean his forehead against the other's despite his cheek scraping against the concrete underneath them both, smile widening slightly. "I'm happy to see you…this way…" Amethyst eyes slowly closed themselves to the world, the homunculus' body becoming more limp. "Let's hope we…find something better…beyond The Doors…"
A dull thunk of metal hitting concrete, the beeping of an electrical device as a small red light flashed with every beep, and in a few seconds dust and broken stone exploded with a blast of noise, the dank air filling with dust in an instant.
Onyx eyes searched the inky blackness, determination flashing strongly in their depths as they scanned the chaos around.
"Do you see him?" Maroon eyes were too looking through the mist of dirt-filled air, slender fingers in possession of a metal weapon commonly known as a handgun (though it wasn't aimed at anything in particular).
"No –wait!" The colonel raised a gloved hand, onyx eyes narrowing on a pile of red cloth and messy gold hair. "I've found him!" The older male instantly dropped to his knees in front of the body, gloved fingers instantly finding their way to the dead boy's neck.
"Is he…?" The blonde woman trailed off, first looking at the seemingly unconscious being before landing on a small pile of blood-red dust. "Colonel…what do you make of this?"
Mustang, although seeming disinterested (as well as discouraged), turned his solemn gaze to the area his partner had motioned. "I don't know…but I can't get a pulse. And judging on how cold his body is…I'd say he's been dead for two or so days."
Both man and woman turned to where the explosion had occurred a few seconds ago, a third person standing at the opening of the wall.
The man standing there, panting slightly probably due to his fairly large size, saluted the colonel before making his report with wide emerald eyes. "Sir, we've succeeded! We've found the remains of the homunculi leader…its all blood-red dust!" He paused for an instant, the excitement quickly dying out as they noticed the corpse of Edward lying before his commanding and fellow officer. "…Edward…?"
"We were too late," the commanding officer reported almost monotone, stiffly standing back up. "He won't be coming back."
"Colonel…" Maroon eyes rose to onyx ones when they received their attention, glinting with worry and slight fear. "Do you think one of the homunculi finished him off…?"
The dark-haired man shook his head. "I don't know, Lieutenant." Onyx eyes stared coldly at the small pile of red dust for a moment, softening dramatically when they turned to the body of his former subordinate. "Regardless, we should prepare a proper burial for him. He died for our country, after all…"
The lieutenant nodded solemnly, she too standing up and looking down sadly at the boy's lifeless body.
Both standing there for a good hour or so, they eventually left, returning with extra men to take Edward's body out of the dank sewers in a corpse bag.
No one dared touch the pile of blood-red dust, though. Perhaps because there were traces of stale-yellow, almost skin-colored dust accompanying the pile, the shape greatly resembling that of a humanoid figure laying on its side, facing the body of a hero. Although it was theorized and proven that the dust belonged to a homunculus, no one could ever decipher the true meaning nor ever hope to discover the secret as to why it was there…