Hey, everyone! SakuraLetters at you live with the fifth chapter of "Utopian Requiem". Something about this chapter will haunt me until the day I die. I just do not know what it is exactly.
Anywho, I hope the writing is not sucky. I've been run ragged for the past few months and am about ready to strangle my 4-H leader. However, enjoy to chapter anyway!
Disclaimer: I, SakuraLetters, do not own Fullmetal Alchemist. Hiromu Arakawa does, and although I am half Japanese, I am not a successful mangaka. I do, however, own the wide array of original characters featured in this story.
The gunshots stopped, but the echoes haunted the grounds in the immediate aftermath. Blaire was shaking, looking almost ready to collapse. Edward felt a hand on his shoulder. He didn't have to look to know it was Ishtar.
"Edward, we need to leave now."
He knew she was right. Ishtar had somehow gotten her hands on a court order to put the siblings into the foster care system, which would almost guarantee that they would be separated. In order to prevent that, Edward had gone behind everyone's backs to make arrangements to disappear. It ripped him apart inside, to leave everyone wondering what happened to him and his sisters. He had seen the reactions to Erika's disappearance.
A flash of gold caught Edward's eye. He looked up and saw a young woman dressed entirely in black walking away, her brilliant blonde hair snapping behind her. He knew that back. He had spent most of his life chasing that back through the crowded streets of Central.
It was a disheartening thing to witness, Erika mused as she walked down the stairs. She hadn't even gotten to say goodbye….
The young woman tore herself from her thoughts to see her father and uncle and aunt, all of whom were looking at her with pure concern.
"They're dead. Executed for war crimes in Ishbal." She still couldn't believe it. The man and woman she had grown up calling her uncle and aunt were gone. They were really, truly gone and nothing could ever bring them back.
"Can't believe that Colonel Bastard's really gone," Edward muttered, half staring at the floor.
"Miss Hawkeye's gone too," Alphonse said, not quite wanting to accept it. "What will happen to the kids," he asked, ripping himself out of his grief.
"Don't know. I'd say they'll be split up and put into different foster homes, but Ed would never allow that," Erika said, falling into deep thought.
"It is you!"
Erika looked up to see the root of her thoughts: a black-haired boy with flaming amber eyes, looking a might bit pissed. She blinked, recognizing the prime opportunity for a fight to break out. He really wouldn't rush her while she was in a skirt, now would he?
His next movement forced her to throw that thought out the proverbial window.
The only lights were dim fluorescents and the glow of certain buttons throughout the lab. Two bodies were carried in, wrapped in black body tarps, blood trailing behind them. Two men in white coats looked up at the people who had just entered.
"Are they dead?" One white-coat asked, a stern expression on his face.
"Quite dead, sir. The mortician was quite clear on that."
"Good. We shall begin then," the other white-coat replied, a twisted grin appearing below his glasses.
Erika dodged quickly, narrowly missing a rather powerful punch. She moved away from her irate friend, confused irritation starting to take hold.
"Ed, what the hell? Is this how you greet your friends all of a sudden?"
"My friends? Would a friend run off in the middle of the night, no note, and let everyone assume she had been kidnapped or killed?" Ed growled as he continued to throw kicks and punches at Erika. "Do you have any idea the hell you've put your mom through?"
That seemed to strike Erika hard, as she stopped suddenly and looked at her friend, a sorrowful expression in her eyes. Ed took the opportunity to land a rather hard punch on her shoulder. Then he stopped and tried to calm himself down.
"I deserved that, Ed. I admit it. I wanted to tell you guys what was going on, but I didn't want to get Mom's hopes up. Yes, I know what I did was idiotic at best and I probably have a lot worse coming from the others, but I don't regret it."
"What the hell do you mean, you don't regret it?"
"Look behind you, Ed."
A confused expression broke through the anger as Ed straightened and looked behind him. It took him a moment to register what exactly it was he saw. He took a step back, struck by amazed disbelief.
"Erika, are they…?"
"Yes. Ed, I'd like you to meet my father and uncle, Edward and Alphonse Elric, and my aunt, Mei Chang Elric. This is why I left like that, Ed. I would have been home sooner, but there were a few…minor complications."
Erika walked up to her friend and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I know it's not my place anymore, but," she wrapped him in a hug, "I'm sorry. About what happened. How are you three holding up?"
Ed froze for a moment and then returned the hug, all of his anger flushed away. "Nikki's been crying non-stop, and Blaire isn't exactly stoic either. We're going into hiding for awhile."
Erika smiled into his shoulder. "I knew you would. Who are you staying with?"
"Someone who isn't close enough to the family to be a first guess, but who are still people the three of us know we can trust. As soon as things die down a little, the three of us are planning on going somewhere else."
She nodded, and broke the hug. She wiped a small tear from her eyes, and took a deep breath.
"How mad is everyone else going to be if I show up now?"
The white-coat tapped a vial of red liquid. The needle glinted maliciously in the dim light. He entered the lab, where the two bodies were now strapped to the tables. He looked over their wounds.
"The firing squad wasn't exactly clean, now where they?"
"What does it matter? Once the Stone takes over the wounds will heal. Now, let's begin."
The white-coat grinned and injected the liquid into the man's body.
"Erika Lynn! Where the hell have you been? You had me worried sick!"
"Mom…air! I need…air!" Erika forced out as her mother held her in a hug strong enough to rival Mr. Armstrong's. Winry released Erika from the hug, but kept a firm grip on her daughter's shoulders.
"Well, young lady? Explain."
"I'm sorry, Mom. I know I should have told you about this, but I didn't want you to get your hopes up."
"What are you talking about?"
Erika sighed and squirmed out of her mother's hold. "Mom, there are a few people I want you to meet." She moved to the door and made a "come in" motion. Three people then entered the room, causing those in the room who didn't already know to gasp. Winry recovered first.
"Ed? Is that really you? And Al?"
"Yeah, Win. It's really me."
"Same here, Winry. We're back for good this time," Al said, barely having time to finish when Winry knocked him and Ed to the ground in a hug.
Erika watched with an amused sense of amazement. She had never actually seen her mother interact with her father and uncle (for obvious reasons), so this was a whole new experience for her. She saw tears fall from her mother's eyes, and for a brief moment, cold panic ran through her. However, as she paid attention, she realized that her mother was crying out of happiness. Erika smiled.
"We need to get going," Blaire murmured as she stood up. "Nice to see you again, Erika."
"You too, Blaire," Erika replied, pulling the younger girl into a hug. "I hope everything works out for you three."
"Yeah, me too," Blaire whispered, pulling away and wiping away stray tears.
Erika watched the siblings exit the room, an uneasiness settling in her gut. She had the horrible feeling that she would never see them again. Part of her screamed to go after them, to offer them protection, shelter, anything, but she stayed firm. They knew what they were doing.
And so she let the Mustang siblings walk out of her life.
The scientists hummed in excitement as the reaction finished in both "patients". A moment of perfect stillness hung in the laboratory. Then, the bodies began to move. The eyes opened—soulless onyx and empty topaz. Slowly, the bodies sat up, disinterested looks of pure boredom on their faces.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to our newest successes. The new Lust and Wrath."
Yeah...who can guess who the new Lust and Wrath are? First three people to guess right get a free cookie. I hope to have Chapter 6 up before school starts on Sept. 2, but I can't make any promises. This is the last moment of peace I'll have for a while.
Oh, and to any readers of "In Hindsight", sorry, but I've hit some pretty impressive writer's block on that. I know where I want the story to go, I'm just failing at how to get there.
Thanks for reading, and please review!