Hey guys! Just wanted to pour my effort into something a little different. This one is in third person and a little darker than normal, but I hope I did okay. My beta is currently on vacation, so you guys will have to tell me if you see any mistakes. BTW, while I do poke fun at it from time to time, I don't dislike Twilight. I just don't think that the Cullen's are real vampires. They have all the benefit of the race, with hardly any drawbacks, which is not what vampire lore traditionally states. So, let it be said: This story does NOT involve sparkly vamps, or emo boyfriends with weird hair. However, there is nothing wrong with liking that, and I won't bash Twilight fans because we don't agree. As for the Anti-Twilight people, I think you are right, but please don't be rude about it. Thanks.
LITS is still being worked on, so don't fret! Also, the rating of this story could change, as I haven't fully decided where I am going to go with it yet.
This takes place after the culmination of the first anime series, and disregards the happenings of the COS movie. Also, Al never lost his memory.
Please enjoy and review!
EDIT- I've changed the title to just 'Once Bitten'. Same story, otherwise.
Dark. It was so dark. The only light filtered down to Earth from the softly glowing moon. It was quiet, almost eerily so. Nothing moved in the hush of night, and the absence of the sun sent chills running through nerve-endings.
Suddenly, great shadows cut across the moon, chipping away at what little illumination there was. The soft rustle of feathers echoed loudly in this place, like a beast preparing to strike. Something was out there.
Fear colored the image, dimming it, blurring out the edges. Then, another sound, like the quiet shifting of a snake uncoiling. All of a sudden, everything was brought into focus again, this time clearer than before, almost unbearably crisp. A step. Then another. Coming closer, closer.
"I've come for you." Rasped out a voice. It sounded like an inhuman hiss, with the smooth undertones of a predator coming in for the kill.
Everything tingled, the feeling consuming the entirety of the scene, as if a mixture of adrenalin and terrified expectancy had filled the air.
"Now…" The voice was even closer than before. "Give yourself to me."
A smile, bright in the gloom. A slow upturning of invisible lips to reveal perfect porcelain teeth. So unnatural, so sickeningly sticky sweet, so marred by those impossible-not-to-notice fangs.
Pain. Incomprehensible pain flared, all encompassing in its finality, only made worse by being over-sensitized and overpowered.
A flash of bright golden eyes.
Roy sat bolt upright, trembling so hard that the bed frame shook. His one good eye danced sporadically about the room, searching in vain for unseen terrors of the night. He heaved great breaths of cold winter air into his lungs, the faint chill helping to bring him back to his senses. Eventually, he relaxed his posture and his breathing slowed. Looking down, he found that he was covered in sweat, and he could see as well as feel his quick, jumpy pulse firing in his wrist.
"It's ok. Just a dream." He whispered quietly to himself.
He hated those moments when dreams still lingered, those few horrid seconds when the line between reality and fantasy blurred, and inane, childish fears had enough pull in them to make grown men scared to their core.
The dark-haired alchemist rolled to the edge of the bed and stood, having to pause and fight the dizziness and nausea. He took one last deep breath and marched across the freezing hardwood floor towards the bathroom. He gave a slight hiss as he stepped on the somehow even colder tile, and flipped on the light. He stripped off all of his clothes and flicked on the taps, hoping to rid himself of the sick, clammy feeling with a hot shower.
While the water heated up, Roy looked at himself in the bathroom mirror. He had always been fair skinned, but tonight he seemed almost unnaturally pale. A dark circle had nested under his remaining eye, and his forehead was glistening with the sheen of sweat. He sighed, hanging his head low for a moment, then stepped in to the shower.
The steam did help to drive away his queasiness, but it could not do the same for the images burned into the troubled man's mind.
'The only time I ever have dreams that vivid is when they are about the Ishbalan war…so what the hell was that all about?' He wondered idly.
Yellow Eyes. In the instant before consciousness had grabbed hold of him, he had seen a pair of glowing yellow eyes.
"No. Not yellow. Gold eyes." Roy corrected himself aloud.
He only knew one person with that eye color.
The fact that he was dreaming about them was not a good thing.
The next few days passed in a blur. The military office was gearing up for the fast approaching political campaign season. The emergency council that was set in place after the overthrowing of Fuhrer Bradley was finally stepping down. The 'State of Emergency' had lasted much longer than expected—a little less than four years. The Council had not been fully prepared for what was thrust onto them. They dealt with the investigation of the previous Fuhrer's death, which eventually led to investigation of corruption within the government and a grand purging of several people within the military brass. Then they had to deal with the Ishbalans, now that no one was sweeping the issue of their 'camps' under the rug. The list of things to do had gone on and on- foreign affairs, reciprocation to several groups for damages, lessening of the military's direct power. Many of the things one Roy Mustang had once hoped to accomplish in office.
But there was still much to be done. Fear of war still haunted the wary eyes of pedestrians. Children no longer played in the streets. Rumors of chimeras spread like wild fire in the superstitious rural areas. Someone needed to tie up all the loose ends.
Finally, a new leader was to be elected, and the tired country of Amestris could start looking towards the future, rather than fixing the previous generation's mess.
Roy Mustang was campaigning to become the next Fuhrer. He had great standing within most groups. He was a war hero, had always worked for the people, and had helped liberate the country from the grasp of the war mongering Old Regime.
His impressive resume had but one minor blemish.
While the Alchemic division of the military had not been disbanded after the facts of the old government's human experimentation had come to light, they were blamed for some of it. Some, such as the Flame Alchemist had survived the slander relatively unscathed. Others however, were driven out by fear. Now they were even less trusted than before. No more were the days where songs were sung about the glorious exploits of alchemists of old. While alchemy was not necessarily considered 'bad', anyone who practiced it was put under the microscope, and any shortcomings were blamed on the science of equivalent exchange.
Ironically enough, the only name that remained totally unaffected by this was the man with the most 'short'comings of all.
Edward Elric was still known as the 'Alchemist of the People.'
When the investigation of Bradley's underground dealings had come out, so did details of the brave young man's fight. (Roy had a hell of a time keeping the really important parts of his story secret.) People read the papers in awe at all he had done.
A young girl in Liore had spoken up and told of a golden child that swept up the mess left by an insane priest. A retired cop talked to reporters about his great battle with the master thief, Siren. The once small mining town of Youswell sang praises to the boy for running out a corrupt official and making them prosperous once again. Little stories sprang up from all corners of the country about the good deeds of a child prodigy. What had once been a vaguely appreciated tale had become a legend. People were desperate to know more about the unsung hero of The Revolution. Which left only one question.
Where was the Fullmetal Alchemist?
Every person that had ever come in contact with him was questioned, civilians and military personnel alike searched high and low for some trace of the hot-headed boy wonder, but he was nowhere to be found. It was as if he simply disappeared the night Bradley died.
After a year and a half of fruitless investigation, it was clear that he wasn't coming back.
A funeral was held, even though his official status remained 'Missing in Action'. Hundreds had made the pilgrimage to the Central City Military Cemetery to lay a legend to rest. The whole affair was somber, and after the priest of a god Fullmetal hadn't believed in had spoken a few words, the heavens split and rain poured forth, as if someone up there was laughing at the misery held in that place. People from all walks of life marched through the imposing front gates to pay their respects. Two Ishbalan boys, recently relocated to a good home, wept at the foot of his grave. A young mechanic had to be held back when she started beating the casket with a wrench in her agony. A giant of a man fell to his knees and sobbed, his impressive moustache glistening with tears. An extremely ill woman had a fit and started coughing up blood, but she refused to leave until she had said her goodbyes.
Everyone present had to blink back tears when little Elysia Hughes and her mother brought an apple pie as an offering, because it had been his favorite. She had whispered words to the empty coffin as if the lost hero could somehow hear her. She had told him to 'keep Daddy company in heaven.'
Throughout the entirety of the event, only two sets of eyes remained dry.
One belonged to none other than the former sponsor of the Fullmetal Alchemist. General Mustang had cried at the funeral of a friend in the past, but there was one key difference here: There was no body. As long as that grave remained empty, it wasn't real to him.
The other person who never shed a tear was the last in the Elric line. Alphonse Elric knew that his brother was not dead. He could feel it. The only thing that had warmed him in his time as a lifeless suit of armor was the presence of his beloved big brother. Even though blood once again coursed through his veins, that warmth was still felt within his soul. He knew that somewhere out there, his brother was waiting for someone to find him.
So sure was he of this fact that he chose to sleep on the same bed of nails that the elder Elric had, even though he knew the hardship that went along with it.
The nation sighed in fondness and recollection when the young lad was dubbed the 'Armored Alchemist.' The naming committee had thought they were being clever with that title and General Mustang had begged them to reconsider, to change it to anything else. But Alphonse had borne it stoically. He had said that he would need some armor to get through the next period in his life.
It was all so nostalgic, so bittersweet, Roy thought he might cry. Here he was, plotting government takeover in an office, while a gifted young alchemist in a red coat traversed the countryside looking for answers. He couldn't help but feel that he might have been repeating past mistakes by letting an Elric run free under his watch again.
The General was swamped with thoughts of preparation and reminiscence and he pushed the disturbing dream from a few days earlier out of his mind. But the vague feeling of unease didn't leave him.
Later in the week, he sat at his desk, trying to convince himself that it was just nerves due to the upcoming election.
The dark haired man's head snapped up at the sound of someone else's voice.
She didn't reply. For a few moments, all she did was stare at him. Roy had to resist the urge to twitch and adjust his eye patch under the scrutinizing gaze.
"You do not look well," the woman finally answered, "Have you been getting enough sleep?"
"I'm fine, I assure you."
Obviously, whatever she saw in his face left her a little skeptical.
She sighed, and went about gathering up stray reports. When she had put them all in order, she placed them on the General's desk and once again looked him in the eye.
"Permission to speak freely, sir?" Hawkeye asked, even though they both knew it wasn't necessary.
"Of course." Roy was curious as to why she didn't just drop it like usual.
"You look like absolute shit. You need to be in top form for your campaign. Please, let me take care of this and take the rest of the day off."
'Hawkeye cussing and telling me to take time off? I must be dreaming. Dammit, why hasn't my alarm gone off yet? I will have to take it in to be repaired when I wake up…'
"SIR," She said, rather loudly. "Were you paying attention? I said I would take care of things here. Go home. Get some rest."
Roy opened his mouth to argue, but quickly closed it and got ready to leave when Hawkeye threw a meaningful glance at her gun.
The drive home and dinner afterward was uneventful. The dark haired alchemist did a little bit of paper work, then sat down to read the latest published work of a promising young researcher. He wasn't nearly as brilliant as the Elrics, but he had some interesting ideas and a bright future ahead of him.
Elric…every time Roy thought of that name, his thoughts immediately went to Alphonse. He had been looking after the boy since he was a small child, and he couldn't help but worry about him. He was currently in Liore, retracing the steps he and his brother took to see if any clues as to the blonde's whereabouts popped up.
This train of thought of course, led him to contemplating that dream once more. He knew he was probably seeing more than what was really there, but he had learned to trust his instincts. They told him that something was coming, some shift in the ether had occurred and that it might not necessarily be good.
He shook his head to clear it of these ideas.
"No use in worrying about something I can't see and can't change." He thought out loud.
Roy closed his book and put out the fire in his rather large fireplace. He then trudged up the stairs and to the left, making his way to the master bedroom.
He stripped out of his work attire and into his pajamas, quickly falling victim to exhaustion once he was tucked in.
That night, dreams visited him in his sleep.
He was running. From what, he wasn't entirely sure. All he knew was that every sense he possessed was screaming at him to get as far away from here as fast as his feet would carry him.
He was sweating profusely, yet he felt chilled to the bone. Scenery flashed by him so fast that he couldn't even tell where he was. His chest was tight, the muscles in his calves burning from overuse, breath coming in short gasps.
He caught the movement a second too late. Whatever was chasing him had leaped over his head and landed in front of him at an impossible speed, and he couldn't maneuver well enough to do anything but crash into it.
Terrified and in pain, he fell backward, knocking his head against the hard ground.
There was that smile again. That sick, inhuman smile, full of predatory malice and sharp fangs.
He began to shake and didn't even bother moving because he knew he wasn't fast enough to get away.
"Come now. Don't be so frightened." Chuckled the ominous voice through the darkness. The accent was unrecognizable under the harsh hissing noise that accompanied it. Yet, there was something oddly familiar about the way the words were spoken…
Suddenly, two fiery golden orbs were visible. Rather than the expected form, the pupils of these eyes were slits, as if they belonged to a hunting cat. They shone with razor sharp intelligence and something almost akin to…caring? Then they were gone, and the pain returned.
The last thing he knew before the world went black was the scent of blood.
Roy groaned and sat up, wincing as he did so. He slowly opened his eyes and looked around, wondering why he had been awoken so suddenly. Seeing that he was no longer on his bed, he understood.
'I was tossing and turning enough to fall off the bed? Wow. I need to figure out a way to get rid of these nightmares or I will never be able to get a good night's sleep.'
He stood up, squinting at his bedside clock to try and make out the time. It read 4:47. He shook his head and contemplated getting back into bed, but decided against it. He wasn't going to be able to sleep anyway, so he might as well get a head start on the day.
He took his morning shower and donned some comfortable day clothes. Today was Saturday, so the Flame Alchemist would not be needed at the office, however he would be making a few calls and finalizing his ad campaign with the local newspaper.
Downstairs, he brewed himself some coffee, letting the familiar scent work it's way into his mind to help him relax.
His thoughts again turned to the most recent dream. It didn't take a genius to figure out that it was tied to the one he'd had earlier in the week.
'What could they mean?'
The unease he had been feeling for a while slowly intensified as the day wore on. Roy couldn't stop thinking about the damnable dreams haunting his sleep.
Harmless looking clouds began to gather over the city at around noon. None of the people out and about took any notice of them. By dinnertime, they had congealed into a single mass, blanketing Central in shadow. Oddly enough, they stopped expanding once they had covered the outer edges of the nation's capital and just seemed to sit there, as if waiting for something. When sunset came, the now ominous gathering storm released its rain upon the Earth.
Roy was in the corner of his sitting room that served as his own miniature library when the first crack of thunder shook his house. Startled, he looked up and to the window on his left.
Outside, the world was pitch black, the only light pouring from the roiling tempest in sharp bursts of electricity. Another flash followed by a reverberating boom sounded, shaking the foundations of the dark haired man's home. He had to prop himself against the wall to keep from pitching over.
'Great timing for a freak storm to make an appearance…' Roy thought sarcastically.
He teetered his way toward the stairs, grabbing onto something every once and a while to keep himself upright. When he was almost to the doorway, the fire in the fireplace suddenly sputtered out, plunging the room into darkness.
A trickle of fear made its way down Roy's spine. Even though he was in his own home, being completely in the dark reminded him of his recent night terrors.
Straining to hear anything now that his vision was cut off, Roy noticed that the sound of the storm outside had vanished. His hands began to twitch, the swift change from familiar comfort to mysterious surroundings activating his fight or flight instinct. He felt as if he were no longer alone. Not daring to draw breath, he turned around, the silence making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
What met his poor eyesight made his blood run cold and wonder if he was dreaming again.
Glowing golden eyes.
"Hello, Colonel." Said a voice that was somewhat accented, but far too familiar to be mistaken.
Denial overloaded Roy Mustang's system causing him to black out and topple to the floor.
So, what did you think? Please Review!