Now, good evening ladies and gentlemen! (Are there any guys reading this? Huh, never woulda thought.) PLEASE keep in mind this is my FIRST fanfic under Fullmetal Alchemist, even if I HAVE been reading them for months, I've only just bothered to upload one now. I've tried my best to keep the characters as in character as I could get them, but since I'm kind of overly exaggurating what Roy has and what Edward has, it's kind of DIFFICULT. And they're gay. So, please understand that. Thank you.
I want to give a big thanks to Lanny-Sama, who has given me a few ideas in this story and helped when I was doubting myself about this story. Also thanks to my bestie, Charlio4444, she approved and encouraged this, yaoi fan chick she is. She's mad, I'm telling you 8D
I should point a few things out, this is during the Ishballen war, it's a bit different to what really happened in the war (if I hadn't, the situation wouldn't have been serious enough for the mental condition to arise really) but the time is around 1917, the exact same time it was half way through the First World War, so this is mirroring what was happening in the real world that this parallel world is having but dealing with it in different ways, similar but different.
Here are a few facts for you to keep in mind:
Edward is aged around 20 here, Roy is still about 29. You have to be 18 to be in the military, so it was necessary to change Edward's age, whilst for Roy there was no need.
There are NO homunculi, this is a story about mental recovery, not blowing shit up and taking over the world.
Fuhrer King Bradley isn't corrupt, he's just not as much a sensitive soul as we hope or think he should be.
This is a RoyEd story, so if you hate yaoi, fuck off.
This is not a correct description of how soldiers were treated for Shell Shock in World War One, but it is close and I will try to be as accurate as I can be. Though I must state that soldiers were not locked in their rooms nor were their hands in stocks, this is just in case because they ARE State Alchemists, after all.
Edward is not Roy's Subordinate, that seems a bit far-fetched. (As if this isn't already xD!)
Maes is alive, Alphonse has his own body he never lost in this story, so don't ask, Maes also isn't married yet, or even engaged.
This is based on the first anime, but really there won't be much about the anime itself, just little snippits. Though there are some parts that are from Brotherhood, so if you're unsure, you are free to ask ^^
Did I miss anything? I hope not! xD
This story is based from the novel Regeneration by Pat Barker. Anybody read it? I have to for my A Levels (That's the equivalent to college for you guys not understanding the British concepts of educational... 'ranks' xD I suppose I can't complain idk wtf this 'Sophomore' and what not is either! Sounds like gobblediguke to me) Speaking of British;
YES I AM USING SOME BRITISH WORDS AND PHRASES IN THIS STORY, SO NO IT ISN'T SPELT WRONG IF YOU SAY SO (unless it's a typo, then yes it is xD)
Again, if you are unsure, then please ask! I've had people condecending me before because I spell things differently and don't know what "Twinklies" or w/e that is are! British and proud, so hush up ;3
Please remember that this story may have upsetting scenes and some yaoi goodness so if either are offensive make friends with the back button and leave, I don't need complaints about something I am being blatantly obvious about.
Oh and this is also my first PROPER yaoi story... if it sucks, well you know why.
MASSIVE HUGE FUCK AWESOME A/N
Disclaimer~ This is FANfiction, therefore I do not own this. I forget who does, such a disgrace of me!
Warnings: Violence, emotional distress, swearing (this is Edward Elric we're talking about) thoughts on self hatred.
NOTE: Use ctrl and f at the same time to see what those footnotes mean, just press the number (I'm terribly sorry that dates are used in this chapter, so be prepared to search a bit more then usual)
Subject: Major Edward Elric
State Name: The Fullmetal Alchemist
Admitted: 27th June 1917
Symptoms: Waking up vomiting at a regular occurrence, vomiting blood, nightmares most nights, refusing orders.
Admittance Requested By: Lieutenant Colonel Zolf Kimblee 'Crimson Alchemist'.
Other Notes: Has an automail right arm and left leg, must be attended to by his mechanic every six months and oiled once a week at the very least. His mechanics are listed under the names of Pinako and Winry Rockbell, both from Resembool.(1) Allow them access to Fullmetal when asked to do so. Fullmetal is to be visited regularly, also, by his younger brother, Alphonse Elric, to help study for the State Alchemist Exam for the coming spring. Allow books but refuse any writing utensils of any sorts, check their gloves for any hidden arrays and standard search procedures apply.
Dr Tim Marcoh sighed as he viewed over the paper he had received when Fullmetal was brought in. It seemed a lot more complicated and fuller then any other admittance notes he had seen from his other patients. Then again, no other of his patients had automail, nor any close relatives near the area that were able to visit them at a regular basis. Marcoh figured him one of the lucky ones in Lab Five; some had no visitors at all that weren't military.
Picking up his pen, Marcoh added an extra reference in how he and Fullmetal were proceeding.
Date: 2nd July 1917
Procedure Number: #3
Method Used: Calm approach, standing on equal ground and be seen as a friend to get him to open up.
Progress: Fullmetal refuses to talk anything regarding his past, no matter how far back or close it is. He refuses to cooperate and is getting agitated at the lack of movement and freedom allowed currently in Lab Five. Perhaps tricking him with the use of our motto 'Equivalent Exchange' would bring results?
Methods to Consider: Continue with the calm approach in hopes of Fullmetal opening up, if it fails, hypnosis may have to be considered.
Dr Marcoh signed the bottom before placing it inside its corresponding file and filing it away for the next procedure with Fullmetal. Marcoh wasn't looking forward to it at all. Fullmetal wasn't just silent, he was also very loud. Especially with his height issue, or lack thereof. He also didn't seem to respond much to his state name. Would it be any different if Marcoh was to address Fullmetal by his given name? As Edward Elric? It seemed unprofessional, but given the amount of freedom he was given to find a cure for shell shock...
It was certainly an appropriate name for the condition. It was almost like a disease, spreading through those returning from the war with no cure. Nobody knew how to deal with it, with such little research and notes on the condition. It hadn't even been named until the first case turned up in 1914, three years ago. It was even harder when some soldiers didn't even want to be cured. Fuhrer's orders were absolute, no shell shocked soldiers were to return to battle until cured, that was the duties of the doctors around Amestris. Fuhrer King Bradley didn't care how they did it, just if they got the job done. There were almost no restrictions on what to use on the unfortunate dogs. Torture was included if it brought positive results.
Marcoh cursed as a file fell from its place, papers scattering everywhere. With a grunt, he got down on one knee to collect the life draining objects. They were both tedious as well as energy draining, even the military despised them, spending more time writing out paperwork then going to do actual military missions.
The doctor's train of thought halted as a familiar name struck him from one of the pieces of paper. Looking around, seeing that he was alone, he went to read the report.
Subject: Colonel Roy Mustang
State Name: The Flame Alchemist
Admitted: 2nd July 1917
Symptoms: Muteness, severe paranoia, volatile, nightmares and occasional hallucinations.
Admittance Requested By: Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes, head of investigations.
Other Notes: Recently executed two doctors under the surnames of Rockbell, however this is to remain classified wherever possible. Flame has recently been acting volatile to all whom does something he's displeased or forced to, approach him with caution. Do not, repeat, do not give him his gloves at any time, refuse the use of any writing utensils and he is to be kept under tough surveillance. The recovery of his voice is of utmost importance.
Marcoh was taken aback. Surely, it didn't mean the Colonel Roy Mustang? The Flame Alchemist, admitted to Lab Five? If the request hadn't seemed so dire and urgent, he might've thought this a joke from the other doctors, but it clearly wasn't. Dr Marcoh had seen Colonel Mustang on the battlefield once, before he got sent over to Lab Five when multiple cases of shell shock started spreading like a virus. That Mustang had been just that, as untameable as the beasts themselves, just as majestic as one too. He was untouchable, proud, not to mention smug, arrogant and irritating. But above all, he was unbreakable, his eyes ever searching, ever judging, ever alert like the raven he was. How could such a person be sent to Lab Five, of all places? Roy Mustang had been in the battle from the start, so why suddenly break down now?
Curious about this turn of events, Dr Marcoh took it upon himself to see which doctor the Colonel was given. That's when he wished he'd never thought that, or even looked. The poor dog had Dr Yealland, who, like some other doctors had done, had taken the more alchemic route to solving the problem. His ways were harsh, however. He believed that any seemingly physical difficulties caused by this shell shock will be put back to use through the use of electricity, which seemed like a logical theory, but to electrocute a soldier merely to get him to talk... a soldier that should be deemed a hero, brave and honourable to go out into fighting for Amestris, to be treated like... like a dog. How could the Fuhrer tolerate this!
To make matters worse, the Colonel was deemed volatile, how was shocking him with fifty worth of volts going to make things better? If anything, it would make things worse, a possibly violent reaction with an equally violently unstable man. Dr Marcoh couldn't let that happen, even if the Colonel wouldn't mean to kill, he probably could, easily.
Putting the file back, Dr Tim Marcoh kept the cell number of Roy Mustang's cell in mind before heading off to his next patient in need of help.
In cell twelve, a sigh was heard. Not a sad sigh, not a happy sigh, a bored sigh. Something quite extraordinary to be heard in the whole of Lab Five, something nearly foreign. However, said owner to the sigh hadn't yet realised this. Major Edward Elric was just as the sigh suggested, bored. How would one be bored in such a place, you ask? Ed looked around his cell; his hands were bound apart by stockings, in fear of him being able to transmute without a circle, a feat he was famous for these past couple of years and he was stuck wearing the stupid uniform. Said uniform being the military outfit. From the start, Edward despised the outfit, stating "But it's bluuuuuuuue!" in a childish whiny voice, as if it would help his case of getting out of wearing the thing. He was more annoyed, however, at how his hands were bound. How did they expect him to read with his hands like this! It was impossible! Damn idiots and thinking I'm fucking inhuman or some shit.
A loud door banging open caught the young soldier's attention. Now that was something interesting. Heading towards the bars that separated him from the main corridor walkway, he managed to stick his head through the bars, the bars wider then normal due to the fact the stocks were too thick to fit through anyhow, so it didn't really matter, and he caught the sight of, once again, much to his distaste, the damned blue uniform. Three of them, in fact. Two of the owners were fighting with the third owner of the uniform, who seemed more then simply distressed.
The two owners, Fullmetal decided, were unimportant, but the third, now he was interesting. Kimblee had already figured Fullmetal was 'less then normal', in his words, and that was another reason why he was stuck in this dungeon of boredomism, a word he made up completely on his own. Kimblee was acting as if you could cure homosexuals, though it really wasn't a surprise Edward found himself preferring cock over vagina. It was clear, ignoring the long hair and golden unnatural eyes, he hated anything seen as 'pussy like', roses, expensive dates, dressing up, Ed really didn't give a shit about all that. So long he was deemed important, quite important, he may add, to the person's life and the sex was good and a variety, softcore and hardcore, he would be happy.
Taking that into account, looking at the newly arrived soldier, Edward noticed that ignoring his desperation, he could find himself becoming interested in the soldier. That is, if he doesn't turn out to be a psycho. The soldier had raven black hair and equally black eyes, somewhat pale skin, but by the way the soldier was struggling with the other two bringing him to his cell, it didn't tell Ed much about the personality.
"Colonel, please just calm down!" Guard number one tried desperately to calm the soldier down, to little effect other then a glare and a continuingly struggling soldier. The title caught Fullmetal's attention. A Colonel? So, that must mean he was intelligent, which was a good thing, Edward couldn't stand being near idiots, even if it wasn't their fault.
"Colonel Roy Mustang, please!" Now that certainly caught Edward's attention. He had heard that name before when revising for his State Alchemist exam, about the Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist. How he could make things explode with the simple snap of his fingers whilst wearing his trademark gloves, which Ed noted he wasn't wearing right now. The military had probably removed them before he came in.
Then Edward frowned, he had always heard the stories about how the Colonel was unstoppable, unbreakable, so what was he doing here being dragged in like the dog they all were? Mustang was the last person he'd thought would break down like these alchemists.
Ed continued to watch as Mustang was eventually pushed into the cell, the cell locking quickly behind him as the volatile man tried quickly to get out, to no avail. The soldier didn't utter a sound, not a single one, even as he glared death daggers and his teeth were practically grinding his teeth. It didn't take him long before he gave up and went to sit beside the wall, close to the bars but away from the soldiers, his hands also in stocks even if he was mostly useless without his gloves. The soldiers wasted no time in walking away, leaving Mustang to vent out his emotions alone.
Ed, however, still found the situation unbelieving, really, how would his inspiration into joining the army and studying alchemy as if it was his life be sent to the loony bin? That was exactly how it felt to him, a bin, rubbish tip of discard for nows and labelled as 'insane freaks'.
Edward had to check, had to make sure. "Hey," He hoped that at least got the attention of the Colonel directly opposite him. When the Colonel didn't reply, Ed tried again. "Hey, Colonel?" That got Mustang's attention and he turned his head, just to see who the annoying little pest was that was interrupting his inner thoughts.
Said little pest was, indeed, little. Probably no older than twenty with, surprisingly, automail limbs. It wasn't such a shock to see someone having automail limbs, considering they were dealing with rogue Ishballans(2) hiding away dangerous criminals, some of whom also know alchemy but most importantly, bombs and land mines. Walking across the desert was like walking the plank with hidden pikes that shoot upwards if touched, you were dead if you stepped on one, or pretty much so.
Focusing back on the 'pest', Roy deemed him somewhat remarkable. He reminded himself that this was deemed likely merely because of his age, but the golden hair up in a warrior's plat, golden eyes with a fire as passionate as his late fire that sparked from his trademark gloves and slightly tanned skin from fighting in the desert contradicted that very thought, not to mention the way the metal hand shined from the light overhead. Roy wondered how far the metal travelled; did he lose his whole arm or just half of it? Did it hurt when installed?
To answer the pipsqueak, Roy tilted his head in question. Ed was taken aback by this, why wasn't he saying anything? He hadn't uttered a mere sound since he arrived, neither a snarl, growl, curse or groan.
"Uh," He took a moment to gain his bearings, before mentally shaking his head, keeping his head up in confidence. "Are you really the Colonel Roy Mustang?" With the extra emphasis on the the, Ed knew he'd get a straight answer.
Mustang should've expected such a question. His deeds were known far and wide, The Flame Alchemist, able to blow up an entire building block with the simple snap of the fingers. Who wouldn't go around bragging that you knew such a creature? It was only a matter of time before the press really did some pressing into the matter. However, reporters were restricted in the Ishbal war area and not many made it even close to the battle, where Roy had resided deep inside of it, near the middle. It was tough, but he carried out his orders, ignoring the attention he knew would be spreading behind, no thanks to Maes Hughes, of course, who would jump at the chance for the man to become famous and 'get a life' as Hughes put it. How irritating of him. He was also responsible for the common heading for Roy, 'Mustang riding a mustang', for it was true, Roy did indeed ride a Mustang to help his men and break off the line of charging civilians.
Roy had no option but to tell the truth, besides, what did it matter if the kid knew his identity anyway? He was hardly going to call a bunch of reporters and tell them where he was at, although Mustang certainly didn't need it, it would utterly destroy his reputation to mere nothing, and his pride. The Colonel nodded to answer the young soldier's question, before raising an eyebrow, the action asking for the exchange to be equalled.
The Major, going by the law of Equivalent Exchange very strictly, understood what Flame meant. "I'm Major Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist." Edward didn't expect Mustang's eyes to suddenly widen.
Roy had heard rumours about the Fullmetal Alchemist, the young soldier could transmute without a circle, one of the only ones known able to do such a thing. He was also one of the youngest becoming a State Alchemist at the mere age of eighteen. Mustang knew how hard the exam was, it took a complete genius alone to do it, so how could you define Fullmetal? Impossible, was the only word Roy could describe the small alchemist.
Edward watched as the alchemist seemed to be thinking really hard, the cogs could practically be seen turning inside his head, until his face burst out into a smirk, it looked like a... oh God, he's one of those arrogant pricks. Well, it came to no surprise for him, he should've expected the Colonel to at least be quite arrogant and barely modest, if at all, but he didn't figure the man was still completely arrogant even as he was completely defenceless, like the rest inside Lab Five, and his mental capacity probably even lower than his right now.
Then the older soldier did something the volatile little one wouldn't forgive or forget for a long time. The Flame alchemist pointed towards Ed, before posing out his index finger and his thumb about a few centimetres apart with a questionable gaze. The question was simple; "A bit small, aren't you?"
"ARE YOU CALLING ME SMALL!" Ed was, unremarkably, fuming. Despite being twenty years of age, he was still prone to exploding should he overhear anything indicating or mocking him about his height, no matter how subtle.
Colonel Mustang blinked, he certainly hadn't expected that. He had maybe expected a small curse or told to shut up, maybe even a flipped bird but he hadn't expected the little alchemist to be fuming in deep fury, nostrils flared and his posture tense, ready to lunge. Then he smirked again, oh this will be fun. If the volatile soldier was going to be staying as long as he was, then perhaps this torture treatment wouldn't be such torture after all, he wasn't going to pass up the chance to have fun along the way. The young man just simply looked divine in that state, dangerous. Even Roy could appreciate the mere lust for anything dangerous, something most men would never pass the chance to investigate, at least in the military, anything to get away from the mundane paper signing. That's what brought him to agreeing to go to war, not just the fact it meant court martial should he refuse.
Fullmetal continued to fume as he saw the Colonel's smirk widen, if anything. Ed should've known he'd be that type, now he was going to have this jerk poking at his height as often as possible, just to get laughs at his 'short stature'. Even if he was of a higher rank then himself, Ed wasn't about to let the prat push him about. Ed's pride wouldn't allow it.
Still fuming, he didn't think before he asked, "What, can't you just say it to my fucking face?" and paused when he caught the flinch from Mustang. He grew silent as he watched Flame look down in concentration and opened his mouth as if to speak, his throat muscles tensing, willing him to speak. But not a sound escaped. The state alchemist near snarled in frustration, either at the situation or at himself, Edward didn't know. Flame turned his head away, refusing to look at Fullmetal in the eyes, a clear aura of shame radiating outside his cell. Roy just didn't understand, he felt perfectly fine, he hadn't been injured at all during the last few hours and he carried out all his orders, so just because of a lost voice he was thrown into the loony bin? That didn't sound very equivalent, but then again, most of the state weren't exactly alchemists. He couldn't understand why he couldn't talk either, the vocal cords hadn't been touched, no alchemy was used upon him other then water (which left Roy standing on the sidelines grumbling and whining about being useless in the rain to Havoc) and the only injury he had received in battle were a few bumps and cuts on his legs, arms and torso. That didn't explain the loss of speech at all!
But perhaps this was something alchemy couldn't explain, something not even science could explain. Roy had always thought those that had broken down and cried out for men to shoot at something that wasn't there, men who furiously scrubbed their hands raw to remove blood that didn't exist, men who laughed when they just escaped death and men that couldn't see real life anymore were weak, pathetic for letting their mind take control of them. Now he didn't know what to feel, because he like those men mentioned, had fallen prey to his own mind as well. He kept seeing himself holding a gun, aimed at two doctors who didn't deserve the punishment he was ordered to give, in the background he would tell the figure to not shoot, just turn away and ignore the orders, they didn't know shit. But every single time, he shot them dead. Piece by piece, it was like shooting a small part of himself, slowly but surely losing himself further to his mind.
He chuckled darkly; of course war wouldn't bring him down. He was Roy Mustang! Nothing could bring him down, nothing but himself. That's just what had happened. Never before had Roy felt the need to cry at the hopelessness of the situation or the dread of being labelled a freak. Mustang had never cried in front of anyone before in his life, except his mother when he was just a child. Those days were over; however, his mother had been killed by a rogue alchemist on the loose, leaving Roy alone. Luckily, his mother's friend, the Hawkeyes took care of him and even taught him alchemy. Roy dreaded to meet Riza in this place; he wasn't sure how she would take his appearance right now, when she had never before even seen Roy cry or look sorry for himself. He stopped that the moment he studied alchemy.
In the background, Edward seemed a little... concerned. It wasn't normal to hear someone chuckle darkly to themselves, at least not like Roy just had. Ed felt bad for what he said; he hadn't meant to hit a soft spot. But the bastard deserved it! He wanted to apologise. But he was being a jerk! Why should I? Caught in a dilemma inside his head, an even bigger one then usual, Ed simply did nothing about it and moved on. He didn't do apologising if he wasn't sure if they deserved it or not.
"At least you don't see a white person following you and grinning all the time, awake and asleep." Well, it was sort of apologising. It was good enough for Fullmetal. The soldier looked up, having been disturbed from his thoughts, but he understood what the younger soldier was trying to tell him. You're not alone. It was true, there were about another ten state alchemists at least that he knew of that had been caught by shell shock. It didn't seem like a lot, but taking into account that there were only seventy or so State Alchemists in existence, it seemed like quite a bit.
The Colonel seemed to be smirking, amused at how Ed had described his 'condition' to him. It was always good to see that there was a way to look positively at the situation even if said situation seemed completely helpless. Mustang made a twirling motion, with difficulty thanks to the stocks, beside his head.
Edward laughed. "That's us, a bunch of loony alchemists." Then he grew more serious. "Be glad you haven't got a voice, don't have to deal with more screaming at night." For some inexplicable reason, Ed felt like he should at least owe the Colonel some warning of what was to come. Perhaps it was because Mustang, even without knowing it, had given Edward the inspiration to investigate alchemy, more so then to just make their mother smile. Since their father had been deemed killed in the war, their mother only really ever faked a smile for her boys, a real smile only appearing when alchemy was practised by the both of them. Edward never forgot it, he owed Mustang more then just a warning, he also owed him a life. Without the Colonel, even if he wasn't there, it brought Ed the courage to continue studying alchemy, even if the real reason for studying it in the first place was gone, killed, murdered. It kept his second half alive, his other reason for living. He'd have to repay Roy better then that, even if the guy was a complete bastard.
Colonel's eyes widened but then he mentally facepalmed. Of course, they were in the loony bin after all. Even in the camps out in the desert, the occasional yell was heard, waking half the camp from their sleep, thinking an enemy was upon them. The soldiers that did scream never lasted much longer at camp, either taken to other labs to recover or killed in battle. Mustang still remembered warning Maes of this fact. His words, when he could speak clearly, "Don't go flaunting pictures of your girlfriend about, those that talk about love in a war never come back." Of course, the idiot continued on, telling Roy to 'lighten up', like he could! They were shot at almost nightly, with the occasional alchemy attack when one took the chance to attack and break down their defences. It was going to be worse where he was right now, because those men were only on their way to breaking down, these men have already fallen.
But Flame was also confused, why should Fullmetal care if he was unprepared?
Seeing that expression, Edward answered, "I'm doing it for my own reasons, you're still a bastard and you're a big pain in the arse but I owe you for my own reasons, so shut up and deal with it." Ed offered no room for argument, but he was puzzled to see Roy laughing. "What're you laughing at, Colonel Bastard?"
Said Colonel Bastard only answered with a smirk, raised eyebrows and seemed to try to look flattered. Ed was confused for a while, before he realised Mustang was completely unbothered at all at being called a bastard, it was almost as if he laughed at the name, Is that honestly the best you can come up with?
Ed huffed, much like half the child he was, and probably always will be, both sulking and glad that the Colonel could at least take a joke and put up with his ways. "Bastard." Mustang laughed again, completely unaffected. Ed found himself smiling too. Perhaps this guy wasn't such a jerk after all. Well, he is still a jerk, just not a jerk jerk... a jerk, but not a complete jerk. This was going to be interesting for the alchemist, finally something more entertaining then books.
His hand was shaking, the gun weighed much heavier then he would've thought a gun would. Was he really holding a gun? It was shaped like one; it was rare he used one, however. He had his gloves, why would he need a gun?
Looking up, he saw the doctors, the Rockbells. They were hugging each other tightly, as if letting go would result in their demise. What was he doing? The Rockbells were on their side, why was he here? Why was he aiming the gun at them!
"Colonel Mustang, I order you to execute the criminals." Roy turned his head to see General Raven(3), standing as tall as ever, high ranking as ever, with a cold look in his eye, daring Roy to disobey. What? Kill them? Mustang glanced back at the two doctors, the kind doctors that once healed his wounds caught in a blast he barely missed, thanks to the mustang he rode upon, the mustang was even luckier then him. But why? Why would the State feel the need to kill two innocent doctors who do nothing but cure the sick?
"Mustang, why are you hesitating?" He wanted to ask the General for the reason. Why was he going to shoot them? What crime have they committed? As far as the Colonel could tell, they were innocent, so why was he forced into this? They even saved him, for fuck sakes! He couldn't kill those that helped him, healed him and gave him water when he was sure to be swallowing sand for the next week or so!
"Roy Mustang, I order you to execute the criminals, now!" What was he to do? His mouth wasn't working, neither were his arms, fingers, legs. He wanted to run, but he was rooted on the spot. Don't do it, don't pull the trigger, whatever you do. The two doctors clung tighter together; the male doctor looked Roy in the eyes.
"Roy, just do it, we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we cured the Ishballens." He was telling Roy, but he just couldn't take it in. "Just do it, but tell Winry we love her to the bottom of her hearts. Tell her, we're sorry." Even if he couldn't take the words in, he found himself nodding, very slight, but it was there. He licked his lips, tasting the salt of his sweat -he was sweating?- against his lips, the gun shook harder as he held onto it tighter still.
The next thing he knew, two gunshots rang out, the pair of doctors were now on the floor, clearly dead, smoke was coming from his own gun and it was still, scarily still, like a lizard, no mammal could sit that still, surely!
A hand clasp his shoulder, but he barely noticed. He barely noticed the "That wasn't so hard, now was it, Mustang?" But he took notice of the General's leave. Minutes passed, the Colonel remained standing exactly where he had for the past few moments, standing still as a tree, but then it started. His gun shook violently, his head moved down, forcing him to look down at what he didn't even remember doing, but he knew he had done it. The evidence was there, he held the gun, it was smoking mere moments ago, two doctors were on the floor, dead, and two bullet casings were beside them, bathing in their blood. Mustang caught sight of his hand holding the gun, there was blood on that too, the Rockbells' blood. Eyes widened as wide as they possibly could, a look of pure terror upon his face before he gasped, almost silently, and dropped his gun abruptly. He backed away slowly, his hands as far away from his body as possible, but his palms facing his face as if they were going to grab his head, or neck, at any moment.
These were the hands of a killer, a merciless killer. He just killed two innocent beings, something he swore he would never do. How could he continue fighting for his country if he just killed someone from that country in cold blood? This isn't what he signed up for! It wasn't supposed to be this way! Terrified, but needing to know, his left hand, currently gloveless, came to his face, running down it and pulling back to view it. What he saw would forever be in his mind, no matter how much he would try to forget it. The Rockbells' blood was on his face.
As soon as that sentence finished in his mind, he turned away from the scene and vomited violently. It took him several minutes before he could regain his posture. Even so, he still felt dizzy, not quite there but still clinging on to consciousness as well as reality. He spat out the remaining taste of vomit from his mouth, before deciding he couldn't stay there, he just couldn't. He left, as casually as he could in his current state of mind, not wanting to attract attention away to the desert. He just needed to get away, to think, to recover, to not break down. He couldn't, he was Mustang, Roy Mustang. You can't tame a Mustang, not now, not ever and nobody could nor ever will!
It took a while, but the Flame Alchemist found a desolate area to be alone at, to think without interruptions. He assessed the situation he was currently stuck with. Well, since it was an order and a threat of being court marshalled, there was no trouble of going through court because of... the shooting. He remembered what Mr Rockbell had asked. Tell his daughter he was sorry and that they loved her very much. Why, oh why was Roy given that job? He was barely hanging on as it was.
"Yo, Roy boy!" Now Roy was near snarling, he didn't have time to deal with someone else right now! Couldn't they see he was barely hanging on! He was going to lose it, very very soon. "Roy?" That was Maes, Mustang would recognise that voice anywhere, and Maes was worried. But Roy refused to turn. He couldn't let his best friend see him like this, even if he wasn't crying, he could just feel him shaking. He had no idea when the shaking had started, but it was clear it wasn't going to give anytime soon.
Now Maes was worried, it wasn't like Roy was merely vibrating; he was shaking, real shaking, almost like he was having a fit whilst standing. "Mustang!" He knew Roy reacted easier to the authority voice, and it certainly gained a reaction from Roy. It was a flinch, but Maes now knew that Roy was listening. "Roy, are you ok?" He started walking towards the Colonel, he knew something happened to his friend, but he wasn't sure what.
"Stop." It was barely audible, but Maes just caught it.
"Roy?" Maes didn't stop, but he moved to his friend slowly, carefully. Roy looked like he was just holding on, struggling but fighting, stubbornly holding on to his sanity with all the strength he had.
But he was snapping. "Don't come any closer!" The sudden snap caught Maes off guard. Jesus, what had happened to him? Roy covered his face with his right arm, his gloved hand and bent forward slightly as if it could help conceal him. "Don't look at me!" If Maes saw... God if Hughes saw how hard it was. Nobody had ever seen him in that state, he was always viewed as unbreakable, unbeatable, he couldn't let anyone see that, nobody!
"Roy!" Maes was right next to him now, even with the distance that was between them, Maes could feel Roy shaking violently, trying to keep it together. "Keep it together!"
That got through to Mustang, but barely. "I'm trying, damnit!" The Colonel lowered his arm but brought it close to his side, his fists clenched hard. He was looking down, refusing to turn around or let Maes see his face, the face that still had blood on it. He hadn't thought to wash his face and he cursed himself for not thinking of cleaning his face earlier. That probably caught the attention of a lot of soldiers, so he really hadn't kept the composure he really wanted to be shown. He really couldn't deal with this!
"Roy, just take deep breaths." Maes was being careful, he knew his friend was having a hard time and needed to be approached carefully. He'd seen it before; he wasn't into the investigations team for the hell of it. Roy took his advice, taking deep breaths, before trying to calmly exhale, but even that seemed a job. "Roy boy, what happened? I've never seen you so worked up!" He tried to keep the surprise out of his voice, but this was Roy he was talking to, Roy.
Mustang took another deep breath, it wasn't really working. He could feel vomit trying to crawl up his throat as he remembered visions of what had transpired mere moments ago. The gun in his hand, doctors in front of him, the blood, the smoke, the self hatred. It felt like that moment took hours to happen, not a few minutes.
Roy, with a slight hitch in his voice he tried to hide but failed, tried to explain. "I've... I took orders... I didn't want to, it wasn't right, but I still did."
"Roy, slowly." Maes gave the distraught soldier a few moments to collect himself, before he tried again. "Say slowly, what happened?"
He took a deep breath, before he got it out. "The Rockbells, those two doctors, they were helping some rogue alchemists. State wasn't happy, ordered them shot dead..." He left Maes to figure the rest out.
"You mean..." Maes didn't finish, he just knew the way Roy tensed that what he had said was true. Now he understood, he knew his friend joined the military to help people, so having to execute someone he believed were innocent, it made you doubt it, doubt yourself, doubt everything you thought of. It took time and patience for Roy to get to the position he was currently in and to suddenly go against what you were determined to prevent happen... Hughes couldn't imagine how his best friend must've been feeling. "Roy, I'm sorry."
That was the biggest mistake Maes could've done. Mustang was furious, he didn't need pity. How dare he be viewed as something delicate! Nothing could rattle him, he was fine, he would shake this off, he always did.
"I don't need your pity, just forget it happened."
Maes was staggered, he almost flinched at the pure coldness of Roy's tone. "Roy, you're not thinking straight, you're shaking like a leaf!" Shaking like a leaf Roy was, deny it as he may, but it was true.
"I'm perfectly fine; I've got to go on patrol right now." Mustang wasn't going to waste any time with Hughes' pity and quickly walked forward, still not letting Maes see his face, his blood covered face.
Maes wasn't going to let it go so easily, he never would. "Roy, wait a minute, you need help, you're in shock." Mustang ignored him, continuing his stride away from Hughes, anything to get away from pity. Maes wasn't going to let it drop. "Roy!" Hughes grabbed the Colonel's arm, another big mistake on his part. Startled, a flashback of a gun aimed at his face and frightened, Mustang quickly lashed out. His right arm went out quickly, the one Maes had forgotten about, his fist slamming into Hughes' face, the sound of his glasses breaking filled the air as well as startled gasps of soldiers watching. Roy, still fearing his life was in danger, brought his fingers together, ready to snap his enemy into ash. But he stopped, froze with his fingers ready to snap at any moment. Something told him not to do it, some voice in the back, but all he could see was someone aiming a gun at him. Why wasn't he finishing him off?
A few moments passed in silence, nobody daring to do anything to agitate the Flame Alchemist. They knew, if the Flame Alchemist was to snap his fingers, Maes would be injured, badly. The only sound was the sound of gunfire in the background and Roy's and Maes' heavy breathing. But, slowly but surely, Roy's eyes came back to reality, slowly widening in realization. He started at his fingers before dropping them abruptly. He couldn't believe it, he was about to set his best friend on fire! How could... how could such a thing happen! He took a step back, opened his mouth to apologise to his friend, but found he couldn't. He couldn't.
Maes, still on the floor, a nose bleed and a hand holding his nose to stop it, looked up in confusion at his friend. "Roy?"
With a loud gasp, Roy Mustang woke up. He knew he was sweating, he was shaking and he had a headache. He grabbed his head to aid his aching head, slow to regain his bearings, before he remembered what had happened. That nightmare was a memory; of course it wasn't going to leave him alone for quite some time. It was going to constantly stalk him, waiting until each and every night; it'll appear and take him.
"Hey." Mustang heard a quiet voice, looking up; he caught sight of a half alert Edward Elric. "Ok there? You looked like you were having a tough time." Roy managed to catch his breathing and nodded, even if it was a blatant and obvious lie. Ed shrugged. "Better get used to it, more comin'. We all get it." He then turned in his bed, away from the Colonel and seemed to quickly get comfortable to go to sleep.
Roy was left to his own thoughts. He wasn't so sure he'd like to go back to sleep to see the images of him nearly killing Maes. Curling up, he allowed himself the time to silently sob, since nobody would ever see, nobody would hear and nobody would ever care.
Don't you want to hug him? Go, hug him. Not to death, for Lord Almighty's sake! D: I need him ALIVE.
So, keep in mind, this is my first time, please be nice in your reviews, constructive criticism is encouraged, flames are not. Roy will tame you flames 8D and eat you. Rawr.
(1) I am aware this is spelt a number of ways, I'm going with Resembool, just because it sounds right.
(2) Not sure if this is Ishballens or Ishvallens, even the MANGA changes it's mind. Again, I'm sticking to this.
(3) I'm aware it probably ISN'T Raven that makes Roy do this, but I'm too lazy to look for the name of the General that really would make Roy do what he did. Deal with it.