AN: I'm not too sure about how I feel about how this turned out. I didn't spend all that much time on it, I admit. But I thought I'd toy with the characters to see how I found writing about them. I love Fullmetal Alchemist and Ed and Roy are possibly my two favourite characters.
Edward managed to jump out the way just as the ground below him cracked and dust rose up into the air. He pushed his hands together, transmuting his automail arm into a sharp metal blade. He raised this arm to guard his chest as he skipped back a few steps. The night was young, but the sun was setting and the light was slowly fading. The dust cloud hadn't settled, making it impossible for Edward to see his attacker in it. He could only hope that his attacker had the same problem. The alchemist that Edward was fighting at that moment had been a State Alchemist, but he had turned against the military not long after passing the exam. He had been given the title of Rock Alchemist, as his specialty was to destroy rock (or stone for that matter) and use it to his advantage. He would crumble it to dust to disable his opponent and then use it to kill the poor bugger. Well not today. He wasn't going to take Edward Elric.
Ed raised his flesh arm to wipe the blood from his eyes. He had a cut on his head. The Rock Alchemist had transmuted pieces of rubble into rock daggers and luckily for Edward, only one had made contact. He was breathing heavily and hoarsely, forcing himself to not choke as the dust cloud settled. He didn't know where Alphonse was. The pair had been separated when the Rock Alchemist had attacked them. The tall muscled man appeared out of the dust and Ed glared at him.
"Why are you trying to kill me?" He hissed, shifting into a more defensive stance. The Rock Alchemist stopped, watching him with a small smirk.
"Why Fullmetal? Because you are of the military. You are friends with the Flame Alchemist and therefore you must be in on the corruption that flows through them all. Despite you're youth and that fact that you just joined the military a small number of years ago, you must know of the evil that they do, and therefore, you are as guilty as they are." The older man then ran at Ed and he once again escaped. Ed transmuted his automail back to normal and hit the man in the face, before kicking him hard in the gut. When the Rock Alchemist doubled over coughing, Edward turned and ran. He pushed open the door to an abandoned building and ran up the flight of stairs he was greeted with. He needed to find a way out of here and soon. Ed wiped the blood from his face again as he paused in a dark and cold room. The room was empty so he couldn't tell what it had once been. There were rotting wooden beams across the roof and a lot of stone. Edward suddenly realised his mistake when he heard cracking. Spotting a window, Edward began to move towards it. He didn't get far before he was knocked to the ground. A wooden beam pressing down on his back, forcing him to lie on his stomach in the dust that coated the old floor.
The pain that assaulted him was enough to make Edward gasp. He then coughed, choking of the small particles of the dust that had been left from the crumbling building. Edward groaned and shut his eyes. The wood was heavy and he found breathing hard, after his coughing fit. Raw panic began to grow in him. More cracking sounds and then banging as the roof caved in. Ed heard screaming; he didn't realise that it was his own. The walls weakened and the whole building fell onto the one level on the ground. Some of the structure stayed as it was but for the most part, all that was left was rubble. Edward let the blackness take him.
Colonel Roy Mustang was sitting in the parked car beside Lt. Hawkeye when they heard the building collapse. There was a stunned silence between them as they waited for the noise to stop. People were running about panicked and it was just as the two stepped out the car and Hawkeye had locked it, that Alphonse ran over to them. "Colonel! Lieutenant! Have you seen brother?" The child's voice called out, filled with obvious fear. "We were attacked by an Alchemist. He said he was called the Rock Alchemist, but brother and I were separated and I haven't seen him since." Roy watched the armour that was Alphonse Elric for a moment. If the child could cry, Roy would put money on him being close to it at that moment.
"Fullmetal is probably on his way to my office, Al. Its safer there after all and he'd want to get to a safe place if he was separated, would he not?" The Colonel told the child. It was easy to forget out young Alphonse actually was when he was that armour. The boy didn't seem convinced.
"Don't worry, Al. I'm sure he's fine. Go back to the office and we'll meet you there. We have to investigate something." Riza said kindly. Her tone was gentle, much like that of a mother consoling her child after a nightmare. Roy spoke again when he saw that Alphonse was hesitating. "If we find Fullmetal, we will bring him straight over." Roy finished, happy once Al had turned and was making his way to Mustang's office before he turned to his subordinate.
"Lieutenant, that sounded like a building being brought down. We need to search the area for Ed. You ask if anybody has witnessed him and then meet me at the site of that building. I'm going to search it." Roy ordered. He watched her want to resist and then she sighed, nodding her agreement and moving to ask civilians. Roy turned on his heel and ran in the direction that the noise had come from.
Some unknown instinct had warned Roy to slow at a corner. He stopped, pressing his back to the wall, his gloved hand raised, ready to attack as he glanced around the corner. He spotted Caleb Hansen, the Rock Alchemist that had attacked the Elrics. Roy stepped into view, flicking a burst of flame close to the other alchemist as a warning.
"I hear that you are attacking members of the State, Caleb. Military members who are my subordinates. I think you underestimate my protectiveness of all those that are under my command." Roy glared the man down, seeing Caleb hesitate in fearful respect for the Flame Alchemist. No doubt due to Mustang's part in the Ishvalan war. "What have you done with Fullmetal?" He'd asked the question louder than intended. Roy couldn't make himself look at the rubble that Rock was searching through. If Edward was in there... The very thought angered Roy.
Caleb sensed that Roy was growing even more angry and so acted quickly. If Fullmetal was dead or not, he wouldn't find out today. But he needed to get away from Roy Mustang. Touching his fingertips to the tattoo on his wrist's, Caleb destroyed the rubble at his feet, sending a thick cloud of dust into the air and escaped into the city.
By the time the dust had settled enough for Roy to see, Caleb was gone. He muttered under his breath and then kicked at a piece of rubble. Fullmetal was close. He had to be if Rock had stayed. Deciding to start looking, Roy knelt where he stood and began slowly moving plaster, brick and stone from the mess. After a while of the hard effort, Roy felt a trickle of sweat slip down his neck and heard footsteps. He turned and saw Riza. "He's here somewhere. The Rock Alchemist was hovering about. Find him."
Hours later, with the moon high in the sky, Roy stood, walking further into the centre of the devastation. It was as he did this that he thought he'd spotted the briefest hint of steel. It was buried under roof and a wooden beam, but hope filled Roy. This hope gave him fresh energy and he ran over to the site, calling Hawkeye over. They worked together to clear some rubble, uncovering Edward's automail arm. Roy pushed debris away and his heart skipped a beat when he saw that the arm was still attached and the sight of golden hair.
"Fullmetal!" Roy called out. Hawkeye helped him to clear away enough debris to pull the small broken child safely out of the brick and plaster tomb he'd been in. Roy lay Edward flat on his back and crouched next to him. He checked for a pulse and breathing, thankful that the young alchemist was had both. Mustang looked up at his lieutenant. "Phone Master Sergeant Fuery and have him contact the hospital to have everything prepared for Fullmetal. I don't want there to be any delays in having him checked. Have Breda and Havoc put together a team. I want Caleb found and arrested. If he resists tell them not to hesitate in shooting him." Roy ordered, turning back to Edward. Riza saluted and stood. "... also inform Alphonse that we have Edward."
"Yes sir." Riza nodded, leaving to carry out the orders. Roy heard her go but didn't turn from Edward to watch her leave. Roy brushed hair from the boy's face, trailing his fingers down Ed's jaw. There was a deep cut across Fullmetal's head, and dried blood trailed down the left side of his face. There was dirt and dust in his hair, turning the brilliant molten gold into a dull yellow. He was pale and his lips were dry. He'd lost the red coat at some point and his black clothes were turned gray from the dust of the explosion. Roy didn't doubt that the boy would be covered in bruises. It was also likely that he'd have broken bones.
Roy doubted that the child would wake soon and so, convinced that Edward was safe to move again, Roy scooped him up – and found himself surprised by the small alchemist's weight before he remembered the steel arm and leg that would be the main factor in the weight. Roy carried Edward away from the scene, heading towards Hawkeye's parked car to take his injured subordinate to the hospital. Riza was already there and once Mustang lay Edward safely in the back seats, he got in the front and they set off without a word.
Riza stood next to the row of chairs outside Edward's hospital room. Colonel Mustang sat beside her in silence, his head dropped into his hands. Al was with them, sitting with his back to the wall opposite Roy. The silence between the three was tense, but not uncomfortable. It seemed like a precious thing and when then doctor's footsteps broke up, everyone seemed to grew more tense. Roy stood slowly, sharing a look with Hawkeye before casting a quick glance over to Al, who had also stood up. The doctor looked at them all, but directed his conversation towards Roy as he was the one in charge at that moment.
"Mr Elric's condition is stable and we believe that he will recover fully. His left arm is broken and he had some broken ribs, but that's the extent of his injuries bar a few minor cuts and bruises. He was extremely lucky. Not many would have gotten off as lightly as he has. He's lucky that his back wasn't broken, or his head split open, Colonel." The doctor's tone expressed his obvious anger at Roy. He made it seem like Roy had sent Fullmetal into that building and brought it down himself. The doctor looked at Al, "Edward is awake if you want to see him, but please do not stay for too long. He needs to rest." The doctor informed them, before shaking hands with Roy and walking away. Al was the first in Ed's room. Roy followed in after Alphonse and he and Riza watched the animated armour move to Edward's bedside. Roy stayed by the door with Hawkeye. He hated hospitals. The smell of them; the white that was overpowering; the hum of the machines. Al stopped by the bed, and Roy watched him sit by his brother. "Hey Al. Sorry to worry you." Roy heard Ed say, his voice was weak.
Mustang walked closer. He was overwhelmed with emotions at seeing the boy. Relief, guilt and worry. Fullmetal watched him, with a guarded expression. Roy watched him back, not letting any of his emotions show. "Alphonse, may I speak alone with Fullmetal for a moment?" Roy asked the boy, turning to look at the hollow armour. He knew that Hawkeye would leave without needing to ask her. Al stood up and looked at Ed then Mustang.
"Uh... Sure. I'll wait outside." Al's voice informed them, though it was mainly directed toward Edward who still sat watching his commanding officer. The silence between the two State Alchemist's continued as they watched each other. Roy heard the door close as Al and his lieutenant left.
"Fullmetal, what were you thinking?" Roy breathed, shaking his head and walking to the window.
"Bastard. What do you mean, what was I thinking?" Ed cried, balling his automail hand into a fist. "I was making your job easier by catching a killer!" Ed's voice was low in its volume, but the tone was cold and sharp, cutting Roy deep. Edward had almost gotten killed, just to try and make his work easier? Roy shook his head again, turning to face the boy.
"You could have died. I didn't recruit you into the military so you could act so recklessly." Roy paused and took a breath to calm himself. "How did you even know about the Rock Alchemist?"
Ed looked towards the window then, breaking eye contract. His movement allowed Roy to see the stitches on his head. "I saw a file on your desk about him. I was curious." Edward mumbled, still looking out into the darkness of the night. "I wasn't acting recklessly. I was just trying to get away from him. I realised that I couldn't take him and the quickest way out of his sight was into that building." Ed paused, as if waiting for Roy to speak. When the colonel stayed quiet, Ed continued. "I didn't think he'd bring it down on top me." Ed stopped and coughed. Roy watched him cough a few more times, trying to expel any dirt that had gotten his throat or lungs. The violent movement caused Fullmetal to wince in pain as his broken ribs argued their displeasure at the jerking motion of his chest.
Edward groaned in pain and curled up, wrapping his right arm round his waist and doubling over. Roy gave him a sad look and walked over to his bedside. He picked up a glass of water and handed it to Edward. Gold eyes looked up at him curiously, before a cautious metal fingers wrapped round the glass. Roy released it once he was sure Ed had it and then sat in the chair close to the bed. He watched ad Ed blissfully swallowed a few sips of the cool liquid before he lowered the glass onto the table by the bed and turn to his commanding officer with an unreadable expression.
"Who brought me here, Colonel?" Ed asked weakly. He had suspicions of who it was, but Edward didn't want to say them in case he was wrong. If he told Mustang that he thought that it was the Colonel that had gotten him to the hospital and it turned out that Mustang hadn't, then wouldn't it make Edward seem like he'd hoped that it was Roy. Roy looked at his subordinate for a moment and looked back into the night.
"The lieutenant and I did, Fullmetal." Roy said, not unkindly. "We heard the building come down and spent hours searching the rubble for you. I spotted the glint of your automail and we got you out." Roy didn't look at Ed, and he had tried to keep the almost fatherly concern from his voice as he spoke, but wasn't sure how well he'd hidden it. In truth, Roy was terrified for those hours of searching. He couldn't stop himself from imaging Edward's small broken form being beyond all hope and repair. He'd lost people before, and each wound of a lost comrade stung, but Edward was just a child, dammit. A child and Caleb had tried to kill him.
Roy was pulled from his thoughts by the quiet, whispered thanks that Ed gave him. He turned to his subordinate and was met with a look of gratitude that caused his breath to catch by the sheer intensity of it.
"I'd have probably have died if you hadn't searched for me. If you'd given up after an hour, I'd still be lying in that rubble. So thank you, Colonel." Ed said. His words made Roy smile and when he did, Edward's cheeks flushed and he looked away. "You're still a bastard though." He mumbled.
Roy laughed and stood up. He was exhausted and was suddenly aware of Hawkeye and Alphonse still waiting outside. "Don't worry about it, Fullmetal." He said with a shrug, turning to the door. "I'd get chewed up if I'd have left you to die. It was completely selfish." Roy toyed with the idea of making a short joke, but knowing Ed's reactions to them, he'd probably cause himself more injury and Roy didn't want that. Mustang walked to the door and placed a gloved hand on the knob. "You better recover quickly, I have a real mission for you. One that you haven't decided to take upon yourself."
Ed blushed again. He bowed his head slightly and watched the Colonel leave. Alphonse came back in and sat by him and Ed heard Mustang and Hawkeye leave. He offered his younger brother a smile and then lay down in the bed, closing his eyes. He mumbled a reassurance to Al, and gave a yawn, wincing at the pain in his ribs again. Edward felt sleep slowly begin to take him and gave into it upon being given Al's permission.