Edward groaned weakly as bright light shone on his face accompanied by a cool breeze. Scrunching his nose he relaxed a little when a few moments later, both the breeze stopped and the light lessened. He slowly opened his eyes to see where he was, because last he knew he had been in the forest and-
"Roy!" Ed shot up and looked around wildly as he remembered what had happened. He'd been too late. He hadn't been able to figure out how to help Roy and now he was an enraged beast.
Edward's motions slowed as a sharp pain and wariness came over his body. He recognized where he was, but he couldn't think of how he could have gotten here. He was in Roy's bedroom and tucked into his bed. He could not find the rose nor the table it had once rested on. But other than that, the room was the same as he had last seen it.
'But…how did I get here?' Ed wondered as he lay back against the pillows. Tears that had slowly formed as he remembered seeing Roy stabbed and roaring, rolled down his face slowly. He had been so sure that the beast Roy had turned into was going to kill him. That he should have never woken up again.
And yet here he was.
He was almost content to believe it had all been a dream, except he could see the old looking bruises on his body and his automail arm was in a sling. 'Who could have brought me here? To the manor? To this room?' Ed closed his eyes and tilted his head back into his pillow. A feeling of despair and helplessness fell over him so quickly he couldn't help it as the tears came faster as he could still smell Roy's scent from the pillows.
Edward's thoughts began to spiral down into dark and crushingly depressing thoughts. He wondered what he should do from here? Get out of the manor somehow, yes. Try to head back to town, of course. He had to make sure Al and Winry were really alright. But then what? He was changed now. He had just lost the man he loved…what could he possibly do now? Maybe it would be better if he were to just stay here and rot away in this bed. He wiped his tears away with his flesh hand and turned his head slowly toward the window, blankly watching out of it.
He was startled when he suddenly heard the sound of the door clicking open.
"Edward, you're awake!" The voice was somewhat familiar voice said.
Edward's head snapped around, frown already in place. That voice…sounded like…Roy. But it couldn't be, because it came from a man he had never seen before. "Who the hell are you?" He sat up wincing, but still ready to defend himself if he had to.
The man rose his hands in surrender and Ed examined him. His complexion was pale, and he had short black hair, bangs just slightly hanging over his eyes. His eyes were slightly almond shaped and a dark, and hauntingly familiar, blue eyes. Edward blinked a few times and bit his lower lip, not knowing what to think.
"Easy Edward," the blonde jumped and flinched back as the man placed his hands lightly on his shoulders. "You need to relax – you're still hurt." When had the man gotten so close to him?
"You didn't answer me," Edward's frown deepened as he leaned away.
The man frowned a little, and Ed stared at him. He didn't want to hope. He couldn't hope…
"I'm hurt Ed, after all this time together, you've forgotten about me in a matter of two days?" There was a weak teasing tone mixed in with worry in his voice.
"What…" Golden eyes roamed over the man again before he jerked back and shook his head, closing his eyes. It couldn't be Roy. Roy was a beast now, because Edward hadn't been able to do anything. He had seen it happen and had not been able to do anything. He flinched as he felt the bed dip as the weight of the other was added.
One of his hands moved from his shoulder to his cheek. "Edward, it's me," his voice was soft and coaxing. With his eyes closed he knew exactly who the voice belonged to. Ed opened his eyes and stared into dark blue ones.
Edward swallowed hard, feeling his eyes growing hot. He hated how his voice shook as he murmured, "Roy?"
He held his breath as he watched the man nod with a gentle smile. He was pulled tightly into an embrace then and he didn't hesitate to wrap his arm around Roy. "You're human, but how?" Ed's hand went to Roy's face, feeling the smooth skin, still unable to fully believe what he was seeing and feeling.
"You said it Edward," Roy was still smiling, watching as Edward observed him.
The blonde frowned as he looked at Roy. "Said…what?" He watched as Roy's smile grew and his face drew closer to his own.
"I love you," Edward blinked as his breath hitched. Roy was kissing him, and Ed was frozen for a moment before he closed his eyes and wrapped his arm around the back of Roy's neck. His lips were so soft and smooth, Edward couldn't help the moan that tumbled from his mouth as Roy moved back.
He could feel his face turn red and he briefly rolled his eyes. "I love you too, but you still haven't told me what it was I said that made you human." Edward was confused when Roy started laughing then.
"You said, 'I love you.'" Edward was a little surprised at how deep Roy's voice was without the low and sometimes scratchy voice he had as a beast. He almost didn't hear what Roy had said the second time. Ed blinked. He opened his mouth, trying to think of what to say before blinking again. "That's it?"
"That's it," Roy's smile was gentle as he watched Edward's face fall.
"You mean…If I had said 'I love you'-"
"And meant it," Roy interjected quickly.
"At any time then you would have turned human?" When Roy nodded again, Ed leaned back and hit his forehead, his hand gripping his hair. "You've got to be kidding me." He couldn't help but feel incredibly stupid for not saying it earlier. "Why didn't you tell me?"
Ed sighed as he felt Roy pull him close again, and rub his back. "I couldn't. I tried as did the others at a few different times. Dante was preventing us from telling. So instead-"
"Instead you and the others planned all of those romantic things, hoping I'd say it." It was painfully clear to Edward now. "I'm sorry, Roy."
"Don't be," his voice was firm and he could feel lips on his forehead. "Everything is alright now."
Roy squeezed Ed in his arms. He was relieved that the horror of last night was over.
He had been slipping, the beast had nearly taken over when he had heard Edward's words. The words caused an odd splitting sort of pain to go through him. He closed his eyes and tried to block out the pain unsuccessfully. He could feel himself turning back, growing smaller, the fur disappearing.
Roy had been exhausted by the time h had finished the transformation and allowed himself to collapse on the ground. When he opened his eyes again, he knew not much time had past. As he lifted he realized there wasn't a stabbing pain in his side. And there was something else; he was staring at the hand that was supporting him, and it was actually a hand. He stared at it and flexed it, amazed that he was seeing his skin and not black fur.
"I'm human…" Roy murmured as he slowly propped himself up more. His clothes were hanging off of him, torn and bloodied in some areas. "I'm human." Roy's head snapped to where he knew Edward lay.
"Ed! Edward!" Roy called out, hoping to rouse the blonde, however he didn't move. Roy stumbled as he stood, unused to not having the added balance that his tail had given him. Making his way over to Ed, he dropped down and touched Ed's cheek. "Edward," he shook the blonde's bare shoulder, his skin cold.
'That last transmutation…' Roy gritted his teeth and lifted Edward into his arms. He held Ed close to him, the blonde's cool skin making Roy nervous. 'I have to get back to the manor.' He carefully made his way out of the clearing. It took longer than he would have liked to navigate through the woods now that he was human. When he saw the gates leading to his manor, he breathed a sigh of relief and shifted Ed in his arms. He could see lights in the windows and a smile grew on his face. He could see figures moving inside and saw them dart toward the door as he came closer.
"Roy!" The doors were thrown open and Maes stood there – human. He helped him in when he saw Ed in his arms. "What happened, Roy? What's wrong with Ed?"
"First, I need you all to help me with him-"
"We've got the room prepared, I already sent Riza to get a bath going and Jean is helping Gracia and Elysia in the kitchen," Maes closed the doors and made sure the lock was tight.
"Thank you," Roy felt his shoulders drop a little.
Roy explained to Maes and Riza what had happened after he had cleaned the transmutation's markings off of the blonde's skin, and had put the automail arm in a sling.
"He did it unknowingly," Riza smiled slightly and pulled the covers up higher on the blonde. "Any ideas when he will wake up?"
"None," Roy shook his head. "I want to send for his mechanic and brother, but I want to be sure he'll be awake when they arrive." He glanced at his friends faces, still adjusting to seeing them human again and standing at similar heights to him. "I don't know how much energy Dante had been able to draw from him, all I do know is that he overdid it. I don't think there were any rebounds, because he looks for the most part unharmed…he just needs to wake up."
"Do you know," Maes began before stopping and thinking about what to say next. "Do you know if he saw you change?" When Roy shook his head 'no,' Maes continued, a tad warily. "He'll have no idea who we are then…"
"He'll figure it out," Roy murmured as he sat beside Edward in bed. He gave the blonde a soft look as he straightened his bangs out of his face. "He's smart."
And after two long, grueling days to Roy, Edward had woken up.
"But I could have helped you and the others sooner – and all I wanted to do was study and –" Roy tilted his head up and kissed his moving lips until they began to move with his own.
"Edward, everything is alright now," Roy murmured as he pulled away a little. He rubbed the blonde's back and smiled. "We're all human again. Of course it would have been nice to be human sooner, but if it hadn't been for you, then none of us would be here now."
Before he could say anything else, there was a short knock on the door that made them both turn. The door swung open and Maes bounded in. He could feel Ed tense and lean further into him as Maes come closer. Glancing down he saw the blonde's eyes widen and scan his friend, clearly trying to figure out who it was.
Edward watched this new man carefully. He was smiling at Edward excitedly and looked like he could hardly contain himself. Light green eyes were framed with familiar looking glasses. He had short black hair and a slight beard as well…
"Ohh, Edward! You're awake! Just wait 'til you see Elysia – she's too cute!" The man wiggled in front of them.
'Maes,' Ed cracked a smile and laughed a little.
"Of course!" His voice grew serious. "We've heard from Roy what happened, Ed. We're glad you're still with us." The moment Ed smiled a little more, Maes jumped back to the topic of Elysia. "She's just so adorable – just moments ago she was helping Gracia make lunch! Oh, I really must find what happened to my camera and –"
"Maes," there was a laugh to Roy's voice. "Why don't you let the others know he's awake?"
Green eyes brightened. "I'll go grab them right now! Be back in a minute!" He was out the door before he finished talking.
Ed laughed and tilted his head up to look at Roy. "Wow, has he always been like this?"
Roy hummed, keeping his arms around Ed as he shifted them so he sat behind the blonde. "He'll be worse once he finds where we hid the camera. He'll then have an artillery of photos as well."
Edward laughed and put his flesh hand over both of Roy's, tracing small circles on his skin. Smiling to himself and feeling a little better after seeing Maes, he wondered what the others looked like, if they would be any different from how they had acted the last time he had seen them.
There was a soft knock before a man entered the room with a smile. A cigarette hung from his mouth and his hair was a sandy blond and his blue eyes glimmered mischievously. "Hey there, you're finally awake, chief. Roy was bending over backwards; he was so worried about you." Ed recognized the teasing tone as Jean's and laughed. A loud 'thwack' and Ed saw Jean clutching his head and an angry woman about Jean's height beside him now.
"What the hell was that for Riza?"
"I've told you not to smoke in the manor, especially with Ed as he is and Elysia around." Ed stifled his laughter as brown eyes turned to him. "I'm glad to see you're alright, Ed."
Ed nodded at them both, still taking in the sight of their human forms and suddenly there was a little girl in his lap. Ed winced a little as there was a slight jolt in the nerves of his automail leg. He didn't need to guess at who the little girl who was chanting his name was.
"It's nice to see you too," Ed tousled her light brown hair and as the final person, a woman, came in – followed by a gushing Maes, Elysia climbed off of him.
"Here you go, Ed." She smiled down at him, giving him a tray with a steaming bowl on it. Ed thanked Gracia as he saw she had made his favorite.
"Daddy, can Edward come outside and play with me later?"
Edward winced a little at the thought. As much as he'd love to play with her-
"He can't today, Elysia," the blonde tilted his head up and looked at Roy. "His arm and leg aren't working."
The child crossed her arms and pouted for a moment before sighing and hugging Edward, minding the tray. "Feel better soon, Uncle Ed. I wanna play with you!" She got up and left the room shortly after that saying something about dolls.
"Maes," Roy called the father back as he and the others began to leave the room. "Could you run an errand for me?"
"Sure, what do you need?"
Ed looked between the two of them as Roy moved himself away from him and instead, lay him back against the pillows. "We'll talk in the hall," he said to Maes before he turned back to Edward's questioning amber eyes. "I'll be back in a minute, eat and relax. You need to regain your strength."
Edward nodded slowly as he watched the door close behind both men. He knew Roy was up to something, but he didn't know what.
It was just another late day in May for Alphonse. He would sit around the house and read most days, others he would go to town with Winry for a few hours while she ran errands. He had not gone back into the armor that he had stayed in for so many years. It was rusted and old; the metal flaking off in several areas, they had put the armor in the cellar a few weeks prior, not entirely sure what to do with it yet.
Today was one of those days where Al would lay under one of the large trees in front of their house with a book. He wasn't reading it though, he more stared off in the distance, lost in his thoughts. He'd think of Edward mostly. He wondered what had happened to him. Was he dead? If he was, how did he die? He didn't like thinking that, he hated it, but he couldn't help but wonder. If his brother was alive, why hadn't he come back? Maybe he hurt himself, and somehow got amnesia? It's nearly been a year, someone should have found him by now…
Al stiffened a little as he realized he saw a person walking up the road to the house. The man waved jovially at him, but Al made no motion back at first, before hesitantly waving. He didn't recognize this man and he knew Winry didn't have any appointments for the day…
Standing, Al started to move towards the path, figuring he shouldn't be rude. "Hello, sir, how can I help you?" he said with a small smile – Winry would kill him if he scared off a customer.
"Is Miss Rockbell in? A friend of mine's automail got wrecked," the green eyes behind the glasses flashed with excitement. He seemed oddly…not worried about this friend of his.
"Yes, she is…I'll get her in just a moment, if you'll wait out here." Al didn't quite see this guy as a threat – he was so happy and friendly…but that didn't mean A; wanted him in the house.
"Oh, yes of course! Thank you so much!"
Al nodded and opened the door before closing it softly behind him.
"Winry!" he called softly, hoping she'd respond. Instead he heard a whir-ing noise and sighed knowing she would not like being interrupted. Walking quietly toward the room her workshop was in, he knocked on it. Still no response. Bracing himself for a wrench to his head, he opened the door slowly. "Winry –"
"Goddamn, Al!" The blonde jumped and dropped the appendage she had been working on. "You know not to come in here when I'm working."
Al waited a moment for her to calm down before saying, "There's a potential customer waiting outside."
Winry blinked. "Why didn't you says so sooner?" She quickly threw off the googles she had over her eyes and glanced in the mirror as she stood. "Ugh, damn grease gets everywhere," she rubbed at what was on her face as she moved past Al. He followed behind her as she went straight for the door and swung it open sharply.
"Hello there, sir! I am Winry Rockbell, how can I help you?" She stuck out a hand to shake with and the bearded man smiled broadly and took it.
"I'm Maes Hughes, so glad you were in, otherwise I don't know what I would do!" He let go of Winry's hand and looked at them both, Al wasn't sure what to think. "My friend wrecked his automail in – a little accident." Al noted the hesitation in the explanation.
Winry hummed a little in thought, a frown on her face. "They already have automail?" The man nodded, and Winry shook her head a little. "Then they should see the creator of that automail. I wouldn't want to mess with another engineer's work."
Mr. Hughes' face fell. "But Miss, he can't travel and uh, you're the closest one!" Al knew there was another mechanic in the next town over, but he also knew Winry was better than him.
"I suppose I could, at the very least, look at it. At least to get it suitable for use until he can get to his usual mechanic. I'll just need to grab a few materials and tools before we head out. What limbs are automail?"
"His right arm and left leg."
Both Al and Winry stiffened for a moment, and Al knew Winry was thinking the same thing he was – those were the limbs Ed had lost.
"W-well, I'll be right back, Al if you need anything you should get it now." She turned and hurried into the house.
Al laughed a little awkwardly as he looked back to Mr. Hughes. "We'll be back in just a moment, sir. If you don't mind?"
"Oh, no! Don't mind at all!" Mr. Hughes made shoo-ing motions. "This give me time to figure out which story of my adorable daughter to tell you first!"
Edward sighed as he lay in Roy's bed. He had brought him a few books from the library to help pass the time when Roy wasn't there. In the few hours that he had been awake, Ed could still not believe what had happened. Whenever Roy came in to check on him, Ed would examine Roy's human form.
He tilted his head back on the pillow and smiled a little. Even if his arm and leg were broken scrap metal from the fight, it mattered very little to him. Though when he were to see Winry again, he was sure to get a wrench to his head. Closing his eyes for a moment he picked up the book on his chest and stared at the words on the page, not really comprehending them. Now that Dante was dead and assembly Envy too, Edward was pretty sure that it would be okay for him to go back to the town. Of course he would have to get Roy or one of the others to come with him as he could not stand without support currently.
He snapped out of his thoughts as he heard a loud commotion coming from downstairs. He sat up slowly, hearing many footsteps and Elysia singing, "Yay~ Guests!" over and over. After a few minutes he could hear the foyer grow quiet. A soft knock on his door let him know of a visitor. Seeing Roy come in with a small smile on his face as he closed the door, Ed grew curious.
"What's going on?" Ed questioned as Roy drew closer to the bed before sitting beside the blonde.
"Maes just got back, he ran an errand for me in town," Roy answered as he reached for Ed's hand.
"And he brought back people?" Roy squeezed his hand and the blonde frowned, confused. He knew Roy and the others needed to become re-known to the world, but he didn't quite understand why he brought people from town here-
"I sent him to get someone to fix your automail," Roy must have noticed his frown.
"But Roy, Winry would murder me if someone besides her touched my automail!" Edward heard a soft gasp come from the doorway. Looking over to it, he saw it was still closed. Roy stood from the bed, the small smile growing. "Roy?" He didn't get a response as Roy put his hand on the doorknob and slowly opened it. Edward could feel his eyes go wide and his jaw drop just a little as he saw who stood behind the door.
A lemon blond girl holding a small traveling case stood beside a sandy blond teenager.
"Winry? Al?" Ed sat up further, wincing a little in pain. He stared at his brother; he hadn't seen him out of the armor willingly in years and here he wa- "Ow! What the hell, Winry?" Ed cried out as he grabbed his forehead, the offending wrench fell onto the comforter.
"You idiot! What did you do?" She was crying, Edward noticed now. "Wh-where'd you go? What happened to you?"
Rubbing his head, his glare at Winry softened. "Sorry, Win. Didn't mean to wreck your automail."
"I'm not talking about automail," she shook her head. "I'm talking about you."
Edward felt his cheeks redden, feeling a little stupid and turned his gaze to his little brother. "Alphonse?"
Al was just staring at him, not moving – Ed wasn't sure he was breathing.
"Brother…" Ed braced himself as he saw Al walk past Winry and closer to him. Yet he still had to stifle a groan of pain as Al hugged him tightly and Ed wrapped his flesh arm around his back. "We thought you were dead!" The blonde flinched and held his brother tighter.
"I would have been if it hadn't been for Roy." Edward glanced over Al's shoulder, expecting to see the man by the door. However he must have left the room at some point. Ed smiled and nodded his head at Winry, who came over and joined the brothers' hug. "I missed you both, so much. I'll tell you everything. From the beginning…"
I'm so sorry about the wait. I truly never meant for the break to be this long. The usual school and work got in the way…
I was stressed this semester, the department store I got a job at last fall is well…not reliable with hours. The most hours I ever have gotten is from November to two weeks after Christmas. This last week I got 9.5 hours…and this coming week…I have 4. So I was looking for a second job and applying all over the place….got nowhere and had a bunch of crap interviews. So…I'm still at that department store…and well, I'm back to looking for a second job again ^^;;;
And…School has been stressful. I tried not to write this semester, and I really barely wrote, because I wanted to keep my grades up!...They were still C's. So now I'm switching majors…I've been Accounting…to Finance for literally...not even a full semester...And now last week I changed to yet another major and had to change all of my classes…
And my family has been stressing me out too..
But anyways. I'm back. There is an epilogue. It's partially written now, and will hopefully be finished soon. I will post it as soon as I can.
And I thank you all for the support for this fanfic. I really do appreciate all your reviews as well as your patience.
Thank you. ^^