Futile Desire

Full Metal Alchemist

I own nothing –I'd want to be an alchemist though –

On with the show

-X-

I sat at the table, candle light flickering across my alchemy notes. It was three o' clock in the morning, and my wife and daughter were fast asleep. They didn't know that I was awake, down here in the basement, working on this experiment. My shirt stuck to my skin and the sweat trickled down my hot flesh. I sat up and grew angry, throwing things on the table to the floor. The notes scattered, and the books fell with a loud thump.

I walked over to one of my earliest experiments, a snake and monkey mix. It stood dead in the corner, maggots and flies scavenging its body for nutrients. I kicked it. "Why can't it work?" I paced back and forth ignoring the moans of the other experiments… the other failures. They too were going to die soon. "I followed the notes exactly. I made revisions… I've done combination after combination… why won't they work?" I screamed loudly. As I stood in the dim light, I heard footsteps.

"Shao?" I wanted more than anything to go up to her, to keep her from coming down here and seeing this horror show, but I couldn't bring myself to. I heard her come to the door, and I heard the doorknob jiggle as the door creaked open. Her footfalls were light compared to the groans of the aging stairs and as she walked down, I had an idea. "Shao? What are you…? What is all this?" I walked to my lab table, filled with all sorts of useful tools, as she came closer to the basement floor. She stopped in front of me, face full of fear.

"This my dear, is my ticket into the state military…" I dreaded the fact that I had no mercy whatsoever as the buret came crashing down onto my wife's head. She fell to the floor. The animals and other experiments cried out. They seemed to know what was going on. I dragged her body, and cleared the table, throwing its remaining contents onto the ground, as I placed her on it. After that, I walked over to the animals locked behind the steel cages. They had feared me the moment I stuck them in there, and as I opened the cage, the animal backed away from me as far as possible…

I was in the kitchen with a cup of dark coffee in my hands when I saw my daughter walk in with a sad look on her face. "Daddy?" she said, "I can't find mommy anywhere." I looked at her and put the hot coffee down, picking her up and putting her onto my lap. Alexander, and his big white glory, came to me too; I petted him.

"I don't know how to tell you this Nina, but mommy left."

"She left?"

"Yes."

"Why? Did you guys have a fight?"

I smiled. "Something like that."

"Is she going to come back?" she asked, eyes on the verge of tears.

"I don't know sweetie. I think she was tired of living this way." She buried her head, her brown hair tickling my face, into the crook of my neck, wrapping her arms around me.

"I'll stay with you daddy. No matter how we live. Me and Alexander will stay with you forever."

Some of the top military men stood in my living room, waiting silently as I brought out my latest experiment. I know that they were tired of doing this: Going to every scientist who had said they had done it, created the first living, breathing chimera or something absurd like that, and after only minutes the creation was a bust. I wanted to change that cycle; I needed to change that cycle, and not just for my sake, for Nina's sake too.

I went down the stairs and stared at the chimera. It stared back at me, eyes filled with nothing but pain, but pain at what I did, or something else? I unlocked the cage and followed it up the stairs. Upon seeing the chimera, the men sat upright in their seats: a good sign. "This right here, gentleman is…" I went quiet. It looked like the chimera wanted to say something. Its mouth moved, small sounds escaping its lips, but nothing really forming, but then, the only thing that could make this day any better,

"I want to die." The men, as well as I, were silent. It was just one sentence, one sad, woeful sentence, but it was the biggest step anyone has ever achieved in this line of research. The military men clapped, and soon enough, I was a state alchemist, able to advance my research from the archives in the state library. Things had only gotten better since that day, but too bad good things never last…

It had been only two years since using my wife for my chimera experiment had made me into a state alchemist, yet that time had passed by so fast. Already I had to have another working chimera in order to keep my title. I was in a rut, and I couldn't think of anything; nothing would work. It was that day in the basement all over again. I heard Nina playing with the Elric brothers and it warmed my heart that even in such hard times she was able to smile. I would never be able to pull off anything more than the fake smile used to make her happy.

When the Elrics had left I didn't know, but I knew when I saw the blue suited soldier relay me a message from above, I had just been wasting time. He told me I had until tomorrow to get everything done. Nina was standing behind the suit and when he left, she ran to me. "What was that daddy?"

"Nothing Nina, why don't you and Alexander go to bed."

"Okay, good night daddy," she said cheerfully.

I was sitting at the same spot four hours later, still thinking about the next day. I didn't want to lose my state title; I couldn't lose it. It was all I had left. I started to remember about my wife. These had been pretty much the same conditions when I decided to use her for the experiment. But it should be harder to decide to use your daughter shouldn't it? I loved Nina, and I still do, but I needed my title. I rubbed my sleep deprived eyes and laughed. "What am I going to do?" Nina's little footsteps were heard as she and Alexander came to me, she rubbing her eyes too.

"Why is daddy still up?"

"I was thinking." I stopped and looked at her. It was hard for me to decide to go through with this, but I had to do it. "Would you like to help daddy with something?" My eyes trailed to hers, her big blue caring eyes, knowing she'd do anything I asked her to.

"Of course I'll help you daddy, and so will Alexander." He barked as he heard his name and I hugged them, hugged them both as I walked them into my dark basement…

The sun shone brightly the next morning, but I could hardly notice it. I could only see darkness. Edward and Alphonse had come by again; they walked to me, excited to get to studying all the information I had and to play with Nina again. I was crouching down petting the latest project. My voice sounded devoid of any emotion as I spoke to them. "I did it. I made another talking chimera." I needn't look back to hear the exhilaration in their voices. I stood up and took a step back, admiring it from afar.

Its brown hair went down its spine, and its white body, was just there. It didn't really move much, but it looked like a sack of pain and sadness wrapped up into one package. "This is Ed." I spoke to it. The chimera looked to Ed. I saw how astounded he was. He knew this was a grand feat just as much as I did.

"Ed. Ed. Ed." It kept saying. "Ed. Ed… big brother Edward." Its face turned slightly and it made some sort of a smile. I felt Ed stiffen.

"Where are Nina and Alexander?" he said. Alphonse had gasped, putting the pieces together, and I turned to them.

"I did it. I made another talking chimera!"

"When did you get your state title?" he asked me.

"Two years ago."

"When did your wife leave?"

"That was two years ago too, I believe," I said. It seemed he figured it out. "You are a smart kid." His next words were about me using my own wife and my daughter as experiments to stay a state alchemist, but how could he talk? Hadn't what he done to his mother been the same thing? "Knowing that it was against the laws of alchemy, we still did what we had to do to get what we wanted."

"No, it wasn't like that!"

"You are just like me!"

"No! I'm nothing like you!" He punched me once, and then incessantly, until Alphonse stopped him.

"You're going to kill him." I fell to the floor, Nina-Alexander walking to me, in such a slow way.

"Is daddy okay?" Even after everything I had done to her, she still only cared for me. I petted her, and watched as the Elrics walked away. They couldn't do anything for Nina, and they sure as hell didn't want to do anything for me. I sat next to the chimera, waiting until the military came by to pick her up. Once they saw her, I was sure that I would have another two years to better the project; she was my best one yet.

It started to rain. The rain poured down hard, and then soon enough thunder and lightening littered the sky. I looked at the door in front of us, hearing footsteps. It was odd that it was only one, but I disregarded that. The figure stepped up in front of me.

"Shao Tucker." He had a scar on his face, covered by a pair of sunglasses.

"What do you want?" I asked, terrified. I wasn't even reinstated yet, and as I saw his red gleaming eyes, I realized I would never be reinstated again. The man ran to me. The thunder rolled again and the lightening flashed. I could do nothing to stop him; all my energy had been wasted to find a combination that would produce a viable talking chimera. His hand clamped onto my face and I stood grabbing his arm. The light came from his arm and soon indescribable pain shot through my body. My head had burst and my body fell limp.

I wasted everything to become a state alchemist. I killed my only wife. I utilized my daughter and her dog for an experiment, when they had all been happy living with me just the way we were. I gave up everything to become a state alchemist and in the end, when it all mattered, I had nothing. Nothing but an empty and meaningless pocket watch that my hand still for some reason can't let go of…

-X-

A/N: I wanted to have it be like the original FMA but it wouldn't have worked because Tucker didn't die until later, and in FMAB he did die; I wanted it to follow the episode to an extent. I so hated Tucker for what he did! So thanks for reading and Adios!