Chapter 3

Then, it all stopped and they saw an entrance that wasn't here before. Ed grinned at him and went to the gate. "See, I know what I'm doing, Mustang. Just let me work. You said it yourself – I'm a brilliant genius." He laughed and focused on arrays on the entrance.

"Fine." He gave up and studied the circles as well. Finally, there was something he could recognize. There were a lot of arrays to stop anyone from entering. Nasty ones.

"You know them, don't you?"

"Of course. You don't?"

"Well, I know what they are for and what will they do to me if I tried to open that door. But I don't know anything about deactivating them." Ed admitted and it was time for Roy to smirk smugly. He took a small step closer and went to work. Soon he found the trigger and worked around it. Then, he went to deactivating one array after another while Ed closely watched his every move.

"Ah, I get it now. It's not so different from creating them. It reminds me a little of Scar's alchemy."

Roy finished and the door were save to open. But Ed stopped him "You don't know if they didn't add some traps on the other side as well. Wait." He clapped and stood there for awhile. "All right, all clear." He said and opened the door. A narrow and dark corridor appeared. Ed hesitantly took a step and Roy, after getting attention of a few soldiers to accompany them, went after him. But they had to go one a time because it was so narrow. Finally they arrived at a small round room and Ed shouted in triumph "Bloody brilliant! A library! Those bastards left theirs books here! Idiots." He snorted.

"Well, they were running in a hurry, so they couldn't take anything." Roy looked around. A few shelves full of books. He went closer to Ed, who was already through one book. But there weren't any letters there! Only some strange symbols Roy have never seen before. Ed groaned "God damn it! They aren't such idiots after all. Those books are not only coded with a code from the Old ways… I'm sure it will be in the damn old language as well… it will take weeks just to break the code! I can read in most of the old languages but if it's something I have no recollection of it will be bloody painful."

"You know old languages?" Roy read one book like that, old and creepy and the language was horrible and complex. He had to check every other expression and still didn't understand most of it. Ed waved him off like always. "Sure I do. You think that I would get some information about the Stone in modern language? Don't make me laugh. I had to learn them but I don't know everything, mostly just basic."

Ed took a book with him and sat on the sofa. He took his notebook out and flipped a few pages. Roy was always curious what he had there so he sat near him and looked over his shoulder. It seemed to be some kind of dictionary, full of symbols and descriptions. "What is it?"

"Those are my notes about various codes. Most have the same sequence of symbols. If you keep track of them you can probably break any code. This one though looks old. I saw that one before so maybe I'll be able to crack it."

After an hour of watching Ed work, Roy got so bored he couldn't stand it. "Ed! Please, let's have a break. I'm hungry and you haven't eaten either. Please?" He looked at him with his best puppy dog eyes and Ed signed, defeated. He just couldn't say no to this. "Fine, fine, don't make a face like that." He looked around a small room and realized they were alone. He smirked and leaned closer "Or I will have to kiss it off your face…" he murmured and did exactly that. After a long and satisfying kiss they went to have some late lunch.

As the time passed, Roy felt guilty, realizing that when he scowled at Ed about his missions taking so long or destroying half the city he didn't have a clue how good he actually was at his work. Ed cracked some ancient code in ten days time. Local scientists were so amazed they couldn't believe they met a prodigy like Edward. The books were about an old cult and now those arrays made sense. They were trying to achieve an ultimate shield and a special bomb but at the latter they failed. Ed believed they did create the shield as he explained the possibility of it working and why. They believed that with a perfect protection and weapon they could attack the country in the name of their god. Ed translated most of it and explained what could happen if the bomb was completed. He even had a few theories how to improve their array to create it, not that he would. Roy was awe struck again. When he took a look at such a complicated text he realized that it could take months but Ed actually worked unbelievingly fast. He felt bad about saying that he was lazy before – he didn't know Ed's tasks were usually that hard and complicated. And now he knew from experience that Ed was many things but when it came to challenges like those he was a workaholic.

Then, there came a fight. The bastards were back, this time better prepared but not enough for Ed. Roy realized then that the most damage was made by the culprits not Fullmetal – the bastards like to destroy and blow up things in their way. Of course, Ed had his share of destruction but it were mostly walls and spikes, sometimes big hands made of the ground. Roy tried to help and his fire was great as ever but he knew that he didn't stand a chance alone. With Ed, though it looked like he had an upper hand – he was grinning like mad when his punches hit and his traps worked and chasing them down for such a long time he didn't even break a sweat. Roy was panting already and he knew he won't be able to keep up for long. He felt even more guilty now – he knew he had to apologize to Ed after this ordeal was over. Ed was better at his work that he imagined. He deserved credit.

Roy was tired and distracted with his musings. There were only three guys left, one was dealing with Roy and the other two were fighting with Fullmetal. He snapped his fingers again and again finally managing to catch the quick bastard on fire. He added more power to his flame and he burned alive. Roy didn't regret his decision, the bastard gave him a hard time and a few bruises. What he didn't notice, though was that one of the other two pulled out a gun and instead of trying to shot his opponent he targeted Roy. Mustang was too tired to react but Ed wasn't. With a terrified shout Ed did something unbelievingly stupid and brave – he jumped in the way of the bullet. Roy snapped around and felt the time slow down. Ed's pained face filled his vision. Blood. So much blood, flowing from his love's chest. He's fallen to the ground and he was lying there in a puddle of red, red blood. Roy couldn't believe it. The bastards shouted happily and it snapped him out of his trance. Quickly he snapped his fingers in rage and the two man were ash in a second. His panic gave him more power so he was able to kill them like that, but he didn't pay it any mind. He fell to his knees at Ed's side, desperately trying to stop the bleeding.

"Ed! Answer me, Edward! You can't die, you hear me? You can't…!" Roy was in full panic now, Ed's face was pale, his eyes closed. He was still breathing, but very shallowly and too fast. He lifted him gently in his arms and run. Ed needed a hospital and now! Finally those eyes fluttered open and Ed gasped for breath and said

"I'm sorry, Roy… I guess I will leave a little… sooner…" his voice quieted down. Roy looked at him and shook his head, still running.

"You are not going anywhere! You will be all right. We are almost at the hospital. Just stay with me!"

"I love you, Roy…" he whispered and closed his eyes again, coughing up blood. Roy finally got him to the hospital and run even faster to the door when he noticed Ed had stopped breathing.

"Doctor! Help, I need help now!" he shouted and thank God, someone rushed to him and quickly took Ed from his arms. He didn't want to let him go but knew he had to. The doctor gently laid him down on the floor and proceeded in helping him regain his breath again. Roy watched in relief when Ed's chest moved with air again. Then, he was taken to the operating room. Roy waited with terror all over his face. He was still covered in blood and shaking badly when a nurse took pity on him and showed him a bathroom, giving him some shirt to change.

Finally a doctor came to see him, his face grim and lips pressed in a thin line. Roy paled at that but waited for the man to speak.

"You've brought that boy, yes?" At his nod, he continued. "We managed to save his life. The bullet done a lot of damage to his lung but he will recover. He was lucky it missed his heart or there wouldn't be anything we could do. I believe I need to call the police, though. It's a procedure."

"There is no need for a police, it's a military case." Roy said, showing his watch.

"I see. But if it concerns a civilian then we are obligated to…" Roy interrupted him.

"No, no, Ed is a state alchemist as well. Look into his pocket if you don't believe me. He's no ordinary boy. Please tell me everything about his condition, I'm his Superior Officer so I can look into his medical data."

The doctor signed, pushing his glasses up his nose in irritation. "Military. Such a young boy, too…" he muttered under his breath and then focused on Mustang again. "All right. As I said, we barely saved his life. His lung is damaged and it will probably take a few weeks to heal. He might encounter problems with breathing at first. He is bruised – I believe from a fight – and has a few cuts, but they don't need stitches. But there is something else we found." He suddenly looked far more concerned.

"What is it?" Roy felt like panicking again.

"Well… I'm not sure if you are aware of this or not… If he has seen the doctor… But we had found out that he has a serious defect on his heart. I believe it is killing him slowly and it's probably painful. I think he will die in a few years time. I'm sorry, but we have never seen something like this and we don't have any treatment." The doctor observed Roy's reaction. There was a shock for a second but then realization flared in his eyes. He looked sad now.

"Yes, we are both aware of his condition." Doctor nodded. "Can I see him?"

"Yes, but he's still unconscious. Follow me."

The doctor led him to a small room. Everything was white there and Ed seemed to disappear as he was as pale as a ghost. Roy rushed to his side and sat down on a chair, taking his hand. The doctor excused himself and left.

"Ed… You idiot. Why did you take a bullet for me?"

"Can't be Fuhrer while dead…" came a whispered reply and Ed opened his eyes.

"Ed! Are you are right? Do you want me to call a doctor?" Roy asked, glad that he was awake already. Ed shook his head and looked at him with pained eyes.

"You are in pain. I will call that doctor, just lay still." He got up and soon a nurse was giving Ed something for the pain. When she left Roy sat down on the edge of his bed and embraced him. He kissed his forehead and Ed signed, content in his arms.

"Edo, you really are an idiot. Don't scare me like that again! I rather take that bullet than watch you get hurt…"

"Roy, stop blaming yourself. I feel just like you do. I rather take that bullet for you. You would have died. I saw you were too tired to react, it would have hit you."

"You are such an idiot… I don't know what I would have done without you…" He signed, nuzzling his hair.

"Roy… You have your whole life before you. Promise me you will live on. That you won't get depressed and abandon your dreams. I'm not worth it…"

"Ed… Please, don't say things like that…"

They stayed there in silence for awhile and finally Ed has fallen asleep. Roy gently brushed his hair out of his eyes, leaning in to place a kiss at his brow.

Author's note:

Well, that's it. I will come back to this story, but I need to finish "Devil and angel" first or I need to have some brilliant idea what will happen next. If you like this story, please be patient :)