Hello everyone! Let's go ahead and just get this started, haha.
Author's Note: this is my first fanfiction so I hope you all like it! I absolutely love this pairing and so, I got inspired! Also thank you to koreed for introducing me to the glorious-ness that is Greedfan and Nicole for helping me polish this.
Another Author's Note: the whole phantom limb syndrome thing was inspired by a fanfiction I read about Edward called Haunting Pains by Poison Scarlet so yeah!
Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist for obvious reasons
Lan Fan scowled. "We need at least four more soldiers posted near the entrance," she said, lifting her gaze to face the commander. He pressed his lips together, hiding a distasteful grimace by turning his face away and glancing at one of his soldiers. Lan Fan ignored this blatant display of disrespect, considering how used to it she had gotten since returning to Xing. It was fine when she was Fu's apprentice but now that her grandfather was gone, Ling had promoted her to his personal bodyguard. Now, every able-bodied man within the city walls felt that the decision was a personal affront to their ability to function properly. But at least, she thought mildly, they were only huffing to themselves.
The first few days had been tiring, full of whispered rumors of tarnished reputations and the audacity of that girl to think she can protect the crowned Prince of Xing! However, Ling made it clear that anyone who had a problem with his decision was free to take it up with him. Or, she remembered warily, Greed. The growl that burst from his lips was anything but human, and the council had immediately backed down.
With the Crowned Prince's coronation nearing, Lan Fan spent countless days working on his security detail for the event. No matter how much Ling assured the other clans he was pardoning them, it didn't stop the petty jealousies directed towards the Yao clan for managing to lift their child in the ranks. However, the commander hardly paid attention to a word she said and each meeting ended with Lan Fan searing holes into the back of his skull as he breezily said they were done for the day. She opened her mouth to argue, ask him to politely sit his damn ass in the chair, when the first tremor made its way through her skin.
She barely made it to her room when the pain hit. Her back slammed against her door, shoving it closed with the force of her shoulders pressed against the wood. She bit down a whimper, sinking into the lush carpet that had become her new home. The pain hadn't been awful at first, just a regular part of having automail. Winry had warned her about it, especially with how she lost her arm. Before they left, Ed pulled her to the side and slipped painkillers into her palm, his eyes portraying what his words couldn't.
But lately, it had been getting worse.
The feeling was, to say the least, excruciating. It was the memory of the knife sliding along her skin, the mess of blood dripping down onto the concrete. Her eyes, unfocused and half-lidded, following the streak of red against stone as Ling tried to find a place to drop her off. His words, I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm so sorry, dig themselves into her skull as she presses flesh fingers against the cold metal of her forearm. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, she whispers to herself over and over again, because she knows it's true. If not for Ling, for her country. What is an arm against the faith of thousands? She had a responsibility to Ling, who had a responsibility to his empire.
Her grandfather sacrificed his life. She was not going to complain about a lost limb.
Yet she couldn't help the small moan of pain that escaped her lips at the feeling of heat searing across the sliver of skin that connected with the automail. A string of curses followed her as she pulled herself up to her armoire, using her flesh hand to grip the corners of the table. It gave her something to focus on besides the now useless piece of metal creating a cacophony of phantom burns across her lost skin. Her eyes searched for the packet Ed had given her, hissing under her breath when she failed to find the damn pills.
A knock interrupts her snarls.
"Lan Fan? You in there?"
She freezed at the noise. He wasn't supposed to be wandering around, especially without her, so close to his induction. Never mind that he should be in a meeting with the Lu clan about establishing a new train station closer to the edge of the desert! She scowled in the direction of the door, eyebrows furrowed.
It still confused her. When he was in front of her, it was easy enough to tell the difference between the two. They had much in common but Greed's unmistakable smirk always gave it away. But in times like these, with a wall separating them, she had to play a guessing game with herself.
"Crown Prince, shouldn't you be somewhere right now?" Good; she managed not to sound too choked. His sigh made its way through the door and she knew her adamant refusal to call him Ling, even in private, bothered him. After all, they have known each other since they were little and she stopped calling Greed homunculus weeks ago. She knew better than to let him in, especially with her arm acting up. The last thing she needed was to feel the sharp pain of his eyes dropping to the floor, arms falling limply to his sides.
After all, that's how he got every time someone mentioned how much her arm must pain her. Or how noble her sacrifice was. Or how difficult it must've been. How she could've died. It took all her self-control not to jump across the table and tell them to shut the hell up, but she knew not everyone could read him as well as she could.
They're both silent as Lan Fan let out a slow breath, relieved that the pain had subsided. "Could you let me in? It's freezing out here and I'm hiding," he said, rapping his knuckles against the wood. Lan Fan couldn't help the small smile that framed her face.
"Who are you hiding from?"
"Seraphina Lu," he mumbled and she walked to the door and unlocked it. He glided in, his robes trailing behind him and she nudged them to the side with her foot so they wouldn't get caught in the door.
"She'll be your wife someday, you shouldn't avoid her," she advised, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. On the way back from Xing, Ling had mentioned the outrageous notion of completely eliminating the concubine system once he was Emperor. The sentiment was nice but the very idea of destroying years of tradition seemed out of the question to her. After all, how else would they be able to ensure fidelity amongst the clans? Especially with so many of them and so little of Ling. She turned around when Ling didn't answer and caught him staring at her moodily, his hands on his hips.
"This whole system is ridiculous," he started to pace the room, looping around her bed and back again. Lan Fan watched him quietly, knowing that when Ling started a tirade, it'd take a while for him to cool down again. "Shouldn't the fact that I'm their emperor be enough to instill loyalty in them? Am I not their ruler? I am no longer of the Yao clan if I'm acting in the interests of all my people," he scowled, staring outside the window. She followed his gaze out into the courtyard where his mother is watching the gardener's tending to the flowers, likely berating them each time a leaf fell out of place. Everything had to be perfect for the coronation; this would be the first Yao emperor in years. Lan Fan sighed, walking over and closing the curtains gently. She wanted to coddle him, truth be told, but he wasn't fifteen anymore. Neither of them could afford more than a few moment of peace these days.
And so, Lan Fan walked over to where Ling had sat down, head in his hands, and gently lifted up his chin until he was staring at her. "You will rule Xing graciously and fairly. The clans will forget any resentment the minute they see how dedicated you are to this country, if they aren't already because of the sacrifices you have made to make sure we were not led to ruin." He laughed softly.
"You practiced that well," he mumbled and she flushed, eyeing him warily. She had prepared that speech in case of emergencies but her sentiment was genuine. She knew Ling would be a strong emperor and she planned on protecting him until his goals were met because it was what this country needed: someone young and greedy to pull them out of the rut they had dug for themselves for hundreds of years.
Ling guided her down onto the bed and wrapped his arms around her, resting his head into the crook of her neck and pressing a small kiss against her jaw. She stiffened but only for a moment, relaxing in his grip. "I only want one wife."
"But you know that you can't so why try to argue the point," she asked, eyes trained on the wall ahead. If she didn't look at him, he wouldn't see the dark flush of her cheeks at being so close to him and tease her for it. He frowned, tugging the ends of her hair to force her gaze in his direction.
"Greed wants to visit tonight," he said, trying to change the subject to something that wouldn't force Lan Fan into a corner. She smiled slightly, nodding her head.
"As long as you are not previously engaged, Young Lord."
"I hardly think that's appropriate."
"A lot of what we do isn't appropriate," he said, flashing a quick grin that reminded her of their days in Amestris, before the weight of the country occupied his mind with trade and agreements. She pushed him away, scowling, and abruptly opened the curtains.
"Alright, enough hiding. You have a meeting to go to with the Chang clan, if I'm not mistaken," she quipped, squinting when the light streaked in through the dark room. Ling groaned and buried his face in her pillow.
"Aren't you coming with me?" Lan Fan nodded.
"And that means I won't allow you to be late. I heard Mei is coming and staying at the palace for the duration of the ceremony." Ling smiled at the mention of his half-sister and waved his hand in Lan Fan's direction.
"That's probably just because Alphonse is coming to the coronation and she's obsessed with him." She managed to hide her grin, occupying herself with pulling her hair back into a bun and tying her mask against her face. Ling's hands covered hers and pulled them off the ribbon, tying it behind her head with a patience she knew was only because he wanted to delay their entry into the real world as long as possible.
She turned around and he pursed his lips, untying the ribbon and letting the mask fall from her face. Lan Fan gasped and managed to catch it on her fingertips, snapping her head up to glare at Ling's grinning face. He kissed her and suddenly, the mask was the least of her worries. He stroked her cheek with the pad of his thumb, pressing her back against the side of the dresser and letting his lips skate past her cheek and down her neck. She wondered how much longer until she'd have to watch him play house with other woman; imagine him bedding every one of his fifty wives to produce heirs that would fight for the throne just as they had for the past two years. She hated the idea of sharing but considering their current relationship, she couldn't exactly complain. She pulled back and lifted her mask to her face once again, turning around so he could tie it securely.
Neither of them said a word the entire way to Chang's, but they let their fingers brush as they walked side-by-side into the throne room, a smiling Mei standing up to greet them.
She had never had two episodes in one day.
And worse, this one had caught her by surprise. One minute she was preparing for bed and the next she felt the slice of a blade slam through her metal arm. She yelped at the force of it, dropping her brush onto the carpet and managing to secure her robe tightly before she fell to the ground. The thought that these would be more frequent terrified her. How could she protect Ling if she was constantly writhing on the floor because of pain from an arm that didn't exist? The very idea sounded ridiculous to her. Even her sole duty was now in jeopardy because she hadn't been fast enough in evading Wrath. She muffled a scream against the carpet, angrily wiping away tears with her thumb. She was stronger than this, she thought stubbornly. If the Bean had managed to survive years of this, she could make it through just fine.
"You know it's not a very good idea to leave your door open this late at night, toots. Anyone could just sneak in," a voice called from the other side of the room and Greed poked his head through the entrance, grinning. Lan Fan immediately tried to pull herself up, breathing heavily as she managed to prop herself up against the foot of her bed. Greed's smile dropped, walking over and trying his best not to look as worried as he felt.
"What's going on? Are you okay?" Lan Fan managed a nod, waving him off.
"I-It'll pass," she mumbled, shutting her eyes. Greed stared at his hands, at a loss of what to do. It's not like he was too good at the whole comforting thing and the fact that he was feeling this concerned over Lan Fan startled him. Being all gooey over the girl was more Ling's forte and yet here he was, afraid to touch her for fear she might let out another cry.
"Do you want Ling to come out?"
"No!" She opened her eyes to glare up at Greed. "No." He sighed and nodded, crouching down and slipping his arm under her knee to pull her up. She made a whine of protest but didn't budge even though he was sure she could flip him over if she really wanted to. For some reason, the fact that she didn't clobber him for babying her made him even more concerned. She was obviously driving him insane. After a few more moments of Lan Fan's silence, he couldn't take it anymore. He needed an explanation and she was going to give it to him whether she wanted to or not!
"So what is it?"
"Edward called it Phantom Limb," she said softly and he blinked in surprise. He didn't expect her to be that forthcoming with information and so, he let that stew over in his head.
"So it's the automail? Can't we get rid of it?" She rolled her eyes.
"And have me live the rest of my life without an arm? How will I protect Ling?"
"Ling can take care of himself," he snapped. "After all, he's me!" He'd had this argument with her often over the course of the past few days. He didn't understand the fact that she constantly had to risk her life for Ling if he was immortal. He didn't understand the fact that without this, she had nothing left. She had been raised for this, trained for this, all her life. What did she have besides this?
"It's possible to kill you, you'd think you would have learned that already," she pointed a finger at him. "The only reason you're alive is because Ed trusts you, for reasons I can't even fathom," she said, shaking her head.
He glowered. "So then get new automail!"
"The automail isn't the problem, Greed. The problem is that my arm is gone and it's not like I can go get it back." He glared at her, mouth set in a firm line.
"You're so damn annoying sometimes," he stood up and walked to her dresser, scattering things.
"The runt gave you something for this, right?"
"Yeah, it should be in the corner." He nodded and pulled them out from where they were wedged between an unopened perfume box and a tin of wax. He handed her the bottle and began to distract himself by rummaging through her things while she went to get a glass of water from her sitting room.
"Stop going through my things," she scowled and he grinned, pausing at one of her drawers.
"Why, hiding something naughty? I wouldn't be surprised, woman like you." Lan Fan swatted his hands away and pulled him to the bed. He watched her lie down and sighed grumpily, wrapping his arms around her. All these weeks with her had made him soft, he thought to himself. Look at him, cuddling.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Greed laughed and slid a hand through the flap of her robe, resting his hand on the smooth expanse of her stomach. She raised an eyebrow but didn't object, closing her eyes and letting his hand tease up and down her skin.
"Why didn't you want me to get Ling?"
"The last thing I need is for him to suffer because of something he thinks is his fault."
"It is his fault," he grumbled and Lan Fan shoved his hand away, glaring.
"It was not his job to take care of me then and it's not his job now. I don't blame him for it and neither should you," she warned and he let out an irritated breath. Would it kill the girl to get a little angry at Ling sometimes? It wasn't like the man was flawless, although you'd think he was the way she obeyed his every whim and wish. She took his hand and rested it on her stomach once again, glancing up at him.
He let out a growl and pushed himself on top of her, crushing his lips down onto her collarbone and nipping at the skin. "God, I hate sharing."
And...there's my first fanfiction! I'd love it if you guys would review or favorite or whatever and hopefully I'll have part two on here soon enough!