A LingFan one-shot I wrote on a fly at school today. Hope you guys like it.
Disclaimer: Ling, Lan Fan, and FMA doesn't belong to me. It belongs to Hiromu Arakawa
Fic takes place after the main FMA storyline ends.
Hot. The air around her was extremely hot and it burned her flesh nearly to the point of boiling. Sweat poured down the girl's mask-less face as she pulled her shirt collar over her mouth in attempt to block out any more smoke from reaching her lungs. However, it was impossible.
The Xingese bodyguard heard a crackling sound above her and felt her heart catch in her throat,
'Crap...the ceiling...' Lan Fan knew she had to get out of that building. And fast.
Loud sounds echoed all around her, revealing to the girl that the fire was spreading. If she stayed in there any longer, she was sure she wouldn't make it outside to see the prince she had vowed to always protect. Still, she couldn't leave yet. She still had something she had to do.
'Breath...Where is he...?' Lan Fan closed her eyes, ignoring the flames surrounding her and tried sensing the person that had started the fire.
Where? Where were they hiding? It was too hard to focus on anything with all the smoke, but...
Silently gasping, the bodyguard barely turned her body when she sensed a presence shoot up from behind her followed by an agonizing pain streaming through her lower back. The girl felt red crimson flow from her mouth onto the floor.
"G-Get away!" Lan demanded, slashing a kunai at the person behind her but he vanished before the metal weapon could touch his flesh.
The room suddenly spun violently, causing the warrior from Xing to lose her balance and collapse to her knees.
"Aww, what's wrong? Tired already? And you call yourself a protector of the Yao clan...pathetic." She heard the mysterious man spew back.
No. She couldn't lose to this jerk just because of a small wound and a little fire. She knew who he was from the moment he appeared in front of her and the young lord. An assassin most likely sent to steal the Philosopher's Stone that they had acquired back in the land of Amestris. Lan Fan had known that assassins would appear on their way back to Xing if word got out about them acquiring what they had searched so long for. But this assassin's strength was unprecedented and his ability was much too fast for even her. Despite those facts though, she had to take this man down.
'For the young lord...' Lan mumbled, trying to focus her dark eyes forward. However, all the girl could see was endless smoke. She hacked hard, feeling more blood rise in her throat and stream out her lips.
Suddenly, Lan Fan felt something hard plow into her stomach and sent her flying to a giant box. She hit with a loud thunk, coughed hard, and dropped to the floor in excruciating pain. Slowly, the girl lifted her head up to see the man standing over her with a wicked smirk on his face.
"Poor girl. This is why women aren't meant to be fighters. They're far too WEAK."
It was then that Ling's vassal felt her hair be yanked upward by the assassin's hand. Something cold pressed against the injured woman's neck.
The killer smiled devilishly and forced his half-unconscious opponent to focus on him,
"Looks like you failed. You couldn't even so much as lay a finger on me. Just think, if I did this much damage to a trained warrior skilled in the fine arts, then just IMAGINE what I'll do to that precious prince of yours."
The man threw Lan Fan to the floor after sliding the cold object against her neck. He then took a step back and watched as part of the ceiling came crashing down onto the girl's limp body. His smile grew and he launched his body towards a free window.
Jumping from the window, the assassin dropped to the ground and looked back up at the burning building he had just be in. Sighing, he pulled out his katana from it's sheath and stared at the blade in admiration,
"Time to take care of another little rat..."
However, at that moment, the killer's eyes widened in horror at the reflection that had suddenly appeared in the sword. He had no time to even scream when a mysterious sword cut through his torso, separating his top half from his bottom, thus killing him instantly.
The sword chucked downward, splatting some of the now-dead assassin's blood onto the ground. The weapon wielder looked to the fiery building before him and clenched his teeth before running towards the doors.
His hands burned from the fire on the other side but he managed to push open one of the doors and looked around frantically,
"Lan Fan!" He screamed, running into the center of the fire, "Lan Fan...!"
...A voice. Someone was calling her. She knew that voice.
Lan Fan opened her droopy eyes and saw the legs of a man she cared deeply for. What was he doing inside? She had told him to wait outside until she had taken care of the assassin.
Tears streamed down Lan Fan's expressionless and beaten face. She had failed, just as the assassin had accused her of. She deserved whatever punishment she got. She couldn't bear to open her lips and call out to the prince that seemed to be looking for her. She couldn't bear the thought of having to be saved by him again. She didn't deserve to be saved. Nor spared.
Just as the Xingese girl closed her eyes, she heard footsteps run towards her,
"Lan Fan! Ah, crap, hold on!" Ling screamed as he attempted to lift the broken roof off of her.
When she heard the prince scream out in pain from the heat of touching the roof, more tears fell off her face. This was just like when he had risked his life to save hers from King Bradley. No, she couldn't stand it. SHE was the bodyguard. SHE should have protected and saved HIM, not the other way around. It was pathetic indeed and Lan Fan hated it.
With her last bit of strength she had, Ling's subject opened her mouth to speak,
"Ling..." She was so far gone that she hadn't even realized that she had accidentally used his name instead of one of his usual titles but she continued on, "Don't...save me...get...out..."
"No way in hell!" Ling cried, trying to push the roof off of his vassal, "I won't leave you!"
"I won't leave you..."
He had said the same thing back when she had lost her arm. In truth, those kind words made Lan Fan want to go on living. She wanted to survive and get stronger so she could properly protect Ling next time. But, she didn't deserve his salvation. She had failed so the only thing to do was to lay there, crushed by the weight of the burning roof atop her as she bled out from the stab wound on the back. All that was left now was death.
"Lan Fan, don't you dare give up on me!"
The room began to dim darker as the Xingese warrior tried to keep her eyes open. Ling's voice also began to grow fainter and fainter until he was barely audible.
"Dammit, if you die, I'll fire you!"
"You're my bodyguard, I need you!"
"Please, Lan Fan. Don't die on me!"
...Odd. Ling's tone had changed. It sounded as if he was...choking?
The girl forced her eyes open to look up at Ling who grunted violently, still attempting to get the roof off of her. Her heart wavered when she saw the tears running down her prince's face.
The choking; she wasn't sure if it was from sobbing or if it was a result of the smoke surrounding them. Even so, it would all be over soon so it didn't matter. Just wait a little longer and it will all end. That was what Lan Fan heard in the back of her mind as she shut her eyes once more.
"Please, Lan! I can't lose another subject!"
'Another subject...grandfather...' Then, the fighter gasped, her eyes shooting open.
Fu had died. She was the only one to protect Ling on their way back to Xing. Without her there, Ling would be even more exposed to danger...and then he would surely die before he took his rightful spot as Emperor.
"P-Prince..." She coughed, determination now painted on her face.
A smile spread across the royal man's face at seeing his protector had re-opened her eyes, "Yes, that's it! Please try to stay awake until I get you out of here!"
Ling began his attempt at lifting the roof again. Still, they were running out of time and the prince alone did not have the bodily strength required to lift half of a roof, whether it was broken or not.
"Screw this!" Ling pulled out his sword and began chopping away at the wood, careful not to accidentally stab his subject in the process. When the roof finally and miraculously broke up enough, the Yao member leaned over Lan Fan and picked her up as gently as he could manage,
"Let's get you out of here..." He mumbled, letting her head rest against his bare chest.
With a few fast strides, Ling ran out of the building just before it collapsed completely.
Panting for several reasons, the black-haired man fell to his knees and laid the injured bodyguard on the grass. Pulling off his jacket, Ling used it to dab some blood spots away from Lan's mouth and face,
"Hang on, Lan...I'll get you to a doctor, I promise." Ling rose again and picked her back up. He then began running back into the forest that had led them to the building,
"Y-Young lord..." The bodyguard coughed again,
"Don't speak. Save your energy. That's an order."
"But...I failed...s...sorry..." Lan could feel tears wanting to escape again but she was far too tired to cry.
The Xingese foreigner felt Ling's hold on her tighten as he continued to run through the forest,
"Don't start...I don't want...to hear it..." The prince huffed, obviously already tired out from running, "You...may be my bodyguard...but you need...protecting sometimes too..."
Suddenly, Lan Fan could feel her vision begin to blur again. Her head began to spin and her whole body felt as if was on fire like before. She was losing consciousness.
"Huh?" Ling opened his slits and looked down to see that his loyal defender was trying her hardest to stay awake, "I told you, save it for later."
At that moment, for the Xingese warrior, everything went dark.
'I hear voices...who...'
Opening her eyes, Lan Fan looked around in confusion. She was in a strange room, lying in a bed. Bandages seemed to cover her entire body and she felt sometime strangely cold pressed against her neck. To her surprise, it was an ice pack that revealed itself when she reached behind her head and took it in her automail hand. The girl stared at it with exhausted eyes,
"How did this..."
The beaten heroin's heart nearly jumped out of her chest at the sudden outburst and as such, Lan shot a bewildered look over to none other then her prince who seemed to have changed clothes and let his hair down.
"Y-Young lord, where..."
"Hospital." Ling answered plainly, sitting on the bedside, "You passed out on the way here. The doctors said you have really bad burns on your back and arm. Surprisingly though, the heat from the roof that was on you seemed to have seared the wound closed before it could bleed out too much. So you didn't lose as much blood as I feared you had."
Lan Fan sweat-dropped. Hearing what had happened somehow made it more painful than when she had actually experienced it.
"That assassin put you through utter hell..." Ling mumbled, grabbing a wet cloth from a water bin that sat atop the table next to the bed and began dabbing his vassal's face with it. The prince's action seemed to make the girl flush deeply.
Silence rose in the air for an awkward amount of time. Ling ceased dabbing his subject's head and surrendered the cloth to her. After she finished wiping her face with the cloth, Lan Fan observed her automail that still felt hot from the fire. When Ling saw this, he finally decided to break the silence,
"You had me worried..."
Surprised by her prince's remark, Lan frowned at him, "Really?"
Ling's face became screwed, opening his eyes just slightly which made it quite hard to see his blue orbs, "Yes. I really thought you were going to die on me. I mean, you weren't really trying to hang on dear life, per say."
The girl drooped her head, feeling depressed again. Truthfully, she had planned to lie in the burning building as punishment for not taking down the killer but after she realized she was the only one Ling had to protect him at the moment, she decided against it. Still, she needed to be punished in some way for her insolence.
The warrior's expression changed from sad to stern as she locked her black eyes with Ling's blue ones, "My prince, I must ask something of you..."
Ling's brows furrowed up. Lan Fan never asked for anything, especially not from him.
"Yes, Lan Fan?"
The girl paused, her bangs covering her eyes. Lifting her head to show a pained look, the fighter clenched her automail hand with the bed sheets before going on,
"Please punish me harshly."
Ling's eyes went as big as they had when he had seen her get attacked by Bradley back in Amestris. The man opened his lips to speak but Lan cut him off before he could get a word in,
"Please, I deserve to be punished for failing you as a bodyguard!"
Ling remained silent for a moment. Then the young prince's expression became tired and he leaned back in his seat. For a few seconds, Lan Fan worried that perhaps she had angered him with her request. Still, she needed to be punished. If she were punished then she could deal with her guilt and trampled pride better.
'Have the Yao clan torture me when we return to Xing. Or torture me yourself. You can even fire me. Throw me out of the clan house. Or exile me from our land completely. Just punish me...please...!' Lan Fan silently begged, her body trembling with anxiety over what Ling would say.
Finally, after five minutes of not saying anything, the young lord spoke up,
"You wish for me to punish you? Fine." The black-haired teen rose from the bedside and ordered his bodyguard to do the same.
Once she was up, Ling then demanded that Lan close her eyes. She did as commanded and braced herself for what was to come. Would he strike her? Kick her? Beat her? Would he yell at her or lecture her as Fu had so often done when he was alive? Or perhaps he would fire her flat-out on the spot. Whatever Ling would do, the failed protector knew she deserved it.
...Or maybe not.
Lan's eyes shot open when she felt something wet touch her neck and shoulders all over. She looked down to see that Ling was planting kisses and bite marks on her. She made an attempt to break free but her prince had his arms wrapped around her waist tightly. Damn. Lan Fan couldn't break free.
"S-Sir, please..." She begged him to stop but the Yao son only kissed her harder and longer. The bodyguard's usually masked face turned scarlet and sweat began forming on her face as a result.
The strange actions continued and Ling grasped the girl's artificial limb with his flesh hand so she couldn't push him away. The slits that were Ling's eyes opened and he glanced at the girl to get a better look at the blushing warrior's face. Ling then pressed his lips even harder to her neck which caused her to let out a moan.
It had been true she wanted to be punished. But...not like this. Not with her body. But, if this is how Ling wished to make her pay for messing up then...how could she refuse? It was indeed very out-of-character for the prince to be doing such things though, even as a form of punishment.
"You want to be punished. Fine, I'll...punish you..." Ling began panting. Oh god. Would he go even farther and take it up a notch?
No. Fu would have had her head if he were alive. Lan Fan would rather have been physically or emotionally hurt but not like this...it was far too much. And as badly as the belief that she deserved to be punished still held strongly in her heart; the fighter of Xing couldn't take this anymore.
"P-Prince...please decide on another-"
"No." He spouted back as he nibbled on his servant's bare neck, "I'll punish you as promised. For being such a fool."
Tears brimmed in the protector's eyes as she decided to give in, "...yes...I am...a fool..."
Ling stopped kissing for a moment. Then he hugged his arms around Lan even tighter, making it almost painful. He then pushed himself away from her but grasped her shoulders, his head lowered so she couldn't sight his expression.
"That's exactly what I mean. Don't say stuff like that." The Emperor's son's body began to shake,
At seeing this, a frown appeared at the woman's face, "W-What do you..."
"Why do you think you should be punished?" He asked bluntly.
Lan Fan narrowed her eyes, "B-Because I failed you as a bodyguard. I couldn't...defeat the assassin...and you could have...been ki...killed..." Ling could hear the break-down in his vassal's voice. It not only saddened but angered him as well.
Crossing his arms, he nodded seriously, "That's what I thought. I wasn't punishing you for that though."
"Eh?" Lan Fan lifted her head only to see her lord staring back at her with a stern face. She shuffled a bit, feeling awkward under his stare.
Ling forced his comrade to sit back on the bed as he did as well. His hand then found it's way to her own and held it.
Sighing, the man of Xing shook his head, "The reasons I was punishing you for are simple. One: You nearly died on me."
As Ling went on, blush found it's way back onto the bodyguard's face, her eyes watering too.
"Two: You said you deserved to be punished because you believe you failed me as my bodyguard."
Was this another part of the punishment? Ling putting her on the spot and saying her bitter feelings aloud? Embarrassing her? Ling went on,
"Three: You apologized for not taking down the assassin. And four:," Ling moved closer to her so that their lips were only a few inches apart. He then opened his eyes in a fox-like manner, "...You worried me sick."
At that moment, Ling pressed his lips with Lan's. Holding the kiss as long as he could until they were both out of breath.
Once the kiss broke, the two took a few seconds to catch their breath. Ling followed up by pulling the woman before him close and began stroking her let-down hair,
"I hate it when you torture yourself like this, Lan Fan. Always believing that you have to shoulder the burdens by yourself. Always thinking that you must be the one to throw yourself into the line of fire."
"But it's my duty..."
"Your 'duty' is what I say it is; I'm your prince, aren't I? You serve ME. And I say your 'duty' is to stay alive and stay by my side as long as we both shall live."
Steam rose from the tomato-faced girl. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. No one, not even her own grandfather, had said such kind things to her.
Ling snuggled Lan into his chest, "It's like I told you before: A bodyguard needs saving too sometimes. Just because you hold the title doesn't mean you have to cut your life short in order to take down an enemy."
The foreigner woman sweat-dropped, "But-"
"Do I have to repeat what your duty is again? I've already lost Fu, I won't lose the person I love too."
...For a split second, Lan Fan was sure she had heard him wrong. But the royal man repeated it as if he had read her mind,
"I love you, Lan Fan."
For what seemed like the millionth time, she blushed once more and covered her face in shock.
"Young lord, please...I don't de-"
"EH!" Ling pressed a finger to his subject's lips, "Don't say it. You say it and I'll punish you all over again."
The vassal silenced herself, making Ling smile. Brushing her hair out of her face gently, Ling kissed Lan's cheek and moved up to her ear so that he could whisper one last thing,
"Remember: Sometimes, even a bodyguard needs protecting."
"You protect me, I'll protect you."
For one split moment, the couple of Xing believed it sounded just a bit like what Amestrian's call Equivalent Exchange.
Author's comments: Took me two days to write this but I must say, I believe this is my best LingFan one-shot so far. Please review and let me know what you think.