ZaKai Stonewall (zakai_) wrote,
ZaKai Stonewall
zakai_

Descent - Chapter 06

Title: Descent
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist

Rating: R – NC17

Type: Angst, Divergence (splits off from episode 32), Romance, Mystery, Political, Yaoi, Het, etc.

Pairings: Roy/Ed, Al/Winry, (other minor pairings)

Warnings: Language, Sex, Violence

Summary: After getting Al’s body back, Ed finds that life after reaching his goal wasn’t what he expected.  As the country faces the threat of civil war, will Ed be able to handle life without Alphonse constantly by his side, or will he simply substitute one companion for another?

 

A/N: I had hoped to post these chapters with audio files each time I posted them, but I simply don’t have the time to record right now, and I really would like to post this story to LJ.  When I get the next audio file done, I’ll simply make a note of it in one of my posts of this story.  Thank you and I’m sorry.

 

Chapter Listing Here

 

Descent

 

Chapter Six

 

A New Government

 

 

Roy shut the door and looked at his young guest.  Ed was gazing around the living area with little enthusiasm while a puddle of water formed at his feet.  The colonel let out a long breath.  It was obvious something serious was going on in his subordinate’s head.  Ed wasn’t the type of person to become passively quiet. 

 

He debated in his mind about how to handle the situation.  Tell Ed to make himself at home and observe him? Or take charge to make sure the blond was adequately taken care of...  Roy’s eyebrows knit together as he tried to decide the best course of action.  As his eyes lingered on the dejected looking alchemist, he made up his mind.

 

“Alright, let’s get you out of those clothes.  You should probably take a warm bath...”  He expected some sort of outburst from the teenager demanding not to be treated like a kid, but none came. “Come with me,” Roy said after a moment, then started walking, but stopped when he realized he wasn’t being followed.  When he turned back to Ed, the short alchemist was staring at the floor.

 

Frowning in concern, the colonel walked back and took Ed gently by the arm.  “This way,” he said kindly. 

 

;-;-;-;-;-;-;

 

Bartholomew Kagegkuski(1), leader of the faction called The Organization, sat in a hard wooden chair with a bottle of whiskey.  He didn’t bother with a glass; he planned on drinking the whole thing anyway. 

 

Kagegkuski was a large blond man.  His heavily muscled body gained from his apprenticeship as a blacksmith in his youth, and years of fighting.  Because of the severe expression he often wore, it was often assumed, by those who didn’t know him, that he was a cold man.  However, the opposite was more the truth. 

 

Once a person came to know Bartholomew, it was difficult not to like him.  He was kind and generally had a good sense of humor.  Truthfully, he hated war and wanted to live in peace, but he felt that, because of the atrocities of the government, he had no choice but to fight. 

 

The once small group he had formed to fight secretly against the military had grown into a force to be reckoned with.  It wasn’t just the military that he opposed; it was the ideals of the military, of a militant government.  Kagegkuski believed that the people should govern themselves; that the working man should have just as many rights as the rich. 

 

People shouldn’t have to live in fear of their government.  An official should represent what the people wanted and if they didn’t, then a different person should be elected.  Everyone should be equal.  No one should have more than another.  No one should have to go hungry because they didn’t have enough…

 

He frowned.  For years he had truly believed that sabotaging the military would help in accomplishing those objectives.  He never thought of starting his own governing body… starting a civil war… until…

 

The blond man took a swig from the bottle, then stared at the thin ring he wore on his left hand; a ring with a blood red stone fixed into the gold band.

 

“You know… it isn’t good to drink so much.  At least, that’s what I’ve been told.” 

 

Kagegkuski’s head snapped up at the smooth female voice and saw a tall woman in a low cut black dress standing in front of him. 

 

“It’s never an easy thing; killing men.  Even if they’re the military, even if it’s for a good cause… it’s not an easy thing,” he replied gravely.

 

The dark haired woman smiled and Bartholomew thought that perhaps this woman didn’t feel the same, but kept his thoughts to himself.  It was her, after all, who had given him the ring; had given him the idea of aiding Lior and beginning a new government.  A government for the people…

 

The idea was spreading through the east like a wild fire and many people had flocked to Lior, seeking out the ideals of The Organization; or rather, The People’s Government, as they were calling their new governing body.  These people then took the newly learned ideals to their towns and cities.  Some had even decided to join themselves with the new government and they had gained more recruits to their army.  No longer were they just a band of terrorists, but an army.

 

The People’s Army.

 

“You’ve done a good job here in the East.  As good as can be hoped for, but it won’t be enough.  After the military realizes they can’t win by just sending their regular troops, they will start sending their State Alchemists here to eliminate you, just like in Ishbal.  Are you prepared to handle that?”

 

Bartholomew took a long drink from the bottle, then set the whiskey on the floor and rubbed his eyes before looking back at the woman.  “Isn’t that what this ring is for?” he asked.

 

“Oh that won’t help you against a large group of State Alchemists.”

 

He stared at her for a moment, thinking about her words before saying, “Then what should we do?”

 

The woman smiled.  “What you should do is recruit your own alchemists.”

 

“We already have some alchemists.”

 

“You don’t have enough, and the ones you have aren’t nearly skilled enough.”

 

The large man grunted.  “Wouldn’t the army already have all the alchemists that were good at doing anything?”

 

She shook her head, amused.  “The state only accepts one or two new alchemists a year.  Do you think the rest just stop practicing alchemy?  A person could train all their lives and never be chosen as a State Alchemist because of how many applicants there are each year.  Many talented people are just waiting to use their abilities.  You could give them that opportunity.”

 

He mulled over that.  “Our own ‘State Alchemists’….  Hmmmm… Not a bad idea….”

 

The blond man watched as the busty woman’s smile took on a pleased look.  He wasn’t sure why she was helping him.  When he had asked she had only said that she had her reasons, but he would keep accepting it for now.

 

For now she was an ally, but if she ever proved otherwise… well… he would do what he had to do….

 

;-;-;-;-;-;-;

 

Ed sat in the deep tub of hot water, looking at the small pile of clothes Mustang had brought in for him to wear after the bath.  He wasn’t sure why the colonel was being so kind to him.  Normally the black haired man took a perverse pleasure in tormenting him, and making jokes at his expense.

 

Not that Ed really minded the attention, his strange new attraction to the man making his heart jump whenever Mustang spoke so kindly to him.  It hurt to know that the dark eyed man would never look at him the way Ed wanted him to.  Even more painful was that if his superior officer ever found out about Ed’s feelings, he’d probably be disgusted, embarrass the hell out of him then get him kicked out of the military.  Not that Ed would ever let him find out…

 

Ed frowned at the pile of clothes.  He didn’t deserve kindness… not from the colonel… not from anyone…he was a monster…he didn’t deserve to live…not after…

 

Not after…

 

Ed tried to push the thoughts out of his mind, but they wouldn’t go.  He was despicable, unworthy of any love and kindness.  He had committed the unforgivable sin of trying to transmute his mother and in the process almost lost one of the most precious things he could ever have… even then, he’d caused that important thing, that important someone, to loose their body and had to attach their soul to a hollow, lifeless shell. 

 

Alphonse...

 

His chest constricted and he felt tears come to his eyes.

 

It had been because of him that his brother had been forced to live those long six years in that cold, empty existence.  Those years were lost; Ed could never give them back.  Of course, he had found a way to get Al’s body back…

 

Ed felt the sudden urge to throw up.

 

He hadn’t told the truth about how he was going to get Al’s body back.  He’d lied and said he’d tell Al everything later… and of course his brother had believed him… When he woke in the hospital, Ed had been prepared to tell Al he couldn’t remember what he had done, but Al had never asked.

 

He never wanted Al to find out.  Ed could barely live with himself now, knowing what he had done.  If his brother ever found out… Al would hate him…

 

Not that he didn’t already, Ed was sure.

 

What kind of depraved person attacks their younger brother?  He couldn’t ever remember feeling so much rage.  If sanity hadn’t returned to his mind when it had… Ed was sure he would have continued beating on Al until he was dead…

 

If he wasn’t already. 

 

Ed’s breathing was coming in short gasps as he tried to hold back the tears.  Frantically he cast his gaze around the small room, trying to focus on something else.  His eyes fixed onto his clothes, now hanging from a rack.  The colonel had put a bucket underneath it to catch the dripping water.  The bucket was just about full and his heavy clothes now only gave a drop of water about every ten seconds. 

 

Drip…

 

Drip…

 

Drip…

 

He couldn’t seem to turn his gaze away, the water having a hypnotizing affect on him.

 

Drip…

 

The echo of game pieces crashed through his mind.

 

Drip…

 

‘What do you think you’re doing Ed?’   

 

Drip…

 

‘Ed!  Stop it!’ 

 

Drip…

 

‘I said, shut the fuck up you skanky whore!’

 

Drip…

 

‘Stop it you guys!'

 

Drip…

 

Ed squeezed his eyes shut and slammed his hands over his ears. 

 

Instantly, an image of his brother filled his mind.  Al’s liquid, brown eyes afraid, confused and radiating the pain from his injuries… wounds he had caused… Ed gasped and his eyes flew open.

 

Drip…

 

‘Brother...’

 

Drip…

 

Tears ran down the young alchemist’s face.  He felt a sharp pain in his chest from the guilt of what he had done.  He deserved to die for his transgressions.  The world had no need for someone as horrible as he.  Everyone would just be better off if he died.

 

Drip…

 

Al... Al... I’m sorry Al...  You must hate me now.  I don’t blame you.  I would hate me too.  You’re better off without me.  I’ve ruined your life enough...  At these thoughts, Ed couldn’t hold back the flood of pain that filled him, and began to sob. 

 

;-;-;-;-;-;-;

Lust stood in the center square of Lior looking into the round fountain; the wine it once held dried up like the old preacher who had provided it.  She shook her head, her black hair bouncing on her shoulders.  Not dried up…

 

Dead.

 

Dead just like this city should have been after the military came to pull down the old prophet.  Of course, by then it had been Envy, the real preacher already dead. 

 

It seemed these people were lucky after all though.  Bartholomew Kagegkuski, her new pawn, had been a great find.  The man was already sending people to spread the news of The People’s Government to the north and to the south.  With Kagegkuski’s forces growing larger every day, Amestris would soon become a country torn by civil war. 

 

She smiled.

 

And now the alchemists would begin coming; another part of the plan put into action.  Once the devastation became great enough, they would be more desperate than ever to create a Philosopher’s Stone. 

 

If it got to that point…

 

If the next part of the plan failed…

 

“Sooo…how’d it go?” 

 

She turned.

 

Envy, accompanied by Gluttony, came to stand beside her.  He raised an eyebrow, waiting for her to answer.

 

“All as planned,” she replied.

 

He nodded with a cunning grin.   “I guess I should ready things for when I go ‘fishing’ then.”

 

She sighed as Gluttony, finger in his mouth, sidled up to her.  “Do you think our ‘fish’ will bite?  We’ve already…” 

 

Lust began but cut off her words when Envy laughed and changed his form.  “Of course… after all… ‘fish’ are generally stupid, but this one is one of the dumbest.”

 

;-;-;-;-;-;-;

 

Roy sank into the soft chair with a sigh.  He lifted the glass of brandy to his lips, taking a sip and looking at the blond teenager asleep on the couch.  The young alchemist was laying on his left side, using his real arm, his hand dangling off the side of the couch, for a pillow. The real pillow Roy had got him lay on the floor next to the couch. 

 

A small blanket covered Ed’s torso and thighs but the rest spilled onto the floor and lay next to the pillow.  Roy focused his gaze on the boy’s legs; automail foot and a real one stuck out of the sweats the black haired man had given him.  The gray sweats were Roy’s, and he had needed to cut off half the length so that they would fit his guest.  Even then, the drawstrings had needed to be tightened quite a bit, given Ed’s smaller waist. 

 

His eyes traveled up the blond’s body past the blanket to the shirt the teen wore; another piece of Roy’s own wardrobe.  The white tee-shirt just about drowned the boy.  The neck opening was drawn over Ed’s automail shoulder, showing where the dull metal attached to the skin. 

 

The colonel’s gaze ran up the boy’s neck and to his face.  Strands of loose blond hair crisscrossed a face that looked splotchy from too many tears.  The blackish-purple, now turning yellow, bruise that was Ed’s eye contrasted sharply with both the boy’s skin and his hair. 

 

Roy sighed and took another sip.  He had been unsuccessful at getting his young guest to eat anything after the bath, and the colonel had only moderately pushed Ed to drink the hot tea he had prepared.  He thought perhaps it was better to let the teen be for now. 

 

It hadn’t been difficult to hear the boy’s sobbing, even through a closed door…

 

Another sip.

 

Roy wasn’t sure if he was grateful to the general he served under at Eastern Headquarters a few years back, or not.  When Roy had said he was transferring back to Central, the general mentioned that he had a sister there that rented out some nice apartments, and that he would call her up and have her give him a good deal if he was interested.

 

Eager for any opportunity to get connections, Roy agreed that it would be a pleasure to rent from the general’s sister, and indeed it had been.  The apartment, though small, was larger than the studio apartments he usually rented, and it was fully furnished.  For a small extra fee the woman even did light housekeeping. 

 

An amazing deal.

 

However, right now a small studio apartment might have served his interests better.  The young alchemist had a place to sleep on the couch, but if Roy didn’t have a couch…

 

He took another sip, disgusted with himself.  It was obvious that something bad had happened and that Ed was severely depressed, but all he could think about was how he wanted to get the blond alchemist off the couch and into his bed.  

 

“Alphonse…” Ed moaned.

 

Roy sat forward in the chair, watching the boy.  Ed’s face held a distressed look and he turned onto his back.

 

“Al…please… I’m sorry Al… I’m sorry…”  Roy took one more sip of the brandy before setting the glass on the small table near the chair.  He got up and knelt close to the couch, unsure of what he should do.

 

Ed’s head jerked to one side, then back again.  “Al!” he screamed.  “Alphonse!”

 

Roy took a deep breath, then slid his right arm under Ed’s head and wrapped his other arm over Ed’s arm, his hand pressing against the teenager’s back.  He pulled the boy closed and whispered, “Edward… It’s alright… It’s alright…”

 

The thrashing and screaming stopped and a gasp came from Ed as he jolted awake.  The boy stiffened and Roy could only assume he was realizing where he was and who was holding him.  For a moment he thought of letting go, but decided against it almost immediately.  This would probably be the only time he’d ever have the golden eyed teen in his arms. 

 

Roy closed his eyes and pressed his cheek to Ed’s sweaty forehead.  He began a rocking motion while continuing to whisper reassurances to the short alchemist.  After a few moments, Ed relaxed in his arms.  For almost thirty seconds there was no sound in the room but Roy’s whispers, and then Ed began to cry. 

 

Roy could feel the teen’s body tremble as great sobs came from him.  “Al… Al…” Ed repeated over and over. 

 

He resisted the urge to shake the problem out of the blond.  He told himself to be patent.  Ed would tell him if he needed to know.  It wasn’t military business, so Roy had no right to demand the information.  He just hoped Alphonse was alright.

 

Slowly, he continued the rocking.  He felt ashamed; wishing that the boy would keep crying, keep needing to be held.

 

Ed was right all along.  He thought to himself.  I really am a bastard.     

 

 

---

1) Bartholomew Kagegkuski is not a character in the series or the manga.

     

 

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