Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Type: Yaoi with a small dash of het, Smut with a side order of plot, AUish—Ed is 17 and Al has his body back.
Warnings: Smut, Language, Various Kinks
Summary: Roy finds Ed having some ‘fun’ with himself, and decides to include himself in the entertainment without letting Ed know it’s him.
Chapter Listing Here
Roy shifted slightly, wondering if having sex in a large, plastic tube in a deserted playground, at an elementary school, in the middle of the night, was the best idea. When he’d first thought of the idea, he’d supposed it would be a bit uncomfortable, but hadn’t realized just how cramped it would be. For Ed alone, it was pretty roomy; for him alone, it wasn’t too bad, though not extremely comfortable; but for them both together... well, it was an interesting squeeze. He’d chosen one of the higher tubes in an effort to avoid too much dirt, and in that aspect at least, he’d done well, but he didn’t think he’d ever choose this spot to have sex again.
Ed squirmed a little and Roy turned his attention back to the matter at hand; that being his hand on Ed’s knee. He slid it up to where the bottom of the school uniform skirt made contact with both his hand and Ed’s skin, then stopped and waited to see if Ed would react.
There was a small whimper before Ed breathed in a slightly higher-than-normal voice, “Oh no, don’t!” then made a flimsy gesture of holding his skirt down so that Roy couldn’t go any further. It was a bit delayed, but Roy had a feeling that pretending to be a young, female student was an area where Ed wasn’t the most comfortable, but was willing to give it a try. That was one of the things Roy loved about Ed—he was always willing to try anything at least once.
Grinning, Roy easily moved Ed’s hands away and slid his own hand up Ed’s thigh. Ed’s breathing was heavy and labored, and his next words came out with a note of desire and longing.
“No... teacher... you can’t... I’m not that kind of girl...”
When Roy’s fingers reached the elastic lining of the panties Ed was wearing, he thought, Oh yes you are... You want it... You’re such a dirty little girl. This is your punishment for misbehaving in class...
What he wouldn’t give to say those words out loud; to role play with Ed on an even playing field. With a slight feeling of regret, Roy let his hand slide over the panties covering Ed’s hipbone and to the top of the underside of the skirt, where he continued so that his hand was pulling the skirt up and above Ed’s legs and groin.
Ed was panting now, mouth open and tongue lulling slightly. Thus far, he’d avoided touching Ed’s penis, and he had a good idea that he wouldn’t be able to get away with it for much longer.
Now that the skirt was lifted completely, Roy eyed the bulge in the panties and the spot where precum was beginning to seep into the fabric. Ed was so hard up that it was a wonder he hadn’t already creamed himself—especially since Roy had been teasing him sexually for the last half hour.
He looked up at Ed’s blindfolded face. Sweat beaded on his skin and, though it was definitely warm and stuffy in the large, plastic tube, Roy had a feeling the sweat was more of a side effect from Ed trying to keep himself together than from the heat alone.
Taking one finger, Roy gently placed it against where the fabric of the panties was covering Ed’s balls and dragged it slowly up to his shaft and then to the head. Ed’s cock twitched and pulsed under his touch. There was a slight sound as Ed bit on his lower lip, trying to keep in any sound of pleasure, but was unable to keep a small squeak from escaping.
Slowly, Roy moved his finger back down to Ed’s balls, then lower to his ass and pressed slightly, pushing a small amount of the fabric inside of Ed’s body. At this, Ed wasn’t able to keep himself from gasping.
“I can’t...” Ed panted, trying, and failing, to continue playing his part. Roy pulled his finger away and with a strangled cry, Ed bucked his hips, and snapped, “I can’t stand this anymore! I’ve played along, so stop torturing me!”
Roy suppressed a chuckle and moved his face close to Ed’s groin. He nibbled at Ed’s shaft through the panties. He could taste the fabric and smell the musky odor of Ed’s biology. It was a smell that was slowly beginning to fill the area, and Roy knew that once they started on the main course of this fine meal the smell would sharply increase. He wondered how long that small evidence of their being here would linger in this enclosed area.
Not that it mattered, Roy mused, as he moved his head away from Ed’s grasping hands, and instead moved forward, straddling Ed awkwardly in a bent over position, so that Ed’s fingers met Roy’s own erection.
“Mother fucker,” Ed whined, his fingers wrapping expertly around Roy’s cock. Roy reached around and pinched Ed’s rear. That wasn’t the type of language a young lady would use. He jerked slightly when Ed’s grip on him tightened uncomfortably and nearly cried out when his head, already touching the top of the tube, slammed against the hard plastic.
“That’s what you get for being an ass,” Ed panted, having obviously heard what happened.
A trickle of sweat slid down from Roy’s forehead, over his cheek, and to his chin. It was getting a lot hotter and, when he moved off of Ed, his slick skin moved easily against the plastic of the tube.
“You’d better be getting ready to do something really good down there,” Ed warned, then laughed when Roy swatted him. His hands moved down to cover his erection. “I mean...” Ed’s voice went high again and held a falsely sweet tone. “I couldn’t possibly do this...” The affect was ruined by Ed groping himself with the hands he was supposed to be protecting himself with against the oncoming violation.
Slapping Ed’s hand away, Roy grabbed ahold of the panties and picked at the fabric for a moment until he was able to create a small hole in the fabric, then he ripped it wide enough to put his cock in. It rested against Ed’s and when Roy laid himself on top of Ed’s body, Ed immediately wrapped his arms around Roy’s back and bucked his hips. Their erections slid smoothly together, aided by sweat and precum, and Roy noticed one of Ed’s hands moving up his neck to his head where he could feel Ed’s fingers entwining in his hair.
Roy began moving his hips as he explored what little of Ed’s body he could reach now. Their mouths met—Roy wasn’t sure which of them had initiated the kiss—and their ravenous passion below was rivaled by the ferocity of their lips and tongues.
The feeling of Ed’s hands on his lower back, then on his ass, only served to inflame his need, and Roy thought he could hear the tube creak slightly with the force of their movement. Their grunts and exclamations echoed dully around them in the confined space as they each focused on satisfying the raging fire within them both.
Ed came first with a loud and unintelligible cry of pleasure. His hold tightened against Roy’s body as Roy increased his pace. With each forward thrust of his hips, Ed made a small grunt and after a moment, Roy became vaguely aware of a new sensation against the base of his neck—a hot, wet, sucking sensation that only added to the experience. He gritted his teeth in an effort to keep any and all noise in as all the pent up desire exploded from him and against Ed’s already softening penis.
Roy allowed a burst of breath to leave him, then he automatically turned his head and searched for Ed’s mouth. The kiss was long and satisfying; the perfect ending to an amazing climax.
When they finally pulled apart—at least, as far apart as the confined space allowed—Roy became much more aware of his cramped and uncomfortable surroundings. A sudden attack of claustrophobia gripped him and the air seemed much thicker than before. What had been only slightly uncomfortable when focused on getting laid was almost unbearable now that his head was clearing.
Scooting back and off of Ed’s body, trying to fight off the panic, Roy pinched one of Ed’s butt cheeks, then pushed on his body, sliding it toward one of the tube exits. The fresh night air greeted them at the opening and Roy breathed in greedily before glancing around the dark playground and beyond to be sure they were still alone.
“That was really good...” Ed purred, reaching down and grabbing onto Roy’s bare shoulders; pulling on him to indicate he wanted Roy to lay down with him. Succumbing easily, Roy laid on his stomach between Ed’s legs and rested his head on Ed’s chest.
Since the night in the motel room, it had become a habit for the two of them to lie down and relax together when they were finished. Most often, Ed talked during this time, usually about his life and thoughts—though never enough or in a way that someone who didn’t know him could discern who he was. Of course, the world was hardly filled with short, blond teenagers with an automail arm and leg, and Roy wondered if Ed had ever considered that it probably wouldn’t be extremely difficult for someone to figure out who Ed was if they really wanted to.
“They extended my assignment for another month...” Ed began.
Roy had intended to grant Russell Tringham’s request that Ed be reassigned when another accident happened at the lab in his section. It was something that could have been avoided, but that part really didn’t matter. What did matter was that they needed to replace those employees and the military was finding itself short on knowledgeable, available, and willing people for this project. It was finally decided that Ed would stay on at the lab until sufficient replacements could be found.
That had been a month ago.
Roy had expected Ed would be moved by now, but the fuhrer had intervened and ordered Ed to stay on for yet another month—something that displeased not only him and Ed, but Russell as well. Unfortunately there was nothing to be done about it.
“...but at least my fucking main boss has been too busy to harass me lately...” Ed continued.
The motel incident had really struck a nerve with Roy. He’d left that night filled with uncertainties. Part of him had been pleased that his little play dates would continue at least for a while, yet he couldn’t help feeling a sense of deep foreboding and unease as well. He’d only been able to sleep that night because he’d been so exhausted from their activities, but he’d woken early with his mind full of Ed and their secret relationship.
The one thing he’d decided on that morning was that he couldn’t continue adding to Ed’s misery. It suddenly wasn’t nearly as fun to tease him now that knew how much Ed hated it. He’d had to wait a full week before he could lay off of Ed as to not arouse suspicion. Roy had arranged to take an additional project for Hakuro, claiming that he needed some extra hours. Then he had barked irritably at Ed the first day of the project that Ed needed to make his reports shorter and more concise so that Roy could focus on this additional work that had been ‘thrust’ upon him.
The deception had worked well enough, but Roy sometimes missed poking fun at Ed and had to hold himself back from making snide or sarcastic comments. He missed the office interaction with Ed more than he’d thought he would...
Roy felt Ed’s fingers brush against his face, then into his hair. It felt good, and Roy closed his eyes and let himself enjoy the touch while Ed droned on about this and that. He half hated himself for letting this go on; after all, if he was smart, he would have ended this long ago. But he’d eventually had to admit to himself that he was addicted; addicted to Ed.
Obsessed might actually have been a better word. He was obsessed with these meetings, with the sex, with Ed’s body, with the whole situation... Yet, it was a dangerous obsession. He truly didn’t understand how he could have let himself get into this predicament; didn’t know he could have blindly walked into something so precarious.
Roy’s attention was drawn back to Ed when the teen gave a heavy sigh and said groggily, “I’d better go home before I fall asleep...” Yet, Ed didn’t move right away and they both laid there in their relaxed state for a few more minutes before Ed pushed on Roy’s head and said with more awareness, “Yeah, I need to go.”
Moving off of Ed, Roy watched as the teen scrambled out of the tube and brushed at his abused school uniform in an effort to make himself look a little more presentable and not like a naughty schoolgirl who had just escaped from less wholesome activities. When he was finished, Ed waited patiently for Roy to extract himself from the playground equipment. While he couldn’t see, Ed could hear him—a truth that was more pronounced by the way Ed’s head was cocked to one side.
Pulling on the clothes he’d left hanging from one of the monkey bars, Roy picked up his bag, and headed over to Ed. The long kiss he left on Ed’s lips was one that was an expected addition to their activities. How that had become a parting ritual, Roy couldn’t remember. Climbing into his car, Roy glanced back to where Ed was sitting with the blindfold still tied around his head and felt pleased that Ed was so good at following his instructions. If Ed had proved to be as stubborn in this as he was in other things, Roy had a feeling he’d have already been found out.
With a sigh born of tiredness, satisfaction, and uncertainty, Roy pulled away from the curb and tried with little success to think of something besides Ed and the consequences of what they were doing. If he didn’t decide on a definite course of action to take with this ‘Ed situation’, Roy thought he’d probably go mad.
The buzzing of the alarm clock only quieted when Ed yanked the plug from the wall and stopped short of alchemizing the evil contraption into something else. He was tired and getting up for work these days was something that was becoming more difficult. It would be so much easier to just lay here in bed and avoid the world. If he only got up when Al was at work or out on dates, then Ed would have the perfect socially-absent life ever. Though, he supposed he’d make an exception for his mystery man...
Ed smiled into his pillow as he thought of some of his most recent meetings with his sex partner. His frequent ‘sexplorations’ with the stranger were the best parts of his life right now. It seemed like the man really cared about him, though Ed wondered if that were really so. He wanted it to be so; but, in truth, he didn’t know this man at all—didn’t even really know anything about him...
Well, he knew the man was bigger than him, but that really didn’t mean much since most people were bigger than him. The man’s hair was fine to the touch, and... well... there really wasn’t much. Besides, that wasn’t anything really about the man; nothing to say what kind of a person he was or anything like that.
He knew the man by touch only. Ed had memorized every inch of the man’s body with his hand, but unless he went around touching everyone he met, he’d never really know if any one person could be ‘his’ person. Even then, Ed really didn’t want to know anyway. It would probably add more complications to his life that he didn’t need right now. The less people in his life, the better...
The sound of clanging from the kitchen met Ed’s ears and he let out a low groan. The last thing he wanted this morning was to be around his brother. Why couldn’t he and Al just get along? Why couldn’t Al just stop bugging him about everything? Why...?
Another clang from the kitchen, and then a growl from his stomach. His body knew that it was breakfast time and wasn’t about to let him forget it. With a heavy sigh, Ed rolled out of bed and lethargically got ready for the day before moping into the kitchen to find Alphonse at the stove.
Ed felt his mouth water as he looked at the pan full of scrambled eggs. He wanted some, but he didn’t want to ask for any. Nowadays they both got along better if they just ignored one another.
At that moment, Al glanced in his direction and stared at him with an expressionless look before rolling his eyes and taking another plate down from the cupboard. Feeling both pleased that he’d get some of the eggs and irritated at Al’s behavior, Ed pulled a container of juice from the fridge and retrieved two glasses from the cupboard. He set the juice and cups on the table, sat down in one of the chairs, and within a few minutes a plate was placed unceremoniously in front of him. Without looking up, Ed began to eat, but the silence lasted only a few moments.
“You got in pretty late last night,” Al commented in a seemingly off-hand manner.
Ed’s muscles tensed unconsciously and he shrugged. It wasn’t any of Al’s business what he did. Why did he have to be so nosey? Irritation flooded through him and he began shoveling the eggs more quickly into his mouth.
“Brother...” Al said quietly.
Dropping the fork on the plate, Ed looked up and snapped, “What?!”
Alphonse’s eyes widened slightly at the show of aggression, then took on a wounded, determined look. “I’m worried about you!” he said forcefully.
“Well, don’t be.”
“How can I not be worried?” Al said irritably. “Your attitude sucks, you’re staying in bed later and later every day, you stay out all night doing who knows what; though by the looks of some of the marks I’ve seen on you, I think I could guess.”
Ed’s lips pressed together in fury—both at Al and at that stupid man. “What are you going to do? Lecture me?” Ed seethed. He knew he should probably just leave it alone, but he was tired of them both tip-toeing around each other. It was time to just lay it all out.
“Someone has to!” Al said angrily.
“I don’t need to be lectured by someone who’s had almost as much pussy as that slut Roy Mustang, you fucking hypocrite!” Ed spat. Al’s eyes opened wide and his head reared back in shock. “What?” Ed sneered contemptuously. “You think I didn’t know what you’ve been doing? Didn’t know that I knew you’ve been screwing around?”
Blood rushed to Al’s face in embarrassment and he opened his mouth as if he was going to say something, but Ed cut him off. “I don’t see why I should tell you anything. I don’t go around poking into your life, so stay the hell out of mine!”
Anger painted his brother’s features and emanated from his eyes. “It’s sort of hard to stay out of your life when we live together.”
“Well, that’s easily fixed!” Ed yelled, standing up and pushing the chair back against the table so hard that it bounced away and fell backward onto the floor. Al’s eyes flickered with pain and Ed thought he could see moisture building up, but he was so furious that he was past caring.
“Fine!” Al yelled back, standing up as well. “I don’t want to live with someone like you anyway! It’s not like I really ever see you anymore!”
“Well maybe I don’t want to see you,” Ed spat back as he jabbed a finger in the air toward his brother.
“I’ll be gone by the time you get home then,” Al said in a calm voice that barely masked the fury. “Then you won’t have to.”
Pain laced through his body and gathered at his heart. The squeezing sensation was so strong that it was a wonder he could get any breath at all. Ed wondered at it; wondered why that should make him feel so horrible. He didn’t care if Al left, really he didn’t. Being alone was what he wanted, wasn’t it? But if that was so, then why did he feel so empty and horrible?
“Good,” Ed said, angrily pulling open the door. “Leave! I’m tired of you nagging at me all the time! I don’t care if I ever see you again!” And with that, Ed left and slammed the door behind him, wishing for all the world that he could go back to bed, cover his head with a blanket, and cry.
From his office window, Roy caught sight of Ed storming across the grounds as he made his way to Lab Two. He wondered if the teen had gotten into a fight with his brother again and shook his head. It wasn’t any of his business, but he couldn’t help but wonder and worry about Ed nowadays.
He rested his forehead on the glass and closed his eyes as if that would make the sudden pounding in his head go away. His life had become a lot more complicated since he’d begun this running around in the middle of the night with Ed.
With a sigh, Roy opened his eyes and stepped back slightly from the window. With a frown, his eyes fixed on his neck and he self-consciously pulled at his uniform collar. He hadn’t realized it until this morning, but Ed had finally gotten his revenge for all the hickeys he’d received.
Normally, Roy would have felt smug about it and maybe even found a way to show it off, but Ed was probably very aware of where he’d marked his lover, and it wouldn’t be very prudent for Roy to let Ed know that he ‘just happened’ to have a mark in the same spot. Luckily that area was easily hidden.
Sitting down, Roy began picking through his work for the day, trying not to think about Ed, but it was almost impossible. Desire, obsession, frustration, and uncertainty picked at his brain. The full consequences of his actions seemed more apparent than ever, yet Roy found that he couldn’t lie to himself any longer. He wanted to continue being with Ed. It wasn’t a ‘relationship’ that he wanted—no, Roy wasn’t the type to tie himself down—but he got something from Ed that satisfied some base part of him.
In and of itself, sex was sex and he could get that almost anywhere. But with Ed, it was different. It was a journey in self-exploration and discovery. Ed was so open about trying new things and Roy had never been able to explore most of his fantasies with anyone else. He’d had to maintain an image, even in bed. He’d needed to perform a specific way because, even in bed, his reputation was on the line.
Even though he was restricted in speech when he was with Ed, Roy felt so free. He was able to act without fear of being judged. Ed didn’t know who he was, so there was no pre-expectation to fill, and no verdict at the end.
There was also the excitement of being able to have such power over someone who was so dominate himself. Ed was not the type of person to allow himself to be ruled by anyone. Roy had seen that countless times before; yet, in this instance, Ed was willing to submit. It stirred something within him to see that proud young man in such a subordinate position.
Was what he felt for Ed love?
He cared for Ed, but it wasn’t love. It was attraction to the extreme, obsession to the millionth power, and need that burned hotter than anything he could create with alchemy. He felt bonded to Ed in a way that Roy didn’t think he would ever be able to be with another.
Roy wanted to believe that he’d been able to be something for Ed in the same way that Ed had been for him, but he’d probably never know. This couldn’t go on forever, as much as he wanted it to...
Picking up a folder, Roy fingered the documents within as he quickly scanned the type. It was a request for Ed to be sent on a mission away from Central. It was something that would last a few weeks; and, in that time, Ed’s mystery man would disappear.
Roy set the folder on the desk, turned his chair toward the window, and stared glumly outside. He desperately didn’t want to give Ed up, but there could be no happy ending to what they had. Ed would be disappointed that it was over, but it would be a better situation than him finding out just who he’d been messing around with, not to mention who he’d been spilling his deepest secrets to. At least this way he’d be able to keep the memories as something good—at least he hoped it would be good for Ed—to look back on.
“Hi, Ed,” a cheerful, young voice said. Ed glanced down from what he was doing to see Fletcher climbing up onto the stool beside him.
“You know your brother won’t be too happy with you talking to me,” Ed murmured, looking back at his flask.
“Yeah, well, he’s busy downstairs in some meeting. Besides, it’s stupid... Did you and brother get into a fight or something? Cause, you know he’s sort of proud sometimes...”
Ed set the flask down and made a few notes in the notebook on the table, then glanced at the boy beside him. There was no way Russell would have told his younger brother why he didn’t want him talking to Ed, and Ed wasn’t about to inform the kid of things he didn’t need to know.
“Yeah it was something like that,” he said, then checked his watch. It was his favorite time of the day—quitting time. Ed glanced up and saw most of the other lab workers already shucking off their white coats and putting things away. “Look, Fletcher,” Ed began, turning his attention to the boy. “You know I’ve got no problem with you, but it’s probably better if you just do what Russell says for now. You don’t want to have problems with your brother, do you?”
Fletcher’s face fell. “No...” he said miserably, looking down at where he’d put his hands in his lap. Ed nodded and pulled off his safety goggles. Normally he’d just blow off whatever dumb rule Russell laid out, but right now he just didn’t need any more problems.
“Go back downstairs and find your brother, ‘cause everyone up here is packing up, okay?” Ed said kindly, noting the disappointment in Fletcher’s features. When the boy nodded, Ed moved over to his locker, and put his safety goggles and lab coat away. When he turned back around, Fletcher was gone.
With a sigh, Ed slammed the locker shut and waited for the bulk of his coworkers to leave before heading out of the room. A few stayed behind—those poor devoted souls who had no life to return home to or the ones Russell had bullied into staying late. Well, that wasn’t something Ed had to worry about anymore...
Grumbling under his breath, Ed headed down the hall and toward the elevator, but passed it in favor of the stairs when he saw that there were people waiting to go down. He didn’t want to chance someone speaking to him. He didn’t feel like being conversational.
Lately he’d felt dread at going home and having to face the uneasy atmosphere with Al, but now that Al wasn’t going to be there when he got back, the dread had turned into a deep loneliness and a feeling of sad regret.
He’d spent the day thinking about the fight they’d had and the words they’d exchanged. Ed hadn’t really meant that he never wanted to see Al again... The urge to cover his face with his hand in shame filled him and he settled on closing his eyes and sinking down to sit on one of the stairs for a moment.
How had this happened? When had their relationship started to fall apart? They were brothers! They’d been through so much together, and yet they had so many stupid problems! What he really wanted was to go home and have everything be okay. He wanted life to be how it used to be.
Ed rubbed angrily at his eyes. They itched and burned uncomfortably, and Ed was loathe to admit that he might actually be close to tears. Wearing his emotions close to the surface was something that was happening more often than not these days and he hated it. He hated it so much, yet he couldn’t see how he could change what was happening in his life.
Forcing himself to his feet, Ed trudged down the rest of the stairs. He still had to report to Mustang, and if he was late the man would be an even bigger pain to deal with than usual. Stepping out of the stairwell, Ed grunted a goodbye to the gaudily-dressed secretary and let himself out of the building.
He was about to step onto the grass to take his shortcut to Central Headquarters when a loud boom assaulted his ears and the ground shook beneath him. The sound of shattering glass filled the air and moments later sharp shards were raining down around him. Ed felt stings of pain as glass hit his exposed skin in several places and cut him. Turning, he dashed back into the building to avoid being hit by the larger pieces of the windows. As he opened the door next to the secretary, another loud boom shook the building and the lights flickered and died, leaving only the emergency ones to dimly light the halls.
“We have to get out of here!” the secretary’s shrill voice called out from where she was trying to hide beneath her desk.
Ed glanced around. She was right, but they couldn’t take the front entrance. “Take the exit that way,” Ed yelled, pointing to the second nearest exit to where they were—the one most of the employees took because it was near the parking lot.
The large woman eyed Ed worriedly and he was sure that he must be quite the sight with all the cuts from the glass, then nodded and scurried away. Ed was about to join her when his attention was diverted to a group of people running down the hall toward them—supervisors from the different sections; Russell among them. He was about to start toward them when the door to the stairwell burst open and a man fell onto the floor.
Ugly burns covered his exposed skin, the hair he’d once had was gone, and his clothing was charred and still smoking. Ed moved over to help him, but it was immediately apparent that nothing they did would save the man from the clutches of death.
“Accident...” the man croaked, as if they weren’t aware of what was going on upstairs.
“Where are the others?” Ed asked, worried. There had been a handful left up there when he’d gone for the night.
“Dead...” the man whispered. Ed opened his mouth to speak, but was roughly shoved aside. Looking up, he saw Russell clutching the man’s clothes tightly, a wild look in his eyes.
“Where’s Fletcher?! Where’s my brother?!” Fear and pain weaved in with a note of hysteria.
“I sent him down here about ten minutes ago,” Ed said, now working to remove Russell’s fingers from the man’s clothing as the other supervisors tried to pull Russell back.
“I told him to stay in my office until my meetings were over, you stupid fool!” Russell screamed at Ed, spittle flying from his mouth. “Did you see him?!” Russell demanded of the man. When the dying man nodded slightly, Russell demanded, “Where is he?! Did he make it out?!” There was a slight moment of silence before the man looked away from Russell’s piercing gaze.
Russell’s eyes widened as he comprehended what was meant by that, then he let go and lurched toward the stairwell. “Fletcher! Fletcher!” His screams echoed around them and were lost as another explosion sounded. “NO! FLETCHER!” Russell flailed his arms wildly, trying to fight free of the men who held him. “Let me go! LET ME GO!”
Ed pressed his lips together in thought. He’d told Fletcher to come downstairs, but if Russell had indeed told him to stay up there, then Fletcher probably wouldn’t have come down when Ed told him to... or would he have?
He glanced at the door to the stairwell. It was possible that Fletcher had actually come downstairs when Ed told him to, in which case he’d be outside. But, there was also a higher chance that the boy was still upstairs. Was there a possibility that he could still be alive? Was it worth the risk?
Ed glanced at Russell, desperately trying to free himself from the men holding him back. What would he do if it was Alphonse...? There was no question; Ed would rush up there to save him if it was at all possible.
Making the decision, Ed rushed into the stairwell, turned back, and gazed hard into Russell’s terrified eyes. “I’ll find him!” he promised fiercely, then turned to hurry up the stairs. Even if it was only to return the body, he would find him. If it had been his brother, if it had been Alphonse up there, he would want to see a body. He would want to know for sure...
And now the tears that he’d tried to hold back for so long blurred his vision and streamed down his cheeks. All the stupid stuff they’d fought over... If it had been Al in trouble, if Al had been dead... A feeling of crushed devastation squeezed Ed’s chest. How could he have let such petty things come between them? Why had he been so stupid and stubborn?
Blinking wildly to clear his vision from the sudden attack of tears, Ed felt determined that he would work things out with his brother after this was over. He would find Fletcher alive, and he would work things out with Al, somehow.
Yanking open the door to the floor he wanted, Ed suddenly dropped to his knees as dark smoke billowed from the hall and into the stairwell. Covering his mouth and nose with his shirt, Ed crawled along the floor of the hallway.
His eyes stung—this time from the smoky chemicals rather than from emotion—and when he got to the door of the lab, Ed clapped his hands together and pressed them against the floor. Power surged from him and he could acutely feel his connection with the floor. He focused on the room, picturing it in his mind, and created a fan to blow some of the smoke out the windows.
It was helpful, but it didn’t stop whatever was going wrong, nor did it put out the chemical flames on the other side of the room. Indeed, it seemed to inflame them all the more, but Ed was more worried about the smoke at the moment. Coughing and blinking quickly, Ed’s brain yelled at him to hurry. If he lingered, the smoke would kill him more quickly than the flames on the other side of the room.
Glancing around, Ed yelled out, “FLETCHER! FLETCHER!” A faint, frightened call was returned and Ed felt his hopes rise. Moving into the room on his hands and knees, Ed called out, “WHERE ARE YOU?!” There was another shout, but Ed couldn’t make out the words. At least he knew what direction to go.
Crawling as quickly as he could, Ed tried to ignore the sweltering heat and the stinging caused by his sweat trickling into the cuts from the glass. Ahead, a white, dismembered hand lay palm up and with fingers slightly curled. Ed looked away and closed his eyes, both from the sight and from the pain in his eyes. He didn’t want to see the dead...
“FLETCHER!” Ed called urgently, but this time there was no answer. Opening his eyes, Ed crawled forward until he saw the door to Russell’s office. Part of it was blown away and Ed had to force what was left open.
Crawling inside, Ed saw Fletcher’s small body huddled in a ball. He’d finally succumbed to the smoky toxins in the air and for a moment Ed was afraid that it was already too late. Hurrying over, Ed checked him for signs of life, and was relieved to find a faint pulse. The sense of urgency that had spurred him before was screaming at him now. If he didn’t hurry, Fletcher wouldn’t make it.
With an effort, Ed began to drag the boy from the office. Half way through the lab something exploded. Ed barely had time to cover Fletcher’s body with his own before the impact hit him like a ton of bricks. He gasped in pain as debris hit the back parts of his body. Mustering what strength he had left, Ed knelt up, turned, and created a barrier between them and the direction the explosion had come from. They’d have to crawl past it to get out of the room, but at least they’d be protected for a small amount of time.
From that direction, at least...
A strange and unnatural sizzling sound met his ears from his other side. Not sure what was going on beyond the smoke, but knowing that a large number of glass flasks and chemicals were stored that way, Ed clapped his hands, ready to press them to the floor when several loud bursts sounded. Glass and chemicals sprayed over them like killing rain. Pain speckled and slashed at his body and face, but nothing was more excruciating than the fiery agony in his eyes.
With all the control he could muster, Ed squeezed his eyes shut, slammed his hands to the floor to create a protective barrier, then grabbed onto Fletcher and pulled him toward where he knew the exit lay. Tears of pain ran freely from his closed lids, and Ed longed to rub and cover his stinging eyes, but he didn’t dare stop.
When they were in the hallway, Ed felt his way along the hall to the stairwell, where he called desperately, “Russell! I have him! Russell!” He coughed and choked; his throat and lungs burning.
There was commotion from below and he could hear footsteps hurrying up the stairs. Not willing to wait, Ed carefully pulled Fletcher into his arms and tried to blindly scoot down the steps, but before he could, Fletcher was being relieved from Ed’s arms accompanied by, “Fletcher! Fletcher!”
Several sets of hands were now holding onto Ed, pulling him to his feet and helping him quickly down the stairs. When they reached the main floor, Ed instinctively knew they were taking him out the back exit, and felt confident in his steps, despite not being able to open his eyes.
The sound of a door opening met his ears followed by fresh air. “Come this way, you need to rinse out your eyes,” someone said to Ed, and he was led to an outside sink that was used primarily for eye emergencies. Ed knew the contraption well. It had two areas that shot water up to clean the eyes in case of an accident. Every room in the building had one.
Opening his eyes took effort and to keep them open for the water to do its work was even more difficult, but the most disconcerting thing was that when he opened his eyes, he didn’t see the sink below him. Everything was dark...
For several minutes—it could have been ten or fifteen—Ed stood there, trying to wash the chemicals from his eyes, then he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Ed... the medics are here... They want to take you to the hospital...” It was Russell. Pulling away from the sink, Ed stood and pulled his shirt up to wipe at his wet face before looking up to where Russell’s voice had come from—though he had no way of knowing if he was looking exactly in the right direction.
“Ed...” Russell said, his voice quiet and full of confusion. “I’m over here...” Ed swallowed hard and tried to keep the fear from getting the better of him. This was only a temporary thing, it had to be... “Ed...” Again the touch on his shoulder.
Instead of trying to look in the right direction, Ed simply continued to stare in the same direction. “You... didn’t see that, did you?” Russell asked nervously.
“See what?” Ed asked woodenly. Despite the fact that he obviously couldn’t see, Ed couldn’t seem to grasp the reality of his situation. This wasn’t real. Surely they had some sort of doctor that could fix this. Or perhaps if he waited long enough the world would become light again... He still felt an agonizing pain in his eyes, so this was probably just a short term side effect...
“This...” A pause. “I moved my hand in front of your face.” Ed blinked several times, but nothing happened. He felt numb and suddenly helpless. “Ed...” Russell again, sounding timid and reluctant.
“Just...” Ed’s voice cracked and he had to swallow to go on. “Just go the fuck away...” he said faintly. He didn’t want to talk to anyone—especially Russell. He just wanted to be alone... He just wanted to wake up in his bed and have everything be alright...
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence, then, “I’ll... I’ll go get a medic...” The sound of Russell’s footsteps moving away met Ed’s ears and he stood there, trying to be brave, but suddenly feeling like a little boy; and, for the first time in a long time, he craved the feel of his mother’s arms around him. But those arms were forever gone, never to come back, so his rational mind turned to the only logical source of comfort it could think of. In a situation where the world seemed to be against him and he was devoid of sight, he craved the arms of the man he’d never seen, but one that he knew very well by touch.