Disclaimer: None of them are mine.
Not even the short one.
("DON'T CALL ME SHORT!")
Rating: PG-13 (for violence and
Pairings: Not really. If you squint
to one side you could call it implied Roy/Ed, but only if you already
East City, a random couple of weeks inserted mid-series (after the
introduction of Scar, but before the major stuff hits the fan)
Drama, action, and some humour
thrown in for good luck.
had to give these guys credit, Roy Mustang thought. When they decided
to kidnap someone, they didn't muck around. Their plan had been
perfectly thought out and precisely executed. Veritable poetry in
Now if only they hadn't been after him.
shifted awkwardly in the chair, trying to find a position which didn't
hurt. His fingers were throbbing painfully and sending occasional
spikes of pain through him, but he resolutely refused to look at them.
Idly he wondered if Hawkeye was
still alive. I have the best
excuse ever for getting out of paperwork, and I'm not sure if she'll
get to hear it.
had been a lovely morning. Havoc had been driving him to a meeting with
the West HQ brass, and Hawkeye had been riding along and briefing him
at the same time. Everything had been normal, even the blasted cart
upset in the middle of the road again.
"Road's blocked, looks
like they'll be awhile cleaning up the mess," Havoc had called back.
"Hang on, I'll just take us round by the docks."
A sensible move which,
unfortunately, had turned out to be a complete disaster.
"I don't believe this!" Havoc had
moaned. "TWO overturned carts in the same day? I'm afraid you're going
to be late Colonel."
had frowned, but accepted it. Then there had been a crash from behind
them. The whole car went silent as they assessed their position.
"Three carts?" Hawkeye had said,
with a raised eyebrow. "That's too many."
"Be careful," Roy had told them,
pulling on his gloves. "Keep an eye out for snipers."
Hawkeye and Havoc had carefully
gotten out of the car, Roy a step behind, fingers at the ready.
"I don't see anyth..." Havoc's
voice had been chopped off by a gunshot.
had immediately drawn a bead on the sniper and shot him, but had been
ambushed by a group of men. Roy had instantly snapped his fingers and
flames blasted the group, just barely avoiding Hawkeye. Unfortunately,
he'd been so focused on not burning her, he hadn't spotted his own
peril. He'd jerked in pain as a bullet passed through his right thigh,
fortunately not hitting the bone, and had been turning to face his new
opponents when someone had slammed a pole into the side of his head,
sending him spiraling into unconciousness.
He'd awoken some
hours later, gloves removed, bound to a chair in an abandoned building.
His head had been splitting, and his leg had ached fiercely from where
the bullet had passed through. It appeared his captors had done a
cursory job of bandaging him up, so he hadn't lost too much blood, but
the combination of factors had combined to made him light-headed, and
he was having difficulty focusing his eyes properly.
And then his captors had decided to
make absolutely sure that he couldn't use his Alchemy against them.
his gaze went down to his broken, swollen fingers. It had been a long
time since he'd screamed in pure physical agony, but having each and
every one of his digits brutally broken had done the trick. He'd
actually passed out from the pain at one point, when the man working on
the right hand got bored with doing one finger at a time and smashed
two with a metal bar, but they had courteously waited for him to come
around again before continuing.
He attempted to wiggle one of
his fingers and whimpered at the immediate pain. It was going to be a
while before he could hold a piece of chalk again with which to draw an
array, much less snap his fingers to conjure flame.
"This is just the beginning," the
left-hand man had told him as they left. "You murdering piece of scum."
Roy closed his eyes again and
swallowed hard to control his nausea. When would Ishvar stop haunting
didn't know either of the men personally, but their colouring had given
them away. Ishvar refugees, probably ex-soldiers, and looking for
revenge for the massacre against the Alchemists who had fought there.
Probably inspired by Scar's example, he thought. Word had leaked into
the public sector about his activities a few weeks ago; someone in the
security department hadn't kept their mouth shut. Since then there had
been a small groundswell of support for the man. He'd become a folkhero
to a lot of disenfranchised Ishvarians, and his mark had started
popping up as grafitti on walls.
He wondered if this lot were
targeting anyone with a silver watch, or were going after State
Alchemists who'd actually FOUGHT in Ishvar. It would certainly explain
why they'd gone to so much trouble to capture him if that was
the case. That would put them one up on Scar, who seemed to just go
after the most opportune target, regardless of whether or not the
person had fought in Ishvar or not. Half of his kills so far had been
people who'd joined up AFTER the war was over, and Roy felt the
responsibility for their deaths hanging over him sometimes. At least
this lot had the right idea and were going after the REAL bastards,
instead of people like Fullmetal, who would only have been about six at
the time of the massacre.
Roy felt very old and tired. And
hurt. He wondered what they planned next. Toes
perhaps? Teeth? Will anyone even recognise me when they finish? I hope
Havoc and Hawkeye made it out alright. I trust THEM to identify my body.
was a rustle of movement and a thud from behind him. He knew there was
a guard there. Perhaps he was bored and had decided to get on with the
torture. Roy remained still, with his eyes closed and head down. They
might hold off if they thought he was still out.
A whispered voice hissed in his
ear. "Colonel? Colonel? Hey, Colonel!"
felt the bonds around his upper body loosen and fall away. "Come on
Colonel, say something. You can't possibly be dead yet, you useless
His eyes opened sluggishly.
"Fullmetal?" He managed.
voice turned approving. "There we go. Let's see now..." There was some
quiet movement and a slightly dusty Edward Elric came round to face
him. The smaller Alchemist paled when he saw Roy's fingers and reached
out to them.
Roy couldn't help flinching,
Ed swallowed, pulling his hand away before contact. “That looks pretty
painful.” He looked away briefly, then turned back and used the
transmuted blade on his automail arm to cut through the remaining ropes
binding Roy's arms and legs to the chair. "But fixable I think. You
won't be signing any bits of paper for a while though. Lieutenant
Hawkeye will be devastated."
around, "She's okay. Havoc's in surgery, but they say he should
recover. Now come on, we have to get out of here. Stand up."
mentally catalogued his injuries and tried to force his eyes to focus
again. "I... don't think I can..." he said finally. "Can't think
properly... blood loss..."
"Well you're going to have to!" Ed
hissed impatiently. "I can't carry you, you're too big."
call me short! I just crawled through about five miles of ventilation
shaft for you, the least you could do is be polite." Ed lowered his
voice and paused, listening. "Okay, I think we're still clear. Look
Colonel; Al, Major Armstrong, Hughes, Hawkeye and most of East HQ are
outside waiting to storm the place, but there's eight of these bastards
still in here and they're armed to the teeth. The first thing they'll
do when we attack is try to finish you off, so I have to get you
somewhere safe BEFORE the rescue force can come in."
"How did you find me?" Roy asked.
tell you later. It's actually quite a funny story, especially the part
in the fish market. In the meantime, if you’ll just stand up, I'll make
us a door and we can move to another section of the building. Then I'll
signal the others to come in." He yanked on Roy's arm impatiently.
"Come on, up you get. You've still got legs, haven't you?"
bit back a curse at the pain caused by Ed's rough treatment and slowly
got to his feet, using his elbows for leverage, and holding his hands
out carefully in front of him. He took a step and stumbled... No, if I fall... hands... can't catch
small body interposed itself between him and the floor, and Ed grunted
as he caught the weight of his Colonel. He braced himself against the
floor and gradually managed to push Roy into something resembling an
upright position. Roy wavered and grabbed for Ed, collapsing most of
his weight onto him.
"Okay, you can lean on me then," Ed
said quietly. "Just head for that wall over there."
they staggered towards it, wincing at every step - Roy from the pain,
Ed at the noise they were making. They were only crossing a relatively
small room, but it felt endless.
In his confused state, Roy
found himself trying to imagine what they must look like as the ground
tried to weave away beneath him.
The height disparity meant
that he was partially bent over, half-sprawled across Fullmetal's
shoulders, his forearms held carefully out in front of Ed's face to
prevent his fingers from coming into contact with anything. Ed had put
his arms around Roy's waist in an attempt to keep him upright, and was
half-dragging him as they walked. Unfortunately he was also clearly
having difficulty balancing Roy's additional weight and was being
pushed in a peculiar kind of diagonal shuffle step. It suddenly
occurred to Roy that they must look like two drunken sailors, and he
"Glad to see you've still got your
sense of humour," Ed grumbled. "Hey, stop resting on my head!"
"Sorry..." Roy gasped. "Nearly
grunted, "Just... don't fall over." He carefully released his tight
hold on Roy, quickly and quietly clapped his hands together and pressed
them against the wall. A small door appeared, which he opened, and the
two men staggered through it.
Roy stumbled and went to one knee
with a painful jolt.
Ed bit back a curse. "Hang on a
clap and the door was a wall once more. Then Ed was yanking at Roy
again. "Get up Colonel. That won't hold them long enough. Come on, get
your high-ranking rear into gear!"
Chivying and half-dragging
Roy, Ed managed to get them through another two sets of rooms before
stopping when Roy’s leg gave out on him completely. "Guess this'll have
to do," he grumbled. "Hang on, I'll seal us in and send a signal."
collapsed wearily on the ground as Ed used his power to seal the doors.
"Let's just hope they don't have any explosives," he said, looking at
them doubtfully. "Okay, I'm gonna call the others now."
Another burst of Alchemic power
produced a small speaker-tube, into which Ed coughed. "Hey. Can you
We're in the room three down from where the Colonel was being held. I
can't move him any further by myself, so this will have to do."
"Ed, it's Hughes. What's the Colonel's
glanced at Roy. "He's ummm... he's not so good. Nothing
life-threatening I think. He's been shot through the thigh and lost a
fair amount of blood, and he's got a really ugly bump on his head which
is giving him a few problems. And uh... they broke all his fingers."
There was a long silence.
"Right. We're coming in now. Stay
where you are until we get there."
Ed headed over to Roy. "How's your leg?" He took off his coat and
covered Roy with it, then moved down to check the bandage. "Hmph,
you're bleeding again."
"Oh dear, I'm TERRIBLY sorry," Roy
said snarkily. "Please DO excuse me."
Ed grinned. "If you're back to
using sarcasm you can't be that badly injured."
Roy laughed weakly, and then wished
he hadn't. "Please, don't make me laugh. Head hurts."
was a loud explosion and the ground shook. Roy gritted his teeth as
small bits of the ceiling showered down upon the pair.
Ed glanced upwards nervously.
"Let's hope they don't bring the building down on us."
just closed his eyes. There was another massive explosion, and more
plaster rained down, but this time Roy felt very little land on him. He
opened his eyes and was surprised to find Ed crouching over him, trying
to shield him with his body.
"What?" Ed said defensively.
Roy just smiled, "Nothing."
"How's your head?"
"Clearing a little. Lying down is
They both tensed at the sound of
"Damn," Ed bit his lip. "Hurry up
"You'd better move into a position
where you can fight," Roy said. "In case they find us."
"What about you?"
can I do? Bite their ankles?" He pointed out. "I don't have any
weapons, and I couldn't use them even if I did. It's better if you be
prepared for an attack, instead of wasting time and energy protecting
me from minor discomfort."
"You don't get to lie there doing
nothing while I
do all the work," Ed said in an annoyed tone. "An Alchemist adapts to
his situation. YOU taught me that." He started fiddling with the
bandage on Roy’s leg again.
"Glad you've learned SOMETHING from
me," Roy grumbled. "What ARE you doing?"
"Drawing an array," Ed replied.
"With my blood?" Roy objected, as
Ed carefully 'inked' his finger using Roy's wound.
don't have any chalk on me," Ed admitted. "And we use the materials
available, right? Don't worry, it's not the first time I've used blood,
it'll work fine. And... there we go." He finished and reached for Roy's
right hand. "Carefully now..."
He lifted it gently and Roy bit his
lip to keep from crying out as Ed placed it gently on the array.
he said with satisfaction. "You know, just in case.” He averted his
eyes from Roy’s body and tried to regain his normal attitude. “You DO
know how to use it with only one hand, right?"
Roy managed to find the strength to
glare at Ed, who turned back in time to catch it, and grinned back at
There were more gunshots and the
sounds of angry shouting.
"I think they've noticed you're
gone," Ed said, standing and transforming his arm back into a blade.
Roy smiled wearily, "It's a burden
being so popular sometimes."
Ed rolled his eyes, "I wonder if
even an explosion would dent your ego."
There was a loud slamming sound and
the door shuddered.
"Damn," Ed drew back his arm and
prepared to attack. "Get ready."
had no time to respond before the door was struck again, this time with
more force. Ed snuck over to the door and listened carefully for a
second, then dived quickly to the ground as a round of bullets were
fired through the door at the halfway mark.
"We're coming for
you murderer!" A voice yelled, and a foot kicked through the door at
the weakened point. Ed surged to his feet and sliced at the leg as it
withdrew, drawing blood and a scream of pain from his opponent.
“Shit. HEY! I COULD USE SOME HELP
HERE!” He yelled as loudly as he could. “AL! HUGHES!”
“Get him! Kill the murderer!”
Another voice howled.
“AL!” Ed roared, just as a gun
fired through the door again, this time strafing downwards and barely
“Hey, no picking on the wounded old
grinned and attacked, stabbing repeatedly through the door. He heard a
clink as his blade encountered another, and then ducked as someone
tried to pick him off through the almost-broken-open door. Lunging
forward he stabbed through the wall this time. His blade came back with
blood on it.
“I think most of them are out there
now. ALLLLLLL!!! HUGHES! I’m gonna regret this one... MAJOR
Distantly, they could hear a faint,
took cover again as more bullets were fired. “That door’s not gonna
hold much longer. If they get in, it’s all over.” He glanced over at
Roy. “Can you take them out?”
Roy stared at him as Ed drew back
his arm, and slashed it down across his own body, clanging the blade
off his automail leg. Sparks flew from the contact and Roy’s eyes
widened. His broken fingers twitched over the array and it glowed
Flames erupted in a line from Ed to
the door, and then
blasted out into the corridor. Roy twitched again at the screams and
his power faded instantly. Ed threw himself through the remains of the
door and attacked anyone still moving, doing his best not to
permanently injure them.
cavalry arrived in the form of Al and Major Armstrong, who quickly and
easily subdued the few remaining enemies. Ed took a breather while they
worked, retreating back into the room where Roy lay.
“So you finally did something
useful,” he mocked. “It’s about time you lent a hand, instead of
getting ME to do all the work!”
Roy just smirked at him,
“Fullmetal, right now, between the two of us, I think one working hand
is about all we can manage!”
Epilogue (Three Days Later)
There was a brief knock at the
door, which then swung inward as Ed poked his head around it. "Hello?"
Roy, comfortably propped up in the
hospital bed, gave him a heavily bandaged wave. "Enter," he said
"You're looking better," Ed
observed, as he pushed the door open fully and walked in, Alphonse a
step behind him.
"We brought you some fruit," Al
said, holding up a basket.
"That's very kind of you," Roy
said. "Please put it on the table."
Ed and Al stared at the massive
pile of fruit, flowers, chocolates and get well cards that covered the
"Where?" Ed demanded. "I think if
we put one more item on this pile it will collapse."
"Umm... I'll just put it underneath the table," Al said. "That should be
Ed was nosily browsing some of the
cards and noting who they were from. "Angelina, Ruth, Elizabeth,
Roy smiled at him sweetly,
"Huh," Ed wandered over to Roy and
looked him over narrowly. "And how is the quality of nursing here,
Roy just smirked.
"That's what I thought," Ed shook
his head. "Sheesh, even when you lose, you win."
just so happy that all of these people wish to see me," Roy said with
mock-humility. "It's an indication of my worth as a leader."
Ed muttered something rude.
"Anyway, we just came by quickly to see how you were doing."
shrugged. "On the mend. My fingers will probably take the longest to
heal, but I should be snapping them again in a few weeks."
if not, you could always have them replaced with flint-tipped automail
ones," Ed remarked snidely. "You could be the Partialmetal Alchemist."
made a face. "Don't give me nightmares. Anyway, shouldn't you be
leaving for your next mission? I distinctly recall issuing your orders
the other day."
"Yes sir, we're heading off on
Goose Chase right away," Ed grouched. "Enjoy your bed rest and nurses
while we’re gone."
"Oh, I will," Roy assured him.
"Are you teasing the poor sick
Colonel?" Hughes entered the room, carrying a large pile of books.
"Shame on you boys!"
"Yes, shame on you," Roy echoed
happily. Ed however, was too busy staring at Hughes' burden.
"Um... Major Hughes," he started, a
small smile growing on his face, "Might those be photograph albums?"
yes Edward!" Hughes grinned. "I thought that, since the Colonel was
laid up in bed with nothing to do, I would keep him company. And what
better to while away the hours than going through the photos of my
darling daughter, Alicia!"
Roy went very pale as an evil grin
spread across Ed's face.
"That's... very kind of you,
Hughes." Roy said, "But as you can see, Ed and Al are here to keep me
"But we're JUST leaving," Ed said
hurriedly. "We have an important mission to head out on, isn't that
Al nodded and apologised to Hughes
for having to leave so suddenly.
While he did so, Roy hissed at Ed,
"Draw me another transmutation array!"
But I still don't have any chalk on me... and I couldn't possibly open
your wound and use your blood again," Ed said maliciously. "That would
be assaulting my commanding officer. Now you just lie back and rest,
and we'll see you in a few weeks. Possibly months."
"BYE Colonel!" Ed zipped past
Hughes and grabbed Al. "Get well soon!"
"Okay, let's start with volume one!"
Cackling evilly, Ed dragged his
brother away and off on their next mission.
*explaining fic to long-suffering husband* And I thought, if they broke
all his fingers, he wouldn't be able to snap his fingers and use his
Guy: You don't need to break all of
Jaelle: ... Huh?
Guy: You just need to do the thumb
and middle finger.
Guy: Actually, you really only need
to do the thumb, mechanically speaking.
Jaelle: ... That's not the point!
Guy: I'm just saying.
Jaelle: I don't care! I'm still
breaking all of them!
Guy: Okay, but you don't need to.
Jaelle: But it sounds BETTER if
they're ALL broken.
Guy: Yes dear.
Hanse (inside Jaelle's head): Also,
he could probably get a spark from the gunfire, he doesn't need Ed to
Jaelle: You shut up too!
Hanse: Yes dear.
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