The Sin From Which All Others Arise

A FMA Fanfic

By Jaelle




Disclaimer: So not mine.

Rating: PG-13.

Warnings: Angst/Drama. Character death.

Spoilers: Up to ep 26, kinda. I hadn't seen any further before I wrote this, so any subsequent disproval of my theories is, well, unfortunate. This is why Anger is called Anger and not Wrath. Oh well.

Pairings: None.



It wasn't so bad, going like this, Edward Elric thought as the light began to overwhelm him. The others had gone faster, and with more screaming, but he felt quite peaceful with the whole thing. Which was only fair.

He had been the one to plan this, after all.

**

In the room, two figures held each other while another shook his head at them sadly.

"I'm very sorry, but I must agree with the diagnosis of your first two doctors. You can't have children."

"No, that's not... that can't be right..." The woman denied, almost pleading for him to change the words he'd spoken.

The man exploded in rage. "Damn it, we paid a lot of money to see you! What good is your medicine if you can't help us?"

The woman caught his arm, "Darling, don't..."

Standing up, the man dragged the woman out of the room and hustled her down the street.

"Ignore that idiot, we WILL have a child together."

"Yes."


**

It hadn't been easy either. Years of work spent setting everything up, getting all the pieces into place. Years of keeping secrets and biting back the words he truly wanted to say. Years of fighting losing battles and hopeless causes, all to lead up to this one moment.

And it had all paid off, in spades.

He'd barely been able to keep from laughing at the horrified expression on Mustang's face when he'd calmly walked over to join his father and the others. He hadn't been able to believe that the Fullmetal Alchemist, friend of the common man, would turn his back on them all and join with the homunculi.

**

The door creaked open and the woman turned, smiling. "Welcome home darling! Oh, what's that you've got... a baby!"

The man held it out almost shyly. "He's ours. Yours and mine."

"But where did you...?" The woman stared at the tiny bundle.

"He's ours," the man emphasised. "We made him together. You and I."

The woman wavered briefly, before taking the child from him. "But... oh! He's so small! Look! He smiled at me. Do you think he likes me?" Her voice became quieter as she spoke, her resistance fading.

The man smiled.

"Of course. All boys love their mother."


**

Even Scar had lost his normally impassive expression at his betrayal for a second, before trying to kill him. Gluttony had stopped him, naturally, but Ed had called him off before he killed him.

"Let him live," he'd called. "Just long enough to watch the death of his god, and the end of his people!"

The shocked reaction from everyone else when Gluttony had instantly obeyed had been priceless. The shorter man had ambled over to Ed and leaned against him, begging for praise, and Ed had gently stroked his head. Lust had draped herself over both of them, making various insinuating comments about being together again. Envy had sulked, as usual, annoyed at losing his audience, whilst Greed had been too busy focusing on Hoenheim's promises of the future. Anger had had to be chained up again to prevent him from going on a massive rampage ("Not yet little one," Edward had whispered. "Not yet.") Sloth merely watched, as always.

**

The woman burst through the door and flung herself into the man's arms. "Darling... I have the most wonderful news! I'm pregnant!"

The man stiffened. "What?! Pregnant?!!"

"Yes! Here, touch me... can you feel that?" She held his hand to her belly, glowing with joy. "That's our child, growing. A second child! We're so blessed." She almost danced away from him and picked up the baby lying on a blanket on the floor.

"Do you hear that Edward? You're going to be a big brother!"


**

Hoenheim had then proceeded to blather on for what seemed like hours to his captive audience. It had taken all of Edward's self-control not to make rude comments as the man expounded on his theories of human transmutation (wrong), the origin of the homunculi (wrong), and his master plan for the fate of the world (interesting, though ultimately flawed). Instead he relaxed inside the circle, quietly dividing his attention between placating Gluttony and calming Anger. Occasionally Sloth would come over and gently run her fingers through his hair. Winry's fits of crying always seemed to worsen whenever that happened.

**

The man left the woman and their children eventually. He had to find out if what he suspected was true. If it was, it would change everything.

Fires lit in his eyes, and blinded him to the family left behind.


**

He had to give them all credit. Their final, last-ditch attempt to stop Hoenheim's plan was impressive. Scar and Izumi-sensei worked well together, and even Pinako snatched up a weapon to help while Winry threw rocks with deadly accuracy. Mustang and Armstrong were the strongest fighters, but DaiSoutou Bradley proved that it was not merely the abilities of the homunculi that had put him in charge. He'd been a great fighter, right to the end.

Idly, Ed noted that the great outer circle of the array seemed to be getting closer to him. But he felt too relaxed to move. If only whoever it was that was yelling would shut up. He hadn't thought anyone was left alive. They were all supposed to be dead by now. Had he failed? Ridiculous. This plan could not fail!

**

It was taboo to attempt to bring humans back to life.

But when faced with overwhelming loss, some would dare anything.

The two boys dared. And failed. And were punished.


**

And so the array had been activated, and the homunculi had waited for their moment. Hoenheim beamed as the remaining fighters were forced back by the power and had spread his arms wide, preparing to proclaim another ridiculous statement.

Then the colour of the Alchemy had changed.

**

"What's going on? What's happening? Ed! ED!!"

"Get back! It's too late, he's lost."

"I can't believe he would do that! ED!!! Ed, you stupid..."

"Down!"


**

And the light had come upon them. Hoenheim and the others had stared at it in amazement and the beginnings of fear.

"This isn't right! This isn't right!"

They'd all turned when he'd started laughing, finally able to give in to his own desires. "Oh dear, I wonder what on earth could have happened?" He'd said mockingly, in-between evil cackles. "Looks like your great plan isn't so great after all, Hoenheim-sama. But naturally I could see through it. I am after all Edward Elric, the famous Fullmetal Alchemist!"

And then he'd clapped his hands together and opened the second array. A giant circle of light in the sky, a gyroscope of pure power. Reaching one hand up to it, he'd given them the widest smirk of his life, and set it spinning.

**

Two brothers fought mercenaries side by side, but divided by misunderstanding.

"Brother, am I real? Am I something you created?"

"That wasn't what I was going to say. I had to ask... do you hate me for this? Because it was my fault?"


**

On its first pass, it had sliced clear through Anger, destroying him instantly. It was the least Edward could do for the youngest sin.

**

"I don't hate you brother."

**

"I'm sorry Anger." He was surprised to find that it was true. "But we are what we were meant to be."

The others fought and screamed and died as the arrays turned and heaven itself unlocked before them, bathing them in its light which burnt and tore them away. His father died too, caught in a rebound effect he seemed almost to explode, in a manner vaguely resembling the creature that Ed and Al had created the first time they'd tried human transmutation. Ed didn't really care by that point. He had something more important to do.

**

The shorter boy pointed at the armour hosting the soul of his little brother.

"I promise. I will return you to your real body."


**

It had hurt, a lot, focusing the power through himself. Even for just a second. He could hear the others screaming something at him, but it didn't matter. Nothing mattered except for the large suit of armour standing just outside the circle. Ed stretched through the globe of the array and put his hands on either side of the figure.

**

As the Array took Envy, he'd screamed and reached out for Edward. "Brother! Save me!"

Ed stared at the begging homunculus.

"I only have one brother!"


**

"Alphonse."

Alchemy glowed and brightened, the armour shrunk inward upon itself and for one brief moment Edward and Alphonse Elric stared at each other, finally whole. Then the light shone harder and Ed was drawn back into the whirlpool of destruction he'd created.

**

"Scar-san, Mustang-taisa, Izumi-sensei, Winry, Pinako, everyone... please take care of Al."

"NII-SAN!"


**

As the Array collapsed down on him one last time, Ed wondered if he'd done the right thing. He wondered if it could have happened differently. Perhaps if he'd told the others the truth, trusted in them to help him, to help Alphonse, then maybe it wouldn't have had to end this way.

The Array on the ground flared, and the wheel in the sky crashed down to meet it. Ed watched it come towards him and smiled briefly. No, he couldn't have done it any other way. Trust in someone else to see it through? To help HIM? He didn't need their help. He didn't need anyone's help. Oh yes, perhaps with the aid of the others he might have survived, might have gotten to live a long, happy life with his restored brother. But he didn't think so.

Pride had always been his own downfall.

End.

A/N: Argh!!! This is one of those fics you have to write and get out QUICKLY before the anime and/or manga kicks all the theories in it into teeny tiny little pieces. Consequently this is a quickie fic for me. Little editing, and a bit of a rush job in general. Sorry. Babble explanation follows:

This fic came from a variety of weird ideas swirling around in my head. Mostly from my own theories about Hoenheim (recently destroyed by the "awakening" of Greed and the implications that the Sins are older than I thought - damn it), and from a recurring mental image I've been having of Ed creating an array in mid-air (I've been thinking about this for about three weeks now, I just didn't know why). Also I've been seeing a lot of things (anime, books etc) wherein people are always manipulating the main character into doing things, usually under the guise of "guidance" and I was all, "Wouldn't it be great if the main character actually knew about it and was just going along with it to cover up their own sneaky angles? Just to prove that they don't really need these other peoples "guidance"."

Then I started thinking about, "What if Ed is a homunculus?" cos it's way scary some of the things he can do (despite the fact that the others can't do Alchemy. Never mind, er, it's cos Hoenheim's method was different. Yeah, that's it). And so I looked up the sins (they're like the seven dwarfs - you can only ever remember six of them) and the INSTANT I saw Pride I thought - "THAT'S HIM!" And then the last line of the fic came into my head and I knew I had to write it. Yes, sometimes I write entire stories just so that I can use one line or scene. I'm strange like that.

If you're wondering why I immediately thought of Ed when I saw Pride (and where the title for this story came from), this is why:

From Seven Deadly Sins: http://deadlysins.com/sins/index.htm

"Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity."

And apparently the opposing Heavenly Virtue for Pride is Faith. Which just seems so unimaginably perfect for Ed (the Contrary Virtue is Humility, which was less interesting). And now I'm hoping that I'm wrong, wrong, wrong on this angle, because it seems a little TOO unimaginably perfect. At the moment, I've seen up to episode 26 of the anime (excluding episode 23, haven't gotten it yet). I saw the new opening last night and suspected strongly that we'll be seeing more of the apparent new sins, and if Anger and Pride are among them then so much the better! I'll happily be disproven on this issue!

(Incidentally, the punishment in Hell for Pride is to be broken on the wheel. My head instantly threw up the gyroscoping Array image again. I hate it when fact and mental images collide.)

And yes, I know it sounded a bit like Anger was Al, that was intentional. As for why he's the youngest sin, I'm not sure. But after I'd finished the story and was wondering about that part, a little voice in my head said, "Oh, it's cos he's new. The old Anger was Scar's older brother. This one's the replacement."

The voices in my head scare me sometimes.



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