A Sinner's Desires
Edward had been out of the hospital for a few days now. I had already fixed his left port, though it was painfully slow diagnosing the problem in the first place. Its was nothing big, just some crossed and shot wires.
I couldn't help but think about what Edward had promised me. What special surprise would he treat me to? Maybe dinner, or even- I was caught by surprise when I ran into Ed's back. He had been walking ahead of me, but was now stopped and staring off to his right.
"Hey Winry." I couldn't help but notice that his eyes held a distant stare. There was…conflict.
"What is it?" I asked in a questioning tone.
"This is fifth Avenue, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is."
"Then this is the place." Edward sighed. I could only watch as he continued down the sidewalk. I looked up, finding a small sign announcing 'Central Dinner.' What was Ed so exasperated about? It's just a dinner right? I followed in suit of Ed's fleeing figure. The rest of the way was shrouded in a deafening silence.
We soon reached the military dorms. Ed grabbed the door knob, but hesitated. Slowly, he opened the door to his and Al's apartment.
After convincing Winry that everything was alright and that I would be ok by myself, I was at last alone. Alone and lonely. Al was still missing, and as to how a seven foot tall suit of armor just up and disappears, I had no idea. I sat down on the couch. My body still hurt, but not nearly as much as before. It was hard to believe that tomorrow would he the fourth day. The day I met up with Lust. If I didn't show tomorrow, who knows what the women would do.
I found my eye lids closing, trying to stay awake. Finally, giving into sleep, I made my way into our bedroom. Mine and Al's. The many nights we had stayed up late talking, reminiscing, or merely enjoying the company of one another in silence came flooding back. Before my emotions could get the better of me, I removed my boots and could have cared less that I had yet to change out of my clothes before I climbed into bed. Pulling the one blanket we owned over my body, my eyes heavy, I fell asleep instantly as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Hawkeye, Breda, Havoc, and Furey, were all present. With all officers in attendance, I had failed to notice the absence of one individual: Fullmetal.
The office door opened slowly, Edwards small form barely filling the frame of the door.
"Edward, I'm glad to see your feeling-" Hawkeye hesitated- "better." Edward was noticeably limping, applying most of his body weight on his right leg. I sighed heavily, resting my face in my hands, my elbows resting heavily on my desk.
"I told- no. I ordered you to not return to work until you were completely healed. Can you not even follow that one simple order Ed-Fullmetal." I had wanted to call him 'Edward.' His name. I had never felt the urge to address him this way before. Fullmetal looked up at me in surprise, his eyes meeting mine.
"It's- it's just my ports, alright?" the boy stuttered. He made his way slowly over to the one empty remaining desk. I could see the relief flood over Ed's complexion as he took a seat, visibly relaxing his left leg. His right arm also hung loosely at his side. I stood, and made my exit briskly.
"I'll be back shortly," I stated flatly, and closed the door behind me. I needed fresh air. I needed to think. I could still feel Hawkeye's eyes watching me with concern. After taking many turns down never-ending hallways, I reached the large oak doors leading outside. I was enveloped by the crisp, morning air. It was colder than I remembered. I couldn't help but remember; remember my unforgivable mistake. I had shot my very own subordinate. Me, his commanding officer. How could he just waltz right back into the office as if nothing had happened? Not only that but his brother was currently missing in action as well. And automail. It couldn't be a fun addition to the list.
'And I thought I had a rough time,' I muttered to myself. Edward had said his ports were hurting him, and now I understood. The cold. Of course. Really, how stupid could I be. I wanted more than anything to curl up in a ball and hide for a very, very long time.
I still couldn't believe that he had sent me home. The bastard was pissing me off, (again). Didn't he get it? I didn't want to be home. Not with out Alphonse. I checked the time in my pocket watch for the fifth time since I started my walk home. Almost six o'clock. With almost a full three hours to wait, I sighed and closed my watch.
Unfortunately, in no time I had reached the dorms. Entering my apartment, i headed straight for my bed. I was ready to hide; hide from my pained emotions, my confused mind, and a certain armors absence.
I had been sleeping peacefully before my alarm went off. It was nine o'clock. Great. Somehow I found the will power to get out of bed. After braiding my hair, which was a mess, I slipped my feet into my boots. I was then out the door and on my way to fifth Avenue.
I entered the dinner exactly twenty minutes later. The waitress at the door wore a smile on her face. A forced smile. She asked me how many would be joining me, I replied with 'two.' She sat me in a booth on the far wall, mostly hidden from view of the large window front. I realized for the first time that I had no idea how Lust would find me. She had merely given me a time and place. Nothing else.
"Is this seat taken?"
Looking up, a rather tall women with black hair and a fair completion stood at my table. She wore a slender, tight fitting black cocktail dress. It was a simple attire, yet complimenting to her figure.
"Of course not." I smirked. "Lust." She grinned back in her usual seductive manner.
"You saw through my facade rather quickly. Even with my ouroboros tattoo covered. I'm impressed, Edward." The tone in which she said my name sent shivers down my spine.
"Your face is one you don't forget," I stated flatly. "Now what do what me to do? That is why i'm here, isn't it?"
"Straight to the point I see. Fair enough,"Lust locked her hands together, interlocking her fingers gracefully. "You'll be starting your research as of tomorrow. And don't try anything funny. You know what's at stake."
"So you really have it then, the stone?" I asked, trying to hide the doubt in my voice. Lust only scoffed.
"Of course. Why, you don't trust me, do you Fullmetal?"
'Well you only locked me up and kidnapped me,' I wanted to say, but held my tongue.
"Of course I do." She laughed at this.
"If only trust was won so easily, then maybe I might believe you. Here, trust me now?" Lust slightly tugged a small vile filled with a crimson red substance from her…'dress'…pushing it back into 'place.'
"Besides, why would I lie to you? I have something to lose also. My chance at human life."
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Chapter 4: The Taboo Results
It was a quiet day in the office. Too quiet. Looking up from my paper work, I could see that everybody was here; Breda, Hawkeye, Furey, Havoc, and…Fullmetal. Of course.
"I'm assuming that none of you would happen to know where Fullmetal is?" I was met with four unknowing stares.
"I assumed you knew Colonel," Riza responded. I sighed.
"He's probably getting him self into trouble. You know the Chief can't sit still for more than a few seconds," Havoc smirked, smiling around the lit cigarette in his mouth.
"You got that right! Knowing him, well be getting a call any minute to go bail his ass out of trouble. Probably another buildings my guess," Breda said with a slight hint of playfulness in his voice (but also serious). The phone rang, disrupting conversation.
"Bet you a steak dinner and and a beer that it's Ed," Havoc whispered to Breda, though not quiet enough.
"I bet it's Fullmetal AND that he's in way over his head," I said smugly. Leaning back in my chair, I picked up the phone, placing it to my ear.
"Colonel Roy Mustang's office," I spoke into the receiver.
"Mustang?" It was Edward.
"Ah, Fullmetal. It's nice to hear your still alive. I see you've decided not to come in today."
"I'm taking it easy, just like you told me to. I thought I'd spend some time at the library today. I thought you might like to know." I couldn't formulate a response. Ed was actually going take a day to himself and rest. This wasn't like him.
"I'll see you tomorrow then." I placed the phone back on the hook.
"Well Colonel? What the verdict?" asked Breda and Havoc, both men nearly falling out of their seats in anticipation.
"Fullmetal's taking the day off to rest up and take it easy," I hesitated, "And I will be buying you both a steak dinner and a beer." I rested my head in my hands. The two men jumped from their seats and in victorious cry, proceed to whoop and yell. The one time Edward decided to actually behave himself and not blow anything up, I'm the one that gets the short end of the stick. Karma's a pain in the ass.
I saw him walking down third Avenue.
'Just as Lust said. So predictable.' I thought to myself. Lust said she would watch the pipsqueak, but, something was off about her. It was the look in her eyes that troubled me. Her motives for making a deal with Fullmetal in the first place was her business, as long as she followed through on her end; as long as I got what I had been promised.
It had been some time sense I had been to the Central library. If only it was a trip of luxury. I was here for one reason, and one reason only: Lust. I walked up the never ending stairs to the first branch library. Walking through the large mahogany doors, I approached the front desk. I was greeted by a women, no older than thirty as she met my eyes.
"I think you are in the wrong place, this is the first branch. Only state alchemists are permitted entrance," the women said. "Can I help you find where you are going?" I smirked
"Yeah. You can. I'd love if you would 'permit' me entrance." I said smugly, taking my pocket watch from my pants pocket and placing it on the counter. The women stared with a blank expression on her face. "I have some business I need to tend to."
"Of-of course sir. I apologize for the misunderstanding earlier," she said in a uncertain and confused voice. I began to walk away, towards the library room, but stopped and turned.
"I forgot to sign in. My name's-"
"Edward Elric. The youngest state alchemist in history." The women smiled from ear to ear. "Not to worry. I've already signed you in. Best of luck finding what you're looking for."
The irony of her last statement was enough to make me smile; smile at the ambiguity of it. I was looking for the long awaited answer me and Al sought. But now I was also looking for the same answer, but for our enemy as well. While our situations varied, our desires were very similar.
Entering through another double mahogany door, I was welcomed by another individual behind a desk.
"Can I help you with anything sir?" the man asked. I politely declined his offer for help and made my way over to aisle seven: Alchemy. I started searching through the books one by one, reading each title on their spine. I had no idea as to how I should start. No leads, and no clue what would be a good place to begin. I grabbed a book and sat down where I was. This was as good a start as any, "Alchemy's Myths and Taboos."
I threw the book I held in my hands to the floor. I had to have already read fifty or so books and still nothing. I looked at the clock: eight fiffty-five. I had five minutes till closing. As I put my pile of books back, one by one, my mind wondered to one possibility I had overlooked. Having tried it once, me and Alphonse were still paying for it dearly. What would Al say if he were here and knew what I was thinking? He would stop me. I knew better than to consider this, but what if human transmutation was the only answer to complete our deal and acquire the stone?