Bad Luck's Beginning
Edward ignored the sharp sound of his heavy boots as he moved over the ceramic flooring, eyes on the door just ahead. He kicked out, smashing to door into the wall as his golden blonde hair fell into his face. “Where’s the Colonel Bastard!” He stepped forward, his red coat billowing behind him as he venomously scanned the room.
The four occupants of the room turned to Edward, their expressions clearly showing exasperation, with a hint of fear. Riza Hawkeye, an older woman whom Edward found himself often respecting, stood. Her long blonde hair was neatly tied up to resemble a bird’s tail and, as usual, her short bangs parted on the left, gracing her face. She walked around the desks toward Edward, holding a packet of documents under one of her arms. Her blue army uniform sat around her form snugly, but Edward ignored it, used to seeing the military officer in such attire.
“The colonel is currently in an impromptu meeting. He should be out in about a half hour. He asked me to tell you to remain here until he was done,” Riza explained formally. Edward turned his scowl into a glower before bringing his hand up to his face and letting out a long groan.
“Of course he would be out! That stupid bastard,” he mumbled under his breath.
“Edward. I would ask that you refrain from calling the colonel that… especially when the door is still wide open,” Riza stated glancing to the door way. Ed pursed his lips then turned to close the entrance.
“Chief! What’s got you all worked up this morning? Finally found a girl?” Jean Havoc said leaning back casually in his seat. His blonde hair resembled a star burst in the front with the rest combed back into place, it looked strange to Edward, but he didn’t feel any need to say anything. A cigarette dangled haphazardly between havoc's lips as he gestured vaguely in Edward's direction.
“Of course not! I’m not like you! And anyway, it’s the bastards fault, he called me here!” Edward shouted, frown firmly in place. His arms were crossed over his chest as indignation raced through his veins. Damn that stupid colonel, dragging him here for no apparent reason. Jean just laughed, ignoring as Edward sent him a threatening look.
“Second Lieutenant, haven’t I told you before not to smoke in the office? And don’t you have some paper work to finish?” Riza said, the click of the safety unlocking on a gun caused Jean to freeze for a second. He quickly took the cigarette out of his mouth.
“Ah… haha… I was just about to do that,” he said, putting it out as he glanced nervously at Riza, who simply nodded. The click of the safety slipping back into place allowed the group to relax.
Ed walked forward, no longer stomping across the floor like a stampede of elephants as Al would like to call it. He passed the desks for the bastards subordinates and sat down on a leather couch, situated in front of the main desk, which was still empty of any occupants.
The room was quiet except for the scratch of pen against paper and the occasional murmur of resentment… or resignation at the tasks that needed to be done. Ed sighed in annoyance, letting his arms dangle over the back of the coach.
A little while later Riza came over handing him a cup of tea. “I thought you might be thirst.”
“Thank you lieutenant Hawkeye,” Ed acknowledged, taking the warm cup in his hands. Hawkeye nodded and headed back to her seat.
He blew on the tea until he was satisfied, and then took a sip. It was good, a little bitter but still sweet due to the honey that was mixed in. It tasted like apple cinnamon. He began to calm down, drinking the tea gratefully. It was a rough day. Thinking back, it began when the bastard called him at some ungodly hour of the morning, just to tell him he needed to meet with him later.
He tried to fall back to sleep, but couldn’t, so after tossing and turning for what felt like hours he finally gave up. He got up to Al questioning him on why he was awake.
He was unable to respond to his brother, too tired to converse with him. Al quickly understood and remained silent for the time.
Ed went to get out of bed, just to find that the sheets were tangled around his legs. Unable to catch himself, he fell face first onto the floor with a loud thud.
“Brother!” Alphonse shouted, his young voice resonating in the large armor.
“I’m fine,” Ed called, messaging his face. Luckily nothing was broken, much to his relief. After getting untangled he stood up to get his clothes. He walked toward the dresser and then internally cursed as he tripped on the wood floor and smashed his left shoulder into the corner of the dresser, causing a sharp pain to shoot up his arm. He gritted his teeth, frowning. His head was beginning to hurt from its meeting with the floor and now his shoulder stung. He continued cursing under his breath as he got changed, much to Al’s chagrin.
“Brother… are you sure you’re okay?” Al asked again looking at Ed with his soulful red eyes.
“Yes Al. I’m fine,” Ed said, glancing over toward his brother.
Al sighed in response. “If you say so…”
After a few more mishaps with clumsiness they were finally out the door heading toward the bastards office. Along the way he was, somehow, mistaken as a girl and was hit on by a group of guys.
“Hey! Want to come over? I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun.” A voice sounded from behind Ed and Al. They kept walking, thinking that the person was talking to someone else. “Hey! The girl in the red alchemic coat, why don’t you come here!” Ed froze. Al seemed to have noticed his reaction, because he slowly backed away, hands up. Edward only recalled that afterward though.
“What did you call me?” Ed seethed under his breath, feeling a vein pop. He turned to see it was a group of boys a bit older then Ed. The leader was smirking.
“A girl… what did you think I was talking about, petite princess?” Edward decided enough was enough as something snapped.
“WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SMALL THAT THEY WOULD NEED TO LOOK THROUGH A HUNDRED POWER MICROSCOPE TO SEE THEM, YOU BASTARDS!” The shout caught the boys off guard as Edward fully turned on them, radiating an aura that would have made the devil quake in fear, or so Al has told him, he was a bit preoccupied at the time. Within moments the group was on the ground, Ed pummeling them to within an inch of their life. Al covered his eyes. After the sounds stopped, he spread his fingers, looking through the holes in his hands. Ed got up and was clapping his hands, feeling as if he’d finished a job well done. He no longer felt as furious, and noticed Al’s relief at that. He felt a little bad for worrying his brother, but those assholes had it coming to them. The boys were heavily beaten, but they were well enough to flee for their lives, puddles of liquid visible where they fell.
“So, shall we get breakfast?” Ed asked smiling at his brother. Al nodded a little nervously. They walked forward heading toward one of the many food vendors on the street and went to order. Ed reached into his pocket and then froze. Al glanced over at him, obviously confused by the action. He must have noticed Edward’s horror, for his confusion morphed to exasperation.
“Brother… did you forget to bring money again?”
“Of course not! Haha…. Why would you think that?” Ed interjected, not looking at Al at all. Al sighed and just shook his head with a quiet chuckle.
Ed, hearing the small sound, glanced over in confusion. “Al, did you say something?”
“Nope,” Al sang.
Ed frowned, sensing the smile behind the word. He sighed and pulled out what money he had with him, which was only a few coins. He handed them to the vendor who promptly gave him some food. Ed looked down at the measly supplies, shaking his head in exasperation. He ate it quickly and groaned when he realized he was still hungry.
Ed frowned as he took another sip of his tea. My luck is just not with me today is it? He thought, hearing his stomach growl in agreement. Damn, and it isn’t even noon. He felt his expression sour. Then sour even more as the door opened and the sound of cloth swishing signaled the entrance of a high ranking officer.
“Fullmetal, glad you could join us today.”
“Bastard colonel.” Ed nodded toward the older man who just walked into his line of sight. He was annoyingly tall with short black hair and dangerously cunning dark eyes. Those eyes were now looking over Ed, as if seeing past his façade. Ed’s frown deepened and he crossed his hands over his chest.
“So… what do you want.” Edward looked at him steadily, poker face in place. Roy Mustang sat down smirking. Ed hated that smirk.
“I have a little assignment for you… it’s not to difficult, I think you should be able to handle it.” He placed his elbows on the desk, hands folded in the air in front of his face.
Ed stiffened at the ‘little’ remark but held back a rant that was on the tip of his tongue.
“It’s simple, a get in get out endeavor. Basically, a reconnaissance mission.” He leaned back and pulled out a file from a pile of work on his desk. He threw it at Ed, who caught it, barely restraining himself from yelling at his superior officer.
“I think you should be able to do it, quickly and efficiently. I want the report by the end of the day, so get to it.” Ed gritted his teeth gripping the file tightly.
“Fine,” he snarled, standing up.
“Oh! And Fullmetal?” Ed turned, looking pointedly at the bastard. “Don’t do anything reckless.” Ed huffed and left without another word.
“Sir, I don’t mean to be rude but… shouldn’t someone else take that case? Those boys are still recovering from-”
“Lieutenant! I understand your concern, but at the moment no one else is available. Not only that, but we need those kid’s to get over it quickly… I can’t shelter them from those sorts of crimes forever.” Roy mustang looked at Riza firmly, his eyes conveying everything they needed to.
After a moment Hawkeye nodded, resigned. “I understand sir…”
“So brother what did he need from you?”
“…Another mission,” Ed said, opening the file to scan over the report. His eyes narrowed and his hand started shaking, he felt sick already. He also wanted to beat the bastards face in while he was at it.
“Brother?” Al questioned worriedly.
“That… that damn Mustang! What the hell!” Al looked at him then looked over the report in his hand.
Al frowned or at least it sounded like he did. “So basically… people have been going missing around East City and the police have no clues on who the culprit might be. To add onto that, there have been more and more recent sightings of chimera in the vicinity. East suspects that the culprit might be hiding in the abandoned building right outside the edge of the city and wants us to investigate to find out if that is actually the case… ”
“Ugh! Chimera’s… I have bad luck with those,” Ed groaned letting his hand trail down his face in a mixture of annoyance and anger. His thought shifted to a recent memory and he quickly banished it. Gritting his teeth, he let out a breath, and, doing what he always did best, he went into a good old fashioned rant. “Not only that! He wakes me up before the freaking sun’s up, then has the gall to make me wait JUST so that he can give me a simple investigation! That damn colonel! Doesn’t he realize I have better things to do?” He crumpled up the report and stuffed it into his pocket, his eyes were shut and his fist shook slightly. “Come on Al, let’s go. The sooner we get this done the sooner we can look for the stone.”
Al nodded following closely behind, his own emotions hidden behind unfeeling metal, much to Ed’s dismay.
A while later they arrived at their destination. Ed’s hands stuffed deeply into his pockets and he was shivering slightly, it was probably pretty cold out from what Al could gather.
“Well, this looks like the place… looks like something out of a cliché fan fiction written by a teenager.”
“What! It’s true, I mean the place looks absolutely abandoned, in those stories we often read as children didn’t that usually mean that there is some huge labyrinth underneath with intricate winding paths and secret entrances?”
“Brother… I think you read too many fantasy stories.”
Edward rolled his eyes then walked forward. “Whatever let’s get this over with.”
“Um… should we really be just waltzing in like this?” Al asked nervously, following his brother closely as they moved toward the house. It was a decent sized, one floor building. The paint was starting to peel off the sidings and the windows looked grungy. Ivy wrapped around parts of the building as grass and other weeds swayed gently outside, reaching heights of up to Ed’s knees.
Ed smirked. “It’ll be fine! And hey! Maybe I can even show up that cocky bastard colonel!” Al sighed then followed after the hyper boy who was already walking through the doorway. His brother had a surprising amount of energy at the moment, and Al just wondered where he got it from after watching the way the day has passed so far.
Inside was a long hallway, with wooden doors on either side. Ed looked around, suddenly a lot more wary and Al didn’t blame him. It was still bright outside but the inside was dusty and dark. Light shined from the open door at the entrance, but that was it. Cautiously, Ed opened the first door on the left. The room was messy with paper littered all over the floor. Light struggled through the grunge covered window, casting a mix of shadows and grays on the, already, shaded floor. Al wouldn’t have been surprised if there was the scent of mold and decay. If the curl of Edward’s nose was any indication, it was probably pretty strong.
It looked like the room hadn’t been used in a while. Ed looked around at the papers, examining them carefully, but there was nothing; just reports and figures that didn’t match up. After a moment they left and tried another door. They continued in this fashion through a couple more doorways, going from right to left all the way up the hallway.
Ed groaned as he closed the final door to the end of the hall. The door led to a kitchen that was connected to a dining room, but nothing stood out. It seemed like there was no electricity and no running water.
“Well, it looks like it’s going to be a short report. The colonel was wrong. No one has lived here for years,” Ed groaned resting against a sturdy wood wall right next to the kitchen doorway. Light danced through the opening from the many glass windows allowing the brothers to clearly see the hallway and surrounding area. There was almost no sound except for the distant bustling of cars, and the sound of city folk. The house was quiet, creaking every so often because of the wind. “I’m not sure why or how they suspected this location in the first place but it doesn’t look like there is anything here.” Ed stood up, no longer seeing any reason to lean against the wall. He sighed in annoyance as he unfolded his arms.
“I agree. Not only that but this place creeps me out. I want to leave,” Al mentioned, his voice shaking with a semi-suppressed fear.
“Are you afraid some ghoul or something is going to pop out? Jeez Al, I think you’re the one who’s been reading too many fantasy stories.”
“Brother!” Ed just chuckled, walking back toward the front door.
He stretched his arms over his head and turned back to his brother, placing said arms behind his head. “Hey Al, Let’s get something to eat, I’m starving!”
“Brother.” Al let out an exasperated sigh and shook his head as Edward walked out, his braid swinging back and forth like a pendulum. It was probably a good thing they stopped at home to pick up some money and items before they headed this way.
All the sudden Edward stopped, causing Al to bump into him. This sent Ed sprawling on to the dusty, dirt-trodden floor.
Ed groaned messaging his nose, which once again decided to make contact with the ground. “Al,” Ed whined as he sat up, still messaging said part.
“I’m sorry!” Al responded quickly bending down to help his brother up. “I didn’t mean it!” the insistent childish voice would have sounded odd coming from the dark, looming suit of armor if Edward wasn't already used to it.
“It’s fine,” Ed stated dusting himself off. He looked back at what made him stop, examining the walls carefully. “Hey Al… how many doors are there on either side?”
“Huh?” Al asked, probably confused by the seemingly sudden and random question, swinging his head back and forth. Ed could almost imagine him raising an eyebrow, if it wasn’t for the fact that he was thinking of something else at the moment.
“It looks like 5…” Ed mumbled, answering the question himself. He looked on either side then walked backward. These doors are even with each other but, he walked forward. It looks like the right door is slightly closer to the previous door then the left. Same with this one. Yet this one looks like it’s closer to the door in front which means… Ed turned. There was a small space between the doorways, made a little wider due to the slight shift from the doors on either side. He smirked, his eyes probably shining with his anticipation and amusement. “Bingo.”
“Brother, what did you find?”
“I found that secret entrance,” Ed said rapping his knuckles against the solid wood, allowing a devilish grin to cross his face.
Al stared at him and then walked forward, standing next to Edward. “So how do we get in?” He turned to his brother who was pressing over the area carefully.
After a moment of feeling around the rough wooden wall and knocking his knuckles against random indents he exclaimed, “a-ha!”
The wood paneling moved to reveal a narrow entrance way between the two doorways, dust filtered to the ground as wood chips clattered harmlessly around the two boys.
“See.” Ed gestured widely, grinning. He was excited, his childish side wanting to explore the “hidden treasure” he found. His more rational side saying that he needed to be careful, remembering the reason they were there in the first place. The second thought sobered his mood a little, causing the grin to wilt into an impassive line. Ed sighed, letting out a long breath.
“Well, the reports not going to be written by itself. So let’s get going.” Without a seconds delay he walked in. Looking left and right he stepped forward. He blinked in sudden dread then looked down, realizing his leg was suspended over thin air. He yelped as he tumbled down landing painfully on his butt. He groaned, messaging the area with a frown. Dang, what’s up with me falling all over the place today? he thought with a slight whine. A second later he was flat on his face as Al landed on his back, tossing him unmercifully to the hard, cold ground. Ed groaned.
“Al… Can. You. PLEASE. Get off!” Ed ground out, struggling to breath under the heavy suit of armor.
“Oh! I’m sorry!” Al scrambled to get up so as not to hurt his brother farther.
“You know? I wouldn’t be surprised if I have a concussion with all the impacts my bodies been taking with the ground today,” Ed groaned, eyes closed as he felt an incoming headache, his hand moving to message his stinging back. His bruise collection just from today was astounding. He really hoped that it wasn’t an omen of things to come. With my luck, it is. Ed thought as he got up and looked around.
“You know, sometimes, I hate when I’m right,” Ed continued in a whisper, looking at the white walls on either side of them extending off into the distance in both directions. He could see twists ahead on both sides, yet no doorways.
“That’s rare. You hate when you’re wrong. It’s surprising to hear you say the opposite,” Al said, looking over at his brother, “and are you sure you’re okay? You have been extremely clumsy today.”
“Al, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I’m fine. And anyway, I really hoped that the house was a false lead for once, just so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the damn assignment… and chimera’s…” Ed looked down, solemnly, images of a large white creature saying his name in a pitiful, pain filled voice flashed behind his eyelids. He shook his head trying to erase the thought.
“Oh…” Was the only thing Al could say, the simple word showing he understood more then he wished.
“Ne… brother, how about we go this way… doesn’t this way lead closer to headquarters?” Al asked, looking at his brother curiously, seemingly trying to change the subject. Ed decided to follow his brother’s lead.
“Yeah… come on let’s go!” he exclaimed, throwing in as much excitement as he could. He threw on a poker face and marched off toward where Al was pointing. Al looked at his brothers back for a moment and sighed before he followed.
They walked along quietly, Al only making a clanking sound once or twice. Considering the fact that he was all armor his footsteps were quite faint. Ed moved forward using Adrenalin to keep his mind off of recent memories. He glanced left and right, as if an attack would come at any moment. It was eerily quiet. The only sound was the soft hum of the lights faintly illuminating the long corridor. Ed and Al turned the corner and noticed a couple doorways. On either side, soft light filtered from underneath them. The two paused, glancing at each other, then at the doorways that stood out against the continuous white surrounding them. Slowly Ed opened the door on the right and looked in, while Al checked the one on the left. Ed sighed, partially in relief, finding that there was nobody in the room. The only thing there was a desk, a chair, a bed and some paper littered around. Al’s was the same way, though it was a little neater. The two closed the doors quietly then looked at each other once more.
“What is this place?” Al asked, worriedly.
Ed put a hand on his chin in silent thought. “Without a doubt this is what Colonel bastard wanted us to find… but we don’t have any information. This place looks like it’s been used a lot more but that only proves that there are people staying here. There’s no evidence indicating that this place has anything to do with the kidnappings… or the chimera for that matter…” Ed finished, frowning. Al nodded in agreement, looking worriedly over at his brother.
“You know… I think we should get out of here…” Al called.
Ed glanced over, letting the hand on his chin drop slightly. He noticed his brother trembling, as if in fear.
“We can’t,” Ed stated fiercely. He relaxed slightly, letting his features take on a calm poker face. “That bastard would give me an earful saying how I failed the mission and ran because I was scared of ghosts or some such nonsense. No. I would rather swim through the desert without water then think of turning back without evidence.” Ed put his arms over his chest. Though his voice was calm his expression was anything but, and he knew that. He also knew that his metaphor didn't really make much sense, but that was point. Al sighed, probably having noticed his brother’s signature look of defiance, the stubborn air that surrounded Ed could probably be felt for miles.
“Fine.” He gave in with a resigned sigh.
Ed nodded letting his arms fall softly to his side. “Good! So let’s be off, we have got to find some evidence to prove or disprove that someone lives here.” Ed turned back to the hallway and moved forward walking quickly and purposefully.
“Wait!” Al shouted quietly. He ran to catch up to his brother, even though his stride length was considerably longer than Ed’s.
They continued forward finding dead ends and random rooms in differing stages of cleanliness. The air felt stale as they moved yet the lights along the corridor began to grow steadily brighter. Ed felt like he was on to something, he was giddy with anticipation, yet at the same time he was tense. He would admit to himself he was even a little worried, though he would never say it out loud.
They turned another corner and stopped dead in their tracks.
In front of them was a large double doorway. The ceiling seemed to curve up to it, creating an upside down slope. Ed glanced quickly to his left and right noticing the gentle curve that the walls had until they reached the wide entrance. The doors were a thick wood, ordinate and beautiful in their simplicity.
“Well, if that isn’t a dead giveaway that there is something important ahead. I don’t know what is,” Ed stated looking up to the top of the doorway. Al nodded in agreement. Ed looked over to his brother questioningly. “Well… you ready for this?” He asked.
“Ready when you are, brother,” Al responded, determinedly.
Ed walked forward and swung the doors open with a loud bang. Once inside he froze, along with Al, and stared at the scene in horror. He felt his stomach twist and he suddenly had the urge to hurl. A disgusting stench permeated the room beyond.
“What the-” Ed stammered, quickly bringing his hands to his face to stifle the smell. Images passing in front of his eyes that he didn’t want to remember. Inside there was a large room with cells lining one wall. Inside the cells were different species of animals, all of which were silent, also understanding the horror before them. On the opposite side were tools, from a metal table to doctor’s tools that still dripped with fresh liquid. On the ground was a huge transmutation circle. Within the white chalk lines was a body. Blood splattered out in all directions as if trying to get away from the twisted monster in the center, spraying the walls and floor in the crimson liquid that slowly dripped down to puddle on the floor.
“Another failure. I guess that specimen didn’t work very well now did it? All well, guess I have got to get a new one, right Fluffy?” Ed turned to see a man in a bleached white lab coat. His black hair hung around him, unwashed and limp. It was greasy and about shoulder length. His face was turned away, but his hand, which were quite bloody, was petting a… thing… the thing was trying desperately to move away from him, but couldn’t due to a collar holding him strictly in place. The thing looked dog like except it wore the face of a human, a young male at that. There were tear streaks in his eyes. Blood dripped down his face as the man continued to pet him. He looked like a kid, except for the large body, which had thick black fur… It was gruesome and twisted.
To add onto that, blood seemed to drip down in rivulets around the two creatures, staining the coarse fur and white lab coat to create an otherworldly hell. Ed stared and then gritted his teeth as anger flashed through his veins, understanding causing suppressed emotions to rip through him. How dare he… Ed seethed, fury seeping into his system with the ferocity of a hurricane. Next to him he could physically feel Al tense. How dare that… that bastard do something like this! Isn’t it fucking enough that I had to deal with Tucker? And now I have this asshole! What the hell! Ed glowered, images flashing through his head at lightening speed as he sprang forward, a shout ripping from his lips.
A heartbeat later the man was slammed against the wall behind him. Ed’s hand gripped his collar, almost chocking him. If looks could kill the man would have been dead ten times over.
“What. The. Hell!” Ed spat, shaking the man roughly. “Why the fuck are you doing this! You’re taking innocent lives you bastard!”
The man simply grinned, blood running from his lip, mingling with steadily drying blood already on his face and body. The grin was malicious, and the blue eyes, hidden partially by the black hair had an insane look to them. The man seemed unfazed about the fact that he was choking to death. The grin widened as he opened his mouth, teeth mangled in a sharp grin. “Will you help me?”
Ed growled low in his throat. After giving the man one more shake he pulled back, letting the man drop with a plop to the floor. “Al… we’re leaving. We have the evidence. We’ll leave the rest for the damn colonel.” Ed looked down letting his bangs hide his face. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, letting them shake with emotion.
Al hesitated, then nodded solemnly.
Ed bit his lip, turned and ran, followed momentarily by Al. They quickly traversed the way they came, quieter than they were on the way there.
Ed closed his eyes as he ran, and then opened them as nightmarish scenes flashed in front of them. He felt the need to gag. His mind was telling him to run but his body wanted to kick the living daylights out of the man. Before either of them could speak there was a scream. The two froze, hearing the mix of a dog’s howl and a young boy’s cry. Ed whipped around, looking toward where they came from, shaking in anger. He went to run back toward the double doors when he heard a shout from behind in warning. Ed leaped forward, just barely avoiding a set of hands that were about to grab him. He turned to see Al fighting off a group of gorilla’s… or at least it looked that way. The men were large, about Armstrong’s size in muscle. Al was doing his best to fend them off, but the hallway was narrow, and it seemed like one of them somehow got past. Ed glanced to the left and flipped backward, his hands catching the fall. He jumped back using his arms to flip once more, like a monkey. There was a thud and Ed whipped around, just in time to jump again, barely avoiding the person that snuck up behind him. He mentally cursed, realizing his mistake. They were surrounded.
“Al! If you have a plan, I would love to hear it!” Ed shouted as he dodged another sweeping attack. He kicked back using his left foot. It connected with a crunch and the man was sent tumbling backward into another. He saw a swing from his left and ducked. With a clap of his hands he reached down and slammed them on the floor. Blue light flared and then, suddenly, a fist shot from both sides of the wall slamming into the enemies. Followed by the fists was a wall that quickly crashed down into place, effectively blocking off the way they came.
“Well… I guess we can’t go back that way,” Ed decided bluntly, wiping off a bit of sweat from his brow.
“Ed!” Ed wiped around to find that Al was being held. His arms caught in a tight hold by the men on either side. Another set of arms seemed to wrap around his waist signaling a third man behind him.
“Al!” Ed shouted in worry. His braid wiped around with the movement. He heard a crack from behind, then shouted as someone gripped his braid tightly, pulling him back toward the wall. He clawed at the hand, desperately trying to get the hair out of the attacker’s grip. There was another crack and the wall collapsed into a heap. It caused the man to let go with a sharp tug. It pulled the twist tie out of Edward’s hair, but he ignored it as he swung around. His hair started to fall out of the order it was in, now that the tie was gone. His eyes watched in both directions as the men approached. His body was tense and he could feel every muscle strain as his mind told him to run for dear life. His eyes flicked back and forth toward the approaching goons as he carefully stepped closer to the side, pressing against the wall. Once they were within a foot of him, he slapped his hands together and slammed them into the wall behind him. The earth shook as waves of metal and dirt ripped through the hallway sending the men flying.
“Al! Move!” he shouted running with all his might past the men littering the floor. He slammed his hands together as he ran and quickly changed his metal arm into a short sword. Upon reaching Al he slashed down, causing the men to let go with a grunt. Al finished it, slamming his arms backward to dispatch the two on his sides. Once both were free they shot forward, their steps sounded like thunder as they ran through the hallway. The noise reverberated off the wall and pounded as loud as their beating hearts. Ed turned, right arm up, running backward as he heard more footsteps. He passed by one of the door ways he looked in earlier and realized, too late, what that meant. The next door slammed open separating him from his brother. Before he could respond he felt a hand grab him roughly from behind, jerking him backward, again, from his hair. By this point it was barely in a braid, thick strands floated around his face sticking to it like glue as the sweat accumulated. He struggled, slashing desperately with his arm. The man grunted but didn’t let go, blood seeped onto the weapon but Ed didn’t care at the moment.
“Al!” Ed screamed, “Get out of here!” Ed struggled desperately, slashing and clawing as the man pulled him backward. The headache from earlier was now a throbbing migraine. With a slash he finally managed to get the man to loosen up on his hair. He turned, not caring that a few strands got ripped out in the process, but he was too late. He saw the flash of metal, then both heard and felt the sound of flesh against flesh. He flew backward slamming into the wall. Ed groaned, blinking his eyes open. He brought up his right arm out of instinct.
Ed shivered, hearing his brothers scream. His head pounded and the side of his cheek stung. His knees shook slightly as a metallic tang filled his mouth. He stood up, using the wall as support. He felt liquid drip down the back of his head onto the floor. He bit his lip, seeing two gorilla’s step forward. He panted, tiredly. He felt weak from hunger and lack of sleep. He struggled to keep his balance and glared at the two before him. One of them had deep gashes along the arms and was smirking, looking at Ed like he was a cornered rat. Ed spat to the side and leaped forward, slashing at the man. The man dodged and in the same movement slammed his fist forward, right into Ed’s stomach. Ed coughed and doubled-over, falling onto his knees with a resounding thud. He gasped, desperate to draw breath into his aching lungs. His eyes spun and he felt the need to throw up. He felt someone tug onto the roots of his hair, picking him up by what was left of the braid. His eyes fluttered open glaring at the man.
He felt a hand cover his mouth.
Ed growled and opened his jaw, biting down hard onto the hand until he tasted blood, holding on with all his might. He felt his hair being tugged, but he didn’t let go. Instead he bit down harder, feeling bone between his teeth, his body shuddered. There was another sharp tug on his hair and another punch to the gut. He let go with a groan closing his eyes to the sharp sensation that pierced through his skull and stomach. His head swam, his body ached and he felt liquid drip down his lip and head, staining his already red coat.
When he could finally concentrate he noticed that the door that separated him and Al had swung shut, revealing that Al was captured as well. “Brother! Are you alright!” Ed blinked and nodded the best he could with the restraining hand on the roots of his hair and once more over his mouth.
“Let’s go," One of the men grunted pulling roughly on Edward’s hair, forcing him to walk down the hallway with Al right behind him. Ed moved forward, he wanted to collapse then and there, but his pride would not let him, especially with his brother watching. He felt dizzy, seeing the hallway sway slightly.
After a while they arrived at a room very much like all the rooms they passed earlier. The major differences being that there were differing sets of chains around the room, and there were no desks, chairs or beds.
He could see dark splotches on the wall and floor, but decided to ignore them. He really didn’t want to let his mind wander to foreign and depressing things at the moment, especially since he was using his whole being just to recover from the fight.
Ed snarled as he was pushed forward into one of the sets of chains. Before he could respond the rings were clasped around his wrist forcing him into an uncomfortable position. His arms hung above his head, separated in a V shape.
“What the hell you bastards! Let me go!” He shouted, finally able to speak. It came out a little hoarse but he didn’t care, it felt good to curse. He struggled against the chains, pulling them taut, pushing back the dizziness as best as he could.
“Brother!” Al exclaimed, arms also held in place by the encircling chains.
“Quiet,” The same man said, before leaving, closing the door in the two alchemists faces. Ed mumbled viciously under his breath before turning to look at Al.
“Al, are you okay?” The suit of armor turned its head looking pointedly at Edward.
“I’m fine, what about you? Aren’t you injured?”
Ed grinned as blood dribbled out of his mouth. “Nothing that a few Band-Aids can’t fix up and anyway, it was nothing. Now…” Ed sat up, moving his legs so that they were perpendicular in front of him. He blatantly ignored his protesting muscles as he shifted his body and wrist. The movement jiggled the spare paper clip loose and into his hand.
Ed just grinned, twisting his hand so as to try to pick at the lock around his wrist. He fiddled away at it for a solid minute, until finally it came off. He let out a relieved sigh and went to the other hand just to pause. The room quieted. Ed quickly cursed under his breath and put his arm in place, slipping the clip back into its rightful position. He just made it in time to see the door swing open and a man walk in.
Ed blinked in confusion. “Who are you?” he asked, staring at the man questioningly. The man was clean shaven with washed but limp black hair. He wore a charming smile and had a heart shaped face. His body was lean, yet there was not a lot of muscle there.
“My, how could you say that? Don’t you remember? I asked if you can help me?” the man smiled as Ed’s eyes widened in realization. A second later he felt that familiar anger as his eyes narrowed, the sudden movement causing a bout of dizziness.
“What do you want?” He spat, pushing past it.
“Now now my precious specimen, I can’t have you getting violent know can I? You are quite important… if I do say so myself.” His smile stuck to his face still, but the look in his eyes was anything but friendly. In Ed’s opinion, it was closer to insane. Ed continued to glare at him in silence. He heard his brother shift but he didn’t say anything or look over. After a while of the staring contest the man chuckled and sat up from his squatted position.
“Well, we’ve got quite a feisty one.” The man looked over at Al and gestured toward Ed as he spoke. “So, Fullmetal. Would it be okay if I play with your brother here for a while?”
“I’m the Fullmetal Alchemist you dumbass!” Ed shouted. A moment of silence pervaded the room after the outburst. Ed seethed, huffing in and out through gritted teeth, he was sick of everyone thinking otherwise, was it that hard to believe?
The man blinked for a second in surprise, then grinned again. “Of course… My apologies.” It sounded anything but apologetic. “I seem to have misunderstood.” He leaned backward, hands behind his head, and took in the boy before him.
“So, Fullmetal, will you help me? I’ll come back in a few hours. I hope to hear your answer then. No later… oh and… Charles? A few things, one, clean him up. I don’t want him fainting before I even have a chance to get his response. Second, I think you forgot to lock one of his wrists in place.” The man closed his eyes pointing good naturally toward Ed’s left hand. Ed mentally cursed, his glare sharpening in annoyance.
He snarled as he felt the shackle around his wrist tighten until it bit into his skin, he could feel something trickle down his arm but he ignored it. He glowered as the lunatic watched silently, grin still in place. “I will be back.” He waved as he left.
Edward spat onto the floor as the door closed. He finally let himself grimace. “Damn that man. How the hell did he notice?” Ed cursed under his breath.
“Brother, are you alright?”
Ed grinned. “Of course Al! A little blood won’t hurt anybody.” He turned away, frowning, as he tried to twist his arm even a little. After a moment he internally sighed. Fullmetal… how could you get captured on a simple reconnaissance mission? What am I supposed to do with you? Ed deadpanned as Mustang’s voice resounded in his head. Great. Now I’m thinking about the colonel Bastard. I must have hit my head harder than I thought. He groaned then shook his head. Now is NOT the time to think about this. I have got to get these damn chains unlocked.
A few minutes later, Charles returned holding a medicine kit. He set it down and reached to the back of Ed’s head. Ed went to slam his head back but was stopped. Charles gripped his jaw, keeping him in place. Ed grimaced as he pressed non-too-gently onto the back of Ed's skull. After a moment Charles reached into the medical box and grabbed antiseptic and gauze. Ed pursed his lips but stayed silent. It hurt his pride, but he knew he needed the bandages, and he couldn’t exactly do them himself. Considering how big the hands were, Charles was expertly able to wrap his head, avoiding Ed’s bangs. After a moment, Ed was fixed up and the man left.
Ed sighed, he wouldn’t vocalize it, but he was glad that it was wrapped. He was starting to worry about the wound. He was also relieved because he was starting to recover from his dizziness. He was still hungry but his body didn’t feel as tired now that it was FORCED to rest on the ground. He grinned.
With a little bit of struggling and a lot of cursing he was, finally, able to get the chain undone. He caught them before they could clatter onto the metal walls behind him, moving them gently into place.
Ed messaged his wrist, carefully avoiding the raw cut on his left hand. Next he felt the back of his head and sighed in relief. It looked like it was only a small wound. He pushed down checking it himself. He might not be a doctor, but he at least knew the general signs of a concussion, thanks to Winry. He mentally went through a check list, did I have a loss of consciousness lasting more than a minute?...no. Repeated vomiting?... no. Seizures?... no. Obvious difficulty with mental function or physical coordination?... no… what else was there?... Ed shrugged. He couldn’t think of anything else, but he was starting to feel better, so it was probably just a cut. Now that he made sure he wasn’t going to faint anytime soon he turned to Al, grin in place.
“Come on, let’s get out of here. I need food and I have a report that’s itching to be filled out.”