Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Fiction ❯ Voice Of Reason ❯ Adjusting To The Circumstances ( Chapter 3 )
Edward groaned as he began to wake up, his brow furrowed when he noticed a weight on his chest he blearily opened his gold eyes. With sleep still clouding his thoughts he looked up blankly at the ceiling, he heard a sharp intake of breath and looked downward seeing his sister’s sleeping face. Her arms were weakly wrapped around his torso and her head rested on the center of his chest, her breathing was slow and relaxed. Ed stared at her before he became aware of the dull pain in his arm and leg, he noticed his father’s vintage armor sitting against the wall that was closest to the bed. Then it all came flooding back, the transmutation, that monster-
“Brother?” Alphonse’s voice called from the corner where the armor sat, Ed covered his face with his remaining arm and tried in vain to stifle the sob that escaped his broken body. He heard clanking that indicated that Al had moved towards the bed and was besides him.
“I’m so sorry, Al.” He whispered, “I’m supposed to protect you guys, and I can’t even do that!” Cleobella shifted and tightened her grip around Edward’s waist, grabbing his attention. He removed his arm from his face and looked down at her sleeping form, her brow furrowed and a look of anguish crossed her face. Her breathing picked up, both brothers realized that she was most likely having a nightmare. Al leaned over the bed and began to gently shake her.
“Leo, wake up.” He begged softly, he hated seeing such a terrified expression on her normally happy and bright face. Ed, not really able to move, looked over at Al, and felt a wave of guilt washed over him.
It’s all my fault! He lost his body because me..! Edward was knocked out of his thoughts by the sudden lift of the weight on his chest and a hard thud as Leo pushed Al’s hands away, but only succeeded in shoving herself clean off the bed. Ed pushed himself into a sitting position as best as he could with only one arm. The youngest Elric sat upright suddenly breathing heavily her golden eyes wide and shining bright with unspoken fear. She frantically looked around the room with her back facing her brothers, “Leo?” Ed called, his sister jumped and spun around at the sound of his voice. She heaved a sigh of relief before diving into his embrace all the while crying freely, she hugged him fiercely. Ed looked to Al for an explanation as to why she wasn’t talking to him, though there was no luck searching for answer in the expressionless face of the armor’s helmet that was now Al’s face.
All my fault… Ed thought again, his gaze returned to his sobbing sister. She looked up at him with a sad face, her eyes drifted towards the bandaged stump that was left of her brother’s arm. She pointed to it and her lower lip trembled, then she pointed to her throat hoping he would get the message. Edward did understand, the price his sweet sister had to pay for seeing something she most likely didn’t even understand.
The price she had to pay for his mistake.
Ed wrapped his arm around his sister’s trembling shoulder and stared at her with wide eyes a horrified expression set upon his face. “They took your voice, didn’t they?” He asked his voice shaking with both rage and guilt. Leo nodded and pointed to Al, “They took Al’s body, I tried to get him back but I could get his soul in exchange for my arm…” He explained. Leo removed the blanket revealing only one leg sticking out from Ed’s shorts and stared at it sadly. “They took my leg for seeing it.” He whispered answering her unspoken question.
“Seeing what?” Al asked slightly confused, both his sibling looked at him.
“You didn’t see the gate?” Ed asked looking at Leo knowing she was thinking the same thing.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t remember what happened after we started the transmutation… I only remember waking up in this body and seeing that, that thing.” He answered his voice shaking. Ed pulled Leo closer to him and looked down his blond hair casted a shadow obscuring the sight of the despair in his eyes.
“So you can’t talk anymore, Leo?” Ed asked, Leo buried her face in the crook of his neck and nodded. Ed bit his lower lip as more tears slipped down from his eyes and dripped off of his nose. “I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault. This never would have happened if I-”
“Brother is wasn’t only your fault, I did it to!” Al cut him off. “We both knew human transmutation was forbidden and we both did it.” He said quietly. “We are both to blame.” Ed looked up at him and with tear filled eyes and nodded solemnly.
Leo looked up at her brother and studied the armor his soul inhabited, he was super tall now; about seven feet. Alphonse stared back at her questioningly, “Something wrong?” He asked receiving a shake of her head in reply. She pointed at him then to the ground telling him to bend down. Al, though confused complied. He got down on his knees in front of her Leo looked curiously at the helmet that was now his head, then she pulled it off and peered into the hollow suit. Al was surprised by the action became flustered, “W-what are you doing?” He asked. Leo showed no sign of hearing him though as she stood on her tiptoes and leaned into the suit. She stared intently at the blood seal that connected his soul to this world, not realizing how far she was leaning in Leo ended up falling into Al’s armor. Al yelped in surprise and shuddered at the feeling off his sister moving around in side of him. “Ah! So weird!” He exclaimed standing up, he heard the back door open and Winry stepped out looking at Al confused.
“Al what wrong?” She asked as her gaze drifted to his head sitting on the grass as if it was thrown. Before she could receive an answer though Leo’s head popped up through the hole where Al’s head should’ve been. “Leo? What are you doing in there?” She asked with a small chuckle. Leo shrugged and proceeded exploring Al’s hollow body, she curled into a ball at the bottom of his torso and looked up at the hole and saw Winry peering in at her. She smiled cheekily at her, “Leo could you get out now? Please, it feels super weird!” Al pleaded, Leo shook her head and laid her head on her arms.
“I don’t think she’s gonna come out anytime soon Al.” Winry chuckled.
“How’s brother doing?” Al asked, Winry sighed at the thought of Edward and the automail surgery he asked for after the visit from the military. Leo looked up at Winry with an expecting gaze that seemed to asking the same question.
“He almost through with the surgery and he’s fever’s gone down so that’s a good sign.” he said with a forced smile, she wanted to reassure her friends not worry them even more. Leo nodded before laying her head back down and closed her eyes as a silent sigh escaped her lips. She began to recall the events that had occurred a few days ago before her brother decided to go through with the automail surgery.
“Granny I’m going to find a way to get Al’s body and Leo’s voice back, so give an arm and a leg.”
Leo peered out into the hallway and looked to the door as she heard start Den barking from outside followed by a knock on the door. She continued to watch as Pinako made her way to the door and opened it, “Stop being noisy Den, be nice to the guests.” She told the dog, she looked up at the tall dark haired man and was about to greet him by was shoved lightly to the side as he barged into the house. Leo noticed the blue military uniform the man wore and frowned as she wondered what a military man would be doing here. “What does a military man want barging in like that?!” Pinako exclaimed as a woman with short blond hair also wearing a uniform stepped in along with the man.
“My apologies, had heard the Elric should be here so…” She explained as the man’s gaze drifted to a wheelchair that sat in the corner of the room that held Edward. Al stood behind him, holding the handles. Ed was looking at the floor with hollow eyes that held nothing but pain and suffering. The man stormed over to Ed and yanked him up by the collar of his shirt.
“We went to you house! What the hell was that mess!?” He yelled at the crippled boy, “What the hell did you make?!” Ed’s brow creased and he lowered his head as tears threatened to fall. Al placed his now larger hand onto the military officer’s forearm and gently made him let go of his brother.
“Please forgive him…” He pleaded shocking the officer with his young sounding voice, he let go of the older boy and stared in shock as Al continued to make sounds that resembled crying. “We’re sorry… sorry… sorry..” He continued to apologize, Leo looked on as tears filled her own eyes.
The military officer, now known as Lieutenant Colonel Roy Mustang as he had introduced himself, sat in front of the two boys along with Pinako at the table in the kitchen with the door closed as they had there important conversation. Leo walked over to the door and spotted Winry peeking into the room with a frown on her face, she tugged gently on her shirt to get her attention before she took out a small notepad she was forced to use in order to communicate with everyone ever since she lost her voice. She quickly scribbled something down and showed her message to Winry.
What are they talking about?
Winry glanced at the door then back at the young girl sadly then grabbed her by the hand and lead her to the the room by the front door where the woman sat on the couch that sat by the wall not far from the door, she looked up curiously as the two children steeped into the room. Winry walked back to kitchen coming back with three cups of tea on a tray she offered one to the woman and gave Leo one as well then sat down by the woman. Leo stood by awkwardly before copying Winry, the older girl seemed to fidget in her seat before deciding to speak up.
“Um… Miss Second Lieutenant..?” She asked timidly, causing the woman to look up from her cup and smile warmly at her.
“Ah, call me Riza. Riza Hawkeye. Nice to meet you.” She introduced herself and offered her hand for Winry to shake though she only looked at it and frowned sadly before looking back down at her own cup.
“Riza… Have you ever had kill someone before?” She asked quietly. Riza’s eyes widened slightly before she looked down as well with a sad and hollow look in her eyes. She sighed before answering.
“Yes. I have… Many of them…” Leo looked at her fearfully before looking to Winry worried and scooting closer to her.
“I don’t like people form the military because my mom and dad were taken to the battlefield and killed there…” Leo frowned at the mention of her friends deceased parents, there were such kind and caring people they hadn’t deserved to be dragged into the war. “And on top of that now that guy called Mustang is trying to take Ed and Al away,” Leo’s eyes widened, so that was what they were talking about in there, she looked at Winry with tearful eyes. “I don’t want them to become part of the military…” Leo looked at Winry’s hands and noticed that they were trembling causing her cup to shake and clatter lightly, Leo put her hand on Winry’s thigh in a reassuring manner. “Please, don’t take them away…” She begged quietly.
“The military isn’t going to take them away,” Riza said softly and Leo felt a wave of relief wash over her. “It will be their choice whether to come or not.” She looked at the girls with a small smile which Leo gladly returned feeling much better now that she knew her brothers weren’t going to get in trouble by the military. “To tell you the truth, I don’t like the military either….” She said as a sad look returned to her brown eyes, “Because I’m forced to take lives…” Leo’s smile faded and she quickly scribbled down something before showing it to the older female.
Then why are you in the military?
Riza read it and took a sip of her tea before answering, “There’s someone I need to protect,” She explained simply. “It was not because I was forced by anyone, but it was my own free will…” She said as she set her cup down on the table next to the couch and stared at her folded hands, “It was my own choice to pull the trigger for the one, for the person I must protect.” Leo stared at the woman before her with wide eyes, she seemed so determined it was almost scary. Leo felt some kind of admiration towards her, she was so strong and sure of what she wanted to do. “Until that person accomplished his goal, I will pull the trigger without doubt…” She looked back them with a fire in her eyes. “If those kids have strong wills, they will decide for themselves and go toward that path. Even if it’s a muddy path…” She finished then looked at the notebook in Leo’s hands, “I take you can’t speak..?” She asked carefully, Leo nodded sadly and wrote down her response.
I lost my voice when I was dragged in
Riza decided not to ask about what she met by ‘dragged in’, and nodded understandingly. “You know it would be helpful if you learned sign language, you too.” She looked at Winry also, the door down the hall opened and Mustang came out saying a gruff ‘Let’s go’ before heading to the door. Riza stood up but turned back to the girls, “How about the next time I see you we can have a proper conversation when you’ve learned sign language,” She smiled then looked to Winry, “Goodbye Miss.”
“Oh, I’m Winry. And this is Cleobella.” She said and stuck out her hand which Riza took and shook it.
“Well, Winry and Cleobella, I hope we meet again.” She said, and walked out the door with Mustang.