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11 September 2009 @ 01:40 am
If I Should Die Ch. 6  
Title: If I Should Die Part 6
Fandom: FMA
Pairing: Roy/Ed
Author: inugrlrayn
Rating: PG-13 (eventual R or NC-17)
Summary: I wrote this for a prompt over at the kinkmeme. The request was "Roy ends up maimed in some way, maybe from being captured/tortured; Ed is the one who finds/rescues/takes care of him" It was meant to be a oneshot, but it's run away with me. Also, a very special thank you to elfen for read overs and cryogenia, who is responsible for pretty much the entirety of the doctor's dialogue.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of its characters.

Previous parts

The rest of my fics are here.

Roy wasn’t sure exactly how long he was out for in total. He’d been in and out a great deal, lucid and in pain and out again. Demands to know what they’d done with Edward had met with mixed success, but he supposed it was better than nothing.

Eventually, he woke up to stay, in a darkened hospital room, afternoon light filtering in around the edges of the blinds. The chair, the room in general was noticeably empty of Edward. He told himself that he was fine, that Ed was probably just getting some very much needed rest. He didn’t need to ask anyone, though, to know that it was nothing more than a shoddy lie he told himself to keep from going mad.

His chest hurt, though it wasn’t the same lung crushing sensation he’d dealt with before. It was stinging cuts, and Roy didn’t really want to see what they’d done to allow him to breathe. The incisions were carefully wrapped, bound under clean white gauze.

The door opened, and Roy glanced over at it, sighing when the head peeking around it wasn’t blond. The man who entered was older, warm and friendly by all appearances. He didn’t wait to be invited in, but he smiled at Roy. It was the same sort of smile that Roy offered up when his intentions were less than completely honorable, or perhaps that was only a trick of his stress addled mind.

“General Mustang?” The man asked, as if there were someone else he could possibly be.

“Yes?” Roy watched the man move closer. He was almost certainly a doctor despite the plain, brown pants and shirt he wore.

The doctor stepped to the side of Roy’s bed. He was holding a leather bound binder that he flipped through before looking up, smiling that disarming smile again. “I’m Dr. Edgewood. How are you feeling this evening?”

Roy might have answered, if the doctor looming over him hadn’t been so unnerving. Instead, he tried to remember where the lever Ed had been messing with before was so that he could sit up without hurting himself. At the very least, he wasn’t interested in taking this flat on his back.

“Please don’t feel that you have to get up,” Dr. Edgewood admonished. Instead, he sat down in Ed’s chair, the one beside the bed. It was probably intended to be less obtrusive, but the action only served to remind Roy of Ed’s rather conspicuous absence.

Roy gave up on finding the lever on the bed, but he watched the doctor carefully. He was groggy still, and it simply felt safer to trust no one. Any plain clothed doctor was likely to be here to assess his mindset, and he wouldn’t put it past Hakuro to do just that in an effort to get rid of him.

Roy’s cobbled together thoughts were interrupted by the doctor. “Nurse Clifton tells me you’ve been asking after Edward.”

On some level, Roy knew that the words weren’t meant to sting the way they did. There was a familiarity in the way Dr. Edgewood referred to Ed, as if he knew something about him. It was not an intimacy that the doctor had done anything to earn, and Roy couldn’t help but point that out with his clipped reply, “Yes. How is Fullmetal?”

“Edward is fine. He’s resting.” And that was one way to put it, Roy thought darkly. He didn’t argue the point, waiting for the doctor to say something that might give away his angle. When Roy remained quiet, the doctor continued. “He needs time to recuperate. You both do.”

Roy fought the urge to say something snappish, to remind the doctor that they had both been managing in their own way. It wouldn’t do any good, and Roy had no intention of offering up any fodder to the doctor, or potentially Hakuro. Instead, he focused on reining himself in entirely, a tactic that had served him well in the past.

The doctor gave Roy a shrewd look, and he knew he was hopelessly out of practice. He hadn’t really bothered since he’d been here because he’d been too hurt, and then too ill, and then he…trusted Ed and it really hadn’t mattered. He didn’t get the chance to really consider what that meant because the doctor was speaking again, “Actually, I was hoping that you might be able to help us.”

“What is it you’re asking?” Roy bit out. He had no patience for games and round about requests.

“We’re just trying to get complete picture,” the doctor explained. Roy took that to mean a great deal more than face value. Shaking his head, he struggled to clear it, on guard for his own sake, but also Ed’s.

“Edward is quite devoted,” Dr. Edgewood pointed out. He sat back in the chair, Ed’s chair, his expression inviting Roy to give something away.

“Fullmetal is a loyal comrade,” Roy replied blandly. He hid the harsh set of his jaw behind bandages and sleep mussed hair.

Dr. Edgewood gave Roy a considering look. “According to the nursing staff, he has hardly left your side.”

And there was the crux of it. On an academic level, Roy understood that their situation probably appeared to be a bit odd from the outside. He was offended on Ed’s behalf, though, because it was just who he was. That Ed’s unwavering loyalty was being used against him bristled along Roy’s spine in all the wrong ways. “Fullmetal is on leave, as I understand it. What he chooses to do with his time is his decision.”

“Of course,” the doctor agreed with a nod of his head. “Though, there has been some concern that he is interfering with your treatment plan. He became very agitated when he was asked to leave the room yesterday.”

Had it really been a whole day? It had been more than that, really because it had been morning. Roy winced inwardly for Ed, who hadn’t had the luxury of being mostly incoherent. He remembered all too well, the hollow, dark feeling that had crawled over him when he’d woken alone. Roy was managing, and maybe he didn’t need Ed’s constant presence, in a physical sense but he wanted it, and he wished the doctor would leave so he could sort out why. Unwilling to leave any of this particular revelation open to the doctor’s eyes, he tried to stop thinking on it. “If his presence here was a problem, I’d have kicked him out myself.”

The doctor shook his head, “General, you have a number of deep burns. As I’m sure you know, they are at a risk for infection. The nurse asked Ed to leave because he was discovered in your bed.”

The doctor waited for him to respond, and Roy knew he was probably expected to be horrified at the way Ed nuzzled against his side. All he could manage was to miss the warmth of Ed’s arm draped awkwardly over him, chasing away the shadows with his very existence. Unable to find a response that would both satisfy the doctor, and do Edward justice, Roy ignored that part. “I’m sure Fullmetal is less of a health risk than where I came here from.”

The doctor waited, probably hoping to coax him into elaborating. He really had no interest in rehashing the time he’d spent captive, and eventually the doctor continued, dropping the subject through his silence. “Of course. He became unusually combative, however.”

Roy laughed before he could stop himself, and cursed how out of sorts he was. It only served to remind him that this doctor, the staff here in general knew nothing of Ed the way he did. “Edward has always been combative. Just because your nurse didn't know how to handle him doesn't mean it was anything out of the ordinary.”

The doctor raised an eyebrow, “You are comfortable with your subordinate assaulting a nurse?”

Roy racked his brain, trying to remember what he’d seen. It was hard to piece together what had happened exactly, when everything had been focused on trying to keep breathing. Still, he wasn’t about to just let the accusation go, “I don’t remember him ever laying a finger on her.”

“After you began to lose consciousness, Edward was even more unwilling to be separated,” the doctor explained. Roy remembered Ed bumping into the bed when he’d seen the needle the nurse had, and perhaps he had lashed out. The doctor was continuing, though, and perhaps that in itself was a nonissue. “Once he was, he was found to show signs of dehydration and stress. It really would be best if he were able to rest.”

Once Roy might have been irritated at Edward for all this. Now, that aggravation was only directed at the hospital because they really, really just didn’t seem to understand at all. The doctor was droning on, fishing for information Roy wasn’t willing to give. “We attempted to contact any family members he might have, but the official record only lists yourself as his emergency contact.”

Once Al had been restored, Edward had only wanted to keep his brother out of the military’s grasp as much as possible. Roy had been a convenient choice, and probably the closest thing Ed had to a friend aside from the Rockbell’s. It was more than he was willing to divulge about Ed, and so Roy focused on the more immediate issue. “I imagine that if Fullmetal is upset enough to have to be restrained, he is not resting well.”

The doctor raised an eyebrow very slightly, and Roy knew he had him cornered at least for this brief moment, “I never mentioned anything about restraint.”

He’d wanted to lash out from the get go, because Edward needed him, and what they’d done wasn’t entirely fair. He’d controlled himself thus far, but for the doctor to try to deny it was too, too much. Did they honestly think he didn’t know Ed would be right back here if he were physically able to be? Angry and protective, Roy glared at the doctor, “Do you think I haven’t kept tabs on the situation? I already spoke to one of the nurses earlier. She at least had the sense to be honest.”

The doctor was quick to apologize, though it did nothing to solve the problem. Roy listened to his excuses, only in appearance, “I didn't want to upset you. It wasn't my decision to use physical restraints, and really, I would prefer not to. It's standard procedure though, when a patient has become violent against staff.”

Roy didn’t bother to point out that if they’d just left Ed alone, he wouldn’t have lashed out to begin with. Doctor Edgewood was already trying to be placating once more, though Roy didn’t buy it for a moment. “The nursing staff has asked me to review Edward's case so that we can discuss releasing him.”

It would probably be best for both of them if he was cooperative, but Roy simply didn’t feel like it. He was weary if not actually tired, and he hurt, and Ed was really much better company than the doctor. Roy gave him a blank look, not trusting himself to say much of anything.

“The two of you have been through a horrible, transformative experience together,” the doctor prodded.

“I’m sure restraining him has done a great deal to help that.” Roy growled, unable to stop himself. Over and over, Ed had spent his life drowning in his mistakes. Roy refused to be part of that, not if there was anything he could do to help.

“No one intends to leave him restrained,” the doctor tried to assure Roy. “We would have liked to release him into the custody of his family. It would be best for him to recuperate in familiar surroundings.”

It was definitely a military thing. Even in his condition, Roy understood that primarily they wanted Ed back in shape enough to be useful. He took his time, trying to decide whether it would be better to let Ed remain where he was, or to involve his brother, obviously against his wishes. No, Ed had been nothing but trustworthy, and he refused to break whatever faith the young man had in him. He’d just have to find another way out. He told himself it had nothing to do with the fact that he really didn’t want Ed to be gone, “I believe that if there is anyone he is interested in being released to, he'd be happy to tell you that himself.”

The doctor considered Roy carefully. Normally, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but Roy could feel his control slipping time and again, and he wasn’t used to being on such shaky ground. Agitated as he was, it was hard not to second guess his own judgment, and he honestly wasn’t sure what to make of the doctor any more.

“It's not uncommon for soldiers to become unduly preoccupied with the wellbeing of a comrade, but it's not healthy when that preoccupation drives a man to neglect himself,” the doctor gently explained. Roy couldn’t help the hint of a smile that crept across his lips as he remembered all the times Edward had had to be dragged out of the library to eat or sleep.

“Fullmetal is quite... focused. All he needs is a little bit of prodding now and again,” Roy replied, hardly noticing the affection in his words.

“And you have been responsible for him since he was twelve years old?” the doctor queried. It was enough to remind Roy where he was exactly, and he clamped down hard on any personal feelings.

“Fullmetal has been a member of my command since he became a state alchemist,” Roy replied carefully.

“At special dispensation from the Fuhrer himself, owing to Edward's age.” The doctor nodded, and if Roy hadn’t known better, he’d have believed his own slips hadn’t been noticed. “And whenever he was injured in the past, he was released to you?”

There was the effort again to get information Roy wasn’t willing to divulge. He frowned at the doctor, “Did you have a point to this line of conversation?”

The doctor didn’t press the issue, at least not directly. “Some of my colleagues are concerned that your personal relationship with Edward might now interfere with future missions. For his commanding officer to also be his guardian...That could potentially threaten unit cohesion. Edward's unwillingness to separate from you is a troubling sign.”

It was hard to decide if he was angrier that they were insinuating Ed couldn’t deal with this, or that he didn’t have things under control. He settled on both, snapping, “Fullmetal has been part of my command for many years. There has never been a point where it has ever impacted the missions he has been sent on or their success.”

Roy closed his eye, swallowing at what he saw. Dust and debris and blood stained automail. Hands that swept his hair away from burned flesh, and chased away nightmares. Eyes that were sometimes so hopeless and lost when Ed thought he wasn’t looking. When the doctor didn’t say anything, Roy pressed, so very angry for all Ed had lost. “Tell me doctor, have you ever killed someone? Because I really don't think you have any idea what it's like.”

“You’re right, I don’t,” the doctor began, but Roy cut him off, desperate to defend Ed.

“Ed...Fullmetal did what he had to, what the situation called for. Now he is paying the price. I would suggest you cut him a little bit of slack.” Roy’s stomach turned and maybe he did need Ed as much as Ed needed him. The realization only served to agitate him more, because he was struggling to appear more detached than he felt.

“We all want what's best for Ed…and for you ,” the doctor said. It was probably meant to be soothing, but he called Ed by that name, and he hadn’t the right, and it was all Roy could do not to lash out.

“There is a great deal of difference between taking a life in theory and in practice and it's not something you can prepare for. Some measure of discomfort at the situation is probably to be expected,” Roy muttered, doing all he could to keep his temper in check.

“And you believe you can guide Edward through this?” the doctor asked, carefully watching Roy.

It was something he could use, and Roy latched onto that line or reasoning for all it was worth. If he could make this appear advantageous from a military perspective, he might just be able to win. “I believe someone who has faced the same issue and gotten past it is a better candidate to help him than someone who doesn't actually know what he's going through. He has been through worse things, and he'll recover, but not surrounded by people he doesn't trust.”

The doctor didn’t concede quite so easily. “And you feel ready and willing to do that for him right now? Although noble, it's a very stressful position to be in, to be responsible for someone, isn't it?”

“Fullmetal is my responsibility. I will do whatever is required to make him a viable asset once more.” It was the last ploy Roy could think of, and though it made him a bit ill to say it, the ends justified the means if it freed Edward.

“Our concern is also for your own recovery,” Dr. Edgewood pointed out, though he seemed to at least be considering Roy’s point of view.

Roy stuck to that, trying to pass off his need to have Ed near as no more than professional concern for a valuable subordinate. “Telling Fullmetal that he needs to remember to eat and sleep sometimes is hardly anything that will inhibit my own recovery. In fact, I imagine it would be a less stressful setup for everyone than having to badger your poor nurses all the time to check in on him.”

“It's also not a requirement at present, if you don't wish it to be,” the doctor replied, probably meaning to give Roy an out. He didn’t take it.

“I…” Roy paused. He’d almost simply said that he wanted Ed there, and he sighed through his nose at his own near slip. “It's a responsibility I am willing to shoulder.”

Finally, it was enough. The doctor nodded his head in agreement. “I would be happy to provisionally release him to you, despite the circumstances, if that is what you wish.”

Roy fought the urge to smile, feigning patience as he listened to the doctor continue. “He would have to respect your bandages absolutely. And obey staff instructions for as long as he is visiting. We would also prefer him to respect visiting hours.”

Roy considered the conditions, frowning at the requirement that Edward curtail his visits. It was better than nothing, though. He made no promises, sure some way could be found around it. “Something will be arranged.”

“Of course,” the doctor agreed.

“Are we finished?” Roy asked, anxious to have Ed back.

“Yes sir. Thank you for your assistance.” The doctor got up, and let himself out of the room, and finally Roy managed to relax.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Vienna Teng - Hope on Fire
Lialstraightcogar on September 11th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Masterfull, the play of words between the Doctor and Roy. Even sick Roy is amazing! That was thourghly enjoying!
patterson1219patterson1219 on September 11th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Even groggy and out of it, Mustang can play word games with the best of 'em! Heckuva update, missed poor Ed though... as for this “Fullmetal is my responsibility." deal - will Ed hear of it? I don't think he'll be happy being considered a burden, even if it's only Roy manipulating the hospital staff. Someone's bound to spill the unhappy news and then Edward assumes he's more trouble than he's worth... of course, you're probably not planning on following that path. It's just what popped into my head with that conversation. Wondeful update, can't wait for the next one -- and now I just have to go listen to Vienna Teng, you evil person! :)
Chex: DPS- O Captaindragonalchemist on September 11th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I do love Roy's wordplay, as well as the indication that he's still obviously not at his best but still kicking the doctor's ass.

We want Edward back, yes we do. :P
Ponti2minds1brain on September 12th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
<3 I am happy.

Nice chapter! So sweet that he misses Ed, really.

Keep writing keep writing! I do very much enjoy it ^^
Jenny the dragonimpdragonimp on September 12th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Don't trust that doctor, not at all... Good to see that Roy's still himself, even if traumatized and a bit off his game.

Restraints don't really seem to be the best way to get Ed to "rest," no :P
Elfenelfen on September 12th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
You already know how much I love the convo between Roy and the doctor. It is good to see Roy back in action, even if he's not at his best. That he's willing to do what he can for Ed makes me smile and hold out hope that they can get through this together.

But yeah, the doctor? I keep thinking this can't be the end of his interference. :P
lynx212: Roy and Edolynx212 on September 12th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
I want more of this and as soon as possible...lol

No this was great and I love how Roy can manage to be commanding even from a hospital bed, injured and covered in burns
irishmoon7irishmoon7 on September 13th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
heehee Roy can still be sly even when he's totally out of it. I love how he's coming to realize how much he really needs Ed.

And STUPID DOCTOR! They're restraining Ed!? Poor baby! He's been through so much and now this? *sniff* I hope they'll be okay again soon.

Loving it can't wait for more.
lazylamialazylamia on September 13th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
This polite exchange of sentences could take place anywhere –but the fact that Roy is weakened and he still managed to get what he wants – he’s still the master manipulator we love.
harmonyopcharmonyopc on September 13th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Have I mentioned that I love, love, LOVE this fic? I can't WAIT for the next part!!! Srsly and for real though, MOAR PLEASE!! (er, when you can.)

enemy to sleep: Ed WTFenemytosleep on September 13th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
I am really enjoying this take on the pair. Looking forward to the next installments very much.
jokerlovejokerlove on September 16th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
YAY!!! Moar!! ^_^ OMG Roy is so smooth even when hes not! lols go him for getting Ed outta hot water! can't wait to see what happens next, will Ed deal with the new arrangements?Or will the quick witted General find a way around them? Find out next time on IISD! (If I Should Die)lols i really do loves it, good job keep it up!

militsa: Roy Mustang 002militsa on September 29th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Good story! I just read all six parts. Nice scene between Roy and the doctor, I like how you have Roy strategize during the conversation, and he wins!

Looking forward to more.
Kaijazzthedemon on November 25th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
Marvelous wordplay, and very good representation of a Psychiatrist, they're sneaky bastards.
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2014 07:46 am (UTC)
RE: If I Should Die 6
This hospital is scaring me...