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[FMA] Where You Begin (Roy/Al, Ed/Al, various implied others) - Caveat Lector [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

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[FMA] Where You Begin (Roy/Al, Ed/Al, various implied others) [Apr. 5th, 2006|12:56 am]
The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

caveat__lector

[stickmarionette]
[Current Mood |chipperchipper]
[Current Music |Pink - Centerfold]

Title: Where You Begin (Last Part of the Futilities Arc)
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Roy/Al, Ed/Al, various others implied
Warnings: Implied semi-con, AU.
Summary: “Let’s go, Al.” Ed holds out his hand. From his higher position on the hill, with the sun behind him, the brightness is blinding. Roy talks to Hawkeye about his experiences with the Elric brothers, and tries to regain something he never had. Concluding part of the Futilities Arc, so read the previous parts if you want this to make sense. Heavily AU.
Dedication: to youkofujima, wonderful artist and all around fabulous person. I can't believe I haven't written anything for you yet. ♥
Notes: Beta-ed by uber-beta blademistress. Thank you for putting up with my folly as a writer.
Music: Radiohead - Where You End and I Begin. Lyrics are hugely fitting, and of course the fic is named after it.

Previous Parts: Everything You Want
South of the River, East of the Sun
Infection



It’s easy to say ‘I love you enough to die for you’, but which is more telling – that you’d kill someone or that you’d die for them?

Or maybe it’s something else entirely that signifies ultimate devotion.


--



It took a long, long time for Roy to work up the courage for confession, penance, to open his mouth and say it out loud -

“I think…I think Ed is mistreating his brother.”

- and watch as the hardened, sad look in Hawkeye’s eyes shifts into something soft and surprised.


--



They pack in one day and are out of the country in a week. Ed doesn’t explain, but he doesn’t really have to. Al can always tell when his brother is getting antsy.

It’s nothing external. He knows this because Ed hasn’t been outside this tiny, isolated town in weeks, only leaving the house to get food.

The last, wistful thought he has – looking back at the burning wreckage of their temporary home – is for the books they can’t carry.

“Let’s go, Al.” Ed holds out his hand. From his higher position on the hill, with the sun behind him, the brightness is blinding. He looks more than human.


--



Roy knows where the Elrics have gone. Any political novice knows the only place that would accept them unquestioningly and shield them against an Amestrian Fuhrer.

The Fullmetal Alchemist must have really made an impression on the new Emperor while he was there last.

He misses them both terribly, and for terrible reasons. The dreams of Al are never filled with the day to day routines of their time together. Always, Al on his knees, eager and pliant; Al’s soft voice gasping out his name; Al who never said no –

And still, he can’t forget Edward’s eyes, cold and hard.

“This is why you are a criminal.”


--



They sit at the dinner table as the autumn winds rage outside. Ed smiles at him from across the table and says, gently -

"He raped you, didn't he?"

Al doesn't know how to reply. Something in him wants to think harder about it, but the part that always agrees with everything Ed says takes over - as it always does, eventually.

He grasps for words to explain how he feels, but it's a futile exercise. Ed's fine brows draw down in a curious mix of annoyance and distress, and Al's heart inevitably twists at the wrinkle that appears on his brother's forehead. Agreement proclaims a quick and brutal victory in the silent war in his mind.

Al smiles and nods.


--



A tiny crease appears between Hawkeye’s fine brows. “But surely, Edward is mentally compromised as well? Otherwise he wouldn’t drag Alphonse all the way across the desert again.”

“Oh no, you misunderstood, Captain,” Roy says with a chuckle. “Al is quite functional.”


--



Ed is in a bad mood. He’s too careful, too doting to take it out on Al, but it’s obvious. They have lunch in fragile silence. There’s no good food in winter out here, mainly potatoes and some kind of radish. Ed’s a lousy cook, too, but he cares, and that’s enough.

Afterwards, Ed takes his hands across their tiny, beaten up table and stares at his face, eyes like twin suns. Al doesn’t blink.

“Mustang will be looking for us soon.”

Distressed and unsure of the proper response, he tries a smile. “Really?”

This is evidently the wrong reaction. Ed frowns, his hold on Al’s hands tightening to the point of pain. It’s unconscious, because his brother would never hurt him.

“You won’t leave me, Al.”

He does blink, then, in confusion. “Of course not, brother. What are you saying?”

“Don’t worry, we’ll be okay,” Ed beams, practically glowing. He doesn’t loosen his hold.

He never notices the bruising.


--



In the winter, Roy takes a vacation and goes to Resembul, looking for ghosts. Winry Rockbell stares at him from the doorway for a moment, eyes hard.

“No, I haven’t seen them. Not for years.”

She slams the door in his face. It’s the least he deserves.


--



It’s spring. Al knows this because Ed goes out walking and comes back with flowers. Sometimes he tucks one into Al’s hair – long now, tied into a low ponytail – with an embarrassed flush and a grin.


--



There is a letter. It’s not signed or addressed, but it doesn’t have to be.

I haven’t forgiven you yet.

Snap.

The note disappears in a familiar crackle of flame. Roy smiles, bitterly. Neither have I.


--



Ed takes him for walks in the summer. They go past fields of wheat and corn, the farmers calling out greetings in Xingian, their eyes thinned into smiles, tanned backs glistening in the sun. Some stop working to wave. Grinning broadly, Ed waves back at everyone and replies in stumbling, halting Xingian. He’s learning fast.

One bright-eyed young man smiles hugely at Al after greeting Ed. It gives him pause.

There’s something – I have to – He frowns, torn between responses.

“Be polite, Al,” Ed says quietly.

Al smiles back and says hello, like he’s told.


fin. (Futility would be better, perhaps)

(For real, this time.)


Author's Note: Hey, I'm alive! Remember this series? I did promise to write a follow-up after the way Infection ended, so here it is. Sorry it's so...short. And fucked up. For Victory 3 next up.

LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: maxxim_huzzah
2006-04-04 01:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry it's so...short. And fucked up. Are you kidding? This is WONDERFUL fucked-up-ness! 8^D Omg yes... *goes to reread*
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 12:58 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it for what it was. ^____^

Thanks for reviewing!
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[User Picture]From: maxxim_huzzah
2006-04-05 01:05 pm (UTC)
Even though you say it's finished ;_;, I can't say no to fics with everybody x Al in it, especially the way you write it. Al's always getting the shaft--Then again, Al's my favorite muse to torture write. XD;

*still stalking 'After the Fall'*

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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 09:28 pm (UTC)
Definitely finished this time. *grin* Yeah, Al does get somewhat of an unfair position in fic (especially Roy/Ed - which I try to remedy, but I'm only one very slow mediocre writer). XDDDD

He is fun to torture, isn't he? XDDD

*still stalking 'After the Fall'*
Oh wow, people still remember that fic? I feel honoured. ^^
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[User Picture]From: youkofujima
2006-04-04 01:41 pm (UTC)
A fic? For me? O_O *feels loved, it's not even her birthday* *HUGS YOU*

Argh, but this fic...it totally tore at me. TT^TT Not in a bad way (well, sorta), but it's so good. It's got that hollow, empty feel of hope there with the way Alphonse is trying to think of resisting, and you kinda get the feel that Ed really is exploiting Al's lack of free will--more than Roy ever has or ever will, even if he found out that Al has that handicap.

You are wonderful.
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 01:01 pm (UTC)
Awww. See, I suck at birthdays. Am much better at sudden bursts of desire to attempt doing something nice. ^___^

It's arguable that this fic is 'something nice', but I'm glad you...hmm...'liked' isn't the word, is it? *grin* I'm glad it had impact. And I'm glad you 'got' what I was trying to say.

You are wonderful.
You are. And don't forget that. XDD
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[User Picture]From: youkofujima
2006-04-05 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you X3 and it's such a nice surprise.

XD I liked it a lot, even though it tore at me, so it was like a sadistic gift from you to a masochistic me? XD

Thank you. TT^TT
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[User Picture]From: chrstphrl
2006-04-04 02:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to see this post! And it's beautiful and so sad.
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 01:01 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed! Thanks very much for reviewing!
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[User Picture]From: squirrelarmy
2006-04-04 02:58 pm (UTC)
*_*

This was sad and creepy and hurting but all in a wonderful way. It all just makes you feel awful for Alphonse, who has come to the point of not even being able to protest his situation while those in control battle through who "owns" him. It's terrible, but fantastic, and the sad thing is, I can see it. It makes me want to cry for Al.

Wonderful, excellent job. I love your writing style for this.
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 01:05 pm (UTC)
I do love insightful reviews, thank you for that. And plausibility - that's great to hear as well. It's always hard to tell when writing.

This is not my usual style, but it's good to hear that it worked. Thank you very much for your kind words. ^___^
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[User Picture]From: velvet_mace
2006-04-04 06:24 pm (UTC)
I don't know how I missed this series, but it's love. The fight over Al, both Ed and Roy being selfish, but at the same time thinking they are doing what is best, and poor Al without enough will to know what he wants (except the books that got burned).
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 01:14 pm (UTC)
My continuation of it has been rather...random. *grin* Said I'd do another one after saying that the third one was going to be the last because people asked, and then didn't deliver for months. Oops.

But I'm glad you liked it! And I really appreciate the fact that you still take the time to review fics, despite being busy and fandom-famous. XDDDD
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[User Picture]From: velvet_mace
2006-04-05 03:54 pm (UTC)
Fandom Famous? *snort*

Yeah I suck at writing reviews, that's all. God I hope people don't think I'm a snob.
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 09:30 pm (UTC)
I don't think people perceive you as a snob at all - you're one of the most personable (and least scary) writers around. ^_____^
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[User Picture]From: velvet_mace
2006-04-05 09:48 pm (UTC)
Aw...

And by the way, I'm really glad to see you writing again.
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-06 12:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks - life has just not been that conductive to writing lately. Ah well, you win some, you lose some. XD
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[User Picture]From: strawberrykaoru
2006-04-04 10:10 pm (UTC)
YAY YOU UPDATED. ♥ *grabs song along*

Ouch.

The broken feeling is brought out really nicely by the division [ -- ], and how sometimes it's just a few statements. x3 Though, for some, I had to reread it, because I got confused as to who was talking to who. XDD;; But cleared up now, whee.

Aww, Al, he's too obedient and...erm, no other word at the moment, but yeah. T^T

Awesome arc, yo. ^w^
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 01:18 pm (UTC)
*sheepish* I did wonder about how confusing it was going to be...Oops. But yay for it becoming clearer on re-read.

Al's often seen in the fandom as a doormat, so I thought - why not make him one for real? And have a terribly ironic reason for it? XDDDD

Thank you for reading! ^___^
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[User Picture]From: quickthorne
2006-04-05 06:57 am (UTC)
... ouch. That hurt in a really hurtful way, but it did it while making me love every single second of it.

... now that takes talent.

I loved the very last line, futility would be better, perhaps, in a way that is probably unhealthy.

The sheer amount of fuckedupness in this is horrifying and wonderful, and Roy's bitterness at himself and at Ed is just - and Al's narration of life with Ed is just - it's all...

You've gone and made me incoherent! *whimpers for everyone*
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-05 01:22 pm (UTC)
I should probably apologize for going 'yay!' at your first comment. *grin* But seriously, I did want it to have impact, and for people to not hate it - so that's great to hear.

The last line tried to be a throwback to the main ideas (and name) of the entire arc, and in that way give some sort of closure. To hear that it did mean something is great. XD

<3333333333

Your review gave me a moment of pure squee, by the way. Thanks for that. XDDD
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From: mikkeneko
2006-04-10 10:40 am (UTC)
Strange that Ed, knowing what he knows, will still give Al direct commands -- but I suppose he feels he knows best.
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-11 09:14 pm (UTC)
As Ed does. *g* Thanks for reviewing!
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[User Picture]From: kill_me_faster
2006-04-25 05:39 am (UTC)
Wow. First FMA fic I've read in AGES, but it was you, so, I couldn't resist. ^^;;

I'm starting to remember now why I loved this fandom. This was truly stomach-wrenching, and I recall now just HOW MUCH I love your style. I usually don't go for minimalism in fics, but yours just WINS.

I really don't know what else to say, since I haven't reviewed anything in A REALLY. LONG. TIME. @.@;; But I do like this, yes, and love you. ♥
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2006-04-25 05:58 am (UTC)
Wow, that's very flattering, thank you. XDDD

I suck with my lack of ability to describe stuff and twisted take on the characters. But I'm glad you like it. *g* It's true that everytime I run off to another fandom, a fic ends up bringing me back, at least to read stuff.

Much love right back at you. ^___^
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From: amberunicorn
2006-05-17 11:20 pm (UTC)
its been 24 hours and im still....without words...???...aching,breathless,i had to walk away from the computer. You are a wonderful writer..i...am..haunted..thank you!
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[User Picture]From: relandrant
2009-03-16 10:03 am (UTC)
Wow, I think that I will always regret not finding this series sooner, but oh well, better late than never. Still, I can't access the third story in this series: Infection. It says that I'm not authorized to view it. Is it open for public to view? Thanks
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[User Picture]From: stickmarionette
2009-03-26 10:06 am (UTC)
It's now unlocked. :)
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