St Edward and the Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will, Fullmetal Alchemist or the characters within.
I: Prologue - Blood for Blood
Who opens the countries to us after death?
And who the gateway of the monstrous rune?
What do the dying see, that makes them turn
Their eyes' blind whiteness round so terribly?
Georg Heym 1912
Edward Elric was on his hands and knees at the edge of the large transmutation circle as the blood fell around him.
Above, in the jaws of the chained dragon his Father was dying.
His face was streaked with tears and sweat. His bangs were stuck to the sides of his face. He could feel the throbbing from the bullet wounds in his left shoulder and the blood soaking through his shirt and running down his arm. He had known pain and this was negligible compared to what he had suffered before. And he wasn't about to give them any satisfaction by showing any awareness of it. Shakily his fingers kept moving, using his blood to complete the array within the array.
Prisoners, all of them. Trapped in this dark hall where darker people plotted and planned for selfish greedy purposes. He lifted his bruised face and looked across the marked floor. She lay where they had thrown her, discarded by a stone pillar. He choked back a sob as he looked at her dead face. Beside her lay another body and his face stared at him, eyes forever frozen in regret and apology. Innocence, deceived and corrupted. Edward had lost everything with their deaths. He was going to make those responsible pay. Blood for blood.
Betrayed and used by those seeking power and glory. He had never sought such things and had never known the allure it could hold for others. But he had never thought to be the last one left. He had been completely horrified at their unwilling betrayal of him but nothing had prepared him for the soul deep pain when they were betrayed in their turn. Everything had been used against him. His father, his friends, his love. Even the dragon that mindlessly struggled in his chains.
Revenge had never been an emotion he had appreciated before. How it could inspire and incite the blackest of thoughts. How it could provide answers to the questions of aching despair. Combined with his knowledge and determination and his willingness to sacrifice everything for those he loved, their betrayal and senseless murders had created the perfect weapon… him. Blood for blood.
He completely ignored the scurrying footsteps and shouts around him as he began to crawl into the centre of the array. Let them make their arrangements. Pushing and shoving their precious machinery and technology into formations. They all thought he was being their willing little puppet. More fools they. Did they really think that the deaths of his friends would make him that malleable? He had nothing more to lose now. Their invasion force wasn't going to be doing any invading. He was going to make sure of that. Blood for blood.
Dragging his useless left leg behind him he kept his finger moving, using the blood to draw a line from his little array to the centre of the larger one. Dying eyes watched his every move and understood. Only the dragon heard the acceptance in the muttered, "You idiot, Edward."
In the exact centre of the array Edward stopped and began to draw another circle, the pair to the one on the outer rim. His fingers were shaking harder and his breathing was becoming laboured. Sweat burnt his eyes and more blood dripped from his arm. He could feel his heart racing and knew he was running out of time. But he was going to complete this. He was going to take them with him. Blood for blood.
"Elric!" The screamed demand from the first tier above him made his raise his head, looking up at uniformed woman standing there. "What are you doing?" The gun in her hand was aimed at him.
"What you wanted, Eckhart. Finishing the array." He threw the words up at her. His grin resembled a death's head and his eyes were cold with hate. He had never known hatred like this before. It burned inside him, stronger than the cold pressure of revenge. Like an open sore fouling his mind and heart with bile, he hated. He hated her. She had manipulated them, she had betrayed them. She had killed them.
"Hurry it up, Elric! We can not wait much longer!"
"Neither can I." He said softly and ignored her curses as she shrieked more directions at the minions who scurried behind him. Stupid pawns he thought, you deserve this, you all do. And may there be an especial hell for you, you traitorous bitch, he muttered under his breath.
The circle was almost completed. Just a bit more blood, just a little longer. He smiled at the symbols beneath his hand as he closed the last line. The circles were joined. The Gate would open, he had not been able to negate the large transmutation circle's main purpose. But they would all be dead before it did. His little circles, drawn in his blood, linked the patterns to him. He was chained to the alchemy. He had once bound his brother's soul to armour, now he was likewise bound. Knowledge he had gained so many years ago from the same Gate he was going to open now. Knowledge that revenge had unlocked and that hatred gave him the strength to carry out. He would deny them. Blood for blood.
"Edward. Help Edward." Impaled upon the dragon's teeth, Hohenheim whispered faintly as he slowly twisted the remains of his body around to press his hands together and placed them on the dragon. "Please, my son" he shuddered as the last light faded from his eyes.
Blue light flared along the dragon and the restraining chains were severed in its wake. The dragon roared as his torn body fell to encircle the array below and the corpse dropped from his mouth. Edward laid his hands on the small circle and poured himself into the array. Lines glowed and sparked as light traced out the conjoined arrays. When it reached the blood pooling under Hohenheim's body there was a sharp crack.
Blinding light flared and Edward laughed as the array burnt through the stone floor and reflected itself across the walls. Brighter and brighter it flamed. Screams arose from the men behind him as the arrayed lines cut through flesh and stone alike. He ignored the gunshots that chipped the floor beside him and he ignored the one that shattered his left forearm and the one that buried itself in his lower back. Edward barely heard the curses from Eckhart as the arrays climbed higher and severed her legs. He ignored the cries and terrified shouts as metal and men disintegrated as the linked transmutations spread further. He was tied to the circles as they expanded, replicating over and over. He pushed more of himself into the reactions.
"Blood for blood." He denounced in a cold voice, his words lost in the increasing noise of stone and men dying.
Lines of fire carved their way through ancient stones. Blood and flames rose to the ceiling far above. Choking smoke of burning rubber, machinery and flesh swirled across the blistering arrays. Buttresses began to give way as their supports were shattered in the rising wave. The walls began to topple.
Edward knelt in the middle of the main array, silent. He looked upwards with unfocused eyes, blood pooling beneath him. Unfelt tears slipped from his eyes and sweat and dust matted his hair. There was an unnerving calm about him as he waited. For the third time in his life he offered himself up for the ones he loved. But this time he yearned for the death he had somehow avoided twice before. He should have sought to return to his brother on the other side but he couldn't. The prices paid were too high already and he was too tired, too weary. Blood for blood. No more blood he thought, I've seen too much blood. He only wanted oblivion.
The dragon writhed on the outer rim of the array as alchemical symbols projected themselves across the scaled body. Roaring as he twisted, blood oozing between the torn flesh and scales the dragon struggled against the alchemic energy holding him in place. With a violent lurch the dragon slipped into the array and wrapped himself around Edward as if to squeeze the life from him.
As the roof collapsed a dark light flared in the centre of the array and the dragon and Edward disappeared beneath the rubble.
The destruction fanned out in an ever increasing circle. The surrounding rooms fell and then the whole castle slid down in a rising cloud of dust and death. The ground began to sink and the few survivors now found themselves running from the very earth beneath them.
An hour later the shaking ceased and a mile wide depression marked the spot where the castle and its grounds had been.
Edward Elric knelt before the Gate still wrapped in the dragon's coils.
If Truth spoke to him he did not hear it. He was deaf and blind to the world around him. There were no words left in him. There was no life left in him that he wanted to acknowledge. His eyes were flat and dull and apathy cloaked him. Blood and dust blanketed him. There was nothing golden left.
The void around him was not as barren as the void within him.
The dragon spoke in sibilant hisses and the large black doors opened. When the reaching hands touched him, Edward Elric smiled. Willingly almost hungrily, he accepted the death he saw coming for him. Please.
He made no sound when they tore his soul in half.
He screamed when they refused to let him die.
He opened his eyes. It took him a few moments to realise he was looking at a white ceiling. When his eyes slid to the left he saw an equally white wall. He shifted his eyes in a slow arc back past the white ceiling to the right and found another white wall. It was very quiet. He could hear someone breathing but he couldn't see anyone. He held his breath and heard nothing. So, it appeared he was the one breathing. He started breathing again.
Hospital. His mind dredged the word up and he reached for a reaction. He couldn't find one. For a moment he wondered if he should be worried but his eyes slipped closed and something akin to sleep claimed him.
Georg Heym (1887 – 1912): "Why do you visit me, white moths, so often?". Christopher Middleton translation.
Author's Note: Yes, I have taken great liberties with the movie. Obviously Edward's actions have meant that Eckhart and her army never went through the Gate to Amestris. I am making Edward eighteen years old and he has been two years in Germany.