I'm no sure where this came from.

So please read, enjoy and let me know what you think, cheers.

Disclaimer: not mine.

Guardian

Edward had found a way to retrieve his brother's body from the Gate. Neither Ed nor Al had any memory of what happened after Ed activated the array. They were found unconscious by Hawkeye, who had come to check on them. When Ed regained consciousness he was in a lot of pain, all he could do was curl into a ball holding his stomach. Soon they found out what was wrong with Ed. It was the price extracted by the Gate for the return of Al's body.

The price wasn't quite what he expected though. A body for a body, or rather, Al's body in exchange for the use of Ed's body as an incubator. Ed was pregnant. Not only that, but his stomach was marked with a double circle, with a five pointed star in the middle.

Needless to say no-one was happy with the development. It was obvious to anyone who saw Ed's stomach what he had done, almost as obvious as Al's armour had been. Mustang made sure that Ed spent the majority of his pregnancy in Resembool on leave.

As the date the baby was due on approached Ed was getting increasingly snappy and bad tempered. Pinako, Winry and Al all took it in their stride, knowing that Ed was scared and trying to hide it. Despite their understanding all of them were relieved when Mustang and Hawkeye came to Resembool a week before the birth. Ed and Mustang's constant bickering seemed to make Ed more settled and less snappy.

The day of the birth arrived but nothing seemed to be happening. Pinako was examining Ed when the circle on his stomach began to glow as if someone had activated the array. Pinako's startled exclamation and Ed's angry shouts brought the others running into the room in time to see Pinako backed up against the wall, shielding her eyes against the light coming from the circle on Ed's stomach.

Suddenly a huge ornately carved doorway appeared, Ed staggered to his feet. He was staring in horror as the Gate opened and dark tendrils shot out and latched on to Ed's arms and legs. They dragged him into the Gate which closed behind him with a hollow boom. The doorway then disappeared, leaving a shocked audience behind, staring at the empty spot that the Gate had disappeared from.


Ed found himself in a dark void. His arms and legs were still held immobile by the black tendrils. He couldn't see anything in the darkness, so he settled for struggling against his restraints. Then he saw a pair of eyes staring at him from the void. His struggles stilled. Another pair of eyes joined the first, then another and another, until the darkness seemed full of eyes.

A bright, white shape stepped away from the eyes surrounding Ed. It approached him, and started to circle him as if he were some kind of exhibit. Ed quickly grew frustrated with the endless circling and had no problems with making his displeasure known.

"What do you want?" The snapped words were more of a demand than a question. The thing stopped moving and stood in front of Ed.

"I would have thought that was obvious," The words had no emotion of any kind in them. That fact only made Ed angrier.

"Not really. We're done, Al got his body back and your damn price was this baby!"

"Yes, that was the price. You are here so that we can collect it," Ed's eyes widened at this statement, and he felt the first stirrings of panic prickling at the back of his mind. He had, despite his constant complaining and general apprehension, grown fond of the child that he was carrying. He didn't want to give it up, especially like this.

"What would you want a child for?" The words spilled from his mouth before he really knew what he was saying. The entity seemed amused by the question. It studied him silently for a moment before speaking again.

"You see the eyes that surround us? They are the Guardians of the Gate. As you probably noticed with your brother's body, things do not age here; there is no time as you understand it. The Guardians do not age or die, but they do wear away, like a mountain eroded by wind and rain. Eventually they cease to be, and they need to be replaced."

"No," Ed whispered the word in horror. He was beginning to understand what was happening.

""Of course the guardians are not really 'living' so cannot reproduce. A host is needed to carry the new guardian until it is ready to join its brethren."

"Why... why me?" Ed's mouth suddenly felt very dry, and a queasy feeling was growing in the pit of his stomach.

"Why you? Not all the guardians fade away, sometimes a foolish human will attempt the impossible and try to drag a soul back from death. The guardians will not let this happen, souls are what give the guardians awareness, without them they will cease to exist. So it is one of the guardians that is taken instead of the desired soul. I believe that you call the creature that is created a homunculus."

Ed let out a growl of denial. He shook his head from side to side as if he could shake out the words that he had just heard. He didn't want to hear any more. The thing carried on anyway.

"As you took one of our guardians it is equivalent that you replace it. That is how you alchemists work is it not? Equivalent exchange."

"No, no, no..." Ed kept repeating the word like a mantra. The thing was now so close to him it was practically pressed against his body.

"Time to pay up little alchemist," The thing hissed before plunging an arm into Ed's stomach. Ed screamed as his flesh was torn apart and his child ripped from his body. As he hovered on the edge of consciousness he felt blood running down his legs from the gaping wound in his stomach. He struggled to hear over the roaring sound that filled his ears. A high pitched wail cut through his hearing, and it took him a moment to realise that it was his baby's cry. As awareness fled from him he heard the thing speak.

"Strange, it looks like a human infant. A female. What could have gone wrong?"


Al, Winry, Pinako, Hawkeye and Mustang had all retreated to the living room after they had recovered from their initial shock. It had been several hours since the Gate had taken Ed and they were still shaken. Al and Winry were clinging to each other, drawing comfort for the others presence.

There came a sudden, bright flash of light from under the door of the treatment room, followed by a muffled thump. The occupants of the room looked at each other and got to their feet. They made their way towards the room cautiously, lead by Mustang. He opened the door and surveyed the room. His eyes fell on a bloody figure sprawled face down on the floor. He recognised Ed and rushed over to him. He rolled him over into his back and inhaled sharply when he saw the huge gash in the blonde's stomach.

He quickly checked for a pulse and when he found it he stripped of his jacket and tried to staunch the flow of blood from the wound. The others were rushing around gathering the things needed to help Ed under the instructions of Pinako. They sewed his wound closed, disinfected it and bandaged it. The blonde alchemist lived but did not wake for two weeks after. When he did he refused to say anything of what happened. He just looked at them with haunted eyes.