Comment: Even when our eyes are closed there's a whole other world out there that exists outside ourselves and our dreams. -Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist Episode 51.
Disclaimer: I don't own FMA, Naruto or the majority of the characters used in this story they belong to Arakawa-sama and Kishimoto-san as well as their respective creators.
Additional Warning: Violence, Language, gore, and death.
A/N: This is my attempt at a War/Army fic, though with a supernatural twist. Dedicated to Curpricanka and Siameze whose encouragement and support keep me working on this story. Also sorry this part turned out so short.
Live life in every breath, in every heartbeat, in every moment we share with others, and in every moment in which our eyes are open.-Inspired by a similar line from The Last Samurai
Three Weeks Later
He felt it as surely as he'd felt it the moment Al was ripped beyond his reach, the moment that Alyssa was no longer within his reach, the moment their bond was nearly severed completely. He knew that separating himself from her after they had met and truly set that bond they had always shared into concrete that it would be painful, stifling, heart wrenching for them to be away from each other. He had already struggled with himself by pulling away from Roy and everyone else, but this, it was torment beyond any of the physical torment that awaited him.
His father wouldn't kill him, couldn't really, not with Balenst set on making certain that he suffered. His hair, for instance, which had barely begun to grow back, was the first to be hacked away so that it lay in uneven shreds of its formal glory. His fake arm was tore off at the elbow, which made him grateful it wasn't automail because that would have hurt like hell. His clothes were taken from him and then he was sprayed down with a hose, which had hurt actually, and given a potato sack for a shirt and some filthy pants that were tied around his waist with a poor excuse for a shirt.
Shoes were a luxury, which he'd noticed as soon as he was dragged out of the back of the caravan where he and everyone else had been hauled off in after they were finally captured. He'd been grateful to see that at least one of them had managed to get away. Remarkably enough it was Neji that had managed to get away, Temari had been hauled out of the caravan first and led towards another part of the camp away from him, Sasuke, and Riku. It wasn't until he was pulled, dragged, and shoved into a sad excuse for tent, which was rather large but with thin material and sagging at the back, that he met with the other two guys.
They looked as pathetic as he felt, potato sacks for shirts, ripped, grimy, filthy pants tied off with ropes, and hair hacked off in odd and uneven lengths. Sasuke was sitting on the floor towards the back with Riku next to him and they looked up at the sight of him, or probably the feel of his gaze. Three weeks stuck in a caravan, given little to nothing for nourishment, and yet the defiance was still strong in all of them. Ed was grateful to see it in their eyes and expressions, they had yet to give up and he would sure as hell make sure it stayed that way.
He made his way towards them only to be stopped by a man stepping in front of him, someone Ed could swear looked familiar but he couldn't place how or why. He had dark hair and eye and lightly tan skin. He was skin and bones and it showed that he had been here in this camp for some time. He couldn't place it or put a name to the face, but he recognized him from somewhere, then the guy grinned and Ed backed up a step at the shock that ran through him. His hair had been long, his grin always present, his eyes were slanted, obviously Chinese, his name was-
"Ling, surely you remember me?"
Ed did a double take, this looked nothing like the Ling he knew, but then again he wasn't and he was the Ling he knew. He had met this Ling three or four times before, in very bad circumstances, back at the Tower. Ling had been one of the captives there, a young prince among way too many in his opinion, and not very missed by his father. Ling had never become and enemy, but he had been among those that Ed had sought relief with through sex. Ed knew Ling alright, knew that look in his eyes, and how possessive and greedy the shit was.
"Unfortunately, what the hell are you doing here? Surely someone as slimy and quick as you would have been able to avoid capture."
Ling continued to grin, Damn he has lost a lost of weight, he looks half dead, how can he grin like that in his state?
"I would say the same for you Edward."
Ed brushed past him, not wanting to turn his back on the guy but not wanting to give the impression he wished to speak with him or even look at him. He wasn't surprised when a thin and bony hand grabbed his wrist to stop him but he easily pulled free and turned on Ling with a snarl, "I'd think you have enough problems seeing as how you're here to occupy you. It would be in your best interest to forget you ever saw me here."
"How is that possibly when we are in the same tent?"
Ed ignored him and made his way towards Sasuke and Riku who had gotten to their feet and looked ready to jump Ling at any moment. Ed nodded to them and said, "He's only a nuisance," to which they relaxed a bit until a loud voice boomed making Ed paused and turn to the mouth of the tent. There stood Balenst looking very much pleased and as arrogant as ever.
"Grub in twenty, then you three in the back will be receiving your initiation into this camp."
He turned and left and Ed rolled his neck on his shoulders thinking to himself, Before this is over I'm going to run that bastard through with a very sharp, pointy, and shiny thing.
Getting to Britain was a task, they had plenty of trouble along the way and had miraculously lost no one. They had acquired at least fifty soldiers to add to their group and so smuggling a ship was not difficult it was getting a captain that could man the ship that was the problem. Then, they had to fight with the border patrol when they made port. Mustang had been very grateful to Riza for having brought one of her bags in which she had managed to organize passports and identification for everyone while they were traveling. She was truly a miracle worked and he hoped that she would continue to stay around for a while.
Now they were approaching the end of the third week since they had arrived and four weeks since they had left Ed, Sasuke, Temari, and Riku back in Germany with who knew what fates awaiting them. Neji had caught up with them with a message from Riku and Temari that they had been captured by Balenst and were being sent to a camp in Magdeburg. The news had made him want to turn around and head back but he couldn't, he'd promised Ed he would make sure everyone made it to safety and Neji, as well as Naruto, Riza, and Alyssa, through tears in her eyes and with an expression that looked as young as she appeared, had reminded him of that fiercely and against their own wishes.
So now, here he was, speaking with a General in the British Army, about what it was his group of refugee's had endured to get here, who they had left behind, what they had faced, and how many lives were lost to make it this far. Most of the soldiers had decided to continue their lives as civilians, including a good number of those that were part of Ed's command, which he had not faulted them for and had made sure to ensure them Ed would not blame them for. Havoc, Breda, and Riza had decided to follow him and he had sworn that he would find a way to get Ed, Sasuke, Temari, and Riku back.
Naruto, Shikamaru, Neji, Gaara, and Kiba had decided to pick up arms with the British army and after weeks of being questioned, interrogated, and backgrounds verified through sketchy details the British had on the German forces, they had finally been allowed to speak with the General whom he was speaking with now. He was told that only he would be able to speak to the General and he would be representing everyone that wished to become part of the British army. They would not be required to go through basic training and once everything was verified and all the information they had was documented then they would join the ranks, possibly with promotions.
The lack of officers was made apparent as soon as they had stepped foot on the base and the holes in ranks were to be filled by all of those that had decided to continue service in the military. There was concern over their switching sides but once their story on how they had arrived and what they had been through had circled through the soldiers and to the officers many did not blame them for wanting to change sides. In fact they had only made more of the British soldiers that much more driven to eliminate the enemies in Germany.
Mustang had met with a few American soldiers, pilots even, that had volunteered to help the British with this war, they were even more passionate than the British soldiers. The sounds of gunfire and bombs and planes were constant and something he had become used to. He had spent time on the battlefield in Germany after all and that had shown when the camp was attacked and he and his command along with close to ten soldiers from Ed's command had acted without instructions to defend the camp and help those who were wounded. Those actions had led to them finally being approved to meet with the General.
"From what I understand you were given the rank of Colonel while in service to the Germany Army."
"Yes sir, that is correct."
"They must have had a lot of holes to fill to give someone as young as you such a high rank. How old did you say you were again boy?"
He detested being addressed as boy but held his own distaste down and answered calmly, "I'm twenty-three, I was enlisted when I was nineteen."
"Hardly long enough to hold such a rank even in a time of war. You were sent to the front lines and given command of an entire battalion, correct?"
"You also took over a Major Elric's command in Munich while he was reported to be serving directly under the Fuhrer?"
"Yes sir, though that was a falsified report on the whereabouts of Major Elric."
"That isn't my concern when I'm addressing you. Perhaps when I have Major Elric here I can have him clear that matter up. For now just answer my question with a simple yes or no."
"You were the one in charge of leading nearly one hundred soldiers across the borders to arrive here in England, correct?"
"I am impressed by your reports as well as the evidence that shows your rank did not overwhelm you. You think quick on your feet and don't hesitate to take action. You also saved hundreds of lives the other day during that fiasco. I believe Colonel suits you if you're willing to continue to bear the burden of such a responsibility."
"I am humbled you think so sir. Thank you sir."
"I hope to see a young man such as yourself rise to greetness one day, I am going to approve for the ranks Major General Harold suggested. I am also going to approve your request for the five peronale in your command, they seem capable and from what I see the six of you work effieciently together. Your dismissed Colonel Mustang, speak with the Major General about getting uniforms and insignia's for your command as well as a location for your office on base."
Mustang got to his feet and snapped a sharp salute while saying, "Yes sir."
"Get going, I'm sure you have plenty of work ahead of you."
Mustang turned and walked out and was grateful that Riza had ignored the orders to be somewhere else while he had to speak with the General. Harold was pleasant enough and straight to the point like most of the older officers but General Gran was a different story. Riza offered him a small smile, "We should go speak with General Harold and then call it a night, it is nearly dusk sir."
"I agree Lieutenant," another small smile followed. As they crossed the base, or camp as it looked closer to that than a base, Mustang was jolted to a stop when a mass of a girl plowed into him from behind and locked her arms around his waist. He turned in her arms and picked her up, it had taken a great deal of work and a lot of demonstrating to ensure that Alyssa could remain on base. Many still continued to give him looks for keeping her close by and allowing her to remain at his side but he brushed them off.
"He's still alive," she whispered when he hugged her in greeting. He set her down and she immediately took his hand which he had gotten used to. Riza walked on his right side and Alyssa on his left, these two were his strength and backbone and he would give anything to keep them at his side. With all the stress from trying to get approved to join the ranks of the British army he had little to no time to think back on what he'd left behind to get here. But at night it always plagued him and he was running himself ragged with so little sleep. During the day he was swamped with responsibilities and military obligations, at night he was haunted by Ed and being left in the dark to how he was.
Alyssa squeezed his hand, "We'll get him back," she said with such confidence that he couldn't not take comfort in that. He glanced at Naruto as he came over to them with a grin with Havoc, Kiba, Shikamaru, Neji, and Gaara quietly joining them. Alyssa offered a smile to all of them and swung her arms back and forth forcing his left arm to swing up with hers. Naruto stepped up and grabbed her other hand and she continued swinging her arms back and forth.
"We'll bring them all back to us where they belong," she said strongly with a voice that was filled with an innocent sureness and a moving amount of determination.
Naruto nodded and grinned a bright and true grin, which was a very rare occurrence lately, "Damn right we will."
Alyssa laughed at the language and Mustang smiled a small smile, until they could bring them back at least he had everyone here to help him get through it and assure that when the time came to make a move they would indeed accomplish the task before them.
A/N: I apologize for the length of time between updates in these last two submissions. This is the end of Part 1. I never had intended for this to become as big as it has or has yet to become but alas, I never can seem to control my stories anymore than I can control the characters in them. I hope you've enjoyed this story and will continue to do so when Part 2 begins. It may be a while before I start Part 2 but I assure, regardless of how long it may take, I will not leave this story as it is and I shall finish it. Now I must go through and work on other ongoing stories and finish stories that have long since earned their endings by now. Thanks go out to all the readers, even the silent ones, and many thanks to those who have taken the time to leave a review as you have inspired me to keep going even when I fell into a rut with this story. P.S. I assure you that things left unanswered will be answered in the Sequel.