Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Spoilers: through 51
Summary: Roy hasn't learned from other people's mistakes
Previous Parts: Prologue | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Tag filter
Notes: Many thanks to tatooine and daringu for the betas. I think I'm like maybe one more edit away from being completely done, so I'll be posting about one chapter a day for the rest of the week. After this one, I'll only post the Epilogue in the comms to avoid spamming them.
If there is one thing Roy could count on, it is the fact that human beings love to gossip. He watches as Havoc, Breda, Falman, and Fury discuss something animatedly at their desks, and it warms his heart. At least they're happy, or at least untroubled.
Roy isn't used to feeling old like this.
He listens as closely as he can to their conversation from his desk, pretending to go over some reports while eavesdropping.
"What do you think is eating the Colonel lately?" Fury asks, twitching slightly as he says it. His hair is especially ruffled today, and Roy makes note of it, but it's probably nothing.
Havoc leans back , absently playing with his cigarette. "He's been investigating some murders, real bad stuff."
Fury blinks, slowly, as if considering it. He lowers his voice, to the point where Roy can't pick up every word he says. He does catch the mumbled "since he got the eyepatch" and it piques his interest.
Without bothering to whisper, Breda says, "Lay off the colonel. He's had a rough few months."
"There's something off about those murders," Falman ponders, seemingly a bit detached from the rest of the group.
"What?" It's Fury who says it, but the other two are clearly thinking the same thing.
Falman frowns. "I'm not sure. There's a pattern we're missing with these victims." Roy represses the urge to tell them exactly what it was that they were missing. But if he admits that he knows, there's the whole question of how and that's not something he's willing to deal with yet.
"He's killing the same person over and over again." They all turn to Hawkeye, who had been staring at them from the doorway, and Roy quickly returns to studying his papers.
"Makes sense," Falman says, and Roy can almost hear his forehead creasing. "But who is it?"
Fury chimes in, his voice hesitant, "The colonel, maybe? I mean, they have a lot of the same features."
Roy tries not to react, but settles on wincing at the autopsy report on his desk. Best not to let them know he's listening.
Just in time, Hawkeye does come in with the rescue, though, and Roy reminds himself to buy her lots and lots of flowers after this is all done. "It could be, but how much of coincidence would that be? There are plenty of people that look like the colonel. The murderer found three of them already, didn't he?"
There's some grunts of acknowledgment, but none of them sound very convinced. They'll accept it as the "official" explanation, at least for now, and Roy is grateful for that.
The phone rings, pulling him out of the conversation. "Mustang," he answers.
"They tell me he used to call you all the time," a familiar voice says.
Roy freezes, something going still and careful within him. He collects himself before replying. "How did you get this number?"
Wrath laughs, full and throaty, and Roy really doesn't want it to bring up happy, painful memories, but it does. "You don't actually expect me to answer that," he says.
"Yes, in fact, I do," Roy snarls. He's at the fucking edge of his fucking wits and the fucking cause is laughing at him over the fucking phone.
Wrath's voice suddenly, inexplicably becomes wistful. "What was I like as a human?" he asks, still avoiding Roy's question.
The question is strange, off kilter, but Roy takes the opportunity when he hears it. "Kinder," he says flippantly. "Less homicidal. Nicer eyes." He doesn't know what he's trying to achieve by baiting Wrath. But then again, he never seems to know why he acts the way he does around Wrath.
The line is silent for a few moments, and Roy wonders whether or not Wrath has hung up.
"Do you want to know why I kill them?" Wrath finally asks, his voice changing again, becoming quiet and deadly. Roy's surprised that this is the only time he's heard Wrath angry.
"No, why?" Roy can't keep the edge of challenge out of his voice. Wrath gets under his skin like no one else.
Except Maes. Roy is getting a really painful headache.
He can hear Wrath's breathing now, heavy and hard, like he needs to keep himself under control. "I never mean to kill them, in the beginning," he says. Roy stifles a snort. "But they're always too wrong." Wrath spits out the word as if he doesn't really understand it either. "And I just get so angry."
"What do you--" Roy tries to ask Wrath to elaborate, but there's a click at the other end of the line. Fuck, he thinks, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
The boy looked calmer than normal as he walked down a narrow dirt path.
His brother was at his side, face blank. That was probably due to the armor, though. It was hard to tell.
To the other side of his brother was a girl. She was as quiet as her companions, but there was an uncertainty to her, as if she didn't quite understand why they were doing this.
The boy knew, of course. They were headed toward an Ishbal refugee camp to learn more about the Philosopher's Stone. The journey might be a success, and they would have a bloodless way of creating Philosopher's Stones. They would be able to restore their bodies.
But it wasn't likely.