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04 January 2010 @ 11:02 pm
Fanfiction: Walk Forward (FMA)  
Title: Walk Forward
Pairings: Mentions of Edwin, LingFan
Genre: I don't want to call it angst, but I'm at a loss for what it really is... Ling and Ed have a heartfelt talk. Lets go with that.
Rating: PG-13 ish, for language.
Summary: While waiting for the promised day and traveling alongside Greedling, Darius, and Heinkel, Ed is forced to move forward, however, he can't help but stop for a moment to worry about everyone else. Greedling (specifically Ling) decides to muse with him.


Notes: This came about after re-reading half the manga last night (I looked up a chapter in the Briggs arc just to test a theory, and I ended up reading through chapter 102 for no reason) and the chapters around the timeskip made me think. Ed was separated from everyone for a couple of months there, it must have been lonely, not knowing where everyone was or if they were all right...Poor Ed.




"Hey Kid, you finished making our hideout yet?"

Ed sighed. Damn it, those two were so pushy. Didn't they know that alchemical process wasn't just clapping your hands together and making something out of nothing? There was a science--

"I thought you said you just needed to sturdy up the roof a bit and give us a front door, I didn't think you were planning on remodeling the whole thing--"

"Shut your trap, Donkey Kong, I'm finishing it now!" Ed yelled back, before clapping his hands and transmuting that half-fallen down shack they found into a not-half-fallen down shack. With gargoyles. And spikes. "There you go, should be safe to spend a few days in, at least."

"Gargoyles? Seriously--!" Never pleased, were they?

"We're spending that long here? I thought you wanted to get down to Resembool and hide out at your Granny's place or something--!" Ed was about to retaliate towards Heinkel, but they were cut short.

"We're hiding out here a few days because I said so." Greed/Ling/Greedling/Whatever stepped between them, eyes narrowing at the chimera. "His plan is a good one, but we have to stake out the town first to make sure we can get in safely."

"See, told ya," Ed glared back at the two chimeras. "Now hurry up and get in the Hotel Rotting Shack before anyone spots us."

"Oh yeah? And what are you gonna do, Kid?" Darius asked with a raised eyebrow

"Keep watch, of course." Ed shrugged it off, heading for a small hill nearby.

Darius and Heinkel exchanged glances. "Are you sure that's a good idea? You're the one they're searching for more than any of us. Maybe you should--"

"Will you stop questioning everything, Jeez!" Ed's hands were in his pockets, yet he still contracted them into firsts. "You've got a roof over your head to sleep tonight. Just be grateful and leave me alone!"

"Kid--!" But he ignored them, marching off.

"Please. Just let him be. He probably wants some alone time after traveling with you two for so long." Greed/Ling added in, shrugging.

It dawned on the chimera's what "alone time" might refer to. "Oh-ho, I get it!" Heinkel grinned. "There was a cute girl with him back at the fortress, wasn't there? He hasn't seen her in what, almost too months? It's only natural that he'd--!"

It was too bad that the alchemist in question wasn't far enough away to be out of his earshot. "Shut the Hell up!" he roared back. Even in the darkness, they could see the redness spreading across his face. "It's not like that, you freaks!"

"Freaks?" Darius smirked as well. "It's not very nice to say that to the people who saved your life--"

"All of you shut up, Goddamnit! " Turning on his heel, the alchemist marched off towards that small hill, knowing (and oh how it annoyed him) that they were probably still laughing at him back there. Damnit, why is it when he said he wanted to be alone, their minds instantly went to that. Couldn't he just go off to think every once in a while?

He was still fuming when he got to the hill, but he managaed to think of something else once he sat down and looked up at the sky.

He'd never really noticed how bright the moon and stars were, until he had to camp out under them so many nights in a row. It reminded him of his childhood--back when he and Al survived on that Island for a whole month...

Al...

Hadn't seen him in a while...he remembered waking up in a small bed at a doctor's home in North City, having been told an entire week had passed since he had fought Kimblee. He hoped that Al was okay, and had gotten to everyone in time...

Well, this was Al he was talking about. He should be okay. He hoped. After all, if their souls were connected, wouldn't he know if something was wrong? Right?

Man, he hoped so.

Sitting down on the grass, Ed sighed, glancing up to look at the moon above. Maybe somewhere--God knows where--but somewhere else, Al was looking up at the same moon. Well, since Al couldn't sleep, he probably was looking up at the same moon.

Ed gave a sad smile to himself. Al...sorry I had to leave you like that. Hope you're okay...

He was used to traveling for months at a time. He was used to worrying about the people back home, but...Al had always been with him then. Now he was seperated from him; didn't know where he was or if he was totally okay. Hell, he didn't even say goodbye. It was sort of an unspoken promise that Al would see him again after the storm. And then it was suddenly a week later and Al was nowhere to be seen.

Well, it was his own stupid fault. If he didn't screw up like that against Kimblee, then he wouldn't have had that rafter in his gut and had his butt dragged to a doctor. Man, if Al ever found out what happened to him, he was likely to get a big armored fist in his face for it.

And speaking of people who'd beat him once they learned of it... Ed put his hands into his pockets and pulled out those earrings.

Those were the earrings that she had given to him back at Briggs, with the promise that he'd take good care of them until they met again. At the time, they had both thought that would only be a couple of hours, not a few months or more. Well, he had kept his promise, so far. He had taken care of them.

He poked at one of the silver things in his palm. Wasn't that the--? Yeah, it was. It was the earrings he had given her back then. He had given her three pairs (really as a way to keep her from flaying him within an inch of his life when he had busted up his automail pretty badly) thinking that the variety might make her happy. No, instead, she pierced her ears two more times so she could wear all of them at the same time. He didn't get it. Why she would want a hole drilled in her ear he wouldn't understand, and then why she went and got more holes drilled in her ear, he really didn't understand.

...Well, if it made her happy, then...whatever.

He hadn't even said goodbye to her either. Well, that was nothing new--he hardly ever said goodbye to her. But back at Briggs, when she had called him on it--well, he felt like he should do it more often from now on. Check in with her and make sure she was okay every once in a while. Just to be courteous.

And, well, because they threatened her. That too.

He remembered that moment--back when she had taken her earrings off and placed them in his hands. "Keep those safe for me until I get back. See you back at the fortress!" She had gone off with a smile.

Damnit, why had he even allowed her to go! Now she was probably stuck in some dingy old shack like he was, with only Scar of all people for protection!

No, wait, Al had gone to warn them. If Al had met up with them, then he was there too. Al would take care of her, at least. He wouldn't let anyone, friend or foe, lay a finger on her.

It was a good thing, then, that he was separated from them both. That gave the possibility that they were together. That was something.

Though why did it have to end up like this? Damnit, if only he had found a way back to them....

"Hmm, I've never seen you so thoughtful. Usually you just yell and make a fuss when you're upset."

Ed turned to glare at his visitor. "What the Hell do you want, Ling?"

Ling/Greed/Whatever he was to be called now merely rolled his eyes, leaning against a tree. "It's Greed."

"Yeah, yeah. You still didn't answer my question. What the Hell do you want?"

"Nice pieces of silver there," Greed pointed at the earrings in Ed's hand--Ed glared and put them hastily back in his pocket. "Where'd ya get em?"

"None of your business."

"Oh, wait, that guy's telling me there's a girl who hangs on to you who has a lot of piercings. Are they hers?"

"None of your business!" He was not blushing. He was not blushing, damnit!

"Of course," Greed smirked back. "So, something on your mind?"

"Nothing I'd want to talk to you about."

"Ouch. You know, maybe you'd have a few more people like you better if you just treated others with respect--!"

"Augh, will you just leave me alone!" Ed stood up at once, marching off in another direction.

Greed followed him. Ed was sure he was only doing it to annoy him. "Well, you know, you are my subordinate now. I can't have you working for me when you're acting all mopey--"

The alchemist whirled around, hands balled into childish fists. "I--AM--NOT--MOPEY!"

"Clearly--" Greed's words were cut off when he heard someone else speak to him, "Hey, Greed!"

"Hmph. What do you want?" he asked his host.

"Looks like Ed really is bothered by something." Ling sounded a bit concerned, even.

"Yeah, I figured that out, oddly enough."

"You know, he has been parted from his brother and his other friends for a while now. He must be worried about them."

"Well, maybe, but he's not gonna let me talk to him."

"Why don't you let me talk to him?" The prince wasted no time in cropping up that suggestion.

"Hey, hey, you think I'm gonna let you just take over my body--!"

"It'll only be for a minute. I'll give the body back afterward."


"Really? Promise?"

"Not really, but if I don't give the body back, you'll just take it again by force, won't you?"

"Ha ha, that's true. Well, show me what you've got then, Prince."

In the time it took for Greed and Ling to have this little internal exchange, Ed had raised his eyebrow at Greed's odd silence, then shrugged and walked away. Ling saw him sitting on top of another part of the hill, trying hard to look relaxed instead of worried.

"Hey, Ed,"

Ed rolled his eyes, "Whatdya want, Greed--Oh, Ling?" That got a surprised look on his face. "What happened to Greed? Did you take the body from him again, or..."

"He just lent it to me for a little while. I have to give it back soon."

"Yeah, soon. Get on with it already!"

"Heh, that was nice of him. Though he's rather pushy about a body that isn't even his."

"I'm Greed, you idiot! Greed! I want everything in this world! That body is mine--!"

"Yeah, well, you get what you can, right?" Ling sat down next to him. For a few moments, neither of them said anything. It had been a while since the both of them had the time to just sit and talk like this...and so much had happened since then.

"Hey, Ling," Ed continued to look up at the night sky as he asked, "Do you regret it? Giving your body to Greed...becoming a homunculus..."

"Hey, you were only supposed to talk to him remember! Leave my body out of--!"

"I dunno..." Ling joined him at looking up at the night sky. It really was beautiful, it reminded him of the view of the sky from Xing... "I didn't have much of an option back there, did I?" he gave a small chuckle. "I suppose if I had a choice to keep my body or to give it up I would have chosen to keep it, but..."  Ling formed a fist over his heart. "I set out to acquire the Philosopher's Stone. I've gained immortality. I did what I set out to do."

"If you hadn't done it, you could have stayed with the old man...with all your friends...and Ran Fan." Ed couldn't help but notice the little twitch in Ling's fingers when Ran Fan was brought up.
"I guess...but we might have parted anyway. She had to...she had to get a new arm, after all. And with all this stuff about saving the world and all," Ling threw in a small laugh at how ridiculous it sounded in retrospect, "I couldn't have stayed with her for a full year while she recovered."

"Heh, so even though Amestris isn't your country, you'd still fight for it, huh?" Ed couldn't help but grin at that.

"Don't be ridiculous," Ling corrected him. "I don't fight for this country. I fight for my friends who are living here. Isn't that why you fight, too?"

Ed couldn't help but think of Pinako's house back in Resembool. "Yeah..."

"Besides, someone's gotta stay here and make sure you stay in line."

"Hey!"

"It's true, you know. You've got a pretty bad temper without your brother around to reign you in."

Yep, hit the nail right on the head with that one, as Ed's glare faded. "You worried about him?" Ed didn't say anything, but Ling could read it all over his face. "You haven't seen him in--"

"A few weeks," Ed cut him off. "I probably won't see him again for another couple months..."

"He's a skilled fighter and alchemist, like you. And he's got others with him. He'll probably be okay--"

"I know...I know. Al can handle himself." Ed sighed, resting his forehead against his hands.

"But...?"

"He's still my little brother."

Ling was silent for a moment. Well, what could he tell Ed to make it better? He'd probably never been separated from his brother for so long before. And Ed would worry anyway, no matter what he said. Still, there was maybe something he could do...

"Oh, and how's that cute girl who was hanging around with you before? Shame she was so taken with you...I wouldn't have minded making her a Princess of Xing if I had the opportunity--"

"WHAT?!!!"

Ling could barely contain himself from laughing. Ed had spun around, eyes as wide as headlights, his face a shade to match his gaudy red coat (from embarrassment or anger or a mix of both, Ling didn't know), pointing and sputtering back at him in almost incoherent manner. "What the HELL?! Princess--PRINCESS--of XING?! WHAT--DID--YOU--SAY--TO WINRY?!"

"Like I said, she was rather cute, but she seemed more fond of you, than--"

"STOP SAYING THAT!" Okay, now he was genuinely blushing. Ling could barely contain himself from laughing. Even Greed seemed to be enjoying it.

"Oh, so there is a girl, huh? Man, am I going to have fun with this..."

Well, if he ever wanted Ed to talk to him again, he had to patch it up somehow. "Relax, Ed, I'm just teasing."

"Yeah, well, stop it before I clobber you."

"In all seriousness...you worry about her, too, don't you?"

After Ling's last statement about Winry, he seemed a little reluctant to talk. "She's...she's with Al. She should be fine."

"Still...?"

Ed gave a small glare back at the Xingese prince. Seems like he wouldn't be satisfied until Ed talked out all his problems. Damnit. "Still nothing. She's with Al and he can protect her--"

"Yeah, but you can't. You can't protect either of them yourself. And that's what's got you worried."

"Hmph. You've got me sounding like some emotional sap--"

"Ed," Ling cut him off, giving him a serious look for once. "Do you want to know another reason why I accepted the Philosopher's Stone?"

He threw up a guess. "Power...?"

"Because with it, I can protect the Old Man and Ran Fan." For a moment, Ling paused, looking slightly regretful. "Ran Fan...she lost her arm because I wasn't strong enough to protect her. I lost to Bradley. I didn't have the strength to face him. But now," He grew the Ultimate Shield for a moment over his hand, eyes narrowing at looking at the hardened skin. "I have it. Even if I'm not with them...I have the strength to protect them. I can protect both of them by protecting this country." He turned back to the alchemist. "Same for you. Even if you're not with them, you can protect them by helping to prevent this Promised Day."

"Yeah..." He didn't look convinced.

"Al told me you said something once...Like 'stand up and walk forward', wasn't that it? Stand up, and walk towards your goal. Protect them by working to protect this country. That's all you can do right now."

Ed paused to think on what Ling had said for a moment. "But...I'm not sure if I can even stop him. It would be safer if I got them a message telling them to leave--"

"Isn't this the alchemist that transmuted his way out of Gluttony's Stomach, a place that was supposed to have no exits? C'mon, you'll think of something. We'll stop him, save the world, and then go home to everyone that's waiting for us."

Ed couldn't help but give a small smile at that. "You make it sound so lame."

"Saving the world? Yeah, it is. It sounds like plot right out of a book or something." Ling smirked to himself.

"Still, lame or not, we gotta do it, don't we?" Ed stood up and stretched, giving Ling a smile. "For the people that are waiting for us."

"God, this is so cheesy. That's it, you did good, but I want my body back now."

"Oh, Fine," Ling sighed, as Greed took over.

"Anyway, Ling, maybe Donkey Kong and Lion King are asleep now, so we can head back--" Ed's smile faded back to a frown when he noticed Ling wasn't his usual self. "Oh, its you."

"I got bored," Greed muttered, "Now come on, you need to get some sleep if we're gonna stake out Resembool in the morning."

"Yeah, yeah..." Ed followed after Greed as he led back to their hide out. He was annoyed at the sudden appearance of Greed, but his heart felt a bit lighter. Ling was right, after all...there was no good to dwell on it; he was better working to protect them from afar rather than sit and hope...

"Oh, and by the way...what's this girlfriend of yours like? She pretty?"

Back at the shack, both Darius and Heinkel were awoken by a certain alchemist's scream.





Ling/Ed bromance = <3.
You know, given what happen's to Fuu in recent chapters, Ling's dialogue is heart wrenching. T_T
 
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Current Mood: groggygroggy
Current Music: Melodies of Life -- Final Fantasy IX
 
 
 
Barking at the windevil_little_dog on January 5th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Enjoyed this a lot. Thanks for sharing it!
Kitinulovinkit on January 5th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
Thanks!
The Doc: 100% Geniuskurunya on January 5th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
Ekkk how cute...XD Greed just HAD TO ask that didnt he? Perfect way to end it~ XD
Kit: LOL 2inulovinkit on January 5th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC)
I wish Arakawa had given us more of what they were doing during the timeskip. There is no WAY that Greed didn't get by without teasing Ed a little bit.
Jade: FMA // that warmth in her eyesmusogato on January 5th, 2010 09:45 am (UTC)
Heheh, so cute. <3 Lovely job on this; it was fun to read. ^^
Kitinulovinkit on January 5th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
Wolfsjunges: FMA: Ed and Ling = me and Krhainosdriftwoodwings on January 5th, 2010 11:51 am (UTC)
Was a nice read. :D :D :D.. I love the way it ended too. I can imagine Ed just shrieking about it making some loud spaz whine. Oh Ed, you make it to easy.

"Ling/Ed bromance = <3."
yes, very much This.

Edited at 2010-01-05 11:52 am (UTC)
Kitinulovinkit on January 5th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
I wish we had more Ling/Ed BFF scenes. They're just so great how they play off another!