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Love is Love

Title: Love is Love
Chapter: 5 The Battle
Beta: rentetsu
Warnings: Kind of end of anime spoilery...
Rating: PG13 I guess? Mild language, major gore this chapter, and possibly... poooossibly Hentai in a later chapter if I ever get the guts to write it... or con persuade someone else into writing it for me.
Type of Fic: A Looove Story~
Pairing: AlxScieszka
Notes: I don't own FMA. This is derived from RP chats done with various members of the Fullmetal Folly RPG, where I play Al. I had the wonderful task of converting crack into fic. Woot.
Summary: Al and Scieszka finally see each other after half a year... but who is this new man that she is with?


Al didn’t know what miracle led Scieszka back to Resenbool, but he was thankful all the same. At best, they could pretend that nothing happened. At worst, she would never talk to him or Ed again. Not quite as bad, he’d have to apologize for the whole thing. It was his fault, after all. He was the stupid, inexperienced, hormone crazed teenaged boy after all. The entire thing started when he was drunk anyway. Thinking back on the last six months, drinking at night for the first two months probably wasn’t the best of ideas. On the plus side, it did raise his threshold for alcohol... on the down side, he spent his nights in a depressed drunken stupor. Once Ed had found him like that, all the alcohol was put under an alchemically created lock and key. Al could have just as easily used alchemy to open the lock, but he knew his brother was doing a good thing. Not to mention the “if you open this, I’m going to beat your brains in” look Ed gave him as he locked the numbing drinks away. The next two months he tried not to think about the betrayed look in her eyes again. After that, he went to staying in his room quietly… this time no drinks were involved, but that allowed for him to think more… which may or may not have been a good thing.

Alphonse planned to meet her along the road. From talking to Winry, he knew when her train was going to arrive, so it wasn’t that difficult to estimate when to start his walk. His stomach was full of butterflies as he walked down the road, kicking up dirt. For May, it had been very dry. A lot of the farmers were having problems… Al had spent some of his time designing and creating better irrigation systems for them.

He nearly missed her as he waved to one of the farmers to the right of the road. She was with someone, and they were headed in the opposite direction off the road. He was just about as tall as Al was… and his hair seemed to be about the same color too. Al looked around for something to alchemize… and a discarded broken spade and some soil provided him with all he needed.

Al reached into his pocket and brought out his gloves. They were simple and white, but with arrays on the palms. It was a simple all purpose array. It could do almost anything, but required a lot of concentration and input from the alchemist. The less that was said in the array, the more the alchemist needed to control.

He held the shovel part of the spade in one hand with the soil on top of it. He pressed his right hand onto the top of it… and a short flash later he had a small, single lens telescope. Al inspected it for a few seconds, then looked through it to view Scieszka and her companion.

Alphonse froze as he gazed through the lens. The person with Scieszka didn’t look a little bit like Al, he was Al.

But since I’m me… that’s impossible. Wait…

Al’s mind raced over the scarce details he had been told, read, and heard of their journey… The stone, battles, murderers, chimera, kidnappings, wars and… Homunculi Created humans. From what he had chanced in overhearing between his brother and Roy Mustang, not only were they possible, they existed and possessed extraordinary powers and seemed to heal themselves endlessly. Al wasn’t quite sure what he was getting into, but he did know that Scieszka was in danger. He began to dash after them. They had a good head start… but Al hadn’t trained with Izumi for three years for nothing.

As Al’s heavy footsteps came close enough for the other Al to hear, the imposter cast a casual glance behind him. Al hadn’t been very stealthy after all. The fake held a fist aloft in the air behind Scieszka, who seemed to be taking note of only the grass as she walked. Al looked on in horror as a mirror… no a perfect image of his face took on a devilishly gleeful expression. The doppelganger quickly took his other arm and wrapped it roughly around Scieszka’s neck, spinning her around so she and Al faced each other.

He leaned down and spoke softly, but just loud enough for Al to hear. “Shall I snap your neck?” Al’s voice crooned, dripping with a sadistic sort of pleasure. Scieszka’s eyes became wide with terror. Al froze about ten feet from the pair, disbelief on his face. “I wouldn't come any closer, little boy.”

“You…” There was a threat in Alphonse’s tone, but a large amount of uncertainty too.

“Oh I’m sorry, you’re the forgetful brother. Well then…” A glow not unlike alchemy traveled down the stranger’s body. It revealed what appeared to be a very androgynous body in a tight black top and a tiny matching wrap around skirt. The… thing’s hair was green and spiked and long. A headband held it out of its eyes. The eyes were currently looking at Al with an odd mix of malice and amusement, with a smirking mouth to match. “… Let me re-introduce myself,” the thing purred in a new voice, which was also a mix of male and female, “I’m Envy, your eternal tormentor, killer of your brother and Brigadier General Hughes.” Envy emphasized this point by squeezing painfully hard on Scieszka’s neck.

“Envy... You hurt her and I swear....” Al’s voice was steely strong, yet full of energy.

Envy laughed with mirth at Al’s pathetic show of machismo. “What? You'll kill me?”

Judging by the way he…she said that, he… it must be able to heal really fast.

“I'll use my famous Elric mind to devise a way for you to die for an eternity.” It wasn’t a bluff either. His mind was already going through about three ways he could smash, crush, and burn the thing in front of him.

Envy rolled his eyes. “Oh, I'm trembling,” he said, voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Al…” Scieszka pleaded. For what, Al wasn’t quite sure.

“Let go of her.” Al took one step forward towards them. He lowered his hands down letting his hands lightly touch the sides of his pants, them pressing his palms against his legs. A little glance right and left revealed four trees; they were all just about ten feet from Envy. Two were even with Al, with one on either side of him, and the other two were behind Envy, forming almost a perfect square.

Once again Envy laughed at Al’s attempt to show power. “But we're having such a good time, aren't we Schiezzie?” Envy opened his hand and his fingers began to change. Al clenched his teeth as he saw their tips shine in the mid-day sun. Envy had sharpened them to points. Envy gave Al a grin as he traced the outline of Scieszka’s jaw with a finger, pressing just hard enough to draw a thin line of blood. She winced, but held her breath against making a sound.

Al’s widened again, but this time it wasn’t fear they held. It was rage.

Envy looked down at his arm in confusion. He only had the chance to catch the glimpse of a thread before he was suddenly pulled away from Scieszka... his hands spread wide and away from her and he was hung spread eagled between the two trees behind him. As Envy began a string of curses, a trembling Scieszka scrambled toward Al as he raced toward her. From Envy’s elevated position, he could see Al’s still slightly smoking arrayed gloves as he put his arms around Scieszka.

“BASTARD!!” Envy began to fall from his strung up prison. Al saw him shrink to a snake like form before he disappeared into the grass. Al kneeled down, placing his palms to the ground. As he stood up, a two handed sword grew from the ground beneath his hand. It wasn’t anything ornate, but it didn’t need to be. Al grasped the hilt tightly and watched as a trail of movement along the grass ended right out of his sword’s reach. Envy grew out of the grass, serpentine features disappearing quickly.

Envy put up his hand, palm facing Al. Al noticed there was no evidence he had pierced Envy’s arms or legs with the thin but strong threads.

If you slightly changed the chemical composition of cotton and changed how the fibers were wound, you could make something as strong as the high tension wire usually used to suspend bridges. Al had learned this on a commission. It took over three months of alchemically and chemically decomposing spider thread, but he eventually figured it out. The money he earned helped him travel to museums, and even other countries, for research to find his brother. The plethora of books he bought weren’t cheap either. Three years brought him more knowledge than most earned in a lifetime… but most didn’t have a brother to save.

“Eeeasy now slugger. I’m not looking for a fight.” The homunculus looked serious enough, but then again, he probably had to act a lot since he was a doppelganger.

“Stay away from her.” Al put his body between Envy and Scieszka.

Scieszka was attempting to stop the blood from flowing from her jaw. “You should leave, Envy. You can't beat him. He’s an incredible alchemist.”

“You have so little faith...” Envy shook his head at the pair. “Like I said, what makes you think I want a fight, eh? Maybe I'm just hanging around to enjoy the view. Pretty grass, ain’t it?” Envy smiled brightly at Al. Alphonse, in return, gave Envy a glare of stony death. Envy began to giggle, and put a hand over his face to stifle the laughter. Al’s hands tightened again on the sword hilt, and he lifted it even with Envy’s heart. As Envy removed his hand, the flash that accompanied his transformations flickered across his face.

Al’s teeth clenched at the face before him. It was Ed, albeit about three years younger. But his face was pale, his lips were blue, and his eyes were dilated and glazed over. “You’re next.” It came out in Ed’s voice, but raspy and on a breath smelling of rot.

Envy lunged at Al, grinning ear to ear and transforming his face back. The homunculus impaled himself on Al’s sword, straight through the chest. His hands were aiming straight for Al’s throat. Before Envy’s strong hands could reach Alphonse’s neck, Al kicked him right off the end of the sword and onto the ground. Envy was about to get up, but before he could, Al plunge his sword into the ground. Crackles of alchemic energy traveled down the blade to the ground below. A stone spike erupted from the ground below Envy, piercing both his spine, then his stomach. Envy quickly pulled himself off that spike and was about to land… but the ground was rushing up to meet him.

Scieszka let out a shriek and turned away. It was a gruesome scene. The second spike and the bottom of Envy’s torso had met dead center. The spike looked like it pierced through the hip bone and at least into the chest cavity, if not further. Blood was evenly seeping down the stone spike. Envy’s head hung limply to the side. Al took a few deep breaths… then Envy changed again, but without removing himself from the spike. It wasn’t a face that Al recognized… but he was wearing a military uniform. He had glasses, a scruffy chin, and short black hair…

“Scieszka… Scieszka help me…” The man called out. Al gaped at Scieszka as she actually turned to look.

“Hughes…”

Envy grinned… his teeth were red with blood. He began to reach toward his chest with both hands. Al noticed that his fingers glinted in the sunlight.

“Scieszka look away!” Al threw himself directly in front of Scieszka’s vision as Envy dug his fingers into his chest. Al swallowed hard and only winced as the monster in front of him broke all of his own ribs and ripped open his chest, and pelvis to become free. He lay on the ground in a pile of his own organs.

“Hey, Alphonse,” a raspy voice called. There was a flash, and Al could tell that Envy changed again… but from the angle he couldn’t tell what to. It didn’t look like Envy had healed the self-inflicted wounds. Al began to approach cautiously.

“I bet when you tried to revive your mom…” The voice was feminine, but it was hard of breath and distorted, so it was hard to identify. Alphonse continued to get closer, his sword firmly in both hands. Suddenly, as he saw the face that belonged to the mess of organs in front of him, Al nearly choked on his own bile. He hadn’t seen her face in years… but her brown hair and soft skin were unmistakable. And now she was staring up at him with her insides spilling out.

“I bet she looked a lot like THIS.” The monster began to reform to his original shape as he leapt up at Alphonse. Once again Al sliced downwards with his sword, but he started to gag from inhaling some of the acid that came up from his stomach. Envy easily dodged that slice, but the next one got him on the arm. Al struck again, but Envy parried away the sword with his bare arm. This was the first time that Al had an encounter with the strength of the homunculus. He was prepared for a regular strike or parry, but this one sent him spinning down onto the ground. Envy pursued quickly after Alphonse, but Al was already placing both of his hands against the ground. Envy wasn’t about to fall for the same trick three times, so he leapt into the air…. and stayed there. He was shortening and widening, huge dark wings flapping against the bright sky, a defiant sign of death against the landscape full of life. The bright sun prevented Al from telling exactly what type of bird was hovering over him. Envy was sailing high up, circling over them.

Al stood up and pointed his sword up at Envy, an open challenge. In reality, his breath was shaking. He didn’t know what he was up against, and now it was hard to even see Envy. “Run. You'll only get this chance,” Al called up to Envy. He knew he didn’t have to call very loudly, since most birds of prey had both keen hearing and even better eyesight. He had often watched hawks hunt mice in these fields. He never thought he’d be in the position of the mouse. Al lost sight of the bird above him. The cry of a bird of prey rang out across the field. Alphonse squinted against the sun trying to pick out the bird.

“Al! Look out!”

Al spun to look at Scieszka. She now seemed to be pointing directly at Al. He tried to spin again, but before he could, a sharp pain shot through his back. The force of the blow drove him to his knees, but Al turned anyway, putting the sword between his neck and the bird’s sharp beak. The bird flapped away from Al’s back, beginning to ascend again. Al saw blood dripping from the bird’s talons.

Alphonse put his glove against the blade of the sword. A crackling was heard, and then came a great flash of blue light. The sword’s blade seemed to have turned into a hundred tiny silver snakes. They practically teleported into Envy, ripping him apart. Blood fell onto Al's face. When the movement of metal stopped, he punched the remains of the bird off the sword, which now looked like a strange sort of small tree with bladed branches. The carcass, or what was left of it, landed on the ground with a resounding SPLAT.

With a much simpler, gentler glow, he returned the sword back to its original state. Al’s eyes were open and fiery as he searched amongst the blood and feathers. Finally, he found the remnants of the head and put the tip of the sword through the skull. Al took several deep breaths… the alchemy was complicated, and it had taken a lot of energy out of him… but he had to keep going as long as Envy did.

“Al...” Scieszka took a few steps toward Al. The wound on his back was bleeding pretty freely… He turned to look at her, without taking the angry expression off of his face. Scieszka looked at Al, startled. This obviously wasn’t the kitten lover she was used to.

But upon seeing her face, Al’s expression immediately softened. He was just about to reach out to her, not even realizing the blood covered state that he was in, but the sword’s hilt began to press up against his palm.

Looking down, Al could see the wound on the bird’s head begin to heal and reform into Envy. Al placed one hand over than pommel of the sword and the other on the guard, then pressed down with all of his weight. Envy breathlessly cursed at him.

“A…Al… Alphonse…” Scieszka was backing away. The pieces of Envy were reforming together in the grass and coming towards his impaled head. Even the blood on the spike seemed to be creeping toward him.

Envy snarled at Al… then his expression became even more fearsome as his face began to elongate. Scales covered his face and his teeth became sharp. The homunculus’s head was growing at an alarming rate. It was now the size of a bicycle. Al tried to twist the blade in the skull more, but as Envy tried to snap at him, Al was thrown off. If it wasn’t for Al’s rock solid grip of the sword, it would have been lost. As Al scrambled to his feet, the rest of the giant serpent formed.

Al couldn’t help but look in awe and wonder at the creature that reminded him of the Xingian stories and art he had read about. A single thought back to the horrible image of his mother solidified his resolve… though the creature that loomed before him was immense. It easily towered over the trees around them. Al scrambled to his feet, putting himself again between Envy and Scieszka.

“I SAID don't piss me OFF, boy!” The dragon roared and spoke at the same time. Al’s mind for a moment traveled to how this was possible, but his thought was interrupted by Scieszka’s hand on his arm pulling him back. Al gave in for a moment and took a step back… running away seemed to be a very good option. Looking back on all the times he had been in way over his head, this was certainly the worst. He thought he was going to have to beat the snot out of a person pretending to be him… now he was protecting a damsel in distress against a fifty foot tall dragon.

The beast grinned, showing all of its ferociously sharp teeth. “This is a useful body.” Its tongue slithered out, tasting the air. “I killed your daddy in it, you know.” Envy chuckled and hissed, then snapped his jaws open and closed for effect. Al took a big breath, then stepped toward Envy again, pulling away from Scieszka.

“It's big enough for me to climb into and rip your intestines apart from the inside.”

Envy snickered and hissed again. “Not if I digest you and your damsel first.”

Al smiled wickedly at Envy. “You can't get close enough.” Al slammed his sword into the ground, making a line he dared Envy to cross. “Care to try?”

Envy smiled around his teeth again. He certainly was doing his best to intimidate Al. Alphonse hoped this was because Envy was running out of steam just like he was.

Scieszka was again tugging on Al’s arm, this time much more insistently. “Al... he can't keep this up for long. Don't fight him head on. Please,” she whispered desperatly.

Al half turned his head to face her and whispered back, “I got it... don't worry. You'll be okay.”

Her hands clamped onto Al’s arm in an almost painful way. “I'm worried about you!”

“He hasn't got many of these displays left in him, yanno… He's putting on a good face now...”

Did Envy see through my guise?

“I'm fine.” Al managed to keep his voice flat, not betraying any weakness.

“Soon it'll be lights out. He'll collapse, unable to sustain the force of his reactions.” The dragon grinned in a way that could only be described as predatory. “I've seen that happen before.”

Al decided it was time to either put all of his chips in or out. He looked right up to Envy, carrying an outright evil look in his eyes. “Wanna try me?”

“No!” Scieszka pulled back on Al’s arm roughly, but he refused to be budged.

“I'm sure you have a lovely taste. Less stringy than your old man.” Envy’s scaly face hovered closer and closer, and soon there was barely a foot left between them. Al could smell the dragon’s breath. After what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes, the dragon began to shrink and morph back into its original green haired form.

“Eh, you're not worth my time right now. Your brother's not here to watch you die.” Scieszka looked between the two of them. Al hadn’t yet moved. It seemed to be a mystery if he was even breathing beneath that glare. Finally, Envy laughed softly, then turned his back to Alphonse.

“Until we meet again.” Envy said over his shoulder as he began to walk off.

“Fuck off.” Both Envy and Scieszka did a double take. Fighting was something that Alphonse had always done… but curse?

“Riiight then.” Envy snickered a bit, did a mock salute, then transformed into a man who looked like he was on the way to the train station for business. Scieszka sighed immediately. Al waited a whole five minutes standing there, then finally let out his sigh. He pressed out his hand a few inches, then it seemed to be caught by something. With a little flash, wires began to fall onto the ground in front of them, shimmering like spider silk in the sun.

Scieszka stood next to Al, mostly paying attention to the condition of his back. “Are you all right?”

Al winced... He actually hadn’t felt it until she mentioned it. “Fine,” he said on a heavy breath.

“Sit down.” She eased him to the ground. His legs didn’t really seem to have the power or desire to resist. “Let me have a look at that.”

Alphonse closed his eyes and let out a sigh. “It's... fine. Really.”

“It's most certainly not fine.”

“It's not?” Al hadn’t seen exactly what had happened to his back, so if Scieszka said it wasn’t fine then…

“Oh no, I think you'll be all right,” she stammered nervously, “the scratches don't appear too deep.” She was lying a bit… they were bleeding quite a bit, it was hard to tell how deep they were… “But... they must be painful. And I feel like it's my fault...”

Alphonse attempted to look over his shoulder at both the “scratches” and Scieszka. He had just gotten his chin to his shoulders before he inhaled sharply and winced. “Nnn not your fault...”

“But you were protecting me, weren't you?” Scieszka asked in a tiny voice.

“Y...yeah but...” Al took to ripping some grass from the ground that was near his left hand. “I just wasn't fast enough. That's all.”

“First, we need to get you cleaned up a bit...” It wasn’t an understatement. Al had all sorts of unsavory things splattered all over him… it was hard to tell what blood was his and what wasn’t. “Would you feel comfortable going to a hospital?”

“Did I... wha? I'm not that bad. Doesn't hurt that much.” Al’s right hand began to shake from the adrenaline. As he looked down at his hand he finally realized that he was still holding the sword. After two jerky tries, he let it go. “Probably just need a shower.”

Shower... and.... Scieszka and me and… BAD AL!! BAD BAD BAD BAD!!!

Scieszka’s brow creased with worry. “I'm not a doctor, Al. And I think it will hurt more than it does now... or more than you'll admit.” She pulled out a small container of water. Al stared at it, unsure of her intentions. “I think... I think this shirt is ruined anyway. Can I use it to bandage your back? Or we could always use something of mine…” She began to rummage through her bag.

“I can transmute it back together... but yeah, sure. Can't really go to a hospital anyway. What would Brother say if he found out I faced Envy alone?”

“You really want to keep this from Ed?”

“Ummm.... if possible.... I'm not even supposed to....” The blush was unmistakable on his pale face.

“Supposed to what?”

Al turned his attention to his toes. He attempted to count them for a moment… but it required too much more thought than he cared for at the moment. “Like you.”

Scieszka had been in the process of ripping part of her own windbreaker, but abruptly stopped. She stared at Al for a moment. “What?”

“’Think I feel dizzy...” Al’s brain had finally gotten around to registering that he couldn’t count his own toes because he forgot he had shoes on. Scieszka grabbed Al’s shoulders, steadying him. Al’s mind was swimming back to the last time he had seen her…

“You probably lost a lot of blood.”

“I... I'm okay...” Al closed his eyes... but a tear betrayed him, clearing a streak of dirt and blood from his cheek.

Scieszka leaned him against her, and went back to ripping her jacket into bandages. After a moment, she noticed the tear and reached out to wipe it away. “Oh, Al...”

Alphonse tensed and his eyes popped open. “I'm fine. I'll be fine...” He started to lean away. “Just need a shower, that's all.”

She grabbed onto his wrist firmly. “You're not fine. Let me help. Please, let me help you.”

Al turned as much as he could, looking a bit scared and confused. “Ah...” She could practically see the wheels in his mind slowly turning, searching for words. “O...Okay.” He leaned back against her. His entire body was beginning to tremble with adrenaline now.

Scieszka poured water on the makeshift bandages. “Besides, you're shaking so much, I don't think you should be going anywhere.”

“J… just adrenaline.”

Scieszka tentatively lifted up the back of his shirt and pressed the damp cloth to his back. Al hissed at the feel of the cloth in the cuts. All of his muscles tensed at the pain.

“Al... I think you really should go to a hospital.”

“F… fine!” Al managed to squeak out.

She continued to wrap up his back to help stop the bleeding and went around in front of him, pulled his arms over her shoulders, and hoisted his arm over her shoulder supporting him. Only slight gasps of breaths hinted at how much Al was hurting.

“P..Pinako is a doctor.... She's closer...”

Scieszka let out a sigh. “Won't your brother find out?”

Once again it took a while for Al to piece together his thoughts. “I think. I... just do what you think is best.”

Scieszka headed towards the train station, walking slowly so as not to jostle Al around. After all, Central had the best hospitals in Amestris. Al managed to keep pace with Scieszka all the way there. He couldn’t manage to remember the later part of the trip, but he remembered his back began to hurt worse after the first two stops…

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
rentetsu
Jul. 14th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
Like I said, fight scenes are the most difficult to write, and you've done wonderfully with this one.

*grin* And hey, I'll beta for you anytime.

Next is the hospital bit! Mwahaha~!
lady_tigerfish
Jul. 14th, 2006 07:25 am (UTC)
Aww~

*laughs* Man... I am amused. That's like every chat I've ever done with you plus a bunch of added stuff, compressed into one big fight. Although as I recall, the dead-mom was something I did to Ari, wasn't it? Tobu, you'd remember this better than me...
tempest_strife
Jul. 14th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
Heh heh... I added a few things like the "YOUR MOM!!" And Hughes to the fight.... I mostly kept to the script though.

Glad ya like it~! <3
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )