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07 July 2011 @ 03:40 pm
Struggle [Halo] - FMA Fic  

Title: Struggle [Halo]
Author: meredavey
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,367
Pairing/Characters: Roy/Ed, Alphonse & Winry mentioned
Warnings: A lot of angst and unresolved emotions; mentions of sex
Summary: These chains of guilt, held tightly in his hands, when their grip slackened, when they fell loose and tangled about his feet, he could see that this guilt was only a small part of the human struggle.
Authors Note: So, this has been a plot bunny that’s been eating me for the better part of a year, I general stay away from things that are use a song as the central point these days, but the song lyrics were to me, appropriate. So hopefully I’ve done the song & this fic justice. This is for the prompt struggle. [listened to "Halo" on repeat]

You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse

-“Halo” - Depeche Mode

Guilt wasn’t new to Edward Elric. In fact, he’d turned carrying guilt into a - trait of sorts. He’d gotten very good at using it, using it to beat himself down, to flog himself when things seemed to be going wrong. He used it to motivate himself, to brutalize himself. He had many things to feel guilty for, he’d even made a list of them. He hadn’t included his childhood guilt - his cruelty to Alphonse when they were little kids. No, he started with the thing that started this trait.
First: his mother. He had failed to bring her back correctly and in doing so he had destroyed his little brother’s life. So, second, he had stuck his brother’s soul in a suit of armor. It didn’t matter that he’d saved him - he had still been the one to cause that agony. There was no redemption there. Third, he’d become a dog of the military - a State Alchemist even though it went against his (his teachers, Pinako’s, and perhaps his) wishes. Fourth, he’d caused Maes Hughes’s death - a man he loved and considered a friend, a father figure. That was his fault for getting the man involved. And fifth, his latest and greatest sin - something that would hurt someone else too - was Colonel Roy Mustang.

Mustang was probably one of his biggest mistakes, worst sins. What had possessed him to sleep with the man? Mustang as far as he had known, liked women and he was certainly not a woman. He was a man…boy.

Not only that if Winry ever found out she’d probably cry and hadn’t he said the next time she cried it’d be tears of joy? But if she found out, then it would be tears of sadness and anger. She’d hate him.


How could the Colonel bear to touch him - touch him with his automail limbs and scarred body. Granted, the man was scarred too. But wasn’t that different? He’d like to think so, that the man - even with his own sins - still had a chance of salvation, he was obviously truly repentant. He wanted to make things better, he wanted to fix the wrongs.

Edward knew better than anyone though that some wrongs can never be righted, that some things were just not meant to be.

What had he been thinking? This was one more stain on his soul, one more indelible sin, one more lie he told himself.

Thinking, everything will be just fine was another such lie. No, things will not be fine. There is no turning back the clock. He can only hope for Alphonse’s forgiveness.

The forgiveness of the human race.

Was that why he always tried to help - to correct assumptions because he’d like to stop people from committing the same mistakes he did?

Was Nina part of that? His reaction to Nina and Alexander’s deaths?

If so, it was a poor one. He could do better. He could always do better. He could try harder, study more, spend more time researching.

He could also do as the military pleased so that he could get information more quickly. By doing that he could retrieve their bodies sooner.

These sins that clouded his soul, well.

These chains of guilt, held tightly in his hands, when their grip slackened, when they fell loose and tangled about his feet, he could see that this guilt was only a small part of the human struggle. The human struggle - to find a place, to do good, to be loved.

And if he thought about it, was that why he had so willingly stepped into the circle of Mustang’s arms - had he longed to be desired, to be caressed, to be kissed like he truly mattered?

Was the reason why he didn’t go to Winry as simple as “she might not understand, she probably can’t totally understand…” and did the Colonel? Did he understand?

In his own way, yes, he probably did. Logically he would have had to - he would have killed and in his view murdered innocents, that was his guilt.

We are not so different are we - we are very similar, we want to assuage this guilt, to make it feel better like soothing a band aid over a cut. But like any good doctor knows airing the cut will make it heal faster, and even if it scars, it becomes just a part of the flesh.

And despite all those scars - he heard talk, the alchemist for the people, a good boy, a right angel. But he wasn’t working for the people - if he helped someone he helped someone because it was on his way to his goal, a good boy - that was even worse! - he was not a child any longer, had he ever been? And the worse one of all: an angel. He had no right to that claim. None at all. He was no angel - not with all the terrible sins that burned beneath his skin, that devoured his soul. An angel was pure, they were wholly and undeniably good. Perhaps he was a fallen angel, but there was nothing about him that would make him an angel.

An angel would be Alphonse - one of the purest souls he knew; the most loving, the most forgiving soul. A soul who was slathered in good will and light, in love. Alphonse was an angel, and he did deserve love and a future more than anyone else.

Wasn’t that why he was doing this - to return an angel’s soul to their rightful body? And once returned, weren’t they always the one beloved by their love? Winry, he thought agonizingly. She admitted that she would marry Alphonse - did I ever have a chance with her? If I make her cry in that case, does it even matter anymore?

Alphonse likes her no doubt - he thinks of her as family. How do I view her? As a sister? A wife?


Even if I did love her, I wouldn’t be good for her, I’d destroy her goodness. Just like I almost destroyed Alphonse’s.

Admitting the truth of it - of the matter will be the hardest part. He knew he didn’t deserve her - two good souls belonged to each other. Two warm, beautiful souls.

With a yell of anger, he turned and pounded on the wall until his flesh fist was bruised and bloodied, he pounded until he collapsed into exhaustion, and when tomorrow dawned and he had to see Mustang, he knew that the man would say nothing, just look, and perhaps understand the meaning behind his wounds. These wounds would heal unlike the wounds inflicted on his heart.

His heart?

What wounds on his heart?

His fear of Alphonse not loving him, of course, Alphonse did, knew he probably always will. Al had most of his heart.

Winry - yes, he loved her. Loved her. That he knew too. She too had a part of his heart.



What was this?

Had it been because he felt like his world was collapsing - because he was so wrapped in the chains of his guilt, his struggle, that he had not noticed what was more obvious than anything else.

How could he have missed it?

It was practically staring him in the face!

Yet again, he’d been causing hurt because he was blind and selfish - because he cared more about himself than anything else.

Another thing to add to his list of sins, list of guilt.

Trembling, he clasped his hands together and stared out the window.

Tonight, then, tonight I will act as I should have.

And later, later after they lay sticky and sleepy in the bed next to each other, Mustang spoke to him, his voice soft with a touch of warmth in it, a complete opposite to his normal tone, “You deserve the world, for everything you’ve done, for everything you’ve become. You’re ridiculously strong - you capture us, you capture us in your web, and we can’t leave you.”

As if those words had been a key, there was a catharsis, and he fell into Roy’s arms - into the arms of the man who loved him for who he was, for what he was trying to do.

Current Music: Halo - Depeche Mode