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The Wayward Muse
Life, writing, and general stupidity
Fanfiction: Dichotomy (FMA) 
Title: Dichotomy - Prologue
Series: Fullmetal Alchemist (Animeverse)
Pairings: Roy/Ed
Words: 1,331 (1,331 total)
Warnings: Slash, swearing
Rating: PG-13
Status: In Progress
Spoilers: Yes, up till the end of the series.

Summary: Ed and Roy find themselves in the hands of a madman with a vendetta, one with a very unique idea of what constitutes 'Equivalent Exchange.'



(dahy-kot-uh-mee) n.
1. Division into two parts, kinds, etc.; subdivision into halves or pairs.
2. Division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups.

* * *

Edward lay curled up on cold concrete, listening to the even breathing of the man beside him. The wet, alarming rattle that accompanied every breath had not gone away, but at least Roy was sleeping. He hadn’t slept enough lately, and Ed knew that was his fault. Roy worried too much about him, and that worry kept the man awake long after Edward had passed out from exhaustion or pain. In spite of everything, he was glad the general was there, and he couldn’t help but feel a stab of guilt at being so selfish. Roy was his anchor; talking to Edward during the long dark hours, the sound of his voice a comfort Ed could not have done without.

Roy’s voice held the despair at bay.

He suspected it might be the same for the general; that having Edward to look after, someone to talk to outside his own head was what kept him sane. They kept each other from giving up, each reminding the other that there was a world outside their prison, and that even if the rest of the world forgot them, there were a handful of people who would never stop looking. It was a slim hope really, and Ed was pretty sure he and Roy were doing nothing but exchanging their self-delusions, but it was better than sitting alone in the darkness, waiting to die.

Edward shifted and stretched cramped muscles as best he could in the too-small cage, careful to avoid jostling the man beside him. If he looked hard enough, he could barely make out the steady rise and fall of Roy’s chest; everything beyond was swallowed in darkness. Outside the cage was a quiet medley of sound, animal noises belonging to the occupants of other cages in this strange prison. Ed had seen a few when the lights were on; the wolf directly across from them, birds and reptiles and other things glimpsed when they dragged him from the cage for his ‘sessions.’

The cold floor was leeching away any heat he might produce, leaving him chilled to the bone. Ed pulled the oversized shirt his wore over his knees in an attempt to capture some warmth. The shirt belonged to Roy; his own clothing had been taken and not returned after his first session. The thin fabric did little to keep him warm and he shifted closer to Roy, torn between not wanting to wake him and the need for warmth and human contact. Roy usually insisted that Ed keep the dirty, threadbare blanket, but after the general had fallen asleep, Ed had carefully tucked it around the older man. Roy was sick; he wasn’t.

The debate was solved for him when Roy suddenly rolled onto his side and coughed, a wet, chest-deep hacking that sent a prickle of fear up Edward’s spine. He wasn’t sure what was wrong with Roy, but the sickness seemed to be in his lungs, and Ed was terrified the other man was going to die. The fit passed, and Roy groaned and rolled on his back with a muttered curse. Without a word, Ed slipped beneath the small blanket and curled against Roy’s side, tucking his head under his chin. He was long past any sort of embarrassment over the close contact.

Roy shifted slightly and wrapped an arm around him. “You’re freezing,” he said, concern coloring his words as he rubbed Ed’s arm, trying to warm him.

“Yeah, well, I’m not the one who keeps trying to cough up a lung,” Ed snapped, worry making the words sharper than he had intended. “You need to keep warm more than I do.”

A gentle touch on his hair. “I’m not going to die, Ed,” Roy said, addressing the unspoken fear.

“Who said I was worried?” he demanded weakly, curling closer and snaking an arm over Roy’s chest. More than anything, Ed hated how helpless he was. He fought them when he could, minor rebellion that never got him anywhere. The loss of his arm rendered his alchemy useless, and there was nothing he could do for Roy but try to keep the man warm and tie himself in knots with worry. After their ordeal, Edward found himself much closer to the general than he had imagined possible, and the idea of losing Roy frankly terrified him.

Roy said nothing, merely held him tighter in response.

Light flooded the room and Edward started awake, blinking owlishly at the sudden brightness. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep. He sat up, trading a glance with Roy and waited to see what the day would bring. Sometimes, they were ignored in favor of other experiments. Sometimes the tall, thin one, the one Ed had dubbed ‘Glasses’ would just talk; the ramblings often mad, but some days frighteningly sane. Often, they took Ed for another torturous session.

The sound of footsteps and a moment later, Glasses crouched in front of their cage, smiling. Ed tensed; that smile usually did not bode well.

“Good morning Edward, General,” he sang, mad brown eyes finding Edward’s.

Ed met that gaze steadily, practically growling out his hatred of the man. Unease gripped him; something was different today.

“Did you sleep well?” The man asked, “I do hope so. You’ll need your strength today; it would be a shame if you died.” Edward froze, eyes darting to Roy for a brief moment. That wasn’t part of the pattern, and it made the hairs on his neck stand on end. Glasses was always rambling about revenge; would this be the day he decided to kill him?

“The problem with this procedure,” Glasses continued, motioning to the mountain of a man --the one Ed thought of as ‘Bear.’-- that served as his assistant. “Is that the fatality rate is very high. You will die eventually, of course, but you have not yet suffered enough. Not nearly enough.”

Ed fought down the dread that threatened and shrugged out of Roy’s shirt. He always left it behind when they took him, otherwise he likely wouldn’t see it again. Glasses pulled a gun out of his coat and trained it calmly on Roy. A simple way to ensure cooperation on both their parts. If Ed fought, Roy died. If Roy fought, Roy died.

Sliding around Roy towards the door of the small cage, he paused when the older man reached out and grabbed his wrist. Run. Roy mouthed, his back to their captor so he wouldn’t see. Ed scowled and jerked his wrist from Roy’s grip, angry that the general thought he was coward enough to make a run for it and leave the other man for dead. Screw him and his martyr complex anyway; they got out together or not at all.

He could say none of this however, and so he settled on a glare and a muttered, “Keep warm,” as he knelt by the door, waiting. Bear unlocked the door and caught Ed’s arm in a strong grip, helping him out before slamming the door shut again with a sharp clang, the lock clicking back into place.

Glasses returned the gun to his pocket and stood. Ed kicked at the bastard hard out of pure spite, snarling when Glasses stepped easily out of the way. He frowned, annoyed. “You should be conserving your strength." The smile returned and Ed shivered. "You’ll need it.”

Ed stumbled when Bear suddenly nudged him toward the lab and through the door. A vague fear heavy in his gut, Ed twisted in Bear’s grip, trying to get one last look at Roy. His eyes met the older man’s worried gaze for a brief moment before the door slammed shut.

09.01.07 (UTC)

*wants more*
09.01.07 (UTC)
. . . I didn't even realize it was you. .________.;
09.01.07 (UTC)
Nice beginning. You built up the idea well, giving an idea about what happened already without having to go into it too much, and left plenty of room for details to come.
It's also written well, though my only gripe (and I know that in this sense, I'm terribly nitpicky) is about Ed in hostage situations. It's really hard to keep him put, y'know. Remember that he once scratched an array on his chains with his automail gone and his arm chained behind his back? We're talking very resourceful here, so it's a bit diffuclt to believe that nothing but taking away his automail and a cage could hold him for long.
09.01.07 (UTC)
Nitpicks are fine, I've been known to overlook obvious things in the past. :D

As for Ed's resourcefulness, rest assured that it has been taken into consideration. In fact, he gave me and my beta quite a bit of trouble trying to come up with a solid way of keeping the little bastard contained. XD

Their captor knows what Ed is capable of, and has several measures in place to keep them confined; the removal of Ed's arm is only one of those measures. Unfortunately, these things don't really come into play in the prologue, because by that point, both Ed and Roy have already tried everything they can to get around them.

Those details will be forthcoming in future chapters though, I promise. ^^

I'm glad you like it so far!
09.01.07 (UTC)
le squee!!! i saw this on fanfiction.net before i came on here. i luv it! pleeeeaaaase next chapter! also i luv how u write!! ^^
09.01.07 (UTC)
Thank you! :D
09.01.07 (UTC)
Aaaah, holy crap, I wanna know what they're going to do to him!*bite nails*

I really do have a thing for Ed torture, but the added emotional torture for Roy is what really makes this, imho.
09.01.07 (UTC)
Well, in the next chapter, you find out...absolutely nothing! *cackles* o.o;

I'm glad you like it so far. ^^
09.02.07 (UTC)
You've hooked me already.
09.02.07 (UTC)
Glad to hear it! ;)
09.02.07 (UTC)
Oh, I can't wait for the next chapter. I'll be waiting excitedly.
09.02.07 (UTC)
I shall strive not to disappoint. :D
09.02.07 (UTC)
Interesting, I'll be around to catch through the next chapter~ ♥;;

I loved how Edward gave his captor's "names", too cute. 8D;; I also love how Ed and Roy are in the cage together, nummy~! :D And also, ED TORTURE. ♥;;

This fic brings up memories of when I used to read fanfics with crazy Hojo from FF7 torturing Reno or something. xDD;

Keep up the nice work! :3
09.02.07 (UTC)
Glad you like it so far!

And yeah, he could never get a name out of either of them, so he had to label them somehow. XD

...Thank you, he's now morphed into Hojo in my head. My guy is a little less 'mad scientist' than Hojo was, but yeah. >.>;
09.02.07 (UTC)
:o ooooh....this sounds good... i like torturing Ed.... or at least, Ed tied up XD

*wants moooore damnit* lol

09.02.07 (UTC)
Glad you like it so far. ^^
09.02.07 (UTC)
Ooo... Fun. Well, not "fun" per se, as Ed is being tortured... More "fun" as in "yayfanficandyayitsawesome fun."

Loved this line: If Ed fought, Roy died. If Roy fought, Roy died. It grabbed me.

Do keep it up. I wanna see where this is going. ^_^
09.02.07 (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you like it so far. ^^
09.03.07 (UTC)
You've snagged my attention! More please?
09.04.07 (UTC)
I'll see what I can do. :D
09.03.07 (UTC)
Cliffhangers. Darn you. This is off to a really ncie start; the suspense is killing me!
09.04.07 (UTC)
Glad you like it!
09.03.07 (UTC)
Love the opening, and I'm very very curious as to where it will lead and how they got in the situation in the first place. Look forward to the next chapter ^_^

would you mind if I friended you? That way I won't miss the next part as my internet log on's are fairly erratic XD
09.04.07 (UTC)
Glad you like it, and feel free to friend me! :D
09.04.07 (UTC) - Well Done
I so need to have more of this soon...please? *blink blink*

You have a wonderful beginning going here and I anxious for the next post. I am also wracking my brain tying to figure out who has them and why.
09.04.07 (UTC) - Re: Well Done
Glad you like it so far, and if you manage to figure out the who and the why, I'll have to give you a cookie for your amazing psychic powers. :D
09.04.07 (UTC)
I'm feeling chills up and down my spine. I like. Want more. Soon. Please?
09.05.07 (UTC)
As soon as Conversion is finished. ^^
(Deleted comment)
09.05.07 (UTC)
Thanks you! :D
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