SeventeenA Chapter by Keevan
Days went by slowly and were very dull without Lucy around. Alphonse didn't want to speak about her, and Edward wanted to try and defend her, even though she killed his childhood friend and mechanic.
Edward and Alphonse got sent out on petty assignments because both of them had trouble focusing, and Edward almost always woke up screaming every night with bloody images of Winry flashing in his mind. And they always ended the same: Lucy begging to be killed, Edward refusing, and then Lucy either killing herself or Edward.
Alphonse seemed the one who was the most tortured. He had become mute. Since he couldn't sleep, he sat silently through the nights, lost in his thoughts. During the day, he did his mission almost silently. Edward couldn't think of anything to say to him, so he stayed mainly silent as well.
One night, a week after Winry's death, as Edward was laying in bed, he spoke to his brother.
"I never thought it would be this hard to move on, Al," he said, staring at the ceiling. Alphonse didn't respond, so he just continued talking. "I can't stop thinking about her. Or Winry. Did you ever think that something like this would happen when we first met her?"
"No, I didn't," Alphonse said. "but, that's a military experiment for you, I guess." Silence once again.
Edward sighed and sat up, facing his brother, who was slumped against the wall on the opposite side of the room. "Can you tell me why you're mad at me?" Edward asked.
"Because you still love her," Alphonse said without hesitation.
"Al, don't be mad about that," Edward said, turning his head away. "I...I can't even see her anymore, so it's stupid and not worth it. I can't be with her, and we can't erase what happened, so the best thing to do is move on and forget about Lucy."
"Brother, I don't think you'll be able to," Alphonse said, looking up a bit. "You were there and you saw what she did. Twice. First with the colonel's eye, and then when she killed Winry. How are you going to forget?"
"It'll fade, eventually," Edward said, but then he looked at his AutoMail. "I'll just need to find a new mechanic."
"What about grandma Pinako?"
"I don't want to stir up any bad memories sometime in the future when I need a tune up," Edward said. "Isn't there an AutoMail shop somewhere in Rush Valley?"
"Yeah," Alphonse said. "but that's so far away."
"It'll have to do," Edward said, laying back down on his bed. "In the meantime, let's just try to go on like we never saw that girl in the hall."
It was harder for Edward to move on than he thought. A day didn't go by that he thought of Lucy. Winry, surprisingly, he got over. Lucy, on the other hand...he needed to see her. And nothing was going to stop him from doing so.
One night, it was two thirty in the morning. Edward slipped his boots and coat on and was preparing to head out.
"Brother, where could you be going at this hour?" Alphonse asked quietly.
"I'm sorry, Al," Edward said, equally as quiet. "but I have to see her. I'm going to try."
"I'm coming, too," Alphonse said bitterly. "You're not going on your own this time." Edward couldn't refuse, so the boys headed out silently down the hall.
It was dark, and they mostly had to feel their way to the elevator, but once it opened, light from inside it flooded the hallway, almost blinding Edward.
Once in the elevator, Edward was starting to feel nervous. Lucy seemed to kill people whenever he was around. What if it was his brother this time? Or himself?
"She won't kill us," Edward said under his breath. "We're her friends, and she won't kill us."
"Colonel Mustang was her father," Alphonse said. "and she almost killed him."
"He lost an eye," Edward said, staring at the elevator door. "I don't see how he almost died." The elevator dinged and the door opened, exposing the pitch black hallway below.
"I wish I could transmute my arm into a flashlight," Edward grumbled as he and his brother stumbled down the dark hallway. They walked, feeling along the wall as they went. They finally saw a distant light and knew that it was Lucy's punishment room. Edward gave up walking slowly and dashed down the hallway, heading for that light. It was coming from the rectangular window from the first time the boys witnessed Lucy's punishment. Edward looked in, almost slamming against the glass when he arrived, and clenched his teeth in anger. She was strapped to the wall, straight jacket underneath, almost hanging from it. It was raised a few notched and seemed too tall for Lucy. It couldn't have been good for her breathing.
It occurred to Edward that that might have been the point.
"Damn it!" he shouted as he ran into the room, slamming the door back. He had completely forgotten about Alphonse for the moment, and the fact that they had to be quiet.
"Is that...Edward?" Lucy asked, opening her eyes a little. She looked extremely tired and miserable.
"Yeah, it's Edward," Edward replied, starting to unstrap her. "Are you okay?"
"Stop," she said coldly. "The straps and the straight jacket help me keep control. I don't want Edward getting hurt."
"What about breathing?" Edward asked. "Are you having trouble breathing?"
"Yes," she admitted. "but, whenever I feel myself slipping, I lean forward, and the pain keeps me alert. But, I need sleep to be healthy. I'll be dead by morning."
That was enough motivation for Edward to resume unstrapping her, but Alphonse said "Stop it, Ed! You heard what she said, keep her strapped in!"
"She's going to die, Alphonse!" Edward shouted back. "I have to!"
"Let her die, then! She deserves it for killing Winry and almost killing Colonel Mustang!"
Edward couldn't believe those words came out of his little brother's mouth.
"She's a monster, Brother," Alphonse said, trying to sound calm. "Why haven't you realized that yet? She's a killer and an unnatural experiment."
"The reason I haven't seen that yet," Edward began slowly. "is probably because I've been blinded by love." He unstrapped the last wall strap and Lucy fell to her knees on the floor. "I can't let her go, Al. I'm sorry." Edward knelt by Lucy and asked gently, "Do you want me to get you anything?"
"No," she said quietly. "I want Edward and Alphonse to go away. Edward and Alphonse can't come back."
"You're not going to kill us," Edward said, trying to calm her down. "I promise. You can trust me."
"Edward, let's go!" Alphonse shouted, getting angry again. "You heard her, she's not stable!"
"Al, shut up, I don't care!" Edward shouted. "I'm not leaving her! You obviously don't understand, so why don't you just go, and leave me alone!" He had never spoken like that to his brother before, and once the words were out, Edward wanted desperately to take them back, but he knew he couldn't. Nothing he could say now could change what just left his lips.
"Al--" he started, ready to apologize.
"I hate you, Brother!" Al shouted, turning away and facing the door. "You're just a big idiot and--!" He stopped mid sentence. The door was slowly closing, and there was a sudden chill in the air.
Edward's spine turned to ice. He looked at Lucy, who slowly rose to her feet, and quickly turned her towards him and grasped her shoulders. "Lucy, please, don't. He didn't mean it, please keep control." She tilted her head up and looked at him. He ready anger in her blind eyes.
"He yelled at you," she said, trembling a bit. "I don't like that. He has to die..."
Lucy slowly turned around and faced Alphonse, who was turned around, armor trembling in fear.
"Brother, stop her, please..." Alphonse pleaded in a whisper. Edward felt frozen. He knew what was going to happen before it even started. She was going to kill Alphonse.
© 2011 Keevan
Added on February 28, 2011
Last Updated on May 18, 2011
The White Nightgown
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