jlady_fics: (Time For Healing)
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Title: A Time For Healing

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: Episode 51

Characters: Roy, Winry, Pinako, Armstrong. Others to appear later.

Summary: Things start going rather badly for Roy after the series. Can he come to terms with the reality of his new situation? Will he even have a chance to?

Author's Note: This post is Roy's POV only. Winry's POV for the same events will be posted within a week (I hope) and at that time I will be posting the chapter links in [livejournal.com profile] fm_alchemist as usual. Feel free to wait to read until both parts are up if you so wish. If anyone has any issues with the font I've selected to use for something this chapter (you'll know it when you see it), please tell me and I'll keep experimenting.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2


Disclaimer: I own not anything involving Full Metal Alchemist. It belongs to Arakawa Hiromu.
He wakes before dawn, pale light filtering through the window.

Soft murmuring beside him, coming from Pinako's usual chair.

What is Winry doing here?

There are strange voices downstairs.

She is holding his unhurt shoulder a moment later.

Do they belong here, or not?


Winry babbles something. Her voice is soft and slightly uneasy, but without fear.

If Pinako and Winry could have gotten the bit out by themselves, they would have, he realizes. They had to get outside help.

He starts feeling rather uneasy himself.

Strangers. Here. Going to be touching him. Going to be doing things to him. Poking. Prodding.

His heart pounds and his breath quickens.

I shouldn't be this scared. I've been through a war. I've faced down a homunculus in his own lair.

I've even called Full Metal short. Repeatedly.

He has been trying not to let himself think about the Elrics, but the twinges in his stomach make it oh so hard to control anything.

Neither of the Elrics had ever come by the hospital.

Edward would have come. If there was any way in the world he would have come. Alphonse would have found a way even if there wasn't one.

They should be here.


Voices. Strangers. Poking. Prodding.

Winry gets him to sit up a little and slips an arm under his shoulders. She keeps whispering to him and patting his arm.

She knew I was going to be scared when I heard them.

That means there's a reason to be scared.


He is breathing fast, far too fast. He can feel his heart pounding as if to escape through his breastbone. He can feel noises coming from the back of his throat.

The world goes fuzzy and falls away.

The light of midmorning is streaming through the window.

She is patting his arm and talking.

I fainted? His face heats as it flushes.

The tooth suddenly flares.

I shouldn't be here, she shouldn't be offering me comfort, she shouldn't even have to deal with me.


He tries to squirm away and she helps him lie down again.

The tooth is still throbbing. He raises a shaking hand to his cheek, feels the bit just under the spot that hurts. Damaged tooth. Has to be.

His heart starts racing again.

It hurts without pressure on it. No way I'll ever be able to chew on it.

Which means it has to come out.


His chest heaves.

Winry pats his shoulder.

It has to come out.

The world spins.

She lifts his head, presses a cup against his lips. He drinks.

After a moment the pain fades a bit. He physically calm but his mind is still racing.

There are people at the door. Sweet, short, tough as steel Pinako. Armstrong.

And two strangers. He is lightweight but tall, reddish hair brushing against the top of the doorframe. She is not much taller than Winry, her hair as deeply brown as the fine wooden sideboard in his uncle's house. For a moment she reminds him of a sculpture he once saw in the East City library.

Armstrong and Pinako come closer.

Strangers. Poking. Prodding.

His head slams into the headboard, his knees high, his feet seeking traction against the sheets. His tooth jars against the bit and he screams.

He thrashes harder and there is a distinctive cracking sound as the world goes dark.

He wakes in Armstrong's grasp, partially upright and hopelessly pinned.

The tooth that hurt before is pure agony now.

The strangers are still at the door. She begins to move forward, slowly and with hands in the open. She carries some sort of board and a piece of what looks like chalk.

Armstrong holds him still while Winry holds his left hand and Pinako pats his shoulder.

The strange woman sits in Pinako's chair. She puts the board where he can see it. Can you read this?

He blinks for a moment.

The words still remain, off-white against a sea of black. Can you read this?

He finds himself nodding. Winry gasps.

The stranger wipes the words away with her hand. My name is Theresa. Do you remember your name?

He nods.

Wipe. Can you write it? It's okay if you can't. She offers him the chalk and he takes it.

His hand doesn't want to grasp it right and his arms shakes, but he manages to scratch out something that resembles Roy Mustang.

She takes back the chalk. Wipe. Can I call you Roy? Or would you prefer I stay completely professional and call you Mustang?

He manages to touch his first name with a shaking finger.

Wipe. Roy, we're here to help you, not to hurt you. A pause. That tooth has to come out.

He feels himself start struggling before his mind even finishes understanding what she wrote. Didn't I already figure that out myself?

Pinako runs her fingers through his hair and Winry rubs his arm.

Wipe. Roy, even leaving it in until nightfall is going to cause more discomfort than simply removing it will.

You call this 'discomfort'? The pain suddenly flares and he moans.

Wipe. Roy, can you let us at least numb your mouth?

He grabs the chalk from her. Please!

She takes out another piece of chalk. Wipe. For us to do that, my husband needs to come in the room. Do you think you can handle that, Roy?

Strangers. Poking. Prodding.

Wipe. Roy, it's okay. We're going to make this as comfortable for you as we can. She holds his wrist lightly with her other hand. Wipe. Even if you let us remove the tooth, most of what you'll feel will just be a little gentle pressure. Please try to trust us, Roy.

Times passes. His stomach growls.

Wipe. Roy, please. Can he at least come in? He won’t do anything unless you want him to.

He manages to nod. The man crosses the room and takes the chalk from Theresa. Wipe. Hello, Roy. My name is Fredrick but you can call me Fred if you want. He waits until Roy nods before wiping the words clear. Can I take a look at the tooth? I won't do anything without asking.

A few minutes pass before he manages to nod.

A touch on his lip and a gasp.

Wipe. Roy, if you don't let someone get that tooth out, it will come out on its own. A pause until he finished reading. Wipe. I can't ethically take that bit out without taking out the tooth as well.

Roy feels himself start sweating, really sweating.

Roy, numbing you for anything is going to take three stages. First stage involves nothing but cotton swabs and a chemical that doesn't taste half bad. A pause until Roy acknowledges. Wipe. First stage will give you quite a bit of relief and I don't have to continue if you don't want me to. May I start numbing?

Roy nods. His lip lifts and something soft is tucked underneath. A few seconds later the pain starts fading.

Wipe. That feeling okay, Roy?

Wonderful.

Good. That needs to be in place for a few minutes before I can numb you further.

Roy nods his understanding.

Wipe. Considering everything, you're being a very brave patient, Roy.

He snorts.

I mean that, Roy. Wipe. If you're going to let me get you out of that thing, I need to put something in your mouth to keep you from biting down at a bad moment.

His heart starts racing again.

Wipe. You can bite down on it as much as you want without hurting yourself. I'll have it out the first moment I can.

Roy smudges away part of the words. Can I see?

Sure.
Fred rummages in his bag and pulls out something with padding on one end. He demonstrates how the thing works. Wipe. Your teeth will just sink into the padding, and I have been able to get these things out safely in five seconds before.

Promise?

Promise.

Roy nods, closes his eyes, and tries to think of flowers and kittens. Hands in his hair, hand on his arm, and that thing suddenly in place bracing his mouth open.

Scratching noises. He opens his eye.

Roy, can I numb you a bit more?

He scratches a rough Yes.

Wipe. If there's any point when you'll feel anything, it's going to be now. If I even think you're having discomfort, I'll stop and let whatever I've managed to do take effect, okay?

Okay.


Wipe. This will probably be a lot easier on you if you don't try to watch, Roy.

He closes his eye.

He feels his lip lift and something presses against his upper jaw. Winry and Theresa hold his hands. More pressure in a slightly different spot.

The pressure leaves and a moment later his mouth feels funny.

He opens his eye.

Good patient. Just rest and let that work. Being calm will help it along.


He lies there for a little while, eye half closed.

Nothing hurts. For the first time since the fight nothing hurts.

Roy, can I finish numbing you?

Sure.
His eye drifts closed.

A little pressure on the roof of his mouth.

He opens his eye just in time to see the syringe leaving his mouth. He struggles for a moment, eye wide, as Fredrick puts a guard on the tip and drops it in his bag. I told you it would be easier if you didn't try to watch. Just stay still for a moment. Fredrick's hands reach around Roy's head, there is a metallic click, and the bit is gone.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Fred pats his arm. You're welcome. Can I pull that tooth now? It won't be any worse than anything I've already done.

Okay.
He closes his eye again.

The rest of them hold him close, Winry rubbing his arm.

Rocking pressure in his mouth and something gives. The feeling repeats and then something is pressed into his jaw as the bracing device is closed and moved free. Within a minute Roy is back flat on the mattress, Armstrong sitting somewhere past his head.

He starts shaking.

Scratching. He opens his eye to find Pinako has the board now. Stress withdrawal. Just relax and let yourself readjust. She pats his shoulder.

He trembles a bit without really understanding why.

Theresa takes the chalk. Wipe. Fred and I are going downstairs so you can be alone with people you know right now. They get up and leave, Theresa handing her piece of chalk back to him.

Date: 2006-03-27 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crack-alchemist.livejournal.com
ah... poor Roy.

very good stuff! looking forward to the next piece.

Date: 2006-03-27 07:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jalendavi-lady.livejournal.com
poor Roy

Not really in this chapter. Sure, he is still highly on the traumatized side (who wouldn't be? and he already had canon PTSD-type flashbackiness before everything happened anyway), but he's in a better situation than at the end of the last chapter. The bit is out, he's out of pain for the first time in months, and he finally has a reliable means of communication.

so of course things have to start going rather badly again soon. for the sake of angst and the FMA way.

Date: 2006-03-27 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agent-honeywell.livejournal.com
Had to take a break from an essay to read this. (Thank you! Made this all the better!)

I felt so bad for Roy at first, seeing him so scared and in pain like that. I think I gasped along with Winry when they discovered that Roy could read, even though I had a feeling his language skills weren't totally lost.

And yay, no more bit!

Date: 2006-03-30 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liliduh.livejournal.com
Oh, wow. This is really interesting.

Date: 2006-03-30 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theleaningelm.livejournal.com
oh! I had never thought that comprehending speech and writing would be in separate areas of the brain. *smacks self*
Can I friend your writing journal? I'm liking how the fic is turning out. :P

Date: 2006-03-30 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jalendavi-lady.livejournal.com
Feel free to friend.

I wouldn't have thought it myself unless I had known someone in high school for whom speech was just background noise but who 'talked' using a whiteboard. It's not really that they're in separate areas, but that if damage is limited only parts of language comprehension may be affected. Given that Roy completely dodged language issues in canon, I doubt a little more damage would have messed up the entire system.

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