yuuo: (Pandora's Universe)
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Character/Series: Edward Elric; Fullmetal Alchemist (2003; Pandora's Universe)
Rating: PG
Notes: Written for the [profile] 30screams theme #11 - Time's Up
Title: 11 - Time's Up
Author: [personal profile] yuuo
Word Count: 489
Summary: "You get one minute."




it won't cost much
just your voice
you poor unfortunate soul
it's sad, but true
if you want to cross a bridge, my sweet
you've got to pay the toll
-The Little Mermaid

"You get one minute."

It was his own hand that was held up at that, displaying a single finger to drive the point home.

One minute. For that arm.

Edward let the icy black hands slide over him, pulling him back into the chaotic inner depths of the Gate, back into that insanity given a face. Colors swirled and melted around him, blurring his vision, spilling over what should've been defined outlines, twisting until it turned around everything in his mind, touched on some other sense that science could never fully prove a person could have.

A cacophony of noise and colors buzzed through his head, images his mind was forced to open to and understand, then file away where he knew it'd take a lifetime of study to ever understand again; he ignored it. He had to. Pushing past the hoards of giggling black forms gathering around him with his one arm and leg, he reached, pressed on towards the light that his heart recognized long before his eyes could.

"Al!"

Each foot was a struggle to gain. The creatures were as intent on hindering him as they were on helping the poor one-legged boy who could only move by bracing himself against their bodies and pushing as hard as he could. They held onto him, slowed him down with their weight.

"Al!"

He had to hurry. He only had a minute, one minute before he lost his brother for good, before his brother was trapped there in that hell. Stretching his arm as far as it would go as he used his leg to kick and push against one of the Gate's creatures, he reached for his brother, fingers brushing the air just centimeters away from that light that nearly blinded him.

"Time's up."

For a fraction of a second, Edward froze, nerves going numb as the Truth's words sank in. A minute already up. No, it couldn't- Al was right there, so close, just another few seconds..!

Ignoring the voice, kicking at the things that tried to drag him back, no longer helping at all, he reached again, screaming for his brother. Come on, Al, just reach! Please, I'm almost there!

Cold tendrils wrapped around his throat and yanked him back. He choked and cried, Al's form slipping farther away as the tendrils dragged him away.

"Time's up," the voice repeated again, half-snarled, half-laughed and Edward's throat burned, and he screamed-



"Time's up."

Edward jumped, the pencil in his right hand snapping neatly from the sudden pressure as his fists clenched. Around him, the testing council that stayed late, just for him to take the qualification test, were watching, waiting on him to snap out of his waking nightmare.

Ducking his head in embarrassment, he handed his incomplete test in to the officer collecting his paper. As soon as he was dismissed, he hurried out of the room, leaving the broken pencil on the desk.
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