Guilt was something Roy knew all to well. Everyone had their own way of dealing with it, but his way and the Prince’s ways were very different.
“This is ridiculous.” He told the foreign royalty, looking at the bare back the was presented to him. His stomach flopped around inside of him, and he clutched the whip in his hand hard, until his knuckled turned white.
Ling craned his neck as best he could to see the General behind him. His hands were tied skillfully by silk to two steel rods. The assuring smile he flashed Roy, made the officer’s stomach do another flip flop. “I’m sure it must seem that way General, but I assure you, this it the only way.”
Roy looked down at the whip. It was made of worn out leather, that was crack and peeling, many thick tails laid motionless at the end. He took a deep breath, “Ed will hate me if he finds out.”
“Then we will make sure he doesn’t find out.”
“Ling.” The prince corrected, “Now come General, my back is yours for the lashing.” He wiggling a bit to get the point across.
A dizzy feeling hit Roy hard, if he didn’t know better he would think that Ling wanted to be whipped. He should start now, get it over with, and end it quickly. Then he could put this whole experience behind him, and hopefully Ling could to.
While Roy could deal with his guilt of the Ishbal Masacure by drinking until he passed out, Ling had to deal with his by being dealt an equal amount of pain that he had dealt to others while he had been Greed; and that was a lot if one turned their eyes on Edward Elric.
“General,” Ling started the call again, but a loud smacking sound of leather on skin cut the call short, and before Roy had realized it, he had whipped royalty.
He stood, tall and silent for a moment, starring at a small thin red line that now marked Ling’s back. Ling hissed gently and tried to crane his neck to look at Mustang again, “what are you doing?” he demanded, “Keep going.”
Despite better judgment, Roy did.
The smacking sound of he whip hitting Ling became nothing more then white noise as he swung his hand down again and again. His range of fire began to expand as he landed a blow on Ling’s shoulder, his thigh, the base of his neck, and Roy didn’t stop because if he did, the nausea that was building up in his gut would over flow.
Suddenly, however, when he was on his… what number strike was he on? His hand was caught in a firm grip, and he was forced back into reality, were his heart was racing and breathes were coming hard and quick, but he wasn’t breathing as hard as Ling, who had the his silk bounds supporting all his height as he tried to double over. Roy had to look away from the damage he had caused; he turned to see who caught his wrist and meet the cold steel eyes of Ran Fan.
The body guard met his eyes, and then let his hand slip out of her grip. It dropped to Roy’s side with a flop, and she went to go tend to her master.
The General watched her untie Ling, and help him stand. She picked up his clothes that were folded in a neat pile by one of steel rods, and assisted Ling in getting dressed, the clothes went on slowly and carefully, a few stray hisses and groans left Ling’s mouth, but once he was dressed, he stood as tall and proud as ever. One would never guess he had just received a numerous amount of harsh lashing.
“Thank you for that General.” Ling’s voice cut threw the awkward silence that had settled down like a knife. He stiffly tugged at his black over coat, before meeting Roy’s eyes. The Prince’s eyes were sparkling with a kind of relief, that didn’t help ease what had happened in Roy’s mind. “But I really must be going now.”
“Wait,” Roy spoke up, his own voice startling him for a second. Ling paused and cocked an eye brow in his direction, “Where are you going your Highness?”
A familiar grin broke out on Ling’s face, “Home, my dear General. It is late at night, and Edward will be wondering where I am at.”
Oh God… Edward… Roy’s swallowed the bile the threatened to rise.
“And what about Edward, how are you going to explain the…” his voice trailed off.
“Oh, I don’t plan on telling him about this right away. He will find out eventually, and when he does I hope it opens his eyes.” Ling explained, “You see General Mustang, Edward is the main reason I did this. Our… relationship has not been the same since Greed. Edward, though he tries to hide it, is afraid of Greed… he’s become afraid of me, and once he sees the marks that now cover my back, he will realize that I can bleed again, that I can feel pain again, and he will realize that I am truly back.” Ling saluted him with one last smile, “Thank you again for doing this General, and don’t worry I won’t tell him you were my administrator of pain.” He winked, then turned and walked away.
The sound of a large door closing was heard, and Roy took a deep breath. He picked up his own coat, which had been lying near Ling’s own clothing, and began to make his own way home.
He needed a glass of scotch!