Rating: Hard R
Word Count: 5055
Summary: While Roy looked for any reason to see Ed in person after they were stationed so far apart, an investigation into the violent death of a child wasn't exactly the romantic rendezvous he'd intended. There's a dangerous alchemist on the loose in Central, and the deeper the investigation goes, the more disturbing Ed finds it—not to mention familiar.
Overall Warnings: Sex, Ed's mouth, violence, character death (OC)
Notes: An AU of the first anime-verse that assumes that Ed is still in Amestris and a State Alchemist while Al's body has been restored. This was originally written during NaNoWriMo 2010 and is too long to post all at once, so I'll be posting it in parts as I finish editing it. Thanks to a_big_apple and bob_fish for the feedback and clean-up on this part! You guys are awesome :)
Part one can be found HERE.
Roy didn't realize he was grinding his jaw until the phone rang for the eighth time, and then, much to his surprise, a click—and Ed's voice. "Hello?"
"I shouldn't be surprised that you're not working," Roy sighed, relief rushing through him like a wave. "And yet, I am."
"Oh fuck you," Ed snapped. Roy could hear a faint shuffling sound—books being moved, perhaps? "I'm working. I think I—" A pause, a loud crashing sound, a stream of curses. "Fucking hell. Anyway, I found something."
"Something related to the case?" Roy perked up.
"Mm. Can you get here? I'd rather not, y'know, go into this over the phone."
"I'm on my way now." Roy was just about to hang up when Ed stopped him.
"Oh, bring food!"
"You have to be kidding me."
"I'm starving. I haven't eaten since dinner, and that was at, what, six yesterday? Seven? C'mon."
Roy made a face. "Fine. I'm on my way."
"With food," Roy sighed. "Goodbye, Edward."
Ed didn't spare a moment for goodbyes, just let the line buzz for him, going dead. Roy set the receiver down, rolling his eyes toward the ceiling as he stood, exhaustion trying to drag him back down like it had its own gravitational pull.
"Call down to the motor pool for me," Roy instructed, closing his office door behind him. "If Havoc's available—"
"On it, General," Breda said, grabbing the phone. "Shouldn't take long. Go ahead down."
Fortunately, it didn't take long. By the time Roy got down to the motor pool, Havoc was already in the car. When he caught sight of Roy, he honked the horn, waving out the window. "Chief!"
"Lieutenant," Roy said, climbing into the passenger's seat.
"Got some news for you," Havoc said. "From Hawkeye. She looked into Mr. Bray like you wanted, right?"
"He was on a business trip at the time," Havoc explained, pulling out onto the main road. "Some finance thing. He has a solid alibi and isn't even in Central right now."
"Still? He hasn't come back?" Roy couldn't even begin to fathom that.
"Yeah, he's still working. Guess his son wasn't too big of a deal to him."
"I wasn't holding my breath about that, anyway," Roy said. "It was just—odd."
"Some parents are like that. So, where to?"
"Home," Roy said, then he remembered the other part of Ed's request. "Ah. Actually, the diner you and Breda always eat at when the mess hall serves meatloaf. Then home."
"It's a good diner," Havoc said defensively. "And that meatloaf—"
"Yes, I've heard your opinion about the damn meatloaf every Thursday for ten years, Lieutenant," Roy interrupted. "I don't need to hear it now."
Havoc tsked and changed lanes. "Whatever you say, Chief."
Ed was waiting at the kitchen window when Havoc dropped Roy off in front of his house, leaving him standing on the sidewalk with an armful of food. He could see Ed peering out at him, as though to say, why the fuck are you still standing there? Move, damn it!
The moment he set foot on the front steps, Ed disappeared from the window and immediately reappeared as the front door swung open. "Took you long enough," he said, grabbing the boxes from Roy and holding them close to his face. "Smells good, though."
"You're welcome, Ed. No, it was no trouble at all," Roy muttered. "It's not like I'm in the middle of an investigation—"
"Quit your yapping," Ed said fondly. "If you think I feel bad for you, you're dead wrong, Mustang."
"Mustang," Roy repeated, shaking his head. Ed disappeared back into the house, and he followed, closing the door. "You had something important to tell me?"
Ed dropped the food on the kitchen table, opening all of the boxes and inspecting them critically before grabbing a sandwich from one of them and jamming almost all of it at once into his mouth. "I," he swallowed, "was so hungry. Fuck, all I've been able to smell all day was pork. Burnt pork!"
"Yes, I saw the test room. It's a mess."
"You saw it? Why'd you go there?"
"I was looking for you!"
"Well, that was stupid," Ed said. "Hey, is this all for me?"
Rubbing at his eyes, Roy said, "Everything but the other sandwich. I do occasionally have to eat, too, Ed." Whatever the garbled response Ed gave him was, Roy couldn't tell. "Once you've finished stuffing your face, can we get to the point?"
Swallowing, Ed wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. "Right, so before I do, tell me what you know. Any solid leads?"
Roy joined Ed at the table, picking the sandwich apart with his fingers. "Not as such. Whatever Elijah Stern knew would have solved the case for us. I'm almost completely sure of that. But his parents didn't even know he was dead when we got there."
"Oh, shit." Ed covered his mouth about a second too late to stop a spray of crumbs from fanning across the top of the table. Roy held his sandwich close to his face protectively, eyeing the mess with disdain.
"Mm. He'd apparently told them he was staying at a teammate's house following the game."
"Who was the teammate?" Ed asked, reaching over to the counter to grab a hand full of napkins, dragging the wad across the table. Roy was quick to smack his hand out of the way and show Ed the proper way to clean, too used to the younger man to so much as pause at the mess—or the sheepish grin that followed.
"His parents claim they didn't know," Roy explained. "I'm going to head to the school after this. I need to speak with the coach to see if Elijah was even at the game, and god knows I don't want to deal with that man…"
"So what's your impression, then?"
"It might be the start of a serial killer," Roy said. "It fits the pattern. A specific victim, a specific style…"
"But the deaths were completely different," Ed interrupted. "I wouldn't count on it being something as impersonal as a serial killer."
Roy frowned. "No? Why's that?"
"The array was actually intended for fireworks originally, remember? I tried to replicate both scenes. The first time around, the alchemist didn't even understand what he was doing."
"How could he not?"
"Because he overloaded the array," Ed said. "I don't think whoever did it knew how much power to put into the transmutation. That's why the body was so mutilated. It literally exploded from the force!"
"Interesting," Roy murmured. He was down to just the crust of his sandwich, which he handed over to Ed. "So you'd say it was an amateur?"
Ed nodded, biting off a good chunk of the leftover bread and swallowing quickly. "That's my first guess. A quick learner, too, because the second scene was controlled. They were able to guess just how much energy to push into the array without completely destroying the body or causing much of a scene."
"Unfortunately for them. It would have held up the case another two days if we'd have had to identify remains like the first death."
"Yeah, well, I never said they were well-informed." Ed shrugged. "Did either of the kids know any alchemists?"
"Not that I've found out," Roy said slowly. "You're saying that's who I should be looking for?"
"I'd be willing to bet on it, that's what I'm saying." Ed brushed the crumbs off his shirt, his plate empty. "So, you heading out?"
"I've got to. We can't wait. The possibility that these deaths can continue is too high."
Ed sat in silence for a moment, watching Roy thoughtfully. "You know," he said, "maybe I should go with you."
"You?" Roy thought on it. "If you'd like. I would have had to call for someone, anyway."
"Let me just go grab my coat," Ed said, pushing out of his chair and stepping out of the kitchen.
"We can walk," Roy said when Ed came thumping back down the stairs, his loud, uneven footsteps a familiar sound. "I need to wake myself up, anyway."
"Works for me."
"It feels like we've done nothing but work on this case," Roy said wistfully.
"It's why I'm here, remember?" Ed's smiled thinly. "If you wanted a vacation—"
"I wasn't blaming you." Roy tugged the end of Ed's braid playfully. "I just wish it was different."
Ed looked down. "So? Work on that transfer. You know I'd rather be in Central." The with you didn't need to be said, not when they both already knew it. Roy had to get his eyes off Ed, had to shift gears and focus, because if all he thought about was how to wrangle Ed within arm's reach on a permanent basis, then the case was doomed to failure.
Exasperated, Ed tugged his hair out of Roy's grip and, in a strangely hesitant motion, wrapped his arms around Roy's waist, face pressed against his shoulder. "We have work to do," Ed said. He didn't move away.
"I know." Roy just wanted to stand there. If he could just not move, could just keep Ed tucked under his chin, hands resting warm and cold on the small of his back, then Roy felt like he could be happy.
But Ed was moving away. Pressing a wet, open-mouthed kiss to Roy's neck, Ed stepped back, face settled with resolve, and laid his hand on the doorknob.
"Come on," he said. "Let's get this over with."
From the street, Roy could clearly see the ball field over the top of the wall that served as a gate for the school, a mass of students running laps around it, and the coach standing at the edge, arms crossed and a whistle braced between his lips. Ed kept getting up on his toes, lips a terse line, trying to see just what the hell Roy saw.
"Damn wall's in the way," Ed grumbled, pulling himself up by bracing his hands on the top of the wall. Roy watched, amused—he might have only stood tall enough for his nose and eyes to see over, but Ed was about an inch too short for the top of his head to even be level with the wall.
"We could just walk around it," Roy suggested, pointing to the place where the wall ended, giving access to the school. "We have to actually speak to the coach, after all."
The coach spotted them long before they ever made it to the field. On the track looping around it, the students had all mostly slowed to a walk, sweaty and panting. Roy led Ed quickly across the track and over to where the man was standing, obviously waiting for them.
"Coach Devins," Roy greeted, his smile wooden.
"General," the coach said. "And, uh…"
"Major Elric," Roy said. "I was hoping to ask you a few more questions."
"About?" Devins didn't look thrilled at the idea.
"Elijah Stern," Roy said.
Roy glanced over at Ed. Word hadn't gotten around, it seemed. He wanted to grind his teeth. He was so sick of being the bearer of bad news. The papers were so quick the first time. Couldn't they have tried a bit harder this go around, and saved Roy the trouble?
Ed, apparently having read Roy's mind, cleared his throat. "He's dead, that's why. His body was found this morning."
Devins didn't say anything. In fact, the man didn't even move. Roy, after a cautious look at Ed, code for please use tact, asked, "What time did he leave the game last night?"
"He—" Devins swallowed loudly. "He wasn't at the game." The man's face had bled a pasty white.
"Wasn't at the game? Where was he?"
"I have no idea," Devins said. "He told me he couldn't come—wouldn't come, I guess."
"When was this?" Roy asked. The boy had been so specific that he couldn't speak to Roy because of the game. What could have changed his mind?
"Well," the coach said, his words slow as he looked up in thought. "Right after you spoke to him, actually."
"At the school yesterday?"
"Yeah, right when I came to get him for practice. I figured it had something to do with you and—and Samson."
"I see," Roy said numbly. He didn't actually see anything, couldn't make sense of the situation at all. Elijah had refused to speak with him—on purpose? What sense did that make?
"Did he say anything else?" Ed asked. "Anything about where he was going?"
"No, why would he?" Devins still had that blank look of shock about him, and his voice had taken on a muted tone, faint and flat. "I just—where was he found?"
"I'm sure it'll be in the papers in the morning," Ed said snidely. "You can find out—"
Roy held up a hand. "Near Samson's house."
Devins looked from Ed, to Roy, back to Ed, then at the ground. "Is there a connection?"
"That's what we're looking for," Roy assured him.
Silence for a moment, then, "All of my best players are dying," the man said morosely.
"That—that's what you're worried about?" Ed demanded. "Your best players dying? Not that, oh, I dunno, kids you know are dying?"
"Samson was the best player we had," Devins insisted. "He took the game seriously!"
"I could have used you instead of the pork," Ed muttered under his breath. Then, louder, "We're done here." He looked at Roy. "Right? He's useless." Ed looked so on the verge of a tantrum that Roy nearly laughed—would have, had it not been for the situation at hand.
Sometimes, he thought, leading Ed toward the main building, people were just foolish.
Word might not have gotten out before they arrived at the school, but either the students were quite a bit more aware than their teachers, or Coach Devins had loose lips, because within ten minutes, every eye was on Roy and Ed. The students knew why they were there.
"You know who you're looking for?" Ed glanced up at Roy.
"Not particularly," Roy answered. "Everything about this case is baffling. Every time I think I know what I'm doing, something—or someone—comes up and proves me wrong."
Ed snorted. "I would've thought you'd be used to that happening by now."
"Very funny, Edward."
"Teachers?" Ed suggested. "Friends?"
"The teachers I spoke to before were useless to the investigation." Roy paused in the hall, staring thoughtfully at the rows of classroom doors running to the very end where the hallway opened into the cafeteria. "The students, I believe, would be our best bet."
"Makes sense to me," Ed said. "Got any names?"
"None living," Roy muttered. "Other than Angel Law, who was close to the Bray boy, I've got very little info on Elijah Stern."
"Then I guess we should start with his year mates." Ed flicked open his watch. "You take the students, then. I'm going to go poke around the gym. Meet in half an hour?"
"If you think that's enough time," Roy agreed. "Why the gym?"
"It's the main connection," Ed said. "Maybe I'll find something."
Roy nodded. "I suppose that makes sense. I'll meet you in front of the school in half an hour, then."
Lunch was just coming to an end when Roy ducked into the cafeteria, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible—and failing miserably at it. The few students who preferred the large cafeteria to eating out on the school green zeroed in on him the moment he walked in.
It was just as well, Roy figured. He'd have to talk to some of them, and that was bound to draw attention whether he liked it or not.
"Excuse," he said, interrupting the table closest to the exit. "I was wondering if any of you were familiar with Elijah Stern?"
The boys sitting at the table traded looks. "So it's true," one of them finally spoke up. "Eli's dead?"
Roy cleared his throat. "I'm afraid so. Would any of you know where he went last night?"
"I dunno," the boy said, looking around at his friends. "He was supposed to be at the game, but he never showed up. How'd he die?"
"I'm not able to discuss that right now," Roy said. "Is there anyone who was especially close to Elijah?"
"Samson," the boy said. "Right?" The boys around him all nodded. "They were always together, except when that other kid butted in."
"That Law kid," he said. "The one who's from Drachma."
Interesting, Roy thought, how the truth could be so easily misconstrued. "Angel Law, you mean," Roy surmised. "How, exactly, did Angel butt in?"
"Eli hated him," the boy explained. "He was, like, stealing Samson. That's what he said, anyway."
Roy raised a brow at that. "He stole Samson." Were boys so ridiculous when he'd been that age? Roy hoped to god he hadn't been. "So, you'd say things between the three of them were difficult?"
"I guess," the boy said. "I dunno."
After writing down the boy's name and the scant bit of information he'd provided, Roy worked his way through students in the cafeteria and in the hallways as the bell rang to signal the end of classes. All of them seemed to focus on the tension between Elijah and Samson, and how strange it was for Samson to bother with someone like Angel. It seemed too calculated, really, that they should all focus on one boy who had so little to do with Elijah Stern.
Interestingly enough, Roy didn't see Angel among the throng of students pushing through each other down the halls and into various classrooms. Remembering that the boy was in class 8-B, Roy went in the direction of the eighth grade hall, keeping an eye out for the boy among the clusters of students lingering in the emptying halls.
He didn't find Angel in the halls or in the classroom. The teacher, an older woman with a patient face, was quick to tell him that Angel was absent that day—something she considered very unusual.
"He's never actually missed school before," she said. "I can't imagine why, with the trouble most of the students give him, but he's always here."
"He has a lot of trouble, then?"
"Oh, yes," the older woman said. "He's not a—well, let's just say the students around here are well-educated at home about who is and isn't an enemy."
Roy shouldn't have been surprised. Central, particularly the area the school was in, held the highest concentration of military families. It made perfect sense that the kids would hear talk of the Drachmans on a regular basis.
Thanking the woman for her time, Roy looked at the clock and hurried to the front of the school, hoping Ed had found something useful.
Ed was waiting for him in front of the building, leaning against the flagpole. He caught sight of Roy coming out of the front door and pushed away from the pole, jogging over to meet him. "Anything?" he asked.
Roy frowned. "I'm not entirely sure. Angel Law, you remember me mentioning him?" Ed nodded. "He's absent today."
Ed didn't even blink. "So? Kids are absent every day."
"According to his teacher, he's never been absent before. And beyond that, there's a connection between both victims and Angel."
Ed hummed. "So—a connection. That's good."
"Good for the investigation," Roy said, "but possibly bad for Angel."
"What are you thinking?"
"Lieutenant Hawkeye suggested that we find the next victim before the killer does. Every single student I spoke to brought up Angel whenever Elijah was brought up—or Samson, for that matter. The three of them are connected."
"And Angel's missing for the first time," Ed said. "Well, shit."
"Exactly my thought. I got his information from his teacher. We should stop by his home and make sure he's there." Roy handed the paper the office had given him over to Ed. "Assuming everything's fine, we might want to consider setting up a guard."
"You're sure about this?" Ed asked, glancing over the sheet before looking back to Roy. "You're certain he's the next one?"
"It can't be a coincidence that these three are connected the way they are and that both of the other boys are dead—within a day of each other. There's something worth looking at here."
Ed handed the sheet back to Roy. "Your call. I'm good for it. Let's go."
Folding the sheet, Roy tucked it into his coat pocket. "What about you? Find anything useful?"
"I found that locker rooms smell terrible," Ed began, "but no, nothing really important. The coach followed me around the whole time. Guy's an ass."
"Coach Devins is a real work of art," Roy agreed. "I'll be glad to never have to see him again."
Angel Law lived too far from the school to walk. At the nearest payphone, Roy stopped and called for a car. Luckily, Havoc was in the office when he called.
"He'll be here in ten minutes," Roy said, hanging up the phone.
"He damn well better," Ed complained. "I don't wanna just get stuck standing on the side of the road for an hour!"
There was a bench next to the payphone, and Ed had commandeered the whole of it when Roy went to make the call. He only grudgingly moved his legs off the seat of it so Roy could sit down when the man hung up the phone.
"It feels good to sit down," Roy sighed.
"You're such an old man," Ed laughed. "I could've walked the whole way there."
"Feel free," Roy sniffed. "I have drivers to get me places."
"You'd think you were already Fuhrer, the way you carry on," Ed said dryly.
"Perhaps," Roy said, and Ed just rolled his eyes.
Havoc took just as long as he said he would, plus a few minutes which he claimed he'd spent stuck in the backed-up line at the motor pool. Ed had scowled and disregarded the excuse altogether. Roy, used to the lieutenant's casual tardiness, simply climbed into the front seat and instructed him as to where he and Ed were headed.
"So you think this kid is the next one?" Havoc asked, tapping his cigarette out the window. "He was the one we saw, right? By the tree?"
"The young one," Roy agreed.
Havoc took a drag, blew it out like a sigh. "You guys really need to step up the pace."
"I don't see you doin' shit!" Ed bellowed from the back seat. "Why don't you get off your ass and do some footwork!"
"Because I," Havoc said grandly, "am the chauffeur."
"This is true," Roy said gravely.
"I hate you both," Ed grumbled, and sank back into the seat, set to scowl at both men through the rearview mirror for the remainder of the drive.
The closer they got to Angel's home, the more striking the poverty in the area became. The streets went devolved from a typical suburban area, to littered streets with barred windows and filthy walls. What looked like a group of Ishvalan children were gathered at the storefront they parked across from.
"Nice neighborhood," Havoc said. "Why don't I guard the car?"
"Whatever," Ed said. "I don't think a group of kids are gonna steal this, if that's what you're thinking."
"We don't want to alarm the family. Havoc, stay with the car. Three soldiers showing up at their door might be enough to send the boy into cardiac arrest."
Ed followed Roy across the street, looking around warily. "Was he like that? A real nervous kid?"
"He was convinced the military was watching his family," Roy said.
"His father was Drachman, remember?"
"So?" Ed said as they climbed the front steps to the dilapidated house the school claimed was Angel's home. "I don't see what that should have to do with anything."
"Not everyone in the world is as blind to race as you are, Ed," Roy said, and rang the doorbell.
A woman answered the door, scanning Roy's uniform with nervous, dark eyes. "Can I help you?"
"Yes, ma'am. I have a few questions to ask you," Roy said. He extended his hand. "General Mustang."
After a brief moment of hesitation, the woman extended her hand. "Abigail Law," she said. "Abby. Ah, come in." She pushed the door open, glancing outside and closing it quickly the moment they were all inside. "What's this about?"
"Where's Angel?" Start with basics, Roy supposed. Abby looked at him, at Ed, and then frowned.
"He's in bed," she said. "He came down with something last night. I think it was something he ate." She pointed at a doorway just down a short hall to their right, the door of it cracked open and streaming a soft light into the hall. "He's sleeping," she added quickly when Ed moved in that direction. "Please, keep quiet?" She said it like a question, in an anxious tone that suggested she was hesitant to demand anything of them.
With a quick look at Roy, Ed stepped lightly down the hall, poking his head in the doorway before walking back.
"He's in there," Ed confirmed.
Abby looked between them again, worry deepening the lines on her face, giving her the appearance of a much older woman. "What's going on?"
"Is there somewhere we could speak?" Roy asked. "I have a few questions regarding the recent murders."
"Murders?" Abby looked frightened. "I—I suppose. In the kitchen."
There wasn't much difference between the entryway and the kitchen, the whole front of the house seemingly blended into one large area. She offered them drinks, which they both were quick to refuse. Directing them to the kitchen table, Abby took a seat, waiting for Roy and Ed to join her.
"Questions," she repeated. "What can—what do you need from me?"
"Your son was close to the first murdered boy," Roy said. "Samson Bray. Are you familiar with the name?"
"Angel used to talk about him all the time," she said, smiling fondly. "They were very close."
Roy looked over at Ed, but the other man's eyes were riveted to somewhere behind Abby's head. "And Elijah Stern?"
Abby's smile abruptly dried into nothing. "Angel only ever mentioned him a few times," she said stiffly. "Never anything good. He tormented him!" She paused. "He's dead?"
"Yes," Roy nodded. "He was found early this morning."
Abby looked down at her hands, clasped on the tabletop. "I'm very sorry about Samson," she said. "Angel was devastated. Still is. But that boy, Elijah," she looked to the side, "I can't say I'm sorry to hear about his death."
Odd that she should admit to being glad over the death of a child. Roy had a hard time reconciling her words with the fact that she was a mother. How could any mother be glad a child was murdered, no matter the circumstances? He opened his mouth to continue on that line of questioning, but Ed interrupted.
"Abby," he said, "I notice you have a lot of books."
The woman blinked, surprised at the sudden shift in topic, and turned her head to follow Ed's gaze, looking back at a bookshelf opposite the kitchen. "Yes," she said. "I do."
"There's an awful lot of alchemy texts," Ed continued mildly. Roy felt a tremor of something run through him, and he snapped his neck around to look at the bookshelf.
Abby turned around, her face an odd shade of pink. "When I was younger," she said, sounding almost embarrassed, "I used to practice a bit of alchemy." She laughed. "I can't say I was ever very good, not like the two of you must be, if you're state alchemists! And anyway, I haven't touched those books in years."
There were quite a few alchemy texts on the shelf, far too many for her to have simply dabbled in the science. Roy, for once, was at a loss as to what he should say. Ed had told him to look for an alchemist, one familiar with both boys.
But that boy, Elijah, I can't say I'm sorry to hear about his death.
Ed was smiling at Abby, though, and Roy couldn't tell what he was thinking. "Too bad," Ed said. "But I know alchemy's not for some people."
Abby's smile twitched. "No," she said, "it's not."
"Well, I think that's it, then," Ed said, still smiling that same baffling smile. "You should keep an eye on Angel," he warned. "We think it's possible he might be in danger."
Abby shook her head, jaw set stubbornly. "I'm sure Angel's not in any trouble. I'll watch him, but he's fine!"
"General Mustang'll just need to get some information from you," Ed continued blithely, finally meeting Roy's eyes. "Basics, you know, where you were last night, all that. I'll go get the car," he directed the last part to Roy as he stood.
"Uh," Roy said, showing his alarm for barely a second before taking up the part. "Yes, that's right. I'll need you to write out a statement, and I know I have paper in here somewhere…"
While Roy checked his pockets, pulling out a few scrap pieces of paper and pen, Ed quietly stepping out of the kitchen to get a closer look at the bookcase. It was piled with books on alchemy, texts ranging from basic transmutations and on. Ed glanced over the covers, trying to find anything that might relate to the array used in the murders, when he realized something.
None of the books on alchemy had even the slightest bit of dust on them. The rest of the books, the few novels that were stuffed in the bookshelf as well, were caked with a thick layer of it, clearly unused.
Ed looked back into the kitchen, where Roy was keeping the woman busy with some fictitious tale of the legal requirements of a handwritten statement, and frowned.
I haven't touched those books in years, she'd said.
Well, Ed thought, taking another look at the clean, well-used books. So much for that story.
And on to part six!