Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Spoilers: Episode 25
Pairing(s): Hughes/Roy-ish, Hughes/Gracia, Roy/Riza-ish
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Summary: "There are things you don't dwell on, though, while dead, and Roy is one of them."
Notes: For the temps_mort/contrelamontre death challenge. Written in 89 minutes, which should indicate something about the quality. Unbetaed and barely edited.
Death is not all that it's made out to be. At least from what you've seen. It's not an abrupt end, a brilliant burst of white light. It's merely, existing, though not quite in the same way.
You think you might be a ghost, wandering down familiar hallways and up familiar stairs, but can't ghosts do something? Isn't that how you knew of them before? You're intangible, unable to touch anything or pick anything up. The ground is still steady under your feet, however, and you can climb up and down things if you choose (and you usually do).
If there are any other ghosts around, you don't know them, and you don't see them. Sometimes you wonder if all the dead are cursed to wander or if you're just a special case. You don't know which you'd prefer.
You weren't sure you were dead when you waved goodbye to the Elric brothers at the train station. The memories of dying hadn't come back quite yet, and you were still thinking that maybe the night before was just a strange, bad dream. You smiled and waved, thinking that perhaps you would greet them when they came back, and could shower them with pictures and questions, though you realize how foolish that was now. You think you might have seen Ed wave back, but that could just be wishful thinking.
The first few days were the worst. It was like being trapped in a glass box, able to watch everything around you, but unable to reach out and touch it. You thought it would be best to spend time with Elysia and Gracia, watch over your girls, make sure nothing happened to them.
But it was too hard to stand by and watch them mourn. You could speak, at least to yourself, but they couldn't hear you, and watching them in pain without any way of comforting them nearly killed you again.
So you left to continue drifting. You could follow Ed, as you didn't tire out, but it was still far, and maybe that would make you feel helpless in an entirely different way.
The streets of Central were an easy way to distract yourself, and the days began to fade into one another.
You especially like the corner where you used to buy a paper from the boy with a blue cap every morning before work, because the familiarity merely soothes and doesn't sting. He's not sad. He's not mourning. Life goes on for him in the same way it always had.
Even with that, it's not easy being away from everyone, but you know the necessity of it. One day, you nearly walked home, by accident (it's easier to lose track of things while dead, you've noticed), and the yearning to be close to them almost overwhelmed you.
You miss them so much.
There are things you don't dwell on, though, while dead, and Roy is one of them. You know that watching his pain would cut deeper than anyone else, even Elysia, because he doesn't show his emotions in words or facial expressions, but in actions.
You can't watch him kill himself over someone as insignificant as you.
Gracia and Elysia will carry on. They never really needed you much anyway. Sometimes you would wonder at how incredibly lucky you were to have them, when they were so beautiful and perfect and brilliant and kind.
But Roy is different. He always needed, though he never asked, because you always knew what he wanted and were always there to give it to him. You could practically feel the way he leaned on you, though he was never one to admit it in words. You were always the one to pull him back from the brink, and without you, you dread to think of what he might be like, now.
You can imagine what he would be doing right about now, working himself up into a frenzy looking for revenge, wearing himself out of some sort of misguided belief that he owes you something.
You do see him again by accident (because you'd never go looking) on a sunny day, next to the park you used to frequent. You're not quite sure how long afterward it is, but it's probably a year, at the most. He looks better than you imagined, the rings under his eyes are not as dark as you expected, and while you still wince at pain that lurks in his eyes, the determination you see there is not as manic as it could have been.
He looks as if he's waiting for someone, Hawkeye probably, in full uniform, silver watch proudly displayed. He glances about, though not in any particular hurry, and there isn't any of the nervous tension simmering below his skin that would have indicated that his calm is just a facade.
You stand close by, just to take him in. You've missed him too, almost as much as you've missed them.
It reminds you of the good old days, when it was enough to just stand (or sit or lay) around and enjoy each other's company. When you would talk about anything and everything until you simply couldn't anymore, and the silence was just as comforting as the chatter. It didn't happen often (admittedly because you were very, very rarely short of anything to say), but when it did, it was a rare and precious thing.
You watch Hawkeye approach, and the studying look she gives him makes you so happy that you hug him tightly and whisper into his ear, "I'm glad someone's taking care of you. You need it."
It's easy, almost too easy, to lean over and press a gentle kiss against his neck. "I did love you, but I'll be happy to see you let me go."
You don't expect him to feel it, they never do, so it comes as a surprise when he spins around, looking for something.
Hawkeye raises an eyebrow at his strange behavior. "Colonel?" she asks.
He doesn't seem to find anything, and he turns back to face her. "Let's go," he says.
Before they go off completely, he turns to double check, and you smile, because you like that he's in good hands now.
He turns to look one last time over his shoulder, and you shake your head, because he's probably dwelling, and if there is one thing Roy doesn't need to do, it's dwell. He blinks for a moment, staring right at you, and you think he just might...
But then he turns back again, to face Hawkeye's quizzical look. "It's nothing," you hear him say, "I thought I saw someone."
You laugh, because everything is going to be fine, and now you know you don't have to worry. It bubbles out of you, and it tastes like relief. Roy's going to be okay. Gracia's going to be okay. Elysia's going to be okay. And as you laugh, you can feel that white light everyone talks about engulfing you from behind.
It feels like peace.
Now, off to do 7 weeks worth of math homework.