Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Spoilers: through 51
Summary: Roy hasn't learned from other people's mistakes
Previous Parts: Prologue | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Tag filter
Notes: first off, many thanks to tatooine for the beta-ing. I know it's been a really long time since my last update (Seven months exactly, omg), but I have finished writing the rest of it, I just need to finish editing and getting it betaed and such-like.
It only takes Roy a few minutes of pacing his room to realize that he's not getting anywhere.
Did you like my handiwork?
He can't stop thinking of that moment. That precise fucking moment. He can still see Wrath in his mind's eye: too cheerful, too proud (and looking too much like Maes) to do anything but cause Roy's stomach to churn.
What Roy needs (more than anything else) right now is distance, perspective. He probably won't get it.
So he goes outside, instead, to clear his mind a bit, to see if the fresh air will help him focus. He doubts it will, but it's better than not trying at all, isn't it? He might as well go outside and see what happens. (He thinks Wrath might pay another visit to the murder scene, but that's not why he leaves again. It's not because he needs to see Maes' face again, even if it has the wrong color eyes. Not at all.)
The night air is cool, and the stars glow brightly. He wants to enjoy the moment, let everything slip from his mind and truly enjoy a beautiful night like this. There's still unfinished business, though, and Roy cannot just pretend to be another person, not even for a moment. He can't let himself relax.
He walks wherever his feet take him and mulls over the facts again. It almost takes him by surprise to end up at the most recent murder scene. (Not really. Part of him knew, and it's laughing at him right now for being so weak to come here, just to see him again. He might not even be here.)
He's not quite sure what he's doing here (except that he is), so he stands there staring, thinking.
There's a moment when everything shifts and Roy doesn't know what's going on when he stares at Wrath (who is standing several feet in front of him, though Roy can't remember when he arrived.)
"How'd you get here?" Roy asks.
"I ran." Wrath grins, a glint in his eye that looks wrong somehow on Maes' face.
There's another shift and a blur, and Wrath is suddenly a few inches from Roy, like before, so close that Roy can smell his breath. (Do they even need to breathe?) It's almost a familiar situation between the two of them: Wrath too, too close (and being distracting) and Roy almost forgetting what he needs to, that he needs to fix his mistakes.
This time, though, Roy's hand goes straight for his pocket and the glove that's tucked into it. It slides on easily, worn and familiar. When he snaps his fingers and adjusts the air, he steps back to make sure he doesn't get singed when he kills this thing that wears Maes' face. It's the hardest things he's ever had to do in his life.
But there's another shiftblur and Wrath (Maes) isn't where he was and the flame dies away into nothing. He's farther down the alleyway and shaking his head. From this distance, Roy can't tell the difference, not really. He tries to snap his fingers again, but he can't. He can't bring himself to kill it (him).
"I was wondering when you'd get up the courage to try that. I'm impressed." Wrath smile widens. For a second, he looks just like Maes before a harebrained challenge, and Roy can't help but ache for it to be real.
"Don't even try to pretend," Roy whispers. "You're not him." It sounds a little weak even to his own ears. Really weak. Wrath just laughs (and from here, it sounds like summer by the river on a sunny day).
Roy can only watch as Wrath shiftblurs again and disappears into the night. He begins to shiver as the adrenaline wears off, leaving him exhausted and shaken. There's a wall near him, and he has to lean against it, just to maintain some semblance of composure.
He's failed Maes once again.
A man -- no, a homunculus -- was kneeling on the ground, bent, hunched over. An alchemy array was painted onto the floor, large and intricate, behind him.
He had vomited onto the ground before, scattering red stones. Philosopher's Stones. They had long since melted into the array.
Greed -- yes, that's his name -- looked weak, battered broken.
Perhaps he was.
When the blonde boy killed him, he smiled.