Well, well… my last chapter of my very first serious FMA fic. How'd I do? Hopefully good by the standards of you, the reader! I love you all for your kind and constructive comments! Really, you guys made writing this story fun!
Enula – So angsty the two of them are, huh? Well, here's your answer as to how it ends. Don't hate me. (sweatdrop) Thanks for the review!
hiei44 – Ah, dun worry. I'll write more. ;) Perhaps a sequel, if anyone's interested? Anyhow, thanks for the R&R! And for sticking through the entire story!
SoulOmenspride – Bwhahaha, then I did my job. ;) Yes, I'm evil. Sorry you thought it was so sad. I'm afraid this last one here is worse. Don't hate me, either. (sweatdrops more) Thanks for the review!
kwala – Woot! Glad you thought it was worth the waiting. Hopefully this one is too. But damn, I like how you said that… 'He's only human. Will he cave in to Winry of Germany of the bullet?' That was just totally awesome. No really, I loved that line! Hehehehe, yeah, I doubt Ed would be able to look himself in the mirror if he had allowed it all to go all the way. He'd be so guilty. Thus is Ed, though. Thanks so much for the review!
Monkeyfeet180 – Yup, Ed's heart belongs to his dear childhood friend of Resembool… or Resenpool…. Or… however his hometown is spelled. I've seen it spelled about five different ways, you know. Hahahaha! You must watch the English dub if you think Envy's a she. Okay, a bit of a spoiler here. The thing with Envy is that he can be both, since he says he doesn't remember his original form. However at the very end of the series, it is proven is he no doubt a male. Just… ignore that terrible voice they chose for the poor guy fro the dub. (shudders) thanks for the R&R!
Nyago – Ed belongs in the world of alchemy, indeed. If only Winry knew that, huh? Sorry to make you sad! Sorry in advance for this last chapter, then. Thanks so much for sticking with me through this story!
Saturn Stars – Sis! Dear little sis, don't lie. You know you hate me for this chapter. (Sniffles) Me sorry, but what can I say? I had it planned from the very beginning. But wait! You'll pay me? Really? WHOO! You have yerself a deal! XD Just kidding. YOU'RE the one with over a thousand reviews (or maybe it's two thousand? I lost track after review number 800. XD) (Ahem) EVERYONE GO READ SATURN STAR'S STORIES! Sadly I haven't had the time lately and it makes me sad… but you all do! So go read! NOW! Okay, I'm done. Thanks for all your support 'lil sis! You really helped me write this more than you know! Love ya muchlies!
CiNtUrO-cHaN – Whoa, cool. Someone who doesn't even speak English as a first language is reading my craptastic fic! I feel special. XD Well, welcome to the fanfic community then! I'm sure you're fics will be awesome and hopefully I'll find time to read them. Thanks for the review!
heart of flame – Hahaha! Nothin' wrong with that. I just hope you think (thought?) they are (were?) awesome! But yes, this is the last chapter of this story. I'll write more, dun worry. (Or worry, depending on your POV) I might have a sequel for this one, but I'm not sure yet. OMFG yes! You caught the palm tree reference! I love you muchlies! (Huggleglomps) XD And yes, poor angsty Winry D. Enjoy this last chapter and thanks for sticking with me throughout the entire fun of this fic!
stroke-of-death – Wonder no more, the answer is here! XD Thanks for the R&R!
Keiko2009 – Hahaha! Of course he isn't! I could never kill off my beloved Edo. Not only would that make ME sad, but I'd get mobbed by rabid fans. (NodNod) Thanks for the R&R!
SxStrngSamurai13 – Yes, 'tis very sad. Gotta feel sorry for her, though, yes? If only a tiny bit. Of course now I realize too late that her obsession for him borders on 'stalker'. Oops. (sweatdrop) Anyway, thanks for reviewing and sticking with me during this fic!
Light of Purity – Eek! Better catch those emotions before reading this then, my dear. ;) Thanks for the R&R!
Yuna-Blueo'Hera – Glad you liked it! I try to do that: paint images with words. I'm not sure if I'm successful most of the time, but its good to know I was at some point in this story! Hahaha! So true about the characters' having their own minds. I only write the plots, the characters do what they want… usually without my consent. ;) Thanks so much for the review!
Kanki – Oh my… you think it 'PWNZ'? Such flattery! XD And don't ever apologize for the random bursts of insanity. ;) Glad you think I got Ed's personality down well. I feared it didn't sound like Ed at first, but then I figured it shouldn't because he's changed. Being in 'our world' has changed him. He's so use to fighting for his life and being in his world that 'our world' has sorta calmed him a bit, ya know? But still, don't pick on him about height. XD Anywho, Winry D. is such a contraversal character amongst the readers, it seems. I'll admit she's much too obsessive with Ed, yes. That was my bad. So that's a large part as to why a lot of people probably don't care for her. You had good point, but you see of COURSE she doesn't understand how important his world is to him. That's something to understand for some people, why things are important to others when they seem like nothing to yourself. Winry D. isn't as strong willed because the world she comes from is different. Women aren't suppose to be strong willed or have opinions at this point in time (although, granted, things are changing by WWII) But I respect your opinion, of course, and I'm glad you shared it with me! Feel sorry for her…she needs the pity, I think. Hehehe. And the thing about Al having a long lost brother comes from what was said in the movie trailer. I know nothing further than that, though. Just gotta wait 'till the end of July, I suppose. WOOT! Another person who knows the song 'Heaven's Not Enough'! (Huggles) XD Awesome! Thanks SO much for the review!
Kistune no Youkai – Ah, then this chapter might not make you sad. ;) Thanks so much for sticking with me through this fic!
Monk of the Neko, Vash. & ShaneXvga – Thanks so much for the R&Rs!
Scathach – Oooo… I'll try to be more careful in the future, then. Thanks for the very nice compliments, though. Glad you could enjoy the story even with all the nasty errors! Thanks for the R&R!
"Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars
Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares
Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Please remember me…"
"Dante's Prayer" By: Loreena Mckennitt
Winter in Germany
Edward figured himself crazy. Or maybe he had been crazy all along. Crazy to believe he could stay here. Crazy to lead Winry on. Crazy to ever think, even for a second, that everything could be okay. Nothing could ever be okay, be normal. Not here in this god forsaken place where he could never belong. And what the hell was he doing now, walking briskly down the snow covered sidewalk with one gloved hand in his pocket, clutching the pistol he had taken from his desk drawer. His face showed determination and no sign of looking back. But this was crazy too. He was after Envy, but he had no clue where to look or even where to start. And when he found Envy, what then? Did he expect to kill him? He couldn't kill a Homunculus with a gun. The snow was still falling from the night sky, but as if to match his mood, it was a heavy snow fall. It picked up speed very quickly and a harsh wind began to blow. Ed knew it would probably quickly escalate into a blizzard, but he didn't care. He knew. He wouldn't be here much longer.
So he prowled the city, scaring people with how angry and fiery his eyes were. He paused only once inside a restaurant, waiting for a particularly nasty stretch of wind and snow to pass before setting out again. He wandered, searching and calling out for the bastard to show himself. The few people outside at this hour and weather avoided him, tossing him glances and whispering to each other. But Ed didn't care. What other people thought of him now was the least of his worries. Finally he came to a long ally, stopping at the dead end and staring up at the small patch of sky visible between the two tall buildings. The wind had stopped and the snow was beginning to slow. He had lost track of time and was panting from his constant brisk pace. He stared up at black sky, blinking as snowflakes touched his lashes. This place was as good as any.
His hand tightened around the pistol in his pocket and he bowed his head, golden eyes staring at the snow at his feet. It was such a simple action yet it felt wasted. Thoughts of killing himself had always lingered in the back of his mind ever since the incident that lead him to get automail. Yet even though it was always there, he always pushed to live. He always sought to fight back, to never lay down and die. And now... what had happened to that will? It wasn't there. There was no point to fight for life anymore because he felt all alone. He discovered quickly he was lost without Al, without Winry, without that support and without knowing he had a place to return to some day. It was all gone and the dream of someday returning had also deteriorated, leaving nothing but that single lingering thought. That thought of death.
"Oh, pity. You're still alive."
Ed flinched, startled, and whirled around to face a young man with shoulder length blonde hair and golden eyes, a smirk plastered on his pale lips. His face made Ed freeze. He had seen that face briefly. Envy's true face.
"Killing me once wasn't enough?" Ed growled, getting ready to pull the gun from his pocket. It may not kill him, but it'd slow him down enough for Ed to... to do something.
Envy shrugged, over exaggerating the gesture. "That doesn't count. I want you to die and stay dead."
He lunged at Ed without warning. Ed reeled back and revealed the gun, but Envy was one step ahead. His arm had transformed into a blade without Ed realizing it and he lashed out with it. He sliced straight through Ed's wrist that held the gun, causing both gun and hand to fall. Ed yelped in surprise and reeled backwards, back hitting the wall. He found himself expecting terrible pain, only to remember the hand he had just lost had been his false one. Still it hurt and he gripped the sparking wires with his other hand, clenching his teeth in a grimace. Envy smirked and picked up the dropped pistol, detaching the metal hand still holding it. He tossed it casually over his shoulder and the blade became his arm again.
"You don't really put up much of a fight anymore, do you?" Envy sighed. "Two years of normal life has made you even weaker, Brother."
Ed flinched and narrowed his eyes dangerously. "Don't call me that."
The gun clicked and Envy held it up, barrel pointed to the sky. He smirked wickedly and Ed pressed further up against the wall, hand tightening on his useless arm.
"Well, it won't matter soon anyway," Envy said. "You won't be alive to care."
He pointed the gun at Ed, aiming it carefully and slowly between his eyes.
"After you, I'll kill that bastard father of yours. Then maybe I'll find a way out of here and wipe out your brother, too. Can't let the Elric family survive, now can I?"
"I don't care if you kill me," Ed muttered.
Suddenly all his anger and thoughts of revenge had died. He no longer felt the need to kill this bastard, now that it was so painfully clear he was no longer much of a match for the twisted Homunculus. He didn't care. At least this way he'd be free from this place. He was going to kill himself anyway. Maybe it would look less sinful if he let someone else do it.
Ed's head snapped up to peer past Envy. Winry stood at the ally's mouth, looking terrified. She clutched her jacket tightly closed with bare hands and her emerald eyes were wide. Clearly she had just thrown her jacket and shoes on.
"Winry!" Ed cried in panic. "What are you doing here! Runaway!"
"I-I followed you. I was worried and I..."
Envy laughed. "Well, well. Isn't this perfect timing? I was through making you suffer, but this opportunity is just too good to pass up."
"BASTARD!" Ed shouted and lunged, ramming the shoulder of his broken arm hard into Envy's chest, knocking him over. "Winry, get out of here!"
The gun slid across the ground and was stopped by the wall. Envy looked royally annoyed and slammed his foot into Ed's leg in an attempt to knock him over. Unfortunately, so blinded by anger, he smashed his foot into the wrong leg. Thus Ed managed to indirectly cause Envy discomfort. He remained standing and pinned the Homunculus to the ground, punching him hard in the face with his only hand. Envy only allowed the one hit, however, before he pushed Ed away and kneed him hard in the stomach. Ed stumbled away and Envy pounced on him, slamming him hard against the side wall. He pressed his arm against Ed's throat, cutting off his air as his hand tightened on the part of his shirt he held.
"That's the spirit, pipsqueak," Envy snarled, clearly frustrated that his supposed "easy" kill was fighting back. "That's how I remember, always fighting back even when the situation was hopeless!"
Unfortunately Envy forgot there was some one else and she wasn't exactly helpless. Something hard collided with the side of Envy's head, throwing him down with a strangled cry of rage. Winry stood, now holding the pistol. The butt of the gun had some blood on it and the blood trickling down the side of Envy's head was the sign as to why. Ed hurriedly caught his breath and moved away from the wall, coming to Winry's side and turning narrowed eyes back at Envy as he picked himself up. But something was off. As far as Ed could remember, none of the Homunculi had ever bled. Then why was Envy bleeding now? Ed took the gun from Winry and turned to face Envy, making sure to keep Winry behind him.
"You need others to fight your fights?" Envy chuckled in a dangerously low voice as he stood. His golden eyes held a crazed look to them. He was so blinded by his desire to destroy Ed and, eventually, Hohenheim, that he was losing common sense. "Hiding behind a woman, Ed?"
"Shut up," Ed snapped and pointed the gun at him. "Your carelessness has given you away. You're no longer immortal, are you?"
Envy gave a short bark of a laugh. "That's a stupid thing to say. Of course I am."
"Let's find out."
The gun went off, but Envy dodged. He grabbed Ed's arm and flipped him over his shoulder, slamming Ed's back hard on the ground. The gun was freed and now Envy held it again.
"Suffer!" Envy cried, laughing and whirling around to aim the gun at Winry. "You'll suffer like I did!"
Ed scrambled to get up. "Winry! RUN!"
Winry was paralyzed from fear and confusion before she suddenly turned, running toward the ally mouth. But Ed could not get up fast enough to ensure her escape and the gun went off. Time suddenly moved in slow motion. Winry fell forward, face twisted into a look of shock and fear. Her light blonde hair seemed to float in midair and her emerald green eyes widen. Someone screamed from the streets. The pistol in Envy's hand was smoking and a thump echoed loudly in the deafening silence as her body hit the earth. A wicked smirk was plastered on Envy's face and Ed, half way to his feet, could only stare in silent horror. His mouth opened as if he wanted to scream, but there was no sound. His eyes were as wide as they possibly could go, pupils small. Then suddenly his voice leapt from his throat without his brain's consent.
He shot past Envy, forgetting him entirely, and knelt to Winry's side. With difficulty he held her up gently, staring in horror at the crimson blotch steadily growing on her chest.
"Winry! Winry!" Ed cried, shaking her a bit. "Winry, please! Wake up! Wake up!"
This can't be happening. This isn't real. This can't be real! Ed's mind screamed, suddenly numb from what he had just witnessed. Perhaps he never loved this woman. Perhaps he did. Maybe he had truly fallen in love with her, but he hadn't realized it. Or maybe it was true that he only loved her for her face. But suddenly none of that mattered. She couldn't be...
The gun clicked again and Ed felt the barrel against the back of his head, causing him to stiffen. Envy smirked triumphantly. "Now you join her."
A gun went off and Ed flinched, only to quickly realize it hadn't been the one Envy held. He heard him cry out in pain and he turned to look over his shoulder. Envy staggered away, clutching his now bleeding hand in pain. The pistol fell from his grasp and he glared hatefully past Ed. Ed turned again to see Hohenheim standing there calmly, Al next to him with a smoking gun. He lowered it and stared in shock at Ed and Winry, blue eyes ready to spill tears.
"Bastard!" Envy hissed, shaking from pain and anger.
"This moment is long overdue," Hohenheim sighed, looking at Envy with grave golden eyes from behind his glasses.
"I hate you!" Envy screamed. "I HATE YOU!"
Envy, with all his rage, strangely did not move. Hohenheim took the gun from Al and approached him, stopping directly in front of him. He placed the gun against Envy's forehead.
"I'm sorry. Truly, I am."
The gun fired and blood splattered the wall as Envy fell, falling heavily on the ground. His golden eyes remained open and his face was wiped of any expression. Blood pooled slowly around his head and there was silence. Hohenheim slowly lowered the gun, staring at Envy's lifeless form with eyes still full of sorrow and regret.
"I don't understand..." Ed muttered. "How did you...?"
Hohenheim turned to look at Ed sadly. "He was my child once, you know. The one I had with Dante who died only two months after his birth. I found a lock of hair with my old things. I guess I knew I'd try... if he ever died." He turned to look back down at Envy. "Even without Alchemy...it's still possible to kill the Homunculi, I guess. It's good knowledge for the future."
Ed stared at Hohenheim's back for a moment, face expressionless. But suddenly there was a new respect for his father flickering in the depths of his eyes. Suddenly Winry moved and quickly Ed's attention was drawn to her.
Hohenheim turned at this and Al had also stepped into the ally a ways, closer to them to see what was going on. Winry's eyes cracked open half way and she blinked slowly at Ed's face, but she found the image was still blurry.
"Ed... I'm sorry, I shouldn't have followed."
"Don't talk, all right?" Ed told her before glancing over his shoulder at Hohenheim. "Get help!"
Hohenheim blinked. "Oh... right, of course. The police will be here soon anyway, what with all the gunshots."
He hurried past Ed and tugged a reluctant Al along with him. Ed's attention went back to Winry once they had left, cradling her gently against his chest. Blood trickled down the corner of her mouth and she smiled sadly.
"The one time you finally hold me like this... and its because I'm dying."
"I said don't talk. Save your energy. You'll be fine, I promise," Ed told her, finding his own voice was becoming more and more difficult to find.
Winry glanced up at him before turning her eyes heavenward, the sad smile still on her lips. The snow was falling gently now, slowly beginning its coverage of the crimson white smeared on the ground and Envy's still form.
"No," Winry whispered. "I will die."
Ed's heart twisted painfully and his face displayed it. "No, you won't! Winry, just hang on!" He begged, hearing his voice choke.
Winry reached up with difficulty and touched his cheek with an ice cold hand, smiling a bit more as she looked up at him. "Be happy, Edward. I am... just to have have known you. I'm sorry I... couldn't help you get what you wanted... to get back home... Just don't forget me, okay? I just... don't want to be forgotten..." He voice faded.
Winry's hand slipped and Ed reached up to catch it, only to miss. Her hand fell against the ground and her eyes fell shut, a melted snowflake gliding down her cheek like a tear. Ed stared in shock, as if he expected her to wake up again. But she didn't. And she wouldn't. He couldn't hold it in even if he had wanted to. He let out a loud sob and held Winry's body close and tight, burring his face into her neck. He felt hot tears fall loose from his tightly shut eyes. And the snow continued to fall.
Police surrounded the scene, shooing curious onlookers away and interviewing people who had heard the gunshots. Reporters also swarmed over the people and were disappointed to not get any words from the witnesses, Al and Hohenheim. The two of them stood off to the side, away from the shouting reporters and flashing cameras. Al watched with empty and sad eyes as Winry's body was taken from the ally, respectfully wrapped in white cloth. He turned his eyes to Hohenheim when Envy's body came next. The elder man was watching it all as well, although he didn't seem to be really seeing it. Al had cried with death of his dear friend. He wasn't ashamed to admit it. And Hohenheim had comforted him, which he was grateful for. But the man never shed a tear, even when Ed was no where to be found.
"Where is he?" Al suddenly asked, voice a bit hoarse from his crying.
Hohenheim blinked and turned to Al, looking confused. "Hm?"
"Where is Ed? Where did he go?" Al demanded, desperate to know. "I know he didn't just... leave her... You know where he is, don't you? I know you do! Where is he!"
Hohenheim stared at Al in some surprise before his face became expressionless again and he turned to look up at the sky, the snow falling gently from the darkness of it.
"He went home."
Al stared at him in confusion. "Home? What you mean... back to his world?"
But Hohenheim said nothing.
Everything was white. It didn't make sense to him. Nothing but white as far as he could see. White and cold. Snow. There was snow. It was snowing here, drifting down gently from the white abyss above him. Ed found himself collapsed on the snow covered ground. He was too weak and too emotionally distraut to even think about moving. Where was he? How did he get here? It didn't matter. He was still, eyes closed as he drifted in an out of consciousness. He was still missing his false hand and the patch of snow around him had been smeared in red. But it wasn't his blood. It was Winry's. There was nothing here but deafening silence. Ed wondered if this was death. Had he died too? Had he grabbed the gun near by and killed himself? No, he didn't remember that. Where was he?
A light seeped up from the ground beneath him. It was warm and as it streamed past his face, his eyes twitched and slowly cracked open. He blinked several times to get his vision cleared, only to see the rays of this red light. He blinked again, just to make sure his eyes weren't playing tricks on him.
Red light... Alchemy?
That wasn't possible. It couldn't be Alchemy. The light increased, breaking through the snow. It began to form something around Ed, something he was lying on. An outer circle first, then an inner one. In between were odd symbols. The light increased more, forming more of it, strands of light weaving past each other. Could Ed see it, he would've recognized it instantly as a transmutation circle. Ed tried to move, pushing himself up a bit with his only hand. He managed to get to his knees, wincing at the strain it put on his oddly numb body. He glanced up and blinked, only to have his eyes widen in shock. Past the falling snow, sitting in front of him, was the Gate. He was in this place again. The place between the two world. But... why was it snowing? He was pretty sure it didn't snow here last time. It defied all logic. But Ed discovered he didn't care. He didn't want to understand this. It was the Gate. The way home.
However Ed didn't move. He merely sat there on his knees, staring blankly at the tall doors with dead eyes. The light around him was growing brighter still. Then the doors parted suddenly and slowly began to open. Ed could only stare in shock and bewilderment as the doors opened completely, revealing white. The light blinded him and he shielded his eyes as everything became red light. He felt his false arm and leg painfully vanish.
Then he landed on something solid and nearly toppled over, still on his knees. He dropped his arm and blinked at the light, dim compared to the red light that had just blinded him. His eyes landed on a boy a few paces in front of him, kneeling down with his hands flat on the marble ground. He was staring at Ed in shock, brown eyes wide. Although only twelve, Ed recognized him instantly.
"Al...?" He whispered, voice hoarse and so soft it could barely be heard.
The boy's shocked face twisted into a huge smile and he leapt to his feet, tackling Ed.
"Brother!" He cried, tightening his arms around his neck. "Brother, it's really you! It worked! It worked!"
Ed stared stupidly ahead, noticing several other familiar faces coming toward him. Izumi and Sigu lead the group. Rose, pulling a young child's hand behind her, was next. Then there was Mustang and Hawkeye.
"Is this a dream...?" Ed muttered as Al moved away from him, standing and waving excitedly to the others.
But suddenly the group coming toward him was parted and someone came rushing toward him, stopping short directly in front of him. Ed stared up at her face and sapphire eyes, on the verge of tears, stared back down at her. Blonde hair was clipped up in the same fashion as Riza's, but two strands hung down on either side of her face. Her hands were clenched tightly at her side. Ed could not find his voice.
Winry dropped to her knees in front of him and touched his face with both her hands, which were wonderfully warm against his cold skin. Confirming he was in fact real, she threw her arms around him and hugged him fiercely, burring her face into his shoulder. Something clattered to the ground and Ed's eyes darted to the side. A jade comb with a beautiful white flower on it. It had slipped from his pocket somehow and now lay in plan sight for him. His eyes pained at the sight of it. He understood now, remembering what Hohenheim had once told him. When someone died in that world, it was for using Alchemy here. Winry had died in that world... for this Alchemy transmutation to bring him home.
"Welcome home, Edward," Winry suddenly whispered, sobbing softly as she held him tight. "Welcome home."
You're gonna carry that weight...