Note: This authoress has joined the Witness Protection Program, but she would like to state that this ending came out of freaking NOWHERE as she finished the last chapter. She did not plan on it, but it was the way the story wanted to end. That being said, she suggests you leave a review for the end of her favorite project and begs you not to hunt her down. For one last time, she does not own Yu-Gi-Oh or FullMetal Alchemist.
I stood under the shade of the oak tree and watched the group come up the hill, six of them carrying the casket that contained the white haired boy. So many people…I was surprised that all of them would come. Even my father was there. Granted, he didn't look sad at all, but he was still there. He was the biggest surprise of all.
Sighing, I leaned back and stared up at the sun. It didn't hurt my eyes anymore, but then, very little affected me these days. I couldn't feel the warmth of that sun, or the cool shadows of the trees' leaves. The rough bark behind my back didn't scratch me, and the wind that blew didn't even touch my hair.
That funeral I was watching? It was my funeral.
That wound Greed had put in my back had been just a little too much for my body to handle. I didn't mind now, though; being dead had its advantages. Now I knew the truth behind the alchemy I had cherished so much. The whole process depended on Touka Koukan—Equivalent Exchange. Sure, that was true for the materials, but it was also true about the energy used. I had never thought of it before, but now I knew.
That other world was wracked with war and death, and energy we used for alchemy came from the leftover energy of those who died there. Just as the energy of our dead fueled the magic that existed there. Touka Koukan.
I also knew that there was no way Greed could have ever become my brother, Philosopher's Stone or no. He had been foolish to try. He may have had a few of Akira's memories, but ultimately he was only a soulless imitation. True human transmutation was beyond anyone's power.
The priest was giving the eulogy now, but I paid no attention to it. Instead I studied the faces of the people who had come.
Fuhrer Mustang was there, his stone cold face masking the pain I knew he surely felt. A survivor of the Ishbal and Lior civil wars…he had seen too much death already. I wondered if he would make the information about human transmutation and the Philosopher's Stone public knowledge, if only to prevent anything like the wars or the creation of Homunculi from happening again. Colonel Elric had wanted him to, I knew.
Ed was standing beside him, a haunted look in his eyes. He had watched me die…I wish he didn't have to. He had seen too much already. His brother Alphonse was there as well, holding Joshua. Our supposed savior, that Joshua. He couldn't save me, but he had done both the Colonel and me a huge favor just by opening the Gate. I wondered if he would ever know how thankful I was.
Malik and Ishizu were behind them. Malik had his customary cold look painted on his face, his I-care-about-no-one-and-nothing look. My best friend. I hoped it wouldn't be long before he was grinning again, before his devil-may-care attitude returned. It suited him far better than this.
The Mutou brother had come. Yugi was crying openly, and Atemu had one arm wrapped around him. My heart broke when I looked at them. They had done so much for me, and not just fixing me up with automail. They had been my first friends, playing with Akira and me almost from the day we were born. They were the ones I could talk to after my brother died, and it was their automail shop that I considered home far more than my own. Yugi…don't cry. You'll see me again someday.
Mom…God, Mom. I'm so sorry.
You were so afraid of losing me. And now you have. Can you ever forgive me?
Take care of her, Dad. I wish now I had taken the Fuhrer's advice and made amends with you. May we both be forgiven for being stubborn. And thank you. Thank you for coming.
There were others. Brigadier General Hawkeye, Sergeant Falman, other officers I had interacted with during the years I had spent in the military. Anzu, and a few others from Serra's Point. Winry Rockbell. Rishid. Even Lt. Colonel Honda Hiroto was there. I had no idea I was so popular.
"Aren't you tired of being depressed by now?"
I turned to the boy beside me and smiled. "Depressed? Not me. I'll see them again someday. Besides, how can I be depressed at seeing you again, brother?"
Akira grinned back. "That's the spirit!" he said. "Everyone will die sooner or later; it's just how the world works. Nothing to be afraid of or sad about."
"Perhaps," I agreed. "But no one knows that while they're still alive…Akira?"
"Can you forgive me?"
He laughed. "I've lost count of how many times you've asked me that, bro, and the answer's always the same. You're forgiven."
"I'm still not sure I can believe it."
"Believe it." He held out a hand. "Come on, Ryou. There's someone from that I want you to meet. She's from the other side, and I guess you could say she's our sister. Her name's Amane."
"Okay." I took my brother's hand, and as we turned to go I threw one last look over my shoulder at the funeral.
Ed was looking in our direction. Whether he could see us or not, I'd never know, but I appreciated it anyways, that look. Hesitating, I slowly gave him one last salute. Then I turned and vanished into the light.