"Syaoran-kun..." Sakura cried softly once more as she cradled the limp persocom in her arms. She turned the switch behind its ear up, it's eyes slowly opened. Lights flashed across its eyes as it took in its surroundings.
"I'm dammaged," it stated.
"Is that the name you wish to address me by?" it inquired. As a persocom, it had retained all of the data since the first time it was turned on. It knew everything that had happened to this point. Yet it didn't care. It didn't understand the pain Sakura felt now, "An upgrade package has been removed from my system. Did you authorize this?"
"Of course not!" she sobbed. So that's all the most precious soul in the world was to this computer? Data?
"Sakura-sama seems distraught. Have I done something wrong?" it was an innocent question asked from an innocent being, yet it tore her open.
"No, it's nothing you've done... "
"There is still some leftover data from my past upgrade. Would you like me to delete it?" the persocom asked. Sakura's eyes widened.
"Part of Syaoran-kun? No! Don't delete it! Never get rid of that information!" she ordered.
"Sakura, let's go inside." Ed suggested, transmuting the ground to release him, "Your persocom will become even more dammaged with its back out like that."
Shakily she nodded and stood up, the persocom still in her arms. Ed and Maes were about to help her carry it back to the house when the Gate's doors burst open once more and a collapsed form could be seen at its stoop. Sakura squinted through the rain and gasped, begining to run up to it. Maes grabbed her arm.
"Don't approach it." he said. She nodded as the Gate closed and slowly dissapeared. When it was completely gone, he released her and she ran up to the body.
"Loyalty-kun..." she breathed. She felt his chest. It was warm and moved up and down steadily, "He's still alive!" she cried. Ed left the persocom to Maes as he helped Sakura carry Loyalty into the house.
He heard voices, soft voices. A low chatter that slowly turned into individual words.
"Loyalty-kun," Winry's voice filled his ears. He was somewhere warm and soft... Warm... Soft... He sat bolt upright in his seat, feeling his body and touching the area around him. Touching, feeling.
"Rockbell." he stated. Winry looked at him flabergasted.
"Y-you spoke!" she cried. Sakura and Al crowded around him.
"Of course I... Sakura!" he cried, leaning foward to embrace her.
"L-Loyalty-kun...?" she stammered.
"No," he whispered in her ear. Her eyes widened and errupted with tears. She held him tighter and sat down with him, crying loudly.
"Sakura-chan?" Tomoyo rested her hand on her shoulder.
"You have no idea how hard it was to watch you die again!" she sobbed.
"Shh, don't cry." he comforted softly, ignoring the tear running down his own cheek. Never had that burning droplet felt so good against his face.
"What's going on?" Pinako asked. Now everyone was gathered around the two.
"Loyalty made the ultimate sacrifice," he continued, "He gave his body to me."
"Li-kun!" Tomoyo cried, her hand over her mouth. Even she was begining to cry silently. When they finally let go of each other, Sakura touched the red ouroboros on his abdomen.
"But this marking," she murmured.
"He's still a homunculus," Ed commented.
"A homunculus with a soul," Al added, "Then, does that mean he was the first perfect 'Created Human'? No limitations, no exceptions, no drawbacks like with all the homunculi before him?"
"I suppose it does," Maes said pensively.
"Well, we've witnessed two things tonight; a miracle and a tragedy," began Pinako, "The miracle of Li's life and the tragedy of Loyalty's death."
"Well, Colonel?" Edward prodded. Roy sighed and curled his lips.
"The only bit of advice I can give you is; don't lift your shirt," he told Syaoran, "Your death never happened in the first place, do you understand?"
Syaoran nodded, "Yes, sir. I understand."
"...And then I swing the staff down and say, 'Return to thy true form, Clow Card!'" Sakura demonstrated to the crowd of military that had gathered around her. They stared intently at her in awe. Alex was even trying to work scientific formulas on the palm of his broad hand in an attempt to relate it to alchemy.
"It makes no sense!" he exclaimed.
"No, that doesn't make sense," Riza murmured as she watched the sparkles around the major's head pulsed with concentration. Everyone nodded in agreeance.
"It seems Loyalty-kun hasn't died after all," Tomoyo commented quietly away from the group, "Maybe he isn't there entirely, but he isn't gone."
"Why do you say that?" Al asked. Tomoyo pointed to Syaoran, who was shaking his head at Jean, snatching the ciggarette box from his pocket.
"Agh! Not again!" Jean complained, "What do I have to do? Chain them to me?" He leaned out the open window as he watched the box fall once more to the ground. Grumbling, he left Roy's office.
"I think a great deal of him, is still inside Li-kun. Perhaps none of it left him, even. He was just pushed aside." Tomoyo smiled, "Like he's sitting back to enjoy the ride and only coming out when he wants to." Her face suddenly grew shocked and depressed, "Agh!"
"What is it?" Al asked concernedly.
"I forgot to film Sakura-chan in her costume!"
"Thank you so much!" Sakura said for the tenth time as she bowed to the Elric brothers in downtown Central.
"It was nothing! Really!" Ed countered. Sakura shook her head.
"If it wasn't for you, Syaoran-kun wouldn't be here." she explained.
"I hope you get your body back soon," Syaoran told Al.
"Thank you," he replied, "It was refreshing to talk to someone who knew exactly what I'm going through. Seeing you gave me even more hope."
"I know you'll succeed, especially if you don't lose that hope."
"Do you need help with that?" Syaoran asked as Sakura carried groceries into the kitchen.
"No, I told you! You're a guest, so let me be hospitable!" she insisted. Syaoran sighed, smiling, "Besides, I have help now!" She turned to the persocom happily cutting vegitables, "Ne, Loyalty?"
The persocom nodded, "Yes, Sakura-sama. I'll help with anything you need."
"Oh, I see," Syaoran began in mock indignation, "You don't need me anymore."
"I didn't mean it like that," Sakura giggled, stuffing a cherry tomato in his mouth.
"Even if you never needed me again, I'd still stay by your side until you did," he told her after eating the sharp tasting fruit. Sakura leaned over the counter and kissed him on the cheek.
"Why Syaoran-kun, how virtuous of you." she said slyly as he tried to hide the redness that had spread across his face.
After all, loyalty is a virtue.