A/N Please read this entire author's note; it's longer than usual for a reason. I really like this chapter. I wrote it twice, and I'm happy I went with this version. Nothing much really happens, but in a way, it still contains so much emotion and just stuff… I think it's my favorite chapter; I really put a lot of thought and heart into the ending. Also, it wraps up things very nicely, as it is the last chapter of this story. I've updated quickly because someone's found that my pen name comes from XXX Holic, where Yuko's two servants are named Marudashi and Morodashi. The English equivalent of those names would be stripping and flashing, and I just love them, so there. Keen observation, The Pathetic Writer. Also, I finished 'Memoirs of a Geisha,' my favorite characters are definitely Hatsumomo and Pumpkin. I want to write a fic on it, but I can find no inspiration, any ideas? And the movie is very good, PG-13 for a reason, but still absolutely beautiful. Well, thank all of you for reviewing and urging me on through this entire story, I couldn't have done it without all of the support. I can't believe it's ending… this fic was so much fun to write, even though it's finished I absolutely love it. Well, this is the final and my personal favorite chapter of Addiction, so enjoy it.
Disclaimer: If I owned Fullmetal Alchemist, I wouldn't be so very proud of my meager fanfiction.
"Ed, drink your milk," Roy said, sitting down next to him during lunch.
"I don't drink milk," Ed said testily, "That's why I got juice, are you blind?" Ed picked up the glass of orange juice and took a gulp. "Yum, this juice tastes so good having not been squeezed out of cow tits and all." He glared playfully at Roy, who gave a Riza inspired disapproving look.
"You heard Hawkeye, you need to get more protein and that means dairy, no matter whose tits it comes from," Roy retorted taking a bite of bread.
"You really are blind aren't you? Riza agreed to my eating yogurt and cheese instead, milk isn't the only dairy out there," Ed replied, waving a bowl of yogurt in front of Roy, "And lots and lots of ice cream. You know, I like this diet…" Roy smirked.
"So Ed, had any incidents lately?" He asked on a darker note. Ed licked the key lime pie yogurt from his spoon, putting it down on the tray.
"Not for a week and a half now," he said somberly, staring down at nothing, "I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed. I just… you know… It's really hard to deal with." Ed twirled his spoon around in the remaining yogurt before taking another bite.
"Well I for one am proud of you," Roy said in a lighter air, restoring a more positive atmosphere, "Maybe all this protein will help you grow a bit, you never know." Ed glared at him, before spooning the last of the yogurt into his mouth and gulping down the rest of his juice, sparing only the dregs.
"I get to eat chicken and rice next week, only a little, but it's progress, no? Eating yogurt for a month gets to be a bit of a drag really, really fast," Ed said, getting up, "And," he couldn't hold it in any longer, "I'm not short! You're just freakishly huge you bastard!" And with that, Ed stomped off.
"Guess some habits never die," Roy mused, as Riza sat down beside him.
"How's Ed doing? I'm taking another class today, so I won't be in the office until around four alright?" Riza said, sipping the soup of the day, clam chowder.
"He's doing really good, week and a half now," Roy replied, enjoying the good mood this brought about in him. "Ice cream?"
"What? It is dairy after all," Riza smiled, "I had to get him to eat some somehow, and it'll help him gain weight. Wouldn't you have agreed to a diet centered around ice cream?" Roy put on an exaggerated look of deep thought.
"You know, I think I might," he finally said, taking another bite of his sandwich. "If I absolutely had to of course…"
"Of course," Riza agreed, using a decidedly Roy like smirk. "I'm going then, keep an eye on him ok?"
"I don't know, I might need them both for looking at my papers…" Roy said sarcastically; they both knew he had no intention whatsoever of doing any work. "We'll see." Riza looked him up and down and, satisfied by his insincerity, got up and left. Roy leaned back in his char, gulping down some of the scalding soup. It looked like it was going to be a good day.
Ed walked back to his room, shutting the door quietly behind him. He went to his bed, reaching beneath the mattress to pull out a small booklet. Flipping through the penciled in pages, he came to the second half of the book, filled with blank pages, and chose the first one. Taking out a pen, Ed lay back and began to write.
I can't believe it's been a month already, since I stopped puking and started writing I this journal… things still seem so unbelievable. I hear Riza's still taking more medical classes, she's taken them back up again because of me… she says she's tired of lucky guesswork. I think it's really running down all of our nerves.
I still think of Al everyday when I look to his bed and see that he's not here. I'm getting used to it, but it's really strange. The military offered to take out his bed and replace it with a couch or a desk so that the extra room wouldn't go to waste, but I decided to keep it. I want to recover, and I don't want Roy and Riza to have to worry about me, but I still don't want to forget. I want to be able to look back on my time with Al… without feeling the emptiness.
If I lay I his bed, I can still smell some of the iron from his metal… something so cold, so inanimate as the frigid steel of a suit of armor wasn't my brother. He was life, and joy, and forgiveness. He couldn't have been cold and heartless like the body he was trapped in, no matter how he ever looked… he'll always be Alphonse. The smell makes me think of traveling…
Ed lay snapped the book shut and put it back under his mattress along with the pen. While writing he'd moved over to his brother's bed, and he lay down on it, sprawled across the top sheets. There was an indent where Al had always slept, almost the exact shape of his armor, and Ed really could smell it. He turned onto his stomach and buried his face in Alphonse's pillow, breathing deeply. Then he turned onto his back and stared at the ceiling.
I sat down on Al's bed today. The cleaning woman washed the sheets and fluffed everything up. His indents are gone, and I can't smell anything but bleach anymore. I can remember the smell… but it's faint. I thought of complaining, but in the end it wouldn't get any of those things back anyways.
I haven't written for a couple of weeks now, but I still haven't thrown up again. I think I'm happy, but I can't really tell anymore. I stopped caring I guess. Alphonse, your smell is gone, memories of you that used to be scattered about are all disappearing… the little bowl of cream you always set outside for the stray cats, your clanking… they're all gone. But you aren't really gone, are you?