This, my friends, is
the end of the story. There will not be a sequel. There will not be a
prequel, unless somebody else writes it… :-)) Though I doubt
there's anything more to say. Enjoy. Review.
"Who are you?"
Harry opened his eyes. He was lying… in somebody's arms. It was a beautiful feeling… he had always wished he would die like this. With someone who loved him holding him… but this man didn't love him. This man didn't even know who Harry was…
'I'm Harry… Potter…'
"What… were you doing here, Harry?"
'I… had to… destroy Voldemort. Save… save…'
Roy Mustang shook his head and a sing of despair flashed in his eyes. Harry was being lifted into a half-sitting position to have a look around. The place seemed… untouched. As though nothing happened there; nothing at all but the inviolate corpses littering the ground indicated a massive Avada Kedavra that was cast on the entire area… and, according to Harry's calculations, that meant Voldemort was history.
'Is he… is…'
'You. Save Colonel Roy Bastard Mustang… Is he-'
"I'm alive," the man said quietly. Roy Mustang's eyes suddenly lacked the helplessness, wide as Harrys' own, as he had realised who caused this… Who was at fault that the Fullmetal-ish boy in his arms was dying, who was at fault that Roy himself still lived… Harry smiled, but then his smile faltered as he felt the panic rise.
"That Homunculus?" Roy Mustag had mistaken Voldemort for an immortal non-human being? Ironic. "He's gone."
'He's left or's dead?'
Harry smiled again.
'Good. Roy Mustang… promise, you have to promise…'
'You have to go back to Central. Take care of Edward… He's… he-'
"What? Mr Po- Harry… you're injured…"
'Yeah. That's alright. Alright. Tell Dray I love him.'
'No… dying of… old age…'
"Old age! But… you can't be older than…"
'Seventeen. I'm seventeen.' He laughed. 'And look at me.'
"You're delirious. I'll take you to the doc's and-"
'Promise me, Roy Mustang. Please… Promise me.'
The Colonel paused, hesitated before standing up, looking into Harry's eyes. He must have realised that Harry was telling the truth about himself dying, and therefore there was no hurry to get him to the camp to ensure him medical care. It was too late… whether he understood why or not, Harry was dying.
There was but a single thing he could do.
"I will take care of Edward, Harry."
One last temp and Draco broke the surface of the pink sugary liquid he was flowing in and inhaled deeply. He looked down; there was a bright green pool and shiny, crystal-clear water falling down from the rock into a cloud of tiny drops. There was a rainbow; one end of it remained covered, dipped in the cloud, the other…
A boy was coming down from the other end, stepping lightly on the insubstantial stripes of colour. He had short black hair, dazzling green eyes, and wore a plain black uniform robe. He was smiling.
Draco felt something within him, some other Draco, rising and overtaking him.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there with you," he whispered and Harry was smiling, and this time Harry was truly happy, hopping off the rainbow on a moss-covered boulder sticking out of the water, pulling Draco up to him and into his arms.
"It's alright, Draco. It was my job, anyway… How are you?"
"Now?" The blonde looked into Harry's eyes – Harry's truthful, smiling eyes. "Just fine."
Harry laughed, and it sounded like the torrent, a stream of alive fresh water playing music on pebbles like on a xylophone.
"I'll be waiting for you."
Draco pushed the bangs out of Harry's face and lightly kissed his lips.
"I'll be coming. Shortly."
"Don't. You've got a long life in front of yourself, and Edward will take care of you."
"I don't want to. I want to be with you-"
"There'll be time enough for us. You… have to wake up now."
"I don't- Harry!"
"That's Colonel Bastard for you, Fullmetal," Roy struck back, unfazed. Ed smiled and stroked the platinum hair of the boy who was curled on the seat next to him with his head in Edward's lap.
"Yadda yadda, Roy…" Ed's cheerfullness dissipated as the Rockbell house came into their view. The car stopped in front of the garden wall and Roy turned in the front seat.
"Are you going?"
Ed's lip trembled as he looked into the empty windows. He knew he should have gone, but… he didn't want to.
"Am. Watch Draco for me for a while."
He gently laid the head of the slumbering boy into the dip in the leather created by his body and stepped out on the wet grass. It was fresh after recent rain, and there was a pleasant scent hanging in the air.
He didn't look back, in the fear of turning around and fleeing if he did. The front door was open, a hole with scorched edges instead of lock exposed a blur of the cerulean background. There was not as much mess inside as he had anticipated – he had seen ransacked houses before and this one was in much too much order… then again, he could quite well imagine that nothing that concerned a certain Harry Potter in any way ever came out as normal.
There was a track of dark brown drops leading him upstairs, into their – his and Al's – room. He followed, trying to brace himself, but failing, because when he opened the door, there was an empty suit of armor laying lifelessly on the floor.
A sharp scream cut the air and Roy's body followed his reflexes without consulting his brain. He opened the car door and ran out, into the house and up the stairs, because Edward's voice had sounded from the first floor. He knew this room.
Ed was kneeling on the floor in the middle of a pool of dried blood, helplessly clutching a metallic helmet. Roy stood still, shivering. There must have been a logical explanation…
He closed his eyes and shook his head. After the battle… Edward was the only one who remained. Apart from himself, of course. Fullmetal and Flame. A Colonel and a Major.
A lone man and a lone boy.
Ed looked up and there was this sober look in his face and that meant that he had admitted, comprehended, and already started accepting. He stretched out his hand and Roy saw a flash of green in his eyes (which he was sure was either a play of light, or his own eyes cheating him).
'Thank you Harry Potter, whoever you were…'
"Come on, Ed. We've got to go-"
"I don't understand, Roy," the blonde said quietly, with a morbid serenity. "The circle… is complete. He should be alive…"
Roy shook his head. As far as his mind was capable of embracing the concept, Alphonse should have been dead for long years. Ed had cheated death once and… against the force Roy had seen eradicate his unit even a genius Alchemist couldn't do anything. If this was a doing of the same force – as Ed seemed to be sure it was – Alphonse simply was dead.
He led the boy out, and to his own surprise, he was following quietly and steadily, holding himself strong. Edward was going to be depressed soon, and probably delve head-first into work from the sheer need of taking his mind off the loss, and Roy secretly promised himself to be there for him.
Just as he secretly hoped that Edward would stay, because, if he was truthful with himself, the boy was the last person in the world Roy cared about who was still alive. And if he was gone… there would be nothing left to live for.
Metal impacting with a doorframe clunk, and Roy looked up. The car was standing where it had been before… open. But… Edward had shut it…
His eyes skimmed the road, but Ed was already running back the way they had come from, down to the ghost town of Risenbool…
Roy forgot about the car and set out after Edward, panting…
'How fast can a deranged man run?'
There he was, standing in front of a former ice-cream trolley and laughing, and Roy didn't hear the roar of an approaching engine, because there was blood pumping in his ears… Ed sprinted, as fast as he could, crossed the distance, but Draco stretched his arms sideways and, as though balancing on a beam, stepped out into the street.
There was a thump that Roy could hear despite the blood. He had closed his eyes… when he opened them again, Ed was standing frozen on the side of the street, breathless, incomprehensive…
The truck was ignored, as were the cries of the driver, and Roy could only motionlessly watch as Ed stepped forward and stoically knelt next to the broken body of a boy with a curtain of platinum hair splayed over the face.
He could only observe as Edward pushed the hair aside and looked into the pale face and into unseeing, unblinking grey eyes… There was a tiny trickle of blood flowing from the corner of Draco's mouth…
Then he was close enough, not aware that he had moved, to hear a whispered word coming from those pale lips…
And then there was silence and Edward picked the body up, cradling it to his chest and looked at Roy with a faint smile.
"I… I wanted him to stay with me… wanted to ake care of him…" Ed said and thick watery tears fell on Draco's face.
"But he's better off with him, ne? Isn't he, Roy? Wherever… wherever they are… Isn't he better with Harry?"
Roy extended his hand and smeared the tears with his thumb.
"Yes, I suppose he is."