A/N: First thing, this may be a total fail ending (maybe it's rushed, maybe it's ooc, but wow it's done :-). Second, I am very thankful to all the support for the fic, whether it's a reader, a lurker, a reviewer, or a beta'er (I know some of you aren't in the fandom anymore, but THNX x 100!!) Third, will I take another FMA fic? Maybe, maybe not. I'm movin' on to Katekyo Hitman Reborn, which I'll post out soon. It's been a fun fun ride and hope ppl continue enjoying fanfics :-)
Title: Underneath – Chapter 32: Good-bye's
Author: Lilang Luha
Rating: PG (for cussing); will increase later
Genre: romance, shonen-ai, comedy, fluff, tension, quirkiness, eventual AU? eventual smut?
Pairing: Roy x Ed (slowly but surely), other pairings maybe in the background
Author Notes: Don't own FMA. Blah, blah, blah. See the Prologue.
Chapter 32: Good-bye's
Ed wanted really bad to see the Colonel. His thoughts, feelings, and actions were all getting muddled with nothing but wanting to see Roy. He was angry that the man had the gall to lock himself in a room of danger then come out in a coma. For days, the raven-haired remained unconscious. The nurses even took care not to allow any visitors at all to enter the room. Ed was anxious.
His term from the school already ended, with the government making up a story of 'Edlynn' being transferred to another school. In addition, there was the excuse of Colonel Roy Mustang leaving the teaching service to attend an important mission. All in all, being in-between missions made Ed more anxious and jittery.
He would pace outside the Colonel's hospital room door only to retract his steps and leave feeling stupid and girly. He felt embarrassed. Sappy, even.
I love you. Is that so hard to say? Oh God, it sounds so... No, no. What did it matter?
It wasn't until a letter came in from the military that a realization hit him. His post at the east Amestris was coming to an end. Eventually, he would be assigned and leave to his next mission. It was not a mission he wanted to decline either, as it was regarding a village rumored to have a Philosopher's stone.
Ed ignored the whispers of his conscience to bid the Colonel good-bye. He had things to do, a personal mission.
On the day of his departure, he and Al tidied up the house and packed their suitcases. The Colonel was rumored to still be at the hospital doing physical therapy.
The damned old bastard. Ed thought. There was no time to visit, no time for goodbyes.
He and Al locked the door to the house, then tucked the key under the rug. The two brothers made their way to the train station, feeling strange at leaving a place which has become so familiar and almost like... home.
"Nii-san," Al said. "We'll get a home someday, right?"
Ed nodded quietly.
"We'll... go back to how things were, right?"
Ed nodded again. He stared at the feet before him. Two black-booted feet of his, tromping one after the other in a silent, patterned motion. He had to keep going. It hurt to leave the house. It hurt to leave the bastard.
He looked at Al, stomping his heavy metal feet as he walked. Al... I'm sorry. I've been... distracted. Ed stopped in his tracks.
"Al," Ed said, staring intently at the hollow metal helmet before him. "I swear to you, things will get back to normal. I'll do whatever it takes, no matter how long, how far, how crazy it gets. We will get there."
I love you... Roy's voice echoed in the blond's head.
He shook his head from the thoughts. He had a mission to fulfill. Despite this strange, unnatural feeling, he still had something he needed to do. The chess pieces weren't exactly all in place, but they were ready to be moved.
Once at the train station, Al and Ed were surprised to see people at their gate waving at them. Their train was at a stand-still awaiting its departure.
Ed's heart skipped a beat upon seeing a raven-haired man in uniform sitting on a wheelchair. Behind the wheelchair was Maes Hughes, smiling brightly as always with a camera slung around his neck.
Upon noticing Ed's gaze, Roy gave the blond a cocky smile. Ed felt his face temperature rise in both embarrassment and annoyance. Yet, somehow, the smile made all the previous anger, angst, worry, and thoughts disappear.
"Even after a week and you still can't walk? You call yourself military." Ed jeered jokingly.
"Hey, I fought through the mass of protesting nurses to get here." Roy stated, smile still in place. "I'm surprised a healthy young alchemist couldn't come visit me. Of course, its OK if you were too shy."
"I was not shy." Ed immediately snapped. "And I bet you didn't fight them. I bet you schmoozed your way out." Ed grumbled.
"Um, Nii-san, the train is leaving soon." Al reminded.
"Oh, Al, let me help. Let's get the luggage inside." Hughes offered. He grabbed one of the suitcases and went into a train cargo with Al, but not before giving Roy a wink over his shoulder.
"Um, Colonel---" Ed started.
Roy remained silent, taking the boy's human hand in his.
"Colonel, I..., uh, I think ---" the blond stammered. Why was he so jittery?
"Edward," Roy said in a soft voice. "you already know how I feel about you, but I don't expect you to respond or know how to respond."
"I don't think I can handle something like that right now."
Ed froze. "What do you mean, Colonel?"
The raven-haired man looked straight into the golden eyes, then whispered softly. "It's the truth that I love you. Please remember that."
"But why do you say you can't handle--?"
Roy leaned forward and brushed his lips on the boy's to silence him. "You don't have to give me an answer right now. There's something I need to do still; as do you. There's a time and place for everything now... but I want you to know that I genuinely, truly love you."
Ed could feel loud fluttering in his chest, but he didn't know how to respond to such a blatant, yet sweet confession.
"Colonel," the blond whispered, "Colonel, I lo---."
The train horn sounded loudly across the station. The engines chugged and the speaker announced the last call for the pending departure.
Roy chuckled, amused at Ed's frustrated expression. "Then promise me you'll tell me when you get back?"
Ed pouted, feeling he was just made fun of. "I'll come back alright." He grabbed his suitcase from the ground. "Don't think you've gotten rid of me so easily, bastard."
Roy watched in amusement as the short blond walked away and into the train.
Hughes appeared beside him. "They'll come back." Hughes stated, as if reading Roy's mind. The man in glasses placed a Polaroid picture on his friend's lap. "But in case you wanted a souvenir..."
Roy groaned upon seeing a black and white picture of he and the alchemist kissing in front of the train. "Hughes..."
"Hey, don't tell me you didn't enjoy that."
The Colonel gave his friend a wry smile, but didn't hesitate to tuck the picture into his inside coat pocket.
Epilogue (kind of?)
Emily – in fifteen years she became one of the most brilliant scientists of all time. She spends her days as a professor of a local university conducting Alchemy research. She married another professor within the college.
Melinda – after high school, she became engaged and married to Ling Yao, Prince of Xing, as an act of alliance between two countries. Despite being married, the two did not love each other and continued to have affairs outside the royal houses.
Headmistress – the headmistress of the Academy continued her role until she turned 65. Then, she retired to her country estates and adopted several cats.