AN-- Sorry for the delay! Fanficdotnet won't let me log in at the school I'm studying abroad at currently. Dunno why. Delays are forcast for the future but I swear I'm still alive. Also, I'm reading reviews even if I can't respond to 'em--so thank you! (EDIT 11/01/09: Hey lookit this, my account's working again.)

Spoilers for chapter 100.....a chapter for which I have no words. GAH.

Happy Endings

(15. Scent of blood)

And look: you've lost her. You always knew you would.

You thought you knew, anyway. But you didn't. Not really. You weren't prepared. And now look at you. Held captive, in the bowels of a burning city. What can you do to fix it all?

What can anyone do to fix this?

You're an alchemist in the end and Latin comes to your mind unbidden. You think: there are one point five kilograms of lime in the body. You think: all the trace minerals can be found in any market. You think: I am lost, and there is no savior. Maybe there never was.

She thought there was—she followed you because she thought you could be the hero, thought you could make the changes. She had some idea in her head of you as the dark and brooding hero. And maybe she loved you…no, you know she did. And maybe you loved her back, but you can't really remember, because you can't really remember anything, there's nothing in your head but distant screams.

So there is the body, on the floor. You aren't sure if she's still breathing. You aren't sure if it matters. Her throat's been slashed and there's plenty of blood. You can smell it—metallic, sharp. Stubbornly, you consider putting her back together, putting all the blood back in. People have done it. People have tried.

The Elric brothers tried and lost everything but after all weren't they nothing but kids on a mission? They were naïve and you can't be naïve because you've already lost every ounce of innocence and trust and hope that you had. You knew reaching the top would be hard and you sit there with your arms pinned behind your back and know that you never really planned on reaching the top alone, you said you did and you pretended you did but in truth you always knew Hawkeye would be with you because where else would she be? You sit there and look back and realize that you planned on a Beautiful Future and a Happy Ending even as you told everyone you planned on losing everything, with a smirk.

Even as you warned everyone else how hard it would be you knew it wouldn't be so hard, it couldn't be, you'd already lost Hughes and now all there was to lose was Hawkeye so you'd make sure not to lose her because she was all you had left so you'd make sure, you'd make sure

You think: where can I find thirty-five liters of water in this building? No doubt the water lines are all disrupted by now. You think: stupid woman, why did this happen to her? You think: Why not Scar? Scar is here and they could have killed him and it would have been a fitting death, a martyr's death, he's an Ishbalan and they're used to those. It could have been redemption for him and a motive for me to act like the hero and Save the Day, and we would have given him a very nice burial, and it all would have been like a book and perfect and why not Scar goddamn it why not me why Hawkeye, why the hell was it her!

You think: I won't survive this.