Author's Rant: So I hated the way GmaR ended, so I wrote an epilogue. I'm a bit happier with everything, because I couldn't help but think chapter 2 made it seem like suddenly everything was okay with Ed. I wanted to let you all know that wasn't the case. So I wrote an epilogue. And it still sucks. Maybe I should just stay away from the FMA fandom before I warp it all out of recognition. Yeah… that'd probably be a good idea…
Btw, yes, I do know what happens in episode 25/volume 4. I just chose it ignore it. Because I'm stupid like that.

Give me a Reason

Epilogue

By Demias

The silence of the morning was broken by the deafening crash of glass breaking. Roy rolled out of bed and had his gloves on his hand (grabbed from the top of his nightstand) before his mind could register the fact that he was awake.

He looked frantically around the room, from his crouched position, his fingers poised to snap, but found nothing unusual. It took his sleep-hazed mind a full minute to realize what exactly was wrong.

His bed was empty. It hadn't been empty for nearly two months now. Normally, he had a little blonde alchemist accompany him to sleep.

They had never gone further than some heavy petting, yet they both shared a bed when they could. It was an issue of comfort rather than sex.

Roy frantically stumbled to his feet and listened for a moment. Faintly he could make out heavy breathing, almost to the point of hyperventilating, in his bathroom.

Roy whipped the door open and froze. His breath caught in his throat as he found Ed crouching in the shattered remains of his bathroom mirror, clutching a bloody hand. Numbly, Roy wondered why Ed broke the mirror with his flesh arm-- his automail arm would have broken it and wouldn't have been harmed.

Roy was shaken out of his detached curiosity as Ed brought his automail hand across the shards, scattering them across the floor.

Roy snapped out of his daze and knelt at Ed's side, trying to avoid the pieces of mirror where he could and ignoring the pain when he couldn't. Silently, he wrapped his arms around the smaller boy.

For a long moment, Roy thought Ed's pride wouldn't allow him to accept the comfort Roy was offering. That happened too often for Roy's liking, but he dealt with it as it came. Normally, when that happened, Roy would just sit with Ed, offering his presence but not touching Ed unless he initiated the touch first.

Roy breathed a minute sigh of relief when Ed took a deep, shuddering breath and relaxed into Roy's embrace. Roy winced as the shift of weight brought his heel down onto a small piece of glass, but merely tightened his grip on the smaller frame.

Roy didn't question the origins of the apparent outburst, nor would he offer any reassurances until he knew the circumstances behind it. He would not promise anything he wasn't sure he could give.

He didn't know how long they stayed kneeling there. The heavy silence was broken only by their breathing. When Ed's finally slowed to normal, Ed pulled away just enough to look up at Roy's face.

Roy offered a sad smile as he stood and tugged Ed towards the door. Edward followed and soon, Roy had him seated on the edge of the bed. Still without a word, Roy fetched the first aid kit, and, as gently as he could, began picking out the small shards lodged in the cuts that crisscrossed Ed's knuckles.

Thankfully, there weren't many.

Once the blood was cleaned off, Roy was glad to see the cuts weren't as bad as he had originally thought. He wrapped a bandage around Ed's knuckles, tied it off with a knot, and looked up at Ed.

Edward eyes were pained as Roy gently rubbed his thumb in little circles on Ed's knees, knowing Ed could only feel one of them. From his position on the floor, nearly between Ed's legs, he could easily see the uncertainty of Ed's posture.

Finally, Roy spoke. "Ed…?"

In that single word, he put his worry and his inquiry.

Ed closed his eyes. "Sorry. I woke you… I didn't mean to." He gave a hollow laugh in an attempt to ease Roy's worry, though it served only to make his concern sharpen. "I just…"

Ed paused and opened his eyes. When those golden orbs sought Roy's, Roy gave eye contact easily.

"Have you ever… Seen something that you know isn't there, yet you can't help but react?"

Roy nodded. "I have. After Ishbal."

Ed gave a small smile.

"Right. I keep forgetting I'm not the only one who's had problems. Selfish of me, isn't it?" He took a deep breath. "Do you know today's date?"

Roy faltered as he mentally added the days in his head.

"October third," he said finally. After the words had already left his mouth, Roy realized the significance of them. "Ooh. Ed…"

Ed shook his head to stop Roy. "It's stupid. Did you know I carved the date into my pocket watch so I wouldn't forget? It's stupid of me… That I need to remind myself of it. Normally, on these days I ignore it… I don't know what's wrong with me today.

"In the mirror… It's stupid. Pathetic. I saw my mom… And that thing that we created. Both of them were reaching for me… I swear I could hear my mom telling me to fix her.

"If it had just stayed like that… I could have handled it. It's something I see often enough… But…"

Roy found himself pinned by desperate gold eyes as Ed slid off the bed to kneel at the same heights as Roy.

"This time, I saw you. You asked me what I would do if you died… If I'd sacrifice my other limbs for you."

Ed buried his head into Roy's shoulder. "And I can't answer that. I can't. Because I don't know what I would do."

Silently, Roy wrapped his arms around Ed once again and sighed against Ed's hair, a couple strands tickling his nose.

This time, he did murmur soft reassurances that he wouldn't die anytime soon and that everything would be alright.

And everything would be alright, he swore to himself. Everything had to be alright.

Ed was getting better. Roy no longer worried about him alone in the same room with sharp objects, nor did he worry about Ed on tall buildings. Because Ed had promised he'd come to Roy first, and Roy trusted that promise. Outbursts like this one were becoming fewer and further between. Roy knew Ed would never rid himself completely of that emptiness inside of him. He knew because he still carried the pain of Ishbal… but someday, everything would be okay again.

Roy tightened his grip on Ed.

Someday.

He made that his goal as much as becoming Fuhrer was. Helping Ed was his personal goal while attaining the position of Fuhrer was his professional goal. And someday, he'd accomplish both.

Because he was Roy Mustang, and there was nothing he couldn't do.

11 March 2007

Give me a break, alright? I wrote this in about ten minutes, simply because I was so unhappy with the ending of the last chapter.