FullMetal Alchemist is not mine. Never was, never will be. I'm borrowing.

Let Me Go

Colonel Roy Mustang looked up in surprise when he heard his office door open and the distinctly uneven 'thuds' of his youngest and most volatile subordinate's footsteps entered the room.

The red coat was missing, the blond wearing only his black jacket and white gloves to cover his right arm—unusual. Highly unusual, to see the boy without the flaring hybrid of cloak and jacket with the Flamel in black across the back.

It was… disconcerting… to see the boy dressed entirely in black, save for the snowy gloves covering his hands. It didn't seem to be able to support the vibrant aliveness that Edward Elric projected. He was about as stable as a keg of gunpowder in a room full of lit candles at the best of times—flat black didn't suit him, though it was a nice offset to the blazing crimson he nearly always wore over it.

Obsidian eyes scanned the small (don't say that out loud) form standing in front of the now-closed door, noting the manila folder held loosely in his left hand, the uncharacteristic stance—shoulders bowed, head lowered—and the silence.

FullMetal was never silent. At least, not in the Colonel's experience, barring a few times when he'd been unconscious.

"FullMetal," he stated, hoping to get some kind of response—seeing the little protégé of the military so still was almost frightening—"Did you want something?"

He did not get a verbal response; instead, Ed walked—not stalked, actually walked—up to the desk and held out the folder, still keeping his head lowered to hide his eyes.

Mustang assumed that the folder had some kind of explanation, and he had the feeling he wasn't going to like it.

Upon opening it, that feeling only grew stronger—it was a confidential medical file with Edward Elric's name across the top.

He started to read, skipping over minor details and things he already knew (who needed a doctor to realize that the kid was missing an arm and half a leg?), then reached a more recent addition. As his eyes skimmed over the words, he felt his stomach tighten with dread, and by the time he reached the end of the short, concise report, his hands were shaking.

It was a struggle to keep his voice even. "Does Al know?"

"No, sir. I only received the results this morning, and he's in Risembool with Winry." There was resignation in that voice, a touch of sadness… no surprise. No fear.

Ed was too calm. Too accepting—"How long have you known?" the words were out of his mouth before he even realized he'd thought them.

"I didn't know. I suspected. I knew there would be a price to get Al's body back, even with the Stone, Mustang. I was willing to pay."

Only a few weeks, then. Roy carefully set the folder down on his desk, trying to bring the trembling of his hands back under control, "FullMetal—"

"Don't, Mustang," Something in Ed's voice was ancient and tired. "Just… don't."

"Edward, I—"

A lifted hand cut him off—a metallic sheen from the wrist showing Ed had never retrieved his own limbs, though he'd succeeded in gaining his brother's body. "Save it, Colonel. I'm tired."

And the Flame Alchemist's composure cracked. He surged to his feet, ramming his hands down against the desk, ignoring the ceramic mug that teetered before shattering on the floor. "Dammit, Ed! You're dying! What do you want me to do!?"

The sudden roar was enough that the boy raised his head, golden eyes meeting onyx, a strangely gentle expression glimmering in amber depths. "Nothing. I did what I set out to do, Mustang. It's… enough."

In the face of that quiet acceptance, Roy lost his anger in a well of grief, collapsing back to his chair. "Ed…" he trailed off. What was there to say?

"Just let me go, Roy."

Mustang looked up in surprise. Ed had never called him by his first name alone before—and amber caught onyx in a compassionate gaze, and, for the first time he could remember, Mustang saw peace in those eyes.

"Just let me go."

When the golden-haired youth—no longer a boy, but a young man at peace with himself and the world—quietly set his silver watch on Roy's desk, the raven-haired Colonel made no move to stop him, gave no protest as the once-child Major turned and walked away.

It was closure, of a sort. Ed's own strange way of saying goodbye.

Roy Mustang watched the door close behind Edward Elric… then buried his head in his arms and cried.


So, yes. I'm in a depressing sort of mood—don't kill me. I may make a companion piece to this, if anyone cares enough to ask, or possibly turn it into a story instead of a oneshot. However, at the moment, that's all it is.