Disclaimer: As can be said of any fan fiction, Fullmetal Alchemist is not my property nor do I make any profit from this. That said, enjoy (or not). Reviews are welcome. Hopefully this is not too out of character, as this is the first time I have written a Fullmetal Alchemist fan fiction.

Spoilers for Chapter 102. Be forewarned all ye who enter here!

It had been weeks. With Father's downfall had come a rebuilding and reshaping of the country. What was left of it, anyway.

A rebuilding that he should really have been a part of. Every stumble, every banged shin, served as a painful reminder to him. He would not be the one doing the rebuilding and reshaping. While he had expected that he would not be at the forefront he had at least expected to witness the rebirth of a nation shaped by war and greed.

All the Colonel could do right now was try to remember how to get from his couch to his kitchen to get a glass of water. Thus far it was a dismally unsuccessful trip resulting in only the mildest of bruises but more importantly a much more injured pride.

In spite of everything he had been through -- in spite of his strength and resolve -- he was still just a man trying to fight monsters in the end. Refusal had not stopped anything from occurring. Mustang sighed, ceased his fumbling shuffle across the floor, and just stood trying to get his bearings.

What use am I now? he wondered. There was little left for him to accomplish, and what he could have been doing was not rendered void by his acquired disability.

"Useless," he muttered irritably. His voice seemed altogether too loud in his living room.

"Feeling sorry for yourself, Colonel?" The voice wasn't unkind, only inquiring.

Mustang turned, trying to find the location of the voice. He was offended despite the mild tone. "When did you get here, Havoc?"

"While you were asleep," there was a breathy sound and the harsh smell of tobacco filled the air.

"Just because I can't see you doesn't mean you are allowed to smoke in my home, Lieutenant," he glared in what he hoped was Havoc's direction.

There was a resigned sigh and he heard the soft scrub of a cigarette being put out. "A little lower, Colonel."

Roy blinked on reflex and tilted his head down. He hadn't forgotten Havoc's predicament, it just hadn't registered how appropriate it was Havoc who was here with him now. He frowned upon remembering the sacrifices the other man had made. "I'm sorry. For everything. In the end I really was just..."

"Shut up."

Roy was taken aback. He opened his mouth to retort automatically but was cut off before he could start.

"The Roy Mustang I know doesn't give up or give in when he hits one little snag." He could practically hear Havoc gesturing with his hands. "He doesn't sit around his damn house moping all day about what-ifs and could-have-beens. He picks himself up and keeps moving forward. Don't tell me you're sorry. I sure as hell am not sorry. I'm not sorry for me and I'm not sorry for you. I'm not sorry this country is moving forward, so pick yourself up and do the same. You have all of us left supporting you. Blind or not, you are not useless any more than I am for being in the damned chair."

Roy blinked vacant eyes at the space Havoc occupied, digesting the tirade. After a long moment he grimaced in resignation. "Which way is the kitchen?"

"You were only about two feet off. Go left, you'll be fine," at least Havoc was a little less incensed now.

"Not going to help me?" Mustang couldn't help but smile.

"Nope, you can do it yourself. I'll be here if you stumble."

"Good," Mustang straightened his back and shuffled his way over to the counter, savoring the familiar feel of it under his hands. "Lieutenant Havoc?"

"Yeah, chief?" He was mumbling around something, probably stuck another cigarette in his mouth already.

"Thank you."

"Can't have you going too mopey on us, you'd drive Hawkeye up the wall. Then where would we all be?" Havoc grinned.

"I don't want to think about that," Mustang despaired, even as his hands located his sink and – gingerly, so as not to disturb the stitches – turned the tap. His other hand found the edge of the glass the aforementioned female Lieutenant had thoughtfully left out for him.

As he clumsily filled it he felt a thrill of accomplishment. He had, with very little help, managed a task that two weeks ago felt impossible.

This world was continually reminding him though, that nothing was impossible.