Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Characters: Hughes and Mustang.
Setting: During the Ishbal rebellion. Very much AU.
Summary: Hughes finds something unexpected at the scene of the Rockbells' execution.
Disclaimer: They belong to Hiromu Arakawa. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: A small entry for my Things That Never Happened series. The idea came to me independently, but I wrote it as an entry for the prompt word billow at FMA Fic Contest. Its subject is dark, but the scenario it sets up suggests a tremendous variety of possibilities - which, for the present at least, I shall leave to the imagination of the readers.
Maes knew what Roy's orders were. They had argued about it; almost come to blows.
Afterward, Maes didn't intend to actually go inside the clinic, to see his best friend's handiwork... but he knew Roy. And he realized he had to.
Because Roy had his pistol against his own head when Maes entered.
A swift lunge, a fist to the jaw, and Roy crumpled to the floor in a merciful respite of unconsciousness. Maes picked up the gun with a shaking hand, and struggled with himself for a long moment before looking around the rest of the room.
Exam tables, supply cabinets, a bookshelf. A desk with a man slumped over it. A woman on the floor, mostly hidden from Maes' view, only her lower legs protruding from behind a table.
Maes swore and staggered forward. He didn't want to look, to touch, to give this scene reality - but he had to do this, too. Maybe there was still something to be done... Maybe Roy's aim was off.
The man first. He was quite dead, the entry wound perfectly placed through his head for an instant, painless death. A blood-spattered piece of paper lay under his arm, a pen fallen from his hand; he had been writing a letter, and as Maes mechanically felt for a nonexistent pulse, his eyes passed over and numbly absorbed its two sentences.
By the time you get this letter, we'll be on our way home. We haven't told you because we didn't want you to worry - but we have a surprise for you.
Leadenly Maes forced himself to move, to cross the floor and kneel beside the woman. She must have been the second target, because she had been turning to face her executioner. The shot was not as flawless, but just as lethal.
His gaze traveled down her limp body. For the first time, he noticed the billow of the loose blouse under her lab coat, the unmistakable bulge of her otherwise slim figure... and he realized what it meant.
We have a surprise for you...
This was why they were preparing to go home.
He recoiled with a violent curse and raised his hand to his face, bloodied fingers leaving a smear on his temple. His heart was beating so hard it hurt. He couldn't think... He needed to think.
She was so far along... Maybe there was a chance. Maybe...
His searching eyes swept the room, and he dazedly snatched from the counters whatever looked useful. Water. Rubbing alcohol. A still-clean surgical gown. A partial bottle of whiskey - perhaps kept as a makeshift painkiller for when supplies were slow to reach the front.
Maes self-prescribed it for roughly the same purpose, and downed every drop that was left.
Then he knelt down beside the not-quite-lifeless body of the woman, and drew his knife from its sheath.
2010 Jordanna Morgan