A short note: Roy is being hanged for war crimes committed during the Ishval Civil War, like Riza talked about in chapter 62- Beyond the Dream. I hope this remedies the confusion.

It wasn't one word that shattered any illusions he might've had left. No, he knew what the judge would say before he said it.


It was the punishment read out after that that had resigned him to the fate he had been hoping, in the back of his mind, wouldn't come to pass, even as he knew that it was the only way the country could finally release itself from its bloody past and forge a new future.

"Death sentence."

It was not raining the day the Flame Alchemist, Hero of Ishval, was sentenced to be hung. It would have been more fitting if it was, but Edward felt, sometimes, that he was the only one who was truly saddened at the verdict. The heavens would not cry for Roy Mustang. They would cast him down to Hell, to be burnt in the flames he had created time and time again for eternity. A fitting punishment, he had said with a hollow laugh, but he had no doubt he had earned it.

He was standing, now, on the platform. He had declined a hood, for a multitude of reasons. Edward wasn't sure which had been foremost in his mind when he declined the offer.

The noose was hanging there, swinging ever so gently in the light breeze. If there was any time for a last conversation, this was it.

Pushing through a few people until he was beside the fence, blocking the crowd from the gallows, Edward paused a moment, looking at Roy, Roy steadfastly looking at the noose which would soon be around his neck, before vaulting the fence and walking up the stairs to the gallows.

Edward held up a hand to quiet the executioner's protests. "It's a last request." He was grudgingly allowed to continue walking to where Roy was.

Roy didn't make any sign of having heard Edward's footsteps until he greeted him.



"You finally got your wish. Justice will be served." Edward's voice took on a cynical edge at the end.

"And I was the Fuhrer. I believe you owe me some money." Roy turned around now, holding his hand out to Edward.

"How much was it? 500 cenz?" Edward asked, digging in his pocket for change.

"520 cenz. Don't try and shortchange me."

They both remembered the last time they had this conversation.

"Don't be so pedantic. What do you need the money for, anyways? Buying flowers for some woman?"

The money was passed over grudgingly.

"Do you really want flowers for your birthday, Fullmetal?"

"Don't call me a woman, and I would much rather have a new alchemy book."

"I hear roses are cheap now. I'll get you 12."

"If you're going to be such a cheap bastard, an alchemy pamphlet would be cheaper. I've been looking into botanical alchemy."

"But flowers would be more traditional. Besides, I know you hate them." Roy smiled lightly, but it was just a ghost of his previous smug smirk. It was weary, but genuine.

"Here. I'll be… busy for awhile, so you'll have to get yourself flowers." Roy's voice almost broke, but he steadied himself and handed Edward back the money. "Maybe you can transmute them into a tree. Botanical alchemy."

"It would be easier to transmute the grass. Besides, I don't transmute gifts from people I like, even if they're cheap ones from a bastard of a boyfriend." Edward said as he accepted the money, but the insult lacked the usual bite.

"You like me? I'm touched."

"Love, you bastard. I love you and you're giving me crappy flowers for my birthday." A tear escaped Edward's eye, but he scrubbed furiously at it and the other eye as well, lest another tear fall.

"I love you too, Ed. I suppose I'll be late for dinner tonight. Don't wait up for me."

"You work too hard," Edward choked out, still rubbing at his eyes though tears kept escaping.

"Just enough, I'd say. The country is almost a democracy." The pride in Roy's voice was unmistakable.

"Good job. You should take a vacation."

"I think I will. You stay at home. It wouldn't be very relaxing with you."

"Of course, I'll leave you to rest."

"Don't follow me too soon. I expect to be in peace for quite awhile."

"I never said I was going to follow you, bastard."

"I know you too well to not know that you're thinking about it. Don't, okay?"

"Okay." Edward had given up on stopping the quiet tears at this point and just let them flow down his face in a steady stream.

"You promise?"

"I promise. At least for awhile, anyways. Maybe after a couple years I'll need a vacation too."

"Give me a couple decades to relax, at least. I won't have an affair while I'm gone."

"Stupid bastard, I knew that."

The executioner coughed loudly into his hand, a clear warning to finish the conversation.

"Huh. Well, enjoy the vacation." Edward's voice cracked on "vacation."

"Don't be too sad celebrating your birthday alone. After all, you get flowers."

"It's still a crappy gift."

One last gentle kiss, tasting of salty tears, and they drew back.



Edward jumped off the platform and climbed over the fence again as the noose was looped around the neck of the Flame Alchemist, Hero of Ishval.

They stared at each other for a few seconds, though it seemed like much longer, before the lever was pulled.

The floor dropped, the rope went taught. A sickening crack echoed across the courtyard.

Edward turned and began to walk home, leaving the blank, soulless eyes behind him.

What he found worst about them was that they looked peaceful.

He bought himself 12 roses two weeks later, on his birthday. He put them in an old vase in the window, except when it was raining. Then he moved them to the table in the dining room.

When the roses wilted, he burnt them.