If it wasn't illegal, surely Mustang would be dead by now.

Edward Elric and Roy Mustang had been assigned a mission up in Fort Briggs. Apparently signs of a Drachman invasion were suspected around the walls. Of course, it was almost affirmative that Olivier Armstrong could handle it all by herself. But not even he can disobey the Fuhrer without consequences. And so, by random poll, Edward and Roy were assigned this mission.

It really couldn't had been anyone else? It had to be the Colonel Bastard that Edward was stuck with? He was just so damn annoying, with all his snide remarks and his "I'm better than you" attitude.

Edward, as much as possible, liked to avoid having any interaction with his superior as much as possible. Because surely, if it wasn't illegal, Mustang would be dead by now.

By Edward's hand.

*sigh* "Can't you go a few hours without complaining about every little thing, Fullmetal? That's all I'm asking for right now." Roy, completely exasperated, said.

They had been sitting in the train car for about 4 hours now, and 98 percent of the time was filled with Edward's imputes.

"Ah shut up. I wouldn't be complaining this much if I were with any other person. But noo. Fuhrer had to stick me here with you. I just don't understand why me and Al couldn't go by ourselves! We're perfectly capable of handling something this small on our own." Edward moaned. Roy scoffed

"Well surely you can handle it on your own. Seeing as you didn't even know which train to get onto."

His sarcastic remarks were really beginning to irk Ed these days. Ed simply made a "tch" sound and put his attention back to the passing scenery outside the window. Trees. Hills. Houses. Trees. Grass. More trees.

Ed breathed out heavily. This was getting boring. How much longer 'till they reached the Northern Station? Three days? Ed didn't know how much longer he could last. He shifted his position in his seat a little and closed his eyes. Maybe sleeping would pass time a little faster.

Merely 5 minutes passed by before Ed heard metal clanging. He cracked open an eye, to see two small children poking curiously near the wrist of his metal arm. He looked up at Roy, asking for an explanation. All he received was a simple shrug of the colonel's shoulders. He turned his attention back to the kids

"…can I help you?" he asked. The two children, never looking up from the arm, asked

"Why's your arm all weird?"

Ed stared at them with disbelief. Had they never heard of automail? And second of all, did they have to ask so directly? Ed sighed and said nothing but,

"Well, I guess you can say I did something I shouldn't have. And I got this instead." He looked at the kids' faces to see what they thought. Their expressions never changing, they ceased poking at the metal for a bit.

"Pretty cool, huh?" Edward asked, grinning as he did.

"Pretty weird, if you ask me." the older boy bluntly exclaimed.

"Wha-? W-weird?" Ed stumbled on his words. He never thought of it as "pretty weird" Ed glanced at Roy, who was watching outside the glass, ignoring the conversation.

"Heeeyyy. What's your name?" the girl asked, finally pulling her gaze away from Ed's arm.

"My name?"

"I'll just call you 'Little Metal Boy!'" she announced proudly. Roy chuckled as Ed's eye twitched.

"…little…metal boy…? No no…I think you got it wrong….it's Edward…Edward Elric…." he spoke in a low dangerous whisper.

"Nuh uh! It's Little Metal Boy!" she spouted once more. His fists shaking, Ed warned,

"Come on…..say it once more…I dare you…"

"Little Metal Boy! Little Metal Boy!" she called out, jumping up and down.

Ed screamed out in anger. He broke out in rants, saying how he's not short, and that they should learn to respect their elders. All the while, the kids laughing and giggling at how "funny 'Little Metal Boy' is"

Suddenly, Ed felt something grab hold of his arm.

"Calm down, Fullmetal. You're making a scene." Ed momentarily ceased his flailing to see that most of the people in their car were staring and whispering suspiciously. Ed cleared his throat and sat down, a blush eminent on his cheeks.

"Where are your parents?" Roy asked the children, turning to face them

"Momma and Papa had to work. So they're sending us to Gramma's house." the boy explained, pulling away his sister so she wouldn't play with Ed's arm anymore.

"….. Oh! Yea. Manners. *ahem* Hello, my name's Jeremiah. This is my little sis' Leah." Ed was surprised by their respectful behavior that was once annoyance before. They must have grown up with a good family.

Family

Ed's brow furrowed, thinking of his own family. Or what was left of it.

"How old are you, Jeremiah? Leah?" Roy inquired.

"I'm five!" Leah happily announced, raising five chubby fingers.

"And I'm seven." Jeremiah said.

"Ahh. I see. Well, you are great children. Very polite, indeed. And I'm sure you'll grow up to be a fine young lady, Leah." Roy said, flashing his killer smirk.

"Oh…well…thank you…sir." Leah said, her cheeks beginning to grow pink.

"Come on, let's go." Jeremiah told Leah as he grabbed her hand.

"Oh! Right. Little Metal Boy was sleeping before we got there. Sorry!" Leah apologized, following her brother back to their seats. Edward scowled at the back of their heads, before saying to the colonel,

"'Fine young lady?' What are you, a pedophile?"

"You gotta make all women, no matter what age, feel beautiful and special, Fullmetal. With you're attitude, you'll never find a girlfriend." Roy stated matter-of-factly.

Ed ignored Roy and crossed his arms and shut his eyes once more. Roy picked up a magazine and began reading. Only 3 more days, he thought, as he watched the train pass over a ravine.

Minutes into the cliffs, the train began to jostle. Ed was briskly awoken. The train shook again, in a more frightening way.

"Colonel, what's going-"

Pardon this interruption, passengers, we apologize for the disturbance. We are passing over a ravine, and the tracks are fairly bumpy. Please stay seated until further notice. The P.A sounded.

"Ravine…?" Edward mumbled to himself.

More jostling.

Seconds later, Jeremiah and Leah appeared at the Roy and Ed's sides.

"What's happening? Leah's scared." Jeremiah said, holding tightly onto Leah's hand.

"It's just some *shake* turbulence in the tracks. It'll be *shake* be over soon" Roy told them, trying to calm them down. The train shook fiercely now. Ed and Roy both knew this wouldn't end good.

Suddenly, the train lurched sideways, and off the side of the ravine. The two kids screamed, shutting their eyes tight.

"Fullmetal! Grab the children!" Roy ordered before the car went crashing to the bottom of the ravine.

When Ed awoke he could hardly see. Dust clouded his eyes and lungs. He coughed and coughed, hard enough to exert out a lung. He opened his eyes, and couldn't believe what he saw.

The train chairs were thrown all over the place, steel beams were jetting in through the sides and top of the car. Ed lifted his arm to rub some of the dust out of his face to get a better look, but gasped sharply at the pain.

Turning his head slightly, he could see his arm was completely crushed by a train bench with half his arm sticking out the window. The window had closed due to the impact, and it too, was crushing the part of his arm that was not under the chair. At first he felt nothing, but now Ed could feel the full effect of the damage inflicted on his human arm. Pain, like being stabbed thousands of times writhed around in his dying appendage.

Ed turned away, feeling queasy just looking at his mangled arm. There was no way that he didn't have a couple broken bones in the rest of his body too. His whole body ached. Suddenly, he remembered he wasn't alone.

"Co-" he tried to call out, but found he could hardly breathe. Large rocks were completely compressing his chest.

Edward closed his eyes and grunted, frustrated at his position. He needed to get this weight off him.

He felt for movement in his automail arm, and found he could move it slightly. Fixing his attention on his arm, he slowly, but surely, began wiggling it free from where it was mashed between the rubble and the chair he had been previously seated on. Finally, his arm was free, and with all the strength he could muster, he pushed away the rocks just enough so that he could breathe normally.

He let out his held breath. Now to figure out what happened to the colonel.

"Colonel? Where are you?" he called out.

No answer.

Edward began getting scared. He called out once more, with no answer again. He started to panic. What if Roy was dead?

"Colonel! Answer me, damn it!"

….*cough*…

Ed's eyes flashed toward the source of the cough, waiting for another sound.

*cough cough*

"Colonel, is that you?" Ed called out.

"…..yea… I'm here.." he finally heard. Ed quickly sighed in relief.

"…hey…Colonel…what happened…?" Ed asked, relieved to know he wasn't alone.

"….I….I don't know…." He heard Roy answer back.

"We…fell off the cliff." Ed stated. His mind snapped back to the other passengers.

"Wait…what happened to the two kids? Jeremiah…and Leah..?" Ed asked, suddenly very scared for the children's safety.

"…I…I can't look for them Fullmetal…. Not in the position I'm in…" Roy said.

Curious at what he meant, Ed peered over the rubble that was once on him. There he saw Roy.

Both his legs and one arm were pinned under debris from the ravine, and the area connecting his neck and his shoulder was stabbed with a steel pole which extended from the side of the car on his left. It didn't go all the way through, because if it had, surely the colonel would have died on the spot. But if he were to move even an inch, the pole would be knocked out from his neck, ensuring he would bleed to death.

Edward's eyes widened with fear.

"Colonel! Are you okay? Tell me-"

"….don't….d-don't make me…s-speak too much, Fullmetal. It hurts..." Roy said, pain wracking through his voice.

"Just…look for the kids, will ya?" Ed nodded, knowing that Roy couldn't see him, and twisted his head around to look. He saw many bodies, bloody and dead. Edward whimpered, frightened by the sight.

"C….colonel….the people…they're.." Ed muttered.

"What…what are we supposed to do?" he bawled, looking at his superior with tearful eyes.

Roy didn't answer. Edward wiped his eyes with his free hand. He had to find Jeremiah and Leah. Edward craned his neck back a little to see if he could find them and…

There, not even a foot away from Edward's head, was Jeremiah. Head cut up, blood seeping from his mouth.

Steel impaling him through his stomach.

Edward stared, frozen by the boy's face. He looked from the boy to the steel pole. The same pole which was now stuck into Mustang's shoulder. They were like two pieces of meat skewered onto the same stick.

Images began flowing into Edward's mind. Images from that day. The day he attempted human transmutation. Jeremiah's position mirrored that of that thing he and his brother had brought back instead of their mother.

Ed screamed.

No. he couldn't relive that day. Not here, not now. He flailed his arms, kicked his legs, crying out his unwanted abhorrence.

"C…c-calm down, Fullmetal." Roy tried ordering.

Edward couldn't hear his quiet commands over his own yelling. Slowly, hearing noise, Jeremiah's eyes fluttered open, halting the terrified alchemist's wailing. He looked into Edward's eyes for a moment, until he coughed,

"L-little Metal Boy? Where are we?… I-i'm scared…"

Ed gulped loudly, never leaving Jeremiah's gaze. He was scared. So scared. But he had to be brave. He had to be an older brother to this poor boy.

Ed lifted his automail hand and placed it on Jeremiah's cheek.

"Don't…be afraid….everything will be okay. Do…do you know where your sister is?" Edward asked, trying to divert Jeremiah's attention so he didn't see the steel piercing his abdomen.

"Leah….? S-she's….right next to me….I….d-don't know why…but she's sleeping…" He wheezed.

Ed looked over to the boy's side, and saw that Leah was, indeed, there. Blood oozing from a large gash in the back of her head, and her body completely crushed under rubble. She was, in fact, sleeping. Never to be woken up again. Ed grimaced, before hearing Jeremiah go into a coughing fit, spitting up blood which sprayed onto Ed's face.

"Little Metal….Boy….I'm scared….m-my….tummy h-hurts…"

"It's ok, Jeremiah, just stay awake with me, okay? I'll help you." Edward said frantically, as he watched the boy's eyes glaze over. A few more coughs from the boy, then silence. Ed could only watch as the child's eyes closed, helpless to do anything.

Silence swept over for a few seconds. Ed clenched his teeth, as he began desperately reaching his right hand over to touch his left.

"Fullmetal, what are you doing?" Roy asked, seeing the boy. He observed Edward, then Jeremiah, then Ed again, who got closer and closer to bringing his hands together. Roy pieced it together.

"Are you nuts?" he yelled, knowing exactly what Ed was attempting.

"I-I can still save him! I can still bring him back!" Edward jarred. He strained to bring his limbs to connect, to touch, to just tap with each other.

"No! You can't! There's nothing more you can do, Ed! He's dead!" Roy said, inducing Ed.

This brought Ed into nothing but a blathering mess. He cried, tears rolling onto his blood stained clothes, convincing himself that he "could have done something".

"No time to cry now, Fullmetal. We have to figure a way out of here." Roy reasoned. Edward attempted to cease his crying, and finally ended with loud, contemptible, sticky, snorts.

"Bringing him back won't solve anything. When he awakes, he'll still be stuck in the same situation he's in now. You would've brought him back just to relive his death again." Roy said, bitterness in his voice. Mustang waited for Ed to compose himself before speaking,

"Ok Fullmetal. How much can you move? Can you get yourself free?"

Ed tested his movement once more. He didn't even attempt to try and move his left arm. There was no way of getting that out. His legs, they were completely crushed, the only feeling in them being faint pins and needles, as his heart struggled to circulate blood to them. Being this, his automail was his only available limb. But that, itself, was beginning to break down. Metal plates were visibly ripped off the surface, exposing the wired insides. Scratches and gashes were lining whatever was left of the arm, and only 4 fingers remained.

"No, I'm stuck…" Edward informed. Roy sighed. This was going to be difficult. He couldn't even move an inch, unless he wanted to kill himself from blood loss. It was beginning to grow dark, and numbing air was seeping in through the cracked windows. Roy knew there was only one thing to do.

"I guess…we're just gonna have to wait for someone to find us." Ed turned sharply to him.

Wait for someone? They were at the bottom of a ravine, for God's sake. No one knew they were even here. And even when someone did find out about the accident, it would take days for them to search the whole 29 mile stretch of the gorge. And he wanted them to wait?

"No way. There's gotta be something else we can do." Edward vouched.

"Like what? You're stuck, and I'm stuck. There's nothing we can do. We just have to be patient and wait." Roy answered, falling into a coughing fit.

"Colonel…" Ed said, feeling helpless that he couldn't even pat Mustang's back in comfort. Ed couldn't believe this.

It was just supposed to be some petty mission. They go to Fort Briggs, investigate, then come back. Simple. But everything went wrong. And now he was supposed to just sit here, hoping and waiting, for help to come? As he watched his superior slowly die in front of him? He closed his eyes, and accepted the only thing that could be done.

"Ok…we'll wait." he said under his breath.

Hours went by, and things only got worse. There was no sign of any rescue, and Ed's arm had begun to throb outside the glass. Every few minutes, Mustang would fall into a coughing fit, the strain on his body pressuring his impaled shoulder even more, causing blood to spray from his mouth.

"…aluminum…silicon….phosphorus…sulfur…chlo-"

"What are you doing?" Roy questioned, interrupting Ed.

"I'm trying to stay awake. We'll die if we….fall asleep…" Ed answered, his eyes drooping slightly.

"G-….good t-thinking…we need to talk to each other…" Roy's breathing was hitched, and his words were slurring. Ed could see he was falling out of consciousness from the blood loss. Silence stretched on long between them.

"…well…" Edward said, pressuring his brain to think of something to talk about.

"…dreams…"

"What?"

"Tell me about some dreams you've had." Roy said.

Ed looked up, trying to think of any recent dreams he had. Most of his dreams were nightmares, and never in a million years would he ever spill out his inner fears to the man before him. His eyes lit up in a sudden remembrance.

"Well… a couple of nights ago," Ed began, "I had a dream that me and Al were in Central. We were walking down a hallway towards the dorms, when suddenly a cat appeared in the middle of our path. I was kind of surprised, because they don't let pets into the building. Suddenly, one by one, more cats began appearing, and before I knew it, we were engulfed in a sea of tiny, purring critters. Al was so happy. I kept sneezing. Not too far along, Black Hayate came and ate them all." Ed ended his story with a chuckle.

He heard Roy chortle, but his muscles began to spasm and contract and he hacked due to the strain on his lungs. Ed could only wait for his episode to subside, before Roy spoke unanimatedly.

"I had a dream that Breda had eaten all the honey buns in the cafeteria. Pretty realistic, don't you think?"

"yea…" Ed grimly replied.

He had to fight back the temptation to laugh at their situation. He couldn't believe how desperate and pathetic they had to have become that they had to settle down on talking about dreams of cats and honey buns.

"Anything else?" Ed said not wanting to end the conversation.

No answer.

"Colonel?"

still no reply.

"Colonel, are you there?" Ed yelled, a tightening feeling growing in his chest.

*cough cough* "yeah…I'm here…" the colonel replied, blood flecking from his mouth onto Ed's face.

Edward could feel his eyes brimming. Why couldn't he do anything? Was he just supposed to sit here and watch the life of his commanding officer slowly seep away? If only he could get his stupid arm out, he could do something.

His arm.

Ed's mind began working, and he immediately got into action. All Roy heard were grunts, pants, then the sound of shifting rocks and glass. He turned his head toward his subordinate.

"Fullmetal, what are you doing?"

Ed grunted in response "I'm….I'm going to get us out of here." he said, trying to maneuver his free arm around the rocks toward his broken limb.

"Don't even try. There's no way you can free yourself with one arm by yourself." Roy stated.

"Well there's no use sitting around here doing nothing!" more scraping of glass and rock.

"And what, exactly, do you suppose you're going to do after you're free?"

"Simple. I'm going to get you out."

Roy's eyes widened.

"There's no way, Fullmetal. Look up. This beam is the only thing supporting the roof of the car. Pull this out, and the whole thing will collapse, crushing us both."

"Well what do you expect me to do?" Edward retorted. He felt his eyes watering against his will once more. He hated how right the colonel was.

Roy raised his free hand and put it to Ed's cheek.

"You're going to get out of here on your own, and get help. We know I'm useless with my current condition. So you need to escape and call for rescue. That's an order."

Ed stared at him in disbelief. An order? Leave him here? Edward, not wanting to physically harm Roy, did the only thing he could do to protest.

He spat in his face.

Roy spouted nonsensical noises, scrunching his face in disgust.

"Blech! Oh my god, what the hell Full-"

"That's not gonna happen. I can get my arm out free, no problem!" Ed said, trying to convince the colonel.

Roy stopped his babbling, looked into the boy's eyes, and simply shook his head. Ed tried one more time.

"Please…there's…there's got to be some other way!" Edward pleaded. Roy slowly released his breath.

"There isn't. We'll both die if you even try to get me free. Go, Fullmetal. I don't care anymore whether I die. I'm already done up for anyway. " Edward couldn't stand to hear Roy speak like that.

"No you're not! I can still save us both! If I just get out of here first, I can-"

"STOP TRYING TO WORK YOUR WAY AROUND THIS, FULLMETAL! I'm going to die! It's as simple as that!"

That was it.

He couldn't come up with another reasonable argument. The tears Ed was working to hold in finally began to overflow. No matter how much he made it to be, he never hated his commanding officer. He secretly always looked up to his commanding officer. Sure, he was an arrogant jack-ass at times, but Edward really trusted him. He was strong-willed, fast thinking, and he cared about the well-beings of his comrades. If something were to happen to him now or ever, Roy is the only person he could think of to take care of Alphonse. Because of this, he never expected the colonel to just give up so quickly.

Roy, never changing his expression from the solemn one he wore, wiped the tears rolling down Ed's face with his thumb. Edward tried to pull away, but Mustang persisted. If anyone was going to do comforting, it should be Ed. He wasn't the one spouting nonsense about dying.

This was too Edward wanted to do now was crawl in a hole and stay there for the rest of his life. He hated realizing how many times he was breaking down and crying like a child. He couldn't take the embarrassment of being condoled by Mustang. Any other given day, he would've beat the shit out of the colonel if he even attempted to touch him in such an intimate Ed was feeling too weak to hold onto his pride, and he leaned into the consoling hand, soaking in all the comfort he could.

Minutes went by, the only sounds being small pebbles falling and hitting the roof of the car, and Ed's sniffles dying down. Finally, determination filling him, Ed composed himself and began moving the rock away from his stifled arm. Roy could only lie and watch.

Ten rocks left... Five rocks... Two rocks...

Ed struggled with the last, but finally got it off, looking down at his bruised and discolored arm. He frowned. Shifting his position a little, he moved to get rid of the closed window that had the grip on his limb. Using a considerable amount of what little strength was left, he left up the window just enough to slide his beaten arm out, biting down on his lip to hold back a yelp. He winced at the pain of feeling the blood rushing back to the dismantled veins.

Ed waited for the pain to become a dull numbness, then began working his way through to his legs. Many grunts, groans, and straining later, his legs were finally free. Not very harmed, beside the insentient sensation he felt.

Edward shivered as the cold breeze wisped past his exposed body. He was beginning to strangely miss the warmth the containment had brought him.

"Alright. Go now. You have to get out of here before the sun sets too far behind the mountain. You need- wait what do you think you're doing?" Roy imposed as he watched Ed begin to remove the debris from his own legs.

"I'm not about to leave you're stubborn ass here to die. We're getting out. Both of us." Edward answered as he worked away the rocks.

"What?" Roy sharply questioned.

Edward removed the last of the rubble, then wrapped his single functioning arm around the steel beam in the colonel's shoulder.

"Stop Ed! You can't! Stop! That's an order!" Roy wielded, hoping his 'order' would get Ed to think twice.

"I'm not answering to you're ignorant commands anymore! I told you! There's no way I'm leaving you here to die!" Ed answered.

"Ed there's no point! In or out, that steel beam will be the death of me! Just leave me here! You need to go now!" Roy wasn't so scared about pulling the pole out. He was more concerned for Edward. If he waited any longer, he might not have the strength to climb up the steep cliffs and find help. He might bleed to death before he's found.

"Shutup…I have a plan…" Edward muttered softly before beginning to pull.

Deathly screams and yelps erupted from Roy's throat.

"EEDD!" He grunted, begging his subordinate to cease his pulling. All he could feel was the sliding and pulling out of his flesh from the steel beam, the unimaginable agony it and crying out, his free hand dug into the ground, trying to find any form of release from this pain. Edward temporarily stopped extracting the steel.

They were both left panting, and wheezing for air. Mustang struggled to force oxygen into his damaged lungs, not caring how they stung each time he took a breath. He drooped his head to the left, only to see Jeremiah's limp, dead form still skewered through. Roy looked back up to the ceiling, gasping. That hurt like a bitch. He didn't care if he died now. Roy Mustang did not want to go through that again.

"Don't Fullmetal…. Don't do it-AGAAIIN-UURRGGHH!" Roy yelped once more, feeling Edward tug without warning.

Beads of sweat formed on the colonel's head as he struggled to fight the excruciating pain he felt.

Six inches left... Four... Three inches... Two...

In one last yank, Ed pulled the beam straight out.

Mustang gasped as he felt blood flow out in rivers from his wound, and watched as the ceiling began to collapse. He heard a swift clap, saw a blue light, then darkness.

"…nel… colonel….COLONEL!"

When Roy finally awoke, the first thing he felt was moisture dripping onto his face. He batted his eyelids open, and saw Edward's face, straining against some unknown pressure.

"Fullmetal? What are you-" He stopped when he saw the metal beam supporting the ceiling, being supported on Ed's back and auto mail arm.

"H-…Hurry…I need…need you to get…o-out…b-b-before I….drop this…" Ed choked out, beads of sweat dripping from his forehead to Roy's nose.

"I'm…gonna transmute this once I…..k-know you're out….Th-there's a chance it'll….b-break…I need to get you out before that…happens." Edward struggled to catch his breath.

"How am…how am I.." Roy questioned, feeling down to find soft leathery flesh where is gaping wound once was.

"I…I preformed hu-..human…transmut-tation…I did it once before…w-when I was in you're situation…after fighting Kimblee…"

Roy couldn't believe it.

"Ed, what were you thinking? You-"

"I only shortened my life span…s-slightly….n-no…big deal…now hurry! I-I-I can't support this much longer!" Edward groaned as his arm creaked under the pressure.

Roy quickly fumbled around for a second, then began crawling through an open window behind Ed. Once he was safely out, he called in to signal Ed.

He saw a bright blew light, then saw Ed crawl out as fast as he could, before the whole car collapsed and tumbled deeper into the ravine.

"Fullmetal!" Roy dragged himself to Edward as fast as he could as he watched the boy buckle down in an ungraceful heap.

He picked him up, and laid Ed's head on his lap. How long had he been out while Ed was holding that beam? He brushed the boy's hair out of his face. He stood up shakily, and began leaning and bending awkwardly to lift Ed onto his back. Ed finally positioned right, Roy felt his knees buckle from not being used in a while and from the weight. But he held himself upright and began walking up.

It took all of his strength and adrenaline to not pass out on the way up. Finally at the edge of the cliff, Roy bent over, breathing in heavily. He started choking and coughing again, spitting out blood. The droplets darkening the soil as they made contact. The exertion must have been too much. But there was no time to stall worrying how far to push himself. He had to start moving now.

He doesn't know how long went by, but Roy assumed he had been walking for one and a half hours

…and only got about 30 yards away from the disaster sight.

He was so exhausted. His legs felt numb and noodle-y and his mind was hazy. He just wanted to drop Edward to the ground, and lay there with him, letting the inviting warmth of sleep take over his body. Sleep…that seemed very good right about now.

Roy shook his head. He couldn't do that. It was dark already. If he slept, he would never make it to help in time.

He took a few more steps before he began swaying. His adrenaline rush subsided long ago, and the only thing that had kept him going was sheer will-power. But now will-power seemed to not even be enough anymore.

Roy stumbled a few steps, and finally doubled forward, Edward following after onto his back. Roy felt his shoulder wound slowly open up again, the warm liquid soaking his shirt and the dirt surrounding him. If he could just seer his wound closed, he could probably walk for another 2-3 hours. But he didn't have enough strength to emit enough flames to cauterize it safely.

Roy buried his face in the dirt, breathing hard and feeling his consciousness fading.

Oh man…This is really where we're going to die, huh? He thought. Well, not too bad. I was planning on dying in the first place…but damn it….wish I could just save-

Far off Yelling and footsteps stopped Roy's thought mid-way. He slowly brought his head up and saw the far off flares of lantern's and men yelling orders to each other.

Rescue.

Roy needed to call them. Roy opened his mouth to shout out, but it was so painful just to speak. He felt absolutely pathetic. Help was just a few yards away. Was he really so weak that he couldn't even save themselves at the last minute?

He thought of an idea. It would probably kill him, using the last of his energy and strength. But if it meant saving Edward, he was willing die a million times

Shakily he lifted his right hand, positioning it, before...

SNAP!

Fire blazed forth from his fingers.

"Hey! What was that?" he heard one man call.

SNAP!

More fire was brought forth.

SNAP! SNAP! SNAP!

Roy was sending out a signal in short bursts of flame.

"Over there!"

Roy heard the faint footsteps grow louder. He looked up and the last thing he saw was three men running toward him before he blacked out.

Roy heard far off chattering.

They were conversing about the late economy and how the Fuhrer should lower taxes. Three voices spoke.

"…..." A woman…

"…..." A man…

"…..!" then…Edward..?

Edward!

Roy opened his eyes and his vision was fuzzy. He heard arguing from across the room. His eyes began to focus, then he squinted , the bright light from outside temporarily blinding him.

"Ah! He's awake!" Roy heard the woman call.

His eyes adjusting, he turned his head toward the voice and saw a nurse come into sight, standing to his left. Roy turned to his right, to see Edward stop his arguing with the doctor.

"Ah…glad to see you're awake, Sir Colonel Mustang. We were wondering how long you'd be out." the doctor said.

Ed said nothing, but turned to the doctor and whispered something incoherent.

"….."

"Ohhh...Ok, yes sir. Call us back when we're needed" the doctor said, motioning for the nurse to leave too.

After the door closed, Edward stepped to the edge of the bed.

"You had me worried there, you bastard. They said you were found on the ground with me on your back, your wounds re-opened. You were bleeding all over the ground." Edward explained.

"….you're okay…" Mustang coughed, searching Ed up and down.

He had his arm in a cast, his head bandaged and cuts patched up all over his body. Edward scoffed.

"Of course I'm alive. Probably wouldn't be…if you hadn't gotten me out of the ravine…" Ed said solemnly.

"…Buuuttt who was the one that got your fat lazy ass outta there in the first place?" Ed asked arrogantly while thumbing himself in the chest. Roy gave no response. Ed looked down and grinned.

"Were…were there any survivors?" Roy questioned.

"…there were only four, you and myself included. The other two are in the rooms below us." Ed elucidated, guilt lining his voice.

"I…I wish we could have saved more people, Colonel….like Jeremiah and Leah…"

Silence stretched across them as they remembered the two bubbly children. Roy was the first to speak again.

"….thank you….Edward…for not leaving…" Roy said with gratitude, his eyes brimming with newly formed tears. Edward's face shaded pink.

"D-don't get all emotional on me! I-it was no big deal! A-anyway, anyone woulda' done the same thing…" Ed spouted, looking down to the floor.

Roy made a sound between a grunt and a laugh, causing Ed to look back up. Ed lifted one side of his lips, forming a half smile.

"Sir, you have a visitor." a nurse announced through the door. Riza Hawkeye stepped in, and walked toward the bed.

"I'll be leavin'. You better get better soon. It'd be weird if I never got to seein' you're asshole face at Central again." Ed said, waving his right hand up before exiting the door.

Roy felt a new emotion beside gratitude and relief flow through his veins. Riza sat in the chair beside the bed

"Sir? You're….is everything alright?" she asked, as a single tear slipped from Roy's glassy eyes. He chuckled to himself.

"..yeah….everything's okay now." Roy said closing his eyes. Before, he wouldn't have cared whether he died or not. He would've been perfectly content with staying in that unstable train car. But for the first time since he joined the military Roy Mustang felt grateful he was alive. The first time he embraced breathing and not giving up to death.

All thanks to an arrogant, smart-mouthed, stubborn State-Alchemist.