Vengeance tried to split from Roy, but Doubt had a strong hold on the stone and they were trapped. Roy's face contorted as he clapped his hands. Doubt burst into flames of such an intense heat they were almost white. Riza rushed to him and tried to pry the fingers from Roy's open chest. The ouroboros mark split down the middle. He coughed and forced a smile at her. Roy's hand wrapped around hers and she glared at it.

The flames died and Doubt screamed at them. He slapped Riza and she whirled back. "You two are as good as dead! You haven't got the power to destroy me!" He grinned. "Now give up that stone and I'll spare your girlfriend." He demanded.

"Never! I don't believe a word you say!" Roy retorted his obsidian eyes full of anger and pain. He was fighting to maintain control of his body and reject Doubt's power. There was an idea deep inside his mind. I should split from Vengeance and save myself. But then that's not very heroic. I need that extra power. Why don't I try to destroy his stone?

Roy winced as he grabbed Doubt's neck. "Let me destroy yours! I'm not going to lose my life that easily." Energy sparked and crackled around the two and Doubt laughed at first. His smile twisted and he choked.

"You bastard you think it will be that easy?" Doubt asked his flesh erupting and then healing. He punched Roy in the face trying to stop him.

Roy's head snapped back and he blinked shaking it. The energy arcing around Doubt dispersed. Roy glared at the hand still reaching into his chest the blood staining his shirt growing. Riza grabbed Doubt's shoulders and pulled him backwards before grabbing his head and twisting it until it made a sickening snap. While he healed himself, she yanked his hand from Roy's chest.

Roy gasped as the wound began to close up and he took a deep breath in relief.

Riza yelled out as Doubt stabbed his sword into her neck. He grinned at her and Roy clapped his hands more white-hot fire searing through Doubt's flesh. "I don't think you understand this." Roy yelled. He clapped his hands and pointed them at both ends of the hall Ridgemont's men screamed as the flames exploded all around them.

Riza cried as the wound healed the energy around it crackling. "Roy maybe we were fools to do this." She whispered as she grabbed a dropped gun and aimed it at the men around them. Without hesitation she fired into those still standing.

Doubt was the last one they had to fight. Doubt's sword flew into her chest and she pulled it out grimacing and coughing. The wound slowly began to heal. She felt a shuddering sensation and she gasped. Her eyes rolled back and a thick red liquid seeped through her shirt above her heart. The philosopher's stone fell to the ground like a drop of rain, but it shattered when it hit the ground. Her eyes closed and she fell back. Roy caught her limp body and brushed her long golden hair from her face.

"Riza please wake up." He whispered at her motionless form. Her chest didn't move and he placed his head on it. Her heart was silent. He put his forehead against hers a few solemn tears escaping from his eyes. He kissed her lips willing her to react to his passionate touch. Nothing.

"Damn it Hawkeye! As your superior officer, I order you to wake up! I'll never forgive you if you leave me now!" His eyes burned with the tears he shed. He took her right arm and looked at her wrist the ouroboros gone, but in its place, a reddish circular scar like mark marred her skin.

He glared at the mark and her lifeless form. He glared up at the chuckling Doubt who smiled at the pain in Roy's eyes. "Lose something?" He asked in an amused tone. "You son of a bitch!" Roy screamed setting Riza's body down gently. He clapped and the flames exploded from under Doubt. He screamed and Roy urged the flames to continue consuming until Doubt was just ash. That's what he wanted to see right now. A pile of black ash on the ground at his feet. "I'll turn you to ash and then send you on to hell!" He did not bind his rage at all. He wanted revenge right now for Riza.

The flames slowly hissed into nonexistence and Doubt fell to the ground. His body lay still and motionless. Roy slumped to the ground on his knees besides Riza's body. There was still some color to her cheeks. He touched her forehead with his hand and energy arced across her face. He frowned. He had not made any conscious thought to use the control over energy he had gained from Vengeance.

He pulled his hand back suddenly. He stared at his fingers then at Riza. There was a thought from inside his mind that wasn't his.

"Well Mustang it's about time we parted. I just used the last of the stone's energy on her. She should wake up sometime soon. However, she may stay in a coma for a few days. I cannot tell you what will happen. This is my parting gift to you. Just promise me you'll make a few moves on her now and again. She is totally asking for it. I'll separate from you and then you'll finally be free." The two split suddenly. Vengeance gave Roy a sober grin.

"Thank you." Roy whispered. "For everything. I'm sorry it has to end this way." Vengeance shook his head chuckling. "No really. I think you two helped us a lot." Roy added honestly.

"Just don't forget us. And keep up the good work. With you two this country can do better than it has. Just keep a sharp eye out for your own emotions you know that there's a little piece of me still in you."

Roy nodded, "I do."

"So long Mustang." Vengeance faded away.

A sharp pain made Roy put a hand on his chest. He glanced at the red gel-like matter that pooled in his hand before dripping to the ground and shattering to dust. He clenched his hand into a fist and sighed as he looked around the room. Bodies lie everywhere scattered across the hall. He could smell the burnt corpses and it made him sick. He looked at Doubt's body, which had gone still. Perhaps Doubt too had died and left Ridgemont dead like Loneliness had to Riza.

Roy looked and he could see Riza's chest rise and fall and in the dismal silence could barely hear her breathing. He sighed in gratitude and in pain. He was stiff and sore and his head ached as if he had a hangover. Alone with her he was ok though. He could manage to handle a few hours here like this as long as he knew she would be ok.

He looked at his chest and it too was free of the ouroboros, but it was discolored with a reddish circular scar. Forever a reminder of the past four months he'd spent in what he'd called hell. Nevertheless, he couldn't call it that anymore. Maybe it was just another trial he'd had to face, with Riza of course. He wondered if they'd passed it, or if they had failed. He was sure they'd passed. How else would they have learned so much about themselves and each other and still gotten out alive?

A scraping noise behind him made him jump and he froze. "I win." Ridgemont gasped as he sat up pulling a gun up from the ground and pointing the muzzle at Roy's head. Roy sighed and laughed.

"You still trying to kill me Ridgemont? Not even homunculi can do that." He turned to glare at his green-eyed enemy. Ridgemont began to slowly apply pressure to the trigger. A shot rang out and Roy stared in wonder at the bullet the burrowed deep into Ridgemont's head. The man fell back dead the gun clattering on the cement floor. Roy turned back to Riza who was propped up on one arm and blowing on the muzzle of her revolver.

"I still have your back." She whispered her voice strained. She looked at his almost clear chest then at her wrist. "They're gone?" It was of course a rhetorical question and he answered with a smile.

"Let's get out of here before anything else happens. We need to report this to HQ." Roy said avoiding the tearful screams he'd yelled at her minutes earlier.

"Roy, shut up and kiss me." Riza ordered smiling up at him. He nodded and grinned as he leaned in close to her. She grabbed his hair with her hand the other pulled his body closer to her. His hands found her waist and back and he held her against his body covetously. They kissed for as long as they could before breaking apart to gasp and pant for air.

"I love you." Roy whispered in her ear. She shoved him playfully.

"I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that Sir." She couldn't keep from smiling and her voice was full of too much energy to be serious. They laughed as they stood and walked leaning into each other down the hall.