Thank you all for sticking to the end of this story.
I do not own FMAB.
Just One of Those Days
Chapter Thirty Six: The END and ON
Thoughts began to pour into my head, and the internal blackness that first shrouded me began to clear, and I willed my eyes to open.
For some reason, my head was pounding, and everything within me was screaming at the top of their lungs. Something was amiss, and something wasn't right, but I couldn't understand what.
My chest hurt, everything hurt, and for some reason, a wave of sadness filled me. I was struck with a fierce longing that took my breath away, walking hand in hand with a firm resolution.
These aren't... I managed to open my eyes, and all I saw were red and crimson, souls screeching in protest as they were dragged out. These...
These aren't my feelings...are they?
"Hang in there, Greed!"
My eyes snapped open and the chaos around me froze, dispersing within seconds as my pulse began to pump.
Greed. Ling. Father.
The mass storm of souls cleared and suddenly I was running, feet hitting nothing as I lunged forward, my shoulder brushing Ling's as I latched onto the mass of red before me.
"Don't you dare!" I snarled, and everything cleared as I clutched onto the soul of the person before me, of the person I once loved. "Don't you dare give up on me!"
"Ghosty!" Ling ground out, digging his heels in as he pulled Greed back against the dark abyss that threatening to pull him out of Ling's conscious and into Father's. "Stay...back!"
"Like hell!" I snapped, pulling with all my might, all my strength as I kept Greed here—as long as he was here, he was fine, if he went—if Father took him...
He'd be gone.
I have to tell him.
"Idiots! You're going to get yourself dragged in!" Greed snapped, and the soul mass that was his form slowly began to pull forward. "Get Kitten out of here! Let go!"
"Shut up!" I exclaimed, shutting my eyes against Greed's protests. "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! We're trying to save you damn it!"
"I refuse!" Ling cried, and his fingers dug into Greed as he pulled back with all his might. "In order for me to become the Emperor, I need you!"
"Who the hell is this half assed weakling?" I shouted, my being filled with fear as I felt Greed get pulled further away. "Let go—what kind of bullshit is that?"
He can't die. My mind chanted, unable to wrap myself around what was happening, all of this was too much, and the situation seemed so far fetched. Greed can't die, he's supposed to be immortal—he can't. This isn't right. He can't, there's no way.
"You can't save everyone."
A fierce bout of determination filled me and I grit my teeth, pulling Greed towards Ling and I will all my might. "Work with me here, Greed!"
"You idiots are so stupid!" Greed exclaimed. "That's impossible! I was born from father to begin with. The force that's pulling me towards him is stronger than the one pulling me toward Ling Yao! Nothing can be done!"
"Aren't you the one who said nothing's impossible?" I cried, my whole body was beginning to feel odd, as if I were breaking apart.
He can't die.
"Don't give up, Greed!" Ling's presence beside me was all I could have ever asked for in that moment as we pulled, fingers digging into Greed's soul to keep him with us. "Keep trying!"
A bolt of electricity flared before my eyes and my eyes widened as part of Ling's arm seemed to be absorbed by the light. "Shit! My body..."
Something shot through me and I jerked, glancing down and realizing that part of my leg had seemed to split open, and I cursed under my breath, clenching my eyes shut as I grit my teeth.
He can't die.
"God damn it!" Ling exclaimed, his grip on Greed tightening.
I felt desperation begin to bubble up within me as I struggled to keep Greed with us. I had lost too much already; I was done with losing things—I couldn't lose him too, never him.
I have to tell him still.
Greed was silent for a moment, and I feared that he had resigned himself to his fate. My chest ached at the thought and I struggled harder, ignoring the fact that part of my leg was nearly gone.
No more. I begged, a wail threatened to leave my lips as I clutched onto Greed for dear life. No more.
"Well, its a few ranks lower than being king of the world, but I guess I wouldn't mind becoming the Emperor of Xing."
My eyes snapped open and hope hit me like a slap to the face as I threw my head back and laughed, relief filling me as Ling's grip on Greed tightened and a grin spread across his face.
"We're going to fight together, partner." Greed promised, and I froze, something cold settling in my stomach as my gaze snapped back to Greed.
"That's the spirit—"
A fist like form shot past me and slammed into Ling's face, causing him to lose his grip.
My eyes widened and my hands instinctively tightened as I was lurched forward, Ling's strength no longer added with mine and keeping me rooted in place. I grit my teeth and tried to brake as Greed slowly got closer and closer to the vortex, and I felt tears begin to form in my eyes. "Greed!"
"What are you..." Ling looked at Greed in disbelief, the punch having sent him several paces back.
"And this is goodbye." Greed grinned, white teeth pulling upwards across his face. There's no need for you to be absorbed by him along with me."
My eyes widened and I felt Ling struggling to get closer and get a grip on Greed again. "W-Wait a second, Greed!" There was a note of pain to his voice, an underlining of sadness that made my stomach drop and hope leave me. "You just said we were going to fight together!"
No. "This is foul play, damn it!" Ling exclaimed, and his face looked desperate, eyes wide and staring at Greed in disbelief. "I thought you never told lies! You can't let it end like this!"
Greed let out a laugh, and I stared at him in disbelief, feeling my fingers weaken as he continued to be tugged away. "You totally fell for it though, shitty brat!" Greed's face seemed to soften for a second, and tears began to stream down my face on their own accord. "That was my first—nah, my second and final lie."
Greed's gaze met mine, and I felt my grip tighten, and I narrowed my eyes at him, staring at his blurred figure through tear stained eyes. "Like hell I'm letting go of you."
"Always the stubborn one, eh, Kitten?" Greed's smirk flashed across his face, and his soul stared down at me. "I thought you hated me?"
"I just got them back!" I snapped, feeling my shoulders shake as I fought the inevitable, tears streaked down my face and I glared up at Greed. "I just got you back—you were yelling at me for disappearing, remember? Don't be a hypocrite, damn it!"
"How do I get rid of this one?" Greed mused, and I stared at him in disbelief, eyes wide with horror.
"You aren't allowed to die on me!" I snapped, my chest was ready to burst, and it felt like every part of me was breaking. It hurt. "You can't—You can't—not yet!"
I felt weak. So god damn weak. I couldn't do anything but hold on. I couldn't save him, I couldn't bring him back, I could only hold on for as long as I could.
I can't give up.
"You know, I have something to tell you too, Kitten." Greed started suddenly, and my gaze snapped to his, and my legs threatened to collapse from being slowly stripped away. "I promise this one isn't a lie."
"Shut up and live!" I cried, feeling my chest break, my heart break, every little part of me break.
"You're not going to break your promise now, are you?"
My eyes grew round and I paused, freezing.
"When the time comes, let go. Got it?"
And suddenly, a feeling of warmth engulfed me. My eyes widened at the feeling of arms embracing me, and the touch was so familiar because for once, I knew who it was. My hands began to shake from their grip on Greed's form as tears clouded my vision, and it felt like a mouth was pressed softly to my ear as Greed smirked at me, his eyes softening ever so slightly.
"I love you."
My eyes widened and I froze, and with the gentlest hands he could have ever had, Greed shoved me away.
And his soul slipped from my grip.
A choked cry escaped my throat as I flew backwards, and Ling's arms were suddenly around me, keeping me up as we stared, horrified as Greed turned, a laugh escaping his lips.
"Lan Fan has a Philosopher's Stone with her." Greed smirked. "Take it home with you, kid."
"Wait," Ling started, his hands trembled on my shoulders, and tears were falling uncontrollably now, and I stumbled forward, hands outstretched to grasp him.
Greed laughed, turning his back to us as he faced the vortex sucking him in.
He can't die.
"Wait," Ling repeated, sorrow filling his voice as he stretched a hand out.
I lunged forward, Greed the only thing in sight as my hands stretched out to reach him, grasp him, hold on to him.
He can't die.
"WAIT!" I wailed, and Greed sent me a small smile, one that ripped whatever was left of me into shreds.
And then he was gone.
My body kept moving forward, and suddenly I was tumbling out of Ling's body, whirling around and searching for Father, panting as desperation filled my very being.
I have to tell him.
"Greed!" I exclaimed, and Ling stumbled backwards, falling to the ground as Edward and Lan Fan rushed to him.
"Curse you, Greed!" Father cried, clutching his head.
My eyes snapped back to Ling, and I froze as the Ouroboros tattoo disappeared, vanishing into thin air. I jerked my head around, feeling my knees shake as I threatened to collapse. Where is he?
Father let out a cry, and I noticed that his limbs were beginning to turn gray, slowly deteriorating.
"Why do you revolt against your father, Greed?" Father cried, and I felt myself leap at the sound of his voice.
"Just going through a rebellious phase, pops."
I just got him back. I just got my memories back. I stumbled forward, watching in disbelief as Father's body began to crumble. I know who you are now. All this time...
Why didn't you tell me?
"With this carbonization ability you gave me, I'll turn us into the most brittle carbon form!"
You knew what happened between us.
"You little...!" Father exclaimed.
"The past is only the past after all."
Father reached forward into his mouth, and Greed's soul form appeared. My eyes widened and before anything could be done, Father clamped down his teeth, separating Greed from himself.
"Greed!" I exclaimed, watching in horror as his slowly began to trail upwards, the hand Father had gripped him with disappearing alongside him.
Edward, Ling, and Lan Fan were beside me. But no one else was there in that moment as I stared, unable to do anything as Greed began to slowly disappear. Every part of me screamed out in agony as tears continued to run down my face, hitting the floor uselessly.
"Hey Kitten; I don't think you ever realized it."
Greed's face seemed to turn towards us, and his eyes softened ever so slightly as his final thoughts ran through his head. A smirk touched his lips before settling into a pleased smile.
"I'm kinda glad you didn't."
The bottom half of his face was gone now. My hands began to shake and my knees threatened to buckle underneath me. I bit my lip, withholding the sob beginning to bubble up in the back of my throat.
"In the end..."
I have to tell him.
My eyes shot open and I took a step forward, gripping my heart as tears poured down my face. My eyes sought out Greed and they seemed to meet, if only for a moment as he began to disappear.
"I love you!" I cried, tears pouring endlessly down my face as my shoulders shook uncontrollably. "I love you, damn it!"
The words left my lips with a startling sense of calm. Words that should have been said all too long ago. They were words that were long overdue, and now that they had been spoken, something filled me beneath the agonizing sadness that started to pull in.
And then, with a final glance our way, Greed's eyes seemed to curve into a smile.
And then, he really was gone.
"You could never be my possession."
With a cry, Edward shot forward, his fist shooting through Father's weakened body and coming out from the other end. Father stumbled back weakly, and within seconds, a torrent of souls burst forth from the wound.
I watched mutely as they soared into the sky, finally free of the prison they had been held in. They came one after another, staining the sky crimson. When they finally dispersed, I felt my knees hit the ground, and new tears began to run down my face.
I love you.
The words I had never been able to say were finally spoken.
But the man meant to hear them was gone.
"H-How," Father began, raising handless arms upwards as black hands began to come from the hole Edward had created. "M-My Stone... What... This can't—no!"
My fingers curled into a fist and with a pained cry, I slammed my hand into the floor, feeling the impact jar me to my core as a bolt of electricity ran through, running along Father and causing him to collapse to the floor as his legs broke apart.
"Go back to where you came from," Edward started, his eyes hardening like chips of gold. "Go back to nothing—Homunculus!"
The black tendrils began to engulf Father, causing him to curl in on himself. I watched with hard eyes as he slowly began to disappear, bit by bit.
"But why?" Father exclaimed. "I just wanted to understand—I just wanted to know!"
My gaze widened slightly, and I felt my fingers curl as tears began to hit the floor in front of me.
"I just wanted to be free!"
Then tendrils shoved what last of Father remained, and a pulse shot out through the ground, sending Father back to nothing.
It was over.
Everything, everything was over.
I felt myself slump backwards and firm arms were suddenly around me, keeping me propped up. I turned my gaze weakly to the side and met Ling's eyes.
His eyes were black again.
"Hey, Ling?" I felt his shoulders shake as he brought me closer. "It's over now, right?"
"Yeah," Ling whispered, and I felt something wet drip onto my shoulder as Ling clutched me to him. "I'm sorry, Ghosty. I'm sorry."
Tears pulled over and streaked down my face. I clutched tightly to him, feeling a pain I had never experienced before fill me. It hurt. "For what?"
Sobs began to leave my lips and I through my head back and let out an agonized wail, unable to hold back the pain of what had just transpired, of what had just been lost. Ling clutched me to him so tight I thought he was trying to push me to him. "I'm so sorry."
I continued to cry, wanting to beat my fists against the ground, wanting to curse every thing I ever knew—I just wanted the pain to stop.
He's gone. Some part of me whispered, and I wanted to shake my head and scream, but it was the truth, and you couldn't run from the truth. Gone, gone, gone.
"Is this what you felt like?" I sobbed, bringing my hands up weakly to rub my eyes, but no matter what I did, the tears wouldn't stop. "Are you just getting back at me, damn it?"
"Come back to me!" I wailed, and Ling's hands dug into my back, trying to offer whatever comfort he could.
I'd loved Greed. There was no denying the fact. In my past, I had fallen in love, and now, I had started to do the same. The only difference between then and now was the fact that no matter how wrong it felt, how painful it was, in the end, my heart couldn't fully belong to Greed the same way it did before.
I don't know if what I feel for Ling is love. I shut my eyes, burying my head against his shoulder as he held me tightly. I couldn't choose, I didn't know how. And now...
He was gone.
But I had to tell him. I sucked in a deep breath, trying to quiet myself. I could never leave without him knowing that I loved him.
I didn't get the chance to before.
"I'm sorry." My eyes snapped open at the sob and I turned, spotting Edward and May crouched over a figure. "I'm sorry."
My eyes widened in recognition and disgust filled me at the thought that I was sitting here, wallowing in my own self pity when Alphonse was still in danger. I silently moved from Ling's grip, causing him to look up in alarm as I gently slid my hand into his, moving towards where Edward and Alphonse were.
"I'm so sorry!" May sobbed, and Edward's fist clenched as he kneeled beside his brother's fallen form.
"It's not your fault May." Edward shut his eyes. "It was Al's decision."
"Edward," Ling spoke up, and I glanced to him in surprise. Lan Fan handed over a small vile and I blinked at the crimson liquid. "I've got the toll for him."
Edward looked up in shock and Ling held out the vile. "Take it. It's a Philosopher's Stone. Use it to bring him back."
Hope swelled up in my chest and I turned to Edward, but a look of grief crossed his face and his fists clenched as he hit the ground. "I can't. As much as I want to, I can't. I promised Al we'd never use a Philosopher's Stone."
My mind raced. There had to be some way, Alphonse couldn't be gone just yet, all those travels back and forth taught me that much. There had to be something worth his life.
My fingers twitched, and I snapped my head upwards, realizing what I could do.
A soul for a soul, right?
A firm hand suddenly clasped my own and I froze, looking at Ling sharply. I was met with a hardened gaze as Ling's hand tightened on mine. "Don't you even dare."
My eyes narrowed. "This is Alphonse—"
"I can't lose you too."
The argument died on my lips, and I faltered, unable to continue despite the pain welling up inside of me. After what had just happened, the pain still hadn't left, and if that was how Ling felt when Fu died...
"I love you."
Would it be too cruel to do that to him?
"Edward." I snapped my gaze over and picked out Hohenheim amongst the crowd, his arm slung over Izumi's shoulder. "Use my life for the toll. Use me to save Alphonse."
Edward's eyes grew wide and I felt my chest twist at the sight. "I've got just enough life left."
"No way!" Edward snapped, looking angered by the very thought. "I could never do that, you dumbass! This doesn't have anything to do with you; it's our own damn fault! I won't use another human life to get Al back, and I don't care whose it is! Why should you sacrifice your life for our mistake?"
"Because I'm his father." Hohenheim answered, and I glanced away for a moment, if only slightly envious of a father like that. "And that's all that matters. You don't know how much you boys mean to me. And I just want you to be happy."
"Guess I'm joining you with the bad fathers," I murmured, and Ling glanced to me in confusion. "It's a long story."
"And I do bare some responsibility for this," Hohenheim continued. "If I'd just been there for you, then maybe this wouldn't have happened." His face contorted with pain. "I'm sorry, Ed. I've lived long enough; just give me this chance, to act like a father for once in my life."
Edward's brows furrowed and his hands shook. His eyes glistened for a moment and he gritted his teeth. "Shut up you rotten father! Say something like that again, and I'll knock you out!"
I slipped from Ling and placed a hand on Edward's shoulder as tears began to stream down his face, his shoulders shaking with silent sobs. Hohenheim's face turned into one of pain, and he turned his gaze down to the floor. "I'm sorry."
Edward roughly wiped the tears away, turning to Alphonse's body with desperation. His eyes searched the lifeless armor, as if it would somehow tell him what to do to get his brother back.
"If only we could throw everything Truth gave us right in his face," I muttered, brushing a hand against Al's armor, gritting my teeth. "Damn it."
Edward suddenly stiffened beside me. His head shot upwards and gazed around, looking from person to person. May continued to sob, small shoulders shaking as she whispered apologizes.
The blonde suddenly stood, and I stared at him curiously as he gazed down at Alphonse's body. "May, Ghosty, I need you two to move back a bit."
Hesitantly I complied, moving to stand a little ways by Ling as I watched Edward in confusion. He swiped a stick from the ground and moved to a more open space, the soldiers quickly stepping back to give him room.
I watched in fascination as Edward began to etch marks into the ground, and the second the circle appeared I flinched at the memory of what it meant. Ling stiffened in shock beside me as Edward grinned, finishing the final symbol. "That's a human transmutation circle!"
"I'll be back in a few minutes." Edward promised, a large grin split his lips. "This will be my last transmutation, so stand back and enjoy the show!"
The blonde clapped his hands together, and his palms hit the ground in a burst of blue electricity. Energy shot forth and my eyes widened in shock. Don't tell me.
He only has his life. I felt my eyes grow wide and I started to shake. That idiot alchemist thinks he can—
I stopped, realization settling in. A grin touched my lips and I shook my head in disbelief.
"Edward—" Ling started, but I waved a hand towards him, my grin widening as we waited for the two to reappear again.
I blinked, feeling a jolt run through me. I glanced about, startled. For the sensation wasn't painful, if anything...it almost felt nice. My brows furrowed in confusion, and suddenly, I froze, staring down at my hand.
I'd always been slightly transparent, but this was different.
It was like I was disappearing.
Realization settled in, and I held back a small laugh, feeling the corner of my lips twitch upward as my eyes softened.
Just a little longer, okay?
"Hey! He's waking up!"
My eyes snapped eagerly toward the figure laid gently against the ground. Relief began to fill me to the brim, despite the lingering sadness that I couldn't shake off.
Golden eyes, identical to Edward's opened up slowly, glancing around as if in a daze, before a small smile formed on malnourished lips.
"How're you feeling?" One of the chimeras questioned. "You okay?"
"Everyone..." Alphonse started softly. "You're all...here."
His eyes trailed upwards and his eyes widened slightly. "Dad..."
"Hey," Hohenheim stretched out a hand for his sun. "Welcome back."
Edward gingerly helped his brother sit up, and Alphonse gently clasped his hand with his father's, bony arms shaking slightly, but a pleased smile touching the blonde boy's lips. "Home at last... It's so warm..."
"Alphonse!" I blinked as May ran across, leaping into the boy's arms as sobs left her lips. "I was so scared!"
Alphonse's shock subsided into one of warmth, and his tousled locks fell slightly into his face. "I'm sorry. It's my fault. It was wrong of me to put you through that."
"Looks like you beat me." I murmured, a wry grin touching my lips, and Alphonse glanced up, his eyes widening slowly.
"Ghosty!" A smile touched his lips, and his eyes softened. "I... Thank you."
"What'd I do?" My legs. I allowed myself to slump against Ling, using him as a prop as I smiled down warmly at the boy.
"You've got your memories back," Edward started, a grin touching his lips as his eyes shone fiercely with determination. "Finding your body will be a piece of cake."
"Who're we talking to?" May questioned, looking confused. A few others mimicked the same expression, and Roy's brows were furrowed, as if he were trying his hardest to be able to see me.
The warm feeling began to spread, and I shut my eyes, smiling softly. "Don't worry about it."
"What do you mean?" Edward looked up incredulously. "We owe you after all you've done!"
"Finally giving up that chase?" Ling inquired, a pleased smile on his lips. "I knew you'd warm up to the idea."
"Not really," I answered, and I felt my knees wobble as I gazed upwards at the sky. "I just don't think I'll need it where I'm going."
Edward and Alphonse's faces morphed into one of confusion, and Ling turned his head to face me, confusion also clearly written across his face. I offered all of them a smile and I felt my knees buckle out from under me as I collapsed.
Ling had snatched me a foot from the ground, and he carefully propped me upwards, his eyes wide in shock. "What's wrong? What's going on? Are you hurt—"
"Nothing like that." I whispered. A warm feeling had begun to blossom within me, filling me down to my roots, and engulfing me in a feeling of pure bliss. "I've never felt better."
Ling's eyes grew wide as he saw his hands past me. I lifted my hand up to my eyes, watching in faint awe as flecks of light began to leave me, engulfing my frame.
I didn't get to say I love you to him. I felt a warm smile spread across my lips, stretching me from ear to ear. But I finally did it, didn't I? I did what it was I came back for.
I can move on now.
"Ghosty! Ghosty! Tell me what's going on!" Ling's voice was frantic, panicked, and I felt a trickle of guilt fill me at doing this to him.
"Ghosts are here because they have unfinished business," I murmured, and I watched as dots of light began to go upwards, dispersing in the air. "I guess I finished mine."
Ling's eyes widened, and his face contorted into one of shock. "But—this can't be right—"
"I finally get to move on." I whispered, and the feeling was pure bliss.
There were flecks of fear, but the feeling of calm, of peace, it was all far too welcoming after all that's happened, and I welcomed it with open arms. I felt all tensions and pains ease in my chest, and everything felt right, it all felt perfect.
It was wonderful.
"You can't!" Ling's shout startled me awake, and he was grasping onto me, shaking me slightly. "What did I just tell you—I can't lose you too! Damn it, Ghosty stop this!"
"I can't." I felt my voice crack slightly, and a sorrow broke through the bliss, and I looked up at Ling tearfully. "You promised me, remember? I help you gain immortality, and you help me find my body or if needed, closure."
"We haven't found your body!" Ling exclaimed, and his grip tightened, but I could barely feel it as I felt myself grow limp. There was a touch of desperation in his voice, and he shook me, trying to keep me with him.
"I got the closure I needed." I murmured, everything felt so nice. The feeling made you want to close your eyes and just let it take you where you needed to go. "Deals a deal."
"Don't you dare do this to me!" Ling cried, clutching to me. I felt a tear leak down the corner of my eyes, and I think the only thing I'd be regretting was doing this to him. "Ghosty!"
I had to go where I belonged.
"S'okay." I slurred, reaching up a hand and patting his cheek softly as I felt my eyes flutter. "Lan Fan...will take care of you."
"Ghosty!" Ling shook me, but his eyes grew wide as they passed harmlessly through. His hands began to shake and tears started to form. "You can't do this to me!"
"I thought people from Xing..." I breathed, feeling the world glaze over. "Always keep their word."
"Bye, guys." I murmured softly, letting the feeling of calm overtake me. "I loved... every moment with you..."
I have to give Roy the letter. I let out a deep breath, a smile touching my lips. I don't really want to leave...do I? It'd be nice...to stay just a little longer.
But I'm happy. Warm tears streamed down my cheeks. I got to meet them all.
I'm going to miss them.
I hoped Mustang would be alright. He and mom deserved better, but maybe he'll be able to be happy one day. That one woman—Riza? She'd look after him, she was tough.
I won't forget anything this time, I promise.
Edward and Alphonse would be okay now. They got their bodies back, their dad was with them, and the hell they'd been given was finally gone. They deserved every ounce of happiness they get after all this.
Lan Fan would curse my name a thousand times over, but I knew she'd be strong. That girl had more strength than I could ever hope to have, she'd keep Ling in check. Now Ling was the only one I really felt bad about, and it was cruel to do this to him.
He was the one that saw me when no one else did. He stretched his hand out and led me on a journey that was far more than I could have asked for, but it was thanks to him that I got my memories back. In the end, it was thanks to him for everything.
Should've said thank you. I mused silently, letting the flow take me wherever I was to go. I didn't think it'd be the last time I saw him...
But I'm ready now.
Memories began to flutter by, and a bright light engulfed me. But it wasn't painfully blinding, it was warm, like waking up to the sun warming your face.
It was right.
My feet touched solid, and my eyes fluttered open. My brows furrowed in confusion, and I gazed around at the blank white expanse, tilting my head in curiosity at the blankness before me.
Where am I?
"Hurry it up, will you, brat?"
I froze, and my eyes grew round as slowly, I allowed myself to turn.
My breath caught in my throat, and everything within me seemed to pause in time as my eyes soared over each familiar face, feeling a warmth beginning to blossom in my chest.
Dolcetto looked annoyed as he rubbed his neck, glancing off to the side almost awkwardly. He had that sort of embarrassed look, and Martel was standing beside him, a wry grin on her lips as she propped a hand on her hip, looking expectant.
Roa stood behind them, silent and strong as he inclined his head softly. Bido's reptilian tail swung out behind him, and he grinned hugely, twiddling with his fingers as he waited.
The chimeras I had grown to know and love from the place that had become my home stood, waiting patiently, and my eyes searched the crowd for one figure almost desperately, and they didn't stop until they landed on their mark.
The stupid leather vest he wore moved as he rolled his shoulders, causing the downy fur to move with him. He leaned on one leg, hand propped lazily against his hip as he watched me calmly, expectantly.
A feeling of happiness threatened to take me whole, and I shut my eyes, reveling in the bliss of the moment.
They were all here.
My eyes snapped open and I moved towards them, as if in a dream. Greed's eyes met mine and a smirk pulled on his lips as I grinned, feeling my heart swell with joy at the sight of them all.
I was home.
"Where am I?" Ling whirled around, searching the vast expanse of white desperately. "Ghosty! Ghosty! Answer me!"
One moment, everything had been fine—they'd finally done it. The war had been one, they could go back. Then Ghosty disappeared, and a light had flashed and he was here.
"You won't get to her like that." Ling jerked, turning sharply and narrowing his eyes at the sound of the voice.
"Who's there?" Dark hues watched as a figure stepped from the shadows, and his eyes grew wide. "...Ghosty?"
No. The second Ling said it, he knew he was wrong. As much as she looked like Ghosty, her face was older, matured, while Ghosty had an air of childishness to her. And while Ghosty's eyes were a beautiful red, hers were of every shade of blue.
"This isn't like before, is it?" Ling murmured warily, taking a step back, and the woman looked amused, shaking her head softly.
"Nothing of the sort." The woman smiled. "I'm not interested in stealing my daughter's boyfriends."
Ling froze, eyes widening in disbelief, and the woman's eyes were soft as she gently ushered him forward. "You're—"
"Do you love her?"
Ling paused, taken back by the sudden question. But he met her gaze, and watched the way she seemed to search him to the depths of his soul, trying to figure out whether or not he truly cared for her daughter.
"Yes." Ling answered, and there was no hesitation in his voice. Despite what had happened, despite the past she may have had with Greed, he'd gladly follow her to the ends of the earth. Ghosty was something that once he'd gotten a hold of, he refused to let go. "I do."
Amelia stared at the boy before her a little longer before a grin touched her lips. "I approve then."
"Where's Ghosty?" Ling began desperately, searching as far as he could see, but only coming up with white. "I was there one moment, and now I'm here—where is she? How'd I get here?"
"I can take you to where she is." Amelia murmured softly, shutting her eyes, she silently apologized to the love of her life. "But in the end, it has to be her choice."
Ling's brows furrowed, and Amelia turned, staring at the door that had appeared beside them. "She's on the other side—and I promise, no tricks. But you won't be able to do more than try and convince her, because she must choose what is it she wants."
"What does she have to choose from?" Ling questioned, his brows furrowed in confusion and worry. He had to get to Ghosty, but this woman—she knew something and was holding it back from him.
Amelia's eyes flickered, and she gave Ling an encouraging pat on the back. "You can only do your hardest to convince her. She must choose herself whether or not she wants life or death."
Ling's eyes narrowed. "Isn't that choice obvious? Why would she have doubts on something like that?"
"Because," Amelia's eyes were warm, and it oddly made Ling feel at ease, as if he could trust this woman without a second's doubt. "She has to choose whether or not to live in the past or the present."
Ling's eyes grew wide, and Amelia used both her hands, shoving him forward. Ling stumbled, turning back to open his mouth, but she was already waving a good bye, her eyes warm as the doors shut behind him.
He felt he was imagining it, but it almost looked as if she were crying.
"Is this really what you want?"
My feet paused on their own, and I stared straight ahead at the people waiting for me, bright grins and annoyed scowls on their faces.
Home was waiting for me.
Greed's eyes shone through his sunglasses, giving the amethyst eyes a sharp glint, and his shark like grin was present as they stood, waiting.
What am I waiting for then?
A gust of wind blew from behind, sending my hair flying past me. I blinked, carefully turning from my spot to stare, wide eyed at the door in front of me.
I took a hesitant step back, afraid that something had finally come to wake me up from this wonderful dream and pull me back into a nightmare.
The door slowly pried open, both sides swinging outwards. I felt myself tense, unsure of what to prepare for. The opening led to nothing but darkness, and I frowned, brows furrowing in confusion.
I don't need that name anymore.
My eyes widened as a hand shot out from the darkness, slowly prying itself forward, inch by inch. I stared, unable to move as Ling shot forward, black tendrils keeping him at bay and from completely leaving the door. "Ghosty! Come on, quick! Grab my hand!"
"Ling...?" I breathed, unable to believe the sight before me. "You can't be dead—what're you doing here—"
"Like hell I'll believe your dead!" Ling snapped, and I flinched at the edge to his voice. Ling struggled against the hands pulling him back, face lined with desperation as he reached out to me. "Ghosty! Grab my hand!"
I stared at the hand stretching its way out to me. Ling grimaced against the hands, pulling as far from the door as he could to reach me.
Could I go back?
"You don't belong here, Ling." I began quietly, feeling my eyes soften as I turned my gaze downwards, eyes flickering back to the people behind me. "Go back."
"I'll be damned if I leave here without you!" Ling exclaimed, he grit his teeth, struggling to release himself of the door. "You're coming back with me!"
"You have a country to go back to," I murmured. "I have somewhere else I need to go, they've been waiting for awhile now, you know? I can't keep them waiting any longer..."
"What about Edward?" Ling shouted, and I paused, gold flickering in my head. "What about Alphonse? Lan Fan? Even that stupid cat—what about everyone? That's what you need to go back too!"
I felt something within me stir, but I shook my head. "I can move on now—"
I stared at Ling in disbelief as he clawed his way forward. "Since when were you so willing to go by the rules? What happened to the stubborn idiot I fell in love with?"
"Who're you calling an idiot?" I muttered exasperatedly, feeling my brows furrow as I shook my head. "You're stuck in a door."
"You'll be a real idiot if you choose death over a chance to live." Ling answered quietly, and I glanced back to him with wide eyes.
"There is a world out there still for you to see," Ling began, and the door seemed to relent, for he seemed to grow closer and closer. "A world filled with things you haven't even explored, aren't there things you still want to do? Are you really satisfied with dying now?"
I froze in place. Ling wasn't getting closer. My feet had slowly but surely started to carry me towards the door with every word that left his lips, and his eyes shone with such fierce hope and desperation, that I felt myself wanting to get closer.
"Don't you want to grow old?" Ling swept on, almost furiously. "Don't you want to live life with your friends—don't you want to live?"
"I'm fine like this," I shook my head, turning to Ling, I offered him a smile. "I'm happy like this."
"Then why are you crying?"
I blinked, and sure enough, a single tear rolled down my cheek. I hesitantly reached up, realizing that my face was wet. "I-I—"
"If you're so sure about dying," Ling started, and his eyes narrowed at me challengingly. "Then I'm sure you wouldn't be crying then, right?"
"Idiot!" I snapped, roughly wiping my tears as I felt my shoulders begin to shake. "Don't you think this is hard enough for me as it is? I—I want to see everyone again, I want to make fun of Edward, I want to get into fights with Lan Fan—I want that."
My heart dropped ten feet below me and I slumped, offering him a small smile. "But I want to be with them too."
Ling's eyes grew round and I took a step away from him. "Thanks for everything you've done for me, you idiot."
"Ghosty," Ling started, and his eyes were wide, desperate as he struggled against the door. "Ghosty!"
"You should find yourself a pretty girl," It felt like I'd been stabbed all over again, but I gave Ling a grin. "Have Lan Fan check her out first though, I trust her judgment more than yours."
"Ghosty!" Ling's fought against the hands and pulled, reaching outwards towards me. I felt a pang in my chest, but I shook my head. It was for the best. "Ghosty, come back! I'm not leaving without you!"
I prepared to turn, a small smile on my face as I sucked in a breath. I was ready. This was where I was meant to be, where I should be. I belonged here, and I was okay with that.
But before I could take the step forward, I did the one thing that made the final decision for me.
Large hands suddenly shoved me forward and I blinked, unable to keep myself from stumbling a few feet forward as well.
But that was all Ling needed.
His hand snatched mine and I turned, staring in shock as Greed rocked back on his heels, observing me in amusement.
Realization began to settle in and I took a step forward, but Ling's grip was tight, and I knew he wouldn't let go, and inwardly, some part of me didn't want him to let go. I stared at Greed, wide eyed and unable to speak as he took a calm step backwards, a smirk playing on his lips.
One by one, they all turned, flashing me a smile or a grin and some even a wave as they disappeared from view altogether. Ling's grip on my arm pulled me towards him, and the black hands began to tug at me, pulling me through the door.
"Wait," I started, something began to fill my chest and I felt my eyes blur as I reached my free hand towards Greed. "Wait, why—"
Greed turned on his heel, languidly walking from me. My eyes grew wide and I felt my hand tremble as I reached for him. "Wait!"
It felt wrong, wanting to live so badly. I should have been fine now, I should have been grateful. But I was greedy, and I wanted to live, I wanted to see everyone again.
I'd made my choice without even realizing it.
"Don't go," I begged, reaching forward as the hands slowly began to pull me through the door. "Wait, please."
In choosing life, I'd given up eternity with them. I let out a choked sob, stretching towards him. "Greed!"
The homunculus paused, and I froze, watching as he turned his head. Slowly, just enough that I could see, his lips curled upwards in his trademark smirk.
But why did that look so much like a smile?
Greed's eyes were warm, and there was a light in them that gave me a burst of strength as a new wave of tears washed over me.
"See ya later, Kitten."
My lips trembled, and tears fell down my eyes, but slowly, I forced my lips upwards in a crooked grin as I gazed at him, happiness and sorrow filling me to the brim.
"See ya later, Greed."
He smirked, looking pleased, and turned, raising a hand up and giving me a wave so that the back of his hand was facing me, showing met he tattoo.
I drank in his form, his figure, this moment, burning it into my memory for as long as I lived as I shut my eyes, tears streaking down the sides as a smile touched my lips.
I promise I won't forget you this time.
And slowly, the doors closed, like gates locking me out of heaven.
"Amazing," Truth grinned, lips pulling upward in an eerily large grin as it tilted its head. "You just gave up the last chance you had at going back."
Amelia stared at the door a moment, letting the last tear fall as she turned to face the white figure before her. "Something had to be given up for them to go back, right?"
"You lied to her." Truth mused, and Amelia shrugged, sliding her hands into her pockets as she gazed at the door before her, eyes soft. "All of this for someone who isn't even your daughter."
"I'd like to think she's mine." Amelia smiled softly, turning around to face Truth. "You're quite the chatter box are you?"
"I'm only interested." Truth admitted, raising his hands up. "When you humans act the right way, it's always interesting."
Truth's grin widened. "You could've gone back, be reunited with the one you loved, and get a second chance at life, but you let it all go."
Amelia glanced to the door, the one that had appeared when she'd been transmuted, granting her the knowledge of alchemy. Though it was pretty much useless now.
"I'm sure if you were human, you might do the same thing." Amelia mused, and she shut her eyes, holding back the tears that wanted to leak through. "I didn't think it would be this hard though."
"You know, one of the Elric boys did something interesting." Truth mused, and Amelia glanced to him, knowing he wouldn't bring it up for the sake of conversation. "To get his brother back, he gave up his alchemy."
Amelia's eyes widened in disbelief. That was a hefty price, one that would be hard to live with. "Brave kid."
"Indeed," Truth sighed, nodding his head almost sadly as he gazed at Amelia's own door. "He gave up what you have right here."
Amelia froze, slowly turning to look at Truth with wide eyes as he continued to talk idly. "Quite the sacrifice you know."
A smile began to spread across her face, and she let her fingers skim over the door, feeling it one last time as she turned to Truth. "And I thought you were supposed to be cruel?"
"I like to keep them guessing." Truth grinned, revealing pearly whites as tears leaked from Amelia's eyes. "What are you so happy about?"
"Hey Truth," Roy's face came into her mind, and she felt her heart swell with happiness as she laid her palm against the door. "Let's make a deal."
The second I came too, I knew something was different.
Slowly, I felt my eyes open, meeting nothing but sun and blue skies, lined with clouds of all shapes in sizes. The light was blinding and I quickly rolled over, groaning at the pain and aching that began to emit from my body. It felt as if I hadn't moved in years.
My eyes snapped open and I shot upwards, only to wince, feeling the soreness spread all over. My whole body felt weak, shaky, as if any second I'd blow over.
"Ghosty?" My gaze turned and met eyes of dark hues, border lining a dark blue to black, and I felt my breath catch in my throat as Ling's eyes searched my face carefully, hopefully. "Are you alright?"
Everything hurt as if I'd been hit by a truck, but slowly, unable to deny the happiness in my heart at being god damn alive, I turned to Ling, feeling my lips twitch upwards.
"Guess it's just one of those days."
Within seconds, his arms were around me and I had been tackled to the floor. I felt my eyes water and I clutched him back just as tight, burying my face into his shoulder as he began to yell and lecture me about how stupid I was.
But all I could feel was his heart, listening to the erratic beating matching in pace with my own.
Quickly, I detached myself from Ling, abruptly shoving myself away. I lunged forward and swiped a piece of debris from the ground, finding a sharp angle and quickly dragging it along my palm.
There was a flash of pain, but I watched, mesmerized as no creepy purple liquid came through, and instead, the dark, ruby color of blood lined the cut before trailing down the side of my hand.
I was bleeding.
"Ling!" I turned to the prince with wide eyes, feeling excitement begin to bubble up within me. "Look! I'm bleeding—"
Ling's hand shot out, quickly swatting the piece of metal from my hands as he held my bleeding hand away from me and towards him. "Have you gone mad? What are you doing—"
"Who's this?" Darius shot back in surprise, and everyone's eyes were wide with surprise, save for Ed and Alphonse and Hohenheim, who could see me all along. "How'd she get here?"
"Ghosty..." Edward breathed, blinking in amazement as a grin started to touch his lips. "Don't tell me—"
I placed a hand to my chest, and sure enough, beating strongly and erratically was my heart.
I had my body back.
"Son of a bitch," I murmured, turning to Ling in disbelief as I gazed at him in awe, gratitude and happiness filling me at the sight of him. "When I went to the other side, I was whole, and you brought me and my body back."
Ling blinked, looking startled as he reached a hand out and laid it against my cheek. I didn't move, letting his fingers ghost over my skin as he felt the warmth beneath it, the blood moving and the energy pumping. Life.
I froze, turning around, Roy was cradling a hurt arm, but he stared at me in disbelief. Dark hues were filled with longing and sadness as he gazed at me, and I realized what it must've looked like to him, seeing me here. But I could only imagine what it must've felt like to see a near copy of the woman you loved.
"No," I shook my head softly, looking up at Roy with an apologetic smile. "She was my aunt."
Roy blinked and Riza's eyes had turned towards the floor, a look of sorrow on both of their faces as they remembered their fallen comrade. I blinked in realization and turned to Edward, practically tackling him to the floor as I searched his pockets.
Edward's face flushed red and everyone looked on in bewilderment as I dug further. I remembered I had told him to keep them, but I had asked Edward to hang on to a few, just in case I changed my mind about reading them.
"G-Ghosty! What're you—"
"Found it!" I cried triumphantly, pulling out the crumpled envelope and staring at it in amazement. "Thanks Edward!"
"For what?" The blonde spat, looking frizzled and embarrassed. "What the hell was that for?"
"We make it through a war and near death," Ling muttered, sounding crossed as he stared at Edward foully. "And the first thing you do is jump on another guy?"
I made a move to stand and faltered, surprised at how weak my body felt. Then again, it'd been away, laid in sleep until I finally came back to it.
Put work out on my ever growing list. Edward had offered me a hand, helping me straighten myself as I walked over awkwardly to Mustang, the black haired male watching me in confusion and slight pain.
My breath was coming out labored from the stress put on my newly reunited body, but with a large grin, I handed the envelope to him, meeting his gaze as his eyes grew wide in recognition. "She told me to give you this."
Roy stiffened, looking at me with wide eyes and I offered him a sheepish smile. "She's sorry she didn't get the chance to get it to you before it happened."
Riza let out a silent gasp, her eyes widening as she brought her hands up to clutch herself. Roy's finger traced over the neat though curved handwriting, his eyes darkening as he slowly fumbled for the top, prying it open.
His hands began to tremble as he held the paper in his hands, and his eyes darted back and forth, taking in each word and sentence hungrily until I knew it had reached the end.
Tears pulled over in Riza's eyes and she turned, shoulders shaking as Roy grit his teeth, tears streaming down freely from his face as he clutched the letter to himself, shutting his eyes tightly. "Damn it, Lia. Damn it!"
Roy brought a hand up to his face, holding it there as he tried to hold back the sobs shaking his shoulder. Riza cupped her hands over her mouth, tears poring over in her eyes as her slim shoulder began to shake as well.
Softly, I laid a hand over Roy's, and he paused, looking up at me through tear stained eyes as I felt tears threaten to fall from my eyes as well.
I was so sick of crying.
"I love you," I repeated the words she had whispered into my ear before we parted. "Don't ever forget, okay?"
Look at that! I'm using your first name for once, eh Colonel? If you're reading this, than maybe I got lucky. Maybe my hunch was wrong or I was able to pull through, and I'm laughing right now over the fact that I even bothered to write this letter.
I don't think that's it though.
I know I've been acting weird, and I'm not exactly sorry, but it's not your fault, so don't get panicky now. I told you about how my step-brother has been... not himself since my sister left, and I've been looking after their daughter and him, making sure he's alright. But I know now that he isn't, and he needs help, and I have to be there for Liz's daughter, because I'm the only one she has left. I'm writing this for the sole reason that I'm afraid that when I step into that house tonight, I might not comeback.
And I want you to know that I love you, so, so much.
Through it all, you're the only one I could have ever loved, and I've enjoyed every minute I've gotten to be with you. I truly think I'm blessed, to have a man like you beside me, and I only pray that I'll get to see your beautiful eyes and make fun of you again. Don't hate me; don't get mad, because I'm sorry to do this to you. As much as I want to put us before anything else, I can't. I promised Liz, and if I can't go through with one commitment, I wouldn't be able to live with myself by making another.
Yeah, Hughes kinda spilled the beans on that one to me.
I regret nothing as I head towards what may possibly be my death. I regret nothing but one thing, and that thing is you. I love you to the ends of the earth Roy Mustang, and as cliché as it sounds, I can't deny it. And if I'd been at home like I said I was that night, and opened up my door to see you and your stupid face, with roses and a ring in your hand, I want you to know that I would've said yes.
I pray to whatever God is out there that I can see you again, Roy. I wish with every fiber of my being, that I can see you again.
Wish me luck, would you?
Love, forever and always,
I let out a tired sigh, one arm slung around Lan Fan for support as we walked beside Ling.
"Ghosty, I think you should let me carry you—"
"You're body's weak! Look at Alphonse—"
"I feel pretty good."
"Then at least use me as a sling—"
"I trust Fanny more than you." I answered tersely, and Ling pouted, looking as if he'd been struck.
Lan Fan shifted, and a jolt of fear ran through me as I nearly fell. "What was that for?"
"Speak to me like that again demon and I'm dropping you." Lan Fan answered, her eyes trained forward as she wrapped an arm around my waist, keeping me steady despite her threat. "You have to get better so I can kick your ass."
"Makes me not want to," I murmured, rolling my eyes, but unable to stop the smile on my lips. My eyes landed on the two blondes and May's small figure and I grinned. "Hey! It's Alphonse and Edward!"
My eyes flickered curiously to May, remembering that this girl was also from Xing like Ling was, and a princess from another clan as well. I suddenly felt sick at the idea that there were over a dozen more of these Xingese princes and princesses running about, and I paled, shuddering at the thought.
But her shoulders shook softly and I blinked in confusion. Why would she be crying?
She's from Xing.
I paused, letting the information sink in as I stared at the girl almost pityingly. Ling had the Philosopher's Stone, meaning the Yao clan would come to power. But what would happen to all the other clans then?
Politics. I grumbled under my breath, turning to Ling to try and somehow convince him to help this girl out. I hate them.
God forbid I ever get involved with any royal court.
But before a single word could leave my mouth, Ling began to walk towards the three, Lan Fan following, thus bringing me along as well. "Hey you, princess from the Chan clan!"
The girl blinked, shooting up and turning to Ling with a fierce look on her face, the cat-bear looking animal on her shoulder letting out furious growls. "Ling Yao!"
"Someone's not very popular with the ladies," I mused, and May's eyes darted to me suspiciously before turning back to Ling, her eyes narrowing in a glare that didn't suite her young face.
"Whoa, don't give me that scary look." Ling sighed, casually unaffected by any of the girl's glares. The Xingese prince crouched down before her, and she flinched. "You're such a klutz. In the end, you were unable to obtain a Philosopher's Stone because you were meddling in another country's affairs."
"Hey," I blinked in disbelief, staring at Ling and turning to Lan Fan. "Is this what you people are like?"
"Everyone is one their own for the fight to be ruler." Lan Fan murmured, and I scrunched up my nose, shaking my head in disgust.
"Man, you guys are cruel."
"Your country's leader was planning on sacrificing the entire nation to become God."
"The Yao clan will now be in control." Ling confirmed finally, holding the Philosopher's Stone vial up for May to see, and the girl's eyes filled with tears, despite how hard she was trying to hold them back.
Ling's face was unmoving and tears streaked down May's face, her cat doing the same. I felt irritation swell up within me and I took a step forward, prepared to smack the idiot when Lan Fan held me back, shaking her head and gazing forward, but the corner of her lip seemed to curve upwards slightly.
"But don't fret," Ling sighed, his shoulders slumping. "Our clan will protect yours."
May's eyes grew wide and I slumped, staring at the idiot before me. Some part of me wondered when he had become so strong, no longer that goofy idiot, but someone who's shoulders were broad, and you looked up to them for guidance.
He looked like a leader.
"I'm the man who even accepted the homunculus Greed," I couldn't stop the flinch at the name, but a small smile touched my lips. "I'll accept the Chan clan along with all of the other clans."
I sighed, eyes softening as tears began to stream down May's face and Ling grinned. "Just look at you." He placed a hand on her head, ruffling it softly. "Don't worry. People from Xing always keep promises, right?"
"You'll 'accept us all'?" May sobbed, and the cat on her shoulder rubbed its nose. "That's so greedy, Ling Yao!"
Ling blinked, looking startled by the comment before he groaned, rubbing the back of his head. "Ah, maybe he rubbed off on me."
"He's that kind of guy," I mused, glancing to the side and turning my gaze upwards, a smile twisting its way onto my lips. "Bastard."
Edward and Alphonse grinned, and Ling smiled, letting out a relieved sigh as he stood. "Well, then... Guess we should start heading back."
I turned around sharply, staring at Ling with wide eyes as Edward took a step forward in surprise. "Already?"
"Yeah." Ling placed his hands on his hips, smiling faintly. "I want to give Fu a proper burial."
Edward grinned, holding his fist up to Ling. "Later."
Ling grinned in return, his fist bumping his. "Later."
Alphonse blinked, turning to me curiously. "Ghosty, what are you going to do now?"
I blinked at him as well, looking to the ground in amazement as I realized that everything finally was over, I had to decide what I wanted to do now.
Before, it had seemed all I had in mind was to get my memory and my body back, and now, I had both of those. Everything I'd been looking for had been found, and now I was free to do what I wanted.
"Let's run away."
"Maybe I'll travel the world?"
"Whatever it is, you're stuck with me."
"Now, huh?" I moved myself gingerly from Lan Fan, standing on my own and gazing down at my hands. "It's all over..."
"If you need a place to stay," Edward began, a grin on his lips. "Our home is always open."
"Especially since you just got your body back," Al added, a warm smile on his face. "You need to rest up and get your strength back."
I stared at them, feeling my face grow warm at their words. A warm feeling began to spread through me and I smiled, eyes softening. "Yeah—"
"Oh, there's no need." A firm hand landed on my shoulder and I blinked as Ling grinned stupidly beside me. "Because she's coming with us to Xing."
Al blinked in confusion and Edward blinked at Ling as if he'd grown another head. I stared ahead, trying to process what I'd just heard. "Huh?"
Ling's grin widened and I yelped as I was suddenly swept off the floor, Ling cradling me in his arms bridal style. "And once we get back, we're going to get married!"
I stared at Ling as if he'd been bumped on the head—no, he had been bumped on his head. This idiot was as stupid as they came. Alphonse looked surprised, and Edward was spluttering nonsense as Ling continued to beam happily, looking as proud as a peacock.
Lan Fan looked startled, her eyes growing wide. "Y-Young Lord, you have to think about this—"
"What's there to think about?" Ling blinked at Lan Fan innocently. "I love her, so it's only right that we get married."
"But as emperor—"
"We should come back here for our honeymoon!" Ling grinned, turning to me with an excited look on his face. "What do you think Ghosty?"
I jerked my fist upwards, watching in satisfaction as Ling's head jerked upwards with the collision of the punch. As Ling toppled back I leapt from his arms, landing a bit shakily on the ground as Lan Fan began to hover about him, checking to see if he was okay while casting me glares.
Ling looked up at me in disbelief, holding his jaw and staring at me with wide eyes. "What was that for?"
"Since when did you get to decide my life?" I blew on my hand, trying to numb the stinging sensation and gave Ling a dark glare. "Marriage isn't something I really want to consider."
"Well, we can wait and talk about—"
"Ever." I remembered my own parents and shuddered. "Rather stay single for the rest of my life, actually. It all seems like way to much work."
"But—" Ling looked like a kicked puppy, holding his face and staring at me imploringly. "This is how the story always ends!"
"Mine isn't done yet." I felt a grin touch my lips, and my eyes hardened. I knew what I had to do now. I glanced to Edward and Alphonse. "I may take you up on that offer from time to time whenever I'm around if you don't mind."
Alphonse shook his head, assuring me not to worry, and Edward looked at me curiously. "What're you planning on doing?"
She's still alive.
"I'm going to look for my mom." I answered, and once the words left my mouth, they were set in stone. I wasn't about to leave any part of my life unsolved, and I was going to find that woman and have a long chat with her. "She's out there somewhere, and I'm going to find her."
"I thought," Ling broke off, and he looked troubled for a moment. "Ghosty, on the other side, when I went back to get you, there was a woman—"
"My aunt." I answered automatically, but I turned to Ling then, looking at him in confusion. "Wait, ginger hair and blue eyes, right?"
Ling nodded and I frowned. "Why would she..."
Use me as the toll.
There's a price.
I froze, my mind reeling in realization, and Ling suddenly looked worried, reaching a hand out as if to steady me, but I waved him away, feeling something swell in my chest.
She's the only one I'll ever call mom. I vowed silently, holding back the tears and gazing up at the sky, eyes hardening. "I'm going to travel all around the world, and I'm going to find her."
I want to ask her why.
"Not bad," Edward grinned, ruffling my head with his hand. "Maybe we'll cross paths every now and then, eh?"
I grinned in return at the blonde. "Is that a promise?"
"Wait a second," Ling was suddenly in front of me, bearing down on me with his height as he shoved Edward out of the way. "I refuse to simply let you slip from my grip and disappear of the face of the earth."
"Ah, I'll write." I shrugged, sliding my hands into my pockets. Man am I glad I had clothes on. "Probably."
"Ghosty!" Ling exclaimed, looking at me furiously. "I refuse to let you leave—"
"You don't own me, Ling." I knew they sounded harsh, but I had to get them out and to Ling. The prince looked as if he'd been struck, and I sighed, shaking my head. "I can never repay you for all that you've done—Ling, you're a precious person to me, and I'll always remember that."
I felt my eyes harden in determination. "But I have something I need to do." I turned my gaze back to him. "Just like you."
Ling flinched and his shoulders slumped. A pout pulled at his lips, and Ling ruffled his head in annoyance. "So stubborn!"
"You wouldn't have it any other way." A thought came to mind and I glanced sideways, where the road lead downwards. "You're headed back to Xing right?"
"Yeah," Ling suddenly looked hopeful. "Have you changed your mind?"
"No." I rolled my eyes, and I felt my heart stir. "I think I'll tag along for a little bit."
The familiar words flickered through my mind and I shut my eyes.
"There's somewhere I need to visit."
My eyes gazed up at the sign in front of me, and a torrent of emotions I couldn't even begin to describe filled me, nostalgia being at the top of them all.
Everything about it screamed neglect. It was obvious by the run down sign and boarded door and windows, that this place was closed, abandoned.
Not to me.
The Devil's Nest.
"Where are we?" Ling questioned, standing beside me, a welcome presence as I faced a ghost of my past. "This seems kind of...familiar."
"I don't know how much you saw of Greed's memories," I started, stepping forward and testing the door. The boards were placed sloppily, and there was a big enough gap to step through if you could open the door. "But I guess you could say this was sort of his home when he was the first Greed."
The rusted knob screeched in my hands, and I jiggled the lock, smirking slightly as the door pushed open with a groan, a cloud of dust following it. I sucked in a deep breath before stepping through, motioning for Ling to follow as I felt my feet hit the floor.
The wooden floorboards groaned at the sudden weight, and true enough, this place had been abandoned for a long time now.
Home sweet home.
"Make yourself comfortable." My fingers ghosted over the bar counter, where Martel would stand, effortlessly serving drinks or wiping down glasses.
My eyes turned to the wide space of the bar, taking it all in.
A few tables were toppled over, and dust was the bar's best friend. My eyes scanned over the booths, lingering on the two couches, and burning every single inch of the place back into my mind.
"Little brat, come back here!"
"Try and catch me, dog!"
"You're all too loud."
"I want to play too!"
"Down that hall," I turned to the side, following where I pointed for Ling. "Led to the showers—damn, there were some odd incidents in that place. And then Greed's room was down there to." My gaze turned. "Then the stairs lead to most of the rooms, and then the kitchen was there, and the storage was there..."
Ling was silent as the memories all clicked in place, and I slowly made my way to the back of the bar, where it opened up to a small lot of grass, serving as a sort of alleyway backyard.
Memories of Dolcetto trying to teach me how to defend myself filled me, and I smiled softly, walking across the backyard to stop in front of one place in particular.
I felt Ling stiffen, but I crouched down before the headstone, staring at the grave as it stared back at me, silent.
"I'm home." I whispered quietly, shutting my eyes for a moment before offering a grin. "Sorry it took me so long guys."
A breeze whistled by, and I traced my fingers over the words carved into the gravestone, a wry grin touching my lips.
"Hey Ling?" Ling turned his head, glancing down at me. "Can you do me a favor?"
"Of course," I smiled, shaking my head slightly.
"Repeat after me, okay?"
Ling looked confused, but I turned and kept my gaze on the gravestone.
"A-L-I-C-E, M-O-N-I-C-A, L-I-T-H-E-R-S." I spelled aloud, and Ling blinked, but repeated the letters, and I shut my eyes.
Realization seemed to dawn on him, and Ling stared at me incredulously. "...Alice Monica Lithers."
I shuddered, and a weird feeling filled me at the sound. I wrinkled my nose and turned to him, grinning faintly. "I think I like Ghosty better."
Ling grinned. "Alice... Alice, huh? Rather girly for someone like you."
So that was my name.
"I wonder what she was thinking," I sighed, shaking my head in exasperation. That bastard knew all along. "Man, it's going to take me awhile to get used to that."
"Alice," Ling tasted the name on his lips. "I like the sound of it, but I'm a bit fonder of Ghosty."
"I have to agree with you there." I leaned back, letting my hands curl into the grass. "It's weird to be looking your own grave in the eye."
My fingers brushed against something hard and I paused, glancing down and digging my nails into the dirt. The ground shifted slightly, and bits of grass pulled apart as a beaten knife glinted dully in the sun, a pocket knife.
My pocket knife.
Surprised, I jerked it from where it was buried and let it sit in my hands as I brushed clumps of dirt off the worn metal. My gaze softened, and I glanced from the knife and back to the grave.
Leaning forward, I dug the knife into a blank space. It took a few tries, but the dull blade finally cooperated, allowing me to scratch in a few words before I stood, slipping it back into my pocket.
My name was lightly scratched through, and I gazed at the words that stared back at me.
Greed the Avaricious.
And The Devil's Nest Gang.
I smiled then, sadness trickling through me as I pressed my fingers to my lips before pressing it to the gravestone. "See ya around."
"Ghosty," Ling started, and I turned, blinking at him curiously.
"What is it—"
My eyes grew wide as lips pressed firmly against mine, soft but firm, and Ling's arm slipped around my waist, while the other pressed against the back of my head, holding me in place.
I felt my cheeks flush and I quickly broke the kiss, staring at him in disbelief. "What was that—"
Ling ducked down and pressed his lips once more, firmer this time, rougher. It didn't have the sweetness the first one did, and it made my knees weak as he tried to convey a flurry of emotions.
I turned my head and brought my hands up, using them to hold Ling's face before he tried to suffocate me again. "What the hell was that?" My heart was pounding like mad, and it annoyed me how much my cheeks burned.
"Ghosty," Ling started, and he leaned forward, pressing his forehead to mine. "I know that you loved Greed." I flinched, but Ling swept on. "And I can never take or replace those feelings, nor do I want to.
"But my feelings for you remain the same." Ling stared deeply into my eyes, and I felt my knees threaten to buckle if it weren't for his arms. "I love you, and nothing will ever change that. No matter where you go, I'll wait for you."
"That sounds so stupid," I whispered, but some part of me swelled with happiness, unable to deny the feeling as sadness threatened to overcome me as Greed flashed through my mind. "You'll be waiting forever, idiot."
"I don't think so," Ling's lips twisted into a grin. "Unlike you, I have faith in you, Ghosty. And right here, right now, I vow to you, that the second we meet again, you had better be prepared."
Ling leaned forward, and I took a stumbling step back as he smirked. "Because I'll make you fall in love with me too."
What did I do to deserve this? I shook my head, staring at the male before me in disbelief. I don't deserve a guy as great as this. "Fat chance."
"I warn you though," Ling's smirk twisted upwards. "If you ever set foot in Xing, I don't plan on letting you go."
"Remind me not to go to Xing," I drawled, but I shut my eyes and my grip on Ling tightened. "You idiot."
"Is that all you have to say?" Ling murmured, and he ran his fingers through my hair softly. "Shouldn't you be confessing your love to me too?"
"As if." I took a step away from him, feeling my cheeks heat up. "The next time we meet—"
I put a hand to my chest, and I narrowed my eyes, meeting Ling's gaze with my own. "—I'll be able to tell you what you mean to me."
There was a moment of silence, and it dawned on me the lame words that had left my mouth. My cheeks began to heat up and I stuttered, stumbling back a few steps as Ling stared at me, as if in a daze. "T-That—that's not what I meant—"
"I look forward to it then."
I paused, and Ling grinned at me, a faintly exasperated look on his face, but one of happiness and love. "I'm keeping you to your word."
I spluttered, unable to take back what I had said, but then I stopped, letting my shoulders slump in defeat as I felt the corner of my lip pull upwards in a crooked smile. "I always keep my promises."
And that was that.
My eyes sought out the sky, and I sucked in a deep breath, letting the wind around me tease my hair, causing it to flutter about me.
My best choice was to visit Roy first, learn whatever he knew about my mother, and from then on, I would use whatever leads he could give me to start my search, no matter where it took me. I would find my mother, and I would get the chance to get closure on the matter of what happened in my family.
But despite the fearsome idea of traveling all around the world, I wasn't scared.
I had my body, my memories, my name, none of which I would ever give up again. But with those things beside me, I knew that when I stepped out of the home of my past, I would be able to live my future. After today, a different sort of journey would begin for me.
And I was ready to meet it head on.
Have you ever woken up one morning and just felt that today would be a crappy day? Like, you wake up, and you just feel like crap. No question about it.
And when you wake up and feel crappy, meaning you start off your morning crappy, that probably means the entire day will be crappy.
You can hope it'll get better, and sometimes it does, but usually, it just sucks.
But then you can get up, open up your eyes, and slide out of bed. You can roll your shoulders and stare out the window, and know that things would always be hard, but in the end, no matter how hard, everything would be alright.
It was just one of those days after all.
Roy sighed as the bell above the door jingled, the scent of flowers of all sorts hitting him as he stepped into the flower shop.
He wasn't sure what kind of flowers Havoc would appreciate, but he was sure anything would do for the male. He rubbed the back of his head tiredly, eyeing flower to flower and feeling a pang in his chest.
He remembered why he didn't go into these anymore.
Roy's hand stretched outwards as he brushed a petal, his gaze softening.
She always did want to run her own shop when everything was over.
"Are you going to mope or buy something?"
Blinking in surprise, Roy swiped a bouquet of white daisies, setting them down on the counter as he dug into his pocket. "My bad, how much for these?"
The person at the register seemed to hesitate a moment before a sigh left their lips. "It's on the house."
Roy blinked in surprise, glancing upwards sharply at the offer. "Why, thank you—"
His heart stopped.
Eyes every shade of blue regarded him coolly as she rubbed the back of her head, locks of light ginger pooling around her shoulders in slight waves. "Well, you just looked kind of down, and I'm always told that a little kindness can go a long way, you know?"
It can't be.
Roy's hands began to shake and he nearly dropped his wallet. This had to be some cruel twist of fate, this couldn't be right; everything was working against him in this single moment. He expected it all to come crashing down any second.
But it didn't.
"Hey," The girl blinked at him curiously. "You alright?"
His fingers curled into fists, and it took every ounce of strength he had not to pull this girl into his arms and never let her go. He wanted to press his lips to hers one more time, and feel her laugh against him, see her smile and her eyes shine.
He wanted her.
"Yes," Roy answered finally, struggling to form words as he calmed his rapidly beating heart. This was not her, it couldn't be. "I can pay for these though—"
"Take any money out and I'll toss it right back at you," The girl shook her head and gently wrapped the bouquet up. "Is this all?"
She handed the bouquet to him, and their fingers brushed. Roy would have liked to believe that her eyes flickered and she hesitated, but that couldn't be. It could never be. He offered her a charming smile and took the bouquet, holding it to him.
"Don't take this weird or anything," Her voice brought a wave of pain to his chest, but he forced himself to meet those beautiful blue eyes as they furrowed, looking almost...
"You look kind of familiar to me," She rubbed her forehead, as if troubled by something. "I don't know—my bad, I must be imagining things."
He wanted to stomp out the flare of hope that ignited in his chest. This can't be right. "Can I ask you a question Miss...?"
"Leah." She grinned faintly, almost crookedly. "And shoot."
"If you were to transfer into a new office, first day on the job," Roy started, and the memory played before his eyes, and he remembered how he had never seen anyone as beautiful as her in that moment. "And your commanding officer hit on you, what would you do?"
There was a quizzical look on her face, but it must have been something in his expression that coaxed an answer from her.
"Transfer out of course."
His lips twitched upwards in the faintest curl of a smile, and Roy smile charmingly, leaning over the counter and inkling his head towards the woman. "Since you gave me these for free, it's only right that I do something for you in return."
Leah's mouth opened in protest, but Roy shook his head firmly. "I know a wonderful bakery not to far from here with the best cakes around."
Leah's expression morphed into one of curiosity, and then painful amusement as a grin furled onto her lips. "I don't even know you and you know me so well..."
"Roy." His eyes softened. He could deal with this. "Roy Mustang."
Extra: Cast Party Blues
"Three cheers for the end!" Edward cried, holding up his cup of soda with a large grin on his face. "We're finally done!"
"Man, it's been one heck of a journey." Alphonse sighed, a pleased smile touching his lips. "We all worked really hard!"
"I think I did a pretty good job." Mustang commented, looking pleased as he sat beside a slightly sulky Amelia, her cheek pressed to her palm.
"I only got to show up at the end," The older woman sighed as Envy ran past, cackling as he chased May and Xiao Mei across the room.
"At least you come back!" Greed snapped, looking annoyed as he slouched against the wall. "Now I have to sit by and watch the brat take my woman!"
"It's finally over," Ghosty let out a sigh of bliss, gazing up dreamily. "I never have to work with either of them again!"
Ling, who had been following the ginger throughout the party blinked, a cake on the fork in his hand from trying to coax Ghosty into eating it. "Actually Alice—"
"Over thirty chapters and its over!" Ghosty, or Alice threw her hands into the air, a look of pure joy on her face. "No more harassment or stalking or being pinned to the ground!"
"I thought you liked all that—"
"I'm free!" Ghosty cheered, and Lan Fan blinked blandly, looking up from her own cake and speaking around her fork.
"Aren't you celebrating too early?" Ghosty blinked in confusion.
Lan Fan rolled her eyes. "There's a sequel you know."
"Isn't that great Ghosty!" Ling latched onto the girl, a huge grin splitting across his face. "We get a whole story to ourselves! Well, at least it better be to ourselves."
The ginger was silent.
"A whole sequel!"
Her mouth twitched.
"I refuse!" The girl cried, standing up and bolting from the room. "I refuse to spend anymore time with you!"
"But Ghosty, we have to finish the story!"
The rest of the party was spent with the cast members gently trying to coax Ghosty from jumping off the roof of the building.
Thanks for all your support!
BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE SEQUEL, COMING APRIL 6TH.
Sweet baby Jesus, where do I begin.
First off, this story has been an incredible journey for me, and I only hope it was the same for all of you. I look back at the old chapters and marvel how my style and my writing has changed over the years, and how I truly think I've been able to improve and really develop myself, and it was all thanks to you guys. I've loved every bit of writing this, and every second that I got to hear that you enjoyed it or that and update made your day.
I could never have done this without you guys.
To everyone who's ever reviewed, favorited, followed, or simply took the time to read this story—thank you. To all those wonderful people who took the time to PM about updates, about ideas, what they thought, all your kind words mean the world to me, and it warmed me to the core to read every review and message I've ever gotten for this story. It made me the happiest person on earth to know that an update made your day, or that it made you laughed or cried, or that you simply enjoyed the story. Every bit that you guys have given me has done me wonders, and I could never imagine having been here this far without you guys.
Thank you. Thank you.
It was an honor to reach a thousand reviews, and it was the coolest moment ever to see that I simply got one review for one chapter. You guys mean so much to me, and it really is all thanks to you that Just One of Those Days is where it is now because of you guys.
P.S- I'm sorry I killed Greed. It broke my heart but it had to be done.
This story has been an amazing journey for me, and even though it's the end of this one, I hope that you all look forward to the sequel, and that I'll see all of you again the second it comes out.
I can never thank you guys enough for all that's you've done for me, and I can only hope that you've truly enjoyed and loved this story till the very end.
THANK YOU ALL.