She's safe with him. He's always there when she needs it, and that puts her mind at ease. When the phantom pain awakens her in the darkness, and nightmares plague her mind, he is always there to hold her close and tell her everything is fine, that he's there with her, that nothing will ever hurt her again. She wishes she could believe that, truly, but his promises will never stop the dull ache of pain in her heart whenever she thinks about her grandfather. Nothing will ever take back the frustration she so often feels that is associated with her nonexistent arm. But she is glad that he tries, and tries his hardest, to keep her safe and happy.

Lan Fan loves her prince, and he, in turn, loves her.

If it hadn't been for her, he would be dead, and if it hadn't been for him, she would be. They rely on eachother so much, too much at times (Lan Fan is sure this is what her grandfather would tell them) but that doesn't matter. As long as they have eachother then nothing in the world can harm them. As long as she has him to hold her and as long as he has her to hold… then everything will always be okay in the end.

It's funny; she thinks at times, that he goes to such lengths to protect her when she doesn't need it. Ironic how he is trying to be a bodyguard for her now instead of the other way around. Lan Fan will not laugh though, because it isn't really all that comical. It's sweet. It makes her feel nice inside and she secretly enjoys it whenever he steps in to help her lift something that she could easily do herself or surprises her with some gift (usually food or flowers, as that is the best Ling can think up) when he is away in another part of the country.

They will often talk with eachother when everyone else in the palace is asleep. Ling will sneak away from his advisors and servants and she will sneak away from hers, the both of them climbing to the roof and feeling the gentle night air on their faces. They'll hold hands, leaning shoulder to shoulder, and reminisce about the 'old days', wondering if that wily Winry Rockbell ever did get married to the pipsqueak Fullmetal Alchemist. Then they really will laugh, the both of them, Lan Fan with her small smile and Ling Yao, not hesitating to bellow it out as though he wants everyone in the world to hear how happy he is.

Troubles will come, of course, but they can vanquish whatever happens along. They are a well oiled team, each knowing the other like an open scroll, always understanding where he or she will step or lash out at the enemy. Because of this, because they are together, nothing seems as though it will hurt them. Nothing ever seems as though it will stop them. And nothing does.

Thus, when the adventures and wonders of the world have reached their end for the two and they sit together, older now and not as fast but just as happy… they will reminisce once more. Shoulder to shoulder, as they did when they were young, the two will laugh in the face of the great moon staring down at them somberly. Lan Fan will do it with that small smile of hers and Ling Yao will still bellow his own out, continuing to believe with all his heart that everyone should know his own happiness even in their slumber.

Then, when all is said and done, they will walk together under the trees as if they were young again, holding hands and reveling in the lamplights of the village. They have indeed built a place worth living in for the Xingese people.

Even now, as they walk, a young boy with eyes like Lan Fan's and a stomach worthy of Ling Yao is both arguing and laughing with a stubborn but quiet girl, who will serve him as a bodyguard in the future. The both of them at that very moment being taught by a patient but firm elder, who will never let them stray from their path while he is alive.

"Do they remind you of anyone?" Lan Fan asks, with a soft smile.

"Nobody in particular," Ling Yao answers, grinning from ear to ear.

The End.