A/N: I listened to 21 Guns by Greenday on repeat while writing this. It might make a good soundtrack. I don't know. After writing this, I don't know anything anymore.
In the dim tunnel, he struggles against the sinew and bleached bones of his attacker: a pseudo-homunculus, a superhuman paragon of wicked deeds. His queen fights triumphantly, even though they're a sailing a sinking ship. The battle's lost when she's caught.
"You bastards! Let her go!"
Oh god, please help us. Their hands on her, their leers and the uncanny silence that falls between his golden teeth. In these spare moments, what he's known all along crashes down on him. It forces the air from his lungs, the ticking of his heart ceases and stutters on. He knew it, he knew it all along. All the strength he can find rages against the prison of arms that have captured him too. To break their hold and run to her, to break their hold and burn them all to dust.
There's never been a moment he hasn't loved her. He recants the words, they run as rivers in his blood. She is ingrained in him, eternally, for eternity.
There's never been a moment he hasn't loved her as the swords cuts through her neck. There's never been a moment he hasn't loved her as she tumbles with the grace of a goddamn swan. Habit forces a scream, "LIEUTENANT!"
Then the bargaining begins and he needs needs needs to save her life. But she's resigned to save his life too. A battle of wills ends in what the price is. Her amber eyes are pools of fire, they command him and that look means she'll shoot if he uses human transmutation. The girl of gun wins out, as she forever has. They've been together long enough to know. Ruby red bathes her fading body, washing her clean of battle sins. He can't disobey the orders of the queen.
"Alright. Alright, Lieutenant," escapes through his gritted teeth.
But her light's dimming, her eyes closing. The heartbeat that comforted him for a decade and more drums from a battle song to a lullaby.
Her glance flicks up to the shadows of their allies, they drop into the depths and this is his chance. Ripping the sword from his captor's grasp, he wounds viciously and runs. Clears a path with a click of his fingers, panic manifest in the flames.
His strong girl, his brave girl, limp and shallow-breathed; she's bleeding too much and too fast.
"Lieutenant, come on, stay with me!"
Gathered up in his arms, he's determined to hold her pieces together. She struggles to open eyes still bright like tiny suns, they lock with his.
"Goodbye…Roy," and the lullaby of her heartbeat sings her to sleep.
No, because the whisper of his name was all they'll never be able to say. No, because she was the only permanence in this sick mess of a world. No, because there's never been a moment he hasn't loved her.
It's not raining. This is a hurricane. A ragged scream, "RIZA!"
Gently, he presses the last kiss he has left to her temple; finds lingering warmth and the scent of powder and blood in her hair.
Rising slowly, her body is soft in his arms. Quietly, to his comrades, he utters a single word.
And when they've fled he faces the identical army. He snaps. He watches them burn. He trudges through the ashes, her body is soft in his arms.
He takes one thing before he gives her up. He takes her favourite pistol from the holster at her hip and slips it into his coat. The smooth metal where her hands used to rest, a thousand times, a thousand more, is cold on the creases of his palm.
Despite the brilliant blue of morning sky, by evening the November snow spills from the clouds and falls heavy. The city is muffled, blanketed, silenced by the aftershocks of their war. He walks for hours, following a map of the places they'd been. Tiny details of her brilliance flicker on his eyelids each time he blinks. She didn't own a vase. Her favourite colour was light pink. The sound of her voice was like dusk. Her heart bled for everyone, and she kept it a secret. He knew, he knew.
She was a gun. It's all that's left. He climbs the stairs to floor 7. He finds the key in his pocket, the one he has for emergencies and never leaves behind. He pushes open the door, sees nearly familiar boxes stacked in the corners. She hadn't even unpacked. She'd lived here for three years, and hadn't even unpacked.
The phone lies invitingly on the table, ivory and brass. A ghost of her, a last attempt, a press of the buttons and her voice like dusk, "This is the residence of Riza Hawkeye, please leave a message."
"I love you."
Numb, walking to the balcony. Cold, stepping in the snow. Sick, watching the river break its banks in a slow winter victory.
His hands where hers carved a history, the barrel. His finger where hers always saved him, the trigger. His life without Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, the bullet and the end.
He has nothing worth fighting for.