"They caught Hawkeye." Three words and Ed knew it was the end.
They'd been on the run so long, Ed had long since lost track of the last time he'd slept in a bed instead of in an abandoned barn, or under a hedge. He'd been on his own for the first bit, running, hiding and trying to keep his head down. Somewhere along the way he'd run into Mustang, and the Colonel had convinced him that their chances were better together.
Considering Mustang's attempted coup had gotten them into this situation in the first place, Ed should have known better than to listen.
Roy dropped down next to him, mindless of the wet grass. "She's being taken to Central. There's going to be a public execution at dawn."
Ed swore, but more out of reflex than actual feeling. All of his feeling, all of his tears had been used up when the Fuhrer caught Havoc earlier in the spring. "What do you want to do?" As if it was any question at all.
"We have to go." Roy's hands were clenched in hard fists, his face drawn and grim, looking hardly anything like the young, handsome officer he'd been just a short while ago. "We can't let them have her without a fight. She's," Roy choked on a cough. "She's the last of them. I can't let her go alone."
Ed closed his eyes tightly, blocking the image of the last time they'd gone to an execution. "You know there's nothing we can do."
"We can be there."
It wasn't enough, and they both knew it, but losing his men over the long course of their exile had nearly broken Roy, and Ed didn't have it in him to deny the man anything. Ed stood and extended a hand. "Come on. We've got a long way to go."
Heat and desperation.
Roy strained and moaned beneath him, his body taught with pleasure and pain, his eyes clenched so tight the skin around his eyes was nothing but a valley of creases. He gasped out something that could have been Ed's name, a plea to a higher power or a curse. It was difficult to tell and Ed wasn't so interested to ask for clarification. Instead, he tightened his grip on Roy's hips and increased his pace, heedless of comfort or care.
This is what they needed to make it through the long nights. This was the only way Ed ever felt anything at all, anymore. This was the only solace they had to offer, the only succor available.
Ed could remember a time when he hated the man beneath him so much, he spent hours imagining what it would feel like to plant his fist in Roy's face. Now, he spent most nights with his flesh buried in Roy as he tried to push all thoughts, all imaginings out of his mind and focus on nothing but the moment.
Neither of them ever lasted long, certainly not long enough to make either of them forget. But sometimes, it helped them sleep without nightmares.
"I have an idea."
Ed blinked in the darkness, trying to shake the bonds of sleep as he focused on Roy's voice, soft in his ear. "Yeah?"
Roy shifted, drawing Ed closer, tightening his arm around Ed's chest and burying his face against the back of Ed's neck. His nose was cold. "We can't save her, but maybe we don't have to."
"What did you have in mind?"
The square was packed with citizens, upstanding and righteous, ready to see the traitor put down. At first, Ed was concerned that someone would recognize them, that they'd be hauled up on the platform with Hawkeye before the plan could be put in motion, but no one was looking at the people around them. Their attention was focused on the dais, on the long line of speakers extolling the virtues of the state and the wickedness of the traitors, of the ones still at large who were intent on bringing the great nation to its knees.
If only the crowd knew the great nation of Amestris was nothing more than fodder for a Philosopher's Stone, Ed didn't think they'd be so quick to judge.
"Do you think she knows we're here?" Roy was pressed against his side, his grip tight on Ed's arm as they pushed their way through the crowd.
"I think she probably hopes we're not." He tried not to look at Hawkeye, but his eyes kept training in on her, almost of their own volition. She stood proud and tall, and the tatters of her uniform did nothing to make her look less like the perfect soldier, the perfect sacrifice. She shone with an inner light, despite the blood on her face, so pure that Ed could see the men around her couldn't quite look her in the eye.
Ed had had enough of martyrs in his life. Funny how he was going to end up as one.
Roy's hand on his arm tightened enough to evoke an involuntary grunt from Ed. "There he is." The Fuhrer strode out, waving at the crowd, ready to address his people. "Are you ready?"
For a moment, Ed thought of Al, a worry he'd kept locked tight inside his mind. He would never have made it this far if he'd allowed himself to worry about his little brother and here at the end, he could only convince himself that Al must have made it out. That he must be living his life, safe and happy nowhere near Amestris with its death and destruction and alchemy. Ed would have liked to have seen Al's life, to see the family he would build for himself, but peace had never been his end. Destruction, fire, death. Those belonged to Ed and he was fervently glad that Al was not with him here to see it. Al would just have to live for the both of them, and hopefully forget. "Yeah."
Roy looked at him, fire in his eyes, seeing nothing any more but the end. "No regrets?"
We'll be fine. It'll only be for a little while. We'll be safe here. I'm fine. I love you. They'd been lying to each other all along; what was one more? "No regrets."