I swear, I am going to win one of these days. :)
Prompt 29: Equivalent Exchange, "At The Grave"
Title- At The Grave
Disclaimer– Very much not mine.
Rating– PG just because it is dark.
Warning– Mentions of male love.
Summary– Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Word Count– 755
Roy Mustang had always been taught that alchemy, and life in general, functioned on the principle of equivalent exchange. His entire career as a military man and an alchemist had circulated around that singular, rock solid, unchangeable notion.
So if that was the case, then why was he standing at his lover's grave?
Where was the equivalent exchange for all that he had done for the world? As a wonderful- if somewhat occasionally annoying lover, a military officer, a caring man to his family, and a best friend to an admittedly broken man, He had given so much to so many people.
Why had he been taken away when he still had so much more to give?
The alchemist hardly registered the light rain droplets that started to fall onto the short, wide brim of his military cap. He watched as the rain splashed down onto the grave, darkening the fresh headstone- as yet unmarred by age and weather. He watched as the newly tilled dirt moistened, the individual blades of grass starting to bend under the weight of the rain droplets, forming a bloated drop of water that dropped to the ground below.
Had it been an hour? Two? He wasn't really sure how long he had been at the grave. He vaguely remembered that after he had been standing for quite some time, staring at the stone etched with the name of the only man who truly understood the tortured existence that he led- his legs had given out, and he had dropped to his knees and laid his head softly at the base of the tombstone.
His back ached, and his feet had long since lost any feeling in them, but he didn't care. For the dozenth time at least, he dug his fingernails into the fresh loam. Somewhere deep in the back of his mind the raven haired man wanted to hope that his lover was just playing some cruel joke on him and he would pop out of the dirt. They would have a laugh, Roy would be chided for falling for such a silly trick, and then they would go get a drink, like they had so many times before.
After the sun dropped in the west, stealing the last bits of sunlight from the graveyard and bathing the area in a surreal bluish glow, Roy finally realized that he was not going to come back.
He laid his already dirty forehead on the now muddy ground at the base of the gravestone. His salty tears mixed with the rain that was pounding down, the droplets falling hard and fast and stinging the exposed skin on his face and the back of his neck as he leaned foreward. He didn't care that the cold rain found the empty space between his neck and his shirt, running down his back and matting his undershirt to his already clammy back.
Roy wasn't sure how long he had stayed in that position when he felt a soft hand on his soaked shoulder. He hadn't been able to cry for quite a while- one can only sob for so long before no more tears will come.
For a moment, he didn’t move, didn't even register that someone was standing over him. He vaguely noticed that it wasn't raining any more, but when he raised his muddy head, he saw that it was because there was an umbrella hovering over him, and a soft, delicate hand was holding it.
"Sir, it's time to go."
That voice- it was beautiful and melodic- but with an edge of toughness and firmness. She had always been his rock, his anchor, the only other person to understand him like his lover had.
Roy managed a small nod of his head. He put one sod-covered hand on the top of the gravestone, leaving a trail of dirt that the rain washed off almost as fast as he drew his hand away, and somehow managed to stand on his wobbly legs- his old bones creaking and groaning, not so silently complaining about the movement after being stationary for so long.
Hawkeye took his hand, not caring about the graveyard dirt staining his fingernails, how his one remaining deeply sunk eye was puffy and red, or that his soaked uniform was muddy and clinging desperately to his seemingly frail form.
"Let's go, sir."
Once again, he managed a small nod, and let Hawkeye lead him away from Edward Elric's grave, out of the graveyard and into an uncertain future.