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Title: One Last Kiss

Pairing: The Rockbells. Yes, those Rockbells. Her first name is canon, the difference between his and manga canon is explained in Graves and Grievances

Author's Note: I have this tagged additionally as Royai because it takes place in the same universe as my Royai series does. Just wanted to make sure of the association and to make clear it isn't a part of either of my other clumped or chaptered works.

Disclaimer: I own not anything involving Full Metal Alchemist. It belongs to Arakawa Hiromu.


It was morning in Ishbal, the desert wind only barely cooling the air in what was going to be another long hot day.

In the second floor room of a small shop, a pair of doctors were finally getting a break after a long night.

"They just keep making things worse." Sara Rockbell paced, fretting her way across the room and rubbing her hands together. It had been weeks since she had been able to get the blood from under her nails, and it bothered her deeply. He could tell, from the way she was always rubbing, always scratching at the corners of her fingertips. This was a land beyond even simple sterilization--water to drink was far more important than water to boil scalpels or wash hands. Medication was hit and miss, as there was no guarantee that some priest would not tell a patient that this or that pill had been made by unholy alchemy (never mind that the formulations had been passed down among her family for generations and there had never been more than a dash of alchemical potential in any of them) and should be immediately destroyed.

If a third of what they had handed out had actually been ingested by a patient, they would have been overjoyed.

"They're soldiers. The government gives them guns and alchemy to fix the world's problems." Jonais drew close, pacing beside her. "What can they be expected to do other than use them?"

She looked up over her shoulder at his face and short sand-logged hair, snorting. "They could start by transmuting some decent food for these people and some proper antiseptics."

They shared an ironic smile, shaking their heads at the insanity of the world.

Another dawn at the end of a long and bloody Ishbalan night.



The quiet knowledge that the dwindling supplies all too soon would force them away, force them home, and the quiet guilt that they would be leaving the bleeding and ill behind as they returned to the little house with the little girl they loved so much.

"We'll be home soon," they had written in their last letter home.

Jonais picked up the photograph frame from the tiny desk. "She and the Elrics will be playing in the old valley by now."

"And Trisha will be making one of her apple pies."

"And Mother will be retuning the old radio and waiting for Fredrick down the road to have cracked his automail again smashing that clock of his."

There was a crash downstairs.

Here it comes. The words, forever unspoken, hung in the air.

They clutched at each other, kissing as if they never had before and never would again.

They remembered the night when the snow drifted down from the first clouds of winter and they swore they wished to live together, love together, sing together, eat together, dance together, cry together...

...die together...

...and had meant every word of it.

They pulled apart, barely, whispering roughly "There are no regrets" to each other.

There was banging on the door, and it began to splinter at the hinges. They both turned towards it, Jonais moving to defend his wife. They might be about to die, but the military was going to have to fight and a bruiser mindhealer was nothing to mess with.

If he could get a gun from a determined suicide, he could certainly get one from any of the young recruits he'd seen patrolling the city. It was a decidedly unhealerish thought, but he had to try something. Anything.

'No thinking being is ever truly ready to die; they just think they are.' The words from an old healer text came unbidden as the door smashed in and Sara screamed behind him.

Basque Gran, and some twenty-something alchemist major who looked like he would be more at home in a library than a battlefield.

The major was the one with a drawn gun.

They send an innocent to kill innocents? All the thoughts of fighting fled his mind. Jonais could almost see the stress disorder beginning to swirl in the youngster's eyes. How much work is this going to take to undo? How many months is one of the other mindhealers...

"They are traitors. The Ishbalans who attacked your men yesterday were healed by them."

The gun raised and wavered.

Even Jonais' untrained eye could tell the thing had hardly been shot before. An innocent, still. He doesn't understand what he's been doing, what is going on here... and one day he will.

It wavered.

"Shoot them, or I will and the third bullet in that gun belongs to you," Gran's voice barked in the close space.

Sara gasped.

Jonais felt his eyes grow wide. Are there years enough in the universe...

And then she moved behind him and the gun was up and


The world around them was yellow and the Gate was before them, the gild and ivory face it showed those who belonged at its threshold.

"I've never been sorrier to have motherly instincts, but just then..."

"I know. I couldn't stop thinking how bad a time one of my colleagues is going to have fixing that."

"Jonais, you are a mindhealer. They may not fix that."

"Were," he corrected quietly, staring at the faces staring down from the great arch. What she had said registered. "Damn. Poor kid."

"Someone will be there when he needs it most."

He turned to face her.

"Herb-woman's intuition, Jonais."

And the moment is over and the Gate opens. He takes her hands into his on a whim and they dance over the threshold into eternity, together.

Together forever and always.
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