A/N: Wow, I can't believe this story has already come to an end! I wanted to thank everyone who read, reviewed, or did both! I really appreciate it! And now, without further ado, here's the epilogue you've all been waiting for! Enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: Well, after all this time, I still own nothing.
Three weeks later . . .
"Welcome back, Crona!" the Hosts chorused as Crona stepped into Music Room 3.
"Oh, uh, thank you," said boy muttered, a little taken aback. The Hosts immediately rushed to crowd around him, all of them smiling.
"We're glad you're back, Crona-chan!" Honey said, grabbing Crona's hand and giving it a kind squeeze, making Crona blink in surprise.
"Mm-hmm," Mori nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, especially after what happened," Haruhi added, and Crona glanced at her. "I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt; I can't believe you actually got stabbed!"
"Um, yeah, right," Crona agreed, looking at the ground. He, Tamaki, Ed, and Al had decided that it would be best not to tell anyone else the real story of what had happened; they decided that it would be easier to say that Crona had been stabbed while out walking and thus had to go to the hospital than to try and explain all about the philosopher's stone, Medusa, Lust, and everything else. The truth would remain a secret between the boys for as long as they lived.
"Yeah, good thing I was there to save him!" Ragnarok said loudly, entering the room and walking over to Crona to give him a noogie. That was another part of the lie, devised to explain the sudden appearance of Ragnarok- the Demon Sword was Crona's "cousin," who had come for a visit. The part about being the one to save Crona's life had been added on by Ragnarok himself before the other boys could stop him.
"Ow! Ragnarok, stop that!" Crona whined, trying to push the Demon Sword's hands away.
"Ragnarok, please don't torture him," Tamaki said wearily, coming into the room along with Ed and Al. He sounded like he'd been through this conversation many times before.
"Aw, but it's fun!" Ragnarok said, grinning maliciously, and the rest of the Hosts involuntarily shivered; there was something about Crona's cousin that just didn't seem quite right . . .
"-we're glad you made it back to the Host Club!" the twins said, grinning, and Crona couldn't help but smile a tiny bit in response.
He was finally out of the hospital and back in school. Now he might actually get a proper education . . . not to mention that he got to once again be with his friends in the Host Club.
After his ordeal, Crona realized that there were some people out there who he could put a little faith in and who wouldn't try to use him for their own selfish needs.
"Where are the girls today?" Ed asked, his forehead crinkling in confusion as he scanned the room and saw no sign of any guests.
"We decided to cancel the Club meeting today; we thought that Crona might need a little time to get reacquainted with school first," Kyoya said. The other Hosts nodded- a little uncertainly, Ed thought, as they were shooting glances at Kyoya as though this sort of generosity was extremely rare.
Suddenly, the loudspeaker in the corner of the room beeped and the voice of the main office secretary filled the room.
"Would Edward and Alphonse Elric please report to the main office as soon as possible," the voice said, and everyone glanced at each other.
"I wonder what that's about," Al said, looking at his brother. Ed shrugged and then smirked.
"Maybe they found us a way home!" he laughed. While the brothers had by no means given up searching for a way back to their realm, they had resigned themselves to the fact that it might be harder to get back than they originally thought; they'd been searching the whole time Crona was in the hospital, but they hadn't gotten any closer.
"We'll go with you," Tamaki offered, peering at Crona, who nodded slightly.
"Alright, but I'm sure it's nothing," Ed said. "They probably want to tell us how bad we're failing math or something . . ."
"See you all in a bit!" Al called over his shoulder, giving the Hosts a wave as he and the other boys started to exit the room.
Crona trailed along at the back, wondering if a certain someone was going to follow him. Sure enough, as soon as he left the room he heard running footsteps behind him. He glanced up when they stopped next to him to find Ragnarok walking beside him.
"Thought I might as well come in case you can't deal with something and I have to drag your useless butt outta there," the Demon Sword said, and Crona merely nodded.
It seemed that Tamaki's observation of Ragnarok had been correct; he did indeed seem to care about Crona more than the pink-haired boy had realized at first. No matter where Crona went, Ragnarok was always at least a few steps behind. Even when Crona had told him that he would be perfectly fine on his own, Ragnarok had refused to believe him and insisted on staying close at hand. It was almost as if he didn't think Crona could deal with being alone . . .
. . . or Ragnarok couldn't deal with being alone himself.
Crona smiled slightly at the thought; the all-mighty Demon Sword couldn't handle being without his Meister for ten minutes? Who would have thought!
"What're you grinning about?" said Weapon snarled, cuffing Crona across the head and making the boy wince.
"Ouch! Ragnarok!" Crona cried.
"Ragnarok, please, we're almost there," Tamaki said, looking behind him to make sure that Crona was alright; this surely wasn't the worst time that Crona had gotten beaten up by his Weapon. A few days ago Ragnarok decided to slap Crona across the face with the back of his hand, hard, forgetting that Crona now no longer had the black blood to stop any injury and effectively giving his Meister his first genuine nosebleed in years.
"Yes, mother," Ragnarok said mockingly, and Tamaki rolled his eyes. He knew that this was just a part of Ragnarok's personality, but sometimes the sarcastic, biting remarks got a little tiresome after a while.
Just then, the five boys arrived at the main office. As soon as Ed opened the door, a man and a woman who had been sitting in the waiting chairs stood up. The man had short, black hair and dark eyes that were narrowed in what was either anger or some sort of strange sign of relief. He was wearing white gloves with red transmutation circles on the back and a dark blue military uniform with many colored badges over his heart. The woman was wearing a similar outfit, only she had on a skirt instead of pants, and her light blonde hair was clipped up on the back of her head.
"Fullmetal! Alphonse!" the man barked, and Ed and Al's mouths fell open in shock.
"Colonel Mustang?" the brothers exclaimed at the same time. "And Lieutenant Hawkeye?"
"Of course it's us! Who else did you think it would be?" Colonel Mustang said brashly. "But more importantly, where the hell have you been for the past month and a half?"
"I should be asking you the same question!" Ed spat back, glaring at Mustang.
"Um, excuse me?" Tamaki piped up, and all eyes turned to him. "I don't want to spoil your . . . reunion, but who are they?"
"I'm Colonel Roy Mustang and that's Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye," Mustang informed him, while Riza gave him a quick salute.
"Mustang's my commander in the military, remember me telling you?" Ed said, and Tamaki, Crona, and Ragnarok's eyes widened.
"Oh, he's Mustang?" Ragnarok questioned, looking at the Colonel. "He doesn't seem like a huge jerk-wad . . ."
"What was that?" Mustang exclaimed, and Ragnarok pointed to Ed, smiling innocently.
"Hey, he said it, not me."
"Damn it, Fullmetal, I came all this was to find you-"
"How exactly did you find us?" Al piped up, wanting to stop another argument when he saw his brother get ready to start screaming. "We've been looking for a way home this whole time!"
"Through a broom closet, believe it or not," Hawkeye answered, knowing that the Colonel was likely to just start yelling again. Ed and Al just stared at her.
"But that's how we got here!" Ed exclaimed in frustration. "And we haven't ever been able to get back!" He gripped his head in frustration. "Damn it, Mustang, now you're stuck with us, too!"
"Of course we're not!" the Colonel retaliated. "Do you honestly think we'd be so stupid as to go blindly charging into unknown territory? We tested it first to see if we could get back, and it worked! Multiple times, I might add!"
"Really?" Al asked, and Hawkeye nodded. He turned to his brother, clasping his hands in front of him excitedly. "Brother, that means we can finally go home!"
"Yeah . . .," Ed breathed, grinning as it finally sunk in: they were finally going to get out of this place and back to where they belonged. Then, he caught a flash of the sky-blue color of the school uniform out of the corner of his eye and turned around to face Tamaki, Crona, and Ragnarok.
They were going home . . . but that meant that they were also leaving everyone here behind.
"The Host Club will miss you both," Tamaki said, holding out his hand to Ed. The alchemist grasped it and shook it firmly, and he noticed tears forming in the Host King's eyes.
"Don't worry about us," Ed reassured him. "We're gonna be fine!"
Tamaki nodded, and then he suddenly broke down. He pulled Ed into a crushing hug, lifting the alchemist off the ground a few inches.
"AH! Put me down, Tamaki!" Ed exclaimed, and then he twisted his head to snarl at Mustang when he heard the Colonel chuckling. Reluctantly, Tamaki released Ed and moved on to hug Al. This time, it was Tamaki who was lifted off his feet. Ed glanced at Crona, who held out his hand.
"Geez, now you're even offering your hand to people? I almost don't know how to deal with that!" Ed mocked, smirking, but his eyes said that he was just joking.
"Yeah, I'm a lot better at dealing with people now, I guess," Crona replied, smiling back. Ed then moved on to shake Ragnarok's hand as Crona started to say goodbye to Alphonse.
"Don't be too hard on that kid, alright?" Ed said, glaring at the Weapon warningly, but Ragnarok just smirked at him.
"Sure thing, Shorty."
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A LITTLE PIPSQUEAK?"
"Come on, Fullmetal, let's go," Colonel Mustang said as the Demon Sword started laughing.
"Let us just stop by the Music Room first to say goodbye to the Host Club," Ed told him as everyone else started to trail along behind as they left the office, Al chatting with the three other boys about what they were going to do once he and Ed were gone.
"We have to get back-" Mustang started to say, but Ed cut him off.
"It's literally right down the hall! Come on, please?" He looked up at Mustang imploringly, and then his mouth twitched up in a devious smile. "You know we'll just go anyway . . ."
"Alright, fine!" Mustang relented. "Just make it quick!"
"Yes, Sir!" Ed said, giving the Colonel a horribly-executed salute. "Come on, Al!"
Ed and Al took off down the hallway and made it to Music Room 3 in a few minutes. They announced that they were going to leave and everyone instantly crowded around to wish them goodbye, effectively smothering Ed. Once he'd recovered and he and his brother had said their proper (and rather tearful) goodbyes, Ed grabbed his original outfit from the hidden closet in the room and they ran out to meet Mustang and Hawkeye at the broom closet.
"You guys go first; we'll be right behind you," Ed said to the Colonel and the Lieutenant.
"Fine. Just don't take too long, alright, Fullmetal?" Colonel Mustang warned, and Ed waved him away.
"Yeah, yeah, we got it!"
After giving Ed one last disapproving look, Mustang stepped into the closet and closed the door. There was a flash of light, and when Riza opened the door a few seconds later the Colonel was gone.
"I wonder why it started working now . . .," Al said as Riza prepared to go through. She paused and turned back to him.
"When that homunculus, Lust, went through, she somehow opened a portal that we found a few days after we realized she'd been down in Lab 5," she explained. "It's remained open since then."
"Wait- so it's been open this whole time?" Ed exclaimed, and Riza nodded. He slapped a palm to his forehead and groaned. Hawkeye chuckled at him.
"I'll see you two in a few minutes," she said, and then she stepped into the closet and disappeared.
"We'll go in together, okay, Brother?" Al said as Ed opened the door, and his brother nodded.
"Yup." Then he turned towards Tamaki, Crona, and Ragnarok for the last time.
"Well, it's been fun while it lasted!" he said grinning, and everyone smiled back.
"We'll miss you, but maybe if the portal stays open we'll come back to visit sometime!" Al told them.
"Only if you can," Tamaki reminded him. "If not, then it was nice meeting you and having you in the Host Club, not to mention how you helped me a few weeks ago . . ."
"Don't mention it!" Ed said, and then he and Al stepped into the closet. They turned around as they shut the door and gave the other boys one last wave.
"Bye!" all five of them chorused at once.
Then the door shut, there was a flash of light, and Ed and Al were gone.
Tamaki, Crona, and Ragnarok stared at the door for a moment, before Tamaki clapped his hands together and turned towards the Meister and his Weapon.
"Well, no need to stand around moping! I'm sure Ed and Al would've wanted us to get on with our lives, right?" he said, and Crona nodded. "Speaking of getting on . . . I think it's getting late. What do you two say we head home?"
"Sounds good to me!" Ragnarok answered. "I'm ready for a nap!"
"Ragnarok, you have to do your homework!" Crona reminded him as they started to follow Tamaki back to the Music Room to say goodnight to the rest of the Hosts.
"Pfft, I'm not doing that crap!" Ragnarok exclaimed.
"But you have to!"
"Shut up, idiot!"
"Ragnarok, whatever you're doing, knock it off!" Tamaki commanded from over his shoulder. Ragnarok mumbled something along the lines of "stupid Blondie!" but stopped beating up his Meister, at least for the moment.
The three boys entered the Music Room and said goodbye to the other Hosts, and everyone decided to head out to the front of the school together. Once they had left the building, the Hosts went their separate ways, and Ragnarok and Crona climbed into Tamaki's limo. The ride to Suoh Mansion Number 2 was spent in silence as the boys recalled all the fun times they'd had with the Elric brothers. However, once the limo pulled into the gravel driveway and Crona stepped out into the crisp, flower-scented air of the Mansion gardens, he couldn't help but let out a sigh of pure happiness.
Finally, for the first time in his life, he was where he belonged, with the people who cared about him.
Finally, he was home.
A/N: Thanks again for reading! I would really appreciate a final review/reaction to this fanfic! ^.^