A/N: I have no excuse. I am extremely sorry, and I hope you can all forgive me for not updating in such a long time. I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to complete this story, so I decided to wrap it up in an epilogue. It's not long, and it doesn't make up for the half-year wait I put you all through, but I hope as always that it does not disappoint (much) and that if you have been watching this story, you are still interested in reading. Also, in the last chapter, I said Hughes once, when I meant Havoc. Hughes is dead, that was just a typo. Thanks to YukinoKara for picking that up. If I made the same error in this chapter, and called Hawkeye as Havoc, I'm really sorry.
Al walked down the street of Central, smiling as he collected food in his shopping bag. He'd found it horrifying that his nii-san had been living off chocolate for the last few weeks, and as soon as he'd heard that, he made it his mission to cook decent food. Let Envy eat chocolate all day and Greed drink liquor in place of water; his nii-san was alive, and he would be eating decent food. As he was placing the box of rice into his bag, he heard a startled exclamation behind him.
"Alphonse?" Turning, he came face to face with the blonde lieu-, eh, colonel Hawkeye. She was looking at him in disbelief, and he smiled at her.
"Colonel Hawkeye," he greeted, careful to use her new title. "Congratulations on your promotion. I was horrified to hear the circumstances under which it came, though. I hope everything's alright?" he said politely. Hawkeye looked at him suspiciously.
"As well as it can be, considering we still have no lead on the murderer or your brother. You wouldn't happen to know his location, would you?" She was looking at him with narrow eyes. She remembered how close the Elric brothers had been, and there was no way that Al could be so cheerful unless he knew that his brother was alright.
"Well, Colonel, honestly and off the record, I do know where he is. And I also know that he is happier where he is. None of us can have any idea what he went through, and forgive me for understanding if he doesn't want to return. I can't imagine the memories that it would give him." Hawkeye nodded sympathetically.
"I sympathize. If I could just meet him, though, wherever he chooses. I've known him, known you both, for quite a long time, and I want to apologize to him. I should have seen that something was going on. I… I just want to see for myself that he's alright." Al saw the soft, lost look in the normally sharp, stoic woman's face, and he smiled.
"I'll bring the message to nii-san," he told her, before looking awkwardly at his basket. "ano… I was shopping before. I should be heading back-"
"Wait," Hawkeye interrupted him. "Before you go, do you have any idea about the murderer? Off the record, of course," she added quickly. Al paused. Did he want to give out that information? The military wouldn't be sympathetic to Envy, he knew. He was a homunculus, and a murderer at that. If he told, Envy would be executed, and Al never wanted to see Ed without Envy to love him. He'd been getting brighter and more back to his old self every day, not to mention the fact that he practically melted at the sight of Envy. Al couldn't take that away. But on the other hand, this was Hawkeye. She was a friend, didn't she deserve to know? Looking at the Colonel, Al decided he shouldn't risk it. He looked at his feet and replied,
"I'm afraid I really can't help you. But whoever it is, he's done us all a favour. And from what I heard, I gather the murder was revenge. They even wrote that he was a rapist above his head. Whoever did it, he- eh, they really loved nii-san." Al tried to cover his slip, and looked up at Hawkeye, digging a nail into his thumb behind his back, trying to keep his nervousness under control. Hawkeye raised an eyebrow. She looked confused and accusing for a moment, and he knew she'd caught his slip. Then a look of comprehension dawned on her face.
"Yes… Yes, I imagine whoever it is, they must really love your brother. Maybe even be the kind of person he could love back." Her gaze pierced his soul, and his stomach flip-flopped. What would she do with this information? Had he made a mistake? "Nevertheless," she continued as if no exchange had happened between them. "This is all speculations, and speculations pull no weight in court. I must get back to my office; maybe inspiration will strike and I will read the identity of this killer in my tea leaves. Gods know he didn't leave any incriminating evidence behind. If Ed agrees to meet, you can always find me in my office at Headquarters." Al almost burst out smiling right there. There was no evidence, because Envy was just that good. Hawkeye had basically just told him that they were giving up, or at least that she was.
"I'll talk to Ed as soon as I see him," he said. The two said goodbye, and Al went off to pay for the groceries as Hawkeye continued shopping.
"Hello, Colonel Hawkeye," Ed smiled as he sat down in the café chair, looking at the woman he used to work with.
"Edward," she smiled at him, her normally stern face lighting up and softening. "I'm glad to see you so well." He nodded.
"I've had help getting over the experiences of the past. The nightmares are starting to go away." Hawkeye felt her eyes tear up, but no tears spilt. Ed was so young, and had gone through so much. No one deserved this. But from what he was saying, he finally had a chance at being happy.
"I'm sure whoever is helping you is a wonderful person," Hawkeye commented. Ed's face lit up like the sun.
"Oh, he is! He's the most amazing person! He stuck by me through so much, even though he has no reason to like me! He's been nothing but kind to me, and protected me, and respected me, and helped me through the nightmares." A little red went over the bridge of Ed's nose. "First after what happened, I was crying a lot. And, I knew it was really awkward for the people around me, but I would just get set off at the littlest things, like a waterwork. And he totally didn't mind, or if he did, he helped me through it anyways, and he put up with me when I was being a burden, and healed me when I was hurt. He's really amazing!" Hawkeye smiled fondly at the lovestruck speech of the boy she'd worked with for years. The man he was describing sounded amazing, and she couldn't believe that whoever it was had killed Mustang. Even if he did, she found herself treacherously thinking, what of it? Mustang was a womanizer, and a rapist, and whoever this man is, he's done wonders for Edward.
"I'm glad you're happy, Ed," she gave him the biggest smile she felt she'd ever given anyone, considering what a stern-faced woman she was, and they continued to talk for a few hours. She told Ed of what was going on at the military, and he assured her he was happy and well on his way to getting better.
"What are you going to do now?" She asked finally, as they waited for the check for their meal. Ed shrugged and gave her a careless grin, lacing his fingers behind his head.
"I honestly have no idea. I have no need to be in the military anymore. We got the philosopher's stone, Al's got his body back, and Mustang is dead. Where we go from here, well, I guess I'll see when I get there."