Title: Rose Petals, Part 1
Once the bright red flash had died down, Rose was able to take her hand from her eyes and look towards the center of the ballroom. Ed lay motionless on the floor. The gaping wound in his chest was closed up, but he wasn’t budging an inch.
“It can’t be!” Rose heard Lyra growl panicked beside her. “He actually did it! He actually used the power of the stone to heal his brother! It can’t be! Envy? Envy! Where are you?!”
Rose took a few steps toward Ed, her baby son cradled in her arms. Could Al have actually done it? Could he actually have revived Ed? Just a few minutes ago, she had witnessed her Edward being impaled straight through the chest by the homunculus, Envy. The trauma of watching him die before her was enough to knock her out of the trance she was in.
She dropped to her knees beside Ed. Is he alive? There’s no way Al could’ve succeeded; the dead can’t come back to life. She knew this only too well. Losing the men she cared about was nothing new to her. She had let herself be roped into false hopes before. Still, she thought, perhaps there’s still a chance. Al said Ed’s soul was still at the Gate, whatever that means. And the Philosopher’s Stone that was inside him was real this time. I can only hope…
Just then, Rose felt something. Something like a breeze, coming from down below. She leaned down, close to Ed’s face. She could’ve sworn she felt him breathe. I know I felt something, I just know it! Yes! He is breathing! He’s alive! Rose let out a sigh of relief and smiled faintly. Ed…
“Damn it!” Lyra exclaimed exasperatedly behind Rose. “Such a wonderful plan, ruined! Damn him!” Rose heard footsteps coming behind her. “Come, Rose! We have no choice but to retreat and think of another plan!”
“I’m not going with you,” Rose grumbled, not moving from where she was kneeling.
“W-what did you say?” Lyra responded, apparently taken aback by Rose’s reply. “How dare you disobey me! You’re coming with me even if I have to drag you and your child out of here by your hair!”
Rose felt Lyra looming in closer to her. “Don’t touch me!” she screamed, pulling her son closer to her stomach. She looked behind her and saw that Lyra had recoiled, and was pulling her hand back towards her body.
“Don’t you get it? I’m not your puppet anymore!” Rose suddenly felt empowered, as though Lyra was a monster and every word she said was weakening it. “How many more people need to die before you guys will stop? You think you’re accomplishing something? You’re nothing but a bunch of murderers! Especially you…Dante!”
Lyra/Dante winced at the mention of her true name. Rose turned back towards Ed. “If Al truly succeeded in what he said he was going to do, then Ed’s been fully revived. He’ll wake up soon, and I want to be there for him when he does.”
A long pause followed. Finally, Lyra/Dante let out a malicious grumble. “Damn you…fine! Have it your way, then! Die in here for all I care!” And with that, she turned and stormed out of the ballroom.
Rose looked from the exiting Lyra to the ravenous and obese Gluttony, who was staring hungrily at her from the side of the room. Rose suddenly feared for herself, her son, and for Ed, knowing full well what this homunculus was capable of and that if he attacked she didn’t stand a chance.
“Leave her alone!” shouted a voice from off somewhere. Rose looked towards the source of the noise to see Wrath, still lying in the same spot as before, with only one arm and one leg, half his body seared almost beyond recognition. At the sound of his shrill voice, Gluttony grumbled and lumbered off out of the room. Rose let out another sigh of relief. For the moment, she was safe.
“You really think he’s alive?” Wrath inquired of Rose as she knelt down, child in her arms, looking down at Ed.
Rose shook her head. “I can’t be certain. I could’ve sworn I felt him breathe a moment ago. I guess I’ll just have to wait here and see.”
“How long you plan to wait for him?”
“As long as it takes, I guess. Until I know for sure whether he’s alive or not.” Even as she spoke she felt a wave of uncertainty. Exactly how long do I have to wait until I know for sure? If he’s breathing, that means he’s alive, right? But if he’s really dead this time…Rose shook her head. I can’t think about that right now. He’s alive, I’m sure of it.
Then she noticed something she hadn’t before. Ed’s right arm and hand were no longer auto-mail, but regular skin and flesh. Did Al’s stone do this? If he’s restored his limbs, then does that mean… Rose felt a warm calmness wash over her. She reached out with her free hand and caressed Ed’s blond hair. Then, unable to control herself, she leaned down and kissed him. As she was pulling away, she felt the same breeze she had felt before. Ed was breathing again.
“Edward,” she whispered to him. “I don’t know if you can hear me or not, but I’ll stay here with you until you wake up. When you died, I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do. There were so many things I wanted to say. I knew that if I never got another chance to talk to you, to tell you how I truly felt…” She felt tears rise up in her eyes. “…I would never forgive myself…”
“Hey, are you okay?” She heard Wrath’s voice inquire. Rose was seriously crying now. A few tears had already dropped to the floor, and she was breathing heavily.
Rose gulped, took a few deep breaths and tried her hardest to smile. “I’m fine. I’m just so happy he’s okay.”
Suddenly Ed stirred. Slowly he opened his eyes.
“Ed…” Rose began, concerned. “Can you hear me?”
“Yeah, I think so…but why am I crying?” Ed reached up to wipe away a tear from the corner of his right eye, but then he saw his arm. “I get it now…Al used the power of the stone to bring me back from the Gate.” Then he gasped. “But…what happened to him after that?” Rose didn’t respond. Ed’s eyes grew wide. “Don’t tell me…don’t tell me he’s gone!”
Rose gulped and slowly nodded.
Ed gasped again and shot straight up to his feet. “Al?” He began shouting to the large ballroom. “Al? AL!!!”
Rose’s baby woke up from the noise and started crying. Rose rubbed her face against his, whispering “Shhhhhhhh” in an effort to calm him down. She looked up at Ed, and saw that he was looking away, his right hand held up clenched into a fist. She could tell he was trying hard to fight back tears.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.