Title: Up in Smoke and Gone
Word Count: 457
Characters: Breda and Havoc friendship
Summary: Breda sees what has become of his best friend.
Warnings: Spoilers for manga chapter 42 and up.
Disclaimer: I am playing with someone else's characters and world. I make no money off of this. Arakawa Hiromu is a goddess!
Author's Note: Many thanks to leaftheinvisible for editing, idea bouncing and title angst.
This was written for the LJ fma-fic-contest community prompt 3: "Smoke"
Up in Smoke and Gone
He's staring off into space, but smoking as usual. The ash from his cigarette is dangling precariously. He hasn't noticed it or me. I take the ashtray off the bedside table to catch it, call his name. He doesn't make eye contact. Tells me quietly, "I only get one a day..."
I brief him on Ross and he says he's glad, but his expression doesn't match his words. I ask him about his legs and his tone doesn't change; he sounds like he's giving the weather report or listing the specials in the mess hall. He can't move his legs or anything below where he was stabbed. When he tries to crack a joke he says that the funniest part is that a woman was his undoing. He says that the doctors say he'll never walk again and automail isn't an option.
The haze and fog in his eyes doesn't leave when I tell him that retirement doesn't suit him.
My lead on Doctor Marcoh is a dead-end and the trail is cold. When I get to the hospital to report to the colonel, an officer is leading a woman in tears out of Havoc's room.
He sounds as cold as before when he informs us that that's his mother and an officer from the discharge office. He balls his fists, gripping the blankets as frustration and anger smolder just under the surface when Mustang refuses his resignation. The Flame Alchemist is unprepared when Havoc's temper erupts. Havoc's eyes are embers as he clings desperately to Mustang's shirt while trying to sit up. His words pour out like lava, incinerating everything in their path. I'm frightened for him and of him, holding him up and back. As quickly as it flared the anger leaves. A conflagration so consuming he's burnt himself out. He begged and then sagged against me, spent. There isn't any fuel left in him.
The colonel's eyes went wide after the explosion. He regains his composure and gently removes Havoc's hand from his shirt. With cold resolve he tells Havoc he'll leave him behind, for now. He expects him to catch up.
Havoc pants and sweats from the exertion of sitting up as he watches the colonel leave. Hawkeye tries to soothe him, to tell him that Mustang is incapable of giving up on anyone.
He's cold as ice when he calls the colonel a fool. Hawkeye goes after Mustang to check on him. I stay behind, not knowing what to do other than offer to open the window so he can have a cigarette. I am alone with my best friend who I hardly know anymore. His life is over, but he isn't dead. The only thing that's the same is the smoke.