Flowers by My Bedside
My legs gave way beneath me, bringing me to the ground. As if on instinct, I covered my side using my hand. A crimson substance began to pool around my knees, my vision spinning. Noise surrounded me, muffled and distorted. A transparent shadow loomed over me, hiding the sunlight from my face. A feminine figure reached over me and grasped my right arm, pulling me into her lap. Though the military uniforms were made of a rough, scratchy material, I still found comfort in the arms of this women.
"Call for an ambulance."She paused, than added with a strained unstable voice, "Please Colonel." Though I was on the brink of unconsciousness, I could hear the over flow of tears threatening to over come her small physic. I found that my body craved warmth. I turned my body inwards towards the woman's body.
"Ed?" I tried to respond finding my voice mute.
"Edward? It's us."
"He's lost an alarming amount of blood. What can we do to help in the mean time while the ambulance takes its sweet time?" scoffed a males voice in aggravation and panic.
"Colonel? What's wrong?" the women's voice above me rang in concern.
What had I done? Did-did I pull the trigger? The ringing in my ears confirmed my suspicion. 'If only,' I thought to myself.' I had dropped my gun some time ago and my hands were shaking. My eyes were drawn to the blood that now covered the ground. Edward's blood…my bullet…My gun. Looking up, I met the Lieutenant's gaze. Her eyes held the agony of a mother watching her own child slip away.
"Mustang! Snap out of it!" The use of my name startled me out of my daze. Riza. She was cradling Edward in her arms, gently rocking back and forth. She had begun to silently hum a soft melody in the boy's ear. The wind blew, rustling Ed's coat, an even darker crimson than usual. Until now, I had failed to notice the bruises outlining his small frame, and the blank state of defeat in Edward's eyes. The magnificent gold his eyes once possessed were now dull and lusterless.
"Is he-is he breathing?" My voice came out hoarse and quiet. Riza stopped humming and looked my way.
"Of course he is. He's an Elric isn't he? He'll pull through like he always does." I sighed, relief washed over me.
"Alphonse?" sounded a weak voice. I stood and made my way over to the others on unstable legs. I had forgotten the presence of my other officers. All eyes were on Edward in mere seconds.
"Shhh. It's alright now. Your safe." My voice trembled ever so slightly. His small body shook in my arms. Edward closed his eyes, taking in shallow breaths.
"Where is he? Wheres my-" his words were cut short by a harsh fit of coughs that left him gasping for air. Just then a blaring siren filled the air.
Everything happened in a blur: men downed in loose fitting hospital attire were taking Ed's frail form from my arms, the sound of large doors closing, and the silence. The ambulance had sped away, its siren becoming more quiet by the second.
It had been four days since Edward arrived at the military hospital. His condition had at last improved enough to allow the boy visitors. Outside in the waiting room, a young worn pair of baby blue eyes opened. A women was gently shaking the young women awake.
"Miss Rockbell?" Winry hearing her name sat up as straight as her aching back would allow. After sleeping curled up on a 'not so roomy'' hospital chair, ones back was bound to pay the price.
"That's me. I'm Winry Rockbell," she replied while yawning. The nurse smiled.
"Well Mr Elric is well enough to have visitors as of an hour ago. Would you like me to take you to his room?" asked the women with a smile that could not have been more genuine. Winry was awake in seconds. Hearing that her childhood friend would be alright and that she could see him, she lept to her feet and wrapped her arms around the petite women. She smiled and gently stroked Winry's golden hair.
"This way sweetheart. Just follow me."
I had been awake for what felt like hours. My mind was reeling with what had taken place almost five days ago. With Lust. The deal we made; with the enemy. Could I really trust her? Up to this point She had never given me a reason to believe her words and promises. Besides, what would the others say, the fact that I'm helping the enemy? The sound of the door opening caught my attention. Her face. I could never mistaken those eyes anywhere. Winry. I expected her to race to my bed side, but instead she stood there, with fear-stricken eyes. She stared at me, seemingly speechless. Following her gaze, I found what she was looking at: Me. I was covered from head to toe in dark, purple bruises. My bandages around my stomach were in need of being changed, as my bullet wound had bled through the gauze and wrap again.
"Winry said, sounding unsure of herself as she spoke. Tears filled her eyes, I motioned for Winry to take a seat at my side. She dragged the nearest chair over to the side of the hospital bed and sat."It's just a few scratches. I'll be out of here in no time," I reassured her unbelieving stare.
"You've been hurt before, but-" she paused to take a deep breath trying to fight her raising emotions. "But never like this. Your shot for god's sake! You look like you've been hit by a freight train. Your pale as a ghost, and you have the audacity to say it's 'just a few scratches?!" She practically screamed. The tears had won over finally . Her wall had broken. Her usual facade of strength gone.
"I promise when I get out of here I am going to treat you to something special. So stop crying. I'm alive aren't I?"
She wiped her tears and took my hand in hers. I happily complied. I couldn't help but smile back when she smiled that grin of hers.
"What for?" I asked, unsure what she was thanking me for exactly. She stood and made her way to the door, releasing my hand.
"Not dying." Her response was faint, and I almost did not hear it. Falling back on my pillows, I found my body was screaming at me; I was physically AND mentally exhausted. Before closing my eyes and succumbing to sleep, I remember a figure at my side, muttering quietly the words, 'It's all my fault," over and over.
Awaking that night, according to the moonlight seeping through the hospital blinds, I could vaguely spot a flower on my bed side table. Picking up the flower, I took a better look, having some trouble seeing as it was dark. It was a red and black rose with a small note attached. I untied the twine holding the paper to the green flower stems, letting it fall to the table top. Setting the roses down, I picked picked up the note and carefully unfolded it.
'Get some sleep, you're going to need it. I can't have you dying on me now, can I?'
There was no doubt whom had left me the flowers: Lust.