Martel gets a chance to say goodbye. Spoilers through episode 39. Written for Melusina's Day of the Dead challenge.
The cold has bothered her ever since the lab, but it's worse tonight than usual. She pulls her stolen blanket tighter around her shoulders and tries not to think about why -- tries not to remember the soldiers storming the Devil's Nest, shooting to kill; tries not to remember the looks on Law and Dorochet's faces when they faced off against those freaks in black; tries not to remember Greed's last words to her and Al, the despair in his voice....
The warehouse door opens with a clang, and she's up in seconds, knife at the ready. She sees well in the dark, crouched behind a crate at the far end of the room -- but when she sees the silhouette in the doorway she still freezes, panicked as a new recruit.
He walks unerringly toward her, just as lanky and confident as she remembers him, and smiles. "Hey, beautiful."
She launches herself at him with all the unnatural speed she possesses, throwing her arms around his neck, shaking with relief, feeling him warm and solid against her. "Greed, oh God, Greed," she says, as he wraps his arms around her, stroking her hair, "I thought -- I thought you were --"
"I am," he says gently. "Don't say it."
She looks up at him, feeling cold right through, and her eyes prickle with tears. "But you're -- you're /here/."
"Ssshh," he says, stroking the tears away with his thumb, and she can smell his sweat and the leather of his wristband, so real, so /alive/. "You're dreaming."
She manages a little hysterical laugh. "Can't be," she says. "I never dream about you with your clothes on."
He hisses sadly. "My pretty girl. Why didn't you ever tell me?"
There are so many answers to that, and then he tilts her face up with one strong hand so he can kiss her, and she doesn't need to say any of them. His lips are soft, his teeth sharp, and he tastes like freedom and need and heat. She presses up against him, warm skin against hers, and it takes a minute before that she realizes what that means, before she pulls away and sees that he's not wearing any clothes anymore, and neither is she.
"Then it is," she says, and that hurts. "Just a dream."
"Not just," he promises, pulling her down with him, onto a floor that's much softer, much warmer than it should be. "It's a dream. But I'm really here. One last time." His hand slides over her skin, cupping one breast, slipping lower, tracing the swell of her hip. "And it sounds like there's a lot I need to do tonight, mmm?" He nuzzles at her neck, his breath hot on her skin, raising goosebumps. "As much as I can give you...."
And she starts crying again. "Please," she whispers, "please don't let go."
"I won't," he says, pulling her closer, kissing her throat. It's the easiest thing she's ever done to wrap her legs around his waist, to rock her hips and invite him in. They both hiss, fitting together perfectly, his weight on top of her, warm and solid and comforting.
"Always thought I'd have more time," she murmurs in his ear, wrapping her arms around him too, holding him tight against her body. "A chance to tell you later."
He moves with her, muscles rippling, so flexible she would almost swear he's the snake. "I'm sorry," he says, his teeth closing gently on her earlobe. "I'm so sorry for leaving you."
"You didn't --"
"I did." He doesn't stop moving, even when she goes stiff at the words. "Please don't stop, my angel, please don't stop -- I only have this one chance...." And he sounds like he needs her, and her heart breaks on a sob as she moves with him again. "I had -- oh, you're lovely -- so few options left."
She moans, shifts to take him deeper, presses her hands to the hard arches of his shoulderblades. "I'll -- aah...I'll kill whoever...."
"No," he tells her, lifting her up so she rides him, sinks down on him, his strong arms cradling her close, "don't. I goaded that child into doing it. It was the only way I could stay free."
She pulls back to look him in the eyes, trying to find a way to ask, trying to find words for the question. Her eyes are filling with tears again, and her throat feels tight.
"She would have sealed me again," he says, and then he cants his hips forward, changing the angle of his thrusts, and her body shudders even as her heart aches. "I couldn't face another century in the dark. I'm so sorry."
"Ahssss...." She buries her face in his neck, shaking with it, and when she can speak again she says, "Don't. Don't apologize. I would have done it, too...." If the only other choice were to go back to the lab -- to be locked away in that lightless cell -- she knows that would be no choice at all.
She pulls him back down, wanting to feel his strength, his power, this last time, and she takes him in, arching up against him, and he follows her wordless direction with a bittersweet little smile. It makes him look human, so strangely human, the way she's never even dreamed him, and the words rise to her lips, his slow thrusts coaxing them out of her, the words she would never say if he were still --
"I love you," she whispers, "Ssssaaah, Greed, I love you," and because this is a dream it sets him off for her to say it, rocking and shuddering, and because this is a dream it sets her off again to feel him, and they cling to each other as if the waves will drag them both under otherwise.
When they slow, when they stop, his face pressed to her hair, his warmth all she feels, he murmurs, "You know, if you ask an alchemist about us, if they even believe we exist at all, they'll tell you we have no souls. That we can't love, that we aren't human enough. But...I love you, as much as I can. As much as I ever have."
She shakes with the effort of holding back the sobs, and he kisses her gently, slowly, all over her face, as if he's trying to get enough for himself to remember, too.
"I won't be able to visit you again," he tells her, and the tone makes her ache, makes her certain that everything he's said is true. "This is the last time I'll see you, on this side of the Gate." He tilts her face up to his, waits for her to be able to meet his eyes. "But we'll be waiting for you. Law and Dorochet and I, we'll be waiting."
She swallows hard. "They're with you?" He nods, and she blinks back tears, trying to make her voice work. "Tell them -- tell them I love them, please...."
He smiles, fingertips stroking her face gently. "They know, lovely. I promise you, they know. But I'll remind them."
There's more she wants to say -- wants to promise, wants to tell him she'll avenge them, wants to swear she'll track down Kimberly and those freaks in black -- but her strength is fading, leaving her slowly, and her eyes slip closed as he's telling her softly about the adventures they'll have, the four of them, when she sees them again....
The cold wakes her, near dawn. She feels like she's slept a thousand years and not at all, like she's focused completely on her future and living entirely for her past. When she sits up, something clatters to the concrete beside her. She pulls the blanket back, and looks.
It's one of his wristbands.
She picks it up, turns it over in her hands, lets the last tears fall, and smiles. "Waiting," she tells the empty warehouse. It's a promise. "I'll be waiting, too."