His ribs are taking too long to heal.
Knox blames it on the fight he had with his half-sister, and maybe there’s some truth in that, but it was the monster Envy who broke his ribs and the beast Gluttony who shattered them. Princess Chang, despite being surprisingly adept in combat, did not cause this damage.
She is gone now, so at least he doesn’t have to suffer her obnoxious babbling.
The silence leaves more time for guilt.
He can’t help but replay the scene over and over in his head. She was screaming, louder than he had ever heard her, her body writhing and contorting as the stone was absorbed into her blood. He was screaming too, Ed was shouting and Al was crying out for the bearded man to stop, but nothing could prevent what was coming.
For a second he had almost been relieved when he saw the flesh and bone of her arm rebuild itself, reconstructing the arm she had sacrificed due to his faults. But then he saw the tattoo on her hand; the stamp on the contract was in plain view.
Lan Fan had made a deal with a devil, and her person was the price.
Ling isn’t sure when he last slept. The bedsheets are always too stifling or drenched with his sweat, and his thoughts keep him awake long into the dark hours of the night. Sometimes at the right angle he can see the milkman through the window, walking up the street in the early morning with the bottles in his hand. Amestris is a strange country in so many ways.
But tonight, just as he begins to doze, he feels qi prickling in the distance. One that no human could possess. And buried far, far beneath it is her.
He hears the homunculus before he sees her.
“Nice to see you again,” she croons, voice dripping with something that makes Ling’s stomach curl. “Thought I might check up on the girl’s precious princeling–ha! Get it?
“Lan Fan,” he breathes.
“It’s Greed, remember? Girly’s not home.” Her figure moves from the windowsill into the room, perching herself at the foot of his bed.
“No,” he grunts, struggling to sit up, “I want to talk to Lan Fan.”
Greed laughs, and its a pompous sort of noise, like ones from the nobles back home, or the tutors to their foolish students.
Never from Lan Fan.
“Well, little prince, we all want a lot of things. But nobody wants more than me, and I’m telling you she can’t have this body back, no matter how much you whine about it.” She takes a step back, and the pale moonlight casts shadows over her face, twisting Lan Fan’s soft features into something monstrous.
“Why did you come here homunculus? To gloat?”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” She gives him a cursory glance and runs a hand through her (Lan Fan’s) hair. The hand with the tattoo on the back. “I’ve got to be getting back. See you later.”
By the time he is able to stand and move to the window, she is already gone, having vanished into the night.
Almost as if she was never there at all.