In her pursuit of all things slightly but irrefutably odd, Asidian has abandoned her sanity bit by bit along the peculiar and Seussian paths of her thoughts. She isn’t much bothered, usually; after all, matters in certain fandoms are managed by equivalent trade, and the subsequently gained freedom of an unhinged mind is quite refreshing indeed.
It was the last moments of the change that had always held Ed rapt, had always thrilled him with the knowledge that whatever came into being, every tiny detail of it, was his creation.
The feeling came more naturally than anything he'd known.
"Oh, hello, brother." Alphonse flashed the smaller boy a smile, startled but pleased. "I didnít hear you come outside."
With a sense of rising dread, Alphonse raised his fist to pound for admittance, worry tinging his voice. "Brother? Are you alright in there?"
It was only after the sheer sensation had abated — only when he felt on solid enough ground to focus on the subtleties of life once more — that the habit began to catch his attention.
And when the next words followed, barely loud enough to be heard, the General was surprised by the force behind them.
Envy forced down the nasty smirk that threatened to overwhelm him.
All it took was a push of his hand and the twist of a small brass key to put it out of sight.
His tone was all weary patience, as though explaining to a child why candy was out of the question until after dinner.
There was one thing that Edward had missed above all others.
"Honestly, Fullmetal, I'm beginning to think that you're more trouble than you're worth."
"It's cheating," he declared at last, "To pick a fight while I ache."
Neither brother seems willing to speak, but their thoughts dip down into similar wells, dredging up the questions that most haunt them.
The feel of hands on his shoulders woke him, one metal and one flesh, and it was the chill in human fingers that told him how cold the night had grown while he slept.
It was just as his body heat was beginning to bring the sheets up to a reasonable temperature that the noise caught his ears- an ugly scraping sound, unnatural and harsh in the silence of early morning hours.
There were precious few memories remaining, now, dimmed with the passage of time and the years that heíd spent lacking a flesh body, but he kept them close to him all the same.
The water streamed clear and icy through his fingers- and all at once he straightened, laughing, to flick the last few drops into his brotherís face.
"Brother," Alphonse said, voice soft with horror, "I think that Winry's going to kill you."
"You know we need to catch that train to Central, and you were being unreasonable. If we're late getting back again, General Mustang's going to have a fit."
Alphonse had thought that he must have the bravest brother in the world.
Life, the Fullmetal Alchemist decided viciously, wasn't fair.
Alphonse settled for a barely audible sigh and hoped that his brother knew what he was doing.
It was so, so much easier just to go hungry than to try their hands at something she'd done so well.
More than once already, Edward had regretted turning down the offer of a ride home, despite the fact that the little house he shared with Alphonse was nowhere near where Havoc lived.
He was just moving to light the stove, casting about for a match to begin the flames that would cook their dinner, when the voice drifted in from the other room.
It is snowing in earnest by the time the fire has begun to burn low, but neither boy wants to move to add more wood.
Tenderly, Ed's flesh fingers threaded into hair that he had created — short and bronze-gold, the same downy texture that he'd recalled from childhood.
The sunrise is spectacular, and it is the first that Edward has been awake to see in years.
"That's what you said last time. And the time before that. And," he added, dragging the feather upward with maddening slowness, "The time before that."
"Up," said the demon, as the blinding force of a million suns illuminated its frame and set an evil light to its eyes.
He had never dared to dream that things could get better, astounded as he'd been by the way air tasted spilling over his tongue...
This new life was staggering - more so, the feel of Alphonse's shoulder, warm and flesh beneath his cheek as the train lurched out of the station.
If Al hadn't known how often the older boy feigned unconsciousness in order to stave off these visits, he might have been fooled.
Wouldn't it be easier, after all, to slip from beneath the blankets and return to his own bed, all but unused for the past month?
It made a lovely picture, with the moonlight streaming in thick and silver under the curtains, and Edward silently cursed everything that came to mind...
As always, there was a spark of hope in the younger Elric's expression, and it dug its claws into him as it had every day for the past eight months.