Edward snaps awake at precisely three thirty-one in the morning, safe in a bed next to his one and only brother, and for the life of him he cannot imagine why.
Car broke down again, couple kilometers out of the city, so they had to walk for a while, until Alfons couldn't speak for the coughing.
It is what people say to him because they cannot think of any other way to relate to him, this boy who has the heavy title of 'Full Metal Alchemist'.
"What do you mean, you're PREGNANT?" Ed yelled through the door.
Ed began to understand why some people talked to themselves.
...the two men drank Roy's good whiskey, clinked glasses and Maes exclaimed that It was about damn time.
What do you know, he wanted to scream, what do you know about my brother, what he’s gone through and how far he’s — we’ve — come?
He has seen the desert. Seen her scorched and scarred beneath his steady hands. Stepped in her tattered remains, tasted her ashes with every breath.
"If you hadn't messed in the mud to get the cat," he pointed out, "your hands wouldn't be so cold. Give me your other."
"Fuck, I have a gang," Ed breathed in horror, about to take a seat.
"Yeah. Him again. The Colonel doesn't know when to quit, does he?"
It was so terribly painful, really, the way he would smile when he was about to cry.
Gloved hands shot out and grabbed the book in question, dragging it off the shelf and holding it to the light.
Any girl would be driven insane if she was the youngest child and the only girl in a family of six children.
I could sleep here, soundly, knowing that I followed in his footsteps, lay in the same beds, held the same forks and glasses, and spoke with the same people he had protected.
I didn't know on the phone. I didn't know on the train.
I really don't like this body, he thought sadly; if he'd had a face to pout with, he would have.
The boy's brother stretches out a flesh-and-blood hand towards her, and at that moment she hates him, hates them all.
He'd meant to say something but Ed had been so determined, so anxious to be useful, to create something.
"Honestly, Fullmetal, I'm beginning to think that you're more trouble than you're worth."
And if she listened carefully enough, she could hear Edward reading in a low voice to a gurgling Alphonse.
Could I burn like that - would the lick of flames on my skin wipe me clean?
Winry muttered something Scieszka couldn't quite catch, brow furrowed as she leaned in to adjust something on the switchboard.
Even Hawkeye could be caught off guard, and the men moving in too late, even five seconds too long, too far away.
"Just who're you calling..." Edward's voice stuttered to a halt as he saw where the man was pointing. "...short?"
Death overtook Hohenheim unexpectedly on the road to knowledge.
"You don't think doing grown up things makes you look older?" Ed said after a while.
Brother wasn't the only one hiding his fears; I was so afraid everything I knew was a lie -- that our brotherhood was a lie.
The dizzy whiteness rushed over him again; bright, hurting, noisy, afraid, hard, can't remember, Niisan...
If Al could have frowned suspiciously, he would have. Instead he relied on his expressive vocal stylings as he propped his brother upright. “What’s in that glass, Brother?”
And of course, he does not believe in God anyway, and scorns the idea of predestination.
Alphonse worried, but was rapidly won over by his brother's promises.
Very few alchemists believed in God, but all of them believed in books.
They are his signposts and self-inscriptions, cordoning off the book as his own, as something he possesses.
Light was what brought shadow into being; they were cast by its brightness and thrived in its absence...
"For only one arm..." Ed rasped out, gritting his teeth against the pain.
I didn't understand that, didn't comprehend why being clean for going into the earth was a good thing until much later...
"It's good to hear that Fullmetal is in good spirits, if he's being so obtrusive in showing off."
It seemed, the man thought, that Ed was a lot like the sun -- warm, comforting -- and at a distance.
He recalled lifting it cautiously up to his nose, and then back away from the stinging, spicy herbs along with the smouldering scent of tobacco.
Every line in his chest and back was defined; he hardly seemed to have any body fat at all.
Al should've never told his mother the box was a present for Winry.
A false peace, rotten at the roots: he would dream for the rest of his life of the brother he could not touch and think those dreams his due.
Some of the details he needed, of course, they wouldn't have; no non-alchemist would know. And most of the details they had, he didn't want.
"Edward," Hawkeye said kindly, "has it occurred to you that you and Alphonse may be spending too much time alone?"
Not a fairy, then, Alfons thought in disappointment. The fairies in stories weren't usually so foul-mouthed and excitable, anyway.
And there was a certain look they shared, the one they both used when they thought Ed was being unreasonably stubborn.