I, the stray dog of the desert, who sloped long and pale, slashed to ribbons, across the moonlight sands on my journey to God.
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.
This is far more effective, Roy thinks grimly, than any threat of physical violence against his own self.
He knew, as he had never known before, his own body; the strength and flexibility in every limb, every joint, every bone.
The creature tilted its head, eyeing the two men to the side of her, and slid off its precarious perch.
"That angel hated God's second born. He was jealous. Why was he so easy to cast aside and walk away from?"
"He misses me," came the quiet whisper, a hope that maybe this madness would end, that maybe, maybe, he could be released, that he could go home.
They say that a wizard lives in the log cabin, on the other side of the dark woods and the silver river.
But you never thought of it as a handicap, did you, as something just the same as being blind or deaf.
Water fills her ears without stopping them, just as grief does her mind, and she drums her fingers on the wooden slats in time to the litany of her failure.
Dante took the seat next to the bed, and handed a mug of tea to Trisha.
What kind of stupid creature would walk willingly and calmly to its own violent, brutal death?
Ling. Ambitious, greedy Ling. He deserved what he got.
Winry had scraped a promise out of Ed.
Occasionally, after a bad sand storm, a bone would work its way up to the surface; bare and bleached, like the sticks he used to pretend were swords.
"Oh, he's probably just studying too hard to notice you knocking," Winly said at first.
Always on Al's face was that soft, sad expression, paralleled by the fierce unyieldingness on Ed's.
But when the acting commander of the Intelligence branch, the man who controlled her widow's pension, requested and required this service... well... well.
Death could come to Roy on his time. Appointment first. Lunch, maybe.
It was, and he hated to admit it, an intriguing proposal. Ed wondered who the General had leaned on to get it written in just such a way to make his alchemic blood tingle.
Sometimes, he really wished that sleeping dogs would have been left alone...
"...If I...really went insane...I mean, completely lost my mind..." Ed said, carefully, "do you think you'd be able to stop me?"
They'd been on the run so long, Ed had long since lost track of the last time he'd slept in a bed instead of in an abandoned barn, or under a hedge.
Your eyes stared up at me, wide and questioning, in a response not fit for such a young child.
The easiest way to destroy an enemy is to destroy those he depends upon.
The color red was a distraction. The color red was him. Him--Mustang's own constant distraction, the waving red banner amidst the dull color that painted his everyday life.
PR, we need PR, he kept telling himself, but at this point he didn't think he could string more than two sentences together.
"As you can see," she said to Mr. Elric, wryly, "Appreciate them while they're at this age, because they turn into teenagers in the blink of an eye."
Riza looks straight ahead. "Personally, I found during my time in Ishbal that nothing stops a career faster than a bullet between the eyes."
He hates the military. Maybe he doesn't. Roy and straight-line thinking aren't on speaking terms anymore, though he likes to pretend.
Al thought of Martel, of Nina. He didn't want to be a chimera.
"Beautiful," he purred again, a smile curling the edges of his lips, and Roy shivered despite the heat.
It hurt, somehow, to know that there was no one now who could see past the mask if he didn't want them to.
On Ed's thirtieth birthday, he attends a memorial that some of the military officers are holding for Ed.
Yet there are still nights that he wakes up to find his hand clutched by a seated Al, who laughs his hollow laugh and asks if he's okay, even though he does not remember screaming.
"Don't go to sleep," he murmurs into Ed's hair, and thinks of their mother, long ago, telling a story about spinning straw into gold.
He'd meant to say something but Ed had been so determined, so anxious to be useful, to create something.
But he kept going back. She knew, and confronted him at one time.
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.
Winly was touched, really, that even after two years without seeing one another, Ed still wrote her letters.
"I know," Ed replies, and grins. "I mean, I can totally see why. Nobody else kisses the way I do."
He reminds Alfons of himself, in a way, back after he'd been first diagnosed with his illness; when he used to get up and stare at his face in the washbasin mirror every day and think, I am too young for this.
Now the eyes were dull, the gold frosted, and bitter lines caged his mouth.
"We ought to have a toast," Ed says, frowning into the depths of his bottle. "They always do when they're having a drink in someone's memory."
His ruse works; Ed dismisses him - with a harsh, impatient rejoinder that he isn't finished yet - and devotes his attention to his brother.
"How is it possible for you to be so like him?" she whispered, nuzzling against his throat.
"I'm not thirteen," Al said, as if reading his mind.
"Don't worry," Greed had whispered. "I'll take care of your little death."
Fear kept Al's metal arms at his sides, shaking slightly with each of Edward's pained moans.