Who knew how long it would take to find Al and take down those who'd conspired to feign his death?
Boys shouldn't do this, either with their brothers or with any other boy.
That was when the nightmare had begun, when the world had become stone walls, sterilized laboratories, and lights so bright as to make little red capillaries snake across both boys' eyes.
He's a pessimist with an ego seven miles long; he's a scientist, too, doesn't approve of Al's books.
Why was Ed still letting this fear haunt him? How long was the lingering pain of these old wounds going to hang between them?
"So by 'torture,' you really mean 'sexual gratification'. Specifically your sexual gratification.
I'm going to kill Ed when he gets back, Al told the General. I just thought I should tell you in advance in case there's paperwork.
It is to such a morning that Alphonse wakes up, light pouring in through the blinds and over the bed sheets.
His brother seemed to like it when the leather left marks, a residual token of ownership, even when the collar (by job-dictated necessity) had to be removed.
Faith didn't hold much of a place in my life; science was my passion, something I could see, something I could feel, could make sense of.
The room had gotten hot and stuffy, and there was sweat on both of his hands, though the sheen on the automail had not come from his own body.
It is somewhat odd that two brothers can be so different, yet so close.
"It's cold and dark and raining, and there are thugs roaming the street - brother, have a heart! He could be killed! He could become kitten stew!"
Al didn't complain about his brother's occasional delinquency, so Ed didn't have room to complain about Al's taste in boyfriends.
With no warning at all, something changed in the air between them, and the fight turned dirty.
For an instant, a look passed between them, and Alphonse could almost imagine that he saw his own emotions reflected within the eyes of his brother.
"You paid for him to have sex?" Mustang says incredulously, putting his pen down on the table top and shoving the form away. "You bought him a prostitute?"
The sunrise is spectacular, and it is the first that Edward has been awake to see in years.
The first time was not a night of magic or fireworks, not something dreams were made of, not something that either of them planned on repeating again.
The creature tilted its head, eyeing the two men to the side of her, and slid off its precarious perch.
Apparently, years of stress had jaded Ed into thinking that if things were looking good now, then something terrible must be around the corner.
They say that a wizard lives in the log cabin, on the other side of the dark woods and the silver river.
There were precious few memories remaining, now, dimmed with the passage of time and the years that he’d spent lacking a flesh body, but he kept them close to him all the same.
Ed tosses four sausages at once into his mouth and swallows almost without chewing, shooting Al a smug, triumphant grin.
"All this will do is give your soul access to the feelings that should be in your body right now, just like a normal teenage boy."
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.
People all have different ideas of beauty, Al knows, and no two ever appear to be the same.
"Don't worry about it," he says bossily. "I know what to do. Give me the book--don't close it--ah, thanks."
"It's cheating," he declared at last, "To pick a fight while I ache."
It's important that a little light always comes in, even if it's only enough to see shadows and outlines, and not words at all.
His tone was all weary patience, as though explaining to a child why candy was out of the question until after dinner.
He could imagine the words Fix typed as coming from his brother, and it afforded him a little bit of indulgence in his horrible, sinful, uncontrollable urges.
"Brother," Alphonse said, voice soft with horror, "I think that Winry's going to kill you."
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 do you find someone who barely existed in this world now that they're gone?
The desire to go wandering again, to never settle down... it worried Alphonse.
Sometimes he feels like an actor, playing to an especially difficult audience.
Sweet nothingness, just feeling, no Stone, no pesky mental commentary or guilt, and just this goddamn sensation that eclipsed the sun.
“Are you all right, Loincloth Witch Alphonse?” “Y-y-yes,” the young hero stammered, feeling as though at any moment his heart might leap right through his ribcage.
"He's the Fullmetal Alchemist," Alphonse interrupted, tapping his pen against his clipboard. "Are you sure you're up to the task?"
A collection of 100 word ficlets.
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.
"Stop that," he snapped, flicking the tap on. "Change into something a little more appropriate. You're not him, brother."
The only other tradition that was better than eggnog to Al, was that of mistletoe.
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...