It wasn't enough just to know what chemical components went into a human body, not if the structural knowledge was completely lacking.
"I forgot my....the ticky thing? It's...it's round and it...tells the time..."
But suddenly, when Al had his body back, it was like picking up an old book and learning something new.
The only other tradition that was better than eggnog to Al, was that of mistletoe.
This was getting crazy. He knew that his college years ran equivalent with his sexual peak, but honestly?
There were many things that Edward Elric didn't want the world to know, secrets to be protected at all cost.
"Brother," Alphonse said, voice soft with horror, "I think that Winry's going to kill you."
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.
"I'm not being forced out of another home. They won't be here long, and it's not like they'll be looking for us."
Who knew how long it would take to find Al and take down those who'd conspired to feign his death?
If it didn't rain so often, Ed thought, he might feel a little more like he could make plans.
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.
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.
"Damnit, brother," Alphonse managed, and Ed grinned at him. "I was only away for a week!"
It is to such a morning that Alphonse wakes up, light pouring in through the blinds and over the bed sheets.
Humans are so greedy, the Truth had told him in his dreams; and for all his airs and graces, he is no exception.
Apparently, years of stress had jaded Ed into thinking that if things were looking good now, then something terrible must be around the corner.
The creature tilted its head, eyeing the two men to the side of her, and slid off its precarious perch.
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.
We were the naive kings of all we surveyed, lingering on the hilltop as we stared at our kingdom of ash, of ruins, of dust.
His ruse works; Ed dismisses him - with a harsh, impatient rejoinder that he isn't finished yet - and devotes his attention to his brother.
"Up," said the demon, as the blinding force of a million suns illuminated its frame and set an evil light to its eyes.
Too many more nights of excuses are going to drive him from appropriately celibate to stark raving mad.
"He's the Fullmetal Alchemist," Alphonse interrupted, tapping his pen against his clipboard. "Are you sure you're up to the task?"
Sometimes he feels like an actor, playing to an especially difficult audience.
"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."
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.
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.
"It's blue!" Edward announced with the voice of desperation.
He runs out of ink halfway through the page, and with a quiet sigh dips his finger in the inkwell...
"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?"
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.
"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."
When there was no answer, he tried again, but gave up after that. It wasn't like Ed would get eaten by a rabid saucepan, or something.
The desire to go wandering again, to never settle down... it worried Alphonse.
But he's traveled like this before, and the hope that it won't end in failure a second time is, at this moment, enough.
They say that a wizard lives in the log cabin, on the other side of the dark woods and the silver river.
It's almost as though Al is the blind one, seeking to memorize his brother's features by touch.
"Don't worry about it," he says bossily. "I know what to do. Give me the book--don't close it--ah, thanks."
A collection of 100 word ficlets.
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.
Al didn't complain about his brother's occasional delinquency, so Ed didn't have room to complain about Al's taste in boyfriends.
Boys shouldn't do this, either with their brothers or with any other boy.
His tone was all weary patience, as though explaining to a child why candy was out of the question until after dinner.
There was gold in the middle of midnight, and Envy smiled over his satisfaction.
He's a pessimist with an ego seven miles long; he's a scientist, too, doesn't approve of Al's books.
How do you find someone who barely existed in this world now that they're gone?
Not many people are close enough to his brother to have seen either of the first two with any sort of frequency.