Apparently, years of stress had jaded Ed into thinking that if things were looking good now, then something terrible must be around the corner.
"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?"
He realized for the first time that Edward, who he was used to seeing shadowed by blood and sweat and his own private sorrows, was actually beautiful.
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.
"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."
"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."
"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!"
Ed tosses four sausages at once into his mouth and swallows almost without chewing, shooting Al a smug, triumphant grin.
There is immortality deep within us that has nothing to do with corruptible flesh and earthly demise.
"Stop that," he snapped, flicking the tap on. "Change into something a little more appropriate. You're not him, brother."
Sweet nothingness, just feeling, no Stone, no pesky mental commentary or guilt, and just this goddamn sensation that eclipsed the sun.
I know what I feel, I know what I think, and I don't need to chickenscratch the shit down and have the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.
There were three ways to identify the Fullmetal Alchemist, wherever he went.
With no warning at all, something changed in the air between them, and the fight turned dirty.
They say that a wizard lives in the log cabin, on the other side of the dark woods and the silver river.
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.
The sweet morning snaps like a fragile pane of glass and Al is sobbing, the sounds tearing up out of his chest and throat before he can stop them.
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...
"So by 'torture,' you really mean 'sexual gratification'. Specifically your sexual gratification.
The sunrise is spectacular, and it is the first that Edward has been awake to see in years.
See him move, see him train, see him jump into that air and swing his leg in a complete arch before he lands heavily to the ground in a perfect execution of Sensei's teachings.
He would ask questions, even though Al knew he didn't particularly care, simply because he liked seeing Alphonse so animated about something.
If it didn't rain so often, Ed thought, he might feel a little more like he could make plans.
"Damnit, brother," Alphonse managed, and Ed grinned at him. "I was only away for a week!"
...when he presses his hand against the scraped array and wills it to activate, he can't help but send a whispered prayer to it. Please work. Please, please...
Not many people are close enough to his brother to have seen either of the first two with any sort of frequency.
But suddenly, when Al had his body back, it was like picking up an old book and learning something new.
Boys shouldn't do this, either with their brothers or with any other boy.
If he would permit himself to be honest, Alphonse would admit to Roy that he hates the rain, too.
His tone was all weary patience, as though explaining to a child why candy was out of the question until after dinner.
The house rumbled gently, as a cat purrs, and Alphonse tied off the braid, pressing his hands to Edward's scalp one more time before dropping them to his side.
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.
"Oh, hello, brother." Alphonse flashed the smaller boy a smile, startled but pleased. "I didnít hear you come outside."
"Hi Brother!" the other end of the phone chirped, and Ed's shoulders immediately went from tense to jelly.
This was getting crazy. He knew that his college years ran equivalent with his sexual peak, but honestly?
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.
"Get out of the kitchen, brother," he snarled, waving the spatula threateningly. "I'm still cooking, damnit."
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.
"I'm sorry Al," he said at last. "For what it's worth, I never meant for this to happen to you."
It's a paradoxical situation; Alphonse is closer to Edward than he has ever been, yet somehow he feels as if they don't know each other at all.
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.
It is somewhat odd that two brothers can be so different, yet so close.
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.
"Brother," Alphonse said, voice soft with horror, "I think that Winry's going to kill you."
Humans are so greedy, the Truth had told him in his dreams; and for all his airs and graces, he is no exception.
The creature tilted its head, eyeing the two men to the side of her, and slid off its precarious perch.
"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."