And when you held your breath, where did you keep it, in your lungs or your mouth or your throat?
When Winry found him, he could not help but clutch at her, babbling almost hysterically.
"Huh? Whose fault? Ahahah.. aha..." Ed tried to avoid the topic.
"I want to bring father back for her," Al had whispered the week before Christmas fell.
And if he did forget mom's face, what would be next? Her voice? Her smile? The color of her eyes?
It was only after the sheer sensation had abated — only when he felt on solid enough ground to focus on the subtleties of life once more — that the habit began to catch his attention.
It was just as his body heat was beginning to bring the sheets up to a reasonable temperature that the noise caught his ears- an ugly scraping sound, unnatural and harsh in the silence of early morning hours.
And while he didn't know the Niisan that had been to hell and back again with a grin on his face, he knew his Niisan, and he knew that prison was not at all where he belonged.
There is grass growing on the cinders, ivy covers the old stones.
The feel of hands on his shoulders woke him, one metal and one flesh, and it was the chill in human fingers that told him how cold the night had grown while he slept.
He's seen quite enough of the military hospital in Central, and much as he likes the nurses, he was still glad when he thought they were through with it.
All the alchemical skill in the world didn't matter, he was learning, when it came to something like this.
Al crouches down on a dune looking down on the camp and draws an array in the sand, thinking of Gunnar with a dull pang of grief.
It would be a shame if the future Fuhrer got himself killed over something as trivial as a chess game.
Ed remembered that Al's first word was 'Mama', and his second one was 'Niichan'.
It took you long enough to make your call. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten how to work a phone.
Al sits in a doorway puzzling absently over the problem of what array to draw to bandage his arm before he bleeds to death.
Rule number one: no one knows about us. Rule number two: I will continue to take other lovers to keep up appearances. Rule number three: no commitment. I thought it would be best to keep this quiet so I wouldn't look like a damn pedophile.
If Al hadn't known how often the older boy feigned unconsciousness in order to stave off these visits, he might have been fooled.
Fear kept Al's metal arms at his sides, shaking slightly with each of Edward's pained moans.
It wasn't a nightmare; nightmares leave him shaking and sweating, but now he's oddly calm.
It was the first official meeting of the Big But Not Scary Club.
Alphonse had thought that he must have the bravest brother in the world.
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?
Brother likes to pretend that he doesn't care what goes on in the military unless it directly affects him. Or, you know, directly offends him. One or the other.
"You'd be dangerous if you ever figured out what you wanted, Fullmetal."
This was always my favorite part of the day, when I could observe the wicked gleams of a glare I wasn't meant to see.
Dear Ed: I miss you more than you can ever know.
These days, he loves the movies.
Ah. Fans. He preens slightly into his coat, sits up just a little taller on his haunches. Fans he knows how to deal with.
"Oh, what would YOU know? said Winry. "You've never looked at a girl in your life."
Neither brother seems willing to speak, but their thoughts dip down into similar wells, dredging up the questions that most haunt them.
Falling back into the sun-warmed grass, Al smiled to the skies, offered them his hopes and dreams on a gilded platter of golden eyes.
When dealing with the military, it always paid to look ready for inspection. Neatness counted; passion was suspect.
Thank you General Mustang. At least that creep was good for something. Winry still wasn't convinced he was good for Ed.
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?”
As much as he loved his family, Alphonse Elric wouldn't have traded these moments alone for anything.
An alchemical reaction of the most ancient kind: sitting down to eat as though filling the stomach could replace the gap in one's heart.
She would notice when that body's pulse went up around her, the flush of cheeks, and the way the eyes followed her curves.
"Honestly, Fullmetal, I'm beginning to think that you're more trouble than you're worth."
What he really wanted to know was something else - a question of 'why', quite likely.
"You. Boy by the window who's been doodling all the way through. What would be the result of this equation?"
They were good boys, and smart, and she trusted them to stay mostly out of trouble. Mostly.
Sometimes Al thinks that somewhere back in the Armstrong family tree lurks an alchemical accident in a sequin factory.
He’s killing his brother slowly, but he has already promised to do it quickly; what does it matter?
What price for a human soul? Even a body and a leg had left a debt that could cleave the world in two.
ROY: [calmly] If drinking means acting like an idiot the way you are, I'm going to pass.
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.