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.
Hope — he could almost reach out and touch that hope, hours away, maybe, just a few ticks of the clock and an array or two later and it could be real.
Yes, something was amiss, and Roy Mustang was going to find out what.
What price for a human soul? Even a body and a leg had left a debt that could cleave the world in two.
When Winry found him, he could not help but clutch at her, babbling almost hysterically.
I had offered him something he couldn't deny, something he couldn't refuse: the blink of salvation and a flesh-and-blood body for his brother.
It was a big world out there, full of more possibilities than either of them could dream of.
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.
It would be a shame if the future Fuhrer got himself killed over something as trivial as a chess game.
Alphonse had thought that he must have the bravest brother in the world.
She'd barely managed not to wail But it's Yoletide! and prove herself both spoiled brat and country bumpkin.
He's getting so awfully, awfully tired of pictures, but they won't just stop coming.
The dizzy whiteness rushed over him again; bright, hurting, noisy, afraid, hard, can't remember, Niisan...
But the harsh light of early morning sharpens the hard angles of desperation on Al's face so instead Ed smiles, all teeth, and lies, "Of course."
"You'd be dangerous if you ever figured out what you wanted, Fullmetal."
"Because," said Al flatly, "Roy is dark and handsome and--most importantly of all--charming. And you're short and blond and obnoxious."
And if he did forget mom's face, what would be next? Her voice? Her smile? The color of her eyes?
All the alchemical skill in the world didn't matter, he was learning, when it came to something like this.
She would notice when that body's pulse went up around her, the flush of cheeks, and the way the eyes followed her curves.
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.
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.
"So, we're one gunshot from a civil war. If someone from Hakuro's faction fired that shot, for whatever reason ..."
rated:K-L-V | M+F S+S | Mangaverse | post-series | SP: ch 1-108 | DF: ch 105 | Alphonse Elric | Edward Elric | Roy Mustang | mystery | 354th FG HQ | UST | 2010 Best New Voices, Neophyte | Havoc/Rebecca
What he really wanted to know was something else - a question of 'why', quite likely.
It wasn't a nightmare; nightmares leave him shaking and sweating, but now he's oddly calm.
"Well, I guess she can't keep him away from every bitch in heat around this place."
Ah. Fans. He preens slightly into his coat, sits up just a little taller on his haunches. Fans he knows how to deal with.
"Honestly, Fullmetal, I'm beginning to think that you're more trouble than you're worth."
Sometimes Al thinks that somewhere back in the Armstrong family tree lurks an alchemical accident in a sequin factory.
They were good boys, and smart, and she trusted them to stay mostly out of trouble. Mostly.
There is grass growing on the cinders, ivy covers the old stones.
Dear Ed: I miss you more than you can ever know.
It wasn't easy to imagine how he had been mistaken, because Al could swear that even from a distance, a hanged man looked very different from a tent post.
I didn't understand that, didn't comprehend why being clean for going into the earth was a good thing until much later...
Of course he came through the window.
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.
"You're late," Ed tells him flatly. "You should have been here one minute and forty four seconds ago."
He’s killing his brother slowly, but he has already promised to do it quickly; what does it matter?
Al makes a worried little noise, and Ed raises his head a little. He's been found out, he thinks, and knows he should feel something.
Al waited to say something until Ed's hair brushed his shoulders.
When dealing with the military, it always paid to look ready for inspection. Neatness counted; passion was suspect.
“You just need to make it clear to him that he may have an opinion on the matter, but in the end, you’re the one who’s going to be doing all the work. Roy and I had that discussion months ago, and he’s been very cooperative ever since.”
Neither brother seems willing to speak, but their thoughts dip down into similar wells, dredging up the questions that most haunt them.
"You'd think the Colonel would have plenty of experience in dealing with irate brothers by now."
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.
"Oh, what would YOU know? said Winry. "You've never looked at a girl in your life."
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?”
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.
The blond shook his head lightly, probably in amusement, "I'm really sorry but he's normally not like this to strangers but your resemblance? is very striking, Roy."