Ed imagined Al's expression would look something like Fletcher's did right now.
He mostly trusted his brother to be able to put a nearly-three-year-old to bed by himself, but...Al should probably check, just to be sure.
"And search for free porn." Havoc pointed out.
It was getting kind of depressing, though, by the time the color red alone would make him wonder about the child; the flash of a cardinal, a sprig of bright berries, the gaudiness of nighttime tavern lights, and the scarlet lipstick of bar women.
Yet there are still nights that he wakes up to find his hand clutched by a seated Al, who laughs his hollow laugh and asks if he's okay, even though he does not remember screaming.
The only problem was that Ed didn't know what the heck "getting some" was or what he was being congratulated for.
The color red was a distraction. The color red was him. Him--Mustang's own constant distraction, the waving red banner amidst the dull color that painted his everyday life.
"You don't think doing grown up things makes you look older?" Ed said after a while.
Car broke down again, couple kilometers out of the city, so they had to walk for a while, until Alfons couldn't speak for the coughing.
Ed should have remembered this from that month on the island, back when he was a kid: you can only be in the great outdoors so long before you start dreaming of hot showers. And of dumping the people you're travelling with in them.
Fullmetal smiled a long, slow smile, the sort that promised evil things were in the near future, and put his boots up on Roy's desk.
Of course he came through the window.
"When I walked in on you in the bath, Edward, I wasn't expecting Al to be there too."
At night, curled shivering on the layers of musty damp leaves under the glimmering stars, Ed lay silently and thought of unspeakable unknowns...
He didn't play anymore, not with reports to file, books to read, notes to scratch out.
Ed opened his mouth, and then closed it. "Visibility is that important to you, huh?" he said.
Ed meets his eyes, holds them, and then -- slowly, painfully, but deliberately, traces his free hand in a line across his throat.
"You know it's a good thing I heal almost immediately, because otherwise I'd be so sore, I'd never get anywhere in the story."
That day, Ed had pulled his hair out of a braid and tied it up into a neat ponytail.
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.
It took you long enough to make your call. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten how to work a phone.
"I want to bring father back for her," Al had whispered the week before Christmas fell.
In a blur of red and flying braid, Ed is on his knees before her.
"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
Edward Elric was in an exceedingly bad mood.
Tomorrow: having to talk to fucking Hohenheim. The day after tomorrow: the apocalypse. No pressure, eh?
Okay, his hair wasn't brushed, and it had been a while since he'd gotten a bath, but he didn't think it was anything to blush at.
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.
Sometimes they race to see who can get to Winry's house faster.
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 remembered finding himself asking why the Fullmetal Alchemist would be the one to patch his own clothes.
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?
For in equivalent trade, everything has value and therefore everything can be taken away.
As much as he loved his family, Alphonse Elric wouldn't have traded these moments alone for anything.
Only some things, he knew, could be repaired. Not every broken sword could be re-forged.
Neither brother seems willing to speak, but their thoughts dip down into similar wells, dredging up the questions that most haunt them.
"Now, Earth-type world, yes? Spoken language identified as late pre-Galactic English."
rated:M-L | GEN | Alt Universe | TWT | First Place (popular); Second Place (juried) | Green Lion Winner | Alfons Heiderich | Edward Elric | crack | drama | fusion | introspective | 2009 Brave New Worlds, Original
He was only human though, and he had given into his rage at having to deal with Edward's dysfunction--and now Edward was gone, and it looked more and more like he might not be coming back.
"You. Boy by the window who's been doodling all the way through. What would be the result of this equation?"
Ed began to understand why some people talked to themselves.
Alphonse had thought that he must have the bravest brother in the world.
And there was a certain look they shared, the one they both used when they thought Ed was being unreasonably stubborn.
"...That is an order, Fullmetal, and I will have you court-martialed if you refuse."
And after all, no amount of rain can wash the blood away.
Brother wasn't the only one hiding his fears; I was so afraid everything I knew was a lie -- that our brotherhood was a lie.
Every line in his chest and back was defined; he hardly seemed to have any body fat at all.
It is what people say to him because they cannot think of any other way to relate to him, this boy who has the heavy title of 'Full Metal Alchemist'.
The advantage to being so distinctive-looking was that sometimes Edward didn't have to look for people; they found him first.
He can still feel in his cheeks the faint scratch of beard against skin when his father kissed him there.
If Al hadn't known how often the older boy feigned unconsciousness in order to stave off these visits, he might have been fooled.