It was her, her in all her sweet glory, in all her unharmed perfection, in all her wonder and her breath and her life. It wasn't right, wasn't, couldn't be because she was dead and gone, a memory and a wish and a prayer, but it was her, dammit. It was her, and she looked amazing and astonishing, gossamer like thoughts on hazy summer days.
Al blinked, rubbing his eyes with balled up fists before his head shook back and forth, the blonde hair swaying in disbelief and denial. His brother was behind her, his gaze shamefully cast off and away, but the youngest Elric didn't notice, didn't care; his eyes were full of her.
"Mother?" And his voice broke, shattered as he raced to her, arms wrapping around her thin body, embracing the image, the idea. "Mommy!"
"Shhh, shhhh, honey, it was only a dream." Her hand, soft and kind like when she cut apples for them, when she wiped their scrapes clean, was in his hair, stroking it, a caress. "It's going to be okay, now."
Al was crying, staining her apron in his happiness, and he when she drew his chin up for a kiss to steal those tears away, he didn't second guess the action. And when she kissed his lips, he didn't protest, couldn't think to shove her away. It was his mother, his mother and she had returned home!
Edward growled beside him, the sound a rumble of threatening thunder in the dimness of the room. Al could see the way his hands shook, trembled at his sides in a fit of rage that went unspoken, without being burdened by words that would mar such an amazing occasion.
"She's home, Brother!" he yelled, holding her tighter. "She's home! It's really her!"
"Brother!" And then she was kissing him again, this time wicked and sinful and deep, and Al's eyes widened helplessly behind the fringe of golden lashes. Her long fingers were in his hair, trailing through it, pulling it up, apart, before laying it against his temples once more, as if examining the wonder that could be locks like his.
"Shhh, baby, mommy's going to make it all better..." She was pulling him towards the bed, laying him down atop it, smoothing his body over the darkness of blankets that had been mussed with Edward's help. Her hands were up his shirt, playing over the smooth planes of a hairless chest, fingernails sweetly self-manicured sliding along the darkened nub of a pointed nipple.
His legs straightened, shot out, before kicking up at her aimlessly. "What are you—No! No! Stop! Mother!"
But her smile was all encompassing, embracing the world as she took his mouth, kissed him, kissed him she had done to their father so many years ago. "You won't leave me like he did, will you, my little one?" came the breathed inquiry against his ear, hips grinding against his, the skirt being pulled up, higher, higher, curves of calves and sweet thighs visible in lazy nightmares.
"Mother?" His eyes looked around her body helplessly, locking onto Edward who stood with his head low, bangs shadowing his gaze. "Brother!"
"Mind your mother," came a guttural mutter, and Al wasn't sure where it had come from for a moment, until he saw Edward's lips moving. "Do what she says. Stop giving her a hard time."
Al fell back onto the bed with a cry, his mother's hands already attacking his pants, opening them like they were the sea and she was leading her people through them. His hands struck at hers weakly, before giving up and laying over his head as he closed his eyes, as he opened his mouth, as he cried out when the warm heat of her body swallowed him whole.
The youngest Elric lay spent across damp blankets, unconscious and dreaming of better times, better places. Some feet away, the creature that had once wore the mask of Trisha smiled. "Your family has just one, big incestuous mental complex, isn't it?"
An automail hand scrubbed at reddened cheeks, hiding the shaking breath. Weakness was not an option now, not here, not in front of Envy. "Shut up."
"Truth hurts, doesn't it, shorty?" Envy slid from the bed, padding towards the other Elric, the golden child, the perfect imperfection. "Who knew I could buy your brother from you for a few, measly pieces of paper."
"It's... it's not like that!"
The homunculus snorted, handing over the beaten book, a tome that had seen more suns, more moons, more seasons than either of the Elric boys had. It held secrets, darker, deeper than that which their father had seen, more powerful than the Gate itself, or so the rumors went. It was snatched from his hands cruelly, and Envy laughed as Edward stared him down, daggers in his eyes brandished. "Maybe you need to reassess your relationship with your beloved little brother."
"Get the fuck out!"
Envy shrugged, before slipping to the window, crawling onto the sill, his legs dangling over aimlessly, swinging. "You need to learn to cope a little better," he purred. "You know, not everyone can be someone's long lost incestuous lover; sometimes, you need to learn to share."
Long after Envy was gone, Edward still stood, the volume heavy in his arms, but that weight was nothing compared to the milestone in his heart.