The first time we met was on the train. I remember catching you as you fell off the roof, slim frame easily scooped up from the reckless fall. The unexpectedly hard, heavy weight of your automail arm hit the crook of my elbow and almost made me drop you. The presence of it wasn't a surprise, Roy had told me as much as he could about you in the short time we spoke. Your presence as a whole didn't surprise me either. Roy had you pegged pretty well from the beginning, and he knew you wouldn't sit idly by if something went wrong.
The thing that caught me off-guard was your eyes. Large and round and gold, they definitely were portals to a soul that hadn't gained the adult tendency to hide every emotion. Your eyes stared up at me, wide and questioning, in a response not fit for such a young child. Any other would have clung to me and cried, shaken to the core for being unexpectedly saved from a fall that meant certain death. You, though...you merely looked up at me, silent as I spoke, carefully ingesting the information I gave you. It helped to explain the undercurrent of hard resolve in your innocent eyes, gave a reason for the weight of the automail on my arm. You had already stared Death in the eye and returned to tell the tale. It made me wonder what you had gone through in your few short years of life to already have such mature experience.
Later that day, you attacked a man much older and much larger than you, simply because you knew he was doing wrong things. You impressed me with your abilities, your clear way of thinking and reasoning. A child's mind is indeed a wonderful thing, able to cut through the politics of the elders to see the truth laid bare. You earned my respect that day.
When I look back on the things that I've done, I too wonder why it was that I took such a shine to you. The night you were present for my dear Elysia's birth, somehow, you...became part of the family. You're too old to be my own children, but I like to think that, if I had a son, he would be like you. I would want him to be like you.
Sometimes, I hope...somewhere along the line, in the absence of your true parents...you thought of me as someone you could go to for help in place of them. I would be honored if that were the case, but I would also understand if it wasn't. After all, you always were so very independant.
I think about everyone in the military that you've influenced, and it should amaze me...but it doesn't. I find it very ironic, and somehow right, that all those people who would normally not give a fifteen year old boy a second glance consider you someone worth protecting.
I could see it in Lieutenant Ross's eyes when she confronted me outside Scheska's home. I doubt she wanted to be involved with the Elric brothers, since you two are notoriously hard to handle. She didn't care for you at all at first, and yet, somehow, just by being yourselves...she risked her life to save you from an alchemic reaction gone insane. Something she knew nothing about. Her life could have ended with you in her arms, but the possibility that she might save you was enough to spur her forward.
I suppose one could compare you to that old myth of Icarus. You flew too close to the sun with wings your father constructed, and you plummeted back to earth. Still, I don't think that myth applies to you. Instead of dying from the fall, I see you sitting on the ground, bruised and bloodied, resolutely piecing your wings back together with eyes blinded by the searing sun.
Oh, I can see you now. You'd be sitting in your chair, with the same look you get every time I start to tell you about the beautiful artwork Elysia created with her potatoes the night before. (You were wrong, by the way, it truly was a work of art.) You're annoyed and failing miserably at hiding it, wondering what the point is, wishing I'd hurry up and get to it.
I suppose this could be to ask you to watch over Roy. I can't anymore, you see, and he needs someone to take care of him. Unfortunately, I can't, because...you're far too much like him.
Calm down and hear me out on this.
When you think about it, you and Roy are a lot alike. Both hot-headed and rash, with a fierce sense of determination. I daresay you'd both be equally lazy if you didn't have someone already looking after you. Hawkeye is to Roy what Al is to you. I think everyone will be alright in the end.
I guess, then, the real reason for this is...to explain my actions. Once you find out what happened, I know you'll be upset. You know I've looked into this not so much for Roy or for the military itself...but for you. For you and for Alphonse. This will more than likely make you upset and call me a fool. How dare he risk his life for this! How dare he stick his neck out when he knew that it would more than likely be cut off! He has a wife and child at home, a family!
And now, you're remembering what you saw on that platform. It somehow seems right that it began and ended on a train. I hope you saw, and I hope, now, you understand.
You see, Edward Elric...you are family. And I will do anything for my family.