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Left-handed


It was another letter from Edward.

Winly was touched, really, that even after two years without seeing one another, Ed still wrote her letters. They came less often, perhaps, than they once had; they tended to be a bit shorter, as if he had less to say to her, or perhaps no longer felt that certain events were still of interest to her. But still, they came, and with fair regularity, the same style lion-stamped envelope, dusty from the trip across the country, and the same address in the corner—Edward and Alphonse Elric, East City Headquarters, et cetera, et cetera ...

She tore open the envelope and scanned the contents of the letter; a small smile came to her face, and one line caught her attention.

I think my handwriting is a little better. Do you agree?

Once upon a time, Ed's handwriting had been pretty nice, actually. His mother had taught him and his brother to form letters, after all, and her handwriting, flowing and beautiful, had transferred itself into her sons' penmanship.

Then Ed had lost his arm.

Winly was very proud of her mechanical ability—had always been proud of it—but even the best automail took time to get used to, and of course, it took longer to design. All in all, Edward had been without use of a right arm for three months, and then spent another two months refining his fine motor skills—picking up small objects, pointing, scratching the dog's ears.

In the meantime, he had taken to writing with his left hand.

It had been painful to watch, really, as Edward painstakingly wrote each letter that first time—it was like watching a 3-year-old write 'I love you' for their mother, each letter a work of art in and of itself to the child. His brow had furrowed, frustration in his features, and finally he had hurled the pencil across the room and declared that dammit no wonder only ten percent of the population was left-handed! But only twenty minutes later he was at it again, forcing himself to form the words all the way down the page.

Winly had almost grimaced at the single-minded determination Edward had shown. Edward, she had thought, was scary when he was focused. Nothing dared bar his way lest it be utterly destroyed.

And so it had gone on for those first few months, as daily Ed retaught himself how to write, spending hours at a time writing notes on alchemy with his lone hand, refusing sharply to let Al write anything for him because he could write it himself, darn it all, stop babying me.

And sometimes those notes would be so horrendously written that he would have to throw out the whole batch and start again.

His handwriting was never as good as it once had been, but the hard work had paid off; his writing was legible, uneven but neat, slanted several ways but readable.

Edward would have said it was equivalent gain—he had exchanged hard work for good handwriting.

And oddly, he had never gone back.

Winly did not know why, when Ed had grown comfortable with his metal arm, he had not returned to writing with his right hand—had not dared to ask. And yet ...

It was almost as if he'd forgotten that part of himself.

I think my handwriting is a little better. Do you agree?

Yes, Winly wrote back with a slight smile. Your hard work has paid off.