Every day, every damn day, Ed misses his brother. Every time he reads something new, sees something interesting that he knew Al would appreciate, he misses him.
Every night, he lies awake. Most nights, it's because of wondering. Did he succeed? Was his sacrifice worth it? Most nights, he wonders, and vows to make his way back.
Some nights, the room seems too empty. Al used to talk with him during the night. Some nights, when Ed couldn't sleep, they used to mull over facts they had learned. They would use Ed's hyperalert brain to look at what had happened, and how it connected to the Philosopher's Stone if at all.
Those nights, he imagines Al human. Usually, he just imagines a body with Al's kind eyes. Some nights, he truly tries to create what Al would look like. Those eyes, that hair would stay the same. Maybe Al would let his hair grow... pulled back in Ed's former braid, or in the ponytail their father managed to scrape together. He couldn't imagine Al's hair shorn short. Al would be his size... not as muscular, but shaped nicely. Toned.
On occasion, he imagines Al in his arms. He breathes in the phantom scent of Al's hair, and revels in the ghostly feel of Al's skin. He can almost feel the heat rising off of the imagined body, and the soft touch of Al's lips on his. It's a wonderful feeling, making him want more than that. To want the feel of Al's hands, Al's body...
And when his hands move, there is only a chilled spot in the bed.