Song: Drops of Jupiter – Train
Series: Can be either the first anime series or Brotherhood/the manga, but I had Brotherhood in mind while writing it.
Drops of Jupiter – Train
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were
Looking for yourself out there
Winry hangs onto moments like this, because she doesn’t know how long they’ll last; she doesn’t know how long he’ll be here before he and Al decide to head out again, and she doesn’t know what dangers he’ll run into when he goes. She doesn’t know what he’ll find out there, and that frightens her in more ways than she can begin to describe.
Ed never talks much about where they’ve been and what’s been going on in their lives—it makes her feel so disconnected from him, and she doesn’t like that either, because they used to share everything back when they were little: when sadness and sickness and brokenness couldn’t touch them.
Tonight, he’s actually telling her about the latest place they’ve visited… some place in the desert, and she wonders why he’s indulging her, but doesn’t actually question his reasons—not aloud.
She will him talk for as long as he will let her listen.
“Were there any pretty girls out there?” she ventures to ask instead, and she means it as a joke, but he gazes at her seriously when he replies.
“I come back here when I want to see a pretty girl,” he answers, and then blushes at his own boldness, eyes now averted from hers, focusing on the hem of his red jacket.
For a long moment she is silent, not certain if she has heard him correctly. She doesn’t think he’s been drinking—at least, he doesn’t smell like alcohol.
Swallowing, she eventually asks another, much more direct question: “Do you miss me when you aren’t here?”
The blush gracing his cheeks intensifies, and he turns his head so that he is now looking up at the starry sky. “Don’t ask such silly questions,” he tells her, and his non-answer is in actuality answer enough for her.
She smiles, and is brave enough to lean against him. Seconds later, he wraps his arm around her shoulders, and she feels her heart skip a beat or two. His automail is cool against the skin of her neck, but she doesn’t mind it—it’s a welcome distraction from the muggy summer air.
The silence between them isn’t stifling, but comfortable.
She’ll let him hold her for as long as he’ll let her remain curled close to his side.
Song: Protoplasm – Rentrer en Soi
Pairing: None; focuses on Papa Hoho, Ed, and Al.
Series: The first anime series.
Protoplasm – Rentrer en Soi
The world watches you; they’ve dyed the land by sacrificing you
The things you held so close to your heart were taken from you
With overwhelming sadness, you embraced the reality before you.
His first mistake was thinking that he knew everything. His second was wooing Dante and leading her to believe that they could live forever. His third mistake was creating the Philosopher’s Stone.
His fourth mistake? Believing that ‘forever’ would be a glorious thing.
His fifth mistake was human transmutation: he knew that it was taboo for a reason, but he’d ignored all of the warnings in order to bring his son back and to make him whole again.
His sixth mistake was believing that Envy could still be his son, even though he knew better.
Mistake number seven was a foolish act that could very well cause the downfall of all of them; he never should have left Dante that fragment of the Philosopher’s Stone. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, though, isn’t it?
Falling for Trisha was not a mistake, though leaving her on her own to raise their sons was mistake number eight. He hadn’t intended on staying gone so long, and he hadn’t ever imagined that she would die of some unnamed sickness before he could return.
Perhaps he made his ninth mistake in coming back to this place, but he cannot battle the warmth that spreads from the center of his chest as he sees Edward and Alphonse for the first time after ten long years: they are brilliant Alchemists; they are most definitely his children, not that there was ever any doubt of that.
Anger burns bright in Edward’s eyes and the hunk of metal that is his younger son moves close, as if to protect Ed, but he has not returned home to cause more pain and suffering. He has returned because he promised her that he would. It’s his own fault that he has come far too late.
He stares again at the suit of armor and at the soul-eyes that peer back at him, and then his gaze slides to Edward—Edward, with two metal appendages… Yes, they have
sacrificed much, his boys.
Pride wages war with sorrow within his heart, and Hohenheim of Light wonders when the mistakes of the past will stop repeating themselves.
He stares at his two beautiful, talented, brave sons, and the only answer he finds is: never.
Song: Let it Out – Miho Fukuhara
Pairing: Can be Ed/Al if you tilt your head and squint, but it’s mostly gen.
Warnings: fluffy brotherly love~!
Series: Can be either, though I had Brotherhood/the manga in mind.
Let it Out – Miho Fukuhara
Even if I lose myself
I’ll continue to walk… Walk by your side
That’s the one thing I’d like never to change
Alphonse doesn’t know how far they’ve walked today—he’s certain that his brother is a much better judge of distance, since he’s the one who is currently enduring aching muscles and strained tendons and he’s a mess: dirty and sweaty and probably (definitely) in need of a bath. He’s tired and irritated and hot and thirsty, and he doesn’t let Alphonse remain a stranger to his complaints, either.
He leans his forehead against Al’s chestplate, only to pull back half a second later, grumbling about how Al’s armor is hot, too, and he plops down in the sand instead, scattering grains of it this way and that.
“I can’t wait until we’re in a hotel or something,” Edward continues to gripe, and Alphonse listens patiently; if he could smile, he would.
“You never did like the heat, did you, Brother?” Alphonse asks after a moment, and Edward piteously shakes his head.
Ed is up and moving again in no time, though his complaints never cease, much to Alphonse’s amusement.
When they finally do reach their destination, Edward immediately finds a hotel and, after ridding the small city of what must surely be half of their water supply, he plops himself onto the bed that he has designated as his own. Half-naked and with water dripping all over the mattress from his wet hair, he heaves what must be a sigh of contentment.
“You’re going to catch a cold, Brother,” Alphonse gently admonishes, but Edward waves off his concern, insisting that he’ll be fine.
It’s mid-morning the next day when Ed decides it’s time to get moving again; he’s dealing with a stuffy nose and a sore throat, and when he glares at Al as if he’s placed some curse on him, Al erupts with laughter, but doesn’t say a word.
Ed often talks about how he wishes that he would have done things differently; he often tells Al that he would have never tried to bring their mother back if it had meant having to sacrifice Al in the process. Al already knows this—had known it before Edward had even breathed a word on the subject.
Al doesn’t mind—not really. If this is the way things have to be for now, just until they get their bodies back, he’s okay with it. In his opinion, Edward has sacrificed quite enough for him already, and the sole fact that Alphonse still gets to walk by his brother’s side makes him happy.
“I wouldn’t change it for anything, you know,” Alphonse suddenly says, after dodging the pillow that Edward has thrown at him (punishment for his laughter).
Edward blinks at him in obvious confusion, and then sneezes. “What’re you talking about?”
“The fact that I’m here with you, Brother,” he admits, and is not embarrassed over it.
The confused look is replaced by one of surprise, and Edward mutters, “Don’t be such a sap, Al,” before he tugs his shirt on.
The small smile on Edward’s lips does not go unnoticed by Alphonse, and he thinks that his older brother is glad that he’s here with him, too.
Song: In Die Nacht – Tokio Hotel
Pairing: Hints of Ed/Al, if you tilt your head and squint.
Warnings: It’s a bit angsty.
Series: End of the first anime series.
In Die Nacht – Tokio Hotel
And also when fate tears us apart
No matter what follows, we’ll go through it together
He’s on an unfamiliar train in an unfamiliar world—Hohenheim tells him that he’ll pick up on the language quickly enough, but that is little comfort to him. He isn’t supposed to be here; this isn’t his home. His home is back in Amestris, but more importantly, his home is back with Alphonse.
Something tells him that Alphonse is okay over there, on the other side. It’s a belief that he holds onto very firmly, because if he doesn’t hold onto that, then he truly has nothing at all. He’s here because of the sacrifice he made to get Al back, and he would do it again in a heartbeat, without question and without a second thought.
The fabric of their lives has once again been torn apart, but Edward wants to believe that there is an invisible, intangible thread that keeps them bound together even though they’re in entirely separate worlds.
He vows that he’ll make it back to Amestris and back to his little brother, no matter what it takes; they’ve been through everything together, and Edward isn’t about to just let that go—he can’t.
Edward gazes out the window, thinks, at least the sky is the same.
His automail hand reaches out of its own accord, as if to touch one of the fluffy white clouds high above him (or perhaps as if to reach over to the other side, to him).
He can’t help but wonder if, in a place that was once home, Alphonse is doing the same thing: Reaching towards the sky, towards the future, towards Ed.
I made a promise, Al. You don’t know it yet, but you will… one day.
Song: Sins – Acid Black Cherry
Pairing: None—focuses on the homunculi.
Warnings: Somewhat violent imagery.
Series: The first anime series.
Sins – Acid Black Cherry
Pride, Gluttony, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Lust. Lastly, Wrath
The seven deadly sins that you instructed. I’m on Black List?
As light exists with darkness, I catch a glimpse of betrayal and love
The repetition of nothing but wrath and sorrow
He’s accomplished quite a great deal: He’s führer; he has a beautiful wife and a brilliant son; he’ll never have to worry about not having a roof over his head—he’ll never have to worry about financial security, or lack thereof.
Most importantly, he’s got the entire military fooled.
He thinks he has a lot to be proud of.
(What he doesn’t know is just how easily it can all be taken away).
He likes to eat, and he makes no secret of it. The young, the elderly, men, women… it makes no difference. He could clean out entire villages in less than a night if Lust would let him, but he limits himself to only what she tells him that he can have.
She is the only one of the other six that he truly listens to. He doesn’t try to understand why—trying to understand things isn’t why he’s here, after all.
“Time to clean things up, Gluttony.”
He smiles at her granted permission.
(He likes it most when they struggle—when they kick and punch and scream; it makes their blood taste all the sweeter).
His ability to change himself to resemble anyone he so chooses is nothing more than a means to an end. It helps him get the job done, and he has to admit that it’s sometimes quite enjoyable to fuck with others’ minds.
He flat-out refuses to shift into his real form; he has his reasons, and he doesn’t plan on telling anyone about them, either.
If he sometimes finds a figure with blonde hair and golden eyes gazing back at him from the mirror, it’s easy enough to shatter the fragile glass into a thousand pieces.
So what if he remembers that he was never the son Hohenheim wanted? So what if he remembers that Hohenheim left him for that stupid woman (who is now dead) and those stupid boys who were apparently everything that Hohenheim wanted?
(What he doesn’t let himself think about is this: The bastard eventually left them, too).
He wants everything that he touches and doesn’t touch: He wants money; he wants power; he wants women; he wants expensive clothing; he wants likewise expensive jewelry; he wants women—just one can never slacken his lust.
Several have told him that he demands entirely too much. Fools like them learn their lesson far too late: they’re broken and bleeding all over the floor of a dirty alleyway before they can retract their statement and after they’ve managed to trigger that nasty temper of his.
The thing is, he believes he deserves everything, and he believes that everything is fully obtainable.
(He refuses to believe that it isn’t).
She works much better behind the scenes. She isn’t very confrontational, and she’s best at undercover work. It’s why she lets the others slaughter and fool around to their heart’s content; she’s more easy-going, and she’s in much less of a rush than the others.
She supposes they have their reasons: she has none. She is not searching for anything, really. She only wants to be whole again (a small, simple request). Those young boys and the other homunculi are making sure that the needed pieces of the puzzle are falling perfectly into place.
There’s no need for her to interfere with those boys—not yet.
(What’s wrong with not wanting to get her hands dirty?)
She is beautiful, she knows. She doesn’t need a mirror to tell her that—she only needs to walk by a young man and see the way his jaw drops. She is beautiful, but she doesn’t care.
She’s become quite good at the art of seduction, though she doesn’t care much for that, either. She’s heard of that saying, ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’.
She’s a much bigger fan of ‘love ‘em and kill ‘em’.
It’s not that she doesn’t fit her namesake; she’s beginning to realize (too late, too late) that what she truly lusts after is the thing that she’s already lost.
(She has the feeling that she’s always been the type to want what she can never have).
He’s young and he’s inexperienced and he’s small, and that’s the reason why some make the mistake of underestimating him. It is a grave error, and one that he’s made others pay for dearly, with blood and flesh and bone.
The others let him be, for the most part. Sloth mothers him, and he admittedly likes that. Envy seems torn between bullying him and taking him under his wing, so to speak. Wrath closes his eyes and counts to ten after each punch and each kick that Envy delivers—it’s only a matter of time before Envy pushes him too far.
What others don’t seem to grasp is that he is a raging storm, and he could destroy everything in his wake if he so wished. What others don’t seem to realize is this: When he’s quiet, they are within the eye of the storm, and that’s the most dangerous area to be caught within, because it’s in that moment of calm that they can fool themselves into believing that they are safe.
(And what he doesn’t realize is this: All storms eventually pass).
Song: Midnight Coward - Stars
Warnings: Hints at sexy times~.
Series: Can be either.
Midnight Coward – Stars
What can’t be decided
In the morning it will bring itself to you
I can see what’s coming
But I’m not saying it
She’s awake now and awareness is slowly creeping in—anxiety is like a massive glacier floating around somewhere between her heart and her stomach. She doesn’t want to open her eyes yet, but he’s awake too. She can feel his body stirring beside hers.
It’s not that she’s never had one-night-stands before; she has, of course, and it’s not like she’s proud of them either.
But this? It’s decidedly more awkward.
She knows that it’s only a matter of time before he tells her that they made a mistake. He’ll apologize. He’ll tell her that it won’t happen again. He’ll say that they can’t jeopardize their work-relationship in such a manner. He’ll say that he was a little drunk. He’ll say that he was having a weak moment, or something. He’ll say that he will take his leave and will never speak of it again.
Not if she doesn’t give him the chance to do so.
She rolls over onto her side, facing away from him. “The bathroom’s two doors down the hall and to the left. If you want to shower before you go--”
“You don’t have to try to explain yourself,” she rushes, trying her damndest to not let him get a word in edgewise. “I let you in my home and--”
“—you were probably a little drunk, and we can forget all about what happened; no strings and all that, no worries, no awkward--”
It’s the usage of her first name that actually gives her pause, but she doesn’t look at him.
“You’re stubborn,” he says, and he sounds amused. “I’ve always loved that quality about you, though.” The covers rustle and the mattress creaks a little as he moves closer to her. The feel of his fingers running along her spine makes her shiver a little.
“Not as stubborn as you, Colonel,” she murmurs, and that earns her a soft chuckle.
“Every bit as stubborn as me,” he corrects, and his lips are at the shell of her ear now. “You want to dismiss me before I’ve even had the chance to speak, but I won’t let you do that. It’s too early in the morning for a battle of pride and stubbornness, so I will ask you to concede and listen to me. Are you listening?”
The press of his fingers against the curve of her hip proves to be a bit of a distraction, but she answers with a soft, “Yes.”
“I wasn’t drunk at all, I don’t want to forget about what happened last night, but I do want strings.”
Riza rolls over to face him now, searching his eyes, only to find sincerity within their depths. She hadn’t counted on this (perhaps she’d hoped just a little), but then again, she hadn’t counted on a lot of things that had happened in her life. “What?” she asks, even though she heard him clearly. She doesn’t need him to repeat himself or anything.
“Thousands and thousands of strings,” he elaborates, “tying you to me. I’d like that.”
For perhaps the first time, he’s shocked her into speechlessness, and her inability to grasp at words only worsens when he kisses her—languid and sweet and nearly toe-curling.
When he pulls back, he’s smiling. “I’ve never made you speechless before; it’s always been the other way around.”
She would kick him for stating the obvious. She might later.
“… So.” It’s all that she manages to say, when she finally does speak.
“So… Would you like to stay here a bit longer? We can get dressed and get breakfast a little later,” Mustang suggests.
“And we can… talk about those strings,” she tells him, feeling her cheeks burn.
He nods and pulls her closer to his side. She lets him. “We’ll talk about the strings, too.”
Riza lets herself relax. The so-called glacier has melted. She smiles against his neck, where he can’t see, but can feel. “I’d like that, Col—Roy.”
Song: The Special Two – Missy Higgins
Pairing: None, really. Focuses on Ed and Al
Warnings: Definite spoilers for episode 26 of Brotherhood.
Series: Brotherhood/the manga.
The Special Two – Missy Higgins
But I will fight for you
Be sure that I will fight
Until we’re the special two
Ed can’t believe his eyes—can’t believe that Al is here, even though he’d fervently held onto that hope for so long. Al doesn’t quite look like himself, but maybe that’s to be expected; years have passed and only his body has been here, waiting. He’s wasted away to skin and bones, his hair is long and messy, and his eyes are almost… hollow. Ed has to remind himself that his brother’s soul is back in Amestris, inside of an empty suit of armor.
He starts running towards Alphonse, but he’s being pulled back before he can even get anywhere at all. He’s being pulled back to the other door: he doesn’t belong here.
Edward urges Alphonse to come with him; to take his hand. Ed wants to grab him and never let go. He wants to tell his younger brother this, but he knows that they have precious little time. “Come with me, Al! Take my hand!”
“I can’t,” the boy who looks so much like him replies, and Edward feels his heart break. “You aren’t my soul. I cannot go with you.”
How can an individual smile and look so sad and lost, all at once?
Fighting back tears and fighting off the things that are dragging him away from Alphonse, Edward vows, “I’ll come back for you, Alphonse! One day, I’ll definitely come get you! Just you wait!”
He can’t stop the door from closing a second time, nor can he break through it again. Not now. Not yet. But one day, he will.
I promise you, Al. I’ll bring you back home.
On the other side of that door, unseen and unheard, a boy without his soul whispers, “I believe you, Brother. I’m waiting.”
Song: JyouJyoushi – L’Arc~en~Ciel
Pairing: Ed/Al, if you squint.
Series: The first anime series/CoS.
JyouJyoushi – L’Arc~en~Ciel
If this is just a dream, then let it be a dream
I don’t care
He’s dreamed about this place, and he hears himself tell Edward this, though his voice sounds muffled and distorted and not right at all. Maybe it’s the armor, or maybe this really is just another dream.
Maybe it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dream, just as long as he doesn’t wake up from it. He’s with Edward and that’s all that he’s really wanted all along—he’s waited two years for this reunion.
And maybe it’s really all wrong; if he’s dreaming, he wishes that he could change the details of it just a little—wishes that he could embrace Edward with arms that are warm and gentle instead of cold and unyielding (unforgiving, uncomfortable, and he wonders if Edward will be bruised tomorrow).
He has to tell himself that the most important thing – the only thing that matters – is that he’s here with Edward now, and Edward is smiling and laughing and looks so relieved to see him. He looks happy, and if Alphonse could somehow contort the mouth of this armor so he could smile right back at Ed, he’d do it in less than a heartbeat.
“It feels like I’m dreaming,” Edward says to him after a moment, eyes bright and shining.
His answer is quiet, and his voice still doesn’t sound right: “Maybe you are. Or maybe I am.”
There is a brief silence, and then Edward’s reply: “Could be. But you’re here, Al. We’re here.”
And maybe it isn’t home… or maybe it is, since Edward is here. Maybe it could be home. Maybe they can build a home and a life here, together. Maybe….
“If we’re dreaming,” Edward continues, “maybe we won’t wake up.”
It’s too much to hope for, too much to ask for. Alphonse realizes this the moment that the armor starts rattling-trembling-falling-apart, and he has to tell Edward that he can’t stay, that this is one of those temporary things—one of those brief, blissful moments that can be taken away all too easily.
Edward begs him to stay; Ed tells him that it’s too soon, that he can’t go yet.
Al can’t answer him.
Alphonse opens his eyes and feels the lump form in his throat as soon as he feels the softness of the mattress underneath his back. He feels the tears sting his eyes and he doesn’t try to hold them back.
Around him, his world shatters yet again.
(He’s lost count, at this point, of just how many times he’s had to pick up the broken pieces).
Song: The Walk – Imogen Heap
Warnings: Allusions to sexual activity, fluff.
Series: Brotherhood/the manga.
The Walk – Imogen Heap
No it’s not meant to be like this
It’s just what I don’t need
Why make me feel like this?
It’s definitely all your fault
She blames him, of course. She has from the beginning, and she doesn’t plan on negotiating or placing any of the blame on herself. It’s not meant to be like this, after all. It’s not what she would have envisioned, when she was younger.
Things change, she supposes. People change. Situations change. Life changes.
All of them have faced their fair share of changes throughout the past several years.
She’s still as stubborn as ever, though, and so she blames him entirely, because it’s what she’s always done.
“It’s your fault, you know,” she tells him without thinking, and that’s usually something that he does, but it’s out there now and she can’t exactly take it back. She can’t easily drop the subject, either—the way he’s currently looking at her leaves absolutely no room for pretending that words were left unsaid.
“What in the world are you going on about now?” he demands to know, although being blamed for everything under the sun is certainly nothing new to him. “What have I done or not done this time?”
You made me fall in love with you, she thinks, but the words get caught somewhere between her heart and her lips, and she can’t get them out. Her lack of a response only increases his confusion and frustration—she can see it in his eyes, and it makes her even less articulate.
“This,” she finally replies, gesturing to the empty space between them, like it is a perfect answer to his questions. A perfect explanation that explains absolutely nothing, in reality. It’s nothing like equivalent exchange at all, and she knows that he’ll point that out in a moment if she doesn’t get on with it already.
“This?” he asks, one eyebrow raised; for an instant, he is focused on the minimal distance between them, and then his eyes are once more locked on hers, and she fidgets under his gaze.
“This,” she repeats, like it’s enough—like he’s an idiot because he doesn’t get it yet. And maybe he is an idiot. Maybe all boys are when it comes to such delicate situations.
“Winry,” he begins, and then sighs, shaking his head. There is the smallest hint of a smile on his lips. “You’ve always been impossible, just so you know. I can’t read your mind—but believe me, I’ve tried. You’re going to have to elaborate, because right now, you’re making it sound like the existence of air is my fault.” He then grins, pointing proudly at himself. “I may be a brilliant alchemist, but I don’t supply the world with oxygen.”
… And just what right does he have to call her impossible?!
Fumbling with the hem of her blouse, she bites back a smart-ass retort, choosing instead to step closer to him, causing the empty space between them to decrease by a large margin. “This.”
Annoyance is winning over humor, she can see it in his eyes. “I can’t take credit for your ability to walk either, Winry.”
The whole you can take credit for my ability to walk, though goes unspoken, because it’s been said enough times already. She knows he is grateful—knows that he always will be.
She takes a deep breath and slides her arms around him, pressing herself as close to him as she can possibly get, and there’s no space between them now. For an instant, her nervousness fades as she lets herself become utterly distracted by the sheer surprise scribbled all over his features.
(She acknowledges that he’s grown up a lot—all of them have. But some things… well, some things just don’t change, do they?)
“This.” She notices that her voice is little more than a raspy whisper now, but she supposes that her words (or her considerable lack thereof) aren’t really needed at this point. She gives up on them and leans up, pressing her lips to his.
Their first kiss is soft and sweet and innocent.
The second, the third, and the fourth kisses… well, not so much. Their actions which inevitably follow can’t exactly be described as ‘innocent’, either.
And later, when the both of them are still trying to relearn how to breathe, she informs him that all of their not-so-innocent activities were entirely his fault, as well.
His laugh is deep and throaty and toe-curling, and it’s all too easy to become lost in his golden eyes.
“It is your fault,” she insists, and she would say more, but the rest of her words are lost beneath his lips and wandering hands.
For some reason, she has the feeling that – just this once – he doesn’t mind shouldering the blame that she places on him.
Song: Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
Pairing: Hints of Ed/Al, if you tilt your head and squint, but it’s mostly gen.
Warnings: angst, brotherly love, mild language.
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
And I don’t want the world to see me
Cos I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
He gets like this frequently when it rains—yes, even now.
He can go on about ‘aching nerves’ all he wants, like how an individual with arthritis goes on about the weather making his or her joints ache (Granny Pinako would do that sometimes, Al remembers with a semi-fond, semi-rueful smile), and perhaps it would fool anyone else… but it doesn’t fool Al.
Al is the only one who has ever seen him like this, and he knows why: Any other person simply wouldn’t understand. They wouldn’t understand why Edward truly behaves the way he does when it rains.
It rained the day of their mother’s funeral.
It rained the night they tried to bring her back—the night that they nearly lost each other for good.
It rained the night they lost Nina (and Alexander, too).
It rained the day they nearly lost each other all over again, though it wasn’t because of their own foolishness at that time; it was due to a man who was out for vengeance, and believed that his actions were justifiable.
Alphonse doesn’t know if it was raining the day (or was it night? Hours or days might’ve passed there in that underground city; everything blurred together and then fell apart when Al – still in the armor – saw the vast majority of his older brother’s blood pooled beneath him) Edward was killed. He doesn’t know if it was raining the day Edward wound up here, at their home away from home (nevermind that they never claimed to have a home anymore, back then).
Al doesn’t know, but he thinks that maybe it was.
Edward is sitting by the window, staring out it with this blank look in his golden eyes, and perhaps, to anyone else, the gentle pitter-patter on the roof would be a comforting sound, but Al can tell that his brother is bothered by it. He’s shaking a little, and Alphonse has already figured that it’s not because of the slight temperature decrease. He knows all of the words to this song; knows all of the steps in this dance. It’s as familiar as breathing, at this point.
He grabs the blanket off of his own bed just because, carefully draping it over Edward’s shoulders. Edward pulls it tighter around himself, but doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t have to.
Al doesn’t ask if it hurts. He knows when his brother is hurting: he can feel it in his very bones, and it makes him hurt, too. He doesn’t like that his big brother is in pain. He doesn’t like that he can’t just make it go away.
“I’m sorry that you’re hurting, Brother.” When he places a hand on Edward’s shoulder, Edward doesn’t shrug it off.
“I know,” Ed rasps, one hand coming up to grasp at Al’s, squeezing weakly.
Rain can wash away a few things: dirt and grime, soap suds, blood.
It cannot wash away bad memories—the kind that leave wounds incapable of fully healing.
They sit there together and watch the rain fall, and once it has finally subsided, Edward turns to look at Alphonse and quietly asks, “What do you see, Al? When you look at me, I mean.”
Al could say that he sees a wounded soldier (with wounds so deep that even the best physician couldn’t heal them); he could say that he sees a beautiful – but broken – man. He could say that he sees the bravest, kindest person that he has ever known.
But he says none of those things. Instead, he tells Ed: “I see my big brother, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Edward leans into him, and when the rain stops, Al can feel wetness of an entirely different kind on his shirt, against the skin of his shoulder.
Sometimes, it’s the big brother that needs comforting. Alphonse doesn’t mind in the least.
“Al,” Edward finally says, voice wavering just a little, “you’re always such a damn sap, you know that?”
Alphonse could point out that Edward is the one who’s crying, but he doesn’t. Instead, he smiles (because Ed’s words remind him of days gone by) and holds onto his older brother all the tighter, murmuring, “I know, Brother. I know.”
And it is enough.
Yay! These took longer than I intended, though. >.>;;;
Hope someone enjoyed them, at least!