Word Count: 500
Characters: Ed, Al
Summary: Not all fires burn exactly the same.
Warnings: brotherly love, mild angst, spoilers for the end of the series.
Notes: Can we say sap? Oddly enough, this was the first thing that came to mind for this prompt, as opposed to something about Mustang. I guess I’m just weird like that. XD Written for fma_fic_contest, prompt 92: Flame. Didn’t place, but the brotherly love is worth spreading!
“Now we’ve got no home to return to,” Ed says resolutely, and Al turns to look at him. He sees the reflection of the fire in Ed’s eyes—all of the oranges and reds and yellows blending with the gold of Ed’s irises.
What once was their home is now little more than rubble and ashes, and still the fire burns brightly, vigorously claiming anything that remains.
“Yes,” Al quietly agrees. They are standing well outside of the flames’ reach, but he knows that Ed must be uncomfortably warm at this point—he can see the little drops of sweat sliding down Ed’s forehead.
Just because Al can’t suffer from the heat doesn’t mean that Ed can’t. He’s about to suggest that they go back to Pinako’s when Ed turns to look at him fully, and there’s a different sort of fire burning in his eyes… one that Al can’t help but both fear and admire.
“Let’s go find this Mustang guy,” Ed says, with finality, and Al can only nod.
They’re in a quaint hotel at the army’s expense, planning their next move when Al asks a particularly stupid question: “Brother, did you burn the house in order to forget?”
The bright spark of anger in Ed’s eyes disappears as quickly as it arrives, and then he shakes his head, leaning against Al’s armor. “I won’t ever forget.”
There’s a long silence, and then Ed says: “I’m gonna sleep here with you tonight, okay?”
“But brother,” Al lightly protests, shaking his head, “you’ll freeze. You need to be under the covers.”
“Nah,” Ed casually replies, and there’s that fire in his eyes again: determination. “I’ll be fine.”
Al doesn’t have the heart to argue further.
With each passing day and with every experience they live through, the flame in Ed’s eyes grows stronger and brighter, until…
… Until the final fight with Father, and that is when Ed’s flame weakens and flickers, nearly dying out.
And that is when Al makes his decision; he feels his own resolve burning red-hot within him, spreading like wildfire, and he doesn’t give Ed the chance to protest.
“Win this, Brother.”
And Ed does… not that Al ever doubted him.
They’re recovering in the hospital several hours after Father’s defeat when Al sneaks out from under his pile of blankets on his bed and demands that Ed shove over.
The fire in Ed’s eyes is a slow burn now—warm and inviting. Ed slides over and Al plops down beside him.
“I’m gonna sleep here for a little while, okay?” Al asks, and even though it’s a question, it’s not like Ed can tell him otherwise; he’s already made his mind up.
“You should be in your own bed,” Ed tries to protest anyway. “Less blankets over here. You’ll be warmer over there.”
Al shakes his head. “I’m fine here.”
He smiles when Ed doesn’t try to continue arguing and silently declares victory.
Apparently, Ed just doesn’t have the heart to argue further.