|Where do we go from here?
Author: Lily Maxwell The Dark Angel PM
[Light Yaoi, Light Elricest] Edward goes to sleep with a suit of armor for a brother, and wakes up to see him with his original body. Can this be real? [AU]Rated: Fiction T - English - Edward E. & Alphonse E. - Words: 1,498 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Published: 03-09-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2836014
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Where do we go from here?
The train shook him awake. The discomfort brought by his position on the bench was terrible. And when he blinked his eyes open, out there, of the window, only blackness could be seen.
Still, his world brightened when he looked around him.
The eyes shone in the artificial light. A soft smile followed by a soft gesture, tilting his head to the side and watching the other's reaction with an emotion that could not be described. But the smile, was of fondness.
He was not startled when he was crushed into a tight hug.
"Al! Alphonse! It's really… you!"
Edward touched his brother's arm, brushed his bangs from his eyes, caressed his cheek. Al only let him, letting out a chuckle and hugging back when his brother fell on him for the second time.
"Yes, it's me, niisan."
Edward could see, could feel, could smell and knew he was there, but still didn't.
"Who turned you back?"
Edward stopped, his actions, his thoughts, his breathing.
"Yes, you did."
Backing away, Edward sat back on his previous spot. He watched Al with an unbelievable look, and Al watched him with a knowing look. The few people around them, minded their own business.
There was nothing extraordinary about them.
Edward looked at the ground, searching his memories. So many events, scrambled and confusing, consumed his mind. He looked at his hands, searching for something he didn't know, but finding something, still.
He looked at two immaculate human hands.
"Dad, look! So many stars!"
Edward glanced at the seats beside them, at a girl with pigtails, standing on the leather cushions, looking through the window. A dog plushy was firmly held in her arms, and her childish squeals kept her almost asleep father awake. Lifting his glasses, he rubbed his eyes.
"Yes, many stars are out tonight."
Edward watched them with furrowed brows. His thoughts were too fast for he to follow them.
He smiled back at his brother, who started humming a familiar song. He looked at the outside as Ed looked at him. The girl on the side quieted down, lying on the cushion and using the plushy as a pillow.
Al continued to hum.
Ed looked at the sky, but he couldn't see any stars. His eyes started to get heavy, and Al's song stopped. Edward then stood up and sat beside his brother, and without even saying anything, laid down and placed his head on Al's lap.
Al's too cold hand brushed through his bangs, and he never looked away from the window.
"…Where are we going?"
Ed had placed his arm over his eyes. In his darkened world, he heard nothing. Not even his breathing or his heart beating.
Al said in a barely audible voice,
"Where do we go from where we came from,
Running from what we are seeking,
Carrying what we try to forget,
From the cold shaking,
Avoiding the flames,
Of the world we created
But which we,
Where do we go from here?
Walking in the world of God
Committing that He forbid
Seeking the sun
From the darkness
In which we hid
But not wanting
To burn from the contact
And fearing ourselves
For what we did.
Where do we go from here?"
Ed's eyes rolled behind his eyelids, mind too lazy to take in the blabbered words.
"…Where do you want to go, niisan?"
Edward moved and looked up at the face he sought for so long. His fingers entwined with Al's, never letting go. Without anything shining from outside, it was as if they weren't moving. Lost amidst the darkness they hated, stopped in time, insignificant to the world.
Al's smile was bittersweet, as was the contact they maintained, hand in hand, forehead on forehead, as Al leaned in, breaths on skin. And the other occupants minded their own business, nothing extraordinary about them.
Their space was their own, as was the moment.
Al started humming again.
"…Is it a long time, before…"
The train shook, and Ed almost fell. Al held his shoulders, chuckling again.
"…Before we reach our destination?"
"Maybe. I don't know."
Ed wished he knew the somewhere this train was heading.
The Central was a cold, cold place…
Cold like Rizenbul without her…
Cold with rain, and indifference, and suspicion…
The dogs of the military, staining every corner of the city…
A scarred place…
His battle with…
He shook his head, suddenly sitting up. A man walked past them, eyes looking over square-framed glasses, at a picture he held in his hands. The picture of a girl. The man smiled and placed the picture inside his blue uniform, and for a single moment Ed blinked, he was gone.
Just then he realized he had been holding his breath again.
Al's hand pushed him back on his back, and leading his eyes up to his eyes, Ed soon forgot about the man.
Al's feet moved back and forth. He couldn't reach the ground, and Ed wondered if he had grown at all. If he could be the taller sibling, he decided to think of ways to brag his younger brother later.
"…What would you did you do, after that fight with Scar at the Central?"
Al's massages on his temples and the way he combed his hair was comforting. He closed his eyes.
"We were… hurt. But… they helped us. Took us away from the rain. Ran after the runaway Scar."
Ed felt Al hum a confirmation, and it all fell silent.
Ed couldn't anything, see anything. All he could do was feel his brother's caresses on his head and soon, he drift off to sleep.
Alphonse smiled that bittersweet smile, looking out the window, at the passing by stars, waiting for his trip to Nowhere to finish. All around them, the souls started to walk away, one by one. Al clang to Ed.
"How many times…"
He looked down at the face of the only important person to him. The one linked to his soul. The one he lived for.
"…Do I have to watch you die?"
And Al closed his eyes, failing to stop the tears that fell down his eye, down his cheek, off his chin, but that never really reached his brother's face.
In this place of nowhere, they really didn't exist at all.
"Just… finish it!"
Winry sat on her knees, her bloodshot eyes crying again.
"He's been like that for years Grandma… Just end it!"
Pinako Rockbell let out puffs of smoke, that blurred the sight of Edward Elric in front of her. On his hands was an old newspaper, about a man named Scar that the military chased, so many years before.
Eyes that shone no more looked over the words, but not really paying attention to them. A humming began, and his feet moved back and forth. Back and forth, a song his mother used to sing for him, not even five years before, came from his throat.
His eyes, shone no more.
Winry didn't even look up.
"His life already ended on that day. Without Al, and without a soul. Ed has been gone for a long time."
"Then why… Why don't you end this, for us?"
Winry couldn't even bear to look at the broken doll next to her.
"…Because I can't."
He was just a child.
Ed looked out of the window, unaware of anything. And, "where do we go from here?", slipped from his lips. "Nee, Al?"
Ed opened his eyes. He was soaked to the bone, leaning against his brother's…
Armor body. His arm, the…
Never really there…
Automail simply gone. Military men were everywhere, apparently taking care of the mess he and…
His brother's voice brought out immense relief to him. He was glad to know that, even though they were busted, they were alive. Recover their artificial bodies would be no problem, but if one of them was dead…
Thunder, lightning outside… The lights were wrong, so wrong… It had been a failure, his theory, was a failure…
They could never get their bodies back.
Invisible arms pushed his brother, and he reached, reached for him, grabbing his wrist. But instead of pushing him back, he was pulled, pulled along with Alphonse, who held tightly to him, taking with him…
"At least we're alive, Al."
Taking Edward's soul and leaving back only an empty vessel.
"At least we're alive…"
That was the price of the Equivalent Exchange.
"How many times must I watch you die, Niisan? How long must I keep running this nightmare you wanted, for you?"