Author: Sui Megami PM
So much is missing. Dreams? Or are they memories?Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Edward E. & Alphonse E. - Words: 3,118 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-15-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3838841
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Bijin: First FMA fanfic. Whoa. Here ya go, another addition to my One-shot theatre. That's not its name, but I tend to come up with a lot of them, ne?
I don't own FMA, they are the property of the lucky peoples who created them.
I just exploit them for your amusement. 3 Here we go!
The haze between sleep and waking. It was thick in his eyes and throat, the former heavy and groggy, the latter gunked and seemingly unusable. Hair fell across his face, the pillow beneath his head nearly stifling his nose and mouth. Cold air greeted him, making him more reluctant than ever to leave the warm confines of his thick comforter.
His waking process paused. There was something missing. Something that usually occurred to him or caused difficulty on a cold morning. Perhaps it was the lack of a certain something? His body felt evenly warm, only his head venturing from the blankets to brave the cold morning air. The lack was pushed from his mind and the blankets curled higher about his body. Then again... perhaps other things weighed on his mind as well. Something he was meant to do perhaps? But what could it be? Life seemed so perfect at the moment. The lack and cold air aside, the warmth of his blankets and the softness of the matress pushed away any distress he may have been feeling at the very point of waking. Any and all of such things were dealt with at the moment.
In his head perhaps?
A jovial cry of his name. A familiar voice. The thudding of running footsteps across a hardwood floor. He moaned loudly in response. It seemed the appropriate thing to do. Like an animal growling away a threat to a meal, he attempted to banish the voice by presenting a less than plesant sound. But it persisted.
"Brother, get up! It's time to get up!"
Brother? What kind of name for him was this? Only one person was permitted to call him by such a name. Golden eyes opened and stared against those large chocolate orbs, smiling eagerly. Too eagerly. An eagerness which bothered that part of him that so strongly desired to go back to sleep. The voice continued along its general path of waking him, eventually resorting to grabbing a shoulder and yanking it sternly back and forth. Sleep began to leave his mind and in his grief he attempted to chase it back down, pulling the blankets up and over his head. Warm pieces were pulled roughly from his body moments later, accompanying the cry, "It's almost one o'clock, Brother! Get up already!"
There was that lack again. Something about his cold temperature caused him to pause. Something was still missing. Something... on his top perhaps?
One leg pulled itself over the other, sitting him upright and hands rubbed at his eyes, softs skin rubbing away sleep and crust. "Why do I need to get up, Al? I'm still sleepy."
Fists were shoved upon the teenager's hips as he scoffed. "Because Winry is going to kill you if you don't. She said that if you don't come downstairs now and help with the chores, she's going to get her toolbox again." The implied meaning- of course- being that the tools were not going to be used as such, but rather as projectiles, or possible methods of torture. Winry was a fiery mechanic known for such violence.
The lack. He groaned, placing both hands upon the cushion beneath him and looking this way and that, as though expecting to see whatever it was he was lacking. Lip jutted foreward in a disgruntled pout. "Hey Alphonse... I feel weird. Like I'm missing something." He gave him a golden-eyed stare. "You have any idea what it is?"
Al blinked at him for a long moment, glancing around as if also in pursuit of this missing thing. "Um... Well..." A finger was then pointed at his companion. "Maybe its your pants?"
Looking down, he found two thick legs staring back at him from beneath simple red boxers. "Maybe." He yawned and shrugged. "Oh well. Don't worry about it. Tell Winry I'll be down in a moment."
Floors were chilly like the air, his bare feet tingling as they made contact. Alphonse took off out the door, his feet already firmly within thick sneakers, and his body bundled with long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt beneath a normal one.
That lack of whatever-it-was certainly liked to make itself known, though hide its name in some obscure place.
Pants were pulled over his legs, two shirts on his top. Sweater followed them and then his shoes, chushioned by thick socks. Golden hair was fiddled with, and finally braided before he wandered blearily down the stairs. He stopped mid-yawn.
This wasn't Winry's house.
The stairs yawned into a living-room rather than a dining-room. Ahead he could see the front door as it was in Winry's house, but to the side was the kitchen rather than a garage.
He was in his own house.
He wandered slowly into the room, placing a right hand upon the couch top, as though to affirm it was truly there. The lack was chased until caught and he was stuck in that spot, staring at the pale flesh of his right hand.
It was real.
There was no automail. No chill of cold metal in the morning. No shifting oddly with a shirt over his head as he fought it onto his torso. No mechanics for Winry to look over and work on. A real foot to tingle at the cold feel of the hardwood floor. He blinked for a moment. How had he missed that?
A form shot into the door and his brother groaned loudly. "Edward, come on! Do you have to take all day about getting dressed, too?"
There he was, whole. Unhurt. Flesh and bone in place of the cold metal of his armor. Brown hair messily sitting atop his head and brown eyes sparkling with life. Ed stood still for a few moments more, as though attempting to comprehend his current situation. Why did this feel so wrong? He stared at him for a few minutes more. Everything was as it should be. Al was in flesh again, and Edward had to admit he had turned up with more luck than he had expected as well. Arm and leg whole, the rest of his body untouched by the gate.
A slightly balding man, oval frames surrounding small smiling eyes.
His body gave a jolt, his foot moving slightly to catch him. "Brother?"
Al was in the old man's place. He shook his head. "I'm fine. Just... you startled me, that's all."
Unbelieving eyes rolled upward and then turned toward the door. "Come on, Brother. We've got work to do."
Shaking the odd image, he followed, staying close behind as they vacated the house and made a break for the area behind the 'neighbor's' house. Risembool was not so crowded so as to allow conventional neighbors. The Rockbell house existed several blocks from theirs, nestled on the corner of the town's central road. Ed jolted again.
A young woman, long hair flying behind her as she ran a mere few feet ahead of him, in Al's place.
The area behind the Rockbell's house was largely deserted, Winry crouched beside the large black dog, Den. "It's about time, Edward." She growled. "How long does it take to get you out of bed? For heaven's sake."
"Oh give it a rest, Winry." He grumbled back. Al sighed and shrugged.
"So what do we have to do today?"
A thin finger indicated the side of the house, a ladder leaning upon the wood and several small buckets at its feet. "We need to finish repainting the house before it gets too cold. And no alchemy!" She insisted, wagging same finger in his face. "Grandma said no alchemy today. You guys can't use that like a crutch, you know."
Fingers intertwined behind his head. "Maybe not, but it makes it easier."
"Get to it, Edward!" She commanded. The two sulked off, leaving Winry to crouch beside Den once more.
The brothers found themselves only moments later, collaborating with each other and their new ladder friend to prop themselves up high enough to reach the underside of Winry's open window. A loud splat sounded as a large blob of white paint leapt from the bristles of his brush to splatter itself across the darker hair of his brother. He gave a chuckle. "Maybe you shouldn't stand right beneath me." Al turned to shoot him a dirty look and Ed jolted once more.
An elderly man, silver hair abundant across his scalp though thin around his shoulders, scowling across half-moon glasses.
"I was trying to do the job right, Brother!" Al defended, waving his own painbrush around. A counter blob of paint seemed to leap out in revenge, staining the elder's pant leg.
"Hey!" Elderly man lost from his mind, he craned his body slightly to stare angrily at the splotch of white. "Mine was an accident! Yours was on purpose, Al!"
"It was not!" Alphonse defended sternly. "And besides... how do you accidentally drop a huge blob of paint right on my head, huh?"
Al's eyes were suddenly blood red, Ishballan skin darkening across his form.
Body jolted backward, the world spinning and flaring aound him Eyesight blurred and hazed, green above and blue below, and then the hard ground. Lungs jolted painfully, sending a few wracking coughs through his body, and he lay still.
A hand flew across his face.
Body shook with surprise and golden eyes glared up at the blonde. "What was that for, Winry?"
"You fell off the ladder, Dumbass." Winry retorted, chuckling.
A second had not even passed. He sat up.
He glanced to the side, spotting a seven year old blonde, her hair bunched into large fluffy pigtails.
Al took her place seconds later.
"You alright, Brother? You freaked me out there."
A hand pressed against blonde hair. "Huh? Oh sorry. What happened?"
Alphonse blinked, extending a hand. As he was pulled to his feet, his brother explained, "Well... you went stiff and fell backwards. Did you black out or something?"
Head shook quickly back and forth. "I'm fine." He took a moment to stand still, golden eyes trailing to look once more at that wonderous ball of flesh which was his arm. The flesh he had so long sought after. Eyes moved to his brother. That flesh, too, had been fervently pursued, as had the flesh of his left leg.
But for what?
Looking to his brother again, a cold shiver went down his spine.
A strapping young man; hair long and blonde, eyes bright and blue.
Al was back. "Hey Al...?"
Al's head appeared from behind his small buttocks, which had been presented. Bending over to get a paint brush, he paused and craned his neck before straightening again.
"Can I ask you a weird question?"
"Sure thing, Brother." Brush was dragged along the house's wall, smearing the white substance across the wood.
"What... what happened to me? How did we end up here?"
Brush stopped mid-stroke. A toddler turned to look at him.
"What... what do you mean, Brother? We live here."
"Yes, but..." He stared at the child until Al took her place again. "I... I don't remember how we got back here. I mean... weren't we just traveling for the sorcerer's stone a few days ago?" A general motion was made toward his arm. "I don't remember doing this."
Brush was dropped heavily into the paint can. Shoes padded deftly across the grass, until he stood a mere few feet from the golden-haired boy. "It's been almost a year since we got home from our travels, Brother. you were asleep since a week ago. Since then... you've been acting a little weird. Do you feel alright?"
The hand of a middle-aged woman streched toward his forehead, and he leapt back, Al drawing his hand back. "No, I don't feel fine. What's going on? How did all of this happen? I don't... I don't understand..." Anger flooded away, leaving him exposed. Confusion tore away at the angry mask, and he was left, beginning to show the frightened boy he felt. "What were we even doing? I... we were searching for the Philosopher's stone... but what caused that problem in the first place?" He stared at his right hand. "How did I lose this the first time?"
Al blinked at him. "What are you talking about? We tried to -----" There was a silence. Those young lips moved, but sound was caught back in his throat. He did not wince. Not in pain. As though someone had flipped a switch. The switch turned again... toward the end of his sentence. "Remember? How could you forget her?"
"Her? Her who?" Mind whirled, attempting to move words into the previous mouth movements. No sense could he make. "What did we try to do?"
Al seemed to stare at him for a long moment. Hand waved before his brother's face. "How could you possibly forget. You know... you lost your arm and leg in the --------- when we tried to -----------." Switch was flipped more and more.
Edward stared. Several steps were taken backward, staring for a split second at a man about his age, then at Al again. Something was missing. Something very large. His memory had been ravaged, a large and important key stolen into the night. The abyss of his sleep. He waved a hand. "Alright, damnit, stop!"
Winry had approached, distracted by the blonde's outbursts. "Edward, what's wrong with you?"
"Just tell me what happened!" He demanded harshly. Al took a cautious step backward. "Tell me how this happened!" Powerful, angry gesture to his right arm. "How did the automail go away? How did I get it back?"
Al seemed more than ready to speak, not wishing to provoke his brother's anger any further. "Well, you used the red stone! The Philosopher's Stone copy. Envy forced you to, remember?"
"Envy... wait... who? Who are you talking about?"
"The Homunculus! The one who forced you to turn us into humans again! Don't you remember?" Both hands were waved, as though that would somehow magically return the lost memories, returning the young man to his former self. "You didn't want to do it, Brother, but you did it for me!"
A large father-figure cried those words.
A splitting pain erupted along the side of his head. Who was he forgetting. "Stop doing that!" He commanded. "Stop showing me these people! I don't want to see!"
"See who? Brother, you've got to remember ----! You couldn't possibly have forgotten her! It's not possible!"
Small hands now had ahold of Edward's shoulders, shaking him desperately. Golden eyes were wild as he stared into the face of a woman in a lab coat. "STOP IT!"
Hands flew to the sides, purging his arms of Alphonse's hands. "Stop showing these people!" He repeated, his voice reaching a full-blown yell. A ten-year old boy. More steps backward. "I'm done! I'm done looking! Stop it!"
Al's steps drove him further back, golden eyes dilating and remaining wild. "Give me my brother, you bastards!"
"Edward, it's me! It's Al!" A young woman.
"Then why do I see you as everyone else?! Get away!"
They cycled one after the other, none repeated, none resurfacing. An endless door of cycling people, each face riddled with terror, anger, or a blankness which disturbed the mind and carved the look into the mind. Al's brown-eyed gaze appeared here and there, only to be drowned out by the sea of endless faces.
Was this their revenge? The lives taken for the sake of the red stone. The fake replica he had used, each life carved into his brother's skin. Each life boring into his mind from his arm. The face he could not name nor hear screamed at him from the back of his tormented mind, calling angry shouts and jeers at the forgetful one. It screamed its importants. Taunting him with the power it had once maintained over his life. Arm and leg taken for a face he could not remember. Memory stolen by what? Devored by the lives which now shifted before him. Her. Her face and skin devoured. Kind and loving nature, consumed. The love he once held... the passion with which he had sought to restore his times with her... stifled, choked, and snuffed out.
Cold seeped through his clothes, stinging the flesh of his shoulder. Eyes opened, the gray of a large suit of armor bearing down upon him. The call was soft, an early morning awakening. Blinking, he yawned, but did not allow his position to shift. Golden eyes remained conspicuously blank, a look which told everything and nothing at the same time. A parade of emotions was played behind a foggy glass, details unable to be made out, though motion and activity clearly shown.
"What's wrong, Brother?"
A shake of the head. "Nothing. Just dreaming."
I'll leave most of that to your interpretation. I know what I meant it all to mean, but that's a whole different thing. Hope you enjoyed it, let me know what you think!