By Henrika

Henrika- Another one shot/drabble. Couldn't help myself:) On the pipeline, I have a multi-chaptered FMA fic that should be really good. Be on the lookout for it. As for this story, after I saw Ed get his auto-mail connected, this popped in my head. Angst and Ed, why am I surprised? Anyways, Read and Review!

The second the nerves connected was always the worst. He anticipated the pain, braced for it, but it never helped. It was just the raw…shock of having his limbs be there. The pain from phantom limb syndrome laced through the electrical connections and then his whole nervous system was overwhelmed with fire as sparks arced through him.

The scream would rise viciously in his throat, chased by thick bile that added to the burn. He would bite it back down just as viciously, letting only a fraction of it pass through clenched teeth. A fog of delusion would seep into his brain then, sending him into a place that consisted only of his nightmares and that blazing arc that sent white-hot flashes coursing through him.

He never could tell if he passed out because he could never find the courage to open his eyes, see if he really was in hell this time.

The fog would thin to a haze eventually and the blood pounding in his ears would slow enough that he could hear the voices around him, most often Winry's, rambling on about how she had re-designed the auto-mail and how he'd better not break it this time and…


With effort, he managed to open his eyes. Speaking took more effort and he winced at the bitter taste in his mouth, choking back a whimper as moving sent twinges of pain and electrical currents through him. "Yeah?"

"Are you okay?"

Granny Pinako had been reluctant to give him the surgery for a reason. He remembered some of those hardened war heroes she talked about as they screamed like children. It was a pain beyond reason. He thought for a moment, was he okay? (Had he been okay since his mother had first gotten sick, since he had the idea to bring her back from the dead, since the transmutation failed and he'd lost his brother's body and these limbs in the first place? And what about everything after that? When had he ever been okay?) He flexed the metal fingers, the pain subsiding into a dull ache that he had learned to live with, something that usually only made its presence known on rainy days.

"I'm okay." He whispered, though the words sounded hollow, the bitterness having nothing to do with the taste in his mouth.

Henrika-Now that I've gone and depressed the lot of you, you could review for me as payback, eh?