Disclaimer: The brilliant animated—and mangafied—work that is Fullmetal Alchemist does not belong to me. Enough said.

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- Symbols -

I wonder if Brother even realizes what he's doing each time he pulls on his jacket and gloves; I wonder if he understands what he's telling the world.

Brother wears red and black—it's a rarity to find him wearing anything else. Why did he choose those colors? Was it simply because he liked them, or was there some deeper, perhaps subconscious purpose for such a decision?

Red and black: the colors of my Brother. However, they are also the colors of blood, and of death. I wonder if Brother knows that? He surrounds himself with them; garbs himself in death and cloaks himself in blood like some damning god, like some glutton for pain. He covers his false limbs, symbols of his shame, with death and covers that death with blood. Enough of either, and perhaps the guilt won't eat him up inside. Maybe that's why he made such a decision.

But his hands…on his hands, both flesh and metal, Brother wears gloves of the purest white. They are flawless, unstained as a new snow. Are my Brother's hands still clean? Is that what he is trying to say?

It seems that Brother is adept at creating symbols—I am a prime example.

I have often wondered why Brother chose a suit of armor to hold my bound spirit. He says it's because there was no time, no chance to find something else, and I believe him. I also believe, however, that there was a subconscious reason for his decision, just like his choice of clothing.

To Brother, who almost lost everything, I am his only chance for redemption and his only hope for a life after all this. He blames himself for the loss of my body just as I blame myself for the loss of his limbs. I suppose we should shoulder the blame equally—the sin falls on both our heads, after all—but neither of us wants the other to worry, so we keep it all for ourselves. We hoard the pain of guilt, to protect each other. To make sure nothing ever hurts us again.

That is why Brother chose a suit of armor.

It's not because it was nearby and there wasn't any time, it's because he doesn't want me hurt again. I have no physical body to harm, not anymore, so he feels my soul needs more protection than ever. This armor that is and is not me is ancient, yet it still holds itself upright. It has been damaged, but still remains a shield. Still, my soul is protected.

Brother chose this armor so that I could never be hurt again, so that even alone I would be protected.

And so my Brother does in symbols what he cannot do in reality: he remains clean, surrounded by blood and death with hands unmarked by either, and he keeps me safe. It's brilliant, it's honest, and it's so sad it hurts.

I think it hurts us both.

- Fin -

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