Yes, the Al fic! Hehe..finally! Yes, I've been very inspired for FMA fics lately, but this one was a little harder to write. I've got all sorts of theories on how the automail works and feels (most likely cool to the touch), and such, but no one wants to hear them, do they?
Enjoy, and always, I don't how Hagaren. (Yes, I've taken to calling it that..). The song would be in the acutal language, instead of romanized, but you know, I don't know how many people have the little thing in their computer that allows them to see the writings of different languages. and No, I don't own any songs...at all.

And yes, I did use a song from Hagaren in a Hagaren fic. I am a tad obssessed with music in fics at the moment..so sue me...not like you'd get anything. Oh, and it's not really sung like it looks; what I found was a transcription. Damned be the plot bunny that wouldn't get the image of the Elrics watching some girl sing out of my head.

And yes, I did..well, you'll see. More cornball romantic crap. checks for fever and goes off to find something violent...


Voice.

It always puzzeled Al why his still remained. It was a question that had buried back into...well, if he had a physical, flesh and bone body, it would've been his mind, after so many years on the road, but it was still there. And every once in a while, something would happen to kick the dust off his inquiry.

Like now.

The younger Elric sat upright on the wooden stool inside of the inn. His brother was sitting beside him, legs propped up on the table. The shorter of the two seemed to be enjoying himself, though he was wisely turning away any alcohol offered to him. Neither of them wanted to even think about the rumors that would start up.

The inn was loud and noisy- very noisy. Al wondered how it had worked out that he could still hear, still see, still be him, the Alphonse Elric who had lost his body nearly five years prior. He stayed lost in his wondering, only snapping out of it when Ed pushed on his chest armor.

"You okay, Al? You seem...out of it tonight," Ed shifted his position and gave his brother a look of concern.

"Uh..yeah..," Al replied, drumming his fingers lightly on the wooden table. He didn't need to eat or drink, so a majority of the fun the others were having were lost to him. It was one of the things he'd realised, being stuck inside that armor; socialization was one of the main reasons people ate together, be it at a resturant or even at home, with their family.

And then she came.

There was a microphone hooked up on the stage to a small, frankly pathetic system, and the girl- Al reasoned she couldn't be more than a year or so older than he..well, would have looked. She took the stage, timid, blushing as the audience clapped. The younger Elric couldn't place his finger on it, but he just couldn't look away.

Ed looked up at his younger brother, confused by the rapt attention he was giving to the girl on stage. The Fullmetal leaned forward in his seat, trying to get a better look, sighed, and layed back.

"Wonder what she's doing up there?"

Almost immediately, a piano began to play, and the young woman hummed, warming up her throat a little more. The inn went silent.

The opening notes of the song played, and the girl began singing in a language not well known- at least, not to anyone in the Inn that night.

"Prasti m'en'a, mlatshij brat!

ja tak pr'ettaboj vinavat.

pytattsa v'ernut' n'el'z'a

tavo, shto vz'ela z'eml'a,"

the girl began to relax, her arms lifted up to hold the mic stand steady, and her eyes searched the audience, seemingly looking for someone to sing to.

"Kto znajet zakon bytija,

pamogby mn'e najti atv'et

zhestoka aships'a ja:

at sm'erti l'ekarstva n'et,"

Her eyes seemed to rest on the Elrics for a second, before she closed them.

"Milaja mama! n'ezhnaja!

my tak l'ubili t'eb'a.

no fs'e nashi sily

patracheny byli zr'a"

"Brother...," Al's voice was soft, "she's...it's..."

Ed let a small smile curl at his lips. If he didn't know better, he would say Al was falling for the girl.

"yeah...it's a beautiful song, whatever it means"

"T'eb'a sablaznil ja

pr'ekrasnaj nad'ezhdaj

v'ernut' nash s'em'ejnyj achak

moj brat, ja vafs'om vinavat

n'e plach, n'e p'echal's'a, starshij brat!

n'e ty adin vinavat

daroga unas adna,

iskupim vinu dadna,"

Al sighed; at least, that's what it sounded like he did, and gathered up his resolve. He wanted to talk to that girl later.

"Hey Ed," he nudged his brother, voice almost a whisper; as much of one as it could be at the current moment, anyway. The Fullmetal glanced up.

"What is it?"

"I..I wanna," he stuttered.

"You wanna what, Al?" Ed pulled his legs off the second chair and made himself more comfortable on the one his butt was actually on.

"Talktothatgirlaftershe'sdonesinging," he managed to jam all the words together.

"Mn'e n'e fchem t'eb'a upr'eknut',

i ja n'e abizhyn nichut'.

t'azhek nash gr'ekh

khat'et' byt' sil'n'eje fs'ekh,"

Ed blinked. Then blinked again.

"And why do you need me?" he asked, looking towards the girl as her voice rose in a crescendo.

"Milaja mama! n'ezhnaja!

my tak l'ubili t'eb'a.

no fs'e nashi sily

patracheny byli zr'a

ja sam sablaznils'a

pr'ekrasnaj nad'ezhdaj

v'ernut' nash s'em'ejnyj achak

ja sam vafs'om vinavat."

"She might be afraid of me...," Al dropped his head bashfully. Ed shook his head; so Al did seem to have some affection for this girl. Hm..there was no harm in it. The Fullmetal knew, at least, he tried to know, how much Al was hurting, and rejection was the last thing the boy needed to face.

But still...this was the first time Al had actually told Ed about those sorts of feelings. And he did seem to want to meet her. He couldn't see any reason not to accompany his younger brother.

"Sure, why not?"

"no shtozhe nam d'elat', kak byt'?

kak fs'o ispravit', zabyt'?

pytattsa v'ernut' n'el'z'a

tavo, shto vz'ela z'eml'a," the girl held the final note, and bowed when the song ended. She quickly gathered her things and left the inn. The Elrics followed.

They came upon the girl a few moments later, staring at the night sky, her arms wrapped around her legs. At the sound of the two approaching, she turned and gave a small smile.

"Hey."

"Hey," Ed smiled, "you did great in there."

"It was beautiful," Al mumbled. The girl looked at the younger Elric.

"Pardon?"

"I thought it was beautiful," his voice was a bit clearer now. The girl smiled.

"You're an odd one; why are you in a suit of armor?"

Ed and Al froze for a second; damn that stupid question!

"Testing it. To see how well it works. He's not supposed to take it off though; that's part of it," Ed hastily covered up. The girl shrugged.

"Oh well; was just curious. Who are you, can I ask, and what brought you here?" the girl stood and stretched her hands high.

"I'm Edward Elric, and that's my younger brother Al. Just stopping by, actually; we're on our way back to Eastern, and there's not a direct route from the station near our hometown to there," Ed replied, muttering something along the lines of, "That damn taisa..."

"I'm Amarie. Nice to meet you," she extended a hand, and Ed shook it. Amarie's smiled dampened a bit as she gently squeezed Ed's hand. He pulled it back, laughing nervously.

"That hand's made of automail," she muttered. Ed flexed it once and looked at the girl.

"Yeah; wish it was flesh and bone again, but there's a long way to go before that would even be remotely a possibilty," the Fullmetal looked towards the dark horizon.

"Huh," Amarie was quiet for a moment before she took a few steps over to Al. She cocked her head, gazing at the symbol on the arm.

"A caudecus...wow..and it's on the back of your coat too, Ed...," she stood back, "must've done alot of research for that.."

Ed eyed Amarie suspciously.

"What do you mean?"

"The caudecus is associated with alchemy, and...never mind," Amarie laughed, "I spend far too much time reading. Could blame it on my aunt...," she looked up at Al again.

"Yeah...," Ed rolled his eyes. This girl was strange.

"You two must be alchemists," she said, not looking away from Al.

"Uh..yeah, how could you tell?" Ed fingered the chain of his watch.

"I assume that's the watch all State Alchemists get that's in your pocket, yes?"

"How did you..!"

"Saw it when I got up."

"You were looking at my..?"

"No! Don't be a pervert, please?" Amarie tilted her head and layed both hands against the stomach of Al's armor body.

"I could just kinda tell...you seem like the alchemy type," Amarie's voice quieted, and she moved a hand up.

"Must be cold in that suit, Al..," she murmured, and layed her head against him. Al gasped, and if he'd had skin, he would've blushed.

"Um...Amarie, you okay? You seem kinda..."

"You know, Al's the first kid my age to ever tell me he liked my singing. Everyone else thinks it's stupid to sing a song no one understands..."

"Do you know know what it..," Ed began.

"No...just found the sheet music in my attic one day. I played it, and it was so beautiful, just the words themselves; I think I cried," Amarie closed her eyes and put her arms around Al's torso in the closest thing she could to a hug.

"Thank you, Al"

"You're...you're welcome," Al responded, wishing he could actually feel the contact, instead of just the slowly seeping heat of her body into the metal. He sat and sighed.

Amaria blinked and sat down next to the youngest Elric, and Ed took that as his cue to leave. He didn't go too far; just far enough so that neither of the two could see him.

"Amaria...could you sing something for me?" Al's voice was sheepish- he was no good with girls, and this was becoming painfully obvious.

"Me? I suppose," and strangely, Ed thought, Amaria sounded almost too shy. The girl hummed for a second before singing.

"Inori wo sasagete

atarashii hi wo matsu

Azayaka ni hikaru umi

sono hate made ee

Nobody knows who I really am

Maybe they just don't give a damn

But if I ever need someone to come along

I know you will follow me and keep me strong"

"Can I hug you, Amaria?"

"What? Of course..why would you need my permission?" but the girl still sounded shy. Al carefully crossed the metal limbs in front of him, around Amaria. She snuggled against him; as best she could with the armor.

"You're comfortable, Al...," she spoke, closing her eyes again. She sang the last two lines of the song again.

"But if I ever need someone to come along
I know you will follow me, and keep me strong."

They sat in silence for a moment.

"Amaria?"

"Yes, Al?" the girl opened her dark eyes, looking up into what served as Al's.

His voice dropped, so Ed couldn't hear him say, "you didn't hear anything wrong with this armor, did you?"

Amaria shook her head.

"It just sounded..a bit hollow."

Al closed his eyes and sighed, then stood up.

"You should get some sleep," he tried to advise, but the tone didn't convey it.

"Probably should," Amaria muttered. The two walked back towards the inn.

Morning came, and with it, the departure of the Elrics. Amaria accompanied them to the town limits, saying her goodbyes as the sun began to sink lower into the sky.

"Will you two ever be back here?"

"Probably, though not soon. Then again," Ed seemed to be muttering a string of curse words under his breath, all directed at "Taisa", "maybe we will."

"I'd like to see you two again," she smiled, and leapt onto the low rock wall at the limits to look Al in the eyes. She wrapped her arms around his arm and hugged, and leaned close to what was serving as his face.

"Whatever you need to do, come back here when you've sorted it out, Al..I'll be waiting to see the real you," she whispered, smiling gently, "without the guise"

She gave him another hug and gave one to Ed as well, and watched the Elric brothers dissapear over the hills, chattering contendedly as they went.

"Without the guise," Amaria repeated smiling, "and when you can really tell me why you wear that armor. I'll be here for you"