Disclaimer: Ed, Al, and company belong to their respective owners.
Opening notes: Just a 500-word drabble, and my first Fullmetal fic. I'm pretty confident that I've written Ed and Al correctly, but if you have a criticism please put it constructively. (smile)
White-hot light illuminates the bedroom, sending one of its occupants diving under the covers. Hazel eyes squeeze shut, their owner bracing himself for the next rumble of thunder. It comes only seconds later, causing the hiding boy to whimper in terror.
Four-year-old Alphonse Elric can't take it anymore. He pokes his head out of his safe haven of blankets.
"Niichan...?" he calls hesitantly. No reply from the bed across the room.
'Niichan sleeps through everything...' he grumbles to himself. Slowly he crawls out of bed and shuffles across the room.
"Nii-chaaan?" He tries again. Still no luck. The blond lump he knows to be his brother remains asleep.
There's another flash of lightning and clap of thunder. Al jumps, and tears creep into his eyes and his voice. "Niichan!" he whispers desperately.
Finally, Edward stirs. "Nn?"
"A-are you awake, niichan?"
"I am now," Ed grumps, rolling over to face his little brother. "Whaddya want, Al?"
"I'm scared of the storm. Can I sleep with you?"
Ed sighs. "No way. C'mon, Al, our beds are, like, three feet apart."
"It's more than three feet, niichan," Al mumbles exasperatedly.
Thunder booms again and even in the dark Al can see Ed jump. "See, you're scared too," he says, a triumphant note creeping into his voice.
"Am not," Ed protests. "It just surprised me, that's all."
"...Pleeeease, can I sleep with you, niichan?"
Ed sighs. "Oh, fine." He scoots over and lifts the covers to admit his little brother.
Just then the loudest thunderclap occurs, and a tremor circulates through the whole house with the force of it. Al gives a strangled cry and buries his face in Ed's shirt.
Ed blinks. "Geez, you big crybaby," he says, scorn absent in his voice as he wraps his arms around his little brother. "Dontcha know it's just the clouds bumping into each other?"
"Really?" Al mumbles, looking up. Ed nods and pulls away, as though embarrassed to have been hugging his brother.
"And you can count how far apart the lightning flashes and the thunder booming is," Ed said. "If you get a big number, then the storm's really far away."
The next time the lightning bursts, Al counts on his fingers. The difference is four seconds, and the thunder is a bit quieter.
"It's going away," Al says happily.
Ed yawns, closing his eyes. "Yup."
Al scoots under the covers and closes his eyes, listening to Ed's breathing grow even and the storm grow quiet. Even though his brother is kind of mean sometimes, Al's confident that Ed would protect him from anything.
In ten years, they sleep in any and all kind of inn, or if no inn can be found, then a doorway or perhaps beneath a bridge has to do.
Alphonse is still afraid of thunderstorms, but Edward doesn't know this. Al's fear of storms is something he's learned to push to the back of his mind. After all, he's learned that there are scarier things in the world than thunderstorms.
Ending notes: Actually I lied; the drabble is 501 words.
It's getting a bit late over here; it's past midnight and officially Mother's Day. ...I am so totally gonna write a Fullmetal Mother's Day fic. Do they have Mother's Day in Amestris? ...Oh well, they do now. (sticks tongue out)