Research Journal
By Henrika

Henrika- Yet another one-shot. These things are addicting. Hopefully will get some of my backlog typed and posted soon, but I procrastinate a lot so...yeah.


Based on some of the bits of information found in various spoiler movie scans. Enjoy!

The battered leather journal lay on the table between them. The embossed symbol of Amestris had worn down on the cover, but the relief still defined itself clearly. The sandy-haired boy picked it up reverently, running his hands over the smooth cover. "So this was really his?" He asked the man sitting on the couch across from him.

The elder man nodded. "He left it with me. It arrived in the mail a few days after…" The man trailed off, fingering the patch over his left eye. "I figure he would have wanted you to have it. Sir." He added belatedly.

The boy flushed. "You don't have to address me like that."

"You outrank me." The man pointed out.

The boy sighed. "Just call me Al."

"Alright, Alphonse. So how did you find me? From what I've heard, you don't remember anything from the past four years."

Al sighed again, his fingers roaming over the journal as his eyes landed on the red coat hanging by the door. "I sometimes think I remember things. There are photos; sometimes I think I know what was happening when they were taken. But most times it's just what people have told me about him, what I recall from my childhood."

"Equivalent exchange." The man muttered. "You still haven't answered my question."

"I was in Central for my State Alchemist exam." The man noted the silver chain hanging from the boy's pocket. "And I met Major Hawkeye. She said she knew my brother and she told me a lot about him. She also told me where I could find other people who knew him and you were one of the people that she said knew him best."

"Who else have you talked to?"

"Mr. Armstrong, Mrs. Hughes, Miss Schieska, a bunch of others."

"All doing well?"

"Yes. And they all had stories to tell about my brother."

"So I'm the last one, eh?"

Al nodded. "They all said to go see Colonel Mustang."

Mustang took his turn to sigh. "Just a private now Alphonse."


"Don't apologize. So what would you like to hear about?"

Al turned his attention back to the journal in his lap. "Do you know how to break his code?"

"No. Your brother's research notes are as well-coded as mine. It should tell you about some of your daily-life back then though. It's coded like a travelogue."

"Thanks. This means a lot to me. So, how did you know Ed?"

"I was his commanding officer for all his years as a State Alchemist. He was the youngest in history." Roy paused, gathering his thoughts. "Where do I begin? Our relationship was…more of a playful rivalry really. He was always trying to get the better of me and I was always manipulating him and pushing his buttons. He never did win a fight."

"Neither did you." Al grinned in an almost Ed-like way as Mustang looked up in surprise. "At least not according to the assessment records."

"They let you have access to his file?"

"Parts of it. A lot of the records were sealed."

"Under my command. Some things were never meant to be seen by anyone else but us."


"Coffee? Knowing Full Metal as I do…did, this could take awhile."

"Uh, no thank you."

"Milk? Hot chocolate perhaps?" Roy asked with a sly grin.

"Yes please. Is something funny?" Roy had rose, heading for the tiny kitchenette, smirking as he suppressed a laugh.

"First thing to know, Edward hated milk. Something about not being able to constitute drinking liquid secreted from a cow."

"He was like that when he was a kid too." Al joined in the joke, laughing as he hadn't for quite some time. Roy eventually handed Alphonse a warm mug, resuming his seat with a scalding hot cup of coffee.

"So what are you really looking for?" Mustang said, his tone serious and sobering.

Al started, thinking the question over. "I want to find him. I just don't believe that he's dead. I thought that if I found memories of him…maybe I could figure out what he did to end up where he did."

"He spent those four years chasing the dream of the Philosopher's Stone. He lived only for your happiness. Do you really want to risk his sacrifice when he may already be gone?" The tone was harsh, but Al recognized something underlying in the statement; a desperate hope that the words just spoken were wrong. A hope that Al was right.

"I have to try. I have to. If there is even the slimmest chance that we could be together again, if he's alive somewhere, I have to try."

Roy sighed, sipping his coffee. "You know, for not remembering Edward for those years, you've become a lot like him." Al smiled. "How about I tell you about the time he saved the coal mining town of Youswell by conning the military?" The conversation stretched well into the deep hours of the night.

Henrika- Ah, Roy Mustang. Now we just have to wonder why the heck he transferred willingly to the border and dropped his rank and State Alchemsit title. Guess we'll just have to wait. Sigh.