By Henrika

Henrika- Extremely short drabble, but I managed to get a pretty heavy message in there. Enjoy!

The thick copper tang would burn its way down the back of his throat every morning, spiraling his nightmares into the memory of that night. He would struggle to focus his eyes; try to breathe as the smell choked his scream. Finally…finally, he would remember where he was and wipe the cold sweat from his eyes and forehead, feeling the cold metal slide over his skin. And then the fear would seize his heart and his eyes would frantically seek the hulking shadow across the room.

And when he found the shape outlined in the dark, relief and a familiar guilt would spread throughout his body and he would allow himself to sigh, settling back down on his bed. He'd then search for the source of the blood, finding it in opened wounds or the stagnant smell of Al's blood seal or the imagined odor that haunted him in his vividly lucid memories.

Some mornings were worse than others; that scent tangling his dreams and his reality into a mess of bed sheets and bad visions. It was on those mornings that Al had to shake him awake, yelling his name, which made things worse by throwing his mind back to the terrified screaming Al had made that night. It was on those mornings that the auto-mail felt so heavy he had to struggle even to sit up. It was on those days that he limped; his body cracking under the pressure his mind couldn't afford to yield to.

And every day he remembered. All he had to do was look at his younger brother and the steel cage he had trapped him in, feel the heavy weight of his chain to the military and the reminder etched inside, or simply move his artificial limbs. And even if those hadn't been there, hadn't reminded him of his mistake every single waking and sleeping second, there were always the memories of the night he had defied God and the sickly-sweet smell of blood in the morning.

Reminding him always that he was a murderer.

A sinner.

And stained.

Henrika- I am just evil to poor Ed. At least it makes for good stories, ne?