By Henrika

Henrika- I have to say, the recent outpouring of love in reviews has made me very happy. I love you guys too! glomps reviewers Read and Review! I'm always curious if my first person P.O.Vs work.

Fuck, I hate hospitals.

The sterile white that covers everything, the too-cheery hospital workers, and that damn antiseptic smell that pervades the entire place; I hate all of it. I've been in far too many hospitals in my life, as short as it's been. Military, civilian, and home hospitals; only the faces change, only the shades of white shift to something different, yet the same.

There's also the obvious reasons. I end up in the hospital when I'm wounded or sick; in pain either way. The auto-mail never helps matter much. The strain of it is tremendous even when I'm in good shape. And even though the auto-mail doesn't register pain, the nerves they are connected to are more than willing to make up for that by being super-sensitive. Winry and Granny Pinako do their best, but it still just hurts.

And then there's the reason I hate hospitals the most. It means I've screwed up again. Every time I'm confined to a hospital bed, it means I've lost another fight and I'm losing time in my quest to find the Philosopher's Stone to restore Al. It means another lead turned into a dead end, another clue turned to dust. It means I've failed, as I've done so many times before.

Al is sitting on a chair beside my bed, berating me for being so reckless. He came out this time without a scratch on him, just as it should be. I've seen him in pieces one too many times, seen the metal chipped away so far that a few more inches would break the blood seal. I couldn't stand to lose him. I can't let him come to harm, even if it means I end up in the hospital. I'm selfish in a giving sort of way. So I just let him continue his brotherly rant, knowing that I'll throw myself into danger every time if it means protecting him.

I finger the coarse white sheets laying over me, grateful that my auto-mail isn't broken for once. It means I won't have to call Winry and tell her that it's broken; she worries when I call her and I don't want her to worry. I feel the vague pressure from the metal fingers and smile. It's not much, but it's something; a reminder that Winry cares even though she has dented my skull with that wrench of hers.

A nurse walks in, her uniform crisp and, of course white, her smile plastered cheerily all over her face. "How are you feeling Major Elric?"

Major Elric. Military hospitals are both the best and the worst. Best care and equipment, worst atmosphere and lack of humanity. I swear, sometimes I think they're just going to start calling me by a number. "Feeling better." I reply truthfully; anything beyond the initial moment of pain is usually better. "Though my side is giving me a bit of trouble."

"Oh. Alright." She moved over to the side of the bed opposite Al and began twisting a few dials on the machines sitting there. "I upped your pain medication sir. That should help."

"Thanks." I say, watching the liquid drip down into the line running into my arm. I stop before I look at the needle embedded there. Injections till freak me out and this is just like having a permanent shot.

"Feel free to rest. The medication should make you sleepy anyways." Al nods at the nurse, his glowing eyes promising me that he will finish pointing out my stupidity when I wake up. I lean back into the pillows, letting the medication slowly dull the tiny stabbing pains rampaging through my side. I was reckless and stupid, both as a kid and now, when I'm somewhere in between being naïve and overly mature. I know that.

And as the antiseptic smell soothes me into my drug-induced sleep, I make the same promise I make every time I end up in the damn hospital. This time, I won't fail. And I keep hoping that one of these times, I'll be able to keep it.

Henrika- Poor Ed. He keeps trying and keeps getting knocked down and banged up.