Fandom: Full Metal Alchemist

Summary: Its more than just the emptiness within that steel... Its about being you. Being here. Being with me. Eds would-be reaction if he were to hear Als thoughts while the latter is doubting his own humanity

Title: What It Means To Be You

Author: Hana Rui

Genre: Angst

You disappoint me, Al.

I have always thought of you as having a stronger will than this. Of having greater trust in me than you do in all other people.

Than you do in yourself.

What the hell did you let yourself fall into? Why the hell would you let something like this happen to you?

You think too much. You are too young. You cannot possibly contain the whole world in your headno matter how practically empty it is. You know that. I know that. Yet, you still resort to... thinking too much.

Just like you to do so.

And just like me to worry about where it could possibly take you.

It is the self that fools the man worse than other people can. It is the self that overworks and builds all these lies to blind us to the truth. To the only thing that should matter.

Reality is what we make of it. Tis an old saying, true. Trite. Overused. But still, very timely. Especially where it concerns you now.

I dont mean to be poetic. Never did dream of encroaching on Shake-dorks forte. I only mean to state the truth. The truth as I know it. The very truth that transcends all other truths we could ever and would never know.

How dare you let a fool change your view of things? Of what you know is real? I am your brother. I am the one you have been with all your life. Shouldnt my words matter more to you than any lousy attempt at breaking you apart?

You know me. I will never lie to you. Even if you hold me at gunpoint and demand for it, I would rather die than fabricate a fairy tale to make things easier for you. I can never glamorize life, Al. We know how much pain it has caused us both. Yet, I can never ruin it for you completely. I dont really have to try so hard on that, anyway. It just comes naturally.

Everything comes naturally with the truth.

So listen here, and listen good. Its not about how you looked on the outside. Its not even about not having limbs to fit into those clangy sheaths of that ancient armor. Nor having a face to show off behind that steel mask.

Those are the reality that other people may see. But do not put me in league with them.

I do not tell you things for my own selfish cause. Since when have I ever been selfish to you, anyway? You know Id rather be dead than see you suffer. You know Id rather be agonized twice as much as I should, if only to see that youre doing okay.

Everything is for you, Al.

I have dedicated my whole life to putting you back where you belong.

But even in that vessel, you dont look any different to me.

Its not so much about having all the normal traits that people can readily see. Its about having all the normal emotions that the people who truly care for you can readily feel.

Its about being able to talk, to laugh, to move to the rhythms of daily life.

Its about how much you can feel, enjoy, and appreciate despite your incapacity for physical pain.

Its about how much kindness, compassion and love are manifested in your actions despite not having a heart to vouch for them.

Its about how much you can think, say, and know despite the absence of that gray matter people are praising for their geniuses, or are condemning for their mistakes.

Its more than just the emptiness within that steel, Alphonse... Its about being you.

Being here.

Being with me.

And the fact that you continue to survive in this land of fools, sharing in the warm breath of each new day, yet living on a higher plain of existence, should be enough to convince you of the truth of my words.

You are human, Al. I dont think I can ever think of you as anything else. You are even more human than most of those who do look it at first glance.

I believe humanity should be measured by the values that are contained inside. Not by the misleading sights on the surface.

You are human. Take my word for it.

I never lie to my younger brother.

You are... my younger brother, right? That has never changed, has it?

And you never changed much, either.

No, Al, you never did.


Note: I wrote this after watching that episode where Al was fighting this skull-faced armor much like himself (a soul transfused in the confines of an inanimate metal) and said armor started telling him all those lies to break him apart...

Thanks for reading! :)