Just something I wrote in about 10 minutes while I was putting off my English homework.

Antigone is a pain in the butt. D:

Anyhoo, not really sure where it came from, but I think it's alright. I think it was because I realized I hadn't put Al as a main character into any of my stories, and I felt guilty. Al doesn't get enough love. : D Tell me what you think?

Disclaimer: Don't own it. D:

Sometimes, laying awake at night, staring wide-eyed at the cream-colored ceiling, and feeling the downy-soft cotton of clean bed sheets beneath him, Al started to feel guilty.

He knew that he shouldn't, because Nii-san had told him not too, and he was supposed to do what Nii-san said – that was what little brothers were for, after all. But it was hard. It was hard to listen to the harsh breathing from the bed across the room that cut through the silence that the midnight hour brought. It was hard not to think about his brother lying hurt, in pain, a few steps away. It was hard not to recall the intense sorrow his brother's eyes had held when he had pleaded, begged to be forgiven after Al, who, in his new, shaky, weak body, had needed to carry his heavily bleeding, extremely exhausted, and half-dead brother to the Rockbell's after losing his only recently restored limbs for the second time in his life. And it became harder every day, because Nii-san shouldn't be suffering anymore, and Nii-san shouldn't feel like he needed to be punished anymore.

Al wanted to tell him that, so very badly – wanted his brother to know that he didn't mind how much money the automail was going to cost, because Ed needed it and Ed deserved it, because it made him happy, and Al wanted Ed's happiness more than anything.

In the mornings, when they began poking through the nerves in Ed's arm and leg, Al felt guilty again, because Nii-san was in pain. He was in pain for the sake of Al, like he had been for the past four years. He was guilty because Ed had to smile fiercely through tears so that his little brother wouldn't be guilty anymore. He was guilty because the real hand that found its way to his own when Nii-san relaxed after a particularly painful treatment was always cold, and the encouraging squeeze that he gave was always weaker than it should have been.

And it shouldn't have been so difficult seeing him flinch and give out a muffled scream when the nerves attached for the first time, because he had seen it before, and back then it didn't make much of a difference, anyway. But, back then, things were different. Back then, Al had been suffering for their sins, as well. Back then, he couldn't understand how painful it really was every time the arm entered its port, because he couldn't understand pain. But now he knew, now he remembered different degrees of pain – scraping his knee, stubbing his toe, slamming his fingers in the door, getting hit in the head with a wrench...having automail attached. Winry had explained it to him one day, not long after Nii-san's surgery began–and he had been horrified.

"It's like this," she had said, and pinched him – hard – on the new, tender skin on his forearm, "only about a thousand times more intense, and two thousand times as long." Al had yelped, and watched the small section of skin on his arm become white, then red, then fade to the soft tan he had developed when he went outside to fetch flowers for Nii-san every morning, with a growing sense of dread. And that night, the only smile he could muster when Nii-san yelled at Winry for pinching his little brother was a small one, because he knew how much the wires sticking out of his brother's shoulder must have hurt.

His brother hadn't stood on two legs, not yet. He was still bedridden with a fever and needed to be fed and carried by the other members of the Rockbell household, needed to be taken care of by everyone around him. And again, Alphonse was infuriated with himself, because Ed was infuriated with himself for being so "useless," for being a "burden." Al wanted to tell him that he was stupid, andthat he wasn't a burden – that it was good to let other people take care of things once in a while. But he knew that Nii-san would never listen, he was too stubborn.

He knew, because every time Al had tried to tell Edward that he was guilty, that he really didn't want this body if it meant Edward had to look so hurt all the time, Edward did his best to clear the pain from his eyes, to wipe his face clean of every emotion but happiness, and would say, "Don't say things like that Al. You know that I'm happy if you are. Please don't feel guilty." And then Nii-san would smile, but there was always something rueful about the way he did it, and Alphonse would smile back, satisfied with the answer until he realized that in asking his brother what he just had, he had only made Nii-san feel more miserable, because now he had Al's guilt on top of everything else to blame himself for. So Alphonse kept these feelings to himself as his new body grew stronger, and Ed's grew weaker after day upon day of pain and suffering.

"Al?" Ed's voice was thick, slurred with sleep and drugs.

"Yes Nii-san? Do you need something?" Al sat up, and tried to clear the guilty thoughts from his mind so that he could smile properly, but it didn't work, because he soon began to feel guilty for waking his brother from his much-needed sleep.

Ed turned his head, weakly, to face his brother's, and smiled, "No. I was jus' makin' sure you were still there." Al blinked, surprised.

"Making sure I was still here?" He nodded tiredly, and yawned a catlike yawn.

"'S good...to have you here. Dunno what 'd do if..." He stopped, and put his only working arm between the pillow and his warm forehead. "Y'know."

"I know Nii-san."

"Go back to bed, Al. An' stop thinkin' so mush."

"Of course Nii-san," and he laid back down.

Al didn't think that Ed was aware of what Ed said next, because Nii-san didn't usually express things with words like this. "Love you."

Whether he had intended to say it or not, it made Al feel good, and after he replied, he didn't feel quite so guilty anymore, because it reminded him that Nii-san had told him not too, and he was supposed to do what Nii-san said – that was what little brothers were for, after all.

"Love you, too."

Yeah. I went Italics CRAZY. Wanna fight about it? XD