Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: based on the episode when Barry (Number 48) confronts Alphonse about his existence.

Thank you to Hana Rui (who will probably never come across this, let alone read it), who inspired this particular one-shot. This happens to be the first ficlet I wrote after reading Hana Rui's "What It Means To Be You". Unknowingly, you motivated me to write for the FMA series.


"You are not a real person! You're just a soul in a suit of armour. If your brother was able to affix your soul to that armour, he could just as easily have implanted your memories into the auto-mail as well."

"Implant… memories…?"

"Is there proof you ever existed?"

---

No.

No, there isn't. He was right; I am merely a soul trapped in a suit of armour. This has become my body. You say that I am your little brother. You say that I am real, that I am human to you.

How can I know that?

I can barely remember when I was little, all those times we fought, laughed or cried together. The memories I do have are hazy, only collections of a more innocent time when we were just children. I can barely recall them anymore. There is no proof I existed, Nii-san. None.

This armour has become like my skin, the helmet only a mask to cover up what few people would even call my existence in this world. I am only emptiness; there is nothing inside, save for a blood seal that you marked on me four years ago.

I cannot feel pain.

I cannot cry.

I cannot even touch anything.

It's been four years since that day, when everything went wrong. Four long years of searching for answers that we still have not obtained.

Four years since I last felt anything of human contact.

I have physically become the armour. Nii-san… I can't even remember what it feels like to touch another human being. All those memories… are they really only memories, as Barry said? Those times we fought playfully… over the bunk beds… the snacks… the toys… did any of it ever really happen? Because I can't remember, Nii-san.

I can remember a few times when we were really little. I remember fighting with you over the simplest things. But it's been so long… I think I'm losing my identity. Myself.

I feel so detached.

And I know that to you, I have always been your little brother. I know I am. I could never deny that fact.

But being separated for so long from any sort of emotional or physical contact… I have almost forgotten what it feels like to be human. I fear my doubt may not be uncertainty much longer.

I'm sorry, Nii-san.

Maybe I shouldn't be here. After all, I did not choose this existence.

Even if my body is made out of auto-mail, and I am emotionally human on the inside…

Does it count?


Finished - November. 23rd, 2005

I did not consult with a beta reader about going in-depth with one of the Elric brother's thoughts, so this short ficlet could probably use some improvement.