Lessons Learned

The final chapter

Song by: Carrie Underwood

Ed sat in the waiting room. He prayed a silent prayer that he hadn't been too late in making his decision. He buried his head in both of his hands, the doctor had ordered him a new automail arm.

"Edward Elric?" A doctor called with a clipboard in his hand. Ed jumped up fast and walked quickly towards the doctor.

"How is he?" Ed asked biting his lip nervously.

"We have him stable, the transfusion went well and he should make a full recovery." Ed let out a sigh of relief.

"Can I see him now?" he asked. The doctor nodded and led him to the room. Ed stood in the doorway and stared at the sleeping form on the bed.

"Call me if you need anything." The doctor said leaving Ed alone in the room. The young alchemist stepped into the room, walking forward to where his brother lay sleeping. It hurt to know that his father was dead, but he felt in his heart that he had made the right choice. He reflected over the past couple of days; what had started the whole mess. A lie, a simple lie had shredded their bond. Rage and carelessness had almost gotten Al killed and ultimately ended his father's life.

/There's some things that I regret

Words I'd wish had gone unsaid

Some starts that had some better endings/

He realized that he truly couldn't protect Al, he knew deep in his heart that one day he wouldn't be able to save his little brother. I just screw up all the time… he thought to himself. The pain he had caused his brother and others, he wished he could take it all back and redo it.

/Been some bad times I've been through

Damage I could not undo

Some things I wish I could do all, all over again/

Suddenly, his brother stirred. Ed nearly jumped a mile out of the chair. He focused all of his attention on his brother. Slowly Al opened his eyes and he turned his head to look at his brother.

"E-ed…" he whispered weakly. A big smile of relief lit up Ed's face and he took his brother's hand.

"You're awake…" he said in disbelief. Tears of joy started to fall down his cheeks. His brother was alive, he never felt happier.

/But, it don't really matter

When life gets that much harder

It makes you that much stronger, oh/

"Brother… why are you crying?" Al asked trying to push himself to sit up. Ed quickly wiped the tears away.

"Here, let me help." Ed said standing. He gently lifted his brother into a sitting position and propped a pillow against his back.

"Thanks" Al said sheepishly, he hated that he was so helpless. He stared down at his bed for a moment unsure of what to say. That's when he noticed his leg. Ed noticed what Al was looking at. He bit his lip and then spoke.

"They could only save one leg Al…I-I'm sorry." Al looked up at his brother and gave a sad smile.

"It's ok…now I can be more like you." The words hit Ed hard. He didn't deserve the praise his brother always gave him. Hell, he didn't deserve his brother.

"Al…you don't want to be like me …" Ed said sitting down.

"What are you talking about….? Of course I do" Al said confused.

"I almost got you killed! I can't protect you Al!" Ed stood and shook his head. "I just can't risk losing you…" he whispered and headed towards the door.

"So what, you're just going to leave me?!?!?!?" Al cried. Ed stopped in his tracks and turned his head towards his brother.

"It's a risk I take to stay by your side, Ed…." Al whispered tears falling down his cheeks.

"But, why would you want to?" Ed asked turning towards Al.

"You're an idiot…" Al said looking at his brother. Well, that was definitely unexpected. "I have to make sure you're ok." He continued.

"But, Al it's my job to look after you not the other way around." He explained sitting on the edge of the hospital bed.

"Ed… you still don't get it…we're family." Now it was Al's turn to explain. "We have to look out for each other… we have to share the burden. You can't carry it all. You've got to let me help you…. We help each other." He whispered tears falling here and there. "

/Some pages turned

Some bridges burned

But there were lessons learned/

Ed sighed and ruffled Al's hair. His brother was right, he was absolutely right.

/And every tear that had to fall from my eyes

For everyday I wondered how I get through the night

For every change life has thrown me

I'm thankful for every break in my heart

I'm grateful for every scar

Some pages turned

Some bridges burned

But there were lessons learned/

"And we have dad to help us now!" Al said innocently. Ed froze, he silently took his brother's hand trying to think of how to tell him. "What's wrong?" Al asked. "Did something happen to dad.

"Al…" Ed began and he told him about the choice he had to make and about how he had to sacrifice their father in order for Al to live. Al was speechless; their father had died to save him.

"I'm sorry….." Ed whispered. Al jerked his hand away from Ed. He was shaking and tears were falling fast.

"W-why…?" Al asked looking at his brother, his expression confused and broken.

"Al…it wasn't easy….making this decision…"

"But, he's our dad!" Al cried. Ed jerked his head up and took his brother by the shoulders.

"And you're my little brother…" a few tears escaped Ed's eyes. "Al after everything I put you through….you deserved to live… I feel so guilty…. I wasted four years of your life…" the tears wouldn't stop falling from his eyes as he admitted all of the sins he committed.

/There's mistakes that I have made

Chances I just threw away

Some roads I never should've taken/

"You couldn't feel or taste anything….you couldn't grow up just like a normal kid…because of me. I wanted mom back…. I didn't know what to do… I was so selfish… I put myself first before you…. and I almost got you killed." Al tried to interrupt, but Ed silenced him. "I've hurt you… and I've hurt others…. And I regret it everyday."

/Been some signs I didn't see

Hearts that I hurt needlessly/

"I regret…not being able to save dad…." Ed swallowed the lump growing in his throat and spoke. "I never got to tell him….that…I loved him…and I wish I could redo everything…. But I know I can't I just got to keep moving forward and not take things for granted anymore…"

/Some wounds

That I wish I could have one more chance to mend

But it don't make no difference

The past can't be rewritten

You get the life you're given, oh/

"Al… I don't want you living in regret. It's not your fault…" Al let his brother's words sink in and then, he spoke.

"And it's not yours either…." He whispered. "You were just doing the best you could to protect me…" A side smile crept onto Ed's face and he pulled his brother into his arms.

"We're going to be all right…aren't we Ed…?" Al asked hugging his brother in return.

/Some pages turned

Some bridges burned

But there were Lessons Learned/

Ed was silent and he thought about all they had been through and how they had come out in the end.

"Yeah we're going to be alright"

/And every tear that had to fall from my eyes

For everyday I wondered hoe I'd get through the night

For ever change life has thrown me

I'm thankful for every break in my heart

I'm grateful for every start

Some pages turned

Some bridges burned

But there were lessons learned/

The Central train station was crowded with people. Edward Elric pushed his way through the crowed along with his brother Alphonse. Who politely said 'excuse me.' Ed looked all around.

"Where is that bastard?" he muttered to himself.

"There's Mustang!" Al told his brother heading in the direction of him. Ed rolled his eyes. It's about time he showed up he thought readjusting his suitcase and following after his brother. Al was talking with Mustang when Ed reached them.

"I was wondering where you were Fullmetal. I thought you had gotten crushed under someone's foot. Ed's face turned 5 shades of red and a vein appeared at his forehead.

"WHO YOU CALLING AN ANT SO SMALL THAT A TICK COULD SQUISH HIM?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?!??!?!" Ed yelled causing many people to quicken there steps. Al rolled his eyes just as the trains whistle blew.

"We'd better get on Ed." Al told him. "Thanks for everything, Mustang" Al said bowing politely and boarding the train.

"What will you do now?" Mustang asked Ed.

"Bury our dad's body…and after that I don't know." Ed said shrugging. "Probably go on vacation with all this time you're giving me off." The train whistle blew again. "Seeya and thanks" Ed said quickly boarding the train.

"He's grown up so much." Riza Hawkeye said approaching Mustang.

"Yeah…both of them have." Mustang said as the train headed towards Risembool. Ed stuck his head out the window and stuck his tongue out at Mustang, giving his trademark grin. Al stuck his head out and waved. The brothers leaned back inside the train and stared out the window. Their bond had grown stronger and they were closer than ever.

/And all the things that break you

All the things that make you strong

You can't change the past cause it's gone

And you just got to move on because it's on, oh

Lessons Learned/

Back in Risembool the brother's were welcomed with warm hugs and a large bonk on the head from a wrench. And now they were both standing in front of two gravestones. One old and worn, the other freshly dug. A few tears escaped Al's eyes.

"We really can't bring them back….can we…" he said quietly.

"No Al…" Ed whispered. "What's dead should stay dead."

/And every tear that had to fall from my eyes

And everyday I wondered how I'd get through the night

For every change life has thrown me

I'm thankful for every break in my hear

I'm grateful for every start

Some pages turned

Some bridges burned

But there were Lessons Learned/

Al wiped his eyes and turned to his brother.

"What do we do now?" he asked. Ed thought for a minute and then answered.

"We live." He threw on his trademark grin and draped his arm around his brother's shoulders and they started off towards Winry's house. "Last one to the house has to wash dishes!!" Ed yelled and took off towards Winry's house.

"Hey that's not fair!" Ed yelled taking off after his brother. Ed laughed

"You're still slower than a snail with no legs!"

As the sun set on the two brothers they had never been happier together with one another; the way it was meant to be.

/Some pages turned

Some bridges burned

But there were Lessons Learned/

I did it!! More like we did it!! THankyou so very much for all the time you spent reading this story. You guys made my day with all of your compliments and suggestions! I hope I didn't dissapoint anybody!! This will probably be my last big FMA story for awhile I might throw in a couple of one-shots here and there, but I'm gonna post a couple of Supernatural stories if anyone watches that show (once i write them anyway lol) A big thankyou again! I love you all thank you for putting up with me! I love you! Keep in touch and I'm not kidding I'd love to hear from you!!! Thankyou!!

God Bless,

Audrianna (Al-luvs-kitties)

P.S (points to the review button) review on your way out lol