Home is...
By Henrika

Henrika- I wanted to do so much more with this fic, but it demanded that it be simple and cute. Bah. Enjoy and review!

No one else would have heard the tiny noise that sounded under the cover of the rain. But Alphonse Elric was not everybody else. And the fact that he had been paying silent homage to the location also helped his case a fair amount.

And so he shifted carefully through the sodden, blackened timbers until he found the source of the noise. Shifting his soaked bangs out of his eyes, he found three kittens that were just as soaked as he was staring pitifully back at him. He figured they were just about at that awkward stage of kitten-hood where their mothers started leaving them for very long periods of time. And judging by how thin they were, he figured sadly that their mother had probably died over a week ago in the flash flood that had wiped the plains of Risembool clean of all that dared linger on it.

"It must be fate that you decided to stay safe here." He addressed them. "Just don't tell Brother I said that. He says that there is no such thing as fate." Alphonse decided he must have been imagining the tiny nod of agreement the kittens gave him. He whipped the hood of his jacket off and detached it from his coat. The tiny puffballs of fur were loaded carefully into the makeshift basket and Alphonse set off back to the Rockbells.

Alphonse had always liked talking to animals and he felt compelled to explain himself to the three gray kittens he was carting to safety. "I think you must have been in the living room." He looked back at the remains of his childhood home, the black wreckage even darker against the stormy sky. "Yeah, I think you were in the living room. That was where we used to live."

One of the kittens mewed loudly as a raindrop slid off Al's bangs and hit it squarely in the nose. "Don't worry. I'll get you warm and dry soon."

"Anyways, that used to be our home. I guess it was home for you guys too. We burned it down after we…" He stopped walking, unsure of what to call what they had done. Our sin? Our mistake? A failed transmutation? A taboo? We just wanted to see our mother smile again? "After we decided to fix something we had done." He started walking again, thinking that the rain was getting heavier. He wondered idly if his brother was strengthening the levies just as their teacher had done all those years ago.

He laughed. "I'm thinking like an old man." One of the kittens attacked the thumb that he had inside the hood and he laughed again. "Now that's not nice." He admonished. He would never admit it, but the tiny scratch on his thumb and the pinprick of pain made him extremely happy. After years of feeling nothing but a strange emptiness, it was incredible to feel any sensation at all, even pain.

The brown-haired boy crested the last hill and paused to take in the warm inviting lights that marked the Rockbell household. "That's where our home is now." He said. Alphonse pondered that for a minute. What really makes a home? Is it a place? The memories you make there? Or the people who…? One of the kittens yowled and he caught sight of a light flashing from the top window, recognizing Winry calling him back to the house.

"C'mon. I'm taking you guys home." Alphonse decided then and there that "home" was wherever you were with the people you loved. And that a few kittens always made an excellent addition.

"Look what I found!"

Henrika- And I can just hear Ed groaning too. I was vaguely going to make it so that it alluded to the end of the series and what happens, but it's spoiler-free.