By Henrika

Henrika- Another story dredged from the ruins of my old notebooks. This one was actually pretty recent, but I've just been to lazy to type it. (Like most of my notebooks. Heh. Whoops?) The format is kind of bizarre, but there will be a second chapter to wrap things up. Enjoy and review!

It was the cool hand against his forehead that brought his mind out of its temporary blackness. He tried desperately to figure out why the hand was so cold, why his hair felt wet, why his body felt frozen even though he could feel the heat racing through his veins. His memory struggled to kick and he started seeing tiny fragments.

Al, his armored pieces lying in fragments beside him.

The murky sky.

The frigid rain.

Someone yelling his name.

The hand against his forehead.

The acrid tang of alchemy.


He wanted to get up and run, like the screaming voice was telling him to do. But Al? He thought. What about Al? He remembered the deal he had struck; his life for the safety of his brother's. It's an equivalent exchange.

The hand was gone.

Scar was slamming his hand into Alphonse's armor.

The steel was shattering.

Al was falling.

And he couldn't help wondering whether the date of death on Alphonse's grave would bear today's date or the day Al lost his body.

The day you killed your little brother. And your mother. A voice in his mind added.

The hand was back; chill against his skin.

Al was screaming at him to run.

But Al just died, didn't he? He wondered, confused.

Alchemy is equivalent exchange, by your own words. What have you given for your knowledge? Why do you corrupt the world by changing it?

He wondered if Scar was an alchemist. But that couldn't be right. Why is he trying to kill me for being an alchemist and then quoting alchemic principles?

Mother collapsed on the floor.

Her grip slackening and her eyes dimming as she asked for flowers.

The gasping pile of flesh and bones on the floor that looked at him and held his eyes.

The blood.

Everywhere there was blood.

He tried to sit up and the hand held him down. Just do it already. He silently begged the man.

Do you know what will happen to Al? Will you abandon him? Will you be just like your father?

He snarled at the voice, but it continued.

That's your blood that makes up the seal that binds his soul here. Will he die when you do? Will he be able to survive without you maintaining that seal with your energy? Will the seal hold when you and your science go to the grave? Even if it does, what then? You're the only one who can fix him. You're his only family. What will the military do when they find such an interesting specimen? Mustang can't protect him unless he's got you.

"Stop it!" He yelled. "Just shut up!" He tried to curl up, to put his hands over his head and cry like he used to when he was a very young child. The hand wouldn't let him.

You're still a child. The voice intoned.

He fought the hands that now gripped his form.

Thousands of tiny black hands.

The Gate.

So much information.

The Truth.


"What do you want from me?" He screamed at the hands. "What do you want me to do?"
Al's scream echoes everywhere around him, a thousand different screams he knows he has caused. His brother's body is being taken away, his armor splintering, Scar stepping forward on the pavement. "What am I supposed to do?" His voice cracks violently and he wonders if there are tears mixing in with the rain. The hand is on his forehead again, bitterly cold.

And the voice is different when is answers, familiar somehow, but faraway. "Live."

He sees the world around him shatter.

Henrika- I just kind of like the last line. Then again, I know what it all means, so that could have some bearing on it.