Hi there. Er, I'm not sure how this is; I've never tried writing angst before so it probably just sounds stupid. This first chapter is more to try and explain Ed's feelings; it'll go into a normal story next chapter.

Well, let me know how it was, even if it's pitifully comical, just so I know.



It was morning.


Why did morning always have to come? The beginning of another day…

Every morning all Ed could do was think about how much he wished it was already over, the day was done and that evening had come. He just wanted to sit in the dark and not think.

When it was the evening, all that filled his mind was how much he wanted time to slow so he wouldn't have to face another day. He hoped the darkness would never leave, that the morning would never come.

His thoughts trundled in a well worn circle as he sat up on his bed.

It was when he was alone and his guard dropped that the darkest thoughts formed from the edges of his mind, curling and thickening like smoke until they washed over his brain, they ruled him.

They came when he couldn't fight them.

I want to die.

He had nothing to live for. Not any more.

And each day the dark thoughts came quicker and stronger.

He had nothing to live for…

Al was safe at last. Ed had restored his younger brother to his body months ago.

The homunculi were gone. All dead. And with them had gone all traces of the philosopher's stone.

I want to die.

Sometimes, when Ed was stronger thoughts of his friends and family fought back the darkness. Other times, they made it worse. They were disgusted by his weakness.

So he kept it hidden.

He wished for death, or some alternative to life but nothing ever happened. He was too weak to act upon it.


He was afraid of the pain.

The closest he'd come to acting was after Al had left.

He'd cut himself.

Only once. Not on the wrist. Just the thought of doing it made his stomach turn…slicing into the delicate white skin, through all those blood vessels…

He'd cut himself but on the back of his hand, running from the gap between his finger and thumb up towards his wrist on his left hand.

His left hand was the only one that could bleed.

It had hurt. The blood had flowed forward. It hadn't helped.

The cut was gone now, merely a memory. He was a fast healer; the only time it could be seen was when he clenched his hand into a fist. He was covered in scars, what was one more?

Even if he didn't wear his gloves no one would notice anything wrong. At the rate Ed was going the first sign of something wrong would be when Ed didn't turn up for work one day. Some military personnel would go and investigate his reason of absence. That would be when they'd walk into the darkened bedroom, the curtains drawn, much as his room was right now, to stumble across Ed's lifeless blood soaked body where it remained propped against a wall…

Shuddering at the thought Ed stood up and began to dress.

He wished he wasn't such a good liar. He wished he couldn't act.

He never thought he could do either but he was apparently all too good at it.

After a while once Al was gone Ed's feelings had started to show. People had noticed.

Ed saw the stares and heard the whispering.

It's easier to lie then to admit the truth.

Without even realizing it he'd slipped on the old mask.

No one could see the pain just under the smile.

It hurt that he lied. It hurt more that no one could tell.

Sometimes a person would say casually "Are you alright Ed?"

The way they said it, did they really care? Was it just a formality? Small talk?

At times the urge to say no was so strong he didn't know how it didn't burst from his mouth.

But a mask works in two ways. It can protect you from what's out there but once you've used it for so long it traps you in, holds you in, like a prisoner. You can't live without it.

Ed simply smiled and laughed, telling them everything was fine.

It was then that the truth showed through his eyes, only through his eyes and only for a moment, like he really was wearing a mask. An animated mask that could no longer be removed and he was left to peer out through the eyes and watch helplessly on.

Why did he feel like this? Why?

He'd been so happy after Al had got his body back, everyone had. It was possibly the happiest he'd ever been. Together Al and him had been working towards this for years, all the suffering and striving they'd endured paid off.

Equivalent trade, huh?

There's no such thing.

Al went back home. He wanted to see Winry and Auntie Pinako with reason. Ed had gone with him and for a while everything was as it had been.

Al had gone to mom's grave. The whole thing had started with her and so it ended with her.

Then Ed had to go. Before he knew it he was back at the military. The happiness was gone but nothing replaced it.

He didn't want to be in the military, he hated what it was, what it did and what it stood for.

But…he didn't want to go home, if you could call it home. He didn't belong in Resembool any more.

Sometimes he just couldn't stand it. He could just run away so easily, disappear somewhere, never to be found again…

But he never left. He had nowhere to go. Nothing else to aim for. Nothing to complete. Nothing to live for. He'd lived solely for his brother. Now his brother was safe and happy. He'd done what he'd been striving for for years.

His life was without meaning or purpose.

He hated his pointless existence.

He didn't want to stay. He didn't want to go.

He'd slowly begun to draw into himself.

Outside Ed was the same. Same anger, same laughter, same smile. He was dying inside as true as if he'd been poisoned. It was only a matter of time.

He was a parody of himself.

A mere imitation.

And no one could tell.

He didn't know how much longer he'd last.

Ed paused as he passed the small mirror on the way to the door having dressed and washed.

His face was pale and slightly hollowed making his eyes seem too large in his face.

Dead eyes.

He truly was a ghost of himself.

He was already like a ghost, moving in the world with his sad existence.

With a weight in his stomach and tightness in his throat Ed left his room.

When will this end?

Mornings were always hard.

Especially as it was a Monday.