Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Thank you to the PoF who woke my Full Metal Alchemist muse up with her own short story. Hopefully I will be able to write longer stories based on this series in the future.

You often take the blame, Brother.

For a lot of things, even if they were not your fault. You always took the blame onto your shoulders if it would spare someone else the pain.

You never actually say it, but I know you do. I know you hide the emotional pain about what we attempted four years ago. You also took the blame for me having to reside in this old suit of armour.

You shouldn't, Brother.

I am not trying to lessen the burden of guilt that we both carry. This was the consequence of our actions. I never once tried to stop you. I never once voiced my doubts - why would I? We both knew how desperate we felt about resurrecting Mom. We both wanted her back, alive and well, telling us how much she loved us.

It was the process that scared us so much, not knowing if it would work, and if it didn't, how harsh the consequences would be. The uncertainty of not knowing if it would work - if the fuse of ingredients would be a strong enough combination to bring back the dead. We researched details of the process, pouring over books and endless volumes of information, trying to gather all the information we possible could to ensure that we were doing it right.

We knew it was forbidden, we knew why it was forbidden; no one had ever successfully managed to pull off doing human transmutation before, and yet we needed to try.

The result taught us two things over the period of four years:

One, why human transmutation is forbidden. It is forbidden because of the almost unlimited amount of possibilities that could go wrong. It is because the horrific results are too appalling to describe.

Two, there is no equivalent exchange for a human life. The worth of a soul is beyond any cost we could ever hope to achieve.

It was not just you, Brother. I am just as guilty as you are, and I am just as responsible for taking the risk of losing my body, just like the loss of your limbs is the dangerous chance you took in return as a result of when we attempted the process.

I helped you with the transmutation, Brother. I went against the law just as you did. I am not any less to be blamed for committing such an act that is against nature.

You may feel as though I should hate you, as if you deserve to go through this torment for what you did, but the truth is - if it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here. And I would rather be here to help you and have my soul transfused inside this old suit of armour than to have it trapped within the Gate as punishment. Being here with you and being able to laugh and talk with you; even while stuck in this armour, without a body - this is not a punishment, Brother.

I love you.

Who else would take care of you and make sure you didn't get yourself into some sort of trouble?

You may be older and smarter than me (whenever you actually use your brain and not rush through things, that is!). After all, despite my appearance, it is you who have earned the title "Full Metal Alchemist".

I know you feel guilty. I have no excuse to deny the truth - the consequence - to either of us. It is our punishment to voice the horrible results, and our guilt that will remind us of the consequences for attempting such a horrendously forbidden act, as well as these mechanical limbs.

But if you should remember anything on that day worth remembering, it is this:

Mom loved us more than anything, and if the consequences of her death taught us anything, it would be to remember what happened and to honour her memory as someone who cared so deeply for us. To never give up and keep going, with life's lessons in mind as we go.

Death does not stop us from learning or caring for those who are close to us and believe in us for who we are.

No matter what you may think.

She would have been proud of us, Brother.

Written: May 24th, 2006

Author's Notes: There just isn't enough love for poor Al out there in the Full Metal Alchemist fandom. So, this viewpoint is his (obviously), with a bit of seemingly Ed-like wisdom.