Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Fullmetal Alchemist. I just have the books one through seven and know enough spoilers to last me a lifetime.
A/N: The idea for this just sort of pranced across my mind one day, and wouldn't go away until I posted it. I used quotes from the manga, all focusing around Edward.
A Lot of Things
"… street performers…"
"… the little guy?"
"Are you going to join the church of Leto?"
"People aren't objects!"
"Are you saying you're God's equal?"
"You too… Edward?"
"What's that jealous look in your eyes?"
"You'd try to bargain with me-?"
"… now I understand who you are."
"… always a mystery why a brat had a fearsome alias like Fullmetal Alchemist."
"… committed the worse possible sin!"
A lot of things have been said to, and about, Edward Elric. From his past to his present, and even hints at his future. From the people he's come across, and from those who have heard of him. If you went and talk to each one, you would find no one says the same thing about him; and no one says his or her words in the same emotion.
"When it failed, my brother lost his left leg…"
"The next thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the armor and a sea of blood…"
"My older brother exchanged his right arm for my soul…"
"And you call yourself a State Alchemist!"
"So that's why you want the Philosopher's Stone…"
"People call my brother a genius, but he got where he is because he paid the price… and worked so hard."
"Big brother, your theory was flawless!"
With Ed, you can never be entirely sure. There are times where he seems laid back, but there are other times he'd be frighteningly violent. When reading, he seems to block out everything people say, but the second you make a twitch towards threatening his friends or family, you wouldn't be able to make another twitch ever again without fear.
"What did you do to me-?"
"Absolutely, you see matters rather clearly sir Edward."
"Please accept this token of my gratitude…"
"I'm sure we understand each other."
"Hey, Ed, you're good enough to create gold, right?"
"You scumbag! You call yourself an alchemist?"
"… there's some crazy guy up there!"
"You're just a little brat!"
"I guess you're still not back to normal."
"He can't be human…"
Edward is exactly like a puzzle, built in such a way that to put any layer of row of pieces together, you need to finish another first, and to do that, another has to be completed. It's near impossible to put together a full understanding of him, or begin to get a good look at what makes him tick. It could be the silver watch he carries, it could be his brother, it could be his teacher, it could be his own determination to prove something.
"He has an amazing ability to focus."
"I hate perceptive brats like you…"
"You're no different then I am!"
"Even though Edward acts older then his years, he's still a child."
"Too bad… you couldn't put me back together too."
"You're not afraid…"
"I'll give you a moment to pray."
"Why didn't you run when I told you to?"
Maybe he's trying to prove that, despite what happened; maybe he has a small chance of redeeming himself, a chance to show he's still human, still alive. He's the type that wouldn't let anyone get a good look at who he truly is until he is redeemed for his sins, out of fear he'll drag them down too. The thing is, it seems unlikely he shall ever be able to redeem himself- in his own eyes.
"… he's already, seen Hell…?"
"He's visiting his mother's grave."
"I've seen that strength…"
"… when he does finally run into an obstacle he can't overcome, will he be able to get back on his feet?"
"… He burned his house to the ground."
"He was pretty reckless…"
"He's so defenseless when sleeping…"
"He really tries so hard… to be tough, that idiot…"
"That was pretty amazing, kid."
Edward has suffered so many losses and gains, it would make some people dizzy with it all. Even though he doesn't show it, no doubt, his head is almost always spinning; when he remembers the transmutation, the blood, the fire, the alchemy, the blood, the tests and trails, the fights, the blood, the horrors, the blood. The blood- so much blood.
"How can you call us human with bodies like these?"
"What's the Fullmetal runt doing here?"
"What a troublesome child."
"Maybe I should kill you after all…"
"Don't ever forget that we let you live."
"You should take better care of the little guy; he's very talented."
"… It's okay to trust adults sometimes."
"… you were hurt because you're automail failed you."
"Think about it; what kind of idiot would risk his life to create a fake younger brother?"
People have tried to comfort him, but what do you say, to someone like that? Don't tell him 'sorry for your loss', he'll simply say people have lost just as much or even more then him in so many other places. Then, being Ed, will try to find those people and see if they're okay. Don't ask him if he needs help, he'll only turn his head away and claim it to be his burden, then return to the mountains of research as he runs himself ragged.
"You're so persistent…"
"I've never met anyone so stubborn before!"
"There must be something in there he doesn't want anyone to see."
"Give this back to Ed."
"You keep saying 'awesome', that sounds like something a kid would say."
"So you've stooped so low as to become a dog of the military have you?"
"You can work alchemy without a transmutation circle?"
"You've seen that thing haven't you?"
"What happened to you? Tell me everything."
Also, if it is assumed he is only trying to find a way to get his limbs back, that rumor is quickly quashed. Edward will never put regaining his own limbs before trying to regain his young brother's body. If there was a way he could get Al's body back, but he had to keep his automail, he would try to do it. If there was a way to get his brother's body back if he sacrificed himself, he would try to do it, even if Alphnose protested.
"And… I'm you."
"Welcome, you arrogant fool."
"I'll show you the truth."
"You really are a fool."
"What the Hell did you do? What did you create?"
"Judging by the look in that boy's eyes, he was beyond help."
"You think so? … I saw eyes, that were burning like fire."
"… You're gonna go through Hell."
If it helps his friend's and family –more importantly, his brother, who he sees as the only family he has now- he will do it. Ed will never allow himself to fail, and will drive himself to the point of breaking. Some are worried, when he does break, there could be three outcomes; there will be no stopping the young alchemist, or he won't be able to survive. The third outcome? He will simply fade away, into nothing, vanishing right in front of everyone's eyes.
"… He's got a lot of guts."
"Isn't he too young?"
"That boy is the most talented recruit we've seen in years."
"… The Fullmetal Alchemist."
"I told you time and again to stay away from human transmutation."
"If you came back alive after seeing that thing that's proof enough for people to call you a genius."
"Brats who don't listen need to be taught."
"Give up, boy, it's useless!"
"Look, I know your type…"
Yes, a lot of things have been said to, and about, Edward Elric.
"Are you dead yet?"