Title: Hand in hand

Author: Lilya

E-mail: lilya_thedreamer

Genre: Angst

Summary: One shot. Unlike everybody else, Alphonse knows his brother's hands are strong – strong enough to hold on to everything and never let go.

Main characters: Alphonse Elric, Edward Elric

Rating: G

Disclaimer: the Elric brothers and everything else connected to Full Metal Alchemist belongs to Hiromu Arakawa. I claim ownership only on this fiction

Author's note: 1) English is not my native tongue. If you find any mistake – which I'm sure you will – please correct me.

2) Many thanks to CSakuraS who made the video that contributed to inspire me

Hand in hand

They say my brother's determination shines in his eyes.

It might be true – I wouldn't know for sure.

To me, his hands are the mirror of his soul. Always were, always will be.

Could it be that no one else noticed?

Yet the only time other people refer to his hands is when he holds them palm to palm to form a transmuting circle – by now one of his most distinguished marks.

Beyond that, other things are noticed first – it's always his eyes, his hair, his height or lack thereof…

I guess they don't expect someone so young to possess hands so strong.

I remember his hands when we played and wrestled and fought over all kind of things…

Those hands that flew over countless pages, tirelessly wrote notes and diagrams, clutched at the handle of a knife, those hands that always got smacked away by our master, that assembled all the ingredients and even gave the last one…

Those hands that reached out for me as I felt myself fading, as I floated down in the darkness…

The very same hands he clenches tightly whenever emotion fills and shakes him – be it anger, sadness, despair or determination.

He closes his fist to take on the world. Always has and always will.

Almost always.

I remember, I know when he started.

When we were children, he would express his emotions with less restraint – but even then, he would not cry easily.

Perhaps back then there wasn't a reason serious enough – but when it came, he could not do it anymore. He was the older brother, he was the man of the family – he bottled up his tears and clenched his fists tighter and tighter, almost trying to hang on to everything and hold us all together.

As if ready to fight death and fate.

But in the end, he couldn't – and at mum's funeral he did not shed a tear, but he clenched his hands so tightly his short nails dug tiny half-moons in his flesh.

Even now, I can see him clenching his mismatched hands as tightly as ever – holding everything close to him and never letting it go.

Our past, our future, our search...I can see them all in my brother's hands.

Some may wonder how I can still stay with him after all I have been through.

But for me, there's no other place I'd rather put my life than in my brother's hands.