Ed, Al and Cats

Edward Elric stomped along the corridor and hid a small sigh as the pitiful meow echoed behind him.

"Al..." he muttered, trying to avoid sounding tired and whiny. He gave himself a mental shake. Al would never cease the kitten-napping thing no matter how put out it made him feel or sound, Ed knew that.

"But it's wet out there, Brother and the poor thing was all alone and abandoned." Al's voice tugged at Ed the way it always did, twisting inside him with that hollow edge.

Ed did sigh louder this time as he stopped and turned to face his little brother. Golden hues met red lights as they looked at each other. They read each other like a book. Edward could 'see' the yearning look in his brother's eyes and Al could see the determination and regret in his. A shared unspoken memory passed between them.

"You know we can't keep it, Al." Ed began as he watched his brother twitch his hands at his chest plate and reached out and placed his flesh hand over Al's. "You have to let it go, Al."

Al looked across at the window and watched the rain outside. He remembered that day, raining like this back when they were kids and still so hopeful of the future. He had stood in the doorway and watched as his brother and Mother had argued over a small kitten. He could remember the pleading tones from Ed and the regretful refusal from her. The thunder had drowned out their exact words but the impressions had been enough for him.

Ed had wanted that kitten so badly and Al had promised himself as he watched that no matter how long it took, that no matter what happened he was going to get his brother a kitten.

Edward followed his brother's gaze and saw the rain too. He also recalled that night when he had asked, no begged his mother to let him please keep the kitten. He had wanted that small kitten, to have something so warm and alive to share with his beloved little brother. But his mother had denied his request and during a burst of thunder she had given him her reason and his heart had broken.

Ed had wanted that kitten so badly, but events had overtaken that wanting and now he had more urgent promises to keep. And he didn't know if he would be able to tell his brother when, not if but when he was back in the flesh that he still couldn't have a kitten.

Because although it wasn't a problem at the moment, Alphonse Elric was allergic to cats.