Genre: General/Angst (drabblish)

Media: FullMetal Alchemist

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: Wow…my first ever FMA fanfic and its only purpose is to release my feelings. Ah well.
This whole story is based on what I experienced yesterday (only I tweaked it a bit so it'd fit Edward and FMA in general). I also think Ed's a bit OOC in here…

Weaker Yet Stronger
(Ed's POV)

I glared at my gloved hands, focusing my attention to the wetness that stained them. Damn it! Why can't I stop crying!?

I felt more tears slide down my face and I angrily brushed them away. Why!?

There was no reason I could find for my despair. Everything was going fine, and just yesterday I had another victory over the homunculi. Well, a partial victory, but that's not the point.

So why was I crying uncontrollably? Why did the tears continue to fall? And why did they have to come now?

Could it have something to do with my past? The way I shoved my emotions aside during my missions? Then why was this sadness, this near unbearable pain, erupting just now?

I almost jumped when there was a knock on the door. "Are you alright in there?" I heard my brother's voice from the other side.

I wanted now more than ever to stop crying, but instead the tears fell faster. I wanted to tell him that everything was alright, but I couldn't. I was too afraid that if I opened my mouth that I would start sobbing more.

On the other side of the door, I heard Hawkeye's voice talking to Al, but I couldn't make out what she was telling him. I felt relief when I heard his footsteps start and begin to fade.

I thrust my hands against my face, forcing the spilt tears off my face. Stop it! I commanded myself silently, feeling my quaking body begin to steady and my breathing become less hectic. You have to be strong…for Al.

I stood up from the toilet seat –boy was I glad this happened while I was in the men's room –and trudged toward the mirror. Looking at myself, I couldn't help but feel disgusted.

My eyes were red, my face was still wet, my hair and clothes were a complete mess and I was sure I felt another surge of tears coming up. I couldn't let them see me like this.

Splashing some water to my face and re-braiding my hair, I took another look at myself. Better, but my eyes…they would tell.

Gripping the sink in front of me tightly, I doubled over as more tears fell. My throat burned from me trying to keep my sadness silent, but all I did was splash more water to my face. Damn it all…why does it have to happen now of all times!?

Wiping my face on my sleeves so that it wouldn't drip and straightening my clothes somewhat, I hurried out of the restroom. I knew that it wouldn't stay private for very long, and I had to find complete seclusion.

"Hey –…FullMetal?" I heard the curiosity in the voice, yet I found no desire to try and think of the man's name who had called out to me. Instead, I continued down the hall, avoiding eye contact with anyone. I couldn't let them discover my problem, not now. Or ever.

Then I heard her voice.

"Hey there, Ed!" Winrey called cheerfully, giving me a small wave.

"Not now, Winrey," I said in a near whisper, thankful that my voice didn't break. I continued on past here, the burning in my throat that had died down returning.

I quickly closed the door, glad that I had gotten my hands wet from the sink as I glanced at the gloves covering them.

"Hey there, big brother!" Alphonse greeted, the clanging of his armor telling me that he was looking in my direction. "I was wondering where you've gone to. Where'd you go?"

I turned from the door and looked at my younger brother. I couldn't help it.

And then that wave of guilt washed over me. The guilt that resulted from that failed transmutation from four years previous. It just felt so wrong that I only lost my leg while he lost his entire body, it hurt so much that giving up my arm was only enough to bring back his soul. That day, I promised both of us that I'd do anything within my power to give him back his body. I meant it with all my body and soul.

But that wave came so strongly I was positive he'd see it in my eyes. And he did.

"Big brother?" His voice was so full of concern. Why did he show such concern for the very person who cursed him with the suit of armor that served as his temporary body? "Big brother, what's wrong?"

The tears poured out of me and my legs nearly buckled beneath me. These emotions were coming at me so strongly, I could hardly stand it. Why now!?

I felt metal touch my skin and I realized that he was holding me, had caught me as I fell. "Alphonse," I whispered painfully, leaning my head against his armored chest. Pressing my palm against his chest, the guilt nearly crushed me as I felt the absence of a heartbeat. "We'll get your body back…I swear we will…"

"I know we will," I heard his voice say sadly, soothingly. "And we'll get your arm and leg back, too."

I opened my eyes slightly, the tears completely distorting my vision. Why did he want to restore what I had lost when he lost the most?

He's my brother, I thought, And brothers care for each other. A faint memory began to surface.

It was of Mom.

"Take care of each other…"

Her words echoed in my head, and I understood why Alphonse stayed with me, supported me despite the woe I caused him. It was the promise we made to Mom. And a promise we made to each other.

I leaned my head against his chest, thankful for the comfort of my younger brother. "Thank you," I whispered aloud, while silently I thought, for not hating me.