Disclaimer- I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of the characters. Just borrowing them for my own enjoyment and hopefully yours.
My heart pounds in anticipation as I stand up and gaze down at the completed transmutation circle. The materials needed to construct a human body have already been placed in the center of the circle, all that remains is the equivalent exchange for Mom's soul. Then all of our hard work will finally pay off and we'll be able to see our mother again. Life hasn't been the same since she passed away and left Al and me on our own however none of that will matter once we complete this transmutation and make our family whole once more.
"Are you sure we should do this brother?"
I hear the uncertainty in the voice of my younger brother and I know that he wants to back out. However we made our decision months ago and I'm determined to go through with the plan. We've worked too hard to give up now.
"Of course Al. Don't wimp out on me now."
My voice comes out slightly harsher than I had intended and I make a mental note to apologize to Al when this is all over. I know he's scared and that I shouldn't have snapped at him however his hesitation, at the end of all of our preparations, angers me. We have agreed on everything up until this point and all the hardships we've endured, that hellish stint on the island and the hours spent pouring over alchemy books, all of it was for this moment. There's no way we can back out now. If we did all of that suffering will have been for nothing.
"But no one's ever done this right. I mean alchemy is equivalent exchange. The body content seems simple enough but what about the soul? What could we possibly offer?"
I've been thinking about this a lot lately and have already arrived at an answer to the problem. It seems so simple, the perfect offering really. I pull a small knife from my pocket and fold open the blade.
"Just hold out your finger okay?"
My brother obliges without further protest and I cut a small slit in my index finger and then do the same to his. The cut on the tip of my finger stings a little bit but I ignore the pain. Compared to what's about to happen it is completely insignificant. In one motion we both hold our cut fingers over the pan of ingredients in the middle of the circle.
"What is a soul really? If you take out the myth it's just the spark that starts life. This is our blood. . . from her blood. That's a fair trade."
I can hear the sound of the wind howling outside and the rain beating fiercely against the roof as I watch a few drops of blood fall from our hands onto the ingredients. It's time to do this. We have planned for so long and now it's time to put those plans into motion. There can be no backing out once we begin. I have the resolve to go through with the plan, we will make this work. We have to.
Together my brother and I kneel beside the transmutation circle and place both of our hands on the edge. As soon as we touch it a golden light erupts from the circle, illuminating the room. Things are going well and a smile spreads across my face. However only a few seconds later the golden lights turn crimson and my eyes widen in horror. Lights of blue and red swirl together and a fierce wind begins to blow. I'm scared. This is like nothing I've ever seen.
"Brother. . . Something's going wrong here. . . AHHHHH!"
I turn toward the sound of my brother's screams and see that his flesh is being dissolved by something. . . something I can't identify. What the hell is going on?
My brother's terrified screams echo around the room and he reaches out to me, a terrified look in his eyes. Al is being taken by whatever we summoned by our attempts at human alchemy. Reaching out my hand I attempt to go to him however I find myself unable to walk. Gazing down I find that my left leg is being dissolved by the same unknown presence that is consuming my brother. Dammit get off of me! I have to save my brother!
Reaching out still further, I try with all my might to grasp my brother's outstretched hand however I'm not able to help him. I can't get to him no matter how desperately I try and the black hands that are pulling him away manage to take my brother from me.
I scream out in my mind as my brother disappears however something I saw during this ill-fated human transmutation leads me to believe that my brother may not yet be lost to me. Gazing around the room I frantically search for something, anything, I can use to perform the alchemy I shouldn't even know. Spotting a large suit of armor I crawl over to it, deciding that it will have to suffice. It's not what I would have chosen however my options are limited and my time is running out.
Pulling the suit of armor down from its stand I remove the head and, dipping my fingers into the blood that's pouring from my leg, I draw a transmutation circle in the back of the suit of armor's torso. Then I draw the same transmutation circle on my right arm, hoping that will be enough of an offering to get my brother's soul back. Placing one hand on the suit of armor, the other on my own arm, I activate the two transmutation circles.
I must have blacked out for a moment and as I regain consciousness I realize that my right arm is now gone. Blood gushes from it as well as from my leg and I feel slightly light headed due to the blood loss however this is the least of my concerns and my gaze sweeps around the room in search of my brother. Where's Al? Please tell me that the transmutation worked. Please. Gazing around the room wildly I see no sign of my brother. The suit of armor is still lying where it had fallen.
"Al! Alphonse no! Say something! Stay with me!"
My pleas bring no response from my brother. I clench my eyes closed in frustration, pain and anger. What have I done? Gone. They're both gone. And it's all my fault. Tears flow from my tightly closed eyes as I think about all I've lost, the pain I've caused. I should have listened to everyone who said it couldn't be done. If I had then none of this would have happened.
"Dammit! This wasn't supposed to happen."
I pause as a slight movement catches my eye. I gaze toward the center of the center of the transmutation circle we had used to attempt our forbidden alchemy and my eyes widen in hope. Did we succeed after all? Will I get to see my mother again?
My hope turns to horror as I realize that the thing that's moving around inside the circle isn't my mother. In fact, it isn't even human.
I scream out in pain, frustration and fear.
Clutching the bleeding stub where my arm had once been I feel the hot tears sliding down my face. What have I done? This is all my fault and now I've lost both my mother and my brother. The two people I care about most in the world. Why the hell didn't I heed Al's pleas and forget about bringing Mom back? Why the hell did I have to be so stubborn? I'm sorry Al, I'm so sorry. I'd give anything, even my life, in a heartbeat if I could only take this moment back.
A soft voice speaking, containing a note of fear. I know this voice and my breath catches, do I dare hope? Gazing up I see that the suit of armor is sitting up and staring at me. My heart skips a beat as I realize that my second transmutation had been successful and I had managed to pull my brother's soul back from the other side.
"What is this?"
My voice is raspy and barely recognizable as I gaze over at my brother and reply. "I'm sorry Al."
Getting to his feet Al stares down at me, possibly in horror although thanks to me it's impossible to tell.
"What happened to you? And me. . . what happened to me?"
As he speaks Al walks over and scoops me up into his cold metal arms. This motion is meant to comfort, I think however it only makes me feel worse. This is all my fault. It's my fault that my little brother no longer has a warm body made of flesh but is instead stuck in this cold suit of armor. All my fault.
"I'm sorry Al." My voice is barely above a whisper and I can't conceal the guilt within. "There wasn't much time. . . I used my right arm as material in a transmutation. . . All I could manage was to attach your spirit to the armor in the corner."
The pain from my wounds is intense and I clench my eyes closed, moaning in pain. Al's grip on me tightens and I know that he's attempting to comfort me. Dammit this shouldn't be happening. I don't deserve his comforting grip after what I did to him; the pain that I caused.
"Oh no! But. . . what about Mom?"
My thoughts go to the thing we created when we tried to bring our mother back from the grave and I don't want my brother to see it. The sight of that thing, the thing that we created, will haunt me forever and I don't want the same thing to happen to my little brother. He's suffered enough thanks to me.
"You shouldn't look Al. It wasn't human."
Despite my words of warning Al gazes up and I hear his gasp of horror as he sees what we created.
"But I don't understand Ed. What happened? Your theorems and equations. . . they all seemed right."
My brother sounds confused but I know what went wrong. The problem was that I didn't know half as much as I thought I did and that I refused to listen to reason.
"The theorems weren't the problem Al. It wasn't the math. . . it was us."
I feel the movement of Al getting to his feet and a few minutes later I realize what he's doing. As the rain from the storm begins to splash on my blood splattered face I realize that he's going in search of help. I'm sorry Al. I know this is all my fault. My fault you no longer have a mortal shell, can no longer feel. If I could give my life and restore you to the way you were I would do it in a heart beat and if there is a way to get your body back I promise you I will find it. From this moment on I will dedicate my life to finding a way to get you back to the way you were and I will not rest until I have atoned for my sins and repaired what is broken.
These thoughts consume me as I slip into the darkness.
A/N- Hope you liked this one shot although I do realize that it's depressing. Feel free to review and let me know what you thought.