We've been having "winter storms" in my area, but we haven't yet lost any power. I started wondering about what type of alchemy would be most useful if it did go out though....

Edward Elric's long, blonde braid was continually being whipped by the high winds against his face. He snarled at the troublesome weather, grabbing the hem of his coat as the wind attempted to wind it around his body. Ed through an annoyed look back at his little brother Alphonse, who was standing a few feet behind him, nothing but the white "hair" trailing off the top of his armor's helmet being tossed by the wind.

"What would you like me to do about it?" Al asked. "You should just get inside a building soon."

Ed snarled again. "Easy for you to say!" he ranted. "Even the lampposts, the lampposts are being bent by the wind, and you just stand there!"

Al just threw his large hand up, palms facing the sky. "It would take a tornado to move eight feet of armor, brother."

"I know," Ed muttered. Then his eyes lit up.

Al groaned. That certain glint is his brother's eyes never meant that a particularly good plan had formed in his brain.

"You can carry me inside your armor!" Ed exclaimed, face alight with hope.

"Absolutely not," Alphonse refused. "It's weird having people inside me like that."

"But I'm your brother!" Ed protested.

"Just start walking, brother," Al instructed.

Ed did march on, grumbling as he did so.

Being out in such powerful wind was a curious thing for Alphonse. Of course the metal suit of armor he was confined to could not feel the wind blow against the body. But he could see everything else that was outside (including his poor brother) be tossed about and forced to struggle in the storm. In fact, if Al had just stood there and shut his eyes (and if Ed hadn't been complaining) he wouldn't have even known it was windy out. "Brother, where are we going?" he asked, raising his voice a bit over the howling wind.

"Back to the hotel, of course," Ed huffed, shouting to be heard now.

"Why do we just go to the military headquarters?" Al suggested. "It's much closer, just over there." He pointed a few blocks to the right.

Ed frowned.

"It's starting to rain!" Al added; he could hear the echo of the drops against his armor.

" 'Starting to rain'?!" Edward yelled. "It's pouring out!"

Now that he looked closer, the rain did seem to be pretty thick. And the echo was a bit louder and constant than normal. Not to mention that Ed did look pretty wet.

"I'm sure Colonel Mustang will let us take shelter for a while," Al continued. "Then we won't get rained on."

Ed yelled again. "I don't wanna see that bastard!"

Al sighed and pretended he could roll his eyes.

"Brother," he said in the slight whine he used to let Ed know that he was being ridiculous.

"Fine," Ed agreed, stomping off. Well, at least he tried to stomp. It seemed to be rather hard with the wind blowing his braid and coat every-which-way. "GODAMNITT!" he shouted loudly in frustration.

"Fullmetal," Colonel Roy Mustang said, looking up from his desk (filled with hated paperwork) at a very disgruntled Fullmetal Alchemist.

Strands of Ed's hair had come free if it's braid, and were now strewn all over his head along with his long bangs. His arms were crossed in front of his chest, and his golden eyes said quite plainly, The next person to piss me off dies. The boy was soaked, his hair and red coat were keeping up a steady stream of drops onto Roy's carpet.

"It's storming outside," Ed said.

"So?' Roy prompted.

"Al and I are gonna stay here until it's over," Ed announced.

"Is this some sort of part to ruin my carpet, Fullmetal?"


Roy smirked. "Well, I suppose you can stay here. You're so small, it wouldn't be too hard for winds like to this to blow you away."

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT EVEN THE WIND CAN BLOW HIM AWAY?" Ed demanded, slamming his hands on the Colonel's desk.

With exact timing, the lights in the office went out, then came back on.

Everyone in the room momentarily froze.

"I didn't do that," Ed assured them all.

"Alchemize yourself dry," Roy ordered, returning to his work.

Edward shrugged, clapped his hands together, then pressed his palms to his chest. All of the water on his body landed on the same spot on the carpet, but at least he wouldn't be trailing water everywhere he went.

"Al too."

Ed flinched suddenly and dried his brother in a spilt second. "I'm sorry, Al," he said, and his eyes were suddenly fierce with regret, slight relief, and fright. "I should have gotten you out of the rain and dry sooner." Ed hung his head and Roy and his subordinates returned quickly to their work. This was a private scene between the two brothers.

Al placed his hand on Edward's shoulder. "It's okay, brother. The helmet protects my seal from the rain."

"But some could leak in through the gap! It'd only take a little bit to wash it away…" Ed trailed off, hiding his face with his bangs.

"It's okay, brother," Al insisted.

"I'm sorry," Ed repeated.

"Okay," Al conceded. Edward always blamed himself for things like this, Al had long often realized that it worked best to let the guilt work itself out.

"Fullmetal," Roy demanded suddenly.

"Yes?" Ed asked, pivoting around.

"Clean up all the mess you made," Roy ordered. Give the boy something to do; maybe it would help take his mind off of berating himself. Good job, Roy congratulated himself. Blessings in disguise for the Elrics.

As Ed kneeled to clean, the lights went out again, and this time did not come back on.

The office was silent.

They could hear voice from down the hall in the other offices. People wondering about the power.

Ed still crouched on the ground in front of the Colonel's desk. For some reason the loss of light had frozen him. "Al?" he called out. There was always that instinct in him, the desire to protect Al above all else.

"I'm here, brother," Al said a few feet behind him.

Edward turned around very carefully and stood up. He took a hesitant step forward. Then another. And another. He tried to take another, but tripped on an object concealed by the dark, and yelped in surprise. He was falling, and he landed, hard, on his right, flesh knee. He felt it bang into the leg of some piece of furniture and grunted and yelped again.

"Brother, are you alright?" Al's worried voice asked into the darkness.

"Yeah," Ed groaned. He tried to stand up, but fell over again. "Fuck!" he yelled as his knee hit the furniture leg again. "Damn faulty lights! Damn power outage!" he ranted.

"Watch your language, Fullmetal," Roy warned.

He heard Ed snarl.

"You've got the flame alchemy, fire's light!" Edward exclaimed. It was odd having a conversation in the dark; it was like talking to disembodied voices.

"What do you suggest I light on fire?" Roy demanded.

"I don't know, something insignificant!"


"I don't know! Don't you have any paper on that desk of yours?"

"Don't burn your paperwork, sir," Riza Hawkeye warned, smoothly as ever despite the crushing darkness.

Roy pouted, although no one could see him.

"Second Lieutenant Havoc!" he called out, suddenly inspired. "Do you have your lighter with you?"

You could hold a lighter lit! Ed smiled with hope, although no one could see that either.

"Nope," Havoc said. "You banned my smoking, remember?"

"Damn," Roy muttered.

"Why do you get to lecture me about my language!" Ed demanded. The darkness made him feel sort of helpless, he found having confrontations with people normally helped his confidence.

"Because I'm your superior officer."

Ed opened his mouth to respond, but Alphonse interrupted him, almost as if they could still see each other. "Brother, stop it," he chided.

Ed stopped yelling, and grumbled quietly to himself.

Al let him grumble, it normally meant that he was trying to get an idea.

From his position on the floor Ed ran his fingers over the metal piece of furniture that he'd fallen on. He ran them down its leg and into the carpet. A plan started to form in his head. "Hey, Colonel Bastard, how well can you aim though flames of yours?" he called out into the dark.

"What are you planning, Fullmetal?" Roy asked. Edward's plans didn't often turn out too well.

"Can you aim them towards my voice?" Ed asked.

"Are you sure lighting you on fire would be helpful? I mean, that small body of yours wouldn't provide us with much light…"


"I think I can aim towards your voice," Roy said.

"Especially if I give you all a moment to get your bearings?" Ed asked bringing both hands to whatever it was he had fallen on.

"How are you going to do that?"

"You're not especially attached to any piece of furniture over here, are you?"

"You break it, you pay for it," Roy warned back.

"Don't care," Ed replied. He grinned in the darkness. "Watch."

There was a loud clap of hands and in the flash of light caused by the transmutation everyone could see Roy's large table change shape into a very gaudy lamppost, and all the paper work fall to the floor. There was another brief flash of light, and they could see several strands of carpet weave into a wick at the top.

"Do you get it, Colonel?" Ed taunted.

"Yes," Roy assured him. He briefly fumbled for his drawer and his gloves, but he got them on and prepared to aim carefully. It wouldn't do to set Fullmetal on fire.

He snapped, and they all turned their head to watch the streak of fire cross the room. Thankfully it found the carpet wick and burned lightly. But, it was enough light for them to all see. Ed stood up carefully, carefully maneuvered around the new pole to stand next to his little brother.

And then, the lights came back on.

"GODDAMNITT!" Ed yelled, stamping his automail foot with a loud clunk.

Reviews? Please?