There will be a plot, actually. It will start in the next chapter. (That's pretty sad; it takes over thirty chapters for the plot to appear. -__-)

Number Thirty Three

Confess

Ed spoke.

He told of the nightmares, recounting the terrifying escapades that occurred inside his own head each and every night.

He told of losing his heart at the hands of his brother. He told of seeing himself commit suicide, over and over again. He told of reliving the horrors of his life in front of a laughing audience. He told of cars, sparkly vampires, dancing, beaches...Everything that had happened in the last two nights.

He finished and fell silent.

"Ed..." Roy began, a look of concern on his face. "There's something wrong with you."

Ed gave him a look. "Excuse me? What's THAT supposed to mean?"

Roy sighed. He didn't want to pick a fight; he wasn't up to it. And no matter what he said, he knew Ed wasn't up to it either.

"Big brother," Al began softly, immediately drawing Ed's attention. "You know that they're just dreams, right? That none of us would ever actually hurt you like that?"

Ed seemed surprised at the sudden reassurance, although somewhat grateful. "Yeah," he said. "I know. But just knowing doesn't change anything. It keeps happening."

Al said nothing. Silence hung in the air, thick and impenetrable, taking away what little comfort there was between the three of them and replacing it with pure awkwardness.

During the silence, Roy mentally looked through all the not-quite-organized information stored in his brain. What could it be? he wondered, searching for something- ANYTHING- that could be a possible cause of the nightmares.

A few ideas came up, however, they all held a tinge of doubt...He decided to share the most likely suggestion with the other two in the room, if only to break the silence.

"A common cause of nightmares is stress," he began, drawing the attention of the two brothers. "Could that be it?"

Ed bit his lip as Al gave him a sidelong glance. "Maybe..." he muttered, not quite wanting to give an absolute answer.

"I think that's it," Al answered, making up for Ed's lack of words. "He's been working on the philosopher's stone a lot lately and-"

"Not any more than usual," Ed cut in, as if trying to stop anyone from getting the wrong idea. "It's not a big deal. I just-"

"Ed," Al said, silencing him. "You've been getting only a few hours of sleep, if any at all, for the last week. It's no wonder you're having nightmares- the stress is catching up to you. It would probably best for you to- well, just sleep. Sleep it off and stop working so hard."

"What?!" Ed exclaimed, an alarmed expression on his face. "But...But the more I sleep, the more nightmares I have! That doesn't make any sense!"

"Calm down," Al sighed. "They can't go on forever, right?"

Ed stared at him. "...Do you think it'll work?"

"Well, there's only one way to find out. You need sleep, anyways. So just-"

"Al-"

"Ed. There's not much else to try. Just try it, okay?"

Ed sighed, deciding to go with Al's not-quite-a-plan plan for the time being. "Fine. I'll try to sleep. But when the nightmares come again, I get to say 'I told you so', okay?"

"Mm hmm," Al said, not exactly listening. "Colonel, I think you can leave now." Roy nodded and left the room, closing the door with a click. "Ed, go to sleep. I'll stay here in case it gets too bad, and I'll wake you up, okay?"

"Ah...Yeah. Okay," Ed nodded, although, to tell the truth, he was nowhere near assured.


It's not actually stress; you'll seeā€¦

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