First FullMetal Alchemist oneshot! It's not long, just an idea I came up with. This is set a month before COS.
I promised Teacher I would always be strong, I promised that I would use her teaching for good, to try to…to try to…Teacher. In these days of confusion and sadness…why did you leave me?!
Alphonse Elric kneeled by the gravestone and let out a sob of anguish. It has been so long, so many things that have happened in the last two years. It was train of nonstop misfortunes for him, this one specially. His only family left was gone, and the one he considered a second mother had died, no more than one month ago.
Izumi Curtis has been more of a teacher for Al; she had been his friend and had a maternal figure in his life. In the last two years, ever since he recovered his body, they have trained together. But she had died. Leaving a heartbroken Al behind, without fulfilling her promise to him.
She promised she would help me bring Brother back. But she's gone now. My brother and both my mothers Why? I lost four years of memories…and the three people I love the most. Where is the Equivalent Exchange?
He longed to remember the memories he had lost, maybe they could help him find a way to Edward. But now, the hope of getting back to his brother along the warmth of a mother were gone. All in such little time. Al didn't believed in Destiny, but if he had too, he should believe she hated him.
But he wasn't in the cemetery to feel pity of himself, he came to pay respect to Izumi, his Teacher, his mother. He remembered the night, which seemed not long ago, when she would tuck Ed and him in at bedtime. Just like Trisha had done when they were even littler.
Teacher always had a bad mood when she woke up too early, but she never yelled at me when Ed and I were afraid at night. Sometimes her mood swings were freaky, but she was always there for us. An now…and now she's gone too. Like Brother.
"Hey Teacher". Said Al sadly to the gravestone. The sunset light was faint as the night was coming, and Al would have preferred to have someone to make him company. But Teacher's company.
"I brought you something.", said Al, and tearfully he placed the flowers he had picked up himself from Winry's garden just by the gravestone. "I hope…I hope you like them. I chose them myself; I hope you can see them, wherever you are. They are as beautiful and nice as you were".
Twelve year old shouldn't be having to carry this burden. Sure, he should be sixteen by now, but with the de-aging and memory loss, he was as mature as a twelve year old. Both physically and mentally. Yet, he has experienced things most kids haven't.
In the last two years, Al had grown; he let his hair longer like Ed had. In a mirror image of how Ed had been. Acting and dressing like his brother was a sign of how much he needed him. Izumi was going to teach him more alchemy so he could reunite with his brother. But she couldn't live through it.
"Teacher. I know you told me to be strong, too keep looking. But I can't…", said Al and broke down in tears. "I feel my strength dying, I miss you so much".
"So do I, but unlike you, I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye."
Al opened his eyes and wiped his tears, then turned back and saw boy, shorter than him, stare at his eyes. He had long black hair and dark eyes, and his right hand was automail, so was his left leg. That boy's expression showed pure sorrow, more than Al had seen in one person. He looked lost.
Who is he?
"Hey Alphonse, it's been some time since we last saw each other.", said the younger boy, making Al even more confused. Then it came to him. He remembered, he was the boy in Central he met two years ago, the one Winry gave automail.
"Wrath?", said Alphonse with a hint of doubt in his voice.
Wrath nodded. "Yes."
"What are you doing here?", asked Al, surprised to see the homunculi there. "You disappeared two years ago."
The homunculi looked sadly behind Al, and stared at the grave of Izumi. "I came to say goodbye…to mommy."
"Mommy?", asked Al raising an eyebrow.
Wrath nodded and walked to him, reluctantly. The homunculi looked nervous at the grave; his eyes expressed a deep confusion. "Yeah, I…I…never got to say goodbye."
Al was even more confused. He didn't knew why Wrath was calling Izumi his mother, actually, he didn't even knew Wrath at all. Maybe the answer to his question was hidden, buried beneath his memory loss.
Neither of them spoke, and Wrath slowly kneeled in front of the grave, mourning. He placed a single rose aside Al's flowers, and a tear rolled down his cheek. "Homunculi are not supposed to have feelings, but I can't help but feel…grief."
"You're a homunculi?!", exclaimed Al in shock. He was expecting something strange, but that was far too strange. No way he can be a homunculi. Can he?
Wrath nodded sadly. "I am. But nevertheless, I'm experiencing feelings that homunculi can't feel. Does that mean part of me is indeed human?"
The sound of despair in Wrath's voice made Al unusually sad. He felt empathy towards the homunculi; he felt exactly the same way. "I know it's hard, I feel it too…"
Wrath looked up at Al. "Alphonse, I know you don't remember anything about me, be in the past, we weren't exactly friends. I want to make amends to you, so, if you ever need help in finding your brother, let me know."
Al was surprised by Wrath's commentary, but felt grateful. Both of them turned their gaze towards the grave, and Al placed a hand over Wrath's shoulder, an action that made the homunculi blink. Al smiled. "Thank you."
"That's what mommy would have wanted…", said Wrath sadly, running his fingers over grave, looking at it longingly. "What was she like?"
Al sat beside him and gazed at Izumi's name in the gravestone. "She was a great woman, a bit volatile, but great. She loved me, and Brother, she was always kind to use, though she was strict too. I guess we were the sons she never had, and I am eternally grateful for all the things she did for us."
"I was too blind.", said Wrath, changing his kneeling position into a sitting position. "I…I was…very bad to her. And I can't tell her sorry."
The brunette/blond gave Wrath a smile; he hadn't smiled since before Izumi died, something inside him made him feel better knowing he could be comfort for Wrath. Just like Ed had been to him. "I know that, wherever she is, she forgives you for whatever you have done. Teacher never hold on grudges."
"I…hope you're right.", said Wrath, another tear rolled down. "Do you think she is watching over us?"
Al looked down and nodded. "I know she is."
Both of them fell mute for a minute, the sun was going down and the night was coming. Wrath looked up at Al. "I feel so confused, and so sad. I don't know the meaning of these tears; I'm not supposed to have tears. I have many questions and no one seems able to answer them."
Al grabbed the flesh hand of the homunculi and gave it a squeeze. "'A tear is only water, a sigh is only air, whenever you feel haunted, the truth lies out there'. That's something that Teacher used to say, I know that soon you will find the answers to your question."
Wrath smiled faintly. "And I know you will find your brother soon."
Al nodded and both of them ran their fingers over Izumi's name, their fingers touching. "Whatever happens, I know she will leads us every step of the way."
Wrath smiled slightly. Both of them fell silent again, and both of them, side by side, looked at the grave of their mother. Al had lost his hopes of finding Ed again, but talking to Wrath, knowing the homunculi was there to guard his back, lifted his spirits.
He was sure that both, Izumi and Edward, were protecting them and guiding them. The questions they both had will come with an answer that they would discover soon enough. The purpose of life, the never-ending hope.
Brother, I'll find you soon. I know that Teacher is there guiding me, guiding us both. Three, including Wrath. I'll never lose hope again, not for a minute; I know we're destined to meet again.
Mom, Teacher, Ed…I love you. See you soon.