Disclaimer: I have no rights to Fullmetal Alchemist. Those belong to the fabulous Hiromu Arakawa. My only possession is the idea presented here. I can't even call partial rights to the TV I'm watching.

A/N: I've been working on my Kingdom Heart's fic, Endless Supply and needed to take a quick break. Since I've also been using more of my free time than I would like reading FMA fics I decided to write a short one shot for my reprieve. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to review!


Body Language

By Uniasus

He was a novelty; something to observe, watch, and wonder about because he was new and different, always announcing his presence in some way when he walked into the office. But even after his newness had faded he still remained a curiosity. Despite all he had been through, how could he still seem like a child at times? Those golden eyes always flashed with determination, a belief that he could find a way to change his life – for the better this time – and anyone or anything that got in his way would pay.

Surprisingly, after disappointments, close calls, and haunting truths that look did not wither, but grew instead. So did the desire to watch him.

It was refreshing to see how deeply he cared for his brother, that unselfish core that seemed to be at the heart of everything he did. Around the military it was a rare thing to see, the reckless abandonment of personal safety to make sure someone else was safe. To be willing to sacrifice oneself to a serial killer to prevent someone else's death. It was a great relief to see that plan fail; the teen had wormed his way into hearts so deeply and so quickly. He was a living ideal that no one could reach.

Thus the studying of the young alchemist, though discreet, was so very intent that soon intimate details were known that could only be compared to how well a mother knows her infant's mood by the sound of zer's (1) cries. Just like the wailing noises could convey hunger, fear, love, and happiness, so could his body, silent but for the soft sound of metal muffled by his clothes.

His shoulders were never parallel to the ground; the automail pulled his right one down lower. But after a long mission the lopsided angle was more evident due to distress over that lack of information and the swing in the right arm was less than the left due to weariness. When he entered in a rigid manner, back ramrod straight, he had been close. How close could be determined by the length of his strides toward the colonel's office because he was hoping to pry out answers, not that there were many.

A lot of his missions were not expected to reveal information about the Stone. A smile on his face when he walked through the door meant it had been a great success and he was hoping to rub it in his superior's face, but those were rare. Usually it was just a simple grin lacking teeth and slightly narrowed eyes that made his childish face look older. It meant a successful mission but the damage report was something the colonel would not like. When he walked in like that the sound of a gun being loaded would be heard because before long there would be a verbal battle that needed to be cut short before something got damaged.

When they found him near the river close to Risembool he was edgy. He was on the tip of his toes, legs not angled one behind the other to charge but together on the same line to permit quick sideways movement, arms not extended to their full length so that his hands dangled mid-thigh but cocked with bent elbows so that his palms centered around his hips and fingers itching to clap, shoulders hunched as if to make him smaller and easier to look over. There was something he was hiding and the fact that he was ready to run instead of stick with them meant it was big. It was something that made him go AWOL, attack just enough to ensure escape, and to refuse help until situations changed to their benefit. It was something unnerving, dangerous, and maybe a little scary.

When he pounced on the roof of the car his eyes were dark with fear, urgent need, and more determination then they had ever held before. His stance was wide, knees bent for balance; shoulders not slumped but lower than normal. There was the feeling that the world, if not all, then a great deal of it, was sitting on his shoulders. The grim set of his mouth was proof that it was something that he would take care of, by himself, and finish by whatever means possible. Any help would be refused, for he was both the target and the sniper; others would just get in the way and hamper him. It was something only he could do.

All this was just reinforced by tale he told while driven to his destination.

The set of his shoulders, the length of his stride, and the perfect posture of his receding back brought to mind the thought that the budding adult knew his chance of coming back was around 50/50. That selfless core was illuminated by a beam of sunlight shining through a window on the other side of the church that then continued on to paint his skin. When he reached the archway that lead inside the blonde stiffened, hesitated just a little by taking a slower step and leaning slightly back, and turned his head a fraction of a degree toward the car before snapping it back, the proper posture once more in place. He was swallowed by the darkness as he entered a once holy place that now sent shivers down the spine.

Orders were given and reacted to automatically. Glances were sent up to the rear view mirror not to look at the officer in the back seat but to watch the church until a turn around a corner prevented the entryway from being seen. Something had made him reevaluate the situation, something had changed and increased the danger to himself, but he had gone through anyway with a promise that no one innocent would die no matter what happened. That partial head jerk gave it away and he never considered himself to be among the innocent even if everyone in the office did. Edward Elric was not expecting to walk out of that church in the condition he entered it; he placed his on money on his death and had gone walking to meet it.

Suddenly there were tears on her face, running down her cheeks so slowly and softly her commanding officer did not notice in the car and by the time they reached their destination the water they would have dried and the faint salt tracks would be invisible on her skin but still felt because they would make her skin tight. And no one else would know it until after it had happened.

She had watched the boy for four years and by now knew his body well enough that she knew they had most likely seen each other for the last time. It was obvious to her what he was feeling when he walked into the office after a mission but suddenly it struck her that she did not know anything about him as a person. His goal was to return his brother to his body; he had no parents, was an alchemic genius, and had a short fuse that burned even quicker when his height was mentioned.

Information she did not have but wanted flooded her mind. What was his favorite food, book, band, animal, place to hang out, way to pass time? What had been his dreams before his mother passed away and he had activated that transmutation circle that caused so many problems? What was he like as a child; did he do well in school, did he like to play in the field or by the river, did he help his mother out? What was a typical day for him? Was his hair naturally fine and soft or coarse from a lack of proper care? Why was it so long anyway? What did the symbol on the back of his coat mean? What was the one place he would like to visit the most? Had he watched her as intently as she had watched him?

A pang struck her heart as she realized that she had never asked him what he wanted for his birthday, nor had ever given him a present other than a smile and a verbal greeting. She wished he had. She also wished that he had more to his name than a suitcase full of clothes or that someone had taken up a camera after Hughes left them and had caught a photograph of the beautiful young man. Riza Hawkeye wanted something of Edward to remember him by and cursed herself for not seeing what could have been until it was too late.


(1) Zer is a gender neutral pronoun derived by Richard Creel. Ze(it/he/she) laughed, I called mer(it/him/her), Zer(its/his/her) eyes gleam, and ze(it/he/she) likes zemself(itself/hiself/herself).

A/N: Whew! I had more trouble writting this than I expected. I consciously wanted to not have a known narrator untill the end of the story (I was planning for the last sentence but Riza had other plans) and it was hard to not use pronouns. Try it. I dare you.

I've never really written Edo in a relationship, I always see him as asexual like in my other FMA fic Unknown Sacrifice (and I only suggest you read it as a horror story, becuase my writing was that bad two years ago). So what do you think? Did I do alright? Write me a reveiw to let me know!