First FMA fic in two years. Eek. Enjoy anyway!


Wake Up
By Hales


They sit together, sharing a cup of tea as they both pour over the same book. It's the Basics of Alchemy that their mother said they could read. The words are large and they don't understand them all. But they drink up the text like they drink up the tea.

Ed nudges him slightly, turning a page and laughing at the odd caricatures sketched on the yellowing paper. He laughs too, nudging Ed back. Brother nudges brother and back again and soon they're sprawled out on the floor, laughing with aching sides and gasping for air, fingers still poised in deadly attack positions.

Then, he turns onto his stomach again, looking over his older brother with a soft smile. And says, "You're the best, Brother."

And then he wakes up.

---

Ed is sleeping in his lap again, curled up against the cold steel of his body, with his shirt riding up. If he could he would frown because his brother will definitely catch a cold that way. But gently, carefully, he reaches and tugs down the fabric with over-large fingers that don't register the feel of the cloth. He'll never understand why Ed likes to sleep against his armor, but he doesn't outwardly question it. He lets Ed sleep, and wishes he can run his fingers through the soft, silk blond hair.

His brother shifts in his sleep, stretching and finding a new position while a quite murmur falls from his lips. "Al... sorry about..."

And then he wakes up.

---

His brother is screaming. Screaming and screaming and he can feel the very vibration of it in his soul. Light and power and energy is everywhere, surrounding Ed like a vortex that would swallow him whole. Ed's screaming and he can do nothing at all. He is broken, useless, nothing but memories attached to an empty shell.

And then there is a woman. She is beautiful in the glow and not tarnished by blood and power they could not control. And, God, it looks like... He wants to reach out and say I'm sorry I'm so sorry. But she's not walking towards him. Her steps are sure and certain and she is the one to calm the storm of Edward.

He can hear Ed say the same thing his (fake)soul whispers.

"Mother..."

And then he wakes up.

---

He is whole again, but strange and new and something more than what he should be. He is so much more; he can feelhearsmelltaste the thousands of souls now tied to his own. They never stop screaming, yelling, crying, cursing. And no matter how much he tries to push it down, he cannot hear his brother's voice.

Because his brother is lying in a pool of blood. Once fiery gold eyes are blank and dull and red is everywhere. Everything, everything is red. He can't see, but he can see. Edward is dead and he is alive but dead as well because Edward is gone. Edward. Brother...

He pushes himself up and heads towards his only connection to the world. His only purpose is now gone and cold and why does this happen to them? They are cursed. He is cursed.

So with a slap of his hands, he pulls from the power and the screams and the souls within him, searching for that Door. Searching for Ed. And when he sees him, he whispers.

"Sorry, Brother..."

And then he wakes up.

---

He is a sick young man, but he hides the coughing from Ed. Ed is too preoccupied too noticed, reading over the plans for their latest project, searching for something, anything for a way out of Munich. Out of Germany. Out of this world. He doesn't mind. Something in him says it's okay. And while he doesn't want Ed to leave him (no, stay, don ft go, be with me, I've searched for you), the stronger part urges him to go.

So he hides the coughs and the blood on his palms. He pushes Edward on, urging him to find the answers he's looking for in the stars or somewhere other than the bottle he found him drowning in that first night.

And he ignores the looks Edward gives him at night, when he crawls into his bed and looks over him as if he were someone he knew so well (I know you, it's me, can't you see, I've been waiting and here all along and...). Fake limbs are cold against his skin and he doesn't mind when Ed pulls him close and whispers his name--but not his name, the accent and inflection are different--and seeks comfort in his touch.

He gives to Edward, giving just what the blond silently pleads for. And murmurs his name back.

"Broth--"

And then he wakes up.

---

They're together again. Finally. Clinging to each other in the darkened room of a cheap hotel in a world where they don't belong. And he can feel. He can feel the sensation of Edward's fingers in his hair and his fingers along Edward's skin. His brother is so gentle. Afraid to touch. But Edward made him. This is the creature that Edward made. He belongs to Ed.

Each caress, a touch so soft it's as if Edward is afraid he'll break. Afraid he'll disappear before his eyes again. But he won't let go of his brother this time. Never and never and never again because he looked for so long. Searching far for answers and a brother of which he had only scant memories.

The memories are there now. Of long nights reading books. Of brokenness. Of sin and pain and tears. Of fighting and power and strength. Of Mother, Teacher, Winry, Everyone. Of Edward and his sacrifice.

So he grips and holds tight, new fingernails digging into skin and scraping against auto-mail. And he whimpers Ed's name and holds fast until they're both shaking.

He presses against his brother's skin, hair, breathing him in. He whispers.

"I love you."

And then he wakes up.

---

Alphonse Elric's eyes blink slowly, gradually allowing light to filter through his lashes. It's strange, filtered, and yet dull. Artificial. Everything around him is white save for the looming structure ahead of him. He knows what it is. He's seen it before. Seen it so many times it makes him sick.

He wants to vomit. He wants to scream. He wants to dig and claw and scratch at the door until his fingers bleed and he is sobbing.

He wants his brother.

He wants Edward.

And for a moment, he sees him. His perfect, foolish, sinful, broken, wonderful, only brother gives him a brief, sad smile.

"I'm sorry, Al."

But he doesn't wake up.


Thoughts?