A/N: This is a continuation to Healing Beauty. I strongly suggest you read it first if you already haven't. Much of the back story comes from there. So please, read and enjoy.
Summary: Second installment following Healing Beauty. Years of healing and searching hadn't prepared Edward for this moment in life.
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA
It felt as if an hour had flown by since he first stepped onto the driveway of this cozy middle class home on a hill. White with red lining, it held a quaint feel with a front porch and identical rocking chairs. It even had a beautiful mountain view to boot.
There should have been daunting about it.
Yet Ed stood there, leaning heavily on his leg to ease the twinge of his prosthetic one, stalling.
"Who are you?"
There was a clatter of a bicycle hitting concrete behind him and he turned sharply, apprehension making him jumpy. A little blond headed boy was stooping to pick up the Sunday paper and staring at him warily. He couldn't have been older than ten.
"I'm a friend," his voice was strained. "Do you live here?"
The boy didn't offer any more. Ed began to feel awkward. He could only imagine what the boy might think of him.
"Uh…are your parents home?"
"My mom is. Dad doesn't get home till five."
"Okay, well I'll come back lat—"
"Hey, MOM!" the kid yelled, running for the front door. "There's a man out here who wants to see you!"
Edward held in a curse as the cord of dread tightened in his belly. He drove his fingers roughly through his hair. Why hadn't he just left…
A second later a dark headed woman of medium height came to stand on the front porch. Freckles dusted her nose and her dark eyes stared at him beneath the hand shielding them from the sun. The other hand rested habitually on her rounded stomach.
"Can I help you?" She asked in a thick southern accent.
Again he struggled to find his voice. "I was here to see Alphonse Elric, but if he's not here ma'am I can come back another time."
She frowned. "What's your name, sir?"
"Edward—" He broke off before he said his last name. "I'm an old friend of your husband's from before the war."
When the woman came closer he was better able to see the glow on her round face from her pregnancy. She wasn't what many would consider gorgeous, but the woman before him carried a precious air of beauty that was so precious and so rare. He remembered only one other woman who carried herself in the same manner.
Her brown eyes were kind. "Nice to meet you, Edward, I'm Tina. My husband will be here soon. You can wait for him inside."
Ed limped on slowly behind her. She made no comment to the obvious reason of his slow progress but waited patiently for him, holding the door. He began to feel even more awkward as he entered into her kitchen where he took a seat. The boy was in the living room with the TV at mid volume.
"Can I get you anything?" Tina asked him politely, walking past him.
"Water, please. Only if you have any." He flinched. His anxiety was screwing with his mind, damn it!
She only smiled at him. "Sure thing."
He dearly wished for anything to break the awkwardness he felt and anything to break the cord of fear in his stomach. He had searched for his brother for nearly a year! This was the moment he had been hoping for, had been waiting and searching for. Why the hell was he afraid!
Tina set a tall glass of water by his tapping fingers and sat down in the chair across from him.
"Are you alright, Mr. Edward?"
He forced himself to calm. "Yes, I am. So tell me how my old friend has been all these years."
She smiled a lovely smile. "We only just moved here a year ago. After Al got back from the war we knew where we wanted to go. He didn't waste any time."
"When did you guys meet?" He knew when they had met. Judging by the age of the boy it was the year after they were separated. Al had to have been nineteen.
"…and then little Eddie came along. He fell into fatherhood very easily." She paused. " So how did you know Al?"
The former soldier visibly swallowed the small sip of water he had just taken. "We grew up together."
Her countenance softened. "So I take it you knew his brother, Ed?"
Understanding dimmed. "What?"
"We received news about a year and a half ago that Ed Elric died over in Germany. Al was crushed…"
Alphonse thought him dead? Well it was no wonder, he thought. He had been in severely wounded and in a field hospital over a month. After that his life consisted mostly of doctor visitations and surgeries. He must have visited over ten hospitals in four states…
It was that moment in which the front door chose to open and slam shut. Edward stood.
Time felt like it was moving to the fast beat of his heart, yet outwardly it moved with painful slowness. It took forever for his brother to walk through the kitchen door, and when he did, the response was immediate.
Al stared at him with wide blue eyes and he dropped the briefcase he carried.
For the first time in eleven years the brothers were face to face. Ed felt overcome with a sort of joyful grief but it was Alphonse who wept. His face creased in disbelief and his body trembled. And then his little brother got him square in the jaw with a right hook.
The force threw him back in his chair. Tina's shouts of exclamation were barely heard. Right then he had eyes only for his brother. Ed was pissed.
"What the hell was that for, Alphose!"
"I will be if you greet me that way again! Damn, Al, I'm not as young as I use to be. I don't need any more pains in this body."
Ed managed to stand back up before he was hauled into Al's rough embrace. Ed returned it with equal brashness and emotion. He felt Al's tears slide down his neck.
"Why now, brother?"
Ed could scarce speak without giving way to his own happiness. "It took me this long to find you."
"I thought you were dead!"
"I almost was."
"I gave up hope of ever seeing you again."
"And I almost gave up on myself, Al." Ed pulled back and lifted his pant leg. Al's young face contorted in anguish.
"We have a lot to talk about."
The exchange died down and the brothers continued to embrace one another with a sort of melancholy happiness; emotion overrode speech. Both were overjoyed that they had found each other. Both were sensing the throng of empty years, time stolen from them to be brothers.
Ed wasn't exactly dried-eyed, either.
"Start from the beginning, brother."
This piece was primarily about the brothers. I was planning on doing another continuation (different fic) to the Beauty series that involves a reunion of sorts with Ed and Winry. I just though the brother reunion should come first
Tell me what you all think and be sure to keep an eye out for the next oneshot in the Beauty series!