Title: Wake up
Warnings: Not. A. Happy. Fic! Deathfic, angst, blood and madness
Summary: "You're scaring me Brother, please wake up." Oneshot
This time when the military had called on its dogs to go to war, Mustang hadn't been able to prevented Ed from having his leash pulled along with the rest of the State Alchemists. The war was getting too big and the Fullmetal Alchemist was just too good to avoid being called to the battlefield.
On the frontlines Ed was clapping left and right, not aiming to kill, just to incapacitate, creating pit traps under the enemy soldiers, building thick stone cages around groups and just causing havoc wherever he could.
Al, who had followed his brother into battle whether he was a member of the army or not, spent most of his time shielding his brother from the enemies bullets and drawing arrays for future use whenever there was a lull in the fighting.
Ed had just transmuted the water on the ground under the enemies feet to ice, making the ones not stuck to the ground slip and slide in total disarray when it happened. Al turned to look at his brother, smiling inside his armor at the comical sight of some twenty-odd soldiers falling and flailing, and met Ed's eyes for a moment. And somehow, out of all the bullets being fired, from both sided, one loud shot rang out over all the rest.
From their side of the line, somewhere behind his brother, a soldier's finger slipped, shooting before he had a chance to take proper aim and buried a bullet straight into a red clad back.
Al saw Ed straighten up sharply and his eyes go impossibly wide before his legs gave out and he fell limply to the ground.
"Brother!" Al screamed, throwing himself to the ground. He turned Ed over and picked him up carefully, wiping the mud from Ed's face with a shaking glove. Ed opened his eyes slowly. "Al…" he croaked, his voice strained.
"Don't worry Brother, I'll get you to help. Just stay awake!" Al was panicking, Ed's face had lost it's golden color and was now almost paper white and he had blood running from the corner of his mouth.
"Al," Ed said again and finally got his brother's attention. "Don't do it. Don't try and bring me back." His voice was getting weaker.
Just then a cannon ball slammed into the ground close enough to the brothers that the debris pelted them with stinging force, making Ed wince reflexively. Al panicked at seeing that his brother was getting even more hurt and quickly drew an array in the muddy dirt at his side, caused great chunks of earthy waves to rise from the ground and form a protective barrier between them and the outside chaos.
"Brother?" Al asked shakily in the darkness of their created cave. Ed had gone quiet again, and Al could barely hear his brother's strained breathing.
"Don't worry Al, it doesn't even hurt anymore." Ed whispered. "I'm just really tired." Even without his sight Al could tell that his brother was fading quickly.
"No, Ed!" Al cried. "Don't go, please don't leave me!" Al's spirit was crying, his choked voice echoing hollowly out of his armor shell, and Al wished once again that he was able to cry real tears.
"Sorry Al. So sorry. Can't… I love you." Ed's voice got quieter and quieter until it faded completely into silence.
Al started rocking back and forth, in a futile effort to comfort either himself or Ed, he wasn't sure which, and started babbling; pleas, prayers, threats, guilt trips, anything he could think of to keep his brother there. When he finally ran out of things to say and stopped talking he listened hard, but couldn't hear Ed breathing anymore.
The thought briefly flickered across his mind to try human transmutation to bring his brother back, but alchemy wouldn't work on the…on the…de-
His mind couldn't take the cruel reality of it, and after all they had been through, this terrible silence proved to be too much. Al's mind snapped, and he refused to accept what had happened. Ed was just sleeping. He had said that he was tired, so he was just sleeping. He would wake up soon and they would leave and continue their search and soon they would both be whole again.
Everything would be fine, his brother would never leave him. They had never been able to figure out how long Al's spirit would stay sealed into the armor, and Ed would never go to a place where he could not follow.
He wasn't all alone in the dark. His brother was just sleeping.
Since it was completely dark inside their covered hole, Al had no way of telling how much time was passing. It could have been minutes or hours or even days since he and Ed had been down here, when he heard something from the wall in front of them. A knocking, scraping sound. And he could swear that he heard muffled voices. He took one of his arms from where they were cradled around Ed and redrew the Earth moving array from memory, just in case someone from the other side was trying to get in to hurt his brother.
There was a crackle of alchemic fire and a hole formed through the layers of thick stone walls, large enough that three people could look in at a time. Colonel Mustang, Major Armstrong, and Lieutenant Havoc peered into the dark, the sunlight from behind them lighting the scene and making them all pale drastically. Havoc started cursing softly and turned away from the hole while Armstrong covered his eyes with a hand and his shoulders shook with silent sobs.
"Alphonse?" Mustang asked, his voice and eyes tight with suppressed emotions.
"Shh," Al shushed softly. "Brother is sleeping" he whispered, glowing white eyes earnest and his arms tightening where they cradled his brother to his broad chest plate.
"Oh, Alphonse," Mustang said gently. "No, he isn't." They could see the grotesque amount of blood that covered Al's crossed legs and arms, as well as Ed's vacant, partially opened, staring eyes. Dead eyes. There was no doubting that Ed was gone.
The white glow of Al's eyes turned red and angry in an instant. "Yes he is. Brother is just sleeping and you are going to wake him up." His voice rose quickly. "Go away!" He screamed at the men outside the opening.
"Al-" Mustang started to say before Al slammed his hand down on the array and closed the hole with a jarring force, not caring if anybody outside was still in the way or if they got hurt he kept the transmutation going, making it bigger and wider. Creating an impenetrable force between him and his brother and the outside world. Sharp spears of earthen columns rose sharply from the ground surrounding the brothers' tomb.
As soon as Al let up on the transmutation circle he started to babble to Ed again. Reassurances and promises spilled out in a never ending cycle that kept up for hours with only brief breaks to reinforce their protections whenever he could hear movement outside the thick walls. Alchemy was not a silent science and Al had plenty of warning whenever another alchemist tried to break in.
When the outside attempts to get in stopped, Al quieted down so as not to wake his brother. He quickly lost all sense of time again, sitting quietly in the dark with only his still and silent brother for company. Hours, days, weeks, months; there was no telling in the total darkness where sleep was just an impossible dream.
"Brother?" Al's soft, hollow voice was loud in the silence. Loud and trembling with fear and bleak desperation. "Wake up. You're scaring me." He jostled his arms a bit to try and wake Ed, but in the dark and the quiet there was no way to even know if Ed moved or not. "You've been asleep too long." He didn't know how long Ed had been asleep, hoursdaysweeksmonthsyears, but he knew it was much, much longer than his brother normally slept, even when he was exhausted. Al stayed quiet for a time, straining his hearing for the slightest sign that Ed would be waking up any time soon. But there was nothing.
"Brother?" Al started, then buried himself deeper in his delusions before the ugly truth could slap him back to sanity and make him face reality. "…Ok, I'll let you sleep a little longer. I know you said that you were tired." And Al went quiet again, clearing his mind in his version of sleep and keeping enough of himself aware of his surroundings to listen for anyone trying to get in to them.
Some time later, weeksmonthsyears, he wasn't sure how long, Al was pulled back to full awareness by loud, muffled thuds coming from somewhere in the midst of his earthen pillar blockade outside of their dark world. His eyes grew brighter with his awareness but they were still noticeably dimmer than they had ever been before. His thoughts felt thick and muddled and it was hard to remember that noise was a bad thing. He sat in confusion for a moment as the noises got louder and closer before gently placing his hand to the ground at his side and activating the array. The fire from the alchemy lit up the inside of their sanctuary, but whatever thread of reality that still clung desperately to Al's mind kept him from looking down to check on his brother. Muffled slams sounded as his stone spires encountered resistance, but ultimately overcame whatever was out there.
When all was silent once again, Al put his arm back around his brother, there was an odd 'clat' noise when he rested Ed's head against his armored chest but he couldn't seem to get that curious about it for some odd reason. "Don't worry," He said, his voice soft and tight with disuse. "I won't let anybody disturb you." And with that he returned to his silent vigil. Longing for Ed to wake up, but having trouble remembering what his brother looked like. Having trouble remembering what anything looked like, actually. He knew that that should have bothered him, but it didn't. The fuzziness of his thoughts wouldn't let it bother him.
The quiet overtook his thoughts once again, and he faded away into memories of blurry colors and disjointed sounds, remembering following a red-clad back and how Ed's hair used to shine golden in the sun.
As he lost himself to the memories, his eyes faded even more, becoming tiny dots of white light that couldn't even chase the darkness from his helmet.
Later, later, later still. Monthsyearsdecades, no telling how long, Al's voice broke the silence again. Lost in his memories and disjointed thoughts, he had come to a terrifying realization. "Ed?" His voice was getting so faint now that he wasn't completely sure that he was even speaking out loud. "I…I can't remember what your voice sounds like anymore Brother." And for the first time in…a very long time, Al wished that he could cry. His armor trembled with sorrow as it hit him, all that he could remember anymore was that he had his big brother, Edward, in his arms and that he was waiting for him to wake up so that they could leave.
That was it.
Everything else was black, and silent.
"Please wake up." He pleaded over and over, his voice barely above a whisper, before fading into silence again. The white glow of his eyes growing smaller and smaller until just the barest pin prick of gray marred the solid blackness in their hole, the only thing showing that Al was still 'alive'.
They had never known how long Alphonse's soul would be trapped inside the armor. Both of the boys had worried about it for years, afraid that at any time the alchemy could wear off or that something else would cause his spirit to break free of it's shell.
If Al could have still remembered that fear, he might have laughed at the irony of it all.
Spire Field had become a place of myth and legend over the years. It was said that hundreds of years ago a battle had taken place there and an alchemist, no records were kept that gave a name, was killed. The alchemists' brother/friend/lover/bodyguard (the legend was marred by time so no one was quite sure anymore what role he had had in the alchemist's life) had buried himself and his fallen companion in a fit of sorrow into the giant stone mound in the middle of the field, and rose the stone spires for protection from the outside world. Over the years developers, alchemists and scientists had tried to tear down the spires to make room for the growing cities or to find out what had really happened and were thwarted and spooked as the very ground itself rose up against them and caused massive damage and some casualties to the trespassers. There were tanks and trucks stabbed through the middle, hanging dozens of feet off of the ground, the oldest were the closest to the stone mound and newer models closer to the outskirts. It was a mind boggling mystery and had driven countless people to distraction trying to figure out how it happened. The only answer they could come up with was that the slain alchemist's companion or maybe the alchemist himself, had somehow put part of himself into the very earth surrounding their tomb. After all, there was no way anybody could live that long.
A wall had been built surrounding the field, to keep the unwary or overly adventurous out, and for the superstitious, to keep the spirit of the alchemists in. even though it had been decades since the last time the spires had risen, no one wanted to anger the alchemists' spirit with a city built on the other side of the wall. Instead, they named it a national monument to honor the fallen alchemists of days gone by and left it alone. Never knowing that a mile into the field, there was the soul of a small, broken boy trapped inside an armored shell, sitting in the center of his stony cage.
Forever waiting and hoping for his big brother to wake up.
Kinda sad that this is my first attempt at a FMA fic.
There's a picture on DeviantArt where a couple of robot/skeleton things are holding hands. Like they died in that position. That pic started this whole flippin thing. It went from that pic, to a picture in my head of Al holding Ed in the dark. (I drew it and will post it eventually) and from there the "you're scaring me, please wake up" part was made.
No, it's not a good ending. I know that, and yes I know I'm evil for even writing this, but I had to or it never would have left me alone. I took part of the manga-verse with the whole, 'can't transmute dead people, only separated souls' part and I don't know if it actually came across that way. Let me know please!