Title: A Seal Upon Your Arm
Author: Tiamat's Child
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist Manga
Word Count: 250
Summary: Your body is the text of your past.
Notes: Written for fma_fic_contest at Livejournal, for prompt 50, "Comfort". It took second place. Spoilers for the Ishval flashback arc.
A Seal Upon Your Arm
The right arm was his and not his. It was his, the fingers curled inward to the palm of his hand when he willed it. It was not his, that palm was different from his own, though only he could see those differences now, with years and change between.
His and not his. His but his only because his brother had given it. His brother's faint burn scar on the back of the hand – a hot oven, a child's imperfect control, so long ago now, but how he, seeing his brother jerk and gasp in pain, had wept with fear, and his brother saying, "Don't worry, don't worry," though he must have been afraid himself. His brother's bones, shifting beneath tendon and muscle and skin, acted upon and acting, never seen but always present, the same as the currents that underlie the world. His brother's tattoos, bright blasphemy of care, that had allowed him to hold reality, change it, make it fall in line and make his brother whole, no matter how it cost him.
God dear God who guides and guards – his brother with his hand beneath the pump, smile firm, the pain crowded into the corners of his eyes, his voice even as if he knew the truth and wanted, in the kindest way, the simplest way, to share. As if truth were something that soothed instead of tearing you open, burning you away. "It's all right. It's all right. We'll take care of it together, won't we?"