Disclamier: I don't own FullMetal Alchemist.
A/N: WARNING! Spolier alert. Finish FMA (brotherhood series before reading).
Edward's real arm is pinned in a piece of metal and his auto mail has been smashed. The little one that resided in the flask is approaching him with a crazed slow pace. All everyone can do is watch. All I can do is watch. Panic strikes me with so much force I feel as if my life is flashing before my eyes. I cannot lose my brother at any cost. He has to be the one to stay alive. He is the only one that can defeat this monster. My body is destroyed as I lay here. I am useless. But wait I have an option…
Brother's have a strange relationship with each other. They bicker with a fierceness not even a scorned woman could have. They can never truly stay mad at one another. They know that if the world was ending that they would want their brother at their side. They would do anything for the other brother even if it meant giving up their life. They would betray that brother if it meant that that brother was kept alive kept safe. Okay well that might not be describing all brothers but it is a near perfect description of Ed and me.
I say near because I could probably write a book about my bond with my brother. A short paragraph hardly suffices but it will do for now. See Edward Elric is my brother. He is my hero. I know that's a typical little brother thing to say but it's more than that. We've met a lot of amazing people on our journey and not one of them has ever really been able to outwit my brother. He may not be able to beat me hand to hand but he truly lives up to his child prodigy status.
They say I'm not all that bad either. I'm not. I know I'm smart, I know in fact that I'm brilliant, but I will always be living in the shadow of Edward Elric. Now don't think I'm bitter. I am always proud of Edward, he is my brother after all. I love him. I love him more than anyone else because he is all I have. He is all I need. And for a while I really thought that maybe he gave me memories. That was when I was bitter, that was when I forgot I was a human. I am a human even if my body is not with me. Edward has never forgotten that, not for a single moment has he ever lost faith in my humanity. So I know that he will fight for the rest of his life if he has to, to help me get my body back. To get me back.
Humans are fascinating creatures. We can be selfish. We can be self-righteous. We can be selfless. We are full of contradictions. Yet we learn. We grow. It's our choices that define us. I watched with awe as the army pulled together and weakened the 'god' like creature. As the alchemists, humunculi, and others fought to use up the philosopher's stone.
I gave up my body to protect Mei that is why it is in this state. I love her. I can't picture a world without her. When that blast came I knew everyone else could protect themselves. I knew brother would be fine and teacher and father. But my love for her is different from the love I have for my brother. In that moment of peril I knew that she was the one I had to protect the most. That was a knee jerk reaction one I had no control over. That wasn't a decision. That was completely involuntary. That's another surprising thing about us human's, we don't realize the own depth of our emotions at times. It's like we put it on a low volume and fall asleep to it, it's not until the tempo picks up that it disturbs our sleep.
This decision I have control over. This decision is the darkest, most twisted agonizing decision I have ever made. If I give up my body and brother can't find a way to get me I won't be able to see Mei again. That's a selfish thought. A thought that should have never crossed my mind but it did. It's the thought that is allowing me to sit here in a panicked state and watch this scene. I couldn't let this happen my mind was made up.
The manic kept stalking forward to his corner prey. I couldn't take it my panic reached new limits. I couldn't think straight, or maybe I had never thought so clearly. If I gave up my body to give him back his arm he would come for me. It wouldn't be waiting years it would be waiting minutes. No matter what Edward Elric would come back for me. Resolve replaced my fear. It came down to this. I was going to make my brother give up the one thing in his life that he truly excelled at. It was a fact that we had known all along. It was something that we could give up that wasn't as morbid as life. It was knowledge and power that Alchemy wanted. It wanted life lessons that we had learned along the way.
"Stop dammit!" I hardly ever cuss but words were flowing out of my mouth that I had no control over. "Stop! Stop!" I could hear the sound of stricken remorse in my voice. I didn't want my brother to choose this to choose to give up his life's achievements to save me. I struggled to stand up. I struggled to cause a distraction. I heard Mei's panic beside me as she called out my name.
"Don't, Don't! My brother…!" I felt the cracking of the suit of armor my soul resided in come closer to my seal. This body was no longer of any use to me. I had to give it up. I had enough with these close calls. How? How would I be able to give Ed his arm back? I couldn't give him back his leg. That would be useless, that would slow him down more than anything. We were aware of the state my body was in. His limbs would be the same way.
Mei. That was the answer to everything. She could help me open the portal from a long distance away and link us together. Everything clicked together in that moment.
"Mei. I have a favor to ask of you," I whispered out. My voice was deadly calm. Resolve is a wonderful thing.
"My brother sacrificed his right arm in exchange for my soul. If that's the case the reverse should be possible."
She had to understand. She knew I had to do this. She understood my sense of honor. The lunatic loomed closer to my brother.
"All you need to do is create a path for me. Can you do that?" I knew she could. I was just hoping she wouldn't refuse. I had to do this. I had to save my brother. I couldn't sit here and watch him be murdered before my eyes. I had a choice. This was my choice.
"But if you do that, you'll—"
"There's no time!" I snapped. "Please," I added weakly. I decided she would need more convincing. "You're the only one I can ask," for several reasons obviously but I wanted it to be her. I loved her. I trusted her. Her eyes developed tears and made her blood stained face look even more defeated. If my heart had been beating in my chest it would have broken. The seal on my back seemed to tighten uncomfortably. The mad man was ranting getting ever closer to Edward to my brother. I heard father shout out his name in agony. "Mei, please," I whispered my body shaking violently.
She didn't respond but threw her knives with perfect accuracy where Ed's right arm should be. This was the worst part. I could feel my brother's realization dawn on him. I could feel his panic as he saw me laying in the circle Mei provided for me.
"Stop… Hey AL!" I ignored him as I kept moving. I had one chance. I had to do this perfectly.
"Be sure to win. Brother," those were my last words in this world with this body. Those were my last fears. I was placing all hope with him, in him. He had to win. This was our last shot.
"STOP!" he screamed at me. I could feel his terror. It was the terror I had felt for him moments ago. Good that would make him fight better. A dirty trick but one he would need to win this. I clapped my hands and focused. My body disappearing to that bridge between the worlds. Suddenly my body was standing before me. I could feel my excitement as I saw it for the first time in years but at the same time I remembered my goal. I was here to give Ed back his arm but I would finally be joined with my body as I waited for him.
"Are you ready now?" I heard my body ask. Such a weird sensation, talking to your own body while your soul rested a few feet away from it. It was something out of a dream. Maybe that was what dreaming was. I never want to dream again.
"Yeah. All that's left is to believe in Brother," and I do, I added silently. I had full faith in him. He would be back. My body smiled as it felt my faith and reached out with its hand. I reached as well welcoming the feeling of the rush as my soul slid back into my body. I watched through my own eyes as my former body dissolved into nothing. I sighed in content. I had waited so long for this moment.
Edward's alchemy yelled over to me distracting my thoughts. We were bonded so our alchemy shared the same link, shared the same white space of knowledge.
"Yo. So your spirit returned in," it called to me nonchalantly. "Will he come to take you back?" it questioned. I swear these things thrive on the misfortune and torture of others. I never wanted to come back here again. But where was mine? Was it inside my body, was that the reason why I had misgiving thoughts. I could hear its happiness; hear its strange and alien emotions. It would be better not to get too chummy with it, but my body was used to it so it responded.
"He will. Definitely," I called back. Glad that my resolve and faith had been untouched. Ed's arm dissolved off its body. Reinstating the fact that I believed that it was a part of him when nothing took its place. He could keep his alchemy if he had given up his body as well… but there might be a loop hole. We'd have to figure that out later.
"I'm looking forward to see what he'll sacrifice this time," it said. I felt fear sink into my heart. Into my heart. As much as the negative emotion had me worried I could feel my emotions in my own body. It made me happy at the same time. Besides this thing doubted Ed more than I did. I knew he would figure it out. He probably already had when I disappeared. He would defeat the threat of the world and then come for me. He was my hero. Heroes can do no wrong. I snorted at the thought as I remembered all the wrong Brother had done over the years. But in the end it was always to do the right thing. He was just a misguided hero, but that was fine because he was my hero.
And then I waited. I waited. I waited. It felt like years that I sat there next to Ed's alchemy as it kept trying to run taunting thoughts thru my head. Finally I snapped at it.
"I'm sure Edward is showing you the power of human's above. Stop being jealous of the fact that we can feel, that we can live," I saw it flare slightly in anger but I knew it could do me no harm. After that it sat in mulling silence mumbling to itself.
In the distance I heard an agonizing shriek. I heard the disillusioned knowledge cry out as a door beyond my sight slammed shut. I heard the mention of god and heard it talking to its other self. Was this god we were playing with the whole time? Was god inside me now? Was it inside of Ed's arm? Did god have such a cruel humor to taunt us like this? I didn't have time to think it all out as the door adjacent to me began to creak open.
Did he remember his promise? Did he know what I was thinking before I left? I felt fear return. It was Brother. My hero. He would do the right thing in the end. He knew. My heart danced as he talked to the 'God' before him as he talked to himself. He offered the gate. He knew! I smiled happily as I watched my brother. I heard the thing lie to him. I knew that we just had to find a way to rebuild Ed's gate. I kept my silence. Let Ed think what he has to. He would find peace this way. He did have to be a regular human but he had grown full of himself, his pride needed to deflate. He needed peace. He would find it. Just like I would. Just like I had. Mei. Lost in my own thoughts I caught the last of their conversation.
"You have defeated me Alchemist!" it laughed. Brother ran forward and smashed the gate. "Take it all!" it screamed joyously. I never wanted to practice alchemy again. I wanted to use this power for good. Resolve. I was resolved to never have to go through such a test in my life again. I would get Ed's leg back; I just had to find a different way. I had to learn. Mei. She had the key. Ed's door of truth vanished.
"The back door is over there. Edward Elric," it called as it dissolved into nothing. It scattered into the white space, leaving my gate of knowledge and me unobstructed from Ed's view. Our eyes met. Our eyes met! My eyes met his eyes for the first time in years. How much clearer the world was threw these eyes. How much better I could see him. I studied his battered body and eyed his arm with appreciation. My sacrifice was never a sacrifice. It came down to that. It was a choice I made because it had to be made. It was my truth but I didn't have to give it up. I wouldn't have to sacrifice I could think for myself. Our past had been amended. I stood then. Relishing the feeling of floor beneath my feet, not realizing I was starting to stumble until Ed steadied me. We were brothers.
We would always be brothers. We would have done this in the end. This would have resulted no matter what the circumstances were. I was just glad we had found out while we were still young. We still have our lives to live. We might not always be with each other but we will always have each other. That was something that would never change.
"Why were you so rash?" he asked. His voice ringing through my ears. I looked up and smiled at him. I laughed as I realized he was in a way telling me he was worried about me.
"You too. Brother," this was right. This was fitting. We deserved a happily ever after.
The gate before us opened with a blinding pure light.
"Alright, let's go home. Together," he said softly, happily. We were happy. We were at peace. I nodded and we strode forward together. I loved the feeling of moving my own legs. I couldn't stop smiling. I heard greetings as I opened my eyes to bright sunshine overhead. Ed was alright. That was all that mattered. I answered accordingly. I saw father and smiled at him. Why was everyone gathered around like it was my death bed?
"Yeah I'm back," I smiled as I grasped my father's hand. I felt Brother close next to me his hand supporting my back. It came to me then that everyone I had met along this journey had never seen my body before. They were welcoming it back, they were welcoming me back. Something was missing though. I couldn't quite figure out what it was. "It's so warm," I said relishing in the sunshine, the feeling of grass beneath my naked body. I had never appreciated my body more.
"Al-sama," Mei cried. That's what had been missing! "Alphonse-sama!" she cried as she shoved Ed out of the way as she tackled me. I had never meant to make her worry so much. My dear little princess you shall never have to worry again. I was resolved. "Mei," I was shocked. She was crying so hard.
"I see. I'm sorry," I whispered and wrapped a weak hand around her. "I must have worried you," and then I knew at that moment that she loved me too. I smiled softly. This was perfect. This was complete. "Thank you Mei," for everything. For allowing me to leave and get back my brother. For understanding that I had to. For knowing that my resolve was an unstoppable force. I kissed the top of her head and squeezed her to my chest. Ed elbowed me lightly and laughed. I would have to give him a hard time for Winry later. My smile grew wider. I loved feeling it on my face. I resolved to smile all the time. Such a pleasant feeling. I took a deep breath, enjoying the smell of Mei's scent along with the grass. I smelled blood and destruction as well but they were faint, not as strong as the scent of girl that lay in my arms.
A/N: Brotherhood series obviously. Such a great show. I am rather in love with the Elric brother's and I hope this was good. My first time for FMAB and this was a one-shot! I hope to write more. Let me know if this was any good? I love Al and Mei. I have an idea for Edward and Winry though so that might be coming out first. This seriously came to me in the middle of the night and I had to start writing it right away. I hope it flowed smoothly. :D.