A/N: FMA is obviously AU. Don't worry, I'll have it make sense, but it'll take a few chapters to properly incorporate everything in. This fic is adopted from EdwardElricFMAObesseie who titled hers "Poor little Ed." I rewrote the first two chapters in my style, and altered a few details to fit my storyline. I think I caught all the mistakes, but please inform me if you find any.

Edited 8/2: Corrected the arm that had Ed's automail and grammar.

Brave Lil' Edward

Chapter One: Meeting a New Life

Silent and solemn, Edward clutched his little teddy bear. The ragged doll was the last remnant of his little brother, Alphonse. A social worker's hand gripped his arm, and heard the evil woman muttering something about his mom. He wanted to twist her crunching fingers off—nobody talked ill of Mom. The kind, gentle woman meant the world to Edward and Alphonse.

We just wanted to see her smile again.

But that went terribly wrong. Instead Edward was on a plan to Japan to stay with his older cousin Tamaki. They were related on Trisha's side who was Tamaki's aunt. When the Elric family visited them in France, the trio had gotten along like brothers. As far as he was concerned, Tamaki was his brother. Tamaki was the only biological family Edward had left.

Granny Pinako insisted that she and Winry were his true family, but the evil social workers would hear nothing of it. Yuzuru Suoh, with extravagant wealth, offered to gladly take in the young Elric as family. Edward wanted to speak, to yell and shout at the woman, but speech was too difficult. All he could do was clutch the little bear to his chest and glare.

The plane landed. In a daze, he followed the woman. He didn't want to care anymore. Too much trouble. Too much pain. He couldn't bare it, being forced to relieve the incident without end.

I'm so sorry.

In the terminal, a tall blonde youth awaited his younger half brother. Tamaki smiled down at Edward. He knelt and widely opened his arms for a hug. For a moment, Edward contemplated running away.

He smiles just like Mom. Like Al…

Tears rolled down Edward's cheeks as he rushed into his older brother's arms. He was so warm and soft.

Tamaki nearly had to pry the latching arms off to carry his brother off. He noticed the extra weight of his little brother and the gloves on his two small hands. Pinako informed him and his father several months ago. He smiled cheerfully and gestured for his two men to grab Edward's luggage. With Edward comfortably in his arms, Tamaki walked to the limo parked outside for them.

The social worker sat in last, and Edward made to sure to sit as far away as possible from her. The woman talked to Tamaki in words he didn't want to understand. They were signing him away to life he had no desire for.

I want Winry and Granny.

Edward's eyes glazed over during the car ride. He couldn't stop thinking about the monster he created and the brother whose body that literally tore apart before his eyes. He ran his fingers across the bear's fur, failing to block out the memories of almost six months ago.

It had taken hours to reach the Suoh residence through all the city traffic. But with Tamaki's confident and loving smile, it felt like seconds to Edward.

The little boy walked hesitantly through the large doors that one of the servants' opened. Hand in hand, Tamaki led him to the dining room. Edward gasped. He didn't care about the patterned wallpaper, the arching hallways, or decorative statues. He wanted the huge cake presenting gloriously on the long table. His stomach growled furiously, demanding to be fed such a delicious sweet.

In swirly blue icing read: Welcome home, Ed.

He wasted no time digging into the scrumptious desert. A cook would later chuckle as one of the maids describing the event in dramatic, hand sweeping detail.

Stuffed and tired, little Edward nearly dozed off in the chair he was sitting in.

Tamaki asked one of the maids to bring Edward's bags while he picked up his little brother again.

"You'll sleep in my bed, tonight." The boy absently nodded, not even noticing Tamaki reaching his room.

After the maid set the luggage down, Tamaki kindly asked her to leave. She didn't need to see Edward's secrets. Despite being half asleep, Edward fiercely tugged his sleeves down, not wanting Tamaki to see.

"I know," he reassured softly. "Pinako told me about the automail. She didn't tell me why. Everybody has their secrets Ed, but if you ever need help, don't be afraid to ask."

You know I can't ask.

Edward nodded.

You know I can't speak.

After getting in pajamas, Edward snuggled up to Tamaki and fell asleep.

When he woke up, he saw his brother adjusting his lopsided tie. He yawned.

Tamaki smiled. "I'm going to school. You wanna come?"

Edward nodded. Despite his young age of nine, people called his a prodigy. He had reached the tenth grade material a year and a half ago, before losing interest in school academics. But he needed something to ease his mind. He jumped into his brother's arms.

He hadn't forgotten how to speak. He knew to move his tongue for certain sounds, how words felt coming through his lips, and how sometimes speech got stuck in his throat. Knowledge and practice were two different concepts.

But Edward completely understands what everyone says, and that includes the teddy bear he dutifully dubbed Alphonse.

Chapter Two: Too Genius for School

Edward sat beside his brother throughout all of his classes. Many students stared at him oddly, wondering if the little kid knew what the teacher was, well, teaching. He looked utterly bored at the equations filling up the whiteboard. The kid looked up expectantly at his older brother, as if saying he regretted coming along.

Tamaki made goofy faces, making Edward laugh.

The teacher coughed, drawing the class's attention back to her stern posture. "I know many teachers have excused your lil' tag-a-long, but—"

Edward made a sour face at "lil.'"

"—just because you're the principal's son won't mean I'll expect anything less in my class."

The blonde in question froze, trying to think of the smooth reply that worked on the girls that visited his club. But Mrs. Watanabe was no ordinary woman. "Well," he began, but clamped up when Edward walked calmly to the whiteboard.

He plucked the marker from the stunned woman, and finished the equation with swift loopy movements. He stared at the teacher, gears clicking away inside his mind as he analyzed her. He scoffed at reaching his conclusion: not worth his time. He handed her back the marker and waved at his brother.

This is boring. Later.

Just as he got two meters from the door, his brother scrambled to reach him.

"What are you thinking?" He sighed. "Right, you don't talk. Just, listen, okay? You can't walk out of class like that."

And why not? The question was clear across his face.

"Sometimes in life, you just gotta deal with things."

No shit.

"So just come back, 'kay?"

As Edward reached for Tamaki's hand, the bell rang. Students poured out through the doors, and Edward took it as his cue to explore the school without Tamaki. Holding on to his teddy bear, Edward smirk at his brother before becoming lost in the sea of yellow and lavender.

"Clever devil," Tamaki mumbled. He sighed, knowing full well that Edward was capable of taking care of himself. "Fine, but just this once!" He called across the hallway so Edward could hear him. People just looked at him oddly, but with a smile, the girls swooned.

-(/)-

Edward shoved his way through the tacky yellow dresses to find a quiet place to think. He hid beneath the stairs as the bell rang to signal the students to class.

This place is huge.

Especially compared to Resembool.

Winry…

He kissed the teddy's ear softly.

I'm so sorry… everyone. Please forgive me.

Then the announcement came on: "Due to, err, a sudden request from the principal, there will be a staff meeting. Students will have the rest of the day off."

Edward winced as his ears were assaulted by the loud cheers. Many girls passed him, chatting endlessly about a club called "Host," whatever that meant. He waited until the sea dispersed before venturing out. He thought of seeing what exactly a Host Club was but also saw a darkly clad students walking down the stairs.

"… black magic…"

He froze, his metallic fingers squeezing until the stair rail bent.

No, those idiots!

He released the rail, before quickly trailing after the troop.

But a hand caught his arm, before he could get five steps. He tore his right arm, and turned to glare menacingly at the tall person. The teenager pushed up his glasses with one dainty finger.

"My name is Kyouya, and you must be Ed from what Tamaki described." He flipped open his cell phone and called Tamaki. "Found him."

The kid slowly nodded, but something in his gut told him that the teenager had more than few tricks up his sleeve. And so did Edward.

"Your brother is looking for you; he's at the Host Club. Come on." Edward followed the tall teenager. "You'll be given a small notepad to communicate. I won't coddle you like Tamaki," he said flatly. "Other people may not see it, but you don't have the eyes of child."

Maybe I'll like him.

Once they reached the room, Edward halted at the doorway at the sight of so many people. Many were fawning over his brother and five otherworldly handsome young men. Edward knew he wasn't going to like this 'Host Club.' Why was it titled that, anyways? Then he heard a familiar voice— a voice that used cheesy lines followed by an unhealthy amount of squeals.

"My lovely dove, let me fly with you to an island of our paradise."

Edward stared blatantly at his older brother, trying to figure out what his words would accomplish.

Equivalent exchange. There is always something for something else. What do his words gain him other than squeals? What more does he want?

Edward's calculating mind sometimes couldn't comprehend his older brother. He didn't like that. Holding his teddy with his automail arm to his chest, he pushed his way pass the girls. He smiled at his brother's joyous appearance.

I won't let another brother feel pain.

"Ah, they you are!"

There it is; Al's smile.

The girls made room for the young boy, cooing and awing.

"This," Tamaki pronounced to the entire room, "is my little brother: Ed Elric!"

Edward gave a small wave before hiding behind his brother's back. The girls burst into giggles, and he didn't like it one bit.

The five other boys joined Tamaki. There were two twins with trickster grins. A very tall boy towered over a blonde that was only a few inches taller than the nine-year-old. Then there was a more feminine boy with big chocolate eyes and girly hips.

Tamaki counted off the names. "The twins are Kaoru and Hikaru, watch out for them. The tall one is quiet Mori. Don't let the short one fool you. Hunny has a gigantic sweet tooth. And he," he said finally, "is Haruhi."

Edward drank in their appearances, names, and factoids. Knowledge is power. The more he knew the more power he had. He learned that from Teacher.

Sudden rose petals assaulted the room, and Tamaki grandly opened his arms wide. "Welcome to the Host Club!"

Edward tilted his head.

So far I've only seen them flirt. Is that what a "Host Club" does? Pretty silly.

His right arm wildly jerked. He dropped his teddy in surprise, and lurched over. He heard Tamaki gasp, the only one who had a clue to what was going on.

Tamaki smiled at the crowd. "Just a little stage fright." He swooped down to pick his brother before heading to a secluded room.

Inside the room, Tamaki nearly tore off Edward's maroon shirt.

Don't worry. I can handle it.

Tamaki traced his fingers where metal met flesh as the boy twitched in frustration. "It's a bit red. Irritation, maybe. Can you move it?"

Edward made a so-so gesture with his left, working hand.

"Does it hurt?"

He repeated the gesture. Tamaki hugged him gently and kissed the top of his head. "Don't worry, we'll call Pinako, okay?"

The crowd was left confused, but was quickly distracted by Kyouya's photograph album of the twins in various poses. Kaoru and Hikaru basked in the attention, smirks hidden by smiles.

Kyouya mulled through his thoughts, being the clever Shadow King that he is. There were too many questions unanswered thanks to that little kid. Never once had Tamaki mentioned a younger brother, and the kid had more of a German look than French. And from the gossip he overheard, the kid was a math genius. Most importantly, the one thing he pretended not to notice was the bent stair rail beneath the kid's iron-like grip. Kyouya did not enjoy being left in the dark.

Mori, Hunny, and Haruhi stared curiously at the door that lurked between them and the two brothers. Hunny inched closer, but Mori shook his head.

"Mori's right," Haruhi confirmed at last. "If they want us to know, they'll tell us." She picked up the teddy bear that Edward dropped. "Besides, nothing stays a secret for long in our group."

Nobody saw the teddy bear frowning at Haruhi's words.

But inanimate objects can't do that, right?

A/N: The one glaring difference between this and Poor little Ed is the reveal of the automail. I prefer letting suspense build up of "almost seeing it or figuring it out but not quite." Tamaki knows that automail is somewhat normal in Amestris, and thinks that Edward received his in an accident of some sort. This tidbit will be revealed in the story, but I thought it might be helpful. :)

I put the first two chapters together because it's what I adopted. Note that I rewrote it and stylized it, but the majority came from the thoughts of the lovely EdwardElricFMAObesseie.