Okay, so, this is my first FMA story on the site! Woohoo! And, I know, I know, I have other stories to work on, but I couldn't resist! Anyway, I spent two or three days on this at school, and it wouldn't upload last night. The ending was inspired by something that NancyDrewSMARTICUS thought up. Hope you like! :)

(EDIT: I went back and cracked down on revisons and fixed typos and stuff. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I own NOTHING.)

Nightmare Past

After the Promised Day, Alphonse Elric slept many hours each day, even through some nightmares. Some were repeated, some were unusually disturbing, which says a lot if one were to consider all that had happened recently, but there was one that he would never forget. It was the most common of his haunting dreams; a replay of that night, about five years ago, when he and Edward tried to resurrect their mother...

The young boys, Edward being 11 and Alphonse 10, had finally gathered all of the ingredients; the entire chemical make-up of the average human adult.

Edward was just finishing the large transmutation circle, and began explaining that their blood was needed as one last biological blueprint.

Alphonse watched his older brother carefully prick the tip of his finger, just enough to draw a drop of blood, and the younger Elric repeated this action, each of them spilling a single bead of blood into their tub of components.

They had been so sure, so certain that it would work. The poor boys had been thouroughly convinced that on that night, they would finally see their beautiful mother's smile again.

When Alphonse was being broken down and pulled into The Portal, he felt absolute terror. He had screamed and tried to pull free as his feet were lifted from the ground- or, were his feet already gone? He couldn't tell at the time, he was too focused on trying to take hold of Edward's hand as he cried Al's name, pleading for the strange force to stop, to not take his little brother.

Alphonse awoke, unsure of what had happened between the transmutation and when he woke up.

I can't feel my legs, he thought, or my arms, or anything! Fear gripped him as he realized that he wasn't breathing either. He looked down at himself, horrified to find no skin or flesh, but hard metal armor.

Suddenly, he saw something that would have made terror grasp his heart, had said organ been in "his" body; a small pool of blood. Alphonse followed the trail with his eyes, resting on the small boy behind him.

He cried out, "EDWARD!" The suit of armor, which he had now realized he had taken anchor in, hurried toward his brother. "Brother, wake up!" Al panicked and continued to shout, "Brother, your arm and leg! What happened? BIG BROTHER!"

As Edward stirred a bit, his face contorted with pain and he seemed to be holding back a shriek. Alphonse cradled him, and he would have cried if he could've in the armor.

Still holding Ed, Al threw open the front door and ran outside, through the heavily pounding rain, towards the home of Pinako and Winry Rockbell. Granny will help! She'll know what to do!

As he quickly approached the house, he didn't bother to knock. He threw open the door, collapsing to his knees on the wooden floor.

Alphonse only took about half of a second to take in the looks of shock and terror on the Rockbells' faces, for he was busy pleading as the excess rain fell in place of his unseen tears. "Granny, Winry! He needs help! Please, you need to do something, help my brother!"

Pinako, still frightened, asked, "Alphonse? What the hell happened?"

"Edward!" Winry exclaimed, dashing over and holding his head in her lap. Al could see the young girl's worried tears fall into his big brother's golden hair, still matted with blood and sweat, despite their trip through the downpour of rain.

The dream would always skip ahead to when Edward woke up, and he screamed as the pain seemed to return.

Winry shouted his name as she and Alphonse ran to his side.

Al saw the tears that freshly ran down Edward's face, and saw Winry hold his shoulders, trying to stop his thrashing and yelling as Pinako ran down the stairs to help Winry's efforts.

Shaking off his shock, Alphonse tried to help, but he soon realized that his brother's shouts weren't from the pain. He was angry and upset and crying.

"Damn it!" he cried. "It didn't work! It blew up in our faces and it almost took you too, Al! Alphonse, I'm sorry!"

Al was stunned, and he once again wished that he could feel the sting of tears in his eyes.

"Brother...," Al began, "please, try to calm down..."

Edward looked at his little brother, tears still falling. There, in those golden eyes, Alphonse saw nothing but pain and anguish... and defeat.

"Ed," Pinako started, calmly, "I need you to stop your thrashing for a second and cooperate! Winry and I need to fix you up, and then you need to tell us what the hell happened to you and your brother. Got it?"

Edward looked to the ground, anger clear on his filthy face.

"Edward..." Winry sounded close to tears. "Please...Y-You almost died!" By this point, poor Winry HAD started crying.

The poor boy looked at her as he heard her broken voice, and he solemnly nodded.

Al helped the Rockbells carry his brother into their little medical room, the one that Pinako used when performing automail surgeries.

Pinako told him to wait in the hall, and Alphonse guessed that she was preventing him from seeing a mess.

It was painful for Al- confused, ten-year-old Al- to hear the screams in that room, the shouts of pain that were clearly coming from Ed. For the first time that night, Alphonse was glad that he didn't have a stomach during the grotesque time; he would've surely thrown up.

When they let Alphonse back in, he immediately went to Edward, seeing him asleep on the bed and breathing deeply. He must've passed out from the pain, he thought.

Winry was sitting beside him, clutching his left hand as if that might disappear next. His face was shining with new sweat and tears, but it appeared that the girls had at least gotten most of the blood from his hair.

"I'll be right back," Pinako said. "Winry, Al, you might want to clean Ed up a bit. And, Alphonse?"

Al turned to her. "Yes, Granny?"

She had a sad smile on her face. "You can wait until your brother's awake to tell us what happened, if you want."

Alphonse nodded and watched the old woman leave, turning back to Winry and Ed as he heard the front door shut. Winry was already cleaning off Ed's face with a damp cloth, but she seemed to be reluctant to let go of his hand, the one that hadn't been ripped away from him in the accident.

Winry paused, not looking up from Edward's face. "Alphonse?" he heard her little voice quietly question.

"Yeah, Winry?" He stepped closer to the bed, closer to the side of his big brother.

Winry's voice came out in a broken whisper. "W-What... What happened?" A few tears dripped onto the pillow, just barely missing Ed's face. "What did you guys do?"

Alphonse looked down at his feet and, despite his new body's inability to cry, he began to tremble. "W-We..." He could have sworn that his voice cracked, and he sunk to his knees. "W-W-We tried...t-tried to...to..." He practically choked out his words, in a manner of speaking. "T-To...to bring Mom back!"

Winry gasped and a hand flew to her mouth. She looked down at the broken boy beneath her. "Edward..." Fresh tears rolled down her pale face as she took his hand again, and they dripped onto Edward's cheek.

Ed stirred a bit at this. Al and Winry watched as he opened his topaz eyes, He looked up at them, and Al saw his irises; they looked like broken glass.

"I...Al, Winry...Sorry..." Tears swelled at the corners of his eyes. "I'm sorry." It was the first time he'd spoken since his tantrum downstairs. He'd never sounded so crushed or beaten.

Alphonse woke with a jolt, cold sweat beaded on his face as he gasped out his brother's name.

"Edward!" he cried. "Brother!"

Eventually, one of the nurses in the hospital came to check on him, and Edward was soon brought into the room.

"Al!" He came running to his brother's side as he trembled, and he worried that something might be wrong with his frail younger brother.

As he came to the bedside, he suddenly found Alphonse crying into his shoulder, his skeletal hands clinging to Edward as he held onto him, questioning him with the worry that only a brother like him could have.

"Was it a nightmare?" the older boy asked.

Alphonse silently nodded.

"What happened?" he gently questioned.

The younger boy wrapped his thin arms around himself, as if he could block out the images. "It was that night...," he whispered. "The night of the accident."

His shoulders had started shaking as a few tears dripped down onto the blanket.

Suddenly, Edward pulled Alphonse to him in a hug, allowing him to shed his excess tears. "It's alright, Little Brother," he whispered. "It's over now. It's finally over."