Wow! Aside from updating, I wanted to post a little something special considering the date, and also as an apology for not updating for so long. 1,400 word exactly (not counting commentary) in roughly an hour! I'm on fire! Wooh! This is my first time writing something dark, and this is in honor of October 3, the burning of Ed's home. This is just a somewhat morbid take on it, no pairings, yada yada yada. I no own FMA.

The monotonous patter of rain on the roof of the train car droned on, a quiet hum in the background of Edward's thoughts. Alphonse hummed softly next to him, stroking the soft black fur of his newest acquisition. The amber-eyed kitten purred happily, its tail twining around his warm fingers. Ed smiled to himself as Al giggled, nuzzling his face in the warm body in his lap. Al had his body back for over a year now, yet he still reveled in every sensation, every new feeling, and it made Ed so happy to just see him live finally. That was why it bothered him so much to have his brother follow him on his missions like he had when they were younger. Alphonse needed to be in school, spending time with friends, traveling the world, and yes, even rescuing stray kittens. He finally had a life, and he needed to live it to the fullest. Instead, Al was wasting it away by tainting his innocence by following him on these dark missions and seeing the cruelties of the world. "After going through all that we had suffered brother, I refuse to abandon you. You still need to get your body back, you know." And Edward simply smiled and nodded, saying that yes, he was still searching for a way to retrieve his missing limbs from the gate, and that he hadn't given up. In all honesty though, Edward had only been fighting for Al, and he couldn't care less if he got his limbs back. Alphonse losing his body had been his fault no matter what Al said, and his automail was a reminder of all that he had put his younger brother through. It especially bothered him on rainy days like this, and the sharp aches and pangs from his stumps gave him a morose, twisted sort of pleasure. Dammit, he was his little brother, and Ed was supposed to protect him! Instead, he had made his life a living hell, if you could even call it a life at all. His automail was his punishment, a sin that he would have to carry with him forever. And hey, it didn't hurt that he could turn it into a kick-ass sword too.

Ed's thoughts drifted toward their latest mission, and he suppressed a shiver of disgust. The man had been murdering innocent children in the town of Ithaca, and he had used their limbs to create this grotesque creature. Ed hated being considered the number one expert on human transmutation and chimera's alike, because it meant he was usually assigned missions like these. Only the sickest bastards researched that type of alchemy, and Shou Tucker could testify for that. After what he had done to his poor daughter, that sweet, innocent little girl…After his death, Ed was bumped up into the position. Hey, if you read enough on something, you were suddenly considered an expert on the subject. And with Alphonse's body in the state it was, he had done a lot of reading. Edward and Alphonse had been forced to fight that sick abomination, and he couldn't repress a shiver of horror at the memory of a small child's hand, reaching out to gently grasp at his braid before weakly falling into a puddle of blood, limp and lifeless. The look of horror on Al's face….He had destroyed the bastard that had created that atrocity and forced Al to witness its demise. A shattered family had given Alphonse the kitten, which had been a birthday gift for their daughter. Six years old, turning seven in a week, and she had had her life brutally ripped from her body by a deranged psychotic murderer—he didn't even deserve the title alchemist anymore. The Bastard Brigadier-General would get an earful for giving Ed that mission. If it had just been Edward, that would have been one thing. But he knew; the bastard knew Al was in town that week and was coming with Ed on his next mission. Damn him and his manipulative, scheming—!

"Brother, we're here."

Ed was roused from his ponderings as Alphonse gave him a worried look, clutching the kitten close to his chest. The tiny black paws kneaded his shoulders, and it gave him a pitiful mewl. Its small pink mouth opened, exposing its small white teeth. It unsheathed its claws, tearing up the bright yellow cloak that Al had donned. The kitten reminded Edward of his younger brother; it was insanely adorable with all of its dangerous characteristics hidden away beneath a layer of cute. And when they turned those big, amber eyes of theirs on you…well, you were a goner. Alphonse was just so sweet, so innocent, that at times Edward had to remind himself that they'd both seen the same things, done those same horrors, and that behind those innocent golden eyes there was a past just as dark and morbid as his own.

Ed stood up and stretched, wincing as his spine cracked and his automail groaned. Climbing on top of their seats, he grabbed their bags from the overhead compartment and moved to jump down. Too late, he saw the binder full of papers, and he cursed furiously as he snatched at the sheaves of paper that fluttered toward the damp dirty train floor. Alphonse rolled his eyes and snorted as he watched Ed scramble to grab his scattered and muddy report. Setting his new kitten on his bag, he bent down to help Edward collect the disaster of paper that covered their apartment floor. "And dammit it That Bastard won't be pissed that they're messy!" Ed snarled as he dove under the seat to grab a rebellious sheet. Alphonse laughed as Ed banged his head before crawling out and sputtering a string of curses that would put any sailor to shame. As they managed to gather the last of his report, Al stood up and gathered his kitten into his arms. "Well Al, there's only three more years of this; three more years until my contract with the military is up. Then we can kiss this sorry life goodbye!"

Alphonse blinked in confusion, turning to his brother. "But brother, aren't you forgetting about your body? Don't you need the military to help you get it back?" Ed stared blankly at him for a moment before his eyes lit up with understanding at Al's worried and exasperated expression. He had let his façade slip for a moment, and if Al knew that he hadn't been trying to save himself in the first place he would be wracked with guilt and worried anger. He would go on to say that, just because they couldn't go back, it doesn't mean that they couldn't go on to live a happy future, blah blah blah. And since Edward didn't want to listen to that speech again, he simply nodded and smiled.

"Don't worry Al; I'll get my body back." As he turned away from Alphonse, feeling as if the matter was settled, he felt as if there was a great weight on his shoulders. He couldn't go back to the way things were and try to live a happy life; there were no second chances. He didn't even deserve the life he was living now, and was so incredibly grateful that he could be by Alphonse's side now. It was October 3, and as he glanced at his watch to see how late he was to his meeting with Mustang he felt a sharp pang of regret; he felt an intense longing for what could have been, the life that he and Al should have led had it not been for that foolish, dark night. It was cruel for Al to suffer, and it made Ed grateful beyond belief that he could finally live. Edward didn't deserve his happy ending, didn't deserve to grow up old with the one he loved with little blonde grandchildren running around. It was not only a reminder that he could never turn back, but also a reminder that he could never attain that hopeful future he had lost. He had committed the ultimate taboo, and he was paying the price. He could never forget the price he paid for his sins that night, so much more than an arm and a leg. He had paid not only with his limbs, but also with his hopes and dreams and future.

Pretty dark, huh? So, How'd I do? Please review! It's my first time doing a sad/morbid fic, and I wanna know if I should do a sequel. I have one in mind, but did I tie this one up well? Thank you for reading! Cookies for all!