Hey guys! So this is a drabble collection but all of the one-shots are based off prompts from "imagineyourotp". Now I don't hand-pick them because what would the fun be in that? I click random post and what comes up, I pick an OTP and write about!
pairing: Almei (Alphonse and Mei Chang)
author's note: i'm sorry in advance like seriously sorry.
No one really sees the bullet until it's already buried in someone's back.
Really, he shouldn't have been surprised. After all, Ling was marrying his bodyguard; it was the biggest event of the country – maybe even the continent. This is why Lan Fan had spent the days leading up to the wedding planning security detail and trying to fit armor under her imperial robe instead of mooning over flower arrangements. In reality, Mei Chang had nearly planned this entire wedding on her own, more than happy to take over the more frilly tasks of being the empress for her future sister-in-law.
Really, she was happy to do anything for the two, considering how long it had taken Lan Fan to finally say yes to his proposal. And now, she was walking down the aisle, a bouquet crushed in her hands, and she wonders if her wedding will be exactly like this when she's older. But instead of red she'd be wearing gold, fine spun silk that molded against the curve of her hips and fanned out to the floor. Like Lan Fan, she'd wear thick bracelets that attached the cloth to her wrists, letting it billow when she moved her arms. But unlike Lan Fan, she wouldn't be walking down to an emperor, an empire, a responsibility that would be shared amongst lovers. Instead she'd be walking to freedom and blue skies and maybe Amestris because as much as she loves her country, she misses the open fields and exotic people.
And thinking of Amestris makes her think of golden hair and fair skin and he looks beautiful sitting there, fidgeting in his Xingese robes, waiting for Mei to make her way to the front. Alphonse had already been in Xing for over a month and yet whenever she looked at him, she felt like she was seeing him for the first time. Maybe it was because she had gotten so used to the armor or to the malnourished version of him she had seen on the Promised Day, but seeing him whole and healthy took her breath away. So much in fact that she tripped over her feet before making her way to the front of the room and her cheeks burned the rest of the way as she saw Ling hiding his grin behind his sleeve.
Her eyes finally found Al's eyes and she smiled shyly, nodding her head in his direction. She'd barely seen him in the past few days considering how much she'd had to get done while Lan Fan organized the troops that would keep Ling safe and sound. She silently hoped Lan Fan was feeling better, considering how she was when Mei left her in the room to walk down the aisle by herself. She'd decided to leave the place next to her empty in honor of Fu, considering she was the closest thing she had to a father-figure when hers passed away at the tender age of four. And so, when Lan Fan stepped out of the double doors, she was the center of the universe for those few, simple seconds. Mei watched Ling's face switch from awe to a full out grin, finally settling on a small smirk that, she thought absently, reminded her of Greed. She turned her attention to Alphonse, who seemed enraptured by the attention Lan Fan didn't even know she commanded, and she felt a sliver of jealousy that she quickly pushed down. There was no use comparing the two of them: Mei was still a child, sixteen and round-faced, while Lan Fan was not only slender and graceful but older and wiser.
The sister she wished she had instead of the petty ones she did have.
Alphonse turned to look at Mei, lifting his eyebrows, a grin plastered on his face. She smiled softly and ignored the pounding of her heart, trying to focus on the sight of Ling taking Lan Fan's hands and pressing them to his lips before the minister even begins. She wants that sort of love, she thinks wistfully, but she might already have it if she could only gather the guts to face him and say it.
But the very idea of telling him she loves him seems absurd. Alphonse is a sweet man, one of the things she loves about him, so she's not sure she could handle the sight of trying to let her down easily, floundering for the right words to say. Lan Fan calls her ridiculous; Ling calls her a chicken. He says that anyone with two eyes (even someone with one eye, she remember him saying fondly, smoothing her hair down her back) could see that the golden boy cared about her. She'd do it tonight; she'd do it tomorrow. She'd make excuses until she works up the courage or he keeps going East, like he's planning on doing once he's mastered Alkehestry. And she doesn't doubt him; he is just as much of a prodigy as his brother is famed to be. The idea settles like a stone in her stomach.
And all these thoughts are why she doesn't even notice the bullet.
The sniper is obviously ill-trained. This is the first thought she has after the shot. The second is the simple question of who is screaming and why are they screaming until she realizes it's her because it is not her brother who has crumpled, but his golden hair and fair skin and he still looks beautiful falling to the floor but it's wrong wrong wrong.
Lan Fan has already grabbed Ling and is dragging him away, even when the Emperor growls in protest and tries to make his way to Alphonse.
"You will keeping going or I will call this damn wedding off," she hissed, shoving him forward. "Go! Keep going! If I see you stop—" He cuts her off with a squeeze of her hand.
"Please make sure he's alright. Please." She nods briskly and runs to Alphonse while Ling's guards take him away to the underground tunnel. Lan Fan grabs Mei by the shoulder and shakes her violently.
"What are you doing? Go!" Mei knows where she's going but she's hardly aware of her feet moving under her. She feels her hands pull out her knives, aligning them around Alphonse who is streaked in blood and gold. She can feel the sob bursting through her throat.
"Alphonse, you're going to be fine," she insists, trying to find a way to go about this. She doesn't have much experience with bullet wounds and she's in no way a doctor but she wants to pretend she can help so she sets up her array while Lan Fan screams at one of the guards to go get a fucking doctor and Alphonse watches her with a sad smile.
"Sorry for ruining the wedding," he says softly. Lan Fan glances at him but doesn't focus because she knows and Mei knows she knows but she doesn't want to know so she keeps staring at her knives.
"I-I'm going to find a doctor," she mumbles and walks away, leaving the two of them alone aside from the occasional guards searching the temple for away over sign of insurgents. Alphonse takes Mei's hand, stroking her knuckles under the pad of his thumb.
"Hey, it's going to be fine," he says gently and Mei wipes her eyes, jaw set. She can't let him die. She has to do something, anything, surely she can do something.
"That's the point of alkehestry if I can't help you," she shrieks, slamming her palms down on the floor. He shakes his head with some difficulty.
"You told me yourself, my first day. Alkehestry is not something to use in the place of a miracle." Mei tightens her grip on his hand and tries to stop crying but she can't because his blood is on the ground, staining her dress, and Lan Fan still hasn't come back with a doctor and this wedding this damn wedding – she knows she can't blame them for what happened.
"She's coming, she's on her way, you'll be fine."
"No," she says firmly because she won't think about his brother, who spent years trying to save him, who cared about him more than anyone in the world, who she knew would blame himself.
"Alright," he says and she can barely hear it so she presses her face against the crook of his neck.
"Alphonse." Even now, she's making excuses. She can't say it now because saying it now was like saying goodbye and Lan Fan was coming, she was coming!
Mei Chang only visits Amestris once a year these days, to put fresh flowers on a golden boy's grave.
the imagineyourotp prompt was: Imagine your OTP grasping hands one last time as person A fades away from wounds that they sustained by saving person B. (I know, I cheated a bit considering he's not saving Mei BUT THE STORY JUST TURNED OUT THAT WAY)
OKAY SO YEAH SORRY IT WAS SAD. They won't all be sad, hopefully! Thanks for reading and if you liked it, clicking favorite and reviewing would be awesome.