((I do not own 'Fullmetal Alchemist' or 'Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood'. 'Fullmetal Alchemist' and 'Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood' belong to 'Hiromu' Hiromi Arakawa.))
Summary: The words kept on playing in Alphonse Elric's mind. The words he had told his older brother – Edward Elric – as of confirmation of what he was to say to the young Xingese Princess that afternoon. However, upon stumbling across a bored Mei Chang, Al finds himself baking cookies instead.
It had been in the early hours of the morning when Alphonse dragged himself out of bed. He could not find rest, not matter how hard he tried. He glanced around at his practically empty room, looked out his window at a beautiful full moon – which he had missed so much as a suit of armour – and the vivid black night sky with all its little dots of beaming diamond light. He couldn't sleep because of that. The thing that had been plaguing his mind all day, and all night too. He was going to do it, he needed to. But it meant leaving the safety of his room and going to the main. He walked to his small, dusty mirror and smoothed down his short dirty blonde hair. When it looked presentable, he then proceeded to rub the sleep from his eyes and pat at the creases is his night clothes. After that, he opened the door to his room, cringing when it creaked rather loudly with a shrill whining noise, and tip toed down the quiet hall. He bit his tongue when the floor boards groaned and squeaked with each foot step he took. It wasn't like he was trying to disturb anyone. He just wanted to spend the night reading a nice book in the main room on the comfy green couch with a little lamp to identify the words and pages of wisdom. It was something he most often than not did when he was sleepless or restless. Or rather, a specific type of book. And tonight was just one of those nights. When he finally reached the main, he sighed a sigh of relief and felt his way through the room – as the lamp and lights were off. When he finally found the light switch – on the other side of the room – he flicked it on eagerly. He jumped when he heard a soft cry echo throughout the house from right behind him.
"Turn that back off!" A familiar voice hissed. Alphonse slowly turned around, to be greeted by a frown and a pair r of golden eyes identical to his.
"Oh, it's you Brother." He whispered. He nervously fiddle with his fingers, hoping he didn't look suspicious. But it was in vain because Edward raised a curious eyebrow at him for a few seconds before shaking his head.
"Yeah, and my once sleeping son." He muttered. Alphonse's eyes averted to Edward's arms, where a fussing infant lay, squirming in his Father's arms. "What are you doing here?" Ed asked quietly under his breath, stroking his son's crown soothingly. The child calmed a little upon the touch.
"Sorry about that, really. But I couldn't sleep. I usually come here and read when that is so." Alphonse grabbed his left sleeve and rubbed his arm a little. "But I guess I'll be going now, so…" He didn't want Edward to know what he was doing. He would rather die than let him know. At the moment that was. Edward would have to find out sooner or later. Everyone would find out. Once it was official that was…
"Don't make me look like a bad guy Al!" Ed hissed but lowered his voice when the baby stirred. Edward sighed and guided the boy's head to his chest. The child immediately buried his face in his Father's shirt and took in his scent lovingly. "Stay here and do what-ever you want. Just don't make too much noise... Winry needs her sleep." Alphonse smiled upon hearing those words. His nerves calmed.
"She needs all the energy she can get, now that she has to play Mum to two children." It was true. Only two months ago, Winry and Edward had welcomed a little girl into the world. A tiny, beautiful and adorable little daughter. She took after Winry. She had little tufts of glossy blonde hair that shone whenever she was put in the sun and large blue eyes that sparkled. Alphonse adored her. He adored both his niece and his nephew. His nephew was loveable, affection, playful and loved to be cheeky. And his brand new niece liked to explore, go outside and loved nothing better than having a good snuggle-up with the adults. Alphonse was more than happy to comply. Winry also joking accused him of 'stealing away her baby'.
"Yeah," Ed replied. "And I have to play Dad to two kids." He nodded at Al. "And you, as Uncle."
"Yep," Al said happily, half because Ed had dropped the questioning expression in his gaze and half because he was elated to be playing Uncle. The two sat in silence for a few moments. Then Ed said,
"Well, I better get back to bed. Winry will be missing me, my daughter too. And this little guy needs to go back in his cot." Edward stood up, cradling the little boy against his chest, carefully holding his hands underneath his head and rear.
"Of course," Alphonse said with a smile, making sure to keep his voice low.
"Don't stay up too late, okay."
"You okay?" Alphonse's heart skipped a beat. Ed sounded really sincere. "You look a little sick…" Like he's nervous, Ed thought.
"Good night, Ed." Alphonse said, not knowing how to answer.
"You didn't answer my question..."
"I'm fine Ed. Sleep well."
"Night Al." Ed muttered unsurely but Alphonse smiled reassuringly.
"Good night Ed."
Ed nodded and then proceeded to leave the room. He slowly walked down the hall and to his and Winry's shared room. When Alphonse was sure he was gone, he dashed over to the book case. His heart pounded a little faster. With quick keen eyes he read the blurbs of the books until he found the book he was looking for. With a quick yank, he pulled out his desired book. It was an old one, with a leather cover and a fading old binding kept barely together by frayed braided strings. He blew the dust off the cover and settled down on the couch. He remembered when Edward had bought this book from a little dusty old book shop after he and Al got their bodies back. He hadn't allowed Al to see it because he had been very embarrassed and possessive of the book. Later, Al had snuck into his room and found the book lying underneath his bed. He had smiled upon reading the cover title. But he never thought he would be the one reading it. He opened to the first page and began to read. He was half way through the 4th paragraph when a soft voice sounded right next to his ear:
"How to…" Her voice trailed off as she tried to read the words that followed. Her breathing brushed against his skin, making him flush a light pink.
"Mei!" Alphonse gasped, jerking to the left to put distance between them. He clutched his chest, above where his heart lay. The book dropped from his hands and landed in his lap. "You scared me!"
"Sorry Alphonse." She mumbled half-heartedly, and walked around from the back of the couch and sat next to him neatly. Her eyes were bright and alert, shining with curiosity. "What are you reading?"
Alphonse turned the cover of the book over, to hide it from her sight and scooted away from her. "Nothing."
"Yes you are. I can't be bothered reading the last few words so tell me." Mei shuffled closer to him, close enough so that he long braids touched his knee. She also leant slightly towards him, to the right. "How to what?"
"Uh," Alphonse said awkwardly. The scent of her hair was also distracting. It smelt like flowers and perfumes… "How to… to…" He didn't want to lie to her. She trusted him dearly, and he didn't plan of betraying that trust so soon. Or preferably not ever. He gulped and whispered. "How to tie the… kn…kn…knot…" He stiffened at the silence that followed. It was broken by Mei, a minute or two later.
"Tying knots is easy Alphonse. And I've seen you tie them before." She replied suspiciously. "And why are you all fidgety about it?" Alphonse tried to suppress his squirming but failed miserably.
"Oh I get it! It's finine! It's 'the' knot, not 'a' knot. Is this a special type of knot you want to learn how to tie?"
"Uh…uh… y-yes!" Alphonse said a little loudly, eagerly nodding his head. "B-but… it's a knot that requires two people to tie it…" Alphonse explained, not knowing how else to explain it to her without causing an aura awkwardness. Mei smiled happily.
"Don't worry Alphonse! I'll tie the knot with you! It'll be fun and when it's done, we'll both be happy!" Al blushed upon hearing those words, but he was secretly glad for Mei's cluelessness and her lack of knowledge in Amestrian figures of speech and metaphor.
"Y-yeah! O-okay…" He said, not knowing what else to say.
"So when do you think we should tie this knot of ours?"
"Soon, I g-guess… real soon." Little did they know that Winry was right outside the door. She had gone downstairs to fetch a glass of water when she stumbled across a conversation such as this. Unfortunately, she had missed everything important, and had listened in after 'I'll tie the knot with you!' She did a silent happy dance, containing her screams and squeals and silently crept back to she and Ed's shared bedroom to tell him the good news.
Alphonse Elric, her dear childhood friend, and Mei Chang – the beautiful Xingese Princess – were going to get married!
((I'll do a second chapter featuring Ed and Winry acting really weird around a clueless Alphonse and Mei if I get some feedback. This could be a five chapter fan fiction featuring AlMei if I receive some support and comments. Thank you everyone. I've come up with something really smart that Alphonse will say to Mei – if I get to that point… Thanks again.))