Writing My Wrongs
summary The little Elric boys didn't know the difference between 'right' and 'write' quite yet..
disclaimer I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist. If I did, I'd be a whole lot cooler.
author's note I don't know how canon this may or may not be, considering I can't remember how old they were when Hohenheim left, and I can't be bothered to look it up because this story is just so freaking cute in my brain. (shrug) Little Elrics are adorable.
x x x x x x x
"What about-what about the boys, Hohenheim? What am I supposed to tell them? They're toddlers! They're just babies!"
"I'm so sorry, Trisha. I just... I have to atone for my sins first. I have to right my wrongs."
A small, golden-haired boy crawled out of bed much earlier than he normally would have on a Saturday morning. Sneaking quietly out of the room so as not to awaken his younger brother, the 4-year old crept downstairs in his pajamas, rubbing the sleep from his wide, golden eyes, and wandered into the kitchen.
"Mommy?" he said groggily, stumbling towards the mother in question. She looked down from her seat at the kitchen table and smiled gently at her son, patting her knee. The small boy crawled into his mother's lap and curled up into her chest. She ran her fingers through the 4-year-old's tangled hair, flattening the locks that were still sticking up from sleep.
"What are you doing awake so early, sweetie?" she said softly, her green eyes locking on to her son's golden ones. The 4-year old squirmed in Trisha's arms, and blinked sleepily a few times before responding.
"I had a bad dream," the child admitted faintly, looking away from his mother as he said so. Trisha sighed, and held the child closer to her chest, where his ear was perfectly positioned to hear her heartbeat.
"I'm sorry Edward, baby," she whispered.
"I dreamed that.. that dad left," he added quietly, causing the mother to widen her eyes. "I had a dream t-at he was leaving.. and he was.. doing somet-ing about wrongs and sins and stuff."
"Oh.. Oh, sweetie."
Edward looked up into his mother's eyes, and really looked at her. Even at 4, even before he could properly pronounce the 'th' sound, his observation skills had already developed at an impressive rate. As he glanced up at his mother, he noticed that her eyes were bloodshot, like she'd been crying for a very long time. Her hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail, and she was wrapped in an old, ratted, blue blanket. The table she sat at was littered in family photos and used Kleenex. The boy's eyes widened further as he saw her eyes shine with unshed tears, and he spoke up in a small voice.
"It wasn't a dream, was it, mommy?"
He closed his eyes tightly, his small fists clenched into fists. The child leaned into his mother's chest yet again, feeling her shake with tears she tried not to shed in front of the 4-year-old.
"No, baby," she whispered. He sighed, shaking not with sadness like his mother was, but with anger.
"Why?" he muttered into her chest. "Why did he do t-at?"
The mother couldn't help but smile through her tears at the child's slight lisp. She cradled her son closer to her, holding him tightly to her chest, left hand stroking his messy, blonde hair. Trisha opened her mouth to begin to answer, then saw the toddler standing at the entrance to the kitchen. This toddler, golden brown hair sticking up in every direction imaginable, rubbed his sleepy, grey eyes with his right hand, left hand clutching a well-worn green blanket.
"Mommy?" the 3-year-old asked groggily, much like his older brother had done before him. The mother smiled, and reached out a free hand towards Alphonse, still clutching her squirming older son. The toddler waddled to his mother and crawled into her lap, still clutching his blanket in his right hand.
"Mommy, you never answered me," Edward cried insistently, squirming to meet his mother's eyes. "Where did he go? Why did he leave? What did he have to do wit- his wrongs?"
"Edward, you need to calm down," Trisha said sternly, looking her older son in the eyes.
"Who'th gone, bwodder? Why?" the younger asked, cocking his head to the side curiously.
"Dad's gone, Alphonse," Ed replied bluntly, with a tone of anger the younger had never heard before. "And he's never coming back."
"N-no.. No he'th not!" Al cried out angrily, pushing his brother in his mother's arms. "You'we a lia-oh!"
"Boys, that's enough," Trisha reprimanded firmly, placing both boys on the ground. She knelt to the floor in front of them, one hand on each boy's shoulder, and looked at them both, a fierce gaze in her green eyes. "Your father loves you. Your father loves you so much, and he is not leaving forever. You'll understand someday, I promise. Your dad has done some bad things in his life, and it is time for him to right his wrongs. But he will be back as soon as he can, and we need to be here to wait for him. Okay? Do you understand me?"
Both boys nodded numbly. The younger brother had his right thumb in his mouth, grey eyes filling with tears. He'd long since dropped the blanket on the floor, and it laid in a heap between the two brothers. Edward, however, had a fire in his bright eyes, and reached over to take his brother's left hand in his.
"You'we not gonna leave uth, wight, mommy?" Alphonse asked, replacing his thumb as soon as he posed the question. Edward's eyes widened in shock, having not considered this possibility.
Trisha, in contrast, smiled widely at her sons and pulled them both into her arms, holding them tightly. She kissed each boy on the forehead and cheeks, and held them as close as she possibly could have.
"I will never leave you boys. I can promise you that. But you have to remember that even if your dad is not right here, he's right here." As she said those last three words, she tapped a finger to each of her sons hearts and foreheads. "He's in your heart, and in your memories. You will always have me and your father, and you will always have each other."
She kissed her sons on their heads one more time, then pointed towards the stairs. "Now, it's time for you to go get dressed and brush your teeth. Edward, help your brother with his clothes, and when you boys get down here, I'll have breakfast ready."
"Okay!" the brothers answered weakly before turning towards the stairs. Trisha smiled widely at her sons, and wiped a few tears from her cheeks. There were some moments that made her incredibly proud to be a mother, and this was one of them.
Because Edward had not let go of his younger brother's hand just yet.
x x x x x x x
The sun had arrived at its hottest point of the day, Alphonse was in the middle of his afternoon nap, and Edward was laying on his stomach in the middle of the living room floor, crayons and papers spread out all around him. He gripped a blue crayon in his right hand, and propped his head up with his left.
"I don't even know where to begin wit- t-is," he muttered to himself, eyebrows furrowing. The child wore a frustrated scowl on his face, and his golden eyes flashed in annoyance.
Edward removed his cheek from his hand and turned his head towards the stairs behind him. He smiled at the younger Elric brother and sat up.
"Whad ah you doing, bwoddoh?" the toddler asked, waddling towards his older sibling.
Edward began to describe the project to Al, gesturing wildly as he did so.
"But... I don't know how to write," he said. "So I'm gonna draw instead!"
"Can I help?"
Edward nodded, shoving paper and a green crayon towards his younger brother. He then turned back to his own paper, wiggling back into his position on his stomach. The boy picked up another crayon, brown this time, and began drawing a series of shapes. Circles attached themselves to other circles by way of sticks, some brown and some yellow, with little splotches of color in other places. He paused in his coloring to look at Alphonse, who had since ditched the green crayon for a purple one, and glanced at the scribbles across the younger's paper. He watched as Al beamed with pride at his project, and turned back to his own.
A few minutes later, the two boys looked up as a pair of feet walked towards their coloring space. The brothers looked up into the beaming face of their mother, who then sat cross-legged on the floor in front of them.
"Alphonse, I thought you were still asleep. What're you two coloring?"
Al looked up towards his older brother, who grinned back. The two picked up their pictures and held them up so their mom could see.
"See, mommy? Here's Alphonse, and t-e taller one is me. See, see?" He gestured at the corresponding circles and smiled. "Remember yesterday when I pushed him, and he fell and cried and you said pushing is wrong? T-at's what it is!"
"Mommy, mommy!" the younger cried, gaining the attention of the concerned mother. "Dat's where I eated dat bug dis moh-ning and you thaid dat I can't do dat. See, see?"
"Well, boys..." The mother's smile faded, to the dismay of the brothers, and she cocked her head quizically. "These are both wonderful, the two of you are wonderful artists... but why are you drawing these bad things?"
"Oh, t-ats t-e best part, mommy!" Edward jumped up with excitement. "You know how daddy had to leave because he had to write his wrongs?"
"Oh, sweetheart..." Trisha interjected, holding a hand to her heart.
"I wanted to help him so he could come back sooner... but I don't know how to write yet.. So if I draw my wrongs, won't it help? Won't it?"
Trisha Elric's eyes welled with tears as her sons held up their drawings. Without a word, she took the drawings and pinned them to the wall next to the front door, so they would be the first things Hohenheim saw when he returned.
She didn't have the heart to correct her son's 4-year-old understanding of 'right' and 'write.'