|The Pen is Mightier! (penismightier) wrote in chaotic_library,|
@ 2010-02-08 22:43:00
|Entry tags:||alphonse elric, ed and al, edward elric, fma, fma: anime, gen, pg-rated, short story, yuuo, yuuo: fma|
[Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric; PG] Promises
Character/Series: Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric; Fullmetal Alchemist
Notes: Set the evening after Barry's attempt to kill Ed.
Word Count: 1875
Summary: He felt like his chest ought to hurt, even a few hours later.
He felt like his chest ought to hurt, even a few hours later. The only sign that anything had happened was a dull scratch in the metal where Edward's blade had scraped along Alphonse's chest plate.
It still scared him, the look he'd seen on his brother's face when he put his hand on his shoulder, stopped him from killing-
If Alphonse had been physically capable of it, he would be queasy at just the thought. He practically hero-worshipped his big brother, seeing him so scared and helpless that he was panicking like that and had struck out at him.
Alphonse didn't think on it.
Edward had been injured, a deep gash up on his left shoulder, and the nerves from his automail were still raw- he winced every time he moved his head and the muscles in his neck pulled at that shoulder, though he hadn't been saying anything about it all night. Cuts ran all along his left arm too, though only the one on his shoulder had been deep enough to require stitches.
The doctors wanted to keep him at the hospital overnight, to keep an eye on the wound for infection and to make sure Edward didn't go into shock, which meant the Elric brothers were stuck staying the night at the hospital Edward had been taken to after Barry had been taken into custody and statements had been taken.
Alphonse had a terrible feeling this would probably not be the last time that they'd have to stay in one.
He didn't think about that much, either.
Al poked at the food on the tray in front of him idly, uncertain what to do with it. He couldn't eat it, but the nurses had brought it in for him anyway. What was he supposed to do, tell them no, that's okay, he's just empty armor so you see, he can't eat?
His brother was supposed to be asleep but he wasn't, of course. Alphonse sometimes thought his brother never did what he was supposed to, although that wasn't an entirely fair statement.
"It's weird," he said, grasping around for conversation to take his mind off the day, "being here without the doctors and nurses bustling around."
Edward made a noise of agreement. "Yeah. It's too quiet. S'pose it's better though. Busy at night means complications."
Complications. The very idea sent a chill through Alphonse. He looked at his brother. "How are you doing, Brother?" he asked, knowing Edward would probably lie. "How's your arm? Any pain?"
Edward shook his head, wincing slightly. "Not really," he answered. "Whatever they gave me earlier seems to be helping."
Alphonse fought back a sigh. His brother was lying again. Even if the painkillers were helping with the wounded left shoulder, Alphonse doubted they were touching the right shoulder that probably was still buzzing from the abrupt reconnect his brother reported having to do. "Do you want my food?" he asked. "It doesn't do me much good."
A guilty look crossed Edward's face and Alphonse instantly regretted his wording. Despite the guilt on both parties, Edward gave him a smile that Alphonse could tell was forced. "Sure. May as well not let it go to waste, huh?" He pushed himself up into a sitting position, and judging by the look on his face, he was regretting the pressure put on his shoulders.
Standing up quickly, Alphonse began to fuss. "Brother, go easy on yourself!" He stepped over to the bed side. "It's okay to ask me to help you you know. It's just us now." He knew how his brother's pride could be.
The smile Edward gave him was probably meant to be reassuring. It didn't work much, as Alphonse wasn't very reassured. "Yeah, I know," Edward confessed. "I wasn't thinking is all."
If Al could, he'd roll his eyes at that. "Clearly. You never do," he teased. "Sometimes I wonder which of us is supposed to be the older."
"Hmph." Edward settled himself into a sitting position, sticking his tongue out at Alphonse as he did. "So where's that food you promised me?"
If Alphonse could smile, he would've. "Right here, Brother," he said, grabbing the tray. "Let's see, we've got beef stew, and applesauce, and. Uh." Milk. Imagining his brother's reaction had Alphonse setting the tray down on Ed's lap and yanking the milk off the tray, hoping his brother hadn't seen it. "And that's it!"
Edward stared at the tray, then looked at Alphonse in disbelief. "Did you just try to hide the milk?"
"No?" Alphone shifted nervously on his feet, hiding the milk behind his back. "You must be imagining things Brother. Although it wouldn't kill you to-" He was interrupted by his brother's hysterical laughter that sounded only one part amusement and two parts hysterical 'laugh or cry'.
Alphonse groaned. He'd tried to avoid a freak out that would hurt his brother's shoulders, but that laughter was as likely to hurt his shoulders as a freak out would. So much for his good intentions. "If you spill the food, I'm not getting you more," he told his brother.
"Don't worry, Al," Edward told him, "I'm not gonna spill it" Edward started rubbing at his eyes, but not before Alphonse saw the tears starting to form there. It looked like 'cry' was about to win over 'laugh' and Alphonse couldn't blame him. He could only imagine the terror his brother had gone through today.
Alphonse sighed. "Please tell me you haven't hurt your shoulder."
"No," Edward answered, starting to eat.
Outside, the storm that had been building and threatening all evening broke and rain began to pound against the window. Alphonse glanced out the window, watching the rain. It'd rained the night their mother died, too, and the night Nina died. And the night they tried to bring their mother back. Not for the first time, Alphonse wished he had a flesh body so he could cry for his mother, or for Nina. Or for his brother; he'd almost lost the last of his family today and the rain just made that fact seem more real.
Edward's voice was a small whisper, Alphonse almost didn't hear it behind him. "It's raining again, isn't it?"
Looking back at his brother, Alphonse nodded. "It is. Remember when we were little, we would go out and splash in the puddles? Mom would always chase us to get our muddy clothes?"
Edward nodded slowly. "Yeah. She always got frustrated with us for that. We'd make her chase us all over the front yard and up that tree." Then he laughed a little. "I couldn't believe the one time she actually started to climb up after us."
Alphonse laughed. "I was so worried she would hurt herself that I stripped everything off so she wouldn't come after us anymore."
"I remember," Edward said. "You scraped yourself up something awful climbing down out of that tree after that."
Alphonse tried to smile, but the armor wouldn't respond like that. "It didn't matter. What mattered was Mom didn't get scraped climbing up."
Edward grinned. "She climbed back down after that. She had to. She had muddy Al-clothes dropped on her head. She had mud everywhere." He paused for a moment, then looked vaguely guilty. "God, we were brats, weren't we?"
"But at least she smiled at our antics," Alphonse pointed out, remembering their mother's smile. Such a beautiful smile, they loved getting it from her.
Edward's smile turned distant. "Yeah, at least she did that," he agreed. The smile disappeared entirely. "It was raining that night too, wasn't it?"
It didn't matter which night Edward was talking about. Any of them. All of them. Alphonse nodded. "Yeah, it was." He looked down at his huge metal body. "Sometimes," he said, "Sometimes I'm glad for the fact that I don't need sleep, because it means I don't get nightmares." He looked over at his brother. "But then I hate it because it's one pain I can't share with you."
He watched his brother's face screw up with the threat of tears. "As soon as the doctors relase me, I'm going to talk to the lieutenant colonel and see if he'll give me the watch back," he said. "I promise, I'll fix you, Al. I'm not giving up on that."
"I'm not giving up either," Alphonse told him. "And you can ask for help," he fussed as his brother began to try to move the tray with his injured arm and cringed, not quite succeeding. Alphonse reached forward and grabbed the tray, setting it down on the table next to the bed.
"I'm no good at asking," Edward protested, then carefully manuevered up onto his knees. Alphonse would've frowned if he could've, stepping over in front of his brother. Edward grabbed him, wrapping both arms around his shoulders carefully. The shaking tension in his shoulders and back told how tightly he was clinging to Alphonse. "I promise, I'll fix you, I'll get you your body back. I promise," he whispered.
Alphonse carefuly wrapped his arms around his brother's waist, hugging him tightly. "And don't forget my promise Brother, no matter what it takes I'll get your arm and leg back to you. I promise."
Edward shook his head against Alphonse's chest plate. "Dummy. Worry about yourself first. It's easier to live with automail than like that." He drew back a bit. "You'll be able to sleep again, I promise. And sleep well. I'll make sure of it. I'll be there to protect you from the nightmares. Like when we were kids, remember?"
If he were capable of it, Alphonse would've been wet-eyed and heart hurting. "That day will be here soon Brother, you'll see." Edward hiccupped a couple times, still clinging tightly and shivering. Alphonse pet back his hair somewhat helplessly. "Brother, you should rest. You need your sleep or you'll never get better."
What felt like reluctantly, Edward loosened his grip on Alphonse, sitting back. Alphonse didn't give him a chance to protest as he helped his brother manuever back around to lay down without hurting his shoulders. Edward didn't put up much of a fight at that, which was a nice change. Alphonse felt an ornrey grin trying to form. "There, nice and comfy now!"
Edward rolled his eyes. "Thanks, Mom." Despite the ribbing, he reached out a hand and grabbed one of Alphonse's tightly.
Alphonse gripped his brother's hand tightly. "Now sleep before I ground you," he told his brother.
Edward laughed, then glanced around. "Can I have a couple painkillers first? I guess I shouldn't have been putting any pressure on my shoulders yet."
Now it was Alphonse's turn to roll his eyes, or he would've if he could. "What am I going to do with you?" he said, reaching over and grabbing the pill bottle and shaking out a pill. "Here."
With help from Alphonse, Edward sat back up and took the pill with a drink of water, then laid back down. "Promise," he said again in a hushed tone, giving Alphonse's hand a squeeze. Alphonse reached over and pet back his brother's hair until the elder Elric started to drift off.
"I promise too," he said.