|The Pen is Mightier! (penismightier) wrote in chaotic_library,|
@ 2011-04-21 02:44:00
|Current music:||Nightwish - 10th Man Down|
|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] The Ties That Bind
Character/Series: Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric; Fullmetal Alchemist
Notes: Written for prompt 'train' from emilie_burns
Title: The Ties That Bind
Word Count: 1990
Summary: Alphonse Elric always hated trains.
Alphonse Elric always hated trains. They were loud, and quite frankly, somewhat terrifying. Each moving part posed a threat, a promise of bodily harm if you got caught up in them, and the tracks were dangerous to play around because inertia meant a train couldn't get stopped in time if you got hurt playing on them and couldn't move. His mother had always fretted about that.
Edward had never been afraid of them. He'd daringly walked the rails while Al trailed along beside him, nagging at him to get off those before he told Mom on him. Ed would ignore him, balancing precariously, bouncing around like a gymnast.
"You're going to get hurt one of these days," Al told him, walking along next to him one of these days. "Mom says so."
Ed rolled his eyes. "You worry too much, Al," he protested, turning a cartwheel on the rail. "And so does Mom. I can listen for a train, I'll move before one comes."
Al sighed. "I'm not going to keep covering for you, you know," he warned. "One of these days, I'm going to tell Mom. And then you'll be in trouble."
"Oh, you will not," Ed said, confident in their pact to try to keep each other out of trouble.
Al sighed. "Maybe I won't, but I'm not going to get into trouble with you when Winry finds out and tattles. I'll see you later, Brother, I'm going to go read for awhile."
"All right," Ed said, waving him off with an air of distraction as he carefully walked along the rail, toe to heel, wobbling a couple times.
With another sigh, Al started to crest the hill that overlooked the tracks. His brother was going to fall and hit his head, he just knew it. Well, he'd be fine, Ed had a hard head if he did fall, and Al wasn't going to go far away enough that he wouldn't hear Ed calling for help if something really did happen.
Picking his favorite tree just out of sight of the tracks, Al settled down under its shade and tossed his backpack to the ground next to him. He had a few books to select from there, and he decided on the fiction book, taking a break from his alchemy studies. It felt too weird to study alchemy without his brother anyway, and Ed was more interested in acrobatics on the railroad tracks right now than studying, so it'd wait.
Time passed quietly, with only the sounds of nature keeping Al company as he read, engrossed in the world the author had built, until the sound of a train whistle cut through his awareness and dragged him forcibly back to reality. He blinked, setting aside his book, and listened to the train with some trepidation.
He hated the noise they made, the roaring of the machinery, the clattering on the clacks, and that god awful whistle. It pierced his eardrums painfully. Maybe as he grew older, that would change, but for right now, loud noises hurt, and trains were no exception.
"Brother, get off the tracks!" he yelled at his brother, wherever he was, although it was probably unnecessary. Ed was right, he was perfectly capable of moving when he heard a train coming, and Ed was many things, but he wasn't stupid. He was daring, but even he wouldn't play chicken with a train.
There was no response.
Maybe his brother had wandered down the tracks and couldn't hear Al over the train? That was probably it. But a feeling of dread settled in his stomach, despite that logical conclusion. "Brother?"
Setting his book aside, he got to his feet, leaving the book bag abandoned under the tree as he started for the hill. Brother's fine, he told himself as he walked. He's just farther down the tracks, or he's ignoring me. Which was also likely. Ed liked to ignore Al when Al turned into a fussbudget a lot.
Once on top of the hill, Al looked down the tracks. There was the train, barrelling towards him at high speed, clearly intent on not stopping at the Rizenbul station. Probably a cargo train, rather than a passenger train. Al looked down the other direction. No Ed.
He frowned, and called for his brother again, only to receive no answer again. That feeling of dread began to congeal in his stomach, threatening his lunch. "Brother!"
Al scanned the whole of the tracks, and it was only sheer luck that he caught sight of his brother. Ed's foot was resting on the rail, sticking up, while the rest of him lay slumped in between the rails. And the train was getting closer. "Brother!" he shrieked, breaking into a run.
When Ed didn't respond, and didn't move, Al began to panic, pouring on more speed. Either Ed had decided to take a nap, or he'd done exactly as Al predicted and fallen and hit his head. If the train didn't get him first, Al was going to kill his brother for this.
"Brother, get up!" he screamed as he got to his brother's side and began trying to shake his brother awake. Ed didn't respond, and the train pulled ever closer. Al looked up nervously, could see the engineer with his head out the window, gesturing wildly for the boys to move before they got run over.
Ed felt heavy as Al crouched down and put his arms under Ed's shoulders. Al was the stronger of the two, he knew how much his brother weighed, had held him on his shoulders more than once to reach something they were too short for, but he'd never felt Ed so heavy before. "Brother!" he yelled again, trying to wake up Ed as he managed to get Ed sitting up.
The train whistled again and with a burst of adrenaline, Al managed to push his brother forward, off the tracks and to the grass on the other side. He dragged Ed away from the rails just as the train passed by.
When Ed didn't wake up, Al considered getting Grandma Pinako. She was a doctor- automail surgeon technically, but that meant she knew a lot about medicine, and Ed must've really whallopped his head to still be out. But he was reluctant to leave his brother alone in case he woke up and was confused as to where he was and started wandering. What if he got himself hurt again?
Al elected to stay with his brother. Fortunately, Ed felt like being cooperative for once and came to relatively quickly. "Al?"
Relief washed over him. "I'm right here, Brother. Can you walk? We need to get you to Grandma Pinako. You hit your head pretty hard."
"I hit my head?" Ed's eyes didn't look quite focused as he looked up at his younger brother.
Al bit his lip and nodded. "Come on, let's go, Brother." His books would be fine for awhile without him, and even if they weren't, Al didn't care. His brother was alive and needed him. The books weren't as important.
It took some work- Ed was unsteady on his feet and it took all of Al's strength to keep him upright and going in the right direction, but they managed to get to the Rockbell house. Pinako and Winry both flew into a tizzy of activity, getting Ed into bed and taking vitals, and a variety of other things that Al wasn't sure how they'd help, but they knew what they were doing, even if he wasn't.
"Al, go get your mother," Pinako ordered after Ed was tended to. "Winry and I have this taken care of."
Sigh. Ed was probably going to be grounded for this, which meant Al was going to be playing inside unless he wanted to go out without his brother, which he didn't typically want to do. He nodded and ran off, hurrying up the hill to where his mother was hanging laundry.
His mother peeked out from around a sheet. "Al? What is it? Where's your brother?"
"He hit his head on the railroad track," he told her, stopping to catch his breath. "He's with Grandma Pinako right now, she said I should come tell you."
A look of sick panic crossed his mother's face as she dropped the clothes pin and the sheet she was hanging, both of which fell to the ground- poor Mom, she'd have to rewash that sheet -then she hiked up her skirts, taking off down the hill. Al turned and hurried to keep up with her. He never knew his mother could run so fast!
"Ed? Edward?" she called as soon as she burst through the door into the clinic, Al just on her heels and puffing a bit from the run.
"He's in here, Trisha," Grandma called, "and calm down, he's all right. He's only got a mild concussion."
Al and his mother hurried into the other room, where their mother fell to her knees by the bed, running her hands over Ed's face, checking on him. "Ed, what were you thinking?" she scolded, hugging him tightly before he could protest, then giving him a light shake. "You could've been killed if a train had come along! This is why I told you not to play there!"
Al decided not to tell anyone about the train. He didn't even want to think about it, the idea of his big brother getting killed right in front of him, or at all, really.
Ed teared up. "I'm sorry, Mom. I slipped."
Their mother hugged him again, holding him tightly and carefully petting his hair, mindful of the bump on the back of his head. "Don't ever scare me like that again."
Ed clung to his mother. "I'm sorry, Mom," he said again, burying his face against her shoulder. Al, meanwhile, sighed with relief. His brother was going to be just fine if he were apologizing to their mother like that.
That brother of his was going to make him old before his time.