Alphonse guessed that no-one dating Edward would have ever met his approval, as whoever it was, he would feel like they were stealing his brother away
FANDOM: Fullmetal Alchemist
PAIRING: Roy/Ed, Al/Winry, Hawkeye/Havoc
GENRE: Angst, drama
WARNING: yaoi, spoilers, angst, deathfic, language
DISCLAIMER: Nor Fullmetal nor its characters are mine, no money is being made here so don't sue or whatever.
SUMMARY: Alphonse guessed that no-one dating Edward would have ever met his approval, as whoever it was, he would feel like they were stealing his brother away.
When Scieska had called from the station, one month ago to tell him that Ed had just arrived in Rizenbool, Alphonse had been happy. Since his brother had chosen to stay and live in Central, they didn't see each other as much as he would like. When she told him that someone needed to pick him up, as she didn't think he could come by himself, he had been a little worried. He had guessed that his incorrigible brother had busted his automail one more time. He had suggested as much to Winry who had been listening in, close by. His wife had begun to rave, as was her way, but he knew that she was also glad that Ed had come back home, no matter how much work she would have to do on his automail limbs. But when he finally saw his brother, curled up on a bench at the station, Scieska hovering over him with a near frantic expression, he had been scared shitless.
He had fastened his pace, expecting to find Ed covered in blood, but what he finally saw in his brother was way worse than what he had feared. In all the years they had traveled together on their quest for the Philosopher's Stone, fought side by side, and generally seen and done things that no kid should even have to suspect, ever, he had never seen his brother like that. Edward Elric was a force to be reckoned with. Al had always thought that he had an unbreakable spirit. No matter what life threw at him, nothing or no-one seemed to be able to bring him to his knees.
Alphonse knew he had grown a severe case of hero worship for his brother, but he had good reasons for it. He had seen him at his worst more times he cared to count. He had been desperate after their mother's death, mangled after their stupid attempt at human transmutation, outraged after Tucker's chimera had been killed, terrified after his confrontations with Barry and Scar, guilty as hell after failing at making the Philosopher's Stone when he learned what the prize was. But nothing had ever broken him. He had always just picked himself up, like it had been a minor set back, given his little brother a reassuring smile and gone back to his quest with this same incredible drive which humbled everyone. Never, not in a million years, Al had expected to see him broken. The frail boy, sitting despondent in front of him like a forgotten doll, couldn't be the brilliant Fullmetal Alchemist whom had been known to go to Hell and back, without ever loosing his cockiness.
They had brought Ed back home and put him to bed like a child. The way he fell asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow spoke of exhaustion, so they chose to put aside their trepidation for the time being, and to wait for him to wake up and explain what could possibly had caused such a reaction. Twelve hours later, Ed had still to make an appearance and they all were so stressed, that Alphonse decided it was past time to invade his brother's privacy. He found him lying in the exact same position they put him in. The only thing that had changed was that his eyes were now opened, staring unseeingly at the ceiling. Al couldn't bear the sight of this still and silent Ed, it was too much out of character for the diminutive alchemist who used to speak on a never-ending flow and to fidget impatiently whenever he was expected to stay in place.
One month after the return of the prodigal son -or brother, as the case may be- nothing much had changed. No manner of prodding had granted them an explanation and the older Elric had yet to exit his room. He spoke to them, on occasions, but in a monotonous voice which was nothing like the melodious baritone they were used to hear. Most of the time, he just laid there, unmoving, dead eyes lost in some far away sight he was the only one to see. Al or Winry brought him his meals, but more often than not they stayed untouched and he had already lost some weight. Winry had bullied him in taking showers, but even that had taken some time, as he often didn't even seem to notice their presence.
Al was making himself sick with worry and his helplessness drove him up the walls. Winry felt more or less the same and she took to let the steam off by provoking Ed by every means possible. She mocked his size, gave him milk three times a day, and generally made a total nuisance of herself. Al knew she was just trying to anger Ed in the hope he would react in any way, but they still had arguments on the matter. Alphonse told her to try and show kindness for once and she reproached him to baby his brother when he needed someone to shake him. It was the stress and worry speaking for the most part, nothing to worry about, their bond was solid enough to sustain petty arguments and stupid insults thrown in the heat of things.
Yet Alphonse couldn't stop himself from wondering if it was healthy that he hadn't made love with his young wife for weeks. Not since Ed had arrived in fact. Then, Al felt guilty because it wasn't his brother's fault that Winry and him didn't have sex. He needed him more for the time being, that was all. After all, Ed had always done so much for him. Payback was long time overdue and he would give his brother whatever he would need, even if he had to neglect his wife to succeed.
For all his dedication, Al was still understandably curious as to the reason for his brother's condition. He guessed that if someone had died, he would have been informed. He knew all the people that Ed frequented in Central, so notice of their death would have eventually come to him, even all the way to Rizenbool. It was somewhat of a relief that it wasn't that, but if not, Al really didn't know what to be thinking. He wondered if maybe something had happened while his brother was on a mission and decided to write to General Mustang, certain that the man still kept close tabs on Ed when he was away. If someone knew anything, it would be him. However, when he heard him tell as much to Winry, Edward showed the most reaction since his return. He clearly forbid him to send such a letter, before going back to his usual apathy, as soon as he had secured a wary promise.
In some ways, it had more or less convinced Alphonse that he had been right and that whatever the problem was, it was related to the Military. Still, this confirmation didn't lessen his frustration in the least. The next morning, Ed had calmly given him his letter of resignation and asked him to mail it for him. Al would have demanded to be given a reason, but with the things being what they were, the Fullmetal wasn't in anyway fit for duty, so that was a moot point. What's more, Alphonse had the fleeting hope that, upon receiving this letter, the General would come marching in Rizenbool and would be able to explain all of this mess.
A letter came from Central a week later. Alphonse recognized Mustang's handwriting on the envelope and brought it to Ed's room, trying to hide his trepidation. He was sure that a message from his lover would grant some reaction in the older Elric. As he knew that his brother could take some time before noticing the letter, he decided to give him some space and privacy and went waiting in the kitchen. Nothing could have prepared him to the hair-rising wail that came from Ed's room later that day. It was a scream one wouldn't expect coming from anything human, but the desperation in it was unmistakable. Winry and Auntie Pinako, who had been working in the garden came crashing back in the house and all three of them rushed upstairs.
When they crowded in the doorstep, they stood frozen before the sight of the once proud Fullmetal Alchemist. He was tightly curled on himself, rocking back and forth while tearing his hair out. The wails hadn't stopped. Pinako had been the first to regain her senses and had taken command. The next hours had been spent trying to calm Edward, drying his tears, soothing his sobs and preventing him from hurting himself. Much later, completely exhausted, they resigned themselves to sedate him.
All of them looked like they had been in a war. Al let his tired eyes roll on the messy room which had seen a hell of a struggle, and noticed for the first time a crumpled sheet of paper on the floor. He picked it up and smoothed it out. Ed hadn't ever been coherent enough to explain them his grief, but a single glance to the paper in his hands and things became perfectly clear for Alphonse.
You are invited to the wedding of
Belinda Ascott and Roy Mustang
which will be held in....
Roy Mustang was a dead man. Alphonse was shaking with silent rage and promised himself that when he would be through with the man, not even his mother would be able to identify him.
From the start, Al had had some reservations regarding Mustang and his brother's relationship. Ed was always the first to tell the General was a complete bastard, and even with his sweet nature and for everything the man had done for them, Alphonse tended to agree with him. Yet, he never showed his disapprobation as he knew that it came mostly from jealousy. He guessed that no-one dating Edward would have ever met his approval, as whoever it was, he would feel like they were stealing his brother away. Being the center of the world of someone as exceptional as the Fullmetal Alchemist was an amazing experience. For years, Ed had devoted his life to his younger brother and Alphonse had gotten used to it. Once Al had been restored in his body, Winry had been the one to tell him that he was being an egoist, that he should let his brother go and have his own life.
It had been hell, in the beginning. He missed Ed so much, he would often have to stop himself from taking the first train to Central to be reunited with him. The older Elric visited, of course, but it was never enough and Al had been pretty miserable. He finally accepted it. Winry had helped and one day, he had proposed. It had come naturally, without passionate struggle, as both had had too much of that in their young lives. He managed to be content, even without the constant presence of his brother, mostly because he knew that Ed himself was happy and didn't need him as much anymore.
He often lamented the fact that his brother didn't speak to him of his relationship. He had even feared that Ed didn't trust him enough, that he thought his little brother would scorn him for his unusual choice in a life partner. However, he knew Ed well and he knew that was his ways. He never had been one to speak his heart, always preferring to put on a brave face and keep his thoughts private. Sometimes, he even had suspected that Edward believed his relationship with the General wasn't well known. As if something this big could be kept a secret for four years, particularly when the two men concerned couldn't ever keep nor gazes nor hands off of each other. Still, Alphonse had kept silent, as everyone else, unwilling to embarrass or upset Ed when he seemed so jealous of his love life. Al was beginning to regret his past discretion. He was now finding himself without the slightest clue as to what could have gone so wrong as to destroy a love such as the one Mustang and his brother had shared.
All he was seeing was that his brother was miserable and that someone had to be blamed. Mustang better had a really good explanation for this. Because if he had willingly broken his brother's heart, Flame Alchemist or not, he would pay, dearly.