"Darkness needn't be feared, only illuminated by a Flame." implied Royed oneshot; rated PG13 and given angst just cuz i don't feel like thinking...
Before his mother could appear hissing and gurgling in his mind, Ed threw the covers from his legs. The chill scratched at his flesh leg and seeped into the metal. His breathing hitched, but he refused to return to the covers; those memories awaited his return, almost real enough to leave its own imprint in his mattress. It beckoned him come lay back down, folded into the twisted mesh of his past.
Rubbing a metal and flesh hand together against the cold, the Fullmetal Alchemist padded across the wooden floors as silently as could be achieved with automail, which, of course, meant that he walked with a rhythm of a gentle slap and then a cacophonous clunk. Al never stirred, never moved.
The hallway was, if possible, even darker than his room, perhaps from a lack of moonlight. Every step he took was calm and measured, light on his automail, shifting his weight to the flesh foot so as to provide a stealthier journey. With one hand, he traced an undulating line against the wall that jumped over doorways and followed the contours of any paintings. Although showings of culture were scarce in the military dorms, there were splashes of paintings on the walls, all of serene bays and country sides.
At one time he wondered if there was ever, ever a landscape of the Ishballan land before the war. And, if there was, what did the military do with them? Burn them? Execute them?
As he wandered further into the shadows, he noticed how calm his heartbeat was. When he was younger, being caught in the dark was his worst fear. It's that suffocating, confining feeling that the Unknown holds over a human's head, tempting it to question reality, and devouring those who responded to its call. Ed stopped suddenly and rested his shoulder against the wall, his palm sliding down until it hung at his side.
Of course, he had touched the ultimate shadow. It was a vivid memory, one that thrashed about in his irises. It was the Gate, climbing upwards into the blank heavens, carvings and markings down its sides. There was utter silence about it, not even broken by the sounds of his breathing. Just like Al. Neither could sustain normal life in them, Ed from the presence of the Gate, and Al from the aftermath of its caress.
And then the great doors would drag open, swiping across the floor like the train on a cloak, revealing a mass of darkness beyond the threshold. It was then that the noises started grating out once more. They were mainly murmurs in indescribable tongues, and sobs of wretched souls. All of it fit the rhythm of his heartbeat.
Ed remembered that particular darkness most intimately. His metallic hand curled into a tight fist. It was that darkness, formed like searching hands that dragged his hysterical brother from his side. Al, crying out for help, begging not to die. Ed, attempting to rescue his sibling, but finding an offspring of the shadows attached to his arm. The creature was destroying his limb, and, then being immobilized by the loss of two limbs, he was unable to reach Al. With his brother's final appeals for a savior, the doors closed unto themselves in finality, leaving Ed to decide the next course of action....
Yes, Edward Elric had had a fair reason to fear the dark, although it could be disputed that his brother had more of one. Then again, Al had gotten the full taste of its power and knew what would be, while Ed was left to his own musings; there was no way to get his brother's perspective on the horrible entity, however, for he either refused to tell, or simply could not remember.
At some point in his recollections, Ed had resumed his trek down the hallway. Were it not for Ed's pure obstinate and unyielding nature, he would have succumbed to his "fair reason to fear the dark" as soon as he fell bleeding to the floor, his brother purring to life in that polished soup can of his. No, he was older now. It was not as prominent in his features as it was in the deep wrinkles in his heart, but he had aged considerably.
The Unknown is nothing to be feared. He had learned that while on his journeys. That inexplicable entity is an awesome force to be reckoned with, and can produce disastrous results, but it is not rampant enough to be unattainable. He had found ways of taming this ravenous beast, this fear of fear that he felt in his heart. The thought of that solution painted a slight smile at the edges of his lips. One hand continued to glide along the walls, searching for that door, His door, the place where his answer lay.
When he finally came to a halt, he knew it to be the correct room, for his feet refused to take another step, and his heart refused to keep its peace. He knocked on the door; soft footsteps sounded. Moments later, he felt the pressure of the entrance fall away as the door was opened. Although he could not see the figure clearly, he could locate the patches of black that were darker than the darkness, two points that were undoubtedly looking down on him with welcome.
Warm arms drew the alchemist into a hug; he didn't care if it was the darkness anymore.
Darkness needn't be feared: that is its bait that draws the unsuspecting innocent in. No, the shadows, the midnight, needs to be understood, and embraced. Only then can the Unknown be thrust into the light. Only then can the real exploration of self and reality and life begin.
There were lips on his, and he felt a brilliance explode in his soul.
Darkness needn't be feared, only illuminated by a Flame.
((this actually kinda happened to me one night when i was walking through my dark house at like 2 am. see, i'm freakishly scared of the dark, but i think i was so tired that night that i just kinda thought "man, the darkness could just smother me and i wouldn't care"))