They watched their world fall around them after trying to ressurect their mother, never once imagining that their whole life had been a dream. [may contain anime spoilers]
As one they clapped their hands and slammed them onto the very edge of the elaborate and hauntingly beautiful transmutation circle, both grinning widely in excitement.
Not once did they think about the consequences if they failed.
The white, pure sparks that flowed around them suddenly transformed into red violet alchemical energy, arching up from the center of the circle and crackling around them dangerously.
That was when they knew.
Thin, long black arms spilled out and grabbed at them, destroying Alphonse's body as Edward's leg disintegrated right before his eyes.
He was also pulled towards them; the doors opened and he was dragged through it. The figure he saw ahead of him was who he thought to be his deceased mother and held out his hand...and found himself outside of the doors, gasping for breath.
He pleaded for another look he inside, just please once more, the truth about human transmutation was just up ahead, if he could reach farther-
But the Truth disagreed and said something about a toll.
He found himself kneeling beside the transmutation circle once again, clutching his stump of a leg, and crawled over to a fallen suit of armor lying on the floor to write a rune on the helm with his own blood, clapping his hands again.
Once again he went to the gate, but the doors wouldn't open to allow him inside; he managed to tie his brother's soul to the suit of armor, paying with his entire right arm.
Despite their bizarre appearances both brothers were glad to see the other alive.
But what they didn't realize that they had followed the beginning of a carefully laid plan that had been in place since the time of their births.
To be continued...