Edward goes still and quiet, pausing in the moment he's run through. He's frozen, suspended in time, until Envy moves in an odd push-pull and the alchemist falls back with a wet sucking noise where the blade slips free of his chest.
His eyes are wide and all he can see and smell and hear is his own blood, his brother's disbelieving cry almost lost in it. Edward tries to breathe and chokes, tries to lift a hand and fails. The ceiling above is far away and indistinct, Envy's close, mocking face a blur. It comes to him suddenly- He's dying, with so much left undone. It feels no different from the burning weight atop his back when the zeppelin fell.
"Brother," he wants to say, "Alphonse, I'm sorry, I failed you and it's all my fault, all of it-" but his body won't obey. He loses focus, suddenly unable to see, and then he can see all too well.
There's fresh blood on the ground here, but Edward doesn't think it's his, streaked and splattered across the non-space. He wonders a bit what it was. The doors begin to creak open and Edward knows he can't resist- This is no simple hell as Izumi had named it, this was what Edward had known it as all this time. The Truth. It was never pretty nor kind, it hurt, and there was no blunting the bite of its edge. He was pulled in and the Truth said -LookSeeKnowUnderstandAll- pouring information into him. It was different from before, and as the Truth said -I am all I am nothing I am infinite I am you- he realized it. There was no longer a fragile physical barrier between himself and the gate. He was dead with nothing keeping him from being consumed. For a moment The gate was perfect, and in that moment Edward was infinite, understanding everything, absolutely everything, saw the thin tether still anchoring him to his body, the same sort that had kept Al around just long enough.
More importantly, he knew what he had to do.
Edward reached with incorporeal arms knowing exactly what he could do, and what had to be done, and the cost- Oh god, the cost- but he could do it. He could. It was for Al and Nina and Hughes and Rose and all those he hadn't been strong enough, smart enough to save.
Edward had no need to complete a circle with his hands, the gate of his body and the gate of Truth already merging so close together, but did it out of habit. He could feel the waves of pure force gathering and rolling around him like living things, and sometimes he thought he could catch a face here, a hand there, energy moving with people who'd once lived and breathed and moved.
It thrummed through his veins and with a bare flicker of will, repaired the damage to his body. Automail disconnected as under the blue crackles of a reaction, his missing arm and leg regenerated (And where had that come from? Edward had thought the limbs were lost to Izumi's child. Did that mean Wrath was dead?). Another bit of concentration and Dante's ballroom erupted in crackles and screams, the Homunculi coming apart into their base elements and Dante herself in a writhing pillar of flame. A high, childish shriek echoed above the others as Wrath was brought back before the gate to face judgment. Edward saw him for a moment, the little boy's body half-there, battered and trembling, and then he was gone.
Finally, it was finished. Edward could feel himself come apart at the edges, the Truth demanding payment for its work. He held on- just a little longer- and pulled himself back to his body. He needed a form for this.
In the empty ballroom, smelling of burnt flesh, Edward dragged his unwilling body to his brother. He was fading, the soul not strong enough to hold the body, and the gate's pull was strong. In a last desperate move he put his hands on Alphonse's breastplate, gritting his teeth against the stone's chaos. It was nearly strong enough to form another gate on its own.
Edward's hands still wet with blood, he drew an intricate seal on his brother and a lesser seal on himself, pulling on the philosopher's stone for power. He didn't want any extra casualties from this. This was enough.
Edward smiled as the seals activated, and slipped out of his body into the Truth's undertow, leaving the body for its new owner.
Edward came apart, sending a last, apologetic thought to his brother.