Title: The Worst Night
Author: pewter_alyssum (Sorry, I've never been able to do the LJ-User thing properly.)
Rating: PG for a little blood.
Summary: During the worst night of the Elric brothers' lives, Al managed to bandage his brother's shoulder and carry him all the way to the Rockbells before the blood seal even dried. That was probably Al's most courageous moment, and Ed wasn't even conscious.
No, not dead, just fainted from blood loss, right? See, his chest is moving just a little, and his blood is still pumping. Alive, alive, alive, just really badly hurt.
Alphonse pressed the palm of one huge hand against the place where Brother’s shoulder had been as he tried to think of what to do. Brother was hurt, dying: he couldn’t just stay here, next to that thing that wasn’t their mother. He needed help, new blood, bandages, and a bed—
Pinako. Rockbell Automail. Of course.
How do I get Brother there? I’m big now; I think I can carry him. Can’t I? But he needs bandages, now, or he won’t make it, there’s a major artery in the shoulder and knee. “I’ll be back, Brother, and then I’ll never leave you again.” Can you promise me the same?
Ed didn’t answer.
With a last, uneasy look at the bloody thing in the array, he let Ed go and ran blindly into the kitchen.
CLANKCLANKCLANKCLANK—would he be this noisy forever? —CLANKCLANKCRASH! The top of his—head? helmet? —caught on a too-low lintel when he forgot to duck. Al reached up and back, grabbing and slamming the helmet back into place, and slipped through the doorway.
Bandages in the lower cupboard, next to the stove. Mom set them there for all the injuries her boys collected during the day. Thank you, Mom, for leaving so many behind.
How much to grab? The whole thing, probably. Al closed one huge fist around the whole neat roll and turned back, making sure to duck faster this time going through the doorways.
You’re still alive; I can see you breathing. Just hold on and I’ll save you.
He wrapped Brother’s bloody stump as fast as a neat job allowed, hoping that this distant sense of pressure that was the only feeling allowed to him was accurate. With each layer, less redness seeped through, giving Al hope and fear at the same time. Was it working, or did Ed just have less blood to give? No way to know just yet.
“There, Brother, now you’re good for the trip. I’m going to take you to Winry’s, and then Granny Pinako can fix you. Hold still,” he added unnecessarily. Carefully, Al slipped one arm behind Ed’s blond head and the other underneath his knees. Knee.
He’s so small and helpless now, like a kitten. He’s never been helpless. How could this have happened to you, Ed?
Al clattered his way to the front door, where he fumbled a moment with the doorknob. His arms full of Brother and his gloves slick with blood, he wasted precious seconds fighting with it before it burst open. Al flung himself into the storm.
The noise, oh, the noise! Driving rain slammed against his empty armor and rattled to wake the dead. Rolls of furious thunder made the metal plates buzz. Yet Brother didn’t even stir, even when Al stumbled over a rock.
Must go faster, must go faster, why am I running so slowly? My legs are longer, my muscles aren’t there to be tired, but I’m so slow! Hold on, Ed. Be patient with your sluggish brother.
At least I can see in this darkness. Do I even have eyes? Or do I just have the shadowy hollows that used to scare me late at night? Who cares? Brother is dying, and it’s all my fault.
Faintly through the darkness, Alphonse could see lights. Hope surged, and somehow he sped up, trying not to jostle Ed but straining to reach his goal. Please, let Brother still be alive!
The door, edged in light. Salvation. No time for doorknobs, now: he kicked it open with one steel foot and fell to his knees.
If you see any problems, errors, spots you know how to improve, tell me! I'm always appreciative of the genius of others.
P.S. Although I am an American, the icon is in jest.