Yes I know, I'm starting to fall in love with the Ed/Alphons H thing. Heavens they make a cute couple....
I tried to edit this, but beware I might have missed something.
Warnings: Slash overtones, lots of angst.
Shippage: Ed realizes he loved Alphons
Summery: A discussion between brothers.
Characters: Edward, and Alphonse Elric.
We sat alone in the apartment, listening to the quiet clatter of horse drawn carts on cobble stone roads. It was a quiet comforting sound, reminding me of home. Not the home I had lost, but this one.
With a sigh, I stared across the room to the boy looking out the window with wide-eyed amazement. At first, my younger brother was apprehensive about this world. The machines and the very fact Alchemy didn’t work frightened him. Now, he hungered for knowledge, fascinated by the very technology that he didn’t understand.
I heaved a breath, plopping my feet on the end table in front of me. A part of me expected to hear him, Alphons, to scold me. He always did, when I put my feet on the table. I’d just wave him off, telling him until he got us a proper footrest, the table would serve the purpose.
But he didn’t, my efforts were greeted by silence and black yawning pit gasping for his presence I missed him. Guiltily, I dropped my feet heavily to the floor. I could at least respect his wishes.
Damn it, why was I so empty?
“Brother, he had my face.” Alphonse looked at me from the window. Our eyes meet and I felt a cold chill.
He was a boy, five years younger than I, not the brother I expected. I sighed, staring at him as he rans his fingers though his long hair. Large dark golden eyes blink at me, with tears threatening to spill down his cheeks.
Shouldn’t they have been blue?
Alphons, why did I miss him so?
I couldn’t help it. I found myself looking away, realizing how much they looked a like. Yes, I always knew it before, but then, it was Alphons who looked like Al, not Al looking like Alphons. “Yes, Al, he had your face.” I say, feeling my gut tighten. “But he wasn’t you.” No he wasn’t Al, it was something I told myself over and over again, while he was alive. Then I longed for my brother, and home
I was an island, not realizing his very presence was what kept me alive. For Alphons’s face was a constant reminder of my brother. It taunted me really, and I refused to let myself be drawn into the friendship, Alphons wanted to have.
But in the end, he was there, and my brother was only a distant dream I wanted to grasp.
The boy shifted, rubbing his arms uneasily. “What was he like?” Alphonse crossed the room, and sat down next to me. He leaned forward, elbows on his knees.
“Sort of like you.” I say quickly, feeling aggravation rise. “Driven, brilliant, and kind ,hearted.”
Not a child, my mind fills in the words without saying it. Alphons had dreams and a direction. He was his own man and in a way that threatened me. When he was alive, I always compared him to my brother, and never saw him for what he was.
OR did I? I blink at Alphonse and scruff his hair absently. I was now responsible for taking care of him. He was so much younger than I.
He wasn’t Alphons.
I lick my lips feeling the sting of tears. “He was devoted to his work, the same way I was devoted to going home.” I said seeing my brother nod.
“I have a great deal to live up to, don’t I brother?” The boy tilted his head, long hair spilling into his large eyes.
I look at him confused. “Why do you say that?” I ask feeling cornered. “For more than I year I lived here with him, and compared him to you.”
Alphonse sighed and stared at the table. “You miss him, brother and you feel guilty. It hurts when you realized you’ve missed out on something special.”
I glared at him and tasted the rush of anger rearing up in my heart. I had forgotten how wise the boy was. “You know nothing.”
“I know you and you’ve been depressed since I’ve arrived.” Alphonse rubbed his arms, and shivered. “I saw the way you held his body and wept. You almost never cry, brother.” Silence fell between us and Alphonse rubbed his puffy eyes. “I wanted nothing more than be with you brother, and yet, here I am at your side and I feel alone… You must have loved him a great deal”
I was speechless. The anger in me gave way to grief. I did love him, not because he looked like Al, but because he wasn’t Al. Yet, I was too blind to see it. And suddenly I needed to tell him how I felt.
And he was gone.
Holding in a sob I pick up a battered leather notebook on the coffee table .It was Alphons’s notes. His dream condensed on to ink and paper. “Damn it. I should have seen him for who he was, Al, not whom he looked like. I guess I resented him for having your face.”
Alphonse pressed his back into the couch. He was still wearing his black pants and black jacket from the world of Alchemy. He looked small and vulnerable. “I’m sorry I took him away from you, brother. His death made a place here for me, didn’t? Equivalent Exchange.”
“He was dying, Al.” I said, not wanting Alphonse to blame himself. In the end, it was my fault. I should have driven myself to find a cure for him. If I had not been so obsessed with finding a way home, Alphons might still be alive. I heaved a breath, and scruffed Alphonse’s hair. “I missed you little brother. It was not your fault that Alphons died. I just wish I could have let him know how I felt for him. Why is it I realize these things too late? It’s always to late, isn’t it?”
My little brother shrugged. “Because you are Edward Elric.”
Yes, because I was a arrogant bastard with a big mouth. I smiled at the boy, appreciating his attempt to be diplomatic with hiss gentle words. It was nice to have him around again. I needed a conscience.
Even if he thirteen now, I could see the seventeen year old glinting behind his dark golden gaze. “Bloody hell, I just wish you could have met him. You would have liked him Al, he was special…”
I studied the notebook in hand, and flipped though its pages, making a swift decision. Abruptly I came to my feet. Alphons was dead, and I could never tell him how much I loved him. But, I could finish his dream, couldn’t I? Why should the Thule silently hide his work, when he wanted the world to have it? I waved the book in front of Alphonse’s nose, a faint smile breaking though my silent tears. “I will do this for him!” I announced seeing my younger brother’s confusion. “I will send his work overseas to Wernher von Braun! His dream must never die, Alphonse! If it wasn’t for his sacrifice, we would not be together today!”
Coming to a stand, Alphonse nodded and I found myself thinking about the quiet studious man I shared a home with for one year. The hole in my life was huge. Not even helping Alphons to achieve his dream would fill it. I sighed, touching my younger brother’s arm. He wasn’t Alphons and now I was wishing for a moment, that it was Alphons standing in the flat with me.
But as always, it was too late.
Yes, indeed, I was too late for father, for Winry, for mother, and now for Alphons.
I was just like my father. Never there, there, but never there in the end. He was always too late too.
I slumped my shoulders, staring down at my hands. When would it end? “Al, I promise, I’ll take good care of you, and accept you for who you are. I won’t compare you to anyone, and I won’t leave you ever. You’re my brother.”
Alphonse weakly smiled. “I know you will, brother. You don’t need to say it. You’ve always been there for me. And some say, I’m sure you’ll be there for others as well, Live for the now, and today brother. That’s how we can start.”
Yes, I suppose I had to start some how. There was no alchemy in this world. Only science, but it was my world now.
In the silence of my own mind I looked skyward, knowing he was a part of the gateway and components for Alchemy.
I guess that is the worse part about this. Here there is no afterlife to me to see him again in.
I hold in a sob. I loved you Alphons, I know you can’t hear me. You don’t exist anymore. But I did love you. I’m sorry I never told you…
But I’m always too late for anyone whose not my brother.