Title: Aftermath (...I really need a better title.)
Rating: G, I suppose.
Pairing: None, Al-centric.
Summary: Al wakes up in a familiar place.
Author's Notes: Written for Language class; we had to write a descriptive short story. Vague-ish end of series spoilers. I managed to forget that Al lost his memories of when he was in the armor until about halfway through the period I was given to write this, so he has them... @.@
No mistakes about it, I was back in my body! How had that happened? The last thing I remembered was...
Oh. Oh, no. I sat up abruptly.
"Brother?" I called softly, worriedly, and, for the first time in years, I heard my voice without the metallic ring the armor lent to it.
I gazed around now, and I could tell I was in the Rockbells' house, in the room brother and I had stayed in the last time we'd been here. The room was unchanged; two beds still lay side-by-side, with a desk in the corner, and two big windows. They were open, and a light breeze made the curtains flutter and caressed my face. The view was hauntingly familiar; the grassy green hills of Resembool, my hometown, presented them, and in the distance, I could see the pile of burned wood where our house had once stood.
A noise from the other room of the suite reached my ears. The door creaked slowly open, but instead of my brother, Rose's face peeked through the door. "Al?" she asked quietly. "You're awake!"
"Mm-hmm. But, Rose, where's my brother?" I asked apprehensively. I knew the transmutation had worked; it had to have worked! I'd paid enough, hadn't I?
"He's gone..." she trailed off; either she didn't know what had happened to him, which was the more likely, or she did know, and she didn't want me to find out that brother was…
"Gone? What do you mean, gone?" My voice cracked and rose in volume as I started to panic. A baby's cry filled the air, and I remembered. Rose had a baby; of course she would keep him with her. She opened the door the rest of the way, walked in, and sat down next to me, whispering soothing words to him.
Once he had calmed, she told me that he'd tried to bring me back, and he had disappeared. No one had seen or heard from him in the two weeks since that had happened.
I stared at her, not wanting to believe what I'd just heard. He wasn't supposed to do that; I'd brought him back, but he sure as heck wasn't supposed to turn around and do the same for me, darn it. You're so stubborn, brother, I complained mentally.
Granny Pinako came into the room then with a tray of food, which she placed on the bedside table before hugging me. She then offered me an apple. It was the first food I'd eaten in four years, and I accepted gratefully; its bittersweet tang exploded across my tongue, and its aroma filled my nose as I wolfed it down. I picked up the cool metal tray and ran my fingers across it gently. I supposed that my armor and brother's automail had felt much the same.
Wherever you are, I will find you and bring you home, brother. I promise.