TITLE: Home Coming
About: Al comes home after getting his body back to find someone waiting for him.
Spoilers: Nah...not really to speak of.
Warnings: FLUFF! And I don't own FMA...obviously....lol.
Recovery had taken much longer than anticipated as Al's years at the Gate had taken a serious toll on his body. Eventually though, he got used to having his senses returned and old habits such as eating and sleeping became routine once again (several pounds were even gained thanks to Winry's apple pie). Ed was an invaluable asset in helping him regain most of his original strength and even Mei visited several times in the beginning to provide some relief through her Alkestry and of course her company. Despite himself, Al had grown quite fond of her. Her carefree personality, her smile, and even her accent. All too soon, however, she had returned to Xing without much warning and he couldn't help but find himself missing her. Before she had left, he swore he had felt their friendship growing into something more. He though now perhaps, he had been wrong.
But all that was in the past...it had been well over a year since his return from the Gate and he was finally going back home to Rizenbul. Home with Ed. Home to Winry, Pinako, and Din. Home to hopefully lead a normal life. Well, he thought, as normal as can be when your the famed Elric Brothers.
"You alright, Al?" Ed asked, "We're almost there."
"Yeah...It's just strange to be back here after all this time," Al sighed happily.
"We've got a pretty steep hill ahead, think you can make it?" Ed taunted.
"Stop fussing over me, I said I'm fine," Al laughed, "In fact, I'd wager that if we raced, I could beat you up that hill."
"Feh, not a chance!" Ed retorted, "Besides, Winry would kill me for making you run like that."
Al rolled his eyes. It would be a long while before people would stop babying him. "Well, you can't get in trouble if you don't run." His pace grew steadily faster until he broke into a run. The freedom was wonderful! Being coped up in that cursed hospital room was almost as bad as being in the armor. He relished the feeling of the cool wind breaking on his face, a feeling he had missed for so long .
As the Rockbell house slowly came into view, Al pulled back to a walk to wait for Ed. There was no use in him getting in trouble for his moment of selfish bliss.
"What, are you nuts!" Ed yelled, catching up.
Al jabbed Ed in the side with his elbow and pointed in the direction of the house.
"Oh, well what are we standing around for! There are people waiting on you!" Ed said merrily. He charged ahead comically while Al followed, contemplating his elder brother's words. He had not expected people to be waiting on him. Winry and Pinako sure, but who else would bother?
The final stretch of the journey seemed to take the longest. Once the pair approached the boarders of the property, a crowd of people began to come into view. Apparently quite a few people had bothered. Al's heart began to race wildly and his anxiousness grew as he drew closer to the house. He never enjoyed being the center of attention. Ed on the other hand..."Brother, why did you invite all these people?" Al groaned.
"They're our friends Al, and besides, I told you I wanted to see everyone's smiling faces when I returned." Ed said.
Al smiled. His brother really was a sap sometimes even if wouldn't admit it.
The crowd of people was abuzz with chatter as the Elric Brothers crossed the property and neared the house. Al could make out a sea of blue uniforms. Roy, Riza, and all the rest from the Eastern head quarters had appartently come from the ocassion, even Major Armstrong could be seen towering above the rest. Dr Marco, had arrived as well with the help of Yorki who begrudgingly abliged the journey. Winry could be seen dancing on her tiptoes in anticipation with Din beside her, barking his greeting. And lastly, a black haired girl with long braids and a panda at her side. Al's heart skipped a beat. He had not expected to see her here. It didn't help that she had grown into quite a figure since they were last together. He stopped a moment, overcome with emotion. He was so consumed with his goals and his brother that he had not realized how many people had supported them in their journey. And now Mei was back, having crossed dangerous desert just to see him.
"AL-SAMA!" A voice rang loud, breaking Al of his thoughts. He looked to see Mei running toward him excitedly. Luckily, he was prepared for her usual greeting and was just in time to catch her as she jumped into his arms. Unluckily, he had misjudged his strength and promptly fell backwards.
"Heh...sorry Mei." He grunted.
She smiled embarrassed from on top of him, "Oh uh, it's my fault. I really shouldn't do that."
Al blushed. Her smile again..."It's great to see you! It's been so long. I've missed you actually."
It was Mei's turn to blush, "Really? I'm sorry I had to go so soon but I really had to visit home. All I could think about was you and all my friends here though so I decided to come back once Ed sent word that you were coming home. I couldn't miss that!"
"Awe Mei...," Al looked up into her dark eyes. He fiddled absentmindedly with a stray braid that was played across his chest. So maybe this was love, "You didn't have to come all this way-"
"Of course I did!" She said, sounding hurt, "My clan is basically done for, Ling is set up to be the next Emperor now and I'm not bearing that idiot's children. I realized I have no life there."
Al was not expecting that. He brushed Mei's braid behind her ear letting his hand rest on her cheek. She really was soft and warm. "You're welcome to have a life here if you want. It's no Xing but it's a place to call home." He said nervously.
"Oh thank you Al-sama!" Squealed Mei collapsing onto Al in a frantic embrace, "I was worried you wouldn't want me to stay or that you didn't feel the same way."
"Hey," Al lifted up her chin, "Call me Al." He brought her face gently closer and pressed his lips to hers. Everything else disappeared. He was lost in the feel of her soft skin, her taste, her sent, the warm tingle of their kiss, the butterflies in his stomach....
After what seemed an eternity, a wonderful perfect eternity, their very public display of affection was interrupted.
"Hey, Al, Mei! Don't forget about the rest of us!" Ed yelled sounding half annoyed half amused. Winry gave him a scathing look.
"Yeah yeah! Hey Winry, make some apple pie for all these hungry people!" Al yelled back, his voice sounding a tad huskier than usual. The crowd laughed loudly while Winry wiped a tear from her eyes and rushed into the kitchen.
Al heaved a contented sigh and pulled Mei in for another kiss then wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace. Yeah...this was most assuredly love. This was home.
Anyhow..any criticism is welcome! Hope you enjoy!
ETA: OH yeah! Let's see who can spot the Aladdin goodness! OMG I love that line.