yuuo: (Pandora's Universe)
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Character/Series: Edward Elric; Fullmetal Alchemist (2003; Pandora's Universe)
Rating: PG
Notes: The story that started it all.
Title: Anesidora
Author: [personal profile] yuuo
Word Count: 981
Summary: The sun was lazily glowing in the west.


The sun was lazily glowing in the west, just lounging above the horizon, not yet quite time for it to set, when Edward slowly made his way along the dirt road, up the hill to the tiny Rizenbul graveyard. It was a frustratingly difficult walk, far greater a distance than he was used to hobbling on the temporary crutch he only had to endure a few more days before the skin around the recently-installed automail basing was healed enough for his body to tolerate having the leg actually hooked up.

It was the first time he'd been there in about a year, and the first time he'd really gone farther than the front yard of the Rockbell's house since- since-

Since.

Edward had to fight the urge to turn back as he approached the gate of the fence that surrounded the small collection of headstones. Pausing to readjust his grip on the crutch and steel his nerves, he took a breath, then trudged on, making his way up the hill to the tree that stood on the north end. Every step of his foot and impact of the crutch against the ground was a whisper of noise, the soft May grass just slightly too wet to make any real sound.

His steps slowed as he neared the two small, unadorned gravestones that were hiding under the shade of the old oak tree. Swallowing tightly as he approached, he slowed to a stop in front of them, gripping the flowers that were held awkwardly between his hand and grip of the crutch.

"Al, let's bring Mom back to life."

It'd been ... how long had it been since that day, when he first looked at the gravestone there on the left? Since he'd made a vow that would-

He closed his eyes, letting go of the hand-hold to keep from dropping the flowers, letting his weight rest against the crutch.

It'd been more than three months since that second gravestone was put there. One hundred and six days, nearly a hundred and seven. Two thousand, five hundred and sixty-two hours. One hundred fifty three thousand, seven hundred and twenty-four minutes, to be precise. But really, who the hell was counting? It didn't matter how long, the point was that it'd been too long, and each one of those minutes, those seconds echoed and rattled around painfully in his heart until his chest felt like there was a bruise that would never go away.

He was adapting. Slowly, surely, he was getting used to getting around with just one leg, his balance thrown off by the lack of a right arm. Slowly, surely, he was finding ways to communicate that didn't involve overtaxing his damaged vocal cords. And slowly, surely, he was getting used to the fact that he had failed, and failed miserably, to bring their mother back. He was finally accepting that she was gone.

What he wasn't getting used to, however, was the physically painful lack of Alphonse.

He would never be used to that. He refused to ever be used to not seeing his brother's sweet smile, to waking up and not feeling his brother's warm breath on his back as he curled up against him, unafraid of the threat of nightmares as long as his big brother was there. He never wanted to be used to not being able to spend hours just curled up in their father's old office, reading books and learning, quiet and happy with just each others' company.

Even Pinako had been unable to scare him out of his anger when he'd found out that she and Winry had paid for a grave for Alphonse; he was not dead, he couldn't be dead, he knew damn good and well his brother was not dead, he'd been taken; Edward had seen it, every agonizing and torturous second of it as his brother's body had been broken down by the Gate and taken-

Taken, but not killed.

Alphonse was not dead.

Edward refused to accept the idea, refused to accept it or believe it, and he refused to let it go.

In just a couple days, he'd be able to walk again, with a new leg. A new right arm would follow in less than a week after that. Pinako and Winry had warned him that it would be three years past that before he'd be able to move completely normally. Edward had no intention of taking that long to adjust to the prosthetic limbs. He could adapt as fast as he needed to to the new body to get to Central as quickly as possible. The idea of being a State Alchemist, of having access to the country's most top secret documents on all manners of subjects and research in alchemy, had been implanted in his idea, and he wouldn't let go of it, no matter how much Pinako and Winry begged and pleaded and scolded. In that idea lay the last bit of hope he could hold onto; the possibility of getting Alphonse back.

He was adapting. As quickly as he possibly could, he was adapting to the changes in his life.

But he would never give up Alphonse. Alphonse was his heart, his soul, the thing that filled the empty room inside his heart and made it work, made it beat, made up the very foundation of his world.

Without Alphonse, he had nothing more to lose.

"I don't know if you can hear me," he whispered, carefully crouching down, using the crutch as a balance. He carefully reached over and placed the flowers on Trisha's grave, then looked back at the other grave. "But happy birthday. Sorry I don't have anything for you this time. I'll make up for it when I see you again."

He would never give up on his brother.
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