I miss you more than ever tonight. And I find myself thinking only of your voice, whenever anyone is talking to me. I don’t really care what they had to say anyway. All I’ve wanted since I got here was to find a way home to you, and to touch you one more time. I hope you don’t forget me, Al, even though it might actually be easier on you if you did. But I guess I’m selfish, and I don’t want something like that.
I promise I’ll see you again one day, just like I promised I’d get your body back. I did that, didn’t I? So I hope you didn’t do something like give up on me, even if I deserve it.
Tell that bastard Taisa I said hello.
Edward Elric looked down at the paper he had just written on, in slightly shaking left-handed script. He frowned, and scratched out the last line with his pen. After a minute, he changed his mind and wrote it back in. Then he crossed it out again. He started to write something similar one more time, then just sighed. He threw the pen across the room and buried his face in his hands. He didn’t notice the tears that slid down his cheeks and fell on the letter, leaving big blue-black spots in the middle of it.
He was mad at himself. For not being able to write the letter. For even THINKING of writing the letter. It was a stupid thing to do, anyway – it wasn’t like he could just send it through the Gate and have it reach Al, anyway. But...he couldn’t stop missing him.
And then, that fucking bastard...he missed HIM too. And he hated to admit it to himself. He knew Mustang wasn’t dead. He knew. And he had a pretty good guess that the Taisa would take good care of his little brother. Maybe too good. And didn’t Al deserve it anyway? To have someone who could actually keep his promises and be worth something – someone who wasn’t just going to fuck up again and again.
He crumpled up the letter and dropped it on the ground next to a million other pieces of paper, shoved his chair back from the desk and stood up. The chair fell over – but he didn’t have any intention of righting it.
He walked to the bedroom. There was no one here tonight to chide him for not getting enough sleep or to ask about the mess of papers on the floor in the study. Thankfully.
He stripped, and flopped onto the bed, not bothering to get under the covers or anything. His real leg hung off the edge, but didn’t touch the ground. Another time, he’d notice something like that and get pissed off about having not grown at all in the past six months. But not tonight.
He looked over at the mirror in the corner. How he hated that fucking mirror. Every time he looked in it, he remembered the way he used to be...and he imagined sometimes that he could just reach through it and get his old life back – his life with Al. His life with Mustang. THEIR life. The way it was meant to be. He was glad he’d covered that damn thing up. Now he didn’t have to look at himself in it anymore. Sometime, maybe, he’d get masochistic enough to go uncover it and imagine those same things. But not tonight.
Tonight – he just wanted to lay here and think about the people he’d left behind. Most of them, he could really do without. He was grown up, damnit, and he could take care of himself. But...ED wasn’t the only person he had to take care of. There was Al. And now...he couldn’t do it. It wasn’t even that he regretted doing what he did – there had been no other choice, and he’d known it could turn out like this. But so what? Al was at least safe, and at least whole. And wasn’t that what Ed had promised, anyway? To get Al’s body back. And, well, he’d come through. It had taken him five years – but he’d kept that promise, at least.
He thought of Al’s face – he hadn’t seen it, really, in more than five years. He...couldn’t even *quite* picture it now, although he’d never admit such a thing to Alphonse. But what he could see...was Al’s eyes. The part he’d NEVER be able to forget. His brother’s beautiful greengreymagical eyes. And he wanted to look into them again – and to see Al’s smile reach all the way up to his eyes. He wanted it SO much. And it hurt.
And there were so many other things he wanted – things he didn’t think he could actually SAY to Al. Things he’d ever barely been able to say to Roy, even when Roy asked him to. And, while Al had never been squeamish, really, about that sort of thing, Ed couldn’t imagine trying to say words like that to his little brother. Even if they weren’t exactly naughty words.
He thought of the crumbled and torn up pieces of paper littering the floor of the study. This was at least the eighth time he’d had a night like this – writing letters that Alphonse would never get, and being furious with himself for not being able to find the right words to even put into them, and then being even more furious for ever coming up with the idea in the first place.
He wondered if Mustang would laugh at him, if he read those letters that had all gotten thrown away. There was always at least one line in them that related to him – usually in a backhanded “I care about you but can’t say it” kind of way. And Ed couldn’t help but see Roy’s smirking face instead of Al’s and he just got madder.
And then he got homesick. Even worse than before. Because, while Al’s face was sort of a misty sort of memory – Roy Mustang’s face was crystal clear. And so was his voice. And his mouth. And...everything about him. And it made Ed want to really cry – tears that he would notice, tears that might even sting.
Maybe Roy wouldn’t laugh. Maybe he’d just smile.
But Ed hated that response just as much.
He sighed, and finally kicked his way under the covers. Even nights like this – they could be bearable, so long as he remembered what really mattered.
He wanted to go home. With Al. With Roy. Where he belonged.
And, come morning, that would be enough reason to get up and keep going.