Theme: #1 2 a.m.
Character/Pairing: Alphonse Elric
Soft snoring filled the tiny room, invading it like the cold, empty light of the moon shining through windows that had been left bare of curtains. Ever since that horrific night, the elder brother needed the light as a safety net to chase away the tragic and horrific memories of that night. It was a request the younger brother was willing to fulfill, even at his expense. The elder had always known that the younger liked sleeping in a pitch black room, but this was no longer a concern to the younger. The elder didn’t need to know the truth.
Sitting up against the wall just outside the moon light’s glow, a large armored body stared out into the room, shadows playing in the corners where the moon's light couldn’t reach. In those shadows, he imagined a pair of blood red eyes staring back and a disembodied voice crying out in pain. The eyes haunted him, tortured him just like they tortured the elder…but the elder didn’t need to know that either.
The elder didn’t need to know anything about what was bothering the younger. He had his own worries. The last thing he needed was to shoulder the burdens of the one trapped in armor. Still, of all the things that could bother the younger about his new life, this was the one that got to him the most. He always saw 2 A.M. and it wasn’t of his own choice.
He could no longer sleep. The metal body didn’t need the sleep - it wasn't alive like a flesh and blood body. The younger missed the feel of cool clean sheets against his skin as he snuggled under them and sunk into a feather mattress. He missed the feel of his pillow on his cheek and the flutter of his mother’s lips in a good night kiss on his forehead. He could no longer feel the heaviness of his eyelids as they begged for sleep, and he longed for the sinking feeling of slipping from reality into the caress of pleasant dreams. No one else could understand the unrelenting yearning he now felt for sleep, even if the nature of the sleep was different now. Even if he had to trade those peaceful dreams for the night terrors the elder faced every night.
The younger sighed and tried to keep his metal body from clanking. If he couldn’t have the sleep he so desperately desired, he would give it to the elder, like a gift. It was what he could do to repay his brother for bringing him back to this world and giving up his arm to do so. The younger was strong…sometimes, he felt like he was stronger than the elder, but he would never tell that to anyone. It would be his secret. He knew his brother would never stand for being bound to armor, especially when so many things most people took for granted were to be denied to him.
He knew his brother needed the restful sleep more than him. The elder had so many memories of that night – more memories than even the younger had. Brother would sometimes cry out at night as he recounted each terrifying moment; the things he would never share with anyone in a wakeful state.
So, maybe it was alright that the younger would suffer the lonely nights. He could hear the confessions of the elder and forgive him for everything he faulted himself for. He could respond to his brother’s unconscious murmurings and tell him that it would be alright. He could endure this temporary body for as long as it took for his brother to find a way to bring back the flesh and blood body lost to that night.
After all, he was the stronger one.