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He turned around to leave.

"Brother?"

He'd seen all he needed to see and as much as it hurt, he didn't expect her to wait for him forever. "Let's go, Al."

The last time he'd been here, she'd welcomed him with a warm embrace and brand new automail, yet he'd repaid her by running off into battle, never once thanking her for her hard work, never once telling her just how much he'd missed her, never once looking back at her as he crossed the gate once again.

It had been many, many years since that day.

Now, another man seemed to be content in her warm embrace as they sat together on the lush green grass, unaware of the two young men that stood farther down the familiar dirt road. The two brothers that had finally returned to their best friend.

Although both were surprised by the scene, one was devastated by it and the other knew it.

He began walking away, wanting to forget, but knowing he wouldn't.

"Ed, the least we can do is talk to her, show her we're here-"

"And then what, Al? She has a life of her own now." He looked down. "A life separate to ours."

His younger brother took his right arm, showing it to him. "No. She's the reason you can stand on your own. She's the reason I didn't give up on finding you." Alphonse let go of his automail. "She is the sole reason we came back, Brother."

Frustration and anger filled his fierce topaz eyes. "No. Not anymore." He continued to walk away towards the sunset, followed by his younger brother and his excuses to return, to go back to her.

But he didn't want to return.

He didn't want to ruin her peace. He didn't want to be there, seeing her with that man, holding her and kissing her while he spent his time wishing, wanting, hoping for something that he couldn't have.

That, would be the worst pain of all.