How To Feel Again
“Nii-san, hurry up or we’ll be late!” Alphonse called out to his older brother, currently stalling in the shower.
“Alright, Al, don’t have a cow, I’m coming.” Edward replied. He leaned back against the shower wall and sighed as the hot water rained down upon his tense shoulders. He didn’t really want to go to Mustang’s New Year’s Eve party, but Alphonse had persuaded (begged and nagged unmercifully) him to change his mind. It actually hadn’t taken very much, Edward really didn’t argue much lately. In fact, he hadn’t done much of anything lately. It was more like he was going through the motions, existing, rather than living. That certain something, that spark, was absent from his brilliant golden eyes. Alphonse had noticed it, and was worried about him, but wasn’t exactly sure what to do about it. He had tried speaking to Edward, but his forced answers and false smiles did nothing to ease his anxiety. Al looked towards the bathroom again and shook his head.
Edward turned off the water and stepped out, drying himself. His dull eyes glanced over to the fogged up mirror, but did not see his reflection. Instead, he saw Alphonse as he was meant to be, his soul housed in a body of flesh and blood rather than metal and leather. He saw his mother smiling back at him, his true mother, not the abomination he and his brother had created. He saw Nina and Alexander, snow-covered and laughing, not the not the depraved creation Tucker had formed and Scar had destroyed. He saw them all the time. They didn’t wait for him to fall asleep anymore. Now he had only to close his eyes, and there they were, taunting, accusing. He shook his head to clear the images while swiping the mirror clean with his left hand, leaving only his reflection. A surge of anger flowed through him and started to raise his automail hand to smash the mirror, then stopped. ‘Why bother?’ he thought wearily, ‘Why bother…?’
It was 11:50 pm and there started to be a ripple of excitement throughout the crowd. People refilling their glasses of champagne, checking their watches, and making sure their dates were nearby for a midnight kiss. Roy Mustang was standing in a corner talking to Havoc and Hawkeye when something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. Upon further scrutiny, he realized it was Fullmetal inching towards the window, out of the crowd. Mustang narrowed his eyes. Fullmetal had been acting very odd lately. He didn’t respond to his height (or lack thereof), he hadn’t touched any of the food Mustang had laid out for his guests (Edward not eating was a sure sign of something being wrong), and had barely said two words to anyone, including Alphonse. His eyes had seemed lackluster, empty of anything. He had been worried about Fullmetal, but wasn’t sure how to bring it up. He watched as Fullmetal quietly climbed out of the window, and out onto the fire escape, where he began to make his way up towards the roof. Roy felt compelled to follow him; an urge that pushed it’s way up from his gut. He excused himself and slipped out unnoticed by the partygoers. He climbed the steps as the cold wind raged against his thin jacket, snow falling haphazardly against his soft black hair and his upturned face. As he reached the rooftop, he saw Fullmetal standing on the precipice of the ledge, his blonde hair and blazing red jacket whipping around and standing out vividly against the immaculate snow swirling around them. Roy also saw that he had one foot hanging half off and realized with a start what he had come up here to do. He started slowly walking to the youth, but the crunching of the snow beneath Roy’s shoes alerted the blonde to his presence. Edward froze with his foot still half off the ledge. Roy made no sudden movements so as not to startle the boy into slipping and falling. He tentatively called out, “Edward? Are you alright?” Edward, surprised by the use of his first name, pulled his foot back and turned around carefully. Roy held out his hand to him, but Edward made no move to accept or reject the warm inviting hand. He simply stared at Roy, and the look scared Roy. It was completely devoid of emotion, and profuse with surrender, something Roy had never thought he would see in Fullmetal’s eyes. There was no will, no strength, no…anything.
Roy tried again, “Edward…Please…”The words seemed to wake him, at least partially. Roy lightly touched Edward’s hand, which was cold even with the gloves. When he made contact, a slight spark seemed to jump in his Edward’s eyes; yet still a mere shadow of the fire it used to be. Edward, as more and more tears slid down his frozen cheeks, stepped off the ledge and into Roy’s waiting arms, clinging to him like he was the only thing tethering Edward to this world. As Edward cried into Roy’s coat, he managed to form words,
“I’m so tired of seeing Al and Mom and Nina, knowing it’s all my fault. I thought maybe I…maybe this was the only way to make it stop. It hurt so badly, and then everything went numb until I couldn’t feel anything anymore…”
Roy put his hands on Edward’s shoulders and bent forward to place a small kiss on his forehead. Edward jumped and looked up in shock, wonder and…longing. Roy leaned forward again, this time stopping just in front of Edward’s lips and murmured, ”Maybe you just need someone to teach you how to feel again.” He eliminated the space between he and Edward. In the dim background, they could hear cheering and shouting, informing them that it was the beginning of a new year.
(A/N:I know this is a little late, but I’ve been busy. Enjoy!)