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"I never knew the nights were this long. Before this, I always spent my nights talking with brother about alchemy, about our future...and once we got tired from all the talking, we'd fall asleep and dream of happy things. One night seemed so short then. Now one night feels so... so awfully long." – Alphonse Elric, chapter 43

~ -:- ~

Edward Elric loves to sleep.

After all, spending every day traveling, researching, chasing leads and getting into various kinds of trouble can get a bit tiring. And he once heard that getting a good night's rest helps you grow, so what he misses from his issues with milk he makes up for in sleeping hours. (In his reasoning, anyway.) He doesn't care anymore where he tucks in for the night; he'll sleep on anything from couches to cold, hard ground, with only a tuft of grass for his pillow. Arms beneath his head, tucked by his chest or sprawled every which-way, mouth slightly open in a gentle snore, shirt rumpled upwards just enough to expose a bit of skin...he treasures every minute of unconscious bliss.

But there is one day out of the whole year when he refuses to let his eyes close. Instead he sits with the hollow suit of armor beside him, the shell with the gentle voice of his little brother inside, and keeps vigil all through the night.

Alphonse rarely says anything, but Ed knows. He knows his brother longs to taste cake and ice cream again, to wrestle and play with the other boys in soft, grassy fields, to know again the simple happiness of receiving ordinary presents, real presents...not just another can of oil for the armor's old hinges.

Truth can be a terrible thing; even more so when it is mixed with subtle deceit. There isn't a day when a ghostly thread of guilt doesn't creep through the cold of his automail and whisper to him: he can't taste, can't smell, can't feel...can't cry, can't smile, can't sleep...because of you. Your fault, your mistakes, your sin. He can't. He can't.

Then, like the glint of sunlight reflecting off the firm, silvery surface of Winry's handiwork, the hope and determination within him outshine the dark whispers:

But someday he will. He will.

So Edward celebrates both their hope and his brother's birthday in the best way he can: to sit next to him, count the stars with him, talk with him, be with for at least one night, Alphonse won't have to spend the long, wakeful hours alone.

And every year, the conversation eventually repeats itself. Alphonse will hesitate before venturing,

"Ed? You don't have to stay up all night, you know. Take a two-hour nap, at least..."

"Don't give me that," comes the hot retort. "No one should have to be up all alone on their birthday night; least of all you, Al. So don't even start."

"Come on. It's been a long day and I know you're exhausted."

"Am not."

"Are too. You just yawned."

"...No, I didn't."

An exasperated sigh follows. "Why? Why do you always do this? There's nothing wrong with meeting your own, basic needs; it's okay. Why do you deprive yourself like this every year?"

Hard obstinacy tinges Edward's voice as one by one, he counts the reasons on his gloved fingers. "Because it's your birthday, you're more than worth it, and making you happy makes me happy, and I want to stay up with you. It's as simple as that. And besides," he sometimes adds, moonlight and distant bittersweetness in his eyes as he turns his face to the sky, "if it was me stuck in that tin can...I know you'd do the same."

It is then that the two points of light slowly brighten within the armor, glowing warmly in an unseen smile. A few seconds of sacred quietness pass between them as they gaze together at the ocean of stars, and then the young voice murmurs,

"Brother...thank you."

And Edward will simply smile back and say,

"Happy birthnight, Al."
EDIT: I've now officially dedicated this to the queen of non-slashy Elric bromance and parental!Roy/Ed fanfic, dark-amethyst :icondark-amethyst: (aka Griselda Banks on today is her birthday, and I think she's an awesome person who writes awesome stuff, and I don't have time to write anything new for her. >.< Many Happy Returns, Amethyst!! Keep up with the amazing work!

~ -:- ~

Yay for Elric brother fwuffiness!! :D Who says True Love has to be limited to romance? (Personally, I think Ed and Al fit the idea of "soulmates" better than any romantic couple I've ever seen...or at least, my idea of soulmates.) And if anybody DARES to call this Elricest, SO HELP ME, I will hunt them down, tie them to a bed of nails and read Vogon poetry and Breaking Dawn excerpts to them...before stabbing them to death with marshmallow-toasting sticks and roasting their corpses over a campfire.

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Especially when I'm in Canon-Purist Mode. And hormonal. :devil:

*cough* ANYWAY. This old, drabbly little story was the first piece of FMA fan fiction I ever wrote...and I first posted it in a deviantART comment box, of all places. It was inspired by WONDERFUL piece of FMA fanart I came across; a picture of Ed and Al sitting together, relaxing on a grassy hill under a clear, moonlit night. And where Al's armor is, you can see a faint, ghost-like, smiling figure - Al as his own human self: [link]

I was oggling that for the umpteenth time and then out of the blue, a single phrase brushed against my mind: "Edward loves to sleep...but there is one night when he refuses to let his eyes close..." The plot bunny kept nibbling and nibbling...and finally one night, at 2:00 AM in the morning, I caved and scribbled this thing. And now, after a few extra tweaks, I'm finally posting it here.

Hope you liked it! =3
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FullmetalAndCatLover Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww! I love it! It's so sweet and warm and fluffy..... Heck.... IT'S LIKE A KITTY!!! Ima get u a kitty al for ur bdaynight!!!! Lol
stargirl1254 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011 sweet.... it was your writing that made me want to write fanfics. i didnt write any yet, but i will.
dark-amethyst Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2011  Student Writer
^_________^ I loved it! It's perfect - so sweet and quiet, so in-character, so...brotherly :love: Are you on FFNet? 'Cause I wanna fave it on there tooooooo.... This was a great present; thank you!

And OMG, I love your anti-Elricest rant! Yesssss!

(And dude! I'm the "queen of parental!Roy/Ed" too? *is even happier now*)
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Student Writer
(Bleh, sorry for the late reply...) YAY! I'm I'm so happy you liked it! :D And yes, I'm on! Here's some shiny linkage for ya: [link]

YES. ELRICEST MUST DIE. I could rant about how twisted and sick it is for hours. I hold nothing against the fans of it, but nonetheless...I can't for the life of me understand how people could see Elricest in a positive light. IMO, when you twist their relationship into something sexual or romantic, it undermines so much of what FMA is about. And I hate that. >.<

Lol yep, you are the queen of a lot of stuff! :D I just love how you're able to stay so true to the characters and the relationships they have, and put so much emotion in everything. Everything you write is wonderful, whether it's Elric bromance, EdWin, parental stuff of anything else. Thanks for being such a great writer. :heart: Hope you had an awesome birthday!

...OMG, I just glimpsed a very fluffy plot bunny for an Ed-centric birthday fic...I MUST CATCH IT! *chases the bunny...*
dark-amethyst Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Student Writer
Oooh! *jumps on the link* :giggle: I didn't know you could do fics of the Bible.... Anyway, I'll check out your stuff when I have time.

Exactly! And when there's such a wealth of emotion there already, with them just being brothers...what's the point? The thing I hate the most about Elricest, I think, is that it implies that it's not "enough" to be a brother. Nope, you can't really love someone unless it's romantic :roll: And that's exactly what I love about FMA so much - that a boy could love his brother enough to cut his own arm off for him, without a moment's hesitation, and give up his entire childhood for him too. That is powerful. just creepy and nauseating.

Thanks! I do try :D
HolyCowWorshipper Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010  Hobbyist
:iconohohoplz: I have a feeling I will like this very much, yesss! Brotherly FLUUUUFFFF

"But someday he will. He will." -- <:') Goosebumps and teary eyes, yeeey~.

Haaa, you're gonna make me bawl, thats what you want huh?? ;______; I thought The Day the day they burnt their house, or maybe the "anniversary" of the failed transmutation or their mother's deathday...But...his birthday! That's so incredibly sweet and heartbreaking and just SO SWEET!
I was THIS close to crying! Then I read your comment and well...
", tie them to a bed of nails and read Vogon poetry and Breaking Dawn excerpts to them." -- HAHAHAHA! *HUGS YOU FOREVER* I <3 u! :rofl:

Oh that picture, it was one fo the first FMA-fanart I saw! :) It's really beautiful!

This makes me wanna a picture with Al celebrating his birthday, but I already have tons of stuff to do...Definitly putting it on my list!
earthrocker48 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010
awww HAPPY BIRTHDAY AL!! :love:
Vexic929 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
aww that was so sweet ^^
TaytoTott Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Noo! Not the Vogon poetry!!!! Anything but that!

You are a very talented writer, you know that? I had to come check out your gallery after you so kindly commented on my art and this is the first thing that caught my eye! I loved it, every word. :)
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010  Student Writer
Mwahaha, yes! Fear the poetry. FEAR EET. (And huzzah, I'm not the only person on the planet who gets that reference!!)

D'awww, thank you! You're so nice! :hug: I'm glad you liked this so much. I honestly felt a bit nervous about it when I first put it up, three years ago. At the time, FMA was still fairly new to me and I wasn't quite as confident in getting into the characters heads as I am now. But it's nice to look back on it and see how much I've grown as a fan and a writer since then. If only by a little bit. :D *warmfuzzies*
TaytoTott Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Psh, I'm glad I'm not the only one either! I saw "Vogon poetry" and I was like, "Holy crap, I know where that's from!"

See, that's how I was too! Looking back at my first FMA story (written with one person who was also brand new and another who had no idea what the heck FMA was anyway), it sucked. Bad. I didn't understand Ed's character or anyone's, for that matter. But you did good for being fairly new! :salute:
kittyfox77 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010
One of the best fanfic's I've ever read about FMA. Seriously, way to go!!
PwnedByPineapple Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Hobbyist Writer

I love brotherly fluff. Especially when it's so sweet, like this.
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Student Writer
Heehee, me too. Anything brotherly becomes addicting for me. xD So glad you liked this! :hug:
mendystar1 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
OMGOMGOMG. I love <3333
goldenwing57 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, that's cute!

I always love those inspirations that come from random things.

Can I drag them by their hair to the bed of nails?
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Student Writer
Of course you can, my dear. Mwahahahaa... :mwahaha:

Yes, random plot bunnies are awesome. And kind of annoying, too. Especially when you're trying to cram for that one college deadline that's sneaking up on you... >.>
goldenwing57 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I kinda know how you feel. I should be getting to sleep or studying for that Bio test tomorrow, but, nooo, a song inspired me to do a pic and I couldn't resist the urge. Oh, well. Cellular respiration will never be as interesting as photoshop. Ever.
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