It was exactly eleven twenty-five at night and Edward Elric was still awake. He knew that it was eleven twenty-five as he was holding his state alchemist pocket watch in his left non automail hand. He had been flicking the decorated lid open to closed for the last half-hour, annoying Al who couldn't sleep no matter how desperately he wanted to. Ed continued fiddling with the lid.

*click*

The lid flipped open. He knew what it meant to serve the military and knew what the pocket watch symbolized.

*click*

The lid flipped closed. It meant that the military could use him to do whatever they thought was "necessary" to protect the country.

*click*

The lid flipped open. It was as if the soldiers had no sympathy and didn't care what happened to anyone but them.

*click*

Ed slide his thumb over his pocket watch slowly, noticing every detail on the lid. Unlike what most people thought, the pocket watch didn't help their alchemy. It was just a symbol. A dog tag. A leash. The brand of the military for their slaves. In a way he wanted to return it, slam it down on Roy's desk again and never have to deal with incidents like the Shou tucker case again, never hear a tale as tragic as Nina and Alexander's . Fullmetal sighed. Being a state alchemist sure had downsides. Having to deal with people like 'the colonel' on a daily basis.

Edward smirked slightly.

Then he stopped. The possibility of being called into war. The rules of what you could do were controlled by the military, and you couldn't question them. No gold or human transmutation were understandable , but if they ever found out about Alphonose's hollow shell...

*click*

The lid flipped open again. Al. That was why he had joined the military.

* click*

The lid flipped closed. He had to get his body back. *click* he knew he couldn't leave the military so that left trying to stand out.

*click*

How should he do it though?

*click*

Armstrong had his full title- all 107 syllables.

*click*

He wasn't an Armstrong though. Not rich or with a large extended family. All his belongings were gone , destroyed by him and Al on that fateful day.

*click*

Ed stared at the watch. Then slowly and deliberately using an already loose nail on his automail, he carved the words: don't forget 3.0ct.11. He smiled. The day he burnt down his house would serve as a reminder that he was different from the rest of the military's attack dogs. It would give him a purpose.

*click*.

"Brother would you PLEASE stop that, I'm trying to rest" Alphonose sighed. Ed smiled, then shut the lid and slid the watch back into his right pocket . "Sorry Al". Ed muttered.

'And thank you for being my brother', he thought.