Me: Wow, I was pretty brutal last time, ouch.
Al: Don't feel too bad, they really were dysfunctional.
Ed: Al, one wanted to kill the other and the other wanted him to do it. I'd say that's just insane.
Me: You think they're crazy, wait until you meet your next pair. You're going to America, boys!
Ed: Why? I thought we were sticking with anime.
Me: Yeah… But the Winchesters were far too much fun to pass up. Go get 'em Ed!
"So what are we looking for again?" Sam asked his older brother.
Dean refused to look away from the road. "We're looking for a kid with a red coat and a braid, walking with a huge suit of armor. Supposedly, he can fix anything."
Fix anything… "Do you think it's witchcraft?
Dean nodded. "Either that, or another antichrist. I really hope it's the first one."
The taller brother looked back out the front window, brows knitting at the memory. "Don't you think Cas would have let us know if it was another antichrist? I mean, if he's already using his powers consciously, he's gotta have a pretty big target on his back." He let his head fall against the glass of the right hand window. Lucifer was probably tracking this kid too. He really didn't want to bump into him agai-
"Dean, park over there." There was a flash of yellow and bright red, headed into the ally.
His brother instantly pulled over the car and asked, "You see something?"
Now that the radio was off, Sam heard it. "Yeah, and hear that?"
The older brother listened. "Sounds like a tin can rattling around."
"You said he always had a suit of armor with him, right?" They shared a look, grabbed the guns in the glove compartment, and leapt from the car into the ally.
The instant they were out of view of the street, the ground erupted under their feet, but at that same moment the walls reached out to grab them. One of Dean's feet got caught in the suddenly liquid ground, but he struck out with the other one in a kick in an attempt to get Sam's arm free from the brick hand that had managed to grab it. There was a crackle of blue light and suddenly his leg was encased in a slightly smaller brick hand that stemmed from the one holding Sam's arm. Then he noticed that Sam's feet were trapped too. They were stuck.
"Dean," Sam muttered, and he knew that tone. It meant that something really dangerous was in front of his little brother. He strained his neck and just made out a flash of yellow-no, golden-hair and what looked like an iron suit of armor.
The blond smirked at them. "Are you guys always this easy to catch?"
In typical Dean fashion, the older brother smirked. "Well, usually our opponents don't bend the walls. They're too focused on killing us."
To his surprise, the blond nodded. "Yeah, we kind of heard about that. Bobby told us everything, well, after Castiel brought us over."
Okay, Sam was ridiculously confused right now. "Wait, how do you know Bobby?"
And then the iron moved. It…shrugged its shoulders. Okay, so they were dealing with a kid who could bend reality and a spirit attached to an object. Or maybe the kid was making it move. Either way, it was freaky. "Castiel brought us in to do a sort of intervention for you two, and Bobby told us where to find you, so…" Okay, the suit could talk, and seemed to think for itself. While that didn't rule out being controlled by the kid, it did put a damper on the idea. So, spirit. But what sort of spirit was just…there? And didn't go crazy?
Then what it had said registered. "Wait, Cas brought you here? Why," Sam asked, honestly dumbfounded. If this was about the demon blood again-
"Well, he sorta sensed you two having issues with your relationship, so he called us in," the blond explained, smirking.
Dean really wanted to kick him in the face. "Oh, right, because you have such a great track record with counselling."
"Yeah, we do actually," the tin can said. That thing was really starting to creep Dean out. "You should have seen what we did with the Kaiba brothers."
"And the Uchihas," the blond replied, still smirking. Okay, that smirk is really irritating, Deal thought. If he could just reach his gun…
The iron shuddered. It actually shuddered! The whole thing started quaking. "Please, brother, don't remind me."
The blond's grin just widened. "Yeah, well, hopefully these guys won't be quite as screwed up, Al. Still, an angel called us in so…"
"Yeah," the tin can answered. "We should probably get started."
The blond put his hands together like he was clapping and then touched the ground. Blue lightning zapped out from between his fingertips and Sam and Dean were dragged to the walls by their bound feet and the bricks wrapped around them until they were completely immobilized. The short one took a piece of paper out of his pocket and waved it in front of the two brothers. "You two are going to answer these questions honestly, and then we'll let you go. That's it." He turned and looked at Al. "Do you want to do the questioning or should I?"
Al, apparently that was his name, shuddered again. "You can do it, Ed. I don't think I want to after Sasuke."
Sam's nerves flaired. "So what, you're another trickster? You're going to make us answer these and then kill us?"
The blond, Ed, rolled his eyes. "What is it with you hunters and tricksters?" That Bobby guy has acused him of being the same thing. Man, the amount of tests he'd had to go through for that guy was insane, and some of them had been pretty weird. "I'm an alchemist. It's a science, not some weird kind of magic. I thought that angel was your friend. Do you really think he'd put you in danger?"
Sam looked over at Dean. He was nodding. "Go ahead. Ask," he challenged, but was just the tiniest bit disconcerted when a bloodthirsty smile crossed the kid's face.
"Okay, first question," the shorty practically crowed. "How much time do you spend together?"
Dean chuckled. "Pretty much twenty-four seven. How about you, short stack?"
Al grabbed Ed before he could punch the older Winchester. "WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT HE DOESN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WENDIGOS BECAUSE THEY PASS HIM OVER IN FAVOR OF MICE!"
"Brother, please calm down!" The suit of armor asked. "Now, promise you won't attack them if I put you down?" Edward grumbled, but nodded and the armor let go. When he next spoke, he actually sounded…pleased. "Well, that's pretty good so far, Ed. Let's ask the next one."
Ed shook himself and glowered at the other two men. He rubbed his right hand and muttered something uncomplimentary. "Okay," he said, looking them straight in the eye with that really, really annoying smirk on his face again. "So what do you do to protect each other?"
Sam almost smiled. "We always look out for each other. We watch each other's back while we're fighting, I try to get him," he nodded towards Dean, "to not bottle everything up, he keeps me from killing myself over being a freak."
"You're not a freak, Sam," Dean groaned out.
The taller boy smiled. "See? We look out for each other." And Sam could have sworn that if the armor could have smiled it would have.
"See brother? They're not so bad," the tin can said. He almost sounded, well, happy.
Reluctantly, the blond stopped smirking. "Okay, they're not as bad. Actually," and now he was grinning, "they sort of sound like you and me."
Okay, Sam was even more confused now. "Wait, are you two brothers?"
"Yeah," Ed said. "I'm Edward Elric, this is my brother Alphonse. I probably should have introduced us earlier."
Al spoke up in a tone that gave the distinct impression that he would have liked to roll his eyes. "Brother, you have terrible manners."
"Yeah, yeah. Now, next question." Dean flinched. Hopefully this didn't lead to another chick flick moment. That last question almost gave him hives. "What sacrifices have you made for each other?"
Sam…blinked, and looked at Dean, in a clear sign that he expected his older brother to answer this one since he'd taken the last one. "I went to Hell for him." He nodded towards Sam.
Ed opened his mouth to deliver some truly biting remark, but Al put a hand on his shoulder. "We met an angel, Brother. He's probably telling the truth." Ed closed his mouth and nodded. That was actually pretty impressive. Then the armor turned towards Sam. "And what about you?"
"Well," The taller brother said, thinking over the question for a minute. "I tried to go to Hell for him, but the demons wouldn't let me, and I pretty much gave up an addiction for him, and a normal life in college, and a lot of friends."
Ed looked at them both and they squirmed a bit under his intense stare. The kid was worse than Cas. Then Dean noticed what he was doing and abruptly stopped. This kid was at least a foot shorter than him; he was not going to let the shrimp make him squirm! And, just to show him who was boss, Dean asked, "How about you? What have you given up?" But the shrimp just rolled his eyes. Rolled his EYES! The nerve! What could he have possibly done that compared to being in-
Oh, Dean thought as he stared at the pure iron arm attached to the kid at the shoulder. Maybe the kid had something of a point. "Al and I made a mistake," the shorty explained. "He almost paid for it with his life, but I gave my arm to bring him back. Now, let's move on."
He put his black jacket and red coat sleeves back on his right arm and Sam looked over at his brother. "So," he asked, even as Dean shook his head that he should just drop it and not antagonize the crazy pint-sized menace and his huge tin man accomplice, "If you two are brothers, who's the older one?" The blond waved lazily, indicating that he was. That almost made Sam laugh. So the shorter brother was the older one, just like with him and Dean. He was starting to like these two, except for the fact that the kid in the armor still creeped him out.
"Okay, next question," he plowed on, hoping to avoid any more questions about him and Al. The angel had said nothing about an interrogation. "How well do you guys work together?"
Dean glared at his brother and Sam made a face. Why did he have to get stuck with this question? But he took the bullet anyway and said, "Well, when we're on the job, we split the workload with research and do what we're each better at, and then, when we go after the thing, we watch each other's backs and get it done."
"Yeah," the older added, "especially when things get tougher. It helps that he usually listens when I tell him to do something." And, oh yeah, there was a huge amount of Sarcasm in there.
Sam just rolled his eyes. "Dean, how many more times do I have to say it? I'm sorry about Ruby and I know that I was stupid."
"Stupid doesn't even begin to cover it. You trusted a demon. You never listen to me, and you always-" He stopped when he felt the kid's Castiel level of intense stare on him. Seriously, did the kid take lessons from the angel or something?
He turned to look at Al again. "And you thought they sounded like us."
The armor put out his giant metal hands, almost imploringly and stated, "Brother, you never listen to me either."
The blond jabbed his finger in the helmet's face, and argued, "Oh yeah? What about that time I let you go out in a snowstorm and covered for you? Or when you and I cracked Marco's code? You had some great ideas then, and I took those and applied them. Or what about the Scar strategy? You helped out with that too!"
Dean had the distinct impression that the armor wanted to roll his eyes, but then he sighed and there was something almost…fond? Well, something like that. "I get it, Brother. And yeah, I agree. They definitely don't work very well together, it sounds like."
"Yeah," Ed said, crossing his arms behind his head and arching his back. "They could probably work on their teamwork when they aren't fighting, since they did say they were pretty good at that, and so did the old guy and the angel. Next question?" He glanced down at the paper, broke out in a grin that scared Sam only just the tiniest bit, and handed the paper over the Alphonse. "This should be interesting." He walked up until he was right in front of dean, clapped and hit the ground. It rose up under his feet until he was at eye level with the older Winchester, staring him right in the face. "What do you think of Sam?" Dean opened his mouth for a wise crack. "And before you give some smart answer, know that your brother's right behind me and you might not get another shot to say this with the Apocalypse right around the corner."
Okay, that made him think. Dean craned his neck a bit and spotted Sam over the kid's shoulder. What did he think of him? "I think he's," he cleared his throat, "got a lot of issues, a lot of anger, and I still have trouble trusting him sometimes, especially after Ruby, but I guess…" He looked away from Sam's face and back at the kid. The gold eyes threw him for a moment, but the intensity in them hadn't changed. "He's the only person in this world I've got left who I really care about, and he's the only person I don't want to let down."
But that apparently wasn't enough for the blond, because he asked, "Why?"
Come on, did he really have to say it? He could feel the urge to paint his toenails already coming from the overabundance of chick flick mushiness. But the kid wouldn't let him go until he answered, so… "Because, once, he was the only one who believed in me." And to his great relief, the kid nodded. Sam looked down, hiding a smile, genuine.
Then, to Sam's utter horror, the kid knelt, clapped, and moved his footstool over and up a few more inches so his gaze was level with Sam's. The golden eyes threw him too, but he didn't get a chance to say anything before Ed asked, "And what do you think about him?" He jabbed a thumb over his shoulder in Dean's general direction. Al almost laughed when he saw Sam lean around Ed to look at his brother, the exact same way Dean had just seconds before.
Sam's hand twitched like he wanted to run it through his hair. The kid definitely wasn't going to let them go until he answered. "How many more questions after this?"
Ed waved the sheet around a little and answered, "This is the last one. Then we'll let the both of you go and hopefully that angel comes to get me and Al and take us back home. So, spill."
I suddenly understand why Dean hates expressing his feelings, Sam confessed. This is really awkward. Wait, This is a perfect opportunity for me to tell him everything that's been stewing recently, and he can't punch me. And Sam let loose. "I think he can't be serious about anything unless he's angry, usually at me, he gives up way too easily,"
Dean rolled his eyes. "If you're talking about the whole Michael thing,"
But Al stepped in and covered his mouth. Ed nodded to him and then turned back to Sam. "Go on," he demanded.
"Sometimes he's overbearing, he doesn't listen, he bottles up his emotions until he burns out, explodes, or I force him to let them out, but he's the one thing I've always counted on, more than Dad, more than anything. And I need him with me to keep me human, even if he does treat me like a freak sometimes." Man, he really hoped that was enough, but the kid didn't think so because he was still staring at him. "And I also think he's loyal, cares a lot about people, sometimes too much, and he's smarter than me, about a lot of things. He keeps a clear head when I don't, and I rely on that a lot. And because of those things, I believe in him, even when he doesn't believe in himself."
And that finally seemed to satisfy him. Edward clapped again, and their bonds went back into the wall, freeing the both of them, as his footstool retreated back into the ally's dead end where Al had walked back to once he'd made it clear that Dean couldn't interrupt. The older brother looked over at his baby brother who knew him far too well, and suddenly, he was looking at the blue eyes he'd been so reminded of every time the blond stared at him. "Based on the…slightly dumbfounded expressions on," he turned around and looked at Sam, "both of your faces, I presume the Elrics were successful."
Ed smirked and added, "One more to add to the list, feather brain." Castiel looked a bit confused by the reference but the kid just rolled his eyes. "So can we go back to Amestris now?" The angel nodded, walked over and touched them both on the forehead. A moment later, the angel was gone too and two very surprised, shaken brothers were just left in the ally, staring at each other.
That was far beyond their usual level of crazy.