Summary: In the bid to restore Al's body at the end of Brotherhood, Ed pays more than he'd ever intended, becoming a prisoner in his own body. Will contain light RoyEd in later chapters, nothing R-rated.
I had just announced to everyone that I'd be performing my last transmutation. I wasn't entirely wrong. It was the last one that the public would ever see.
"What do you mean alchemy isn't enough?!"
"Silly little alchemist," Truth giggled condescendingly. "Haven't you thought about it, really? Did the idea just come to you on a whim?"
I stared at the white figure in front of me, wiping a bit of blood from my cheek as it tickled.
"All humans souls are brought into existence with their own Gate. It contains all they have seen, learned, and ever will be or do." A chuckle that sent a shiver down my spine. "It is not something that they can just give away. To do so would forfeit one's soul into nonexistence!"
"But I-I need to get Al's body back!" I gasped desperately. "I don't know what else to give!"
"His body, is that all? If memory serves me correctly, his soul is now here as well, safe and sound inside that frail little body of his." Standing, Truth walked forward, stopping near me with a malicious grin. "It seems you'll need to trade for his body and soul. What will you give me in exchange?"
"I-I don't-" My breath caught in my throat as I tried to back up, but hit my personal Gate. I shivered again, flesh hands grasping it uselessly.
"No answers? How sad. Just minutes ago, you seemed to have every answer."
"Then you took it away!" I snapped, finding my fire again. I took a step forward. "Take everything. Make an even trade, let Alphonse return and keep me here."
"After making so many friends and saving the world and becoming a hero, you're ready to give all of that up?"
"You haven't been watching the Elric brothers?" A bitter laugh escaped my throat. "I'd give everything up for him."
Truth stood, watching me with a frown on his face for what seemed like an hour, though in this skewed blankness, was more likely mere moments. "An even trade. Luckily for you, no live creature can remain in this domain for very long." A chuckle escaped Truth again, despite the frown that was still present.
"Though, your payment can remain forever."
Those were the last words I'd ever heard. I never heard Al call my name when we returned, or the cries of the others when they finally found us. They did find us, I'm sure. Of course, without the sight to verify it, I can't be sure.
It's hard to orient yourself when you don't know what's going on around you. It's hard to come to your senses when they're gone.
All of them.
I sit there as I always do, every day, only moving occasionally to stretch stiff muscles or skeletal aches.
That's really all I have, now.
Deep tissue feeling. Organs, I can feel those too. And that most useful one, that feel of gravity on them.
I roll my head to the side, just to feel it and remind myself that I'm still alive. That I'm not just stuck in an endless white abyss, with nobody there to talk to me or wave to me. I'm alone. I'm alive, in my own personal slice of hell, unable to hear, unable to see, unable to feel, or even smell or taste. All five of my senses had been stripped, and I hope to the god that calls himself Truth, that Al made it out fine. That my loss was worth something.
What's-oh, right. I've done this before. I'm shaking.
I can feel the trembling throughout my body. I suppose it must be drastic, if I'm able to feel it so deep. It must have started out just as normal trembling. I can't stop it; it happens every time I start thinking about what happened.
But when you're a prisoner in your own mind, when you're trapped and alone, with nobody to distract you from your thoughts, nobody to tell you that it's going to be alright, nothing to focus your eyes on and nothing-there's just nothing-what else can I do?
I feel my lungs shudder with a heaving, gasping breath. My head is growing warm. My breath catches again, and as all three actions work in tandem-the gasping, the heat and the trembling-I realize that I'm crying.
I can't feel the tears.
I don't know if someone is there to see them.
I can't feel if they're being wiped away.
I don't even know if I can stop them.
All I can do is lift my legs until I feel that they're on the chair with me, wrap my arms around them and feel the pressure in my knees, then bow my head until it stops on its own, making contact with my legs.
As I choke and stutter on sobs.
Not for the senses that I lost.
But for the people I can no longer sense around me.