"Any changes today?"

"What do you think?" Al sighed, rubbing at his tired eyes. "I'm sorry, Winry. I didn't mean to snap at you."

"You're recovering too, Al." Winry sat next to him on the bed, placing an arm around his shoulder.

"Too?" Al turned his gaze to her, trying to figure out what she meant. "What do you mean, too?"

"Well, Ed's-"

"He's not recovering, Winry. That's-that's not something that you-" he steadied himself, taking even, deep breaths. Darn this body that still couldn't handle much stress. "He lost all of his senses. How do you recover from that? All he can do is sit there and cry all day. What kind of life is that?"

Winry turned slightly, wrapping her other arm around him as she nestled her head into the crook of his neck. "I don't know, Al," she sighed, voice muffled. "I only wish there was more we could do for him."

"He can't even make full use of the recliner we-" he was interrupted by a knock on the door, Winry's head leaving the sanctity of her friend's embrace.

"I'll-I'll get it."

I have no idea how long it's been that I've been like this. I can't keep track of time. I just sleep when I grow tired. I imagine my circadian rhythm is way off, but I can't be sure.

I feel my body warm up and cool down. Whether it's the weather outside or if someone is putting a blanket on me, I don't know.

Some depressing voice in my head tells me it's only been a week.

It feels like an eternity.

I don't know how much longer I can take this with my sanity intact.

I bow my head forward again, to feel gravity change its directional pull, and leave out a most-likely exaggerated sigh.

Boredom doesn't even begin to cover it.

It's meditation on steroids. Quiet room, peaceful environment; regress into yourself and just focus on your breathing.

Ironically, that's one thing that I still have control over.

Clear your mind of all thoughts and just be. In doing this, you learn to focus your thoughts and reach serenity.

But I can't wake up. I can't open my eyes and go back to being Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist, Hero of the People, Roy Mustang's subordinate and one of the saviors of Amestris.

I'm stuck trying to blindly reach for nirvana.

Never to reach it, because I tried to.

I feel the shuddering gasp again, and I hit my head with my hand as I try to grasp my hair, though I don't feel it either in my fingers or my scalp.

Everything is so dead, so wrong.

I repeat with my other hand as I try to steady my breathing and stave off the tears again. I suddenly feel the gravity shift in my arms, not of my own accord, and receive the only message that tells me I'm not alone.

Whoever has been caring for me since the transmutation, I thank you. I try to say it, though I'm not sure if it made its way to you. I feel a low hum in my throat that usually means speech, but I'm deaf to whatever comes out and I just hope it's right, that I don't offend you and chase you away. You're all I have.

You pull my arms away from my head. Did you think I was trying to hurt myself? It probably looked that way, now that I think about it.

Or is it time for my bath? I can usually pick those out. My body temperature drops and then warms again as you wash me, and I can feel as you move my limbs and my head. How humiliating. I'm just a useless rag doll.

No no, don't cry Edward. That's what you're trying to avoid. Although I'm not entirely sure what the point is of stopping the tears. It's one of the few things that I can still do and know what is going on.

I manage to steady my breaths, though I don't feel any more movement. I'm alone again.

It surprises me, really, how quickly I retreat to the endless expanse of white that is my world. To retreat to my thoughts and memories and dreams until I feel something, or imagine that I feel something, and return to my ghost of a reality for a glimpse of hope.

I hang onto every little thing… but it's not enough.

Sometimes, I find a way to get more.

I stand up slowly, stretching stiffness from my knees and back. I make a big show of stretching my whole body, nearly losing balance from absence of sight, and feel a yank on my left arm. Riiight. My lifeline.

My food.

I feel someone pushing me back into the seat and I sigh, leaning my head back against what I assume is a comfortable rest. I allow my thoughts to drift away from the IV that's keeping me alive, and wonder how Alphonse is doing. My breath catches in my throat as I realize, as I have so many times in this short but endless week; I'll never see or hear him again.

"Alphonse," I gasp, unable to hear my own words. I'm met with silence and no feeling, and I don't know if he's ever made it home or if he's just not in the room. "Is someone there?" I try to put more effort into the words with my lungs, but the lack of any response, any nudge or change in orientation leaves me feeling more alone than ever.

"I'm sorry," I cry quietly, sure that my words are as deaf to those around me as they are to my own useless ears. "I'm so sorry Alphonse…"