Summary: What if Ed never had been visited by Mustang? What if Ed had been left to grow up with Al? They never would have learned alchemy. They never would have gotten their heads straight. They never would have entered the military. Would they ever have started their journey?

Notes: Slightly AU. Al's got his body. Equivalent exchange.

Author: StrangeFascination

Disclaimer: No, I do not own FMA. Why, yes, I do like FMA. Why no, I can't make FMA real and live in it for the rest of my life. Why yes, you may read the story and ignore my tears of despicable fangirlism.

The wind tore at Al's face as his line of vision was literally torn away. "Ni-san! Ni-san!" Al panicked. Ed had been right there, bleeding, screaming; his left was leg gone! Now he was gone! Ni-san. It hurts, ni-san. Where are you? NI-SAAAAAN!

Wind howled in Al's ears. The taboo had been broken. The bookcase tumbled, the door was torn off its hinges, Hoenheim's armor clattered on the floor and still, the wind shielded Al's hearing. There was no room for despair. He shivered. We were wrong! Come back to me! Ed!

In the midst of the powerful transmutation, Al lost all innocence, all sensation, and all expectation.

The wind rushed to a stop. Jerking forward, Al felt his body's disappearing particles halt and collapse back into place.

He fell to the floor in a huff. It was silent. He felt his head. He blinked his eyes and flexed his feet.

What just happened? What's happened to Ed? Where'd he go?

The violent reaction calmed. In its wake, Al cried in his father's study…his missing father. His mother died missing his father. And his brother was missing for his dead mother.

No words came to Al as he sank to the floor. The floor was wet. Too shocked to feel drained, Al looked up.

He screamed. He screamed and screamed until his throat tore and the Rockbells came rushing in.

Then Ed came back.