Spoilers: For the end of the series.
Warnings: Slightly religious themes
Summary: Ed lights a candle for his brother.
Notes: I tried to write a happy Christmas FMA fic, and this is what came out.
The snow was falling softly on the steps of the small church. The sun was sinking low, deepening the hue of the storm-grey clouds at the edge of the horizon. Edward Elric paused, staring at the doors of the stone building. Even here, the idea of God made him vaguely uncomfortable. Whether it was because of his staunch acieration that he didn’t believe or because of his own sins, even he couldn’t be sure. But here he stood, his collar turned up against the cold and his hands shoved deep into his pockets.
On the sidewalk, carolers were singing and candle flames were flickering in the wind. Ed sighed heavily and climbed the church steps. The doors creaked as he opened them and he was pleased to find the place empty. It was easier, with it empty.
Someone had place a garland around the pews. Ed suppressed a smile at the old tradition of greenery and walked slowly up the aisle to the place where the candles were. He didn’t entirely understand the idea of Christmas, but he understood that it was a time for family and loved ones. People gathered together to feast and celebrate and share in love and togetherness. That was an idea Ed could easily understand.
The small church was warm, and Ed was thankful for that. Even though it was a house of God, it was comfortable and friendly. The wood was worn and well cared for, and there was a sense of lived-in-ness that was rarely found in places of worship.
There were no candles lit. Even on Christmas Eve, the small out of the way church received no visitors. Ed took one of the small candles in hand, turning it over as though it were something precious. It was a simple thing, low grade tallow and an oily wick. But in this place and on this night, it was more. Ed pulled a match from his pocket and lit the small wick. The candle shed a small circle of light and Ed watched it with a sad smile in his eyes.
“I miss you, Al,” Ed whispered, a sigh following the words. “I miss you a lot. I think about you. It’s weird, isn’t it? We’ve never been apart this long before. It doesn’t feel real, a lot of the time. Sometimes I think it’s all a dream, and I’ll wake up from it and you’ll be in your bed and I’ll be in mine and you’ll laugh at me when I tell you about it.“ The smile began to fade, and Ed shook his head. This was supposed to be a happy time.
“I hope you’re alright. You should be, you’re fifteen now. Besides, Winry’s probably loving mothering you. She can be a real pain, can’t she? You’ll have to tell me all about it, when I get home. You better be practicing alchemy, too. I want to see all the stuff you can do now.“ Ed was smiling now as he spoke to the candle flame, remembering his brother. Al was alright. There were more than enough people back home who loved him.
“You’d better be taking care of yourself,“ he went on. “It’s probably good for you, being on your own. I shouldn’t have to always be there for you. Do you remember when you used to be scared to sleep by yourself?” Ed’s voice dropped, and he cupped his hand around the warmth of the candle flame. “You couldn’t even sleep with the light out. Well, I know I can’t be with you right now but here’s some light for you. I hope… I hope it makes wherever you are a little bit brighter.”
Somewhere, far away, Al turned over in his sleep and smiled.