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by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: FMA and Kingdom Hearts are not mine.

AN: Requested by torsui.

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He's lost track of how long he's been fighting, crouched protectively over his brother's unmoving body, slicing through grabbing hands and gibbering voices, so it's not surprising that he finally stumbles and falls, steel bending and snapping under the strain. It's all he can do to throw himself over Alphonse and just hold on, and when the first little hands latch onto his leg, he closes his eyes and exhales an apology against his brother's ear. At least they'll be able to die together.

The hold on his legs suddenly slackens, and he slits an eye open and is promptly blinded by a flare of dark energy and the resounding clang of doors being slammed forcefully shut.

When Edward manages to drag himself into a sitting position, Alphonse carefully cradled in his arms, there's a boy there, a strange weapon in his hand, staring up at the Gate thoughtfully. "I've never seen a door like this," he says, almost to himself, almost not, and Ed staggers to his feet and doesn't quite warn him away.

"It's a gate," he says instead, shifting Alphonse's weight, and the boy glances back at him. He's only a little startled by the blindfold, more by the coat, and much more by the silver icefall of his hair. "Doors go between civilized places."

The boy chuckles softly. "Not always," he says, and turns to face him fully. "You smell like it. Is it yours?"

Edward sucks in a breath. "No. And I - and we don't belong to it either."

The boy shifts his weight then, just slightly, and Edward tenses reflexively, drawing Alphonse closer, but the boy just shakes his head and takes a few steps closer, free hand raising peacefully. "Easy. I didn't save you just to attack you myself, that would be pretty stupid."

Edward bares his teeth in something that isn't a smile. "I've met some pretty stupid people before."

"Heh." The boy slings his weapon up to rest comfortably on his shoulder, falling into a half-slouch, and Edward exhales through his teeth and lets himself relax a little. "Your friend," the boy says softly, "he lost his heart?"

"...his soul," Edward admits softly, hugging Alphonse just a little bit closer. His heart is beating, slow and strong, and his lungs are breathing. In a way, it's a miracle, but there's still a long way to go, and he's so very very tired. "It's my fault. I'm going to fix it."

The boy gives him a rueful grin. Edward recognizes it from a thousand tired glances into the mirror, and finds he doesn't resent it. "You and me both," the boy says quietly. "You need a lift to wherever you're going? I can't hold this shut forever, there's no keyhole for me to lock, but at least I can give you a way out that isn't... that."

He has no idea what he's talking about, and strangers aren't meant to be trusted, but... "Sure," he says, and doesn't blink as the boy steps forward and darkness blossoms at his fingertips. "Ever heard of Amestris?"

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