Oh Christmas Tree
Fullmetal Alchemist Fanfic
Characters: Edward, Alphonse
Setting: The last Christmas before
Trisha dies. Ed is 10, Al is 9.
Disclaimer: So not mine
Notes: Written as a 2005
Christmas/Yule request for Sefilin.
was a Christmas tradition that the Elric brothers were in charge of
decorating the Christmas tree. Every year without fail Edward and
Alphonse would make sure the tree was secure, and then cover it in
brightly coloured paper garlands they had made themselves. Next, they
would hang the various decorations - the stylised snowflakes carved
from scented wood, the brightly coloured balls, some glimmering with
glitter, others with cheerful designs. Once these had been sorted out
to the brothers' satisfaction, they would carefully begin to hang their
mothers' treasure - twelve beautiful glass angels, each one unique and
perfectly detailed - which had been given to her by their father.
Then finally, it was time to put
the star on top.
"It's no good, brother," Al said.
"The tree's too tall for us."
fumed, but for once refrained from bursting into a loud, murderous
tantrum. Christmas was a time for miracles, indeed. But he couldn't
deny the truth - neither he nor Alphonse were tall enough to get the
star affixed to the top of the Christmas tree.
it seemed like there was more space on it this year," he growled,
squinting up at the tree accusingly. "I bet that guy at the woodcutters
thought it would be funny."
Al wisely said nothing. He
also said nothing about getting the stepladder - which had been
confiscated several days earlier after an incident involving a certain
nosy golden-eyed sibling, and the Christmas presents their mother had
hidden on top of the wardrobe in her room. "Maybe if we stood on a
"We'd probably break it," Ed
pointed out. The two boys
were still young, but they were both very energetic and the chairs
around the house were not really intended to be stood on by both of
them at once.
"We could always fix it afterwards
Al suggested. "Or... or... just one of us could put the star on. You
could do it this year, and I could do it next time. I don't mind, it
would be..." He trailed off slowly at the expression on Ed's face. "It
was just a suggestion."
"This is a thing that we do
together," Ed said quietly. "Both of us, together, always."
There was no arguing with that tone
of voice, Al knew. And he didn't really want to, anyway. "So what
should we do then?"
Ed snorted and rubbed his hands
together, serious mood disappearing instantly. "That should be obvious,
Trisha Elric's steps toward the
living room door quickened at the sound of a loud thump. Pausing
outside, she listened intently.
"Ow, I don't think this is going to
"Don't be ridiculous, it'll work
fine. After all, are we or are we not the invincible Elric brothers?"
"Well, I don't know about invincible, but..."
"Yes, brother. The invincible Elric
brothers, that's us."
"Good. Now, let's try it again and
this time, HOLD STILL!"
Trisha opened the door a crack and peeked through it. She was
traditionally forbidden from seeing the Christmas tree until it was
completely finished, but concern for her sons allowed her to break that
particular taboo. Her eyes widened as she watched Alphonse clamber onto
his brother's shoulders, the Christmas star clutched firmly in one
"Are you ready, brother?" Al asked
nervously. It was at
this stage of the previous attempt that Ed had collapsed beneath his
weight and the two of them had fallen painfully to the ground.
just grunted, spreading his legs further apart for balance, and Al
sighed and began the next stage of their plan. Slowly and carefully,
the younger boy got on to his knees, and slowly pushed up until he was
crouching on his brother. "How's that?"
"Fine," Ed huffed out. "Hurry up!"
convinced his fingers to untangle themselves from his brother's hair
and slowly straightened to his full height. Ed was right, he suddenly
realised. Like this, they could easily reach the top of the tree. There
was just one small flaw.
"Brother, we're too far from the
tree," he wobbled slightly. "I'll jump down and then we can..."
"You... STAY!!!" Ed's voice was
Al felt a tremor, and then Ed took
a step forward.
"BROTHER!" Al crouched down again
and grabbed Ed's head. "Stop, you'll..."
"Shut. Up." Ed gritted. One more
step. One more lousy step, that's all he needed.
Al swayed as they moved again,
"Don't drop me!"
Ed's fingers were clamped as tight
as a vice around Al's legs. "Don't... worry," he gasped out. "I
won't... let go..."
"I'd never, ever... let you go...
panting was getting louder, and sweat was pouring down what Al could
see of his face. He could feel the shudders of exertion trembling
through his brother. If his brother could do this, then surely he could
do his part too.
Trisha watched, lips trembling, as
straightened up again, leant carefully forward, and swiftly wrapped the
star's wire around the top of the tree.
almost collapsed as his brother quickly slid down his body to stand
beside him. Al put his arms around his brother, supporting him in the
wake of their efforts. "We did it! We did it, brother!" He was
practically bouncing with glee.
"Yeah, we did," Ed grinned, closing
his eyes and leaning against Al. "We did it."
"Alphonse and Edward, the
invincible Elric brothers!"
"Yeah, Alphonse and... HEY!!! Why
is YOUR name first?? I'm oldest!"
"But brother, alphabetically I'm
"Alphabetical NOTHING!!! It's
Edward and Alphonse, got it? Edward and Alphonse..."
used the noise created by the two boys bickering to cover the sound of
the door closing and slumped to the floor, tears pouring down her face.
It was alright, they were both going to be alright. No matter how this
illness of hers developed, she knew now that she didn't have to worry
about her boys anymore.
"Oh honey," she whispered a prayer
to a long-absent husband. "If you could only see them now."
"The invincible Elric brothers.
They're going to be unstoppable."
Some years later:
the hell's going on? I could hear you guys all the way from the city
gates!" Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, stomped into the mess
hall of the East City military HQ and looked around. "What the...?"
"Yo, Ed!" Havoc waved at them from
beneath a pile of bodies. "Al too! Long time."
Christmas tree," Ed squinted at the glittering, badly decorated
monstrosity taking up a large section of the back wall. "Where'd you
steal it from?"
"Up near Lake... ah, that is..."
as Hawkeye gave him a look and tried to look innocent. "We
requisitioned it through stores."
"Why are you all on the floor?"
Alphonse asked, helpfully trying to distract attention.
had the idea that a human pyramid could get a man up high enough to put
the star on the top," Hawkeye said wryly, standing up and shooting a
significant look at the man sitting nearby watching the entire mess
with a superior air.
"It was merely a suggestion,"
Mustang said mildly.
rolled his eyes. "Funny, you'd think that any half-decent alchemist
would be able to, oh I don't know, MAKE A LADDER for his comrades to
use under the circumstances."
Mustang smirked at him. "Well in
that case I suppose I'd have to bow to your no-doubt superior expertise
at creating such an item."
"WHO THE HELL IS SO SHORT HE HAS TO
MAKE LADDERS JUST SO PEOPLE DON'T STEP ON HIM??!!!"
"Brother," Alphonse put a hand on
Ed's shoulder and shook it. "Brother, we could do it."
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING... what?" Ed
looked at Al irritatedly. "What are you talking about?"
"We could do it," Al repeated
insistently. "We don't need a ladder. Remember?"
Ed stared at him blankly for a few
moments and then looked alarmed. "Uh, I don't think I could lift you, I
sighed. "Don't be silly. We'd swap. Like we talked about - we'll take
turns supporting each other. It doesn't matter, as long as we do it
"I don't know..." Ed fidgeted.
"Geez, Al. It's not OUR tree."
"But brother... it's the star."
There was a long pause, and then Ed
relented. "Oh alright then. Give me the stupid thing."
surrendered the star and the other soldiers moved out of the way as the
two brothers approached the tree. Alphonse was incapable of smiling,
but he certainly seemed to be emitting a strong feeling of
delight as he moved to stand by it and clasped his hands for his
brother to stand on. "Up you go."
Ed clambered easily up the
armour and stood on his brother's shoulders as Al straightened. "Don't
drop me," he said almost absently as he leaned forward, ornament in
Al's fingers tightened briefly
around his ankles, and the light in his eyesockets flared once,
"Don't worry," the tinny voice said
quietly. "I won't let go."
"I'd never, ever let you go,
Really the end