Sometimes he wasnít sure how he felt. It seemed so obvious to him that he should hate his brother with all his might, that he should despise him for this stubbornness and foolishness. It seemed so obvious that he should hate him for putting him in this position. What kind of life did he have now that he was trapped inside this gigantic armor of steel? What kind of life could he lead? He felt so clumsy most of the time that he was afraid to touch the simplest of things, afraid to crush them and kill them. He couldnít feel anything anymore.
This lack of feeling, of nerves touching and sending electric pulses to the brain often times fueled his hatred towards his brother. He may be a giant suit of armor, but he was still a human soul with all its imperfections. He could still hate, and love, and forgive and hold a grudge, and feel sad, and be happy. He could still feel these emotions, but he had no way of expressing them except through his voice, the only thing that seemed to have tagged along with him from his destroyed body.
He missed the sun. He missed being able to feel the sun and be hot and sweat as he walked on and on under the heat. He missed being able to feel the wind as it caressed his face and played with his hair. He missed feeling his brotherís taps as he congratulated him, or someone elseís skin on his. He especially missed eating. He missed tasting all the different kinds of food there were and sensing as they made their way down his esophagus and settled into his stomach.
All these things he missed doing, he missed them because his brother had insisted on bringing their mother back from the dead. He had voiced some objections at first, but then he had tagged along, convinced that his brother knew what he was doing and would never endanger their lives. He had believed in his brotherís ability and he had had faith that his theory would work. Even so, right before the transmutation, he had questioned; he had argued. He had remembered his fatherís words of warning and the old ladyís words, and he had begun to doubt his brother.
For all he knew, he had every right to hate his brother. He had been wrong and it had cost them so much for a failed experiment. It had cost him so much for a thing that didnít look human. They had desecrated their mother and proven to be too childish to understand the ways of the world. Yet for a few moments, he hadnít felt that this was his fault. After all, he was only human, and as a human, he didnít want to assume responsibility. How could he have argued against reasoning such as his brother's? How could he have hoped to convince his brother that they should have given up? So he had tagged along in order to keep his brother company. For this reason, he became like this. It was because of his brother, and he should hate him.
He should, but he didnít. He never had, and he probably never would. He knew that even though he may be trapped inside a giant suit of armor which impeded him from feeling anything, from being human, he also knew that could be dead, that should be dead. How could he hate his brother when he had given up so much to keep him alive? An entire arm, from torso to fingertips, gone by his own free will, taken by his own transmutation in order to save a little brother he didnít even know would still love him. How could he hate someone so selfless?
It was out of the question. It was impossible. And how could he come to hate him when everything he did, everything he endured, was to find a way to get his body back? How could he hate his brother for being human? How could he hate his brother for trying to do what he himself would have done if he was as smart and as ingenious as him? He had wanted their mother back as much as he. He had wanted to see her smile one more time, and hear her laugh, and watch her eyes sparkle as they showed her yet another object created from alchemy. He had wanted to hear her praise them one last time. Would he still want to do it if he knew this was going to be their punishment?
Probably not, but a part of him also knew that in order for them to grow and come to understand the world, this accident, this tragedy, this horror had been necessary. It was this part of his soul he hated the most. It was the part of him which was accepting of his fate and argued with him that he didnít deserve to be given a second body, that he had paid the price for defying the rules an believing himself to be more powerful than those who had tried, and failed.
Sometimes, late at night, he would look at himself and for a few seconds he would feel a deep hatred for his brother. He would feel his soul shake and tremble within the armor and he would clench his hands and close his eyes, trying to calm himself, trying to tell himself it hadnít been entirely his fault, that he was to blame as well. These mantras never worked, and it was always his brotherís thrashing body on the bed next to his, as he screamed his name and their motherís name out in the throws of another nightmare that would snap him out of his disgust and watch as the older boy sobbed and begged for forgiveness.
How could he burden his brother with more guilt than he was imposing upon himself? He knew better than anyone else how deeply his brother harbored grudges, and he was certain there was no one else his brother would hold a grudge as deeply as the one he held against himself. He knew that everything he did, everything he went through, everything he thought of, was punishment towards himself and a continuation towards the promise he had made him. A promise he knew his brother intended to keep even if it cost him his life.
So he played his part. He pushed aside the hatred and the frustration and the sadness and devoted himself to taking care of his brother. He made sure his brother ate, and bathed and slept as decently as possible. He made sure the guilt he felt never got too much and that he knew that, even though he should hate him, even though he had every reason in the world to hate him, he didnít, and he couldnít, and he probably never would.