Dreams for the Waking

Ed/Al. G. ~200 words. Futurefic.
He’s different from what I remember.

He’s different from what I remember. The way he stands, guarded and wary, expecting only another disappointment in exchange for his hope; the shuttered look in his eyes, the hard set of his lips.

He never aged in my memory. Somehow, no matter how many years went by, the picture in my mind stayed as the laughing, impulsive little boy that landed me into a pit of trouble as often as he dug me right back out of it again.

“Al?” he says.

His voice sounds older than his twenty years, as if he’s lived more than one life’s worth of suffering. I’m still trying to reconcile the man in front of me with the boy of my memory. It makes my stomach lurch to finally realise how much time we’ve missed.

A warm hand brushes my face, butterfly light; he’s afraid I’ll vanish like a dream. I’ve touched him enough in my own dreams to recognise the uncertainly behind it. I see the doubt lift and his eyes clear, and it changes everything about him. Suddenly, his arms are around me, and it feels exactly like I remember.

End

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