Ed: I was a little worried about my chemistry teacher. Mr. Hughes was normally a boisterous, smiling man who was always excited and prepared to teach, even when he was sick. Today, Mr. Hughes looked like hell. His eyes were red –like he'd been crying– and he was completely scatter-brained and unprepared. He gave us the entire period free, murmuring that we would catch up tomorrow. I was curious and more than a little worried about what had upset him so badly that he couldn't teach. Honestly, I had believed that the apocalypse could come and that man would still be excited about teaching high school chemistry. I couldn't imagine what had been so catastrophic that it had done this to him. He was literally silently staring at a wall, and it was worrisome. Chewing on the inside of my cheek, I wondered if I could do anything to snap him out of his funk. My eyes lighted on the picture frame he was clutching in his hand. Even from this angle, I knew it was a photo of his family, though I'd never seen it. I recalled him talking about the picture a bit, once, a while ago. He said that everyone that was precious to him was in that picture: his wife, his daughter, and his best friend. Smiling, I remembered meeting his daughter. Elysia and I had ended up sharing a seat on the bus one morning. She was a cheerful, sweet kid who could be a bit shy at times, but mostly, she'd talked my ear off. When she proudly told me her daddy taught chemistry, I had known immediately whose child she was. Maybe a drawing of her could help cheer him up some? I wondered. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. Either way, it was something to do –something more productive than sleeping on my desk. Quickly, I plucked my sketchbook out of the pile of books I carried to each class and dug out a mechanical pencil and an additional eraser. It was a bit harder than it sounded. Tenderly, I transcribed the lines of her face to the paper. I added shadows, but ended up removing a good portion of them. The happy gleam in her eye was simple to add, but it had to draw her wide smile several times before I was satisfied. But when I finished five minutes before the bell rang, I was very proud of the likeness I had produced. When the bell rang, all of my classmates hurried out to their lockers and to their next class. I lingered around my seat, then walked to the front when the room was all but empty. "Mr. Hughes?" I asked hesitantly. He turned to face me and I was struck by the sadness lingering in his eyes. "Yes, Edward?" "Cheer up, okay? Class today was… weird," I told him, handing him the drawing and hurrying out of the room before he could remark on anything I'd said.
Roy: Maes walked into my room slowly, as though preoccupied and yet still needing to talk to me. I looked up at him, a little startled to see him so soon. He had not taken our last encounter well. Yet, perhaps it was a testament to the fact we were still best friends. Anything that troubled him or interested him could and would be brought to me on any occasion. Maybe this was a sign that we would eventually be able to get back to a normal rhythm. Trust Maes to take that first step without even thinking about it, I mused. "What is it, Maes?" I asked, careful that my tone and inflection didn't make him feel like a nuisance. "Did you know that Edward Elric could draw?" he asked me, handing me a piece of sketchbook paper that just had to be what had him so preoccupied. I took it gently and gazed at the image. It was a beautiful, evocative drawing of my goddaughter. It didn't feel so much like a drawing as a snapshot of her joy. "No. No, I had no clue. I also wasn't aware that he knew Elysia," I remarked, my eyes still drawn to the image. Her big smile, her innocent eyes… the features that were definitely her stared back at me from the page and seemed to drill a hole in my heart. What other talents and things might this boy be hiding? Hasn't he ever heard that a talent hidden is a talent wasted? I wondered.
Ed: Kain-sensei had a severe tendency toward formality. I supposed it could be expected, seeing as the Japanese language had so much formality built into it. Ironically, formality touched every inch of him except for his name. Kain-sensei disliked his surname, he had explained to us on the first day of class, so he chose to use his first name –with 'sensei' tacked on as his honorific, of course– with his students. I wasn't sure if he really disliked it all that much, but I knew his last name would be difficult for the beginning Japanese speaker to pronounce. He would have changed it for that reason: he was such a softie for his students. Kain-sensei could be a bit naïve at times, but he was still a very wonderful teacher. He made learning Japanese incredibly fun and interactive. He liked to use activities, songs, and rhythms to help us remember things like grammar, structure, honorifics, and groups of words. He also liked to teach us traditional Japanese songs to add to our cultural experience. Luckily for us, Kain-sensei had a lovely baritone singing voice. Today, we were covering an additional set of words for family members. He led us through a new song with a rhythm that allowed him to fit in all of our new words with their English equivalents. Honestly, he had to be running out of tunes and rhythms for these things, but I had a feeling he still had more. Where he got them all would remain a mystery. Our learning activity over for the day, he turned us loose to converse among ourselves in Japanese –to help us practice using the words in conversations, he insisted. Winry, who sat beside me, touched my hand. "Any prospects?" she asked, careful to keep her voice low enough that Kain-sensei wouldn't hear her speaking English when she wasn't supposed to be. I shook my head. "No one really interests me right now." I was lying through my teeth, but honestly, it was better than convincing myself I had a chance with my English teacher. This was my life, not a manga! She nodded slowly. I could tell she didn't quite buy it, but it really didn't matter. After that, we sat there in stiff silence until the bell rang again, dismissing us to our daily homeroom period.