Jul 13 2005, 01:51 PM
Warning: Watch dates in this chapter! Edward's scene takes place pretty much a year before Winry's and Al's a few months after Winry's. Also, be warned, this takes place after the end of the anime series.
Don't own FMA.
Amestris, Late Summer 1923
The rain was supposed to wash the blood away.
It would wash it away and make the world better. The tears would fall, but the rain would clear that away also.
It would, it would.
But what if the bleeding never stopped? The tears were so harsh that no rain could stop the new ones about to form. The thick droplets became a nuisance, they weren’t there to help.
Winry took shallow breaths; the pain was almost over baring. She was losing too much blood and the bleeding just wouldn’t stop.
It had been an accident. That is all that it had been, but the mere accident was having a devastating conclusion.
A cry tour its way from her throat. She tried to sit up but her vision was too blurry and her consciousness wasn’t yet stable. She was fairly certain that right after the accident had occurred she had passed out, that was why she had lost so much blood and had not attended to her wounds.
She took a deep shuttering breath, willing her eyes to look down. She had to see the damage, see if it could be fixed.
Her eyes widened at the sight before her.
A shrill scream tore through the midnight air.
Germany, Early Spring 1922
Edward’s eyes snapped open.
His pen suddenly fell towards the floor with a loud clatter. Shit, he had fallen asleep at some point.
Edward sat up, forcing himself to wake more. He looked out the window, it was still night time. He sighed as he pushed his chair against the wooden floor, the chair loudly scrapped in protest.
He stretched his arms trying to get more feeling into them. Once he felt his body was suitable to begin to walk, he made his way to the window. He pushed aside the drapes and lifted the wooden frame. The night air had a stale feel to it compared to his homelands, but who was he to complain? Stars broke through the thick clouds.
“It will probably rain later.” He muttered to himself. A guest of wind toyed with his bangs causing them to flare around in his face. He paid no heed though. The wind was a comfort; it always reminded him he was still alive.
Even though Edward was more awake, he knew he needed to go back to sleep. This time though he planned to sleep in his own bed. No more desk. His bed was going to be his final destination. Besides, he had a long day ahead. He needed sleep and energy.
Edward began to undress himself. He un-tucked his shirt and began to unbutton it. The white fabric fell to the floor in a careless heap.
The creak of the door suddenly grabbed his attention. He turned his head sharply around.
“Don’t you ever knock?”
Hohenheim stood in the doorway. “I apologize. I was worried you were asleep again with the candle burning. I hadn’t heard anything from you in awhile.”
Edward grumbled. There was no use in arguing. He turned his back towards the man, waiting silently for him to leave.
But the door never shut. After a few moments of a silence and Edward beginning to feel rather uncomfortable, he finally turned around to look at his father. “What?”
His father’s mouth was partially opened; his knuckles were turning white against the door frame. That caused Edward to feel slightly worried. “What is it?”
“Edward, what is that on your back?”
Edward lifted an eyebrow, not sure what in the world his father was talking about. “Are you talking about my mole?” His mole was rather small; he saw no reason for his father to fret.
His father shook his head. He pushed the door open the rest of the way. His face had become rather pale, his eyes looked slightly shocked.
Edward didn’t like the look his father carried as he walked towards him.
Edward’s father wrapped his hands around Edward’s shoulders. He guided his son to the full body mirror in the room, turning him so his back faced the mirror. His finger lopped into the back of Edward’s pants and pulled down. Edward gave a startled cry of protest. No way did he want his father to undress him! But his father shushed him and forced him to look behind him.
In the mid of Edward’s back, right at the waste line where there was a dip in the skin was a red marking. It was more like a tattoo.
A tattoo he was rather familiar with actually. It was a tattoo he had seen before in the past life he had once lived. A life that seemed so long ago.
Edward suddenly felt shaky; his hand ran along the soft skin.
…he had never noticed before.
“It can’t be.” He breathed.
No, no, no. He began to shake his head roughly. His eyes opened wide as his breath came in short gasps. His mind was like a machine. In an instant he placed together the past events that would lead to a conclusion such this; in an instant he was able to make sense of things. It wasn’t that hard, not that illogical. But… how could this be?
His knees finally gave out, he fell to the floor. A hoarse scream escaped his mouth.
No, no. IT CAN’T BE!
Amestris, Fall 1923
Al looked down at the alchemy array. Why he was doing this, he did not know. Call it a compulsion or a simple gut feeling.
He stood to the side of the array. The only light in the room was provided by a dim candle. Dust covered the floor, the ceiling, hell… almost everywhere. But he had a purpose, a reason to be there. His faith and instincts would be his guide.
It was time. No more waiting.
The alchemy array was etched deeply into the ground. Al poured water into the deep cuts. The water spread and filled the array.
The knife did not really hurt that much as it pierced his skin. Don’t think Al came to kill himself. No, he needed the blood for something else, something much more important. With all of his studies he had realized one thing… Edward and he were blood bound.
How did Al come to this conclusion? From what Al remembered when Edward and himself tried to bring back their mother they had cut their fingers as a sacrifice for their mothers soul and in the process their blood had mixed. When they did the alchemy reaction and Al lost his body their blood had mingled and become one.
From what Master Izumi had told him, when Ed brought Al back, Al’s soul was sealed into the suit of armor by the use of Edwards blood. Ed used his blood to bring Al back from the gate. So why…why couldn’t Al do the same thing?
His blood dripped into the watery alchemy array. The water would help the blood expand, that way Al didn’t have to give so much. After awhile of having a stream of blood leaving his flesh and dripping to the ground, the water turned a fare shade of pink.
It would be enough Al finally decided. It would have to be.
“I can do this. I have too.”
Al closed his eyes tightly, begging for some God or whatnot to help him. During all these years he had become quite the alchemist, but sometimes being a good alchemist just wasn’t enough.
His hands balled into fists. Blood splattered to the cement floor, but Al did not care. He would fix his wrist once he was done doing what needed to be done. He took a deep breath and allowed it to leave slowly. His voice echoed throughout the room. “It’s time.”
To Al, this would be the final conclusion in a chapter which needed to be closed.
His hands thrust their way towards the ground and the world suddenly turned a ravishing blue.
Jul 15 2005, 12:11 PM
Saturn Stars: The chap isnt to the point for you to read yet, but it's getting there. Once its ready I'll send it to you!
Infinitesimi- Lol, yea the first chap was sort of meant to leave the readers like 'wtf?' and the time is supposed to be out of order. Gotta mess around with peoples heads XD! And the fic you're talking about...do you mean Held? Yes, Held is still being written. I have been taking a break from it and working on a joint fic with saturn stars and a few others ficlets. Held will be back in business on July 26 (?) when my beta gets back from Japan. The next chapter is like over half way done.
Thanks to everyone who has reviewed to this. Since people seem to like it I decided the fic will be continued!
Jul 24 2005, 09:13 PM
Don't own FMA.
The morning after: Germany, Early Spring 1922
It is a man made human which lacks a soul.
But, what if the alchemist that created it had the previous shell of the original body and simply reconnected the life back? Did that still make it a homunculus? You must die and be fully recreated to become a homunculus. Edward had died and Al had recreated him to some extent. Al had reconnected the very life which Edward had lost at the hands of their half brother, Envy.
So why did Edward not feel like he lacked his very soul? Why did he still feel human? Where were the extra powers he was supposed to obtain as a homunculus? Or was it just because he was now on the other side of the gate that made him feel no different?
Or could it be that he was something else…
It was the early hours of the morning. The sun was ready to pear out from the horizon and brighten the world with the start of a new day, but far in the depths of Germany sat a father and son who had neither slept and did not encourage this new day to start.
Cups of tea sat in front of both gentlemen, but neither paid attention to their drinks.
Edward’s words held a sour note. “The stone, it was supposed to be perfect. Maybe it was perfect. “
Hohenheim watched his son carefully. Edward’s head was bowed, his hands interlaced and gripping each other tightly. “Edward, it defeated equivalent trade. But, you forget there are still the laws and rules of alchemy. No, not alchemy, nature. Al brought you back; he gave you life once more. But in doing so he still created a homunculus.”
Edward looked up at his father. His eyes had a hallow stare to them. In the depths of Edward’s eyes Hohenheim could see Edward’s world breaking. His son wasn’t taking to this new discovery well. He didn’t think anything could really save Edward from the new reality he was suddenly being pushed into.
“Son, if you died like you said, then there was no way to avoid this path. Alphonse gave you life; once you die you can not return and be identical to your former self. The stone might be perfect, but sometimes your definition of perfect is not the same.”
“But Lust claimed Dante promised her life! To be a human again…”
Hohenheim nodded at this. “It is possible to use the stone to give a homunculus a mortal life, but that is what the stone must be specifically used for. You can’t bring someone who died back without them being created as a homunculus. You would have to use the stone a second time so they could become human. The other option is to simply switch to a body where the host has not yet died. But considering the stone is now gone…”
Edward wanted to scream. He was so frustrated! He couldn’t win, he just couldn’t.
So that was Edward’s destiny now. He was to remain a homunculus. There was no way in hell he ever planned to try to recreate the Philosopher Stone again. And then there was the other fact that he was stuck in a totally different world which lacked the ‘magic of alchemy’ like his own world had. Even if he wanted to create the Philosopher Stone, he most likely couldn’t. So now what? Did he live forever in the gloomy damp world of a hell known as Germany?
Edward shut his eyes tight.
Why did life hate him so much? He admittedly made a mistake as a child, was he ever to be forgiven?! He had now become a monster. He once hunted homunculus, now he was part of their little club. But he felt so normal…
Edward mumbled to himself. “I killed them… did they feel normal like me?” Had the other homunculus felt the way he did? He had killed the homunculus so willingly convinced that they were soulless creatures.
Hohenheim sighed before he finally took a sip of his tea. “Edward, the others are not like you. They had all died and were recreated from scrap. Dante had controlled them by the use of Red Water; the Red Water filled the homunculus with souls of the dead. It was what allowed the homunculus to live. Since the Red Water was tainted, Dante could easily control them.”
Edward found what Hohenheim said rather educating. It all made sense, but Edward had never thought of the Red Water‘s purpose in that type of context.
“But what about Wrath? He was placed back into his original body just like me.”
“Before Wrath had been feed the Red Water by Dante, did you not say that you had met the boy?”
Edward had told Hohenheim some of his adventures with the homunculus. It actually wasn’t by choice that he had told him. Hohenheim had sounded so desperate when he had asked Edward what he knew about Dante, Edward felt almost guilty to hold any information from his father. So, Hohenheim had known that Wrath was his ex-Masters child.
Edward’s fingers rolled into fists. “Yes, I had met him.”
“Did he act like a soulless shell?”
Edward bit his lip. Wrath was wacko during Edward’s first meeting with him. But, Edward had to remind himself, Wrath had been raised by the gate. That would make anyone a little coo-coo.
“I think he acted as human as he could be.”
“You two are not like the others.” Hohenheim’s eyes shined slightly. “You two are the same.”
Edward rolled those words around his mouth a few times. The same… they were the same…
…what did that mean?
It meant he was still a monster no matter how he looked at it.
Edwards head fell to the table while he used his arms to hide behind. His voice was a whisper. “I just-I can’t live like this…”
Present time: Amestris, Fall 1923
Alphonse smiled warmly as he stared out the window. The world glowed various colors from the evening sky. Pinks, oranges, purples… they swirled together high above with a mystic feel. The trees that sat near the horizon held a dull brown and a crisp golden color. The trees just added more beauty to the scenery.
The fall air was nippy so Al had been able to convince Granny to allow him to use the fireplace. The sounds of the wood furiously burning resounded into the room. Alphonse turned and eyed his fire. He quickly decided that he needed more wood.
His feet shuffled against the carpet as he headed towards the small pile of timber which he had collected earlier. Grabbing two fair sized pieces, Al headed back towards the fire and stuffed them in. He used the iron poker to help guide the wood to a more proper position for efficient burning. Flames quickly engulfed the recently added members and set them ablaze like the others. Heat radiated out of the fireplace giving the room a more comfortable feeling. Alphonse sighed as he stared into the yellow and red dancing flames.
Yellow, they were the color of his eyes and hair. Red, it was the color of the coat his brother supposedly so famously wore.
A creak from behind startled the young boy. He quickly turned towards the sound, but upon seeing the face of the intruder, he calmed. “How is he?”
The elderly woman eyed the youngest Elric. A pipe was held tightly between her stubby fingers. She did not hesitate as she took a fair puff from her pipe. Smoke lingered in the air around her; the scent of it always enticed her for some unknown reason. She smiled at the small boy. “He has more color, but I am afraid he is still fairly worn.”
Alphonse gave a look of disappointment, the same look he had been giving for the past few days. Of course he was overjoyed by the miraculous reunion of a brother he had lost, but if one was to be honest; his reunion with his brother wasn’t the exciting event he had always pictured. There were no hugs and kisses, only pain and suffering.
His brother… he was not the same boy he remembered so well, the boy he heard so many stories about. His brother had become a man, a man that seemed lifeless. The moment Alphonse had realized the transmutation had actually worked he had ran towards the form of his laying brother. He had shaken his brother’s shoulders while screaming his name over and over. But Edward did not stir. It was then that Alphonse had truly taken his brother in. His brother’s features had matured much more than he could ever imagine. But that wasn’t what startled him. What startled him was the fact that his brother was nothing but skin and bones. His golden hair had turned a shade of brown from the grease and dirt which was present in it. His hair stuck in odd angles, water dripped from the golden ends. His clothing was soaked and badly torn. There were even blood spots which graced the tattered wet fabric, but to Al’s knowledge he saw no physical wounds on his brother.
Alphonse had pushed his brother onto his back. He had looked down at Edward’s face and continually screamed his brother’s name, but still no response was given. His brother’s eyes were half lidded, and from what Alphonse could tell, the light that was supposed to be present in those eyes had long since vanished. Shock had eaten away at Alphonse when the realization of the sight before him truly hit. He had reached a shaky hand for a pulse and was relieved when he felt the weak beat of his brother’s heart. Tears had found there way and escaped Alphonse’s eyes from both joy and sorrow upon seeing his brother.
Granny Pinako offered the young boy a small smile. She knew Alphonse loved Edward very much, but there was nothing Alphonse could do at the moment to truly help Edward. Something was wrong with Edward, something she didn’t even know if she could help with. Ever since Alphonse had brought Edward back Edward had done nothing but sleep. Not from injuries, more from exhaustion and the lack of will to wake. There was once that Edward seemed to had awaken for a moment, but he had only offered them a quick glance and then rolled to his side for more sleep.
That look Edward had given them, even if it was for only a moment… it sent a shiver up Pinako’s spine. Those eyes, they looked…dead.
“Do you think it’s smart that we let him sleep so long?” Alphonse walked across the room and took a seat on an olive green couch.
Pinako nodded as she joined Alphonse. “Yes, we should let him sleep for however long he needs.”
Alphonse did not hesitate as he leaned on the elderly woman. Since Alphonse lost his family and had lost his brother (till recently) and most of his memories, Granny Pinako had become the closest thing to a dependable relative. Well, Izumi was up there too, but Granny was much more kind and sympathetic to him than his Master was.
Granny ran her free hand gentle down Alphonse’s hair in a comforting fashion.
“Granny, do you think everything will be alright?”
Al glanced up at her hopefully. Granny was always the smart one, always the one that seemed to know all. Alphonse begged that she would offer him some hope, offer him a light down a dark tunnel.
“I don’t know. “ She smiled and took a puff from her pipe. She pulled the boy closer to her and they sat silently by the fire.
That fire was the only light that would be provided that night.
Alphonse had been rudely awaken, at least in his opinion, by the high pitched squeal of one of Granny’s many auto-mail tools. Alphonse was pretty sure it was a drill of some sort.
He pushed the heavy blankets away from his body and sat up in the bed that he occupied. The morning air was chilly in the room, but he didn’t mind. He threw his feet out from the warmth of the bed and stood up. His long brown hair brushed his shoulders as he searched the room for his clothing. It didn’t take long for him to find the articles he needed.
Once decently dressed, Alphonse headed down the stairs. His socked feet padded softly down the stairs and towards the sound of the noise that had awakened him that morning. He opened the door that lead to Granny’s auto-mail shop and found what he predicted.
Hunched over a hunk of twisted steel sat an old woman. Sparks flew into the air as she grinded a piece of the steel. Alphonse leaned against the door frame as he took in the scene before him.
Once the drill stopped and the room fell into a relative silence, Alphonse took it upon himself to finally speak. “I thought you retired.”
Granny’s eyes widened slightly as she heard the boys voice. “There is no such thing as a retired auto-mail mechanic.”
Alphonse smirked as he stepped into the room. Granny turned her eyes back to the work on the table.
“It’s for him, isn’t it?”
Granny nodded as she reached for a screwdriver. “I will not have that boy wandering around in the cheap imitations which he now carries. Winry is not here to make him new ones, so I will do it myself.”
Alphonse frowned with the mention of the young blonde. “Winry has been gone for an awfully long time. Usually by now she would give us a call or a letter.”
Granny gave the boy a quick glance. “Her work is important. I’ll send word to Dominic that we would like her to return home. You know Dominic keeps constant communication with her.”
Alphonse nodded. “She is going to want to see brother.”
Granny gave a knowing smirk. “You‘re right.”
The world danced around him like a dying candle. Blurry formations and lights flickered in and out with a dull illumination to it. It wasn’t that Edward couldn’t wake up; it was more like he just didn’t want to. He wanted to sleep forever. He wanted to stay in the comfort of the bed. To never wake up, never face reality again.
But reality always came full speed ahead and bit him right in the butt.
“Granny, come quick! I-I think he’s waking up!”
The figure which had been dancing around in his blurred vision was suddenly given a companion. There were now two blurry figures dancing around. One of the figures seemed to rush towards him. In a moment’s time, rough calloused skin rubbed against his soft cheek. The voice that came from the figure sounded distant, but strangely familiar.
“Edward, can you hear me?”
Wait, he knew that voice very well.
Edward’s whole body suddenly went alert. He blinked his eyes rapidly trying to force them to focus. Slowly but surely the settings around him began to fill out with color while tiny details became more apparent. These settings… they weren’t Germany anymore.
In a moment of shock Edward sat straight up and took a giant gulp of air which caused him to begin to choke. His coughs sounded more vicious then they truly were. Granny’s hand rubbed the boy’s back trying to sooth his coughs.
“Edward, are you alright? Do you feel sick?”
Edward’s vision spotted for a moment, but quickly cleared. He was hearing right, he was seeing right. How did he-when did he? Why was he there?
Granny grabbed him by the chin and forced Edward to look up. “Child, are you alright?”
Edward could only stare at her. What could he say?
Granny was not pleased by his lack of response. She shook his head slightly. “Edward, do you feel sick?”
The look in Edward’s eyes suddenly caused Granny to drop her hand. The dead, lifeless, sadden stare did not make her feel comfortable at all.
His voice was not cold, was not threatening, was not really anything at all. It was neutral. “I don’t get sick.”
Alphonse stood next to the bed. He wasn’t exactly sure what to say or how to react. His brother seemed to be awake, but yet he had to look at him. Maybe he did not recognize him. Al cleared his throat before he spoke. “Brother?”
Edward’s eyes flickered towards Al. He knew instantly who the young boy was in front of him. Yet why did he look so young? He was alive? Alphonse…he was alive… “Brother?”
A small smile danced over Alphonse’s lips as he nodded his head frantically. Without warning Alphonse jumped forward and wrapped his arms tightly around Edward‘s waste. His head dug into Edward’s chest with the desperate need to just feel him. Edward had known who he was, he had recognized him! Just hearing Edward call him brother suddenly made the world so much better, so much more complete.
It took Alphonse awhile to realize Edward was not hugging him back. Alphonse pulled back slightly so he could look up at Edward’s face.
Edward was looking down at him, but a frown graced his lips. Those hallowed eyes didn’t seem right against Ed’s pale complexion.
“Edward, what’s wrong?”
Edward’s frown deepened. “Why am I here?” He said it more to himself then to anyone else.
“Brother, I brought you back.”
Edward’s eyes still lacked that candle which was supposed to belong. It was as if his life had been sucked away somehow. “I see.” Edward leaned back slightly into the cushion of the pillows behind him.
Alphonse felt frozen. Edward… was he mad at him for bringing him back?
Granny was still in the room. She reminded both brothers of her presences when she stepped forward and grabbed Edward’s face again. She turned his face from side to side while looking at Edward with a piercing gaze.
Granny did not seem pleased as she spoke. “Edward, what is wrong with you?” There was something wrong, something not right. This was not the Edward she knew so well.
Edward looked at her. His frown still did not falter. “I can’t protect him anymore.”
Granny’s eyes narrowed slightly. Edward had spoken that last statement with such sorrow…
“Who can you not protect?”
Granny’s eyes suddenly widened. Surely he didn’t mean…
“Alphonse, leave now. Your brother and I must talk.”
Alphonse had his arms still wrapped around his brother’s waste. He shook his head stubbornly. He had just been truly reunited with his brother, why would he ever want to let go? He looked desperately at Ed. “I want to stay! Let me stay brother.”
Edward looked down at Al. He gently grabbed his brother’s wrists and forced them to unravel from him. He pushed Al gently away from him while shaking his own head.
Granny grabbed Alphonse by the shoulders and led him to the door. Alphonse still looked back at Edward hoping Edward would let him stay.
Edward by that point had turned his head and stared blankly out the window.
What was going on?! Why would his brother not let him stay?
The door slammed shut behind him.
Al paced his bedroom.
He had said father, Edward had said father.
“He always hated dad. Then what the hell was that all about!” Luckily Granny was not present in the room or she would have scolded him for using such foul language. But of course she wouldn’t be present; she was too busy talking to Edward.
Alphonse suddenly stopped his pacing and collapsed in the cushioned chair behind him. “Why am I so upset? Edward is fine… that is what is important, right?”
But, was Edward truly fine? He was so gloomy, so depressing.
This was not the way he had always imagined things.
‘Things aren’t always how you want them to be.’ His Master had told him that. She had said that after Alphonse had attempted a rather easy alchemic transmutation when he had first started his training back with Edward. At the time he had been trying to recreate a clock which had been broken. He thought he had done it perfect. The clock had looked like it’s original form, felt the same. But when you wound it up, it did not tick. Edward had made fun of him for it. Izumi had told him that ‘Things aren’t always how you want them to be. You just have to keep trying.’
Alphonse placed his face in his hands. The clock had not worked because he had missed placed a dumb screw during the transmutation.
Alphonse suddenly began to blink. “Please tell me I didn’t break brother or something during the transfer over.”
A deep chuckle grabbed Alphonse attention. He hadn’t even noticed the old woman’s presences. “You did not break him.”
Alphonse looked solemnly up at Granny. “Then what’s wrong with him? Granny, please tell me.”
Granny had her hands folded behind her back as she walked closer to Al. She stopped only a foot away. “Time does allow wounds to heal. But patience is the key. If one is not patient then the wound may never heal properly.”.
Alphonse quickly realized that she wasn’t going to tell him anything. He slumped slightly in the seat.
Granny noticed the boy’s mood turning blue. She offered him a weak smile.
“Alphonse, your brother needs time to sort things out.”
“Was he able to talk to you?” Even if Edward would not speak to Al, he at least wanted his brother to talk to someone. Anyone.
“He only spoke a few words to me, but what he said was enough. Give him time, that’s all he needs.”
Give him time…that was all he needed?
Alphonse always dreamt that all they both needed was each other.
Sit, stare, wait.
There was no phone; they told her there were no postal services. She just had to wait.
But wait for what?
The quilt covering the top of her form was what gave her the warmth her body craved for. She sat in the chair by the window watching the dying world beyond.
She did not know how much time had passed.
It was a community following an orthodox religion that she stayed in. They did not follow the modern ways of the world, they preferred to live simple lives lacking the luxurious that she was so used to. They were far enough from civilization that the community was constantly over looked, travelers never visited the town. It was an agricultural community so they harvested their own foods, wove their own fabric, and produced their own shelters.
Winry did not fit in well.
They had found her unconscious body on the road and had done the best they could to patch her up. Her carriage, her auto-mail supplies, all her personal positions were left behind. The carriage had only been moved so they could collect her body from underneath it. The carriage was so damaged that they claimed they saw no use in trying to salvage it. Dominic was going to have some complaints about that.
It was her first day out of bed since the accident. They had only moved her a few feet away from the bed. They moved her to a plain wooden chair right by the window. They had placed a quilt over her shoulders and a pillow behind her back.
Winry had been surprised to find the seasons had changed. She figured it was beginning to hit late fall. Soon it would be winter and snow would be covering the lands of the small community. How long had she laid in that bed?
There was no way to send letters, no way to send contact. No one offered to deliver a message for her.
“No one will search for me.”, she murmured to herself. “I travel too much for anyone to consider that something might have happened. If they do search for me, it won’t be for a long time from now.” Almost a year ago Dominic had encouraged Winry to take his carriage and do auto-mail repairs in community’s where either there were no auto-mail mechanics or for family’s who couldn’t afford them. Winry had been more then thrilled to follow along with the idea. It gave her good training and fulfilled a longing of doing service for those in need. Everything had been going perfectly…that was until…
Winry ran a hand through her hair; her hair was greasy to the touch. She wore a long white nightgown that had long drape-like sleeves. Frills bunched at the collar of the night gown. One of the females of the household had given her the night ware since her own clothing had been ruined by stains of crimson red and the rest had long since been left behind in the damaged carriage.
Her gaze remained glued to the window. She watched as some fallen leaves were cradled by the arms of the wind and flew along the dirt path of a road.
The candle in Alphonse’s hand caused a glow to illuminate his form. He walked with his other hand curved around the light of the candle. The flooring beneath him creaked slightly as he made his way down the hall, down one flight of stairs, through the living room, down another hallway, and at the end of the hallway sat a closed door. Light streamed from underneath the shut door.
It informed Al that his brother was awake.
Alphonse stared at the door for a few minutes. He had come downstairs with a purpose! But, he was already beginning to forget his reasoning. Damn.
Alphonse shook his head to help clear it. So, was he supposed to knock? Did he call out to him? What was he supposed to do?
Alphonse was surprised when a voice called out instead. “Just come in.”
His nerves suddenly leapt on fire. Why had he come downstairs again?
The iron knob felt cold in his grasp as he turned it and pushed the door open. Light invaded his vision as he took his first step into the room.
Alphonse was surprised to find Edward out of bed. Edward stood by the window. His long white sleeves had been rolled up to the elbow. His long blonde hair cascaded down his back, reaching near the waste. Edward had his arms folded.
“I had been expecting you.”
That shocked Alphonse slightly. Alphonse blew out the candle he had been holding before he took a few steps into the bedroom. He placed the candle onto a desk that sat near the door.
“How did you know I was going to come?”
Edward smirked as he turned fully around to face his little brother. “You forget that the floors creak. You might not hear it well upstairs, but down here it’s as plain as day.”
Alphonse felt his face heat up slightly. And he thought he was being sneaky…
Edward motioned for Alphonse to come closer to him. Alphonse found himself rather surprised by how more loose and friendly Edward was acting. He felt happy by this fact at the same time.
Both brothers now stood right in front of the other. Edward almost gasped at the revelation that he now had to look down at Al. That caused him to frown. “Granny told me what happened. Alphonse…I’m sorry.” His last words were almost a whisper.
Alphonse couldn’t help but smile. Edward was sounding more human then he had before. Even though Edward was obviously much older, Alphonse could still sense the child deep inside his brother. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“I never thought that when I did the transmutation that it would bring you back to your original form. I never realized you would lose so many years. You don’t remember anything that happened, not at all?”
Alphonse shook his head. “I only know what the others have told me.” Alphonse did not hold anything against his brother for what had happened. He had heard the story’s, he knew the truth. When they had transmuted their mother they had done it together, Al could never blame Ed for losing so many years.
Edward took a couple steps away from Al and sat on the frame of his bed. Edward still had that blank stare in his eyes. Alphonse didn’t think anyone could rid Ed of the hallow look.
“I had sacrificed myself to give you your body back. I don’t understand.”
Alphonse walked over and sat by his brother. He looked up at him curiously. “What don’t you understand?”
“What sacrifice did you give to bring me back?”
Alphonse’s eyebrows shot up. Oh boy, this was a question he had hoped no one would ask him. His eyes darted around nervously for a moment. How was he to explain himself without getting in trouble?
“I uhh- well, do you remember Master Izumi telling us about impulses? She once told us that-”
“-as an Alchemist we sometimes feel impulses on certain transmutations. You go by fact, not by feel. Yes, I remember her telling us that.”
Alphonse felt his mouth suddenly go dry. He just hoped Edward didn’t yell at him. “Well, I went by feel rather than by fact.”
Edward’s eyes bore into Al’s. Alphonse could feel the threat Edward carried in his movements. Ed’s mouth became a firm line. “So, what are you telling me?”
“I have a clearer memory of the day that we tried to bring mom back then you probably do, that is if you consider my age. Do you remember that when we planned to do the transmutation we had cut our fingers and allowed our blood to mix for the sake to give her a soul? Well, I came to a theory that it’s possible during the transmutation we became one because we transmuted our blood together. We are blood brothers. I just knew if sacrificed some of my blood and gave all my faith I could bring you ba-”
Edward’s hand suddenly flew in the air, demanding Alphonse to go silent. Alphonse followed the gesture and did as told. He stared at his brother not sure what was going to happen. Edward pushed himself from his sitting position and stood in front of Alphonse. He placed his hands onto Al’s knees.
His voice was threatening. “What you did was foolish!”
Al shook his head. “How can you say that, I brought you back!”
Edward’s fingers curled into the palms of his hand. “That is not what brought me back! You are lucky, if the circumstances had been different at the time the gate would have taken you as a sacrifice. It wouldn’t have been worth it!”
That stopped Alphonse. He did not fully understand what Edward was telling him. What did he mean if circumstances had been different?
Edward’s voice suddenly went from threatening to soft. “But, I can’t blame you for following your emotions. When I sacrificed myself for you, it was solely on emotions. I will never regret giving my life so you could continue on.”
Alphonse looked up at Edward. For a moment he saw Edward’s eyes become gentle. For a moment, he saw life flood its way back into the hallow depths. Alphonse suddenly jumped forward, grabbing Edward into a hug. He wanted life to stay into those eyes. He hated that hallow look Edward constantly carried.
Edward sighed as he felt his little brother’s arms surround him. He wanted to scream at Alphonse for doing such a foolish thing. His brother could have lost his life to the gate. He, himself, just wasn’t worth that type of sacrifice.
He was hesitant at first, but Edward finally gave up as his own hands found their way around his little brother.
His whispered words fell into the silent room. “You’re just like me. We are both such fools.”
To be continued...
Ok, I will try to clear up my theory of why Edward is a homunculus.
Because Edward died and was placed back into his original body he is just like Wrath, he became a homunculus. The thing about the Philosopher Stone is that the Stone is perfect. You just have to use it the right way. You cant just be like ‘give Edward life again!’. Cause well, it would give him life, just when he comes back he does so as a homunculus. Follow?
Specifically for Ed to become human, he would need the stone again and say he wants to be human. Then he would be given a mortal life once more. Hohenheim commented ‘The other option is to simply switch to a body where the host has not yet died.’ I took this by the fact that Hohenheim had died and Dante switched his soul to another body that was still alive. I am saying that Hohenheim wont become a homunculus because the host body he stole did not die. It was still alive.
The bit with Wrath. Ok, homunculus are supposed to be seen as like creatures that lack a soul. Wrath, when he is introduced in the series, seems pretty human to me. He was a little crazy, but I think anyone raised by the gate would be crazy. It wasn’t until Wrath ate the Red Water that he became a slave controlled by Dante. I think out of all 7 Sin’s Wrath was the closes to being human. Lust would be second up there, but I still think Wrath had more emotions then the others.
The rest I will discuss later.
I know this is confusing as hell. Hopefully there aren’t many loose ends which I’m not seeing. I don’t know, it all make’s sense to me. I am trying to make this as logical as possible.
Ps: Thanks Saturn Stars for helping me get the plotline together!