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22 February 2013 @ 12:23 am
Intentions  
Title: Intentions (I)
Author: meredavey
Series: 2003 anime, Conqueror of Shamballa (major spoilers)
Pairing: Roy/Ed, Alphonse Elric, Alfons Heiderich
Rating: R
Summary: Once home his intentions were to see Al, and to live his life as best he could. Yet, sometimes good intentions fade in the face of stronger, more unexpected ones.
Word count: 11,093
Notes:: This was written with a double meaning. It’s a complicated piece, and I think the meaning will be something different to everyone. Perhaps it contains more than two, I know how I planned it to sound. I tried to leave it open though. A note on the arrays. My COS book talked about how the two worlds mirrored each other and so did the arrays. I used that idea in here. This was for prompt #98. I hope you guys like this! (If you want to know how I took the meaning, leave a comment and I'll send it to you in a PM!)  By the way, LJ limits suck! Note: the Weilue is an ancient Chinese text.


Take me as I am
Someone you don't know
Even in the dark
You may not be sure
Take me while you can
I can see you standing in the smoky entrance
Giving up your good intentions


Leave the shadows dancing
Dancing on their own
Let the moment free you now
And leave it all behind you
I'll know where you've gone
Let the world go on

-Take Me As I Am by the October Project
Ed’s coat floated out behind him as he walked the dark streets of Munich. His footsteps echoed off the pavement and resounded in the air. But nothing stirred. All was quiet for the moment in this world. He let his apartment door click closed behind him, hoping not to wake up his sleeping friend, Alfons. He had yet to get used to seeing him. So much like his brother, yet so different. It was like the first time he’d seen this Maes Hughes, alive and well. He’d struggled not to cry out, “You’re not dead!”  He’d quickly found out that although these people often shared the names of the people and some similar characteristics, they could be very different. The Kain Fuery he’d met here had been an escaped murderer, and the Riza Hawkeye a docile housewife. It’d been two years since then though. He and Alfons worked hard and quickly. Alfons for his future here, and Edward, Edward worked desperately to find a way home. He kicked off his shoes beneath the table next to the door and was about to head to his room when the phone rang.

“Hello?” he inquired.

“Edward?” Alfons’s rough voice came over the line.

“Alfonse?” Edward asked as he shrugged out of his coat and hung it on a hanger. “You’re not home?”

“No, I got stuck working late. How was the library?”

Ed shrugged into the phone. “Fine.”

“You didn’t find anything?”

“Nothing useful?”

Alfons chuckled, “What you consider useful is very different from what most people consider useful.”

“Well, sorry,” Edward complained softly as he dragged his socks off with one hand.

He jostled the phone closer to his ear. “Do you know what time you’re getting home at?”

No,” Alfons sighed, “we had a setback. It might be a few hours.”

Ed frowned as he undid his vest. “What happened? It was fine when I stopped by earlier.”

“One of the parts is malfunctioning and it needs to be replaced. We might have to completely redo the insides.”

Ed winced. He knew how long that would take. He paused undressing and asked, “Do you need me to come down?”

“No, no. No point in it Ed. One of us should at least get some sleep. I’ll be home before dawn, so don’t fret.”

“I’m not fretting, I’m simply worried about your health.”

“My health is fine. If it gets worse I’ll let you come pick me up in the car you like driving so much.”

Ed laughed. “Okay. Call if you need me.”

“Thanks Ed. ‘bye.”

“Goodbye.” Ed hung up the phone and popped the top few buttons on his shirt and moved towards the kitchen. His gloves were securely tucked in his pocket but now he fished them out and lay them on the table in the kitchen. Ed thumbed through the mail left on the counter before dropping it back down. He opened one of the cabinets and peered in. He was disappointed. There wasn’t much food left and with rations it’d be some time before he and Alfons could request more. As if in disagreement Ed’s stomach growled loudly. He patted it and stared at the shelves before clicking off the light and picking up the clothes he’d left on the entry floor. His room was small and held a single bed, dresser and a bookshelf.  He found that the smallness made it so he had less of a need to keep items that were of sentimental value to here. Or to home. The one sentimental object he kept was in a box he left on top of the dresser. Every time he would feel like giving up, feel like there was no way to go about fixing the things that were broken, he opened that box and looked in. It reminded him of who he was. He was the Fullmetal Alchemist, a prodigy, a genius, one of a kind and that silver watch proved it. His hand ghosted over it and it fell on the switch to the lamp. He flicked it on and a dim glow lit the room. He could see his shadow as it moved against the wall, mimicking his motions. Then Ed went very, very still. Mimicking his motions. He whirled quickly and ran to the entry way table where he grabbed a pen and a notepad. He hurriedly scribbled the array that was forever branded into his mind. His eyes grew wide and surprised.

Why hadn’t he seen it before? He berated himself, because you were so fixed on the rockets you didn’t see it. If this world is a mirror of Amestris then…He let a small grin overtake his face as he closed his eyes and clapped his hands. He felt a jolt of energy run through him, sharp and electric. He breathed it. Alchemy. “I’m coming home,” he whispered. For a moment it felt like he’d been picked up in a maelstrom and deposited elsewhere. The alchemical energy subsided moments later and he opened his eyes grinning. He was still facing his and Alfons’s apartment wall. Albeit now there was something strange about the wall. He walked forward and squinted. He couldn’t really tell what it was. He waved his hand in front of it, but there was nothing. No response. He’d felt it though, the alchemy. It must have worked, distantly, but it worked. The wall was evidence of that. It must be reflecting a scene in Amestris, then. Ed grinned. He knew how to get back. Finally. Ed sat on his ass and grinned and grinned and grinned. He was still grinning when Alfons got back. The rocket engineer lifted an eyebrow and looked at Ed pointedly. “Care to tell me what’s got you in a fit?”

Ed laughed, and Alfons waited patiently for the response. “I think I did it! I think I finally figured it out!”

“Does it have anything to do with why our wall looks so funny?”

Ed nodded. “Remember all those stories I told you? They were true, I can promise you that. And that is a link between this world and Amestris!”

“You can go home,” Alfonse said slowly in shock.






Roy Mustang stared at the paperwork on his desk. He would’ve thought that now that he was a general there would be less paperwork that he had to do, and more that he could foist off on others. He tapped the pen on his desk and glanced at the clock on the wall. Half past two. Two and a half hours before he could return to the comfort of his own home. He looked up at the knock on the door and there was a trembling kid standing in the doorway. Well, not kid, but he was obviously young and looking a bit scared.

“General Mustang, sir?”

“Yes?” he drawled. Best not stand up and intimidate him.

“Private McMillian, sir. I was assigned to your unit, recently, sir.”

Ah, yes. The new recruit. A promising young man who seemed adept at alchemy. Roy knew he was hoping to try out for a State Alchemist title. Roy smiled at him. “At ease, soldier. Report to Captain Hawkeye. She’ll be able to give you the details.”

“Sir!” he saluted and left.

Roy’s thoughts trailed to his last alchemist subordinate. Edward, a brave and rash young man, but one that was stronger than he looked. The events of that day were ingrained in his mind forever, he knew he’d been lucky, luckier than Edward at least. Archer’s bullet had missed due to Hawkeye’s excellent timing, but Edward hadn’t come back. He’d gone down into the city and sacrificed himself for his brother. According to Rose, Alphonse had sacrificed himself first after Envy had killed Ed.  Alphonse had said he didn’t know what happened to his brother, he wasn’t sure that it meant death, but he couldn’t be certain. That was what the boy was doing now, searching for his brother. Every once in a while the young man would make an appearance in Central to inquire as to whether or not any new information turned up. There never was. Edward was simply gone. Alphonse had grown quickly, from how he looked as a preteen to a startling handsome sixteen year old, very much like his older brother. Roy looked back down at his paper; it had been almost five weeks since he’d last heard from the young man. Generally he checked in about once a month. But it was already a week past, and Roy wondered. Wondered what was keeping the boy preoccupied.






Alphonse crouched by the circle, running his hands through his newly cut hair. The urge had come over him to cut it, he didn’t know why, all he knew was that he wanted to. He gave his head a little shake and touched the chalky lines on the ground. It had been two years since he’d been here. He hadn’t wanted to come back, but some of his memories had started to return all of a sudden. He remembered sacrificing himself, seeing his brother die, the underground city…that was about as far back as his memories took him at the moment. He had hoped that by coming down here he could regain some of the lost ones. Al simply assumed this wasn’t the trigger he needed. Then again, if the General hadn’t triggered anything in his mind, why would a city that had barely had any impact on his life. Except…it had. It had changed a course of events that even he couldn’t define. As he sat crouched at the edge of the array a sudden headache came over him. Wooziness made him sit back onto his butt and hold a hand to his head in surprise. When he unclenched himself from his knees and sat up properly he could remember something about Homunculi, the Fuhrer, the Philosopher’s Stone, and human lives. In betwixt there were words like scar, rose, desert, archer, but they didn’t form a cohesive picture in his mind. He stood up and brushed his pants off and headed back to the surface to talk with Roy Mustang. He stopped by his hotel to change into a clean pair of clothes before walking to the military headquarters. The guard at the gate knew him and let him through with an easy smile. Al was grateful that even if he didn’t remember these people, they remembered him. Al arrived at the door to the General’s office and from within he could hear the chaos of the work day. There was a bunch of shouting from either Havoc or Breda, soft protests from Fuery and the occasional grunt from Falman. And then Hawkeye’s smooth voice cutting over all the ruckus. Quiet reigned and Al could hear the woman heave a gentle sigh and the scraping of a chair, signaling that she was sitting down. He knocked politely and he heard her call, “Come in?” He knew she only sounded questioning when there were no meetings planned for the day. So he was unexpected. Sometimes the General or she anticipated his arrival before even he himself did. He entered, first by poking his head around the door and then the slither of his whole body into the room. He closed the door, gently, he remembered hearing his brother always slammed it shut, and smiled. He received five warm smiles back.

“Alphonse,” Riza greeted him. “What brings you here today? There isn’t anything new on your brother.”

“I, actually, remembered some things.”

“Oh?”

Al nodded enthusiastically but before he could respond Havoc spoke, “You cut your hair!”

Al frowned and patted his head. “Yes, Havoc, I suddenly got an urge to cut it.” He shrugged. “Does it matter?”

Jean shook his head. “Only in that you look less like your brother now. You’re not wearing his clothes today either.”

Al opened his mouth to respond but Falman had the grace to intervene before Havoc could say anything else, “You were saying something about your memories, Alphonse?”

“Yes. I was down in the underground city today, simply looking. I felt…drawn to it. I always have. I don’t know if that’s because of what happened there or for some bigger reason…but whatever the case I went down there today.”

“And you got some memories back?” It was Hawkeye questioning again.

“Not all, like I said, just some. The words, archer, rose, scar and desert specifically.”

There was a stillness in the room before Hawkeye slowly said, “I think you might be better off talking to the General about this Alphonse.”
Al let his shoulders rise and fall, “I wanted to talk to him anyways.”

Hawkeye stood, pushing her chair back and heading over to the inner office. She opened the door and closed it behind her. Al was sure he heard a groan. Then there were muffled voices and Riza told him to go on in, that the General wasn’t busy.

As soon as the inner office door closed behind him Al remarked, “You’re really very busy, aren’t you?”

“Never for you, Alphonse. Hawkeye told me that you got some memories back?”

Al smiled. “Yes and no. Words are more like it, impressions maybe.”

“Can you tell me what they are?”

“A desert, an unforgiving desert and then water and shouting. A…scar? Rose? I think…Rose was a person. And then an archer? I’m not quite sure. I’m a bit fuzzy on the specifics.”

Roy sat back in his great chair and measured the young man. “It sounds like an even I’m well acquainted with, although I’d rather not be.”

“Was it bad?”

“It’s more complicated than good versus bad. It was neither and both. Let me explain.” Roy went on to talk about Scar, the array, the chase to Risembool and the events afterwards. Al was quiet. “So…that led to the whole underground city thing, right?”

“Yes. It did.”

Al’s mouth twitched downwards and he opened his mouth to reply when all of a sudden it felt like someone was performing alchemy in the office. But neither he nor the General was. Al looked towards the far wall and it seemed to blur and shift. Through it he swore he could see an…apartment and a figure? It was all he got before he passed out.






Al sat up and rubbed at his forehead with no small amount of confusion. “What…? Was that?” He shook his head and felt the pounding increase. He fell back onto the couch and nearly sobbed. He could hear footsteps approaching him quickly. “Alphonse? Alphonse?” He pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes and moaned, pain rising up through his body. As the pain rose he could see images, and then words, scenarios and then…it hit him all at once. He doubled over and was sick on the floor. Al could barely feel the palm resting on his shoulder blades as he was sick over and over again. There was the comforting scent of spice and burning and then he blinked rapidly for a moment before passing out for a second time.


When Al woke up again it was darker outside, night was just creeping in and the room was flush with light from a stuttering fire that the General had lit behind the grate. And the man himself stood with his hands clasped behind his back looking at the kaleidoscope of colors that moved across the wall.

“Are you fine now, Alphonse?”

“I’m not sure, it was as if…as if something triggered all my memories at once. Because I remember everything now. Everything from the moment that we attempted to bring Mom back to the moment Brother sacrificed himself to me.”

Roy turned to face Alphonse. “That’s good right?”

“I suppose, it hurt though. I wonder if that’s because it was alchemy that caused it? That was alchemy, but, what…what did it do exactly?”

 “I’m not quite sure, Alphonse. I can only assume it was alchemy as well.”

“Neither of us were performing alchemy though…”

“I am well aware of that, Alphonse. The only explanation is that someone else performed alchemy from afar. As far as I was aware only your brother and your teacher could do that?”

“Right,” Al agreed. “Teacher and Brother.” He licked his lips. “But Teacher is really sick, and she’s in Dublith.”


Roy’s eyes met Al’s. “It seems that your brother is causing trouble again.”

Al laughed dryly, “What else is he good for?”





Riza was waiting outside with coffee made. The rest of the room was quiet, listening intently for any hint of what had happened in the office. Al could see that Havoc was trying his best to be inconspicuous about what he was doing, but every few seconds he would lift his eyebrows and tap his fingers on his desk. Hawkeye continued talking to Roy over in the corner in a hushed voice.

“Sir,” she was saying softly, “What should we tell the other Generals? The Fuhrer?”

He rubbed his chin, “Just tell them that Alphonse and I accidentally activated an unstable array he found. That now that the array is destroyed we have to do research into what caused it. That should hopefully keep them off our backs for a little while at least. But remember, don’t say anything unless they explicitly ask.”

“I’m well aware, sir.” She looked him in the eyes. “Will Alphonse be okay?”

“He’s a little shell shocked I think. Getting your memories back like that, he said it was painful, whether it is also mentally painful I can’t say. But I would be inclined to think it is. He’s probably struggling to put his life back in order; he’s spent the last two years gathering memories of his brother, tracing his footsteps. Now though…”

“He’s got nothing.”

“Not nothing, Hawkeye, he’s got us and this new array to study. He may look weak but I have a feeling that he may actually be stronger than even Edward, perhaps even I. He lived for years in a suit of armor, if that can’t prepare you I don’t know what can.”

They stayed in a silent huddle for a few minutes before breaking and Roy retreated into his office saying, “Go home and get some rest Alphonse, we’ll figure the rest of this out tomorrow.”






Alfons stared at the shifting wall. “How do you plan on fixing this?”

“I don’t,” Edward told him, “I plan on making it much, much worse before I make it better.”

“That sounds rather…horrible.”

Ed smiled. “It’s not really. Not in the way you think. Things have to get worse before they get better, you know? I grew up on that, and it’s always held true so far.”

Alfons was rather reluctant to believe magic could do anything other than go horribly wrong. “This…magic…”

“Alchemy, Alfons, Alchemy. It’s exactly like the alchemy of this world but far more advanced and useful.”

“I still can’t believe it’s more useful than a steam engine.”

“We have those too.”

Alfons sighed. “That wasn’t quite my point.”

“What was then? That alchemy doesn’t exist, another world doesn’t? If so, how do you explain this? Do I need to bring you with me to prove a point?” Ed waved his hand at the wall.

The other blond haired man didn’t quite know how to respond to such a proposition – but – “I like my own world, thank you very much. Feel free to live in yours.”

“If only,” Edward muttered below his breath with no small amount of irritation.

They rarely argued but when they did it could easily get explosive and Alfons disliked fighting with Edward. Ed had always been a good friend these past two years, but sometimes this “Amestris” he talked about got to be ridiculous. Alfons supposed that’s what happened when you had a father like Hohenheim. He glanced back at Edward quickly and saw him bent over some drawing, scowling intently at it. He closed his door behind him and stared at his bed. Now that his anger was cooling, he felt bad. Edward had always been sincere and kind to him, he rarely if ever talked about his family. The little he did know was that he’d had a younger brother named Alphonse. At first he’d wondered if that was the only reason Edward stuck around, but he soon discovered it wasn’t. Edward really liked him, liked him for who he was, not because he resembled his younger brother. Besides Alphonse he’d met Edward’s father: Hohenheim. Ed tended to not say much about the man, and Alfons gathered that there was some bitterness there. He’d never inquired too deeply though. Now he wondered if he should have. He should go out there and apologize to Edward: it was true, what had happened to the wall was abnormal and it wasn’t like anything he’d ever seen before. He dragged a hand over his face and turned to go back and apologize to Edward. He started towards the door when he heard Edward cursing and he paused with a hand on the door. What will you do if everything he said is true? What then? He was sure he didn’t know.





Edward slapped his hands down on the array and attempted to activate it. There was no such luck however, it stayed still and silent beneath his hands. Had it simply been a quirk before? Had it simply used up the residual alchemy stored inside of him, leftover from his trip through the gate? Or was something else the driving force behind the alchemy here? He sat back onto his heels and dragged his hand through his hair wondering what in the hell he was going to do. He needed some sort of energy source, but what? It had to be strong enough to power an array, but not so powerful it’d destroy everything in its wake.  Something water powered maybe? Something…electrical perhaps? What had he touched that had perhaps given him charge? His teeth clicked together and he pressed his hands to the floor and thought. He swore up a blue streak and then quieted. Calm. Calm yourself, and think. Think. Go through your steps from the moment you set foot in this house. What did you do? Well, he’d answered the phone, but that didn’t provide much in the way of a charge, he’d touched a lamp, and he’d dragged his hand over the old box that…

…that held his State Alchemist watch.

Damn.

Damn.

Damn.


He should’ve known! He unlocked his legs from their position and made a dash to his bedroom, tripping on the living room rug on his way. He slammed his hand into the doorway and swore as he ripped part of his shirt on the jamb. But he didn’t care. He’d finally found something like an answer and he was going to do whatever he could to see where it led. This was what he’d been waiting for, this was the reason he never gave up. It was the little things that made up the big picture. He made for his dresser, stumbled on a boot he’d left in the middle of the floor (goddamnit not now!) and grabbed at the box. In his excitement he knocked it off the dresser and it tumbled to the ground where the box popper open and the watch slid across the floor and under his bed. Edward dove after it. He reached his arm under the bed and filched around for it, but couldn’t reach it. Someone cleared their throat and Alfons was standing there, with his hands stuffed into his pockets and shoulders hunched. “Can I help you?”

Ed scooted back. “Can you reach the watch underneath the bed?”

Alfons smiled and dropped to his knees where he retrieved the watch. It was quickly snatched out of his hands with a “Thanks!” before Ed took off for the living room yet again. Ed slid to a stop in front of the array he’d drawn on the floor. His hands were slick with sweat as he tried to pry open his watch. It’d been two years since he’d last opened it, and it reminded him of every mistake he’d ever made. It came open with a clack and little red stones clattered onto the array. Edward’s mouth went dry. What the fuck? He thought he’d gotten rid of those! He closed his eyes and his mind and body whimpered at the thought of what they’d been used for. He wouldn’t, no couldn’t use them, but, how…how would they have ended up in his watch? His eyes got very, very wide.





“So what exactly are you saying, Alphonse?”

Al squirmed under the sharp gaze that seemed to be trying to penetrate his head and see directly into his mind.

“It’s not really my fault, sir. I didn’t remember until I got my memories back. If I’d known I would have told you before?”

“Would you have?” Mustang murmured, “Or would it have been another secret for you Elric brothers to keep from me?”

“You can’t blame Brother for that! He was just trying to protect me!”

“Don’t defend your brother,” Roy snapped, “What he did was wrong on many levels, and he knew it. Stop bullshitting Alphonse, and tell me the goddamn truth about what happened in that city!”

Al let his eyes trail down to the ground. “Now.” Mustang hissed.

Taking a deep breath Alphonse repeated what he’d told the General not even ten minutes before.

“I was holding onto Brother’s watch for him, I had it when…” he choked up and continued, “anyways, after Envy…killed him. While they were distracted, I, well, I poured some of the red stone from my body into his watch. I don’t know why myself. Something was nagging at me to do it, so I did. I can’t explain it.”

“How’d your brother get the watch?”

“He must’ve picked it up after I sacrificed myself to the gate. Probably as a reminder.”

Roy let his chin rest on his hands. “All of this is circumstantial, though. There is no guarantee that he picked it up though.”

“I’m sure he did.”

“How would you know? The other two times you were there you didn’t even have your memories; so how would have known to look for a lost watch?”
Al bit his tongue and did his best not to retort to Mustang’s points. Good points though.

“I suppose…I couldn’t have.” Al’s uncertainty must have shown because Roy continued by saying, “Why don’t you go down to the city and take a look?”
Al wrung his hands together and nodded. “Okay.”

“Come right back if anything seems amiss or if you find anything. We need to keep this under wraps.”

Roy waved him off and turned back to his paperwork, hoping, just hoping that there was a little bit of hope left in this cruel world. For both Alphonse and his missing brother’s sake, because god knew, they certainly deserved a happy ending.






Al got to the underground city and tracked his way back to that room. The floor was still a mess, chalk, arrays, blood, Brother’s blood, and scratch marks. Residue alchemy also lingered on the walls. He dragged one had through some thick substance that coated the walls. He rubbed his fingers but didn’t know what it was. Starting in the far right corner he worked his way around the room looking in every nook in cranny hoping beyond hope that he wasn’t going to find a watch here. If he did there was no hope. If he didn’t…there may still be some good left in the world. Upon reaching the center, he sat in the middle of the array and studied it. With deft hands he traced the array onto a piece of notebook paper and stuffed it inside one of his inner pockets before rising. He glanced around the room and found a piece of cloth with which he methodically began to erase many of the array’s lines. He hoped that by obscuring them no one would be able to replicate an array that nearly destroyed an entire country. With another broad stroke he wiped away one of the last sigils and dropped the cloth before heading back to Mustang’s office.




Mustang looked up as Al stepped into his office with a bounce in his step. “It wasn’t there!” he said cheerfully, “Brother must have the watch after all!”
IF he’s alive, Mustang thought but didn’t say this thought aloud in fear of Al’s quick retribution for even thinking that the elder Elric might be dead and gone…forever. The Elric’s had proved beyond a doubt that the dead didn’t always stay dead like they were supposed to and he hated to think that something similar had happened to Edward along the way. “Anything else?”

“The array was still there.”

“I suppose I should have someone go and destroy it then, oughtn’t I?”

“Already done. I erased it while I was down there. Well, some of it. I left the outer circle to show that there was an array there in case you know, you ever needed proof. I also left one of the inner ones and a mundane sigil. The rest I destroyed with a cloth. There’s no way that anyone is going to be able to replicate that array anytime soon.”

“It’s too bad I never got a good look at it. It may reveal some clues.”

“Good thing I have a good memory isn’t it?”

“Yes, Alphonse, your brother often brought that topic of conversation up whenever he had the chance.”

Al snorted. “I made a copy anyways. Just in case. I thought you might be able to hold onto it; lock it up somewhere safe.”

Roy tried not to let a smile worm its way onto his face. “I’d be honored, Alphonse.”

Al gave him a large smile and whipped a piece of paper out of his pocket and placed it on the large desk.

“Sorry it’s so destroyed, I only had a scrap with me.”

It wouldn’t have made a difference, it was a beautiful array, an elegant one by any standards.

“It is pretty isn’t it?” Al asked quietly.

“Yes, and…dangerous.”

Al didn’t say anything when the General locked it into his desk.






Edward spent the next week tracing the array onto the ever shifting wall in front of him. Alfons had asked to help, but Edward had told him that while rockets were his expertise, alchemy was Edward’s and that he had to do this himself so that it would be absolutely perfect. Alfons had acknowledged this with a little bow of the head. He hadn’t left the room though, he’d sat on the couch while Ed worked. Edward had seen him open his mouth a few times before hesitating. Finally Ed said, “Go on, you can ask.”

“How…how do you know what you’re doing? You don’t have any books on what you always call alchemy here.”

“Well, that’s a hard question to answer. I’ve always assumed anyone can learn alchemy. That it’s knowledge that can be gained and that can be lost. I’ve also held the belief that it’s in the genetic makeup, that in some people it is inherited. I think I’m in the second half. I think I inherited it from my father.”
“He was an…alchemist?”

Ed smiled seeing that Alfons was warming up to the idea of an alchemic society. “Yes. He was apparently a great one. An old and great one. I fail to see that in him today, but well, I’ve heard stories.”

Alfons leaned over. “Okay, so then you know all this inherently?”

“No. I’m taking basic ideas and replicating them on a large scale. I saw this array –”

“Array?”

“This circle, transmutation circle, I’m drawing. Anyways, I’m trying to replicate it out of memory. I know it’s started working when it resonates with the array on the other side of the gateway. It could take some time though, I don’t remember all the sigils clearly.”

Alfons was on the edge of his seat with interest now. “So…how do you decide what to use?”

Ed launched into a description of how alchemic arrays worked and why they didn’t. He explained the many different sigils and symbols that were often used with them.

“Ummm…name one type of alchemy you have yet to master, oh boy genius.”

Ed grinned, and shrugged. “I’ve pretty much mastered every type. Rather, I can do them, but the scale I do them on is another matter entirely.”

“Scale…”

“Yeah. Some I can do massively, others I can only do in small amounts because it isn’t my particular area of expertise, or I’ve forgotten it or I simply wasn’t interested in it.”

“But one alchemy you’ve never attempted, never tried.”

Ed squirmed uncomfortably. “Fire alchemy.”

“Fire? That seems a little…mundane.”

“Well, it’s not. It has got all these complicated processes I can barely explain let alone control all at once.”

“Has anyone mastered this alchemy then?”

“Yes.”

“You seem rather reluctant to talk about it. Did you not know this person well…or do you simply dislike the subject?”

“Neither of those.” Ed sighed. “I was in the military as a State Alchemist as you know, and my commanding officer was also an alchemist. A dog of the military so to speak. He was the Flame Alchemist. I fought him once and lost, badly.”

“He’s that powerful?”

“Oh yes, every time I’ve gone up against his flame I’ve lost. He’s a very talented man. I respect him for that.”

“It sounds like it! If you get back…what are you going to do?”

“What do you mean going to do? I’m going to take care of Al of course!”

“I meant with the military. Technically you’re still in it, right? Do you plan to stay or get a discharge?”

Ed’s hands paused while drawing the array. “I’d rather not think that far ahead yet. I want to get home first.”

Alfons sat back against the couch, facing away from Ed. “So…you plan on going back no matter what?”

“Of course! This is the break through I’ve been waiting for!”

Alfons crossed his arms. “Isn’t this home to you now, too? You’ve got…friends here. Lots of them.”

“Not mine,” Edward said, his voice soft. “Not mine. Not the ones I know, the ones I remember.”

“Isn’t Maes Hughes dead in your world?”

“He fucking died for us – for his best friend. I’d…I’d rather him have sacrificed himself than have become someone like this Hughes. He’s still not mine.”
Alfons shook his head and sighed. “I see I can’t convince you. But I rather wish you’d reconsider.”

“Once I’m gone it’s not like it’s going to have a huge effect on this world. In fact, it might right what is happening.”

“I highly doubt that, and I know you don’t believe that either. You’re trying to make me feel better.”

Ed gave him a lopsided smile and smoothed another sigil into the wall. “Well, it was worth it to try.”

“I appreciate it.”

Ed nodded and put down the chalk. “How about we have some dinner?”

Alfons smiled and held out his hand, hoisting Ed to his feet. “I’d love some. Soup or soup?”



Ed let his hand rest over his (mostly) full stomach. Eyes closed he sighed and turned his head to face Alfons even though he couldn’t see him. “So.” He began. “Are we good?”

“Yeah. Yeah, we’re good.”

Ed sank further down into his chair. “I am sorry, you know, for my attitude.”

Alfons didn’t reply, but sat in the quiet of the kitchen until Ed stirred and went to bed. Alone in his room, Edward collapsed forward on the bed, exhausted. He still had a lot of work to do on that array and it wasn’t going to draw itself. He also had to decide whether or not to use those red stones. Al had obviously put them in there, perhaps in an attempt to give him an advantage. Or something. Whatever it was, he had to make a decision and stick with it.





The morning sun broke over Munich and Ed opened his eyes reluctantly. He still had a full day of work ahead of him, work that would probably take him the better part of the morning to prepare. He breathed in deeply and felt the sun beams warm his cheeks and eyelids. He stretched and felt all his muscles pull taunt and he smiled at the delightful feeling it created. He rolled out of bed and into a pair of loose drawstring pants he’d left lying by the bed and meandered into the kitchen where he cooked porridge for breakfast. All the food here was stale, and it gave him another reason to look forward to going home. He spooned the porridge into his mouth quickly, nearly scalding it in the process and from there he dumped the bowl in the sink. In the living room he stared at the wall intently as colors and shapes shifted. It was time to try the alchemy again without the red stones. He stuck the watch into one of his pants pockets and placed his hands on the edges of the array. It flared sudden and fast, bright, bright white and blue. Ed clung to the wall as he struggled against the hurricane that was alchemy in this world. This proved alchemy was never supposed to be performed in this world; that it couldn’t handle it. He found himself panting against the wall as his vision cleared and a worried voice spoke over his shoulder. “Ed? Ed? What happened? Oh my god, the wall!!!! Ed what the hell did you do?”

Ed managed to look up at what was causing Alfons to panic and he nearly panicked himself. He was staring straight into military headquarters in Amestris. Alfons looked like he might either hyperventilate or pass out, perhaps both, so Ed went to tend to him.

“Breathe, Alfons, breathe. Take deep breaths and relax.”

“That’s alchemy?”

“Yes.”

“Where is that?” Alfons’s breath stuttered as he stared at Edward’s latest work.

Ed sat down next to him. “That’s Central Command – the Amestrian military headquarters.”

His eyes sparkled. “I’m definitely looking into an office, that’s good, very good.”

He turned to Alfons. “It appears to be night there while it’s day here. I’ll have to stay up tonight to see if anyone can see us through this wall.”

Ed had the inkling they wouldn’t be able to until he made the link stronger, but it couldn’t hurt. Alfons leaned his shoulder against Ed’s. “This is good, then, right?”

“Very. I’m getting closer with each transmutation. I just gotta be careful. I get over exuberant and I can mess up and destroy all this work. I don’t want that so I’ll take it slow.”

“You never go slow.”

“I have to. I can’t make any mistakes. It has to be perfect.”

“I get that. Let me know if I can help, okay?”

“I will. I will.”

For the rest of the day Ed made preparations for that night’s adventure. He only hoped what he was planning worked. As eight o’clock neared he activated the array for a second time that day, and put the rest of his energy forward into it. He collapsed against the wall and struggled not to lose consciousness. If this worked, he’d be able to communicate with the other side. If it didn’t it meant he still had some work to do. He rested his head on his knees and thought about what he could say to the person who worked in that office.

“Hi – I know you people thought I was dead, but, tadaaa I’m actually alive and trapped in a parallel world.” That would definitely go over well he thought sarcastically. It was another hour before he heard the rustling of the wall, the click of a door distinctly not on his side. He turned, wary, to what he was about to face.

He came face to face with Roy Mustang who looked like he might actually contain some human emotion.

“Oh, shit.”





“Oh, shit.” Roy whispered because what he was staring at was simply not possible. There was no way that Edward Elric was staring back at him with large, gold eyes and a look of utter surprise on his face. Edward made a noise and asked, “Can you hear me?”

“Fullmetal? What – the – ever living – hell – is this?”

“This? It’s an array. What else? Did you know I had to construct it from memory because they don’t have alchemy in this world?”

“This world? Where exactly are you?”

“Oh.” Ed sounded deflated for a moment. “It’s a long story.”

“I’m patient.” Roy gave him a smirk, “So why don’t you start explaining?”

Edward, typical, Edward, rolled his eyes and was about to speak when a young man appeared behind him.

“Ed? Who are you talking to? Yourself? I know you’re desperate…” he trailed off as he caught sight of the man.

Roy blinked back. It looked like he was looking at an alternate Alphonse Elric.

“Who is he?” The other blond asked.

“Oh, that’s –”

“I’m General Roy Mustang.”

“Pleased to…meet…you. I’m Alfons Heiderich.”

“Now, Fullmetal, explain what’s going on here.”

Edward explained in the simplest terms he could what had happened at the underground city. “Al, is he alright? Alive? Well?”

“He’s fine. He lost his memories from the time you resurrected your mother onwards though.”

Ed made a pained face. “But,” Roy continued. “He recently gained them back when this wall…activated. So of course, it was your doing.”

Ed glared and waved a hand. “That’s not important. I just need to figure out a way to get to that side from here. I’ve obviously got the seeing and hearing part down. Just…being physically able to get over there is a whole other issue in and of itself.”






Two days later Ed had finished his calculations and predicted the force he needed to cross over to the other side. Mustang was standing patiently by the wall to pull him through when the time came. “There’s just one little problem.”
Roy raised his eyebrows and Alfons cocked his head to the side. “I’d also have to leave this door open, I couldn’t come back through and close it. I can’t risk that.”

Alfons cleared his throat. “If you tell me what to do, I can close it.”

Ed turned to him, eyes searching. “Are you sure…you don’t want to come with me?”

“I’m sure. I’ve lived my whole life here, and leaving now, well. It wouldn’t make much sense would it?”

“I’m sure I could –”

“Oh, Ed. I’m sure you could, but I like it here. Tell me what to do.”

Ed explained the physics of the alchemy quickly and had Alfons practice a couple times till he got it. “After, erase this array. I don’t need people following me over.”

“Good luck,” Alfons told him as Ed activated the array. The wall glowed bright blue and began to fade away till there was nothing between the two worlds anymore. Ed’s hands trembled as he began to step forward. But he turned to face Alfons.

“Are you –”

“Positive? Yes.” Alfons pulled the silver watch he’d been holding onto out of his pocket and pressed it into Ed’s hands. “This is my place as Amestris is yours.”

Gently he pushed Ed through the hole in the wall. He could see Mustang catch Edward’s arm as he came through and finish pulling him over. Ed turned to face him one last time, mouth open to say something. “Goodbye, Edward Elric,” he whispered and shut the gateway, wiping away the array with a long stroke of his shirt sleeve. He faced the now empty room and saw the leftovers of breakfast in the sink, Ed’s lunch, Ed’s mail, Ed was everywhere in here.


“Thank you,” Alfons whispered, “thank you for giving me my life back.” He tilted his head back to the morning sun and let the tears fall.


Read the second part!