Jennifer Darknight (inuyashanohime) wrote in jen_fics,
Jennifer Darknight

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Fic: "To Find Shamballa", Chapter Two

Dammit...if I kept editing this thing it was never going to be finished, so unless I post it now, I'm never going to be satisfied with it. So here it is...Chapter 2 of "Shamballa"

Title: To Find Shamballa
Pairing: Edward Elric x Alfons Heiderich
Side Pairings: Alphonse Elric x Winry Rockbell, Roy Mustang x Sheska, onesided Roy Mustang x Riza Hawkeye
Rating: G-NC-17
Summary: Alfons Heiderich had gone to Transylvania to pursue his passion, and maybe find a way to help save his tattered country. Little did he know that he would find Edward Elric. 
Thanks: To my beta ssjkawaiitenshi, whose MSN I spammed with this chapter as I was writing it...thank you for helping me, even when you were busy~
Note: This is the remake of the entire Movie arc. This is heavy DIVERGENCE. This is EXTREME DIVERGENCE. DIVERGENCE WITH A CAPITAL DIVERGENCE xD This will also be posted on, but that is the cut version of this story. The complete unedited version is LJ only.
Note 2: GAH~ This is short too! Only 2, 390 words~ I have a lot planned for chapter 3, so please be patient with me~ 
Note 3: And for those who are waiting for me to update my RoyxAl me, I'm working on it. :3 I did a bit on it yesterday, in fact. So it's not dead XD

Prologue    Chapter One

                Gold hair, fluttering about in a loose, almost haphazard braid…black clothes, hanging off his form…a long red coat, white gloves…a short, but muscular stature…
                One arm, one leg, made of metal…
                And a youthful, handsome face, fixed in a perpetual cocky grin…
                But his golden eyes were shining dimly, glowed over with a sort of sadness…a regret…
                He always felt cool…numb when he dreamed; that feeling of being himself…but not. Alive, yet in many ways dead…feeling, but only esoterically…human, but inside steel…encased within a metal shell that could not eat, sleep, relieve themselves, or dream.
                He wasn’t exactly sure when he had started having these dreams…was he ten? Eleven? Younger than that? He couldn’t even remember.
                Maybe it was an aftermath of the fever…it could have been. That damn thing lasted for only an hour…but the heat and the immense physical pain was enough to send him bawling louder than he ever had, and nearly gave his poor mother and brother a panic attack.
He was also delirious…screaming…crying. Crying for someone, reaching out his hands…
But nobody understood him.
…Apparently nobody in the room knew how to speak English, save his father.
…A language Alfons had never spoken a word of in his young life.
But as quickly as it came, the fever was gone…and Alfons was well and fine…as if he had never been harmed or sick at all.
…And then the dreams began.
He wasn’t sure where they had come from; they couldn’t have been the dreams of a scientist…of one who respected the laws of nature, physics, and reason more than anything else. They were otherworldly—things that were told in stories and fairy tales that his mother would often tell him as a baby…things that would help little children go to sleep after a bad dream.
But some of the things he had seen that first dream made all of his worst nightmares look like piddly things…silly childish things that were nothing.
He remembered that much about it very well.
There was blood everywhere in those first moments…
And even thereafter…
“Auntie, Winry…Please…help him…”
In those dreams, he was armor. A hulking suit of armor with a soul infused within the metal, with the stature of a man but the heart of an innocent child…an innocent child that liked kittens, reading, and card games…just like himself. But unlike himself, he was strong, knew how to fight, and could get himself out of trouble faster than Alfons could build a dummy engine.
An innocent child that was paying penance for a grave sin—one that was so great that it cost him his entire body, and his brother’s right arm to at least bring his soul to the land of the living.
Had that been wise?
Alfons wasn’t exactly the expert on ‘sins’ and ‘forgiveness’. He ran out of Church as a child often, and felt uncomfortable near the places—and the unpleasant dream about the father who ‘brought people back to life’ didn’t help either. Was that why the two brothers—Edward and Alphonse—committed a great sin in that dream world of his?
But that didn’t explain the fever.
And the pain.
And even despite that…he hadn’t done anything particularly horrible in his life. He followed the Bible as well as he could, cared for his fellow man, tried his best not to judge or discriminate (though he was human, after all…so admittedly he had failed in this attempt several times)…and he didn’t have a particularly bad case of wanderlust, either. In fact, he was more of a homebody—to all who knew him, that wasn’t too surprising, really…
And he must have had one hell of an imagination to think up all those landscapes and races.
And Alchemy.
Especially Alchemy.
To think of the fundaments of this strange…‘science’…at that sort of level…that was truly unheard of. It was disproved by any of the modern theorem, but somehow his dreams seemed to make some sort of sense to him.
“Alchemists…be thou for the people…what a joke that is.”
                A drawn circle…a clap of hands…and a flash of light.
                “It’s only a matter of time, Rose…Science will find a way. Science is the answer to everything.”
                Science was the answer to everything…what a joke. All rational thought dictated that it wasn’t actual science. It was a pseudo-science at best…
                A pseudo-science formed under the principle of Equivalent Exchange.
Gleichwertiger Austausch.
                To obtain, one must give something up of equal value…like an equation, of sorts. A-B equals B-A. Like the concept of balancing equations, that was founded in basic chemistry, or the Law of the Conservation of Mass…
                A dream-science. That was all it was.
                That somehow made sense in his head, but at the same time made no sense at all…
                It was amazing what dreams could do to mess with a normally sane mind.
                “I’m not worthless!”
                “You’ll make such a great bomb, Al…”
                “This is the least I can do…”
                Bits and pieces…before the red light, that was the last dream he remembered. Simple pictures and sound by now…the dreams had gotten weaker….much less vivid than they once were.
                How long had that been?
                That must have been six months ago.
                A desert town…
                A man with a scar on his face…
                Strange symbols dotting the armor…
                Then the red light came…and with the searing pain, cold sweats, shakes, and vomiting, it was like he was ten all over again.
                But it was like he had lost something…though he wasn’t even sure what.
                The dreams stopped after that…and then he grew weak. Consistent coughing, weak lungs, weak legs, weak muscles, occasionally vomiting blood…he got sickly, and would often be bedridden, despite his hardest efforts to stay on his feet.
                He had to steel all of his efforts just to go out and see the professor. Coughing and sickness and weakness be damned, he had to go and that was final.
                Two months later…he was in Hungary at the time, resting during his journey to go see Herr Oberth…that was the final time he felt the Pain.
                It was just like the last two…only he had guests in a hotel to worry about, and with his screaming, he was sure that someone or other had tried to get him a doctor after he fainted, lying down unconscious on the floor.
                …The dreams had, in the end, returned…
                And his body had somehow regained its previous strength.
                “I’ll work hard and then I’ll bring Brother back again! Trust me!”
                The Brothers Elric of his dreams had separated.
                And now…
                The young man standing in the room, in front of Oberth’s desk…
                It was like looking at a ghost.
                A ghost that he never thought he would ever see…never in person.
                                                *                              *                              *
Name: Edward Elric
Age: 16
Nationality: Amestrian (Says he’s American)
Occupation: Wanderer/Former State Alchemist
                “Oh, Alfons! Come in, come in!”
                When Edward Elric had come to this world from the other side, he had thought that he would have never heard that name uttered from casual lips again. Just from the annals of a memory, or maybe dreams, haunting him until he just couldn’t take it anymore.
                He had certainly not expected the young ‘genius’ of the apprentices to share the same name…
                And as he turned to him…
                Certainly not the same face, either.
                Blond hair, blue eyes…pale skin. A body that was tall, but shouldn’t be, dammit…soft features, not one ounce of muscle…
                And a nervous smile that somehow made Edward uneasy.
                The boy—Alfons—took a step forward, glancing at Ed for just a quick moment before looking at the roundish, older man sitting on the other end of the desk.
                “You called me, sir?”
                “Yes,” Hermann Oberth was pleasant enough—one of those ‘middle-aged-guy-next-door’ types with a round body and a gentle smile…it almost reminded him of Sig a little…well. More fat, less muscle. No offense to the poor man, but Herr Oberth didn’t look like he could lift forty pounds without wheezing. “Alfons, I’d like to introduce you…this gentleman is Edward Elric.”
                Why did Alfons’s back suddenly stiffen?
                What reason did he possibly have to seem estranged—if anything…Edward should have been the one looking like that.
                But he probably already did.  
                He had no doubt of that…
                He could still feel his hands shaking.
                “El…ric?” He repeated, as if he couldn’t pronounce it…though even with the thick accent, Alfons managed to swallow the word perfectly.
                “Yes. Mr. Elric hails all the way from America…didn’t you say you were from…?”
                It’s the same face. The same face…the same name. But it can’t be. Al’s on the other side. At least I think he is…if the transmutation worked correctly…
                “New York.” Ed finished (more like choked, really), in his horribly accented German. “I came from New York.”
                Alfons looked to him, tilting his head to the side. “New York, hm?” 
                Those blue eyes on him were almost unnerving…
                The old man told me that this would happen…But…I didn’t think I’d run into…
                “So…” The man was trying his best to smile…but it was hard to look at him. Nervous, a thin smile…clenching, unclenching hands…
                Alfons swallowed, and tried opening his mouth again:
                “You…ist American, ja?”
                …Edward tried not to cringe at the accent that hung in the young man’s English. 
                …But Herr Oberth however did not share the same sentiment.
                “Alfons, so you do speak English as well as I have heard.”
                Edward almost expected that Alfons would blush like he had…soft pink splashing across his cheeks. “N-no sir…not at all. I only know a little.”
                “You mustn’t overlook your talents.”
                “Really sir…it isn’t much…”             
                The same smile, the same voice…the same face and if he had gained some muscle, the same body too. There were some differences, to be sure…Alfons’s face was paler and he didn’t look well…but…
                The similarity really was uncanny.
                Sickeningly so, really…
                He was sure that if Al had been able to grow up, if Al had been able to live a normal life, just like everyone else…he probably would have looked exactly the same, spare a few differences.
                Not here. He wasn’t going to think about that here.
                He was on the road to getting back to him…he had to focus.
                “AL! What the hell?!”
                The sniffling sound should have given it away…even in the pitch blackness that had covered the room. His eleven-year-old eyes weren’t on their last legs…nor were they even bad, per se…but…
                He felt the familiar warmth crawl under the covers, settling down next to him.
                Ed sighed.
                “Al…can’t you sleep?”
                “N…no…” the larger (damn him) form whimpered, snuggling closer.
                “Come on. You have to get some sleep.”
                “But Brother…”
                “No buts. We’re going to be seeing her tomorrow. Don’t wanna be tired, do you?”
                “Then come on. Let’s get some sleep.”
                That was the night it all happened. Al had crawled into his bed…and then after they still didn’t go to sleep…they decided…that…
                “…Herr Elric?”
                Shit. He wasn’t paying attention.
                Alfons’s soft blue eyes bore into his, and Herr Oberth’s calm black ones looked at him questioningly from his spot, as well.
                Damn it.
                “Ahhh, yeah.”
                “Then shall we go?” Alfons smiled a bit…though there seemed something off about it.
                “Y-yeah, sure.”
                He really needed to start paying more attention. There was no room to start spacing out…especially now.
                                                *                              *                              *
                It was almost unnerving…the way that Edward was looking at him.
                Same face. Same eyes. Same hair. Same name.
                There had to be some sort of mistake. It couldn’t be right.
                But still…
                “If you could, try to show him how things go for the first few days…your room is also empty…is it all right if he takes the extra bed in there, as well?”
                Alfons blinked…tried his best to smile, really. “Of course. I’d be delighted.”
                Rooming with him.
                It was just too strange.
                Didn’t this just seem too convenient? He looked the same, was just as standoffish, had the same name, had a similar accent, even…
                No, no.
                Things like that just didn’t happen. Alfons was a man of science, after all, and things like this just didn’t happen, no matter how many wackos or crazies claimed that things like this happened daily, and all the time…that aliens poked at your door and that demons abducted your children, sending them into hellfire. Herr Oberth was just introducing a new apprentice from New York, and he was just to stay with him, because of his (limited) English knowledge. That was all.
                I wonder if he has false limbs too.
                That was a silly thing to think. He couldn’t have false limbs. He wasn’t the same person. The moment he figured that out, and just dealt with it, the day things grew easier and he didn’t have to worry about such unscientific things anymore.
                That was all.
                They weren’t the same person.
                They couldn’t be.
                “Herr…Elric?” Alfons swallowed.
                He must have caught him mid-glance, or in thought because the man suddenly stopped, snapping his head and looking at him.
                “Call me Ed.” He grumbled in barely passable German.
                “Ja, Edward is good.” …His English was probably not that passable either, come to think of it. He may have been the only one there who could speak passable English, but…
                He had to think of some sort of conversation. “We’re…about to arrive…in…Workroom.”
                “Y-yes…” Alfons knew he wasn’t getting anywhere with his English, damn it. He had to learn more… “This where…engines…assembled.”
                “I can speak German too, you know.
                …he could speak it, but the accent was horrible enough for Alfons to just start crying. He was hardly able to understand it, as it was…
                “Ja, but English easier?”
                Edward shook his head…
                Though why was he trying to avoid eye contact?
                “Look. I’ll speak in English, you speak in German. It’s easier for the both of us.”
                “But I want learn.” Alfons retorted stubbornly.
                He let out a sigh. “Whatever.”
                “Brother, you’re so unmanageable!!”
                “Who the hell’s unmanageable, Al?! The bastard called me short!”
                “But you didn’t have to break the table!”
                Unmanageable, huh?
                Even if he wasn’t the same person…
                Alfons Heiderich had a feeling that this Edward Elric was going to be just like the one who had once resided in his dreams.

Tags: edxalfons, fma, to find shamballa
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