Jennifer Darknight (inuyashanohime) wrote in jen_fics,
Jennifer Darknight

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To Find Shamballa: Chapter 4 Part One

Title: To Find Shamballa
Pairing: Edward Elric x Alfons Heiderich
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. 
Beta: ssjkawaiitenshi

Prologue    Chapter One  Chapter Two  Chapter Three

Transylvania, 1921—five hours before Alfons woke up
Name: Noa
Age: 4
Nationality: Thought to be of Tribal, or Gypsy descent
Occupation: None
                She didn’t remember much. Not before the ‘explosions’ came.
                A smile here…
                A gentle pat on the head there…
                A set of cards…the same that she has now…being lied out on a table…
                A group of dark-skinned people congregating amongst themselves in a language she couldn’t quite remember.
                It was all so fuzzy—she wasn’t exactly sure who all of them were, and none of them ever had faces.
                Faceless people, though somehow she knew that they were smiling, or talking gently to her.
                …They always spoke to her in her dreams, anyway…but she never knew what they were saying.
                All she remembered was the loud noises…hiding in a box in the back of the truck, heat…
                And then, that was when Frau Oberth found her.
                “You poor thing—are you all right?”
                Noa stared up, wide-eyed, unsure of what to say…unsure of what to do…she just stood there, frozen…
                “Come on—you can’t just stand there looking like that…you at least need to eat something, dear.”
                Noa nodded dumbly.
                It had been a year since then, hadn’t it? Maybe two. Noa couldn’t remember. She didn’t keep much track of time, really—everything either went too slow or too quickly, but taking things as they went didn’t work either. It didn’t seem to give her any sort of solace, anyway.
                She wasn’t sure how she managed for a while.
                “But that was then, and this is now,” as Alfons would always say.
                Had he only been there for four months? It was almost like Noa had known him forever. It was strange to think about waking up and not seeing him at breakfast, sneaking her an extra piece of sausage under the table, at which time she’d tuck it in her skirt pocket until she was safely away—where she could enjoy it by herself without anyone noticing.
                Or even during the day, scolding her gently for running in the hallways or for going into the workroom when everyone was busy. Or just being in the workroom at all, though it was a dangerous place.
                Come to think of it…
                She never really talked to anyone else.
                Not out of the apprentices, anyway…She wasn’t called “Silent Noa” by a lot of them for nothing.
                But the really big guy scared her, and the dog-man was mean…and everyone else sort of shooed her away.
                Alfons knelt down, smiling, looking the girl in the eyes. He was always so tall, but nobody had ever knelt down to her height before…not anyone besides Mr. Havoc and Frau Oberth, anyway. And he was so young, too.
                “Are you okay?” He always spoke in such a quiet, soft tone.
                Noa nodded. She could feel her face grow a bit hot.
                “Are you lost?”
                Noa shook her head.
                “I’m…” She paused, swallowing hard, thinking of what to say. “…lonely.”
                “Oh, I’m sorry…” A pat on the head…Mr. Havoc gave her those all the time, though since he was always busy they didn’t talk much…
                “It’s okay.” Noa whispered, shuffling her feet. “Everyone is really busy…”
                “Well, I’m not busy right now…and I’m a bit lost, myself. Do you know where you can find the dormitories?”
                “Uh-huh. My room is by there.” She wondered where the confidence had come from—how she could just talk to a stranger without even knowing their name. “The dormitories and the workroom were added a while ago, you know. Herr Oberth had apprentishes, so he had to have places for them to sleep. This used to be such a smaaaall house, but then they decided to make it so much bigger.”
                He had laughed…he had such a nice, shy laugh. “I see. Do you think you could take me there then? If it isn’t much trouble.”
                “It’s not a problem.” She shuffled her feet again. Where had that courage gone? “Um…I’m Noa.”
                “Noa…that’s a pretty name.”
                “Thanks…Frau Oberth says it’s pretty, too.” She paused, shuffling her feet even more. “What’s your name?”
                “I’m Alfons. Alfons Heiderich.”
                 Alfons was really nice.
                He was going to have to leave someday though…everyone was going to have to. Back to wherever they came from (Alfons was from Germany, he said).
                But he was here now, wasn’t he?
                She didn’t want him to leave.
                She first saw the golden-haired man when he burst out of the workroom in a blur, storming down the hall on clunky boots, making a loud enough noise to make Noa jump, running behind a nearby stack of boxes.
                “Fucking assholes…shit, what was I thinking…what the fuck…goddamn idiots—they’re not doing it right, but fuck, they won’t listen to me…”
                Noa didn’t know much English…the only little bit she knew was from Alfons, and he hadn’t taught her much…but a couple of the words she had heard Alfons say when he was mad, though he had told her never to say them, and that they were bad words…
                So that meant that this man was doing a bad thing.
                But it wasn’t good to tell on adults.
                He had stomped down the hall a bit before throwing the door open, his gait going a bit back to normal before stepping in the doorway, slamming it shut behind him.
                Noa flinched, and felt herself cling tighter to the boxes.
                That man…
                That was the new apprentice, right?
                He was scary…
                                                *                              *                              *
Transylvania, 1921—Two hours before Alfons woke up
                “Noa, could you please be a dear and get out of the kitchen? We have some things to do, and I don’t want you to get hurt.”
                She had always liked the kitchen though—liked the smells and sounds of bubbling sauces, baking meats and simmering soups. The sight and sound of food always made her mouth water, and even if she couldn’t eat it…
                But the adults didn’t like her hanging around there. Even when she was quiet, and she didn’t move from her usual perch, the two worried…as if she was going to get hurt when they prepared food on the other end of the room.
                She was little though, so she understood. Alfons didn’t want her in the workroom because he didn’t want her hurt, and Frau Oberth didn’t want her in the kitchen too much because she didn’t want her hurt.
                But it was annoying. She was four-and-a-half; she wasn’t a baby anymore!
                She could easily take care of herself—but nobody seemed to agree with her.
                But it would be immature to get angry over something so stupid. The Dog-Man got angry about things like this, and there was no way that she was going to turn out like him.
                So, sighing, Noa left, pattering her feet out the kitchen door and peeking into the hallway.
                “FUCK! Where the hell am I?”
                Noa’s body stiffened, and she had half the mind to just run back into the kitchen where it was safe—where that scary golden-haired man from three hours ago couldn’t see her.
                There was another box nearby!
                Her tiny body moved quickly, ducking behind it and peeking out…this was such a good hiding spot! He would never notice her!
                “Damn it…”
                He was saying bad words to himself again! She should tell!
                “Damn it—how the hell am I going to get anything done if all they’re doing is fucking wasting time? Goddamn it—I’m lost.”
                She understood that word.
                Noa clung to the box still, brown eyes blinking as she stared up.
                He was lost?
                “…I’m a bit lost, myself.”
                Alfons was lost on his first day, too.
                Al? Who was Al?
                …That was a bad word.
                He banged his fist against the wall and then turned around, leaning his back against it and sliding down to the floor. He looked dazed…out of it. Like he was deep in thought.
                He almost looked…
                He looks so sad.
                Al…damn it, how long is it going to take before I get home? I’m stuck here…nothing’s getting done. These morons said they’ve been here for months, but they act like they haven’t studied an engine in their entire fucking life.
                Noa felt her body stiffen again, despite itself.
                She could hear it again.
                When people were talking without opening their mouths.          
                She didn’t know whether or not to be scared of it. Sometimes it would be quiet…sometimes it would just be one person talking at once, and it would be loud, clear, and easy to understand. They would say things that she didn’t understand…or things that they didn’t want to tell anybody. But still they would tell her somehow, and she would hear them.
                But then there were other times…when everyone talked at once. It was jumbled and hard to hear, and it made her head hurt. She had told Alfons about it once…though he didn’t seem to understand. He said it was something like ‘body language’, and that she could tell what a person was thinking by how they were sitting and how it was important to know that for when she got older, and how she was very ‘special’ for being ‘perceptive’.
                …What did ‘perceptive’ mean?
                And then there’s that guy, Alfons. That irritating…He looks just like you, Al. Acts like you. It’s damned hard to look at him, ‘cause it makes me miss home even more—I don’t belong here. This isn’t home. It’s a fucking nightmare.
                Alfons was irritating? He looked like this ‘Al’ person?
                She didn’t understand.
                Noa felt a bit of a pang in her chest, looking at him. His eyes were closed now, and he didn’t look as scary as he did before. He was angry, but his non-talking-talking voice was sad. Maybe that sort of angry-sad that Alfons felt when he talked about his home. About that big war that nobody would really talk about to her…said it was grownup stuff.
                But it wasn’t any fun to be homesick.
                Cautiously, she stepped out from behind the box, swallowing hard.
                Nobody liked being sad.
                Shit, I wouldn’t even care if I had to listen to Colonel Shit’s pompous lecturing, or get hit in the face with Winry’s wrench a hundred times over, Al. Just if I could get home, and see everyone again. Maybe get a house in Resembool, or even get my old job back, traveling the world. I wouldn’t care, so long as I was home.
                Noa took a few tottering steps forward…
                Wonder if the Colonel actually managed to beat the Fuhrer? Wouldn’t doubt it. Men like him don’t just lie down and die…
                A few more steps…
                But I wonder how you’re doing, little brother?
                Noa stopped in front of him, hands clasped tight behind her back.
                The man opened his eyes, alarmed.
                Noa’s grip tightened, and she shuffled her feet.
                Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
                “C-Can I…Can I…um…”
                She swallowed hard.
                “S-Sit with you?”
                                                *                              *                              *
                She must have been staring at him for about two to three minutes. Not that Edward was counting, but it was hard not to notice the passage of time with the way her expressions seemed to change.
                Anxiety, then fear, then anxiety again, then fear again…
                If he was home, he would have made the assumption that she was from Lior, or Ishbal. Her skin was dark, and her eyes were a deep shade of brown. Her hair was the same color, too… with a pair of short braids that hung down in the front, while the rest flowed out loose down her back. 
                She looks like Rose, a little.
                “Um…I’m…” Her German even had an accent, if not a small one. “I’m…sorry.”
                Her eyes lowered, and she kicked her feet.
                “It’s just…um…I d-didn’t mean to bother you…um…I’ll go…”
                Well, shit. This was going well. His first day and he had pissed off his colleagues, met a guy who looked just like his baby brother, and now he was about to hurt the feelings of a little girl who had nothing to do with either issue.
                He sighed.
                “It’s fine.” He had to stop himself before he said it in English—there was no way she would have understood him if he spoke in it, anyway.
                Her eyes glanced up a little.
                “It is?” she asked.
                “…didn’t I say that it was?”
                “Uh…uh-huh. S-sorry.”
                “Don’t be sorry. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
                He closed his eyes, but he could hear the pit-patter of little feet as the girl moved towards him, and he could feel the warmth on his flesh arm when her shoulder brushed it.
                “This okay?” she asked.
                “S’fine.” Ed grumbled.
                They stayed that way…
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Tags: edxalfons, fma, to find shamballa
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