Jennifer Darknight (inuyashanohime) wrote in jen_fics,
Jennifer Darknight
inuyashanohime
jen_fics

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To Find Shamballa -- Chapter Eight Part One

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. 
Words this Chapter: 7,349 (HOLY MOTHER OF GOD O_O)
Total words: 30, 207
Beta this chapter: </a></b></a>wen_renee
Thanks: To everyone who has taken the time to read, speak to me about, and beta this story! Without all of you, I would not even have half the confidence I do now about this story, or as much of the drive to keep this monster of a story going! I can't thank you guys enough!!!
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 Fanfiction.net, but that is the cut version of this story. The complete unedited version is LJ only.


Past ChaptersP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


---
Transylvania, 1921
---
 
"OWWW! Shit!"
 
"Oh, don't be a baby, Edvard. Whose fault is it that you got into a fight, hmmm? Scared Noa half to death when she found you there in the morning, all bloody and beat up! If you're willing to fight, it means you don't mind the pain..."
 
"I'm German, not a masochist..." Alfons's voice was heard grunting in harsh German on the next chair, cold compress against his face and another against his arm, soaking up the blood. They had already been covered in disinfectant; now it was simply the water, to fully cleanse the wounds...
 
Though neither Alfons nor Edward were okay with such a concept.
 
Even if the wounds would, at one later point, somehow infect.
 
"And you keep quiet too, Alfons." Frau Oberth snapped, rubbing on one of Ed's wounds especially hard, causing him to jump. "You should have known better, too. Men and your pride...what made you two beat on each other like that anyvay?"
 
"Ah..."

               Ed wasn't sure if she really wanted to know exactly what Alfons had said to cause the issue...what he had said to cause Edward to pin him down, punching him until Alfons fought back, punching him just as hard until they were bloody messes on the floor. That woman was just daunting anyway...he was sure that if he even started telling his story, she'd pick up that huge silver ladle on the counter and beat him with it like Winry would with her wrench...except the heavyset woman seemed a bit more aggressive than Winry ever would.
 
Maybe it was the accent.
 
Though he had never heard it before...even from the Germans. It sounded something more like one that he had heard when he had gone through London forever ago...a bad accent, granted...something that hurt his ears, and with the German it sounded even worse and more unintelligible...
 
He strained his ears in an attempt to hear what she was saying, her mouth flying as she spoke to a disgruntled Alfons next to him.

               "Alfons, I keep tellin' ya that you're too good to let your emotions get the best of you! You've got so much goin' for you if you'd just get your emotions out of the way of your work! I don't know what went on between you boys, but you'd better play nice, at least during the remainder of time that you stay here!"
 
Where did he hear that accent?!
 
"Where I'm from, normally people just solve issues with a pint and let it be done with!"
 
“A pint?”
 
“Sorry—a beer, then. Sometimes I forget what language I’m speakin’ in sometimes…I used to speak good English when I was a girl—can hardly speak it now ‘cept for scattered words, I’ve been speakin’ German for too long. Guess that goes to show what happens to elopin’ girls.”
 
She eloped?
 
Poor Alfons almost seemed scandalized, giving her a half-shocked, half-curious look.
 
“You eloped, Frau Oberth?”

              Edward had to keep from chuckling when the woman pressed a little bit hard on Alfons’s wound, making him squeak in a mixture of pain and surprise.   
 
“That’s not the sort of question you ask a lady, Alfons Heiderich.” She accented his name with another press to one of his more painful wounds, eyes lowered almost in a scolding expression.
 
“OW!” Alfons cried, and Edward actually did snicker, earning him a glare.
 
“Yes, I did elope, and don’t you do it with another young lady, either. Hurts ‘em to be away from family, y’know. And Hermann, if I didn’t love the man…”
 
She seemed to ramble too, just like her husband.
 
It was no wonder that the man had married her, when you looked at it like that…
 
“You two, whatever you did to get yourselves into this mess, I want you to get yourselves out of it. You’re two very intelligent young men—you don’t need to be wastin’ your time fighting like a pair of little kids. Edvard, Alfons, I don’t want you two carryin’ this fight back to the factory so you—”
 
“Don’t worry about it, Frau Oberth,” it was amazing how Alfons could speak so clearly even when his cheek was swollen, “The problem’s already solved. It was just a misunderstanding, is all.”
 
“A misunderstandin’ that got the two of you beatin’ on each other like punchin’ bags!”
 
“But everything’s okay now, so…”
           
Alfons was probably the worst person at diplomatic relations that Edward had ever seen. Everything from his pathetic smile, the light wave, and even the tiny blush on his face did nothing but earn him a glare from the older, more irritable woman…
 
As well as a whack upside the head with a ladle.
 
“If you wanna let me know that everything’s okay, then you two start getting along and don’t let me catch you two doing any of this…this…”
 
“Don’t worry!” Alfons really was trying to get her to relax, poor guy. “Everything’s fine!”
 
…That only earned him another, harder hit in the head with the ladle.
 
 
And Edward got hit harder for laughing.
 
 
*                       *                       *
 
---
Transylvania, 1921
---
 
 
            “Alfons! Mister Edward!”
           
            Needless to say, Noa was worried. She had just come into their bedroom to call them out to breakfast (they were late! It’s not good to be late for any meal; it’s not efficient), and then she had opened the door and saw them lying on either wall and covered with cuts and bruises and they looked like they were in a huge fight. Were they mad at each other? Why would they have been mad? Alfons didn’t like fighting and Mr. Edward wasn’t a mean person (he had scary dreams, though!)…         
           
            What could have happened?
           
            Alfons didn’t look very good, even when he went out of the kitchen; his lip was swollen, his cheek was bloated, and he had a black eye and lots of cuts and stuff all over his body. Mister Edward didn’t look much better than he did. Alfons gave her a nervous wave, while Mister Edward jammed his hands in his pockets…scowling?
 
            It was hard to scowl when your face was torn up like that…
 
            “Don’t worry Noa…we’re okay.”
           
            Alfons sounded a bit funny with his lip sticking out like that…sort of muffled…but Noa wouldn’t laugh. It wasn’t nice to laugh at someone who was hurt. She had laughed because Mister Havoc burned his hand and Alfons was very stern with her about that.
 
 
            “You don’t laugh at someone when they’re suffering…that’s wrong.” Alfons said, giving her his ‘now see here young lady’ look. “Besides, you don’t like the fact that Mister Havoc is burned, do you?”
 
            “No…” Noa admitted. “It just looked funny…how he yelled and stuff.”
 
            “Well…next time he yells like that, ask ‘are you okay’ and try to help him. If someone’s in trouble, the right thing to do is help them.”
 
           
            …And Noa wanted to be a good girl. She didn’t want to be mean to anyone…
 
            “Are you sure you’re okay?” She asked. “Did you and Mister Edward get into a fight?”
 
            “Ah…”
 
            The two exchanged looks, and Noa blinked.
 
            “Um…did you?”
           
            “Well…Noa, sweetie, that is…”
           
            “If you did, you’d tell me, right?” He would, right? Alfons didn’t like lying, after all…and he told her that only bad girls lie. “Right, Alfons?”
           
            “Ah…”
           
            “It’s private.” Mister Edward finished for him, not even looking at her. His head was resting on his shoulder, and looking off towards the opposite wall.
 
            “Privit?” Noa asked.
 
            “Yeah. Private.”
 
            Why would what they had to say ‘private’? That was what Frau and Herr Oberth said when they were closing the door and keeping her out of the room at night, when she heard weird noises through the door. But that didn’t make sense. Alfons and Mister Edward were both boys, and they just met…
           
            That didn’t seem right.
 
            “Why is it private that you two are beat up? Did a monster go into your room and attack you two?”
           
            …Why did Mister Edward look like he was going to start laughing? And why did Alfons glare at him like that? Had she said something weird?
           
            “No, sweetie. A monster didn’t attack us.” Alfons said gently, kneeling down to pat her on the head. “But Mister Edward and I have to talk about grownup stuff, so I’ll talk to you later, all right?”
           
            Grownup stuff?
           
            “Um. Um…Alfons?”
           
            “Yes, Noa?”
           
“Um…um…are you and Mister Edward going to get married? Because um, um…the only one I know who says ‘grownup stuff’ is Frau Oberth, when she’s talking to Herr Oberth…”
 
She wondered why Alfons was blushing…and why Mister Edward was laughing so hard.
 
---
Transylvania, 1921
---
 
            “Edward, it isn’t that funny.” Alfons scowled, jerking the chair out from under the table and plopping down in it.
 
            “Funny as hell to me.” Edward sat down himself, still unable to hold back those snickers, damn him. It wasn’t that funny (maybe to a passer-by or a listener, but definitely not to him, dammit!).
 
            “You wouldn’t be laughing if she had asked if you were the bride, Edward.”
 
            “Just proves that long hair really doesn’t make you effeminate.”
 
            “Edward.”
 
            This wasn’t helping. They were supposed to be having a simple, serious conversation…serious…and yet all that could course through Alfons’s mind was that innocent smile, the shimmering brown eyes, and that sing-song voice that had asked them the embarrassing question that caused him to be blushing like a madman and grumbling in the first place. Edward seemed to think it was a riot; little girl assuming that Alfons—tall, short-haired, clumsy Alfons—was more feminine than the long-haired, pretty, shorter man who was sitting opposite him.
 
            It wasn’t a riot.
 
            It was a conspiracy.
 
            A conspiracy between God, Ed, Noa, and the rest of the world to make Alfons’s life hell.  
 
            It was a bit of a convenience that Frau Oberth had kicked them out the door (almost literally—so much for her infinite patience and taking them in stride…), telling them to ‘cool off’ before they ‘scared anyone else into an early grave’. Nobody would have thought twice about the pair of tousled young men wandering the city on foot, grabbing a random table at a near-abandoned café and sitting down at it. It wasn’t as if anyone came to these places during the day anyway—besides the various homeless men, women, and children who hung around the restaurant dustbins, digging inside them for something to eat.
 
Alfons could never bring himself to look at them; look at him, living in a home, having a roof over his head…and yet he couldn’t even help the poor people who were left to suffer the most because of the outcome of that damned war. Those hard years had taken their toll on everyone…But they, the innocents, had to suffer more than anyone else. In some cases, even more so than those who had to fight in the battles…because at least they had proper burials if they were dead, honored as those who died for their country…and if they were alive, looked upon as proof of the war’s cruelty, and treated with great respect by the various passers-by…
 
But there were others who weren’t so lucky.
           
            Damn war. Damn Americans. Damn French. If it weren’t for them…
 
            Alfons sighed, unclenching his fist.
 
            No…the result would have been the same…except they would have been the ones suffering in the end.
           
            Even if they have nothing to do with it, innocents still end up being the ones paying the price for the winners’ actions. And no matter how ‘diplomatic’ or ‘peaceably’ a war ends…it’s still the losers who pay the ultimate price while the winners gloat and write the history for the history books… And so round and round the circle goes…
           
            Alfons cleared his throat, keeping his eyes down at the table a moment before finally looking up.
           
            He had to focus.
           
            “So, Edward…About Al.”
           
            Edward seemed to have been off in his own little world—it was like he hadn’t heard him at first. Eyes cloudy, chin in his hand, staring out into the distance…he blinked a few times, shaking his head once before registering as ‘awake’, giving Alfons a rather surprised look.
           
            “Huh?”
           
            Alfons sighed. This was going to be a long conversation. He just knew it.
           
            “Don’t you remember, Edward? After I beat you to a bloody pulp—“
 
            “—You did not!—“
 
            “—you told me that you wanted me to talk to you about your brother. What I know.”   
           
            “…”
           
            He took a deep breath and turned his gaze down, biting the outside of his lip; he couldn’t bring himself to look up towards Edward—to see that haunted look on his face or the distance in his eyes. He’d seen it enough; he didn’t need to look at him to know what that was like. The way the eyes would dim, tremble just a bit, then widen, pupils dilating and the gold dulling even in the brightest of light, in which it would normally form into a bright haze—
           
            This was crazy.
 
            This whole situation was crazy.
 
            I’m telling someone, who I just met but didn’t just meet, about a little brother who I look just like and also dream about every night and about things that should never even be sane my God, how do I even explain this to myself? I’d say this is a dream, but dreams aren’t normally this painful—he really got me good.
 
            But crazy or no, he made this bed of his. Now it was time to lay in it.
 
            “How…How much do you remember of what I told you last night?”
           
            “…Honestly?”
 
            “…Yes.”
 
            “…Too much. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re not Al, and you’ve never had any contact with the Gate; there’s no way you could touch into memories of the other side…much less feel any connection to Al at that level. If everyone had that sort of connection, then everyone on this side would know Alchemy, theoretically. And conversely, if everyone on our side dreamt about their alternates on this side, then the technology that’s on this side might have either accompanied, or even completely replaced the use of Alchemy.”
           
            You’re right. It doesn’t make any sense. But that doesn’t make it any less real.
 
            Alfons let out a sigh. “Even so…”
           
            “Even so, this is fucked up.”
           
            Another sigh. “Messed up as it is, Edward, it happened, and there’s nothing you or I can do to change that.”
 
            Wasn’t that the truth. Just thinking about what he was going to have to say almost gave him a headache.
 
            He swallowed hard.
           
            “Remember…when I told you that I had those strange fits a few months before I came here?”
           
            Edward wasn’t being any help. It wasn’t any lack of seriousness on his part—when Alfons had the courage to look up at him, all he could see was a young man sitting ramrod straight with golden eyes piercing into his very brain matter through his skull—but rather a…well.
           
            “Are you going to look at me when you talk, Alfons, or am I going to have to knock your head into place?”
 
            “S-Sorry. You just look so…intense. It’s hard to look at you.”
           
            “Intense? You make it sound like you’re coming onto me.”
           
             “Don’t say ridiculous things, Edward. Of course I’m not coming onto you.”
           
            “Ah, is my blushing bride deciding to confess her feelings to me already?”
           
            “Edward, do you want a repeat of last night?”
           
            “Just get to the fucking point then!”
 
            “I will if you’d let me!”
           
            “You’re acting like a girl, Alfons.”
 
            Alfons’s eyebrow twitched.
 
            …and he promptly refrained from hitting Edward, hard, upside the head. .
           
            “As I was going to say, Edward” breathe in, breathe out. Do not hit Edward for calling you feminine in public, do not hit him “Shortly after I had that fever, that was when I started having the dreams again.”
 
            “About Al?” Edward asked.
 
            Alfons nodded. At least his throat wasn’t dry now. It felt a little wet…raw, a bit, but still wet, and it was easier for him to talk without his palms starting to sweat. “Yeah. When I was a kid, Alphonse Elric was in a large suit of armor—he couldn’t feel anything, and when I dreamt, I couldn’t feel anything either. It was in a sort of numb cocoon…things were…sensed, rather than felt. And his field of vision was well…different.” Breathe in, breathe out…”It was like standing outside of someone’s body, but still being inside—I’m not really good with words, so it’s hard to explain exactly how to say it without calling it between something. Like you’re in the body, but you can see outside the steel, though you yourself can see from the steel. The vantage point was also in the chest, not the head, because that was where his center was…the blood seal…”
           
            Edward made a visible twitch.
 
            “So…when I found myself dreaming and I opened my eyes, only to find feeling…it was almost a shock too much for me to handle. Like the feeling you get when you brush your teeth…only to eat something really cold or really hot afterwards. Alphonse was lying somewhere really dark…and cold. I don’t exactly know where it was…it looked…like some sort of auditorium. There was very little light, and Alphonse’s eyesight was still very fuzzy...No, Edward, Al’s eyes are fine. Don’t worry. Just…at the start, it took a while to adjust. His body also took a heavy strain…he could hardly walk. Couldn’t talk very well, either. His skin was also increasingly sensitive…”
 
            There was no way Edward would believe this, even if it was about Al. Here he was, Alfons Heiderich, seemingly a normal rocket scientist who just had weird dreams every night that were just a bit too vivid (and an illness that went on and off and nobody could explain past simple painful delirium—it was a wonder he wasn’t admitted into an asylum just yet)…there was no reason to believe his story. Or even consider believing it, for that matter.  What was there to believe? Any other person would have locked him up and thrown away the key long ago, and Edward had no real reason to trust him. He trusted very few people as it was, but someone like him, with his background and the fact that he knew of his little brother and knew of alchemy of all things made him even less trustworthy. Alfons was simply waiting for the moment Edward shot down everything he said…
 
            “Now tell me what’s really going on,” he might have said.
 
            No. He would have added some extra swear words somewhere with that. At least, with this stage of irritation. Alfons was sure that he didn’t really trust him…
 
            “…How do you know all this?”
           
            …And lo and behold, Alfons was right.
 
            …well. Not with exact quotes, but close enough.
 
            “I told you already, Edward.”
 
            Edward didn’t seem to be buying it. Not that he would have expected any less. In fact, he’d expected he be more vulgar or at least hostile about it.
 
            Odd.
 
            Perhaps Edward Elric had learned a little bit of restraint.
 
            …I don’t think that’s possible.
           
            “But you said that you didn’t know where Al was.” Ed drummed his prosthetic fingers on the table—some sort of nervous twitch that couldn’t have been possible in modern-day prosthetics—and Alfons could feel himself swallow a bit. “If you’d been dreaming of Al, like you said, you’d know where he was.”
           
            “That’s just it. After I got the fever a second time, the dreams…stopped.”
           
            Edward gave him a dubious look. “Stopped?”
           
            “Y-yeah. For several months, before I finally got the fever for the last time, and then they came back.”
           
            “What was the last thing you remember?” Ed asked, though Alfons had a sneaking suspicion that he was trying to catch him in some sort of lie.
 
            “Before the dreams stopped?”
           
            “When else?
Tags: edxalfons, fma, to find shamballa
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