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

To Find Shamballa -- Chapter Nine, 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: 5,912
Total words: 35,973
People I spammed scenes of this chapter to over IM near-consantly(or at least once or twice): wen_renee, fushigirockna, cryogenia
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 8

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---
Transylvania, 1921
---
 
 
 
                “Because I don’t want you to suffer anymore, Ed.”
 
                “Alfons…I…”
 
                “W-Well, you’ve been through enough, right? It must be hard for you…and you deserve better than what you get. I think Al would agree with me.”
 
                “I…”
 
                “C-Come on, Ed…we need to go back.”
 
 
 
                ‘Go back’ was right. Go back, go into his room, lie down, and sleep. Sleep all this away. Sleep that awkward conversation that they had shared and all the questions that seemed to surface in Edward’s mind.
 
                Was Alfons real?
 
                Was this world real?
 
                Was what Alfons was telling him the truth?
 
                Alfons had dreams about Al…that much was for certain. He knew him. He knew Al. He knew things that nobody else could know. He took the insanity that was the story of Edward Elric and simplified it, believed it, talking to him like a human being and not as something else. Not as the invalid that most would have referred to him as.
 
                It didn’t make any sense.
 
                Edward had turned Alfons away. Mistreated him. Told him he was fake. He pushed him away and treated him like garbage more times than he could count, and yet Alfons still smiled at him. He had the nerve to look at Edward like that, hands on the table, expression serious…
 
               
                “Because I don’t want you to suffer anymore, Ed.”
 
               
                This was ridiculous. This whole thing was ridiculous. What the hell—Alfons had no right to be good to him, and yet here he was.
 
                He even gave him all the pillows and blankets, rather huddling close on his side.
 
                Wasn’t that cold?
 
                Edward himself was feeling hot under that blanket, but there was no way he was going to poke out. Not when his prosthetics were so obvious under his nightclothes—or rather, lack of them.
 
                Alfons rolled over again, letting out a soft sigh and nuzzling the pillow. Well. What little pillow he had, anyway. How many pillows did Ed have, anyway?
 
                One, two…three…oh, there’s four, by his feet, and there was the one between his knees, but that was to keep his back straight. Then there was the one that was under his head, and…
 
                Oh.
 
                Alfons wasn’t kidding when he called him a pillow-hog, was he?
 
                Pillow-hog and blanket-hog…enough so to leave his bedmate freezing next to him in a huddled heap.
 
                Nice, Ed.
 
                Nice.
 
                What a way to screw him over; first Envy, then a figment of his imagination, then a two-bit copy of his younger brother…and now leave him freezing with hardly any pillow to lay on.
 
                Alfons…are you really dreaming of Al right now? Is he really okay? Fuck, I’m not sure if I can believe you when you say that you see him…it’s all too damn convenient…but it all fits together. There’s no other way to describe it.
 
                It didn’t mean that it made it less complicated.
 
                Alfons’s chest rose and fell gently with each breath; in through the nose, out through the mouth…Lips slackened, showing the tiniest hint of well-kept teeth, and a pink tongue almost ready to pop out of his mouth and hang out, like panting dog. Cheeks were flushed, even with his lack of heat (for the love of fuck, he was shivering!), and his fists were right next to his face, close enough for him to stick his thumb out and start sucking on it…
 
                What the fuck—I’m staring at him.
 
                Damn it—he was shivering again. Alfons’s body let out one hard rack of a shudder, and the man curled into himself tighter, as if to let out the cold that was most certainly attacking him on all sides and angles.
 
                Not like he wasn’t already curled into himself to begin with.
 
                He really looks cold.
 
                But…blanket. Prosthetics. Hiding them from any unwitting moron that might have walked in the door to see them.
 
                But…
 
                Alfons was freezing.
 
                Oh, fucking hell.
 
                “Alfons, get up.”
 
                He wasn’t moving.
 
                Damn it.
 
                Edward found himself sitting up, picking up a few of the pillows from the right side of his pillow fort and moving them towards Alfons, who didn’t seem to even budge, save from curling tighter into himself and almost whimpering.
 
                Was he really that cold?
 
                Or maybe he was having a particularly bad dre—
 
                The sick feeling in the pit of Ed’s stomach at even the thought of that thought made him cease from that direction entirely, even with the nagging voice trying to urge him back to the spiked pit of catch-22 depression. Him getting into a phase of angst-filled guilt did nothing to help his own dreams, after all.
 
                Besides.
 
                That really did look cold.
 
                …
 
                …He was feeling guilty just looking at the guy. Had he really been shivering like that every night since they started sharing a room?
 
                “mmmm…”
 
                Alfons licked his lips once. Twice.
 
                “Alfons, come on. Don’t make me hit you with ‘em.”
 
                His response was nothing more than another grunt, and Alfons curled into himself tighter. His body was trembling, but it might as well have been downright convulsing, with the amount of attention Edward was paying to every single minute twitch.               
 
                …
 
                Fucking hell.
 
                Edward squirmed out from his fort, cursing the cold air that seemed to barrage on his prosthetics just from him moving, and if he was a weaker sort, would have dove back under the covers and stayed there, just like he did every night until the warm rays of morning sun kissed his face. Stayed down there and ignored the shivering man next to him.
 
                But it didn’t look like that was going to be an option at this point.
 
                Damn it, it didn’t look like Alfons was going to wake up…
 
                Slowly, he took a pillow with one hand, and put his hand under Alfons’s head with the other (the flesh one—always the flesh one—the prosthetic always got hair stuck in it—not like the automail)….
 
                Alfons whimpered.
 
                “Wi…”
 
                ‘Wi’?
 
                Edward blinked.

                Talking in his sleep?
 
                “Win…ry.”
 
                ….!!!!
 
                ‘Winry’?
 
                Edward’s stomach clenched. His palms started to sweat, his heart beat fast…He hardly remembered that his hand was on the back of Alfons’s head, as they both started to clench involuntarily…
 
                Though it was debated if Alfons could even feel that.
 
                “Winry…”
 
                Louder this time…
 
                He had to move. Or at least, he should have moved…just turned away, and gone back to sleep. Pretended he didn’t notice, and pretended that he didn’t have that sick feeling now penetrating his stomach and coursing through his veins.
 
                But…
 
                Alfons’s face was contorted slightly…eyes scrunched and mouth turned downwards, halfway between crying and pain, though Edward himself wasn’t sure of which. His neck muscles were twitching, cheeks doing the same…
 
                His eyes were squinting, over and over…
 
                “Winry, you…”
 
                What was he—? Were these Alfons’s words, or were they Al’s? Alfons was talking in his sleep, but if he dreamed of Al, then…
 
                “…Liar.”
 
                Wha—
 
                “Winry, you liar.”
               
 
---
Resembool, 1924
---
 
                “Winry, you liar.”
 
Those were the first words that came out of his lips when he awoke, the wetness of his past tears still clinging to his cheeks.
 
His head was still hurting, even though he wasn’t quite sure when it started, and how he knew that it had been in pain for longer than just a few minutes, or even a few seconds. Pounding—from the back of his head to the front, making a nest in his frontal lobe and whacking at his skull with a sledgehammer…or maybe he was just being whacked with one from the outside, too. Who knew? His stomach was in knots and his mouth was quivering…hands twitching on the top of the blankets.
               
 
 
“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. 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…”
               
               
 
                Blood seal…? Was that what that mark was? Right above his right breast, tattooed onto the skin…a circle, with something like an alchemic star inside. A transmutation circle, but for what, he had never been able to figure out.
 
                He hadn’t really noticed it until the very first time he was able to dress himself, really…a bit of a shock, what with his past knowledge of his body smacking him in the face and telling him straight-up that he never had that on him. One moment he was taking off his shirt, and…
 
                There it was.
 
                But what was it?
               
                A birthmark?
               
                A scar?
 
                Something else that he was overlooking?
               
                Al looked down towards the bed with a soft sigh.
 
                According to the information he had just received, and everything else that was going through his mind, and happening around him…
               
                That mark did have something to do with what had happened before. That time when he was armor, and when he and his brother were traveling together.
 
               
                “Winry? What’s this mark on my chest mean?”
               
                He should have realized that the smile she was giving him was forced, fake. But all he could do was bask in the warmth of it, and listen to the lilt of her voice:
               
                “What are you talking about, Al? You’ve always had that.”
 
               
                He was so stupid. He should have looked into it more. Maybe snuck into the basement and grabbed Brother’s old journals—the ones that Auntie had locked away in that chest with his old coat. There were some crowbars in the supply shed; sure, he’d have gotten yelled at for breaking the chest open, but he’d have at least had some clue as to figure out what in the world it was. He may have even learned this information sooner, instead of relying on ‘him’, Alfons, to tell him unwittingly, while trying to convince his idiot for a brother that there was more to where he was than just a hell or a nightmare conjured up out of his own crazy imagination.
               
                Imagination.
               
                Al wished that this was just his imagination.
 
                These dreams, this information, his brother gone, Winry lying, Alfons’s existence…Al nearly had a heart attack when he first saw Alfons without a shirt, looking down at himself with a sort of morbid shock and fascination…
 
                What an imagination he had, though it was becoming increasingly evident that this wasn’t imagination at all, but something else…the reality of which grasped him by the stomach with both hands, squeezing and squeezing while completely unwilling to let go.
 
                Brother…would you want me to know this? Or would you have treated me the same way…? Would you have wanted me not to know, too?
 
                His brother would have wanted him to know the truth. He had to have. To keep something like this from someone…
 
                But if I was armor…and I’m now human…what happened to Brother? He’s…where he is. But why is he there? How’d I get human again? Alfons mentioned something about a man named ‘Scar’, about a city called Lior…Kimbley…I became a bomb…
 
                None of it made sense.
 
                If he became a bomb, and then that red light enveloped him…what happened after that? One moment he was in this…Lior place, and then…the last thing Alfons and himself remember was him waking up in that strange auditorium…with Rose.
 
                There had to have been a transition…
 
                Transition from when, to when?
 
 
                “So you dreamed about Al…and the last dream you had before you started dreaming about him in a flesh body was during Lior.”
 
               
                His brother made it sound like he was skeptical, or that something important had happened after that. Or even both.
               
                What had happened?
 
               
                But Alchemy doesn’t exist on this side! It’s not even probable for your consciousness to go beyond the gate into Al’s body. And for you to start dreaming about him right when Al got stuck into the armor…That…just…the souls of the dead on this side are what power Alchemy on the other, so for you to go beyond the gate into Al’s body while dreaming doesn’t make any sense. The only way a soul can transcend the Gate is if they die, and even then they’re only used as energy for a transmutation.”
 
               
            Beyond the gate, and into the body of another. There was a Gate back then, wasn’t there? He couldn’t remember—his head was throbbing too much and his stomach was ready to come out of his mouth in thick, wet retches on the floor.
 
                But if that was true, then…
 
                So many questions.
 
                With one answer, came the start of too many questions…
 
               
                “That I’m what, Edward?”
               
                “That you could be the Al of this world.”
 
               
                Was Alfons himself? No. He was his own sentient being. They looked the same, but everything about them was wrong. Alfons took more than Al ever would, and there were too many glaring differences…hair, eyes…
 
               
                “This world isn’t a reflection of your world...your world isn’t a reflection of mine…but rather, they’re both reflections of the Gate itself. The worlds are just two possibilities, what could have been. Two possibilities that materialized in the image of the Gate, which in a sense, support each other. Parallel worlds, if you want to call it that.”
 
 
                Parallel worlds…
 
                But if that was the case, how did his brother…?
 
                It hurt. It hurt, it hurt, it hurt, it hurt, it hurt.
 
                It hurt to think, it hurt to breathe, his head hurt, his body hurt, his heart hurt…
               
                It hurt to think of how his brother got there. It hurt to think about how he became human again from that armor. It hurt to think about Alfons, and their connection. It hurt to think about Winry, and how much she actually knew of all this, and why she didn’t bother telling him.
 
                Why Auntie hadn’t told him.
 
                Why Teacher hadn’t told him.
               
                Why nobody else had thought to even give him an inkling of a clue as to what happened to him…why his body was so weak, why he was having so much trouble walking, why he couldn’t speak, why he could hardly write without his hand twitching, and why he was the jarbled mess that he was right now. Even if it was hard to take, even if it was impossible for him to deal with, wouldn’t it have been better if he knew, instead of never knowing at all?
 
                They had lied to him.
 
                All of them had.
 
                That was why they kept giving him those looks. That was why they were all so particularly nice to him…that was why they treated him the way they did.
 
                Because of the fact that he was armor…probably from when he had tried to transmute his mother.
 
                He couldn’t…he couldn’t stand it.
 
                If he saw another one of those pitying looks, he knew he would snap.
 
                Especially after all this
 
                Al’s fists were still clenched as he crawled out of bed, not even bothering to make the thing as he stumbled, wobbling, out of the room. 

On to Part Two...

Tags: edxalfons, fma, to find shamballa
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