Summary: A regular transmutation goes bizarrely awry and leads to a situation Edward and Alphonse never expected.
Previous Parts: 1 2 3 4 5
Their course of action decided, Edward and Alphonse left that night for Central. There was a redeye train straight to the military’s capital at one in the morning. It was little trouble to flash some State ID to get on without actually having to pay for tickets.
The car that the Elric brothers boarded was completely empty. Edward stretched out on his seat, pillowing his head in his arms and yawning hugely. “Now THIS is the way to travel,” he muttered. “We should take late trains more often.”
“What are we going to tell Mustang-taisa?” Alphonse asked. Edward frowned, not wanting to think about it and just wanting to sleep. “I don’t know, Al. It’s not like it’s the sanest story in the world … I wouldn’t believe it unless I saw it.”
“Should we have brought them with us?” Alphonse asked.
Edward shook his head. “No, not all of them.” He said. “One of you draws enough attention as it is. Three identical suits of armor and someone will think we’re trying to start an army.”
Alphonse nodded thoughtfully. Edward rolled on the seat so his back was towards his brother. He pulled at his red coat and yawned noisily. “Now, Al, I gotta sleep. The last thing I need to do is fall asleep in the middle of a report to …” He yawned again. “…that bastard…colonel..”
Alphonse watched as his brother sank into a very deep sleep. He shook his head, then asked quietly. “’Niisan?”
No response. He got up carefully, but there was no need. When Edward was tired, he was all but dead to the world. Alphonse walked carefully towards the back end of the train car, then crouched down and opened his chest plate.
Edana rolled out of his chest cavity, red coat flapping behind her. “Auuugh, fresh aaaaaair,” she said, seating herself in the aisle and starting to stretch her legs.
Alphonse shook his head at her. “I can’t believe you talked me into this, ‘neesan,” he wasn’t quite whispering, but he wasn’t talking at full volume, either. No use taking chances.
“You heard him yourself,” Edana was stretching her arms out, now. “The other Edward was the one who thought of it, first. I mean, the colonel won’t believe us without proof. What better proof than one of us?”
“I still don’t like sneaking around behind ‘niisan’s back,” Alphonse said.
Edana shrugged. “He’ll get over it. Alphonse’d probably have done it, except the idea of climbing inside of you weirded him out way more than he was willing to admit.”
Alphonse didn’t voice it, but he agreed. The thought of himself … the real him, flesh and blood… hiding inside of this false metal body that he still inhabited? It weirded HIM out the more he thought about it. He pushed the thought aside.
“That doesn’t change the fact that ‘niisan will be really angry when he wakes up.”
“As I said before, he’ll have to deal with it. I know I’d be pissed off if I was in his place, but nothing can be done about it now. Anyway, he’s not going to find out.”
“…what do you mean, he’s not going to find out?”
“He’ll sleep straight through to Central, just like I would. It’s, ah, what? Five hours, maybe bordering on six? You’ll have to wake him up before we pull into the station. You wake me up first, I go back to being Ed-in-a-can, and we go see the taisa.”
“I thought you didn’t like “all this sneaking around,” Alphonse said.
Edana got up on one of the benches, stretching out and pillowing her head on her left arm. “I don’t. But, the face on taisa when I pop out of your chest cavity is worth it.”
“Yes, because we all know that your one goal in life is to terrorize Colonel Mustang,” Alphonse said dryly, rolling his eyes. It was useless, though, because Edana was already snoring.
“Oyasumi, ‘neesan,” he muttered, already wishing he was back in Resembool.
“What do you MEAN, Edana’s gone?” Winry said.
“She went with ‘niisan and Al,” Alanza said primly.
“No, she didn’t,” Winry said. “I watched them leave. The TWO of…” it dawned on her. “She was INSIDE ALPHONSE?!”
“Please don’t yell,” Alphonse begged her, nursing several goose eggs on his head.
She shot a glare at him and he shut up. “I can’t believe you… any of you!” she waved a wrench threateningly at the three assembled Elric siblings. They all flinched, even though the only one who would take damage was Alphosne.
Winry threw her arms up in the air in exhasperation. “I’m going to bed,” she announced to the ceiling. “Maybe life will be sane in the morning.”
“Fat chance,” Edward muttered as she passed. The wrench knocked his head clean off and into the other room.