[Author] Mara D
[Series] Fullmetal Alchemist
[Spoilers?] Yes. AU. Picks up after the series ends. The movie can bite my butt because it doesn't exist as far as I am concerned. I am also taking a few tiny liberties with series facts, but should not be that obvious.
[Chatter] Al beats up Ed. And I am sorry about where this ended, they are sexxing in the next chapter and I am afraid that might make this a REALLY long post. So you get this for now. :grins: I haven't died, I promise.This could suck though, not sure about it yet. Been suffering some writers block/angst.
Roy opened the door and stopped dead. There was something absolutely not right about the way Al was kneeling brokenly on the rug by the foot of the bed.
He had knocked a few times, but had gotten no response and so he had slid the door open anyways.
Al was sweat soaked, staring, shaking. He was breathing far too quickly, and his eyes were half closed.
“Alphonse?” Roy asked quietly.
Al jumped then, like he had been kicked. He tried to come to his feet, and tottered unsteadily, his legs threatening to buckle. Roy took two hurried steps forward and slid his arms around Al’s middle, settling him back to the floor. Al would usually lean against anyone that made a move to hold him close, but right now he was numb, shaking, weary against Roy.
“Alphonse…it will be okay…” Roy tried to comfort.
“Don’t touch me.” Al whispered.
“Don’t touch me. I’m a monster.” Al said, his voice cracking.
“Since when?!” Roy asked, though letting go as Al requested.
Al stood up, and this time with much more conviction. He balled his fists at his side.
“He deserves to be in that prison.” Al said lowly, turning resentful eyes to Roy. “Do you think it was just the stone that brought me back? Oh no! There had to be physical matter to work with, it is the stone that bonded my soul back to this body. The body that isn’t mine!” Al cried out then.
“What?” Roy asked lowly, lone eye wide in mild shock.
“Brother ripped Envy’s consciousness from his body inside the gate, casting him into the void, and pulling his body apart to recreate mine…because my physical body had finally died inside the gate…after I transmuted brother. I gave him flesh with /my/ body so…” Al began to laugh mirthlessly, the sound becoming slightly hysterical in the end. “He killed someone to make me…make me in return…these aren’t my hands…this isn’t my voice. Am I even me? Am I thinking like me? Is this my mind?!” Al asked, advancing on a Roy who backed up at the slight edge of hysteria in Al’s eyes.
“Alphonse…that cannot be true.”
“It is…in a sense.” A voice said softly from behind him. Roy spun around, turning halfway between the two men, giving them both his full attention. “Yes, Edward used Envy’s body.” Hoenheim began. Roy was staring at him in a bit of fear simply because the man had a habit of walking quietly. “He also did what I did not have the courage to do. I knew that my first son was mad, was a monster, was not the being that he used to be. I realized that when I created him. He was a danger. Edward did the right thing. Envy was dangerous. It was my…mistake that left my sons growing up unsupervised with powers that were beyond them to know the consequences of. If it had to be any way…I suppose that this would be the way.” Hoenheim said lowly.
Al sat back down with a thump, his eyes filling with tears. Roy was staring at him. And all Hoenheim saw when he looked at Al was his dead son. His first son. He saw Envy. He buried his face in his hands then, trembling.
“Alphonse?” Roy whispered as he knelt next to the young man.
“I’m a monster…I’m a monster…oh God…I’m a…”
Roy didn’t let Al finish that sentence before he was wrapping the younger Elric into an embrace that silenced the sobs that were beginning to shake that lean frame.
Hoenheim came in, sitting on the edge of the bed guiltily, looking like there were things he wanted to say to his son but knew no way to do it.
“Al, you aren’t a monster. I assure you, you really are the same Alphonse Elric I knew. You are you. However Ed brought you back…I am honestly grateful that he did.”
Al shook his head, taking an unsteady breath.
“Ask your father.” Roy encouraged. “He knew you at every stage of life for a while… he will tell you the truth.”
Roy shot Hoenheim a look that said he had better if he wanted to live.
Hoenheim choked for a second, looking around stricken, as if some answer would present itself.
“No more…running away…Dad…” Al whispered thickly against Roy’s chest, not bothering to glance up. He didn’t want anyone to see him right now. He was too raw.
Hoenheim made a low choking sound, pushing his glasses nervously up his nose as he glanced down at his son.
“Alphonse…I can assure you, changing bodies…does not change who you are and…unless I am terribly mistaken, your brother has done a wonderful job. You are as I remember you. A bit older, perhaps moodier, but still Alphonse…still the unique being who is my son…whom I am…terribly proud of.” Hoenheim murmured.
Al shook his head.
“What’s to be PROUD OF?!” Al all but shouted into Roy’s chest, clinging miserably.
Roy carded his fingers through Al’s hair, making low humming noises of comfort and sparing Hoenheim evil glances
Finally, a reluctant father knelt uncertainly next to his son, and Roy Mustang transferred his trembling burden with no effort at all, sliding the young man against his father’s chest, tucking that cheek gently there.
“Everything.” Roy whispered. “I am going to go extricate your brother…I believe he will have accepted the ultimatum the Fuhrer offered by now.”
“Brother can come home?” Al asked weakly from Hoenheim’s chest, a visible shudder running the length of his body.
“If he stops being a stupid prick.” Roy said levelly.
“What…what’s the offer?” Al asked softly, his voice thick with tears.
Whether his world was currently ending or not, he still loved his brother. No matter how much he wanted to hurt him and hug him and…a thousand things at once. He didn’t want Ed confined to jail. That was half his problem right now. Needing Ed, wanting to hug him, to hit him…to cry onto his shoulder. He was still upset about what had happened on the train. Used to violence? No one was ever used to it. Not Al who loved all living things fiercely despite their flaws. Well, all living things but himself.
“…The Fuhrer understood that there were…extenuating alchemical situations involved…” Roy began.
“And a bit of a brush with the gate…so he of course will say nothing, but for the books…we do have to make it official, hence Edward’s night in jail, and well…six years of service in reparation for those lost in his absence. That and he has to pay his funerary expenses. The Fuhrer also has a very…special job for him when he isn’t to do field work.
We are tentatively offering a higher level set of collegiate classes for our officers. The Fuhrer has declared that everyone is to have some practical knowledge in alchemy for the purpose of self defense so…”
“You want him to teach?!” Hoenheim said in disbelief, stroking Al’s shoulder with a strong and calloused hand.
“Well…yes…” Roy said softly, sighing. “And of course, I have to accept a verbal scolding from the Fuhrer for housing an AWOL officer…but I should be carting Edward home within the hour. I am seriously debating leaving the handcuffs on though.” Roy said gruffly.
When Roy had left; Al was not feeling the slightest bit better. Even knowing that his brother was coming home. He almost didn’t want to see Ed. He was still horribly upset. Feeling betrayed, feeling monstrous and…he just wanted to peel his skin off rather see Ed again as much as he needed him.
He was afraid to see his brother. Because he had meant what he said about jail as much as it shamed him. His inability to accept himself was shameful. His father was still his father? How must Hoenheim feel hearing theses words of judgment from his son? Al didn’t know how to explain that the rule only pertained to him, not to anyone else.
He had once thought he knew what, who, he was. And that had all changed overnight, just after things had started getting better. Making sense.
Al shivered in reply to his father’s words.
“You are loved just as you are. You are not a monster. You are my son, and you always will be. You are Alphonse Elric, and you are brilliant, driven and despite being so wounded, a very gentle young man. I am proud of you.”
Al closed his eyes then, and sighed slightly against his father’s chest.
What good would feeling like this be? He couldn’t change the past, he couldn’t make Ed take it back. There were advantages to this situation, and he was being stupid about it.
That thought made him feel vaguely better, although not by much. He was looking on the negative side of things, and his father was very gently trying to point that out.
“You’re…right…” Al said softly, his voice hoarse.
He was rewarded with a tighter hug from his father before the bigger man was helping him to his feet.
“You need a shower Alphonse, and some coffee and some breakfast wouldn’t hurt either.”
The elder Elric was right. He and Ed (Who also had inevitably not slept either.) could get some rest later. Maybe together. If Al didn’t kill him first.
“I can’t believe you Shit General! You /left/ me there. You left me to /fucking/ rot! I think the guy next to me wanted to pick out curtains!” Ed spat as he entered the mansion, stalking into the den and dropping the textbooks in his hands onto the couch with a plop and a disgusted glance.
“That shouldn’t bother you, I wouldn’t think Fullmetal.”
Ed turned on Roy then, eyes narrowed.
“Are you calling me /gay?!/ Ed all but shrieked, his eyes narrowing and the knuckles of his flesh hand cracking ominously as he made a trembling fist.
Ed didn’t get a chance to pound the snot out of Roy because just as he turned around, a fist landed squarely between his eyes.
The blow knocked him over backwards, and before he could register where it had come from or why, someone was straddling his waist. The next blow caught him across the jaw.
He remembered this fighting style. Only one person could sneak up on him like this and then plant their fist in his face twice in a row.
“Al! God! I’m sorry!” Ed pleaded as Al hit him again, making him bite his tongue, making his teeth click and a river of blood start from his nose.
For some reason this brought the world into sharp focus, that and Al’s angrily narrowed copper eyes. What Ed did /not/ recognize were the words coming from his brother’s mouth. He himself did not /know/ there was a possibility of words as vile being strung together in such frighteningly coherent sentences.
Ed started to struggle after one more punch, throwing Al off in what must have been a world class wrestling match to observe. It took a great deal of effort, but after a time, Al’s violent swearing was reduced to tears, and as Ed managed to hold one flailing arm in the steel grasp of his automail, their positions reverse with Ed sitting astride Al… a one armed hug.
He was hugging Al to him despite his brother’s anger, his hurt and fear. Al needed Ed, even if he was violently angry.
Ed sat there while Roy Mustang stared, an Eldest Elric drifted into the room with a handkerchief, and Al clung to him, crying silently into his chest. And blood ran down Ed’s face. One shouldn’t forget the blood. He was going to ruin the carpet or something…
Eerie silence ruled for a while, while Ed’s fingers stroked through Al’s hair, tangling and untangling gently, the gesture familiar. Ed had done that in his sleep even when Al’s hair had been short. The silence built and built until Hoenheim was smiling his lost and scared little boy smile sympathetically, and Roy Mustang was wincing every time Al moved. They were both to terrified at the moment to leave Ed and Al alone together in a room, but that didn’t mean they wanted to be there either. Al’s wrath was not subtle.
“How could you just get yourself ARRESTED like that Brother! I was worried sick! And then you left me alone with DAD and he told me you made me out of Envy?! IS THAT TRUE?!” Al exploded while he began to pound his brother’s automail shoulder with his fist. Everyone present had jumped at the outburst.
Ed made a horrified sound, but gurgling on blood didn’t help, Al was sure. He certainly didn’t answer. Al let the silence lapse then. They would have to talk about this later, obviously.
He was finally exhaustedly limp in Ed’s arms as there was the practical application of Hoenheim’s handkerchief, and then a bag of frozen peas from Roy’s housekeeper (Who had naturally come out to see the brawl going on in the den.) and Al still had not let go. He couldn’t stay mad at Ed, not for anything. After a bit, after his second fit of tears for the day had calmed, Al apologized, his head resting on his brother’s shoulders.
“I’m sorry.” Al said humbly, now feeling rather terrible.
“No Al…” Ed replied quietly. “I’m sorry. It would have been better for you, if I had never come back.”
Al wasn’t that sorry when he punched Ed in the nose again.
It had taken some convincing, but eventually Hoenheim and Roy had agreed to let Ed and Al talk in private. Right now, Al was sitting on the end of his bed in the guest room, kicking his feet idly and staring out the window. Ed was sitting right behind him, head hung low.
“Will you please tell me the truth Brother?”
“Will you stop hitting me if I do?”
“Will you stop feeling sorry for yourself and me and tell me the truth!?” Al demanded.
Gold met copper in an ashamed clash.
“I know what happened Ed, I know because I tore /my/ body apart to give you your life back. Even with another Philosopher’s Stone, you cannot have something completely from nothing.” Al said softly.
Ed swallowed hard. Standing hesitantly, he came to sit next to Al instead of talking to his brother’s back. This sort of thing well, it was something you talked about face to face.
“I...I didn’t have any other choice, Al,” Ed whispered. “Your body was gone, I had to...I had to make you a new one. I didn’t have the materials...I had to use someone else’s body, or else it would have been too late. Al...I’m sorry. I took him apart...I ripped his consciousness from his body...and I made...this.” He pressed his hand against Al’s chest. “For you.”
Al swallowed hard, fighting back his tears as Ed touched his chest gently. He was awed, horrified, and…he understood. Ed had done the unthinkable to give him back what he had lost. He had known that. He had accepted it, even if it made him feel dirty, angry, ashamed for a while. It had also awed him. And to hear the words from Ed’s lips. To hear the truth, to see the truth in his brother’s eyes…he felt that shame, that anger flee. Because Ed had loved him that much, he had committed the worst sin an alchemist could, and he had done it fully. Knowingly.
Al closed his eyes, and then did the only thing he could think to do. He covered Ed’s hand with his, and whispered.
“It’s perfect…despite how you got it. You loved me enough to commit one of the ultimate sins in this world. I’m a little bit scared by it…but I’m glad I know now. It…I can’t be afraid of if I know the truth…and you aren’t afraid of me, you don’t think I’m disgusting at all…and so that’s all that really matters. The truth.”
Al nuzzled into Ed’s braid, taking an unsteady breath against that silk.
Ed lifted his head to look at Al, a single tear rolling down his cheek. “You...you don’t hate me?” he asked, his voice small.
“There are a lot of things I might feel about you Ed, but I don’t hate you. I don’t think that’s possible. You make me really angry sometimes, but that is because of how much, how fiercely that I love you.” Al soothed, his voice steadier that it had any right to be. “I don’t hate you at all…” Al whispered as he reached out, wrapping his arms around his brother and holding Ed tight to him.
“And this is a horrible thing for me to say, and please don’t think…I hate him…I don’t but…If anyone in this world deserved to die. It was Envy.” Al still didn’t feel quite right about this whole thing, maybe a little dirty, a little awkward but…
“I love you Ed.”
“I...love you too, Al,” Ed whispered, leaning against Al’s chest and closing his eyes.
“I was so worried about you in that jail cell…I thought they would kill you.” Al whispered. “I would have gone to rescue you if I thought they were going to hang you but Roy said things would be okay and I believed him…are they really going to make you teach! Will they let me go with you when you travel? I can’t stay here without you when I know you are in danger! Did they give you your title back! How much will it cost to pay off your funer….mphhh.”
“Shut up Al.” Ed said gruffly as he pressed his lips to Al. “Or at least…slow down a little.” Ed whispered as he began to kiss a slow and gentle trail from Al’s jaw to his ear.
“It is fully expected, since we worked as a team before, that you will be with me. I kind of volunteered you…you were my exception.” Ed said lowly. That drew a smile and another enthusiastic hug from Al. “And yes I have to teach, but you have to help me make lesson plans, you know how good I am with things. I won’t even be able to remember anyone’s names if you don’t help me.” Ed said miserably. “And the funeral was not the expensive. The Fuhrer was just being a dick.” Ed finished.
“So you aren’t leaving me behind?”
“How could I Al? And besides, maybe if we travel around we can find a way to help Dad.” Ed said evenly.
Al could have wilted in sheer relief.
“I was so worried.” Al finally said as he gave up trying to be tough and instead crawled up into his brother’s lap, laying his head on Ed’s bruised shoulder. He had done a number on his brother. Ed was sporting a bruised jaw, a fat lip, a black eye, and a slightly swollen nose.
“I’m sorry for beating you up.” Al said softly.
“Don’t be, I deserved it.”
“Oh, like it was /your/ fault you got arrested.”
“That’s okay, I learned something interesting while I was in jail.”
“Is that so?” Al asked, fearing this might have to do with hotwiring Roy’s car or worse.
“I got a hand written report from the General Shit to read while I was sitting there fending off “Jake.”
“What was it…about?” Al asked softly.
“A guy named Lex Dumere. The Fuhrer is really concerned about him, and I can sort of see why.”
Ed withdrew a piece of crumpled paper from his pocket, pressing it into Al’s hands.
“Dad told me about someone with the same name.” Al said, a look of awe on his face as he unfolded the note and raptly read it.
“That somehow…doesn’t surprise me.” Ed said quietly. “I think we have a big problem here Al. Remember that girl that you defeated for your State Exam?”
“Do you know her specialty?”
“She hadn’t declared one that I knew of, not yet anyway.” Al said quietly.
“Her special was Bio-Alchemy. And she’s missing. She turned down the awarding of her watch. She said that if she couldn’t graduate first in the class of those who took the test, she wasn’t worthy to be a state alchemist.”
“She was kind of obsessive. And rude.” Al amended. “So you think this is all related.”
“Damn good possibility.” Ed said lowly.
“Let me guess, this is our first mission. When do we leave?”
Go Back To:
((Chapter Seven - Part One ))
((Chapter Seven - Part Two))
Cross posted to: yaoicest fma_yaoi fm_alchemist elricest