There are so many stairs. Even if the Trighams tried to join him it would take them some time to catch up. The more he walked the darker it got until he lost track of how far he has walked. It’s been so dark, it’s only when a light falls through a crack and hit him in the eye does Edward sigh in relief. All that tension comes flooding back where it came from as his eyes widen at the sight of warped buildings. The silence leaves a ringing in his ear as he walks over to a ledge just taking it all in. The letter was true. A whole civilization destroyed in one night. Only a monster could do a thing like this. His hands ball up into a fist and he shouts out, “Are you in here Dad?” He steps out again and shakes his head. “You did this! You came up with the whole plan didn’t you? Tell me!” He grinds his teeth together and walks around looking at the buildings stopping when a faint sound of music catches his attention. Clapping his hands together creating a staircase to bring him down following the melody. The music brings him to a large building, the lights are still on and the music is louder now that he is standing at its stairs. Taking a deep breath he walks up to the doors and pushes them open. Gold eyes go wide as the a familiar face is spotted dancing around a large ballroom. “R-Rose…?”
Coming to a stop she turns and smiles at him. “Edward…?” Edward tenses up and stares at her. Something is wrong. She’s lifeless. A doll being moved around by the thinnest threads he cannot see. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
He shakes his head and looks up at her as she walks closer. This dress is wrong. Everything about Rose is wrong? Why is she even down here? He has to find out what is going on here? Rose takes his hand and smiles again pulling him close spinning him around. The two dance in silence. Until it gets to him. Maybe he can get some information out of Rose like this. “Uh..Rose what are you doing here?” Hand in hand she continues moving the two of them around the floor only stepping back to get a better look at the blonde.
“I’ve been waiting for you…For us.” Her smile grows and she tilts her head to the side her dark cheeks flushing red. “Edward…I love you.” Ed’s cheeks follow suit with a blush of his own.What? Why would Rose say something like that to him? After everything that has happened to her? After what those soldiers did to her? Edward does not deserve those words.
“You do?” Shaking his head he lets go of Rose and takes a step back pushing her in the process. “Look, Rose. I don’t think you realize what you just said to me. We’re just friends-” The sound of a baby crying cuts him off. His eyebrows furrow together as he turns around. Standing there with Rose’s baby in her arms is Lyra. Wearing a pink dress in the style almost identical to the one Rose is wearing. Rose walks past Edward to go comfort her child taking him right out of Lyra’s arms. Lyra turns her attention to Edward and shakes her head at him.
“You couldn’t give her one little dance? Seeing as she has been waiting here for you ever since she came into hiding.” She glares at him and sighs. “You’re despicable.” He knew it. Everything about this is fishy. Nothing is making any damn sense and he needs to get to the bottom of this before things get crazy.
“Lyra? Why did you bring Rose to this place?” Lyra crosses her arms under her chest and walks to him.
“Before Dante died-” He tenses up. Strike one. She was murdered. No one says a murder victim died and they definitely don’t say it so calmly. “-she told me about a city that only old alchemists knew about. It sounded safe.“ This is too fishy for his liking. His gut was telling him this is bad. That this is wrong. The last time he ignored his gut Alphonse lost his body and Edward lost his limbs.
"I know you said before that Dante had been murdered but, you were awfully vague. You never told me who did it or why.” The room feels like it's spinning as he tries to put the puzzle pieces together and it's the smug look of Lyra’s face that finishes the big picture. As if she knows things that he doesn’t and she doesn’t intend on letting him know anytime soon. But he knows what’s going on. Now he just has to act on it and confirm it for good.
“That homunculus named Greed killed her.” He grinds his teeth together. The way she doesn’t even flinch at his question and retorts an answers so smoothly. There was no way Greed killed her. The circle to seal Greed away was already set up with the remains to weaken him close by. No matter how much he tried Greed couldn’t land even a clean scratch on her despite her age. He knows Lyra is lying and he doesn’t hesitate to tell her that. He stands just as still as the woman in front of him. Two can play at this game. “That’s all very interesting but I saw her corpse with my own eyes.”
“That proves nothing except that the body she was squatting in could no longer serve its purpose.” He stares her down angrily. Never moving from where he is standing. “Let’s say the philosopher's stone could be used to jump from one body to another. That would make a human capable of living for hundreds of years.” Unmoving Lyra stares at him with a tired expression. Tired of listening to Edward go on and on about this theory of his. No. Edward knows it’s not a theory. He knows this tired look is one of her being tired of hearing the truth being spat back in her face. “I think Dante faked her death and used the stone to take over a younger body. A body like yours would be just the right fit.”
“Edward-” the way she changes to pitiful so quickly even Edward has to admit she’s one hell of an actress.“-stop it. It’s not true!” Before she can even try to continue he claps his hands together and drops to the floor making a long spear to throw at her. Before it reaches her, Lyra claps her hands together and makes the spear parish in thin air. Without a transmutation circle. He knew it. That’s all the confirmation he needed. “That was too close.”
“When did you see the gate? That’s the only way you can transmute without a circle and Lyra couldn’t do that before. Your secret’s up-” He shakes his head angrily.“-Dante..” she relaxes visibly in front of Edward but he can tell her guard is still up. She’s still hiding something from him.
“When did you find out? Fair son of Hohenheim.”
“So it’s all true?” With a smirk she assures him that everything he said was and is still true. “So how many times have you jumped bodies?” She lets out a soft chuckle and looks away shrugging her shoulders. She has no shame. No guilt. No remorse over her actions.
“In four hundred years you can lose count.” Lyra- no. Dante turns back to him smirking. Is she proud of herself? “It’s less than ten. After all I had to use the philosopher's stone each time.” That explains what happened to the city. The underground city was the product of human sacrifice to make a stone for them to keep living. “It was the same with the city in the east, but I was not the one to make it happen.”
“No it was Hohenheim of light.” He spits out. Dante chuckles at his words. Telling him not to be so formal. To call the man Dad because that is who he is, no? “Did he live this way too? Stealing bodies? Creating wars? And for what purpose?”
“Because we were worth it.” Edward balls his hands up into fists. The frustration growing in him. Because they were worth it? What sort of bull shit is that. All of those lives taken away for the stone…All because they were worth it? He wants to shout and get furious. The war. The suffering. No one is worth all that pain. All for the stone. To keep it away from humans for they don’t have the ability to handle it. Look at what happened with Cornello in Liore. They must see themselves as saints for handling the stone. They must live on to keep the humans from destroying the world themselves.
“Don’t kid yourself!” Ed shouts as he steps forward. “You’re a human just like us!” Rolling her eyes she sighs and shakes her head. Truly done with how childish she believes Edward is being.
“Not. Anymore.” The two lose focus of each other as Gluttony breaks down the door pushing things around. Screaming. Crying out for Lust. “You’re breaking my heart Edward...Talking to me this way.” Dante moves turning over to cradle Rose in her, filthy greedy, arms. “I was looking forward to taking her body and being loved by the son of Hohenheim.” Edward steps forward and bares his teeth. Furious. Losing control of his temper. Curse this damn woman. She was planning on taking Rose next? “Yes. I have to celebrate the making of the newly born stone.” Stone? He steps forward again. There goes his control. A new stone?
“What have you done with Al?”
“No no! What have you done with Lust?!” The homunculus charges at Edward and bites down on his broken down automail. Tears in his eyes. Screaming out muffled chants. Demanding Edward bring back Lust. All Edward can do is look at the beast with pity and explain. Explain that Lust is gone. She is dead. Wrath was there when it happened. There is no bringing her back. All he can do is apologize. “She’s gone..?” He lets go of Edward’s arm and falls down rocking back and forth as he holds onto his feet. Dante scolds him. He’s a homunculus. A monster. He shouldn’t be feeling any emotions much less grief. Gluttony walks off, stumbling on his feet as he doesn’t pay attention to where he walks.
Whimpering for his only friend to come back.
Edward turns back to Dante and claps his hands. No more distractions. He is ready to fight. “Let’s do it!” Dante follows suit clapping and touching the floorboards of the ballroom. A large snake like creation throws itself at Edward as he turns his automail into a blade. He jumps into the air and runs down its spine charging himself at Dante. He cute through her dress. Exposing the rotting flesh on her chest.He stands back as she uses alchemy to fix herself. “I knew it. Your soul can’t sustain bodies anymore it's been attached too many times. Equivalent exchange. Everytime you jump you lose a part of yourself.” Scoffing she lets her hands fall to her side. Finding herself bored with Edward already.
“Equivalence? Don’t tell me you still believe in that naive theory.” Theory? It's not a theory. The whole world lives by it. “The truth is the law of equivalent exchange is a lie. To gain something of equal value must be lost? Conversely if you give something up you will always gain a prize of equal worth in return.” Of course. That’s why people work so hard. They work hard and their efforts are paid off in the long wrong. It’s the truth of how everything. How could someone not believe in the world's one and only truth? “Equal effort does not always mean equal gain.” His eyes widen at this. What the hell is Dante going on about? “Consider the state alchemist exam which you passed with flying colors. How many others took the test that day? Spent months- Years preparing. Some working much harder than you.” Edward was the only one who passed. “What about the equal value of each person’s life?”
Clapping her hands together again the snake moves and takes the baby right out of Rose’s arms carrying it at a height that would definitely kill him if Dante just clapped her hands together or if he just fell. Without any hesitation Edward uses alchemy to break down the beast catching the child carefully in his arms.“Don’t use a child to fuel your agenda!” With a scoff a smirk grows on Dante’s face.
“Your dad said that too.” As Edward turns to hand the child back to his mother a transmutation circle begins glowing on the cloth wrapped around him. The last thing Edward hears before standing in front of the gate was the wailing on Rose’s son.
“H-Hello...Where am I?” Sitting up his head turns and stares right into a mirror. His hair. It’s short. His eyes aren’t golden anymore. They’re just brown. His hand reaches up to touch his face and he pulls at his cheek. With wide eyes he jumps up from the bed he was sitting on and stares at his hands. He stares at both of his flesh hands. He lets out a loud shout and looks around his- no this can’t be his room. What the hell is going on here? On the desk there is a photo. It’s him and a dog. He picks it up only for it to slip out as the bedroom door flies open.
“Edward you better be dressed the protest is starting soon and I made bre-” The man goes silent as Edward bends down to pick up the shards of glass. Edward’s eyes go wide as he sees Hohenheim standing in the doorway. “Don’t use your hands you’ll cut yourself. Reckless boy. Let me go get the vacuum.” All he can do is stare at the door as his father walks away. He stands up holding the photo in his hands.
“What the hell is a vacuum?” His hands fly up to his head and he rubs his eyes. “God damn this headache is killing me.” When he looks up his father has this...Contraption in his hands and pushes a wire into the wall. He flicks a switch and its painfully loud. Edward lets out a shriek and stands up on the bed. “What the hell old man? What the hell is that thing?!” He shouts watches Hohenheim use it to clean up the broken glass. His father turns and shuts the machine off putting it to the side. He stares up at Edward and tilts his head to the side.
“Are you okay? You aren’t acting like yourself.”
“That’s fantastic because I really don’t feel like myself either old man!” He jumps down from the bed and looks out the window. So many tall buildings. How the hell did someone build them. “Where the hell am I? And what happened to my body? Did Dante do this to me?” Facing his father he can see the man has become tense. Hohenheim grabs his face and forces him to look in different directions. He sighs and talks in a softer tone as if he didn’t want anyone to hear him.
“Does the word transmute mean anything to you?” Edward pushes the man away from him. Too close to him to ever be comfortable. Edward could punch him for asking such a stupid question.
“Of course it does! It means everything to me.” Hohenheim sighs and takes a seat on the bed and pulls at his face. “What the hell is going on? Where are we?” Edward crosses his arms over his chest. There is no way he is sitting down and have a man to man sit down with his bastard of a father.
“Let’s eat, come down stairs until we can figure out why you are here.” Hohenheim leads him out the room and down a small flight of stairs. His eyes go wide at a large black screen on top of what he thinks is an icebox. He sits down and stares at it as his father puts a plate of food in front of it. The older man reaches out to the table and grabs a black box with a bunch of buttons on it. He points the box to the screen and moving pictures shows up on it. Edward bites his tongue while trying to eat as he slips out of his chair. Startled.
“What the hell is that thing?” He glares at Hohenheim who chuckled at his fall. There is nothing funny about the culture shock Edward is going through right now.
“It’s a television. Radios advanced. Moving pictures turned into films with sound. This is how people in this world get their news. Their entertainment.” This world? What the hell is he talking about now? “Haven’t you noticed. This is the other side of the gate. In this world machinery and physics advanced as its science instead of alchemy. Believe me it took me a lot of time to get used to.” Slowly Edward stands up and stares at Hohenheim. He remembers now. Dante and Rose. The baby had a transmutation circle on him and the gate opened and took him in. He remembers everything the gate showed him. He grabs his head and lets out a pained groan. Everything hurts. Edward’s eyes widen as he hears a soft Hello? What’s going on? It clicks. He’s in somebody’s body. He flinches and looks up at the feeling of a hand on his shoulder. No the other Ed’s shoulder. This isn’t his body all of this is wrong. He needs to go back.He needs to save Rose. He needs to get back and save Alphonse.
“Eat. We can figure out a way to get you back home later but you need to just play it cool. We are going out to protest with your friends and they are expecting you to show up.” His friends? Protesting. No there’s no time for that he needs to get home right away. He inhales his food at a speed he normally would but turns out this Edward doesn’t have the same style of eating habits as he does. He finds himself choking a lot, much to his father’s amusement. He learns of this world. It not only drifted away from alchemy from the very beginning but it also was one hundred years or so ahead of time. He learns of cell phones. Medical procedures. He learns of violence. And wars. And the truth of what powers their alchemy of the other side of the gate.
“You sound just like that headcase Dante!” He slams his hands on the table, knocking over his glass of water in the process. “All the same crap about there being no equivalent exchange…” Hohenheim sighs and turns his head away. The feeling of guilt is evident on his face. Edward glares at him and balls his hands up into fists. Snapping. “I know everything. I know that the two of you were lovers because I read the letter. I know that the two of you were keeping yourselves alive jumping from one body to another.” His nails dig into his palms, he knows he’s breaking skin but its the one thing keeping him from punching the man. “But what I don’t understand is if you and that evil bitch were so perfect together why did you feel the need to marry my mother?” It takes everything in him to keep his voice from breaking. “Did you get some sick satisfaction from pretending to be a normal human?” His head drops and his hands fall to his side.
“I loved your mother.” Edward’s eyes go wide as he stares at his lap. “With all my being I have never loved until her. You have to believe that.” Edward bites his lip and takes a deep breath and slams his hands on his legs demanding an explanation for everything. So frustrated with everything. He just doesn’t understand any of it. Hohenheim stands up from his chair and kneels down in front of his son. He rolls up his sleeves and exposes his arm. Rotting and burning. Eating away at itself. How could he ever let his children see him like this. It was just too much for him to handle. He had to go. He had to leave them. Another sacrifice he had to make. The most painful one of all. “I will help you find the gate within yourself that way you can get back to your original body if you will give me the chance.” Edward looks away from his father and sighs heavily. That’s all the answer Hohenheim needs. The man stands up and rolls his sleeve back down before walking over to the sink to wash their dishes.
“So...A protest…?” Hohenheim nods in silence. “You told me about a lot of things, What are we going to fight for today?”
“Of course.” First Ishval and now this? When will people stop being targets just because they are a different shade of skin. Oh. That was him and this world’s Ed thinking at the same time. The headache is back but he laughs it away. Even in a world where there is another physical copy of him they aren’t that much different. It’s nice to know that even in a different world Edward still hates bigots.”What kind of clothes do people here even wear?”
“Go through your closet, it seems people here don’t mind your horrible sense of fashion.” Without hesitation Edward throws an apple at the back of his head and storms off to go get into clothes that aren’t what appear to be pyjamas. Sighing Edward makes his way up the stairs and walks back into the room where he came from. Style hasn’t changed too much. It’s pretty comfortable too. He throws on a hoodie and a pair of jeans. He slips a set of shoes on and goes downstairs. “Let’s leave, we have to walk to the train station. I think you’ll like to see how advanced everything is here.” With a silent nod they walk out the door. There is just so much.The buildings. Multiple stores in just one tall building? It's all so amazing. All these buildings have large screens on them. Televisions as his father called them. The one thing that really got his attention was when they got on the train Hohenheim gave him a cell phone to mess around with.
He ignores all the staring. This is amazing. No cords and you can still call people from countries away? You can take photos on them? He still doesn’t understand the concept of videos but he thinks they are amazing. He almost forgot about having to go back home. But there’s a lady on the train that reminds him far too much of Rose. The toddler in her arms waves at Edward and he waves back. Whatever is going on he needs to get it over with fast so he can go stop Dante from destroying his little brother. As his father stands up he follows suit. He guides Edward out of the train and down the street.As they continue walking it gets harder to walk anywhere. There’s a crowd. “We are he-”
“Hey guys Ed’s here!!” He looks around and suddenly he being dragged off by this world’s Russell and Paninya. His eyes widen and he turns to look at his father. What is he supposed to do? He doesn’t know what to do what to say. He doesn’t know enough about this world’s problems to be able to fight for it. He only knows of his own. He knows of Ishval and the war. He knows of the bombings. The slaughter and cruelty. Is that enough to be able to fight? No from what he hears they are nonviolent protests. Most of the violence was caused from people against the protests and the police taking the wrong action.He feels a hand on his shoulder and turns. His father.
“I’m going to get you kids some coffee. Don’t do anything stupid please.” All he can do is nod before he is dragged farther into the crowd. A person climbs onto a step stool and beings getting the crowd to chant. Preaching their message. Making sure that they can be heard. Edward balls his hands up into fists. Even in his world people are struggling with racism? Is there even a world where people don’t have to worry about being killed for looking differently?
“This is such bullshit...How many more massacres are there going to have to for people to get some goddamn respect?” He covers his mouth after realizing he had just said that all outloud. Someone pushes him forward and cheers him on. What do they expect him to do? Preach? Edward is no preacher. He looks around and sighs. The person on the stool extends their hand out to him and he just stares for a moment. With a smirk he takes their hand and stands at their side. His words are true. As true as they are for the people surrounding him. He finds himself changing his words around so they can relate to it. He smiles and looks around the crowd. For his father. There’s so many people he probably can’t make his way through. He feels his hand get squeezed by the girl at his side. He looks at her. Fear. “What’s wro-”
“The cops are here.” He looks over and sees the crowd part so the police could walk up to them. They tell them to get home. To cut this out. That it isn’t going to solve any problems. They won’t leave. They grab her hand and Edward grabs the officer's hand. Stopping him. Not going to happen. Hohenheim told him too much about what the police riots have done. All the innocent killed just for sticking up for what was right.
“You know. We aren’t going anywhere. We aren’t blocking traffic. We aren’t loitering. So you let her go right no-” Ed’s gaze snaps away as someone lets out a scream. There’s a loud pop and the crowd scatters. He feels a pain shoot up his right shoulder and he stumbles forward. With every blink of his eye more people are gone and he can’t register what is happened until he looks up and his father is carrying into some sort of vehicle. He reaches out but his arm hurts to much. He turns to look at what's wrong and his arm is bleeding. The people around him are holding him told and putting pressure down trying to stop the bleeding but there's too much. “I was shot?” His father takes his hand and squeezes it. “Shit...Shit I’m dying? This sucks…” He shuts his eyes and lets out a chuckle. “This really sucks..” He wheezes out and finds himself clapping his hands before his arms fall to his sides.
His eyes widen as he looks around but the gate doesn’t give him a chance to make any sense of what just happened. Edward gets pulled in and he fights it. He thrashes around. Running forward until he sees another set of doors. He pushes through them with a shout.
With a gasp he looks around. The ballroom. “B-Brother?” He looks up and see’s Alphonse laying on the ground the light of a transmutation circle catching his attention.
“Alphonse…?” He looks down at his arms. “My automail...Im really here?” He bites his lip. The other Ed died? His life taken so he could get back to his world. To the other side of the gate. Edward shakes his head and frowns. That Edward shouldn’t have died. Its his fault. A familiar voice catches his attention and with a sad smile he looks over and begins to pick himself up from the floor. “Doctor Marcoh? I never did know where you went.” In an instant his smile fades and his angry. He knows what’s going on now. Marcoh, in a flash of light, transformed into another familiar friend. Maes Hughes. Dammit. Envy is playing tricks on him.
“Sure you did Ed. After all you were the one who found the old Doc’ and just waved goodbye as he went into the Fuhrer’s custody. Now that was a great idea.” No that wasn’t what Edward wanted. He just wanted answers. He just wanted to help people but because of that Doctor Marcoh is dead.Consumed by Gluttony. It’s his fault. He grinds his teeth together and jumps up, dodging a throwing knife in the process. “I’d still be with my wife and my adorable little girl if I hadn’t met you. It must be tough fighting against a friend that you already killed once!” Hughes- No. Envy charges at him with a knife but Edward is able to slip past them and hold their arms behind their back. Edward puts Envy in a chokehold from behind, bringing them down to the ground.
“Is that all you got?” He spits out. His arm squeezing around Envy’s throat tighter. “Impersonations with guilt trips attached? You’ll have to do better than that. You’re still a homunculus under that face. Have you forgotten what I did to your friend Sloth? I killed her while she was wearing the face of my own mother.” As if Edward had given the monster the idea, Envy changes their face into Sloth making Edward hesitate enough to punch him in the stomach. Edward glares and claps his hands together. Ready to really fights but freezes in his stance.
“I’d reconsider the use of alchemy if I were you.” Edward scoffs and lifts his hand ready to place it against his automail. He wants to put an end to these bastards who have been toying with him for too long. As if he would listen to Dante. The fucking nutcase.
“Go ahead and use it if you want.” He glares over at Envy. The bastard. “It’s not like I care what happens to your brother.” Edward tenses up and looks over at Alphonse. All because of the stone inside of Alphonse he can’t fight with alchemy. He can’t bring Envy down. What is he supposed to do? He doesn’t get time to think. Before he knows it Envy kicks him and he has to do this the old fashion way. Hand to hand. He balls his hands into fists. Punching. Kicking. Fighting in anyway he can until he has Envy pinned down to the ground. With every change of face Edward slams his fist down onto Envy. Yelling at him.
“Don’t hurt me Edward-” His mother.
“Edward please stop it!” Doctor Marcoh.
“Calm down-” Hughes.
“Give up kid. You don’t have what it takes to kill me.” God damn Roy Mustang. With a smirk Edward’s fist slammed down against the face of his superior officer. That felt way too good. The easy face to be his punching bag. It quickly got old. All of these faces. All of these disguises.
“Show me what you really look like!” He swung his fist down repeatedly. Calling Envy a coward for turning into people he cared and still cares for to get to him. To try and make him weak. It’s just pathetic.
“Do you really want to see it?” Edward goes to slam his fist down on the monster once more but it stops right above Envy’s face. He’s shaking at the sight of person beneath him. There is only one way to get features like the one Envy is wearing. The golden hair and the eyes just as yellow to match. He tenses up and is stuck. Unable to comprehend what is happening. This is too much confusion for one day.
“Envy was the very first homunculi created by Hohenheim almost four hundred years ago. The result of the failed human transmutation of our son who died prematurely to mercury poisoning. I could suppose you could say Envy was once your...Brother.” Staring down at Envy he has so many questions but his voice is caught in his throat the only sound leaving his mouth is the sound of his shaking breath.
“But then he abandoned me started fresh with his perfect wife and kids. Needless to say I never did like being replaced.” In a flash of light there’s a pain in his chest and Edward chokes on his own blood as Envy tosses him to the side. Letting the large hole inflicted on him drain out. A large pool of blood forming underneath him. It’s all too fast. He’s bleeding too much. It’s happening all over again. The last thing he hears is Rose screaming out to him darkness consuming him once more.
Why is it in front of him again? He looks forward and for a moment he swears he saw Alphonse in front of him but he quickly disappeared when he blinked. He whispers out for his brother but Envy shows up by his side. “W-What’s going on? Where am I you worm?” Why does he feel so calm? No feeling of having to fight the homunculus in front of him. He looks past Envy and sighs softly. Completely relaxed.
“The gate.” He points as Envy turns around walking up to it. Taking in its glory before looking back at Edward. Having the gaul to ask what is on the other side of it. “I don’t know. For me it was a place called London, if I remember correctly, that’s what my old man said.”
“You’re telling me he’s still alive?” Envy turns back to the gate walking up to its doors and begins trying to pry it open. There’s nothing Edward can do but stand there. It might not even take Envy to where their father is. “I’ll tell it exactly where to take me.” The tendrils reach out and bring Envy through, the gates shutting right after. Watching Edward stands still. Tears stream down his cheeks as his body feels warm. Remember he had just seen Alphonse here. Where did his little brother go?
When his eyes open he looks forward and Rose is looking down at him. Thank goodness she is okay and looks like her normal self. He tells her he is okay and feels the tears start up again. He wipes them and sniffles. Confused. “What am I crying for…?” He looks back at his hand. His flesh hand. The one he lost bringing- “Al?” He sits up and reaches over feeling his leg.They’re both his original limbs.
“He used Alchemy to bring you back, Ed...After you died.” He turns to Rose. Terrified and worried. All he could think of was Alphonse. The one family he really had left.
“The philosopher's stone...He used it to fix my body and pull my soul back from the gate. B-But then what happened to him?” Rose tenses up in front of him. The expression what the only answer he needed. “Don’t tell me...D-Don’t tell me he’s gone Rose..” He stands up quickly and looks around the ballroom. His little brother. He can’t be gone. They were going to do this together. They were going to get their bodies back together . This shouldn’t be happening. He screaming out for his brother. Why is he gone? This has to be some sick twisted joke. He tenses up and goes silent has Rose’s son begins crying. It’s happening all over again. A never ending chain of self sacrifice. Once the baby calms down he helps Rose stand. “You better get moving..I hate to ask this but can you take him to the surface too?” The both turn and look over at Wrath. If that boy had been human he would have been dead from bleeding out by the look of the pool of blood beneath him.
“What about you?” Even after everything she is still worried about him. Well he did just die.
“I’ll destroy this place down to the last plank. So no one ever gets the idea to create a philosopher stone this way again.”
“Very well. I’m sure whatever happens you’ll find your way out. You’ve got strong legs you’ll get and use them won’t you Edward?” Oh. Why did she have to use his own words against him? At a time like this. All Edward can do is let off a smile. A smile that took a lot of effort to force onto his face. Rose turns and walks towards Wrath. She folds the baby’s blanket so it can hang off her shoulders. Giving her the ability to carry both her son and the broken homunculus. She picks the boy up and walks over to the doors. Rose turns to Edward one more time. Not knowing it would be her last time seeing the blonde she waves her hand and smiles.
Edward waits until he is sure Rose is long gone before getting to work. As he takes a deep breath Edward claps his hands together and presses it down onto the floor, a transmutation circle forming beneath him. He looks around and walks over to a window punching it until it shatters. “That was a lot easier when my leg was a hunk of metal.” He mutters under his breath and peels his shirt off. He bends down picking up a piece of glass. He bites his lip as he drags his the glass across his arm. With the blood he draws symbols on his chest, his forehead, and each of his limbs. Edward stands in the middle of the transmutation circle.
If everything Hohenheim had said is true both Edward and Alphonse’s original bodies should be within the gate. Al’s soul should be there too. Maybe life has no equal trade. Maybe you can give up all you have and you will receive nothing for your sacrifice. Even if there is no way of proving it is true-
“I have to try.” For the sake of his little brother. He shuts his eyes and claps his hands slowly pressing down on his chest. He can feel it. The warmth of the light of the transmutation going to work.He was going to save his little brother. But the warmth quickly faded and was replaced with a scorching pain. His body was on fire but whatever he was laying on was cold. He let out a scream as the pain was unbearable. Biting down on his teeth he looked around. Where the hell is he? Is he back on the other side of the gate? Sighing he goes to push himself up but falls over letting out another pained grunt. What Alphonse had given back to him was gone once again. Why can’t they ever be happy?
Slowly he pushes himself against a wall and softly calls out for his father. The pain begins to subside and it excites him until he realizes it’s because he is losing so much blood. Biting his lip he fumbles around taking his shoe off. He peels his sock off of his foot and tries his hardest to put it on what’s left of his arm. Hoping it will help stop the blood. He does the same with his leg, tucking what’s left of his pants under his leg. He sighs. Exhausted. Out of breath. Dying in an alleyway he doesn’t even know. In a world he doesn’t know. “Hohenheim…” He repeats. The one person who can help him.
“Holy fuc-” Edward looks over at the stranger in front of him and sighs. “Shit shit shit what the hell happened here?” He blinks and he’s not on the floor. He’s moving? No he is in that vehicle he was in when he got shot in the other’s Edward’s body. The people are asking questions but he has no idea what they are speaking. Cretan? Or whatever this world equivalates to Cretan? He wheezes out and begins coughing. Until everything becomes blurry again. When things get clearer the sun is up. He looks around and goes to swallow. His eyes widen when he begins coughing. There’s something in his throat?! He squirms in his hospital bed he is laying in trying to get this thing out. A lady walks in and stops, dropping her clipboard as she turns out the room yelling out for someone. Another woman comes in and pushes him down the nurse helping her keep him down. He tenses at a needle is pushed into his arm. He thrashes around and swings his arm socking the nurse right in the jaw. Only to be taken by exhaustion again.
He lets out a tired a groan the next time his eyes open and looks around, flinching when he sees Hohenheim sitting in a chair a book in his hands. He goes to rub his throat but his arm is chained down to the bed. He sighs and looks over at his father again. “Wh-”He breaks into a fit of cough and his father stands up pouring him a glass of water. “What’s going on…? Where are-” Their eyes turn to the door where a bunch of doctors walk in surrounding Edward. Questions- well he thinks they are questions he can’t understand a damn thing they are saying. “God dammit can someone just fucking let me talk to my shit head of a father first?!” He shouts making the room go quiet. His father glares at him and sighs translating probably not a single word Edward said but the Doctors leave so he’ll take it. “Thank you...Now can you tell me what the hell is going on?”
“You tell me Edward. What the hell happened when you went back and what did you do to get here?”
Edward falls silent, not knowing how to explain to his father what has happened in the past few hours. He sits up and looks down at his lap. Trying to put everything together, it was all a blur. “Al-” His eyes widen and he looks around the hospital room as if his little brother would appear in front of him. “I-I...I saw Al at the gate. His...His body was put together in front of me. I sacrificed myself...Why am I still here?” He turns to his father and frowns. He shouldn’t be alive. Hohenheim stands up and leaves the room. The doctors come back in and start asking him questions; his father acts as a translator for them all. Once the doctors leave again Hohenheim shuts the door, taking a seat in front of Edward on the bed.
“We need to come up with a story for who you are and what happened. I will work on making you a citizen; you just- Dammit. I will take care of everything just try not to do anything stupid.” Edward sighs and lays back down staring at the ceiling. What is he supposed to do here? He can’t speak their language. He’s missing his limbs. Do they even have something like automail here? He’s doomed. Even if alchemy worked here he couldn’t do it. “You’ll be in the hospital for a while. Maybe even months. I’ll go bring you some books. You can read and even learn the language.” Edward doesn’t even look at him but he knows Hohenheim has left once he hears the door click. The doctor took off the strap on his arm so he can now lay more comfortably. It feels like when they tried to bring their mother back to life all over again. Those months of being useless in the wheelchair. Winry looking down at him. She would feed him and try to get him to read. It was only until Mustang came by did he find his reason to live again.
Shutting his eyes Edward sighs and runs his hand through his hair. He’ll have to get someone to braid it for him. A chuckle slips past his lips as he thinks about getting one of the nurses to do it for him. He can remember going up against Scar and his arm broke- no it was destroyed. Armstrong was the one who braided his hair for him when he was unable to. Taking a deep breath Edward pulls the blanket up to cover himself. It’s not the first time he’s gone without an arm. He’ll survive. He’ll survive and make his way back to his brother’s side by the time he is let out of the hospital. Edward finds himself falling asleep until he hears the door open again. He turns onto his other side and opens his eyes. His father has returned with a nurse. Both of them are carrying heavy stacks of books. Edward slowly sits up and reaches for a book but his father slaps the hand away.
“They are in order you should read them in. I am giving you a month to learn German. After a month if you still do not have it down I will only speak to you in it. You can respond in English or in German. You just need to be able to get by here. At least know what the doctors are saying so you can make your own choices.” Edward glares at his father and takes the first book placing it on his lap. “These are all language books. I’ll get you some history books later.” Edward doesn’t respond he just gets to reading. His father is giving him a month? He’ll get it done in half that time just to spite him.