|The Return of the Zombie Alchemist
Author: agent000 PM
Sequel to The Zombie Alchemist. The zombie's back, and this one doesn't seem so sweet and loving as the last one. Then again, this one doesn't have a mind either.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Supernatural - Alphonse E. & Edward E. - Words: 3,325 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 9 - Published: 12-04-06 - id: 3273832
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
And here we have the long awaited sequel to "The Zombie Alchemist". It took me a long time to get any ideas on what to do for this story, since I hadn't initially planned on a sequel, and to be quite honest, I'm still not sure where the plot's gonna go. I'm pretty much only doing it because I got so many requests, hehe. Ideas would be most welcome. Anyway, I hope that this lives up to your expectations, heh. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist. Darn, now I'm going to have to come up with another creative disclaimer theme for this story. I already incorporated the two Eds into "The Demon Within"...should I do that again? Nah!
Al laid in his bed, quietly thinking and staring up at the ceiling. The moon shining through the window was the only light illuminating the dark room, but it was enough to just barely make out shapes and forms against the contrast of the darkness all around him. Al let out a sigh and suddenly felt a twitch come from within him. He turned his eyes as if he were looking at someone and said, "Are you alright, Brother?"
"Yes, I'm fine," came a muffled voice from inside of Al's body. They had been like this for awhile now, and were slowly starting to get used to it, though it was difficult for the two of them to grow accustomed to both sharing the same body. "Don't worry so much, Al…I was just resituating myself is all."
Al sighed in response and pretended to smile, but inwardly was feeling concerned for his brother, since his soul didn't have the strength to continue existing on its own as of yet. "You still don't feel comfortable in my body, do you?" He breathed out and sunk deeper into his pillow, starting to feel sleep trying to overtake him, but he continued to fight against it for the time being. He wasn't done talking to his brother yet.
"Well…Al…it's just…" Ed tried fumbling for words that weren't there, trying to explain something that he just couldn't grasp. He closed his spirit eyes and sighed, trying to think of what he was feeling. Al twitched a bit in response, so Ed guessed that he must've been sending him a telepathic message about what he was thinking. All the same, he felt the need to explain what he was feeling. "Al…it's just that…well, I guess that I'll never feel comfortable in any body but my own, though yours is by far the closest one to mine. I'm sorry…I'm not trying to be ungrateful, or…"
Al quickly interrupted his brother's ramblings and said, "No, Brother, don't worry, I understand completely. It's hard to get used to a body that isn't your own. My several years of experience in that suit of armor taught me that." At that comment, Ed grimaced inside of Al, and Al almost wished he hadn't mentioned it. Ed still had the tendency to blame himself for everything that went wrong, and he'd put all the blame on his own shoulders, even if some of it rightfully belonged to someone else, as in the case of the human transmutation.
"That…that must've been really hard for you. I'm finally starting to understand…"
Al wanted to get Ed's mind off of this melancholy state he had so suddenly found himself in, so he searched his mind to find a quick distraction. Hmm…yes, that might work. "Hey, Brother…have you grown strong enough to move my arms yet?" At this, Ed stopped muttering and turned his attention to what Al was trying to say. It was true, Ed's spirit had been too weak after that whole ordeal with that green, life-taking stone to even move Al's arm, let alone his body. The moment that he could move anything would be a definite indication that he was once again growing stronger, but it hadn't happened yet.
"Uh…I don't know."
Al sensed the hesitancy in Ed's voice, and prodded him onward. "Come on, you can't know unless you try. We really want to see if you've grown strong enough to affect me at all, right?" Inside of him, Al felt Ed slowly nod his head, still in the hesitant manner that he'd been displaying all this time they had been talking. Al closed his eyes and released a mental sigh. He really needed to pull his brother out of this melancholy mood he was in, somehow. It was somewhat draining to have a spirit living within you that was so down all the time, even if said spirit was a rather weak spirit. The fact that it was his brother made the effect ten times what it would have been otherwise.
"Okay, then," Al said, a bit more cheerfully than he was really feeling and he began to settle deeper into his pillow. "I'm going to try to completely relax my body so that I don't interfere. Try to move me, in some way…okay?" Al waited for a moment until he'd gotten Ed's response, and then he relaxed himself even deeper. He concentrated all his attention on starting at a spot on the ceiling, causing him to go into a bit of a trance. Eventually, the sensations that his arms and legs normally sent him began slipping out of his consciousness, and he started to breath like a person who was sleeping, even though he was obviously wide awake. This was the best time for Ed to make his attempt.
Ed stretched out his spirit arm inside of Al's physical one and lined his fingers up inside of Al's, being careful to get as connected with Al's body as possible before even making an attempt at moving his arm. He focused on the energy that both he and Al were emitting, and did his best to synchronize his own with that of his brother's, since that would likely be a better guarantee of success. When all his preparations were done, he closed his eyes, let out a sort of a sigh without breath, and muttered to himself, "Here goes nothing."
He channeled all his energy, all his strength at the one spot, just trying to raise the arm even a little bit. Any movement at all would be an improvement over previous attempts. He gritted his teeth and pushed at Al's arm with all he had. He could actually feel his spirit arm pressing against Al's skin, but not exiting it. Al wouldn't have allowed him to leave his body at present anyway, so Ed was more or less trapped until he was strong enough to overpower Al's safeguard that kept him locked inside.
He continued to exert so much energy in the attempt to move Al's arm that it almost sounded as though he were groaning as one would do if they were trying to lift a very heavy weight, even though he didn't really have any air to expel. He continued pressing as hard as he could, but Al's skin just continued to act as a barrier to him. If only it didn't seem so much like a prison like that, maybe he'd have more of a chance. Finally running out of energy, he flopped back down in Al's body and left Al to hyperventilate a bit to refresh his energy, since he was living for the both of them.
"I just can't do it, Al," Ed said, in between Al's hard breathing at the moment, "I'm just a weakling. There's no hope for me."
Al closed his eyes in irritation and concentrated on his breathing until it finally normaled out before he responded to his brother. "Don't say that, Brother. You are not a weakling. You simply gave up a large part of your spirit in order to save my life and the lives of all those in the city, and who knows how many more. That would make anyone suffer from a lack of strength for awhile. Don't you dare put yourself down for having done such a noble deed as that."
Ed seemed to grow smaller inside Al's body, and Al could tell that he was feeling quite low right then, though he couldn't quite see why. As far as Al was concerned, his brother was the greatest person who had ever lived. It puzzled him as to why his brother couldn't see that himself, especially considering how conceited he used to be. "Al..." Ed finally managed to say, though he sounded quite unsure of himself, "...I wasn't noble...I was simply acting out of fear...I was afraid of losing you."
The corners of Al's mouth twitched as he debated with himself on whether he was supposed to smile at that comment or not, and finally settled on turning his body so that he was lying on his side, a more comfortable position to him to sleep in, at least for part of the night. "Brother," he said, "Fear doesn't cause someone not to be noble. In fact, it oftentimes is the cause of it. You saved my life, and the lives of many thousands of others by what you did. Heh..." He let out a half-chuckle upon a sudden realization. Getting a feeling of curiosity from Ed, Al calmed down and resumed his composure. "Being spirit yourself, if you had let all of us die, you would have soon been reunited with us, yet you chose to save our lives instead. Do you not call THAT noble?"
Ed seemed to be staring into space for a few moments, at least, that was what Al was guessing he was doing. Then Ed finally relaxed and allowed the slightest of smiles to cross his face, which he justified with a shrug. "I'm still not sure I'd call my actions 'noble', but you can call them what you like."
After a few minutes of the two winding themselves down for sleep and saying good night to each other, Al finally began to let the sleep overtake him, though not too quickly, because he still had a lot to think about. Ed hadn't been acting like himself lately. Sure, he used to get depressed from time to time, but that was just Ed. However, this total feeling of melancholy and hopelessness that he had been displaying tonight was a bit unusual for him. There was something wrong that Ed wasn't telling him about, and it bothered him. Then again, maybe it was just the fact that he refused to allow his brother to leave his body for the time being, and Ed didn't like the feeling of being trapped. Under any other circumstances, Al would have let his brother enter and exit his body freely, but when his brother's soul was at constant risk of falling apart from weakness, he couldn't afford to take the risk. All the same, Al suspected that it was hard on his brother not to have the freedom he so desired.
The two were rudely awakened the next morning by someone knocking frantically on the door to their dorm room and calling, "Alphonse, open the door! Hurry, it's important!" Al sat on the side of the bed in a daze for a brief moment, sleep still halfway hanging over him, while he tried to register what the heck the person had just said. Then it clicked. The voice that was calling through the door was Colonel Mustang! Apparently, he must've had some urgent mission that he needed to send Al on. At least, he hoped that was the case, since he had to be awaked so early in the morning. The last few times, it had merely been that Roy had wanted Al to babysit for some new girl he was going out with for a few hours, which annoyed the heck out of Al to have to be disturbed so early in the morning for something like that. Sure, he liked kids, but couldn't the Colonel wait until he was already AWAKE? Al shook his head to simultaneously clear his head of sleep and the thoughts of the annoying Colonel at the door, and slowly stood up. All the same, he still couldn't figure out why Roy kept going out with women that had children, but his business was his business.
"I'll be right there, Colonel!" Al called. Roy seemed a bit impatient at that comment, but had no choice but to wait, since it was obvious from the tone in Al's voice that his sleep had been disturbed. Chances were good that if you disturb a person in their sleep, that they might still be in their nightclothes...or worse, like in Ed's case. Al wasn't quite the underwear-sleeping person that Ed was, as Al appreciated the security of wearing ALL his nightclothes, but being caught in them before your commanding officer was still a bit embarrassing.
Finally, Al had slipped on his shirt as the last part of his day clothes, though he had yet to assemble the full military uniform, supposing he needed it that day, and he began walking towards the door, buttoning the shirt up as he went. He turned the doorknob and opened the door only to find a very bored-looking Colonel Mustang leaning against the doorpost, almost as if he wanted to say, "I've been waaaaitiiiing," though he didn't actually say that. Instead, he stood up, straightened out his uniform, and said, "Oh, Alphonse, finally. Sorry to have disturbed your sleep, but there's an important issue I need to discuss with you."
Al paused for a second to allow the Colonel to tell him the place and time that they were to meet and discuss the matter, but Roy remained silent. Al looked down and bit his lip. Of course, he understood this game by now. There were occasional cases that would show up on Roy's desk that he felt he couldn't trust the rest of the military on, so he refused to discuss them in his office where he would most certainly be eavesdropped upon by higher officials and guards that were stationed in the hallway. Even though he wasn't supposed to, he would take these special cases up with only a select few individuals that he trusted, and then he would discuss the matter in the privacy of their own homes, where no one would be around to eavesdrop.
Al hiccuped once as it finally clicked in his mind about what the Colonel was wanting, and he waved his hand in a gesture that invited Roy to come into the room. The Colonel bowed his head and walked into the room without another word. Al stared after him for a second, forgetting where he was, until the Colonel sat down on the couch. Al suddenly snapped back to reality and shut and bolted the door, and then went and sat down across from the Colonel, on an alternate couch facing the one that Roy was seated at.
As soon as he was situated, Colonel Mustang interlaced his fingers together and started twiddling his thumbs. "Now," said Roy, "I'm sure you're wondering why I barged in here and disturbed your sleep." Naturally, that was exactly what Al was wondering, so he nodded to the Colonel to probe him to continue. "Well," said Roy, starting to reach under his coat for something, "I just wanted to show you..." He whipped out a piece of paper and shoved it into Al's face. "Hughes' daughter! Isn't Elicia cute?"
Al sat back into his couch, hands halfway up as though not sure whether to defend himself from the attack or not, and sounds that sounded like a combination of half laughter, half speech were coming from his throat, though no words were omitted. He was so taken by surprise that he had no words to say. Roy threw his head back and laughed for about two seconds, and then instantly grew serious again. He sat back down on his respective couch and tucked the picture back into his coat. "Sorry, it's just been too quiet around here without Hughes and Edward running around and assaulting random innocent people." Al rewarded that comment with a stifled snicker, and Ed with a glare for that comment about him assaulting innocent people, though his glare went completely undetected by the Colonel.
Roy once again interlaced his fingers and started twiddling his thumbs. "Now, for the real reason I came." All eyes were focused intently on the Colonel now, since he had obviously taken on a very serious demeanor. "I chose you, Alphonse Elric, for this case because you are the only one in the military that has had significant experience, as well as my trust." He paused long enough for Al to open his mouth, about to thank Roy for the compliment, but Roy smirked and stopped him. "Don't let it go to your head." Al clamped his mouth back shut, and Roy let out a chuckle. Al wasn't nearly as funny to harass as his brother, but he did have his own amusing, naive side that was fun to observe.
Roy let out a sigh and leaned back into the couch, putting his arm up along the back of it, and crossing his legs in a more civilian, rather than military, manner. Al didn't particular care whether he saw the Colonel behave like a human being around him, since it only made him respect the man more as a human being. As a result, Roy seemed to act more casual around him than any of his other subordinates. "Alphonse, do you remember some months ago when your brother came back to Central as a zombie?"
Alphonse shivered. How could he forget? He loved his brother no matter what form he was in, but some forms were creepy, regardless. Al locked his attention with the Colonel's. "Yes, what about it?"
Roy looked down at his knees and brought his arm down from being on the top of the couch. He put his left hand up to cover his forehead and began rubbing his temples, as if either in deep thought or trying to release tension...one or the other, or both. "Alphonse," Roy said again. He had been saying Al's name a lot that day...that was kind of unusual to have it said that many times in one conversation. Al stiffened and waited for whatever Roy was going to say, since the tickling in his spine told him that something wasn't right.
Finally, Roy lifted up his head and looked into Al's eyes. "Alphonse," he said once again, "It's come back. The zombie's come back."
Hope you enjoyed that. Review and let me know what you think, and any suggestions you might have. Since I really don't know where I'm going, suggestions and questions would be really helpful in shaping this story. Anyway, thanks for reading, and hope to see you soon!