Another attempt at an FMA fic. This is POST-SERIES! If you have not seen the ending, you will not understand where this came from. Plus, this fic will spoiler the ending for you as well. Thus DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS! Now that that's settled... This story came from the plot of the upcoming movie being released in Japan this August. (The site has the story.) I'd suggest reading that. Not only is it frickin' awesome, but you'll understand where a certain character came from. Well, I've talked and rambled enough. Enjoy the story and please RR! Thanks!
"here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are
as my memory rests
but never forgets
what I lost
wake me up when september ends"
- "Wake Me Up When September Ends" By: Green Day
Winter in Germany
a foolish dream of a foolish boy
Munich, Germany - 1923
A pair of liquid gold eyes stared at the various parts and wires scattered out across the table. To someone passing by, it would seem he had no idea what he was doing. However Edward Elric knew exactly what he was doing. He just wasn't doing it at the moment. His mind was wandering, as it had been lately. Wandering to the times of another life that seemed, after two years, like a dream. He had begun to question if that life, that world of alchemy, had ever been real. Shoving such horrible thoughts aside, Ed grabbed the wrench in a sudden movement and continued his work on the parts, screwing them together with nuts and bolts and making sure the wires were connected correctly.
His workplace was a huge hanger, usually used for airplanes but now reserved for his study of rocketry. The table he sat at was a blade of grass compared to the place. Already a rocket itself was in the works, partly constructed and sitting in the center of the hanger, suspended above the ground by various steel support beams. It still had a long way to go. Even if it was finished, there was no telling if it would work. In the end it could be destroyed in the launch. Then he would be back at the table, starting all over again. But he wasn't alone.
Ed paused in his work and glanced over his shoulder, peering through stands of straw colored hair to watch his partner. He stood in front of another table on the other side of the hanger. He was very focused on the own part he was working on, brown eyes- Ed mental kicked himself and quickly turned back to his work, staring at the pieces once more.
No, He scolded himself. Alphonso Haidelihi has blue eyes. My Al... my brother... has brown.
He told himself this everyday. He had to in order to keep his sanity. Yet regardless of what his mind told him, his eyes would usually not listen and he would find himself seeing his research partner as his brother. The two were, after all, one in the same. All Al had to do was dye his blonde hair a light brown and change his eyes from ice blue to chocolate brown and then Ed would have the image of what his brother might look like at age seventeen.
But Alphonso Haidelihi was not his brother. Despite his mind's determination to keep it this way, Ed couldn't help but treat this Al like a brother. He did it without realizing it and it usually required a weird stare from his partner to snap him back to reality. Or... semi-reality. And this lead to the reason why Ed was considered one of those "dreamers". Most people avoided him, feeling he was one who had lost touch with reality. The truth was that he had never really been in this reality at all. His mind was always back home with his brother, with Sensei, with the military, with... Winry.
Wonderful, Ed. Now you'll never get back to work, Ed growled at himself, dropping the wrench and leaning his elbows on the table. He dropped his head into his hands, blonde bangs falling down around his face.
Thoughts of Winry were usually a signal to his brain that his work day was over. After her name slipped into his thoughts, he couldn't concentrate on anything else for the rest of the day. Well, night in this case.
Al's voice brought him back and he lifted his head, staring at the wall in front of him.
"Are you almost finished with that?" Al called, watching him carefully. He was acting weird again.
Ed glanced down at the various pieces littering the long table's surface. He had only connected two fully assembled parts out of six.
He cringed. "Er..."
Despite the distance, he could hear Al sigh heavily. "Ed, we're kinda on a deadline here."
"I know, I know. Sorry, I got... distracted."
"Again? By what? And don't give me your usual answer, either."
Ed fell back against the back of his chair and dropped his head back to stare at the upside-down image of Al.
He grinned sheepishly. "Thoughts."
Al rolled his eyes. Of course, his usual answer. "Fine, call it a night and go home."
He turned back to his work, wiping his forehead with the back of his arm before taking the wrench to the complicated machine once more. Ed sighed and lifted his head. Al was understandably mad at him. He hadn't gotten any real work done for awhile. Ed stood, pushing his chair back noisily. He snatched his coat from where it had fallen on the floor and glanced apologetically at Al's back.
No reply. Ed silently slipped on his heavy winter coat and tucked his hands in his pockets, turning his eyes to the floor and heading toward the exit.
Al paused in his work. "Das Tier Tavern."
Ed stopped and turned his head, blinking. "Huh?"
Al glanced up at him, smiling. "Go to Das Tier Tavern. It's a block or two from the house. There's live music there tonight. It might help you forget about whatever's on your mind."
Ed stared before a small, almost broken, smile appeared on his face. "Thanks. I just might. G'night."
With that Ed turned and headed out. Al watched after him a moment before shaking his head, going back to work. He was an odd man, that Edward Elric. He often wondered why he had agreed to work with him. Ignoring the obvious reason (Ed had become a genius at rocketry), Al decided it was because he felt obligated to help the lost soul. He felt an odd connection to Ed that he couldn't explain and certainly didn't understand.
Don't get close to someone like him, Al reminded himself as he worked. You might loose touch with reality, too.
The air was bitterly cold, as fitting for winter. Snow was falling gently from the night sky, settling upon the already fallen snow. Edward made his way down the sidewalk, crunching through the thin layer of white powder beginning to coat the sidewalk. The streets were empty, the houses all dark. A glance at his pocket watch told him it was almost eleven. No wonder the city was silent. Ed debated on going to this tavern Al had mentioned. He felt like he needed to get lost in a good book, not go to some bar that was, inevitably, crawling with drunks and crooks. Only those groups would be at a tavern this late. But the idea of listening to the music of this world, another one of his favorite past times, convinced him.
It was nothing special. Just a small building on the corner with a sign hanging above the door, displaying the tavern's name and swaying in an invisable wind. He entered, a blast of blissfully warm air hitting his numb face as he did. A small bell jingled as the door opened and then fell shut behind the young man. The bar room was warm and small, but cozy. The bartender cleaned the bar top, moving the white rag in quick circles across the smooth and polished wood. A few people sat at the stools, each with another stool separating them from each other. Several other people sat at the small tables scattered across the room, talking in low voices. A stag was set up against the right wall of the bar, complete with a grand piano and a drum set. It was empty, apparently awaiting the next performer.
Ed sighed and flopped down in the chair of an empty table beside the window. He stared outside, watching the snow fall. His mind wandered again, back to that certain name... Winry. He had never gotten the chance to say goodbye to her properly, he realized. He never got to tell her how he felt, how grateful he was to always have her care for him. He and Al were the only ones who ever had. He had been determined in the beginning. He had been so determined to see them again. He swore to himself he would see them. He would discover a way back to the Gate and back to the other side. There his brother would be waiting for him. And Pinako, too. Hell, he was even looking forward to seeing Mustang's stupid face again. But most of all, he wanted to see Winry. He wanted her to be there waiting when he finally arrived home. He would sweep her off her feet the moment he saw her... hug her so tightly and never let go again.
That had been his dream when he was fifteen. Now, two years later at age eighteen, Ed was losing hope. He had always been one to never give up; to keep trying no matter what. He had believed that, eventually, you would reach the thing you were working towards if you tried hard enough. 'A foolish thought of a foolish boy' he now called that philosophy.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw people on stage. Ed turned with half hearted curiosity. Two men took their places, one at the piano the other at the drums. After warming up for a few minutes (during which Ed merely watched the snow fall, thoughts still on his home) the two instruments fell silent. Then everyone fell deathly quiet. The silence caused Ed to glance back up toward the stage. A young woman had climbed onto it.
He might have fallen from his chair if his body had not frozen at the sight of her. Her hair, a darker blonde, was tied into a messy bun on the top of her head and her eyes were an emerald green, but it was her. There was no doubt, it was her. On the small stage, wearing a strapless and sleeveless green dress that hugged her perfect curves and chest and face fixed up with make-up, stood the mirror image (well, almost) of the girl he could not toss from his troubled mind.