Disclaimer/Brief Note: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist (Hiromu Arakawa) OR Tsubasa RERSERVoir CHoRNiCLE (CLAMP). I you haven't read Tsubasa it's okay because this will basically be a retelling of the Tsubasa story with Edward inserted in. As such the story of Tsubasa will most likely change slightly but the main plot and worlds they travel to will be the same (except I'll probably insert a few FMA characters in the different worlds for fun). So I hope if you're a fan of FMA but don't know much about Tsubasa you will read this anyway. Also this is strictly based off of the FMA anime ending…the movie did not take place so Ed has not been reunited with Al! Also if you haven't seen the anime in its entirety there will be spoilers! On that note…enjoy.
Translations: Nii-san means brother. Sensei means teacher. Flashbacks are in italics.
Chapitre 1: The World of Alchemists
((Munich, Germany 1921))
The early beams of sunrise poked through the blinds of my dark room. My appendages ached again and had been hurting a lot lately. I figured it had something to do with the fact that I had made these prosthetic appendages myself and they were nothing compared to the ones my mechanic used to make. I felt a twang in my arm as I thought of her. I ran my real hand through my hair and sighed, it was going to be a horrible day I could tell. I threw the covers off and stood up.
Pain shot through my left leg as I stood on it but I shook it off quickly. I was used to pain after having my arm and leg ripped off countless times and having automail reattached and/or fixed as a replacement. I didn't even give my bare room a second glance as I went straight for the bathroom. I studied myself in the mirror. Who am I you ask?
I'm Edward Elric, 17 years old. I have golden eyes and very long blonde hair that I used to braid but with only one good arm now I just pull it in a pony tail. I'm…below average height for my age and that's the only time I'm going to admit it. I'm also called the Fullmetal Alchemist…well back in my home world anyways.
I buttoned up my white shirt and pulled a pair of slacks on. Where is my home world? It's beyond the gate between worlds. It's a world where science progressed differently than this world and so my world's focus is on the science of alchemy while here alchemy is mostly treated as a joke and mechanics and physics reign supreme of the sciences. Don't get me wrong, this world isn't so bad. It's currently in the middle of a war but my world was in the middle of a pretty nasty war as well. The only reason I'm not too thrilled about this place is that it keeps me away from Alphonse, my brother.
After I pulled my boots on I completed my morning ritual by pulling my long blonde hair into a ponytail. As I walked towards the front door to go on a morning walk I noticed that my father left a note pinned to the door. I didn't bother reading it and merely grabbed my coat from the coat rack. My father attends Thule Society meetings in hopes of getting me back to Al. At least that's what he tells me. In all honesty I don't really trust the Thule Society and stay as far away from my dad and his "colleagues" as I can.
I shoved my hands in my pockets so as not to draw much attention to my prosthetic arm. As I walked down the street I paid little attention to the shopkeepers opening their shops in the early morning. I jingled the few coins I carry with me and contemplated stopping for a bite to eat but realized I wasn't hungry.
I continued to walk aimlessly, trying to get my mind off the pain. As I walked I didn't pay attention to where I was going and accidentally bumped into someone. I looked up at the tall imposing man and almost mistook him for my old boss, Roy Mustang. Then I realized it wasn't the colonel. The man, like I said, was tall and very lanky. He had long black hair tied back in a loose ponytail and wore a pair of small glasses on the bridge of his nose. His skin was pale but his features were very Asian, all except for his golden eyes. He wore traditional clothes for the time period but he looked strange in them and out of place, as if he should be wearing robes of some kind…though I wasn't quite sure why I thought that. He smiled at me and I took back my first assessment that he was like the colonel. This man was more like my father in his looks and that immediately irked me.
Since I was irked my apology came out kind of harsh, "Scuse me."
The strange man smiled, "No problem."
I walked past him and continued on my way. However I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being followed. As I walked I closed my eyes to hone in on the sounds around me, a trick my sensei had taught me. That's when I heard it; soft foot steps matching my own. I sped up my pace and then suddenly found myself in an alley. I had taken a wrong turn. I sensed a presence behind me and turned, "WHO'S…there?"
The alley was empty except for me. I sighed and turned back around to find the man from before standing there. I jumped back in shock, "What the hell? Who are you?"
The man smiled again and I felt a vein pulse in my forehead, yeah he was defiantly like my old man. I opened my mouth to demand he tell me his name but he spoke first, "Are you Edward Elric?"
I blinked, this guy knew my name? Not a good sign. I grew wary but kept up a fake bravado, "Depends who's asking?"
The man adjusted his glasses, "So you are Mr. Elric. I'll need you to come with me. Time is of the essence."
I turned from him, "Sorry I don't talk to strangers."
"And I'm sorry that I'm not good at taking no for an answer."
I blinked and before I realized what was happening the man had picked me up and was carrying me under his arm like some kind of doll. I immediately started kicking him, "Hey! Put me down!"
The man ignored my protests and pulled out a rectangular card and muttered, "Through." A flash of light appeared on the wall he had placed the card to and I watched in awe as a circle of light came into existence. It looked exactly like an alchemic array. It faded quickly though and the man stepped THROUGH the wall, taking me with him.
We were now in the back room of a coffee shop. I could tell because the rich scents of brewing coffee clouded my senses. He set me down, "Would you care for a cup?"
I blinked, "What?"
"Come. It isn't a coincidence that we met today. Sit with me because I have a proposition for you Mr. Elric."
For some reason his words made me shiver inside, but in a good way. I knew, deep down, that I had to talk to this man, so I agreed. "Just don't call me 'Mr. Elric.' Edward or Ed is fine."
He nodded and led me to a seat. No one seemed to notice that we have entered the shop from the back and a waitress who looked exactly like Rose (the pin on her blouse confirmed that she was indeed the same girl I had left in my world) took our order.
As soon as she was gone I looked to the man, "Now what is this about? How did you know my name? More importantly how did you do that alchemy back in the alley?"
The man gave a soft laugh that reminded me of tinkling bells, "That wasn't alchemy. That was magic."
I nearly fell out of my chair, "Ma—magic? There's no such thing."
The man drummed his fingers against the table, "Oh quite the contrary magic is all around us. Magic is very real. However that is not what our meeting is about, Edward and I'd prefer not to have this debate at the moment. No, wait. I guess I should start by introducing myself. I can sense you still don't fully trust me and as I have learned a lot of power can be found in knowing a person's name. I am Clow Reed."
It was a weird name but I noticed that his last name was very, what they call in this world, English. I didn't dwell on it though and instead went back to my other questions, "And why exactly do you want to speak with me Mr. Reed?"
"Call me Clow."
I opened my mouth to protest when Rose was back with our coffees. She set the mugs down before us as I stared straight into Clow's smirking face. I felt Rose giving us weird looks and I didn't blame her. She gave me an awkward yet reassuring smile and then left. "Alright, Clow, why exactly do you want to speak with me?"
Clow took a slow sip of his coffee then set it down, "I'll get straight to the point. I am going to help you get back to your true world and time."
My heart panged at the mention of my 'true world' but I kept cool, "Right and why exactly are you going to help me?"
"Oh, that's right. You still believe in the principles of equivalency right? Good, I share that policy as well so explaining this won't be hard. The truth is I owe an older gentleman a favor. I met this man while my studies took me briefly into the den of the Thule Society. I didn't stay long but while I was there I had many long discussions with a certain man who said he knew you. He eventually confided in me that he was from another realm and requested that I help you get back there. I'm sure you know him too…a man by the name of Hohenhiem of Light."
I nearly spit out my coffee. The old man had met Clow? Had he really fallen for the man's 'magic' story? Instead of answering my questions his answer had merely given me more.
"He spoke fondly of you and after helping me I am obliged to help him in return. However he said he didn't want any help and said I could pay my debt by helping you. So I will. But of course if you want I can also fix up your busted arm and leg as well."
I sat in silence and contemplated all he had said and the repercussions of everything. I hardly noticed when he had stood up and placed a single business card on the table, "Come to this address at midnight with your answer. I'll be waiting."
I stared up at him and suddenly blinked. When I opened my eyes he was gone. At first I wondered if it was all a hallucination but then I noticed the business card. I picked it up and pocketed it. I stood and headed for the door and winced as my eyes adjusted to the sunlight.
That night I set out for Clow's address. I didn't know what to expect as I wandered the streets searching for the house. As the bell tower in the distance began to strike midnight I found it.
The house was in an odd spot. It was a small Victorian house that rested between two large abandoned buildings and was surrounded by a low brick wall. I wondered what would prompt him to build his house here of all places? I decided it was time to stop staring at the house and step across the threshold but as soon as my foot touched the grass on the other side of the wall I felt a chill run up my spine. My eyes unconsciously drifted up into the branches of a towering sakura (cherry blossom) tree. I was surprised to see that the tree was in full bloom although it was the middle of October.
However I was far more taken a back by the tall white haired man perched on one of the thinnest branches of the tree. The full moon shone behind him yet its light also seemed to reflect in his silver eyes. He stared down at me with no emotion on his face what-so-ever. The strangest thing about him though was the pair of white angelic wings sprouting from his back. He wore white robes that billowed around him and his eyes bore into me. "You are not permitted here," he said in a voice of ice.
I stood my ground, "I was asked to come here by Clow!"
The 'angel's' eyes narrowed, "A likely story," he lifted his hand and a bow of light appeared. He then drew the 'string' of the bow back, preparing to fire. I prepared myself to dodge when a loud roar pierced the silence of the night. Suddenly a large golden lion with a bejeweled helmet and a massive wing span pounced in front of me. I stepped back in surprise, the lion brought back memories of chimera I had fought in the past and made me really wonder what kind of man this 'Clow' was.
Then the lion spoke, his golden cat eyes glistening, "Leave him be Yue. He's here on business for Clow and you know it! Normal people can't enter these grounds unless permitted by Clow."
The angel guy, or Yue, turned his back to us, "That boy is anything but normal Keroberos. I suggest you keep an eye on him." Yue vanished without a sound and the lion rolled his eyes and turned to me.
Keroberos, as the lion was called, looked me up and down then turned, "Well come on shorty."
A vein throbbed in my head but I decided it wouldn't be wise to piss off a large lion that had just saved you from a weird angel guy. So instead of freaking out like I normally would I merely muttered a dark, "Don't call me short."
The lion chuckled and motioned his head, his wings folding down to rest by his side, "Follow me."
He led me into the house which was far larger on the inside than what it appeared to be on the outside. "That man, Yue, are he and you chimera," I asked as we entered a dark corridor.
Keroberos roared with laughter, "No, No," he paused for a moment to contemplate the question further, "Well…I guess in a way. I mean after all Master Clow did create us."
"Created you? Clow created a human?"
"Yue isn't human. He's…well from what I've heard of your world the closet thing to Yue is what you call a homunculus…but even that doesn't do Yue justice. Yue and I are much more complex than the homunculus of your world."
"How do you know so much about my world?"
"That man…Hohenheim of Light came over a few times."
I was really starting to wonder what the old man was doing with this Thule Society but then thought better than to ask. We eventually reached a black door with a symbol carved onto it inlayed in gold (a circle with runes around it and circumscribed within the circle were the symbols of a sun and a moon). It looked so much like an alchemic array that I couldn't help but run my hand across the delicate looking symbol.
"Come in," a voice chimed.
I pulled my hand back and Keroberos chuckled again. I cast him a glare then opened the door slowly to find Clow sitting at a desk, fingers bridged, and smiling at me. He looked so much like the colonel I froze for a minute trying to think of my report that I was going to give to him. Then I remembered that I had left the colonel back in Central and that this man was Clow Reed.
"Welcome Edward. I trust Keroberos treated you well."
I nodded and stepped further into the room, the door closing softly behind me. The room was very dimly lit and the only light came from the huge windows behind Clow. The curtains were pulled back revealing the stunning full moon that loomed behind the mysterious man. With the moonlight I could see all the books that lined the walls of the room and make out the rich red upholstery that donned the chair Clow sat in. I then noticed that a black leather chair was on the opposite side of the mahogany desk and Clow motioned for me to sit. I took the seat cautiously, my eyes glancing over the titles of the books and soaking it all in. How I yearned to just start pouring through the books to learn their secrets. Instead I focused my attention on Clow. The man looked much more relaxed than when I had seen him in the alley. He was dressed in white and blue robes that looked very Asian and fitted his form much better than the suit I had seen him in earlier. I ceased studying his attire when my eyes met his, "I'm here. So let's hear how you're going to send me off."
Clow gave me a very Cheshire grin. He stood up and walked over to me, placing his hand on my prosthetic shoulder, "First…I think we should take care of your arm and leg. Of course they'll cost you extra…your father only 'paid' for me to send you to my friend."
"Wait. I thought you were going to send me home."
"I am. I am going to send you to an acquaintance of mine who deals in dimension travel. First, however, I want to fix your arm. It's no good going on a journey of this magnitude unless you are at your fullest potential."
"You said that would cost extra. What price am I going to have to pay you for you to fix up my arm and leg? I'm not exactly rich you know."
"Whoever said I was asking for money," he kneeled down next to me and peered directly into my eyes. I couldn't pull away from his gaze, "You may not be rich…but from what your father tells me your story is. I want to hear the story of the Fullmetal Alchemist. If you tell me your full story I will give you automail like you once had and your journey can truly begin."
I was silent for a bit and Clow continued to stare at me. I knew he wasn't going to back down unless I told my tale. I sighed and prepared myself to relive the emotions that had plagued me for so long. "Alright…but you might want to get comfortable. I think to understand my story though you have to understand the basic principle of alchemy. Our sensei drilled that into our head when we were young but we didn't heed her…which I guess is where all our problems started."
I stopped and Clow nodded for me to continue.
I took a deep breath and recited the rule that had driven me and Al through everything, "Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth."
The telling of my story took quite some time, but I soon lost track of time as I retold my experiences. I couldn't help but tell him everything. I had never actually sat down and told my story before and as I spoke I realized how much Al and I had actually been through. I could recall everything like it was playing out before me. Everything flowed together: my father leaving, mom's death, our training with Sensei, Al and me trying to bring mom back, the Gate, the automail surgery, Mustang, the Alchemy Exam, Nina, Scar, Leor, the Homunculi, Marcoh, Laboratory 5, Hughes's death, Dante, Wrath, Greed, the Philosopher's stone, the other side of the gate, my death, my resurrection, and finally my sacrifice to save my brother. All these faces and places blurred together and created a story that even I was having trouble believing and I had lived through it. As I finished telling Clow of how I had ended up in Munich he stood up and reached into his robes. He pulled out a rectangular card similar to the one he had used to move through the wall.
"Thank you Edward. Your story was certainly worth the magic I'm about to use on you."
I rolled my eyes, he had totally just ruined my mood, "Didn't I already say there was no such thing as magic."
"You are certainly a man of science Edward. Although we disagree on that point we do both share a love for knowledge in our respected fields. Now, I want you to picture your automail as it was when you had it; its weight, texture, everything. This shouldn't hurt."
I was really skeptical about that last part but decided what the hell. If this man thought he could construct automail out of thin air let him go ahead a try. I closed my eyes out of habit and imagined the automail attached to my arm and leg; its heaviness and coldness. I even went as far as to imagine Winry adjusting screws and springs in it.
Winry looked up at me and smiled, "Hey Ed it looks like you've grown some since last time. Looks like I'm going to have to make adjustments on your leg as well."
I smiled at her as she began to tweak the gears, "Of course if you drank more milk you'd pry would have grown at least three inches instead of only two."
"Ugh, milk," I muttered, sticking my tongue out.
"Nii-san she's right you really should drink your milk," Al scolded.
I opened my eyes as the image faded from me and melted into the room I was currently in. I turned to Clow who was putting the card away. He smiled, "I think you'll like the improvements I made on the automail."
I looked down at my right arm and my eyes widened. The automail was there; exactly as what Winry's would have looked like. Instead of just dead weight attached to me I could actually move my fingers very naturally. "H—how?"
"Magic," I looked up to Clow who merely smiled, "I've made some improvements as I said. Since I used magic it isn't just normal automail. I figured it might need some repairs on your journey so I made it self-repairing…just try not to get it blown up like you did with Scar. Also I etched an alchemic array onto your right arm so that you could transmute your automail or really any metal at will."
I blinked, "Why would I need that. I mean thanks but if you heard my story then you know I can transmute things without a circle."
Clow shrugged, "Just a hunch."
I never thought I would be so happy to have automail again but after having to live with the basic dead weight that had become my right arm and left leg the 'lightness' of the automail was amazing. I was a bit skeptical of the self-repairing part but I was starting to believe Clow could do just about anything.
"Shall we move on," he asked, interrupting my thoughts.
I stood up from the seat with a grin on my face; I was starting to feel like my old self at the prospect that soon I would be one step closer to my brother, "Yeah I'm ready to go."
"Excellent. Follow me." Clow turned and waved a hand in front of one of the bookcases. It moved to the side and a set of stairs leading into the darkness lay before us. Clow began to descend the stairs and I quickly followed him, pulling the sleeve of my coat down subconsciously so as to cover the automail.
We quickly reached the bottom of the stairs and I found the familiar symbol of Clow's etched onto the stone floor. He smiled at me then turned to a dark corner of the room from which Yue and Keroberos stepped forward. They took positions on either side of Clow as he held out his hand and a staff appeared there. I opened my mouth to ask how the hell he had done that but he didn't give me time before he cut me off, "As I said earlier I'm sending you to a colleague of mine. Her name is Yuko or the Dimension Witch. Like me she is very practiced in magic and especially in the art of space/time travel. She knows you are coming and is expecting your arrival."
"Alright…if she's waiting for me why are we in this basement instead of on a train to…where ever she lives?"
Clow chuckled, "It seems we have a misunderstanding. True, Yuko does exist in this time but she isn't ready for you yet and if you waited for the day to come yourself you would be an old man. No, I'm sending you to the exact day you need to be there in the future. About ninety years in the future to be precise…give or take."
"Ti—time travel? You can't be serious! First you pull that magic mumbo-jumbo on me and now you expect me to believe in time-travel."
"And yet here you stand a boy from another dimension. Please don't try and argue with me about the strange or unexplained…I can top you on almost every aspect," Clow said smugly.
I sighed, he did have a point. I nodded, "Alright…can I go now."
Clow nodded and raised his staff. The air around me seemed to instantly electrify with some kind of strange energy. The circle below me glowed in response and I was once again reminded of alchemic arrays. I could hear faint chanting and looked to Clow whose eyes were closed in concentration. Suddenly I was lifted from the ground by an unknown force and I floated in the midst of that circle for what seemed like ages. Yue and Keroberos watched in silence as I floated weightlessly above the circle. Then I heard a chiming sound behind me and I turned only for the world to explode around me and then vanish into darkness.
I was alone.
When suddenly the dark void I was in warped in on itself and I was floating a few inches above wet grass. Time stood still around me and I noticed I was in a totally different place. I was outdoors and in front of a large Victorian house similar to the one I had just left. There was a group of people around me and everyone was frozen, even the individual rain drops falling around me stood still. A yellow eyed woman stood in front of me wearing a long black dress and her long ebony hair was tied in a bun. She was staring straight through me and I turned to find what she was staring at. Behind me were four people; two of whom seemed to have just risen from the ground and bubbles had burst around them. Farthest to the left stood a man in an ankle length white hooded coat with pale blonde wisps of hair sticking out from under the fluffy hood. He held a staff in his hands and a sleepy expression on his face; like he wasn't all there mentally. In the middle was a boy, probably about my own age, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was dirty and bruised from what must have been a fight. He wore a black shirt and khaki pants under a fluttering green cloak and in his arms was a brown haired girl who appeared to be, from what I could tell, dead. I felt sorry for the boy clutching so desperately to the pale girl in a pure white dress. Lastly and to the far right was a man crouched down with a long sword. He wore black robes and a helmet on his head that was red and bore a yellow crescent moon in the middle. He glared up at me with red eyes and as I finished studying the four figures I felt the rain start to fall around me.
As if a spell had been broken I dropped to the ground, landing on my butt, just as time started again and found myself in the center of a very strange assortment of people.
The woman smirked at me and the group collected behind me, "So…you've all arrived."
To Be Continued…
Author's Note: So what did you think, ready to join Ed on an adventure of a lifetime? Trust me this is going to be one crazy ride! So sit back and enjoy the show…and REVIEW!
Also if you want to check out the commercial I made for this there's a link in my profile. It's sweet so check it out!