Bluebirds Illusions - Pride, the deadliest sin

Chapter 1 – A New Beginning

Those who continue to fight when no reason remains shall never be at peace.

'There is so much left that I still don't understand…I can't die now…not now…...I need to stay…I have to…Al needs me…I need him…I won't allow it…I am not ready to pass into the next world…not when I have yet to find the truth…to…save…my…brother…' He squinted his eyes in a desperate attempt to stay with the world of the living, and refused pointblank to succumb to the tempting darkness without a fight.

He coughed weakly as he slowly began drowning in his own blood. That anguish on top of the searing pain that pulsated from where his chest used to be, was far and beyond bearable. He felt as though he were being slashed apart from the inside…though through it all, the only thing he could think of was his brother. The pain was nothing in comparison. 'Al I am so sorry…please…forgive me…for everything…I have caused you so much pain…this is all my fault…I don't know how long I can resist it…the pull that is bringing me towards the gate…the gate of heavens…of hells…of truths…of lies…of life…of death…'

Edward felt the light leave his eyes, a wailing Al disappearing from his fading vision. He saw his brother clearly, undimmed for a split second…his body was back. Edward smiled softly. At least he had succeeded in that. The pain was gone now, not that it had mattered, he was numb to it anyway…nothing could cause him pain…he had already lost everything. There was no physical agony that could ever begin to compare with the emotional scars he bore…nothing could hurt him. Not anymore.

Ed was broken in both mind and in body, but still…he had to keep fighting. He had fought to live for his entire life. To die was not even fathomable. To die had never been an option. He had always found a way to fight back, to fight for a reason to carry on…a reason to live…but now he could find none. He did not have anything that he had to do. He had nothing to fight for. 'Al has his body back…I saw it. That was my goal ever since we were both torn apart from the failed human transmutation. What else do I need to do…?' He felt himself being pulled through oblivion and back again, the darkness was overwhelming, consuming him. It was so thick and sinister it could make even the most malevolent being shiver…but Ed didn't care. He had already been to the gate…he knew where he was going…or so he thought…

Heart wrenching sobs racked Al's body. It was as though fate was laughing at him, mocking him as to have the first emotions coursing though his body to be ones of such pain and suffering. It was cruel and tormenting. To Al, it made everything seem all too real. He didn't know what to do now that he was alone, all too alone, in a now empty, domed, luxurious auditorium.

On his knees he clutched his chest frantically, tears blinding him. He had never felt pain such as this ever before. His throat was dry, seared and on fire, his head throbbed, body convulsed, his heart was screaming in agony, each beat as though demanding release…he wanted to die. His painful cries were echoed audibly from the walls and ceiling relentlessly, without any end in sight.

'…how could this have happened...It has to be a dream…this can't be real…please…' he thought, pleading with all his soul to the gods that he wasn't even sure existed. It couldn't be real. It just couldn't. His brother had been there! Just now! Right with him less than a minute - less than a moment before! Ed had been fighting Envy, fully living and breathing. Ed had been alive. Dante, that cursed woman, had been there too…yes, she had taken over Lyra's body. The homunculi Gluttony had been there also, and Rose had been there as well with her son. But they were all gone now, and he was alone.

Al slumped over feebly before tensing suddenly and viciously striking the rock hard floor. He couldn't bear it anymore. It was all just too much. Everything that had happened now seemed like a blur, a surreal blur. There was no recalling what had happened; only that it was more painful than anything else he could have possibly imagined. Suddenly he tried to think of where the others had gone and he couldn't. He slowly got up with a start, his knees shaking, nearly buckling, as he was still unable to get a hold of his raging emotions, not that he was giving it much of an effort. He couldn't manage much in this condition.

He looked around the room again quickly. '…wait…what is going on…what am I doing here?'

His sobs became less strong. He tried to think of what was going on. Why couldn't he remember what had happened? How had he gotten here? There was a slow growing pain at the root of his skull that was pulsating acutely. He gritted his teeth and held his head tightly, doing his best to conceal his distress. It soon became too much, he couldn't hold it anymore. Quickly hitting a breaking point, he cried out painfully. He clutched his head, fingers curling into his scalp as he curled over, trembling violently; struggling in vain to fight the darkness that was threatening to overwhelm him. With a final heart wrenching scream he collapsed limply on to the smooth floor with a dull thud. He lay alone in the now silent auditorium of the long since abandoned city, which his father, Hohenheim of Light had wiped out to create the first philosophers' stone.

It was many hours before Al was found. He was still unconscious, and his body was that of a ten year old boy. The same age as he had been when he and Ed committed the taboo of trying to resurrect their mother.

Three years later…

"Al come on, you can't be serious. Didn't you learn anything from what we've told you?" asked Winry, looking up from her place at her messy automail work bench. She was working on a new arm and leg for the homunculi Wrath. The boy came as he pleased to and from the Rockbell household. Al was a few meters across from her at the kitchen table. He was eating some breakfast. Outwardly, it was a typical morning at the Rockbell home but Winry knew otherwise. Today Al was making the decision that she had been dreading for the past three years. She had always known that it would come to this, but it still didn't make it any easier.

"Well yes, but I still want to become a State Alchemist. General Mustang even sent me that envoy saying that I've been given a spot in the State Alchemist Exams that are coming up in a couple of months. Plus I want to meet him for myself. I've heard way too much about him not to at least go."

Winry scowled. She had never told Al that Roy Mustang had killed her parents, nor did she think that she should any time soon. It would dampen the image of Roy that his subordinates had so eloquently painted for Al. No…she wanted Roy to shatter that image himself. One could only hope that Al would play victim to Roy's tact himself, and overcome his naïve disposition to see what absolute jerk the Brigadier General really was.

Winry sighed, taking a deep breath, and eyed Al worriedly. "Well…what do you want to gain from this exactly?" she asked, pausing in her automail work, attentively waiting for his reply.

Al put his toast down on the plate, eyes lowered. "Well, I guess it will help me improve my skills as an alchemist, after all, Teacher has nothing left for me anymore." he said keeping his gaze on his half eaten meal.

"Aren't you satisfied with the level you're at now?" she asked. Winry knew the answer before she even asked the question.

"No." replied Al instantly, with the sort of raw determination that was normally void from his voice. He eyed her levelly. "I have not brought brother back yet so no, I am not satisfied." he stated. "Not even close." he mumbled as an afterthought, his eyes dulling in memory.

"But Al please, don't you remember what happened-"

"No I don't remember!" he exclaimed, effectively cutting her off, and catching her off guard. "How could I possibly remember? After brother gave me back my body I lost all of my memories from when I was in the suit of armor. I don't remember a thing from what happened while working under the military….in my mind it is as though nothing happened between the times when brother and I tried to bring mother back and when brother gave me back my body three years ago." He sighed before continuing with a more level voice. "All I know is what you, Granny, Rose, Wrath and the military have told me."

"Al please!" begged Winry. Her eyes were wide and dire as she got up roughly from her workbench.

Al got out of his seat as well. "No Winry." he said pointblank. "I am sorry but I am going to Central to take the State Alchemy exams and you are not going to change my mind." He looked at her with all seriousness. "You can tell Granny. I'm going out."

Al turned on his heel and swept out of the kitchen without a second glance. Winry heard first the kitchen and then the front door close. Only then did she sit back down, but she didn't feel like working anymore, not when there was so much uncertainty. 'It is a good thing that I didn't tell him that they're planning to hold an official funeral for Edward in the military cemetery, and the tombstone has already been laid down. The ceremony is in a little over a month.' Winry lowered her head into her hands, shaking her head. 'I guess I knew this was going to happen. I knew he was too much like Ed to rest not knowing where his brother is. But still, I can't help but be worried though. Al is only thirteen.' But a voice in the innards of her mind reminded her that Ed was younger when he became a State Alchemist.

She got up off of the bench, slumping over in defeat. She headed upstairs to have a talk with her grandmother. 'I wonder what Granny is going to do when she finds out what Al is planning….' she sighed exasperatedly and shook her head again. 'Those two…they always, always, ALWAYS get into trouble. I just know that this is not going to end right…I can never stop worrying about them, and I have never gotten good night's sleep whenever I am thinking of either of them.' she scoffed lightly, an amused expression on her face. 'That's right…I haven't slept well for over ten years.'

End of chapter one!

This fanfiction is going to be slightly linked to the game 'Bluebirds Illusions'though not so much so that you'll be in the dark in the least if you know nothing of the game. If you want to take a look at either a very detailed outline or into the intro video, there is a link to both of them on my author's page.

I I will not add in many OC's. I will put in one main one that is needed for the stories plot progression but I will not add them needlessly nor will the story become overwhelmed with them. This story is not about the OC's. This is Al and Ed's journey to become reunited, only things are far more dangerous than either of the bargained for, i.e. Pride!Ed

Main Characters:

Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric, Pride!Ed and an OC Xue-Kwin (Xing) girl named Nanami Tsumang

Major Supporting Characters:

Winry, Roy, Riza, and two O.C.'s that won't be involved for over seventy thousand words

Minor Characters (might get a part):

Jean Havoc, Heymans Breda, Kain Fuery, Vato Falman, Maria Ross, Denny Brosh, Alex Louis Armstrong, Olivia Milla Armstrong (Alex's older sister, in the manga), Catherine Elle Armstrong (Alex's younger sister, in the anime), Shou Tucker, General Haruko, Gracia Hughes, Alicia Hughes, Russell Tringham, Fletcher Tringham, Pinako Rockbell, Rose, Hohenheim of Light, Dante, the Homunculi and any OC that I feel the need to add for a minor part

Thank you for reading,

much love,