When September Ends

By: Mustang'sBunny

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Gees. That's kind-of depressing when you think about it. Oh, and please...NO FLAMES!

This is the final chapter of this fanfiction! After this, I'm writing another! So be on the look out for it! I still, to this day, know how this will end (I have so many different ideas...bwhahahaha!). Thank you for all the support and the lack of flames! I hate flames, especially when you specifically put up stuff saying no flames! Doesn't that get annoying? Anyway, you all have been good about it, so I will reward you with a sequel! Enjoy this chapter!

...

Chapter Twenty Five: He got into trouble...AGAIN?!

The palace itself was amazing. It was taller than any other building in the area as decreed by law, and it had at least a hundred massive stone steps leading up to the entrance, which was a pair of equally massive doors that were highly decorated with carvings. Heavily armed guards stood strategically around the premises, their eyes sharp, and their bodies adorned with armor of the finest. The team from Central looked around in awe as Alphonse led them through the capital city and to the entrance of the palace.

Even Armstrong was not above gawking like a child at times. "Alphonse, where exactly did you lead us?"

"Huh? I thought you knew!" Alphonse laughed.

They arrived at a gate that was directly before the ascending steps that for a brief moment Breda thought may have been a staircase to heaven. They weren't before the gates for more than a half minute before they were approached by a black haired woman wearing a black jacket draped around her shoulders. Her eyes resembled Roy's in their onyx color, and she looked like a figure of authority, but once she spotted the men in the military uniforms, and the red trench coat that Al wore that was once his brother's, her firm expression broke into one of a recognizing smile.

"Alphonse Elric?" the woman gasped as she trotted to them. She had an accent when she spoke English, meaning that she was definitely from Xing. "I have not seen you in years! What brings you to Xing, especially during such times of war between our countries?"

"I seek an audience with Lin," Al admitted. "But it's nice to see you too. How's the automail?"

Each man gasped as she removed the jacket from around her shoulders, revealing her left arm was just like Ed's. Shiny, brilliant automail. It looked a little dull from lack of waxing and buffing, but it was in a lot better conditions than Ed's.

"Automail?" Roy questioned.

The woman opened the gates for the men, and led them up on the steps while Al began explaining.

"Years ago, when I was still bound to armor, she came to our country in order to protect a Xing prince," Al said.

"My prince was intrigued with alchemy both of our country and yours, and the thought that there may be some way to gain immortality," the warrior stated, a smile gracing her lips as she remembered those days.

"That's impossible," Havoc stated, trying to catch the pretty lady's eye. "No one can be immortal."

"The homunculi were immortal to a point, were they not?" she replied. "That's what got my lord into trouble. He began to try and catch one in order to reveal their secrets. He was...successful, or so he says."

"How is Lin?" Al asked.

"You shall soon see. But I guess I should have them tend to your comrade first, right?"

They looked to Archer who was quiet and looked rather pale and dazed as Armstrong carried him up the steps.

"I guess," Al said, no emotions in his words. "Make sure he doesn't die. I have some questions for him."

Once they reached the top, the woman gestured for a guard to take Archer away, then turned to guide the men from Central into the palace.

Beyond the doors at the top of the stairs, laid just as grand a sight as the outside walls held. Tons of space surrounded the militants and Al as they entered, and the ceiling seemed to touch the sky. The overall color of the room was a beautiful crimson red, much like the color of the coat Ed wore as a boy, and many things were adorn with gold. There were guards in this place as well, along with several doors that led to different rooms. The Xing guard led the group towards the back of the immensely large room, where they ran across a raised platform. There were no fewer than ten steps that led upward to a flat surface in which a throne sat. Roy could hardly make out a young man lounging across the throne as if it were a sofa. He had long black hair, narrow eyes, and looked older than Ed by a couple years. He was wearing a familiar outfit that sent chills down Roy's spine at the sight of the man sitting up at the realization there were others in the room.

"Who are you?" he called down. "Why are you here?"

The man stood and peered down at him, revealing he was wearing a skin tight shirt, leather pants, and a vest with fur around the collar.

"Lin?" Al called up. "Lin Yao, is that you?"

At the sound of Al's voice, the man known as Lin smiled and rushed down the steps. "Alphonse Elric! Never thought I'd see you again! How are you?"

Lin came to a stop before the young Alchemist and in a friendly way, shook his hand as if they were friends from the streets. "I've been better," Al replied. "But I see that you've been doing well."

"Indeed!" Lin laughed. "I think becoming Greed was the best thing that ever happened to me!"

"Greed! So I was right," Roy said, throwing the younger male a suspicious look.

"Don't jump to conclusions," Al warned. "He is a trusted friend of both my brother and I. He and my brother fought a lot of battles together."

"That's right, military dog," Lin snarled defensively. "The only reason I became Greed was to gain immortality. I could care less about the other homunculi or the shit that they're doing. I heard they were all dead anyway."

"Not anymore," Al corrected darkly.

Lin raised his eyebrow, and he lost his smile. "I'm taking it you're not here to catch up on old times then, am I correct?"

Al nodded, a deep frown present. "Sadly you're right. I've got a couple favors to ask you, if you don't mind."

Lin nodded, then added to his ever faithful servant something in Xing. She nodded, bowed ever so deeply, then trotted off, followed by a couple other guards.

"What did you tell her?" Fuery asked. He loved languages, so he was always eager to pick up some new things.

"I asked her to get some food and drinks prepared for us," Lin answered politely. "If my intuition is correct, it would be safe to assume that Ed is in trouble...again. Am I correct?"

Roy nodded, eager to explain to the homunculi and get help. "He's-"

"No, do not speak of it now," Lin said, cutting the Colonel off. "We'll deal with this when you all have some food in you. Although, I am curious to see what kind of trouble I have to bail Ed out of this time..."

In another adjoining room, the men sat around a large table which was piled high with fine foods. They sat for hours, allowing Alphonse to explain their current situation in between bites of their first meal in almost a day. Lin nodded at certain points, grew grave in others, and finally, slammed his hands down on the table.

"So, Ed is now a homunculus known as Pride, all because of this Archer fellow?" Lin verified.

"Basically," Roy nodded. "Archer wanted me to step down as Colonel, but I believe he also had other motives besides just hating me and Ed."

"We have to wait until he's recovered a bit before we can probe him for answers," Falman added.

Lin sat back in his chair, satisfied with the meal he had consumed. "That sounds like the starts of a good plan."

"I was hoping," Al said sheepishly, "if you would be willing to help. It could go a lot better for us if we had a homunculus on our side. Y'know, immortal against immortal."

Lin grinned, always eager for a fight. "I'm at your beck and call Al. Anything to show up that pipsqueak!"

"He's not so small anymore," Alphonse laughed lightly. "He's a bit taller than when you last saw him. Besides, he's older than you, so of course he should be taller...by now."

Hughes had been silent nearly their entire visit except for adding comments to the situation break down by Al and Roy. "Wait, you're younger than Ed?"

"How old are you?" Havoc asked.

"Me? I'm as old as Alphonse here," Lin said, gesturing at the boy sitting beside him.

Everyone stared silently, mouths ajar.

"Really?!" Breda gasped. "I could have swore you were...like-"

"The colonel's age!" Fuery interjected.

Al and Lin both exchanged glances before they both broke into snickers. Roy raised his eyebrow.

"Sorry," Al said, calming himself down. "It's just...Ed said the same thing when he first met Lin."

"Everyone does..." Lin muttered.

Al suddenly looked over to Lin. "You're emperor of Xing now, right?"

"Yeah...?"

The young alchemist's eyes looked rather worried. "Did you really slander my brother in your history books as 'the man who fed a shoe to the emperor'?"

Silence, followed by hysteric laughter by Lin, and more confusion by everyone else who had no idea what they were talking about.

"That, my friends, is a story for another day," Lin laughed. "But, I have to admit, I did actually mention it."

Al looked horrified.

"I don't see why you're so upset Al!" Lin continued. "Your brother was rather happy. He mentioned something about 'Really? That's great! Edward Elric just carved his name into the history of Xing!' He wasn't worried into the least!"

A chuckle escaped from the youngest Elric. "That sounds like brother."

"Al," Roy said, drawing his brother-in-law's attention from across the table where the Colonel sat next to Hughes. "You said that you would tell me...us, about how Ed came to have..."

"Split personalities," Al said. "Edo is another personality."

"Please," Roy nearly begged, "can you tell me about what he was like before I ran across your path."

There was silence that rivaled that of death. All the food was gone, and the servant began removing the plates. Al waited until all the moving around by the servants had stopped in order to sigh and start his long tale.

The sigh was extremely tired, and everyone could clearly see the emotional strain the memories were putting on the boy. "Where...where should I really begin?" he said, with a small sad chuckle. "I guess my first memories of him should make a fine beginning, right?"

The men got comfortable in their chairs, including Lin, who was curious about his troublesome friend as well.

"I'm a year younger than Ed. When he was born, my mother and father were still living together. By the time was able to make memories, my dad was gone. Therefore, I felt no hatred towards my father, who we found out later was a man by the name of Hohenheim. Edward on the other hand remembers our dad, and still hates him for leaving our mother. And that...that hatred...is what left fuel for Edo to grow..."

So that's the end of this one folks! Ha! I finished the first part! yaya! Alright, so as I've mentioned, there is a sequel to this, in which I hope I can make an ending. Whether for good or bad is yet to be decided. Right now I have some ideas...but not the whole thing. That's what I do when spacing out- I think of plot twists! Lucky you guys! But seriously! You guys need to look out for it! I'm going to post this and then probably the first chapter of the new thing will quickly follow! I have yet to decide on a title ('cause I'm indescisive about chapter titles and fanfiction titles...like I was gonna actually rename this one like halfway through 'cause I couldn't remember why the hell I called it like I did...Maybe it had something to do with the song...I CAN'T REMEMBER! Curses!). Enough of my babbling! One final time for this fanfic...PLEASE REVIEW! And thanks people! Oh, almost forgot (If you haven't realized already, I am a bit forgetful...)...the note...

This little situation refers to something that happens in FMA manga volume #13. Lin and Ed (and Envy) get sucked into the huge pit that is Gluttony's stomach (read for full details). There's nothing but a sea of blood...and random stuff that Gluttony has eaten over time. Lin starts whining that he's hungry while they're resting, so Ed (who's removing his boot) says "You know something Lin? Leather goods are edible. I saw it in a movie when I was a kid...There was a scene of a shoe being boiled and eaten..." Lin of course is skeptical, but they wind up doing it anyway. Plus one of the bonus little comics strips in the back of the book is about the shoe eating! It's really pretty funny (at least I thought so). Go read it if you haven't already!