Crossover with xxxHOLiC. Written for the FMABBC. 8D
The Promised Day had come and gone. Father's four-hundred-year plan proved to be unsuccessful, and although much damage has been done to the beloved nation of Amestris, all hope was not lost. They lived, and are coping. They are repairing the damages, replacing what was lost, and putting everything back into order.
However, not all things lost can be regained, at least not in its original form. Going back to the past will not earn us the things we've lost, but if we move forward, we may regain them. And sometimes, what we gain from moving forward is much more than what we've lost.
- - -
He was getting used to the world of darkness. In his eyes, the world was pitch black. But as he traveled this world, he became more dependent on his other senses—his hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Through these, he was able to "see" the world he moved in, and in the midst of the darkness, he could see the light. It was, no doubt, not as bright as he used to see, but he was no longer totally blind, no longer oblivious to his surroundings.
And as he sits himself down again, at the end of the day, when darkness is not only within his vision, he closes his eyes to rest. And though his physical body does not move, although it sleeps, his mind still wanders; it journeys and travels, crossing, leaping against time and space, until it comes to stop at a place it chooses to visit, a place it chooses to explore for the evening.
And tonight, his journey takes him to a place that seemed familiar to him; a place he had seen not too long ago. No, actually, it was the last place he had seen with his own eyes. It was all white—an empty and yet blinding white void.
"The Gate?" he mumbled, shielding his eyes from the blinding brightness that was around him. No, it can't be… he thought. If he had passed through the Gate once again, for sure, he would be met by the Truth himself, taunted by his loss of vision, haunted by the sin he did not choose to.
Strange. I don't recall performing human transmutation… but this isn't the Doors of Truth, is it? He turned around, half-expecting to see the towering doors appear in front of him. A hand reached out to him, running fingers through his hair before extending outward, as if wishing to reach the end of this abyss, though endless. But this was his own hand—these were his hands—hands that ended many lives in the past, and yet saved just as many. These were the hands that were supposed to help the people, but ended up hurting them instead; hands that touched several lives, and sparked dreams, ideals, and ambitions. And yet these were also the same hands that brought him to his state.
And now he can see them again, his hands. "How can this…this isn't real," he concluded, his hands balled into fists as he sank down to the floor below him. "This is just a…" a dream. He thought, but before he could voice this out, someone spoke.
"This is a dream, you are right," a voice floated across to him. It wasn't the voice of the Truth; it was far kinder, softer, and more feminine. "This is a different world, a different dimension. But this is real." She contested, though her voice remained calm. She kept silent, knowing he was confused by her words.
"A… different dimension, you say. Different to that of the Truth's?"
"Different to that of the Truth's." She replied, though simply repeating his statement, less the interrogative. "And this state, you being in a dream, means your heart yearns for something. 'A dream is a wish your heart makes', the old song does go…" she mused. "But then again, it might not have been heard in your time."
He was confused. No, he knew what she was talking about. Deep inside of him, he knew it; these were all stored in his memory, amounts of knowledge he was yet to discover within him. But even if he practically "knew" what she was saying, he didn't understand.
He didn't need to say any words though, for she sensed his confusion. "There are many different worlds and times… dimensions. The dimension from which you came from, and from where I came from are different; and this dimension we are in is also different. My current time is different from yours, as this world's time is different from either of us. This is a dream, and like all other dreams, it has a meaning."
He turned to find the source of the voice; he had been too confused and startled to have done so earlier. Meters away, behind him, sat a beautiful woman, clothed in a dress made of silk and satin and perhaps other sorts of fabric that he didn't know or couldn't recognize, in a design unseen by his eyes before, but known in his mind as a kimono. Her hair, just as dark as his, was long and flowing, and her eyes, though as red as the flames he once lit, were calm. "What… what does this mean then? Me being able to see, and… meeting you?" He asked. The distance between them seemed to have gotten closer.
"I said it earlier," she replied, turning her gaze to him. "By being in this dream, it means you have a wish your heart yearns for. And because you have a wish, I must be here." He had that dazed look again, as if he knew, but didn't understand, or couldn't entirely comprehend her words. "I will grant your wish."
Grant… my wish? But—"But you granting my wish in this… dream… if I wake up, wouldn't it disappear? Wouldn't it all just be a dream?"
"That depends on your wish," she replied calmly, "and on the price you have to pay."
Price? "Humankind cannot gain anything without giving something in return"—of course, Equivalent Exchange. How could I forget? "I… see."
"Your wish?" She asked. A part of him doubted her so-called ability to grant wishes. He was in a dream, after all. What if he was just dreaming up all of this? What if she wasn't real, and his mind—his dream—was simply deceiving him? But a part of him was also convinced. A part of him said she might be his hope. Perhaps she could help him, and he wouldn't have to worry over going through the Gate once again. A part of him was saying he had to grab this chance. There's no harm in trying, after all.
After a long silence, he spoke. "I… I just want to be able to see again."
"But you are already seeing perfectly, as you are."
"No, I can't," he contested, though his voice was not raised. "I'm blind! Blind because… I involuntarily did something I shouldn't, something I would never do, something I was against. But the circumstances… didn't favor me."
"Being able to see isn't your deepest wish." the woman said. She was right. It really wasn't. But how can he fulfill his goals, his dreams, his ambitions, if he can't see a thing? It would be impossible. How do you expect a blind man to lead a nation as large as Amestris? It would've been possible if he had at least one of his eyes—well, he had both, but he could use neither of them.
"If I asked you to grant my lifelong dream, I doubt you can do it; I doubt I can pay for it." He said, bitterly. "How can a blind man become Fuhrer?"
"I suppose you're right; I might not be able to grant that," the woman replied after a short moment of silence. Her expression remained calm and peaceful, despite his rising emotions and desperation. "I can't make you Fuhrer. Neither can I give you your eyesight," she said. His face showed he was disappointed, and yet also showed that he half-expected it to happen. "Your vision was taken from you, not by natural means. Your vision was taken by a power much greater than mine." She was referring to the Truth.
"I thought so." He mumbled; his eyes down cast.
"Besides," she continued; her voice a bit lighter, contrasting to his sinking mood. "You cannot pay a debt with another debt."
"Yes, you're right." He nodded, after a moment of thought. Indeed, if the taking of his vision was the price he paid for performing human transmutation—though against his will—asking to have it back and having to pay with something else was another liability on his part. He had nothing else to pay with; except perhaps the immense information he gained from his passing through the Gate, and his alchemy.
"But all hope is not lost," she said. He looked up at her; she was smiling. "If you look around you, you'll find that you already have all that you need." Was she joking? Was she even paying attention? Was she just playing wise with all these words? Seriously, if he looked around? This is a joke. This is just a dream, and he was being deceived.
He sighed exasperatedly. She can't be serious.
But she laughed. The sound resonated around the seemingly empty void, echoing in his ears; he was unsure if she was mocking him. "What you need… the important things you need… you already have them. The important things cannot be seen by the eyes. They are invisible to them. What is important is seen by the heart."
Silence fell on them once again, after she said those words. In this moment of silence, he began to think. Important things are invisible to the eyes… what is important is seen by the heart. He repeated to himself, contemplating upon those words. If that's the case… then what is important? What is it that my heart only sees? What…
And then they come to mind. His best friend who has always been there for him, supporting him through everything, and though his best friend had already gone ahead of him, he knew… he knew in his heart that he was still there, helping him. His subordinates, who never left him, always ready to fight with him, all dependable and loyal, and who he also kept close to his heart. And there were the brothers, who, though stubborn, also taught him several things, also helped him, and in a way, also supported him. And then, of course, there was her—she who knew him well; whom he shared his dreams with. She to whom he entrusted his back to, she who was always there for him, even if he didn't ask, she who would be willing to follow him anywhere he went—even if it meant going down to hell—and she who served as his eyes.
"I see," he said, breaking the silence. "I understand now. I… I guess I already do have all that I need. I have them," he chuckled, lips forming into a small grin. "Perhaps it's not so bad to have a blind Fuhrer. That'll be a first." He mused to himself. Then turning to the woman, he said, "Thank you."
Slowly, he found that they were both disintegrating, fading out into the white that surrounded them. He was about to wake up. As he awaited the moment he would awaken, the woman spoke, in a voice still soft and calm, "I don't usually do this… but—"
He was awakening. "Wait, madam, who are you?" He called out. He didn't catch her last phrase, but he heard her name. Or at least what she had been called—The Witch of Dimensions.
And he woke up.
- - -
Sunlight filled the room, peering through the glass windows, seeping through the curtains. The room was filled with warmth. It was morning.
What is important is seen by the heart. The words echoed in his mind; the fragment of the dream striking him the most. He hears the door creak open. Then he heard soft footsteps walking towards him. The scent of… of a dog reached him. "Lieutenant," he said softly, still a bit groggy from his awakening. "Black Hayate." He added, hearing a soft whine from the famed pet.
"Good morning, Colonel," her voice reached his ears. He was filled with a certain calmness upon hearing her voice. Hearing her, feeling her presence always made him feel happy, calm, and content—knowing she was there beside him.
He still lay in bed, feeling too lazy to get up. He rubbed his eyes by force of habit, sat up and stretched his arms, and bit by bit, opened his eyes, though knowing that again, it was another day of darkness. But today was different. He opened his eyes, and though expecting darkness, it wasn't what greeted him. It was a faint image of a woman he knew, the woman whose face only seemed to be but a memory until now.
"I don't usually do this, but… I'll try to grant your wish. You have been through too much suffering. But your eyes are still determined; despite being filled with desperation and sadness, there still lives the determination. I hope you see the fulfillment of your dreams."
"Wait, madam, who are you?"
"The Witch of Dimensions. And do not worry about the price for your wish. It… seems they have paid for it already."
"…Riza?" He mumbled. He was squinting; his hand rose above his eyes as if blocking the light. I think… I think I can see you. He felt something flutter against his hand. A butterfly.
A/N: Thanks to my beta, Mere. :D
The title has no specific meaning implied in the story. I guess. To me, it doesn't. I just used "Butterfly Effect" since Yuko would usually be represented by a butterfly throughout the xxxHOLiC story.