What's this? An update? Call it an early Christmas gift from me to you. 8D

I was going to update this sooner, but finals got in the way. So apologies for the wait. I promise I will try to update this story faster than once every three months, ahaha.

Oh, and in this chapter you will probably begin to realize that there happens to be absolutely no plot! YAY. But plot is coming in the next couple of chapters or so (maybe). xD

***Alright, this part is important to read, because it explains why I wrote the story like I did. Italics represent something being said in English. In this story, Amestresian and English are more or less the same language. Regular text represents something being said in German. Also, when Alfons says "Alfons", he is really referring to the Al back in Amestres; he just assumes the two names are spelled the same. This is the same when Edward continually refers to Alfons as "Alphonse". He simply assumes the two names are spelled the same way. I hope this isn't too confusing!

Please continue to read and review! I love reading your comments!

Conversation Starters

Alfons could hardly believe it. An American. Edward was an American. No wonder he had seemed so anxious.

He, Alfons Heiderich, was housing an American in his home! He felt like a political traitor. Yet somehow Alfons didn't feel frightened or anything. Edward was just so harmless-looking. And despite popular belief, Alfons knew that not all Americans were horrible people.

Edward just continued to look confused. "I am not…" He started to say, before abruptly stopping himself.

"You're not what?" Alfons asked, curious. Maybe he had been too assuming. Maybe Edward was Canadian after all.

"Not important…" he mumbled in response. "Er… you know where is Hohenheim?"

Hmm… he was definitely trying to change the subject, but there was no need to make him feel even more uncomfortable than he already was.

"No," Alfons answered. "But, hey, I was thinking… would you like to stay with me while you looked for your own apartment or something? Then you don't have to stay with your dad. You can sleep in the spare room, I don't mind."

He waited patiently while Edward contemplated his answer.

xxxxx

OK, so basically this German-Alphonse was asking him if he was thinking about… apartments? And sleep? Those were the only words he had really caught.

"What?" He tried.

"Oh, er…" Alphonse looked embarrassed. "Do you want to live with me in my apartment?" He said it much slower, too.

Ohhh… OK. Ed pondered this. Well, better than staying with his crusty, disintegrating old bastard of a father who kept disappearing to God-knows-where every other night. And anyway, Alphonse seemed nice enough. Plus he made good bacon.

"Yes. But not long time. I need to go back to Ames- erica," he finished awkwardly, hoping Alphonse hadn't noticed.

Alphonse smiled back. "Great! Er, good. So what do you want to do?"

"Talk to me German," Ed answered back immediately. Hell, he wanted to go back to Amestres as soon as he could. But with the gate…. It probably wouldn't be possible for a while. And as long as he was gonna be here, he might as well learn the goddamn language. It was driving him crazy, not being able to fully understand what people were saying. And, just as when he was a kid, Hohenheim was proving to be no help in teaching Ed anything. Like alchemy, Ed could only get so far with books, and the German texts Hohenheim had at his apartment were really not much help. The bastard didn't even have a fuckin' Amestrian to German dictionary or anything. What he really needed was a teacher.

And here one was, ready and willing. Ed hoped his luck would persist in this strange world.

"You mean…. You want me to teach you German?" Alphonse was saying.

What? Ed wished he could understand Alphonse better. Well, whatever he had said, it couldn't be too bad.

"Uh…Yes?"

xxxxx

Edward really didn't seem to understand him. This was kind of frustrating.

"Teach," Alfons said. "Is when a person tells someone else how to do or say things…" He had tried to simplify the definition, but the one he had ended up giving was so damn vague.

How on earth could he teach Edward German when he didn't even know English?

"Teach," Edward repeated. "Teach German to me."

Oh. Well. Maybe he had understood. Wonderful.

"Yes," he answered. Alright… that was a good start. Where to go from here, though…?

"Hello, my name is Alfons." Introductions never failed.

Edward shot him a questioning look. Alfons gestured to him.

"Hello, my name is Ed," he said, still looking at Alfons as though he had a few screws loose.

"Oh… you like to be called Ed?"

"Yes," the newly dubbed 'Ed' responded. "You like to be called Al?"

Wow. He was catching on quick.

"No," Alfons shook his head. "So, uh… what do you like to do?" There we go. Conversation starter.

Ed looked at him. "You like rockets, cats, and apple pie," he said strangely.

This kid had a good memory. Alfons was impressed. (He was also impressed that Ed was so familiar with these German words, as they seemed sort of random). "Yes," he agreed. "And what do you like?"

"Um… I like to… do not know word," Ed faltered.

Yes! This was his opening! He could teach Ed simple words. Let's see… things people like to do…

"Do you like to read?" He asked.

"What is read?"

Alfons looked around, spotting a book on his armchair. He picked it up, and pretended to read it.

"I am reading," he said. "Read."

Ed looked at the book. He pointed at it. "This is a read?"

"No, this is a book. Book."

Ed's brow furrowed. "Ah. Book. You read a book."

This was fantastic. Ed was catching on so fast- Alfons would barely have to teach him at all! And the faster Ed learned German, the sooner Alfons would have someone to really talk to.

"We need book to teach Ames-English and German," Ed said seriously.

What was he talking about? And why did he keep mistaking America for some place called Amestres? Huh. Well, if school had taught him anything, it was that Americans weren't very smart. Although, this didn't seem to be Ed's case. He was smart all right… he just seemed confused. Maybe Amestres was a city in America. Yes, that had to be it. But what kind of book was he talking about, teaching both English and Ger-

Oh. A dictionary. Right.

"A dictionary?" He asked.

"Uh… I think? I don't know."

Yeah, that was probably what he meant. Did he even own a German to English dictionary? He didn't think so.

"Let's go buy one," he announced.

"Buy a dictionary?" Ed asked hopefully.

"Yes," Alfons confirmed. "Then I can teach you German properly, and maybe you can teach me English."

"OK. Yes."

They both grabbed their coats, and made their way out of Alfons' apartment.

"So… Ed…" Alfons started. Ed turned to look at him. His eyes were really distracting. Alfons forgot what he was going to ask him.

"Nevermind," he said swiftly, knowing full well he was starting to blush. Ed gave him a strange look.

Alfons really needed to pull himself together.

xxxxx

Man, this other Alphonse was weird. Ed kept getting the feeling he was watching him, and it kind of creeped him out.

"Er… where is place to buy book?" he asked. At least now he knew Alphonse was looking at him because Ed was talking to him.

"A bookstore?"

"Bookstore. Yes. And what is that?" he asked, pointing at a car parked on the side of the road.

"That? Oh, that's a car."

Car. Car. He could do this. He could learn to speak this shitty language. He decided now was no better time. Why wait until they bought the fucking dictionary? He proceeded to point at random objects on their walk (i.e. birds, stores, benches, lampposts), while Alphonse obediently informed him of their correct name. Truth be told, Ed was feeling more and more like he was on a walk with a parental figure, and he was the stupid little kid. But at least he was learning the language. And who cared what the passerby on the street thought, anyway?

After a good ten minutes, Alphonse abruptly stopped in front of a small building. Ed, who had been reciting the German words he had just been taught in his head, nearly walked into him.

"This is the bookstore?"

"Uh-huh," Alphonse said, walking in. Ed followed, but was disappointed to see that the bookstore was not nearly as impressive as the ones in Central. It was small and cramped. Alphonse talked briefly with the man at the front desk, before saying something to Ed.

However, Ed had been thinking longingly about the vast military library in Central, and had completely missed what Alphonse had just told him.

"What? I mean… what?"

The bookstore guy chuckled and said something else to Alphonse, who smiled in return.

Goddammit. The guy's accent was too strong, so all Ed had caught was "no". Why didn't they all just speak Amestrian like those German scientists Hohenheim worked with?

"Er…" Alphonse said. "The book. It is in the place of the store to the end."

OK, seriously, Alphonse's Amestrian sucked. Ed would have to give him some pointers. But for now, he just tromped to the back of the store and searched for the text in Amestrian, Alphonse by his side. Ed felt a slight wave of nostalgia roll over him as he remembered all the times he and his brother had looked for books about the Stone in the various libraries and shops they had been to on their travels. And the one time they had tried to get into that particularly tiny shop, but Al's armor wouldn't fit through the door, so Ed had alchemized it and the book shop owner had completely freaked…

"Found it," the other Alphonse broke Ed's little waltz on memory lane. Found it? What did that mean? Probably that he had found it or something.

"Cool. Er, good."

Alphonse grinned. "Cool is good in English?"

Ed nodded. "Yes, a little." How did you say "sort of" in German again? Ah, well. Alphonse probably knew what he meant.

After Alphonse purchased the dictionary and Ed had received a few patronizing looks from the store owner, the two headed back out. Ed took the book out of the paper bag and began flipping through it.

He was determined, dammit. He was going to learn this language, no matter how weird it was.