Hello all! Sorry it has taken me so long to get this written and posted. Please forgive me! oh, and make sure to comment. : ) Thanks a bunch, and please enjoy.
Disclaimer- I most certainly don't own! Hm…wonder what would happen if I did. *sly grin*
The sun is setting. I can feel the chill in my bones, and the hate of that beautiful sunset. It has no right. The world should have stopped with her death, and yet here we are. Just me and my brother, and nobody else. I can't stand to look down at him right now because I'm terrified that he'll see the pain in my eyes. I can't let him know. I have to be strong now, because I'm the big brother here. It is what mom would want, and what dad never gave us. I grit my teeth angrily. He didn't even come to her funeral, that stupid b-.
"Brother, I'm hungry." A quiet voice interrupts my thoughts. "And I'm cold, too." He continues, voice shaking. "How are we gonna do this? How are we gonna live without her?" he voices the same fears I had first felt when her hand had gone limp in ours. But now…now I knew exactly what to do.
"We're not, Al. We're going to bring her back."I tell him calmly, not a hint of the turmoil I'm feeling showing through the confident words. He looks up at me then, eyes wide. His sharp intake of breath is all I need to tell me that he's onboard. I can't bear to look at him for some reason. Maybe it's because I don't want to see the sudden, shocked hope within those tear-filled eyes of his.
"Let's go home, Al." I murmur, turning away from mom's tombstone. I don't need to look back to make sure that my little brother is following me, but that doesn't stop me from doing it. After all, it is my job to protect him, no matter what.
"Thanks Brother." He whispers, and I'm able to smile again, even if only for a second.
Pride's eyes flew open, the golden orbs momentarily clear. They darted wildly around the small room, searching for someone.
"Alphonse." He whispered, a single tear rolling down his cheek. The strange feelings he experienced after each of these strange dreams coursing through him. Pride's hand rose to his chest, clutching at the tight black fabric like it was suffocating him. Maybe it was, but he couldn't die. His training had taught him that much, at least. Slowly, his hand lowered and his body relaxed.
"What was I…doing…?" he asked aloud, eyes clouding over again. His muddled brain worked, trying to call back the dream again. Only one thing came back- a young face and the name Al. "What…does it…mean?" he muttered, staring unseeingly at the blank wall of his dark little room. He stayed like that until Envy came to fetch him in the morning.
"Rise and shine, Pipsqueak!" the green haired man yelled, throwing the door open with an incredibly loud bang.
Pride glanced over at him, blinking slowly, before replying sullenly "Don't…call me…a microscopic amoeba…that not even an ant could see with a magnifying glass!" by the end of the rant, his volume had increased tenfold, as well as the pace of his speech. Envy's eyes widened before a satisfied smirk split his face. Chuckling at the dumbfounded expression on Pride's face, he motioned for the blond to follow him. After a moment, he rose and silently followed where the elder homunculus led him. It took him a moment to realize that they were going to leave the house.
When Pride figured it out, he froze up. The boy's limbs quivered ever so slightly and his eyes widened. He remembered, however hazily, that the last time they left the grounds of their large abode, something bad had happened. But what was it…?
"What's your problem?" Envy demanded, turning back to face him. Pride stared up at Envy, lips parted slightly as if wanted to say something but simply couldn't find the words. That is exactly what was happening, of course. "Listen up, Chibi. You're just gonna go out and do a little recon mission for us, just to see if you're worth anything. Think of it as your initiation, alright?" Envy told him, recognizing the worry within Pride's deceptively blank eyes.
It took a moment for the information to process in the younger homunculus's mind, but when it did his body visibly relaxed and the slight quivering stopped. He let out a quiet sigh and slowly nodded his head. "Alright Brother. What…do I…need to do?" Envy grinned hugely and motioned for the blond to come closer. Then he leaned down and whispered in his ear. Pride nodded slowly and thoughtfully, a smile twitching at the corner of his mouth. "Brother is right. It will be…just like a…game." He thought happily.
"Alright, now repeat it back to me. What are you supposed to do?" Envy prompted, trying not to sound worried. In all honesty, he didn't think that the spacey, short, used-to-be-Fullmetal was ready for a solo-mission. But he didn't have any say in it, so he just had to shut up and watch.
"I'm supposed to…find the…house of a state…alchemist." Pride said slowly, brow crinkling at the words and lips pursing slightly as if he were tasting something sour.
"And his name is…." Envy prompted quietly.
"General…Michael…Donovan, the…Birthing Alchemist." The blond stated, smiling because he had been able to remember it. "And then…I'm supposed to…get a red stone, like the ones…that we…eat. But the General…can't find out."
"Yeah, very good, shrimp. Now get out of here." Envy said loudly, practically shoving the smaller boy out the door. He slammed it closed, and then leaned against it, one hand covering his face. He could already feel the damned head ache that this would bring burning at his temples. Whether it was as the Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric, or as Pride, the boy was sure to get into mischief no matter where he went or what he did. Envy found himself desperately wishing that the fool was still safe inside the base, and he also found out that he truly and desperately hated the not-hate that he had come to associate with Pride.
Central was an easy three days travel from Pride's home, and once he got there all he had to do was snoop around a little bit. It was strange, but for some reason Central seemed disturbingly familiar. It was impossible though; he had never been anywhere other than his home with the others or that one time at the humans' fort on that day.
Every turn that the golden haired homunculus would make made him pause in the dimly lit streets or the dark back alleys and just stand there, as still as a statue as that strange sense of déjà vu rushed through him. After a brief second, he would shake his head sternly and continue on his way, working to find the Birthing Alchemist's home. "Impossible…impossible…impossible…impossible." Pride chanted sternly to himself as he walked. Soon enough, it became his mantra as well as his last grip on sanity.
Eventually, he abandoned caution and instead just ran wildly through the streets, golden eyes darting all around him. He wanted to memorize each part of this place, to play it back to himself over and over until he knew what it was that was so familiar. But he also wanted to block it all out, draw back into his safe little shell so that he didn't have to face the disturbing feelings that were overwhelming him. He had to find that house, get the stone, and get out as soon as possible.
When Pride saw a young woman walking down the street, an armload of large books in her hands, he was drawn to her. He needed help, and even if it was from a human, surely it was alright. "Ex…cuse me!" he called to her. The woman startled, letting out a quiet yelp and dropping the books she had had so precariously stacked in her arms. Pride took a quick step backwards, eyes clearing for a brief second. "I'm sorry. I hadn't meant to startle…you." He apologized, stooping down to help her gather the books again.
"Oh, it's okay." She said. Her voice wavered a little bit as she laughed nervously. "I guess I'm just a little on-edge. It's late out and all…." She trailed off as she raised her head to look at the smaller form in front of her. "You seem familiar." She mumbled, eyes squinting behind a pair of thick glasses.
Pride stared back at her, barely noticing the weight of the multiple books he held in his arms. The young human woman in front of him seemed strange, but not unpleasantly so. In the darkened streets, although she couldn't see him because of her human eyes, he could see her almost as well as he could have during the day. She was taller than he, and for some reason this made his stomach twist a little bit, although he wasn't sure quite why. Her dark hair fell just by her shoulders, and she wore a strange blue uniform and glasses. She looked surprisingly…intelligent, for a human. Envy had told him that humans were stupid.
"I need to find…the house…of General Michael Donovan, the state…alchemist known…as the…Birthing…Alchemist. Do you know…where it…is?" he asked her. The woman looked at him, blinking owlishly in the dimness of the twilight as she tried to make out the features of the boy who stood calmly in front of her.
"Why should I tell you?" she finally questioned, although not in a rude manner. She was simply curious.
"Equivalent exchange." Pride responded immediately and unthinkingly, a smirk flashing across his features as he hoisted the pile of books in his arms.
"So you're an alchemist?" she asked curiously, smiling kindly as she reached out to take the heavy books from him.
"Oh. Well, why do you want to meet General Donovan?"
The woman thought about it for a long while, going through all the possible scenarios in her head. Finally, she had made her decision. Stooping down slightly, she said quietly "Alright, but be careful, okay?" at the boy's slow nod, she quickly told him the directions.
"Thank you…very…much." The boy said. In the dim light of the street lamps and the weak moon light, she thought that she saw his eyes flash a strange golden color she'd only seen on one person before.
"Are you…you seem…so familiar." She repeated in a voice that was almost a whisper. She held out a trembling hand wanting to touch the figure before her, just to be sure that he was real, but before she could he had taken off down the street without a single glance behind him. She stared after him for a while, mind racing. She was only snapped out of her trance when she noticed that her arms were trembling under the weight of the texts she held.
Swiftly, she turned on her heel and trotted back to her small apartment. Shaking her head, she muttered to herself "Don't be silly, Sheska; Ed is dead." Although the words were true enough, Sheska couldn't quite seem to shake the suspicions forming in the back of her mind.