A/N: This fic was inspired by Feri-san (creator of Danek - 'Mer-Danny') and agent000 (author of The Call of Atlantis - the first, and only, Mer-Ed fic I've seen. Also known on deviantART as Reincarnated-Al.) I thank both of them for being so awesome!
This is an AU! This fic was inspired by and is in no way plagiarising Feri-san or agent000. I have made it completely different to The Call of Atlantis and Feri-san's Mer-Danny fic Oceano Profunda (which she took down after a while, much to my continued dismay ).
This is the first proper FMA fic I've posted on here and I haven't watched it or read the manga for ages, so my memory is a little rusty. Constructive criticism is appreciated - helpful feedback is always great.
This story has no beta, so if anyone would like to offer... Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!
Edit: 6th Jan 2014 - Updated translations
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA! (I wish, but...don't we all?)
Chapter One: Seascape of Sadness and Solace
A single set of little footsteps trailed up the length of the beach; the only thing that marred the otherwise smooth stretch of sand. The beach was the only thing that separated the tiny fishing village of Risembool from the vast expanse of the ocean. The tide, which was steadily coming in, would soon wash away the footsteps, erasing all traces that someone had been there. Except that the person who had left the footsteps had not actually left the beach.
A young boy of nine years sat at the edge of a rock pool. His amber-grey eyes stared into the clear water, his reflection showing him the sadness he held within. He shook his head, sending short locks of sandy-blond hair swinging, while telling himself not to cry.
Alphonse Elric wanted to be strong, for himself and especially for his mother. His mother, Trisha Elric, was a beloved citizen of Risembool. Everyone in the village knew her chestnut brown hair, green eyes and soft smile. Most of all, they knew her open, caring personality. She was a devoted mother, and now Al was determined to be a devoted son.
Trisha was bedridden with an illness that the doctor said she had must have had for many years. Long ago, a year before Alphonse was born, Trisha had been pregnant. Unfortunately the expectant mother had fallen sick and the disease had reached her unborn baby. The baby had died within the womb, the disease proving too much for its undeveloped immune system to fight off.
Trisha had been heartbroken but her husband, instead of staying with his wife, had simply left the village after Alphonse was born a year later and had not been heard of since. Al never knew his father, though all the villagers, minus his mother and their neighbours the Rockbells, spoke badly of him.
Trisha had recovered before becoming pregnant with her second child, but it seemed the illness had finally caught up.
'Would Mother be happier and get better if I had my brother or sister?' Al wondered, dispassionately watching a tiny crab scuttle under a jutting ridge of rock at the bottom of the pool. 'I've always wanted a brother.'
Al's head shot up at the sudden sound of a voice. It had sounded a bit like someone had called him, but the voice hadn't sounded familiar.
"Stulta roko!" the voice said, sounding angry. "'Iras preter la loko kie la submara nuna kreas fumo ekrano', li diras. Jes, vere granda direktoj jerk! Kiel mi reiros?" it continued, rising in volume until the voice was almost yelling.
Though he could not understand a thing the voice had said, Al was very curious to see who it was. He quickly stood up and, being as quiet and careful as he could, made his way over to where the voice was coming from.
There was a natural spur of rock almost twice Al's height that reached across the width of the beach all the way to the water, continuing on for three or four feet. Al would have to climb it if he didn't want to get wet. The young boy decided to climb. His mother never liked it when he came home in wet, salty clothes.
Once his shoulders cleared the top Al looked down the other side of the rock spur he was half lying upon. His eyes were instantly drawn to a bright splash of colour among the dull shades of the beach and ocean.
A young boy, who looked to be around Al's age, was propping himself up on a rock by his elbows; his lower half submerged in water and hidden from sight by the rock he was leaning on. His chest was bare, but it didn't seem to bother the boy. He had golden-blond hair that reached a couple of inches past his shoulders and hung around his face like a curtain. He seemed to be staring at his hand, turning it this way and that until Al spotted a thick line of bright red that ran across the palm of the boy's hand.
The blood was streaming down the boy's wrist in a thin river, and he dunked his forearm underwater to wash the blood off, releasing a hiss of pain that Al barely heard as the salt stung the open wound. His mother had told him not to talk to strangers, but this boy was hurt and Al didn't want to just walk away.
"Excuse me, are you okay?" Al called, swinging his legs up and standing atop the rock.
The boy gasped and jerked his head up so sharply it was a wonder he didn't get whiplash. His eyes, a rich, molten gold, widened in surprise. His mouth hung slackly open and he froze, staring at Alphonse.
"Are you alright?" Al asked, trying again for an answer. "Is your hand hurt?"
The golden-eyed boy continued to stare, but he closed his mouth and lowered his ears.
Al's eyes caught the tiny movement, and his own mouth fell open in astonishment. Instead of normal ears, the boy had fin-like protrusions that jutted out from both sides of his head. The fins, as Al knew no better word to describe them, were around ten to fifteen centimetres long. Al loved animals, especially cats, and knew that they usually felt frightened or threatened when they lowered their ears. With this in mind, Al slowly climbed down the rock, pausing every time the strange boy moved.
Al cautiously began walking towards the boy, whispering assurances the same as he would with any scared animal he tried to approach. He was about eight feet away when the boy hissed out the word, "Stop!"
Al instantly froze.
"Ne veni ajna plu!"
Alphonse, having heard the boy clearly say the word 'stop', had been hoping that the boy did speak his language after all. That hope had been dashed, but Al was determined to communicate somehow. He held both hands out in front of his chest, palms facing up to show that he was unarmed. He took a small step forward, watching the boy's reaction carefully.
The boy opened his mouth and gave a warning hiss, showing off long, sharp, fang-like canine teeth, in a manner eerily reminiscent of a cat. He got off his elbow and slapped both palms onto the rock, disregarding his wound, leaving both elbows to jut out either side of his body. There was a line of black that ran up most of the length of his forearms. The black was surrounded by a bright red stripy sort of pattern that was in turn surrounded by bright orange. The splash of colour on the otherwise unmarred, lightly tanned skin reached from just past his elbows to just beyond his wrists in a long oval shape.
As Al took another small step forward, he hissed louder and part of his forearms seemed to split apart. The black lines lifted to form four sharp spines that were half black, half red; the longest being a foot in length, connected with membranes that reached from both of the boy's wrists to his elbows. The membranes were just as colourful as the skin around them; the parts touching the arm were the same bright orange as on his skin. The orange lasted a third of the way up the membranes before tuning into a vivid yellow-gold, similar to his eyes, with that fading into white for the last third. With both fins stretched out on display, it made the strange boy look larger and more intimidating.
Al came to a halt and stared, opening and closing his mouth several times in an attempt to find something to say. With arms, ears and teeth like that, the boy couldn't possibly be human. But if he wasn't human, then what was he? Al was always a polite boy and decided to introduce himself.
"Hello, my name is Alphonse," he said softly, gesturing to himself. "What's yours?" he asked, slowly gesturing at the strange boy.
The golden-eyed boy didn't move except for flicking his ears up briefly before lowering them once more. Since Al was sure the boy couldn't understand him, he placed a hand on his chest and slowly repeated his name before extending his hand to the boy. He did this a couple of times and waited for a response.
The boy seemed to relax by a margin and his armfins cautiously laid flat. He stared at Al, regarding him with curiosity, and said, "Alphonse."
Al smiled widely and nodded, waiting for the boy to continue.
"Alphonse," the boy repeated, pointing at the young human. After Al nodded again, the boy pointed to himself and said, "Edward."
Al beamed at this breakthrough. "Nice to meet you, Edward."
Edward smiled back, finding that his fear had all but vanished. All his life he had been told horrible stories about creatures named humans; vicious monsters that walked upon land with two legs and killed many sea creatures without remorse. Despite having only just met Alphonse, Edward knew he wasn't like that. Alphonse didn't match up with the image of humans in his mind the stories had created. Were the stories wrong, told to the young to make them behave?
"Edward, is your hand okay?" Al asked, going back to the reason he had spoken to the strange boy in the first place. Al pointed at Ed's left hand to make sure his meaning got across.
A trickle of blood had painted the rock around Ed's hand crimson. Ed lifted it and dunked it underwater again, rinsing out the dirt from the rock. When he deemed the wound clean, Ed lifted it free and turned it so that his palm faced Al.
Al stared at the cut for a moment. "Do you want a bandage?" he asked, saying the last word extra slowly while miming wrapping a bandage around his own hand.
Ed was very smart for his age and caught on quickly to what Al was saying. "Vindi?"
Where Ed came from, any type of material such as bandages were made with a special type of seaweed that could be sliced into paper-thin strands and woven into whatever shape was needed or desired. It was not exactly a fast process, and Ed did not possess the tools, the seaweed or the knowledge. If Al was indeed hinting at what Ed thought he was, it would save him having to travel all the way back with an open wound.
He nodded at Al, hoping he wasn't making a mistake. "Jes bonvolu," he said, belatedly remembering his manners.
Still smiling, Al nodded back. "Stay here. Uh…stop?" he tried, remembering that Edward had used that word.
"Stop?" Ed parroted.
"Right, stop. Don't move, okay?" Al said, pointing at the rock that Ed was leaning on again and using the universal gesture for 'stop' with his other hand.
"Ne movas, korekta? Konsentite, sed rapidu," Ed replied, nodding his understanding.
Al bobbed his head and ran back, scrambling quickly over the rock and racing off to his house as fast as his legs could carry him. As he ran all the way back up the beach, the sand gave way to scrub before it was replaced by lush green countryside. Risembool was a tiny village, but it was still a fair distance from Al's house to the beach. By the time he arrived at his front door, Al was panting heavily.
He took a minute to catch his breath and pushed the door open, slipping through quietly so he wouldn't disturb his mother. The house was a fairly large two-storey building, though parts of it were sparsely decorated. There had once been three people to occupy the large house, but now there was only two and much of the space was unused.
The lower floor was well lit. The doctor had rounded up a couple of villagers to move an unused bed from the top floor down the stairs into the main room. Trisha would not have to walk up and down the stairs this way. Alphonse had decided to move to the lower floor with his mother, though his bed remained upstairs. Al had taken the couch, which was now covered in pillows and blankets, across the room from the bed.
Walking softly on the wooden floor, Al crept past the kitchen table and stopped in front of a cupboard. Inside was a first aid kit and Al took it, shutting the cupboard and creeping out of the kitchen. He poked his head into the lounge room and saw his mother fast asleep. He tip-toed out of his house and pulled the door shut with a muffled click.
Giving the house one last glance, Al started running back toward the beach with the first aid kit tucked securely under one arm.
A/N: I actually have a plot all planned out for this – which is really rare for me. It's written on several sticky-notes in tiny, cramped writing on both sides. I know - I'm scared too.
I have a pic of Mer-Ed (when he's older though...) and you can see it in case you have trouble following my descriptions, though a friend assured me they were easy to follow... Here's the link; just remove the brackets: http(:/) .com(/)gallery(/)?offset=24#/d2r01jj
Before you ask, Edward is speaking Esperanto. I do not speak Esperanto. I enlisted the aid of an English-Esperanto dictionary, so forgive me if something is wrong. The words themselves are all correct.
For those who want to know, here are the translations:
Aj! - ow/ouch!
Stulta roko! - Stupid rock!
'Iras preter la loko kie la submara nuna kreas fumo ekrano', li diras. Jes, vere granda direktoj jerk! Kiel mi reiros? - 'Go beyond the place where the underwater current creates a smokescreen', he says. Yes, really great directions jerk! How do I get back?
Ne veni ajna plu! - Don't come any further!
Vindi? - Bandage?
Jes bonvolu - Yes please
Ne movas, korekta? Konsentite, sed rapidu - Do not move, right? Okay, but be quick
Well, let me know what you think! Constructive criticism is appreciated. If there's something you think I can improve on then please let me know. I always aim to improve.