Edit: December 2017.
Disclaimer: I do not own D. Gray-Man or Full Metal Alchemist.
Differences. The world is filled with them. Nowhere you go would you ever find something equal. Similar perhaps, but never the same. And this is just what makes the world such an interesting place.
You could go outside and walk around and you'll never see a tree with the same amount of leaves, or the leaves of the same color. You'll never find a flower with its petals the same size. Even those who had been born as twins or triplets, each have differences. Be it their physical appearance or the way they act, they are not copies.
For smaller that those differences are, they are still present. People have different ways of reacting to certain situations, different ways of solving conflicts, different points of view regarding certain aspects of our daily lives.
Some people might even dared to say that different people is just a recipe calling for a huge disaster. Because they are never going to be able to cooperate with one another. To be friends. To live in peace. People can be so blind and think of these differences as nuisances. And so they fear and hate each other just because they are stupid enough to not give the other the benefit of the doubt. They don't give themselves the time to get to know and understand one another. They forget that all of them can benefit from something the other have.
Human beings can be such blind creatures.
But I'm not here to discuss nor criticize the human ways of thinking, but rather to tell you a story. Such a wonderful story, like no other you ever heard before. The story of two worlds separated for thousands of years, with differences marking every single aspects of their lives. Their clothing. Their cities. Their leaders. Their ways of thinking. Yet both worlds had one thing in common. An enemy.
An enemy who caught them all by surprise. One who attacked and changed everything they knew and cared for. An enemy so powerful and fearsome none of them could ever be able to defeat alone. Yet, destiny made them meet each other. Suspicion was the first thing they felt for one another, but how could we blame them. Their powers greatly differ, and made them cautious around each other. They had hardly heard of each other, thinking the other was an old story told to the young ones before they went to sleep. Each of them had their secrets. They didn't knew if they could trust each other. But they both had one goal in common.
This is the story of two worlds, that for the sake of their people and themselves they put apart those differences and together they fought to bring down that enemy bent on destroying everything they had. The story of family and lovers torn apart. Friendships and loyalties being questioned. Ancient secrets coming to light. A tragic yet content tale.
And it all started in a rainy night of 1914...
He was tired. Deadly tired. All he wanted was to sleep where his body was lying motionless in the cold, soaked ground. He was soaked, in sweat, rain and blood. His clothes were torn, holes decorating his shirt, gashes on his pants. He had injuries in almost every part of his body, probably some broken ribs, maybe a sprained wrist or an ankle, or maybe both. He knew he had to get up and quickly, search for medical help, but he was just too tired to even lift his head.
The smell of a recently lighted cigarette stirred him from his dazed state. Slowly he moved his head. Standing before him, pair of golden eyes was staring down at him. It was a man, probably in his late twenties or maybe early thirties, not that it was important for him to know, nor did he care. The man was wearing a white dress shirt, with tailored black pants and pristine black shoes.
"I was expecting more from you, Cheater Boy." he said taking another drag from his cigarette.
The boy didn't answer, he just wanted to sleep. It had been a long battle and his body ached, definitely not in condition to fight anymore.
It all had started as any other surveying mission. He had been called by the Supervisor of the European Branch to investigate some haunted forest in Northern France. Easy. He left early in the morning, took a carriage towards London's dock, a boat to Normandy, where he met with the group Finders and then took off to the forest. Everything was going alright; the phenomenon had been a piece of Innocence found in a cave with the ability of creating illusions, in this case the one of a ghost that made people believed the forest to be haunted. It was nothing too difficult; he took the Innocence, gave it to a Finder and sent him back to England to deliver it to the Black Order.
He stayed a few more days in case their enemies decided to attack the near towns in search of the Innocence. And attack they did, taking him by surprise by the quantity of their numbers. Levels 2 and 3 appeared in the middle of the night and attacked their camp. Bullets rained down, instantly killing four of the six Finders as they weren't fast enough to take cover. He felt guilty but there was nothing else he could do.
He fought. Hard. He had finished them all, and he was exhausted. But the fight had barely started.
A red heart-shaped door appeared in front of him, and a familiar man with ashen skin and aristocratic nature appeared.
"Long time no see, Boy." he saluted with a cocky grin. They fought, but he was already too tired to think clearly and he took almost all of the man's attacks.
And now here he was, almost losing conscious as his enemy stood tall and fresh in front of him, calmly smoking a cigarette with little to no injuries in his body.
The man crouched and grabbed the boy by the hair, lifting him.
Silver met Gold.
"You know maybe it's a good thing I found you instead of Lulubell. She is still pissed off about the Akuma Egg event; I wouldn't guarantee you would have ended with all of your limbs attached to your body. Let us not talk about Road, as well. She would had drugged you, made you a doll and who knows what else. I don't think even the Earl knows what passes through that girl's mind."
He didn't answer. His body didn't respond.
"Anyway, I'm taking you to the Earl. Don't know why he seems to be so bent on getting you, but who am I to question that crazy clown. Orders are orders, Boy."
"Get lost, Tykki." he replied weakly.
Tykki laughed. "No can do, Boy." he replied.
Black covered the corners of his vision every second that passes. He saw as a long ashen-colored hand neared his face before he closed his eyes and welcomed the dark and comforting unconsciousness.
Silver grey eyes fluttered open. Blinking a few times to adjust to the brightness of the room.
"Where am I?"
"In the Ark." replied a smooth melodious voice.
It was a well-known voice, one that he had been hearing for a few months now, right after the incident in the orphanage and the Phantom Thief G case. He had been startled and scared the first time he heard it. How couldn't he? That voice was the main reason for his problems with Central and for everyone to look at him as dangerous. It was the voice of the Musician. Of his inner Noah, the Fourteenth.
He wanted it to disappear, but it didn't seem to go away for much he tried to ignore it.
"I am part of you." it told him one day. "I couldn't disappear even if I wanted, dear nephew."
Nephew. He called him nephew. He had questioned the voice about it. He received a laugh in reply; surprisingly it was not a mocking one.
"That's right; we had never been properly introduced. My name is Neah Walker, is a pleasure to meet you."
Neah Walker. Neah bloody Walker. Mana Walker's, his foster father, little brother. His uncle.
Brilliant, he thought. If having a Noah wasn't enough reason for having Central and everyone else at the Black Order after his head, that Noah being related to him would definitely send him to a dungeon in the lowest part of the Vatican, where the sunlight never shone and where the rats, spiders, and other vermin were the only company you could have.
Blinking away the memory and focusing on the present. His eyes scanned the room. It was big and white, mirrors decorating the white walls. A majestic white piano sat in the middle of the room. It was indeed the Musician's room of the Ark of Noah.
He took a look at his body. He was lying on top of a white sofa, now stained with mud and dried blood. He took a look around him, he was in a white room, where mirrors decorated the walls and a grand white piano was standing in all its glory at the center of the room. He was indeed inside the Ark, more specifically the Musician's room.
"We got into a fight with Tykki. You passed out though; the previous fight did put a toll on your body. I manage to heal a few of your minor injuries, and Crown Clown bandaged the others. But they are still not healed, so you better not make a lot of effort in case they start bleeding again. I would have taken care of them, but I have to take control in order to do it, and the Finders would have obviously reported it."
Slowly the memories came to him. He had been fighting a herd of Akuma trying to protect the remaining Finders and the town not too far from where he had been. He remembered being tossed over several trees and some bullets hitting him. The feeling of the poison burning through his bloodstream, and his Innocence activating and cleaning it. He remembered the familiar checkered door, and the tall ashen skinned man with a lighted cigarette on the mouth. The golden eyes staring directly into his. He remembered talking with Tykki, but the words were unclear to him, the blackness in the corner of his eyes as... he blinked a few times.
"Neah, why am I in the Ark? Where's Tykki?"
"Thought you would never ask, dear nephew. Crown Clown took control and kept him away. I called the Ark and between the two of us, we brought you to the Musician's Room. You just woke up."
"How much time has passed?"
"Just a few hours."
He shakily stood up, but his head started spinning by the sudden movement. His knees wobbled and he had to grab the couch so he didn't crash on the floor.
"Easy Allen, you are not completely healed. Don't put too much weight on your left leg; that is one of the few things I have not been able to work on. And be careful with your stomach, Tykki's punches and kicks are really good at harming."
He tried standing up one more time, this time slower and managed to fight back the dizziness. Allen gave slow and small steps towards the grand white piano in the center on the room. When he got there, using the piano as support he sat down on the bench. Lifting the heavy lift, he set his hands his hands to work on the familiar melody. His tired fingers almost dragged themselves automatically across the black and white keys. A beautiful melody filled the silence of the room.
Then the boy fell asleep
And one or two embers in the fading ashes of the fire
Flared up in the shape of a beloved face
Allen's head was pounding, the corner of his eyes were turning black as unconsciousness threatened to take him away. But he kept on playing, ignoring the pain on his right shoulder and everything else around him.
Dreaming many thousands of dreams
Spreading across the land
Your silver gray eyes shine their light
His mind was drifting away rapidly every second that passed. His body was hurting everywhere; his right leg and stomach were giving him stabbing pains. His fingers were getting more rigid, and his eyes closed once in a while, but not once did he ever stop playing.
Like stars falling down from the night sky
Even though countless of years
Turn so many prayers back to earth
He wanted to get away from there. He wanted for everything to stop. To lie down in his bed, and sleep for a very long time.
"Take me away from here." he thought drily as the tune continued. He wanted a nice place to stay. No people breathing down his neck, with lots of trees, where he could have moments of peace and be able to rest.
His thoughts drifted to an old house on top of a small hill. He could see green everywhere, and an old woman smiling softly at him. He remembered a train station, the voice of his Master somewhere in the background, and people walking quickly around the place. He remembered a nice city, with a big park in the middle and a huge building in front of him. There was a green banner with a symbol in the middle; it was something resembling a roaring lion.
I will keep praying
Somehow, love for this child please
Kissing the joined hands
"Allen, where are we going?" Neah asked sounding worried.
But there was no answer from the white-haired teen, he was barely awake. His fingers stopped, and the song ended with them. There was a new door in the Ark, somewhere none of the two Musicians knew it lead to. It could be a dessert, or a snowy mountain on the other side of the world, or the bottom of the Red Sea, Allen didn't cared. All he wanted was to get away and be able to rest.
The white-haired teen dragged his tired body to the exit, where the new door was waiting. The bright white light damaged his eyes, but he ignored it and continued walking towards it. He crossed through the door.
Golden eyes glared intensely at the black-haired man in front of him.
He was sitting in the chair with his arms crossed over his chest and his eyebrows furrowed in annoyance, and his lips were forming a scowl. Long golden hair tied in a braid, was slightly disheveled with some lose strands here and there. His clothes, consisting of a red trench coat, black pants and long sleeved shirt, were wrinkled.
"Fullmetal, do you have anything to say in your favor?" Asked the black-haired man. His black eyes stared down at the golden haired teenager, but Fullmetal didn't answered.
"We are very sorry, Colonel Mustang." Answered instead another voice from behind.
Mustang looked up and his gaze met with a huge suit of armor. It was silver, with a pair of glowing red eyes, and a long strand of hair attached to the helmet. It had a red symbol in one of the arms, a snake surrounding a cross. A Flamel.
"It is not you who should be apologizing, Alphonse." He replied looking back at the golden-haired teen.
Alphonse stood back and turned his head looking at the floor in shame while twirling his fingers nervously. The golden-haired scoffed.
"Fullmetal, what you did almost had you Court-Martialed. You can't go around punching people just because of your size complex."
The glare just intensified. "It was not my fault Colonel Bastard, they started. They were pointing at me and Alphonse while whispering and chuckling." The Colonel just sighed.
"You punched part of Colonel Ulrich's squad and Colonel Ulrich as well, when he tried to stop you. He has a higher rank than you, and less tolerance for lack of discipline. You are lucky Lieutenant Hawkeye managed to calm him down."
"They deserved it." Was the only answer as he turned his head and looked at window.
"Even if they did you need to control yourself, you are not a child anymore, Edward. You are 16 and part of the military, a State Alchemist on top of that. You can't go around beating people just because of what they say."
Edward turned his gaze back to the man and opened his mouth to reply, but Mustang stopped him. "Before you say anything, I am not against you defending yourself and your brother, but there is a time and place to do it. Headquarters' hallways when a Military Officer of higher rank is visiting, is not one of them."
Edward signed. "Fine, I'll try to control myself." Mustang gave a small smile. "But I won't make any promises. And I stick to what I said, the bastard deserved it."
Mustang sighed again. "I guess that is the most I'll get from you. Anyway, apart from your little adventure in the hallway, there are some things I need to discuss with you and Alphonse."
"What is it?" Edward asked, moving to the couch along with his brother.
"Today at 9:00 A.M. the disappearance of Doctor Tim Marcoh was reported."
"What?!" Edward's eyes widened in shock. "But we talked with him no less than a few weeks ago. What happened?"
"We don't know. His neighbours heard some noises yesterday at 7:00 P.M. and called the military. They didn't arrive until today, claiming that they had been occupied with the monthly examinations of the Civilian Section. When they entered the apartment it was trashed down, and the door slightly opened. But there were no signs of struggling or breaking in, which is strange seeing as the house was in the state when a thief enters and desperately searches for something."
"Is strange indeed, but stranger is that they arrived until today in the morning when the report was sent last night."
"Did the neighbours saw anything?" Alphonse asked.
"No they didn't, but they are an elder couple. Probably the reason why they didn't arrived before."
"Still, there is something fishy about it." Edward muttered.
"Maybe they were searching for something regarding the Philosopher's Stone." Suggested Alphonse.
"It is a possibility, but not so high. The project regarding the Stone was secret, the archives were burned down after the failure and there was nothing that spoke about the names of those involved."
"So what are they going to do?"
"They are still investigating, but I don't think they'll put too much effort in searching for Doctor Marcoh."
They stayed in silence thinking about the old man. He was a good person, a little senile and filled with guilt, but no bad. He had tried warning the Brothers about the secret of the Philosopher Stone, but still listened to them. Edward had been a little mad about what the man had done, but he still didn't wish for something bad to happen to him. He could only hope that the man was alright and alive, feeling guilty that they might had brought attention to him.
"And speaking about Doctor Marcoh, what are you and your brother going to do regarding your... situation?"
Edward shrugged. "Continue searching, we are not going to use that blasted thing to repair our bodies. There has to be some other way to reverse it, we'll just have to continue looking for it."
"Well in that case, I'll share with you something that could help you." That caught their attention and sat up straighter motioning the man to continue. "Some of our scientists found a strange substance in the outer skirts of East City and brought it here to Central to study. They don't know anything about it, where it came from, what it is, but the thing seems to give huge amounts of energy. They are still studying it, but they have some problems as it continues to react with anything they do. Do you boys want to see it?"
"Please!" They exclaimed in unison.
"Excellent. I cannot take you right now, since I need to ask for clearance in order to enter the Laboratory. I'll have Lieutenant Hawkeye call th-"
The door was opened with full force, startling the occupants in the room. Turning to look at the newcomer, Mustang's eyebrow twitched in annoyance. It was a sandy-haired soldier, with the same blue military uniform as the Colonel. He had a lighted cigarette in his mouth and was breathing heavily from the running.
"Havoc! You better have a good reason fo-"
"Mustang you need to come now! There is someone hurt outside HQ."
The alchemists looked at each other in alarm and without second thought left the room guided by Havoc. People were bustling outside and a small crowd was gathered in the steps leading to the front door.
"What the bloody hell happened here?!" Mustang yelled.
"W-we... um" it was a brunette man with the military uniform. He couldn't form the words, Mustang's patience was small.
"We what?!" He snapped.
"We don't know what happened, Sir." It was a woman with very short hair. She was calm and looking at Mustang directly.
"Ross." He greeted. She saluted the black-haired Colonel.
"Colonel. According to some witnesses, there was a flash of light and then they found someone lying face down on the floor bleeding. The person is male as far as we know, we haven't checked for the age, but judging from the hair color is an old man. He appears to be heavily wounded, I already sent someone to fetch medical help."
"Does someone recognize him?"
"No one so far, Sir."
As Mustang and the woman, Maria Ross, discussed the situation they walked towards the person. Mustang was taken aback, at the small pool of blood surrounding the man; his snowy white hair was stained with the blood giving it a pinkish color. He wore torn red and black clothing, some kind of uniform, with black dirty boots over his feet. One of his sleeves was missing, letting into view a scaly red arm.
"How curious." Thought Mustang as he crouched down to get a better view of the stranger's face, but it was covered by the hair. However something got his attention. There was a long golden earring on his left ear, Mustang took it.
There were small dots, similar to the ones you would find on a microphone. and a little button on the lower part. It was not a normal earring.
"Lieutenant." He called and a blonde woman took her place beside Mustang as he stood up. "Give this to Fuery and tell him to analyze it, is not your typical earring."
She nodded silently and put the earring in her pocket. Mustang looked at Edward; he was looking at the boy from the other side.
"Fullmetal, what do you say?"
"Well, he is wearing a strange uniform I had never seen it before." Edward said.
"A spy from Drachma?"
"I don't think so; theirs is different from this one. The style does not match."
Mustang stayed in silence and then looked at his second in command. "What do you think?"
"I agree with Edward, he is not from Drachma. However, I don't understant that flash of light that Maria mentioned."
"Is it some kind of alchemy?" He asked looking at Edward.
"It is possible, but I don't see any transmutation circle around here. Besides he looks like he had just received good beating." The golden-haired alchemist answered as he moved around trying to take a better look at the stranger.
In that moment they heard ruckus from behind them. The medical team was finally there.
It was a small group of people dressed in white, carrying a stretcher and some medical equipment. People quickly moved out of the way, letting the medical team access to the wounded stranger.
"Dr. Alfred Dorhn pleased to make your acquaintance." said a black-haired man while shaking Mustang's hand.
"Pleasure Doctor. Colonel Mustang."
"We got a call for someone injured; do you know any details about it?"
"Not much, but that it is a male. Probably an older one, taking his hair color into consideration. And according to the witnesses he was bleeding heavily when they found him."
"Thank you for the information, I'll see what I can do." Nodding to the Colonel one more time, he went to meet the others.
"Turn him around, we need to be able to see how bad his wounds are and then carry him to the stretcher." Ordered Dr. Dohrn to the rest of his team.
Slowly some the team took the stranger from the legs and the arms. "Be careful with the head, someone hold it." Reminded the doctor.
When they finally turned the man, people gasped in shock. It was not an old man, but a teenager no older than 15 years old.
Getting closer to get a better look, Mustang found the teenager's face was marred with a red mark over the left side of his face. It was a scar, Mustang deduced, as tatoos didn't looked that intense. It began on top of the left eye brow all the way down to the jaw. There were some bruises on the boy's neck, right arm, and one large one in the right cheek. There were several small cuts in the visible parts of the boy's body, as if he had been scratched by tree branches or a cat. His abdomen was bandaged with stained white dressings.
"We need to get him to the hospital to treat this. MOVE!" the medical team didn't hesitate to lift the boy and put him in the stretcher. Quickly they carry the stretcher to the small truck.
"Do you think he will be alright?" Alphonse asked worriedly from behind his brother.
"Most likely. He is still breathing and the bleeding seems to have stopped." Answered the doctor, giving a small smile and then he too got in the truck.
When they arrived to the hospital, the boy's pulse was low, very low. It took around three hours for the doctors to make a complete check over the boy's body and heal his wounds.
When they tried to cut off the bandages, they found the scissors didn't worked. They tried ripping them off, but the bandages stayed bound to the boy's torso. It took them a while to figure out that the only way to remove the white dressings was to unbandage them. Once the bandages were off, they found themselves looking at an abused abdomen. Nasty bruises covered it, and the skin appeared to be ripped off. It wasn't bleeding anymore, but the cuts were red and raw. Without losing any time the doctors cleaned the cuts and began working on them.
The white-haired boy had a few broken ribs, the others were just bruised. His right arm was dislocated, and was quickly fixed and fastened to stop it from moving. Several scratches and bruises covered all his body, but the most damaged part was the abdomen. His left leg had a deep gash on it, which was needed to be cleansed and sutured.
"How is he?" Mustang asked the doctor, when they met up after the operation. They were standing outside the door of the boy's room.
"Excellent considering all of his injuries. His right arm was dislocated; nothing difficult to fix. Broken and bruised ribs; scratches and gashes on the arms, legs and chest. Some of them were beginning to get infected, but we were able to clean them off on time. Left leg cut opened, we had to suture and bandaged it. We gave him antibiotics as well, just to be safe."
Mustang nodded in understanding. "Perfect, has anyone called or come for him?"
"No one, but I think you need to know something Colonel. Those wounds were not caused by a mere fight, nor were they some kind of abuse. This boy is not a civilian. He has old scars, in an amount that you would see from a war veteran."
Mustang looked at the doctor and then back at the door. "I'll take it into consideration, thank you very much Doctor." They shook hands. "Can we see him?"
"I don't see why you couldn't, but he is still asleep. Just in case he does wake up, please call me. I still need to check for any brain or motor damage."
"Sure. Thank you."
The doctor nodded at the four Amestrians and took his notes. "Have a nice day." And he walked off.
The room was white, like all of the others in the building, with two windows covered by the curtains. It had a small couch in one of the sides of the room, where Hawkeye went and left a bag with the rest of the belongings of the boy. Said boy was lying unconscious in the middle of the bed, with most of his body parts covered in fresh white bandages. His right arm was in a sling, just like the Doctor mentioned to keep it secure.
His face looked peaceful, almost as if he was having a nice dream.
"Where do you think he comes from?" asked Edward as he looked at the white-haired teen.
"Who knows? But he doesn't look around here, or from the rest of the countries. He has some features from both Drachma and Creta, but still different from them." Hawkeye answered getting nearer to the boy.
"There is also the thing about his hair, nobody but the old people and Ishvalans have it white."
"Maybe he dyed it." suggested Alphonse.
"No." answered Hawkeye taking a lock into her hands and inspecting it. "It looks natural."
A small moan was heard, breaking the silence of the room. The boy's eyelids flickered and slowly he opened his eyes. They were a beautiful liquid mercury color.
With half opened eyes, he looked around. "W-what?" he muttered with a raspy voice.
"Alphonse please call Doctor Dohrn." With that the boy left the room and Mustang moved closer to the boy. "Who are you?"
The boy looked at him with a look of confusion.
"Wha- what happened?" he muttered again.
"We found you injured and bleeding. You are in a hospital."
"Hospital?" the boy frowned. "You are n-not the Matron."
Mustang sighed. "No, I'm not the Matron. Now would you please tell me your name?"
"Allen. Allen Walker." He still looked confused and his eyes were dropping. "Where am I?"
"You are in the Main Hospital of Central City in Amestris."
"Amestris? But that's impo…" and black out again.