So, I've had this idea in my mind for a long time and I've finally decided to try it out. I haven't seen any Book Thief/FMA crossovers yet, which is weird, because they both take place (around) the same time and seem like they would work well together.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Book Thief or FMA. It'd be terrifying if I owned either of them.
Humans amaze me sometimes.
They can be beaten down, smashed into the dirt, and still find the strength to somehow stand up again.
There are only a handful of humans I've ever paid close attention to. Enough to count on one hand.
*** TWO OF THE MOST INTERESTING CHARACTERS IN THAT HANDFUL ***
Edward Elric and Liesel Meminger.
The day I met Edward Elric was the day a hero died.
He was certainly an interesting person. Wearing a long, billowing brown coat and stark white gloves in the summer. His clothes aren't what stood out, though.
It was the look in his eyes.
He looked like a dead man.
The golden irises that attracted so many young females were a dull, muddy brown. There was no spark of life in those eyes. Every step he took looked like it pained him, and his feet practically dragged on the ground. He held an exceptionally large suitcase in one hand, and the small hand of a child in the other.
The child was a mystery to anyone and everyone who passed by. The young girl had long brown hair pulled back in two braids, and bright, sea blue eyes. The pair trudged slowly by a small café, where waitresses scurried here and there, taking as many orders as they can. The small girl gripped Edward's sleeve, asking him if they could stop and rest at the café, but Edward just kept walking, dragging the reluctant girl with him. They kept walking for what seemed like forever, before stopping in an alleyway. Edward slid down to the ground and the girl followed suit, sitting next to him. She positioned herself on the other side of the alleyway, right behind a trash can. Every now and then, she would peek out from behind the can to watch the street. A magician had set up shop down the road, but his business was less than pathetic. A dog galloped down the busy road, oblivious to the danger of standing in the middle of the street. Suddenly, the girl gasped, and raced out into the busy street herself.
A car, barreling down the road at more than 30 MPH (1), didn't have time to stop when a girl ran out in front of it. All the driver could do was try and swerve to the right, which did more harm than good. The car crashed into the girl with full force, the side ramming into her face and sliding on top of her. The driver quickly got out and tried to help the girl crawl out, but it was too late. Her small heart was crushed on impact. The driver of the vehicle, a small, squat man, stared in disbelief, while a snow white dog stood by, not realizing that small girl had just saved his life.
Edward, who was slowly drifting off to sleep, snapped awake when he heard the sound of metal grinding into flesh and a small, sharp scream. He scrambled into a standing position, casted one quick look across the alleyway, and then ran out into the street, heading for the accident. A small crowd was already gathering, some with their heads down in silent prayer. All Ed had to see was the bloody brown braid to know what happened. He collapsed onto his knees, a sob bubbling in his throat. He threw his face into his hands, and only one word was able to tear out of his mouth.
I, on the other hand, did not have time to mourn the loss. I never have time for such trivial things.
I quickly extracted her soul out of the bloody mess. Her soul was cold and fragile in my arms, melting through my fingers. The sky was a bright blue, the color of her eyes. I turned around and started to walk out of the crowd when I heard it. The sound of a grown man sobbing was never enjoyable, but I've heard it plenty of times in my lifetime. This one was different though. He wasn't just mourning the loss of someone close. He was mourning the loss of the last person he was close to. I scanned the crowd, trying to find the source of the noise, when I saw a man kneeling on the ground, his face in his hands and tears sliding onto the gravel road. He kept muttering one single name: Nina. Nina, Nina, Nina.
For the first time in years, I was tempted to go up to him and comfort him. Maybe grip his shoulder and murmur, "everything will be alright." I did no such thing. I walked straight past him and continued my duty. Little did I know that we would meet again, on a small, run down street. The same street where the book thief resided.
*** THE NAME OF SUCH AN IMPORTANT STREET ***
As most of us already know, I met Liesel on the day her brother died. None of that is new. The funeral for her brother was a small gathering, with her mother, herself, a priest, and a couple grave diggers. The grave diggers didn't give a rat's ass that a small child had just died. All they were worried about was the cold.
The funeral was short and to the point. After the burial (with plenty of complaints from the grave diggers), the small group quickly dispersed. Liesel's mother and the priest walked away, her mother thanking him for coming out on such a cold day. Liesel collapsed into the snow, her tears frozen on her cheeks. Her brother can't be dead. He can't be dead. There's no way he can be dead. This sick mantra repeated again and again in her mind, until she was muttering the same words under her breath, her nails digging deep into the icy ground below. Blood splattered onto her brother's grave, but still she did not stop. She needed to save him. She felt sharp nails dig into her shoulders and pull her up out of the ground, but she refused to stop. She screamed. She cried. She stole.
Stole what, exactly? A book, of course. A small book that gave explicit instructions on how to dig a grave. She did not know what the book's contents were at the time, but it did not matter. That book was the last connection to her brother. The last connection to her past life.
As the mother and daughter exited the graveyard, she turned back one last time to peer at her brother. She could almost see him squatting next to his tombstone, his stare piercing her soul.
"I'm sorry," Liesel murmured, before walking away.
(1): Since this takes place in the late 1930's/early 1940's, I would assume 30 MPH is relatively fast.
I didn't really like this chapter. It feels very, very slow and the way I explained the scenes was confusing. I'll probably go back and fix it up later, after I work on my transitions a bit more.