So, since Charismatic was such a hit, I've decided on writing a sequel. And you all have to thank SilentRainDrops for the ending.
If you're just jumping in here, you should probably read Charismatic first, as this is a direct continuation. (If you were looking forward to actually reading this, don't worry, it's the same kind of style. Because I sometimes get pissed off when asked to read something else first when I just want to read the fic I clicked on.) I mean, you could probably just force your way through the first chapter and take it as it comes, if you really don't want to read the prequel.
Chapter One: Half and Half
Edward only spent six more months alone in Germany, where he celebrated his 18th birthday as he would any other day. He continued to tie up Alfons' loose ends at the rocketry workshop, and left when there was nothing more to be done there. He didn't want to devote the rest of this time into helping the Nazis in this horrible mission they were carrying out, when he was finished making sure that Alfons was not known for a person who never finished his work, he set off on his own mission to find Alphonse Elric, or at least figure out the relationship between their universes.
It involved a lot of geometric drawings which were very complicated and cluttered with cramped illegible handwriting, all determinedly titled 'Heiderich Theory' before there relevance to finding out where this world was in correlation to his own.
He had to quickly stop drawing the worlds as two spheres sitting side by side. They were not two similar planets, they were two parallel universes.
It was a hard theory to wrap his head around, like trying to imagine Heaven as in the sky, and yet beyond the reach of a rocket. He spent many long hours with his head in his hands and his teeth clenched in frustration, alone in his flat with no one to pat his shoulder and tell him that it'd work out, even though they had no idea how monumental the problem was.
God, he missed Alfons.
Both of them.
He was so alone.
There was always that positive thought in the back of his mind though. Egging him on.
Alphonse is here somewhere, it hissed to him, when he was an inch from giving up.
But he could also be dead Edward grumpily answered his subconscious.
Are you really going to believe that? It replied.
No. What am I thinking!? No!
Alphonse was here somewhere, and so he started on another theory. If Alphonse and Alfons had some kind of bond, and the Amestris and Germany were similar in geography to each other, then there was a good chance that if Alphonse had made it over (which he had) then he was probably in Munich somewhere, so he did all he could to just scour the area, and read the papers to try to find him. He was very tempted to put up posters, but it was not a good idea to draw attention to one person in the times that they were in right now.
And then one Sunday morning, at the usual of six in the morning when Edward got up to buy the paper as he did every day, even before he woke himself up with a cup of tea (coffee was too expensive now). That was the day.
He carried his paper back home and sat at the table, his stomach empty once again, since the food was getting so expensive and he was sick of eating food that ranged from white to pale yellow in colour.
He flicked through the first few pages, which were mildly interesting, but not what he was looking for. He stopped as he got to the new instalment to the newspaper. It was a missing person page. People didn't know what had happened to their relatives. Most of them were probably German Jews who had been murdered, but there was still a chance, and these people, like Edward, checked the newspaper, every day, just in case.
Edward skimmed through the pages, knowing that he'd be reading it over in more depth later anyway, but some words that were not German caught his eye.
It was like the smell of home to a lost child. Edward actually gasped out loud, for between all of the lists and lists of names there was one word in Amestrian.
Edward fell over himself to stand up.
Alphonse was in Munich. He had been right, damnit, he'd been right, his theory had been correct. He pulled on his trademark red coat which he had managed to salvage from the destruction of all of their possessions, untangling it from Alfons' vertically striped scarf, which he happened to know was from his grandparents and stumbled out of the door in a mad rush. He ran down the road to the shop that he's just moments ago bought 'Das Reich' from and fell through the doorway.
The shopkeeper looked up from the same paper in alarm.
"Good morning," Edward panted, trying to smarten himself up. "Can you tell me where I can find out who put this message in Das Reich please?"
"Ahh…" the shopkeeper said, thinking for a moment. "The printers is just over two miles away. You can get there in an hour or so if you hurry. I don't suppose you have a car, young man?"
Edward shook his head.
"You're lucky. There aren't many people who find someone in that paper. Are you sure it's who you're looking for?" he asked, knowing exactly why Edward would be trying to find the office for the newspaper. The boy came in every morning, at the same time, bless him, and bought the same paper. He could only be looking for someone.
"It could be no one else." Edward replied.
The shopkeeper graced him with a rare smile. "Good luck to you. Something has to come out of this Godforsaken war. I'm glad you got your bit. Head about a mile – a mile and a half Northward and ask for directions there."
Edward gave a nod of thanks and stepped from the shop's doorway, immediately setting off at a brisk walk Northwards.
Edward was quite used to walking long distances when he'd been living in Amestris, and though in all his time in Germany he'd walked little, he still reached his destination within the hour.
He found the building in which the newspaper was printed, and above that was the editors. He wasn't entirely sure how newspapers worked, but he assumed that if you wanted to get yourself in one, a letter would be sent here. And if Al had just ended up in Germany, he doubted he spoke any German. Surely this would be an obvious building, saying as there were newspaper stands stacked outside and missing person posters plastered all over the face of the building.
Edward heaved open the heavy wooden doors and strolled up the wide hallway towards the reception desk.
"Looking for someone?" the tied woman immediately asked. She'd had to deal with this all day, and it wasn't that she didn't care, it was just that it was getting to be a bit depressing to have to deal with people who had lost family and friends to this horrible war that she had such mixed feelings about.
"Yes. Did a young boy come in yesterday, about seventeen? He would have spoken very little German. Put a piece in the missing person's section in another language?" Edward asked, speaking very quickly.
"Yes, actually." Said the woman, sitting up a little straighter. "He gave me this, but I'm not quite sure what he wanted me to do with it."
She held up a scrap of paper with a scrawly drawing that wasn't really Armstrong quality, but was unmistakably Edward.
"Alphonse." Edward whispered, taking the paper from her hands. He shook himself out of his daydream.
"What do you know of where he is?" Edward asked desperately, leaning over the desk. The woman leant back slightly at the confrontation.
"Who is this person?" she asked, out of pure curiosity.
"My brother." He muttered, suddenly realising how much he had to find Alphonse, now that he'd gotten somewhere. He couldn't go home without him now. Not now that he had a purpose.
Oh how it felt to have a purpose, a mission, like the old days again.
Quite suddenly, he didn't know how he'd coped these past years without it.
"Ah. Well," the secretary stood up and came out from behind her desk. "Though he had trouble talking to me, he did drag me outside and point in that direction," she said, leading Edward out into the bight March sunlight and pointing down a rickety street full of old-fashioned shops. "He kept pointing down there. Oh! Edward. He kept saying Edward, I think."
If Ed were that kind of man, he would have kissed her.
"Thank you, very much," he said, full of sincerity. "You have no idea. You have no idea how much this means to me," he told her.
He was going to see Alphonse. And they had been worlds apart for the past six months. It had been so long, since that initial spark, so much searching. At the immigration office and citizen records. Nothing. For months and months. Nothing.
"You have no idea how relieving it is to see someone find their lost family. You have no idea how many people have come in asking for posters and newspaper pieces to be put in, and then for them to be coming back for the next few months and months before finally they give up. It's nice to know that it works, in some cases."
Edward felt he needed to reply, but found that he had nothing to say that was in anyway relevant, and so he nodded his thanks and scurried off where he had been directed, so excited that he could barely breathe. He had the huge desire to shout out 'Al!' as loud as he possibly could, but forced himself to calm down and wonder how he was going to go about this.
The street was narrow, narrower than the ones in central Munich where he;d lived with Alfons. He hadn't moved far, really. Just on the other side of the park. He didn't want to be too far from Alfons' grave, since he usually turned up there almost every other day.
He looked around at the shop-fronts that surrounded him. Grocery shops, flower shops, all with little flat above them, just like Alfons'. He supposed his theory that the two Alphonses would stumble across similar lives and circumstances was true.
And so on this theory, Edward looked up at the windows above the flower shop. It was a place to start.
~*~Die Heiderich Theorie~*~
Alphonse Elric finally dragged his eyes open at half seven in the morning, the sunlight streaming through the windows having forced him up. He finally understood his brother's reluctance to get up in the morning all those years ago, when he used to sit up all night waiting for the morning to come. Waiting at the bottom of the bed like some loyal dog not wanting to impose.
Bed was so good. Especially now, just as Spring was taking hold of the world and bringing a little warmth the Europe. It had been God-awful in the snowy winter. The windows of his old flat had had rain trickling down on the inside as well as the outside. It had been bloody cold. Cold, lonely, and for the most part, hungry, was how he'd spent the winter. But he couldn't complain. He knew that this world was at war, and that fighting was still happening right through the horrid winter. Alphonse had no right to feel sorry for himself, even though he hadn't yet developed an affinity with this world.
He felt as if he were wandering around in a dream.
Just as he'd taken off his pyjamas to change into his day clothes, someone knocked at the door. Alphonse cursed quietly, trying to find his underwear as fast as possible.
"I'm coming!" he called desperately, giving a little cheer when he found his clothes. He really needed to buy some more clothes. He was turning into his brother.
Even when he'd scrambled into all his clothes, his shirt buttoned up wrongly, he realised that he had no idea of the whereabouts of his keys.
"I'm sorry!" He yelled at the door, frantically searching the benches and draws. "I've lost my keys! Hold on! I'll be just a minute- Ha!" he cried, having found them in his coat pocket.
He hurriedly unlocked the door, looking thoroughly ruffled and mismatched. "I'm so sorry, I'm usually up-"
Alphonse didn't know what to do with himself. On the doorstep was his brother. His brother, whom he'd be searching for, for so many years, in Amestris. Who he'd finally traced to a parallel world as had had a nightmare of a time trying to locate him in that world too.
Edward was right there. He didn't know whether to scream, or cry, or hug him or pass out.
In the end, it was something of all four, and he spluttered and babbled incoherent nonsense while he went white with shock.
God, it had been a long time since Edward had heard that language, and indeed, that voice.
Looking back, it was a pretty aggressive hug.
Well, this is chapter one, which is a bit of a prologue, and the rest of the story will be in a slightly different style. Those who are reading this who got the PM will know that it'll be half narration, half letters. Things will move on extremely quickly from here on.
Also, I've never really written Alphonse before, so I might fall into the trap of giving him his own character, and not the one he already had but… This is very AU. I'll try to keep up his Alphonseness.
I've love to hear what you think of this; if the meeting was a little abrupt, it was because I just need to get it over with.
See you soon!