Sokkasm was sitting peacefully in the basement, writing the last chapter of Cursed Alchemist, when there was a heavy set of footsteps coming down the stairs. The author was quite shocked to see Edward Elric.
"You bastard!" Ed exclaimed with his fist raised.
"What?" Sokkasm asked innocently and shocked.
"You! I'm getting real tired of your shit!"
"Nani?" Sokkasm immediately responded; speaking Japanese was usually a good way to get out of trouble.
"You've ripped me from my home, made me go crazy, burned me, made me vomit, you made me think I was a murderer, and your stupid one shot…you killed me in it!"
"You forgot about the part where the guards beat you senseless…" Ed's eyes twitched, and he made a mad dash to attack the stupid writer. "Hey! I still need to finish this chapter. It's the last one! Don't you want to find out what happens to you?" Ed let go of Sokkasm's shirt collar and stood back.
"Fine." He grumbled.
"Remember, I can make anything happen. I could make you taller…" Ed had a mischievous smile on his face.
"…Or I could kill you…" And for the remainder of the finale writing, Ed hunched over the couch and cautiously watched as Sokkasm finished the story.
It's finally here! This is the end (sniffs). See what I did there with the last chapter? I thought it was pretty clever; Full Circle. Ed was able to help others instead of being the one who needed help; it's coming full circle.
Thank you everybody! Even if you didn't review or favorite, I can still see how many views I get, so I thank you for reading thus far. This has been a fantastic adventure!
To those who did review and follow/favorite, you get extra points! You went the extra mile and voiced your input, which helped inspired me write. So you, faithful reviewers, in a way, helped make this story possible. I'll see you soon for the next adventure!
Ed could feel his blood pumping with adrenaline. The comet was coming very soon, and he finally drew an array that might be able to return him home. The plan, however, was flawed; he still didn't have an energy source to sacrifice to the gate. There was nothing like a Philosopher's Stone here; he asked around to see if there was something similar by a different name, but there wasn't. That news made Ed feel happy and depressed at the same time.
People weren't being turned into the stones, but that also meant Ed wouldn't be able to give anything to the gate. He thought about transmuting himself, but he had a feeling it would only backfire again, and he would be killed from the rebound.
He became close with the people he called his friends. It was strange, admitting they were friends, since he didn't really have many friends back home. He didn't have time for that. Since he was forced to be here, he had really no choice but to become attached to these people. He was determined to fight and help win this dark war. The people of this land had been suffering for too long now. In a few days, the people would either be free, or reduced to ash.
Aang and Zuko were practicing in the courtyard, while everyone else sat lazily on the steps. Ed didn't want to sit around and do nothing, but no one wanted to spar with him. He didn't understand how everyone could be sitting so calmly when the fate of the world was to be determined in the matter of days.
Katara went around offering watermelon juice, and Aang came racing up, completely ignoring Zuko's protests.
"Your lesson's not over! Get back here!" Zuko picked Aang up in the of the shirt so he couldn't get away. If Ed ever tried walking out on a lesson from Teacher, he would've been severely punished; Zuko just needed to take the Izumi approach with Aang. Everyone besides Ed and Zuko were calm and relaxed, generally acting content despite the end of the world approaching.
"Come on, Zuko." Sokka spoke hazily, and yawned. "Just take a break. What's the big deal?" Ed exhaled deeply, wanting to tell these idiots to get off their asses and do something.
"Fine!" Zuko snapped. "If you want to lounge around like a bunch of snail sloths all day, then go ahead!" Zuko stormed off as sand flew feet into the air from his hasty and heavy footsteps.
"He's right. You're going to get flabby just sitting there." Ed spoke up, hoping they would heed his advice.
"Yeah, laying around the house has made us lazy, but I know just the thing to change all that." Ed frowned while Sokka stripped down to his swimwear. "Beach party!" Everyone, except Ed, went inside to put on their beachwear, and ran to the ocean.
"Ed! Aren't you coming?" Sokka hollered while dodging the crashing waves. Ed stood up and headed for the direction Zuko went, completely ignoring his moronic friends.
Zuko was pacing back and forth between large palm trees. He sent angry bursts of fire into the sky in a feeble attempt to calm himself down. When Ed came into peripheral vision, Zuko stopped and menacingly looked at the alchemist.
"What are you doing here?" He spoke bitterly. "Shouldn't you be enjoying the ocean with everyone else?"
"No. I can't swim." Ed clapped his hands and transmuted a sword out of the iron rich ground. "Want to spar?" Zuko shook his head.
"I know you're ready for the comet." Zuko's tone was calm now. "I don't understand how they can sit there when it's three days away. They act like it's not a big deal!"
"Of course it is. I don't know what their problems are. I say we teach the brats a lesson; especially Aang." Zuko scratched his head and contemplated Ed's advice.
"What if I accidentally hurt him? He can't afford to-"
"There's no such thing as a painless lesson." Ed had a small, sly smile. Zuko nodded and ran to the beach. Several minutes later, fireballs appeared over the rooftop, followed by a yell from Aang.
"What are you doing?!" Ed could hear the muffled yell from on top of the rooftop. Ed decided to help with the training and dashed into the house, quickly finding a support beam. With a careful transmutation, Ed toppled the house so the roof caved in. The cloud of debris and smoke cleared, and a very angry looking Aang confronted the one responsible for the demolition.
"What did you do that for?!" Ed wasn't able to answer, since Zuko barged through an intact window and continued to attack the foolish boy. With a combination of sword fighting and firebending, Zuko and Ed continuously attacked Aang. His defensive air bending wasn't doing the trick, and Ed was finally able to aim the sword at Aang's vulnerable neck. Zuko was on the opposite side, aiming a fist at the back of Aang's head.
"Dead." Both teachers said monotonously.
"What is going on in here?" The rest of the group crawled through the demolished ruins of the house. "You could've hurt Aang." Katara scolded.
"He'll be more than hurt if he's not ready; he'll be dead." Ed put simply.
"What's wrong with both of you?"
"What's wrong with us?" Zuko spat and Ed folded his arms. "What's wrong with all of you? How can you sit around and have beach parties when Sozin's Comet is only days away?"
"We're never going to win if you aren't in shape." Ed added. Everyone stared apprehensively at Ed and Zuko.
"Why are you looking at us like we are crazy?" Zuko demanded.
"About Sozin's Comet," Aang said innocently after Ed and Zuko withdrew their attack poses. "I was actually gonna wait to fight the Fire Lord until after it came.
"After?" Zuko and Ed said shocked at the same time.
"I'm not ready." Aang put simply. Ed could see a vain throbbing on Zuko's forehead.
"So, you all knew Aang was going to wait?"
"I didn't!" Ed felt a little betrayed. "Why the hell didn't you tell me about this?"
"It was after the invasion. You were unconscious." Katara replied.
"You could've told me after I woke up!"
"…We didn't think you cared." Aang said softly.
"Of course I care! What would make you think I didn't?"
"All you ever talk about is your home. It's like you don't want to be here." Toph offered bluntly.
"Don't get me wrong, I like you guys, but I'm homesick. I need to see my little brother."
"That's another thing. You always talk about your brother."
"And what's wrong with that?" Ed shot back. "He's my only brother."
"Yeah…but you seem obsessed. He's just-"
"Don't you dare insult Alphonse!" Ed's body was shaking, and his eyes were filled with hatred.
"I wasn't going to. I think you're acting a little-"
"Don't call me short!"
"I'm not. I'm just saying, he seems to tie you down."
"Shut up, you little blind freak! He does not tie me down; I need him just as much as he needs me!" No one dared to interrupt Toph and Ed's shouting.
"You can still function without him."
"You don't know what you're talking about, you bi-! No. You are jealous. You don't know what it feels like to have your family torn apart, because you ran away. I bet your parents hate you. Your own family hates you! You have nothing left." Everyone stared at Ed, silently and full of disbelief. They turned their heads to Toph, who was starting to chuckle.
"Crazy, you got it all wrong. You are jealous of me because I had the choice to run away. You're just an orphan; you don't have any parents to run away from. I can feel your heart rate rising; even you know I'm right." It was true, Ed didn't have parents to run away from. If his mother were still alive, he would never run away from her. He was never going to run away again. He would not run from the stupid girl that stood before him.
"Get out! I should've never involved myself in this country's affairs." They made no move to exit. "Leave! All you care about is messing around instead of taking the comet seriously. If you don't care about the fate of the world, then neither do I." Ed spat as his face scrunched with anger. Slowly, the group started to back away and held their heads low as they started to leave. "Not you!" Ed pointed to Zuko. Cautiously, Zuko approached Ed.
"Um, yes?" Zuko stuttered, worried he would be the next victim of Ed's wrath.
"Well, do you think I pounded enough sense into them?" Ed's red face was starting to fade back to normal.
"You mean you did that on purpose?" Zuko looked surprised.
"Not exactly. I'm still pissed at Toph, but I'll have plenty of time for payback later."
"Yeah, you were pretty terrifying. I think they'll take this more seriously now."
"Trust me, I meant every word about my brother. Toph will pay."
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Ed replied with a sick and twisted smile. "Never mind. Just don't get me involved. So, you really miss your brother." It was a statement that made a large frown scrawl across Ed's face.
"Yeah. I miss him more than anything. He's probably worried about me; he might even think I'm dead, for all I know."
"Sometimes I wish I had a younger sibling…"
"Yeah. A sibling that doesn't try to kill me would be nice." Ed and Zuko both let out a forced laugh. "Well, I'm going to help with training. Are you coming?"
"No. I'll be here, plotting my revenge." Zuko shrugged his shoulders and left; Ed fell asleep not too long after.
"Ed!" Zuko woke the slumbering boy. "Have you seen Aang? We looked for him everywhere."
"Eh? Two more minutes." Ed moved his hand like he was swatting at a pesky fly.
"Don't make me use force."
"Al, no. Mustang can wait five minutes." Ed began to snore and drool dribbled out of his mouth.
"I warned you…Hey! Shorty!" Ed's fierce golden eyes snapped open.
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A PIPSQUEAK SO SMALL EVEN INSECTS CAN'T SEE HIM!?"
"Good, you're awake. Let's go, Aang's missing."
"I'M NOT A SHRI- Wait? Aang's gone?"
"Yes. Come on, we're going to find him." The group climbed onto Appa; Ed made sure to sit as far away from Toph as possible, so he could diabolically plot his payback in peace.
"Zuko, remind me again why we're following a strange blind creature."
"We already told you, if it can't find Aang through scent, we have to find my uncle to face my father.
"Yeah, but what's your uncle going to do about it?"
"He's one of the most powerful firebenders around, I'm sure he can come up with something." Ed nodded, and his jaw nearly dropped when he saw an enormous, but crumbling, wall.
"What's that?" Ed had never seen the wall of Brigg's, but this was how he imagined it looked; huge and imposing.
"Ba Sing Se. Uncle must be in there somewhere." They landed beyond the wall and hastily set up camp. Ed was glad to finally get off Appa and stretched his legs. It had been a long day, so he tried to find a comfortable place to sleep. He should've figured he wasn't going to be allowed to sleep peacefully…
A wall of fire erupted around the kids in a ring, which successfully trapped them. A group of elderly strangers appeared through the flames.
"Well, look who's here!" A senile looking old man snorted and laughed.
"Wha?" Ed mumbled stupidly, but instinctively clapped his hands in defense. The old coot was most likely a threat.
"Bumi!" Sokka shouted with rejoice. Ed calmed down when Sokka shouted the name; he obviously knew these geezers. Without much conviction, Ed stood up and went over to a smooth boulder. He sat down and gazed with unwavering eyes as the kids in the group reunited with the newcomers. There was plenty of hugging and small talking, which caused an unpleasant sensation to tug at his heart. Everyone was happy and jovial with their reunions. The only one who wasn't able to reunite with anyone was Ed. He was still trapped here with no one to talk to. Even forever angst-ridden Zuko seemed to be happy as he was led to his uncle's tent.
Ed sat on the boulder and drew various circles in the ground with one of his automail fingers. He covered them with dirt after each circle was complete so he could start drawing another one. The last circle he drew was identical to Alphonse's blood seal. Angrily, Ed kicked at the dirt and destroyed all evidence of his doodles. Looking up, Ed recognized one of the men and walked over to him.
"Hey! You're that guy!" Zuko was standing next to the familiar looking man. "You're the one that broke me out of prison." The man smiled and Zuko gasped at the man.
"Uncle?" So this man was Zuko's uncle? That's why Ed had thought he recognized Zuko.
"Destiny is a strange thing." Ed frowned at that stupid complicated word; destiny.
"What's our destiny today?" Sokka asked. They had clearly been talking about this subject before Ed interrupted them.
"What do you think it is?" Zuko's uncle seemed to emanate wisdom and Ed couldn't help but feel deep respect towards him.
"I think that even though we don't know where Aang is, we need to do everything we can to stop the airship fleet."
"Psh." Ed interjected. "You think you were born for the sole purpose of stopping an air fleet? That's ridiculous!"
"What do you mean?"
"You weren't born for any specific purpose. No one is destined to do a single thing. Everything doesn't happen for a reason; it just happens. Destiny doesn't control your lives and actions, your mind does. We control our own choices, not some stupid destiny."
"You aren't going to help us?" Sokka frowned and sounded hurt.
"It's not like my destiny is telling me to. But, I will dictate my own choices. I am going to help all of you save this land. Then I will return home." He was met with approving nods and smiles.
"Let's go." A middle aged man with a sword similar to Sokka's led them to a large creature called an eel hound. After they said their goodbyes, Ed gave General Iroh a deep, respectful bow, and they mounted the strange beast.
The sky turned an eerie red color as the magnificent comet appeared and illuminated the sky. It looked like it could make impact with earth at any minute. The sun was even outshone by the magnificent fireball streaming across the sky.
"It's amazing." Ed said quietly. "I bet Al would've liked to see it." Ed glanced over Toph. She had been right in a way; he did talk about his brother a lot, but that was not a bad thing.
The large airships slowly ascended and started to move away. Quickly, Toph shot the group on top of a nearby airship with earth bending, and the four quickly recovered from the harsh landing.
"Sokka and Suki, you take control of this airship. Toph and me will take care of the others."
"What?" Sokka asked quizzically.
"We can easily take out the airships with alchemy and her metal bending. Just make sure this ship gets to the fire freak quickly." Sokka nodded and Ed grabbed Toph by the wrist and carefully jumped onto the next airship, barely making it. This time, the landing was severe and Ed had to rub his sore leg to ease the pain.
"What are you planning?" Toph asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Nothing." Ed replied as he gritted his teeth.
"Liar." Ed released her hand when he remembered she could sense his heartbeat.
"Whatever. We need to-" Ed stopped when a vast amount of searing fire blinded Ed. He looked over and saw the ground was on fire, coming out of the first airship like a large blowtorch.
"That's a lot of fire, isn't it?" Ed turned and saw the orange blaze reflected in the blind girl's eyes. The ship that Sokka infiltrated turned and suddenly smashed into the airship they were on, causing a mass ripple with the rest of the fleet. The airship groaned in protest and leaned dangerously to the side, causing Ed's balance to fail. Soldiers popped out of the trapdoor and advanced towards the two intruders.
"Stay back." Ed warned and pushed Toph behind him.
"Wait, what are you-?" Ed charged and attacked the soldiers, while taking care to not push them off the side. The zeppelin creaked some more and violently jerked to the side. This time, when Ed's balance was off, a soldier rammed into him and he lost his footing. Gravity flung him over the side and he yelled as he plunged to certain death.
"Ed!" He could hear Toph yelling after him.
As much as automail sucked, it sometimes had its advantages, like now. Ed was clinging on the side of the airship to a beam that helped support the vessel. He wedged his foot on top of another one and desperately looked for something to draw a circle with; he couldn't risk clapping his hands.
His side felt like needles were jabbing into him, and his shirt was wet. Ed looked at his side and discovered he was covered into a combination of sweat and blood. He touched his side and found the wound, his flesh fingers were covered with blood. Carefully, Ed drew a circle, re-supplying his drawing material often, onto the red surface. Once it was done, Ed touched the array and created a door just big enough to crawl through and entered the airship.
Ed made his way to the top and found the trapdoor. He tried to open it, but something heavy was jamming it on top.
"Where's Ed?" Sokka's muffled voiced asked in a panicked tone.
"Gone?" Suki asked.
"He defended me, even after what I said to him. I never got to apologize…"
"What happened?" Sokka still couldn't seem to accept the fact Ed was dead.
"He attacked the soldiers, and just…fell off…he really did care, after all." Toph's voice was quiet and there was a long pause.
"Ed wouldn't want us to grieve him, he'd want us to complete the mission. Let's go." Sokka sounded assertive and the loud banging of their footsteps faded away to nothing.
"Crap." Ed cursed to himself as the airship spiraled out of control and crashed to the ground. He managed to crawl out of the debris, only to discover the air was full of ash and smoke. Ed coughed and struggled to breath, but all he could do was watch as the other airships lost control and fell out of the sky. He looked up and saw pillars of rock exploding at random, and soon realized it was the fault of Aang.
"He's alive." Ed coughed out, happy the boy had returned to finish the fight. It was hard to see what was going on, and Ed felt like he was going to pass out at any minute from the lack of clean oxygen.
The sky suddenly filled with bright red and blue light. "What the hell?" Ed groaned. The red light grew bigger until the blue was barely even a sliver. "This place is messed up." He whispered this time. The bright blue light burst and overtook the landscape, and the red light completely vanished.
The ocean started to rise unnaturally and Ed had a gut feeling it was the cause of powerful water bending. He looked around for anything to hold on before he was swept under the powerful water and luckily found a large wooden beam and latched onto it for dear life. The ocean put out the devastating fire and the waters receded. The orange sky turned back to blue as the comet trailed away from view, ending its visit until the next one hundred years came around.
After the fire was extinguished, Ed sighed a breath of relief; they had won and the air was much easier to breath. Even though the water had left, Ed still clutched the wood like it was a lifeline.
"He should be around here somewhere." A somber voice spoke after Ed had been laying on the beam for an hour. "He fell somewhere over there." Ed fluttered his eyes open and saw four kids walking about forty yards away from where he was resting.
"Did we win?" He shouted hoarsely to his friends, who zipped around quickly to see who had spoken.
"Ed?" They asked unbelievingly and dashed toward Ed to the best of their ability. Sokka was limping over with Toph and Suki supporting him. "Ed!"
Tiredly, Ed stood up, ready to greet them.
"How are you alive?" Toph questioned. "You fell!"
"It takes more than that to kill me. Good to know you cared so much."
"Of course I care! I thought you died trying to save me, you idiot!" Ed knew his revenge against Toph was complete.
"Oh? So now you know how it feels to be torn away from someone you care about?" Ed smiled playfully and watched Toph's confused face.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said those things."
"Toph's apologizing and Ed's smiling…" Sokka said as he stroked his chin. "It's the end of the world!"
The never-ending war was finally over. Zuko gave his speech and called all of the troops out of occupied areas. A peace treaty was passed, and everyone in the courtyard cheered at the new amazing news. Firelord Zuko was going to change the world for the better, alongside Avatar Aang. After the speech was finished, Ed joined up with the group, who were currently hugging. Ed went back a step, but was interrupted by Katara's soothing voice.
"Come on, Ed. You're a part of our group, and that means group hugs." Ed rolled his eyes and grudgingly walked over, but accepted the physical contact.
"Aang? Can I talk to you?" Ed asked when the group dispersed.
"Was that glowing light you?"
"Yeah. The Avatar state. I'm a full fledged Avatar now."
"Please tell me the truth. Are you really composed of many human lives?"
Aang had a constipated look on his face as he searched for the right words. "Not exactly. I do have hundreds of past lives."
"Right." Ed was still skeptical, but he was also desperate. "So their energy is a part of you."
"Yes." Aang smiled.
"And can you use this energy?" Ed's heart was starting to beat faster.
"That's what the Avatar state is."
"One last thing. Can you help me return home?"
The last rune was drawn with precision on the large specially designed array. Ed made sure each of his calculations were correct and prepared to do the transmutation.
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I hope I never see any of you again." His friends seemed to understand and nodded. They had already said their goodbyes and watched as Aang went into the Avatar state.
"Are you ready for this? Are you sure it's going to work?" Aang asked nervously.
"I hope so. Just keep in mind where your soul belongs; you don't want to accidentally end up with me. With my luck, this will probably rebound, I'm just a cursed alchemist, after all." Ed smiled and clapped his hands, using Aang's past lives energies as a sacrifice to the Gate.
Ed allowed himself to deconstruct, and thought of the place he truly belonged. He landed in a white room dominated by his own door of truth. He felt relieved and knew millions of little black cords would wrap around him soon and pull him back home.
In the corner of his eye, he saw another large grey object. He turned his head slowly and saw an emaciated person with long blonde hair sitting by the door.
"Al?" Ed's eyes widened. He had searched for his brother's body for the longest time, and now he had found it. "Alphonse! Come with me!" Ed dashed to the measly figure, but was restrained by the black hands. "No! Brother!" Ed cried out, and the person stood up.
"I can't go with you. You're not my soul." Ed's heart skipped a beat when he was dragged into the void and the door slammed. This wasn't right! He didn't spend all this time looking for a way to restore Al, just to be rejected that chance. He struggled and punched the door open.
"Alphonse! One day soon, I'm coming back to get you, no matter what! Just you wait!" The door slammed shut again and Ed was deconstructed once more.
Ed woke up in a daze when a foul stench invaded his nose. He opened his eyes and discovered he was surrounded by something large, green, and smelly.
"Help me." A pathetic voice pleaded. Ed turned his head and saw a familiar sight; a grotesque green face morphing into another face.
"Envy?" Ed asked shocked, still obviously in a daze.
"We made it." Ed looked to his side and saw another familiar face.
"Ling?" This wasn't right, it was like no time had passed here. Ed knew he was gone for a few months, but it was like Amestris had been frozen while he was gone. It was both sick and relieving. Ed had been tormented from not seeing anyone he knew for a long time, but everyone here had thought he was missing for only a day. Sometimes the Truth was just plain cruel.
"Brother!" Ed snapped his head into attention and his heart skipped several beats when the voice yelled.
"Al! Alphonse!" Ed ignored the fact he was next to Envy, and didn't care he was in a mysterious underground place. He even ignored the bastardly man who looked suspiciously like Hohenheim. Only one thing mattered… "Al!" Ed ran and hugged his little brother with ferocity, hoping he would never have to leave him again.
"I missed you so much! I'm so sorry! I shouldn't have made you worry like that."
"You were only gone a day, brother…"
"It could've been much longer!…I know I don't say this much, but in case anything happens…I love you."
"Brother? Are you okay?" Ed smiled widely.