~ IF ONLY… ~
“Chapter 2: State Alchemist”
That night Edward woke on something he never wanted to hear... the Elric brothers were having a fight again. They did sometimes about small things but this one sounded serious and it was two in the morning as well...
"What do you mean you don't know?!" Shouted the older. "I gave it to you! Can't you take care of a damned book?!"
"Niisan its two o'clock I would like to sleep can't you have the book in the morning?!"
"NO!! I want that book NOW!"
Fullmetal heard some rumble.
"I don't know where it is!"
"Oh damn! See?! That is why you cannot have a pet! You never take care of anything! You would lose your head if it wasn't bound to your neck!"
"What do you want from me? It's 2 o’clock! You just woke me up for your stupid book!"
"It's always me who takes care of everything! You do nothing at all! Your grades are bad! How do you want to go to university like that?!"
"Just because I'm not a bookworm and have a social life doesn't mean my life is ruined okay?!"
"You call that a social life!?"
"Shut up! And you? You perfectly know you will never be such great alchemist as father! Why don't you just give up?"
"I am the best alchemist around after father..."
"Oh, sure... well guess what, your other world counterpart is much better than you! I saw you checking his notes and I could tell from your face that you didn't understand a word from it!"
"That's the truth! Admit it!"
"You cannot throw me out of my own room!!"
"Well then watch me little brother!!!"
"Hey ouch!!!" "Leggo!" "Aaaa"
"Let me in! Let me in you good for nothing jerk!" no answer. "I'll go tell you off!"
"And I'll go tell mom when you came home at 2 in the morning last year!"
"That wasn't my fault!"
"YOUR social life. Not mine."
And with that it ended.
Edward didn't hear any more shouting.
'Their business' he thought and he laid back on his bed. But he couldn't sleep. He just saw the image of Alfonse sitting at the door of his room like a little puppy, curled up into a ball waiting for his big brother to let him back in.
And the image just didn't want to go away.
So after a time the Fullmetal Alchemist got up and stepped out form his room to see the image in reality: Alfonse curled up in a ball in front of the door he cannot go trough anymore.
Edward stepped closer and kneeled down to wake the young Elric. "Alfonse... Alfonse."
"Huh...wha-?" he looked up as he woke.
"Shhh." he put his hand on the shoulder of the boy. "It's okay. Ask him to let you in."
"Nah I'm sure he is already sleeping." The boy said half awake. "And anyway... if I would, that would be begging... that would mean that I lost to him... again. I always loose against him. It's not fair!"
Edward sighed, stood up and knocked on the door.
Some grumble was heard... then the door opened just slightly and a golden eye peeked out.
"What do 'YOU' want?"
"Please forgive him and let him. He shouldn't sleep on the cold floor."
The door opened and Edward Elric looked down at himself. "This is our business. YOU have nothing to do with it!"
"Oh yes he does!" Alfonse said sudden and hugged the small Edward from behind. "Niisan! I'll sleep with Edward." Both Eds couldn't say a thing. So Alfonse caught the Fullmetal by the hand and pulled him away back into the room of the shortest Elric.
The young boy stick out his thong at his brother before he vanished.
The tallest Elric slammed the door.
"...sorry." Alfonse said as he silently closed the door, his other hand still holding Edward's left. He sighed but didn’t look at the blond. "I love my brother so much, but sometimes he so acts like an ass." he sighed then continued. "He wants to prove Dad that he is just as great of an Alchemist as him, so he spends most of his times studying and reading... actually I don't think he has any friends at all."
"Alfonse..." -but Ed couldn't finish because the little brother made eye contact all of a sudden. Then with his free hand he touched his face and dived his fingers into the blond hair. Edward almost shivered into the touch...
...so soft and warm. As it should be.
"Why cannot you be my brother? You are so nice and protective. Always smiling and never shouting. Only looking for the happy parts in life."
Edward just looked into those eyes and wished he could say that he's staying here, forever, so there's nothing to worry about... but deep down he knew that there's a soul back there waiting for him... and he cannot fail that one soul in an armor.
"I'm sorry." he said and hugged the taller but younger Elric, who responded in the same way. Edward was fighting back his tears as he was clinging to this little brother like there would be no tomorrow.
When they let go Alfonse stepped back. "Well... I'll just... go now. That spot in front of the door is waiting for me..."
"No!" Ed got a hold of him by the arm. "You're not gonna sleep on the floor! No-no-no!" the older Elric blushed "I-I own for the clothes anyway so you can stay here. Please."
Al blinked but then smiled... "Thank you..." and then he added: "...Niisan."
This was the first time the 'Niisan' was addressed to him since he is here. It lit up Edward's heart very-very much.
So the brothers settled under the covers and Al rested his head on the Fullmetal's non automail shoulder. Edward stroke the dirty blond hair with his left as he slowly drifted into sleep. Alfonse fall asleep soon after him.
"Good Morning boys!" Trisha smiled more then the sun. She was doing the washing up.
"Good morning Mother!" echoed Al and Edward. "Oh, father! Up so early?" Added Edward as he saw the man at the table drinking coffee.
Hohenheim turned at him and picked out his scientist voice "Umm... Edward! Come here! Come here!" he set the mug back on the table watching not to spill it one the papers and books around him. "If we use up the neutrons in the air we can make an over heavy atom which is not stable and when in blows up extremely lot of energy will get loose. Do you think we can catch that with this?" and he showed a transmutation circle in a huge book.
"Umm I'm not sure... but it sounds logical." Set Edward down next to his father. "But some of the energy will turn to heat immediately."
"Heat..." thought Hohenheim for a second. "I didn't see any transmutation circle for that."
"Oh its not needed... I'll handle that myself."
"How are you going to do that Niisan?" Alfonse turned to them from the fridge. "I thought heat is just a temperature."
"You should learn more my son.." Hohenheim looked at him a bit angry but his face lit up immediately. He is always happy when he can explain something to his sons mostly when its about alchemy. "Heat can also be alchemized. Some molecules spin when you give them energy. With the spinning they turn it to heat so they can stay stable."
"Really?" Alfonse looked surprised.
"Yes." smiled Edward. "They use it in the army too but some freakish guy gave it the name Microwave." he shrugged.
Trisha looked at the small boy surprised. "How do you know about that?"
"Oh I'm a state Alchemist." Edward said like it would be nothing important.
The plait Trisha was holding fell and broke into pieces.
"...!" Everybody looked at him shocked.
Edward just knew he is in such a big trouble. Trisha stepped forth and... gave him a huge hug!
"Oh my god, really Edward? Are you really a State Alchemist?" She looked really happy with tears in her eyes!
"A state Alchemist at the age of 17!?" Alfonse asked.
"Well erm yes I took the exam when I was twelve..." said Edward who was too shocked to actually think...
"Twelve!?" Hohenheim look more proud then Edward ever saw him to be. "My son is also a State Alchemist!"
"But WAIT WAIT WAIT A SECOND!" Screamed Edward... "Why are you guys so happy? I mean you should be hating me for working for the Amestris aren't you."
"Hating? No way! The State Alchemist are all Heroes!” The younger brother spoke up again. “We almost got invaded by the Isbalite forces ten years ago, but the State Alchemist stopped them before they could break into central! They fought to save our country. And nowadays the upshowing beast are cleared from the streets thanks to them. We learn about them in school and we have a National Alchemist’s Day! "
"But wait... If I could become a State alchemist then..." the small boy slowly turned and looked at Hohenheim...
The man just grinned brightly.
Trisha stepped over to her beloved husband, put her Arms around his neck and kissed him on the face. "My lil Brigadier General Light Alchemist." ( you could see the hearts floating )
'Brigadier... general... ?!?!?! ' Edward felt he will just faint right there.
This world was surly different.
Something popped into Edwards head all of a sudden.
"Do you happen to know... the Flame Alchemist?"
"Oh Roy and I are colleagues and good friends." Hohenheim answered as if that would be the most obvious thing on the world.
"Oh, Mustang-san is such a great man!" Al said dreamily. "He often visits he's such a gentleman..."
"He is such a show off jerk." Edward of this world commented as he was standing right at the doorstep of the kitchen.
"Niisan! Guess what, Edward is State Alchemist!" Alfonse cheered.
"Yeah I heard it. Its so Wow and great." he said in the bored way. "He might be state Alchemist in his home but not here."
"Edward...!" Trisha wanted to scowl the boy but the Fullmetal Alchemist cut her off.
"He is right." he said as he stood from the chair. "In my world, I'm a dog of the Military." he stepped over to the broken plait which was still lying on the kitchens floor. "And the Amestris is hated by the people. They are no heroes, just murderers."
He clapped his hands together and repaired the plait. The family didn't say anything. They saw that Edward can do Alchemy just like Hohenheim, without a transmutation circle. That was another thing that made the tall Edward hate him even more.
"Still!" Alfonse spoke up. "Passing the Exam at the age of twelve is a wonderful accomplishment!! "
Edward smiled now as he looked back at him. "Al passed the writing part too in the same year but he couldn't continue the exam." than Ed turned a bit pissed. "And he even reached higher score then me!"
Alfonse laughed happily to hear that.
"Can I see your Alchemist Clock, Edward?" Hohenheim spoke up. "I'm curious if they are the same."
"Sure! I'll bring it here." He said then he gave the plait to his mother and hurried upstairs to get the watch.
"And what is your name as a State Alchemist?" shouted the tall boy after him. Edward stopped on the stairs but didn't looked at him.
"The FullMetal Alchemist."
"Because you have limbs of steel?"
"... yes. That's why." And Edward took the steps slowly upstairs.
The two watch looked exactly the same except that Hohenheim had a family photo in it instead of a date scarred inside.
"'Don't forget'... what date is this Edward?"
"Oh its a long story. I might tell you one day." he smiled like it would be nothing important. "Lets get back to the transmutation circles okay?"
End of chapter 2