[ed/alfons; pg-13] Believe Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist Title: Believe Author:emilie_burns Written for:Transmute_Fluff, for Ankoku_Tenshi Pairing: Edward Elric/Alfons Heiderich Rating: PG-13 Word Count: 1134 Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) is copyrighted by Hiromu Arakawa/Square Enix. This is a work of fanfiction for personal entertainment only. Quotations are lines from Savatage's "Believe". Summary:There was something impossibly ancient there, and for a moment, he was stricken with a fear of absolute certainty that if he were to look elsewhere in that moment, Edward would fade away and disappear, becoming as much a myth as his stories. Chanson du Jour: Savatage : Believe (7.82MB, mp3) [DivShare] Original Post:June 7, 2007 @ Transmute_Fluff
And for all the roads you followed, And for all you did not find, And for all the things you had to leave behind. - Savatage
Some of the others in the research team considered him a savant idiot. Sometimes, Alfons didn't think they were wrong. Edward was brilliant, a dark and beautiful mind with an incredible grasp on some things, and yet for others...
He lived apart from them, in his own world. Alfons had heard the stories, incredible, fantastical tales of make-believe that were better than any book on the market. He told Edward once he should have been a writer. He was such a superb storyteller.
That should have been a compliment. Instead, the sun went behind the clouds then, withdrawing into a gloomy sort of dimness, like an overcast and rainy day. He didn't think his stories were make-believe. He believed in them.
Maybe there was something to the mad scientist stereotype after all.
Someone suggested that Edward read Mary Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein. Something strange happened in his eyes and his smile that left Alfons feeling like a cold wind just blew through the room. There was darkness there.
And he said he'd already played the part of a god and created a monster he'd destroyed.
Alfons couldn't believe Edward's stories. He couldn't. They were too absurd, too wild, too everything. But he couldn't disbelieve that. There was a glimmer of something he'd never before seen in Edward's eyes at that moment, something too dark to not be real.
Was that why he made up those stories, to have a past that wasn't that dark? What had happened with him, to take his arm and leg, to make him say he'd played a god?
And why could he only ever truly smile when he was talking about that make-believe place? And even then, not even that smile was truly a happy one. Wistful, homesick, sad. But never happy. At least it was real though, unlike the too-brilliant broad grin he'd just now flashed Alfons, the smile that blinded everyone with its intensity so they couldn't see how fake it was.
But Alfons could.
He was a brilliant, beautiful, and absolutely infuriating man who embodied the mad scientist and the absentminded professor stereotypes perfectly. He was a mystery that Alfons couldn't solve. He was right there next to him in the flat they shared, absorbed into his own research, and he was farther away out of reach than the stars Alfons dreamed of sending mankind and Germany toward.
He said he was eighteen. But watching him then, the look in his eyes as his pencil grew still over the paper filled with mad equations and arcane circles, Alfons thought he might be closer to a thousand years. There was something impossibly ancient there, and for a moment, he was stricken with a fear of absolute certainty that if he were to look elsewhere in that moment, Edward would fade away and disappear, becoming as much a myth as his stories.
He gripped Edward's arm, a sudden move that startled the other man, and the kitchen was silent save for the soft ticking of the clock on the wall. He wasn't old, Alfons saw. He was drowning. It was the only way to describe it, to explain it. Drowning. The wide-eyed desperation and resignation, the fear there.
Who was more mad, Alfons wondered -- the crazy man, or the man who loved him?
He did. He loved him. Someone had to, despite of himself. Someone had to keep him anchored into a reality, to try to make him smile.
"Al..." Once in a while, Edward called him that. Just Al. Not Alfons. But he'd never seen him look so completely shattered before either.
Come back to me.
It was Alfons who moved first, lips touching lips, breath mingling, and maybe he was trying to give him a bit of himself -- warmth, air, life.
It was Edward who responded, and the intensity was almost savage. A drowning man, clinging to a lifeline with all he was worth, and the kiss turned to tooth and tongue amid strained and hoarse sobs that never left his throat.
It was Alfons who held him, petting back his hair, keeping him there, staying steady and soothing. When the kiss broke and Edward's face was buried against his neck, his hands forming unmovable fists on Alfons's shirt, he spoke.
"We're real, Edward. This -- this is what's real. Don't forget how to breathe. I need you too."
Edward said nothing, not at first. Not out loud, although the way his arms tightened around him spoke volumes in itself. "What's real, huh?" he whispered. There was something to the tone of that soft voice that made Alfons worried.
"That's right. You're real, Edward. So am I. This is what's real. Stay with me, stay here." Over his shoulder, he saw the papers Edward had been working on, and tried to make sense of the equations. Tried and failed. He stroked back his hair again and kissed his forehead.
"Mmm. Maybe you're right. Maybe this is the real world."
Alfons remembered watching another boy, when he was young, capture a gold and black butterfly. And he'd watched as the other boy pulled the wings off, ripping away the beauty, leaving it a wounded, ugly insect struggling to crawl away, dying.
He'd felt like he'd just ripped off a butterfly's wings.
"The other world is real too, though," Alfons whispered. It didn't matter if he believed it or not. What mattered was that Edward believed it. That he needed to believe in it. And he needed Alfons to believe it in it too.
Wasn't that what love was, sometimes? Believing in something impossible because it's so important for the other person?
Edward's grip tightened, and Alfons could barely breathe. He kept talking nevertheless, petting Edward's hair.
"You're just getting lost in this research, in yourself. Don't go there. I can't follow you there. Stay with me. And keep looking, but don't get lost where I can't follow. I believe you, Edward. I believe you need to find what you're looking for. But don't forget me."
Edward kissed him then, and made a queer little strained sound, almost like he was choking, smothering back the sobs that shook his shoulders and made both of their faces wet.
"Sleep tonight, Edward. Sleep, stay with me. We'll search again in the morning."
For a moment, Edward looked at him, then they stood together. His shoulders were slumped, as if the weight of the universe was on his back. Alfons couldn't read the look in Edward's eyes. He'd never seen it before on any man, or any woman for that matter. So much about Edward he'd never seen in anyone else.
He could almost believe that maybe, just maybe, Edward was from a different world after all. But then, it was night. And night was a time of dreams.