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tir-synni's random babblings

The best hero is a broken hero.

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FMA: Alter!Ling/Ed "That Voice Which Calls to Me"
Title: That Voice Which Calls to Me
Pairing: Alter!Ling/Ed
Warnings: Anime spoilers: none for the movie (I haven't even seen it yet)
Rating: PG (?)
Summary: Rain, a libary, and a jacket from a slant-eyed stranger.

That Voice Which Calls to Me

Edward Elric knew today was going to be a bad day.  Not just any bad day, though.  In his opinion, every day in this odd, cold, stifling world was a bad day.  Today was definitely a Bad Day.  His gracious “father” attempted yet again to make up for countless years lost by coddling him this morning and scolding him for walking around barefoot (he started saying “feet” once before a dark look shut him up).  The sky remained its typical dull gray until Edward was halfway between his father’s apartment and the library: then it became a stormy black, complete with pouring rain.  The usual librarian was gone, replaced by a harpy who screeched at Edward for dripping on the rug.  Now it was barely 11:00 a.m., he was cold, wet, tired, with the areas around his automail ports aching miserably, and he knew he still had many more hours of the day to go.

“Miss, could you—Oh!  You’re not a woman!”

See!  See!

Flesh hand clenching convulsively around his book, Edward hunched further over the library table and glared at the words.  Dammit, couldn’t Latin be a little closer to Amestrian?

He felt more than heard the person plop on the chair beside him.  Edward clenched his jaw and continued translating to himself.  The feeling of eyes on the back of his head wasn’t helping his concentration at all.

“Hello?” that damned voice prodded.  “Can you hear me?  Oh, you’re not deaf, are you?  Surely the book can’t be that interesting.  If it is that interesting, can I borrow it?  It’s very important, you see.  Can you see?  If you cannot hear, then surely you can see—”

“If I can’t hear, then how the hell am I supposed to hear you?” Edward ground out, feeling his right eye twitch.  This idiot was more annoying than the col—than his bastard of a father.  “And if I can’t see, what the hell am I doing reading a book in a library?”

The fool quieted, and Edward exhaled sharply, hoping this meant he had got a clue.  Forcing himself to a take a calming breath, Edward reread the last passage.  Perhaps the Greek version would be more helpful.

“That doesn’t look very interesting.”  Edward almost screamed when he realized the stranger was now hovering over his shoulder.  He slammed the book shut and whirled around in the chair.  This time he did cry out when he almost slammed into the stranger’s chin.

The stranger’s surprisingly pale chin.

A strong hand grabbed his shoulder and steadied him before he fell out of the chair.  “Now, now,” the stranger reproved, dark eyes twinkling.  “This is a library.  You’re supposed to be quiet.”

Leaning against the desk, Edward panted shallowly and stared at the stranger.  A part of his mind—the part that had never truly left Amestris—wanted to identify the man as Xingian.  The rest of him identified the man as Asian.  The man’s voice held a lilt, but it was subtle enough to simply make his voice soft rather than distinctly foreign.  Chinese, perhaps?  He was surprisingly tall for a Chinese man, his black hair slicked back in a ponytail and resting lightly on his tall black collar.  Overall, he was a surprising visitor in a German library. 

All of this flew through his mind in a split-second, but it was evidently a split-second too long judging by the flirtatious tilt to the man’s smile.

“You’re the one talking to me,” Edward snarled, yanking his arm away.  The man’s lips pursed in a disappointed pout, but his damned eyes kept twinkling.  “Now go away!  I’m trying to read!”

Edward turned back around in his chair and reopened his book, but the man obviously hadn’t taken the hint.  Edward tensed as the Asian cheerfully plopped back beside him.  “That’s rude!  And after I kept you from falling, too.  You could have been dreadfully hurt!”

His time in this new, horrid world had taught Edward to keep his tongue.  He no longer had his alchemy to protect him.  He no longer had his reputation or the protection of the military.  He was no longer a child, could no longer rely on people brushing off his screaming as a child’s temper tantrum.  Age had granted him restraint and wisdom (or perhaps it was the Gate), and Edward was proud to say he no longer screeched at any fool who commented on his height or other obvious . . . handicaps.

However, this was becoming too much.  “And whose fault would that have been?” Edward snarled, whirling on the Asian man.  To his satisfaction, the man flinched back, but Edward didn’t relent.  “I don’t give a shit what the fuck you want, but I have actual shit that I have to do, so fuckin’ scram already!”

Edward deliberately turned his back on the wide-eyed man and scowled furiously at the words on the page.  Latin was hard enough to translate when they weren’t dancing like that!  Of course, Latin words tended to dance anyway.  He preferred Arabic.  It reminded him of Ishbalian.

The sensation of something being draped across his shoulders made him start.  He glared at the Asian again, only to be greeted by a soft smile.  “My apologies.  I should have known better than to distract such an obvious scholar.  I simply saw you reading and hoped you would be able to suggest some books for me.  A friend is sick in a hostel close to here, and I wanted to get her something to read.”

Edward hummed, a little embarrassed as he realized the man had put his jacket over his shoulders.  He considered giving it back, but he was still cold and damp and the jacket was warm.  Quietly, he huddled in it.

“I don’t think she would like my reading material,” he replied after a moment.  Edward gestured towards the page.  The Asian looked again, and at his slight cringe, Edward had to hide a small smirk.  Yeah.  That was what he thought.

“Well,” the man said, “I don’t think she would like that.”  Then he turned a stunning smile on Edward, making the blond’s smirk vanish.  “But surely a scholar such as you reads a greater variety than this.”

For the first time, Edward realized the man’s hands had never left his shoulders.  They had just been too soft to notice.  Against his will, Edward flushed.  He instantly blamed it on the cold.  He shrugged his shoulders, and with a disarming, sheepish smile, the man pulled his hands away.  Feeling warm, Edward turned back to the book.

“What does your sick friend like?” Edward murmured.

Another charming smile.  Edward nibbled on his lower lip, not understanding why the man was asking him rather than the librarian.  Maybe the harpy intimi—annoyed him, too.

“She loves romance and history,” the man replied immediately.  “She’ll be bedridden for several days, so some help would be invaluable.”

Edward huffed, his automail hand absently turning a page.  The man’s eyes tracked the motion of his prosthetic hand, and Edward raised a challengingly eyebrow at him.  Edward knew the man couldn’t see his hand due to his glove, but he still didn’t like him staring.

“I read philosophy.”  He kept his hand on the table, uncaring that only he knew the defiance behind the gesture.  “I don’t read romance.”

Edward peeked at the man behind a lock of golden hair, and the Asian’s soft smile surprised him.  “No romance in your life then?” the man murmured.  “Surprising.”  Edward stiffened, but the man’s smile never faded.  “What about history then?  Perhaps you can share the history of your fine country.”

The glitter in those black eyes disturbed him.  Oddly enough, that glitter reminded Edward of Mustang when the bastard was getting serious.  Suddenly tense, Edward dropped his hand to his lap and clenched his fists.  “The librarian would know better than me.”  He met the stranger’s eyes, not even pretending to read anymore. 

The man smiled and raised a hand to Edward’s cheek.  He stopped immediately when Edward flinched back.  “I doubt that,” the man murmured.  He stood up, and now it was Edward’s turn to track the man’s motion with his eyes.  “But I see you’re busy, and I’ve been here too long.  My friend is probably worried about me.”

Edward nodded, ignoring the strange feeling of disappointment in his gut.  He had been in this world for too long, that was all.  “Good-bye,” he said simply.

He almost fell out of his chair again when the stranger pulled his automail hand out of Edward’s lap and to his lips.  “Until we meet again, then,” the man murmured, lightly kissing Edward’s fingers.  Edward froze, unable to look away from the stranger’s lips.  “Farewell, Edward.”

The Asian man walked away, and Edward turned back to his book.  After several minutes, Edward slammed the book shut and stood up.  The book was boring anyway.

It wasn’t until Edward stepped out into the rain, library books in his arms, that he realized the stranger’s jacket was still wrapped around him.  Flushed, he pulled the jacket tighter around his shoulders and walked back to the apartment.  It was still raining, but it helped cool his heated cheeks.

“Edward,” Hohenheim greeted him when Edward entered the small kitchen.  “I wasn’t expecting you back this early.”

Edward expected pleasure from Hohenheim, just like whenever Edward spent more time in the apartment than out.  Instead, all he heard was concern.  He frowned at the older man.

“The library was cold,” he lied easily, holding his books close to him.  “Were you expecting a lady friend or something?”

Hohenheim didn’t even flinch at the scorn in his son’s voice.  “No,” he murmured.  Edward studied him for a moment, noticing the cooling cup of coffee at the table and the crumpled newspaper in the old blond’s hands.  “Edward.  Did you happen to see anything . . . unexpected today?  Meet someone unusual?”

Edward froze, but it was only for a moment.  “No,” he said eventually.  He caught a glimpse of something about an explosion on the front page of the newspaper, but he didn’t stop to look at it further.  Hunching his shoulders, Edward started towards his bedroom.

“Where did you get the jacket, Edward?  Is it new?”

“…None of your business.”

Hohenheim fell silent.  Taking a deep breath, Edward clutched his books closer and walked towards the bedroom.  He remembered the Asian man’s last words and clenched his fists.

He never caught the man’s name.

He told himself he didn’t care.

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.....wow. I think I might like this pairing. *blink*

*bounces* I always love bringing people into this pairing. It's pretty addictive when you get into it.

o.o Did Edward tell Ling HIS name though?*rereads and is almost SURE that he didn't*
Oh and Lovely. Just lovely. Sequel? No? Pleeaseee.*dies* Hohopapa seems to know something about what happened. Or at least my suspicious mind says so.

*snickers* No. Ed never said his name. And Hohopapa knows everything. *^_____^*

*coo* You realize, of course, that I will heckle you mercilessly until we receive a sequel?

*smiles charmingly* Can you help me with my Ling/Ed icons? I'm painfully short.

Wait, did Ling ever get Edward's name? How did he know it?

No. Edward never gave Ling his name.

I hold unconditional love for you.. for this!! Oh its amazing how well you fit everything in.

... More please *_*

XD Thanks! I'll see what I can do.

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*sparkles and preens* Now I'm going to go somewhere and glow.

...Edward totally did NOT tell Ling his name. lol. And the explosion...so Ling and his friend, who must be Lan Fan, were the cause of that if, by some chance, they are actually Xingian and had crossed the Gate? hehehe. Well...unless, of course, Ling just knew who Edward was not b/c he was the Full Metal Alchemist but b/c of his father, who also seems to know something.

AAAHHA! MORE!! lol....please? *puppy eyes* lol

No, no, it's alter!Ling, in all his communist, Chinese glory. And as for how he knew Ed's name . . .

Happy you liked! ^_~

dodgy ending there, ne? Makes me wonder just what has got Hohenheim...well ... curious? suspicious? :p

I loved the interaction between Ed and Ling(?). Fairly typical of Ed to get all snappy when he's frustrated, but we all love him that way ;)

Good job! I feel somewhat selfish, asking for more here when I already asked for more once already today, but both fics were great, and I think you could do more with them. I can't wait to read, if/when you do continue :)

Calm!Ed is Frightening!Ed. Snappy!Ed is far more comforting. XD

Both 'verses have a lot of room to play in. I'll probably end up doing something more with them.

ahhhh... i am so barely a lingxed fan but you make me want to read more!! i really really really hope you continue this!!


(ps- movie sucks in a whole lotta whoa)

XD Probably.

(And thanks for the warning ^_~)

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*cuddles* School's evil. Keeps distracting me from important things. ^_~

I'm currently trying to recapture my bunny for this. It's a speedy little thing, though.

Really lovely! Your writing is very smooth and easy to read. I could almost see Ling and Ed.
Hopefully we will able to read more soon.

*sighs* I wish I could see Ling and Ed.
^^ Hopefully soon.

An explosion on the front of the paper, eh? That sounds quite interesting to find out what caused the explosion of who maybe? Then again, I think I'm reading too much into details.

I think I might finally attempt reviving some of my own Ling/Ed fics, but they'd never be as good as yours.

*snorts* No one think their fics are as good as someone else's . . . well, generally. ^_~ However, if you doubt your ability, there's only one thing to do. *plops with a bowl of popcorn* Practice. Yep. Write lots and lots of Ling/Ed so you get plenty of practice. *^_____^*

Aww, how cute. Write more please? :O