metisket: (dgm the score)
[personal profile] metisket

Hallo. I HAVEN’T VANISHED FROM THE INTERNET, though I realize it kind of looks like that. I’ve even been writing all this time, believe it or not. Starting things and then starting new things and then starting other new things…

But look, I finished something! And maybe one day, I will even finish another thing, who knows? ffffff (I’m writing this Inception/Jorge Luis Borges crossover, you guys, it is THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING I’VE EVER WRITTEN, which is really, really saying something.)

This is a crossover with FMA characters in the DGM world, in which Ed and Al share Allen’s suffering in being Cross’s apprentices. This turned out unexpectedly challenging because Ed has no patience for the bullshit at all. He is worse than Kanda. Observe the following summarized life philosophies:

Allen: The world is terrible, I must try to fix it.
Kanda: The world is terrible but that's not my problem.
Ed: This sucks. If this shit keeps up, I’m blowing up a mountain.
Al: My brother is terrible, I must try to fix him. D:

Didn’t manage to fit Roy in, which is a shame and made my beta sad. But he’s out there! He’s a Black Order general and his team are all exorcists and they’re pretending to behave but are quietly plotting to overthrow the Black Order and the Noah and the Millennium Earl and then take over the world. Because that is how they roll.

Spoilers: for DGM, there are spoilers through Kanda backstory. FMA…there are mild spoilers through Hohenheim backstory, but I’m not sure you’d recognize them as spoilers if you hadn’t already read the series.

Thank you so much to Zephy for the beta! And during finals time, even! <3

What You Make of It

Ed loved his brother, he really did. Al was smart, funny, nice, just an all-around better person than Ed…and he didn’t realize it, which was pretty charming, too.

But even Al had a few downsides. And one of them was the fucking nagging.

“Brother, you swore we’d never, ever come here. In a million years. If people held guns to our heads.”

“Shut up, Al.”

“You promised. We could have sent him a letter, you know. We could have met him somewhere else.”

“Shut up, Al.”

“He’s going to be really ann—”


He couldn’t have brought this up when they were back at ground level, oh no. He had to wait until they’d climbed the death-defying goddamn cliff. Only then was he like, ‘Hey, maybe we should never have come.’ The hell. “I didn’t see you coming up with any better ideas!”

“I just did! You didn’t give me a chance before!”

“Wha—what the fuck is that supposed to mean? What, I’m supposed to stop and solicit your opinion now cuz you’re shy like that? Was little Al afraid to speak up to his big, scary brother?”


The giant gate with a face took that moment to scream and shout and demand to know their business. Good timing, because that conversation was only headed toward a fistfight.

But seriously, whose idea was it to put a face on the gate? No wonder Cross had sent Allen here. Going by the decor, these wackos had to be his soul siblings. “Hey,” Ed shouted. “We’re here to see Allen Walker. He around?”

The gate rolled its eyes around in a demented, not-comforting sort of way, and a bunch of golems swarmed out of nowhere and surrounded them.

Ed assumed these golems weren’t much like Timcampy, which was to say, he assumed they didn’t bite, but he was gonna keep an eye on them all the same. Al’s back hit his, and Ed grinned. They were always on the same page when they were surrounded, say that for them.

“Good morning, Al, Edward,” came a staticky voice from the nearest golem.

“Allen! Good morning.” Did Al really need to sound so damn cheerful about it?


“Uh, yeah, Allen?”

“You promised never to come here.”

Such a fucking asshole.

“I lied,” Ed snapped. “A concept you’re totally unfamiliar with, I know.”

The golem hissed static, which meant that Allen had the line open, but was stuck trying to conjure up some polite way to say, Fuck you, fuck you, die die die. Of course, if he’d ever just come out and say, Fuck you, die, he and Ed wouldn’t have this whole oil and water thing going on in the first place.

“It’s not like I wanted to come,” Ed pointed out.

“And yet here you are.” The fine subtleties of tone were lost through golem medium, but Ed didn’t have to hear that bitchy, uptight edge to Allen’s voice to know it was there. He took a breath, ready to start in with the shouting.

“How’ve you been, Allen?” Al cut in brightly. “It’s been ages, hasn’t it?”

Long pause during which Allen fought not to say, Not long enough. There was really no point to him not saying things, because you could totally hear everything he wasn’t saying. “It has. It’s good to see you, Al.” It wasn’t quite an emphasis that he put on that you. Just a slight hesitation in front of it. He was such a bastard, holy shit. “How have you been?” he went on, genuine warmth making its way through the static.

“Oh, pretty good. Wandering around, keeping track of brother. Dodging things Master throws at me.”

Allen laughed.

Yeah, Ed hated Allen, sure. But Allen really liked Al, so…well. Asshole had some good points. Which was why they were here.

“Why are you here?” Allen asked, voice sharp again, right on cue.

Bad idea to admit anything over golem with fuck knew what audience, though. “Why anything? Master sent us.”

“…He sent you to the Order?”

“No, don’t be stupid. We’re not the chosen apprentices here. As far as I can remember—correct me if I’m wrong, Al—his exact words were, ‘You’d better run like hell, stupid brats.’ So we did. Shit blew up behind us. We decided to look for you.” It was true as far as it went.

Staticky silence on an open line as Allen considered that story. Then, “Komui, please open the gate, we need to get them inside right now—”

Disconnect. The gate opened.

That was Allen for you. Ninety percent of the time, total jerk, but when you really needed him, he was solid. Quick on the uptake, too.

“You shouldn’t take advantage, brother,” Al murmured, disapproving.

“He lives to be taken advantage of,” Ed announced airily, and marched on in.

* * *

Timcampy beat Allen to them, swooped happily over their heads, and bit Ed on the shoulder for the hell of it. Ed had missed the little maniac.

“Hey, Tim.” He held out a hand which Tim ignored in favor of zooming insanely around. “Still fightin’ the good fight? Stealing Allen’s food for me now I can’t do it?”

Tim did a gleeful barrel roll that meant hell yeah. Ed laughed.

Of course Allen had to come along and ruin the mood.

“You haven’t grown at all, have you?” he said instantly. “Are you sure you’re eating enough?”

Allen, Ed noted bitterly, had grown a lot. Freakishly tall bastard. “Nice to see you too, Allen, I’ve missed you and everything, and by the way I’ll fucking kill you.”


“Al!” Allen cried happily, beaming and grabbing Al’s hand and totally cutting Ed out. “How are you? Last time you sent me a letter you were still in China. Was that where…is Master okay?”

“He’s…Master. We’re guessing he’s okay.”

Allen nodded, serious now, no more playing. “What happened?”

Ed and Al exchanged a glance. “We’ll catch up,” Al said. “Later.”

In the code of those trained by Cross Marian, this meant top fucking secret. Allen frowned. “I’ll show you around after dinner.” Setting a time for their secret meeting.

Look at them go; they were like exorcist spies. Not that Ed was ever going to forgive Cross for, like, anything, but sometimes the batshit insane training did come in handy.

“Should we be checking in with someone?” Al asked, because Al worried about crap like checking in with other people’s authority figures.

“Someone should…well, normally Komui would be here to meet you. But there was, um. An explosion. That doesn’t matter—”

“Explosions?” Ed perked up. Maybe this place wouldn’t be so bad—they hadn’t even been here ten minutes, and already people were blowing shit up.

“No,” said Allen.

“What no?”

“No, you can’t visit the labs. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it has to be.”

“There are labs? Where—”

“Lenalee!” Allen interrupted, which would’ve pissed Ed off under normal circumstances, but this time…

Allen’s voice was like. Sweet all of a sudden. Not fake sweet, not conning somebody sweet—really sweet. Happy, even. Ed had heard Allen sound honestly nice before—Allen was capable of sounding nice when he was talking to Al, for instance—but it still had that edge of—what? The real Allen. He always sounded dangerously crazy with sugar on top.

Not this time. This time, seemed like he wasn’t just trying to kid the audience into thinking he was nice, he was trying to kid himself. Holy shit, who was this Lenalee? Ed turned, and—

Face like an angel, walk like an assassin. Right. It made a weird kind of sense.

“Hello,” she said politely, holding a clipboard, poised to jump in any direction at a moment’s notice. “It’s nice to meet you! I’m Lenalee Li, Chief Officer Li’s assistant. I’m sorry he can’t be here right now, but he should be available soon. And you are…?”

“Edward Elric,” Ed told her, talking right over Allen’s would-be introduction. “And this’s my brother, Alphonse. You’re an exorcist, too, right?”

“Right! How could you tell?”

Ed shrugged. If he said, Because you have crazy fucking eyes, Al would knock him down and then Allen would kick him and pretend it was an accident. “Just shows, I guess.”

“Oh? …Interesting. Well, I can give you the tour if you’d like, or—”

“Nah, Allen said he’d show us around. You don’t have to waste your time.”

Lenalee paused and gave them all a weighing look. “Why don’t we have lunch?” she asked. “You can ask me questions, if you have any, then Allen can give you the tour. And after that, my brother will be free, and you can tell him what brings you here. He’ll want to know about your Innocence, too.”

Ed distinctly did not want anyone knowing anything about his Innocence. “Sounds good.”

Lenalee nodded, spun on her heel, and took them straight to the food—no wonder Allen liked her.

“So how do you know Allen?” was her first question. It was a reasonable one, and she didn’t spring it until they were halfway through lunch, which was friendly. Hell, even Ed was starting to like her.

“Cross trained all of us,” he explained. And may God have mercy on our souls.

“Really?” She abruptly went from interested to avidly interested. Weird. “Allen never mentioned that General Cross had other apprentices.”

Ah. That explained the interest, then. “I am totally shocked to hear that,” Ed announced. “Shocked. Al, are you shocked?”

“Actually,” Al said, worryingly quiet, “I am. A little.”

“It didn’t come up,” Allen insisted in the tense, edgy tone Ed was used to. Kind of a relief. That sweet, for-Lenalee voice was freaky. “Why would it have?”

Al narrowed his eyes. Allen responded with the innocently oblivious face.

“We haven’t always gotten along so well,” Ed told Lenalee before this could turn into an Al vs. Allen fight, which were the scariest things on earth. “Personally, I think it’s a question of style. Our styles clash.”

“Maybe they would if you had a style,” Allen murmured.

“If I want money, I blow up the bank vault,” Ed went on, ignoring the background noise. “I figure it’s honest and clean that way. Allen? Seduces the teller.”

“The manager,” Al corrected.

“Give me some credit,” Allen added.

Ed was a pro at derailing their fights. All it took was getting everybody annoyed at him instead. Easy.

Lenalee gave a delighted laugh. “Oh,” she said, “I’m sure Allen’s never actually seduced money out of anyone!”

Ed and Al stared at her. Then they turned to stare at Allen, who was begging them with his eyes not to say anything.

“Yeah,” Ed said slowly. “Haha. Right. And he’s never cheated at cards, either. What the fuck lies have you been telling these people, Walker?”

“Are you parasite types like Allen?” Lenalee cut in with a bright obliviousness that was so very bright and oblivious that it had to be put on. Allen cast her a grateful glance.

Seriously. Seriously these were Allen’s people. Freaks. “…Right.” Ed waved his arm around demonstratively. “Parasites.”

“So your arm is your Innocence. Like Allen’s.”

“Yeah,” Ed agreed. And that was all he planned to say about that. People got weird when they knew about the leg. Apparently having two kinds of Innocence was non-standard. Though, really, if Cross could handle it, anybody ought to be able to. “We figure Cross has some kind of kink for weird arms. Right?”

Allen ducked his head and rubbed his mouth. Trying not to laugh.

“I mean, originally we had some other theories on what it was he saw in the three of us,” Ed went on, since Lenalee was still looking more entertained than horrified. “Little boy kink. Orphan kink. Athletic kink.”

“Criminal incompetence kink,” Allen threw in sportingly.

“But we decided finally, had to be the arms.”

“And why,” Lenalee asked, smiling and bemused, “did you decide that?”

“…Can’t remember, actually.” Ed turned to Allen and raised an eyebrow.

“Bangalore,” Allen said.

“In that, um. Brothel, brother.”

“Oh, yeah. There was this hooker! It’s totally an arm thing. Uh, you want details?”

“No,” Lenalee said definitively. “But how does Al fit into this?”

Ed and Allen turned to give Al worried looks. Al sighed at them. “I’m sort of weird all over,” he explained. “If he has a weird arm kink, then…I fit the bill, too.” He rolled up his sleeves, and his arms shimmered silver when they hit the light. “It stops at my neck. I guess I should be grateful for that.”

Lenalee leaned in, fascinated. “How does that…?”

“How’s it work? We’re not sure. It seems to be right under the epidermis, so I don’t have a sense of pain. Or, um. Some other things.” Other things. Like heat, cold, the touch of another person. Such a fucking nightmare. “I can feel pressure, though. It’s like my whole body is scar tissue. And I can pull the Innocence up to the surface and make it into armor—with spikes, if I want. Any shape, really. It’s useful.”

Lenalee’s eyebrows rose almost to her hairline. “No sense of pain,” she repeated. Al shrugged. “How have you survived?

“Well. Brother’s a nag.”

“Excuse me!? Who’s a nag!?”

“What’s this? New exorcists?” asked some redheaded guy with an eye patch, looking at them with the same clinical interest as a scientist looking at lab rats. Only then he smiled like a pal, which upped the creepy to Cross-holding-a-baby levels.

Lenalee was totally unfazed, which, yeah, Ed wasn’t even a little surprised. “This is Ed and this is Al. General Cross trained them; they grew up with Allen,” she said happily. Then, as an afterthought, “Oh, and this is Lavi.”

“We did not grow up together,” Allen and Ed snapped almost in synch, which Ed could admit was almost as creepy as this Lavi guy’s buddy smile or Cross holding a baby.

“Hello, Lavi,” said Al, representing for normal people. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Hey,” Lavi said, sliding onto the bench across from Al and looking like he planned to grow roots there. “I didn’t know Cross had other apprentices.”

When Lenalee said it, it was a statement of random curiosity. Lavi said it like he should’ve known—like it was his job to know and he was annoyed and a little worried that he hadn’t. Huh.

“What can I say? Allen’s a dick.” Ed ignored Allen’s indignant muttering and Al booting him under the table. “What about you? Exorcist?”

“Right,” Lavi agreed pleasantly.

“He’s also the Bookman’s apprentice,” Allen explained, eyeing Ed like he was expecting a fuss.

Ed wasn’t planning to kick up a fuss. He knew a thing or two about Bookmen, and he’d never been able to decide whether they were the coolest thing ever or just scary as fuck. The Bookman’s apprentice? That was celebrity territory, so Ed promptly did what he always did when encountering celebrities (which, trailing around after Cross, happened surprisingly often): he sized the guy up and then tried to ignore him.

Unfortunately, the guy did not ignore him back. “So Cross sent Allen to the Order on his own? Why not you two?”

“Well…” Al was grasping for some kind of diplomatic horseshit answer, and as much as Ed really meant to ignore the Bookman, he couldn’t let that slide.

“Yeah, obviously Allen got sent to the Order, and with Tim, too. Because Allen is Cross’s favorite.”

“Oh no, Ed,” Allen said with the fake sweetness of doom. “You’re his favorite. He couldn’t bear to part with you until you were in danger.”

“Nah, remember that time the plant ate your pants and he wouldn’t let you get new ones? That’s love.”

“Hm. I remember the time he chained you to his bedpost. That’s love.”

“Yeah, but I remember the time he stayed awake all night to make sure you kept doing pushups all night. Dedication, man.”

“Oh, but he chased you five hundred miles across Europe and into the Alps that time you and Al tried to escape. Even more dedication.”

“Wow,” Lavi murmured, wide-eyed and maybe horrified, maybe fascinated. “What did he do to Al?”

Leave Al out of it!” Ed snarled, turning on Lavi, and Allen backed him up with a disapproving scowl.

Lenalee made a not especially successful attempt not to giggle, and Al sighed. “He didn’t feel the need to get quite as creative with me as he did with these two.”

“Yeah?” Lavi was going all keen-eyed and Bookman over this. Weirdo. “Why’d he have to get creative with them?”

Al stared. “Look at them,” he said.

Lavi opened his mouth to say something, probably something hilarious, but he got interrupted by a guy making an Entrance.

Totally deserved a capital letter. Maybe an exclamation point, too. This guy, he made an Entrance!

He was cheating, though. Anybody with hair that dramatic had a natural advantage when it came to Entrances! But the giant sword helped. So did the scowl, the aura of doom, and the general feeling that if you got within five feet of him, he might have to kill you. Ed kind of wanted to walk up and shove him just to see what would happen. If the dining hall would end up destroyed or what.

Al would have a fit, though. Too bad.

“Oh, Kanda!” said Lenalee. “Come meet the new exorcists!”

The guy with the hair stopped, turned with flair, and studied them. Then he spun away and went to get food, not a word. “Friendly,” Ed observed.

“Oh…he means well,” Lenalee said.

“Yes,” Allen muttered. “Someday he’ll master the art of basic politeness, and maybe even take an occasional, passing stab at not being a complete jackass every hour of the day.”

Whoa. Allen wasn’t usually inspired to rant about people. Shit, Allen was never inspired to rant about people. Even Cross, he just bitched about in a low monotone. He’d used a bad word and everything. The shock! The scandal! “What’s this guy’s name again?” Ed asked. “Kanda? I like him already.”

“You would,” Allen hissed. Ed foresaw hours of easy entertainment, here.

Al kicked him under the table (again) because Al was a spoilsport. “So that’s Kanda Yuu,” he said, destroying the mood completely.

“You’d never know to look at him, would you?” Ed murmured back.

“What does that mean?” Allen demanded. He’d heard them, obviously, because he had ears like a bat and a lifelong career as an eavesdropping con.

“Oh, Allen,” Al said like it’d just occurred to him. “Weren’t you going to show us around?”

Allen sighed. “When we’re finished eating.”

“Yeah. Jeez, Al, you trying to starve us or something?” Ed couldn’t believe his brother sometimes. Food was important. But for some reason, the question made Al and Lenalee smirk at each other, which Ed didn’t like one bit.

When they finished their food and stood to leave, Lavi got up too, obviously planning to follow them. Or at least that was his plan until Lenalee grabbed his arm and forbade it. Bookmen weren’t supposed to have emotional attachments, but Lenalee clearly owned Bookman, Jr.—Ed recognized the signs. Interesting. Bookmen sometimes sucked at being Bookmen, who knew?

* * *

Allen didn’t bother to play around with a pretend tour—they just beelined their way to his room. In Allen-speak, this meant he trusted people in the Order more than he’d ever trusted anybody. Which was way the fuck more than he should.

Ed was reflecting on how much he did not want to have this conversation when he got a good look at Allen’s room. At that point, his brain screeched to a halt. “Oh my God,” he said, prowling around the place, trying to find somewhere to sit that wouldn’t tip over or give him nightmares. “It’s like the circus meets the morgue. It’s like an insane asylum decorated by the inmates. It’s so…you.”

“Thank you for your insight, Edward,” Allen said sharply. “Why are you here? Why are you really here? I thought you were helping Cross with his research.”

“Uh…” Oh, right. Time for the Talk. “Turns out I’m not really one of nature’s research assistants.”

Allen just smiled, grimly patient. Ed turned to Al for help. Al raised an eyebrow and opened a hand in Ed’s direction. This was your idea. Ed sighed. Might as well dive right in, then, if his traitor brother was cutting him loose. “You know this place is like made of evil, right?”

Allen blinked slowly several times. “What?

You know,” Ed went on uneasily, less sure by the second that Allen actually did know. “Crazy experiments. Second exorcists. Leverriers through the ages. Giving the Earl a run for his money in the just plain wrong department. Come on, tell me you noticed!”

By the time Ed stopped talking, Allen was curled into an unhappy little ball on his bed, chin tucked behind his knees, arms wrapped around his legs. He looked sad and small and pitiful. It was making Ed feel like he’d stepped on a kitten, which was so much bullshit—Allen wasn’t a kitten, he was a goddamn saber-toothed tiger. But he did a seriously good kitten impression sometimes. Jerk.

“Second exorcists?” Allen asked quietly.

With a glare at Ed, Al took over. What the hell was that about? Ed had tried to get Al to talk from the start! Ed had tried! “It’s not the entire Order,” Al said soothingly. “Just a section. They’ve done a lot of human experimentation. It’s pretty bad, Allen.”

“Lenalee said…but I thought that stopped when Komui took over.”

“Maybe it stopped here,” Al said gently. “But it definitely didn’t stop everywhere.”

Allen hid most of his face behind his knees so they couldn’t see his expression. Old trick of his. The jackass was gonna plaster the fake smile on in a minute and act like nothing was wrong, Ed knew it. And then Ed would have to deck him.

“Your Kanda guy’s a second exorcist,” Ed announced, trying to deflect the fake smile. “I’m guessing he didn’t mention it.”

Enough of Allen’s face reappeared to show a scowl. “He doesn’t mention much.”

“Oh, fuck you, like you ever mention anything, Saint Butter-Wouldn’t-Melt-in-My-Mouth.”


“I mention things if they’re important!” Allen insisted, his whole face showing now.

“Yeah, well. I’m sure he didn’t figure it was that important, seeing as there’s not sweet screw-all anybody can do about it. I’m only telling you cuz I know you, and I know you’ll stick it out here until doomsday unless you’ve got proof of evil.”

“And maybe even then,” Al said with a smile at Allen. The hell was there to be smiling about? That freaky clinging thing Allen did was not smile-worthy.

Allen propped his chin on his knees and stared at them, intent. “Tell me about the second exorcists.”

Ed looked at Al. Al folded his arms and glared. What was with this sadism kick?

“Fine,” Ed huffed. “So once upon a time in a far off land called Asia Branch, some bright spark gets this great idea. They’re gonna take some exorcist corpses, put their brains into the bodies of random kids, and make…second exorcists. Now this may seem immoral, sick, and wrong, but, hey, it’s all okay! Because it’s a holy war. Fill in the blanks.”

Allen’s eyes were huge, but they didn’t seem to be taking in any data. “They wouldn’t have…”

“Guess again.”



Silence while Allen processed that. He looked pretty bleak, but at least he wasn’t crying. Ed always felt like a shit when he made Allen cry, even though this time, it totally wouldn’t have been his fault.

“So,” Allen said softly, “you can bring the dead back to life.”

“Yeah, sort of,” Ed muttered. “In that life-for-a-life kind of way. Wanna ask your Kanda guy how it’s worked out for him?”

Allen kept staring blindly straight ahead. It was freaky. “No,” he breathed.

“That’s what I thought.”

“There’s more to it,” Al put in.

“More to it that’s none of his business,” Ed snapped.

“More to it,” Al continued, ignoring Ed. “Kanda Yuu wasn’t the only second exorcist. There was another one called Alma Karma. They were friends.”

Allen turned his freaky blind stare on Al, but didn’t say anything.

“Alma…snapped. I guess he remembered his life before, or. It’s not really clear how it happened, but. He killed a lot of people. Kanda had to cut him down in the end.”

“Kanda heals really fast when he’s injured,” Allen pointed out.

“So did Alma,” Al said. “But everything has a limit.”

Blind staring. Silence. More blind staring. This was creeping Ed right the fuck out.

“How did you find out about this?” Allen asked finally, after Ed had decided he’d taken a vow of silence or something.

Ed shrugged. “You know how Cross knows all kinds of shit he shouldn’t? So we broke into his trunk.”

Allen uncurled himself and leaned forward, any and all angst overridden by rabid, professional curiosity. Sometimes you had to love the guy. “How?

Ed grinned. “My brother is a genius, is how.”

Al shifted uncomfortably. “It wasn’t genius, it was…I feel kind of bad about—”

“Drugged him!” Ed caroled gleefully. “Waited until beer number ten—”

“Slipped something in the beer,” Allen concluded, equally gleefully.

Al looked away and muttered something about illegal, wrong, misuse of opiates. Ed and Allen ignored him. “So you took his keys,” Allen continued.

“Right,” Ed agreed. “And we were in and out. He never knew. Had a lot of crazy stuff in there about the Church, too, but…I’m guessing you don’t care. Just, you know, blackmail stuff on priests.”

“I don’t care,” Allen confirmed. “But I’m amazed you got away with that. He didn’t notice in the morning?”

Ed’s eyes narrowed. “…No.”

Silence as they all considered the likelihood of that. And then Allen said slowly, “I’m really sorry, but that’s—”

“—impossible,” Al sighed. Ed gave a depressed groan and thudded his head back into Allen’s dresser, because they were right. They were totally right.

“So he wanted us to find those notes,” Ed said, putting it into words for posterity. He and Al would’ve worked that out sooner if they’d had a minute to think, but they’d been pretty busy fleeing for their lives. Even so, shit, it was embarrassing it’d taken them this long. Because this was classic Cross behavior right here. “The fucker.”

Resigned muttering around the room. Ed shifted into a belligerent sprawl and accidentally kicked a shriveled head across the room. This place freaking screamed ‘decorated by Allen Walker.’

“The notes on the second exorcists and the blackmail stuff…they weren’t the only things in the chest,” Al said out of nowhere.

“Oh? What else was there?” Allen asked, as he was pretty much bound to do, seeing as Al had brought this shit up even though Ed seemed to remember firmly agreeing not to.

“We should tell him about the Fourteenth,” Al announced, and Ed whirled on him, incredulous.

“Al! You said, It’ll only make him sad. You said, It won’t do any good. You said, He’ll find out soon enough anyway. You said—”

“I know! But now we know that Master wanted him to know—”

“Cross is an asshole—”

“That doesn’t mean he’s wrong!”

“Fourteenth?” Allen asked with polite interest.

“Now you’ve done it,” Ed muttered to Al, then opened a hand to him, because turnabout’s fair. Your turn, idiot.

Al explained about the Fourteenth, and when he was done, he hugged Allen and let him shake while Tim hovered around, panicky. Ed left so Allen could cry if he wanted and not be embarrassed about it.

Al had been right. It was good they’d told Allen. Someone had been bound to tell him sooner or later, and it would’ve sucked even more in front of strangers.

Part 2


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