"Stop, what are you doing?" But Edward took no notice of the shout. He just kept walking towards the huge shaggy beast that had startled most of Central.
"Fullmetal, get away from it," cam another shout, but Mustang's had as much effect as Al's had. The alchemist did not pause and kept walking forward.
He stopped right in front of the massive lion and then did something that surprised everyone there. Edward Elric dropped to his knees. That more than anything stilled Alphonse, Riza and the rest. Maybe, Al thought, Brother knows something we don't.
And then the lion spoke. The voice resonated down the street and shook Alphonse's patched heart to pieces before putting it back together so that it was better than it had been before. That voice filled him with euphoria greater than when he'd first seen Ed again after a year of separation. Beside him, Riza lowered her gun, Mustang put down his hand, and the others took a step back. "Rise, my son," he said, for the voice was a man's deep and rich, but soft, like a hand on his shoulder.
Edward got up from his knees and stood inches from the lion's great maw. Then the beast shoved his head towards the blond and Alphonse took a step forward, running to protect his brother. But said brother again did the unexpected. He reached up and put his arms around the enormous shaggy head and shook as he tangled his fingers in the golden mane. "Aslan, I have missed you."
A rumble sounded, like a massive alchemic reaction, and Alphonse realized that the lion was purring. "I never left you, my son. You have done well."
Mustang watched as Edward visibly sagged against the great cat. "Have you come to take me back," the blond asked and the words clicked several things into place in the Colonel's mind. Edward had never told them where he'd been that year. The lion, Aslan, he guessed his name was, had come from the same place. And Edward had never seemed quite right when he came back. It wasn't just his new skills with the sword, or how he seemed even more frustrated with his height, or how Winry and he had fallen to bits and Alphonse had picked up the pieces. It was also how lonely Fullmetal seemed when he thought no one was watching.
If a lion could smile, this one did. "Yes, my son. You have many friends who miss you. But I believe there is someone here you need to say goodbye to." Al's heart lurched. Ed was leaving somewhere?
Edward let go of the lion and walked towards his little brother. He slipped something out of his pocket and when he reached Al, handed him the small but thick bundle. Al felt the corner of a book through the paper and wondered. "Read them once I'm gone, Al." He pulled him into a hug. "I hope you will be happy with Winry. And don't worry about me."
"Where are you going," Al finally managed to say, his voice still wavering.
Edward smiled at him. "I'm going home, Al. I wish you could come with me, so I could show you everything, Aslan's How, Cair Paravel, The Lone Islands, and more." He let go and backed up a step. "But you'll be fine here." He gently punched his younger brother in the shoulder. "Keep all my nieces and nephews in line, Al." Then he turned away and walked back towards the lion. The great beast smiled at the golden head again and a warm wind swept down the street as the animal breathed on his brother. Then, astonished, all present watched as Edward changed.
His legs lengthened and he grew tall, his shoulders broadening further and muscle filling out his frame. His hair grew as well, unwinding from his braid and falling down his back. The black leather pants and boots grew with his frame, lightening in color to a dull brown for the boots and a light tan for the pants. When he turned around, Riza saw a full, short beard and smile lines at the corners of his eyes. Then he smiled and it nearly stopped Al's heart. He'd never seen Edward smile like that, without any hint of triumph, cheekiness, or wildness. Its warmth was older than Edward was supposed to be, more understanding than anyone his age should have been. A smile that was happy, but not at all simple, and it struck Alphonse like a punch to the stomach when Edward wound his hands in Aslan's mane again and turned away. The both of them, man and beast, vanished, and those standing there in military blue and with one in Ed's old coat, were left not knowing what to think.
Much later, the entirety of Mustang's office along with Alphonse and Winry sat in the Colonel's inner office and Al cracked open the first of the books. A slip of paper fell out. Riza picked it up and, after a nod from the remaining Elric, read the letter out loud.
If you are reading this then I have finally gone back to Narnia. It was where I went during that one year I was missing, but for me, it was much longer. I spent twenty years in that land, growing up with friends, learning to live alongside some of the strangest individuals I ever met. But Narnia is also where I met Aslan, the Great Lion, Father to all who love him. Without Him, I don't think I would have lived long enough to fall in love with Narnia. So, while I love you very dearly, I have friends and family there that need me and you don't, not anymore. I know you will have a good life, and you don't need to worry about me, because I will have a good life there too.
When I entered Narnia for the first time, Aslan gave me back my limbs and told me that Narnia was my reward for all that I had suffered in Amestris. Killing Sloth, hurting you, and all the other things were trials I went through to help Amestris, and Aslan rewarded that by giving me twenty years in Narnia. And they were some of the best years of my life. He told me I had to come back, to reassure you that I was fine and to see that you were alright too, and that afterwards He would let me choose whether or not to go back. My only regret in all of this is that you could not come with me to Narnia and share all that I love.
I know you will not understand this, so I have written down some of my life there to help you understand what it was like and why I love that country so much, and why I feel it needs me more than you. And even if you still hate me after you've finished, at least you will understand. These books are written as if by someone else, and with details I only learned later from friends afterwards, but it is the best explanation I can give.
No matter what world I'm in, I am still your brother, and I love you. Aslan be with you.
Riza put down the letter and Alphonse swiped a gloved hand across his face, wetting the cloth. No one said anything as he cracked open the first book and started to read.
I started this a long time ago, but figured I might as well let you in on it. As a girl, I grew up on the stories of Narnia like some people grow up with the Adams Family or Harry Potter. For this reason, I hated what the directors did to Prince Caspian, though I did like certain parts of that. So, I looked for a way to keep what I liked about the film and mitigate some of the damage. Then, as I watched the film again, along with Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I began to see the scenes I would need to bring someone else into Narnia, someone I always felt I could throw into any story or world and watch him go to work. And here we have the result.
Enjoy this tale, and please tell me what you think.