A Deal

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Ed's POV

"Well, I suppose you're here to retrieve your brother?" Truth asked, the entirely white being baring his teeth. He smirked, and even though there was nothing else for me to help read its features, I knew it thought it had the upper hand. Boy was it wrong. And to believe it called itself Truth. "And how do you plan on paying the toll? You can't really believe I'll just give him back to you, just like that," the all knowing being hissed. "Will you trade yourself for your brother?" the being asked, that ever present smirk on its face. I smirked.

"No," I said resolutely. "I have too many people waiting for me back home," I explained, crossing my asymmetrical arms over my chest.

"Then what shall be your payment, little alchemist?" Truth asked. I resisted the urge to explode at the being, knowing well that could ruin my whole plan. "What are you willing to sacrifice?" it asked, its voice full of contempt and malice. In response, I jerked my thumb behind me at the huge set of stone doors behind me.

"I think my own portal of Truth should suffice," I said, a smirk on my lips as I stared at the all powerful creature. "It's all mine, so I should decide how it gets used. And I think this is a pretty good way to use it," I said, crossing my arms over my chest once more, a smug smirk on my face. Truth was silent for a moment, letting my words sink in.

Then, he began laughing. I winced at the sound, the sound that had haunted my dreams for years. Ever since that day, that noise had been rattling around in my head, never letting me catch a break. It had kept me living in constant fear, fear that I would never return Al to his body. And here I was, thinking I had everything figured out, and he was laughing at me. My heart clenched at the thought of my plan failing. This was the only option I had left. If this didn't work, I didn't know what I was supposed to do.

"Yes, you are correct, Edward," the Truth finally relented. "But are you sure about this?" he asked, his voice still holding some humor as if he wasn't finished laughing. I gave him a firm nod. "If you give up your portal, you'll never be able to perform alchemy again," he reminded me, and I smirked.

"I know," I assured the being. "But alchemy is nothing in comparison to my brother," I explained. The pure white being nodded.

"While that is true," the Truth began, and I felt my heart plummet. "I don't want to see you through your talent away, just like that," it said, the smirk returning to its face as it snapped its fingers in emphasis.

"Well then what the hell am I supposed to do! This is what I want! This is my own damn portal, and I'll decide what I do with it!" I raged at the being in front of me. Still, it didn't look bothered. In fact, it raised at hand at me and opened its mouth to continue.

"I don't want to see you throwing away your talent, so I'll let you keep it." My eyebrows furrowed at the being's words, unable to understand how this was going to work. There was no equivalent exchange. "Instead, I want you to do me a favor; there are other worlds in need of protection, you know," it said. I took a step back, not understanding in the slightest. "I want you to go to another world which is in need of help. See this as your payment. You get to keep your alchemy and your brother. Just do me this favor," it said.

"Do you really believe that I'm just going to leave after I finally got my brother back? I can't just leave him alone, and I promised Winry I'd be back as soon as all of this hell was over," I yelled. It held up its hand again for me to be silent.

"Seeing as it is not time yet for you to enter this particular world, I will give you one year. The second the clock strikes 12:00 on August 25th of next year, I will come calling, Edward Elric. Promise me this, and I will return your brother to you, your alchemy still intact."

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