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Son of the Desert by ShanaStoryteller is a Fullmetal Alchemist Alternate Universe Fic oneshot.

The premise? What if Trisha Elric was Ishvalan, making the Elric brothers half-Ishvalan. The story deals with Trisha's youth growing up in the sleepy town of Eshkolit, her raising Edward and Alphonse while trying to hide from the military and Edward balancing the military and his heritage and dealing on having to work with his people's executioner.

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Has a companion fic/sequel Sins of the Father, where Hohenheim missed the Promised Day and reunites with his family after 15 years.


Son of the Desert contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Trisha accidentally slits a suitor's throat when she pressed the suitor's knife too hard during the suitor's marriage proposal to scare him away. Thankfully Hohenheim saves the suitor's life.
  • Adult Fear:
    • All your family and friends are being killed and targeted by the government. You are hiding to protect yourself and your family but die knowing that you're leaving your sons orphans. Poor Trisha...
    • You live in constant fear of being killed for your heritage because your superiors killed many of your people on orders by the government.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: What if the Elrics were Ishvalan? The story details Trisha growing up in her village and how she won over Hohenheim, how the Ishvalan genocide affected the Elric brother's childhood and their dealings with the military.
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  • Aggressive Categorism: Havoc, Breda and Fuery believe that all Ishvalans are fanatically religious. Edward tries to call them out on generalizing an entire group before snapping.
  • Anachronic Order: The fic has three storylines: the Elrics brothers balancing life in the military with their culture, Trisha's youth and courtship of Hohenheim and Trisha raising Ed and Al in their early childhood.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love/Spurned into Suicide: Trisha makes Hohenheim hold her at knife-point, having finally snapped from the pressure caused by her many suitors after she nearly kills one of them on accident. She tells him that she won't let go out the knife unless he admits that he loves her. Otherwise he must kill her. Hohenheim tearfully admits his feelings.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: To demonstrate that he forgives Roy for Ishval and is refusing Roy's offer to kill him, Edward kisses Roy's hand.
    • Roy gives Ed a peck on the forehead as thanks when the latter guards him when he passed out drunk and allows him to leave with his dignity.
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  • Ape Shall Not Kill Ape: Scar becomes reluctant to kill Edward when the latter reveals himself to be Ishvalan despite thinking them as Category Traitors otherwise.
  • Assurance Backfire:
    • Hohenheim tries to make Trisha feel better about almost killing a suitor but pointing out that it is traditional to kill the proposer. That if she does not love them, she must kill them, because life is not worth living without her. The already-distressed Trisha snaps and tries to make Hohenheim kill her if he refuses her marriage proposal.
    • When Ed and Al out themselves as Ishvalans, Fuery tries to assure them that they were only half Ishvalan. Since Ed and Al are proud of their heritage, this just angers them further.
  • Berserk Button: Don't make racist comments about Ishval in front of the Elric brothers.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Roy and Ed share one when Ed agrees to Roy's marriage proposal.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Elrics' dialogue is peppered with Hebrew throughout the story.
  • Birthday Episode: The second half of the story takes place during Edward's 16th birthday where Ed invites every Ishvalan he knows (which is a lot people) and his friends from the military.
  • Call-Forward: There is mention of another alchemist in Ishval besides Hohenheim, an Ishvalan man who's studying Amestrian alchemy and Xingian alkahestry.
  • Category Traitor: Scar calls the half-Ishavalan Edward a blood traitor for not only being a State Alchemist, but for shielding Roy Mustang from his wrath.
  • Character Development: Trisha used to be as stubborn and hot-headed as Edward but she grows up to become the calm and patient Housewife Ed and Al know her as.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Edward snarks about Roy not knowing anything about Ishvalans after Ed manages to talk Scar down in Ishvalan without Roy knowing what they're saying. Roy later learns enough language and culture to apologize to Edward in Ishvalan. In the story's climax, Roy gives Ed a traditional marriage proposal.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Edward and Alphonse are half Ishvalan and half Amestrian actually Xerxian but fully identify with their Ishvalan heritage and are proud of it despite fearing that they will killed for it and going against cultural taboos by practicing alchemy.
  • Close-Knit Community: The surviving Ishvalan community in Central and in the East are pretty close thanks to the Elrics. Edward is guilt-tripped into inviting all of them to his liberallia.
    • Everyone knows each other in Eshkolit.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Hohenheim tries to explain his true nature to Trisha.
    Hohenheim: My darling, my love, have I aged, since you've known me, all ten of those years have I changed at all?
    Trisha: Yes. When you first came to our village you did not love me. Now you do.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Edward happens to be wandering Central and Roy is literally tossed to him when he is thrown out of a bar.
  • Cry Cute: Double Subverted. After Hohenheim starts crying during his love confession, Trisha mentions his face becoming splotchy and his eyes swollen. Trisha says that it's the most beautiful she has ever seen him.
  • Cutesy Name Town: The town of Eshkolit which is Hebrew for grapefruit.
  • Dance of Romance: Edward and Roy share the first dance at Edward's liberallia.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • In Ishvalan culture, no one uses someone's name without their permission and its considered a sign of friendliness or intimacy to be given someone's name. A batsheva is special in that everyone is allowed to call her by name, something she doesn't appreciate as it makes her like she doesn't belong to herself alone.
    • Trisha considers Hohenheim to be nameless considering the circumstance he got his name.
    • No one bats an eye when Edward fights a bear for spectacle and to feed his guests.
  • Deuteragonist: This story is also Trisha's story as it details her youth and her raising Ed and Al.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Trisha has to hide in a small crawl space whenever the military visits Reseembool to avoid being rounded and killed with other Ishvalans.
    • A law was signed deeming that anyone with Ishvalan heritage or ancestry was to be killed. Edward flats out dares for Roy to kill him when he outs himself.
  • Doomed Hometown: Trisha's original village, Eshkolit is destroyed during the Ishval War and her family is killed with it.
  • Dramatic Irony: Both Scar and Ed hated Roy for Ishval and wanted to see him for it. Turns out Roy hates himself for Ishval as much as they do and would have let Ed kill him.
  • Driven to Suicide: Roy.
  • Drowning His Sorrows: Roy tries to drown his PTSD flashbacks in booze. It turns him from a wreck to a drunk wreck.
  • Dude Magnet: To Trisha's annoyance, she's popular with boys. She has many suitors coming to her on street for her beauty and status of being a seventh daughter. She ignores them all for Hohenheim.
  • The Dreaded: Edward, Alphonse and other Ishvalans are terrified of Roy Mustang for his part in the Ishval Genocide.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Edward invites Roy and other military members who participated in the Ishval Massacre to a party full of Ishvalans. Interestingly, its the military members who are uncomfortable with the implications. The Ishvalans surprisingly don't care.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone in Eshkolit calls Hohenheim, her (Trisha's) sinner.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Edward has to fight a ten foot tall wild bear from Briggs to prove that he's a man and to feed his guests.
  • First-Name Basis: A huge deal in Ishvalan culture. People don't use someone's given name without permission and have two names: one to use in public and one to use only with family ones. Giving the first implies friendliness, giving the second is a sign of extreme closeness or a love confession.
    • Trisha and Hohenheim use each other names when Hohenheim accepts Trisha's marriage proposal.
    • Edward tells Roy his private name when he's confessing his love.
  • Forgiveness: Despite despising Roy for years for Ishval, Edward does forgive him when he sees that Roy is remorseful. Something that surprises Roy himself.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Trisha will marry Hohenheim, have Ed and Al and will die.
  • Friend to All Children: Alex Armstrong ends up playing with the Ishvalan children at Ed's liberalia.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The story deems the language of Ishval to be Hebrew. Trisha, Edward and Alphonse pepper their language with Hebrew words or phrases.
  • Heroic BSoD: Roy has a massive one when Edward outs himself as Ishvalan, especially since Ed is terrified that he's going to kill him. Roy is already feels horrible for his part in Ishval that he gives Ed an array, giving Ed implicit permission to kill him. Edward thankfully recognizes Roy's remorse and forgives him.
  • Hiding Your Heritage: The fact that the half-Ishvalan Elric brothers can pass for Amestrian allows them the luxury of not having to hide from the military during the Ishval Massacre something their Ishvalan mother Trisha is very grateful for. It later benefits them when the Elrics join the military and allows them their success as State Alchemists. The Elrics fully identify as Ishvalan and are proud of their culture but are afraid of getting killed for it. They decide to out themselves when someone makes one racist comment too many
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted. According to Trisha, Ishvala turned his back on her long before her life turned sour. Despite her lack of belief she participates in many traditions for social reasons but doesn't believe in Ishvala otherwise. She even refuses to pray when she's dying.
  • I Will Wait for You: Trisha gives her blessing when Hohenheim decides to go on a journey to revoke his immortality. Trisha promises to wait for him no matter what.
    • Despite reciprocating Roy's feelings, Edward refuses his marriage proposal until he restores Alphonse's body. Roy promises to wait for him until then.
  • Knife Nut: Everyone in Eshkolit carries a knife. Although it's mostly for mundane reasons as the knives are used in cooking and in the killing of animals. Knives are so important to them they use them in their marriage proposals!
    • Marriage proposals consist of grabbing someone's hand, putting your own knife in their hand and put their hand and knife to your throat.
  • Likes Older Men: Trisha loved Hoheheim ever since she was young and thought that Hohemheim was 45 at least. He's much much older than that.
    • Ed ends up having this in common with Trisha.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Subverted, it is a big deal in Ishval to be descended from a batsheva, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter who will make their own family name when married. So it's a big deal that that Edward is Trisha's eldest son as she is where he gets his Ishvalan heritage and his personality from.
  • Living MacGuffin: Trisha is a batsheva, a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, meaning she and her children cannot be seen nor damned by Ishvala, and her children will not carry the sin of the first Ishvallan and be a new pure bloodline.
    • As the firstborn son of a batsheva, Ed has the power to absolve people of their sins and rename people.
  • Love Confession: Ed confesses his love to Roy days after his birthday before he leaves on a mission. Roy reciprocates his feelings and gives a marriage proposal.
  • Loose Lips: Trisha does not like the sister who blabbed that she started her period because now every boy tries to propose to her.
  • Lucky Seven: A seventh daughter of a seventh daughter is sacred and free to start her own family with whomever she marries. Trisha is the only one of her family to survive the Ishval Genocide.
  • Magical Seventh Son: Trisha is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, a batsheva which means she has a sacred place in Ishvalan society. Everyone is allowed to call her by name, marrying her will allow someone to start a new family name and she's free to speak her mind around anyone. She marries the immortal Hohenheim.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Trisha has six older sisters and presumably six aunts.
  • May–December Romance: Roy is in his late twenties/early thirties while Edward is 16 when they get together.
  • Meal Ticket: Whoever marries a batsheva can start their own family lines and they or their son become the head of the family. Which attracts a lot of unwanted suitors to Trisha.
  • Meaningful Name: Edward's private name is Natan, which means "he who gives" in Hebrew. Fitting considering Edward's heroic nature.
  • Momma's Boy: Edward wished that he had Trisha's coloring when he was a child.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Trisha is absolutely horrified when she accidentally kills a suitor when she was trying to scare him off. While Hohenheim saves him, this event pushes her to her breaking point and take drastic measures.
  • Murder by Inaction: Edward debates with himself on letting Scar kill Roy since Edward knows that he wouldn't be blamed for it considering the circumstances. He hates Roy for killing his maternal Ishvalan relatives and had fantasized about killing him. In the end, he can't bring himself to do it and saves Roy's life.
  • The Nicknamer: After Hohenheim reveals his true origins, something changed with Trisha. When he first gave her his name, Trisha would say it all the time. After learning the truth, Trisha would call him all sorts of nicknames and endearments but avoid calling him by his name.
  • No Periods, Period: The start of Trisha's periods at age 12 puts her on the marriage market.
  • Non-Human Lover Reveal: Hohenheim tells of his true nature as an immortal the night before they get married. Trisha takes it rather after her shock over his actual age.
  • Oblivious to Love: Despite his own feelings for Trisha, Hohenheim refuses to respond to her advances, thinking that he's too old for her and he's not worthy of her. Trisha forces him to realize his feelings when she proposes to him.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Both Roy and Ed fall asleep in a back alley when Roy passes out drunk and Edward stays behind to guard him.
  • Open Secret: The fact that the Elric brothers are willing to help anyone Ishvalan and are Ishvalan themselves is well-known in the Central and Eastern Ishvalan communities. Although they don't a say of word of this around the military.
  • Patchwork Kids: Discussed. Before Edward was born, Trisha and Hohenheim hoped that their children would have Hohenheim's blonde hair and Trisha's red eyes only to find out that Hohenheim's genes were dominant.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: While Winry is not romantically involved with either Elric brother, they are extremely close friends. So much that Ed and Al tell her their secret names, something very sacred to Ishvalans and a mark of extreme closeness.
  • Plot Parallel: Trisha's Coming-of-Age Story and courtship of Hohenheim mirrors Edward's Coming-of-Age Story and him falling in love with Roy Mustang. One of the parties have a major secret (Hohenheim's immortality and Edward's Ishvalan heritage), one offering to kill themselves (Trisha snapping from the pressure to marry, Roy trying to make up for killing Edward's maternal family) and a marriage proposal.
  • Politeness Judo: Edward initially planned to have a small liberallia (birthday party), he is guilt-tripped by old lady Naama into inviting her and every Ishvalan he knows.
  • Profiling: Havoc and Breda are working the investigation on Scar and assume that as an Ishvalan that he must be a religious nut, which offends the half-Ishvalan Elrics.
  • Rejection Ritual: To reject a marriage proposal, one either drops the knife or makes a cut on the proposer's throat. In olden times, one was required to kill the proposer.
  • Rite of Passage: The liberallia is a coming-of-age party that's held when an Ishvalan boy becomes a man at 16. To prove that he can provide for a family, Edward has to prepare all the food for his guests. While its traditional for the boy to fight and kill a wild coyote, in modern times the boy would cook the food. Izumi decides to put a spin on traditional by having Edward fight a bear like she did at his age.
    • For Ishvalan marriage proposal, see Knife Nut above.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Downplayed, while Trisha's status as a batsheva is special she mostly uses it to interrupt people to catch Hohenheim's attention.
  • Shared Family Quirks: As it turns out that Edward's stubborn and determined nature comes from Trisha. Both also share a preference for men older than them, something Pinako lampshades.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Roy has this reaction to Edward when he sees Ed all dolled up in traditional Ishvalan formalwear for his birthday.
  • She Is All Grown Up: At Ed's liberallia, Roy has the realization that Ed is not also good looking but now barely two inches shorter than him.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Roy has nightmares of what happened in Ishval and sometimes can get memories triggered by the smell of burning meat.
  • Shipper on Deck: Pinako teases Edward that he's just like his mother when she finds out about his crush on Roy Mustang.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Trisha is lovely and graceful woman who's happy to start her own family and become a Housewife. She is also incredibly stubborn and will pursue what she wants without stop and managed to keep a level head and raise her children while her people were being killed around her.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Mutual same sex variant, both Roy and Ed start to fall for each other when the other's better nature is revealed.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Trisha only had eyes for Hohenheim and pursued him since she was a little girl. She marries him at sixteen.
  • Slash Fic: The story's main pairing is Roy/Ed.
  • Small Town Boredom: Trisha grows up in the sleepy town of Eshkolit and she leaves with Hohenheim for Reseembol because the town is stifling, everyone takes her for granted, full of her rejected suitors and her foreign husband is not accepted there.
  • Sole Survivor: Out of her huge family, Trisha and her sons are the only ones that survived the Ishval Massacre.
  • Stepford Snarker: While Ed is still snarky as he was in canon, he's also terrified that his superiors will kill him if they find out about his heritage.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The last years of Trisha's life were not kind to her. She is forced to go into hiding when the military starts rounding up Ishvalans for death. All of her family dies and her husband is absent with no way for her to contact him. She has to have her children hide their heritage to protect themselves and she dies knowing that she's leaving them orphans.
  • Trauma Button: The smell of badly-roasted chicken triggered Roy's memories of Ishval, which causes him to have a small breakdown.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Trisha implores her sons not to pick fights with the bullies that mock them for their Ishvalan heritage as hatred darkens the soul. Edward doesn't get it, but Alphonse does.
    • Despite his anger and disgust at Roy, Edward does forgive and chooses to not take revenge even given the opportunity.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: After the bar incident, Roy and Ed started to view each other in a more romantic light but they don't do anything about. At first.
  • Was It Really Worth It?:
    Every time Edward sees the circle on the back Mustang's hand, he wants to scream, wants to reach across the desk and shake him, wants to wrap his hands around the older man's throat and ask if it was worth it, if this desk and his rank is worth the screaming, crying, writhing, burning bodies of his people
    • To Roy, it wasn't.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Despite hating Roy and having fantasized about killing him, when Ed and Roy are faced with the murderous Scar he protects him. Edward could have let Scar kill Roy and not be blamed for being unable to stop him, but he saves Roy and gets Scar to back off with some well placed words.
  • When He Smiles: Trisha adores Hohenheim's smiles.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Hohenheim leaves with Trisha's permission to find a way to revoke his immortality, not bearing the thought of outliving his wife and his children.
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: Despite hating Roy for his actions in Ishval and thinking him to be a jerk, Edward's hatred is soften by the fact that Roy does seem to genuinely care for him and Alphonse.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: Trisha is a batsheva, seventh daughter of a seventh daughter.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: The military crew make racist complaints about Ishvalans only for Edward and Alphonse to out themselves as Ishvalans in response. They take back their comments.

Sins of the Father contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Finding out that your wife died and missing out in your children’s lives when they needed you the most. Loving your children, but your children despise you.
  • Anachronic Order: Like Son of the Desert the story has three storylines: Hohenheim reuniting with his family after 15 years, Hohenheim watching Trisha grow up and the resulting relationship changes and Trisha’s pregnancy with Ed and Al.
  • Ascended Extra: Levanna, the fruit seller, was a bit character in Son of the Desert. In Sins of the Father, she is one of Hohenheim’s few friends in Eshkolit and is worldly and cynical due to her many marriages.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Pinako has to tell Hohenheim what happened during his 15 year absence, most of it being bad.
  • Call-Back: At Roy and Edward's wedding, the military officers are still uncomfortable to be around Ishvalans.
  • Call-Forward: After receiving many letters of congratulations for Trisha's pregnancy, Hohenheim muses that every Ishvallan will know the name Elric.
  • Cerebus Call Back: The fact that Edward could kick Hohenheim out of the family was a joke in Son of The Desert to get him to consider having his birthday on time. Here, Edward actually does disown Hohenheim and its rather heart-wrenching.
  • Dirty Old Man: Lampshaded, Hohenheim notes that he looks like one due to marrying the teenaged Trisha. He looked forward to his wife getting older so they could walk the street together without him looking like a pervert.
  • Family of Choice: The Elric brothers, Roy Mustang, the Rockbells and Scar/Kirah are close as family to the point of being adopted into the Elric clan! Pinako treats Roy as her son-in-law since he’s marrying Ed.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Hohenheim admired Ishval for realizing that alchemy was evil and making it a taboo.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: Edward curses Hohenheim in Ishvalan when he first sees him again after 15 years.
  • Forgiveness: Despite his hatred of his father, Edward does forgive him when Hohenheim acknowledges his wrongdoing and asks for Ed’s forgiveness.
    • Winry forgave Scar for killing her parents and even made him an automail arm after his alchemy arm was cut off.
  • Get Out!: Edward demands that Hohenheim leave his house after he disowned him.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold/Supernatural Gold Eyes: Ishvala and Natan before his fall, had golden hair and golden eyes like the desert.
  • I Have No Father: Edward uses his right as head of the family and disowns his father, stripping him of the right to use his sons’ names and stripped him of his own.
  • It's All About Me: Hohenheim notes that Trisha used to be extremely self-centered due to her status as a batsheva.
  • "Just So" Story: In Ishvallan religion, the creator god Ishvala had a brother, the destruction god Natan. While they made the world together, Natan grew jealous as everyone paid more attention to his brother. So he tried creating things on his own, becoming the first alchemist. One day, Natan crossed the line by attempting to create life, resulting in an abomination so horrible that Natan’s hair immediately went white and he gouged his eyes out. Ishvala banished his brother for his failure, but created humans in Natan’s new image to keep him company. So Natan was the first alchemist and the first Ishvalan.
  • Kick the Dog: Edward disowning his father for abandoning him and Al and stripping him of his name, despite Hohenheim and Alphonse’s pleas.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Hohenheim finally returns from his journey in Xing after 15 years, he finds out that he not only missed the Promised Day, but missed his wife’s death, the genocide of her people and his sons’ involvement.
  • May–December Romance: Trisha is referred as Hohenheim’s scandalously young wife.
  • Meaningful Name: Edward's real name is Natan after the god Ishvala's brother who was the first alchemist and the first Ishvalan.
  • Meaningful Rename: Since Scar lost his old name, when he is forgiven he is renamed Kirah Elric.
    • When Edward forgives Hohenheim, he renames his father Hayim Elric.
  • Missed the Call: Hohenheim spent centuries getting ready for the Promised Day and for a showdown with Father, only to find out that Edward and Alphonse had already dealt with him during his 15 year absence.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Hohenheim is horrified when he finds what his departure has wrought.
  • Not So Different: Hohenheim notes that listening to Roy explains what he feels about Edward is like hearing himself talk about Trisha.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: One of Hohenheim's complaints about Ed's relationship to Roy is that Roy is too old for him. Hohenheim then realizes that he's the last person who should complain.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Invoked by the child Trisha on Hohenheim. She wanted to show around her village, but Hohenheim isn’t allowed due to being a foreigner. So she uses her batsheva powers to make sure that he is welcomed in all of Ishval.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Trisha was a light variant of this when she was younger, having people report to her what Hohenheim is doing.
  • Symbolic Mutilation: To demonstrate his desire to no longer destroy things and have a new life, Scar/Kirah had his alchemy arm cut off by Edward.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: When Ishvalans get married they get ceremonial tattoos on their collarbones to signify their marriage. the fruit seller, Leavanna married six times and has different tattoos all over her chest and shoulders. Roy and Ed also get marriage tattoos when they get married.
  • They Do: Roy and Ed get married at the story’s end.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Edward cuts off Hohenheim’s ponytail after he disowns the latter from the family.
  • Tsundere: Trisha is a very sweet person otherwise, but she can be rather hostile if she thinks Hohenheim isn’t paying attention to her
  • Wedding Day: Edward and Roy have a traditional Ishvalan wedding which is huge and has all their friends and Ishvalans invited.
  • What Could Have Been: In-Universe, since Hohenheim couldn’t find a way to end his life he was going to find a way to make Trisha immortal.
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