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Fanfic / My Master Ed

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Slave number Twenty Three didn't know what to make of his new Master. The strange boy was nothing like other slave owners. Short on both height and temper, yet strangely kind to him, Master Ed seemed to know something about him that he didn't himself. Just what was it?

My Master Ed is a Peggy Sue Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction by Blue Teller. Unusually, Edward is sent back to when Hohenheim was a teenager, and it is mostly told from the perspective of Hohenheim himself, who has no idea Edward is his son from the future.

This work contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Early on, Edward decides to start using just Van, claiming the name Hohenheim sounds like it belongs to an old man (prompting Van to think But you named me yourself!).
    • Later on, Van sometimes calls Ed Master simply because he knows it annoys him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: For all the terrible things Father had done, Edward can't help but pity him when the villain's faced with Truth, and is dragged through the gate screaming and crying.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Van gets upset and yells at Edward when he finds out he threw himself into the river, risking drowning in the process.
  • Angry Collar Grab: Edward grabs Van by the collar to emphasis how much he doesn't want to be worshiped.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Edward explains what Roshan was doing when he took some of Van's blood for an experiment.
    Edward: You respected Roshan even after what he did to you?
    Van: Um...well, yes...
    Edward: How can you?
    Van: It wasn't a big deal...Just a cut.
    Edward: He hurt you for a selfish reason and didn't ask you for permission.
    Van: Permission? He was my Master.
    Edward: See? This is exactly what I'm talking about! Such blind obedience. Do you truly believe he had any right to do that to you, Van? Do you really think that you deserve such treatment? That anyone does? Do you think people should treat each other like objects?
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    Van: Did you think for a moment what I would have done if I found out that my best friend killed himself and I didn't prevent it?! For the rest of my life I would be blaming myself, that I didn't help you, just because of some dumb test! You have no idea how worried I was, do you? You looked like a dead man walking that morning and you left without telling me where to or why! Were you planning on killing yourself in secret so I wouldn't be able to stop you? You think I don't care about you? Didn't you think about me at all? How could you be so selfish?!
  • Assassination Attempt: While walking through a graveyard, Edward prevents the assassination of Eiliar by using circle-less alchemy and raising a wall behind him to stop an arrow from hitting him. The confused man tries to question Ed but having failed on the whole "low-profile" thing with that stunt, he hurries off.
  • Bad Future: The Promised Day didn’t end well for anyone; most of the Amestris is irreversibly turned into a Philosopher's stone, Alphonse is killed by Pride, and even Father screws himself over by attempting to go to the beginning of time, only for Truth to do something terrible to him.
  • Bad Liar: Ed is a remarkably bad liar in his own head; for someone who insists to himself that he doesn't care whether or not Hohenheim chooses to stay and be friends with him, he obsesses over the issue for an awfully long time.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Slave Seven warns Edward that Roshan has all of his assistants killed after he prevents her from being beaten, carries a bucket for her, and says she doesn't have to bow to him.
  • Behavioral Conditioning: One of the first things Edward does after buying Hohenheim is bait him into an argument as a means to start getting him out of the mentality of a slave he’d been raised with. As time goes on, Hohenheim gets better at not blindly obeying everything he's told, culminating in him refusing to leave Edward alone when he's distraught. Hohenheim also doesn't like human contact, associating it with beatings.
  • Berserk Button: Aside from his usual feelings about his height, Edward hates it when Van calls him Master. Van will often press these buttons on purpose.
  • Big Brother Instinct: After finding him in the past, Ed becomes highly protective of Van, taking him in under his wing by giving him food, shelter, and an education.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Edward to Van. Ironically.
  • Big Eater: Van has the same voracious appetite as Edward. In his case, this is at least partially due to his backstory of being a slave and never before having the amount or variety as he does after being freed.
  • Big "NO!": Ed lets out one of these when Van asks him if he's a god.
  • Born into Slavery: Slaves that fall under this trope in Xerxes only receive numbers to be identified with. Van's rival, Andal, by contrast was sold into slavery to pay off family debts.
  • Buffy Speak: Since Van has lived in a desert his whole life, he calls Ed's gloves white slim hand-shaped cloth-sacks.
  • Changed My Jumper: Averted; Ed buys a period appropriate outfit as soon he gets to a proper city and only wears his original clothing in private because while no one directly comments, blending in was a priority and most people stared at him; gloves, leather pants, boots and a red coat are not common desert attire.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Because the method to create gold with alchemy wouldn't be discovered for another couple hundred years, when Edward transmutes some in front of an elderly couple, they start worshiping him. When he does the same in front of Van, he assumes Edward's a god in disguise and passes out on the spot.
  • Common Place Rare: Van’s fascinated by the luxury things Edward creates, including glass dishes, a large mirror, and ice. Edward, being from a time and place were such items are common and able to make them all himself easily, doesn’t think anything of it.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Edward uses bandages to hide his automail to this effect, claiming he’s hiding scars, though at least one person thought he was a leper as a result. Living in a desert means he can’t use actual gloves anymore; Van doesn’t even have a word for them.
  • Cooldown Hug: Van hugs Edward during multiple emotionally charged occasions; once when he's reminded of the family he lost, again after explaining his feelings and history with his father, and finally after confessing his crushing guilt over losing Alphonse.
  • Cutting the Knot: Edward starts to plan out how to get Hohenheim away from the Dwarf in the Flask and worries about how to not get caught kidnapping him when Edward remembers his father is a slave right now, and it'd be a lot easier if he just bought him.
  • Darkest Hour: Father succeeds in his machinations and is about to ascend to godhood, Amestris is a Philosopher's Stone, and Alphonse is dead.
  • Decadent Court: While Ed focuses on bringing down the Dwarf in the Flask, he worries about what to do about the government itself since people willing to kill all of their own citizens for immortality don't deserve to be in charge and can bring ruin to the country even without a manipulative mastermind influencing them. At the same time, he knows how staggeringly unqualified he is to start a revolution.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Time traveler from the future Edward struggles a bit with Xerxes' way of living, mainly when slavery is concerned. The mere realization he could buy Van as a mere property almost induced a Heroic BSoD in him.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Edward has to explain what alchemy is to Van and comments on the irony of the situation, to Van's confusion.
    • Once when talking about his brother, Van mentions what a great name Alphonse is, prompting Edward to look at him funny.
    • Edward almost does a spit-take when Van asks him what his father had been like.
    • One chapter flashes back to how Edward ended up 400 years in the past, and his thoughts about the ways he could save everyone, blissfully unaware of exactly how far back he truly is.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Based on how much and how freely Edward spends money, the way he talks brashly to everyone regardless of class, and the fact no one knows him lead Van and a vendor to wonder if he’s a member of the royal family.
    • When he finds out Edward's father is still alive, Van assumes he abandoned Ed and traveled far away.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Truth allows Edward to travel forward or backward in time because Father already paid the toll.
    • While in the past, Edward keeps careful track of how much gold he's creating with the intent to one day buy that much gold and transmute it into dirt so as to avoid destabilizing the economy.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Edward buys his house by finding one he wants then offering a cart full of gold for it. The owner in question agrees immediately.
  • Exact Words: Edward was granted a one time trip to go either forward or backward in time after Father tries to use his philosopher's stone to travel to the beginning of time. Ed asks Truth to send him back to a time when Father can still be defeated, before he executes his plan and kills everyone. Truth sends him back four hundred years to when Father was still the dwarf in the flask, because Ed had forgotten to account for the destruction of Xerxes.
  • Facepalm: When Edward and Van get food soon after the former free the latter from slavery and Van is left dumbfounded at how generous he’s being.
    Ed: What, you don’t like it? You could have told me before, you know, then I would have gotten you something else!
    Ed: Why? It wasn’t that expensive.
    Van: *rubs his temples* Slaves don't have their own money.
  • Faint in Shock: Van passes out and falls flat on his face after seeing that Edward can create gold because he thinks he’s been joking with and mocking a god in disguise. At this, his tolerance for weirdness is finally exhausted.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: A merchant briefly thinks Van and Ed are brothers, but she and Van believe it actually was a Relative Error since Ed is keeping his true status under wraps.
  • Fastball Special: Greed and Ling throw Edward at Father just as he's activating the array to become God.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: While Edward is lucky enough to not physically look out of place, his lack of knowledge about the norms in Xerxes means he often comes off as eccentric.
    • Early on after landing in the past, Edward thinks as an amateur time traveler, he’s doing a terrible job keeping a low profile when he thoughtlessly transmutes some gold to get a ride from an elderly couple, and they start worshiping him.
  • The Four Loves: Despite only knowing him for a couple months, Van considers Edward to be a close friend (Philia). He also notes that friendship is often taken more seriously in Xerxes than romantic love (Eros), as romance can fade but friendship is longer-lasting.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: After seeing how Roshan treats the "little dwarf in the flask", Edward admits that a lot of his evil came from the cruelty of humans, but it still doesn't justify the multiple genocides he caused.
  • Grandfather Paradox: As a side-effect of trying to stop the Dwarf in the Flask and his father from becoming immortal, Edward's parents won't meet, in theory preventing his birth and eventual travel to the past in the first place.
  • Guilt Complex:
    Edward: It's not that I just miss him, Van. It's my fault he's dead. It's all because of me.
    Van forgot to breathe for a moment. Suddenly, all pieces of the puzzle came together, everything became clear. The deep, dark, unidentifiable emotion that was always lurking behind Ed's eyes, the expression of sadness that never quite left him, his painful nostalgia, the broken fondness that could be heard every time Alphonse's name fell from his tongue. Suddenly, it all had a name.
  • Hidden Eyes: When Edward is upset from being reminded of Alphonse, his face is hidden by his bangs.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When Edward is trying to explain who he is, but just keeps working himself up instead.
    Van: Ed, calm down.
  • Identical Stranger: Van assumes him and Edward's similar appearance to be a coincidence, unaware Edward is his Kid from the Future.
  • The Insomniac: Edward has insomnia due to bad dreams. Van is taken aback once when he finds Edward actually sleeping properly for the first time in months.
  • Kid from the Future: Edward to Van. Not that Van is aware of that.
  • Literal Genie: When Edward states he wants to go back to the past to "save everyone from from Father", he means "save Amestris" from the Homunculus. What Truth actually does is send him hundreds of years into the past to shortly before the Homunculus was even born, so Edward could save all of his victims.
  • Mistaken Age: Van is shocked when he finds out Edward is sixteen, having assumed he was closer to twelve. Edward's not doing any better upon finding out Van's fifteen, mostly because Van's already taller than him despite being the younger of them.
  • Mood Whiplash: After a sparring session when Van finally succeeds in landing a blow on Edward for the first time, Van tells him how grateful he is for Edward giving him a life he’d never dreamed...and how he might be able to get married and have a family of his own one day, which causes Edward to have a breakdown.
  • Mundane Luxury: Van is blown away by the concept of having food that isn’t porridge, sleeping past dawn, having his own room, and being allowed to fight back when he’s being beaten up.
  • Only Friend: Edward and Van are each other's only friend, Ed due to being stranded in a time and place where he only knows two people in any capacity and can't afford to open up to anyone new, and Van because his life of slavery left him unable to facilitate any real connection with others.
  • Papa Wolf: Hohenheim goes on a murderous rampage against Pride after he kills Alphonse on the Promised Day.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Ed suffers nightmares because of how terrible the Promise Day was and to prevent it means erasing almost everyone and everything he's ever known. It causes him to become The Insomniac.
  • Peggy Sue: Just not quite in the way Edward intended.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: Father attempted to become God by traveling to the beginning of time, which turns out to be impossible. But he does rip a hole in the time, allowing Truth to drop Edward off whenever he wants.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After realizing how much they look alike, Van asks if Ed bought him as a stand-in for his late brother. Ed immediately denies it.
  • Ret-Gone: To stop the Dwarf in the Flask and save Xerxes, Edward has to erase the existence of his country and almost everyone he has ever known.
  • Scrubbing Off the Trauma: Slave Seven, through she doesn't participate in any murders, has to clean up after Roshan disposes of anyone who knows too much, and as a result often feels like her hands are stained with blood and has a compulsive need to wash to wash them.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Edward attempted to time travel back to the beginning of the series to save everyone's lives, but ends up way further back than he intended.
  • Shared Family Quirks: As teenagers, Edward and Hohenheim are both short tempered, argue constantly, and eat like their food might run away from them.
  • Side Bet: When Van acts incredulous at the idea that Edward managed to defeat five bandits barehanded, they make a bet; if Van is able to land a hit on him, Edward will call himself short and if Van fails, he has to call himself an idiot (and say that Ed isn’t short). Edward wins easily.
  • Slave Liberation: Edward rescues Hohenheim by purchasing him from his master Roshan, and frees him once they're outside and walking away.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Edward's intense distaste for slavery is very out of step with the rest of Xerxes where it's both generally accepted and commonplace. When he says slaves should be treated like people, Van wonders where he picked up such a radical notion.
  • Sneeze Cut: When Ava and Eiliar discuss how they want to find the person who rescued him, it cuts to Edward sneezing. Which confuses him, as no one should know who he is, and thus no one should be gossiping about him.
  • So Proud of You: When Van is feeling discouraged by what he perceives as a lack of progress in his training, Edward tells him that he’s been learning faster that he expected and that he was proud of what he’d accomplished. It also marks a change in how Edward trains Van, using positive encouragement from then on.
  • The Speechless: Slaves that can't speak are considered useful as they cannot tell anyone sensitive information and are considered addled. Slave Seven learns quite a bit about Roshan's shady actions because of this.
  • Spoiled Brat: This is Van's initial impression of Edward before he proved to be far too generous and beaten down to be spoiled.
  • Stepford Smiler: After knowing him for a couple months, Van notices that Edward acts cocky and snarky to cover up how melancholy he is.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Edward is taken aback when he finds Hohenheim, not expecting him to look so much like Alphonse.
  • Stunned Silence: Hohenheim is struck silent for so long after Edward frees him that Ed decides he needs some time to let it sink in and drags him away so they can get lunch.
    • Ed is left speechless when Al is killed.
  • Take a Third Option: Subverted; when Truth offers to send Edward to either the past or the future, he asks if he can just go back to the present. Truth points out what’s waiting for him then, and Ed quickly gives up on that option.
  • Techno Babble: When Edward attempts to explain what alchemy is to Van.
    Edward: Alchemy is a science of understanding, deconstructing and reconstructing matter. Its main principle is 'Equivalent Exchange'. Humankind can't gain anything without giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. This is the first and most important law of alchemy. You got it?
    Van stared at him with wide eyes. He hadn't the slightest clue what Ed just said.
  • The Time Traveller's Dilemma: If Ed manages to save Xerxes, Amestris as a country won't exist. If Van never become immortal, he won't live long enough to meet Trisha, and Alphonse will never be born. Ed is acutely, painfully aware of this.
  • Title Drop: Chapter 4 ends on one:
    Ed: Quite [sic] being so grumpy and accept the lesson I so graciously decided to bestow upon you.
    Van: And what exactly is the lesson, my Master Ed?
    Ed: Never challenge the Fullmetal Alchemist!
  • Think Nothing of It: Ed does several things that make people grateful to him, from exposing a shady trader to buying half the stock from a struggling flower store to treating slaves like equals, but never realizes he's uniquely generous in this regard.
  • Training from Hell: Edward's alchemy training for Van is very similar to his and Al's training from Izumi. When teaching him the meaning behind "One is all and all is one", Edward forbids Van from talking to him until he figures it out.
  • Troll: Most people are put off by the way Edward goes completely overboard when he thinks someone calls him short. Van thinks it's hilarious and pushes that particular button regularly.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Edward keeps getting frustrated whenever a Xerxian sees him create gold, since they all think only a demon or a god can do so.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Van and Ed often tease and pick fights with each other, the former often snarking while the latter is more prone to yelling. They're also each other's only friend. Once when Ed was particularly downcast, Van aggressively baits him into a shouting match and sparring round.
    Even when he ended up all covered in dirt and bruises barely an hour later, Van had absolutely no regrets.
  • Volleying Insults: Many of Van and Ed's arguments are of this nature.
  • Water Wake Up: After a day of particularly grueling training, Van accidentally sleeps in so late that Edward has to wake him up, and he uses ice to do so.
  • What Year Is This?: Edward interrogates a bandit that attacked him and to avoid asking this question directly, he quizzes the bandit about personal info instead.
    What is your name?
    Branko. Right. What year did you form you little group?
    Uh… 1472, I think?
    What year did Armin join you?
    1473, three years ago!
  • When She Smiles: Van decides he much prefers Edward when he's smiling and happy, and resolves to get him to do that more often.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Edward can easily transmute gold as much as he needs so personally gold is meaningless to him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Father chooses to kill the sacrifices after he's used them to open the gate. Pride kills Alphonse first.