Actions

Work Header

It's Not A Quirk, It's Alchemy [BNHA/FMA]

Chapter Text

--
Alchemy: the science of understanding, deconstructing and reconstructing matter. However, it is not an all-powerful art. One cannot create something out of nothing. If one wishes to obtain something, something of equal value must be lost. That is the law of equivilant exchange. 
--

"How can you be so mean? Can't you see he's crying, Kacchan?"
You watched as your best friend, Izuku, stood his ground against his and your's ex-friend and bully, Katsuki. You wanted to rush in and help him, but what could a meek and weak little Quirkless girl do against three Quirk users, one of which was the strangest kid in the neighbourhood. The only thing you could do was watch as Izuku got beaten up by Katsuki and his two lackeies.

--

You and Izuku were like two peas in a pod, you sticked to eachoter like glue. After all, the Quirkless stay together. You both were a part of the estimated 20% that didn't have any powers, and were often monked by the ones that did, especially Bakugo. So, you two defended eachoter, it was you two against the world. Unfoutunately, you two would soon be separated.

--

"Ow." You said as a heavy book fell on your head. It seems that while trying to help your dad clean up his study room, you made an even bigger mess.
"[Name], dear, are you OK?" your father asked you as he handed you a cold towel to make the pain go away.

"Yeah, I'm fine." You said as you pressed the cold cloth against your forhead. You looked at the book that caused you this pain. "Alchemy..." You read the title. Picking up the book, you turned towards your father, "What kind of book is this?"

"Oh, that's from my early days of studying alchemy. You've seen me use it." your father said, "Remember that one day during December and you were upset that it was raining, instead of snowing?"

"Yeah. You turned the water into snow." You recalled. "I thought that was your Quirk."

Your father kneeled down to your four-year-old body and put a finger on his lips, as if he was telling you a secret. "No. To be honest, I am Quirkless, just like you." Your eyes widened. Was this really true? "Alchemy is a science, you don't need a Quirk to study or preform it, but it makes you look like you have a powerful Quirk."

You looked at the book once again. Could you possibly learn alchemy? Dad said you didn't need a Quirk for it. And if you did learn it, you could help Izuku and maybe put Bakugo back in his place. That's it. "Dad, I want to learn alchemy. I want to be just like you."

"Are you sure about that? Studying it takes a lot of time and it's not easy." but despite his words, you stayed true to your decision. He patted your head, "Maybe when you're older." Your father looked at you, saddness in his eyes. He knew the reason why you wanted to learn alchemy. Even if you tried to deny it, deep down you wanted a Quirk, or something that could make you strong.

--

"Wait, you're leaving?" Izuku asked. You had told him that you and your dad would be moving to another country soon. "Why? Where?"

"A country named Amestris. Daddy that there lives a friend of his, who could teach me alchemy." you told the All Might fanboy.

"But why wold you want to learn that? Aren't you happy here?"

"I do want to stay here, but there are just so many more oportunities in Amestris, that I can't have here in Japan." you explained, "Alchemy isn't something that's practised here, but it is studied there."

After a moment of silence, Izuku spoke up, "Will I ever see you again?" Holding out your pinkie finger, you made a vow.

"I promisse that as soon as I master alchemy, I'll come back to Japan, find you again and we'll become heroes together." You said, a smile on your face. "Then we'll show Bakugo who's boss."

--

It took a while, but you had finally gotten used to your new home. You and your dad moved to a small mountain village in eastern Amestris, named Resembool. It was a nice, quiet place. None of the big city noise that you had grown accustomed to. It was just you and your dad and your little house  with a little farm. Or, well, it wasn't just you and your dad. There were other people in the village.

There were two other houses near yours'. One of them belonged to the Rockbell family, the other to the Elric family. The Rockbells owned an automail repair shop/clinic, where they help people who have lost their limbs and need new, mechanical ones. The shop was run by an old woman, Pinako, and her son and his wife, along with their own daughter, Winry.

The Elrics were a family of four: Van Hoenheim, Trisha Elric and Edward and Alphonse. You quickly became friends with Ed, Al, and Winry. You were the the most well-known kids in the village. You really liked it there.

You told them about Japan, heroes and Quirks and they told you about Amestris, alchemy and automail. An equivilant exchange. The first rule of Alchemy.

--

You found that you often came to the Elric household to look through their father's alchemy books. Despite how hard you begged and pleaded, Hoenheim refused to teatch you alchemy. Evey time you asked, he'd pat your head, say "no", and mumble to himself that someone as young as you shouldn't have to face such despair. Back then, you never understood what he meant by that... But you would soon find out.

One day, during spring, Hoenheim just left the village. He didn't even say goodbye, or where he was going. He just abandoned his wife and sons. Despite how much she wanted to hide it, Trisha never got over the fact that her husband left, jet, she still loved her sons, and she even trated you like a honorary member of the family.

But... In the summer of the same year, an epidemic sweped the country. The sickness came, and it took her. You were all left devistated. Despite everything the alchemy books told you, you three just wanted to see her smile again, so you set out to learn alchemy so that you could bring Trisha back to life. It took a long time, but you were finally ready to do the impossible.

--

That night... It was that night when everything changed.

You placed a large tin bowl onto the floor, filling it with the ingredients that Edward listed off. "Water (35 liters), Carbon (20 kg), Ammonia (4 liters), Lime (1.5 kg), Phosperus (800 g), Salt, (250 g), Niter (100 g), Sulphur (80 g), Flourine (7.5 g), Iron (5 g), Silicon (3 g), and 15 other trace elements." The now full bowl was set on top of a circular diargamm, that was littered with symbols, text and shapes.

To a regular person, this array wouldn't have meant anything, it'd look more like a creation by a crazy artist, but it was so much more than that. Because, you, Ed and Al weren't regular people, you were alchemists, scientists who understood the legendary art of alchemy. To you three, this array was known as a transmutation cyrcle, one that you would use to bring back Trisha, and be happy again. This is what you three had been training so long and hard for. All of those countless hours of study, training and survival would finally pay off.

"Now, all we need is some soul data." Ed said as he and Al cut their fingers with a small pocket knife and let the blood drip into the bowl of ingedients.

"You ready Al, [Name]?" Ed asked as you three kneeled down infront of the cyrcle. You two nooded at the older brother, telling him that you were prepared. You all clapped your hands together and placed them on the ground. The transmutation cyrcle began to glow, as the ingredients you had  layed out were deconstructed. A large vertical eye opened up all across the cyrcle as long, thin, black hands sprouted near it.

"Ed, something doesn't fell right." Al admitted, sounding a little scared. Suddenly, those same hands toutched Al's arm, and it was deconstructed just like the ingedients. Al, surprised at the sudden turn of events, screamed, catching your's and Ed's attention.

"Al!" Ed called out ro his younger brother as the hands took a hold of his own left leg. "It can't be. A rebound?" You suddenlly felt the hands on your limbs too, as both your arms decintigrated. "[Name]!" Ed tried to each out to his brother, but he was too late, in less than a minute, Al's entire body had been taken and so was Ed's leg and your arms.

You were flung into a vast white void, nothing like anything you'd ever seen. While you questioned just where the heck you were, an unfamiliar voice called out, drawing your attention. "Hello."

Looking infront of you, you saw a... person? It looked like a pure white young human body with black dust swirling around it, making it stand out from the nothingness around you. "Who- who are you?" You asked, slightly scared.

It seemed that the stranger was happy to hear your question, as they suddenly lifted their arms into the air. "Oh, I am so glad you asked." they said, their multi-layered voice echoing. "I have many names. One name that you might have for me is the world, I am the universe, I am truth, I am God, I am all, and I am one. That means, that I am also you." they said, pointing their finger at you when they said the last part. "You have dared to knock on the door, now the door is open."

Looking behing you, you say a gigantic doorway. The two giant metal slabs , which weredecorated with carvings of alchemical resaerch, were opened wide, letting you see the endless darkness in it. A single vertical eye opened within the darkness and the same long, black hands grabbed you as you tried to run away. However, you weren't strong enough and the hands pulled you into the doorway. The last thing you saw before the doors closed was the white silhouette of your body sit there in the same place, as they spoke. "I will show you the truth."

Inside the portal, you were dragged arcoss the darkness by the hands that had wrapped around your body. Pictures of your memories and things you didn't know flew around you, spiraling together into the shape of a helix. It was as if all of the information in the world was being poured into your brain at once. "No, please, stop. It's too much."

Far ahead, you saw the outline of an adult woman, simmilar to Trisha. However, before you could reach the woman, you were outside the gate again and the door way behind you was closed. "How was it?" Truth spoke, still sitting down infront of you. You begged for them to show you the truth again, that if they did, you could put the whole puzze about human transmutation together. "I can't do that. I've already showed you enough for the toll you've payed."

"Toll... What toll?" You asked confused.

"This... You must have seen coming" Truth said as teo of their arms turned ito real human hands, as yours were taken away. "It's the law of equvilant exchange, right, young alchemist?"

--

When you opened your eyes, you saw that you were back in the real world. Back in the basement of Ed and Al's home. But something about you was different. You couldn't feel your arms, infact all you felt was pain. You were laying on your back, just barely able to turn yourself to see that you didn't have your arms anymore. Screaming out in pain, you watched as blood began to flow from your body. Out of the corner of your eye, you saw Ed on the floor, screaming in pain just like you, and with both of his arms, holding his left leg, or lack there of, in order to block the flow of blood.

"[Name]..." the young boy called out to you. "Your arms."

"It hurts... It hurts so much." you said, unable to do anything execpt writhe in pain as you fell once again on your back. You felt hot tears on your face. Despite your cries, you couldn't hear  anything from Al, who was no longer there, just his clothes and shoes layed on the floor, empty. 

"Damn it. This can't be happening." Ed said to himself. "Mom. Mom, please." He called out, crying, hoping that she could help them. To your's and Ed's shock, what layed on the floor, in the middle of your transmutation cyrcle, wasn't Trisha, but a horrible deformed creatute with glowing red eyes and a body that was pitch black. You could hear the contorted thing breathe unevenly with its raspy voice. It reached out with its long, thin arm, as if trying to grab on to you two, only for it to cough up blood and the atm to fall down onto thr ground, like it was broken.

"No. This isn't- this isn't what we wanted..." Ed sobbed, looking around him, seeing the damage they had done. His brother was gone, [Name]'s arms were both missing and she was bleeding out fast, he, himself was missing his left leg. "Hang on, [Name]. I'm coming to save you."

With whatever strengh he had left he tore up some of his shirt and bandaged his leg up before crawling over to you and doing the same for your arms. "Where's Al?" you asked, worried about the younger brother.

"I'll get him back." he said, crawling over to a suit of armor and knocking it over.

"Ed... What are you doing?"

"Give him back, he's my little brother." Ed said, drawing a seal on the inside of the armor. "Take my arm, take my leg, TAKE MY HEART, ANYTHING, YOU CAN HAVE IT!" He screamed, calpping his hands together, "Just give him back. HE'S MY LITTLE BROTHER HE'S ALL I HAVE LEFT!"

--

After what seemed like hours in the outside world, you finally woke up. You still felt tired from all of the blood you had lost, and the pain was still there, but a lot less severe. "Brother, Winry, come quick! [Name]'s awake!" a familiar voice called out from the room.

"Al... You're OK?" You said weakly, jet relived that your friend was unharmed. So imagine your shock when that squeaky pre-teen voice came from a giant suit of armor standing iin the same room that you were sleeping in.

"Well, I don't know if you can call my situation all right." Al said, referring to his new metal shell. All of a sudden, Winry came through the door, pushind the now wheelchair-bound Ed. The sight broke your heart. I looked like all of the life inside Ed's eyes had vanished, taken away just like his arm and leg.

"[Name]! Are you OK? Does it hurt anywhere?" Winry asked, her voice cracking from the saddness. To make things worse, your father came bursting into the room.

"Where's my daughter?" he yelled out in despair. Once he saw you on the bed, missing your arms, he rushed over and wanted to be told everything that happened. However, things were cut short when two mebers of the millitary came into the house, demanding to see the young alchemists.

You were placed into a wheelchair, just like Ed, and were brought to see the military along with Ed and Al. The male officer grabbed Ed's shirt and yelled at him: "We went to your house and we saw the floor. What was that? What did you do?" None of you couldn't say anything, knowing well that human transmutation was forbidden. "We're sorry." said Al, as he placed his hand onto the officer's arm, asking for him to release his brother. "We're so sorry."

"Wait. Are you...?" the officer said, looking at Al.

--

You, Ed, Al, Pinako, your father and the officer all sat around a table, discussing the matter at hand, while Winry and the other officer sat on a sofa in the other room.

"I had heard rumours about a gifted alchemist living here in this village, so I came to check it out." the male officer, who introduced himself as Roy Mustang, explained, "The last thing I expected to find an 11-year old boy talented enough to preform human transmutation, but also to bond a soul to a suit of armor. In my opinion, these three are more than qualified to take the state alchemist exam."

"Me and Pinako went to see exactly what had happened there." Your father said, "What we saw... Whatever that thing was, it wasn't human! Alchemy created that monster, and you want to throw these children right into it?!"

"Weather they want to go through with this is their choice. Once they become state alchemsts, they'll have acess to restricted research materials. Given time, they might find a way to get their old bodies back." Roy said, standing up, "Come, Lieutenant, we've got to get back to headquarters."

--

It took some time, but you had made your decision. You were going to become a state alchemist and help Ed and Al get their original bodies back. But first, you needed new arms.

"I want to do it. I want to become a state alchemist." Ed said, confident. "How long will the sugery and rehabilitation take?"

"I'd say about three years." Pinako said

"I'll do it in one." Ed said, shocking all of you.

"You'll have yourself spitting blood, you know?" Pinako said, trying to make Ed understand just how dangerous that would be to rush a recovery like that.

"Actually," you spoke up, "count me in as well. I'll take the exam as well."

Your decision didn't sit well with Ed. "What? Are you crazy?! You can't do that!"

"And why not? You want to become a state alchemist, so why can't I?"

"Because as a state alchemist, you need to obay the millitary, that includes being used as a human weapon during war. Don't you remember what happened in Ishval?" Ed yelled at you, "Can't you see, only one of us has to become a state alchemist, so I'd rather sacrifice myself then put either of you in danger."

"And I'd rather have you live on. Let me help you restore your old bodies. You'll need all the help you can get, right? I can't stand to just sit back and watch my friends get hurt. Before, I didn't have any confidence in myself. I was certain that I couldn't do anything to stand up against the world, but now I have hope." You let tears run down your face as you tried to reason with Ed, "Alchemy is my hope to fight against the system that prefers the strong over the weak, so please, let me help you."

--

It took some time to get used to you new arms, and the procediure was painful, but now you were able to move on your own. After a whole year, you knew you were ready. Ready for anything the world could throw at you.

"Izuku, whereever you are, I hope you're all right." You thought yo yourself, "I'm one step closer to achieving my dream. I'll get Ed and Al's bodies back to normal and then I'll come find you. I just hope that you're out there, fighting just as hard as me."

--

Reader's stats;

Name: [Name] [Last name] aka the Steel Arm Alchemist

Age: 4 (beggining), 11 (human transmutation), 12 (state alchemist licence exam), 15 (back in Japan)

Gender: Female

Quirk: none

Stats:

Power  4/5

Speed  2/5

Technique 5/5

Inteligence 5/5

Cooperativeness  3/5

Chapter Text

--

Last time: In her early years, [Name] learned that she was Quirkless and couldn't stand up to the ones who had powers. Despite feeling all alone in a world filled with superhumans, she had one friend, who was just like her. When she discovered alchemy, she became obsessed with learning the science fro a far-off land. In time, she and her father moved to Amestris, hoping to learn more, but thereby leaving behind her only true friend. Even though she won't see him for a long time, she promissed to return to Japan when she had mastered alchemy. After the death of Trisha, she, Ed and Al tryed to bring her back through alchemy. However, their transmutation failed, costing them more than they could bargain. Now the three are on a mission to restore their bodies back to normal.

--

The train rattled as it moved along the tracks towards its destination. Everything was peaceful and calm during this time of the day, as the sun had just barely risen over the far-off horizon. Despite the shaking of the train, you were sound asleep in your seat next to the window. You were't the only one catching some zzz's. Right across from your seat, there was another one, with Al sitting quietly and Ed sleeping next to him. It was actually a nice, peaceful moment until Al saw a large marble white stuckture with a tall tower surrounded by smaller houses off in the distance.

Feeling someone shake your shoulder ever so slightly, you were brought out of your comatose state. Lifting your head, you saw Al also trying to wake his brother up. From what he was whispering, you gathered that you were about to reach your destination, Liore.

--

Lifting up the glass to your lips, you took a sip of the crystal clear water in it. Next to you, Ed was chowing down on his food, clearly enjoying the taste. "So what are you? Street preformers or something?" the man running the local food stand asked. Ed was so taken back by the man's comment that he spat out the orange juice in his mouth.

"Are you serious, pops? Do we look like street preformers to you?" Ed asked the man, slightly offended at the older man's comment.

"Well, who else could you be?" the lanky man retorted, "You don't look like you're from around here. On a trip?"

"Yeah. We're looking for something important." You awnsered, but not giving away too much information on what you were looking for and why.

"Well, I hope you find it." the man said, before turning on the radio above his head. "Speaking of important, time for some soul food." The second the radio was turned on, a broadcast started.

"Children of God who dwell on the Earth..." the clearly male voice came through the speakers. "There is no salvation without prayer and faith. The sun god Leto will illuminate the path. Behold! The lord hath descended from his heavenly throne to save thee from all thy sins. For I am thy father..."

The words he spoke caught your intrest, along with Ed's and Al's. All across the town you heard the broadcast echo among the scilence. It looked like the entire town stopped whatever they were doing in a moments notice in order to listen to the radio. "I am the emissary of the sun god..."

"A religous broadcast on the radio?" Al asked himself as he listened to the radio.

""Emissary of the sun god"? What the heck is that?" Ed thought out loud.

Feeling curious yourself, you turned towards the shop keeper. "Excuse me, what is this broadcast?" It seemed like your question started both him and the townspeople around you.

"Waht? You've never heard of Father Cornello?" the man asked stunned, to which you three just asked who this guy was. All of the other people around you stared at you in shock, as if not knowing who this guy was was some kind of sin. They told you about how he was a man who came to their little desert town a few years ago and taught them all the ways of God and brought them prosparity.

Apparently he calls himself the emissary of the sun god Leto and founded the church of said God here in Liore. They say that he could preform real miracles, like turning flowers into crystals, or healing the sickly and dying in the blink of an eye. Those things already set off red flags in your head. It sounded like a bunch of hooey to you.

You noticed Ed being bored out of his mind and slouching on the table, not believeing anything the people around you were saying. When the shopkeeper asked him about it, Ed just replied that he was agnostic. Seeing no point of staying, you three stood up. But it seems like Al was a tad too tall and hit his head on the roof of the food stand, knocking the radio down onto the ground, where it broke into piecesupon hitting the hardened sand.

"Hey! Could you please be more careful, sir?" the owner of the food stand said angrily, "Frankly, you shouldn't walk around wearing that suit."

"Our bad. Don't worry, we'll fix it right away." Al apologized.

"Who? It's smashed to hell." the shopkeeper wondered, making Ed look back at him, smirking, as Al finishes up drawing a transmutation cyrcle on the ground using some chalk.

"Just sit back and watch."

In just a second, the drawn cyrcle began to glow as light blue lightning sparked around the broken item. And just like that, the radio stood proudly on the ground, all in one piece and still working perfectly as the broadcast could still be heard from the machine. It was as if nothing ever happened to the item at all, like it was brand new. The people around you looked at you, shocked. "That's incredible! You've been toutched by the sun god, just like Father Cornello!"

"Huh? No, we're just alchemists." you explianed. "I'm [Name] [Last name], the Steel Arm Alchemist."

"We're the Elric brothers." Ed said. It seems like the people here have heard of you guys, seeing as they did recognise your names. However, they assumed that Al was the famous Fullmetal Alchemist. To be fair, he did look like what most people would assume the Fullmetal Alchemist to look like, than his brother did. If you didn't know them, you'd probably mistake the giant suit of armor to be the famous alchemist, and not his shorter older brother.

And speaking of short, it seemed like someone had commented about Ed's height and he got mad, just like what happens every time whe someone calls him short. "It's me! I'm the "Fullmetal Alchemist"! Edward Elric!"

"I'm the younger brother, Alphonse Elric."

The town's people, of which were like six or seven present, apologised for their mistake and were still taken back a little by Ed's fury. "Good day, sir. My, you're busy today." an unfamiliar voice came from behind you. From what the shopkeeper said, you guessed her name was Rose.

"Heading to the temple today?"

"Uh-huh, with some offerings." she said to the shopkeeper, "The usual, please."

She then turned to you three. Looking at her up close, she was a beautiful young woman with tanned skin, long black hair with a pinkish-red fringe. She looked about your age, maybe a little older. "Oh, some new faces. Well, welcome to our little town." you three greeted her back.

"Yeah, they're alchemists. They say they're looking for something." the shopkeeper said, giving Rose a brown paper bag filled with the things she ordered.

"I hope you find what you're searching for. May Leto bless you!" She smiled at you three, before walking away. The shopkeeper said that it was nice to see Rose smile and be happy again. Not only did she not have a family, but she also lost her boyfriend last year in an accident.

"That's when she was saved by Father Cornello! He taught her about the sun god Leto!" one of the locals explained. "He raises the dead, and the souls of his faithful live forever. Cornello's miracles prove it. You should see them for yourself! It's definitely the power of God!"

""Raise the dead," huh?" Ed said sceptically. "I don't like the sound of that."

--

"... And the grace of his light shall shine upon all of his children." An old bald man read aloud form a book into a microphone. Right after he stopped reading, he pressed a swich with the labels "On" and "Off" on his desk, ending the broadcast. Two other men stood in the room, congradulating him on another well-executed preaching. Their conversation was cut short by Rose, who stepped into the room.

"Oh, it's you, Rose. My, so dedicated! You're an example to us all." the bald priest preaised the young woman.

"No, I'm just doing my duty." Rose said, humbly, "Um... By the way, Father... When will you be able to..." She trailed off before she could finish, but Cornello understood what she was asking of him.

"Yes, Iu nderstand what you ask. God has seen your good deeds." He said bringing a smile to the girl's face.

"Then..."

Placing both of his hands on her shoulders, Cornello spoke again. "But it is not yet time, Rose. You understand, don't you?"

Her smile dropped slightly, clearly saddened by the news, yet she made the effort not to look sad infront of the man she beieved in. "... Yes, Father. You're right... Not yet..."

"That's a good girl, Rose." Cornello said, smiling.

--

Stepping into the main room of the church, Rose spotted three familiar figures near the Large statue of Leto that stood infront of all the benches. "Oh, it's you three." her words caught your attention. "Are you going to join the church of Leto?"

"Naw... Sorry, But we're not religious." Ed said back to her. His rather blunt words didn't seem to phase Rose that much.

"That's not a real answer! If you believe in God, you can live with hope and gratitude every day. It's wonderful!" She spoke so confidently and sure of her ideals. "If you have faith, you'll grow taller for sure!"

"What was that?" Ed said angily, as Al was holding him back.

"Jeez, Ed, calm down." You said, trying to get your friend to cool his temper, "She's not trying to be mean."

After Ed calmed down, he sat down on one of the benches. "Sheesh... How can you honsetly believe these things?" He asked, miffed about what she was saying. "Do you really believe that if you pray to God the dead will come back to life?"

"Yes. I do...!"

Ed pulled out a small notebook from the pocket of his coat, opening it to a specific page, and started reading it aloud. "Water: 35 liters, Carbon: 20 KG, Ammonia: 4 liters, Lime: 1,4 KG, Phosphorus: 800 G, Saltpeter: 100 G, Sulphur : 80 G, Silicon : 3 G, and 15 other elements in small quantities."

"Huh...?" Rose said, clearly confused as to what he was trying to acomplish by reading off that list of items.

"That's the total chemical makeup of the average adult body." Ed explained. "Modern science knows all of this, but there has never been a single example of successful human transmutation. It's like there's some missing ingredient... Scientists have been trying to find it for hundreds of years, pouring tons of money into research, and to this day they don't have a theory."

Closing the notebook, Ed continiued. "They say science is a lost cause, but I think it's better than sitting around praying and waiting for something to happen."

"For that matter, the elements found in a human being... Is all junk that you can buy in any market with a child's allowence. Humans are pretty cheaply made." Ed said, chuckling.

Angry with his words, Rose shot back at him. "People aren't objects! That's an insult to the creator! God will punish you for saying things like that!"

However, all Rose's yelling seemed to do was make Ed laugh. "Alchemists are scienetists. We don't believe in unprovable concepts like "God". We strive to discover the principles of creation in the matter of this world, to pursue the truth... It's ironic that we scientists... who don't believe in God... Are the closest things to him."

"What pride... Are you saying that you're God's equal?"

"Well... It's like that myth about the hero..." Ed said, "He made wings out of wax so that he could fly... But when he got too close to the sun... To God... The wax melted and he crashed to the ground."

"Yeah. That's just like you, Ed. Push all of your cynicism onto her." you thought to yourself. Sure, you agreed with him, but he really was a total jerk sometimes.

--

You, Ed and Al stood behind the massive croud of people surrounding the crurch as the priest Cornello stood on stage, adressing his followers. Countless small pink flowers and their petals showered the so-called holy man, as the people begged for him to preform one of his famous miracles. Catching one of the falling pink flowers, he held it in his palms, before a bright flash of red lightning surrouned his hands and the small flower became a large crystal flower that wrapped itself around Cornello.

"What do you think?"

"That kind of transmutation has to be alchemy." Al said turning to Ed, who was looking far off ahead, standing on his luggage.

"That's what I thought too."

"But what about the laws?" You asked yourself. Your discussion caught the attention of a familiar face in the crowd.

"So, you came to see him after all!" Rose said as she stepped closer to your little group. "See?! He does have miraculous powers. Father Cornello is the sun God's child!"

"Naw. That's alchemy, no matter how you look at it. Cornello's a fraud." Ed's blunt answer seemed to irritate the young woman. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"But he can bypass the laws for some reason." You pointed out. Your words seemed to confuse Rose.

"Yeah... That's the problem right there." Ed scratched his head, trying to figure out the answer to this mystery. When Rose asked just what you meant by 'the laws', Ed was quick to explain the situation.

"Most people think that alchemy can do anything and create whatever you want. But in reality there are certain concrete laws." Ed explained. "I guess the two big concepts are "the law of conservation of mass" and "the law of natural providence." Although some alchemists conjure with the four elements, or with three principles."

Looking back at Rose, you saw her confusion was as clear as day, by the way she looked compleately lost. Al, also seeing the poor girl's dazed look, spoke up. "Um... Let me try. A substance can only be created from the same type of substance. For example, if something's mostly water, you can only use it to make other things with the atributes of water."

"In other words, the basics of alchemy is the "equivalent exchange"." you summed up the information. "That means that to obtain something, something of equal value must be lost."

That's where Ed butted in, bringing the attention back onto Cornello and his fake alchemy. "But that old guy is making toom much out of too little... alchemy-wise, that's breaking the law."

"See? So why don't you three just have faith that it's a miracle already?!" Rose questioned you, but you stayed firm to beliefs.

"Big brother, [Name]... You fon't think...?"

"Yeah, I do." Ed said, taking a closer look at the ring around Cornello's left middle finger. "I think we've found it."

Turning around, with a cheerful smile on his face, Ed turned to Rose. "Hey, lady, I'm starting to get interested in this religion! I'd love to speak to his Holiness. Do you think you could take me to him?"

Rose was filled with glee. "Oh my! So you're finally starting to believe!"

--

In the church one of the men working thre entered the main office of the priest. "Your Holiness, threr are some people here who are rquesting an audience with you. It's a boy and a man in a suit of armor. They say they're the Elric brothers. There's also a girl with them who introduced herself by her family name [last name]. Sounded japanese. Clearly not form around here."

The priest set down his cup of tea onto a nearby table, clearly annoyed at the sudden intrusion. "What? I'm busy. Send them away." However he quickly silenced himself when he thought about the names of these strangers. "Wait, hold no. The Elric brothers and [Last name]? Edward Elric and [Name] [Last name]?!"

The priest started to panic. "This is bad! It's Edward Elric: the Fullmetal Alchemist and [Name] [Last name]: the Steel Arm Alchemist!"

"Wha...? But that Fullmetal kid is just a little brat, only this high! You're joking, right!?" the man said, gesuring with his hand to show how short Ed was. "And that Steel Arm girl looks like she wouldn't hurt a fly! There's no way these two kids can be some alchemy mastes!"

"Fool! Alchemical skill has nothing to do with age!" Cornello said, massaging his nose in anger. "I had heard that they both obtained the title of state alchemist at age 12... So... The rumours about those brats were really true."

"What is a state alchemist doing here?! Could it be that our plan..."

"It seems the dogs of the military have good noses."

"Shall we send them away?" the man asked Cornello.

"No, that would cause more suspicion. And even if we did chase them away, they'd come back... and bring more." Cornello looked at one of his workers with a smirk in his face. "Let's just say... They never came here. How does that sound??"

The other man smirked back, realizing what the priest had meant. "It sahll be God's will."

--

"Please, come this way." The man said, leading you, Ed, Al and Rose down the stairs under the main room of the large church. "His Holiness is very busy, so it's not easy to get an audience with him. You three are very lucky."

"Oh, don't worry. We'll try not to talk for too long." Ed said. Two other workerd dressed in white robes closed the large steel door behind you. Clearly they didn't mean for you to get out. You'd had your doubts about this place ever since this man began leading you down here.

The man leading you slowed down to halt as he smirked and pulled something out from usder his coat. "Yes, let's end it right away. Like this!" He pulled our a revolver, sticking it into Al's left eye, and shot the metal helmet off, causing the suit of armor to drop onto the ground. The sudden action suprised you and Ed, while Rose cowered in terror. If that wasn't enough, the two men who closed the door earlier came up behind you and Ed, putting their long wooden staffs across your necks, signaling that if you moved, you'd be killed.

"Brother Cray! What are you doing?!" Rose yelled at the man, demanding an answer.

"Rose, there Heathens were going to try to entrap his Holiness. They're evil."

"What?! But his Holiness would never let you do this... Let you..."

"He did allow it." Cray replied with a smirk on his face, then he pointed his gun towards your head, ready to blow a hole into your brain any second. "The words of his Holiness are the words of God. This is the will of God!"

You and Ed glared at the man in anger. If only you could get rid of that gun pointed at your head, you could easily get these other guys off your case. And it looked like Lady Luck was on your side, as Al's headless body came up from behind the man and took control of his gun, giving you and Ed the moment of safety you needed to toss the men holding you captive over your shoulder, much to their shock. As Al punched Cray in the face, you fought off the men around you. Taking Al's head into his hands, Ed tossed the metal head against one of the men, successfuly knocking him out. "All right! Strike!"

"Wh... Wh... Wh... What is this?!" Rose screamed, seeing Al's lack of a head.

"Nothing special. It's just as it looks like." Al said, lowering his body so that Rose could look into the empty suit of armor, as Ed knocked on Al's body, letting the sound echo within him.

"Th... There's nothing inside... It's empty...?!" Rose stammered, not believeing what she was seeing.

"You might say that this is what happens when you commit the greatest sin... When you trespass in God's domain." Al said, placing his head back onto his body. "My big brother and I both... As well as [Name]." Rose stared at you three in both pity and confusion. She just couldn't understand what you three did to be punished like this.

"Well, let's just save that story for another time." Ed, said, looking at the uncontious men on the floor. "Anyway, I guess your God showed his true colours."

"No! It has to be some kind of mistake!" She said, confident.

"Aww, man... She's seen all this and she still believes in "his phoniness"?" Ed said to himself. After she just witnessed her fellow believers try to kill you three, she was still trying to defend them?

Turning towards her, you spoke. "Rose... Do you have the courage to face the truth?"

--

You, Ed and Al stood infront of a pair of wooden doors. From what Rose told you, this was where Cornello's room was. The door creaked open on it's own, practically inviting you three inside. Once you had entered the room, the door behind you closed on it's own. "Welcome to the church of Leto."

Looking ahead, you spotted Cornello walking down a flight of stairs, onto a balcony that overlooked the whole room. "Did you come to see me preach?"

"Yeah, by all means teach us..." Ed spoke up. "... Like about how you use your lame alchemy to decieve your followers."

"Well... I'm not sure waht you mean." Cornello said, actinc innocent, but you knew better. "Please don't confuse my miacles with alchemy. If you saw for yourself you'd believe."

"Yeah, I've seen it all right. All three of us, right?" Ed said, to which you nodded your head. "... And what I couldn't understand was how you're able to do transmutation that goes against the laws."

"That's why I'm telling you it's not alchemy-" Cornello said, before being interrupted by Ed.

"That's when it came to me. The Philosopher's stone. That's how you do it, right?" Ed explained, turning his attention towards the ring around Cornello's finger. "Like maybe... Just maybe... It's that ring?"

Cornello stayed silent for a minute, as if debating on wether or not to tell you the truth. "Heh... the government gets their money's worth out of you, don't they? I guess you saw through the whole thing." He said. "Correct! The Philosopher's stone, the legendary catalyst, the amplifier of all alchemical processes. With this, I can conjure at the minimum price for the maximum result!"

"How long I've searched for that..." Ed said, looking at the beutiful blood red stone in the ring. Even from this far away, you could almost feel it's power.

"Hmph! What's the jelous look in your eyes? What do you want the stone for? Money? Honour?" Cornello asked.

"What about you? What do you get out of founding this phony religion?" You asked the priest, dodging the question he asked. "If it's money you want you can make as much as you want with the stone."

"It's not about the money. Well, I do want money, but I can get that with almost no effort... In the form of donations from my flock." Cornello explained. "What I really need are followers who will happily give lives for me. Think about it! An invincible army of fanatics with no fear of death! Soon I'll have more than enough people! Just watch! Within a few years time this entire nation will be mine!"

Cornello's crazy laughter was brought to a quick end by Ed, who just told him to get on with it, much to the priest's dismay. "Well, fine, but I don't really care about that..."

"WHAT?! DON'T BELITTLE MY AMBITION BY SAYING YOU "DON'T CARE"!" Cornello yelled at him, baffeled by the young alchemist's words. "YOU'D BETTER CARE! You're a member of the military, after all!"

"You know, to be honest, I could care less about my country or the military." Ed said, bluntly. "I'll be blunt! Give me the Philosopher's stone! If you do that, I'll stay quiet about the scam you've been pulling on everybody."

"Hmph! You'd try to bargain with me? My followers would never believe the words of an outsider like you! The people of this twon love me! They think that my words are from God! No matter how much noise you make, no matter what evidence you have, they'll never listen to you!" Cornello boasted. "Those idiots will believe anything I tell them! I've compleately fooled them!"

"My, my. What boasting." you said, smirking. "you really are smart. Thanks for telling me how you do it. You're right. Your followers would never listen to a word we'd say."

Al removed the chestplate from his body, revealing Rose, who had been hiding in there, listening to every word. "But what about her words?"

"R-Rose!? What is the meaning of this?" 

Rose climbed out of Al's emty body, angry. "Father! Is everything you said just now true?! You were fooling us this whole time?! Your miracles aren't real? The power of God can't grant my wish?" She yelled, tears starting to form in her eyes. "YOU CAN'T BRING MY DARLING BACK AGAIN?!"

Cornello stood silently, before speaking up again. "Hmm... It's true that I'm not God's emissary... But with this stone, it may be possible to transmute living beings, which so many alchemists have tried and failed. Rose, I will resurrect him!"

That BASTARD! Even after all of this, he still wants to trick her! And by using her waekspot, too! "Rose, don't listen to him!" You said to the girl.

"Rose, be a good girl and come here." Cornello said, reaching out with his hand, inviting her to be by his side. This didn't fly with you, Ed or Al, you knew that he was just trying to manipulate and use her.

"If you go, you can never come back!" Ed told her.

"What's the matter? You belong with us."

"Rose!" Al yelled.

"I'm the only one who can grant your wish. Isn't that so? Think about your darling." Cornello said, smirking. "And come!"

Having made her decision, Rose turned away from you, much to your dismay, and walked towards Cornello. "I'm sorry, you three. But this is... The only choice I can make."

"You truly are a good child." Cornello said, before flipping a lever behind him. "Well then... Now we must eradicate these Heathens who threaten the future of our faith."

A hidden door opened up and fom there, you could hear something coming. It growled and swung its long, lizard-like tail. From the darkness emerged a lion's head and body, and a lizard's behind. "The Philosopher's stone is truly incredible. It can even create new life. Have you ever seen a chimera?"

"Looks like this one will be tough to play with empty handed. So..." Ed clapped his hands togeter before placing them both onto the floor, transmuting some of the stone beneath him into a long spear. Meanwhile you transmuted both of your steel arms into heavy gauntlets with spikes where the knuckes would be.

"You both transmuted without using a transmutation cyrcle?! So the state alchemist title isn't just for show! But that still won't be enough!" Cornello ordered the crimera to attack Ed. The beast slashed his spear int pieces and ripped through Ed's left pantleg. "HA HA HA! Well?! How do you like the taste of claws that can cut through iron?"

However, it seemed like Cornello had celebrated too soon, as the chimera's claws were broken instead. Ed kicked the beast in the stomack while you punched it in the face, sending the creature flying.

"Sorry, these were custom made." Ed said, placing his metal leg on the ground again.

"What's the matter?! It your claws won't work, then bite him to death!" But it seems like that was just as ineffective as before, as the only thing the chimera could really do was ruin Ed's coat as Ed kicked the beast in its jaw.

"Look at me, Rose..." Ed said, taking off his signature red coat and throwing it away. "This is what happens when you use alchemy on humans. This is what happens to sinners who trespass in God's domain!" You threw off your own clothes, revealing both of your metal arms.

"Automail... "Fullmetal" "steel arm" prosthetics... So that's why." Cornello said. "This is why you two were given your titles: "Fullmetal" and "Steel Arm"!"

"Come down here and face us, you third-rate fraud." Ed said, taunting the man. "I'll show you there's no comparison etween us!"

--

Chapter Text

--

Last time: Hearing rumours about a priest capable of preforming miracles, [Name], Edward and Alphonse head for the church of Leto in Liore. They find out that the priest, Father Cornello, has been using alchemy to fool his followers ito believeing he is the emissary of their God. When they go to confront the false priest about his lies, Cornello reveals the Philosopher's stone, the item he's been using to boost his alchemy. Torn between the truth and her beliefs, Rose chooses to side with the powerhungry priest, in hopes he will be able to bring her darling back to life. In a fight against a chimera, Edward and [Name] reveal their metal appendages, much to the shock of Rose and Cornello.

--

"... I see. Now I understand who you are. It was always a mystery to me why a mere brat had a fearsome alias like "Fullmetal" or "Steel Arm". But now I know..." Cornello said to himself as he stared at yours and Ed's metal prosthetics shortly before turning to Rose. "Look at them, Rose! Those children dared to do the one thing forbidden to alchemists... The unspeakable crime of human transmutation! THEY HAVE COMMITTED THE WORST POSSIBE SIN!"

As Rose stared on in horror, words that Edward said to her before sprung to mind. "He made wings out of wax so he could fly. But when he got too close to the sun... To God... The wax melted and he crashed to the ground." When Ed first said that, Rose didn't have a clue as to what he was trying to say, other than to make her question her faith, but now that she saw the automail limbs, she knew better. She knew what Ed had really wanted to say.

"You're right. We did attempt human transmutation." You admited. There was no point in hiding the truth from Rose or Cornello. "We tried to make the impossibe possible. But we failed."

That's when Al stepped in. "Each of us lost things that day. Ed lost his leg, I lost my body and even [Name] lost both of her arms. Even after the horrible injury my older brother suffered, he exchanged his right arm for my soul and put it in this suit of armor."

"We tried to resurrect one person and this is what happened..." Ed jumped in on the conversation, adding his own part of the story. "This is what it takes to raise the dead, Rose. Are you ready to make that sacrifice?!"

Cornello laughed. "And you call yourselves State Alchemists! Don't make me laugh!"

"Shut up! You're just a third-rate hack who can't do anything without that stone!"

Despite Ed's words, Cornello didn't try to defend himself. "I see, I see... So that's why you want the Philosopher's Stone. Good idea. If you used this, you might be able to transmute humans for real, eh?" Cornello chuckled to himself.

"Don't get the wrong idea, baldy! The reason we want the stone is to get our original bodies back." Ed corrected the priest. "Besides, we still don't know if it'll even be able to do that!"

"Father, I'll ask you again. Give us the stone before you get hurt." Al asked politely, only to be shot down on his suggestion.

Cornello lifted his cane and with the power of the Philosopher's Stone, transmuted the wooden object into a metal machiene gun. "Heh heh... You fools are the ones who came too close to God and fell to earth... If that's the case, then I'll make sure..." The priest pointed the loaded weapon at you three. "... To send you to God permanently!"

Without even hesitating, Cornello pulled the trigger, letting loose a storm of deadly bullets headed straight at you three. However, in his maddness, he didn't even notice that Rose was still down there, or that his bullets weren't doing anything. As the dust and smoke cleared, the mad priest saw a large stone wall laced with bullet markings right where the alchemists were. "Sorry. God doesn't like me very much. Even if I went he'd probably chase me away!" Ed said from behind the stone wall that both you and Ed transmuted in order to protect yourselves, much to Cornello's dismay.

The priest's attention was brought to Al, who had gotten to Rose's side to protect her from Cornello's bullets. "Why you..." Cornello said in anger, shotting again, this time at Al who ran away with Rose in his arms.

"Al! [Name]! Let's get out of here!" Ed yelled out to his brother, pointing towards the door you came through eralier.

"Fools! The exit is rigged! Only I can open it from up here!"

"Oh, is that so?!" Ed said, amused, before clapping his hands together and placing them onto the wall infront of him, transmuting it into a new door.

"WHAAAAAT?!" Cornello yelled out

"If there's no door, then I'll make one!" Ed said, as you and Ed burst through the door, Al, with Rose still in his arms, following right behind you.

As you all ran away, Cornello came through the door, yelling at his subordinates who were still in shock from when two kids and a giant suit of armor carrying a woman came running past them. "Don't just stand there! Go after them! The're pagans who want to destroy our religion! Get them! Hurry!"

You ran as fast as you could, trying your best to leave the people chasing you in the dust. As you neared a corner, a group of the guards you saw before appeared. "Hey, you little runts, are you going to take us all on empty handed?" They asked, wooden staffs in hand. "Might as well give yourself up before you get hurt."

However, they seemed to forget that you were alchemists and your arms were your weapons. As you and Ed looked at eachother and smirked, you both clapped your hands and transmuted your automail. With you turning your fists into large gauntlets with spikes as knuckles, and Ed turning his right arm into a sythe-like creation. First the door with skulls and now a sythe that looks like it came right out of a metalhead's wet dream. You honestly didn't understand Ed's tacky sense of style. Or rather lack of style, seeing as almost anything he transmutes has at least one skull on it.

You and Ed took care of the rather scared guards. I mean, how would you react if two 15 year old devil children with metal arms for weapons attacked you? But when it seemed like you were done, more guards came to back their friends up. "Don't let your guard down just because they're a couple of kids! Even if they are really strong-"

The guy's words were cut short Al, who hit the man squear in the jaw with his foot, as he sped on by. Al, being Al, actually said a little "'scuse us" when you all passed the now uncontious guards.

Running towards the exit, you spotted a rather large office with the doors left open. You turned to Rose, and asked her what this room was for. "The broadcasting room. This is where Father Cornello delivers his sermons over the radio."

Hearing that, Ed smirked evilly, an idea sprouting in his mind. "Oh really..."

"Oh no, he's got an bad idea." you thought to yourself, already way too familiar with that smirk on his face.

"Alright. Here's the plan..."

--

"There's a lot of noise down there today, isn't there...?" A man said, looking at his pocketwatch.

"Hey, what are you doing? It's way past the time when you're supposed to ring the bell!" Another one of the workers yelled as he reached the top of the stairs. The bellringer only looked upwards and mumbled a small "the bell..."

"The bell's gone."

"Say what?!"

--

"About what you were saying before... I can't believe you have to do all that to preform alchemy." Rose said as Al placed the rather large metal bell onto the ground.

"I told you. The foundation of alchemy is the "equivalent exchange." "To obtain something, something of equal value must be lost."" Al said, tying a long cord to the bell right next to a small speaker. "People call my brother a genius, but the reason he's so good at it is he paid the price... and worked so hard."

"But because you sacrificed so much, you must have been able to bring back your mother..."

Al looked downwards in sorrow, remembering the tragic day, until he told her the hard truth. "The thing we brought back wasn't even even human anymore."

--

Al groaned as he opened his eyes. The basement was dark, there was barely any ray of light. One of the first things he noticed was that he couldn't feel his body. When he looked down, all he saw was a large suit of armor, one of the ones that his father kept in the basement. The young man called out to his brother and friend, hoping that they were alright. When he looked around he saw his older brother holding tightly onto Al's new body, sobbing and saying that he's sorry.

Alphonse asked what happened, and where [Name] was. Ed didn't say anything, he only held out his shaky hand and pointed towards their dear friend, who was barely even alive at this point. Both of her arms were missing, with only a few pieces of cloth tied arond her keeping her from bleeding out. She wasn't the only one dangerously close to death, Ed was missing his left leg and right arm.

"I'm sorry, Alphonse... I'm sorry, [Name]... I'm so sorry... This is all my fault..." His brother sobbed.

But when he looked towards his mother for help, the only thing he saw was the dead body of a grotesque monster. "Nooo! How could this happen?! Big brother, your theory was flawless!" Al said, holding up Ed's upper body.

"Yeah... There weren't any mistakes in the theory..." Ed said, looking at the blood on his hand. "We were the ones who made the mistake."

--

"We've given up on transmuting humans, but my brother still wants to get me and [Name] our original bodies back. I'd like to make my brother's body the way it was too." Al explained, finishing up the last part of the transmutation cyrcle he drew. "But like I said before, the risks are high... So we might end up even worse, or lose our lives. That's the way things are in this business. Rose, that's why you can't choose this path."

--

Father cornello burst into the room, a gun in hand. "You little runt, You're not getting away!" he said, out of breath, and pointed teh gun at Ed, who was sitting on the desk, one leg over the other.

"Just give up, will you? News of your trickery will spread throughout the town in no time." Ed said, huffing.

"Shut up! Everyone within the church is under my direct control! They'd never believe a stupid follower if she contradicated me!" Cornello yelled furiously. All the while, Ed just sat in place, smiling to himself, knowing his plan would work perfectly. All he needed to to was say the right things, and this third-rate hack would fall right into his trap.

"My, my. I feel sorry for those poor followers of yours."

"Followers are just pawns to use for war! I don't have time to be sorry for mere pawns! If I ask them to, they'll die happy and fulflilled, believing that they did it for God!" Cornello ranted on, not even noticing the cord on the floor, leading to the open window that lead to the balcony. "I'll mass-produce them! Limitless fanatics, from the masses of idiots who can't even tell alchemy from miracles! Did you think that you could stop my plans so easily?! You underestimated the power of blind faith!"

Ed smirked and bursted out laughing, confusing the mad priest. "That's why I keep saying you're third-rate, baldy."

"You little brat! How dare you insult me?!"

Ed lifted up a little box with a switch on it. "Know what this is?🎶"

Horrified, Cornello looked down at his feet, only to find a microphone. Looking back at the switch, it was clearly pointing towards the word "ON". Realising his mistake, the priest started to freak out. "You... You couldn't have... YOU LITTLE RAT!"

--

"How long has that switch been on?!" All of the town's folk stared in shock as all of the radios and even the giant loudspeaker at the top of the church all blasted the same conversation that took place.

"From the very beginning.❤ You just exposed your entire plan to every single one of your followers.❤"

"Wha... What?!"

--

"You dumb brat... I'm going to kill y-" Before Cornello could ffinish transmuting his wodden cane into a bazooka, Ed ran forward and sliced a part of the weapon off with his automail that he had transmuted into a makesift sword.

"Too slow! Didn't I tell you? There's no comparison between us." Ed said as the piece of metal fell onto the floor.

"I won't... I won't give up..." Cornello said, gritting his teeth. Grabbing a hold of his broken weapon, he began to transmute again. "As long as I have this stone I can make miracles again and again!" But Cornello's transmutation didn't go as planned, as the metal fused to the priest's arm, signifing a rebound. But that shouldn't be possible with the Philosopher's Stone. "Ahhh! My arm! My arm!"

"Why... Why did it...?" Ed stammered as he watched Cornello scream in agony. "SHUT UP!" Ed yelled out, headbutting Cornello in the face. "It was just a rebound! Don't make a big deal over one or two arms! The stone! Let me see the Philosopher's stone!"

The blood-red stone in Cornello's ring became duller in colour as it cracked and fell onto the floor, at which point it turned into dull, red dust that was blown away into the air. "It... Broke?" Ed stared in disbelief at the spot where the stone disintegrated. Grabbing onto Cornello's suit, he begins yelling, asking for an answer. "How could it happen? How could this happen? How could a "pure substance" like the Philosopher's Stone break apart?!"

"I don't know! I don't know anything! Nobody told me a thing! Please spare me. I was wrong. I'm powerless without the stone. Help me..." Cornello begged for his life like a pathetic mess, while Ed slowly loosened his grip on the old man, letting him fall onto the floor.

"It's a fake...? After coming this far... I thought I could go back to normal... And it's a fake..."

While Ed was sulking on the floor, Cornello sneaked up on the unsuspecting boy, pointing a sharp piece of metal, that had fused to his hand, at Ed. "Heh heh heh... He's not paying any attention to me! I'll get even with them even if it means giving everything to kill this one kid!"

However, Cornello's plan was cut short by an unexpected ally, in teh form of [Name], who had stopped the mad priest by punching him away from Ed. And just in time too, as he was just seconds away from killing the young alchemist. "Yeez, Ed, I can't even leave you alone for five minutes!"

"What the- [NAME]?!" Ed yelled out, confused at the girl's sudden intrusion. "What the hell are you doing here? This wasn't a part of the plan! I told you to go with Al!"

"And I told you I wouldn't!" You shot back at him. "And besides, I think you should show more gratitude to someone who just saved your life!"

"Yeah, right! I was just about to punch him in the face, but then you got in the way!" Ed yelled back at you, before he remembered something important. "[Name], his stone was a f-" Ed said, before being cut off.

"Yeah, yeah, I heard. I could hear you from the first floor, you were so loud."

Edward's expression turned sour ar he turned to Cornello, shocking the man who had just gotten back onto his feet after a hard blow to the face. "First you lied to the townspeople, then you tried to kill us..." Ed said, his voice low. "And now, after all the trouble you put us through, you're telling me the stone was FAKE?!" Ed's hand, which was still on the floor, began to spark as the material from the stone walls began to take the form of a giant fist. Cornello managed to dodge the fist by just a second, but it wasn't over, as the giant statue of Leto in the room started moving due to Ed's alchemy. "THIS BETTER BE SOME KIND OF JOKE!"

The massive stone statue moved forward before leaning down and sending it's fist right towards Cornello. "FEEL THE IRON BLOW OF GOD'S WRATH!"

--

"It's a fake?" Al asked aloud when you and Ed told him what you learned. You three stood at the enrance of the now falf-destroyed church, ready to leave this town.

"Yeah, it was all a waste of time." Ed said, still upset at the fact that this entire trip was for nothing. "Just when I thought we were finally going to be able to get your old body back. Oh well, I guess we'll look somewhere else."

"But..." A familiar feminine voice caught your attention. Rose was on her knees in the ruins of the church, her face showed confusion, saddness and disapointment. "There must be some mistake... I mean... They told me that he would come back to life..."

"Give it up, Rose. It could never have." Ed told her, rather bluntly, too.

"I'm sorry, Rose, but I'm afraid your darling will never come back." You told her.

"What did you do to me? What do I do? What am I supposed to believe in now?!" She cried, tears streaming down her face. "Are you going to tell me? Well, are you?"

You didn't say anything. "You need to figure that out on your own." Ed said as you three walkedpast the young woman, not even helping her stand up. "Stand up and walk. Keep going forward. At least you have strong legs to take you there."

--

On the train ride back you thought back on the things you experienced today. Well, more precicely on the plan Ed concocted to broadcast Cornello's plans over the radio.

--

"[Name], you go with Al and Rose." Ed said. And you already didn't like this plan.

"What?! No way!"  You exclaimed, expressing your anger at Ed. "There's no way I'm letting you take on Cornello all alone. I wanna punch that guy in the face just as much as you do."

"Look. There's no way I'm going to let you get into a big fight. It's safer if you just go with Al to get the bell." Ed shot back at you.

--

In the end, you managed to convine Al to go help Ed out. And it's a good thing you did. "Honestly, he can be so stubborn at times." You thought to yourself, looking at the sleeping Ed right across from your seat. It was like he didn't want you to get involved in the fight. Was he seriously so confident in his abilities that he thought he wouldn't need your help?

It pissed you off to no end. Sure, he might have just wanted to protect you, but he knew you could take care of yourself. But, at the end of the day, you couldn't stay mad at him for too long. He was just too damn cut for his own good. And the fact that he cared so much about others was a part of him that you really loved. But you really needed to talk to him about not sacrificing his own safety and well-being to protect others. That and his rudeness.

--

The townspeople of Liore had gathered at the church, banging on the doors and shouting in anger. They wanted the truth, and the guards could barely hold the doors closed as the people threw items at the church and rammed on the door.

Meanwhile, Cornello stumbled along the stairs, trying to get to a safe place. "I can't believe those runts ruined my plans... I won't allow it. I've invested too much in this to let it fall apart..."

"Really, you were so close... And now everything is ruined." An unfamilian female voice rang throughout the empty room. When Cornello looked ahead, he saw a large, fat, bald man chewing on one of the legs of his chimera and a beautiful, curvy woman right next to him. "Long time no see. Wish it was longer." The rather buxom woman said, clearly not happy to see the priest. "You've caused us a lot of trouble, Your Holiness."

"What is the meaning of this?! The Philosopher's Stone you gave me broke into pieces!" Cornello cried to the woman. "How dare you give me a fake!"

The woman tsk-ed, offended. "Please. Did you think we would hand over the real thing to a person like you?"

"You... You said that I would be able to take over this country by using this stone!"

"Mmm... I did say something like that, didn't I?" The woman thought out loud. "All we wanted was for you to cause a little bit of chaos in this region. That's all."

She woman smirked and chucked to herself as she saw Cornello's face twist in anger. "What? You look surprised. Did you really think that a third-rate despot like yourself could become the ruler of a country? Aha ha ha ha! You're really too much!"

"Hey, Lust, can I eat this old guy? Can I?" The fat man asked the woman, dropping the leg that he was chewing on.

"No, no, Gluttony. You're going to get a stomachache if you eat the likes of him. If you eat this third-rate... No, this fourth-rate fool..."

"AAARRRGG! YOU'RE ALL MOCKING ME- YOU AND EVERYBODY ELSE!" Cornello yelled, running forward to punch them, but was stopped when the woman's fingers extended into needle-sharp spears that pierced all the way through his head.

"You are no longer of any use." The woman said as the man fell onto the ground, dead. The last thing he saw was a tattoo on the woman's chest, depicting a six-pointed star, surrounded by a winged serpent eating its own tail. "Awww... And just when things were starting to go so well... Father will be furious."

The fat man, called Gluttony by the woman, Lust, picked up the dead man's body and licked his lips. On his tounge was a tattoo that looked just like the woman's. "So, what should our next plan be...?" Lust said to herself, before she was interruped by Gluttony's rather loud crunching. "Hey, I thought I told you not to eat that."

--

Next time:  "An Alchemist's Anguish"

--

Chapter Text

A.N. A lot of people have asked questions about the story in the comments on all the websites/apps I have uploaded this story onto. And they’re all fair questions that I will answer right now. I will not give out big spoilers for those who don’t want to be spoiled. I will also answer some questions that people have not asked, but I feel the need to answer them to make sure no one gets confused.

What canon of FMA will you be I be following?
I will be following the manga/Brotherhood cannon. I can understand why some people might have been confused, as some of the things I wrote in the earlier chapters didn’t happen in Brotherhood. The reason for this is because I have the first three volumes of the manga and it was just easier to write based on that, instead of constantly pausing videos of different episodes, watching scenes over and over again to make sure I didn’t miss any dialogue or important detail. All of that and constantly changing tabs to write everything down would have greatly lengthened the time it would take me to write a chapter (which so far have been around 3000-4000 words, but the’ll become longer).
Why was the Liore episode split into two chapters?
Because writing it took longer than I thought it would, and I really wanted to post something that week.
When will the reader character go to U.A.?
The reader will go back to Japan after the Greed arc.
Who will be the love interests in this?
Go to this link (https://archiveofourown.org/works/17393813/chapters/40938311). This’ll take you to the same story on Archive of Our Own with all the love interest I have currently planned for. The list might change in the future.
Will there be multiple endings for each love interest?
No. There is only one ending and I’ll choose who the reader will end up with based on the couple’s popularity and what makes sense in context of the story and characters.
Since Envy is on the list, will some of the other villains (like Shigaraki or Dabi) or Pro Heroes (All Might or Aizawa) be a love interest?
God, no. The only reason why Envy is on the list is because in the beginning I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to include him, but since FMA really only had Ed and Ling whom I could pair the reader up with, I decided to add him. And even then, his feelings towards the reader character won’t really be romantic or sexual, more like a weird mix of morbid curiosity and hatred towards her. A tsundere yandere, if you prefer that term.
The reader character is canonically 15 years old, so the thought of pairing her up with Shigaraki, who was recently confirmed to be in his twenties, is repulsive to me. Like, even before his age was stated in canon, I already suspected that he must have been at least 19 years old. Keeping in mind the way he referred to the students of 1-A during the USJ incident as “kids” and the fact that he just looked a lot older than them and the timeline of events and ages of other characters, he had to have been a legal adult. So, no. Only the students of U.A. and a few other characters will be the love interests.

--
Last time: The town of Liore had fallen under the control of Father Cornello, a corrupt priest who used alchemy and the Philosopher's Stone to deceive his followers. Ed, Al and [Name] came to Liore and put a stop to the man's plans. The Philosopher's Stone, however, was revealed to be a fake. Their leader exposed as a fraud, the hopes of the citizens of Liore were crushed. "Stand up and walk. Move forward." - these were Ed's words to Rose, words he had once needed to hear himself.
--

Midnight. The silver moon hovered over Central, giving the large city a beautiful glow. The streets were empty, devoid of people. All except for one state alchemist. He wandered the barren road all alone. That loneliness was soon shattered by a tall stranger, who was standing in the middle of the road. It was dark, but the alchemist could make out that the stranger was a tall, clearly adult male, who had short, white hair and brown skin. His eyes were hidden by a pair of oval-shaped sunglasses, he wore a yellow jacket and long, black pants.

The tall man spoke out, shattering the silence around the two men. “You’re Basque Grand, the Iron Blood Alchemist, correct?”

“Yeah. Who’s asking?” The tan-skinned military officer replied, as the stranger moved his hand up to his face.

“Foolish alchemists who have turned their backs on the ways of God shall all be punished.”

“I see. You must be that bloodthirsty murderer who has made a habit of targeting State Alchemist recently.” Pulling back his sleeves, the alchemist revealed two heavily armored arms, each plate of metal inscribed with latin text. “Well this time you picked the wrong target!”

Slamming his fists together, the alchemist created a bunch of canons using the rock and asphalt below his feet. The cannons fired one after another, but each of their shots missed, as the tall stranger ran past them. Noticing the man’s speed, the alchemist sent a bunch of chains after the murderer, only for him to dodge those too, as he ran straight towards the Brigadier General. In one final attempt to stop him, Grand transmuted the ground to form a rectangular box around the murderer.

After trapping the dangerous man, the General stepped closer to the stone prison, commenting about how catching this guy wasn’t all that hard. But just as he was about to ‘finish the job’ by apprehending him, the thick wall crumbled into pieces and through the hole, the murderer grabbed the alchemist’s face with his right hand. The alchemist stared in shock, as the murderer simply said: “Now you perish.” before blood came exploding out of various parts of his body, ending with the death of Basque Grand. The murderer didn’t say anything, he just stared at the dead body as it fell motionless onto the pavement.

--

“Another State Alchemist dead...” Lt. Colonel Hughes said as he lowered the sheet of cloth back onto the body. Said man and Major Alex Louis Armstrong, along with a few soldiers were at the place where the murder took place, investigating. This wasn’t the only time something like this had happened. All of the people recent victims were killed in the same way, and every one of them had been a state-certified alchemist. “You better watch yourself, Major.” Hughes said, turning to the large and muscular man. “For all we know you could be his next target.”

“Understood.”

Right then, a car pulled up, stopping just before the group of military men. From the vehicle stepped out an older man, his black hair slicked back, a mustache and a black eye patch over his left eye. Recognising the man immediately, all the eight officers present stiffened their posture and saluted. Hughes was the first one to speak up. “Fuhrer Bradley, your Excellency, what brings you here?”

Stepping closer, Bradley looked at the covered-up corpse of the now-dead Brigadier General. “I got word of what happened. Lieutenant Colonel Hughes, are you the officer in charge of this case?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Should you need any additional personnel, just ask.” the ruler of the land said, a cold look in his eye as he set his sight upon the victim once more. “The man doing this is a traitor. I want him stopped.”

“Sir.”

--

The train ride back to Eastern Command was tough. You sure loved seats as soft as granite. You’d think you’d be used to those by now, but nope. While you were glad to be out of Liore, you dreaded what was coming next: having to report to your superior, Colonel Roy Mustang. While your hatred for the dark-haired man wasn’t as intense as Edward’s - you still respected the man immensely - but he was nowhere close to being your favourite person in the world.

Stepping through the large and heavy wooden doors, you saw a familiar scene: Riza Hawkeye, Jean Havoc, Kain Fuery, Vato Falman and Heymans Breda all sitting behind their own desks, which were all pushed together to create a 2 x 3 rectangle, doing a bunch of paperwork, with the exception of Fuery, who was tampering with an old radio. When asked about how the radio was coming along, he dejectedly said that the receiver had seen better days and that he should replace it soon. Fortunately, he was spared from having to spend money, when Ed clapped his hands together and fixed the old machine. “Hey! You’re back!”

“Nice to see you three.” Riza said, “The Colonel’s waiting for you.” And the mood was ruined.

“Nice job on the Liore case, you three.” Roy said, as you, Ed and Al sat on the sofa in front of his desk. “I appreciate you resolving the matter.”

“No big deal, it’s not like we did it for you.” Ed said back, his voice highlighting just how little he cared. Even his posture was that of a bored child; one foot over the other and his left arm against his face.

“Right. The Philosopher’s Stone. Another false lead?”

“Yeah. After everything the stone turned out to be a fake.” You said dejected. You still couldn’t believe that after all the trouble you went through, after all the threats to your life and after the whole revealing-who-you-really-are-and-the-sins-you-committed thing, it was all for nothing. “But the power it gave Cornello was real enough. He sent this huge chimera after us.”

“I still want to know how he made that thing.” Al butted in, expressing his curiosity. “I’m not that familiar with biological alchemy to really understand it.”

“It might help if you consulted a specialist.” Digging through some files in his bookshelf, Roy placed a paper on the desk, a profile to be exact. “Shou Tucker; the “Sewing-Life Alchemist”.”

--

While you rode in the car taking you to the alchemist’s house, you looked out the window, taking in the scenery of East City. As you admired the view, the Colonel, who was sitting next to you, continued reading through the profile in his hands. “He got his state certification two years ago when he created a chimera that could speak.”

You looked at the man in shock. Did you just hear that correctly, or were your ears playing tricks on you? It seemed like you weren’t the only one surprised, as both Edward and Alphonse looked towards Roy for answers. “It could speak? You mean it talked like a human? A chimera?!”

“That would be the case. I wasn’t in charge at the time, so I’ve never actually seen it. It could understand human speech, and it spoke. But all it said was...” Roy paused for a second. “”I want to die.”” You three stared at Roy in both surprise and sorrow. “After that, it refused to eat and died not long after.”

The car finally stopped at your destination. “What a huge house.” Edward says as you nod your head in agreement. As Roy rings the doorbell of the massive building, you hear a rather deep bark. You didn’t even have to turn your head to find the source of the sound, as a rather large white dog suddenly came out of nowhere and pounced on Ed, making the small alchemist let out a scream. The dog seemed pretty content with having pinned Ed to the ground, as it wagged its tail back and forth. Just to be safe, you scooted away from the dog, much to Edward’s dismay.

“Come on, [Name], help me out here.”

“And get potentially attacked by a giant dog? No way.” you said. “Besides, even a tiny person like you could get himself out from under there.”

“WHO ARE YOU CALLING TINY?! Not like you’re not a giant either!”

“I’m still taller than you, asshole!”

“Hey, Alexander. You should stop that!” An unfamiliar voice called out. Looking at the front door, you saw a little girl, probably around five years old, and a middle-aged man. “Wow, daddy! Lots of guests!”

“Nina, I told you to keep the dog tied up.”

--

Looking around the room, you saw a lot of boxes, papers, dirty dishes and other things lying around. You thought you even saw a few spiderwebs in the corners, too. “I apologize for the mess. It’s been like this since my wife left me...” The middle-aged man said as he placed a few cups of tea on the table you were all sitting at. He sat down and gave you a warm smile, despite his tired and disheveled looks. “Nice to meet you, Edward and [Name]. I’m Shou Tucker, the one they call the “Sewing-Life Alchemist.””

“Edward and [Name] are interested in biological alchemy. I told them you might be able to show them your work.” Roy explained why you were here.

“Oh, I don’t mind.” Tucker said before his face became much more serious. “But if you want to see what’s up my sleeve, first you have to show me what’s up yours. Alchemy is about “equivalent exchange.” So, why are you interested in biological transmutation?”

Hearing his question, Roy was about to make up a fake reason, to hide your true reasoning, but he was stopped by Ed, when he said that Tucker had the right to the answer. As Ed took off his black overshirt, you took off your coat and rolled up the sleeves of your blouse, revealing the automail limbs.

--

“I see, so you lost your mother...” Tucker said, expressing his concern when you finished telling him what happened to you. “That must have been hard.”

“I’ve told my superiors that they lost their limbs in the civil war in the east. I must ask you to keep quiet about their attempts at human transmutation.”

“Sure. No problem. I’m sure the military couldn’t afford to lose such brilliant individuals.” Tucker said as he stood up from the table. “Well then… Let me show you my laboratory. Although I’m not sure if it will be much help to you.”

Inside the darkened room were many cages stacked on eachother, each one of them containing a crazy critter. “You’ve got to excuse me… I’m considered to be the authority on chimeras, but in reality, it’s never easy. Lots of failures… Lots of false starts.”

--

Opening a large wooden door, Tucker led you to another large room, this one thankfully, brighter and not full of creatures from Hell. “This is my file room.” Taking a peek inside, your eyes almost popped out of your head. This place was huge! Screw calling this place a room, this was more like a whole library! Even Ed seemed to be amazed as he said said to himself how incredible this place was. “Feel free to look around. I’ll be in the lab.”

“All right. Then, I’ll start with this shelf.”

“Okay. I’ll start from over here.”

“I call dibs on this one.”

“All right you three. I have to get back to work. I’ll send some of my men to get you before dark.” To which Al said a small “Thanks.” You and Ed didn’t say anything, already deeply immersed in the books each of you were reading.

“They have some amazing ability to focus. When they’re reading, they don’t even hear the voices around them.” tucker said, letting out a small laugh.

“Yes. You know they’re not average, becoming state alchemists so young.”

“I guess geniuses really do exist.”

--

As the large grandfather clock struck five, the sound alerted you, enough to rip yours and Ed’s attention from your books. Hearing a loud clanking sound you and the short blonde went looking for the source of the sound, already recognising it as Al’s body moving around. “I wonder where he went...”

Your search was cut short, however, when Alexander came out of nowhere and tackled Edward to the ground again. “Oh, hey big brother. Hey [Name].” Al said, as Nina rode on his shoulders while the two peeked out from behind a bookshelf.

“What do you mean, “Hey big brother. Hey [Name]”?” Ed said angrily as he was still laying on the floor, the dog on top of him. “You’re supposed to be looking through the data, not babysitting!”

“Well, Nina wanted me to play with her, so...” Al said, trying to excuse himself. Just as Ed was about to yell at him, the dog stepped off of the blonde and started licking both him and you in the face, getting slobber all over you.

“Hey, big brother, big sister! Alexander says he wants you to play with him too!” Nina said happily.

Irk marks appeared on Ed’s face as he wiped it off of all the dog saliva with a handkerchief, which you gave him, since you always carried an extra one around, just in case. “Hpmh… You got a lot of nerve asking me to play with you, dog… They say that catching a mere rabbit takes every bit of a lion’s strength...” He then ran off after the dog, screaming all the while. “JUST TRY TO SIT ON ME AGAIN, YOU CANINE FIEND! I, EDWARD ELRIC, WILL FIGHT YOU WITH MY ENTIRE BODY AND SOUL!”

“How immature...” Al said as he watched his brother get so worked up. You nodded, agreeing with the giant suit of armor. It looked like Nina was enjoying herself, based on how she was laughing.

“He may be a rude, angry idiot, but he’s earnest and there’s good in his heart.” you thought to yourself. “Even if he makes some dumb choices along the way.”

--

As the sky became a beautiful reddish-orange, the door to the file room was opened, revealing Jean Havoc. “Hey chief, I’m here to pick you up.” The man then looked on the floor, where Edward was once again pinned down by Alexander, and you were there, too, poking Ed’s cheek to see if he was still alive. “... Mind if I ask what you’re doing?”

“Uh, well… I guess you could say I’m just taking a break from my research!” Ed said, lifting his head. He tried to sound serious, but it’s pretty hard to do that when you’re out of breath. When Tucker asked him if he found any useful data, he started sweating beads, as he realised that he had spent quite a bit of time playing chase with a dog. Tucker, realising Edward’s stress said that you could come again tomorrow.

“Are you gonna come back?” Nina asked excitedly, already looking forward to having fun with her new “older siblings”.

“Uh-huh. Let’s play again tomorrow.” Al said.

Just as you were leaving through the front door, Jean Havoc turned around, facing the Sewing-Life Alchemist. “Oh, yeah, Mr. Tucker, I have a message from the Colonel. He said “Please don’t forget that the assessment date is coming up.””

“... Yes, I know.” Tucker said in a sad tone, before closing the door.

“Hey daffy, what’s an “assessment”?” Nina asked, curious. Tucker kneeled down in front of his five-year-old daughter and smiled.

“Well, sweetie… When you become a state alchemist you have to show the results of your research once a year. And if they don’t like how you’re doing, they take away your licence.” He explained. “Daddy’s evaluation wasn’t very good last year… So unless I do something great this year, I won’t be a state alchemist anymore.”

Hearing the news, Nina ran to hug her father, almost crying. “What? You’ll do great, daddy! You’re always studying a lot!”

Accepting her hug, Tucker tried to relieve his daughter of her worries. “I now, sweetie. But if they don’t like me, there’s nothing I can do...”

“That’s right… There’s nothing else I can do...”

--

The next day, you were once again at Mr. Tucker’s house, going through book after book. “So your mum left two years ago...”

“Uh-huh. Daddy said she went back to her parent’s house.”

“Really? It must be lonely living in a big house like this with just the two of you.” Al said.

“No, it’s not! Daddy’s nice to me, and I have Alexander too!” The brunette said, putting her arms around her beloved dog’s head. “But… Lately daddy’s been in his laboratory with the door locked… so it’s a little lonely.” You, Ed and Al all remembered when Hoenheim was home, but always in his study, leaving you all alone for most of the time. Guess the fact that you both had similar experiences with a poor parental figure made you sympathise with the little girl.

“All this reading is making my shoulders cramp up.” Edward sighed. Upon Al telling him that maybe he should get some exercise, the boy agreed.

“I should join you, too. I’m becoming a little stiff as well.” You admitted.

“Hey, dog! I’ll play with you for exercise!”

“Come on, Nina. You too.” Al said, to which the little girl smiled.

--

So you all went to the back yard to play around. You all took turns chasing each other around, laughter echoing all the while. It brought you back to your memories of a happy childhood, where you, Ed, Al, Winry and the other village kids would run around the fields all day.

But while you were having fun in the sun, remembering the good old times, Tucker sat in his darkened room, hands on his head, deep in thought. Just what was he going to do for his assessment?

--

The sky was shrouded with gray clouds that day. Edward commented about how it was sure to rain today as Al rang the doorbell to Mr. Tucker’s house. Yet, there was no answer. No Tucker, Nina or Alexander. Opening the front door, you all stepped into the house. None of the lights were on, and the eerie quietness made a pit form in your stomach. Time and time again, you called out for the alchemist and his daughter, but no one answered your calls. Just when you were starting to think that no one was home, Ed spotted the Sewing-Life Alchemist in his darkened laboratory.

“Hey, there you are.” You said, relieved. “We were starting to think you weren’t home.”

“Oh, it’s you guys.” Mr. Tucker said, standing up from his previous kneeling position, before turning to you. “Look, it’s my newest creation. It’s a chimera that talks like a human.”

It was then when you noticed the creature in the room alongside Tucker. It looked like a white dog with a mop of long brown hair was tossed on its head. Tucker kneeled in front of the chimera once more. “Watch this. That person is Edward. And that person is [Name]. Understand?”

The creature hesitated for a moment before it opened its mouth. “Ed… Ward? ...[Na]...[me]?” Although it spoke slowly, you could still make out the names that Tucker had named. Tucker patted the chimera’s head, saying how good it was, which it then repeated.

“I can’t believe it. It really talks.” Ed said in amazement as both him and you kneeled down in front of it to get a better look at the creature. “Uh-huh. I’m glad that I made it in time for the assessment.” Tucker sighed in relief. “This just saved my neck. And when the grant money kicks in, I won’t have to worry about research costs for a while!”

“Ed… Ward… [Na].. [me]...” the chimera repeated over and over. “Big… Brother.... Big… Sister...”

And like a punch to the gut, it was in that very instant when you realised what had truly happened. And it seemed like you weren’t the only one, as Ed’s eyes widened in shock, just like yours. You wanted to deny the horrible truth… But you couldn’t… This wasn’t some fairytale where everyone got a happy ending… Where the prince marries the princess and the villain gets punished for their crimes… The curse gets lifted… Where true love wins the day… And magic makes everything alright again…

This was reality… And what you saw in front of you was real… And it couldn’t be fixed…

“Mr. Tucker...” Edward said slowly, trying his best to hide his unyielding rage. “When was it that you got your licence? By making the first chimera that spoke human words?”

Tucker put his fingers on his chin, thinking. “Let’s see… That was two years ago.”

“And when did your wife leave you.”

“... That was two years ago too.”

“Can I ask one more question?” Ed said before turning his hate-filled eyes towards Tucker. “What happened to Nina and Alexander?”

“I hate perceptive brats like you.”

In just a fraction of a second, Edward made a mad dash towards the older alchemist, grabbing onto his shirt and slammed him against the wall in fury. When Al tried to run to his brother’s side, you stopped the armor boy, knowing full-well how Edward was feeling right now.

“SO THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED!” Edward yelled at the man, furious at his actions. “YOU SCUM! HOW COULD YOU?! TWO YEARS AGO IT WAS YOUR WIFE! THIS TIME YOU MADE A CHIMERA OUT OF YOUR OWN DAUGHTER AND HER DOG!” Hearing Edward’s declaration, Al looked at the chimera that still sat in the same spot as before. “Isn’t that right? Because there’s only so much you can do by experimenting on animals. Humans are so much better aren’t they?!”

Tucker let out a small laugh. “Why are you so mad? The progress of medicine… The progress of human knowledge… Is the result of experimentation on humans. Someone has to do it. As a scientist… You should be the first to...”

“SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP!” Edward screamed. “Do you think you’re getting away with this? Playing around with people’s lives?!”

“People’s lives? HA HA! Yes, people’s lives! You’re the Fullmetal Alchemist! And she’s the Steel Arm Alchemist! You mean like your brother’s life… And your friend’s arms… And your arm and leg?” Tucker said, laughing. “That’s also the result of “playing around with people’s lives,” yes?” Enraged by his comment, Edward punched Tucker in the face with his metal arm. “HA HA HA HA… You and I are just the same!”

“That’s not true!”

“You’re no different than I am! You thought you could do it, so you did!”

“That’s not true!”
“You couldn’t help but try it even if it was forbidden! In fact, because it was forbidden!” Tucker continued his little talk before Ed once again started to punch him in the face repeatedly, screaming things between each punch. All you and Al could do was watch while Edward continuously beat the older alchemist up.

“THAT’S NOT TRUE!”

“WE ALCHEMISTS...”

“WOULD NEVER...”

“WE’D NEVER...”

“I’D NEVER…!”

Just before he was about to throw another punch, Al grabbed his older brother’s wrist, while you tried to calm him down by hugging him from behind. “Edward. Stop. Any more and you’ll kill him.” It seemed like your words got through to him, as he calmed down ever so slightly and let go of Tucker’s shirt, letting the man drop onto the floor, just hanging by a thread.

Tucker laughed, wiping off some of the blood on his chin using his hand. “Pretty words don’t get anything done, Steel Arm...”

“Tucker...” You said, each word that left your lips dripping venom. “If you say one more word, this time I’ll be the one to snap.” That comment seemed to shut him up.

Alphonse walked over to Nina, who was still in the same place. “Nina… I’m sorry. We don’t have the skill right now to turn you back to normal. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Wanna… Play… Wanna play… Wanna play...” Nina’s words echoed as the rain poured outside.

--

“If there ever truly was “the work of the devil,” then this was it.” First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye said as both she and Colonel Roy Mustang exited the military building, having just filed the report of the Tucker-chimera situation.

“”The devil…?”” Roy asked. “To put it bluntly, all state alchemists are nothing but the military’s human weapons. We do what we want, we obey orders, and don’t complain if your hands get dirty in the process.”

The two approached you, Ed and Al, while you all sat on the stone stairs leading to the military headquarters in East City. All the while, the cold rain seemed to follow you everywhere, with no end in sight. “Fitting.” you thought.

“My point being that when it comes to messing with human lives, Tucker’s actions aren’t so different from our own.” Roy continued.

“That’s the logic of an adult, sir. Even though Edward acts older than his years, he’s still a child.” Riza pointed out.

“Yes, but the path that he’s chosen will no doubt lead to hardships greater than he faced today.” Roy replied. “He has to move forward… Even if it means forcing himself to understand. Isn’t that right, Fullmetal?”

Roy looked at the boy who was sitting quietly on the stairs. “How long do you plan on staying depressed?”

“Be quiet.” Ed shot back.

“Even though people call you a “dog of the military” and a “devil,” it was you who chose to keep studying alchemy. You chose to join the military when you could have lived the rest of your life as best you can with the body you have.” Roy said, not caring that Edward told him to “shut up.” “Can you afford to be held back by something so small?”

Ed tightened his grip on his soaked, red coat. “”Something so small…?”” He asked. “You’re right. People may call us dogs of the military or devils, but Al, [Name] and I will get our original bodies back. Bot we’re not devils or gods. WE’RE HUMANS! WE CAN’T EVEN SAVE ONE LITTLE GIRL. We’re just pathetic human beings…!”

“Go home and rest. You’ll catch a cold.” Roy said, before walking away.

--

The rain poured at the Tucker household, where two military officers guarded the front gates. They were approached by a tall man with brown skin and white hair. He wore a yellow jacket and a pair of black trousers. “Oh… Are you here to see Mr. Tucker?” one of the guards asked.

“Unauthorised individuals aren’t allowed past this point.” The other guard said. “If you have some business-”

“I’m going through.” The stranger said firmly, cracking the joints in his right hand.

--

Thunder and lightning struck outside as Shou tucker sat in a chair in the middle of the room next to a window, Nina sitting, facing him. “Why doesn’t anybody understand me? Why Nina…?”

Another lightning bolt struck outside, revealing the tall stranger, who was now in the same room as Tucker, standing in the doorway. “Are you Shou Tucker?”

“Who are you?” the alchemist asked, as the stranger stepped closer to him. “What do you want with me? You’re… You’re not with the army. How did you get in?! There were guards outside...”

“Alchemists who have strayed from the path of God… Must die!” Grabbing a hold of Tucker’s face, the alchemist’s body let out explosions of blood. The stranger let go of the body, letting it fall onto the floor, lifeless. Nina lumbered over to her father’s corpse, nudging his fingers with her sout, saying the word “daddy” over and over, as tears fell down her face.

“... How awful. Now that he’s done this to you, there’s no way to change you back to normal.” The male said, putting his hand on Nina’s head. “At the very least, go in peace.”

Thunder roared once more as the tall male walked through the front gated of the house. “My lord. Lord God, who created everything in this world… Two souls have now returned to your side. Please take pity on them… And grant them forgiveness and peace in your loving arms.”

The man took off his sunglasses, letting the cold rain fall onto his face. His eyes red like blood.

--
Next time: Rain of Sorrows
--

Oof… The angst in this one

Bonus content!

Ed, holding a cat Al found: Stinky.
Al: No! Don’t be mean!
Ed, swaying it back and forth in the air: Stinky bastard man.
[Name], not looking up from her book: Naughty boy, brat cat.
Al, distraught: NOOOOO!!!!!!!!

[Name], Tenya, Momo, Shouto aka The Rich Kids Clubtm ([Name] gets payed lots since she works as a state alchemist)
Shouto once got everyone in Class 1-A (including Shinsou [Mineta didn’t get any]) Airpods (that he bought with his dad’s stolen credit card)
Ochako cried (she also got a smart phone, courtesy of [Name])
She keeps them in a drawer back home and rarely uses them (she doesn’t want to ruin or break them)
Bakusquad freaked out and started memeing (please don’t encourage Shouto to steal more money)

Someone: Yo, do you have some change-
[Name]: *shoves 50,000 JPY into their hands* (50,000 JPY = ~400 EUR)

Someone: How’d you get your scars?
[Name]: You want the short explanation or the long one?

Deku: *breathes*
[Name]: *uwu explosion*

The relationship between Ed and [Name]
Ed: Fuck you!
[Name]: No, fuck you!
Ed: No. Fuck you!
[Name]: Fuck me!
Ed: You fuck me!
Both: *incomprehensible screeching*
Al, in the corner, crying: Please stop fighting.

Villains: *threaten Class 1-A/Ed and Al/anyone, really*
[Name]: B E G O N E T H O T

[Name], after seeing the girls of U.A.: Hey, I’m lesbian.
Mina: I thought you were japanese.

Mustang, warning [Name]: I don’t know what you’re going with your little friends (Ed and Al), but we have rules here!
[Name]: Sorry, mum, I’m not really fluent in *wet tongue noises*

[Name]: *after human transmutation, Nina, and all the other shit that’s going to happen* I am disgusted. I am revolted. I dedicate my entire life to alchemy, and this is the thanks I get? *climbs into clothes dryer*

[Name]: *walks into class U.A.*
Tokoyami, Shoji, Mina, Tsuyu, Koji, Tamaki, Nezu: *exist*
[Name]: *flashback* Big sister [Name]...
[Name]: *silently cries*

Momo: *uses Creation*
[Name]: *uses alchemy*
Todoroki: * W O K E *

Envy: *’’'bout to fight Class 1-A*
[Name]: Don't fuck with me! I have the power of friendship and anime on my side! *screaming*

[Name], Momo, Iida: *arguing over the right answer on the maths test* It was 35.7. No it was 36.
Kaminari and Mina: *looking at their tests* We got Egypt.

Feel free to submit more memes/headcanons/theories/etc in the comments.

--

Chapter Text

--

 

Last time: In order to learn more about the field of bio alchemy, Edward, Alphonse and [Name] visited the house of Shou Tucker; the Sewing-Life Alchemist. There, they befriended Tucker’s young daughter Nina and her dog Alexander. The day of Tucker’s annual assessment was drawing near and in his desperation to pass, he used Nina and Alexander to create a talking chimera. Knowing that nothing he could do would bring Nina back, Ed was griefstrikken by his own powerlessness.

 

--

 

“Mum! Mum!” The young blond boy yelled out as he ran outside. “Mum, come look!”

 

“What is it, Edward?” The beautiful, smiling woman asked as she picked the ripe, red tomatoes from her garden. Kneeling down, the woman faced her eldest son, still only around 5 years old.

 

“It’s a present!” The boy said, holding out a silver toy horse. “I transmuted it! I put it together with alchemy!”

 

“Y-you did? I guess you do take after your father! Thank you, Edward. You really are special. Being able to create something so wonderful...” Trisha said as she pat her son’s head. The mood quickly grew grim as the tomatoes Trisha was holding fell onto the ground, splattering into a red, blood-like substance. “But it’s too bad… You couldn’t put me together back too.”

 

Looking up towards his mother, all Edward saw was the horrifying monster that he created when he attempted human transmutation. “This isn’t...” Hearing a familiar voice, Edward turned around to see both the suit of armor his brother’s soul was trapped in, holding [Name] as blood dripped onto the floor from her missing arms.

 

“Al? [Name]?”

 

“This isn’t your… Fault… YoUR fAULt... Y-yourfault… Y O U R  F A U L T ....” In just a few seconds, both [Name] and Al started to deform and transmutation marks spread across their bodies before being deconstructed.

 

“Big brother.” Turning around once more, Ed saw both Nina and Alexander standing next to each other. But before he could do or say anything, the two fused together. “Let’s play.” The chimera said as it charged at the young alchemist.

 

--

 

Waking up in a cold sweat, Edward sat up on his bed in the hotel he was staying at while in East City. After having calmed down a little, he pulled his left leg closer to himself, gripping it tightly. The sound of the rain outside seemed to be calming, but only stirred up more depressed feelings and thoughts inside. Looking over to his left, he saw both Al and [Name], awake. Al was sitting on the floor and [Name] was sitting on her bed, same place and in the same position as last night.

 

“Are you OK, brother?” The suit of armor asked the older brother, to which he replied with a shake of the head. Turning his eyes over to [Name], Edward noticed the dark bags under her eyes.

 

“Were you up all night?”

 

“I couldn’t sleep.” She replied.

 

--

 

The rain followed you three as you walked into East City’s H.Q. You stood and stared at the large pair of wooden doors that separated the hallway from Mustang’s office, internally debating whether you should even go in there. But just as you were about to turn around and leave, the doors opened. “Edward! [Name]!”

 

Turning around, you saw a familiar blonde woman. “What are you doing here so early?”

 

“Oh… First Lieutenant Hawkeye.” Edward said. “Uh… Um… I wanted to know… What’s going to happen to Tucker and Nina?”

 

Riza stood there, silently, for a few seconds, as if debating if she should tell you or not. “Tucker was scheduled to have his licence revoked and then taken to Central to be put on trial… But they both died.” She said, shocking the three of you. “Or to put it more accurately, they were killed. You guys would have found out eventually, even if we tried to hide it, so I might as well tell you now.”

 

“What… Why...? By who?” Ed asked as you ran after Riza, who was already walking towards the exit.

 

“I don’t know. I’m on my way to the location right now.” Hawkeye replied as she put a long coat over her military uniform.

 

“We’re coming too!”

 

“No.”

 

“Why not?!”

 

“It’s better that you don’t see.” Riza said after stopping and turning around to look at you with a rather stern and serious look.

 

--

 

“Hey, hey, Colonel Mustang. We came to get Tucker alive.” Hughes said in a mocking tone as he looked at the dead body of the Sewing-Life Alchemist. “Are you telling us to put this corpse on trial? Man, we didn’t come all the way from Central City to do an autopsy.”

 

“Lieutenant Colonel Hughes… You don’t need to remind us of our mistake. Please just take a look.” Roy said as he ran his hand through his hair in frustration.

 

“Hmm… If this guy really used his own wife as an experiment… It must have been divine justice. Eww… Just as I thought.” Hughes said as he lifted the blanket covering the bloody corpse. “Did the guards outside die the same way?”

 

“That’s right. They were in pieces… Or getting that way… As if they were blown apart from the inside.” Roy said.

 

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking, Major Armstrong?” Hughes asked, cleaning his hand with a handkerchief.

 

“Yes, there’s no doubt about it. It’s him .”

 

--

 

The sounds of chaos spread through the streets of Liore. People everywhere were fighting each other with their fists, planks of wood, bats, poles and anything else they could carry. Windows and houses were broken and many were left severely injured or simply didn’t survive the many fights. The whole town was separated into two groups, the people who stayed true to the corrupt priest and the ones who had their eyes opened. Each group thought the other was wrong and they were going to prove it, even if they had to kill.

 

At the top of the church’s tower stood two people, one of them a beautiful woman with long, wavy, black hair, full lips and a curvy figure, the other a short and fat, bald man, childish in his behaviour. “Look at that, Gluttony.” The woman said as she looked down upon the rioting masses. “Humans are such fools.”

 

“Fools. Fools.” The fat man, referred to as Gluttony, said.

 

“Quite right.” A new figure said as he came out of the shadows, revealing and old, bald man with closed eyes and a smile on his face, wearing a long black coat with a white schall on his shoulders. “But when things work out like you plan them, that foolish quality can be so nice.”

 

“Well, well, “Your Holiness.”” The buxom woman said, turning to the priest. “Sorry you had to come out here.”

 

“Yeah well… When this is over I’m going back to the city that I’m in charge of.”

 

The woman, Lust, looked out onto the rioting town once more, smiling evilly. “Really… I was a little bit worried when that Fullmetal boy messed up our plans… But as a result our work will be finished ahead of schedule, so he was actually a big help.”

 

“All it took was for you to spread some propaganda among my “followers” to get them started and this is the result.”

 

“Bloodshed begets bloodshed, hatred begets hatred. The rage and emotion sinks into the land and stains it with the crest of blood.” Lust spoke to herself. “And no matter how many times they repeat themselves, they never learn. These sad fools...”

 

“That’s why we can do anything to them, right?” The priest said, smirking, which Lust gladly did the same.

 

“Will a lot of people die again?” Gluttony asked, looking innocently at Lust.

 

“Yes, I guess they’ll die.”

 

“Can I eat all the ones that die?” Gluttony asked, already salivating at the thought of getting to eat so much. However, his fantasy was cut short by Lust, who pat the fat guy on the head.

 

“No, you can’t eat them.” She then turned to the figure of Cornello. “By the way, Envy… How long do you plan on using that voice and that body? It’s making me sick.”

 

The man smiled. “Come on, I’m just setting the mood, that’s all.” He said as transmutation marks spread all along his body and red coloured lightning sparked around him. “But if I’m going to change shape anyway… Why should I be a crusty old geezer...”

 

When the transmutation finished, in place of the old man stood a much younger male, seemingly a teenager with long, dark-green - almost black -, downwards flowing, spiky hair. “... When I can be young and cute?” He said, finishing his thought.

 

“Even though on the inside you’re the most ruthless of all of us!” The woman laughed.

 

“Are you trying to pick a fight, Lust?” Envy asked.

 

“Y-YOU’RE A MONSTER!” Someone new entered the top of the tower. It seemed that Cray, one of the men who worked at the church, found out about who was really behind everything. “What’s going on here? His Holiness… What happened to the real Father Cornello? What in God’s name are you?!”

 

“... What should we do?”

 

“He called me a monster. I am so insulted.”

 

“Can I eat him?”

 

As Gluttony chewed on the body of Cray, Envy and Lust continued their talk. “By the way… I heard that someone killed Shou Tucker from East City.”

 

“Tucker… Oh, yes, the ”Sewing-Life Alchemist.”” Lust said. “Who cares? He was just a minor alchemist, anyway.”

 

“I don’t care about Tucker, but the killer… It’s that guy from before again.” Envy’s words seemed to catch Lust’s interest.

 

“East City is where the Flame Colonel is, right?”

 

“Uh-huh. Apparently both the Fullmetal and Steel Arm brats are there too.”

 

“The Fullmetal Alchemist and the Steel Arm Alchemist… It makes me mad that they got in the way of our work, but we can’t allow them to die. They’re our human sacrifices.” Lust said as an evil glint shone in Envy’s lavender eyes.

 

“Lust! That was tasty!” Gluttony said, having just finished his meal.

 

“Wipe your mouth after you eat.” Lust said before turning to Envy once more. “I don’t know about this man… I don’t know who he is or where he’s from, but we can’t allow him to interfere with the plan. We’ve pretty much finished with this town, so I guess we’ll go take a look. This killer of ours… What was his name?”

 

--

 

““Scar”?” Colonel Mustang asked.

 

“We don’t know his name, so that’s what we call him.” Hughes explained when he was asked about the killer.

 

“Not only is his background a mystery, but we don’t even know what kind of weapon he uses or what his intentions are. It seems like he’s everywhere.” Major Alex Louis Armstrong explained. “The only information we’ve received about hims is that he has a large x-shaped scar on his forehead.”

 

“This year alone he’s killed five alchemists in Central. In the country he’s killed a total of ten.”

 

“Yes, we’ve heard rumours out here in the east as well.”

 

“Just between you and e.. I heard that he even killed old man Grand.” Hughes said, shocking Roy.

 

“Brigadier General Grand, the “Iron-Blooded Alchemist”? He’s a military martial arts expert!”

 

“It might sound crazy, but believe it or not, a guy this tough is roaming the city.” Hughes said. “Let me give you some advice. Double the security staff and lay low for awhile. I’m asking you this as a friend. The only well-known people out in these parts are Tucker and you, right?” It seemed like Roy was deep in thought for a moment before his face turned to sheer horror. “With what happened to Tucker, you really can’t let down your guard.”

 

“Oh no...” Roy said to himself, realising just how dire the situation was, as he just realised something terrible; both Fullmetal and Steel Arm were here in East City as well, meaning they could be the ones the killer would go after next. “You! Confirm whether the Elric brothers or [Last name] are still at their lodgings. On the double!”

 

“Colonel.” Riza spoke up. “I spoke to them as I was leaving H.Q. They were walking down the main street.”

 

“At a time like this…!” Roy said to himself. “Bring the car around! All spare hands report to the main street area!”

 

--

 

The rain poured down on you as you walked alone through the streets. Right now, there was nothing really on your mind, you were just walking around, aimlessly. You had separated from Edward and Alphonse a while ago. You were completely unaware of the danger you and your friends were in..

 

You would have continued walking in your depressed state, had a car not sped by, stopping just before your feet. “HEY! WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING!” You yelled, understandably a little shaken up by the fact that you were nearly hit by a speeding car.

 

Roy Mustang poked his head out of the vehicle. “Quick! Get in.” You stood there for a second, before doing as you were told. “Where are Edward and Alphonse?” Roy asked, his voice showing just how much he was panicking.

 

“When I last saw them they were at the clock tower on the main street.” You explained. “What is going on?”

 

“There’s a killer on the loose.” Said Riza, who was in the driver's seat. Just as you were about to ask more questions, a phone call came in.

 

“We have just received a call from an eyewitness that a tall man has killed someone on the main street at the clock tower.”

 

Riza stepped on the gas pedal, making the car zoom towards your destination. “No. This can’t be true. Please. They can’t be dead.” You thought to yourself, fear washing over you. You just hoped that you were right and that you’d get there on time.

 

--

 

At the clock tower things were quiet. Two alchemists sat the base of the tower, not saying a word. “Big brother?” Al said, catching Ed’s attention.

 

“Huh? Oh…” Ed said. “My head is just so full that I don’t know what to think right now. Since last night I’ve been wondering what this alchemy that we trust in really is...”

 

““Alchemy is the reconstruction of matter in new forms based on the knowledge of natural laws.”” Al said, quoting what their teacher always told them.

 

““This world flows by obeying these laws. Death too, is a part of the world.” Our teacher really beat that into us. I thought I knew what she meant. But I didn’t. That’s why mum… And that’s why I’m wondering what I can do about something that nobody can fix.” Ed continued. “I’m a fool. I haven’t grown up at all since then.” He admitted, looking up at the sky. “I thought that the rain would wash away all my doubt… But all I know is that this rain on my face is starting to bug me.”

 

“But… I don’t even have a body that can feel the rain. It’s lonely inside here… It’s hard.” Al said, his voice showing his sorrows. “I want to get my old body back… I want to go back to being human. Even if that means doing the impossible and going against the flow of the world.”

 

“Oh! There they are.” Said a military officer when he spotted the two. “Edward! Mr. Edward Elric!” In his calling out for the alchemist, he didn’t notice the tall white-haired man near him.

 

“Elric…?”

 

“Oh, I’m so glad you’re alright! We’ve been looking for you!”

 

“Edward… Elric...” The stranger said to himself, turning his gaze towards the short blonde.

 

“What is it? Do you need me for something?”

 

“You’re to return to headquarters immediately.” The officer said, not even noticing the stranger who had snuck up behind them. “There’s a killer on the loose in this area.”

 

“Edward Elric… The Fullmetal Alchemist!” The stranger said, hatred brewing in his eyes, which, despite being hidden by sunglasses, Ed could still feel the man’s gaze on him.

 

The officer, recognising the description of the killer he was given, pulled out his gun. “That scar!”

 

“NO!” Edward yelled out, but it was too late, the killer had done to the man as he had done to his other victims. “Who is this guy? This is bad! Bad! Bad!” He thought to himself as the killer stepped closer. “Everything from the body of my core says to run away but my legs won’t move…! Oh no… I’m gonna die!”

The clock struck nine, waking Ed up from his trance. “Al! Run!” And the two ran off.

 

“You won’t get away!”

 

“What’s his problem?! I’ve never done anything to make someone hate me… Actually I’ve done that a lot but… I don’t deserve to die!” Ed yelled as he sprinted down the street.

 

“Ed! In the alley!” Al said, as Edward followed suit. “What?! He already saw us go in here!” Luckily, Al had a plan. He quickly drew a transmutation circle on the ground using chalk and created a tall wall in between the houses to stop the killer. “Now he can’t come after us.” Their joy was short-lived, however, when the killer destroyed the wall. When they tried to run away again, the man used his powers to destroy a part of the building next to him, creating a blockage of debris in their way.

 

“Who the hell are you? Why are you after us?” Edward asked as the man walked closer.

 

“There are those who create… And those who destroy.”

 

“Guess I have no choice...” Edward said as he clapped his hands together, and transmuted a nearby metal pole into a dagger. “Here we go!” He said as both he and Al charged at the man.

 

“You’re not afraid...” The killer said as he ducked under their attacks. “... But you’re slow!” In just a moment, a large chunk of Al’s right side was destroyed, revealing the nothingness inside as Al fell onto the ground, unable to stand up again.

 

“AL!” Edward yelled out before charging ahead again, now filled with even more hatred for their attacker. “YOU SON OF A-” However, he was stopped when the killer grabbed onto Ed’s right arm.

 

“I said you’re too slow!” Lightning sparked and Ed was thrown back onto the ground, unharmed. Even the killer seemed surprised at the fact that he wasn’t hurt.

 

“Damn it!” Ed said, throwing off his red coat and white gloves.

 

“Automail… It’s no wonder my body-disrupting attack had no effect.” The man said to himself. “And him… I was planning to strip him of his armor before I destroyed him, but there’s nothing inside. You’re a strange pair… This has taken longer than I thought.”

 

“Don’t think I’m going to follow your schedule!” Ed yelled out as he transmuted his arm into a blade.

 

“No, Edward…! You have to run...” Al called out as he watched everything unfold.

 

“Don’t be stupid! I’m not leaving without you!”

 

“Hm… You create a transmutation circle by putting your hands together… And then you use the power that flows between them.. Well then...” Edward charged at the man, ready to throw a punch, but was stopped when the killer grabbed his right arm. “I’ll start with your arm. Allow me to destroy it.” A sick metallic clang was heard as Ed’s right arm was shattered into tiny pieces.

 

Al’s screams for his brother broke the silence as Ed was kneeling on the ground in despair. “I’ll give you a moment to pray.” The man said, stepping closer.

 

“Sorry to disappoint you, but there’s no god that I feel like praying to.” Edward admitted. “Am I the only one you’re after? My younger brother, Al… Are you going to kill him too?”

 

“If anyone gets in my way I will eliminate him… But right now I only have business with you, the Fullmetal Alchemist.”

 

“All right then, promise me. Promise you won’t touch my brother.” Ed said, already accepting his fate.

 

“Ed...”

 

“I promise.”

 

“What do you mean?! Edward, what are you doing?! Run!” Al yelled out, trying to snap his brother out of his despair-induced daze. “Get up! Run! Get out of here! No! Please don’t do it! Don’t kill him!” Al’s screams continued as the killer was about to lay his hand on ED’s head. “NO!”

 

A gunshot was heard, catching everyone’s attention. Looking over to find the source, they found Colonel Mustang, Riza Hawkeye, Jean Havoc and [Name] [Last name] with their weapons, multiple cars and more officers. “That’s enough.” Said Roy Mustang, having been the one to fire into the rainy sky to get their attention. “That was pretty close, Fullmetal. You’re lucky we found [Last name] before he did.”

 

“Colonel! He’s-”

 

“That man is suspected in the serial killings of state alchemists. And judging from what I’m seeing, that suspicion just became fact. The murder at the Tucker estate… Let me guess. That was you too?”

 

The killer spoke up. “The world was made perfect by God. Alchemists change the natural into the unnatural… Twist things out of their true form… They sin by defacing God’s creation. I am an instrument of divine judgement!”

 

“Makes sense, but then why?” Roy asked. “Do you only target state alchemists when there are so many other alchemists you could kill?”

 

“If you insist on stopping me, I’ll just eliminate you too.”

 

Tossing his gun to Hawkeye, Mustang put on his alchemy glove. “Oh, you will, eh?”

 

“Colonel Mustang!” Riza called out.

 

“Stay out of this.” Was his only retort.

 

“Mustang… The state alchemist?” The killer asked aloud.

 

“The one and only!” He said, showing his glove that has the transmutation circle for fire on it. “I’m the “Flame Alchemist,” Roy Mustang!”

 

“I never thought I’d see this… You turn from the path of God, then come to meet judgement of your own free will...” Scar said, charging ahead, ready for a fight. “What a glorious day this is!”

 

“You know that I’m the Flame Alchemist, but you still want to fight me? You’re a fool!” Their fight was cut short when Riza tripped Mustang over, saving him just as Scar’s hand was about to touch his face. Using both hers and Mustang’s handguns, Riza fired multiple shots at the killer, which he all dodged using his speed. “What was that for?!”

 

“You’re useless on rainy days. Please stand back, Colonel.”

 

“Oh yeah…! He can’t put out sparks in this moisture…!” Havoc said, feeling the rain on his hand, as Roy was hit with just how useless he was right now.

 

“Lucky for me… You came to fight me, but you can’t make flames.” Said Scar, having ducked behind the wall of a house to escape Hawkeye’s many bullets. “State alchemists, sympathisers, and everyone who tries to stop me! I WILL DESTROY EVERYONE HERE!”

 

“Go ahead and try.”

 

From behind, a new challenger stepped up, punching a large hole where Scar’s head was, which he ducked from. “Hnh.. Another one!”

 

“Mm-hmm. You dodged that… Not half bad...” They admitted. “You brazen insurrectionary! I’ve had enough of you. You want to destroy everyone here? Don’t make me laugh! Why don’t you try to beat me first?!” The wall crumbled as the hero who showed up in the last second revealed his face. “I’m the “Strong Arm Alchemist”... Alex Louis Armstrong!”

 

“... So many of you today… One after another...” Scar said to himself. “But it does save me the trouble of having to search you out. This must be a gift from God!”

 

While the two were having their fight, you ran to Edward’s side, helping him sit up. “Hmh hmh… So you won’t back down, eh? Then as a sign of respect for your courage, I’ll show you this!” Armstrong said, throwing a large piece of concrete into the air. “The elegant alchemical technique passed down through Armstrong family for generations!” Just when the concrete was about to fall down, Alex hit it with his gauntlet, transmuting the material into an arrowhead, that was headed straight towards the killer. Despite the fact that Scar had dodged it, Armstrong wasn’t giving up. “And again!” This time, he punched the ground below, sending a line of long, sharp stone spikes towards his target. While Scar avoided major damage, the end of his open yellow jacket was caught on the spikes.

 

In retaliation, Scar used his power to destroy the spikes, setting himself free. “Major! Don’t tear up the street!” Havoc yelled out angrily.

 

“What’s that you say?! What destroys, can also create! And what creates, can also destroy! Destruction and creation are two sides of the same coin!” Armstrong yelled back. “We must tear down in order to build! That is the great law of the cosmos!”

 

“Why did he take his shirt off?” Havoc asked aloud, watching everything go down.

 

“That’s some crazy alchemy...” Riza butted in, amazed by the fighting.

 

““Crazy”, eh?” Armstrong said. “A fellow alchemist knows the truth in what I say. Isn’t that right, Scar? ”

 

“A Fellow…?!” Mustang said, surprised. “Are you saying, he’s an alchemist too?”

 

“I knew it.” Edward said, holding onto his right shoulder. “There are three main steps to alchemical transmutation: analysis, deconstruction and reconstruction.”

 

“I see… So he’s stopped transmuting at the second stage… The stage of deconstruction!” You pointed out, while the fight was still going on. “But if he’s an alchemist, then he’s going against his own preachings!”

 

“Yeah… And why does he only after ones with government licenses?” Roy asked himself.

 

“Hmm… For his size, he has unusually quick footwork… Unusually high strength… And he augments his power with alchemy…” Scar thought to himself as he was backed up against a wall, dodging Armstrong’s many punches. “This man is dangerous, but... ”

 

“Now I’ve got you!” Alex yelled out, ready to throw another punch.

 

“...He swings too wide and leaves himself open.” He continued his train of thought, ready to use his alchemy. “There!” Just before Scar could attack, Armstrong backed up. “He had me cornered… Why’d he pull back?”

 

In just a moment, a gunshot was heard, as Scar stumbled backwards and his sunglasses fell onto the ground, broken. “Did you get him?” Roy asked Riza, who was down on her knees, sniper in hand.

 

“He’s fast.” Riza said. “One shot grazed him… That’s all.”

 

Scar regained his footing before giving all of you a harsh glare, some blood flowing from the side of his head, where the bullet flew past him. “Red eyes! And his dark skin...”

 

“He’s an Ishvalan…!” Roy said, realising just who the killer was.

 

There were a few seconds of silence between you, nobody was sure who would make the first move. “Maybe there are too many of you...” Scar said.

 

“Whoa there!” Roy said as many officers had their guns pointed at Scar. “Don’t try to run for it. You’re surrounded.” But his warning was in vain, as Scar destroyed the ground below and escaped down below.

 

“That maniac went into the sewers!”

 

“Don’t go after him, Havoc.” Roy ordered.

 

“You think I’m chasing him down there?!”

 

Roy turned to Armstrong. “I’m sorry. You gave us just enough time to surround him and...”

 

“No, no, no.” Alex said, letting out a sigh. “It was all I could do to keep from being killed, much less give you more time...”

 

“Hey? Is it over?” Hughes asked, poking his head from behind a building.

 

“Lieutenant Colonel Hughes… Where have you been all this time?” Armstrong asked.

 

“Hiding! If things went bad, someone had to live to tell the tale!”

 

Roy butted in, angry. “You know, next time, could you consider possibly helping us?”

 

“Forget it! Don’t try to drag normal humans like me under the big top with the rest of you freaks!” Hughes said back before turning to his men. “Hey! Fight’s over, we’ve got work to do! Distribute an identification sketch of the assailant! On the double!”

 

“Alphonse!” Ed yelled out as he ran to his brother’s side, with you not far behind. “Al! Are you all right?! Hey!”

 

“Edward...” Al said before punching Ed in the cheek. “YOU IDIOT! Why didn’t you run away when I told you to?!”

 

“Because I didn’t want to just leave you here...” He tried to excuse his choices.

 

“THAT’S WHAT I MEAN BY STUPID!” Al yelled, punching Ed again.

 

“Just what did you try to do before i got here?!” You yelled, punching Ed in the back of the head. “Do you have any idea how scared I was?! I thought you DIED! And the first thing I see is you accepting death at the hands of a serial killer?! You nearly gave me a heart attack!”

 

“If I ran away Al might have been killed!”

 

“I might not have been killed too!” Al shot back. “When there’s a way to survive and you choose death, that’s what idiots do!”

 

“D...Don’t talk that way to your older brother!”

 

“I’ll talk to you however way I want!” Al yelled, grabbing onto Ed’s shirt. “You have to live… And keep living… So you can do more research! You have to find a way to get our old bodies back… And maybe even save poor girls like Nina! I WON’T LET YOU THROW THAT CHANCE AWAY! IF YOU DID, I’D NEVER FORGIVE YOU”

 

The moment was ruined as Al’s right arm broke off and fell onto the ground. “Oh no. My right arm came off too! It’s al your fault, Edward! You idiot!”

 

“Ha… Ha...” Edward laughed, it dawned on him just how big of a mess this whole situation was. “We’re a real mess, aren’t we? How uncool.”

 

“But we’re alive.” Al pointed out.

 

“Yeah...” Ed said, a smile on his face as Riza put her jacket on you and Ed to keep you two from freezing. “We’re alive.” Even the weather seemed to get over its depressed state, as the rain stopped and the sun came out from behind the clouds.

 

“That suit of armor is his younger brother? I’ve never heard of transmuting a human soul.” Armstrong said as he watched Havoc help Al walk.

 

“Edward must have been willing to lay down his life to try something like that. That’s why the bond between those two is so strong.” Roy pointed out. “Well, it looks like they’ll at least get a moment’s rest.”

 

“I don’t think you can rest yet, sir.” Hughes said. “You’ve got a very dangerous man after you.”

 

“And he’s an Ishvalan… Looks like it might get worse.”

 

--

 

“The Ishvalans are a people from the east of us, who believe in one god, Ishvala. Due to religious differences, they’d always been in conflict with the Central government… But thirteen years ago, when an army officer accidentally shot an Ishvalan child, the incident exploded into civil war. Riot lead to riot, and soon the fires of civil war spread throughout the entire east area. After seven frustrating years, the military commanders took a new tactic… They used state alchemists in an all-out genocide campaign. They were recruited as human weapons. It was an opportunity to test their suitability for war.” Roy explained, having just returned to East H.Q. “I was one of those alchemists. That’s why there’s a certain justice that one of the last surviving Ishvalans would seek revenge.”

 

“It’s still not justice.” Ed said, opposing the idea. “Whatever happened, he’s sill involving innocent people for the sake of his revenge. He’s just candy-coating it by acting selfrichteous and calling himself “an instrument of God.””

 

“We’re talking about someone who hates alchemy but uses that very same power to get revenge.” Hughes pointed out. “Someone like that, who’s either totally insane or doesn’t care about what other think about them, is one of the most dangerous people there is. Frankly, he scares me.”

 

“We can’t care what people think of us either. Because we can’t afford to die yet.” Roy said. “The next time we meet, there won’t be any explanations. Because we’ll kill him.”

 

“Okay! On that cheerful note… That’s enough of this pointless conversation.” Hughes said, standing up, before turning to you. “So what are you guys going to do?”

 

“Well… I want to fix Al’s body, but I can’t perform alchemy with just one arm...”

 

“Can’t [Name] fix him for you?” Armstrong asked, to which you said you can’t.

 

“I’m the only one who knows how to keep Al’s soul in the armor… So anyway, first I need a new arm.”

 

“Right...” Riza pointed out. “If Edward can’t use alchemy, then he’s just...”

 

“... A little brat who swears a lot.”

 

“An arrogant pipsqueak...”

 

“Useless, just useless!”

 

“A total jerk.”

 

“Sorry, big brother... I don’t know how to follow that...”

 

You all said in order of Havoc, Hughes, Roy, you and Al respectively. “YOU’RE ALL PICKING ON ME!” Ed yelled. “Fine. I have no choice… I have to go see my mechanic.”

 

--

 

Next time: Road of Hope

 

--

 

Bonus content!

 

--

 

Edward: Pokemon Sword *Turns arm into sword*

Alphonse: Pokemon Shield *Flexes his iron body*

[Name]: Pokemon Gun *Turns right arm into a gun*

Ed and Al: [NAME] NO!

[Name]: [NAME] YES!

 

--

 

*[Name] after all the shit that’s been going on in both Amestris and U.A.*

[Name]: *Walking back and forth in the middle of the road* HIT ME! HIT ME WITH YOUR CAR!

 

--

 

Pride: Humans are such simple creatures.

[Name]: You better shut your 7-year-old schoolboy mama's boy head ass looking little shit mouth the fuck up before I shove my boot up your ass.

 

--

 

Tucker: *says some burrshittu*

Al: *Bends over*

[Name] and Ed: *Jump off from Al’s body to smack the shit out of Tucker*

 

--

 

Envy: These students are weak af.

[Name]: *appearing out of nowhere* I heard you were talking shit about me and my friends.

Envy: What the FUCK?!

 

--

 

[Name]: I have not had anything to drink for the past 6 hours.

*various reactions*

Al and Izuku: *Get water like the cinnamon rolls they are*

Ed and Bakugou: The FUCK did you just say?!

Izumi and Todoroki: Then perish.

 

--

 

Winry: Hoe don’t do it.

[Name] and Ed: *break their arms in battle*

Winry: Oh my god.

 

--

 

[Name]: To all of my haters out there: suck my ass.

 

--

 

[Name]: *trying not to curse in front of Hawkeye* Mother trucker, dude. That hurt like a buttcheek on a stick.

 

--

 

Class 1-A: *see Envy during the USJ* Wait a minute… Who are you?

 

--

 

[Name]’s dad: *to [Name]* All right, sweetie. You’re getting older and your body will go through some changes. You’ll grow taller, you’ll get curvier and you’ll find yourself feeling things you’ve never felt before. So I think it’s about time you learn how to destroy that dick and pussy.

 

[Name]: *was adopted* Aren’t you a virgin, tho?

 

--

 

Envy: *running with a sword in hand* You ready to fucking die, bitch?

[Name]: I’m a bad bitch. You can’t kill me.

Envy: … BITCH-

 

--

 

Ling: Let’s do this together.

[Name]: This is illegal.

Ling: … Let’s get arrested together.

 

--

 

[Name] is ‘chaotic bi’ incarnate

 

--

 

Police officer: *holding gun* Mam. Please put your hands in the air.

[Name]’s brain: *Plays Sonic music*

[Name]: *runs away*

Police officer: *running after* Mam! Mam, please!

 

--

 

Roy: You either buckle down and do your work, or you’ll end up at McDonald’s.

[Name]: We going to McDonald’s if I don’t do my work?

Roy: No…? *laughing*

 

--

 

[Name]: *hanging Aizawa a yellow balloon* I have no soul. Have a nice day!

Aizawa: I don’t have one either.

 

--

 

*During a meeting*

Roy: There is only one thing worse than a rapist.

Riza: *Rips off a piece of paper from the whiteboard, revealing ‘child rapist’*

Roy: Boom.

[Name]/Ed/Havoc: *gasp* A child.

Roy: No.

 

--

 

Some rando: *at the Tucker household* So apparently a little girl died here when she was like, 7, and the place has been haunted ever since.

Nina’s ghost: I’m 5, so shut up.

 

--

 

Ed and [Name]: *arguing over who should drive*

[Name]: Babe, look! *points somewhere*

Ed: *looks over*

[Name]: *drinks entire bottle of wine while Ed isn't looking*

 

--

 

[Name]: *beating the fuck out of Pride with a baseball bat* I HATE THIS DAMN ASS BITCH PRIDE!

 

--

 

Shouto “Hand Crusher” Todoroki: I… I think I lov- *sees [Name]’s automail* Oh no.

 

--

Chapter Text

--

 

Last time: Scar, the man who was responsible for killing a string of state alchemists, came after Edward Elric. Ed was ready to accept death at Scar’s hand, but thanks to the intervention of Colonel Mustang and the military, Ed was able to escape with his life. Ed, Al and [Name], realising the joy of being alive were once again determined to survive and move forward. They decided to return to their home in Resembool to seek help in restoring their bodies.

 

--

 

You all looked at Armstrong as he sniffed, tears streaming down his face. Before any of you had time to say anything, Armstrong took Edward into his arms, hugging him so tightly, you could practically hear Ed’s bones pop and crack. “OH, EDWARD ELRIC! I’VE HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT YOU!” He said, letting go of the poor alchemist. “The pure love that led you to try to resurrect your dead mother! The brotherly love that made you risk your own life to bring back your younger brother’s soul! I AM SO MOVED!” He said as Ed kicked the man in the face before Armstrong could go in for another bone-crushing hug. That however, didn’t stop him from pulling you into one of his hugs.

 

“The want to protect your friend, despite being powerless just like him! Going so far as to leaving him behind to study in a different country! And promising to return to him as soon as you master alchemy! YOUR CARE FOR HIM IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND TRAGIC!”

 

“Uh… So who told him all about us, Colonel ?” Edward asked, his anger clearly visible.

 

“Well… When the Major is leaning on you, it’s hard not to tell him what he wants...” Roy said,

 

“Knowing the details of your pasts...” Armstrong said, having released you from his iron grip. “... That’s why I’ve decided to escort you on your trip to your trip to your engineer!”

 

“HUH?!” You and Ed yelled out at the same time.

 

“You must be crazy! I don’t need a guard!” Ed said before being interrupted by Riza.

 

“Edward. You’re planning to travel around in that state when Scar could attack you at any moment?” Riza scolded him. “Of course we’re going to assign a guard to you. Otherwise you’d be totally defenceless. [Name] might not have taken damage in that battle, but she alone won’t be enough to protect both you and Alphonse.”

 

“Plus, with your arm the way it is, you won’t be able to carry Al either.” Havoc pointed out, reminding you of the fact that for now, Al couldn’t stand up, let alone walk.

 

“But it doesn’t have to be the Major!” Ed said, hoping that anyone else would come with them. Unfortunately, the others had other plans.

 

“I got a ton of work waiting for me back in Central.”

“I can’t leave the East Headquarters.”

“I’m too busy babysitting the Colonel. Someone has to keep him in line.”

“I don’t think I can protect you from someone that dangerous.”

“Our thoughts exactly.”

Said Hughes, Mustang, Hawkeye, Havoc and Breda, Furey and Falman in that order. “So it’s decided!” Armstrong said, patting Edward on the head, only to get yelled at by an angry alchemist, yelling that nothing has been “decided”. “Now, you children… Please listen to your elders.”

 

“Don’t treat me like a kid!” Ed yelled in Armstrong’s face. “Why you...Hey Al, [Name]! Are you going to take that?!”

 

“Well, we are under 18, so, legally, we are children.” You pointed out.

 

“Oh, Ed!” Al said, sparkles in his eyes. “This is the first time someone’s treated me like a kid since my body became armor!”

 

“If you still plan on making a fuss, would you prefer to be court martialed for disobeying orders?” Roy asked, an evil smirk on his face, as he sat behind his desk like a villain.

 

“WHAT?! You dirty...!”

 

“Hmm… Now that it’s decided, let’s pack up.” Armstrong said before putting Al into a wooden crate. “Baggage fees are cheaper than travel fees!”

 

“That’s the first time someone’s treated me like luggage since my body became armor...” Al said to himself, acting the exact opposite from before.

 

“You two get ready too, Edward Elric and [Name] [Last name]. Did you bring your handkerchiefs?”

 

“I told you, don’t treat us like kids!”

 

--

 

“Now I can look forward to a whole train ride with this bozo.” Ed thought to himself as he recalled to the events that lead him here. His train of thought was interrupted, however, by Hughes, who knocked on the train’s window next to you. “Lieutenant Colonel Hughes! What’s up?”

 

“The guys at Headquarters say they’re too busy to come, so I came instead to see you off. Oh yeah, I have a message from Roy.”

 

“From the Colonel?” You asked, just to make sure you heard correctly.

 

““I won’t allow you to die in my jurisdiction because it’d be a pain to clean up the mess.” That’s all he said.”

 

“Fine. Tell him, “Understood. We’d never die before you, Colonel, you @#*$ idiot.”” Ed said back, very clear about how he felt.

“Ha ha ha! They say that the ruder you are, the luckier you are! In that case, you and Roy are gonna live forever!” Hughes laughed, and you let out a small giggle as well. You could absolutely see Ed and Mustang yelling at each other, even if they’re over 100 years old. The train let out a loud whistle as the train started slowly moving. “All right then, have a safe trip.” Hughes said as he gave you a salute, which you all gladly returned. “Let me know if you’re ever out in Central.”

 

--

 

“So, this person you know is an automail mechanic? I’ve never met anyone in that line of work.”

 

“Well, to be more precise, they’re a surgeon, a weaponsmith specializing in prostheses, and an automail expert.” Ed explained when Armstrong asked about your mechanic. “They’ll give me a good deal because I’ve known them for a long time. They do good work too.”

 

“And what kind of place is this Resembool?”

 

This time, you explained. “Just a quaint little town. There’s nothing around for miles.”

 

“Actually, everything got destroyed because of the civil war in the east.” Ed added. “It might have been a bustling city if the military had been more on top of things.”

 

“You’re making my ears hurt.” Armstrong said, ashamed.

 

“That’s good. Should I say more?” Ed said, before you gave him a jab in the arm with your elbow to make him stop. “Come on, [Name]. I was joking.” He said before looking out the window again, a smile on his face. “... It’s really a quiet place. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but it has a lot of things you can’t get in the city. That’s me and Al’s hometown… Resembool.” He turned to the large man. “By the way… You did put Al on the train, right?”

 

Oh yeah. You hadn’t seen him since you boarded the train. Before you could ask him where he put him, Armstrong said that Al was in the livestock car with the sheep.

 

“I thought he might get lonely by himself.”

 

“YOU JERK! THAT’S WORSE THAN THE LUGGAGE CAR!” Ed yelled.

 

“Really, what’s the problem? He’s got plenty of room, it’s cheap, there’s lots of living things… Wooly friends...”

 

“QUIT MESSING WITH MY BROTHER!”

 

Unbeknownst to you three, there was a certain beautiful woman on the train, just a few seats away from you, listening in on everything you said.

 

--

 

The train stood still at a station next to a small town in the country. The houses were small, marble white rectangles built into a nearby mountain as well as around it. Nothing was really going on, so you spent your time in your head, thinking of anything, really. Looking out the window, Alex started yelling after a man who happened to walk by, waking up Edward, who had been sleeping so far. “Dr. Marcoh! Aren’t you Dr. Marcoh? It’s Alex Louis Armstrong from Central!” Unfortunately, the man ran away from the station as fast as he could, fear in his eyes.

 

“Someone you know?” You asked, wondering why he had started yelling out of nowhere.

 

“Yes...” Armstrong said. “He’s a skilled alchemist who was involved in the alchemy research department at central. He was studying the use of alchemy for medical purposes, but he vanished during the civil war.” His words seemed to catch Edward’s attention as he quickly stood up and practically ran for the exit.

 

“Let’s get off!” Ed yelled.

 

“Hmh? Don’t we get off at Resembool?” Armstrong pointed out.

 

“If he used to do that kind of research, then he might know something about biological transmutation too!” Ed pointed out as he exited the wagon. “We have to get Al and the baggage off too! Come on!” He said, practically pulling you along by the wrist as he turned t a man working at the station. “Excuse me. We’re getting off here!”

 

As the man opened the door to the livestock car, Armstrong jumped in and picked up the wooden crate where Al was placed in. “Whoa! Al, you smell like sheep!”

 

“It’s not my fault that I smell!”

 

“Dr. Marcoh...” Said a beautiful, black-haired woman as she watched her targets run into the small town. “Well, well...”

 

--

 

“Uh… Excuse me… We’re looking for someone who just passed by...”

 

“Have you seen an elderly man who looks like this?” Armstrong asked oe of the locals, holding up a small notebook containing a detailed piece of artwork that looked just like the man you were after.

 

“You’re a good artist, Major...” You pointed out.

 

“It’s the skill of portraiture that’s been passed down for generations in the Armstrong family!”

 

“Oh that’s Dr. Mauro!” One of the locals said, recognising the man in the picture. “Sure, we know him!”

 

““Mauro”?” Armstrong asked, confused.

 

“As you can see, this isn’t the richest town in the world. Most people here can’t afford doctors, but Dr. Mauro treats people for free.”

 

And so began your search for this Dr. Mauro. You asked every person in town about him.

 

“He’s a good man!”

“He treats patients that most doctors would say don’t have a chance to survive!”

“‘s true! When I got my leg stuck in the weed puller and almost died, he fixed it up good as new!”

“When he treats you… It’s like there’s a flash of light and then you’re healed!”

 

“A flash of light...” You said to yourself. “Yes, it must be alchemy.”

 

“So he’s using an alias and hiding out in the countryside.” Ed said. “But why? What’s he hiding from?”

 

“Apparently when the doctor disappeared, some of the top-secret research material disappeared too. It was rumored that he stole it and ran...” Armstrong said as you all climbed up the stairs to Marcoh’s house, with Al being carried by Alex. “Perhaps he thought we were sent here to bring him back.”

 

“Hello there? Anybody...” Ed asked, opening the wooden door, only to get a gun pointed at his face. “... Home? WHOA!” Luckily for the small alchemist, he managed to get out of the way before the bullet hit him.

 

“What did you come here for?” Marcoh asked, shaking in fear.

 

“Please calm down, doctor.” Armstrong pleaded.

 

“Did you come to take me back? I’ll never go back to that place! I beg you! Let me go!”

 

“No, that’s not it. Please listen...”

 

“So you came to kill me and shut me up for good?!”

 

“First, if you could please lower your gun...”

 

“You can’t fool me!”

 

Armstrong, thoroughly tired of Marcoh accusing them of falsehoods, threw the wooden crate containing Alphonse at the panicking doctor, in hopes to get him to listen. “”I SAID, PLEASE CALM DOWN.

 

--

 

“I couldn’t stand it any more.” Marcoh said after you had all sat down at the table in his home. “Having to obey their orders… Dirtying my hands to research the things I did… And then seeing it used in the civil world to slaughter hundreds of thousands of people… It was an awful war… So many innocent people died...” You all looked down in shame and sorrow. “I couldn’t make up for my actions if I paid for them with the rest of my life. But still I try to do what I can… That’s why I work as a doctor in this place.”

 

“What were you researching before you left? What did you take with you?” Marcoh paused, as if debating with himself whether to answer Armstrong’s questions.

 

“I was making the Philosopher’s Stone.” Hearing his words, you all looked at the doctor in surprise. “I took the stone and the research data.”

 

“You have the stone?!” Ed asked as Marcoh opened the nearby cabinet and pulled out a small glass bottle, a beautiful blood red liquid inside.

 

“Here it is.”

 

““Stone”? It looks like a liquid...” Pulling off the cork on the bottle, Marcoh let the substance drop onto the wooden table in a single mass, like slime. Once hitting the table’s surface, the liquid took an oval shape and wobbled.

 

“The Sage’s Stone… The Stone of Heaven… The Great Elixir… The Red Tincture… The Fifth Element.” Marcoh said as you all stared at the substance as it wobbled back and forth as Ed poked it with his finger. “Just as there are many names for the Philosopher’s Stone, it seems that it might not be a stone at all. But this is just something that was created for experimental purposes. It’s an imperfect compound, and it’s impossible to know when it will reach its limits and cease to work. But even so, compounds like these were secretly used throughout the civil war, and they were tremendously successful.”

 

“An imperfect compound… So that’s what Cornello had...” Ed thought to himself, recalling to the events that took place in Liore. “It may be imperfect… But the fact that you made it means that it must be possible to make the perfect stone someday, right? Dr. Marcoh! Can you please show me your data?”

 

“What do you mean to do with such a thing? Major Armstrong, who is this child?”

 

“He’s a state alchemist.”

 

“This boy ?” Marcoh asked, massaging his nose. “He has a state licence at his age? He must have been lured by the promises of privilege and research money… How foolish! Do you know how many alchemists threw away their licenses after the war? I wasn’t the only one who hated myself for being a weapon… But you still...”

 

“I know it was foolish! But I had to!” Ed said, gripping tightly onto his right shoulder. “I have to achieve my goal… Even if it means sleeping on this bed of nails.”

 

--

 

“So... You committed the ultimate sin. I’m surprised that you were able to transmute a soul… If you have that kind of talent, you might even be able to create a complete philosopher’s Stone.”

 

“So then…!”

 

“But I can’t allow you to see my data!” Marcoh said firmly, shooting down your optimism from before.

 

“But why not?”

 

“I said everything I’m going to say. Getting your original bodies back… The stone shouldn't be used for something so trite.”

 

“TRITE?!”

 

“Doctor! Isn’t that a little harsh?” Alex asked.

 

“No one will ever see my research. It’s the work of the devil.” Marcoh said, turning his back to you. “And it can only lead straight to hell.”

 

“I’VE ALREADY SEEN HELL!” Ed yelled, remembering the night you tried to bring Trisha back.

 

“... No. Please go.”

 

Marcoh stared out the window as you, Ed, Al and Armstrong walked away from his house, Ed’s words about already seeing hell echoing in his mind.

 

--

 

You all sat on a bench at the station, waiting for the next train. “Are you satisfied with how that turned out?” Armstrong asked, breaking the silence between you. “You couldn’t look at the data, but you could have taken the stone by force if you’d wanted to.”

 

“Yeah… I wanted it so bad that I could taste it...” Edward admitted. “But when I thought about the people we met on the way to Dr. Marcoh’s house… I decided that if I stole the thing he used to heal them, just to get my old body back… It would leave a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll just think of another way to get my body back. Right?”

 

“Uh-huh.” You and Al hummed in agreement.

 

“So are you satisfied, Major?” You asked. “Don’t you have to report Dr. Marcoh to Central?”

 

“The person I met was an ordinary town doctor named Mauro.” You smiled at his response.

 

“Oh man, we’re back to where we started.” Ed said. “This road sure is long.”

 

“Hey you!” A familiar voice called out. Turning your head, you saw Dr. Marcoh standing at the gates to the station platform, out of breath. “This is the place where I hid my data. I wrote down the location.” The man said, handing Ed a folded piece of paper. “If you can look the truth in the face, then do it. Then you might be able to reach the truth within the truth...” He paused for a moment before turning around and started walking back into town, waving goodbye. “... Never mind. I’ve said too much. I’ll pray for the day that you three can return to your original bodies.” Watching him leave, you and Ed bowed in respect, thanking him for his words, while Armstrong sent the doctor away with a proper salute.

 

--

 

The good doctor closed the door to his house, having just arrived back home. The man stayed silent for a moment, only letting out a sigh. The silence was quickly broken, however. “It’s been a while, Marcoh.” Turning around in shock, the doctor saw a beautiful woman with long, wavy, black hair and mauve eyes with cat-like pupils. On her rather exposed chest was a mark of an oroboros. “I was trailing the Fullmetal and Steel Arm kids… And you just dropped into my lap.” In fear, the doctor backed himself against a wall. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to take you back. Even if you’re out of the picture, your subordinates are taking care of things quite well.”

 

“Are you… Are you still making those horrible things?!”

 

“Oh my… Please don’t forget that we were the ones who taught you how to make Philosopher’s Stones.” The woman said. “Your leaving, and taking your data, didn’t slow down our research at all. But the data you took… If an ordinary person sees it, it’s no big deal, but if an alchemist of those kids’ level sees it, it could cause a lot of trouble.” The woman continued, glaring at the man. “You started to have suspicions too, didn’t you? That’s why you left the lab… Isn’t that so?”

 

“So I was right. I wanted to believe that I had made a mistake and that it was all a terrible dream… You devil!” Marcoh said, reaching for his gun, that was left on a stool to his left. Unfortunately, before he could grasp the weapon, Lust shot one of her elongated fingers right through Marcoh’s left shoulder, making the man scream in pain.

 

“Don’t get any funny ideas.” Lust said, stepping closer to the doctor. “The data you stole… You told them where it is hidden, didn’t you?”

 

“I don’t know what you’re-” In anger, Lust twisted her finger that was still in Marcoh’s shoulder, drawing more blood than before.

 

“Don’t lie to me. I’ve got a lot of things to do, Marcoh. I don’t have time for chit-chat.” Marcoh let out a pained chuckle.

 

“Those kids are smart… When they see the data, they’ll eventually figure out the truth… They’ll realise what you and the others are trying to do.” The doctor said, gripping onto his left arm.

 

“I’ll never allow that to happen.” Lust said, her glare hardening.

 

“Oh, you won’t?” Marcoh said in his newly-found confidence. Unbeknownst to Lust, he had drawn a transmutation circle on the wall with his own blood. “You don’t have a choice! Because I’ve got you! YOU’RE GOING TO DIE HERE!” In a split second, a large spike came out of the wall and stabbed right through Lust’s stomach. “Ha ha… You didn’t expect… That...” Marcoh’s confidence soon turned to horror, however, when Lust spoke, showing that she was very much alive.

 

“How mean of you… Now you’ve made me die once. I’d forgotten...” She said, smiling. In a single swift movement, she used another one of he fingers to slice off the spike and let it fall out of her body, onto the floor. “... That you’re another alchemist to use as a human sacrifice.” Within seconds, the hole inside lust’s stomach was completely repaired.

 

“No...” Marcoh said, shocked. “This is impossible…!”

 

“Well now.” Lust spoke. “What should I do with you?”

 

“Doctor Marou!” The voice of a young girl rang, as a child came through the front door. “I brought some flowers!”

 

“KIRI! STAY BACK!” The girl was stopped in her tracks when Lust extended two of her fingers to pierce the door behind her, missing her neck by just a hair, making her drop the flowers she was holding.

 

“Aren’t you a good little girl...” Lust cooed. “Marcoh… If I twist my hand even slightly… You know what’ll happen, don’t you?”

 

“STOP! THAT CHILD IS INNOCENT!”

 

“Those aren’t the words I wanted to hear.” She smiled innocently, before her hard glare returned. “ Tell me .”

 

Marcoh stayed silent, before giving in. “Th-the data is hidden in...”

 

“Yes… Where?”

 

--

 

““National Central Library, First Branch… Tim Marcoh...”” Edward read aloud, the paper the doctor had given him in his hand.

 

“I see… “If you want to hide a tree, place it in the forest...”” You said. “Their book collection is beyond compare. There must be millions of volumes.”

 

“That’s where we’ll find clues about the stone!” Ed smiled, barely able to contain his excitement.

 

--

 

“How clever of you to hide it in the library. I thought you had taken it and ran.” Lust said, having released both Marcoh and Kiri from her grasp.

 

“Who the hell are you people? What do you mean, “human sacrifice”?” Marcoh said, hugging the crying little girl to his chest.

 

“Don’t worry. You’ll know soon enough. Until then, Marcoh, I’ll let you live.” Lust said, fixing her hair. “But don’t even think about running anywhere else… Or getting in our way again. If you get any funny ideas… Well... I’ll erase this town from the map .” That was the last thing Lust said before stepping out of the building, leaving a frightened and crying little girl and a scared doctor. “Well then... Too bad for the Fullmetal and Steel Arm kids… I guess I’ll get there first and dispose of the data.”

 

--

 

Stepping outside, an old woman let out a puff of smoke from her pipe. I was all peaceful until the dog stood up and started barking. “Huh? What is it, Den?” Looking over in the direction Den was looking, she saw the reason for the dog’s excitement. “Well, I’ll be! Winry! Our regulars are here! Winry!” The woman called out, catching the attention of a young girl indoors.

 

“Hey! Granny Pinako, I’m gonna need your help again.” Ed said, arriving at the house. “This is Major Armstrong.”

 

“Pinako Rockbell. Pleased to meet you.” The old lady said, shaking the Major’s hand. “Is it just me, or since the last time I saw you, Ed… Have you gotten a lot smaller?”

 

“Who are you calling “small,” you half-pint hag?!”

“What did you call me, you little runt?!”

“You heard me, guppy geezer!”

“Chibi-chump!”

“Micro-mini granny!”

 

“HEY! ED!” In a split second a wrench flew from above and hit Edward on the back of the head. “How many times do I have to tell you to call before you come in for maintenance!” On the balcony stood a young girl with long, blonde hair and blue eyes.

 

“WINRY, YOU JERK!” Ed yelled, holding onto the spot he was hit. “YOU COULDA KILLED ME!”

 

“Ah ha ha!” The girl laughed. “Welcome back!”

 

“Yeah, right...” Ed grumbled.

 

--

 

You knocked on the wooden door separating you from the small house. Footsteps could be heard from the inside as you backed away from the opening door.

 

“Hey, dad. I’m home.”

 

“Have you found any ways to get your bodies back?” Your father asked, sipping his tea.

 

“We actually found a good lead not so long ago.” You explained, tracing the edge of your cup with your finger. “We leave as soon as Ed’s arm gets fixed. Pinako said it was going to be done in three days.”

 

“Three days, huh?” Your father chuckled. “He really must have messed it up this time for it to take this long.”

 

“Yeah...” You said, giving a somewhat sad smile. “There was a big fight and it got smashed to bits. I can only imagine how mad Winry is at him. That idiot...” You sighed. “I know it’s selfish, but for once I wish that he would give this whole thing up. I know that he wants to get our bodies back as quickly as possible, but I can’t bare to see him get hurt. I feel I failed him. He’s always there to help me and I’m there for him, but he just keeps on charging right into battle and doesn’t even care that he gets hurt.”

 

“I worry about you, too, [Name].” Your father admitted. “I haven’t seen you for three years, you barely call, you haven’t sent a single letter, and the first time I see you again after all this time, you tell me that Edward nearly got killed? I want you to get your bodies back, I really do, but I always worry about you when you’re away. I keep thinking back to my time in the civil war, and I’m afraid that you might die, and I wouldn’t be there to help you.”

“I know. And I’m sorry.” You said. “I just keep thinking about how Ed constantly wants to keep me away from the fighting, even though I’m just as strong as he is. It’s like he still thinks of me as the shy and timid little girl I was when I first met him.”

 

“You sure have changed. The time in the military has made you stronger and more confident.” Your father said before his face turned to a frown once again. “I know that personalities don’t change so much so quickly on their own. You have seen some traumatic things, haven’t you?”

 

You stayed silent for a moment. “... Yes. I met a little girl whose life I couldn’t save. Not even with alchemy. Her face and words are constantly playing in the back of my mind. She called me her big sister, and I felt so guilty that I couldn’t do anything to help her. And in the end, she was killed. I felt so useless.” You stopped once you felt your voice choke, tears in your eyes, clouding your vision. You tried to suppress the memory of what happened that day, drying your tears.

 

“It’s OK, [Name].” Your father said, pulling you into a hug. “You can cry all you want. I won’t judge you for it.” Having received your father’s encouragement, you buried your face in his shirt as you sobbed your heart out. After everything that had happened, you really needed a good cry to let all your bottled up emotions out..

 

Once you were done crying, your father smiled. “Well, you’ve been gone for so long, we haven’t even been able to celebrate your 13th, 14th and 15th birthday! Would having a triple birthday make you feel better?”

 

“Yeah.” You said, sniffing as you wiped the last of your tears away.

 

“Alright. I don’t have a cake, but how about pancakes?”

 

“With chocolate and strawberries?”

 

“Yep. We’ll stack ‘em high. One pancake for each year.” Your dad said, smiling, as he took yout the flower and sugar from the kitchen cabinet.

 

--

 

After the birthday dinner, you went to your old room to put away your traveling things. You even managed to fit into your old clothes. “Wow. You really haven’t grown much in the past three years.”

 

“Hey! I’ve grown plenty! These clothes were always big on me!” You shot back as you placed your dirty clothes into the washing machine.

 

“Whoa! I haven’t read these in forever!” You said after finding your old manga and light novel collections. “Man I missed these.”

 

“I know you don’t like me snooping around in your stuff, but when I was cleaning one day, I found this.” Your father said, holding out a little card. “Back then you had the biggest crushes, didn’t you?”

 

“What are you talking about?” You asked, taking the card from his hands. Once you read it, your face turned bright red. This was a terrible attempt at a “love letter” you wrote when you were 8. “I thought I threw that thing away.” You said embarrassed.

 

“i know, but I found it lying on the table one day and decided to keep it. You know, for nostalgia. And possibly to tease you when you were older.”

 

“You’re so mean.” you said, playfully nudging him in the side.

 

--

 

“Ready? Here we go.” Pinako said, Ed’s face twitching in discomfort, already knowing what was coming. “One… Two… Three!” In just a second, both Pinako and Winry tightened the screws on Ed’s automail arm and leg, causing a short, but powerful, wave of pain in the young boy’s body.

 

“Every time… I hate that moment when the nerves get connected.”

 

“Don’t be such a baby.” Winry said, moving the arm a bit. “Okay, try moving it.”

 

“Soon, I can kiss that pain goodbye once and for all.” Ed said, smiling at the thought. “Everything’s gonna be great once I find the Philosopher’s Stone and get my old body back.”

 

“Be a shame. You’re our cash cow.” Pinako said, finishing up the last bits of work on Ed’s leg.

 

“That’s right! Why be in such a hurry to get back to normal? Automail is cool!” Winry said as she went int fangirl mode. “The smell of the oil, the creaking of artificial muscles, the whirring of bearings… And the beautiful form based on the principles of biological research! Oh my… How wonderful automail prosthetics are!”

 

“Engineering otaku.”

“Shut up, alchemy otaku.”

 

“All done!” Pinako said as Ed stretched, feeling the new limbs. “How is it?”

 

“Feels good.”

 

“I know you’re not the type to do any kind of daily maintenance… So this time I used steel with a high percentage of Chrome to make it rust-resistant. But it’s less durable this way, so don’t be too rough on...” Winry explained, only to find Ed already sprinting out the front door. “HEY! ARE YOU LISTENING?!”

 

“Are these all the pieces of your armor?” Ed asked, putting all the big and small pieces of metal next to Al.

 

“Yup. The MPs in East City gathered them up for me.”

 

“You can fix it right away?” Armstrong asked as you took a few steps closer.

 

“See that rune on the inside?” You asked, pointing towards a small circular rune on the inside of Al’s body. “That’s what binds Al’s soul to the armor. Ed has to fix his arms and legs without destroying this rune.” Ed clapped his hands together as light blue electricity sparked in between his limbs, becoming the energy used to put Al’s body together.

 

“All right then… Shall we?” Ed flashed you and Al a smile, which you returned. In just a few moments, you three began sparring with each other, making sure that you were in perfect shape before you headed to Central the next day.

 

--

 

As the sun had barely even risen, you were ready to head out. You had already said your goodbyes to your dad, so all that was left was to wait for Ed, Al and Armstrong to get their stuff. “Thanks for everything, granny.” Ed said, as you all were ready to leave.

 

“Hey, where's Winry?” You asked, noticing the lack of a certain blonde girl.

 

“She did so many all nighters that she’s still asleep. Should I wake her up?” Pinako asked.

 

“Don’t bother.” Ed said, waving nonchalantly. “If you wake her up she’d just go on and on about automail maintenance.”

 

“Okay, then.”

 

“Well, take care of yourselves.”

 

“Don’t be strangers.” Pinako said. “Come back sometime when you feel like some good home cooking.”

 

“Like we’d come all the way to the boondocks just for a meal.” Ed huffed.

 

“Ed! Al! [Name]!” A familiar voice cut your walk towards the train station short. Looking over your shoulder, you saw Winry on the balcony to her house, waving her hand, still tired. “See you later.”

 

“Later!” Ed called out as you all headed for the train station.

 

--

 

Your father started out the window as he saw you leaving for your next destination. Pulling out a pen and paper, he began to write down the words: “Dear Inko...”

 

--

 

The train ride was mainly quiet, but you did find something to distract you: braiding Ed’s hair. The idiot was so quick to get going, that he didn’t even have time to put his hair into his iconic braid. While the boy was asleep, you pulled out your brush and hair ties.

 

“You two certainly have a close relationship.” Armstrong said.

 

“He drives me crazy sometimes. But I won’t deny that I worry about him.” You replied.

 

“Maybe it’s love.” Armstrong pointed out.

 

You nearly choked on your own spit as a light blush spread on your cheeks. “No no no no. We’ve been friends since we were little kids, so of course I care about him and do my best to protect him when he gets into trouble. But it’s not like I like like that idiot.” It seems that no one was fooled by your statement as even Al started laughing. “Hey! What’s so funny? Don’t laugh at that!” Unbeknownst to you, a certain blonde might have been listening in on your words.

 

--

 

“Good morning, granny.” Winry said, yawning.

 

“What do you mean, “good morning”? Do you know what time it is?”

 

“Whoa. I slept through the whole day.” Winry said as she looked towards the clock on the wall. Her attention was brought towards her messy work table. “Oh yeah… I haven’t touched it since I fixed Ed’s arm. Sheesh. Every time he comes here things get so crazy.” She said to herself as she cleaned the things off the table. “I don’t wanna do any more allnighters...”

 

I was then when a screw with the label “A-08” rolled over on the table. “... Uh-oh.”

 

--

 

Next time: Hidden Truths

 

--

 

A.N. Boy, that was a long one, huh? I’m glad I got this out when I did, it is currently past 1 am as I am posting this. I might not be able to post anything next week, since I’ll be busy with school, my 18th birthday (May 5th for those of you who want to know) and other things. See you next time!

 

--

 

Bonus content!

 

--

You know, for [Name] to grow accustomed to, and fight with, her heavy, metal arms, she has to be ripped af.

--

[Name]: *eating ice*

Todoroki: What are you doing?

[Name]: I am crunching my thirst.

--

[Name]: *hat on fire* Hey, dad, I know you heard a loud noise, but everything’s fine. I’m just here doing my homework.

--

*[Name], being interviewed, after becoming a Pro Hero*

[Name]: I spent quite a few years living in a small mountain village called Resembool.

Interviewer: What did you do there?

[Name]: Well, nothing much. Not a lot happens there. It’s quiet there. It’s rare that something interesting happens.

Interviewer: When was the last time something interesting happened?

[Name]: Umm… When the house of my two friends burned down, I guess.

*cut to the Elric family house burning*

--

*Romantic dinner*

[Name]: *steals one of Ed's fries*

Ed: *quietly slips engagement ring box back into pocket*

--

Momo:*walks into dorm kitchen* What’s burning?

[Name]: Only my love for you.

Momo: The toaster is on fire.

--

*Danny Phantom music plays*

*Cut to [Name] running around with a white sheet over her*

--

Chapter Text

OK. I know ya'll were expecting a new chapter, and that will come soon, but in the mean time, I have made a fic for this fic (Yes, it is fic-ception up in here). It has the same title as this one, with the words "side stuff" inculded, so you won't get confused.

I made that  fic to just make memes, headcanons, AUs, etc. The first idea is already up and I lok forward to hearing your thoughts.

Chapter Text

--

 

Last time: On their journey to Resembool, Ed, Al and [Name] encountered a former state alchemist, Dr. Tim Marcoh, who admitted to possession of an incomplete Philosopher’s Stone. Moved by Ed’s determination, Marcoh gave the kids the location of his hidden research materials. After Ed’s automail had been repaired, they immediately left for the first branch of the National Central Library, where they hope to find Dr. Marcoh’s research into the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone.

 

--

 

“Hurry up, Al, [Name]!” Ed yelled, running.

“You don’t need to be in such a rush, big brother...” Al said, following his sibling. “It’s not as if the library’s going to run away.”

“Just hurry up and come on!” Ed yelled back. “We’re finally in Central!”

The train station was awfully quiet, especially since it was only 3 o’clock, but that made the two people in military uniforms stand out even more. One of them was a woman with short, dark hair, dark eyes and a mole underneath her left eye. The other was a man with longish, dirty blond hair and green eyes. Before you could say anything, they both saluted you four. “Major Armstrong, we’ve come here to escort you.”

“Thank you, Second Lieutenant Ross, And you as well, Sergeant Brosh.”

 

--

 

“According to the reports form Eastern HQ, the assassin known as “Scar” is still at large. Until that situation is resolved, we have been instructed to be your guards.” Ross explained, much to Ed’s dismay about needing more bodyguards. “We may not be as dependable as the Major, but we are confident in our ability to guard you, so please, feel at ease.”

“Well, I guess we’re stuck with you.” Ed sighed, as the car drove forward on the streets of Central.

“Don’t you mean “thank you for your help,” big brother?” Al corrected, trying to get his sibling to be more polite.

“Yeah, it’s not that hard to act a little nice.” You said after elbowing the blonde in the arm.

“Big brother? So… The person in the armor is the younger brother?” Brosh asked, a little shocked by this discovery. “But why do you wear armor?” All three of you looked at each other, panicking, thinking of an excuse.

“It’s a hobby.” You three said at the same time, sweating buckets and hoping that they’d buy it.

“A hobby?! Second Lieutenant, what sort of hobby are they talking about?”

“How should I know? Who are these kids?” The two whispered amongst themselves.

“HWY! THERE IT IS! I SEE IT!” You, Ed and Al yelled, seeing the familiar white walls of the Central Library.

“Ah, yes. That’s the National Central Library. It houses more books than any other library in the nation. They say it would take more than a hundred lifetimes to read the entire collection of books contained within.” Miss Ross explained. “The first branch, where you are headed, is just to the west of here. Research data, historical records, and lists of names were stored there… However...” Ross sighed as you three stared ahead in shock and horror at the ruins of the building. “Just yesterday, the entire collection was incinerated. We haven’t completed our investigations, but it appears to have been arson.”

 

--

 

“How are things going, Gluttony?” The tall woman asked the pudgy male sittin on the roof of the large military building. The woman’s heels klaked against the material of the building as she sat down next to the male.

“Welcome back, Lust.” The child-like man said.

“Any sign of Scar?”

“Nope. He’s not close by. How was your trip?”

“The Fullmetal and Steel Arm brats figured out that the data for the Philosopher’s Stone was hidden in the First Branch, so I went there before them and destroyed it. With so many books in the collection, I didn’t have time to go through everything. So I burned down the whole building.” The woman known as Lust explained. “Now that they’re in Central, there’s no need to watch the two, so I came back to see how things are going over here. I take it you haven’t...” The woman stopped speaking when she noticed her partner stand up. “Gluttony?”

“I smell him! I smell him!” The sin said, sniffing the air. “I smell an Ishvalan… Cloaked in the smell of blood.”

“Very good, Gluttony.” Lust praised the man-child.

“Can I eat him?”

Smirking, the woman gave her answer. “Don’t leave a single hair.” Her words were heard clearly, as the other sin smiled devilishly, a bit of saliva starting to drip from his mouth.

--

Down in the sewers wasn’t exactly the nicest place to be. It was dark and the stench that reeked from the filthy water caused the dark-skinned male to breathe through his mouth. The only sound he could hear were the small klaks caused by his footwear hitting the floor beneath him. Any other person would never choose to use such a disgusting place as their way of getting from one place to another, but considering that he was, quite possibly, the most wanted man in the entire country, this was his only option.

The silence was quickly shattered when the scarred man noticed multiple rats running in between his legs, clearly trying to get away from something. Turning around, he found the source of the rodents’ fear, as he noticed something, or someone standing in the water, with only their gleaming red eyes showing themselves in the darkness.

--

“No answer.” Brosh said after knocking on the door. Apparently, a woman named Sheska used to work at the First Branch and was well acquainted with its materials, so you decided to ask her if she knew anything about Marcoh’s notes. “Maybe she’s not home?”

“The light’s on, so she should be here.” Ed pointed out. Deciding not to waste more time, Brosh opened the door.

“WHOA! WHAT’S WITH ALL THE BOOKS?!” Ed yelled out, seeing entire mountains of books all over the room, with stacks reaching all the way to the ceiling.

“Someone actually lives here?!” You said, astonished. You liked books as much as the next guy, but even you had to admit that this was too much.

“Ms. Sheska! Are you here?” Ross called out while the rest of you were trying your best to maneuver through the house.

“How could anyone live with this much clutter?” Al asked himself. His thoughts were interrupted by a soft, muffled voice nearby, asking for help. When he looked over to find the source of the cry, he saw a giant pile of books, a hand sticking out between them. “Big brother! Did you hear that?! Someone is buried under there!”

“Dig! Dig!” Ed yelled out, getting everyone’s attention, tossing the books over his shoulder.

“Aaaah! I’m sorry, I’m so sorry! I accidentally tipped over the mountain of books. I thought I was going to die under there. Thank you so much!” The female with short, brown hair said, fixing her glasses. “Yes, I’m Sheska.” She confirmed, after you all had cleaned up the mess you’d made while trying to get the woman out of her literary prison. “As you can tell, I really love books, so when I got a job at the library branch I was ectatic! But… Because I love to read so much, I, uh...” She paused. “I would forget that I was working and lose myself in the books. That’s why I was fired. I need to work hard so I can put my sick mother in a better hospital, but... I’m no good at anything but reading, so no matter where I go, I can never keep a job.” She sobbed into her hands, a gloomy aura surrounding her. “It’s true. I’m the most useless person in the world! The scum of society!”

“Is she really all right?” You asked yourself, watching the woman continue her depressive episode. The moment was interrupted by Ed, who cleared his throat, catching Shesska’s attention.

“Uh… I just wanted to ask you one question. Do you know anything about some research documents by Tim Marcoh?” Sheska repeated the name to herself, already over her little breakdown. You were just about to comment on her sudden change in emotions, when Sheska’s face lit up in joy.

“Yes! I remember. His notes were the only handwritten documents among all the printed books. Someone had filed them incorrectly, so I remember them quite well!”

“So it really was in that branch.” Ed said, joyed to hear the news. His joy quickly turned to sorrow, however. “And that means it’s burned to ash.”

“We’re back to square one.” You cursed. Just when you thought you could learn something new, it just slips away.

“Thank you for your time.” Al said as you three started to walk away, dejected.

“So you wanted to read the notes?” Sheska asked.

“Yes, but now we’ll never know what was written. That was the only copy.”

“I remember what was in them. The whole thing.” You three stopped in your tracks, as if trying to process the woman’s words. When it suddenly clicked, you practically rushed to face her, letting out a very audible ‘huh’. “No, you don’t understand. I have a photographic memory. All I have to do is read something once, and I can recall everything. Every word, every phrase, without error! It will take some time, but would you like me to transcribe it for you?”

“Thank you, bookworm!” Ed shook Sheska’s hands, while you and Al practically danced from joy, tears of joy streaming down your faces.

“I’m a… Worm?” Sheska mumbled to herself.

--

“Sorry it took so long, but there was so much material that it took me five days to write it down.” Sheska said as she placed the last stack of papers on the table with a loud ‘thunk’. “Here you go! Tim Marcoh’s research notes to the letter!”

“She did it… She really did... ” You all stared at all the material.

“There truly are some amazing people on the world, huh...?”

“Now it makes sense. Marcoh couldn’t run away with his notes because of the sheer volume of material.” You said before turning to Sheska. “And you’re sure all of these are Marcoh’s?”

“Yes! Without a doubt. Tim Marcoh’s recipe book “1,000 meals for daily living”!”

“Huh?”

““A tablespoon of sugar with a few drops of water...”” Ross read the document in her hands aloud. “It’s really just a bunch of recipes!”

“Hey! What are you trying to pull, lady! These can’t be the right documents!” Brosh said to the young woman.

“But…! I just copied it down exactly how I remembered it!”

“There must have been someone else writing under the same name.” Brosh sighed before turning to you. “I’m sorry, you three. It looks like this was all a waste of time.”

“Now, Sheska, you’re sure that this is a flawless reproduction of Marcoh’s notes, down to the last word and phrase?” Ed asked.

“Yes! There are no mistakes.”

“You’re amazing. Thanks a lot.” Ed said, grinning. “All right!” He continued, picking up a large stack of papers from the table. “C’mon, Al, [Name]. Let’s take these back to the main library!”

“Good idea.” You pointed out, grabbing a stack yourself. “We can use their reference books.”

Just as you were about to leave through the door, Ed stopped short, like he realised something, and put his hand into his coat, looking for something. “Oh, yeah… Almost forgot! Payment.” Mentally slapping yourself for forgetting that as well, you also took out your small notebook and scribbled something down on a piece of paper. It was only fair that you’d pay Sheska too. “Second Lieutenant Ross! Take my pin number, signature and the silver watch as ID!” Ed said as he handed his items to the older woman, with you doing the same. “Go to the State Alchemists’ office in the presidential prefecture, withdraw the amount I wrote down on there from my research grant for the year and give it to Sheska.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Sheska, thanks again for everything. You’re a lifesaver! See ya!” And with that, you were gone. Ross held the pieces of paper in her hand.

“From their research grants, huh…?” She asked herself, turning the papers over, a little curious of how much she’d have to pay Sheska. The two women looked at the papers in shock.

“Does that say what I think it does?!”

“Who are these kids that they can hand out this amount of cash?!”

--

““Alchemists work for the people...” That’s our order’s motto. Alchemists have always strived to use their powers to the benefit of ordinary people. State alchemists go against that motto, which is why we’re called the “dogs of the military.” At the same time, we have an obligation to keep our trade secrets out the public arena.” Ed explained as he placed some more books down onto the wooden table. After leaving Sheska’s home and going to the main library, you found a nice, quiet room in the library where you could do your work in peace.

“I see… You wouldn’t want your knowledge to fall into the wrong hands.” Brosh said, following along in your conversation.

“You got it.” You affirmed. “Which is why, to keep that from happening, we alchemists keep our notes in code. This may look like a normal recipe book to most people… But in reality, it’s a high-level alchemical document written in a code known only to the person who wrote it!”

“But if only one person knows the code, how can you hope to decipher it?”

“With knowledge, inspiration, patience and good old fashioned hard work.”

“Jeez… I’m getting tired just thinking about it!” Brosh said.

“These notes might be easier to decipher because they’re disguised as a recipe book. After all, some people say that alchemy originated in the kitchen.” Al pointed out. “My big brother logs his research notes in the guise of a travelogue. So when I read it I can’t make heads or tails out of it.”

“Oh, yeah. I use multiple languages and mix words and phrases to create riddles and puzzles for the same effect.” You explained.

“All right! Let’s crack this code and find out the truth about the Philosopher’s Stone!” Ed said cheerfully, grabbing the first stack of papers.

--

A rather loud groan was heard from the room, showing your utter lack of progress. It has already been a whole week of nothing but study and figuring out the trick to crack the code, but you still had no idea how to do it. “Why’d he make it so damn hard…?” Ed said tiredly, his face planted firmly on the table.

“Brother… Maybe we should just ask Marcoh directly…?” You nodded your head slightly, on the verge of giving up and just going to ask for help. You’ve already lost count of how many hours of sleep you’d lost over these damn notes.

“No, I see this as Marcoh’s challenge. It’s like he’s saying, “those who can’t even break a simple code have no right to know the truth!”” Ed said, gripping the pen in his hand tightly. “I’m going to decipher it on my own, no matter what!”

“So this is a contest now?” You asked, your upper body dangling over the chair you were sitting on. Honestly, you were so tired you couldn’t even think right now.

“Um...” A familiar shy voice cut through the gloomy atmosphere and grabbing your attention.

“Sheska…?”

“I’d heard that you three would be in here.” The woman said, stepping closer to your table. “Thanks to you, Edward and [Name], I was able to transfer my mother to an excellent hospital! I really don’t know how to thank you.”

“No sweat. It was nothing.”

“But I feel bad about accepting so much money...”

“You don’t need to worry about that.” You said. “We got off cheap compared to what the secret contained in this data is worth.”

“I see… So those aren’t just recipes, are they?” Sheska said as she looked over to the pile of noted on the table. “How is your deciphering coming along?” As soon as the words left her mouth, the thick aura of gloom returned to the room. It was obvious that it has not been going well.

“Have you found a job yet?” Al asked, trying to lighten the mood a bit. However, the gloomy aura only thickened. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to ask her about that.

“Well, I’d better go. Thank you so much for everything.” Sheska said, bowing a little.

“No problem. don’t worry about the money.”

“It’s not just the money...” Sheska admitted. “It’s just… It makes me so happy that a nobody like me, who’s never been good at anything, was able to help out. Thank you.”

“You’re not a nobody. I think being so passionate about something is a talent in itself.” Al said, grabbing the woman’s attention. “Plus, with that amazing memory of yours, I’m sure you’ll do alright.”

“Thanks!” She smiled.

“Yo!” The cheery voice made everyone look towards the door. Into the room had stepped none other than Hughes. “I heard from the Major that you’d be here. I told you guys to give me a call of you were ever in Central!”

“Yeah, we’ve been kinda busy ever since we got here.”

“I know what you mean! I’ve been so swamped lately, I haven’t been able to leave the office.” As you chatted, Ross and Brosh whispered amongst themselves about who exactly you were to be able to talk to the Lieutenant Colonel like you were old friends. “There’s been so many incidents lately, the court-martial office that I’m in charge of has really been bustling. And we still haven’t closed the Tucker Chimera case.” Noticing your rather sad face, he apologised, as he didn’t want to bring back bad memories.

“You were able to take some time to see us in the middle of your busy schedule?” Al asked.

“Nah, I’m just on break. I thought I should drop by and say hi. I’ve gotta get back to work in a minute.” Hughes said before letting out a tired shigh. “Sheesh… It’s busy enough as it is without the First Branch burning down like that. I can’t take much more of this.”

“That big of a problem, huh?” You asked.

“Uh-huh. It was close to the court-martial office so we used it to store our records, incident logs, lists of names, that kind of thing. As you can imagine, the fire’s really slowed us down.” You, Ed and Al thought for a moment before turning your heads towards Sheska, who was still in the room.

“Hughes, I think we’ve got just who you need.” You said, mentioning towards the woman, much to her surprise.

“Well it’s true, I did read the military criminal records… And of course I remember them… But...”

“What’d you think, Lieutenant Colonel? We’re trying to find her a job.”

“Huh? This little girl has an amazing talent like that?! She could really help us out!” The male said, practically jumping from joy. “Let’s get the paperwork out of the way, right now! We’re gonna give you a great salary!”

“Huh?! But um... Really?!” Sheska stuttered a bit before turning to you. “Uh… You guys! Thank you so much! I’m going to be more confident in myself and try my hardest! Thank you so much for everything!” You all waved as Hughes dragged Sheska out the room by the back of her sweater, laughing all the while. Honestly, he did kind of look like a kidnapper there.

““Being so passionate about something is a talent in itself,” huh?” Ed quoted. “Pretty smooth, little brother.”

“It reminds me of a certain someone I know.”

“Well, that “somebody” needs to get back to these notes if he’s ever going to figure them out.”

--

As the clock struck five in the evening, Ross stood up from her stool. “It’s that time again. They’ve been at it for ten straight days… And still no progress.”

“All right, you three. Library’s closing. Time to pack up.” Brosh said as he opened the door to your temporary study room.

“TH… THIS CAN’T BE!”

Rushing inside, the two officers found you three in the room that had become really messy. Books were strewn about the floor, as well as papers and pens, the light coming from the window was the only thing illuminating the room.

“Is... Is everything alright?!” Brosh asked as he neared the clearly angry teens. “H-have you been fighting? Please, just calm down...”

“No. That’s not it.” You said quietly.

“Then, are you frustrated because you can’t decipher the code?”

“We did decipher it.” You spoke again, this time there was a hint of sadness and anger in your voice.

“Really?! Then that’s good!” Brosh said, trying his best to make you see the bright side.

“THERE’S NOTHING GOOD ABOUT IT! DAMMIT!” Ed yelled as he punched the floor in anger, his own body falling to the floor as well. “This really is “the work of the devil...” Dammit, Marcoh… What the hell were you doing?”

“What’s wrong?”

“The main ingredient for the Philosopher’s Stone… IS A LIVING HUMAN BEING!”

It brings joy in sorrow, victory in battle, light to darkness, life to the dead... That is the power of the blood-red jewel which men honour with the name “the Philosopher’s Stone.”

--

 

A.N I know this chapter is a bit on the shorter side, but that’s because I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write recently. For the last six to eight months, things have been really hectic for me and a lot of stuff went down, some good things, some bad, and I’ve just been overwhelmed with everything. And I recently ago got back from a much needed vacation. Don’t worry about this fic, since I am also currently working on the next chapter, which I am hoping to get out soon.

 

--

 

Bonus content!

 

--

 

So, last time I spoke about the Rich Kids Squad, I forgot about Aoyama. I am so sorry. I abandoned my boy.

 

--

 

[Name]: How am I going to tell my dad I’m pregnant?

Ed: Don’t worry, I got this.

*At dinner*

Papa [Last name]: *choking*

Ed: Oh, no! Grandpa needs some water!

 

--

 

*[Name], when she takes her eyes off of Ed for 0.000000001 seconds*

Ed: *gone*

[Name]: Ed, where are you? Has anyone seen my son? Edward! Oh, god, that mother’s adrenaline is kicking in! EDWARD! I can see every equation!

[Name]: *talking to someone* Excuse me, have you seen my son? He’s about this tall, clearly gay, but we haven’t had the talk.

[Name]: *screaming into a dumpster* Edward, are you in there?

*this continues for a while*

 

--

 

Ed and [Name]: *fighting again*

Al: *writing down on his notebook* Study: “if a tsundere and a tsundere like each other, would they ever find out?”

 

--

 

[Name]: *watching TV* Some idiot tried to fight the squid at the aquarium

Ed: *covered in ink* Well. maybe the squid was being a dick.

 

--

 

[Name]: Hey guys, guess what! I finally have myself a significant other! I kiss and love them a lot.

[Name]: Haha. April fools! You fucking idiots. I am still very much alone. You dumb fucks lol.

 

--

 

[Name]: Hey, you wanna be by precious star?

Bakugo: Sure.

[Name]: Then get 150 million km away from me and burn.

 

--

 

[Name]: You remind me of the ocean.

Bakugo: Explain, bitch.

[Name]: Too fucking salty.

 

--

 

[Name]: Hey, do you remember when we were little and you stole my crayons?

Bakugo: Yeah, why?

[Name]: Bitch.

 

--

 

[Name]: One universe. Nine planets. One earth. Seven continents. Seven seas. 195 countries. And I had the unfortunate luck to meet you.

Ed: *shouting from another room* THERE ARE EIGHT PLANETS!

[Name]: VIVA LA PLUTO! FUCK YOU!

 

--

 

Aizawa: I know you snuck out last night, [Name].

[Name]: *thinking* Play dumb!

[Name]: *out loud* Who’s [Name]?

[Name]: *thinking* NOT THAT DUMB, YOU STUPID BITCH!

 

--

 

Bakugou: Imagine being named Izuku Midoriya. 

[Name]: Imagine being a little bitch.

 

--

 

Ed and [Name] would try to put as many rubber bands around a watermelon until it splits and call it a 'scientific experiment', when in reality they were just bored. Al would record the entire thing. 

 

--

Chapter Text

--

 

Last time: the First Branch of the National Central Library, that held the secret notes of Dr. Marcoh, had been lost to fire. Aided by former librarian Sheska, Ed, Al and [Name] were able to obtain a copy of the doctor’s research. But inside the notes they found something truly terrible terrible.

 

--

 

“Maybe we would have been better off not knowing the truth at all… If what these documents say is true, then the main ingredient for the Philosopher’s Stone is a live human being. Not only that, it would take numerous human sacrifices to create one stone!”

“I never imagined that something so inhumane was being conducted by the military...” Brosh said aloud after hearing the truth. Ross butted in, suggesting that they’d tell the higher up about the situation.

“We can’t allow this to go unpunished!”

“Second Lieutenant Ross. Sergent Brosh...” Ed spoke softly, still on the floor. “Could you please not tell anyone about this?”

“But-”

Please .” You cut Brosh off, putting emphasis on the ‘please’ part. “Please act as if you never heard about this.”

 

--

 

Things weren’t going well for Mustang and his group either. They had received word about an explosion going off by the river running through East City and went to investigate. At first it seemed like it could have been a gas main blowing up, but the knowledge of Scar having escaped into the sewer system during their battle, told Roy otherwise. Honestly, he felt kind of bad of East City. This city had taken quite a beating after the fight with Scar and this explosion didn’t help. Not to mention, him being unable to catch the titular murderer could hurt his reputation and that would ruin his hopes of going up the ranks as fast as he’d like.

“Look, over there!” Riza exclaimed, spotting a piece of clothing in the water, held in place by a metal rod. She truly did live up to her family name ‘Hawkeye’. Her eyes were sharp and it came in handy when she needed to pick up a gun. “It’s Scar’s jacket, all right. I’m sure of it.” She said, holding the wet and bloody material in her hands.

“Any sign of his body?” Mustang turned to Havoc.

“We’ve been searching, but it could take weeks to shift through all that rubble.”

Hawkeye cut in. “Even if he’s not dead, with this amount of blood loss he must be in pretty bad shape.” Could he possibly have escaped?

“Still, we can’t let our guard down until he’s confirmed dead or behind bars.” Mustang pointed out. “Second Lieutenant Havoc!”

“Yes, Sir?”

“Have your men accelerate their excavation. I want you working day and night! Nobody even sleeps until you find his body! Do you understand?”

“Sheesh!” Havoc breathed out. “Gimme a break, Colonel! Do you want us to die from fatigue?”

“Shut up!” Mustang replied, becoming more annoyed at his subordinate. “This is serious! Until I see his corpse, I can’t even relax enough to go on another date!”

“Is that so?”

 

--

 

“He got away.” Lust said to herself, annoyed at the outcome of the fight with the murderer. She and Gluttony stayed away from the military people, hiding away where they couldn’t be seen, but they could still see the wreckage.

“I didn’t get to eat him.” Gluttony said sadly, upset that he couldn’t get what he wanted.

“There, there. Maybe next time.” Lust attempted to reassure the manchild. “But in his condition, he won’t be going far anytime soon. I’m returning to Central. I have to inform Father.”

 

--

 

“What? The Elric brothers and [Last name] are cooped up in their rooms again?” Armstrong said after being informed of the kids’ wellbeing by Ross and Brosh.

“Yes, Sir. They haven’t even eaten yet today.”

“Hrm… Maybe they’re just tired.” Alex said, trying to explain their situation to himself. “They have been working quite hard lately.”

“I don’t blame them.” Ross whispered to her partner. “All that work to decipher the data, only to find out what they did...”

“It must have really gotten to them. I feel sick just thinking about it. I don’t know what to-”

“What are you two whispering about?” Armstrong butted in, curious about what was going on.

“Oh… Uh.. It’s nothing, Sir.” The two said, trying to mask the truth.

“Your behaviour is most suspicious...” Alex said, coming closer to them, a threatening aura surrounding him, giving him an air of intimidation.

 

--

 

Meanwhile you, Ed and Al were all in your darkened room, silent, knowing that there was no point in speaking. It was as if you lost all of your motivation to do anything, despite the countless thoughts in your mind, which you couldn’t bring yourself to say aloud.

It was like the day after you tried to bring Trisha back. You remembered just staying in bed all day, thinking everything over, hoping to find out what went wrong, not even having the energy to eat or use the bathroom. It truly felt as if your world had come crashing down. You thought you’d left your depressive days behind you, but now they were back in full force.

Your thoughts were interrupted when Al spoke up. “Hey, Ed, [Name]... You should go eat something.” It was just like him to say something like that, urging you to take care of yourself.

“I’m not hungry.” Ed’s tired voice cut through the silence. You didn’t say anything, only shook your head, signaling that you weren’t going to go eat either. None of you said anything after that, accepting that the conversation was over.

Yet fate didn’t let you stay in silence forever, as Ed spoke up. “I’m tired of this.”

“... Yeah.” You replied, your voice a little hoarse.

“It’s like...” Ed said as he stretched out his metal arm. “... Just when I think our goal is within reach, it slips right through our fingers. It’s happened time and again. And now, when we actually have it in our grasp, the truth slaps us in the face.” After that, he let his hand fall over his face, blocking his eyes from your sight. “ Ha ha...” His laugh was forced. “I guess God really does have it in for us sinners. I wonder if we’re… Going to stay like this for the rest of our lives?”

Silence fell upon you yet again.

“Hey, Al, [Name]...” Ed’s words called for your attention at the mentioning of your name. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you two about, but I’ve been too afraid to bring it up...”

“What is it?” Al asked. Unfortunately, you didn’t get to hear what he had to say, as you heard the voices of Ross and Brosh begging someone to leave you alone, as well as the sounds of heavy stomping footsteps. The footsteps turned to heavy banging on the door as the booming voice of Armstrong telling you to open the door.

While you were debating on what to do with the Major, what should happen, but the titular alchemist breaking the locked door as a last resort, letting the light from the hallway into the room. “I HEARD ALL ABOUT IT, EDWARD ELRIC!” While you, Ed and Al were too busy screaming your heads off from Armstrong desomating the door, which you’d have pay for later, the male began crying. “Such a tragedy! Who would’ve imagined that the Philosopher’s Stone concealed such a terrible secret! Not only that, but if this hellish research was being conducted by an organisation working under the military, then it is a grave situation indeed! I cannot in good conscience stay quiet about this matter!”

You and Ed turned your rather angry glares towards Ross and Brosh, who obviously told Armstrong about the truth, despite the fact that you told them to keep it a secret.

While you were too busy giving the two the stink eye, Armstrong said something about the truth being cruel, which seemed to make Ed realise something. “What’s wrong, brother?” Al asked, wondering about Ed’s shocked face.

“Do you remember what Marcoh told us? You know, what he told us at the train station...”

““The truth that lies within the truth.”” You said aloud, trying to remember Marcoh’s exact wording. “Wait. Are you saying there’s more to it than what we found in the notes?” 

 

--

 

All of you gathered around the table in the room, upon which Armstrong had laid a map of the city. “Presently, the military oversees four alchemical research labs within Central City.” Armstrong said, pointing to the location of each one. “The one Marcoh wa affiliated with was Laboratory #3. This is most likely where the research took place.”

“Hm… [Name] and I visited the lab right after we got our government licenses, but I don’t remember there being any kind of significant research going on there.” Ed said before he seemed to spot something. “Wait. Over here...” He said, pointing to a crossed out building on the map. “What’s this building?”

That’s when Ross spoke up. “In the past, that was a fifth research lab, but they shut it down years ago. Currently the building’s off limits, due to the danger of collapse.”

“That’s our place.” Ed said confidently.

“Huh?” Brosh asked. “What makes you so certain?”

“There’s a prison next to it.” Ed pointed out. “If the main ingredient for creating a Philosopher’s stone is live human beings, then they’d need a reliable supply of raw materials. If I’m not mistaken, the bodies of executed prisoners aren’t returned to their families, right? So they make it appear as if the prisoners are being executed, but in reality, they’re secretly being transported to the labs, where they’re used in experiments for the Philosopher’s Stone project. Doesn’t it seem just a little too convenient that the old lab is built right next to the prison?”

“The prisoners… Are the ingredients?” Ross looked at you with a disgusted and horrified face.

“Don’t give me that look.” Ed said. “Just explaining all this makes me sick, too.”

“So if the prison’s involved, does that mean that the government is in on it, too?” Brosh theorised.

“Until we know more, it’s hard to say if it goes up to the top, or just to the warden.” You pointed out.

“... I feel like we’ve gotten ourselves in way over our heads.” Ross said.

“That’s why we told you to forget everything you’d heard.” Al told the two.

“Hrm… Remember, right now this is all speculation.” Armstrong reminded you. “It’s possible that the government might not be involved and that this research department is acting independently.”

“Well, who’s in charge of this research department?” You asked, ready to go out and get some answers.

“According to the registry, it’s Brigadier General Basque Grand, “the Iron-Blood Alchemist.””

“Why don’t we start by contacting this General Grand?”

“That’s not possible. He was murdered by Scar just a few days ago.” Armstrong’s retort shot down your suggestion in a heartbeat. “Scar has killed numerous state alchemists that were affiliated with military command. Among those killed, there may have been someone who knew the truth.” Alex explained, rolling up the map in his hands. “If someone of higher rank than Brigadier General Grand is involved with this project… Then the situation may be truly complicated. I’ll investigate this on my own and report back to you when I know more.”

“Until then, the Second Lieutenant and the Sergeant will not mention this to anyone! And the Elric brothers and [Last name] daughter will stay put !”

“What!?” You three said at once, shocked to hear that order from the Major.

“Hrmph! You three were going to sneak into the building to investigate, weren’t you?!” Alex said, anger written on his face. “DON’T EVEN THINK OF IT! This is far too dangerous for children  like you to go in alone, even if there may be a clue there to regain your original bodies!”

“OKAY, OKAY!” You said, trying to calm down the fuming Major.

“Sheesh… As if we’d do something that dangerous.” Ed said, holding up both his hands as if he was acknowledging defeat.

“We’ll wait here for your report, Major.” Al reassuring words seemed to convince Armstrong.

 

--

 

“Yeah, right.” Ed said slyly as you quietly snuck to the location of the fifth lab, under the cover of darkness. You were going to pay for tricking the Major later, but right now, this was about your mission. “It’s our fault that we got stuck with these bodies and it’s up to us to find a way to change them back.”

Looking around the corner of the wall surrounding your destination, you saw a single guard with a gun at the entrance. ”That’s odd… Why would a guard be protecting an abandoned building? Very suspicious.” You pointed out.

Now the question was: how were you going to get in? You obviously couldn’t just waltz up to the guard and ask to be let in. You had the opportunity of just making your own entrance way, but the light from the transmutation would alert the guard. So that left only one option.

Thanks to Al quickly launching you up into the air, you landed on top of the wall and began untangling the barbed wire on it. “It pains me to say this, but at times like this, I’m glad we don’t have regular hands and feet.”

“Yeah. This would be a real pain in the ass otherwise.” Ed said as he tugged on the wire you’d let down, checking if it was sturdy enough, before beginning to scale the wall. When all three of you were safely on the other side, you took a good look at the lab. If they were trying to pass it off as abandoned and dangerous, they certainly succeeded. Unfortunately for you, even the entrance was blocked off too.

But luck was on your side as you managed to spot an air vent in the wall. If you tried, you could probably squeeze yourself through there. “Looks like it goes all the way to the back.” You said, looking through the vent.

“All right. Let’s get going.” Said Ed, mentioning for you to get in there.

“There’s no way I’m going in there first.” You said, your face getting red in embarrassment. Ed was about to teasingly ask if you were just chicken until he noticed your hand pulling down on your skirt and he got what you were trying to say, his own cheeks getting a little bit of colour. Curse these damn teenage hormones.

With Ed in the lead, you both crawled along the air vent, having to leave Al behind due to him not being able to fit his large body in there. Honestly, he was lucky to not have to deal with this small space and all the dust, dirt, grime and cobwebs in this vent. You could hardly breathe in here.

“Oh man...” You hear Ed speak in front of you, obviously not happy with the conditions either. “It’s even tighter than I expected. If I was normal sized, I wouldn’t be able to fit at all. I sure am glad I’m sma-” But just before he could finish his sentence, he stopped, realising what he was about to call himself “small”.

When you were about to tell him to shut up, you saw a bit of light coming from farther ahead, finding an opening in the bottom of the vent that was above a hallway. After having kicked the cover out of the way, you and Ed dropped down onto the floor, finding that the inside of the building looked just as, if not more, gross and seemingly abandoned as the outside. But there was one thing that told you there must be some activity going on here; there were lit lamps anong the bottom of the walls, burning just bright enough to illuminate the floor.

““Abandoned,” huh?” Ed spoke, wiping away some dirt from his face. “Bingo.”

 

--

 

Meanwhile, outside, Al was still waiting by the air vent you entered from. He wondered if you’d gotten lost, considering it had been a while since you’d went in there. A part of him was telling him to go and look for you, worried that you’d run into some trouble, you three always seemed to have a knack for finding it. Yet, as much as he wanted to go in there and make sure you were safe, ke knew that you should be able to take care of yourselves. You had each other and you were both quite strong when it came to fighting. Not to mention there was no way you’d let the other get injured, since you've all always been very protective of each other, even as little kids. It didn’t matter who was in trouble or how small the injury was, even a small cut or bump on the head was enough for any of you to get the fists ready for a fight with whomever hurt someone else.

That’s just how you were.

But it seemed like this quiet moment wouldn’t last for long, as Al hear the sounds of metal pieces creaking and moving. Mese moments after he moved to the side, a figure dropped onto the ground, a large blade in the spot his head had just been in. “Wha- Who’s there?” Al yelled out, a little spooked by the person’s sudden appearance.

“Not bad, not bad! Yer pretty fast for such a big guy. I like it! Otherwise, this wouldn’t be any fun.” The man said, picking his cleaver up from the ground it had pierced. “You asked me who I am, so I guess I’ll tell ya.” Now that he had stood up properly, Al could see that his attacker was a rather intimidating man. He was wearing a suit of armor, the helmet was shaped like an animal’s skull, complete with sharp teeth and a long, spiky mane of hair in the back. He wielded the cleaver he used before in his right hand, but he also had a long carving knife in his left hand. “Number 66! Least, that’s the name they gave me when I got this job. If you heard my real name, you’d piss your pants. I’ll tell ya as I finish you off!” That’s what he said before breaking into laughter.

“Are you saying that you’re going to kill me?”

“Heh heh heh. I’ll have you chopped up in no time.” The attacker said, raising his weapons to his face, giving him a more intimidating look. “If you wanna scream, do it now!”

 

--

 

After running around for a while you and Ed finally got to a rather large room. In the middle of it was a transmutation circle made up of two circles and two pentagons, with a few splashes of dried up blood in every spot where the shapes met. In the middle of it all was a short circular pedestal with something drawn on it.

“What is this place?” You asked, looking over the unfamiliar design of the circle. “Could this be where they transmute the Philosopher’s Stone?”

“It is.”

You froze up at the sound of a new voice, one that you’d never heard before. From the shadows came the sound of clanging metal, as a person in a suit of armor came out, wielding what seemed to be a katana in his right hand.

“I don’t know who you two are, but you seem to know much about the stone… Too much.” He said as he came ever closer, with you and Ed growing more anxious with each step he took. “I have been entrusted to guard this place. For now, you may call me Number 48. My orders are to eliminate any intruders who trespass here. I’m sorry that I have to do this, kids.”

“We’re sorry, too.” Said Ed as you both took off your gloves before transmuting your automail into blades. Your usual spiked gauntlets won’t do any good here with the range that that sword gives him. “Sorry that two “kids” like us are going to kick your ass!”

“Hm… Alchemy, huh? Well, then...” 48 said, dashing forward, shocking you with his speed. “Let’s see your skills.”

48 Managed to get a few slashes in, of which you managed to dodge the fatal ones, but he did seem to find out that both you and Ed had metal arms. “So your steel limbs extend up to your shoulders. It just saved your life.” He said after you managed to block a hit to the neck. “Too bad for you...” He continued, preparing for another strike. “... My trusted blade can even cut through steel!”

“Not today, it won’t! If we break them, Winry’s going to kill us!”

Once 48 missed an attack, Ed managed to get in a solid kick to his stomach, making him fall back, along with making an echo upon impact, much to your’s and Ed’s surprise.

“Hey! I know that sound!” Ed pointed out. “could it be that you’re hollow inside?”

“Very good.” 48 said after recovering from the hard kick from Ed’s metal leg. “How did you know?”

“We spar all the time with a guy like you. I could just tell by the feel.”

“Oh?” 48’s voice turned to that of a pleasant surprise. “So there are others like me on the outside?”

“It makes me sick… Knowing that there are idiots out there besides me who would think of bonding a soul to a suit of armor.”

“Allow me to tell you a little more about myself, then.” He began, stopping the fight. ““48” was my number on death row. In my previous life - or when I had a body of flesh and blood - I was the killer known as “Slicer.” Officially, I was supposed to have been executed two years ago. But my new employers needed the Slicer’s skills, so they pulled me aside for their experiments. Now I serve as their guard dog.”

“So that means, there must be a seal that connects your soul to the armor, right?”

“Hm… I see I needn’t explain everything to you. I don’t know much about alchemy, myself...” He said, pulling away the cloth covering the helmet. “... But apparently the soul is tied to the blood, and the iron in the blood bonds with the metal in this armor. Here.” The killer opened the front of his helmet, letting you see the mark on the inside of his suit. “The blood seal is in my helm. Destroy this and you win.”

“It’s awfully considerate of you to show us your weak point, old man.” Ed said, a little suspicious, as 48 shut the helmet closed again.

“Ha ha! I enjoy the thrill of danger when I battle. And don’t call me “old man.””

“If you’re that considerate, maybe you’d be nice enough to just let us go?” You said, hoping to just get out of this mess already. “Just thought I’d ask.”

“Please… A serial killer would never sit still and let his prey escape, would he?” 48 said, gaining a new sense of bloodlust. “And now… HERE I COME!”

 

--

 

“THEY’RE GONE!” Ross yelled out as she and Brosh entered the empty room. “I knew it seemed a little too quiet in here.”

“Oh, God...” Brosh cried out, tears streaming down his face. “Major Armstrong’s gonna chew us out big time for this!”

“Those little brats! How could they do this to us?!” Ross said, anger smeared on her face as she held the rope you used to climb out of your open window. “Let’s go!”

“Huh? Where to?”

“Where else? The old lab no.5!”

 

--

 

Next time: A Glimpse of the Past

 

--

 

Bonus content

 

--

 

[Name]: Hey, we need to go to the next lesson. It’s time for sex ed.

Edward: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

 

--

 

[Name]’s brain has two modes: either it’s trying to figure out the greatest mysteries of the universe, or it has the mii theme on loop for 10+ hours.

There is no inbetween.

 

--

 

The Baku Squad was actually [Name]’s first exposure to memes. When she first came to UA she barely knew anything, yet in the span of a single day she went from total normie to meme god.

 

--

 

Bakugo: FUCK YOU [NAME]!

[Name]: You know what? I already have Deku to do that for me!

 

--

 

[Name]: I only work in black…

[Name]:

[Name]: And sometimes, very, very dark gray.

 

--

 

*after a fight where Deku breaks his bones again*

Deku, string at [Name] while she sleeps: I feel like you're judging me even now.

[Name], still sleeping: I am.

(Honestly this fits with so many other characters other that Deku)

 

--

 

Recovery Girl: [Last name], you've lost a lot of blood. What is your type?

[Name]: Umm… Tall, messy hair, green eyes, nice ass-

Recovery Girl: I meant your blood type.

[Name]: Oh… Red?

 

--

 

[Name]: I'm a pretty laid back person.

Recovery Girl: Actually you have three different disorders from stress and another two from handling it so poorly.

 

--

 

Ed: I brought you Frankincense.

[Name]: Thank you.

Envy, disguised: And I brought you Myrrh.

[Name]: Thank you.

Envy, revealing himself: Myrrh-dur.

[Name]: *gasp* … Envy… No

 

--

 

Ed: *standing on a chair*

[Name]: What are you doing?

Ed: What? I live here, I can do what I want.

[Name]: Where’s the spider?

Ed: … It’s under the table.

 

--

Chapter Text

--

 

Last time: in search of the “truth within the truth” that Marcoh had spoken of, Ed, Al and [Name] snuck into the supposedly ‘abandoned’ Fifth Laboratory.

 

--

 

The sounds of metal objects clashing could be heard echoing from far away. You jumped around, trying your damnedest to dodge the deadly stabs and swipes coming from your opponent. You didn’t hesitate to deliver a few blows, either, not that you ever managed land any good ones. The hits that did connect didn’t seem to do that much damage, only gave him a few scratches, but nothing that severe. Ed wasn’t fairing off that well either.

Damn it. This guy’s good. You thought to yourself as you took a step back to let Ed take your place and hopefully deal some good damage. After all, he was much better at dealing with bladed weapons, while you were more comfortable with your spiked gauntlets. Who would’ve guessed that a serial killer would be this adept at fighting? The sarcasm in your voice did little to ease your mind. Even with the two of you combined, this “Slicer” was a formidable enemy.

Clutching your left side - where you had previously received a wound from Slicer’s sword - you jumped back into the fight, having seen Ed’s expression change into that of worry. “You good?” You asked your friend, landing a kick on the murderer’s body, sending him skidding back a few meters and saving Ed from a deadly blow to the head..

“No. My shoulder feels disjointed.” He said, holding onto his automail. “I’m afraid that it’s going to break. Winry said this one’s not that durable, because she used more Chrome this time.”

“Then let’s end this quickly.” You said, right before Slicer recovered from the hit and dashed forward again. But you knew ending this fight wouldn’t be easy.

After barely dodging more blows, both you and Edward were on the ground, bleeding from multiple places, using every moment you had to catch your breath. It was as if this guy was unbeatable. The murderer seemed to allow you to get a moment’s rest, before chuckling at you.

“Just like a monkey. It’s nice to have some lively prey for once.” He laughed, thinking of how you two kept jumping around him a few seconds ago. “But those wounds and your exhaustion will be your undoing.” His voice became saddened, disappointed that soon his fun would be over. “Your friend outside is being dealt with by my ally, even as we speak. He won’t be able to save you.”

“Is this ally of yours strong?”

“He’s strong, all right.” He answered. “But not as strong as me.”

Upon hearing that, a rather large weight was lifted. Al was going to be fine. I seemed that Ed felt the same way as he stood back up, a confident look on his face.

“Then there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve never won a fight against him. Ever.”

 

--

Outside the building another fight took place , although, this one was just as one sided. Alphonse was doing considerably better than his two friends.

“Why you…!!” The attacker grumbled, lifting his face up from the dirt he had been forced into. He kept attacking with his knives, getting more and more frustrated with each stab he missed. “Why won’t you… Just sit still… And let me… Cut you up?! YOU BIG JERK!! It won’t hurt that bad!”

After another failed attempt at damaging Al, the larger suit of armor hit the attacker square in the face, sending the helmet piece flying. When the assailant turned around, Al noticed something off about his body, or rather, lack of one. He was just like himself, a person’s soul bonded to a suit of armor. “Your body is...”

The other laughed, picking his head back up. “There was a little incident. Let me tell you a story. You may have heard it before. It’s a story about a butcher named Barry.” The man began.

““Once upon a time, in Central City, there was a butcher named Barry. Barry loved to chop up meat more than anything in the world. But one day, when Barry got tired of just chopping up cows and pigs… He found something new to chop up: people.”” He continued, his voice was rather cheerful, as if he was reminiscing on past events precious to him. ““And so, he went out night after night in search of fresh meat. Eventually, Barry was caught, but not before he had slaughtered 23 victims! For terrorising the people of Central City, Barry was sent straight to the gallows and everyone lived happily ever after!” At least, that’s the version that everyone knows.”

“But there’s actually more to this story. Y’see, Barry didn’t actually wind up on the gallows like he was supposed to. Some people spared his life on the condition that he guard a certain location. But at first they took away his old meat sack and trapped his soul inside a metal body.” He said. That’s right! He’s standing in front of you right now! I’m Barry the chopper!”

“Who?” Al’s genuine confusion as to who he was shocked Barry to the core. He had expected him to cower in fear at the sound of his name, but he doesn’t even know him. “I’m from a small village back east, so I don’t know any famous murderers in Central.”

“Aggh! What a hick! Okay, so maybe you haven’t heard of me, but aren’t you a little surprised by my body? It’s not every day you see a living suit of armor!” Barry exclaimed, dumbfounded at Al’s totally normal tone of voice, as if this was totally normal to him. “Can’t you at least say “waaagh!” or “aieee!” or “how’d you do that?!” Throw me a frickin’ bone here!- AAAGH!” He yelled as Al took off his helmet, showing there was nothing inside his armor, either. “How’d you do that?! You’re a freak!”

“Hey… Now you’re hurting my feelings...”

“Oh, so yer just another inmate from death row. Don’t scare me like that!” Barry said, letting out a sigh of relief.

“I’m not a criminal!”

“Yer not? What happened to you, then?”

“When my physical body disintegrated...” Al said, putting his head back on. “... My older brother transmuted my soul into this armor.”

“A brother? Heh heh heh! A brother, huh?”

“What’s so funny?”

“Sorry, sorry. It’s nothing.” Barry said, dismissing his previous laughter. “By the way… do you trust your big brother?”

“Of course I do.” Al said, certain in his answer. “He risked his life to transmute my soul.”

“My, my… Ain’t brotherly love beautiful? Even if that love ain’t real!”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, are you really brothers?”

“Of course! People say our personalities are totally different, and even though I’m the younger brother, I’m taller than he is, but-”

“No, no, that’s not what I mean!” Barry said, cutting Al off. “What if… What if your personality and memories were all fabricated by your “big brother”?”

“Th… That’s not possible! There’s no doubt that I’m a human being named Alphonse Elric!” Al said definitely, holding onto his identity, to which, Barry only laughed.

“What the hell is a “soul,” anyway? How can you prove it exists when you can’t even see it? Maybe yer big brother and the people around you are lying to you! Think about it! What proof do you have that this human you claim to be ever existed? Where’s your meat?!”

“... Then what about you?!”

“You there, don’t move! This place is off limits!” The guard from the gate yelled out, pointing his gut at the two. “Leave immedi-”

“Shut up!” Barry said, using his cleaver to cut the man’s head in half. “What about me, you ask? That’s easy! Love to chop up the flesh of living people! I love to kill so much I don’t know what to do! I KILL, therefore I AM! THAT’S ALL THE PROOF I NEED TO KNOW THAT I EXIST!” He said before devolving into manic laughter.

--

“Even if your friend did defeat my ally and is headed this way, this building is hard to navigate.” Slicer said. “He’ll never make it in time.”

“You think so, huh?” Ed said, a smirk on his face, while his eyes traveled towards the large door frame, making sure that SLicer saw the subtle action. If things were going to go according to plan, the fight would be over in just a few seconds. “AL! NOW!”

“What?! When did he…?!” Slicer turned around in shock, expecting an attack coming from the person they were just talking about, only to see nothing there. “A trick!”

Unfortunately for the killer, Ed was way ahead of him and managed to hit his head, making the helmet fall off. “That wasn’t fair!”

“All’s fair in a fight to the death.” Ed said was Slicer’s decapitated body fell onto the floor, the helmet itself landing just centimeters away from you. Now you could finally breathe easy, knowing that the fight was over.

“What’s the matter? You still haven’t destroyed my blood rune. Hurry up and finish m- Hey!” He said before Ed pulled up his head by the long ponytail on the top of the helmet.

“Why bother? Now that I’ve cut off the head, where your soul is, the body is just a lump of metal.” Ed explained, pulling the head up to meet his eyes. “Plus, there’s something that I need to ask you about.”

“The Philosopher’s Stone?”

“Tell me everything you know about it.”

“Never.” He replied, standing his ground firmly.

“Cut the tough guy act. You’re hardly in a position to argue, loser.”

“You better tell him what he wants. He can get pretty impatient.” You said.

But then the murderer started laughing, as if this was all some kind of joke. “I haven’t lost yet.”

In just a flash you turned your head, feeling an ominous presence nearby. “ED! LOOK OUT!” Pushing Edward out of the way, you felt a sharp pain in your torso before your whole body fell to the floor.

“[NAME]!”

Oh God it’s hot. It’s hot. It’s hot. It’s hot. You repeat it over and over in your head. Every nerve in your body screamed agony, the searing pain traveling further and further. You placed a hand on where the pain originated; your upper stomach. Feeling something wet on your hand you look below you, only to see a pool of dark crimson blood, the pool becoming larger and larger every second, staining your clothes, skin and the floor red. You have just been stabbed. Right through your back and out your stomach, barely missing your lungs, you guessed.

“[Name]! Are you OK?” Ed asked - well, more like yelled - still in shock of what happened.

“I just got stabbed… How the fuck do you THINK I feel?” You yelled back, trying to hold back from screaming in pain.

Ed looked in shock at the thing that had attacked, seeing Slicer’s headless body, holding the blood, covered sword in his hands. “It can’t be!”

“No one said there could only be one soul for one suit of armor.” The body spoke, but it had a different voice than the head, clearly there was another person sealed in the body.

“I forgot to mention this, but when they caught “Slicer”...” The head started.

“They found out there were two killers. We’re brothers.” The body finished.

“The head and body are separate? Lousy cheat!” Ed said, taking a few steps back.

“Who said, “all’s fair in a fight to the death”?” He asked, bringing up what Edward had said just before.

“Indeed. Our job to eliminate any intruders who trespass here comes first. Sorry, We’re just following orders. Let’s begin round two, little man! Oh… Before we begin, let me follow my brother’s example and show you the location of my blood rune.” The second killer bent down a little, revealing the red mark on the inside of his armor. “See it? My blood rune is here ! Aim well if you want to destroy me! But judging by those shaky legs, I don’t think that’s very likely! Wa ha ha ha!”

“Grr… Don’t underestimate-” Ed said, clapping his palms together, only for Slicer to dash forward.

“Not this time! I’m not going to give you a chance to transmute!”

Edward kept getting pushed back by the headless body, while you laid on the floor, trying your best to stop the bleeding. You wanted to get up and fight, but you knew that if you did, you’d most likely die from blood loss.

Dammit… I’ve lost to much blood. I’m really starting to get dizzy. Thought Edward as he dodged another slice. With a jab in the stomach by the sword’s hilt, he was sent back into a stone pillar. This is bad! Really bad! Am I going to die here? His eyes looked towards you. If I die, [Name] will die too. We’re both going to die. Die…? Die… The word repeated itself again and again in his head as the image of Scar appeared along with it. Die!!!

“Work, dammit...” He mumbled, putting his hands together, as the sword wielding murderer got closer and closer. Dodging the fatal stab by a hair, Ed placed his right palm on the assailant’s body, with transmutation marks spreading across it, until it was torn in half horizontally. “I just remembered this guy I don’t like.”

“Damn it! How could you do this to me, you little brat?!” The top portion of the body yelled out, waving its arms around.

“Eeew! That’s too weird!” Ed said, watching the body wriggle on the floor.

“B-big brother…!” It said, perhaps hoping that he would help him out.

“Hm… I hate to admit it, little brother, but we’ve lost.” The head spoke.

“You’re not gonna say that you’re actually three brothers , are you?” Edward asked, poking the lower half’s leg with his own.

“No, no...” They both assured. “That was pretty amazing, this time you really won.”

“Then this time you’d better tell me everything you know.”

“That I cannot do. Hurry up and destroy us and leave this place.”

“I won’t be a murderer .” Ed said, still sitting on the floor with his back against the pillar.

“Hmph. How naive.” The head spoke. “How can you call us humans with bodies like these? I didn’t tell you to kill us, but to destroy us.”

“If I were to accept that you guys aren’t human, then I would be saying that I don’t consider my brother human, either.”

“I spar all the time with a guy just like you. I could just tell from the sound.” Edward’s previous words came flooding back to Slicer’s mind. “Your brother…?”

“My younger brother is human, and so are you guys. I’m not going to kill you.”

“Ha ha ha ha! How ironic!” The head laughed. “My brother and I have robbed, destroyed and killed ever since we can remember. We’ve survived all these years, even though we were looked down upon and called soulless devils. Only now that our human bodies are gone and our souls are all that remains does someone treat us as human. Ha ha ha ha! How very amusing! Kid! You said you wanted to know about the stone, right?”

“Big brother! If we tell them, they’ll destroy us!” The younger killer said, trying to dissuade the other from telling the truth.

“They’ll destroy us anyway for failing to eliminate the intruders. Plus, we’ve died once already… What is there to be afraid of at this point?” He answered before turning his attention back to You and Edward. “This will be my farewell gift to you two. I’ll tell you everything! But as I told you before, I don’t know much about alchemy. I don’t know anything about the Philosopher’s Stone.”

“ARGH! Then there’s nothing to talk about!”

“I don’t know about the stone . But I do know about those who made it. Namely, the ones who ordered us to guard this place.”

“Who are they?”

“They are-” Slicer’s words were cut short when two spearlike fingers pierced through the back of the hemet.

“That was too close.” Said a feminine voice as the helmet was picked up and brought back to a woman standing at the door frame. “Now, now, 48. Don’t talk about things that don’t concern you.”

“Oh my… What are the Fullmetal runt and Steel Arm brat doing here?” This time another voice spoke out as the two came out of the shadows. “Well… I suppose we’ll have to fix that, won’t we?”

“What troublesome children. I wonder how they found out about this place.” The woman said. “I hate to do this in front of your brother, but you leave me no choice.” She said before splitting the helmet in two, killing the soul trapped inside it.

“Big brother! Damn it! We can still fight! Give us a new body-” The younger one said, pleading for their lives. But his pleas went unheard as the dark haired male picked up the sword and repeatedly stabbed the blood seal inside the younger one’s armor.

“Just shut the hell up before you say something else you’ll regret.” He said as he continued the stabbing, and ugly glare an his face. “God! Do you realize that the two of you almost killed not one , but two , of our precious human sacrifices? You don’t have any clue what that means, do you? Not only that, but you were about to start revealing our secrets! You two could have totally wrecked our plans! Were you planning on to make it up to us? Well?!” He yelled out as Slicer’s arm dropped on the floor, signaling that his blood seal was destroyed. “Well, come on. Say something!”

“Envy. He’s already dead.” The woman said, making the male stop.

“Figures. That idiot had no backbone at all. Really. He was so weak it makes me sick.” He said, pulling the sword out, before remembering that you two were in the room. “Ah, yes, yes.”

“Pleased to meetcha, Fullmetal runt and Steel Arm brat. I’ve got to hand it to you two for making it this far. But you did see something that you shouldn’t have.” His smile turned into an evil smirk as he leaned down to meet Ed face to face. “Maybe I should just kill you after all, hm?”

“Why you...” Ed said as he stated to stand up. With a kick Edward managed to get the guy to back off a few steps.

“How cute. The little guy still has some fight in him. Bummer. I was hoping we wouldn’t have to fight. I don’t want to get hurt.”

“Quit calling me small! You started this fight, and I’m going to end it!” Ed yelled, clapping his hands together. “I’ll beat you so bad you’ll wish you never-”

With a crack sound, Ed’s right arm fell limp, much to his dismay.

“Looks like your automail’s busted.” The woman said unamused, while the guy said something about being lucky, and kneed Ed in the stomach.

“I was just kidding when I said I would kill you.” The male previously referred to as “Envy” said, holding up Ed by his braided hair. “You should be glad your arm stopped working. Spared you from getting the crap beat out of you.” He said, letting go of Ed’s braid.

“One more thing, boy.” The woman spoke up. “Don’t ever forget that we let you live.”

“Get away from him! Don’t you dare hurt him!” You yelled out, watching Edward’s unconscious body on the floor. Damn it. You were starting to pass out yourself and you couldn’t do anything about these two.

“Oh, you’re still awake?” Envy asked, inspecting your wound and the pool of blood beneath you. “I expected you to have passed out a while ago. But, better make sure you don’t get away.” He said, karate chopping you in the neck.

Hearing those last words, the word around you turned dark.

“Well, then. We no longer need this facility to make Philosopher’s Stones, anyway. Let’s just blow this place up to get rid of the evidence, shall we?” The woman said, looking at the damages done to the room.

“You sure it’s such a good idea to let these two live?”

“Granted, we didn’t expect them to find this place, but just knowing about the process of making the stones won’t get them anywhere. After all, out plan is already in its final stage.”

 

--

 

Images from the past filled your mind.

It was rather suny that day. It was just a little after you had moved to Resembool with your father.

I was so shy back then. It took me a whole week to even say ‘hi’ to them.

You were still new in the village, you didn’t really know anyone there. Even the Elric family, the ones you had already met, you still hadn’t said anything to them yet.

You mainly spent the days outside in your yard, looking at the clouds passing by. Today was another one of those days. That’s when you noticed someone come near you, blocking your view of the sky.

You looked at the blonde boy standing in front of you, not sure of what he was going to do. After a few seconds of staring down at you, he raised his hand and brought it down onto your head. “Ow! That hurt!” You said. As soon as he had hit you, the boy ran away, not even saying anything.

“Edward! Come back right away and say sorry!” His mother called out to him. They had come to your home to bring your and your father a pie to welcome you to the village. But it seemed like Edward wasn’t that happy to have you here.

For the next few hours you avoided Ed whenever you could, but he wouldn’t leave you alone. For a five year old, he sure was persistent.

It was only when he and his family had to leave for the day did he confront you face to face again.

He raised his hand. Fearing he was going to hit you again, you shut your eyes and waited for the impact, but it didn’t come this time. When you opened your eyes, you saw him hesitate for a bit, a little taken back by your flinch. But when he did put his hand on your head, it didn’t hurt. Instead, this was nice and comforting. It reminded of the way your dad would pet your head when you got hurt or felt sad. “I’m sorry.”

Ed explained that he just wanted to play tag, but he didn’t expect you to be so shy. He didn’t mean to actually hurt you.

From that day forward, you began to open yourself up to him and the other kids in the village. You were afraid that you’d get bullied and teased just like back in Japan, but no. They were really nice and most of them were Quirkless, just like you.

Not before long, you’d already made yourself three lifelong friends: Winry, Alphonse and Edward.

 

--

 

Next time: Created Feelings

 

--

 

Bonus content! 

 

--

 

Aizawa: On a scale of 1 to 10, how unhappy are you with your life?

[Name]: *draws 8*

Aizawa: Well, that’s not good, but we can work with this-

[Name]: *flips the sign sideways*

Aizawa: [Name] no!

 

--

 

Izuku: Get to Del Taco. They’ve got a new thing called fr e sh- freshavacado. Freshavacado.

This is why you don’t let [Name]’s dyslexic ass do signs.

 

--

 

Shouto: Can Santa give me a will to live?

[Name]: No. I already asked and I didn’t get jack shit.

Shouji: Can you both just go see a therapist already?

 

--

 

[Name]: I have a song to play for you all.

[Name]: It’s called “My life so far”

[Name]: *plays a chord*

[Name]: *screames*

 

--

 

[Name]: Where the fuck is Edward?

Roy: Language!

[Name]: May I ascertain the whereabouts of my fucking boyfriend, please?

 

--

 

[Name], standing on her toes with an auto tune machine: I  W I L L D E S T R O Y Y O U R B L O O D L I N E , Y O U F U C K I N G  B I T C H *whips* *screames*

 

--

 

Roy: I’m not going to be mad, just tell me why you three have fake IDs.

Alphonse, Edward and [Name]: *incoherent mumbling*

Roy: What was that?

[Name]: You have to be 18 or older to hold the puppies at Petco.

Roy:

 

--

 

[Name]: Truth or dare.

Shinso: Truth.

[Name]: How many hours have you slept this week?

Shinso: Dare.

[Name]: Go to sleep.

Shinso: I don’t like this game.

 

--

 

Katsuki: YOU ARE SO HOT I AM GOING TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.

[Name]: They say romance is dead.

 

--

 

[Name]: I have a solution to our problem.

Shouto: Good.

[Name]: It involves fire.

Shouto: Absolutely not.

 

--

 

Izuku: I think you have PTSD

[Name]: Yeah I have PTSD

[Name]: Proficient Talent for Sucking Dick

Izuku:

Izuku: I also think we need to talk about your use of humor as a coping mechanism.

 

--

 

[Name]: So here’s the tea—

Roy: For the last time, Steel Arm, it’s called a “mission report”.

[Name]: Do you want the tea or not?

 

--

 

Mina: If you took a shot every time you made a bad decision, how drunk would you be?

Ochako: Sober

Tsuyu: Sober

Tenya: A little tipsy I guess

Shouto: Drunk

Denki: Wasted

Izuku: Dead, probably

[Name]: Dead. Definitely.

--

Chapter Text

I have a Discord. Joining is optional, but go ahead if you want to.

https://discord.gg/p6kG5aX