Edit of the following Traditonal A/N: I wrote this story in response to one of my friends getting flamed for a crackfic that she wrote, which is why I have a long, angry, anti-flame note starting it out. I have since learned, thanks to all the wonderful reviewers and people that I have met here on that this person was one of those uptight know-it-all crazies that the rest of us excommunicate and don't talk about in polite society. So, apologizes for the next paragraph or so, but, it is part of the original story, so I'm leaving it for the reccord.
Traditional A/N: Several things have come to my attention: 1) anime people are really horrible about nit-picking fics. 2) the FullMetal Alchemist people are amongst the worst. 3) These people HATE it when characters are, well, out of character.
My response: A what-if scenario wherein the characters are supposed to be out of character. That's the entire premise. (Surprisingly spoiler-free!)
This story is also designed to get some sympathy for the Sins. Come on, folks! Let's give them a hand. How many villains want the exact same thing that the heros are after, for perfectly benign purposes, and yet are still 'evil'? (I have a whole argument on behalf of the Sins, but that can wait for another time.)
Last thing. Exploring some forbidden territory here, namely, making fun of Hughes. He's the comic relief character... shouldn't we be allowed to laugh about his tragic demise? What I mean is... don't get a torch and pitchfork and come to my house in the dead of night and hurt me.
Chapter 1: Elly and Reg: Professional Cute Couple
Picture the following scene: A young couple is eating dinner together at a nice restaurant. Well, it would be more accurate to say the pretty, chestnut-haired young woman is eating dinner. The young man is picking at his food nervously.
The young woman's name is Elly. She's charming, intelligent, witty, and compassionate, and has an accent which, for some reason, is vaguely reminiscent of the 1940's.
The young man's name is Reg (pronounced like a shortened version of Reggie). Reg is a quiet, dark-haired medical student, a little more serious than some. His teachers all agree he has quite a future ahead of him. Currently, he has every right to be nervous. Tonight he intends to propose to his college sweetheart (Elly. Er, duh).
Reg isn't the most socially adept person, but he's seen a few trite romance movies in his day, and, following the experts, he goes with the Stop, Drop, and Pop method. He Stops the conversation, Drops to one knee, and Pops the question. Elly is a little surprised, but utterly delighted, and the now-engaged couple find themselves in Happy Land.
At this point, you may ask, "What the FREAK does this have to do with anything?" Trust me just a little longer, and please keep reading.
"We'll have to visit Mummy and tell her, of course. She'll be oh-so happy. She really adores you, Reg. Do you think maybe we could go up next week?" Elly asked happily over desert. Reg nodded agreeably. He liked Elly's mom, and had ever since Elly had dragged him home for the holidays last winter. And even if he hadn't liked her, he would still have gone, just to make Elly happy.
"Reg, dear, I've just realized!" In a fit of concern, Elly set down her fork, a piece of chocolate cheesecake still clinging to it. "I've never met your folks!"
Reg's good mood started to flicker like a candle in a rainstorm. "No, you haven't, but let's not worry about them. I've never even told them about you, and I don't see why I should start now."
"That's really horrible of you, Reg. I know you don't like them, but they did raise you and pay your tuition and all, so it seems like the least you could do is introduce them to your fiancee."
All of the blood drained out of Reg's face. "But... but, Elly!" he stuttered.
"Don't you 'But Elly' me, Reg," her tone suddenly became serious. "All I'm asking is for us to spend a day or two with your family. We don't even have to invite them to the wedding, if it would upset you that much. I just want to meet them once, that's all."
Still confused? Don't worry. All will become clear soon.
It was with a heavy heart indeed that Reg entered his dorm room later that evening and dialed his home phone number.
Many people assume that Reg is short for Reginald, but they are WRONG. Originally, he was called Reg because it was the closest name to Wrath they could think up.
After a few rings, a woman answered the phone. "Hello?"
Reg gulped. Lamentably, that was enough.
"Wrath? Is that you, puppy?"
Reg winced, although he wasn't sure if it was from being called Wrath, or Puppy, her childhood nickname for him. "Hello, Lust."
"It is you! How much do you need?"
"How much what do I need?"
"Money, of course."
"I didn't call to ask you for money!"
"Well, what else would you be calling for? We haven't heard from you since Christmas! Lord, you could have died and we wouldn't even know it. Envy's been getting worried about you, you know."
"Yeah, I'm sure," Reg thought sarcastically. He didn't say this, though. He said, "Lust, I called to tell you that I'm getting married, and—"
"HEY EVERYBODY! WRATH'S GETTING MARRIED! Puppy, that's great! What's her name?"
"Elly, but I wanted to---"
"I didn't even know you had a girl. This is why you have to call more often, we never have any idea what you're up to. What does she look like? How long have you..."
"Lust, will you stop talking for five seconds and let me finish? She wants to meet you guys, otherwise I would never tell you about her at all. Is it okay if we come up Monday and stay for a night or two?"
"Of course. I'm dying to meet her. And we never see you anymore—"
Ok, now came the hard part. Reg braced himself. "And I have a really big favor to---"
"WRATH AND HIS GIRLFRIEND ARE COMING OVER ON MONDAY!"
A familiar voice from the background reached Reg. He couldn't quite make out what was said, but he he didn't need to, either. "Tell him her favorite's Italian, and she doesn't like really spicy foods. Oh, and she loves cheesecake." He waited for this information to be relayed, then continued, "And tell Greed her criminal record consists of a few unpaid parking tickets. Tell Sloth she's just graduated, she majored in psychology. Envy doesn't care, and anything you want to know, Lust, is none of your business, so please don't ask. Now, takes care of everybody's interests, and I have a serious favor to ask you."
"I haven't told her about... you know... about... how all of us used to be, and I was wondering if... maybe you could ask everybody to... go by their human names when she's there."
The words had scarcely left his mouth when Lust was screaming at him. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN'T TOLD HER? ARE YOU CRAZY? WRATH, YOU HAVE TO TELL HER!"
"I will! I promise! I'll do it before we get married, I swear! I just don't want her to know when she meets you, ok? Please, Lust? Please?"
He wasn't in the room with her, but Lust could picture the Bambi eyes anyway."Ok. If it means so damn much to you, I'll do it."
"And there's one more thing. Could you... make Envy wear something a little less revealing and a little more masculine?"
"It's a miniskirt, Lust! A miniskirt!"
"Fine. I will tell everyone to use their 'human' names. I will make sure we're on our best behavior. I will even force Envy into more appropriate clothing. But there isn't a whole heck of a lot I can do about his spastic hair."
"I don't ask you to. Thank you thank you thank you thank you—"
"You owe me, puppy. I'll see you next Monday." Dial tone.
Reg sighed deeply as he hung up the phone. He had honestly hoped to simply elope without his bride-to-be and his 'family' ever meeting. So much for that scenario.
Elly knew he had had a traumatic childhood. She even knew part of the truth, that he had been abandoned as a child, that none of his 'folks' were related to him or each other, and that he was the only child in a family of seven.
What Elly didn't know was that Reg's 'family' consisted of the physical manifestations of the Seven Deadly Sins; Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Pride, and Wrath; homunculi created by a series of semi-crazed alchemists. For years, the Sins had wreaked havoc (and Feury?) upon various people they had deemed 'enemies', and anyone who got in their way. (Greed was still wanted in twelve different cities). However, one day, they had dropped, so it seemed, off the face of the earth.
In fact, they had acquired souls using a Philosopher's Stone purchased on Ebay by Sloth, taken on new identities, and moved to a small town to begin their lives afresh.
It was still possible to recognize pre-soul Wrath in Reg. Sure, the long scraggly hair was now cropped short, and the paper-white skin was now a more healthy tone, but his eyes were still wide and dark purple-gray, his right arm, although now the same color as the rest of his limbs (thank God) still boasted a weird scar from someone else's past. And, anyone who had come to one of Reg's high school track meets could have connected him to little Wrath's speedy dashes.
But nobody had ever connected the two boys. Only the other former homunculi ever called him Wrath, and then only in private, and he could have lived without that, even. Reg had spent his life trying to bury his past, and the last person he wanted digging it up again was Elly.