Concerning SSSSS :

Well, I wrote this intending to throw it in at the end of another little story about Sloth (she's one of my favorites, what can I say?), but I started writing a bunch of little ones about her, and since this is the first one I have finished, I decided to go ahead and post. I'll finish the others soon and post them as necessary.

(And yes, I was extremely broken up about her fate. Since that was the episode I wanted to see more than anything, and the ONLY one I've missed recently. I had to hear about it from more fortunate friends... grr. Not that I'm bitter.)

Very quick note: For reasons I can't even fully explain, in all my stories, Envy has started calling Sloth his little sister. I don't know why. It just happened.

Story One: Pick-Up Lines.

Ah, yes, another typical lunchtime at Bruno's, an out-of-the-way little tavern-type establishment that served "food" of some type.

Sloth surveyed the menu rather dubiously. "You know, Envy, when you said you were taking me out to lunch," she sighed, "I almost hoped we would splurge a bit."

Envy's only response was to laugh and ruffle her hair affectionately. "Oh, sis, cut me some slack. Not everybody has a nice, comfy job like you. So, why don't you grab a table, and I'll go order us something, ok?"

Well, it still beat mooching food off her coworkers, or, even worse, eating the military cafeteria food (shudder), Sloth reflected, pulling up a chair, and inadvertently catching a certain patron's attention.

"Mind if I join you?" some sleazeball asked, helping himself to a seat.

"It's a free dictatorship," Sloth replied coldly, not looking at him. Instead, she pulled out a book and started reading.

"Quiet little table you have here," the man observed.

"It was quiet," snarled Sloth under her breath. The would-be-pick-up man failed miserably at taking the hint.

"I'd offer to buy you a drink, but I don't think it's legal to provide teenagers with alcohol."

Meant to be a complement, this actually hit a sore spot with Sloth (last time she tried to buy alcohol, they had carded her and found out she was only four), and she had no choice but to abandon her novel for the time being to glare at her annoyer, who turned out to be a tall blond guy, complete with long ponytail, beard, glasses, and a trench coat.

There was a long, awkward silence, broken when Sloth noticed that he had a hand on her leg, and, in disgust, propelled her chair away from the table fast enough to break the sound barrier. "Excuse me, I need an aspirin."

Envy was standing in line (which was surprisingly long, given the quality of Bruno's food), minding his own business, when BAM! Sloth latched onto his arm like a pitbull on a mailman.

"Envy! Some creep was hitting on me!"

"Where is he?"demanded Envy, spinning around angrily, Sloth still attached to his arm, "I'll tear him limb from limb!"

"He's... over there," whimpered Sloth, pointing timidly over to the table from her hiding spot behind her self-declared "older brother".

"Nobody messes with my Slo-," Envy's voice died abruptly, and he stared back at his "sister", then back at the man, then back at Sloth again, ""

"Well? Aren't you going to beat him up, like you do with all the other pervs who dare to hit on me?"

"Ah... ahahaha... change in plans, Slothy," Envy giggled nervously, pulling her out a back exit and down the street.

"But.. Envy! He was..."

"I know, I know! I'm sacrificing your dignity, but gaining a life of complete mobility."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"I'll tell you on the way home."

"But... I need to get back to work..."

"No, you need to come back home where I can keep on eye on you and make sure you're safe."

"Fine." Fed-up, Sloth yanked herself away from her cohort and started back towards Bruno's. "If you won't tell me what's so extraordinary about that old pervert, I'm just going to go back there and beat the truth out of him myself."

"Alright, alright! I'll tell you!" Envy jumped in front of her, sounding panicked. "But you have to promise not to faint or anything."

"Just because I let you do the whole 'protective older brother' thing doesn't mean I'm a infant. I'm as strong as any of us."

"...You're not going to like this."


"... Sis," Not entirely convinced that she wasn't going to faint, Envy placed his hands firmly on her shoulders, looked into her eyes, took a deep breath, and lost his nerve. "That was...hummumble."


Deep breath, try again, "Hombumble."

Once again, Sloth broke away and directed her footsteps to Bruno's. "If you're too big of a wimp even to tell me..."


Sloth stopped. And slowly turned around. "You in...?"


"...Envy, I need to throw up."

"I'd understand."

"Oh gross! He was touching my leg! EW! I need to take a shower! Ew! Envy!"

Envy bit back a wry grin. "Tell me, how did you get through your former life?"

"I dunno... drugs? Maybe I... OH GROSS! We used to...Oh, God! I'm gonna..." Turning a decidedly unhealthy shade of green, Sloth clamped a hand over her mouth and ran down the street to the nearest trash can.

"... Sis? Hey, are you all right?"

Inhaling slowly, Sloth stood up straight. "I'm fine." she said unsteadily. "I'm going back to work."

"Do you want me to come with you?"

"No, thank you. I'll be fine."

"You sure?"


Envy tried to put the entire incident out of his mind, but instead he kept coming up with comebacks, karate maneuvers, and elaborate revenge scenarios that he could have used back at the bar, rather than diving out the back door like a pansy. That bastard had some nerve to show up here like this and try and hit on his Sloth!

"I can't find my little brother, I wonder where he is. Is he on the next block down? Guess I'll go find out..." Ed hummed a little song he was making up on the spot, trying desperately not to panic. He didn't realize that he was about a foot from knocking into Envy...

"Excuse me, do you have the time?"

Ed snapped towards the familiar voice, hatred glinting in his narrowed eyes.

"Oh, yes, ten after."

"Thank you."

Envy snapped towards the familiar voice, hatred glinting in his narrowed eyes.

"Hoenheim," Ed and Envy (who really have much more in common than they'd care to admit) growled, hatred dripping from their voices.

"I'm gonna kill him!" screamed Ed, jumping forward.

"Not if I get there first!" hollered Envy, leaping after him.

Actually, neither got to him at all. Before either could reach the object of their mutual hostility, someone (or something) else streaked by, passing them in milliseconds and showering both with a fine mist of water.

Envy stopped then, a twisted smile spreading over his features. He grabbed Ed by the braid as the alchemist ran past, forcing him to a somewhat painful halt.

"OW! Hey, what are you doing, you psycho?"

"He skipped out on your mom, right?"

"Yes," Ed growled, "Right after Al was born. Now lemme go, I'm gonna pound his ass into next year!"

But Envy's grip on his braid stayed in place. "Hold on a second. Someone beat us to him, she gets first dibs."

"Oh, no she doesn't!"

"Oh, yes. She does. Here, have some popcorn and enjoy the show."

This was a difficult decision for Ed. His two main desires (pulverizing his father and free popcorn) were clashing in an epic struggle. He hovered between the two for an instant, finally reaching for a handful of the delicious snack Envy had apparently pulled out of Hammerspace. "So, Envy... what's going on?"

Envy ignored him, cheering on, "Woo! GO SLO—,"and then his voice froze.

Ed's eyes grew wide as he stared over to where his father was standing. "Wha... uh... arf?" he fumbled.

"Ehm," Envy squeaked.

It wasn't that Hoenheim had caught her (although that was quite a feat at the speed she had been going). It wasn't even that he was embracing someone who was out for his blood. (But what do you expect from the womanizing bastard, Ed and Envy thought bitterly to themselves). It was more that she wasn't struggling in the least that threw them off. But not for long.

"Hey! Get your filthy hands off her!" Envy bellowed, lunging forward and hitting the ground with a heavy thud as Ed grabbed onto his legs and tackled him.

"You're not going anywhere until I know what's going on!"

"Lemme go, shrimpy! I wanna see how he molests women from a body cast!"

Back on the battlefront, Sloth sighed and closed her eyes. A terrifyingly powerful emotion was awaking deep inside her, and she wanted a moment to collect herself again.

Behind her, Ed cried out, "Tell me who that woman is!" and the moment was over. With lighting reflexes, she stomped her "sensible" work heel into the man's foot, snapped her head up into his nose, and pushed him away from her. He stumbled, and she pounced.

A chorus of "WOOT!", "This is more like it!", "Hey, chibi, pass the popcorn," and "You go, Mrs. Envy's Angry Violent Female Friend!" arose from the two spectators.

The cheers turned eventually to stupefied silence. At several points, Envy felt it was necessary to shield little Ed's eyes from the carnage.

A small but appreciative audience had gathered by the time Sloth picked herself up, dusted herself off, spit contemptuously at her defeated enemy, and walked calmly over to where Ed and Envy where still standing.

"Hello, boys."

Ed stared at her for a minute, then timidly stepped forward and hugged her. "I don't know who you are, but... you get a hug."

"Aw." Returning the embrace somewhat awkwardly, Sloth smiled at Envy, her expression just screaming 'Isn't he a doll?' Envy rolled his eyes.

Ed let go, and Sloth sniffed at her clothes, suddenly disgusted. "Oh God. I smell... like Ax Effect!"

Ed gasped. Envy looked puzzled. "What's Ax Effect?"

"Only the most nauseating fragrance ever designed by mankind! One dab can be smelled from over half a mile away, and once a bottle exploded inside a gym locker room and killed three students." Sloth wailed. "The scumbag must have been wearing some!"

Envy laughed. "It's just cologne... Don't make such a big deal out of it."

In response, Sloth grabbed a handful of his miniskirt and tried to rub the foul scent off her own outfit. Envy sprang away from her. "Hey!"

"It's just cologne. Don't make such a big deal out of it."

"I don't want Elric cooties!"

Sloth reached for Ed's coat, but the boy was a step ahead of her on that one. "Keep it away from me! That stuff never comes off!"

This thought had occurred to Sloth, too, and she was not happy with the idea of spending the rest of her days wearing eau-de-Hoenheim. "Come on, Envy. I need an emergency medical shower."

"Ok, but be careful not to get sucked down the drain again," the other Sin cautioned, following her off.

"It was nice to meet you, Ms. Envy's Angry Friend!" Ed called after them.

"I'm sure I'll be seeing you around, Edward," Sloth called back, and she and her oddly-shaped friend walked off into the sunset, arguing over the sound of the ambulance siren, which had been summoned by some kind soul to escort Hoenheim (remember him?) to the hospital.

"Why didn't you use your awesome putty powers?"

"He's not good enough for my sweet water skills."

"And what was with that hug?"

"He was groping me!"

"Looked like you were enjoying it, if you ask me,"

"Do you want me to kill you?"

"Why don't you have your boyfriend come beat me up?"

"Hey, brother?" Ed spun around, to find Al.

"AL! You're alive!"

"I heard sirens... and I was afraid you did something really stupid. So I came to find you. Who are those people?"

"Oh, just some temporary allies. I'll tell you all about it sometime. But right now I don't quite understand it myself."