Learning to Fly

Disclaimer- I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of its characters. I'm just borrowing them for a bit to use in my story.

Ok everyone; this is my first story so be nice! I'll accept any comments on how to improve my story, and if anyone spots something stupid like a spelling mistake, please tell me! Thanks a lot!

-In case you missed the summary, this story takes place years before Fullmetal Alchemist begins. There's no Ed, Al or Winry. It's just my version of how our favorite military characters got to where they are today. -

(When the font goes like this, a character is thinking.)

Chapter One- A best friend sure is a pain sometimes!


It was a cool crisp day, mid November. Leaves were forming small piles on the ground and the occasional breeze here and there would make the leaves fly back up again, much to the annoyance of those trying to rake them. It was a beautiful scene. One man however, was not feeling any bit of joy at this particular time. Another man, who at the moment was dragging the first one towards at large, white building accompanied him. The men who were raking stopped and listened in on the strange conversation.

"I can't do it! I'm not ready! You're just trying to humiliate me aren't you!"

"Come on Roy, I know you can do it! I'll even re-explain what we're here to do. We go into Central, and you pick up the forms for the Alchemy Exam. Then we walk out. Easy Peasy!"

The man named Roy, still struggling to get out of the other man's grip choked out,

"That's real easy to say for you Hughes! You're not taking any exam! You just get to apply! What if I fail? If I don't fail, what if I get a secretary that's an ugly hag? I NEED beautiful women Hughes! Don't make me do this!"

Roy continued to prattle about anything and everything that had to do with his exam, while the man called Hughes (who was now carrying Roy at this point) continued to walk towards the large imposing doors.

A few minutes (and several breakdowns) later, Hughes got to the front of the door. Roy had finally composed himself and was now standing on his own. He straightened his collar and glared at Hughes before saying in a very calm voice,

"Ok listen Hughes. We're just walking in and walking out. Don't talk to anyone, don't make eye contact, don't even tie your shoes. We are here for the Alchemy Forms and nothing else. We have to make a good impression, really show that we're serious about this. Got it?"

Hughes gave him a very serious look, and replied,

"Right. I understand how important this is for you. You're finally getting your chance to join the military, and hopefully move quickly through the ranks. I won't spoil that for you."

Roy, looking rather surprised in the sudden mood change in his usually bouncy friend, gave him a small smile. Just as he reached for the handle of the door, Hughes stepped in front of him.

"Let me get the door for you. After all, you're practically the Fuhrer already!"

Looking even more surprised, and suddenly realizing that something bad was going to happen, Roy reached out to stop Hughes. Alas, the thought came too late, and Hughes had already thrown open the door. All poor Roy could do was try and vanish as his "great" friend Hughes ran inside and started talking animatedly to the secretary sitting at a desk.

"Hello Miss! Nice to meet you! This here's my friend Roy Mustang! Remember that name cuz he's gonna be the Fuhrer someday! We're just here to get some Alchemy Exam Forms if you don't mind; yup he's an Alchemist! I'm Maes Hughes by the way and…Oh yeah! I almost forgot!"

With this he paused in his introduction to run over to the speechless secretary to whom he shoved a picture right under her nose. Giggling and blushing slightly, he pointed to the young woman smiling in the shot and said,

"I'm flattered by your feelings Miss, but you see I've already met the love of my life! See that beautiful goddess in the picture? That's my breathtaking girlfriend Gracia! I'm telling you, we're gonna get married and live in a huge house and have 12 children!" He hugged the picture and spinned around the room, all while saying,

"I'm such a lucky guy! I'm such a lucky guy! I'm such a"- he stopped in mid-spin and grabbed some forms off her desk.

"These looks like the Alchemy Exam Forms! I'll just take one if these you don't mind, thank you!"

Without waiting for an answer, Hughes skipped over to where Roy Mustang was trying unsuccessfully to blend in with the wallpaper. He put the papers into Mustang's hand, and called out to the secretary,

"Thanks a lot for the forms! See you soon!"

With that, the two men walked out and closed the door, leaving the secretary wondering if those two were more hallucinations from her medication.

Once outside and walking, Mustang finally seemed to regain his voice and said in a choked, strangled whisper,

"You idiot! Now I'll be a laughing stock of the entire military! No one is going to take me seriously if they think I'm some sort of clown! What was the entire purpose of that? Ruin my career that hasn't even started yet!"

Mustang had crossed his arms and was breathing heavily, waiting for an explanation from his friend. Hughes looked at his friend and smiled.

"Oh Roy, you think I ruined your career? Jeez, that's the last thing I was thinking of doing! What do you think that secretary would have thought if you came in all serious and business, acting like you already own the place? She wouldn't like you! No one would! You would be hated and feared for your entire career! Is that how you want to ascend through the ranks? You've got be friendly Roy, and treat people nicely, or you'll never get anywhere. Laugh at yourself once in a while man! Besides"- he gave a small laugh and blushed-"You know I can't resist showing off the woman I'm going to marry! I'll do the same thing when I have kids!"

"So," - he said, looking at Mustang who had walked ahead of him, " do you forgive me?"

Mustang turned away from Hughes. He looked at the sky, then said,

"Listen Hughes. We've been friends since we were kids. You know it's my biggest ambition to become Fuhrer and change how this corrupt government works. Although I didn't really like your way of introducing me to the military"- He glanced towards Hughes,

"And as much as I think that you're going to take your job too lightly"- Hughes grinned and kissed Gracia's picture again,

"I also agree with your concerns about my attitude and me. Lets make a compromise."

"Hmm?"

"Anytime I get too worked over something stupid, show me a picture of Gracia, and remind that there's more to life then my job. How's that sound to you?"

Hughes pondered, stroking his chin. He suddenly brightened and shook Mustangs hand, grinning wickedly.

"That's a deal! I just realized that you just gave me permission, no wait, you ordered me to show you pictures of Gracia as much as possible! A job like that couldn't make me any happier!"

After shaking Mustang's bewildered hand, Hughes ran down the pathway, away from Central.

"Where are you going?" Mustang shouted at the receding back of his friend.

"Gracia's!" he replied looking over his shoulder, not once slowing his stride, " I've got a date with her tonight! I'll take a bunch more pictures so I can show you new ones! Meet me in the Central Library tomorrow and we can figure out what the heck you're going to do for the exam. See ya!" Without waiting for an answer, Hughes turned the corner and was gone from sight.

Mustang sighed, knowing that he would never really get used to his friend's almost bi- polar behavior. He turned, and headed in the opposite direction, toward his dorm room, where he was planned to spend the next few hours studying alchemy techniques. Lets see… he mused in his mind, what kind of alchemy fits my personality? He stopped suddenly and an idea struck him. Hey! If I learn Fire Alchemy, I can burn any pictures that Hughes tries to show me! He smiled demonically, and as he headed for his dorms he thought to himself, Oh yeah, fire alchemy here I come!

---To be Continued---

--Preview for Next Chapter--

Mustang bites off more than he can chew when he meets a beautiful woman- that absolutely hates him! Who said Alchemy can solve all you problems?

Did you like it? I'm almost done with Chapter Two so stay posted!

Could I get some more reviews please? How am I supposed to be motivated to write if no one comments on the story?