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.

Hey everyone! Just letting you know that I'm going on vacation tomorrow and I'll be gone for a week. I thought I'd update, so you guys have something to read while I was gone. Enjoy!

Chapter 5- I Hate Circles!

It was a beautiful day. The sky was pink, and so were the elephants that were walking around.

Roy was picking some flowers in a field when he saw Riza approach, wearing a shirt and miniskirt made entirely out of leaves.

"Hello Roy." She said in a soft voice.

"Hello Riza." Roy replied, giving her the flowers he had picked. "I really like you, Riza. Would you go out with me?"

Riza gave him a big smile and said,

"Well I would love to, that is, if you didn't have to WAKE UP."

The smiling Riza changed into the normal frowning one pointing a gun at him.

Her voice boomed across the field, sending elephants flying.


One of the pinks elephants ran over and started swinging Roy around with his trunk saying in a joyful voice,

"Wake up Roy! Rise ad shine! Time to smell the coffee! Roy...Roy...Roy? ROY! WAKE UP DAMMIT!


Roy Mustang awoke with a start, finding no Hawkeye in a miniskirt, and the pink elephant swinging him around was actually Hughes.

"What the hell Hughes?" He mumbled groggily, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He glanced at his clock, checking the time.

"Why the heck did you wake me up at 8:30 in the morning!" Mustang threw the clock at the already dressed Hughes and sank back into his sheets, too tired for more arguing.

Hughes easily caught the clock and set it back on the dresser. He smoothed out the wrinkles in his shirt and said in an innocent voice,

"Well, I though you would want to get ready for the library, that's all."

Mustang opened one eye.

"Why would I want to start getting ready for the library now? We're not going until 10!"

"Oh I know that, it's just I thought you might want to put some extra preparation in for a certain Miss Hawkeye, that's all."

Mustang shot up, suddenly wide awake and nervous. He looked at Hughes, who had a gleeful expression on his face.

"Wha...What are you talking about Hughes?"

Hughes walked over to Mustang's bed and picked up his pillow.

"Oh, I don't know. It's just that when I woke up this morning, I happened to see a certain someone hugging and kissing their pillow, saying things like...I like you a lot Riza! You're such an interesting person...It was pretty exciting to watch!"

Mustang turned a deep red and said in a stammering voice,

"Did you see or hear anything else?" Like when I asked her out?

Hughes shrugged.

"Maybe I did...Maybe I didn't! Who knows?"

Mustang jumped out of bed grabbing Hughes by the collar.

"I swear Hughes; if you tell Hawkeye, or ANYONE else for that matter about that, I'll...I'll..."

Hughes smiled and winked at Mustang.

"You'll...You'll do what? Anywhoo"-he shook himself free of Mustang's grip-"You better get ready for the library! You've already wasted 15 minutes arguing with me!"

Hughes pointed at the clock. Sure enough, the hands now pointed at 8:45. Too late to catch any last minute z's. Mustang swore and ran into the bathroom, slamming the door. Hughes rearranged his glasses and said in a soft voice,

"I swear, I love playing with his mind!"

One Hour Later

"Ok Hughes, explain this deal again to me." Mustang said as they stopped outside the front doors of the library.

"Well, I promise not to say anything about that little dream of yours to Hawkeye. In return, you have to promise to develop all my pictures of Gracia for one week!"

Mustang cursed under his breath, knowing that there were probably hundreds to develop, but agreed to the deal. Both headed in looking around for Hawkeye.

"How are we supposed to find her in here?" Mustang said as they gazed around at the vast amount of books. As if answering his prayers, the old librarian from yesterday walked over and handed Mustang a very large, very heavy book.

"What do you want me to do with this?" said the surprised Mustang, shaking under the weight of the book. The librarian patted the book and said in a happy voice,

"I want you to give this to the blonde wonder reader; she never picked it up in her hurry to leave yesterday. She also seems much happier yesterday as well. I hope that was because you said something to her, right?" She gave Mustang the same stern look from the day before. He cringed under her gaze.

"Um, yeah, I...I talked to her."

The librarian's look of happiness returned as she patted the book again. "Well, give this to her. She's in the back, in the 3rd Alchemy room."

"Thanks a lot ma'am!" Hughes called back as they headed for the back. "What's taking you so long Roy?" He glanced back to see the Mustang still struggling with the book.

"Oh jeez..." Hughes muttered. "Come on Roy, I bet it's not that heavy." He walked over and took the book from Mustang. He then immediately fell down, crashing into a shelf.

"Not so easy is it?" Mustang laughed now watching Hughes struggle. In the end, they made it by each holding one side. Hawkeye was waiting for them at one of the doors.

"You're 15 minutes late." She remarked glancing at a bronze pocket watch.

"Not our fault!" Both said, motioning towards the book.

"Oh! That must be my book from yesterday. I'll take that off your hands."

Hughes and Mustang started to warn her about the weight of it, but stopped abruptly when she reached in between them and easily lifted up the book and brought it inside the room. The men were speechless. Mustang ran after Hawkeye and asked in a incredulous voice,

"How can you carry that so easily?"

Hawkeye simply looked at him saying, "It's a woman thing. Now do you want to learn or not?"

Mustang glanced back at Hughes who shrugged. All three headed into the room, closing the door behind them. The first thing that Mustang observed was the huge pile of books heaped on the table. A few looked short, but most looked like they had over a thousand pages in them.

"What do you expect me to do with all those books?" Mustang said, giving the volumes a dirty glare.

"I want you to read them." She replied flatly, pulling out a chair.

"I thought you said that we were going to work on my technique and circles!"

"We are. You have natural talent, but you have to refine that talent by learning all you can about Alchemy. From what I've seen so far, you need to learn about your circles and techniques before you actually start drawing them. You have to crawl before you can walk Mustang."

With both Hughes and Hawkeye watching him, he gave a heavy and dramatic sigh, settled down in the chair, picked up the nearest volume and started to read.

Three Hours Later

Mustang was exhausted. Over the past three hours he had been reading select chapters on Fire Alchemy and different kinds of circle techniques. He was learning a ton of valuable information, but it wasn't that fun. Hawkeye kept quizzing him on things he read, making sure he was absorbing absolutely everything that he was reading. If that wasn't enough, Hughes kept flitting around the room, interrupting them with stupid questions like, "If you get really good at your alchemy Roy, will you cook all the food so we don't have to use that stove anymore?"

After the initial quizzing, they moved on to drawing the actual transmutation circles. Hughes timed Mustang drawing the circles while Hawkeye pointed out errors that he made in his haste.

"There has to be an easier way of making these stupid things!" Mustang exclaimed, wiping the sweat off his face. He was drawing the arrays fine at this point; the only problem being, if he did make it into the military, he had to find some way to draw the circles faster. As Hawkeye had said the day before, he wouldn't last two minutes on a battlefield, drawing circles in the ground.

"I don't want to draw transmutation circles anymore!" Mustang complained, wiping the chalk off his hands. He crawled over to a corner of the room and started to bang his head on the wall.

"Well, unless you figure out how to make a portable transmutation circle, you'll have to make them forever." Hawkeye said, thumbing through her book.

Hughes walked over to where Roy was sitting, offering him an apple. Mustang shook his head. Hughes bit into the apple and leaned against the wall. As he enjoyed the apple, he started to talk to Mustang.

"You know Roy, if you want something; you have to work for it. That's the basic rule for anything in life. I mean"- he finished the apple and threw it in the trash-"If you want to know how to make a portable circle or whatever, you have to research it. Do you think an idea is going to come like that"- he snapped his fingers-"without any work?"

Mustang suddenly stopped his banging and turned to Hughes.

"Hughes, what did you just do?"

"I was lecturing you on life, what do you think I was doing?"

"No, not the lecture, I wasn't listening to that!" Mustang said, growing more excited by the second. "What did you do with your hands?"

Hughes looked at his hands, wondering where Mustang was going with this.

"I snapped my fingers..." He snapped the again to make his point.

Mustang snapped his own fingers, an idea forming in his head. Without a word, he ran past the bewildered Hughes and Hawkeye and started flipping through the nearest book.

"What are you doing?" Hawkeye said, quite surprised at Mustang's sudden enthusiasm to learn. Mustang continued flipping through random books. As he was searching he started to talk to both Hughes and Hawkeye, his voice growing more excited by the minute.

"Hawkeye," he said turning the pages of his book. "Is there anyway that someone could put a transmutation circle on a piece of clothing?"

Hawkeye frowned. "No, I don't think that's possible. If you could put a circle on something like a shirt and activate it, you'd just set yourself on fire! What would be the point of that?"

Mustang abandoned the books and started drawing furiously, still grinning.

"But what if you put it on something like a glove?"

Both Hughes and Hawkeye exchanged mystified glances. This time it was Hughes who spoke up.

"Well, if you put it on a glove, how would you activate the circle, seeing as your hands would be covered?"

Mustang handed them the paper, beaming like a little kid.

"How about snapping your fingers Hughes?"

Both Hughes and Hawkeye eyes widened at the drawing. Mustang was no artist, but the message was clear enough. It had three different pictures. The first picture showed a glove, with a transmutation circle on the back of the hand. The second one had the gloved snapping its fingers. The last picture showed sparks flying and flames coming from the fingers, ready to burn its target. Hawkeye looked at Mustang who looked extremely proud of himself.

"But," Hawkeye said, finally finding her voice, "Would it work?"

Mustang snatched the paper back from the two.

"Well I don't know!" he said defensively, "I just thought of it now! Anyway,"- he tapped his head with his index finger,-"With my brains, I know that it will work!"

Hawkeye sighed at the same time Hughes slapped Mustang on the back.

"Man, great thinking Roy! It could end up as a complete and utter failure, but we won't know until we try, eh?"

Feeling a little dismayed by both Hughes and Hawkeye's comments, but still having hope, Mustang motioned for them to sit at the table. Shoving all the books off the table and ignoring Hawkeye's look of anger at the fallen books, he set his paper on the table and started to make adjustments.

"Ok," he said, after making the corrections, "I think I know how we can do this."

Both Hawkeye and Hughes leaned in to hear his idea.

"The first thing we have to do is"- Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door, causing Mustang to stop talking.

"Who could that be?" Hawkeye said, irritated at the interruption.

"I'll get it!" Hughes cried out, glad that he didn't have to sit still any longer. He jumped up and raced towards the door. Both Mustang and Hawkeye tried to get a glimpse of the stranger, but the position of the door and Hughes made that impossible. All they could hear was low murmuring made by Hughes and the stranger. Hughes closed the door, but Mustang could see a shadow on the other side of the door, which proved that the stranger was still there. Hughes walked back over to the table and sat down. He pulled a green apple out of his pocket, and waved it under their noses.

"Does anyone want an apple?"

"Hughes!" Hawkeye's sharp voice made Hughes drop the apple. "What does the person at the doors want?"

"Oh, that!" Hughes picked the apple off the ground and dusted it off. He patted Mustang on the shoulder and said,

"It's for you, Roy."

Feeling a sense of foreboding, Mustang got up and slowly walked towards the door.

"Hurry up Roy!" Hughes called at his retreating back, "He didn't look like the kind of guy that likes to be kept waiting!"

Mustang increased his speed towards the door. He opened the door and came face to face with...

---To be Continued---

Sorry I left it hanging like that! I didn't really leave it at a cliffhanger last chapter, and felt like doing one this chapter. Besides, if you think about it, there are only a certain number of people it could be, and it's not Ed or Al. Like I said before, I'm going on a one week vacation with my family, so when I come back, I want to see lots of reviews in my mail! I think I've made my decision about the whole Ishbal war and all that. I'm pretty sure that I'll go into a little detail, but not anything too deep. During the entire story, the war has been going on. I think that by the time Mustang actually gets into the military, the war will be going into its 5th year. It was a 7 year war, right? Anyways, now that I know what I want to do with Ishbal, I have another problem. The Alchemy exam is coming up! Should I follow it from what I've seen of Ed's exam? Or just create my own version of the exam? Who knows!