Author Notes:
- Don't like then don't read. This'll make everyone's life easy ;-).
- I've written other fanfics before, but it's been years! This is my 1st ever attempt at a FMA fanfic, so I'm quite nervous! I'm not perfect, but I always try my best!
- I don't own FMA, I am not here to make a profit, or to win the Nobel Peace prize. I am here to write a fanfic bc it's fun and I 3 FMA. Flames will be flushed down the toilet, but please don't be afraid to tell me what you think, comment or critique (nicely, that is).
- I tend to write disgustingly quirky fics, so this isn't for the "serious hearted." I also write ad-lib; I don't even know what's happening most of the time. The characters have a life of their own I guess.
- This is my 1st try at posting at FFNet. I have no idea how this story will go. If it turns too smutty for FFNet, then I may just stop posting. I want to abide by the rules
- I hope you all enjoy and leave a message please (give me something to go by.)

Prologue: Mission Accepted

"You want me to do WHAT?" Edward's voice slowly raised into a squawk.

Maes Hughes didn't even flinch. He continued to smile his ever-so-jolly smile, as if nothing was ever amiss. "You want me to repeat myself? I can do that for you, Edward." He proceeded to pick up the cream-colored paper from his desk. He pointed at the first bullet point and talked as if he were talking to a small child. "It's an assignment, an undercover assignment in fact."

Ed waved his hand to silence him. "I know what you said, but this isn't what I'm here for. Couldn't you give something REAL since I've come to Central?"

Maes shrugged his shoulders. "You've been running around in circles for a while, I figured you need a little break. It isn't that difficult of an assignment; it'll only take a bit of your time." His smile broadened, showing all his perfect teeth. "You'll do it, right?"

The younger man's left eyebrow twitched. Maes was a good guy; a VERY good guy, but when he gave that charming smile, there had to be a catch. This man in front of him was all about secrets and getting people to do what he wanted before they even realized it. Reminded him of pretty much every higher-up in the military… Were all adults like that?

He furrowed his eyebrows. "No, I'm not going undercover as some high school kid! I'm not a kid or a babysitter. I'm a State Alchemist, dammit." He pounded one fist on the table before him.

"That's the thing, Edward. Since you just got transferred here, we haven't really been able to get any of the paperwork done. It would be a waste for such talent as yours to sit around." Hughes said.

"St. Augustine Academy is back East! Go send someone from over there. We don't need to run this dumb errand."

"Ah, but you see, how many teenaged personnel are part of the military operations? Can you see someone else passing for a high school student?" The older man pointed out.

Ed went through his list of names in his head, and as he went along with it, his frown deepened. He suddenly had a disturbing image of Havoc attempting to hit on giggly high school girls and still failing. He shook his head to clear that image away.

"So that's a no?" Hughes asked.

"N-no, no." The blonde stammered. "I mean, yes, it's a no…."

Hughes stood up and clapped his hands together in glee. "Was that a 'yes'? So that means you'll do this assignment?"

"What? No! I never said –."

"That's right, Edward Elric." The other man pushed up his glasses, nodding in agreement. "There's nobody else who could do a better job than you, the great and legendary Full Metal Alchemist!" He raised a fist in the air and Ed could have sworn he saw glitter, similar to Armstrong's, in the background.

"Look here, I'm hardly a legend! I'm just a kid!"

"Ah-hah! But you just said you weren't a kid, and that you're a State Alchemist! Tsk, tsk." He wagged a finger in his face. "A powerful State Alchemist can do anything, even be able to tackle the harshest, most dangerous hallways of adolescence!" He straightened then shoved the small pile of papers regarding the case to Ed. "And you might find the State University library of interest."

Edward perked up upon hearing the word 'library.'

Hughes continued. "St. Augustine is adjacent to the East State University campus, and they happen to share a number of facilities. It so happens that they share access to the University Library, and it isn't too far off from the classrooms."

An infamous research library was too tempting, like a carrot hung in front of a horse. The blonde finally accepted the papers, leafing through them and reading the details under the bullet-points. "So…. All I have to do is pretend to be a student?"

"You'll be perfect for this." Hughes reassured. "Just pretend, keep a low profile, and see if the rumors of any illegal activity are true. Since I'll be here, you'd be reporting to Eastern Headquarters."

Ed twitched. He really didn't want to do that again. "Where does Al fit into all this?"

"Of course Al will go with you. He just won't go to class that's all. The armor is a little too distinct."

Edward frowned a bit. The only peers he's interacted with are Winry and Al, and they weren't exactly the typical lot either. He didn't really know what other people his age did.

Sensing the boy's hesitation, Hughes opened his arms out in excitement. "Think of it, Ed. A chance for you to be a normal 15 year old for just a little while! Clear your head and it'll make you better prepared to restart your journey! Not that the military personnel are that undesirable, OK, maybe a few here and there, but for once, you'll be surrounded by the most prestigious students all around! It's a chance! Take it! Be a kid! Go play pranks, have crushes, smoke crack!"

Edward blinked. The man's excitement always made him a little dizzy and muddle-headed. He wondered how many prisoners ever died from a hemorrhage from being interrogated until their veins decided the rants were too much for them. He sighed silently. At least he hasn't said the "E" word yet.

"I know you'll get the experience of a lifetime! And," He brought out a picture from his breast pocket. Upon seeing that ever-so familiar gesture, Ed began to feel cold sweat on the back of his neck and started to back out toward the office door. "My little Elysia is going to go to school there someday!" He shoved the picture so close to the boy's nose that it was only a colorful, blinding blur to Edward.

Nooooo. The blonde mentally exclaimed as Hughes' incessant praises just became a buzz in his ears. It kind of reminded him of high-pitched squeaking noise that nails made when they scratched a blackboard with a vengeance. It made his ears ring and his head swim all the more.

"Look at her, isn't she the best? She's going to outsmart and out-rank her classmates at St. Augustine once she steps a foot into that pristine campus of theirs. She'll even become the champion soccer team star and class president all in one! And you won't believe what she did the other day, she came up and …."

Edward's back finally touched the wooden door and he sprang into action. "K-thanksGottaGoSeeYouI'llGetThisDoneBYE!" Ed rushed as he opened the door and ran as fast as he could down the hall. He only slowed down once he knew he was safe and saw Al sitting and waiting by the water fountain.

"You sure you're OK with this, Nii-san?" Al asked apprehensively, as they walked from the train station to Eastern Headquarters. They'd just arrived an hour later than expected because of a transfer train running immensely off schedule.

"Why do you ask, Al?"

"Because you have that face."

"What are you talking about?" Ed scowled.

"That face." Al pointed. "You look like you've swallowed those really sour candies from the station vendor."

"I'm OK, I'm OK. Just a little annoyed that I went all the way to Central only to be turned back and now I'm going to have to play babysitter and shit." His arms started to flail around the way it did when his emotional state grew increasingly agitated and his rants started to evolve into gibberish. Passers by stared at a calmly walking hunk of armor, and a boy muttering and twitching at his own accord. Al was used to it; he was even accidentally hit by his brother's flailing octopus arms a time or two in the past. The older brother continued. "I have to pretend, Al! Pretend! I have to pretend to be a damned normal twittering teenager! Not only that, but I have to report TO East Headquarters!"

Al simply walked on thunk by thunk. "But we know everyone there, and they're nice."

"Not that Colonel Bastard he isn't!"

"Hm, I don't think he's that bad."

"I can just see it now. That goddamned smirk of his when he finds out I've got to go do this St. Augustine assignment!" Edward heaved. "Al, why did I take this mission?"

"Because you forgot your ear-plugs in the suitcase."

Ed paused. "You know, you'll not have anything to do while I do this undercover work."

Al shrugged. "It's alright. As long as there is a library filled with interesting books, I'll be fine. Just take care of yourself, Nii-san. I heard that studying at the Academy is like being stalked by a pack of hungry wolves at night then being eaten alive."

Ed winced. It's the little phrases like that which made him wonder about his little brother's true level of innocence.

The next thing they knew, they stood before a very familiar wooden door.

"Look, Nii-san. They've replaced the door." Al observed the lack of kick marks and scratches that were made before.

Ed and Al could hear the sounds of chatting, laughing, yelling, and things being shuffled or thrown around behind the newly varnished entrance.

"Sounds like the animals are restless." Ed muttered, and then sighed in resignation. "Ah well, here we go." Ed lifted his automail leg and kicked the door in his familiar ritualistic fashion.