Disclaimer: I do not own Full Metal Alchemist. I only own Kemi and her brother and this plot. Avarice belongs to Ryuu-Kitsune-Onna1, and I use Avarice with her permission XD.
AN/ Here is yet another chapter, and less than a month after the previous! I am so on a roll! I've gotten HuluPlus and have been watching FMA Brotherhood, and man do I love. It is so much better than the 2003 anime, but I am still keeping with the base storyline I started with. Concerning the Humunculi I mean. I am rewriting the story for Wattpad, which is closer to the 2009 anime in all regards, and is a little darker (yes, darker) than this one, and some of the plot points are changed, but this is still my main story. If you want to read my other version PM me.
Last time: Hopefully with so many people about, it should not be difficult to find out about strange murders of high ranking men…especially when explosions are involved. But even so she was still reluctant to enter town. She almost wished she had Avarice with her, the woman would know what to do…she blinked. Could she really? Dare she act like Avarice? Hadn't she always thought the woman behaved like a child? She didn't know if she could stand to touch people as much as Avarice did though, nor would leaping about waving her arms and babbling inane nonsense do her any good. No, it would do no good to act as Avarice did, not until she had as much practice at misdirection as she did.
She sat down and gave thought to what part she would act when she entered the city of men. Central city.
A week ago:
"Kemi…" The voice was unusually soft, almost apologetic. As it should be, invading her privacy. But Kemairia was mollified out of the sharp remark she had just been about to make when she heard Avarice enter her lab, and calmly stoppered what she was working on and turned to the woman.
"You've…that is…" The women seemed not herself. She was nervous. This was the first that Kemi had ever seen the women not in total control.
"Spit it out." She offered helpfully, although she was rather impatient to get back to her experiment, it hadn't exploded yet and she wanted to keep it that way.
"You and Envy have been…getting along well. Better I mean. Then before." Avarice began, coming fully into the room and shutting the door before taking a seat on a stool near the door. Uninvited. Kemi folded her arms akimbo and leaned her hip against the work bench, her eyes narrowing. Where was Avarice going with this?
"You mean when he raped me?" She asked coolly, striking the point home that Avarice's precious Envy was something of a dick. Avarice looked curious for a moment (Kemi had never explicitly said what Envy had done to her) before brushing it off as she always did. Not that Kemi was too hung up with that event, it was over and done with, she'd think of a suitable way of punishing Envy once the 'Doctor' was dealt with. "What is your point?" She added sourly when it seemed that Avarice would not continue without prompting. Which was also unusual, the woman usually needed no encouragement.
"Well, I know you…have asked me before…why I…am so attached the Envy when he obviously is not pleased with my attentions." Avarice began, hesitating momentarily, and she had lowered her eyes to her hands before squaring her shoulders as if facing a challenge, meeting Kemi's eyes for the first time this conversation. Kemi wrinkled her brows in thought, she had not expected this turn in the conversation.
"I just assumed you were a masochist." She offered with a shrug. She had actually been very curious, but no point in making that clear.
"Well, I am that…but that isn't why." She hedged, looking a little exasperated. That took Kemi aback and she loosened her stance, turning to face Avarice, her hands finding their way to her hips.
"Are you going to tell me or may I return to my work?" She was getting exasperated herself. Avarice was silent for many long moments, as long as a minute. She spoke softly her next sentence.
"…When we first met I told you that my predecessor, the first Greed, was killed because he was behaving in a way that Master Dante did not approve…that was…not entirely the truth." Avarice began, reminding Kemi of their first meeting. Kemi narrowed her eyes and nodded slowly, but offered no comment. She had felt there was more to the story than Avarice had been telling. Avarice took a breath and continued in a rush. "The whole truth…is that Greed…and Envy…were…involved. They, I wouldn't have called them lovers -although Greed was unusually empathic for his kind, Envy certainly was not- but there was a mutual…affection. And…Dante….was not happy. Envy was too important, her first, so she had Greed destroyed. I was created out of his essence, so in some ways the affection for Envy has carried over, lived on in me. But Envy resents everything I stand for. He can't take it out on Dante, so he takes it out on me."
It had taken a day and a half to walk from the Manor to the outskirts of the city; it would have taken several days for anyone who was not herself or the Homunculi. She would need to take that into account for when she was to attend her required meetings every two weeks back at the manor. She waited until it was dusk to rise to her feet; she had come to a decision. Acting was not in something she had experience with, but she was confident that she could pull something off. She would not allow her feral nature to show, and would do her best to look like any other child. She had decided on a combination of Sloth's calm smile, Gluttony's innocence, and Avarice's enthusiasm as a good start, and after seeing other children she would than add their behaviors into hers. Hopefully she would not draw undue attention. It would be an adventure for sure, and it was always good for a predator to know how to best entrap prey, even if it meant sliding right into their midst and acting as if they belonged.
The scent was even worse up close, the effluvia of too many bodies, many unwashed for several days, rank with the sweat of day-to-day living and hard work. An honest enough smell, but not one she enjoyed being immersed in. But she was adjusting quickly enough and soon it would all be like white-noise to her. And it was as she had planned back at the manor with her disguise, no one gave her a second look. Everyone was so busy with their own lives. She got jostled a time or two before she learned how to move with the flow to how avoid the crowds. Most of the people were taller than she, except for the children who likewise ignored her for the most part. The ones who did pay attention to her were the little ones, they seemed to sense something in her, but did not make any noise, hesitant to draw her attention to them. If her gaze lingered on a little one for more than a moment he would shrink back against his mother's leg, hide behind her older sibling, or turn to scuffle their toes in the dirt.
She noticed something about their coloration, the people around her. They had mostly yellowish hair, or differing shades of brown, sometimes darker shades near black. None looked a thing like any of the homunculi except for Sloth and Pride, none looked like she did. It was curious, but not anything she was going to waste energy on…they looked like Dante after all.
She was glad that she was given this mission in the fall when she could get away with the knit cap, as she saw many other people so attired. She may not have been able to so easily cover her ears in the spring or summer. As it was her clothing did not seem to stand out, she did notice that a majority of the women wore skirts, and was glad she did not have to. A skirt would certainly slow her down.
She took a day acclimatizing the ambience of the city, spent the night in an alley. She was cozy enough; nothing bothered her, not even the rats. The next day she began her hunt in earnest.
The next day began with a quick hunt in the back alleys for a breakfast of pigeon and a quick wash in a puddle of somewhat stagnant water. She waited in the shadows rather impatiently for the streets to begin to fill and smoothly joined the flow of humans as they began their gossip almost as soon as the birdsong heralded dawn. She drifted rather lazily, not in any great rush. She did learn a great deal in a short time though, most of it nonsense.
"Did you hear what Suzie did last night? With that no good husband of her's?"
"Three for a hundred-fidy, I tell you, they are racking up the prices more'n more-"
"I tell you, Stacey's mom is such a tease!-"
"So I tells ya, when my women told me I drank like a pig-"
Humans led such shallow and meaningless lives from what she could see, it grated on her nerves, she could see that the homunculi were truly superior in every way, they at least had vision for the future. Surely all her future held was death, as did the humans, but she went towards hers eyes open, arms wide, racing full tilt. Humans went eyes screwed blindly shut and in denial. How they turned her stomach. It distracted her for a whole day however, she was morbidly curious, and did find some information she might have been able to sell had her mind worked in that fashion.
She learned of some blackmail schemes, about gambling, about who was sleeping with who, and about who was who in the military. The last topic held her attention for hours. After all, according to what she had learned from the homunculi, the military ran this country, and the homunculi ran the military.
And so a second day went by with no lead on the murders, although they surely must be well known enough for gossip, it was as she was going into an alley to sleep as dusk fell that her eyes caught on a beam of light slanted across a piece of paper stuck on the wall. She approached the poster and saw a that it was something called a 'wanted' poster with a likeness of a man with a huge x-like scar on his face drawn with the title 'Wanted for the murder of 6 State Alchemists' and the notation that he was known as 'Scar'. Well, that was something to go one now at least. She smirked in satisfaction as she found a corner of the alley to curl up in, joined in her slumber by an alley cat and her kittens.
Kemi woke with a yawn and sat up to stretch her arms, absentmindedly catching the kitten that fell off her chest as she sat up. She blinked down at the small bundle of fur in her hand and glanced down at the mama cat curled at her feet and the other two kittens whom had rolled down into her lap and were now blinking at her with large blue eyes. She blinked right back at them, at a loss for the moment. As her brain woke up she put the kitten in her hand next to the mama cat, moved the ones on her lap to join it, and got to her feet. They apparently felt a kinship to her, but she did not share it. She would not eat them, but she had no intention to be bonded to such weak creatures.
Or that was her original intention. As she was walking away the kitten she had caught gave a plaintive mewl echoed by a lower meow from the mother. She turned to see them following her. She sighed and walked away again, but after she had caught a pigeon for lunch she saw them sitting neatly at her feet, staring up at her. Growling she gave them her breakfast and caught another one for herself, annoyed at being sweet-talked so easily. Once they finished the cats all took off, their tails punctuating the air without even a backwards glance, but Kemi figured that they would find her again tonight. So at least they were independent. Good. She could deal with that.
She stretched out her limbs in preparation for a possible confrontation that day, and then once more went into the open streets. She brushed past a man and his women, ducked a tall man swinging his arm about while he explained the finer points of drinking to his companion, and ducked to the side as a car-machine went by. Those machines fascinated her and she stared after each one that went by (although after getting cornered by an apparent enthusiast for almost an hour last time she had stared after one for too long, too obviously, she hid her reactions better now) and wondered how they worked. She knew the generalities thanks to the man who had tried to use her fascination to his advantage (she had hidden his now cold body in a dumpster) but that did not make them any less magical. She would have to ask Avarice about them when she returned to the manor in a week and a half.
She turned to look down the street and saw some men in uniform, milling about but not as if they were in any hurry or in the midst of some duty, she crept nearer. They wore blue and silver along with long coats, were they the military? They were serious about something, one was waving his arm as he made his point to his companions (although it was not too exaggerated, these military-men had more discipline than the populace at large it would seem). She glanced to the stores on her side of the street and saw a flower shop. Not her thing, but it was near enough to the men that she could overhear their not very subtle attempts at secrecy while she 'admired' the blooms.
She gagged momentarily at the overly cloying sweetness of the flowers before finding a group of flowers with a more subtle flavor that somehow masked the scents of the others, she was distracted momentarily by wondering if any of the blooms could be of use to her experiments, and forgot all about the men she was eavesdropping on until something the taller gesticulating one said caught her attention.
She almost whipped around to stare at him, caught herself just in time. She tilted her head and gazed blankly at the green and pink blooms before her as she narrowed her focus on the three men.
"My buddy saw him I tell you; he had the scar, just like in the pictures, right between his eyes! And he was huge, almost as big as Major Armstrong even!"
"Now you're just making up tall tales, Johnson, I'm not buying you a mug for that sort of talk…"
"It's the truth! I was there when The Fullmetal Alchemist himself came up against this Scar, and Scar got away! From him AND Lt. Colonel Mustang and his men even! Exploded a hole in the ground and escaped in the sewers! That was months ago, but I still remember his face, and now he's killed another one!"
"Why haven't they stopped him, you'd think he'd be a priority, what with him targeting the pet alchemists-"
"Hn, maybe they think the Alchy's should be able to handle themselves…"
The men obviously had a lot to say on this target, but she had enough to go on for now. She would look into this sewer business…an aspect she was going to regret, she was sure. And she thought the human smell was bad…
AN/ And here we go, the hunt for Scar begins. Because Avarice is the new Greed, this takes place after he is dead obviously, and Scar has been at large by that point, so I figure it's a few months after he first started killing. This will be a somewhat combined effort of 2003/2009, so certainly AU to a point. So yeah, Sloth is Ed and Al's mum, Fuhrer King Bradley is Pride, Wrath is Izumi and Curtis' kid, there is no Ling….ect. I figure I'd just make that clear again. Um, not sure which version of Kimblee I'm going with. I'm winging it, but the results will be interesting.