Disclaimer: I don't own FullMetal Alchemist and all its glory.
Note: This story is a rewrite of my older fanfiction, Knowing More Than You Should. (Which I have removed recently). That one being written back in 2005, I've decided on rewriting that load of words I called a good story back then. Sure, I got some positive and negative reviews, and I love the feedback. But some of the comments people left really made me open my eyes. Without it I probably wouldn't have ever brainstormed a new version. So please read and review!
THIS FANFIC FOLLOWS THE PLOT OF THE ORIGINAL 2003 ANIME.
Knowing More Than Recommended
Amy wandered the damp, dirty back-alleys of Dublith. The damaged roads, full of cracks and pot-holes, and defaced walls, obviously neglected over the years, perfectly reflected how she felt. Her hair was in a messy ponytail, which she redid, and her clothes felt tattered and stiff. Of course, she'd been wearing them for nearly three days straight, but they were the only pair she came to this world with. She had something dark smudged on her arms from leaning against walls when she slept, but that was getting washed off in the rainfall that had suddenly started drizzling from the sky, before pouring.
The brunette ran for cover from the downpour, not wishing to freeze or get sick. The alleyways were bleak and endless, but totally devoid of people, who she would rather avoid. She reviewed how the last two days had gone since she arrived...
After running from Dante's mansion and reaching the city of Dublith, she'd been more hopeful than she felt currently. On the first day, she'd talked to some of the vendors around the food market and convinced them to let her help in exchange for food. Like lifting boxes, sorting fruits, throwing around sacks, or whatever odd-ball job she was offered. She could have just stolen whatever she needed, but she had no idea how long she would be here and didn't want to ruin her options with getting food. Odd-ball jobs seemed like a nice gig- at first. One of the vendors assumed she'd been desperate enough for money to suggest she 'come stay at his place' that night. While a bed to sleep in sounded nice, Amy wasn't a naive idiot.
She was a foreigner to this world, but people- especially men- were the same no matter what universe.
After not taking no for an answer and having the nerve to actually grab her, she'd kicked the pervert in the groin. Turned out the the guy was enough of an asshole that he got the local law-enforcers involved. They banned her from the food market area for a week. Fucking great. Sexual harassment laws needed a major upgrade in this world. That night, she found a secure location to fall asleep in, and had avoided public places since. On day two it occurred to her to try and find Izumi's meat shop... but Amy's pride got in the way of that idea. She didn't want to meet a character she highly respected looking like she did and acting like a beggar.
So... that left her homeless and aimless. She'd lived in these back alleys for two days so far, and tonight would usher in the third.
She felt like a wandering mouse in a maze, looking for the cheese; the problem here was that there was no cheese, and flooding was now a factor because of the rain. She wrapped a blanket she'd taken from that asshole vendor around her body, and held her school bag close. Inside were her things she came to this world with and the last bit of food she'd earned on that first day. Before getting totally soaked, she found a part of a building that held protection from the rain. She rested herself under the cover and tried to warm herself, looking for hope in the gray, murky skies.
Where was she headed? Her only goal at the moment was to find her two friends before surely dying in these conditions.
Digging for food in her bag, she realized she only had a couple rolls of bread left. Under that was her ipod and Kelsey's personal spell book. The witch still had a way to go before it was full. "Looks like Kels won't be able to finish this, if I don't find a way back to them," she mumbled to herself, pulling the book out to examine. Her mournful tone suggested she had little hope of finding her friends, on top of having little hope they were here in the first place.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, turning the handwritten pages of the spell book.
As her fingers caressed the book's binding and the worn paper, she closed her eyes and wished to be back with her two best friends. She wished to be back in her world. Finally, she wished for life not to be so goddamn shitty. However, she had already made a wish before all of these... and that one had landed her here.
Being caught up in her thoughts, she hadn't even realized a few shadowy men began surrounding her.
As her senses perked, she closed the bag and stood up. Never get caught unaware, she had learned in her self-defense classes. There were three men total, and they either wanted food, her bag, or something else… They were possibly homeless, but more likely a street gang looking for action, from the way they moved together. Because of her carelessness, she didn't have room to escape. If she could open the opportunity to run, she would make it because of her speed, but they'd easily closed off all escape routes because the alleys were so tightly constructed. Dammit. She'd let her guard down because of the rain.
"Hey, bitch. Hand over the goods," one of them barked out.
"Yeah, and then hand over your goods," another taunted. Amy's temper was notably short, but her fear kept her on task.
Focus, she told herself.
As one of the three jumped forward to grab her, she reacted. He latched a hand on her arm, reaching for her bag. She easily twisted her limb out of his grasp and sent an elbow into his temple, pushed his head down, and delivered a knee to his nose. After he staggered back, holding his bloody face, the other two idiots followed his lead. The first guy shouted threats as his buddies used numbers against her. She managed to kick one of them in between the legs hard enough to stop him, but the other shot a punch at her side in response. As she faltered, the guy she socked in the balls whipped out a knife.
She couldn't scream because she only concentrated on defending herself.
Eight years of taekwondo and mixed martial arts with Brandon wasn't for nothing! But after living on the streets for two days and now fighting three against one, she was only so good. The woman-slugger locked a vice-grip around her arms from behind while knife-guy managed to stand up straight again. "Get off me!" she shouted. She willed herself to recover from the blow she'd just taken to her side.
The man who held her arms served as a good brace as she kicked her feet off the ground and stomped knife-guy in the gut before he knew what to do with the blade. Before she could do more, vice-grip easily pulled her away and against a wall. To keep her legs from kicking, he crushed one large thigh against both of hers. She struggled, but he simply headbutted her forehead into the concrete she was forced against. "Not so feisty now, are we?"
As this fucker's body roughly pressed against hers, and her fear finally set in as all hope seemed lost... Horrific memories of that night flashed before her eyes.
Somewhere in that instant of screaming and struggling, she felt the bastard suddenly loosen their hold. She also heard the threats silence. It all happened too fast in the blur of the rain and blinking of her eyes. Someone or something had taken the men down. She stood, holding herself, just trying to breathe and figure out what happened. The haunting memories of that night were ripped away as someone tapped on her shoulder, making her spin around. The sight was one she did not expect to see.
"Need a hand?"
Two days earlier...
The cool spring breeze whipped through the air, carrying a young woman's voice. "Could you guys move any slower?" she griped at another female and male. The male rolled his eyes.
The end of the school year was afoot. Finals were drawing near and this particular trio of high school students neared the public library in order to study. The first woman led the way, her brown ponytail swished behind her in the face of the male, who swatted at it vigorously in order to see what was on the screen of his PSP. The third person had her nose pressed into an odd book, slowly following the boy in front of her. "We're coming, Amy," she said absentmindedly. Her curly red hair was held out of her eyes into a headband, allowing her to read as she walked.
"Geez, I think I'm losing weight worrying about the AP Calculus final…" Amy complained randomly on the way there.
"Don't sweat it. Just a couple more weeks to go and we're done with school. Well, we are. Not for you, little Kelsey," the boy teased.
The girl with the red hair threw him an annoyed look, eyes finally leaving the page. "Oh, grow up, Brandon! I'll be done next year. Besides, there's still college." She stuck her tongue out, which he snorted at before looking forward to Amy.
"Let's talk about something other than school. Like… Last night on adult swim. There was a real kick-ass episode of FullMetal Alchemist. The other shows almost put me to-" his words were cut off by Amy.
"That the one where Greed died?"
"GREED DIES?" sputtered Kelsey.
Brandon snorted again. He'd forgotten their younger friend had just gotten into the series, more of a manga-reader than episode-watcher. "Yep. Ed kills him."
A more exasperated look came to her face. "WHAT? Shut up! Stop telling me!"
Upon arrival to their destination, the three found an empty reading room with a quiet and comfortable atmosphere, blocked off from the rest of the people in the building. Amy went into intense concentration mode when opening the deadly calculus book. Once those musical headphones were stuck in ears, the other two knew better than to bother her. Kelsey had occupied her time in her books, whereas Brandon kept on the game he was playing.
Half an hour went by quickly. A small stack of books had accumulated in front of Kelsey. Amy, finally tired of racking her brain with math, put away her things and took an interest in the subjects of the stack.
"Reading that Witchcraft stuff I see?" she inquired, picking up the top book. 'Witches Guide to Familiars, Book of Shadows, Advanced Witchcraft…' These were odd titles that Kelsey had always been familiar with and the library only allowed people sixteen or older to read. The red-head came here so often, every librarian knew her by name, but usually referred to her as 'that little witch girl.'
Amy nudged Brandon and pointed at a spell in the book. Brandon grinned with interest. "Is this her next spell? What's it do?"
Kelsey craned her neck to see what spell Amy had picked out, before hiding back behind her book. A Wish Granting Spell. She tried not to let her friends peer-pressure her into doing a bunch of prosperity spells for them. That's not how the craft worked.
Amy held the page out for her to read. "It's not like the other ones we always pick out. Look, this one involves feeding off of one another for the wish to be granted." Amy gently pulled the book from the redhead's face so they could see her deep green eyes. "Come on, my magical friend. Can we try it out?" she asked softly. Kelsey looked at them both with their pleading eyes, then the page, then their pleading eyes...
Before finally giving in.
"Alright, I suppose…" She felt unsure and visibly fidgeted by rubbing her thumb over her ruby ring on her right hand, but her two friends were too overjoyed to notice.
A couple minutes passed, where Kelsey set up the spell on the floor. A large chalk pentagram overlapping a triangle was drawn in a big circle on the ground; one white candle was set at each triangular point. She instructed them each to sit in front of one of the candles.
"I think it's funny how you have all of this in your bag. Are you allowed to draw on their floors?" asked Amy.
Kelsey drew back, as if she'd been caught breaking the law. "Oh gosh, usually I ask first!"
"It'll be alright," Brandon eased.
The male was sat perfectly still, hands on knees. He was fine listening to Kelsey performing magick, but now, being a part of it, he was a little freaked. Now he finally understood the where rumors about Kelsey being responsible for school-mishaps came from. "It almost looks like an alchemy array," he mumbled.
Kelsey smiled. "They're not so different. Alchemy may be a science and witchcraft a craft, but in both shapes and representations are important," she explained. She handed them both some odd root-looking thing, and a plant branch. The two took them, exchanging glances.
"Just wish for something," she instructed calmly. "Picture it clearly in your mind."
Amy thought for a moment. What did she wish? She closed her eyes, thinking of a place with a fresh start, without the humiliation and the nightmares that haunted her every day. Ever since that night...
Before they knew much of what else was happening, Kelsey began repeating a couple of lines from the book Amy picked out. "By the blessing of the moon and broomstick swish, please grant us our one adorning wish." Some odd feeling struck Amy, and when she opened her eyes, Kelsey looked in complete panic, while Brandon was smiling with a sort of satisfaction of his wish.
In the next moment, the room went white.
Everything was gone.
The floor, the weird root and branch; everything except their belongings and themselves. Amy tried calling out to her friends, but she could only float in the nothingness, voice making no sound. Suddenly the white sank into darkness, and the next experience: cold.
Kelsey groaned, gripping her red hair as she sat up from the ground, which was rather lumpy… Opening her eyes she found herself surrounded by several stacks of books! What had happened? Where were Amy and Brandon? And when did the library order book mountains? Under her hand was her bag, which she picked up, wondering where she was and why everything looked a little…different.
"Al! Be careful. We don't want another book avalanche," came a strikingly familiar voice.
Kelsey stood straight up, walking around the several books in order to see who she thought she had heard.
Disbelief struck her features. "Edward Elric?"
Four sinister figures stood aloft in a tall, elegant room of what seemed a beautiful mansion. They looked like they were having some sort of meeting. Or at least, that's what Amy thought, once she stood up and glanced around the hallway outside that giant room. The voices she heard made her neck hairs stand on end, and kept her quiet for her own good.
"You let that Ishbalan get away and burnt the library to a crisp? Well, at least you did something right, Lust. Kept those Elrics' from reading dear old Marcoh's notes," spat one voice.
An irritated sound came from what sounded like a woman, Amy assumed none other than Lust herself. Was she in Dante's mansion?
A voice she recognized as Gluttony's had asked, "Then I can eat them?"
Lust sighed. "Possibly. If you'll stick to a diet for once in your miserable life."
"Just keep those boys on the right trail of the stone… Or they'll have to end up like the rest." A fourth and unfamiliar voice had spoken this time. Amy let the curiosity get the better of her, peering around the corner of the hallway just enough to see them all. Envy, Lust, Gluttony, and Dante. Envy made a deathly throat-cutting sound in remark to Dante's comment.
Amy's eyes were wide. She was in Dante's mansion, for sure. Her knees buckled, feet glued to the spot next to her bag and the damned Calculus book. If this was a stress-enduced dream, that book just made it a nightmare, not the sins in the next room.
Gluttony sniffed the air. "I smell a human. A young one."
Dante chuckled in a soft, yet very dark way. "You are not permitted to eat my servant, Gluttony. Now run along and go find a lost child in the woods."
Amy took that as a sign to get out as fast as she could. She grabbed her bag and ipod, stepping over the calculus book before sneaking toward the nearest exit. As soon as her feet touched the grass, she bolted into the large trees that surrounded Dante's manor.
The sun blinded Brandon when he opened his eyes. His PSP gave off a small noise from the music of the game. A dog's bark made him jump from his nap on the ground, followed by a lovely young lady calling after the dog.
"Den! Den, come here girl…" (Someone tell me otherwise.) Brandon rubbed his eyes and looked up to a sight any adolescent male would kill to see daily. A cute blonde girl dressed in a revealing tube top. His heart skipped a beat only to realize who he was looking at.
"Winry?" he asked, looking up at her as Den ran up to his face. Was he dreaming? Since when did he start dreaming in anime? The wetness of Den's tongue as the dog greeted him felt as real as ever. Weird.
"Yes? That's me. And you are?" The girl approached him, hands on hips.
Brandon shoved the dog away and rubbed his eyes again. Pinched himself even while he stood up. "Uh… Confused." He looked around him, beyond Winry and around the landscape. It was exactly like the episodes of… But it couldn't be, could it? He had to be dreaming.
"Could you slap me or hit me with a wrench to make sure I'm not dreaming?"
The girl chuckled. "Why would you be dreaming?"
Brandon finished around the landscape before looking at Winry. "Well, you're so beautiful and all…" God, that was lame. "I'm lost, here by accident," he added. "Also, I don't have anywhere to go…mind if I rent a room? I don't have any money, I could work around the house with chores, help you with your mechanics. Which, I heard you're really great with automail. Rockbell is the best." There was a long pause. "I'm Brandon," he finished, putting his hand out. What was he thinking? He'd been too blunt.
Winry paused, staring blankly at him. Finally her face broke into a large prideful grin as she grabbed his hand back. "You're correct about us being the best! Welcome to Rockbell Automail! You're welcome to stay if you help Grandma and me with our deliveries, automail and otherwise. We need a delivery boy."
She led him inside, and Den followed close behind. Brandon beamed at the dog's mechanical paw, which thumped a little louder than her other three as she walked. How cool! As the male looked up to comment, he noticed Winry had disappeared, probably running off to find her Grandma and ask if he could stay. Brandon smiled to himself on how smoothly that had gone, but it was interrupted when he glanced around and his eyes found a mirror.
It wasn't the fact his hair was messy and clothes wrinkled from the ground, but what he was exactly. He still held his neither-flabby-nor-muscular body type, still had brown hair and light brown eyes, but the thing that puzzled him was that…well, he was a drawing- basically- in his mind. Anime was a form of cartoon where he'd come from. He touched his face, and hair, and chest, making sure he was real and not a trick. I could really be dreaming, he thought while pinching himself again.
After a few more seconds of staring at himself, he let out a simple, "Huh. Magic is really something."
Now he just had to find out where the hell the other two were.