Tigger: Thanks to all my lovely reviewers both with accounts and not! I promise I read all your reviews even if I don't reply. Because I am a terrible terrible person.
Amy: Bit hard on yourself aren't you?
Tigger: I'm at a loss for what to do without Ed here to insult me honestly.
Winry: I can't believe we still haven't found the Elric brothers or Ling.
Amy: But we have had a great time without them.
(Flashbacks to the girls going shopping, to the movies, to fighting random ninjas, going to amuesment parks, and getting pedicures.)
Winry: What was with those ninja anyway?
Tigger: Don't know. Don't care. I kind of miss Ed though so maybe we should actually look for them.
Amy: Wait this whole time no one has been looking?!
Tigger: I was with you getting those pedicures! Fighting those ninjas!
Amy: You don't own FMA or any of its characters!
Tigger: YOU BETRAYED ME! How dare you?
Amy: YOU FORGOT ABOUT THE BOYS FOR LIKE A WEEK!
Tigger: So I've forgotten you for a lot longer.
Winry: I'm just going to go look for the boys.
Amy wished she was making the ninjas up but they were real and had appeared suddenly behind Ed and Al, who tensed for battle at the intrusion. Amy's adrenaline raced and her heart pounded as she took in the situation. How could a walk have gone so wrong?
"Seriously?! You have ninjas!" was Amy's flabbergasted response to the ninja's sudden appearance, "And they have katanas?"
Were they in Naruto now?! She honestly hadn't expected ninjas in Fullmetal Alchemist.
"You know quite a bit about Xing," Ling inclined his head towards her.
Amy decided now was a good time to shut up because she was injured and there were currently no ninjas pointing sharp objects at her and she wanted to keep it that way.
"It seems like you guys know something about it," Ling titled his head, "Please tell me."
"What would you do with it?" Ed asked calmly despite the ninja weapon at his neck.
"To find out the way to immortality!" Ling announced grinning.
Amy's brain flash to Greed saying something very similar. Immediately she tensed up, Greed had been driven but malicious. She understood why the chimeras had been loyal but Amy couldn't bring herself to favor a man who ordered her killed. It was bad enough to relive the experiences at night while she tried to sleep, she didn't need a copycat.
"Immortality you say?" Ed chuckled darkly, "You know there were some others asking about that recently. Is this the new trend? Why do you need it?"
"Family reasons," Ling stated simply.
"How idiotic," Ed grumbled.
"It's true," Ling's smile weakened as he spoke.
"Is this really the attitude you use when asking someone something?" Ed sighed before rapidly swinging his arm behind him, nearly catching the ninja behind him.
"I don't think so!" Ed growled.
"Brother, don't fight!" Al tried to stop him, but stopping Ed once he got going was nearly impossible.
The ninja fighting Ed flipped through the air out of the way.
"You commoner!" Al's ninja scolded, "Young master is asking you a question! You should answer."
"Perhaps you should stop waving that around," Al requested politely, while grasping the ninja's katana, "It's dangerous. You could hurt someone."
"You fight back too!" the ninja mistook Al's calm gesture.
"No wait!" Al tried to stop him, but soon both Ed and Al were being flipped into the street.
"Poor Al. Although that takes some serious skill to flip Al like that."
The two brothers quickly recovered and took off after the ninja they had picked fights with.
"Seriously guys?!" Amy yelled after them, "You left me with him!"
The brothers didn't hear her as they were engaged in their fights and were drawn further and further away. Amy glanced at Ling, who seemed to recover his cheerful disposition.
"They sure are hot-headed," he laughed before calling over the waiter and requesting dessert.
Amy's brain whirled in confusion, but she knew who to blame. She turned to Ling, glaring. His ninjas were attacking her friends! Her friends who she loved very much and just went through a huge effort to ensure their safety! Her friends who she had injured herself for! And make no mistake that she was still bitter about the injuries. Now she had a target to take it out on. Allowing the anger to flow through her, Amy reacted.
"Ni-hao Ling," she growled, slamming her hand onto the table in front of him.
"You speak Xingese," Ling smiled at her, "Impressive."
Actually Amy knew like four Chinese words that she learned from the show Ni-hao Kai-lan, but she wasn't about to admit that. Ling continued acting like they were having a peaceful conversation. Amy bristled at the thought of being underestimated. She may have been injured and a girl, but she could hold her own after the last month of training.
"You will call off your ninjas," she ordered him.
"No can do," he laughed, "They're so hotheaded they won't listen to me."
"Bullshit," Amy cursed at him, "You're obviously their leader and judging by their attitude and language, I'm guessing you're some form of royalty. They will listen to you."
Ling had gone still, his serious expression appearing again.
"And if I don't?" he asked, watching her reactions intently.
"I will blow up this table and if that fails to injure you I will blow up your body parts bit by bit until you do," Amy threatened.
Amy wasn't 100% certain she could follow up with that threat, but right now she felt angry enough to do it. She had done it before after all, to a slightly immortal homunculus, but she had done it. Ling continued to stare at her and Amy glared back.
"How about a trade?" Ling relaxed back in his chair, ending their staring match.
"A trade?" Amy repeated slightly surprised at the offer.
Although honestly she hadn't really planned on what was going to happen besides threatening Ling with bodily harm and possibly following those threats.
"I'll call off my men," Ling offered, "If you answer my questions."
"I don't!" Amy began with an excuse about the Philosopher's stone.
"Not about the Philosopher's stone," Ling interrupted, "About your soul."
If Amy thought she flabbergasted before, she was truly and utterly flabbergasted now. Out of everything in the world, Amy would have never suspected that. She recovered from her shock fairly quickly. She didn't know how or why but Ling could obviously sense something off about her and since she didn't want to share the theory of alternate dimensions with an immortal-obsessed stranger (who was currently attacking her friends), her answer was obvious.
"No," Amy replied casually before releasing her energy into the alchemy circle on the paper beneath her hand.
Since the kidnapping, Amy had created dozens of prepared circles and hid them on her person. She had several stored up her sleeves and had slipped one under her palm when she slammed her fist on the table earlier.
The reaction was instantaneous as sparks of lightening shot up from the paper. Ling looked surprised, but Amy had taken the opportunity to leap backwards as quickly as the crutches would allow. The table seem to rumble and then burst, letting loose a barrage of wooden splinters and smoke. Amy tried to peer through the smoke, when a voice chuckled behind her.
"That was close," Ling laughed, "I thought you didn't know alchemy."
Her heart practically leapt into her throat and she reacted on adrenaline. Amy whirled around, bringing one of her crutches upwards and swinging it like a weapon. She couldn't carry her hammer with the crutches, but they would do. Ling caught the crutch mid-swing.
Amy's heart thumped painfully in her chest as Ling stared her down.
"It's not alchemy," she blurted.
Ling's eyes widened for a second and Amy used that second to bring another paper forward. She lurched forward, trying to place it on him. Ling moved out of the way quickly and Amy was forced to drop the charged paper and retreat. The ground exploded and dirt rained down from the sky. Amy couldn't see and her nerves were on edge as she tried to find Ling.
"Not as big as the last explosion," Ling observed from behind Amy.
"Stop doing that!" Amy yelled, clutching her poor heart which was surely going to have a heart attack.
"You're going easy on me," Ling noted, "You won't win that way."
Amy's ire increased at that statement. He was right. She hadn't put as much energy into the last one, as she was hoping to avoid blowing off a limb. She had threatened him with that, but it was hard to bring herself to do it.
"Call off your ninjas," she ordered, switching topics.
"Answer my question," Ling counter-offered in a cheerful tone.
Amy ignored the request and an intense game of tag began between the two of them. Amy tried to tag him with the alchemy circles hidden in her sleeves and he continuously darted out of the way. He never went far, staying within a few feet. Amy growled. He could easily get away if needed to with Amy's cast slowing her down. He was doing it on purpose. Ling knew she couldn't catch up and was playing with her. Amy was growing even more frustrated as the battle continued.
"Hi I'm Amy and my special talents are injuring myself, getting kidnapped, and picking fights with people I can't possibly beat."
Worse was that Amy was tiring out at a rapid rate. She had a feeling since she first started using her botched up version of alchemy that there was a price to pay. After all she was feeding the explosions with her own energy and while energy was transferrable and the human body got energy from eating and sleeping, Amy didn't have an endless supply. Unlike the energy in the earth that Ed and Al used to feed their transformations, Amy had a limit. She had suspected her tiredness from the past few days had partly been from the explosions she had used (and continued to use when no one was watching). Her injuries further depleted her energy resources and while Amy suspected with lots of food and rest she could maintain a steady amount of explosions per day, right now she couldn't. Basically she was exhausted, hadn't told the Elric brothers her possible problem (as she breaking her promise to Al by using it), and her vision was beginning to go black around the edges.
"And you're supposed to be smart," Amy's inner voice insulted her.
"I am!" she argued with herself.
"Then use your brain!"
A plan formed. Amy used another explosion to cover her movements as she launched her crutch at Ling. Predictably he ducked out of the way but Amy was prepared. She threw her other crutch at him while he dodging the first, forcing him to move.
"Crutches useful for walking and for injuring!"
Ling unintentionally leapt into Amy's path and she managed to catch the end of his ponytail with a small explosion. The ends of his hair immediately set aflame and Amy watched with cheerful glee as Ling was forced to stop, drop and roll to put it out.
"All those fire drills were actually useful. Who knew?"
While Amy was elated that she had actually managed to hit Ling, there was a problem now. Actually there were several problems. One was that she was all out of prepared alchemy circles in her sleeves. Two, she had tossed both her crutches at Ling and therefore was out of weapons and unable to walk around without them. Finally, she was starting to get dizzy and Ling still looked ready to go. Well despite his slightly shorter hair and the smell of smoke on his clothing.
Amy evaluated her options. She could continue to fight but she was definitely losing unless Ed or Al helped her and they were busy. Additionally while she had been attacking Ling, he had not fought back. He seemed very adamant about the Philosopher's stone but perhaps not to the same extent as Greed had been. Ling didn't seem to want to hurt Amy. He had rudely asked for the information but he did ask before calling his ninjas. Plus, the ninjas were the ones who picked with the Elric brothers, even if Ling didn't bother to stop them. Maybe Ling was more of a chaotic neutral than purposeful evil. Besides he had been a rather fun guy before the whole stone was brought up. With that thought, all the anger drained from Amy. Besides, she was confident Ed and Al could handle the ninjas.
"I don't suppose we could just call a truce and get that dessert now?" Amy asked tiredly.
Ling looked surprised at her calling a truce.
"You blew up the table," he stated.
"That I did," Amy admitted, "Into itty bitty pieces too."
"Never going back to that restaurant now."
"Will you answer my questions then?" Ling questioned.
Man, this guy was resilient. Something Amy could have admired if it was not about her.
"Dude, I am injured and tired and you have some crazy ninja prowess," Amy ranted, "This was hardly a fair fight to begin with and you clearly aren't serious about injuring me so let's just forget it and…"
Whatever else Amy was going to say was cut off. Tiredness hit her like a runaway dump truck and Amy's vision began to blacken around the edges. The world shifted beneath her feet and Amy stumbled to the side. Unfortunately without her crutches Amy was unable to balance herself and found herself on the ground. Even lying down, she felt like she was riding a giant see-saw up and down, the world tilting around her.
"Wait is that an explosion I hear in the distance?"
It was probably Ed if Amy was honest with herself. Al was way less reckless. Amy closed her eyes and rested against the ground, willing the dizziness away. Hopefully Ed was wrapping up her fight and would come find her before she fell asleep in the middle of the street.
"Hey," Ling poked her in the side.
Amy groaned but was too tired to bat him away. Seriously, she already lost to him, could he leave her alone now? She just wanted to die in peace on the ground.
"I brought your crutches back," Ling informed her.
Well that would be helpful if Amy ever managed to regain enough energy to get up.
"Are you actually ill?" Ling asked unhelpfully.
"Yes," Amy moaned, "I am. Now please let me lie here in peace."
"Ah," Ling comprehended.
There was a pause and Amy began to drift off slightly, she was really freaking tired.
"The Elric brothers will not ally with me if they think I injured you," Ling stated.
He just couldn't leave well enough alone could he?
"Go away," Amy pleaded.
"No can do," Ling chirped, "I'll bring you to them as a gesture of good will."
Wait what? He was going to what? Amy's thoughts were interrupted by strong arms, scooping her and draping her over a bony surface. Probably Ling's shoulder. Her stomach protested as her head span.
"I'm think I'm going to toss my cookies."
"You say the strangest things," Ling commented.
"Don't be jelly of my slang," Amy said somewhat deliriously into Ling's shoulder.
Oh god it was happening. When Amy was really tired the filer between her brain and mouth died a horrible death and she began using really outdated terms. Amy stayed relatively silent as Ling moved them along, Amy couldn't tell where because her eyes were still closed. Amy groaned to herself, she couldn't sleep this way. All she wanted was sleep at this moment.
"Hey nice going!" she heard Ling call out.
"What are you doing appearing like that?!" Amy heard Ed demand.
"I'm sorry my subordinates are really hot-headed," Ling apologized, "It seems you guys are too."
"You guys?!" Al repeated, shocked.
"Speaking of," Ling lifted Amy up, "Here's your friend back."
"What did you do to her?"
"Ah ha ha ha. We had a minor disagreement. She did this to herself though. I swear I didn't touch her."
Sadly this was very true and made Amy sound very pathetic. Also Ling was holding her out like she was limp doll or something.
"Why would we believe you, bastard?!"
"You can ask her. She's still awake I think," Ling answered, "Can one of you take her back now? It's a bit uncomfortable to continue holding her."
Wait was that a comment about her weight because that was unnecessary. Screw her earlier assessment, Ling was clearly evil.
"It's not like you're all that and a bag of chips either," Amy muttered.
Amy felt another set of hands grab her and hold her against warm metal. Al was holding her then.
"What is she talking about?" Al asked no one.
Amy declined to comment. She really didn't want to explain the 90s to anyone. They wouldn't understand.
"You guys are strong," Ling commented, "Want to become my minions and help me rule a nation?"
"Stop daydreaming and go back to your own damn country!" Ed shouted.
"He thinks I'm a fighting idiot like brother," Al whined to someone.
"It's okay, Al," Bunny comforted Al.
Oh apparently Bunny was there. Amy didn't know why and she didn't care honestly. She was going to sleep now.
"I have a goal to accomplish so I cannot," Ling answered Ed.
There was a sudden increase of noise like a lot of people had arrived at once and were very angry. It sounded like an angry mob. This was actually kind of normal with Ed around. Amy could hear a few of them distinctly complaining about the destroyed property from the various fights.
"Hey! What about him and his guys?!" Ed tried to rightfully pin some of the blame on Ling and his ninjas.
"Sorry. I no speak language," Ling stated, heavily accenting his words.
"Hey you get back here!" Ed yelled after Ling, who must have escaped.
"The black uniformed guys are gone too!" Al cried surprised.
"Ninjas, Al. They're ninjas get the terminology right. Sheesh," Amy muttered into Al's armor.
The villagers did not care that the ninjas escaped. They continued to angrily complain to Ed and Al and probably Amy. She wasn't listening. Although she thought she heard someone demanding something about being repaid for blown up tables. Amy was drifting off to lala land. The voices went in and out of focus. At some point, Ed and Al began to bicker mostly about Ed couldn't fix the damage done with one arm nor could he hold Amy. Amy was vaguely aware of being transferred to somebody else, she thought perhaps Bunny. After that, the next thing Amy recalled was waking up on a couch.
Ling sat atop one of the building observing the chaos below. The Fullmetal Alchemist, or Edward Elric as he introduced himself, was pitifully following his brother around beggingto help out with the reconstruction. A young woman, whom his servant said had helped Alphonse in his fight, had Amy draped over her back and began to leap away with deceptively powerful legs. Despite their benign appearance, he knew all of them were powerful fighters but they were intriguing for more than that reason.
"We're very sorry young master," his servants apologized.
"It's okay," Ling accepted, "Thanks to fainting I met some pretty interesting people."
Ling smirked a little at that. He often ditched and fainted on his people on purpose. Partially, in order to annoy them and partially because he always met the people he needed to that way.
"Did you notice?" he asked them.
"That armor," Fu trailed off for a moment before continuing, "I cannot feel the flow of ki that a living human should possess."
"Yes," Ling agreed.
He had felt it too, since the moment Al had knelt over his prone body. For a moment he had debated attacking but decided to wait and see what happened.
"And the little one," Fu continued, "He obviously knows something too about immortality perhaps?"
"It's possible," Ling agreed.
It was quiet for a moment as Ling dwelled on the possibilities.
"What about the girl?" his other subordinate asked.
She was not as gifted in sensing ki, although she would probably would improve with time. However if she could sense something was off that meant the problem was more severe than he had thought.
"Her ki," Fu tried to explain, "It is ki unlike the armor man but it's wrong. It's as if every other ki in the world was blue and hers is orange."
It was the best way to describe the situation.
"She knew something too," Ling declared, "Seems the fastest way to learn would be to follow them."
"Master you cannot bow down to lowlifes like them," Fu protested.
Fu was always of the opinion that things were too low for him. It was nice to be treated like the prince he was but he knew in this country that he was nothing more than a foreigner.
"It'd be a small price to pay," Ling pointed out, "In order to become king. My image does not matter in comparison to my burden."
Ling stood up, taking note of the direction he had seen Amy carried off in. She was certainly an interesting girl with her non-alchemy. He was curious to see what else the Elric Brothers and her could do.
"Besides if bowing doesn't work," Ling continued, "Then we will use force."
With that Ling, began his journey.
"But first to ditch my associates," he thought gleefully.
Winry: Oh thank god I found you guys. You have no idea what I've been through...wait what are you guys doing?
Ling: Well you see I was merely trying to make friends.
Ed: He was following us around!
Al: Brother be nicer.
Winry: Yeah Ed. Besides what were you doing anyway that he couldn't follow?
Ed: I was trying to find a way out of Tigger's head, okay?!
Ling: Yes and I was merely trying to assist and I cam across a fountain.
Winry: You don't mean.
Al: It was that fountain.
Winry: Not the Mary Sue! Wait wasn't she made into a liquid of sorts?
Ed: She managed to turn back into a person.
Al: Something about another male character to go after.
Ling: She told me I was very pretty.
Winry: So what does this all have to do with you being in a giant bird cage?
Ling: Ah apparently she is keeping us for later.
Ed: And for some stupid reason our alchemy doesn't work.
Al: Our only hope is that Tigger and Amy come save us and we stop the Mary Sue.
Winry: We may have a problem there.