The Cat-like Alchemist

Edward Elric scoffed as he walked down the sidewalk leading to Central HQ. "Why did Mustang call us in so quickly? We have other things to do!" Ed pouted angrily.

Alphonse sighed. "I'm not sure Ed, the colonel seemed…urgent, didn't he?"

"He probably just wants us to take control of another east city or something like that." Edward said disregarding Al's comment.

Al sighed again and looked over by an out-of-place tree. A rare sight to see in such a concrete jungle. The rain was pouring down and Ed was a bit cranky because his metal limbs wear feeling sore. Al stared at what was under the tree.

It was a girl, about Ed's age; she had a big, baggy, gray hat on, long charcoal hair and eyes. She had baggy jeans and a black, loose t-shirt with sleeves that fell past her shoulders. She kept looking around worriedly. Each time she would attempt to venture out into the rain, but each time she got wet she would recoil back under the tree. She shivered and hugged her self for warmth.

Al strayed from his brother to walk over to the girl. "Al? Hey, where yah going?" Ed shouted. Al walked up to the girl. She was immediately intimidated by his size.

"Eh?" she had a soft child-like voice. Alphonse broke off a branch of the tree and put it over a transmutation circle he'd just drawn. A flash of blue light blinded those around it, but quickly disappeared and was a mediocre umbrella. Alphonse picked it up and handed it to her.

"Sorry, it's not very good. I don't have enough materials to make a nice one."

The girl slowly took it in her hands. "Uh…thank you. So…you're an alchemist?"

"Uh-huh." Al nodded.

"Wow, so am I." The girl smiled. Al noticed that she had a necklace. It had the silver pocket watch attached to it.

He froze. "Geh! Y-you're a state alchemist?" She nodded.

"Uh-huh. I'm the cat-like alchemist. I passed because I had good reflexes and speed." She nodded, agreeing with herself. "Thank you for helping me. I was on my way to Central HQ and it started to rain."

"Ha-ha, guess you're more cat like then the name gives you."

She laughed. "More than I'd like it to." They both laughed.

Ed walked over, "Al, we have to get moving. We're gonna be late."

"Since when did you care about being on time?"

"Since when did you not?" Ed snapped, Al sighed.

"Ed, she's heading over to HQ too. Mind if she comes along?"

"Huh? Really? What for?"

"I'm going to see my big brother! He's an alchemist too." She said happily.

"Well, I guess there's no reason for you not too." Ed shrugged and started to walk again.

The girl walked close to Alphonse. "So why are you guys going?"

"Ed's boss called him in. He's a state Alchemist too."

"Really? At such a young age?" She said with awe on her face.

"How old are you?" Al asked wondering.

"Well, I'm…15..."

"You're a state alchemist at a young age."

She laughed. "I suppose so."

"Ed is the 'Fullmetal Alchemist'." Al said. She perked up.

"Oh! Right! The hero of the people, right?"

Ed smirked at his popularity. 'Careful, you might just give him a bigger head than he already does.' Al thought to himself.

"The shortest to ever graduate, right?"

Al snickered.

"THE YOUNGEST!" Ed emphasized.

The girl yelped at her apparently massive, mistake. "S-s-sorry!" she stuttered almost loosing grip on the umbrella.

Ed crossed his arms and started to storm off again. Al laughed.

"It's ok. Ed's a little sore about his height." the girl nodded. She perked up as if realizing something.

"May I ask you your names?"

"Oh, I'm Alphonse Elric, and that's Edward."

"Cool! I'm Max." Ed looked over his shoulder.

"Isn't that a boy's name?"

"Is it short for something?" Al said looking down at her.

"No."

"…Ok, then…"

"Ah, we're here!" Max sang happily.

The guards all let them pass without hesitation. Max turned to one of the guards as he flinched.

"Thank you."

He stood up straight. "No problem at all ma'am!"

She smiled and laughed a little. Both the Elrics wondered about the guard's behavior.

When they got inside Max closed the umbrella and gently shook some of the rain off. She smiled and handed the umbrella to Al.

"Oh, you can keep it if you want." Al said.

She smiled, "thank you".

'Awww…her smile looks like a kitten's.' he thought.

They started to walk their own ways, except for the fact that they were the same. Ed and Al noticed that the farther they walked; Max didn't turn any corners or go down separate hallways. They finally got at Mustang's office. Max knocked on the door.

"Hey, Max…who is your brother, anyways?" Ed asked with resentment. "Come in." a low voice said that could only belong to one person. The door swung open. "Hi, big brother!"

End of Ch. 1