Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach or Fullmetal Alchemist.

Chapter Thirty-Three - Long Overdue

Both Ed and Envy danced around one another for awhile, neither really able to gain any ground on the other. And, during this time, both tossed out insult after insult directed at the other. It would be obvious, even to someone who wasn't familiar with either of them, that the pair had a less than pleasant past.

Hitsugaya's hand twitched as he resisted the urge to join in the fight. At the present moment there was no reason for him to become involved other than his own personal desire to end this quickly. This intruder to the Soul Society had irritated him beyond all reason and the white haired prodigy was itching to put an end to the irritant once and for all.

But, personal irritation aside, Hitsugaya knew that it wouldn't be right for him to interfere in the battle. It was something that Ed had the right to settle for himself. It was a matter of honor and not something that Hitsugaya could just ignore.

"I knew that you were pathetic pipsqueak," Envy said as he once again dodged a blow from Ed. "But you've gotten even worse since last we fought."

Ed twitched slightly at the use of one of the many nicknames that he couldn't stand but he absolutely refused to allow this to cause him to lose his focus. One of the things that he'd learned in his training was self restraint and, although he couldn't keep the vein from bulging in his forehead, he managed to keep himself from screaming at his opponent. Growling low in his throat Ed twirled his zanpaktou before slashing out at Envy. At first it appeared as though his aim was to hit the homunculus with the staff but at the last moment Ed pulled it back and then stabbed at Envy with the tip.

Envy dodged the first of the blows, smirking at how obvious it was, but was caught off guard by the second. Screaming out in rage he pulled the tip of the blade from his shoulder, glaring at Ed as the blond Shinigami boy jumped back and prepared for the next attack. "You're going to regret that pipsqueak.. I don't like pain."

"Like anyone does you idiot," Ed said, glaring at the homunculus through narrowed golden eyes. His voice was low and mocking as he prepared for another attack. He was determined to put an end to this rivalry once and for all this time around and this fact shone plainly in his eyes. Gripping his zanpaktou he dashed forward, twirling his weapon in an effort to throw his opponent off guard.

"Well there are some," Envy said, his gaze locked onto Ed's weapon. He was well aware of what the blond was attempting and was keeping his guard up. "I'm not one of them though… and you're going to have to do better than that if you hope to beat me Fullmetal pipsqueak."

Growling low in his throat Ed tossed his zanpaktou into the air, clasping his hands together and sinking to a crouching position simultaneously. Placing his hands to the ground he watched, a smirk appearing on his face, as spikes of stone shot up from the ground right beneath Envy. For his part the homunculus had been keeping his eye on the weapon, unsure of what exactly it was capable of, so he didn't anticipate the alchemic attack that Ed launched beneath his feet.

Which meant that he wasn't in a position to either block or dodge.

"That was just uncalled for," he growled as he got to his feet, dusting off his clothes and glaring at the blond.

Smirk still firmly in place Ed caught his zanpaktou as it fell back to earth, twirling it in front of him a couple of times before leaping forward. "This is a battle, in case you've forgotten Envy. And I have no intention of letting you walk away from it… not this time."

Actually Ed was a little surprised that this attack had worked; he'd expected for Envy to anticipate the use of alchemy so the fact that he'd been so completely caught off guard came as somewhat of a shock. "Guess I'm not the only one whose skills have diminished… that was pathetic."

"I'll show you pathetic you runt!" Envy exclaimed, a vein almost identical to Ed's bulging out of his forehead as he lost his temper. Dashing forward he attempted to kick the blond boy's feet out from under him, hoping to put him in a vulnerable position.

"Brother be careful!" Al exclaimed as he watched Envy leap forward. There was a look of concern in his gray eyes but the younger of the two brothers made no attempt to interfere. Much like Hitsugaya he realized that this was Ed's fight to finish and, so long as the his brother was holding his own against the homunculus he was resolved to let things play out as they would.

Noting the attack just in the nick of time Ed leapt into the air, allowing Envy to slid beneath him before bringing his zanpaktou down with a resounding thud. Envy hissed in pain as the wood of the staff collided with his back. This fight wasn't exactly turning out the way that he had envisioned and he was beyond irritated by this fact. Snarling he got to his feet quickly, turning his intention toward the spectators before shifting his gaze back to Ed.

"You're going to regret that…"

The voice of the homunculus was low and dangerous and Envy's eyes glowed a malicious red as his form began to shift. Stepping back to the spot where Hitsugaya and Al were standing Ed watched as his opponent shifted to a different form. His body grew immense in size, elongating and taking on a decidedly reptilian appearance.

"A dragon?" Hitsugaya questioned, his teal eyes focused on Envy.

"Yep," Ed said, his gaze also focused on the homunculus. He was well aware of Envy's ability to change his shape, though admittedly was surprised that he could still perform this in the Soul Society. Not that it changed anything, really. "This isn't going to be easy…"

A/N - End of another chapter and this story is drawing close to the end. Two chapters remaining after this one. Hope that you enjoyed, farewell til next time.