Warning! Sequel to The Switch Glitch. Rated for violence, language, blood, death, la-di-dah.
Story Content: Eventual EdxRM (but you knew this already!)
Genres: Adventure, Humor, Drama, a little Angst, and eventual Zilo-type Romance.
Written By: Zilo
Zilo: We're BA-ACK!
Risty: Hi, everyone! (waves)
Zilo: It's the sequel you've all been waiting for! Now it's time to learn the truth about what happened with Ed and Risty! Yay!
Ed: ...Uh, woohoo?
Al: But this is a good thing, right?
Noa: I think it's supposed to be, anyway.
Zilo: CHAPTER TIME!
Well, let's see here...if I didn't own FMA when I was writing TSG, then how the flip would I have gotten my hands on it by now? Silly reader!
1: It Happened On A Dark And Stormy Night
I'm scared! I don't want to be here anymore! I want to get out! I want Ed!
She was truly terrified. And she was also crying.
"Brother! Brother, wake up!"
My head hurt. I grimaced as it started to pound. My eyes opened, and I found myself looking up at Alphonse and Noa, who were leaning over me. Both their faces registered relief. "You're okay!" Al exclaimed.
"What happened?" I asked as I sat up, wincing and rubbing the back of my head.
"You were coming down the stairs, and all of a sudden you fell," Al told me.
My brows scrunched. "Are you all right?" Noa asked me.
"I guess so." I got up off the floor, rubbing the back of my neck. Al and Noa both watched me, as if afraid I was going to keel over dead at any second. "I'm fine guys, really."
"You're sure?" Al asked, sounding worried.
I smiled at him reassuringly. "Yep."
Noa handed me my coat, which I had been carrying until my little incident on the stairs. "Are you going to the doctor's?" she asked me.
A grimace automatically appeared on my face. "Uh...sure," I said, wishing she hadn't brought it up. Both of them were always hounding me about going to the doctor.
Al knew me too well, though. "Brother...you forgot, didn't you?" he accused.
"No, no I didn't! I'm going right now!" I threw on my coat as I stomped out the door. I hated it when they bugged me about going to the doctor. I'd go, just on my own time. It wasn't like the chest pains were going anywhere.
With a sigh, I put my coat on properly, straightening the collar as I made my way down the street. I knew it was just because they cared about me, so I shouldn't be so gripy about it. I just never liked the doctor. At least they trusted me to go by myself, and didn't try to walk me or anything.
The Switch Glitch: The Movie
Calendar year, 1924
The doctor's office was a few blocks away from the apartment complex where Noa, Al, and I were currently staying. The weather was a little warmer today, and it seemed like the other pedestrians had removed coats and jackets and were enjoying the sun. I left my coat on out of habit.
It was funny, I found myself thinking once again, how no matter where we traveled, I couldn't seem to get away from people who looked like those I'd met on the other side of the Gate. Our landlord was Jean Havoc's double, though his last name was die Verwüstung. Fortunately, he let us call him Jean. Unlike back in my world, he had a daughter and a late wife. Instead of a cigarette, he always had a pipe in his mouth.
As if on cue, I heard a voice calling me and turned. Sure enough, Jean die Verwüstung was jogging up the way to greet me, the customary pipe in his mouth. "Hey, Jean," I greeted.
"Hey there, Ed," he said, somehow able to talk perfectly clearly around the pipe. "Headed to the doctor's?"
"How'd you know?" I asked.
"You had that 'I'm going to see the doctor' scowl on your face when you left."
We both laughed, though I was laughing to cover up my embarrassment. I hadn't ever noticed. "Anyway," Jean said, "would you mind picking something up for me while you're there?"
"Sure," I agreed.
Jean handed me a piece of paper. "My daughter's medicine. I was going to pick it up today, but I've got a lot of stuff to do."
"No problem," I said.
"Thanks, kid," Jean said, ruffling my hair. I fixed it with a frown, though I didn't mind as much as it looked like.
"Wait...will they really let me walk out with somebody else's medicine?" I said.
"Yep!" Jean replied.
I raised an eyebrow at him, but he just grinned.
About an hour later I had managed to survive another visit to the doctor. As Jean had said, they'd actually given me the medicine, which I thought was crazy. So, carrying the pill bottle in a small paper bag, I made my way back in the direction of the apartment.
"...think that is him. Edward? Edward!"
I turned at hearing my voice in that familiar tone, an old, habitual chill running down my spine. It took me a moment to focus and register the friendliness in the tone, and to see the face that I remembered carrying cool indifference now smiling warmly and crossing the street to get to me.
"Ravi," I said with a smile. "I thought you and Ezekiel were leaving yesterday!"
"We were planning to, but a little bit of business cropped up." Ravi was the Roma look-alike of Lust. Al, Noa and I met her and her husband Ezekiel, Scar's look-alike, when they had given us a ride out of Munich. They ended up helping us in a lot of other ways as well. Ezekiel was a lot like Scar had been, always scowling and not saying much that wasn't about business, but Ravi was very open and friendly.
"We'll be here until next week," Ravi told me. She pointed across the street, and I saw Ezekiel scowling and talking with another Roma. He'd seen me, but he didn't wave. "Coming from the doctor?"
I grimaced. "Yeah, I survived."
Ravi laughed through her nose. "So how are the chest pains?"
"Still there," I sighed.
"Well that's no good. A young attractive man like you doesn't need heart problems. Maybe you should start exercising some more," Ravi said.
"I do! I go for walks, jogs, and I still spar with Al, I'm as fit as I can get!" I protested.
Ravi laughed again and patted my shoulder. "If you aren't doing anything tonight, why don't you all come by for dinner? I'm making stew."
"That sounds great," I said honestly, "but I'll have to pass. I've got some work to do."
Ravi seemed to catch on. "Ah. I see. Will you need anything?"
"Nah, this looks like it'll be pretty simple. Thanks though."
"Of course. Oh, it looks like Ezekiel's finished. Well, take care." Ravi waved at me and waited for a car to pass before stepping into the street.
I yawned widely as I turned the page. I was lying on the sofa later that night, my feet propped up on the arm. Noa had already gone to bed, but Al, as usual, was up, sitting on the floor with his back against the couch.
"You should get some rest," I told him, looking at but not really seeing the words on the page.
"You always say that," Al replied.
"Well, you should."
Al twisted around so he could face me. "Brother, if you would just let me—"
"But I could—"
"No, Al. We've already covered this a million times." I slapped the book shut and set it on my chest, turning my head so I could look at him. "If something actually happens, and I get caught, I won't drag you down with me," I explained again.
"They'll probably just assume I had something to do with it anyway. Please, Brother. I want to help," Al pleaded.
I sighed and sat up, looking down at him. It was one of the few times I could actually do that anymore, what with his freakish growth spurts. "Al, it's too dangerous. Even if nothing happens, I don't wanna risk it."
"But why?" Al demanded. "It wasn't a problem before!"
"Yeah, because before you were a practically invincible giant suit of armor!" I shot back. Then I took a deep breath to calm myself down. "Things are different now, Al. We can't just go charging into danger like we used to. I've gotta protect you."
"I can protect myself!" Al said, sounding angry.
"Funny how it didn't seem like it last month!" I snapped.
Al stiffened. "That was an accident. I didn't even start that fire."
"Whether you did or not, it doesn't matter!" I grabbed the front of his shirt and hauled his face up to mine. "You almost died, Al, you hear me? And don't give me that 'but I didn't' crap, you could have! People die in fires all the time, and just because you got lucky once doesn't mean the same thing will happen again!"
Al didn't seem to understand that he didn't have the invulnerability he'd had as armor anymore. He was another breathing human, with breakable skin and bones.
"You're just not coming. Got me?" I said as I released his shirt.
Al straightened his collar and sat back down on the floor. I opened the book and put it over my face, scowling. I hated seeing that disappointed look on Al's face. But for some reason, the past couple of months he'd acted as though things were the way they used to be, when he was a suit of armor. He wanted to come with me whenever I did something dangerous and possibly against the law. I didn't want to risk it because I knew what the consequences might be if I ever got caught (which I doubted would happen, but better safe than sorry). As a result, we sometimes got into arguments like these.
After a moment, Al spoke up again. "Brother, it's almost two," he said.
"Already?" I yanked the book of my face and sat up. "Okay. Don't know when I'll be back, so don't wait up, okay?"
"Right. I'll leave the window open," Al said, smiling.
"Ha ha ha." I punched his arm, then swung my feet off the couch and stuffed them into my shoes. I got up and headed for the door, pulling my coat off the coat rack as I went by.
"Be careful, Brother!" Al called.
"Aren't I always?"
I rolled my eyes as I opened the front door and stepped out into the night.
You're probably wondering what I was doing going out at two in the morning. It was really very simple: basically, I was going to go break into somebody's office and look through their stuff.
It's not how it sounds, either. It was a necessary evil.
I walked down the empty street, keeping my eyes and ears open for any sounds. There was no one out this late, besides me, and maybe a stray animal or two. It was entirely dark except for the occasional streetlight, almost all of which were flickering on and off.
As I made my way to my destination, I considered whether or not it was necessary to do all this sneaking around at night. It was possible I could get in during the day—but then it was more likely someone might notice. I didn't need to explain why I was picking the locks on doors to anybody.
Something clattered behind me, and I tensed, quickly stepping into a doorway. I peered behind me and saw a cat dart out of an alleyway, under the dim light of a streetlamp, and across the street. I sighed in relief and kept moving.
There was no time to be all jumpy. I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. Break in, check the files, get out. It shouldn't take more than five or ten minutes. It sucked having to resort to the sneaking-around-and-breaking-the-law stuff again; I'd had enough of that back in my world. But it was important to find out whether or not Ms. Fiorio had the files I suspected she had.
Before I knew it, I was almost there. Looming way above me in the darkness was the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, also known as the University of Göttingen. Yep, I was about to break into a school.
I entered the campus grounds and quickly circled around to the wing where the faculty offices were. The building was dark, but I had come this way enough times that I knew how to get around it safely. There was an outside door that led to the first floor, and this was where I planned to get in.
Quietly, I made my way around the side of the building. I could see the outline of the door against the brick. I had some tools ready in case I needed to pick the lock, but I was hoping that the door would just be open.
As I reached the door, I found myself almost wishing I had let Al come along. Breaking into random places was something we'd always done together, and I missed his presence. But, I reminded myself, things were different, and though I doubted it, if something actually happened I didn't want him involved.
"You guys care about each other so much. I don't know, it just makes me feel happy."
I stiffened, and pushed the thought away. Why had it come up now? I'd been purposefully avoiding thinking about her for a while. I tried the knob, and it was locked. "Damn," I commented, digging in my pocket for my tools.
"Are you...s-serious? But isn't picking locks illegal? Where did you learn that anyway?"
I growled to myself and forced my attention onto the task at hand.
"You're making that face again."
"What face?" I asked.
She giggled, hiding her mouth behind her hand. "Whenever you're thinking about something, you always make a face like this." She made a face like she was really angry at me.
"I do?" I said in surprise.
I released the knob and closed my eyes, taking a deep breath. It was time to focus. Focus on what I was doing. Keep my thoughts turned towards the present, and not the past...
"You can still go, you know."
"And possibly smudge up a line? Nuh-uh. Plus, I told you I'm sticking with you."
I had to admit, if only to myself at least, that I was glad she was here. Everyone thinks the Full Metal Alchemist feels no fear, or whatever, but what I was about to attempt could fail horribly, and I knew it. I wasn't one to turn down moral support.
"Ready?" I asked her.
She swallowed. "Yeah."
"Dammit!" I growled, stopping and rubbing my forehead with the heel of my hand. Why was all of this coming back into my mind now? It was driving me insane, especially after all the trouble I'd been going through not to think about her. I massaged my temples, trying to keep a cool head.
I jumped as the voice blasted out at me. It sounded as loud as if I'd stood right next to someone screaming it. I whirled around, looking for the source, even when my brain told me that I knew exactly where it was coming from.
HELP ME! PLEASE!
My chest started to ache, the usual sign that I was having another chest pain. "Dammit, not now!" I exclaimed, my eyes shutting on their own, my mind automatically reaching out, trying to search.
HELP! I'M SCARED! ED!
It was...somewhere. Everything was whirling by at an incredible speed. There was shouting and screaming coming from somewhere.
I reached out to try and find her. "Where are you?" I yelled, trying to locate her.
She didn't answer.
"Risty May!" I yelled.
I awoke to the feeling of rain pelting my face. I blinked slowly twice, a little confused, then sat bolt upright when I remembered what I had been doing, and what I had just heard. It was still dark, but now rain was falling from the sky, and my clothes were starting to get wet. I scrambled to my feet, brushing wet leaves and grass off my back and picking it out of my hair.
"What the hell happened to me?" I grumbled once I had more or less cleaned myself off. I looked around and saw that I was right where I had been. Looking down at my wet clothes, I grimaced. I couldn't sneak into the wing like this—I'd leave footprints, water and dirt everywhere.
I sighed. "Great, just great." I turned around and took off for the sidewalk at a brisk pace. "I lost sleep, got wet, and passed out for nothing. Just great."
But why DID I pass out? I thought as I hurried down the walk, headed back to the apartment. I frowned. Just before, I had been thinking of her. No, it was more like that crazy connection thing had activated. If that was the case, then that meant whatever that had been was what she was doing.
I stopped short, not even noticing the rain bouncing off my head. What had she been doing? She had been completely terrified. There were creepy screaming voices behind her. Where on earth was she?
And then...I squinted as I tried to remember. I thought I had heard another voice besides hers and those screaming ones. A familiar one I couldn't quite place, saying something like "Move, move"...
It was completely confusing. I sighed heavily, and started running again. The last thing I needed was to catch a cold on top of all this craziness.
Risty May's P.O.V.
The first thing I realized when I returned to consciousness was that it was raining. I could feel cold drops of water pelting my back and legs and the side of my face. My body ached all over, and my head felt hot and stuffy. For some reason, the remnants of a scream were echoing in my head, but I had no idea who it was that had been screaming.
I was lying facedown on what felt like hard, bumpy ground. Thunder rumbled above me. The rain felt good on my face but was chilling the rest of my body.
Then I realized I was naked.
My eyes flew open, seeing nothing in front of them but darkness. I scrambled to get up and swayed dizzily before I had even pushed myself up off of my elbows. My neck stung, and something was tickling my back, but I wasn't concerned with that, as I was focused on the fact that I was outdoors, in the rain, stark naked, for no reason I could fathom.
How in the world did I get here? I thought, completely confused. I tried to search back in my memory to find out, but drew a blank. Okay, so then what was I doing last?
That came clearly enough after a few moments. I was holding Ed's hands as the transmutation circle glowed around us, and the circles he'd drawn on us glowed in tandem. My stomach had plunged like I was riding a really fast elevator, and when I opened my eyes, the Gate was in front of us. The doors creaked open, and I had clutched Ed's hands tighter, fear seizing me. He had let go of one of my hands to face the Gate, so I faced it with him as those black arm-things came spilling out.
I couldn't remember what happened after that.
"Ed?" I tried to call out. But it came out as a rough croak that hurt my throat. I rubbed my neck with a hand, not knowing my why throat hurt so much. Had I been screaming? That was what it felt like.
I was getting colder. I needed clothes, or something to wrap around myself, before I froze to death. Shivering, I wrapped my arms around myself and hunched over, letting my back take the brunt of the rain. My eyes had begun to adjust to the darkness, and I could make out that I appeared to be in a forest. Something was really weighing down my head, and I lifted a hand to knock it off.
My fingers encountered wet, tangled hair. My brow furrowed in confusion. My hair was only down to my shoulders. Wasn't it? I let my fingers travel down, encountering more and more tangled strands of hair. Finally I reached back and grabbed my hair in a fist, pulling it over my shoulder to stare at it.
It was long again.
I stared at my hair, my mouth gaping open dumbly. Slowly, I released my hair and let it slap down over my shoulder. It was really long now, longer than I had ever seen it. It was almost down to my knees. My bangs had grown out too, down past my shoulders, and were starting to get in my eyes. I slicked my bangs back with my fingers and tried to make sense of this.
So I was naked, suffering amnesia, and my hair was suddenly longer than it had ever been in my life, after just being shorter than it had ever been in my life. My boobs are bigger too, I observed dumbly, remembering my near-flat-chested state previously.
Just how much had I forgotten?
Lightning flashed overhead. I automatically plugged my ears, and felt the following crack of thunder shake the ground. I couldn't just sit out here naked in the rain. Wearily I climbed to my feet, my body stiff and sore. Having no other alternative, I draped my outgrown bangs over my chest to cover it, and left the rest of my hair hanging behind me to shield my behind.
"Ed?" I tried again, my voice rasping. Certainly if I was here, Ed was around here somewhere also, possibly naked. Even in the midst of a distressing situation, that thought made my face get really hot.
But I received no answer. I would have to find him on my own.
Zilo: What better way to kick off a sequel than with nakedness?
Ed: (goes wide-eyed, blushes, turns away quickly)
Risty: (proceeds to also blush and turn away)
Zilo: Hahaha! Anyway, review!