Title: Sugar Coated Lies
Summary: Going undercover in a town is hard; being undercover in a school is even harder. How does a teen that grew up to fast deal with a family environment and school without blowing his cover?
Author Note: So, I've gotten back into Full Metal Alchemist and have pretty much put my other fictions on hold, not simply due to this story but also because those creative wells have run dry for the time being .I realize there are probably a billion or so stories out there with a similar plot line and people are rolling their eyes and saying 'oh no, not another one' and I'm not going to lie and tell ya how different and unique this story is. I figure I'll get reviews if ya like and absolutely zip if ya don't.
With that in mind, I bid you to read the below statement of some of the things I've changed to fit this story line, the story takes place 3 years after then end of the anime series. (Some elements of the manga will be present, but the ending of the animated series has been ignored)
Alphonse does have his body back he lives with Winry and Pinako.
Edward being sent to Germany is totally ignored
King Bradley was defeated
Olivier Mira Armstrong is the Furher Queen
Edward is currently 17 years old and is a Lieutenant Colonel
Alphonese is currently 16 years old
Mustang doesn't have a patch but is now a Major General
Hawkeye is a Captain
Havoc is a Captain
Breda is a 2nd Lieutenant
Fuery is a 1st Lieutenant
Falman is a 2nd Lieutenant
Agraia is a small country bordering Amerstis.
I think that's about it. I haven't tweaked it too badly I don't think. So, without further ado, please continue downward for the story!
Furher Queen Olivier Mira Armstrong stares coldly at the group of people spread about her office, taking in each member of the smooth running team with a critical gaze. Major General Roy Mustang watches her just as fiercely behind guarded dark eyes from his place to the right of her desk, his shoulders straight and tense. Although Armstrong had just been officially given the title of Furher she'd been around long enough to hear about this particular group of soldiers, good and bad reports alike and already had this particular unit in mind for this mission. They worked well together, having seen their efforts in the defeat of the Homunculus posing as the former King Bradley and their support of her becoming the Furher. Armstrong isn't a stupid woman, she'd watched how the unit worked together, finding them to have the battle hardened experience to adapt to any situation and still the flexibility to warp their teamwork to make any scenario work to their advantage.
Oh yes, this team would do well.
Running her gaze once more over the unit her eyes narrow as the count comes up one member short. Flicking her gaze back to Mustang she states her discovery smoothly.
"You seem to be missing a member of your unit Mustang." For his credit the dark haired Alchemist doesn't bat an eye at her discovery and answers quickly, with a practiced ease Armstrong has come to enjoy in the man.
"Lieutenant Colonel Elric has been summoned back to Central from his latest mission but was detained in Risembool for repairs to his Automail. I spoke with him before this meeting and he assured me he was leaving on the next available train." Armstrong considers this for a moment before tapping her long nails on the polished top of her desk. Having met the young Alchemist during her command of Fort Briggs and seen first hand the Automail the young man wields so carelessly she understands his need for the mechanic.
"Very well, since he can't be present he doesn't have a say regarding his role in this mission. Mustang I trust you to brief Full Metal when he does return to Central." Mustang nods, satisfied the Furher hands Mustang a stack of official mission reports, the alchemist taking one before passing them along to his officers. Standing Armstrong nods to Miles who shuts down the lights and flights the small flame inside the projector, a prepared map of the neighboring country coming into sharp view on the spacious wall.
"We have received reports concerning unease spreading through our neighboring country of Agraia. I don't think I have to tell you what would happen to Amerstis should this unease develop into a civil war among the country's two governments." At the silent nod from the soldiers sitting before her she carries on.
"I also don't have to explain how sensitive the situation has become between Amerstis and the northern section of Agraia after the revilement of Bradley's true identity." Again the woman pauses, watching as the blond officer takes down notes in the margins of her report.
"Although they distrust us, northern Agraia has asked for our help in discovering the reason for the unease and the attacks coming from the southern region." Mustang quickly speaks up, his eyes flashing dangerously.
"With all do respect Furher, this sounds like a misson for the recon and tactical teams.." he trails off but Armstrong quickly cuts him off.
"Is not reading the files provided to you a gift Mustang or a curse?" she snaps, eyes darkening dangerously as the frigid edge chills her voice. Mustang silently seethes but flips through the file.
"The recon and tactical teams have already provided as much information as they can but outsiders aren't welcomed among the people of the southern regions. That's where you all come in." she smiles and gestures for Miles to flip back on the lights. With the room bathed in the bright lights the Furher again glances over the unit, satisfied her choice was correct. Without a word Miles takes over the briefing, his voice cutting sharply through the room while Armstrong reclines back in her chair, half listening and gazing out the window at the parade grounds.
"Your mission is to infiltrate the southern town of Vuhur. Intel suggests that this area is the main focal point for the unrest amongst the people. It is believed that one Nathaniel Gage is the ring leader who is trying to form a mercenary group. Along with infiltrating the town and collecting more intelligence you are to make contact with Gage and report back to the Furher your findings." Miles concludes glancing over at Mustang who looks slightly puzzled.
"Yes Mustang?" Armstrong asks, her eyes still drawn to the parade grounds outside her window. The flame alchemist narrows his dark eyes and glances down at his folder once more before asking his question.
"Where does Full Metal come into this?" Armstrong smiles sardonically for a moment before turning almost lazily to gaze at the soldier, finding his gaze hardend and slightly protective, a remarkable quality from a man who is basically the teen's legal guardian.
"We believe that one of the ways to Nathaniel is through his son, Ezra Gage. Since Edward is of age to be in school I decided to play the wild card and put him in. His mission is to go undercover as a student and become friends with the Gage boy and gather information through his association." Armstrong explains, using one of Mustang's own remarks about the boy being used as a 'wild card' in the recent events that brought her to the title of Furher. Mustang gives a snort and shakes his head.
"Edward will not be happy about this." He states as Armstrong waves a 'dismissed' at them. The woman can only give an indifferent bark of laughter.
"I don't care if he's happy. See to it that he does his job Mustang, I'm leaving you to sort out the appropriate roles for your people to play. Your train leaves in two days and a separate spending account has been set up for your unit's undercover needs." Armstrong states and nods to the sharp salutes thrown her way.
"Carry on Major General and good luck." Mustang turns smartly on his heel and heads for the door, his unit of loyal officers following behind him. Armstrong settles back and exchanges a look with Miles, his expression nearly unreadable and eyes guarded by the dark sunglasses.
"I think they'll do fine." She states confidently. Miles only response is a small twitch of one side of his mouth.
"Do you think it was wise not to tell them what happened to the last unit we sent in?" Miles asks, fixing the woman he's served for numerous years with a steady gaze. Armstrong shoots her subordinate a silent looks of distaste as being second guessed but responds icily.
"What they don't know won't kill them."
"Hopefully." Miles adds.
(Train Station – Next Day)
Captain Jean Havoc leans patiently against the brick and mortar pillar, the curling smoke of his cigarette making numerous patrons of the station glare harshly at him, some muttering under their breathes about a dirty habit. Havoc couldn't care less what the civilians thought of him, he was a man who'd survived the Eastern Rebellion, regained the use of his legs after a devastating injury and helped expose one of the biggest corruption in Amerstis military history.
He's smoke in the train station is he damn well wanted too.
Usually picking up visiting officials at the train stations are a duty reserved for those below his Captain status but for this particular trip Havoc volunteered. The train screeches to a stop with a loud hiss as people gather around the windowed cars, waving at their newly arrived loved ones. Taking one last long drag off his butt Havoc snubs out the ember on the sole of his boot and heads over casually, his eyes raking over the patrons departing the train. A shock of gold among the muted colors pulls the soldier's eyes to the far car, a white glove raised in greeting. With a waved greeting of his own the Captain heads over to where the young man is pulling back on his uniform jacket, the Lieutenant Colonel bars slightly askew on the breast.
"How was the trip?" Havoc asks as he approaches, snapping off a lazy salute to his long time friend. Edward Elric adjusts the blue jacket and rolls his bright golden eyes.
"Pointless as always." He responds smoothly, running a hand through his short cropped hair. For Havoc seeing the young Alchemist with short hair was a shock, having grown use to the long braid that'd always be plaited down his back. In the time Havoc was in rehabilitation a lot changed for the young man known as Full Metal, his stature being one of them. Although not as tall as Havoc the blond Alchemist has gained some height, now just shy of the average male height for his age. With a frustrated growl the alchemist buttons up his jacket and Havoc reaches out to flick one of the status bars into a straighter line.
"Couldn't have been that pointless if you had to stop at your mechanic for repairs." Havoc points out, reaching down and grabbing Edward's light travel satchel, a gift from Hawkeye after his battered and worn suitcase finally gave out. Edward gives a growl of annoyance as they set off through the throngs of people, pushing their way to the parking lot.
"Yeah well, let's say I had to get my point across somehow." Ed remarks, pausing to hold open a door for an elderly woman and her grandchild. Havoc turns to watch the younger man, so changed and mature for his seventeen years. In retrospect Havoc would have to say that being around adults and thrust into the kinds of situations he'd dealt with since he was twelve the kid was always mature for his age, but it's more predominate now.
"How's Alphonse doing?" Havoc asks casually as Ed slides into the passenger side of the car, Havoc only pausing to light another cigarette before easing himself in behind the wheel of the car. Edward doesn't say anything at first and Havoc doesn't push him, instead the Captain eases the car out of the spot and eases it out onto the roadway. Alphonse had gotten his real body back, in a way that Edward hasn't discussed with anyone, and has been living with Winry and her grandmother in the boys hometown. From what Havoc could figure out, Alphonse was having trouble adjusting from hollow suit of armor back to being a flesh and bone human being and his struggles weight heavily on the older sibling.
"He still gets cold easily and forgets that pain is a powerful thing, and his balance is still off, but he's getting better." Ed responds sullenly, his flesh hand gripping the harsh metal one under his uniform. Although Al had been returned to his natural body Edward still had the automail limbs he'd had since the incident that started the whole quest. Havoc didn't understand why the body was returned and not the two limbs of the older brother but was silently grateful that the bastard gate didn't take anything else from Edward.
"He's done remarkably well for only being back for three years. If I remember right he was up and walking within a year." Havoc begins as he stops at the traffic light. Edward sits silently for a moment before nodding.
"Yeah, I guess he is doing well. Anyway, how about you? Any lasting effects?" Edward asks, changing the subject. That was another Havoc noticed that changed about the alchemist, Edward rarely speaks of the problems Al's having and usually switches the subject. He'd seen the other push the young man for information, their concern for the younger Elric making them blind to the fact that the issues Al faces are still a raw wound for the older brother, a soft spot of self hatred. So, when Edward changes the subject with him Havoc obliges, not wanting to push the Alchemist away.
" Ahhhh I'm doing fine. Back to doing four laps around the warehouse district." Havoc croons, finishing the nicotine stick off and tossing the filter out the window. Edward gives the Captain and sarcastic look and a raised eyebrow.
"Okay fine. I don't do laps around anything. But I'm back to myself." Havoc admits as he stops in front of the military guard post, the two military dogs showing their tags before being allowed onto the grounds.
"Man, I could use a break. I'm beat." Edward comments as Havoc pulls the car to a stop and stops the engine. "Maybe I'll ask Mustang for a few days off before he sends me off again, I haven't had time to even do my laundry." Edward gripes, pulling his satchel out of the car. Havoc shakes his head and accompanies the Alchemist up into the offices.
"I wouldn't count on it chief." Havoc grins and at Edward's questioning look he pushes through the doors into the office.
"Ah, Edward. Nice of you to join us, your report can wait until after your briefing." Edward's travel satchel hits the ground with a dull thud and an expression of absolute shock crossing his face.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me." Edward growls and then groans at Mustang's smirking face. Edward shoots Havoc a look of pure desperation but the smoking man only shrugs and spins around in his desk chair.
"Sorry chief." He supplies while Hawkeye moves to hands the newly arrived Alchemist his mission notes.
"If it makes you feel better Ed, we're all in on this one." Fuery says sheepishly from his desk. Ed's eyebrow twitches for a moment before Roy pipes up from his desk.
"Oh and we're leaving tomorrow, so you need to be briefed and then we need to go do some shopping." Mustang smiles, making the shocked Lieutenant Colonel twitch even harder.
Author Note: Wasn't really sure where to end this, so hopefully it was ended in a good place. I will update again soon, but please feel free to let me know what you thought or even if you have any ideas about what Ed should experience while living with his new 'family' and going to school? Please do drop me a line! I love to hear from you! Also, if you like the name of the story or ya don't let me know. Thanks!