Dimly in the dusty, gloomy ruins of the room, Roy Mustang could tell that the entrance to the Central Library had been completely blocked off. There was no way they were going out the way they came in.
Roy groaned, rubbing his aching head as he stumbled to his feet, and looked around blearily. Shelves of books had been completely overturned, their books splayed erratically over the floor and tables. The light fixtures hung lopsidedly, but that was nothing compared to the desks, which were entirely upside down; and in the middle of it all was Roy and the still-unconscious Havoc.
With one disdainful glance in the general direction of his subordinate, the Colonel wiped himself off and began to look for another exit.
There were some small windows high on the walls, but none that looked big enough to squeeze through…Roy looked around doubtfully, realizing suddenly just how enclosed they were. Coughing a little from the dust in the air, he kneeled down again and tried shaking Havoc awake.
"Hmm? Ngh…Ah—huh?" the Lieutenant mumbled, his arms flailing in half-asleep confusion.
"So glad you decided to join us in the world of the living, Havoc," Mustang commented wryly. He pointed at the door and the bookshelves that were currently in its way. "It looks like that old weirdo was totally insane after all. He ended up just trashing the entire library and running off with that milk bottle he kept babbling about. Most likely we'll find him keeled over dead in an alley later tonight. In the meantime, we should probably find a way out of here…"
Havoc blinked groggily at him, his eyes focusing slowly as he took in the demolished library, the Colonel, and the news. "No, he didn't," he croaked finally.
Roy, who had been muttering to himself about how with his luck, this whole escapade would be blamed on him, looked down at Havoc, one eyebrow raised. "He didn't what? He didn't go crazy, or he didn't trash the library?" He sighed. "Maybe you're going crazy too, Havoc."
Jean Havoc propped himself up on his elbows and gave his superior officer a glare. "No, I mean, he didn't get that get that milk bottle."
Roy stared. "Huh?"
Grinning, the Lieutenant reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, empty milk bottle—the same one that the old codger had been cackling over.
Roy felt an irresistible grin tugging at his own lips. "When did you—?"
"Right before he brought the library down," Havoc snickered back. Mustang stared at the stolen object in overjoyed disbelief. And then the two soldiers looked up at each other and burst out laughing.
Roy got himself under control first and took the bottle from him, breathless from laughing. "We should drown it in the river," he gasped, feeling like a high school kid trying to pull off a prank.
"I wonder what that guy will do when he finds out that I took it?" Jean Havoc asked in between giggles.
"I'll bet he'll go something like this." Roy bent over and said in a high, crackly voice, "Curse those insolent whippersnappers! Now how am I supposed to get my daily dose of calcium?!"
The Lieutenant was pounding the floor with his fist, trying to smother his laughter with his hand and not succeeding. "W-w-we should be a-ashamed of o-ourselves…We've just d-deprived an old man his calcium and p-protein…"
"But wait, our sin goes even further!" Roy Mustang declared, one hand held up as he studied the nutrition facts on the back of the container. "We also deprived him of vitamin A, palmitate, vitamin D-3…and…wait a minute, there's something else at the bottom here…"
Havoc looked over his shoulder, watching Roy scrape away the solidified milk staining the bottom of the tab. He wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Why are you touching that stuff? That old guy probably drooled it…"
The Colonel gave him a look, but continued scraping it. "Hold on, there's something written down here…I almost got it…"
As he worked at the stain, unnoticed by the colonel, the bottle began to glow softly, the milky white turning into a sort of luminescent blue. Jean's eyes widened, and he tugged on his superior officer's sleeve to warn him, but before he could get a single word out, there was a huge explosion of bright-blue energy, and both of them were slammed back against the overturned desk.
"What…sort of power is that? Magic?"
"Not magic," Roy said tersely, his eyes never leaving the source of the blast of energy. "Alchemy."
As the light dimmed and their eyes adjusted, they got into more workable positions, Havoc's hand going to his gun as Mustang's went to his gloves.
…And immediately stopped short at the sight of a small blonde boy sitting cross-legged on the table in front of them, his long hair in a braid down his back and a red coat swirling over the edge of the desk. He scowled at them, looking very displeased with the fact that he was even in front of them.
"I'm surprised you knew it was alchemy," he said to Roy, as if Havoc wasn't even worth noticing. Jean Havoc made a little noise of indignation.
"Well, I would," Roy Mustang replied, still in a crouch. "I'm an alchemist myself."
"Hmph," the boy muttered, his scowl deepening. "The first Master I have in years and he's an alchemist. This is going to be a blast."
"Master?" the Colonel asked. He let himself relax a little. It didn't look like this boy was going to be any threat to them.
"That's right. Oh, goodie, now I get to do my little introduction." The blonde jumped gracefully off the desk, landing lightly in front of Havoc and Mustang and bowing somewhat resentfully. "My name is the Fullmetal Genie, and I'm here to grant you any three wishes you desire."