Warning! Kplus for language and violence.
Story Content: OCs abound.
Written by: Zilo and Chizi
Chizi: Hi everyone! Welcome to a fic full of fun! And other stuff!
Zilo: Ever since Twisted I wanted to do another story with my beta and co-writer, and so this idea spawned! Please trust us when we say this ain't like your average "FMA character lands in your backyard" fic. I wouldn't let Chizi get away with that.
Zilo: So, anyway! We don't own FMA or any of the characters, or any of the other animes or manga we mention. Or Starbucks. Chizi owns Joey, Ricky and Cassie (lotta "ee" sounds, aren't there?) and...what was I saying?
Chizi: Beats me!
Zilo: Nah, not today, my hand is sore.
1: Off To A Very Bad Start
In Which A Lot Of Duct Tape Is Used
"Okay. You remember the house rules? No boys, no parties, no drugs, no alcohol, no law-breaking. Basically, if you wouldn't do it with me standing two feet away, don't do it."
"Yes, Mom. I've got them all written down, remember? You can trust me because I'm a responsible legal adult."
Andrea Jones, more commonly known around the house as Mom, raised an eyebrow at me. "And make sure you pick up your brother and sister from school on time."
"I will!" I insisted.
Mom smiled and hugged me. "I know. I trust you to take care of everything while I'm gone," she said.
"That's right. You don't have to worry about a thing," I promised her.
"Now boarding business class for Southwest Flight 226," the intercom buzzed over the airport.
"That's me. Gotta go." Mom kissed my cheek.
"Bye, Mom! Enjoy the flight!" I waved at her, and she waved back at me with the hand holding her ticket, pulling her rolling suitcase behind her as she made her way to the counter. I kept waving until she made it through customs and disappeared through a narrow doorway that would lead her to her plane. Then I pumped my fist, twirling the car keys around a finger.
This was going to be the best week of my life. My mother's company was sending her on a week-long business trip. At first she was going to bring us along, us being me and my brother and sister, like she always does. But I convinced her that I was responsible enough to stay home alone. And she agreed!
That meant that I would be in charge of the house. And on the first week of summer break, no less. The possibilities were endless.
I left the airport and hurried back to where I had parked the car at the curb, so I wouldn't have to pay for that God-expensive airport parking. Sure enough, a security guard seemed to be getting interested in Mom's car, as I had suspected one might be. "I'm leaving right now, I swear," I told him as I hit the keyless entry and yanked open the door.
He tipped his cap at me, and I waved as I put the key in the ignition and started the car with my other hand. I pulled away from the curb and got onto the ramp that would take me back to the main road. "Wooooohoo!" I couldn't help cheering. I was very excited about this week. I was going to have so much fun!
Or so I thought.
Oh, I guess I should introduce myself or something. My name's Melissa Jones, but everyone calls me Joey. (The story behind the nickname is that when I was in first grade, my best friend started calling me "Jones" because he said using people's last names was cool. My brother was just starting to talk and picked it up, but he couldn't pronounce it and called me "Joes" which then evolved into "Joey". I didn't care, so it stuck.) I'm freshly-turned 18. I have a 13-year-old brother named Richard, goes by Ricky, and a 6-year-old sister named Cassandra, goes by Cassie. Our dad died when I was 11, so it's just us three and Mom.
I won't waste too much time telling you what I look like, because that's bo-ring. I've got curly red hair and brown eyes, and my best feature is my knees. They are some God-awesome knees. I love those knees, and I only cover them up when necessary. I haven't gotten any compliments on my knees yet, but still.
Ricky's got green eyes and his hair is more strawberry blond, and wavy rather than curly. It kind of looks like a surfer's hairdo, only his is naturally like that. Cassie has big brown eyes, and hair that curls in that cute angelic way that mine doesn't, and it's either red with a lot of brown highlights or brown with a lot of red highlights. We all get our hair from Mom, whose hair is so freaking orange no one ever believes it's her real hair color.
Our house is about twenty minutes from the airport. So, factoring in five minutes to stop at Starbucks for a latte, I got home at about 9AM. Ricky and Cassie wouldn't be out of school until 3:30 at the earliest, so I had hours and hours all to myself.
"Lucy, I'm ho-ome!" I sang into the empty house when I unlocked the door. Obviously, I got no answer. I headed towards the kitchen and proceeded to trip over something.
"What the hell—I mean, heck?" I corrected myself. I had been trying to clean up my frequent use of swear words ever since I heard Cassie say "dammit!" when she was five. (I was only moderately successful.) I glared down at what had tripped me up. It was Ricky's copy of a Fullmetal Alchemist manga, volume four. (I'd borrowed it last week). I kicked it towards the sofa to join the newspaper already lying there.
Ricky's into typical teenage boy things like comic books and manga and anime and bugs and action movies and video games and junk. So am I, except for the bugs and movies. I have a small collection of my own anime and manga, but his is much bigger, so I usually bum his. We all get along reasonably well, though of course sometimes he and Cassie drive me insane. In fact, last night he and I had watched his brand-new Fullmetal Alchemist DVD in one of our anime-a-thons, followed by Gurren Lagann (his) and then FLCL (mine).
After I finished my latte, I had some breakfast, and then threw on a sweat suit and went for a jog. I only started becoming a real exercise buff about a year and a half ago, after our family doctor told me that my weight was affecting my health and I needed to get in shape. I set a goal to drop 20 pounds and change my eating habits, and so far, it had paid off nicely. I actually looked forward to walks and jogs and going to the gym. I was always tired afterwards, but the sense of accomplishment was worth it.
An hour later, I came back to the house exhausted and sweaty and found the numbers on all the digital clocks in the house blinking 12:22. I realized the power must have gone out twenty-two minutes earlier and resolved to check on the circuit breakers after I had taken a shower.
I showered and washed my hair, then pulled it back into a ponytail at the back of my head and put on a pink shirt and gray pants. Reluctantly, I headed down into the basement to make sure there hadn't been a power surge or anything.
The basement is filled with all sorts of things we don't use. Broken down bikes and exercise equipment, extra rolls of carpet, planks of wood, broken or old chairs, and so on. I almost never go down there, unless it's to check the circuit breakers. Any stuff I put down there gets lost forever. I flicked the light switch at the top of the stairs. "Will Joey meet her doom as she descends the rickety stairs?" I said like a movie previews announcer. "What horrors will she find down in…THE BAAAASEMEEEENT!"
I made it to the bottom and tripped over something else. "God da—blast it! What now?" I griped, looking down.
I promptly screamed.
There was a person lying on the basement floor.
Quickly, I backed away until the backs of my ankles ran into the bottom step, nearly knocking me over. My heart pounded double-time in my chest. I grabbed the nearest item I could use as a weapon, which turned out to be a broken baseball bat, and held it menacingly.
The person didn't move.
I stood there like an idiot for a few moments until I finally got that this person was unconscious and wasn't going to attack me. Slowly, I lowered the bat and approached cautiously. I reached out and poked the figure with a toe.
They didn't stir. They were lying on their stomach, their face turned away from me. Whoever they were, they had really long, dark hair.
"Uh...hey. Hey!" I prodded a little harder and got no response. I got closer and crouched down, hoping that this wasn't a hobo who had somehow broken into our basement to die and was now a dead body.
I heaved a big breath. I would have to check their pulse. I didn't want to touch them if they were a body, but I had to. So I braced myself, grabbed the person by their arm, and rolled them onto their back.
For about a full thirty seconds, I stared, stunned. What the heck was some cosplayer doing in our basement, in full costume? Whoever this guy was, he had on a really convincing Envy costume. (And I don't know too many male cosplayers that are secure enough to cosplay as midriff-baring, skort-wearing Envy) He even had the pinkish-pale skin. And the wig looked like real hair, nothing like that Envy wig I had almost bought online. To my relief, the cosplayer's chest was rising and falling, indicating that he wasn't dead.
"Hey, can you hear me?" I said, shaking him.
He didn't stir. I visually examined him and found no injuries. So I decided to pull off his wig and check for lumps to see if he had been knocked out or something.
I grabbed a fistful of the hair, and was surprised at how real it felt. I tugged, but the wig didn't come off. No way was it the guy's real hair? But I doubted he'd superglue the wig to his head. With a sigh, I parted the stupid hair with my fingers and found that it was indeed attached to his scalp.
"You must be a really dedicated cosplayer to grow your hair out this long," I commented to the guy as I kneaded his skull, looking for lumps. "That or crazy. How the hel--ck did you get in my basement anyway? And why are you in cosplay? There are never any cons in High Springs. Pshh. There's barely a movie theater." High Springs is a small town in Florida, and you can bet there aren't any conventions insane enough to come here.
I searched his scalp as thoroughly as I could, but I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary, besides a ridiculously smooth scalp. Everybody has lumps, don't they? Not this guy. "The ladies must love that smooth scalp," I teased the guy as I checked his pulse. Then, with a second look at his costume, I added, "Or the men."
After my most extensive search for any injuries he might have (with skills that I had picked up from watching a lot of cop shows) I couldn't find anything that explained his unconsciousness. "Somebody slip you something in your drink?" I asked him, debating how to get him upstairs. "But no matter what happened to you, the question is how'd you get in my basement?"
I decided I would get him up to the couch in the living room, and call for an ambulance. I hooked my arms underneath his and started to drag him to the stairs. The fabric of his top distracted me. It was a very weird fabric I'd never felt before, kind of like velvet only...different. Really, it was a very, very convincing costume.
Suddenly, I saw the fingers on his right hand twitch. "Hey, are you waking up?" I said in relief, gently letting him back down. Good. He could walk up the stairs. The guy was freaking heavy.
He didn't move again.
"Ah, jeez, come on!" I said. "You're really heavy!" I grabbed a flashlight from a shelf and smacked it on my palm a couple of times before flicking it on. The light was initially bright but started to go dim. I bent over the guy and peeled one of his eyes open, shining the flashlight in it, to hopefully pull him back to consciousness.
This guy had really gone all out. He had violet contacts with a catlike pupil. But it didn't even look like a contact. It really looked real. It was amazing. "You are one dedicated cosplayer," I commented.
The next thing happened so fast that I could barely figure it out. The guy's other eye flew open, and his eyes seemed to brighten with something that can only be described as rage. If it hadn't happened so fast, the pure anger would have made me shrink away. But in the very same moment, his hand flashed up and encircled my throat. He had an iron grip, and he was tightening it.
My next words choked in my throat. The sudden cutting off of my air supply caused my lungs to protest. I squirmed uselessly, the hand that had been holding his eye open now grabbing his wrist to try and pull it away. But it was useless. He was much stronger than me.
I couldn't look away from his angry violet eyes. "Who the hell do you think you are?" he growled, and beneath the fear, I felt shock at how well he mimicked Envy's voice actress. He sounded exactly like Envy. And he was acting exactly like Envy. And he looked exactly like Envy. In fact, if I didn't know that it was impossible, I might think he was Envy.
But my main thought was Oh my God, I'm going to die.
"Where's the Fullmetal Pipsqueak?" he hissed in my face.
Obviously, I couldn't say anything to him, as I was struggling in vain to breathe. He seemed to get this and released his grip on my throat. I hadn't even noticed that he had raised me into the air until I fell to the ground, landing on my side. I sucked in a breath and immediately started to cough.
"Well?" he demanded. "Where is he?"
"What...are you talking...about?" I said between coughs. This cosplayer was obviously a nut who had taken the role of Envy a little too far.
"Don't play games with me!" he yelled at me. He grabbed me by the front of my shirt and hauled me to eye-level with him, which lifted my feet off the ground again. "Where is the Fullmetal Alchemist?" he hissed.
"Are you crazy?" I demanded, which probably wasn't the best response. "Fullmetal Alchemist isn't real! What are you, some psycho cosplayer? How did you even get in my basement?"
"I'm the one asking the questions here, you little brat!" the Envy cosplayer shouted. "I know that runt was here! I was just fighting him a moment ago! You had better tell me where he went, or—"
It was at that point that I realized I still had the flashlight in my hand and used it to crack this crazy guy over the head. For once, my swing had some power behind it, and hurt him enough that he released my shirt. I immediately whirled and ran up the stairs, heading for the living room to call the cops and tell them to bring the paddy wagon.
I heard his roar of anger and footsteps coming after me on the stairs. I dashed through the kitchen and into the living room. My heart sank when I saw that the cordless phone wasn't on its base. Stupid Ricky and his stupid always moving the God-stupid phone! I thought, redirecting myself to the stairs to get to his room.
Before I could make it, though, I was yanked to a stop that made my scalp scream in pain. I landed heavily on the floor and saw that the guy had grabbed a hold of my ponytail. He looked even madder than he had before. His fist was cocked to hit me, and I threw my arms over my head to shield it.
I then heard the sound of something shattering, and dared to peek just as the Envy cosplayer collapsed next to me. I quickly scrambled up and away, whirling to see what had happened.
My brother Ricky stood at the guy's feet, holding what remained of one of Mom's vases. The rest of it was in pieces on the floor. "Ricky!" I exclaimed with relief. "Quick, go get the phone so we can call the cops!"
"Wait, we can't do that!" he said quickly.
I stared up at him. My brother Ricky has been taller than me since he was 9, so I've gotten used to it. "Are you insane?" I spluttered. "This cosplayer guy's a psycho! We're calling 911 so he doesn't wake up and kill us!"
"I'm serious!" Ricky insisted. "Joey, listen, I know this sounds crazy, but this is the real Envy!"
I stared at him, too stunned to reply. My brother had officially lost his mind. Again.
"Listen, I got this chainletter in my e-mail last night and—"
"I don't know what kind of drugs you're taking, but I'm getting the phone," I said, turning and starting up the steps. I'd tear his room to pieces and find that phone.
Ricky grabbed my arm and turned me to face him. "No, please just listen, okay? I'm not crazy or taking drugs. This is the real Envy!"
"Even if that's true, which is insane because Fullmetal Alchemist isn't even real, then I'd still call the cops because Envy is an insane human-hating MASS-MURDERER!" I yelled at him.
"Then we'll tie him up!" was Ricky's reply.
"Are you crazy?! We're not tying him up; we're calling the cops!"
"How the hell did I let you talk me into this," I griped as I wrapped another layer of duct-tape around the supposed Envy's ankles, securing each one to the front legs of the chair we had propped him in.
"The part of you that loves your little brother knew that I was telling the truth," Ricky said reasonably as he added an extra-long strip of duct tape around the supposed Envy's chest to secure it against the chair's back.
Somehow I had let Ricky convince me to drag the cosplayer guy downstairs and prop him in an old chair. We then searched the basement for some rope (keeping close eyes on the guy, of course) and, after finding none, settled on duct tape. Now we were using every last bit of that duct tape to secure the guy to the chair and make certain he couldn't get out of it.
"I swear, Ricky, if this is because of weed or something, I'm going to kill you, revive you, put you in rehab, and then kill you again when you get out," I threatened him, pulling off a strip of duct tape to secure the guy's arm to the armrest. "You're supposed to be in school right now, anyway."
"Well, if I hadn't come home, Envy might've hurt you!" Ricky said.
"I'm glad you saved me, but I think we can swap the 'might've' for 'definitely would've'," I replied sarcastically. "Now you promised me an explanation. Let's hear it. This ought to be good."
"It is, I swear. I can tell you what happened." "I can tell you what happened" is his favorite phrase. "I was checking my e-mail last night, and I got a chainletter from EdwardsWife77. You remember her?"
I nodded. EdwardsWife77 was an insane FMA fangirl. Ricky and I met her when we joined an online anime club. I eventually dropped out, but Ricky stayed in. EdwardsWife always sent him loads of FMA-related stuff.
"Well, you know how I always do those things, even if they're stupid. So I did it. And—" here he lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper "—it actually worked."
"Are you kidding me?" I said at a normal volume. "That's impossible. Chainletters can't bring fictional characters to life."
"It's true! The proof's right here!" Ricky said, gesturing to the guy we'd duct-taped to a chair.
"All I see is a mentally challenged guy with a really convincing cosplay outfit," I said, hands on my hips. "Not a shape-shifting Homunculus."
"Oh, come on. He looks and sounds and acts just like Envy!" Ricky argued.
"Hence the 'mentally challenged' part!" I shot back. "He's obviously just watched too much Fullmetal Alchemist, identified with Envy or something, and decided to become a living incarnation of him! There is no way in hell this is actually Envy!"
"I bet talking to him would change your mind," Ricky said confidently.
"That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. Whether this crazy tale of yours is true or not, why would I sit down and talk to this guy? If you're right, not likely, he's a deranged Homunculus. If I'm right, most likely, he's a deranged human. It's a bad idea either way!" I argued.
"Well, we've got him attached to a chair, what else can we do with him but talk to him?" Ricky said in a reasonable tone.
"We could take him to an asylum, for one," I said, crossing my arms.
"Look. How about I get you in an IM with EdwardsWife77, and she can tell you all about it," Ricky suggested.
"What, testimony from someone else crazy? Oh, that's the most excellent idea in the world," I said sarcastically. But I had to admit, the outfit and the hair and everything on the cosplayer guy was authentic enough to plant a little seed of doubt in my mind. It had to be impossible, but weren't there a lot of things people would have thought was impossible fifty years ago? Granted, this was in a category all its own, but it probably wouldn't hurt to at least talk to the person who had turned my brother into a nutcase. I sighed and agreed with a nod of my head, and Ricky brightened, turning and dashing up the basement stairs.
"This is insane," I griped, glaring at the supposed Envy. "I mean, if it's true, this is the kind of crap that would happen in fanfiction. What did I do to deserve this?"
Zilo: So! That was the first chapter! What did you guys think?
Chizi: Hopefully it was liked!
Zilo: Please give us your reviews and feedback!
Chizi: And join us next time, eh? Eh?