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Older sisters, Roy decided, were clearly God's way of dispensing punishment for a young man's sins. They were terrible, they really were. Because they were your sister, you loved them, but because they were your older sister, you also lived in fear of them. They had terrible powers of Knowing What's Best For You and the I'm So Disappointed In You-look (in Roy's case, amended to the I'm Appalled At Your Choice Of Career, A Dog Of The Military, Have You No Decency?-glare.)

They disappeared for years, apparently up Briggs Mountain by all accounts and then came back with a husband who could challenge Alex Armstrong for the Having Muscles Where Muscles Should Not Be Award. And had they bothered to invite their loving little brother to the wedding? Of course not. They turned up a month later at your mother's place of business, completely unannounced so that they could cunningly catch you off guard.

And then they introduced you to the grunting mass of muscle as 'Roy, my wastrel of a little brother. He's a State Alchemist' (the last two words just dripping with disgust). And did they listen to him when he tried to explain that he was working on a plan to bring democracy to Amestris? Of course not. Instead they made a comment about how surprised they were that Hawkeye hadn't shot him yet. Because 'Riza was always such a sensible girl, whatever does she see in you?'

But the really annoying thing about older sisters was that they could leave a message with your mother summoning you to the little hick town where they chose to live and know that because they'd left said message with your mother, that there was no way to wriggle out of going, lest you be exposed to the motherly look of disapproval 'Because Valuing Family Is Important And You Haven't Spoken To Your Sister In Years Roy-Boy, It's About Time You Two Made Up. Oh, and then your evil genius of a mother would casually mention 'by the way, your sister seemed upset about something. She seemed to think you've corrupted her apprentices.'

Which couldn't possibly be true, because the last time Roy had spoken to his sister she'd been busy vowing never to take on an apprentice and anyway, Roy hadn't corrupted anyone since last week, and that young lady certainly hadn't been an alchemist.

Still, the summons had been unavoidable. So here he was in Dublith, trying to remember exactly where his sister's shop was, when suddenly her voice rang out from around the corner.

"Look at the state of this place! Get it cleaned up now!"

Yep, he thought. That's Sister. Guess it's time to head into the rabid lioness' den.

He turned the corner. Saw his sister in the shop doorway, handing a broom to a teenager. Saw the blond braid. The sleeveless black shirt. The automail arm.

And of course, the seven-foot suit of armour right next to the kid was also a clue.

Your sister called. She wants a word with you. Said something about you corrupting her apprentices.

As his mother's words echoed unpleasantly in his mind, an uncharacteristic whimper of denial escaped the Flame Alchemist's mouth.

"Get the yard swept fast, boys," his sister ordered in her dreaded I Am Quickly Running Out Of Patience With You-voice. "My little brother should be here soon. I want everything spick and span before he arrives."

And wonder of wonders, Edward Elric, professional back-chatter and the boy for whom politeness was only a nodding acquaintance, squeaked "Yes Teacher!" and bowed. The tiny part of Roy that was not panicking and contemplating his imminent bloody death at the hands of his furious sibling was rather impressed.

"Oh no," Roy whispered, in the hope that denying the situation aloud would make it go away. "You've got to be kidding me." I recruited my sister's apprentice as a State Alchemist, he thought faintly. When he was twelve. And she knows about it. I am so dead.

"I can't believe Teacher has a brother," the huge suit of armour said in childish excitement, interrupting Roy's thoughts of thrown butcher's knives and kicks to the head. "I wonder if he's anything like her?"

Just then, Izumi reappeared at the door, caught sight of her brother, and beamed. "Oh good. Now that everyone's here, we can all have a long talk. Won't that be nice, boys? Come in, Roy."

Ed blinked and turned curiously. "Your brother's name is- Colonel?"

Roy sighed. "Hello Fullmetal." He turned to Izumi. "Hello Sister."

"Whaaaa?"

"Fullmetal, for god's sake, breathe. You're turning purple."

###

Later, halfway through the 'nice long talk' a.k.a a lengthy lecture on listening to your teacher and not doing human transmutation/an equally long lecture about not recruiting crippled, traumatised children in order to further your own doubtlessly evil ends in the soulless military, Izumi smiled politely and excused herself to the ladies room.

"Fullmetal, why didn't you tell me Izumi was your teacher?" Roy hissed, once he was sure said Older Sister/Teacher was safely out of earshot.

"Why would I?" Ed snapped back. "It wasn't relevant! It's not like I was keeping it a secret. You didn't exactly announce that she was your sister either!"

"Well, no, but it wasn't like I could have anticipated this! Sister always said she'd never take on an apprentice. How was I supposed to know that she'd break that vow, with you of all people! Just my luck!"

"Just your luck?" Ed snarled. "Do you know how furious she was when she heard I'd become a State Alchemist? My ribs still hurt! And that's because of you, isn't it? You're the reason Teacher hates the military, aren't you? Thanks for nothing, Colonel Shit!"

They glared at one another.

"She's going to kill us all!" Al wailed in the background. "She'll wait until we let our guards down and then she'll strike!"

Out in the hallway, Izumi pressed her ear to the keyhole and cackled evilly.


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