Sorry it's been forever and a half since the last update...and, by the way, I'm rethinking the whole "Chrona is a boy" thing...just way too many intersex/gender-related jokes I'd be missing out on, and since there's already Envy...yeah. But I'll still use male pronouns, because the English language is only good for so much, and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH PRONOUN TROUBLE! So yeah...

Anyway, what's weird is that I have tons of great ideas for villain team-ups and hero team-ups and fight scenes and plot twists...and somehow, I don't have a clue how to come up with the next chapter. So that's why this one might feel kind of like it's last minute. But on the plus side: there's a huge plot twist toward the end of this chapter involving Medusa!

Return of the Snake: Medusa's Found a New Body?

"Did you see the snake in the sky too, mommy?" asked Rachel as she skipped along side her mother.

"It was only a cloud...but yes, it sure did look like a snake in the sky," she answered. "Good thing it wasn't a spider though,"

"A spi...hey look, a dog!" Rachel glimpsed a stray dog slip its head back into an alley way. Immediately, she ran after it eagerly.

"Rachel! Wait!" her mother called after her, but she was already turning the corner at top speed.

"Come here little doggy!" she cooed after it. By the time she'd reached the alley, the animal had already hid among the trash cans. She still wanted to at least see it though.

"Here little doggy," she called to it again. Slowly, somewhat skiddishly, the stray stepped out of its hiding place and made its way over to the girl. Looking up at her, the dog sniffed the strange human before letting out a long, drawn-out yawn and walking away. With that, she giggled. "Aw!"

"Rachel, please don't take off like that," said her mother, a little worried. "You could get hurt,"

"I'm sorry mommy,"

With that, the two continued on and headed home.

Soul couldn't believe it. Kid, Tsubaki, Liz and Patty couldn't believe it. Black*Star couldn't care less.

Buried deep in the Shibusen library, sitting at opposite sides of a large table, stacked with books that probably weighed several pounds each, were Maka Albarn and Edward Elric, each with their nose in a book.

"How long have they been at this?" asked Tsubaki to Soul.

"Hours," he said. "I'm not sure how long it'll take before one of them has to pee or something,"

"If they've spent so much time reading...well, they are doing some kind of research, right?" Death the Kid said.

"Yeah, something about Fullmetal midget-guy -" before he could finish, Black*Star had a book slammed into his forehead so hard, it made a dent. The rest of the group looked over at a very pissed-off Edward Elric.

"Who are you calling a pint-sized midget pipsqueak who's so small you need a 40X microscope to see him you jerk?" Suddenly, he got a Maka-chop to the skull.

"Edward, be quiet! This is a library!" Maka hissed.

"Well you hitting me on the head wasn't very quiet!" Ed shot back, rubbing the rapidly-growing bump where he'd been hit.

"Okay, seriously? What are you two reading up on, anyway?" Liz said.

"I've been trying to learn all I can about this place," Ed explained.

"And I want to learn about this alchemy stuff," Maka added.

Soul and Black*Star rolled their eyes. "Nerds,"

"Well, how do you expect me to get back to where I came from unless I find out all I can, huh?"

Soul shrugged. "Okay...but seriously, what's your excuse Maka?"

"What? I just want to know about how alchemy works, that's all,"

"Could you get any geekier? How did I end up with you as a meister...?"

"Excuse me?"

With that, the whole group got into a full-blown argument that quickly turned into a fist-fight, complete with pinky-finger shooting from Death the Kid and Ed turning his arm into a blade. Suddenly...

"Um...what's going on?" asked a very perplexed Crona.

At that, everyone stopped in mid-move, with Death the Kid in a very un-symmetrical stance and Black*Star looking like he was about to give Maka an Indian burn, while she was inches from delivering him a kick to the groin. Edward was squashed underneath them, somehow. Soul, Tsubaki, Liz and Patty were in their weapon forms, but it still appeared awkward.

Just then, Sid came in to the scene. "What do you kids think you're doing? This is a library, not a sparring ring! You're all getting detention for this, is that understood?"

There was a collective groan from the kids.

"Oh, and by the way...Lord Death has an assignment for you, Soul and Maka. And Ed, Crona, you're coming too,"

Roy stared at the pile of paperwork sitting on his desk, dreading having to fill it all out. Sighing heavily, he looked from the stack of papers to his ignition-cloth gloves, then quickly checked the door to see if anyone would notice.

The door was closed. No one was looking.

With a snap of his fingers, Colonel Roy Mustang's dreaded paperwork was reduced to a smoky pile of flames. He smiled, leaned back in his seat...

...and set off the automatic smoke alarm.

"Aw crap," he muttered as the sharp beeping noises were immediately followed up with the sprinklers going off, leaving the Colonel absolutely soaked. That's when the door swung open.

"Yo! Roy!" Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes greeted before noticing the sprinklers raining down on a pouting Flame Alchemist.

"Hey," he said, frowning.

"Trying to get out of filling out paperwork, eh?"

"Geez Hughes! Not so loud! Do you want Riza to here about it too?"

"I could here the alarm go off from the other end of the hallway," said Hughes. "I think she already knows,"

"Great, just great,"

"Anyway," Hughes continued, whipping out another picture that Mustang could've sworn he'd already seen at least ten times. "My daughter Elicia is turning 3 this week! I just can't believe how fast my baby girl's growing up! I mean look at her! Isn't she just the cutest thing?"

"Hughes, I don't mean to sound rude, but I've already seen that picture before,"

"I know, haven't seen this picture!" he pulled out another photo from his pocket, this time a family photo. "I'll tell you Roy, I've gotta be the luckiest guy to have a beautiful wife and daughter like them!"

Mustang pouted again, and then cracked a smile. "Heh, yeah, I think it's great that you love your family and all, but -"

Just then, Alphonse Elric came in.

"Colonel," said Al, "has there been anything on where Edward could be?"

"Al?" Roy and Hughes both weren't expecting him. They'd almost forgotten the issue with Ed going missing, but Roy suddenly got the feeling there was a connection with the disappearance of Fullmetal and his huge stack of paperwork.

"Sorry Alphonse, but we haven't been able to find any traces of him,"

Al dropped his eyes to the ground, depressed. At the sound of meowing came from his armor, he popped back up and blushed...well, he would've blushed if he wasn't a suit of armor.

"If it's any consolation Al, we've only just started looking. There's still a chance he'll turn up somewhere again," said Hughes.

Suddenly, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye stepped into the room.

Why me? thought Roy.

"Colonel," Hawkeye began, arms crossed in front of her, a smile forming on her face. "I see the fire alarm system seems to be working,"


"Let me guess, you accidentally snapped your fingers with your gloves on again?"


"Did you get that paperwork done? Or are you still working on it?"


Everyone turned to Al's randomly mewing suit of armor.

"Um...maybe I'll just go outside for a walk or something," he said, trying to slip out as quietly as he could.
Who knew he would miss having Ed tell him that he couldn't keep the stray cat he had just found so much? All the times he'd held his big brother back from trying to maul and maim someone who happened to call him small; bickering over drinking milk; even that, Al missed about his brother.

Could he somehow be still alive? he thought as the sound of soft purring traveled up his hollow body. What if, after reaching the inside of the laboratory, Edward had been caught by the people running it, and made into a Philosopher's Stone? Would that be possible? What if...

Alphonse got a sickening feeling in the pit of his gut. How could he go on if his brother had died? No, Edward had to be alive! He'd survived the failed human transmutation of their mother, and fought to save what he could of his brother; even with his left leg gone! He'd faced death before, hadn't he? No, there was no way Al's brother had died so suddenly.

And he was determined to find him. Even if that meant going back to the Fifth Laboratory.

It wouldn't be her first choice for a new body, but this one would have to do.

This young child, with her sandy blonde pigtails and grey-green eyes...all she had to do was wait.

Wait till her mom wasn't looking, and her guard let down. When she was most vulnerable, that was the moment in which the cobra would strike.

She waited, waited for that instant to get her chance... came.

In a crazed blur, the girl was momentarily invaded and made a host to the snake.

Medusa had found a new body.

Dun-dun-dun! Plot twist! Yes, I put Rachel in the beginning just to scare you...sorry for the spoiler, for those of you who don't know about that part. But yeah, the next fight scene should be next chapter, if not the one after that.

Anyways, please review this!