The Bank Called, Your Reality Check Bounced
A Fullmetal Alchemist/Ouran High School Host Club fan fiction
By Lady Norbert
A/N: Ah, what the heck - I know how it ends, so why not finish it tonight and be done with it? Thanks for joining me on this bizarre little ride through the dual fandoms!
(For anyone who didn't get the in-jokes of this story because you don't know the voice actors, I'll explain them at the very end.)
Chapter Six: Down the Rabbit Hole Again
The people attending the barn dance were rather understandably horrified when the floor of the barn started opening up. Considering that the floor should not have had a large gaping hole in its middle, it was hard to blame people for rushing out of the building in fear.
There was a mechanical grinding sound, and Haruhi covered her face with her hands. "Are you kidding me?"
"What is it?" Al shouted to her. He had his hands half-lifted, ready to clap and use alchemy to seal the hole.
"Renge," she called back.
"What's a Renge?"
From the depths of the hole came a high-pitched, slightly maniacal tittering laugh. Slowly, a strange contraption rose out of the blackness, and perched atop it was a pretty girl with long auburn hair. She was, quite bafflingly, wearing what looked like an Amestrian military uniform.
"Wow," said Hikaru.
"There really is nowhere we can go that the rig doesn't follow us," Kaoru said.
"Uh...guys? A little explanation?" Ed asked, having carefully put himself between the rig and Winry.
"This is Renge," said Kyoya, who had remained completely unruffled during the rig's arrival. "The self-proclaimed manager of the Host Club. How did you manage to find us, Renge?"
"My little secret," the girl replied with another laugh.
Al sort of gaped at her. "Your voice," he said, a bit awestruck. "You sound a lot like a certain princess I know."
Renge was evidently pleased by the comparison. "So have you been enjoying your visit from the Host Club?" she asked.
"Never mind that," Ed interrupted. "Let me see if I understand this. You're from their world, that...that Japan place."
"And when you leave, you'll be going back there."
He looked at the Host Club members. "What are you waiting for?" he shouted. "Get on that thing! That's your ticket home!"
"This is a little unorthodox," Kyoya observed. All of the Host Club members, except for Tamaki, had exchanged farewells with their Amestrian hosts and crammed themselves onto the rig. "Also, if I can make the observation, it somewhat reeks of deus ex machina. Rather literally, to be honest."
"Well, it was either this or have Alphonse make an appeal to the Truth," said Renge, who was reading volume 25 of Fullmetal Alchemist while they waited for Tamaki. "Believe me, this is probably the better option."
"Who's the Truth?" asked the twins.
"You could say he would put the deus into deus ex machina," said Kyoya after a minute, having peered over Renge's shoulder. "You're right, this probably is the better option."
"Whatever." Hikaru shrugged. "What's keeping Tamaki-senpai?"
"He's talking to Ed about something."
"So did you actually think I wanted to woo Winry for myself?" Tamaki asked.
"What makes you think I thought that?"
"Your friend Hughes suggested it to me. I apologize for any misconception that may have arisen from my naturally charming personality."
Ed rolled his eyes. "Yeah, okay. So what were you trying to do, then?"
"My intent was to encourage you to follow up on your very obvious feelings for her, of course!" Tamaki said brightly.
"Oh, don't be so modest! You're in love with her, she's in love with you, what more needs to be said?" Tamaki laced his fingers together and pressed his hand to his cheek. "True love is the greatest thing ever."
Ed scowled, and glanced at the rig. "You're holding up the show, Tamaki."
"Listen to me." And suddenly, Tamaki's demeanor was completely serious. "You yourself told me she spends half her time in another city. She probably meets men every day. You need to tell her how you feel, and soon. Otherwise? Someday? If you want to see Winry Rockbell, you'll need to make an appointment - because her schedule will be filled up with men who aren't afraid to show her how they feel."
"I'm not afraid!"
"Then prove it!" Tamaki winked. "Do me proud. Farewell, everyone! Thank you all for your hospitality! Farewell!" He leaped dramatically onto the rig, settling into the last remaining bit of space. Renge put away her book and shifted a lever. The mechanical sound echoed through the barn as the rig descended as slowly as it had risen.
With a faint thud, the floor of the barn resealed itself.
"They're gone," said Winry, coming to stand beside Ed. She sounded somewhere between relieved and disappointed.
"You're back!" cried Nekozawa.
The rig had rumbled up into the music room, and the Host Club members gratefully clambered off of it. "Yeesh," Haruhi grumbled. "How long have we been gone? My dad's probably worried sick!"
Nekozawa blinked. "I'd be surprised if that was the case," he said. "You've only been gone for a few hours."
"Time dilation?" Kyoya looked surprised. He glanced at his notebook. "Really? Resorting to that tired old trick? This writer is more of a hack than I suspected."
"Nothing." He turned to Tamaki. "So what were you and Ed talking about for so long?"
"I encouraged him to tell Winry how he feels about her." Tamaki sighed. "Before he finds himself having to make an appointment just to spend time with her."
Behind them, Renge laughed. "That explains a lot," she said.
"It does if you read the final volume of the manga. Ciao!" Cackling again, she and the rig disappeared back into the floor.
"I wonder what that means..."
Meanwhile, in Amestris...
A little more than a week after the abrupt departure of the Host Club, Ed and Winry made their way to the Resembool station so he could board his train to the west. Winry was lecturing Ed about caring for his automail leg while he was away - dry it thoroughly after bathing, oil it daily, all stuff he knew and had heard many times before. He slouched on the bench outside the station, expression dour, all but ignoring her words.
I wonder if that little drama queen actually had a point.
"Are you listening to me?"
A whistle blew, and Winry jumped to her feet. "That's your train!"
He stared up at her, his heart suddenly in his throat. Desperately he let his gaze roam over her contours, her golden hair, trying to memorize her while he still had the chance. She continued taunting him, teasing that he would break his leg and need to come back almost immediately to have it fixed.
"Probably," he admitted, moving to board the train.
"Well," she chirped behind him, "whenever you need maintenance, be sure to call for an appointment."
He froze on the step.
If you want to see Winry Rockbell, you'll need to make an appointment - because her schedule will be filled up with men who aren't afraid to show her how they feel.
He turned around and stared at her. The familiar, well-loved face, the gentle blue eyes. Make an appointment just to remain part of her life? No. He couldn't.
Maybe that idiot actually knew what he was talking about after all.
Winry blinked at him as he continued to stare, and smiled in puzzlement. "What?"
"What? Just come out and say it!"
Ed heard himself sputtering, felt his face growing hot. The words clogged in his throat, and what finally burst out of his mouth wasn't what he intended to say at all - but it worked.
"Equivalent exchange!" he cried. "I'll give you half my life - give me half of yours!"
At first she didn't react, only stared at him. Then he saw the comprehension dawn in her eyes, saw the color grow in her cheeks, and knew that she understood. He waited.
She groaned, and slapped her forehead.
"Are all alchemists this dense?" She glared at him. "You want half my life? I'll give you all of it!"
And suddenly, even as she went off on a tangent trying to figure out the exact percentage of her life she was willing to give him, Ed found himself starting to laugh.
He'd never need an appointment to see his mechanic.
Take that, drama queen, he thought triumphantly.
A/N: As promised, just to clarify, this is the massive overlap between the English dub voice casts of the two animes:
~ Edward Elric and Tamaki Suoh are both voiced by Vic Mignogna
~ Winry Rockbell and Haruhi Fujioka are both voiced by Caitlin Glass
~ Jean Havoc and Haruhi's dad are both voiced by Mike McFarland
~ Ling Yao and Hikaru Hitachiin are both voiced by Todd Haberkorn
~ Roy Mustang and Takashi Morinozukas are both voiced by Travis Willingham
~ May Chang and Renge Houshakuji are both voiced by Monica Rial
I hope you all had as much fun reading this as I had writing it! Thanks for all the reviews!