Warning! Kplus for language, violence, blood, etc.
Story Content: AU, 1-shot, slightly OOCness
Written by: Zilo
Beta: Chizi-chan


Hello! So this was actually written in 2008, back when The Switch Glitch was only going to be about fifteen chapters (retroactive snicker). And for some reason, I let it fade away into obscurity. Then, last month, when rummaging through old files for nostalgia's sake, I found this crammed into a document for bits of incomplete story ideas and decided to dust it off and share it with you. So, here's a little story from 19-year-old me, beta'd only for grammar and with writing style left intact! Be nice to her, she's not as worldly as I am.

Anyways, I don't own FMA, its characters, or the fantasy-fairy-tale-medieval times. Get it? Got it? Good! Start reading!


The problem was obvious. There was a dragon circling over the town.

"Um..." Alphonse tilted his head backwards to look up into the darkening sky. "I think I know what we were called here for."

"Yeah. It's just a hunch." Edward stuffed his hands into his pockets and appraised the dragon. It was huge, at least fifty feet long, and appeared to be a deep green color. It was circling the airspace over the poor little town, never speeding up, never slowing down. Every once in a while it would growl, rumbling the immediate area. Its eyes, an odd violet hue, looked intelligent to Edward—too intelligent, in fact. This was no ordinary dragon.

He heaved a sigh through his nose. "This might be a bit difficult," he said, swinging down from the tree he had been in to get a better view.

"A bit?" Alphonse repeated incredulously. "Brother, are we even going to make it into the town alive?"

Edward didn't answer, but instead trudged down the hill towards the town.

"Brother, wait!" Alphonse cried, hurrying after him. His metal feet made an unusual clanking noise as they carried him after his older brother.

Edward casually strolled to town, his eyes raised to the sky as if checking the weather. But he was really focusing on the dragon. He watched as it noticed them and examined them from its vantage point. It was watching them, but while they did nothing deemed harmful, it seemed content to let them pass.

Obviously it wasn't too smart of a dragon, then. Otherwise, it would have roasted them on sight.


"Ah, the brothers Elric!" The rotund, gray-haired man walked towards them, arms open as if he wanted a hug. "I'm so glad you were able to safely make it into the town. Welcome."

"Mayor Mugear, I'm guessing?" Edward said, offering a hand.

Mugear shook it. "Yes. I was afraid when you didn't show up yesterday, that you hadn't gotten my message."

"Oh, we did. We just stopped to solve a matter in a neighboring town," Edward said. "Now why don't you tell us what's going on? I'm going to make a wild guess and say you want us to get rid of that dragon above town."

Mugear nodded, clasping his hands together. "Yes. That nuisance had been terrifying the town for at least a week. Nothing we've done has been able to get rid of it. When I heard that the famous Elric brothers were nearby, I knew you'd be just the ones for the job."

"Yeah, well, I hope you've got our advance fee," Edward said.

"Of course." Mugear produced a bag and handed it to Edward, who opened it. The gold coins nestled inside matched his eyes and hair almost perfectly. Mugear watched in fascination. He had heard of the Elric brothers. The older one who had supposedly been blessed by a fairy at a young age, and had hair and eyes made from real gold. The younger one who was apparently nothing more than an empty suit of armor. They were amazing in and of themselves, even without their prowess in the mystic art of alchemy and their impressive record.

Across many kingdoms, they were known as the ultimate problem solvers. They slew dragons, found missing children, saved kidnapped princesses, outwitted witches and wizards, reanimated petrified people, and the list went on and on. No one knew how these brothers, only at the ages of 15 and 16, had acquired their skills. But it was well-known knowledge that if you had a problem, you tracked down the Elrics. And that was precisely what Mugear had done.

Edward nodded at the amount inside. "Your dragon's good as dead," he announced.

Mugear smiled warmly. "Thank heavens!"


The dragon circled restlessly, even into the night. It was almost long enough to touch its own tail, but not quite. Edward sat on the roof of the inn where he and his brother had rented a room for the night, crossed arms resting on his knees. If he and Alphonse were going to kill this dragon, they needed to know its habits and patterns.

"Brother?"

Edward looked over to see Alphonse poking his metal head up through the trapdoor that led up to the roof. "Are you planning on sleeping up here?"

"Nah. Just checking out the dragon," Edward said.

Alphonse squeezed himself through the trapdoor and joined his brother. "What do you think?"

"It never goes anywhere. We should be able to kill it easily," Edward said.

Alphonse glanced at his brother. "But...?" he guessed.

Edward sighed, shifting position slightly. "There's just something strange going on. It's weird."

"What is?"

"Well, for one thing, it never goes anywhere."

Alphonse glanced up at the endlessly circling dragon. "But isn't that a good thing?"

"For us, yeah. But what bothers me is just that. It doesn't stop to rest, eat, drink, or kill anybody. It just...goes around and around." Edward twirled his pointer finger as if to demonstrate.

"Hmm." Alphonse put a metal finger to his chin. "That's true."

"And another thing. It seems agitated, like it wants to go somewhere else and rest, eat, drink, et cetera, but it can't."

The dragon growled again, rumbling the rooftops.

"You think it's being forced to circle the town?" Alphonse asked.

"Yeah, and by a pretty powerful spell." Edward stood, dusting off his backside, his golden eyes fixed on the dragon. "I'm going to see if I can get closer."

Al jumped up as well as Edward started off along the roof. "But what if it's dangerous? The dragon could be tricking you so it can eat you."

"Pfft. Like that hasn't happened before. Remember Youswell?"

"Well, yes, but you coated yourself in tar, pine needles, and rat poison before that dragon ate you."

Edward jumped off the edge of the rooftop, landing solidly on the next one. He continued to cross rooftops until he found one with a tall enough chimney that he could get closer. Edward deftly climbed up the chimney and carefully balanced himself on the top.

The dragon was still circling. Its long, green body was passing close by enough that Edward could almost reach out and touch it. He stood impassively as the body passed by, and then there was air, the short space between the dragon's head and tail. The dragon's violet eyes were fixed directly on Edward. He boldly looked back, and saw that he hadn't been wrong-this creature didn't look like some wild, mindless beast. Its eyes held a keen intelligence, like it knew what was going on. They also held a spark of rage. Who it was directed at, Edward couldn't be certain, but it was there all the same.

The dragon huffed at Edward as its head went by, enveloping him in a cloud of stiflingly hot air. He pinched his nose closed and his eyes watered from the heat, and he tried to wave it away with a hand.

"Well, I don't like you much either," Edward shot back once the air around him had cooled down a bit. By now, the dragon's head was halfway around, so he could only see its body. He sat down on the chimney, balancing himself over the hole, and waited for the dragon's head to come around again. When it did, he examined its forehead. Between the scales, the horns, and the furrowed brow, Edward could barely see anything on the obscured forehead. But he did catch a glimpse of something that appeared to be glowing. He stood, but the dragon kept going on its way, and its forehead was quite out of sight.

Edward waited patiently until the dragon's head came around again, and his eyes zoomed to the glowing spot. He could just make out what looked like a glowing circle before the dragon whooshed by again, but that was the confirmation he needed. "Just what I thought. The mark of the Ouroborus."

He climbed back down the outside of the chimney.


"We've got good news and bad news," Edward announced.

Mugear looked a little nervous. "Will you be able to kill the dragon?" he asked.

"Oh, definitely," Edward said, as Alphonse examined a display of an ancient suit of armor. "That's the good news. And we can do it tonight."

Mugear clapped his hands together. "Wonderful! But what's the bad news?"

"Whoever put that spell on it has to lift it."

"Whaaat?" Mugear exclaimed. "I don't know what you—"

Edward raised a finger. "The reason your dragon's constantly circling the town is because someone put a spell on it that forces it to circle the town the spellcaster lives in. I saw the Ouroborus mark with my own eyes. So you've got to find out who put that spell on it and tell them to take it off. Otherwise, I don't have any way to kill it."

Mugear shifted nervously. "Well, I didn't quite know about this, so I couldn't tell you who did it..."

Edward shrugged and heaved a sigh. "Oh, well. Then I guess I'll have to leave it to you to figure out-"

"But I'm sure I can track him down!" Mugear blurted hastily. "By tonight, you say?"

"Yes. Toni—"

A loud clatter caused both males to turn their heads. Alphonse, in his curiosity, had started poking the suit of armor, and one poke a little too hard had knocked it to the floor. "Oh! I'm so sorry," Alphonse said, hastily getting down as best he could as armor to collect the pieces that were starting to scatter.

"Please, be careful; that's an antique!" Mugear said.

Edward rolled his eyes. "Al, you need to stop poking stuff. But you're okay?"

"I'm just fine." Alphonse set the suit upright and picked up one of the arms, which had fallen off.

"Anyway, as you were saying?" Edward said, turning back to Mugear.

"Oh, right. Um, I'll have my men scour the town, and we'll find the man for you by tonight, I assure you."

Edward placed his hands on his hips. "And if you can't?"

"Trust me, we will! I'll have every denizen questioned, and we'll find him! Just please tell me you'll be ready once we find him."

A grin spread across Edward's face. "Yeah, we'll be ready."


Back at the inn, Edward closed their room door and made sure it was locked before turning around. "Ready?"

Alphonse nodded and opened up his chestplate. The body of a young boy fell out. Edward quickly caught the body, dragged it over to the bed, and laid it down. Alphonse clanked over to the foot of the bed and sat down. "I'm ready, Brother."

Edward nodded. He cast another glance at the window, making sure that the shades were drawn, then clapped his hands. A brief moment to pause, listening for any response, but no one came. Edward stepped over to Alphonse and placed one hand on top of his helmet, and one hand across the body's forehead.

Both of his hands glowed with blue energy. As the suit of armor sagged, its animating force being sucked away, the boy's chest rose, and he inhaled through his nose, his life being restored. The blue light faded, and Edward took his hands away as the boy's brown eyes opened and he sat up. "That was great!" Alphonse exclaimed, now back in his human body. "I didn't feel funny at all!"

"Good," Edward said. "It took me long enough to get that right, and even longer to do it so you didn't feel like you were being dropped off a cliff."

Alphonse nodded. Normally they didn't bring Alphonse's body along on missions, to keep him safe, and to further the notion that the younger Elric was practically invincible. However, Alphonse was only able to receive communication from other metals when he was in his human body.

He hadn't knocked that suit of armor over for nothing.

Alphonse now sat crosslegged on the bed and closed his eyes. He mentally reached out, searching for the pinpoints of metals he had had contact with in the town. One pinpoint flared stronger than the others. It was the very suit of armor he had "accidentally" toppled. His sent his consciousness in that direction, and then he returned to reality staring out into the room where his brother and Mugear had been speaking mere hours ago.

Mugear was there, as they had expected. It was Alphonse's job to spy on the man, as Edward suspected the town mayor wasn't letting on all he knew. More than once they had been called by the "bad guys" to try and obliterate the good guys, so they took cautions to ensure they were on the right side.

"...will be ready tonight," Mugear was saying. "Once the Brothers Elric get rid of that blasted dragon, then you'll be safe to come out of hiding."

"Good," a woman's voice said. She was out of Alphonse's line of sight, so he couldn't see her. "And once that happens, I'll be certain to pay you as promised, Mugear."

Mugear, who was standing almost directly across from where Alphonse could see, rubbed his hands. "Excellent," he said. "I can't wait to get out of this pathetic town. I'll lift the spell tonight, just before the Brothers Elric are ready. Perhaps the damned creature will wipe out a few townspeople before he's killed, so it looks even better."

"Perhaps," the woman said. "Be certain you don't let them see you lifting the circulation spell, or they'll know you were lying."

"Of course, of course."

Alphonse had heard enough, and he removed his consciousness from the armor. He directed himself back to the room, back to the inn, and back into his body. When he opened his eyes, Edward was leaning over him.

"Well?" Edward asked.

Alphonse sat up and relayed in detail what he had just heard.

"I knew it," Edward said. "Mugear's some sort of sellout, and he's trying to get us to do his dirty work. I'm nobody's pawn." Edward was obviously angry.

"The woman, whoever she was, must have some kind of high standing or good fortune, to buy off a mayor," Alphonse commented.

Edward nodded. "Well, we'll see who's playing who tonight. Al, I'm going to go visit the dragon again. You wait until the sun goes down, and go get Mugear, okay?"

"Yes, Brother."


So, by the time the sun started to set, Edward had made his way back up to the rooftop he had been on last night and climbed on the chimney. The dragon was, of course, still circling, and Edward could see that it was more restless than last night.

"I know what's going on," Edward said as soon as the dragon's head was within earshot, "and we're going to get you out of here."

The dragon's eyes followed him as it was forced to circle. Edward took a deep breath and looked around, making sure nobody was watching the boy up on the roof. He clapped his hands, bent down, and touched the chimney. A blue light snapped, and the chimney rose at least three feet higher.

Now Edward actually was close enough to touch the dragon. At the rate it was going, it kicked up a wind that ruffled through his bangs and flapped the ends of his red coat. Edward took another deep breath, tensed his leg muscles, and then leaped into the air. For a normal person, the feat would have been impossible, but Edward managed to jump onto the dragon. He gripped scales on the side as the wind suddenly became three times harsher, trying to hold onto the dragon. One scale felt like it was going to break off in his hand. Edward scrambled up the side of the dragon and planted himself firmly on the dragon's back. The scales were smooth, and shiny in the setting sun's light.

Edward remained where he was until he caught his breath, then sat up. Something incredibly hard slammed straight into his forehead, making him dizzy and nearly knocking him off the dragon. In his stunned state, Edward was still able to hang on, lying down flat on the dragon's back again. He peered behind him, but there was no tree branch, or anything but open air for that matter. What had happened? Had someone thrown something at him? Or had a scale snapped off and hit him? He would wager that nothing thrown at him, short of a house, would feel how that had felt. His forehead was sore and burning, and when he touched it, his hand came away bloody.

Better watch it.

Edward jumped at the voice and looked around. There was no one around. And it had sounded like it was in his head, anyhow. Anyone talking to him outside would have to scream to be heard over the wind.

It was me, you idiot.

Edward looked down at the scaly body he lay upon, realizing that it was the dragon communicating to him telepathically.

So you can talk? I knew you were smarter than your average dragon, Edward thought.

Yeah. So what do you want? I don't give free rides.

Well, technically, I'm supposed to be here to kill you and stop your oppression on these poor townspeople, but I hear that's not the whole story.

A snort reverberated through the dragon's body. You got that right. So then what are you doing?

I guess I'm here to set you free.

Oh, shut up, you stupid human. You're going to do no such thing.

And wow, how grateful we are! Edward thought sarcastically. He shifted to get a better grip on the dragon's scales.

Oh, I'd be grateful if you could actually DO it, but you won't. Lust will have you dead before you can blink.

Lust? Who's that?

The one who decided it would be fun to turn me into a dragon and have that weasel Mugear force me to circle over the town like a freaking buzzard.

Edward blinked as he considered this. So, you weren't originally a dragon?

Nope.

Then what were you?

Whatever I felt like. A human, a horse, a fairy, a dog-whatever made me happy at the moment.

Were you any one thing in particular originally?

Don't ask stupid questions.

Edward scowled. You know, I could just leave you right up here to circle over the town like a freaking buzzard.

Go right ahead. You won't get me out of here anyway.

And what if I did?

You wouldn't.

Yeah, I got that, but what if I DID?

Now a sigh ran through the dragon's body. It's pointless to think about, because it won't happen. But I guess I'd go on being a wanderer.

What? No family?

Nope.

No friends?

There you go with stupid questions again.

Edward rolled his eyes.

Maybe I would find someplace to settle down.

Really? Like where?

Somewhere quiet, where I could sleep for three years. I'm exhausted.

I'll bet you are. Edward quieted his thoughts for a moment, looking down at the town as it passed by in a circle. I WILL get you down from here, got that?

Whatever.

I will. Edward waited until he saw his chimney coming up, then slid off the dragon's back. He landed back on the chimney and looked up at the dragon as it circled and circled, unwilling to keep going but unable to stop. What a terrible existence.

Edward was going to free that stupid dragon if it was the last thing he ever did.


"Brother said he'd meet us here," Alphonse, back in the armor, said, leading Mugear to the outskirts of town.

"Oh, excellent, excellent," Mugear said.

Alphonse glanced at Mugear over a metal shoulder. "Oh, and did you find him?"

"Er...him who?"

"The man who cast the spell?"

"Oh! Right, right! Yes, we did," Mugear said, laughing nervously. "My assistant has him back at the office. He'll lift the spell soon."

"Not before Brother gets here, I hope," Alphonse said, stopping just before the forest.

"...Of course not!"

Edward suddenly swung down from a tree and landed in front of them, startling Mugear. "We're ready," Ed said. "Where's your man?"

"Oh, um, he's back at the office," Mugear said. "Are you certain you'll be able to slay the dragon once the spell is lifted?"

"Positive." Edward crossed his arms and waited.

Mugear looked around a bit, then coughed. "Well, I-I'd better, er, give you two some room to do what you do best, right?"

Edward smiled. "Oh, right, of course."

Mugear quickly exited the scene, and Edward and Alphonse exchanged a glance. They knew the real reason Mugear wanted to cut out. "How stupid does he think we are?" Alphonse whispered.

Edward shrugged, displaying a crooked grin.

Suddenly the air above the town began to sizzle. Edward and Alphonse turned their gazes upward. The air around the dragon shimmered, like a heat wave, and the dragon began to writhe as it circled in the air. Edward watched, arms crossed, as it began to wriggle into more room as it circled. It seemed to be bashing its head against something, like it was trying to break a wall. The air shimmered more heavily, distorting the near-thrashing dragon.

At one small point, the air stopped shimmering. When the dragon reached that point, flailing around and banging its head on the invisible wall, it broke its head out of the circular pattern. Its body, now frenzied with the thought of escape, squeezed through the tear in the air. It burst free from its circular prison, and at first circled some more, in a crooked pattern, as if unsure what to do. Then it righted itself, and lunged for the Elrics. Both dived aside as the gargantuan body flashed past them, only a few feet off the ground.

Edward tumbled, head over heels, and managed to come to his knees. He heard Mugear's panicked cry and jumped to his feet, racing towards the woods. Mugear himself burst from between the trees, a look of terror on his face. The dragon was only moments behind, ripping out trees by the roots with its mere mass. "It's after me!" he screeched. "Kill the beast!"

The dragon killing Mugear would indeed be poetic justice, but Edward didn't deal in things as permanent as death. He jumped between Mugear and the dragon.

"Brother!" Alphonse cried.

The dragon's snout rammed into him full force, sending Edward flying into the air. His brief contact with the dragon allowed a telepathic message to be sent to his mind.

STAY OUT OF MY WAY! I'M GOING TO KILL THEM BOTH FOR WHAT THEY DID TO ME!

A sudden wave of heat engulfed Edward's backside as he sailed in mid-air. He twisted his neck around and saw the dragon had just sent a cloud of fire in the quickly-fleeing Mugear's direction. Mugear dived away, and the fire collided with the grass and started to spread.

Edward grabbed a nearby branch and halted his fall. "Al!" he yelled. "Contain the fire! I'll stop the dragon!"

Alphonse nodded and grabbed a nearby stick to use as a drawing utensil, dashing towards where the fire was rapidly spreading. Edward let go of the branch and dropped to the ground, running towards the town. At the very beginning of town, Mugear had taken cover behind a tall, slender woman with dark wavy hair, dressed entirely in black. The dragon lunged towards them, wide jaws open to consume them both.

"Wait!" Edward yelled, seeing what the woman was about to do. "HOLD IT!"

The woman held up a pendant, in the shape of a transmutation circle, and it glowed. Edward recognized the attack. It would kill the dragon if it hit head-on. Edward swore at his bad luck and clapped his hands. The woman's and Mugear's attention was turned to him as he slammed his hands onto the ground.

An earthen wall rose in front of the dragon just as the woman launched her attack. An energy beam splintered the wall, but the dragon had already been inadvertently rerouted upwards by the sudden dead end. More fire poured from its mouth, falling behind where the wall had risen. Edward couldn't see if the woman and Mugear had gotten away.

"What do you know. A Clapper." Edward jumped and whirled at the voice. The woman was suddenly behind him, holding the collar of an unconscious and slightly crispy Mugear in one hand. "I thought the circleless alchemists had all died out."

"They missed one," Edward said shortly, seeing the dragon rise into the air again.

"So interesting." The woman smiled, and it was a creepy smile. "My name is Lust. I have the feeling that we'll meet again."

Then she was gone, as if she had never been there. A puff of smoke rose from the ground she had just been standing on. Mugear slumped to the ground.

Edward whirled and saw that Alphonse was using alchemy to contain and douse the fire. One crisis averted. But the dragon was still thirsty for revenge, and it hadn't missed Mugear passed out on the ground. It soared down, mouth open wide. Edward clapped and hit the ground again. A rolling wave of earth picked up Mugear and carried him out of harm's way. The dragon's snout hit the ground just inches from where Mugear had been rolled, and Edward leaped into action. Before it could turn and strike again, he had rushed forward and wrapped his arms solidly around the dragon's jaws.

Fire flickered at the edges of the dragon's jaws as it glared at Edward. It thrashed its entire body, raising Edward into the air in an attempt to shake him off.

"Listen to me!" Edward yelled as he was flung back and forth. "That guy's a mayor! You kill him, and you'll have the king's army all over you!"

The dragon refused to listen.

"I know you can hear me!" Edward shouted at it. "Let me take Mugear in! You'll get your justice, and you won't be a fugitive!"

I WANT TO KILL HIM! the dragon's thoughts raged, their mere intensity nearly singeing Edward's brain. LOOK WHAT HE DID TO ME!

Get over it! Edward shouted back through his mind. You're free now; isn't THAT what matters?

The dragon simply ceased communicating and attempted to throw Edward off so it could take a bite out of Mugear. He hung on with all his strength, which was impressive anyway.

I'm not letting go, and you said you were tired, so you might as well give up, Edward thought.

The dragon ignored him, but it was obviously weary from a solid week of constant motion and no rest or nourishment. Eventually, with Edward not letting go, its wild thrashing started to subside. It put up the rest of its effort, not wanting to give up just yet, but with a human muzzle on, and no way to eat Mugear or set him on fire, the dragon finally started to calm down. Its head drooped wearily, and Edward felt his feet touch ground again. The air was thick with the smell of burned plants, but the fire was almost completely out, thanks to Alphonse's ingenuity.

You had BETTER lock him up, you stupid human. Even the dragon's thoughts now seemed exhausted and on the verge of fading away as it collapsed on the ground, sending a slight tremor through the earth.

Edward patted the creature's huge muzzle. "I will," he promised aloud, taking a second glance at Mugear, who was still passed out.

A glowing white line suddenly appeared at the dragon's tail and traveled upward, making its body disappear as it went up. Edward stared in amazement as the white line continued to eat up the dragon's body, until it reached the head and snout. The head vanished as well, but when the snout disappeared, it left a small black kitten in it place. The kitten looked like it was dead, so Edward knelt down to examine it.

Upon closer inspection, he saw that the kitten wasn't dead, for its side was rising and falling. Moreover, it wasn't really black, but a strange shade of green that was dark enough to look black. With a start, Edward realized this was the dragon, or the being that was the dragon, and it had merely changed shape. Without even thinking about it, Edward picked up the kitten and walked over to Mugear.


"Well, all's well that ends well, I guess," Edward said as he and Alphonse took a final look back at the town before heading off. It was weird not to see a huge dragon circling over the city, but not in a bad way.

"At least Mayor Mugear was found out," Alphonse said. "Now that he's been put in prison, the town can have a mayor that actually cares about the people."

Edward nodded. Mugear was just a greedy man looking for a payoff. He got what he deserved. But what about that strange woman, Lust? Did she mean it when she said that they would meet again? He kind of looked forward to it, as he enjoyed a challenge, but wasn't life challenging enough without looking for more problems?

"Brother?" Alphonse said. "You never did tell me. Where did you find the kitten?"

Edward looked down at the "kitten" cradled in the crook of his arm. After it had consumed two-thirds of their breakfast, and snored the day away while being carried around, the shapeshifting being seemed content to remain a kitten for now. "I told you, it's not a real cat. It's some shapeshifting thing, and it was the dragon," he explained again.

"Really? I didn't think shapeshifters were real," Alphonse said.

"Pssht. Of course they are. Isn't everything else?"

I am NOT a thing, you dumb human. I'm a he. And my NAME is Envy.

Edward looked down at the kitten. "Oh. He says he's a he and his name is Envy." He had figured out that the shapeshifter had to have some sort of physical contact with a person if it, or he, wanted to talk telepathically with them.

"Huh?" Alphonse cocked his head to the side. "Really? Is he coming with us?"

Edward shrugged. "I think he's just going to bum meals off us for a while."

Shut up. I'm trying to be nice and repay the debt I owe.

What debt?

The one I accrued when you set me free, idiot.

Edward rolled his eyes. "I didn't know you cared," he said aloud to the kitten. He looked up at his brother. "Come on. Let's get going. We've got to go to Abaros next."

"Did someone send us a letter?"

Edward pulled the crumpled letter from his pocket and handed it over to Alphonse to read. "Yep. Another witch running amok." All right, Envy, if you're going to hang out with us, we expect you to pull your own weight, got that?

Whatever.

I'm serious. If you really want to pay off this debt, you've got to become an active member of the team.

The kitten heaved a silent sigh. Fine, fine. I'll play by your silly rules, you dumb human.

And that's another thing. My name's not "idiot" or "dumb human". It's Edward, got it?

Yeah, yeah.

So, with the shapeshifter Envy in his arm, and Alphonse by his side, Edward let them down the unpaved road and towards the horizon, the latest town in need of help at their backs.

"Al?"

"Yeah?"

"Someday I'm going to get a horse. This walking stuff is overrated."