I'm here with another fanfic! This time a Fullmetal Inuyasha crossover! I read a few of them and fell in love! Plus I re-watched the episodes and red the chapters of the manga all over again so that I could grasp their characters! There are going to be a few changes since this is my fanfic. Mainly concerning Kagome's age and the date since FMA's time era was way before Inuyasha's. She's going to be thirteen in the chapter and it's set in Edward's world!
Disclaimer: Sigh...First it was Inuyasha and now I have to add FMA...I don't own anything except a pregnant German Shepherd named Angel.
Pairings: Kagome/Edward and Winry/Alphonse
Rating: T (subject to change as characters get older)
Summary: Upon witnessing both Inuyasha's betrayal and her best friend's death, a broken Kagome returns home. Now, she's determined to become stronger. Strong enough to protect her loved ones. But finding love was the last thing on her mind.
The Sacred Alchemist
Sprawled awkwardly across her bed, Kagome Higurashi sobbed into her pillow, wanting nothing more than to wallow in her sorrows. Her heart was in immense pain and her throat constricted as she choked out sob after sob. She had locked her door and her window, not wanting to see anyone. Not after what she just saw. No one could help her out of her misery right now.
The reason why? Kagome caught Inuyasha and Kikyou in a heated embrace and before she could confront the half-demon about his lies; they were ambushed by Naraku. Her little group of friends did their utmost best, but there were many casualties.
Another sob wracked through the young priestess' body as vivid flashes of what transpired replayed in her mind.
Kagome threw her big yellow pack over the edge of the well, wiping the glistening sweat off of her brow once she manage to fully exit the dry well. Looking around, her lips pulled up in a bright smile. Feudal Japan has become her home for the past year and Kagome could not get enough of the beauty of this time era.
Shouldering her bag, the priestess bucked slightly under the weight, but managed to tote the heavy bag all the way back to Kaede's village. 'Note to self: pack less.' She chuckled at her thoughts as she pushed the rice paper door aside and greeted her friends. "Hey, everybody! I'm back."
The priestess smiled when the small red fox demon she'd adopted rushed over and jumped on her, his tiny arms wrapping around her neck. "Kagome-mama!" he chirped. "I missed you!"
"I missed you too, Shippou." she set the child back on his feet before looking around and noticed that their silver-haired companion was missing. "Where's Inuyasha?"
Sango rose to her feet and helped Kagome take the large pack off of her back and set down next to Miroku. "He said that he was going hunting."
Anger turned the priestess red. Why would that dense idiot go hunting knowing that she went back home to restock up on their food supplies? Twisting on her heels, Kagome threw open the rice paper door and tossed over her shoulder, "I'm going to look for him! That jerk can't be too far!" She marched across the pathway etched into the dirt as she made her way to the forest.
Pushing aside branches and another leafy bush, Kagome tore through the forest as she scouted out for a familiar flash of red and silver. She huffed when she could not spot the half-demon and was sorely tempted to say the subjugation incantation, but was not sure just how far away Inuyasha was. Ducking under a tree branch, Kagome soon heard voices close by. Straining her ears, the priestess listened. 'That's Inuyasha's voice! Who's he talking to though?'
Moving closer to the source of the voices, Kagome stumbled upon a clearing and, without a doubt, spotted the bright red clothing of the half-demon in question. She was about to reveal herself and yell at him for going hunting when he knew that she was going to return soon, but stopped when she recognized the other voice. 'Kikyou!'
Inuyasha took Kikyou in his arms, holding her close to his chest. "I swear to you, Kikyou. I'll kill Naraku for you and get the jewel back." he tilted her chin back so her could look into her cool brown eyes. Those same eyes that entranced him fifty years ago. "I promise you that."
Kikyou reached up and wrapped her hand around the half-demon's neck, pulling him down to her level. "You promise? You swear on your life?"
"Yes." he breathed as he swooped down a caught her cold lips with his in a passionate kiss.
Kagome gasped from her hiding place when she saw the man she loved begin to undress the undead priestess before her eyes. He touched Kikyou in ways that Kagome longed that he would touch her one day. Covering her mouth to stop her sobs from escaping, the young priestess fled from the scene, leaving the couple to their intimate dance. Tears fell down her cheeks as she blindly ran back to the village.
Upon entering the hut, Kagome collapsed in Sango's arms. "Kagome?" the demon slayer questioned when she felt wetness soak through her kimono. "What happened? Did that idiot hurt you?"
"Sango..." the priestess managed to sob out. "He...Inuyasha...he chose Kikyou!"
The demon slayer's brown eyes softened at the wail the younger girl let out. Shippou hopped up on his mother's shoulder and stroked her cheek with his tiny claws and whispered soothing words in her ear. Sango looked up from Kagome over to the monk sitting in the corner.
"What do we do?" she mouthed.
Miroku shook his head. "This is between them."
A few minutes later, Inuyasha burst into the hut, a smile on his lips and a sparkle in his eyes. He stopped short when he saw the yellow bag and Kagome sobbing into Sango's shoulder and immediately guilt filled as he white ears flattened against his skull. "Kagome...you saw?"
Kagome pulled her face out of her best friend's shoulder, mustering up enough strength to glare at the half-demon hatefully. "Of course I saw, you jackoff!" she cursed at him. "I had a front row seat for everything!" marching over, the priestess jabbed Inuyasha in the chest. "What I saw ripped my heart to pieces!"
"What?" the half-demon questioned, his black brows furrowing up in confusion as he allowed the girl to jab him again in the chest. "What do you mean?"
"I loved you, you jerk!" Kagome screamed before pushing past him and out the door. She came to an abrupt halt as she saw the chaos that was surrounding her. Bodies littered the ground and blood was splayed everywhere! Was she so engrossed in her sorrows that she failed to detect the aura of the Sacred Jewel, to sense Naraku? "Sango! Miroku!" she screamed as she jumped out of the way of an oncoming attack.
And then the final battle commenced.
Kagome firing arrows after arrows, purifying the demons that surrounded Naraku, but as soon as she destroyed some, hundreds filled back in the dead ones' place. Sango used her Hiraikotsu to knock Kagura out the sky and together, she and Miroku fought the wind sorceress. Inuyasha unleashed Wind Scar after Wind Scar, hoping to do some damage to the foul demon he'd promised to kill.
Out of the corner of her eye, Kagome saw the regal form of the lord of the western lands enter the battlefield, Tokijin clutched between his fingers. The priestess moved to aid the dog demon, but a shrill scream echoed through her ears. "Sango!" she cried when she recognized the voice. Pushing all her strength into her legs, Kagome ran over to her best friend, gasping at what she saw.
Miroku, trying to protect the demon slayer from Kagura's Dance of the Dragon, lay dead in a pool of his blood. A crying Sango had her body draped over his as her sobs racked through her body. She sat up suddenly, fury in her deep brown eyes as she hoisted her weapon up. With a battle cry, Sango released her Hiraikotsu, the large boomerang soaring through the air at an alarming speed. Kagura did not stand a chance as it struck her in the stomach, ripping her apart.
"Miroku..." Sango whispered as she fell to her knees. "I never got to tell you that I lo-" her confession was cut off as blood fell from her lips. Her wide eyes look down and saw a brown tentacle poking out of her chest. She turned her head and found Kagome looking at her with pain filled blue eyes and she reached out for her. Before Sango could say a single word, the tentacle that pierced her moved upward, bisecting the demon slayer and allowing her to join her beloved in the next world.
Kagome pulled her pillow closer to her and she sniffled, her heart felt heavy in her chest as the last bit of the memory played in her head. Somehow when she witnessed the death of her best friend, the priestess snapped; her powers circulating her body in swirls of silver, blue, and pink as she charged at the cause of Sango's death, Naraku. With her newly enhanced powers, the foul demon did not even last two seconds. He was purified the instant Kagome touched him, leaving behind a pile of ash and an almost complete Sacred Jewel.
A knock at her door. "Kagome, sweetie, will you please let me in?" it was her mother.
"I don't want to talk, Mama." the priestess voiced softly, wiping at the tears that were streaming down her face even though she moved to unlock the door.
"My baby..." Nodoka whispered when she entered the room. Quickly, she pulled Kagome into a tight hug. "Shh." she murmured as she stroked her daughter's long dark hair in a soothing manner. "It's going to be okay. Just tell me everything that happened." it had surprised Nodoka to the core when her oldest child came back home soaked in blood with dirty tears streaming down her face. Her mother listened intently as Kagome divulged everything that occurred. From her finding Inuyasha and Kikyou locked in a heated embrace to Naraku savagely killing her best friend, Sango. "Oh Kagome..." Nodoka said as she held her daughter tighter.
Kagome sniffled as she continued to stay in her mother's embrace. Slowly her tears dried and the young priestess pulled away, a ghost of a smile on her lips. "Mama...I want to leave." she shook her head at the mother's shocked gasp. "No, what I mean is that I want to go and live with Dad's relatives in Amestris. I want to become stronger so that I can protect my loved ones."
The matriarch of the Higurashi household felt shock run up and down her body. She'd just gotten her little girl back and now she was faced with the possibility of losing her again. Granted that Kagome had traveled to another dimension, but she's only thirteen; she was still Nodoka's baby girl. Closing her eyes, her mother put a smile on her face, "If that is what you want. I'll call your uncle and let him know you are on your way."
"Thanks Mama." she moved back over to her bed, pausing before turning back around. "And Mama? Do you still have Dad's old books about alchemy?"
"Yes? Why?" Nodoka questioned, though she fully understood her child's sudden interests in those old books.
Kagome looked her mother directly in the eyes as she carefully crafted her next words. "Because, I'm going to try to become a State Alchemist.
A few days later, Kagome had her belongings packed up in several suitcases. She waited with her mother, grandfather, and little brother at the train station. Turning, the young priestess said to Nodoka, "Did you let Uncle Shou know that I would be coming today?"
Nodoka nodded. "Of course I did. And little Nina is excited about meeting her big cousin." she smiled squeezing her daughter's hand. All too soon, the whistle signaling her train's departure rang through the air. Sighing, Mrs. Higurashi pulled her daughter into a tight embrace and kissed her forehead. "Be safe."
"I will, Mama." Kagome moved away from her mother and gave her grandfather a long hug, whispering that when she comes to visit she'll bring him a nice gift from Central. After letting go, the young priestess walked over to her little brother and kneeled down. "Souta, I know that I missed a lot of your life when I left to go to the Feudal era, but I want you to know that I love you." Swiftly, she yanked her brother into a quick hug and kissed his cheek soundly.
Satomi Higurashi called out for his granddaughter when she grabbed her bags and started to board the train. "You tell that son of mine to treat you right!" he shouted. "Never once has that Shou thought to pay his old man a visit! Says he's always too busy with his work!" he crossed his arms over his chest with a huff. "If you become a State Alchemist like him, you better come see us!"
Kagome giggled as she blew a kiss to her grandfather. "Don't worry Grandpa! I'll surely come and see you guys!" with those departing words, the young priestess entered the train and quickly found her seat. She glanced out the window and saw her family wave her off and tears pricked at her eyes. Her determination to become stronger grew as she watched her family move further away as the train began to move.
Blowing her bangs up, Kagome sunk down in her seat. Her heart still hurt from witnessing both Inuyasha's betrayal and her best friend's death. Both were firmly imprinted in her mind. Shaking her head from side to side, the young priestess slapped her palms against her cheeks. This was not time for her to be thinking things like that. If she truly wanted to become a State Alchemist, Kagome needed to study.
Opening her yellow bag, the young priestess pulled out four books and cracked open the biggest one titled Introduction to Alchemy. Her dark blue eyes scanned over the notes scribbled on the pages in her father's elegant handwriting. "The first rule of alchemy is to obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is called Equivalent Exchange." She studied and studied, going over the most basic concepts of alchemy. And the more she read, the more the science intrigued her.
"Alchemy is almost like cooking." she commented, flipping through another one of her father's book. A gasp left her lips when she uncovered something inside the book. It was a photograph. A young three-year-old Kagome hugging her father's leg as he held a newborn Souta in his arms with a smile on his face and his arm around her mother, who had long hair at the time. "Papa..." Kagome whispered as she gently picked the picture up. They were the perfect family. Why did her dad have to die?
Wetness trailed down her cheeks and the priestess reached up and wiped away her tears. Placing the picture back inside the book, Kagome looked out the window and saw that she was almost at her first stop. Decided that she wanted to preserve the photograph, the young priestess unboarded the train when it stopped and glanced at her watch. She had half an hour before her train was to depart again. More than enough time for her to buy a frame.
Walking through the station, Kagome looked for a store where she could purchase the material she needed. A smile tilted at her lips when she saw a kind-looking woman standing behind a stand with various wooden frames painted in bright colors. "Excuse me." the young priestess said. "How much are your frames."
The woman looked down at Kagome and her eyes lit up. "For a pretty young girl like you: ¥50."
Kagome smiled and picked out a dark green frame that had 'Family' etched into the wood that was painted in black. Handing the money to the shopkeeper, the young priestess waved her farewell and decided to explore the town for a bit. She found out that the name of the small village was Reole and they primarily worshiped the Sun God, Leto. It was a small, yet civil desert town and Kagome enjoyed her time there immensely. She met many kind people who told her stories of how a priest named Cornello came and saved them, giving them hope by producing miracles.
Though the priestess hardly believed what the priest was doing should be called miracles since from what they told her it sounded like simple alchemy, but she stayed quiet about it. She went back to the train station and boarded her train, moving down the aisle to her seat. Once there, she flipped the book open and removed the photo, carefully placing it inside the frame.
"There." Kagome said happily. "My papa is always with me now." She opened her yellow bag and stuffed the picture frame down between her clothes so that the bumpy train ride would not shatter the delicate glass. Night rolled in and soon the young priestess felt herself nodding off. She asked the train attendant if she could have a blanket and when he returned with the item, Kagome was fast asleep.
Kagome closed the book, finally finished reading the last of her father's materials and was confident that she would be a strong alchemist. Now all she had to do was practice and she may have a chance at becoming a State Alchemist! The whistle blew and the priestess looked up out the window and saw that she was finally at her destination. East City. Standing out of her seat, Kagome arched her back, lifting her hands above her head. 'Man, I wished Kirara was around. I would have gotten to Amestris smoother than this rickety train!' A gasp left her lips. She should not talk about her best friend's loyal companion like that. Sango would not have like that. Reaching inside her shirt, Kagome pulled out the chain she had hidden.
Attached to the silver chain was a pale pink jewel, the Sacred Jewel, but next to the accused gem was a small golden locket. Clicking it open, the priestess revealed a picture of her and Sango together with bright smiles on their faces on one side and on the other was of her and her adopted son Shippou, him nestled on her shoulder and partially hidden by her hair. A faint smile spread over her lips as she gazed at the pictures. She had Miroku take them with the camera she brought there and now they were her most treasured items.
The young priestess gazed around for signs of her uncle and huffed when she found none. "Stupid Uncle Shou!" she said angrily. "I had called him to make sure he knew what time my train would arrive." she marched over to the nearest phone booth and pushed in her phone card and dialed her uncle's number.
He picked up on the third ring. "Hello?"
"Uncle Shou!" Kagome fumed. "Where are you?"
"Oh, Kagome? I'm at home. Why?"
The young priestess rolled her eyes. Sometimes she questioned her uncle's intelligence. "I'm at the train station. Waiting on you. Who, I may remind, was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago!"
She heard her uncle mutter something in the background before he spoke to her. "I apologize, Kagome. I have some visitors over. I'll be over in a minute." there was a click as the line went dead.
Kagome pulled the phone away from her ear, staring at it in disbelief. Did that man just hang up in her face? Slamming the phone down in irritation, the priestess shouted. "Stupid Uncle!" hefting her suitcases back up, the dark-haired girl walked over to the bathroom and decided to change her clothes. Her uncle did mention that he had visitors, so she did not want to greet them in her dark blue 'Meow' sweater and pale blue skirt. So, she went there and freshened up, changed into a blue long-sleeved dress that faded into a pristine white with small crystals sewn into the hem.
When she exited the bathroom, she heard someone call her name.
"Kagome!" A man with short-cropped light brown hair and pale blue, almost grey, eyes walked over to the young priestess, his hand lifted in a wave.
"Uncle Shou." the dark-haired girl said as she walked over to her uncle.
Shou Tucker pulled his niece into a warm hug. "It's so good to see you. Last time I saw you was at my brother's funeral." he smiled sheepishly as he moved away and rubbed the back of his head. "How's my father doing?"
Kagome handed her uncle her suitcases and followed him out the station. "Grandpa is doing well. He told me to tell you that you should visit more often and to treat me right." she giggled softly.
"Ahh, I see." Shou said as he placed Kagome's bags into the back of his car. "I would if I could, but since becoming a State Alchemist, is virtually impossible for me to find the time." he placed his key in the ignition and started up the vehicle, pulling away from the curb and driving towards his home.
"So, Uncle Shou, who's your visitors?" the priestess asked, bunched up the skirt of her dress as the cool autumn air struck her skin. 'Maybe I should have grabbed my jacket out of my bag.'
Shou looked down at his niece from the corner of his eye as he pulled into the driveway to his estate. "He's Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse Elric. They came to me to learn more about alchemy. They say they needed a bio-alchemist but for what reason I don't know. I was about to find out when you had called." he got out of the car and grabbed Kagome's bags out of the back.
"Elric? That's a strange name." Kagome mused before clapping her hands. "You said that you're a State Alchemist, right?" she smiled brightly when he nodded, "Then think you can arrange for me to take the exam?"
Shou lifted a brow at his niece. Since when did she become interested in alchemy? When his brother left to get married, he said that he did not want anything to do with the science anymore. So, why does his daughter want to become a part of the military? "I believe I can, but why?"
Kagome lowered her head so that her bands casted shadows over her eyes, making her look older than what she really is. "Because...I want to become stronger. Strong enough to protect my loved ones from harm." she reached over and pulled out her jacket from her yellow bag, pulling it on and walking to the entrance to the estate. Upon entering the courtyard, a loud bark was here and when Kagome looked up, a large white dog was running towards her.
The Great Pyrenees dog leapt up into the air and crashed down on the young woman, licking her face with his long wet tongue. Kagome giggled as she reached up and scratched the animal between the ears with on hand and pushed him away with the other. "Hi, Alexander!" she stood up and brushed the white fur off of her dress. "I missed you too. I'm surprised that you remember me. The last time I saw you I was three years old." she stroked the big dog's head lovingly.
She looked up and spotted a little girl with long brown hair pulled back in two long braids that went down past her waist with bright blue eyes hiding behind the door. A smile tilted at her lips as she moved over to the door and bent down to her knees and greeted the little girl. "You must be Nina." she tilted her head to the side as her smile widened. "I'm your big cousin, Kagome."
" 'Gome?" Nina whispered as she opened the door a little wider. A bright and happy smile spread over her lips when the older girl nodded and Nina threw her arms around Kagome's neck. " 'Gome! I'm so happy to meet you?"
Kagome picked Nina up and placed her on her hip, spinning the child around a few times, making her tilt her head back in laughter. She looked over her shoulder at her uncle who had placed the last of her bags inside the courtyard, wiping sweat off his brow. "Uncle Shou, where Aunt Akemi?" she asked, looking around for signs of her aunt.
"Momma left to go and live with her parents." Nina chirped. "She said my daddy was a no good alchemist and that she was tired of it."
Nina hopped off of Kagome and pulled her by the hand. "Come on. I want you to meet my new friends, 'Gome!"
The young priestess laughed softly as she allowed the little girl to pull her inside the house, Alexander following behind them. Nina led her to the library down the right-wind hall of the house. The little girl talked animatedly about the two that quickly became her friends after a course of seven days and Kagome could not help but to smile down at Nina.
They entered the library and the little girl called out, "Little Big Brother! Bigger Brother!" she beamed up at Kagome when she spotted the large metal suit of her bigger brother. "I found you!" Nina let go of the priestess' hand in favor of jumping on the metal back.
Kagome felt her eyes widened when the metal suit moved, standing up and reaching behind him to pull Nina off his back. "Nina." he laughed. "You shouldn't do that."
"Let her do as she please, Al. She's just a kid." another voice said, a smirk could be heard in his tone.
Nina waved Kagome over. " 'Gome! Come see!"
The priestess held her head up high as she approached the little girl and the suit of armor, vaguely wondering why he would wear such heavy armor. She turned the corner and was felt a smile tug at her lips. Nina had moved from the tall knight to a short boy with long blond hair, who had his eyes closed as he tried to fend off the little girl from tugging his braid with a broad smile. "Nina." she sighed. "Are you being bad?"
"Ah! No way 'Gome!" Nina cried as she let go of the blond. "Nina's a good girl!"
Kagome giggled before introducing herself to the one in the suit of armor. "I'm Kagome Higurashi." she held out her hand. "I'm going to guess and say you're one of the Elric Brothers my uncle is harboring?"
"Yes, I'm Alphonse Elric" his metal hands came up and shook her gently before pointing over to the grinning blond, who was petting Alexander on the head. "And that's my older brother Edward Elric."
"Older brother?" the priestess said, "Shouldn't it be the other way around. You're so much bigger than him."
Alphonse quickly leaned down to whisper in Kagome's ear. "Please don't mention Brother's height." he chuckled nervously. "He takes it to an extreme offence."
Kagome smirked. "What can a little guy like him do?" The instant those words left the priestess' lips a malicious aura struck her back and she turned around to see the blond clenching his fists, his eyes dark and teeth gritted.
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO LITTLE THAT HE DOESN'T NEED FEAR BEING CRUSHED BY A SHOE BECAUSE HE COULD EASILY FIT THROUGH THE GROOVES OF THE SOLE!" He marched up being the pretty young woman, staring at her eye to eye.
The priestess suddenly shrunk back. 'His eyes...' Kagome moved her arm up to her chest as it to protect her from being hurt. Why were his eyes that color? Only demons should have that eye color and, yet, here a human boy had the exact same eye color. 'Why are his eyes golden?!' she backed away from the boy, tears stinging her eyes as flashbacks of what transpired in the Feudal era traveled through her mind. Inuyasha's betrayal. Him and Kikyou intertwined in a seductive dance. Him professing his undying love for the undead priestess.
"Are you okay? I didn't mean to scare you." he said, moving closer to the girl.
"No!" she screamed. "Stay away from me!" Kagome turned on her heel and ran out of the library
Alphonse placed his hand on his brother's shoulder, refraining him from chasing after Kagome. He shook his head slowly, "Leave her alone, Brother."
Kagome ran and ran until she found the room that her uncle placed her belongings and hit the bed the second her door shut. Tears fell down her cheeks in streams as she fought off the wave of heartache that was burning through her chest. She brought her pillow to her face and let out her sorrows, screaming into the fluffy object. There was a click, signaling that her door had opened and, the priestess snapped her head up.
Nina stood in the doorway, her little hands folded against her chest. " 'Gome?" she whispered as she walked over to her big cousin's bed. "Did Little Bigger Brother say something to hurt your feelings?"
"No, Nina. It's just...his eyes reminded me of someone I want to forget." Kagome murmured as she pulled the little girl into her lap, hugging her tightly. "I'm okay." she lifted her head when she heard the padded feet of Alexander down the hall and soon the big white dog entered the room and whined. Kagome got up, cradling Nina in her arms as she went to pet the animal behind the ears. "I'm fine, Alexander. Thanks for checking up on me." she looked at Nina. "I should go and apologize."
Together the young priestess and Nina walked down the hall back into the library where the Elric Brothers were sitting at a table reading. Swallowing dryly, Kagome went over to the blond and tapped his left shoulder. She stopped herself from flinching when he turned around and looked at her with his gold eyes. "Ah." she began, her heart racing in her chest. "I wanted to apologize for how I acted. It's just that you had reminded me of someone I wanted to forget."
Edward dipped his mouth into a frown as he continued to stare down the young priestess. Finally he looked away and returned to his book. "It's fine."
"Uhm..." she stammered. "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like? I'm studying?"
Alphonse lifted his head out of the book he was reading. "Brother and I are studying for the State Alchemist Exam next month."
Kagome's eyes lit up at the mentioning of the exam. "Really? You're going to take the exam too?" she pulled a chair out next to Alphonse and sat down in it. "So that means you guys want to be alchemists?" She squealed when they nodded. "So do I!"
That got the three teenagers talking. They exchanged information about what they've learned about the science; talking about the various transmutations they were possible. Together they went over the sequence needed to perform a proper transmutation. Alphonse took out a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the table and placed his hands over it, a pale, almost white, blue light surrounding his hands and a small wooden horse was crafted.
The young priestess grinned at the craftsmanship of the little trinket and decided that she wanted to try. Taking the chalk from Alphonse, Kagome drew her own circle and looked around for something that she could use. When finding nothing, she took the end of her dress in her teeth and ripped the hem, taking a few of the beads with the strip she tore off. Kagome placed the white strip of fabric in the center of the circle and closed her eyes. Her hands began to glow a soft pink as the cloth in the center of the transmutation circle began to shift, transforming into a doll wearing a white dress that resembled the one Kagome wore.
"Wow." Edward commented. "Awesome job." he grinned at the priestess.
Kagome felt her cheeks heat up how cute the blond looked with a smile on his face, but paled when he opened his eyes. Handing the little doll over to Nina, who grinned and ran off to show her father, the priestess picked up another alchemy book. "Thanks. Though, that's just beginner's luck. That was my first transmutation."
Alphonse tilted his head to the side. "Really? Because you're really good at it."
"Thank you, Alphonse." the priestess patted the boy's metal hand as a smile tilted at her lips. "By the way, why do you two want to become State Alchemist? You don't seem any older than me."
A dark shadow was cast over the two brothers as Edward clenched his fist. "To fix a wrong that was committed."
Kagome sensed the change in the atmosphere and decided that she would not probe them for answers. She did not want to upset her new friends. "I see. Well, let's get back to studying. It's going to take more than an overnight cram session to pass." she held up a green book that was titled Advance Alchemy in silver cursive letters.
The two boys nodded and opened their own books and went back to studying.
After a few hours, Shou Tucker entered the room and announced that it was time for dinner. The three teens nodded, placing their books down and getting up out of their chairs to follow Shou to the dinner area.
"Wow, Uncle Tucker!" Kagome cheered, "You made your famous steak!" the priestess eagerly sat down next to Alphonse and thanked her uncle for the food before digging in. The tender meat practically melting in her mouth as she took her first bite. "Yummy!"
"Ah, Kagome, I forgot to mention that you've been granted permission to take the exam. I called your mother and she is okay with it." Shou announced, smiling down at his niece. When she returned his smile with one of her own, he turned to the older Elric. "Edward, making progress in your studies?"
Edward looked up from his plate, stopping his hand from cutting the piece of meat. "Yes, sir. Some, but I gotta speed up. There's so much I don't know."
Shou nodded as he slid his fork into a piece of steak, lifting it to his mouth and chewed. Once he swallowed, he continued, "Yes, the more steps we take forward the longer we see the path is ahead." he shifted his gaze from Edward to Alphonse to his niece. "But you're all so young; you needn't worry about taking the exam this year."
Kagome set her fork down, wiping the corners of her mouth with a napkin. "No, Uncle Shou. I have to take that test this year. I have too; in order to become stronger. I'm tired of being that weak little girl. I want to protect my family."
Her uncle looked taken aback at her words. "I see."
Nina looked up from her place next to her father, bread crumble still sticking to her lips. "Ah," she said, pouting, "Bigger Brother isn't eating his dinner!" she pointed her bread roll at Alphonse, a stern frown on her cute face. "That won't do! You have to eat to get all grown up."
"She's right Alphonse." the young priestess said, sipping at her water. She took the roll from Nina's hands and offered it to the boy.
Alphonse raised his hands up in a show of surrender. "Ah...I'm fine. Really." he looked over at his brother for answers, but sighed when Edward shifted his eyes down to his plate. Taking the bread from Kagome's hand, he muttered thanks and rubbed the back of his head. "It sure does look delicious."
Nina beamed. "Make sure you chew."
Opening his helmet slightly, Alphonse pushed the roll inside. "Mmm." he hummed. "Takes great."
Kagome smiled. "Good. Now eat the steak. Uncle Shou's steak is the best."
Later that night when everyone had retired to their bed, Kagome lay in hers, wide awake. She could not sleep for the fear of nightmares plaguing her sleep. She had woken up many times throughout her travels, every time she woke screaming out Sango's name or Inuyasha's, questioning why he betrayed her love. Rolling over in her bed, Kagome picked up the picture that used to be hidden in her father's book and ran her finger down the image.
"Papa...I need you." she whispered, holding the frame close to her chest. "I've been broken by the man I loved and witnessed my best friend's death." Tears welled up behind her eyelids and threatened to spill down her cheeks. "I don't even know if my son is okay. I fled the second I destroyed Naraku and restored the Jewel." "Papa...why'd you have to die?"
Soon, while hugging the picture of her family during happier times, the young priestess fell into a fitful sleep. Kagome woke up at two hour intervals throughout the night, but managed to keep her screams down to a minimum as she did not want to alarm the other people in the house. Especially little Nina. And once the sun beamed down through the window of her room, Kagome climb out of bed, replacing the photograph back on the bed stand. She walked out of her room yawning and stretching her hands over her head.
"Good Morning, Kagome."
Kagome turned around with a smile on her face. "Good Morning Alphonse. How'd you sleep?"
"Good." there was slight squeak to his voice. "And you?"
"Not good. I kept waking up through the night." she yawned again, rubbing her eyes. "I couldn't sleep because of all the new things I learned yesterday."
Alphonse laughed as he pointed down to his older brother, who was scratching his stomach with a drowsy look on his face. "Looks like you weren't the only one."
Kagome smiled at the two brothers before she went into the bathroom to change. She pulled off her pajamas and slipped on a white cotton sleeveless shirt that draped down to her upper thighs and a light blue skirt. Once she exited the bathroom, she greeted Nina with a smile and let the little girl lead her to the library where she and the Elric brothers continued their studies.
Over the course of the next month, they studied and studied, learning new things that they never imagined knowing about alchemy. Kagome finally learned that Edward's eyes were the same color as the half-demon she had once loved. Ed's eyes were more of a metallic gold, while Inuyasha's were a sunglow color and she formed a stronger friendship with him. But piqued her interest the most was why Alphonse continuously wore that heavy suit of armor.
Kagome looked up from the book she was reading Concepts of Transmutation Circles and scouted the room for her two friends. "Ed? Al?" she questioned. When she received no answered, the priestess presumed that they were out in the courtyard practicing. 'Those jerks! Leaving me behind.' she walked out of the library and down the hall to the door that led out to the courtyard. Upon opening the door, a blast of chilly air struck her full force. "Cold!"
The priestess blinked several times before she realized that it was snowing and that Nina and the Elrics were making snow angels. A frown touched her lips. "You, guys, could have told me it was snowing!" she quickly went back inside and grabbed her coat and rushed back out doors, joining them in the snow.
They played in the white frozen water, making snowmen, throwing it at each other, teasing Edward when Alexander jumped on him, and helping Nina create snow angels. Soon they were worn out from their playing and lay sprawled out in the snow, laughing and breathing hard.
Nina rolled over and her stomach and crawled closer to Kagome, snuggling into her side. "I wish you could stay. I mean after you passed the test." she reached for Kagome's hand. "I'm having so much fun with 'Gome. It'll be lonely when you have to move to Central."
Edward rolled over on his side at the young girl's confession and saw her sitting in Kagome's lap, her bright blue eyes dulled. Narrowing his eyes, the blond picked up and stick and began drawing in the snow.
"What are you drawing, Little Big Brother?" the little girl asked.
"He's drawing a transmutation circle, Nina." Kagome answered, picking her up and carrying her over to where Ed and Al were.
Edward finished drawing the circle in the snow and tossed the stick to the side and pressed his hands down on it. "When I want a wish to come true, it helps." The circle began to glow a bright blue color as vine grew up from the snow. He grinned when he heard Nina's excited laughter and soon several orange flowers sprouted from the vines. Ed was happy that someone other than his brother and Kagome was not scared to witness a transmutation first hand.
"You made me magic flowers!" the little girl cheered as she bounced on Kagome's hip. She smiled when the priestess set her down and helped her braid the blossoms in a crown of flowers and placed them in her hair. "Thank you, 'Gome!"
"Decent work." a voice said behind them.
"Oh, Major Hughes." Edward said as he turned around.
Kagome looked up and saw a man with short black hair and bright hazel eyes hidden behind thin framed glasses. "Hello? Who are you?"
Hughes glanced over at the young girl and a smile tilted at his lips. "Oh, Ed? What's this? Found yourself a girlfriend?" he teased.
Edward turned red in the face as he clenched his fist, and anger mark appearing on his forehead. "No! She's not my girlfriend! She's just a friend!"
"I'm only a friend." Kagome said at the same time. She glanced over at Edward and a bright blush tinted her cheeks red. "Are you going to answer my question or not?"
"I'm sorry. I'm Major Maes Hughes." he dug around in his coat pocket as his eyes gleamed happily. "And this is my beautiful wife, Gracia!" he all but shoved the photo in Kagome's face as a bright smile tilted at his lips. "She's just so wonderful! Do you want to meet her? Of course you do!" he glanced over at Edward, "Oh yeah. I came for you Ed. Can't let you study through your birthday."
Alphonse turned to his brother, a happy pitch in his voice. "That's right. It's today!"
"You didn't tell me that it was your birthday, Ed." Kagome pouted as she shoved the major out of her face. "I would have gotten you a present."
Ed felt his eyes widened. "How'd you know that? I haven't told anyone yet."
Maes laughed as he replaced the picture of his wife in his pocket, leaning against the wall and looked smugly down at the blond. "I'm in the Investigation Department. Wouldn't make much of a major if I didn't know that."
Edward glanced down at Nina, who grabbed tighter onto Kagome's jacket.
"Don't worry. You're all coming. Couldn't throw a birthday dinner without his friends." he turned back to the priestess. "And of you still have to meet my beautiful wife, Gracia!" He grabbed Kagome's hand and proceeded to drag her out the gate and down the sidewalk, talking animatedly about his love for his wife.
"Welcome kids." A woman with short brown hair and smiling green eyes greeted the teens. "I've heard lots about you."
Maes wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. "This is my lovely wife, Gracia."
Edward's eyes widened. "You're stomach's a melon!" he cringed when Kagome smacked him in the back of the head. Rubbing the sore area he snapped, "What was that for?"
"You idiot. She's pregnant!" she said. Kagome turned a smile over to the older woman. "Can I touch your belly?"
Nina pouted and scrunched her little hands up. "Me too?"
Gracia placed her head in her hand, smiled gently down at the two girls. "Of course you can."
Kagome moved over and placed her hand on the woman's large protruding stomach, a wide grin on her face. Her eyes widened when she felt something kick her hand. "Nina!" she said happily. "Touch right here."
Nina placed both of her gloved hands on Gracia's stomach and her face broke out in a wide grin. "I felt it move!" she giggled as she looked up at her big cousin. "It feels funny."
Edward and Alphonse looked at each other with matching looks of horror. That did it. Girls were weird.
"Happy Birthday Edward!"
Ed smiled as he blew the candles out on his cake. He looked up and thanked everyone for the party in his honor and blushed when Hughes leaned down over his seat and whispered that since it was his birthday, he should ask Kagome for a dance. Ed snapped at him, saying at the priestess was just a friend.
Said priestess had teased him about how he was a year younger than her, plus the fact she's a girl, and she was still taller than him by an inch. Of course this set off his famous wrath as he took the comment the wrong way and began to chase Kagome around the table before he calmed down. Kagome laughed as she patted Ed on the back and said that one day he'll grow taller than everyone who teased him.
Gracia set a plate down in front of the blond as smiled warmly when he eagerly thanked her and began chowing down. Kagome, once again, teased him about his table manners were that of a little kid and this time Edward simply told her to shut up and continued eating. There was no way he was going to chase her around again with food near him.
Kagome laughed when Nina smiled up at her with frosting dotting her lips white and used her napkin to clean the little girl's face. Once everyone had settled down, conversing about various things Gracia walked back into the room, carrying a small silver pitcher.
"Who wants more birthday tea?" she smiled, even though her stomach was in knots.
Maes turned a smile at his wife. "Sounds wonderful." he jumped out of his seat when Gracia suddenly doubled over and fell to her knees. "Gracia! Are you okay?"
"Honey..." she panted. "It's here?"
Gracia frowned and narrowed her eyes at her husband's stupid answer. "The baby!"
"Gyaah!" Maes scooted back. "But the doctor said next week?"
"Well, the baby just said now!" Gracia growled, pinching Maes's cheek. "And I'm pretty sure she gets to choose!"
Hughes whined as rubbed his throbbing face as he tried to console his wife. "Okay, okay, okay." he stood up, helping Gracia to her feet. "I'll get you bags."
"Uhm...Mr. Hughes..." Kagome said, pointing at the window. "There's a blizzard going on outside. It isn't safe for Mrs. Hughes to be out there."
Maes nodded his head vigorously as tightened his hands around Gracia's shoulders. "Right. I'll bring the doctor here!" he rushed out of the room, pulling on his coat. "You kids, take care of her!"
Edward held out his hand as if to stop the major from leaving. "Hey, wait! How do we do that?"
Kagome rose from her chair and moved over to the older woman and guided her to the living room and laid her on the couch. Her eyes turned stern as she began to bark out orders. "Ed! Go fetch some hot water! Al, go and get a lot of fresh towels." she turned to her little cousin. "Nina you stay with me."
The two Elric brothers rushed out of the room in order to get the things Kagome requested of them. The priestess took hold of Gracia's hand and used her handkerchief to wipe the sweat off her brow. She whispered encouraging things to the older woman and reassured her that Maes would return with the doctor and that her child would be healthy.
Ed burst into the room, a tug of boiling hot water cradled in his arms. Kagome briefly wonder why the water did not hurt his hands, but concluded it to the fact he was wearing his gloves. She told him to set the tub next to her and Gracia and soon Alphonse came back with the towels.
Kagome placed the warm cloth over the older woman's forehead. "How are you holding out, Mrs. Hughes?"
"I'm fine, Kagome. Thank you for your help."
Alphonse rubbed the back of his head. "I'm just glad that you're not in pain anymore."
The second those words left the younger brother, Gracia cringed in pain as the baby tried to kick its way out. Kagome shot Al a glare before tending to the older woman, squeezing her hand and changed the towel again. She glanced out of the window, searching for signs of the major, but saw none.
"He's been gone a long time." she muttered.
Edward leaned against the wall. "He probably had to walk."
Gracia suddenly arched back off the couch, tightening her hold on the priestess' hand. "Aargh! I can't do this! I'm dying!"
That sent the younger children in a panic and they ran in circles, trying to figure out what they should do. This carried on for a few minutes until Kagome snapped at them to quit yelling. She placed her hand on Gracia's stomach and sent her aura around the woman's body, alleviating her pain. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Edward clasp his hands together in agitation, cursing that alchemy could not help Mrs. Hughes.
" 'Gome?" Nina called from the floor, her little hands in the tub of clear water. "The water's gotten very cold."
Before the priestess could ask Ed if he would go and reheat the water, the blond had already grabbed the side of the bowl. Her eyes widened when she saw the blue light of a transmutation flow from his hands and steam wafted up from the water bowl.
Alphonse stepped up behind his brother, his voice an excited squeak. "Ed, what did you do?"
Edward removed his hands from the bowl, looking down at them. "I don't know.
"You did alchemy without a circle?" Kagome gasped, her blue eyes still wide as she stared at the steaming water in disbelief. Snapping her eyes over to the blond, the priestess questioned. "How did you do that?
He turned his gold eyes up at her. "I don't know. I just used my head."
Gracia let out a wail of pain, her grip on Kagome's hand becoming nearly bone crushing. "I can feel its head now!"
Kagome quickly snapped out her daze and placed her hand back on the older woman's stomach and her eyes shot open wide. The baby was crowning and wanted out. Slowly in a calm voice, the priestess said, "Ed. Al. You may want to leave the room."
Alphonse tilted his head to the side. "Why's that, Kagome?"
The priestess turned her head, looking at the two boys over her shoulder. "Because I'm going to deliver this baby!"
That got them out of the room faster than Kagome thought was possible. The priestess sighed and shook her head. Guys were such wusses when it came to childbirth. Signaling for Nina to come over, Kagome instructed the little girl to hold Gracia's hand and not let go no matter what. The young priestess lifted the blanket up to the older woman's knees and bent her legs.
"Mrs. Hughes. The baby is crowning now. I can see her head." Kagome said as she placed her hand on the woman's legs. Sucking a breath of her own, the priestess ordered for the woman to push and then a take a deep breath. The infant moved slightly when Gracia did as Kagome instructed and continued to move with every push then breath. When the child's shoulders were out, Kagome gently took hold of the bloody child and pulled her free.
Moving quickly, Kagome set the baby down on the couch and grabbed a pair of scissors, holding the blade in the steaming hot water for a few minutes, to sterilize it, before taking the child back in her arms. She lifted up the umbilical cord and snipped the end closest the baby. Kagome smiled up at Gracia. "She's beautiful, Mrs. Hughes." the priestess stood up to clean the child off and wrapped her in a white towel.
Upon handing the baby to the older woman, Maes burst to the door with the doctor in tow, tears streaming down his face. "Gracia! I brought the doctor!" he blinked several times when he saw that his daughter had been delivered before sliding his eyes over to Kagome, who had blood staining her top. "Kagome...you..."
The doctor quickly moved over and finished out the birthing process.
The priestess nodded. "Come on, Mr. Hughes." she smiled. "Come meet your daughter."
Maes walked over to the couch where his wife and child were resting and placed his hand gently on her tiny head. "She's so beautiful."
Gracia smiled up at her husband. "And it's all thanks to the other birthday boy and his friends."
Edward, who came back inside once Kagome had told him it was safe, rubbed the back of his head as he looked down at the floor. "I didn't do anything. Nothing a hot water heater couldn't do. Kagome deserves all the credit." he grinned up at the priestess.
Kagome looked away with a blush.
"Alchemy couldn't do anything for her. But moms truly are a miracle." Ed continued. "To be able to create life like that. It's amazing. Alchemist couldn't do that in a thousand years."
"Our mom did it, too." Alphonse commented softly.
The priestess watched her two friends drifted off in their own conversation, but she managed to pick up bit and pieces of what they were saying. From what she heard, Kagome drew to the conclusion that the brothers' mother was dead. The priestess blink rapidly at the sudden flash that almost blinded her. Holding her hand up, Kagome saw that Major Hughes had brought out the camera and was snapping picture after picture. She groaned when Maes insisted that she take a picture holding his daughter.
Reluctantly, the priestess agreed only after she forced Edward and Alphonse to join in the photo. Kagome held the baby close to her chest, hiding the blood stains with Ed to her right with his hands in his pockets, Al to her left and little Nina in front of her.
Maes held the camera up to his face. "Everyone say, Happy Birthday Elicia!"
After the birth of Hughes' daughter the three of them committed all their time to studying for their exam. They crammed as much knowledge into their brains as they could. They only stopped to play with Nina and Alexander when the little girl begged them to come out of the library.
Alphonse set down the book he was reading to look at his brother. "I've been thinking Brother." he said and once he gotten Ed's attention continued, "That night at the Hughes'. You changed the water without a circle."
Kagome looked up from her book and sat up on the bed. "Yeah. How'd you do it? Most people can't do that."
Edward shifted his eyes from his brother to Kagome and scratched the back of his head. "It was just a fluke." he laughed nervously. "Besides, I haven't been to do it since then and that was weeks ago."
The priestess pouted. "Still...I wanna learn to do it too."
"Me too!" Al chirped. "You proved that it's possible."
The blond looked at the pleading faces of his brother and Kagome, sighing as he knew that he would not win this. "Okay. How about I quiz you twice as much?"
They began to cram even harder as the day of the exam drew closer and closer. Kagome would often lock herself in her room to practice and when she emerged; her hair was always smoking and looked a bit singed, signaling that she felt a small Rebound every now and then. Edward seemed to be doing well with his practicing; the craftsmanship of his figurines improving greatly and Alphonse could recite all the various transmutation circles by memory now.
Things were looking up for the three teens.
Kagome scooped Nina up; since the little girl had fallen asleep on Alexander in front of the fireplace. She turned around and sat back on the couch next to her uncle as he continued to explain the exam to them.
"It's always the same." he began, pushing his glasses up further on his nose. "Written test, then an interview, then practical skills. There's no way to know how many people will apply. But the state only accepts one or two each year."
Gold and blue eyes widened. The state only chose one or two? But the three of them were striving to become State Alchemist? Now they had to fight to secure a position. Kagome glanced over at her friends and silently said a whisper of apology. Technically she was cheating since she had priestess abilities to aid her alchemy. Perhaps, she should tell them the truth. They have gotten so much closer in the past month they've known each other.
Kagome snapped her attention back to her uncle when he continued when Al asked just what all happened during the interview.
"That varies, I think." he rubbed his chin. "With me they mainly asked questions, but I've heard physicals are pretty common too."
Alphonse froze up; the action did not go unnoticed by the priestess. "You don't say."
"After that, if you pass the first two, comes the hardest challenge, the practical skills. Half bring their results of their research, like I did, and half demonstrate on the spot." Shou continued. He glanced down at his niece. "You have what you're going to do, right Kagome."
The priestess nodded. After all her trials and errors with her alchemy, Kagome finally perfected her technique that she was going to use. She sent a sad look at the two brothers, but she needed to become a State Alchemist more than they did. The young priestess needed to become stronger in order to protect her loved ones. Strengthening her resolve, Kagome decided that she would explain her full reason for why she desired to be a State Alchemist. Maybe, one of them will drop out and let her take his place.
Kagome stood outside of her friend's door, dressed in her pajamas as she contemplated on how she was going to tell them her reasoning. Before she could knock on their door, she heard Ed's voice.
"Dammit all!" he cursed."What am I going to do? I didn't think I'd needed a demonstration. My little trinkets aren't going to get me in."
Alphonse' voice was next. "And what about a physical?" he sounded worried and his next words confirmed it. "They could open up my armor and see that there's-"
"Quiet Al!" Edward snapped. "We can't let anyone know."
"Brother..." Al murmured. "I think we should tell Kagome. We can trust her."
"Yeah, maybe we should," Ed commented.
The priestess took this as her chance to rap her fist gently on the surface of their room door. She shuffled on her feet as she waited with bated breath from one of them to open the door. When the entrance opened, Kagome found herself staring into the golden eyes of Edward. She plastered a smile on her face. "Hi, Ed. I wanted to talk."
Ed smiled lightly. "So did us."
It was then that they revealed their secrets. Kagome told them about her adventures in the past, pulling out her necklace to show them the proof of her travels. She told them of how her first love betrayed her and her best friend was slain before her very eyes. The priestess talked out the little fox demon she'd adopted since his parents were killed; talked to them about Kouga and Sesshoumaru. Everything. Kagome even told them about her recurring nightmares that plague her at night.
"That's why I want to be a State Alchemist no matter what. I want to become stronger so that I can protect everyone I love. I don't want to be classified as a weak little girl." she stated looking at the brothers.
"Your past was pretty rough, but I think ours tops it." Edward said as he stood up and unzipped his jacket. "You see, Al and I committed the number one taboo of alchemy." he yanked his jacket off, revealing the secret he's been hiding from the priestess, his automail arm. "We performed Human Transmutation."
Alphonse looked down at Kagome. "Brother lost his right arm and left leg, while I lost my entire body." he reached up and pulled the helmet of his armor off, revealing the emptiness inside. "Don't be alarmed, Kagome." Al said when he heard her surprised gasped.
Ed narrowed his eyes at the priestess. "You're afraid of us now." he said bitterly.
Kagome shook her head as she rose to her feet. She crossed the small distance that separated them and pressed her fingers against the cool metal of Ed's right arm. Trailing them down, she laced her hand with Edward's automail and brought it to her cheek. "I could never be afraid of you two. You're my friends." She moved her other hand to grab hold of Al's and brought it to her chest. "You guys are my special friends. I don't care if you committed a taboo. We will find a way to make them pick all three of us as State Alchemists!" she smiled a toothy grin.
Edward and Alphonse looked at each other before decided that they had found a great friend in Kagome.
"Come on, let's get some last minute studying in before the test tomorrow." the priestess said, pulling the two boys over to the desk that was littered with books.
The day finally came. It was time for them to take the State Exam. Dozens of other people lined up in front of the building, but as Kagome noticed, she was the only female there. Feeling a little intimidated, the priestess shrunk back behind her two friends.
Al looked back and saw Kagome standing still just at the bottom of the stairs with Nina. "What's wrong Kagome? The preliminaries are about to start."
"Oh, sorry, Al." she murmured as she let go of Nina's hand. She ordered for Alexander to watch over the child, even though she knew that the large dog would. Kagome drug her feet up to the stairs and took her place between the two brothers, her heart racing in her chest. She felt someone take hold of her hand and looked down to see Edward wrapping his fingers around it. "Ed?"
"Stop worrying." he said. "You'll do fine. Don't let those men intimidate you."
The priestess nodded, though she hated being lectured by someone younger than her. Deciding to have a little fun before they go and take their exams, Kagome said, "Big words coming from such a little guy."
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SMALL THAT'S HE'S KNEE HIGH TO A GRASSHOPPER!"
Kagome giggled as she raced up the stairs with Edward chasing after with his fist raised in the air. Teasing Ed about his height was quickly becoming one of her favorite sources of entertainment.
Führer King Bradley rapped his gavel down a few times to gain the attention of the participants of the Exam. A warm smile spread over his lips as his good eye crinkled at the corners. "We'll now begin the preliminary exams. Good luck! Begin!"
Hours later, people began to file out of the buildings, decreasing the amount of people who were still testing drastically. Outside, little Nina looked around for signs of her friends and older cousins, smiling when she spotted the tall suit of armor. " 'Gome! Big Brothers!" she waved, running over to them with Alexander at her heels. "How'd it go?"
Edward hung his head down. "I didn't finish and my wrist feels like spaghetti."
Kagome smiled sadly over at Ed. "Same here, except I managed to finish. Man, I hate tests!"
Alphonse looked down as well, a grey shadow casting over his head. "I got through, but next comes the interview."
The priestess looked up when a man with shaggy black hair and onyx eyes approached her friends and asked to speak with them. When the Elrics nodded and explained that they would be back soon, Kagome glanced over at Nina. "Do you know who that was?"
The little girl nodded. "Uh huh! That's Lt. Colonel Mustang. He brought Big Brothers to daddy's house a few days before you came, 'Gome!"
"I wonder what he's saying to Ed and Al." Kagome mused.
"He did what?" the priestess screeched, her eyes flashing dangerously. Edward had just informed her that Alphonse, under the order of Roy Mustang, dropped out from the Exam. "Why would you let Al do that?"
Ed lowered his head. "There was a high chance of our secret being blown. We had no choice. One of us has to become a State Alchemist in order to get us back normal."
Kagome's eyes softened considerably. Ed was a good brother to Alphonse. A smile tilted at her lips as she reached for his right hand and pulled it to her cheek. "We'll get in for sure then, Ed."
The blond felt his lips pull up in a small smile as he curled his fingers around his friend's cheek. "Yeah, we will."
Kagome stood in front of the interview room with Edward, holding his right hand tightly in hers. She stole a glance at the boy beside her and saw the determination in his golden eyes. Squeezing his automail hand, Kagome waited for him to look at her. "It would seem like you're ready. You go on before me."
"You sure, Kagome?" Ed said.
"Yeah." she released his hand and gave him a small push towards the door. Kagome went and sat on the stairs as she waited for her turn and she thought about what she would say. She knew for a fact that Ed was going to explain his promise to Al, with minor details of course. But what should the young priestess say? That she desired to be stronger? No. They'll probably just laugh at her and shoo her away. Kagome fisted her hands in her hair and pulled. "Aargh! What am I going to say?"
A hand tapped her on the shoulder. "Kagome? I'm back."
The priestess jumped at the closeness of Edward's voice and turned to see the blond standing not even two feet from her. "Ah! Ed! That was quick. How'd it go?"
"Think I have a good shot at making it to the practicals." he grinned, flashing the thumbs up.
Kagome smiled at her friend and rose to her feet. "I guess it's my turn. Wish me luck."
"Good luck, Kagome."
The priestess took a deep breath to calm her nerves before slowly opening the door of the interview room. Peeking her head inside, Kagome saw that the judge panel consisted of Fürher King Bradley, Brigadier General Basque Grand, and Major General Hakuro. She narrowed her eyes when she saw that one of the guards stationed was Roy Mustang, the man who ordered Alphonse to drop out. Kagome stepped inside and instantly her eyes landed on the three-legged golden chair in the center.
"Take a seat, Mrs. Higurashi." Bradley said as he stared the young woman down. "Alchemy is the science of balance. If you have the gift, it will not refuse you." He challenged her with his dark green eye, daring her to run away. "Go on, then. State Alchemists cannot be afraid."
Gritting her teeth at his taunts, the priestess swiftly moved over to the chair and sat down with ease, crossing her legs and placing her hands in her lap. A smile spread over her lips at the dumbfounded looks in the Lt. Colonel's eyes. She looked back up at the Fürher and saw that he had a smile on his face.
"Very good." He folded his hands together and placed his chin on top of them. "Now tell me why you want to be an alchemist for our military."
Kagome swallowed dryly as she clenched her hands in the green skirt of her uniform. Why she chose to where the outfit she'd worn during her days in the Feudal era, Kagome did not know. The priestess chalked it up to her mind automatically pulling out the clothes she'd spent all her adventures in. "To be honest, sir." She began, "At first I had no idea why I wanted to serve the military. I thought long and hard about what I would say and could not come up with anything but this." Reaching up, Kagome grasped the golden locket around her throat. "I wanted to become stronger. I'm a priestess and yet, I'm weak. I want to be able to protect my loved ones."
Bradley narrowed his eyes at the young girl.
"I know the casualties that will come along with me wanting to be a part of the military, but I've seen things that no thirteen year old girl should witness." Kagome bit her lip to keep her choking out a sob as she recalled her times in the past, but she knew that now was not the time for tears. "I also want to help my two friends with their quest and perhaps serving the military will let me do so."
"You say you've seen things that no girl your age should see." The Fürher said, cocking his head to the side. "Mind telling what those things are."
Kagome hardened her eyes as she stared the panel down, her lips twisting up in frown. "Betrayal and death. I'd rather not go into details about my past." Holding up the silver chain, she broadcast the Sacred Jewel to the board. "And because of those things, I'm broken. Because of this, I'm always in fear." Dropping the chain the pink gem fell against her chest with a low 'thump.' "I don't want to be in fear in more. My father always told me "Fear is just a weakness of the mind." I don't want to be weak. Do you want to know more?"
The Führer say the pain and suffering in her large dark blue eyes and knew that this young girl had indeed seen things that should not have been seen. Waving his hand back and forth, Bradley said, "No, Mrs. Higurashi." He turned his eyes down to the score paper and scribbled down a few things before going on with the next round of questions.
That night, Kagome decided that she wanted to stay with Edward and Alphonse, saying that maybe if they were together on the night before the practicals she and Ed would have a higher chance of realizing their wishes. The young priestess had tucked herself in between the two brothers with her head pillowed by the blond's automail and legs thrown over Alphonse's.
"Hey, Brother…" the younger Elric whispered in a low voice.
"Can we bring Kagome with us?"
Edward's golden eyes widened with shock. It was not the question itself that caused it, but the fact the Al asked it with such ease; like the priestess belong with them. Rolling over on his side to look at his brother over Kagome's head, Ed arched a brow, "You think we should?"
"Yeah!" Al said, "I think that she could even help us get our bodies back to normal. But…" he trailed off.
Alphonse turned his head and looked his brother directly in the eyes. "What if she doesn't want to go with us?"
"Don't worry about that Al." the blond said. "We'll ask her tomorrow after the practicals." He shifted back over and stared at the ceiling. "I'm positive that Kagome and I will become State Alchemist."
"Okay, Brother. I hope we chose right." The younger brother sighed. "Because I don't want to be in this suit anymore. I want to feel things again. Ever since meeting Kagome and becoming her friend, I want to feel again. I'm right beside you guys and yet I don't know or can't remember what your skin feels like or how you smell."
Kagome pinched her arm again, yelping in pain at the stinging burn that came. She rubbed the red mark on her arm gently, placing her hand over it and when she moved it the skin was back to normal. As a priestess, being able to heal things was one of the perks. It was also how she was going to impress the judges. Kagome was going to combine her priestess abilities with her alchemy. Glancing over at Ed, the priestess grabbed his right hand. "Ready?"
Nina stepped forward and grabbed onto Edward's red cloak, shaking her head. "Not yet!"
The priestess bent down on her knees and tilted her head to the side. "What's wrong, Nina?"
The little girl fidgeted as she hid something behind her back. She looked up at Alphonse when he encouraged her to show then what she did. Taking hold of her big cousin's hand, Nina placed a rolled up piece of paper in Kagome's palm. "I made something for you."
Edward walked up behind the priestess and his eyes widened at what was drawn on the sheet. It was a picture of him, Kagome, Alphonse, Nina, and Alexander playing in the snow with smiles on their faces and in the center of them was the transmutation circle he drew. "Nina…"
"It's a circle for your wish." The little girl smiled.
Kagome handed the blond the drawing before scooping her little cousin up and hugging her tightly. "Thanks, Nina." She kissed Nina on the cheek before setting her down. Turning back to Edward, Kagome nodded and together they walked inside the building where the practicals were being held.
"Welcome to the practical skills exam." The Führer announced, his hands folded behind his back. "We've provided you with some nice raw materials for your alchemy." He gestured to the hundreds of tall trees, lakes of water, and large stones in the secluded area. "You may use them to create whatever you see fit."
Ed looked over at Kagome, a frown creasing his brow, "Gee, nice guidelines. Just what the heck are we supposed to create to impress them?"
Kagome watched intently as a man rushed over to the grassless terrain and drew his circle into the ground. The second his hands were pressed against the floor a tower sprung up, growing taller and taller until it was well above three stories. She saw the sweat dripping from his forehead as he managed a weak smile and tried to stand, but failed. "Impressive detail." She turned a sly grin over at her friend. "Much better than yours."
"Oh shut up!" he huffed. "But from the looks the judges are giving him, you can't get tired."
The priestess nodded and stepped forward. "I'll go next." Moving over to the lake, Kagome touched the locket around her neck for comfort and cupped her hands before dipping it in the water. Carefully making her way over to her experimental tree, the young priestess poured the water around the base. Once she was down, Kagome placed her fingertips against the tree and left its pain, it was suffering from a fungus that was slowly eating away at its roots, causing a slow death. "This tree has root rot."
Bradley smiled. "Yes, it does."
"You poor thing." Kagome murmured to the tree, stroking the base. "I'm going to help you." Placing a translucent pink barrier around the tree, leaving a small hole so that she could have access to what she was about to do. Weaving her hands in an intricate way, lightning began to spark from her fingers and once she charged up a good current, she touched the tree. The moment her electrically charge hands touched the bark; it went up in flames, burning everything inside the barrier to ashes. Kagome closed off the hole and smothered the fire.
"That's a nice trick you did girly, but it's time for a man to show you how it's really done." The man who spoke pushed past Edward and drew his circle. Dragging a few fallen trees over and pouring a bucket of water over them, he placed his hands on the transmutation circle.
Kagome ignored the man in favor of taking the ash of the fallen tree in her hands and felt the faint signs of life that was still there and quickly drew a circle. Closing her eyes, the priestess grasped onto it and concentrated on bringing it back. She infused her hands with her priestess powers as the soft pink glow of her alchemy sparked to life. Kagome placed all her concentration into using that bit of life that the tree was hanging onto and failed to notice that the pink gem hidden under her shirt began to flash brightly.
Edward watched as the young priestess struggled with her alchemy and for a brief second he was afraid that she would not make it. He did not want to see her dreams crushed. The alarmed cries of the other alchemist caught his attention and he looked up to see that man's creation burst and fly towards the tower. It crashed into the building, crushing it beneath its weight. Large pieces of stone fell and Ed's golden eyes widened when he saw one of the rocks head for Kagome.
"Kagome!" Running full speed over to his friend, Ed gritted his teeth at the possibility that he would not make it in time. In a desperate panic, he clapped his hands together before pressing them to the ground and just as a blue light surrounded the tower and the crumbling building; a pink light swirled around Kagome.
Mustang smirked. "Alchemy without circles." Sliding his onyx eyes over to the young girl, his mouth fell open at what he saw.
Kagome was now standing to her feet, her hands cradling a small sapling that had sprouted from the ashes of the fallen tree. She looked up at the sky when a pink petal fell in front of her face and saw a giant wreath with angel wings floating in the sky. Glancing over at her friend, who was standing just a few feet from her and looking at his hands in disbelief, she put two and two together. Edward had transmuted without a circle. Placing a smile on her face, the priestess walked over to her friend.
"You did it, Edward!" she cheered.
The blond smiled sheepishly as he rubbed the back of his head. "It was nothing." He looked down at the sapling in her hands. "Kagome…did you?"
"Mhmm." She nodded. "This is the same tree I struck with lightning. It's been reborn."
Führer King Bradley walked over to the two teens. "I think we found our alchemist." He smiled, placing his hand on Ed's head. He looked over at Kagome, who lowered her head in disappointment before putting his other on her head. "I mean alchemists. Mrs. Higurashi, could I see that plant in your hands."
Kagome turned her large blue eyes up at the Führer and wide smile on her face as she nodded vigorously. She handed over the little sapling to Bradley and saw his eye widen with shock. Biting her lip, the young priestess asked, "Is something wrong?"
"You really did it?" he thought aloud. "You killed the tree and brought it back as a sapling." Turning a smile at Kagome, Bradley said, "You both pass. Welcome to the Military, Edward Elric and Kagome Higurashi."
"You did it!" Alphonse cheered as he picked Kagome up and spun her around. Cocking his helmet to the side, he stared accusingly down at the priestess, "So that's why you hide away in your room when you were practicing your transmutations. You didn't want us to see!"
Kagome giggled as she pushed away from the younger brother and jumped down on her feet. "No. I just didn't want you to see me get zapped by my own lightning." She turned her head and looked at Edward, who was unusually quiet. Normally when they were talking about alchemy the older brother happily joined in the conversation. "Hey, Ed? What are you think?"
The blond shoved his hands in his pockets as he lowered his head until his long bangs hid his eyes. "Say, Kagome, since we're both State Alchemist, I've wanted to ask you this." Reaching over, with his left hand and not the automail, he grabbed the priestess' hand. "Do you want to come with me and Al? Today marks a big turning point for us, you know. Someday I swear to get Al back the way he was and I want you to help us."
Alphonse hefted Nina up on his shoulders, who was starting to fall asleep on her feet. "We'd really like it if you did, Kagome."
The young priestess did not know what to say so she looped her arms through her two friends' arms and drug them down the road. "Of course, you dolts!" she laughed. "What kind of friend would I be if I refused you?"
Edwards smiled as he looked over at his brother, who shook his metal head. As long as they had Kagome with them, they were sure that one day they would get their bodies back to normal. They could trust this priestess.
Oh wow! This is the first time I've made my first chapter so long! I guess I was so excited about writing it; I did not want to stop. I will admit, I borrowed bits and pieces of the exam idea from chika1345 (Go read her fic, Priestess Alchemist!), primarily Kagome bringing the tree back to life, but the rest of the fic is all mine! I'm happy with how it turned out. Tell me what you liked and disliked in a review please!
P.S. I did not want to the 'relative of Roy Mustang' idea since it's kind of overused and I wanted Kags to meet the brothers at an early age.
~Kirei Ai Tenshi