The Flower Princess and the Alchemist @bloodpokemon101
A Modeling Debut

(A/N: Here's chapter twenty three! Thanks to 'Orange and Yellow Makes Red', I was able to find my muse again and overcome my minor writer's block for this story. Anyway, check out that story if you are interested in fluffy shorts between Orihime, Edward, Alphonse, and Winry. That story is completely unrelated to this, though. Alright, now onto this particular fanfic. Unfortunately, Edward and Alphonse are still deciphering Dr. Marcoh's alchemic notes on the Philosopher's Stone, so another chapter of Orihime's mini adventures in Central. After healing and chatting with Scar last chapter, what would she do this chapter? Find out! Enjoy!

Espada-001: Thanks for the review! There's three things I want to say. One,Ichigo and those two Arrancars she healed were only died for a few minutes, unlike Rose's fiance who was dead for over a year. I highly doubt people who just killed are accepting of their death in just a few seconds. I think you are misinterpreting what Orihime meant. Two, the second time Ichigo 'died', Orihime couldn't heal him. He brought himself back to life, turning himself into a Hollow, leading to that epic final showdown with Ulquiorra. And three, Orihime was speaking from experience. Remember, her Hollowified brother? Do I need to say more? Although, the whole religion vs. science debate between Rose and Edward kind of annoyed me though. I just don't like people shoving their opinions down other's throats! But ironically, Rose is where Edward would have been if he didn't have alchemy. Relying on others to fix his problems for him.

sacke110: Thanks for reviewing! All I could say is get ready to be spoiled shitless. For the most part. Not everything is going to go the way canon did. This is a canon-divergent story.

treyalexander63917: Thanks for the review! Yeah, it would be unrealistic if Orihime could convince Scar just like that. But he'll come to his senses, gradually.)

A Modeling Debut

"You guys making any progress?" Orihime asked the boys, nervously.

Piles and piles laid around the Elric brothers work area as they vigorously flipped through different books, scientifically comparing the contents with Dr. Marcoh's notes, and jotting down any important and vital details. How diligently they worked and how laser focused they are fascinated the ginger haired girl.

Alphonse glanced up from the book he was reading to see Orihime carrying her usual box lunch for his brother. "Oh! Hey, Orihime!" he greeted her. . Even though she couldn't see his facial expression, being an animated suit of armor and all, she could tell he was smiling. "No, we still researching, but we are getting closer to the truth."

Edward gave a small grunt in greeting, completely immersed in his research

The ginger haired girl smiled. "Well, I'm sure you two would figure it out very soon." She set the box down on the table. "Well, I better get going, so you guys can focus on your research."

Golden eyes finally fixed their gaze on her. Ed wanted to speak, he wanted to say something, but the words died on his lips. "Stay out of trouble," he said, sternly as if thinking she'll do just that.

Orihime smiled, sweetly. He might not have said it properly, but Edward cares about her wellbeing. That was his way of telling her to be safe.

"I will!" she answered, happily, shutting the door behind her to let the boys continue with their research.

"How could she get into trouble, if there was absolutely nothing to do?" Orihime thought, boredly as she aimlessly wandered the streets of Central.

She walked through a park where children played happily with their friends as parents watched on fondly while chatting with other parents. She took a leisure stroll through a street that was heavily occupied by various restaurants, bakeries, and small cafes.

The ginger haired girl stared in awe and hunger at all the foods displayed on the see window sill. The beautifully decorated vanilla cake looked especially delicious with its orange colored creative frosting and An angel figuring placed precariously in the middle. She wanted the cake so bad, but unfortunately, she has no money to pay for it. And she didn't want to horde money from Edward. No, she'll just be burdening him even more. He's already had enough to deal with.

Orihime sighed dejectedly and walked off, casting one last longing and regretful glance at the mouth watering cake.

She needed money. But the problem was how is she going`to get money? She couldn't freeload off of Edward. No, that would be rude.

Having no other options left, Orihime dejectedly left the display window.

"Hmm, what to do? What to do?" Orihime asked herself, leisurely strolling across the park she came upon. It was times like these that'll she would usually study and do homework for her classes, but unfortunately, none of her textbooks are with her at the moment.

Going to the library and reading a book or two as crossed the ginger haired girl's mind a couple of times. That's the only thing she could do at this point as she waits for Edward and Alphonse's to finish with their objective.

The auburn haired girl accidentally bumped into a brick wall, or what felt like a brick wall. "I'm sorry!" she stammered out, quickly. Her gray eyes to see a man with a bulky build glaring down at her. He had short black hair and stubbles growing under his chin. Next time was a woman with vibrant lavender hair, most likely dyed, and deep blue eyes. She had a very slim figure under an expensive looking red dress. She was covered in jewelry from head to toe and she had long, red manicured fingernails and matching ruby red lips.

The first thought that crossed Orihime's mind was that these two, or at least the woman, most be rich or come from a rich family. Granted, she has never come across any extremely wealthy Western people from her world, but she read in a magazine once that most tend to wear very expensive clothing and jewelry.

She gave the duo, who were staring at her, an awkward, nervous smile as she got from the grassy ground and dusted herself off. "Sorry. I-I'll just be on my way now."

As she turned to leave, she was stopped by the woman calling out to her.


Orihime quickly turned when the lavender haired woman called out to her, her gray eyes blinking in surprise. "Um, yes?"

The woman's blue eyes were glancing at the young girl up and down, as if she was mentally measuring her.

"What's your name, young lady?" she asked, though her voice sounded very dull yet professional.

"It's Orihime, ma'am." Okay, now Orihime was confused. Was there something this lady needed from her?

"Orihime? Is that, right?" She seemed to ponder this for a moment, her brows furrowed deep in thought. "I've decided. Orihime… Come with me." It wasn't a question or a statement. It was a command.

"Eh?" The auburn haired girl could only stare owlishly at the retreating woman's figure. She quickly cut out of her temporary state of shock by the bulky guy pulling her along. "H-hey! Wait!" she shouted in protest, but was only ignored.

Orihime found herself in what looked like a large photo studio. It was mostly empty except for a curtain backdrop, radio playing some country music she's never heard of, and a few cameras lying about on a table.

The ginger haired girl watched confused and anxiously as the lavender haired woman inspected each of her cameras while talking quietly to the muscular man. She watched as the man nodded to whatever the woman told him and walked away. Once he was again, she turned her attention on her.

"U-um?" She fidgeted under the woman's scrutinizing gaze. "So? Uh?"

"Orihime? Was it?" the lavender haired woman questioned, cutting her off.

"Uh, yes."

"Well, Orihime, how do you feel about modeling?"

Gray eyes grew wide as she stared at the older woman dumbfounded. "Wh-what?" That was the only response her extremely shocked self could give.

Seeing the young girl's utter puzzlement and astonishment, the wom8an decided to elaborate. "My name is Elizabeth Manor. I'm a photographer for a fashion magazine," she explained.

"A f-fashion magazine?" Orihime stuttered out, confused. She didn't know they had that here. She thought fashion shows and magazines and such were more recent in era. Huh. Maybe it simply doesn't become popular and well known until years or decades later.

"I work for the Central Times Fashion," the woman, now identified as Elizabeth, answered. "One of my more recent models broke her leg and can't model for some dresses designers I've brought to me to showcase their work. That's where you come, Orihime," she explained, giving the girl a once over. "I just need you to be a temporarily replacement for her and model in a few dresses in this month's magazine. Is that okay?" Blue eyes stared at the ginger haired girl intently, waiting for the girl's answer.

Orihime stared at the woman, like a fish out of water. Model for a fashion magazine? This was all so sudden for her. She always thought she'll grow up to run her own bakery or be a school teacher. Being a model never crossed her mind, despite how much tell her how pretty and beautiful she is, Orihime herself believing them to be over exaggerating her appearance. There was one part of her that told her to say 'yes'. After all, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. She couldn't pass up a wonderful chance like this.

But the shyer part of her told her to say 'no' because she wasn't sure what they wanted her to model in. The woman said she'd just be modeling a few dresses, but the ginger haired girl doesn't even know what these dresses looked like. What if they were very...inappropriate? When people see her face once the magazine gets published, she doesn't want them to get the wrong impression of her thinking she's that type of woman. Especially Edward and Alphonse if they end up getting their hands on it. Oh! It'll be so embarrassing!

"I'm not sure. This is all so sudden," Orihime finally replied, her voice laced with uncertainty. "I-I don't even know what these dresses look like. I don't people thinking I'm a 'bad' woman," she added, voicing her concerns.

The lavender woman raised an eyebrow, slightly in amusement. "The dresses are the main concern here for you? Honestly, with the way you look and a curvaceous figure like yours, I'd never pegged you for the shy and modest type." She turned her head towards the doorway the man from earlier went through about ten minutes ago. "Steven, bring the dresses!" she shouted out.

No later the bulky dark haired man came in pushing a stroller lined with a variety of unique dresses. Orihime's gray eyes widened in awe and amazement at the beauty of each dress. They were beautiful. There were no words to describe them. Each dress came in a variety of colors from purple to red, yellow to blue. Some were strapless and others were not. There were one or two that were off the shoulder strapped. Some of the dresses were embroidered with jewelry and elaborate decorations and others were plain, simple, and yet elegant all at once.

Just staring at the dresses made Orihime even more she overwhelmed. The fashion photographer couldn't possibly expect her to model in these dresses. Someone with better modeling experiences would be a better suit.

"Um?" She began fidgeting, nervously. "Are you sure you don't want someone would more experience, Ms. Manor?" she asked, shyly. "I never modeled before."

Elizabeth blew some hair out of her face. "Everybody gets nervous the first time, Orihime. All you do is put on one of these dresses, pose, and look dazzling pretty. Simple, really."

"Th-that's not quite what I meant." When she saw the female fashion photographer let a huff of frustration, the auburn haired girl felt even more flustered. "I-I mean that everybody's going to see my picture in these magazines and I-I… I'm kind of em-embarrassed," Orihime finished off, shyly, her cheeks turning a deep shade of red.

The lavender haired woman let out an amused half smile. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about, Orihime. And besides, if you're my only hope, or else I'll have to cancel this month's magazine."

Now the ginger haired girl felt slightly guilty being the kind hearted, gentle girl she is willing to help anything and anyone that's within her capabilities. She'd just feel awful if Elizabeth was forced to cancel this month's Central Times Fashion Magazine because of her.

"I-I'll do it," she finally conceded, the shy blush not going. "I'll be your model, but only if you promise nothing inappropriate, Ms. Manor," she finished, determined.

Elizabeth nodded her head, agreeing with the young girl's terms. "Nothing inappropriate. Got it."

She turned towards the rack of dresses. She hummed as she search through them, pulling each one out and examine them. The photographer smiled when she found the one that best suited Orihime and handed it to her.

The auburn haired girl almost gawked at the dress. It was a cotton blue, off the shoulder dress that reached just past her knees. It had a white vine like pattern around the skirt of the dress that just reached the waistline and it was white around the hem of the dress. And the waist area was a slightly darker shade of blue covered in tiny gems. It was a really beautiful dress!

"Go into that closet and put on the dress, Orihime," Elizabeth ordered. "I'll be ready to shoot you in ten minutes."

"O-okay!" Orihime said, hurriedly, as she rushed to do what the female photographer instructed.

This may be a long, embarrassing yet thrilling day for the young ginger haired girl.

"Ugh! Decrypting these notes is harder than I thought," Edward groaned, his brain exhausted from four straight days of mental strain.

"Maybe we should ask Dr. Marcoh about his notes," Alphonse suggested.

"No way! That would be admitting defeat!"

So, this is a competition now?"

Just then the Elric brothers perked up as they heard a knock on the door. Their ginger haired companion entered the room with a lunch box in hand.

"Oh, hey, Orihime," Al greeted with a cheerful yet tired wave.

Ed, on the other hand, immediately perked up and became revitalized as soon as his golden eyes laid upon the lunch Orihime was carrying. "Yes, finally! Lunchtime!"

The auburn haired girl giggled at the boy's antics. "Here you go, Eddie," she said as she set the box on the table. Not a second, the golden haired alchemist dived into the food, shoving spoonfuls of rice in his mouth. If Al had a body, he'd be rolling his eyes at his older brother's messy eating habits.

So… Have you guys found any leads on the Philosopher's Stone yet?" Orihime asked. The atmosphere instantly turned gloomy as the both brothers began to sulk. "Nothing, huh," she concluded an anime style sweat drop forming.

Another knock was heard and Sheska made her appearance.

"Hi, Sheska!" the auburn haired girl greeted her with a smile.

"Hi, Orihime," the bespectacled lady greeted in return,bowing her head a little.

"Hey, Sheska. What brings you here?" Alphonse asked.

"I just came here to thank you guys. With the money you gave me, I was able to transfer my mother to a better hospital. It's also nice to know that even someone as useless as me could be of any help," she finished with a grateful smile plastered on her face.

"You aren't useless," Al spoke up. "I think the dedication you have reading is a talent all on it's own."

"Alphonse's right," Orihime agreed. "A lot of people would be envious of your ability. I wish I had something like that! You should be proud of the talent you possess!"

Sheska was left speechless. No one has ever praised her for her talents before. She gave a tearful smile. "Thanks, Alphonse, Orihime."

Hughes came bursting into the room, erupting this heartfelt moment.

"Hello, Mr. Hughes," the ginger haired girl politely greeted him. "Why are you here?"

"I just wanted to inform you guys that we haven't found any trace of the talking chimera that was once Nina Tucker," Hughes announced, giving the three teens a solemn look.

Edward, Alphonse, and Orihime all gave each a nervous look. They all knew Nina was alive and well in Resembool living with Winry and Pinako now. However, they haven't told Mustang or any of their close military friends because then they would have to reveal how Orihime was able, and they all made a promise to keep it between themselves.

Hughes took note of the expressions on the teenagers faces, but said nothing. "Not to mention, all our cases were burnt up when the First Branch turned to ashes," he continued with a sigh. "We have to start from scratch."

Edward glanced at Sheska then a mischievous grin spread across his face. He whispered something into the Lieutenant Colonel's ear. Whatever the blond alchemist said immediately perked him up because the next second, he was racing out the door with a confused Sheska in hand.

"Well, I better get going," Orihime announced.

"Sure, you don't want to stay, Orihime?" Al offered.

"No. If I stayed, I'll probably just be a bother. You guys need to concentrate on deciphering those notes."

Ed eyed her for a bit. She didn't seem as enthusiastic as she sounded. Thoughts of what she was going to say about the Philosopher's Stone the night they stayed at the Hughes's household still plagued his mind. He wanted to ask her what she was going to say that day, but could never find the time with trying to decipher Dr. Marcoh's notes and all.

"What are you doing by yourself anyway?" Damn, he cursed himself. That's not what he wanted to ask!

Orihime smiled, sheepishly. "Oh, you know… The usual…"

Orihime has spent the rest of the week modeling in different dresses for Ms. Manor. Oh, she felt so embarrassed! Her cheeks were tainted a light shade of pink. She just hoped that nobody she knows sees it. She would practically die of embarrassment. But… Throughout it all, she was glad she could help, and she got to experience what it was like to be a model. She giggled silently. Wait till her friends at home hear about this.

At the mention of home, the auburn haired girl became slightly gloomy. She quickly shook her head out of sad thoughts. She'll return home one day.

"Now, what should I make for Eddie's lunch today?" she pondered to herself. "Should I go for the butternut pork with bean paste and chicken casserole or the butter topped roasted potatoes and honey flavored fried noodles?"

The ginger haired girl hummed a happy tone to herself as she skipped merrily down the streets of Central. Only to come to a quick pause when she felt tickle her senses.

Worried gray eyes glanced up at the clear blue sky. "I-Ichigo?" she spoke her crush's name, but it was a little more than agitated whisper. What's going on? Why was Ichigo's spiritual pressure becoming so erratic? Like he's in danger?

Orihime held her hands to chest, evidently over her rapidly beating heart. She was scared, frightened, worried… What was happening to Ichigo?

Guilt gripped at her heart. Why did she get the sense that the orange haired substitute Soul Reaper was hurt really badly? And it's all because of her. Because he's trying so hard to save her again?

Tears swelled up in her eyes. "Don't die, Ichigo," Orihime mentally pleaded as if he could hear her thoughts. If Ichigo died… If he died…

His spiritual pressure...disappeared.

There was complete silence.

The ginger haired girl's gray eyes widened in shock. She couldn't...sense Ichigo's spirit energy anymore. Does that mean…? Is he...dead?

And there's nothing she could do to help him. She can't reach him, she can't see him, she can't hear him, and now she can't even feel him anymore.

Anguished tears of despair poured down from her gray eyes as Orihime stood there completely numb and in utter shock.

The only sound that was heard… Was the sound of her heart shattering.

"TO HELL WITH THIS!" a certain blond haired alchemist roared. His loud outburst startled the two guards standing outside as they came rushing inside in panic. Piles of books and papers were scattered throughout the floor.

Edward and Alphonse sat down on the ground, an aura of shattering disappointment, unrelenting anger in Ed's case, and heartstopping misery and torment surrounded the two brothers.

They spent all those years searching for the Philosopher's Stone, and this is the answer they get?!

"Wh-what's going on?" Ross asked, unsure if she should've spoken in the first pace.

"I could believe it… All that work… All our efforts… And this is the answer we get?!" Edward growled out through clenched teeth.

"So, you guys finished deciphering the notes?" Brosh smiled, happily. "That's great!"

"It's not great!" the blond haired boy shouted back, his voice filled with anger and fury. "Dr. Marcoh was right," he added, his tone becoming almost deathly quiet now. "This is the work of the devil."

"I can't believe the Philosopher's Stone…," Alphonse trailed off, choked up on his words.

"...Is made from human lives," Edward finished for him.

Both bodyguards froze in utter shock and disbelief.

"Wha? Live humans?" the male guard questioned, dumbfounded.

"Thousands of the them," the Fullmetal Alchemist confirmed. He glanced up at the two guards. "Don't tell anyone what you heard in hear," he ordered.

Edward's eye widened when he remembered something, something very important.


"The top secret materials I took were my research documents and the stone itself."

"You mean you still have it?!" Edward shouted, a mixture of exhilaration and agitation hidden within his tone. "You mean it's here?!"

Orihime knew that the Philosopher's Stone was something Edward and Alphonse were searching for a long time. She felt happy for the boys as they were getting one step closer to their goal. She could even see the joy and excitement radiating off them.

The former State Alchemist silently reached out into his coat pocket, and pulled a vial containing a bright red liquid.

"How could that be the stone?" Ed muttered, voice filled with disbelief. "It's a liquid…"

The doctor uncapped the vial and poured it onto the table. Edward, Alphonse, and Armstrong stared in fascination as it formed into a spherical shape instead of spilling across the table. Orihime, on the other hand, stared at the object in horror.

She could feel the cluster of spirit energies emitting off the stone. It was jumbled, mixed but uncoordinated, and overall, it was alive! The ginger haired girl could sense souls that occupied the stone. Their pain and despair… It was overwhelming. And worst of all, if the spiritual pressure of an average person is almost unrecognizable due them lacking any spirit energy… To be able to feel such a large amount in one object… That must mean there are dozens, if not hundreds of human souls residing in that stone!

"The Sage's Stone. The Grand Elixir. The Celestial Stone. The Fifth Element. Just as the Philosopher's Stone has many different names, it can come in many different forms. It's not necessarily a stone."

Nobody seemed to notice the unrestrained spiritual energy oozing from the stone, like Orihime did. And since it's leaking out freely and constantly without being suppressed, no doubt it's going to attract attention. Unwanted attention.

The auburn haired girl abruptly leapt off her chair, her sudden action startling the four men in the room.

"Orihime? What's wrong?" Alphonse asked, his hollow voice dripping with concern as he witnessed gray eyes widen in dreadful trepidation as they locked onto the stone.

Orihime swallowed the lump in her throat. "Dr. Marcoh… Did you…?"

"Edward, everyone, stay here and don't move," she instructed, seriously. "Don't follow me. I'd promise to come back alive."

"Come back alive?" Edward questioned, his voice filled with anger and worry. "What are you talking about?! What the fuck is happening, Orihime?!"

"How'd you get all those cuts?" Alphonse asked, fearfully. How can they fight an enemy they can't see?

Unfortunately for the Elric brothers, the auburn haired girl didn't answer their distraught questions. She merely removed her feet from her left shoe, turned around, and dashed away, not before snatching the Philosopher's Stone from Dr. Marcoh's hands with a quick 'sorry' in her wake.

"Wait!" the doctor shouted after her. "Where are you going with the stone?"

Edward growled under his breath, getting extremely frustrated with Orihime's odd behavior, glaring at the direction she left in. "Damn girl. Is she out of her fucking mind?" He glanced over at Major Armstrong. "Major, you look after Al, Nina, and the doctor," he ordered. "I'm going after Orihime."

"Understood," the Major nodded.

"Careful, brother," Al said as he watched Ed run off in the direction Orihime went.

Orihime deactivated her healing dome, but stayed put where she was to allow her body to rest and replenish her spirit energy. She immediately froze when felt something on her shoulder. She craned her head around so fast, it almost sounded like her neck snapped.

The auburn haired girl sighed in relief when she was met with the golden eyes of Edward Elric. His face was set in a deep scowl.

"What hell is wrong with you?" Edward yelled. "Why'd you run off like that?" His eyes softened when he to in her form. Parts of her clothing were torn up and there were cuts across her arm and leg. "What happened to you, Orihime?" he asked, concerned.

She clenched her right arm, unable to look him in the eye. How could she tell him that there was a vicious, invisible monster with a white mask and a hollow hole in its chest that's wrecking havoc, and that nobody could see it except her?

"Edward, you shouldn't have followed me," Orihime finally spoke, soberly.

Edward frowned. "Orihime," he said, staring at the girl, intensely. "What...are you hiding?"

The auburn haired girl bit the inside of her lips. "I'm not… I'm not hiding anything."

"Orihime, I know you're lying," Ed stated, he placed his only hand to hold the girl's shoulder, prompting the girl to tilt her head towards him so they were staring eye to eye. "Why don't you trust me and Al, and tell us what's going on?" he questioned, crestfallen.

Orihime felt a slight bit of guilt swell inside her. "It's not that I'm trying to hide anything," she replied, despondently. "It's just- Edward, run!" she suddenly shouted with a panic filled voice

"What?" he said, confused. His golden eyes widened in pain as he felt something sliced across his left shoulder. The large gash went from his left shoulder to the middle of his chest.

The only thing his brain could register was the overwhelming sense of pain going across of his shoulder. His mind was too numb to let out an agonizing scream. The only thing he could was his body hitting the ground with a soft 'thud'.

What just happened? What attacked him?

"We are friends? Right, Eddie? Al?" she asked, looking away from the two boys.

"Of course we are!" the soul bonded suit of armor chirped.

The ginger haired girl nodded, appreciatively. "That's good. I'm glad to have been friends with you guys. Even if I were to go...somewhere far away where we'd lose touch and possibly never see each other, even if you somehow find my actions unforgivable, I… I promise I'll never forget you guys and all the good times we had. You guys are my precious friends and that's not a lie!" she finished her a small heartwarming and bittersweet speech.

"Never forget us? What do you mean?" Edward asked, furrowing his eyebrows confusingly.

Orihime let out a silent melancholic laughter. It was just like him to pick up on intrusive details like that. She shook her head.

"Nothing, Eddie. Nothing at all. I was just thinking about how warm the Philosopher's Stone in Dr. Marcoh's possession felt," she lied. "It's so warm in fact, it almost felt like it's...alive."

There she goes again, starting with a happy tone and drifting off to a somewhat depressingly sad one.

One glance at Edward told her he was beginning to pick up on it too as he eyes held both concern and tiny, hidden feelings of hurt.

"Orihime?" the blond alchemist started, slowly. "Do you...know something about the stone?"

When the question was asked, Alphonse looked back and forth between the two, quizzically.

Ed was met with guilty gray eyes.

Orihime's lips bit her lip, obviously feeling nervous. "I-it's not that I was hiding it from you. I just...didn't...want to hurt your feelings." She quickly swallowed the small lump in her throat. It was now or never. "I think-"

She was unfortunate interrupted the front door loudly creaking open.


Golden eyes narrowed into a heated glare. The blond alchemist stood up abruptly, startling his armor clad brother.

"Brother? What's wrong?" Al asked, concerned.

Ed didn't answer him as he marched out the door. Feeling worried about his brother's temperament, Alphonse followed after him.

Edward was seething with rage. Did she know about this? All this time Orihime knew about the secret of the Philosopher's Stone, and she didn't say a damn thing!

He burst the door open to the apartment the three of them were temporarily renting at the moment. The door hit the wall with a loud 'bang'.

"Brother!" Alphonse reprimanded him. He was ignored, however.

Ed scanned the living room before marching towards the bedroom door. Without a second thought, he thrust the door open, and there she was sitting on the bed, the blanket wrapped securely around her body. But he knew it was her. How many ginger haired girls does he know?

Edward clenched his hand into fists. "Did you know about it?" he growled. "Did you know about the Philosopher's Stone? That it made from human lives?" His voice was rising with each accusation as well as his anger.

Alphonse stood behind him, unsure on what to do. He could understand his brother's fury, but this was Orihime. Even she did hide it, it was within good reason.

Ed gritted his teeth furiously when he received no answer from the auburn haired girl. "Answer me! Why didn't tell us the Philosopher's Stone was made from thousands of human lives?!"

Still no answer.

The blond haired alchemist stomped up to her and grabbed the front of her shirt, ready to chew her out for hiding such an important fact from.

Although, his rage and anger completely vanished with one glance at her face.

The face of someone who looked completely dead inside with silent, despairing tears streaming down her cheeks, and puffy red eyes.

Everyone was silent. No one knew what to say.

(A/N: This is the end of chapter twenty three! Hoped you enjoyed it! Again, sorry for the long wait! Writer's block is a bitch! Had to do a little research as well. Such a depressing to the chapter, huh? Well, I got nothing else to except, leave any comments, questions, and suggestions in review, and thanks for reading!)

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