The Flower Princess and the Alchemist @bloodpokemon101
Laws of Equivalent Exchange?

(A/N: Here's chapter five of 'TFPATA'! Enjoy!

Hollow Alchemist (guest): I love your reviews! They are really helpful! Now to answer some questions... I'm going to make it short and sweet, so I won't take forever with this reply. My simple plan was... Orihime crashes into Edward. She gets kidnapped. She's saved [I guess] by the famous Elric brothers. And Ed and Al eventually find out she's the healer they were looking for. The underground railroad... Well, I figured it was something that was there, but no one used it anymore. And since no one used it [at least not any of the townsfolk] they wouldn't expect to find Orihime there... That is until Ed, Al, and Rebecca found pieces of her hair there. And yeah, Edward is not to type to let people fall into a horrible fate, but he's also not the type to admit when he cares, especially when he's mad. Ed is not an affectionate person, let's just put it that way. As for a Messianic Archetype thing, I mentioned... Orihime isn't going to become some goddess or deity at the end. Oh, no! I find that too much! I just meant... How should I put this? That she's the type of person people would look up to for moral guidance, almost similar to Naruto [expect, she isn't going to kick their ass first then talk them to death later]. Her smile gives people strength. On another note, I do kinda like Messiah type characters. Like Madoka from PMMM and, like I mentioned, Naruto. But on the downside, yeah, I was expecting that the ending was a little lackluster. I thought it was just me because my expectations were too high. But I'm not like those pretentious people that demand twenty reviews before posting another chapter. And yeah, it's natural for a doctor to heal any and all people. But think of it like this, in the world of FMA, what doctor would heal a criminal? Very few, I believe. This is a land where discrimination and racism resides. Well, sometimes. It is the 1900s in this world.)

Laws of Equivalent Exchange?

After discovering that the healer that can bypass the laws of Equivalent Exchange was the weird girl called Orihime, Edward couldn't wait to confront her about her possession of a Philosopher's Stone.

Unfortunately, and much to his irritation, not only was it so late, but also she was hauled away by Rebecca and the townsfolk, trying to keep her away from the dogs of the military.

It was as if the citizens were fearing they would lose their beloved doctor. Begrudgingly, the blond alchemist could hardly blame them. After the Colonel finds out, he was mostly going to want them to return to East City HQ, so she could meet her himself.

Speaking of the Colonel, Ed was on his way to a payphone to make that phone call to HQ telling him they've discovered that healer and the rumors were true.

So the next morning, Ed made his way to the nearest phone booth, attempting to report to Eastern Command Center. The blond alchemist strummed his fingers against the pole impatiently as he waited for the Colonel to pick up, his brother waiting quietly behind him.

"What is it, Fullmetal?" Mustang asked, finally picking up the phone after several rings.

Edward decided to make this phone call short and quick. He wanted to ask Orihime about the Philosopher's Stone she has attained already!

"We've managed to find the healer the rumors were talking about," Ed said, his voice containing a serious tone.

"So I take it that means the rumors are true then?"


There was a short pause. "Did you find out if he has a Philosopher's Stone?"

Edward frowned. "Not yet. But Al and I believe she has one."


The blond alchemist ignored the lingering question going through his superior's head. No time for the Colonel's foolishness.

"We saw her abilities at work the other day. We believe there has to be some sort of trick she's using to be able ignore the laws of Equivalent Exchange, and it's likely due to the Philosopher's Stone she possesses."

There was a long pause. Ed could mentally see the gears turning in Mustang's head as he contemplated his next course of action.

"If you don't mind, I would like you to bring her to Eastern HQ."

Edward growled under his breath. "Why?"

"I've liked to see for myself if these rumors are true," Mustang answered simply. "In the meantime, keep a close eye on her and report back any findings."

He hung up before Ed could offer a retort. In frustration, he slammed the phone down in the receiver, startling his younger brother.

"What happened, brother?" Alphonse asked, concerned.

The elder Elric sighed in exasperation as he scratched the back of his head. "The Colonel wants us to escort that weirdo back to Eastern Command."

Al tilted his head in confusion. He didn't see the problem with this. Then again, this was his brother he was talking to. He never was one to get along with others, especially strangers.

Ed walked away from the phone booth. "C'mon, Al. We have some questions we need answering."

"God, Orihime!" Rebecca groaned as the girls exited a local restaurant. "You've got to stop eating so many weird things."

"What weird things?" Orihime asked, genuinely confused.

The dark haired girl shook her head. "You put honey on your steak. To me, that's the definition of weird."

The ginger haired girl pouted. "It's not weird. It's really good!"

The girls continued to aimlessly chat about anything and nothing until they heard the sound of metal footsteps. They paused in their tracks to see the Elric brothers standing a few feet away from them.

Edward was glaring at them, more specifically at Orihime, making the girl shift uncomfortably under his hardened gaze.

Rebecca stepped in front of her friend protectively. "What do you want, shorty? Stop glaring at Orihime!"

Ed gritted his teeth. "Who are you calling shorty?!" he growled out in a dangerously low voice. His fists was clenching and unclenching at his sides, as if it was taking all his willpower to hold himself back from screaming.

"Um, excuse me," Orihime spoke up, drawing the blond alchemist's attention back to her. "Is there something you need?"

Edward stuffed his gloved hands in his pocket. "Yeah…" He gave her a steely glare. "We've liked to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind."

Gray eyes glanced around, seeing passersby glancing at the foursome as they walked by.

She gave a soft smile. "Sure I don't mind. But can we talk in some place a little bit more...private."

The small group now found themselves back in Rebecca's house. Her father was off to work, so it was just the four of them. Edward and Orihime sat at opposite sides of a table with Alphonse and Rebecca standing respectively behind them, as if this was some sort of courtroom.

Ed glanced at the girl before him, taken in her features. Long auburn colored hair that reached all the way down to her waist. Her bangs appeared to be clipped back with blue flower hairpins and framed her face. Her skin was a soft porcelain color. He could see the cheerful wonder in her big, bright, gray eyes that also held a bit of childlike innocence. As for the rest of her, let's just say she had a very curvaceous figure. He tried to keep his golden gaze on her face and not her body or else his hormones would start to rage, he thought, trying to keep a blush down.

He was not a pervert! But damn! He couldn't deny the fact that she was hot.

As he was inspecting her, Orihime observed the young alchemist in front of her. He seemed like fairly decent, pretty boy type with long golden hair that was braided back and matching golden eyes. He had pale skin that was slightly tanner than hers. He wore an outfit that completely covered his entire body, so the only body part she could see was his head. And he seemed pretty conscious to make sure she doesn't see anymore than that. But his eyes, she noted, held such fiery determination, but also held crushing pain and guilt hidden beneath them that he tries desperately to keep hidden.

Edward was the first to speak. "I've got to say your healing powers the other day were really impressive."

Orihime smiled brightly over the compliment. "Oh, thanks! It's nothing really…"

"But there was just one thing I didn't understand," he continued, rubbing the side of his head, his face set in a stern and thoughtful expression. "How can you heal a person without offering something of equal value in return?"

Gray eyes widened in confusion. "Why do I need to give something up to treat a person?" She didn't understand the logic of sacrificing something to help someone else. What was the point in that? To hurt a person just to help another?

Ed let out a laugh, but it was unceremoniously mocking, which caused Orihime to frown. "Of course you wouldn't need to give anything up, if you have it."

The ginger haired girl tilted her head, puzzled. "Have 'it'?

"The Philosopher's Stone!" the blond alchemist suddenly shouted, getting frustrated with her innocent act, causing the girl across from to jump a little in surprise by the sudden raise in volume in his voice.

"The Philosopher's Stone?" Her lips were pressed together in a grim line. Was that this world's Hogyoku? She shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry, but I've never heard it before."

Orihime averted her gaze away from the boy when she saw the infuriated look on his face.

Edward was not pleased with her answer. No, he was downright furious. She was lying! She has to be! There was no way to overcome Equivalent Exchange without the stone. Just no other way!

"Stop lying!" Ed loudly declared, slamming his hands on the table, causing it to rattle a bit.

"But I'm not lying!" Orihime tried to explain fervently. "I honestly don't know what you're talking about!"

"Then how can you bypass the laws of Equivalent Exchange without a Philosopher's stone?!"

Orihime's eyes widened slightly as if coming to a realization. Laws of Equivalent Exchange? Is that how alchemy works? Is that how they derived their powers from? Now she could understand the confusion. They think her powers have something to do with alchemy.

The burnt-orange girl gave a small, honest smile. "I'm sorry. I think there's a mix up. I don't think my powers have anything to do with alchemy."

There was short pause as all other occupants in the room gave her looks of bewilderment, shock, and awe.

Rebecca was the first to break the silence. "I thought you could do alchemy, Orihime."

The girl in question shook her head, letting a nervous giggle. "I'm sorry about the misunderstanding. It's my fault. I should have explained myself."

"Then how were you able to heal my brother's wounds?" Alphonse asked curiously.

She gave a bright smile and as she answered his question. "The power of my will. Hehe," she said lamely. She tried to give boyish response as saying the 'power of her heart' would seem too girly to them. Even though her powers are literally derived from her heart or rather her soul. She honestly wasn't sure if she's allowed to say that much.

And judging by the incredulous stares she was receiving, the ginger haired girl knew she gave a really flimsy response to Al's question. But how else could she explain it without revealing too much?

Ed pinched the bridge of his nose. God, this girl was confusing. He let out a frustrated sigh and pulled out his pocket watch from his pocket.

The look of confusion on the girl's face was not something he expected.

However, Rebecca glared at him as if she knew where this was going as soon as he flashed his State Alchemist's watch.

"That's a cool watch!" Orihime complimented, eyes bright with fascination and wonder as she gazed at the dragon like design engraved on it.

"Thanks," Ed said, voice filled with pride. "It proves that I'm a State Alchemist. The youngest one to ever exist, in fact."

Alphonse sighed at his brother about his inflated ego.

"A State Alchemist! That's awesome!" the ginger haired girl said, impressed, causing the blond alchemist to let out a prideful smirk.

"If only I knew what that meant!"

Her cheerful yet naive follow up caused the others to collapse onto the floor, anime style.

"Orihime!" Rebecca exclaimed. "I told you about the so called famous Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric, just the other day."

"Oh!" the ginger haired girl slammed her fist onto the palm of her hand as if coming to a realization. "I remember now!"

Edward could only offer the girl an incredulous stare. Every moment with her just gets weirder and weirder.

"Let me just go ahead and say this before my head starts to explode. I've been assigned by the military to take you into custody."

Edward gazed long and hard at Orihime's facial features to see any sort of reaction.

Gray eyes flashed with resignation.

Ed didn't know why, but he frowned. He thought he'll get a much greater response.

Well, he did, but it wasn't from the whack job before him.

"You're arresting Orihime?!" Rebecca practically screamed, her face red with intense anger. "You can't do that! She's done nothing wrong!"

"We are not arresting her, Rebecca. Our superiors just want to observe Orihime's abilities for themselves," Al said, trying to calm the raging girl down. With his brother's tactlessness, it was up to him to diffuse the situation.

The dark haired girl opened her mouth to offer a rebuttal, but was stopped by the forbearance smile on the ginger haired girl face.

"It's okay, Rebecca." She gazed into Edward's golden eyes, understanding and acceptance filling her gray orbs. "I understand. When do I have to meet him?"

It took a moment for Ed to answer. This was way too easy. He thought she'd make more of a fuss.

He lazily shrugged his shoulders. Better for him. If she wasn't going to properly explain her powers to him, maybe the Colonel can get her too.

The blond alchemist stood up from his chair, deeming this little interview over. For now.

"We'll be here to pick you up by eight tonight. There we will take a train back to East City," he explained.

"Okay!" Orihime beamed as she waved them off. Alphonse offered her a polite goodbye in return, whereas his older brother was a little less enthusiastic.

"We'll be back, Orihime," Al replied as he shut the door behind. If he had face, she could of sworn he'll be smiling.

"Orihime! Why did you agree to go with those jerks?" Rebecca raged as soon as the Elric brothers left the premises, her arms swinging wildly above her head.

"Because I didn't want to cause any more trouble," Orihime replied sincerely. "If the authorities are coming after me, I'd just be a burden to you and your father, Rebecca." She shook her head solemnly. "I can't do that to you. You've already given me enough by allowing me to stay here for a little while."

"You're not a burden, Orihime!" the dark haired girl protested. "And we like having you here! Me, my dad, the townspeople… We adore you!"

The ginger haired girl gave her friend an appreciative smile. "Thanks, Rebecca. I liked being here, too." "But I don't belong here," she added silently as an afterthought.

"However, if the military already sent those boys to get me, then if I refuse now, who's to say that they won't try to capture me by force? I don't want the whole army endangering the town just because of me," she explained.

Rebecca wanted to reply, but her voice fell short of a response. As much as she didn't want to admit it, she knew Orihime was right. Tears were threatening to fall down.

Damn the Amestris State Military! This is why none of the citizens liked them. They are way too damn greedy. Once they find something that piques their interest, whether it be a person or an object, they want to take it for their own, even if they have to use force to do it. They might think what they are doing is for justice, but that's just a poor excuse to hide just how corrupt they are.

The dark haired girl stiffened a little when she felt her friend pull her into a gentle hug. The tears she tried desperately to hold back were slowly started pouring down in tiny streams.

She was scared about what the military would do to Orihime. Her friend was gentle and sweet. She doesn't want her friend to through that hell. She won't survive!

"Please don't worry, Rebecca," Orihime insisted, trying to reassure her friend. "I'll be fine. I promise to write letters to you every now and then." She remembered that cellphones haven't been invented yet.

Rebecca slowly let go of the hug and sniffled a bit. "You promise?" she asked, wiping the rest of her tears.

Orihime smiled brightly. "I promise!" She then let out a surprised gasp as if realizing something important.

"What is it, Orihime?" the dark haired girl asked worriedly.

The ginger haired girl beamed, her entire posture radiating with excitement. "This is great! I get to go on an adventure!"

Rebecca paused for a moment, then burst into a fit of laughter with Orihime joining in. It was just like her friend to find something positive in even the most heinous of situations.

"C'mon. We better get you packed and ready."


Later that night and right on schedule, there was a knock on the door. Rebecca opened it and was meet with the Elric brothers with the blond holding a brown suitcase.

"Hi, Rebecca," Alphonse greeted as Edward let out a grunt of acknowledgement. His face was set in a nonchalant glare as if he didn't even want to be here.

The suit of armor glanced around the room. "Is Orihime ready yet?"

Rebecca shook her head. "Not yet. But she would be soon."

"Well, she better hurry up. We don't have all day," Ed said, annoyed. "The train leaves soon."

The dark haired girl scoffed. "Stupid, midget," she mumbled under her breath.

A tick mark appeared on the blond alchemist's forehead. Unfortunately for him, Al held up back from lounging at the girl before him.

The trio then heard footsteps enter the room and glanced to see Orihime dressed in a red button down blouse, a yellow skirt that reached to her knees, and brown, knee length boots. She was carrying along a packed pink bag.

"Are you ready to go, Orihime?" Alphonse asked politely.

"Yep! Sure am!" Orihime beamed.

Forgoing his anger, Edward made his way out the door. "Then let's go."

He left with his younger brother following after him subsequently waving goodbye to Rebecca.

Orihime offered her friend one last hug.

"Goodbye, Orihime," Rebecca said tearfully. "I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you, too, Rebecca," Orihime whispered. Not wanting to get into trouble, she quickly removed herself from the hug and walked out the door.

Rebecca could only watch her friend's form slowly disappear into the distance. A few stray tears slid down her face.

"Be safe… Orihime…"

(A/N: That's the end of chapter five! Hope you enjoyed it! Wow, I didn't know Orihime's explanation and departure would be this long. I was planning to add more, like Orihime having her own mini misadventure, but I'll save it for next chapter. If I do it now, then this chapter would be over eight to ten thousand words long. And that seems really inconsistent when the first few chapters are only two to three thousand words long, and the chapters after this would be about the same length, more or less.

I don't think there's anything else to add. Please leave any comments, suggestions, or questions in a review, and thanks for reading!)

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