Ryoma waking up and seeing Hawkeye hanging over his head. Ends up meeting Lt. Hawkeye, Ed, Al, and some other characters. He discovers that he isn't where hs thinks he is anymore. There are questions answered and it is later on that he gets shoved onto other people while they try to figure out how to send him back home.
The three of them were back in the flat that Al and Ed shared, and were currently clearing out a space in the yard to delegate as the tennis court. Various buckets containing strange ingredients lay around while on a wide expanse of concrete, an array had been roughly drawn on it in chalk. The yard belonged to the unit they lived in, which was part of a building like a townhouse, except that they owned a good-sized ground space.
A few months ago when Ed and Al first needed a place to stay after Ed passed his national alchemy exam, they had been living in a basic apartment with narrow corridors with no yards or balconies, Recently, after working several months and saving up Ed's military salary, they were able to move into a larger place that had a yard. Ed had wanted the townhouse because of it had a garden. Their mother had been fond of gardens, and Al would be delighted to have something to tend to everyday. Even with the garden, they still had plenty of space left, which Ed had decided to seal up with concrete to prevent the weeds from overgrowing into the garden. Right now, they had just found another use for the concrete
"Hmm...." Ed checked the notes he scrawled about the ingredients for "tennis", from what he could gather of Ryoma's descriptions of all the equipment they needed, from the tennis courts, to rackets, nets, poles, and balls. He turned to the other two. "Oi! Are we missing anything else or is the list complete?"
Ryoma was by this time drawing and using geometric patterns to show what a tennis ball and racquets look like. He didn’t exactly understand how these two could form this sort of thing out of the list of stuff they had dumped together. “I am not sure.” Showing the picture to Ed and Al whom looked at the play-by-play dimensions.
Al by this time stared at the pieces of paper in amazement. “Ryoma this sort of looks likes something that a alchemist would do.” Glancing at his brother to see if he noticed how the boy had mapped things out that resembles basic geometry that would be use in alchemy.
"Souda ne," Ed agreed, understanding what his brother implied at. Indeed, the lines themselves seemed very much like a very basic, alchemical array. Yet, Ryoma's drawing also puzzled him--it detailed the measurements of the court, denoting with a straight edge and specifically measured out markings to designate dimensions with units they were not familiar with. "Say, Ryoma-kun. How big is a meter?"
“1 Meter is this wide.” Ryoma took a stick and drew a line into the ground to show how large a meter was. “A tennis court is 24 x 11 meters.” Golden eyes lighten in amusement, “Perhaps I should draw the dimension for you to see.” He started to draw the whole court with lines onto the floor to show them how big it should be. Also where the net would be placed at let alone the poles and other minor details. “Does this help you?”
Al mentions softly, “This is pretty big Nii-san. But it fits into the backyard.” He was happy that things were coming along, “But by how big it is I think we need to add—“ The younger brother started to list more things into the piled on list.
"Hn, we do," Ed's brow wrinkled slightly. They needed to adjust the amounts to fit the ratio for the ingredients. "Al, is there any more PVC-derivative in the shed? I think last time we went to the Central shopping center with Winly, we bought some extras that she forgot to bring back with her. "
Al stood up from his crouch and made his way toward the shed, “I think so let me go check Nii-san.”
Ryoma by this time was holding onto a glass of water, his face was a bit flushed from the heat. He wasn’t exactly use to the climate yet, and the sun was a bit to over heated. Even though he was excellent in playing tennis, he had least had a hat to make sure he didn’t burn out anymore. It was just his luck that his clothes were all back at home. “What is PVC-derivative?”
"Polyvinyl-chloride-derivative," Ed clarified for Ryoma, as his brother left to fetch some more from the shed. "It's used in a lot of flexible synthetics. It's a kind of plastic that has a medium to low heat tolerance, but by mixing with other compounds, especially silicates, you can create a high heat-tolerant ceramic with many elastic abilities. It's perfect for making the tennis rackets, then net, and the turf for the court."
Noticing that the other boy was not used to the heat, he handed him a water canteen. "You should stand in the shade. The atmospheric composition is mostly likely different in your world. You probably have less carbon dioxide in your atmosphere."
Ryoma nods his thanks, “Domo.” Waltzing over to the tree he sat underneath it, “I normally wear a hat to avoid the sun when I play.” He shrugged turning his head to see Al come out with a container that held the PVC-derivative. “Besides I think your world has more pollution compared to Japan.”
Al sat the canister with the rest of the items. “Here you go Nii-san.” His metal head turned to view Ryoma fanning himself with the canteen, while still sipping water from the glass of water. “Eh are you feeling alright Ryoma?”
“Aa—“ Was the response that Al received from the golden eye boy, whom seems focused on what was in the pile of items.
"You may be right, Ryoma. Our engineers have not caught up with the alchemists, and fuel emission is not as efficient." Ed left Ryoma's side and walked over to Al. He knelt down beside his brother.
"Good, it looks like we have enough now, Al." Ed turned to his brother, his bright golden eyes suddenly serious and he spoke in a softer tone. "Al, I want you do this one." Ed knew that his brother did not have much of a chance to do alchemy after Ed had claimed a title as National Alchemist. However, he tried to give his younger brother opportunities when they were not in battle situations. "Unless," he continued, suddenly looking away shyly, "you want to do it together. It's been a while since we did any alchemy together."
If possible Al look suddenly happy at the prospect of doing Alchemy with his brother again. It wasn’t that he was well unsettled let alone jealous that this brother did more alchemy then he did, but he wanted to share an experience with his brother. Even though he was no longer in his fleshy body. “I want us to do it together—“ The metal of the helmet for a brief second shifted into a smile but disappeared quickly in a flash of the sunlight.
Even though Ryoma never mentioned his questions as to why the other boy was in a metal suit of armor. The Seigaku regular sense that there was some sort of story behind it, though he wasn’t one to pry into other people personal lives. After all if they kept to their own business then he would too. That was how he saw things, most of the time he remains silent to observe. It was funny how much you could learn by interaction between other individuals, without actually asking. Then again, he had always been quiet always watching, but he also had a tinge of impulsiveness that made him want to try different things. “Do you need help?” Surprise that he even offered, since he didn’t exactly know what they were doing.
Ed looked up at the sound of Ryoma's voice. "You want to help out Ryoma-kun?" Ed seemed a bit surprised, though it wasn't as if he had never had the thought before. Ryoma had never been in contact with alchemy before, but that did not mean the boy had no talent. He thought back on the times when he and Al had tried on their own as young children, even without any more guidance than a few basic books. However, Ed knew Al very well, and able to synchronize with him easily. But he did not know the extent of Ryoma's potential, if Ryoma had any--and unfortunately, Ed knew that neither he nor his brother had any experience with synchronizing with others outside of each other. He then turned to his brother. "Al, what do you think?"
Al stared at the other boy for a bit, “I think it would be fun if we let him try with us nii-san.” He paused slight; “Demo do you think it might be dangerous for him?”
Ryoma slid to his feet, curious about the symbols on the floor. Besides while he was in this world he might as well get use to a few new things. Besides learning wasn’t hard for him, whatever it was alchemy, science, a new move in tennis, let alone creating new moves he would get it down. He wasn’t a quitter.
Ed nodded in response to Al's reply. "That's what I'm worried about. Al, even I'm a bit worried that I might not be able to synchronize with him, even if he has the power. And the fact that he has no experience. I really don't know anything about the side effects. When we were children, we did basic transformations. This one is more complicated and bigger." He noticed that Ryoma was studying the patterns with interest, and he could relate to it on the same degree. " I do want to give him a chance, Al, but maybe it should wait, for his sake. I don't want him to end up like us."
Al nods his head, “It might be for the best, nii-san I don’t want our new friend to end up well—“ He didn’t finish the thought, after all another individual was now depending on them seems to be quite scary to say the least.
Ryoma of course was looking at the shapes and figures wondering what they would do and if each of the symbols had some form or purpose. Yet, it made him curious as to why exactly one would create a formation of triangles in one pin pointed location. Taking a stick he started to draw a circle and add a few of the symbols here and there. Odd that one has to be good enough to draw something like it. Pausing he look back and forth to it and then back again. Shrugging a bit tired from the not so fresh air he trudges back to the shade to flop down on his stomach, reaching out he took another sip of water from the canister. Indeed he had to do some form of exercise soon enough to get use to this weather conditions.
Ed called out to Ryoma, "Watch closely how this is done, and next time, I want you to try it out." He knelt down next to Al, as he had done often enough a long time ago when they were young children. Just kneeling like this next to his brother brought out feelings that were strangely familiar, yet it was somehow different. More than two years had passed since then, and he could somehow feel that they had both grown stronger both spiritually and physically; even Al's presence he could sense like a bright comforting glow. He placed his hands palm-down on the array, and turned to this brother. "Al, are you ready?"
“Hai Nii-san.” Al called out as he pressed his metallic palms onto the floor; he felt the energy inside him vibrate. It felt so long ago since he had done this, and the feeling was exciting. Each time he did this by himself or with his brother, but now there was a whole purpose, it wasn’t for seeing their mother. No rather it was to create something that inwardly he was curiously longing for—and yet it was to create something to earn a smile from their new friend. The boy seems rather lonely and he didn’t smile enough, Al wanted to give something to receive the gift of happiness for the boy. And yet he selfishly wanted to be able to make something with his nii-san to be able to feel that strong connection with the other.
Ryoma had folded his legs together and lean against the tree his eyes warily watching the two, it was obvious that they were bracing themselves and channeling something through their bodies. His eyes widen a bit to notice electricity and a sudden glow take place on the seal around the two. In a way the glow reminded him of the—quickly realization hit him.
‘Just like the staff.’ Slowly a theory began to form in his head, as to why let alone how he got here, it should have been obvious to those that did this sort of thing, but he wasn’t use to it. Surely he didn’t believe in it, and yet now—he found himself believing. Even though he didn’t want too.
Rapidly, the shape of a tennis court with a full net, rackets and tennis balls began to emerge from the swirling and crackling mists that formed around Ed and Al. Though it was not apparent from just watching them, the ability to perform an alchemical transformation was due to the alchemist's will and spirit. An alchemist's thoughts, channeling energy from his spirit fueled a transformation when the equivalent materials were laid out--this Ed knew too well. He and Al were both naturally gifted with the extended "second vision" that allowed alchemists to see the transformation in a transition state and manipulate the transformation from the reactants to the products. The stronger the vision, the more quickly and accurately the transformation could take place.
Ed had realized that in working with Al, he was sometimes able to share the same vision, that sometimes what he was visualizing was not simply from his viewpoint. As the vision reached completion and died away, he felt the link sever, and in a way, it was slightly disappointing and anti-climatic. It had been different when he was working alone, yet when he worked with Al, he could almost feel himself sucked outside himself, and this sensation caused him to shiver--it was thrilling, but also a discomforting thought.
Al shook his head feeling the metal clang here and there. That feeling he felt two years ago was there again, how he had long so badly to feel it. He could almost feel himself in his brother’s shoes. Feel the bones, the flesh, the things he saw and the vision that he imagined. It was something he had long for so long to be so near to his brother. Pausing he glanced around the court and clapped his hands. “That was fun.”
Ryoma blinked quickly after the light had faded amazed that the two could create the tennis court out of material of all things. So this was alchemy? He didn’t quite understand what it was before but it was something strange, and perhaps interesting. Was it possible that there were many individuals in this world that could create these sort of miraculous things? Bending one knee up to his chest, he stared at the detail of the tennis court. He could taste the feeling the excitement inside himself. Almost feel the power of the racket in his hands, and as if subconsciously so he found himself clench his fist trying to feel the grip handle of his beloved red racket
Leaning his head forward his bangs cast a shadow over his eyes. “Che—“ Normally he wasn’t prone to his desires, but Ryoma was a fickle boy, he also was an individual that was impulsive. Yet the force inside him was pressuring onward until he felt that he would blow from the energy that restlessly shifted around him. He didn’t understand, why he felt a shift of sadness embrace his body and his heart. Maybe the reminder that he was alone in this world was something he wouldn’t think about but he was a creature that like surroundings that were familiar. This world was too strange and foreign and he felt his heart quiver with depression.
Ed broke into a bright grin when he saw how nicely the transmutation came out and he grinned at Al, but when he glanced at Ryoma, his eyes softened slightly with sadness. He could imagine what the boy was feeling, and he turned away for a moment to collect his own thoughts. Then picking up two more rackets, he tossed one to Al, and then turned to Ryoma, waving his racket gleefully.
"Hey, let's play!"
Ryoma lifted his head slightly then slid to his feet, his hand automatically reach for his hat, but realizing that he didn’t have it with him. Irritating not to have his shield to the rest of the world. Walking swiftly the red coat trailed after him, making him wonder if it was best to play tennis in these clothing. But oh well—it could be worse he could be playing tennis nude. He was sure his baka Oyaji if would have a field day if he did.
Al of course was oblivious to the feelings that trailed in his new friend. “Ne Ryoma lets play—eh tu how do we play?”
The black green hair boy by this time had picked up a racket his fingers tightening around it vaguely getting the feel. Flicker his finger he nicked the strings frowning when he notice that the strings were too loose. “The strings aren’t tightened enough for pressure. If we hit the ball with it there wouldn’t be enough resistance to bring it across the net.” He mumbles, “Beginners need tuned rackets.”
Ed grinned sheepishly. "Sometimes alchemy isn't perfect. We've never played tennis before so we don't really know about the tension in the strings." However, glancing around, he suddenly had an idea. He picked up a nearby tennis ball and tossed it to Ryoma. "There's another way to fix the tension in the rackets. The balls should be the right size and mass. If you'll let us know what the elasticity of the ball is like, then we can use the ball to tune the racket."
Ryoma cock his head to the side, “You want me to hit the ball across the court or against a wall?”
Al claps his hands, “Nii-san your brilliant!”
Ed grinned almost smugly at his brother's compliment, but he quickly composed himself and turned to Ryoma.
"Whichever you prefer." Ed offered. "Try bouncing the ball first, and if the ball bounces right, then hit it with the racket. Use the force you normally use and we'll use the results to compare." He then stepped to the side to watch with Al.
Ryoma pause to look at the two then walked away heading to the wall. Bringing up the ball with his left hand he toss it and started to hit it. It bounced against the wall and flopped down, onto the floor barely bouncing upward. The golden eye boy frowned at the fact that the ball wasn’t either elastic enough to even rebound upward. Sighing he picked it up and used a little bit more force on the ball with a more upper swing and a twist of his waist. The ball this time bounce upward halfway near him, stepping forward his vision narrowed onto the yellow blur. Hitting it again he settled into a rhythm with his right hand.
His body relaxed into the rhythm of just focusing on the ball hitting it back and forth and back and forth. Mind blanking out only thing in this world was him, the racket and the ball now. Constantly working together bringing the ball against the one single point that it was meant to go. A darkening spot began to show up where the ball repeatedly hit obvious to the amount of force that Ryoma had edge into his swing.
“Nii-san.” Al whispered, “Didn’t the racket have not enough tension?” Clearly puzzled that Ryoma could adjust for the tension and use it to hit the ball repeatedly almost as if there was nothing wrong with the racket and the ball.
Ed frowned slightly as he watched Ryoma's racket connect to the ball repeatedly. He did not truly understand tennis, but he already could sense the boy had a natural gift with the sport.
"Aa--" Ed responded to his brother, continuing to watch the ball hit the same sweet spot over and over again upon the racket--a sweet spot that had not been there originally, but was gradually forming from each rhythmic bounce of the strings. "Look Al, we may not have to do anything. He is tuning the racket with his rhythm." Ed crossed his arms over his chest and his golden eyes closed. Is that right? Well then he now understood. Tennis to this boy was like alchemy to him. Neither could live without the other.
Al turns his head to look at Ed then look at Ryoma then back at Ed again. Quite honestly not understanding things, “Nii-san how is he turning the racket?” Almost as a after thought, “Do we still need to tune the rackets we have?”
Ryoma continued to hit the ball, then almost as if a trigger switched, a smirk latched onto his face, shifting his weight, he launched into the split step the bounce midway letting him change the tennis racket to his left hand and just as quickly he settled into a rhythm.
Left-handedly Ryoma felt the air breeze past him each time he hit the ball, the tension was mounting, and he could feel it. The final moment where the burst of energy should be released and just as if a switch was flipped, Ryoma whacked the ball with all his might sending it spinning in a circle against the wall twisting and twisting until it stopped then flopped onto the ground in dead stillness. Silence golden eyes closed at the relief he felt bringing the racket over to settle against his shoulder he bounce it almost massaging the tense muscles into relaxation. And yet it appeared that with each bounce he was listening to the racquet speak to him, telling him of the tension that was inside it. Informing him of its story, and how it was happy to be form for this purpose. Tennis was his alchemy that was no mistake. Tennis was what drove him to shine so bright and yet; it was part of his life ever since he could walk.
"Maa ne," Ed remarked as he looked at his and Al's rackets. "Of course we have to tune them still. Unfortunately, Neither of us can accomplish the same kind of wrist control on the grip that allows you to adjust and manipulate the string vibrations. You see, every time he hits the ball, the focal point of contact here in question is tested and molded to the desired tautness. Even though he said the racket was not tight, but the material itself is adequate. Therefore, when you hit any object, there is a restorative force, and from the continuous shaping of the restorative force, he's able to tune the racket to the appropriate tightness."
Ed looked from his human arm to his auto mail arm. Playing tennis would indeed take him more time to adjust, considering that his arms were not equal, but that did not stop him from trying. Al, who had already expert control over the metal armor, may have an easier time playing the sport, if he were able to acquire a sense of the vibration and move about in a more agile fashion.
"There are two ways we can go about tuning the other two rackets. Either Ryoma lets me test his racket, in which we can then appropriately tune the others with alchemy, or we will need to experiment and Al, you can help me out with tuning the rackets. You can try to hit the ball in the center of the racket right?" Since neither he or Al had the skill level or control with their wrists and hands that Ryoma had acquired from tennis, there was another route available for them--alchemy. After knowing the mechanics, it was not difficult to manipulate the material if you were a skilled alchemist.
Ryoma walked over to them, “You have three options one let me tune them, two play with me and get a feel for it, or three bounce the ball against the wall.” His eyes burned with a golden lava flow. His facial expression was changed into a cocky smirk while the red racket he held was position over his shoulder.
By what Al could see this was Ryoma the true Ryoma, compare to the other boy that was different, this one held a candle that burned in the darkest of nights.
"Matte," Ed responded, not at all intimidated, flipping back a few strands of blond hair. "Does it matter which we choose? I hate playing others' games. But since we have to entertain you for a while, I'll let you do the choosing. Neither of us have ever played before, but we are not slow to learn either. Choose one of us to be your opponent for your next match."
Ryoma lazily smiles, “It is up to you.” Stretching his muscles, “It’s really nothing to me.” Walking toward one side of the court, he was in a mood to play.
Al looks a bit anxious, “Ne nii-san is it just me or did he turn into another person?” Feeling a bit nervous at playing Ryoma, when he seems to be turning into some sort of monster.