Characters: Riza Hawkeye, Maria Ross (pairing preferred)
Location: Shooting range, pre-anime
Premise: Maria can't shoot guns.
Title: “Someone To Protect.”
Warnings: None, really. One-sided Ross/Hawkeye. It’s a serious fic.
Maria Ross didn’t visit the military shooting ranges often. She was, first and foremost, not particularly fond of the sort that normally hung around the shooting ranges, preferring the company of middle-ranking officers to the invariably cruder rank-and-file that lounged around the ranges. Secondly, she was not a particularly strong markswoman and was rather disinclined to visit the ranges and remind herself how utterly substandard she was with a gun – or to remind the officer core how woefully inept she was with firearms or any sort. When she did go, she tended to slip into the range in the gray hours of daybreak, but rare were the mornings when she felt inclined to hurry down to the range before she was expected to report in to headquarters. If she made it to the ranges early enough, she could fire off a few rounds before anyone showed up to see her abysmal performances.
This morning, however, was different.
There was already someone in the building when Maria stepped in. For a moment, she considered turning around then and there and just taking a walk, or maybe heading back to the barracks, but the nasty little voice that had harassed her to get out of bed early in the first place pointed out that if she skipped out on some practice today she’d have wasted all that time and energy and wouldn’t that just be a shame. Besides, the other soldier was a woman and probably not, Maria reasoned, one of the enlisted men who got a kick out of seeing one of their officers completely miss a target. Maybe she was here for the same reason Maria was: to work on her aim when no one else was around to see her shoot completely off the mark.
… or, she sighed to herself, walking past the soldier’s bullet-filled bull’s eye, maybe not.
Maria tried to ignore the steady bursts of gunfire from the other end of the range as she shot off her own rounds – really, she did – but she found herself, time and time again, jerking, caught off-guard, as the crack of the other woman’s gun ricocheted down the hall. And she found herself (unintentionally, at first) staring at the soldier, at the woman’s look of super-human concentration, at the tense-but-assured posture, at the fluidity of the way she shot off a round and managed the recoil and stepped back into position without batting an eyelash.
“You’re twisting your wrist,” said a cool voice to her left.
Gracelessly, Maria shot a bullet off wide – wider than she normally managed, which was saying something. “Wha?” It came out like the bullet, short and clipped and utterly disoriented.
“You twist your wrist as you shoot,” repeated the blond woman seriously. “It sends the bullet off-mark. Try again.” Her voice had a whip crack of authority, sharp as a pistol’s ringing ricochet. Maria raised her gun and took aim, lining the gun up with the target, but –
“No.” The soldier took Maria’s shooting arm in her hands. “Aim again.” Maria fought back a sailor’s torrent of abuse but, eying the woman’s insignia of rank, did as she was told, taking aim, shooting –
“Oww! Holy—” The blond’s fingers were clamped tightly around her wrist, bracing the joint between arm and hand.
“Look at the target,” she ordered, letting go.
Normally, Maria Ross only visited the shooting range once a week – her soldierly conscience could only rouse her to action every few days. This week, however, was different.
The day after the first encounter (meeting? Introduction? Beginning?), Maria found herself back at the range, firing off another series of wayward shots. The blond woman didn’t even look up as Maria took her place in front of a target, just continued firing, cool as ice.
“Your wrist movement is still off,” said a voice in her ear, several rounds of misfiring later.
“Yeah,” she muttered.
Those strong-as-steel hands wrapped themselves around her wrist again. “Fix it.”
A shot, a thud, a bull’s-eye.
The blond was Second Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, Maria learned (more than a week later, and only after some nagging). She’d been a sharpshooter in Ishbal and was in Central accompanying one of the State Alchemists. Slowly but surely, she taught Maria dozens of little tricks about firearms, everything from the fastest way to draw a gun to the best way to absorb recoil.
And still, with all those little tricks of the trade tucked away, Maria could only shoot with Hawkeye there coaching her along.
Hands around wrist, collected voice, a shot, a thud, a bull’s-eye.
“How’d you get to be so good at this?” Maria asked.
“Guns. Shooting. Marksmanship.” Teaching.
“Part of good marksmanship is natural,” she said, polishing the barrel of her gun. “But most of it is practice.” Here she paused. “To protect someone.”
Maria thought about that for a long time.
Motivation, a reason to pull the trigger, hands around wrist, collected voice, a shot, a thud, a bull’s eye.
One day, Riza Hawkeye didn’t appear at the shooting range, nor did she come the next day, nor the day after that. Maria found out, through the military’s tangled grapevine, that a certain State Alchemist had been sent to Central and taken his staff with him.
Maria Ross continued to visit the range. At first, before she found out that Hawkeye was gone, she practiced every day in hopes that the other woman might be there. Eventually, it became routine, a habit. She mastered hitting a target dead center on her own, standing her ground, drawing and firing quickly.
There were rumors of problems off to the East, of a possibility of war. Maria Ross continued to practice.
It was silly, she knew, but love was like that.
Early mornings, self-assurance, motivation, a reason to pull the trigger, hands around wrist, collected voice, a shot, a thud, a bull’s-eye.
And, at the heart of it all, someone to protect.
Characters: Edward, Wrath, Envy, various other sins
Location: Disney World during the holidays
Premise: On "that person"'s orders, Envy takes Wrath to Disney to keep him occupied (he's getting in the way of the sins' Christmas preparations). An unwilling Edward is stuffed in the luggage and forced to tag along. Gluttony MUST eat the Christmas tree in an early scene.
Title: “Moofy’s First Christmas”
Warnings: Silliness and spoilers through episode 50, actually. And utter disregard for timelines and how the Gate works. :P
The premise for this actually reminds me of the very first piece of fanfiction I ever wrote – Harry Potter goes to Disneyland. I’ve actually never been to Disney World, but I, like, grew up at Disneyland, so the parts of this story that aren’t vague will really be about Disneyland. Sorry, shann. :P
“Gluttony!” screeched Dante, “get away from the Christmas tree!”
“But I’m hungry…”
“Get out! The Christmas tree is not for eating!”
“Christmas tree?” echoed Wrath, stumbling into the room. “What’s… ‘Christmas’?”
“Christmas,” explained Dante, transmuting some sand into hay and tossing it into a manger, “is a very special holiday that really celebrates coming together in peace and love. No one in Amestris has celebrated it for hundreds of years—”
“Because it’s a load of sentimental bull,” smirked Envy, entering the room with two squirming bundles under his arms. “She only celebrates it because it’s the first time she kissed Ho—”
“What? It’s true.”
Dante turned up her nose and chose to ignore this. “Did you bring the baby?”
“Yes, yes.” he said. “I got a bit distracted along the way, but I found one for you.” He unwrapped the smaller bundle and tossed the infant inside to Dante, who smiled and placed it as gently as she could (for a sekkritly evil four-hundred-year-old alchemist) in the manger.
“There, the nativity scene is done… but what about that?” She pointed to the swath of dirty fabric under Envy’s arm, which was giving off muffled screams and wriggling like a beached fish.
“Oh this?” Envy grinned, rolling out the bundle like a rug. Edward Elric, tied up and gagged, slid across the marble floor, took one look at his surroundings, then redoubled his efforts to escape from his bonds. “I brought a little State Alchemist along with me. I figured he’d make a good Christmas elf.” The Fullmetal Alchemist froze, then began howling through his gag something that sounded something like “Who’s short enough to be an elf?”
“It’s you!” Wrath shrieked.
“It’s you!” shouted Ed – at least, that’s what he tried to say.
“It’s him,” said Envy. “Isn’t he cute? I thought we could put him in a little red suit and tug on his ears until they’re pointy and use him as a decoration.”
“No,” said Dante, twirling a dark lock of hair around her finger coquettishly, “I think we should leave him tied up like that. He’s just as handsome as his father was…”
“No objections here,” Envy grinned. “We can tie him up to the tree and play with him.”
Ed made some very angry noises through his gag and thrashed around even more, knocking over most of Dante’s nativity scene the process. The baby, pitched from the manger, began to cry.
And that’s when all hell broke loose.
Wrath began to scream, Ed managed to cut his hands loose on one of the wise men’s crowns, and Envy sat back and laughed. Several alchemical explosions and minutes of high-pitched caterwauling later, Dante hit both Wrath and Ed over the head with an alchemized club and collapsed to the ground. “This is not what Christmas is supposed to be like!” she snapped to Envy, who nodded silently, trying not to grin.
There was a crunch from the other end of the room.
And so it was that Dante of the Deep Forest (who was really crashing in the old part of Central) pitched a fit and sent the homunculi Wrath and Envy off through the Gate with an unconscious Fullmetal Alchemist to Disney World to get them the hell away from her Christmas set-up.
Edward Elric awoke on a train, which was, in and of itself, not particularly strange. He woke up on trains all the time. The odd thing about this train was that the carriage was completely open and there were screaming children all around him. It took him a moment to recall what had happened before he’d blacked out. He’d been fighting Envy – that was normal. He’d been tied up and gagged and rolled – not horribly strange. And then he’d been unrolled in time to hear about some strange ritual called Christmas that the homunculi celebrated and blown things up and been hit over the head – yes, that was probably where things had taken a turn for the worse.
“Hey, mister.” One of the kids was tugging on his coat. “Hey, mister, are you one of the seven dwarves? ‘Cause I almost have my autograph book full and I just need Grumpy—”
“WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT THAT HE’S DEFINITELY A DWARF WHO’S SHORTER THAN A FIVE-YEAR-OLD KID?!”
The child burst into tears. This made Ed feel a little bit better, but he was still confused. None of these children were dressed normally, and some of them had cultish-looking hats with ears on them. He’d get off at the train station and try to figure out where he was.
It didn’t take long for Envy to find the power generators, knock out the guards, and figure out that if he flipped all the switches that said “Do Not Touch” in the opposite direction, something bad would probably happen. “Ready, Wrath?”
“Ngh,” slurred Wrath, who was still in something like catatonic shock after walking through a horde of mothers with screaming children (Envy hadn’t let him kill any of them. He’s told Wrath that they didn’t have time for that sort of thing. Wrath had been sad – well, he would have been sad if he’d been a little less traumatized).
“That’s the spirit,” beamed Envy, and smacked down all the switches at once.
There was a very, very big explosion.
Ed was most displeased. Not only did he not know where he was, but people were constantly asking him if he was a dwarf. He’d screamed at so many people that he’d lost his voice. Plus, he hadn’t been able to do alchemy since he got here and had no idea what was going on at this place – there were people queued up like cattle all over, none of whom could tell him how far away he was from Central or Ishbal or Risembool. Most of them gave him strange looks.
And then there was an explosion.
Ed wheeled around to watch a gigantic fireball mushroom and fade away. The people around him screamed and tore off in the opposite direction, but Ed hurried off as fast as he could towards the area of the explosion. If there was one thing he knew, it was that disasters tended to involve people he knew – Mustang, homunculi, and Scar, for example – and that if he plunged himself in the trouble, there would probably find a familiar face somewhere along the way.
“Damn,” said Envy, as his body stitched itself back together. “It’s a good thing we can’t die.” He stood, surveying his handiwork. There were fires everywhere, and no lights as far as the eye could see. The world had come to a standstill.
A perky mechanical voice crackled through the air. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Switching to back-up generators now…”
The lights flickered back on.
When Ed finished beating his way through the flames to the center of the ruins, he saw two very distraught homunculi. “You!” he shouted, then smiled and ran to hug both of them. “You have no idea how glad I am to see you! This place is so… so…”
“Scary?” volunteered Wrath dismally.
Ed nodded. “And I don’t care that all you guys have spent a year trying to kill me or manipulate me into creating the Philosopher’s Stone – you’re not as scary as the guys in the rubber suits or the rabid children.”
“It’s like what Dante said,” Wrath mused. “Christmas – a time for celebrating coming together in peace and love.”
“Bah,” said Envy, “she means that it’s a time for celebrating the first time she got Hohenheim in bed.”
Edward Elric, who had managed to keep a relatively level head through kidnapping, being sent to another world, and a really big explosion, fainted dead away.
In due time (that is to say, after the Christmas decorations were complete and Gluttony had been scared into not eating any more of the decorations, even the candy canes), Dante brought Envy, Wrath, and Ed back to Amestris. Ed was emotionally scarred and utterly traumatized and didn’t remember any of what had happened at Disney World when he woke up tied to Roy Mustang’s desk, but Wrath kept the meaning of Christmas close to his heart for the rest of his days.
Characters: Russel, Edward, Archer (either version is fine.)
Location: Cabin in the mountains (Drachma?)
Premise: it's snowing. Edward ate the last of the food. Insanity sets in.
Title: “The Blanket Fic From Hell.”
Warnings: One-blanket-in-the-cold, “Who’s so small?” screeching, SND riffs, a lightbulb!Envy cameo, Terminarcher. Insanity. Probably more insanity than wabisuke wanted. Sorry. :P
“You do realize that was the very last of the rations, don’t you?”
Edward stared at Russel. Russel stared back. “Yes. And they were my rations to begin with.”
Russel sighed. “I suppose it can’t be helped,” he said, sighing and clutching his rumbling stomach. “After all, you’re what, a head shorter than I am? You’re still a growing boy—”
“WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT THAT HE HAS TO EAT ALL THE FOOD TO GROW BIG ENOUGH FOR YOU TO SEE?!”
“You,” said Russel.
Needless to say, this caused something of a ruckus, in which Russel and Ed tumbled around on the floor and found themselves in rather compromising positions, then blushed a bit and proceeded to use alchemy to demolish most of the furniture in their small mountain cabin and transmute the fireplace into a rather twisted structure of huge chunks of marble, oozing oil paints, diamonds, and semi-automatic rifles.
The room went very, very cold.
“Hate you,” said Ed grumpily, pulling his coat tightly around himself as snow snarled outside. “Hate this cabin. Hate the mountains -- they’re full of snow.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Russel, salvaging Ed’s military-supply blanket from behind the burnt and blackened remains of what had once been a rather nice table. “You’re the one who suggested we come here.”
“To escape Archer and a government that wants to kill us, not because I like the mountains.”
“Details, details,” he muttered. “I’m going to sleep. Don’t open the doors – you’ll let the cold air in and you might be blown away.”
“WHO’S SO SMALL HE GETS BLOWN AWAY BY THE WIND AND HIDDEN IN SNOW DRIFTS?!”
“Not this again.”
They sat in contemplative silence for a while. Well, to be honest, it was neither horribly contemplative nor particularly silent – Ed was trying very hard to ignore the fact that he was cold and Russel was tossing and turning on the floor (the two beds had been blown up sometime earlier) and making quite a lot of noise as he tried to find something soft to lean up against.
“I’m cold,” announced Ed dismally, some time later.
“I can’t get to sleep,” said Russel. “The floor’s too hard.” A lightbulb flicked on above both of their heads, heralding something brilliant –
“Lightbulb!” shrieked Ed, backing up against a wall. “Get it away, get it away—!” Russel stared at him very oddly until the lightbulb sprouted hair and cackled evily, at which point he tossed it out into the snow, where it gave him a one-finger salute and jumped through a convenient plot-hole to warmer climes.
“What was that about?” asked Russel, sitting down next to Ed with the blanket.
“Nothing,” grumbled Ed. He hesitated, then inched just a bit closer to Russel. Russel hesitated, then threw the blanket over Ed. Ed was warm, Russel had something relatively soft to lean against, and all was well in the minds of fangirls everywhere.
… until the door broke in. Colonel Frank Archer strode into the cabin, his metal limbs flailing in every direction, his bionic eye staring straight at the two boys crouched together under a blanket. “You’re under arrest,” he grated, “for conspiracy against the government.”
“Yes,” said Russel wearily. “But we were just getting to the sharing-a-blanket part of a blanket fic. Could you come back a little later? I really don’t want to be sent back to Central and die a virgin.”
“What?!” squawked Ed, catapulting away from Russel.
“It would be a great way to warm up.”
Ed stared at him. “You’re insane. Absolutely insane.”
“Yes,” said Russel. “I suppose I am.”
“Ahem,” said Archer.
“And perverted, too, you stupid little—”
“Are you calling me little?”
“WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO--”
“Ahem,” repeated the lieutenant.
“Aww, did I say that out loud? I meant to say that you’re so itty-bitty that you’re utterly microscopic and I can’t see you and you get blown away and—”
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST--”
“Honestly,” said Archer, “I’m here to arrest you. If you don’t come along now I’ll be forced to shoot you.”
“You can’t believe it because you’re so small that you brain can’t grasp the idea that you’re short?”
There was dead silence.
But not for long.
The cabin exploded – quite literally, as a matter of fact – with alchemical flares and the steady drumming of machine-gun fire as Ed went for Russel and Russel went for Ed and Frank Archer proceeded to shoot at anything that moved. The native wildlife came out of hibernation to watch the spectacle, and a small, green-haired lightbulb rolled up to watch the action.
Eventually, Archer ran out of ammunition and Russel ran out of odds and ends to draw arrays with and Ed collapsed of hunger. By this point, however, the cabin had been mostly destroyed, and the three were standing out in the middle of a blizzard.
“Wonderful,” snarled Ed. “Just wonderful.”
Russel smiled mischievously and pulled a blanket from the ruins of their shelter, their last method of keeping warm. “My sentiments exactly.”
The next ones are going to have to be shorter, because these took a while, even as crack-ish and weirder-than-I-expected as the last two are. But – enjoy. Happy holidays.