Disclaimer: I don't own FMA, it is the rightful properly of Hiromu Arakawa. It's just fun to play in their world for awhile.
Author's note: The inspiration for this story came from a rather snarky comment made by my oldest brother. It festered away for a while until I came up with the plot for this oneshot. Enjoy!
Beta: Serenanna (1010305) Thanks for putting up with me!
Warning: Possible movie spoilers, although it's technically set post-movie. Ed's a little OOC here, but he's just having fun yanking chains, 'cause he's in a good mood - for once.
"What scares me is not that Alphonse talks to the cats, it's that the cats talk back!" Edward said to Noa on a warm spring day as she brought in the coffee. She set down the heavy tray on the table and unloaded it: silver pot, three empty cups (with saucers), a small pitcher of cream, a bowl of sugar cubes, three spoons, - and three extra saucers. Then she set the empty tray aside and smiled over at Alphonse, who sat crosslegged on the grass behind their apartment building in Munich.
The boy was surrounded by his favorite animals: a grey tabby sat on his left, a brown blotched tabby to his right, a cream-colored Siamese-ish cat lolled in his lap, a large black cat with 4 white paws stalked back and forth, rubbing against Alphonse's back, and both of his shoulders were occupied by two dark grey tabby kittens. All were mewing and vocalizing at Alphonse, and with his inferior human vocal cords, Alphonse was doing his best to imitate the sounds they made.
Like mamy people, Noa regarded cats with suspicion; they sucked the breath from babies, black cats crossing one's path brought back luck, they were succubi and incubi in disguise, and of course, all cats were the familiars of witches. When cats started coming around Alphonse, she tried to warn Edward about these concerns, but he just laughed at her for her "silly" superstitions. So Noa now kept her misgivings to herself, but she also kept a watchful eye on the cats, fearful they meant the boy harm.
She wasn't married to Edward, but like any good German hausfrau, she poured out the coffee, and she knew how each brother liked his. Edward: two lumps of sugar, no cream - he regarded all dairy products as his sworn enemies. Alphonse: three lumps of sugar,and a large enough dollap of cream to make the coffee more like sugared milk. Noa put only the smallest splash of cream into her coffee, she preferred it dark and strong. "Alphonse!" she called out, holding the cream pitcher up, "would your friends like the leftover cream?"
She didn't have to ask. Alphonse gently set the cat in his lap in the grass, then careful not to dislodge the kittens on his shoulders, he stood up and walked slowly over to the table. He took the extra saucers under his cup in one hand, and the cream pitcher in the other before walking back to his spot in the grass. Kneeling down, he set the four saucers a foot apart in front of him, and carefully portioned cream into each one. Then, he sat back and crossed his legs again, drank his coffee and smiled as his feline friends enjoyed their dairy treat.
Once they had finished, the six cats purred their thanks and gave his legs and knees affectionate head butts. The black cat took the spot in his lap, it rolled over and exposed it's soft underside, and purred rapturously. Edward chuckled warmly at the sight, for it was as if the cat was begging Alphonse to rub it's belly.
"That one must really trust you, Al."
He turned back towards the table and met his elder brother's expression, smile for smile. "Brother, would you like to pet one of them?"
"Ohhh, no. No thanks." Ed shook his head before holding out his empty cup for Noa to refill. He didn't particularly dislike cats, it was more like he wasn't interested in the little beasts.
Alphonse wasn't insulted, but he smirked at Ed in reply. "Brother, I think it's because you are half cat yourself."
"Eh? How do you mean?"
"Well, Brother," Alphonse briefly paused to marshall his reasons: "You are very much like a cat, you are aloof, nocturnal - you stay up half the night reading, solitary, you respond to others only when you feel like it, you like routine and don't like it disrupted. Because you are half-cat, you don't seem to care for cats because you are defending your territory."
Noa muttered something under her breath and Ed looked at her sharply.
"What did you say!"
"Oh, nothing, nothing at all." She waved her hands back and forth, as if trying to swat the words away.
"No, Noa, I want to know, c'mon now, tell me!"
Noa sighed dramatically. "I said 'at least he's not marking his territory'!"
"Oho!" Ed put down his cup with a theatrical clang onto it's saucer. "That sounds like a challenge! Here! Let me demonstrate how I mark my territory!"
He stood up so fast the cats were put on alert by his swift movement, they all got very still, and their eyes became very round, ready to flee if the big human attacked. Both kittens jumped down from Alphonse's shoulders, one hid behind him, but the other stood defiantly between Edward and Alphonse, as if protecting the boy, his tiny back arched, and his miniature brush of a tail fluffed out as he hissed.
"Like so!" Edward declared loudly while reaching down to the fly of his pants and unzipping it with a dramatic flourish.
"Fear me, all rival tom cats!"
"EDWARD!" a scandalized shriek came from Noa
"BROOTHHHEERRRR!" a drawn out yell from Alphonse, who couldn't believe how Edward was embarassing him.
Fortunately, they weren't in public view back in the small private courtyard, but Noa hoped no neighbors had been looking out their windows at this scene. Having made his point, Edward almost immediately zipped up his pants and sat down again, then picked up his cup and sipped, as if nothing had happened. But there was a dangerous glint in his eye, now that he'd discovered the fun of yanking Al's and Noa's chains.This is fun! He couldn't wait to do it again.
'Alphonse! Provider of Cream!' the kitten who had "defended" Alphonse had lept back onto his shoulder and was mewing into his left ear. 'Did that human frighten you?'
'No, not at all,' Alphonose chirruped back. 'That is Brother's way of playing, he would never hurt me.'
'Alphonse!' called the black cat who was wriggilng in his lap, she was a queen, and she was coming into heat. Which partially the reason the other three cats - all toms - were hanging around. 'I want to have your kittens!'
The boy ducked his head and blushed, then he gently rubbed the ears of the black queen. She looked at his face in alarm. 'Why does your face turn colors? Did I insult you?'
'No, Katja, you didn't insult me - but,' Alphonse almost felt sorry he couldn't give Katja what she desired. 'We are of different species, only one of my own kind can bear my - er, kittens.'
'You are so wise, Alphonse Cat-Lover,' meowed the blotched tabby, calling Alphonse by the title the cats had bestowed upon him. He stood up on his hind legs, resting his forepaws on Al's left arm. 'Tell us again of your plan to restore our kind to their rightful place as rulers of this world.'
Alphonse looked back at Edward and Noa; they were drinking their coffee and chatting of inconsequential things, oblivious to the little plot being hatched right in front of them. 'Well, Klaus,' He'd given all the cats names beginning with the letter 'K'. 'First the cats of this world must join forces with the cats of my world. The next Mouse Moon when the moon is in it's fourth quarter after that is accomplished, you shall take over in both worlds.'
The Siamese-ish cat, Kitzel, spoke up with a question. 'And how shall we do this, meet the cats from the other world?'
'Why, you shall travel through the Gate of Alchemy, Kitzel. I've found out something special about cats - you are all natural alchemists, and you can summon a transdimensional Gate without sacrifice, because all cats are like the Philosopher's Stone. You are perfect beings which transcend the laws of alchemy.'
'Puurr-fect beings,' trilled the grey tabby 'we are purr-fect beings, I like the sound of that.'
Careful not to expose his teeth, Alphonse smiled affectionately at all of them. He so loved cats he would betray his own kind to order to help the cats take over both worlds - the machine and the alchemic. For he really felt only they could put an end to the almost constant warfare humans engaged in. This task would take the efforts of truly superior beings to bring about lasting peace, but Alphonse was sure the cats would be up to it.
If only - if only all cats could be convinced to take part in the plot - and at the same time too. For Alphonse had learned one thing - getting cats to agree on one thing was next to impossible. So until then, Operation Feline Take-Over was in standby mode.
He bent his head closer to the cats, mewing, purring, and trilling to them, which caused Edward to repeat his earlier statement to Noa. "What scares me is not that Alphonse talks to the cats, it's that the cats talk back!"