Author's Note: My first FMA fic and probably one of the strangest crack pieces I've ever written. Dedicated to the ever-wonderful, ever-awesome Kuwabara2691. Happy birthday!
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Hiromu Arakawa.
Vato Falman was distressed.
In all fairness, he had ample reason for this misery. Being forced to share the same space with an immortal, not to mention homicidal suit of armor was, after all, a taxing affair. Not only was it humiliating to be demoted to military babysitter, but Barry the Chopper was not the most…tolerable…fellow to be around.
It was not exactly a fiesta.
It was night. Heavy clouds hung in sheets across the darkened sky, shielding the moon from view. Falman was in a deep slumber, spread-eagled over his bed. Even in sleep, his face was troubled, as it had been since he had been given the task of watching Barry.
"Pssst. Mr. Tough-Meat."
An urgent whisper broke the peace. Upon painfully opening his eyes, Falman found himself staring into the face of none other than his charge.
The warrant officer glanced over at his alarm clock, which rested upon a stack of magazines. Its numbers blared at him in the darkness.
"It's two in the morning," Falman said accusingly.
Even without the ability to contort his facial features, Barry somehow found a way to look pitiful.
"But it's important."
"Fine." Falman sighed. "What is it?"
Barry looked down at his feet, fidgeting.
"…I'm embarrassed to say."
Falman's mouth was a grim line. "Then I'm going back to sleep."
"No!" Barry sprang forward, grabbing the warrant officer by the shoulders. Falman blinked, surprised.
"Falman…" Barry hesitated. "I think…I think I'm in love."
Falman gave him a disbelieving look. "Excuse me?"
"Don't you understand?" His charge was anguished. "I'm in LOVE!"
The warrant officer's eyes were wide. "I'm sorry, but I'm not really into that sort of thing."
"Not with you!" Barry shouted. He held his head in his hands, his knife cradled in the crook of his arm. "I'm in love with…with a woman."
There was another sigh. "Who is it?"
To Falman's surprise, Barry lifted his head from his body and leaned forward. Stacks of photographs poured out from his body, fanning over Falman's bedsheets.
He picked up one picture. He stared.
"Barry?" Falman said finally, finding his voice. "Does Lieutenant Hawkeye know you're stalking her?"
"You're mean," Barry turned away, his nose in the air. "You would be in pieces by now, if Miss Hawkeye hadn't ordered otherwise."
"Tiny, miniscule, bited-sized pieces."
Falman was trying to reason with him, but it wasn't working. "The military has a lot of problems on its plate. It just wouldn't be appropriate to drag the lieutenant away from her post for some…dinner rendezvous." He began to walk away, calling over his shoulder. "Maybe when this is all over, you can invite her over."
Barry watched his retreating back. If he could, he would have narrowed his eyes. As silent as possible, Barry pulled out his cleaver, chuckling darkly to himself. The blade glinted menacingly.
That's what you think, Mister Tough-Meat.
Riza Hawkeye let out an irritated sigh, placing the phone back in its cradle. She had just gotten a call from Falman's charge. Apparently, Barry had something so incredibly important to tell her that it couldn't wait until tomorrow.
She swiped her keys from the table and dropped them into her pocket.
"I'm leaving," Riza said, shouldering open the door.
Black Hayate whined.
"Good evening, missy."
Riza blinked. She hadn't even had the chance to knock before Falman's apartment door swung open. To Riza's surprise, a large bouquet of wilted roses was shoved into her arms. They smelled suspiciously of blood and formaldehyde.
Shifting the bizarre bouquet out of her line of sight, Riza found Barry the Chopper stood in the doorway, staring at her with a delighted look in his eyes.
"Oh, miss!" Barry gushed. "You look so very…tender…tonight." He eyed her. "So warm and…easy to chop…"
"Er, thanks." Riza pushed her way past the suit of armor. She set down the flowers on a stack of newspapers. "So what did you have to—"
Before she could finish her sentence, the lieutenant found herself being pushed into the darkened dining room. It was sparsely lit for the occasion; a warm glow emanated from the two candles resting atop a bloodstained tablecloth. A basket of bread sat next to a single wine glass.
"Please, do sit."
"Barry, what the hell is—"
"I'm going to check on the main course!" Barry was already in the kitchen. "Please, missy, make yourself comfortable!"
Riza sighed, slowly settling into a chair. It was going to be a long night.
"So how is the little miss doing on this fine evening?"
"Fine," Riza replied curtly. She viciously stabbed a warm roll with the butter knife. "Listen, Barry. I have a lot of work to do, so if you would just tell me—"
A kitchen timer squawked in the next room. Barry stood up, his chair scraping the floor. "I'll be right back."
Riza felt a migraine coming on.
A few moments later, Barry came into the dining room, holding the main course in one hand. A large slab of glazed meat lay atop a bed of lettuce leaves, with a sprig of parsley on the side. Riza had to admit, it smelled heavenly.
In one movement, Barry set down the plate and picked up his cleaver. He deftly made a few cuts and handed Riza a plate of meat. She took it from him with quick thanks.
Barry settled back down into his chair. He intently stared at the lieutenant.
Riza looked up, setting down her fork. "Could you please not stare at me like that? I'm eating for you already."
"Exactly," Barry nodded. "I enjoy watching the little miss eat my creations."
Riza gave him an odd look and brought the fork to her lips. She took a bite.
"This is actually pretty good," she remarked after chewing for a moment. Riza gestured at her dinner date with her fork. "Why aren't you eating?"
Barry gave a small chuckle, rapping his armor torso with his knuckles. A hollow clanging sound resounded around the room. "I'm not human, remember?"
"Oh." Riza set down her fork. "I'm sorry."
"Oh, don't be!" Barry waved his hands in front of him, dismissing her apology. "Other than watching people get chopped, I love watching other people eat what I make them. Barry the Chopper loves to cook."
"You know," said Riza thoughtfully, through a mouthful, "you aren't half-bad at it."
"You think so?" Barry was positively glowing. "The little miss likes my cooking?"
"Yes, I do," Riza assured him.
"Missy is very kind," said the serial killer, bashfully. "That's why she's my favorite!"
The rest of their dinner was filled with amiable chatter. Though Riza wouldn't admit it aloud, Barry the Chopper was actually a nice fellow, aside from his homicidal tendencies. He was definitely an interesting dinner partner. And perhaps…
Riza sighed, patting her mouth with a cloth napkin. Her empty plate lay before her, scraped clean. The mysterious reason as to why she had come had been pushed to the back of her mind; she was too full of warm food and hazy thoughts of sleep.
"That was great," said the lieutenant approvingly. "The meat was cooked to perfection. Very tender." She looked up at Barry. "How did you do it?"
"It was very fresh," Barry explained. He stroked his cleaver.
"Where did you buy the cut?" Riza asked. "I'm thinking of making some for the military potluck."
"Oh, I didn't buy it, little miss," chuckled Barry. "I always chop things up myself so they're at their freshest."
He examined the hilt of his blade. There was a spot of dried blood. "He squirmed a lot though. That might have had something to do with it." Barry gave another short laugh.
Riza felt herself go pale. There was something very wrong. "Barry, where's Falman?"
Barry shook his head. "Oh, but little miss—I'm afraid he's gone already."
Riza's eyes went wide. She looked at the plate of meat in the middle of the table to Barry's cleaver, then back to Barry's face.
Horrified, Riza pushed her chair back from the table and leapt to her feet.
"You made me eat Falman?!" she shouted. Before Barry could do anything, the woman whipped out her gun and began firing. Barry tore out of the dining room, with the lieutenant hot on his heels. "You sick bastard!"
"No, miss, you have it all wrong!" Barry frantically called over his shoulder as he ran down the sidewalk. Startled passerby watched the bizarre scene unfold. A massive suit of armor was being chased and fired upon by a young, obviously distressed woman.
"But it was bee—"
"Liar! Shut up and run!"
"No problem, Mr. Falman."
Vato Falman raised one hand in parting as he exited the grocery store, his bag of purchases tucked under one arm. He silently cursed Barry. Damn him and his immature temper. After Falman had denied his charge permission for inviting the lieutenant over, Barry had gone and chopped up all their groceries. And Falman had just gone shopping.
What a child, Falman thought grudgingly. The heavy bag cut into his side.
"I'm going to kill you!"
"But, missy, you can't—"
There was the sound of gunfire, bullets clanging against hollow metal.
"I don't care! I'll make you pay, you disgusting pile of junk!"
"Oh miss…that hurt."
"Shut up!" More gunfire.
Falman turned his head. He was surprised to see a harried looking Barry the Chopper sprinting down the street, the lieutenant in close pursuit. She had a maniacal glint in her eyes as she aimed and fired.
"Keep on running, Barry. I like having a moving practice target."
Barry looked over his shoulder. There was admiration in his voice. "Oh, missy is a feisty one!"
In reply, Riza fired once more.
Barry plowed through the spectators on the street. In his efforts to push past the crowd, Barry inadvertently jostled Falman, causing the latter to lose his grip on the groceries. Falman frantically made a grab for the bag. Luckily, he caught it before it hit the floor.
Riza Hawkeye darted after him, knocking people out of her way. Falman let out a cry as a random bystander was flung into him. The groceries went flying up in the air. It was almost as time was moving in slow motion.
The bag of groceries crashed back down to earth, leaving the sidewalk much like the aftermath of a battle. Tomato sauce was spattered over the torn packages of biscuits, spotting the ragged edges like a multitude of grotesque wounds. To Falman's dismay, his instant macaroni and cheese lay strewn all over the sidewalk—forgotten shells of an adrenaline-laced firefight. To the right, scattered sprigs of parsely decorated the ravaged boxes of cereal. It was a freshly visited graveyard, complete with all the dressings.
Falman collapsed amid his pile of massacred groceries.
"Love is in the air," he groaned, sinking into the mushy pile.
Author's Note: Reviews would be love! Don't be afraid to leave some constructive criticism—since this was my first FMA fic, I'd love to know what I can improve on in the future. Thanks for reading!