So, this is a bit of a departure from my previous stories. Or, more appropriately, it is a massive departure. Not many of my followers are actually aware of this, but I am a huge fan of the video game Fallout 3. Some time ago, I was inspired to write this story and posted it on my account over at deviantART. Naturally, the story was utterly ignored , but then I thought to myself, what if some of my fans at are also fans of Fallout 3? It could happen. So, this is me testing the waters, and if the response is any good, I may start posting a lengthier story I've had in mind. If the response is as lackluster as it was at deviantART, at least I tried. So, without further ado, on with the show.

Disclaimer: Fallout 3 and all associate creative property belongs to Bethesda Softworks and Bethesda Game Studios. This is a nonprofit work of fiction.

Fallout 3: A Fireside Chat

"God, Butch, why are you so mean?"

"You think your little gang of Tunnel Snakes is cool?"

"You're just a bunch of thugs!"

Aw…my head.

"I think it's time we had another meeting, Mr. DeLoria."

"I just think we shoulda gone with Vault Dwellers."

"Here's the answers to the math final, Butch."

Man, what hit me?

He was uncomfortably itchy. But that didn't make sense; Vault-Tec suits were never itchy. And what was that weird sound in the background? He remembered hearing it in one of those movies they always showed on weekends. Crickets? Who let crickets in the Vault?

Slowly, his eyes slid open, and he dimly registered that weird green thing he saw everywhere out here. Grass.

Then it all came back to him. The rebellion. Leaving the Vault, heading all the way to this place called…Rivet City. And meeting up with…her.

"Finally awake, then?"

Butch rolled onto his back with a grunt and sat up slowly, placing a hand to his forehead and quickly jerking it away when he felt a tender spot. He looked at his companion, who was watching him with concerned brown eyes. He hated that. He was a Tunnel Snake; he didn't need no one's concern.

"What happened?" he asked, and she smiled. She wasn't wearing her armor, having set it off to the side, near a tent she had set up. This left her in only a pair of bullet-ridden jeans that she had salvaged off a raider and a torn gray tank top. Butch couldn't help but linger on her chest as he met her eyes. She was a goody two-shoes, but she had a fine body.

"You almost got dragged off by a Yao Guai," she said, looking over to her right. Butch followed her gaze to where a dog was sleeping peacefully next to a fire. "Dogmeat managed to follow your scent to their den. On the bright side, we have enough meat to last until we make it to Megaton," she smiled, pointing to where the carcasses of three of those mutated bear things lay, stripped to the bone. He rolled his eyes. A goody two-shoes she was, but she still scared him sometimes.

She sighed then, moving a lock of her long black hair behind her ear and staring up at the sky. "Look at those stars," she said softly. "Amata and the rest don't know what they're missing out on, staying cooped up in that place."

"Yeah…sure," Butch said, looking warily up at the sky. It made him nervous, to be honest. This Wasteland was so open. Ground as far as the eye could see, with no walls in sight. How did Aloha stand it the first time?

"Aw, come on, you don't have to fear the sky," Aloha said with a laugh. "This isn't Chicken Little."

"I'm not afraid o' nothin'," Butch said, sneering at her. "Especially no sky. And who the hell's Chicken Little?"

Aloha merely smiled, which only served to bug Butch more for some reason. "Did you read at all in school?" she asked, though from her tone, she clearly knew the answer already.

"Readin's for chumps," Butch said, smirking. "I just got the answers from Wally Mack. Y'know, before he turned out to be a little punk."

"Yeah, I remember he wasn't wearing one of your jackets when I came back," Aloha said, reaching down and picking up the plasma rifle setting by her feet. She set it across her lap and started fiddling with a few of the wires. "What happened?"

"Whatta you care?" Butch asked, eyeing the rifle she had given him. He thought she'd said it belonged to some guy named Linkle who had a dumb beard and wore a stupid hat. It was a little grimy, but it still killed just fine.

"We're partners, aren't we?" she asked, looking at him and cocking her head to the side. "I wanna know more about my partner. Wally was your friend, wasn't he? It must've been awful to grow apart like that."

Butch shrugged. Truth be told, Wally had been a pretty cool guy. But he'd showed his true colors in the end. "Eh, good riddance."

He looked back up at Aloha to see her smiling at him, and he rolled his eyes again, jumping when he heard his stomach growl slightly. Aloha giggled.

"Dinner time!" she sang, standing and moving over to the fire, where she seemed to be cooking something. "Mirelurk stew! I know you thought it was bland last time, so I threw in a little molerat meat and some mutfruit." She sniffed the stew, her brow puckering slightly, and stuck a spoon in to try a bite. Her eyes widened and she smiled slightly. "Hm, not bad, if I do say so myself. Try it."

She held out a bowl to Butch, who eyed the concoction in disgust. The fruit had given it a sickening purple color, and the chunks of meat floating around made it look like only one thing.

"It looks like the dog threw up a super mutant's brain," he said, looking up at her. She huffed, shaking the bowl slightly to indicate that he should take it anyway, and he did so.

"His name is Dogmeat," she said indignantly, taking her own bowl, "and food doesn't have to look good to taste good. Besides, I don't see you cooking anything around here."

"That's because it's the girl's job to cook," Butch said, daring to take a small bite of the stew. It was alright, he guessed. He looked up at Aloha to see her frowning that frown. "And you're a better cook than me, anyway," he added hurriedly. "This stuff is actually all right."

She sat back down and went back to her stew. "So," she said, swallowing a bite, "what did happen with Wally?"

Butch sighed; she was persistent. "After you got out, Wally's old man told him that he couldn't hang out with us anymore. Said that he didn't want Wally getting any ideas on escaping."

"Oh," Aloha said, pouting slightly as she stared at her stew. "So…it was kinda my fault. Sorry," she said, looking sheepishly at him. Butch looked back at his stew, partly to take a bite and partly to hide the heat rising in his face.

"Hey, it's not like you told Wally to start kissing up to his old man," he said. "Besides, you had the right idea. Who needs that place, right?"

He looked up to see her smiling at him again. "Aw, Butch, you're trying to cheer me up, aren't you?"

Butch scoffed. "Eh, sit on it," he said. "Why would I try to cheer up a punk like you?"

She only smiled at him, taking another bite of her stew and looking back up at the sky. Butch did the same, shoving aside his discomfort at the lack of a ceiling. Once you got past how freakin' big it was, the sky did look kinda…nice.

"Hey, Butch?"

He looked over to see her with her knees pulled up to her chest, her booted feet wiggling slightly as stared at the fire.


"I…" she faltered slightly, and Butch was a little surprised. She usually always had some kind of witty remark. That was something he liked about her, reluctant as he was to admit it, even to himself; she could really let him have it when she wanted. "I'm glad you're here with me."

Butch furrowed his brow. "What?" he asked. "Man, that's just the kinda sentimental crap you'd say. That's why you can't be a real Tunnel Snake."

She mock pouted, though she was clearly fighting a smile. "But you said I could be a Tunnel Snake twice."

"I just said that to make you feel better," Butch said. "You're too soft to be a real Tunnel Snake. You gotta be stone cold, not going on about how happy you are to have your friends along."

"So I'm your friend?" Aloha said with a smile, and Butch scoffed again.

"That's not the point!"

"Ha ha, I'm your frie-eeend," Aloha said, standing and running over plop down next to Butch, bumping him with her shoulder and smiling that irritating smile that made Butch feel stuff he never wanted feel about this girl.

"Whatever," Butch said. "Let's just get some sleep so we can make it to that Megaton place tomorrow."

Aloha smiled again. "Sure," she said.

The settled into their bedrolls (Dogmeat moving from his place by the fire to snuggle into Aloha's side), and all was silent except for the crickets and the wind in the grass. Aloha turned on her Pip-Boy to that Galaxy News Radio, turning it down low, and rolled over to face Butch.

"Goodnight, friend."

"Go to sleep!"

I always loved the fact that Butch can eventually become a follower of the main character. They hated each other during childhood, but they grew up and put aside their differences. Also, I named my character Aloha Yarborough. I'm not even sure how I came up with name Aloha, but now I can't really imagine it any other way. Whenever I think of my MC, it's Aloha. My in-game explanation is that Hawaii was obliterate in the nuclear blasts of the Great War (or eventually died out due to radiation), and only a few words of the language remained in the 2700s, one of which was Aloha. James (the MC's father) knew of the word, but had no idea of the definiton. Nonetheless, he thought it was a beautiful word, so he named his daughter Aloha. I think it's also kind of poignant to the MC, because he/she says hello and goodbye to a lot of people in his/her life.

Anyway, if this amused any fans of Fallout 3, do review and let me know so I can post some more stuff.