titled me and you while the sky is blue
series swings both ways
wordcount 1000
rated pg
warnings my writing is the kind of writing that flashes you when it bends over the desk
characters VATO FALMAN & BARRY THE CHOPPER
summary Falman is building a time machine.
notes written for prompt #85 over at fma_fic_contest; "Vato Falman".


"me and you while the sky is blue"

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He spends his days at the table in the corner these days, and between throwing shifty glances at the stack of warrant forms gathering in his tray and counting the padlocks on the file cabinet behind Breda, he's calculating seven-digit figures in his head and reliving glory days, bringing the numbers to a full boil in front of his eyes until he sees stars and feathers falling from the fluorescent lights. And while smoke in the room thickens and Havoc starts yawning once every four seconds and people in the office fade and someone tips a coffee mug over the side of the conference table, he redeems himself by waiting some more and finally, he understands; he's scribbling like mad, now, his hands are like clockwork and his heart is made as if it wouldn't ever decay and his eyes follow the words like ticker tape and oh, now he's derived the formula and the idea simply the idea of it, it's perfect

...only what kills it, is the fact that it doesn't work.

"Would it have mattered?" Barry the Chopper had asked him, "You're still out of your goddamn mind."

"Am I?" he'd scratched his head, assumed faultlessness and careful opacity and perfect despondence. "But it matters. I'm being serious."

"So am I."

"You aren't."

"Oh, but I am," Barry insists, and then they lapse into silence and the world, it starts spinning again.

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(Because you see, for him this is normality. For him, normality is taking aspirin when he's sick and waking up in the morning at his writing desk and him liking the way he thinks, liking the way he organizes his thoughts into boxes, the ones with sparkly trinkets that spill from the lip at three square inches per second. These are the boxes that the cobwebs and spiders call a Humble Abode, except when he takes the thoughts out, the flavor remains intact, the memories flood into his brain with open arms and legs and then it's running and he's running and Vato Falman is fast, he's really fast and he's really good at this. This is normality for him, after all.)

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"So I built a time machine," he tells Barry the Chopper, because no one else is here and he's quite sure that no one else would listen, anyway. "A very good one. It will break you apart and put you back together, bring you to the twenty-first century and sail you around the seven seas."

"I see," Barry says. "Fun."

A beat.

"You don't care, do you," he sighs.

"Nope."

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It's not like he hasn't tried sharing it with other people.

"I'm working on my time machine," he'd say, and then he'd offer a cheap smile and whomever he would be talking to would give him a cheaper smile back. The only one who maintained any sort of civil patience with his ideas was Hawkeye.

("Are those blueprints?" she would ask him.

He would nod, he would open his portfolio, and things would go from there.)

More often that not, the colonel confuses his blueprints with something that he is required to put a signature on, so he likes to snatch the papers from Falman's hands and frown and grumble and tell everyone to go back to work. Encounters with Havoc involve lazy eye-flickering and checking his fingernails and yawning (lots of yawning), as well as offering turkey sandwiches in exchange for the section-B secretary's telephone number. Sometimes Fuery likes to take a good look at the blueprints, only his eyes bulge when he sees the flux capacitor and that's his cue to shrug his head and feign disinterest. Breda doesn't even bother with the niceties; he tells Falman to go back to work, too.

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"I don't understand," he asks Barry later, "What am I doing wrong?"

The retired-butcher rolls over on the cot and grumbles in his sleep. "Everything, officer. You're doing it all wrong."

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He treads lightly while planning the exact hues of alloys he wants to purchase, and the young Rockbell girl helps him decide, in exchange for delivering notes (presumably death threats) to Edward Elric during break hours. Through Winry Rockbell, he learns all about hinges and bolts and pumps and valves; her mechanical terminology makes his head spin but he commits it all to memory, incorporates whatever he can into the design. Sometime later, Winry bullies Ed into shaping the materials with alchemy, so he's only the construction-manager, but sometimes he likes to keep a stealthy eye on the shapes. The ellipses are awfully well-done.

In another few weeks he's assembling pieces and all of a sudden he's nearly-finished and when he is, he moves an apple from the table to a chair where it had been sitting five minutes earlier. The world continues to spin, and Vato Falman is dancing on his toes because he's goddamn overjoyed.

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But then.

But then the colonel approaches him, and it must have been raining because his cheeks are too moist and his eyes are too shiny and his sighs are too low.

"Falman. Can you go back in time now?"

"I don't know, sir. Depends, I suppose."

"Can you do me a favor, Falman?"

"What do you have in mind, sir?"

"...I-I want to see him for one last time. Hughes, I mean."

He swallows sharp.

"I'm afraid that's impossible."


(This is normality for him, after all.)


"I told you it was gonna be like that," Barry the Chopper tells him while he's heaving the scrap metal into the recycling, "Didn't I tell ya? Time machines don't exist."

"You never told me such a thing."

"Well, I just did now, didn't I?"

He pauses for a moment. Licks his lips. "You're very helpful, you know."

"I know that."

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the end


lmao i wasn't sure either. thanks for reading! reviews are nice. i think i may start writing Code Geass soon. =)