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03 November 2005 @ 10:57 pm
[#02, Ling x Lan, FMA, G]  
Theme: 2. The cruelest month
Character/s or Pairing: Ling Yao x Lan Fan
Series: Fullmetal Alchemist
Rating: G
Genre: Gen

Ling hated the last month of the year because of the extreme cold. Temperatures happened to drop the most some weeks before New Year, and snow blizzards were frequent. He was a heat person, a summer person. It was the worst time of the year for him. The boy would stay indoors, wrapped in blankets, wearing his thickest pajamas, and longing for winter to be finally over so he’d be wandering off outside. Fencing practices under the roof weren’t the same, with no sun in the sky.

He had finished his chicken broth, and he’d stare at the ceiling. He was done with the homework the tutor had assigned him; next practice would the next day. Ling had nothing else to do.

Unless… but it was something he couldn’t do alone.

He stood up and went to the bedroom door, to find a small black figure sitting on the hall’s floor. It was wearing a mask, like always.

“Lan Fan.”

The person turned its head, and a female voice came from behind the aggressive pattern.

“Young master?”

“Can you please come in?”

“Ah… did I do something wrong, young master?”

“Gee, no. I just need your assistance with something, and maybe you can help me. And if you can’t, we can still have a casual chat.” He smiled at her.

“I’m not allowed, young master. I’m doing guard, and while you attempt to be ‘casual’ with me, an assassin from any other clan can come in and kill you.”

“That’s… melodramatic. Hey, listen. You’re bored outside, yes?”

“Jobs aren’t supposed to be fun,” she muttered.

“Good, because I’m bored inside. And lonely, too. We can bore each other. Uh uh uh!” He made her shut up with a hand gesture, as she was about to argue back. “You’re trained to feel chi. If an evil killer was about to make a move, you’d feel his chi the same here or there. So there’s no point. Come in.”

The girl stood up, annoyed. Ling knew she was easy to convinced and vulnerable to his stubbornness. They both crossed the door.

“Do you know how to play Go, Lan Fan?”

“Yes. I’ve been taught when I was a little child.”

“Perfect!” He grinned. “I want to practice, but everybody at this hour is taking a nap. I’m sick of sleeping. So, be my partner.”

“I… I’m not good at it, young master.”

“Neither am I. That’s why I need some practice, right?”

He opened a closet, and took a heavy, lacquered, wooden box from it. Actually, it was a game board, and the upward face had several adjacent squares painted on its surface. Ling put it on the table, and then he went and looked for two small recipients. They were rounded and black. Lan Fan stared.

“Well, have a seat,” he invited. “It must be uncomfortable to play on your feet.” She obeyed, and he sat on the chair in front of her. “So, what do you want to be, black or white?”

“White, so young master will go first.”

“Meh, but black suits you better… oh well, I’ll be black.” Ling passed her one of the little bowls. She opened it; there were some white stones inside it. He also had stones in his, but they were dark. He proceeded to start the game by putting one of his stones on the board, just where two perpendicular lines met each other. She followed his lead and placed a white stone next to the other one.

The minutes passed by; snow kept falling. Stones stopped by the wooden surface, some of them leaving their position after some moves. Absolute silence was broken only by their own thoughts. It was hard to read her expressions with the mask on her face.

Ling realized the pile of white stones outside was growing faster than the other one.

“Lan Fan, you’re cheating.”

“I do not understand, young master.”

“You’re not playing. You’re letting me win. How am I supposed to learn to play Go if you go easy on me?”

“Uh…that’s… I’m just bad at this, you are really good.”

“Bullshit; I know you’re lying. You know, they say Go is all about strategy and concentration. More than a game, it’s a small war. That’s why I was taught to play it… since if I ever become the Emperor, I’ll have to know how to use my mind and take decisions. I want to be stronger. I want to be wiser. And I can’t improve without a worthy opponent. Please, help me out, Lan Fan!”

Silence.

“Do you want me to be your opponent, then?”

“Just in Go!” Ling smiled. “I want you in my side for other things, but do your best now and play fair. Think I’m not the twelfth prince of the Empire, but just a random brat who challenged you to Go.”

“Ah. Understood,” she murmured.

“Your turn, then.”

Lan Fan placed a token, which closed a considerably large polygon made of white. She carefully picked up the chain of black stones inside of it, and they were quite a few. Ling’s jaw opened.

“You said not to go easy on you…” she excused herself.

“Ahahahahaha, yeah, I know!” To Lan Fan’s surprised, Ling was clearly amused. “But know this: I won’t go easy on you, either. We’re both warriors, so let’s behave as such.”

“Yes.” Behind the mask, she slightly smirked.

During that afternoon, Ling Yao forgot about the cold and the snow. During that afternoon, Lan Fan forgot she was giving her superior a challenge. The room was so heated in competition they couldn’t even feel the cold weather.

But most of all, they had fun. And Ling told to himself he should play Go with his bodyguard more often.
 
 
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
 
 
 
Live fast, die young / / bad girls do it wellhola_meg_a_cola on November 3rd, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
\/\/00+! Cute fic. I enjoyed it ^.^
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 3rd, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you ^^
Lauruslaurus_nobilis on November 3rd, 2005 10:24 pm (UTC)
I really liked it! The world needs more for fic about these two, and I'm glad you signed up for them. You really think a lot about their characterization.

I especially love Ling here. ♥
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 3rd, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ^^

I don't only think about characterization, either. Go was invented in China, and it was very popular within the aristocracy centuries ago. Also, the nature of the game (war simulation) made it perfect for Ling to play.

And I'm following more or less the basic Go rules: black starts first, and so on.
UMEKO danced the CHANSEY Dance!umeko_pyon on November 3rd, 2005 10:43 pm (UTC)
Go is hot. 8D

But I wonder, would they call it Go or Weiqi...?
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 3rd, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
I thought about it before writing it, but if I used the Chinese name, chances are half the readers wouldn't recognize the game XDDD;

As in English it's more frequent to call it Go, I used Go. Let's just assume they called it in their language either Weiqi or whatever name they had for it in Xing.
UMEKO danced the CHANSEY Dance!umeko_pyon on November 4th, 2005 12:28 am (UTC)
Well, at least I'm not the only one dorky enough to think of that! XD
Treebenttheleaningelm on February 21st, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
awww. That was cute! Actually, I think I'm the only person on Earth who would've recognized Weiqi over Go. O__o;;; Awesome fic nevertheless.
The RaeRaeonijutsu on November 3rd, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
LINGLANFAN~! FMA OTPPPPPP~~~! Much love and brownie points to you XDXD lovely idea of playing Go~ Ling is so persuasive XDXD And Lanfan was so aodrable in this, and so considerate to young master XDXD
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 3rd, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
Yay, brownie!
Nobody puts Qem in a corner.qem_chibati on November 4th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC)
This was really nice, I really enjoyed reading it. =D

I loved how Ran Fan tried to go easy on Ling, but he insisted that she treat it as a proper match.
☂ Internet trickster: Lan Fan / Sacrificesrainmage on November 4th, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC)
I personally doubt Lan Fan would even think about competing with her young master in equal terms, since she wouldn't know whether he's a bad loser and could get scolded. Hence, she'd try to mess her game up and let him win. Of course, Ling is not a fool, can read through her, and should notice right away she's cheating. And he just can't improve in Go if she loses on purpose.
Nobody puts Qem in a corner.qem_chibati on November 4th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
*nods* Exactly~
Allison Kenningtondende_sama on November 5th, 2005 04:00 am (UTC)
Yay for pre-fma set stories! I fell in love with the idea of little Ling and Little Ran Fan as soon as Ling mentioned to Envy that people had been trying to kill him since he was young and I had the sudden vision of the two of them trying to walk down a street in Xing with people leaping out at them to kill them every time they passed an alleyway. Don't ask, I thought just it was funny.

The story was really cute though, I like that Ran Fan was a bit paranoid, even at this age. I try to include that in my characterization of her, too.
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 5th, 2005 11:44 am (UTC)
*imagines some ninjas behind a corner, waiting for them to pass*

Thanks ^^ I want to write more precanon, and also some stories during the time Ling-tachi crossed the desert. They look promising.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten about your fic. I still haven't had enough time to read it yet. I have a lot of pending fic in my to-read list this week~
kuribayukikuribayuki on November 5th, 2005 05:37 am (UTC)
*claps* EXECELLENT!!!! I LOVE THIS!! I love RanFan's characterization ^-^
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 5th, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)
Thanks!
Titaniajinxia on November 7th, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
Yet another brilliant Xing fic! We need more of these around ^ ^
☂ Internet tricksterrainmage on November 7th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we do :D

I'll write... *counts* 50 more!

...no, I'm not exaggerating. I signed up for 52 themes, so... well.
(Anonymous) on December 31st, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC)
GREAT FIC >w