Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

  • Winry Rockbell
  • Nina Tucker
  • Nina Lives AU
  • Prompt Fic

Length: 807 words, Oneshot

Date Posted: 2020-03-15

Collections: Sholio's Happy Distracting Comment Fest

An Ordinary Dog


Prompt: "pay no attention to the perfectly ordinary dog (or cat), it's just an ordinary pet, no idea what you're talking about".

Some children meet Nina.


Written for this prompt.

The Nina Lives AU used here was inspired by Amechania's Let's Split Up and Search for Clues to Get Our Bodies Back.

The Rockbells' new dog is surprisingly large and hairy, even for a dog. Its shoulders rise to Winry's waist, paws almost dwarfing her head, but it seems sweet-natured enough, and has learned already to play gently with Den, who has taken kindly to the new housemate, barking cheerfully as the two tumble in the grass outside. The new dog's dark hair hangs in a long mane down its back, tangling in the weeds when Den wins and wriggle-bounces in triumph, metal leg clanking, tail whipping like a waving flag.

The new dog is not often shy, but there is something always off: the white light of its eyes, the clumsiness of its walk. Winry says the dog is a puppy still, but the new dog seems far too grown to be so young.

A gaggle of small children, let free from school for the afternoon, have clustered around the end of the low stone fence today to gawk at the newcomer. Den greets them with a familiar half-wariness; children can be as cruel as kind, and there is family and home to protect today.

The new dog gravitates toward a small girl with braided hair, maybe five or six, and looks at her with wide questioning eyes like it's begging. She giggles and shimmies back a little, but lets the dog nuzzle her hand without much trepidation. It places a paw on the fence, then extends it like a toddler reaching for something, brushing against the girl's dress and smudging it with dry dirt. An older boy laughs, and the rest begin to crowd around for a chance to pet the dog, emboldened.

A figure is already moving in the window by the door. Den grows tense, drawing nearer, a growl lining the edge of black lips.

Amid the chatter, they almost don't hear it at first.

"... small?"

"All... small... smaller..."

The figure hurries down the steps. Den's teeth are half-bared, a few sharp barks to scatter the children, but with numbers on their side they're not as afraid as they should be. The big dog hasn't moved, paw still extended, something intelligent turning gears and spinning wheels behind those full moon eyes. They've backed off enough now for a split-second lull to let the low, strange voice be heard.

"Nina... isn't... small...?"

Silence lets the sound of breeze and pounding footsteps fill the air, a tableau of surprised, round little faces, until Den barks and growls again at the crowd, jumping into the fence as if daring them to come any closer. A few step back. More exchange looks.

Winry reaches the scene a moment later, hands still dark with grease, red goggle lines making raccoon circles around her eyes. Den's hackles slide down just a fraction at the sight of her.

"And just what's going on out here?"

A taller girl with glasses, eight at the most, points at the new dog. "Your dog talks!"

"And?" says Winry. Her voice warms up into something playful, like she's in on a joke. The worry in her eyes slips past undetected.

"W-well, dogs... can't talk! Right?" says the girl, looking a little unsure of herself.

"Some animals are very good mimics, actually!" Winry counters. "Crows can imitate people speaking, too."

A murmur goes through the crowd at this. "I heard a parrot talk once," says one boy with freckles across his nose, thoughtfully.

"My mom said her cat can say 'I love you'," pipes up another child.

"I once saw a frog say something, I think," adds a third.

Winry nods encouragingly. "See?"

The tall girl looks unsatisfied, but she twists her mouth shut, and lets it go, and instead asks, "Who's Nina?"

Winry's eyes blink wide for a second, but she smiles again and settles back to normal fast enough to seem unfazed. "Probably just a name she's heard."

She runs a comforting hand through that long, dark, mane. Den presses up against the bigger dog's haunches like a protective blanket with fangs.

The big dog's paw finally rests on the ground again, and it seems to stare intently at the little girl from before -- no, at all the children now. The dopey friendliness in those eyes has faded. There is something uncomfortably human about them now. A few children back further away.

"Tag! Not it!" yells a long-legged boy near the back, raising a hand.

"No fair, you didn't say we were playing!"

"Not it!"

"Not it!"

The group erupts into similar cries, all scrambling for a head start. The tall girl scowls, her questioning derailed by getting marked "it" for the first round, but she's quick to turn around and start chasing the others down when the game begins proper.

Once the last child is out of earshot, Winry ruffles the dog's fur again and apologizes, and thinks.

They'll have to be more careful.