3rd September 2008, 12:06 AM
(PG) Sick of Fried Rice and Fortune Cookies
Author's Notes: Another humorous Team Magma fanfiction starring Tabitha (Homura) and Brody (Bannai). ^^
The moral of this story is: be thankful for what you have and don't ever, ever let Brody decide what's for lunch.
Warnings: Frequent useage of mild cursing.
Even the lowest-ranking underling is trained to be able to infiltrate a guarded laboratory, so it should go with saying that the commanders would be be able to break into, undetected, even the most highly protected of areas, acquire what is needed, and make his or her escape long before anyone even had the chance to suspect that something may be amiss. True, the team's record of crime certainly wasn't spotless, they had a few blunders here and there, but nothing too bad.
So it might come as a surprise for anyone to find out that the same team spent most days living off cheap Chinese take-out and little else. They gorged like pigs the first day and spent the rest of the week eating left-overs consisting of nothing but fortune cookies and, as appetizing as it might seem, Brody assured me, the paper was not filling.
"Then, what are we supposed to do, starve?!" I barked at him and he shrunk back with a small nervous smile. "Why can't we have something decent for a change? If the Aquas knew about this, they'd never let us live it down!"
I crushed the empty paper container in my fist.
"It's not really as bad as you make it sound, Tabitha... I like the fried rice."
I glared. "I bet the Aquas have feasts while we're here eating left-overs! Fortune cookies, I mean, come ON. They're not even Chinese!"
"True, but what do you want us to do about it?"
I was still too annoyed to give a reasonable suggestion, but now that I had exploded in his face and the Flames had turned around to stare, I couldn't risk revealing that I didn't really have anything in mind, so I simply improvised for the sake of my pride.
"Steal something," I said, then smirked confidently, realizing that actually wasn't a bad idea. "You're a thief, right? You're always showing off... why don't you go out and prove it!"
Brody blinked and stared at me for a moment, wiping away crumbs from around his mouth (with a napkin, not his sleeve... pansy). "... Okay, fine. Though I really don't see how stealing food is supposed to be a display of my finesse. That falls far below my standards... but if you insist."
He stood up and I could hear the Flames excitedly chattering amongst themselves; I couldn't blame them; they hadn't had a proper meal for three days, except for those who made their own with whatever they could find.
"Who should I pay a visit?" he asked with a smile.
"It doesn't matter," I said flippantly. "Anywhere with food."
The smile grew wider. "Oh, then you're all in for a real treat!"
We never saw it coming.
When Brody finally came back after what felt like an eternity, he plopped down what appeared to be a tall pie with the top removed and the filling mostly carved out.
I walked over to him, about to explain to the vapidly-grinning Brody that he had been cheated, and order him to return that thing and steal a pie that wasn't almost empty.
But getting within talking distance of Brody and the food (which he had plenty more of, judging by the overstuffed sack he carried) also meant unwittingly stepping into shooting range. I blinked, not a reactionary blink, but to fight back the tears that were welling up in my stinging eyes.
"What is it?" one of the underlings said, finally growing impatient.
"Does it look good?" another followed.
I'm sure there might have been more, but I was too busy trying to maintain whatever dignity I had left and trying to calmly step backwards and away from that awful thing while my mind was reeling and my sense of smell was entirely overwhelmed with the putrid stench of rotten cheese.
I clamped a hand over my nose. "Brody," I managed to choke out. "What the-- what IS that?!"
"Casu marzu," he said pleasantly, fondly even, as if saying the name of his own child, and gently lowered the sack. "Doesn't it smell lovely?"
The Flames rose, some before others, and crowded in an erratic impatient "group" around the table he had lowered the odorous thing onto. As soon as the smell reached them, in a display of teamwork I had never paid witness to before-- or after-- that incident, they united, and moving as one large circle, they simultaneously reeled backwards with mixed expressions of utter horror and complete revulsion etched into their features.
Brody finally rose from his kneeling position besides the sack (after making sure he had set it down as gently as possible) and I could no longer see him through the flurry of red-uniformed Magmas retreating.
After regaining my strength, I got up and advanced towards Brody, hand still firmly pressed over my nose, though the stench seeped right through.
The Flames gave voice to my questions and exclaimations.
Once I got closer, I could see one of my underlings reach tentatively towards that monstrousity with a fork; he was either the bravest or the stupidest man on earth.
His companions held their breath as they watched, maybe in anticipation or in a desperate attempt not to inhale any more for fear of suffocation.
As he inserted the three-pronged utensil into the cheese, it oozed liquid. He paused, then, just as he broke off a piece and was about to insert it into his mouth, one of the underlings screeched, like nails raking against a chalkboard. I'm half-sure it was a man, though you couldn't tell just from the voice (not that I could blame the guy).
"S-something in the cheese just MOVED."
"Oh," Brody said, placid smile still plastered to his face. "That would be the maggots."
"... Brody," I said, voice shaking with hardly suppressed anger. "Are you trying to kill us?"
He blinked, taken aback, reacting as if I had just cursed in front of his precious maggot-infested child; he did everything but cover the virgin ears of his surrogate cheese child, but I'd almost swear, if cheese had ears, he would have done it. "Tabitha! It's a delicacy!"
Then he folded his arms across his chest. "That's how you know it's still good."
The incredibly brave and or stupid guy chickened out at the last second, abandoning the fork into the middle of the pit of hell that was Casu marzu. I felt sorry for that fork.
All was silent for the longest moment.
"Here, I'll show you."
Brody picked up the unused fork and plunged it into the cheese, removing a chunk.
I stared, frozen to the spot. He wasn't actually intending on eating that thing, was he?
"Brody, you'll KILL yourself!"
All eyes were on Brody as he slipped the fork into his mouth, chewed, and smiled blissfully as if it were the cheese sent down from heaven above to sustain the people, pleasure their tongues, bring everyone to their ideal body weight, and take the trash out for them in just one bite.
I wanted to smack him. Hard. But first I had to see if he would live through the ordeal (no use smacking a corpse).
He swallowed. "Mmm! See, Tabitha, it's good! Now try some!"
Go to Hell, Brody.
Just before I could tell him what I really thought of the food (if you can call it that) he brought back, he had thrust the fork into my open mouth and I got a nice mouthful of decomposing cheese and I wondered if that liquid it secreted was acid, because it burned.
Seeing Brody's idiotic smile and the scattering red blurs of Magmas when the burning of my tongue as I tried to swallow was all I could feel, as well as the last sounds I could recognize as human speech in my sensory overload being one of the underlings shrieking "EWWW, a maggot just leaped out--!" made me wonder if of this was all some form of divine punishment for all the wrong I've done in my life. And if it was, what was it, exactly, that I did that was so wrong, so unforgivable to have made me deserving of this? Was it sticking chewing gum in Shelly's hair? Or was it complaining about Chinese food, because if I could survive this and eat nothing but Chinese food for the rest of my life, I would die a happy man.
Maybe I should have told him that I was allergic to dairy products.
Last edited by Musapion; 3rd September 2008 at 12:17 AM.