Fandom: Full Metal Alchemist
Warning: Spoilers for ep.25 of the anime
Challenge: 1st POV.
Notes: 60 minutes. This is not my most knowledgeable fandom. This is also probably the only one thing I can write for it. I don't know if this idea has already been done to death, but it's all I can think of. Feedback is always appreciated, and thank you. :)
In his steps
I stand at her door for what feels like hours. It probably hasn't been more than a minute at the most, but it doesn't feel that way. With each step I walk, it feels like another lifetime has passed. Passed and gone, like him.
"I will see that you become our leader. I will make that my job."
How many lives ago was that? Years? It was after the fighting, after I pulled myself shaking off the ground, after I slid my gun back into the holster. It was still hot, or was that the fire unreleased within my palms. Was that why they shook so much?
Even now, I still feel his hand over mine, his skin over my glove, holding my fingers closed, stilling the shakes, keeping the fire in.
"You can count on me." He squeezed my hand and winked, like there was never a doubt in the world that this future life wouldn't be ours. Looking at him look at me, I couldn't disagree.
I never thought then that he would pass before he finished the promise he made that day.
I make a fist with my hand and raise it to the door, but it stays there in the air, never falling.
I can't do this. Not yet. I can't see her without him yet. Even though I met him many lives before he met her, I never knew her without him. Her life is so tied to his smile glowing over her, his hand on her back, her head on his shoulder.
"I met this girl today,"
He kept pulling the newspaper down so I couldn't read it.
"Don't you want to know her name?"
What was more annoying? His incessant talking, or the way he kept brushing his hair back from his face, as if he was expecting someone, and he wanted to look just right.
Because she was- she is beautiful. Or was that just the way she looked when she looked at him? Or was that the way she looked when he looked at her?
But that was another life ago- passed and gone.
It isn't my fist that hits the door, but my head, softly, so as not to make a noise. Softly, so she doesn't know I'm here.
Because I can't see her yet.
"I have a secret."
It was dark, and we were leaving the office. As I locked the door, I felt him behind me, but I wasn't surprised. He was always behind me- smiling, waiting, watching over.
"You're the first I want to tell." So excited, he bounced from one foot to the other. "We just found out. I feel like I'm going to burst if I don't tell someone."
"Why me?" I walked down the hall, and I heard him behind me.
"Because, you should know." He never explained any further than that. His steps quickened until he was walking beside me. I didn't turn though, but I didn't need to. His happiness lit the air, like a warm fire, inviting, comforting, a signal of life in the darkness that filled the hall.
"She's going to have a baby. We're going to have a baby."
It was so bright, it lit each step before us, but that was then, and that life has passed- passed and was gone.
I turn to leave. I can't be here. I shouldn't be here. Why am I here when I couldn't be *there*, ordering him, yelling at him, stopping him?
Why I am here, when the person supposed to be on these steps is him- him and only him?
My hands shake, and my palms grow hot, but there's nothing there to cool them. Even the rain has stopped.
As I take a step, I feel another life passing- his time, and my time with him- passing, but I stop. Something is holding me back. Someone is holding me back.
She grips my hand, hard. I don't turn around, but I know she's there, watching me.
"I- I heard someone. At the door, I heard-" I feel something soft press on my back. She leans her head against me, and holds my hand. She's waiting, I think.
And I realize, she's been waiting. She's been waiting by the door. I have to say something.
"I came to offer my-" Condolences. I can't say it though. I can't say it yet. My hand shakes beneath hers, and she tightens her grip.
"It's cold out here. With the rain."
I look up and see that the clouds are moving. The rain has already stopped, but only for the sky. Here, on these steps, it hasn't passed yet. Not yet. Here, it's still cold, still wet.
Is that why my hands are shaking so much?
"Until it's over," she pulls my hand towards her, towards her door. "Won't you come in?"
It must be the rain that's making my back wet. I look from the sky to the ground. It must be the rain that's making my shoes wet.
I should leave. These steps aren't mine, they're his. This is all his. And even if he's gone- passed and gone- that doesn't mean they're not his still.
But the rain, it keeps falling, and her hand, it keeps pulling, and my hand, it keeps shaking.
"For a little while." I turn and bow. "Until it passes."
She nods and opens the door more. The house is dark. I reach for the light, but she takes my hand, stopping me.
"Leave it off." Her voice shakes. It's so quiet, I can hear her swallow, and she steadies herself. I can feel it in her fingers. "The lights. They might wake-"
She leaves that in the air. We both know that if she says any more, we will see that the clouds have already passed. His- their daughter is asleep. Any light will wake her up, and any truth will wake us up.
And we're not ready for that yet.
She pulls me into the bedroom, dark, just like the hall. I have never been to this part of the house before, and it feels strange, forbidden, a life I shouldn't be allowed to see. But she's already unbuttoning her dress. In the low light from the window, I see her silhouette as she pulls the dress down from her shoulders and drops it to the ground.
I reach for my collar, but her hand takes mine, stopping me.
"Leave it on." She presses the collar to my neck and leans her head against my chest. Her hand slides over to my shoulder and then down my arm. She stands there, feeling the uniform and wraps her arms around me, and I feel her fingers moving up and down my back- feeling, remembering.
I close my arms around her and hold her body against me. I know this life isn't mine, but I'm not ready to give it up yet. If the only thing I can hold is the person he once held, then let me hold that, please, just for a little while longer, just until it stops.
I press my lips to her neck. "Forgive me."
She doesn't say anything, but pulls me to the bed. Her hands won't leave my uniform, and I feel her tugging harder and harder at it as we move, back and forth.
My shaking hand holds her breast, and my palm feels warm. Is it her heartbeat that's making it so? I can't tell anymore. We're all shaking so hard, and her hands won't leave my shirt, and my shaking, warm hand won't leave her breast. My other hand is down at her waist, pressing her to the bed. We're so quiet. It's like making one small noise would wake everything up, so we grit our teeth, and keep moving, and holding. So quiet, that I can hear the rain fall. So close, it feels like it's inside.
A sound, a ripping sound, stops me. I look down to see that she has taken a part of my shirt away in her hand, right off my chest. We lie still, staring at it between her fingers. In the low light, the blue fabric is even darker.
She looks up at me, her eyes shining, and even though we're inside, I can see the clouds passing across them. Grey sky changing into blue, and I can feel it.
"Forgive me," she says, holding the piece of my heart in her hands.
The warmth inside my body, the fire inside my hand is passing, cooling. I drop my head down on her chest and rest it there, and I pull my hand away from her breast and lay it down on the bed next to her.
So quiet, I can hear her heart. And that's all I hear.
We lie there until our breathing slows down, and then the awkwardness slides in where the heat once was.
"You should-" she starts, and leaves it in the air.
"I should-" I nod against her chest and sit up. She lays the torn piece of my uniform into my hand. I hold it there, since that is all I have to hold.
I hear her get out of the bed, and walk over to where she dropped her dress on to the ground. I keep my back to her, because suddenly now, I feel that this is something I should not see. It is not mine to see.
Her hand is on the door knob. I rise from the bed and follow her. Neither of us say a word, nor do we reach for the switch to light the hall. She opens the door. I bow my head to her, but she's looking past me to the outside.
"I think it's stopped," she says.
It's slipping right before me, another life. I can see it, fading away like the mist after the rain. I reach out to try to take it, just one more touch.
"If you ever need something. For the next time-" I nod towards the sky. "For the next time it rains."
She doesn't look at me when I look at her. Her smile is to the sky only.
She closes the door. I stand on the steps to her- to their house, and I feel the air on the back of my neck, cool, cool and dry.
I walk away from her- from their door, and with each step, it feels like another life has passed- passed and gone.
I grip the scrap of my uniform in my fist, and it feels hot under my palm.
But my hand no longer shakes, because now I know.
One life has passed for another. And I make a promise as I walk through his gate, leaving her- his life behind.
I will grow stronger, and I will stop whoever did this.
Until there are no more drops left to fall. Until it's my life that is passed and gone.
"You can count on me."