She had yet to give her final verdict. MaesxGracia, implied MaesxRoy, character death.
Warning(s): Death, heavy angst, implied yaoi...and UNBETA'D
Disclaimer: FMA is (c) to Hiromu Arakawa
Dedication: This is dedicated to my cousin who has sadly passed away on 21st Oct, 2009. May her soul rest in peace.
AN: My first post here in Ficwad. This is a mere reflection of how I felt after the death of my cousin. And the situation at her funeral fits perfectly with the one written here. I know it might not be good. May seem like a pile of rambling to you. But I wrote it anyway and yes, I feel a bit better now that I HAVE put it down into words. Please, let me know what you think of this. Thank you.
She grabbed hold of her daughter’s little arm, turning to leave from where he lay. There had been people, some truly despondent while most dangling around, murmuring false hopes to her. Telling her how hard it must’ve been...to know that he may very well be gone the next moment. And he did. He did leave within the next moment. Gone. Vanished. Just like that.
Idiots. They could never understand how it felt. How it felt to be so lonely. A life full of constant fear that some demonic force would barge in and snatch her husband away, laughing with utmost evil, a laugh that took pleasure in seeing the two helpless beings, striving to move forward. To live ahead...despite that agonising heart wrenching, gut-churning pain. A pain that would forever remain fresh. A wound that would forever bleed.
“It was meant to be...”
She sobbed silently in response, her hitching of soft breaths giving away more than any outcry would. There. It went on again. Probably a new lot of ignorant fools. Showing up for false consolations.
“It’ll take time. But you’ll get over it, Gracia.”
A stiff nod was the only reply she could come up with. Honestly, she had the least intention of pouring her heart out to someone who came to pay respect and tried to make everybody happy by the mounds of gold and silver piled up on her toned and messaged body. As if, the woman’s perfume or perfumes could be a better alternative for flowers. She did manage to bring a bouquet of those...lilacs and red roses, all wrapped in a perfect plastic cover, complete with pink ribbons and heart-shaped wrapping paper.
She sure got over her husband’s death!
Cold hands dabbed her napkin once more over her eyes. The tears were not meant to be stopped. But they weren’t meant to come out all so suddenly, when she least expected it. Elicia was screaming. Screaming for her daddy to wake up, begging her mother to stop them from burying him. Because he wouldn’t be able to breathe, wouldn’t be able to go to work or play with her.
Her little black dress became patched with brown, while the frail body itself staggered and rolled on the ground, clutching the gravestone, reaching for hwr dad for one last touch as she was hastily dragged by her mother, held so tightly by her restraining grip.
The shrill cries of her voice echoed throughout the cemetery; she was the loudest. But Gracia would know better to stop her. After all, she understood very well to release all the pain that her daughter had. To cry to scream, to rip her lungs apart while doing so, such that later on, she wouldn’t have to regret afterwards. She should be allowed to be free as much as possible. And the only way to do that was to let the grief flow out from those large emerald eyes. And in that respect, Gracia wasn’t lagging behind either. The voice wasn’t as raised as her daughter’s. But, the tears weren’t hindered or resisted.
However, not everyone could have such luck.
While all gathered near the grieving pair, there stood someone else in a distant corner. Alone. And silent.
That man. The other man.
Giving her daughter one final tug under the arms, Gracia turned and began to leave in small steps. Elicia was still not ready to go home. She hindered her mostly. But she wasn’t scolded. It was natural.
Dried leaves murmured with the burst of a sudden chilled breeze. The sun was beginning to set behind grey autumn clouds, now tinged with a soft red at the border. It was getting colder. The fellow grievers also left one by one. Not many decided to hang around after dark. And a few scattered here and there, saying their final goodbyes before they went home.
But he was still there. Standing as before, head down as if in some deep meditation.
She paused on her tracks and looked closely at the military man. She could never figure out why their fates were so intimately entwined. It was reasonable in presence of her now late husband. But in absence as well, he still crossed their way...or rather his way was crossed with them.
Her eyes followed the gloomy figure, watching as he stiffened slightly in aware of others’ presence, but soon after relaxed, as if giving a damn to the world. His body stood still but eyes hidden by the military hat.
She didn’t try to see those obsidian orbs. She didn’t have to. She knew what they concealed...and to see them would only increase her pain. His hands now trembled slightly as the man himself got on his knees, staring intently at her husband, his hands twitching with hesitance and then again curling into a tight shaky ball.
She sighed softly. It was hard for him as well. Too hard. What had been a deceitful luck for her and Elicia, wasn’t so fateful for the man himself.
She tugged Elicia softly and advanced towards the shadowy figure. Her steps were hesitant. Her mind unsure as well. What would he tell him? That it was going to be okay? That he had to get over it? That he needed to move on?
Didn’t he already? Was once not enough for him?
A quiet smile gently crossed her virtual lips at the mere irony. This man, her husband’s best friend, was supposed to be there or her and her daughter. Now more than ever. He was supposed to give a pat on their backs and murmur useless words...not the other way around.
However, this wasn’t the best friend that she knew. No. This was someone who was more than a best friend. And that someone who was more than a best friend had every right to express his misery by crying out loud or screaming harder than Elicia.
Yet he couldn’t.
The world and Gracia got in his way. Not once. But Twice.
Once Gracia was the cause for him to die a death. And today, she still was the cause...but for his second death.
Of course Gracia had no clue at first. She thought her’s was the happiest of all marriages. And her husband was the most loving. She was right. Maes did love her. He was always beside her. By her side.
But that’s just it. Beside her. Never with her.
And she knew well where or with whom his soul stayed.
Gracia had his mind. But Roy...he had his soul.
It aggravated her to know that there was someone else in her husband’s life. The very thought of the other man made her heart burn in flames of hell. But...then again, was he really the other person? And not her? After all, she had stepped in between their happiness. Unaware, yes. But not unknowingly. She still had the choice...before Elicia’s birth. But she didn’t. She thought that she’d live with it.
And she did. But on a pyre of envy.
A gasp escaped her chapped lips as a sudden realization slammed against her. Envy? Wasn’t it likely for Roy to be envious? He was, though, no doubt about that...but for Gracia to be jealous? Even though she had a husband, a child, a family—things which Roy would never have?? Was it God that was more ironic or was it their fate?
Her steps slowed down to a haul...mere inches away from the now sobbing man. He slowly looked up from the ground, tracing the shadow to the woman herself. It was then that all emotions rallied up in both their hearts. Wet obsidian orbs met cold green ones. His eyes widened in surprise and immediately darted away back to the ground, body stiffening under the observing glare.
She wasn’t welcomed. To carry on with their mental discussions of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Not when he deserved his own time with Maes.
Gracia stared at him for a few more minutes, before slowly turning to leave again. She realized one thing. That they had something in common in spite of their differences—their loyal and undying love to the man they both had partially. She wasn’t fit to judge or accuse the other for not having her husband wholly. It wasn’t a fair thing to do either.
And if she were to judge, then she’d have to judge herself as well. She wasn’t actually pure as snow, after all. She too had caused pain. Which the man silently accepted.
Both had lost and gained something in return. And it wasn’t in disproportionate amounts. Equivalent exchange as they say. Based on those, she had yet to give her final verdict.
Her verdict was sympathy and forgiveness. Both towards Roy and her selfish self.