His footsteps dragged lifelessly in the snow, as he searched for his one hope in life; his one reason to live. AU oneshot
Disclaimer: I don't own FMA.
The boy was small. That was, perhaps, the first thing that one would notice about him. His dull coloured cloak hung loosely around him, not offering much protection against the bitter cold. His hood was pulled up, hiding his face. His body huddled within itself, trying to make up for his inadequate clothing. It wasn't much, his clothes; his cloak was just a thin piece of cloth, covered in grime, and ripped in a multitude of places. His pants weren't much better. Like his cloak, it was torn. Its dark colour, however, hid many of the blemishes, some of which would have been a dark red-brown colour if they had been visible. His gloves had been white at one point, but now, brown and grey splotches were scattered across them, and they hung limply on his hands.
He dragged his feet as he trudged across the barren land. The snow was thick, which didn't make it any easier to walk. His steps were lifeless, hopeless. The entire way he stood, walked, cried defeat.
Sighing, the boy paused for a moment, as if collecting his thoughts, before slipping off his hood as he shook his hair free. His hair, had it not been matted with dirt and grime, would have shone gold in the sun. He looked young, maybe only nine or ten, despite the fact that he was fourteen. The only thing that stood contrary were his eyes. They were bright gold, dancing in the early morning sunlight; they were alive. But they were eyes that had seen much more than his apparent age, no, even his actual age. They had seen much; much that someone his age should not have seen, much that no one should have to see. Yes, they were alive, but they were haunted. In their own way, they too were dead.
Sometimes he would forget just why he was out here, why he was here in the middle of nowhere, why he had given up a good home, a good job, money, friends, a country. Hell, he had even thrown away his credibility, taking instead the status of a traitor, an outcast, an enemy to all countries. And then he would remember; it had been his one hope. His one hope to find his brother, who had been taken away from him...that day.
It was this one hope that kept him going, it was this one hope that didn't dash his will to live, it was this one hope that could keep him alive. He knew that his brother was alive, he had to be, he couldn't be dead, even if everyone else said he was dead, even if he had been declared dead. He couldn't believe it, he could feel it in his heart that his brother was still alive. This one hope that his brother was still alive, was the one hope that kept him alive, the life that shone through his eyes.
As long as his brother was alive, he was determined to find him, so they could once again be together.
Yet, despite the hope burning inside him, he could feel himself be drained. Drained mentally, physically, emotionally, in every way possible. He felt himself draining of life with every step he took, every breath he drew. Every night, he felt the cold draining from him all heat, draining him of life. Every day, he felt himself drained off energy, drained of, yes, sometimes even drained of hope.
Despite his strong belief that he would succeed, there was some voice nagging him that he would fail. The odds were against him. He wasn't dressed properly for the weather, he could die of exposure. He had run out of money long ago. His food had run out within the first week, now he had to resort to doing odd jobs here and there, occasionally stealing, often going for days on an empty stomach. The towns in this area were rather sparse. Yet, it wasn't because of that he sometimes could feel failure.
Even when he came to a settlement, a town, he would often be ridiculed, be kicked, be chased, be called a dog, a cur. Yet, it wasn't that either. He was used to that, he had been since the day he had chosen the path to become an adult. What really was draining him, dimming that small, bright light of hope, was that he had seen his brother been taken, he knew what happened to those taken, hell, he had nearly died himself. It was that, that brought him down, that could bring him to his knees, that could drive him to the point of despair.
The call of a cricket shook him from his thoughts, as he sighed again, pulled his dull hood over his head again, and walked on, each step speaking of death, each movement sounding of defeat, each breath breathing of despair.
Nestled between two rocks, a sniper observed the land in front of him through the sights. He knew that five of his comrades were similarly hidden, all watching, all aiming to hit the most targets. He supposed that killing people was as good as any other, and he should be grateful that he had risen this high after having been 'taken.' Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he turned his mind back to the narrow scope.
He smiled as he watched his target shuffle in to his sight. He matched the description exactly; dull tattered clothes, brown cloak, white gloves, short. He grinned. This was easier than he thought it would. His target walked on, oblivious to the danger; him. Didn't know, or didn't care, the sniper didn't know. This was painfully easy. Taking careful aim, he steadied the gun, and pressed the trigger. There was a ringing bang, and he smiled grimly, pleased, as he saw the person crumple limply, falling as though in slow motion. The bullet had pierced his target's skull, no doubt on it's way to a fatal point, as a thick, red liquid came gushing out. The hood came off, he could see the horror in those eyes, and though he didn't revel in it, he certainly felt a since of satisfaction... The hood fell off completely, revealing a flash of bloodstained gold. The sniper drew in a breath in horror as something hit him. He knew that hair...No...it couldn't be! Suddenly, his past caught up to him, knocking the breath out of him, and he could only stare in horror as his target crumpled into the snow, limp.
Throwing his own hood back, revealing a messy sandy-brown mop, the sniper, who himself looked only around thirteen, sprinted as fast as he could to the golden haired boy's limp form.
"No! No!" The sandy-haired boy sat in the snow, cradling the other's head in his lap. He felt desperately for any sign of life, but his aim had been true. The blank gold eyes stared up into blank space as he sobbed, unbelieving of what he had just done. "Br-brother..." the boy choked out, between his sobs, cradling the head to his chest, as though willing the boy to awake from his horror-filled nightmare, and to sit up, and smile at him, to make the world right again.
"Nooo!" he cried as he wailed his grief to the heavens. It couldn't be true, it couldn't be. How was it possible that he had just killed the brother who had always been with him, cared for him, and probably, even now, had been searching for him? Yet, it was true. In a cruel twist of fate, the seemingly impossible had occurred.
A steely change overcame the boy. His eyes, who, like his brother's, were haunted, still had a soft light of kindness and gentleness in them. In all of a second, though, those eyes dimmed, and were engulfed in dark, gray despair. As he slouched limply over his brother's limp form, a sudden flash of defiance surged through him. In a flash, all that changed. They shone with a new light of determination.
A few seconds later, a sharp crack reverberated throughout the barren land.
Two crumpled bodies lay in the snow, their eyes blank. One who had eyes of liquid gold-blank, one who had eyes that were a soft brown-blank. As they lay there, their life's blood stained the snow a deep, dark, red. In such a way, had their childhood innocence been stained, taken away much too soon by the cruel fate of life. But the red-stained snow, unlike their innocence, would eventually melt, flow into the ground, sustain new plants, and with the coming year, new snow, as white and pure as the innocence of a new-born child, would fall, covering the land anew.
And so, life would go on, un-minding that two young lives, both who had seen too much for their age, had ended. The sun would go on rising and setting. The tides would never change. The cycle of the moon would continue, waning and waxing. After all, these two deaths were only complying, albeit a bit early, with the greater flow of the universe.
Well, I hoped you liked it. I'd greatly appreciate it if you told me how you thought it went! Thanks for reading!