Categories > Anime/Manga > Full Metal Alchemist

Not Fade Away

by sheepy 0 reviews

Kimbley gets a visitor in prison.

Category: Full Metal Alchemist - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Kimberly - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2005-05-19 - Updated: 2005-05-20 - 1037 words - Complete

Not Fade Away
by Melissa the Sheep

Summary: Kimbley gets a visitor in prison.
Spoilers: Minor for episode 31
Date: May 15-19, 2005
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Arakawa-sensei, Square Enix, Studio Bones, etc.


The walls are a pale sickly shade that's not quite white, not quite gray, and not quite any color. A guard in a dark drab uniform leads her down the hall, and leaves her in a room with a cold unpainted cement floor and a scarred wood table.

She sits down in one of the chairs to wait for her son. There's a flask in her purse, but she won't allow herself to take it out until this is over. It's only decent. She owes him a few moments of sobriety now, if ever. Doesn't she?

With a trembling hand, she tugs at the creeping hem of her dress. The calico was faded but still colorful blue and yellow when she entered the prison. Now it all feels like shades of gray, faded and unreal like the distant murmur of voices and the echoing clank of steel doors. Her head aches dully.

She startles when this room's door opens and a prisoner is pushed inside. She stands and leans toward him. "Zolf?"

For a moment she's not certain that it's really him. It's been so many years since he disappeared. He had barely been more than a boy then--wiry, short-haired, pale. He's taller now, and well-muscled, still dark from the Ishbal sun. He looks out of place against the drained palette of the walls and the floor and his prisoner's uniform.

"Hello, Mother," he says, and smiles. She's not sure if he meant his expression to be so cold. She never could tell what the boy really meant by anything.

She folds him into her arms, because she supposes that's what one should do when meeting her son for the first time in seventeen years, and for the last time ever.

He is stiff in her embrace, tolerating her touch only for a moment before pushing her away. Because his hands are shackled, he has to use both--but he leads with his left. How many times did she slap that hand away when he reached for something? It never seemed to make a difference. She gave up when he was three years old. She tried not to listen to the old women murmuring about him--left-handed and yellow-eyed and dark-haired. Nothing like his blonde brown-eyed mother, nothing like the photograph of his red-haired father. It was too much; there was something wrong about the boy, something unnatural.

The air does not seem cool against her as he pushes her away from his body. Never since he was very small, has he let her touch him long enough to draw in his warmth. Sometimes, in frightened superstitious moments, she has wondered if he had any warmth at all.

She doesn't try to embrace him again. He doesn't seem to want any comfort, and he doesn't seem to care if it might comfort her. She tells herself that it doesn't matter, really--that they've already been dead to each other for years.

"Is it . . . " The words stick in her throat. "Is it true? What I've read?"

"That depends on what they wrote." But he must have a pretty good idea of what they've written, must just want to see her squirm. She remembers how he is. She doesn't answer him.

War crimes, the papers read. Made people explode, went crazy with the power of it. Turned a commanding officer into a puff of smoke and a shower of ash. Already sentenced by the time she heard.

The silence drags between them. She wants to ask so many things, but there's no place to start. She wants to say nothing at all and just leave, just get away. He's changed so much--this man is a stranger, so how could he mean anything to her?

Her hand twitches. She shuffles her feet. "You . . . seem so calm, Zolf."

"Should I be upset?" He is leaning casually against the wall, gesturing with a marked hand.

"You're about to die."

He stares at her with dull eyes. "What is there in this world worth holding on to? Nothing they'd ever let me have again."

"Don't talk like that, Zolf," she murmurs. "It's horrible, what you did. All those people." The headache is stronger now. She reaches halfway into her handbag before she stops herself.

"I did what I was told to do."

"Don't lie to me. They wouldn't have you executed for following orders."

Zolf just smiles.

"They wouldn't," she repeats.

"An order means only what they want it to mean."

She shakes her head and does not meet his eyes. Her hand is trembling. She fidgets with the handles of her purse. He's watching her, she can feel it.

"You can have your drink," he mutters. "I got used to it a long time ago."

Her cheeks burn as she sets her purse on the table and lets her hand fall away. "How do you sleep at night, Zolf? All those people . . . "

He sighs, almost a moan, and it makes her blood run cold. "You don't understand how it feels. The power rushing through your body, the elements shifting under your fingers, colliding, blending, combusting--"


She makes the mistake of looking up at him, and he fixes her with his hard cold eyes. "You don't know how much I needed it."

"Zolf, stop it!"

He falls silent, but continues to stare at her.

She may be a lush, she may be a poor mother, she may be a failure. But she didn't raise her son to kill people and to enjoy it. She didn't raise him to have no conscience, no human decency. She didn't make him into this.

Maybe the old women were right. He frightens her, now more than he ever did as a boy. She knocks on the door to signal the guard.

She turns to look at him again as she leaves.

"Oh, Zolf, Zolf. Why did you even start?"

He smiles again, lazily, yellow eyes shining. "Why not?"

The guard closes the door between them and ushers her back down the hall.


[ End ]
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