Categories > Anime/Manga > Full Metal Panic

The Fisherman

by Skyless_star 0 reviews

Three moments of a life meet on a river's bank. Song-fic

Category: Full Metal Panic - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Sousuke Sagara - Published: 2008-02-10 - Updated: 2008-08-14 - 2450 words - Complete

The Fisherman
by Skyless_star

Three moments of a life meet on a river's bank. Inspired by the song `Il Pescatore' by F. de André.

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`FULL METAL PANIC!/]' and all the characters involved had been created by [*Gato Shoji and firstly drawn by Shiki Doji.
The song `Il Pescatore/]' (The Fisherman) belongs to [*Fabrizio de André (1976).
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A kid with unruly brown hair was lurking around a river. The bank was steep and offered many hiding spots that, if he was a little lucky, could help him escape from the police and arrive undisturbed to a village, about ten kilometers ahead, where he knew somebody would hide him. Moreover, the setting sun gave him some advantage on his pursuers.

Strengthening his hold on the gun he was concealing beneath his ample clothes, the kid took a look around, scanning the nearby space with his big gray eyes to find any possible sign of danger. Nobody seemed to be chasing him; at least, they weren't near enough to be seen. The other side of the river seemed clear, too.

Searching for the best path, the kid noticed that some thirty meters from him there was a man. He tensed up at first, but relaxed shortly after, as soon as he saw that the man hadn't spotted him.

All'ombra dell'ultimo sole
(In the shadow of the setting sun)
S'era assopito un pescatore
(A fisherman was slumbering)
E aveva un solco lungo il viso
(And there was a groove along his face)
Come una specie di sorriso.
(Resembling some kind of smile.)

For a brief moment, the kid stopped to contemplate the figure. The man had dark hair, just like his, but with some sporadic white spot here and there. He was fishing. Suddenly, the kid remembered he hadn't eaten anything since the morning, and the day that was about to finish had been very hard for him.

The kid eyed the river. He quickly discarded the idea of fishing; the water was too deep to do it bare-handed and he couldn't afford to waste his time waiting for something to catch a bait. Not to mention, he had nothing to hang a bait. He decided that the old fisherman would give him something.

Venne alla spiaggia un assassino
(A killer came at the beach)
Due occhi grandi da bambino
(Two big childish eyes)
Due occhi enormi di paura
(Two enormous eyes for fear)
Eran gli specchi di un'avventura.
(An adventure's mirrors.)

He approached the man, keeping his eyes on everything around him. When he was close enough, the kid saw that the eyes of the man were closed; he was sleeping. `Good. I can take something without him seeing my face or knowing I've been here.' He turned around him to reach the bag that was on the man's left side, and noticed that he had an X-shaped scar on his cheek.

By instinct, he kid touched his own left cheek, where there was an identical scar. Looking at him better, the young fugitive felt suddenly close to the man, as if he knew he could trust him. He decided to make his presence known. "Hey, old man. Give me the food you have in your bag. I've a gun, don't even think to say no."

E chiese al vecchio dammi il pane
[/(And asked the old man `Give me the bread)
[/Ho poco tempo e troppa fame
[/(I'm very hungry and out of time')
[/E chiese al vecchio dammi il vino
[/(And asked the old man `Give me the wine)
[/Ho sete e sono un assassino.
[/(I'm thirsty and I'm a killer'.)

The old man smiled; he had sensed the kid getting near him and his bag, but he wanted to see if he really wanted to steal his bread while he wasn't looking, if he really thought he wouldn't notice his presence.

From the way he moved, so silently, he had understood he was running from something or that he was hiding; from his steps, short and quick, he had understood he was a child. The way he had spoken reminded him an old version of himself, when he was about his age.

"Asking for food would have been enough, you know? I would have given it to you anyway, but I wouldn't have known you're armed, then an outlaw." Opening his eyes, the old man was surprised in seeing how much that kid really resembled him. He bent toward his bag and took some bread that he handed the child.

Gli occhi dischiuse il vecchio al giorno
(His eyes to the day disclosed the old man)
Non si guardò neppure intorno
(He did not even look around)
Ma versò il vino e spezzò il pane
(But poured wine and broke bread)
Per chi diceva ho sete e ho fame.
(For the one saying `I'm thirsty, I'm hungry'.)

The kid accepted what he had been given, without even wondering what it might be. After all, he was sure that the food was safe. In the bucket resting near the man's feet there were seven fishes, all alive. The man was there from a long time, he couldn't be a cop in disguise, neither he could know what he had done, since it didn't seem he had brought along a radio or whatever other equipment that could give him the news. The food was for him, it was impossible that it was poisoned.

"What's your name, kid?" the man asked.

The kid eyed him between the bites. "Why should I tell you? Then you could tell the police."

"You're right, I could. But I won't. After all, you already trusted me enough to ask for the bread and let me see your face, instead of stealing it while I seemed asleep." The man paused, even if he knew the kid wouldn't answer him. "You know, when I was your age I, too, was an assassin. To me, killing an enemy wasn't right or wrong, it was just something to be done to survive." The old man felt something pulling at his rod and began retrieving his prey. "Just like catching a fish."

The kid wondered if the old man had talked about assassins because he, too, had been one or because he had understood what he had done. If he was really that smart, he could be a problem for him.

The man's voice interrupted his thoughts "My name is Sousuke."

Against all his principles, the kid trusted him again. After swallowing noisily, he answered the question the man had asked him. "Kashim. My name is Kashim."

"Nice to meet you, Kashim." said the old man, giving him some water before he could choke. Kashim shrugged and drank the water in a big gulp, then continued devouring the bread. "You should chew, else that bread will sit in your stomach, will affect your reflexes, and the police will catch you."

Kashim slowed down just enough to be able to speak. "You're right but, really, I don't have time to waste right now."

"Then it's true they're looking for you." Kashim looked him for a moment, then nodded silently.

Sousuke took the paper bag with the remaining bread and motioned for Kashim to put there the uneaten bread. Kashim glared at him, wondering if he had a death wish.

"Don't worry, I don't want it back. I want you to take it away and eat it later, when you'll have some time." That convinced Kashim, who let the bread fall in the paper bag, that he took and hid under his clothes. "Take also this." The old man said, offering him the water. Kashim accepted it without a word, then got on his feet.

E fu il calore di un momento
(And it was a moment's warmth)
Poi via di nuovo verso il vento
(Then newly away toward the wind)
Davanti agli occhi ancora il sole
(Before the eyes still the sun)
Dietro alle spalle un pescatore.
(Behind the shoulders a fisherman.)

"Do you have a place to go, Kashim? If you don't, maybe I can arrange something." Sousuke said.

Kashim nodded. "South from here there's a town in which I already took refuge in the past. They will hide me without a question."

It was Sousuke's turn to nod; he knew all too well what kind of life that kid led. "Don't worry, I won't tell the police. Now go."

Kashim began walking, but after some steps he turned around. "Thanks for everything, old man."

Sousuke smiled. "Good luck, Kashim."

As he watched him go away, Sousuke recalled in his mind what had happened in his life. `If you'll ever meet a beautiful blue-haired girl, don't be afraid of being happy with her, Kashim.' he thought, smiling.

Dietro alle spalle un pescatore
(Behind the shoulders a fisherman)
E la memoria è già dolore
(And the memory is already pain)
È già il rimpianto di un aprile
(It's already the regret of one April)
Giocato all'ombra di un cortile.
(Played in a courtyard's shadow.)

Sousuke resumed his fishing. Looking the fishes swimming in the bucket, he thought he could have given one, or even two, to Kashim; six would be more than enough for him, Kaname and their three years old grandson -the only one at the moment- that always stayed with them when his parents were on a mission for Mithril.

Sousuke closed his eyes. Some minutes later, he heard two persons approaching; no, a person and a `Bonta', evolution of the equipment he had invented years before and that Kaname had perfected: now it was an human-sized unmanned AS.

Vennero in sella due gendarmi
(Two policemen came in the saddle)
Vennero in sella con le armi
(Carrying weapons they came in the saddle)
Chiesero al vecchio se lì vicino
(They asked the old man whether around there)
Fosse passato un assassino.
(Had passed a killer.)

The man, a young cop about twenty years old, went near Sousuke. "Excuse me, sir..."

Sousuke recognized the voice. He opened his eyes and turned around to look at the boy. "How can I help you, sergeant Sagara?"

"We're looking for a kid, about ten years old, height around one meter thirty centimeters, dark messy hair, steel grey eyes, medium built. Have you seen him?"

"A kid, sergeant? Did he escape from home or do you believe he was kidnapped? ... His parents must be worried."

"Nothing like that, sir. That kid is wanted for the attempted murder of his guardian (1); a bad lot, to tell the truth. Anyway, the man survived his fury, but it can't be said he's in good shape."

`Same old story.' Sousuke thought bitterly.

"I'm sorry, sergeant, but I can't help you. A little while ago I heard someone's footsteps, but since his path didn't include my position, I didn't even turn around. I can't even tell if he was a kid, an adult, a dog..."

The sergeant nodded. "Can you at least tell me where he went?" The sergeant knew well that man's skills. In the end, he was his father. That boy was indeed the fourth son, the last one, of Sousuke and Kaname. Even more dutiful than his father was, he always spoke to him as if he was a stranger anytime they meet while he was on duty. Even when there was nobody around except the `Bonta' that, no matter how sophisticated, was only a machine.

"From what I could make from here, he was following the road in that direction." Sousuke pointed to his left, "But, again, I can't be sure of it."

"Fine, sir. Thanks for your help and good afternoon." the boy said.

"Have a nice day, sergeant." Sousuke watched his son go away. He would have wanted to help him, but he knew him and could tell that, if he was to meet Kashim, one of them won't come out alive. Because his son, at most, would receive a tirade for letting the kid go away, he had decided the best thing to do was covering Kashim.

Another fish bit, and Sousuke decided it was time to return home to his Kaname. While he was putting away his equipment, Sousuke thought about himself, about his son, about Kashim. He smiled, wishing the two boys a lucky life.

The young policeman, the even younger killer, the old and finally free man; in a day like all the others, on the bank of a river that held no more secrets for him, the three most significant phases of his life had met each other in a timeless moment.

Ma all'ombra dell'ultimo sole
(But in the shadow of the setting sun)
S'era assopito il pescatore
(A fisherman was slumbering)
E aveva un solco lungo il viso
(And there was a groove along his face)
Come una specie di sorriso
(Resembling some kind of smile)
E aveva un solco lungo il viso
(And had a groove along his face)
Come una specie di sorriso.
(Resembling some kind of smile.)

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Latest revision 14 August 2008

Any review is welcome, even flames or not reviewing, if you think so.
By the way, English isn't my language, so I'm bound to make mistakes even after spell-checking the story -sadly, I couldn't find a beta-reader. I apologize for any possible mistake and, if you find one, please to tell me so I'll fix it as soon as possible.

Author's notes:
(1) It didn't fit it in the story, but when I thought of Kashim's guardian I imagined him as Gauron's alter ego.
As for the song's translation, in a previous version of the story it was more literal and not mixed in the text; I hope the solution of writing the song in bold characters and it translation in smaller ones made the song more understandable and the story more enjoyable.
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