Author: Lady El
Characters: Pretty blatant Riza and Roy
Spoilers: End of series, possible movie.
Inspired by today's... yesterday's... the April 13th prompt over at 31_days. I even managed to post it there under the deadline, too, yay! Just trying to figure out what in the world happened between Episode 51 and the movie. Experimenting with point of view as well. This is what happens when Kim takes a break from school, even if it's just for a few hours...
April 13: When are you going to love you as much as I do?
When you finally understand.
The doctor comes by again, and this time he's well enough that the old man can no longer skirt around the exact extent of his injuries. He asks for the truth, cold and hard. He absorbs each piece of news like it's just another fact he read in just another ancient text he's found in the library this week. When the doctor mentions the weakness in his right arm and leg caused from the trauma to the left side of his face may or may not be permanent, he even braves a smile. A smile directed at you.
He comments quietly, but still with the hint of dry humor that has never ceased to amuse you before, that he now has a valid reason to lay off the paperwork. He pauses, waiting, searching for your reciprocating sigh, your mild glare of annoyance, your equally barbing response.
But you can't even summon the strength or the nerve or the heart to look him in the eye.
He has spoken directly to you more in the past few weeks than he has in all the time you've known him. You stubbornly pretend that that all the medications he takes to ward off infection and the worst of the pain are to blame. But you both know the real reason is because he is a hopeless idealist and in his mind, in the depths of his very soul, you are not to blame. He talks to keep you from reliving the nightmares you constantly see just beyond every horizon. He comments about trivial things to break the awkward silence that never used to settle between the two of you in the office. He spouts philosophy and poetry and eternal wisdom just to get you to smile.
He never gives up, even with all your halfhearted attempts to shut him up. But you never fully take the bait.
He plans a trip and at first you think it's just another attempt to pull you out of the self-pitying guilt mire you've waded into. Then you remember that it's him, and nothing he does is without purpose. Even his little pearls of vocalized wisdom have been carefully constructed for your benefit, after all. But this trip, he plans for one. You are not invited. And deep down, in some part of you that you will never consciously acknowledge, you are relieved.
You see him off at the station and worry that his stride is still more limp than steady step. You know the grip on the cane is weaker than even he feels completely comfortable, but his patience is still as thin as it's always been and he will not wait any longer. For what, exactly, you don't ask. And he doesn't elaborate.
You watch him take up an empty, rear-facing bench, and it is then that you realize that maybe you were wrong.
Maybe he spouts philosophy and poetry and eternal wisdom just to remember that there are still some pure and timeless intangible ideas left in the world to dream about.
Maybe he comments about the trivial things to reassure himself that he is actually allowed to take part in them with this tentative sense of peace that has followed the war.
Maybe he talks to keep from reliving his own nightmares constantly breaking through the darkness that now tints half his world.
The train pulls away and takes him with it, to a place he didn't mention, for an amount of time he would not specify. You wave goodbye even though he can't see you anymore and on your lips is a dying promise -- no… not dying, not yet freshly born. It is your own philosophy and poetry and eternal wisdom. The same one you both have lived by, even when your lives have been put on hold.
But now you will pick yourself up, cast aside the guilt and the blame. You will forgive yourself because he never once thought you were at fault. His faith and trust in you have never wavered.
You will wait for him, for a day, for a year, for another lifetime. For as long as it takes. You have made him your anchor, and you are his. And even if the two weights together would sink, at least you will not go down alone.
You hear his laugh in your mind, as you think such obscure thoughts. You can imagine his response, still with the hint of dry humor that has never ceased to amuse you before, and you roll your eyes and smile.