[ed/riza; g] What We Put Off Until Tomorrow
Title: What We Put Off Until Tomorrow Author: emilie_burns Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist Pairing: Edward Elric/Riza Hawkeye Prompt: #5, Sealed With Wax (16Candles_Fics) Word Count: 517 Genre: angst Rating: G Summary: He hated open-casket funerals Warnings: Character death. Author's Notes: Don't ask where this bunny came from. I don't know. "Sealed with wax" just gave me some pretty morbid symbolism is all. Chanson du Jour: Garth Brooks : If Tomorrow Never Comes (5.04MB, mp3) Original LJ Post Date: May 06, 2007 @ Chaotic_Library (not crossposted)
What We Put Off Until Tomorrow
"Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away 'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today." - Garth Brooks, The River
He hated open-casket funerals. The mortician would try to make the deceased look as if they were "only sleeping" but they never quite managed it. Instead, they looked like wax dolls, like they'd never lived, never breathed, never laughed or screamed or cried. The repose was too perfect, too artificial, and the skin far too pale.
They'd put her in her uniform, and he hated them for that. If they had known, if he'd been asked, he would have picked out the dress he'd seen her wearing that first day he saw who she was behind the blue wool. It was pale, neither purple nor blue but some in-between color he didn't have a name for, with a bit of white lace to the hem and trim to go with the belt. She'd looked younger. More alive.
He'd never told her, of course. He had his own life to straighten out before he could even begin to think about letting in anyone else, and it was just a crazy dream anyhow. She'd belonged to someone else. At least, it always seemed that way.
Things were better now. He'd managed to do what he'd set out to do. But it didn't change the fact he'd figured her for being someone else's. Maybe she had been. It was too late to care either way. He knew he really shouldn't let himself wonder what she might have said or done if he'd told her the truth, that he'd fallen for her. It was just another package of questions that he'd never get an answer to.
He couldn't linger too long by the casket, he would raise questions. But he couldn't stop looking at a face that was hers, and yet it wasn't. A shiver raced down his spine, and he half-expected the eyes to open, to be violet instead of the rich brown they had been. He might have remained there, frozen in the moment, unable to move forward and unwilling to retreat, then a familiar, warm presence nudged his arm.
Fingers fumbled the envelope, glued shut with wax over the lip, holding the words he never got to say in life. He hesitated and touched her hand, hard and cold, too cold, and slipped the envelope underneath.
Riza Hawkeye had kept secrets for so many in life. She would take his secret to the grave.
He'd done what he came to do, and he couldn't bear to be there a moment longer. He turned and left, ignoring everyone around him, needing -- wanting -- to get out of there, away from there, where he could breathe again.
He stopped, looking up at the clear sky.
"What was that?"
"Nothin', Al." He looked back to his brother, and forced as much of a smile as he could muster. "Just stuff I kept putting off till tomorrow."
His brother's hand was warm and soft in his, and Ed clung to it as they left the house.