[hughes/gracia; g] A Chance Worth Taking
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist Title: A Chance Worth Taking Author: emilie_burns Pairing: Maes/Gracia Hughes Rating: G Word Count: 825 Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) is copyrighted by Hiromu Arakawa/Square Enix. Warnings: Cavity-inducing sweetness. Author's Notes: Written for imma_holiday for the First Kiss Meme. This fic is written in a style different than what I'm used to, but it works and I like it. I blame the short story anthology I'd been reading at the time. Summary: She explained that she didn't want the military in her life, the inevitable and constant goodbyes and the threat of a burial hanging over her head like a mythological sword of fate.
A Chance Worth Taking
Gracia hadn't any interest in the military. She lived too close to the Academy to not be familiar with the antics of the cadets. She knew the potential promise of a future for a military wife, the risks and heartaches, though only in the most abstract of ways. The life of the military wasn't one for her. She wasn't sure what was for her, and she felt she ought to be seeking something, she just couldn't say what. She looked at her parents, her overbearing, haughty mother and her quiet, meek father, and knew that life wasn't for her.
She had a sense of finding something that day, something brighter, something warmer, something more, when she saw him in the marketplace with a shirt too loud and a grin too broad and a laugh too infectious for her own good. He made her laugh, and she couldn't remember how long ago it might have been, if ever, that she'd laughed to the point of her sides and cheeks hurting. Comedic timing was a natural gift, and although his dark-eyed straight-man best friend was wearing the familiar blues, it never occurred to her that a man so unrestrained, so light, so cheerful might too.
It was halfway through their first date when she found out, and there was a dangerous moment of anger when she almost stormed out of the restaurant, as if there had been a deep and grievous betrayal in that innocent and accidental omission. She explained that she didn't want the military in her life, the inevitable and constant goodbyes and the threat of a burial hanging over her head like a mythological sword of fate.
Then he'd gone and done it. He'd smiled his best smile and his eyes, while sad, held no approach or personal offense, and he said he understood and raised his cup and suggested that they finish up the night in style as friends at the very least, because he enjoyed her company and thought she was a charming lady even if she was meant for someone else instead and might he at least be able to talk to her again from to time?
Despite her every vow to the contrary, she fell. When they left the restaurant, she knew she wouldn't be happy with someone else, that she wanted that warmth, that intense vibrancy of life in her own for all time, that she couldn't stand the thought of going back to her own world, which seemed to hold all the coziness of an upper-class museum. The military was going to be part of her life, whether she wanted it to be or not.
And as he walked her home and they cut through a park that shaded out the moon and looked eerie and ethereal in the flickering whiteness of the gas lamps, she asked him if he'd ever found anything that went against everything he ever wanted, and turned out to be everything he wanted anyway and if he'd ever thought that maybe, sometimes living life to everything it's supposed to be meant compromising here and there once in a while.
He understood, of course, and tried to tell her that he really did understand, that he wasn't upset, and while he was admittedly disappointed -- 'You're a lady of rare class', he told her -- he wasn't hurt and she didn't have to do that. He didn't seem to be listening so Gracia took the matters into her own hands, and walked over to the fountain to stand on the small wall of stones which was barely more than a step up, and beckoned him to follow. Before he could step up and join her, she took advantage of having a bit more height to match up to his, and kissed him.
Then she laughed, because his eyes were wide and shocked and his expression was comedic and so thoroughly him that it was right and perfect and she kissed him again, only to be pulled off the stones so her feet never touched the ground and spun around like they were much younger than they felt like they were most days. But she didn't feel young when he set her down on her feet and initiated the kiss instead, because it melted her spine and tangled up her nerves and curled her toes and she never wanted the feeling to end.
She would take what life had to deal, because over a baked fish with lemon and in a too-dark park with otherworldly shadows of white light, she realized she was missing the best chance life ever offered her, and made it a chance worth taking.
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