|The Knight in Slightly Tarnished Armor (yuuo) wrote in chaotic_library,|
@ 2007-06-11 17:48:00
|Current music:||Lacuna Coil - Heaven's a Lie|
|Entry tags:||1st person, edward elric, fma, fma: movie, gen, r-rated, y-52flavours, yuuo, yuuo-lj, yuuo: fma|
[Edward Elric; R] The Miles Put Behind Me
Theme: #30, Dutch Courage
Characters: Edward Elric; Alfons Heidrich; Alphonse Elric (referenced; not present)
Series: Fullmetal Alchemist
Rating: R for language
Notes: WARNING: Edward-angst may be hazardous to your health. Consume withcaution. All standard disclaimers apply. MOVIE SPOILERS HI THNX.
Title: The Miles Put Behind Me
Word Count: 2239
Summary: I hate this place. I don't think there are enough words in any language's vocabulary to fully describe how much I utterly hate and loathe this place.
Original LJ Post Date: Jan 10, 2006 @ 52_Flavours
The only the thing I see ahead is
Just the heat arising off the road
The rainbows I've been chasing
Keep on fading before I find my pot of gold
But more and more I'm thinking,
That the only treasures that I'll ever know
Are long ago and far behind
And wrapped up in my memories of home
-"Home" Joe Diffie
The Miles Put Behind Me
I hate this place. I don't think there are enough words in any language's vocabulary to fully describe how much I utterly hate and loathe this place. I hate everything about it, and I'm sure that if I were to sit and think objectively on it, I wouldn't hate this place as much as just my circumstances, but when the circumstances are what they are, I tend to stop giving a shit about the scientists' creed of 'be objective, rational and logical' and say to hell with it.
I hate this place.
I hate this place so much that just getting myself up out of bed to face another day here is becoming more of a chore, an effort I don't want to put out. I'm beginning to feel like it's a waste of time to even try, because the solution I'm looking for can't be found here. I don't like the idea of going through another day with that idea, that possible answer staring me more and more in the face. I'm afraid of seeing it, afraid to face it, and even more afraid to accept it.
But every day I get myself through here, every day I put another twelve or more hours of work into looking for the answer I want, the harder it is to see anything but the very answer I don't want.
And it seems like there's signs of that answer everywhere I go. It's like this world is laughing at me, telling me 'you can't go back, there's no way back for the likes of you'. Everywhere I go, there's faces, people who I know and recognize to be friends, loved ones, family. The ones that say 'this is home', but it's not them. Not at all. They don't know me, they don't care, and why should they? I'm a stranger from a strange place, trapped in their midst and shoved into the middle of their quiet lives, in the recovery of a war that had torn their entire world apart.
Miss Gracia, Officer Hughes... goddamnit, it's not right. It was Maes and Gracia Hughes and their adorable daughter Elysia and they were supposed to be a happy goddamn family. So what is this? Just one more way this world shows me that I'm nowhere near my home.
And where I live is where it's the worst. From the time I get up and go to the kitchen for breakfast to the time I give up on my studies for the night and retire to my room, he's there, working side by side with me, greeting me in the morning with a smile so achingly sweet and familiar that no matter how often I see it, I swear it stops the heart in my chest from beating for a minute. It's maddening. I want to hate him and love him and I can't do either. He's my brother in so many ways except the ones that really matter. He's Alfons, he's not Al. Not my Al.
I swear, if it weren't for the letters my father writes, I'd be starting to wonder if maybe I hadn't imagined it all, filled in some missing part of my memory with such a fantastical tale. I can't believe that my brother was some figment of my imagination though. It doesn't make sense.
This place doesn't make sense, either. It doesn't make sense why I'm here, why there's a world where there are people that look like my family, but aren't them. This place can't be real either, and yet... every morning, it's here. Depressingly real.
The only tangible proof I've had was my conversations with Father in letters.
I stare down at the paper in my hands as I sit at the dinner table, and watch my last connection, the last tether that kept me bound to my world, kept me assured that it was very real and still waiting for me, disappear right in front of me.
I think Alfons might've been speaking to me, so I look up over the edge of the letter, looking over at him. There's a quizzical look on his face, almost comically childish on his face, and I shake my head. "Nothing. Just a letter from my father."
"Letters from your father don't make you quite this..." he pauses, getting up and grabbing the plates off the table, before shaking his head. "Usually letters from him make you yell something about 'crazy old bastard' and then disappear back to your studies. I've never seen you so quiet while reading one, Herr Edward."
I don't answer him right away, watching him take the plates over to the sink and roll up his sleeves, turning on the tap and waiting for the water to get hot. "Eh, it's nothing," I say, stuffing the letter haphazardly into my pocket. "Let me do the dishes, Alfons. You cooked, and don't you have the living room to take care of before the others get here?"
I refuse to ever call him Al. He's not Al, he'll never be Al. He tries so hard to make me smile, make me stop burying myself so damn much in my work, but he doesn't see that the dead can't smile, not really. This place must be hell, so I must be dead. I can't smile here. Not without Al.
He doesn't seem bothered that I only address him by his full name, and he in turn never calls me 'Ed', so it works out. With a shrug, he hands me the dish rag. "All right. You'll come help once you're done in here, won't you?"
I stifle a sigh and nod. "All right," I agree, if reluctantly. I would rather hide in my room with my books than have anything to do with this evening's celebrations, but even though my mind and heart both understand that he is not Al, I still can't say no to that smile.
He grins and then disappears into the living room to begin work, and I turn to the dishes, taking as much time as I think I can get away with washing them, staring out the window over the sink as I work. Outside, snow is covering the streets, muffling any remaining signs of color in this grey, winter-strangled city. Down the street a ways is a group of people singing outside residents' windows, old hymns and carols that I don't know a single word of, but out in the living room I can hear Alfons humming the tunes merrily.
It's Christmas here, as near as I can tell this world's version of the winter holiday with their primary religion's trappings attached to it, and the fact that this holiday has to occur on this day seems to be just one more way this world is laughing at the fact that it has me trapped here. Alfons tried to explain the whole thing about this holiday, but I told him to just drop it; I was in no way interested in the religious garbage that surrounded everything in this part of Europe, or all of Europe, really. He kind of shrugged in response and told me that mostly, the holiday was about being with friends and family, but he shut up at the look I gave him for that.
I think it upset him, honestly, but at this very moment, I can't care.
This is the first Christmas I'll have really been a part of here in this world and I already hate it almost as much if not more than I hate this world.
With the last dish dried and put back in the cupboard, I find I really can't put off going to the living room and helping with decorations any longer, so I make my way over to the adjoining room, and stand quietly a moment, watching Alfons bustle between a box of decorations and some dying piece of pine tree he's dragged in here to be our 'Christmas tree'.
I mostly try to stay out of the way as I help him, not really sure what I'm doing or how he wants things- celebrations for the winter holiday back home were a little different, and Mom had a bit of a different way of decorating and celebrating, something she said she'd made up as a child and wanted to do for her own family someday, so I'm not really much help to Alfons.
Preparations don't take long, and it's not much longer past that when the others start showing up; people from our research group, Law, and Dorchett and some others that I can't bother to remember the names of, but can't shake the feeling that I know them from the other side, too. I stand back on the side, watching as they come in, and Alfons greets them with a grin and a cheerful 'Merry Christmas' and though a couple try to say something to me, most seem to get the hint that I'm hiding back along the wall for a reason, so they wish me a 'Merry Christmas' and then socialize among themselves.
Outside the carolers have made their way to our apartment and everyone gathers near the window to listen, some humming or singing along, all of them happy and together, and I swear if I have to hear one more Merry Christmas I'm going to be sick.
While everyone's watching out the window, I turn and slip into the back part of the house, to my bedroom at the far end of the hall. I can't stand to be out there with them anymore. Every time I watch them, I can't help but see the family I'm missing, the home I can't have anymore and it tangles something up inside so tightly that breathing hurts. I can't stand to be around them anymore.
I walk over to the desk shoved against the wall under the window and pull the letter out of my pocket, dropping it onto the desk. The letters, though misformed by the crumpled paper, are still all too easily readable, staring back up at me mockingly.
I regret to inform you that your father is no longer here. He left just a few weeks ago, but left this envelope for me to send to you in case you wrote again. I apologize, but I do not know where he is currently.
The envelope has some money and a short letter from the old bastard, trying to apologize for leaving again, but there's some goddamn thing that's 'more important' and everything was always more important with that bastard anyway.
With an angry snarl I barely remember to keep quiet in time, lest someone from the living room hear me and come to investigate, I shove the letter and the envelope containing the money off the desk, and I can feel the angry sting of tears in my eyes. Frustration's blinding me, making my grip on the edge of the desk tighten to the point that the wood digs into my flesh hand. When I finally sink down into the chair, my knees feel ready to give out from the tension.
After a second, I reach into the bottom drawer of my desk and pull out a bottle I'd purchased with money my father had sent me some time ago, but had never opened. I don't even remember why I'd bought it, honestly; I've never cared for even the smell of alcohol, and never had an interest in seeing if that dislike extended to the taste of it too, but there it was, just where I'd tucked it, even after spending money I really couldn't afford to waste on it, even after I'd told myself to get rid of it, there was no point to it.
It's not the same brand I remember the colonel drinking- that brand doesn't even exist here. But it's the same stuff, basically, a warm brown liquid that the light shines amber through. My hand automatically reaches down into the drawer for the glass I'd tucked in there with the whiskey (Scotch Whisky, if I remember what the vendor had told me and oh yes, there was a difference in spelling from every other sort of whiskey, thank you very much, apparently) and before I think of a good reason not to, I've poured myself a glass.
This is a new low, I think to myself as I stare at the glass like it's some insurmountable obstacle. I'm hiding in my room from people I work with everyday, staring at a glass of whiskey I bought on a stupid, childish whim, and am about to drink on an equally childish and stupid whim. This is Christmas, but that on its own means nothing to me. It's the winter holiday, the time of family, of home, and important for another reason, a day I've never had to spend alone, and yet here I am, alone with a bottle of whiskey, and all I can think about is how much I miss Al, and how much I completely and utterly hate this world and the people in it with every possible bit of energy I can muster towards it and oh god I miss Al so much it hurts.
I sit and stare at the muddled-colored liquor and nothing but my own reflection stares back at me.
Happy birthday to me.
Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now
-Judy Garland "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from "Meet Me In St. Louis"