|Without a Song
Author: Acerbitas PM
She flew closer and closer to the flame, knowing it was dangerous, but unable to stop. HohenheimxSlothRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Tragedy - Hoenheim & Sloth - Words: 1,087 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-14-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3105858
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Without a Song
"There was a house," he was saying, fixated on the vaulted ceiling. "It was a small house. It was rundown a bit, but because you were in it…" A myriad of colors flashed before him, ancient but vivid. "It was beautiful." Men fought with gods and failed, tumbling from the heavens and into searing flames. "You liked to clean. It was spotless."
"I don't know who you are," Sloth whispered, afraid of the unfamiliar tingling sensation racing across her skin. "I don't know what you're talking about." She took a step back, and then a step further. Her master would be angry if she spent time with this alchemist; she knew because of the look on Dante's face when he had walked out the door. The room felt crusty, air sucked dry, the only thing remaining a built up tension that Hohenheim did not seem to feel.
Lonely eyes gazed into hers, over five lifetimes of sorrow reflected behind the glass. "Trisha, do you remember when we met?"
"We've never met before," she told him, fake assurance clouding her monotone. Concrete now, instead of blurry, in life, not dreams, this ghost now came to haunt her. "I don't remember anything." Dante would be furious. She wound a frightened hand over her stomach.
"You liked this vase I got you in Central," he continued heedlessly. "It was blue. You always put flowers in it. Flowers from your garden. Ed would play in your garden, and come in all muddy. You would scold him, but he wouldn't listen." A wistful smile crept onto his face, and it made him somehow handsomer, and more familiar.
She did not want him to smile anymore. Her chest was knotted, clenching in on itself in ways it had never done before. "I have never had a garden." The burning sun had not bothered her when she had been tending that garden, and blue violets had made her smile. But she had never had a garden, and this man was an intrusion. He was cutting into her empty life, and she wanted him to leave her to her solitude.
The sound of his footsteps was hollow against the smooth surface of the dance floor, and Sloth knew that his left foot would make more noise than his right. "Have you ever danced before?"
"No." Sloth was confident about this, and she looked him in the eyes, a subtle triumph.
"That's right. You have never danced before, Trisha. You'd say you'd look stupid, and I would say you could never look stupid." His hand shifted in his pocket, and she watched with growing horror as it emerged and reached towards her. "You wouldn't listen. If you are not my wife, you will dance with me."
Sloth tensed, hands clenching into fists at her sides. The rouge curtains behind him billowed out after a gust of wind. "I cannot dance with you. My master would not allow it." They settled, a brief but bloody heartbeat.
"Don't be afraid. You cannot be afraid of her forever." He bowed slightly, hand extended with ancient grace. "Shall you dance?"
She was drawn towards him like a moth to a flame. Beating her bent wings, she burned herself as she danced too close to the fire. But the fire caught in her and bound her as it leapt upwards, more alive than she ever could be. She wanted to be in it, even if she burned to death and lay crumpled in the dust. Forgotten except for a brief moment of splendor.
He took her hand like this test was a fancy outing, and though his hands were rough he handled her like she was a queen. A hand took her hand and guided it, and she watched him, fear melting into anticipation. His palm settled over her shoulder, human warmth tickling her frigid skin.
She was awkward, slow, and his fluid movements caught her off-guard. She stared at her feet, trying to get them to mirror his and failing. Their fingers were locked loosely; she did not want to get too close. He smelled of musty books, of the pine woods, and of smoke. Despite herself she drunk him in, pressing her fingers into the soft folds of his scarf. Woolen stitches caught in her fingernails.
He was smiling, a smile that spoke of regret and a hesitant excitement. "You should have danced with me. We could have danced so many times."
The wind ruffled the curtains again, a red wave billowing over the sand-colored floor. She didn't know what to say, so she did not say anything. Besides the sound of their feet, there was silence, and her hand began to slide down his back. She was more than singed now, but the fire was beautiful, and she felt more alive than she ever had before. Life raced over Sloth's skin, flowing from his body into hers.
Not a simple dance, and not a simple meeting. She knew now, deep in her heart, that Trisha had once loved this man. But Sloth did not know how to love, and she didn't know why he lit up when he looked at her.
The gracelessness of her steps ruined their illusion of romance, but Hohenheim did not seem to mind. Silence fit their dance's strange design, the absence of a song like the absence of her memories. His hair brushed her ear as he pressed himself closer to her, and he whispered something that she did not quite hear.
It was important, she thought, and opened her mouth to ask him what she had missed. But she turned at a gentle rustling, and caught the blank stare of Dante's experiment. She could not look towards the left, where she knew her master was watching.
Sloth slipped her fingers from his grip, shame and fear in her backward steps. His hand was still held out to her, pleadingly, but she turned away from those soulful eyes. "I'm sorry," she whispered, but she wasn't sure who the apology was directed towards.
Ice crept over her skin, sucking the fire from her veins. Dante's glare was vicious, and Sloth looked towards the floor as she passed. The wind had settled, and although the room was no longer tense, it was chill and dismal. She fled, but every other room was dark, and the moth was without a flame.