Author – D M Evans
Disclaimer- not mine, all rights belong to Arakawa
Rating – FRT
Timeline/Spoilers – set during the Ishbalan war, no real spoilers though
Series – manga
Characters – Kimbley, Roy
Word count – 1000
Warning - implied violence
Summary – He loved the violence passionately but knew he had to hide that love away
Author's Note – Honestly he had way too much fun with this story. I'm quite sure he could have gone on longer if I let him. Thanks to S JSMith for the beta. Btw, I love the song I yanked the title from.
He was well-versed in illusions, knew them intimately, needed them for survival. Much of his life, Zolf had relied on illusion to keep himself safe. If any of his alchemy masters had understood what he was truly after, none of them would have been willing to teach him.
His own violent tendencies never bothered him. Zolf considered them as natural as breathing but was smart enough to realize that the rest of humanity didn't share his thought patterns. Be a good boy. Be polite. Follow the rules. He pretended, keeping his mask of civility on, learning at a young age how important that was. Still, those pearls of wisdom were just how the farmers kept the sheep placid before the slaughter and he intended not to be the sheep.
Polite and well-mannered, he learned from his master. Zolf discovered quickly in the battle that ensured his master would not come back to haunt him, that just having chalk or an array on a piece of jewelry wasn't good enough. It could be lost in a fight. The tattoos on his hands bent his illusion of civility but didn't break it. The tattoos only said 'I'm an alchemist,' not 'I'll kill you if I want.' He got into the Academy and passed his State Alchemist exam, not out of some love of the military, but for the opportunities he knew it would afford him to take things apart, leaving them gloriously broken. The Fuhrer himself had attended Zolf's state exam, having heard of his reputation. That was a day Zolf would remember fondly, having leveled half the testing grounds.
Being in the military meant going to war. Zolf didn't mind. Of course there were things he didn't like about this war, the heat of the desert topping the list, but Zolf didn't see any reason to complain. So long as they kept pointing him toward Ishbalan villages, laying down some suppression fire for him, he was a happy man. The sounds of rock exploding, the shrieks of the dying, the metallic, sanguine scent perfuming the smoke, it made his blood sing. As the power coursed through him, it was easy to think of himself as a god, albeit a god streaked with sweat, ash and desert sand.
Not all his power came from direct use of his alchemy. He got a charge out of the fear in the Amestrian soldiers' eyes, the way they not-so-subtly moved out of his path when he entered the mess tent or the showers. To his delight, he had a new roommate to intimidate. Space was at a premium so he was never alone in his tent, no matter how much he might like it. Either he frightened tent-mates away or the war took them.
Wary, dark eyes regarded him coolly. Where they recruiting from grade schools now? The soldier putting things into the footlocker at the end of his cot couldn't be more than seventeen, eighteen at the outside, so slender and small Zolf could have mistaken him for a girl but they weren't so desperate as to make the tents unsegregated. As the young man's hands worked, Zolf noticed he still wore gloves. What a fascinating array. Was that a salamander? Could it be this boy could control fire? How amazing must that be?
"I'm Zolf Kimbley," he said, offering his tattooed hand.
The boy studied him, hints of innocence still tucked into the corners of his face but Zolf decided he might be closer to his age, after all. "Roy Mustang."
The kid's handshake was firm but Zolf could see the fear lurking in Mustang's eyes. Was Mustang afraid of him or the war? Time would tell. He'd like the chance to break another alchemist but only after he learned what Mustang had in his head. He had to be damn smart to be a State Alchemist at his age and Zolf wasn't one to waste knowledge.
"I'm supposed to go to the Halar quadrant with you and the Strongarm Alchemist today," Mustang said.
"Lots of action." Zolf smiled. "Don't worry, I'll keep an eye out for you until you get the lay of the land." Seeing the new recruit's relieved look, he knew it would be easy to insinuate himself into Mustang's confidence. All the better to ruin him later. Sharing power would never do.
A bullet pinged off the rocks not far from Mustang. Zolf noted that the alchemist didn't quail. Instead, Mustang made Zolf jealous. The wall of fire spinning away from Mustang's hands impressed the hell out of him. Apparently Zolf wasn't the only one with masks to hide behind. His quiet tent-mate worked his alchemy like an angry god. On the other side of them, Armstrong tore the earth apart, leveling houses. Armstrong looked cruel, another illusion. The man was weak at heart, soft to the core.
"Concentrate it over there, Mustang." Zolf pointed then clasped his hands, releasing his power.
Mustang's fire roared, belching smoke. Zolf exploded large chunks of the village, leaving whoever might have remained in it, thoroughly trapped. Between the three of them, they could take this whole sector, barely breaking a sweat as the Ishbalan soldiers scrambled through the devastation like rats. This was power. This was why he was here. Zolf longed to bellow out his love for this, to scream to the world how hard it made him, to find someone to bury himself in at times like this. However, he knew that they would all think him insane, maybe lock him away somewhere dark where he couldn't taste his power any more. That would never do.
He clapped his tattoos together again, hoping the loose uniform pants would hide the worst of his sins. For now, he would keep his illusions of being just another soldier intact. After all, it allowed him to indulge his sweet tooth for destruction. With a wild whoop, he turned more of the city to dust. Hell, he loved being a dog of war.