A/N: Ah, Kimbley. How I love the man. ANYWAY! I had this idea a few weeks ago upon listening to a certain piece of music by Cinema Strange called "Intermezzo Bright Violet Euphoria" and I always thought the piece fit Kimbley perfectly, but this specific story popped into my head while listening to it continuously. I figured Kimbley, the gentleman that he is, would be an advocate for the arts, mostly music.

No, I do not own FMA or Kimbley. Though the latter I would not mind having at all. XD Um...they belong to Arakawa Hiromu & others. ENJOY!

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Crimson Keys

Such a beautiful instrument, the piano; its structure, its range, its tone color were all pleasing features. Unfortunately, he could never play, so the baby grand sat vacant in Kimbley's parlor only to collect dust.

"What a shame," he constantly chanted, brushing his fingers along the dust-coated, velvet bench. He sighed and sat down, tempted to lift the cover, hiding those untouched black and white keys. Softly trembling, his hands rested on the cover, prepared to play. But Kimbley knew what would ultimately happen. Scowling, he stood from the bench and left the room to its chilling silence.

It was not that Kimbley couldn't play, or that he didn't know how; he just wished to keep the instrument in once piece. Due to his perfectionist nature, one sour note from Kimbley's fingers and that would be the end of that baby grand. If the piano had to be played, it had to be played perfectly. He couldn't even stay in his house when the instrument was being tuned. His ears would not allow it.

Day after day, Kimbley would hang in the door frame of the parlor, eager to hear the lilting tones of the piano. He sighed and walked away, knowing the lack of music would irk him incessantly. "Perhaps," he whispered to himself, "I should hire a professional to play for me…"

"Is this the residence of Mr. Solf J. Kimbley?" She had to be no older than twenty, her brunette curls tied tightly at her neck. Renowned for her performance ability in her youth, Kimbley made sure all testimonies were positive before hiring Miss Vanessa Hyde.

Kimbley greeted the young pianist at the door, leading her towards the parlor. "Thank you for agreeing to this, Miss Hyde. The instrument just seems to waste away in the parlor, I feel so guilty for ever purchasing it," he said, entering the brightly lit parlor.

Vanessa smiled, shaking her head before sitting down upon the crimson velvet bench. "Please, Mr. Kimbley, Vanessa is fine."

Kimbley smirked, noting her correction. "Very well, Vanessa," he said softly, before sitting on the white bench that lay against the wide parlor windows, across from the piano. "What shall be on the program for this afternoon?"

Pulling sun-stained sheets of music from her bag, Vanessa thumbed through her selections and placed them gingerly atop the piano. "I suppose some Chopin would be a good opener, unless you have any other preferences," she said, glancing over her shoulder.

Kimbley simply smiled, shaking his head and shutting his eyes, already prepared for the day's music. "No, no preference here. Just music, please," he said, tilting his chin upwards.

Vanessa sighed and began to play the soothing classics of the ages. Kimbley hummed along to the melodies he knew, but not too loud; he wanted to enjoy the sound of the piano. Hours passed and pieces changed, and Kimbley greatly appreciated the works and tunes of such dedicated artists. He sighed, thinking of his own art, of his own symphonies, and pondered how they would sound on the piano.

As the sun began to set, Vanessa's playing had ceased. The all-too-familiar sound of silence returned to the room as Vanessa stood from the bench, bowing courteously to her client. "Thank you so much for having me today, Mr. Kimbley. It was an honor to play for a distinguished state alchemist."

Kimbley did not answer, just remained seated and silent before opening his mouth moments later. "Hm, no the honor is mine, thank you for your fine performance, Vanessa. Will you be able to play next Saturday as well," he asked, rising slowly from his bench.

Vanessa smiled, glancing down at her bag. "Well, I've played most of the pieces that I know…"

"No," Kimbley said, interrupting her with a raised hand. "I'm sorry, but what of your own works? Haven't you composed a few pieces yourself?"

Embarrassed, Vanessa kept her eyes to the floor, her voice meek and quiet. "Well, yes sir, but I fear they are not worth your time."

Kimbley smiled, making his way to the piano and petting the keys lightly with his fingers. "Nonsense. An artist should always perform their own work for others, for the purpose of perfecting such work," he said, his smile growing suspiciously dark.

Taking in a deep breath, Vanessa gripped her bag tightly, eyeing the front door from the parlor with unease. "Understood, but sir…"

"I should know," he started, losing himself in another world. "It took years to form my work into what it is today, and still…" The once brightly lit room began to flood with more than just the early evening darkness. Kimbley's sudden mood swing shrouded the parlor with a menacing allure.

Vanessa began to shake, her nerves tensing to the darkening mood. "Your work, sir?"

Kimbley nodded, staring at his hands, petting along the ink of the permanent transmutation circles, caressing the grooves of his tattooed flesh. "Such beautiful sounds, such wondrous tones." He paused, glancing up at the frightened young girl, and shot a deranged smirk her way. "Would you like to hear?"

With a light gasp and a face drained of color, Vanessa shook her head and bolted towards the front door, aged sheets of music flying in her trail.

Sighing, Kimbley sat down on the piano bench, closing the lid over the keys. "What a shame," he said softly. They would have to wait for another day, for another pianist to play them justly. But he knew that someday, someone would appreciate his own crimson keys for what they were: art.

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Thank you so much for reading! Reviews are much appreciated!!!

~erbby