Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Ficlet: Candle

Title: Candle
Characters: Maes, Roy
Rating: G
Word count: 435
Summary: A friendship apparently founded on the discovery that they can irritate the hell out of each other.
Notes: written for cornerofmadness for fmagiftexchange. Also, mangaverse, and may not be canonically compatible with the Quiche Incident from Brotherhood. Or as hilarious.

When Maes jogs around the edge of the football pitch that morning, the cadet is standing there again, just as he's been for the last three mornings, with his oilcloth and his candle. He's doing whatever he's been trying to do for three mornings running, at 6am. Maes suspects it has something to do with alchemy; and whatever it is, it doesn't appear to be working.

Maes nods to the cadet, and says, "Morning."

The cadet nods, but doesn't say hello. He never does.

And that vaguely annoys Maes, so he jogs on the spot and says, "Turned out nice again."

The cadet narrows his eyes. "Stop being so cheerful. It's too early."

The fifth morning, the weather turns. As he jogs around the pitch in the pouring rain, he's honestly not expecting to see the cadet this time. It's not like he could keep a fire going in this downpour. The candle stands abandoned, extinguished in its holder, dripping water. But the cadet is there too; standing in the shade of the bleachers, soaked to the skin with his bangs plastered to his forehead, undignified and sulky as a wet cat.

"Morning!" Maes says.

The cadet grunts.

"Not very good weather for - well, whatever you're doing - is it?"

The cadet doesn't show any sign that he's noticed Maes' unsubtle implicit question. He just says, "It'll stop soon. It never rains hard for more than ten minutes." His mouth turns down stubbornly. He looks about twelve.

"Why not call it a day? You could come back tomorrow morning." As if he doesn't always.

"It'll be worth the wait." And then he shuts himself off, annoyingly.

Maes really ought to be doing a longer run every few days anyway; and it's one of his weaknesses that he can never resist a mystery. As the cadet predicts, today the sky clears long before his second pass of the circuit is done. He doesn't see any smoke or flashes, though. Perhaps the cadet gave up after all?

But he hasn't given up. As Maes rounds the edge of the football field again, the candle is still where it was, but the cadet is there by the bleachers too, arms folded, grinning. As Maes jogs up, the cadet takes a bundle out of his jacket, unwraps it. Inside is a new, dry candle and a cigarette lighter. He moves to the old candle, removes it from the holder, replaces it and lights it. His motions are careful and almost flamboyant, like a stage magician. He was waiting, Maes realises. But how did he guess Maes would return to be his audience?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
This could still fit with the quiche thing. Maes steals his quiche and then out-chippers him each morning before they finally share that fight together. Still like this.
Nov. 10th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
I guess it could fit! I wrote some of this in 2009 for a fic_contest entry I never finished, so it predates Brotherhood's take on Maes and Roy's meeting.

I love the quiche thing, although some stuff about that fight never quite sold me. I guess the main thing is that Ishbalan Jim is built like a truck and looks like he could dump the bullies upside down in a garbage can, but yet totally doesn't fight back? They sort of needed to give him a credible reason for that (he'd get the blame and be booted out of academy?). Maes' grin and Roy throwing punches is a lot of fun, though. And academy Roy is such an adorable little goob with his short hair and terror of the drill instructor.
Nov. 10th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
I assumed on Jim's part that his heritage was a delicate enough issue that he didn't dare do anything that might put him in a bad light? We know nothing about Ishbalan Jim: he may have already had issues with defending himself from bigots that have put him on probation/watch (assuming instructors were dicks and only cared that he fought, not that he protected himself). They could have given us a line in the hallway with Roy and the books to build on some of that, but the important thing is that goober Roy gets So. Pissed. about the quiche and Maes grins like a devil and ♥
Nov. 10th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
I think that's all very much plausible - for me the problem was actually exactly that we know nothing about Ishbalan Jim. He doesn't have much to say for himself, and that combined with how passive he is just doesn't sit very well with me. Like you say, a few extra lines could have done a lot to establish his position and fill out his character. I'm probably more picky because Arakawa's own minor characters are such a well-drawn and interesting bunch. She's spoiled me. :D

But yes, the quiche incident justifies that OVA's existence all by himself. ♥
Nov. 10th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
At least it wasn't a mustache? I agree it wouldn't have taken much to give us SOME idea about Jim, but the fact that he's of obvious Ishbalan heritage entering the military of his own volition with the state of the world as it were has to tell us something about him. The fact that he choses not to fight back also says something. Arakawa has ruined us for life with her wonderful manga series?
Nov. 10th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
I guess so, but still, I wish given his place in the story he'd had a little more to say for himself than he did.

Arakawa has definitely ruined me for a bunch of other manga. ;_; *coughD. Gray-Mancough*
Nov. 11th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
His motions are careful and almost flamboyant, like a stage magician

Roy just loves being the center of attention doesn't he XD
Nov. 11th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
Roy loves it and you know it!
Nov. 11th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Everyone knows it! Remember his first appearance in the manga? ::grins::
Nov. 11th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
He exists in a near-permanent state of showing off.
Nov. 13th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
I'm a sucker for Roy and Maes at the Academy. This was highly enjoyable and sooooo them, lol.
Nov. 13th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I bet Roy was even easier to wind up as an earnest eighteen year old, too!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )