I hit the ground with a slap; my heart pounding in my ears was almost loud enough to drown out the bells clanging all over the building. I looked around frantically, but there was nothing to hide behind, nothing to use to protect myself, just shelves of boxes and a bare dirty floor. I wanted to run, but the man who carried me here was too close, he would only grab me again. He was so fast. And grim and scary and the way he stared down at me, made me want to sink into the floor and disappear. I didn't like the light in the room either, it was dim and red, like the room was awash in blood...blood...something danced on the edge of memory...something more frightening than the man before me.
I want...I want...my Izumi. Please come...please come for me again.
Sharp white light, suddenly filled the room, causing me to wince and blink, leaving spots before my eyes and a slender figure with long dark hair where the stern man once stood. The smirk on the stranger's face was some how terrifying.
Though perhaps it was meant to be reassuring? If so it was nothing like Izumi-mommy's, I thought and I scuttled backwards as the stranger approached.
"Did Fullmetal say that your leg and arm were his?" it...no he asked. It might have been pretty enough to be a girl and it was wearing a purple skirt, but the gentle voice was male.
"Yes," I replied pulling away, there was just some about him I didn't like, right now I would have even preferred Ed with his loud noises and scary faces.
"Then that means you went through the gate by yourself."
"The gate?" It sounded familiar. My heart, which had started to calm, sped up again. Terror blocked my throat and a cold sweat broke out on my face. "The Gate!" I was so frightened and I didn't even know why, I could feel the scream building in my throat.
He seemed to understand though; and he put his fingers against my lips, to still them, before the scream emerged. "Ooops," he said ruefully, and then tried to comfort me. "From this day forward you're not alone. Here, come eat these."
But I wasn't alone, I had Izumi-mommy, I didn't need or want the glowing candy he was offering me, she had already warned me about taking candy from strangers and I knew better. I pulled back until I was up against the shelves and there was nowhere to run. Twisting my head away. I don't want this...don't want this...no! I pushed at him but he ignored my hands and forced it into my mouth.
It was warm against my tongue, tingled and fizzed, almost popping and so very sweet. Like the touch of Izumi-mommy's hand in mine, like her voice in my ears. "Can you remember your form? Just remember your former self."
I wanted more, more sweetness more warmth and reached grabbing for them, hardly hearing his laughing comment of "tastes good!" I could have happily gobbled them all but for his next words. "Savor them well; they are full of hundreds of human lives."
Lives like Izumi-mommies? I thought. I couldn't, couldn't... I didn't care how they tasted I couldn't eat them.
"What's wrong?" he asked "It's not tasty?"
I wouldn't look at him, wouldn't look at them. I wanted them they called to me, but no some how I knew this was wrong.
"I see, then I have no choice. Give that arm and leg back."
No arm! No leg! No! No! NO! I can't! I can't! The gate! I took them. I had no choice, I wanted my arm and leg and I sensed that if I didn't have that sweetness I would have to go back to where I came from. I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway I took the candy and ate it, for the power it gave me, for the knowledge.
The candy no longer tasted good, but of ashes and fear. Each piece made me feel smarter more complete as if the world was finally coming into focus and I began to remember.
They were all of Izumi, first her face, then her smile when she looked at me, one that never quite touched the sadness in her eyes. The fierce protectiveness whenever she came to my rescue and the gentle expression that was just for me. Her arms around me, holding me close, making me feel protected and warm, loved. Her lips brushing my forehead before bedtime and when she woke me in the morning, the soft kiss of a mother, letting me believe that even if I could not remember my own parents, I would have one in her. All of my hopes, foolish childlike dreams a lie, because now I remembered everything and worse yet, I understood it.
I remembered: the gate, its very frame made of screaming tortured souls, the creatures that lived beyond it, demons that tormented the flesh. I remember how she held me in her arms. Held me like I was her child and kissed me. Then even knowing that what I faced was Hell, she gave me to them, ignoring my screams and watching as they took me a way to a future of never ending pain. Only at the end did she reach for me, too little to late.
For the first time I felt rage, righteous anger at how I had been treated. It was hot, filling me up, barely contained beneath my skin. I was Wrath and I hated. I hated Envy, for in his jealousy and spite stealing from me my happiness, forcing me to see the truth. It was his nature, but I hated it any way, and with out a thought, I sent the spear of flooring and self, through his stomach. He would survive the blow, but a I could make him pay at least a little. More than him I blamed the Elric brothers. They made the deal. They knew it was equivalent trade, the leg for the mother, the arm for the brother. What made them think that they were entitled to take them back? They were mine, fairly earned! I hated them for making me fear, for making me think that they would take these away from me, leaving me helpless and returning me to the dark beyond. But most of all I hated that Bitch! Pretending to care, pretending to love me. Those comforting hugs, the gentle kisses, lies all, I would never forgive her.
Especially for that first kiss, given to me before the gates of hell, as she let me go.