swordage: FMA Ishbal (x crimson)
[personal profile] swordage
I am so insanely happy with this piece. In my personal opinion, it is the hottest thing I've ever written. WHOO-TAH.

Title: Crimson
Rating: PG-13
Ramifications: Ishbal. Blame goes to [livejournal.com profile] pinstripesuit. ALL. HER. FAULT.
Summary: Arrays and red stone in Ishbal.


Everything in Ishbal was color. The deep burgundies and scattered yellows of robes, the bright reds of fresh blood and flame, the hard garnet of empty eyes. It made Kimbley think of the russet tones of an orchestra swelling through a concert hall until all you could hear was the music. He found himself humming along at inopportune moments; when Colonel Gran passed along orders, when Flame shivered sleepless in the dark, when he stood on the rubble of a house and wondered if it was really stable beneath his feet. The blue uniforms would look at him strangely, familiarly, and Kimbley knew their thoughts and smiled and made sure his pen was secure in his pocket.

They learned to fear that blue pen, innocent object devoid of intent that it was. He learned to draw perfect circles with both hands, overcoming a crippling left-handedness that wobbled the triangles and elongated the spheres. He found the best method to turn his lumpy palm into a precious collection of curves and lines, perfect in every way, and practised until he could calculate thirty-degree angles in his sleep. The heat was his enemy more than any soldier, smearing the lake-colored ink into the creases of his skin, and he soon found that no one dared question when he stripped to the essentials necessary to keep the sand off.

His days revolved around his hands. If he had a moment to breathe, he had a moment to fix the smear that had thrown off the sulfur isolation. If he had enough water to sip, he had enough to wash the faulty smudges from the deep creases speckled with moistened sand. He was never without the pen; its sand-roughened case was under his fingers when he slept, was heavy in his pocket when he ate, was cool in his hand when he threw himself behind a crumbling wall to dodge an onslaught of rifle fire. He went through the things like Flame went through gloves. Kimbley was issued a new pen twice a week, at seven-oh-hundred, and he was never late to pick it up and he never failed to curse them out for the delay because he had only a dribble of ink left.

On his one hundred fifty seventh pen, he was handed a rock set in a thin gold wristband as well as the usual plastic cylinder. He traded it to Crystal for a delicate chain that dripped the stone against his heartbeat. He could feel it resound in his chest, empty and echoing, humming hallelujahs. It sang through his veins and out his fingertips, sparking hot and red and crashing cymbals against the streets.

He spread himself open to it, giggling like a schoolgirl as it made his arteries thrum with deep booming bass. It was one long looping endless transmutation, spreading out from his heels in rippling waves and buckling the world beneath its weight. He blinked and stood on rubble; he grinned and stood on sand; he laughed with the joyful song of the stone and stood on rippled glass. His boots melted, so he kicked them off and walked barefoot, strolling through the garden of his pleasures. The shrieks of shattering windows and shattering lives stroked his ears, the heated air and chill ash caressed his shoulders, the debris of broken lives cracked open and smoothed out beneath his feet and the world died in the dark of night with the noise of a thousand screams.

The sun lifted its shaggy head over the desert, shaking its mane mournfully at the smell of ash and meat, and Kimbley screamed obscenities at its disdain. It could partake of this if only it tried, if only he had left anything standing, if only he hadn’t used the entire stone and was left wanting with nothing left to take. Hands grabbed his shoulder and he ignored them because there couldn’t be anyone there he killed them all they were gone and not coming back for him to kill again.

He woke in five hours, after the sedation wore off, in a quiet cool tent, with Crystal hovering over his feet with poultice in hand. He seemed relieved when Kimbley blinked around with a certain amount of drugged coherency, but he frowned with worry when Kimbley’s eyes latched onto the crimson stain on Crystal’s wrist. All doctor-like, Crystal fussed with his feet and muttered and prodded, then grudgingly held out the hand adorned with the golden band and Kimbley gasped at the feel of that stone god yes the stone pressing power into his heels and he arched beneath it, wanting so much from so little.

Crystal looked away and healed Kimbley’s feet with closed ears and closed eyes. He spoke when he was done, hurriedly and guiltily, telling Kimbley that they were giving him another stone and his feet would be tender but functional and there was nothing to be done about his hands there was only so much stone and… Kimbley stopped listening, tuning him out with the remembered resonance of the night, and held his hands in front of his face. The smell of scorched pork assaulted him and he frowned, seeing nothing wrong, and then he threw his head back and laughed.

Burned into his hands. The arrays. Burned in - his power had - how deep did it - burned into his hands. The implications roared through his head - No new pens, he’d never have to be disarmed again, he could wash his hands without fear, he was stuck with that irritating smudge at the corner of the crescent’s south point and he’d never be able to fix it and absorb nitrogen properly-

But he was getting another stone. He grinned and stretched his fingers, humming like a doting mother at the pull of pain in his palms. Another stone, another stone, untouched and virginal in its song, thrumming in him and through him and around him, they’d give him another stone tonight.

He dug out his pen, blackened and dry, and made it blossom hot and scarlet in his hand and it wasn’t nearly enough but he would have another stone soon but not soon enough.

***

And this is how the idea came up:
Pinstripe: You were right about that episode, Kimberley was drawing the arrays on in Ishbal.
Me: Booyeah.
Pinstripe: See, he drew them on in blue ink, but then in prison they were tattooed in black. So I think you should write about how he got them tattooed in prison or somethi- Why are you grinning like that?
Me: BURNED INTO HIS HANDS.
Pinstripe: GOD YES!
Me: *scrambles to jot the idea down before the details fade*

On January 13th, 2007 (my 21st birthday!) "Crimson" was named "Best in Contest" in the Dogs of the Military fanfiction contest.
Best in Contest of Dogs of the Military Fanfiction Contest

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Date: 2005-03-11 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laylah.livejournal.com
*melted into a little puddle of guh*
*shaking*
*dead*

I. You. This. Yes.
*dead*

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Date: 2005-03-11 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pinstripesuit.livejournal.com
*is ded*

I'll think of something more coherent later.

*loves all over you*

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Date: 2005-03-11 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maho-kiwi.livejournal.com
*opens mouth* "......." *just closes it again*

*tries again* ".........." *close*

*thinks long and hard about how vocal cords work, sentence structure, intelligent thoughts* "..........nyaguh."

Oh my yes. Kimberly. And hands. And...and....yes.

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Date: 2005-03-11 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theburrahobbit.livejournal.com
That's just... Ugh, I feel drained - that was probably one of the most amazing fics I've ever read.
I just love the concept of how it comes he draws them on, as we see in episode 15, but he still has them after six years in prison. Totally brilliant.
If you excuse me, I have to collapse somewhere. It's slightly more than I can take sitting up.

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Date: 2005-03-11 08:29 pm (UTC)
cmshaw: DC Comics: Kory cries "X'Hal!" (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmshaw
No new pens, he'd never have to be disarmed again, he could wash his hands without fear, he was stuck with that irritating smudge at the corner of the crescent's south point and he'd never be able to fix it and absorb nitrogen properly

holy GUH, batman. THAT IS SO HOT.

*wibbles*

he wanted to blow up the sun.

ooooh.

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From: [identity profile] coramegan.livejournal.com - Date: 2005-03-12 07:08 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2005-03-11 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragoncircle.livejournal.com
hmm guh fscking hot

Of course Kimberly, and his hands have always fasinated me. And hey the guy made fucked up an artform. He is so pretty and shiny and broken.

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Date: 2005-03-11 10:17 pm (UTC)
white_aster: (Default)
From: [personal profile] white_aster
O.O YES! SO AWESOME! I didn't notice that he was drawing on the arrays, but....god, yes, if they're permanent in prison, then there's precious little other ways, unless he got them tattooed right before he went nuts, because they sure as HELL wouldn't have let him do it in prison. O.O WOw. This is awesome. ^___^

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Date: 2005-03-11 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kira-k.livejournal.com
Got here from [livejournal.com profile] laylah_r.
Read the story.
Is dead.

Will try and do a proper comment, later. Tomorrow... (After some Kimbley-filled dreams...)

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Date: 2005-03-12 01:08 am (UTC)
ext_3302: What hasn't science done? (Default)
From: [identity profile] 4ti3k4t35.livejournal.com
...thank you very very much. That was delicious in the best way. <3

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Date: 2005-03-12 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodyeden.livejournal.com
Me be a random person, who somehow ended up here.
And died, too.
And I'll agree with everyone. Your characterization is truly awesome. I didn't read the fic, I felt it. Gah.

(I also read some of your other fics, and really liked them. I'm so going to keep an eye on your work. *_*)

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Date: 2005-03-12 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-sinistra.livejournal.com
Got here through [livejournal.com profile] layla_r's direction as well.

- burned into his hands. The implications roared through his head -... He grinned and stretched his fingers, humming like a doting mother at the pull of pain in his palms. Another stone, another stone, untouched and virginal in its song, thrumming in him and through him and around him, they’d give him another stone tonight.


Guuuhh... hubbachuwbubbachuwba!!

Oh crap, sorry about that momentary Kimbley-induced Tourette's outburst! What I meant to say was: this was just gorgeous writing and hot damn, Kimbley... hands... burned... stones... power... Guh, the way you write him! He's just sex!!

::dies happily::

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From: [identity profile] lady-sinistra.livejournal.com - Date: 2005-03-12 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2005-03-12 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coramegan.livejournal.com
I agree with Laylah.

GUH. Hottest fucking thing EVER. Oh, I want him so bad, worse than before. Damn you. *clings to Kimbley, with the right name even, even knowing he'll kill me for it, licks*

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Date: 2005-03-12 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coramegan.livejournal.com
Let me reiterate. OMFGHOT NEED MORE NOW. *melts and dies* ...Perhaps I should write...

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Date: 2005-03-13 04:53 am (UTC)
ext_12901: (Default)
From: [identity profile] tookhernowhere.livejournal.com
::mouth hanging open in awe:: Mmmmmm, such lovely psychosis!

Every time I've watched that scene, I was like, "What the heck is he doing with his hand? Surely he's not the type to buff his fucking nails!" Now I feel kinda stoopid because it never occurred to me that he was drawing on an array.

he was stuck with that irritating smudge at the corner of the crescent’s south point and he’d never be able to fix it and absorb nitrogen properly

I absolutely adore that detail.

. . . And it's vaguely comforting to know that you, too, get attacked by plotbunnies when you talk to Nicole. I was afraid I was the only one.

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Date: 2005-03-14 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-arel.livejournal.com
...I feel kinda bad, because this didn't break my brain quite as much as it seems to be breaking everyone else's. I mean, it's really well done (I love your writing) and the attention to detail and the frenetic pace and the madness you convey... it's all really good. And hot. But... I dunno, I guess I just don't love Kimberly enough for this to be my favorite fic ever.

Still, very nice work. *hug*

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Date: 2005-03-14 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karienta.livejournal.com
I don't really like Kimberly either but that doesn't stop me from thinking that this is a pretty piece of writing. But it's because you have color, and feeling and time and a sense of place--that is why this story is wonderful. At least, I think.

^_^; I'll be on my way now..

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Date: 2005-03-14 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] forgottenlover.livejournal.com
And my Love for Kimblee grows... One of these days I'll snap and try my hand at playing him, then you are all DOOMED

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Date: 2005-03-20 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kellers07.livejournal.com
Kimbley is sex. End of story.

"The arrays. Burned in - his power had - how deep did it - burned into his hands."
*dies*

Just. Wow.

Date: 2005-03-30 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zanzaforhire.livejournal.com
Stumbled here through the Greed_x_Kimbley community. Fabulously done. I'd thought he was filing his nails but...this is just Sex. Amazing--always good to see someone else willing to try and wade through Kimbley's layers. ♥

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Date: 2005-04-14 11:49 pm (UTC)
ext_12901: (Default)
From: [identity profile] tookhernowhere.livejournal.com
This is still So Very Shiny. I wanted to write more about Kimbley and the stones in Ishbal, but I was too in awe of this. <3

overcoming a crippling left-handedness

Is he left-handed? I never noticed. ::doesn't pay enough attention::

Since I live in fucking Arizona, where the climate will probably be quite like Ishbal pretty soon, I'm planning to do some research on how well inky arrays survive desert heat. me = huge nerd. XD

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Date: 2005-06-07 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flame-of-chaos.livejournal.com
*gasps like a fish out of water*....x.x *is ded*

Yesssssss, precious! We likes it. We likes it a lot! *wipes drool from face*

This is the fic that made me stalk your journal! You are my inspiration! >D

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Date: 2006-06-24 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silver-drake.livejournal.com
Oh, *fuck* yes. I thought it looked like a pen, during the Ishbal flashback, and it was bugging the hell out of me! This is perfect. Just perfect. (memories)

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Date: 2007-12-04 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hieronymousb.livejournal.com
As per our discussions on reviews, I thought I ought to review this since I just went back and re-read it. *sigh* I had forgotten how much I like your descriptive style here. The senses are so indulged and catered to, and I do agree that more than any other fic I personally have read (not that I read a ton of Kimbley-fic), this fic makes Kimbley feel alive and three dimensional to me. It kind of breaks down his feelings beyond the usual "blow up, blow up, blow up" and sort of makes him into an artist perceiving a work of art. I think that's what I really love here--the feel of art. Cheers! I really wish we had more fan fic like this being written in the present fandom.

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