Anger crashed down on Selim like the wave of a storm. It coursed through his veins, trapped his breath, blinded his sight. For a second he became its puppet, fists clenched tight around the silverware and the taste of blood on his tongue.
“I do not want to become a National Alchemist, Mum!” Selim finally gritted out, his voice loud with quiet rage in the small dining room.
So abruptly cut short by her son, Elaine Bradley remained voiceless for a moment, her mouth a round o of surprise.
“What do you mean dear, you used to admire the Elric brothers so much! You would repeat to anyone willing to listen that you would become just like them, an alchemist of the people.”
Selim felt something vicious and bellicose twist in him. In moments like this it was easy to forget those soft words came from his mother, easy to forget how much he loved her and how much this old loss had broken her.
“I’m not him, Mother. This Selim is dead! Dead.”
As Selim began to shake, a hand closed down around his wrist, soothing but firm. It tightened its grip against the tremors that racked him and commanded attention. Slowly, reluctant to let go of his anger, reluctant to look away from the face of his mother, wrinkled and confused and hurt, Selim shifted his gaze to the right. The dark serious eyes of Fuhrer Mustang seemed to shatter his fury, to snuff the fire in him and it left Selim with the pungent taste of resentment and despair on his tongue and a bone deep tiredness.
The mellow light of the candles made something shimmer in Mustang’s eyes and Selim let a whisper escape him.
“He is like a shadow I can’t free myself from.”