Ed sat bolt-upright in bed, sweat trickling down his back, breathing hard. He glanced around the room, trying to reassure himself and push down the cold fear that squeezed his racing heart. It was just a dream. A dream. He touched his forehead, wiping it dry and pushing his hair back, then swung his feet out of bed and onto the cool floor. He peered across the room at Al's still bulk – though he did not sleep, precisely, he did rest at night, and sometimes this scared Ed a little... seeing the armor laying so still, it was easy to imagine that Al's animating force had left it – left him – and that there was no returning it a second time. Tonight it wasn't so bad; it was something familiar to grasp onto in the wake of his nightmare.
Ed grasped the untouched glass of water sitting on the nightstand and wet his lips, looking out the wide windows at the full moon; he stood up, walking toward them, glass in hand. He stared up at the sky for a moment, then unlatched the windows and stepped out onto the rough shingling of the roof. He hesitated a moment, looking back at Al, then crawled the rest of the way out.
He took a deep breath of the night air, feeling the tension drain from his muscles. One never grew entirely accustomed to having nightmares, Ed had found, no matter how often you had them – one just became more adept at handling the aftermath. Fresh air and a change of scenery always helped him, drawing his attention away from the nagging anxiety and irrational fear that clung to him sometimes for hours after such a dream. He tipped his head back, tucking his legs up against his chest and resting his elbows on his knees, his glass dangling from one hand. The crab. The twins, Castor and Pollux. Orion the Hunter, and there is Canis Major with Sirius flashing in his breast, and there Regulus, the front paw of the lion. He gazed at the sky, easily naming off the constellations and stars, sipping at the water.
He shivered as the wind picked up, and felt his skin crawl in goose bumps and his automail grow colder against his flesh. He remembered one night like this in the late fall, years ago... kneeling on the cold concrete of the front walk, guiding Nina's eyes upward and telling her the names of the celestial bodies, reciting the words in the old language like an invocation.
Ed sighed. This wasn't working like it should; though a sleepiness touched him with its amorphous tentacles, he did not want to risk going back to bed only to be awoken by another nightmare... when the past bites you on the ass, expect no sleep, he thought bitterly. He stood up, brushing the clinging bits of moss from his loose pants absently, and strolled along the roof, passing the other bedroom windows quickly and working his way around the building to a more private area. Lethargy clung to his ankles like weights, slowing his steps and making his knees wobble.
The city spread out below him; the inn was built on a small hill inland, and the rest of the buildings ran down to cluster at the shore. It was a quiet little place, a pleasant town for a rest before heading on to Central to report on his last assignment, and he wished that they could linger. Perhaps, when this is all over... he cut the thought off viciously with an ill-tempered growl and dropped down to sit again and swing his legs over the eaves half-heartedly. Sometimes, it was less painful not to think about the future.
He yawned and took another drink, then set the glass down carefully upside down so that it would not slip from the roof. His fingers were slow and clumsy, and holding it seemed like so much work... Shouldn't fall asleep out here, he thought past the cotton filling his brain, too cold... get hypothermia. Just the thought of getting up and making his way back to the room filled him with exhaustion. This can't be right! Why am I so tired suddenly? Worry seeped into his breast and he forced himself to try to get up, staggering slightly. What's going on? Al... ! He took two unstable steps forward and fell to his knees, panting. He weakly tried to push himself back up, and felt himself unbalanced by the slight incline of the roof. Shit... Ed began to fall, panic pushing back the unnatural sleepiness for a brief second, and then blacked out.
Ed woke up slowly, his eyelids feeling as though something was preventing them from rising full-mast. He could hear the soft murmur of voices in the dimly-lit room, and he struggled to place their alarmingly familiar cadences and tones. He was lying on his back on something soft and warm, and with effort, he began to to try to look around. He wondered why his head felt like it was packed with industrial compressed foam, and sifting through his hazy memories, he realized that he had probably been drugged. Al... oh, Al... I hope you're...
A face came into his vision like the pale surface of the moon rising on the horizon, a fat finger in its wide mouth, and Ed groaned feebly. The blank white eyes blinked at the noise and leaned in closer, peering down the soft blob of its nose, then glanced over its shoulder. "Lust," it cried in its high-pitched, wavering voice. "Look! He's moving!"
The other Sin leaned over him, her gloved arms crossed under her breasts and a small smile gracing her face. "Oh, good." She dropped one hand to rest on Gluttony's shoulder in a subtle restraining gesture. "I was beginning to get worried... He's no use to us dead."
"I told you he wouldn't die. I knew what I was doing," another voice cut in, and Ed groaned again, his eyes slipping shut. Envy jumped up to perch gracefully on the back of the couch, looking down at the human laying there with a cocky smile. "I know how important he is... " A semi-gloved hand reached down to stroke Ed's face, pushing back strands of hair. "... and besides, he's more fun alive anyway."
Ed clenched his teeth and tried to lift his arms – all I have to do is touch my hands together... This shouldn't be this hard! – and succeeded in curling his fingers. The muscles in his arm twitched but did not respond, and the automail lay still, pressed between his body and the back of the couch.
One of Lust's elegant eyebrows arched upward at Envy, and her expression changed to mild curiosity and amusement. "Oh?" she asked simply, knowingly. "Is that so?"
Envy shrugged nonchalantly, glancing up through his hair at Lust. His smile didn't change, and his fingers danced along the delicate skin of Ed's lips and down his jaw. "Mmm," he agreed, licking his lips suggestively to get his point across, then laughed.
Lust snickered under her breath, and Gluttony watching this display with the his dead empty eyes, frowned – it didn't seem fair to the small, squat Sin that he should be forbidden from eating the human, but that it seemed alright when Envy suggested doing it. He tensed, then felt Lust's nails dig into his shoulder. Better not to ask. The eldest was allowed more privileges, he guessed as he watched Ed's frustrated twitchings.
"Well... " Lust drawled, "he's not much use to us like this, either, and it's going to take a while for it to wear off... " Her voice trailed off, and she tilted her head, examining her gloved fingernails coyly. She couldn't quite keep the laughter from her voice. "You're welcome to him, so long as he's still able to create the Stone for us."
Ed tried to protest angrily and failed miserably, gargling incomprehensibly as his lips and tongue refused to cooperate with his effort. "Uuuuggg-eenn uuunn aa'tch... !" What in the hell did they drug me with? And why is it NOT GOING AWAY!? It has to have been a few hours since I woke up...
Envy laughed and tapped him on the nose, delighted by his useless fury. "Watch your language, ochibi-san!" Ed wondered how the Sin could possibly have understood him, and deciding to take advantage of it, he proceeded to string syllables together in an attempt to tell the homunculi exactly what he thought of them... Envy in particular.
Lust snickered again, showing her teeth. "Charming," she commented, "I understand the appeal."
"I knew you would." Envy sat up and spread his hands with a soft chuckle.
"If you want any help... " Lust left the offer hanging as she turned to leave, a gentle pull on Gluttony's shoulder indicating that he should follow.
Ed yelled after them and curled his fingers – the only motion his limbs seemed to be able to perform. No! His mind screamed something he'd never imagined he'd ever need to consider. Don't leave me alone with him! GAW-dammit! He writhed against the couch cushions in slow motion, glaring up at his tormentor.
Envy remained crouched over him, his elbows on his knees and resting his face in the cradle of his hand. His smile faded into a thoughtful expression, and Ed fell silent, filled with foreboding. "Well, Hagane no ochibi-san, it's just you and me... " something flickered in his eyes, "... again." Ed growled softly in response, already anticipating the pain he was sure the Sin would inflict upon him once more.
Envy dropped down from the couch-back and walked to the front, his eyes not leaving the young alchemist lying there. There was an air of intensity in the way that he moved – in the focus on his face – and Ed watched warily as he stopped in front of him, waiting.
"I understand your reluctance." The Sin began to speak, quietly, seriously, giving weight and measure to his words. "The... ingredients... for the Philosopher's Stone... You think that it would make you a murderer; you think it a terrible price. You see the destruction that its creation would need... but I wonder, Edward Elric, if you see the Stone's potential for great good? It would only take one Stone – one sacrifice." He paused briefly. "Enough for us to be human. Enough for your brother's body."
Envy crouched down, bringing his face on level with Ed's and studying the human with quick flicks of his lavender eyes, looking for a moment of hesitation, confusion, consideration. He continued softly, "You are denying me – and six others like me – my humanity, and you deny your brother the ability to experience fleshy existence... both of these things – being human and of the body – you have and take for granted. Does your refusal to cooperate and this denial make you any more righteous?" A smile twisted the homunculus's lips and Ed knew that something of his face must have betrayed him. He scowled and tried once more to lift his arms; he was pleased to discover that he was now able to move his hand back to his wrist. Hurry up, hurry up! he urged his body.
Envy laughed, his seriousness washed away. "You think about that, ochibi-san. You have some time yet." He pressed his face against Ed's cheek, breathing in the warm scent, his hair tickling along Ed's nose and forehead; he rested his hands on the alchemist's chest, one clenching the loose fabric of his shirt into a fist.
"Aaahh aade oo," Ed informed the Sin vehemently, glowering at the ceiling and feeling the slithering feeling of distress crawl through his belly. He flexed his wrist a few more times.
Envy raised his head. "The feeling's quite mutual, I assure you," he said dryly, but something about his tone and the way the hands on his chest shook made a dreadful suspicion raise its ugly head in Ed's subconscious. He glanced at the homunculus from the corner of his eye and caught the wry grin that he wore, and felt his body hair stand on end.
Envy reached over his head and turned his face toward his, leaning in to brush his nose over Ed's, then captured his mouth in a chill, lingering kiss. He broke away, slightly breathless. "You have no idea how much I hate you." He pressed forward again, tangling his fingers in Ed's hair and flicking his tongue over his lax lips to dance over the human's, moaning in pleasure of the heat within.
Ed tried to pull back, scrunching his face up in disgust, wondering what sort of psychological derangement made possible the translation of I hate you as I have a constant, frustrated, unfulfilled desire... (ok, not entirely unfulfilled... Ed would have shuddered had he possessed fine involuntary muscle control)... to fuck you. Fear was building in the pit of his stomach, and as much as he hated it, he had no control over the simple Pavlovian logic of it. He struggled against the iron grip clutching his hair, a panicked whimper building in his throat. Not again, no, no, no you don't not again! you son of a bitch! It was hard to breathe; Envy's nose pressed against his, and he began to desperately pant for air. Get away from me!
Envy's one hand slipped under his t-shirt, his slender fingers tracing his muscles; one stopped over his sternum, pressing down slightly, and the Sin pulled away, licking his lips as though savoring the taste that clung to them. "Your heart... " he murmured, then yanked upward, stripping off Ed's shirt roughly, "... it's pounding." He moved to his knees, the change of position giving him a better angle to run his mouth along the alchemist's stomach. His tongue swirled into Ed's navel, drawing a soft cry from him; his hair tickled along his sides.
Ed whined with each frantic exhale, twisting his wrist anxiously, more now with the simple, animal desire to physically fight back than with the idea of using alchemy. His body was processing the drug, but very slowly, and Ed felt more captive now than if had been tied down. At least then some movement was possible. Now he had only the ability to make loose, useless sounds and flop his hand, twitch his toes.
Envy's eyes lit up at his noises, and his hands shook with eagerness as he grasped Ed's arm and stood up, pulling the alchemist from the couch onto the floor ungracefully. Ed squalled in protest to this treatment, then yelped as his pants were stripped from him as efficiently as though he were a life-sized doll. His metal heel hit the ground loudly as gravity pulled his legs down. Envy stood over him, straddling his waist, hands on his hips; he grinned, and Ed worked up the most ferocious glare he could manage.
The homunculus knelt down, resting most of his weight on his knees, barely brushing against the boy beneath him. His hands moved lightly over Ed's stomach and up across his pectorals, pausing to circle around the dark nubs of his nipples with his nails; Ed whimpered under his breath and closed his eyes, trying to block out the sensation. The hands continued up into his hair, then left for the floor, and Envy leaned down, pressing his lips against the hollow at the base of Ed's throat. He strung kisses up to his jaw, then nuzzled into the golden hair to his ear, catching the lobe in his teeth. Ed couldn't quite bite back his panicked gasps, and he quivered slightly as he tensed as much as he could.
There was the cold sparkle of energy as Envy "undressed", and his thighs tightened around Ed's waist. His nose brushed the top of Ed's ear as he spoke. "This doesn't have to hurt, you know, Ed-chan." His tongue flicked out, tasting thoughtfully. "You are already completely relaxed... "
That's—-cause you drugged me, you bastard! Ed fought back the immediate, overwhelming urge to snap off something rude, obscene, and biologically impossible – a skill that he had a great deal of practice in, thanks to Roy Mustang. His eyes opened to the mass of dark hair grazing against his face as he considered this; there had to be some reason for this offer, and Ed didn't like any of the options that might lead to this. "Why?" he finally demanded, angry curiosity filling him. You wanted to hurt me last time, and not you offer not to. Though this be madness, there be method in it...
He felt the lips pressed to him curve and split in a grin. "Heh... I was wondering which was worse to you: to be physically injured, or to hurt your pride by asking for more merciful treatment."
Ed snarled in outrage, his eyes snapping open. "Go to hell," he answered, and his ability to pronounce it correctly sparked sudden relief within him. He tried his arms, and – joy of joys! – they were beginning to move properly, if a bit sluggishly.
Envy caught his wrist in a bone-grindingly rough grip, causing Ed to hiss in pain, and sat up, shrugging. "Afraid that you might actually enjoy it, then?" He raised himself up to balance on his toes and placed one foot between Ed's legs, then lifted the automail limb up against his shoulder. "Hmm... well, have it your way." There was a gentle nudging against Ed that made him clench his teeth in anticipation, and the Sin sank into him with a groan of pleasure.
Ed bit into his lower lip and closed his eyes, turning his head so that his hair fell across his features, choking back a desperately futile, indignant, terrified protest – though, the Sin had been correct; it didn't hurt nearly so much as the time before. His face flushed; it was shameful, somehow, that he was so little hurt by this, even though he knew why. He flexed the metal fingers of his right hand and tried to twist against the weight of the homunculus to lift it to his other hand, still held captive in a numbingly strong grip. He was still weak from the drug and the effort made the muscles of his shoulder ache, but the concentration needed for the activity distracted him from...
Damn! Envy pinned that wrist to the floor as well, and grinned at him from under the spiky locks of his hair. Ed bared his teeth in response. This only seemed to spur the Sin on, making his breath catch as he rocked the alchemist against the ground in a quickening pace.
Ed flushed deeper, turning his head rapidly in denial and panting through his teeth, pushing up against hands holding him down. "Nn... " He couldn't finish the word; something verging on pleasure shot through him, as bright and terrifying as lightning, and it was worse – oh, infinitely worse! – than any pain. His limbs jerked spastically, and he shook with a suppressed sob, hiccupping wetly.
Envy chuckled breathily, touching Ed's chest with his nose. "Maybe not so afraid," he managed, thrusting into the warm, human body harder, trembling with the effort. His control was beginning to fail, slipping from his grasp, and he considered for a moment attempting to drag this out longer... but the expression on Ed's face was too perfect – too helplessly, defiantly delicious for him to ignore. With an animalistic grunt, he slammed into Ed, his grip tightening around his wrists; Ed whined sharply at this abuse, and the noise was too much. Envy cried out in release, his voice echoing in the dark, mostly empty room and collapsed onto the young alchemist below him.
Ed brought his breathing under control, trying to untangle his hands from the Sin's grip. The dark hair that lay across his face tickled his nose, and he twisted his head irritably, hating the cool body touching his. "Alright," he snapped, "I absolutely draw the line at cuddling! Get up, you son of a bitch!"
Envy stirred lazily, looking up with a smug smile. He stretched like a cat, arching his back and morphing back into his clothes. "Is that any way to talk to your lover, ochibi-san?" He stood up, yanking Ed up with him; his knees were not firm enough for his weight, and he sagged against the homunculus, cursing.
What the hell... Ed figured, letting himself go limp, intending on being as much of a hindrance as possible. Envy sighed and threw him back onto the couch, the momentum knocking it over and spilling Ed onto the floor. He tried to scrabble to his hands and knees. Envy jumped the upturned furniture and a well-placed kick knocked Ed to the floor, unconscious once more. The Sin watched the human's still form for a moment, then looked up, his eyes focusing on the shadows.
"Enjoy the show, Lust?" His voice held a teasing edge, and the other homunculus smiled as she stepped from the corner, her curves swaying gracefully.
"Delightful," she purred. "If I smoked, I'd want a cigarette about now." She glanced down at Ed. "When do I get my turn?"
Envy grinned and shook his head. "When he's conscious? And good luck with that; he's a bit of a handful."
"Mmm... I noticed." Her stance changed slightly. "Speaking of which, we should do something about him. He's not going to be happy when he wakes up, and we don't need him destroying the place."
"I'll take care of him."
Lust laughed and sat down on the edge of the couch to watch. It was shaping up to be a fun evening.