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Talitha Cumi


When he came to her that evening, she had already donned her new form as easily as some women would change dresses. Dante liked her new body—the cream hue of her skin, the slightly eccentric and foreign cut of Lyra's short dark hair; it was an appropriate encasing for now, though she knew she would need a better one in time. She had just the vessel in mind, but musings of her future body could wait. At present, she wanted nothing more than to enjoy the flesh she currently inhabited, as well as spare a little attention for one of her most dutiful servants.

Currently, she sat in the upper bedroom of her considerably large mansion, staring into the mirror as she brushed out her new hair. Wonderful, she thought, touching the small but perky curves of her breasts. It was splendid to be young and ripe once more, to feel vigor, strength, and desires. New flesh brought about new hungers, new wants; colours and visions looked better to fresh young eyes and silk felt softer against unwrinkled fingers unmarred by callouses. Even her appetite was enhanced, so much so that she ate thrice what she had before...although she never worried about gaining weight, of course.

A small smile crept along her face—this visage made for mischief—and her tell-tale purple eyes narrowed. He was standing behind her, she knew, although her eyes had turned downwards and away from the mirror. Her former son had a way of making his presence known, usually verbally, though even when he was not pitching one of his occasional and violent temper tantrums, he exuded in silence a sort of passive aggressive insistence, demanding that others leap to their feet to serve him; he said it all through naught more than his body language.

He's so like his father that way, she thought, setting the brush aside with a soft clink as she turned ever so slightly. "Envy?" she asked of the darkness, knowing he would recognize her new voice. He always recognized her—her scent, her posture, her manner of dress. Four-hundred years of intimacy on numerous levels (intertwining levels, convoluted, some would have called them mad) had lent the both of them something that was only scant steps above the capacity to read one anothers' minds.

Not that Envy was ever hard to read in the first place.

Dante lifted a fan and swayed it back and forth in front of her neck and chest, grinning coyly, demurely. She kept her eyes upon the door, watching the patch of shadows in front of it and listening keenly for the soft steps of shoeless feet. She was perfumed now, and made up as well; whenever she selected a new body for herself, it was her custom to preen girlishly and delight in every sensuality a young girl's body could conceive of; after all, what better time to enjoy her fleeting youth than from the moment of its inception? "You'd best not be sulking," she threatened in a tease. "We have cause for celebration, you and I."

"Greed, you mean?" Envy offered, speaking up at last. All at once, he seemed to manifest from the darkness—pale mingling with shadows, life mingling with death—viridian and purple, male and female (or neither, if he so chose); Hohenheim's successful homunculus was nothing if not an overachiever. He shares that with his father, too, the woman mused, fluffing her hair with one manicured hand. And though not my greatest creation, Envy has ever been my boldest...my husband was a fool to flee him...and me...after we invested so much work into alchemy, the Philosopher's Stone, and aught else...

"Yes, him," Dante answered mildly, rising. She smoothed a hand along her dress.

She did not prefer to speak too much of the first homunculus she had made. It chagrined her that her own creation had been far and away the most...foolishly independent of the lot. My creation and more... But she would not speak of that. This was no time for dwelling upon thoughts of ex-husbands and ex-lovers. "He's gone, and we have a newcomer in our midst..." She cocked her head, regarding Envy in an almost doting fashion...but not a motherly one, not exactly. Envy was not her son; she had never truly believed otherwise. Homunculi had no parents; Envy was a creation, a Gate creature who had been flung into this world and won some memories due to the alchemy which had fashioned him.

The memories, she had informed him, were misleading, but she had taken no great care to repeat this; after all, Envy's hatred for his 'father' was a powerful thing, a thing Dante could nurture and win much servitude with. If one could say nothing else about the epicene homunculus, they could not say he lacked fervor. At the moment, however, Dante was interested in a very different sort of passion; war was well and good, it had served her for many years, but here and there, she longed for something different—a little dessert to suit her good meals.

Envy knew it, too. His smile was wide, his eyes bright with mischief; she loved that look, loved the intensity it represented. She set her fan on the bed and strode over, pressing close, hot breath warming his cold cheeks; his hair tickled her face and nose. She wondered sometimes if he liked this, if he even cared at all; she doubted as much, but he would obey her. He always did. "I'll soon be rotting," she noted with a dry laugh. "Best make use of this time while we can."

"If you say so," Envy replied, flippant as ever, and annoyingly unresponsive. He had something on his mind, Dante knew. He always does, damned impudent whelp. But she could not blame him too much; after all, he had been Hohenheim's son...or so he thought; belief made truth, some thought. Dante preferred to think actions made it instead, but if Envy wanted to revel in his delusions, then she was in no great hurry to stop him.

She reached forward, placing a palm upon his chest, feeling the inhuman beat of the faux heart that pumped there; it was steady now, unperturbed. "I want to feel this leap," she announced, wrinkling her nose and grinning before easing her lips over to brush across his ear. Her breath was steady, a hot stream; she flicked a tongue into the ear and nibbled at the lobe. Envy tasted human enough, though there was a faint alchemical residue...almost metallic, really. Dante bit the lobe and drew blood, or the facsimile of it. She licked the spill. Does he like my new body? He hasn't said anything about it.

"What about the short shit?" Envy asked; he was still smiling, but now he looked wary, hesitant.

Him, always him...him and Hohenheim... Well, it was not as though they weren't both obsessed with Hohenheim, but Dante did not appreciate her servant making mention of Edward Elric. "Don't speak of him unless you want me to imagine you with his face," she snapped, hoping that would shut him up.

Envy rolled his eyes at her. "Actually, I was thinking of how good it will be to get rid of the little fuck once and for all—after you're done with him, of course." He grinned, teeth gleaming in the faint starlight. Shadows and light caressed him. "You can't have him, you know."

And why not? she thought, indignant.

As if Envy had read her mind and intended to cut off her response, his hand found one of her breasts and cupped it lightly, thumb swirling over the fabric. Dante suppressed a gasp, unwilling to let him have one so quickly; no. Best do it slow. Best make him work for it.

"You can't have him because that's my justice."

"Oh?" she sounded amused, scarcely affronted. "We'll see about that. I'm inclined to question whether you're man enough to finish off all your enemies...especially Hohenheim and his..." She chuckled. "...other sons..."

An insult such as that would have meant death for anyone else, Dante knew, but Envy would not dare hurt her. He needed her, needed the stones she provided. He had been created from the boy who was once her son, the boy whose lips had quested hungrily about the tits of the body she had long ago inhabited. She had enjoyed that, had relished that sensation, and upon his creation anew, she had seen no ill in letting him continue his old habits (albeit in a very different fashion); he was not her child, after all. We share no blood.

Dante found herself on the bed in less than a heartbeat. Envy pushed her down, gripping her wrists, and inwardly, she laughed. She knew how to get him going; anger was an aphrodisiac for this Sin, just as power was for Pride. "Are you going to prove me wrong?"

Instead of responding aloud, the Sin grasped the front of her dress with his partially gloved hands and ripped it open then tugged her undergarments apart, baring her bosom to the night air. Envy looked like a cat who had gotten the cream—all feline beauty, stealth, and exquisitely woven sinews. His dark hair fell messily about his face: an artless, wild tumble that still maintained a certain elegance about it.

Envy bit down upon her neck, sucking sweetly before grazing her with teeth—more human ones than homunculi sometimes had, gods be thanked—and placing a hand behind her head, pillowing it to lift her up. She arched into the touch, but when she felt blood running down her neck, she had to give a slightly perturbed groan of, "Don't ruin my new body! I don't need to get another one just yet!"

It was hard enough keeping them for very long these days, anyway.

"So sorry," he said, not sounding very sorry at all. He snickered, licked her with a bloody tongue, then kissed her deeply. She placed her hand on the back of his head and responded by tangling her tongue with his own, enjoying the warm taste of his body's liquids...

...and, speaking of...

Her cunt was growing wet, though she had not anticipated it to happen so suddenly. That was the great thing about these new bodies: one never knew what they would do. Dante moved her other hand to Envy's back, fingering the nodes before allowing her digits to dance lower, caressing the firm muscles around his spine. He had selected for himself a strange but wonderful body, all hairless flesh and wiry whipcord muscles. It must be nice to have a limitless selection.

Envy pressed against her, muscled abdomen met flat, soft, feminine belly. Dante's breath exited in a hiss and she pulled him closer. He was not thinking of her and she knew it; he was thinking of Hohenheim, or Edward, or perhaps their deaths...but she never thought of him, either.

He could be anyone I want, but the one person I want him to be is the one person he always refuses to turn into.

A pity, that.

"Don't stop half-way, Envy," she instructed. "That's no way to do things."

When he realized she meant her dress, he pffted audibly, rolled his eyes (always impudence with this one, always!) and ripped down the middle, exposing her belly. She gasped, breath hitching as she caught a glimpse of her new flesh. It shone in the moonlight, not so pale as his, though ashen and alive. Nothing was so beautiful, so arousing—because it was alive...maybe not for long, but there it was.

"Damned thing. How much silk and shit did you stuff it with?" Envy growled and muttered something about shredding the "fucking thing" before making good on his word and tearing it all the way off. Dante parted her legs, then leaned on her elbows, glancing down appreciatively at her new cunt—this sex which had once belonged to the girl named "Lyra". Something about the concept of actually being in someone else's body had always appealed to Dante; it was like having a stranger in your bed, and it carried the allure of the unknown. She had often had mischievous thoughts with regards to that Lyra woman. Many nights she had contemplated the taste of her skin, or the warmth of the wetness that pooled near her groin. Before Envy could make another move, Dante found her own fingers probing at her crotch, thumbing the clitoris. She inserted two digits into the opening and probed experimentally, moaning softly as liquids trickled down her spread thighs.

Envy's rough tongue rubbed along her neck and face; he kissed (and bit) her shoulders before sinking lower. "Nicer than your last body, Master..." he said with a smirk, taking one breast into his mouth entirely before shoving her hand aside and replacing it with his own. She was amazed at his boldness, always amazed, but boldness in bed did not merit reproach. Her hips tilted upwards, pelvis ready—agonizingly ready, (and dripping all over her fine sheets, damn it). When that cold hand pressed down, she shuddered; it was always like this, every time. Envy might try a thousand faces or just the one he preferred, but sex was forever a new experience.

"Is this as good as he did?" he asked, leaning close to Dante's ear and biting down hard. "Did he fuck your little cunt as well as I can? Was his dick rotting by then, too?" He pushed in, carelessly shoving his entire fist between her slender bones.

She gasped, then cried out, making a sour face at him. Pain and pleasure intertwined like the light and the dark, the life and the death, the old and the new. Her spine tingled hotly and sweat streamed down her breasts. "How dare you..."

"How dare I do what, exactly? Satisfy your lust for that old man?" He pushed up, then transformed his hand, making all the fingers into one piece of flesh. His other hand pushed into her mouth, and she bit down upon his fingers, drinking his blood eagerly; she was infused with both anger and lust, a fiery combination. Dante slung one leg over Envy's shoulder and pushed up and into his touch, all but daring him to do worse. She was shaking from his strength upon her new body; it was delicate and she was unused to it; every touch set her nerves on ablaze. His hand thrust in, and fresh sweat poured down, pooling upon her belly. Envy bent over and lapped it up, casually pushing a thumb against her clitoris.

Dante closed her eyes and bit down hard, crying out around his hand. One of her arms slid against his abdomen, enjoying the feel of the compact muscles, the sweat so like her own and yet so different. Yes, she thought. As long as you remember your place elsewhere...

Her foot drove down hard into his back, heel slamming into one of his nodes. Dante chortled when she heard the response that provoked.

One of her hands caressed Envy's thigh, encircling the wine-coloured tattoo. I could destroy you, she considered, and the thought made her even more aroused. She clenched down around his hand and moaned again, slipping the hand beneath his skort and fumbling around, not bothering to disrobe her lover gently; rather, she did as he had done with her. A few quick tugs and the skort was down around his thighs, then his knees, then his ankles, and finally it was off. Triumphant, Dante gripped her lover's cock, feeling the wetness that was there, the hardness, the desire for something besides herself.

When she touched him, Envy pushed in harder than before and Dante lost it, clenching painfully, body trembling as the waves of an orgasm shook over her, one after the other in rapid succession, butterfly wings against the storm. Looking satisfied, Envy licked the residue of sweat from her breasts, pausing to give the nipples an excessive amount of attention; Lyra's were larger and pinker than Dante's last ones had been, but she liked them. They were a nice fit. She held fast around Envy, milking her climax for all it was worth as she continued massaging his cock. Her thumbnail grazed the tip as he finally began to thrust into her grasp.

"Edward will be dead soon," she murmured silkily, as soon as Envy's hand slid away from her mouth. "And Hohenheim of Light, too."

He had given her the pleasure she wanted; she supposed it was only fitting that she give him what he wanted: sweet words, promises that may or may not ever come true.

"Everyone will be dead. Only homunculi shall endure. A world of homunculi." She heard her lover's breathing change, grow quicker. She kissed his fingers, moaning throatily. His hand was upon her abdomen, playfully stroking and dipping lower now and again to play with her cunt. Fingers drifted over the dark hairs where her belly ended, and she sighed.

Her eyes lingered upon his tattoo, upon that mark of his birth. She could not look at it without thinking of Hohenheim. "Everyone will be dead," she said again, suddenly grabbing his thigh and pinching hard; she pushed forward, all but knocking Envy backwards. He seemed surprised by her sudden fury, but let her do as she wished. Dante removed her hand and took a seat upon him, groaning at the entrance and biting her lip as a tributary of drool came forth. She may have been a highborn lady, but in bed, all were at the same level of nobility. She squeezed her breasts and when Envy smiled (at something? her enthusiasm?), she pushed her hands down upon the bed and held the sheets tightly, riding her lover as she had once ridden fillies and mares. Her face was flushed; her body had grown hot, so much so that she was making him warm. "I'll live, though...I'll live..."

The words were not said to him, nor to anyone save for herself. This was her day, her victory. All the humans would be dead, she repeated to herself, grinding down upon Envy's cock and pulling him up by his top so that he and she were almost level with one another.

"And all the humans will be dead," he reiterated, as though this were their mantra. Perhaps it was. They kissed, tongues meeting again, and Dante shoved him back down; she held his dark hair, pulling it, letting it run smooth and soft between her fingers. She almost sobbed as the ferocity of the pace caused the bed to shake. For an instant, the man with the golden features blurred and faded, and Dante saw only herself—herself, but straddling the world, owning Amestris and everything it contained. Life. Ever-renewing life. She lifted herself up, almost off of her paramour, then hesitated, sucking her breath in sharply, panting, rabid and needy and powerful. "And we'll..." Her words were strangled by lust. "...we'll rule together..."

She slammed down, harder this time than ever before. Envy held her hips, propping her up, forcing her to maintain her current position. Dante leaned over, sweat like tears pouring down her red cheeks; her hair was plastered to her face.

When she looked into Envy's eyes, Dante knew that her own reflected the hunger she saw there, the bloodlust, the lust, the life and death and need, the grudges that endured beyond time, hatred and love—unbridled passion in its purest form. Her nails tore into his chest ruthlessly as she screamed wildly and crushed her pelvis against his cock so hard that she knew she would be bruised come morning. Well, what did a little bruise mean to a body that was rotting, and what did blood loss mean to a form which healed itself instantly? Homunculi could have sex as no other beings were capable of, and Dante loved it...Envy may not have, but as soon as she finished, he let himself do the same, and she smiled and silently cursed his capabilities.

Once she had cooled, Dante got off of Envy and looked down at his lazy smile; her lips brushed his, and for a change it was her hair which tickled his face. Maybe next time he'll turn into who I want, she supposed idly, then laughed. She knew better, but it made for a good fantasy all the same. "Next time you really ought to shift shapes, you know; what fun is your power if you don't allow me to indulge in it?"

"And maybe next time you ought to bring someone else for us to play with," Envy shot back immediately, unabashed in his desires. "Maybe a short someone? An amputee, I think...a little cripple with two limbs missing." He licked his lips. "I could make him miss a couple more, and other parts as well..."

"Sounds like fun..." Dante liked the way Envy thought.

Already she felt the first spots of rot beginning to appear upon her body, but she ignored them. Now was a time for fantasy. Reality could wait. "Next time," she said, voice sweet and high—almost musical. "Next time... we'll get the whole family together."

A cloud covered the moon, and darkness hid her smile.