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Death by Memory


This was our house. I can still remember the fuss that you raised over it; "It's too big," you said, "We can't afford the rent with inflation the way it is!" But we did, somehow. You found a research grant and I got some university funding and... we made it work.

That was always the way with you. You'd complain and whine, but then you'd accept it and somehow, you'd make it work. It didn't matter what happened; you always followed that same pattern.

This was our study. The place where we spent so many hours laboring over notes and books; occasionally one of us would find an interesting part and call the other for attention, and no matter what, we would always listen to each other. That was a rule; we worked in silence, so that when we made a sound, the other would always pay attention.

But, gradually, you became less interested in work. You weren't as focused as you were, your golden eyes slowly dimmed as a few years went by, and soon you were just staring out the window, as though trying to see something that none of us could. I could never pull you back from that; I could only wait until you slowly turned your eyes to me again. And then... those eyes weren't looking at me. They were seeing something else. Some... one else.

This was our kitchen. We fought here more than any other place. I'd scream at you to tell me what was going on, and you'd instantly become defensive. You'd cross that prosthetic around your chest, as though it was a shield, and brush me off with a 'You wouldn't understand' or a 'You would never believe me if I told you.' We'd argue and shout as though we were nothing more than children; you'd never do that for anyone else. I was the only one who got to see just how closely your anger boiled to the surface. I was the only one who knew that you reserved all of that anger for yourself.

You cried here, too. You thought that I wasn't watching, always, but I could sneak up on you. Then I'd see you, tears in your eyes as you cried out my name over and over. You would cry until the tears would no longer come, and then you would shamble off, still muttering my name. And... you were whispering apologies. You begged my forgiveness, as though you really needed to ask. Or so I thought.

This was my bedroom. It was here that everything fell into place. It was here that you told me the truth... the whole truth. About your arm and leg, the reason that you were researching rocketry, where you had come from, the false hope of alchemy... I thought you were lying. I knew that you were lying to me. I became angry, I told you to get out of my house, to take your insanity with you and never bother me again.

Then you broke down. You told me about your brother. About how he looked like me, how we shared the same first name, how my actions caused you pain because they reminded you of him... You cried, again. You confessed that you had stayed with me because you wanted a reminder of what you lost; that every time you saw me, you'd remember your pain again. You begged me for forgiveness; me, this time, and not your brother. You wanted me to forgive you, because you would never be able to stay with me.

And I forgave you. I took you into my arms, and I kissed you. "I'm not your brother," I said, "Your brother would never do this to you." You looked so lost, then, so vulnerable and confused, that I took advantage of you.

To be honest, I... I shouldn't have, really. But when I knew that you were only going to stay for a short while, that all of this was temporary... I took what I wanted. I kissed you and touched you and made you moan my name with every motion. I dragged you to my bed and took you, and I was not ready for the fact that you enjoyed every moment of it. I fucked you until you screamed, all night long, and by the end of it, you were more happy than I had ever seen you, even with tears in yours eyes from the pain. You always were a bit weird, but I shrugged it off.Stranger lovers have been found, after all.

I thought that it was because I was handsome, or that you were desperate, or even that you had a thing for scientists. We went up and down this house, having our fill in whatever room suited our fancy. But as the days went by, and you became more comfortable with it, I started to guess the truth. You didn't love me because I was anything at all to you.

You made love to me because I was like your brother.

We kept doing it, of course, but I slowly started drifting away; finding excuses, begging off... Because it had become painful for me. You... you had come to me, and lived with me for two years, and I found out that it was only because you wanted someone like your brother.

You denied this, of course, but I didn't believe you. I couldn't believe you. When confronted with those facts... how could I? It was even more painful, because I still loved you, Edward Elric. I wanted you, but I wouldn't be second-best to someone that I had never even met. Your brother, no less. I was disgusted; mostly at myself, for falling in love with someone like you. That I had brought it all upon myself.

This was the launchpad. Here you made the breakthrough. A new kind of rocket fuel, that would be enough to send a man to space. Once again, we had argued, and once again, you won out. You wanted to go on the rocket, because you were certain that it would get you home. You didn't say that, of course; you had some long explanation about 'how it would be better for us to minimize our risks,' and that I was 'the best person to stay and refine the theory.' And I gave in. Again.

We did it one last time. It was during the final checklist, when you sealed the cockpit and threw me into the harness. You took me, just like I had taken you; as my body screamed in the mixture of agony and euphoria that only you could inflict on me, as you ripped open my body and pounded me until I could no longer say or feel anything but your name, the warm heat of your body... you whispered the last words I would ever hear from you.

"I love you, Alphonse Heiderich."

I stumbled out, shaken, and could only sit by as you shot into space. I... I waited there, for three days, waiting for you to come back. I lived on the same dehydrated mess that you would have, and I didn't take my eyes off of the stars.

Then, I returned back to the house. My house, now. It's too big. I can't afford the rent. After you left... I lost my love for rocketry. I started staring out of the window, trying to imagine how you'd look, coming back with your little brother in tow. How we'd live in this house, and we'd go on, just like we always had.

But that's a dream, one that I can't have. You had given me hope, Edward Elric, and then you took it away. I gave you my heart, and you dashed it to pieces. I gave you everything; my mind, my body, my science, my soul... and you threw it all aside. All to be reunited with your brother. You said that you loved me, me, and not your brother; then you ran away.

I will never see you again. You've escaped from my stars, you've erased yourself from my world, as though you had never existed. The only thing left now are memories... memories of you; of the time that you didn't want to spend, in a world that wasn't your own.

Because of what you did, my dream will not come true. When you didn't come back, my research was cancelled, and I will never be able to launch another rocket... even if I were to suddenly regain the inspiration that I have lost. But there is one dream that I can have. If your brother is truly so important to you, and if I'm so like he is... then I will find my way to him, and by finding him, I will find you. You're not in this world, but I think I have found a person that can bring me to you.

He is very demanding, this one. He will tear me open, too, and he will take everything that I have and throw it aside, just as you did. But, in the end... isn't that what I was made for? To be used and thrown aside? None of that nonsense about romance or love; just mutual manipulation, with a clear winner and a loser? Perhaps, this way, I can win a way to seeing your happiness...

It's no matter, now. Your memories have killed me already, and now there's nothing to do but to trust in the one person who can help me with my pain. Edward Elric, my dearest lover... Mr. Luger will reunite us.