"It's very impolite to not talk to your hostess, Alphonse," said Dante, taking a rustling step back from her chained prisoner and crossing her slender arms across her chest. Although her voice was cool as always, the tip of her folded lace fan twitched in a jerky rhythmic fashion: a signal to Envy's accustomed eye that she'd reached the end of her patience. He could have told her there was no point in talking to the tin can, but you simply don't tell Dante what she doesn't want to hear. That was Greed's mistake.
Al was unmoved by the rebuke. In fact he had been sitting so still for so long, that Envy wondered if his seal might have given way, and his soul had departed the metal. After taking the trouble of kidnapping him, and carrying his struggling, uncooperative husk all the way to this underground ghost of an opera house, it would be infuriating if Al were to have finally slipped his mortal coil.
Offhandedly, Envy kicked the chained prisoner in the chest plate. The metal rang in a low, unmusical tone, but Al didn't fall to the cracked marble floor the way he would have had he truly been just an empty suit of armor. "Talk to the Master," Envy ordered.
"I'm not going to give your Master tips on how to seduce my brother," Al responded hollowly. "I think the idea is disgusting."
Dante was taken aback. Envy noticed the faint flush to her cheeks, which she quickly hid behind her fan. "Your opinion hardly matters," she said after a second. This time her voice was a bit more clipped. "I wouldn't expect you to understand the dynamics of attraction in your current state. But I'm not asking for your approval. I simply wish to make it easier for your brother to make the right decision when he joins us."
"He'll never help you," said Al. His high, youthful voice seemed incongruous with the adult tone. "And neither will I. Leave me alone."
Dante glared for a moment, then turned dismissively away. "Envy make sure he doesn't cause trouble." Then, with a swish of her gown, she crossed the empty room, and left through double doors, into the main hall of the building. A moment later she slammed those doors behind her, and Envy heard the distinct snick of a key entering the lock and turning.
Envy frowned. Not that the ancient lock would really stop him from leaving if he chose, but it left no doubt that Dante expected him to remain in the room with Mr. Silent-and-Dull for the foreseeable future. Envy hoped that the Fullmetal pipsqueak would follow the trail of breadcrumbs soon.
Slouching against the wall, Envy scanned the empty room for something to relieve his boredom. Al sat like the crumbling hunk of junk he was. Envy considered kicking him again, but there seemed little point in it. Al didn't feel pain, and thanks to the philosopher's stone imbued in his being, Envy couldn't so much as scratch his polished exterior. He tried a bit of teasing, but the attempt fell flat when Al didn't take the bait.
What was the point of Dante keeping the Armored brat around anyway? Gluttony could have eaten him and regurgitated the stone long ago—no need to drag the kid all the way down here. As for his older brother, it seemed pointless to bait him like this. Edward had passed up any chance to be useful when he refused to make the Stone in Lab 5, and frankly his refusal to help during his incarceration at Lior just confirmed the obvious. As far as Envy was concerned, he was a worthless clod of shit just banging around Central, waiting to muck up Dante's plans.
Yeah, thought Envy bitterly, that's all Ed was: an egotistical, arrogant, tiny, human, empowered with far too much alchemy, and too little good sense. Just like his bastard of a father. How Dante could actually want to fuck the little asshole was beyond Envy's imagination.
"I'm with you. It's disgusting," said Envy, not really expecting Al to respond. "The thought of my Master sullying her lips on your brothers stinking carcass makes me ill. I have no idea why she would want his tiny, pathetic body pounding into hers, breathing all over her face and defiling her body with his fluids."
"Shut up," said Al suddenly. There was a slight catch to his voice. Envy's eyes narrowed predatorily. A small tight smile crossed his face.
"Humans are so dirty don't you think? Not clean like us. Yes, it's revolting to think of your brother naked, staining her mattress with his sweat, groaning and thrusting his hips, rubbing his rear end against Dante's fine cotton sheets like they were toilet tissue. Letting his hormones turn his brains to mush just so he can get his cock up and shove it into a cunt. To think the very definition of his manhood is nothing more than three measly inches of veiny gristle—"
"SHUT UP!" shouted Al, and Envy fancied he could hear an embarrassed blush in the tone. Envy chuckled. Al clearly didn't like to hear about his brother in sexual terms. Or perhaps it was simply sex in general that made a sore spot.
"Touchy," said Envy. "Don't tell me you are jealous, oh Armored one?" Envy pushed off away from the wall and began walking around Al in a loose spiral. "Tell me do you miss your cock? Do you regret that under that loincloth you are smooth as a girl? Your high voice could be taken for one, too."
"I'm not a girl," said Al.
"No, but you aren't a boy either, are you. You are an it. A thing. Sexless, ugly, unattractive, hunk of metal that no girl in her right mind would look twice at. But that really shouldn't bother you, if you consider the alternative. Count you lucky stars you have no penis. Wanna know why?"
Envy went on anyway, driving his words in like nails into a coffin. "Because my master is going to show your brother the joy of sticking his cock into things, and like all humans, he's going to become addicted to it. And when she tires of him, and tosses his sorry ass back onto the streets, he's going to spend the rest of his pathetic life looking for his next fuck. With that gimpy body, he'll be lucky to get one. Maybe someday he'll find some horse-faced woman who won't ask him to pay. And he'll be so grateful for the 'gift'." Envy finished his inward spiral and crouched inches from Al's frozen metal face.
Al moved his legs to push himself in a semi-circle until his back was to Envy again. "You have no understanding of people's feelings, do you? I feel sorry for you, Envy."
"Not half as sorry as I feel for you." Envy stood up and walked around Al again. "I recognize envy when I see it. Love, marriage, babies. Human weakness and biological imperatives. You are beyond that now, Armor-boy, and yet you want them. That's really sad! You long for them like a drowning man longs for breath. Honestly, if I were you, I'd give up on retrieving my body, and be thankful I was metal."
"You aren't me," said Al. "The only things you want are pain and misery. That's pathetic. No wonder you are called Envy, never having anything nice, and resenting it when you see it in others."
Envy did kick Al then. It was like kicking a wall. "Don't presume to know anything about my life, tin-can."
"Don't presume to know about mine or my brother's," Al retorted. "All this talk about Ed makes me wonder if maybe you want to sleep him. But you can't, can you, because you aren't really a girl."
Envy laughed. "Oh, that's not a problem. I can have any gender I wish." He paced, changing as he went until he was an exact replica of Winry. "If I wanted to fuck your brother, I would have long ago. I could be any girl he fancied, change myself to suit his taste. How could he resist a come on from his favorite mechanic?" Envy squeezed a breast, and struck a slutty pose.
Before Al could respond, Envy changed again, this time turning into Colonel Mustang, complete with uniform and trademark smirk. "I could even fuck him as a man. Bend that little pipsqueak over, thrust a cock up his ass hard and make him swoon and beg for more."
Envy shook his head and shifted back to his normal, longhaired, genderless form. "But I haven't, because I'm not fucking attracted to your brother."
"You are attracted to blood and cruelty," said Al.
"I'm attracted to power," Envy snapped.
"For you it is the same thing."
Envy offered him a patronizing smile. "Not quite, little boy. Power comes in many forms." Envy knelt in front of Al again. "Not all of them are bloody." He reached out and caressed the side of Al's face. There was a faint sizzling tingle to his finger tips—not precisely hot, but definitely electric. A reminder that Al was more than just a suit of armor these days. "As you should well know."
"I don't know what you mean," said Al. Was it Envy's imagination, or did the glints of light coming from Al's eye slits seem just a bit redder?
"Are you so stupid you've already forgotten you are the philosopher's stone—the most powerful source of alchemy there is? There you sit, all precious and wrapped up with chains, and not even a single drop of blood in that whole body." He reached out a hand and caressed the other side of Al's face. Envy could feel the redstones within his body begin to pull against his flesh towards Al, it was an odd sensation, and rather exciting.
"You know, Oh Armor, given the choice of fucking Elrics, I'd choose you over your brother any day. What do you say to that, Lover?" Envy winked suggestively and pursed his lips in a mock kiss.
Al sat straighter. "I think that's stupid, and impossible anyway," he said, primly. "As you pointed out, there's nothing of me to, to—" Al couldn't push himself to speak the profanity. Envy reached out and patted the smooth top of Al's head.
Envy almost lifted his hand away, but then rested it back on the metal. It felt faintly warm and the slight buzz to it was oddly comfortable. Although the notion of molesting Al was originally just meant to make the prisoner uncomfortable and the time pass a bit quicker, the more he touched the gleaming metal, the more he recognized that he was attracted. He couldn't care less for the awkward oversized shape; the little goody-two shoes soul housed in it annoyed him greatly. But the philosopher stone, that was something else.
For the first time Envy felt a surge of jealousy that Gluttony would have the privilege of devouring him. That rotund pig of a homunculus would have all this power sliding down his gullet, and for a brief moment or two, he would be surpass even the homunculi in greatness. He would approach godhood. Until Dante made him cough it back up again—which she would in short order. Gluttony was too much of a fool to fend her off.
If Envy ever had that chance to swallow the stone, he very much doubted even Dante would be able to pry it out of him again.
Al shrugged hard, and Envy realized he was still absentmindedly fondling the plume. "Tell me, does it scare you, Armored one, to think of me molesting your body."
"Of course not," said Al. "But there's no point in it. You can't hurt me. I don't feel anything."
"Maybe not," said Envy, pressing himself against Al, until the metal of Al's arm rested flat against his chest and belly. The stones within Envy were humming now in sympathy with the philosopher's stone. "But I can feel. And I'll tell you this, tin can, you feel good."
Al jerked away, but Envy moved with him, shifting to climb over Al's thick thigh and straddle his lap. The metal was hard against him, but not uncomfortable. The kid's breast plate jutted into Envy's chest, forcing him to crouch awkwardly and lean forward in order to plant a dry kiss on the jagged crack that was Al's mouth.
"Stop that," said Al.
"Why?" Envy drew back, lips still tingling. He licked them and fancied he could taste the stone. "Did I just steal your first kiss?"
Al gargled. "This is all a joke to you isn't it."
"Hardly." Envy leaned forward and ran his tongue across Al's chin. The texture was of smooth cool metal, but the taste was amazing. Sweeter than candy. More satisfying than redstone. And was it his imagination or did he feel a positive flow of power between them. Envy licked again, a broad flat stroke that Al couldn't sense, and there it was again. "Flavor" wasn't quite the right word, because it did more than excite his tongue. It infused his whole body, reaching through the nerves of his mouth down his throat into his very core.
"You are positively addictive, Armored brat." His voice was teasing, but inside he felt a pang of discomfort for having said something just a bit too close to the truth. He could feel his self-control slipping. He wanted to taste Al again. Badly.
What the hell was he doing?
Envy jerked back and looked down into Al's upturned face. There were damn good reasons not to be rubbing himself all over Al like this. It was beneath his dignity for one thing. He had no doubt that should the door open and Dante walk through, she would regard him with that icy humor he'd come to loathe, and ask him in her coolest, most suggestive tones what he possibly thought he was doing. He could almost see her lips pursing with distain at the idea of him losing self-control in front of a captive.
And there was Al, who couldn't possibly understand the reasons behind Envy's behavior. Seeing Envy lower himself to base caresses just moments after condemning the behavior in others would doubtless look like complete hypocrisy.
But more than that, there Envy hated to think of himself even remotely subject to the same urges and lusts as humans. He did things because he chose to, not because he was too weak willed to resist. He was not soft that way. To be homunculus was to be free from human vulnerability, and degrading bodily urges.
He should stop this at once—. But the flavor, the feeling nagged at him, like an annoying itch at the back of the mind that just wasn't soothed by anything short physical contact.
It didn't matter what Al thought of him, Envy decided abruptly. Or Dante. He was above caring about their opinions. He could walk away from Al any time he wanted to. He just didn't want to.
Not yet. Not until he'd satisfied curiosity that he'd taken this sensation as far as it could go.
Relieved, Envy gave into his urges. Ignoring Al's surprised yelp, he lowered himself into the armored lap and leaned forward. Both hands grasped the helmet tightly, preventing it from moving, while his tongue curled and lapped against edges of Al's chin. The flavor—exquisite. The more he tasted it the more it seemed to him that there could never be anything in the world quite as delicious. It was synesthetic in quality: smell, color, feel all merging with an pleasurable buzz. It felt like food, it felt like air, it felt like sex. But it wasn't enough. He needed more.
Al seemed transfixed to the spot, not moving, not speaking. Envy didn't care. If Al never spoke another word that would be just fine.
Envy opened his mouth and drew in as much of the chiseled chin as he could. He sucked, and swallowed saliva sweetened by the stone. Damn it. If only the stone were small enough that he could swallow it completely the way he had the redstones. Envy imagined the feel of it warming his middle, filling him up with its incredible power. Envy tried to suck in more, take it deeper, but he was at the limits of his mouth. Even though his teeth scraped and chewed at the surface with increasing force, he was unable to even scratch the least bit of metal free. The result was a sensation of being filled, and yet left empty. A fantasy feast that left him wanting the real thing.
"What are you trying to do?" Al asked, with a note of panic. Then he suddenly jerked into motion. Envy's hands had grown limp while he fell under the spell of the stone, and now the helmet broke free of his grasp. Al's chin bashed the side of Envy's mouth as Al shrugged him away.
"I don't know what's gotten into you," Al said. "But I'm sure Dante won't like it."
"Why should she care what I do?" asked Envy, wiping a trickle from his chin with his finger, sweeping it up into his mouth. He tasted blood mixed with the savor of the Stone. The wound had already healed. It hadn't even hurt. The power he'd sucked out of the Stone coursed through his veins now, making him feel deliriously strong. Invincible.
"If you are messing with the philosopher's stone, I think she'd care. If she wants me to help her get my brother, she better care. You folks want me to cooperate, you better treat me well."
Envy waved that all aside. The wondrous feeling was already starting to fade. "We can treat you however we want, Elric. As far as I'm concerned you are nothing but a wayward soul that's gotten itself stuck to the Stone. The sooner you depart, the better."
"You aren't in charge here, Dante is your master. She said keep me out of trouble, not get into trouble with me."
Envy shrugged. The taste of the Stone lingered teasingly on his tongue. The desire to torment Al waned in comparison to the desire to feel the Stone within himself again. "Listen, I think you've vastly overestimated your importance. What happens to your soul doesn't concern Dante at all. She's only interested in your body. And so am I."
Al said something, but Envy ignored it. His eyes focused on one of the spikes jutting up from Al's shoulder. It was longer and thinner than the kids chin, and less mobile and awkward to reach than the one on top of his head. The sharpened point was a bit off-putting, but the promise of getting that much more of the Stone into Envy's body more than made up for it.
"Stay still," said Envy with more sharpness than he intended. He was impatient now, the itch was almost too much to bear, and every moment he put off his needs his frustration grew. "Don't even twitch or I will make sure that your brother pays for it when he comes. Unlike me, he won't regenerate."
"What are you going to do—"
Envy grasped Al's arm, and crouching in what was a decidedly awkward position, he took the longest of Al's spikes and slid it into his mouth, sucking it in slowly to the base. The sensation was exquisite, worth the odd stance. Worth the seeing Al turn his head and hearing him suck in a surprised pseudo-breath.
He could feel the flow of power again, stronger than before. The redstones within him were pushing upwards, up into his throat, to meet the power sliding down it. Envy's eyes grew hazy and unfocused. Time drifted off, and everything narrowed down to the sensation of sucking, of drawing in as much as possible of the stone within himself.
"Stop it!" Al's words finally flowed into him. "I don't know what you are doing, but it feels weird, stop it." Envy's only response was to hold on tighter and to suck harder. He felt his body begin to change. His muscles no longer protested their position. The redstones within him were altering, merging together absorbing the power he took in. It felt good. No. It felt great.
Al jerked again, perhaps forgetting the threat Envy had leveled against him, perhaps so disturbed by whatever he was feeling that it overwhelmed his descretion. Envy attempted to withdraw, but he didn't have time before Al rammed himself sideways. Envy's mouth mashed against the rounded metal of Al's shoulder and the point of the spike pierced the back of Envy's throat. For a second it remained embedded, then with a sideways jerk it sliced across the back of his throat through his cheek. Finally Al pulled back freed the bloody spike from Envy's mouth.
Envy was surprised enough to let go and grab his throat. He swallowed blood twice, then the injury was gone as though it had never existed in the first place. Al took that moment to awkwardly stagger to his feet, his arms testing the thick metal chains.
Envy swallowed once more dryly, and then found his words to talk. "You just doomed your shrimp of a brother."
"Hollow threat," Al said. "Dante wants him, and you have to obey Dante."
"Not with that stone I don't," said Envy. "I won't have to obey anyone. Now get back here."
"No!" said Al. "I'm not letting you suck the stone out of me."
"You want to keep it for yourself? What good will it do you? You don't even know how to use it to get your own body back. Don't go trusting Dante to save your sorry hide. She plans to give you to Gluttony the moment you aren't needed as bait. Best let me take it. At least this way you might actually survive."
Envy closed on Al, jumping back when Al kicked.
"I don't think for a moment you'll let me or my brother live if you have the Stone."
Envy laughed. "You are probably right. What use are two has-been Alchemists to me? Dante will be enough. We make a good team when she's not thinking with her crotch. And when I have the stone, she will be obeying me, and not the other way around."
Envy sprang forward again, Al backed up and once more tried to kick, but Envy was too fast, too flexible, too strong. A solid push against Al's chest plate did the trick. The armor rocked back on it's heels, staggered, and then tipped inevitably over, adding fresh cracks in the old marble as it came to rest stretched out on its back.
Envy grabbed Al's helmet and, before he could protest, he prized it off. It seemed for the briefest moments as if it were held on by a powerful magnet, but then it was just a thing—not even properly imbued with Al's soul. Envy tossed the empty hunk of metal across the room.
A brilliant purple light glowed out from Al's body. Envy sniffed in a deep breath and smelled it. Delicious. After only the slightest hesitation, he grabbed Al's shoulders and pushed himself through the hole into the cavernous body.
The philosopher's stone was all around him now, piercing him with its essence from every direction at once. His mind was overwhelmed, his senses hijacked. Envy bit his lip and absentmindedly stroked the inner sides of Al's body. He could hear Al's tinny voice, gargling out protests, but he ignored them. Al couldn't dislodge him in here. There would be no retreat from this experience for either of them, not until Envy was completely satisfied. Not until every last bit of the stone had been absorbed into him.
Far off, in the back of Envy's mind, he felt a small pang of protest, some dim sense that he'd lost his mind entirely and that he was at the mercy of the stone in a way that he shouldn't like. The rest of him dismissed it. Nothing bad could possibly feel this good. He was transforming, becoming more than himself. And perhaps when that happened he could shed this name and this hopeless need and for once in his life be content.
He went back to licking the metal, not because he needed to in order to absorb the Stone, but rather because the flavor and texture added a pleasant visceral component to the experience. He let his eyes drift shut, and paid no attention to where his mouth took him; the seams and joints were just as satisfying as the long plains of gently curving metal plate. It was only when he heard Al's sudden desperate cry that he realized he'd inadvertently stroked the blood seal with his tongue.
Envy's eyes opened. There it was in front of him, blazing a brightly. For years, that seal had been Al's most fragile part. Once Envy could have killed Al with the mere scratch of a sharp black finger against those thick bloody lines. Now—now Envy didn't think anything could remove that mark. The philosopher's stone seemed to provide an impenetrable barrier.
Surely Al must know this, and yet when Envy ran an idle wet tongue over the line Al screamed again. Envy could hear Al pulling at the chains again and the faintest protest of bending metal. Such desperation. Envy stroked an idle finger over the mark, and elicited a moan.
"Does that feel good," Envy asked. "Do you like that?"
"Don't," was all Al said.
So of course Envy did. He stroked that seal, and licked it and tried to scratch it. He plied it with sucking kisses, and dragged his teeth over it. Al's cries became the background music to his sensual climax.
He was in bliss. Utter bliss. Compared to this sex was nothing. The few times he'd engaged in it were at best a pale imitation. The moments of orgasm couldn't hope to approach this never-ending ecstasy.
He was more than coming, he was Becoming. He could feel the mantel of godhood itself falling across his shoulders.
He almost didn't hear the clap and he certainly gave it no thought, but the sudden lash of pain around his neck was impossible to ignore. Then his head was being pulled hard. Had he been human, it would have popped right off his body. Though his hands scrabbled against Al, he didn't find purchase in the split second before his neck snapped and he went limp. With one great violent heave, he was pulled free of Al's body and flung hard against the wall.
The sound of the entire building reverberating deafened his ears. Envy's spine healed and his now functional hands reached up against the choking noose. Then a second clap and the his hands were yanked down to his sides and his torso squeezed together by coils of thick rope. His feet were jerked up off the ground and he found himself suspended tied and dangling from the high ceiling. His body knit and reknit his broken skin and shattered bones as he was banged about. The moment the noose loosened, Envy coughed blood, and gasped in a breath. Despite all the physical injury, the loss of the philosopher's stone was far more painful than anything else.
He blinked and focused. He saw Al's headless body lying where he'd left it and behind the prisoner, framed in the open double doors, was Dante, flushed with fury.
"How DARE you?!" she growled. "How dare you even consider it?!"
"I didn't think you'd mind, Dante."
"Mind you stealing the philosophers' stone?' Her eyes flickered. "Don't play dumb." She knelt by Al, running a hand over him. "You didn't take much," she said, relaxing. "There's still enough for my purposes, thank goodness. Otherwise I'd have been forced to set Gluttony on you, my dear Envy."
Envy let an ironic smile form. "It's your own fault for leaving me in here with temptation."
"I won't make that mistake again," said Dante. "Remember, that I can unmake you any time I like."
Envy's smile slipped. He knew it too well. Impotent fury built under his skin, but he didn't let Dante see it. He looked longingly at Al who was struggling back into a sitting position; he could still taste the flavor, feel that purple glow piercing him. He ached to feel it again. He wanted that power. He needed that power. It could have been, should have been his.
For the first time in his existence, he almost had something he wanted. He'd almost gotten free of her, but now he was back under her thumb. Just a few more minutes—One more chance—
It would never happen. He wouldn't be Envy if he ever got his way, would he. He'd always be Dante's right hand man. From his first living breath, to the end of his existence, he would never be anything but hers. How dumb of him to hope it could be different.