Al opened his eyes again. His first thought was that there was something fundamentally and frighteningly wrong with him. He'd had this feeling before, when he'd woken as armor for the first time, but this was different.
Then the feeling had been a kind of numbness, as though his body had been frozen. The loss had been sickening, but there had been so much else to distract him from it, that it wasn't until a few days after the transformation that he'd truly started to grieve for the loss. Even his grief had been muted, as though, along with his tears, his pain had been stolen away. He'd viewed his loss sadly, but largely intellectually.
This was utterly different. Instead of numbness his senses were amplified, and even with nothing but the blank concrete walls to stare at, his mind was completely awash with emotions. He felt unanchored, a leaf being blown by a hurricane. Thoughts emerged and were swept away almost as fast. Even his surroundings, as bland as they were, nearly exceeded his ability to understand them.
Eventually things started to settle out. He was chained up on a bare mattress on the floor of some basement. The only light came from a high slit of a window. The room smelled damp and powerfully of chemicals. In the corner was a large vat filled with a clear yellowish solution. On the bare ground faint smudged traces of a chalk transmutation circle remained.
Al struggled a little bit, finding the metal cuffs around his wrists to be far too snug to squirm out of. Thick links of chain pulled at a collar around his neck, and weighed heavily across his naked chest sliding down between his legs and across the floor to a post.
His memories were vague and shattered. He didn't recall being tied up this way, but he did remember somehow being pulled from that tank of somewhat viscous fluid. In an earlier time.. much earlier from the feel, he remembered, walking around a large city, lonely but determined in whatever it was that he'd been doing.
Before that, he remembered being armor, but not in any sort of linear way. A memory here and there, floated, unattached to any timeline or context. Before even that were his childhood memories, which were not only fragmented, but were also so foggy that he had a hard time actually recalling faces or names.
In fact there were only two faces that registered with any strength in his mind. One was Ed's, which made complete sense. This was his brother, so close he was almost his other half. The other was curiously stronger. Very strong. In fact Al could visualize him perfectly. Roy Mustang.
Strange emotions washed over Al when he thought of Mustang. What his memory said he should feel was a mix of respect and admiration, and maybe a little frustration for the way he had treated both Ed and himself. But what he actually felt was something different—more powerful, and rather embarrassing.
Utter and complete and hopeless need. Al sniffed the air and caught Roy's scent. For several minutes that mere action was enough to spin his mind hopelessly out of control, because scent was a completely new dimension for him. As Armor he hadn't had that sense at all. As a boy, it had been crude at best. And as a boy again, it had been more or less ignored.
Al struggled with his bonds again, hissing as cold links brushed against his tender legs. His body was all wrong. Just completely wrong. His skin was too sensitive, too raw, and his body shape didn't feel right, like he couldn't identify all his limbs properly. There seemed to be too MANY of them. This drove Al to fight wildly against his bonds until bruises started to form where the chain hit against his chest and thighs and his wrists began to abrade.
Footsteps stopped his writhing. Al sniffed the air again. Roy Mustangs scent grew stronger. Al closed his eyes and arched his back in anticipation, Then he opened his eyes and stared at the wall in horror of his own reaction.
For a moment there... for a moment... he wanted....
He wanted what he'd never wanted in his entire previous life. As armor he'd appreciated a cute girl... largely because he was pretty sure he was SUPPOSED to appreciate a cute girl. As a young boy he'd appreciated Winry and Ed because they were his friends... but now he couldn't even remember what Winry looked like. When he'd returned to flesh again, he'd simply been too busy to explore sexuality.
But now.... that scent... that scent drove sensuous shivers down his spine. That scent made his belly tighten and his groin feel warm and tingly. That smell made him suck in his breath in tight gasps and squirm, thrusting his hips against nothing. It made his ears lie flat against his head.
Al's eyes widened, and he twitched his ears experimentally. Ears should not be able to move like this. Nor should that thing at the base of his spine be able to beat against the mattress. Half-terrified, Al turned his head and saw for the first time the white furred tail lazily swooping out behind him. It batted nervously of its own accord against the fabric.
Al surveyed the rest of his naked body. His chest and belly were smooth and hairless, but starting midway down his arms a soft white pelt developed. The hair wasn't very long, a quarter of an inch at most, but it was dense and quite soft to the touch. It ended at his hands which were thankfully quite human in appearance. The same was true for his legs, naked upper thighs gradually yielding to soft white fur below his knees. A patch of slightly longer white fur framed his groin, but his cock and balls were hairless, and thankfully completely normal in appearance. The chains prevented Al from inspecting where his tail met his back, but he really didn't need to see it fully to know that this wasn't some cosmetic trick. He was a freak. A mutant. He'd never be able to walk the world freely again.
Oh, god, no. No, no, no... Why had someone DONE this to him?
"I'm a chimera," he said for the first time. His voice was a bit hoarse.
"Yes, Al," said a familiar voice. Again those sensuous shivers rippled through his flesh and he had to clench his teeth to keep the moan muffled. Al's ears went flat and he looked across the room. There at the foot of a rough wooden staircase stood Mustang, dressed in an untucked white dress shirt and brown tweed pants. His hand tightly gripped a long ebony cane with a silver handle. His face was half covered by an enormous patch. Al shuddered and turned his head away, but Mustang's scent continued to play havoc with his fragile composure. Al pressed his thighs together and covered his crotch with his chained hands.
"Why? Why am I a chimera? Why am I chained up? Why am I naked? Who did this to me?"
Mustang walked closer, his footsteps disconcertingly loud and uneven against the concrete. The tap of his cane made Al flinch. "I did it to you, Al."
No. Impossible. Mustang had been gruff at times with Ed, but he had never, ever done anything to hurt them. He'd always been polite to a fault with Al. Fatherly in fact, in his unique and offhanded way. He must be lying, but Al could smell no deception.
Oh god, I can smell deception. Al thrashed again, as the world spun once more out of control. Smell blurred into sight, into hearing, into feeling and arching over everything else was a powerful sensuality that no amount of writhing seemed to satisfy.
When he came back to himself moments later, Roy was holding him, The older man sat on the mattress, his arm looped about Al's shoulders and waist. His mouth pressed against Al's shoulder. His hair brushed Al's ear. "Be calm, Al. I mean you no harm. Don't hurt yourself." Then Mustang let out a deep chuckle.
"I'm so confused," moaned Al. "Where is Ed? I want Ed."
Logic and emotion warred in Al's mind. Somehow Mustang's warmth against Al's naked back was incredibly reassuring. But it shouldn't have been. Mustang had stripped him bare, and bound him and committed a heinous act on his flesh. He should be frightened of Mustang, or horrified, or angry, anything but happy. But even as Al blinked tears he pressed himself back against Mustang, squirming in a way that felt pleasurable, and yet was terribly, embarrassingly inappropriate.
If Mustang minded, he didn't let it on. If anything, he seemed to encourage this behavior.
Stop it, Al told himself, and tightened up to prevent himself from moving.
"It's okay, Al," murmured Mustang.
Anger finally welled up, and he tried to shrug the other away. "No it's NOT okay, Colonel. I'm not human any more. I don't understand anything of what's going on. I want my brother. Please, let me see my brother. Ed will know what to do. Ed will get me back."
Mustang sighed. "But I thought you liked cats, Al."
"As pets yes, I don't want to BE one."
"Pet, yes." Mustang reached a hand up and lazily caressed Al's long unbound hair. "You will make an excellent pet I think. And here I thought I was more a dog person."
"Who are you?" Al asked, shaking. "Colonel Mustang would never do this to me. You can't be him."
Mustang pulled away, allowing Al to shift in his arms to more or less face him. The look on the older man's face was innocent enough, but Al smelled amusement rather than surprise.
"Well," he said suddenly chuckling again. "In a way, I guess you are right, Al. I'm not Colonel Mustang. I haven't been for four years. I was Corporal Mustang for a while, but since your accident, I've resigned the military entirely. I suppose you can call me Citizen Mustang."
"Yes, Al. You were in a very terrible tragic accident—almost six months ago." Again Mustang petted Al's hair. Al had to fight to keep from pressing his head into those strokes.
I am NOT a cat, Al thought. I don't like being petted. His body didn't listen. It felt so good to be touched like this, so insanely good it was almost painful to resist.
"We were on assignment together. You were the State Alchemist, and I was sent along to be your bodyguard. We were off in dangerous territory near the Drachma border. I thought I could protect you. I thought you could protect yourself. But I was distracted by a woman. She pretended that she wanted me, that she found me attractive despite my face, and I was weak..." Mustang's brow tweaked up. "I wasn't there when the others attacked you. I arrived, but too late."
Al found his breath coming in and out rapidly. He remembered confusion and dust, pressing his gloved hands together and trying to use alchemy to take care of multiple enemies. Then there had been fire, and then... nothing...
"I burned several of them, but one got off a shot at close range to your face." Mustang's fingers slid down to Al's ear. He twitched it away, momentarily irritated by the touch, but then pressed in, rubbing his ear harder against the soft palm of Mustang's hand. It felt marvelous. Distractingly good. It was hard to follow what Mustang was saying.
"Your beautiful face—it was destroyed Al." Roy's hand moved again to slide down Al's hairless cheek and cup his chin. "Your brother worked so long and so hard for that lovely face, and it was wrecked beyond repair. Because I was sleeping with a woman whose name I didn't even know." He laughed again, but this time it was bitter.
Al lifted his bound hands up to his own face. It felt intact enough, his sensitive fingertips felt no scar tissue or ragged pits.
"You were blind, Al, and your mouth and jaw so mangled, you had to be fed with a tube. You couldn't speak. If you heard, you never gave an indication of it. At times you would moan a little. Sometimes you'd raise your hands up and touch me, but I couldn't tell if it was conscious or if it was just some automatic response. The doctor said that you were severely brain damaged.
"The mission we were on was secret, and the military didn't wish to acknowledge you, and so I found you a hospital under a civilian name. Once the brass realized that you would not be recovering, they discharged you and ordered me back to central."
Al felt a tear sliding down his cheek.
"And that's when I quit the military. Because you had no family, no one to take care of you. Only me. And I failed you. I failed everyone who has ever tried to follow me."
"According to the Military, you slipped on a stair in the dorms and broke your neck. And because the cover story had you dead, the military refused to pay for your hospital. I paid what I could, but it was expensive. And so I brought you home."
"Does Ed know?"
"He thinks you are dead. It was better that way. I didn't know I could bring you back, and he would have been devastated to see you in your ruined state. It would have killed him. He would have done something dumb and ruined his life. My life was already ruined... there was nothing for me to lose."
"Will you tell him now, that I'm alive?"
Mustang smiled and continued to pet Al's face, scratching him gently under his chin in a way that felt incredibly good. "No of course not, Al. He will only try to get between us, and we wouldn't' want that, would we?"
Mustang continued to talk. "I fed you, I bathed you, I changed your diaper, I even massaged your spasming muscles to try to give you some relief. You'd moan all night long. It was hard, unrewarding work taking care of you. And then the doctor told me that not only would you never recover, but it was possible that you might live on for another ten or twenty years in this condition. He encouraged me to remove your feeding tube and let you die." Mustang's lips gently brushed against Al's ear. His voice felt hot. "I couldn't do that Al. I couldn't keep you alive and I couldn't let you die either."
Al shuddered as Mustang described called in what favors he still had outstanding. After a frustrating month of work, he was a visit by Tucker, the chimera expert, and his doll of a daughter Nina.
"We created dozens of copies of you, Al. Each one perfect. We tried again and again to pull your soul from your damaged body and attach it to the chimeras, but every time it failed. It was Tucker who finally suggested that we might need a spark of life to make it work properly. We used a cat in heat who had just mated. It would have worked out... but there were complications."
"Complications?" asked Al. "What happened?"
"At the last moment, Tucker tried to force your soul into that doll of a daughters. I suppose he thought if he couldn't have Nina's soul, yours was close enough. He opened the gate, Al. And he attempted to throw me inside of it, as a sacrifice to facilitate the transfer."
Roy's eye drifted off into space as if he was reliving some particularly indescribable memory. "There is some sort of intelligence behind the Gate. Something powerful, and wise and old. It just looked right through my soul and it showed me how to make you."
"I thought you already knew how to make me... you used the cat, the embryos of the cat."
Mustang turned to Al and he saw that slightly crazed look in his eye. "I knew how to transfer your soul. They showed me how to make you perfect. How to make you everything I could ever want you to be. It was a reward you see. A reward for all my hard work over all the years. My reward for taking care of you for so long. You are my reward."
Al attempted to push away. "When... when?"
"Last night. I made you."
"Where is Tucker?"
Roy blinked again, slowly, as if surprised. "I pushed him in. Him and his doll. He tried to sacrifice me, but I got him instead."
Al shook his head in horror. "No, no, you didn't give them up in equivalent exchange for me! Why would you do that?"
"Tucker was a murderer, and that thing of his wasn't even a person." Mustang pulled him close so that Al's face was pressed against the collar of his shirt. "But I'm a person, and you are a person, and we are both whole... or close to it."
Al sobbed. This was all wrong. He didn't want to be alive if someone had to die for it. He didn't want to believe that Roy had killed a man just to transfer his soul. There was nothing equivalent at all in this. The gate, that lying wretched Gate, had once again played Al for all he was worth.
"You are perfect, Al." Roy's lips brushed against his ear, his breath was hot. "So beautiful. The cat parts only make you more special. You smell good, you feel good." Al felt Roy's tongue slide over the skin near the entrance of his ear. "You taste good."
Al was horrified by Mustang's words, but even more horrified by his own response to them. He knew he should have been struggling, moving away, but instead he felt a rumble start up in his chest. Oh, God, no, thought Al. I'm PURRING.
"I'm going to collect my reward now, Al." Mustangs words were muffled against the skin of his cheek. His fingers were running over Al's back, stroking him. Al arched in response, brushing his naked groin against Mustang's thigh.
"It's been almost six months... since that night. I've touched you so much, but never, ever for any pleasure. Your body was so perfect, even though your mind was shattered. So tempting. Oh God, Al, I need you." His hands pushed Al down against the mattress. Al undulated his body in sensuous abandon as Roy's mouth drifted over his chest, up his throat to his mouth and then back down again. Al's cock hardened again. He needed this, how desperately he needed this.
"Colonel... Mustang... Roy," said Al, almost choking. "Please, I don't understand what's going on with me. Why am I this way?"
Roy pulled himself up with one arm, the other continued to draw lazy patterns across Al's saliva slicked torso. "You are this way because I want you this way, Al. The cat was in heat. It was an easy adjustment to fix that in your human brain. But unlike a cat, human's have no natural cycle."
"I'm in heat?" Al was incredulous.
"Well, of course, it isn't true heat." chuckled Roy. " There will be no kittens between us. I just fixed your hormones in such a way as to mimic heat. And while I was at it, I fixated you on me, down to your very soul. We are tied together now. Now and forever, you will be my perfect companion. You exist to cater to my every desire. Intellectually, emotionally and sexually."
Al's heart lurched. No. But it was true, every word of it.
"The Gate must have done something to you," said Al. "The Mustang I knew would never have done such a selfish, degrading thing to me."
"Is it so selfish to want some compensation for all I've done for you?" Roy leaned back to undress. Al tried to keep his eyes away, but he found himself drawn hypnotically to look at the other. Roy was slim, muscular but not overly so. His skin was smooth and pale. He smelled masculine and sexy. Roy smiled showing perfect white teeth and a charm that Al had only seen directed at women.
"Yes..." said Roy slowly. "Maybe the Gate did do something to me. I think it took away something, something that I never really wanted anyway. Pain, guilt, inhibitions? I'm not sure. Whatever it is, I don't miss it. And you don't either, do you?"
He slid his hands down Al's hard stomach, up to the small nipples, pressing and pinching them in ways that caused sparks of pleasure to fly to Al's core. Al squirmed beneath him, trying to make the touch stronger, wanting more than anything to be touched more, all over.
"You like this, don't you." Roy said.
"Only because you've made me like it," moaned Al. He was hard, very hard. He knew that even if he were able to guilt Roy into stopping, he would just end up begging the man to touch him more.
"You are safe," said Roy. "I will never get in trouble loving you. You can provide all my needs, and I yours. The Gate was very wise showing me this. You are the solution to all my problems, and I'm the solution to yours."
Al felt torn between the undeniable yearning and his utter revulsion of what the man had done. "Why did you chain me up? You've made me want you, why force the issue."
Roy laughed. "You aren't tamed, Al. I didn't want some empty thoughtless shell of a creature, I wanted YOU, your will, your intelligence, your mind. If all I wanted was your flesh I could have stopped at any one of those failed dolls. I imagine it will take a while before I can trust you not to deny your own needs and run away from me. And even then it will take longer to make you fully obedient."
Roy's fingers drifted down to Al's groin for the first time. Al bucked his hips and let out a yowl as ever so gentle finger tips slid over the soft skin of the shaft, up to the head of his penis. It was painfully teasing. Al writhed furiously reaching with his own cuffed hands to stroke himself firmly.
The clap took Al by surprise. His flesh crawled half in terror, half in surprise as Roy pulled the chain that bound his wrists to the one around his neck and pressed his hands high up against his chest. The metal changed shape, and suddenly Al was unable to bring his hands down from his chin. Roy had done Alchemy just like his brother. Of course he had, he'd seen the Gate, and the Gate had stuffed his mind with all kinds of strange notions.
Roy resumed stroking Al. "It's clear you need some training," he said offhandedly, as if this were some military assignment. "You can't satisfy yourself the way I can satisfy you. No one can." One hand drifted in a a lazy widening circle, away from Al's penis, over his ball, then swooping back in an S shape to sink themselves between Al's trembling thighs. "Spread your legs, Al," said Roy.
Al moved his legs apart. To his lust sodden brain it seemed like the most natural, instinctive thing to do. And when Roy's fingers slid lower, deeper into the crack and found the entrance hidden there, it felt perfectly right. The fingers didn't penetrate, although Al did try and press himself against them. Instead they stroked against the outside in gentle but insistent circles.
"It's funny," said Roy. "Before your accident it never occurred to me that I would want so much to do this to you, and yet now it feels like the most natural thing in the world. I realize that I've always wanted someone to possess utterly. Someone who will obey my every command, and enjoy it. Being in the military satisfied this need to some extent. And the willing bed partners, they did their parts to... But neither of them satisfied my craving the way you are satisfying it now."
Roy retrieved a bottle from his abandoned pants pocket. Al arched again, stabbing his aching cock at the air, unable to fight his need for stimulation. Roy rubbed the lubricant over his fingers and then pressed them again against Al's anus. This time they slid in quickly and easily.
Al expected there to be pain and discomfort, but there was none. When Roy had designed his body's responses, he'd apparently thought it through. With only the most minimal encouragement, his sphincter loosened and readied itself for intrusion. Al thrust his hips against the fingers, wishing they were larger and more forceful.
Roy grabbed Al's waist and flipped him over until he lay chest and face pressed to the mattress, butt jutting up provocatively in the air. Roy grabbed his tail at the base and pulled it, and Al arched his back in response wiggling his buttocks in anticipation. He itched for this, he wanted it, he needed it.. Al felt the head of Roy's penis pressing and unconsciously pushed himself back, impaling himself as completely as he could. Al felt filled, stretched pleasantly. He yowled out his relief.
From this point, there was no more talking. No protests, no resistance. Roy may have been needy. He may even have waited six months for a chance to slake his lusts, but nonetheless Al's need was greater. He could tell the older man was trying to be careful with him, but Al didn't need care. He need more. He pushed his hips, trying to force a harder pace, a crueler reaming. He yowled and his tail thrashed against Roy's chest.
Roy understood Al's need, and ceased his cruel gentleness. With a predatory cry he angled Al's hips. He then let gravity and his own weight add power to his thrusts. Al cried out in relief as the stimulation built, slowly but inevitably towards something massive and wonderful. Roy's hand slipped down between his legs and stroked him with firm strokes this time. The point of teasing had past. It didn't take long after that for Al to feel himself finally reach his goal.
Al whined and then threw his head back in a very feline yowl. Every muscle in his body tightened until he trembled. He felt himself spasming, his balls clenched tight against the base of his penis, and then he was coming, Roy was crying out as well, perhaps in pain.
Al stopped thinking for a while. His senses, overwhelmed, fell apart. He lost his sense of time, and could only feel his pleasure slowly drifting down towards satisfaction, and the sound of his heart slamming against the walls of his chest.
Roy pulled off and rolled onto the mattress next to him. Making no attempt to help Al clean the inevitable mess, he simply looped a lazy arm around Al's middle and left him, on his back, his legs still spread apart, semen drying on his skin in a way that itched. Roy's soft snores were nearly immediate.
Al was left to muddle over his situation. Although he'd just come, part of him wasn't entirely satisfied. Part of him would like Roy to wake up and do that again... But even if Roy did, would he ever feel completely satiated? It was easy to blame Roy for his condition, but Al refused. Roy was as much a victim in this as he was. All Roy had wanted was for Al to live. This was the Gates perverse influence.
I'm in heat. Perpetually. Because the Gate wanted me like this, and it wanted Roy to want me like this. Why?
There was no answer. When it came to the gate there never was. Why had the gate taken Al's entire body and only Ed's leg? Why had it given up Al's soul for the price of an arm? Why had it allowed Wrath to have Ed's severed limbs. And what could it possibly want with Izumi's internal organs. Yes the Gate took, it took and took and took, but what it took made no sense, and what it gave rarely was what the Alchemist wanted.
Roy didn't seem to mind or care. He was content holding his captive in his arm.
Maybe the gate was sorry for Roy. After all the man had given up a lot in life. His innocence, his position, his friends, his subordinates, his career, even his famous looks had been offered up, all in the attempt to forge something good out of disaster. Who is to say that he didn't deserve a reward for all he'd done.
And as for Al, he'd been the Gate's toy for a long, long time, and somehow he suspected it wasn't done playing with him. Maybe it figured a life of sensual pleasure and sexual gratification would make up for the years of deprivation. Maybe it just had a strange desire to play matchmaker between two unlikely people.
It didn't matter, because Roy had done a marvelous job of designing Al's drives and attractions. A very thorough job. Al relaxed and curled into Roy's embrace. His emotions no longer fought his reason. Reason conceded. Al accepted the warmth and love and contentment without judgment for how contrived their source.
I've always been the perfect companion. Perhaps it's just as well it's no longer to my brother. Perhaps its just as well it's to a man who truly needs one.