chapter 23.

Something pulled him inside something.

Something pulled him inside of a house.

Up the steps, feet flopping all the way, pingping—automail on stone.


Whatifwhatifitwasher? What if that crazy lady was gonna fucking attack him?

He gasped, blinking again as he was jerked before a broken window, then shoved against it, back to the fractured glass. Everything was going in fast motion, and he felt a nose touching his neck, then his face, and—what—

"You're drunk."

Moonlight. An explosion of moonlight, and suddenly Ed found himself looking into a familiar face, a goddamned pretty face he knew so well by now, and he gasped again.

"You stink of alcohol," Envy said. His nose was wrinkled, his brows furrowed. Contempt. Voice lowered, he added, "Do you know how weak that is?"

Ed shook his head.

"Do you know how—" Hesitation. He looked to be searching for the right term. "—how human that is? Fucking pathetic, Ed. Pathetic."

Ed wasn't sure he was following. His brain was still stuck back at: now, wait just a minute; where the hell did you come from?

"Envy..." Ed felt himself swaying, and consequently made the choice to crumple upon the floor, head to the wall, shoulders slumping. "'d you find me?"

And please answer slowly, he wanted to add, since his brain didn't seem too quick on allowing input right at that moment. He couldn't remember most of what he'd just said and done, he didn't know where he was, everything was still kind of vague-looking and now Envy was apparently here and he wondered if maybe he'd forgotten something else, some telling detail, because this didn't make any fucking sense at all.

"Isn't it obvious?" Envy grinned. Grinned in that unique, evil way that only Envy could grin. And then he laughed. Laughed in that unique, evil way that only Envy could laugh. It was mocking, humiliating, terrible, but Ed was used to it and it was welcome and alive, more alive than all the dust Ed had tasted in two weeks—

—and maybe he was drunk, just maybe—

But he couldn't think, not really, because Envy's hands were on his hips, pulling him to his feet, then under his shirt, and then his mouth was against his, lips first, then tongue, then teeth when he bit him, chewed his skin and sucked his breath from his throat and snickered in that way only Envy could snicker. Bastard. Yeah, he was a bastard and Ed hated him but good but fuckfuckfuck his body had been sexual once, once, and then it'd withered and dried out until he'd felt like a log, a set of bricks or something, some inorganic dead deceased thing, but—

—but now it was like a renaissance of the flesh, awakening again when heat and smell and hair came close; the sun was out from behind the clouds and Ed felt blood rush to the surface of his skin as he sighed, then growled and pushed back, already a little flushed and a little breathless (though the ale helped with that, certainly); who the hell cared how Envy had found him? He'd found him, and he was nothing but sensation, so pure that Ed could weep for it.

"Here." Envy touched his head, tilting it, smiling dreamily. He was shaking slightly, Ed noticed, and his laugh broke; it was just a touch creaky. "Here. The Gate. I saw..."


"I saw. It's in me now, dumbfuck! It! The fucking Stone!"

"Buh wha...buh"

"You're an alchemist. We're from the same world. I'm connected to the Gate now. Do the fucking math, Elric!"

Ed had a feeling he was still way too drunk to translate quite what the Sin was attempting to get across, beyond that they had a bond and maybe Envy could locate him even when he couldn't see him, but that felt weird and Ed wasn't even sure if he was hearing it right to begin with.

"Where've you been for so long?"

"How much did you drink?" Envy placed his hands on his hips and smirked.

"I...ahh...none of your fuckin' business..."

"He was a sot know that, Edward?" The moonlight crashed in slivers, like it was made of the same glass as that broken window, like it had shattered. White light rained on Envy's face, showing the wicked glint in his eyes and his too many teeth as he grinned half a world, and he was still trembling; Ed guessed it was rage, pure rage, and lust. Rage and lust. "Like father, like son? Shit from one generation to the next?"

All Edward knew was that he wanted to have Envy, to break Envy, to hold Envy down and fill him and feel that impossible tightness and make him shiver, convulse, moan and scream; the memory of sex—the heady memory of a body all around his cock—was back now, pumping through his veins, and these were frightening thoughts, thoughts he would've never confessed to in a normal state of mind. Thoughts he would've never allowed himself to entertain.

The flesh remembered. The flesh wanted. Its amnesia had passed, and the endorphins now took centre stage with glee.

Everything kept jumping back and forth between slow and fast motion, like the universe couldn't decide if it wanted to race along or grind to a halt.

"I hate it. I hate this Stone, this fucking thing! I hate...HATE what it's doing to me! And that's why..." Envy reached down and pressed his fingertips against Ed's crotch, stroking him through the fabric, two fingers grinding against his not yet engorged cock, and Ed heard himself panting, felt himself growing hard in degrees, blood rushing and filling him. He was hot, sweating; blush was in his cheeks, beneath his skin like magma concealed from the world by a few flimsy blankets of flesh. "That is why you're going to take it out of me! Hear me, Ed? Ed, Edward, Shorty; you bean, you little shit—you're going to help me!"

"...oh-ohhh..." was all Ed could say, because there was no air in spite of his gasping, his foamy ahhhhh, and he bucked, arched, pushed into Envy, grabbed his hair. Envy was—Envy was so much everything; Envy was passion and power, deliciously dark and lovely, and Ed wanted to say please, PLEASE— "I...I can'...I can' take it out..."

"Yes, you can, dumbass! I know how. I know." Envy pointed to his head again, fingers parodying the motion of pulling a trigger on a gun. His grin said he knew everything in this world and his eyes spoke of madness and he looked like he was in such a good mood. Envy hadn't been in a good mood in ages. Some part of Ed was telling him that this was a very bad sign. You didn't want Envy to be in a good mood, as that generally meant he had something to be in a good mood about and that...that couldn't bode well...

"I know," he said in a silky purr, "and I'm going to show you."

In one minute, Ed was being groped.

In the next, he was on the ground, and a foot—a bare foot, but one still barbed with long toes and a deadly level of skill—was jabbing into the muscles of his thigh.

"I can see you're a little slow tonight, but I'm not in the mood for beating around the bush. I brought you here because I'm gonna show you something, and you're gonna give me something, and the more you cooperate, the nicer this'll be for us both."

The floor effused before Ed's eyes, extending in boards and wood, dust and waterfalls of moonlight.

The floor—

The floor, surrounded by corners, topped by a ceiling, and if Ed cocked his head and blinked just so

The floor, and the corners slanted and diverged, and the moonlight flashed and waned and everything grew blurry, then came into focus again.

God, how much did I drink?

"Take it."

It took Ed a few seconds to notice that something hard and cold had been pressed against his palm.

He curled his fingers around it, then pulled.

"Whass...whass this?"

"Something that'd go best in your neck. Or maybe in your eye, or the side of your head."

Envy snickered. Ed didn't think he got it.

He lifted the item above his head and held it up in mute study.

Jagged. Metal. Sharp. Pointy.

A jagged pointy thing!

A jagged pointy thing that was wet and sticky.

"'re-tryin'-ta-kill-me!" Ed gasped, horrified, as soon as realization had dawned upon him.

Not that Envy trying to kill him would've been really surprising or anything, but now of all times?

"Idiot." Envy spat the word, then huffed. Loudly. In the sort of way you only huffed when exasperated, never when winded. "If I wanted you dead..." There was an awkward pause. "If I wanted you dead right this instant, do you think I'd hand you the damned blade? And do you really think you'd be that hard to off in your present condition? Do you seriously think I'd be standing here, instead of kicking your fucking face in?"

Well...Ed guessed that made sense.

"Buh...but...whass..." To demonstrate what he was trying to get across, Ed ran a fingertip along the side of the makeshift knife (really, it looked and felt more like a chunk of metal stolen from some broken machine—or maybe from some mangled tracks in the train yard) then nodded in the direction of his index finger, over which now ran something viscous and liquidy and opaque, all but unseen.

Actually, Ed thought maybe he knew what it was. And he thought maybe asking hadn't been a very good idea.

Envy's teeth shone.

"There are no rats here," he said. "Not now, at least."

Oh. Ohhhhh. Gross. That was gross, very gross. But rats were vermin and they spread diseases and Ed didn't much think he wanted them nibbling at him like they had back in that alley. So maybe that wasn't so bad.


Ed wasn't sure he'd heard right. He stared blankly at Envy, who crouched down until his knees touched the ground. The empty house moaned like a fallen soldier. It was rickety; old. It smelled like rotting wood, leaving a musty odor in Ed's nose. When Envy lowered himself, he cast a shadow in the lake of moonlight around them both.

"Draw the array, Ed. Any array."

Envy's voice was quiet, but it held a note of authority. It was lilting, seductive. Hungry. Ed heard the need, and a part of him wanted to respond to that in a way that Envy seemed a little too teasing to allow for just yet. He pressed his lips together, then licked them. Men wanted to tame the wilderness, and the most terrible side of his psyche wanted to take the Sin down in a way he couldn't entirely map out through logistics, and he didn't know why, but maybe thousands of years after the fact, the cave was still near to a human's mind.

Or maybe he was just drunk off his ass. Well, no. Not maybe on that one.

Envy crouching and telling him to work an array...


Felt familiar.

As Ed sluggishly lowered his hand and drove the tip of the metal into the floor, Envy stood and raised himself to his tiptoes.

Ed couldn't believe Envy wasn't wearing any shoes (had he lost them?); yet for whatever reason, his feet didn't look as dirty as they should've been. Maybe he'd washed them at some point. Ed stared at the arches and the cute toes, then lifted his eyes to fully take in the sight of Envy.

White shirt. No vest. Sleeves rolled up to the elbows. He wore brown pants that were way too short; they barely went past his knees, leaving his calves on display. A triangle of pale skin swooped down in a slim V at the chest, a couple of buttons already undone. Envy was wild. Envy was primal. Envy was blushing dirt on both cheeks and there were spots on the rest of him. He began to undo his shirt further, and as soon as he did so, Ed made the first cut.

Light caught the metal.

Lines, Ed thought. Gotta draw lines.

But his eyes were on Envy's feet again, looking at his ankles.

There was a scraaaaaaaaaatching noise.

"That's not right!" Envy protested with no shortage of haste. "What the fuck? You're drawing it crooked!"

Ed tried again, starting with the circle itself this time.

"No. No! Here. Give me that fucking thing! Do I have to show the alchemist—the drunken alchemist—how it's done?"

Envy sneered and stepped forward, each step heavy on the wood. Ed relaxed as the device was jerked from his hand, and as he heard marks being carved all around him, he laughed and laughed, lost in euphoria and the light of the moon and stars, and distantly—from far away—he heard Envy ask him if he'd bled.


"When you tried to transmute me. Did you bleed? Were you bleeding?"


Envy seemed satisfied with that answer. More noise. Ancient dust rose.

The world was loud. Ed closed his eyes.

When he opened them again, he was on his back, lying in an array, under the stars and the moon and the rafters and the dust, forearm held in someone else's grip, and Envy was sitting on him—sitting on him. Ed felt his eyelids begin to close, felt his jaw go slack, and a part of his mind wasn't forgetting to say—this is your enemy and you hate each other, remember?—but that was all crushed beneath the fact that this enemy was warm. Something warm who spoke his language, offered itself willingly; something warm he could smell, touch, possess, push himself into until it quivered all over and cried out. Something warm and comfortable, and most importantly, something warm he didn't have to worry about hurting.

"You have no idea—" Envy grabbed his own chest, fingers twisting like claws. "—how it feels to burn."

I do, he wanted to argue. And even if he didn't, he wanted it, wanted to burn. Because Envy was dead, but Envy now had more life than he did, and Ed wanted to drink it out of him.

Ed struggled to sit up, breathing hard. The purple eyes were dark with rage or lust or just the shadow of nightfall, the pupils seemingly dilated beyond their usual feline slits, and when Ed met his gaze, those eyes narrowed. His lips looked swollen, a little. Parted. Breath. A tongue.

"F-fuck..." Ed whispered in a puff. Fuck. Just.

He jerked his arm away from Envy's grip—which seemed to give on its own—and buried his hand in the dark hair, pressing close, rubbing his nose in the crook of Envy's neck and whispering words he didn't hear and nuzzling and breathing his scent in deeply. Salty. Hair was sticking all over Ed's face and he was shoving himself into it, lips falling over slurred syllables as he tasted Envy, tasted sweat and stone fluid and hair and skin, so much fucking skin.

When Ed pulled back, he saw that Envy's lips were pressed together tightly, tensely.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing? You can't just..."

He shoved Ed's hand away. Ed ignored him and wrapped his arm around Envy's waist, easing him closer and mmmmming.

"You can't just fucking grope me, asshole..." Envy whispered feverishly, with so much spit, always with so much spit; so much breath, passion. He smiled, then looked uncomfortable, then horrified, then angry, but above all else, he looked challenging. "Let go. Let go or I'll..."

"Mmmm...havin' you here..."

Ed couldn't quite manage to get his thoughts into words. He bit and licked at Envy's neck and ear, growling and shuddering as the homunculus shifted in sudden agitation and—and oh FUCK—hot weight pressed against Ed's groin, squeezingcrushinggrinding. Breathe, breathe, breathe!


"You don't even believe in God!" Envy gritted his teeth and laughed, voice ragged. He'd never had a voice for screaming; it was shredded to tatters now, airy and reedy and whistling, and he huffed with exertion. He seemed to be trying to suppress the raw need Ed heard there, trying to push it down, but it burst forth anyway, coating every frantic word. "I hate this. I hate you."

Always. Always said that.

Like if he didn't, it might stop being true. Like he needed hate as much as he needed Ed.

But having him here—power and anger and helplessness, no self-control—

Having that, having all of it—

Shuffling. Envy shook off Ed's touch and managed to free himself from his clothing, shedding it in a hurry, exposing every inch of the sweat-soaked white skin. Ed stared at his swollen cock, at the muscles and ridges he wanted to press his tongue across and into, at the sweat droplets beading hot on Envy's stomach and sliding into the pinky-sized hole in the middle. Envy leaned back—way back, unnecessarily far back—and every muscle moved, stretched, went on display, skin and skin and skin and moonlight over everything, shining, glistening, wet and hot and tight and not a fucking pinch of fat on that stomach, those arms, anywhere. And then, fuck! Fuck!

He was shaking his head, damp hair touching Ed's own stomach, running his hand through the strands and, and—

Ed emitted a strangled whine. H-hurt. His cock hurt.

It ached, burned. He was burning and he needed release!


He fumbled for the button on his pants; had to get them open, fuck, had to get them open! Something popped and his hand brushed against his cock—hard, painfully hard—fingers closing around it, strokingrubbing clumsily...

He threw his head back and sighed.

And then, as quickly as he'd found succor, something clamped down on his hand, yanked it back. He twitched and shuddered; did Envy want him to beg? He wasn't sure if he was that fucked up, alcohol-wise.

"Wha...what're you..."

Envy only smiled his feral smile.

"Now you're starting to understand how it feels, aren't you, Ed? Isn't it funny, when you want something so badly it hurts and you can't have it? Ever felt that before?"

Of course, he wanted to gasp. Of course. His whole life.

Ed gulped, swallowed shakily as Envy guided his hand to his chest. Pulse. Hot. Incredibly hot, pumping beneath the skin; was it only his heartbeat, or something more? Ed watched, felt as his hand was dragged over Envy's chest, nipples, shoulders. He closed his eyes—closed his eyes and forgot the world and forgot that they were enemies and that this was madness and that this might not be a good thing to sober up to, and for an instant, everything only was.

There was this. This. The moment.

His mother, his father, Al...everyone around him left, everyone around him got hurt. He hurt everyone, always, all the fucking time, but it didn't matter if he hurt Envy, right? Because they hated each other, and Envy hated him, and Envy didn't care, didn't think anything of him, probably couldn't even get hurt.

Fingers over Envy's neck, the contours of his face, forehead, hair, lips and cheeks, then Envy took Ed's hand lower again, down to his stomach—slick and trembling with each breath. Ed bit his lip and groaned, nails grazing the pinched curves on each side of that abdomen; oh God, oh God he wanted to replace the path of his hand with his tongue.

"Spread," Ed demanded, opening his eyes and all but slobbering over the word. "Legs apart. Now."

He was so sore, so sore he thought his cock was going to burst.

Envy laughed. "You won't even remember this tomorrow, you stupid bastard..."

"I'm not gonna let you...anyone...up my ass. Mmmmmffff. Fuck."

"No, you're not a little fucking hypocrite or anything like that, are you, hmmmm?"

Ed found his fingers lowered even further, an invitation to wrap them around Envy's cock, and he accepted, grasped, jerked. Envy cried out in a way that sounded like a sob, then became a laugh, and then he bit down and removed his hands from Ed's, applying them to another task. Light on metal again, flashes of red—but not red, not really, more like fuchsia leaking into red—Envy's breath hitched and he swirled it, painted himself with it, lowered his hands and—

And he was moving forward, straining, sweaty pale thighs hugging Ed's, and Ed broke the touch and scrambled to get out of his clothing because he wanted to feel this, goddamnit, even if it meant coming way too fucking soon. There were arms and legs everywhere, lots of awkward movements, and Envy paused in his work and reached forward and ripped and Ed tried to say —no, no, fuckdamnit, I have to wear those afterwards!—- but then somehow, somehow he was naked, or maybe he still had some clothing hanging off him; he didn't fucking know, but he felt Envy. Felt everything.

He thought he was overstimulated, going to pass out, going to forget to breathe and just hit the damned ground and sleep, but that didn't happen. Instead he had to listen to Envy purr, feel him vibrate as he placed his fingers inside himself, and he couldn't help but watch it, the whole damned show.

"Keep going, Elric. F-f-fuck you; KEEP GOING!"

Ed didn't know if he was still drunk or just incredibly horny, or both, but he took hold of the other's erection, ran his thumb along the moist tip, fingernail grazing the slit; he pressed and squeezed. It throbbed, perfectly thick and lighter than his own, white but overtaken with pink blush. Envy growled and shook, rocked forward, hips pushing, and Ed arched to meet him. Muscles stretched, tugged, nerves and flesh, cocks rubbed together, dripped, stomachs, and Envy kissed him, wheezing, wet and sloppy, biting again; Envy said such dirty things, absolutely fucking filthy.

Fingers dug into Ed's back, waded through tangled blond hair, and Envy sucked a breath in and lifted himself, removed the unbearable heat from Ed's pelvis.

Then something soft teased the head of his cock and the weight shifted (ohfuckohfuckohfuckoh—) and Ed thrust upwards and it pulled off, the fucking heat pulled off, and Ed stared at the bleached flesh and the sultry eyes and the teeth and hair, always those, and he was dizzy and drunk on the sight, drunk and overloaded on every sense. Smelled metal and oil and that whiff of cool stone fluid and saltiness and pre-cum, saw light and dark and sky and moon and heard their breathing joining, coming together, until senses weren't senses any more and everything was just one saturated little world.

"Inhale," Envy said.

Ed did.



Ed heard himself make a noise which sounded like,


and his breath ripped from his lungs.


Like a blaze, the heat engulfed him. Surrounded his cock all clenching, agonizing tightness, lube-slicked, and then Envy rocked back and his legs slipped further on the floor as he settled into into position fully and Ed felt himself go further in, deeper. Buried. All the way. Ed gasped, gasped again, thrust up into it; he'd never get enough air.

He was going to die. He was going to implode. Or explode. Or something.

Ed knew he wouldn't last long, couldn't last long.

Envy's eyes went to the ceiling as he threw his head back, fingers ripping into Ed's skin hard enough to bruise and draw blood. Then, he snarled, shook, shuddered, adjusted himself and moved. That rippling tightness moved, raised, pressed all around Ed, and Ed swore, hips jerking seemingly of their own volition.

He was going to drown in Envy. An unbelievable amount of Envy—on him, around him, in his mind, blood, on his cock.

Panting his name. Panting the most insulting things Ed could imagine as he rode him, fucked himself on him. I hate it. I hate you, he insisted, yet he was holding onto him hard. Hands shifted, clamped on Ed's shoulders, and Envy lifted himself again—

Too high. Ed slipped out with a pop of flesh.

Before he could cough a complaint, Envy groaned, grabbed the cock, and shoved it back in—just like that. Like it was just a mechanical piece to be used.

Envy was the rowdiest, loudest partner Ed could ever imagine having—not that he'd had any others, but fuck. Fuck. Moaning, hissing, snarling and screaming and panting into Ed's open mouth, and Ed heard himself saying, "Yes, yes, yesyesyes...!" while Envy's hips slammed down. Again. Again. With his hair plastered all over him and his eyes half-closed and his expression still changing, and it hurt and burned from the friction. Ed's lap was filled with heat and weight and scorching sweat.

Ed wrapped his arm around the other, sobbed his wordless pleas, felt the loneliness bleed from his body.

And miraculously, somehow, it was Envy who came first.

Ed felt him tense, biting down on his shoulder, shuddering around him harder than ever before, shuddering in his arm while he was inside of him, and Ed heard his name—his name said like that, screamed, howled—and something in his stomach fluttered quickly, exploded—

He tightened, arched, toes curled, threw back his head and sobbed—


Came until he was dry, because he couldn't stop his hips from jerking up againandagainandagain, wringing the last of his air and the last of his sound and the last of his arousal from him.

Orgasm. Started with a bang, ended with a whisper. He, voiceless, began to collapse.

Envy caught him, fisted a hand in his hair, then returned his fingers to the channels his nails had created. Hyper stimulation. Ed was too sore, too sensitive to move, and he suspected Envy must've been, too, because he hadn't shoved him away yet. So Ed held him, twitching and boneless, grateful for the warmth, just waiting for him to tell him to let him the fuck go, or hit him upside the head or something, but Envy couldn't seem to stop twitching. Ed glanced down, once, at the mess in his lap, at the spilled semen in the golden curls, and eventually he felt himself soften fully, sliding out with a long sigh.

Envy muttered curses into his skin, chewed his shoulder until it was red and ready to bleed, and Ed had the vague passing thought that at least it wasn't his neck his teeth were enjoying so fiercely.

"I didn't just bring you here for this," Envy said, finally.

"Hahahahahhh. Heh... guess you got distracted."

"Fuck off."

Envy laughed, shook Ed with the force of his laughter, and Ed wondered if he had cause to be concerned. That was an I-know-something-you-don't-know laugh; Ed was absolutely certain of that.

Outside, it had begun to rain. Ed looked over at the broken window, watching the misty shower, listening to the patter. Without another word, Envy dislodged himself from his enemy's lap—removing the damp, jungle-like heat—sat back, dipped a hand between his own legs, then between Ed's. The blond—being still too sensitive from the combination of the sexual encounter and the drug in his system—squirmed and stuttered, suddenly alarmed.

Envy stood up, then began pacing around the floor on shaky legs, still breathing deeply from the intensity of their encounter, and Ed mourned the loss of that real, live body that had been occupying his lap. He shivered.

And hiccuped.

"My master...she had an old book...something from a dead religion..." Envy broke his speech and his eyes—the eyes of a cat—turned to Ed, and a phantom smirk ghosted about his lips. "Right in the beginning, there's a part that reminds me of this."

Before Ed could ask what he meant, Envy rubbed his toe along the ground as if checking it for one reason or another, and Ed looked down, recalling all at once...

His hand traced the grooves.

Array. He remembered the array. He was sitting, naked, in the fucking thing.

"I wanted this—" Envy held up his sticky hand, sneering maniacally as he ran a tongue along one of his fingers. "—because I don't think...I really don't fucking think you bled when you tried to transmute me. And before you do bleed, before you really fucking bleed, before I get what I want most of all, you're going to help me with this fucking Stone."

Ed didn't understand a word of that rant; groggily, he blinked, opened his mouth to ask what the fuck Envy was going on about, and then Envy threw himself back onto Ed, nibbling at his neck, rubbing him insistently.

"It's in you, you goddamned idiot!" Envy kissed him, pulled his hair (which was, Ed was sure, sticking all over the place), laughed behind clenched teeth, laughed with his wild, slitted eyes, took hold of Ed's hand in one of his own, and lifted it high. Moonlight embossed their fingers. "The fucking alchemy is in you."

And, twisting so fast that pain shot up Ed's arm, Envy crashed their hands together on the floor.

There was a long, long, agonizing moment...

"...impossible..." Ed said, tongue tying itself over the word.


But obviously it wasn't, because he felt the familiar warmth in the tips of his digits—


—heard the electric hum as particles and energy geared up for a dance, a match of swords, and—

Edward wept, shamelessly.

Wept tears of triumph—not joy, not as such, but victory. He was naked, aching, probably about to pass out, and his stomach had begun to churn and shuffle itself into knots and it gnawed and hurt, but that didn't pain in this world mattered any more...

Because there it was.