Rating: Hard R, maybe slipping into NC-17. There's nothing explicit, but things happen or are hinted at.
Spoilers: The series and the movie.
Summary: Mustang made a big mistake.
Thanks to theladyfeylene for the beta! Hope you all enjoy. :D
A sleek hand dug through the bottom drawer of a file cabinet with utmost precision, flipping through the many manila folders efficiently. The room was dark, leaving the figure shrouded from any possibly peering eyes. Granted, it was late into the night and any patrols had probably already given in to sleep. Of course, sneaking in had been child’s play. There was a satisfying thumping noise as more of the folders were pushed forward in the search. Ha, He, Hi, Hu.
It went a bit slower and odd-colored eyes glanced over each name as it went folder-by-folder. There was a hiss of accomplishment when the appropriate folder was yanked out.
Sharpened teeth were revealed as lips turned up into some perverted form of a smile.
Roy Mustang startled out of his daydream that had quickly been turning into a steady doze, only to be greeted with the rather displeased expression of his First Lieutenant.
“You were lucky enough to be given this position again after giving it up to head into the mountains, so I’d suggest you do your paperwork and reassert your worthiness of being here.” Riza Hawkeye’s face was set, brown eyes stern. Another stack of the dreaded paperwork was clutched under her arm, but she soon relinquished herself of it by slamming it down on the corner of the colonel’s desk.
There was some truth to her statement, though that hardly meant that the Flame Alchemist felt like doing it. With a one-eye stare, he glared at the new work.
“Staring at it isn’t going to get it done, Colonel,” Hawkeye muttered, and with that, she left the room.
Leaning forward, the colonel grabbed at one of the papers and skimmed it. It was an evaluation he needed to write about all of his subordinates, reporting on whether they had been doing their jobs or not. He scowled. How was he supposed to properly write about such things when he’d been sulking in snow country for two years?
Of course, as far as he could tell, they were all the same as always. Hawkeye was just as firm about him getting his work done, Havoc was still looking for a girlfriend, Farman rattled off useless facts whenever he deemed necessary, Fury was just as timid, and Breda still hated dogs.
It seemed he’d just have to bullshit his way through it, then. These were small steps that had to be taken until he became Fuhrer. He was still set on that, after all. Somehow, everyone had managed to look past the fact that he’d killed Bradley. Perhaps it was because he’d been gone for so long; people tended to forget about such things eventually. Either way, he’d been given another chance and he wasn’t going to screw it up.
He had a promise to keep, after all.
Tracking Colonel Roy Mustang had been fairly simple. Of course, Greed (for that was his name) was outfitted with abilities that went above and beyond those of any human. In almost all forms, he was superior. Unfortunately, he possessed certain aspects that still screamed human. Perhaps that was why he was busy trailing after the blue-uniformed man like a hungry wolf. His teeth were sharp enough for it.
However, he knew this wasn’t just because of petty emotion. No, it was something much more selfish than that—something greedier than that. He’d planned this out perfectly. Everything would be falling into place soon, now that Roy Mustang was finally settled back in Central.
The man had only been back a few days, but Greed knew where he was going. It was obvious, judging by the heaviness of the colonel’s steps and the small sighs he let out from time to time as he strolled. Actually, it was more of a trudge, though that only became obvious if one was watching as carefully as he was, dissecting every bit of body language.
That home. Greed had visited there before. Of course he had. He’d had a rather fun time there about a week ago, in fact. Of course, Mustang didn’t know that.
As the alchemist neared the house—Maes Hughes’ house—Greed launched himself into a nearby tree, eyeing his prey as he knocked reluctantly on the door.
Why did he subject himself to this? The man looked tortured and yet he forced himself to visit the family of his dead friend. Why? Greed tilted his head studiously, his gaze piercing into the man’s back, into tensed shoulders. He watched as the colonel waited for perhaps too long before knocking yet again; waited a bit longer, and then a third time. Greed could practically hear the man thinking to himself: “Third time’s the charm.”
No response. And looking wonderfully dejected, Roy Mustang pulled himself away from the door and kept walking. To his home, no doubt. Or was it an apartment? Greed couldn’t remember. Not that it mattered. That wasn’t part of the plan. As tempted as he was to follow the alchemist, he knew it wasn’t time yet.
With a small smirk of satisfaction, he leapt from his perch and disappeared into the shadows, heading back home.
Roy arched his back and threw his arms into a stretch with a yawn. It had been about two and a half weeks since he’d started in on that routine again; of being a colonel and working his way up. Somehow, things were drifting into normality. Of course, considering he was busy waiting for a shopkeeper to ring up a bouquet of flowers for him, it wasn’t exactly normal.
These weren’t for the most recent date.
“There you go,” the woman said. She was nice enough, especially since he was a regular at the store now. He grabbed the flowers and his change with another yawn. His back had popped when he’d stretched. It just reminded him of how he was getting on in his years. Thirty-one? Honestly. It was preposterous. Of course, at the rate he was going, he’d still get the title of the youngest Fuhrer Amestris had ever known. He really didn’t have much to worry about. Other than a few more lines lingering beneath his eyes (well, eye, actually, since his eye patch covered a good portion of the left side of his face), he looked much younger than he was.
“Thanks,” he muttered, and he was out the door, on a trek toward the cemetery.
This was something he probably should have stopped doing a long time ago. He’d been unable to when he’d left Central, of course, but now that he was back, it was becoming routine again. In a way, it was something like torture. Standing there and staring at the slab of gray stone continued to hammer a fact relentlessly into his mind. Regardless, it was the only thing he could do. Sometimes, he would stand and speak words that reached no ears.
It was something like a march, his boots crunching into the clean-cut grass. He knew exactly which one it was; could spot it from the entrance of the graveyard. It was a fairly short way to walk. He glanced over at other names that meant nothing to him, but meant worlds to whoever visited them. He wondered if others that came here saw “Maes Hughes” in passing and thought nothing of it.
Once he reached the grave in question, he knelt down to set the flowers over that particular mound of grass with every amount of care. Heaving a sigh, he stood up, circling around the grave to seat himself down behind it, pressing against the back of it. Leaning his head back, he stared at the sky.
“I’m older than you now.”
He could have said more. He could have said much more, but most of it had been said already. He wanted to apologize for things he never should have done, for desecrating a death that should have been held in much higher regard, but…
There was no way to fix it now. What was done was done. Instead, he quietly enjoyed the company of someone that wasn’t actually there. Feeling a bit foolish and somewhat weary, the man eventually got his feet, one tired eye cast across the entire graveyard. It was stained with the orange glow of a setting sun and he had to wonder how much time he had wasted.
Not that it mattered. Shoving his hands into his coat, he headed home.
Oh, how sweet. He was visiting the grave of his long-lost dead friend. Greed found the whole thing almost sickening, but he also got some strange sort of pleasure from the sight. The homunculus made sure to stay at the outskirts of the cemetery, cloaked in shadow. He didn’t need to draw attention to himself. Besides, setting foot in the place made him feel more than a little uneasy. When he’d tried to approach his own grave once before, it had instilled a constricting feeling that unnerved him. He’d decided from then on to keep his distance.
The man was on his way back. Greed grinned, straightening somewhat and preparing. He’d been waiting for this moment for a long while and it was finally the perfect time for it. Mustang looked tired; depressed, even. He knew that the man went to great lengths to ensure that no one was aware of these little visits, so he wouldn’t be expecting any sort of attack. Also, revealing such a familiar face after the colonel had just been at the gravesite would stir all sorts of emotions.
As those footsteps became louder, the sin pressed himself against the wall he’d been shielding himself with. He could blend in skillfully, ensuring that the man wouldn’t see him as he walked by. Gazing down at his hand, he watched as they hardened into black carbon, covering the mark that was usually quite visible on the back of his left hand.
For some reason, he couldn’t prevent himself from tensing as his eyes caught on the back of the man’s uniform. He didn’t hesitate, however, lunging forward soundlessly and looping his arm around his prey’s shoulders, claws pressed slightly against the other’s neck.
The colonel stiffened in place, rigid. Greed’s grin grew. Apparently, he could tell just by the casual tone of his voice. He was pleased by the thought that Roy Mustang was probably pissing his pants at the moment. Of course, most of his antagonizing would need to come at a later time. If they lingered around for too long, people would find them. That would not do.
Therefore, he sped up the process, his free hand clutching at the man’s shoulder to spin him around. The expression that overtook the alchemist’s face was one of pure horror, but strange acceptance. Greed found it strange, how he could read the other’s emotions so easily. Granted, it was to his advantage. He certainly wasn’t complaining. Using the other’s shock to his benefit, he moved one hand to tear at the other’s chest, enjoying the sight of red streaks and tattered cloth that came as a result.
Granted, that woke Mustang up. He jumped back, immediately defensive. Greed could tell. The man was good. He’d heard some talk of him around town, while eavesdropping. It seemed that everyone could only offer praise for Colonel Roy Mustang. In fact, most people thought he would make a wonderful Fuhrer, supporting him even after what had apparently happened two years ago.
It would be wonderful to own such a man.
There was no time to waste, so Greed cut to the chase, darting forward. But Mustang was quick and before the homunculus could get to him, he heard the snap of fingers that apparently was a trademark for the alchemist. Heat sprouted up around him and then blew him back, but he was no human; landing on his feet like a cat, he felt his sizzling skin heal up instantaneously and ran forward again, covering more of his body in that indestructible black carbon.
Apparently, Mustang was unfamiliar with the Ultimate Shield, since he seemed perplexed by the sight of it—not scared. If people were aware of what it was, they knew that meant they had a fairly bad chance of living. As he got nearer, the man clapped his hands, red alchemical power forming between them as he pressed them against the wall he’d backed himself into.
Well, that was new. That portion of the building combusted, and the debris shot at him in fiery blasts. He ducked, running and sliding beneath the attack. Having mainly avoided getting singed, his slide took him right to his prey’s feet. A clawed hand grabbed at one calf, slightly above the boot, dug in, and then worked to yank the man to the floor.
Succeeding thanks to a little bit of effort and lot of a homunculus-granted strength, he took relish in the sound of the colonel’s body colliding into the hard ground next to him. The man stared at him, faltered, and then tried to scoot away.
He pounced on the man, pinning him down as he grabbed both of his shoulders and scraped his claws into them.
“C’mon, Roy,” he said with a small smile. “You’re no fun.”
The terrified look that garnered would leave him satiated for a week. One hand moved up to grab at black hair, utilizing it to yank his head up and then shove it into the ground, hard. That seemed to do the job, as the alchemist’s struggling had immediately ceased. He may have gone a little too far, however, considering the man was now bleeding from the back of the head. Ah well. A little blood loss never hurt anyone and at least their scuffle had screeched to a stop. No nosy people would investigate—and even if they did, he’d be long gone.
With a huff, he got to his feet, dusting himself off and retracting his shield before heaving Roy Mustang over his shoulder.
Drifting into the shadows, he started for home (or as close to a home as he could get) with his catch.
It had been a stupid idea from the start. However, when alone for too long with only pieces of paper and pencils as company, notes were scribbled and arrays were drawn—and the mind journeyed back to past years. There was simply too much time; how else could he pass it save for perfecting a theory he had vowed never to use?
It made one a little crazy, being without human contact for too long. Roy Mustang had his alchemy, but he wasn’t using it—wasn’t snapping his fingers. Instead, he would sit, aggravated, before a hearth he couldn’t light.
His home (if it could be called that; it was more like a hut) was already far detached from the small town he was humbly assisting as a police officer, but he dragged himself even farther away that one night. It was during a snowstorm, which ensured he wouldn’t be followed. All of the tracks left by his snow boots were quickly covered by the heavy snow that was drifting down.
No person in his right mind would have dared to venture outdoors. Roy Mustang hadn’t been mentally sound at the time.
Obviously, the process couldn’t be done outside. The snow would have quickly washed away any attempts at a transmutation circle. The alchemist had put some research into this plan of his, luckily. He’d located a cave a few days prior that he deemed as the perfect spot. Far removed from any shred of life, he could try and bring someone back.
It was a procedure he’d put a good year of study into, though it had been staggered over long periods of time. Regardless, he was well-versed in the subject. Setting everything up was simple. The hardest part, in fact, was gathering up the nerve to actually go through with the final step. Even after days of deliberating (should I, shouldn’t I?) it took a lot of willpower to actually place both hands at the edge of the etched circle.
After that, it was a mix of images that moved to fast, the click of a sudden realization, and then a twisting, unbearable pain.
The pain, in fact, was so bad that it washed his mind of everything else. It didn’t have the capacity to register what he’d seen, what he’d done, or even why he was on the floor with his middle torn into shreds. The only thing that registered was that it hurt, it hurt, and it had to stop.
An immeasurable amount of time was spent on the floor writhing before he was able to piece together that he needed to get somewhere safe, somewhere not-so-cold, somewhere with bandages and sutures and warm beds. His thoughts were fleeting, but eventually the general message got through: he had to move.
Morbid curiosity forced his gaze to travel down to the source of the pain, though all he could see was exposed organs and too much blood. He knew that it was on the stone, red red red.
One hand was kept at his abdomen as some sort of security (and perhaps to keep everything where it should be) as the other reached out and began to drag himself across the rock and into the snow. He vaguely heard a strangled moan behind him, but he couldn’t, he couldn’t, he had to get back or he’d die and then there was no point to the entire thing.
Somehow, through too much willpower and this lingering feeling that he still had far too much to do, he pulled himself back towards civilization. It was as he was finally glimpsing the first signs of bright lights and activity that he finally passed out.
Waking up in a bed instead of not waking up at all was definitely a good thing. Of course, being drugged left the alchemist hopelessly incoherent for a few days after awakening. Even when he did remember how he got into the entire mess in the first place, there wasn’t much he could do. He was completely bedridden, the doctors told him. But what he wanted to know was exactly what was wrong.
Apparently, a villager had seen a speck of something amongst all of the white during that snowstorm and people had been sent out to investigate. Finding a police officer that was profusely bleeding and on the verge of death had been a rather nasty shock, but they’d managed to get him to the town’s hospital in time. Everyone kept telling him that it was a miracle that he was alive.
Roy was merely starting to think that he couldn’t die. After the event with Archer and his eye and then this whole ordeal, he had to wonder if he had that elusive immortality that so many people seemed to be searching for.
As far as what exactly had been wrong with him—well, all of the doctors were baffled. The damage was bad, though. In all of the necessary detail, they told him that one lung, one kidney, and halves of his spleen, gall bladder, and pancreas were no longer there. They kept asking him what happened and he kept insisting that he didn’t remember.
Many weeks were spent in that same bed, being brought bad meals and buckets of pity. Don’t you have people that will come visit you? That’s what they asked. No, no, he said. That, after all, was why he was in his current situation. He had subordinates, true, but none of them knew he was hospitalized. And as the days had gone by, all of them had stopped coming as frequently. It was understandable; he’d been lousy company during his moping.
Being Roy Mustang, who couldn’t stand being in a hospital for a week, much less months, he had gotten himself checked out of the facility as soon as possible. The first thing he did was head back to that cave, but there was nothing waiting for him there; no monstrosity, no friend, nothing. It was a bit disconcerting, but a detailed search of the surrounding area revealed nothing but barren landscape.
Life had gone on, as it always would, and somehow he was able to put the ordeal from his mind. Simply trying had soothed something that had been cracked inside of him, and while living was a little harder afterward—he couldn’t exert himself as much, tired quickly, and was generally weak—at least he had made the effort for a dear friend.
Waiting was something that Greed didn’t particularly like, but for the sake of getting the things he wanted, he was willing to do it. Yawning, he shifted in the comfortable armchair that was only one of many things he’d accumulated to furnish the abandoned building he’d made his own. He kept to the basement, which was conveniently spacious, mainly because it was much easier to hide that way. The upstairs portion looked just as run down as it had been the day he’d found the place.
Violet eyes set intently on his newest catch. He had Roy Mustang lying on the floor. There were countless comfier places he could have put the man, but he wanted him to be humiliated when he woke up, gagged and bound on the ground. Oh yes, Greed had seen to restraining the man. He knew that one of the Flame Alchemist’s legendary attacks could be rather painful if he was caught off-guard, so it was best to keep him this way. At least for now.
A blindfold wasn’t necessary. After all, what fun would it be if the colonel couldn’t see anything? That would also prevent the homunculus from catching each and every expression on Mustang’s face.
It had been a few hours and the alchemist had shown no sign of moving. Greed had remained stuck to his chair, watching and waiting. Though tempted to deal with other matters, he wanted to be there when that one eye was opened. He had this all planned out and there was no chance that he was going to let it go awry after so much careful thought.
Finally, Mustang was shifting. Greed sat up a little straighter in his chair, but he didn’t stand. He stared, a grin quickly claiming his mouth as he observed the dazed, disoriented movements the man was going through. It didn’t take long before he had a groggy gaze turned his way, though it soon became alarmed as the man made an attempt to sit up that was impeded by the fact that his hands were unusable.
Greed couldn’t help it. He laughed. How pathetic. “No, it wasn’t a dream,” he stated jubilantly.
The alchemist made more attempts to move, though it seemed that it wasn’t long before he realized that there was no way he was getting out of the hideout until Greed had done what he wanted with him. Mustang settled there, on the floor. “Good,” Greed murmured. “If you continue to be uncooperative, things end up being so much more difficult.” He let out an exaggerated sigh and ran a hand through his dark hair.
“Now, Colonel, we get to have something called story time.” The homunculus looked overjoyed by this fact, but his prey didn’t hold the same sentiment. The human had a rather disgruntled expression on his paled features.
“Come, now,” Greed urged. “Don’t look like that. Cheer up a little! You always were a bit of a stiff, weren’t you?”
Mustang tensed. Greed mentally danced. He knew those tender spots by heart.
“All right, then.” The sin leaned back in his seat and examined his nails casually. “Where to start? Well, as you can imagine, someone stumbled upon me up there in all that snow. An alchemist, amazingly enough. Apparently the guy actually knew a thing or two. He knew what I was, anyway, and gave me some red stones to make me a little more pleasant to look at. I was raised by him.” Even though he was speaking of someone he should have been grateful to, his tone didn’t insinuate any such sentiment.
“He thought he could use me. From what I’ve heard, a lot of people think they can use homunculi.” He seemed amused by this notion, but for once he contained his laughter. “Once I got myself on my own two feet, I killed him and headed off on my own. I’m Greed! Like hell was I gonna stay with that idiot.” The sin scoffed.
“So, as you can imagine, I ended up in Central.” Suddenly, Greed paused. His capture hadn’t been responding much to his story. Was Mustang simply being polite? Greed doubted it. The human seemed awake enough, but he wasn’t shaking or sweating or…
Well, that would come in due time.
“After all,” he continued as if he had never stopped, “Central is the biggest city in this damn country. Of course I was going to find my way there. Though I’m sure you can predict what happened. I’d barely been in the city for five minutes before someone was staring at me and asking why the hell I wasn’t dead. ‘Maes Hughes,’ this guy said. ‘Maes fucking Hughes!’” He paused, this time for effect.
“Well, that gave me a pretty good hint about who I was supposed to be. Considering the idiot who approached me was wearing a military uniform, I took a wild guess and assumed this Maes Hughes had been valiantly serving his country.” He smirked as he spoke, obviously enjoying the colorful animation of his travels.
“I snuck into headquarters—that was pretty easy, actually. I only had to kill a few guards. And then I found the full file on Maes Hughes. I read it up and then read up on any other people mentioned in the file. Roy Mustang was in there. So were Gracia Hughes and Elysia Hughes.” This was getting close to the climax now. Greed stood from his chair and stepped over to the alchemist, crouching down in front of the pathetic man.
“I’m Greed, of course,” he continued, and there was a prominent flash of his too-sharp teeth as he spoke. He noticed that Mustang was staring at them. “So I decided that I wanted to obtain everything that my previous self had.” Greed was about to say more, but he stopped himself.
“…Perhaps it would be better if I show you.” He grabbed the rope that was coiled around the human’s wrist and used that to hoist him to his feet. A painful cry came from that pale throat and Greed snickered at the sound. Once Mustang was standing, the homunculus started to lead him to a different room.
Once there, the muffled noises of protest from two figures could be heard. Greed grinned as he shoved Mustang forward to see what was there.
Seated in two perfectly arranged chairs, similar rope was binding their wrists, though they were gagged—not blindfolded. Two scared sets of eyes stared at both Greed and Mustang and the homunculus had to contain his exaltation at such a tense moment.
“Were you wondering why they weren’t there when you went to visit a few days ago, Roy?” The man didn’t have to know that he had been watching him. If anything, a lack of explanation would freak him out even more. It already seemed that he had fallen into a state of shock, pulling uselessly (uselessly) at the rope around his wrists as he stared hopelessly at the woman and the child.
“I had to start with them, of course. I hope you aren’t offended that I didn’t go after you first.” As he spoke, Greed stepped over to the two chairs, slinking behind them so he could set a hand at the back of each of the captive’s necks. The alchemist was tensed, but he wasn’t moving from where Greed had left him. It seemed he was frozen in place.
“You complete the puzzle, don’t you?” Greed almost chuckled when he felt Gracia struggling under his grasp and heard the muffled cries of a girl that was far too young to comprehend what was going on. He wondered what she would have done were she untied. Would she reach out to the colonel, ask for help? That would have been wonderful to see, but he didn’t want to bother untying her at the moment. After all, she might end up doing something idiotic that could spoil the moment. “Gracia, Elysia, and Roy. Those were the people Maes Hughes cared about the most.” He gave a sinister smile that didn’t look anything like an expression the man he was speaking about would possess.
“They are mine. They belong to me now. They aren’t going to leave this place unless I give them permission to. And don’t worry. I’ve been very careful. There’s a good chance no one is going to find them, no matter how hard they search.” The sin pulled away from the two figures and stepped back over to his newest possession. “You’re going to belong to me, too, Roy.” He placed a hand at the man’s throat, fingers twitching almost as if he was going to tighten his grip in a choking manner.
Greed refrained, letting those digits fall to brush against the fabric over the alchemist’s collarbone before pulling away completely. “You worked so hard to bring him back, didn’t you? And this is what you get for it.” He took a step away, outspread his arms and grinned.
“Tell me, Roy…” The homunculus walked around, trying to make a point of what he was with each step, showing off the black and red attire that defined what he was—but more importantly, what he wasn’t. “What did you lose when you tried to bring him back? You must have lost something, even if I can’t tell just by looking at you.” He paused, his eyes roaming blatantly over Mustang from head to toe. “I researched everything, you know. Considering I am a homunculus, I figured I needed to know everything that had to do with that.”
The colonel was being quiet. From what Greed knew of the man, this was commonplace. That didn’t mean he liked it. “Show me, Roy.” His tone softened, wondering if making himself sound more like Maes Hughes might make the man cooperate. When there was still no response, he gritted his teeth and stalked over to the man with a growl. “Tell me or I’ll search for it myself.”
Nothing. Now Greed was losing his patience. He placed his hands on the man’s uniform and started to take it off. He would find it, even if he had to completely strip him. The alchemist began to protest and he heard some gagged noises of the two behind him, but the homunculus didn’t stop. With the blue jacket off, he started at the white undershirt and then moved on to the pants. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw that Gracia had her hand over her daughter’s eyes. Heh. How cute.
Yanking down the pants and undergarments, he urged his prey to step out of them once they got to his ankles. There he was, naked and vulnerable and he would be his. Greed was high on the feeling, but there was still no hint at what had lost.
“…Tell me, Roy,” he said quietly, glancing up at him with imploring violet eyes.
“One lung, one kidney, half of my spleen, gall bladder, and pancreas. All gone.” Roy was speaking softly, looking away, obviously ashamed with the situation. Being naked could be humiliating, couldn’t it? However, the way he rattled that off caused Greed to think that he knew it by heart. Which made sense. That must have hurt like a bitch.
“Interesting,” Greed purred, glancing at his mid-section as if he could tell now that he knew some of the insides were missing. Nothing looked too different, but having so much taken must have been affecting the man somehow. “All halves. Hughes must have been like your other half, hmm?”
He was saying it casually, but Mustang responded strangely. The man looked away and his remaining eye seemed to fill with a shred of pained emotion—though it was gone in a second. But Greed had caught it. Because Greed was Greed, but he had once been Hughes. Well, that was somewhat debatable, but he liked to pretend.
But what had he said that had struck a nerve? His other half… his other half…
Wait one second. Greed was going off quite a big hunch, but Roy was supposed to be his anyway, so he figured he could get started. With a last glance back at Gracia and Elysia, to make sure they were still paying attention, he stepped over to Roy. He made his expression friendly, caring, Hughes-like. He wasn’t the perfect mimicker, but he knew enough that it should have some meaning. The look Roy gave him in return seemed to reinforce that belief.
“Your other half,” the sin repeated, and his hand suddenly touched at his victim’s chest. He felt taught muscles and could tell Roy had been perspiring. When he got no real response, he figured he could continue. As his hand moved down the man’s chest and torso, there was more and more tensing. He just wasn’t sure if it was the good or the bad kind yet.
It wasn’t long before Greed reached the telling place, however. He pressed his palm against tender skin and when Roy reacted, he could tell he liked it.
This all made a whole lot of sense now. Ignoring Gracia’s protests from behind, he kept at it, pressing a little harder and curling fingers. The flesh was warm and Roy was sweating more. “You liked him, didn’t you? You wanted him. Just like I want you now.”
The man’s breathing was getting hurried and Greed was feeding off of his need. He started to laugh, but never stopped touching. “You kept it a secret. No, he couldn’t know. He had a family! But you thought about him all the time, didn’t you? Touching yourself just like this.” His voice was low and husky and he was leaning in near his ear, his breath no doubt tickling at Roy.
“Now you have it, Roy. You have him, whether you want to believe it or not.” These were the same hands, weren’t they? The same voice, the same body. Maybe not the same eyes, but with everything else intact, did that really matter? He kept going and the alchemist worsened, trying to be quiet for the sake of the child in the room. It wasn’t working so well, though.
“Don’t complain. You want to be here. You’ll like it here. I’ll make sure of that.” Greed’s voice was dangerous, silky, commanding. As he spoke, his free hand grabbed at some of the man’s hair and yanked it backward. He removed his busier hand, balled it into a fist, and decked Mustang in the face.
Watching him crumple to the floor with a yell was extremely satisfying.
“You’re mine, Roy. That means I can fuck you, touch you, beat you, ignore you, keep you, leave you, like you, hate you…” And he would leave that last one hanging. It was perhaps the one Roy wanted to hear the most, but he wasn’t going to give it to him. Maybe later, maybe later. Not yet.
Greed kneeled over the man. He’d split his lip and it was bleeding. Lapping up the liquid with a flick of his tongue, he made things worse with a blackening of his arms, quickly-clawed fingers tearing into pale skin just to prove that he could do whatever the hell he wanted, even without reason. He beat him, tore into him until his body shut down. Once he was sure Roy was out cold, the homunculus stood gracefully, claws dripping with blood like some sort of savage (beautiful) beast.
Razor teeth were exposed as he grinned a shark’s grin. “Hope you enjoyed the show.”
There was a bit of pain and a feeling of constraint as Roy woke up. His head felt blocked up and muddled—like it might feel after being hit too many times. He was lying on a bed that wasn’t comfortable enough to be his own…
And the longer he thought it over, the more he realized that he was in a completely undesirable situation. Growling, his one eye was opened to scan himself over. He was bandaged in quite a few places, which explained the constraining feeling. It didn’t help to see that some blood had seeped through a few of the white wrappings.
The homunculus had captured him, captured Hughes’ family…
He didn’t really want to think about it beyond that. This situation was too out of his control for him to like it. Usually, something like this would be simple. He would have already been devising a way to get out, get away, get back to normality and get the villain taken care of.
But this was Hughes, or at least the next best thing. And the sin had been right about a few of the things he’d been spouting out—one of them being that Roy was a bit particular when it came to his best friend.
Hughes was dead. Roy figured he’d gotten over that already. He’d lost a lot of his internal organs to get over it, but he had. This was not Hughes. But he could act like Hughes when he wanted, sound like Hughes, and give him things Hughes could never have been expected to give him.
The idea was tempting, but that made him just as sinful as the sin.
Any further thought on the matter was interrupted when the sin in question stepped into the room, a fully cooked breakfast on a rather nice tray in hand. The look-alike stepped over to the bed and placed the tray into Roy’s lap.
Roy stared at the food. Eggs, toast… And he was betting Greed had done the bandaging, too. Talk about mood swings.
“Don’t worry,” the homunculus said. “I think I’m done with the whole anger thing.”
Roy wasn’t eating. Greed grumbled, spooned some scrambled eggs, and shoved it towards Roy’s mouth. Roy didn’t budge. Greed pressed the spoon against his lips. Roy frowned.
“Just eat it. If I wanted to kill you, I’d think of something much more interesting than poisoning you. Like taking the rest of your organs, for instance.”
Roy figured that was a point well-taken and took a bite, snatching the spoon once he had so he could feed himself.
“Touchy, touchy! Listen, you. You’re mine from now on, all right? You’re going to stay here. I’m a pretty nice guy when I’m not pissed off and I’ll take good care of you—that’s only fair, after all—so let’s just try and get along.”
Roy looked like he was ready to protest, but Greed slipped in, “For old time’s sake?”
It was stupid. The alchemist wasn’t one to fall for petty tricks, but Hughes had always been a weak point. He frowned and glanced up at the man, still looking dubious.
“C’mon,” Greed urged, lacing his hand down to brush at Roy’s chin, “isn’t this what you always wanted? Maybe not exactly like this, but here’s your chance! You can be mine.” There was something unspoken there, Roy thought. I can be yours. Greed wasn’t supposed to say things like that, but if it had been Hughes…
If it had been Hughes, this wouldn’t be happening! The colonel growled and looked away, but grabbed his toast.
“You are mine. All right? There’s no negotiation here. May as well get used to it, I figure. Look, you aren’t even tied up! Just know that if you try to escape, I’ll have to use more bandages.”
“I’ve killed a homunculus before, you know. Don’t underestimate me.”
“Not one that looked like this.”
The door slammed. Roy glanced down at the sheets.
This was going to be difficult.
After assuring that he could walk around without too much trouble (which took a while), Roy decided he would explore what apparently was going to be his new home. At least for a while. He was hardly resigned to thinking he’d be there for the rest of his life.
Stumbling upon Gracia had been a little unexpected. Something had led him to thinking that Greed would ensure that they remained separate. That didn’t mean he wanted to approach her, exactly. Considering what she had witnessed, things would be a little awkward. However, his attempt to get away without her noticing failed.
He stopped, sighed, glanced over. She was in the kitchen, cooking something up for Elysia, no doubt. Roy shuffled in and settled down at the table.
“Are you okay?” Her eyes were fixated on his bandages. He was feeling better, but those were still necessary.
“I’ll live,” he offered with a small sigh. It was hard to say that with as much confidence, given their situation. “How about you?”
Gracia frowned. “It’s been…”
“I know.” Hard. “I’m sorry you had to see that.”
“It wasn’t your fault. He did it.”
Roy nodded. “I suppose you’re right. Still…”
“Is it true?”
Why did she have to ask that? He’d been expecting it, but there had been some small hope that she wouldn’t touch that subject. He didn’t respond, figuring she could interpret his silence however she wished.
“…Sometimes, he acts like him,” she continued. “And…”
“I know.” He really didn’t want to talk about it. He’d been through the inner monologue ten times over. But Gracia had never been through something this traumatizing, had she? No, she’d been protected from all of that, just as Hughes had wanted her to be. The first tragic thing she had experienced that Roy knew of was her husband’s death.
Now this. And it was his fault.
“I did it, you know. I’m not sure if you caught that, but…”
“I know.” Now she was doing it to him.
“I’m sorry. It was…”
“I understand. If I were an alchemist…”
Roy sighed heavily. “Your poor daughter.”
Gracia didn’t respond to that.
“Uh-oh.” Both of them tensed at that voice. “Is there some unrest stirring in the ranks?”
In walked the sin. Both stared. It was the ghost of a man they had both cared about, which meant it was hard for them not to look. Greed seemed to soak up the attention like a sponge.
“Come along,” he continued, stopping near Roy to take him by the wrist. “Mutiny wouldn’t exactly fit in with my plans.” Roy was being tugged to his feet, but he didn’t bother fighting it. The past few days, he had been treated decently, so what was the point of struggling? That would just earn him more wounds.
When Greed started to yank him out of the kitchen and lead him away with his hand still curled around his wrist, then Roy had to protest. He pulled away. “I can walk on my own.”
“I wanted to take you somewhere,” Greed responded, not skipping a beat.
Roy raised an eyebrow. This was new. “Where?”
His wrist was grabbed again. “Come on.”
With his curiosity peaked, Roy didn’t really mind. It wasn’t a long walk, either, though Roy did his best to remember it. He hadn’t been able to scope out the entire place yet, but he wanted to eventually know where everything was. That might help when a possible escape effort became a more realistic idea.
The room he was taken to was certainly interesting. It was filled with all manner of Hughes-things. Pictures, clothing, bed sheets… It looked exactly like Hughes’ room might have looked.
“I gathered.” The amount of collection that had been done was astounding. Then again, this was Greed. It made sense. Roy was a bit occupied with looking at everything. There were some photographs with him in them, even. He picked up a particular frame, one that held a picture he also had a copy of, and sighed.
“You didn’t just want him.”
Roy grumbled. He didn’t like how the sin would state everything as fact, as if he had everything all figured out, but it was true.
“It wasn’t all physical. It was emotional, too.”
Roy could feel him coming up from behind. He could tell; he should have moved away. But when a hand touched at his lower back, he didn’t regret it.
“We can go one step at a time, though, can’t we?” The sin was leaning in closer to him now, whispering in his ear like he’d done that first time. He hated it, but it made him shiver, which meant…
“Physical is a little easier than emotional, Roy. So let’s start there.” That hand moved to lace fingers with his and Roy had to close his eye, sigh and lean his head back against the imposter’s neck. But with his eye closed, it felt the same. Not the same, since he had never felt it before. But it felt like how it would have felt, had it ever happened. And it never would have happened, so this was a guilty pleasure.
But he didn’t mind.
“I know you won’t be mine unless I make the effort, too,” Greed went on. “Homunculi might not have souls—and I’m still wondering over that fact, but let’s assume it’s true. Regardless of that, we do feel. So…”
“All right,” Roy interjected, finally. “All right.” You don’t have to convince me.
“Look at this.” Suddenly, Greed pulled away and started to dig through a drawer. It wasn’t long before he pulled out a familiar blue uniform. “It’s his.”
Roy nodded, stepping over slowly and staring at the fabric. He ran his hand over it.
“Here.” Greed handed it over.
Roy brought the material to his face, could still smell his smell on it. Something in him cracked a little and he felt pained in a way he hadn’t in a few months. It happened from time to time. One little thing caused that entire feeling of loss to wash over again. He soundlessly handed the uniform back to the sin and went to settle himself down on the bed, if only to get off his feet.
“I’ve never put this on.” Why was the homunculus still talking? Roy didn’t want to hear that voice anymore. “I’ve thought about it, but I never had the guts. It sounds stupid. I want to be him, after all. But… I’ll never really get there, I guess.” There was some bitter laughter that reminded Roy of himself.
“So… Roy… you think you can handle a shoddy imitation? Not what you wanted, but…”
“Why are you asking me that?” Roy snapped. “You’re supposed to be in charge here, I thought.”
“I know… I know. But. Fuck. You made me. If I can have you…”
“You can have me. Just do it… Greed.”
“You can call me Hughes if you want.”
Roy was joined on the bed, a weight settling next to him. Those hands touched at both his shoulders and pulled him into something that resembled a hug. But things turned in the expected direction as the hands moved down his sides, pressing into his cloth-covered skin—as if they wanted to know that skin and remember it—before reaching his hips.
“I said that.”
Lips pressed against Roy’s neck.
Waking up next to someone who looked like Maes Hughes was not something Roy had ever been expecting to occur in his lifetime. (Especially when it included the without-clothing thing.) Blinking over at the sleeping homunculus (he hadn’t even been sure if the things did sleep), Roy wasn’t sure what to do with himself. It had been everything he’d hoped for, thought about, stared out windows dreaming about, but….
It wasn’t Hughes.
Hughes was a pipe dream, though. He would have been a pipe dream, even if he were alive. He’d rather he was alive instead of this, of course, but that wasn’t possible. He’d tried. So why not take advantage of this? And Greed was willing to deal with all of the emotions, too, so…
Roy startled. Why did the homunculus have an uncanny ability of “sneaking up” on him like that? He hadn’t even noticed that he’d woken up.
“I’m fine,” the colonel said sternly.
“So, think you could work with this owning thing?”
“All right, all right. I’ll earn it. I think it’s worth it if it’s for his best friend and all.” The sin leaned against him and Roy didn’t pull away.
“I just don’t know.”
“I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
Roy stared at Greed. That silly sort of concern was something that would have suited Hughes. It didn’t seem right coming from a sharp-toothed mouth, but for once it also didn’t seem like the sin was forcing it just to use against him.
“…No. It was fine.”
There was a good amount of silence after that, but it was the enjoyable kind, where they were simply laying in each other’s company. Eventually, Roy got to his feet with a yawn.
“I’ll see about making breakfast.”
“All right. I should check in on the others, anyway.”
It was while Roy was busy trying to make a decent omelet that Elysia scampered in and almost caused him to spill the hot food all over himself.
“People are here!” she yelled.
Roy raised an eyebrow at her. “What?”
“People are here. To help us!”
Before he could further question the over-excited, perhaps panicking girl, there was a gunshot from a few rooms away. “Shit.” He had the sense to turn off the stove before rushing in the direction of the noise. “Stay there!” he yelled back at Elysia.
Tearing through two or three doorways led him to a scene that involved Riza Hawkeye pointing a smoking gun at an already wounded homunculus, with two other military men dragging Gracia away and toward the stairs that would take her out.
“Colonel!” Hawkeye exclaimed, shooting a short glance at him but keeping most of her attention on Greed. “We’re here to get you out of here!”
Roy ran a hand through messy hair, not quite sure what to do about this. He stupidly made eye contact with Greed and saw that betrayed, what-the-hell-is-this-all-about look that made his decision that much harder. Before he could do or say anything, the two men that had carted Gracia away were back and heading in his direction. Someone else followed shortly after them, a higher-ranking officer that was holding a bag of something.
Greed tensed and stared. “What the hell?” he hissed.
Hawkeye turned to Roy, a little calmer now. “We have his remains,” she explained, nodding to the bag. “We can handle it from here, sir. You should get out of here and get some rest.”
“Sir.” Hawkeye’s eyes were hard and unrelenting.
“Roy!” Greed yelled, tone desperate and perhaps scared. He was nursing a bullet wound in his thigh with one hand and tried to drag himself over, but Hawkeye followed him with her gun.
“Stay where you are!” she yelled.
This was a homunculus, Roy told himself. Dangerous, bad for his health, and generally considered a dirty mark on alchemists and society. A mistake, his mistake. He was falling into a trap, right?
The colonel’s breath hitched. By now, he had two sets of hands on him, pulling him away, toward the stairs. Dragged.
“I’m…” What did he say? Greed was staring at him, pleading with him with those violet eyes. Shit! “I’m sorry!”
Up the stairs he went.
Half an hour later, he was settled on a street corner with a warm blanket around his shoulders, being carefully watched by his two escorts. Gracia and Elysia were nearby and looked as shaken up as he felt, though most likely not for the same reasons.
Hawkeye finally emerged from that building he’d been spending the last however many days in, looking exhausted. She eyed him and walked over, standing near to him but not too close.
“…You killed him.”
“You’re angry? Sir, he was…”
“I made him. I should have dealt with him.”
“Sir, I think…” Hawkeye frowned, searching for the proper words to use. “Stockholm Syndrome. Have you ever heard of that, sir?”
“Don’t patronize me,” Roy said coldly, staring forward.
“Sir!” Hawkeye looked taken aback.
Finally, silence. He bowed his head.
“Is it raining this time?”