[ Authors: ] jantra and raveechidna
[ Rating: ] For 30_tortures: Session #1 - The Naked Truth
[ Series: ] FMA
[ Pairing: ] None, amazingly.
[ Rating: ] R for torture and other shivery ideas.
[ Disclaimer: ] Neither of us, sadly, own FMA or its characters. We just own the order in which the words are on the page.
Roy Mustang slowly awoke, feeling the hounds of hell howling and baying through his mind in the form of a hangover. He rolled over, ever so slowly, giving his headache the rule of his body and the speed at which it could move. There was a bit of confusion when he realized his shoulder was complaining about something. What was it? He had to wade through the mass of pain to realize his skin was being abraded quite painfully. That added a whole new layer of confusion on top of his already addled mind. Did he fall asleep on the floor? He laid there in stillness, trying to pull together the odds and ends of last night.
Bar, check. Horrible music on the radio, check. Many, many, many shots of whiskey and several things he didn’t even know the name of, check.
Going home… no check. Even leaving the bar… no check. Shit.
A yawn threatened to not only break his jaw but his skull as well. A weak little sound left him and he completely missed how it echoed. His cheek was starting to give the same complaints his shoulder was. Slowly, ever so slowly, he dared to open an eye. At first there was just a murky endless plain of grey. He knew this little test and waited it out… but it didn’t change. No. He was laying on a plain grey, and evidently very rough, floor. The second eye joined its brother in the open state and there was now depth to the grey plain. Little swirls in the floor told part of him he was laying on cement. That seemed to trigger another piece of information from his body. This was very cold cement. And somewhat damp. Oh yes, this was bad.
He brought his hands flat under him and pushed up slowly. The world tilted at a nauseating angle before he got himself up into a full upright position. Roy’s eyes focused on a wall that seemed so like the floor at first it perplexed him completely, until he let his gaze follow a crack to another crack to another crack to another crack…
Oh god, he had to stop. Now. He closed his eyes and sighed slowly to settle his mind and stomach.
Endless, annoying dripping.
Now his brain just had to focus on that sound because it had realized it existed. It quickly began to wait for the next bothersome drip. Roy brought his hands up to his hand and cradled the aching skull in, now he realized, bare hands. He was in some completely foreign place and his gloves were gone.
Oh, hell. So where the rest of his clothes. He was naked. The situation went from bad to horrific.
He realized quickly he couldn’t look up, for he only got a glimpse of damp-glistening pipes and a single bare bulb before his headache threatened to kill him right on the spot. It took a good ten minutes before he got enough of a handle on himself to dare risk opening his eyes again. Many drunken mornings prepared his mind to run through the scenarios that could have happened. He had fought the Fullmetal. He had way, way to many unpleasant memories during that fight. He had decided to go get drunk to forget after having to clean up as much as he could. He had gotten drunk.
And still nothing was equaling four with the two that he had in mind. Where was the other two? He had always to manage to put two and two together to make four even in the most horrid of hangover wake ups roll over and see some hideous woman times. Not today. His brain was on strike. Damn how much DID he have to drink!?
A weak groan left him and he opened his eyes, head tilting to fixated his gaze on the door. A heavy door set right into the wall with a window that must open from the outside. No locks, no handle… nothing.
He was a prisoner. He had nothing. Oh, shit.
“Where am I?” Roy croaked out low, his voice torn to shit from a night of drinking and probably crying. Solitude + Drinking = Not a happy Roy in the morning.
Nothing answered, of course. So his mind did the most appropriate thing it could in that circumstance. Roy Mustang blacked out again, leaning against a wall.
He growled softly looking though the fake bolt in the cell door at broken looking creature in the cell. He knew it was a person, his friend even, but his mind would not give the man those titles. He cracked his knuckles, counting the dripping water, waiting for the other to stir again or to make some kind of sound before he went to work. His face was twisted into a grim mask of loathing anger. How could that man do this again to himself, placing everything they had worked for into jeopardy? How could he do this to them? He never wanted it to come to this.
Slowly the human being in the cell began to slowly shift and stir, head coming up off of the wall it leaned against. A little sound left him, echoed, and died quickly. The red-rimmed, blood shot eyes looked around, furrowed as if the scene should change, and sighed when it didn’t.
A cold smirk played across the watcher’s face -- that movement was what he had been looking for. His booted foot made contact with the door, sending it banging against the wall. It was not often he played the role of the heartless interrogator, but when he did he stopped at nothing to get what he needed to know.
The watchee nearly jerked a foot, then instantly dropped his head into his hands as the throbbing made his vision go crimson in pain. Razors were surely destroying the inside of his head right now. He whimpered with the sheer strength of this hang over. He didn’t even get a look at this person who came in. There was a familiar sound of boots clicking against the cement floor, as the new comer walked over to the captive. His right hand shot out and tangled Mustang’s hair. He noted that the locks were slightly greasy with sweat and the body's natural oils. The captor yanked the other’s hair, forcing his head back, still not saying one word.
Roy let out a pained sound and looked up to the man so brutally holding his mane and tried to focus on the face. Planes of light were blocking the eyes and the strange lighting confused him. “Stop…” He groaned out as light shot being his eyes, threatening darkness again. The man above him snorted and let go, pushing Roy back. His nose wrinkled and he wiped his hand on his black pants.
Roy fell back and ended up having to psychically hold his head from splitting in half. Oh god he needed to throw up. A lot.
"Throw up and you are going to be cleaning the floor with your tongue." A heavy male hissed lowly in the shivering man’s ear. Roy slowly looked up and nearly had a fit on the spot. Surely his mind was playing with him.
“M…Maes?” He whispered, not trusting himself.
Maes smirked, the light shining on his glasses made his eyes unreadable. "Call me sir, scum. Only my friends call me Maes."
“…Hughes, what the hell… get… get me out of here. Where am I?”
Maes back handed his 'friend,' letting him feel the sting of metal studs on his fingerless gloves. "You will not use my name. In this place I am not your Maes Hughes, he cares about you, I don't, understand? You do not know me and you will address me as sir. Anything less will bring you pain."
Roy’s hands fisted up against the impossible white line of pain. Adrenaline was slowly pushing the headache away but that hit made it flare anew. What on earth was going on!? “T…This isn’t funny. Maes, I need to get to a doctor maybe…”
The hit that landed on Roy's exposed abdomen was no light bitch slap – it was a hard punch. "I am not joking, Mustang."
A hiss of breath left the other and he doubled in half, gasping for air. What the fuck!? Had Maes completely lost his mind?! He slowly looked back up at the other, confusion thick in his dark eyes. His mouth opened, then closed, then opened again without saying anything. “Sir?” Asked weakly, questioningly.
Maes smiled cruelly. It was somehow even more frightening on a face one is used to seeing the world’s goofiest smile on. "That is better. You may ask one question."
“What am I doing here?’ Roy asked without really thinking about how to put this ‘one question’ to best use. Maybe he should have asked, “Can I pretty please get something to stop my head from leaking out of my ear?”
Maes took the other’s face into his hands and bent so they were eye to eye. "You are here because you did something so incredibly stupid that you left me with no other choice. I don't want to have to hurt you, but I will if that is what it comes to." Roy’s eyes went absolutely huge at that point. What did he do that was do bad?! He just didn’t understand and it showed in his eyes. “What is your dream, or have you forgotten?” Maes growled out low, his eyes focused directly onto Roy’s soul or so it seemed.
“…Furher.” He weakly got out. His normally calm and collected manner destroyed by the huge change in his friend and the quick changes in tone and closeness.
His captor cracked his knuckles. "Why is that your dream?"
“…Why…?” Roy gave a long blank stare. It was as if his mind was refusing to answer any of this now and instead made him sound like some brain dead parrot.
"Did I say you could ask another question?" Maes barked, stood, then sharply stepped on the others foot not breaking it but coming damn close. “Now answer my question! WHY?”
Roy’s body lurched a little and he gave a short cry of pain and shock. An experimental and pain filled wiggle of his toes told him that nothing was broken but it hurt! “I don’t know! Because dammit, I will make this world right!” He finally got out. “STOP hurting me!”
"You don't give the commands. This room is my world, my office." Hughes snapped. "And I haven't even hurt you yet." Those glass-hidden eyes glared at Roy. "Now fucking tell me why you want to make the world better, why you dream of such power and stop dancing around the subject!"
“I am NOT dancing around the subject! Dammit you know the answers to this, I told you the first time we spoke on the subject! Why do you care so much?” His voice straining in mystification.
He leaned in close and sent his knee into the other’s gut. It forced Roy to collapse forward, clutching hard at his violently complaining internals. "I saw you forget your dream today. I saw you quiver and freeze."
Roy just let out a tiny whimper, unable to get in enough air to voice anything more.
“Breath, then answer the question even if I know the answer.” There was a hidden threat to his captor’s voice that Roy had never heard directed at him. It was scary.
“Can’t… let people die like that again.” He finally voice to Maes, eyes closing as a wave of a whole new kind of pain passed over his face. The alcohol had been used to repress the raw memories brought back up by the fight between himself and the Fullmetal… he didn’t want to think about it!
"What people, Roy? Who can’t you let die again?" Roy completely missed the odd tone in Hughes’s voice this time.
“Just people, Maes!” He snapped out, running a hand through his hair. It was shaking.
Another hard slap to Roy’s beautiful face. "What. People?" A lovely crimson mark was left behind and there was a hint of blood on Roy’s lower teeth from the inner lip being cut. The man hissed like some very annoyed black cat and glared at Maes.
“Anyone. People affected by war!” He countered. “Why are you doing this?! Aren’t you my friend!?” Roy knew that Maes could tell how this was affecting him! He knew that his friend for so many years knew his deepest pains and was deliberately trying to hurt him now with it!
"I am doing this because you had forgotten your dream, your goal, and let yourself freeze reliving a past terror." Maes snapped, his hands were once again on Mustang's cheeks. The dark gaze was forcing into meeting Maes’s glare again. Silently the investigator ran a thumb along the high cheek bones, unblinking in his viewing. He knew that he had to bring to this barren light what was clawing at Roy’s own soul. The man had to be clear to reach for the top and if this was the only way, fine. "You are the last person that I ever wanted to bring into my hell, but you need to be down here. Solders kill in times of war, every one is affected, but it haunts you. If you are ever to take command, you can not afford to freeze like that."
“You don’t understand! You don’t!” Roy’s voice rose in volume and pitch, eyes filled with a rare emotion. “It was a mistake!”
Maes’s hands pressed hard on the other’s cheeks. Instantly, from far too many years of practice, he knew there would be bruises where his fingertips were. "We all make mistakes, but we can't stay hung up on them. You can't keep holding on to them. You have to let go of your own and because you can’t do that, we have to be here. I have to be the one to hurt you." The captor brought his face to his prisoner’s, their lips only inches apart. He could feel every hurried breath Roy took, could feel the pain under his fingers. "And because you are being stupid and will not face what you have done, I have to force it. I have to make you see that you can’t cling to your petty little nightmares."
“PETTY!? You weren’t fucking there! You were behind your pretty little desk while I had to be out there!” Roy snapped like a furious beast, his hands coming up to shove Maes away, hard. “You don’t know what it was like!”
"Behind a desk?" Maes laughed. He turned his back on his friend. "You right though I wasn't out in the field, I was safe from getting killed." Three steps had him in front of a shadowed wall. "This is my office." He pulled something off the wall and brought it into the light -- a heavy looking coil of leather. "This is my pen." He gave the whip an experimental crack. "The chains are my desk, and you are paperwork that is refusing to end and file correctly."
Roy nearly had a heart attack on the spot. Did his friend have a WHIP IN HIS HAND!? “M…Maes I think you need to see the doctor more then I do…” He had never been witness to even the smallest scrap of information when it came to exactly how Hughes got his information, but the back of his mind seemed to be easily devising some very good images without needing any more info.
"And remember, Roy, its Sir. Not Maes." The master of this room gave the whip an experimental flick, sending it lovingly around Roy's neck. Roy refused to breath for fear he couldn’t. Each coil was tight and snug against his throat. "No, I know enough to keep work at work and my life very far apart from it. If I didn't, I'd be one sick bastard." The whip tightened just a little, and Roy brought his hands up reflex to try and get it away but it was a lot like trying to get out of a boa constrictor’s grasp. In doing so, he missed the pain that reflected behind Maes’s glasses. Missed the sympathetic bob of the Adam’s apple that mimicked Roy’s own. "Now enough bullshit and tell me what happened. What made you wish to become the fuehrer, and why did you make us believe in you if all you are going to do is fall apart? Edward should have been laid to waste at your feet, giving you his total respect, but you looked like you were seeing the fires of hell its self. Will all the demons of your childhood before you. Speak them aloud!" Roy looked up silently as he has to gasp for a deeper lungful of air. Was this his fun loving, picture taking friend who wore pink pajamas?
“I tried!” The Flame Alchemist wheezed out. “I couldn’t kill him too! I couldn’t!” His mind filled with fire, with bright flames. He could almost feel the snug fit of the crimson stone around his middle finger, the heat of the fires he was creating. Another gasp of air seemed tainted with acrid smoke. His head tossed a little as he tried to make more room in his throat for breath.
A bark of evil sounding laughter came from Maes "I never said kill the Fullmetal, but you should have beaten him with ease." The master let the whip uncoil, fall to the floor. But with a quick motion, he snapped it dangerously close to the other’s ear, sending three small threads of onyx hair falling to the floor "Who's blood is on your hands that you freeze in combat? Who's blood is on your hands that you can dare preach against human transmutations?" Maes himself wanted to run from the room, or even throw himself at his friend’s feet, begging to be forgiven for this. But it had to be done. Roy needed to let everything go or he was going to fail the dream. It would be like all the other dreams never made real, its wings dashed to pieces, and everyone’s sacrifices would have been for nothing. He couldn’t sit back and let this happen when there was something he could do!
“I never tried to bring someone back! No, I just had to kill them!” Roy shouted out, his own desperation echoing in his ears. STOP IT! Stop asking me this! I thought you were my friend?!” Why would his best friend bring up these horrid nightmares?! Why? WHY? “All I did was follow the orders I was given!” Maes’s eye twitched a little. He looked to the other’s naked form and wanted to scream at him for being borderline retarded for letting things get this far! Roy stared up at him in an emotion Hughes wasn’t sure he had ever seen in those coal-dark eyes.
"Roy, you were looking into human transmutations the day I stopped you from making the biggest mistake any one can make in their life." Maes stated flatly. Images ran through his own mind of Roy’s terrified look, the tremor in his voice, after he had told his oldest friend that he was going to marry Gracia. "I am doing this because neither of us are men of religion. Church confessions will do nothing for any one with hands aa dirty as ours." He looked back into his friend’s eyes, letting Roy see, if only for a moment, how hard this was affecting him, and how this was not what he wanted. "But your crimes, your past actions, are wrapped around you like chains around your soul, pulling you and your dreams down, making them impossible putting all we've worked for in danger.”
“SHUT UP!” Roy screamed out, refusing this ‘help’ and refusing to admit to the chains that even now he could feel wrap in a strangle hold around his wounded soul. Maybe it was the boy’s fingernails, charred and so tiny, digging into the meat of his mind. Maybe it was that woman’s screams that seemed to wail somewhere inside of his brain. Maybe it was that man’s eyes, blackened and dried, that made Roy feel like he was never alone. “Stop making me feel these all over again! STOP!” Suddenly Roy stood and bared white teeth in his friend’s direction, his back pressing into the cold, damp wall. To Maes, Roy had to seem like some cornered caged broken beast. Maybe that was what he was. A pet for the Furher to play with, come when he called, do an amusing trick.
"So in this moment, I am your priest. This is your confession, weather you give of your own will or I pull it from you with each lash mark. Its your call." Maes let his voice be cold as he could make it, making the tone alien even to his own ears. "But we are going to break you tonight of this idiocy, one way or another."
Maes struck as sudden as a snake, his fingers expertly latching onto Roy’s neck. He stared straight into wide dark eyes as he applied pressure just so, and the gaze he watched clouded. Roy could feel darkness clouding his vision of cool amber eyes, and let himself sink into blackness.
“Forgive me, Roy.” The captor wrapped his arms around his prisoner as the other went limp. “You’ll understand in the end. You have to. You always have to fight, but not tonight. Let go.” His voice soft and understanding to the unconscious body. He stood, cradling Roy to his chest like a bride. “If this doesn’t do it… you’ll never get there. Something will hold you back.”
The new room was larger then the one of cold concrete, and held no true corners. The walls were hidden behind thick mirrors that would have been the envy of any twisted carnival’s fun house. He could raise or lower the heat with a simple twist of a dial, just as he could change the lighting and the images that would dance over the walls in a horrific tango. Maes hated this room with a passion; he normally reserved for child molesters and murders and whatever other dark humans-no-longer the military required him to get confessions out of. Tonight, it would have a different purpose. The same end goal but it would save a man’s life instead of condemning him to the firing squad. He had seen far too many people driven into the depths of inescapable madness from prolonged use, hell he had come close to losing his own mind during training when he had been locked inside of it.
“Survive this, my Colonel.” Maes begged as he watched the figure through a specially hidden hole in set of the mirrors. His fingers shook a little as he held tightly onto the first levers he had to activate when the dark haired man curled up in the center of the room woke. His heart jerked a little and began to race as he heard Roy’s groan echo in the room of mirrors.
“Time to start.” He whispered to himself.
"Welcome back, Roy." Maes let his voice carry the same cold edge. If he were lucky, everything would work out and his friend, in time, would forgive him.
Roy slowly opened his eyes and brought his head up off of the floor. It took him a few moments to focus before he looked around. What had woken him? His own astonished eyes met his across the mirror, reflecting over and over and over and over and over into infinity. It was a little twisting on the stomach. There was far too much light and it was blinding. A strong hand shaded his eyes as he stood, trying to ignore his own dirty form. Slowly he came towards the wall which actually ended up being a whole lot closer then he thought. His nose met mirror with a sickening sound. A snarl of pain left the alchemist and he stepped back a few times, rubbing at the smarting cartilage.
Maes held back a bite of laughter. Duh, Roy. You’ve gone to the traveling carnivals. Didn’t he know to keep his hands out?
Maes's voice came from every where and nowhere in that room. "They say the eyes are the gateway to a person's soul. That's not true. The eyes are a reflection of a person’s heart. You want to see the soul? Have them watch themselves."
Roy looked around for his friend but saw nothing. This whole place was somehow more and less disturbing then the concrete room. His breath came in quick pants, and he kept a hand out this time as he tried to find a door. “LET ME OUT!” His voice reflected as easily as his visage. “Maes, sir, dammit stop this!”
The world went black.
“Forgive me.” Maes’s words were unheard as he set off a series of switches that sent the black world alight with fire. It reflected in the mirrors until the entire world, for Roy, was nothing but fire.
Roy’s eyes were huge and wet, frozen in place like a deer in the headlights. His head jerked as he tried to find away from the flames. So many flames. They were everywhere! He took a few steps and let out a pained scream as his hand went through a ripple of fire. The terrified man jerked back and fell to his knees, cradling his hand. ‘Fool!’ He thought harshly at himself. The alchemist tried to get his irrational fears under control. This was NOT back then. This was now. He was alone in this room with Maes. Right? The smoke was gathering impossibly fast in the room, blurring out everything.
"So you ask yourself, what is real and what is fantasy a memory half remembered or what is happing right now?"
A thick cough left Roy’s throat and he panted for breath. A war torn mind dredged up the worst memories. Memories of running through ravaged buildings, some still falling around him. A flare of fire was another of Kimbly’s explosions. He heard a scream from somewhere nearby. “WHERE ARE YOU!?” He screamed in both memory and the true world, turning around. A child. With a gun.
“MAKE IT STOP!” Roy’s voice roared over the flames threatening to envelope him. “Don’t make me kill you!” This was a place where the conscious and subconscious no longer were separated like they should be. He immediately forgot about his friend’s voice sneering at him from some invisible and impossible place and he felt the flames at his back, saw crimson eyes staring into his. Somewhere another explosion rocked the world.
“Roy, you know what is real.” Hughes watched, hoping that the man would know enough, would be smart enough, to come back to reality. Maes’s hands tightened hard on the carefully watched controls, his breath lodged in his throat. The same smoke irritated his eyes but he needed just a little longer. He had to hold out longer then the man he was trying to help.
Roy let out a fevered scream as the child lurched at him. A useless snap of fingers in this world became a flare of light in his memories. But to him the child kept coming even as muscle and skin and innocence was burned away by his hand. Charred flesh fell to the ground, remembered stink of the war filled his nostrils. Another scream left him as the child wrapped burning arms around him and he sunk to the floor.
Then there was silence. The flames were gone, but the acrid smoke remained. Maes worked quickly to flip open hidden air vents to take away the smoke that could kill them both. He looked out to Roy who sat kneeling off center in the room, hugging himself.
“So much blood.” Roy could barely even hear his own voice and briefly wondered if he had gone deaf. He saw the bodies of two innocents, blood smeared on the floor. They had not defended themselves like the boy he had killed. “I’m sorry.” He whispered painfully, hugging himself harder. “Is this your little girl?” His fingers trailed over the edge of a remembered photo. “I killed her parents. You didn’t hurt anyone! Why did he order your death!?” Roy slammed his fists into the floor and let out a scream of rage when his hands couldn’t find the gun he knew he had just killed them with! “I’m sorry!”
"Not all the scars of war can be seen on a body, but they can be seen on a soul." Hughes voice was tired now, almost comforting. "Why do you wish to be Furher?"
“So no one else has to die pointlessly. So people don’t have to loose everything. So people don’t have to go war.” Roy’s voice was thick, hoarse, and tired. “So next time… I have a choice.”
"You are a blade. The Country’s weapon they have created -- the fires of your past have made you what you are, but it is the hands and care of the present that will make you something greater."
“I killed innocent people. Children and women. How can … I be anything greater then a murderer?”
Maes took a breath, and decided the room was clear and cool enough. He flicked a small switch and let a small door in the ceiling fall open. Pieces of paper fell down like snow, and Roy stared up at the flurry of strange papers. Shakily he put up a hand and caught one, and looked down to it. It was an image of Jean and Riza, standing side by side. Another caught image. A photography of Hughes and his wife and child. Another image. Roy and Armstrong in a drinking match on Roy’s last birthday.
“Those people are how you will be greater. They have forgiven you. They work beside you, give you the strength you need. They care about you Roy. They have forgiven you. Why can’t you forgive yourself? Use their strength to break the chains on you so you can rise to the top!” Maes accidentally tumbled forward out of his seat at the end of this impassioned speech, having been so into it he failed to realize just how far forward he had been leaning.
Roy felt a smile slowly touch his lips, and he laid down against the images of his friends and co-workers. Exhaustion pulled him back into a safe, comfortable darkness. “Thank you, for forgiving me.”
“Ouch… that hurt.” Maes muttered, rubbing his head. He got up onto his knees and peered out of the hole, and couldn’t help but smile. Things were looking up when Roy Mustang, The Flame Alchemist, fell asleep with a smile on his lips. “…And as always, everyone leaves me to clean up.” He grumbled, and put his head in his chin, still grinning.