TITLE: Caricature of Human Intimacy
Author: Youko Fujima
PAIRING: Ling/Alphonse (both as a girl and as a boy)
RATING: NC-17 overall (this chapter is R)
WARNINGS: Overall, non-consensual sex, sexism, molestation (in large numbers), gender-bending, etc
AL'S GENDER IN THIS CHAPTER: MALE (this fic consists of half-and-half Al as a boy and as a girl)
BETA: circe67, thank you!
SUMMARY: How do you treat a piece of flesh offered up from a foreign land if you have never been trained in morality?
Previous chapter here.
The first time that Ling saw Alphonse as a boy was noon one day, after he'd returned from his usual morning audience with his father and the court. It was about two weeks after Alphonse had been brought to Xing, which affirmed the medical staff's theory that the Amestrian's transformations rotated on the moon's cycles. That day, Ling entered his chambers to find Alphonse sitting at the table next to the bed, head bowed. Instead of letting his hair fall freely at his shoulders as Ling liked it when he was a girl, Alphonse tied it into a high ponytail. Also, it seemed that he had requested for male clothes, for he was dressed in the warm white over shirt and black trousers of the male servants' uniform. The girl’s attire that Ling had previously picked out for him laid neatly folded on the bed, untouched. Outside the room, Ran Fan stood with a helpless look on her face. Ling knew that Alphonse had probably given her a hard time.
"He refused to eat until he was allowed to keep his hair like that," she explained in Xingian, "His anatomy has changed and therefore he demanded for male clothes. I am sorry that I could only locate clothes of male servants, Sir."
Ling patted her on the shoulder, dismissing her, and walked into his chambers, shutting and bolting the door behind him. Alphonse lifted his head at the sound of the wooden bolt sliding into place and gave Ling a look. It wasn't the sort of look that he would give Ling as a girl, which had always been full of hatred, fear, and disgust all rolled into one; no, this one was stronger. This look was one of pure contempt. The gold inside his eyes seemed to have melted the mellow bronze that was more prominent as a female. His eyes were harder now, even though everything else seemed almost relatively the same, save for the lack of breasts and curves, the increase in muscle mass, and the bluntness in certain edges of the body. Still, there remained a line of delicacy in Alphonse and Ling smiled at the art of the alchemy that had transformed this creature. He reached out and took Alphonse's ponytail, enjoying how the fine silken hair (Ran Fan had always done a good job and made sure it was washed well) slipped through his palm and fingers. A whistle of sarcastic surprise passed through his lips when his hand was swatted away. He figured the small tug at his chest was annoyance and not dejection.
"You should not give Ran Fan such trouble," Ling stated, pulling out a stool for himself and plopping down on it. He kicked his formal shoes off, sighing in relief as his feet were finally allowed to breathe. It'd be pure decadence if he could have Alphonse massage them, but that required training and Ling figured that he'd be more malleable for that as a female. Alphonse, by reflex, moved away from him, though not as far as he would have as a girl; he probably felt safer as a male. His next words emphasized that by their sheer boldness.
"Ran Fan is very devoted to you," he said, looking at Ling.
"Of course she is," Ling replied easily, playing Alphonse's game even though he was not sure exactly what it was about. Alphonse gave him a perplexed look, like he was wondering about something, not being able to wrap his mind around it.
So that's what it is. Ling tilted his stool back more, letting its legs scrape in a dangerous obtuse angle on his stone-tile floor. He grinned, his eyes opening in that predatory gaze that Alphonse loathed and feared, and he stood up. Circling around the table, Ling stopped behind Alphonse and took hold of the ponytail again. This time, he leaned in despite himself and breathed in that sunny scent (he was never really able to make that scent go away, no matter how many times he'd bedded Alphonse). He tried to ignore the small tinge of pain that came again when Alphonse stiffened and swatted at him. He blinked and suddenly felt how strangely far away Alphonse and that ponytail were, even though he had taken the former in bed only two nights ago, and the latter in his hand seconds ago.
"I like your hair better down," he commented, going to untie the elastic that Alphonse used to keep his hair up. Alphonse made an obvious jerk of his head to keep him from even touching his hair again and in that swift motion, he also turned his head enough so that he could get a good look at Ling.
"I am not a girl," Alphonse retorted, brows knitted and eyes narrowing dangerously, "And certainly not a toy." He seemed almost inappropriately confident that Ling would not do anything to him as a boy.
Well, that wouldn't do. He leaned in then and slid his arms around Alphonse's shoulders in a mockery of affection, liking how the previously soft body had hardened into muscle, though still covered by baby-soft skin. The servants' garb hindered it though, in all of its rough and unflattering texture. Once again, Alphonse stiffened, and Ling could hear him whimper and murmur for his brother as though a prayer when Ling's arms tightened around him.
"Why not her?" Alphonse asked, his voice becoming shaky at Ling's actions, though still a rich concoction of confusion and contempt, "Why not take her into your room, into your arms?"
Ling stopped and it was now his turn to stiffen his muscles, his joints, at Alphonse's question. He pulled the elastic from Alphonse's hair with such gentleness, it almost seemed like it was feigned in order to avoid the question. His fingers ran through the fine blond strands, combing them out, but then he twisted the end of a strand between his fingers.
"She is not to be used for that," Ling answered. He felt Alphonse heave a sigh and he tightened his hold on him, even though bending over like that to embrace the other boy put a bit of a strain on his back and knees. Still, he held on, "She is not someone I would hold like this and take to my bed." As he said this, his words were heavy with emotion, not like the ones that he used when speaking to or of Alphonse. The sentiment was graver, deeper, not something that could be shared with a foreigner of a two week long acquaintance and it made Alphonse sick to hear it and sick to think it. The way Ling said "that" made it sound as though what he was doing to Alphonse was nothing more than a game, a dirty act--or, hell, breeding.
"So you love her," Alphonse breathed out, not sure of why he cared to ask.
"If you do not like your hair down," Ling said, still playing with Alphonse's hair; he did not want to talk about Ran Fan in this context, "Then we can braid it."
Alphonse was up in a flash, knocking the stool he sat upon halfway across the room with how violently he scrambled off of it. He pressed his hair to his neck and stared at Ling, backing away at the suggestion.
Ling wondered why he looked so offended.
"Don't worry," Ling tried to assure him, putting on his best grin, "I'm not so clumsy that I can't braid." He edged closer to Alphonse, sensing that this was as much of a prowl and hunt as the usual dance they did before bed, but the tension strangely thicker. Alphonse continued to back away, his hand grasping at his hair and pressing it to himself protectively. Gray-green eyes widened exponentially and stared head-on at Ling like a prey eyeing its predator, calculating the inevitable.
"You are not," Alphonse seethed, "braiding my hair." He shuffled on his feet, moving left, then right, trying to confuse Ling of his next move, but he always tended to move towards his left, as Ling had seen during previous nights. One would think that after being caught and then stripped down and fucked into the mattress because of the same old routine, Alphonse would stop doing that; maybe it was because of the acupuncture clouding his mind. Tired of the dance, Ling leapt a few yards ahead of Alphonse's left, calculating just well enough that the boy was going to run in that direction, and promptly collided head-on with him, knocking him to the ground.
Alphonse yelled, his cry so boyish it would have made Ling laugh and turn this into an innocent wrestling match had their relationship been different and the conversation prior not so sticky. Instead, Ling flopped the boy around, twisting both his arms behind his back easily with one hand, and then pressed a pressure point on the boy's neck, rendering his limbs useless. Sitting back, he released Alphonse's arms and grinned.
"Seriously, if one day you would be more obedient, I would consider not applying the acupuncture in the morning and have you spar with me," Ling chuckled, "You might be formidable as both a boy and a girl." He watched Alphonse twitch, trying to gain control of his limbs again, and put a hand over Alphonse's chest.
"You will give yourself an internal wound if you keep at that," he warned, leaning in close. His smile widened, though gradually became a little less friendly, "Don't spit." When he saw Alphonse swallow whatever he was working in his mouth, Ling laughed and ruffled his hair, then shifted to sit closer to him so that he may braid it.
"DON'T BRAID IT!" Alphonse shouted, trying to squirm away.
"You really are more energetic as a boy," Ling noted, amused, "And I don't see why you're so upset over this. Is it because of the issue of Ran Fan?" He finished braiding within seconds and he lifted the end of the braid to show Alphonse his handiwork before tying it with the same elastic Alphonse had used.
Alphonse turned away at both the braid and the question, his nostrils flaring as he snarled in response.
"I do not bed Ran Fan because she is important to me," Ling admitted, moving over Alphonse's body and leaning in so close he could see each pigment of his cat-like eyes. He wondered, absently, how it was that within the green there was gold, but that was not the issue at hand. He began to unbutton Alphonse's over shirt, much to the boy's dismay, and slid a hand underneath, liking how smooth the boy's skin still felt.
"Ran Fan, to me, is very important," he repeated, his eyes moving slowly to the side, glancing in the direction where he knew she stood, outside of his room, guarding it faithfully; her acute hearing could probably catch his words. "She and her family have been serving my clan for the longest time, even before we were accepted into the family of the Emperor's court." Long black hair tickled Alphonse's bare chest as Ling drooped down slowly to nibble at Alphonse's throat. Alphonse whimpered and turned his head away, but that only gave Ling more space to explore on his skin, and explore he did--nipping, licking, and at times just breathing hot breaths, but then Ling pressed a kiss to his delicate skin and kept it there for a long time, suckling only vaguely and then releasing when he knew that he had left a mark there.
"As children, we ate together and trained together," Ling exhaled, his words light with lust as he pushed the edge of the shirt's collar over Alphonse's back, exposing the boy's shoulders. His actions were so inexplicably gentle, more so than when he had handled Alphonse as a girl, but his words stabbed and Alphonse wanted the braid out.
"You probably do not understand this, with your Amestrian philosophy," Ling sighed, running his hand through his own black hair, "You believe that everything has to be definite, that everything has to be shown, to be big. You and your big money, big guns, big cars; I've seen them. There is nothing delicate about your culture. We are different; Ran Fan and I are different.
"We breathed the same air, drank the same water..." He kissed the other side of Alphonse's neck and drank in the small mewling noise that the foreign boy produced. When he pulled away again, Alphonse huffed and wrinkled the bridge of his nose.
"She is like a part of my body," Ling finished, now turning his attention to the drawstrings of Alphonse's trousers, "And that is why I do not bed her."
Alphonse screamed when Ling's hand encircled his penis right after those words rolled off his tongue, though he could not pinpoint whether it was because of the words (he should not care) or the fact that he was being violated once again (it was nothing new). But when Ling moved him to sit, back reclined against the wall next to his bookshelf, Alphonse arched his back and gave hiccupping moans mixed with words of protest. He tried not to give into the sensation of Ling's skilled hand working at his length, tried not to let his mind concentrate on all the sensations gathering at the tip of his erection when Ling's thumb circled about the opening of his urethra, and most of all--tried not to acknowledge the braid hanging from the back of his head. The words stabbed at him in the entire process in ways he felt that he should not allow them to, and the friction that was so deliciously wrong did not help to the matter.
He screamed again when he came, his eyes wide, refusing to let tears run down his cheeks as he watched Ling pull his hand back to show Alphonse the come that covered his olive-skinned palm; he felt as though Ling had just violated both him and his brother at the same time. The expression on Ling's face, however, was so undecipherable and containing everything but glee, that it made him shout some more.
"Why?" Alphonse yelled, clenching his teeth, "WHY! WHY!!"
Ling knew that he would not be able to give him an answer; he did not even know what reasoning Alphonse was asking for in his hysteria.
Outside, Ran Fan covered her ears with the balls of her palms.