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?
WARNINGS: THIS FIC IS RATED NC-17 OVERALL. THEREFORE, YOU ARE NOT OF AGE AND IT IS ILLEGAL TO LOOK AT THIS IN YOUR STATE/COUNTRY, PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINKS.
Previous chapter here.
The first examination for Alphonse as a boy came no more than three days after he'd reverted back into that gender and Ling had requested that he'd be excused from his morning audience that day so that he may escort Alphonse to the medical center. The very idea that hired escorts would be ogling and poking at Alphonse in fascination the whole way there made Ling vaguely annoyed. The procedures that the medical staff would use made him even less excited about handing Alphonse over, even if Alphonse walked with that horribly hostile look on his face just because Ling was within his immediate proximity, but Ling escorting the foreigner allowed for Alphonse to be safe from prying eyes in the corridors, at least. He even went through the trouble of choosing the right set of clothes for Alphonse, forbidding him from ever requesting for the servants' garbs again. Alphonse wore a dark blue cotton over shirt, embroidered with designs of old Xingian coins, matched with a pair of pale, beige slacks; it looked so much better than the atrocity he was wearing a few days ago.
His blond ponytail swished behind his head as he walked down the corridor in silence and Ling walked next to him, sword tucked at his side, opposite of Alphonse. At times, he stole glances at the boy's stoic face and tried to start small talk, only to find syllables dying in his throat. The walk to the medical center was long, excruciatingly so, and almost coldly sticky with the tension that hung about them.
When they reached the examination chamber of the medical center, Ling reached past Alphonse and opened the door for him. The dry creaking of the heavy doors sounded like an alarm for the staff waiting inside, who all stood up simultaneously at their arrival. To Alphonse, it felt like the cranking of a lock being bolted shut in a torture chamber.
This was his second torture chamber (Ling’s room being the first), even though he could not clearly remember what had transpired there the first time he was brought in.
But he figured that it probably wasn't so different from what Ling does to him every night. He hissed in a breath at how uncharacteristically sanitized the room was, even with its arcane architecture; it was like some sort of beautified dungeon of cleanliness. Both his feet were planted rigidly on the stone threshold of the chamber, unable to move, the smell paralyzing him for reasons he did not know. Ling gave him a small push.
"Don't stand on the threshold," Ling ordered, "bad manners." The prince then stepped into the chamber himself and guided Alphonse in after him. Immediately, the medical staff swarmed about Alphonse like a pack of starved ogres. More eager attendants already began to grab at Alphonse's hands to inspect the bone and muscle structure, while others crowded more towards the back, whispering amongst themselves. Ling pushed past the crowd and swatted them away from Alphonse, displeased by the chaotic swarming, lack of organization and unprofessional contact displayed by those supposed maestros of medicine.
"Thank you for bringing It to us," Guo said, though Ling knew that he was not being sincere, "You may leave now."
"You have no right to tell me when I should leave," Ling retorted. He pulled a chair up to sit by the door and promptly situated himself there, "I'm watching." He tried to ignore the hiss of disapproval that came from Alphonse. The boy really did not seem to remember the molesting that had taken place before, this was for his own good.
Guo shot Ling a small look of dissatisfaction and then moved to strip Alphonse, starting with the blue over shirt that Ling had picked out. Liu pulled out a small instrument and started to tap, poke and prod at Alphonse's muscles and joints while Guo took notes and ordered his attendants to measure the boy. Ling felt himself twitch, though, when Liu's fingers flicked Alphonse's nipple to erection rubbing at it excessively, even for a tumor check--yet again. Alphonse bit his lip and tried to keep his composure, but that gave way to a gasp when Guo reached over and pulled the boy's pants off, tearing them.
"Hey!" Ling yelled, standing from his chair. Guo held up a hand stop him from charging over.
"Procedure," he said as he pulled on surgical gloves and held them out for his attendants to pour lubrication over them. Liu took the cue and pushed Alphonse to bend over the examination table, his rear exposed. Then he and Guo conversed in their own regional dialect that was a distant derivative of Xingian, which Ling could not understand, not being native to their territory, but their intention became clear enough when one began to probe his fingers into Alphonse while the other spread Alphonse's legs to fondle and grope at the boy's penis and scrotum. Alphonse's mouth opened in a silent whimper, his tongue slipping past his lips as he tried to regulate his breathing just so, to prevent himself from crying out. Again, Ling saw that there was more probing and fondling than necessary and he stood up, going over to put Liu's arm in a crushing grip. The man yelped and curled his fingers reflexively inside Alphonse, causing the boy to buck his hips, then glare up reproachfully at Ling.
"I hardly think it's appropriate for you to double up on him like this," he growled. He wanted to pull Liu's hand out of Alphonse, but feared that the man might tear him in the process.
"I hardly think that it's appropriate for you to be so offended over procedure," a voice came from the chamber entrance. Seeing who it was, Ling released Liu's hand reluctantly and turned around to bow at his presence.
"Third Brother Bai," he acknowledged, forcing his voice to be humble. The members of the medical staff all bowed their heads, bending their backs to a ninety-degree angle.
"Twelfth Brother Ling, you shouldn't be getting in the way of the examination," Bai said, walking in and placing a heavy hand on Ling's shoulder. The gravity of his grip implied little room for arguments, "Come along now, you are acting like a child." Ling's feet shuffled unwillingly on the ground and he gave Bai a defiant look.
"Come now," Bai said again, smile still spread across his face, but his voice cold and commanding. His fingers curled into Ling's shoulder; not enough to be painful, but promised enough pain should Ling be defiant again. Giving a small growl, Ling allowed him to be lead away, feeling more insulted that Alphonse did not call after him, than by the fact that he was being lead away like a child by his least favourite brother.
Before Ling knew it, he was lead down the corridor to the palace library, a place that the whole court knew Ling loathed and avoided. Bai made it seem as though it was a casual quality time session between brothers and grinned as he guided Ling into the philosophy section. Ling had several reasons not to like the place and by looking at the arrangement of the shelves, he knew exactly why that was.
The books were all placed on large shelves, which were sectioned off by cubby-holes. The book placement always seemed impractical to Ling. All the volumes were laid flat on their backs, the bottoms of the pages facing out; it made searching a more tedious task than it should be. One had to pull out book after book to inspect its title and sometimes go through rows of cubby-holes before finding the desired volume if one were not familiar with the sections of the place. To Ling, it was a maze of utter confusion and frustration, and there was nothing worse than to spend time in there with a person he rather disliked. Scratch that, disliked very much.
"How are you today, Twelfth Brother Ling?" Bai asked in that sickeningly honeyed voice that he used only when he wanted something. Ling pulled a book out from one of the cubby-holes and pretended to be instantly absorbed; only grunting in response.
"You seem to have acquired a very nice toy," Bai tried again. He walked closer to Ling and grinned in that repulsive way again. From his robes, Ling could smell a woman, perhaps a civilian one at that. The smell of sex was pungent, but there was a grassy property to it that would not be there had Bai been bedding a courtesan; if that had been the case, the older prince would have also reeked of sweet perfume. Ling could only guess what had transpired behind Bai's doors, as per usual. He growled deep in his throat and moved further away, having always hated Bai not only for his habits, but also because of his candidacy for the throne. Should the man ever become Emperor, Ling figured there would probably be one girl offered to him per week and then thrown out later like trash. While he was lost in his thoughts, Bai leaned over into Ling's personal space and to Ling's disgust, took a whiff of him like some sort of animal. Ling immediately flung himself away, barely missing the scroll rack behind him. Bai chortled at Ling's display.
"I see you've bedded the creature," Bai laughed, "You reek of its scent." Ling saw in Bai's eyes and heard in his tone what his brother (it sickened him to think of him as that) wanted. The man was licking his lips in that lustful manner whenever he was planning and thinking of something dirty.
"Yes, I have," Ling answered, "and therefore he belongs to me." The satisfaction of seeing that smile fall off Bai's face and melt into a frown, no, a scowl, tasted delicious, but Ling had to keep his own expression composed should it betray him.
"It belongs to the country," Bai spat. He yanked the book from Ling's hands and shoved it into a random cubby-hole, "You do not share very well, Ling." All formalities were off.
"I have bedded him and therefore he belongs to me," Ling repeated, refusing to elaborate. There was no need to go into details for this man; it would be a waste of breath, but just for good measure, he threw in, "And I will keep him mine, for I am not like you." Bai's face hardened.
"You forget yourself, Ling," he ground out, then shrugged suddenly, having found a trump card, "Well, no matter. I probably wouldn't want It anyway."
Ling's one eyebrow quirked, but he braced himself for what daggers in the form of words would come flying at him next.
"For now that It's been stained by you, It is as lowly as you and your filthy clan," Bai laughed, grasping onto his one thread of dignity.
At that, Ling grabbed the top of the shelf and gave it a fierce yank, letting the entire structure collapse. Bai screamed curses and threats while volumes upon volumes avalanched on him, and Ling slipped out of the library to retreat to his own quarters.