breakin' through the door (miss_arel) wrote in fm_alchemist,
breakin' through the door
miss_arel
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Changed For Good - Chapter 6 (Finally!)

First off I'd like to apologize to all you who've been following this fic (and have I mentioned that I love you to frigging death lately?) for the long delay. It seems like the breaks between chapters are getting progressively longer . . . I hope it's a sign that the chapters are getting better. They're certainly getting longer; this one, at roughly 6500 words, is my longest ever. They keep going like this and I'll have to split them up in the future. Anyway!

Title: Changed For Good: Chapter 6 - Desperado
Author: Miss Arel
Beta: laylah, who also deserves partial author credit for a certain scene (see the Author Notes)
Rating: R at the very least for sexual content (see Author's Notes)
Warnings: Rude language, violence, angst, and sex. This is not a happy chapter.
Summary: An experiemnt gone awry prompts Ed to have a crisis of faith (which is a very bad thing when all you have faith in is yourself) and finds himself falling for someone he never expected. Meanwhile, Tucker learns the price of failure . . . proving that romance and sex don't always go together.

Missed a chapter: Previous chapters can be found on Skyehawke, starting here.


Okay - Without going into too much detail, I will say that this chapter contains a rape scene. It's graphic and violent and cruel and on the whole really not fun. If you don't want to read that kind of thing, then skip the very last scene of the chapter. I'm doing this so I can't be held responsible if you read it and then decide to claw your eyeballs out and then sue me. Cos that would really suck.

Also, thanks go out to laylah for helping me get in touch with my inner sadist for the scene in question. Couldn't have done it without ya.


Chapter 6 - Desperado

Edward woke up, and tried to remember where he was.

It took a little longer than usual. The ceiling was familiar, but it wasn’t the one he’d slept under last night . . . light was streaming in, suggesting eastward facing windows . . . decor was again familiar, but he couldn’t really place it yet . . . too sleepy . . .

“Ed-papa!” a little voice whispered loudly.

Oh – that’s right.

Ed rolled over in bed and smiled sleepily at Nina, dressed in white pajamas, slightly blurry but still discernable. “Hey . . .”

“Morning!” she said, brightly, but quietly – she’d learned from experience that in the morning, Ed-papa was very keen on indoor voices. “Ed-papa, do you want breakfast?”

“Mrrf . . . Nina, it’s early . . .” Ed rubbed his eyes.

She nodded. “I know. Do you want breakfast?” She tugged on his hand, not waiting for an answer. “Come on, Ed-papa, get up!”

She looked so urgent, trying to pull him out of bed with all the force in her small body, that Edward had to laugh. “No, I think I’ll stay here . . .”

Ed-papa!” she frowned and tugged harder, pulling with all her might. She was strong, for a girl her size, and though Ed put up a valiant fight, she eventually had him sprawled, half in and half out of bed. “Get up!”

He raised his head and grinned at her. “Oka-ay . . .” he said, before lunging upward and catching her with both hands, lifting her high. “Yahh! I gotcha!”

She giggled, kicking her bare feet, squirming. “Put me down, Ed-papa!”

Ed cocked his head to the side. “No, I don’t think I will . . .”

She laughed, twisting her little body and grinning. “Please?”

“Oh . . .” Ed sighed. “Okay.” He tossed her into the air and caught her before setting her back down. She immediately grabbed his hand and started puling him towards the door. He laughed in surprise. “Nina, what’s your hurry?”

“You’ll be going soon,” she said, still making for the door, “And I want to stay with you till you and Uncle Al have to go.” She looked at him sadly. “You never stay very long.”

Ed paused, face softening at the look in Nina’s eyes. “Come here,” he said, opening his arms. Nina ran to him and threw her little arms around him; he hugged her tight as she buried her face in his neck. “Aw, Nina . . .” he sighed. “Nina, I love you . . .”

“Then why do you always go away?” she wanted to know, not lifting her head.

“Because . . . because Uncle Al and I have to do something very important. I can’t really explain it to you . . .” he squeezed her again, the pulled her back to look at her. “But we’ll always come back. We go away, but we always come back.”

She looked up a little, her expression hopeful. “Really?”

Ed nodded, smiling. “Yeah.”

When she smiled, Ed felt warmth flooding his whole body. “Okay. I believe you. Come on,” she added, pulling him toward the door. “Breakfast, Ed-papa!” Ed rose, letting himself be led, and holding onto her hand all the way down to the kitchen.


*****

There was only one place left in the world where Ed was comfortable wearing his pajamas to breakfast, and that was the Hughes household. It really was like being in a family again, Ed thought, sitting down between Nina and Al. Admittedly, a family with people from four bloodlines and a 36-year-old teenager and a boy made of metal and a girl with three fathers and two mothers and a dog who had played with chimeras since puppy-hood, but a family nonetheless. Ed loved Al, very very much, but these days he only ever felt really relaxed with the Hughes family. Eating with Al and Al alone was – well, it was uncomfortable, sometimes, when Al was sitting there, not eating, and nothing between Ed and the fact of that, of what Al was, and every day the little nagging voice got a little louder – what if we never find the Stone? . . .

And the Rockbells’ was no safe haven anymore, either. Ed and Al had visited Winry and Pinako a few times since Winry had returned home, limping and still rather beat-up, but recovering, to the intense relief of both brothers; but it just wasn’t the same anymore, and Ed knew why. Because whenever Winry and her grandmother looked at him now, no matter how hard they tried, they still saw a stranger. Because there were photos all over the house of what he and Al used to be. And because Winry still walked with a limp, even now, although she was desperate to hide it from them. It wasn’t the same anymore. Something had broken in that childhood world, and now whenever Ed visited Rizenbul, he felt like a ghost haunting the house he was born in, watching his brothers and sisters moving on to other places, his wife moving on to other people, his children growing old and dying, and not being able to touch or feel any of it.

But here . . . here, he felt at home. And he could tell Al felt it too, laughing more easily here, acting like the child he still was, spiritually, being big brother to Nina and Elysia; both he and Ed were treated like family; like it didn’t matter what state their bodies were in. And whether that meant more to Ed or Alphonse was impossible to judge.

Another part of Ed’s reason for feeling so relaxed in the Hughes household was Maes Hughes himself: you couldn’t share the same roof with the man without automatically feeling very much at peace with the world. (Unless he was in a mood to show off the latest batch of photos, but even Nirvana has its price.) Though he was very serious about his job, on Sundays like this one it was very rare to see him out of bed at all before 10 AM; and only on the rarest of occasions did he put on anything but a bathrobe and pajama bottoms before lunchtime.

Which is why Ed was so surprised to see Hughes hurrying down the stairs, in full military uniform, obviously in a great hurry, at the wee wee hour of 9:15 in the morning.

“Have you been called in, honey?” asked Gracia, looking up from her breakfast with an expression of surprise that matched Ed’s own.

“Don’t have to – they’re gonna want everyone on this –“ Hughes was searching cabinets and drawers for something, a newspaper clenched tightly in one hand. “I’m sorry to run out like this – where do we keep the coffee?”

“What happened?” Ed asked, Hughes’ agitation beginning to worry him.

Hughes strode over to the table and tossed down the newspaper. “That happened.”

Ed picked it up, Al and Gracia both craning over his shoulders. Their eyes got wider with every line.

Over 50 found dead . . . alchemical involvement suspected . . . red crystals found at scene . . .

So much for lazy Sunday mornings.

*****

There were military policemen (and women) all over the place; some, like Hughes, yawning and shuffling their feet and nursing cups of coffee. But Ed was wide awake. He flashed his silver watch at the officers stationed around the perimeter, motioning Al to stay put, and made for the center of the hubbub.

He was immediately glad he’d decided to leave Al behind.

The scene of the crime was a grungy back alley, made especially grungy by the blood and . . . other things . . . splattered everywhere. There were complicated alchemical arrays on the walls and ground, unlike any Ed had ever seen before – and bodies – bodies everywhere, men and women and children, sprawled on the ground, blood – everywhere . . . and dusted over everything, like some parody of snow, were fine shards of shining red crystal . . .

The sight made Ed’s stomach turn, to say nothing of the smell, and very soon he found the eggs and toast he’d been eating minutes before making an unexpected reappearance.

He felt a hand on his back, as he leaned against the wall, bent almost double, still heaving up the last of the contents of his stomach. He looked up and saw Hughes, looking sympathetic and equally disturbed.

“What . . .” Ed swallowed, “What happened here?”

Hughes shook his head. “No clue. I was hoping you’d have some idea . . .”

“I – I’ll take a closer look – just give me a minute . . .”

Once Ed was feeling a little less shaky, he straightened up and made himself walk to the center of the transmutation circle painted on the ground. It was insanely complicated, and most other people – most other alchemists, even – would have been at a loss to figure out what it meant. But Edward recognized it: he saw the sigils developed by Martis over a hundred years ago; the symbols of the elements, arranged in a 7 point star; the loops and whorls of Eastern alchemy meshed with the hard geometric precision of the West. It was like no other circle he’d seen before, but it wasn’t hard to guess what it meant; and if he’d had any doubts, the red glass, which wasn’t glass at all, completely confirmed it. He reached to pick up a piece, and almost dropped it as a tingling rush shot through his fingers.

“What is it?” Hughes asked, crouching beside him. “Any idea what happened?” He looked a little closer at Ed’s face, and saw there barely suppressed rage. “Ed?”

“The Stone . . .” Ed curled his fingers around the red glass and stood up abruptly. “The goddamn Philosopher’s Stone . . .”

“Wait – what do you – ow!” Hughes yelped, trying to pick of a piece of red stone and feeling a shock in his own fingertips, “You think someone was trying to make it?”

“Humans can’t gain anything without sacrifices, Hughes,” Ed said bitterly, looking around the scene of carnage. “Looks like someone was offering the biggest sacrifice they could find.”

Hughes shivered slightly. “Do you think – do you think they were successful?”

Edward’s voice was much too calm when he spoke. “The sacrifice was rejected – obviously they were not successful.” Calm, yes . . . but Hughes could read Ed’s body language, could see his hands curled into tight fists and his shoulders shaking under the red coat he wore. Hughes rose and took a step closer to Edward, reaching out a hand.

“I didn’t know . . .” Ed began, choked, and stopped. “I never thought . . . someone would try it this way . . .”

“Ed . . .”

“And what if this is the only way?” Ed wondered, not looking up, voice thick with emotion. “What if the only way to make the Stone is through sacrifice, through death? What’ll I do then – what’ll Al do . . ?”

“Ed!”

Hughes grabbed the alchemist, whirling him around and gripping his shoulders tightly. He saw the panicked look in those blue eyes, saw the breakdown waiting, lurking, just below the surface.

“It didn’t work, Ed. Like you said – it didn’t work. So there must be another way! Ed . . .” he rubbed those shoulders soothingly, his voice softening. “You’re the best alchemist I know. Much better than whatever sick bastard did this. You’ll find a way.” He tried to look reassuring, desperate to calm the almost frantic Edward. “I know you will.”

Ed didn’t smile. But the blue fire in his eyes faded somewhat. He lifted his arms to remove Hughes’ hands from his shoulders. “Thanks,” he said quietly. Hughes smiled, squeezing Ed’s hands, trying to be reassuring. Then, because Edward needed it, and because he didn’t do it nearly enough, he moved forward and embraced Ed tightly. It was a little awkward at first; Hughes wasn’t used to hugging full-grown men almost as tall as himself, and Edward’s surprise made him rather unresponsive at first; but then he warmed into it, hugging him back with a warmth and relief that confirmed Hughes’ suspicions – the boy was about 5 seconds from a breakdown.

“You and your brother both need more hugs, dammit,” Hughes said in Ed’s ear. “You’re both wound way too tight. Especially you.” He gave him a final squeeze before stepping back slowly, to see Edward smiling. It was a sad, bitter little smile, but a smile nonetheless, and it was very encouraging. “Now, come on,” Hughes said, putting a hand on Ed’s arm, “Let’s go back to Al, okay?”

Edward just nodded, and allowed Hughes to lead him out of the alley.

*****

Alphonse was at first disappointed that he hadn’t been allowed to see the scene, but the feeling lessened somewhat when he saw the look on his brother’s face. The two of them sat down together, Ed leaning against Al’s side, for support as much as for affection, Hughes sitting on Ed’s other side, watching them both and helping with the story when he could.

“. . . And it looks like whoever did it was trying to make the Stone,” Hughes finished, looking right at Al. Ed didn’t say anything, just nodded.

“You mean they tried to sacrifice humans . . .” Al trailed off, horrified. Hughes nodded.

“It looks that way . . . have you ever come across any reference to this sort of thing?”

“Long time ago ,” Ed said hoarsely. “Four hundred, five hundred years, maybe. Supposedly someone made the Stone by sacrificing a lot of people . . . but those were the days when they burned alchemists at the stake.” Ed looked at Hughes bitterly. “Maybe they were right to do it . . .”

“Brother!” exclaimed Al. “Don’t talk like that!”

“Ed, you need to stop beating yourself up about this,” Hughes said. “This wasn’t your fault, you had nothing to do with it, and you’re nothing like whatever monster did this. Nothing.”

Ed didn’t shake his head, but he didn’t nod, either.

“What about those red stones?” Hughes asked, trying to change the subject. “What were those?”

“Incomplete philosopher’s stones,” Ed said evenly. “We’ve seen them before. They always have a cost . . . Everything’s got a cost . . .”

“They’re very powerful,” Alphonse said, “Colonel Mustang says the military used to use them . . .”

“Mustang . . .” echoed Ed. “We need to talk to Mustang.”

“Brother . . ?” Al asked questioningly as Ed raised his head, looking fierce.

“Mustang was in the war; he knows more about the Stone than anyone else – maybe he knows something we don’t,” Ed said. “We need to talk to him as soon as possible.” He turned to Hughes. “Right?”

Hughes had paused – he had had a flash of memory when they mentioned Mustang and the war . . . he shook his head. “Yeah, yeah . . .. well, that’s easy, since you were planning to talk to him anyway . . . You two can head out for East City in the morning. Right now . . .” he looked at Ed’s face, so tired and miserable-looking, and Al’s, a little bit harder to read but still clear. “Right now I think you two need some good food, some more sleep, and some quality time with Elysia and Nina.” Actually, he was quite sure the Elrics needed a lot more than that, but it was all he could give them right now. “Come on, let’s go home.”

But Ed didn’t move; he was looking past Hughes, at the mouth of the alley they’d come out of. “What are they doing now?”

Hughes looked over his shoulder. “Dusting for prints, looking for evidence, calling in forensics . . . when they’re done they’ll cordon off the alley, leave a guard or two.”

“Aren’t they going to take those poor people away?” asked Alphonse, sounding upset. Ed didn’t say anything, but that rage was building again on his face.

“Yes, eventually,” Hughes said quickly. “They’ll bring in a medical team and take all these people to the morgue . . .” I just hope they have enough space, he thought, but didn’t say.

“So going over there and demolishing the whole damn place and burying those people right here and now would be a bad idea, huh?” Ed asked, smiling weakly.

Hughes sighed and nodded. “Yeah . . . unless you really want to get thrown in jail again . . .”

“I seem to have a knack for that . . .” Edward said ruefully. Hughes squeezed his shoulder, and Ed felt a current of warmth flow into him. He looked up, surprised, and saw Hughes smiling.

“Come on. Let’s go home.”


*****

“It didn’t work!” Envy snarled.

“I know it didn’t work,” Tucker snapped, leaning over the desk, where all his notes had been spread out.

Why didn’t it work?” Lust asked coolly.

“I don’t know!” Tucker snapped again, feeling like this was the thousandth time he’d had to answer that question since they’d come back in the early hours of the morning, covered with blood and pockets bulging with Red Stone, but no Philosopher’s Stone to be had. Since then he hadn’t even been allowed to go shower all the mess off; they’d sat him down at his desk and told him to get to work, dammit. And as always, he hadn’t had the force to fight them; he just did as he was told.

It didn’t make sense; He thought he had everything he needed to make the Stone . . . all the alchemical texts his fellows and their mysterious benefactor had been able to uncover all pointed to the ritual last night . . . so what had gone wrong? What had he been missing?

“Lu-ust!” Gluttony whined. “I’m hungry!”

“And I’m bored,” sighed Sloth.

“You’re always bored.”

“So? You’re always hungry.”

“Children . . .” Lust sighed.

“You guys can run along,” Envy said, smirking. “I’ll keep an eye on Shorty.” It swung itself up onto the desk, crouching and grinning in Tucker’s face.

“Gah!” Tucker jerked backwards, almost falling out of his chair. Envy’s smile got wider.

“I won’t let him go anywhere till he figures out where he screwed up,” it said, its inhuman eyes fixed on Tucker’s face, full of something almost like hunger. It made Tucker shiver, and train his eyes on the papers in front of him.

“You’re a true humanitarian, Envy,” said Sloth smoothly, rising fluidly to her feet. “I need to be in the office in a few hours, anyway.”

“Lust, can I go find something to eat now?” Gluttony asked hopefully, sticking a finger in his wide mouth.

“Yes, Gluttony.” The lumbering creature gave a little squeal of delight and hurried out. Lust paused at the doorframe, giving Envy a look Tucker couldn’t interpret, before walking out.

“All right, Full Metal Waste,” Envy said, sliding off the desk, “Get to work.” And it glided off across the room, flopping down on the sofa, its wicked smile still in place.

Tucker turned back to his work, but he could still feel Envy’s stare – or maybe that was just the Ouroboros – burning into his flesh.


*****

Edward sat on his bed, leaning against the wall and facing the window, watching the sunset and the colors it painted across the sky. He’d been there for most of the day, and though his door was open, for the most part the room was ignored by the others. Al was playing with Elysia in the backyard, Gracia was doing the laundry with Nina ‘helping’ her, and Hughes was . . . somewhere. Edward tried not to think about it too much.

He leaned back against the wall, his mind full of thoughts, of questions, few of them comforting or helpful; Who did that in the alley? Did he have help? Where did he get all the red water for the Stone? Is there really any other way to make the Stone? What if it is the only way? What will I do then? What would Al want me to do?

And there was another thought: one that disturbed him even more than thoughts of death and Al and the Stone. Back in the alley, when Hughes had pulled him into that hug . . . Ed had felt something, a spark, somewhere under the surface. He didn’t understand it much, and what he DID understand, well, it scared him a little.The truth was, it had felt really good, to have Hughes’ arms around him and Hughes’ voice in his ear, and to press his face into the warmth . . . he hadn’t wanted to let go.

He rested his head on his arms, trying not to think about it, but trying not to think about it just made him think about it more . . . God, what was wrong with him?

“Ed . . .”

Ed turned around at the sound of his name: as if summoned by his thoughts, Maes Hughes stood in the doorway, wearing a white dress shirt and black pants and a concerned look. “Ed, are you gonna be okay?”

Ed looked back at the window, drawing his knees up to his chest. “I . . . I don’t know.” He felt the mattress shift under him as Hughes sat down, then felt the warmth of the man’s hand on his shoulder.

“That’s not a good answer.” Ed could feel the look Hughes was giving him; concerned and disapproving and affectionate. “You’re gonna kill yourself if you keep this up.”

“Keep what up?” Ed said bitterly.

Another hand joined the first and Ed felt Hughes massaging his tense shoulders. Ed took a deep, shuddering breath, trying so hard not to let Hughes know how much this was affecting him. “Worrying about everything the way you do,” Hughes said. “You fixate on the things you can’t change and push yourself too hard trying to change the things you can.”

“But – “ Ed shivered, trying to concentrate on why he couldn’t relax, why he had to push himself this hard. “But I have to – I have to do this. I have to take care of Al . . .” he looked down at his hands, which even four years ex post facto seemed too large, too clumsy, too strange. “. . . I have to set this right.”

“And how are you gonna do that if you’re dead?” Hughes asked calmly, still massaging gently but firmly, Ed relaxing into his touch, almost in spite of himself. Ed smiled a little.

“I won’t die yet. I’m – ah! – too stubborn.”

Hughes’ hands tightened uncomfortably. “I’m not kidding, Edward.” There was real concern in his tone. Edward didn’t respond. Hughes moved his hands, turning Edward to face him. “Look at me.”

Edward did, reluctantly, and oh, God, had Hughes’ eyes always been such a wonderful golden-brown or had he simply never noticed before? But Hughes didn’t seem to read anything odd in Ed’s expression, because he continued straight ahead.

“Ed, I’m worried about you. Really.” Hughes stroked the side of Ed’s face, brushing his bangs out of his eyes. “You’re only human.”

Ed swallowed. “I – I wish I wasn’t. I wish I could . . . I wish I could do things humans can’t.” His voice was calm, if sad, but his traitor heart was pounding and his fingers were clenching in the sheets. “. . . I wish I were stronger.”

Hughes smiled a sad, warm smile. “You are. I don’t think you realize how strong you are . . . Ed, you’ve done so much – it’s hard for me to believe how much you and your brother have overcome. Everything you’ve done . . . everything you’ve had to face . . .” his other hand moved down to clasp Ed’s, and Ed gripped it automatically. “And you’re still here. You’re so strong, Ed. And you’ll get through this.” He put his hand back on Ed’s shoulder. “But only if you learn to take it easy once in a while. I think you, of all people, deserve some rest now and then.” His smile was so warm, so loving. “Okay?”

Ed nodded slowly, mutely. “Hu – Maes,” he corrected himself, “Why are you so kind to – to us?”

Hughes’ smile widened, his incredible eyes shining. “Because you and Al need it, more than anyone I know.” He leaned forward to gently kiss Ed’s forehead, and Ed didn’t know if it was fatherly or friendly or something else and he just didn’t care. He threw his arms around Hughes’ torso and pressed his face into the man’s shoulder, the tears he’d been holding down throughout the day – and maybe throughout these four damn years – suddenly irrepressible.

Ed felt Hughes’ arms sliding around his shoulders, holding him gently, and Ed clung to him, finally breaking down and sobbing like the child he was, under it all, lonely and confused and approaching the very end of everything he had. And Hughes just held him, just – held him – making little sounds of consolation and comfort, until finally the storm was past and Ed slumped against him, utterly spent, shoulders still shaking with a few feeble sobs.

Ed was no longer crying, but he didn’t want to move, didn’t even want to open his eyes, or even think about anything at all; he didn’t struggle or protest as Hughes helped him to lie down, pulled the covers up over him, everything a father should be.

“, , , love you,” Ed breathed, exhaustion loosening his lips. He heard a soft chuckle and the brush of lips against his forehead.

“I love you, too, Ed. Both you and Al . . . Don’t ever forget that.”


****

It was getting late. Shou Tucker sighed, putting down his pen. Too late, he thought tiredly. Even Envy had gone off not long ago. Surely he could work on this tomorrow . . . right now he was falling asleep over his notes, which wasn’t doing anybody any good. Plus he was in rather desperate need of a shower. He stood up, pushing back from the table and stretching stiff limbs. He heard joints pop and knuckles crack and the Automail creak, and he sighed loudly – he didn’t want to think about how long he’d been sitting, hunched over that desk . . . and unfortunately, he didn’t think he was any closer to figuring out what had gone wrong.

Leave it for the morning, he thought tiredly. Bed would be really good right now . . .

He made his way to the door, yawning – but a strong hand on his chest stopped him.

“And where do you think you’re going?”

Tucker jumped, his heart leaping into his throat before sinking into his stomach: Envy stood there, leaning against the wall and smirking evilly. Tucker swallowed, determined not to let Envy bully him. “I’m going to bed,” he said coolly.

“Oh no you’re not,” Envy purred, and pushed Tucker sharply, knocking the surprised man a few steps back. Envy followed him. “You fucked up, Shorty.” It shoved Tucker again, harder, and he went sprawling. “One little thing we ask of you, and you couldn’t even get that right. And this after we take care of you and protect you and look after you . . .” It crouched next to Tucker, hissing in his ear. “Now, really, does that sound like equivalent trade to you?”

Before Tucker could respond, Envy had grabbed him by the hair, jerking him sharply upward, causing him to yelp in pain, dragging him back to the worktable. “So you’re not going anywhere until you figure out what went wrong.” It pressed down on Tucker’s shoulders, and abruptly he was back in the seat he’d just left, his scalp protesting such rough treatment and Envy’s proximity making him nervous. Then Envy made it even worse, pressing closer, giggling. “And I’m going to stay right here, and . . .” it smiled wickedly, “Supervise.

Tucker cringed away from Envy, shivers running up his spine. He took a deep breath, trying not to panic and just do as he was told; the sooner he did what Envy ordered, the sooner he would be left alone – he hoped. He reached for his notes again, speaking in a very small voice, “Could you maybe . . . um, give me some room?”

“Hmmm . . .” Envy appeared to consider it, and then it grinned, its fingers dancing spiderlike over Tucker’s back, tugging at the edges of the costume he wore. “No, I don’t think I can . . .” It moved closer, draping itself over his shoulders, lips pressed to a shivering Tucker’s ear. “You don’t seem to do very well without very. Close. Supervision.” It started to drift its hands over Tucker’s shoulders, down his sides, and Tucker’s brain was screaming at him, Get out, get out now, you idiot, run away! But he couldn’t – Fear and Envy rooted him to the spot.

“And you’re my alchemist,” Envy purred, “My responsibility, after all . . .”

Tucker swallowed again, but his mouth had gone dry – creepiness was par for the course for Envy, but it never got this up close and personal . . . He had a very bad feeling about this, and Envy’s hands sliding down his sides only reinforced it.

“Maybe you need to reminded that you’re mine, hmm?” the Homunculus hissed, and Tucker felt his blood run cold. Envy smiled into his ear, hands stopping on Tucker’s hips.

Tucker’s eyes went wide and his breath caught in his throat – suddenly it was all very clear . . . sensing his reaction, Envy’s smile broadened. “Maybe you need the kind of reminder that’ll leave you sore for a week . . .”

Suddenly Tucker’s body was not just responsive, but panicked – he leapt out of the chair, pushing Envy away as he stood up, shouting, “Get off me!”

Envy grinned ferally, like Tucker had just given it a present. “I don’t think so.” And then, faster than Tucker could blink, much less react, a bare foot lashed out in a high graceful arc to connect solidly with his jaw.

His head snapped back and he landed with a thud on the ground, the impact jarring his whole body. Envy was a second behind him, pouncing, placing hands and knees to either side of him. “We can do it either way,” it hissed, smiling; “You can put out, or I can beat the shit out of you.” The look on its face suggested that it would be perfectly happy either way. “Pick one.”

Tucker tried to scoot away, to put as much distance as possible between the two of them, gasping, “G-get away from me . . .” But Envy just followed him, crawling languidly, still wearing that terrifying smile.

Tucker’s mind was racing; he clapped his hands together - Oh God, please work! - then slammed them into the ground – a moment’s pause and, to his intense relief, a stone spire stabbed out of the stone floor, right towards Envy – he moved to stand, to run, slipping and sliding in his panic.

But Envy dodged the spike easily, laughing. “Bad choice, Shorty.” It readied itself to spring. “You can’t fight me. You know you’re not good enough . . .” It leaped, catlike, tackling Tucker, who was halfway to the door when Envy slammed into him. The impact rolled them both over, and Envy’s hands gripped Tucker’s wrists, pinning him down. “You’re not going anywhere, you know.”

Tucker struggled against Envy, vainly, thrashing in the Homunculus’ grip. “Let go!” He whipped his head from side to side, “Let go of me, please!”

Envy smiled, so terribly pleased with itself. “No.” It pressed its face closer to Tucker’s. “You’re mine, and I think you’ve forgotten it.”

“Please!” Tucker cried, terrified, “Let me go!”

“Why?”

“I – “ Tucker gasped, trying to keep down the panic in his voice, trying not to sound like he was begging, “I’m sorry I messed up, just – please – let me go!”

“Mmmm . . . Not good enough!”

“I – I – “ Tucker was at a loss; he could only look up at Envy in mute terror. Suddenly Envy rocked against him, and Tucker could feel something very hard – and very male – pressed against his thigh.

“You can keep struggling, though,” Envy added, baring his teeth. “I like how that feels.”

Tucker shook with fear, trying to cringe in upon himself. “Wh-what do you want from me . . ? I – I’m doing the best I can . . .”

“I’m just trying to encourage you to make your best good enough,” Envy cooed, “That’s all. Besides,” he added, face turning angry and distant, “Our best never got us any favors . . .” Then without warning, he backhanded Tucker violently, slamming his head back into the floor, eliciting another brief cry of pain. Envy leaned in and flicked his tongue over Tucker’s mouth, tasting blood and fear. “You want to do some more of that?” he asked sweetly. “Or do you just want to admit that you’re mine, and you’ll do anything I tell you?”

Tucker tried to turn away from Envy, but there was nowhere to hide, no escape for him. “I . . .” He knew full well what would happen if he said yes, but he was too damned afraid to fight Envy anymore, and he hated himself for it.

“Yes?”

Tucker closed his eyes. “I’m yours,” he whispered, cheek pressed to the floor. “I’ll do anything you tell me . . .“

He felt Envy takes his chin in a slender hand, and kiss him, hard and slow and possessive. “Now . . . that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Tucker shuddered, his eyes wide. “Oh, God . . .” He saw Envy’s eyes narrow, and a vicious smile curled on his lips.

“I’ve wanted to see defeat in those eyes for a long time now,” Envy hissed, and looking up at him, Tucker was more afraid in that moment than he ever was before.

Suddenly Envy’s wiry body sprang into motion, grabbing Tucker by the hair and hauling him to his feet, shoving him towards the table. “If you don’t have your pants down by the time I get over there, I’m tearing them off.”

Tucker gritted his teeth against the pain, his hands going automatically to his waist, even as a part of his mind berated him, You’re such a fucking coward, he’s going to hurt you anyway, so why are you making it easier for him?

Tucker’s hands were working the buckle of his belt when Envy shouted gleefully, “Time’s up!” And he lunged at Tucker, pinning him against the table, and, true to his word, ripped his pants apart, the tough leather shredding like paper in his hands. The other hand grasped one of Tucker’s wrists, wrenching it up painfully behind his back and holding it there. “This your first time?”

Tucker gasped at the pain, hissing through his teeth, “Yes . . .” He felt Envy’s body shiver.

“You know . . . that’s the first thing you’ve ever said that has really made me happy . . .” Tucker felt Envy slowly destroying what remained of his pants, tearing the leather calmly into strips. “Mine to take, mine to have . . .” He jerked the arm up further, and Tucker screamed, “Mine to use,, just like he used us . . .”

Tucker gripped the tabletop with his free hand, clenching his teeth, caught between pain and terror; he opened his mouth to speak and the sound was ragged and broken. “Wh . . . why are you doing this?”

He couldn’t see Envy, at that moment reaching down to pull his cock out of his shorts, but Tucker could hear the venom in his voice as he replied, “Because you’re a fuckup. Because I can’t do it to him, and you’re as close as I can get. Because I can.” He spat into his hand, pressing a knee between Tucker’s legs. “Now spread.

Tucker did, hating himself, knowing he was just making it easier for Envy to – oh God – to rape him, but doing it anyway . . . he shut his eyes tight and prayed it would be over soon . . .

He heard Envy snicker behind him. “Now, do try to relax . . .” And then, not waiting for an answer, he pushed roughly in.

Tucker couldn’t hold back the scream that tore from his throat – It hurt, oh God, it hurt so fucking much, it felt so wrong – The sound was harsh and broken, and he felt Envy sigh with pleasure.

“Mmmm . . .” Envy thrust raggedly, ripping more cries of pain from Tucker with each jerk of his hips, “Looks like I’ve . . . finally found . . . a use for you . . . huh, Shorty?”

There were tears – of pain and misery and terror – stinging Tucker’s eyes, and he cried out again as Envy thrust into him, burning . . . Envy gripped his hair, pressing his face into the tabletop – “Oh, God, don’t stop making that sound . . .” Tucker couldn’t even speak, could only obey, crying out, almost sobbing, hating himself even more than he hated Envy’s foul presence inside him.

And Envy was panting, thrusting, hissing, “Yeah, just like that, just like that, you pathetic little bitch . . .” And Tucker’s fingers were digging into the tabletop, his knees buckling, his throat raw, tears streaking his face and was that blood he felt trickling down the backs of his legs . . . ?

Then he felt Envy tightening, shuddering inside him, spasming, hissing with ecstasy, and Tucker screamed anew as he felt something hot flooding his insides, burning into the places where he was raw and bloody . . . Envy collapsed against his back for only a second, breathing hard, before pushing back up and pulling out of Tucker and stepping away. As soon as Envy’s awful touch was gone, Tucker sank to the floor, bleeding, shuddering, gasping, crying . . . dimly he heard Envy say, “Clean yourself up, Shorty; you have work to do.” And then he was gone, a faint pattering of footsteps as he left the room, but Tucker didn’t move. He wrapped his arms around himself, crying bitterly, brokenly, wanting only to die and knowing he was too much of a coward to do it himself.

End of Chapter 6







Okay! Well, I hope you'll all tell me what you think - like, dislike, want to burn - I want to know! Thanks so much for reading. ^v^
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