Envy wants what he can't have. But having Ed will do.
"Yeah, he's been gone for hours now." The voice was an unwelcome intrusion. Envy. A poor copy of a half-brother who died long before Ed was born. His father really was a bastard.
"You were Father's golden boys, you know that? You and your brother. His perfect fucking alchemist sons, all the things he'd wanted." Envy's voice was bitter, tinged with what almost sounded like regret. "Perfect children. His children." Envy paused. "I hate you."
"Yeah, well you're welcome to that piece of shit. I don't give a damn what he thinks of me. Why the hell does it bother you? You wanna be his son so much, go ahead. The position's open." Ed's voice was harsh. Breathing hurt. But it had... almost the desired effect.
"Shut. Up!" Envy's fist crashed into his face, whipping his head around. Ed felt his skull hit the stone of the wall behind him with a sickening crack, and the world went mercifully dark.
"Ed? Are you...?" The voice this time was Al's, armored hands cradling his face gently. As his eyes slowly focused, Ed saw his brother in front of him, posture radiating concern. There was a bed beneath him now, unfamiliar, with checkered curtains letting some daylight filter through and cast patches of light onto the knitted blanket he was curled under. Everything about the room was normal, mundane, safe. And therefore immediately suspect.
"Al?" He was too weak to move much, but one of his hands reached out to feel the armor.
"Yeah. Are you okay, big brother?" A hand clumsily stroked his hair, and Ed closed his eyes for a minute.
"You're dead." The words were painful to say, but he forced them past bruised lips anyway. "I saw... The armor. Pieces. You're dead."
"I'm dead?" Al moved to check himself, tapping at the armor. "No... See? Still alive, all in one piece, big brother..."
"No, you're not!" Ed shoved the false image away with his remaining strength. The not-Al turned with a sob and fled the room, feet pounding down the hallway outside. Ed just waited. The footsteps that came back down the hall were different, a precise military stride. Before the door even opened, he knew whose image was going to be next.
"Fullmetal. You're making your brother cry?" Mustang. "I thought he meant more to you than that."
"You're not real." The words came out dully.
"Of course I'm real, Fullmetal," Mustang said. "I'm real, and so is the stack of paperwork your irresponsible antics are currently keeping me from. Though..." and here here he smirked slightly, "I'm not sure I shouldn't be thanking you for that."
"Fine, then. If you want to prove you're real, bring Al back in here. I want to see both of you. At the same time."
Mustang chuckled at that, his voice changing to one not as familiar, but one Ed loathed far more. "So, the Fullmetal Midget's a clever one." Envy's voice out of Mustang's mouth only confirmed his suspicions.
"What do you want?" Ed couldn't keep the desperation out of his voice.
"What do I want?" It was Roy's voice again now. "Fullmetal, you're overanalyzing things."
His mother's face. "Maybe I just want to take care of you. You are..."
And then Hohenheim, "...my son, after all."
As much as he knew that face wasn't real, he couldn't help but react to those words, in that voice. "You bastard!" Finding strength he didn't know he had, he lunged all the way out of bed, blindly lashing out. His hands clenched around Hohenheim's throat. "Miserable selfish piece of shit excuse for a father, how dare you claim me as your son..."
Again the chuckle, as Envy took his usual form and broke Ed's grip on his throat. "Well, well, well. You really do hate him, don't you? Seems like that's something else we have in common."
"Why are you doing this? Are you just getting off on torturing me?" Ed's knees gave out, and it was Envy, in defiance of all reason, that gently caught him and held him close, supporting his weight.
"Why?" Envy said. "Because you're his. Because he loves you, whether or not you choose to hate him for it." One of Envy's hands stroked down his spine as the homunculus pressed close against him. "And I don't just want to torture you, dear Edward. I want to break you. I want to take away everything that he loves in you. And when I finally break you, you'll belong to me."
Envy's form rippled again, hair and eyes changing to shades of gold, wearing the face that was so like Hohenheim's, like Ed's. He smiled down at Ed with his perfect Elric features, and when the homunculus bent to kiss him, all tender bitterness, Ed couldn't find the strength to fight it.