The war left Roy damaged. Ed's paying for it. (For Remix Redux IV.)
The Sky is Falling In (Rain of Ashes mix)
On your good days you don't think about it.
On your mostly good days you tell yourself that you could stop. Will stop. Have stopped.
On your bad days you think they executed the wrong alchemist after the war.
Before Rizenbul you don't do it often. (/Before Ishvar/, says the sand-roughened drawl in the back of your head, /you didn't do it at all./) It's mainly a lack of opportunity. You don't go looking for it, and given your position chances rarely come to you. Most of the people you deal with on a daily basis are too competent, too powerful, to set you off.
It doesn't help that the first time you lay eyes on him, he's gaunt and pale from loss of blood. (/Brings back memories, doesn't it?/ your bunkmate rasps.) That he looks even smaller than he is with two limbs missing.
You can remember a time when helplessness made you feel protective.
When he comes to Central you shunt him off to someone else's care as quickly as possible. He's a brilliant alchemist, a genius like his father was rumored to be. That will make him a valuable asset in your larger plans. He shouldn't be squandered on impulses.
He stays with Tucker. You sleep badly. His eyes are gold, brighter and warmer than the only other pair you've seen that color. He looks determined even when he's terrified and in pain. You wish you didn't know that.
You go looking for something to take the edge off.
It's completely unsatisfying, the too-skilled mouth and flat dark eyes of a boy less than half your age. You pay the pittance it costs and don't do that again. (/Whores are no fun, are they?/ you hear, in the back of your head. /Money is such a poor motivator. They need better reasons./)
He has a better reason. You try not to think of that as his exam date grows closer. All the same, you remind him of it when you come to bring him the news about the written test. His brother is a secret that must be kept. You make him an offer. You try not to think about the unsaid terms. The look of dismay on his face just before he agrees makes you hard.
The first time you do it is right after he passes his exam. The look of pride and delight on his face ought to make you happy. Instead it makes you drag him off into an alley. You repeat the things you've reminded him of before. You've been repeating them to yourself like a mantra for days.
His cock is small in your hand. Not yet fully developed. He's too young for this and especially for you. You make him come anyway. You aren't naÃ¯ve enough to think that meant he wanted it.
You wonder if he is.
The next time you see him is at the scene of the crime, when Tucker's transgressions are discovered. The air smells like blood and death and alchemy. You're grateful for the rain, because without it the similarity would be too much to bear.
His white gloves are stained with blood. It soaks into them, dark across his knuckles. You think it suits him. Alchemists' hands are always dirty.
(/It's not just his gloves, either. His right hand is an alchemist's like yours has never been. You still try to keep it from marking you./)
You wake up at four in the morning in a cold sweat, tasting power and sand and bile in the back of your throat. You remember how your skin felt scoured raw. You remember how it felt like you were bleeding inside, all the time, somewhere the doctors couldn't find. You remember how many women and children there must have been in those houses. You still wish they'd had the sense (/had the fucking sense/) to run.
You know how little you left standing.
You do what you can to keep yourself from getting closer. You call him by title instead of by name. You send him on assignments to backwater towns where you'll never set foot. You drop hints about rumors of the Stone. You suspect that he's at least as grateful to have an excuse to be gone as you are to give him one.
Still, eventually there's a second time. You find him in the bathroom by accident, and he looks so small, so vulnerable, without the huge armored shadow that is his brother. You've pushed him into a stall, your fingers digging into his shoulder, before you can help yourself. You wish he would grow up already, so he wouldn't look so much like what you want.
It's another attempt at distance when you push him to his knees. You can't see his eyes if you're holding his head down. They're the color of sand. (/They're the color of the sun. The color of gold. The color of power,/ and the hungry hateful purr in your mind is so familiar it might as well be your own.)
When you leave you can hear him spitting into the sink, over and over again. You don't bother to tell him it won't do any good. What's wrong with you runs too deep for that.
He's the first one you've ever gone after a second time. It's a bad precedent. You send him on longer trips after wilder rumors. Somehow, there always seems to be something to them, though it's never what he wishes it were. He starts to develop a reputation, which makes him even more of an asset and makes it even more important that you not touch him again.
You're certain the Fuhrer won't let his ridiculous assessment proposal go through.
And then it does.
You could have killed him, you think afterward. You could have just snapped your fingers one last time and it would have been over.
But he could have killed you, too. He could have lashed out one last time with his bladed arm while you stood frozen. And he didn't. The old scar in your shoulder, where you took a bullet from a terrified boy's rifle years ago, throbs in time with your heartbeat. You think you might have a fever.
You're afraid to think about what any of this means.
After that your resolve breaks. You start doing it at any chance you get, and you stop trying to avoid getting chances. Eventually you aren't satisfied with his mouth. You spread him over your desk and take his virginity with the same unflinching ruthlessness that got you the desk in the first place. He doesn't come, and he doesn't cry. You tell yourself you're not disappointed by either of these things.
Your dreams don't get better. Ash drifts down from an orange-black sky, brushing your face like snow, streaking your skin. There's high, crazed laughter floating over the killing field. You pray it's not your own. You're almost sure it's not your own. Golden eyes like sand, like the sun, like fire, accuse you of every sin you've ever committed.
He's still so small, pinned under you. His metal limbs creak when you're rough with him, when you try to force him to respond. Even when you disgust him, even when you can taste bile in his mouth, he still won't lash out at you.
So you don't stop. Haven't stopped. Won't stop.
Everyone has a breaking point. You've long since passed yours. Maybe, when you reach his at last, he'll turn on you. Maybe he'll finally give you what you deserve.
You can hope.