You look like someone just walked over your grave. (Warning for squelchy decaying body.)
by Melissa the Sheep
Summary: You look like someone just walked over your grave.
Characters: Greed, Envy
Spoilers: Through Episode 34
Warnings: Squelchy decaying body omg!
Date: June 10 - 19, 2005
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Arakawa-sensei, Square Enix, Funimation, Viz, etc.
Feedback: melissa [at] hippiegoth [dot] org
Archive: List/community archives and by submission. Otherwise, ask.
Especially for pinstripesuit's doujinshi contest!
Three nights later, Envy is standing at the roadside again. It's dark and wet again--the moon is blotted out by thick clouds, and a cold mist has settled stagnant over the ground between the black spindly trees. And, like last time, Envy is here for digging.
The difference is that this time he's with a live man. If you could call Greed that.
"So this is it?" Greed asks, kicking at the damp ground between them. It's a crooked patch of unsettled earth, still grassless and fresh. An unmarked grave, dug in haste beside a lonely road.
Envy nods. "Yes. Now dig."
Greed tosses his shovel to the ground. He strips off his cloak and his waistcoat and his cocked hat, and hangs them on a low branch. Envy stands beside the grave as Greed begins to dig.
"It feels wrong," Greed murmurs after a few minutes. He continues to toss aside shovelfuls of wet dirt.
"Because it's a wet night," Envy says. "Mud is heavier. You would have less strength left after you'd finished digging down." He cocks his head and smiles. "Don't you remember that, Greed? You told it to me only a week ago."
Greed stops his work--already knee-deep in the hole--and stares blankly at him. So young, still witless. Not yet trying to untangle Envy's games. Not yet aware of what Envy can really do. It's hardly amusing if Greed plays into his hands without a struggle.
He reaches forward to stroke Greed's hair. "But all that doesn't matter any more, Greed. You're more than strong enough now."
Greed's expression stays flat as he shakes his head. "That wasn't what I meant. It feels wrong to even be here."
Envy just smirks, and withdraws his hand. Ah, and there's a reaction--a flicker of suspicion in Greed's violet eyes.
"You know why, don't you." It's not a question, but it's not quite an accusation either. "Tell me, Envy."
Envy takes a step backwards and clasps his hands behind his back, his smile still in place. "Keep digging, Greed."
"Bastard," Greed snaps, and swipes at him once with a clawed hand.
Envy jumps back to avoid the blow. "Temper, temper. Now dig."
Greed snarls at him, but looks back to the ground and resumes his work. Each shovelful of wet earth makes a dull slap as it hits the mound by Envy's feet. Envy lets it spatter on his boots.
He smiles wryly. "Someone as young as you ought to be more curious."
Greed mutters something unintelligible, and does not look up at him.
Envy persists. "Don't you wonder why she asked us to do this? Don't you wonder whose grave this is?"
Greed looks up this time, still scowling, pausing to draw the back of his hand over his brow. His shirt has begun to cling against his skin, damp with the mist and his sweat. Already Greed is up to his thighs in the grave. It won't be long now--Envy didn't bury the body very deep.
"I don't care about her reasons," Greed snaps. "And the name she gave meant nothing to me. What I do wonder, is why you aren't helping, you prick."
"Soon," Envy purrs. "I'm not here to do the digging. I'm here to watch over you, and to carry something home."
Greed scoffs. "What's in there that I couldn't carry?"
Envy smirks. "You'll see. Dig."
"One of these days," Greed mutters, "I'll--"
"Dig," Envy repeats.
Greed snarls petulantly, but obeys this time. The hole is deep enough now that Envy smells the first hints of decaying flesh, thick and over-sweet. His stomach twists sharply. The smell grows stronger as Greed continues to dig.
Greed's nose wrinkles at the odor. "Lovely stench."
"Reminds me of the old hag."
Greed glances at him, one eyebrow raised. "What?"
Envy shrugs. "You'll understand someday."
Greed brings up a few more shovelfuls of dirt, then tosses the shovel aside. He's standing at the corpse's feet. "Your turn now," he says before pinching his nose against the smell.
Envy drops lightly into the empty space above the corpse's head, and stoops to brush the the last layer of dirt from its face. He cradles the back of the head in his hands, lifting it up, and gives Greed a wide beguiling smile.
"Look at him, Greed," he urges, voice sweet and wicked like the body's stench.
"'Druther nod," Greed says, fingers still in place, but he glances down anyway.
His hand falls away from his nose and he stands very still, staring down at the corpse's face. Its hollowed eye sockets are crawling with maggots; its bloated, discolored flesh is beginning to loosen its hold on the bones. But its features are still recognizable after a moment's look--and comprehension is dawning in Greed's eyes.
Greed drops to his knees and leans forward. "Envy. Is it . . . " He reaches toward the head, slowly, tentatively.
Envy holds his breath and waits.
Greed's hand finally comes close enough, and he cries out sharply. The shield flashes reflexively across his skin, but he can't hold it when he's this close to his old body. He collapses onto the corpse.
Envy jumps back out of the grave and stands to watch as Greed gasps, and curses, and snarls, and writhes desperately like a hooked fish. Envy grins.
After a few moments, Greed manages to turn onto his back, and he stares up at Envy with wide eyes and bared teeth.
"Envy!" he screams, grasping feebly at something in front of him that Envy can't see. His hand moves too slowly, and still can't stay hard and clawed for more than a moment at a time. "God damn you, Envy, what did you do to me?"
Envy doesn't answer. He stands there, arms folded, waiting for Greed to wear himself out with this flailing and screaming. It isn't long before Greed's hand is shaking and his breath is coming hard between screamed curses. Envy steps back down into the grave then, straddling Greed's stomach and catching Greed's wrist.
Greed struggles weakly against Envy's grip, still trying to bring up his shield. His whole body is trembling. "Please," he whimpers. "What's happening? I see--I see things--people--"
"Hush now," Envy coos, pressing the hand down against Greed's chest. "Let me help you out of here."
"What did you do to me, Envy?" Greed asks again. There's no heat in it this time. "You prick, you bastard, I--"
"Shhhh," Envy murmurs. He slides his hands under Greed's arms, and drags him up and onto the grass by the grave. Greed rolls onto his side and draws his knees to his chest, still shaking and weak.
Envy turns away, and steps back into the grave. He looks down at the corpse.
"Do you know why she sent us here?" he asks. He doesn't wait for Greed to respond. He doesn't care if Greed can even listen in this condition. "Because she wants to teach us a lesson. She wants you to know that she could do this to you again, with this body."
He gathers up the corpse, one arm under its shoulders, one arm under its knees, and hops up out of the grave. He steps over to where Greed is still huddled.
Envy laughs bitterly. "And she wants me to be sorry. After fifty years, she should know me better than that."
He gives a sharp kick to Greed's back. He can hear the bones break, but he knows they'll heal in seconds. There's no satisfaction in doing it. Greed whimpers and curls in on himself more tightly.
"Why couldn't you have stayed dead?" Envy hisses. He leaves Greed lying by the road, and carries the corpse back to the house.
There's a new grave waiting there.
Much love to swordage, for giving me lots of wonderful icky information about decomposition, and for looking over a passage.
My Envy muse is a nasty little bastard. Did he like my idea of pulling Greed out of that grave and taunting him? Hell no, Envy wanted to leave Greed flailing on top of the corpse, and put back all the dirt. I had to smack him many times before I got his (grudging) cooperation. I hope Greed is grateful.