It's close enough to what Archer wanted. (Kimbley/Archer, post-series, mildly AU.)
by Melissa the Sheep
Summary: It's close enough to what Archer wanted. Post-series.
Spoilers: Through episode 48
Warnings: Maybe a bit AU. Sexual situations.
Date: July 8-11, 2005
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Arakawa-sensei, Square Enix, Studio
Bones, Funimation, Viz, etc. No infringement is intended.
Birthday fic for Laylah!
Tucker howls like a wounded animal, falling back as the light from the transmutation fades.
Archer drops the hollow-eyed girl puppet on the floor. Tucker leave a trail of blood when he
crawls over to cling to it, whimpering a name that it doesn't respond to.
Archer's leg whirs as he steps closer to the transmutation circle. It takes a strong will to
do this properly, Archer has heard. Threatening Tucker's own life hadn't been effective, but
perhaps threatening his puppet produced sufficient motivation. And if not--if this is another
spectacular failure, like Tucker's attempts to recreate his daughter--Archer can always kill
the monster before it becomes nearly-immortal.
The homunculus at his feet is malformed, organs spilling from its open body, gore spattered
around awkwardly jointed limbs. But when one hand slides shakily toward him and clutches at
his ankle, he sees a familiar array marked on the palm.
It's close enough to what he wanted.
Archer gives Tucker a cool metallic smile. "Well done."
Tucker just whimpers in reply.
Archer spends two and a half hours patiently feeding the homunculus bits of red stone, until its
body knits together fully. It sits up in his bed, pulling away from the sheets smeared with its
gore, and stares at him. Its eyes are purple and slitted now, but they have the same flat look
Archer remembers. He wonders what he'll have to do to see these eyes burn with fascination like
Kimbley's used to.
The homunculus raises an eyebrow. "Do I know you?" it asks, not sounding particularly concerned
about the answer.
"You did once," says Archer.
"I don't remember." It stares him in the eyes and reaches to touch his good arm.
Archer smiles and raises his other hand--the flesh one--to brush back the hair hanging in the
homunculus' face. "You will." He strokes its jaw, and presses his fingers to its lips. It opens
its mouth and sucks, and does not drop its gaze.
A week later, Archer feels his homunculus' stare burning into his back as he dresses. It's never
watched him so intently before. He turns to look at it--it's lounging naked on the bed, limbs
draped casually over the rumpled covers, hair loose, eyes sharp.
"Leaving again?" it asks. It must be more concerned than it sounds--Kimbley always was.
He continues buttoning his uniform. "You could come to work with me if you like. You know where I
keep your uniform from before." So far the homunculus seems to prefer the maroon suit that Kimbley
had brought with him. Archer tries not to let that hurt his pride. "You'd be an incredible soldier."
It stares at him for a long moment before it answers. "Why does that seem like a bad idea?"
Archer says nothing.
The homunculus narrows its purple eyes. "What did you do to me, before?"
"I saved you," Archer says. "I saved you from a monster that thought it owned you."
It smirks, and mutters something about a difference. Archer doesn't ask it to repeat itself.
Two days pass before Archer comes home to find the apartment covered in shards of teacups and torn
pages of the books he'd bought for Kimbley. Only one lamp turns on as he flips the switches--the
other light bulbs have been smashed like the dishes. The destruction grows thicker near the jarred
bedroom door, and Archer steps through warily.
The homunculus is on him in a second, coming up behind him before he can turn around. It clings to
his back and its hands curl around his neck, squeezing against the flesh side of his throat. Archer's
eyes water reflexively. Feathers from the ruined pillows float down around them.
"What did you do to me?" the homunculus demands. The same question it asked a few days ago, this time
with real venom. "Why don't my hands /work?/"
Archer smiles and chokes out, "Because you can--do so much more now." It's never shown him anything,
but he knows it must have some special skill. A shield, talons, a mercurial form. He's made it a goal
to tease out that information--to help it discover that talent and put it to good use.
The homunculus lets go suddenly, darting back into some dark corner of the room.
Archer smirks. "You don't know how much you can do now. I can help you learn."
"I already know," the homunculus snaps. "But it's not what I want."
"Maybe it's something I want, then," Archer murmurs, looking into the dark, finding the
homunculus' body heat glowing in his good eye. It's standing next to the bed, arms folded over its
chest. "Come here. Show me."
It doesn't back away when he moves closer and reaches to touch it, brushing his hand over its loose
hair, leaning to press his lips against its cheek, dropping his hand to stroke its cock through its
trousers. It moans.
"Show me," he whispers.
"I'll show you," it hisses, "when I use it to kill you."
He pushes it down onto the torn bed. All night long he coaxes it, with his hand and mouth and cock. It
takes everything he offers it, and still shows him nothing.
In the morning, the window is open and Kimbley's clothes are gone. The bed is empty beside him.
Archer's steel limbs ache with cold.
[ End ]