The Envy/Ed dynamic works out, as long as no one comes closer to killing Ed than Envy. Which is what Wrath tries. Which is why there is a fight/scrimmage/war, and multi-limbed homunculi wandering a...
Full Metal Alchemist
R for language, violence, and boy/boy feelings.
The Envy/Ed dynamic works out /fine/, as long as no one actually comes closer to killing Ed than Envy does. Which is what Wrath tries. Which is why there is a fight/scrimmage/war, and multi-limbed homunculi wandering about. Kind of dark, mostly Envy-centric with a side of possesive Envy/Ed and Wrath bouncing around.
This was shanii's bunny. The bunny mutated into a dark and multi-limbed thing like a giant octopus, and now I'm afraid to come out of the closet. Truly, it was an evil bunny.
In a way, Envy was giving him the best present of his life. In a way, Envy was giving him everything he could ever want, and he was even making that special personal effort by doing it himself. The kid, Envy figured, should've been a good deal more grateful than he was being, but that was Wrath for you--ungrateful noisy little street urchin with less functioning brain cells than road kill.
Envy was strangling his neck.
He was putting every effort into it, making sure not a slip of air or relief snuck in unexpectedly, and really hoping Wrath remembered not to be so stupid next time, because while he didn't mind strangling him, Envy hated getting himself all worked up. It brought out the worst in him, and he looked so unattractive when he was worked up, so uncool.
It'd started, of course, with Ed. Mr. Edward Elric, State Alchemist, martial artist, closet dwarf, and pain in the ass.
Envy considered himself to be fairly flexible, very adaptable--he thought he was the type of confident and intelligent person who was amazingly flexible, but he did have his limits, his little fuzzy gray areas that everyone had, and while it was true his were a lot farther than everyone else's, a good deal more /controllable/, he did have them, and Edward Elric fell under them. Some times. Not all the time. But some of the time.
He didn't hate Edward--that was giving him far too much credit. But he was fun to annoy and infuriate and Envy didn't really like him either and it pissed him off...no, no it didn't piss him off. That was too gentle a phrase. It enraged him, caused the red mist to come down, when anyone else took up Edward's fear. When anyone else caused Edward to sweat cold ice and it hadn't been him.
Envy got jealous easy.
Envy got jealous ridiculously easy, and he managed to get around that most of the time by being the absolute Best of the Best, and by limiting the areas he'd compete in (like trivia knowledge, team sports-stupid things, not important things). He didn't care about most people. He didn't hate most people because that would be giving them too much credit, but he did wish they were all dead. He didn't like the people he cared about either, and made a special effort that they hated the moment he'd ever come into their lives, that they'd ever been stupid and arrogant enough to attract his interest. He made sure they remembered him, and hated themselves for being alive to meet him--he liked that best.
Edward was one of them. Edward was one of his/--one of his creatures to torture, to malign, for him and for him /alone/. Edward had plenty of enemies, plenty of people who wanted to kill him or just wanted him dead or planned to use him in a way that would /result in his death or something similar, but Envy thought that he had the prime seat amoung them. Edward's other enemies could do whatever the fuck they wanted--it was Envy who was the worst of them.
Wrath hadn't replaced him.
Wrath /hadn't replaced him!/
Wrath had been...stupid. Overeager. Young. And Edward had only had a moment of weakness--he always did, whenever his younger brother's life was involved, whenever some street urchin punk was threatening the walking trash can's physical form and spiritual anchor. Edward had been stupid. Wrath had been stupid. It'd all been a mistake--it had to be. Envy hadn't been replaced and Wrath wasn't that much of a threat--that couldn't be it. Couldn't be. Envy wasn't really angry at either of them because he didn't really care about either of them he just really wanted both of them dead!
This would just be...a lesson. A gift. To remind Wrath /not to do it again/.
His fingers tightened, fighting against the potent alchemy that fueled Wrath's body as well as his own. He was physically stronger than Wrath, it was just that the kid continually tried to transmute himself into the floor or pick up elements out of the air to make a shield that was making it difficult. Very difficult.
Some people just didn't know when to give in and /die/!
A muscle twitched in Envy's cheek, soft small hands hitting and smacking his arms as he held the struggling homunculus off the ground, digging his thumbs into the soft centers of Wrath's throat that writhed in an attempt to scream and furious that the skin hadn't punctured yet.
Wrath wasn't stronger than him. Wrath wasn't better than him. Wrath was weak, new, stupid, and he was /not jealous of Wrath/!
He was just annoyed. That was all. Annoyed, and defining boundaries, educating the kid--he'd only been holding him in a death grip for less than minute, and yet Wrath still didn't have the brains to give in! Moron! Idiot!
A part of Envy cursed how long this was taking while another complained that his arms were getting tired while the majority that wasn't frothing with anger whined that it was bored. Child hands slapped against his arms, gripped the skin, and Envy felt fire and blood move inside his body /like it wasn't supposed to/.
Which just proved again, in his opinion, what an idiot Wrath was. Fighting back? Against him? Stupid!
He hissed under his breath jerking back, cradling what remained of his arms under his armpits, cold blood dripping on the stone floor in one the many empty rooms of their underground lair, stomach reeling slightly at the unaccustomed pain. Pain was something that happened to other people. Not to him.
He heard something coughing and swearing darkly in between. Not good swearing, of course. Mediocre swearing. Substandard swearing. Wrath swearing, in fact.
"You tried to kill me...you tried to kill me you fucked up psycho shit you tried to kill me!"
And sticking around while Envy was in a bad mood? Suicidal. Which just went to show, Envy scornfully summarized as pixelized light flew along his arms, how very dumb Wrath was. Wrath was no one's threat, no one's problem-he was just annoying.
"Is there a problem?" Envy asked lightly.
"You tried to kill me!"
"So?" Envy started to stroll smoothly in a circle, face slightly surprised and guiltless. Underneath it all him temper raged, but that was underneath and unimportant--he looked composed and gorgeous above. "It's not like it would actually keep you /dead/, right? Fuck, quit whining. And there are worse things I can do..."
Wrath's eyes narrowed as he fell back, not actually backing off but squaring up to fight and that was stupid of him! Plus, Envy hated to fight. Too much effort. He was good at it, of course, bloody fantastic actually, but it was so much /effort/.
"You tried to kill me," Wrath repeated in low growl.
Envy spat, "When a thought penetrates it doesn't leave fast, does it? I could've done worse..." his body changed slowly as he paced, continuing to eye the furry little mongrel disdainfully. "I could've done so much worse to you. I could've buried you in the ground and let the worms tear you apart, slow agonizing piece by piece. At the moment you have power--I could've done a lot worse."
It was Izumi's form. Wrath was...sensitive about her, for some strange reason. Izumi was a thing of the past, of what had never been and would never be, yet Wrath, /stupidly/, was still sensitive about her.
Which just proved what an idiot Wrath was, and what an excellent liar Envy was.
For a few seconds, Wrath's eyes did shiver, narrow in an attempt to hide, but it only lasted a few seconds. "That doesn't...that doesn't work when I see you do it. It doesn't /work/--"
"No?" Envy actually sounded concerned, slipping through forms smoothly like a fish. "Then why don't you attack? If it doesn't work, why am I still--"
Envy lied about a lot of things, but he didn't lie about being able to dance. Being able to dance, being able to dodge and flow around bullets and knives, and he'd had four lifetimes of experience. Wrath didn't need to clap his hands or draw a circle, all he had to do was touch something and concentrate, and he was able to shape his world around him. There was a limit to how much power Wrath could summon and an even tighter limit on how long his attention could be held, but even so, there was no warning as the roof splashed down like water and the floor rose in spikes.
Through it all came Wrath's high-pitched, bouncy laughter--Envy kicked and punched what he couldn't dodge, twisting his body into what seemed painful and impossibly fluid shapes, as the foundations of the building groaned. His teeth settled in a wolf-like smile, the canines (and he had plenty) clashing painfully against one another as his jaw ground, darting around the rising/falling spurts of stone for that little dark mousy figure that he was going to tear his /limbs off/!
"Idiot! You'll bring the whole place down! You'll bring the--"
Something slashed his abdomen and hit his back. Envy clawed through something pale (and surprisingly soft, given their genetic make-up), feeling blood run under his finger nails, grabbing and attempting to jerk Wrath's arm out of his scrawny little socket when a foot went straight through his chest and came out the other side.
Only, it went through without blood, tearing, but with a certain amount of pain. His fingers melted with the arm he'd been holding, and the weight on his back settled inside his back. The smashing of the stone cooled down, the air dusty with pebbles and excess debris trickling around.
Envy had frozen.
Wrath was grinning.
Wrath was, admittedly, not the smartest crayon on the tree. He was too young--there were a million things he didn't know and couldn't understand, and despite the tension and energy that had been packed into him like air in a tank, always on the edge of exploding from the sheer pressure, had a kind of innocence to him. He didn't really hate anyone--he liked killing people because it gave him an outlet for all his bubbly acidy energy, but he didn't actually hate them for any particular reason. He chased after Edward because Ed made him...uncomfortable. Reminded him. Of things.
It wasn't really hatred. It was definitely aversion, but it wasn't really hatred. He didn't hate Envy either--Envy was annoying, sure, slippery like a slug and incredibly, tiresomely vain/, but that was about it. Envy was fairly good at hiding his darker nature, and Wrath wasn't particularly perceptive or experienced. He had never had /time to become perceptive or experienced, had never had time to build up a personal agenda.
Wrath twitched his foot idly--Envy felt something move in his thigh. Inside his thigh. That wasn't his muscles. Or even his body.
It was technically possible. Their bodies could do whatever they needed them to. He just...had never really /thought/...
Envy's voice was flat, as colorful as slate. There was a slight sharpened edge to it, but it was uncharacteristically flat. It should've been enough to warn anyone--Wrath snickered.
Arrays are devices that direct energy; control it. They are mathematical formulas: if this and this happens, a predictable final product will occur. The concept of arrays is very simple, yet the arrays themselves complex and subtle in design. They should never be placed one on top of the other, as it confuses the alchemical energy.
Envy morphed instinctively, not caring who he was turning into or what it looked like, going for the most contrasting, contracting shapes he could think of, from ridiculously short to gelastically tall, from stick thin to Bunyanesque fat, slipping and sliding between forms as fast as his body could take him, trying to winkle that damned bitch monkey sucker out of his skin!
He could hear Wrath screaming. The kid's threshold of pain was even lower than his. Wrath had probably never had anyone force alchemy on his body before--now seemed like a good time to teach him. Arms and legs fought inside a second layer of skin as the younger creature tried to extricate himself, a mind like a freewheeling drunken sparrow trying to concentrate long enough to maneuver around Envy long enough to get out of Envy's body. Envy slipped into his chosen form, and heard something wet splat on the floor behind him.
Wrath had barely fallen for a second before an arm like a frozen pipe caught the side of his jaw, breaking it and tossing his body. Further blows rained down, mostly aimed at his face because Envy had always been vain and thought other people valued their faces more than anything, just like he did. Small static storms of red lightening chattered around Wrath's bouncing legs and arms, the rubble under him coalescing together to stab upwards and out. Envy smashed it aside.
He'd never seen Envy really angry before.
The floor swallowed Wrath, defragmenting more as Envy struck it one last time.
Envy sat up smoothly and cracked a kink out of his shoulders audibly, eyes half-closed. He pushed his hair back absently, making it fall gracefully over his back.
There was a limit to how long Wrath could hide in solid objects--for him, it was like hiding underwater, water only he could breach or submerge.
"You're going to have to breathe eventually," Envy stated idly, brushing rubble and dust off one bony arm casually, picking invisible lint off his gloves. He eyed his fingernails critically. "It's merely a matter of when. It's your own fault you're in this mess, you know. You shouldn't go messing where you don't have the right."
Envy stood, absently brushing more dust off his skirt, violet eyes tracing the room. "Now where are you."
It wasn't exactly silent. There was the sound of dust settling, the inappropriate, unnerving clatter of a hundred-year stone tumbling to the ground, separated from its family and homeless on the hole-punched and trashed floor. There was the tight, steady sound of Envy carefully controlling his own breathing. But there was no sound of Wrath.
Envy grinned winsomely, "Oh come /on/--I couldn't have scared you that bad! You started this fight, come out and finish it. Hiding now is just...childish."
"Wrath," he said warningly.
Silence. Envy sighed, rubbing the back of his neck and closing his eyes with a frown, appearing to look mildly annoyed in a grown-up way. Long hair swaying behind him, he picked his way daintily through the rubble and rock, leaving the demolished room via the small archway and stairs that had been, surprisingly, left in tact. His footsteps faded up the stairs.
For several seconds, nothing happened.
For several minutes, several longer watchful and cautious minutes, nothing happened.
Finally, towards the corner of the high cathedral-like ceiling, there was a gasp of air. Thick dark hair hung down as Wrath hung upside down, panting, only visible from the tops of his knees and chest, the rest of him still sunk inside the stone ceiling. He had his arms wrapped around his knees, his body cradled inward.
He felt sick. And afraid. And he wanted Sloth--he wanted his mother. He wanted someone to hold him and pet his hair and tell him it would be all right.
Sloth, however, wouldn't be back from Central in weeks. He'd have to be careful--Envy could take her form; he had before, and Envy never forgot a mistake. Envy was petty like that.
Wrath hugged himself tighter, and allowed himself to sink into the ceiling a bit further. It was risky, moving through walls. There was never the guarantee there would be air on the other side, or how far away the other side was. It was like swimming in underwater caves without an air tank and blind, just hoping there would be air somewhere and making sure you didn't stray too far from where there was air. It was dangerous.
It was dangerous, and Envy had tried to kill him. And Envy had almost done it. And Envy wouldn't forget he got away, and even Wrath couldn't imagine putting Envy in same sentence as 'forgive'. Some things just didn't happen, and that was one of them. Wrath shuddered, and rubbed his arm over his eyes.
Above him, the ceiling shattered, hole-punched by a single fist. Wrath fell, but not far before something cannoned into him, twisted his arms, and threw him. He bounced off the wall, and managed to soften his fall, even though he still stumbled to his knees. A foot hammered down in the center of his back, a knife hammering through his right arm, scraping the shoulder bone. Wrath screamed, bucked, and found his jaw meeting the floor painfully as his arm was twisted behind him, the knife darting out smoothly.
"Don't even think it about it," Envy growled.
"Any alchemy," Wrath's arm was twisted a little further, "and I'll sever it."
"But feel free to try," Envy's voice rose from the ominous, thug-like growl it had been in to his sunnier, light-hearted tone. "In case you don't believe me. I won't stop you from trying. It's your arm, after all. Or actually it's Ed's arm, and you're just borrowing it, you little sneak thief you!"
Envy laughed, the knife edge tracing over the tan line, where the homunculus white skin and human tanned skin meshed. One hard cut, and Wrath would be /nothing/.
"You're hurting me--"
"/Good./ I can hurt you worse. Don't whine, don't scream, and don't fight--and maybe I'll let you go. Alive."
"Do not /whine/."
Wrath whimpered, struggled weakly, more to gain some kind of sympathy than anything else, and swallowed another scream when the knife rammed through his clavicle hard, sliding out slowly and smoothly again, the wound knitting up instantly afterwards leaving a sharp ghost of pain. Envy chuckled mirthlessly, twirling the blade expertly on his fingers. Wrath lay still, biting his lip to keep other sounds from coming out--Envy was in a bad mood. Envy was in a real bad mood, and he didn't plan on letting go of it any time soon.
Instead of panicking, however, or even submitting, he started to get angry.
"This," the knife point lightly traced over the tan mark between Wrath's skin and Ed's skin, "is not yours. This," his left tanned knee was lightly kicked. "Is not yours."
"You opened the Gate on your own, but while that's impressive it doesn't mean /shit/. You were not the first homunculus created," it seemed Envy paused inappropriately. "You won't be the last. In the grand scheme of things, you are /nothing/. Understand?"
Wrath said nothing, though his body still shivered.
"What power you have you stole from him/. Fine. I don't care about that. But that doesn't mean you get the /rest/." Envy did hesitate this time, not exactly sure how to go on. "At the moment, we aren't allowed to kill him. When that moment has /passed and he can die, it won't be /you/. Got it?"
Silence. Envy rolled his eyes and sighed theatrically.
"You can speak now. If you can do it without /stuttering/, you can speak."
"Why do you want him?" Wrath's voice was surprisingly steady. Strained, pained, but steady.
The knife point pricked his skin again, right over the junction of where the ball of his arm fit into the socket joint of his shoulder.
"That's not answering my question. My question. Answer it."
Wrath winced, coughed, and finally said, "I understand."
Envy grinned broadly, "Good. And remember, I never actually said I'd let you go in one piece--"
"He's your weakness."
"You're vulnerable," Wrath continued, when Envy couldn't answer.
He couldn't see behind his head, where Envy was raising his arm to stab him through the neck, expression distant and focused, but then he didn't have to see to know what Envy was about to do. He couldn't defend himself either, not with one arm held hostage. Wrath closed his eyes, and for a few seconds the anger hardened into something approaching concentration. The knife hit his neck, penetrating about an inch before the metal began melting and shooting upwards/, through Envy's hand. Envy's /other hand started to melt into Wrath's arm, before Envy's foot connected caustically with Wrath's side, turning him over to his back and giving him time to scramble to his feet.
And that, Wrath would realize much later, was the strange part. Envy was giving him time to get up, because Envy was faster than he was.
Wrath growled, a low, continuous burly sound, hands held out at the ready. Envy only looked at him down his nose, aloof. He sighed, and began to critique his nails again, cleaning them fastidiously.
"He's your weakness!"
Envy didn't look up.
"He means something to you. I can't have him--"
"Because he's my victim," Envy interrupted without looking up, apparently enchanted with his own hands. "Like I said, I don't care what you took from him. But he's mine. Not yours. Mine."
/And one day I'll get to kill him. One day I'll get to hurt him and I'll make him /scream and he'll know it was me. Not you. Me.
No one's taking that away from me.
"Why?" Wrath was grinning at him sharply, nearly bouncing with excitement. He'd found a loophole-he'd found a weakness. He'd found something he could exploit and use and he'd make someone scream because he could and it was fun.
Envy gazed at him witheringly from under his bangs, wiping his hands off on his hips. "I let you live--I can still kill you. You aren't that important and you can be replaced."
"If you want to take him apart after he's dead, be my guest," Envy turned around to leave again, giving the archway an accusatory look for being destroyed. "You can fuck his corpse to your heart's content, yadda yadda yadda, I don't really /care/. But not before he dies. Not before he's dead."
Wrath followed at his heels, but not too closely behind because Envy was still in one of those 'moods' he went through. "He's mine! I want him dead!"
"I do too," Envy reached out and pulled him under one arm, seeming to completely ignore how Wrath had stiffened up and fought, only tightening his grip and pushing them both up the stairs as Wrath struggled out. "I do too little brother, but, well..." he shrugged, meandering and manhandling Wrath along the way, barely even stumbling.
"First business then pleasure. You and Sloth want to be human, right? Have your own little family, all quaint and cute?"
Wrath stopped struggling as hard, a little put off by the fact that Envy wasn't actively trying to kill him or hurt him even though he was touching him, and by the mention of Sloth. Sloth always worked wonders on him, even when she wasn't there. And Envy, for once, looked genuinely interested.
"I..." Wrath didn't let his shoulders relax, although the pressure of Envy's arm around them wasn't as strong. He let his feet drag though-his neck and shoulders felt itchy, where Envy was touching him. "I guess..."
"Well there you have it," Envy shrugged again. "And for that we need the Full Metal bitch alive, we need you alive, and we need her alive." Wrath's hackles stiffened at the slight stress on 'her'. Envy wouldn't be crazy enough to...
"If we've got all that," Envy grinned at him rakishly. "You've got it made, right?"
"Why do you care?" Wrath tried to shove his arm off again.
"Well sure you piss me off sometimes, but I am your older brother," the look Envy gave him stopped him from pushing his arm again. To Envy's own surprise, Wrath settled, still looking at him cautiously from under that gigantic dark mess of lint and fur he called hair, but he wasn't fighting him anymore. He was usually only that way with Sloth. Envy let his fingers curl a little more comfortably around his shoulder and continued strolling, not manhandling the kid as much as he was guiding him. He wasn't exactly surprised when Wrath relaxed a little more-not much, not a willing relaxation, but his body responded to gentleness regardless of what his mind knew.
You dumb fuck.
I almost feel bad about screwing with you sometimes.
Envy gave him a lopsided smile.
"It's kind of relevant to me. What you do affects me. Mostly I'm just here for the ride, I admit, but that thing with Ed--"
Envy stopped walking. Wrath looked at him expectantly, not fighting. Envy sighed, mouth settling into a rueful thin line, eyes unfocused, and it was a while before he continued again.
"Don't ever do that again."
He couldn't think of anything to add to that, so kept walking, leaving Wrath on the floor with a broken neck and vacant eyes.
Envy started whistling.
A/N: This was supposed to be a drabble. A small, less than 800 word drabble, and then it GREW and wouldn't stop growing. It was a very evil bunny.