Thank you reviewers! The chapters come easier knowing that there are people appreciating the story. 

Special mention to Black-Panther Lover for being so supportive! You push me to write at times, even when I'm just too lazy to!

Chapter 9

It was raining.

That was an understatement, it was flooding. The rain beat the glass window with tremulous force and the sheeting on the roof sounded its grave displeasure at being pounded so. Roy sighed and curled up tighter under the rug, willing the hunger pangs to leave him be.

Roy hated the rain. It hampered his alchemy, it made him cold, it caused his left tibia to ache and worst of all, it made him hungry. Perhaps hungry wasn't the right word, it was like calling the lake being dumped upon his house "rain". He was positively ravenous. Every blinking thing reminded him of food right now. His blanket felt like candy floss, his pillow reminded him of chicken pie, and his bolster somehow turned into a Mars bar every couple of minutes. It was times like these he questioned why he was allowing this torment. He could end it in a flourish, grab a good hot sandwich and maybe even a chocolate tart. His stomach and the rest of his internal organs would be forever grateful to such an act of great charity and magnanimity.

But alas, that fateful day was fresh in his mind. Always, it burned – unwelcome, scorched into his being and existence; an ugly brand marring a successful career, a handsome face and a loving soul. And there was that pocket of unadulterated hate, a bitter bile, stored in that cavernous hole a cloven-footed villain had so viciously gouged out years ago. Once every so often that hate morphed into an unstoppable disease, overtaking the body and controlling the mind. It ensured that Roy was unable to hold anything in his gut. It made sure Roy expelled anything presently in his stomach. It warped Roy's soul and mind.

Three hours forty minutes after entering the military, Roy completely lost his innocence, dignity, and any self-worth he had previously held. Tears bled from eyes closed so tight he could feel his heartbeat thudding rapidly in his eyelids. He could feel that breath, sickly sweet from expensive sherry with foul undertones of stale alcohol. The pain that wracked the upper half of his body was beyond belief. The pain that wracked his lower half was even worse. Hour after excruciating hour, Lucifer's incarnate had his perverted and sadistic way with Roy.

Slick arms lifted Roy's limp body. He was completely wasted from the pain, but more so from dealing with the pain. Through the delirium of white noise and the plethora of unpleasantly piercing colours, Roy discerned those damning words which changed his life. The arms disappeared and his abused form thudded the wooden boards.

"You are fat. You're god damn heavy. Hah! You're just lucky I like the fat ones. Cuter, younger, your kind scream more. It was a pleasure, what's your name? Rod? Maybe I'll see you again."

Roy had been seventy five kilos at the time; fresh from the academy, muscular with the appropriate puppy poundage for his tender age. By the time the eight day-long fever that followed those four torturous hours was over, he was sixty nine and a half kilos.

From then onwards it was a downhill journey. Roy couldn't allow himself to be bait to the powerful and heinous. It started with going to the gym everyday, and then it progressed to skipping lunch. Soon enough, Roy found eating a completely unnecessary chore. The inner workings of his mind had managed to produce a twisted equation, borne from the hours of fever dreams, nightmares, and mental anguish. Food equalled rape. If he ate, he grew fat. If he grew fat, the consequences would be too dire for him to contemplate. It drove Roy completely insane.

Roy's memory served him well – too well. That familiar prickling sensation worried his spine, those damned voices that wrung his eyes dry and left his head throbbing threatened to consume the last shreds of composure Roy clung to like the hair of a drowning man.

A strangled scream rent the damp air. Roy clutched his heart, the pain there almost tangible. Raw yells tore from his throat as he surrendered to the sea of blood that filled his vision. Roy conceded to his feeling, bucking and thrashing under their command. They demanded he submit, and submit Roy did.

Gasping in the sleet, Hughes watched the fit like seizures that contorted Roy's body with mixed horror and fascination. Invisible evils appeared to break and re-break Roy, throwing invisible punches and invisible blows. Invisible was always the more inevitable, always the most dangerous. He clawed the window, the sheet of tempered glass that separated him from pulling Roy from his impalpable tormentor.

Hughes curled into a tight ball and pressed himself against the wall, taking meagre shelter under the parapet that served as a windowsill. Fists clenched and unclenched, Hughes started to think, tried to think; but the only thing bouncing off the inside of his skull was the abject horror that plagued Roy and the tireless grim reaper who seemed nothing less than intent on hacking both their souls to tiny fragments of wasted hostility.

Drawing lazy circles in the sodden soil, Hughes' mind clarified. Eating was always a private ritual for Roy, thus the lack of control by others. Roy made his own food as well, further more excluding human interference. Another contributing factor would have to be the fact that Roy probably counted his calories, as the website on anorexia had mentioned. It would also be good to presume Roy's pantry was filled with nothing but rabbit food. Well, that would have to change if Roy was going to get better. Hughes snuggled closer to the concrete, still warm from the hours of sunshine before the bitter rain. He closed his eyes and let his mind run free. It worked best that way.

Roy's constant loneliness and self-seclusion allowed for his disorder to run amok, like rabid bunnies on a terror ride. Hughes almost laughed at the mental picture. It seemed so simple all of a sudden – why hadn't he thought of it before? Hughes flung short laugh into the raging wind that whipped through his hair, it was all so simple.

Roy panted heavily on the suede couch, face sticky and puffy from his crazed spell. Secretly, he thought he felt like a marshmallow. He almost laughed at the mental picture. It seemed to silly all of a sudden – why had he thought of it at all? Roy allowed a giggle to escape chapped lips, but it was lost on the howling wind that taunted the eaves of the roof and the Perspex windows. Still, it was all so silly.

It was almost uncanny the way Roy and Hughes thought so similarly. It was almost unnerving. It made things harder, and at the same time easier, as if it were meant to be. Perhaps the heavens did favour them after all? Or perhaps the gods were having their manipulative fun – how skinny could Roy get?