Freedom

"Will you please stop glaring at me like that?" the elder man said, a frown of discontent on his face.

"Shut up! I'll do whatever the hell I want!" the younger man fumed.

The elder man pushed his spectacles up his nose with a sigh, and lay back against a hay bale. The younger man raised a bottle to his lips, and took a long gulp from it.

"I can't believe I have to sit here with you; you're such a pain in the ass," the younger man commented.

"Then why don't you just leave?" the elder man asked, sparing the younger one a glance. The young man's eyes were hidden now behind the long, green tinted tendrils of dark locks.

"Because that person told me I have to stay here with you," he spat, taking another long gulp from the bottle.

"You mean Dante told you, right?"

"Yes," he replied after a long hesitation.

"That figures, although, I'd have rather have someone else guard me. Even Gluttony would have been a better choice.

"Well, suck it up and shut up. It's not like I'm enjoying this either."

Envy didn't quite know what to expect when Dante called for him. He did know that once he saw the smile on her face, he already didn't like it. He thought he was going to have to do something terribly boring, or do something to the Fullmetal Pipsqueak, like guide him, and not be able to do anything more than talk to him. He wouldn't have been able to put up with that. The urge to beat the hell out of him would have overwhelmed him. Little did he know that his task was much worse than that.

"I want you to go into a barn on the outskirts of Central," she said quietly, arms folded across her chest. The way she smiled at him made Envy cringe. "In that barn is a person I need you to guard for me for a while. Don't let that person out, don't let anyone else in. Just stay there with that person until I come for you."

When Envy arrived to the barn, he sighed, thinking it was some other poor sap who she was going to use to make the Philosopher's Stone, or maybe a beautiful young woman whose body she would transfer into when the time came. He hadn't expected Hohenheim of Light to be there, sitting against a hay bale. Of course, Hohenheim wasn't expecting him either, and he stood up and backed away when he caught sight of the figure standing in the entrance of the barn.

Envy gritted his teeth and walked over to the far corner of the barn, sitting against a crate, placing a box next him. He refused to look at the man, but he knew that the man had stared at him for a good, long while. At long last, he ripped open the box and extracted a bottle of liquor, popping open the top and taking a long drink from it. When he spared the elder man a glance, he saw a frown on his face.

"Why did you bring those?" Hohenheim had asked carefully, choosing his words with great caution, hoping that he wouldn't turn Envy into a raging homunculus with the wrong choice of words.

"So I could ignore you a little better," Envy spat hatefully.

"Then give me one so that I don't have to think about your presence either," Hohenheim demanded.

"Screw you. Get your own. Oh wait! That's right, you can't, can you? Too bad for you," Envy said, taking another gulp from the bottle.

Instead of Hohenheim fixing the young-looking homunculus with a glare, it had been the other way around.

Now, both men were glaring at each other, their eyes alight with a fiery hatred for one another. At long last, Envy's first bottle was finished, and he threw it at Hohenheim, striking the man's forehead. Hohenheim cried out and held a hand to his forehead for a moment, then drew it away to inspect it for blood. There was none. He then affixed Envy with another glare, drawing his lips into a deep frown.

"What did you do that for?" he asked angrily.

"Because you deserved it, you worthless old bastard," Envy said acidly.

"For what? Sitting here in a barn?"

"You know damn well what for!"

For a long time, everything was silent. Envy stared into the wall, trying his best to occupy his mind. Hohenheim watched the angry and tormented homunculus. For a while, a soft sorrow passed over his face, and at long last, he sighed, and his expression became exhausted, and he leaned against the hay bale, one leg extended forward, the other bent at the knee, and an arm resting on that knee.

"So, you still haven't let that go?" Hohenheim asked at last, breaking the stifling silence that had fallen like a musty blanket over them.

"Well, what do you think?" Envy asked quietly, eyes narrowed.

"Four hundred years is certainly a long time to hold a grudge, don't you think?"

"It's your fault," Envy countered quickly.

"How is it my fault?"

"You gave me an empty existence."

"Then fill it up."

The tormented homunculus was about to respond, but found that he couldn't. He realized that he had become so consumed with anger and hatred that he had allowed himself to stew in those emotions, and therefore became submissive to Dante and her plot, becoming her pawn in the hopes that he would one day take his revenge.

"Shut up," he said at last, unable to admit the truth.

"You haven't even tried to become someone, have you?" the alchemist accused.

"Shut up."

"I'm right, aren't I?"

"Shut up!" Envy screamed again, this time leaping from his position and tackling the man, pinning him to the floor and slamming his fist inches from the man's face. Hohenheim seemed unphased. "How could I become someone! Who would accept a monster like me! Tell me that!"

"You don't have to tell them that you're a homunculus," the man pointed out.

"They'd figure it out sooner or later."

"Then you could move on."

"I won't! I won't do that! If I do that, just move on when I felt the risk of being discovered creeping up on, I'd be like you!"

"'Like father like son.'"

"Shut up! You have no right to call me your son!" Envy screamed, raising his fist and slamming it into the side of Hohenheim's face.

"You are my son," the blonde-haired alchemist stated, still seemingly unnerved by the situation he was in, and taking no notice to the pain in his cheek.

"I'm not your son!"

"You are."

"I'm not!" Envy screamed, hitting the man again, this time with more force. He hit the pinned alchemist again and again, repeating those words, as though he were not trying to convince his victim, but himself. The final strike missed, and hit the floor, and the homunculus ceased his outburst, breathing heavily, his dark locks falling over his eyes again.

Hohenheim coughed, blood spilling from his mouth and dripping down the side of his face to the floor, but he regarded his aggressor not with anger, but with indifference with a touch of sorrow.

"Do you really feel that way?" the alchemist asked at last. "Or is that what you're telling yourself to ease the pain?"

"What do you know about pain?" Envy said through gritted teeth.

"Plenty. More than you'll ever know."

"Yeah right."

"Believe me if you want. But you didn't answer my question. Do you really feel that your not my son, or is that just what you tell yourself to make it better in your mind?"

"Shut up!" Envy screamed again, raising his head and glaring at the man. Small, transparent lines ran from his eyes and down his cheeks. "Don't you lecture me about that! You know that it's all your fault! You're the one who brought me back from the grave! You're the one who discarded me like a broken tool! It's all your fault, so don't you tell me what I try to tell myself and what's true!"

Hohenheim said nothing. He couldn't deny that he had told Envy that he was not his son shortly after the transmutation. He merely stared up at the homunculus, waiting for a sign that he would hit him again.

"Tell me why," Envy said quietly.

"Why what?"

"Why did you bring me back? Why did you bring me back and then throw me away like that? Why!"

"I wanted my son back," Hohenheim mumbled, too low for Envy to hear.

"What did you say?" Envy demanded.

"I said that I wanted my son back, but instead I got a monster!"

Envy stopped for a moment, and stared at the injured alchemist.

"You...wanted your son back...?"

"That's right! I wanted my son back! But I didn't realize that, despite my sacrifices, despite all the work I put into the research, that all I'd get in return was a monster!"

Envy's eyes widened, and then his face contorted with rage.

"You...liar...You damned liar!" he screamed, throwing his fist once into the man's face once more. "You expect me to believe that shit! You brought me back as a monster, and then discarded me! You didn't even give me a chance! You gave me four hundred years worth of hell! Maybe you wanted your son back, but four hundred years worth of crap does not mean that I'm happy with my empty existence! There's nothing for me in this world! Nothing! All I am in this world is a pawn for that bitch and it's all your fault!"

"That 'bitch' is your mother," Hohenheim pointed out calmly.

"I don't care! She cares about me about as much as you do, maybe even less! All I am is her invincible little pawn, and she knows that I can do nothing more than obey her like a little dog following its master! She know's I have nothing else!"

"So go get something else. Make something of yourself. Who's stopping you?"

Envy regarded Hohenheim with a look of disbelief.

"What did you just say?"

"If you're not happy with the way things are, break free and make something of yourself. It's your choice. Maybe you're not human anymore, but you were once and even after death, you haven't lost your lust for freedom, have you? That is the natural tendency of humans; to crave what they don't have. Right now, you could have almost anything that you wanted, except for freedom, but only because you refuse to take it for yourself and run as far as you can. Your lack of freedom is not my fault, Envy. It's yours, because you're too afraid. You're afraid that you won't have a purpose if you do."

Nothing more was said between the two men. When Dante came several days later to the barn, she found nothing other than a box of liquor, three bottle missing. One of them was cracked and off to the side. The other two were discarded next to each other, in front of two hay bales that had been moved next to each other, both with an indent on them as the only other proof that people had been in there.


So...I actually got the idea for this story from an rpg I was in...The idea is generally the same, and I needed...an outlet? I wanna say outlet. I put some things in here that I needed to say but...couldn't. So I said it here. I want to apologize for the language use on Envy's part. But when I write for Envy, I try to think like him...and so ya. If you're offended by the use of language, please forgive me and know that I am not like that in real life.