(A/N) Hey people! Just a short one-shot for a friend's birthday. Hope you're feeling better Mara! It's a silly, mushy AU for the sake of it.
So, in this one, Envy was not around when Dante fed Al to Gluttony to create a complete stone, thus he didn't kill Ed and neither got sent to the alternate world. The stone was completed though, but the power overwhelmed Al. Ed used it to bring his brother back… but he miscalculated something.
Miscalculations are not a good thing children, with or without the law of equivalent exchange.
The quote of the beginning is Mayan Proverb.
Edit 03/07/06: I spellchecked the story again and corrected a few mistakes that editing had caused. I hope it reads better now, but if not, don't hesitate to tell me so!
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or related trademarks, I own, however, any remains of a plot you can trace here.
"A spark of kindness starts a fire of love."
Envy walked along the remains of the building that had once been Dante's hide out. Which had once been his home. Sneering at the thought, he kicked some of the debris, bored. It certainly looked like the Elric brothers had been around. Well, he thought dryly, no big loss if the bitch is gone. But it still felt strange: he didn't know if any of the others had survived, though he suspected Wrath. The stupid brat had more lives than a cat anyway. Envy scowled a bit at the thought of the younger Homuluncus, then snorted and turned to walk away. Suddenly, he stopped. Ears twitching slightly, he turned to scan the area, eyes narrowed. Sure enough, after a moment, he saw a flash of golden glinting under a bit of debris. Snarling softly under his breath, he stalked purposely towards it, murder his intent. What he found, however, wasn't exactly what he had been expecting.
"What the fuck?"
Blinking, he stared incredously at the pitiful creature half trapped under the remains of the building. Golden eyes looked up at him, half lidded at first, then widening as the small kitten yelped and meowed frantically, very obviously afraid. Envy reached out for it and got bitten by the hysterical animal. He glared down at it.
"Fine, fucking die for all I care," The Homuluncus crossed his arms over his chest, snorting.
The kitten hissed pathetically, small pawns pressed under its body, trapped under its weight as the wooden beam held it captive. Homuluncus and feline engaged in a fierce glaring contest. After a moment, the green haired teen snorted and shrugged. With inhuman ease, he removed the wood that kept the cat trapped and quickly snatched up by the neck in a surprisingly gentle manner. It hissed and spitted, but reveled something interesting to Envy's keen eyes. Two of its paws were replaced by automail. He snorted.
"Typically human," He sneered in distaste, looking at the cat disdainfully, "Let's experiment on living things, and once we fuck up, we'll be charitative and try to fix it."
The cat curled around his wrist, biting hard. Glaring down at the little pest, he let it on the floor again and noticed it was having a hard time standing on its own. Envy shrugged, then turned himself into an adult cat, with the same coloring as the kitten, and then proceed to hold it by its neck again.
No one paid much attention to the mother cat carrying her automail aid kitten through the streets.
Envy stared at the ball of golden fur. Golden eyes stared back at him. He sighed.
"And I supposed this is were I get you a name, right?"
The kitten meowed. It had stopped struggling when it became apparent it was not going to escape Envy's hold and resigned itself to be carried around when Envy didn't show signs of hurting it. At the moment, the cat was resting on a shabby wooden table that was pushed against the window of the small kitchen. Envy lived in an shabby old cabin in the outskirts of the city: secluded, private and perfect for a psychopath to rest in between missions, expecting new orders. Not that he had anyone to order him around anymore.
"I'm not good at this," The Homuluncus mused wryly, resting his chin on his hand, watching the nervous fur ball with half lidded eyes, "You don't look fluffy, or cute, or any disgustingly annoying quality humans use to describe your kind. Nah…" He reached out to poke the kitten's nose with a finger, smirking as the animal unconsciously crossed its eyes, "You're just a cat, that's all."
'Cat' meowed again, fur fluffing out as it arched its back. Envy grinned.
Envy scowled darkly. 'Cat' hissed, spitting and backing as much as he could from the bowl.
"It's milk, you know? The stuff cats drink all the time?" Shooting the sniffing fur ball a glare, Envy narrowed his eyes, "Eat goddamnit!"
The kitten turned sharply and sank its tiny teeth on the hand holding him, Envy let out a gasp of surprise and retracted his hand, rubbing it furiously.
"That you can't kill me doesn't mean you can't hurt me," He muttered accusingly, shoving the bowl of milk towards the kitten. It skittered backwards, absolutely terrified, "Oh fine, starve to death for all I care."
But he let the kitten have some remains of his own meal, and scowled darkly when 'Cat' rubbed against his leg in appreciation.
"No. Absolutely not," He glared. 'Cat' meowed. "Get off my bed, now."
Another pitiful meow, almost a whine. Golden eyes stared pathetically up at him.
"...Oh for fuck's sake, fine... but if I find cat fur in my bed..." He left the threat hanging, watching with distant amusement as the kitten scrambled under the covers, looking a tad bit ridiculous with its overly small legs.
"I'm getting soft."
"Dante had Greed and Pride built this house a few years ago," Envy talked as he fixed a few loose boards in the roof. 'Cat' meowed as it perched precariously on the edge.
The green haired Homuluncus had been slightly annoyed at the kitten's insistence to follow him around, but eventually, he gave up with a shrug and started carrying the cat around. While it was amusing to see it running on too short legs, it was impractical and Envy apparently had too much to do, to waste time watching the fur ball.
"Of course, she never lived here, it'd be too," Sneer, "Rustic, for her. No, Dante had to have silk sheets and red wine around to be happy. Generally it was just Lust and me here, which was fine, until she tried to make something remotely edible," Envy paused his hammering and shuddered violently, "I wished Homunculus didn't need eating after that."
Leaving the hammer on the wooden surface, he looked around for something, brow furrowed. 'Cat' meowed, then pushed the box of nails with its head. Envy grinned.
"Smart lad," He muttered, petting the small head absently.
Envy jerked awake suddenly. 'Cat' meowed pitifully as the covers were roughly thrown aside and the Homuluncus stalked out of the room. With effort, the kitten managed not to get killed while getting down the bed. Automail clicked softly on the wooden floor as 'Cat' meowed loudly, looking for its 'owner'.
"Shut up," Envy barked at him, glaring as he leaned against the kitchen counter. The kitten trotted as silently as it could and rubbed against the still warm ankles, "Stop that," Envy hissed, for once annoyed, and the golden fur ball immediately pulled back, meowing softly.
Envy was glaring at the window, watching with detachment as a mob gathered outside. The cat couldn't really see it, of course, but he could see the orange glow of torches and hear the enraged yells of people.
"It happens every time," Envy hissed, hands fisted, "Every single time something goes wrong, of course, of course it has to have been my fault."
The cat meowed again, looking up as if noting for the first time the crumbling state of the cabin, the continuous effort to keep it uptight.
Outside, after setting two trees on fire and throwing the fence down, the invaders left, still hissing and spitting insults at the 'abomination' that lived inside. Envy's hands were tightly clenched, nails digging into flesh… but it healed fast enough there was no chance for blood to be spilled.
"It's always my fucking fault."
Every Sunday, Envy would wake earlier than usual and make a list of things he needed, then transform into a random stranger and go down into town. The first time the cat had seen it, it had gotten so terribly nervous the Homuluncus had had to left it behind, less it caused a racket. But cats are curious creatures, and eventually, the cat meowed and purred enough to convince the green haired teen to take it along.
Riel was something between a small city and a big town. Shops and workshops, streets that were obviously too small for cars to pass through, people who greeted at each other and always had a smile for everything. Nearby farmers that came to sell their products and some where places trade was made by exchange, rather than money.
It was a nice, peaceful town with nice, peaceful people; and Envy hated it.
He always came back to the cabin annoyed, shaking and terribly, terribly angry. He didn't steal things, although the money he paid them with had been Dante's and it was probably the result of a crime. He didn't care, he used it because he didn't want to stand out. Because he was angry and annoyed and lonesome, with only a pitiful broken cat as company.
"It's unfair," The Homuluncus said suddenly, while feeding the cat a strip of raw meat, "It's so damn unfair."
Cats couldn't speak, couldn't offer comfort, yet Envy was grateful for the tentative lick to his fingers. He knew, somehow, that it had nothing to do with food.
The kitten felt strange against him, warm fur and cold metal as it curled tightly on Envy's belly, purring softly. A hand was lazily tracing a path from head to tail, gently, much more tenderly that either cat or Homunculus had ever guessed it could be.
"Guess it fits," Envy said after a while, fingers rubbing on automail, causing the purring to grow louder, "A broken cat for a broken monster, right?"
'Cat', of course, didn't answer.
There were at least ten chests with various treasures buried under the house. Envy kept a small bag with money for his weekly trips in the house, and the rest hidden away.
"I don't need more," He told the kitten as it stared enraptured at the glinting jewelry in the wooden box. Refilling his money bag with a few coins, Envy added, "Dante was the one for frivolity, I just want them to leave me alone."
'Cat' meowed almost as if to agree with him, then noticed a red silk scarf thrown carelessly on the chest. Instinctively, the kitten pawned at it, hissing in mock anger and stretched to reach it. Envy arched an eyebrow, then took the scarf with him as he closed the chest and reburied them away.
"Here," He told the cat, as he wrapped the scarf around it before slipping into bed, "Not that you'd appreciate it."
The kitten meowed loudly, trying to keep up with the much larger strides of the green haired teen. Envy was walking slow enough, though. The forest was quiet this early in the morning and the cat was terribly cranky at having lost its bed partner while the sun wasn't even close to raising. They walked for a long while, until the woods closed around them, the last traces of civilization disappearing under the wrath of the forest. 'Cat' had clawed and hissed and spit until Envy gave in and carried it in his arms. They entered deeper and deeper, until they found a large clearing.
There were rotten beams of wood around, the last broken remains of a cabin that had once stood there. Envy walked forward, hold on 'Cat' tightening slightly.
"There used to be a garden there," A hand pointed to the left of the main remains as Envy's voice quivered softly, "Mom planted roses the year I was born and each one afterwards, around this season, the whole house would be filled with their scent," The purple eyed young man walked forward into the remains, the kitten strangely silent in his arms, "She…" Envy smiled grimly, "She had the nerve to tell me, once, when I was small, that I was the reason the roses bloomed," Laughing bitterly, the Homuluncus looked around the remains, "Of course I believed her then, but see? I'm back, I'm always back and there's no flowers yet."
Behind the broken remains of the house, there was a lone grave. Envy walked towards it, but not much and then fell to his knees, holding the cat close, shivering.
"There'll never be flowers again."
Golden eyes stared at the abandoned grave for a moment, then, as it felt something moist on its fur, 'Cat' made a strangely soothing sound in the back of its throat.
Envy looked up from the fence he was hammering back together and blinked. Then laughed in amusement as a wet fur ball crawled pitifully out of the water bucket. Golden fur plastered around, 'Cat' hissed dangerously, then sauntered over to a good sized rock and sat down to clean itself and dry under the sun.
Envy couldn't remember the last time he had laughed at something that didn't involve carnage.
A full year later after Envy had found the cat, he woke up to the sound of howling. Noting the missing ball of heat in his bed, the Homuluncus stormed into the living room, to where the old couch covered with that horrible, horrible purple fabric rested. Envy noticed there weren't any clawing marks on his furniture and distantly wondered if his cat wasn't sick. It never seemed to act on all those destructive instincts people said cats had.
He found said pest in the kitchen floor, writhing and howling and scratching the wooden floor vehemently with claws and metal. It was glowing in a foretelling red shade, almost the same Dante while using a stone. Envy saw the marks of a distant array appear on the floor and knew someone was casting something related to his cat, from far away, if the marks were so faint.
When the glow died, Edward Elric slumped forward, shivering. Rolling to his side, he curled slightly, wincing. He moaned miserably; his cloths were dirty and slightly torn. Golden eyes looked upwards, shyly, afraid. Envy's face was unreadable.
The front door slammed shut forcefully, shaking the house to its fundament. Ed told himself he wasn't crying, and that if he was, it was for the deep settled ache of automail, not because he felt his heart breaking.
And certainly not because Envy was gone.
The next time an angry mob had tried to wreck havoc on the old cabin, they had been confronted, though certainly not by what they had been expecting. The blonde haired, leather wearing Alchemist that had greeted them, had kindly told them to fuck the hell off or remain to become cinders. No one had been stupid enough to try and provoke his wrath, when they saw the way his body glowed with a faint reddish aura.
He went to town twice a month and kept the cabin clean. He was civil to the townsfolk, as long as no one followed him back home. He offered to help around with some odd jobs after a while, talked little but always did a flawless work. There was a muted aura of power around him, a deep melancholy in his eyes that made people wonder.
Rumor said he had killed the former owner of the cabin and was being eaten alive by guilt… or that he was the lover, a powerful Alchemist that had tried to help his lover and failed horribly.
Others, though, said he was just a heart broken boy who had found the cabin empty and had stayed.
Ed sat back, staring at the plant thoughtfully. Reaching out with his flesh hand, he watched with morbid fascination as the red glow transferred itself from his hand to the plant. In less than five minutes, there was a line of rosebushes circling the house, and flowers of all possible colors blooming into the late afternoon sun.
The rhythmic sound of the broom's twigs against the floor were highly therapeutic for the blonde, but it was interrupted when he felt, rather than saw, the stranger beyond the fence. Ed grinned a crooked grin and shrugged, going back inside.
That night, he set dinner for two and was not surprised when Envy sat across from him, scowling until he tasted the roast beef.
Ed shrugged again, eating in silence as Envy wondered just how he had know it was his favorite.
"Oh stop snickering and help me get them off," Ed growled irritated, wincing every time he snatched a torn off his body.
Envy stared at him for a moment, tense and ready to fight, as he had been since he came back. Then shrugged and knelt down, reaching out for the hair. Ed grimaced every time he tugged on the golden strands, but said nothing every time a finger rubbed his scalp. He didn't purr, but only because he was certain that would be undignified.
"How did you managed to fall into the rosebushes?" Envy asked after a long while, when there were no more thorns in Ed's hair, but he kept running his fingers through it anyway.
Ed blushed brightly, unconsciously leaning back.
"Was trying to catch a bird."
Envy grinned despite himself.
Ed awoke with the feeling of thin fingers running over his spine. Instinctively, he arched back, groaning softly.
"Why haven't you gone home?" Envy asked softly, no little amount of awe in his voice as his fingers rubbed more consistently.
"I am home," Said Ed, through half lidded eyes, trying to maintain his balance without falling off the couch.
Golden and purple met for an instant, then Envy smiled. Not a grin or a smirk; a small, weak smile.
"Come to bed."
And Ed smiled back, hugging the warm body as he had never been able to as a cat.
"I can't believe someone could be so stupid," Grumbling under his breath, Ed slumped on the floor, head resting on the couch.
He wasn't disappointed; ten seconds later, a slim hand came down to rub his scalp gently.
"Stupid kids trying to play god," He was still glowing faintly, but unlike that cold aura that followed Dante, Ed was warm, inviting, "At least I got something out of the whole ordeal."
"Oh?" Envy looked down with an arched eyebrow. Once more, he was gifted the crooked grin, golden eyes playful.
"Mhm," Ed nodded lazily, "Apparently Mustang did it, became Führer the bastard."
"Hn," The Homuluncus didn't care much for human affairs, "So of course you'll be going to meet him then."
"Yes," Ed stood up, regretfully parting from those slim fingers, and cracked his back horribly, "We leave for Central next week."
"Fine then… wait," Envy blinked, startled, "We?"
Ed smiled, amused by the badly hidden surprise in the purple eyes and shrugged.
"Someone has to make sure I don't climb up trees looking for birds, right?"
Envy laughed then, and there was no sound more precious to Ed than that.
Ed laughed as Al tackled him, pushing them down to the grass as he did so. He held onto him tightly, afraid he would disappear into thin air if he let go.
"Fullmetal," Came a richer voice, thick with amusement.
Embarrassed, Al pulled back as the new Führer, the other time Flame Alchemist, arched his eyebrow at him. Ed looked calm, calmer than he had ever seen him, still wearing black leather, still wearing that ridiculous red coat, and now also sporting a silk scarf that hung from his neck smoothly.
"Edward, Mustang," Ed shrugged, then picked up the black cat purring at his feet, dark feline eyes glared up at the Führer as the cat made itself comfortable in the blonde's arms, "The Fullmetal is gone, and it's not going to come back. Ever."
Ed stayed in a guest room of the new Führer's home, amusing himself over Mustang and his brother's feeble attempts to hide the obvious. The black cat, which he unexpectedly named Vy, followed him around all the time, and showed signs of an extraordinary intelligence. Ed merely smiled every time Mustang brought the subject up.
"Your brother," Envy said out of the blue, laying on his bed comfortably, "He's not as bad as he could be."
Ed smiled at him, taking in the image of the taller teen on bed, purple eyes half lidded and hair pooling around him.
"No, he's not," Ed reached forward, letting his hand dig into green strands. Envy purred at the mildly rough caress, "Neither are you."
He was not surprised when lips pressed lightly against him and opened his mouth willingly as he pulled the blonde to him.
"Here," Al stared as his brother's hand glowed into a familiar red hue, then reached over to his temple. The small cut closed almost at once.
"You…" Ed shrugged. Helping Alphonse back to his feet, he smiled. The younger Elric furrowed his brow, "You have the stone."
"Sort of," Petting Al's hair affectionately, Ed's eyes twinkled, "Rather, I am the stone. The perfect one."
"But that means…" Al sat back on the stairs which he had just fallen from, eyes wide, "Your arm and your leg, you could-"
"Get them back?" Ed shrugged again, smile not wavering as he looked down at his metal fingers, "Probably, but I don't want to. They help me remember you know?"
"It's a perfect evening for a walk… Vy?"
The blonde Alchemist walked slowly to the garden, black cat at his heels, and as Al watched them, he wondered what his brother meant.
"I can't force you to come back, of course," Mustang told him, eyeing him carefully, but Ed was more interested in the pattern of the teacup in front of him than anything else, "But I would like to have your help… With the Homulunculi guideless now…"
The cat on Ed's lap tensed visibly, though the Führer took no notice of it. Ed did.
"The Homulunculi are all gone," The blonde's voice booked no doubt about his words, "Wrath and Gluttony died when the stone was completed and Envy is the reason I hadn't reported back earlier."
"You took care of him, then?"
Ed petted his cat lovingly, smiling slightly.
"Let's just say I made sure he won't harm anyone else."
Being back to the cabin was delightful. The roses were on full bloom and their sweet scent stretched to every corner as the two weary men stepped inside. Envy changed forms smoothly, reaching out to sit on his favorite chair by the window while Ed stretched soundly.
"We should have stopped to buy food in town," Envy mused distractedly, rather enjoying the way Ed's shirt rode up to reveal smooth skin.
"Why don't you make some tea, I'll go."
"Fine, but buy some wine."
"My, Envy, have something in mind?"
"Oh fuck off, Elric."
Ed chuckled as the taller teen stalked away, blushing faintly.
In the end, they had had a quiet meal, with Envy's favorite meat loaf and good wine. They both knew it was anniversary celebration, but didn't find it necessarily to say it. As they went to bed, arms sneaked around Ed's waist and a pair of lips descended on his neck, trailing a tantalizing path upwards, to the shell of his ear.
"Alright?" Envy's voice was earthy as he grounded his hips slowly against Ed's back.
The blonde Alchemist arched back with a moan, then twisted himself around to kiss the Homuluncus fiercely. Hands rubbed, pulled, pinched and petted as they rolled around the bed, not sure what they were doing but damn aware it was well overdue. Touching and kissing, clothes were discarded easily to allow them the feel of skin on skin, sweat slick as they panted. Ed arched back with groan, submitting easily to the experience and need and heat that Envy was willing, desperate to give.
When it was over, they were curling on soiled sheets, trembling from aftershocks and feeling warm in ways they had never before.
"I… I…" Envy stared down at the blonde who had given it all, without reservations, who had made his name a moan, plea and sigh, who was smiling softly as he struggled with the words.
And as Ed kissed him, the Homuluncus knew his feelings, unnamed and unexplainable, were reciprocated.
Ed awoke, for once, before Envy did. Looking at his lover with a small smile, he leaned in to brush a kiss to the green hair. He walked out of bed and threw some clothes carelessly, a certain determinate glint in his eye. He walked deep into the forest, to the remains of the cabin and the lonesome grave. When he retrieved the white bones from earth, he had caressed them softly, smiling.
"You're not taking him away, ever," Ed said to the world at large, looking up to the moon, no more than a sliver of silver, "I'm not going to let you."
Envy awoke when he felt the tingle on his spine and panicked when he noticed Ed was not in bed. He tried to move, to speak, but he couldn't. He felt small and vulnerable and felt a surge of hatred as he pieced things together.
Let's just say I made sure he won't harm anyone else.
"Shh," Purple eyes snapped to the bedroom door, narrowing dangerously as Ed smiled at him, "It's going to hurt, but trust me…" He walked over to where Envy lay, unmoving. A hand reached out to caress his skin, tenderly, "I trusted you, didn't I, Vy? Now you have to trust me with this…"
Envy forced himself to breath, then swallowed hard as Ed raised him from bed with ease. Deceptively small, he was much stronger than he looked like. In the living room, the feeling of helplessness and fear grew tenfold, and Envy looked dizzily at the floor. The couch – purple and horrible thing – and the other furniture had been backed so that Ed could chalk a large array in the center. The outer circle in the array was not made of chalk, though, but from crushed bone, and Envy whimpered pathetically as he felt his power draining. Ed laid him in the center of the array, carefully, the smile never faltering.
"Now… breath, Vy, deeply."
Envy wanted to whimper again, instead, as Ed clasped his hands, glowing in that eerie red glow and powering up the array, he screamed.
Envy came around with the feeling of a hand combing his hair, calloused fingers tenderly playing with the long strands. Tentatively looking up, the Homuluncus found Ed smiling down at him. He could feel the change, the warmth inside he hadn't felt since he was alive, yet the undercurrent of unholy power, of immortality was still there. He was still Envy, but he had recovered something he had lost over four hundred years ago.
He had also lost that bothersome weakness that kept him tied down to the shabby cabin, the irrational fear someone would find his remains and use them against him. Ed had set him free.
"Why?" He asked huskily, afraid of the answer, yet craving it desperately.
The blonde smiled.
"Because I don't want to spend eternity alone."
Ed took off his coat and his scarf and squeezed water out of them before entering. Envy glanced up from where he was reading one of the ton of books the blonde had bought over time. He entered the kitchen to find Ed, soaked to the bone and leaving an ugly puddle of water on the floor, drying five little fur balls with a towel.
"I thought you generally caught fish while, you know, fishing," Envy mused with an arched eyebrow, resting his weight against the doorway.
"Oh shut up," Rubbing the last one dry, Ed smiled at the soft mewls, "Someone tried to drown them on the river."
Envy made a non-committal sound in the back of his throat.
"Do I look like an animal lover, Elric?" The green haired Sin asked almost viciously, though there was no bite in his tone.
"Not at all," Ed grinned, that goofy 'you-know-you-love-me' grin that made Envy's knees weak.
The five kittens in the table meowed and reached out to investigate their savior, curl against the towels, or in the case of a black one, trot purposely towards Envy, pushing its head against the immobile hand until it was petting it. Envy snorted.
"I guess I could get to like them," He rubbed the kitten's head in a way that made Ed mourn the loss of his feline body for a moment, "But only if you pick the names this time."
(A/N) There it is. I think I got a cavity or two after I was done… oh well. REVIEW!