That night, Scar lay in bed staring at the locket on the stand beside his bed. His red eyes, made an even deeper red by his life of stress, physical abuse and little sleep, bored hard on it for quite a time, studying the metal, glimpsing through memory the lock of dry and faded hair within. The young alchemist had told him it would be pointless to waste his time thinking about that homunculus as if it where a worthwhile person, much less the person that he loved, the person his brother had given his life to resurrect. It could not feel, he had said- but Scar was thinking that that was a lie. He could tell by the expressions on its face that it wasn't an empty shell, a mindless doll. Whatever or whoever it was could think, could reason, and almost undoubtedly feel. He knew the hungry one could feel, it had reacted with great concern and compassion when Lust had become stricken at the sight of the amulet. It had even given up its purpose, its quest, to rush Lust off to safety. Anything that existed to blindly follow the orders of another wouldn't have done that. Yes, she might not be her…but she was someone. Scar knew that it was wrong, but from the moment he had seen her, his heart had burned for her. Even if Lust was not the woman it had been intended that she be, Scar still wanted to see her, to know her. He could not explain it-he should want to kill it. It was an abomination against his god, an awful sin against nature. His brother had broken the most important laws of his people and used the magic of his greatest enemies and created her. She had been his demise.
But she was also made of his flesh. Black magic or not, Scar knew his brothers own blood went into her creation. Three times Scar had confronted Lust, first at the library, then at the lab, and finally on the street, when he confronted her with the locket, and each time he had asked her who she was, why did she have that face, and each time she had failed to admit any knowledge of her history. He wondered ceaselessly what she knew. He knew that he could not die without knowing more about her. If his brother had lived, he knew that he would have loved his creation regardless of what or who it was. Scar knew he could not kill it as he would any other alchemist creation. His brother would have wanted him to take care of it for him, to make sure it was happy. Scar knew this because he knew his brother, and he was longing to oblige. Scar cared for very little in the world, and for a long time he wondered if compassion even still existed in his stone hard heart-until he had seen her, and everything he'd ever felt had come flooding back, and for once he felt stuff besides revenge and hate. It was refreshing, even though he was now greatly troubled and uneasy. He had to figure out how to approach her again. The time they'd met before he'd almost died. He had no way of knowing if she'd even listen to anything he'd say, she hadn't shown interest before. She could just sic her partner on him.
Scar walked the streets that night. He knew the time was drawing close when he would die, and his revenge and his brothers work could be completed. He wondered what would become of the philosophers stone he would create. He hoped it would be destroyed, or lost. Nobody deserved its sordid powers. Only one thing could stop him at this point, and that was if he where given another purpose, a better reason to live.
She'd seen him first. He'd looked up by chance, into the sky, gazing at the crystal desert sky, and had noticed her silhouette, sitting on the roof of a building, black clothed legs dangling off the side. She was looking down, at him, and the only things that moved where a few small strands of her raven hair, rising softly with the breeze like fragments of smoke from a dying flame. He stared up at her for nearly a minute, his gaze the same hard glare that he as used to giving. He ascertained she was alone, and he decided to approach her. He hoped she would not leave as he scaled the stairs of the abandoned house and pulled himself onto the roof. He looked around, the roof was bare. Only the silent chimney, and her, still sitting where he'd seen her, still facing away from him, off the side, looking down at nothing. He stood up, tall, tense, and waited to see if she'd turn or speak. She did not, so he stepped closer. Finally, when he was about six feet away, she picked her head up and turned to face him. She looked at him with the same lazy, uninterested look she'd given him before, as though he where a mouse and she a sleepy cat, awaked by his presence. She pursed her lips and her hair fell across the left side of her face. Her one visible lavender eye met with his red ones.
"Well well, is this just chance or where you out there looking for me?" She asked.
"Nothing is chance." Scar replied, his voice low, absolute. "You never answered anything I've asked you."
She frowned, tilted her head a bit, and crossed her legs, now fully facing him.
"Why does it matter?"
"Are you asking me this? You do not care about your past?"
"My past." Lust tried to shove back the flood of memories that engulfed her. They where around her in a swarm, and she was drowning. Her heart pounded in her chest and she struggled to remain cool and in control. She wanted desperately to know about her past, to know about this man, his brother, the woman that she was, and why she'd been created. How she'd ended up with Dante. She shouldn't know, though. It was forbidden. She shouldn't feel, shouldn't care. That would come after she'd obtained the stone and became human. Not now, when she was still a homunculus, and had a job to do. She couldn't let him know about the memories.
"I have no past." She looked down and away, back to the dark and empty street of the evacuated city.
Before she looked away, Scar had seen something in her eyes, the same thing he had seen before she'd fainted, when he first presented her with the locket-a sort of distance, as if she where reminiscing. He'd also seen hesitation, and could it be…sadness?
"You do. Someone had to create you, and it isn't whoever your wiping the ass of now. You know how your kind are made, don't you? Your made from the flesh of the person who created you. I doubt the one your droning to would care enough to do that."
His voice was angry, almost yelling. This was his only chance to find out what it really was his brother had created. He had to make the most of it.
What she said next surprised him.
"Our master may not have made us, but she finished us. When an alchemist starts a human transmutation, they usually fail because they don't complete the last step. I wasn't alive until my master came and fed me the red stones, the ones that gave me my shape. Before her I was just a shapeless, helpless creature. If my brother hadn't found me and brought me to her, I would have been destroyed with Ishbal."
"My brother was the one who started your creation. His fiancé, the one you where supposed to be. He started into alchemy just to bring her back. It destroyed him when he failed. He died still trying."
"Do you expect me to care."
"No. I only came here to tell you, out of respect for my brother, because he would have wanted me to. I know you cannot feel anything. You are not the woman he loved."
Lust signed. "You know, it hurts me. That's why I am doing what I'm doing, trying to obtain a philosophers stone. Once I have one I can become a human. I can become her."
She looked back up and at him then, almost hopeful, like a child trying to please a parent. He scowled deeply.
"No, You can never become her." He suppressed a growl. "I should not have come."
He turned to leave.
"No, wait." Lust stood. "I do have memories. Of a time before I was created. I remember him, and you. And I remember when I died."
"Not you." Scar closed his eyes, glad he was facing away from her. A tear threatened to escape his eye. "You are an unnatural creation. Whatever memories you have aren't yours. They are probably my brothers."
"Scar. I remember things that happened when he wasn't there."
Scar tensed. His own past with her flashed before him. He wondered if she knew he'd loved the woman, knew that it was because of their love the wedding between her and his brother had been put off for so long. He had just been younger than her then, though they had known her for the same amount of time. The two of them had played together when they where small, but when they grew and she became mature, it was his brother who had courted her.
"That means nothing." He replied, even though, inside his heart, it meant a lot more than he felt comfortable with. He could not succumb to believing a lie. For this creature to be her, it was impossible.
He had to change the subject, and there was only one he knew to go to.
"I'm going to make a philosophers stone you know."
"Don't trip in those heels trying to get it."
She stared at the space where he'd been for a long time after she knew he wasn't coming back. It was even more empty than the sky.
She found him next. He'd just killed the Crimson Alchemist, his greatest rival. He stood over his body, triumphant but broken. He was empty inside now, too much of his revenge had been completed. There was very little left, time was ticking away. She faced him from a bit aways, her gaze hardened now, her eyes now awake and for once, determined. She had done a lot of thinking that night, about what was important, about the things she had been doing, an had been allowing to happen because they fit a plan. Well, her plan had changed.
"What are you going to do now, Scar man."
He gasped, startled at her presence.
"What are you doing here?"
"Talking to you."
"I know what has to be done to create the philosophers stone. My whole existence, that's what I've studied. All I'd ever wanted was for someone to succeed in creating it, so my master would make me human. I want to know one more thing though. I want to know something about you."
Scar tried to hide his surprise. She wanted to know about him?
"Why do you want to make the stone. Is it just for revenge, and to complete what your brother started. What will doing that, make you?"
Scar couldn't believe that thing was asking him this. Why did she care? His head was spinning. What would that make him? That wasn't important…or was it? For the first time in a long time, a psalm from the book of Isbala ran through his head, one about the purpose of life, and moving forward. He figured it was just his own mind, but for an instant it felt like Isbala himself was speaking to him, asking him if he was really bettering the world by killing the alchemists and ending his life. Isbala asked him to let go of the past, the massacre. Those people had themselves to live with, and Scar had himself. Death was too easy of a way out, he didn't deserve it. He was asked to take another way.
Scar hung his head.
"It wont make me much of anything, will it?"
"That's not for me to say." Lust replied in her seductive, teasing tone. "If you die creating the stone it will be quickly hidden away by whoever is lucky enough to find it first, that's for sure. But you? Just a military victory pulled from the shambles of a disaster."
"Well, so what if you've convinced me. You've tried to kill me before. Why does it suddenly mean something to you know? I thought becoming human meant everything to you."
"It does." Lust replied, he voice a whisper. "I don't know why."
They looked at each other, observing, trying to see into the others mind. Scar didn't trust her, it was all too strange. How could she go from being a monster to going against all she'd lived for just to…dare he say it…save his life?
Suddenly they where interrupted by a hail of artillery fire. The military was invading the city in response to Scars murder of Kimblee.
"We have to get out of here." Scar said. The two began to run-Scar in from, Lust a yard or so behind him.
"There he is!"
Scar passed them by, now shielded by a building. Lust however paused, deciding to eliminate a close pursuit. Three soldiers fired unanimously at her, bullets singing through the air, straight to their target, standing immobile and unshielded. Suddenly, the scene was interrupted, Scar had turned back and he threw himself between them. His body jerked as the bullets ripped through his flesh, but he stood until they had all hit, and then he fell. Lusts eyes pierced the attackers with ice cold mercy, and then she killed them with her claws. She swooped down and grabbed Scar up into her arms.
"Why did you do that? You know it takes more than that to kill me."
"I know. My damn body just acted on its own."
He coughed, and a few drops of blood flew up to his lips. He stared at the clouds, in terrible pain, not wanting to look at her. This end…it wasn't any better than the other option had been, was it?
She was looking at him, though.
"You loved me once, didn't you?" She asked.
"Not you, her." He replied. He struggled to get up. He still had some strength. with her help they exited the city and took refuge in a cellar just pass the outskirts. Then, he passed out.
Scar drifted in and out of consciousness for several days. He remembered being undressed, and having his bleeding stopped with tourniquets and red hot pokers from a fire. He had clean clothes from the cellar put on him and then he was lifted into a wagon, hidden, and they began to travel. They journeyed for several days, Lust caring for him, washing the wounds and changing the bandages, until they finally came to someone's house, and he was removed from the wagon and brought inside. A man, older, put him inside an alchemists circle and using a red stone, illuminated the circle. Scar tried to yell and escape but Lust was there and held him down. He yelled many things, severely angry at being subjected to having alchemy performed on him, and shouted many nasty things, but in his weakened state he was helpless against the homunculus, and soon blackness came again, and then when he awoke again, the sun was up, and birds where singing, and he felt himself renewed. He got up from the bed.
The kitchen stood right inside the door, and there was a table, at which the old man sat, smoking a pipe, reading a book and taking some notes. H looked up at Scars approach with a smile. His eyes where friendly, but Scars where not. He still hated alchemists.
"You. Don't EVER practice your devils art on me again. Alchemy is an abomination. A few days ago, I would have killed you where you sit."
The man sat back and chuckled. "Nothing I haven't heard from you before. Quite mild in comparison to the things you where saying before, actually. I suppose you would have been fine with dying, as opposed to being subjected to my alchemy, but your… companion would have nothing of it." He frowned for a moment and rubbed his neck, as if a knife had been pressed against it. "She can be quite persuasive."
"Lust brought me here?"
"Who? Lust? Is that her name? Yes she did. You where really out of it, weren't you. Well, I cant complain. I'm just glad that's all she came for. Hell, after the last time we'd met I was sure she'd come back to kill me."
"Kill you? Why?" Scar glared.
The mans demeanor was fully serious now.
"Why, we have a history. Many years ago. My son was dying, and I had been traveling around, trying to find a way to save him. I came to a place where they where making a sort of red water, and this was supposed to be an ingredient. That's where I met her. She came back to the village with me and showed me how to make the water, and the red stones. I realized fast though that what I was doing was dangerous, and hurting people. I never want to hurt anybody, all my life I've helped them. My son died, and I had to tell her that I wasn't going to make anymore of the red stuff. She'd gone to kill me then, but I guess I wasn't that much worthy of her time, and she let me go. You can understand now, why I was more than glad to use up the last of the stones to heal you for her. It sure beat having her here at my doorstep to finish me off."
"Hm. Where is she now?"
The man shrugged. "How would I know? I'm certainly not going to ask her."
Scar had to suppress a smile. He could see Lust threatening the alchemist, and though the man had saved him, he still despised all alchemists. Good for her. He thought. He went outside. It was a beautiful day, and they where no longer in the desert. Green was all around and he couldn't help but think about how similar it was to the time he lived in Ishbal, when things where still innocent and good. He walked down a small embankment towards a creek when he saw her, walking down the edge, peering into the shallow water, and his breath caught in his throat as it seemed as though he had traveled back in time, to a time when he still had a chance at being happy.
She looked up, hearing him, and smiled. He wanted to smile too, because she had a beautiful smile, and he felt it was sincere, not mocking and dangerous like before. He wanted to go down to her, but he was frozen in place, and besides, he had ever right to be mad at her. Who did she think she was?
Lust jogged over. Scar noticed that although she was still wearing her usual dress and gloves, her feet where bare. She was graceful, as "She" had been, but Lusts eyes where still different. They where deep like an icy sea and glinted like light across metal. "Hers" had been warm and brown and beamed like the sun, but for some reason Scar was beginning to no longer compare her to the one that was lost. He was starting to want to push her away into the past, so that this new woman could exist. He was feeling young again, and he hoped it would not make him a fool. This new woman was someone who intrigued him. "She" would have been too innocent, too naïve to ever be able to be with Scar. Scar had done too much, and there was no going back. Lust, however, might understand. IF she truly was a person. Scar could not assume.
"Have you come to fulfill your threats?" She mocked, reaching him.
"My threats?" Suddenly, his body acted on its own again. This time he grabbed her, fast before she could react. He pressed the hand of his tattooed arm against her forehead while his other arm grasped her by her waist. Lust drew her claws and tried to fling his hand away, but he fought her. Realizing she wasn't going to be able to struggle free, she slid her claws like scissors around his neck.
"Let me go" She ordered.
"You forget, I have your weakness." He replied.
"Oh, no I wouldn't forget." Her eyes pierced into his, strong and determined but surprisingly free of malice. He knew she would not kill him. She had just saved him, after all.
Scar let her go, pushing her away and in the same movement he moved to draw the amulet from the pocket inside his tunic. Suddenly, a bolt of panic went through him as he realized it wasn't there.
"Where is it?" He demanded.
Lust gave him an innocent stare.
"Honestly, you know that I don't have it."
"How about that alchemist?"
Lust frowned. She didn't move.
"He has it, doesn't he." Suddenly Scar began to laugh. He laughed like he hadn't laughed in years. Lust eyes widened in shock. What was so funny? She'd never thought the sober man would ever find anything so downright amusing.
"Son of a bitch. Your really fucked aren't you? I bet he took it off me after you realized you couldn't. You couldn't say anything though, could you. Couldn't let him know what he had. Maybe I'll tell him."
Lusts arms where crossed.
"Is that anyway to treat someone who saved you?"
"I didn't ask to be saved. You saved me from shit."
Lust turned and stalked off. Scar went back to the house.
Lust came back that afternoon. Scar was in the room, just finished with his preparations to leave. He had no intentions of staying with the alchemist longer than he had already. The alchemist fled quickly outside when she entered, and she glanced at him as he left. Then she grinned at Scar.
"What?" Scar asked, unable to take her silence.
Lust ignored him. She walked over to where the buckets where and began to remove her gloves.
"Don't think I didn't tell him your weakness."
Lust began to wash her feet. She finished, and dried them. Scar had to pretend not to be watching her. She put her stockings and boots on, then her gloves.
"Are you leaving?" He asked. "Damnit, Im still alive because of you, the least you can do is answer me!"
Lust stopped, surprised. She turned and looked at him, and gently took his hand. Scars eyes widened. His heart began to beat harder in his chest as he tried to ignore their touching. He could feel the warmth absorbed by her hand from the heated water transferring into his own flesh-or was he the one giving off the heat? Why did he let himself feel like this?
Suddenly, Lust moved in closer to him, much closer. She wrapped her left arm around his back, leaned up, and kissed him. Her kiss was soft, teasing, just brushing his lips, and she parted from him with a smile. The next thing that went through Scars mind was that maybe he should close him mouth, because at some time it must have dropped open.
The two left together, not saying a word. They walked, together but apart, all the way into the main part of town. Scar stomach began to rumble as he felt hungry for the first time that day. It must have been ages since he'd last eaten.
"I have to stop and eat something". He said.
"All right." Lust replied. "Theres an inn right over there."
The two headed for it, and Scar ordered a dinner. Lust got a drink, and while Scar ate, she stared into it. Scar wondered what she was thinking, if anything at all.