Title - When I Think About You

Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all

Characters/Pairing - Slave Twenty-Three, the First Homunculus

Word Count - 602

Summary -He wants what he can't have


Twenty-Three knew he shouldn't be looking, shouldn't dare think of the impossible. The thing in the flask had given him a fancy name, one he still couldn't even spell – hell, he wasn't even sure he liked it, Von Hohenheim, but it was better than Theocrastus . It didn't matter. The Homunculus, that strange thing born of his blood and bond to him in ways that made Twenty-Three's skin crawl, would be the only one to use that name. If he told it to the other slaves, they would turn their backs on him for being uppity. And if the Master heard it, well, he could be wearing bloody stripes for days afterward.

None of it mattered. To the beautiful young woman in the courtyard he stared out at, he was a nothing, just a number. She wouldn't know or care where he came from or how he became a slave. Twenty-Three barely remembered that himself. He wasn't entirely sure he hadn't been born into slavery. He had memories, almost like half-remembered dreams of violence and fear, being torn away from home, but Twenty-Three couldn't swear it was truth. He told no one of those memories, not even the Homunculus.

Twenty-Three sighed, watching the Master's daughter head across the courtyard, heading for the door to the outside world he knew nothing about. The sway of her hips was hypnotic. He could sit and watch her simply walk all day. There was something soothing about the sun shining on her tanned skin, the way her breasts bounced as she moved. If he was lucky he see her toss her golden hair like a restive horse, just as wild and free, at least in his imagination. Of course, watching her too long could have consequences, embarrassing even if he were entirely alone. If the Homunculus noticed, it would have something to say about it. Twenty-Three couldn't trust the creature not to blurt it out in front of the Master. He did not want to end up a eunuch, and he would if the Master had any clue one of his slaves was watching his daughter the way Twenty-Three did.

"Girl troubles?" An oily voice said behind him.

Twenty-Three winced. "Hardly," he lied without batting an eye. Lying came to him as easy as breathing. "And what would you know about it? You don't even have a sex."

The creature whirled around its glass cage, agitated, then pressed its creepy grin against the glass. "Enough to know what you do at night when you think no one's looking."

He flushed and left the window. Twenty-Three picked up his mop and bucket, the water grey from the cleaning he had done before spotting the object of his desire outside. He trailed the mop over the glass, leaving it smeared. "No time to listen to you. I've too much to do."

"You're a bastard. Clean this flask!"

"Next time I bury you in the pig middens," Twenty-Three threatened even though he knew the Homunculus was well aware he wasn't free to do any such thing. For that matter he had to clean the mess he made of the glass before the Master saw.


"Well, if you're made from me, what's that make you?" Twenty-Three slung a wet rag over the flask.

The homunculus snickered. Twenty-Three cleaned the flask, but it gave him an idea. The next time he thought about the Master's daughter in the dead of night, he'd be sure toss a heavy blanket over the flask. It wouldn't fool the creature, but Twenty-Three didn't like the idea of touching himself with the homunculus looking on.