^^;;;; If I vanished last night while talking to you on AIM, sorry. I was dozing off and wasn't quite there when I signed off. *coughs* Sorry.
Edward Elric woke in darkness.
He couldn’t remember closing his eyes. He wasn’t sure if he had opened them yet. He thought he did. He also thought the room was tilting . . . back and forth . . . back and forth . . .
Edward hastily swallowed back bile, the acidity in his throat snapping him awake even as dizziness kept him still.
Alphonse, Edward thought. Alphonse, where are you?
The blond tried to call out to his little brother, but he couldn’t dreg up enough saliva to speak, couldn’t force the words past his sore throat. Since he couldn’t speak, he listened for the familiar clank of Alphonse’s armor.
Al? Alphonse? Alphonse!
Edward tried to push himself up, noticing the soft mattress under his hands a split second before he noticed the cuffs around his wrists. He automatically turned his head to “look” at his wrists, despite the conscious knowledge that he wouldn’t see anything. The “clank” of the cuffs around his ankles stopped him.
The blond breathed in deeply, trying to stop from panicking. All right. So he was cuffed to a bed in some dark—Edward paused, reevaluated his situation, and swallowed thickly. All right. So he was cuffed naked to a bed in some dark room. No big deal. He had been in worse situations. He still had his—
He didn’t’ have his alchemy. He didn’t have his alchemy, he didn’t have his clothes, he didn’t have his sight, and he didn’t have Alphonse. But Edward was still okay. He still had his automail. He still had his wits.
He just didn’t have his baby brother.
Ling . . .
Edward’s exhale was shakier, wetter, than he would have liked. He sucked in another breath like a smoker taking a drag.
I still have my automail, Ed reiterated. He lightly tested the cuff around his left (barebarebare) wrist. And the cuff feels like a normal metal cuff. My automail should be able to break it.
Edward tried to shove all of his confidence into that thought. The memory of the Father’s cold, analytical eyes stopped him every time. Surely someone with such inhuman eyes wouldn’t make such a human mistake.
The cuffs were just for show.
The lights snapping on almost blinded him. Edward automatically closed watering eyes and cringed back into the mattress. He heard someone padding across the room to stand beside the bed.
“You look much better without your clothes,” a satisfied voice commented. Edward stiffened.
Ling? Edward slit his eyes open, staring past damp eyelashes to see laughing black eyes. Ling!
Edward tried to say the prince’s name. Sharp pain streaked through his throat. Again, he tried to swallow, but he only became more aware of the nasty taste in his mouth. The effort was beginning to make his jaw ache.
“Shhhhh,” Ling soothed. Having no choice, Ed quieted. He stared into Ling’s black—black—eyes and mouthed his companion’s name. He had known it. Ling was still in there. Ling was himself again. “You’re probably thirsty. Here.”
The prince’s voice was genial as he sat on the bed. He reached past Edward to grasp something. Edward didn’t follow the motion, instead staring coaxingly at his companion.
Ling, get me out of these cuffs! C’mon!
Ling pulled back, a glass of water in his hand. “Here,” he repeated. He held the glass to Edward’s lips. “Your lips are cracked. I think they’re bleeding a little.”
Edward scrambled up, eager to moisten his mouth and throat. Ling carefully tilted the glass enough so Ed could get a mouthful. Then Ling pulled it back.
“You don’t want to get sick, do you?” Ling teased in response to Edward’s glare. Edward deepened his scowl and deliberately shook his cuffs. Ling only held the glass to Ed’s lips again. “Would you like some more?”
Ling waited until Ed sipped at the water before idly commenting, “I wish I could have had you like this earlier. You’re completely irresistible like this.”
Edward stiffened. He forced himself to swallow the water in his mouth. Ling smiled pleasantly at him.
“Don’t shoot! Don’t interfere!”
Ed swallowed again, his throat aching even with the water. Against his will, he began to tremble.
“Beautiful,” Ling purred, leaning down. Ed leaned back. “Even with the automail. Beautiful.”
“No,” Edward rasped. The cuffs on his ankles stopped him from moving farther back. “No!”
“Yes,” Ling countered. Black eyes glittered. “I want to taste myself . . . on your lips . . .”
The door slamming open behind the prince stopped him. Ling whipped his head around, and Edward stared past him.
To meet Greed’s furious violet eyes.
“Go play with your own toy, Envy.” Greed’s pleasant voice contrasted with his deadly gaze. “Stay away from mine.”
Ling pulled away from Edward’s frozen form and slid off the bed. As he straightened, his body flowed from Ling’s to another’s. “I suppose,” Envy agreed. His own voice was pleasant, but Edward could see his clenched fists. Then Envy relaxed and tossed Edward a vicious smile. “I suppose Colonel Mustang is probably getting bored by now.”
Envy’s smile widened as the color drained from Edward’s face. Tossing his wild dark hair, Envy turned and sauntered past Greed. The pair flashed each other sharp smiles, and then Envy was gone.
Leaving Ed alone with Greed.
Ed felt sick.
“I’m sorry for leaving you,” Greed apologized, stepping forward. “I won’t do it again.” Ling’s lips stretched in a familiar smirk. “Promise.”