Woohoo! It's been a while since I've done hot-off-the-press (Swear, I just finished it a minute ago. Didn't even spellcheck or anything, hyuk! :B ) It's also been a while since I've written angst that BURNS, so that was so sweeet. My evil tooth has been satisfied for the day.
Don't ask me where I got the idea, because I have no clue myself.
Okay, so Angstlikeburning, darkness, mental abuse, mentions of torture, Evil!Dante, broken!Ed, Insane!Rose, severely blasphemous themes (It's Dante's idea, not mine!), and all that good stuff. Animeverse, spoilers for pretty much the whole thing. [Spoiler] Al's the philosopher's stone and all that jazz [/spoiler]
"You can save them, you know," Danted whispered to him, making him flinch, tremble- he'd come to fear that voice in every manner of the word- he loathed it, resented it's tendril-like chords that gripped at his insides with each word it dripped- he hated how he clung to the deperate belief that it told him truths. In that hope, he clung to the words in cold, morbid fascination, just as she wanted him too. This was the voice she used to speak to her pets- the tone with which she broke the spirits of many. He blinked and remained silent.
She smirked, and slipped behind him, placing her hands on his shoulders. The contact sent an involuntary tremor through his body, made his skin crawl, want to shrivel away. Her wretched perfume enveloped the air- it would have made his insides flip if he hadn't already become forcibly used to the scent. She touched his chin and lifted it upwards, forcing his dulled eyes to see what was before him. He tried to turn his head to the side, but the hand pressed against his face as she ordered him,
"Don't look away. You've seen worse, haven't you?"
He clenched his jaw and tried desperately to swallow the rock that had formed in his throat. He didn't understand. Why was she doing this? What did she want from him so badly? How long had it been since he'd seen light? Too long. Far too long.
"Give it... back..." He managed to say, pushing air against his scratched vocal chords.
"Give what back?" She asked, "The girl? Or your brother?"
"Give it all back..." He said, barely above a defeated whisper.
"Hmm," She said, smiling, "Whether that happens is for you to decide."
"I won't use him," He said, "I won't."
"What other choice do you have? He's really not worth anything but as The Stone now. Not to others, not to himself-"
"You're wrong. Al is human. My brother is-"
"Yes, Yes, I know," She said, chidingly as though entertaining a child's game of make-believe, "Human. That special thing that everyone claims as so holy. Humans are nothing special, really. They break so easily," She stroked his hair mock-lovingly as she continued, "But he could be something more. You could be something more. Don't you want that?"
"To be God, of course," She scratched the back of her slender nails against his cheek, "To do as I have. Be immortal. Become greater than any man. You could have your reign over every pathetic human in this world, and they wouldn't even know it."
"Who needs God?" He said, trying to regain a sliver of his old defiance, and failing miserably.
"Who?" She said, amusedly, "Yes, who indeed? Her, for example..." She guestured to Rose. Edward shuddered at being forced to look at her as she was now. He couldn't stand the sickly waxy tone of her once vibrant skin- the brittle lines her arms had shrunken into, growing into knobby fingers. Her eyes were dead, in spite of the smile she wore- they told him that she was past distant; she was completely lost. Her hair was matted, greasy and unkempt. What had once been an elegant dress was torn and smeared in grime. The sleeve hung loosely from her shoulder- any desire for modesty she'd once had long gone, and her side was etched with shadows of her ribs. She held an ugly patched doll to her breast, cooing to it and lovingly patting it as though it were real.
It tore through his heart when her baby began shrieking, making it's location known among the lines of other mismatched dolls- all shoddily handmade; chimeras of cloth and string ripped from cushions and curtains and all other accessible sources.
"Yes, yes," She said, her sickening smile still locked in place as she reached out to pat the child, "You'll get your turn too, Baby."
"She was such a good mother," Dante said, "Until she lost hope of having a savior. Now look at the poor wretch."
He turned away, disgusted.
"You did that to her," He said.
"She did it to herself. She may look hopeless, but she can still be saved, if only the one person she believed in could reach out to her. If only he could become her God and save her from this misery,"
"I'm not a god!" He said, clenching his fist.
"Nor is the sun a god. But that didn't stop the false image from saving a town's despair. That is, until a certain heretic showed up and stole it from them."
"It was all your fault." He said.
"If I'm not mistaken, the only person who is at fault here is you, my dear little alchemist," She said, motioning to the bound suit of armor against the wall, it's eye glowing dully, not percieving the world around it- in a sense of the word he was already dead inside it, "It's your fault that he is that way. That he suffers constantly in that body. Why won't you be merciful and release him? He would want it that way."
"I can't! I've- we've worked so hard. He wants to become normal again. He dosen't want to die."
"Are you saying that because you know it to be true? Or are you saying it because you need your brother and can't let him go? Are you that selfish?"
"I'm not! I'm not selfish!" He hunched over, arms crossed before him, trying to squeeze away the hurtful threat of truth.
She stepped around to his front, not breaking her contact- keeping her physical control all the while. She kneeled before him and lifted his chin again, to bring his eyes level to hers.
"You can become God, just as I have," She said to him, "After all, what is God but the puppeteer of this world? Nothing more than the human concept of 'something greater' out there. And there is no reason that must be one person," She raised her hand to harness more attention, trying to send her point to him, "Don't you see? We could go on forever. We could be God together. We could save so many like her from despair."
"Y-you gave them despair."
"Oh, you misunderstand, love. They gave it to themselves. They want that despair. But I am there to turn that sorrow into something greater."
Edward looked up to his brother, lifelessly hanging, chained against the stone wall. He gazed back at the broken form of who was once a bright woman, now torn and destroyed. He wanted to take their pain from them. He wanted it so badly.
"What do you want from me?" He asked.
"I want the stone," She said, "And I want your immortal soul in my loyalty."
"Or would you have them stay as they are? Would you let your brother live on as this monstrosity, never able to feel the sun, or touch other people, or smile ever again? And what of Rose? Would you let her stay as she is until it kills her? Would you be able to stand knowing that an innocent child lost it's mother because you were too selfish to help him?"
Edward's breath hitched. She struck the deepest chord. Determined to ease submission out of him, she leaned closer to his face, and lifted his hand, stroking the wound upon his palm with her thumb to remind him of his education thus far.
"You could do that for so many children. You could do that for Alphonse. He could finally rest where your mother is. He could finally have the happiness you sought for."
"Mo...ther..." Ed whispered, a tear slipping down his cheek as he blinked.
"Yes, that's it, boy..." She said, embracing him gently, "Don't be afraid of what this is really about. No need to deny that you're just a child after all. There's no shame in you needing someone, when you are human."
He squirmed in her arms and sobbed once, still trying to contain himself. He didn't like this. He didn't like being touched by her the way she did. He knew it was wrong for her to be the one comforting him. It was false. It was evil! And yet he couldn't help collapsing, his body too weak to resist. He accepted her fake actions, unable to reject her. He felt his wounds re-open, as he moved too much, weeping blood, smearing his wrists and ankles; sending a tiny stream slipping down his abdomen, soaking his dark shirt.
He didn't want to feel that pain again. He didn't want them to feel pain. He wanted to say yes to Dante. He wanted so desperately to end all the hurting.
Just say yes, Edward. That's all you have to do, and this will be over.
Dante cradled his head, encouraging him to go on. He couldn't stand her touch. She was pretending to love him the way only a mother should. She was pretending to care for him only to get what she wanted. It was far to sick for him to swallow his fears for and say yes.
It was far too wrong.
"I cant," He whispered, dropping his head, and flinching, awaiting the punishment that was due to him. She pulled back, holding his head in her hands and glared for a moment. She let out a dissappointed sigh, and reached for the nails once again.