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“No,” Kimberly snarls, “stop it, let go of me, no.” But Greed doesn’t listen and the freaks don’t interfere, stepping out of the way as Greed drags Kimberly out of the bar and up the back stairs to their private rooms. Kimberly’d managed to avoid the monster for the whole trip here, watching it touch the chimeras too much, hearing noises through thin train walls as it fucked them, but now it has him by the wrists and it pulls him through a crooked doorway into —

The bathroom. “Hot water,” Greed says, pointing. “Soap. Razor. Use them. I’ll be outside.”


Greed suspected his alchemist — his combat alchemist; he has two kinds, after all — would clean up well, but he didn’t realize just how good Kimberly would look after a hot bath and a haircut. It’’s damn tempting, is what it is, Greed thinks as he watches Kimberly tilt his head back, exposing his throat, to finish off a glass of bourbon. Kimberly makes even that shapeless, awful suit look good, makes it seem like a dare, like a challenge. Notice me, Kimberly’s body language says. Give me a reason to kill you.

Greed’s never been good at resisting temptation.


It still hasn’t tried anything. Kimberly’s starting to wonder what kind of game it’s playing, because he knows it wants him, the same selfish casual way it wants everything. He’s seen the way it stares at him, the way it watches him move. He sets his glass down on the bar, awkwardly, too heavily.

“What the fuck are you waiting for?” Kimberly asks, glaring at Greed, just the tiniest bit unsteady on his barstool. “An invitation?”

Greed moves so fast he doesn’t have time to flinch before its hands are on him. “Something like that,” it breathes against his lips.


Greed has to force Kimberly to slow down. Despite his name, despite his essence, Kimberly is hungrier for this than he is — kisses open-mouthed and sloppy, fingers bone-thin from prison starvation as they clutch at his arms.

“What’s your hurry?” Greed asks softly, holding his alchemist pressed to the wall, licking at the pulse beating frantically in Kimberly’s throat. “We have all the time in the world.”

“You do, maybe,” Kimberly snarls. “Humans don’t have that fucking luxury.”

Greed knows that’s meant to be insulting, but he’s proud of what he is — and he wants to savor this.


“Touch me,” Kimberly says, “do it, come on,” and he’s the one with his back to the wall, brick rough against his shoulders, but he’s giving the orders so it’s still okay, “now.”

Greed tugs his trousers open and its hand is big and warm and rough, curled around his cock, and Kimberly hisses, his hips moving without conscious thought, pushing toward the touch, and that’s bad, means he’s too needy, especially given who’s — what’s touching him, but it’s too good, too late to stop, so he just reaches out, blindly —

And Greed hisses, “Yes,” just before Kimberly kills it.


Kimberly fucks like something feral and starved: no elegance, no grace in it, just sharp angles and rough thrusting and raw dizzy need. Greed holds on to the headboard so tight the old wood splinters under his fingers, and rocks his hips, driving himself back onto Kimberly’s cock. The air smells like blood and ash. The sex is good, but not the best Greed’s had — Kimberly would have to care more, try harder, for that. What makes this intoxicating, makes it worth craving, is Kimberly’s hands, desperate to feel, his breath, ragged and harsh, and his half-swallowed angry moans.


The monster shouldn’t have such warm hands, and they shouldn’t feel so damn good, finding their way insistently under his clothes. Kimberly never seems to get warm enough, since the prison, and he hates that that’s one more thing Greed can give him if it wants: the heat of its false human body, stretched muscular and solid beside him in the dark. Easier by far to arch into its hands, to rock his hips, and pretend he’s just in this for the orgasm, for the rough, confident way Greed handles him, and the intensity of coming from someone else’s touch.


“Come on,” Greed purrs, stroking Kimberly’s hip, bone prominent under his palm. “Don’t you trust me?”

Kimberly’s hands tighten, holding his head still. “Should I? When you have teeth like that?”

Greed laughs. “I’ve been good to you, haven’t I?” Kimberly doesn’t answer, but Greed didn’t expect him to. “I’ll be careful, promise. I’ve never bitten anyone who didn’t want me to.”

“Who’d be that sick?” Kimberly asks derisively, but he lets go.

“You’d be surprised,” Greed murmurs. He licks Kimberly’s palm, takes two long fingers into his mouth and sucks.

“Don’t tease,” Kimberly says hoarsely. “Do it.”

Greed does.


The monster didn’t finish its threat earlier. If you betray us, it said. And that was all.

For most people it’s probably enough. Most people would probably fill in the blanks with something unpleasant enough to keep them tame.

Kimberly knows better than that. He’s not afraid, walking the streets of South City for the first time in eight years, making up endings for that sentence as he heads toward South Headquarters.

If he betrays them, Greed can do its worst.

If he betrays them, they won’t have a chance to retaliate.

If he betrays them, he’ll do it right.


There’s been something calculating in Kimberly’s eyes since they ran into Envy earlier. He’s asleep now, at last, plait of hair coiled like a snake on the pillow, chest rising and falling slowly. His body is marked all over from Greed’s touch, bites and bruises and thin red scratched lines, but it’s not enough. Greed’s seen that expression before, the distance and the coldness, and it makes him want to raise his shield and snarl. Kimberly isn’t Envy. Kimberly can’t do what Envy did to him.

“Mine,” Greed whispers. It means nothing, with Kimberly not awake to argue. “You’re mine.”


Greed’s gone when Kimberly wakes up. Suits him fine; it’s not like he enjoys the monster’s attentions, or anything. It’s probably fucking someone else now, one of its freaks, one of the whores that hang around the bar. Kimberly doesn’t care. At all.

Not since they ran into the other ones, and one of them actually made Greed angry for a minute. Angry, defensive, scared. What it said about the skull....

It’s the last thing Kimberly needed. He already had the offer from that military boy.

He rolls over and picks up the phone, dialing the number for South Headquarters.


“There’s nobody in the military who can defeat us,” Greed says, and when he says us he means me, but his chimeras don’t argue. They’re good that way. Loyal.

Then the wall shudders with an explosion, and he feels his shield, inexplicably, shiver and retract, flinching back over his skin and of all the times when that’s not convenient —

And then he sees the traitor, his alchemist, standing there smiling Envy’s wide hateful smile, with the military dog beside him holding Greed’s skull —

And Greed can feel his options slipping through his claws, unraveling like his flesh under Kimberly’s hands.