"Who are you?" The boy asks (repeats) and it echoes in the vast room that's colorless but by the single gate (Why were there two?) and the percipients of the knowledge of the looming gate.
The creature whose teeth are too large for the already poor imitation of a human says, "Who am I? One name you might have for me is the world, or you might call me the universe, or perhaps God, or perhaps the Truth."
It then cocks its head to the side like a dog even though the boy knows it's far smarter than a dog or a human. Any human in fact.
Annoyance burns in the boy like fire (and children shouldn't play with fire especially Ishvalan ones). He wraps his arms together and boldly steps closer to the creature that's called Truth.
The boy is not stupid, far from it in fact. That is why his mind burns with knowledge - with the Truth - as other Ishvalan children bodies just burn. They also smell just like the boy's metaphorical wax wings will also burn or rather the boy's brother.
En de boer ... hij ploegde voort; and the farmer continued to plough...
"I asked who you are," the boy reminds the creature. It's bravery or stupidity. Maybe both. It honestly depends who you ask.
The creature smiles more - jaw cracking at the action- as though the boy asked the right question. It's unsettling sight though. It's the sight of the jaws of the fox a rabbit gets to see before it's devoured.
"You shouldn't ask questions you know the answer to, it's not polite," the creature admonishes but still it smiles ugly at the boy. "And a guest does not overstay, a perfect guest stays home son of Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim."
The boy stares. Cleverness all gone when he asks, "The fuck?"
And Edward opens his eyes only to narrow them because the brightness of the camp fire. He breathes in smoke as slender, clever fingers run through his unbranded hair. He doesn't flip his shit because he's used to Ling's stupid habits (like watching soap operas nevermind Ed had went along with the joke and had watch soap opera too - sometimes they're all that's on tv) even though this is Greed. It makes sense for Greed to want, to be greedy even if it's for Edward's hair.
Greed to be greedy.
He closes his eyes and breaths in cold but refreshing air as the fire a few feet away from him cackles softly. He listens to Darius and Heinkel's snores as he wishes for coffee. He wouldn't have stupid thoughts like "Greed to be greedy" if he had coffee. Sadly, being on the run from a corrupt government means giving up on some shit. Coffee, despite being very important shit (like books) if you asked him, was some of the shit they had to give up. Despite no one asking him Edward had informed the group how stupid of a decision that was until Greed threaten to gag Edward with one of his own leather boots.
"Who are you Greed?" He asks and feels tired. Exhaustion, Ed has come to learn, weighs more than his automail once had before Briggs. He turns his head from the fire so he can look at Greed.
Annoyance paints it's self on Ling's face as anger flares in Greed's purple eyes. The eyes of homunculi that are just as telling as the red tattoo of life and death (of eating ones own tail) that can be found somewhere on their person.
"I'm Greed," he snarls with teeth just a little too sharp to be Ling's. They're not those fangs yet either. "Would you like me to write it down for you to remember? I thought you were suppose to be a prodigy."
Surpingly Greed doesn't yank on the strands of the ash hair (not black like Ed had dyed his hair originally, has been dyeing his hair for years, but not exactly the Ishvalan white either) he has buried in his hand. That's actually pretty smart of him. Ling's body or not Edward will kick him in the cock for that.
"No, Greed," Ed says patiently but annoyance still creeps into his voice just as dawn is probably creeping towards overcoming the trees that surround them. He fights the urge to close his eyes and fall back to sleep because however bad Ed was often said to be thick and tempered Greed was worse. And Edward? He's tired. Almost too tired to be the voice of reason he sometimes has to be with their group - that right there tells anyone all they need to know.
God was this how Al felt when they were together? That thought - the reminder of the fact he and Al are on separate paths to hopefully the same destination - is like salt in the wound. Which is a nice, non foul way to say that it hurts like fuck.
"Who are you? You were called Greed by the bearded bastard and your siblings and some might call you Ling because you're sharing the same body but who are you? I'm not asking who you are not what you're referred to."
That question wipes Greed's smug smile off Ling's face. Huh. Not even punching Greed can do that and Edward has tested that multiple times with both his fists.
There would be silence if not for the fire and Darius and Heinkel's snores.
"Huh," Greed murmurs softly. "I take it back perhaps you are smart. Smarter than me."
Fingers tangle themselves tighter in Edward's hair.
"All the more reason to keep you."
"I'm not an object you asshole," Edward reminds Greed with a snarl.
"And what are you going to do? Go back to military - be the bitch under Mustang's every smug command?"
"Greed you sure as shit don't get to talk about being smug."
"True," Greed concedes and Edward waits for the but. There's always a but with Greed. "but unlike him I never burnt your people alive. The former me only kidnapped your brother."
Finger smoothly stroke his hair and all Edward thinks that is how one would stroke a fancy, soft rug.
He feels sick.