n3m3sis43: ((FMAB) Huuuughes and Winryyyy)
[personal profile] n3m3sis43
Randall shifted in his seat as the door swung open, noiseless on its well-oiled hinges. He leaned forward, the muscles in his broad back bunching. The solid oak chair beneath him didn’t creak in response to the movement. Under most circumstances, this would have pleased him; he seldom encountered furniture sturdy enough to support his bulk without complaint.

Now, however, it brought him no comfort.

The silence ate at him. It hung unbroken, tense as a held breath, as Devin stepped inside. The door made no sound when it closed behind him, nor did his boots as he crossed the room in slow, supple strides. He came to a stop only inches away, folding his lean arms over his chest.

He cocked his head to one side, the motion almost imperceptible. His golden eyes swept over Randall, studying him with clinical indifference. They held no trace of the sweet, unassuming boy he’d once known. Randall swallowed hard, his throat thick. “Devin, I --”

“Don’t.”

The words died on Randall’s lips, and a sense of unreality washed over him. Over a year had passed since he’d last seen Devin, but his lithe frame and exquisite features remained the same as Randall remembered them. Still, Randall felt as though a stranger stood before him.

He waited for what seemed like hours, an unpleasant pressure building behind his breastbone. Devin didn’t move; his face showed no sign of emotion. At last, Randall could hold out no longer, and opened his mouth to speak once more. Uncrossing his arms, Devin raised a hand.

Invisible fingers wrapped themselves around Randall’s neck. He uttered a strangled cry, unable to take in air. Devin looked on, his expression impassive. After a long moment, the squeezing sensation abated. Randall slumped in his seat, gasping. His vocal cords spasmed.

“Said ‘don’t,’ didn’t I?” Devin said, his tone even.

Randall nodded, feeling dazed. When his breathing had returned to its normal rate, he forced himself to sit up straight. He met Devin’s eyes, now wide and a bit unfocused. His features had softened, and for the first time since he’d entered the room, they betrayed a hint of his old innocence. Devin blinked once, his jaw tightening, and his gaze became stony.

“Tell me what happened to Eric,” he said.

His fingers numb, Randall massaged his swollen throat. The boss had shown him footage of the incident, much of it from Devin's neuro feed. Randall recalled with perfect clarity the taste of soot-choked air, the heat of melting sneaker soles beneath his feet. He'd watched, transfixed, through Devin's eyes as Eric's house collapsed. Flames licked its broken bones, the same brilliant blue as the fire that often flowed from Devin's fingertips when he'd trained on Ward Zero.

“‘Swrong, don’t wanna talk anymore?” Devin asked, his voice low and honeyed. With a single step, he closed the gap between them. “Seemed pretty fucking chatty a minute ago.”

Randall chewed at the inside of his cheek. “I… don’t know what happened to Eric.”

Invisible hands took hold of Randall’s wrists, grinding bone against bone. Pain shot through his brawny arms, white-hot and sickening. The smell of singed hair assaulted his nostrils. His heart stuttered in his chest and his whole body ached from the inside out. He opened his eyes, wondering when he’d closed them. Devin stood on the opposite end of the room, a large wooden chair in front of him.

Randall blinked; he’d been sitting in that same chair only an instant ago.

A wave of exhaustion crashed over him. He sagged against the wall behind him, struggling to make sense of the situation. All his muscles twitched at once, and he became aware of an odd tingling in his extremities. Randall jolted upright as the pieces of the puzzle slid together.

He recognized this feeling.

It had taken almost a week to subside, after the night of the storm. He remembered the flash of lightning, the shock of a sudden impact between his shoulder blades. His arms had trembled as the current coursed through them, shooting out of their own volition and thrusting Devin away --

Cool fingers brushed Randall’s forehead. He shrank from the touch, his thoughts returning to the present. Devin hovered over him, brow furrowed and lower lip caught between his teeth. The air between them crackled, and Devin averted his gaze. Devin stared down at his hand, a visible tremor running through him, and settled himself on the floor in front of Randall.

Randall dragged in a deep breath. “You… didn’t know you were going to do that, did you?”

“Doesn’t matter, does it?” Devin drew his knees up, hugging them to his chest.

Time doubled back on itself, five years falling away in an instant, and Randall saw a glimmer of the boy he’d once sworn to protect. Randall hunched over, the weight of his failure bowing his spine. He longed to reach for Devin, to pull him close and whisper soothing words into his hair. Randall quashed the impulse, folding his hands in his lap. “It matters to me.”

“That s’posed to make me feel better?” Devin spat, his fine features contorting. “Don’t give a fuck what matters to you. Just wanna know what happened to Eric, and you --” His voice cracked and he curled in on himself, tears glistening like dew on his dark lashes. “Won’t fucking tell me that.”

“I can’t tell you.” Randall licked his lips, resisting the urge to kiss Devin’s tears away. “I don’t know anything, and even if I did, what good would it do to tell you? It wouldn’t bring him back.”

Devin flinched as though he’d been slapped, a choked noise escaping him. He held himself very still after that. Seconds stretched into what felt like hours as he collected himself, silent apart from an occasional shuddering breath. At last, he lifted his eyes, and Randall repressed a shiver.

Only once before had he seen them so cold, so empty. Randall stiffened, recalling white walls bedecked with blood and brains. He blinked away the image, but others arose to replace it: the remnants of Brinkley’s skull strewn like stars over carpet the color of a midnight sky, and those eyes -- Devin’s eyes -- round and yellow as twin rainy-season moons. They’d held no remorse as he crouched at the epicenter of the carnage, regarding the crumpled form beside him.

Should’ve stopped when I told him to, he’d said. Asked him real nice and everything.

He’d done more than ask. The Board had tried its best to keep the allegations under wraps, but rumors spread like brush fire on the ward. They’d taken Brinkley at his word, hypnotized by his martyr’s smile, and Randall had done nothing to dissuade them. He’d done nothing but watch, fists clenched, each time Brinkley led Devin off to have his way with him.

His insides twisting, Randall recalled Devin’s last day on the ward. He’d looked far younger than his fifteen years, frail shoulders slumped as he followed Brinkley into the treatment room. As the door closed behind Devin, he’d glanced back at Randall, an unspoken plea in his wide, wet eyes.

Even then, Randall had done nothing.

He gritted his teeth, a familiar heat coming over him. He’d always worked well with the boys on the ward; even the boss had said so. If only they’d chosen him instead of Brinkley --

“Don’t know anything, huh?”

Randall felt the question, warm and silken on his sweat-chilled brow, before he registered its meaning. It lingered in his mind for only an instant, erased by the urgent press of Devin’s body against his own. Randall inhaled sharply, taking in the scent of soap and floral shampoo.

“Think you do,” Devin whispered, trailing his tongue along the edge of Randall’s jaw.

Devin moved his lips to Randall’s neck, teasing it with a slow, deliberate exhale. Randall shivered, pulse quickening and fingers trembling with the need to touch. His eyes rolled back and he drew in a ragged breath. Time stopped and the world around him receded.

“Wanna play nice, don’tcha?” The words were muffled, hot puffs of air on Randall’s bruised flesh.

Randall froze, his stomach rolling over. In all the times he’d bedded Devin, it had never been like this. Pliant and unresisting, he’d never played the aggressor. Was this the way he’d behaved with his clients, those men he’d slipped out to see at night when he thought Randall was asleep?

The haze of lust that fogged Randall’s thoughts began to dissipate. He grasped Devin’s shoulders, lifting him as though he were weightless and holding him at arm’s length.

“This isn’t what you want,” Randall said, each syllable an effort.

The color drained from Devin’s face. “Since when’s that ever fucking mattered?”

You wanted me, Randall thought, though he didn’t dare speak. You never told me no.

Devin recoiled as if from a physical blow, his eyes all whites. They narrowed a moment later, dull and devoid of emotion. His delicate nose wrinkling, he wrenched free of Randall’s grip.

He lifted one hand and sidestepped, the action so swift he seemed to blur. Randall hurled himself to the floor. Wind whistled above him; a large object sailed through the space he’d occupied an instant earlier. It struck the wall behind him with a deafening thud.

It echoed in his ears, accompanied by a sickening crack. Randall held his breath, glancing up to see the heavy oaken chair in splinters. Devin stood amidst the wreckage, though Randall hadn’t heard him move. His mouth quirked up at one corner, and he spoke in a soft, sweet voice.

“Never fucking wanted you,” he said.


Date: 2017-01-24 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dmousey.livejournal.com
Well now, how intense is this??? Some nice writing here! Hugs and peace~~~

Date: 2017-01-27 07:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. I'm just happy I managed to get a piece in. Love you. <3

Date: 2017-01-25 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theun4givables.livejournal.com
Since I stopped home to eat/locate my portable charger...

I love this fucking piece. To be fair, I love everything that you do, but this is one of my favorite things from you, tbh, even though some parts of it gave you so much hell.

It's a great piece; the tension builds steadily throughout it. I love that Randall is struggling very hard to hold onto the image of the boy he thought he knew. Struggling to hold onto this idea that he and Devin had something special and I love that Devin just fucking wrecks both of those things in spectacular fashion.

I love that Devin just -- you can tell that there was a lot of pent up rage and now he has the means and an excuse to just let it all out on Randall. Because Randall deserves a lot of it for taking advantage of him when he was younger. And I love that it's quite clear that Randall never fucking saw it that way -- that he saw himself a gentleman compared to Brinkley's abusive behavior.

The piece cutting off where it did is spectacular. I knew that was the last line when you wrote it even if I didn't realize you still needed the action preceding it until you managed to get wrangle the ending into place. It just doesn't hold back (same as Devin).

I just really wish you would see your work the same way that I do.

Date: 2017-01-27 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
A million years later, I finally respond to my comments...

One of your favorites, really? Um, yay. <3

Is it bad that I almost felt sorry for Randall's creepy ass? I mean, probably, because Devin. But... well, there really is no but. Randall's gross, and I've obviously spent too much time in his head this week. xD

It kills me that Randall thinks they had something special and -- idk, I've been thinking about what makes him and Ellis different (besides a few years and, you know, actual CONSENT?). You know Ellis is all BUT I'M HELPING THEM, too. And yet we like him.

Ngl, though, I really like writing Devin torturing people. It's much more fulfilling when I don't have to do it from his POV. I don't get bogged down in all the self-loathing and remorse and OH SHIT THAT FLOOOR'S TOO FUCKING SHINY and idk. It's great.

The ending made me so happy, once I got the action in place. It's the first time in a while that I've been really satisfied with an ending I've written. Thanks for pointing out that was the end line.

I wish I did, too. Thank you for being my #1 fan and, you know, everything else. And putting up with the crazy. <3 Ftr, I didn't hate this piece? Except the one part, lol.


Edited Date: 2017-01-27 07:58 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-27 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theun4givables.livejournal.com
lolol it's alright dude you've been busy xD

Yes, rly. <3

I kinda felt sorry for him for like two seconds and then I realized there was no fucking way I should feel sorry for him. He kinda deserves it.

Well, with Ellis, Devin: was at least of age, actually got to know him over time, could've left the job at any time if he were uncomfortable (and Ellis would've accepted that), has called out Ellis for his "BUT I'M HELPING THEM" bullshit and only takes the help he actually wants...

Overall that relationship is less gross, aside from the fact that there's a 20 year age gap...

Hahahaha. Yeah I bet. xD He's sometimes easier to write from someone else's POV as long as they're not fucking Wes. Who can read Devin's mind and catch all of the remorse. xD

You're welcome. <3 I was like SHE'S BEEN STUCK HERE A WHILE but I rly thought that was the ending line before that being stuck thought. xD

<3 You're welcome. And I know, but that one part. xD I understand lol

Date: 2017-01-27 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
He's just so not all that bright, is the thing. It's hard for me to tell how much is Randall being gross and how much is him Just Not Getting It. Although the end result is the same, and the end result is that he's gross, lol.

Yeah, like I said. That consent thing. Also, you're right that by the time he meets Ellis, Devin is at least in a place where he can legitimately consent and is able to call Ellis on his white knight bullshit sometimes. That age gap tho...

Idk, I've never really tried to write Devin torturing someone from Wes's POV. Challenge accepted?

Of course, then I looked at the ending this morning and thought of all the ways I could've made it better, like more emotional reaction on Randall's part or something, but. Idk.

Date: 2017-01-26 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
Wow! This was remarkable. The tension between the two characters was handled so well!

Date: 2017-01-27 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

(Tension is apparently my specialty, lol.)

Date: 2017-01-26 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] m-malcontent.livejournal.com
Your details are probably as sharp as any writer here.

Date: 2017-01-27 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Thank you. That means a lot.

It's because I'm compulsive. Just ask [personal profile] theun4givables! xD

Date: 2017-01-27 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
I see there's new backstory territory for Devin, and that he has skills beyond computer hacking now-- scary skills that it takes awhile to learn to control.

I understand his anger very well, here. Feeling coerced by someone a little kinder than the last person... is still coercion. And to find out that some part of that person is convinced that you wanted that rather than that they used advantage where they shouldn't... that would be infuriating.

Date: 2017-01-27 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Not so new anymore, but yes, there is. I have newer backstory from the time period he'll actually talk about but it's hard to flesh out the older bits because he doesn't remember/doesn't want to remember some of them. The scary skills are newer than the backstory, and it wasn't originally intended to be that kind of story, but --

Fine, kid. Sure, you can shoot flames from your fingertips, whatever. *shakes head*

I understand it, too. I have all the sympathy in the world for him, but I struggle with the dynamic between him and Randall sometimes. Randall, when I write him not actively lusting after teenagers, tends to come off as a pretty likable guy (or so I've been told, and I get where people are coming from there) and Devin... usually doesn't, lol. It's challenging to write them in scenes together.

Date: 2017-01-27 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] my-name-is-jenn.livejournal.com
This was such a great read. So much detail. Seriously well done.

Date: 2017-01-27 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. <3

Date: 2017-01-27 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleodswean.livejournal.com
You have so much story inside of you! I really admire your ability and desire and tenaciousness to capture this tale, your characters, the details, the interior thoughts, and write it all down!! This scene works!

Date: 2017-01-27 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
All the story inside of me kind of drives me batshit. xD

Putting it into writing requires a lot of tenacity because I am the world's slowest writer and compulsive about details. Oh, and my characters like to tell me things out of order and then I have to painstakingly edit the resulting mess into something resembling a coherent flow. Or, well, I have to try.

I'm really glad this scene worked for you. Thank you. <3

Date: 2017-01-28 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uselesstinrelic.livejournal.com
I appreciate that you really take the time to explore what your characters feel and how they react before you move on.

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