Title: Distraction
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie@jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: PG for mature situations.
Characters: Dante and an original homunculus.
Setting: First anime. Pre-series.
Summary: There was such a thing as being too comfortable.
Disclaimer: They belong to Hiromu Arakawa. I’m just playing with them.
Notes: In one episode of the FMA anime, Lust refers to herself as “the new Lust”. This has long prompted me to speculate on the homunculus who held the name before her. I kicked this idea around for a while, until I was finally spurred to write it by a conversation Kristen Sharpe and I had about the challenges of writing villains.

 

Distraction

 

There was such a thing as being too comfortable.

Swan’s-down pillows, silk sheets, warm arms around her. Dante opened her eyes languidly, and studied the face of her lover for the last time.

The classical sculptors would have thrown down their chisels and wept at their inability to capture his perfection. Lean smooth muscles, tanned skin like satin, every line of his body and limbs exquisitely proportioned; elegant cheekbones, firm masculine chin, tousled mane of glossy dark hair. There was not one single flaw in him.

…And that was, after all, why Dante had created him. It was why she had engineered the untimely death of the beautiful but very human young man who once wore those features, and reinvented him in greater perfection still.

The only mark of her handiwork was stamped discreetly upon the small of his back, in the image of a winged serpent devouring its tail.

She had fashioned him with grander uses in mind. There were scandals to incite, pawns to position, people to use—female as well as male. But he was so obedient, so attentive, so eager to please, and it was not in her nature to deny herself anything that could please her. The temptation proved impossible to resist.

The purposes were not mutually exclusive, she told herself. She could enjoy him for herself one day, and send him off on his tasks of seduction the next.

Yet the weeks passed, and she only grew more loathe to let him leave her side…

Or to leave his.

Dante’s fists clenched. She began to push herself away from him, and he opened dark violet eyes, smiling lazily as his strong arms squeezed her around the waist.

“What do you need? I can get it for you.”

She could have laughed at that. What she needed…

“A woman has to have her secrets.” She forced a convincing smile, and wriggled out of his arms. “I’ll only be a moment.”

With that she slipped from the bed, wrapping her robe around her as she moved off into her boudoir. She pushed the door half-shut behind her, turned on the light, and gazed down for a long moment at the expensive rug that covered most of the floor.

Then she rolled back the rug, to reveal the sprawling, complex transmutation circle she had painstakingly drawn there the day before.

Crossing to her dressing-table, she drew a small alabaster jar from the drawer. She carried it back to the doorway, shut out the light, and called lightly into the bedroom: “Will you come here, please?”

He obeyed her, as always. After a moment the door creaked open, and he stepped past her in the shadows, looking around in puzzlement.

Dante slammed the door, flicked the light switch, and turned to him.

For an instant, there was only confusion. Then shocked dismay spread over his face as he saw the jar in her hand—for he knew whose ashes it contained. He looked down at the array spread around him on the floor, and then up at her, his expression desperately echoing the question he gave voice to.

Why?”

“Because you’re a weakness.” Dante knelt, setting the urn beside her, and stretched her hands over the circle. “Because you’re a distraction to me—and I’ve come too far to let even the most pleasant distraction interfere with my plans now.”

Her fingers touched the array, sparking it to life; and as Lust crumpled to his knees, giving up the lives within him, she swore to herself that she would never bestow his name upon a male homunculus again.


© 2012 Jordanna Morgan