Al didn't complain about his brother's occasional delinquency, so Ed didn't have room to complain about Al's taste in boyfriends.
His ruse works; Ed dismisses him - with a harsh, impatient rejoinder that he isn't finished yet - and devotes his attention to his brother.
It is somewhat odd that two brothers can be so different, yet so close.
Why was Ed still letting this fear haunt him? How long was the lingering pain of these old wounds going to hang between them?
Sometimes Al thinks that somewhere back in the Armstrong family tree lurks an alchemical accident in a sequin factory.
He'd lied in smoke filled bars. He'd hunted down lubricants in seedy stores that catered to the most iffy of clientele. Alfons had EARNED Ed's love.
If it didn't rain so often, Ed thought, he might feel a little more like he could make plans.
With no warning at all, something changed in the air between them, and the fight turned dirty.
Alphonse settled for a barely audible sigh and hoped that his brother knew what he was doing.
There is immortality deep within us that has nothing to do with corruptible flesh and earthly demise.
"So by 'torture,' you really mean 'sexual gratification'. Specifically your sexual gratification.
Everything — Ed's wishes, his remaining dignity, even his trust — was going to have to come second to Ed's life.
"Oh, hello, brother." Alphonse flashed the smaller boy a smile, startled but pleased. "I didnít hear you come outside."
"He's the Fullmetal Alchemist," Alphonse interrupted, tapping his pen against his clipboard. "Are you sure you're up to the task?"
Typical Ed; overprotective, hypocritical, condescending, and for some reason fundamentally incapable of treating Al as an equal.
People all have different ideas of beauty, Al knows, and no two ever appear to be the same.
As always, there was a spark of hope in the younger Elric's expression, and it dug its claws into him as it had every day for the past eight months.
"It's cheating," he declared at last, "To pick a fight while I ache."
A collection of 100 word ficlets.
That was when the nightmare had begun, when the world had become stone walls, sterilized laboratories, and lights so bright as to make little red capillaries snake across both boys' eyes.
...when he presses his hand against the scraped array and wills it to activate, he can't help but send a whispered prayer to it. Please work. Please, please...
It's almost as though Al is the blind one, seeking to memorize his brother's features by touch.
Too many more nights of excuses are going to drive him from appropriately celibate to stark raving mad.
He realized for the first time that Edward, who he was used to seeing shadowed by blood and sweat and his own private sorrows, was actually beautiful.
A collection of 100 word ficlets.
"I'm not being forced out of another home. They won't be here long, and it's not like they'll be looking for us."
He could imagine the words Fix typed as coming from his brother, and it afforded him a little bit of indulgence in his horrible, sinful, uncontrollable urges.
With a sense of rising dread, Alphonse raised his fist to pound for admittance, worry tinging his voice. "Brother? Are you alright in there?"
He runs out of ink halfway through the page, and with a quiet sigh dips his finger in the inkwell...
Who knew how long it would take to find Al and take down those who'd conspired to feign his death?
"Brother," Alphonse said, voice soft with horror, "I think that Winry's going to kill you."
"Yeah," Fuery chips in, "you're always the one to stop Ed from doing weird stuff, not the other way around."
All it took was a push of his hand and the twist of a small brass key to put it out of sight.
The sweet morning snaps like a fragile pane of glass and Al is sobbing, the sounds tearing up out of his chest and throat before he can stop them.
This was getting crazy. He knew that his college years ran equivalent with his sexual peak, but honestly?
For an instant, a look passed between them, and Alphonse could almost imagine that he saw his own emotions reflected within the eyes of his brother.
Boys shouldn't do this, either with their brothers or with any other boy.
It is to such a morning that Alphonse wakes up, light pouring in through the blinds and over the bed sheets.
The house rumbled gently, as a cat purrs, and Alphonse tied off the braid, pressing his hands to Edward's scalp one more time before dropping them to his side.
There were three ways to identify the Fullmetal Alchemist, wherever he went.
It is snowing in earnest by the time the fire has begun to burn low, but neither boy wants to move to add more wood.
There was gold in the middle of midnight, and Envy smiled over his satisfaction.
"It's cold and dark and raining, and there are thugs roaming the street - brother, have a heart! He could be killed! He could become kitten stew!"
"It was a while ago," he offered nervously. "Before your time. He's, uh, well, he was a persistent bastard, and... You're not mad, are you?"
"Don't worry about it," he says bossily. "I know what to do. Give me the book--don't close it--ah, thanks."
His tone was all weary patience, as though explaining to a child why candy was out of the question until after dinner.