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Beauty


People all have different ideas of beauty, Al knows, and no two ever appear to be the same. Some people admire flowers, others the sky at sunset, all pink and purple, red and gold. Some think of architecture, or women, or paintings. Winry for one thinks that beauty is the dull gleam of an automail arm, while Pinako knows it is the way the smoke from her pipe curls into the air. The people of Xenotime thought beauty was intricate golden jewellery, sparkling in the stalls and bazaar, while the people of Lior worshipped their sculptures of their god, the stained glass windows they made for Him, and speak of Leto in hushed tones as the most beautiful thing in the world.

Al's own idea of beauty is somewhat different. He is not interested in flowers, buildings, nature, jewellery or religion. He appreciates them for their aesthetic value, but they are not so beautiful that they are priceless. He finds cats valuable, with their grace and softness and independence, adores the way they move and the things they do, but he doesn't know if they are his most beautiful thing.

But then his brother is fresh out of the shower, and he can't help but wonder. Ed has a towel wrapped around his hips, and holds it up with one metal hand almost absently; his hair is wet and sticks to his face and neck and shoulders, shining softly in the weak light. He runs the fingers of his left hand through the tangles as he talks, resting his hip against the frame of their bedroom door, but then he quiets, and his hand falls from his hair slowly. Al can't help but smile when his brothers comes to him and settles on his lap, eyes glinting brighter than all the gold of Xenotime.

The kiss they share is smooth and sweet, and as he tangles his fingers in his brother's hair, tastes the hot-salt tang of his brother's mouth, he knows he's found his beauty.