There were some things about Ed that absolutely infuriated his brother. His stubborn desire to carry on abusing himself over their mistakes, for one. His firm belief that he had to be absolutely servile to Al, after he'd gotten his body back, to make up for it, for another.
That last trait scared and confused Al considerably, especially since they'd started having sex. Was Ed merely doing sleeping with him because Al had asked? Was it his own choice, or was Al taking advantage of his self-flagellation, exploiting him for his own ends?
The thought that Ed might not really want this, despite what he pretended, was enough to kill any arousal he might have felt, most nights. Ed would worry when he chose to bury himself in the covers and sleep rather than have sex, but Al really didn't feel like explaining himself. At least, not until one night. Ed had curled up close to him, under the covers, and began mouthing his neck and chest, lightly toying with one of his nipples, when Al had pushed him away. "Not tonight, brother," he'd said.
"Why not?" Ed had been all hurt dignity and irritation, battered pride and thunderous scowl. Instead of simply slipping under the covers, Al had sat up and confronted him.
"I just don't feel like it. I don't have to explain myself, brother."
And then Ed ... Ed, who had never been scared, of danger or pain or being wrong, Ed had backed down. Averting his eyes, he'd said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to try to make you do something you didn't want to do, Al, I don't want to annoy you—"
Al had blinked at him, then scowled. "Maybe this attitude is annoying me, Ed. It's not like you to be so ... complacent. You don't have to treat me like that; I can take care of myself."
"I need to, though. I owe it to you," Ed said, not meeting his gaze. "For what I did ... I can never expect you to forgi—"
Al slapped a hand against his forehead. "IDIOT. We've been through this, brother, god knows how many times. I can look after myself. I have looked after myself."
"No you can't," Ed said with a dismissive snort; there was a trace of his normal personality in the gesture. "If you could you would never have trusted an idiot like me in the first place."
"Of course I trusted you," Al snapped. "I always trusted you. I trusted that you would restore me, and I was right, you did. I always trusted you, and you never proved me wrong."
"That's a lie," Ed said with a snort, rolling over. "I was wrong and you know it, you've always known it. You only think you 'trust' me because you don't know many people you really can trust—again, all down to me. I can never make that up to you, and you know it."
"Are you saying," Al inquired, slowly, "that you never believed that I didn't blame you?"
"You must have," Ed replied honestly. "I only lost a few limbs. You lost everything."
"You mean you couldn't trust me to forgive you?"
"It's not a matter of trust, Al. Of course I trust you. You just—-" Al glared at him, squaring his jaw; Ed blinked then cursed softly, rolling over and wrapping the blanket over him. Al glowered at his brother's back, with the heavy automail port set into the shoulder, little ribbons of white scar threading out from the seam of flesh and metal, and was abruptly furious.
He woke up exceptionally early the next morning, but that wasn't a surprise; since his brother's revelation he'd had a very bad night. A quick glance at the alarm clock confirmed it was half-past three in the morning; beside him Ed snored like a small timber mill. He'd kicked his covers off in his sleep, and his automail arm was thrown haphazardly over the sheets, the automail legs resting on top of the blankets. Al frowned at them, and inched closer to his brother.
Ed's hair was free from the braid, as usual, and slightly mussed from a night of tossing and turning. His brother wore a pair of loose shorts and a rumpled t-shirt. His mouth was open, hence the snoring, and he twitched occasionally in the throes of some dream. He was beautiful, especially in the weak light glittering past the closed seal of their curtains, and Al scowled. He was angry with Ed, damnit; he shouldn't be mooning over his brother's sleeping form like a particularly soppy lover.
Ed's breath hitched and his brows drew together; his limbs gave a single sudden twitch. Al watched him, and held his breath until Ed's breathing smoothed out and his face relaxed. Presently he closed his mouth, and Al leaned in slightly.
Okay. Maybe he could be mad at Ed when Ed was awake.
His lips brushed softly over his brother's, and Ed's nose wrinkled briefly. Al jumped back, watching hesitantly, but then Ed's mouth fell open again and he mumbled something about his automail hurting, Winry, and could she please do something about it?
That bought Al up short, the vague memory of his brother in automail surgery hitting him like a tonne of bricks. Winry and Pinako had tried their best, but some of the tiny noises his brother had made had escaped; little gasps of pain, grunts and whimpers. All the while he'd been huddled as small as he could make himself outside, wanting desperately to be in there and holding Ed's hand, attempting to provide some comfort for his pain.
How could Ed have even said that? How could he claim he trusted Al, when he wouldn't even believe that Al loved him unconditionally? It had hurt him, hurt him in a way that only Ed could, and he was seething inside.
He watched Ed now, expression perfectly serene in his sleep, and tried his hardest not to throttle his brother. But... Ed was so beautiful tonight...
The idea blossomed almost out of nowhere. One moment he was trying to resist the urge to pounce on his brother and either choke him to death or kiss him senseless, the next his fingers were fumbling with Ed's left knee, snapping the catch with a sharp 'click'. Ed made a sleepy little noise as Al carefully, carefully drew the leg out of the socket, setting it beside the bed, and leaned over his brother to free the arm, too. This done, he sat back on his haunches to consider his brother.
With an arm and a leg missing, Ed looked even smaller than normal. He was, Al decided firmly, no less beautiful than before, but there was a certain... something about him, when he lay like that. It was also sobering; his brother with the metal limbs, so easily disabled—and had he ever trusted Al to restore his body to him, either? Had he only let Al tag along on their quest in order to give him help in finding ways to restore Al's body?
There was, he knew, one way of testing his brother's trust. He bought his hands together, then gently placed his palms on the sheets, watching the fabric wind its way slowly up Ed's left arm, around his wrists and around the headboard. Another transmutation saw part of the pillow slithering over Ed's head, covering his eyes, but Al stopped short of binding Ed's leg.
He took a deep breath, poised over his brother. Was this right? Was it okay to do this? Ed might not appreciate it, but then, why not? He should—he would learn to—trust Al enough to know that he would never hurt him, that he loved him. Al let the breath out slowly, then, straddling Ed's hips, leaned forward to kiss his brother deeply, pinching his nose shut as he did so.
Ed jerked awake instantly, the rope making an odd sound as it stretched, bringing his arm up short. His leg twitched, but Al was now kneeling across his thighs, so he couldn't get very far. He deepened the kiss very slowly, still keeping his brother from breathing, and Ed whimpered into his mouth, still struggling. When Al disengaged, with a wet sound and a trail of saliva, Ed panted helplessly as he heaved in several deep breaths, his arm still thrashing against the rope. Al reached over and gently pinned the wrist, kissing Ed again—but this time a chaste kiss on the cheek—and said, "Stop panicking, brother."
Ed's brows drew together over the top of the blindfold. "Al?"
"Mmm." He lazily drew an invisible array on the fabric covering his brother's torso, and then bent down to mouth a nipple wetly through the shirt. Ed's arm scrabbled against the pillows as he tried to raise himself up on them; when he failed he asked, "Why?"
Al paused, then sighed. "Brother, do you need an explanation?"
"Of course I do!" Ed's tone was bright with indignant annoyance. "I need to know what you want to do with me, and why you tied me and removed my automail and—-"
"Idiot," Al snapped. "I asked if you needed an explanation, as in if you couldn't trust me to take care of you—-"
"Oh, so this is about that trust issue? Al, drop it. Let me go and give me back my automail. I'll forgive you if you don't try to wake me up after I've re-connected the fucking things—-"
Al bit the nipple, hard. Ed yelped, then immediately carried on. "—And I want to know what the hell that was for, too—-"
"Brother," Al replied ominously, "Shut up before I have to gag you too, okay? Please? Just try to relax. Just try to trust me."
"Or are you saying you think I'll hurt you?" Al injected enough of his own hurt into his voice that he knew it had to be the audible equivalent of his infamous puppy-dog eyes, and it seemed to work.
Ed's shoulder slumped, and, bitterly, he said, "Go on, then." Al smiled in reply, though he knew his brother couldn't see, and leaned upwards to kiss him again. Ed didn't open his mouth willingly, and Al had to do a bit of poking with his tongue before his brother's lips parted, somewhat grudgingly.
Ed's mouth tasted odd, like salt and copper and a vague hint of something else, something indescribable. Al probed carefully, hands wrapped around Ed's jaw line to draw him closer and keep him steady. Ed wasn't protesting any more, his own tongue brushing lightly against Al's, his chin tilted up to give him easier access. Al smiled, despite himself, then drew back; Ed took a great gulp of air and asked, "Now what?"
Al bought his hands together, loudly, and Ed flinched from the crackle of alchemical energy. Ignoring this, Al set his hands to the waistband of the shorts Ed wore, and it only took a few seconds to transmute them into scraps of material. "HEY!" Ed demanded, blushing furiously and slamming his legs shut. Al captured the remainder of his left leg in his hand, pulling it upwards, bringing the automail port closer to his face. Ed yelped again, still flushed and embarrassed, and Al placed a gentle kiss on the tip of the port. His tongue slid over the metal, tasting it, then up the outside, over the scar tissue. Ed squirmed before him, cheeks burning red and brows drawn together sharply, and Al leaned forward and slid his tongue into the socket, brushing the nerve cables.
The reaction was instantaneous; Ed yipped and jack-knifed off the bed, lashing out with his free leg while jerking at the rope that bound his arm. Al easily caught his ankle and pinned this, too, as he carefully explored the few cables he could reach. Each touch seemed to have an enormous effect on Edward, who was whimpering, eyes watering beneath the blindfold. He didn't seem to be in pain from the slow exploration, but Al didn't want to take a chance; he drew back and asked softly, "Does it hurt?"
"No," Ed replied immediately. "Just feels fucking odd."
"Good." Al ran his tongue around the rim of the port while Ed twitched a little, fingers of his living hand curling into a fist, and then dropped the half-leg entirely in favour of sliding up Ed's body again. "Love you," he said, nose-to-nose with his brother.
"You have a weird way of showing it," Ed growled, jerking beneath him. Al blew out over his face softly, watching Ed's bangs flutter gently in the artificial breeze. Ed wrinkled his nose and said, "Stop that," so Al did it again. Ed bared his teeth, but didn't seem truly irate; he seemed to be thawing, slowly, so Al kissed his throat—felt Ed tense, but only a little—and nipped at his collarbone.
Ed's skin tasted salty, too, except for the scars, which tasted of steel. He drew a line from Ed's neck down to the gaping automail port of his right shoulder, felt Ed's resigned sigh as he began toying with this too, and smirked into the metal. Ed bored was much, much better than Ed frightened, and the longer he drew the boredom out, the more of a surprise it would be when he moved on to other things.
He discovered very quickly the nerve cables in this port were even more sensitive than the ones in Ed's leg, and derived great amusement from randomly toying with them, with fingers or tongue, and feeling Ed stiffen, then relax, then curse him. After ten minutes, this began to get boring for him, too; he returned his attention to nibbling on Ed's throat and earlobe and lips, biting soft skin and leaving red, red marks behind. Ed made an odd whining sound, his hips bucking hopefully underneath Al, and Al gasped as the movement brushed their groins together. Ed was hard already, and Al grinned into his brother's shoulder at the sensation of his brother's erection pressing against his belly. "Not yet," he said, surging up Ed's body to claim another kiss.
"Soon?" Ed tried, and Al brushed their noses together even as he felt the dig of his brother's hardness in the hollow of his hip, dangerously close to his own cock.
"Maybe," he said noncommittally, placing two light kisses on top of the blindfold, over Ed's eyes. Ed didn't even flinch that time, and the rope jerked as Ed reached for him again. Not even bothering to try and suppress his laugh, Al slid back down Ed's body, choosing to suck on a nipple rather than go anywhere else. Ed thrust against him again, so Al knelt on his brother's thighs, keeping him pinned down and leaving him wanting. "Mmm." Ed was sweating, and Al lazily dragged his tongue over his chest, licking his lips as he tasted—more salt, and some other things he couldn't identify. He ducked his head back to his brother's nipple, his hands now stroking up Ed's sides and gliding over his shoulders, Ed jerking under him with the force of his lust.
"Al, please," Ed breathed, panting softly as Al abandoned the nipple to tease the other, the one half-gone under the automail. "Please, please—-"
"Mmm... no," Al purred, pushing himself back up to kiss Ed again. They were slow kisses, deep and long, and Al didn't seem too worried about Ed's panting or his frantic attempts to thrust. His brother's legs were twitching under him, then thrashing, no longer restrained by his weight. Al snaked a hand along his brother's bound arm, twining their fingers together, and kissed the underside of his jaw before getting up and leaving Ed entirely.
"Al? Where the hell are you?" Ed called frantically, hips jerking against empty air. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to the kitchen... I need a cup of coffee," Al replied with a yawn.
"You WHAT? Al, please, god, no—-"
"I'll be back in the next fifteen minutes ... probably," Al called over his shoulder, with a flippant wave that he knew Ed couldn't see.
While he boiled the kettle, he hunted down the little bottle of lubricant in the living room. He found it on the bookshelf, leaning against one of Ed's textbooks, and paused to think about the significance of that. He was always at his most philosophical in the mornings; by the time he returned to the bedroom, oil in one hand, mug of boiling coffee in the other, he'd come up with a complex idea about how the placing could signify the things most important in Ed's life; sex (with Al), and alchemy (with Al). These thoughts went out of the window when he came back in and found Ed still waiting, legs spread as far as they would go, attempting to roll onto his belly so he could thrust into the mattress, at least. He was still panting, his skin still flushed that gorgeous pink shade in his arousal, and he was making the most delectable little whining sounds as he discovered he didn't have the leverage to do what he wanted, stopped by the bound wrist; Al took a sip of his coffee, and settled on the bed. Ed jumped when he felt the motion. "Morning, brother," he said mildly, taking another sip, then a gulp. He was growing hard himself at the sight, and set the oil on the bedside table in order to use his free hand to shuck off his pants. "I'm back. Just let me finish my coffee."
Ed rolled onto his back again, spreading his legs shamelessly wide and panting. Screw 'growing' hard, Al thought, and had to squeeze his eyes shut tightly; he was hard, and almost painfully so. He finished the coffee in a series of deep gulps, grabbed the oil, and poured some of the contents over his palm.
He used his free hand to raise Ed's hips a little, and Ed groped with his perfect leg until he could throw it around Al's waist. Al gripped the thigh of his left leg and raised this, too, as his own left hand drew a spider-web pattern around his brother's entrance before pushing in. Ed gritted his teeth, but then said, quite curtly, "Faster."
"I'm setting the pace here, brother," Al sniped, pushing a little bit further in. Ed wriggled a little, trying to push himself down on those fingers, and Al scowled and withdrew. "I know what I'm doing," he said as Ed made a little whining noise. "Stop trying to control me."
"Then fuck me," Ed snapped, teeth still gritted. "It's the reason you tied me up like this, isn't it?"
"No," Al replied softly, pushing back in again. "I tied you up because I wanted to prove something to myself." He pushed even further in, and Ed arched slowly, a rippling motion along his spine. Al kissed the automail port of his leg again, and slipped his finger all the way in; Ed groaned softly and squeezed Al with his thighs. "Does this hurt?"
"No," Ed said shortly, but he sounded faintly puzzled, and Al kissed his knee, too. "I thought it would, and it does ache a bit, but ... it doesn't hurt."
"That's what you get when you go slowly," Al said, slightly smugly, as a second finger joined the first. "You might want to consider it sometime."
Ed made no reply, just raised his head off the pillow and gasped as Al fingers, stretching, searching, pressed against something inside him. Al, watching carefully, took the mixed emotions that flashed over his brother's face as his cue; and, dropping Ed's leg, withdrew his hand, reaching out for the oil with the other. "This is a bit bigger than my fingers," he said apologetically as he oiled his own cock slowly. Ed let his head drop back on the pillow, nodding, and his trapped hand drummed an impatient message on the sheets. Al watched him carefully to be sure that he was okay with this, and guided himself in slowly.
Ed tensed under him, teeth grinding. "Warn me next time," he snarled, chest rising and falling faster. Al, also panting, made a sound of derisive amusement, and shifted slightly, closing his eyes as he did so. If he'd thought his brother smelled or tasted or looked good before, that was nothing to how he felt, inside; Al ground his own teeth and reluctantly began to move backwards, out of the tight heat, then back in.
Ed's breathing was coming quicker now, interspersed with moans and gasps and wet, hungry panting. Al wasn't much quieter, yelping Ed's name every thrust in that perfect bliss, one hand on Ed's hip, the other clenched on the sheets for balance. Ed whined, growled, and purred with pleasure as Al got closer and closer to the perfect angle; when he hit it—purely by accident—Ed almost screamed with pleasure, and it didn't matter about the blindfold because damnit, he couldn't see past the lights burning in front of his eyes. Encouraged by this, Al moved again, now with a rough guideline to where he needed to be. Ed, too, began to moan his brother's name, and Al's free hand left the sheets to hesitantly brush against his brother's cock.
Ed bucked, hard, against the sheets, called Al's name through the fire, and with a last explosive sigh he slipped over the edge. His muscles tightened around Al, who was also beginning to whimper at the wonderful feeling, the tight, sleek heat. It only took a few more seconds for orgasm to reach him, as well, his hips still thrusting and then freezing, deep inside Ed, as he set his jaw and came still inside Ed, sweat dripping from his face onto his brother's body below.
They collapsed together, panting, and it took a while before Al felt he was sufficiently recovered enough to transmute the bed sheets back in one piece, freeing his brother's arm and face. "We need to take a shower," he murmured with his eyes closed, forehead touching Ed's shoulder. "And you need to put your automail back on."
"Mmm," Ed said, not opening his own eyes. "Bath?"
"Okay." Al sat up; Ed manoeuvred to the edge of the bed, waiting as Al offered him a hand up to his foot. Together they made their way to the bathroom, Al providing a support for Ed, and sat together on the rim of the tub with their backs to the water as they ran the taps and waited for it to fill up.
"So..." Ed said quietly, not looking at Al. He took a moment to make his tone cheerful. "Blindfold and automail-removal notwithstanding, that was some of the best sex I've ever had. Did you get what you wanted out of it?"
"Yeah, I think so," Al said quietly. "You weren't scared, were you?"
"Scared? Of you? Hah!" Ed thumped him on the back and lost his balance; Al caught him before he could topple into the bath.
"I mean, you seized up a few times, but you never asked me to stop, and I just ... don't think that's because you didn't want to offend me."
"What are you talking about?" Ed demanded, eyeing him dubiously, and Al blinked as he realised his brother wasn't bowing and scraping to him now, either. His attitude seemed to have changed considerably in the time since Al had first put his plan into motion, and he wondered about that. Ed wasn't faking this, this was real; he knew that much.
Maybe he shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, he thought abruptly, with some consternation. He cupped his brother's cheek, and they shared a slow, tender kiss. Ed still looked puzzled, so he smiled and said, "It doesn't matter. I got what I wanted, and now I'm perfectly happy."
"Good," Ed said with a last suspicious look. "If you weren't after all that I'd kick your ass then tie you up and see how YOU like it, damn it."
"I don't know, brother..." Al said wistfully, "I might like that, if your reactions were anything to go by."
"Fifteen minutes, Al. Fifteen minutes you left me alone in there."
"Quit complaining," Al said, slapping his brother's thigh affectionately. "You said just now you enjoyed yourself."
Ed found himself unable to argue with that.