If anyone had asked Alphonse in the initial seconds after the restoration whether anything could make the world more perfect, he would probably have laughed, too overwhelmed to fully express his elation. He had never dared to dream that things could get better, astounded as he'd been by the way air tasted spilling over his tongue and how the sunlight felt on his naked back.

The boy had been forced to revise his opinion several times since then.

Because he hadn't realized exactly how wonderful it would feel to have Edward pull him in close, all warm flesh and metal, shaking and crying and petting his hair. Hadn't recalled the way cake would moisten and break apart in his mouth, spreading itself thick and sweet over his tongue. Hadn't remembered how soft newly—washed fabric could be, or the way a wooden floor felt under bare feet, or the minute rasp of his brother's fingertips when they brushed along his cheek.

And he had certainly never dared, in his most fantastic daydreams, to imagine the way the sensations would build, delight upon delight, to form a slow, pleasant burn low in his stomach. Never thought to consider, when he begged his brother to stay the night with him, that the overwhelming softness of sheets and pillow and worn old patchwork quilt would conspire with the warmth pressed close and welcome up against him.

Had certainly never pictured the expression in his brother's eyes when he'd discovered the reason for Alphonse's squirming: surprise, first, and then understanding. Embarrassment next, guilt and reluctance fast on its heels. And it wasn't until all the rest had been and gone, flickering barely long enough for Al to comprehend, that the want and the love had flooded in to take their place.

And then Edward had reached out, flesh hand shaking, to cup him gently through the soft cotton of his pajamas, and Alphonse had bucked hard into the touch, so overcome with the moment that he wasn't aware of the sound that squeezed up from his throat, trembling and needy.

"Brother," he had managed, when he thought he could hear his own voice over the rush of blood in his ears. "Please."

And oh, Ed had listened.

Had run the fingers of his flesh hand through Alphonse's hair and kissed, soft and tentative, at the place where it met his forehead. Traced every line of the face he'd created with gentle warmth and then eased buttons free so that he could move down to explore throat and chest.

Careful hands had lifted the pajama top free so that lips could press up against the skin of his arms—the crook of an elbow, the curve of a wrist, an index finger drawn gently into his brother's mouth, the hot suction making him moan and squirm, all but drowning in the pleasure of it. Because he had never, never thought that anything could be so good, and his mind was reeling, body shaking, voice a breathless gasp.

"Brother," he tried again—because the pleasure had reached a fever pitch, and the pajama pants had become unbearably tight, at some point.

But somehow, Ed seemed to know what to do about that, too—was coaxing him gently upward so that he could lift the constraining fabric away, tracing the curve of his thigh with the cold, smooth surface of automail fingers.

Alphonse writhed, panting, helplessly overwhelmed—and the look in Ed's eyes was making it all the more unbearable, an expression filled with such liquid heat that the younger boy's next plea was rendered incoherent.

"Al," his brother said, tone more reverent than it had ever been for anything before, and licked his lips, self-consciously.

But before Alphonse could even begin to formulate a reassurance—before his mind could start to settle itself enough to catch up—Edward had lowered his head and was doing something amazing with his tongue, and the sound that left the younger boy was closer to a scream than anything else. Every breath was a shuddering whine, every motion attuned to the incredible moist heat that was engulfing him.

And then his brother closed his lips around the the length of him and suckled gently, and that was all it took—the world was reduced to bright lights and a backdrop of white noise, every muscle drawn up tight enough to hurt, back coming up off the bed in a solid arch.

He was aware, only vaguely, when Edward crawled up to join him, wrapping mismatched arms protectively around still—shaking shoulders. Somewhere, the touch of lips to his forehead registered, as did the press of something hot and solid to his thigh. And a part of his mind knew, distantly, what that must have been—would have liked very, very much to help his brother feel anywhere near as good as he had.

But his new body was spent and still-trembling, nerves humming distantly with the aftermath of an ecstasy stronger than he'd ever believed possible. And there were words in his ear, low and careful, apologies and promises of love, again and again, so jumbled that it was hard to tell one from the other.

If he'd been able, Alphonse would have told the smaller boy to stop being such a stubborn idiot—would have fought him on it, kept at it until Edward was forced to admit that there was nothing to apologize for.

But exhaustion was creeping up on him fast and inevitable—and so the boy settled for seizing Ed's hand in his own and meeting his eyes.

"Love you," Alphonse mumbled, and snuggled in closer.

The rest, he thought, as sleep descended upon him, would have to wait for later.