"Brother," said the voice at his ear, and he could feel the warmth of it as
Alphonse spoke, the soft rush of breath that came from the other boy's nearness.

"Mm?" Ed managed distractedly in response. His flesh hand
was busy mapping the planes of the younger boy's chest, and it was hard to tear
himself away long enough to participate in the conversation. He'd been waiting
so long for this, after all—so very, very long, and the fact that his brother's
body was pressed up against his side, half-naked and panting, was making it
difficult to concentrate on much of anything but the growing ache between his

"I just wanted you to know," Al told him, pressing a kiss
to the side of his neck, "That I love you."

The words sent butterfly's wings dancing down his spine,
a creeping, spreading warmth that mingled with the want, made it somehow sweeter
and stronger all at once.

And then those hands were slipping down over his stomach,
slender, clever fingers reaching to massage the front of too-tight pants.

He whimpered without being able to help himself, lifted
his hips unbidden—because when he did this on his own, quick and muffled in
the bathroom after waking from a particular shade of dream, it never felt so
fucking good.

"Brother," Al was saying again—and he closed his eyes
against the influx of sensation, both physical and emotional. The effect of
those fingers was driving him mad, and the boy thought fleetingly that if his
mind decided never to return, it wouldn't bother him so much.

"Brother," came the entreaty, more urgently this time.

But the younger boy was close enough that Ed could feel
lips part against his neck with the word, soft and warm and just a little moist;
his breathing hitched in response, crept a bit faster. And against him, Alphonse's
hand moved ceaselessly, pressing and rubbing in ways that made Edward wish with
a distant sort of longing that they had less clothes on. But undressing would
mean stopping, and if he had to stop, he didn't think he could—

Quite suddenly, those amazing fingers chanced upon a particularly
sensitive place, and Edward bucked up in response, keening.

Maybe, the boy's thoughts insisted feverishly, he'd have
to start believing in God, after all. Because if this wasn't heaven-

"Brother," Al insisted, and there was an edge to the tone
this time. "Wake up!"

He complied all at once, came gasping into consciousness
with his little brother hovering nearby, worry evident in the gentle depths
of bronze eyes.

And for one long, sickening moment, he struggled to process
what'd happened; it felt as though he were falling, and his stomach had bottomed

One of those hands that had been doing such wonderfully
delicious things was closing gently on his flesh shoulder, squeezing as though
by way of reassurance.

"You were having a nightmare," Al told him softly, even
as Edward fought down the groan that the simple contact very nearly drew from

"I guess," the smaller boy agreed reluctantly, shifting
a bit with discomfort; beneath the blankets, he was still painfully hard, and
the fact that his little brother's hand had drifted to rub slow, soothing circles
over the top of his back did nothing at all to alleviate the problem.

"Better?" Al asked, quietly, after a few seconds of silence.

Edward swallowed thickly, shifted again. "Yeah."

But Alphonse lingered, watched him with an expression
barely discernable in the faint pre-dawn light that drifted in under the curtains.

The smaller boy snorted, made a show of lying down—on
his side, so that he faced away from his little brother. "Go back to sleep,"
he scoffed. "It was just a dream."

But it was only a heartbeat later when he jerked sharply
at the feel of a warm body slipping between the covers behind him, pressed up
full-length against his back.

Edward bit his lip hard enough to break the skin, fighting
against the impulse to rock backward. A part of his mind flashed into full-on
panic, even as the rest insisted that very interesting things could be achieved
from this position.

And then the younger boy's arm settled loosely about his
chest, tugged him a bit nearer, and Ed forgot how to breathe.

"When we were little," Alphonse said very quietly, and
his breath tickled warm and moist against the back of Ed's neck. "I always felt
better when you let me crawl into bed with you."

It was all Edward could manage not to whimper—not to
twist about halfway and seize his brother's mouth in a kiss. Or free himself
from the sheets and stagger to the bathroom, at least, do something to ease
the fire that had flickered into life in every centimeter of skin that Al's
body touched.

"And besides," the younger boy confided, "I've missed
touching you, brother." He nuzzled in closer, then—and quite suddenly, every
scrap of Edward's considerable willpower was redirected toward keeping the moan
from leaving his throat.

But torture though the contact was, his brother's words
had cut the legs out from under whatever intent he'd had to leave.

Because however selfish Ed had been in years gone by,
however many stupid mistakes he'd made, there was one that he could begin making
up for right now—and all it took was a little bit of restraint.

It wasn't, Edward told himself firmly, a high price to
pay to make his brother happy.

But regardless, the hour until sunup was the longest he'd
had ever known.