Physical Therapy

The air was thick, alight, on fucking fire, and he could hardly breathe under the weight of it. Delightful, perfect, and he was arching, whimpering, because nerves were bared, opened for a moment when the pieces were removed, pulled free, leaving him naked, nude, and all things beautiful. Not as God made him, but as he made himself.

Alphonse worried looking at his brother this way, for both the fear of his guilt and fear of his brother. Punishment, Edward would whisper, want for, beg, punishment from Al, from the wronged, from those with grief. Punishment from the source, deeper than what a leg, an arm could atone for.

The limbs were out of reach, on a rolling cart that sat in the corner of the room, and how passionately Edward stared at them, longed for them. His freedom. His motion. His power, and without them, there was a sinning little boy who couldn't move or save himself.

At mercy. At mercy to the one who it was owed to.

And it was so hard to grasp, to cling to because it was something he never had to know before. Weakness was an emotion that morphed and changed, something he didn't tolerate so he defeated it at every turn. Now, though, now in this event of locked doors and whispered words, candles lit and bonds to wrap about flesh limbs, now he would look to that weakness, look to that submission to make him belong. To make him feel, dammit.

I'm closer this way. It's only fair. It's only fair.

The first time had been an accident, a fire dance that had been ignited by a stray match. No matter how graceful, how trained Alphonse was in that metal casing, there was a degree of clumsiness that came with sheer bulk and size and lack of nerve endings. His fingers, two metal pieces that had taken over ten minutes to work up to, were moving in and out slowly as Edward's body writhed on the floor, a succubus in steel and sweat.

And it was so simple, a slip of an armor arm twisting at the right angle, and one automail leg started to dislodge itself from the port, a scream of nerves that were on fire, consuming, devouring. The surge was painful, a sharp edge that blotted out everything else, just that pain and the fingers shoved inside him, before something else settled in shortly after.

Perfection. Retribution. Nothingness. Sweet nothingness, just feeling, no thoughts, no Stone, no pesky mental commentary or guilt, and just this goddamn sensation that eclipsed the sun.

Edward had asked for it, again. Again. Againagainagain.

Alphonse was a willing participant, if not slightly hesitant; the cries of his brother were constantly being reassured, being promised and hissed and whispered that this was what he wanted, that the feeling was so strong, drowning, that it made him feel clean and pure and base and natural. That this was what made him feel alive when everything was gray, was drab and boring.

Months twisted, moments within the grasp of the Philosopher's Stone and feeling it trail from wanton fingers, and these sessions became more frequent, more demanding, more desperate. Edward would cling to his armor, run wet fingers of skin down the cold, heavy steel, and ask for more, more pressure against his nerves, press harder, Al, I can't feel it so well, Al, oh, right there, Al! His golden hair plastered to his forehead, he would writhe, his hips straining up, come spread over his flat stomach and through the curls of honeyed secret hair, and he would feel alive.

But there were always more, more ways to play the game. Endless paths, endless turns, endless outcomes.

Endless. Just like themselves.

His brother had called for him into the room, had already laid himself out on crisp, clean sheets. His limbs were off, disconnected on the silver cart where tools were scattered around them, messy and yet organized, grouped and toppled together by function. The air was chilled, or perhaps he was just excited; Alphonse could see the pointed nubs of those nipples swollen and hard on that strong chest.

The youngest Elric knew, understood, and took a seat on the stool beside the bed, fingers reaching for the familiar bottle of lubricant they brought out on the best of occasions. As he started to open the bottle, to set to eager work (especially with that look of wanton lust spread over the delicious contours of Edward's face), a flesh hand rested atop his arm, rubbing it gently.

"See the little case there? Open it."

The younger sibling hesitated for a moment, wondering what this was all about, and after a few minutes of metal fingers clamoring with the clasps of the handled-plastic box, it pried open rather quietly, lacking the dramatics that were almost expected. Curious, reaching in, he picked up the metal device, some sort of rod attached to a panel by a long cord, complete with dials and a plug for the wall for... something. Several metal pieces, some with rounded tips, some curved, a few simply straight, lay nestled securely in the foam that lined the case.

"What is this?"

Edward smiled, his breath coming faster; for a room that was chilled, his arousal, naked and expecting, felt no shame. "Pick up the long piece, yes, that one. Slip it onto the end. Push it in. Yeah, like that."

Alphonse followed the directions, tab A into slot B, twist, lock, but... "That still doesn't tell me what this is, brother."

"It's fun. That's what it was." The pink tip of his tongue slid out, running the length of his lips as he sat up a little, eyes dancing, twin stars that smoldered under the gaze. "Put it down there. Yeah, right by the leg."

Alphonse watched his brother's throat working, his lashes pulling back. He purred out a number, something low, and he watched idly as the dial was turned to it before Alphonse was pressing it to the skin, an act that resulted in nothing. Hissing, Edward reached down, grabbing onto that cold wrist and guiding Al's hand up an inch off the skin, something that made the older Elric shiver, grit his teeth, trapping a moan behind them.

"Don't... don't touch it... to anything. Doesn't... doesn't work." And Edward was delicious, already panting, already looking so ready.

"You still didn't tell me what it is..."

"It's called a violet wand," came the low purr, shifting so that he was leaning on his one flesh elbow. "Electricity." His eyes flickered to the device, the sleek round sides, the way it seemed dwarfed in that large metal hand, and smiled. "The body is a series of electrical impulses; I'm simply tapping into what I am at the base core."

And Alphonse knew what this was, knew what it all came down to, and nodded slowly with a jangle of the armor. As he turned the dial up, the intensity sparking the smallest of bits, like shocking two people when running feet against a shag carpet, and he started to go for the skin. An arm. A leg. The dip of his navel. Oh, the possibilities, even with two limbs missing!

It was always exciting, the moments when Edward wanted him, when he looked at him so wantonly, even as cursed as he was. Love, love would never fade between the damned.

He chose the round curve of his unscarred shoulder, that delicate hill, before he heard his brother shake his head and whisper a destination.


At first, Alphonse thought he meant simply inside his body, down into the depths where his fingers often traveled, slippery, sleek. Moving to get the lubricant once more for his fingers, wondering how that would work considering it would have to touch flesh, he was stopped by a single hand to his arm.

"The socket."

The socket, where nerves were bare, electric, tied off in wires and steel, where he was as close to Al as he ever could be. Soulfire eyes stared at the elder brother in disbelief, before he shook his head back and forth slowly, denial, hesitation.

"But... but it will hurt..."

It took some effort for Edward to roll over, to get leverage enough to press his lips to the cold steel of Alphonse's helmet, but he kissed it sweetly, softly, warmly. "I want to feel enough for the both of us."

Hesitation fled, one cool metal hand finding the port, holding his beloved older brother as he slid the wand down, down, down in the socket, down against naked nerves. Edward was crying out, long and drawn, his body arching, hips thrusting enough that Alphonse had to gently ease them down. As he began to speak, began to ask if this was really the right thing, the thing they should be doing, a panting Edward looked to him with a lazy smirk and bright eyes.



"Again, Al," he hissed, his cheeks flushed red as the coat he normally wore. "Pleassse—"

This time, when Edward cried out, he said his brother's name, yelled the encouragement as he writhed, sweat on his brows, on the hollow of his throat. His chest hitched with every breath, his eyes drugged in the lust and lunacy of such mind-numbing activities, as the natures of the physical trumped emotional, mental. In this world there was only feeling, only sensation, reaction, there was only pain that lead to pleasure mere heartbeats later.

The body was twitching, the muscles jumping from spasms, sweat an icestorm sheen over the tanned flesh. It was a patchwork of scars and strength, of desire and desperation, and Al couldn't hold back from what made his brother happy, made his sleep deeper. Moving the wand down, brushing it over a hip, a navel, watching the skin quiver, jump, he slid it against the port at the leg, something that pulled another cry from working lungs.

No one could make them feel this way, feel the same electricity between metal and flesh, born of both, created and whispered and punished by both. No one could be the current that connected them other than themselves.

The younger Elric watched the final climax, circuit breakers go, exploding, release in a shower of white sparks. Edward was growling, hissing, nails of one single hand twisting and tearing the sheets beneath him as his narrow hips pushed up, the stump of his leg shaking, shivering, jumping. He stared at the trail spread over his brother's stomach, his chest, watched the pool of it in his navel, watched the way his brother panted with deep rapid breaths.

Alphonse gazed as one flesh hand reached for him, as the lips murmured his name, murmured the forbidden statements of love born of complete devotion and retribution, of guilt and need, of passion and desire, of love and all things that controlled the heart. He imagined his own lips moving like that, wet and glistening, delirious and numb, each line caressing a syllable, forming matching sounds and sentiments.

I love you.

Edward felt enough for the both of them, came enough for the both of them.

But each of them loved enough for an army.