"Are you sure you're ready for this?"
"I'm not a baby, brother."
"I can see that."
"Then stop treating me like one."
"Well, excuse your older brother for worrying when six months ago you were so emaciated you could barely stand up."
"Well, then, are you sure your arm and leg are ready for this?"
"Of course they are! All right, all right. Let's just start."
Quiet settled between them, just the breeze tossing Ed's long bangs and ruffling the grass of the hill, and the faint clanking of automail work from the house mostly out of sight behind the rise, and Den's panting in the late summer heat.
And it was hot. Al was sweating before either of them had even moved, feeling a trickle of it slide down the small of his back, and both loving and hating it. Ed had a tense little smile on his face, like he knew what Al was thinking, which to be honest he probably did—so Al tried to focus again on Ed, his calm and ready stance, and on his own body too. It was familiar and not, facing off this way as they had a hundred times before, but he and Ed were almost the same height now and neither of them had any steel to fight with. It was going to be close.
They lunged for each other almost at the same time. It felt so good to be sparring, to see and feel Ed's limbs flash against his own, not shining silver but glowing with golden health. Al had grown so sick of his bed, of inactivity, and though his strength wasn't yet matching his brother's he was still taller and had a longer reach. They collided, connected, a dozen points of skin against skin; they tested each other and themselves, and when Al found his own body working as he remembered, working the way it used to in Teacher's back yard, he grinned and let instinct take over.
Ed was still quicker, always had been, and every time Al missed him he laughed. "You're forgetting that your legs are a lot shorter now," he taunted, leaning back out of range of a kick with barely a thought. "Come on, you can do better than that." And Ed threw a full-force blow that Al turned aside, but just barely, feeling it skid off his collarbone with enough force to leave a red mark in its wake.
Apparently Ed was holding nothing back.
His brother turned the missed blow into an impromptu handstand, just as Al thought he would, and he knocked away the kick that came rising up to connect with his head; a little part of his brain registered that this was Ed's left foot, his real, flesh, grass-dirtied left foot, and a little part of his brain was delighted by that—but the rest of him was growing increasingly startled by Ed's willingness to use full force.
He dropped, swinging a leg out to sweep Ed's hands from under him before he had time to right himself, but his brother was already gone. Al went after him, frustration rising in his chest—this wasn't right, he could always wipe the floor with Ed, and his brother wasn't being careful or cautious at all (but wasn't that what he wanted, for Ed to stop babying Al's fragile-seeming body?)—but Ed was still quicker and Al's limbs still weren't armor-long and Ed still laughed when Al swung hard, all his torque behind it, and caught only air. "Oh, almost, Al, if you were armor that might've hit me."
"If I were armor," Al growled, "that would've broken your neck."
Something like confusion and maybe hurt flickered across Ed's face, and in the instant of distraction Al landed a solid kick and sent Ed flying. He was on his feet a moment later, but something had changed.
All at once Al understood his reach, understood that this was flesh and bone against flesh and bone, knew it in his body in a way he hadn't moments ago, and he darted in before Ed could gather his wits. With no warning at all, something changed in the air between them, and the fight turned dirty.
It was lightning fast now, and Al's clothes and hair were sweat-glued to his body, and Ed's eyes narrowed as they closed in on each other again and again. "Been years since you fought like this," Ed panted. "Are you pissed at me or something? Gonna go sulk by the river if I win?"
"I'm tired of holding back," Al returned, breathless, ducking low under a swift punch.
"I never asked you to hold back," Ed countered, still prodding, still suspicious, and a little bit of red was seeping in at the edges of Al's vision, and his chest pounded with air and pumping blood and something, something he hadn't felt before, but had felt before, so many times.
"You didn't have to ASK me, Ed, I was seven feet of steel, I could have hurt you, actually hurt you, do you realize that? I could have kicked your skull in if I'd wanted to, but I held back, I always held everything back!" Gold eyes widened, an opening, a vicious punch to Ed's jaw that sent him sprawling and then they were both on the ground, scrabbling and rolling.
"Of course I knew that, I'm not stupid Al! You never hurt me, I trusted you, I always trust you, what's gotten into you all of a sudden?"
"I'm sick and tired of holding BACK!" Al spat again, pinned Ed beneath him with swift force. Al threw his fist into the grass beside Ed's head, panting and dizzied, and Ed stilled beneath him.
"Then don't," he murmured.
Something shifted; the whole world, maybe, or maybe it was just something in Al's chest and his stomach, something that twisted out along his limbs. He pressed Ed harder into the ground, bent his head, and kissed him.
Ed had kissed Winry a bunch of times (and she'd kissed him a bunch of times, too) after they'd first come home whole, when Al slept most of the day away and everything had seemed new. Then Winry'd decided that after all the waiting and worrying and stripping Ed to his skivvies for automail adjusting, she didn't love him quite that way after all. That was okay—Ed wasn't sure he loved her that way, either, though he was grown enough now to appreciate a fine pair of breasts.
He'd also kissed Ling once or twice, when Lan Fan was out of sight, and that had been surprisingly pleasant. Ling was a good kisser, if also an insufferable mooch.
Hell, he'd even considered kissing the Bastard, just to see him flustered for once (and after all, he did have a pretty tasty-looking smirk).
But Ed had never imagined that the next pair of lips on his own would belong to his little brother.
Ed loved Al's lips. He loved Al's everything, with the fervor of a proud brother who'd gone through Hell more than once to get to see those lips, that golden everything, again. Ed just loved Al, more than anything or anyone else.
Apparently, Al loved him too.
The kiss was harsh, full of teeth, hungry like Al had been starved (and he had, in so many ways), and Ed responded without really pausing to think about it. A kiss like that was another kind of sparring, and damned if he'd let his brother win without a little tussle first.
They fought with tongues, with Al's fingers gripping Ed's shoulders, and Ed's fingers tugging sharply at Al's hair. Who has Al been kissing, that he's so good at it? Ed wondered as his spine started to melt from the heat of their mouths and Al's body pressed along his own.
Al's body, pressed along his own.
It was...much, much nicer than Ed would have anticipated, but Al was so intent on their tonsil-sucking battle that he hadn't noticed yet. With a little grin Ed bit Al's bottom lip with the edges of teeth to distract him, then wriggled a knee free and pushed it up between Al's legs.
That was about as far as Ed had gotten with Winry, with anyone, and thus far in his admittedly limited sexual experience he'd found that a warm thigh to rub his cock on was one of the best feelings EVER.
Clearly Al thought so too, because he froze, sucking in a breath hard enough to choke on it (Ed's tongue down his throat didn't help the breathing either), then arched down against that pressure with a shocked groan. Ed, always the opportunist in fraternal squabbles, seized the moment and flipped his brother fast onto his back, bearing down on him with slighter weight but greater understanding of a teenaged male's inability to focus on anything else once his dick started talking.
"Ed," Al choked out, his eyes wide and the same gold Ed saw in the mirror, his face and neck flushed with red. Ed leaned down to kiss him again, fiercely; this was good, so good, and Ed was going to win. "Ed," Al said again, and there was anger in the word still, and shock, and a little fear, and more than a little heat.
"Al," he murmured back against his brother's mouth. Then he grinned wickedly and rolled his hips down against Al's.
With a breathless cry Al arched up to meet him, hands scrabbling for leverage, and Ed shoved his brother's sweaty tank top up over his nipples to gain access to that shining, heaving, sweetly hairless chest. He took one nipple in his mouth and bit sharply without preamble; Al shrieked, electrified with new sensation, and thrust the hardened bulge of his shorts insistently up alongside Ed's.
The problem with Ed's plan to distract Alphonse with novel pleasure was that, well, Ed was starting to get pretty distracted by the heat of Al's erection and the slide of their bodies, so when his brother's hands tugged at his tank top and started pulling it off, all Ed could think about was the need to plaster their chests together to feel skin on his. So he lifted his arms. Before he could blink, Al had flipped him hard and pulled the tank up over his head, but trapped his arms in the sweat-damp fabric and forced them somewhat awkwardly behind Ed's head.
Al sat back, triumphant but hazy-eyed with need, still gently rocking his hips against Ed (though at this angle it was more torturous than satisfying). "Brother," he moaned lowly, and the word was laced with uncertainty, with indecision, with a question. It didn't take the genius Ed was so often accused of to figure out what the question was.
His head was spinning and his body thrummed and his heart pounded hard in his chest, and beneath him Ed was silent. Ed was never silent, but if anything were going to shock him out of talking, Al supposed this would be it. He wished he could stop his hips from moving, wished he could tear himself away from his brother's body before this whatever-it-was got out of hand, but it was so completely new, and so good, so unbearably good, even just the barest friction between them lit his skin on fire and sent electric currents through his limbs. And there was Ed beneath him, that tanned expanse of chest, still scarred where the automail port used to be but entirely flesh now, and Al just wanted to lick every inch of him though he hardly knew where that fierce urge had come from. He'd always loved his brother, in whatever way an armor-bodied boy could love the sun around which he revolved, but before he had his flesh back he hadn't really understood desire. Now, though, years of deprivation followed by months of retraining his body to function in even the most basic ways accompanied by weeks of listening to Ed and Winry fool around when they thought they were being quiet were all coming to a head right there between his legs.
Ed stared at him for an impossibly long moment, arms trapped, chest heaving; then he grinned that infectious grin and said, "You know, our souls were crossed. So this is really just some complicated masturbation."
And just like that, all the painful uncertainty eased. "Well," Al said with a wry smile, "I've gotten pretty good at that."
"Let's see, then," Ed purred softly with narrowed eyes. Al shuddered, wondered briefly how Ed could be so commanding from a position of total vulnerability, chalked it up to his brother being, well, Ed, and eased down the waistband of his own shorts.
He wore nothing beneath them; even after months of recovery he still preferred as little clothing as he could get away with on skin that had sat bare in the Gate for so long. His erection bobbed rather saucily between them, and though he was half shocked by his own wanton behavior, the other half had no problem wrapping a hand around it now just as he'd done nearly every night since he'd recovered enough to get hard at all.
"Fuck, Al, you're perfect, you're fucking perfect even after everything I put you through," Ed murmured reverently. Al let the murmur rake over him, choosing to ignore the blame his brother still lay on himself and instead letting the throaty tone of the words inspire his fisted hand. Ed was well trapped, so Al spared his other hand to trail over that scarred chest, hesitant until Ed arched into the touch with a heavy sigh. Encouraged, Al dragged his fingernails in a reddening track down Ed's stomach and through the trail of soft blonde hair that disappeared into the unknown territory of his bulging shorts.
Then, though he'd won the tussle and had Ed right where he wanted him, Al dithered a moment over what he actually wanted Ed for; deciding to stick to what he knew best (and heartened by the way Ed's darkening eyes were fixed on his cock), Al stroked his fingertips through the blonde trail one more time before sliding those fingers to his own balls. This two-handed approach was his favorite method so far, and he groaned low in appreciation, startled to hear a matching sound slide up from Ed's throat. "I think I could come just watching you," his brother panted, sounding shocked by this revelation.
Al smiled down at him, thrusting slowly into his own hands. "I used to watch you, you know."
"You...you watched me?" Ed squeaked, face flushing crimson. "I thought you were, you know, doing that not-sleeping sleep thing!"
"Watching was a lot more interesting than not-sleeping. Sometimes I have dreams about it now, and when I wake up with a hard on I'm grateful for my body all over again." Al smiled a little and bit at his bottom lip, half for show and half in pleasure as he thumbed a droplet from his cock's swollen head, and Ed made a choked noise.
"I lied, I can't come just watching, Al, touch me, or free my hands, or SOMETHING, fuck, let me UP!"
They moved simultaneously, Al reaching down to obey and tug Ed's shorts and boxers sharply down, and Ed surging upright with a clench of impressively rippling abs to throw his trapped arms over Al's head and around his neck.
Between their bellies, naked cocks finally touched, and it was so good that Al's soul almost jumped out of his skin for higher ground all over again. Ed pulled him close, staring down between them to watch this momentous introduction of body parts, and groaned.
"Fuck," he commented, and Al had to agree.
Okay, Ed thought as his brother wriggled and moaned astride his lap, this is definitely better than rubbing myself off on Winry's thigh. Al seemed to agree; he pressed his forehead against Ed's shoulder, panting hard, and then he did the craziest thing—he shoved his hand down between them, wrapped his fingers around both their cocks together, and stroked.
Ed's brain exploded.
When he could focus a bit again, Al was grunting into Ed's neck like an animal and pumping his hand with an arrhythmic urgency that Ed recognized. If he wanted this to be his brother's first orgasm that didn't come entirely from his own right hand, he'd have to move fast.
With a vicious tug he finally wrenched his arms free of the tank top and plastered his palms to Al's sweat-slicked back, mapping out the taut expanse of muscles under smooth, fever-hot skin. Al had pressed himself so close against Ed that there was no way to fit another hand between them now, so Ed smoothed his fingers down the curl of Al's backbone to the crest of his frantically thrusting ass.
Al gasped something unintelligible and Ed swallowed, dizzy with pleasure, and slid a fingertip between his brother's clenched cheeks and in, smoothly, just past the first knuckle. Al howled, his body quaking in Ed's arms, and came explosively against their chests and over his hand. His fingers clenched around them both as he rode it out, hips jerking forward against the friction and then back onto Ed's crooked finger, and the sight of his face tipped back in ecstasy was too tempting for Ed to resist.
He pushed hard into Al's trembling hand and attacked his neck with tongue and teeth; Al shivered, completely breathless, and went slowly boneless against Ed's tensed body. "Brother," he murmured, releasing his own softening cock to pay more particular attention to Ed's, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hold on any longer, your finger there is...uhmm...." He trailed off as said finger slid just a little deeper, and Ed bit eagerly at the skin at the joint of his neck and shoulder.
"Really?" Ed asked hopefully. "I've, um, done some reading on the subject, but never tried it."
"Really, mmm, it's sort of weird but I definitely like it, what were you reading, the stash in the bottom drawer of Fuery's desk?"
"You knew those were there? What happened to my innocent little brother?"
"Please, Ed, you have your finger in my—oh—I read them too, let's try it, like Dirk and Brendan in The Aphrodisiac Alchemist...."
Ed swallowed hard and withdrew his finger; Al whined softly at the loss and met Ed's eyes with sudden apprehension, looking like he feared he'd gone a little too far; Ed kissed him quickly in answer and drew his hand along Al's chest, gathering semen on his fingers. "You'd better let go of my dick, or I'll come before we have a chance to try out that scene."
"Oh!" Al replied, though whether it was in response to the words or to Ed's fingers finding his ass again was up for debate.
Ed pushed one finger back inside, slow and careful; Al spread his knees wider across Ed's lap with an encouraging whimper, and Ed gently introduced finger two. He felt Al clench and forced himself not to imagine those muscles tightening around his cock; as it was he wouldn't last long, and damned if he'd go off before he could even slide into home base. Al, breathing hard, pressed down against the intrusion and gasped in Ed's ear. "Another."
"I can go slow, I don't wanna hurt you—"
"No, you can hurt me, just a little, I want to feel everything, come on..."
Ed swallowed hard again and pressed another finger inside. Al hissed, his nails biting into Ed's shoulders. "Yes," he ground out through gritted teeth, "more, Ed!"
Al's reawakening erection was touching Ed's sticky belly, and Al's hot breath was rasping in his ear, and Ed found that when Al was insisting with such insanely erotic tones he just couldn't deny him. He pulled his fingers out and yanked Al's shorts as far down as they'd stretch, sat back a little to pull Al's ass over his hips, and guided himself slowly in.
They cried out together as Ed's cock pushed past that first tight ring of muscle, and though his brain threatened to melt out through his ears, he paused to let his brother adjust. Al had other ideas; he locked his mouth to Ed's and slammed down onto him in a single sharp movement.
Logical thought disintegrated entirely as Alphonse clenched around him, and Ed curled his fingers around his brother's bobbing erection just to have something to hold on to. There was a low moaning against his mouth, deeper than his little brother's voice had any right to be, and Ed's own cries were embarrassingly high and trembly as he thrust up into that impossibly tight heat. Al bounced gracelessly in time with Ed's hips, the baby-soft skin of his tensed cheeks brushing Ed's balls in a way that was driving him swiftly mad; to retaliate, or maybe to thank him, Ed dragged his fist fervently along Al's length.
There was a suspended moment then, akin to the realization that his body had left solid ground and was about to fall; he heard a sharp, keening whine and registered with some surprise that it was coming from him, and moments later orgasm slammed through his body like a jolt from an electrified fence.
Al had thought he might last a little longer, after practically hair-triggering before; he gave up on that thought quite willingly as Ed came in a sudden, searing rush. His brother arched, every muscle strained taut in a sculptural marvel that Al fleetingly thought should be hailed as performance art, and let loose a wail so singularly erotic that Al's whole body tightened in response. Enraptured by the intensity of Ed's expression, a passion and surprise he'd never witnessed on his brother before, Alphonse folded his hand around Ed's, thrust once, twice, a third time into their joined fingers, and came again.
It was gentler this time, rushing through him like water, making his chest swell and his limbs loosen; Ed pressed a hundred urgent kisses against his throat and his jaw and the corners of his mouth, and the water rushing through him rose to his eyes, and Ed kissed them too as they spilled over.
"Al, Al, Al," he was chanting, soft and soothing, a tone that brought sharply back the faded memories of scraped knees and bumped heads and the gentle voice of a brother not much older than himself, but always wiser, always trusted, always at the center of his tiny childhood universe.
"Brother," Al whispered.
"I'm here," Ed whispered back, wrapping Al up in a blanket of warm limbs and pulling him down into the grass. "I'm here."
They lay tangled together, Al's shirt bunched up under his armpits and their shorts sticky and crazily askew, until Den came to fetch them for dinner with an indignant snort for their tardiness.