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A Touch Goodnight


"Brother?"

Al's older brother looked up from where he had huddled on the corner of his bed, squinting at the pages of a book held at arm's length for lack of glasses. "Al?"

Al fiddled with the sheets of his bed as he sat on the end of it, twisting them over and over in his overly large hands before finally forcing himself to stop and laying the sheets in his lap. He looked up at his brother, a bit apprehensive, a bit embarrassed.

"Did Mother give us goodnight kisses?"

Al loved the way his brother's face turned inward, his golden eyes unfocusing and a little smile coming to his face, and he appreciated the way his brother no longer asked why he didn't remember. "Sure she did," he said, lips curling upwards just the tiniest bit. "Right on the cheek." he tapped his cheek in indication. He grinned, just a little, and marked his place in the book as he slid off the end of his bed and crossed the room to Al. "Right here." He tapped the armor underneath Al's eyehole, a little tinny sound made as a fingernail rang softly against Al's helmet.

Al wished he could smile, and instead he laughed, softly, laughed the laugh that made his brother understand he was laughing to show he was satisfied. "Ah. Thank you, brother."

But his brother's hand lingered a little too long, and his fingers brushed Al's helmet as he let his hand fall. "Soon," he said, in a low voice. "Soon, I'll get back your body. I promise."

And although Al couldn't feel it, he found himself wishing those fingers could have stayed a little longer. "I know," Al said. "I trust you, Brother. Thank you," he added, quickly.

At that his brother tilted his head a bit, a slight frown on his features. "What for?" he asked.

"Because ..." Al hesitated slightly. "Sometimes, brother, I don't need to be able to feel your touch to know it's there."

Ed's smile stretched a little wider.