Edward lay on the couch of his dorm, Gray's Anatomy perched between his upraised knees, wandering over pictures of bone structure, muscles, ligaments, everything that made a person into just that rather than a disastrous mess of parts. He scanned over one of the diagrams, and involuntarily his mind flashed back to the horrors of a wrecked attempt on a cold stone floor; he shivered, and forced the image away. But the message left behind was clear: it wasn't enough just to know what chemical components went into a human body, not if the structural knowledge was completely lacking, and that, perhaps, had been one of the key failings of his and Al's attempted transmutation.
And when the time came that Al's body would be the task at hand, Ed could not afford to make a single mistake. He was going to memorize this book no matter what, cover to cover and back again. He'd read and absorbed texts much more complicated, and furthermore, this book was absolutely fascinating.
First he covered skeletal structure. The elegance of a line of vertebrae, the perfection of strong femurs—Al would have a spine that twisted and curled and held him up straight and tall, and long limbs that would be perfect for running, punching, fighting, alchemy, holding...and Ed smiled at the thought.
The sculpture of a thigh and the strong muscles rippling beneath it—he would make those for Al too, he thought, unconsciously running his hand down his own hip and sliding to the inside of his thigh and then over... He read about the structure of the chest, the stomach, the abdomen—-god, that last one sent a thrill through his body and he arched upwards as his hand found the zipper to his trousers and pulled...
He scanned the pages faster as his hand plunged into the opening, grasping his length and starting a motion he was only half paying attention to.
Kneecaps, ribs, clavicle, humerus, tarsals, ulna, hips, pelvis...Every bone that went into Al's new body would be phenomenal, beautiful, a work of art, and his hand closed around himself tighter.
Biceps, triceps, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, all muscles that would ripple under perfect, smooth skin, Al's skin, all for Al, all part of Al, oh god—
Ed hardly noticed when the book fell between knees that were now spread too wide to hold it up, and both his flesh and automail hands working his cock—-no, penis—his back a perfect arc—-vertebrae, ligaments, tendons, everything working together—and Al would have all of these and Al would be so beautiful and Al's back would bend like this when his brother finally made him again and made him brilliantly, his body working under Ed's and every reaction biological perfection—-arousal, intercourse, climax—and oh god, AL...
Later in the evening, when Al had returned from meeting with Mustang and Ed was nursing a cup of coffee, the younger Elric picked up the large book from where it lay on the floor and began idly flipping through it.
"Really, brother, leaving this on the floor?"
"I thought you took better care of your books." He reached a page that would not be easily turned, and found it stuck to the following. "And the pages are sticking. What have you been doing with this?"
Ed managed to spit his coffee back into the mug, and control his choking before answering.
"Nothing Al. Just...making some plans."