Notes: Movie spoilers.
Pairing: Alfons Heiderich/Edward Elric
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Theme: Dark concepts 10. love is for the fools who fall behind
"Jeez, some fucking warning would've been nice," Ed grumbles as he closes the door behind them, bangs and clothes dripping onto the floor. Alfons ruffles his hair and pulls a face; thumbs at the sopping wet cotton of his shirt and says, "It's September, Edward, you should know how fast the storms come in September."
"Not this fast," Ed complains, shrugging his coat off and dumping it in a soggy pool of brown fabric by his feet. "Jeez, I could do with a nice cup of hot coffee. I'm soaked through, I swear - stupid fucking weather." He tugs the thin band of his ponytail, running his hands through his wet hair to coax it into some semblence of normalacy, and sighs. "Hey, Alfons?"
Ed sprawls across the guest couch, and gives him the most insolent grin. Alfons sighs, following his friend's gaze to the kitchen; tentativly sits beside him and says, "If you want coffee, you can put the kettle on yourself, Edward."
"Oh, man!" Ed complains, rolling his head against the back of the chair. "Don't you want a cup of tea, too? C'mon, it wouldn't be hard..."
Alfons gives him a Look that says everything, and stretches. "We should dry off," he says, thoughtfully. "There are some towels in the bathroom, and it's not healthy - "
"You sound like my brother," Ed interrupts. Alfons blinks at him, startled - but there is not a trace of amusement on Ed's face, just a wistful, nostalgic expression. "Oh - sorry," Ed apologises; scrubs his face with his hands and puts on a grin as though it is a mask. "It's been a year already, I should stop comparing you. You're not the same."
"Edward?" Alfons asks, softly.
"Nothing." Ed stretches out his legs and shoves his hands in his pockets, his back arching off the seat; he looks away from Alfons, clearing his throat pointedly. "You should go dry off, y'know. I don't want you to get, uh, pneumonia or anything. And die. 'cause then I'd be alone and that'd kinda suck - "
"Are you all right?" Alfons puts a hand on Ed's upper arm, expression one of concern. Ed's hair is a darker gold when it's wet, and it's soaked now; as he watches, a fat drop of water gathers at the tip of one of his friend's bangs to fall onto Ed's collarbone, and Ed shudders minutely under his touch. Alfons bites his lip, worried; tightens his grip on Ed and says, cautiously, "You should dry up, too, you're just as soaked as I - "
"I'm fine," Ed mutters, kicking his heels against the floor.
"No, you're not," Alfons insists, gently but firmly.
"Am too." Ed pouts childishly, and Alfons can't help but think: he looks beautiful. Ed does all the time - reading, writing, cooking, sleeping; even now, sulking like a little boy, there's something striking about him, something about the colour of his eyes and the lines of his face that makes Alfons want to touch him, want to just... watch him, for a few hours. It troubles him, a little, this urge, and so normally he simply ignores it; is careful never to let contact between them linger, never to stare.
Alfons huffs a sigh. Pinches the bridge of his nose. It has been a long day, the rain the cherry on top; it started going sour this morning, when his alarm clock didn't go off and he was woken instead by Edward banging on his door, asking nervously that hey, he was sorry for disturbing, but didn't Alfons have a meeting with a potential sponsor in thirty minutes? And after that it'd been a whirlwind rush to get dressed - Ed had the presence of mind to make some breakfast for him while he flung his clothes on, and they'd eaten as they rushed through the streets of Munich. And then the next blow had been his sponsor turning him down; Alfons huffed a sigh at the memory of the man crossing his arms over his chest, mouth pinched, and saying This is very interesting, Mr Heiderich, but I don't see what practical use it will serve.
"Look," Ed says, crossing his legs over each other. "You go get changed first, 'cause your clothes are in my room, okay? I'll get the fire going while you're busy." He looks - distant, in a way; his eyes aren't really focused, like he's staring off into space, and his expression is still that melancholy, lost one that makes Alfons want to... want to...
... Make it go away, he supposes. Edward shouldn't look so out of place, so lonely; it is not who he is. He wonders, sometimes, what it must be like to live in a world you don't know; imagines himself suddenly deported to some bizarre country like, oh, America, trying to get by in a culture he doesn't understand.
It's a wonder Ed can function at all, he thinks, and then pauses. Well. Ed isn't completely alone - he remembers the time he saw Edward's father, before Hohenheim vanished and Ed moved in with him; and though Edward had complained about it the whole time, he'd been thrilled to see the 'old bastard', as shown by the way the pair of them, father and son, had hogged a table out in the sunshine from the local cafe; had talked, for well over six hours, about the world Edward had left behind, and the little brother he missed dreadfully.
"Edward," he says, quietly, shifting uncomfortably. Ed turns to look at him; hair soft about his face, lips parted slightly. He's beautiful; Alfons can't help but stare, trace the lines of hisfriend's face with his eyes, and then feel instantly guilty. He wants to kiss his friend. He wants to kiss Ed and he knows that's wrong, he knows it's revolting and disturbing and oh, he recalls his parents, warning him seriously about 'boys' and the lasting consequences liking them would have to his immortal soul; his father had gone so far as to forbid him from ever visiting Berlin, fearful of what his son might find there.
And now here he is, years later, in a cramped hallway with Gabriel reborn, and he thinks Hell will be an interesting experience, at least, as he slides out of his seat; it'll be warm - goes onto his knees on the floor on front of Edward, who sits up slowly, hands going to the seat beside his legs - and he'll have company.
He kisses Edward, slowly, and gently; Ed's mouth is a taut line, and the rest of his body tenses sharply, and Alfons feels remorse.
Alfons breaks the kiss with a gasp and averts his eyes to the floor, hands settling into his lap. "I'm sorry," he whispers, "I - I'm sorry."
Ed takes a deep breath, and then another, and Alfons bites his lower lip and closes his eyes. Whatever happens, he knows, he deserves it.