Pairing: Alfons x Edward
A/N: This was written for hime1999 because I thought she deserved something in return for all of her wonderful art!
Summary: He sighed deeply feeling the strain from the day seep from his bones with each breath Edward drew in, as if he was inhaling every worry Al himself had and making it disappear.
A flash of gold, a horribly stifled laugh and his coat was lifted from his shoulders gently and stowed away in the hall cupboard, case yanked from his hands, tucked somewhere he couldn’t see and a warm cup of soup pressed against his hands.
He tried to conceal a grin, welcome home indeed; Edward grinned lopsidedly at him and Alfonse tried to figure out the reason for his unusually charitable mood.
“Edward… did something happen today? Were you robbed? Did you spend our last dollar? Did you get drunk and break Miss Gracia’s rose hedges again?”
Ed’s grin turned downwards into a frown and he pouted for a moment, then grinned again anyway and bounced up and down, stooping forward to wrap his arms around Al’s waist and twirl him around.
Al let out an undignified squawk “Edward!” as Ed howled with laughter.
“I found a lead Alfonse, at last, a lead!”
Al was slightly unstable as he stumbled around, attempting to swipe the spilling soup from the edge of the cup with his sleeve, shooting a curious and yet exasperated glance in Edward’s direction.
Ed however seemed immune to it and continued to ramble about the essay he’d found that morning in the library and how he’d just had to rush home and research it some more and how he may have found a –
“Edward, Edward please stop bouncing” Alfonse started as the troublesome young man leapt from corner to corner, offending paper in his hand, but all it got him was a face full of said paper and an up close and personal pair of golden eyes.
“I knew I could find a way”
Al felt the contagious spread of Ed’s grin lift its way across his own features and he laughed out loud, causing Ed to jump and turn around to pull him into a tight embrace.
“Thank you Al, I couldn’t have done it without you here!”
Alfonse watched with a faded smile as Ed mumbled to himself through the kitchen, and then with a lonely sigh as he ascended the stairs to his room.
“And if I said I didn’t want you to have found a way?” He whispered to no one in particular, perhaps the gods Edward was so firmly opposed to.
He shook his head and forced himself to be happy for his friend, after all, there’d been a piece missing ever since they’d met and Alfonse would never want to stand in the way of it being returned.
Al stood feeling painfully useless beside Ed, who was on the floor, hair loose from his pony tail, falling around his face and creating shadows that only seemed to make Al’s stomach twist more.
“I... It didn’t work”
Al’s heart did a full twist and came apart and he dropped to his knees beside him, hand reassuringly on his back.
“You will find another way Edward”
Edward seemed to be determined to stand strong on his own, looking as though he almost wanted to push Al away and the taller man made a move to leave when Ed’s arms shot out and he fell, sobbing into his chest.
Al switched the comforting strokes from his back to his hair and held the broken man silently as he cried away his dreams.
Edward was sleeping, and Alfonse was staring.
Ed had fallen asleep soon after, snoring lightly against Alfonse’s now damp shirt front and it had been a job and a half lugging the sleeping man to his bed; at least it hadn’t been a far distance. He’d dutifully removed his shoes and socks, unhooked his suspenders and loosened the buttons, tugged the sheets up to his chin and made sure he was comfortable.
It was everything a good friend should have done.
Al felt himself and Edward were well beyond being good friends, despite neither having made any move, said anything otherwise, but some things just went beyond any thought or action.
He sighed deeply feeling the strain from the day seep from his bones with each breath Edward drew in, as if he was inhaling every worry Al himself had and making it disappear.
Al crossed the room and pressed a kiss to his closed eyelid before closing the door firmly behind him and making a note to rinse out the dishes before everything stuck to them, or else Edward would feel guilty, mope about them and then do them improperly the next morning.
He grinned just thinking about it; Edward was a strange character yet a character Al felt he quite possibly couldn’t live without.
Suddenly he felt his breath catch and felt as though he were going to be sick.
He coughed into his hand, feeling a surge of phlegm rising in his throat and reaching out for something to hold on to. Hacking he struggled to get air into his lungs, finding himself unable he briefly panicked and stumbled halfway blindly into the kitchen to seek out some water.
He was near collapsing under the strain when a warm hand cupped his cheek and another curled around his hand and helped him to the stool, tipping a cool glass of water against his lips and instructing him to drink.
Al welcomed the flood of cool, life saving water and nearly moaned when it rushed past his burning throat, thanking Edward with his eyes as he swallowed every last drop.
It was Edward this time that did the soothing and when Al looked up to thank him properly he found that Edward must have come rushing from sleep.
‘Well of course’, he added belatedly, ‘I only left him a moment ago.’
Edward had rosy cheeks and slightly out of place hair and eyes still red around the edges, clothes rumpled and suspenders still hanging off his shoulders, instead pressed against his thighs.
“Are you alright Al?”
Al nodded and attempted a reassuring smile but another stream of coughs stormed their way up again and he paused to clear his throat, reaching for his water glass with greedy hands.
Edward filled it quickly, without hesitation and helped him to hold it against his mouth, his hands over Al’s shaking ones.
“I think you should try to get some sleep Al, I’ll clean these…”
“No!” Al shot out, not wanting to have to redo the dishes anyway and wanting Edward to get some sleep himself, he’d exhausted himself crying and he needed it “You need sleep more then me, don’t touch that sink Edward!”
Ed rolled his eyes “Well I’m not sleeping if you’re not going to”
“Oh don’t be a child” Al scolded “You can’t bribe me into sleeping!”
Edward raised an eyebrow “Can’t I?”
Al’s right eyelid twitched “Edward...”
“Tell you what, I’ll help get you to sleep, in case you have another coughing spell – with water on stand by,” He teased, “and if you need me I’ll be right there”
“You won’t be sleeping if you do that.”
“Edward, is this entirely proper?”
Ed snorted “Proper, shmoper, I’m tired, you’re tired, you’re sick, I’m … I’m…”
“Unable to control yourself around kitchen appliances?”
“Well that and…”
“Afraid that the homeless man from last week will try to climb in the window and kill me?”
“Yes and that but…”
Al smiled when Ed huffed and threw his hands in the air, rolling to his side and stretching the cover over his legs.
“You! Sleep. No more talking”
Al laughed and tucked the cover in tighter, snuggling down to sleep and unconsciously brushing his fingers across Edwards’s lower back.
The other man tensed and then relaxed, turning around to face Al with a smile “Do I have to draw a line?”
“It was your idea to sleep together don’t complain”
At Ed’s pointed look Alfonse coloured “Not like that! I meant sleeping! In the same bed! Just sleeping! Oh stop looking at me and close your eyes.”
Ed did so.
“Stop it you’re still looking at me!”
“My eyes are closed, it’s impossible.”
Al’s nose wrinkled and he groaned “Fine..”
There was several minutes of silence, each having apparently fallen asleep, or at least appearing so to the other and the only noises were that of their light breathing and the occasional shift in position.
Al thinking Edward to be asleep, slowly, unsurely pulled Edward’s warm body against his, creating an almost protective circle with his arms and feeling comfortable and safe for the first time in a long time. He inhaled deeply and smiled, Edward even smelt of safety and oatmeal, the oatmeal was strange and he stomped out a chuckle before it could wake Edward.
Edward believing Al to have done so in his sleep, didn’t fight back, not that he had any reason to want to and allowed himself to be held, shuffling forward so that he was pressed further into the warmth of his arms and sighing deeply to himself.
What would I do without you, oh friend of mine, where would I sleep without you, what would I eat without you, and who would I kiss goodnight? What would I do without you, oh friend of mine, oh where would I be with you gone.