pairing: edwin from al's pov
themes: fluff, semi-smut
a/n: this took forever and it's super long, and probably a teensy bit OOC but i don't even care okay it's like 2,000+ and i'm proud of it and i hope you guys like it!
disclaimer: i own nothing
Alphonse Elric considered himself to be a pretty observant fellow; and for good reason.
Ever since he'd lost his body, the senses he hadn't lost had become more acute and sharpened. His hearing became improved and he easily able to decipher any sounds in a very short matter of time. But even more than that, his eyesight had actually grown in astounding ways; some of them not necessarily being better vision.
You see, Al had become inadvertently skilled at noticing people's motions as well as the meanings and emotions behind him. He'd already considered himself to have a keen ability for seeing directly past motives and being able to see people for who they truly were, but that ability had dramatically improved while he was caged in that suit of armor.
After all, what else what he supposed to do? He noticed himself picking up on the body language of people, the slight facial expressions that gave everything away. Not after long had he associated every movement and certain look with a corresponding feeling emotion.
In short, Al had become an excellent people watcher. He was able to tell what almost anyone was thinking and he picked up on everything.
That's why it made perfect sense when his own brother first began looking at a certain blonde mechanic a little bit too long than socially acceptable; his face softening has his eyes explored the swell of her hips, the curves of her waist, the shape of her legs as she walked away from the pair in Resembool, in search of a certain screw or wire for his automail.
Ed quickly remembered his place, his situation, their situation (he didn't have time to be thinking about girls that way! Priorities! Bodies back, then girls!) and straightened, turning away, trying to focus on something; anything else. Anyone else may have dismissed it or failed to notice it altogether; but not Al.
At first, he brushed it off. Ed was a teenage boy, after all. Barely halfway through his teens; it was only natural from him to be looking at girls that way. Especially Winry; their sweet, loving, kind, intelligent, and quickly-maturing-from-a-little-girl-into-a-very-attractive-woman childhood friend.
But even still, it spiked Al's curiosity and for the rest of the trip, he found himself analyzing their every interaction. Every eye roll, hand gesture, sly glance. And the results came up more conclusive than he'd expected.
The longing glances they have each other when the other wasn't looking, the continual bickering, the occasional concern they expressed. It was all too obvious.
Brother likes Winry.
Winry likes Brother.
It made perfect sense; they'd always, always been that way towards each other; teasing and fighting and acting like immature children but now there was something behind it. A substance, a tension; caring, compassion, wanting, warmth.
And sure, Al had always secretly wanted the two of them to end up together but now? Now that the possibility was very, very clear and obvious? Al could hardly contain his excitement (and giggles).
And from that moment on, Al continually pestered and teased Ed about Winry; secretly rooting for one of them to finally bite the bullet and confess to each other. But Al knew better; those two were just about as stubborn as anyone could get. He knew it best not to push it; or to let on that he'd figured it out.
He waited, rather impatiently, for the day to arrive when they finally owned up to their feelings. And as it became increasingly more apparent, and their feelings became stronger, the more frustrated Al got with them.
He could tell just how much Ed thought about Winry whenever he looked at him automail a little too passionately, or when he would toy with the earrings she gave to him for safe keeping. He could see just how much Winry thought about Ed when she'd mindlessly rbs her empty earlobes and sigh, or when he'd catch her with that far-off look in her eyes, or the tiny blush that spread across her cheeks whenever someone mentioned the fabled Fullmetal Alchemist, himself.
After all, Al's people-watching skills were on point; he saw right through any body attitude or change in the expression.
However, once the Promised Day had come and gone, and he'd finally recovered his body, his renowned sense of vision were thrown off by the overwhelming urge to touch and taste and smell everything he'd forgotten about.
He'd become completely absorbed with experiencing everything all over again; the crisp, sweet taste of Winry's apple pie and the way the burnt the roof of his mouth if he ate a piece just as it left the oven. The sharp pain he got from flipping the page of a book too quickly and receiving a paper cut as a consequence.
The ability to feel human again was so wonderfully absorbing, he'd failed to keep tabs on the situation between Ed and Winry. And how quickly it had progressed in the few short months they'd been home.
He didn't notice the time Ed nonchalantly brushed Winry's long, blonde wisps from her face so she wouldn't get it in her slice of pie; or the longing gaze exchanged between the two as his fingers dipped into the curves of her face before he quickly pulled back and engaged his brother in conversation; Al was too busy stuffing his face with pie to notice.
He didn't see the time Ed wrapped one arm around her waist, pulling her close. Or how she placed one arms around his back and rested the other and her head on his chest as they watched Al from the porch; Al was too busy dancing and playing in the first rain storm of the summer.
He didn't catch the quick kiss Ed stole (or rather, gave) from Winry on the night of her birthday. They were sitting side by side on the couch, his arm draped behind her when he suddenly grasped her chin with his fingers and quickly grazed his lips against hers. Al didn't get to note the way she fell perfectly in sync with his body, as though this move was not something new, but something very familiar for the two of them; like they'd done it many times before. Before Al could even hear her let out a gentle moan, Ed separated, smirking, clearly pleased he'd caught her off guard and gave her another quick peck on the forehead, mumbling a quiet , "Happy Birthday, Winry," while she smiled and snuggled into him for a few minutes before Al turned around from his spot on the other side of the room. Al was too busy playing with Winry's gifts; namely the scented candles and silky scarves May had sent from Xing.
And he didn't notice the countless nights when they'd slip away into one of their rooms or a vacant one, quietly locking the doors and spending the night together. Or rather, he almost didn't notice, for one night he was awoken by a particularly loud noise coming from several floors below him; in the basement.
Al grunted, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and letting his vision adjust to the darkness before he swung his feet over the bed and rose, almost falling over in the process. Placing a hand over his mouth to stifle a yawn, he slowly began to make his way downstairs to discover the source of the noise.
Just as he approached the basement door, he noticed a light peeking out from the crack where the bottom of the door and the floor did not meet. He pursed his lips and scrunched his face, grabbing the knob and quietly opening the door. He silently craned his head so he could see the commotion going on below.
Al's mouth dropped open and his eyes widened as he took in the scene in front of him; Winry and Ed, pressed against an old table, kissing. Kissing. Making out may even be an appropriate term. Winry's hands rested on his hips, toying with the cottony material of his shirt and skimming the exposed flesh. Ed's hands cupped the nape of her neck, tilting her head up to reach his and their lips moved urgently against each other's. Their entire bodies seemed to move effortlessly against each others... as though this was a premeditated, regular occurrence.
Look away, look away, Alphonse, he thought to himself. But there was something about the nature of it, kissing, that was interesting. After all, he'd never really even seen it being performed, at least not at this level of intensity.
It wasn't necessarily pretty; as familiar as it seemed to be, it was somewhat messy but they certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. Breathy moans and hums of approval escaped both of their mouths, which only separated for split-second intervals to catch a breath. Their lips smoothed against each other, and every one in a while, a tongue or the glint of a tooth would peek out an instantly one to the two would react; moaning or gripping whatever limb their fingers were currently tracing.
Winry moaned and clawed at Ed's half-exposed back, running her fingernails down the flesh. Al winced at the motion; it looked painful, the red stripes she left on his back. But much to Al's surprise, Ed seemed to enjoy it.
He broke the kiss for a second, humming in delight and smiling at Winry through labored breaths. She returned the smirk, reaching up to press her lips to his once again. His hands slid firmly around her back, gripping her hips and pulling her closer. She responded eagerly, winding both of her legs around his waist and running her fingers through his sweat-tipped hair.
Al looked down at his feet, ashamed. He really, really shouldn't be watching this. It wasn't any of his business. But long had this this been going on between them? How oblivious had he become?
A particularly loud gasps on Winry's part brought Al's attention back; Ed's hands were new gently rubbing at her inner thighs as she inched closer at the contact. Things had become increasingly heated; the kissing more sloppy and involving more biting and sucking than before. And just as Winry's fingers winded down to the elastic bad of Ed's pants, looping around the hem and began pulling down, Ed broke the kiss and threw his head back, face scrunching up.
What? Why'd he stop? He seemed to be relishing in it! Al thought, watching his brother cautiously.
"Damn it," he grunted, taking a step back from Winry and pacing several steps.
"What's wrong?" She asked, breathing unevenly.
He shot her a glance. "Condom?"
Winry's face dropped, noticeably, casting her gaze downward as Ed returned to his spot before her.
Of course, Al thought. He knew the both of them wanted children eventually, but not this early in life. And he knew his brother wasn't prepared to risk it.
Winry let out a deep exhale, pinching the bridge of her nose. She rested her head against his chest and he chuckled at her, running his fingers through her hair.
"We should probably go back upstairs then, huh?" She said, looking back up at him.
He continued to play with her hair, pursing his lips. "Yeah, probably."
Neither of them moved; Ed just cupped the sides of her faces, running his fingers over the counters of her face. She just looked up at him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pressing the sides of her face against his chest. He softened, placing his hand on her head and patting lightly while the other hands locked around her waist, rubbing her back gently.
This was perhaps the part that made Al the most uncomfortable; the fact that they were being intimate without the kissing or groping or any of that. They were perfectly content just staying in each others arms. It was wonderfully comforting and innocent; yet the most private thing to look upon, somehow.
Slowly and quietly, Al rose from his stop at the top of his stairs and tip-toed his way up to his room; not wanting to disturb either of them by them discovering his presence. He lay in bed, thinking about how he was right all along, but failed to see it all come together. That was a little upsetting; considering the sight he'd sharpened all those years.
Suddenly, the creak of the stairs brought his out of his reverie. He focused on the pair of footsteps sneaking across the musty floorboards, and the creak of only one door shutting; to who's room, who knew?
He felt he didn't need to have his acute senses at that moment.