Edward had come home from work tired and irritable. The last thing he needed, he'd thought, was Russel teasing him about his height.

Ed glowered. Russel grinned back at him, pleased with the momentary relief of boring ennui. 'You...' Ed growled and stomped forward, his hands itching to smack that grin off the taller boy's face. He fisted his automail hand and drew it back for a punch, not really caring at the moment that he was likely to break a few bones with that.

Before he could snap forward to deliver the blow, supple arms snaked around his neck. 'There's better ways to relieve tension, you know,' Fletcher said quietly. Al had gone out for dinner groceries a short time ago, so that laid the full responsibility of defusing fights between the older boys (which were fairly common, perhaps they're favorite sport) to him.

Voice coming out as a whine Ed declared, 'He's asking for it, Fletch!'

'Hm... so am I,' Fletcher mumbled, nuzzling Ed's neck and placing a soft kiss on his ear.

'But...! Oh.' Edward pinked slightly.

'You always have to ruin a perfectly good fight, Fletch,' Russel chuckled.

'I wouldn't have to if you wouldn't start them,' Fletcher noted, tugging on Ed's arm. 'You can go finish folding the towels then.'

Russel blinked. 'What?'

Fletcher glanced over his shoulder as he pushed Ed through the door to his bedroom. 'We're having a short party,' he said with a haughty look. 'No one over five-foot allowed.'

The door closed. The lock clicked. Russel stared at it for a while, his mouth open slightly in surprise.

'... Damn it!'