Vincent is pretty.

Gilbert has always thought as much. Telling him is another story entirely, though, and it sort of makes Gilbert cringe to even consider it. Mostly, it's because of Vincent's reaction; he always gets too worked up over such compliments coming from his beloved older brother, and Gilbert just doesn't want to deal with it.

That doesn't mean he can't think it, of course.

Vincent is pretty even when he's tired and world-weary and laid out over his bed, a touch feverish from whatever cold is going around Pandora. He's flushed, mussed, disheveled, and Gilbert can't help but awkwardly think of times when Vincent looks just like that but as far from sickly as he could be – times wherein Vincent is splayed out underneath him, clinging to him with his whole body, gasping out his name and flushing dark as that red eye of his –

Damn it. No. He was here to take care of Vincent, not disgust himself.

"Nii-san… is really too good to me."

That's what Vincent breathes, high and a little delirious, as Gilbert lays a wet cloth over his head. Those hands, delicate and long-fingered, are reaching out, grasping for his wrist, and Gilbert doesn't stop him as Vincent catches hold of it and tugs it closer, presses his lips to the palm of his hand and runs them up one finger, soft and adoring.

If Gilbert wasn't so terrified of his brother's obsession with him, it would almost be cute.

Who is he kidding – it is cute.

Damn it all to hell.

"I'm not, really – "

"Nii-san is perfect," Vincent insists in a breathy murmur, cutting off Gilbert's attempts at protest. He clings to Gilbert's hand, refusing to let it free. "Nii-san is perfect… and always does so many things for me. Even though I don't deserve anything…"

"Vincent…"

A million things he could say, that he could argue, but Gilbert can't make anything fall from his tongue. It hurts. It's almost an insult to be called perfect when he knows he isn't, knows he isn't anything but flawed, really.

To hell with it.

"… You're pretty even when you're sick like this." He tugs his hand away, but only to brush back the mussed, sweaty layer of Vincent's bangs. "Always so pretty. I'm… a little jealous."

And Vincent smiles, soft and genuine, and for all the terror his little brother can incite in him, that alone makes everything else worth it.