Title: His Favourite Things
Disclaimer: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi/Fullmetal Alchemist is not mine, rather it belongs to Hiromu Arakawa and Square Enix.
Warnings: soft shounen ai, kind-of spoilers for around episode 28-29
Author’s note: I’m a bit hazy on these episodes as I haven’t seen them for some time, so please give me a little leeway. Sorry! I hope this is okay!
Alphonse likes cute things. He’s always liked cute things, ever since he was young, even though he wasn’t allowed to keep very many and his brother told him boys weren’t supposed to. He’s kept it to himself for most of his traveling life, because what would be the use of doing otherwise? but he’s still always felt that way.
Cats were, of course, the cutest thing (how couldn’t they be? They were cuddly and fuzzy and adorable!) and after that were puppies and bunnies and other small animals, preferably with large pink bows around their necks, though light blue or purple was all right, too.
And then came children. Young children, though not fluffy, were certainly very cute, with their large eyes and clumsy mannerisms and innocent smiles. Al had often thought what fun it would be to become a teacher when he was older, because it would mean he would get to be around children every day.
And so when the child had shown up in Dublith and Izumi had taken him in, Al was delighted. He was adorable, with his unruly (fluffy, even) black hair and large violet eyes that just bubbled with childish innocence, and Al was immediately smitten.
He had to wait until he had built up the courage and Ed wasn’t paying attention before he could go talk to the boy. It was later in the afternoon, verging on evening, when he finally got around to it, knocking hesitantly on the door of the room in which the boy was staying. He waited a few seconds before the boy pulled the door open, grinning cheerfully. “Oh! Hi! Wanna come in?”
If Al could have smiled, he would have, but he did his best to look cheerful though it was physically impossible. “Um, yes, may I?”
“Sure~!” the boy said with a grin. “Wanna play?”
“All right,” Al agreed happily, following the boy inside.
It was a small, relatively bare room, and so it seemed there was little to do, but the child giggled and bounced on his toes eagerly. “Let’s play hide-and-seek, huh?”
“Okay,” he replied, unsure of how exactly that was going to work out. “How about you hide and I’ll seek?”
The boy ginned. “All right!” And, with that, he darted out of the room.
Al sighed happily, glad to be playing anything for the first time in a while. He counted hurriedly and excitedly, following ten with “Ready or not, here I come!” and rushed out of the room.
It took him a considerable amount of time to find the child’s hiding place, crouched under a bench behind the butcher shop. It took a few more minutes after that for him to have the heart to “find” the child; he looked so cute bent over with his hands over his head, eyes glittering with excitement. But he finally brought himself to it, bending over and saying cheerfully, “Oh! I found you!”
The child giggled resignedly and crawled out from under the bench, bounding to his feet. “Well, let’s play tag now! Catch me if you can~!” Al barely had time to register the words before the child was gone, leaving only his laughter ringing in Al’s nonexistent ears. He hesitated only a moment before creaking off after him, laughing as well.
Two hours later, both boy and armour collapsed on the bench, giggling and out of breath. They sat and laughed for a few minutes, trailing off into contented silence and staring off into the sunset. Finally, the child turned to Al and smiled gleefully. “Thanks for playing with me.”
Al felt his hypothetical breath catch in his hypothetical throat, though he didn’t know why, and wished with all his might he could smile back. “It’s not a problem. I had fun.”
The boy stared up at the suit of armour for a moment, then broke out into a new set of giggles. “That’s good! We both had fun, then!” He slouched back onto the bench, his expression changing into one of thoughtfulness. His face, furled with deep thought, made Al feel as if he would explode with the cuteness of it, but he instead asked, “What is it?”
The child hesitated a moment. “...Can I say ‘thank you’ a different way?” He looked down at his hands in an adorable gesture of embarrassment, though Al didn’t understand why. “Just…so you know I’m glad?”
Al would have shrugged if he could have. “Of course. I don’t mind.” He hadn’t the slightest idea what the child had in mind, but he his curiosity was peaked, and he certainly wouldn’t mind, anyway.
The child nodded. Hesitantly, he got up on his knees on the bench and put a hand on Al’s shoulder. Tugging slightly, he blushed, stretched up, and placed a kiss on the side of the suit of armour’s metal face.
Al froze. His heart rate would have sped up if he had a heart, but he didn’t, and so all he could do was stare and wish desperately that he could actually feel those lips on his face.
The child blushed and pulled away after a minute, looking down at his mismatched hands again and looking at a loss for words. “Thank you…again.”
He looked so cute that Al completely forgot his confusion and nearly melted altogether. “No, really, thank you.” He looked into the sunset for a moment longer before getting to his feet and offering the child a hand. “Now don’t you think we should go inside?”
The child looked up, wide-eyed, then broke into a smile. Taking Al’s hand, he nodded. “Yeah.”
As Al brought the child inside, he smiled internally to himself. It had been a fun, if not productive, day. And, besides, if nothing else, this child had certainly moved up a few slots on Al’s list of favourite things.