Title: Sugar and Caffeine
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie@jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: G.
Characters: Alphonse and Edward.
Setting: First anime, post-canon (or within my Tiesverse continuity).
Summary: There’s a limit even to Edward’s indulgence of Alphonse.
Disclaimer: They belong to Hiromu Arakawa. I’m just playing with them.
Notes: My assigned 2015 Trick Or Treat Exchange gift fic, for Boywonder. It also fills the prompt of Tea/Coffee at Genprompt Bingo (as a wild card entry). This ficlet is written such that it can follow either Conqueror of Shamballa, or my CoS-alternative story “Blood Ties”.

 

Sugar and Caffeine

 

The café was famous for lemon cake—and after sampling it himself, Alphonse could understand why. The dense softness of its texture seemed to melt on his tongue. Between the layers of spongy sweetness, there oozed a rich lemon icing that added just the right level of tartness as well, and the whole of it was complemented by a perfectly-sized dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

He drew out the dessert for as long as possible, taking small bites, lingering on each one until it disappeared. The warm, heavy cake was making him feel a comfortable fullness in his stomach, but the tang of the lemon kept enticing him to have another taste.

All the while, Edward sat across the table from Al: chin resting on his automail hand, eyes half-lidded, a gentle smile of contentment curving his lips.

It had been this way for weeks now. Ed seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of pleasure in watching Al do the most ordinary things, like eating. The fawning attention felt a bit weird, but Al could understand it; after being separated for two years, he also found some enjoyment in rediscovering even Ed’s more annoying quirks. Besides, Ed was only just getting used to the fact that Al had a human body again, and could do normal things. For Al it was not quite so big a deal at this point, having had his body back ever since Ed’s disappearance… along with an amnesia that negated his awareness of ever having missed his senses at all. He was recovered from that now, but the temporary gap in his mind meant physical sensations had never exactly become new again to him.

Still, even if they were not the sudden wonder they could have been, regaining his memory of five years in steel had sharpened his appreciation for pleasures of the flesh. As long as it lasted, he would happily take advantage of Ed’s willingness to indulge him with any treat he might ask for.

…Or at least, almost any treat.

“You ready to go now?” Ed asked patiently, as Al was savoring the last bite of cake.

Al opened his closed eyes, and craftily regarded the cup that sat in front of his brother. It held one of the few tastes Ed continued to deny him, insisting it wouldn’t be good for his underaged body just yet.

“Only if you still won’t let me try coffee,” he replied succinctly.

Frowning, Ed pulled the cup closer to him, like an unconscious protective gesture. “No way! I still think you’re a little too young to start on this stuff.”

“I’m seventeen,” Al protested. He was trying to appear stern, but with his adolescent voice and looks, it probably just came off as pouting.

“Yeah, but you’ve still got the metabolism of a twelve-year-old. You’re gonna be on a sugar high from that cake as it is. I have to get up early tomorrow—so the last thing either of us needs is for you to be buzzed on caffeine all night, too.”

The younger Elric scowled up at the elder in vexation. “Brother, are you really going to treat me like a kid until I start to look my real age?”

Relaxing a little against the back of his chair, Edward wrinkled his nose and smiled with soft fondness. “Maybe.”

Aggravation flared for only a moment, but it faded just as swiftly. Al shook his head and sighed… yet he also hid a faint smile behind the glass of milk he was relegated to drinking.

It was wonderful to have his big brother back.


© 2015 Jordanna Morgan