Title: Learning to be human
Summary: Al starts to realize that doesn't have the same desires as the people around him, so he turns to his friend in hopes of finding out what it means to be a human.
Warnings: shota, armor!smex (tee hee)
“Why are you laughing?” I watch Fletcher as he pushes his face into his pillow, becoming more and more confused as I hear his giggles getting louder. He’s turning red, but I can’t figure out why. “What’s so funny?”
He looks up, his smile twitching at the corners. I can tell he’s trying to hold back his laughter, but it isn’t working. He squints, and tears roll down his cheeks. “Can’t you hear them?” He pauses, looking slightly stunned. “I mean, Brother and Edward-san?”
“What?” I concentrate, straining to identify any sound that might cause this sort of reaction. It must be something really funny to make him laugh so hard. But, as I listen, the only noise I notice is a steady thumping on the wall behind me. Other than that, Vercio’s house seems completely silent. He must be laughing at something Russell is doing. But what? I don’t recognize that sound. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before, and I can’t see any reason for it to make someone laugh. Why can’t I understand? “Is Russell doing something next door?” I guess, hoping I’m right. It’s kind-of embarrassing not knowing what’s going on.
“You mean, you don’t know?” His eyes widen. He scans my face, his lips scrunching up with suspicion. I feel really uncomfortable under his stare. Shifting nervously, I cringe as the bed creaks under the weight of my armor. I study my metal hands, not daring to look up at him. What’s going on? Am I missing something important here? “You don’t know what Brother and Edward-san are doing?”
“I,” I hate to admit my ignorance. I’m older than he is, yet it seems like he understands something I just don’t get. I focus again on the pounding sound. Thump. Thump. Thump. It echoes throughout the whole room, but I still don’t see why it’s so important. It must be something. I can barely hear voices on the other side of the wall. One is definitely Russell. I guess the other must be Brother, but it doesn’t really sound like him. ‘I hope they aren’t having a fight!’ I panic as the thought strikes me. No, I thought they had resolved all those problems. They couldn’t possible be doing something stupid again! “They aren’t fighting, are they?” I’m surprised by how worried I sound. Standing up, I glance towards my younger friend, nodding. “Maybe we should go check on them.”
“No!” He jumps, rushing towards me. His green hat flounces from side to side as he tugs on my arm, pushing me back towards a chair. I’m surprised by how loud he’s being. I’ve only known him for a few days, but he always seemed so shy and submissive. I never thought he’d act this persistent. What’s going on? “I don’t think that’s a good idea, I mean,” he flushes, staring at the ground. “You really don’t know what’s going on, do you? You aren’t just playing around?”
“No, I,” I can’t remember ever feeling this awkward. Not even on the countless occasions I’ve pretended to eat to keep people from realizing the truth about my body. I didn’t even feel as out-of-place then as I do now. I get the feeling that I shouldn’t have to ask, but I do. But I have to figure out what’s going on. Now I’m really curious. “I don’t know. Can you, can you tell me?”
“Oh,” Fletcher hides his mouth in his hand. I can tell he’s holding back a gasp. He probably doesn’t want me to feel bad for having to ask such stupid questions. That’s really nice of him, but it doesn’t make things seem any less embarrassing. “Well, OK, I guess, I mean,” he’s stuttering, sinking down on the bed and swinging his legs back and forth. He clenches the blanket in his hand, pulling it across his lap. “They’re, well,” he whispers, biting his lip, “they’re having sex.”
“What?! How do you know?” I jolt up, pacing towards the door. I can’t believe him. I just can’t believe it. Having sex? I mean, I know my brother knows how to do it. He was the one who explained it to me, after all. But he’s never acted like he wanted it at all. Especially not with someone like Russell. I thought they hated each other! Fletcher must be wrong. He must not know. Niisan would never do something like that! “But, I don’t think Niisan would want that. I mean, is it OK for them to be-?”
“I, I think so,” his finger trembles slightly as he plays with a stray thread on his overalls. He looks thoughtful for a moment, chewing on his lip as he focuses on some point above my head. “I mean, well, I know Niisan is really lonely sometimes, and, well,” his shoulders quiver. I can tell he’s trying to tell me something, but it looks like he’s choosing his words carefully. Without realizing it, I find myself leaning towards him in expectation. For some reason, I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. I’m so confused about this whole thing. I never saw Brother as the type of person who would want to share his body with someone else. Maybe I just never thought about it before. “Well, I,” I study Fletcher’s face, waving my hand as I urge him to continue. “I heard Brother in bed last night doing, well, that, to himself, and he was, well,” he stammers. “He kept saying Edward-san’s name, so I guess that means he really likes him.”
“Doing that, to himself?” I’m so awkward quizzing my friend like this, but I have to know. I feel like I’m back at home, asking mom about every little thing I find around the house, trying to figure out how everything works. But this is different. Fletcher is younger than me. Why does he know so much more? I clench my metal fingers into a fist, listening as the large joints fold together with a squeak. “But how does he, I mean, well, is it OK to do that?”
“Brother told me that all boys our age do it,” Fletcher’s face glows crimson. “I’m pretty sure it’s OK. I, well, haven’t you ever-?”He glances up at me, offering a weak grin. “I mean, I thought, well-.”
“Ah, well,” I squirm uncomfortably, my form feeling even heavier under my friend’s gaze. All boys our age do it? Then how come I’ve never tried? I wouldn’t even know how to do something like that to myself, not that I’ve ever felt like I wanted to. Am I so different from my friends, and from Brother? Should I be wanting this? I know this isn’t my body, but I’m still a normal boy inside, right? That’s what Brother always tells me. “I don’t think Niisan does that to himself,” I try to sound reasonable, saying it more for my benefit than his. “I’ve never seen him, well, I don’t know.”
“Don’t you know how?” Fletcher’s eyes widen, but he quickly covers them with his tiny hands. “Oops, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything. Just, let’s talk about something else, OK?” His legs twitch slightly as he pulls his knees up to his chin. “Maybe we should go to bed?”
I’m sorry, Fletcher, but it’s too late to take it back. Now I’m even more confused than before. He’s acting like I should already know about everything, but I don’t. Brother never told me about all this. I never would’ve guessed he was interested in it at all. Resting my head on the wall, I can barely hear my brother’s pants and moans. He must really be enjoying himself, after all. “What, what does it feel like?” I look away, not daring to meet Fletcher’s alarmed eyes. “I mean, when you do that to yourself?”
“I, I,” he opens his mouth, but nothing comes out. His head slumps forward. I sense his body tensing up as he curls his arms around his pillow, twisting at it with shaky hands and turning away from me. “I, well, I don’t think I can-.”
“Please, Fletcher. I have to know.” I try to keep my voice steady, hoping to hide my nervousness. I feel odd asking him to talk about all of this, but I just have to know. I have to know what everyone else is feeling. What I am missing. I have to find out what other boys feel. Because I think there might be something wrong with me, something I’ve tried to push from my mind all along. I don’t think I’m human, after all. I can’t be, because I’m not like everyone else. “Please.”
“Well,” he chews on his fingernails, spitting into his hand as his face blanches. “I mean, it’s so hard to describe, I,” I can see his hands drifting to the obvious bulge in the front of his pant. Watching in fascination, I take in every movement, not able to pull my gaze away from his tiny hands and soft skin. Suddenly, he turns back to me, flushing as he shoves his blanket into his lap. “I mean, it feels really good, but, but I’m just not sure how to say-.”
“Show me,” I can’t believe myself as I listen to the words echoing in my head. Why did I just say that? Why? I shouldn’t want to see him like that, but I do. Because I have to know what it’s like. I have to enjoy it, just like Brother, and Russell, and Fletcher, too. I have to prove that I can do it. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have-,” It’s too late to take it back, I guess. Staring at the wall, I shift noisily. “I mean, I really want you to show me, but only if you want to.”
“I, well, I, do you want me to?” He looks up at me, clenching his fingers in his hair and swinging his legs back and forth. He seems so nervous. I don’t want to make my new friend uneasy, but at this point I’m afraid to back down. I want him to do this. I lean forward as he lets the blankets fall from his lap. “I want to help my friend, if I can.” He flashes a soft smile, his flush deepening. “Will, will this help?”
“Yes,” I’m shocked at how excited I sound. “Yes, I think it will.”
He nods wordlessly, reaching his fingers to unhook the buckle on his overalls. His hand stumbles over the piece of metal, but ,after a few tries, it slides down his shoulder and onto the bed. Studying him, I note the tent in his green pants, looking down at the floor immediately afterwards. I shouldn’t stare. I don’t want to make him even more uncomfortable, after all. It seems like I’m really asking too much of him. “You, you know, Fletcher,” I try to keep my voice steady, but it cracks anyways. “You don’t have to do this, if you’re, um, scared, you know. I probably couldn’t do it if I were you.”
“No, it’s OK,” he kicks the overalls to the floor, rearranging himself so that he can lean against the pillow and still sit facing me. He props one leg up on the bed frame. I can’t tear my eyes away. His underwear isn’t doing anything to hide the growing bulge nestled between his thighs. I clench my hands together, not sure if I should say anything, or if it’s best to just keep silent. His hair clings to his forehead, sweat rolling down the sides of his face as he stares up at me. He gives me a hopeful grin. “I just want to help.”
As I nod, I hear a familiar metal squeal in my head. Placing my hands on my knees, I try to steady myself, not quite sure how much attention Fletcher wants me to give him. How long should I let my stare linger on certain parts of his body before looking away? Does he want me to try to respond? I just don’t know! I struggle for something to break the silence. “You’re, you’re really cute.” No, not that! Anything but that! I can’t believe what I’ve just said. Meeting his wide-eyed stare, I kick my legs hurriedly, making as much noise as possible to cover up my words. “I mean-.”
“Thank you,” he giggles nervously, twisting at the bottom hem of his shirt. “So, OK,” he looks down at his body, moving one finger across his stomach and towards the waistband of his underwear. “Well,” he’s shaking, leaning back into the wall for support as he fumbles with his clothes. I wish I could give him a smile, or some look to encourage him. But I know I can’t. “I’ve never really, um, done this, with anyone else, so-.”
“I understand,” I wave my hands, hoping to make him feel better. I mean, if I were him, I would be so scared right now. But I’m not him. I’m beginning to suspect I will never be in his place. I just don’t think my body will ever function like my friends’. But I can try. I have to try. “Just, um, take your time, if you need to.”
He bites his lip, managing to slide his undergarments onto the bed in one quick pull. He squirms, rubbing his legs together, shivering as a blush spreads across his skin. I try to meet his gaze, but find myself looking elsewhere. I study his newly-exposed flesh. He’s so soft and delicate. “Al?” I can barely hear what he’s saying. “Is this,” he turns his face away, resting his head on his shoulder, “Ok?”
“Yes, Fletcher,” I encourage him a bit too loudly, finding it hard to contain my curiosity. I wonder what he’ll do next, and how he’ll respond. I can’t wait to find out. “It’s, it’s,” my eyes drift towards his arousal, but I quickly pull them back, “beautiful.”
“Thanks,” he repeats himself. His lips curl into a smile, and he looks a little bit less uneasy as he reaches down and wraps his tiny fingers around the swollen flesh. “I, I’m,” his hand starts to move; Slowly at first, but then gaining speed. His brow furrows together as his skin flushes. “I’m glad.” He manages to whisper.
I curl into my chair, fighting the urge to get up and go for a closer look. His body is so graceful, rising and falling as he sucks in his breath. It’s so strange for me to see a body like his. I’m just not used to it. But I’m so curious. He’s whimpering, sounding almost like a stray kitten enjoying the warmth of another person’s touch. I bet Fletcher’s hands are warm and comfortable. But I’ll never know for sure. No matter how hard I try. “Fletcher,” I watch his lips curl into a happy grin, his eyes sliding closed as he works his fingers across his skin. He seems so content, like he’s bursting with joy inside. I wish I could make him look so happy. “Can I, um, come closer?”
“Uh huh,” he sighs quietly, pulling his legs towards him and pointing towards the bed. “You can come sit here, I mean, if you want to.” He pulls back, letting out another gasp as his back lifts up from the mattress.
“Really?” I spring from my seat, my feet crashing against the floor as I hurry towards my friend. I’m so glad he was the one to say it! I don’t think I could’ve asked for this. The bed quivers under me as I sink down to Fletcher’s level. I can’t believe he’s letting me get this close. “Are you sure this is OK?”
He nods, squeezing his eyes shut. “Y, y, yes.” Sitting next to him, I can hear the faint catches in his voice, and I can see the sweat collecting on his red cheeks. He looks so perfect, like a little doll. The lines of his body are soft, not sharp and metallic like mine. He looks so pretty. Staring at him, I try to memorize every detail. The way his chest moves as he pushes back into the wall. The way he pants under his breath, smiling slightly as he steals a glance in my direction. The way his arousal glistens under his fingers, beads of liquid spilling from the tip. I have to memorize it all, so that I can pretend it’s all mine. This is the only way I can pretend I’m like him. I snap out of my dream as he starts talking again. “Al? Do you, well, um, that is,” his eyes swell, staring at me with confused hope, “you seem really interested, so, well, I was wondering if you wanted to, um,” his voice drops, “try.”
“Could I?” Once again, he wants to give me what I was too afraid to ask for. I inch closer, trying my best to keep the mattress steady under my knees. “I mean, I would, well, I would like that, but,” I glance at his tiny hands, unable to compare them with my own stubby fingers and metal palms. “I’m not sure I can do it like you can.”
He shakes his head, giving me a shy giggle. “No, I think I would really like it. But only if you want to, of course.” He’s crawling towards me, sliding his body between my legs. I can’t believe this. He’s actually sitting in my lap! He actually wants to be close to me, and to feel my touch. I hope I can make him happy. “I’m sure I’ll like it,” he blushes, “because it’s you.”
What does he mean by that? Does he mean…he likes me? Is that even possible? Staring down at him, I note the contrast between his white skin and my jagged steel legs. Could he actually enjoy being close to me? To this cold body? “I, I,” I’m still in disbelief. He accepts me. He really wants me to be with him like this. Doesn’t he understand that I can’t feel anything at all. “I’ll try my best for you.” Wracking my thoughts, I reach one hand towards his arousal, hoping to feel some sort of inspiration. Something telling me what I need to do. I remember the way he moved his hands up and down, wringing them over the tip in graceful strokes. I pretend I have his little fingers, trying to believe I can mimic his motions. I let my palm graze his skin.
His eyes fly open at the touch. “Ahh!” He jerks upwards, his face contorting into a pained smile.
“Too cold?” I pull away as quickly as possible, hiding my hand behind my back and trying to stand up. Maybe we can just forget this whole thing. “I’m sorry, Fletcher, I don’t know if I can-.”
“M, m, more,” he reaches for my arm, tugging on me as he gives my hand a tight squeeze. He slides his legs around my waist, resting one hand on my shoulder. I lean down to accommodate him. “Please, more.”
“OK,” I’m more uneasy than before, this time being extremely careful as I take his flesh into my fist. Stroking down the length, I bring my other hand to the small of his back, steadying him. He’s quivering, whimpering under his breath as I let my clunky thumb swirl around his tip. Is he really enjoying this? I can’t believe it.
“Al,” he whispers, resting his head against my shoulder as I increase my speed. He looks so beautiful, all curled up in my arms. Like a little flower. But I’m surprised my clumsy hands aren’t breaking him. This should be hurting. This should be uncomfortable. But he’s smiling.
“Does it feel good?” I wonder aloud. I never thought a person could smile like this before meeting Fletcher. I never thought I’d see anyone with eyes so joyful. His body is shuddering, gasping for breath as I let my other hand slide under his shirt. Next door, I hear Brother hiss loudly, moaning Russell’s name. A particularly loud “bang” echoes from the other room. Is this what humans are supposed to feel? This sort of excitement. I tighten my grip around my friend, enjoying the way his body tenses beneath my touch. I try to imagine myself feeling like him, try to imagine my body twitching on its own, just like his. Try to imagine my face contorting into such a blissful grin. But I can’t. I just can’t.
“Y, yes,” he giggles slightly, running one hand down my plated chest. But I don’t feel it. Watching him, I try to imagine the touch warming my body, but I just can’t do it. Because I don’t know what it means to feel. His fingers sneak under the piece of cloth I wear around my waist, but stop suddenly, obviously shocked at not finding their destination. He must not understand that I’m not like him. “Al?” His eyes swell with questions.
“It’s OK,” I say, more for my benefit than his. Pulling him up into my arms, I roll my hands against his skin, making swift strokes with my metal fingers. I’m glad to see his face change from confusion to happiness. “It’s OK.” He’s tensing underneath me, squealing my name as he buries his head in my neck. I know what’s going to happen, but, even so, I’m excited. I never thought anyone would accept me like this. I’m jealous of him for having a body like Brother’s, and like everyone else’s, but I also know I love him. I’m glad he doesn’t have to feel like me. I’m glad he can do this. “Fletcher,” I pull harder on his arousal, enjoying the way his face lights up. “Is this-.”
He can barely nod before a sticky liquid fills my palm and drizzles down my wrist. “Al!” He screams, gripping my shoulder as his hips jerk forward and his face lights up with a dazed smile. He looks up at me, wiping the sweat from his forehead as he offers a tiny laugh. “Al, I,” he stands up, ignoring the wetness all over my body as he leans against me. His lips brush my face. “Thank you.”
I wrap one arm around his back, hoping he doesn’t care as I rub my sticky fingers against his soft skin. He’s kissing me. Staring at the wall, I try to imagine the way his tongue must feel brushing against my mouth. I try to pretend I’m aroused like him. But I can’t. Because I can’t feel anything at all. I guess I’ll never know what it means to be human.
x-posted to: fletcher_x_al, alphonsexanyone, fma_yaoi
also found here