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ten ways of love

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Eduard lays perfectly still, feigning sleep so as to not make this end. Because Ludwig only ever touches him like this when Ed is asleep - or when he thinks that he is.

His fingers trail gently over skin, in patterns only Lui (perhaps not even Lui) knows the direction of, and he carefully brushes fingertips across lips. Eduard always has to resist the urge to take one of thise pale, slender digits into his mouth, has to restrain himself from even pressing a light kiss against a rarely ungloved fingertip.

It's not that Lui is shy, no, never, but he has an odd way of handling emotions; he hides them behind a wall and doesn't let anyone see what he really feels, and he firmly shows no weakness. Sometimes, Ed finds that sad, because sometimes bursts of emotion (anger, happiness, sadness, any at all) is something healthy. But he has decided not to tell Lui, because he's uncertain of how the younger Strahl candidate would react.

But sometimes, when they share a bed (because the shared warmth is desirable, because it's lonely, because the thoughts are overwhelming, because they want) and lay in ease among the sheets, Lui stays awake longer than Ed does. Then he (sometimes) touches, light as feathers so as to not stirr the other, as if in contemplation. Sometimes, (and Ed has practiced), Ed wakes up without Lui even noticing a difference, and he just lays there and lets Lui touch.

There is something sad about the way Lui's fingers trace his features, something lonely about the way he carefully combs out tousels in Ed's short hair.

Still, there is something warm and tender, and it feels like Ed gets to see (without actually seeing) something in Lui that he never would show otherwise.

It almost feels like he's intruding upon something so private, that he wishes he could will himself back to sleep, so that Lui can get the privacy he thinks that he has.

Yet, he doesn't want that. He wants so much more of it (yearns, desires, craves, needs it) and sometimes, he wonders if those are the feelings that Lui feels, or if he feels something completely different.

He wants to ask, yet he doesn't.

Because these gentle (almost, maybe, almost, loving) touches feels like magic, and he doesn't dare to, in fear of shattering the spell into irreparable pieces.