"Tell me again why we're doing this?" Ed asked for the third time. He ran the back of his hand across his forehead, the same hand that was holding the paintbrush. Some paint dripped onto his nose.
"Some things are more rewarding when you do them yourself," Russell repeated, smiling a bit at the smudge on Ed's nose and deciding not to tell him it was there.
Ed gave a forceful swipe with his brush across three boards. "I could do this myself. Easily," he grumbled, haphazardly splashing paint all around and getting more on himself than the fence.
"I meant without alchemy," Russell insisted lightly. His brush strokes were precise and even and he found that painting was very calming. "Doing it this way..." he paused and dipped his brush neatly into the can, "it helps me remember that not everything needs to be helped along with alchemy."
He heard Ed make a noncommittal noise and mumble something that sounded like, "next time he asks me to help with a project..."
Russ smiled to himself before he felt something cold splash the back of his neck.
"Hey!" he shouted, reaching his hand pack and coming away with white paint. He turned to see a triumphant looking Ed hovering above him.
"You were looking way too clean for this sort of job," he informed him. Russ noticed that the smudge on Ed's nose had gotten bigger.
"Oh is that how it is then?" Russell laid down his brush and stood slowly, smiling in a way that told Ed he up to something.
Russell reached over to Ed and swiped a paint smeared finger down his cheek before leaning in to kiss him. Ed made a noise, somewhere between surprise and contentment, before pulling Russ closer to him.
In the end, Ed came away with a white hand print on his ass and Russ came away with a brand new white picket fence.