Alfons was nice, though sometimes too nice. At least to Ed. He had offered a home, a companion, a workplace, and... Even a heart. He gave Ed an unconditional love, that just made him seem more like Alphonse. But this love wasn't like Alphonse's, this wasn't brotherly love. This was want, and after a while, Ed admitted that he wanted Alfons as well.
Reason always told him he shouldn't, reason always turned their puppy love into a greek tragedy as they ventured closer to Edward's goal.
What would become of this sugar-coated illusion once Ed found his way home?
Would he be so terrible as to just leave Alfons... All alone, with a broken heart to mend by himself. Or would he be blinded by guilt and stay behind? Maybe... Maybe he would be able to bring the German with him to the other side... But that might cost them both too much, and Ed couldn't do that to Alfons either.
In reality the two had backed themselves in, between a rock and a hard place. Alfons didn't seem to notice. He didn't seem to fret over the future, especially when it came to their relationship. Too much stood in their way, and he liked to let things come as they did.
So if Alfons wasn't worried, neither was Ed.
They lingered in bed, on a bright and early morning, enjoying eachother's company as much as possible. They brushed shoulders, or hands, over each other in warmth, every chance they got. And as Alfons' cough grew worse, he told Ed those three little words, more and more often.
But for some reason, Ed couldn't bring himself to say them back. He only said them once, as he recalled, and the blast of fire upon ignition from the rocket, carrying him away, had blocked them all out...