There's something about James's hands that Ed loves, but (ironically) he can't put his finger on it. He's not sure if it's the contrast of them, simultaneously delicate and strong, with long elegant fingers that Ed can't help but watch if he's a bit tipsy. The way they carve through the air as James gesticulates to emphasise his point, whether on stage or on TV or just hanging out with his friends is utterly captivating, and James has caught him staring more times than Ed cares to remember. His obsession had actually led to them finally getting together, James confronting him about staring at his hands leading to Ed confessing his feelings and their first kiss.
Ed loves how James's hands feel too, the delicate bone structure covered in smooth pale skin, soft apart from the hints of old drum calluses. James has a whole bit about massages but he gives a mean shoulder rub, fingers digging into Ed's aching muscles and finding every single knot, working them until Ed is loose and pliant. Ed loves being able to simply hold hands, tangling James's long fingers with his own, which seem fat and unwieldy by comparison. He told James so one night, half a bottle of wine and James's attention making his tongue loose. James had scoffed and then proceeded to show Ed just how much he loved his fingers too, kissing the pads of each one before sucking a thumb into his mouth and making Ed gasp, any insecurity quickly erased by James's tongue.
There's a deceptive strength to James's hands too, his grip delicate when it needs to be but firmer the more he loses control. Ed loves the feel of James's hands in his hair, always soft and gentle at first before tightening and pulling, long fingers tangled in the strands or cupped around the back of Eds neck. Eds lost count of the bruises James has left on his arms and hips and ass, his grip tightening almost painfully as he comes. James is always embarrassed by them, soothing over them with his fingers like he could erase them with his touch. Ed on the other hand loves them, loves having reminders of James's hands on him, complimenting his tattoos and providing evidence that what they have is real. Sometimes, when work and tours and schedules pull them apart, Ed will press on his latest bruise just to feel the ache, and count down the hours until he can have James's hands on him again.