Theme 91 – Control

Eating being a mutual hobby, their lazy evenings together involve a lot of snacking. Winry comes back from fetching more crackers with a glass in her hand, drinking as she walks. Ed can see the opaque white glop in it from his sprawl on the couch, and winces.

"You're going to brush your teeth, right?" he hopes aloud.

Winry lounges comfortably across the rug, and snorts. "No, actually, I've decided to give up dental hygiene forever and get automail jaws," she declares.

Edward rolls his eyes. "Hilarious. Don't quit your day job."

"As if that'd happen," Winry points out, about to knock back the rest of her drink…

And then, she pauses.

Here is a universal fact; when something that exists to roar forward, pauses—a grizzly bear, a nuclear warhead, a Rockbell—the wise know that the proverbial shit is fanbound.

Edward edges backwards slightly, alarm bells ringing like New Year's.

And Winry…smirks.

The smirk travels up Ed's body slowly, like fingers walking teasingly up his chest, taking her time until her gaze finally links with his.

Her lips curl just another iota. She thoughtfully fingers the glass, then sips again, slowly. Runs the tip of her tongue around her lips, to catch a stray drop. Braces her free hand at the small of her back and stretches luxuriously, muscles arching in comfortable slow motion, until she's sure he's staring helplessly.

Deliberately, Winry sets the half-empty glass on the table between them with a decisive thump. Ed stares, horrified, and she nudges it casually towards him with the backs of her fingers.

"Well," she announces, smothering a yawn. "I don't know about you…but I'm going to bed."

And with that, she strolls smugly out the door.

Edward sits up slightly without thinking, gazing wretchedly after her as she passes down the hall and out of sight. Then he lets out a long, shuddering sigh, and looks back down at the table.

The glass sits there innocently, a faint milky film clinging to the side where she tilted it to drink. Edward gives it a glare of loathing that would explode it instantly if there was justice in the world.

Instead, it remains where it is, waiting.

Edward grimaces. Stretches out a hand toward the offending beverage. Hesitates.

This is textbook manipulation and he knows it.


Her door creaks, and Winry lowers her book to see Edward, wearing a lingering revolted expression.

"Well?" she says, sitting up in bed.

Brusquely, he holds out the glass. Empty.

"And where's your proof you didn't just pour it down the sink?" Winry asks, merciless. She's enjoying every minute of her triumph.

But Ed has had enough. Three strides across the room and the glass thumps down on her bedside table, and her chin has been seized for a kiss that's all the more entertaining for being delivered grumpy and milk-flavored.

"That'll do," Winry chuckles, sliding her arms around his neck.

After all, any psychologist will tell you; the key is positive reinforcement.