In Exchange For Love

By: Comm. Butler

Disclaimer: I don't own Full Metal Alchemist, from the places to the characters. Even though I have Ed and Roy on my Christmas list.

Author's Note: This is my very FIRST Ed/Winry fic and I'm really excited… but even more nervous. Bites nails in anticipation and nerves I hope you will like this fic even though I have a feeling it's going to be really short. So without further ado… (Drum roll please!)

'…I am Winry Rockbell, the daughter to two caring doctors who were murdered in the Ishbal massacre, which is what started this stupid ordeal and why he's gone. It's been almost seven years since Alphonze Elric came back to us with his body back, but without him. The day I saw the one figure coming over the horizon, my heart split in two and it hasn't been repaired since. Rose on the other hand got over her loss quickly. She knew that Scar did what he had to do, but I never understood why he did what he did and I'm not talking about Scar. Sometimes I wonder, if I had done something different, figured out something faster, or was better, I wonder if he would be here with me still.

I'm sure you're wondering who this 'he' is. This boy, or rather man, is Edward Elric. Note that I wrote is and not was. I've finally had the courage now to start writing this whole thing down and I'm sure my courage comes from him, wherever he is now.

I can still feel his lips on mine for that one quick instant in the hot summer that he came to me to repair his auto mail and I found his pocket watch. He was so mad at me and I was so mad at him, but when he saw my tears and I dashed away from him, he caught up and pulled me to him and kissed me quickly. I think it was then that Edward realized he might never get a chance to do that again. To hold me the way he was or looking at me the way he had.

Silly me, I sort of brushed the kiss off as something from the raging hormones of a teenage boy, I should have seen it. I should have seen that he was more of a man at fifteen then most are at thirty. He let me go quickly and turned away from me, like nothing ever happened. I don't think he even told Alphonze what happened.

Alphonze certainly is happy all the time now. After he studied with that Alchemist and came back he acts like someone who has big present behind their back, but as much as I pry he won't tell me anything. He's learned to transmute without a matrix, and is starting to act a lot like his brother. Some days I wonder if he lays awake at night remembering his brother like I do. I spend hours on end staring at the last picture Edward sent me after he became a National Alchemist. When I got that picture I was so angry with him, maybe deep down I knew what was going to happen, but like they say hindsight's 20/20…'

"Winry! Supper is on the table!" Winry heard Grandma Rockbell call from downstairs. Winry got up slowly and closed the leather-bound book she had. She had grown a few more inches and was the picture of a woman, of course at twenty-one she should be. Everywhere she went men drooled and fumbled with their words and she didn't care one bit. She walked to the dining room quickly. Her grandmother wasn't one to put up with tardiness. Winry took the stairs two at a time and slid into her seat next to Alphonze. The table that had four or five was now down to the three of them. Rose was married now and on her own with her little boy. Dinner started silently and the small conversation they had was forced between the trio. Everyone had separate thoughts. Grandma about her new parts on order, Al about memorizing more formulas and Winry was looking at the chair across from her where Edward had had so many meals with them.

"A funny thing happened in town today…" Al was saying as they picked up the dishes.

"Really? What?"

"Someone asked me about Nii-san."

"They did? I don't see what's weird about that." Winry stated shrugging.

"I don't know. I thought it was weird."

"Hmm. Al, why don't you go on upstairs I'm sure there is more studying for you to do. Oh and could you bring my journal down?"

"The little one?"

"The bigger one with the sign on the front."

"Oh that one. Sure. I'll right back!" Alphonze ran up the stairs and returned with a pen and Winry's black book with the symbol for sealing homunculus that Edward's coat had on it. Alphonze disappeared out the front door instead of upstairs, but Winry ignored it. She suddenly had an idea. She hadn't done it in the longest time. Gathering up her journal and grabbing a lantern she went to the second story balcony outside her room. She stood there flashing the lantern out into the darkness, waiting. There was no one in sight, no lights at all, since she'd turned them all off. She stood there doing that same almost effortless motion until her eyes wouldn't stay open and the clicking of the lantern was lulling her to sleep. Winry turned it off and by the moonlight opened her journal and continued.

'…Hindsight's 20/20 but that doesn't mean you can go back and fix the problem.

I did an odd thing tonight. I put out the lantern again. I used to do it every night, just after Ed didn't come home. I don't know why, but I always thought he'd be back as soon as he saw that light. I stopped after a while and now tonight I can't believe that I did it again. Is it a sign? Is my hope returning? I made a vow that I would only write about Ed and I in this journal if I ever got around to it. After all Ed did give it to me as a thank you gift and told me to write in it whatever I thought was important. I think he meant all my charts and diagrams for auto mail, but he's more important.

His love even though he never showed me directly means the world to me. I don't know where he is other then it has something to do with alchemy and a door. Alphonze tried to explain it, but I was quickly confused. Anyway, the only thing I know for sure is that if Edward isn't by me I will forever be alone. I always thought that one day we would get married right here at home and we would stay here and raise a family together. The day he burnt down his house my hopes and dreams probably burnt with it. Why did he have to try and fix everything! Why couldn't he just be satisfied that things happen and that they can't be changed! Now it's too late! He's locked behind some door or something and my love is locked in my heart and I'm saving it just for him. His love is gone I suppose, but I don't want to let it go. He…'

By now Winry was starting to cry silent tears. She wiped them away with the back of her hand and rested her head in her lap. With her hand she found the switch on the lantern and flipped it back and forth a few times once more.

"Winry?" A voice asked softly. Winry looked up from her tearstained journal page and looked around in search of the deep voice. She sat silent for a minute. Who was it? What had happened now she wondered to herself. When she couldn't see anyone on the balcony she leaned over the railing.

"Who is it?" She asked looking down at the ground and seeing the back of a blond man's head. She could see a long braid cascading down his crimson coat and back that reached almost to his knees. He stopped. She heard and saw him turn on his heels in the gravel slowly. The man looked up at her with amber eyes that had seen more then most would ever see. The moonlight reflected in them perfectly. The man's face was so familiar to Winry that she let out a gasp.

"Edward? Is that you?"

"Perhaps."

"But, but you were so short…" At this the man flared up in anger and began jumping up and down.

"I AM NOT SHORT! I'M SIX-TWO!" The man was panting when Winry saw in that instant the fifteen-year-old Ed Elric standing beneath her balcony, but that wasn't possible and she knew it.

"NO! You're not Edward! Edward is gone! He can't come back! You, you're… not him!" Winry fell on her knees looking away from the man.

"Winry! I'm standing right in front of you…"

"No, no, no, no, when I open my eyes you won't be there!"

"I will too!"

"No!" Winry opened her eyes and peered through the railing. 'Edward' was staring up at her with his arms crossed and looking triumphant.

"AGH! No!"

"If you don't think I'm who I say I am then test me. Ask me things only the 'real' Edward Elric would know."

"FINE!" Winry stood up and glared down at the man.

"Question one. What was you're first attempt at alchemy?"

"A doll for you're birthday. As I recall you ran away screaming in terror." The Ed looked thoughtful. Winry maintained her composure.

"Correct. Question two. When did I leave out a screw on your auto mail and where was it?"

"Right before the Fifth institute and it was in the top of my right arm." Winry didn't tell him if he was right or not but moved on.

"Question three. What was the thing inscribed on the inside of your National Alchemist pocket watch and why?"

" 'Don't Forget. Oct. 13.' That was the day we burned down our house and I left everything that meant anything to me, even if I didn't know it then." Ed put his hands in his pockets while Winry looked at him and bit her lip.

"I guess you don't believe me then?" He shrugged and turned away again.

"EDWARD!" Winry screamed and jumped off the balcony. Ed turned and caught her just in time using his alchemy without a matrix, so she landed in a mountain of rose petals.

"Careful that first step is a doozy, Winry." Ed smiled. Winry laughed and then rushed to him. She slammed into him so hard that he had to take a step back to balance himself.

"Oh, Ed, oh Ed…" She repeated over and over again, clinging to him as tight as she could. Ed could hear and feel her sobs and his shirt clung to his chest, wet with her tears. Ed kissed the top of her head carefully and she pulled back and looked up at him.

"Question four. When was the last time you told me you loved me?"

"Right now." Ed bent and met Winry's lips with his own, kissing her with all he had and like he would never kiss her again. When they pulled apart Ed nuzzled her neck and whispered,

"I love Winry. Nothing could stop me from telling you. It took me twelve years to realize and understand that I can't live without you. Those seven years on the other side of the Door were the hardest, but…" Winry put a finger to his lips.

"Hush. But you're back and that's all that matters… what?" Ed was giving her that smile that she knew only too well.

"NO! Oh I'll never let you go! If I let go you'll leave or disappear again! NO!"

"Winry… I have to…"

"NO!"

"Winry…" Ed's stomach growled suddenly.

"Eat? Please? Al keeps forgetting to bring me food…"

"What? Oh, food right. I guess it's a good thing I always wait up for you. Al… AL! You mean to tell me that he knew you were back this WHOLE time!"

"He said he would bring me back right?"

"Oh that little twerp is going to get it!" Winry steamed and began to storm away, but Ed caught her wrist.

"Not now Winry. Tomorrow. He just got his brother back remember? He's still sitting in that warehouse shocked that he could do it. Meanwhile, there's a lot of catching up for us to do…" Ed winked.

"You're absolutely sure that you are Edward Elric?"

"Dinner would be good, with a glass of milk."

"Ha-Ha. Now I know you're an imposter!"

"I learned to tolerate milk. I never said I liked it!" Ed bent down and transmuted a staircase up to the second story balcony and together they climbed their fingers entwined in the others. When they reached the top, Ed's hand brushed Winry's journal and he picked it up and opened it.

"ED! Don't…" Winry half-heartedly protested, but Ed looked up and grabbed the pen from the railing and scribbled something in it and then slammed it shut.

"What did you write!" Winry demanded. Ed shrugged as he set it on her desk and kissed her cheek.

"Nothing."

"I don't believe you. I've still got that wrench so if it was anything…"

"I said it was nothing, now where is that dinner?"

"Same place it always is, waiting for you."

Winry wiggled out of her place next to Ed in her bed, just as dawn was spreading into the room casting a glow on all of it's occupants. Winry tiptoed over to her desk and carefully opened her journal to the page she had left off and read what Ed had written in his messy script.

'… He… is right where he should be. At Winry's side for eternity. She lost me and I lost her, because of love and now here we are caught in an exchange of love I guess equivalent exchange worked out after all.' Winry wiped the tears from her eyes. Sure it wasn't the most poetic thing but it was perfect and she didn't need anymore then that.

"You reading what I wrote?" Ed mumbled rolling over to face her. Winry about jumped out of her skin.

"Uh, no!"

"Then what are you doing all the way over there?"

"Just finding an equivalent for love." Winry smiled and went to Ed's warm and loving arms, leaving the journal open and the pen ready to write more of whatever the future might bring.