Title: From Beginning to End
Author: Fullmetal Ai
Rating: PG-13 or T
Pairing(s): Denny Brosh and Maria Ross
Disclaimer: Don't Own.
Author's note: I am hooked on writing this pairing. xD Enough said.

When they had first met, they were annoyed with each other, and even more annoyed at the higher-ups for making them partners.

"But .. But Colonel! I don't need a partner!" Maria Ross whined as she thought about the news she had just received; she was assigned a partner that she would be working with for an unestimateable amount of time.

"She's only going to think about what she should have for dinner tomorrow, or what she's going to do on her day off! She won't ever stay focused on the mission at hand!" Denny Brosh, the assigned 'partner' to Maria Ross protested as well, not nessecarily taking a liking to the fact that he was stuck with a partner .. and a girl, at that.

"Well then, from what i'm hearing now, you two would make excellent partners," the man known as merely 'Colonel' laughed from behind his desk. Both Denny and Maria groaned - here they were, suffering from the mere thought of being partners, and their fearless leader was making a joke of it. Great, just great. At hearing the exasperated breaths of the two military personnel, the Colonel chuckled once more.

"Now, now .. it's not as bad as it seems. Remember, I was in your position at one time, too. It will do the two of you a world of good," he explained to them in a rational manner .. or at least, as rational as he could.

"I DON'T NEED A PARTNER!" Denny and Maria shouted in unison, each looking to the other with a glare to match after they realized what had just happened. The Colonel narrowed his eyes at the two, obviously very irritated at the moment.

"You two are going to be partners, and that is an order. You are Dismissed!" he hissed, then sent the two sulking officers out of his office.

When they first met, they had no idea that they would save each other's lives on many occasions.

"Ross, be on your guard!" a soldier to the right of Maria shouted, just in time for the ground beside him to explode, blood splattering everywhere, painting the sand around them red. In a matter of minutes, it seemed that this area had become a battlezone; they were 'trying to prevent another Ishbal Massacre,' as the higher-ups had stated it. Maria just thought it was a sickening sight, either way. Many around her were dead or dying, and many more were seriously injured, with little hope of a full recovery, yet the battles still raged on.

"LIEUTENANT ROSS, LOOK OUT!" A familliar male voice shouted. Before Maria could think, she was tackled to the ground, a heavy body holding her down. The one who held her down didn't get up after Maria realized what had happened, however; So Maria took matters into her own hands, and pushed the body off of her, hearing the man groan in pain. She froze. Brosh? She turned him over and saw that it was indeed her partner.

"Sergeant Brosh, what happened?" Maria asked in a panic. Denny gave a pained grin.

"Shot .." he said weakly, then collapsed on Maria again, his left arm bleeding freely from the bullet wound he had received when he had tackled his partner to the ground. Maria tried to think quickly, desperate to in turn save the life of the one who had saved hers just a moment ago; only one of the many thoughts that raced through her head spoke to her, though .. he needed medical attention. And fast.

I can't leave here, though .. Maria thought to herself, still trying to find a way to get through this and save Denny. Without thinking anything more, she ripped off a sleeve, wrapping it around Denny's wound in an attempt to stop the massive blood flow that was causing him to lose so much blood. Anybody who came within ten yards of the two were in for a rude awakening.

When they had first met, they didn't realize that they were each staring into the face of their best friend.

"Hey .. Brosh .. are you doing okay?" Maria's gentle voice floated through the hospital room as she entered, carrying a half dozen of carnations in one hand as she approached the hospital bed of her partner. Denny, now awake after his life-threatening encounter, gave the usual boyish grin from where he lay, his arm wrapped up after having the bullet removed, as well as many other gashes and cuts bandaged.

"I've seen better days, but i'll live," He answered, a hint of unintentional sarcasm in there. A tiny smile appeared on Maria's face as she put the flowers in a cup of water, since there were not really many other things they could put them in. Denny's eyes shifted to look at the flowers, then back to Maria. He rose an eyebrow, as if asking if those were for him. Maria looked to him and smirked.

"Would you rather me take them back?" Denny quickly shook his head, then grinned again.

"I just didn't think you would actually bring me flowers. It's unlike you." Maria sat down next to the bed and placed a hand on his.

"You saved my life, Denny," Maria responded quietly. "In all honesty, you deserve much more than just flowers." Denny chuckled.

"But you forget, Maria. We're even. You saved my life, too," he said, just as quietly, grasping her hand as he said this. Maria looked down sadly.

"You got hurt worse, though. Sure, I got my share of cuts and bruises, but you took a bullet for me. That is really something .. I don't think I could ever measure up to that." Denny narrowed his eyes at her.

"You refused to let me die there. You refused to let anyone near me. You brought me to a hospital and got me the medical attention that I needed. That's enough right there, Maria Ross," he said to her in a serious tone; one of the few times he had ever used this tone with her. Maria looked to him, dumbfounded, then after a moment, started laughing, which caused Denny to start laughing as well.

It was in that moment, the two realized just how close they really were.

When they first met, they never realized that they would eventually fall in love.

"Sorry i'm late!" Maria said, appearing next to Denny's side, breathless. Denny wore the usual grin, patting Maria on the back and planting a kiss on her cheek.

"That's all right. Better late than never!" Denny said cheerfully. The two had been 'secretly dating' for a while now, seeing as the military would never allow that they make their feelings public. Even though the risks were high for a Court Martial, they decided to date anyway, knowing that they felt it was right. Tonight happened to be their one-month anniversary.

"Shall we go in then, lovely lady?" Denny asked in his usual joking manner, extending an arm for her to grab onto. Maria smirked and linked arms with him.

"As long as you don't do anything stupid," She replied, poking him in the arm. Denny pretended to look insulted.

"Stupid? Since when did I become stupid?"

"I never said you were, it's just some of the things you say that suggest it," Maris said with a smirk.

"Oh, now I am just heartbroken that you feel that way," Denny said, still playing the guilt card.

"Shut up, Denny," Maria said with a small laugh, standing on her toes to kiss him quickly before they entered the resturaunt. The two walked in, still the happy couple after one month of dating. Later on, they found themselves at Denny's apartment, sitting together on the outside balcony, his arms around her waist, her head on his chest, both staring out at the city lights below them.

"What do you think of marriage?" Maria suddenly asked. Denny looked down to her, as if in shock for a moment, then smiled, resting his chin on her head.

"It would be nice .. but we can't do that now, unless we wanted to be fried by Colonel Mustang as punishment!" Denny laughed. Maria slapped him on the chest.

"Stop joking around, i'm serious!"

"So am I." Maria looked up to Denny and frowned. Denny smiled down at her.

"You're going to wrinkle that way," He teased, then pressed his lips onto hers before she could say anything in response. When they parted, their eyes locked, and they immediately leaned in again, locking lips once again, confirming for the two that the night would be pleasurable, and the days ahead rough, but sweet in their own way.

Every story has a beginning and an end - however, the memories live on forever. They may not be with each other always, but nobody can forget the one they love, even from a distance. The thoughts are unavoidable; the sense that they are still there beside you, unshakeable. Not every story has a happy ending - but there is always a beginning and an end.

- Fin