"Edward! Edward, come back!" Winry Rockbell shouted, chasing after the fifteen-year-old. She shielded her bright blue eyes against the glare of the setting sun. "I'm sorry! You know I didn't mean it!"
"If you didn't mean it then you wouldn't have said it!" Edward Elric shot back angrily.
"Okay, so I did mean it." She finally caught up with him, her longer legs giving her an advantage. "Jeez, why are you going so fast?"
"Because someone keeps following me," he replied, slowing down and not looking at her.
She stopped and frowned. "She was right," she said, crossing her arms.
Edward turned around. "Who was?"
"Your mother." Winry heard his sharp intake of breath. "She always said you were as stubborn as an ox, just like your father. I didn't realize how right she was until now." She crossed her arms, smiling in a satisfied sort of way.
"I'm nothing like my father, Winry," Edward said quietly, but intensely. His blonde bangs hung about his face, hiding his eyes.
"Well, you hardly knew him," she said, walking over to him.
"That doesn't mean I can't hate him," Edward grumbled.
"Don't let me stop you." She watched him for a while as he rubbed his wrist. "Is that bothering you? Do you want me to take a look at it?"
He thought about it for a moment, and then stuck his auto-mail arm out. "All right, but make it quick."
She took his left hand and a chill shot through his body. "You have a cut on your hand, you know." She ran her strong fingers along the length of the gash. She felt him shudder and asked, "What's the matter?" He shook his head. Nothing was wrong. "Are my fingers cold?"
"Uh-uh," he murmured. "They're perfect."
She pulled her hand away and looked at her fingers. "I wouldn't say perfect. Grease, oil stains, calluses from putting you back together." She gave him a little shove. They both stared at the horizon, watching the red and orange sun set. At length, she said, "Oh, Ed." She paused for a moment. "You are short, you know."
He turned a bright shade of red. "COME ON—DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW MOST PEOPLE NEED A MAGNIFYING GLASS TO SEE ME?!" he screamed.
She glared at him. "I didn't mean anything by it! I'm just saying that you shouldn't blow up every time someone uses that word!"
"I don't," he replied, frustrated. "It's only when it's used to describe me." He dropped to the ground and hugged his knees. Winry sat down beside him. And there was silence again, for a long time. Edward exhaled heavily. "Do you think…do you think Mom knows what we did?" Winry looked at him, but didn't answer. "Could she ever forgive us for what we did? Would she?" His bangs fell once again as he hung his head, covering his gold eyes.
"She's your mother, Ed," Winry said softly. "You did it because you love her." She put her hand on his. "She knows that."
Edward smiled a little. "I sure hope so." She smiled back. "Erm, Winry, I probably don't say this enough, but…you know you're the best friend a guy with auto-mail limbs could have, don't you?"
Her lower lip began to quiver, and then she suddenly threw her arms around him, knocking him to the ground. "Oh, Ed, you're finally opening up to me!" she cried.
"Winry!" He struggled to sit back up.
"Oh!" she squeaked, her face flushing with color. "I'm so sorry, Ed, did I crush you?"
"No," he replied quietly, looking at her. Staring into her eyes, he leaned in. He kept leaning closer and closer toward her, wondering if he was the one who was moving or if it was her.
When they were so close that they could have touched their noses together, Winry said, "Wait, Ed, you've got something in your hair—Ouch!" They both pulled away quickly, rubbing their foreheads.
"Sorry, it was my fault!" Edward apologized ecstatically, red in the face.
"Why were you leaning in so close?" Winry demanded, annoyed, examining her head for any bumps.
Without thinking, he answered, "Because I was going to--!" He stopped, turning an even darker shade of red.
"You were going to what?" she asked.
"Nothing," he said quickly, getting to his feet.
"Edward Elric, tell me what you were going to say!" she ordered, standing.
"Only if you can catch me!" he said as he ran back to the cottage.
She took off after him. "Here we were having an open, honest relationship, and you have to go and ruin everything! Stubborn, she said, and she was absolutely right!"