Winry lay in the grass holding her sides and laughing until she cried. She could hardly believe what had just happened. It was sort of sad, she supposed, but in a hysterically funny kind of way. I mean, honestly, how ridiculous! She couldn't wait to tell Nelly about this. They would gossip about it for maybe ten minutes, than have a good laugh about the general stupidity of boys.
It had been so unexpected, too. She probably wouldn't have reacted so strongly if she had suspected it. But no, it had crept up on her, in the fullest sense of the word.
"Um, Winry?" a voice had said timidly from behind her as she sat on the hill with her miniature tool kit, sorting resentfully through it and wondering whether her parents would buy her a proper one if she showed them how well she would be able to use it. She paused in her examination of the useless plastic tools and looked around.
Al was standing there, hands clasped nervously in front of him, looking shy and patiently waiting for her response and attention.
"What is it?" she asked.
Al had twisted his fingers anxiously together, seeming to gather his nerve. Then he looked up, red-faced but with eyes shining with hope, took a deep breath and asked her.
Winry had stared up at him for a second, blinked twice, and then toppled backwards onto the ground, hooting with merriment.
Al stepped backwards, face crumpling, as she forced out her answer between bouts of laughter. His eyes widened. Then he turned on his heel and fled.
Winry hiccupped as she lay in the grass remembering. Then she sat up, wiped her eyes, and searched in the ground around her for her miniature spanner, which she had dropped at some point or other during her explosion of hilarity. Once she had found it, she turned it over in her hands, thinking.
She had to admit, Al's reaction hadn't been anything like as entertaining as his question. If anything, it had made her feel a little sorry for him. She hadn't expected his lip to tremble in quite that way, or his shoulders to slump exactly like that. It had almost made her want to leap up and apologise to him, but really, what else could she have done? Did he expect her to accept? She didn't want to hurt him, of course she didn't- but she hadn't been able to help herself. So she had collapsed in laughter, and he had deflated visibly in front of her, before escaping down the hill as fast as his short little legs would carry him.
That reminded her. If Al was upset, there was only one person he would have gone to. Winry stood, smoothing her dress, and looked around her. Sure enough, she caught sight of a telltale head of disobedient blond hair climbing the hill towards her. She checked her clothes for grass stains while she waited for him.
Ed reached the summit of the hill, hands deep in the pockets of his shorts and a glare on his face. "So," he said.
"Hi," Winry replied.
"I heard Al asked you to marry him," Ed said casually, approaching her slowly with his gaze fixed on the ground.
"Yep," Winry said.
"I heard you said no."
"Uh-huh," Winry said.
"I saw that you made him cry."
Winry hesitated, before nodding again. "Yes."
Ed reached her at last, and stood still in front of her, glaring angrily into her face. "You laughed, Winry? What the hell?"
"I didn't expect it!" she protested, waving her arms around. "I never thought he was going to say that! It was funny! Anyway, it's not like he expected me to say yes, surely."
Ed looked sidelong at her. "I think he did, you know."
"That might have been why he asked, don't you think?"
Winry blinked. "But. . . what do you want me to do?"
"Say sorry to him, perhaps?!" Ed exploded, taking his turn to wave his arms around.
"I'm not saying sorry!" she yelled back furiously, fists clenched. "I didn't do anything! I couldn't have said yes, I didn't want to!"
"You should still say sorry for making him cry!"
Winry scoffed. "Bet you're just jealous."
Ed spluttered, red as a raspberry. "Wh- Why would I be jealous?!"
"Maybe you wanted to ask."
"You wish," Ed scowled, folding his arms and glaring off into the distance, pushing his chin forwards so that his jaw stuck out.
Winry snorted, but let it go, sitting on the grass and stretching her legs out in front of her, surveying the landscape. Ed hesitated, then sat beside her.
"You have grass in your hair," Ed said after a moment of silence. Winry raised uncaring fingers to her head.
"You should say sorry," he told her eventually. "You upset him. You shouldn't have laughed at him."
She nodded and leaned back, closing her eyes and spreading out into the hillside in a lazy sprawl of rounded limbs and flower-patterned cloth. "You're right. I will. . . later."
Ed sat with his knees tucked close to his chest. "Why did you laugh, anyway?"
"It was funny, somehow. I'm not sure," she admitted.
"It wasn't because you really don't want to marry him, then?" he asked, lying down in the grass next to her and frowning up at the sky.
"Not exactly," she said hesitantly. "Not Al exactly. I just don't want to get married at all. Boys," she said, shooting him a glance through the long grass that separated them, "smell."
Ed shot upright and wrapped his arms around his knees again, glowering off into the distance. Winry laughed, and sighed, and stared pensively up at the clouds.
"He really did look upset, though."
". . . Yeah," he said.
Author's note: My sister's commission. I believe that she has actually shown her elusive face somewhere in my reviews, but she decided to ask me in person. She wanted a fic showing what Winry was like as a child, which will explain to everyone why Al has an uncharacteristically small role in this. It was that request, mixed with my lack of fics about the three of them as kids, mixed with a love of the bit where little!Al asked little!Winry to marry him and was rejected, that spawned this. I'm not sure if it's clear enough that they're children- I think I made their emotional insight a little too highly developed- but never mind.