By Yellow Mask
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA.
Al knows three things; 1) the sun does not rise in the west, 2) Equivalent Exchange can be a real bitch when it feels like it, and 3) his brother and his girlfriend are madly in love...if a bit unconventional about it.
Ed and Winry are often at odds – they fight about the state of Ed's automail, about the dangers of being involved with the military, about the necessity of drinking milk, about what to have for dinner...even about how the weather might turn out. They argue about everything and anything under the sun, sometimes seriously, sometimes seemingly for the fun of it.
When he was younger, and still in the armour, Al had viewed these fights as something to be avoided at all costs. But then he gradually realised how rarely any truly hurtful comments were thrown, and how no one else was ever allowed to take part in the arguments – if they tried, both participants rounded on the one foolish enough to intrude on their verbal fencing and flayed them with the swords they had previously been turning on each other. Now, Al thinks of these fights as some bizarre sort of courting ritual – almost a form of flirting.
They might be unconventional, but they are still capable of some of the most touching 'couply' moments Al has ever witnessed. Not that he witnesses many, but even stern-faced Pinako can get a little sparkly-eyed when Ed restrains himself from taking third helpings at dinner to take a plate into Winry's workshop, where the blonde woman is still bent over an uncooperative limb she has been labouring over for hours.
Al doesn't catch them kissing or the like very often. Ed is an intensely private person, and while Winry is open in some ways she is just as private as his brother in others. They rarely engage in what could be termed public displays of affection, and sometimes Al wonders if they feel they are cheapening their relationship if they make it public.
Come to think of it, that's probably the reason he never saw this coming. Winry is tinkering with a new knee design, and Ed is standing over her, face set and lips firm as though he is going into battle, and his hand had just been shoved in her face. Al is sitting close by, his book having been abandoned on his lap when he first realised just what his brother is holding – a small, pale silver ring with the barest hint of sapphire sprinkled across the top.
Winry blinks at it, as she might at being addressed in a foreign language. "What's that?"
"It's a ring," Ed says simply, still holding it out to her.
"I can see that." There is the slightest hint of irritation in her voice. "Why did you shove it in my face while I'm trying to work?"
Ed's face is beginning to grow red, but his expression is something like stoic resignation. "It's for you."
"What for?" There's something about the honest confusion in her voice that makes Al want to burst out laughing, especially coupled with the expression on Ed's face – as though he is trying to stop himself spontaneously combusting on the spot.
"For marrying me," he says, still in the same tight voice, his emotions barely leashed but sounding reasonably calm and collected.
"But we aren't..." Al sees the exact second when realisation dawns. "Oh. Really?"
"Look, do you want to get married or not?" Ed finally snaps, his nerves frayed beyond endurance.
The slightest pause, barely a heartbeat. "Okay."
She takes the ring and slips it on her finger as casually as a child might pluck a daisy from a field, as though this is some airy, whimsical object she can throw away as easily as one might discard a wilting flower. As though putting the slim band on her finger isn't promising the rest of her life to the man who gave it to her.
In the end, Winry's decision to discard the name 'Miss Rockbell' for the title of 'Mrs. Elric' only takes her a split-second.
"Good." Ed walks out of the room without another word. Winry goes back to her tinkering, and Al is left sitting on the couch, completely dumbstruck.
Al has always known they were an unconventional couple...but still, he wouldn't have expected Ed to propose quite like that...
Al sighed, rubbing at his temple. He's sitting at the long, white-covered table, preparing to make his best-man toast, except he can't start until Ed and Winry stop arguing about the type of champagne they ordered.
Al knows three things; 1) the sun does not rise in the west, 2) Equivalent Exchange can be a real bitch when it feels like it, and 3) his brother and his new wife are madly in love...if a bit unconventional about it.
AN: A short one-shot, inspired by some fanart I saw of Ed presenting Winry with a ring. And thanks to LaughingAstarael, who beta-ed this for me.