Title: Colors of you
Prompt: sharing lunch
Disclaimer: no, no, and no, I don't anything, although I would if I could, that's for sure!
Notes: For Jan. Thanks to Whimsy for the beta.
The hot air wrapped around her, thick and heavy, as she made her way along the gravelled path down to the river. The sun burned down on her skin mercilessly, and she longed to reach the tree line she could spot in the distance. She squinted and wiped a hand over her eyes, then quickened her pace. The small bag in her hand that held her lunch box and a bottle of water swung back and forth with every step. She'd been looking forward to having lunch in the cool shade of the trees down by the river all morning.
However, when she finally reached her favourite spot under the big maple tree she found it occupied. Sprawled on his back in nothing but shorts and a sleeveless shirt was Ed. His eyes were closed and his chest moved with slow, even breaths. He seemed to be asleep.
Careful not to wake him, Winry stepped closer as quietly as she could. She sat down with her back against the rough bark of the tree and gratefully rested her head against it. The river below stretched out in a long band of glittering blue, the rush of water a steady noise in the background. A breeze blew up from the water and brushed her heated face in a cool caress. She watched with a smile as the wind caught in Ed's bangs, playing the silky strands gently over his face.
She actually found it quite odd that he was in this place at this time of the day, but she knew he hadn't been sleeping well lately, and she wasn't going to disturb his well needed nap.
" Didn't anyone ever teach you that it's rude to stare?"
Ed's voice startled her out of her thoughts and a faint blush stained her cheeks. He hadn't moved in the slightest. How long had he been awake?
"I thought you were asleep," she tried.
One of his eyes slowly blinked open and he tipped his head back to look at her.
"So you tried to sneak up on me?"
Winry gaped at the accusation. "No, of course not! I was only… why didn't you just say something?! It could have been anyone!"
"I knew it was you."
His voice was calm, matter of fact, but a faint smile tugged at the corners of his lips. It made her suspicious. And…curious.
"How did you know?"
"My…scent? Excuse me?" Winry blinked, taken aback and not quite sure what she was supposed to think. Her immediate reaction was to sniff her armpits, which was silly, of course. She easily managed to resist that urge, but hoped that her thoughts hadn't shown on her face. He really didn't need to know that.
When she looked back at Ed, he'd rolled onto his stomach, chin propped on his forearms crossed in front of him. He was smirking.
Normally she would have ignored him, but this time she was too curious. She was tempted to simply glare at him, but she knew that wouldn't earn her an answer, either. So she tried for casual, attempting not to show just how much she wanted to know. "So, what do I smell like?" she asked with an easy smile.
He didn't answer right away, but his smirk deepened and a mischievous glint entered his eyes. Oh, she knew that look. It usually meant he was about to tease or make fun of her. It was also typical for her to try and prevent it. It was one of the games they played. She managed to give him a stern look. "Edward Elric. Be careful what you say."
Although the smirk faded away, Ed didn't look repentant in the least. He silently held her gaze for a bit longer, still obviously amused; eventually, he shrugged and flopped onto his back again, staring up into the tree branches softly moving above them.
Winry waited for a while, wondering if there would be an answer forthcoming, but when nothing came, she didn't pry. She was still curious, but something kept her from asking. Instead she started unpacking her lunch. She was used to Ed's mood swings but she certainly wouldn't let them spoil her well deserved break. She opened the box cautiously so as not to spill anything. Absorbed in her task, she almost missed his quietly spoken words.
"You smell like home."
She froze mid-motion, eyes wide as she stared at him. However, before she could reply, or inquire any further, Ed had flipped onto his stomach again, toothy grin firmly in place. "What are we having for lunch?"
She managed to recover quickly and raised her eyebrows, smirking back at him. "What makes you think I'm sharing?"
"Winry!" He looked up at her with a shocked expression and, honest or not, she couldn't help but laugh.
"All right, all right! But I'm not going to feed you from here." She patted the grass next to her invitingly and had to laugh again at the speed with which he crawled up and sat down next to her.
They ate, shoulders brushing now and then, as Winry chatted away lightly about her day so far while Ed mostly ate and listened, throwing in a few words here and there. When all the food was gone, they remained sitting for a while in comfortable silence, both left to their own thoughts.
Winry was startled out of her thoughts for the second time that day when Ed suddenly slid down sideways and stretched out, resting his head in her lap. She stared down at him, blinking in confusion and not knowing what to do with her hands. This was very unlike Ed, but she couldn't deny the little rush of happiness that curled through her and made her stomach flutter.
She finally settled for placing one hand loosely on her thigh; the other she tentatively touched to Ed's hair, brushing a couple of stray hairs from his face and finally threading her fingers through the blond strands. He shut his eyes and Winry gazed at his peaceful face in wonder.
He didn't complain this time.
Time passed, but Winry didn't notice. She didn't care. She felt perfectly content as she played with Ed's hair, the warmth and quiet enveloping them in a cocoon of peace. She didn't want the moment to end.
Her hand stilled when she felt Ed turn his head and a gasp escaped her when his nose came in contact with her bare stomach. A wave of warmth spread out from that touch, rippling through her whole body. She felt his breath wash over her skin and swallowed, her own breathing quickening and her cheeks growing warm. What was he doing?
She watched, mesmerized, as he simply lay there, face turned into her stomach and eyes still closed. She didn't know what to say. Her hand resumed caressing his hair with slow, soothing strokes and he pressed a fraction closer.
After a long while he rolled his head back and opened his eyes to look up at her. He reached out with his human hand and grasped a lock of her hair, letting it slowly slip through his fingers, then twirling it a couple of times before letting go again. "Machine oil, grease, metal, soap, and lilacs. That's what you smell like. That's home." His voice, low and a bit hoarse, trailed off, and still she couldn't find words.
"Ed…" She gazed into his eyes, searching for a clue. He just calmly looked at her. But there was also a vulnerability present in those eyes that made her heart ache.
Finally, Ed covered her hand with his own, extracting it gently from his hair, and sat up. He sighed. "I have to go. Al's waiting." He briefly touched his fingertips to her cheek and gave her one of his very rare genuine smiles. Not a smirk, not a grin, but a soft smile.
Then he rose and brushed a couple of twigs and dry leaves from his clothes before looking down at her, flashing his trademark grin. "Thanks for lunch." She could only nod. He turned to go and looked back at her one last time, raising a hand in greeting. "See you later, Winry."
She nodded again and smiled. "See you, Ed."
She watched him walk away, still feeling slightly dazed. His form grew small and blurry in the distance when realization suddenly hit her, slamming into her stomach like a fist of steel and leaving her heart thudding painfully in her chest.
They were leaving again.
They were leaving and Ed had been here to say goodbye.