Disclaimer: I Don't Own FMA In Any Way.
Rating: PG—PG-13 Due To Bad Language, Angst, Blood, and Gore.
A/N: FLUFFY ANGST!!! XD
ANGSTY FLUFF!!! XD
WARNING: Spoilers to both manga and anime.
Winry smiled at him softly.
"That's good to hear," she told her blonde friend. "I thought I was never gonna see the real you again," she explained, some sadness hinted in her voice. Ed's eyes widened a bit and he looked away for a few moments. He felt terrible now that he knew what he had supposed was true. Something then made him smile though, in spite of everything.
Winry was worried about him; worried he had fought for no reason and would've had new battle scars to prove it. Though, while he was unconscious, she had lost sleep over worrying about it. Once again, he went back to frowning before looking back to the Rockbell.
"Mind if I join you?" he asked her suddenly, some nervousness in his voice. Winry thought for a few seconds before realizing what he meant and widening her eyes. She looked over her shoulder to the night sky before looking back to him, smiling subtly.
"Of course not," she replied as she turned around and leaned back down on the balcony railing. Ed followed suit and leaned on the railing next to her. It stayed silent for a few moments as the breezes of the night played with the two blonde's hair. The air filled Ed's nostrils and he closed his eyes, sighing contently as the crisp air calmed him. It was the air he had been waiting a long time to smell again; with his life having been so full of traveling and all-around craziness, it was hard for him to find a moment of relaxation.
Even when he visited for Automail tune-ups, he always felt rushed; as if he needed to get back on the road as soon as possible. Not to mention, whenever he visited Resembol, he usually visited his mother's grave, which was the main reasons for so much grief in his life. He never took a moment to just sit and relax; there always seemed to be something wrong in his life. Whether it had been the Military chewing his leg over something, or the Homunculus who wanted to use him for the Philosopher's Stone, his mind was too clouded with stress to be able to even think about taking a break. Coming to Resembol was never a vacation for him; it was a simple tune-up for the arm and leg and then back on the road again.
That was it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Though, now that he thought about it, he supposed that, when he visited, he had the opportunity to see Winry again. Yes, they spent most of their time arguing but that was how their friendship had grown to be so strong, he supposed. They had their ups and major downs but, in the end, once the problems were solved, it was what made them friends. He'd get her mad, she'd hit him in the head with her trusty wrench and, at the end of the day, they had secretly bonded further. It was an odd relationship but he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, not even a real arm and leg.
That thought made his eyes open again; subtly, but they were open. He thought about it for a few moments before coming to the realization of just how much he appreciated his friendship with Winry, whether he showed the gratitude or not. The air of the night past by and played with his golden bangs as strands of it came in front of his eyes momentarily before falling back into place. He made Winry suffer more than anything; this, of course, just added more sorrow to his life. Winry was his best friend for as long as he could remember. He hated making her saddened by what he did to her but he could never express his feelings that well. Unless it was anger or anxiousness, or the occasional blush of the cheeks, feelings were not Ed's strong point.
With all that, of course, came appreciation. He was grateful for everything Winry did for him; even when she offered to hear what was going on in his head. Although he always refused or shrugged her off, he was grateful that she was even willing to ask. He figured it was more than any other person could offer. He looked over to his blonde mechanic through the corner of his eye. She was gladly enjoying the calm night as much as he was.
He sighed silently to himself; there were things he had to tell her tonight. They would probably ruin the nice moment but he needed to tell her these things; make amends for everything he's done to her in the past.
"Winry…?" he asked suddenly as he stood upright but left his palms leaning on the railing. Winry looked up to him and stood upright as well; she could tell something was wrong just by the sad look in his eyes and they way he said her name.
"What's wrong, Ed?" was the first thing she asked. She heard him inhale before setting free a breath. His fists clenched tightly, as did his eyes.
"There's…something I need to apologize to you for…well, a lot of things, actually," he corrected before looking back to her. Winry's eyes widened slightly and she urged him to continue.
"For starters," the Elric began anxiously. "I want to apologize to you for the way I was acting when I got back…I had no right to yell at you or Al the way I did," he told her lowly as he lowered his head a bit. "I was just so confused, I guess…" his voice trailed off as he let his body slump down further. His face was thoughtful as he was choosing his words carefully to not make him sound foolish in any way; this was a delicate situation and, so, it should be treated with just as much care. "But that's not an excuse," he explained.
"My whole life I've been confused and I never acted that way…I promised myself I wouldn't…" his voice seemed to have a mind of his own; he was getting into things he shouldn't be telling Winry. But, damn, it just felt good to finally get this heaviness of his shoulders and clear his chest. He sighed once more before continuing.
"I don't know if you want to hear about it,"—"My ears are open," Winry interjected suddenly as she leaned down to his level, an inviting smile on her face. Ed smiled a bit and blushed before looking back out to town, his smile fading.
"When I was younger," Ed began once more. "After I burned down my house and I went off on the road…I began having a lot of nightmares." Winry's eyes widened, again, at this and she stayed silent, desperate to hear more. "The nightmares…they felt real, like I was really living them. So, when I woke up, I wasn't really sure if I was really awake or if I was in another dream," he explained, trying to keep his voice strong.
"After I had so many, I woke up paranoid and unsure of who to trust. But, I promised myself to never be as hostile as I was when I got back; just take everything as if it was real. I would only become aggressive if the situation called for it," he explained and briefly looked over at Winry. "That was what I was feeling when I was beginning to get my memories back; I was getting back all the worst ones so I wasn't sure what was real anymore." He turned his head back forwards, letting his hair come in front of his face as wind past by.
"But, since I had no recollection of that promise, I suppose I had no choice but to act on instinct and just not trust anyone…and I'm sorry it got so bad." He looked the other direction now, unsure of what Winry's expression would be; unsure and unwilling to find out. Winry, of which, was just shocked that he had apologized for that. She knew that he wasn't himself then and she forgave him for not acting like himself. But she was surprised at what he told her, and that he actually let her into his life.
"Edward…" she mumbled quietly. The Alchemist's head lowered slightly but he refused to look to her. "You…you didn't have to apologize for that." Once the words left her mouth, Ed's head shot up and his eyes were widened slightly. He looked over to her, urging her to explain. Winry continually smiled at him. Gently, she reached over and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"I know you weren't yourself, me and Al both," she told him softly. "Which was why we were so worried about you," she added, her smile fading and her hand sliding off his shoulder. Ed's eyes fell closed and he sighed to himself before looking back towards town and leaning down on the railing the way he was a few moments ago.
"There's more…" he mumbled suddenly. Winry leaned down next to him, letting him know that she would listen for as long as he needed her to. "I…I'm…I'm sorry…" he paused for a moment and took a silent, deep breath. "For making you worry for so long…and for putting you through so much torment over the years…you didn't deserve that, especially not from me," his voice was shaky. Winry looked down to his hands; they were balled into fists as he was trying his hardest to maintain a strong composure.
She looked back to his face with sympathetic eyes. She was surprised even though she wasn't showing it. He had actually apologized for everything had had done to her in past, something she thought he would never do. But knowing that he was holding all of this in also made her heart ache. Ed wasn't the type to express his feelings so openly; she knew this whole thing was difficult for him but she also knew it was good for him. So many years of keeping negative things to oneself is an unhealthy habit; everyone should just vent out every so often, especially Ed.
"It's OK, Ed…you had your reasons," she cooed in a gentle voice.
"No, it's not, Winry," the Elric said suddenly, causing Winry's eyes to widen. "You don't have to try and make me feel good," Ed told her sternly as he looked back to her. "I mean, you should be furious with me for not saying this sooner. I know I messed up, Winry. Don't give me sympathy just because you can." He was now standing completely upright, staring his friend dead in the eyes.
"Ed…" Winry mumbled sadly, staring into his besieged golden eyes. "I'm giving you sympathy because you're my friend and I don't want you suffering anymore…you don't need me to be angry at you and I don't want to be the one to add more stress to your life…you already have too much as it is," she told him softly. Edward's eyes widened at her words.
"Winry…" he couldn't even speak. He looked away and shrugged quietly. Now that the Elric had his head turned, Winry, carefully, made her move; slowly, she brought her arms around his waist before pulling him into a quick embrace, burying her face into the crook of his neck. Ed's eyes had widened but he dare not move. He was unaccustomed to being hugged; now that Winry was hugging him, he couldn't help but blush anxiously.
"I'm glad you apologized, Ed," Winry murmured, causing Ed to look down to her. "And I thank you for finally doing so…I understand why you put me through everything in the past but I'm grateful that you were able to say you're sorry to me; I know how hard it must've been for you. It was sweet, though," she was now smiling as she held him more tightly, urging him to hug her back. Ed smiled contently before, nervously, wrapping his arms around her waist. This had been the first time he had hugged her in a while.
OK, yes, he had hugged her when he had no memories but that didn't count; he didn't remember anything then and, now, he knew fully who Winry was and that he cared for her. He blushed at the thought but hugged Winry more tightly. There were times he wished he could hold her like this, to let her know he understood her pain and was sorry for it all, to comfort her. But there was a reason Ed couldn't express himself that well. He believed that emotions should not be mixed together with his life; emotions were illusions of the mind, nothing but distractions.
Only thing that came out of his life when personal affairs were added was trouble. Since everyone always seemed to be after him, he felt the less people know, the better. That way, they couldn't use those feelings against him in any way. Emotions showed weakness, weakness meant vulnerability to enemies around him and that, in turn, meant danger. That was the last thing he wanted to show; weakness and vulnerability.
A perfect example of using something, or in the case, someone, against him would be the Barry the Chopper incident that occurred when he and Winry were merely twelve years old. That memory never seemed to stop haunting him, mainly because he couldn't handle the situation and it almost cost him his and Winry's life. He thought he was going to die then; which meant that Winry would've probably been killed as well. Therefore, he would have been dead and there wouldn't have been anything he could've done about it. He didn't want that, he didn't want anything bad to happen to Winry.
Another time he had feared for Winry was when she had a gun pointed straight to Scar, almost ready to shoot him. Scar had taken the lives of Winry's parents back in the Ishbal Massacre; this, of course, had left her orphaned and in the care of her grandmother, Pinako. It's also what added much grief to her life; she was very young when she found out, younger than one should be to go through such an ordeal. Fortunately, Winry still had her grandmother and Ed's own mother at the time to care for her. Still, the hatred of knowing who killed her parents burned like fire that day.
That day, Winry had a gun pointed to Scar; Ed was fearful because of what the dark-skinned man had threatened.
"The moment that bullet releases from your gun…you will be my enemy!" Ed shuddered at the thought and was grateful that his mechanic had not pulled the trigger. The last thing he wanted was to have to spend his whole life protecting Winry from a man who could kill you by placing his palm on your head and blowing your brains out. Not to mention, protecting himself. That was what made both situations so similar.
With the Barry the Chopper incident, Ed couldn't protect Winry and much less protect himself. He had learned something very important that day; something he certainly would not soon forget.
"Ed?" Winry asked curiously and anxiously as she had pulled away from the blonde Alchemist. She noticed that he had been rather quiet for the past few minutes and was beginning to worry. She looked into his eyes; it was obvious that he was being fairly thoughtful about something. "Edward?" she asked again, finally making the Elric snap out of his trance.
"Huh?" he asked quickly as he looked to Winry. The Rockbell gave him a curious look.
"You OK, Ed?" she asked him worriedly. Her friend shrugged and pulled his flesh hand up to his forehead.
"It's nothing…just thinking, that's all," he replied quietly, pulling his hand away and looking back to Winry. The look on the young woman's face was unbelieving. Ed sighed and turned his head away. "Really, Win, I just don't want to hurt you if I tell you…" he purposely trailed off and stepped back in front of the balcony railing, leaning down upon it. Winry shot him an odd look.
"Ed…?" Winry asked with her voice full of worriment as she stepped closer to him.
"I don't want to talk," Ed tried shrugging her off; everything suddenly was turning bitter for him. He didn't want Winry to remember those terrible nightmares called memories. He didn't even want to remember them. Winry, on the other hand, was enjoying the fact that Ed was finally talking to her about the secrets of his past. She didn't want him to give up on her so easily.
"Ed, please!" she pleaded as she went to his side and pulled a grip on his flesh arm. Ed's eyes widened at the quick gesture. "Don't give up now, Ed; you'll feel better," she explained. Ed growled lowly; he was growing upset with the nagging his friend was giving him.
"Yeah, but you won't!" he scolded as he looked back to her with glaring eyes. Winry immediately took a step back, her eyes saddened. "You want to know what I was thinking?" Ed asked her irately, his glare intensifying. Winry stayed silent for a moment, unsure of whether to reply or not. "Do you!?" Ed demanded before she could even give her answer.
It stayed silent for a mere second before Ed began speaking once more, not caring that Winry had not yet answered. "I was thinking about all the times you've been involved in some dangerous situation that could've cost you your life…and I couldn't handle…" his eyes and voice had gone from firm and stern to loose and sad. "I just…" he trailed off and faced the railing once more, leaning his palms down on it. "Like when we were twelve," he began once more.
"When you visited Central to congratulate me for becoming a State Alchemist…the moment I found out you were kidnapped…nothing mattered. All I wanted to know was where you were and who the hell dare try to take you…but you were my main concern. I thought that, if I didn't find you soon enough…I'd lose you…" he hung his head low and clenched his fists tightly for the millionth time that day. "But when Barry took my arm and tied me to a chair, I realized just how difficult things got. Even when I got free…" he didn't want to keep going but he did.
"I was so scared when I couldn't get you free. And when I felt blood on my arm and soreness all-over from reconnecting the arm, I thought I was going to die. When I changed my arm to a blade and Barry just kept swinging…I thought my body would give in. Even when I finally got a chance to attack, Al was the one who stopped me; I was so scared that I attacked him…the worst part of that whole thing was knowing that, if I died, you'd be next…I learned something that day." His head lifted a bit, his eyes were filled with purpose.
"When dealing with a hostage situation, worry about the other people and hell to yourself…especially when the hostage is someone close to you." Winry's eyes widened at the words that he let escape his lips. "I used that lesson when you wanted to kill Scar," Ed perked up once more. "I was so worried that you'd pull that trigger…in the end, I was grateful you didn't; it would've cost you and me both." The Rockbell gave him an odd look.
"How so?" she questioned.
"Scar said that if you shot him, you'd be his enemy. That means, I would've had to protect you for the rest of who only knows how long and, on top of that, keep fighting for my search…I couldn't be living like that; knowing you'd be in constant danger along with me," he explained. Winry glared at him and huffed out a breath.
"Who said I'd need your protection?" she demanded. She was too protective of herself as a female to want to accept protection, especially from someone as egotistical as Ed. The Alchemist looked over to her, annoyed.
"What do you mean?" he asked in a quiet yet irate voice.
"I'm quiet able to protect myself, Edward," Winry replied defensively.
"HA!" Ed laughed mockingly. "You wouldn't be able to protect yourself; I've seen you in crisis situations…you don't handle them very well, if you ask me," he explained, smirking at her playfully and sarcastically as well.
"Well, then again, nobody asked you," Winry told him sternly as she crossed her arms in front of her chest. "I could handle a situation just as well as you. And, even if I couldn't, like I'd want you to be defending me," she stated heatedly.
"What's that supposed to mean!?" The Elric demanded, his anger boiling further.
"As if I'd want someone as arrogant as you protecting me; besides, I can protect myself. Just because I'm a girl, doesn't mean I'm weak," the mechanic told him firmly.
"I never said you were weak!" Edward defended. Winry let out a breath and returned to the railing, leaning down, harshly, upon it. Her head was turned in the other direction as well, so she shouldn't have to face her 'friend.' "Winry…" Ed carefully stepped next to her as he said her name. "I…I don't think you're weak…on the contrary, you're the one of the toughest girls I know, with an arm to prove it," he said humorously towards the end as he leaned down next to her. Winry shrugged crossly but still didn't look to him.
"How do I know you're not just saying that?" she ordered.
"Because, while other girls are worrying about their appearance and asking their boyfriends to buy them nice jewelry, you're the only girl I know who will willingly walk around in public with oil stains on her face and clothes and asks me to buy her wrenches and expensive tools for her Automail. Not only that, but when somebody messes with you, you're not shy enough to bitch at them or throw your wrench at their heads," he replied playfully. "Or both." He chuckled as he said it.
Winry tried to hide it but failed and giggled quietly. Ed smiled at her; he always loved hearing her laugh. Finally, the Rockbell looked over at him, a smile gracing her beautiful features.
"It's, uh…." Ed started but immediately blushed at the thought of what he'd say next. "What I like so much about you." He looked away and blushed so much he could've passed for a lobster. Winry, on the other hand, widened her eyes and blushed as well.
"You…mean that, Ed?" she asked nervously.
"Yeah, of course I do," the Alchemist replied in a quiet tone. It stayed comfortably silent after that. The two blonde simply stayed leaning on the balcony railing and enjoying the beautiful night, only enhanced by the company of each other. Suddenly, the silence was broken as Ed began chuckling quietly. Winry shot him a curious look.
"What're you laughing about?" she asked, smiling slightly. The Elric shook his head.
"It's nothing," he tried brushing it off but it only made him laugh more.
"What is it?" Winry asked again, her smile broadening. It stayed silent for a moment.
"You owe me a date," the Alchemist replied finally, not looking to Winry but blushing compulsively. Winry's eyes grew small and her brow twitched as she sweated nervously.
"What?" she asked, almost unbelieving.
"Do you not remember anything from today?" Ed asked playfully. Winry thought back and remembered when the 'strange young man' had come to the house. He had been searching for Ed for their brawl and, before Ed had officially agreed, he had stated that if he had won the fight he would get a date with her. But, afterwards, she found out that the supposed stranger was Ed's memories. That was when she looked back to her friend, a grin on her face.
"Technically, no I don't," she told him. "You were split into two people; your body and your memories. The gamble was that if your memories win, you'd get a date. But, unfortunately for you, your body won; your memories lost miserably," she said mockingly.
"Yeah, but you missed one detail," Ed responded, turning his body around and leaning on the railing with his back facing the town. "My memories and my body were two parts of one whole. So, technically, we both won and technically…you owe me a date." Winry was dumbfounded; just as easily as she had found a reason not to give him a date, he gave her a reason for the date to occur. And, in the back of her head, she wondered if the blonde Alchemist could actually want to be on a date with her. For the moment, she ignored the little thought and continued staring at the Elric in shock.
"So what are you saying?" she asked him as she stood upright. Ed blushed and looked away.
"I'm saying…do you want me to take you out…at seven or eight?" he was blushing compulsively but was willingly looking away from her, shocked by the words leaving his mouth. But he wanted this; it was fun to mess with Winry but he was hoping to get a date with her as well. He knew it was probably hopeless but, hey, at least he was trying.
"Ed…Ed, this is crazy," she smiled but she walked towards the wall next to the sliding glass door that led to her room. She pulled her hand up to her forehead. She was unsure of she would want to date Ed; he had many pet peeves but he also had his sweet side. But she was also unsure if Ed would consider dating her. She knew he would never mess with her feelings like this but, still, she didn't want to exclude any possibilities.
Edward walked up behind her carefully.
"Winry," he whispered. "What if I make you…a little deal?" he asked. Winry's interest, apparently, sparked because she turned around and faced him.
"What do you mean?" she asked of him. Ed smiled and his blush grew; that's all it seemed to do after he had started this whole thing.
"How about…I ask you instead? And, if the way I ask you doesn't meet your standards…I'll admit I'm not worth your time and just drop it," he explained softly. Winry looked to the ground and thought for a moment before looking back at him.
"Alright," she agreed with a smile. "I suppose it wouldn't be fair if I didn't at least give you a chance…so give me your best." Ed smiled at her, both happily and gratefully.
"In that case," he began as he looked down and took both of Winry's hand in his own before looking back into her eyes. "Just listen." Winry was already surprised and the boy hadn't even begun to officially ask her out. "Winry," he uttered her name, trying to sound confident but sweet. Winry dare not tear her gaze away from his.
"Will you…do me the honor of…letting me take you out on a date?" he asked, both nervously but with a small smile on his face. "And, I promise…if it's not the best time you've ever had…then I'll never ever ask you for a date again and I'll pay full-price for your Automail tune-ups…" he couldn't believe he had just said that; if Winry did accept it, the date would have to be perfect…for both of them.
"Ed," the look in Winry's eyes as she said his name was that of complete happiness. She was astounded at the sweetness in his voice as he was talking; not to mention, they way he had asked was just so perfect. He even promised that, if the date wasn't just right, he'd sacrifice a few things because of it. "I'd…I'd love to," she replied finally. Ed's eyes widened and his smile broadened.
"Really? When?" he asked, nearly unbelieving. Winry smiled at him seductively.
"How about right now?" she asked, sweet, playful lust in her voice. Ed raised a brow, curious as to what she meant. Winry, as if reading his mind, leaned her back against the wall and wrapped her arms around Ed's neck, carefully bringing him closer. The Elric's eyes fell half-lidded and he smiled lustfully as well. They brought their faces closer and soon, their lips connected.
Immediately, they let themselves into one another and began exploring each other. Ed readily closed off the space between them and intensified the kiss further. He slowly wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her as close as he could and not willing to let go. Winry followed action and lovingly wrapped her arms around the young man's neck, entangling her fingers with his still-loose, golden hair. It was soft and smooth to the touch, surprisingly enough.
They pulled away, finally, when they realized they wanted oxygen in their lungs. Reluctantly, their lips disconnected and they were panting silently. Ed smiled at Winry, as did the blonde mechanic.
"Ed," Winry whispered, cupping Ed's cheek with her hand and smiling fondly at him. "I…I love you." Her soft voice caused Ed's smile to fade and his golden orbs to widen.
"Winry…you…sure about that?" he asked, wondering if he had even heard her correctly. The Rockbell smiled at him and hold his cheeks with both hands.
"Yes, of course I mean it!" she told him. "I wouldn't play with you like that, Ed, I swear; I really care for you." The Alchemist smiled at her words and cupped her cheek as well.
"I…" he trailed off nervously, nervous about what he was about to say. But he had been waiting for this moment his whole life; the moment he'd confess his feelings for Winry and start a completely new life with her. He knew he wasn't worth the Rockbell's love but he tried to ignore that and put it behind him. He wanted to believe that, by being with the mechanic, he could make her happy. That was all that mattered, by his standards; her happiness.
"I love you, too," he mumbled finally. Winry smiled and quickly pulled him into a tight embrace, letting him know just how grateful and happy she was. Ed was just surprised he was able to say that; to finally tell her. He kept his arms around her and hugged her back tightly.
"I love you."
A/N: O….M….G.-. This is so long DX I apologize for that -nervous grin- anyway, this story is finally complete! So, please R&R, constructive criticism, no flames ;) thanks! I hope you all enjoyed the read!