For dreamer1789, who so kindly wrote a drabble for me (prompt below).

A Shot Across the Bow

Ed should have known better. He should have seen this coming. He hated how people could still manage to set him up like this, and he only caught on when it was too late to avoid. But usually it was Al or Mustang who played him; Winry's boss was a new one.

It had started innocently enough. Al said he wanted to go out, and Ed let him. He himself had no desire to walk the streets of Rush Valley, where everyone would poke and prod at him, seeing him as no more than a potential customer. Besides…Winry was in the shop. And Winry at work was always an interesting person to observe. Ed couldn't stand when she talked about automail (because she would go on and on), but watching her work on people with such enthusiasm was a different matter entirely. That, and he could rib her in between customers. The banter was so familiar; he could almost relax and treat this place like home.

So no, he didn't want to go with Al. But what he hadn't known was that Garfiel was a devious bastard. The man made him uncomfortable. He wasn't sure why, but whenever he spoke to him, he was glad Al was still a suit of armor. Winry loved him, though, and would enthuse about how much he was teaching her and how great the shop was. At least he didn't have to worry about him…well, there was no reason to be jealous. Not that he would be jealous. Ugh, it was confusing, so Ed basically just didn't want to think about it.

Which is why he was caught off guard when the older man looked up from his work and said, "Winry, dear, we're getting low on microgears. Do you think you could run over to Sal's and get some?"

Winry perked up like a child invited to go toy shopping. "Sure, Mr. Garfiel! I'd love to!" And without even a glance at Ed, she hopped off her stool and was out the door.

"Wait…I'll come too," Ed said, standing up.

"Not so fast, boy," Garfiel said, suddenly looming up right next to him. "I thought you were in no hurry to go out today?" For such a big man, he moved fast.

Caught, Ed hesitated, and that proved his undoing. Winry was long gone by now, and here he was stuck in the shop with her boss. Alone. He uncomfortably shifted to his other foot. "Well, er, that is to say, I…I don't mind so much, really…"

"There's something I want to say to you," Garfiel continued, ignoring Ed's incoherent protests. Ed sat down, still nervous, and looked at the door longingly.

"I don't know what it is about young men these days, but it seems no one has taught you how to treat a girl. And if you're going to keep hanging around here, then I want to know what your intentions are regarding Miss Winry."

"I…what? My intentions?" Ed asked stupidly. "I…I don't have any intentions!"

"So you're leading her on, then? Planning to break her heart?"

"No! I mean, what are you talking about? I have no idea…"

Garfiel gave him a very calculating look. "Are you saying you don't like girls?"

Ed twitched. There was no safe answer to that question. "I…I…I…"

Garfiel waited patiently.

"I hate people who are freakishly tall!" he finally blurted out.

"Miss Winry is not freakishly tall. How dare you impugn her like that."

"No! Not her. I don't hate her. Except when she hits me with wrenches or makes me pay so much for…"

"You aren't willing to pay a young lady, one who works so hard to keep your arm and leg in good working order?"

"That's not what I'm saying! I'm saying that she's only cute sometimes!"

"So she is cute then."

"Yeah, maybe. Sometimes. But so what? Lots of girls are cute." He put more emphasis on the word girls than was strictly necessary.

"These other cute girls, do you take them out? Pay for their dinners? Anything like that?"

"No! That would be a date or something."

Garfiel looked at him expectantly.

"I am not going to ask Winry out on a date! Where do you people get these ideas?"

"Then if you have no intention of taking her out and treating her to what she wants, I'm going to have to ask you to stop hanging around here when you come to visit. It isn't fair to such a nice young lady to have a total cad as a friend."

"I'm…I'm not a cad! A cad would…would…cheat on her…or something. I only -" He stopped suddenly, and his cheeks went from pink to red.

"So you do have intentions concerning her? That is what I wanted to know." He clapped Ed on the back. Ed, for his part, was distracted by the fact that he could feel his ears burning from the blush.

"I do love having the latest gossip, but you should know that if you upset her or break her heart, I will send someone after you to hunt you down and make you regret it."

Ed gulped. "I'm doomed." He shook his head. "Winry is always getting upset," he muttered.

"What was that?" asked the young lady in question, bouncing back through the door with as much exuberance as ever.

Ed didn't think he could answer the question, but Garfiel fawned over her, thanking her profusely for running the simple errand, and somehow Winry was distracted. Ed hoped it was over, but Garfiel gave him a meaningful look over Winry's shoulder. It was going to be a long afternoon. Next time, he would go with Al.


Character(s): Garfiel & Ed
Unwanted character: Alphonse
Situation: While Winry's busy with another customer, Garfiel decides he and Ed need to have a little 'chat' about the latter's intentions towards Winry :D
Rating: anything to PG-13 is good, though you can go higher for swearing if needed.
Verse: Manga

I know you requested 'no Al', but really, it's hard for Ed to think without Al coming to mind. So, I tried to keep Al physically out of the picture, and gave him no lines…but…not sure if that's what you had in mind.

The funny thing is that I was just thinking we don't see too much of Garfiel in many fics the morning before I got this prompt from you. So, here's my contribution!