Al is lacking in this, which makes me very sad. Spur-of-the-moment midnight-fic, which are always the best to write. Plotless. Pointless. Comments are, as always, appreciated.
Disclaimer: Goes here. Oh, and this is, of course, manga-verse.
It felt like he had spent his whole life waiting for this moment, without ever planning what he would do when it came.
Ed sat on the stiff hotel sofa, hunched over with his face in his hands, palms pressed tight to his eyes. He could hear Winry in the next room, bustling around to make Al comfortable. He said something to her in a sleepy voice that Ed couldn't make out, and she laughed gently.
There had been a part of him, as he fought Pride, that had wondered, for a split-second, if he would never hear her laugh again. But he hadn't let that continue. For one thing, if he didn't survive the battle, Winry would probably hunt down his ghost.
At that thought, he had to smile, just as the tangy scent of soap and metal drifted to him, signaling the arrival of the object of his thoughts.
"Hey," she said, taking a seat beside him. "You okay?"
Ed laughed weakly, lifting his head. "I'm tired, Winry."
"I'll bet," she said sympathetically, pressing down on his shoulder. "You should lie down. Al's sleeping, too."
Without a second thought, he succumbed, swinging his legs up onto the couch and settling his head into her lap. The fabric of her black skirt was soft and warm under his cheek, and she pulled her fingers lightly through his hair. He sighed, giving in and closing his eyes.
"Why are you being so nice to me all of a sudden?"
"You just saved the world. That's got to count for something."
Ed grinned, opening his eyes. "When you put it like that it sounds so much more impressive."
"That's because it is impressive," Winry pointed out. Her hair was spilling over her shoulders, tickling Ed's cheek. She pushed it back. "I think I need a haircut."
"Nah, don't. I like your hair," he said, tugging on a wayward strand to emphasize. She batted his hand away. "And I didn't do much. I just defeated a homunculus or two."
She sighed. "You don't give yourself enough credit."
"I thought you said my head was too big."
Winry laughed. "Well, it's shrunk now. I bet you haven't even noticed you got taller."
At this, Ed lifted his head to stare at her, wide-eyed. "What? Really?" A thrilled grin spread over his lips. "No way!"
"Way. You're finally taller than me." Winry rolled her eyes. "It is so typical of you to get excited over this. Al has his body back, the world is safe, the homunculi are gone, and all you care about is your height." She poked his nose. "You have a black heart."
"I thought I had a heart of gold?" he shot back cheekily. Winry narrowed her eyes at him, and he held up his hands defensively, laughing. "Right, right. Shutting up."
He was silent for a few minutes, eyes closed again as Winry continued her ministrations. He was starting to doze off when Winry broke the silence.
He didn't open his eyes. "Hmm?"
"Are you asleep?"
"Yeah." When she didn't continue, he opened his eyes again. She was scowling at him, and he lifted his head. "What?"
She smacked him lightly on the forehead. "Be serious!"
"Alright, alright!" He lay back again, this time propping his head up on a cushion, and holding her hands in his so she couldn't hit him again. He was sore all over, but he didn't want to admit it. She would coddle him, or maybe laugh at him. "I'm listening." When she stayed silent, he pressed, "Winry."
Winry looked down at their hands, locked together in Ed's grip. She bit her lip, a nervous habit of hers, and cleared her throat. "Well… everything's over…" She seemed to be trying to sort out her words. "Have you thought about what you're going to do next?"
"Stay under Mustang," Ed admitted. He hadn't told anyone yet. "He's going to need everyone he can get on his side if he wants to be Fuhrer. And… well, what else am I going to do?" He caught her eye and said softly, but firmly, "I can't go back to Resembool."
"I never really thought you would," she agreed, resigned. "But that's not what I meant."
Winry looked embarrassed, looking determinedly away from Ed's now-alert golden gaze. "I meant… us."
Ed's eyes widened with shock for only a second. When Winry looked back at him determinedly, he was smiling lazily, running his thumb in slow circles over the back of her hand.
"Us," he repeated, drawing out the word. "I don't know, Win. What about us?"
"You're infuriating," she informed him.
"So I've been told. Usually by you." He propped himself up on his elbows. "You know, everyone has been asking me that. Greed, Hawkeye, Hughes—" He broke off for a moment, then swallowed—"Kimblee… the Homunculi knew. The military knew. Rose knew – and all before I did." He smiled sleepily at her, and Winry's breathing stopped.
Ed lifted his hand to Winry's cheek, barely brushing his fingers along her skin. "I didn't know then. I still don't. I think we belong together." He could feel his cheeks warming and hoped he wasn't blushing.
"We probably do," she agreed. Her cheeks were blooming with red. Well, it was Ed's favorite color.
"And I," he hesitated for a second, "love you." Now he knew he was blushing. But he consoled himself with the fact that Winry was trying to bite back a smile that threatened to split her face in two. "But I don't know where we go from there. I don't know anything." He dropped his hand. "All I know is that I'm tired, Win."
She pressed her cool palm against his eyes, and they fluttered closed. "Then sleep. I'll be here in the morning."
Ed yawned, sinking into her warm, familiar comfort. There was still something to be said. "Win?"
He grinned. "I always thought you might like life in Central."
Winry was silent, and Ed worried that he had overstepped his bounds.
Her hand was still over his eyes. Ed could smell the expensive hotel soap she used on them. She laughed. "Very forward, Edward Elric."
"It's how I get things done. Speaking of which…" He pulled away from her touch, blinking in the dim light. "Don't you have something to say to me?"
"Like what?" she asked, feigning innocence.
Ed grit his teeth. "Take a wild guess."
"You looked great without a shirt?"
"I appreciate the compliment, but no."
She smiled, teeth very white in the glow of the single lamp beside the couch, and leaned over him. Her hair swung over her shoulder to brush his nose. "Where's my income going to come from now that you have your arm and leg back?"
"Like I don't buy you everything, anyway," he griped. "Stop being greedy."
"Is that the way to tell a girl you love her?"
Ed scowled at her to hide his embarrassment. "You're going to be using that against me from now on, aren't you?"
"You have no idea."
"That was low. Machine-geek."
"You can't use that against me anymore!"
Winry laughed. "Once a pipsqueak, always a pipsqueak." She pinched his cheek affectionately. "I love you, Ed. Go to sleep."
Ed grasped her hands in his, closed his eyes, and dozed off with a smile. Winry sat with him until morning.