Eye of the Beholder

S J Smith

Disclaimer: If I owned any of this, I so wouldn't be living in a scary little house in Indiana.

Summary: Edward didn't understand art.

Rating: Anyone can read.

A.N.: Future!Fic, Post!Manga. Happy endings all around.

Edward didn't understand art. He especially didn't understand art that looked like this. What the hell was it? An outline of a...man? Playing a guitar? He didn't get it. Why should the man just be an outline? Why should there be a lot of weird stuff behind the man? Through the man? Was that thing poking out of his stomach? Could that be a window? Was the curtain in the window on fire?

"You're thinking awfully hard about this," Winry said out of the corner of her mouth, her hands clasped behind her back.

"It's weird, Winry." Edward waved a hand at it. "It makes no sense."

"I don't think it's supposed to make sense." Winry tilted her head, her bangs falling into her eyes. She brushed them away distractedly. "It's...abstract."

Edward folded his arms, replying in the exact tone as Winry - only a lot more sarcastic. "It's...something." He ignored her exasperated glance. "Look, I know I said I'd take you wherever you wanted to go but...can't we go somewhere else?" At the sight of Winry's down-turned mouth, Edward put on his best puppy eyes. "You can't say you like this." She turned her gaze aside. "C'mon, Winry." The tips of his fingers skimmed over her shoulder and, when he wasn't brushed off immediately, Edward slid his hand up to smooth a strand of hair away from her neck. Lowering his voice still more, he murmured, "I'll take you to that restaurant, the one with the singing? And this time, we'll both dance."

Winry turned her face to his, the movement making his fingers graze her skin. Her eyes warmed. "Really?"

"Really." Edward cupped her cheek, a light caress. Winry was so pretty. His fingers moved down to tweak her chin, smiling at her unconsciously. "C'mon. Let's go, okay?"

Her grin brightening, Winry took the arm he offered. "Dancing? Really?"

He had the feeling she was laughing at him. "What?"

Winry chuckled, giving him a sidelong look. "I bet Al that you wouldn't last more than twenty minutes."

"Wait, you bet?" Edward jerked her to a stop, glaring at her. "On me?"

The bad thing was, Winry wasn't at all apologetic; she was giggling. "Yeah. He owes me big time."

"Damn it!" Edward wanted to snarl at her but Winry wasn't afraid of his growls - she'd just laugh louder. Taking her shoulders, he shook his head, spinning her around and giving her a gentle push toward the door. They actually made it to the door before he had to ask, "I don't suppose you'll tell me what you bet." Winry snickered, squeezing his arm. "I guess that's a 'no'." And Al would never tell; he'd say 'ask Winry.'

Glancing at her sideways, Edward crimped his mouth. Her eyes sparkled and her color was high. It was a good thing Winry was cute enough to get away with this sort of thing, he thought. Okay, so he didn't understand art and girls were beyond mysterious. But maybe, this time, he'd gotten it right. Still. "You bet on me."

Winry's laughter rang out, clear and bright as birdsong, as they walked out of the museum together.

A.N.: I happened to be looking at some of Dali's art online when I came up with the idea for this story. The thought that Ed would be caught in an art museum tickled me - and of course, Winry and Al had to bet on it, too. (You may notice there's a lot of betting on relationships, particularly Ed and Winry's, in my stories.) The art Ed's looking at is a combination of Dali and Magritte, two of my favorite artists.

Hope you enjoyed.

OH! For those of you following my stuff, I am in the running for awards at The Universal Fanfic Open run by Dot Moon. If you voted for me for my stories, I'd be thrilled. Or voted at all, because there are some terrific stories there. Go on, you know you're curious. Check 'em out.