Author's note at the bottom. Here, at the top, consider everything disclaimed.


Because She Loved Him

Winry lay seething in her bed. It was 4:32 a.m., and she hadn't slept at all. Her heart felt like stone, and she no longer cared whether she saw Ed ever again, and even wished it could be so. Or so she kept telling herself, but she knew that the moment her wish came true, she would fall apart.

Heaving a sigh, she forced herself up, blinking around the room tiredly. Wearing just her long, grease-stained t-shirt, she padded around, putting away her clothes, dusting off the tables and lamps. She briefly considered turning the lamps on but decided she was content with staying in the dark.

There was a knock on her door. She halted and stared at it in surprise. Then she glanced at the clock; it read 4:46. Who in the world would be at her room at this hour?

She threw on a pair of shorts to look a little more decent. Then she went to open the door. Edward stood in front of her, the area under his eyes looking slightly gray, dark gold hair matted and half-fallen from his braid, shoulders curving downwards, hands limp by his thighs. She gave a small gasp and found all her anger and sorrow was melting away rapidly.

"Ed?" she whispered, not for sensitivity toward those in the hotel who were still sleeping, but because it seemed all that was left of her voice. She resisted the urge to reach up and touch his face, to try to soothe away that exhausted expression. What should she do? Should she apologize for earlier? She had acted like such a nutcase, after all....

But after a moment of just standing there looking at her, Edward pulled her into his arms. One hand pushed her head into his shoulder as the other brought her torso against his.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sorry."

Winry stared at his chest from her vantage point on his shoulder, breaths slow and shallow until she felt sure that he really was holding her. At last, she hugged him back and said gently, "It's okay.... I'm sorry, too."

At that, Edward adjusted his arms so that they engulfed more of her body, and he squeezed just a little harder. She wondered—not too deeply or too long, though—how he had gotten so big so fast. After several moments, he leaned his head down to bury it in her shoulder.

"Someday," he said, though it was a bit muffled against her t-shirt.

"What?" Winry asked softly.

Edward raised his head to look her in the eye and laid his flesh hand against her cheek, his automail hand keeping its place against her hair. "Someday, I'll make you happy, okay?"

His eyes were the warmest and most heartbreakingly determined that Winry had ever seen them, even with the tired sadness that lined the irises and skin around them. She found herself nodding. "Okay," she affirmed.

He gathered her in his arms again and held her there. She relaxed against him, and they swayed slightly. Then, finally, he slowly released her and backed away.

"You should get some sleep. It's almost dawn," he said with a small smile that made her knees weak. He started to turn, then hesitated and looked at her with a kind of concern that she found endearing. "I'll see you later?"

"Yeah," Winry blinked to attention. "Of course." She glanced at his arm, dented and scratched in several places, and found a smile twitching on her lips as well. "A-Anyway, we still have to spruce up your arm, remember?"

"Yeah," Ed nodded with a smirk. He sighed. "Well, then.... See you later." With another smile and a wave, he strode down the hall toward the room he shared with Alphonse. Winry watched after him until she couldn't see him anymore.

She found herself unable to keep from smiling. At this point, although their lives had become intimately intertwined, they could not converge just yet; but she now felt that there was something wonderful to look forward to in taking their lives step by step, ever together toward the same goal, toward an ever-beckoning sea of stars not so unlike what she saw out her window just then....

When she finally returned to her bed and had settled herself snugly underneath the blankets, she saw that the sun was rising. For some reason, it made her feel rather giddy even while her body had suddenly remembered how tired it was. She fell asleep just as the sun's rays tapped her eyelashes.


Because there's no magical, shortcut version of overcoming this sort of thing, but there is always hope as long as there is realization and determination. And sometimes, it's more important to understand that than to dream that everything will be perfect right away simply because there is love. There's something beautiful about knowing that love isn't a panacea or an excuse for everything you want to do, but something much, much more grand. So much more grand than that. This is a very strong belief on my part. And I don't want to spoil it by explaining too much more about it, at least not here and now, in an author's note. ;)

Apologies to anyone who might have wanted a magical kiss. :\

Anyway, now that all is said and done, my final comments:

I think this whole thing turned out a lot more geared toward what Winry means to Edward, though I had meant to make it a combination of both. Oh, well. It just means I'll probably use another fan fiction to focus on what Edward means to Winry. Ha! Writing! It is so much fun. XD I also somehow turned it into omniscient third person, which is not what I normally do; I usually do limited third person, focusing on one character's mind at a time. Hmm. Maybe it's okay this time, though, to use a touch of omniscience.

I also tried to subtly hint at themes of sunlight and lines and use the last few chapters to tie together all the points made from each of the previous chapters, but I'm dissatisfied with how it came out. I think it needs to be tighter. I'll keep working on that, too, but suggestions are, of course, welcome.

Anyway, I wax long-winded. That happens sometimes.

Thanks for reading! Hope it was enjoyed to at least some degree. :)