Better Together

A/N: Ok, I'm just not even going to apologize anymore because it doesn't matter at this point. lol But in all seriousness, come hell or high water, I will finish this story. I can't promise that I'll do it an anything resembling a timely manner, but it will happen. If it helps any for now, this chapter is extra long!

Anyway, as you may have noticed, the rating went up. That means there is some sexual content in this chapter; however, I personally don't think it's anything too explicit. But, a fair warning: this "lemon" may not be exactly what you're expecting... Basically, I guess you could say that I'm taking a more realistic approach to first-time sex than what you usually see in fanfics. :P Alright, on to the chapter!

Chapter 7: "We'll look at the stars when we're together"

Al and Mei stayed in Rush Valley for a couple of days before catching a train back to Resembool, and although their visit was short, it had been enjoyable for the four of them and very much appreciated by Winry and Ed. Winry especially was glad to have had them there because she felt it reassured her of some things she had been pondering for quite some time.

Winry's affinity for the town of Rush Valley was no secret - she really did love the place. She felt like she fit in there and that she was not only accepted but truly appreciated and loved. Of course she was greatly loved in her home town, and she knew that, but to be so admired in a big city like Rush Valley was a wonderful feeling. Because of this, Winry would be lying if she said she hadn't often thought of living here one day. Even now that her engagement with Edward was official, just being here with him over the past couple of weeks, she couldn't help but still contemplate on the possibility of them living and raising a family here.

Winry and Ed had been quite comfortable during their stay here, and the short time that Al and Mei were visiting had been fun. The four of them had spent much time exploring the town together, visiting shops and trying out new restaurants. It was nice, but suddenly, Winry was feeling differently about the bustling city life she had come to love. She found herself wishing they could sit outside under a tree somewhere, or even go swimming in a river. But, none of this was possible in a place such as Rush Valley. It dawned on her that maybe raising a family here wasn't what she wanted at all. Her childhood had been laced with difficult times and she felt she had to grow up fast, and she knew none of what she felt could even compare to what Ed and Al went through. But, her most fondest memories were of the times the three of them spent together growing up in Resembool. Those times were the brightest spots of her childhood, and she knew they felt the same.

No, Resembool was where she really belonged; she felt sure of it now. They all belonged there. Rush Valley was a great place, and she would probably never stop visiting, but it wasn't home.

With this in mind, she realized it really was time for Ed and herself to return home as well. There was much to do, and it was getting about time for automail to take a bit of a backseat for a little while. After cleaning up her work station as the shop closed for the night, she decided she better go ahead and speak to Garfiel about it.

"Mr. Garfiel?" she said as she approached the man who was polishing one of his tools. "Have a minute?"

"Of course, dear! You know I always have time for you," he replied warmly, as always.

Winry smiled in return. "Well, unfortunately, I think it might be time for Ed and I to head back home soon. I'm sure we've overstayed our welcome by now anyway," she joked.

"Oh, not at all. In fact, I hate to hear that you're already ready to leave. You know everyone hear loves you and your work."

"I know," she said with a bit of a sad smile. "But we have been here a couple of weeks now, and as you know, it was never meant to be a long stay. But I appreciate everything you've done for me, for us. I love working here, I really do... but Resembool's my home and Rockbell Automail has always come first for me."

"Don't worry, I understand. And thank you for all the help you've been here. I'll be hard pressed to ever replace you, you know!" Garfiel insisted.

"Oh no, surely you've forgotten the kind of city this is!" Winry spoke with a laugh, always a bit embarrassed when it came to accepting compliments, before turning to walk towards the staircase. "Well, I suppose I'll let Ed know so he can get tickets for a train in a couple of days."

"Alright, and you better remember to invite me to the wedding!" Garfiel said casually, but of course it caught Winry totally off-guard.

She turned to face him again, eyes wide. "How did you know we were engaged?"

Garfiel chuckled loudly, a big smile stretched across his face and there was a twinkle in his eye. "I didn't, but I do now."

Winry's shocked expression faded into a smile and then she couldn't help but laugh. "Well, be on the lookout for that invitation then!"

Needless to say, Ed was pleasantly surprised to hear that Winry was ready to return to Resembool soon. He had actually enjoyed their time in Rush Valley much more than he thought he would, but he was looking forward to being back home. He had a lot he needed to do before the wedding, after all.

"About time," he teased her after she told him the plan as they walked down the street that evening, having just finished dinner at a nearby restaurant. "I'm getting tired of being around all this automail all the time."

She rolled her eyes at him. "No one forced you to come, Edward!"

"I'm kidding!" he exclaimed, wearing his trademark grin as he threw his arm around her shoulders as they continued walking together. "Nah, I'll admit, it hasn't been that bad actually. And being here with you hasn't been that bad either."

Suddenly, just as those words came out of his mouth, he was met with a sharp elbow to the ribs and Winry slipped herself out from under his arm.

"Geez, woman! What'd you do that for?" he yelped, clutching his side.

"Because! Why would you even think that being with me would be bad in the first place?" she shouted.

"Can you not take a joke?" he retorted. That didn't seem to be the response Winry was looking for, however, as she simply folded her arms over her chest and continued to frown at him, so he sighed loudly and continued. "You know I've loved being here with just you, so I don't even know why you're doing this."

In an instant, her frown was replaced with a smirk. "'Cause I just wanted to hear you say it." She giggled upon seeing that he was now the one with an annoyed expression, but she quickly grasped his hand, forcing him to walk with her once again. "Come on, let's go sit on one of the benches in the square for a bit."

Ed let out a pretend groan and mumbled an "alright," but he entwined his fingers with hers, squeezing her hand gently and allowed himself to be pulled along down the sidewalk.

When they made it the town square, the sun had finally finished setting and night was beginning to set in as darkness encompassed the sky and the nearby street lights turned on. It was warm for a spring night and as a result, there were still quite a few people out and about - many vendors were still open and some people seemed to have had the same idea as Ed and Winry and were mingling in the square. But, Winry led Ed to a somewhat secluded bench around the small fountain in the center.

"I can't lie - I really do love this city and I'll miss it," Winry said with a sigh as they both sat down.

Ed casually stretched out his arm across the back of the bench behind her, and she leaned into him. "I know, but it's not like you're never coming back. You can visit as much as you want," he assured her, moving his arm down so that it wrapped around her shoulders.

"Yeah, you're right. It's just... you know, I've spent so much time here while you and Al were out trying to get his body back and when I was doing my apprenticeship. I got really comfortable here, and I couldn't help imagining the possibility of permanently working and living here," she explained.

"Well, I mean, if that's what you really want...," Ed started to say, not sure how he should feel about the direction this conversation was going.

"No, that's just it - it's not what I really want. I realized that recently. I might've gotten used to it here, but Resembool's still home and I don't think anything can ever replace that. I don't know why... Maybe it's because I don't ever want to let all the memories from our childhood spent there go."

"I don't think that's why. It's not that you're hanging on to the past," Ed replied, tilting his head to look at her as he spoke. "You just realize how great of a place Resembool is to live and grow up. I've traveled all over and seen plenty of amazing cities, you know, but I always found myself wishing I was back home. Sure, it's not as fast-paced and exciting as it is in other places, and maybe it's just me, but I think that's what's better about it."

Their eyes met and Winry smiled up at him, nodding in agreement. "It is. I can't imagine what it would've been like to grow up here instead, and I want... our kids to be able to have memories like ours."

He smiled in return upon hearing her words, never breaking their eye contact. "Me too," he said quietly. After a few seconds of silence, he turned away and playfully squeezed her arm. "Face it, Winry, we're just not big city people."

"I know, you're right," she said with a laugh. "Hey, Ed, I've been thinking about what you said that night we were out with Al and Mei, and - are you sure? About October, I mean." She spoke hesitantly, knowing that this was possibly a delicate subject.

Ed shifted a bit, not sure how to answer, but he chose his words carefully. "Yeah, I'm sure," he answered softly but in a serious tone. "For so long, that time served as a reminder for Al and I to keep moving forward because we didn't have a home to return to. But, that's over now. Now, I have a home, or will have one. It's not that I want to erase the memories of what happened; it's actually quite the opposite. That day is important to me because it ultimately led me here, but I want it to be important to me in a different way now. I want that day to be a reminder of how far I've come, we've all come. A reminder of all of the challenges we went through but despite them, we made it. Al has his body back and I'm here... with you. And it's all because of that day, because we kept moving forward."

Winry stared at him in silence, taking his words in, and he turned his head to meet her eyes once again. She didn't know how to respond, so she decided to just do what she felt at the moment. She suddenly leaned in and kissed him, pressing her hand gently against his cheek, her fingertips brushing against his bangs that fell in his face. Ed was surprised, not only that she initiated the kiss but that she was also kissing him in public, but he immediately relaxed against her. Typically, showing affection in public made him very uncomfortable, but it was dark out and he found it hard to care when her lips were already on his. Winry put all of her love for him into that kiss, and she hoped he would know it. He moved his free hand up to rest against the side of her neck, his thumb rubbed against her jawline, and he deepened the kiss.

After a few seconds, they broke the kiss but they didn't let go of each other and Ed rested his forehead against hers. "What was that for?" he spoke a bit breathlessly but a shy smile graced his features.

"Because... you just make me so happy," Winry whispered as she stared into those golden eyes and her cheeks flushed from the slight embarrassment of being so direct. "I'm going to be honest, Ed. It sounds silly now, but there were times when I thought I was never going to have you back - you or Al. Times when you just seemed so distant. So, I don't know... I'm just happy."

He smiled warmly at her and gently pushed her bangs aside to plant a single kiss on her forehead before leaning back against the bench. He let his hand fall to rest on her knee while still keeping his other arm around her shoulders, and she placed her hand on his. "I was never going anywhere. How could I've? You had my arm and leg, remember," he half-joked, a teasing look in his eye. "And you still have my leg."

She laughed lightly and playfully smacked his knee. "I better have all of you!" she blurted out but immediately regretted it, realizing the possible meaning behind those words, and a deep blush set in across her cheeks. Unfortunately, one look into Ed's wide eyes told her it was too late to take it back now.

Suddenly, he burst into laughter, and Winry frowned, having serious flashbacks to that day at the train station over a year ago. She should really learn to stop blurting out such embarrassing things, even if they were her true feelings, she figured. Ed sensed her frustration and forced his laughter to die down but still wore a large grin on his face, and then did something a bit unexpected - he gave her a quick, chaste kiss on the lips.

"You do," he assured her.

Winry reclined against the headboard of the bed they had been sharing, idly fiddling with the hem of her nightgown and listening to the sound of running water in the bathroom. She couldn't stop replaying the night's earlier events in her mind; she was overcome with emotion from it all. She felt closer to Ed now than ever before, and she couldn't believe she had ever doubted their relationship for a second. All she wanted now was to be near him. The shower turned off, the sound interrupting her thoughts, and Ed exited the bathroom wearing only a pair of loose-fitting pajama pants and a towel over his now wet hair. Even after all of the times Winry had seen him in nothing but his underwear, she could still be flustered at the sight of him, especially now. He was no longer the short boy she once knew; he was a man.

He sat down next to her on the edge of the bed and began attempting to towel-dry his hair, but Winry silently moved to kneel behind him, taking the towel in her hands. He dropped his arms, letting her do as she pleased, and smiled to himself at the thought of how she's always seemed to love his hair. He wouldn't complain, though-there was something so relaxing about the way she was rubbing the soft towel onto his scalp and then gathering the ends of his hair into it, squeezing out the excess water. He sighed audibly in contentment, eliciting a small laugh from Winry.

"Feel good?" she asked with a lightheartedness in her voice. She knew the answer.

"Yeah," he replied, a bit sheepishly.

She hummed in satisfaction as she finished with his hair, it was as dry as it was going to get for the time being. She dried off any droplets that had managed to slide down his back before tossing the towel onto the floor. With that out of the way, his back was now completely bare to her, and she immediately took notice of the large scar on his shoulder blade, marking the place where his automail used to be. She had seen it before, but it still managed to catch her by surprise. She gently fingered the skin there, lightly tracing her fingers along the outline of the scar.

"It's amazing," she marveled.

"What is?" he questioned, trying to hold back a shiver at the feel of her feather-light touches.

"Just that... I saw firsthand that your arm was literally gone, and yet here it is..."

Ed chuckled softly. "That's what you said the first time you looked at it."

"I know, but still." At that, Winry decided to break her train of thought, not wanting anymore images of the young boy with his bloodied flesh and missing arm to fill her mind. She slowly wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing herself against his back and nuzzled her face into the crook of his neck, inhaling his scent as she did so.

Ed was a bit surprised, but almost immediately relaxed in her hold. "Winry...?" he whispered, bringing his hands up to caress her arms. He was a bit worried that she might have been suddenly upset, and she heard that in his voice. Instead of answering, she planted a tender kiss against his neck. She didn't know what had come over her; all she knew was that she wanted to be as close to him as possible. It was a desire she could no longer resist, and her lips trailed even more light kisses against his skin. This time, Ed couldn't hold back the shudder as it ran up his spine.

He shifted so that he could see her, causing her to loosen her arms around him in the process, and in an instant, their eyes met and he was no longer thinking, only acting. He crashed his lips against hers and cradled her head in his hands. Winry practically melted into the kiss as she tightened her hold around his neck and parted her lips against his, urging him to deepen the kiss. Ed more than willingly complied, opening his mouth against hers, their tongues meeting and moving together rhythmically. Winry could feel her heart racing at the intensity of it, and she couldn't stop herself from moaning softly against him.

Suddenly, Ed broke the kiss and brought his lips to her neck, moving his arms to wrap around her waist, pulling her even closer. He kissed and sucked gently at her skin, and his hands gripped her waist, feeling the curves of her body underneath the gown fabric. He wanted even more of her, and Winry seemed to sense this as she closed her eyes and tilted her head, allowing him better access, and tangling her fingers into his still damp hair.

Ed grasped her hips, pulling her onto his lap in one swift movement, her legs wrapped around his waist and her body was pressed against his. He lifted his head to capture her lips once again in a heated kiss and Winry gladly reciprocated, untangling her hands from his hair to let them fall to his chest, her fingers lightly feeling the supple muscles underneath his skin. She felt like her body was on fire, but the last thing she wanted to do right now was stop. She didn't want to think anymore; she just wanted to lose herself in the swirl of emotions that were welling up inside her and the feel of being in Edward's arms.

Winry pulled away slightly, both of their breathing labored as they struggled to catch their breath, and then blue eyes met gold ones in an intense gaze. They were both searching for any sign as to what the other was thinking, feeling.

"Winry...," Ed breathed. She nervously averted her eyes as her hands suddenly dropped to her thighs, gathering up the bottom of the nightgown in her fists. She hesitated briefly before finding her resolve again, and Ed could have sworn his heart stopped for a moment as he watched her slowly pull the clothing over her head and toss it aside.

Her long hair fell over her now bare shoulders, and although she felt incredibly exposed and embarrassed, she made no move to cover herself. Her heart pounded furiously in her chest and her cheeks flushed a deep shade of pink, but she still lifted her gaze to meet Ed's once again. His eyes were wide and he swallowed hard, briefly taking in the sight before him, before abruptly pulling her back into a tight embrace. His slid his hands up her back, relishing in the feel of her being pressed against him, her skin on his.

"Y-you're so beautiful," he whispered into her ear, mentally cursing his nerves. Winry beamed at his compliment, and he couldn't see her expression at the moment but he could feel her appreciation as she pressed her face against his neck and hair, returning the embrace and giving him a light squeeze.

Everything after that became a blur. Feeling even more spurred on by Winry's actions, Ed effortlessly laid her down on the bed, bringing himself down with her. He wasted no time in allowing his hands to roam her body, enjoying the feel of her curves filling his palms. Their lips met again and again, Ed's only leaving hers to move to her neck, her collarbone, her breasts. Her soft moans filled the air as she arched her back against him.

Soon, she was aware of his touches moving further down her abdomen until they lightly slipped between her thighs, the only thing separating his hand from her being the cotton fabric of her underwear. Still, she couldn't help but gasp at the sensation, her hips wiggling a bit against him. Her little noises and movements served to fuel Ed's confidence, and all he wanted was to hear and feel more of her.

He kissed her deeply, and Winry paid no mind as she felt his fingers hook the band of her underwear and hesitantly tug them down her legs. But when his eyes fell upon her now completely bare figure as he paused to breathe, he felt his nerves bubbling up once again. Before he could be overcome with his doubts, Winry threw her arms around his neck, jerking him back down and her lips hungrily kissed at his jawline. He touched her heated and sensitive skin between her legs, his fingers fumbling at first, but soon, the soft sounds she emitted were guiding him.

Winry was in a daze as she succumbed to the feelings he was evoking from her, any insecurities slipping away from her the better she felt. But after a few minutes, she decided it was simply teasing as her desire grew even more than she thought possible. She didn't think as she abruptly pressed her hands against Ed's chest, stopping his ministrations and pushing him back so that he sat up on his knees, while she lifted herself up to meet him as well. Ed wanted to question her, but when she began eagerly running her hands over his chest and leaving heated kisses across his skin, eliciting a few pleased sighs from him, he didn't care anymore.

He entangled his hands into her hair, closing his eyes and allowing himself to only be aware of the sense of touch. The only remaining article of clothing between them, his pants, was soon gone, discarded by Winry herself. But, inexplicably, she found her previous boldness quickly dissipating. She had been so driven by her feelings but now it was as if her rational mind finally caught up with her. She swallowed hard, fighting her nerves as she brought her fingers down. Ed groaned at her touch, not being able to hold back the movement of his hips as her hand moved gently against him.

And then once again, she was laying back down on the bed with Ed leaning over her. He stared into her half-lidded eyes and flushed face, noticing the heavy rise and fall of her chest and the sound of her breathing. She was breathtaking and there was no part of him that wanted to stop, but he felt like all of his confidence he had been hanging onto was gone in an instant.

"Ed...?" she whispered, pulling him from his uneasy thoughts. She tried reading his expression, wondering if he was as nervous as she was at that moment.

Ed once again desperately tried to push his anxiety away as he kissed her intensely and began slowly pressing his body into hers. She immediately gasped into the kiss, wincing at the pain. Instinctively, her thighs tensed up, gripping his hips.

Ed lifted himself up by his hands to give himself better control, but he instantly noticed her pained expression, bringing his movements to a halt. "Winry! Ah, I'm sorry, I-"

"No, no, it's okay!" she assured him between shallow breaths. "Keep going, I'll be fine." Their eyes met and she saw his worry in them, but he simply nodded and resumed, forcing himself to continue moving slowly for her sake. Ed knew that the first time was supposed to hurt for a girl, but he had no idea how much or what to do about it. He also knew that there was a chance he would make her bleed, but he chose to push that thought furthest away. His mind was conflicted, concerned that maybe he was doing something wrong or that he didn't do enough for her beforehand, but also struggling to maintain any rational thought at the feel of her body squeezing him.

Unlike him, Winry's mind had already come back down to reality, her thoughts intently focusing on attempting to relax her muscles, wondering how she had gone from being so at ease to so wound up (both physically and mentally) in such a short time. Where she was once only aware of him and the way he was making her feel, she was now aware of everything, from the pain to the fact that it seemed unbearably bright in the room, which she identified a still lit lamp as the culprit. As the seconds dragged by, she felt some of the initial discomfort begin to fade, quietly crying out as she truly began to feel him.

He pressed deeper, further molding his body into hers, until he felt himself being met with some resistance, but eager to continue now that Winry seemed to be feeling better, he swiftly pushed past it. A surge of pain hit Winry and she whimpered loudly, but it subsided almost as soon as it came, the pleasurable sensations replacing it once again.

An intense feeling washed over both of them as Ed began to quicken his pace, his movements feeling less restrained. Winry moved against him, only encouraging him even more, when he suddenly became aware of how slick she felt. Glancing down between them as he pulled back slightly, he paused.

"Winry... uh, y-you're bleeding," he spoke apprehensively. He didn't know why he felt startled by this; he knew it was something that might happen, and his scientific mind told him it was just the female anatomy, but he had thought maybe it wouldn't be something that was noticeable.

"What?" she asked incredulously but soon saw for herself. "Ah-! Um, I'm sorry, uh... hold on, I'll be right back," she muttered, flustered and embarrassed as she suddenly shoved Edward back and scrambled off the bed.

"W-wait, Winry...?" Ed said weakly and to no avail as she ignored him, dashing into the bathroom and closing the door behind her. He sighed dejectedly, running a hand through his hair before climbing off the bed and finding a towel to clean himself. He found his discarded pajama pants and tugged them back on, feeling for certain that he had ruined their moment together. Maybe he shouldn't have said anything? He hadn't been trying to embarrass her; he just didn't know much about this sort of thing. The main thing that he knew from listening to stories from older men during his travels was that it was his job to give her a "good time" (as they, often rather crudely, put it), and he felt pretty sure that he had failed miserably at that task. He felt like his masculinity had taken a huge blow, and the last thing he had wanted to do was give Winry more unpleasant experiences.

Wasn't this the part that was supposed to be easy? It sure seemed like it when others talked about it.

Disheartened, he moved toward the window in the room and stared out into the night sky. Idly, he noticed the lack of visible stars in the sky, their glow masked by the lights of the city.

Winry sighed to herself as well as she stood in front of the bathroom mirror having cleaned herself off. She knew something like that was a possibility, since she was a virgin, but it had still managed to unnerve her and she had suddenly felt so self-conscious and embarrassed. It wasn't as if she could help it, she knew that, but still... she shouldn't have run away and left him like that. She had just made things even more awkward.

Still, she wondered what had changed between them so suddenly. At first, it had seemed like they were closer than ever. She had felt so comfortable with him, and she knew he had been feeling the same. It was as if they were completely in sync, and then in an instant, the feeling vanished, leaving her with unshakable nerves. But, why? They loved each other more than anything; wasn't that enough?

She quietly exited the bathroom, and seeing that Ed stood at the window with his back to her, she quickly grabbed her nightgown off the floor and pulled it over her head. He still hadn't turned to look at her, so feeling even more dismayed, she plopped down onto the bed, laying on her side facing away from him.

Ed had been so absorbed in his own musings he hadn't even heard her enter the room, but the squeak of the bed springs behind him snapped him out of his thoughts. He turned to see her curled up on the bed, feeling crestfallen at the sight of her like that. He had to somehow rectify this situation, or at least attempt to. Wordlessly, he turned off the lamp and joined her on the bed, moving close and wrapping his arm around her, burying his face in her hair. He gave her a small squeeze as if to comfort her in some way.

"I'm sorry...," she whispered. "I wasn't any good at it, and I totally ruined the mood."

"What?" he asked in disbelief, propping himself up on his elbow so he could get a better look at her face, even though it was dark in the room and she still didn't turn towards him. "Are you kidding me? You were the only one good at it. And I just made things weird... I'm sorry."

Finally, she turned her head to meet his eyes, her brow furrowed in agitation. "I was the one that freaked out and ran away! Not to mention I got blood on you! God, it's just all really embarrassing!" she exclaimed with a huff as she jerked her head away from him again.

Ed tried his damnedest to stop the grin that was forming on his face, but he couldn't and he burst into a small bout of laughter.

"It's not funny, Ed!"

"That's not what I'm laughing at! You're just... cute, Winry," he said with a light chuckle as he pressed a single kiss to the crown of her head. "I can't believe you'd actually think I'd care about any of that."

She didn't respond but tilted her head to look at him again, as if searching his face for the truth behind his words.

"You know I love you no matter what," he continued with a smile. "I just like being close to you."

"Well, I do too, Ed...," she said with a small smile of her own as she continued to look up at him. "That's why you don't need to apologize either. Up until I let my nerves get the best of me, it was... you were really good." A slight blush formed on her cheeks, but she didn't look away.

His face tinted pink as well at her words. "Really...? 'Cause I had no idea what I was doing."

She giggled. "Well, I didn't either!"

"You had me fooled," he teased, gently tucking a few stray strands of hair behind her ear, and then a sly smirk formed on his face. "You were sexy as hell."

Her face turned bright red and she flipped over to playfully smack his arm. "Ed!"

Upon seeing her shocked expression, he couldn't hold back his laughter. "What? It's a compliment!"

Winry tried to glare at him for laughing at her once again, but in a matter of seconds, she was laughing right along with him. Truth be told, she did take it as a compliment.

Elated that it seemed like the ice that had built up between them was finally broken, Ed wrapped his arms around her waist and rolled over onto his back, pulling her with him so that she lay atop him. Sighing happily as their laughter finally died down, Winry folded her arms across his chest, resting her chin on her hands so that her eyes met his.

"You always cheer me up," she said, smiling.

He smiled back at her and lifted one of his hands to lightly run his fingers through a lock of her hair. "Even when I piss you off?" he asked, a playful lilt to his voice.

She sighed over-dramatically. "Yeah, I guess..."

"I knew it!" he exclaimed jokingly.

Winry just teasingly rolled her eyes at him before laying her head down to rest on his chest, choosing not to humor him anymore. She'd always said that if you give Ed an inch, he'll take a mile every time. And besides, she was tired anyway, closing her eyes as her eyelids became heavy.

To her surprise, Ed had no more teasing remarks and he resumed his tender stroking of her hair. For a few minutes, the only sounds in the room were that of their soft breathing. "You feel okay, though, right?" he asked quietly, remembering that he had caused her a bit of pain earlier.

"Mm-hm, a little sore, but I'm fine," she assured him. "Let's get under the blanket." Her voice was muffled and sleepy, she could barely keep her eyes open any longer.

Ed silently complied and they curled up under the comforter together, laying so that they faced each other. He tightened his hold around her, pulling her to his chest, their legs becoming entangled, and she wrapped her arm around his waist. Ed lightly kissed her forehead as sleep started to overtake him as well, a feeling of deep contentment within him, wondering for the countless time why they ever doubt themselves.

And, for the countless time, he dreamed of the sprawling fields of Resembool and a home, where Winry was waiting.

A/N: I really hope I didn't gross anyone out by that. :/ I'm just all about keeping things realistic, hopefully it wasn't too realistic. haha OK, on another note, I feel the need to kinda explain myself here. One of the reasons this took so long was because I kept going back and forth on whether or not to have mature content in this story. I know I had planned on it basically since the beginning, but when the time finally got here, it's like I got cold feet. I was just really worried that it would seem like it didn't fit with the story, or like I was throwing sex in here for the hell of it, which isn't my intention. Then I just started questioning the entire plot of this fic (or lack thereof really), but I know that I said from the beginning that all I was doing was exploring Ed and Winry's relationship. And I guess I'm at least managing to do that. (whether I'm doing it well or not is another matter entirely, lol)

So, IDK. As you can see with this chapter, I've decided to just follow my original ideas, for better or for worse. haha Again, I really hope the sex doesn't seem out of place, and I'm sorry if it does, but it's too late now, I'm just gonna roll with it.

And like I said before, I'm gonna finish this! (unless everyone just tells me to stop :P) I plan on having about 3-4 more chapters, so surely it won't take too much longer. I will say that I'm gonna be traveling for the next 3 weeks, so any updates before then are really unlikely (as they pretty much would be anyway, knowing me), unless I just get the writing bug on the plane or something. lol OK, shutting up now! As always, thank you so much for reading and to anyone that actually wants to bear with me here, I love you. :D