I got the idea when I read on a milk carton, and I thought of little Ed.
Disclaimer: I don't own FMA. Obviously.
Twelve Hugs a Day
Edward wasn't the hugging type. Winry knew this. But she had come up with the perfect strategy to get a hug or two.
"Ed, did you know that people get taller if they get hugged every day?"
He immediately whipped around. "What? Seriously?"
Winry nodded. "Yeah. I got it from a very reliable source."
Edward's face brightened immensely. "Oh, wow! I can finally get taller than Russell. He shouldn't be so much taller when he's younger than me. But who should I hug, then?" he asked thoughtfully. "Al's no good; he's so…much metal."
"You can always hug me," Winry volunteered cheerfully. "It's better with me than an adult or another boy, right?"
"Yeah, you've got a point there," Edward agreed. "Besides, I've known you all my life so it's no big deal if it's you I have to hug, especially if I get taller!" he finished with a big grin.
Thinking she maybe should feel a little offended by that comment, Winry pursed her lips together. Still, she was so pleased with her foolproof plan that she didn't feel down for long. "Well, what are you waiting for? You're not gonna get any taller by just standing there looking at me. Or do you feel like being the size of a bean for the rest of your life?" She grinned teasingly.
Edward gave her a black look and threw himself at her, although it was more of a tackle-hug than the usual assault he did whenever he was insulted. It was a little awkward, but his arms—one metal, one flesh and blood—fitted nicely around her body nonetheless, and she hugged him back without any hesitation. This was her goal, after all.
"So, did I get any taller yet?" Edward asked eagerly as soon as he'd pulled away.
"Nope," Winry grinned. "You'll probably have to repeat it every day for a pretty long time since you're so short to begin with."
He gnashed his teeth in anger at her, but it seemed like he couldn't throw a full tantrum because he actually had the chance to get taller. Or at least that was what he thought. "Then we better keep on doing this every day so that I won't anymore," he gritted out.
She patted him on the head, knowing he'd take it as a patronizing gesture, which he did; snapping after her hand with pointy teeth. "That's a great idea, Ed," Winry said brightly. "You'll get taller in no time."
At this optimistic comment, a grin slowly spread over Edward's face. "I can't wait," he said, his voice brimming with joyous delight.
"Me neither," she responded with a small grin. She turned on her heels to go back to working on a piece of automail, but then she stopped again, looking over her shoulder. "Did I mention that you need twelve hugs a day to get taller?"
At first, Edward looked shocked at the number of hugs required, but his wish to grow was greater than his surprise, so he promptly rushed over to her and tightly wrapped his arms around her again. "That means about one hug every hour," he mumbled to himself.
Winry smiled quietly and closed her eyes for a moment. This was the place she wanted to be.
Edward hadn't moved yet. "That reliable source of yours," he began wonderingly. "What is it?"
She pulled back, grinning secretively at him. "Can't tell you, sorry," she chirped. "I have to go back to work now."
He didn't need to know that the reliable source was a short paragraph in the Fun Facts section in a magazine that was called Twelve Hugs a Day to Grow as a Human, and that it had nothing to do whatsoever with someone's height. It was just a cute little prank she pulled on him to get a hug every day.
Some weeks later, Edward came running to her, an excited grin stretching across his face. "Winry! Winry, guess what? I've grown two inches taller!"
"Wow, that's impressive," she answered enthusiastically, although she knew it had nothing to do with the hugs, briefly looking up from a new piece of work; wrenches and screwdrivers in hand. "My reliable source has really been of use, hasn't it?"
"Yeah, it definitely has. Do you—do you think we can keep on doing that? The hugs I mean?" he asked somewhat awkwardly.
"Sure," she smiled after a surprised second's silence.
Edward gave her a bright grin. "Great! Thanks, Winry." He leaned over the table and stole a quick hug before he bolted out of the room.
"You're welcome," she said softly, a serene smile playing on her lips.
Out of the corner of her eye, she threw a look at the weekly magazine lying on the opposite side of the room, thanking it in her mind.
I owe you.
I think it's kinda cute.