Done for the Fire and Ice 2011 challenge on lj, for the prompt "too hot to sleep" (can you tell I hate coming up for titles for things?). I won second place. :D


Ed came awake slowly, blinking his eyes blearily in the hot, close darkness. Next to him, Winry shifted uncomfortably. "Y'okay, Winry?" he asked, groggily, reaching for her.

"I'm fine," she snapped at him.

Ed pulled himself up. "Really?" he said, rubbing his eyes. "Are you mad at me for something?"

"No," she said, and shifted again. "Just leave me alone, okay?"

That was definitely a sign of something being wrong. "You're not feeling sick or anything are you?" he asked, reaching out to touch her hair.

She sat up awkwardly, holding a hand over the swell of her belly. Then she reached down, picked up a pillow from the pile she'd been sleeping in, and whacked him in the face. "How can you sleep?" she demanded. "It's like a furnace in here! It's not fair."

"You're mad at me because I was sleeping?" Ed said, incredulously. "Don't be weird, Winry! I can't help it if I can sleep through anything."

"You asked," she said, glaring at him stubbornly.

He rolled his eyes. "I'm sorry you can't sleep, Win," he said, running a hand through his own sweat-damp hair. "Do you want to go back to Resembool early, maybe?" he asked, carefully. He didn't like Rush Valley on principle, and he especially didn't like the way Winry worked herself so hard in the shop. Maybe back home, she'd take it easier. "It's not that many more months until the baby comes, and it's cooler there."

She punched him on the shoulder. "It'll only take me a little while longer to finish my journeyman's piece," she said, morosely. "And then I won't have to worry about my apprenticeship... you know, after.Besides, I have my customers..."

"Your customers are going to have to learn to get along without you, you know," Ed said, scowling.

"You just don't like it here," she said, glaring at him. "I wish you'd make an effort, for my sake-"

"I do make an effort!" he protested. "I live here, don't I? And when am I ever rude to Mr. Garfiel?"

"You're rude to Paninya," she said. "And you hate it here. You mope around all the time."

"Paninya?" he said. "Of course I'm rude to her! She picks my pocket every time she sees me!"

"She always gives your wallet back," Winry pointed out. "She's my best friend here, Ed. I just wish you two could get along." She flopped onto her back into the pillows, then grimaced, and flipped to her side, settling her belly over the pillows. "Dammit!" she swore. "I'm so tired of this, Ed!" she complained. "I just feel so terrible all the time, and I can never get comfortable, and I'm hot, and I can't sleep, and..." She trailed off, covering her face with a hand.

Ed reached out and brushed her sweaty hair away from her face. I'm sorry I got you into this, he didn't say, because she'd've hit him again and reminded him acidly that they were both involved in this idiot decision, thank you very much. It's just a little bit longer, he also didn't say, because she'd've glared at him and told him that maybe from his perspective it wasn't long but her point of view might be just a little bit different. He also avoided it'll be worth it, even though it was true, because she'd've asked him whether he was just trying to make her feel guilty for feeling like crap.

He was a little bit surprised when he opened his mouth and "Do you want to get married?" came out.

"What?" she said, glaring at him. "I thought we agreed we'd have the wedding later, after the baby comes," she said. Which was true; she'd argued that she didn't want to look like a white whale in her wedding dress, and besides, she was much too busy with her apprenticeship right now to deal with a wedding. They hadn't really been planning to get married for another few years, anyhow. They hadn't been planning for the baby, either, of course.

Ed reached out. "Can I?" he asked, as he always did.

"Of course, Ed," she said, her expression softening. "You don't always have to ask, you know," she said, as she took his hand and guided it to her belly. He lay down, facing her.

"It seems weird to just go grabbing your belly without permission," he protested. "It's still part of you, not just the baby."

"You grab otherparts of me," she pointed out, grinning.

He blushed. "Still," he said, stubbornly. They lay there for a long moment, Ed's hand on Winry's naked flesh. Underneath it, he could occasionally feel the tiny flutters of movement from their child. Our child, he considered. A brand new human being, brought to life slowly over the course of months, already moving inside Winry's body. It was a miracle that made his chest tighten and his eyes sting.

"Why did you ask about getting married?" Winry asked, softly.

Ed looked up at her. She was flushed from the heat, her hair hanging limply around her face, the curves of her body damp with sweat. "I don't know," he answered. He paused. "I guess- my parents weren't married. I don't know if you ever realized. It was probably obvious, with us having Mom's name and not Hohenheim's, but... well, they weren't."

"I just assumed that you used your mom's name because you were mad at him," Winry said. "I never thought about whether they might have been married or not. Did it matter?"

Ed shrugged, sitting up again. "Not really," he said. "No one ever made a big deal of it, I guess." He frowned.

"Ed," Winry said, sternly. "If you really want to get married, we can get married. But why does it matter to you? I want to understand."

He sighed. "A lot of people don't approve of us living together like this," he said. "And the baby..."

She rolled her eyes. "Who cares?" she said. "A lot of people think a lot of things."

"I just..." He tried to think of the right way to put it. "I don't want anyone thinking that I'm not going to be around," he said. "I want the baby to have my name. I want everyone to know that it's mine- ours- and I'm going to take care of it. And you. And any others we have."

"Ed..." she said. She reached up, pulled his hair gently out of his face.

"I know that I'm not Hohenheim, okay?" he protested. "You don't have to tell me."

"You're not Hohenheim," she told him, looking up into his eyes. "I've never known anyone as loyal as you. You looked after Al for all those years, and I've never doubted that you'd look after me, too. Me and the baby."

"Damn right," Ed said, breathing sharply out.

"If you want to get married, we can get married, Ed," she repeated.

He looked down at her, and there was a tight knot of fear in the pit of his stomach. They were barely twenty, and they were going to be parents soon, and at times it scared him as much as he'd ever been afraid in his life. Ed mustered himself, and did what he'd always done when he was afraid. "Yeah," he said. "I'd like that. It doesn't have to be anything big. As long as you're there." He grinned at her, and ignored the knot of fear like it was never there at all.

"Al will be upset that he missed it," she murmured. "If you want to get married before the baby comes, there's no way he'll be able to get back from Xing in time." She twisted, trying to settle herself in a comfortable spot. "Granny would come, at least. And Brigadier-General Mustang and all your friends from Central."

Ed made a face. "Mustang's not my friend!" he protested. "And Al will understand. He was going to come a few months after the baby's born anyway. He can congratulate us then."

"I wonder if he'll bring Mei?" Winry asked, smiling.

Ed grimaced. "Probably," he said. "He talks about her every time he writes a damn letter."

Winry laughed. She rolled onto her back again, and then flopped over onto her side, frowning. "I need more pillows," she said, grumpily.

"I can strip Mr. Garfiel's couch," Ed offered, magnanimously. "He won't miss a few cushions."

She punched him. "Not funny, Ed," she told him.

"Barring Mr. Garfiel's furniture, I don't know where to get more pillows at this hour," he pointed out, shrugging.

"I didn't actually expect you to get me any," she said, glaring at him.

"But I want to give you everything," he said, and then blushed. It was a ridiculous thing to say.

Winry smiled. "How about you get me a glass of water," she suggested. "And then footrubs."

"You and your footrubs," Ed grumbled as he got out of bed.

"Winry Elric," she said, absently, as though she were trying the name on for size.

"Do you like it?" he asked, pausing at the door.

She smiled at him, her pale hair and skin glowing in the darkness. "It'll do," she said.