Title: Simple Complexities
'If no one has the patience for you, Winry, then they're missing out on so much.'
Never was Edward Elric known to pass compliments to anyone, never mind a woman. His attention was usually diverted to more important matters at hand, like Alchemy, retrieving his brother's body back, and maybe even restoring his missing limbs. Women were not an issue. At least, they didn't have such a huge part in his life to become an issue.
What made Winry flattered wasn't the compliment itself. She had known Edward since she was a young girl. The male was close to her, someone very dear, and a man she would be afraid of losing. Over the many years of knowing him she was aware he felt a little awkward around the opposite sex when words unrelated to work were spoken.
She was flattered because Edward was not drunk, nor was he teasing her. Edward was being completely honest and she knew how much effort that would have taken him. Surprisingly, the Fullmetal Alchemist was timid and bashful.
Yet her feelings for him didn't help. For a long time, Winry had been questioning if what she felt for the braided boy was normal, or actually something else entirely. When the revelation hit that she possibly loved him, Winry was in a stupor. When you realise you love someone, what do you do then?
Of course Edward didn't need to be aware of this. In fact, she gathered he would appreciate not knowing in the first place.
Central City was relatively empty that evening, and the two found a bar suitable for them. Not many occupied it, and maybe there were the odd people who were no longer sober, but they weren't any hassle. As long as they could hear each other, that was all that mattered. Heck it had been almost over a year since the two last conversed!
Each time she met him, Winry was always surprised by how fast the male was growing. Edward was taller than her now! Obviously the winter automail was perfect for him. The guilt of hindering his growth had begun to fade away, and she knew Edward wouldn't ever hold it against her.
Edward twitched a smile, and his voice was merely a whisper. 'Yes.'
Golden eyes fixed onto hers. The boy inhaled, but actually felt calm. Despite everything, his nerves were at rest and Winry's company, no matter how close it was, always managed to soothe him. The smile grew wider, but it was soft and gentle.
Obviously his honesty touched her, and he was happy for that. The two remained in silence for a while, studying each other's gaze. For once it didn't occur to Edward they should look away. Friends didn't admire the other this much, did they?
Well. Winry was a very admirable person anyway.
That didn't solve the problem here though. This had nothing to do with admiring someone. Edward's cheeks were beginning to flush and the smile quivered a little, because he knew if he leaned closer and placed his hand at her cheek, something beautiful would happen.
That was all he would need to do.
Lean forwards, carefully cup her cheek and press his lips against hers. Just one would be fine. The affection would cause so much pleasure to bounce between them Edward would be confused about what to do. Of course Winry was always the one in charge; always, she had been the one with the fixed mind and sensibilities.
Taking his hand, she would escort him to the bar, and there Edward would pay, the blonde girl kissing his cheek while he handed over the money, and then the two would be on their way, past the crowd of chatting friends and glasses of alcohol, through the doors and into the cool air.
By now his heart would be racing. They'd kiss again, this time longer, just outside the building, discovering each other in ways they never believed to be possible, their bodies pressed against the other, she tenderly caressing the scars across his face, and then they'd pull away, but only for a second, their minds suddenly active.
When they reached the room at the hotel Winry was staying at, both would be puzzled, frantic, flustered, clumsy, happy, whizzing through the puzzle of trying to remove each other's clothes, to kiss naked skin, press her warm body to his, kiss her jawline, neck then chest, her moans causing a shiver to shoot up his spine.
Then he'd fall to the bed with her, ears burning and a stupid grin attached to his face while he allowed this gorgeous girl to be rid of his trousers, their lips meeting again in a furious passion, gentleness no longer an option while they eagerly rolled together, and by now she would be whispering softly in his ear, finally admitting how she feels, that she wants him, needs him, she'd die for him and he loves her. Loves every thing about her. He wonders how anyone could be so perfect.
Bodies revealed, they'd stop, but only for a second, finding each other's gaze and enjoying this moment. Just between them. No one else. Only them. How it should be.
However Edward did not lean forwards to place a hand at her cheek. In fact, he didn't dare. Instead the boy narrowed his brows and allowed his hand to fall to his knee. Winry studied his perplexed expression.
'What is it?'
No. It would never happen, as much as Edward dreamed.
'I'm just thinking...' Yet his mind had become dead when he realised how much power he had. The male was perfectly capable of allowing that dream to be real, but of course he could never allow it. He couldn't possibly put them through anymore pain.
It frightened him. It frightened him how close they were able to be if he were to hold her cheek. Their lives were so damn fragile, and just by one simple action he could tear her into pieces. Edward didn't know whether he would live or die. Neither of them knew.
They didn't need to know.
Grabbing his coat, and still frowning, still confused, Edward found his feet. Winry looked up at him, a little hurt by his funny response.
'It's late and Al will kick my ass if I don't sleep in time.'
Granted, the time was past midnight but Edward didn't feel tired, Winry knew this. However she wouldn't argue with him. Obviously something had disturbed him. She would rather he spoke to her about it, but the lady knew her place. She knew there were times she would have to be distant with him. As much as it hurt.
So Winry stood and pulled her own coat on.
'You're right. Let's go back.'
Even if he had saved them from falling into the very tormenting depths of Hell, the sheer responsibility of maintaining such a passionate relationship while the two were separated for so long, Edward didn't feel at all heroic when he returned to his room that night.