Title - Family Roots
Author - D M Evans
Summary- It was a long road to get here.
Author's Note - Happy 503 day!
Edward wanted to believe that he hadn't been slow to pick up on certain things. It wasn't as if he had ever thought of Winry as anything but family. She had always been his touchstone, no matter how far he had roamed. His problem wasn't that Winry was distant from his thoughts; it was just that he was bad at keeping in touch. Dropping coins into a pay phone, putting pen to paper just to let her know he was okay usually didn't occur to him until the dead of night when his mind was empty and it was too late to do anything about it.
It had taken Ling's interest in her to crystalize what he really felt for Winry and it was anything but brotherly. Frustration had dug into him then with sharp little teeth. What could he have done about those feelings at that point? Alphonse's time - hell the whole of Amestris and beyond - was running short. Ed shoved his feelings down deep and walked them all over the country as he strove toward his goal. The only physical reminder of Winry – besides his automail - was her earrings tucked into a pocket.
Then suddenly, almost unbelievably, it was over. Father was dead. Edward had his arm back and more importantly, Alphonse was whole but far from hale. It had taken months to get Alphonse on his feet and back to his old self. Well, not really his old self. Al had been a child back when it started and came back a teenaged boy with all the needs and wants that came with it. Ed had felt jealous, foolishly so, of the attention Winry lavished on him; Al's thoughts were somewhere distant from Resembool and Rush Valley as they followed Winry for a change.
It was somewhere in that time that his brain short circuited. Ed wanted to stay with Winry and never leave one minute and the next, he couldn't wait to get back out on the road. His feet had been following obscure paths most of his life and they weren't ready to settle. Luckily he figured it out before Winry laid him out next to his parents in Resembool's cemetery. That was just like them though, full of fire, the passion coming out in different and usually loud ways.
He finally figured out he didn't want to be 'like family' with Winry. He wanted her to be one of the most important parts of it. His proposal wasn't like he imagined it. He had planned on being suave, romantic. Instead, he made a fool of himself. Ed learned soon after that there had been two pools in Central and one in Resembool involving when he'd finally propose – Mustang won one and Granny the other – and the second pool in Mustang's quarters was how lame the proposal would be. Winry had won that via Riza. Ed was afraid to know just how much of the actual proposal Winry related to the other woman.
Now watching Winry sleep as he rocked their infant son, Ed couldn't be happier. A new family had set down its roots. From here, they'd walk the road together. Ed wouldn't wait to see what was around the next bend. Whatever it was, they'd experience together.