Ed doesn’t like what he gets for his birthday, but Winry gives him a much better gift the following year. Part of the "Value of Family" series.
Warnings: Extreme fluff alert. Unmitigated, unadulterated fluff.
This was my entry to the Ed/Winry Fire & Ice Challenge 2009 on LJ with the prompt of Warm & Wooly Sweater. Much to my surprise, it was chosen as runner-up. My humblest thanks everyone! This is also part 1 of The Value of Family series.
It’s The Thought That Counts
The itch was absolutely infuriating. It teased, it tormented, it left his skin feeling as if millions of tiny, irritating needles were digging into him, making him wish he could simply slip out of it like a coat just so he could find some relief. Oh, it was warm, toasty warm, but it would do him no good if he couldn’t wear it for more than two seconds.
Ed dug his fingers into the thick, scratchy, and very coarse material covering his right arm then ground them across the textile until he nearly wept for joy as it temporarily relieved the agony. For so long he had wished to have his arm back and enjoy the simple sensation of the sun and wind on it, the whisper of fabric over it, and to be able to experience the simple feel the warmth of another person’s hand as he held it, but now he almost wished for the impassivity of the automail so his hypersensitive epidermis wouldn’t have to deal with the hellish substance know as wool.
Growing up in the hills around Resembool, Ed was very familiar with many of the attributes of sheep; they were quite tasty if properly prepared but that was the only positive thing he could think of at the moment. Otherwise, they smelled bad, could be dangerously aggressive when the lambs were born and were lawnmowers on four legs that left the fields dotted with odd-looking droppings.
Now, after pulling on the sweater, he could add, “bore fleece from hell” to the list.
“Happy Birthday, Ed! Do you like it,” his wife asked, beaming at him from across the table, and for a long moment a rash response hovered on his lips. No, it wouldn’t do him any good to tell her what he really thought about this misshapen, ill-fitting monstrosity she called a sweater. His first instinct upon unwrapping and seeing just what she had given him was to put it aside, bury it in the bottom of a dresser drawer and forget it ever existed, but Winry insisted he put it on immediately after opening the gift. Next time it was cold in the morning, Ed would make sure he didn’t complain about it.
He twitched and dug his fingers into a particularly evil prickling in his side as the demon sweater sought another part of his unguarded body to attack. Biting his tongue, Ed made a supreme effort to wrestle back the curse that threatened to explode from him.
Winry frowned at him as he began to vigorously scrub at his body with both hands in a helpless effort to find relief. “Stop it Edward, or you’ll ruin the sweater!” she barked, standing and jamming her fist into her hips.
“What, from the blood I’ll get all over it from where I’ve scraped my skin off with my fingernails?!” he blurted out and froze when her countenance turned dark and threatening.
For months he had watched her work on it, knew of her struggle to create his birthday gift with her own hands from wool she had bought from Nellie and her mother, even visiting their house nearly everyday for several weeks in the summer just so Nellie’s mother could teach her how to knit. She had even gone as far as to insist the deep red sweater was for Al, not for him, making an effort to surprise him even though she had created it in plain sight.
And while he appreciated the thought, he wished she had chosen another way to show her affection, one that Ed preferred, one that left them both sweaty, exhausted and in a satiated heap. Now he had let his mouth override his common sense (as it were) and he didn’t like the look of the storm clouds brewing in his wife’s azure eyes.
“Edward Elric!” she barked.
Uh-oh…she used my full name.
After a moment of impotent silence Winry let out a frustrated sigh, instead of her usual tirade. “Fine!” she finally spat, “See if I ever make you anything again!” She threw her hands out at her sides, letting them fall with a slap! onto her thighs. “I can’t make you automail because you don’t need it anymore, so I thought I’d make something else, something personal!”
“Hell, Winry! I know it gets cold around here in the winter, but don’t you think a sweater is a bit extreme for the climate? It doesn’t even snow here!”
She began to clear the breakfast table, setting the dishes in the sink so brusquely that at first Ed thought she had broken them. “I wanted to make you something special for your birthday and your birthday is in winter.” She turned to look over her shoulder at him, her expression tight. “And it does snow, just not enough to stay for very long!” She turned back to the sink, roughly twisting at the valves to fill the sink with water. “I thought a sweater would help keep you warm. Especially your arm, since it’s still sensitive to the cold.” She tucked her chin in, hiding her face.
The tears…no, please, not the tears.
“If you don’t like it, I’ll keep it and find something else to give you for your birthday,” she said waspishly, her voice hoarse.
Ed felt like a heel. She had worked so hard on it and had seemed so pleased with the result, or at least until he had gone and opened his big mouth. Certainly there had to be a way he could wear it and not live in a hellish world of skin rashes.
As if on cue, the said sweater bit at a spot on his lower back, causing him to jolt and nearly twist himself inside out in order to reach it.
Fortunately for Ed, Winry had her back turned to him as she started to fill the sink with water, so she didn’t see the new round of scratching. When she turned the faucet off he could hear her sniffle quietly and Ed could easily guess that tears were flowing down her face. The young man looked down at the sweater he was wearing and realized that perhaps he had been too quick to pass judgment on the garment, that it really wasn’t as misshapen as he first thought considering this was Winry’s first attempt to learn a “girly” hobby and it was really quite a nice color. After all, how was she to know he was sensitive to wool when he didn’t know this fact about himself until just a few minutes ago?
Ed stood from his chair and quietly, calmly crossed over to Winry, slipping his arms around her waist from behind and tucked his chin into her shoulder. She froze, but only for a second, then resumed washing the dishes.
“Sorry,” he mumbled into her ear, briefly tightening his embrace, “I stuck my foot in my mouth again, didn’t I?” It was a statement, not a question. Silence was his answer, so Ed tried a different tact.
“Y’know, it has snowed, really snowed in Resembool. Remember when we were kids and we had that one really big snowstorm? It snowed enough to cover the ground and there was no school for three days.” Winry hesitated and nodded in acknowledgement, still not turning to look at him so Ed continued. “Every kid in Resembool was out playing in the snow until we got so cold we couldn’t stop shivering, but we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to go inside to get warm.” Ed’s voice grew tender and distant with the childhood memories that returned to him. “Pitt kept trying to stuff snow down your coat so I got him down on the ground and shoved so much snow down his coat that he almost couldn’t stand up with all the weight.”
“Because you were jealous he was hanging around with me,” came Winry’s soft voice followed by a chuckle. She leaned back into him ever so slightly, surrendering her anger to happier memories, “He later caught a cold and was laid up for a week.”
“Served him right! He was always making eyes at you and I wasn’t about to let him get away with it.”
“So…even back then, you knew you loved me?”
Ed winced. His astute wife had figured it out (most likely a long time ago), but he had no intention of admitting it to her. “I just wanted to protect you,” he replied non-committally. Winry’s laugh informed him that she could easily see through his subterfuge.
“And Al nailed you right in the face in the middle of a snowball fight,” she recalled, “You must’ve chased him for an hour but you never did catch up with him.” She finished the last dish, rinsing it and setting it on the drying rack before letting the dirty water out of the sink.
Ed made a sour face, “The rat. That hurt!” He then grimaced and rolled his eyes, “Oh well. I guess I had it coming in the long run. I did kick over his snowman.”
“You think so,” his wife added with amused sarcasm as she leaned back against him.
“Very funny,” Ed said flatly. He kissed her neck and felt Winry relax in his embrace. “But you know, there was one other time it snowed that much, if not more. It happened twenty years ago today.”
Winry turned in his arms at this, looking up at her husband with surprise, “It snowed the day you were born?”
“Yup. I remember my Mom telling me that when I was born I was her ray of sunshine on a cold, snowy day. Even Granny said that I came into the world during one of the worst snowstorms she’d ever seen. And I was screaming my head off about it.”
“And here I thought I knew everything about you.” Winry draped her arms about his neck and gave him a quick kiss on the lips, “Leave it to you to be different, even on the day you were born.” At first, Ed thought she was avoiding his gaze when she looked down, but knew she was only trying to hide her embarrassment when she looked up again with a sheepish grin on her face.
Huh? “Right about what?” He frowned, wondering if he were being led into a trap. Winry rarely conceded an argument.
She lowered her hand to scratch at a point on her neck that had been in contact with the wool. “About the sweater. It is a little…itchy. I remember it bothering my skin while I was making it.”
For a brief, fiery moment, Ed’s indignant fury flared brightly but it faded away the next instant. He really couldn’t stay mad at her anymore. His point had been made and that was all that mattered.
Besides, he could settle his score with her in a much more enjoyable way.
“Evil woman,” he said under his breath playfully, laughing when she yelped in surprise as he scooped her up into his arms.
“Edward!” she scolded as he carried her to the table to set her on to the polished wood surface, “Just what do you think you’re doing?!”
Ed leered at her and stripped the demon sweater up and over his head to throw it into a chair, leaving his well developed torso bare, “Getting even.”
Winry’s expression was blank at first then her jaw dropped open in protest as she understood the implication. “No! Not on the table! We eat here!”
“So?” His voice was low, lecherous, “Do you really want to wait until we get upstairs? It seems like such a long way away.” He leaned in to kiss her soundly, pushing her back until she arrested her decent toward the tabletop by bracing herself on her elbows. When Ed pulled back, her lopsided smile and raised eyebrow met his gaze.
“Ed, you’re simply unbelievable.”
Their joyful laughter was temporarily silenced as he captured her mouth with his again then Ed abruptly squirmed like there were fire ants crawling on him. He jumped back and spun on his heel.
“Actually, I need you to scratch my back,” he whined miserably, presenting his bare back to his wife, “There’s places I can’t reach and I itch like a—“
“Ed,” Winry intoned her warning.
“Just scratch! Please!” he moaned.
Winry grinned and lightly drew her short fingernails across his shoulder blades. Ed shifted eagerly to guide her touch to a specific spot and leaned into it. “Up a little…harder…” A sigh exploded from him and he purred like a contented tiger. “That’s the stuff!”
“Sorry about the sweater,” she capitulated, moving her fingers in lazy circles over his skin, “I guess I didn’t think it through. I’ll get you a better present next year.”
Ed uttered another sound of approval then glanced over his shoulder to see Winry’s contrite expression, “It’s okay, Win. It’s really not that bad.” He chortled, shrugged. “After all, it the thought that counts, right?”
Ed was standing outside he and Winry’s closed bedroom door; he hadn’t seen his wife for over three hours and became concerned when she hadn’t reappeared from her nap. Winry hadn’t been feeling well for several days, often sick to her stomach much of the morning and sometimes long into the afternoon, so Ed had taken it upon himself to hobble together dinner.
“Yes, Ed?” came her muffled reply from the other side of the door.
“Do you feel up to eating? I can warm some broth for you.” He leaned into the door as he turned the knob and stuck his head into the room. He found Winry sitting in an old rocker in the corner of the room, the one she had once told him that her mother used to rock her in when she was a tiny baby. Even though it was late afternoon, she was still dressed in her nightgown and Ed wondered why she hadn’t bothered to get dressed even though it was nearing time for the evening meal. Winry nearly jumped out of her skin at his appearance and even in the softly lit room he could see her scramble to hide something in her lap, secreting it against her side.
“Yes, I do feel a little better.” She grinned guiltily, “I’ll be down in a minute.” She fidgeted nervously and looked askance, unwilling to meet his prying gaze.
Suurre. She’s up to something. I’d know that look anywhere.
Ed pushed the door wider to enter and Winry’s expression changed to one of panic as she looked back at him and threw an outspread hand in his direction.
“Wait! You don’t want to catch whatever it is I have, do you?” The sentence left her in a hurry, making her look even guiltier.
Ed snorted at the notion, “We live and sleep together, Winry. If I were going to catch it, I would have by now.” He paced slowly and evenly toward her, as if stalking a fawn that might bolt at the slightest sign of danger. Winry fidgeted at his approach, attempting to tuck the unknown item even further behind her. Whatever it was, she was desperate to keep it from his view and her forced smile only deepened his hunch that she was hiding something she didn’t want him to see.
He stopped only two strides away and stood akimbo, practically challenging her with his stance. “Winry, sitting inside all day won’t help you recover any faster. It’s nearly summer; you should be outside, getting some fresh air and sunlight.”
The young woman stuck her chin out at him in defiance, “It’s easier for me to stay in where it’s a bit darker. I don’t feel as sick that way.”
“That’s ridiculous! It should help you feel better! My Mom always opened the shades and windows whenever Al or I got sick in warmer weather,” Ed retorted, thrusting his chin back at her, “It helped us feel better sooner!”
“It won’t help me, Ed! The bright light just makes my headaches worse and triggers more nausea!” She shifted in the rocker, turning away from him slightly in the process and causing the chair to shift slightly.
“That makes no sense!” he barked back, stubbornly crossing his arms across his chest, “Winry, if you feel that badly, I’ll take you into town to see a doctor today!”
“Damn it, Ed! I already saw a doctor! Granny looked me over earlier this week!” she shot back, the volume of her voice escalating higher, sharper as she sat straight and leaned toward him.
“Well?! What the hell did she say was wrong with you?”
Winry blanched and her mouth clamped shut, her lips a thin line as her jaw muscles worked tensely. Her gaze fell to the floor as if afraid to answer and a cold dread filled the young alchemist. “Winry? What’s wrong? Tell me,” he all but whimpered as he knelt before her and gently clasped her thighs. Dozens of horrific scenarios flashed though his mind and terror caused a leaden feeling in his gut. A knot rose in his throat, threatening to choke him, and he swallowed it down.
When she still wouldn’t answer, Ed lifted a hand to her chin and delicately nudged it with his fingers until she had to look him in the eye.
“I know we…we never really discussed this because I knew how you felt about your Dad and you said you never wanted to be like him and I didn’t plan this, it was just an accident and I was so afraid of how you might react if you knew, but it happened and I don’t know how to tell you—” The words came out in a jumbled rush, leaving Ed even more confused than before.
“Winry, what are you taking about?” he pressed, his mood wavering between fear and annoyance.
The young woman seemed to hesitate, weighing her words, but chose to act instead. Turning away from his touch, she reached behind and brought out the object she had worked so hard to hide from him and held it out. Ed looked down at the partially knitted article of clothing still attached to the two knitting needles and frowned; she was knitting him another sweater?
Ohh-no. Not again.
“Winry, you already gave me a sweater for my birthday, you don’t need to make me another one,” he frowned as he gently took her project from her shaking hands and sat back on his legs. He held it up, scrutinizing the proportions with a frown. Not only was it was pastel green, a color he all but loathed, it was also impossibly small.
Maybe it would be best not to mention how much he hated the color in light of his poor behavior on his last birthday.
“Besides, you’re making it too small. I’ll never fit into this.”
“Ed,” she said softly, leaning forward to gently cup his face in her hands and drawing his attention back to her, “It’s not for you.”
He scowled. “If it’s not for me, then who—” He fell silent as Winry took his hand into hers and placed it on her abdomen. Her skin felt warm and soft through the thin fabric under his restored fingers and Ed resisted the urge to caress her. Why was she making him touch her like this?
“It’s for the baby.”
“Ba—ba—ba— baby?!” He dropped back, settling onto his backside with a soft thump. The world spun for a moment and Ed felt as if he couldn’t catch his breath.
Irritability. Morning sickness. Her bust seeming…more voluptuous.
Then, in one blinding instant, it all made sense and he began to hyperventilate.
“Ed?” Her worried voice brought him back into the moment and he looked up into her panic-clouded eyes as he gasped for breath. “Are you okay?”
A thrill shot up his spine and spread throughout his body, filling him with a mixture of exhilaration and jubilance. He was okay. More than okay. He gazed up at her in wonder and amazement, the joy building within until he felt as if he were ready to burst at the seams.
“A baby?! Really?!” Then he cocked a skeptical eyebrow at her as another thought came to mind, “This isn’t a joke, is it?” Ed asked as he rolled forward onto his knees, “You are serious, aren’t you?”
A warm smile lit up Winry’s beautiful face, making her radiant.
“You idiot,” she said affectionately, although her mouth was pulled sideways into a smirk. She leaned forward and softly kissed his lips, “I would never joke about something like this.”
Many emotions raced through Ed’s mind all at once; fear, excitement, doubt, anticipation, as well as ones he couldn’t begin to guess at. Yes, it was scary to think he and Winry would be solely responsible for another life, that bringing a new person into the world would change their lives forever, yet the concept left him in awe, knowing he and Winry had created this life. It was a miracle, one that alchemy couldn’t even begin to duplicate, a miracle that never ceased to amaze the young alchemist.
“Ed?” Winry’s confused query cut through his befuddlement. He dropped the tiny sweater and bounded up, pulling Winry from the chair as he rose to his feet. Ed carefully spun her about, nearly waltzing her about the room in his elation, stopping only to kiss her again.
“Al!” he yelped as he suddenly pulled back, “Gotta tell Al!” Just as suddenly as he had swept Winry to her feet, Ed released her and sprinted for the door.
“Ed!” Winry called firmly before he could exit the room. He screeched to a halt before disappearing around the doorjamb and threw his wife a puzzled look.
“I take it you’re alright with this?”
Ed hurried back to pull her into another abrupt hug and a dramatic kiss, “Hell, yeah!” Then he was gone again, the pounding of his bare feet receding down the stairs. If he had been paying attention during his hasty retreat, Ed would have heard the rapid patter of Winry’s bare feet as she made a dash toward the bathroom.
Dinner was postponed until later that night.
“C’mon, Winry, one more time,” Granny Pinako encouraged as her granddaughter strained with another contraction. Pinako had been staying with Winry and her husband in the old yellow house for the last two weeks in anticipation of her great-grandchild’s birth, not wanting to chance Winry would be alone when she went into labor with her first child. Thanks to her instincts and foresight as a doctor, she was present when a panicked Ed barged into her bedroom to wake her at five a.m. on a cold winter morning. After a few frantic moments, Pinako got Ed calmed enough to bring his wife downstairs to one of the beds in the automail surgery recovery room for the imminent delivery.
Now Ed was standing near Winry’s head, occasionally refreshing a damp cloth in cool water and replacing it on her perspiring forehead; he was trying to look anywhere else except at where his surrogate grandmother was currently stationed. It was certain there were blood and gore and all types of things he never wanted to see where Pinako was standing and he wanted to avoid it at all costs.
Winry’s grasp on his hand tightened painfully as she struggled with another painful contraction and Ed grimaced with his own pain; damn, she was strong! He could almost feel the joints and bones of his right hand shift into an unnatural arrangement as her vice-like grip constricted unyieldingly. Winry’s accompanying shriek of pain shot straight up his spine and Ed fought back a flash of panic; all the fears and the feeling of overwhelming helplessness from five years ago returned to him, from when Winry was delivering Satera LaCourt’s baby in the small automail shop deep in mountains outside of Rush Valley. For an instant, he recalled sitting outside the bedroom door with Al, listening to the woman’s screams of pain, shivering with anxiety, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. Now he was in the midst of the same type of drama, seeing first hand what it took for a woman to perform the miracle of birth, and he felt just as helpless now as he had as a teenager. He was fearful for both Winry and the baby, even though Pinako’s skills were second to none as a midwife. It distressed him to see Winry in so much pain, struggling so hard to bring this tiny, new life into the world.
“Edward Elric, this is all YOUR fault!!” Winry roared at him once she caught her breath. Wrested away from his nightmarish daydreams, Ed blinked down at his wife in mute surprise. While he expected her to scream, cry and otherwise express her discomfort, Ed never expected her to accuse him of being the sole cause of her suffering.
“You heard me!” She writhed in pain again, gnashing her teeth as she bore down when her abdominal muscles cramped again. As soon as it was over, Winry was glaring up at her husband with pain-bright eyes. “/You’re/ the reason I’m like this, so this is your fault!”
The fact that Winry was in labor escaped him and Ed scowled back with indignation. “How the hell is this only my fault!”
“Because it /is/, you lecher!”
“I don’t seem to remember you complaining at the time! As a matter of fact, I seem to recall you were enjoying yourself quite a bit!”
Neither heard the tired sigh Pinako huffed as she straightened her back long enough to work out the kinks. “Okay, you two! Enough for now! I don’t want to hear where this conversation is going! Winry, save your strength and concentrate on pushing during your next contraction!” The elderly woman pinned the couple with a glare of her own, but it seemed to have very little effect as they continued to stare each other down. Incredulous, Pinako shook her head and turned her attention back to the task at hand.
The pair glared at each other in silence, neither yielding nor admitting defeat. When Winry’s next contraction started, she turned her anger toward Ed into the impetus needed to bear down forcefully, drawing no more than a stifled groan from her and a new round of encouragement from her grandmother. When it passed, she panted from the effort but still would not break the fierce eye lock with her husband.
“One more push, Winry. You’re almost done,” Pinako said calmly from somewhere near her bent knees and Winry helplessly complied as her abdomen convulsed one last time. Her scream of agony shattered the tense air of the clinic’s room and she nearly curled her body into a sitting position, where she held herself for a long second. Then the fatigued young woman fell back onto the bed and lay gasping for air.
Ed’s anger changed into worry when Winry’s grip went slack and she collapsed onto the sweat-soaked sheets. He leaned over her, hovering anxiously as he moved aside the cloth and stroked the damp hair away from her forehead.
A thin, wavering cry filled the room, not Winry’s, but a new voice, which boisterously announced its arrival to the world. Startled, Ed nearly lurched behind the bed and looked toward the shrill sound to see Pinako wrapping something small, messy, and wriggling in a blanket. The baby let out another lusty cry, one filled with indignation and anger, clearly letting everyone within earshot know it was less than happy. Ed froze in place, suddenly afraid to meet his child.
His old fears returned, about doubting his ability to be a good father and of the outside chance his wanderlust would return and compel him to leave his family. What if his child came to hate him as he once hated his father, what if he was an incompetent parent, incapable of interacting with his child in a meaningful way?
“Ed? Granny?” Winry’s tired voice pulled Ed out of his trance and he snapped his head toward her. “What is it?” she asked when she had her husband’s attention again. Gone were all traces of her anger; there was nothing but exhaustion and accomplishment on her features. “Is it a boy or a girl?”
“Congratulations,” Pinako announced. Her voice was now close and Ed jerked his head back in the older woman’s direction. He found her standing at his elbow, offering him a small bundle. “Here you go, Edward. Meet your new son.”
Cautiously, he reached for the child and took him into the crook of his left arm then pulled back the blanket so he could see his son’s face for the first time. Inside the blanket a tiny face peeked out, round, blotchy and crowned with a fair amount of damp white-blond hair. One tiny fist shook near the open, toothless mouth as the baby let out another wail of fury and all Ed could do in response was grin like a buffoon as his fears evaporated.
“A boy,” Winry sighed, sounding very pleased, but Ed barely noticed. His entire being was transfixed by the tiny person he was now cradling in his arms, marveling over this astounding miracle he now held. The infant continued to cry at the top of his lungs, his little face ruddy with his effort.
“Good set of lungs on this one,” Pinako chuckled, wiping her hands on a towel, “Just like his father when he was born.”
“What should we name him, Ed?” Winry queried, leaving the decision up to her husband.
“I…I dunno,” Ed mumbled. He tore his eyes away from his new son to look down at his wife and shrug. “Why don’t we name him after your father?”
Winry smiled, her eyes shinning with tears of joy, “Yeah. I like that idea.”
“Well, well, will you look at that,” Pinako cackled with amusement.
When the couple looked in her direction, she was pointing out the window, a huge grin on her face. Ed and Winry looked outside to see just what had the elderly woman so pleased and gasped in unison when they saw that the world had turned white. Every feature of the landscape, from the back yard to the distant hills, was now covered with a thick, flawless blanket of snow and the grey, cloud-covered sky adding even more at a furious rate.
“Looks like it snows whenever an Elric is born, doesn’t it?” Pinako asked wryly and laughed again.
Ed laughed, too, with joy, with amazement, and simply because it felt good. After all he, Al, and Winry had been through in their short lives, despite his sins, his mistakes, his flaws, he was allowed to be happy after all.
“Where’s his receiving clothes, Winry,” Pinako asked as she walked over to a long table set against the wall and dropped some of her instruments in a pan of disinfectant solution, “He should be cleaned up and given his first feeding as soon as possible.”
“Top drawer in the dresser in the nursery,” Winry sighed, her exhaustion showing. “Ed knows where they’re at.” She turned to him next, “Bring down a diaper, and a sleeper. One of the warmer ones.”
Acting on his cue, Ed nodded and started to hand the infant to his wife who eagerly held out her arms to take him, but hesitated just out of her reach. “Just the sleeper, right?” he asked with no small degree of trepidation.
“Yes, Ed. What are you getting at?” Winry asked, her annoyance returning, both at his question and at the fact Ed wasn’t handing their son to her.
“Just making sure,” he shot back with a smirk then slightly turned away from her and brought his son closer to his face, “Whatever you do, don’t let her talk you into wearing that sweater she made for you,” he whispered conspiratorially, “She meant well, but, well, y’know. After all, it’s the thought that counts.” Ed winked at his son.
The baby quieted and looked up at his father with inquisitive gold eyes and Ed almost swore he winked back. His eyes flew wide with astonishment then a rakish grin stretched his mouth. Nah, it had to be a coincidence.
A thought came to Ed and he laughed, a short, relaxed chuckle; Winry had told him she would give him a better present this year and she had ‘delivered’ as promised. This was the best birthday gift he could have ever asked for and he couldn’t think of one good reason why he would ever want to return it.
This gift was way better than any sweater.