It was the only song she ever knew..until Ed.
It was the only song she'd ever known.
Winry poured her heart into her work selflessly, pausing only to brush a bang from her eye or gaze aimlessly at the wall. She found herself gazing more often then not, by chance. Was gazing her source for inspiration, revision or analysis? It always had been. Lately it was now about sorting affection, those that she has never had before, nor imagined having.
As a kid, she had always wanted to find her hero. She was a princess, feared by all for her tomboy appearance - then her knight would save her when she was most vulnerable, and suddenly the world would be right.
In reality, it wasn't at all like that.
She had found her prince years ago. Though he didn't dress in armor, on the contrary, his brother did; he wasn't rich, famous, any of the sort.
Winry sat down, letting her hand drop to her side, a small sigh slipping from her tattered lips. She had stopped caring the day he had left. Her hand fluttered to her heart, its rhythmic beat drumming the same repetitive hum. What was she so giddy?
He was her best friend, her confidant, her consciousness, her life. She could not remember how long it had been since her feelings had been realized. Days? Years?
The mechanical arm that had been her main priority stood dully on her desk. He had golden hair and matching eyes like the sun, but even she knew that if you got too close to the sun you would burn. He had a temper and the determination of a mule, the sneer of a fox an unmatchable brain. He shone on the dreariest day, never came up with the right thing to say, and yet, just being near put her in risk of loosing her sanity.
He had left so many months ago to find that stone. Why couldn't he just give up? Wasn't he satisfied with the automail she had made him? Why couldn't they be together?
It was them against the world.
And he didn't even know how she felt.
Ed... the Full Metal Alchemist. She would whimper his name at night, pleading for this obsession to resolute, for him to come home. For him to acknowledge the heart she risked making his steel arm or leg, every day that he would return with it bedraggled to the wrench she would scold him with.
Rising from her chair, her work left unfinished, she stumbled into the kitchen. Judging by the sky, it was ten o'clock - Pinako had fallen asleep long ago. The moon peaked out from behind the hillside casting a white glow over the town. Everyone was at peace, while she wanted to strangle herself.
Then there it was - against the white circle was the shape of a figure. His hair was pulled back in a braid, and there was a slight hobble to his walk. He hadn't grown an inch. Following him was the giant, silvery grey armor. That could only mean one thing. It was truly him.
Winry found herself half way across the yard before she knew it, Den raising his head before, in a daze, falling back into a soundless sleep. Her hands wrapped around, first, the armor, letting out a small squeak of, "Al!", which earned her a small laugh and a hug.
Then to the smaller boy. He was only smiling faintly, looking quite weathered but content, a blush dappling his cheeks. Winry found herself tranquil, as his steadfast eyes reflected her smile letting his gaze appear radiant. She then caught herself, and ended up cussing him for coming so late in the night.
He was her world, her savior, her hero. And he was home - at least for a few more days.
Ed retired as soon as he had arrived, mumbling something under his breath, Winry managing to roughly translate it to 'homunculi', 'Roy', and a few numerous curses.
He didn't even seem to mind when the room saved for the Al and him was dusty from lack of usage, though while he undressed Winry found time to rub the window with her palm enough for some moonlight to leak through. Turning daintily, she smiled wistfully at Ed's sleeping figure. His chest rose and fell rhythmically with his metal arm flung over the side of the bed, blanket clutched in his flesh fist, mouth forming a small frown, eye twitching in pain occasionally.
Winry let out a bitter sigh, taking advantage of the position he was in to look at his automail. She had to give it to him, it was usually worst. A few screws were missing so it hung limply, and the fingers were bent inwards, but other then that, she could work with it. Winry picked up a single finger, running her own over it to check for any cracks.
'...Winry,' Ed whimpered, flinching in his sleep, before letting out a small indistinguishable murmur.
Winry blinked, blue eyes widening. She dropped his hand, slightly reddening. Once Ed's hand was in his possession again, he slipped it under the blankets and let out a meager snore.
Alphonse peeked his head through the door, peering at his unconscious brother, before letting out a small breath of relief. 'Winry?'
She nodded meagerly, finally turning her attention to the empty suit of armor. 'Yes, Al?'
Alphonse paused briefly before letting his stare linger at the scrawny lump. 'I know Ed won't admit it, but we would be in a lot of trouble if you didn't take us in.'
Winry smiled at her childhood friend. 'Anytime... I just hope he isn't getting into too much trouble.' They shared that reminiscence; bring a longing smile to either face.
He nodded his reply, setting himself down on the matt laid out so many nights ago. Both knew he would be getting no rest, and intended only on watching Edward sleep.
Winry woke up to the sound of silence. It took her a moment to recall yesterday's events, and once she did she became distraught with the fact that Ed was injured, then her cheeks grew hot at the thought of him being home.
The last time she had seen him had been prior almost two years.
Combing a hand through her hair, she frowned at her reflection in her bedside mirror. Choosing clothes was unusually difficult, though in the end she went with a plain white cotton dress. The sunrise was already shyly creeping over her window frame, emitting a golden orange glow over her bedspread. As if lava was lurking wherever its beams touched, Winry close the door behind her at its appearance and started to the kitchen.
The smell of breakfast rendered her bliss, realizing for the first time how hungry she was.
When she tactfully admitted the room, she was only to find Alphonse petting a happy Den. Her gaze wandered the room, mood drooping at her conclusion. "Al? Where's Ed?"
Alphonse rose his glance, leaving Den to question the abrupt stopping of the attention. "I believe he went to mother's grave. He said he'd be back before breakfast."
Winry let out a groan. "I should have known he'd never miss a meal. I'll be back in a while, Al. I'm worried about him."
Though the sky was warm with pinks and yellows, the air was still brisk and dew drops decorated the fields. Winry held rubbed her arms furiously, determined to get some reasoning with the senseless alchemist.
The air had warmed noticeably. Ed opened his eyes, studying the grave. 'Trisha Elric.' Hohenheim had said she was his only love, but in Ed's opinion he was full of it.
"You deserved better, mom..."
He raised his head to see a young woman in the white dress ending at her knees approaching. She offered an uncertain wave, knowing these moments were precious to him, yet he held up his human hand to signify his hello back, standing up to greet her.
They walked along side in silence, each mildly aware of each other's presence, comfortable not saying anything. Winry couldn't keep up with her heart beat, unable to say anything anyways. On those rare occasions that their arms bumped, she would blush and he would merely turn his head away, though had a shade of crimson brushing his cheeks as well.
It had been so long, Winry had forgotten how to talk to him.
"What, no wrench?"
It had been so long, in fact, she had almost forgotten how his voice sounded. In had lowered a few notches, tingles of sarcastic humor and fondness being the only thing she had to remember the past years.
"I figured you were injured enough," she retorted, a pout forming slightly. Al was right, she wouldn't get much thanks, though she had learned not to expect much anyways.
"Don't worry about me. I'm fine on my own."
This was a sore subject between them, but Winry couldn't help bringing it up. Why wouldn't he just get over himself? She would say it to his face, but her eyes had glossed over, so she answered softly, "I worry anyways."
The morning was at its climax, colors entwining and swirling, pinks to blues and oranges to purples. There wasn't a single cloud in the sky, birds replying to each other in song, all adding to the melody Winry had never understood.
Metal against metal. The door bell. Birds singing. A heart beat.
"I like your hair this way."
Winry faced him slowly, self consciously touching her hair. She had been careless his morning, forgetting to put it up, and had left the styling of it to the wind. She shivered.
Warmth hit her numb shoulder. Red and black flashed in front blue eyes. She stared blankly.
"You're offering me your coat?"
He scoffed, shrugging off the importance, red again visibly tainting him at her bluntness. "You won't be able to fix my arm up in time if you're sick." When she didn't take it, he laid it on her shoulders, taking care to adjust it so it would stay on without grip until she came to her senses, and then kept walking.
Unconsciously Winry buried her face into it, months of work on automail resulting in pale skin slowly warming. Remembering something significant, she yelled after him the magic words.
"Hey, Ed... remember to drink your milk at breakfast so you wont be so small!"
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A MIDGET SO SMALL A FLY COULDN'T SEE HIM!" Years are anger seemed to funnel through Ed at the words of Winry, standing innocently behind him clutching his coat.
"I had thought you were injured enough already, but it appears you're not, bean!" Before Ed could protest, she unleashed her wrench carefully hidden in her dress pocket.
This did not help the situation the least, as Ed let out a chain of cusses, which lead him all the way to Winry's glare.
No one was able to comprehend when the dew underneath turned on them and Ed fell, pinning her to the ground. Rubbing his head, he cursed again and tried to gain footing, but Winry had a firm grip on his hand. And before Ed could knock her off, she let out a soft sob.
"Ed, you jerk, why didn't you let me know you were okay?"
Getting over momentary confusion, with a sigh, Ed enfolded her in his arms, allowing her to cry into his chest. Hot tears burned his bare neck, her quivering ceaseless.
"You could have killed yourself, Ed... who are you trying to prove? ..."
They ended up being late for breakfast after all.
Al did not question why they were late.
He probably wouldn't have liked the answer he had gotten either, as Winry was done being over emotional, and was dangerous now that she had her throwing arm warmed up.
It was late afternoon when Al requested his leave. Ed had agreed, providing he didn't pick up any stray cats, and though Al's enthusiasm dropped at that prospect, he stayed true to his word and sulked away nonetheless.
Winry took Ed's silence as a hint for her to start repairing his automail. To her relief, it wasn't as bad as it had seemed the first day of his arrival and sent to work while Ed waited patiently at the other end of the damaged arm. She hovered close by, making adjustments while a striking look of determination passed over her.
p Clank. Clank. Twist. Mutter. Clank.
It was the rhythm of her work.
Ed could not help but feel accustomed to this tradition - him being reckless, her scolding him but selflessly fixing it, efficiently as any professional.
When she was done, without any pain or detachments, she displayed a look of devotion and pride among the sweat beads dotting her forehead. Ed flexed it once, twice, before letting out a decided utter of approval.
"No problem, just don't bust it up again." Even as she said that, she was keen on the juvenile Elric and did not mind the company.
After a small pause, Edward leaned forward and pressed his lips against her cheek. The act was as spontaneous as it had appeared, as he had no time to plan, and mentally chided himself, pink burning his cheeks.
Winry blinked, sitting stiff. 'What do I do? I can't tell him I've fallen for him, or... kiss him back...'
Ed took this as a polite refusal and turned from the room, but not before Winry had held his shoulder secure and spinned him around to meet her curious orbs, faces an inch away.
"Edward, you ass."
Before he knew what had happened, she covered his lips with her own.