"You miss it, don't you?"
They sat side by side in front of a small fire even though it was a warm summer night.
The cool breeze that flew outside was more preferable to the heat inside the yellow house, which was almost unbearable, though Alphonse didn't seem to mind too much. He had said something about enjoying the heat now that he had a body to actually feel it. However, a light source was needed outside and the small fire was started courtesy of Winry, although Edward was the one who actually cut and brought the wood.
"Oh." He looked out into the distance. "Only sometimes."
She frowned, knowing full well that not being able to do what he loved hurt him, even if he tried hard not to show it.
"But you know what? I'd give it up a million times over just to see Al smile again." He directed his gaze at her with a shy smile. "And also to make you happy, happy enough to cry those tears of joy again."
She was taken aback by his honesty, knowing she shouldn't have. She was talking to Edward Elric, the boy next door, her best friend, and the biggest loudmouth she knew. Not to mention that brutal honesty was his specialty. But even so, even after knowing all that, she was surprised, not only by his words but also by his simple yet handsome smile that was only for her to see. She felt the heat begin to rise on her cheeks the more she stared at him, dumbfounded.
"You really mean that?" she croaked, unable to say much more at the moment.
He nodded, looking away. "Yeah. Every word." He stared at the flames for a bit before he finished. "And, don't worry about it, Winry. Really."
"Well, I can't promise anything," she said looking at the fire too. "I'm always worried about you—both of you." She caught herself, but the heat just continued to make its way around her body, coloring her skin wherever it went.
If he noticed her slip up, he didn't give it away, instead answering her with a soft, "I know."
She thought his face seemed slightly flushed as well, but then realized it had been the hues of the flames on his face. Yes, that must have definitely been it.
"You know, when I was at the gate this last time…it was…different." His golden eyes stared intently at the fire as he spoke. "Truth asked me if I was sure of my decision, if I really wanted to give up alchemy for good, and that was when I heard everyone. Everyone calling out my name." His topaz stare fell upon her azure one. "And after you called out to me—that was when I knew there was nothing to worry about. I knew everyone would be there for me, always." He took a brief pause, whispering, "I knew that you would always be there."
Winry was left in awe once more, her eyebrows raised and her jaw slightly hanging, unable to speak. He turned away immediately after seeing her reaction, and she could have sworn he was blushing.
"Dammit, it's kinda hot out here… I think I'm gonna go walk or, um, something," he spouted out nervously as he yanked at his shirt. He stood up quickly but she stopped him in his tracks, taking his hand. "Eh?"
She stood and pulled him into an embrace, hearing his surprised gasp as she did so. He made no effort to hug her back, making her nervous as she held on to his limp form. But soon she felt his chin rest on her shoulder and his arms pulling her closer to him, letting out a content smile.
"You've always been a part of my motivation, Winry," he whispered.
And she really hoped that never changed.