"We should probably cut your hair."
Ed stared at Winry for a moment. It had been about 10 months since he had undergone surgery to install his automail and the pain was pretty bearable and Ed could readily move around, although running and any real strenuous physical activity was still a bit out of his reach at the moment, but he was still on schedule. Winry had come in to do the daily adjusting on his arm and leg and to monitor how functional everything was going.
However, he hardly saw how commenting on his hair had anything to do with how well he could use the automail. He looked at Winry weirdly.
"What do you mean?"
"It is getting long, and continues to fall in your face," she said, "if I were you I would have pitched a fit by now."
"Well, I think the pain of the automail is a bit worse than having a few strands of hair in my eyes," he replied, "Besides, I kind of like it this way."
"What, you like looking a child raised by wolves?"
He didn't answer, though he did grumble a few insults about her being an automail freak, but not too loud otherwise she would have thrown him across the room. (He knew that his rehabilitation from surgery would be no deterrent for Winry's temper.)
"Look, if you aren't going to cut it you should at least tie it back," she said, "You look like a mess and totally not cute."
"Yeah, well you never look cute, mecha geek," he retorted but then instantly recoiled when she held up her wrench.
"What was that?! I have you know that I wear that badge with pride!"
"Nevermind put the wrench down," he said, waving his hands in surrender.
"Good," she said, "and now onto your hair."
"Why are we still talking about my hair?"
"Because I told you, you look like a mess."
"What would you expect when I have been cooped up in this bed for a month."
"Look, you need to at least keep up with yourself," she said, "now sit up, I have an idea."
Edward gulped, he was never sure what would come from Winry's ideas, but he knew it was usually better to go along with it than it was to resist. So when she climbed on the bed behind him he scooted forward on the bed and braced himself for what he was sure would be a tremendous amount of pain.
Only it did not come, rather he felt Winry run her fingers through his hair and it was almost relaxing and a bit embarrassing as her touch made the heat rush into his cheeks. (except of course when she hit a knot which would make him wince, but it wasn't really comparable to the pain he had been in for a month.) It wasn't quite like when she was working on the automail which at this point didn't require her to actually touch his skin. This was less formal, closer and intimate
Ed's cheeks became a bit red at this thought and he felt his tongue catch in his throat. If Winry noticed she did not say anything and just kept on with the business of doing his hair.
"Now listen," she said, "I am going to tell you how to do this. I don't want to have to do this for you all the time, taking care of your automail is enough work already. I don't want to have to deal with your hair all the time either."
"Fine by me," he said, "I don't plan to hang around here forever anyways."
He yelped when Winry tugged hard on his hair at the comment.
"Now let's get started," she said, and Ed listened to her as she began to separate the hair and began to criss cross the hair into pleats. He would have to be shown later, but right now he was lost in the calmness of Winry's voice and the feel of her hands in his hair. He would never tell anyone this, not even Al, but he kind of liked the way Winry smelled, or the feel of her fingers through his hair and just her whole presence. It was nice to have someone who seemed to take care of him, even though this was one of her rarer moments of gentleness.
He would miss her when he finally left to become a State Alchemist.
"All right, all done," Winry said and grabbed a mirror from the table.
"Here, do you like it?" she asked and practically shoved the mirror into Ed's face.
"Hey, be careful," he said and pushed the mirror out of his face. "Geez, can't you remember for a moment that I am in pain here!"
"Hmph, you're such a baby, if you are going to be back on your feet within the next two months you should be able to handle stuff like this," she said.
Ed growled, and then looked in the mirror. His hair was neatly tied in a single long braid running along his back.
"Ahh, good job Winry," he said, "this is perfect for when I spar with Al."
He was momentarily knocked out by a wrench to the head.
Man, where does she keep those things? he thought to himself.
"You shouldn't be sparring," she said, "I will be very angry if you mess with my fine automail."
"Whatever," he said as he rubbed the fresh bump on the head.
They lapsed into silence for a moment as Winry packed up some of the tools from the maintenance and began to head out.
"Oi, Winry," he said.
She turned and looked at him.
He smiled at her and stuck up his automail arm and formed a perfect thumbs up, something that he hadn't quite been able to master earlier.
"Good job on the hair," he said, " and for the automail too. I owe you."
"Just don't break my automail," she replied, "or mess up your hair. I will be very unhappy if you do."
Ed smiled nervously, and as she walked out, he thought to himself how nice it will be when he might not need her to work on his automail anymore. He wouldn't however be opposed to any ideas Winry had for his hair from now on.
"Al must never know about this," he said.
"I must never know about what?"
Ed froze as he saw Al standing in the doorway.
"It's nothing," Ed said and began to laugh a bit crazily, while Al tried desperately to figure out what was wrong with his brother.