Word count: 499
Summary: Ed wants to admit his feelings, but he's afraid she doesn't feel the same way.
Ed had been through a lot in his life.
But saving the world wasn’t nearly as hard as trying to admit his feelings for Winry.
He knew it was normal to take notice of someone, particularly a beautiful, smart girl like her. He wasn’t ashamed of his feelings, but he couldn’t let her know about them.
Winry had given no indication that anything had changed between them. She treated him like she always had—like family.
That was why he said nothing when the chatter of Resembool turned to the fall barn dance. For anyone around their age, it was a chance to take someone with them—on a date.
“You should ask Winry,” Al mentioned to Ed one night. “Everyone knows. Just man up and do it.”
Ed growled at his brother, but he did think on the idea.
But he couldn’t get up the courage to say it. Sometimes Al—or Winry, would bring up the dance. Winry asked if he thought about going, and he’d mutter maybe, but would stop at that. She’d leave in a huff, and Al would be mad at him for an inexplicable reason.
“If you don’t ask her, someone else will,” Al warned, “She is pretty. Other guys will have noticed.”
Ed couldn’t ignore that. Other guys had noticed. But asking her…that was as good as admitting his feelings. He didn’t know how to do that.
And…what if…she didn’t feel the same way?
Finally, the day of the dance came, and he couldn’t put it off any longer. Winry hadn’t mentioned it all day, and he thought she might’ve resigned herself to not going.
That was it; he’d ask her because he knew she wanted to go, and take her—just as friends! That way, it wouldn’t really be admitting it and she’d be grateful, and she’d say yes and—
He saw her in the hallway, and though he was sweating bullets, he did it. “Winry,” he said. “Do you...Let’s go to that dance. I mean, you wanted to go and I thought maybe we could go—just as friends!—so you could have a good time and—”
But she wasn’t smiling. She didn’t laugh and leap into his arms. “Oh, Ed…” she said, and he felt something inside him shatter. “It’s that…you never…you never asked me and I…I said I would go with the Thatcher boy. He asked me yesterday.”
It felt like a knife had been shoved into his chest.
Even though he felt sick; needles prickling his heart, he didn’t show it. Forcing a smile that was more like a grimace, he said, “Really? That’s great! Have…have a lot of fun.”
And then he turned for his room.
She tried to stop him. “Wait, Ed! You don’t—!” But he had already shut the door.
He knew admitting his feelings to himself would be difficult. He knew trying to admit those feelings to her would be even harder.
But he could have never been prepared for rejection.
I'm gonna write a sequel to this one sometime soon, so keep an eye out for it!