Well, I figured I'd go ahead and post this here after lurking around these boards for some time now.
This is my first fic attempt, as well as my first post here!
This one-shot is based on the scene on the aircraft after the battle is over. It is an attempt to look at Ed's thoughts regarding the decision he makes, and it is decidedly EdxWin.
Standard warnings apply: Movie spoilers, angst, and so on.
She Made the Best
The wind was gusting strongly against his face as he stepped outside of the flying craft. Looking up he saw his brother, Alphonse, waiting with Mustang for him.
“So what now?” Mustang asked.
The blunt question forced him to come to the full realization of what he must do. He already knew what it was, but he hadn't really stopped to really consider the full extent of the decision. It was not an easy realization to come to. He had to close the gate from the other side, and he was the only one that could do it.
His thoughts shifted to Alphonse. He had only just been reunited with his brother, and now he would have to leave again, and this time it would be permanent. The pain of this realization stabbed him forcefully. He tried to find some solace in the fact that Al did indeed have his body back, and the sins he had yet to atone for were few in number and smaller in magnitude.
He clapped his hands together and then touched them to the surface of the aircraft. The luminescent glow of the transmutation flashed as he severed the aircraft into two parts, separating himself from Al and Mustang.
“Brother?” Alphonse questioned, “Brother, what are you doing?” He continued as he tried to make his way to the side on which Ed stood. Mustang grabbed him in an embrace, not allowing him to advance any further.
“That should be enough alchemic material for you to get yourselves down.” Ed stated as calmly as he could manage.
Al began to tremble, he looked as if he was going to weep. The thought that he would lose his brother again only a few hours after regaining him was unbearable.
“What about you?” Mustang asked Ed, “Where will you go?” Both Mustang's voice and facial expression betrayed a hint of worry, unusual for the normally stoic and sullen man.
“I'm going to take what's left of these soldiers back to their world.” Ed replied, struggling to hold on to the calm attitude he was displaying.
“Why? You don't have to go with them!” Al shouted.
Al's cry, as well as the concern Mustang was showing him, threatened to cause him doubt, and he couldn't allow that. He reminded himself of what he must do once more before saying it out loud.
“I have to break the gate on their side. I need you to stay here, Al, and destroy it on this side as well. That way, the portal can never be opened again.”
“What about Winry? Don't you understand that she misses you too?” Al cried.
He froze. The weight of what his brother had yelled crashed against him with force. The mental walls he had been trying to valiantly to maintain seemed as if they would tumble all around him. As if parting with his brother permanently wasn't enough, he would also never see Winry again.
It wasn't until this moment that Ed had really considered this. The magnitude of yet another realization hit him, but this one was different. This one pained him deep in his heart, the same pain he felt for his brother, only with more force.
He had to wonder why it hurt so much. It was only Winry, the automail geek. He leaving behind a lot of other people as well, so why was it Winry that was causing him so much pain? She was the one that gave him countless head wounds with that damned wrench of hers. She was the one he had fought and argued with so many times. She was the one who was always horribly upset when he had refused to share details about his and Al's journey.
But when he and Al had left to go on that journey, she was the one who had waited so patiently for their return. And whenever he turned up with damaged automail, she was the one who would pitch a fit and nearly take his head off. All because she was the one who was so desperately worried about the person attached to it.
If only he had seen it sooner, that she was the one, then maybe he could have acted on his feelings. But he had not, and he would never have another chance. He still stood there frozen, reflecting on his memories.
The entire length of his pause had only lasted several seconds, but it had felt much longer. Somehow, he found the strength to collect himself. He steeled his emotions and forced a small grin in spite of the situation. He turned, held up his automail arm, and gave his brother parting words.
“Tell her, thanks, she always made the best.”
It was true. Through her skill she had helped build the Fullmetal Alchemist. Not only her skill, but her love, loyalty, and dedication as well. He would miss her greatly.
Amidst Al's crying pleas that begged him not to leave, Ed walked back into the airship with a the pain of another regret weighing heavily on his soul.