He asks her again three nights after he gets back.

She's in the middle of a paragraph when he blurts it out. She turns to face him, and nervousness brightens Ed's eyes as she looks at him in askance.

"Do you still want to marry me?" He repeats haltingly, and Winry wants to kiss the anxiety off of his face.

Instead she shuts the book, exchanging it for his fingers. "Depends, do you still wanna marry me?"

"Of course-" He says quickly, breathlessly, and she watches his expression soften. The lines melt away along with the extra 3 years, and he looks sixteen again, sharp jawed and infatuated.

The look makes her stomach flip flop. She smiles at him, squeezing his fingers in hers. "Then yes, I still wanna marry you, Ed."

He huffs a breath out and smiles, all frayed nerves and skipped heartbeats, and pitches himself forward to kiss her forehead. "I'm glad, because I actually got a ring this time."

"Really?" She laughs, and he pulls away to grin at her before fumbling for something in his pocket.

It's not in a box, and she smiles when he shows her. It's a simple, silver band, and looking at it, she realizes it isn't even silver at all, but surgical steel. She looks up in surprise and he sheepishly takes her hand, pressing the ring into the center of her palm. "It's not flashy or anything, but I figured that gems or an inlay would make it harder to work."

He pulls away and Winry slips the ring onto her hand, twisting it around her thin finger in wonder.

EHe must take her silence as a bad thing, because he fumbles for words, the nervous lilt coming back into his voice. "It's the leftover steel from my docking port. They disinfected it for me and insisted on giving it back to me. I just figured I should give back some of the automail I broke-" He stops, freezing when he sees the telltale shine of tears in her eyes. "Shit. I knew this was a dumb idea."

Winry swallows back a cocktail of tears and laughter. "Ed, be quiet." She takes one last look at the band before moving to wrap her arms around his shoulders. "I love it. I love you."

He's slow to respond, but she feels him smile against her temple as he gathers her up and pulls her closer. "It took forever to find someone who wanted to melt down steel into an engagement ring. Especially leftover automail steel that came out of someone's shoulder."

Winry presses her face into the crook of his neck and laughs.