There were times when he felt regret. They came rarely, during journeys, between horrors, when peace and quiet invaded his mind. He tried avoiding them at all costs, but could never completely get away. It always hung about like a ghost; if this world weren't hell, then the memories were.
One such time came about when he and Al were walking down the street of a small town, searching for a place to eat. In hindsight he should have averted his eyes, but once it happened he could not move.
A young woman passed before them, bright blue eyes sparkling with laughter, blond hair flowing behind as she tugged on the arm of her companion, a young man. It was only a few seconds before the two disappeared in the shadow of an alley, but to him it was agonizingly long.
Al blinked at his stricken expression, then caught sight of the young woman just as she slipped from view. "Ah...is that..."
Ed gulped, loudly. After a moment, he continued walking forward, heading straight out of town, all thoughts of food dissolved.
He couldn't sleep that night. Rather, he smashed quite a few chairs with his automail arm, hoping the ache would go away. It never did, but he lived with it anyway.
Winry wasn't sure why she came to Central. She could have very well gone to Rush Valley and lived a very successful life, but for some reason turned West. Unfinished business, perhaps. There were more goodbyes left to share.
Scieska couldn't be more willing to take her in. Well, at least she still had friends. They had a long talk at the cafe where they first formally met, reminiscing about old times and adventures. Winry smiled the whole time and drank her tea.
When they got back to the house, Scieska commented with adoring eyes, "You're so strong, Winry."
Winry paused. Then shrugged sheepishly. "Not really."
She cried in the shower that night. It was the only time she allowed herself to those days. So that she could decieve herself into thinking she wasn't.
And when they went to bed she wondered if Scieska had heard her, because the bookworm kept glancing at her with worried eyes from over her dictionary. Winry ignored this and continued drying her hair.
At last, Scieska ventured, "Do you think they'll ever come back? I mean, they did so many times, maybe... Do you think he--"
"Life isn't a romance novel, Scieska," Winry replied quickly, and turned out the light.