Flowers of Red @bloodpokemon101
Chapter 1

(A/N: Hey, everyone! This is an Ed/Orihime one shot I came up with recently, and thought I should post it. This is for fanofthisfiction's 'Show Me the Love "Flowers" Challenge'. I want to say this is just pure fluff, but it isn't. At least, not entirely. There's a little bit of...angst, I should say. Just a tiny , that is all I could say about this one shot without getting too deep into it. Enjoy! I don't own Bleach or Fullmetal Alchemist.)

Flowers of Red

She was a flower. She was a picturesque, beautiful flower.

Delicate, gentle, pleasant, and, overall, very, very, very cute and pretty to look at.

I have been watching her ever since we were little. We grew up together. She was about a year older than me.

When I first met her, she was rather...odd to me. An airheaded goofball with an overactive imagination. She was so...weird. Just so weird. One time, they played a game she called 'Ketchup n' Mustard'. A game where three people are 'mustard' and must defeat the notorious 'ketchup'. We each have 'guns' filled with the respective condiments, but the person who is 'ketchup' has the longest reached. The game is over when 'ketchup' hits each 'mustard' once, or when 'ketchup' is shot three times by 'mustard'. Also, once a 'mustard' is hit by 'ketchup', they are out, and friendly fire by other 'mustards' don't count as an out for 'mustard'. We got in a lot of trouble for wasting a lot of mustard and ketchup.

However, what stood out most to me was her overwhelming kindness and compassion. She was the nicest person she has ever met. I was genuinely surprised, baffled, and amazed when she helped a girl who was crying because she scraped her knee. And this was the same girl who used to pick on her and tease her. It was almost as if she didn't have a single mean bone in her body.

Her bright, auburn hair that only reached the very low point of her chin. The brilliant color of the setting sun. I would never admit out loud and I would always deny it, but I had always found her hair to be one of her most alluringly attractive features. Next to her large, silvery gray eyes that sparkled as lustrously as the full moon, especially when she's happy and cheerful and smiling.

I had often wondered if she had originated from a different country, and moved to Amestris. Or perhaps, she's a descendent of a foreigner. A redhead like her is a rarity in a country filled with blondes and brunettes.

And lastly, there was her smile. A smile so bright and charming, it was stunningly blinding. Every time she smiles, mainly at me, I am captivated. There was nothing more beautiful and adorable about her than being in the vicinity. Whenever she smiles, it always strangely warms me up inside like the sun. She was even prettier than Winry.

Not that I would ever admit that, or the fact that I found either of them pretty. No matter how much Al teases me about it, or how mom was always drawing up weird ideas about me and her. Their delusional fantasies and asinine comments about us together or me having a small crush on her were nothing short of their insanely absurd, nonsensical imaginations.

But that's besides the point. Overall, she reminded me of a flower. Of a single, red flower.

I don't like flowers. They were too girly for my taste.

Then years passed, and she grew up. She was at that young stage where puberty begins to...take shape. Her...womanly attributes began to show. There are many little things I have noticed about her.

Her hands were so small, dainty, and soft compared to mine. It was...intriguingly captivating how smaller her hands were compared to mine. When we hold hands, the softness of her hands causes the nerves of my hands to tingle, slightly. Her fingers were so delicate and slender.

Her body began to become more shapely and curvier. Her physique was slowly and gradually transforming into that slightly perfect hourglass figure. A slightly rounded and defined shoulders that led into a slim waist and graceful legs.

Her pretty hair was growing longer as the years passed. Her flawless, porcelain white skin had a silky smooth texture and lacked any blemishes. It matched beautifully with her hair, giving it that exquisite taste. She was losing some of her baby fat, revealing a wonderfully heart shaped face. Her large, gray eyes still glistened as brightly as the full moon. Her long eyelashes only seemed to accentuate the shape of her eyes. Her cute, button nose, and pouty, pink lips completed the look.

Out of all of us, she grew up to be the most responsible and mild mannered. She knows how to cook, clean, do laundry, and sew. She was the most feminine girl I knew in this small town. Unfortunately, all that came at the cost of her only living relative.

And let me tell everyone who is willing to listen that her dishes are amazing! Fantastic! Second to none! She could easily make a career as a professional chef at a local diner or cafe, or become a baker and open up her own bakery. Or maybe do both. Cook the meals and make desserts. The possibilities were endless. And I'll be her first and most loyal customer.

She was growing up. She was changing from a pretty girl to a beautiful, young woman.

Nothing short of a blooming flower.

And like all blossoming flowers, she begins to attract annoying pests and insects.

It was rather odd. I'd never paid much regard to the attention she gets from other boys our age. Boys always flocked towards her, but that was only because she habitually made cookies and other sweets and brought them to school. I thought nothing of it. Everyone enjoys her sweets! Who in their right mind doesn't?

However, as we grew up together, I found that her sweets weren't the main reason guys flocked to her, and, as a result, I suddenly became really, really...annoyed.

With every 'I like you', 'I love you', or any other disgustingly suave compliments and sickly sweet words, I want to punch the guy who said it right in the face, and drag her away from the jerk.

Then something horrifically horrible happened.

One of them managed to steal her away from me.

The lovely, red flower was claimed by another. A daring insect managed to successfully land on her.

A deep, aching hole wedged itself inside my heart. A burning inferno of anguished sadness and harrowingly pain was left in its wake.

I wanted to scream and shout at the world. I became angry at the slightest provocation, but that was just a ruse to hide my hurt.

Why? Why did she leave me? Why did she pick another?

Wasn't I the one by her side? Always by her side? Through all the smiles and laughter? Pain and sadness? Joys and wonders?

It doesn't make any sense!

I… I thought we would be together forever. I thought the red flower would always choose me to tend to her.

Then I realized…

I was the one who needed her.

The flower was perfectly fine by itself. It was strong and self reliant.

I was the one who needed to be comforted and warmed by the flower's tender embrace and soothing aura.

I needed her.

I liked her. I've always liked her.

But it's too late now. Her heart was taken by another man.

All I could do was hopelessly watch my chances with her slowly crumbling away into anguish filled, heartbreaking dust.

She was showing sides of herself I nor anyone has ever seen before.

I envied her boyfriend.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The flower began to wilt.

Not all its petals were lost, but a few were plucked out.

How could her boyfriend do something so cruel to her? I trusted… I wanted to entrust her to him. After all, this was the guy she picked.

But, of course, the stupid insect wasn't satisfied with just one flower. He wanted a garden full of flowers. Flowers of different colors, shapes, and types.

Now, the once beautiful, red flower stood alone on the desolate landscape.

How dare that unfaithful jerk ruin such a perfectly wonderful flower! I'll thrash him without remorse the next time he dares to show his face around here again!

Flowers deserved to be preserved, protected, loved, and treasured.

This was an excruciatingly painful endeavor for her. One that would leave a deep emotional scar in her heart.

But I day...she would recover. She was strong. And that inner strength is what makes her so beautiful.

I would be with her every step of the way, offering any support and comfort I can give. After all, I love her oh, so much.

Even seemingly delicate flowers like her are very resilient, and would once again bud anew.

With me…

...At her side.

(A/N: That's the end of this one-shot. I wanted to make it short and sweet for this challenge since I literally had only two days to write this. So I wanted to write a story with no dialogue. I hoped it went well. Oh, yeah... I almost forgot to mention for people who might be confused about this. Think of this as an AU where Orihime is born in the world of FMA, and Ed and Al never tried Human Transmutation. Hope that clears up any confusion of where this takes place. Leave any comments in a review, and thanks for reading!)

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