HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
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Seven Years, After so long, Ed expected her to change...but... (post-series, EdWin)
Tobu Ishi
post Oct 21 2005, 04:05 AM
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Seven Years
A Fullmetal Alchemist fic by Tobu Ishi

*

Part 1 - hisashiburi

The hills of Risenburg were the same as always, rolling and green with the mountains hovering smoky in the distance. The same soft puffs of fine brown dust rose behind Edward’s boots as he walked the winding ribbon of road from the train station in town to the fields of his childhood, and he took comfort in that. It felt good to know; a sort of reassurance that despite seven years of absence, some things hadn’t changed. A reward for all the years of distilling research from his own sweat and blood, that even though there were small differences—an old farmhouse torn down and a new one put up in its place, changes in the boundaries of grazing fences and new young trees growing in neat rows along the river—his homeland had remained essentially the same, as if it had waited for him, too.

He’d had a long time to think over what he would do when he returned, and his feet carried him first to an empty meadow, surrounded by the remains of a rotting picket fence. He was startled, when the overarching tree came into view, to see that it was covered in rustling green leaves. As he came closer, he realized that someone had planted Drachman ivy around the base of the trunk, and it had grown eagerly up into the branches to cover the fire-blackened bark with new life. He wondered who had done it. It seemed like a good sign.

Dropping his small suitcase next to him in the long grass, he settled his back against the trunk of the tree and slid down to gaze up through the ivy-laced branches. Sunlight filtered down in patches to warm his face, and he smiled and closed his eyes. The inexpressible peace of being home again settled over him like a blanket, and before he knew it, he was fast asleep.

It was some hours later that he was awakened by a small knee landing squarely on his stomach. Sitting up with an ‘oof’, he found himself at the mercy of what appeared to be a blond-pigtailed sprite.

“Hi,” the little girl chirped, gazing down at him with curious blue eyes from her perch on his chest.

“H-hello,” he managed. The girl smiled broadly and bounced a few times, further driving the air out of his lungs. “Stop that,” he scolded, squirming out from under her. She giggled and tumbled off, nearly disappearing into the long grass. “Where’s your mother, anyway?” he asked, glancing around. What was a little kid doing out here alone?

“Working,” the girl responded cheerfully, braiding together some long stalks of grass and giving him a companionable smile. “She said for me to go play and quit getting underfoot.”

Ah. Ed nodded, his own childhood flashing back to him. After so many years in big cities, he’d almost forgotten how perfectly safe it was to shoo children out the door for some much-needed peace and quiet here in the country. Watching her braiding the grass for a moment, her tufty little pigtails bobbing like flowers among the tall green stalks, he couldn’t smother a smile. She didn’t look familiar, but he’d been gone for nearly seven years now, and she couldn’t have been older than five or six. It was odd to think of a new generation of children growing up among the fields and hills he’d known by heart at that age.

“What’re you doing sleeping under a tree?” the girl asked, her curiosity getting the better of her when her unusual visitor didn’t speak again.

Ed laughed. “Haven’t you ever gone to sleep outside?” he asked. The girl wrinkled her nose.

“Grown-ups don’t sleep outside,” she said, knowledgably waving a finger at him. “Just kids, and we get in trouble for it. ‘Less you’re camping,” she added thoughtfully. “Are you camping?”

“Not exactly,” Ed said, quite amused by now. It was interesting to be called a grown-up, though he supposed anyone over twenty seemed pretty old to a six-year-old. “I used to live here.”

“Under a tree?” the girl exclaimed, her delighted tone of voice making it clear that living under a tree was just about the best thing she’d ever heard of. “Really?”

“Well…there used to be a house here,” Ed explained, gesturing to the empty hillside. “I grew up here with my little brother, but I haven’t been back in a very long time.”

The girl nodded. Disappearing houses, it seemed, were an acceptable substitute for living under a tree, though not quite as good. “I wish I had a little brother,” she said. “There’s just me and my mom.”

Ed sighed, remembering the many orphans he’d seen in war-torn Lior and Europe, and wondering what had happened to her father. He supposed he shouldn’t ask; it probably wasn’t a comfortable subject for a child. They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes, as the clouds drifted across the blue sky overhead.

“Here,” Ed said after a minute, and pulled up a handful of waving grass stems, then another. The girl left off her braiding to watch him, rolling onto her tummy with her chin propped in her hands. When he had gathered a small pile, he clapped his hands together.

“I’m going to show you something special, okay? Don’t be scared,” he told her, and touched the heap of grass. It sparked a brilliant blue and began to twine around itself, and the little girl shrieked with delight at the pretty show of light. When the sparkles faded, a neatly-woven little crown of grass stems remained. Ed picked it up and placed it on her head with a flourish, and she giggled and threw her arms around his neck in a spontaneous hug. Startled, he froze, not sure what to do. She didn’t seem to notice his surprise, but drew back a minute later, plumping happily back into the grass.

“Thank you, Mister,” she added, the words a carefully-schooled afterthought that did nothing to diminish her brilliant smile. “I didn’t know you could do magic!”

Ed couldn’t help laughing. “It’s not really magic,” he explained. “It’s a science called al—”

Her smile slipped a little at the corners, and he checked himself.

“—chemy, but I suppose it is a little like magic,” he finished quickly. She perked up again, taking off the crown to scrutinize the complicated weaving with delighted fingers.

“Could I learn how to do that?” she asked eagerly. Ed nodded.

“Maybe, someday,” he said. It wasn’t a lie. He’d had enough of traveling and war and uncertainty, and he didn’t intend to leave the peaceful mountains near Risenburg for a good long while. It was quite possible that he’d be here when she grew old enough to show aptitude for alchemy. “I could teach you, when you’re older, or find someone else to do it if you want.”

Little arms flung themselves around his neck again, and he found himself unable to stop smiling. There was something really infectious about the enthusiasm of kids. Hugging her back—gently—he untangled her arms and set her back in the grass, straightening the tiara where it had gone crooked.

“So, what’s your mother working on that has her so busy?” he asked.

“Fixing the lawnmower,” she said with a shrug, still fascinated with the crown, which she’d pulled off her head again as soon as he’d straightened it. “It ran into the fence again.”

“Lawnmower?” Ed echoed, a bit puzzled. “You mean the kind you cut grass with?”

“Yup,” the girl said, “but ours is motorized. Mama lets me ride on it with her sometimes, when she’s not hitting the fence with it.”

Ed laughed. “She hits the fence on purpose?”

“I…don’t think so…” she murmured, considering the matter carefully. “I think it goes kinda fast, and sometimes it’s hard to turn it.”

Ed tried not to grin at that mental image, but the little girl noticed and grinned back.

“It makes our neighbor really mad,” she added gleefully. “He yells and goes all purple and stuff when she breaks the fence. Mama always fixes it, though, so I don’t know why he gets so mad. It’s not like she’s hurting him.”

“I think sometimes people get angry for strange reasons,” Ed said with a shrug. “Huh…a motorized lawnmower. I’ve never heard of anything like that…sounds pretty amazing.”

“Our neighbor says it’s a public menace,” the girl said. “I don’t know what a menace is, but he calls Mama that a lot. He calls her a lot of other stuff too that I’m not supposed to say,” she added solemnly.

Ed raised an eyebrow. “And what does your mama think of that?” he asked dryly.

The girl’s face lit with a mischievous grin. “She says she’s gonna hit him with a wrench!” she exclaimed.

And in that split second, the bottom fell out of Ed’s world. The hills of Risenburg suddenly seemed to be turning inside out, and there was a weird rushing sound in his ears. Closing his eyes, he leaned against the bole of the tree and fought back dizziness. Impossible…

“Mister? Are you okay?”

Sitting up for a moment, he reached out and gently took the girl’s chin in his hand, leaning in to look at her more carefully. The face was rounder, the hair was darker blond, and there were a hundred other differences, but the blue of her eyes was terribly familiar. He couldn’t think of how he’d missed it until then.

“What’s your name?” he asked, his voice oddly hoarse.

She blinked at him, confused and a little alarmed. “Sara Rockbell,” she said.

Ed swallowed, hard. “I…think you’d better take me to see your mama, Sara,” he told her, standing and grabbing his suitcase. He held his free hand out to her, trying to ignore the weakness in his knees.

“Okay,” Sara said, willing to do just about anything for the magician she’d found under her favorite tree, and took his large hand in her small one, trotting off down the short familiar road to the Rockbell house.

Very little had changed here, either; the paint had been changed to pale blue, but the familiar house with its sloped roof and broad balcony was still essentially the same. Looking around with his alchemist’s eye for detail, however, Ed saw the chicken netting that had been stapled around the inside of the balcony railing, and the tricycle lying on its side in the yard, and his stomach churned helplessly.

As they came up the road, he noticed the hulking machine parked in the yard, and the pair of sandaled feet sticking out from underneath it. Sara let go of his hand and ran over to the machine, tugging at one of the ankles.

“Mama Mama Mama!” she yelled, and a bright laugh came from the bowels of the machine as a young woman squirmed out from under it.

“Sara,” she scolded, pulling the kerchief from her short blond hair to wipe the oil from her hands and pull her daughter’s face in for a kiss on the cheek, “I told you not to bother me, you little goof. I have to fix this and finish the mowing before that storm front they’re talking about hits us.”

“Mama, there’s a magic man!” Sara told her eagerly, pulling the crown from her hair and holding it out. “He made me this, lookit!”

Taking the little woven crown, she turned it over in her hands, and an unreadable look came over her face. Slowly, she raised her eyes to follow her daughter’s pointing hand. Standing in the dust of the road, Ed felt the heat of the sun on his back and gulped back a cocktail of conflicting emotions as he met his old friend’s eyes for the first time in years.

“Hey, Winry,” he managed, with a weak little grin.

A tear welled up and ran down her cheek as she looked at him, her hands closing tightly around the woven tiara. Then she stood, and walked across the yard to him. He flinched as she took his face in her hands, looking at him as carefully as he’d looked at her daughter. They were eye to eye now, and both of them had gone from teenagers to adults in the time they’d been apart.

“Edward Elric. I should beat your head in with a spanner,” she told him solemnly, tucking a strand of hair behind his ear with shaking fingers. “But just this once, I don’t think I will.”

“Mama?” Sara asked, coming up behind her to tug at her coverall leg in confusion.

Winry glanced down at her daughter and swallowed a few stray tears. “Sara, honey,” she said gently, bending to pick up the little girl and settle her on her hip, then turning to Ed with an ironic little smile. “Say hello to your father.”

*

-end of part one-


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The Restoring Earth Alchemist
Big Sister to Chiyo, Little Sister to Tokage, Edward to WrenchFreakWinry

An Appetite For Grief Dividing the Bones Elysium FULLMETAL FOLLY
Good Neighbors Jaybird Letdown Mater Familias Mea Culpa Play With Me
Rosarium Seven Years The Shadow of Him Some Assembly Required Wired Wooden

<3 The EdWin 100 Themes <3
She remembers the way her inexplicably riveted gaze slid unbidden
down the curves of his back, slowly, like honey. And she particularly remembers
the rush of prickly heat, the unfamiliar melting sensation that made her duck
her head to hide a blush that caught her entirely by surprise; as she realized
for the first time, in an entirely new way, that Ed was a
boy.

Click here to read more...
THEY'RE STILL UPDATING! PLEASE DON'T FORGET THEM. ;_;
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hagane_no_tokage
post Oct 21 2005, 04:09 AM
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OMG FIRST REVIEW!!11one.

biggrin.gif you know i love this fic. ♥ i'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else feels about it. *prepares umbrella to fight off impending fangirl foamage*

XD


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snwbnny
post Oct 21 2005, 10:14 AM
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Awwwww! Loved it, as always. wub.gif I can't wait for part 2.


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RocketJess
post Oct 21 2005, 04:46 PM
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Oh. My. Gosh.

You have actually left me physically gasping and speechless.

Absolutely amazing. Characterisation is wonderful, writing is excellent. I can't wait to read more!
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darkangelslayer
post Oct 22 2005, 05:23 PM
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oooo this is interesting. I've read a few fics like this (Ed and Winry producing a child) but so far I think this is the best. As usual you magnificently portrayed the character's feelings without much use of speech. Can't wait for part deux smile.gif


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FMAlover^
post Oct 23 2005, 04:00 AM
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I love it!!!Update soon ^.~


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Phyco girl
post Oct 23 2005, 04:08 AM
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This really is one of the best EdWin--->child stories I've heard. But...but >< the cliffhanger!!!

Heh, sorry ^^". I really did enjoy that first chapter though. Terribly descriptive and it seemed like I was standing there. I even started to feel panic-y when Winry said that last line and I could even imagine her voice shaking, somehow you knew how she felt. I loved it to death, it left me breathless and hope that you'll write more soon. biggrin.gif
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vita-chan
post Oct 23 2005, 03:28 PM
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I love the descriptions in this fic. The characterization of the little girl is very well done. Her interaction with Ed is priceless ^^.

Wonder what kind of neighbor the Rockbells have... Talking like that in front of a child is unexcusable.

Can't wait for the next chapter smile.gif
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Summerlover01
post Oct 29 2005, 11:47 AM
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Nice fanfic! I really enjoyed it. I cant wait for you to update. biggrin.gif


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TSilver Fox
post Nov 2 2005, 04:55 PM
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Ooooooo.... Wow that was increadable! Like everything stated above I agree 100% I loved the writing, and the way you managed to bring everything across I could hear and feel the shakyness in winry's voice too. Amazingly I crawled out of the woodwork to post a reply to how good this was! so I hope you keep going on this fic, I am seriously looking forward to reading part 2 and finding out more about the fic. Yay, this gives me a reason to check back on these boards again. Thank You! happy.gif


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CSakuraS
post Nov 4 2005, 02:16 AM
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Oh, man... It made me gasp. Sara is a darling. And I agree with the others, definetely one of the best EdWin!child fics I've read so far. Want to find out what happens next~~ XO


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Tobu Ishi
post Nov 4 2005, 02:43 AM
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part two - ryoushin

*

“Say hello to your father.”

It was the sort of sentence that should have struck like lightning, but instead he felt strangely calm, meeting the little girl’s awed gaze with a valiant attempt at a smile. Sara goggled at him with eyes as wide and round as a pair of blue china plates.

“You’re my dad?!”

Edward swallowed the lump growing in his throat and nodded. “Yeah…” he said, slowly. “If your mama says so, I guess I am.”

Sara looked from him, to Winry, and back, and then a look of purest delight spread across her face and she launched herself half out of Winry’s arms to hug him again. Ed yelped, startled, and managed to catch her as she clung to him, giggling.

“I have a magic dad!” the girl crowed, and for one bright moment the sunlight and her laughter filled him up, and he spun her around in the dust of the road, her little feet kicking in the air as she shrieked with glee.

Then he set her down, and Winry knelt to take her by the shoulders. “Sara, why don’t you go play with Katie next door?” she suggested, and Sara threw a wistful look up at Ed, but nodded.

“Okay…” she said reluctantly, and trotted a few steps down the road before turning to wave. “I can tell her I have a dad now!” she called, and ran off happily down the road.

Ed watched her go with an odd, bittersweet feeling, and felt Winry’s hand on his arm. Her eyes were troubled as she looked at him.

“Well?” she asked, quietly. “Does she?”

“Of course she does,” Ed whispered, remembering the warmth of those little arms and the soft bell of her laughter.

Winry let out a long sigh, and the sound reminded him of how she used to sigh when she’d been carrying her tool box halfway across Amestris and he would meet her at the train station and take it from her at last. “Then let’s go inside,” she said, and grabbed his wrist, heading back across the lawn. “We have a lot to talk about.”

“No joking,” he muttered, but followed her without protesting.

She led him into the kitchen, cool in the summer shade, and pulled out a chair for him at the kitchen table. He sank into it with a sigh of relief, closing his eyes with bliss at being finally out of the sun…

The next thing he knew, something hit the side of his head with an explosion of pain. He let out a yell and nearly fell off of his chair.

“OW! What the hell, Winry!”

The thrown wrench had clanked to the floor at his feet, and was snatched up by a gloved hand; he looked up to see Winry glaring down at him with crackling blue eyes. Now that there was no little kid to scare, all bets were apparently off.

“That was for disappearing for seven years!” she yelled, brandishing the tool at him, and swung it, getting almost the same spot with impeccable aim. “And that was for letting us all think you were dead! And this,” his head rang again, “is for Sara! Do you know how hard it was to think of an answer when she asked why the other girls had fathers and she didn’t?!”

Ed shrank back into his chair, shielding his head with his hands. “It wasn’t my idea, believe me!” he yelled back, gingerly trying to feel if he was bleeding. “If I could have come back, I would have done it in a second! I didn’t have a choice!”

Frowning down at him, Winry gave him a skeptical look. His eyes were wide and thoroughly intimidated, but sincere all the same. Ed held his breath, banking on the fact that he’d always been a rotten liar and she knew it. She lowered her arm a bit, her fury faltering slightly, then sighed and rolled her eyes, dropping the wrench on the table with a thunk and going to the fridge. A moment later, she was back with a dishtowel full of ice, offering it to him grudgingly.

“You had better have a good explanation,” she warned him as he took it.

He hissed slightly as he pressed it to the rapidly swelling bumps on his head. Her irritated look slipping somewhat, Winry sighed and looked at the floor, then ran him a glass of water at the tap before sitting next to him.

“Well?” she asked, after he’d drained half of the glass in a few thirsty gulps. He licked his lips, wondering where to start. Despite his throbbing head, he felt a strange urge to shower her with apologies, and it was only getting stronger as the math for all of this came together in his mind. He couldn’t quite meet her gaze, there at the kitchen table where they’d eaten breakfast together the last morning he’d seen her, a world and a half ago.

“You guessed it before I said it, didn’t you,” she said after a moment, and he nodded.

“She has my pointy nose,” he said, smiling into his water glass. “And that cowlick in the front. She’s going to hate me for that later.”

“She has your temperament, too,” Winry said, grinning. Ed winced.

“Oh, man…I’m sorry.”

Winry laughed. “Granny helped, and Al was around a lot too. She hasn’t caused any major damage yet.”

He laughed, too, and the silence that the room settled into afterward was somehow more comfortable, though he still didn’t dare touch her.

“It was that last night, wasn’t it,” he said at last, forcing himself to ask despite the blush that crept up his face at the memory. “It had to be.”

She nodded, twisting the edge of the tablecloth in her hands. “I found out later, after you…”

She didn’t need to finish. He wasn’t sure what to call his absence, anyway. Not quite death, but the closest thing to it.

“I’m sorry,” he said, nearly choking on the hundred times he wanted to repeat it. I'm sorry, he wanted to say, I'm sorry, I was so scared. Sixteen years old and knowing full well that the odds were ten to one I was about to die. I needed someone to hold onto so badly, and there you were with your familiar smile and your fingers warm in my hair...I never would have left, if I’d known. I never would have wandered up the stairs to your room that night in the first place, like an idiotic kid looking for comfort...

“Don’t be,” she said, touching his cheek. “I was just as stupid as you were. Even Granny knew that, or she probably wouldn’t have rested until she’d hunted you down and smacked you silly, wherever you were. I would have helped,” she added, and Ed was suddenly intensely glad that she wasn’t mad at him anymore. He had a feeling this would have been worth a bit more punishment than a simple automail battering.

Her fingers were calloused and warm against his face, and she showed no sign of drawing back. Ed swallowed, trying not to remember too much, not to assume too much.

“So,” she said, her voice a little gentler. “Now what?”

Ed frowned, thinking of the plans he’d had so neatly laid out that morning. “Well, I still have a lot of money in my government account. I was going to buy a house somewhere in town, maybe set up a practice as a local alchemist. I guess that would still work…Sara could spend part of the year with me, if you wanted, or I could just…” He trailed off at the odd look on her face. “What?”

Winry shook her head, drawing her hand away. “Nothing. I just…nothing,” she repeated. “If you don’t want to stay here, that’s…that’s understandable, and—”

“Stay here?” Ed echoed, thoroughly startled. “But…” Once again he found himself choking on too many things to say. I thought you wouldn’t want me within a mile of you. I thought you’d be bitter, that we would have to rebuild our friendship slowly after what I put you through. I thought you would…all right, maybe not hate me, but…damn it, Winry, seventeen with a baby and it’s my fault…and…

“It’s okay,” Winry said quietly. Her shoulders had curled in, making her look smaller than she was. “I never expected you to settle down anyway. You always did travel too damn much. As long as you’re there for Sara when she needs you, I don’t care…but so help me, Ed, if you leave her again…”

Ed gulped back a bubble of hope. “Why the hell would I leave her? Winry…” He grabbed her hand, and she looked up in surprise, and was startled even more by the look in his eyes.

It was need. Pure and unadulterated, and unspeakably lonely. The last time she’d seen it there, so rarely unhidden from her, it had been moments before she’d made the most reckless decision of her life.

She had a sudden feeling that she was about to make another. And the hell if she did, she thought suddenly. The last one had turned out all right, in its own way.

“Winry,” Ed was saying, as awkward as ever, “I don’t want to travel anymore. I’ve been doing it for too many years and I’m sick of it. I want…”

He fell silent. Winry smiled. He’d always been terrible at asking for anything, ten times better at fixing everyone’s problems but his own.

“If you’d rather stay,” she said, slowly, fumbling the words together out of seven years’ of fruitless hope and dreaming, “then…well, you’d better earn your keep. Got that?”

It wasn’t exactly flowers and wine. But it was a hell of a lot better than he’d felt he had any right to expect. A smile like sunrise blossomed on Ed’s face at her gruff words, and Winry couldn’t help it. She’d always loved his smile, and the chance to see it every day, after waiting so long…she was hugging him before she realized what she was doing.

Perhaps it was a good idea, and perhaps it wasn’t. It was intended as friendly, of course. In retrospect, it seemed kind of inevitable, a sooner-or-later thing, and so she supposed it was all right. Granted, if she hadn’t done it, it probably would have taken weeks for them to end up suddenly deep in a kiss, as the feeling of her arms around him set off a flare of heat on the tinder of their memory of that last night together. She could have, probably should have made him wait; let him get situated as a father before she raised the question of becoming a lover again as well. But it felt so good to have his fingers tangled in her hair once more that she really couldn’t work up a damn to give.

“Mommy?”

It was the childish voice and the giggle from the doorway that broke into their daze. Winry dragged herself away from him with a gasp, and turned crimson as she saw the two little girls in the doorway, staring at them in mixed puzzlement and glee.

Well, shit. How had she ended up in his lap? She stumbled to her feet and pushed her hair out of her face, fumbling for something to say. Ed was just as speechless, turning a fascinating shade of red.

“Hi, Miss Rockbell!” the little red-headed girl next to Sara piped up. “Is that Sara’s new dad?”

“Erm,” Ed said, so red now that he looked ready to burst a vessel somewhere.

“Yup!” Sara answered for him, quite over her surprise and ready to show off her new family member with the proper enthusiasm. “Katie wouldn’t believe me about the magic, so I brought her to see,” she explained. “What’re you doing?” she added curiously.

Before Winry could burst a blood vessel or two of her own, Katie turned to her friend to wave a knowledgeable finger at her. “Mommies and daddies do that sometimes,” she instructed her. “Then they tell you to go outside and play. It’s normal.”

Sara nodded, evidently filing this away as part of the new rules for having a dad. “Okay,” she said agreeably. “Is there any juice, Mommy? We’re thirsty.”

“Sure, there’s some in the cupboard by the sink,” Winry said quickly, relieved to get a question she could answer comfortably. “Why don’t you and Katie take some outside with you? You could go show her the new puppies.”

The girls seemed to like this suggestion, though Katie whispered “See?” rather loudly as they scampered out of the room.

Winry turned back to Ed to find him with the oddest look on his face.

“Sorry about that,” she said, still flustered. He said nothing, still with that funny expression, and she frowned. “Are…you okay?”

His answer was to burst out laughing, so hard that he had to lean on the table to keep from falling right out of his chair. Winry made a face, and punched him in the arm.

“Oh, very funny,” she snapped. “You’re back for an hour and you’re already corrupting my daughter! And what am I going to tell Nellie if she asks Katie what she did at our house today?”

“Corrupting?” Ed managed to say incredulously, and then he was off again, laughing so hard that it shook them both. Winry smacked him again, not as hard this time…and then she remembered the shell-shocked look of dismay on his face when they’d heard that little voice, and suddenly she was off too, leaning on him and giggling helplessly.

They took quite a while to wind down, letting out new little explosions of laughter until their stomachs hurt, but it was good for them. The stress drained out along with the laughter, until finally they were curled comfortably in the chair in a warm, pleasant sort of silence, her chin resting on his shoulder and his arm around her waist.

“God, I missed you so much,” Ed said finally, when the last of their hiccups were gone.

“Somehow I doubt that,” Winry said with a little smile, tracing the edge of the lump forming under his hair with her fingertip. He made a face.

“Well, maybe not that part,” he admitted, “but still.” “And you deserved that,” she added.

He nodded, rueful but honest. “Yeah.”

There was a pause.

“Winry?” he said, quietly.

“Mm-hmm?” she murmured, eyes closed.

“I’m sorry. It must have been hell.”

She sat up and looked at him, thinking over how to answer that fairly. “Well…yes and no. It wasn’t a picnic, but it wasn’t bad, either. Just…tough, sometimes. I already had a career and a home to raise her in, so it wasn’t like I was neck-deep in trouble when I found out. More like knee-deep, I guess.”

Ed smiled at that, but didn’t seem satisfied. “Still. I should have been there.”

“Yeah, you should have,” Winry agreed. “But you weren’t, and we did all right, so don’t beat yourself up about it forever, okay?”

She paused, thoughtfully. “I think…having her kept me sane, in a way, while you were gone. You’re so alike sometimes.”

Ed winced, and she grinned. “It’ll be good to have you around to help. She’s a handful when she wants to be.”

“Well, she definitely didn’t get all of that from me,” Ed said, giving a lock of her hair a teasing tug. Winry snickered, and climbed out of his lap.

“You’re here now,” she said firmly. “I won’t say I forgive you…yet. But you came back, and that’s what matters. You can explain the rest later. For now, I’ve got dinner to put on the table.”

They would worry about the practical problems of his return later, after chicken and dumpling soup, and a constant stream of cheerful chatter from Sara as she waved her spoon and spilled soup on the floor. She would help her into her nightgown, and he would carefully brush her hair out of its pigtails, and they would both kiss her goodnight, and talk until midnight in the candle-lit kitchen. She would recount the last seven years, first steps and first teeth and her growing automail career. He would explain everything, as carefully as he had run the brush through his daughter’s hair, this time rearranging Winry’s perception of the world itself.

And then, when the candle was burnt down to a stump, they would walk upstairs together. He would hesitate at the door of his old room for a moment, looking in at the matched twin beds, and then feel her fingers lace through his, and follow her.

But, for the moment, Ed simply stood up, pushing the chair back in place. “I’ll help,” he said.

And, for the moment, that was all she needed.

*

-end of part two-


--------------------

The Restoring Earth Alchemist
Big Sister to Chiyo, Little Sister to Tokage, Edward to WrenchFreakWinry

An Appetite For Grief Dividing the Bones Elysium FULLMETAL FOLLY
Good Neighbors Jaybird Letdown Mater Familias Mea Culpa Play With Me
Rosarium Seven Years The Shadow of Him Some Assembly Required Wired Wooden

<3 The EdWin 100 Themes <3
She remembers the way her inexplicably riveted gaze slid unbidden
down the curves of his back, slowly, like honey. And she particularly remembers
the rush of prickly heat, the unfamiliar melting sensation that made her duck
her head to hide a blush that caught her entirely by surprise; as she realized
for the first time, in an entirely new way, that Ed was a
boy.

Click here to read more...
THEY'RE STILL UPDATING! PLEASE DON'T FORGET THEM. ;_;
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CSakuraS
post Nov 4 2005, 03:24 AM
Post #13


Apprentice
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Group: Members
Posts: 120
Joined: 30-March 05
From: Woodbridge, VA
Member No.: 10,793



A line that will be echoed many times, no doubt: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!


--------------------

ZOMG FRUIT TREE ALCHEMISTS!

Check out my Seven Deadly Sins Chart to dispel manga vs. anime confusion!
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Kanki
post Nov 4 2005, 07:30 PM
Post #14


Citizen
*

Group: Members
Posts: 18
Joined: 20-August 05
Member No.: 20,592



-glomps- I love you! No...seriously.

I've always loved your fics, Tobu; you're probably my most favorite EdWin author, and this is probably the best EdWin child story I've ever read! Sara's absolutely adorable and your Ed and Winry are characterized wonderfully. Your interactions are so fluffy, I feel all warm inside and can't help but go awwww! I nearly threw up...but in a good way, of course. Your fluff is good fluff ^___^ Can't wait to see what happens when everyone else finds out Edward is alive. I'm waiting for your next update! Keep up the good work!


--------------------
Mayou hitsuyou mo nai kurai
Chanto watashi wa itsumo soba de
Anata no omoi mo hidoi itami mo
Isshou ni kanjiteita deshou?
Nani wo kono kyori de
Damaru koto ga aru no? 


You don’t have to feel so lost
Because naturally, you’re always by my side.
We both used to feel all your emotions
And even your worst pain together, you know?
So why is it that within this interval
You have fallen silent?

----
Please do not steal my avatar. Even though it's crappy, I made it myself. Thank you.
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Keos
post Nov 6 2005, 08:11 AM
Post #15


Apprentice
**

Group: Members
Posts: 245
Joined: 23-July 05
Member No.: 17,621
Gender: Female



You are brilliant, Tobu! T_T Are you going to continue this story? You don't usually write long epic stories but short, sweet and touching ones like this and I feel kind of sad that there's all there is to it.

I have some comments:

Sara: I absolutely adore little Sara - she's so cute and innocent that it's just wonderful ("I have a magic Dad!" - that exlamation is just priceless!).

Winry: At that moment when after 7 years and Ed said he was going to just buy a house, start up a prac and live away from them, I felt tremendously bad for Winry. Her shoulders sagging, her evident disappointment is so well conveyed and it really makes me want to hit Ed on his head again. So clueless.

Ed: Tsk tsk - such an irresponsible parent and is so clueless about other people's feelings. He really needs to show his love for Winry more. It's evident he feels responsible for the kid, though, I'd really like to see him doing something that shows his love for both the mother and kid like through some really touching actions. Well regardless, I've decided he definitely loves both.

Please do continue on with the story (but I know having an long story is high-maintenance)!


--------------------
Avid EdWin supporter!

EdWin is canon! Thankyou Arakawa-sensei~~ ^ ^



Cloud & Tifa - The official FF7 couple.
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