Joined: 27-January 05
From: a land called Honah Lee
Member No.: 6,466
Gender: Not Telling
Well since many will have run away after seeing Ed/Win, hey to the few of you left
Here starts a series of fics concentrating mainly on Winry. The idea behind this was there are many times we don't know whats going on in her head so I have filled those gaps. And I wish to say before I get bashers, she had admitted she loves Edward more then a brother, that I am not making up.
Anywho, because its me there will be much Ed/Win. I start on manga no. 45, which is where the title came from. I will then follow on from there...if enough people are interested. As the manga may go on for some time I will probably make my own conclusion at some point.
So please enjoy, now I'll leave you to read.
Edit As of today (1st September 2009) I shall be updated and editing these previous chapters. Since we have got to this point in the anime, spoilers for the series are abound. Here we start at Episode 20. This chapter now edited.
She stood in the doorway staring blankly ahead for what seemed like hours. Perhaps she should never have got out of bed in the first place but it was too late now she was here. It was a miracle no one else was walking the corridors or they may have seen her. She had opened the door so carefully and made sure she let in as little light as possible and closed it quietly so he would not wake up.
As he turned over in his sleep she pushed herself further into the wood, as if would make any difference if he woke up. Once he had settled back down her body relaxed but she still felt frozen to the spot. For the life of her she could not recall what had urged her to get out of bed and make her way here. Now she was glued to the spot looking at him sleep like some stalker might.
Then her memory caught up with her and she knew why she was there. That night she had realised, or more had been reminded, that her childhood friend was in fact growing up. She had no idea what the future held for any of them but Ed was ever more independent. To her this meant many things but it was the one thought that scared her most.
Still as silently as she could she crossed the room and sat herself down in the armchair opposite the bed. She couldn’t see his face anymore but his presence was still very real. Wrapping her arms around herself she decided the safest thing to do now was just to remain seated there. She knew she wanted to at least be close to him but with nothing to say she was content with the silence.
Once his task of retrieving his brother’s body had been completed he would probably not need too much human contact. He would easily break away from the Rockbell household and so easily break away from her. She wasn’t quite sure how she would take such news if it occurred, but she knew fear played a great part of it. Even though he had been travelling for some time she still fully believed he would come home and a sense of normality could fall upon them. But then it couldn’t be normal, for he would be an adult in search of his own life. They had always joked the three of them would be together forever but that was the naivety of youth.
It may eventually have ended up that if she wanted to stay near to them she would have to keep following them. A travelling auto-mail mechanic didn’t seem to bad an idea, until she remembered most customers needed after-care. She couldn’t just give someone a new arm and let him or her get on with it. Though had left people behind in Rush Valley there were other people there to care for them. The people back in Rizembol had Granny so for the time being it was okay to be away from home.
Her heart had been through a lot of late and she knew it would only get worse. Ed and Al seemed to get into more dangerous situations with each passing week. The fact that Ed had asked her to stay to fix his auto-mail meant he was planning on getting himself into trouble again. She would be glad when he got his own limbs back so she didn’t have to keep fixing him.
She giggled quietly to herself knowing full well she was never angry with him for breaking his automail. Even if it was her hard work destroyed in an instant, it was the symbol of what she could do for him. So that when he got his real limbs back…she wouldn’t be needed. Yes, this was probably what she feared most. She had become dependant on people being dependant on her.
His eyes flickered open as he heard a feint laugh across the room. Slowly he inclined his head to see where the noise came. This he did with great care to remain undetected. The bed covers obscured his vision and all he could make out was a pair of long pale legs tucked up on the chair; a pair of long white female legs. Closing his eyes he shifted his legs as if he was moving in his sleep to get a better look.
‘Oh Edward,’ Winry cursed under her breath as his sudden movement made her jump. Worried this was an indication he was about to wake up she got to her feet to exit. She padded silently across the room and her hand reached for the door handle.
‘What are you doing?’
She let out a squeal of surprise and her hand snapped away from the door. She whipped round to see Edward sat on the edge of his bed, arms folded and with a scowl on his face. How he managed to move that damn quickly without her hearing was beyond her. However, there were more pressing matters. Just how was she going to explain her way out of this one?
‘It’s been a while since you snuck into my room after having a nightmare,’ he butted in, ‘you could have given me some warning you were there.’
Bingo, ‘Oh…well… it’s late isn’t it! You would have yelled at me and called me a child.’
He huffed, ‘You’re not really the same as you were when you used to sneak in to my room.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
She kept her eyes focused on him and it seemed he kept his eyes trained on hers. In the briefest of moments, she saw his eyes flick down across her body. Her face flushed red and she recalled she had taken off her pyjama bottoms and only had her slightly oversized shirt covering her.
‘You perv...’ she started.
‘There is no way you would have politely waited by the door before. You used to just jump straight in and press your cold nose against my back.’
Her face creased up, ‘it wasn’t cold.’
‘Come over here,’ he sighed and patted the bed next to him. Determined to not let herself embarrassed she shrugged her shoulders and casually strode over, seating herself beside him. With all the grace of a baby elephant she began to lie down, only for her plan to backfire on her as the moment she leant backward she saw his back again. She sat bolt upright and looked away to hide her blushing face.
‘It won’t work if you face away from me,’ he said, so close to her ear she tensed up. All the same, she straightened her face and turned to look at him.
‘I said face not look,’ he sighed again and suddenly grabbed her right ankle with his left hand. With a small tug he swivelled her round until her whole body faced him. The sudden movement mixed with his hand on her leg caused her to glow red. He took hold of her hands and leant close to her. When he instructed her to close her eyes she did so with great caution. Whatever he was up to he was going all out to unnerve her.
‘What are you afraid of Winry?’
Had she been mumbling to herself while she was sat in the chair? Had he magically read her every thought since she had entered the room? Aware he could still see her face she bit her lip to stop herself gawping like a fish.
‘C’mon. We can’t do this if you don’t tell me.’
‘What? Do what?’
‘What was your nightmare about? What has scared you?’
With those words suddenly everything fit into place and inwardly she laughed hysterically. When she was little and she snuck into his room after having a nightmare they performed this ritual. After she had subtly woken him up anyway. They would face each other and take hold of each other’s hands. Then, with her eyes closed, she would picture the nightmare she had and describe it to him. The combination of knowing someone was physically there and describing the dream would make her see she was safe enough to go back to bed. When Edward really didn’t want to know, Al was always happy to step in.
She opened her eyes and took her hands away, ‘I’m too old for that now Edward.’
‘Then why were you in here?’
‘Because…well perhaps seeing you made me feel better but I didn’t want to wake you!’ she snapped. She stood up to make her hasty exit but he grabbed hold of her wrist.
‘Fine. You are staying here with us for a while though?’
She cast her eyes over his form. Although she loved automail she also knew she would love to see him with his real limbs back. Even if that meant she might not see him as much, she couldn’t deny him his limbs and his brother back. Apart from a metal arm and leg, every other part of him was perfect.
Snatching her hand away she grumbled something about not having much of a choice. Trying to not be too loud she made a dash for her own room and slammed the door behind her. Her heart was beating heavily in her chest, which made her short of breath. She had been ready to accuse him of being a pervert and she very nearly become one herself. She did not know why it had happened, but she didn’t wish it to occur again.
Joined: 1-April 06
From: Turn around...
Member No.: 34,017
Wow! This is extremely good!! The characters play out well, and they work with each other perfectly! Normally, i'm not a ginormous EdWin fan (unless its manga, like this is, then it works really well!) But this is really good! I'm glad I took the time to read it! Great job! I'm excited to see where this goes, fluffyness is so much fun! Update soon!
Joined: 27-January 05
From: a land called Honah Lee
Member No.: 6,466
Gender: Not Telling
Holy hell, I updated a fic! I'm in shock myself. But once I got going it flowed easily. Especially since this is following the manga and there is only so much basic story I have to do. This is following number 46, some is the story, some is the made up inbetween parts.
If there are any mistakes I haven't spotted I do apologise, but this was rushed. The weather is too hot, my brain melted.
Edit Note: Updated and Edited 6th September 2009
By the time she stirred again the sun was up and shining through her window. The odd flicker of shadow meant the tree outside was being blown about by the breeze. She closed her eyes again and longed for another hours sleep. Her midnight excursion had unnerved her and she had lain awake for hours. The peace didn’t last as she heard familiar voices were heard outside.
‘It’s a clever plan brother if you are sure you will be safe.’
‘I’ve tackled him before Al. I know what I’m doing.’
If anything were going to stir her from her bed, that small section of conversation would do it. Throwing on her dressing gown she threw the door open just in time to see them at the end of the corridor.
‘What plan?’ she called.
She could tell she had caught them off guard as they slowly turned around, revealing guilty looking faces.
‘What plan? Who have you tackled?’ she questioned again.
‘The Colonel,’ Ed blurted out, ‘we have made plans to go and see him but you know what he can be like.’
‘Yes Winry, I was over-reacting when I said, “tackled”, but you know what he’s like.’ Al supported.
She opened her mouth to make more of a protest but they made a dash for it. If she had been clothed she might have chased them but she had to leave them to it.
‘Oh Winry,’ Ed called to her, once again appearing round the corner, ‘why don’t you go visit Gracier and Elysia?’
‘Don’t you think you can tell me what to do Edward Elric!’ she yelled. Realizing he had indeed vanished this time she slammed her door and leant her head against it. Nightmares, she thought, the only nightmare I suffer is him.
Quite of her own will and nothing to do with Ed’s suggestion Winry paid a visit to Gracier and little Elysia. Since the boys had vanished so early Winry would have to entertain herself for the day. She hadn’t seen Gracier since the day she had found out about Hughes’ death. It had been a sad meeting and Winry would hate for them to part on such a memory.
They were stood by Hughes grave but the feeling was not so sullen. Winry found she could talk to Gracier easier then her own Grandmother and so was taking the chance while she had it. The wind was blowing her hair into a frightful mess but her mind was too occupied to notice. She wasn’t talking to Gracier about the uncomfortable feeling that had taken her over the previous night, but Edward was very much on her mind.
‘I know I should be happy with what I have but…’she sighed.
‘Go on dear,’ Gracier urged.
Winry took a deep breath, ‘It’s so horrible. Why does everyone disappear in some place I don’t know?’
She didn’t expect an answer. Brushing her hair away from her face she continued.
‘My mom and dad too, “We’ll be right back so be a good girl and mind the house”’, she remembered with a sore heart, ‘Then they went to Ishbal and never came back.’
She felt as if anyone could have been there and her words would have streamed out like water down a river. Her words and voice were lowered as if she were only talking to herself. Perhaps this had been why she felt so out of place last night?
‘The last I saw of my parents were their large back when going to the battlefield. As their backs became smaller, I began feeling lonely.’
Gracier turned to walk away but encouraged Winry to keep talking as she stayed with her.
‘But I remember feeling hope as I watched from behind, them taking pride in their work. I may have been comparing Mr Hughes’ back with my own father’s’. As they stepped through the gate, Elysia merrily stood between them Winry knew this probably made no sense to Gracier.
‘Something that I have lost and can never get back again. My mother and father and myself laughing in the middle,’ she turned to look at the little girl as her realisation broke through, ‘I was comparing myself to Mr Hughes and Gracier and Elysia because I was welcomed like family there.’
A weight she maybe didn’t realise was there lifted off her shoulders, ‘It made me happy. Very much. It was kind of a familiar, happy feeling.’
Gracier smiled that motherly smile Winry delighted in seeing, ‘Come and visit every now and then okay? He gets so lonely all the time.’
Winry felt humbled to be asked such a thing and promised herself she would drop by when she could. Her visit was coming to a close but she walked back with them just to have their company a few moments longer. Last night she was seeking reassurance from Edward that he would not disappear too; she just hadn’t realised that was it at the time.
‘I’ve heard the Elric brothers are in a fight.’
Although all that came out of her mouth was an angry ‘eh’ Winry screamed inwardly. Sods law was playing his cruel trick on her again. She calms herself that the people she cares for won’t always vanish just as two of them are in danger. Quickly excusing herself from Gracier’s company she made a dash for the centre of town. She could only imagine they were very much in the public view. They were such idiots sometimes!
As she ran she heard more comments from passers by. Her anger soon melted into fear as the severity of their situation became apparent.
‘A State Alchemist killer?’
‘He’s still alive?’
These words caused her heart to drop into her stomach. She knew they were up to no good this morning but she never expected this.
‘Hey hey is this alright?’
‘What’s the military doing?’
Panic drove her legs to go faster but she frustratingly didn’t increase speed. Her mind raced with the conversation she had just had with Gracier. The image of her parents walking away from her came to mind mixed with the image of Ed and Al from the back.
No, she thought to herself, why do they have to be the same? She associated one thing with another. That had been the last image of her parents and now she believed it would be her last memory of the Elric brothers.
She ran and ran until her breath was ragged and her legs weak, but still she kept on running. Flashes of light and the sounds of stone smashing could only mean alchemy and she ran to the source. Sure enough she came upon a crowd who appeared to be keeping their distance from something. Mumbling an apology as she pushed her way through a few men, she ignored their calls of ‘danger’ and kept going. The alchemised metal and rock, broken to pieces that surrounded her was not a sign of comfort. Tears began to form in her eyes as she fully expected the worst. She mentally pleaded to whoever could hear her to keep them safe until she could reach them.
Edward had his hands poised to defend himself from another attack. His plan was backfiring on him, as the homunculus had not made themselves known yet. He needed to stop fighting even if for a little while, to catch his breath and think of another plan. While he had Scar in his presence he would tackle and issue that had been burning in his mind and kill two birds with one stone.
‘Certainly, we alchemists have been making mistakes,’ he called across the battlefield, ‘but that doesn’t mean we are going to acknowledge what you’re doing.’ He took a deep breath, ‘Scar, there’s something I want to ask you.’
She could hear his voice and she could smell his metal. To see Al standing there filled Winry with relief. They were both still alive even if the danger was still present. As she approached she could see the back of a tall, dark skinned man with tatty clothing. He was the State Alchemist killer. She knew Al had seen her, but she had to see Ed with her own two eyes before she would back away.
‘Do you remember a couple of Doctors from Ametris named Rockbell?’ Edward asked, his anger raising the volume of his voice unintentionally. He heard his brother try to call him to stop but Edward would not let this opportunity go.
‘They went forward into the Ishbal rebellion,’ he carried on, ‘and even after there was an order of annihilation they continued helping the people of Ishbal…’
‘Wait brother!’ Al pleaded again, but Edward would not stop.
‘Scar! Do you remember those doctors who you were helped by and you killed?’
That final cry stopped Ed in his tracks and he turned his head. Standing just round the side of a nearby wall was Winry. Her face that last night had been so soft was twisted into a look of confusion. His mouth fell open in silent explanation. If he had known she was there he would never have…
‘What?’ her voice quietly trembled, ‘what do you mean? This person…he killed…mom and dad?’
Although her voice was small each word pounded into him as if to remind him of what he had done. He tried to lie and tell her he was wrong but he couldn’t do it. She knew the truth and nothing would change that or the fact she knew because of him. Stupid, loudmouthed him.
‘No way, they were killed by someone they saved?’ she carried on, ‘you killed my mom and dad?’
In that moment of he could hear nothing but his own breath as he gasped for air. Her eyes shone with tears and her face showed a pain he hadn’t seen in many, many years.’
‘You don’t deny it?’ she asked and he winced as she fell sharply to her knees. She began to breath deeply and he knew she would break down any moment. They were in a dangerous position to leave themselves unguarded but he desperately wanted to go over to her.
She knew she had damaged herself when she had fallen but the pain did not register. Her brain only appeared to be functioning as much as it needed to. Words came out of her mouth but she couldn’t recall what she was saying. She knew however, her words were not conveying her pain so she cried at the top of her lungs and used up all the voice she had left.
‘Give them back, give mom and dad back!’
Her knuckles slammed hard onto the ground and silence fell again. The anger and sorrow pushed her into a dream like trance from which she could not remove herself. All she knew was that this man didn’t deserve to be standing. He didn’t deserve to have the chance to hurt others. He had to go, and the gun in front of her would do the trick.
As if sensing Ed and Al were trapped in stance her hand drifted toward the weapon. Ed’s voice filtered into her ear but rather then mean anything she let the words fall.
Her hands fell on the gun and she lifted it onto the air. She had no knowledge of these weapons but somehow she became an expert once it fell into her hands. She was aware of nothing but her enemy and the weapon she had to destroy him.
Joined: 16-July 05
Member No.: 17,145
O my gosh! You actually updated your story! Thank you so much. This really made my day. I will definetly be looking foward to you continuing. Oh and feel free to write another ed/win fanfic if you want. Your an awesome writer.
~ When life gives you lemons, squirt the lemon in life's eye and demand the oranges you asked for. ~
Joined: 27-January 05
From: a land called Honah Lee
Member No.: 6,466
Gender: Not Telling
Blah, blah blah, oh and yes I have updated again. This is still easy to follow with the manga (no. 47) but pretty soon I'll be making a lot of it up. Hope you can stick with me through those hard times
Edit: 22nd September 2009
Perhaps it was the sudden change in his tone. From being nervous to calm but still stern Ed’s voice finally broke through to her. She could hear his words but they made no sense. Her once determined hold had begun to shake.
‘Don’t shoot Winry! Lower the gun,’ she heard Ed call, but her head fought back, crying out to her ‘but your parents’
‘You shouldn’t hold something like that. Winry!’
Something in the childish tone of Al’s cry brought out a motherly instinct in her. She was causing them fear and hurt and she knew she should stop. Her hand began to grow weak until she heard the voice of the man who had taken her parents from her.
‘So you’re those doctors daughter? You do have the right to shoot me. However the moment you shoot I will see you as an enemy.’
She knew he was right, but before she even had a chance to try and reply the Elric brothers had leapt to her defence.
‘Scar,’ Al cried, the child in his voice leaving him.
‘Bastard, if you put a hand on Winry I’ll kill…’ Ed yelled, but his call was interrupted by a chilling reminder of what was facing them.
‘You’ll kill me, that’s fine too!’ Scar yelled, ‘The cycle of hatred cannot stop till either side falls. But do not forget, the first one to pull the trigger in that civil war was from Amestris…it was your people!’
A twitch in her hand caused the gun to clink slightly. She could see the fury in Ed and waited for him to explode again. Instead, he did not rise to the challenge of such an argument but turned back to her. His voice seemed to have grown weary. ‘No...don’t shoot. I’m begging you.’
‘Hurry,’ Al called still with urgency, ‘drop the gun and get away from here.’
She knew she should, she knew she was in the way, but the faces of her mum and dad danced before her as if pleading her to take the chance to shoot while she had the chance.’
‘Hurry,’ Al cried again but it was the scarred man who replied first.
‘If you cannot shoot, then leave this place.’ His hand raised itself in the air with all the power and menace of the weapon she had in hand, ‘You are in the way.’
The next few seconds were a blur through her tear filled eyes. She was unaware of what was happening until Ed’s hand was gripped tightly onto hers and he sat as a blockade between herself and Scar. She could barely see over his shoulder, almost as if his whole back shielded her from the enemy. His final cry of don’t shoot still rang in her ears as his hand pushed her own down to lower the weapon.
The moment stayed frozen until Al sprung to life and knocked Scars had away from Ed’s vulnerable head. This seemed to startle Scar enough for him to try and flee from attack. Winry still starred blankly at Edward’s strong grip. She heard Al yell at his brother, but words once again lost meaning in her head. All she could register was what she had almost done. What would Ed have thought of her?
She became aware of a new grip on her wrist, it was warm and soft, so much more gentle then it had just been. She wanted so much to release the gun, to let him know she was sane.
‘Winry let go of the gun,’ he said again sternly.
As much as he wanted to whip the gun out of her hand he could see her grip slacken. He could see in her expression she had woken from the trance she was in and it was hitting her hard.
‘I couldn’t shoot,’ he heard her choke. Painful as it was to hear her sound like that, he was grateful for her voice. ‘Even though he’s my enemy...’
‘Please don’t shoot, I’m begging you,’ he pleaded, a lot quieter this time then he had before. He brought his other hand up and placed it on the gun to try and ease it out of her hand but her hold was still fairly strong.
‘But,’ she continued, raising her hand to her head, ‘he killed mum and dad….why….you and Al too…might be kill…why!?’
He knew what she felt and he could only pity her. Sometimes he forgot that they were as close to her as any family would be. He wasn’t an expert on comforting words or caring for someone in such a delicate state, so he simply spoke the truth.
‘Winry, didn’t you help deliver a baby and save a mother and child in Rush Valley?’
She could feel him trace his hand down her wrist and to her hand. She could see him prise away her thumb from the gun as his words still tried to sooth her.
‘Didn’t you give me an arm and leg to stand up with?’ he questioned, using his other hand to release her fingers, ‘your hands are not those that kill people, they’re hands that let people live.’
The gun finally fell to the ground with a clatter. Had his hands not carefully softened her grip she doubted she would ever have let go. His words struck a cord and she was deeply ashamed of the crime she had nearly committed. What mattered at that time that Edward was still alive, and holding her trembling hand carefully.
As Edward leaned closer to her to hand the man behind her the gun, she could feel the heat from his body. She hadn’t noticed how cold she had become even though the day was warm. The salty smell of his sweat mixed with the dusty smell of rubble was a strange comfort. She didn’t want to lose it.
‘Winry, Al is still fighting so, I’m going.’
Oh how she wanted to scream no, to pin him to the ground in a bid to keep him safe. His face was bloodied and battered from the fight. But she knew he was right, Al would need his brother more than she did.
She saw the familiar flash of red as he wrapped his jacket around her shoulders. Her father had once done the same when she was so little. She waited for the gentle kiss on the forehead her father gave her, but knew better then to expect it. As he stood up her hand instinctivly took a hold of his and as he walked away he pulled it from her grip. As she watched him dissapear her hand moved and held onto the edge of the coat as she took in all the warmth she could from it.
As he finally vanished from view behind a pile of rubble she felt totally worthless. They fought a battle that baffled her, but she still wanted so much to protect them, to keep them. Why…why was waiting all she could do?
But waiting for the time being was all she could do. The officer guided to her feet while a local medic quickly cleaned the grazes on her knee. The ointment stung, but with Ed’s jacket wrapped around her shoulders she felt she could face any pain. She closed her eyes on concentrated on that moment…she had rarely got any closer to him unless they were bickering. Apart from last night that is, when something new and almost unwelcome had stirred inside her. Today such antics should not ever have come to her mind, but she knew if it made her feel why should she feel guilt? She was lead to a car and sat in the back seat. Her mind was so pre-occupied she failed to notice the gentleman beside her.
‘You have been through much to have such a smile on your face. Are you having pleasant thoughts?’
She neither nodded nor shook her head. She couldn’t very well lie to him, but telling the Fuehrer the truth was unthinkable.
Joined: 8-March 06
From: Concord, MA
Member No.: 32,500
I really like how you use the manga to further the fic... it seems to work really well in this case. I'm looking forward to them branching off, though- you're a great writer, and seeing the events of the next day or two (read:next fifteen chapters) from Winry's POV should be interesting.
Sig and tag by Nil-Chan Punctuation, spelling, and general grammar are our friends! Don't look like an idiot, and be sure not to use numbers in words or toss random Japanese words into sentences where they don't belong.
Joined: 30-April 06
From: lets just say, you don't want to live here either
Member No.: 35,364
Ed is naive (or maybe just really, really distracted) about human relationships, but he can be honest when the situation calls for it. Winry learned two important things in this chapter: the danger Edward puts himself into so he can make things right, and by his actions, he shows Winry how much he really DOES care for her.
You are SO more talented than I am, please update soon as you can.
Joined: 27-January 05
From: a land called Honah Lee
Member No.: 6,466
Gender: Not Telling
An update *le gasp*, and so we are clear these scenes are based around chaoter 48, and so the last where they are together. Most of the chapters after this will be Winrys POV.
Edit: September 26th 2009
‘So you’ve known the Elric brothers for a long time?’
‘All my life,’ Winry sighed, ‘Ed is only a couple of months older than me, our mothers were close friends.’
‘And I am right in thinking you have both lost both parents?’
Winry took a sip of the sweet tea she had in her hands before speaking again. ‘I suppose you could say that, although Ed and Al’s father is alive. Granny took them both on as extra grandchildren and helped raise them. For a little while we were never apart.’
She put her cup down and rested her hands on her lap. Resting there was the remains of Ed’s red jacket. It was still warm and as much as she knew it wasn’t true she longed to believe it was still his body heat.
‘I can image it pains you a lot when they are away?’
She looked up and Bradley and thought about how to answer his question. He seemed to be genuinely concerned about her as a person rather then just a friend of Edward Elric. She didn’t wish to pour her heart out but he was an easy man to talk to.
‘I don’t want to lose them, but sometimes it feels like I have already. Although I am with them at the moment it’s just not the same. Right at this moment I don’t know where or how they are…’
‘Do you believe they would worry about you in such a way?’
The question caught her off guard and the most she managed was an ‘oh’ and a shrug before the door opened. The most welcome sight greeted her eyes for standing in the doorway were both brothers all in one piece.
‘Ah….your safe,’ she muttered with a tremble in her voice.
‘Winry,’ Ed sighed, thankful to see a smile on her face. As he pushed the door further open and jogged inside he saw the figure sitting opposite her.
‘Hi Fullmetal Alchemist.’
‘Fuehrer Bradley!’ Al exclaimed.
‘Why are you here…?’ Ed asked in a strained voice, still taken aback that the most senior military man was looking after Winry.
‘When I asked the officers about the riot in the city, they told me they were watching over your childhood friend. She’s a friend of an important life, we must treat her respectfully.’
Ed thought he saw a twitch in Winry’s face but it happened too quickly for him to know if he had or hadn’t. He waited for Bradley to rise and make his exit before speaking to Winry.
As Bradley passed Ed he told him something under his breath, so only Ed could hear.
‘She’s a nice honest girl. Treat her well.’
Something about his tone didn’t sit well with Ed and he turned back to Winry, ‘What were you talking about?’
‘Nothing,’ she responded, ‘I told him that we were childhood friends and we’ve been together for a long time, vague things like that.’
It didn’t seem they had been talking about anything odd but Ed was still perplexed. He had almost forgotten why he was there until Winry sternly spoke to him again.
‘Ed, about Mom and Dad, how long have you known? You promised. Tell me everything.’
He was going to seat himself, but found he it was hard to move any closer to her. Her strong but delicate expression tormented his own emotions. There was no reason it hide anything anymore, and he explained all.
‘I see,’ she sighed after Ed had finished talking, ‘Mom and Dad stayed behind to the very end for the people. I’m relieved…Mom and Dad are my pride after all.’ She smiled a little, but then let her face drop back into a sorrowful look, ‘But above all else, I wanted them to come back home alive. Waiting is hard…and scary.’
She let the last sentence slip out without knowing it. She hoped it hadn’t sounded as accusing to them as it did her. Problem was she knew she was accusing them of putting her under undue upset. But they knew they did, and nothing much would change while they were on their quest.
She looked up at Ed and opened her mouth to apologise. She could see the hurt in his eyes at her words and she wished she could have taken it back. But a knock at the door faltered the words in her mouth and the sorry was never said. Truthfully, she was just glad to see his stubborn face there in front of her. He could have danced on top of the table nude for all she cared so long as he was okay. She smiled at him lightly, but it was not returned.
As they sat in the car that would take them back to their hotel Winry could feel Ed’s eyes burn into her skull. It was too late now to say sorry for what she had said, and what was even worse, she had meant it. She watched out of the window to distract herself from the ever harsh presence of Edward seated in front of her. Her heart was a confused muddle of fear, relief and distress and something else she knew she had felt before but wasn’t sure what it was.
They said nothing to each other as they stepped out of the car and into the hotel lobby. The porter at the front desk beamed at Winry as she entered.
‘Ah, perfect, a phone call has come in for Miss Rockbell.’
‘Me?’ she asked, indicating to herself. The only person who ever called her was Ed and he was still standing behind her with a frown across his face. She took the phone from the porter and pressed it to her ear, ‘Hello?’
‘Winry-Chan, it’s me!’
‘Garfiel-san, what’s wrong?’
She listened to the voices of all the people on the other end of the phone. They were normal, everyday people who needed her; just as so many normal people had needed her parents. She felt her eyes well up with tears as she quietly spoke to Garfiel.
‘I’m sorry, I’ll be back right away. Wait for me…I’ll do my best…I’ll do my best so….thank-you.’
Why hadn’t she realised that so many people were waiting for her too? She hadn’t forgotten them, not at all, but she had been doing important things. But to know they were there, waiting for her, was a feeling so tender she didn’t know how to take it.
‘Winry, are you okay?’ Al asked.
She had nearly forgotten they were both stood there waiting for her. She wiped the lonely tear from her cheek and turned back to them. She almost froze as Ed finally smiled back at her. She didn’t think her heart could take much more.
‘I have to go,’ she stated bluntly. She waited for the questions to erupt but Ed merely nodded at her.
‘We’ll take you to the station.’
They walked to the station in near silence, Every so often Al commented on something he saw or something he had been told. She did her best to respond to the younger brother, secretly longing to hear the elder’s voice again. But Edward remained as silent as he had before. She hoped dearly he wasn’t angry with her…not now she knew how he felt about having her waiting for him.
‘Are you going to be okay alone Winry?’
‘Yes Al,’ she sighed, walking with them to her platform.
‘Will you really be alright by yourself?’
Over a brief moment of elation that he had finally spoken to her Winry began to fall into her sad little world again. After assuring him she would be fine she stopped in her tracks and took a deep breath. She would apologise to them, one way or another.
‘Back then, thank-you for stopping me,’ she sighed, not turning to face him. ‘I guess there are people waiting for me too. I was almost unable to face them again. I haven’t finished sorting over Mom and Dad in my heart yet, but everyone’s waiting so…’
She took in another breath and finally turned to them. She was smiling but it was not forced for she did feel glad, ‘I can endure it thanks to them.’
To her distress Ed’s face seemed to tighten even more. The whistle blower indicated it was time for everyone to board the train. Winry quickly rushed into a cabin and opened the window to say her goodbyes. Somehow she found it easier to have a barrier between her and Ed. Her mix of feelings had whittled down to sadness and the strange feeling she couldn’t quite put her finger on. In the spirit of what had been her goodbye to Ed was as blunt as she could make it.
‘Don’t forget to take care of your auto-mail.’
‘Yeah,’ and something she didn’t catch was his only response.
‘I’ll send you some good polishing oil next time Al.’
‘Okay,’ Al said.
She locked her eyes onto Ed’s and felt something in her heart die a little. She was leaving them again. She was leaving them to get into all kinds of danger that she wouldn’t know about. What if they…if they….
‘Don’t die,’ she requested in a tiny voice that seemed unlike her own.
She still didn’t get much from Ed in the way of a response. Why she believed he suddenly would was a mystery, she knew him well enough to know goodbyes were not his speciality. She was about to slink back into her seat when Ed’s expression distorted. He made a noise somewhere between a grumble and a gulp. As he was about to speak the whistle went out for the train to exit.
‘Next time…’ he started.
Perhaps any other day she would have let it slide, but her desperation to get something from him drove her to call after him. When he turned to walk away she yelled at him that she hadn’t heard what he said. She wasn’t mad; his brother hadn’t heard him either.
‘Wait Ed! What did you say? I couldn’t hear!’
When he continued to walk away she gave one final cry, ‘what is it?!’
He stopped dead and whipped round to face her. The train had begun to pull away and the noise was loud, but no-where near as loud as Ed.
‘The next time I make you cry you’re going to be weeping for joy. Al and I will defiantly return to normal and we’ll make you cry tears of happiness!’
She blinked in shock a couple of times, taking in his cries. Her hair began to blow as the train moved away.
‘Remember that!’ was his final call. She laughed out loud and raised a hand to bid them farewell. She felt warm all over and decided not to look away until they were completely out of sight. She had got a reaction out of him finally.
Watching the Elric’s bicker as she was taken from them, images of Ed over the years flashed before her eyes. She was reminded of how strong he had been, no matter what had been thrown at him. As the images flashed passed they narrowed down to images of his back.
Ah his back, she thought, taking one last glance at him before he vanished into the distance. She had noticed how big it had got not too long ago, but not its significance. As she slid back it all became painfully clear. The strange feeling in her heart, the moments she felt awkward, the safety she felt when near him.
Ahhh, I see…I…might have fallen for him a long time ago.