WOW I didn't think I was going to get this finished in time. This is a one shot that I decided to doa few weeks ago. Every morning on the way to work I listen to the same radio station. Starting about 3 weeks ago they decided to do special Christmas wishes for those less fortunate to help them out this year in times of need. Listening to this all week really got to me. I think alot of people really have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas and what it really is about. For it's not about how much you receive or give but being there with the ones you care about the most. And to just be thankful that you have each other and a warm place to be at with them. This one shot will be alittle angsty and sappy and of course have it's funny moments. It might be abit longer then what a regular one shot is intended to be so my apologies ahead of time. But I really think it will fit nicely. I hope you all enjoy it. And if anyone was reading my other story entitled "Home" I will be starting the next chapter for it after the holidays are over. Just been very busy. Thanks for reading!!
"Oh my! Could someone please shut that door?! It's getting pretty cold in here and I don't want to start the fire place until everyone has arrived!"
It was a frigid Christmas Eve morning as Pinako Rockbell rushed around the kitchen getting the turkey ready to roast in the oven. This year she wanted everything to be perfect, this will mark the first year where she had all of her family and new found friend's beside her for the holiday. The past is now in the past and it's time for new beginnings she thought to herself as she placed the 25lb bird into the large oven. Ed and Al came barging into the house with a stack of wood that they had just finished chopping up for the fire place.
"Oh Boys that is great, thank you so much. That is going to come in handy for tonight."
"You mean if there is a tonight Gram" Winry said as she moped into the kitchen. "Sheska just heard on the radio that we are in for a big storm. Suppose to start sometime late this morning."
Pinako just shook her head in protest. "Don't worry child, the train is due in from Central no later then 1pm. Even if it does start late morning they will make it in time. And besides we have plenty of room for our guests to stay. Now why don't you go on up and finish getting the extra rooms set up. I need you girls down here soon to get these cookies and things started. Ed, Al why don't you go get us some more wood. Better to be prepared in case we get snowed in...... Ed? Alphonse?
"Too late Gram! They are already out there!" Winry shouted to her grandmother as she reached the top of the stairs.
"Ugh those boys" Pinako went back to the stove giggling alittle to herself. This truly is a year of blessings. She thought out loud.
For the remainder of the morning the girls worked extra hard to get all of the food prepared. While the boys got out extra candles and lights in case of lost power and hung out the lights and other decorations outside. Ed was certainly getting more in the Christmas spirit as the day went on. This seemed to take him by surprise, for many years him and his brother Al hadn't given Christmas much thought. Why would they though, their family was gone and they had more important things to worry about like trying to get their original bodies back. Now that all that was behind them, it felt so good to be able to go home and to have someone there waiting for them. It took the boys many years to come to that realization. Ed smiled to himself as he thought about how much Winry was a big part in that.
"Hey Fullmetal! Are you going to sit there and daydream all day or are you going to say hello to your guests?"
Ed immediately snapped out of his thoughts as he heard a familiar voice behind him and began to cringe.
"General! I'm glad you guys could make it. We didn't know what was going to happen with this storm going on! They said on the radio that it's going to be a big one!" Al said as he ran up to Mustang and the rest of the crew. Even if Ed didn't want to admit it. He was glad to see all the familiar faces of his friend's, even Mustang.
"Well, well, well if it isn't the colonel. I'm rather surprised you were able to find your way here" Ed said with a wide grin. Busting on the colonel will never get old to him.
"Very funny Fullmetal. I can see you haven't lost your sense of humor. But then again since you lack in height you have to find some way to impress the girls"
Ed could feel his face turning a bright crimson shade as he felt a light tug on his arm. "Oh I'm so glad you all could make it in time!" Ed turned around to see Winry standing there beside him as she slipped her arm into his. He could feel his face grow even hotter. But this time it wasn't out of anger. Mustang noticed the change in Ed's expression and smiled alittle to himself.
"Riza I'm so glad you could make it, I thought for sure Sheska and I would be out numbered, well besides Gram of course"
"Riza smiled widely as she hugged her friend, I have something very amusing to tell you later" She whispered in Winry's ear. Winry giggled silently to herself, she couldn't wait to hear this. Since Riza and Roy had started dating last year the two girls found themselves to have grown quite close with their friendship. Riza especially enjoyed this the most, working around all men all the time. She really needed another girl to talk to about things.
The girls continued to walk back towards the house and the men could hear them laughing the whole way up. Apparently Sheska was trying her hand in baking once more but wasn't succeeding to well at it.
"Women" Ed mumbled to himself as he turned around to help bring in the luggage.
"LET ME HELP YOU WITH THOSE DEAR ELRIC'S. IT WILL BE MY PLEASURE!" Armstrong grabbed the two large suitcases out of both brothers' arms before they could object.
"As you boys can see Armstrong is very happy to see you two" Beretta said with a chuckle. "I'm glad you guys invited us for the holidays. It's good to get away from the city"
"I agree" Ed said shivering alittle while looking up at the bright sun as it reached it's peak. "Wow it is getting alot colder out. Snow will be starting soon I'm sure. Let's get you guys settled in. Beretta, Havoc let us take your bags for you before Armstrong comes back out here" All the men laughed at this statement as they headed towards the house.
"Hey!" Mustang shouted from behind "What about my stuff??!"
Ed turned around and laughed to himself as he saw Roy struggling to catch up to them at the bottom of the hill with bags in tow. "Looks to me like your managing just fine Colonel! We'll see you up here!" Ed called out as he continued on towards the house.
"Come one Sheska! I promise you'll look great! What are you so afraid of?" Winry was trying to pull the poor girl in the bathroom while Riza was going through Winry's closet. Sheska was trying to find anything that she could get her hands on to stop the young crazy blonde mechanic from pulling her into the bathroom.
"No Winry, really it's alright. I was just joking when I told you I liked him heheheh. Please let me go! My pie is still in the oven downstairs and I have to go check on it please!!"
Winry was not taking no for a answer she knew damn well that Sheska was not joking around. "Oh lay off it would you Sheska? Riza and I both know that you were not joking about liking Havoc. You've been going on and on for 3 months about him now. And this is the perfect time to tell him!"
"Hey, what do you think about this outfit? I think this would look good on her. Not to drastic and I think the color will look nice on her. What do you two think?" Riza turned around and had a pair of black dress pants in her hands with a nice long sleeved pink dress shirt that buttoned down the front and a gray v-neck sweater. I figured since it will be freezing out tonight. And I can't see trying to get her in a dress just yet......"
"Ummm don't you guys think that is alittle too low cut for me??!" Sheska asked while still trying to get out of Winry's grasp. Her face turning as pale as the color of the walls.
"I think it's perfect Riza. Now if we can just get you to cooperate" Winry said looking at Sheska with a glimmer in her eye"
"UUugghhh!! Wait, you know. I don't see you going out of your way to tell the....." Winry covered Sheska's mouth before she could finish her sentence. She looked about as pale as her timid friend did moments ago. She nervously looked out into the hallway. No one was in sight. She turned around to face the two and let out a sigh of relief and removed her hand from Sheska's mouth.
"Sheska, what do you think your doing?! Are you crazy?! If anyone heard you..."
"Here, why don't I get this outfit laid out for her and you can start on her hair. I'll go into my room and get my makeup bag. Sheska, everything will be fine. You can't freak out all the time." Riza turned on her heels as she left the room and went down the hall to her room.
Sheska let out a small sigh as she looked down at the ground. "Easy for her to say, she is beautiful and she already has the guy she is in love with." Winry smiled down at her friend and pulled her along.
"Come on, by the time I'm done with you. You'll even have Mustang looking at ya!"
Edward stepped outside for a few moments to take in the beautiful scene of the snow. For miles all he could see was nothing but white. It almost looked like a big white soft blanket comforting the valley. There wasn't a sound to be heard in miles just a few short bits of laughter coming from inside the house. Everything was still and peaceful, something Edward hadn't laid eyes on in a very long time. This is something he could get used to he thought to himself as he closed his eyes and took in the sharp cool crisp air into his lungs.
"Mind if I join you?" Ed turned around to see the colonel standing in the door way. "I figured you'd be off trying to impress Hawkeye" Ed said with a grin on his face as Mustang approached him.
"Yeah well, the girls are doing a make over or something on Sheska. That's not really my scene. So dare I ask what you got the little women for Christmas"
Ed's cheeks turned a slight shade of pink at the question. "What makes you think I got her anything?"
Mustang let out a deep laugh which only made Edward more mad. "Oh Fullmetal, when are you going to finally give up the tough guy act. Your not fooling anyone you know. We can all see how much you care for Ms. Rockbell. So are you going to tell me what you got her or what?"
Ed ignored the question and instead decided to ask his own. " When did you know?"
"When did I know what?" Roy asked rather confused at the sudden change of topic.
"About Riza, when did you know..... that you were in love with her?"
Mustang was tempted to make a joke but knew that the alchemist was in fact serious so he didn't.
" That is a tough one to answer Fullmetal. I think I was in love with her for a long time. But it took alot of growing up in me to realize it. How could I not love her. She has always been there for me. A women like that doesn't come along to often. Any women who can put up with us is a keeper."
They both laughed at that. Ed knew that statement to be to true. He was as stubborn as they came to be. They both sat out there in silence for awhile taking in the peaceful valley when they heard the door creak open alittle. There stood Winry and looking more beautiful then he could ever imagine he thought to himself. She had her hair done up in loose curls in what appeared to be a bun or perhaps a messy pony tail on her head and little ringlets hanging down in front of her face. She was wearing a red sweater with a pointsetta pinned on just below her right shoulder, black pants that stopped just below the knee with a pair of black knee high boots.
"Oh I'm sorry guys I didn't know you two were out here. Roy, Riza is looking for you by the way."
"Well I guess I should go see how everyone is doing anyways." Roy began to walk up to the stairs and turned briefly to stop. "You'll do the right thing Fullmetal. I'm sure of it" then with that he walked inside.
"What was that all about?" Winry asked with a slightly confused look on her face.
"Ugh, I don't know. You know how he is these days. Always talking crazy" Ed shifted his weight back and forth as he tried to sit still. He was suddenly feeling nervous around Winry and even more so once she sat down next to him.
"It sure if beautiful out tonight. Dinner will be done soon. Gram let me out of setting the table since I did such a nice job on Sheska."
"Yeah about that. What were you guys doing to her in there?" Ed asked curiously
"Promise not to tell? Don't answer that, I know you will keep it a secret otherwise I'll beat you with a wrench. Sheska has a crush on Havoc."
"What? Ed burst out laughing. Havoc?? As in Jean Havoc?" He could see that she didn't find this funny so he stopped laughing quickly. "Sorry it just sounds funny, she is so involved in her books I would never think of her to try to pursue anything that involved dating."
"Well trust me. She didn't do it willingly, but in the end she thanked me. Wait til you see her you won't even recognize her! She is planning on hiding til dinner. She is to afraid to come down before hand." The two laughed at the thought of poor Sheska up in Winry's room freaking out.
"I got you something by the way, for Christmas. Before you say anything I know you said no gifts but I had to get you this. So please don't be mad at me." Ed nodded his head in agreement as she took out the box and handed it to him.
"What is it" he asked. He slowly opened it almost as if he was afraid a mini wrench was going to hit him over the head. She didn't answer as he continued to open up the box. Inside was a new shiny silver military watch.
"Oh Win, you didn't have to get me a new one. Thank you it's....." She put her hand over his and he could feel his cheeks burning.
"Before you thank me I want to let you know that after Al had lost yours I thought about it for a long time to get you a new one. Open it up, there is something inside that I want you to see."
Ed opened up the watch and looked inside. On the inside of the casing engraved in fancy cursive writing was Don't Forget 24.Dec.18 A New Beginning... Love, Winry. Ed just looked at it with his mouth slowly gaping open.
"I had them put today's date because today symbolizes a new beginning. You have had the roughest 6 years out of anyone that I have ever known. And you and Al have managed to stay so strong through it. I believe part of that reason was the date written in that watch. It was a haunting reminder to you to keep going on. It's over now, everything is ok. You and Al are back to normal. Your back home where you belong with Grammy and......me. I wanted this day here, with all of your family and friend's to symbolize a new start for you. That is why I had that engraved for you. I hope you like....."
"I love it...." Ed said stopping her from speaking anymore. "I love it, I don't think you truly know what this means to me. It's not just about the gift, it's about the thought you put into it. I've been such a fool Winry, I hope you can forgive me for all the years I was so mean to you."
Winry smiled at him and shook her head. "You were never mean to me Edward. You had a job to do. You wanted your brother back more then anything in this world. How could I possibly be mad at you for that. Besides you are here now and that's that matters. Well we better get inside, I'm sure Grammy will be out here looking for us soon."
"Wait Win, I have something for you too. You can't get mad at me either cause you got me something so it's only fair. He took out a small box as well. It's nothing fancy but I thought it would suit you" he said as he handed her the velvet box.
She opened it to reveal a necklace with a small wrench pendant at the end of it. She squealed with delight as she took it out of the box and asked him to put it around her neck. "Edward it is so adorable! Where did you find something like this? I can't believe it!"
"I made it, it took me awhile cause I wanted to get it perfect so I hope it came out ok. Look in the box there is a little card as well"
Winry fumbled to open the box back up as she reached in for the card. She was so excited about the gift Ed had gotten her she couldn't stop her hands from shaking. "Oh Ed I can't believe you made this!" She opened up the card, and read it out loud To The Best Mechanic A Guy Could Ever Ask For. Thank You So Much For Everything. Love Always, Edward. "Oh Ed, thank you again, I can't wait to show everyone" Winry continued to look down at the the little pendant as the snow began to fall more heavily now. Ed couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looked with the snow falling down across her hair and down to her shoulders.
"I meant it, you know. The last part.....about the love. Yeah, Win I'm obviously not really good with this stuff but."
" I know you love me Ed. We're like family You, Al and I. We've been through so much together." Ed could start feeling himself getting flustered as he tried to get out what he really meant.
"No Win, what I mean is. Well, ugh this is so hard." Winry started looking at him with a puzzled look on her that began to soften into a warm smile.
"It's ok Ed, you don't have to act all weird around me. Just tell me what your trying to say" Ed could tell that Winry knew where this was going but apparently found it amusing to see him stammering all over his words. Which only made him more frustrated.
"Ok well I was out here earlier talking to Mustang of all people. And well sitting out here, taking everything in. It really made me think about all the years I wasted searching for something that was right here this whole entire time. It wasn't just about me and Al getting our bodies back. But it was about finding somewhere we could call home. When we burnt the house down. I had no intentions of ever coming back here again. I thought that I had lost everything that mattered to me and I would be nothing but loner from here on out. But you made me see differently Win. No matter what you have always been there for me and took a long time to realize that what I left behind was my home. Home is here with you and Grammy and Al and the graves of our parents. We belong here, I belong here.... with you."
Winry did not look at Edward as he spoke these words but just looked out into the bright pinkish sky once more. "It sure if beautiful tonight" she said still looking out.
"Yeah it is" Ed agreed quietly wondering what she was thinking about. Perhaps she thought he was idiot for what he just managed to say. What if she didn't return the same feelings? But just cared for him like a sibling like she thought he meant earlier about her?
"You know Ed, I was wondering how long it would take you to come around"
"Huh?" He looked over at her confused as he could see her face start to turn a light Rosy pink as she turned to look at him. They looked at each other for sometime and before either one realized what was going on they slowly came closer to each other and shared their first true kiss.
Pinako peeked outside at the two teenagers with a bright smile on her face as she puffed on her pipe. "It is in deed a day of new beginnings and of great blessings"
Innocense is the purest creature. Often abused and mistreated it has become the rarest form of nature. Once gone, it never fully comes back.