Woooot! My muse lives
! XD Enjoy chapter three! Thanks so much for reading Chiyo & Hex-sama!
Sorry for all these uneventful things taking place. They're will be action next chapter, promise. ^^;
"If I meet my love, and we part,
We'll meet again, like we did before.
The sweet darkness I find
Fumbling around deep in my memories,
I can taste the sweetness of the past.
Although you're not anywhere
I'll be alright,
If I close my eyes to that,
Love won't change,
- “Four Seasons” By: Namie Amuro
Winter in Germany
black & white
Edward stirred from underneath the white sheets of his bed. One would think he was about to rise. Instead he muttered against his pillow and rolled over, attempting to burrow further into the blissfully warm bed and return to the dreams of his old life. Footsteps suddenly clamored up the stairs noisily, making Ed groan. A loud knock rattled his door.
“Edward, get up already!” A deep man’s voice shouted.
Ed groaned again and pressed his face deeper into the pillow. “Too early...”
The voice knocked harder. “For Christ’s sake, Edward, it’s almost noon! Get up!”
When there was no movement, the door swung open. A finely dressed man stood in the doorway, thin strands of blonde hair falling into his golden eyes. His hair was tied in a ponytail and his aged face held an exasperated look. Hohenheim was what he was called here. Whether it was his true name or not was anyone’s guess, even to his son Ed.
Hohenheim walked across the room, stopping at Ed’s bedside. “Honestly...”
He grabbed the covers and yanked them forcibly off the sleeping boy. This earned him a foul swear and a pillow to the face. Hohenheim sighed as the pillow fell soundlessly to the floor.
“It’s time I took a look at your arm and leg. It’s been over two months since they were last checked.”
Ed grumbled and reluctantly sat up, blankets now bunched at the end of the bed. He gave his father a glare from behind tangled blonde bangs. The rest of his hair was a tangled mess. Sunlight coming through the skylight above his bed reflected off his metal arm. It appeared to be automail.
“Is this necessary?” Ed grumbled.
“You can’t sleep all day. Now get up. The faster we get this done the faster you can get to the hanger. Al’s already there.”
With that said, Hohenheim turned away and left the room, shutting the door behind him. Muttering under his breath, Ed stood and stretched, fine toned muscles becoming more visible than usual at the movement. Even after two years in this sort of lifestyle where you didn’t have to fight for your life every twenty minutes Ed had kept the fighter’s build. After all, when he returned, he would probably need it. He dropped his arms and frowned a bit at the thought. No, the real reason came from habit. It was habit now to train, to get stronger everyday. Well, every other day at this point. He turned and wandered downstairs. It was unfortunately necessary for him to be clothed in only his boxers when having his automail checked up on. It made him feel uncomfortable to have his fake limbs so exposed. In the past it hadn’t mattered, but here was different. Here technology like automail did not exist. This meant it had to be constantly hidden by long sleeves and pants. This was probably why he had taken a liking to winter now. He could wear such clothing without getting weird looks, which is exactly what he got during the summer and spring months.
He trudged down the stairs, taking a sharp turn to head down more stairs to the basement. It was Hohenheim’s study area now. Ed had been reluctant to let his father live with him and Al. It had been very awkward. Now he had gotten use to it. Sort of. Ed sat down on a chair, dropping his arm on the worktable next to it.
“Make this quick, old man.”
Hohenheim sat down on the chair placed on the other side of the worktable, giving Ed a flat look.
“You’re the one who slept in. I’m not going to rush my job so you can get to yours just because you decided to sleep late.”
“I was out
late,” Ed huffed, turning away as Hohenheim began to unscrew a certain part in the arm.
“You didn’t use the oil I gave you, did you?” Hohenheim sighed, apparently noticing something about the arm that gave it away.
Ed shrugged one shoulder. “I don’t have time to take care of it.”
Hohenheim sighed again. “Ed, why can’t you appreciate this? You’re lucky to even have automail in this world. I’m surprised I was able to build it in the first place. Guess this is the plus side for being Pinako’s drinking buddy... listening to her ramble about automail...watching her whip up things. Anyway, I know it isn’t as good as Winry’s, but you still need to take care of it. I doubt you want wooden limbs again.”
Ed cringed as Hohenheim touched a certain wire in his arm and glanced away. The name...
“Is it possible for everyone back in our world to have another version of themselves here?”
“Hm? Yes, I suppose so,” Hohenheim said, obviously distracted by his work. “Unless they’ve already died.”
Ed frowned at that thought and kept his eyes to the floor. “I see.”
Just like his other self had died. Quickly he shook that memory away. He tried not to think about that event imparticular. There was silence after that as Hohenheim finished maintenance on his arm and moved to his leg. Finally he had completed the tuning and stood, wiping his forehead with his sleeve.
Ed stood, flexing the fingers of his metal arm a moment before heading up the stairs.
He stopped and glanced over his shoulder. Hohenheim’s face looked deadly serious.
“Don’t go looking for them, Ed. You might not like what they’ve become in this world. Everything isn’t simply black and white, you know.”
Ed didn’t let an ounce of emotion creep onto his face. He simply turned away and continued up the stairs, exited the basement area. A few moments later he had dressed and left the house, shoving his hands in the pockets of his heavy coat.
To say Ed had mellowed was both true and false. He certainly wasn’t the loudmouthed fifteen year old he use to be, but he was still Ed. He still had his short temper, although it wasn’t set off as easily. He had even grown a bit, too. Although he wasn’t very close to average height for eighteen, he was taller than he had been. Even to this day, he was sensitive about the subject. And while he wouldn’t swear or bash your skull in for a comment about it, he’d twitch in annoyance and give you a rather nasty glare, dislike about the remark clear on his face. However Al had discovered that further teasing about Ed’s height did indeed earn you a skull bashing.
Now Ed strolled down the snow covered sidewalk, recently shoveled. He was too lost in thought to notice her until she grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.
“Just the man I wanted to see.”
Ed choked at the grab and turned, finding himself face to face with Winry. She smiled, green eyes sparkling.
“Err... dare I ask?” Ed replied.
She laughed. “You’re going to the hanger, right?”
“Well...” She clamped her hands together underneath her chin, giving him the best puppy dog eyes she could muster. “Can I come with you? Pleeeeeassssseeee?”
Ed stared dumbly at her, feeling a blush creep onto his face. He abruptly looked away, trying to put on a stern face. Of course, it being aimed at the sky did nothing.
“That’s suspicious, you asking me. Why haven’t you asked Al? He’s your friend, right?”
Winry blinked and grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of her head. “Well, uhh... He doesn’t want me hanging around there. Thinks I’ll get hurt.”
“Okay, then no.”
“H-Hey! Wait!” She hurried to fall into steps beside Ed as he began to walk away. “C’mon, please?”
“If Al said no, then you can’t. I can’t go against his decisions.”
“Sure you can!” Winry said cheerfully.
Ed sweatdropped. “Of course I can, but--”
“Then that’s a yes!”
“Huh? Wait, no!” Ed stopped walking a gave her an annoyed look. “I can’t because I agree with him.”
Winry’s face fell and she glanced away. She looked ready to either yell at him or cry. He couldn’t tell.
“I thought you were different... that being a woman didn’t matter,” She said softly.
Ed blinked stupidly, then realized what he said. He held up his hands and waved them frantically.
“No, that’s not what I meant!” He said quickly, then sighed, running a hand through his bangs, hair tied in its usual ponytail. “It’s very possible to get hurt around such machinery. Things can explode without warning. We’re testing prototypes we build ourselves, remember? Anything could happen.”
Winry glanced up at him, clasping her hands behind her back and smiling slightly at him. “Oh, c’mon. I’m not stupid, I know that. But you and Al are there even though that’s true. So I can be there too.”
Ed stared at her for a long moment. “...Fine.” Jesus Christ she was Winry. He could never say no to her.
She let out a happy squeal and hugged Ed. “Thank you, thank you!”
Ed caught her before she could knock him over. “Ack! D-Don’t mention it...”
Thus the two headed off together toward the hanger, Winry chatting excitedly about all the stuff she knew. And boy did she know a lot. Ed was thoroughly impressed. In this world, women didn’t have much respect. Apparently their only use was to marry at eighteen, have kids and raise them. How Winry had gained this knowledge, he didn’t know. He figured she had picked it up from books. Or maybe Al had taught her a few things. He was sure Al wouldn’t be happy regardless.
And indeed, Al was surprised when he stepped out from the hanger to check for Ed. He blinked a few times as his partner approached, a rather lively Winry at his side. When they reached him, Winry fell silent and Ed spoke up.
“She jumped me and threatened me with a gun,” He chuckled.
“I did not!”
Al laughed. “Yeah, she does that.”
“Al!” Winry cried, giving both boys glares.
The two exchanged nervous looks before Al frowned at her.
“Winry, I told you it’s too dangerous to be here,” He sighed.
“He said I could come,” Winry protested, pouting and pointing to Ed.
“Kinda hard to say no at gun point.”
Winry proceeded to flick him in the side of the head. “Stop saying that!”
Ed rubbed his head and grinned. “Okay, okay. It was a knife.”
He then quickly ducked away from her and disappeared into the hanger, chuckling softly to himself as Winry shouted for him to get back here. Different eye color and slightly darker hair color, but it was still very much Winry. He had expected her to be different personality wise also. Then again, he had thought the same thing with Al and he was pretty much like his brother at home.
A few moments later Al entered with a very happy Winry following behind him. Al looked defeated. Ed chuckled at his face as he draped his coat over the chair, despite the hanger being as cold as the outside.
“Sorry,” Ed said honestly.
Al grinned and shook his head, watching as Winry bolted to the unfinished piece of machinery on Al’s work desk. “Don’t worry about it. She’s persuasive like that. Even without a gun.”
“This isn’t going to work,” Winry suddenly called from the desk.
Both boys glanced over at her, blinking. Winry turned to them, one hand on her hip and the other holding up four wires she had torn from the machine.
“You got the connections all wrong,” She sighed.
“Ack! Winry, you pulled those out!?” Al cried, hurrying over to her.
“Of course! They’re connected wrong!”
“You wouldn’t know that! This is a part for a rocket, not a car! There’s a difference!” Al exclaimed, snatching the wires away and attempting to find where they had been.
Winry made a face at him before noticing Ed was not here. She glanced over to see him seated at his own desk, silently working on his own part. She watched him with a small smile on her face. She wasn’t sure what drew her to him. Maybe it was the desire to take away that sad look in his eyes. Or maybe it was the feeling she had met him before. Whatever the reason, she couldn’t ignore it. Winry crossed the large space between them, heels clicking on the cement floor loudly.
She stopped beside his desk, arms bent behind her back. Her eyes flickered from his work to his face. There wasn’t an ounce of concentration there. His eyes looked distant, more so than usual, and he seemed to be working without much thought. She tore her eyes from his face to watch his gloved hands work. He tightened this screw, connected these wires, added more pieces. She leaned over suddenly, hovering a finger over a certain part. Ed blinked rapidly, snapped from his daze, and glanced up at her curiously. She offered him her best smile.
“What’s this part here?” She asked.
Ed blinked once more before glancing at the part she was pointing at. “That? Al designed it. He says it’ll give the thrusters enough power to lift off.”
“Wow, you two really are geniuses,” Winry chuckled, pulling her hand away. “Will you... teach me?”
Ed’s eyes snapped back to her face. “Huh?”
Winry frowned and turned her eyes to the floor, tilting her head slightly. “I want to learn more. The knowledge I do have comes from books in my father’s library. It’s not much help just reading stuff like that. I need hands on experience, you know? So... will you teach me?”
She glanced at him hopefully. Ed almost laughed. Luckily he kept it inside and a grin spread across his face instead. He never thought he’d see the day when Winry would ask him to teach her mechanics. Winry blinked at his face.
“What’s with that goofy look? You don’t think I can do it?” She demanded angrily.
“No, it’s not that. It’s just... ironic, that’s all.”
“Ironic?” Winry asked, baffled by his words. “How so?”
He turned back to his work, picking up the wrench and finishing tightening up a screw.
“Never mind,” He replied softly. “I’ll teach you.”
Winry’s eyes lit up. “Really?!”
“Sure. We’ll meet at the corner of the street every day at noon.”
“And we’ll come here so you can teach me?”
Winry’s entire face seemed to glow as she folded her hands together, placing them against her chest.
“Thank you! Thank you so much, Mr. Elric!”
Ed made a face and glanced up at her, chuckling. “Ed is fine. No need to be so formal.”
Winry blushed and nodded, unable to stop smiling. “Thank you again Edward!”
“You’re the one who has to convince Al, though.”
Winry nodded and spun around, hurrying over to where Al worked with a happy bounce in her step. Ed watched her retreating back a moment before once again turning to his work with a small chuckle.