Oct 9 2009, 01:55 AM
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of the characters from the series, manga, blah blah. I do, however own a hanful of OC's and I hope you enjoy every one of them!
Summary: After spending five, heart wrenching years in Germany, Edward has returned home to Amestris. Though it seems like he has indeed seen the worst, his spirit has not been broken. He is determined to finally settle down and live a happy life.
Numbness, yet overexertion was throbbing throughout his entire body. He could feel the years of abuse nagging at his bones, stiffening his joints. Deciding that now was the time to open his eyes and greet his surroundings, the man lifted his heavy eyelids. Darkness. He sat up, trying to ignore the shooting pains that were racing up and down his spine, and waited a few moments for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. The man's eyes suddenly grew wide with shock and disbelief.
"This looks like..."
He then stood to his feet, brushing away any debris that may have settled on his torn and ragged excuses for clothing. He headed toward the lighted town, squinting and rubbing his eyes, making sure that he was indeed where he thought he was. Realization struck and a familiar, wide, and teethy grin shone in the night.
Edward Elric was home, back in Amestris. He was free.
All That's Left of Yesterday
"I love him, Al. Ever since we were little kids I've loved him...and I always will." the twenty two year old said as she folded a long lock of blonde hair behind her ear.
"I know you do, Winry." The young man seated next to her shifted a bit and then looked back at her. She was sitting with her knees curled up to her chest, resting her chin on her hands. He knew his brother loved her too, but he also understood that it wasn't his place to say. "Look, I know...it's hard. You just can't give up on him yet. Even if he is back in Germany, I know for a fact that he's not just messing around over there. He misses both of us and he would never even dream of giving up on a way back to us, that's just how Ed is. Even though it seems nearly impossible for him to come back, he's way too stubborn to actually believe it and let it go. You should know that already."
Winry chuckled a bit, she knew he was right. "Same old Ed." she sighed, looking over at Al.
Alphonse Elric was flesh and bone, soul and body united. She was so happy that he was finally out of that armor, but at the same time, she just couldn't show happiness. It had left her the day that Ed went back through The Gate to Germany. She knew that he did it on her and Al's behalf, all of Amestris actually, but especially Winry and Alphonse, He was going to protect them at any cost, even if it meant never seeing them again, so long as they were alive and safe. She was furious, it was just like Edward Elric to up and leave without saying goodbye. He just ran off when she was done putting on his new automail after replacing the sorry excuses for an arm and leg that he had been dealing with. She had a feeling that he knew what was about to take place, she knew that Ed was planning on going back through The Gate and yet, the last thing he said to her was to find a place to hide. How ridiculous. Classic Ed. But, she just couldn't bring herself to hate him over it though. He must have known that if he had tried to say goodbye to her, she would beg for him not to leave and make it harder on both of them.
"It is hard though, I don't even know if I'll ever be able to tell him I love him. I had so many opportunities and I was too scared to just say it."
"You will get to say it to him, I promise. I know my brother, he will find a way back here, Winry, just don't give up on him." Al reassured, looking at the young woman worriedly. He stretched an arm around Winry and pulled her in for a hug.
"Even if I do have the chance, what would he say? He'd probably laugh at me or think I was crazy."
She looked up at Al, "How do you know?"
"I just know it, you two have way too much history for him to just write off powerful words like that and besides," Al looked over at Winry with a smirk, "I always knew you guys would end up together."
Winry blushed and playfully punched Al in the shoulder. He laughed and began rubbing it. His eyes fell as he changed the subject.
"At night, when you think everyone's sleeping...I hear you..."
She looked over at him alarmed, "Al...I-"
"I hear you crying and asking him why, why he had to leave us. Just please, don't give up on my brother." he asked again. He could see tears welling up in her sapphire eyes. Late at night when she thought Al and Pinako were deep asleep, she would let out the grief that she tried to hold back during the day. It helped her cope somehow, almost as if she was grieving over a death. Sometimes Winry thought that if she cried enough, one day there wouldn't be any tears left and she could move on.
"I just..." she said choking back tears.
"I just hate this, Al!" she sobbed, burying her face in her hands.
"I know, its gonna be okay, I promise." He said, pulling her back in to comfort the woman he knew his brother loved. They were meant to be together, no two people were more perfect for each other than Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell, Al was sure of it. He remembered that day, watching his brother leaving him, his last blood relative walking out of his life, he was screaming for Ed not to go, that he was crazy and not thinking, and that there was another solution that would keep everyone safe, but Ed wouldn't budge. Al had all confidence in his brother, even though he did not want to admit it, he knew that Ed was doing the right thing. He remembered, just as Ed was turing to leave, he said to him, "Tell her to wait for me." That is why he was so sure of his older brother. Edward was not one to create false pretenses. He did return Al back to his body after all.
Winry laid down in the grass, looking up at the orange and pink sky with distant eyes. The sun was setting and they needed to head back to the house to help Pinako with dinner. It had definitely been quite a journey, but inside, the two friends knew that it wasn't over. Not quite yet.
Dinner was quiet. Pinako was looking at the two with concern in her eyes. Al wasn't paying attention to anything she was saying and Winry was picking at her food. Something was going on.
"Alright," Pinako said, standing up, pulling a match out of her apron pocket. She made her way over to the kitchen counter and picked up her pipe. She pulled some tobacco out from the cabinet, stuffed it in the tobacco chamber and lit it."Tell me what happened you two."
Her words pulled Al out of his gaze and Winry looked over at her grandmother.
"Nothing really, Granny. It's just been a hard day..."
"Well, it's not like there's anything that can be done now is there? He said he was coming back, did he not, Alphonse?"
"Yes ma'am." Al said with full confidence.
"Well, then that's that. Winry, you should know better than anyone, they always come home, he will come home."
"Thats enough for tonight." she said calmly, heading for the front door to let Den out and to finish her pipe outside. She hated seeing her granddaughter like this, it was tearing her apart. She knew Winry's parents wouldn't like seeing their daughter in this state either.
Winry stood up and started clearing the plates, cups, and silverware off of the wooden table.
"I got it, Win." Al said taking the dishes from Winry's hands. "You go upstairs and get some rest, alright?"
She looked at her best friend and smiled, "Thank you." Winry slowly walked towards the stairs, she knew that she had to stop being so pessimistic. Al had so much faith in his brother and she longed to feel the same. He was so content with the situation, so full of confidence in Ed. She was ashamed that she didn't feel the same. Would it kill her to have a little faith in the man she loves?
"Hey, Winry?" Al said as she reached the top of the stairs. "Try and get some actual sleep tonight, too." he smiled at her and resumed washing the dishes.
She smiled back and walked over to her bedroom door, opening it, and quietly closing it behind her. She decided then and there that she was going to change her attitude completely. She didn't want to let Ed down, she knew he wouldn't like her moping around the house over him, anyway. It'd embarrass the poor guy.
Pulling her covers away, she tucked herself into her bed. She started thinking about her future and the day that Edward would finally come home, for good this time. She smiled at the thought and turned over in her bed, drifting off to sleep.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Three months passed by in the blink of an eye. Winry was up and around the house more, taking on more customers of her own at the shop, she even started working on a new arm and leg for Ed. Guessing the measurements, she knew that she could always go back and fix them if she was off. Before, she would spend most of the day in bed, until Pinako would drag her out and make her help with a customer or urge her to spend some time outside. She hated herself for it, too. But, for the first time in five years, she finally felt alive again.
"Hey, Al!" Winry yelled, waving at Al who was walking back from town with three large bags of groceries. She was hanging up some wet clothes on the line in the front yard and started walking toward him after she hung up the last of the clothes.
"Hey!" he shouted back, struggling to keep hold of the grocery bags. Winry laughed at the sight of him. She had offered to go with him, but he said he would like to take a walk alone, then she offered to call Nelly and ask for Al to borrow a horse and wagon, so he wouldn't have to carry the load for the four miles it is back from town to the house, but he refused.
"Silly, I knew I should've called Nelly!" she laughed, taking one of the bags from the obviously exhausted Al.
"Nah," he said huffing and puffing his way up the porch stairs. "I needed the exercise."
"Well? Feel better?"
"Heh, yea I guess, but now my back's killing me." He sat the large bags on the dining room table and rubbed his lower back. Winry laughed, waving her hand at the hopeless matter. He sat down and she poured him a large glass of lemonade. She started putting the groceries away while humming a tune. Pinako was in the shop, working on an automail order, and Den was laying on the rug in the living room floor.
"I'm glad you seem to be doing better these days." Al said, sitting the glass down after gulping down half of his drink.
"Yea, it's gotten a little easier. Seeing you so confident in him has really helped me." she sighed, putting some chicken away in the fridge for dinner later.
"I'm glad I could help you, Winry." the younger brother smiled.
Pinako emerged from the small shop that was connected to the house, she smiled at her granddaughter and then at Al.
"Why don't you go and do a final check on that arm for Mr. Smith, kid?" she said to Winry taking some apples out of her hands and putting them away for her. "I'm not as sharp as I used to be, wouldn't want to mess up a loyal client's automail." she winked.
"Aw, I'm sure you didn't miss anything, you're a perfectionist, Granny. I'll go check for you though, I want to see how it turned out." Winry bent down and kissed her grandmother on the forehead and made her way to the shop. Al was still sitting at the table, he then got up to sit on the couch with Den. Pinako put away the remaining groceries, poured herself a glass of lemonade and came to sit by Al.
"Alphonse," she said, taking a sip of her lemonade.
"Hm?" he looked up from petting Den.
"Thank you, I know you've been helping Winry through this. It's almost like she's her old self again, but I know she won't be entirely happy until she sees your brother come through that door." she sighed and took another sip of her drink.
"You're welcome, Auntie."
"What makes you so sure that he's coming? Really, it's been five years already..."
"I know how long it's been." he started, looking down at his feet. "Ed is coming home. I promise you." He looked back up at her and she sighed. "He told me, before he went through The Gate, he told me to tell Winry to wait for him. Auntie, he wouldn't tell me that if he wasn't sure he would make it home." she looked at Al surprised.
"Well, how did the connection between our worlds show up in the first place? If it happened once, it can happen again. I know my brother, he won't stop until he finds a way, he's going to come home someday."
Pinako nodded at his words and stood up from the couch, "Then we'll be here waiting until then." she smiled at Al and returned to the kitchen. Winry emerged from the shop a few minutes later shaking her head in amusement.
"I told you, Granny, you're a perfectionist." she smiled at her grandmother.
"Hm." Pinako finished drying her clean glass and then sat it on the dish rack to dry. She knew she hadn't missed a single screw on the order, she had done a final check herself. She just wanted to talk to Al in private, afraid that bringing up Edward would upset her granddaughter.
After dinner, Pinako and Winry went into the shop to start on another customer's order. Al decided to sit on the porch for a while and Den headed out after him to keep him company.
"I smell rain." Alphonse sighed looking over at Den. The dog barked as if agreeing to what he was saying. Then turned his head quickly and started barking at something coming up the dirt road.
"Shh, it's alright, boy." Al calmed the dog, but he continued barking. Al squinted his eyes at the dark figure who seemed to be limping and struggling with each step. Al gasped when the figure came close enough to make out who he was.
Oct 9 2009, 08:18 PM
Picking Up the Pieces
Edward did not know how long he had been walking, the past few days were just a blur to him. The minute he awoke and realized that he was back in Amestris, he had not stopped moving, whether he was traveling by car, train, or walking, he did not stop, not to rest, not even to eat. He had to get back to Resembool. All he could see was her face and he was aching to be able to finally hold her and hear her voice. After five years. He could finally see the lights of the Rockbell home, he could feel the warmth pouring out of the old two story house, even being half a mile away. His prosthetic leg was about to give and each step caused the piece of junk to grind into what was left of his actual leg. He cursed under his breath at the pain. He was exhausted.
Ed's head jolted up from looking down at his leg to see his younger brother and Den running towards him. A weary smile crept across his face. Al nearly tackled Ed to the ground with his sudden embrace, knocking him of balance. It was pouring now and Den was slinging mud all over them, running around them in circles, and barking happily.
"Brother...I can't believe it...finally. Welcome home!"
Edward wrapped his arms around his brother, "Thanks, Al." he whispered.
"What the hell is Den barking at?" Winry asked annoyed. The barking had broken their concentration. Pinako simply shrugged and continued working.
"I'm beat. I need a break anyway." Winry sighed. She removed the pink bandanna from her head and wiped away the beads of sweat from her forehead, then tossed it onto the work bench. She got a glass of water and went over to the window that looked out into the front yard. It started to rain. She thought she saw Al and Den out in the road, so she squinted her eyes to try and make out the figures in the dark. Her glass fell to the floor and shattered. She flung the front door open.
"Granny, come quick!" she yelled into the house from the doorway. She then sprinted over to where Al, Ed, and Den were.
Ed lifted his head from Al's shoulder when he heard someone coming and gasped. There she was. It was as if his heart was about to explode, her long, blonde hair was in a messy bun and she was wearing her usual work clothes: overalls hanging off her shoulders and her black tube top. She no longer looked like the innocent seventeen year old that he daydreamed about. No, she now a woman as he was now a man. She was the most beautiful woman that Edward Elric had ever seen. His heart was practically doing back flips in his chest. Realizing that his mouth was still hanging open, he collected himself and slowly made his way toward Winry. She was drenched from the rain, but Ed could tell she was crying. He always made her cry, so he was quite familiar with the look. Winry's hand was on her chest, over her heart as if she could feel the missing pieces coming back into place the closer Ed came.
He made his way to her and gently cupped the side of her face with his flesh hand. She continued looking into his amber eyes, trying not to blink, afraid that this was a dream, and if she blinked, he would disappear. He brought his prosthetic arm up and placed his other hand on the opposite cheek, holding it as if it were the most delicate thing in the world, like her face would break in his hands if he held it too tight. Edward then pulled her face to his and pressed his lips firmly against her's for their first kiss. Winry immediately threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips harder onto his. Ed moved his arms down and wrapped them around her small waist and then lowered them down right under her bottom on her upper thighs, he squeezed her as he lifted her up, her legs wrapped tight around his lower back as if she was afraid he would break away and leave. He licked her bottom lip, wanting to deepen the kiss and she opened her mouth, begging for him to come in. He tasted every inch of her mouth, not leaving a single corner out. Their tounges wrestled as Ed squeezed Winry closer, she gasped for air and looked into Ed's eyes and he into hers.
"Ed..." she started crying again and buried her face in his left shoulder. She could not believe that he was here. He was finally home. She calmed herself down and lifted her head to look into his eyes once more. His eyes were like a drug, they just kept pulling her back into them, all she could do was stare. He softly smiled at her, placed his flesh hand on the back of her head and brought it to his right shoulder. She laid her head down, hiccuping every few seconds from sobbing moments earlier. He began stroking her hair and tracing his fingers on her back. She hadn't even heard him speak and she could already tell that he was a completely different person, she couldn't picture the seventeen year old Ed holding her like this. Winry felt so safe in his arms, she didn't have a care in the world. They stayed like that for a few minutes just taking each other in. They were both shivering at this point, but neither of them dared to move.
"Well are you gonna stay out there all night? Get in here you two, before you catch pneumonia!" Pinako yelled from the front porch. She couldn't hide her grin. Al was laughing by her side. He and Den started heading back to the front porch when Ed saw Winry, he knew they would be out there for a while and he didn't want to be the one that got sick. Winry blushed when she saw her grandma and Al laughing from the front porch, Ed sighed as he put her down.
"Let's go." she laughed looking over at Ed. He looked like a different boy, alright,...scratch that, he looked like a twenty two year old man. Edward was towering over Winry by at least four or five inches, his blonde hair longer and pulled back into a loose ponytail, his face showed signs of stress and fatigue. Winry's heart broke at the sight of him, she knew he had a rough journey, but at the same time, she was falling head over heels all over again. He looked so...grown up. Her heart seemed to have skipped a beat as he grabbed her hand, snapping her back into reality.
"Come on, Win." he pulled her close and laced his fingers with hers and they walked slowly to the front porch. Ed was limping and Winry knew it was from that damned German excuse for a leg that he was wearing. She frowned when she saw what it was doing to the flesh he had left on his upper thigh.
"How unprofessional." she muttered to herself and squeezed Ed's hand as they made it to the steps.
Ed collapsed on the couch and Winry ran to get a warm wash cloth to try and clean him up a little, he was covered in mud and blood. He kicked off his boots and took his socks off. She helped him take his shirt and pants off which were soaked from the rain. His shoulders were more broad and his muscles were defined even more than they were when they were teenagers. He looked amazing, despite his injuries. She cringed at the condition he was in. He had gashes up and down his arms and his chest and bruises all over his whole body, his perfect body.
"Edward...what happened to you?" she asked, gently wiping some mud off his face and looking into his eyes. He turned and looked away, she knew that he didn't want to talk about it, he wasn't ready. She frowned, but understood and started tinkering with the prosthetic leg.
"So how long did that automail last you?"
"About a year." he sighed. "I started walking funny half a year later though. I guess I grew an inch or two and it threw the entire balance of the leg off. It drove me crazy. My arm lasted about three years cause it didn't bother me as much to have one arm longer than the other. I wanted to keep them as long as I could since it was the only piece of you that I had left with me besides memories." he trailed off and looked at Winry who was looking up at him with tears in her eyes. He stared back at her with the softest look on his face. Whatever happened to him, it certainly did not break him. Next to Al, Edward Elric was the strongest person she knew. He reached his flesh hand up again to cup her face. She took his hand in hers and gently kissed the back of it and continued cleaning the cuts, all the while Ed not taking his eyes off of her.
"I think we should get those fake limbs off of you now, Edward." Pinako said lifting up his leg and placing in on the footrest. " If we keep this leg on any longer and you continue walking on it you might get an infection with the rusty metal rubbing against the gashes it created on your thigh, that's the last thing we need right now."
"Go right ahead, Auntie." Ed said, putting his arms behind his head as if he were relaxed. "I've been dying to get these things taken off the day they were put on."
"Okay then, Winry? You get his arm. We'll do this at the same time if we can."
"Alright, I'm ready." Winry said when she found where to disconnect his arm and got a firm grip on it.
"One...two...three!" Pinkao said as she and Winry pulled the prostetic limbs off. He clenched his teeth and his fist, but did not make a noise. The pain subsided and he relaxed again.
"Here, brother." Al offered him some asprin and a glass of water. Ed smiled at him and took the medicine and a sip of water.
"I'm gonna change my clothes and then go get a warm bath started for you, Ed." Winry said standing up. "Al, can you help him get up the stairs when it's ready? It'll be ready in about five minutes."
"Of course." Al placed a hand on his brother's shoulder. She smiled at them and turned to go up the stairs. She got a towel and a few wash cloths out of the hall closet and headed into the bathroom, placing them on the table. She started the water and quickly ran into her room to change into some sweats and a tank top. Pinako was back in the shop, she threw the prosthetic limbs in the "scrap metal" pile and started going over Ed's new arm and leg.
"How are you doing, brother?" Al asked concerned.
"I'm fine, just a little tired." he answered. He was still looking up the stairs, wishing Winry didn't leave him so soon. Even if they were a few rooms apart, he was anxious to hold her and kiss her again. Al laughed at his brother and stood up.
"See what?" Ed said jerking his head back and turning a slight shade of pink. He knew what Al was getting at.
"I told you she loves you, Ed. She has for a long time now, I think almost as long as you've loved her." Al said offering his hand to help his brother up.
"Thank you for staying here with her, Al." he said, reaching his arm out to Al and pulling against his weight. Al placed his brother's flesh arm around his neck and they began making their way toward the steps.
"I'm glad that I could help, she is my best friend, too after all." Al said, he then looked over at Ed, "Are you going to tell her? About what happened? You did come here from Germany, right?"
"She really cares about you, brother. It's hurting her to see you like this. She knows you aren't going to tell her everything right away, but make sure you tell her."
"Alright." Al said, looking over at his brother again. Al looked into Ed's eyes and then back down at the floor, he frowned. Ed's eyes alone showed more grief and pain than anyone's in the house put together.
"Here, Al." Winry said reaching her arms out for Ed. "I'll take it from here if you don't mind. You go get into some dry clothes and relax, I'll call you when I need help getting him back downstairs."
Al let go of Ed's wrist and steadied him as Ed wrapped his arm around Winry's neck and placed his hand on her small shoulder. Ed mouthed the words "Thank you." to his brother and Al nodded and smiled. He turned and headed down the hallway then back down the stairs.
"Winry I can hop over to the tub if I'm too heavy, I don't want you to strain your back or anything." Ed offered.
"Don't be ridiculous." she shook her head. They turned away from the doorway and faced the tub, it was about five feet away from them. She grabbed Ed's wrist with one hand and wrapped her arm around his waist with the other and started moving, he was pretty heavy, but Winry didn't care. They made their way to the tub and she slowly helped lower him down into the water. He grit his teeth as the warm water came in contact with his open wounds, but quickly felt relief as he got used to the temperature and rested his head against the back of the bath tub.
"I can leave if you want to take those off." Winry chuckled pointing at Ed's boxers.
"Nah, I don't mind leaving them on. Just stay in here with me, please?" he said looking up at Winry with those sunset eyes. How could she say no to a face like that?
"Okay." she smiled as she sat on the edge of the tub. He laid there for a few minutes without moving, as if he was letting the warm water soak away his grief. Winry was frowning down at him, seeing him like this was killing her. What happened to him anyway?
"Hm?" he said with his eyes still closed and his head resting on the tub.
"I know you probably don't want to talk about it." He looked up at her. "But, when you're ready, if you want, you can talk to be about anything. I know you'll probably go to Al first, but I just want you to know that I'm here." Winry softly said, looking down and clenching her fist on her lap. "It's so hard seeing you like this. I just want to help you and I want you to be happy again."
Ed sighed and sat up to take Winry's hand in his. "I will talk to you, Winry, I just need some time." he said looking up at her, she opened her eyes and looked down at him, surprised at his words. She didn't expect that answer, she was so used to being left in the dark by Ed and Al. "And I am happy," he continued, squeezing her hand a little tighter. "I don't think anyone could be as happy as I am right now. I knew that when I saw you again, I wouldn't be able to hold myself back from kissing you and I was worried that you would get mad and slap me silly." he laughed. Winry softly smiled and began rubbing the top of his hand with her other hand. "I'm the happiest I've ever been in my entire life because you kissed me back."
Winry blushed at his words. "I feel the same way though, I thought you'd think I was crazy if I started kissing you." she looked at Ed, "I'm happy you kissed me back." she smiled, reaching to his ponytail and taking the rubberband out. "Your hair has gotten so long." she said as she started running her fingers through his blonde hair. Ed nearly melted from her touch. What was it about Winry that drove him this crazy? Well that was a stupid question, he told himself. He knew that absolutely everything about Winry Rockbell drove him insane. He had wanted her for years, but knew it was a risk for her to be caught up in a relationship with him. He laid his head on her lap and nearly fell asleep until he heard Den barking downstairs and Pinako telling him to 'knock it off'. They laughed at the old woman and Ed reached up and turned the water on to start rinsing his hair out. He washed his hair, body, and Winry helped him wash his back. She took the towel from the bathroom counter and handed it to Ed after she helped him stand up in the tub, she helped him hop out and called for Al. He ran up the stairs and helped his brother get dressed in his room and then helped Ed make his way downstairs to the shop. Pinako had already taken Ed's new measurements after they removed the prosthetics and made quick adjustments to Winry's close estimates. He sat down in the chair, awaiting the procedure.
"Ugh, I hate this crap." he sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.
"I know you do, but shouldn't you be used to it by now? Don't be a wimp, Edward. What are you? Twenty two now?" Pinako joked.
"Hahaha...old woman. I'd like to see you sit here and take this ...., you'd pee your pants!" Ed exclaimed, shaking his fist.
"You're just as bratty and pissy as you were when you were a teenager! You haven't grown up a bit."
"You're just as old and bitchy as you've always been, you're the one who hasn't changed, you old hag!" Ed bolted up from his chair, shaking his fist yet again at the small woman, forgetting that he only had one leg and toppled to the ground with a loud 'Harumphh!' Pinako smirked and casually walked over to the bench to look over the new arm and leg one last time as if nothing happened.
"Edward, what are you doing on the floor?" Winry walked into the shop. She looked at Ed, then her grandmother, and then back at Ed again. They were glaring at each other. "I see." Winry sighed monotonously, shaking her head and bringing her palm to her forehead.
"She started it!" Ed yelled from the floor, pointing at Pinako, and struggling to get up. Winry laugh and helped him back into the chair. Pinako came over with the new leg and Winry went over to the bench to get the arm. Al came back into the room and sat in a chair off to the side. Winry and Pinako positioned the automail in front of their proper sockets, ready for connection.
"Alright, Ed, ready?" Winry asked.
"Yep." he let out a long and loud sigh.
"One...two...three!" she counted down and the pain came. Ed grabbed his pant leg and squeezed to counter the shock the nerves were taking from the connection. Winry frowned and took his hand, stroking it lightly as he sat there breathing heavily. Al ran to the kitchen to grab some more asprin and Pinako made a few more adjustments and then went over both appendages one last time. Satisfied with their work, she picked up her pipe from the work bench and headed out of the shop for a smoke.
"She's a f*!@ing chimney." Ed snorted. Winry laughed and Al came back into the room with the medicine. "Thanks, Al." Ed said, taking the two pills and the small cup of water from his brother. "I think I'm ready for bed, I can't remember the last time I slept."
"Yea, you definitely need some rest." Winry agreed, sitting down by Ed. "Do you want me to make you some hot soup or some tea? When was the last time you ate something?" she asked worriedly.
"To be honest, I don't know. I don't think I've eaten since I've gotten back here. I was just ready to be home and to see you guys again. I was too anxious to eat."
"Ed, you need to eat. I'm gonna make you some soup and then you can go to bed, alright?" she stood up and began taking her gloves off.
"Yea, that does sound pretty good." he said, placing a hand on his growling belly. "Thank you, Winry." He looked at her and smiled, then grabbed her arm and brought her down to him for a warm hug. She closed her eyes and smiled.
"You're welcome, Ed." she whispered in his ear, then she brought her lips even closer and softly said, "I would do anything for you." His heart jumped and he squeezed her, then let her go and watched her walk out the door into the kitchen.
Al was bright red and giggling to himself, trying not to burst out laughing. He wasn't making fun, he was just so happy to finally see his brother and Winry together. Ed looked over at Al and shot him a death glare and Al nearly choked on his last laugh.
"Brother, I'm just so happy for you, I can't help but laugh." he quickly waved his arms in front of his chest defensively. "I'm glad you two are together and getting along for once." He nervously laughed.
"Yea, thanks, little brother." he smirked.
"Little? I'm like three inches taller than you and I'm twenty one!"
Ed's grin disappeared when he heard his brother's comment on his height. He shot another glare at Al and stood up from the chair. He walked over to his brother and they compared their height. Al was right, he was taller, by a few inches. Frusterated, Ed stomped over to the door and looked back at Al. "So what? You win. At least I'm taller than Winry. She can't call me short anymore, she's the short one out of us now." he laughed and Al started laughing too. He walked over to Ed and they walked out of the shop together and into the kitchen. Alphonse decided to sit on the couch and read a book while Ed sat down at the dining room table to watch Winry cook. She decided to use the leftover chicken from dinner and put it in some soup. Ed watched her wide-eyed as she bounced around the kitchen, fetching the ingredients needed for the meal. She was humming to herself and curling a piece of hair around her finger as she started adding diced vegetables to the broth. She was adorable.
"How's the leg feel?" she asked over her shoulder, pouring in the ingredients that made up her homemade soup.
"Feels like heaven compared to those pieces of ....." he laughed, referring to the prosthetics from Germany. "I'm a little sore from the procedure though and from wearing the prosthetic, same with my arm, but it's nothing."
"Yea, that should go away in a few days." she picked up the pepper shaker and shook it over the pot, tasted it, and picked up another spice shaker and shook that one over the large pot. Seeming pleased with her work, she sat the wooden spoon down and went over to the fridge and pulled out the jug of milk. Ed's heart sank. His eyes were glued to the gallon-jug, he knew exactly what she was thinking. She went over to the cupboard, pulled out a large glass and filled it to the brim with the nasty, chalky, vomit-tasting liquid. He stuck his tongue out of the side of his mouth in disgust. Winry turned around and saw Ed's face and immediately started cracking up.
"Oh, Ed, grow up!" she sighed, "Please? I bet the last time you had a glass of milk was the last time I made you! I seriously doubt you made yourself drink some when you were gone. Just drink this one glass for me to make up for it and I won't ask you again for a while. Please?" she begged, battering her eyelashes and flashing her sapphire orbs at the man. The sight of her eyes made Edward's heart beat nearly out of his chest. He couldn't say no. He knew it.
"UGH! I can't believe I'm doing this..." he yelled, slamming his fist on the table. He picked up the glass of the white liquid and chugged it down in under ten seconds, gasping for air when he was finished. Winry burst out laughing again and then placed another large glass in front of him, this one filled with sweet tea. He snatched it up and took two big gulps to wash away the nasty taste and then sat back in his chair.
"What?" she choked, trying to get herself to stop laughing and calm down.
"I'd do anything for you, too." he said, crossing his arms and looking over at her. She quieted, walked over to Ed, and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He blushed and watched her walk back over to the pot to pour him a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
"I know you would, Ed. Why else do you think I asked you?" she giggled, placing the bowl in front of him as she sat down. He picked up the spoon she sat by his bowl and slowly took a sip. He didn't realize how hungry he really was until then and ate the whole bowl within five minutes. He ate two more bowls after that.
Ed was ready for bed, he felt like a walking zombie by the time he was done eating. Winry went upstairs to Al's room to put new sheets and a blanket on the other twin bed. Ed and Al were sitting outside on the front porch with Den and Pinako was already in bed asleep. They sat there in silence for a few minutes, staring off into the endless fields of tall green grass. Al broke the silence.
"So...how did it happen?"
"Hm?" Ed looked over at his brother.
"How did you get back here?" Al asked nervously, meeting his brother's eyes. Ed turned and looked away, off into the fields again. His face fell as he searched for words.
"I...died, Al." he said in a shaky voice.
Al looked over at his brother in alarm and confusion.
"I was put on exile for starting a rebellion against the military." His eyes still on the ground, he clenched his fist. "Those bastards were taking lives, so many lives. Completely wiping out entire cities, like a genocide." He then looked over at his brother, "I saw them...kill the old, women, children,...babies." He paused, obviously holding back tears. He then took in a big breath of air and let it out. "The Jews did absolutely nothing wrong, they were hated for no reason. Hitler just wanted to take his anger out on someone, so he picked them. He had the stupidest reasons. His own mother, Al. She was a Jew. He killed her." Al gasped, he couldn't even imagine what could possibly posess someone to kill their own mother. "I was one of the most wanted men in the entire country, I had a good sized group of followers, but they were killed one by one...because of me. Their blood...is on my hands." he exclaimed, holding up his shaky hands and looking down in disgust at them. "Finally, one of my closest allies turned out to be a spy and turned me in. They immediately arrested me. I was in prison for God knows how long, I'd say close to a year. They beat me and probably brought food once a week, if I was lucky. I don't know how I lived. I guess they just wanted me to sit there and rot, until one governor got the idea to execute me in front of everyone who hated me. Said it'd be something for the people to celebrate."
"Edward..." Al was choking back tears.
"I didn't really feel much. I was just happy...to be leaving that hell hole. That place was horrible, Al." A few tears fell from his face. "After the execution, I immediately woke up, or I guess it was right after, I don't know, but I woke up in front of The Gate." Al gasped once again. Ed continued, "I don't understand why, I was supposed to be dead and gone. I heard The Guardian from behind The Gate ask me, 'What do you want now, Elric? You selfish piece of ..... Are you attempting to live forever and follow in your greedy father's footsteps?' I remember giving that son of a b*tch a few choice words and then it hit me, maybe I could go home. I asked him what I had to do so I could come back, I told him how much I missed you and that I was the only family you had left. I told him about Winry...I remember falling to my knees begging him, pleading for him to let me through. Even if I was only able to stay for a few hours, I just wanted to see you back in your body and I had to see her one last time." He looked away and shrugged, "He said that since I had been killed, there was nothing more that I could possibly give. He said that I had such a strong connection to this place, that I just couldn't leave entirely, not yet. I nodded and told him to let me through, to let me go back home. The doors flung open and those snake-like black arms grabbed me and pulled me in. Then I woke up in the outskirts of Lior."
"Damn." was all that Al could mutter out. He was in shock, he knew his brother had indeed been through hell itself, but killed? He couldn't find the words, he felt tears welling up in his eyes as he grabbed his older brother and embraced him. Ed hugged him and pat his brother on the back.
"It's over now, Al. I'm okay. I have no scars, bruises, or anything. At least from there." Al sat back and looked at Ed, he nodded and wiped his eyes. He knew he was too old to cry, but this was his brother. His only relative. He gave him the ultimate gift, he saved his life many years ago and then returned his soul back to his body. He loved his brother more than words could explain and couldn't stand hearing how badly abused he was. Ed was such a selfless person, he was only trying to help the people. They sat there in silence for a while, both thinking their own thoughts about all that had happened to Edward. Then they both jumped as they heard the door behind them open.
"Ed, your bed's ready." Winry said. They turned around and Winry flinched when she saw their faces. She could tell that they had both been crying and she knew exactly the reason why. She frowned and looked at the ground.
"I'll be there in a minute, Win." Ed said warmly, smiling at her. She nodded and turned around to go back inside, letting the door close by itself. Ed and Al stood and brushed themselves off. Ed smiled at his brother, letting him know that everything was alright. They quickly hugged one more time before they both walked back into the Rockbell house.
Al had gone off to bed and Ed was in the bathroom, brushing his teeth. Winry was sitting on her bed, waiting to see him pass by her bedroom to walk into the one he was now sharing with his brother. He stopped at her doorway when he saw her looking at him from her bed, he went over and sat on the edge of it.
"We'll talk tomorrow, alright?" he said softly.
"Okay." Winry nodded and took Ed's hand in hers then looked into his golden eyes. "I'm sorry, Edward. About...everything." He tilted his head, confused. "I'm so sorry, all the suffering, all your childhood, your mother, everything." A few tears were making their way down her cheeks. "It's just so unfair! You're so amazing, you and Al, you did nothing to deserve all the bad things that happened to you! Where was equivalent exchange then? I just don't get it!" she sobbed. He took her into his arms and held her, rocking her back and forth gently.
"I know, Winry. All that...it was all lies. I followed all the rules after what happened with Mom and got nothing but hell in return. I believe there is some form of equivalency, with The Gate and everything, but equivalent exchange definitely does not apply to everything, like I was taught all those years ago. I grew up basing everything on that theory and it did nothing for me."
"So, what are you gonna do now?" she asked, looking up at him.
"I don't know, Win."
"Well, whatever you decide, I'll back you up." she smiled and hugged him again. He squeezed her tightly and pecked her on the lips.
"I'm gonna go get some sleep." he said, stretching his arms out as he got up from her bed. "Goodnight, I'll see you in the morning." he smiled.
"Alright, goodnight, Ed." she whispered, getting into her covers and laying down.
Ed tip-toed into the room where Al was already fast asleep. He took his boots, pants, and shirt off and peeled the covers away to get into the soft bed. Bed. An actual bed? When was the last time I even slept on one? he asked himself, closing his eyes as he drifted off to sleep.
Hahaha, just realized after skimming through this that it edits cuss words. =/
Oct 11 2009, 02:02 AM
Words, Hands, Hearts
Ed shot up in bed, dripping with sweat, he had streams of tears stained on his face. He was breathing like he had just finished running a marathon. The nightmare of his execution was running through his mind.
"It felt so real..." he said, looking down at his shaking hands. "Dammit." he brought his knees up to his chest and laid his head down on top of them. He had been through hell and he was finally free, he certainly did not want to relive it, even if it was just a dream. Once was enough. He looked over at Al to make sure he didn't wake him and laid back down with a sigh. He tossed and turned for about twenty minutes until he decided to go downstairs and get a glass of water.
He sat there at the table, flashes of his nightmare popping in and out of his mind. He clenched his fist and punched the table.
"I don't need this .... right now." He got up with his glass and walked back up the stairs and stopped when he was by Winry's bedroom door. He stood there for a few minutes, debating on whether to go in or not. Slowly opening the door, Ed peeked in to make sure she was sleeping okay. He smiled when he found her in the dark. Her left leg was hanging off the side of the bed and the covers were scrunched at the foot of the bed. He was trying to hold back his laughter as he walked lightly over to her bedside and sat the glass on her nightstand. She looked so peaceful. He gently lifted her leg back onto the bed and started pulling the covers back over her when she began stirring. Ed waited until she stopped moving and finished pulling the covers back over her, he then lowered his head to plant a light kiss on her cheek. Smiling at her once again, he turned and made his way for the door.
"Ed?" Winry called sleepily.
"Huh? Hey." he answered, turning around and nervously rubbing the back of his neck.
"Are you alright?" she asked, sitting up with her eyes half closed. He didn't answer and walked over to Winry's bed, looking down at the floor. She looked up at Ed, confused and reached out to hold his hand. "Sit down." she said as she moved over to make room for him. He listened and sat down beside her, not letting go of her hand. "What are you doing up so late? You need your rest."
"Uh, I was just getting some water haha, see?" he said while pointing to the glass. Winry didn't buy it.
"You've always been a horrible liar when it comes to me. Spill it." she demanded. Ed sighed and turned away.
"I had a nightmare, that's all." he waved his hand.
"About?" she asked. Ed looked back at her, he knew that he needed to tell her now what had happened to him. He took her hand back in his and squeezed it tight and began telling her his story.
Winry was in tears, not knowing what to say. She was horrified by hearing everything that happened to Ed, she loved him so much, she couldn't even imagine what it must have been like. All she could do was cry, she felt helpless and useless. All those years, Ed had been going through so much pain and all she ever did was sit here and wait. She was overwhelmed.
She was quiet. She then reached over for Edward and pulled his body to hers, wrapping her arms around him and holding him tight as she cried some more. He held her and comforted her, not knowing what he should say.
"It's okay, Winry. It's over now." he said softly, running his fingers through her long blonde hair. She looked up at him, tears trailing down her soft cheeks. She then placed her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him in for a kiss, he closed his eyes and placed his automail hand on the small of her back, pulling her closer to him. She shivered under the metal's touch and began kissing Ed even more passionately. She began peeling Ed's shirt off and he lifted his arms up to let her take it off completely. He brought his lips back to hers and slid the straps of her small, silky nightgown off of her shoulders. Winry then broke the kiss and pushed Ed onto his back, she slipped out of her nightgown and sat on top of him with her legs straddled at his waist. She was left in her bra and panties and Ed in his boxers. He reached his flesh hand up and placed it on her cheek. The moonlight was seeping through the bedroom window, shining on Winry's face and dancing along every curve of her body. He pulled her back down and began kissing her fiercely, pouring out all the emotions he held inside of him with every kiss. Winry laid down on top of him, her legs remaining in a straddle, she wanted to be as close to Ed as possible. The skin on their stomachs had met and he could feel her chest pressing roughly against his. Ed was about to explode, he had never felt like this before and never even dreamed of having these feelings. She began rocking her hips against him and he let out a soft moan. He knew that they needed to stop, so he immediately broke the kiss before he lost himself completely.
"What's wrong?" she asked. Ed sat up with Winry still on his lap.
"I just don't think we should be doing this right now." he said quietly, looking away from Winry.
"I'm sorry if I seemed a little pushy." she said sadly.
"No, it's not that at all." he looked into her eyes, "I just want you to be ready, Winry, I want you to be sure. I care about you and I don't want to hurt you, I don't want you to look back at your first time as a mistake." Ed suddenly paused when he thought about what he just said. 'This is her first time, isn't it...? She's twenty two, I'm sure she's been with another guy, look at her! She's perfect...she probably thought I was never coming home...she probably didn't wait for me.' A frown made it's way across Ed's face the more he thought. Just the thought of Winry being with another man was beginning to make his blood boil.
"Ed!" he looked up.
"What the hell are you thinking about?" she asked eagerly. She had been trying to get his attention but he was too deep in thought to hear her.
"Um, well, this is kinda awkward asking you this haha..." he laughed nervously.
"Ask me what?" she looked confused.
"This would be your first time, right?" he asked softly, looking away from her again. Winry grinned and cupped Ed's face, their eyes met.
"Of course, Edward. How could I with anyone else?" she started making small circles on his cheek with her thumb. "Besides," she continued, climbing off of Ed's lap and reaching for his glass of water, "you make me wait when it comes to practically everything, so what's one more thing added to the list, huh?" she laughed and took a sip. Ed frowned and crossed his arms. "Relax, I'm only kidding." she said. She sat the glass back down and scooted back close to Ed and smiled at him.
"No, it's true." he uncrossed his arms and looked down. "I do make you wait, Winry, and I'm sorry...I'm such an idiot. All those years, I couldn't even see what was right in front of me. I was too caught up in my own feelings to think about anyone else besides Al and myself. You're so amazing...I don't deserve you at all...all I've ever done to you is make you wait for me and cry. I don't deserve someone as beautiful and caring as you to just be sitting at home, waiting on me to get some sense pounded into my thick skull."
"Ed...." she shook her head. He lifted his head and looked into her eyes.
"I also broke my promise didn't I?" he asked.
"That day, you held a gun up to Scar. I promised you that the next time I made you cry would be with tears of joy, that was bull .... cause I probably made you upset again and you cried...again!" he yelled.
"No, no." she calmed him. "Ed, that promise was never broken." she said with a smile on her face.
"Huh? When have I ever made you that happy?" he asked.
"That same day."
"What?" He was lost.
"After you told me that, I couldn't take my eyes off of you. When the train started rolling, I just looked back at you out the window until you and Al disappeared. I sat there for a few minutes, collecting my thoughts, I noticed that I had been thinking about you a lot lately, and thinking of you differently." She took Ed's hands into hers and looked him in the eyes. "That was the day I realized I love you. I started crying because I was so happy, I couldn't stop thinking about you." Ed took her into his arms and kissed her lightly on the forehead.
"You said you love me." he sighed and shook his head, then squeezed Winry tightly. "You loved me and I still left you." he muttered causing Winry to break from his arms.
"Ed, you did what you had to do." she said firmly. "I understand, okay? Quit beating yourself up for God's sake."
"I love you, Winry." he said, pulling her back into his arms and embracing her, trying not to cry.
"I love you, too." she answered.
"I'm sorry...about everything I put you through." he whispered.
"It's in the past. You did what you had set out to do and it's done. It's over with. Now you can finally live for yourself and do what you want to do, Ed." she said. He laid down on the bed, resting his head on his right arm. He was looking up at the ceiling fan thinking about what she said. Winry looked over at him and smiled softly. He had finally told her the words that she was dying to hear all those years. She laid down beside him, her head resting on his left arm and her hand on his chest, he gazed into her eyes as if they were a portal looking into the future. His future. He knew now more than ever that Winry was the woman he would marry, he wanted nothing less than to be able to make her the happiest she has ever been. His thoughts were interrupted as she yawned and closed her eyes. Ed was starting to doze off too, he forced himself awake and sat up in bed. He stood up, picked up his shirt, and kissed Winry's lips softly. He then started making his way for the door.
"Ed, don't go." Winry called from her bed. He looked back at her, she was half asleep already, but reaching her arm out for him. He couldn't leave her. He walked back over to her and climbed back into her bed. He brought his chest to her back, laid his arm over her waist, and entangled his legs with hers.
"What about Auntie?" he asked.
"Just slip out before me or something..." she trailed off as she fell asleep. He smiled and closed his eyes. For the first time, he felt that his life was starting to make sense, like it actually had a purpose. Inside, he knew that he loved Winry all those years, he loved her so much that he never acted on his feelings, for the sake of her safety. He was now home and free of worry, he had his whole life ahead of him and he finally knew what to make of it.
That night he promised himself that he would spend the rest of his life with her and make her the happiest he possibly could.