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Chiyo
Parting Gift

The first chapter of this fic is of smutty content...do not read unless you know what I'm talking about.


I can't remember if I ever posted much of this on here but I shall anyway. Like I say it's all posted on the link but if you wish for cliffys and all that I'll post each chapter on here for you to read. I never liked this story at first but people seemed to love the first chapter so I kept going. Then going, and going etc until before I knew it this fic was 26000 words long!

I shall begin with the second and third chapter as the first is smutty. This is set in the time Ed in is Munich and after he comes back (this was written before the movie came out so no real spoilers....its all me). Ed/Win of course as what isn't with me. Its done pretty well of fanfiction, lets see what you lot think.

***************

That while came and went quicker than she had hoped. Paninya was the first to notice after being on the receiving end of Winrys mood swings for too frequently for it to be the normal monthly female event. Dominique was clueless until the bump on her stomach was clearly something other then normal weight gain. She had been eating the strangest combination of food recently but not knowing the girl that well he kept his thoughts to himself.

Paninya tried desperately to get Winry to confess to her family but she flat refused to do so. She feared so much the judgment that would come down on her. Dominique lectured her on how ridiculous it was to think she could hide a baby from her family. She wouldn’t listen to them but promised to get out of their hair once the baby was born.

Poor Winry was collapsing inside. Secretly she had expected Ed to come back pretty soon. Al had left village to learn alchemy all over again, and as far as she knew Rose had returned to her people. Her heart ached to picture Pinako alone in the house with only Den for company but she could also picture her face if Winry were to turn up at the door as she was. No, it would be an easier blow if she were to have the baby first and be providing for it. She would journey to central for there was one household that she knew would take her in. One thing that could always bring a smile to her face was the image of a delighted little Elysia becoming a surrogate big sister as Winry had been to her.

At six months pregnant Winry finally decided it was time to leave the home she had taken place in. The pair were not happy to part with her in the condition that she was in at the time but they had checked with Gracier and they were assured she would take care of her. Dominique held back with all his might the urge to call her family. It was hard but it was also ultimately Winrys choice.

The train journey was uncomfortable to say the least. Her back ached almost constantly now and the movement kept making her feel like she needed to use the bathroom. It would take a few hours for her to reach central so she began to sketch auto-mail designs again.

‘That’s an odd sight,’ a voice said.

Winry looked up. Standing over her was a girl a few years younger then she. She had a beaming grin on her face and her eyes sparkled with youth behind her glasses. She seemed innocent enough but she had hit a raw nerve.

‘Many girls my age have a baby and I don’t see what it has to do with you…’

‘Nah, I don’t mean that. I meant a girl studying auto-mail…and a pregnant girl on a train alone, if you don’t mind me saying.’

‘I do,’ Winry sighed and got back to her work. Yet the girl did not leave and confidently placed herself directly opposite Winry.

‘Can I help you?’

‘I was jus’ lookin’ is all, those pictures are really clever. Do you make it too?’

Winry studied her for a moment. Her blonde hair was slightly messy but her clothing was smart enough. She wasn’t a threat and may even turn into a welcome relief.

‘I do yes, it’s my job and I love it.’

‘Mus’ be a bit hard while you’re ‘avin a baby.’

‘A little I guess, but I won’t be able to at all when the baby is born,’ Winry sighed. The thought that she would have to cast aside auto-mail for some years pulled at her heartstrings. But then the small life moved inside of her and she hoped it would all be worth.

‘Can’t the father help?’

‘H…he’s not with us anymore.’

The girl took a gasp, ‘Oh my God I’m sorry, I shouldn’ ave asked. Oh me and me big mouth. Was it cause of what happened with them remainin’ Ishbals?’

‘Not really no. He isn’t dead, or at least I don’t believe he is, and he will come back…’

It was an odd sensation letting out all of her feelings to this stranger but it was the safest thing to do. They would never meet again and the girls brightness and scantiness reminded her of herself. Least of who she had once been.

They chatted for a about another half hour before her mother called for her. This girl, Liz to be precise, had been the relief Winry had hoped for and more so. She had let out a lot of what was bottled up and had not once been asked who the father was. Childhood was still innocent in places and she hoped Liz would have a good life. She had a mother, father, and younger brother so had the recipe for a happy home. Yet Winry knew all to well and mix could make a happy home.

She would endeavour to find Al. Even if the baby did not have a father for the moment it would certainly have an Uncle. And a very, very loving one at that.

She still wasn’t keen on central but she was able to cope with the crowd. Most people were very kind to a pregnant woman while others gave her a disapproving look. True that seventeen was young to be having a child but what was it to them.

Before she had even started up the path toward the house Elysia came bursting out of it. She ran toward Winry and top speed but then halted upon noticing the bulge that was Winrys stomach.

‘Big sister? Are you going to stay with us?’ the little girl squeaked not quite sure how to react. She didn’t fully understand but she wasn’t sure if she could hug Winry or not. Winry sensed this and grabbed hold of the little girl and answered her question.

Elysia led her into the house where Gracier was waiting for her. She beamed at Winry and embraced her as a mother would. With hormones out of control Winry fought to hold back the tears. This would be a good home until she had decided what to do after the baby was born.
The time passed her by as quickly as it had before. She spent her time helping around the house and caring for Elysia. She was nervous to go outside as somebody might recognise her. She had inquired over the phone as to Als whereabouts. Unfortunately news had reached Roy Mustang that she was around and he had decided to pay her a visit. She had forgiven him for what he had done but she did not want him to find her like this. Sadly it was too late as he paid her a visit that very day.

She was sat in the living room when he walked in together with Riza. Much like Elysia had they stopped dead in their tracks and stared at her a moment. Then Riza cleared her throat.

‘It’s nice to see you again Miss Rockbell,’ she said, extended her hand in a very correct manner.

As they sat down she could see the desperation in Roy for him to say something. She sighed and waited to see how long he could hold out. Riza was being polite but was also eager to confirm what they both thought.

‘So what do you plan to do in Central Winry?’

‘Oh, well I am not too sure really. I want to find Al as soon as possible but I don’t want to stop him from his training. I don’t want to hinder him in his…searching.’

Once Ed had come into conversation Roy could not hold it in any longer.

‘Is the baby his?’

Winry had been expecting the question yet she did not know how to answer. She nodded her head slowly but remained silent. She prayed that they would not tell Pinako. From what she could tell they had visited as friends, not as military personnel. Gracier entered the room with a tray of tea in hand. She sensed from the silence that the dreaded question had been asked and she felt very defensive. Winry was in need of a mother figure at the time and she was doing the best she could. Edward had been so important to them his child was just as precious.

‘Do your family no? Does Al?’

‘No they don’t, and please don’t tell my Grandma. I will tell Al. If I saw him he would guess so I can’t hide it.’

Roy was smiling broadly which unnerved her greatly. Was he waiting to crack a joke? He didn’t seem the type to joke about this sort of thing.

‘Congratulations Miss Rockbell, you are going to give birth to a famous child,’ he finally sighed, ‘you will need to have military protection.’

‘I don’t want the public to know…’

‘Winry dear,’ Riza interrupted, ‘it will be apparent who the father is when the child is born and you can’t hide inside forever. At least let us care for you until Edward comes back.’

‘What if he doesn’t come back?’ Winry blurted out. She hadn’t planned on being so abrupt but it was an obvious statement.’

Roy was smiling again, ‘You don’t really believe that do you? The Elric brothers always came through whatever scrap they found themselves in. The bond is too strong for Al to give up and I am sure Ed is doing the same wherever he is.’

‘He doesn’t know about the baby does he Winry?’ Riza asked in a hushed voice.

It was another fear of hers. Even if he did come back would he accept being a father? She couldn’t keep him still for a moment. He was more like his father then he knew so would he up and leave just like Hohenheim had done?

‘Ed and Al love children,’ Gracier laughed, ‘If you could have seen how much Ed smiled when Elysia was born.’

‘That’s right, and he was so attached to Nina. He is an adult Winry and will take his responsibility,’ Riza sighed.

Although nothing would completely remove her worry she did feel somewhat at ease. She hadn’t though of what having the Fullmetal Alchemists baby meant to other people. He and Al had made many friends on their journey as well as enemies. Her next port of call would be Mr Armstrong who although very physically strong was as gentle as they come. He was not suited to the military and had recently left to open up a shop in Central. That was all she knew but she wanted to see him above others at the time. Roy promised to try and find Al for her and Riza vowed to come and see her any time she could. She was very grateful for their help but wondered if they were only helping because of the lineage of her child.

Winry The Alchemist
nice i like it!!!! please tell the other chapters will be up soon?
darkangelslayer
Long time no see Chiyo!! Where've you been?

Another great one of course. I hope this will be as good as your other works...

Will you be posting more? Or will it be up to us to check it out on FF.net?
Winry The Alchemist
i just got done reading it ff.net i love it very nice!!!!
Chiyo
I will be posting it in here as well and editing where I need to (there is smut after all).

Glad to be back
Phyco girl
So glad you're back. I remember seeing that you continued the fic but didn't read it due to my utter laziness ^^" Wonderful job and... welcome back!!! biggrin.gif
edwardasakura18
bravo chiyo bravo!i thoroughly enjoyed that happy.gif yaaay... warm fuzzies.. oh edward please come back soon!
Chiyo
So glad some of you are taking a shine to this...so hear is some more for you.

*************

Armstrong for once decided he would avoid embracing someone he so really wanted to. The last thing he had expected that day was for Miss Winry to turn up on his doorstep, let alone heavily pregnant. Yet he was a polite man and did not bring it up. If she wanted to tell him she would in her own good time. He had his suspicions anyway.
Winry glanced around the shop that Mr Armstrong had built. It was full of all sorts of crafts mostly made of wood and stone. There were small models surrounding the room, mostly of animals but some of people she had seen round the town. Today it was raining so few people were walking around which suited her down to the ground. Not too many people recognised her but it would only take one person to give out the cry then she would be swamped. Armstrong had not said a word which if anything encouraged her to tell him out right. His eyes filled up with tears as she confirmed what he had been thinking. She poured him some tea, almost laughing at the absurdity of this bulk of a man in tears.
‘Miss Winry will you excuse me a moment,’ he asked and left to go into a separate room. He arrived a few moments later with a two packages in his hand. One had Mrs Hughes name on it, the other had hers.
‘Please open this when you get home and give this to Mrs Hughes,’ he said, tears still shining in his bright blue eyes. She nodded and thanked him, desperately wanting to open her gift. They sat and talked about his work for some hours more. She delighted in hearing it all and even managed to hear some tales of Al. According to Armstrong he was easily picking up all his alchemy skill but he still had no memory of any of them. At this Armstrong began to well up again but Winry held onto his hand. He smiled down at her and again an evil thought crept into her mind. Was Armstrong too only concerned for her and the child because it was Edwards? He didn’t seem the type to think such things but as he waved her off it was all she could think about.
While in bed she finally got the chance to open her package. It was carefully wrapped but it felt like a wooden figure inside. From the shape she guessed it was the model of a person, perhaps the one of a woman she had commented on. They were all so full of detail she could swear they would all come to life one night and raid the town. What a childish thing to think, she thought.
She unwrapped the last layer. Inside was a figure but of a person she knew well. Boots that looked to big, small stature, hair in a braid and intense, stern eyes. She held the object in her hands for a moment, wishing with all her might that it would come to life, before breaking down into a flood of bitter tears.
After another month had passed she finally received the call she had been waiting for. Al had been tracked down and he was now on his way to Central. As far as she was aware he still was unaware of her pregnancy. Roy had kept his promise and the military kept a close eye on her but not so they were intrusive. She had mixed feelings about the security but wanted to do the best for her child. That is what Rose had done. Al had been so good with Jack she sighed at the very memory. She wondered what he would think of being an uncle mores-o then how she thought about how Ed would take the news. It was likely to be because Al was at least still in their world.
She was banned from the train station so Gracier volunteered to join Riza on the platform to meet the young alchemist. He too was very important to everyone although he had no recollection of any of them. She would help him get his memories back somehow. She would be damned if he forgot everything after the worry he and his brother put her through.
Elysia sat on the floor in front of Winry and drew pictures. She was a delightful child, bright and innocent, always with a smile across her face. She knew her daddy was gone but she loved him all the same and said goodnight to his picture that hung in her room. She was still slightly timid around Roy but he had accepted that now. Winry noticed she sometimes drew pictures of him next to her Hughes, understanding the friendship in the way only a child could.
After an hour she finally heard a car draw up outside. It was odd, but she was nervous about seeing Al, wondering if he would be upset that she hadn’t told him. No such thoughts had flared up before but now they consumed her as all her worries tended too. It was Elysia who went to the door first.
She stood and waited listening to the voices. She heard Havock and Riza say farewell, she heard Al embracing Elysia and she even heard Izumi complimenting Gracier on a beautiful home. She hadn’t expected to see their sensei as well.
They were still chatting as the entered the room and saw her standing their. Much like the others there was a moment of total silence, as if the slightest noise would break the world in two. The first to make some form of disturbance was the most silent of all.
‘Oh,’ Winry cried as the baby inside her kicked out in protest at its mothers anxiety. She looked back up to see Al walking over to her.
‘Winry, can I touch your stomach?’
She nodded, truly moved at the unwavering gentleness of the boy she had known all her life. He carefully placed two hands on her stomach in time to feel another outburst from the life within. He grinned broadly and cried with delight, looking up at her with sparkling eyes.
‘So Edward remains with us not only via his brother.’
She blushed as Izumi said these words. Was it so clear that it would be his child? How many people guessed how much she felt for Ed? It was verging on pathetic but nobody had shot her down. People had given her disapproving looks but they had all been strangers to her. Everyone else seemed genuinely concerned but happy for her. Al had now taken to resting his head on her swollen belly as if wishing to hear a baby cry.
‘Winry, I’m going to be an Uncle!’
Her fears lifting for the time being she embraced her spiritual brother. He was such a kind and unselfish spirit. All he was doing now was in search of his brother, believing with all his heart he could bring his brother back. She hoped that now he knew it would give him a new burst of energy. He had promised Winry he would bring brother back as if he knew Edward was needed by all of them.

Al wanted to stay until the baby was born but it unnerved Winry how much he mentioned Aunt Pinako. She could swear he was going to tell her as soon as he could, not understanding how vital it was she didn’t know. It seemed few people understood why she wasn’t going to tell Aunt Pinako. That was except for Izumi who seemed to know more then Winry did. She explained that Winry was worried that somehow the pregnancy would be stopped by her grandmother if she found out. Perhaps she would give the baby away and demand Winry never sees it. That was not ever going to happen but a mother is overly protective of her child, no matter who opposes it. Izumi was speaking from experience so Winry never questioned it.
She was becoming less able to do anything by the day. If she wasn’t going to the toilet she had to sit down because her back hurt. It pulled at her lower back and she was now only able to walk with a waddle. She was informed it was because the baby had turned itself in preparation for being born. Gracier was able to sympathise with poor Winry and made her life as comfortable as possible. Winry appreciated it but hated the idea of being wrapped up in cotton wool. Her life was being taken away from her by another and it was frustrating. Her mood swings now usually consisted and crying or throwing something across the room. The only time she was at total piece was around Elysia, the main reason being she didn’t want to upset the child. Al would often sit with her and take whatever came his way because of how happy he was. The moment the baby was born he would carry on his quest, but right now he was needed even if Winry did tell him to clear off most of the time.
She often thought of Edward and what he was doing at the time. He was blissfully unaware that his child was about to be brought into the world. As if the child knew she would often kick when her mother became too distressed, knocking her out of her thoughts. It was as if the baby was trying to tell her that it was the most important thing at that time and that it was not doing it any good having a stressful mother. She laughed thinking her unborn child was already showing traits of its father. Then of course she would begin to cry again and relive the last moments she had spent with Edward.
She had no idea of the sex of the child but she was told that girls kicked more. Secretly she did wish for a little girl but she guessed that most mothers did. But then if she had a boy she was sure Rose still had some of Jacks old clothes. That caused Winry to cry again as it did nothing but remind her of her dear home so many miles away. The countryside was so beautiful and it had been too long since she had truly appreciated it. The city was both heaven and hell rolled into one but she had no chance of escape.
When the ninth month arrived everybody was on tenterhooks. Winry was rarely left alone and Riza was visiting almost everyday. Apparently she didn’t have very much work to do at the time and she was there on behalf of Mustang. They believed her to a degree, Roy was excited but so was Riza. Mustang had taken the news amazingly well. He cared a lot for Edward even if no-one would ever know just how much. Mustang had almost entirely dedicated his life to his work and didn’t want Fullmetal to do the same. With a baby (if he ever came back) Edward would be allowed leave to care for his child. So he kept his good eye on Edwards childhood sweetheart from a distance, he was afraid of pregnant women.
All the same Winry wished it would all be over. She dreaded the pain she was going to go through but despised the waiting even more. Al would sit and sing to her and the baby to calm her and often it worked. She knew it was a song his mother used to sing to him and wondered what Trisha would think of this situation. She had been quite young when she had given birth to Edward and no-one seemed to mind. She also wondered how Hohenheim had taken the news when he found out he was going to be a father. Then she would try and cast the thought out of her head, remembering he had left his wife and kids without any notice of where he was going. Everyday until her death Trisha had waited for him to return to them, believing full well that he would. Winry would not be so foolish, she knew there was every chance her child would never meet its father.
Gracier walked into Winrys bedroom that one fateful morning to find her on her knees. She was holding a hand to her stomach and breathing heavily.
‘Riza, get the doctor, now!’
She was eased into the bed but nothing helped. The pain was like no other she had ever suffered, other then that in her heart. She felt like her lower half was being continually squeezed and she desperately wanted to push the pain away. Gracier demanded she wait until the doctor arrive and kept a damp cloth on her forehead. Every other breath as a low, inhuman moan as the pain seared through her young body. She screamed in frustration at being left to cope with this alone.

Somewhere across the sands of time and space, a young man is sitting at a desk. He is surrounded by paperwork full of scribbles of memories he desperately held on to.
Suddenly he felt terrible cramp in his lower gut. It was like somebody had punched him hard and he felt his heartbeat there.
‘Are you okay Edward?’
‘Err, yea I think, must be sympathy pains.’

Al sat outside Winrys room trying to block out the sound of her pain. He could see flashes of Gracier lying down, screaming in the same way. There was a little girl there too, and his dear brother who couldn’t have been more than thirteen. They were all in a panic and didn’t know what to do. Was this a true memory? He would have to ask Gracier when he got the chance.
There was another scream of agony before the doctor strode into the room. Izumi eased Al to his feet and away from the door. He was with her in spirit and it would do her no good if he passed out by her door.
Winry wasn’t too aware of the doctor arriving but she knew now she had to push with all her might. The pain, too severe to contemplate, was only added to by not having any family by her side. Gracier couldn’t have been more helpful, but she was her real mother.
With a final scream Winry felt the pain slip away from her finally. Barely able to keep her eyes open, she heard a feint cry. The doctor held a bundle in his arms and smiled broadly at her.
‘Congratulations, it’s a girl.’
He placed the tiny life in her arms. She looked down on her baby and cried with relief. She was fine, she was safe and she was hers. The baby stirred by on the whole remained quiet. Her hair was soft on shined of her mothers colour. After a moment or two the doctor took the new arrival away to be washed.
Winry was exhausted. She felt Gracier stroking her hair and as much as she didn’t want to, she fell into a peaceful sleep.

‘Edward, are you crying?’
‘No, well I am, but I don’t know why. I feel like…I don’t know…like I couldn’t be happier,’ he laughed, ‘but I have no reason to be, it’s just come up from no-where.’
He sat down and cradled his head in his hands. He did feel intense joy but there was no explanation as to why. He spent a moment or two gathering himself together, wiping away his involuntary tears. Nobody knew this but it wasn’t the first time he had felt a wave of emotion. Hope, sadness, sheer delight all came at the most random time. He put it down to stress and the constant wish to be home. To see his brothers smile, to smell Pinakos cooking, to feel her warmth cuddled next to him.

Winry held the child to her breast and she took in her mothers milk. Winry was sore all over but somehow it was all worth it. She had been praised for her hard work and was surrounded by gifts for her and the new arrival. Al had added his own gift, a teddy bear that he himself had alchemised. She had placed that in the cot Armstrong had sent her which was beautiful in itself. The object she had delivered to Gracier on behalf of Armstrong was the final part of the cot. It was a beautiful wooden bird that stood at the top of the cot looking over the baby. She was proud to place her sleeping baby in the safety of something created out of love.
Once the baby had settled Winry sat down and began to write a letter. She had written many of these letters but they all ended up in the same state.

Edward

I do not blame you for not making it to the birth but it is a shame you missed the event. You will never know how much I needed you there for I will never admit it to myself.
Our little girl is beautiful and you should be proud that you helped create something so wonderful. When she looks up at me I see sadness in her eyes and I know she wants to be held in your strong arms.
The military have been so kind to me but I know that only because this little girl carries your genes .Still I am proud that she does but must hide it for now. Izumi says she feels old as she saw you and Al as her own children. Now her child has a child of his own.
I hope Al will have many children when he is older for I have never seen anyone so careful with a child before. He holds our little girl with a delicacy rarely found in those of his age. I know she will love him dearly, but he will never be able to replace you Edward.
When you come back you had better be prepared for a real beating. How dare you make me weak Edward Elric. How dare you make me love you like I do.
Winry

She took the letter into the garden, checked that all was quiet, and burnt the letter as she had all the others she had written.
ed's numbuh 1 fan
i read this story on fanfiction. net
very nice i really love it smile.gif
Chiyo
Even if only a few read this here, I may as well carry on posting tongue.gif

********

Even after two days a name had still not been decided for the new arrival as Winry was really not sure. Plenty of people had suggested names to her but not one of them seemed to fit. Winry was pouring heart and soul into being a mother and she was already exhausted. Her breasts were swollen and sore and she was constantly on the move. Yet all the same she could not have been happier or more proud of herself for creating such a beautiful human being. The others helped out when they felt it was necessary as Winry was still weak from giving birth. Al took to the uncle role like a duck to water and used his alchemy often wherever he could. Elysia would play with the baby girl, and burst out into fits of giggles if the baby ever made a noise.
She was also incredibly scared. There was a life that depended solely on her and if she were to do anything wrong that could end up with her…. She tried to cast evil thoughts from her head but it never stopped the fear. The conflicting emotions that ran through her teenage body threatened to beak her down but the constant stream of guests kept her above water.
On the third day Roy stopped by to visit. He was apprehensive when asked, but was still delighted to hold the baby. She fell silent in his arms as he rocked her back and forth while Riza congratulated Winry on behalf of all those in the military who knew Ed. Ross and Broch would be arriving sometime in the next few days much to the delight if Winry who had missed their bickering.
Roy handed back the child when she began to protest through hunger. Letting her go he thanked the baby for gracing the world with her presence.
Thus baby Grace was finally christened. Visitors came and went regularly to see the arrival grow, bringing gifts for the child and her tired mother. Ross and Broch had bought and dress for Grace and chocolates for Winry. Their gifts could not have been more perfect. Schezka of course, bought a book and was adamant it should be read to Grace as much as possible. That way she would learn to love books and Schezka would never be stuck for a gift.
The public began to notice a new child with very distinct eyes. It would only take one person to walk past the house and see Winry in the front garden with Grace. It would ripple through the community and soon people would walk by the house to see if the rumour was true. Winry was assured the military would keep an eye on things to make sure it didn’t get out of hand. All the same, flowers would arrive without a sender’s name.

As he walked through the crowded streets he did not seem to notice people smiling at him. It was as if they knew something he didn’t and it would have unnerved him had he only been paying attention. On a sudden impulse he had bought a small teddy bear although he had no idea what to do with it. It sat solemnly in its brown paper bag as if it knew it had no real reason to be. Edward felt he would hold onto it all the same. Heck, if he ever made it back, he knew of several homes that would be happy to take in an unloved bear.
‘What have you been up to?
‘I just went for a walk.’
‘You have the smuggest look on your face Ed, like you’ve achieved something wonderful.’
‘Well it would be even more wonderful if I knew why. I feel smug but…’
There was a brief pause as Ed stood and pondered his odd behaviour that was once again being noticed by others.
‘What’s in the bag?’
‘A bear for the baby,’ Edward replied once again falling into dream world.
‘What baby?’
Ed took a moment to recompose himself before scrambling an answer together.
‘Whichever one comes along first…and emergency gift, maybe a bribe,’ he stuttered. Where on earth had he thought of a baby?
‘Oh, some letters have arrived, they’re on the table.’
Edward walked over and picked up the bundle. They had no address on them, only his name. When he came to opening them he had a whole new puzzle to play with. Each sheet of paper was completely blank yet somehow they felt significant. This world was a strange place and it was a strange time, but some things were pushing it.

The day came when Al was set to leave. He and Izumi were not looking forward to their last moments with Grace but they knew to had to come. They knew now that the importance to find the father was greater then ever before. Before he left Al made one final request.
‘Please tell Aunt Pinako Winry. She must be missing you and she will want to know her granddaughter.’
Winry looked into his sorrowful eyes and caved in. She craved her own bed and her family around her. She had found a good home and family in Central but they were not her own. Wherever she went she would be reminded that he was not there, but home was a far safer place for her to dwell. It was cruel to keep Grace away from the home she should know.
‘I promise you Al. I will leave the moment Grace and I are fit to travel.’
He left in higher spirits after that and she was left with hope in her heart. She held onto that hope as strongly as she held onto her daughter
A year had now nearly passed since she had been home. She had spoken many times to Pinako on the phone but still did not have the guts to tell her about Grace. She could hear the pain in her grandmothers voice. Rose had left so she only had Den for company bar the odd customer.
The day came and many came to wave her goodbye. Grace seemed entranced by the big noisy machines all around her and this kept her quiet. She packed her own small case into the carriage as everything else would arrive separately.
She waved a tearful goodbye as they began to speed off. She had a painful sense of déjà vu, the last time she had waved farewell to the same group Hughes and been there, and so had Edward. Baby Grace looked up at her with her beautiful wide eyes and reminded her there was no need to be sad for she was there to be the apple of her mothers eye.
Winry became aware of people passing through her carriage quite often for no apparent reason. She tried to ignore it and carried on reading her book, Grace cradled in her other arm. It became all too much when people attempted to subtly point at her but were quite blatant in doing so.
Finally a beautiful young woman pushed Winry over the edge. She stood next to Winry and cleared her throat.
‘I don’t believe it is any of your concern that I am a lone, young mother…’
‘A baby Elric is it?’
Winry looked up at her in surprise. The woman was indeed beautiful. Her hair was a honey brown and her eyes sparkled emerald. She looked gentle but Winry was suspicious.
‘No need to fear me. I just came over to confirm what I have heard in the other carriages. I didn’t believe the rumour but with eyes like that, she could only be one person’s daughter.’
‘It is nobodies business,’ Winry snapped, unsure why she was so angry.
‘Well, keep up the good work, I’ve never seen such a calm and quiet baby. You must be a good mother.’
She turned to walk away and Winry felt the guilt creep up her spine, ‘Wait…’
They spent the remainder of Winrys journey talking. It was a comfort to hear a tale from events back then. The woman never mentioned her real name, but she said Winry may hear of Psiren. Winry took a note of the name and would see if Al recalled it. Before she knew it they had pulled into her little village train station. She stood on the platform for what seemed hours before she built up the courage to head for home.
With only a small bag and a baby in her arms she felt out of place. Her other things were being sent home and she carried only the essentials which made her feel like a visitor on her own lands. She passed a couple of people who seemed too shocked to say anything to her. She glowed in embarrassment and was almost pleased they did not speak. She was caught between a rock and a hot place. She didn’t want anyone else to see her but her only sanctity from them was home where she also dreaded to be.
The path toward her home looked so much longer now. Like a man condemned she began the stroll to the front door. There were no sounds; no sign of Den and all around was still. She felt unnerved and sped up her pace.
Opening the door she still heard nothing, even after calling her grandmothers name. Placing her bag down she was at least comforted to see nothing inside had changed either.
Grace began to squirm and it was apparent she was restless. Winry too was exhausted from her journey and ascended the stairs. She paused only for a brief a moment when she finally heard something.
‘Grandma, are you here?’
‘I am in here, Winry dear.’
She followed the voice and carefully pushed the door open. Sat next to a cot was her grandmother with a baby blanket in her arms.
‘Bring Grace over to me.’
Winry did not move through the shock that swept over her. Grandmother knew all about the baby? Pinakos demeanour was calm and Winry could feel no anger coming from her grandmother.
‘You cannot blame Al for telling me. It was a huge responsibility to ask him to keep your pregnancy a secret.’
‘When did he tell you?’ Winry managed to croak.
‘They day he found out. Come now, hand me the child.’
Winry walked over to her grandmother and handed Pinako her great-granddaughter. The elderly woman wrapped the baby up and placed her into the cot before turning back to Winry.
‘I…I’m so sorry granny, I didn’t know what to say,’ Winry gasped, succumbing to tears. Pinako who had never been one to show her emotions comforted her granddaughter.
‘Winry dear you were scared. Now I hope you can tell me all…’
After many cups of tea and Grace taking her feed Winry had finally told her grandmother all she could. Den who had been sleeping all the time placed himself carefully by the crib to guard baby Grace as she slept.
‘I guess you must be angry at me for being so careless.’
‘You were careless there is no two ways about it. Yet I trust that both you and Edward knew what you were doing. I wonder if it has crossed his mind that you didn’t use any protection. Still, a baby isn’t that easy to conceive. You were unlucky.’
‘No, I was lucky grandma.’
There was a pause as the both drunk their tea. Grace was indeed a blessing but she would also now take over Winrys life.
‘Now you will wait for them again?’ Pinako finally asked.
‘Waiting, as much as I hate it, it’s all I can do now.’
‘How long will you wait though my dear?’
Winry laughed slightly and answered entirely truthfully, ‘I’ll wait forever grandma.’
She would not wait forever though; she would only have to wait another year.
kaizenyorii
ooooooo this fic is unlike any ive seen around please keep writinggggg ph34r.gif
confederate_alchemist
*claps and whistles* whooot!!! very very good my friend!!! i hope Winry and Ed are reunited in the end... the story just is so emotional... you are very talented Chiyo, very talented.... kudos to you!!! *raises glass of Coke mixed with whisky**drinks it down* i encourage you to go on!!! i'll be waiting.... *disappears into the darkness with an evil laugh* ph34r.gif ph34r.gif ph34r.gif
Chiyo
Ok, here we go with another chapter. I am so glad some of you have taken a shine to this, I realise I blow my own trumpet by saying its my 'famous' work.

********************

Another year passed and baby Grace was quickly developing her character. Her frown could intimidate a full grown adult but her smile could bring delight to anyone who saw it. The village loved Grace dearly and saw her as a little beacon of hope. They knew little about the events leading up to the disappearance of Edward but wanted him back all the same.

Den, although aging was the best bodyguard around as well as a great nanny. When Winry and Pinako were working hard on their auto-mail it was he would keep an eye on the child. She had found her feet and her voice all at the same time. With a hand to steady herself her and Den would explore the house and sometimes the garden.

The one day Winry was having trouble finding them. She followed the sound of her daughters high pitched giggles to a room she had avoided for a long time. It was the room the brothers used when they had lived with them many years ago. Grace had tangled herself up in a black vest that had remained under the covers of the one bed for some time now.

‘Oh Grace, look at you,’ Winry laughed walking over to her. Den barked and wagged his tale as if getting her in there had been his goal all along. Winry unravelled Grace and held the vest in her hands. She wanted nothing more then to bury her face within the cloth and breath in his smell but the inquisitive look on her child’s face but a halt to that.

‘This is daddies,’ Winry explained.

Grace had heard about daddy and seen his picture many times. Too young to understand the significance of it all she pointed to the vest.

‘D…d…da…dada,’ she mumbled. She raised her eyebrows as if expecting praise for managing to say it.

Winry wrapped the child up in her arms and fought to hold back the tears. Grace was nothing but pure innocence but she often made her mother cry. All it would take was the right look in her eye or the way she got frustrated with things. She was living proof that the memory once existed and lived among them. That’s why people loved Grace so much even if she was temperamental. In fact it was because she was temperamental that she was so loved. She was indeed her fathers daughter.

Pinako had watched Jack grow and now she was her great-granddaughter. Not only that, Winry had changed a great deal with the pressure of a life to care for. The sorrow as well as the joy had shaped her into an adult who knew about the sanctity of life more than others.

Yet she knew Winry had a burden. Pinako knew she held onto the hope Edward would come back and take on his role. She did not hold such hope and believed Winry would need to find a husband. However it would be difficult to find someone willing to take someone who was already a mother. She knew of one man who had lost his young bride and felt they would be perfect for each other. The time was approaching when she would introduce them and hopefully save her granddaughter from a lonely life. She and Den would not be around much longer.

She dreaded telling her the plain truth for she knew how much it would hurt Wiry. But the foolish girl could not waste her life. Pinako could do little about Al for the moment but he would too soon have to face the truth. Edward was gone from their lives.

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

He had cracked it. After two years of searching for an answer he had finally cracked it. He knew a way of getting back through the gate, back to his world. He began to cry with delight at the thought of all those waiting for him. He would finally be able to see his brother again as flesh and blood. The surges of emotion had stopped recently as all his energy went into his work. Now it had finally paid off and he was heading home. He would tie up loose ends, say a quick farewell, and then be shot of Munich and that world forever.

‘I shall say goodbye then.’

‘This sounds very final Ed.’

‘It is final; you will not be seeing me again.’

The girl in front of him began to cry. He had been grateful for her company and being as clueless as he was he had not noticed she had fallen in love with him. Her dark eyes clouded over but it only stirred anger in him.

‘What will I do without you?’

He pulled himself from her grip and turned his back to her.

‘There is someone who needs me more. Carry on with your life, someone will come along and replace me.’

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

‘No!’

‘Winry it won’t hurt you to meet him.’

‘I will not have anything to do with this!’

‘Winry he will take good care of you.’

‘I can take care of myself well enough Grandma and you know I can!’

‘Baby Grace will need a father…’

‘She has a father Grandma. I will not bring her up on a lie. We should be proud of Edward.’

‘I am Winry, but you must accept that he isn’t…’

‘He will come back! Wherever he is I know he is trying to come back. He would never desert Al or me for that matter.’

‘Are you entirely sure of that Winry?’

Winry began to choke back the tears of anger. She could not believe what her grandmother was saying to her.

‘Of…of course I am. He loves us even if he could never say it!’

‘Hohenheim loved his sons and his wife but he left them,’ Pinako sighed, her voice calming as she watched Winry slowly crumble in front if her.

‘He…he came back didn’t he? It was his choice to leave.’

‘Are you so sure Ed didn’t choose to leave as well?’

‘Grandma…he…he has to come back…for Grace,’ she coughed tears creeping down her face.

‘He doesn’t know about Grace. Winry I have no doubt he loved you but he could easily have found someone wherever he is. He was only young after all and…’

She stopped where she was. Winry was hugging herself and shaking her head. The message had got through and there was no need to speak of such things ever again.

Still shaking with tears into the evening Winry left Grace to Pinako. She needed to be entirely alone for an hour or so. She walked a path she had taken so many times as a child until she came to stop by the stream. Kneeling next to the edge to looked deeply into the dark waters surface. Her sorrowful face, eyes puffy from crying, looked back up at her. Memories flooded her weary heart until she cried them into the water and watched them flow away.

These gentle waters carried on down through the country, becoming a mighty river. It cut through villages and fields, a symbol of power and life. Nobody noticed the significance of the river until the day a miracle occurred.

A young girl, sent out to fetch food from the local store, often took the walk along the river to get to her destination. The morning sun sparkled on the surface, dancing little flecks of light. She loved to see the waters like that, calming and delicate, a wonder of Mother Nature.

Yet when she had burst into town eyes full of fear the people knew something was wrong. She claimed to have seen a man emerge from the water out of now-where. She had not seen him fall in and she had stood in the same spot for too long a time for him to have been under the water holding breath. He was clothed in nothing but his trousers and had collapsed at the waters edge. His hair, so she told them, was that of buttercups. A strong golden blonde held loosely in what remained of his pony tail. When asked why she had not seen if he was alright, the young girl cried that it all seemed inhuman, that he was not of this world.

One of the men of the town brushed it off as nonsense and called for everyone to carry on with their lives. They didn’t answer back for this man was a giant, a bulk of silent muscle. He checked where the girl had claimed to see the man emerge but found nothing but a hair band. Around this hair band was a strand of brightly coloured golden hair.

He would need to find his wife. This was something Izumi needed to know about. She had taken Al out for about an hour or two to train his fighting skills while the weather held. Calm as could be he walked across town, hair band safely hidden away in his pocket. For a brief moment he had considered the band being Als. But the colour of the blonde was too golden to be Al who had more of a mousy blonde. Sig had always been a calm man but underneath his heavy chest his heart was pounding. Had Edward really returned all of his own accord? After all the pain they had suffered could it be he had just turned up? He was aware the band and the hair could belong to anyone, or it could be Ed’s that was lost a long time ago.

What did give him hope was the young girls description of things. He had long hair; he had emerged from the water without plunging in in the first place. She had not mentioned however anything about metal limbs. This meant one of two things. A. Ed had managed to gain his own limbs or B. it simply was not Edward Elric.

kaizenyorii
o god no!!!!!! winry cant marry someone else!!!!!!!! the fluff must live onnnnnnnn
confederate_alchemist
yes, i agree. Winry cannot wmarry someone else!!!! i do hope you continue to write. i love this story!!! ta ta for now!!!! *disappears into darkness with malicious laugh*
Chiyo
Here is some more for all my loyal fans, afraid to say I love cliffhangers but this is also a lovely long chapter.

**************

He coughed again, finally spitting up the remaining river water in his system. Dazed and disorientated he had very little idea where he was. Yet something deep inside told him he had achieved his goal. He was no longer in Munich but home. He would follow along the river and see where it took him. It flowed through most of the major cities and started in Rizembol. If he followed it for long enough it would surely take him there, take him to his brother and Winry.

Oh how they had played on his mind, almost entirely consuming him. His reason for returning home was his brother whom he could never be parted from. Winry, who he had treasured since he was young, was the icing on the cake. A life was offered to him in Munich. There was someone to replace his brother and someone who had said she was in love with him. But Ed was selfish and nothing would satisfy him but exactly what he wanted.

He was still unaware as to if Al really was alive. He had no physical evidence to say he was but Ed followed his instincts. He would go to Rizembol where he could only imagine Al to be. If he wasn’t Pinako would surely know as she saw them as her own grandchildren.

Ed shivered even though the sun was strong. He would need to find some clothes before night fall when it would undoubtedly get much colder. Considering what had happened to him he was not bothered about being half naked. No-one was around anyway. The other advantage was that he was able to see his right arm which was flesh for the first time in many, many years. His leg too was finally organic and not the auto-mail it had once been. Winrys work had served him well and he would need to thank her properly for it.

He had paid for his limbs, equivalent exchange had been seen to. Ed had sacrificed the knowledge of how he had successfully passed through the gate once again when he had no alchemy to work with. This knowledge had been valuable enough to the creatures that resided in the gate. It meant that Ed was unable to return to Munich and so would have to forget the friendships he built there. It pained him to just toss them aside but he had faith they would all do well in life.

He began to cough again so violently his whole body shook. After being in freezing waters for so long it must have made him severely ill. This would push him forward even more to the safety of loved ones. He forced his legs to walk faster so he could at least have reached a town. He had no idea what time of day it was but the sun was high so it must have been near midday. There was no sign of life in sight but he still kept trudging on.

By sunset he still appeared to be no-where. He was desperately weary and hungry and he began to run a fever. Every so often he fell to his knees but always managed to pick himself back up. Finally however, after struggling another two miles, his body gave up. Through blurred vision he could see lights but he could not carry on. Calling out to his brother he collapsed onto the damp grass.

***********

Winry opened her eyes. Something had urged her to open her eyes but she could not tell what. Then she heard a cry from the other side of the room and realised her daughter was calling her. Winry found she did have instincts when it came to Grace, knowing what she wanted when. That did not make looking after her easier but Pinako was a great help.

She walked over to the cot and looked down upon her beautiful Grace. The baby girl was still holding adamantly onto the black vest she had discovered. She was also holding an empty cup with a pout on her face.

‘I guess you want another drink mi-lady?’

After fetching her drink and managing to settle her down Winry found she could still not get to sleep. Something off in the distance was still calling to her. She would call Izumi in the morning and check all was fine with Al. She had known this restlessness for a long time know and it always meant something was happening to one of the two Elrics.

**********

Ed slowly opened his eyes and focussed on his surroundings. He was fully clothed and some breakfast lay on the floor next to him. All around him were spanners and wrenches which set his heart at a fast pace. But then hope vanished as he realised he did not recognise the room.

A girl walked in. she had a dark tone to her skin and she had short hair tied tightly back. She wore a vest and some quite baggy trousers to hide the pair of auto-mail legs hidden beneath.

‘P…Paninya?’

‘So you’ve woken up have you? You’re lucky Dominique was out for his evening walk or you’d still be running a fever.’

‘Am I in Rush Valley?’

‘Of course you are? Did you loose your memory? Is that where you have been all this time? That would explain a lot much I’m sure someone would have found you’

His head span as she asked questions rapidly. He couldn’t retrieve the energy to answer to he merely shook his head. Yet he too had many questions to ask.

‘Have you spoken to Al since we last met? What about Winry? Are they alright?’

‘Whoa whoa, careful or you’ll faint again,’ she sighed, rubbing the back of her head.

‘But I must know, is my brother alive?’

She sighed again and sat in the nearest chair. He grew frustrated at how calm she was being and began to leave the bed.

‘I will tell you what Winry told me and you will have to be satisfied with that.’

And so Ed learned that his brother was indeed alive but five years younger then he should have been. He also had no memory of any of the events that had occurred after his soul was bound to a suit of armour.

‘He does not remember us so we have not seen him since our first meeting. He has been searching for you and at times no-one knew where he was. Worried Winry half to death…’

‘How is she?’

A dilemma now faced Paninya. She was sure he was unaware that he was a father but was it right for her to tell him?

‘Well, I haven’t heard from her for about a year now, but she was full of life when I last saw her,’ she laughed, deciding she was not the person to give him the news.

‘I see. Thank Dominique for helping me out, I will be leaving now,’ he said, sliding out of the bed.

Paninya was about to protest when Dominique walked in.

‘If you are to leave, the please take the money for a train ticket.’

‘Thank-you but I must decline…’

‘I wish for you to get home as quickly as possible. Plus, Winry brought in so much money for us I must repay her. By returning you safe and well I will have achieved that.’

Ed thanked him again and left for the train station soon after that.

‘Will you call them to tell them he is coming?’

‘Of course not you silly girl. Wouldn’t you want all your wishes to come as a surprise?’

‘Its got nothing to do with the fact you are scared of Pinako Rockbell?’ Paninya asked with a smirk.

A look of terror spread across his face. He held the scar on his chin, the scar that Pinako had left him with. He knew full well where Winry got her determination and felt sorry for Edward. He would pay for leaving Winry behind.

On the train Edward tried his best to calm his nerves. He was wearing a hat to cover his face for he did not want to be pounced on. A few military men were on the train and were bound to recognise him. Once they did that they would inform Mustang and Ed could not stomach him at the moment. Edward wanted to know about all that had happened in his absence but some things were more important. He would go home and find his family awaiting him. Least, he hoped they would be waiting. He knew his brother would be and he was soothed by that. Yet in the back of his mind he was terrified everyone else had given up on him.

**********

Winry brushed through her hair but found no energy to out it up so let if fly about her head. She had cut a portion of it off finding it much too long to be getting on with. Grace had gone through the stage of pulling at things and that included mommy’s hair.

Grace had already ventured outside with Den to no doubt get herself in trouble. The ever watchful dog kept his eye on her and pulled her out of any danger, like when she nearly fell into the river; fascinated by her reflection.

When she entered the kitchen she became aware of the odd colour of her grandmothers face. Her face was a blush but it looked like one of guilt.

‘Grandma? Is everything all right?’

Pinako looked up and smiled slightly, ‘Of course Winry dear. Isn’t it a nice day?’

Winry made a noise of agreement and poured herself some tea. It was indeed a sunny day but clouds had appeared on the horizon. It would rain later and considering the heat it would be a storm. She hated such ominous weather.

‘We…we will be having a visitor come by shortly,’ Pinako said, talking into her cup.

‘Oh yes, who?’

Pinako was having difficulty answering. She lit her pipe and took a few puffs, only preparing to answer when Winry made a point of clearing her throat.

‘Anthony is coming by.’

‘Anthony….Anthony…his name rings a bell…’ Winry muttered to herself. She tapped one nail against her cup as she thought. Then it clicked.

‘I remember. Didn’t he loose his wife pretty soon after they were married? Why is he coming for a visit?’

‘Says he needs a hobby. Something to stop him feeling lonely. So he is going to take up auto-mail and hopes we will start him off.’

‘Auto-mail is life and not a hobby. You know that better than anyone grandma!’

This wasn’t going well. Lying in the first place was bad enough but for it to be failing.

‘Be gentle with him dear, he just wants something to do,’ Pinako sighed, trying to calm Winry down. It would be bad for her to demonstrate her temper straight away.

Winry merely shrugged, blissfully unaware of the intentions Pinako had for this meeting. It was for her own good after all.

**********

The train sped through the passing countryside and Edward grew ever restless. He urged the train forward but it did not speed up. People kept looking toward him, probably because of his over sized hat that was hiding him from the prying eyes.

From under the brim he saw a military uniform place itself on the seat in front of him. Then another but this one was female. He resisted the urge to look up to see their faces, but knew who they were when they spoke.

‘I’ll be glad to get back to Central,’ Brosh commented.

‘It is much quieter nowadays. I still prefer the countryside but we have work to do,’ replied Maria Ross.

‘Why do we have to keep an eye on them? They are only looking at red water aren’t they?’

Ed ears pricked up.

‘Yes but they need to be kept an eye on. Since it was us that let them escape we now have to make sure they don’t go too far.’

‘How did they meet that Rose girl?’

‘I’m not sure. I think it was quite by accident. After she left the Rockbell home Russell offered to look after her. Huge crush as far as I can tell.’

‘But she has a baby!’

He heard Ross growl slightly ‘Some men are quite happy to take on the responsibility of a child.’

‘Well there’s one person I don’t think ever could, he doesn’t even know. Especially when the mother is…’

‘Brosh, Ross, come sit with us over here,’ one of the other military personnel called and they left Edward alone. It had been quite a time to eavesdrop. Perhaps they were talking about Mustang and Hawkeye. It was difficult to picture them as parents, or even Riza heavily pregnant wielding a gun.

The rest of the journey was quiet. He was one of the only people left by the end and he preferred it that way. He was waiting for someone to report him for looking suspicious.

It was good to hear Rose was doing okay. That should have meant she got Wrath away safely as well. It cleared up a couple of the questions that swirled in his mind. Still, he was on the edge of his seat as he began to recognise the countryside around him as a world he had explored as a boy along with Al and Winry.

The train rattled to a halt and he almost ran off. Yet as he landed on the platform he didn’t know what to do with himself. The train left behind him and all fell quiet bar the far off sound of a dog barking. Was that Den? Could he really sound that angry?

*******

‘You have to make sure all of your equipment is in the best condition it can be in otherwise you risk loosing precision,’ Winry sighed.

‘Mmm hmm,’ came the reply.

‘I don’t think you’ve listened to a word I have said have you?’

‘I’m listening to every word Winry; I just think it’s dull.’

‘It was you who wanted to learn about auto-mail!’

‘I didn’t. Your grandmother said you wished to teach someone and could you practise on me. You are a good teacher don’t get me wrong, but this subject…’

Winry shut of listening to him as she bubbled inside. Her grandmother was trying to set her up with someone after all. It was so low she felt like screaming her lungs out, but that would upset her daughter and she didn’t want that.

‘Let’s just talk shall we? About anything you like, about Grace if you wish. I’m all ears.’

Winry sighed again and looked at Anthony. He was very much the tall dark and handsome stereotype that all women were supposed to love. However it was a lost cause on Winry for she had fallen for someone who was certainly not tall and dark.

‘Don’t you miss your wife Anthony?’

She hadn’t meant to be so brash but it was too late to take it back. His face fell and his shoulders slumped. He nodded slowly then looked right at her.

‘I crave company Winry. She left a hole in my heart when she went. I was hoping that you could someday fill it.’

‘But why me? I have child that is not yours.’

He paused for a brief moments before saying, ‘You know the same pain I feel.’

Den had sensed the pain in the air and had begun to bark viciously.

It was now Winry who feel into an uncomfortable silence. It was true they had both lost someone at the moment they loved them most, but her pain was different. Anthony’s young bride was lost forever but Winry believed Ed was coming back. Until she had proof to not believe anymore she would never give up.

‘I am not the one for you Anthony. Also, I have taught Grace about her father. You would confuse her if you came along…’

After another painful half hour he left. Grace was playing in the front yard with Den. She looked up at Anthony and his stomach lurched. Would his own child ever look up at him? He stroked the little girls head but she merely looked back at him confused. He walked away a broken man but would accept later on that being rejected was the best thing to happen.

Winry regained her composure and put the equipment away. She was not angry at her grandmother anymore but felt sorry for her. Pinako would forever feel sorry for Winry if she could not accept that Winry would not give up. All had fallen quiet outside.

She looked out on the front yard and realised Grace was not there. She fled to the back garden but she was not there either. Den was lazing in the shade. If Grace had stumbled down to the river…

She ran as fast as she could calling her name, but then she heard her daughter laugh. She looked down to the river and halted. Someone was holding onto Grace with protective arms.
confederate_alchemist
gah!!!! evil cliffies!!!!! well, anywho...keep up da good work!!!! ta ta for now!!! *disappears into darkness with evil laugh*
Chiyo
The same scene as the above chapter but from Ed's POV

**********

Ed started up on the inclination to the Rockbell home and Den finally fell silent. A strange aura filled the air and he began to fear what he would be facing. Paninya hadn’t given him any news to suggest home was not the place it had been, but what would she really know. She had also admitted to not hearing from Winry in a while. Winry always kept in touch with people she made friends with unless something drastic had happened.

His pace picked up but he was still hesitant. After all this time why as he so worried about approaching what was his home?

Is the distance he could see a baby in the front yard playing with Den. At first he thought it might be Jack and that Rose was living with Granny again. But then as he got closer he noticed this was a girl and she had pretty blonde hair.

He heard raised voices and saw two figures standing in one window. One must have been Winry and his heart skipped a beat. But his attention was drawn to the figure she was talking to. He could not see who it was from the distance he was at but he sensed affection between them.

His stomach lurched. Did this mean the little girl in the front yard belonged to Winry and this stranger? Had she really had a child while he had been away? Had she so heartlessly forgotten about him and moved on to another man…a taller man.

He hid behind a tree as the front door opened and the stranger stepped out. He seemed vaguely recognisable but there was no mistaking he was handsome. It was almost like looking at a younger version of Mustang. He couldn’t have been more opposite to Ed. He watched as he stroked the baby’s head and walked away, heading in Eds direction. Edward clenched his fist and remained hidden behind the tree. He wanted to call out, accuse this person of taking Winry away. Yet Winry hadn’t been his to be stolen from him. Why shouldn’t she have found someone?

When the man passed close by Ed could see tears pouring from his eyes. Suddenly all changed again and perhaps he had little to do with Winry. Perhaps he had come to visit Pinako instead. Perhaps Winry had to break the news Pinako wasn’t there. Did that mean…?

Determined not to back down Ed strolled into the garden and toward the house. He went to open the door when he heard a high pitched laugh beside him. The baby girl was lying on her front while Den licked her face. She was giggling and saying the dogs name over and over again.

He walked over to her side and sat down. She hadn’t appeared to notice but Den had. He jumped upon Ed and pinned him to the ground.

‘Den,’ Ed laughed, ‘Stop, I’m trying to keep this quiet.’

The dog moved away and a small face appeared above his. Her face still held that baby chubbiness about it, her skin looked perfectly smooth without a flaw in sight. Her light blonde hair fell about her face and got into her eyes. Her beautiful, round, strongly golden eyes that looked down on him with all the innocence of the child she was.

His mouth went dry and his voice caught in his throat. Peering down on him was an exact replica of his own eyes and hair the exact colour of Winrys.

A fearful realisation spread over him. That last moment he had spent with Winry…But this was impossible. He didn’t know much but he knew babies were not easily created. He had only slept with Winry that one time and it all seemed too unreal. But the little face that grew more and more frustrated looking down on him was all the evidence anyone would ever need. How many people did know? Why hadn’t Paninya warned him? Was Al aware, was Al there?

He fled not knowing what else to do. This little figure had suddenly changed everything for him and he hadn’t even seen anyone yet. He could no longer face Winry in the state of mind he held only moments ago. The stranger no longer mattered.

Sitting himself by the river he held his head in his hands. He didn’t want the responsibility of a child so early on in life. He was just reaching nineteen and had his whole life ahead of him. He could not just settle down when he had so much to do. He didn’t feel he could ever settle down. Take a rest maybe but…

A small hand fell on his shoulder and the little girl steadied herself. He brought himself to once again look upon her gentle little face. A face that he had taken a part in creating. She was smiling broadly at him and his heart ached because of it. Had she any idea of his significance in her life? For the vital first months of her life he had not been there to establish any relationship with her.

She placed something in his lap. He lifted it up to inspect it. It was one of his old black vests that he must have left behind. It was clear the little girl had been taking care of it for it smelled of her. It was the aroma of new life and for a moment he was swept up in it. His child, his creation and she was perfect.

‘Dada,’ she cooed, then began to laugh.

She knew him; she knew who he was almost as if it was instinct. Winry must have made sure she knew who he was.

‘Grace,’ came the distant cry that could have only been one person’s voice.

Grace, it suited her perfectly. Even when she had pouted at him earlier she held a grace about her that seemed natural. He took his child into his arms and breathed her in. She smelled very much like her mother.

He heard a small cry behind him. Turning round as well he could he saw her fall to her knees. Beautiful topaz eyes glared down at him wide with surprise. She had bloomed in the past two years into a woman and once again his heart did a flip.

‘Winry, I’m back.’

‘Dada!’ Grace cried.

*******

Al raced toward home, Izumi and Sig having a very difficult time trying to keep up with him. It was dark by the time the train had pulled in to the station. People had reported seeing someone covered by a hat but nothing more suspicious than that. Al had found the hat and a golden hair left inside of it.

His breath was ragged and his legs ached but he kept going. He had followed the river as he knew his brother would have done until he too reached Rush Valley. People that he had once known but now forgotten had informed him that his brother was indeed in their world and on the train home. Al in a mad panic had caught the train home too, not managing to get on the same one as his brother. The train had been going to slow for Al and he had cursed many times. Izumi witnessed this out of character behaviour and it only served to make her smile. They all felt the same glee in their hearts when it had been confirmed he was in their world, back with them. If he arrived at Rizembol before them he would discover what they were dying to tell him for himself. Izumi worried about how he would take it, but pushed it to the back of her mind. For the while, being reunited was all they would need to think about.

Al didn’t reach the house before the front door swung open. In the doorway stood a silhouette they all knew well, if not a little taller. His eyes shone through the darkness as they had in their hearts. Al began to weep and ran into his brother’s embrace. Standing firm Ed held on to his dear, dear brother and began to cry himself. Here he was, home, with the family that had waited for him.

Izumi finally caught up as well and embraced Edward as her own son. Sig nodded at him and took his hand in a very manly gesture. Behind them came a quiet but rather angry little scream. Grace was not a fan of being ignored, especially when her Uncle Al was not doing his magic tricks for her.

They all laughed, and Al was the first to notice.

‘Brother, your arm, its…yours. How…’

Ed sighed, ‘We have much to sort out, don’t we?’
confederate_alchemist
*claps* yay!!!!!! Ed and Winry united again! and al is reunited with his brother!!!!! YAY!!!!!! very, very good Chiyo!!!! please write more! tongue.gif
edwardasakura18
(wipes away tears) awwwe chiyo!! that was soo beautiful! i finally got a chance to catch up and boy am i glad i did!! yaaay!!!! every one is finally together again! and the baby sounds adorable..course i may be biased.. ed's beautiful eyes.. plus she's got my name haaha. sorry, i got all excited over that. keep up the good work!! sugoi!!!!! (ps. boo that anthony dude!! why was granny doing that? booo!!! edxwin forever!)
Chiyo
I know this sounds like a final chapter but it is not (critisize me for this if you will). Glad people are enjoying this and please don't forget 'Illegitimate Child' if you like Ry/Riza and 'Goldeneye' if you want action (no its not an Ed/Win!)

Edit: Rather then risk putting smut in I edited the last part. Not heavily but just enough to make it...decent.

********

He stood in the doorway and did not want to enter. Al sat playing with Grace in what looked like a perfectly natural state of affairs. Ed had accepted that this young being was his but all the same he was at a loss at what to do. He had not yet embraced Winry as he had everybody else. He looked at her body and tried to picture what she was like pregnant. He had spent two years wanting nothing but to feel warmth again, her warmth. But something felt awkward now, an intense guilt for leaving her with this responsibility.

Winry was conflicting inside. She wanted to jump for joy knowing Ed was with them, but he was distant to her. Even when he was shorter then her she had felt his overwhelming protection. Now he was taller then her, bigger then they had known him, but he was vulnerable. When he had seen her on the hill he had helped her to her feet then carried on to the house in search of Al. This was to be expected, their bond was so powerful. Even now though, after spending much time with Al, he hadn’t given her a second glance.

‘Dada home,’ Grace chirped, squealing with delight as she made her uncle smile. Al had treasured her as a part of his brother that was present. Now he treasured her for the very life she was. A happy, carefree, delightful little life that meant so much to many people.

Ed placed himself next to Al and Grace dropped herself into his lap. She had accepted Edward into her life as if he had always been there. In a sense he had been, his spirit and memory dwelling within the very walls of the Rockbell home. Of course it was also down to Winrys determination not to loose hope.

At the time, Winry sat alone in her room, cradling a pillow. She wanted to throw herself into his arms but his distant feel stopped her. She had choked back tears throughout the day, burying herself in work while Izumi cared for Grace. Edward hadn’t once tried to hunt her down. She wanted so badly to hear him tell her how much he had missed her. Perhaps he had found someone and was finding the right time to tell her he couldn’t face being a father, or perhaps one day a husband.

She laughed quietly. Edward as my husband? The very thought made her stomach dance. They had played being husband and wife, with Al as the baby when they were children. Then when alchemy came along nearly all play time had vanished. She had turned him down for the last time because of his height, what excuse did she have now should the question come up?

The door creaked open and she whirled round. It was Izumi and she groaned quietly.

‘Not the welcome I expected,’ she laughed, but knew why it had been so.

‘I’m sorry Izumi. I was expecting someone else.’

Izumi placed herself on the bed next to Winry. ‘I know you were for you have been for a long time.’

‘You don’t think…he…’

‘No Winry dear, I don’t think he found someone else. Edward was always far too distracted to notice girls. Took him long enough to realise you were a girl didn’t it?’ she laughed.

Winry gave a half hearted smile, then it vanished and a face of pain reappeared.

‘It must be quite a shock for him to find out about Grace. Don’t think any of this is your fault.’

‘He…,’ she began to cry, ‘won’t even look at me.’

‘Maybe he feels bad.’

Winry halted crying and looked at Izumi questioningly.

‘Winry, he left you to care for a child alone. Least that’s how he may see it. How could he ever make it up to you?’

Winry sat and took in this prospect. Perhaps Izumi was right. Not knowing what else to do, she would make it clear she didn’t care he hadn’t been there, and make sure he knew she appreciated his return.


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Edward had taken leave again and sat once again by that fateful riverside. Hidden in its depths was the truth about how he achieved his return to his world. The gate had taken this knowledge and it was fair trade. He realised it was selfish to wish to have such knowledge again; it was not like he would ever go back. All the same he had grown attachments with people who had helped him so much.

Of all the people he met in Munich, he never came across an equivalent Winry. He had met Hughes. Al, Gracier and he suspected he had spotted another Mustang. His father had to stay in Munich and he had no other. Winry of all people was never to be seen. She may have been in London which he had visited briefly but never really explored. Perhaps if he had met her he would have been more prepared for the emotions that were violently running through his veins.

Sensing someone behind him he breathed in the familiar smell of pipe smoke. He knew the small stature of woman that stood behind him as if she was his own grandmother, who he had never met. His real grandmother and grandfather had been struck down by a fatal illness early on in their lives leaving their daughter, his mother, with only her husband.

‘Granny, I’ve missed that smell,’ he sighed.

‘You hated this pipe Edward, no need to lie to me,’ she replied.

‘No, I really did. That smell, as well as your cooking, is home.’

She took a puff and slowly blew out before asking, ‘So is this really your home?’

He took a while to reply. He knew the answer; it was simply a question of how to tackle an answer.

‘It took me a while to realise. Major Armstrong made it clear to me that I would always be welcome here, so it was my home. For a while I would say once I got my limbs back I would have no need for you and Winry, for that I am sorry. I did need you, all of you, to get me through. Wherever people love me…that is my home.’

There was a pause, Den barked quietly in the background. The waters were the only other sound to be heard in such a peaceful place.

‘It’s good to hear you say that. I will admit I began to loose hope, but luckily for you I was one of the only people who did. Everyone will be arriving tomorrow now they know you are here. I would take some time to yourself tonight while you can,’ she turned to leave, ‘go for a walk.’

By the time he had stood up she had returned to the house. He had planned to pluck up the courage to talk to Winry, but Granny had sounded commanding rather than suggestive. He shoved his hands in his pockets and slowly began to walk along the waters edge to once again loose him in thought. He didn’t feel guilty leaving Al, who had fallen asleep reading Grace a bedtime story.

One day Ed hoped to flow as naturally with the baby, his baby to be precise. He swelled with pride when he looked into her golden eyes and wondered how his father could have left him and Al. Ed, for all his wanderings, would never forget he has a role as a father. He knew why his father had left and had forgiven him, but they had never discussed how much it must have pained him.

And to leave his wife who adored him so much. Trisha had lost many people in her life, her parents, her best friend in the form of Sara Rockbell and her husband. Still she had never shown any sign of despair or of her illness. She had remained strong throughout it all but Ed had seen that look in her eye that haunted him. That look of loss, of hurt, of waiting for the unlikely to happen.

Had Winry been just the same? Had she quietly cried to herself at night wishing that he could hear her? Sometimes he swore he did hear their voices, talking to him in prayer. He had heard her voice, quiet and pained but always full of love.

After he had seen Grace many things had fallen into place, including the teddy bear incident. Somehow something was trying to tell him what was happening in his world while he was away. The signals had not been clear enough at the time. Even if he had been directly told he had a child he wouldn’t have believed it.

He could not picture Winry pregnant but he could picture her in a doorway, waiting for him to come home each and every day. It seemed only natural for a child to appear. This image filled him with hope for it showed that he could picture life with Winry. Yet the picture could not tell him how happy she was. Would she ever forgive him?

He heard the thump of running footsteps behind him. He turned just in time to catch her in his arms. The power of her impact through them both to the ground. She was sobbing like he had never heard before and he couldn’t speak. She cried his name over and over and he clung to her as if she would slip away at any moment.

Finally the sobs that racked her slim figure ebbed away and he body relaxed. He buried his face into her neck and intoxicated himself in the smell of her silky hair. Her skin was soft and clear and still as pale as it had ever been. God, how he loved her.

‘Do you?’ she asked lifting her head to look down on him.

After realising he has said it out loud Edward went into mild shock. The face above him slowly grew more frustrated at his silence and he wanted to laugh at how much Grace was the pair of them.

‘It appears so,’ he sighed.

That was enough for Winry. She didn’t want him to say the words again, it wasn’t like him, but if she knew it to be true it was enough.

‘Oh Edward, I waited so long for you. You promised me you would come back and you did.’

‘Of course, when have I ever told a lie?’

She raised an eyebrow. Life slotted back into place and they spent the next few moments teasing each other as they had spent many years doing.

‘There is no better than me after all,’ he bragged, suddenly turning serious.

‘No better at what?’

She honestly didn’t know at first. Then as she felt the heat grow between them she giggled and blushed.

He flipped them over so he lay on top of her. Her beauty really stood out in the moonlight and he once again saw how she had bloomed into a woman. His heart pumped and emotion urged itself to become physical.

He bent down to kiss her. When they had kissed before it was slightly awkward and they were both highly embarrassed. Now they kissed with a passion only a couple so in love could muster. She hadn’t forgotten his taste even after all this time and he hadn’t forgotten the warmth of her lips pressed against his. Breath began to escape both of them yet they did not care.

‘Winry,’ Ed whispered between kisses, ‘Can we...’

She didn't need to be asked twice.

They made love there by the river, ignoring the fact they were outside. They entered their own little world and nothing could have stopped them such was the need to be together. The air was warm and flowed with the scent of the forest nearby. It was like some wonderful dream they were sharing between each other but the feel of his solid form next to her confirmed wonderful reality. She squirmed with delight and a sense of completion.

That night he cuddled up next to her as they shared a bed not caring who knew. Toward the morning light Grace had woken and demanded to curl up in bed with them. The three lay there with much life to go, but happy to spend it together.

Chiyo
I'm so sorry to double post on you like this....but I really want to post all this fic so I can move on to Illegitimate Child. You can't read that until you've read this as it won't make sense. Please review someone....even if you just say 'crap' or 'cool'

********

They arrived in a mass of hyperactivity and joy. Armstrong nearly crushed him while Elysia clamped herself around his leg. Roy and Riza, neither partial to outbursts of emotion greeted him as if he had never been away. That was fine with Ed for he had many people to try and cope with at once.

Pinako, used to large groups of guests, fell into her element as host. The group was familiar to her bar Gracier and Elysia. All were welcome and all planned to stay if only for a short while. They had come to see Ed of course, but it would be a bonus to hear him speak of his adventures.

Grace took some of the attention from her father when she came into the room. She was cooed and played with until she fell asleep through all the excitement. Although she didn’t understand it at the time, she swelled with pride at all the people who had come to see her daddy. They had bought her gifts to so she was willing to let them take him away for an hour or two while she rested.

All eyes fixed on him Ed began his story in all the detail he could remember. That meant that he had to speak of Noah, the girl that had kept him company and fallen in love with him. He was delicate with this information; the last thing he wanted was to loose Winry over something so petty. A woman’s heart is deep and he feared how she would take such news. Ed hadn’t felt for Noah as she had him but she was still significant.

If the truth be told, Winry was holding how she felt in, because she felt very smug and felt guilty because she did. Everyone was learning that Winry hadn’t waited for no reason, that she was important to him. Of course he came back mainly for Al, but he also returned to her rather then pine for that which was lost. She envied Noah for the two years she had of Ed, but felt sorry for her for she would never know the joy of being with him.

The alchemists in the group had a disappointment facing them. They were curious to know how Ed had made it back but he could not tell them how. He told them all about the war, about there being an equivalent to all of them (that he knew of). He was able to tell Elysia that there was a man just like her father and a woman just like her mother. There was no Elysia as of yet but surely it was only a matter of time.

Then it came to the matter of Hohenheim and Al left the room. Underneath his wish for his brother he had wished for his father too. Now he was informed that he would never see him again for Hohenheim was not able to cross worlds nor did he want to. He had caused much pain and confusion and felt the world better off without him. That hurt Al but one day he would come to accept it.

While they sat enraptured Winry went to check on Grace. This was where she found Al silently crying to himself.

‘He loves you Al,’ Winry soothed, placing a hand on his shoulder.

‘I only remember flashes of him. But I still want him home. I’m glad Grace has her dad and I know he would never leave her.’

Al, still only really a child, rested his head on her breast and attempted to calm his breath.

‘If Edward had never come back, Grace wouldn’t have gone without. She may not have had her real father but you gave her all the love she could take. I thank you for that.’

Grace stirred in her sleep. They sat in silence as Al recovered before heading back downstairs. He didn’t want brother to see him so upset, that would be selfish. Brother was not father but he gave all the love he could and that would do.

The sun began to set leading into an orange sky and a pleasantly warm evening. The mass decided to enjoy such rare peace and explored the quiet countryside. Gracier kindly helped Pinako set everything up for the night while Elysia was entertained by Izumi and Sig who revelled in playing with a child. Roy and Riza went for a rather eyebrow raising walk alone while Brosh missed his chance to be alone with Ross thanks to Armstrong. Al ran around after Den while Winry sat with Grace and watched. Ed had gone to visit his mothers’ grave which had been tended to and still looked cared for. It was not his only port of call for he also stopped by the grave of Sara and David Rockbell. Inwardly thanking them for all the selfless work they carried out during the Ishbal war he didn’t notice the figure approach behind him.

‘This is where they lie?’

‘It is Colonel.’

‘Ah, it’s not Colonel anymore Edward, in fact you rank higher then me now.’

‘I am not still part of the military,’ Ed said, turning to Roy.

‘You are if you want to be.’


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

Riza placed herself next to Winry and looked forlorn. She had begged Mustang not to mention going back to the military to Ed but he was adamant he should. Riza hated sitting next to Winry and not telling her. The girl was finally happy, the child finally had her father back and he was being tempted to leave them.

‘Grace is more and more like her father each day,’ Riza commented.

‘Yes, it is worrying isn’t it?’ Winry laughed.

‘Dada,’ Grace chirped as Ed appeared on the horizon with Roy next to him. She wriggled out of her mothers grip and tottered as fast as her little legs could carry her toward her father. Riza ached even more when she saw this along with the smile spread across Mustangs face.

‘My my, she has taken to Ed well,’ Riza sighed.

‘She knows who he is and now he’s here. She is too young to hate him for not being there.’

‘What if….what if he left again?’

Winry didn’t have time to reply before Grace came running back into her arms. They were all ushered into the house as all approached just in time for tea. Winry struggled not to think about it, but the wobble in Riza’s voice had unnerved her. Did she know something?


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

‘Did he answer you?’ Riza questioned when she managed to get Roy alone.

‘Yes he answered me,’ Roy replied, smirking as he did.

‘Oh sir how could you. I can’t look at those two and know that they’ll be deprived…’

‘You still call me sir do you?’

Riza was stopped short by the sultry sound of his voice. She was growing impatient with him.

‘I don’t want to see Grace without her father either. I asked fullmetal in the mind that he would refuse.’

‘Did he?’

Roy smiled down on her, warmed by her concern. She was a stern but caring person and he felt silently bad for leaving her side two years ago. He stroked the side of her face but she didn’t flinch at all.

‘What do you think…Riza?’


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

‘Everyone will hear us,’ she whispered.

‘Not if we are quiet enough,’ he purred into her ear.

She giggled as he began to kiss her neck, but a noise across the room stopped her.

‘Mama!’

Winry sighed and pushed Ed off. She strolled over to the cot and picked Grace up. Clearly she wasn’t as settled as they had hoped.

‘Kills the mood I’m afraid.’

Edward looked slightly deflated but the image of Grace holding her hands towards him turned it all around. As much of a shock as it still was, she was a part of him. He gathered her up in his arms and once again breathed her in.

‘Winry, Mustang asked me today if I would be willing to go back to the military.’

So that was what Riza had been referring to earlier. Winry had been dreading this revelation ever since he came back. Nothing could tie Edward Elric down and he’d be damned if a child he hadn’t planned was going to do it. Least, that is what her evil inner voice was telling her he thought. She gulped hard but dared to ask.

‘What did you say?’

He studied her for a moment before a wide grin spread across his face. Winry was predictable when it came to this kind of thing but he loved her for it.

‘Why did I join the military Winry?’

‘You wanted to learn about the Philosophers stone, to get Al his body back.’

‘Right, and what do Al and I now have?’

Her tensed body relaxed and she felt tears of sheer relief well up in her eyes ‘Exactly what you joined the army for.’

‘So there is no need for me to go back.’

All the time they had been talking he hadn’t taken his eyes off Grace. He didn’t want to look at Winry for fear of the look in her face. His love for her was intensely strong and it almost ached to see her in pain as it had since they were young. Teasing her about crying was his way of covering how much he wanted to help her stop crying. If she was angry with him, she would stop crying and he wouldn’t have to look at her pained face anymore.

She sat next to him and rested her head on his shoulder. He could tell something still bothered her. He worried that it was about Noah and that she had hidden how she felt when he was speaking about her.

‘Penny for your thoughts,’ he asked as he stood to put Grace back into her cot. Once again he turned his back as to not look at her face.

‘I’m sorry about all this,’ she said, a quiver in her voice.

‘Sorry….for what?’

‘I…I just dumped a child on you. I never gave you a choice and now you must feel you have to help me look after her,’ she said, once again not giving in to the threatening cries.

Clenching a fist he turned to look at her, cursing himself for being a coward. Her lip wobbled but not one single drop of water escaped her lagoon eyes.

‘And I left you to look after her alone. Let’s leave it as we’re both as bad as each other.’

Abrupt yes, but exactly what he wanted to say. Well almost, he didn’t want to suggest Winry was at all in the wrong. She would never have destroyed a life in any circumstance. It would have pained him more to think she was willing to destroy a part of him. If she had, she would have believed he was never coming back.

Knowing the type of person he was and how bad he was with words she hadn’t taken offence to what he had said. This time around she preferred such a conversation to be over as soon as it started. It was best she had confronted the fear rather then let it fester inside of her for years to come. He sat beside her and ruffled her hair. She was so stupid some times, and he wouldn’t have changed that aspect even if he could. In the years to come he would learn to appreciate so much more about her.
FullMetalAlchemist01FAN
*claps* GrrrEAT story!! awesome!!! Well well written!...I see that there is more chapters on ff.net. NEED...TO...READ...THE...REST!!!!!
Le Monkey
Now that you like this one, READ ILLIGITAMATE CHILD!!
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