Ok, Finally! Here's Chapter 4!
It's a little more than PG rated for some "innuendo." But it's clean.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist etc. etc.etc....
Chapter 4 Ed’s Cloak
“It’s just not right.” Mused Ed after seeing Riza cry. She regained her composure and was back on the road again.
“I know.” Was all she said.
Ed was slouched in his seat in the car. He felt uneasy but decided to ask Riza a question.
“Yes Ed?” She responded.
“What can I do to help Winry feel better? What do I say?” He asked awkwardly. “It seems whenever I try to help her feel better I just end up making her cry more.”
Riza smiled to herself. He is acting like a typical clueless male teen. She thought. But she was also touched by his concern for his friend. This was hard for Ed. He really didn’t have the example of a loving father to show what it was to be a man and how to comfort a woman. As well as he knew Winry; he didn’t really know her.
“You may not need to say anything, Ed. You might just need to listen…or hold her
.” She trailed off. Physical affection was something Riza always wanted but felt uncomfortable with because her mother died at a young age and her father was a military man who had trouble showing affection after he lost his wife.
Ed looked at her quizzically. “Listen or what? I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.”
Riza blushed a little. “I said hold her. She may want you to hold her.” She managed to say. “She may be a bit standoffish though.” She said more gruffly.
“Yeah, you’re right. When her parents died, Al tried to give a toy to her he had alchemized to cheer her up, but she threw it across the room. Now she throws wrenches. Hmm… Maybe I should make myself some head gear.” He said half seriously.
“Humph” Riza replied.
“I guess I’ll just see when I get there. I’ll let her know I’m there for her and she can throw as many wrenches at me as she wants.” He affirmed. “Maybe it will numb the pain.” He looked down sadly.
“Hers or yours?” Riza asked wisely.
He looked at her with great surprise at her understanding. He sighed.
After a couple hours they arrived in Rush Valley in front of Garfiel’s Automail.
Riza was about to get out but signaled Ed to stay there for now.
“What’s the problem?” He questioned.
“Ed your clothes are all bloody still. I don’t think it would be good for her to see you like that. I’ll ask Mr. Garfiel if you can wash up somewhere before you see Winry.”
Ed nodded. He knew the last thing Winry should see is blood stained clothes on him. A few minutes later Riza came out with a bag in hand. She walked over to Ed’s door and opened it up. She handed him the bag.
“Ed,” Riza began pointing to a door toward the back. “That door is then entrance to Winry’s apartment. That bag I gave you is to put your bloody clothes in. Mr. Garfiel said he would take care of getting them washed. You can take a shower in her apartment. Winry is at a small memorial service at the local cemetery. Due to the unrest in Rizenbool she was not able to go back to recover her grandmother’s body.”
Ed sighed for not being there.
She continued. “He said she’ll be on her way back soon and we could wait for her at her apartment and he’d let her know we were there. I can’t stay though. I need to get back to Central.”
“No, Lieutenant” Ed responded. “I’m sure they know you are gone. Who knows what they might do!”
“It’s Ok, Ed. I’m too precious as a pawn to the Fuehrer. He’s not done with me yet.” She smiled.
“Just be careful.” Ed said as he stepped up to Winry’s apartment.
“Bye, Ed.” She replied.
About 15 minutes later. Winry walked quietly toward home alone looking rather sad. She was wearing a black short sleeved dress and carried a black hat in her hands. Her blond hair hung loosely over her face. Her face seemed to carry all the sadness of the world. She never felt so alone in all her life. Even when her parents died she always had her Granny Pinako to turn to for comfort but now she was gone too and she felt like she had no one. No one that was around that is. Or so she thought…She began to use her key to open the door to her apartment when she noticed that it was unlocked.
Meanwhile, Ed was finishing up in the shower when he decided to let his neck soak in the soothing water for a bit. He didn’t hear her come in the door.
Winry entered her apartment cautiously and noticed that the shower was running. She was scared and she dropped her hat on the floor. She didn’t see her boss when she came back so she had no idea Ed was there. Deciding she would confront the intruder rather than calling the police, she quietly reached into an end table drawer and pulled out a wrench. She looked at the wrench and her face changed.
‘No more’ she thought to herself. ‘I’m sick and tired of all the people who have wronged me in my life. This person is going to pay!’
Slowly, she sneaked passed the main room toward her bathroom with her right arm raised ready to pummel the person who has invaded her home. She walked in the bathroom and quickly opened the shower door ready to strike! She nearly screamed when she saw it was Ed. Fortunately for Ed, she noticed it was him before her wrench made contact with his head. (Although he was used to her wrench) She immediately dropped it and it made a loud clang which startled Ed from his relaxed stupor and he turned around to find her there. He jumped and almost screamed. His eyes were as big saucers. At this time, he was not sure if he was more surprised at her standing there or the fact that she did not hit him with the wrench.
Winry hung her head down to the floor. She wasn’t really embarrassed because her sadness was overwhelming any awkwardness she may have felt. He started to open his mouth to speak when suddenly he felt her warm tears flowing down his chest. She had thrown herself into his arms, embracing him tightly. Surprisingly, he didn’t flinch at her actions. However, he did feel very self-conscious. Sure, she had seen him in his boxers before, but somehow that little piece of clothing made all the difference in his embarrassment level. He gently placed his left arm around her and he turned the water off with his right arm. He then grabbed a towel and managed to wrap the towel around his waist with one hand without interrupting his hold on her.
Her sobs were leaving a burning feeling in his heart and he yearned to make everything well for her again. He vowed to make her happy before but now she was sad…again. However, he was wise enough to know that he wasn’t the cause of her unhappiness. It was the evil he had no choice but to face… eventually. For now his duty was to her. He wasn’t sure exactly why Riza had thought it so important that he be there for Winry, but he suspected she knew how Winry felt.
Suddenly, he felt Winry’s knees begin to buckle. She started to fall when he picked her up into his arms and cradled her. He climbed out of the shower careful not to slip on the wet floor and carried her to her bedroom. He placed her on the bed gently but when he tried to pull away from her she wouldn’t let go. He fell down next to her on the bed. She laid her head on his chest again, still crying but softer. He hated seeing her cry but somehow he felt good holding her. It made him feel strong, protective.
They lay there like that for a few minutes when Winry noticed Ed was shivering. She grabbed his cloak that was next to them on the bed and wrapped it around him.
“I’m sorry Ed” She sobbed. “I didn’t even let you get dressed.”
“It’s ok, Winry.” He said.
“But your freezing…your hair is all wet. Here let me dry it for you.” She said pulling a Houdini by grabbing the towel that was wrapped around his waist without moving the cloak that was now the only piece of clothing between her and him.
She straddled herself on his waist and started to dry his hair with the towel. He felt increasingly awkward with her sitting on him like that. Her actions were done innocently. She was only trying to dry his hair so he wouldn’t be so cold. He knew that, but he was feeling strange inside. Winry was his friend all his life. They had often wrestled and tickled each other as kids. So being pinned by her as he was now was probably not the first time. But it was the first time he felt tingly inside.
She rubbed his hair gently and soothingly. He looked up at her face innocently with a slight smile. She flashed a sad smile at him before returning her gaze to his hair. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the massage his scalp was receiving. Then, suddenly, Winry became aware of the position she was in. She had begun to dry the back of Ed’s hair and he had propped himself up on his elbows so she could reach better. He wasn’t thinking about the fact that she had been straddled on his stomach and that this action would slide her down to his hips. Her eyes widened and she could feel how red her face must have been. She immediately jumped up off him and landed to the right of him on the bed. Ed snickered desperately trying to hold back a laugh to no avail. Winry scowled at him.
“What’s so funny?” she fumed.
“Ha ha,” He laughed. “I…huh…sorry. It was just…just the way jumped off of me.”
He continued as she looked at him sternly. “You just jumped really high.”
His eyes were tearing from stifling his laughter. “You looked like you saw a mouse.”
To Ed’s surprise, Winry began to laugh very strongly at his last comment.
‘More like a snake.’ She thought to herself and began to laugh again till tears were falling down her face.
After a few moments, they calmed down and just smiled at each other. Ed noticed a few tears on Winry’s face. He cupped her cheek with his left hand, his flesh hand, and gently brushed one tear away with his thumb. He looked at her with concern.
She smiled. “Well, you did tell me you would make me cry ‘tears of happiness!’”
He smiled back. “Yeah, I did.”