Thank you for the complements
! I'm always worried about going out of character. I'm glad you laughed at the incident with Roy, and hope you like this next chapter!@Doragon-Ryuu:
Thank you for the complements, and it's awesome that you think VC's one of the best fanfics here
. I'm very grateful that you also think it sounds intelligent.
My apologizes to you both for not replying sooner
Now... LET THE MAYHEM BEGIN!
If anyone was wondering, I did make the title of this chapter a spin off of C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe". I just wanted to see if anyone would notice, and if you did, I hope you got a chuckle out of it.Spoiler Alert:
If you haven’t seen episodes 1-34, I suggest you do so before reading this fanfiction, because some parts may confuse you, and ultimately, ruin crucial plot twists, from the anime. I’m not to sure on the manga though, but just remember that you’ve been warned!Special thanks to:
Hiromu Arakawa, Square-Enix, Bones, Funimation, and Viz, for bringing FMA to life, and also fullmetal-alchemist.com, for posting my fanfiction.
~***~Chapter 3 - The Liar, the Wrench, and the Auto-Mail Store
The jingle of a ringing phone played inside the Rockbell house; followed by a rush of heavy footsteps. Winry made it to the phone, dressed in her working attire, with grease and sweat on her forehead and arms. Even though she was dead tired, from a long days work, she tried to sound as cheery as possible.
"Hello! You’ve reached the Rockbell Auto-Mail Prosthetic Limb Outfitters. How may I help you?”
There was a silence on the other end of the phone.
“Uh... Hello?” Winry repeated.
“Err, hey Winry.”
“Edward? Hey, what’s up?”
“Well, um, this is going to sound kind of stupid but-”
Winry could already tell what had happened by the tone and manner that Edward used, over the phone. Her face grew red and her eyes narrowed.
“You broke your auto-mail again, didn’t you?” Winry shouted into the phone.
On the other line, Edward winced and pulled the phone away from his head. After he was sure she was done yelling, he put the phone back up to his ear.
“Yes, it broke. But you need to hear me out on this one! It wasn’t my fault this time, I swear. You see, I was giving someone a hand shake, and for some reason, a screw or two came out of place, and then my whole arm fell apart.”
“Really? That sounds reasonable,” Winry said, almost in a sarcastic way.
“Nope, that’s a lie. It’s still Edward’s fault!” Alphonse shouted, loud enough for Winry to hear.
The phone made a static noise on Edward’s end.
“Shut up, Al!”
Alphonse laughed as he ran away from his brother, who couldn’t chase after him, due to the phone’s short cord.
Winry sighed into the phone. “They act like preschoolers,” she thought to herself.
“Anyways, I was wondering if you could come to Central and fix it for me. I’m afraid I’ll loose some parts and pieces if I go to Resembool.”
“I can’t Ed; we’re way to busy right now. There are customers coming in left and right.”
Crap. Edward was hoping this wouldn’t happen, but it was inevitable. He was about to give up hope, and say his goodbye’s, when a devious thought came into his head.
“Are you sure? Why don’t you ask Aunt Pinako if you can come up here for awhile?”
“It’s not going to happen Ed! There are just too many customers.”
“I’ll buy you some presents, if you come to Central.” Edward grinned to himself, as if he knew the outcome would be in his favor.
The gasp on the other side of the phone only confirmed Edward’s thoughts.
“Okay, just hold on a second. I’ll go ask granny right now! Don’t hang up.” Winry set the phone down and bolted to the kitchen.
“Granny? Edward needs some repairs and he can’t leave right now. May I please go to Central and fix his auto-mail?”
The stout, elderly woman puffed some smoke out of the pipe she always carried in her mouth, and looked at her granddaughter, with weary eyes.
Winry stood in the door way of the kitchen, giving Pinako an innocent, begging look.
Pinako thought for a second, before answering.
“It has been awhile since you’ve seen those boys. I suppose I’ll let it slide by this time.”
Winry screamed with joy, and hugged Pinako.
“Thank you so much!”
“You’re welcome, dear. But there’s a catch.”
Winry grimaced. She should have known better then to assume she would be let off so easily.
“Tell him it’ll cost double. I’m losing a helping hand around here, so if anything goes wrong, I’ll have him to blame.”
“Alright,” Winry said, sounding fine, since the punishment didn’t really affect her. “Thank you again! I’ll go tell Ed right now.”
Winry came back to the phone, told Edward the news, and then ran upstairs to her bedroom, where she stuffed her suitcase full of her best clothes.
"Ow... Those train seats are rough." Winry complained as she exited her train car. She looked around the station, hoping to see some familiar faces.
Before Winry hung up the phone, the other day, Edward said that Alphonse would greet her, and take her to their hotel room. This only increased Winry's fear of having to completely rebuild Edward's auto-mail arm. She figured, "If it's so bad that he can't go out in public, then there has to be something seriously wrong with it.”
Wanting to take a rest, due to the harsh train ride, Winry looked for an empty bench to sit on. After a few minutes of squeezing her way through the thick crowds, she saw an open wooden bench, adjacent to the Customer Service Station. Increasing her stride, she began to head over to her seat, when she suddenly felt her feet go out from under her.
She tripped, falling forward, expecting to hit the hard pavement. As she fell, she heard her tool box and suit case hit the ground hard, and she braced herself for the worst. However, she fell onto something soft and warm. Someone had caught her.
Winry looked upward to see her rescuer, and was welcomed by a pair of honey-brown eyes.
"Are you alright? That was a nasty fall," said the woman.
"Thank you," Winry said, stunned to see it was a young woman who had caught her.
Winry went to grab her luggage, but realized her tool box opened, and everything inside had spilled out. She frantically began to put everything back in, but was stopped when she felt another set of hands on hers.
"Let me help you with that."
Winry and the polite woman both picked up all the parts and tools that had come out, and then shut the metal box. Picking up the heavy box, Winry flung it over her shoulder.
"Thank you again, Ma'am." she said, adjusting the strap on her tool box.
"You’re welcome, dear," The woman said, as she handed Winry her suitcase. When she did so, Winry toke a closer look at the woman. She realized that the woman looked like she was in her earlier to mid twenties. Her short, tan-colored hair was all combed to one side, and was held in place by a cute, heart-shaped burette.
The woman walked by Winry and patted her on the shoulder. "Take care now."
Winry smiled, making her way over to the bench, with all of her things intact. She was glad that there were compassionate people, like the woman she had just met, in this world. While she waited for Alphonse to arrive, Winry's mind wondered, thinking about what she, herself, would have done, if she had seen someone fall.
"Would I have helped someone else back up?"
Blocks away from the train station, a young woman, dressed in white, walked down a desolate, run down street, and into a dark back alley. Inside it, something stirred, knocking over some trashcans, and began to walk toward the entering woman.
They met halfway, and stood in stillness.
"Was it her?" spoke the shadowed figure, its voice sounding sincerely concerned.
The young woman nodded. "Yes, it was. The name tag on her suitcase said 'Winry'."
The dark figure slumped down, sitting on a nearby carte. It reached into its right pocket and pulled out a blood-stained picture of a young, blonde-haired girl, with blue eyes. With a worried face, it peered down at the photograph, gently running its feathered, long-nailed thumb across it.
"Are you nervous?" The woman dressed in white said, as she sat down, next to the figure.
It grunted, putting the picture back into its pocket.
"It will be my first time... Meeting her in person."
The hotel room's door opened, and Edward sprung up from the couch.
A wrench cracked down hard on Edward's skull, causing him to cry out in pain. He fell over, cradling bashed cranium, with his flesh hand. Alphonse closed the door and set down Winry’s luggage, and then ran over to his injured brother.
“Where’s my present, mister?” Winry yelled at Edward, as Alphonse dragged him back to the couch.
Edward rubbed his head and flinched. In his head, he determined on a scale from one to ten how much he hated that stupid wrench that Winry always carried around. He gave it an eleven.
“I was going to buy it for you, when we go out to eat.”
Winry's face changed from fury, to glee in an instant.
"Well, why didn't you say so?"
In a matter of minutes, Winry had disconnected the shoulder adapter on Edward's auto-mail arm, which connected all the wires needed to move the arm, to the nerve endings, deep inside the auto-mail shoulder.
This relieved Edward from the constant tugging weight on his right side, but at the same time, it made him dread the day the repaired arm had to be connected again. The pain caused by reconnecting all the wires to the nerve endings was equivalent to having someone kick you in the teeth, with a steel toed boot.
“Come on guys, it’s almost past one! We’re late for lunch,” Winry said as she placed the shoulder adapter’s part on a nearby table.
"Wait outside for awhile, Alphonse and I will be out in a minute, okay?"
"Whatever, just hurry, I'm starving." Winry walked out of the room and into the hallway, not bothering to shut the door behind her.
The brother's waited for the soft padding of Winry's footsteps to fade out before they began to talk.
"Did you find it?"
"No," Edward growled, looking over at the makeshift bag full of his auto-mail arms parts.
"I hope it wasn't an important part. Maybe she won't notice."
"Oh, trust me Al, she'll notice. It's the wrist joint, for crying out loud. Mustang made Riza search high and low, in his office, and she said that she couldn't find anymore parts."
"What if Winry is still mad at you for losing the wrist joint, after you replaced it?"
"Simple, I'll just buy her another
"Pass the butter please," Winry said, with a mouthful of lobster meat.
Alphonse picked up the plate of butter and placed it near Winry's main dish, which was covered with a large pile of lobsters. Edward popped open a crab leg and forked out the meat inside.
"So, is the lobster good?" Edward said while taking a bite of crab.
"Yes, very good, thank you. This place is really fancy."
Winry wiped off around her mouth with one of the table's handkerchiefs, and looked around the restaurant. She saw a family gathered around a small child, most likely celebrating a birthday party, and a couple, who were staring into each other's eyes, while engaging in a romantic conversation. Watching all of this made Winry daydream about the day she would find that special someone.
Edward struggled to open another crab leg when Alphonse nudged him, and hinted over to Winry. Lifting his gaze to Winry, Edward saw that she was in a docile state. This would probably be the best time to deliver the news.
As he tried to form the words he was going to say, in his head, Edward could see that something about Winry had changed since the last time he saw her. He didn't quite know what it was, so he shrugged it off. She was still the same Winry he knew, no matter what.
Winry broke away from her deep thoughts and turned to Edward, who was sitting across from her.
"I wanted to talk about your present, since your going to pick it out."
"Can I get whatever I want?" Winry interrupted.
"Sure, but what I was thinking was more along the lines of a need."
"A new wrench? Of course, that's a need
"No, not a wrench." Edward paused. "It's a piece of auto-mail."
"Why would I need a new piece of auto-mail?"
"Actually, I'm the one who needs it, because-"
"You lost a piece?!" Winry said, jumping onto her feet and nearly knocking over her chair.
The restaurant went quiet and dozens of people turned in their seats to see what the commotion was about. While Winry’s eyes were locked onto Edward, Edward’s were looking around at their new found audience, waving innocently with a blushed face. She could tell he was avoiding eye contact.
"If you lost a bolt or something along those lines, I don't mind. Those parts can be easily replaced," Winry began, seating back down.
"But I have a feeling that's not the case, is it?"
Edward gulped, cursing silently about Winry's sixth sense. He felt like turning to Alphonse for help, but realized it was his responsibility to deal with, not his brother's. Even though it was only a thought, Edward recognized it as a weakness, and for that spilt second, hated himself for it.
“I lost the wrist joint.” Edward said, still looking downward. After a moment of silence, he looked up, meeting Winry’s pouting gaze. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry?” Winry thought to herself. “He barely ever apologizes. Maybe something’s happened again. I hate it when he doesn’t tell me about that stuff.”
“Well, it’s alright.” Winry said quietly, poking at her food with a fork. “That was the only part I didn’t make myself anyway.”
Edward felt his shoulders loosen up, thinking all was well. However, as Winry was brainstorming, she realized another factor.
“That part was also extremely rare!” Winry shouted, making both Edward and Alphonse cower back in their chairs, hoping to get out of the restaurant alive and replace the cursed missing part as soon as humanly possible.
“No luck at that store,” Edward said to Alphonse, who was seated on a bench, outside of a General store.
“I couldn’t find it either.” Alphonse admitted as his brother sat down next to him.
The duo grew quiet as a feeling of disappointment came over them. Edward kicked a small rock away from the bench and crossed his left arm over his stomach
“Yeah... Where’s Winry?”
“I thought she was with you.”
thought she went with you.”
“How can Edward be so careless? I slave hours over making him the perfect auto-mail limbs, and he finds everyway possible to completely trash my masterpiece!”
Winry couldn’t help but feel angry at Edward, after she left the third auto-mail store, with no leads or hopes of finding the uncommon wrist-joint.
While she walked, Winry kept her eyes fixed on the ground, with her clenched fists at her sides. Without realizing it, she had turned into a sub-street, with a dead end.
“Great.” Winry said sarcastically, looking up at the brick wall with a look of annoyance written all over her face. Then something white caught her eye, she looked down and saw a white caution sign, with the words, “Auto-Mail Store” in big, bold, red print, and arrow pointing to the left, right under the text. Following the direction of the arrow, Winry glanced over and saw an open door, right where the arrow was pointing to.
Winry couldn’t explain it, but she felt like this store was going to be different.
“Why not give it a try?” Winry thought to herself, and started to walk to the doorway.
Winry strolled leisurely through the open doorway, of the store, and was astonished by what she saw inside.
It was like a dream come true. Bright, glistening auto-mail decorated the walls, to and fro. Arm and leg models stood up on stone podiums, as if they were works of art, being displayed in a museum.
Starry-Eyed with excitement, Winry ran up to various parts, taking note of all the detail put into each piece, with precision and accuracy.
“Can I help you?”
Winry jumped, nearly knocking over one of the display models. She turned around and saw a woman about her height, dressed in military clothes, with a mechanic apron on. The woman’s thick red hair was tied back in a tight ponytail, with a few strains of loose hair in her face, almost covering one of her brilliant, green eyes. Winry couldn’t believe her luck; she found one of the best auto-mail stores on the block, and a fellow female mechanic!
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, um, what’s your name?” The woman said, in a kind voice.
“My name’s Winry and I’m the one who should be sorry. I almost knocked over this- Oh, I know this will seem kind of rude, but I’m in a hurry, and I was wondering if you had a certain part I’m looking for.” Winry said, remembering the job at hand. “It’s a duel-action wrist joint with a half inch wax coating, and a balanced center with steel, not iron.”
“Let me think,” the woman said, bringing a hand up to scratch her chin, and scanning her eyes across the room.
Winry sighed, feeling her heart sink, as her hopes were being crushed. She knew that she’d never find it; the part was way too rare.
“Actually, I think there’s one in the back. Stay here; I’ll go get it for you.”
The woman walked passed Winry, giving her a pat on the shoulder as she walked by, and headed to the back room, behind a wooden counter. Winry waited till she heard the door shut, and jumped up and down with glee.
“Yes!” Winry squealed. “This is awesome.”
Before she could break off into a self-victory cheer, she heard the door open again, and turned around to see the woman carrying a small brown box. The woman smiled as she handed the box over to Winry.
“Thank you so much.” Winry said, half exhausted, but still sincere.
“Don’t you want me to pay you first? I don’t have any money with me right now, but if you could please hold onto it for a second, I can go get some from a friend of mine-”
“Don’t worry about it, Winry. I’m sure your search for it was payment enough. You don’t need to pay me.”
Winry’s jaw dropped and felt her eyes bulge out a bit. “You mean you’re just going to give it to me for free?” she said, trying not to squeak or yell to loud when she said it.
The woman laughed at Winry’s expression, causing Winry to chuckle nervously, still unsure if what she heard was true.
“No one ever comes to my store anymore, and I can’t keep it up and running without any profit. Since you’re my last customer, I don’t think it’s fair to charge you anything, because no matter how much you pay me, it won’t be enough to get this place back in business.”
“What?” Winry exclaimed. “I’ve been to plenty of auto-mail stores in my life, and none of them, not even ones in Rush Valley have auto-mail that can compare to the quality of your parts. I mean, look at this leg piece. It’s polished and from what I see, it looks very durable. The design is flawless.”
“Thank you. You know quiet a lot about auto-mail. Is there someone in your family who does auto-mail work?”
“Yes,” Winry began, “But I also make auto-mail limbs and parts. Oh, I should go grab Edward-”
Surprised, Winry twirled around to see Edward and Alphonse in the doorway. Edward had a questioning look on his face. Winry couldn’t help but laugh at his expression.
“Why are you acting like that Ed? Come on in and look around. There are plenty of auto-mail parts in here.”
Edward squinted at Winry, confusing her even more.
“What is wrong with you Ed?”
“Uh, Winry,” Alphonse said, “What auto-mail are you talking about?”
“What do you mean?”
“This place is empty, Winry.” Edward said.
“What are you-” Winry gasped. When she had turned to look at all the auto-mail parts again, they were all gone, like they had magically disappeared. The once clean and freshly painted walls were now old, half rotted wood, with bits and pieces of insulation coming out of them. The only pieces of furniture in the whole room were a table, two chairs, and the counter that the woman had walked behind.
“Hey,” Winry suddenly realized, “There was a girl here.”
“Yeah, she was about my height, and she was wearing a military uniform with a mechanic apron over it.”
Edward and Alphonse looked around the room, and couldn’t find any trace of another person in the room with Winry. The only proof was the box that Winry had in her hands.
“Well, I’m glad we finally found it.” Edward said, breathing a heavy sigh of relief.
“You mean I found it.” Winry retorted.
Edward and Alphonse stepped out of the store, and Winry followed close behind. Before she left, she looked back into the room, hoping to see it change back to the way it was before, but nothing happened.
“Winry, come on!”
“Hold your little horses, Edward!”
“WHAT DID YOU SAY
Winry bolted past Edward, who was nothing but enraged, and gave chance, followed by Alphonse, all the way back to the hotel room.
Back in the broken down Auto-Mail Store, a pair of large, bird-like wings drooped from the ceiling. The body connected to it, let out a deep sigh, after holding its breath while the trio were present. It clung to the ceiling by its huge clawed hands and feet, which were dug deep into the rotting wood. Sensing it would give way soon, the figure flipped off of the ceiling and landed on all fours, bringing its self up slowly and looking out the door with its emerald green orbs. The taut muscles around its flexible golden beak pulled back in a semi-smile.
“That was close,” It said, brushing off dust and wood chippings on its torn and tattered military jacket. “I’m glad to see she’s turned out alright.” It paused, thinking deeply before it wheezed: “Your parents are probably smiling from above, right now.”
~***~Preview for Chapter 4 - Rain of Tears
“I’m just saying that you might have been imagining things.”
“I’m telling you the truth.” Winry said defensively. “I saw that woman hand me the auto-mail part. She even patted me on the shoulder when she went back to get it, for me. Why don’t you believe me? What reason do I have to lie?
Edward bit his lip, crossed his arms behind his head, and stared up at the twirling ceiling fan. Winry was right. She didn’t have any reason to lie, but something about it just didn’t sit right with Edward.
As the silence grew, Winry couldn’t take it anymore. Her feelings were getting the best of her.
“You’re so stubborn,” Winry whispered, tears beginning to form in her eyes. “You’re welcome for the repairs, you ungrateful jerk!
Winry shot up, off of the recliner, and ran out of the hotel room, sobbing uncontrollably.
Alphonse began to go after her, but stopped at the doorway, turning back to look at Edward, who was still lying on the couch. It was moments like this when Alphonse disliked his brother most. He couldn’t understand why it was so hard for Edward to admit he was wrong. In all truthfulness, no one is perfect. Mistakes are inevitable.
“Get up,” Alphonse said in a stern voice.
Edward rose from the couch, walked over to his suitcase, took out his red coat, and threw it over his shoulder.
When Edward was about to step out of the doorway, Alphonse grabbed him roughly by the coat, and pulled him closer.
“Why do you need that?” He said, still using a hardhearted tone.
“It’s raining outside,” Edward said remorsefully, avoiding eye contact with his younger, but more sympathetic, brother.
I know, it’s getting weird. If you don’t like that, you might as well stop reading it, because it’s not going to get back on the sane train. However, if you do like that kind of stuff, stick around. Please leave a review and tell me your opinion, because your opinions matter
! Thank you for reading.
With openness and respect,