Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist.
Snapshots of Her
When she smiled, it eased his pain, little by little. It made him feel like he wasn't responsible for this whole mess... him, losing an arm and a leg; Alphonse, losing his whole body. It made him forget that his mother had ever left. That she was still here, with them.
When she laughed, it was like the sound of bells. It made him want to laugh, too, something he hadn't done in a long time.
When she cried, he felt like he would do anything, anything, to bring her smile back.
He loved her smile, and he would go to the ends of the earth and back to see it.
"Ed?" Winry tilted her head back from her spot on his lap. "What are you thinking about?"
He grinned. "You."
The first time they kissed was in front of the remains of his house. He had come back for a brief holiday, intending to go back after a few days. He always went back to sit in front of the debris that had once been his house, just to sit and mull things over. He would go sit in front of his mother's grave, as well.
He hadn't expected to find her there before him.
"What are you doing here?" He couldn't keep the surprise out of his voice.
"I dunno." Winry stood up, brushing dust from her skirt. "Feeling nostalgic, I guess."
"Oh." Edward knelt down, feeling around at the clumps of dirt and ash. "You know, it surprised me that they never cleaned all this junk up."
Her face colored pink, "They tried to."
"...?" He glanced at her, confused.
"Cleaning crews came," she explained, face growing brighter by the second. "But...I didn't let them clean it up."
Clear as mud. Edward reached up to scratch at the back of his head. "What do you mean?"
"Just like I said." There was a slight edge to her voice, as if daring him to tease her. "They tried to clean it up. But I didn't let them."
Edward blinked, struggling to comprehend. "Why?"
"This was your home," she said, "this was where we played and laughed and got into stupid little fights. And," she added, biting her lip and looking irresistibly cute, Ed couldn't help but notice, "it was the only memory I had left of you." Glaring at him, "You just up and left. I had nothing to remember you by."
He stood up, brushing off dirt from his clothes. "Stupid.."
She took offense at this. "Is it stupid that I wanted to remember you, you --"
She was cut off by his lips on hers.
It wasn't the most romantic thing in the world, but they made up for it plenty of times.
Alchemy was his thing, automail was hers. He failed to see what was so interesting and captivating about it, but it had certainly helped him out in his life. And he loved watching her pour her heart out into it.
On lazy Sunday afternoons when he was home, he would lie on the couch, head resting on the armrest. And she would sit at the table, tools scattered all over, working intricately on her latest project. Sometimes, it would be his arm.
If something particularly bothered her, like maybe a screw was out of place or the machine creaked when twisted at a certain angle, she would frown at the offensive machine and take a screwdriver and fix it, somehow.
Sometimes, if something was really frustrating, she'd furrow her brow and her tongue would inch its way out of the corner of her mouth.
Sometimes, she'd run her hands through her hair in exasperation and glare angrily at the object of her frustrations.
And when she'd finally figured out what was wrong, she'd immediately fix it with dead-on precision. Then her mouth would stretch into a smile and her eyes would light up as she turned to him, excited as a little girl, squealing, "I did it! I fixed it!"
God, but he loved her.
Edward had been surprised to find out that Winry was afraid of spiders. Somehow, he'd always thought of her as
this brave soul, unafraid of anything.
Not that he wasn't glad to have her jump into his arms when the eight-legged insect crawled in front of her.
"Winry?" His face turned slightly red.
"Spiderspiderspider!" she cried, burying her face in his shoulder. "Oh, kill it! Please?"
Bewildered, Edward stuck out his foot and squashed the bug. He wrinkled his nose upon seeing the squished remains.
"Is it gone?" Winry asked him, timidly.
"It's dead," the alchemist replied.
The blonde automail mechanic warily craned her neck to look. She made a face. "Throw it out."
Still somewhat dazed by this whole episode, Edward grabbed a paper towel, picked up whatever was left of the spider, and dumped it in the trash. It was a rather large spider, he'd realized after, but he'd never known that she was so terrified of them.
"You're afraid of spiders?" he asked, brow furrowed.
Flushing, "Yeah. So? Lots of girls are!"
"You never told me," he said, plainly.
"You never asked."
"Huh." Taking in this new information, Ed sat down on a wooden chair, backwards so that his chest was leaning against the back. "What else are you afraid of?"
Winry refused to meet his eyes. "Stuff."
Edward was enjoying this game. "What kind of 'stuff'?"
She mumbled something incoherently. Ed raised an eyebrow, "What?"
"Cockroaches," he vaguely heard her say, and then, more quietly, "blood."
"Blood?" He failed to comprehend. "But, in your line of work..."
"I learned to get over it," she said, sighing. "But the phobia's still there."
"I never realized." Now the blond alchemist felt guilty. "Have you always been afraid of blood?"
"Not always." Winry sank down into a chair beside him.
"Oh? Then when did it start?"
"Remember when you came in that night? An arm and a leg gone, bleeding all over?"
"Yeah." A cynical grin wove its way to Edward's mouth. "Pretty hard to forget something like that."
Winry smiled, sadly. "That's when it started."
One day, one of the neighbors had knocked on the door, asking if Winry would please like to babysit her little girl. Winry had agreed, almost instantly, and Ed felt amused. He had never seen his childhood friend take care of a little toddler before.
Al was out helping Pinako on an errand. It was just the two of them today.
"You're going to help, aren't you?" Despite what it seemed like on the outside, Ed could easily tell that it wasn't a question. It was a command.
Edward didn't feel like testing out Winry's wrench-throwing skills. "...I guess."
"It won't be hard," she reassured him. "I've baby-sat her before. Her name's Rika. She's a sweet, quiet girl. No trouble at all."
Edward still eyed the small three-year-old dubiously. He'd never had much experience with kids.
Winry laughed at this and picked up Rika, holding her close to her chest. "You won't cause a lot of trouble, will you, Rika?"
The small girl, dark hair pulled into pigtails, shook her head. Her thumb was in her mouth. Winry pulled it away with a motherly look on her face, "Hey, your mom said not to do that anymore, remember?"
Ed had sort of crept away after that. Little kids scared him. They had this strange power over adults. Plus, most kids tended to be taller than him anyway, and he didn't need anymore teasing on that matter.
Winry and Rika had decided to stay in the living room for the duration of the day, while Edward escaped to his haven outside. There was a slight breeze, and he enjoyed it. Rarely did he ever have time to just sit back and enjoy things, anyway.
When he felt that it was time to go back inside, he was greeted with a sight that softened even his heart.
Winry was lying on the couch, the small chubby girl in front of her, whose mouth was partly open and snoring quietly. Winry, unaware of Ed's presence, smiled lovingly at the little girl and stroked her hair. She was singing a lullaby.
Winry would make a good mother, he decided, and maybe, he would make a good father, too.
It had only been one night -- they had just been caught up in the heat of the moment, in everything -- but it had been enough to change their lives, forever.
The first part was when Winry wrote him a hastily scribbled letter, "I'm late."
Edward had never been so afraid in his life.
A month later, another letter was delivered to him. "I'm late again."
Two weeks later, "Come home. Now."
And he had. Pinako had greeted him, but there was definitely more of a hostile tone in the air. Winry smiled at him, but there was something else in her, too... Fear. Alphonse had an inkling of what was going on, although Edward had stubbornly refused to say anything until he was positive about what was happening.
Pinako was kind enough to let Winry tell Ed on her own, privately.
"Well...?" Ed asked, fearing the answer.
She dropped the bomb. "I'm pregnant."
He didn't know what to say. He settled for staring down at his feet.
"You're going to leave," she said, voice strange. "You're going to go off, look for that Philosopher's Stone of yours, and just leave me. Here. Alone."
"It's true, right? I don't expect you to stay here, just because you've got a kid..."
"Shut up." He stood up, eyes steely. She jerked in surprise.
"I'm not a cold heartless bastard," he told her, voice even. "I'm not going to leave you to raise my kid alone."
I love you too much for that.
There were tears in her eyes, and he cringed, faltering.
"Look," he said, voice quiet. "I...I am going to have to go away for a little while."
She looked down.
"But I'll come back. A lot." He stepped closer to her and brushed away the tears from her eyes. He hated to see her cry. "And I'll definitely be here when she's born." Something inside him told him it would be a girl.
There was hope in her eyes. "You promise?" She held up a pinky.
He stared at it for awhile, but then smiled and interlocked his pinky with hers. "Promise."
When they came out of the room, Edward was greeted with Pinako's piercing stare. It was funny, he thought, gulping, that someone so short could be so intimidating. In the back of his mind, he wondered if he ever looked that scary.
"I'm assuming you'll be getting married soon?" The elderly woman deadpanned.
Edward sweatdropped. "...married?"
Pinako shot him a Look.
The blond alchemist glanced at his longtime childhood friend out of the corner of his eye. He'd known her for so long. From childhood friends, to more, and now... this. She was blushing.
He felt a surge of confidence.
"Sure, I'll marry her. That is, if she'll have me."
Winry lit up.
It was the hardest thing, having to walk away from her. He kissed her briefly, and his hands lingered against hers, trying to engrave this feeling into his heart. He whispered a brief goodbye, a solemn promise, and he never looked back, because he knew that if he did, he would never be able to leave.
They said that when it rained, it meant that God was crying.
It was raining.
All I can do is just to love you from so far away
On this rainy, rainy day...
End of "Snapshots of Her."
Song used is "Rainy Day" by Crystal Kay. Next chapter, "Snapshots of Him." This is my first time writing something in a sort of "drabble" format. How am I doing?