Stand Up and Walk Forward
Saturn's Note: Hey all this is my first FMA fic ever! But I have seen the whole series and this fan fic will contain SPOLIERS okay? Just letting you all know.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything, only saying it once. Don't own Fma or the songs that play for opening and credits, if did I would be in Japan not in crap Australia so anyway yes lets get on with it
EdWinry I want to get something straight on this pairing, even though I know it's your own perception on their relationship I want to clear one thing up. Just because they think of each other as family does not mean they don't like each other that way. First of all in Japan where the anime is from… if you think of someone as family (when they are not related to you) it means they are very close to you. But it will not stop you from liking the other person. Besides it's clear that at some stage Edward did like Winry since he and Al used to fight over who was going to marry her, and I think the scenes Ed and Winry have together in the game are very intense, like there are all these hidden emotions, both of them are really stubborn and that reflects on their feelings for each other. Since Ed likes to hide everything he is feeling we would never find out how he feels deep inside about Winry, but anyone who has seen the whole series would agree that Winry does have something extra special inside her heart for Ed, and Ed would protect Winry with his life. So I don't want any people saying… EWE they are brother and sister, because once again it's how you perceive their relationship, and I think it's quite obvious actually.
Summary: Four years was a long time… Winry is at the end of her wits here, being left all alone to run the auto-mail business. She gives up hope on her lost child-hood friend and lives on, until one stormy night…
Chapter One: Four Years… is a Long Time
Stand up and walk forward, you have your own legs. That was the sentence which so easily rolled off Edward's tongue constantly ran through my mind, his words haunted me. His gaze only reminded me of how empty he was inside.
Every time I had questioned his departure, and asked him what I was supposed to do, he had always replied with that one simple line that now tore at my insides with anger. Yes I had my own legs, yes I could think about things on my own, but why should I have to when he and Alphonse could be there for me? Did they try to make it harder on me? Did they want to see me suffer silently? Sometimes it made me so angry… so angry in fact that every time Ed came back just to get his leg and arm fixed I didn't want to do it. Despite my love for Auto-mail… especially his.
"WHY DON'T YOU GO AND GET YOUR OWN DAMN LEGS AND STAND UP AND WALK FORWARD ON THEM LIKE YOU TOLD ME TO DO ALL BY MYSELF!" I wanted to shout at him, my wrench always clutched tightly in my hand. It was kind of ironic how he told me to walk forward because I had legs, yet he depended on me for one of his.
I had to contain myself from throwing my wrench at his head, more than once every time he showed up on my doorstep a complete wreck. Every time he showed up out of no-where when he'd had me worried sick years on end. I would always put on a happy and cheery face; after all I was glad to have him back. But did anyone know the pain I felt inside when I had realised all he had come back for was his arm? So much for the younger years where secretly Ed vowed that he would always protect me. The years where he whispered lovingly into my ear.
He was always a charmer, he was always un-believably good-looking, and he was always so determined it made my heart smile. But his bad points surfaced way too often for the man inside to truly be one of compassion and love anymore. Okay so he was a little short as well, that seriously never bothered me. Although I knew it bothered him and I let him know it when he annoyed me.
But it was time for me to stop thinking about these things and walk forward, even though I was having an incredibly hard time at doing so. Grandma Pinako had passed away no more than 5 months ago, leaving the auto-mail business to me at a far too young age, I was still merely a child hurting over the death of my parents, my best friends leaving for a better life (that didn't include me) and so many more incidents that had left me bruised and battered.
The business wasn't doing so well and I found myself having a hard time just maintaining the house, my body and most importantly my sanity. I hadn't seen the famous Full Metal and his brother in almost 4 years now, and I doubted I would ever see their faces again. Ed had probably found some woman to love, and some other auto-mail engineer to look after him, since he indeed had the money for the best. But without his gracious money spending I was finding it difficult to live, and my anger only welled inside for Edward every day. Who knew where they were? Who cared? And all I hoped was that Edward hadn't dragged Al down with him whatever stupid nonsense he wanted to carry on with.
I dangled my leg over the balcony closing my eyes softly as the cool afternoon breeze brushed past my face; the sky was quite dark, filled with clouds giving it the atmosphere of night. My hand lazily rested softly on Dens leg, since he was lying on his back with his legs sticking up in the air. "Time to repair your auto-mail hey den?" I sighed with a small smile. "Honestly I don't know if I can afford to spare auto-mail parts at the moment…" At this Den let out a sort of whimper as if he had understood my heart wrenching reply. "I know, I know." I sighed hopping down off the balcony to pat his stomach fondly. "I believe I should sell this house, it's much too big for one small girl like me, and her precious dog, what do you say?" I smiled only for den to turn his back on me with a grunt. Even though the dog could not understand my words, I think he understood me better than anyone in the world, with one small gesture he would know what I was thinking and feeling, and the fact that this special dog was the only thing I had to keep me company I couldn't bear the thought of loosing him.
I looked up at the sky sniffing the air automatically. "Looks like we better get you inside, it's about to rain." I pulled Den in with me, much to his annoyance and closed the door. It was sad I couldn't go out and enjoy the rain like my old care free self would have. But I was way to short on money now to get risk getting sick.
I slumped on the couch, giggling as den licked my hands while I let them dangle off the couch. "Ed… you idiot." I laughed closing my eyes softly. No matter how I tried to hide my feelings I knew what welled inside of me at the end of every day, yes it was anger, and a deep frustration and hate, but there was something else as well.
On the day that Ed left last time. It was the same as always, he'd wave his hand and say goodbye like it was no big deal, as if we would meet in this small country town again tomorrow. To believe in love, meant I would not loose to myself, and until his dreams would come true I would stare up at the sky while hoping and praying, and I was always here for him to come back to. I wanted to be his sky, so I could help envelope his sadness. Then whenever he would look up he would know he was not alone, even if he was far away, I wanted him to know he always had me to come home too. Even if I didn't matter to him, he mattered to me, and that hurt me so much I still cried about it to this very day.
A loud knock to my door suddenly woke me from my troubled thoughts and I perked up instantly, rarely was anyone who knocked on my door not a customer, since I had grown very distant from my own friends these days. I jumped up instantly in a panic. I looked terrible and I quickly tried to fix my hair and grabbed some short jeans while hopping to the door in a panicked state. "Be right there." I mumbled forgetting I had a bobby pin in my mouth. "I mean just getting ready." I quickly shouted placing the bobby pin into my hair to get rid of the loose strands that fell down over my face.
"Ahh Winry?... It's only me."
I froze as I heard that voice, definitely more mature, and something about it was different. I froze in my spot kicking my jeans off in a haste to get to the door. I couldn't be bothered to pull them up over my legs; there was no time I had to find out who it really was. I opened the door and a shocked expression came over my face as I saw him standing there. He had a nervous smile planted on his face as he scratched the back of his head and blushed a shade of pink while he noticed I was only in my underwear and looked away.
My eyes instantly fell to the place his auto-mail should have been, but the material from his red coat just hung limply swinging with his gentle movements and the breeze. The moment was so incredibly awkward I wanted to hide and die of shame, but my old memories came back and I acted on impulse slamming the wooden door in his face. I sighed against the door as I heard him pound against it.
"Winry! Let me in! This isn't funny!" Ed shouted, and I could just picture him banging on the door in a violent rage, it was funny to see one as short as him having a temper and I never got tired of seeing it.
"Go home midget! I never want to see your face again!" I screamed pounding back on the door in reply to his violent knocks. That's when I heard it, the huge angry aggressive scream escape his mouth and his pounding only became more violent.
"DON'T RELATE THIS TO MY HEIGHT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! NOW GET OUT HERE AND LOOK ME IN THE EYE INSTEAD OF CALLING ME THAT BEHIND A CLOSED DOOR!" Ed shouted. I tensed my fists and opened the door only to see him jumping up and down in a furious fit. Lightening suddenly struck and it only illuminated the sheer anger and pain on his face.
"Fine, leave me alone midget, what has it been four years?" I screamed back slapping him across the face. "And where is Al?" I said throwing the wrench that was permanently attached to my hand at his head, he looked a little taken aback but didn't seem to flinch; instead he hung his head low and returned to his normal depressed look.
He began to turn and walk away, and I didn't think I could bear to see him stroll away casually again. "Wait Ed." I shouted after him. He turned around with nothing but pure emptiness in his eyes, so was this Ed's true face? "Do you have money?" Ed nodded and turned to wander away again. "I'm in a really bad situation so if you want me to fix your auto-mail it isn't going to be cheap." I told him sternly, crossing my arms over my chest.
Instantly Ed turned around with a confused expression on his facade. "Winry…?" Ed started turning to walk towards me. Suddenly I saw the question surface in his eyes when he saw the house. He could tell something was different. The house was dimly lit and had the feeling of a residence that was almost empty. "Where's Aunty Pinako?" He inquired suddenly grabbing hold of my shoulder, and I shrugged him off angrily, tears already rising in my eyes, did he think he could just waltz back in here and demand everything? Well he couldn't and this time the express charge definitely wasn't going to be cheap.
"So you think you can come back after four critical years without one word? Well Full Metal, if you only came back to get your arm fixed, because God forbid you would ever come back to see me, and if this is only a business trip for you then that's exactly what it will stay!" I said huffily, turning to face him while ignoring the stray tears running down my cheek landing silently on the ground beneath us.
"Wait Winry…" Edward trailed off as I removed his coat to examine the damaged auto-mail. It was in worse shape than I thought, less than half of it being left. I knew it would be a few busy days for me since I would have to totally re-create his arm, and now that Grandma wasn't here… it was a little more time consuming. It almost drove me to the point of tears every-time I saw one of the auto-mail's I had put so much love into for Ed, destroyed in the blink of an eye, and it made me hurt even more when I wondered just what exactly the two brother's lifestyle was like. The fact that Al wasn't here worried me extremely but the sadness deep in Ed's eyes prevented me from asking about it and I bit my tongue, painfully to hold myself back from asking.
I carefully inspected the tender skin near Ed's auto-mail to discover if there had been any further damage to his old wound. I touched the sensitive skin softly and felt an affectionate, passionate moment pass between us as I noticed Ed's fixed intense gaze on me. I halted my action and looked up at him with curiosity, examining the changes in his appearance. My eyes still red from the tears I had shed not to long ago. Ed returned the gaze with equal emotion in his inquisitive eyes that were filled with burning curiosity, and as if we never separated the sentence rolled off both our tongues at the exact same time.
"What happened?" We both asked softly consumed by our own curiosity, yes curiosity killed the cat, but it also fed the genius' of the world.
We both let out a short relaxed laugh and I removed my hands from Ed since they had lingered causally on his chest for far too long. We both looked away gathering up our own courage to answer each others question, and the awkwardness returned.
"Grandmother Pinako passed away." I told him finding the might to speak first. His golden eyes grew wide with shock, and a sort of moan filled with anguish was heard escaping his throat. He bashed his hand down on the nearby table, his temper arising. Honestly when he got like that it scared me more than anything, that and also when some-one commented on his height.
"I'm no better than my father." He said with a strained voice surprisingly softly. "The person I vowed not to become is exactly the person I have become." He muttered under his breath.
"Ed…" I whispered forgetting all my previous anger towards him. I reached out to touch him only to have my hand pushed away.
"Don't… I don't deserve it. I'm just like father who left mother all alone and didn't even come to her funeral." Ed said with a pained voice, and I finally understood what he was saying even if he was taking matters too seriously. Picking apart every situation and analysing it down to the very last word, that was Ed. He was a scientist after all.
"My brother bought me back to life." Edward told me returning to his numb personality. I had come to know the deadened personally so well it haunted me to see him so neutral, like nothing affected him anymore. My attention finally diverted to his sentence and I was almost shocked right out of my body. But I remained clam and patient while I waited for him to continue. "I died… and he found my life worth more than his. I had died at the hands of Envy and Al used the philosopher's stone to bring my soul back to my body… he disappeared so did all the Homunculis."
I cringed at Edwards words knowing the basic rule of Alchemy equivalent trade, and even with the item they had searched for, I wondered if Al was successful. "And you can see it worked, but Al is gone…" I found no words to say so stood there completely overwhelmed. I knew it wasn't like Ed to stop giving up, had he tried to resurrect his brother? What exactly were his plans? "He left a message saying that if I had any respect for him that I would not give my life up to try bring his back after he had done that for me…" Edward sighed a most dangerous sigh. It broke my heart to see in one of his saddest moments he let out a sigh… if it was me I didn't know how I would even cope let alone hold in tears.
"You don't have to hold back in-front of me Edward…" I said softly. Surprisingly he seemed to know what I meant and looked up at me with a sheepish smile.
"I'm not going to give up though, I'm going to stay here in my home town and find a way to bring him back, I won't give up on him." The words Edward had just said so easily practically froze me with as much ease, did he just say stay?
"S-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-stay?" I stuttered horribly, cupping my right elbow with my hand, something I had gotten used to when I was nervous. I tried not to get my hopes up and remained calm, and at the same time I tried not to die of depression, if he stayed… it only made it worse for me when he did leave again.
"Yeah… I need somewhere quiet to research… and as a military mission I am supposed to govern Rezenboul (sp?I don't really care you can get the picture I only have the Japanese version of the anime and the spelling varies)… but I think Mustang let me have it easy… he knows I wanted to come back here… to well whatever family I had left, but he knew I still needed the money… I think he understood the situation, and apparently they have been looking for someone to do this for quite some time." Ed said holding his shoulder tightly. He rubbed his hands over the cool metal (Or what was left of it) and sighed. "I can understand you're angry Winry… but you're the only family I have left… I can't loose you as well!" Ed said with desperation. In times like these it was common for the man to maybe run up and hug the female, but of course Ed gave me no such blessing and just stood there as far away from me as possible. Even though he was lacking much affection, I could see all his wants, desires and hopes in his eyes, and I nodded silently… understanding… Ed was after all, all I had if I didn't count Den.
"You're all I have." I trailed off. Ed flinched as I moved closer to place my hands on his shoulders. "Ed stay with me."
"You mean like here in this house?" Ed said with surprise almost falling backward. I nodded in reply realising how forward it sounded, but I didn't want to live alone in this house for one more day. Even a minute seemed un-bearable now that Ed was here. We both needed each other; we had both lost everything, why not? Even if Ed didn't want to admit how much he needed me, he did, and I needed him more than anything. "But Winry… I can't do that." Edward said while shaking his head, I furrowed my eyebrows reaching into my pocket to get my wrench ready. If it came to it I guess my wrench would have to do the convincing.
"Why not?" I asked taking my hands off him stubbornly.
"B-because, just because I'm back for a long time now, and I can't live with you." Ed replied shaking his head furiously, probably to hide the beautiful blush creeping up on him. His hair tie fell out in the process and he cursed under his breath picking it up from the floor. "I just can't accept that offer okay Winry?" Ed said with a worn out expression on his face, while tying his hair back up
"Ed… this house is too big for me, and I get so lonely… Not to mention that State Alchemist income of yours would help." I grinned holding the wrench up in my hand while thinking off all the spare parts and materials I could buy with his money.
Ed backed away slightly afraid to argue when I was in one of my passionate moods. "Ed you're staying but it isn't for free, so you can accept the offer okay?" I stated in a matter of factly tone. "And you can't argue unless you want me to starve because I'm so broke it isn't funny." I looked away ashamed of myself, now that Grandma wasn't here I had no idea of what to do, and the customers had become less and less. Edwards's hard stubborn face softened a little and his blush slowly faded away.
"Okay then, but make sure you do charge me, I guess it's less trouble anyway than to organise my own house." Edward sighed with exhaustion and my wrench came into contact with his head harder than ever. "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR? ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?" Edward shouted getting up from the ground slowly, but with slight trouble due to his auto-mail conditions.
"For growing to the same height as me." I replied calmly even though there was much more to it than that. I started stepping closer to his body. The heat once again rose to his cheeks and I measured the distance between our heights, finding no difference at all just as I had suspected.
"Well… I am 21…" He replied with embarrassment obviously gleaming from the compliment.
"But your still short Edward, I mean I'm an average girl, and look at you... you're the height of an average girl… midget…" I mumbled under my breath.
"YOOOOOOUUUUUUU! GET BACK HERE!" Edward shouted, and the chasing around the house began