A sigh escaped from 16-year old Winry Rockbell.
The slender, ergonomic shape of the arm, the finish of the metal, the intricacies of the wires that serve to connect the nerves…truly, this was one of their best work. Winry's eyes glistened at the thought of working on this specific auto-mail again….
To her, it wasn't JUST auto-mail, it was ART!
Then she remembered the state it came in. "…That Baka-Chibi."
She was actually getting somewhere too, when Al came running in, with the familiar clunking sound of the Armor that was his body heralding his approach.
Winry looked up. Her eyes narrowed. She did not like being interrupted.
"Winry, Winry! I have an idea!" Al exclaimed. Her raised eyebrows were either ignored or went unnoticed.
"It's about niichan!"
Ah, Winry thought to herself. It was about Ed. Finally! She smiled.
Suddenly, Al looked hesitant. Winry sighed; it looked like Al needed a little encouragement. She had hoped that Al or Ed would talk to her freely about this…particular incident….
Usually, when there was a problem with either Elric brother, they sorted it out amongst themselves. Outsiders knew nothing of their 'pain', their 'bond', and their 'sin', so what could they do to help anyway?
Winry resented that.
"Al, if it will help Ed out of his little stupor, it must be a good idea, right?."
It came out as an outburst.
How To Make Homemade Chocolate
By Advent Wing
Chocolate can be made at home - sort of.
The sweet, smooth chocolate we are used
to is very difficult to make and generally
takes large amounts of machinery.
However, if you can find raw cocoa (cacao)
beans, you can make some chocolate to taste.
Roast the beans (about 400 degrees for about 1/2 hour).
Then you have to remove the husks which
is a tedious process, but should be easy to
do once the roasted beans have cooled.
Then using a mortar and pestle, break the
cocoa beans into bits. Take the bits and
grind them in a spice grinder
(it makes a mess so be prepared to clean).
Once they are finely ground they will begin
to liquefy. Don't grind them too much or you
will have problems cleaning your grinder.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the beans more by hand.
Then heat the mixture in a pan for a few minutes.
Then repeat the grinding process in the mortar.
At this point, the goop should be pretty smooth.
Now you add spices –
sugar (about 1/4 cup per pound of beans)
vanilla (real bean seeds do best, but extract is okay).
Then add some cinnamon, tarragon, and chili powder
or something other exotic spice that you might
never think of in chocolate. You really can get
a nice taste with some things you wouldn't think of.
Shape the mess with moulds if you want, or use a
container to store it. Whatever it is, let it set.
"…Daunting…" She murmured.
"Why does it HAVE to be chocolate!" Winry exclaimed, safe from prying ears in the backyard. "Couldn't I just make apple pie!"
"Ah, um…well, Winry, we know that niichan loves your pie…but…."
"That's right! He loves pie! I'll make him pie!" And with that declaration she marched resolutely towards the kitchen.
Indeed, Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, hated to lose. Losing was right up there with being called short, and so, its no surprise he was like this…or was it?
She halted. Ed was sitting under that tree again.
Lethargy. Signs of depression. Smack him with a wrench: Reaction: Definitely not the usual reaction. He was simply scratching the dog's ears and staring off into the distance. And that look! Where did he get off with that look! Melancholic, and a tinge of regret…he was turning angst into a sport!
It made her want to hit him. Again.
…But more than that, it made her want to get over there, gently cup his cheek, look him in the eye, and ask-
Ed looked up at his watcher, and registered surprise. Gone was the Ed of that moment, and in its place a plastered grin surfaced.
A blush graced her scowling features. She hated being caught staring. "So my dear chibi-chan, are you going to do anything other than sit on your little ass today?".
The grin dropped. He turned his back to her. "Maybe."
Stress marks began rapidly popping up on Winry's head. "Ed…"
They disappeared just as quickly.
She turned and walked back to a panicking Al. "W-Winry…"
"I'll do it."
"I'll do it. I'll make Ed his damn chocolate."
"What? I said-"
"Winry…" Al began "…If you don't put your heart into it then-"
"I know! I know! …I'm sorry. I'll make it for Ed…maybe…maybe it will cheer him up."
"Yeah! Yeah! That's exactly what I was thinking!" Al nodded enthusiastically. "Niichan loves your cooking!"
Yeah…if only he would love me just as much.
Cooking is a science. Cooking is a science. Cooking is a science. She slowly repeated it like a mantra.
I can do this!
"That's right!" she hyped. "I'm the ultimate combination of beauty and brains! HAHAHAHAhahaha…."
"God! It's just chocolate! How hard could it be!"
Chocolate for Ed.
What if he didn't like it? What if she messed up? It was hard enough mastering the pie WITH Granny, how about a new recipe WITHOUT her?
Grrr. Auto-mail festival my eye. She should be too old to travel!
She sighed. Better get cooking. First up, cocoa beans.
"No problem! I'm sure there's some here! If not, there was always a shop that would sell them, right?
Wrong. This is Rizenpool after all.
With a slight twitch she returned to the kitchen.
"Why was it so hard to find cocoa beans?"
Hmmm. Heat to 400 degrees Celsius for half an hour.
Ah…her new oven! Her greatest invention yet! A dial as timer! Adjustable temperature! Heat Resistant Glass so she can seethe dish being baked…!
So she sat there watching the beans roast. Unfortunately for her, she began to daydream…and fell asleep.
It was the smell of smoke that woke her up, actually (What was smoke doing on a deserted island fit for two anyway?)
With a cry she discovered she forgot to set the timer, and burned the beans. Joy.
Winry scrutinized the chocolate with a frown. Something was wrong.
She was running out of beans, and the kitchen was a mess. The chocolate seemed okay, yet she couldn't shake that feeling. They're fine, she insisted. Sitting there in their little heart shapes in the fridge looking all tasty and-
She had used a heart shaped mould.
A variety of curses that would make any military dog blush soon filled the air.
Time! Maybe I can-
Yes! Saved! I'll just give them to him later! Way later. She rejoiced!
"Hey Win, anything to eat here?" asked Ed scratching his head sleepily as he wandered into the kitchen.
"Ack! When did you…No! There's nothing here!"
"…We're out of food?" Ed asked, dumbfounded.
"Um, yeah! ...I mean no! Of course we have food! This IS the kitchen right…uh…."
His eyes narrowed. "Winry…you and Al have been acting weird lately…."
Weird? We're in character! It's you that's been messed up lately!
She struggled to get in control.
She walked up to him, attempting to block out the mess in the kitchen.
"Ed…I don't know what you're talking about…" she said as sweetly as possible.
Ed shot her a look that clearly said 'Not buying it'.
"Okay, okay! I'm making something special all right?" Maybe that will satisfy him?
He looked startled. "Something special? Today?"
"Yeah! Something special! So butt out!" She added playfully. Whew.
"Oh…I see." A brief look of…what was it? Regret?
"Ah, it's none of my business anyway. Tell me when you're done, I wanna get a sandwich."
…Huh…maybe it's his temporary arm. I'll get back to his real one later. He probably wants to leave soon anyway...
She went back to the chocolate.
This is it. She thought to herself. Just give him one…if he likes it…then there are more in the fridge….
"Hi Ed! Remember what I was making? Want one? There's more in the fridge…why does my voice sound weird?"
She sighed dejectedly. Here goes nothing. Now…where is he?
The tree. Again. She scowled. Why I ought to-
Her gaze softened; Ed really did look like he needed cheering up.
It's the eyes. It has to be. He looks like a lost puppy. It gave her some strength.
"Winry?" He glanced at her then turned away. "What is it?"
Winry felt herself deflate. "…Well…you wanna taste one of these?"
Ed turned to look, and his eyes widened in recognition. "Were those…Is that for me?"
"Well…yeah. Kinda. If you like them…there's more in then fridge…." She thrust the plate into his left hand; too busy blushing to look directly at his face.
Winry finally gained enough control to look at him.
"Ed? You seem…puzzled." And flustered.
"…Well, I didn't really expect…to get anything today."
"…Wait…today?" Today…chocolate."…Today is…"
"I just didn't think I'd get…" he began.
"…Chocolate…" she continued.
"On Valentines Day…." he finished, looking away.
He will die.
Today is Valentines Day.
She turned and ran.
In her room, a stomach growled its discomfort. Winry was hungry. Outside her window, the stars had come out. She had locked herself in for the rest of the day.
She sighed. Best to come out when nobody was awake. "Ugh. Armor or none, Al's going to get pumped full of AP ammo tomorrow morning."
If I get up…what DOES Ed think now anyway?
Lo and behold, bent overan openfridge was none other than Fullmetal himself!
Winry watched as he stared at the heart-shaped chocolate. A small silly smile grew on his face, as he ate it.
He likes it….
"…Do you…" she began, startling Ed. She felt funny standing there with her arms crossed and a blush on her face. "Do you like it?"
Ed, having been caught in the act, tried as best as he could to look nonchalant.
"Hmph…well, I was hungry, and the one you gave me earlier tasted okay."
The smile Ed received was definitely enough to get him blushing.
She walked closer. "Hehe. You're the worst!" She teases. "Coming down here, while nobody's awake and stealing food!"
"Hey! You said if I like it, I could get more! Besides, aren't you doing the same thing!"
She laughed. She took the half-eaten chocolate from Ed. "I haven't even tried it yet!" She said.
With a bite, she finished it, and her blue eyes widened in shock.
"It…doesn't taste that great…" she whispered.
Ed looked at her strangely.
"The heck?" he said. "Would I be down here if it tasted…Oi!"
He didn't get a chance to finish, because Winry tackled him to the floor with a hug. "No." She laughed. "No, you wouldn't."
"Winry! Have you lost it!"
From this close, she could see his blush. "Maybe." She murmured softly, suddenly breathless.
He stopped struggling; her eyes and voice had given him reason to pause.
"Maybe…?" He asked.
She leaned forward and quickly closed the distance between them. Ed found himself kissing back.
"Don't forget White Day, okay?" She was whispering into his ear.
"…Okay…" He mumbled. "OW!" She had grabbed his ear with her index finger and thumb. "-What?"
"Don't forget, or I'll wrench you." She threatened, her gaze fierce.
"Wrench me, huh?" He muttered. "Yes. Wrench you." She confirmed, and then lay down next to him again, resting with him in comfortable silence.
"…Winry…We should probably get up sometime…we can't stay here." Ed whispered.
"Yeah, yeah…." She answered, quite obviously falling asleep on him.
Ed scowled, and let out a sigh. "Can't be helped."
"…Whoa! I'm awake now!" Ed had quickly lifted her up and was carrying her upstairs. "How the…"
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "I'm short you know, not weak." He interrupted. Winry looked up at him. "We know you are." He eyed her. "Strong, I mean. We know it...so…when you DO feel weak…you don't need to pretend you aren't."
He wasn't looking at her, so she reached out and tilted his face towards hers. "Give it some thought all right?"
They had arrived at her room. Ed unceremoniously dumped her on the bed. "HEY!"
His grin was playful. "G' night Winry." He turned to leave.
"Wait!" He paused at the doorway.
Stay with me…?
"…Good night Ed."
He smiled again and closed the door behind him.
Outside Ed let out a long-awaited breath of relief. He was sure he wouldn't say no if Winry had asked…
And it was getting harder to say "no" wasn't it? "One day, soon…" he promised silently.
You could tell Alphonse was happy. True, it was near impossible to know, and yet you knew. He just radiated that aura sometimes. It was hard, but he stifled his giggle.
"So Ed…how was the midnight snack?"
"…It must have been good. You took a while."
Ed paused. Nah. He doesn't know. Barely suppressed laughter graced his ears.
He swallowed. …Or does he?
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist. This is meant as a bit of Ed/Winry fluff on Valentines Day. We need more Ed/Winry anyway. If I DID own FMA…well…you'd see a heck lot more fluff!
Hmm. I think Winry got the most out this story in terms of POV. If I do a White Day chapter, it'll be in Ed's POV.
I got the recipe off a site, so it's not mine either. Just so you know, I haven't tried the recipe.
Loved it? Hated it? Loved part of it? Hated part of it? Then tell me! It might be better next time!