It almost pains me to say this, but it's all over now...or is it? Here is the epilogue to Parting Gift, but this leads on to another piece of work I shall be submitting in a few days. It will be called 'Illegitimate Child' and if you loved this fic you should at least like it. Anyway yes here is the epilogue with a bit of Ed/Win fluffyness to end it all. Many have you have guessed what Grace is doing but none of you have got it right. Now you will know and hopefully you will agree with it. Hope none of this tale dissapointed you because I loved reading all of your reviews. FMA isn't mine and it never was.
Grace was approaching the last few months of being a teenager and she had learnt many things in her time. Finally breaking away from her family home had been difficult but she was coping with it. She was in the middle of all the people who knew her father and they all had a tale to tell. She needed to be around all these tales to really understand so many questions she wanted to answer. She had always known these people but had never got the chance to spend time alone with them. She took delight in seeing each soul again and again for they never grew tired of her.
Her father and brother visited often. Each time she saw James again something in him had matured. Truly he had not seen the same action his father had by his age but he was shaping up to be a respectable citizen. Much as she hated to admit it she had shed a tear when she had departed from her sibling. Once James knew what she spent her time doing he finally respected who she was and the air between them was not so tense. They still bickered, which family didn't, but it was not nearly what they had put each other through.
She did not see her mother as often as she might like but phoned her continually. They discussed her job with the paper and her mother told her who had come to be fitted with auto-mail. They avoided telling each other they missed one another as it would only cause pain. Grace felt cold and the idea of her mother alone in the house. Yet Pinako had done the same thing from time to time and never complained. Still, Grace hoped her father would settle at home once James was confident enough to travel alone. Part of what Grace was doing was to settle her father down.
The last time he had paid a visit it was without James. Grace had delighted in spending time alone with her father and letting him review her work. He was the star of the tale after all. He had taken her to places he had visited and she relived his adventures with him. People would always stop the golden eyed pair to ask if they really were who they thought they were. Winry had become famous for hiding the child of Edward Elric away from the public eye so Grace was often ambushed. She didn't like all the attention but she took pride in being a symbol to people. Until she had spent time in Central she had no idea just how much her father had meant to their world. To lose him had taken hope from many people although she never really understood why. Some people were far too dramatic for Grace to stomach and she was glad of a place hidden away. Rose and Gracier took Grace in many a time.
When her father had left he gave her words of advice. She must never become so enraptured by what she was doing that she forgot a wide and wonderful world existed. You don't know what you've got till it's gone and she was being told this by the master of morals. She hugged her father tighter that good-bye, telling him she wanted him to feel it all the way home.
She held the heavy manuscript in her hands and prepared to write more. She had all she could get from Armstrong and so a new chapter was to be written. His account was to be heavily edited; not everyone was too interested in his muscular body. But of the military ex and present he was by far the most emotive. She believed if it had not been family tradition Armstrong would never have joined the military.
Roy had been the worst to interview. All he did was brag when really she knew he wasn't like that at all. If she hadn't told him it would be in a book his tale would have been more honest. Yet even he had moments when his voice went quiet and his eye became distant. When he told the tale of how he lost his eye his voice was choked and her heart ached for him. Mustang was a fighter however and he seen reverted to his usual self.
Of all, her kindred spirit was Shezka who had always nurtured her provided Grace with books to read. Her tale was romanticised beyond compare but Grace lapped it up. For a time Shezka had been best friend to Winry and a support during her first pregnancy. Grace owed her a part on her book and she did tell a tale well. Grace heard about the letters her mother had written to her father for him never to receive. She discovered a whole new side to her parents through the stories of others, but Shezka was the one who made apparent how strong hope and love had been in their tale.
The closing chapters would focus on the life alchemy would leave behind and how the world would inevitably continue. No matter what happened a river will flow. Her father had taught her that in the grand scheme of things none of them were significant. Grace never believed that to be true for her father had changed the course of many things in his time. It was up to her and her brother to pass on the bloodline of a great alchemist and a great mechanic. Neither would stop the world turning when they died it was true, but many a life would be affected. The world just didn't know it yet.
Some years ago, in the time Edward was home but James was nothing but a distant dream, he and Winry had had an in depth talk. Well actually they had many but this one focused on what the future would bring for their daughter.
'She's such a dreamer,' Winry had started.
Ed mumbled a sound to recognise she had said something but that was not enough for Winry. Since he had his back to her as well as being partially asleep a surprise attack would be easy. With steps as light as a dancer she paced across the room, fingers ready to tickle Ed's exposed midriff. He was ticklish mostly on his side bar one area which Winry kept a secret and which wasn't exposed at the time (thank goodness). She reached out a hand.
You know when someone has really become a part of your life when you can estimate their next move. He saw the shadow of her hand creep ever closer but he was ready. Winry didn't like to be ignored so she would try anything to really get his attention. Several times she had told him she was naked just to get him to wake up. Of course she never was but it had fooled him for long enough.
He struck. His hand grabbed her wrist before she had time to touch his exposed side. But Winry was just as prepared as Ed was. Although he had a strong hold of her right arm as he pulled her onto the bed, her left was free to do as she wished. As her body fell to the bed, her left hand brushed Ed across the stomach ever so lightly, but that touch was the most effective. His senses protested and he sucked his stomach in. It made her giggle to see the muscular figure curl into a ball.
'You cheat,' he growled playfully, pulling her on top of him. Through all of it she was giggling like a hormone driven sixteen year old. But then neither of them had really experienced their teen years so it came out now in their early twenties.
'I take it you were talking about Grace,' Ed asked, letting go of her arm.
She took a deep breath to stop her laughing. Although Grace was visiting Izumi for a few days she never left her mother's thoughts. 'Who else stares into space for hours on end?'
'Al was prone to. You did even if you don't remember. You're not worried are you?' he laughed.
She pouted at him but he knew that it must be bothering her or she wouldn't have brought it up. He stroked her legs affectionately and smiled more carefully.
'She's only four Winry you must not forget that. And even if she does little but dream what does it matter if she's happy. Shouldn't parents just love their children…for who they are?'
Winry bit her lip. Although people said she was wise beyond her years Edward had experienced so much more of life. She nodded her head and lay down to rest on his torso not wanting him to look at her.
'I think Grace will be fine. She's content with life and she'll always have us.'
She didn't respond with words this time. She lifted her head to look at him before bringing her lips down to meet his. She had a home, her health, her daughter and the love of her life. If you had asked Winry Rockbell if she expected to have these five years ago she would have laughed at you. But then, none of us really know what's around the corner. Be it a job, a friend, a home, or even Edward Elric.
I know I'm bad for advertising, but please go and read my fic 'Goldeneye'. I really think some of you will like it, now its heading into the realms of Ed/Win anyway.