Theme 97 – Don't forget

She wakes with a gasp.

Colors swim through her vision, muddled and bewildering. Slowly, they resolve themselves into familiar things. The legs of a chair, branching sideways. The floor, rising up like a wall?

It dawns on her that she's lying down, and with that thought, the world reorients itself with a nauseating jerk. Right and left become up and down, and the dizziness fades. Winry realizes that her hip and shoulder ache, and that her arm is stretched out at a strange angle and going to sleep against the hard floor.

She blinks and sits up, staring around herself.

A crumpled smear of color resolves itself and becomes her grandmother, sprawled prone on the floor.

"Granny!" she shrieks, horrified, and everything she'd forgotten slams back into focus. Red lightning and twisting shadowy black hands, drowning the workshop and warping it into a realm of nightmares. Her own breath being drawn slowly out of her throat like wire winding onto a reel, as she struggled and gasped, thrashed against the floor, felt her muscles burn and go limp while darkness – like a black swarm of flies – ate the world.

She half-crawls, half pulls herself across the floor and touches Pinako's shoulder, and the old woman stirs and lets out a faint sigh. "Granny," she repeats, softly, tears of relief welling up in her eyes.

"...'na kill him," Pinako mutters, and squints one beady eye open at her granddaughter. She takes a shaky breath, sits up a bit. "Damn that Hohenheim. He knew this would happen. It stinks of alchemy."

"Ed," her granddaughter whispers, and feels suddenly cold. Whatever just happened, it has something to do with Edward. And if it was this bad out in the provinces, miles from wherever he is...

She closes her eyes, fiercely ignoring the furious scrabbling of the blood-and-shadow images in her mind. She'll never forget what just happened to her, and—and that's all right, she decides, suddenly furious in advance at whoever did this to them, to all of them. She'll have her scars to remember this by, and she'll wear them proudly on the inside of her heart, nightmares and all.

Edward seems to manage his demons all right. She'll ask him to teach her how, when he comes home.

Someone is draping a blanket around her shoulders, but Winry doesn't notice her own violent shivering. She clutches it around herself with numb fingers, riding out the wave of shock, and stares blankly through the wall to hundreds of miles away in her mind's eye, wondering what he's doing and who he's fighting now.