Foreword of Fun:
Story Note: This is a little sideways spawn from my FMA1 post-series fanfic "He Who Searches For Himself" (which you can find in my profile!). This little side-fic has no effect whatsoever on the events of the main fic. I wrote this because I had some EdWin that needed to be let loose that I didn't want part of the core story. This can be read separately of HWSfS though, so please enjoy!
The rundown: Ed is in Germany with his father, and by some sequence of really bad luck, Winry's there too (the full 'how' is in the big fic). There are two other people you will meet, Hermann and Tilly Oberth. Hermann Oberth is the scientist Ed seeks out at the end of episode 51, Tilly (also referred to as Mathilde) is his wife.
Languages: Tilly and Hermann only speak in German, Ed speaks English to Winry and German to everyone else, Winry speaks English except where noted. Winry's comprehension of German is about as good as most people's understanding of Latin.
Extra: I dedicate this to GundamNook, who farmed this bunny. This was posted in my livejournal originally ( www . livejournal users / yuuki / 78130 . html ).
It just sounded wrong coming from her, like she'd spoken his name in some foreign tongue.
"What the hell is Edu-ward?" his cocky grin plastered on his face from ear to ear, malicious and playful eyes narrowing back at her, "your not my mother Winry, don't call me Edward."
Her hands slapped into the plush sofa back on either side of Ed's head. Narrowing her gaze fiercely at his nonchalant position, Winry visually interrogated him; left arm dropped lazily on the arm of the sofa, wine glass stem spinning in his fingers, right foot kicked up on the edge of the low wooden table the cushion-y goodness surrounded, black tie pulled loose so his top collar button could be released.
"Oh shut up and go back to the bar," the words were bitter but his voice surged with laughter, his hand pushing her shoulder back.
Winry's arms flailed in protest, "But Edward," her hands slapped over his cheeks; Ed crossed his eyes at the suddenly squished face he found himself with, "I just love you!"
And she toppled right over, unable to sustain any balance once letting go of the fabric. Nearly shrieking, Ed scrambled to steady the glass in his hand as she fell square over him, jarring him where he relaxed.
"Dammit Winry, don't make me spill the wine, it's expensive!"
"I won't, I promise," she'd purr if she could, wrapping her arms around his neck, never once giving a puzzled question to why he did not protest.
It didn't seem to matter.
Somehow, over the sound of the live band still playing beyond the sanctuary of their alcove wall minutes before midnight, and beyond the raging chatter of the crowded lounge, she still heard him gulp back whatever was left in the wine glass.
"You're the best thing ever, Mister Edward Elric!" her voice continually played with amusement, wiggling herself somewhere more comfortable than simply flopped over him.
Ed was no mood to deny the complement, simply repositioning himself in the seat he'd claimed for the greater portion of the night, kicking his foot back up onto the table's edge as Winry nestled herself in under his right arm.
Her feet tucked under herself as she grabbed hold of his tie, Winry began wrapping it around her finger, "Best birthday party, ever, Mister Edward Elric. You make good parties."
"Ch'," Ed's lips curled with his ever-present smirk, "this is Hermann's wheeling and dealing-"
"And you need more to drink."
Ed rolled his head back, eyeing Hermann as he leaned over the couch, refilling the empty glass he'd had kept in his hand.
Her hand gripping onto his shirt, Winry pulled up onto her knees; her fingers gripped into his hair without protest and her lips came close enough to Edward's ear he swore he could feel them.
"Does your friends Hermann and Tilly know it's not my birthday cause it happened months ago?"
He laughed again, he couldn't help it, she sounded so foolish with a drunken slur, "Yes, they know." His head twitched at the backhanded flick he received from Hermann.
"And they're okay with my old birthday?" Winry sank back down into the hole at his side she'd designated for herself.
"Hello, Winry-dear," Tilly's arms grabbled the partially limp girl around the waist and pulled her away, "can you guess what I can hear?"
"'Hear' what?" Winry's lazy eyes swung over to Ed, "I only know half of what she said. Ed! Translate for me!"
Ed's hand swung about freely, dismissing her, "Go dance with her, Winry!"
"Our song, silly girl!"
Flopping himself down at the other end of the couch Ed owned, Hermann placed yet another empty wine bottle down in the middle of the table with an emphatic swing of his arm, "I think Mister Edward Elric should go dance with the birthday girl this time."
"I think no," Ed rolled his eyes, laughing at the absurd suggestion.
"Yes!" in challenge to the German that filled her ears every way she turned, Winry's voice squealed in clear English, "I think yes!"
"How the hell do you pick up the words I wish you wouldn't understand?" his hand continually waving to dismiss the notion, Ed's head shook as sternly as it had all night long, "I can't dance."
Winry's hand gripped steadily onto Tilly's shoulder, pointing an accusing finger at Edward's stern refusal, "Yes you can! I know you can, I've seen you."
"Not with this," it was his trump card that allowed him to act like royalty in the softest couch in the building; Ed let the sound of his wooden leg bounce off the side of the table.
Smoothing her dress, as though she could recover some dignity that had vanished as the night progressed onwards, Winry turned her nose away, "If you had a proper AutoMail that I'd make for you, you could dance with me!"
"Are you two going to blither on in English, or get on the floor and dance?" Hermann swirled the wine in his glass.
Tilly's voice tingled with amusement, "Silly girl, lets go back to the bar, we'll have another drink, and dance without the dumb boys."
"Bar, drink, dance, dumb boys," Winry's grin grew malicious and wide, "I'm getting better at your secret German language, Mister Edward Elric."
Ed could only stick out his tongue in response as Tilly hauled Winry away through the crowd.
He rolled his head along the back cushion of the couch until Hermann became somewhat focused in his eyes, "Yeah?"
"Can you get up?"
Giving a laugh, Hermann took a sip of his wine, "You've had a lot more to drink than she's had, and she's the one the party's for."
"You're the one filling my glass," he took a sharp sip at the comment.
"That's why I'm asking."
Ed's cocky grin grew on his face once he caught the smug look Hermann carried, "I can stand just fine, I just happen to prefer having this corner all to myself and watching the rest of you make fools of yourselves. I have no intention of participating."
"Well you're missing a great show, Mister High and Mighty. The fools out on the dance floor who can't tell their left foot from their right any better than you can, have been getting a great kick out of Winry and my wife," Hermann's smirk grew as Ed snorted, "seems Winry's got a rhythm that's won Tilly over, I've now become second fiddle."
"Good!" Ed's grin raged, "She can take her out. Give her something more to do when we're busy. Maybe her German'll improve."
It was a collective sigh as the man with a few years seniority on the other rose to his feet, while the younger dropped his head back into the plush couch backing.
"The room's nice Hermann," the wine glass returned to Ed's lips.
Straightening his vest, the man laughed at a previous notion, "You know, I wasn't sure how comfortable Winry would be in a place with so many people, especially with such poor language skills. I thought getting the barkeep to set us up with one of the alcoves out of the way would be good if she was uncomfortable or needed a place to rest her feet."
Again, Ed snorted in amusement, "Yeah, you were wrong there. I could have told you this would happen."
"I'll be sure to seek your advice next time," shaking his head, Hermann smoothed over his hair and turned out of the tucked away sanctuary; departing with a stern warning.
"If you fall asleep in here while I'm out, I'll break your other leg. There'll be hell to pay if a barmaid finds out how much of my wine I had brought in here."
"I have no intention of giving out before I am in my bed."
He liked the silence; silence as it was right then, was silence of the room. The noise of the beyond lounge and bar hall were background static, the jazzed beat echoing around the poor acoustics of the building walls kept his relative attention. With his eyes closed, the music made such a lively and colourful picture in his mind, especially when he'd forget to keep his focus and allowed his mind to drown in the nights worth of white wine and vodka.
Rolling his head slowly up from the knocked back position he rested in, he cracked an eye open to see a stubborn expression plastered across Winry's face, "What?"
He tried to think; didn't she just leave?
"No I said," he put the wine glass to his lips and let a slow stream into his mouth, attempting to ignore her persistence.
"You've been no fun all night long, you've sat there like you're the king of the couch, you won't be social!"
"I happen to like sitting here and sipping my wine," he held the glass high in demonstration as Winry stormed over, snatching the glass away.
With her head tilted back, she put what remained down her own throat, much to Edward's dismay. Tossing the empty china into an empty chair behind herself, Winry stepped over Ed, grabbing his tie and wrapping it around her finger again.
"I'll make you get up!"
His hand gripped over her wrist, wary of her strangling him with the tie, "Just try it!"
"I'll haul you around by this leash if I have to!"
"Like hell you will!"
Thankful that he'd been aware enough to remain in step with her, he wrestled with her hand; trying to get her to let go and not strangle himself in the process. Climbing up onto the couch, Winry's feet dug into the cracks between cushions, both her hands coming to grab hold of the thin black tie she hung onto. The first plausible solution that entered Ed's mind to get her to back away became the one he acted on. His mechanical arm snatching out quickly, he gave the tie that wove up the front of her dress a firm yank, unravelling the string that pulled the dress together across her bust.
His actions had moved far past his train of thought; he hadn't even progressed past considering the consequences of doing the action before her hand struck his cheek, jarring his head back and into the sofa seat.
"What do you think you're doing?" her pitched voice bit at him, her hand re-gripping the black tie around the knot; her hand never coming up to tighten the tie across her chest.
Ed's left hand slowly came up and fell down on his cheek, the world spinning too fast from the slap for him to respond.
"Ed?" Winry's expression soured at the lack of response, "Ed?"
"It's not stopping…" was all she managed to get from him.
Frowning, Winry settled herself down in his lap, her legs wrapping around his waist, feet pushed deep into the plush sofa Ed slumped into, "I didn't hit you that hard."
"Tell that to everything that's still moving…"
Blinking, Ed's eyebrows rose as Winry planted a firm kiss on the cheek the palm of her hand had left a stinging shade of rose.
"You're not sorry…"
"Are you mad at me?"
"Where did that come from?"
"You are mad at me…"
"Stop pouting Winry, I'm not mad – GEH"
Ed lurched forward and Winry wiggled her legs around to the side, sitting across his lap, her head dropping into his left shoulder, hands still playing with the tie that held him prisoner while she leaned against him, "I said I'm sorry and you're still mad at me…"
"I'm not mad, just dizzy."
"Then sit here and not be dizzy."
It was a situation Edward gave no argument to; his tired eyes rolling off towards the ceiling as his head fell back, perfectly content to wait there until the world stopped. Staying with him as Ed's mind floated freely, Winry remained where she sat, listening to the sound of the music and feeling the movement of his breathing.
It was strange though; a strange feeling he couldn't quite place as his mental state wandered from here and there then back again. Edward's open eyes refocused into the lounge, curiosity in hand.
"… What are you doing?"
It was the brush of her fingertips he could feel, snuck up under his dress shirt, brushing lightly over an abdomen that had slowly tightened under her touch.
"Nothing. You're imagining things."
Everything told him that she was a liar, yet enough of him remained subdued by the unfamiliar touch he felt no need to argue. In time, he was certain the feeling would disappear. He was right, and he did not even notice the change. One unfamiliar sensation snuck to the next as his mind echoed of the vibrant jazz beat that played in the building. And his eye twitched.
Pulling himself free of the music, Ed searched his scrambled senses for what was going on. His eyes narrowed into the candle lighting dangling from the ceiling, recognition kept him from progressing any farther.
His voice was cautious, and only received a "Shh" from him in response. Unmoving, Ed managed to tune out the bustling noise of the world around him, finding only the slight sounds Winry made ring in his ear. Her fingers traced slowly along the side of his neck; he should have shivered, but was too relaxed to react against it. But it was her lips he felt playing at his collarbone that had snapped up his wandering attention. Within the warmth of the building and closeness of Winry's company, Ed would never have noticed she'd undone the string of buttons down his shirt.
"What are you doing?"
Again she "Shh'd" him and sometime later he was sure to kick himself for heeding the subtle request thanks to sheer curiosity. His mind wandered so easily, carried by a night's worth of alcohol. The hand that had come to push her away, instead rested gently upon her hip. The mind drifting without his command, he found himself suddenly content with the hand held on his bare side, another hand that drifted lightly over his chest, and a softly pressed set of lips that meandered slowly up his neck. He'd fall right asleep under this feeling if it weren't for something keeping him conscious.
His eyes rolled forwards from the blurry candle light, drawing upon the most accusing expression to join in with the tired gaze he carried.
"Let's go dance."
It was so deliberate, how close she was; her lips brushing his as she spoke.
Leaning back into the seat, Edward told himself the flush growing in his face was from the alcohol, not the rushing disaster of thoughts, "I don't dance, Winry."
What he'd forgotten was the tight hold Winry had on his leash of a tie; the moment his refusal came she gave the noose a firm jerk.
"I don't care if you think you can't dance!"
"I'm not dancing! I want to stay here!"
"Doing WHAT? Nothing all night long?"
The internal clocks of both moved far slower than real time did. Slow to catch up with a sudden movement, internal recognition soon found synchronization with what had happened in the swift moments Ed reacted. He'd answered the playful behaviour Winry had teased him with so successfully. It was a touch over her body all his own, the completely different texture of two dissimilar hands belonging to Edward: both strong in their own right. She did not put up an ounce over protest to how he answered her gentle caress of his body and the feel of his skin with her lips; her curiosity of how it must have felt was soon settled. Somewhere between when Ed had started and when he'd unconsciously pulled the dress up around her waist, Winry found herself laid back upon the black fabric of the sofa cushions.
Edward moved over her without recourse, exploring a behaviour that he'd mastered the art of fighting, suppressing, ignoring, denying, and even forgetting. This time, toiling with curious interest, he'd have it drawn to the forefront by a simple hush he should have known not to heed. His common sense wouldn't have known where to begin given any other situation, but it was long ago that he'd left his collection of senses behind; setting them down somewhere between the two empty shots of vodka he'd taken with Hermann and Winry around 10:30.
"See, I told you this was going to happen eventually. Don't doubt my feminine intuition again!"
Leaning up against the outside edge of the wall and releasing a light sigh, Hermann scratched his chin as he gave the goings on in the room a run through his mind, "Do we stop them?"
"Absolutely not, Hermann," she slapped away the hand at his chin, stealing it as she lay her chin to rest on his shoulder, "I've always thought that is just what Edward needs. He's been so lonely with his dad and such a sourpuss all the time. He needs something more like this in his life."
Glancing away into the smoke filled bustle of the lounge, the husband let his wife wrap her arms around his waist, peering around his shoulder into the room.
"Tilly, don't spy, that's rude."
"I just want to know, Hermann," her fingers pinched into his sides, making the man squirm, "I can give them pointers for later."
"Good Lord," his head shook, carrying a blatantly disinterested look out into the gathering of people at the band's stage, "you were raised in a whore house, weren't you?"
Tilly's cheek rubbed into his shoulder, slapping his chest for the comment, "That poor dress is going to be so wrinkled, everyone's going to know what she was up to. It's all scrunched up around her waist."
"You never use to be like this in school, you were so quiet and shy up at the front of the class…"
"The nuns would tell my father good things if I was a student like that, he wouldn't strap me like my brothers," her hand ran softly over his side, "unbuckling his belt, unzipping his pants… oh good girl, he likes that… are you sure you don't want to watch?"
There was a chuckle in his sigh, "Edward can hit me, he'd be a dead man if he tried to hit you. Are you even comfortable watching that? It's shameful, Mathilde, really."
"What do you suppose was one of the things Father strapped my brothers for, for doing while their little sister was home?" she giggled as she heard her husband choke back his laughter, "you'd think one would have learnt after the first lashing…"
His arm wrapped around his wife to keep her from falling away from a drunken imbalance as she held her preferred perch at his shoulder, whispering off her amused commentary of the unfolding scene. Taking a moment to give her yet another unimpressed glance, he found the look on Tilly's face to be more puzzling than something to be scolded. He watched his wife as both found themselves in silence.
"What?" He simply had to know, it wasn't like her to be so quiet.
"Do you suppose Winry's a virgin?"
"I have no idea," somewhere, there was the curious temptation to peek inside this alcove, "that depends if she had anyone while Ed was off dreaming of becoming a space man in this tattered Germany. Though, the last time I checked, chastity was a fair bit important in most upper classes no matter where you came from."
Her body weight shifted, propping her full weight up against her husband, a mused little grin forming on her face, "It's such a shame Edward only has one good hand to hold her with; he's such a finely built young man… all over."
"Oh Christ, Mathilde," Hermann's free hand slapped over his face.
His reaction only made her giggle and the hand she held at his side making him squirm once again, "You know if Edward wasn't so drunk, I don't think he'd have any idea how to do this. He's nothing but flustered when I bring things like this up."
"He's probably not going to remember this either."
"Oh come on, Edward," the low volume she carried in conversation gained a dissatisfied tone, "don't tease her like that, get on with it!"
Herman snorted; trying to shake the mental image his wife was relaying from his mind, "Mathilde, when we get home, I'm washing your mouth out with soap."
"I'll spit the wretched thing back out at you if you try."
His eyes lifted, glancing out towards the musicians as they transitioned from the jazz and began filling the room with a swing beat. The gaze he carried drifted down, watching how her hand soothed over his stomach.
"Defiantly was a virgin."
Herman's eyes slit momentarily, glancing to the side as though he could peer into the room. No sooner had he done so, but he looked out into the lounge again, repeating over in his mind how he was not interested in watching.
"Poor thing's going to hurt in the morning…"
With a slight flush in his cheeks, Hermann's hand returned to stroking his chin, "Did he make her cry?"
"Hermann," her fingers dug into his abdomen and he curled over slightly, hoping the uncomfortable feeling he suddenly had didn't lead to him bringing up all he had to drink that night, "do you remember the explanation I gave to you about why I had tears?"
It was a horrifying pause Hermann generated before finally answering, "… Vividly…"
"It's not exactly the most pleasant feeling for the first while," a lecherous grin grew across her face, turning her attention away from the circumstance developing in the next room.
An eye raised with intrigue, Hermann watched her hands slid up his chest, slipping around his neck until the fingers clasped, "They gave you ideas, didn't they?"
"Nothing too drastic," her fingers teased the back of his neck, her grin growing playfully.
"We can wait until we get home," the fingers attached to the arm wrapped around his wife's waist tickled her spine as the woman's peering eyes ventured around her husband's shoulder again. He listened to the music, focusing his mind on the beat as the band played on. His mind ventured off; both time and another song passing him by as his moderate stupor allowed him to distance himself from the world in the comfort of his wife's company.
"Is Edward still alive?"
Tilly buried her face in his shoulder, trying not to laugh, "You fool, what kind of question is that?"
"Do you know how many times I refilled his glass, Mathilde?" Herman smirked, again consciously averting his eyes from glancing in, "and now his hormones are spun about in a frenzy and adrenaline's probably knocked the sense from him… he's going to drop like a fly."
"Well they seem alright, Winry has some life in her again, Edward looks to have figured out how to move without the poor thing looking like she's suffering. She's supposed to be enjoying this…" Tilly mused as her eyes returned to their vantage point, a delighted grin accompanying intruding eyes, "… enjoying things just like that. Good boy."
"You're an atrocious disgrace Mathilde, good Lord. If he passes out while they're doing that, you get to fix it."
"No, you do, you kept filling his glass."
"And you're the one who's been dropping this hint since Winry arrived."
Tilly's retort to her husband came after a lengthy pause, her finger's dancing over his chest as her attention remained focused in the room.
"Neither of us has to worry, they seem to have finished with their fun."
"All the time, my foolish husband!"
Pushing his wife off his shoulder, Hermann spun her on her feet, slapped her hand and with a push to the small of her back, sent her off into the lounge, "Go pay the tab."
"That money in your hand."
Turning her nose forwards, Tilly sauntered off into the abyss of people once realizing what had been slapped in her hand, "Sneaky man…"
Standing his ground until his wife reached the bar, Hermann finally turned into the room, frowning to cover up his amusement of the scene he saw curled up in the corner of the room.
"You two look like you've had far too much fun for one night…"
Flopped into the sofa corner, Ed's head had fallen back into the puffed cushions, a complacent look resting on his face, and his partially open eyes gazing off… somewhere. Winry had again curled up under the right arm he'd wrapped around her. Her legs tucked up underneath herself, Winry rested her head at his shoulder, her lips intent on leaving their mark at the base of his neck. Sitting down at the edge of the table, Hermann slid the straps of Winry's dress back onto her shoulders, re-lacing the string tie at her chest as she continued on without concern.
"Good grief," brushing the fallen hair off Winry's shoulder, his attention carried up to Edward. Standing, Hermann folded his arms and gave an accusing look at him, "Edward, are you still here?"
Whatever response Ed gave came in English and was far too indecipherable even for Winry's ear. Hermann could only shake his head, "You need to go home, you can't pass out here."
"No, here's fine…" came the mutter from an exhausted yet quite content looking expression carried on the Elric, "just like this…"
"No, stay…" Winry's voice whined in as little German as she could muster.
"No," taking the girl at her waist, Hermann pulled her away from her enjoyment; voice whining in protest, "you don't want to stay with him now, look at him," the back of his hand slapped off Ed's face without protest, "he's dead, you killed him."
Sitting up in the couch, taking a moment to straighten her dress, Winry watched through narrow eyes as Tilly returned. Without missing a step the woman swept over to Winry, picking up her underwear from the floor and placing it in her hands.
"Not a good thing to leave on the floor, dear."
"Winry you shouldn't leave your things on the floor," the married duo could only giggle as they listened to Edward murmur on in half English, half slur; his arm falling limp at his side as Herman did the top button on the young man's shirt, "you leave your AutoMail stuff everywhere and itsamess andpeopleTRIPover them and they fall and break when you step on it…"
Hermann decidedly kept his attention on Edward's ramblings, focusing away from Winry; trying not to laugh as Tilly aided the moreover incapacitated young lady back into the discarded bit of clothing.
"It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, Hermann," Tilly's voice tingled with delight.
"What on earth for?"
"It's like I'm a big sister," Tilly began picking pins out of Winry's hair, letting the long locks of curls fall over her shoulders; it was far better than letting her wander out with her hair in shambles upon her head, "poor Winry dear, you're so lost… I hope you had fun."
"God help us if we have any daughters…"
Hermann found himself with a pillow in the side of his face as he tried to haul Edward to his feet.
Smoothing Winry's lengths of hair over her wobbling body, Tilly linked elbows with her and glanced over to her husband, "They live close, I think the walk will do her some good."
"I don't think Edward's walking…" Hermann wrapped Edward's arm around his neck, trying his best to get him to show some sense of balance.
"Aw, poor Hermann…" the woman's voice mused as she led a muttering Winry out of their alcove, "guess you carry him."
"I feel funny…" Winry's swaying body bumped into Tilly's shoulder as she found herself being pulled through the people still within the lounge.
Wrapping an arm around Winry's side as she helped guide her outside into the cool evening air, Tilly offered some partially understood words of advice, "Don't say anything when you get home, just go to bed. I don't want Professor Hohenheim upset over anything you did, okay? Don't talk about how much you drank, who you danced with, who you did anything with. I don't want to make him cross with us, okay?"
It took several strides down the sidewalk, and Tilly's screaming voice hollering back to her 'slow' husband before Winry had put enough of her German words through her mind to even attempt to figure out what had been said.