Disclaimer: I do not own Full Metal Alchemist.
A/N: I rewrote this chapter (I do that a lot). It's funny how different this story becomes. Have you noticed the change in dialogue since the first chapter?
School is going to start soon and I'm both sad and excited. At least I'll be doing more with my day. But seriously, back to school signs are everywhere and it's quite depressing. The best part of it all, though is…shopping! - I'm such a girl!
"He's not going to show up, is he?" I asked.
So Rose and I are at the new crappy stadium (what a bad oxymoron) ordering our third coffee. Ok, fine, my third and her first. We had to be here ridiculously early, six A.M to be exact. Plus I didn't get any sleep due to the chance Edward may not show up. I've been fretting all morning and I can't seem to stop moving. Edward isn't even here yet.
"I'll kick his ass if he doesn't come, don't worry. Besides, he wouldn't leave you with Roy or Jin. He hates them both and plus, he hates losing."
I nod even though I'm not convinced. I still think he's given up on me. I don't blame him. I mean, what if I saw him kissing another girl? Even worse, any of the princesses? How would I react?
I take too big of a sip and burn my tongue. I sigh. "Rose, I really hope you're right."
Behind me I hear loud footsteps. They sound like metal. I turn and see Al walking by himself. If Al's here, does it mean Ed's here? I run over to him to find out.
"Hey Al!" I wave at him. I see him stare at me with the same expression he always has. It's not his fault he can't show any emotion in his face. I wonder what he looked like when he was younger. I tried to imagine a younger version of Edward and giggled.
"Hi Winry!" Al exclaimed. Does he know what happened between me and Edward? You'd think Ed would tell his own brother.
"Is Ed here?" The moment I've been waiting for.
"Yeah, he's right behind you." I furrow my eyebrows at Al. He points and I turn around. Edward was walking towards us in his usual red jacket and long braid. Something was different about him, though. His face was scrunched up, his fists were balled up, and he looked very angry. This wasn't my Edward.
"Um…Ed?" I wasn't sure what to say because of the shock. I swear he looks a few years older right now. Is this because of me? I feel like shrinking so know one can see me.
"What?" he says in a monotonous voice. Did the air just get tenser? Al shifted uncomfortably next to me.
"I'm, um…I'm really glad you came."
"Before you get any ideas, I didn't come for you. The only reason why I'm still doing this is because I can't let Jin win. That bastard will get what he deserves. I don't think you know how long I've been waiting to fight him." I shivered. He gave a dirty smirk that was filled with…hunger. "And when I win, you can do whatever you want. Go marry a rich guy for all I care, though you already have all the money you need. Maybe he'll put up with your crap just like I did." He bumped my shoulder and walked away.
I caught up to him, grabbed his shoulder, and turned him my way. "You act like you haven't made any mistakes. Remember the deal you made with Jin? Sorry, but I don't seem to recall you telling me about it. I had to find out through Jin. You didn't even consider my feelings! And I know what I did was horrible Ed, but everyone makes mistakes."
Edward's eyes looked intently at me as he scrutinized my words. He threw my hand from his shoulder and said, "Don't touch me! What I did is nothing compared to what you did. Do you realize how much I hate Roy? If it were any other person, I'd be fine, but Roy? Come on, Winry! You kissed him right in front of me. I bet you wouldn't even have told me, would you?" I looked down at my feet. "Exactly. So don't give me 'you didn't even consider my feelings.'"
I rolled my eyes. "It was just one kiss! I'll admit I had fun with him, but my goodness! You're flipping out over a simple little thing! Stop being so melodramatic and get over yourself!"
"Sorry Winry, but I can't just let that go. You're a liar if you say you didn't have any feelings for Roy when you kissed him. I spied on you the whole date, so you can't put anything past me."
I fumed, "Haven't you ever heard of the saying curiosity kills the cat?"
"But at least I know the truth!"
"And what may that be?" I asked wryly.
"That you can be a bit disloyal. You don't think things through very well and you get caught up in moments too quickly. How am I supposed to know that you won't do it again?"
"I would never cheat on you!"
"Imagine me going on a "friendly" date with Rose and kissing her at the end. How would you feel if I kissed Rose in front of you?"
I crossed my arms, "I wouldn't care." I also crossed my fingers.
"Oh really?" Ed pushed past me and started walking towards Rose.
"What do you think you're doing?" I asked frantically.
Edward swooped Rose into his arms and cupped her face with his hands. He smirked at me when I dropped my jaw. He then pushed Rose's bangs back and kissed her. I'm not talking about a peck either. He was full on making out with her. Rose stood shocked, not really knowing what to do. I ran to the two and shoved Ed off her.
"How dare you!" I yelled. Rose had her eyes wide-opened, as if she was petrified.
"It hurts, doesn't it?" Ed said. "Well, now you know how it feels."
He stalked off and I didn't stop him. I was so angry at him…how he took advantage of Rose just to prove a point. But he was right. Want to know how I really was feeling when Edward kissed Rose?
All the air in my lungs left me and the three cups of coffee I drank this morning were coming up to my throat. I actually felt like crying, even though I knew it wasn't a real kiss. He slapped me into reality, making me realize how big of a mistake it was to kiss Roy. It was a big deal and I… didn't think it would get this bad.
I'm such a bitch. A hard, cold bitch who doesn't care for others feelings. I even changed Ed. He no longer has his kid face and golden eyes. I remember making eye contact with him through our argument. His eyes didn't glow like they always do. They were a dark brown with hints of golden swirls. The way he spoke scared me. I was actually scared of him.
Ed and I are very alike. We are both stubborn and neither of us is going to give the other the benefit of the doubt. And we're both assholes.
Rose edged toward me cautiously. "Winry, I'm so sorry. I swear…"
"I know you didn't mean it." I drew in a deep breath and sighed.
"Ed and I are through," I said sourly.
Rose and I are sitting in the front row. Somehow I managed to pull myself together. I went into the bathroom and washed my face thoroughly. I remember looking in the mirror thinking at about lightning speed. Do I really get caught up in moments a lot? Was my kiss with Roy really that big of a deal? Can't Ed just move on? I'm past his kiss with Rose.
"Ladies and gentlemen, today is the day we've been waiting for! We're almost to the finals after a long and hard tournament for our fighters. Welcome to the semi-finals!" The crowd goes wild. It's amazing how big the tournament became after it started. "First up are Jin and Neil." The two came to the center of the arena. A group of girls had "I Heart Jin" t-shirts on and soon I recognized them. They were Princess Molly, Amy, and Umi. I stared at them in disgust.
"Let the fight begin!" And the two charged each other.
Their punches were harsh and fierce. Soon blood was dripping from their faces. They were smiling too. Boys will be boys.
Neil grabbed something from his back pocket and threw it at Jin. The object hit Jin in his left arm and I realized it was a knife. The crowd gasped. Jin pulled it out and threw it to the floor, the metal sinking through the touch concrete. I dropped my jaw, astounded by Jin's strength. Neil also looked at him in shock. I could see Jin grow angry. He pulled a sword from his sheath and pointed the sharp blade at Neil.
Why didn't I see the sheath there before? And when did Jin use a sword? Neil drew out a sword as well and clashed it with Jin's. I'm stunned. Jin handles his sword well. He blocked all Neil's thrusts with ease. That's when I realized Jin was just putting on a show for the crowd. He can defeat Neil easily right now. But he had to show off.
Stupid, conceited idiot.
Jin blocked Neil once more and flung his sword toward his leg. Blood splattered and Neil cried out in pain. He kneeled to the floor wincing and breathing hard. I gritted my teeth when Jin picked up Neil by the hair and raised him up to show him to the crowd. Everyone cheered him on. If you haven't noticed already, he's a total pig. Jin threw a punch right in Neil's face and he flew to the wall right in front of me. Jin saw me staring at him and he licked his lips. I glared at him until the final tenth count was finished and Jin was announced the winner. It is funny how easily Jin made it to the finals. Can Ed really beat him?
I turned to the Champion's Seats and saw Ed smirking and actually applauding for Jin. What is wrong with him? When I face forward, Jin is standing right in front of me.
"You impressed?" Jin asked.
I scoffed, "Oh please. Don't flatter yourself."
Jin smiled. "You're actually flattering me. I saw you staring. Don't lie. There'll be much more coming to you. Especially when I kick Ed's ass in the finals."
"I believe it's the other way around."
"I can see the fear in your eyes, Winry. You don't think Edward's going to win, do you? Don't worry. You'll have me to take care of you forever." He knows he hit me hard with that last statement. I spit in his face. It landed on the corner of his lip. Instead of him getting upset and whiney like I expected, he licked the spit and swallowed. Gross.
He walked out of the arena and the announcer came back on stage. "Wow, what a fight! Jin, once again, won! If I were you folks, I'd place my bets on him!" The crowd erupted in laughter. I looked at Rose and saw she had the same expression as me. How was that funny?
"The next fight is between Edward and Roy and trust me; you don't want to miss it. It will start in a half an hour so let's be quick getting refreshments." Many stood up to head to the food area. I stayed put and kept on watching Edward.
He was stretching (with his shirt off) and looking amazing. It wasn't fair! Am I ever going to forgive myself? I raised my eyebrow when I saw Jin go to Ed and start talking. Ed didn't look at Jin once, but he didn't mind to be talking to him. It was getting extremely annoying. He looks so nonchalant in the conversation I want to strangle him. What are they talking about?
My anger rose up again. Doesn't Edward realize that the kiss meant nothing? I don't even like Roy that way. I'm staring at him right now and I don't even get butterflies or blush.He may be hot, but what does Ed take me for? I would never stoop so low to drop him for Roy. Like Ed said, I was just caught up in the moment. Shouldn't he understand?
"I didn't know Jin uses a sword," Rose said after a long silence.
"Me neither." Rose got up to grab us sodas. I slunk in my seat and kept staring at Ed. It was just so hard to imagine that he'll never hug me like he used to or worse…he'll never kiss me again. He looked up at me. I was surprised to see his face soften, but from here I can see his eyes are still an ugly, murky brown. I looked down, not knowing how much longer I can take this.
Roy and Ed stepped onto the platform and waved to the crowd. Both also had fan girls. I'd have to deal with Edward's group later. Ed blew a kiss to the girls and they swooned. I choked up my drink. Is Ed trying to piss me off?
I saw Ed look at me and mouth, "How does it feel?"
Are you kidding?! I considered asking the referee to trade spots with Roy so I can show Ed what pain really feels like. Rose put her hand on my shoulder so I would settle down. I released my grip from my leg. I didn't even realize I was doing that.
Roy snapped his fingers and a spiral of fire blew in Edward's direction. Ed jumped out of the way and slapped his hands to the floor. The arena floor erupted and threw Roy up into the air. Roy did a back flip in the air and landed hard on the floor. The crowd clapped and whistled.
Roy once again snapped his finger and more fire rushed Ed. Ed did a good job of dodging the inferno, but how long can he keep doing that? Ed dodged to the left, falling to the floor, wincing at his blazing jacket. He threw it off along with his undershirt. He was going to fight shirtless. Even though he looked incredibly hot right now, it was a disadvantage. Now he doesn't have much protection from the fire.
Roy smiled and instead of snapping his fingers again, he rushed Ed and threw a couple a punches at him. Ed used his metal arm to block his hits and with his other arm, he hit Roy in the chest. Roy stumbled back, but regained composure fairly quickly. The two huffed for a few seconds before going at it again.
Ed rolled to the side and slapped his hands to the floor, creating a wall around Roy. I couldn't see inside it since the wall was too high, but I heard the crowd gasp and then sigh in relief. The announcer said, "Wow! Ed could have killed him. Spikes surrounded Roy and then shot at such a great speed. Luckily Roy ducked in time before one of those nasty things pierced him. Sorry for those on the bottom who missed the action!"
I dropped my jaw. Was Edward insane? Was he trying to get disqualified? He has to fight Jin before he does something stupid and irrational like killing Roy. If he pulls that off, I'll never let him forget it.
Roy put the wall into flames and suddenly they were twirling like a scorching tornado. How he's doing this? I have no answers. The twister flies to Ed and I squeal. Ed falls to the ground in pain. I put my hand over my lips and scream even louder when Roy pulls out a gun and shoots it at him. Were guns even allowed at the tournament? I guess you can ask the same thing about the swords.
He misses the first time, but Roy's second blow hits Ed in his automail. Ed gets a really worried look on his face as Roy gets closer. Is this it? Am I really going to get stuck with Roy or Jin? I watch in such anxiety that I'm on my feet.
Roy smiles and raises his hand up, "Any last words, Fullmetal?"
Edward only smirks. "Go ahead. Kill me."
I kick my soda can as hard as I can to the wall and growl in frustration. How could Ed say that? Is he kidding? Please tell me he's kidding! I drove him so far to the edge he actually asks for Roy to kill him? This better not be about me or I'll…I'll…oh I'll make him pay! And Roy! If he kills Edward, I'll come after him. And I'm keeping my word on that.
"Nothing to live for?" Roy smirked. Ed shook his head.
"I've got plenty to live for. Just seeing if you have the guts to kill me."
I threw my hands in the air and slumped back into my chair. They're both insane.
Roy scowled, "Fine." And right as he's about to snap his fingers (I'm shielding my eyes), the sky thunders. Everyone in the stadium look up at the dark clouds that must have formed during the fight. Soon drops came down on everyone. I started laughing. The irony in this was killer. Now Roy couldn't use his fire or it would be put out (A/N: I thought this part in the show was really funny).
"Ha! What now Roy? Going to use your gun on me?" At that moment Roy did exactly that; he pulled out his gun. Ed is such an idiot to give him that idea. Roy put his finger on the trigger. Then something I really didn't expect happened: Ed put both his hands on the gun and it combusted into pieces. I gawked in amazement. There are just surprises within everyone.
"Why you!" Then Roy tackled Ed and the two started wrestling like five year olds. The sight seemed to humor the rest of the crowd, and many young boys were cheering them on. I, on the other hand, was more embarrassed than anything else. First the two were so close to killing the other, now they roll around on the floor like animals?
"Get off of me!" Ed yells while shoving Roy away. The two heave in and out.
Ed yells, "Why did you kiss her?" I shrink lower in my sink. This can't be good.
"Maybe because I like her."
"But that's not good enough. You knew I loved her, and you did that right in front of me. You knew I was there." I grimaced. He used the word love in past tense. Then I realized something else. Roy didn't kiss me because he liked me...he kissed me to make Ed jealous. I was fooled.
"That bastard," I whispered.
Ed continued, "And I know you don't like her that way. Especially if she found out about…forget it. I know you still love Riza. She still can be out there…"
"Shut up!" Roy yelled. "You don't know anything! Don't every mention her again, got it?" What was he talking about? Does this have something to do about his shady past? The one Neil was telling me about (though he refused to go into detail about it)? "And actually, I really do like her Ed! But I did like the look on your face when we kissed. Winry is…delicious." That was such a Jin thing to say that I felt like puking.
"You don't deserve her."
Roy grunted, "Why don't we just ask her ourselves?" The two walked over to the edge of the ring, side by side. I blushed. What were they doing?
Roy asked, "Winry, who do you choose? Edward or me?"
"Ed," I answered without a second thought. I blushed, realizing how quickly I answered the question. I wasn't kidding when I said I would never stoop low enough to leave Edward for Roy. Ed looked at me in shock.
Roy smiled, "Very well then. I'll let Ed move on to the finals, though we'll see if he is strong enough to beat Jin."
"Of course I'm strong enough!"
"Then you'll have to prove yourself, Fullmetal," Roy turned to walk to the referee.
"Wait! We have to finish our fight!"
Roy knelt down in surrender. "You've already won," Roy said while looking at me. I blushed and looked down. The referee threw his hands up in the air, signaling Roy's forfeit.
"It seems that Roy is surrendering after his encounter with Winry. Poor guy, seems Winry has already chosen who she wants to win. Ladies and gentlemen, Edward Elric is the winner! Jin and Edward will be fighting in the finals next week and trust me, you don't want to miss it."
Ed was already half way across the stadium. I jumped the wall and ran to Edward. I wanted a word with him. I stood in front of Ed, looking straight into his eyes. I sighed with relief when I saw they were back to their beautiful color.
He tried to push past me, but I threw my hands on his chest to make sure he stayed where he was. He looked taken aback. I exhaled, "Edward…I just wanted to say congratulations and…I'm really sorry. I really do choose you and only you. You mean more to me than anything else in the world. I know I can't take the kiss back, but I would if I could, if it means anything."
I paused, looking into his eyes. Nothing. "I'm pretty screwed up. I already messed with your head once. I didn't even believe that you had the chance to win. I'm horrible! You don't have to forgive me Ed, but I just want you to know I am genuinely sorry."
I waited for him to say something, but he stayed silent. I continued, "I know our relationship has its rough edges, though I don't know if you'd say we have a relationship anymore. Nonetheless, I would like to fix your arm. Come to the shop tomorrow, please."
We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. He then sighed and rubbed the back of his head. "Ah, Winry. You're right, you really do mess with my head. I just don't know if I can take it anymore. You never seem to have enough faith in what we have…I can't deal with that. I mean, I can't believe you fell for what your dad said; that I was going to lose and this was all just going to be a silly memory." I flinched, realizing Jin said the same thing to me. And I also believed Jin. Guilty as charged. "Then you go and kiss Roy...I know it didn't mean anything, but..." He trailed off. I swallowed.
"I'll come tomorrow because I do need some repairs. We need to talk things through and um, I don't think this is an appropriate place." I looked around and saw that everyone was staring at us. I blushed a bright red crimson. Ed turned to go, but I yelled, "Wait!"
He turned back and waited. I bit my nail. "I just want to know…where do we stand now?"
He shrugged, "I don't know."
I sighed. I hope I get more answers tomorrow. But tonight, I have to sleep with a guilty cloud over my head. I walk back to Rose, nearly at tears. I finally know one of my biggest flaws:
I'm completely gullible.
I believe everything people say and succumb to words so easily. Why can't I find my own opinion and stand on my own two feet? I know I have a good head on my shoulders, but what good will it be if I believe everything people tell me? My father convinced me Ed would lose and I should leave the relationship before it got ugly. Jin persuaded me that he was going to win and Ed would just be a memory. Roy even seduced me into his arms.
I can't believe I put Ed through so much.
I wiped a few tears away and tried to find some dignity. From now on, I was going to stand by myself. I wasn't even going to let Edward or Rose get to me. My opinion is the only one that matters and I'm not going to be a pushover any more. I won't let my own problems affect Edward like they used to. He doesn't deserve it. And to be honest, I don't think he deserves me.
But I think we both deserve some explanations. Tomorrow we'll finally sum up everything, and wherever we leave off, whether on good terms or bad, I'll be strong. I've learned a lot about myself throughout this tournament, and I want to leave this journey with my head held high. Even if Ed and I don't work things out, at least he's taught me a few things about myself. I'm going to fix my mistakes and actually learn from them this time.
It's the least I can do for Edward.
A/N: This chapter was so fun to write. I had a lot of dialogue between Ed and Winry (sorry about Ed not being in the last chapter, hehe), plus I got to write two fight scenes. This chapter was pretty exciting and quite long. No fluff, though XD. The story is coming to an end soon, only about three or four chapters left (and I'm serious this time). Thanks for reading everyone, it's been two years since I've started this (wow…how can I let myself not update sooner?) and I'm still gaining support. You all rock!