A Nice, Honest Girl

By Yellow Mask

Spoilers: Heavy spoilers for chapter 56 of the manga.

Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist

"A nice, honest girl…"

Ed could still remember Wrath's words, the ring of finality in them like a funeral bell. Those same words echoed in his head while he shifted his feet in a cramped phone booth, listening to the tinny ringing and – for the first time in many, many years – praying.

'Please pick up, please pick up. Please be all right, please don't be hurt…'

Garfiel had picked up, and then, when he heard Winry's voice drift through the piece of metal next to his ear, he'd literally sagged with relief. She was all right.

"A nice, honest girl…"

The same words Wrath had spoken when Ed went to the police station for Winry after the fight with Scar. Ed had wondered why the Fuhrer had wanted to talk with Winry, a little concerned about what he might have said to her. When Wrath left, without even turning around, he had spoken those same words…

"A nice, honest girl…"

Had he been planning it for that long? Had he known how close they were to the truth, and gone fishing for something that could be used against them? Ed could imagine him in that room, listening to Winry as she chatted happily about their childhoods in Risembool, and realising that the one thing he could threaten them with was sitting across the table from him.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Ed remembered a slight hint of triumph in Wrath's voice. He had dismissed it then, but now knew where it had stemmed from. From the satisfaction that he knew their weak spot, that he could use the mechanic in the interrogation room as leverage, should the need ever arise.

"A nice, honest girl…"

And when the need arose, he had. He had thrown down the proverbial 'trump card' and left Ed with nothing. Leaving him with no choice, when he thought he'd finally made the right decision.

"A nice, honest girl…"

He hadn't even really threatened her. There was really nothing in his statements to cause concern, except…except the way he had said it.

"A nice, honest girl…"

The simple, confident speculation that he would take his watch back of his own free will. He had almost laughed, and then Wrath had suddenly thrown Winry into the conversation. The innocuous details about her life, combined with the steely glint to his eyes, had turned Ed's blood to ice in his veins.

"A nice, honest girl…"

He knew he should have remained impassive, shouldn't have reacted to the implied threat, shouldn't have let the homunculus know how deeply his barb struck home. But he hadn't been able to control his reaction. Hadn't been able to control the primal mix of consuming fury and utter terror that swamped his body at the thought of Winry coming to harm.

"A nice, honest girl…"

His reaction had been immediate and violent, he knew. And by doing that, he'd shown Wrath just how accurate his stab had been. And just how much Winry mattered to him.

"A nice, honest girl…"

With those few words, Wrath had crushed any hope of open resistance against him. Crushed any idea of honest warfare.

"A nice, honest girl…"

With those few words, Ed had seen the one honest and righteous choice he had made in years trampled on. Those words and the grim promise behind them had ripped the foundation from beneath his feet. And chilled him to his very soul.

"A nice, honest girl…"

And now…things were going to be much more difficult. Much more difficult to fight against the homunculus now that they knew how to hurt him.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Now that they knew where to strike to do the most damage.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Now that they knew who to strike.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Now that they knew he loved Winry.

"A nice, honest girl…"

With those few words, Wrath had shown him he knew everything. With those few words, Wrath had told him they had the means to make Winry suffer. And with those few words, Wrath had told that they owned him.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Because Wrath had Winry, and Ed had to obey him.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Because he would do anything to keep her safe.

"A nice, honest girl…"

Anything.

"A nice, honest girl…"

End