A/N: Okay, so I fail. I haven't added on to this in, what? Two years? Geez, I thoroughly apologize. So yeah, I'm determined to finish this although the writing style is obviously inconsistent. ::sigh::

Disclaimer: See previous chapters. ;)

Tears of the Alchemist

Chapter X11 – Absolutely

Tick. Tock.

The clock sounded in the living room, sending a heart aching boom through Edward's head.

Tick. Tock.

Again and again it sounded. It seemed like the wait was never going to end. Edward cleared his throat to fill the deafening silence, but it was no use. Anxiety still filled the room.

Tick. Tock. Step.

Footsteps?! Edward looked up to see the doctor descending the stairs, Pinako trailing behind him, golden-bound book yet again in hand. Edward didn't focus on the book for long. He was too wrapped up in calculating the doctor's expression. Shock. He recognized shock, but what kind of shock? Was she already gone?

"No," Edward whispered aloud, assuming the worst. Dr. Morris's eyes were immediately on Edward.

"Edward, right?" he confirmed. Ed nodded, but was having trouble hearing. His heart was pounding so hard, he couldn't quite hear over it. "Edward, I've got some shocking news."

"Yeah-nu-fuh," Edward grumbled. He couldn't get ahold of himself. His best friend had just died. What was he supposed to say?

"She's going to be okay."

Ed froze. Had he just heard right? He locked eyes with Dr. Morris.

"Did—did you just say that's Winry's going to be okay?" he asked.

"Yes," Dr. Morris answered.

"She's going to live?" Ed pressed on.

"Yes."

"Yes?"

"Yes," the doctor confirmed.

"How?" Ed inquired.

"I. Have. Not. A. Clue," Dr. Morris said, making each word its own sentence. "Frankly, I've never seen anything like this. It's unexplainable, but conclusively, she's practically back to normal. With a bit more rest, she'll be 100-percent once again."

Suddenly, Edward couldn't contain himself. He rushed to the doctor, took his hand, and shook it rigorously in thanks.

"Thanks, doc! Thank you so much!" he repeated. Then Ed's lungs were being crushed in his chest. Without warning, Alphonse had locked Ed into his death grip of a bear hug out of pure joy.

"I'll let you boys celebrate while I let Dr. Morris out," Pinako said as Al lowered his brother to the ground. Without a word, Pinako handed the book to Ed as she passed. Suspiciously, Edward accepted it. When the adults had left the room, Ed studied it.

"What's with the book?" Al inquired.

"…I don't know," Ed answered. Reluctance was quite powerful. He really didn't want to re-read the words that had proven how much he had hurt Winry. Yes, the reluctance was strong, but the curiosity was stronger. He opened it, seeing much of the same stuff. Nothing new. He continued to turn the pages until he got to the part that had hit the hardest. The back cover.

'Do I love him?' it had read. Now? Well, there was an answer written in Winry's handwriting.

'Do I love him? Yes. Yes, I believe I do.' Edward smiled to himself, closing the book and setting it on the couch. 'I believe I may love you, too, Win.' he thought.

"I'm… gonna…" he began, looking toward his younger brother. Al had his finger pointed up toward Winry's bedroom. "Yeah, that," Ed finished. Not looking back, he bounded up the stairs and into Winry's bedroom.

"Edward!" she greeted him. She was beaming, and his arms were immediately around her. She giggled, while he just listened to the sound of her laughter. But as he pulled out of the embrace, he softly brushed his lips against her forehead.

"Ed?" Winry asked, a bit surprised.

"Uh," he stumbled. Winry was staring expectantly. "Meh," he said, shrugging it off. "I knew you'd snap out of it." He rustled her hair and laughed, causing her to laugh as well.

"So…" Winry began. "Does this mean you're going back to Central?" she asked.

"Nope."

"No?" she asked wide-eyed.

"I decided to stay for awhile," he said nonchalantly.

"You're staying with me?" she asked hopefully.

"That I am," Ed confirmed.

"Really?"

Ed laughed and nodded. "Really."

Winry grinned the most delighted, most enchanting, most beautiful smile Edward had ever seen.

"Uh, so…" he said, shaking himself from the trance and clearing his throat, as he was slightly embarrassed.

"How about a book?" she asked as she eyed the copy of 'The Pirate and the Princess.'

"Absolutely," he said. Edward reached for the book and began to read out loud. "The early morning mist rose from the salty green sea as the pirate gazed from his ship out to the horizon."

[FIN]

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A/N: Hey, guess what? COMPLETE! That's right! I know that some of you have been waiting forever for this, so tell me what you think! Much love!