Chapter One: Automailist
A/N: Here it is. My longest ever fanfic. My editor would KILL ME if she knew about it, when I'm 10,000 words beyond schedule on my second novel already. I really should be concentrating on that, but soooooooooooo many people asked me to do a second chapter on 'Mechanical' that I decided to turn it into a full-length Ed/Winry fanfic that bypassed the end of the series. Rated T for language, implied 'naughtiness' and a bit of mild violence.
Hinted also (possibly full-gone) Mustang/Hawkeye. My two favourite couples, and a host of my other favourites. Taking requests for any others. Message me.
Things were not exactly brilliant for Edward Elric at the moment. However, things were not exactly brilliant for the world or the military either. There was the whole thing where it looked like there was going to be another war in Ishbar, courtesy of Scar and the plans of an estranged homunculus, despite the fact that they had both been killed in the crossfire several weeks ago. Their deaths did nothing for the rioters in Ishbal, and they certainly didn't dent the plans of the remaining homunculi- whatever they were.
On top of this, Ed found himself lying in hospital, his automail once more crushed and damaged. Winry had come to fix it. He was well aware this was probably the last time he'd ever need it fixed, possibly the last time he'd ever see her, but he was trying not to let it bother him. He knew he only had about a fortnight left in Central before he was either sent to the front lines or caught and/or killed by the homunculi. However, despite both these grim prospects, there was only one thing that was truly bothering him.
Having automail fixed had become increasingly difficult for Ed. Not because it was harder to make or use, (there was no doubt in his mind that Winry made the best automail possible) but it was hard because of who was fixing it.
Who, her gender, and what she was wearing.
It had been easier when they were younger. It was simple. A screw here, and bolt there- several times during maintenance Winry would brush passed his flesh with hers, but it never really mattered. Now, all of a sudden, it did.
When Ed had first regained consciousness after the operation to attach his automail, Winry came in and asked him to stand up. He did. He walked around a bit, and she watched him carefully, trying to judge if her measurements were perfect. They were, and Ed was fine.
She flew at him and hugged him tightly. Ed was surprised, it caught him off guard, so he did nothing back. All the same, it meant a lot to him. Winry didn't care about his stupidity and his missing limbs, she was just glad he was all right. He realised later she was probably just pleased with her invention.
Then she asked him to sit down and hold out his hands. He did so. She asked him to squeeze hers gently, and very slowly at first, he did. Winry laughed and said that she could feel a butterfly more than him, so he squeezed tighter- and she screamed.
She tried to make out that he had a piece of loose metal sticking out of his hand and that was all, but the next day her fingers were so black and blue and sore she was forced to bandage them. She said she'd caught her hand in a door, but Ed knew better.
He'd hurt her. His stupid fake arm had hurt her.
So, from that day, he never touched her. If a simple squeeze could nearly brake her hand, what would a hug do? He'd never forgive himself if he hurt Winry. He had nightmares of accidentally braking her, of affection turning to murder. He must never touch her, never reach out to grab her, for fear of losing her completely. Worst still, she just carried on smiling at him, and although he never touched her, she was always touching him.
Every time he went to have his automail fixed, he'd be sitting on a chair while Winry worked around him. She'd slip in-between his thighs, resting a palm on his real leg while working on his other. Sometimes, rather than take off his arm completely, she'd sit on his lap and press her body against his chest in order to reach his shoulder.
Every time she moved, her hair brushed passed his bare flesh, her skin pressed against his and made his heart leap into his throat. Every touch, every glance was torture. It was shoving something in his face that he desperately wanted to reach out and take- but couldn't.
He found himself in hospital again, dressed in nothing but his boxers, waiting for Winry to come in and finish her work. This time, he'd manage to mess up both his leg and his arm, and was lying propped-up on clean hospital bed.
Winry had done her traditional form of greeting with him, and he was now nursing a large bruise on his head, the result of her good friend, Mr Wrench. He was still rubbing his head when Winry came back.
"Hey, Ed," she said casually, setting down her toolbox. "Say, what happened to your head?"
"Er, YOU!" He spat, "You and your wrench happened to my head!"
Winry giggled and looked down at her feet.
"Uh, WHAT THE HELL IS SO FUNNY?"
"Never mind," she laughed. "Just you."
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN ME?"
Winry took out three screwdrivers and sat on the end of his bed.
"I only hit you because I care about you," she said in a very strict, motherly fashion.
"What, you wanna cause me brain damage?"
"I wanna knock some sense into your thick skull! Now, hush! You're disturbing my concentration."
Edward grumbled something beneath his breath that Winry ignored, but did pull his leg onto her lap a little more roughly than usual. The next few minutes passed in silence. After a while, Winry began to hum under her breath as she worked repairing the wires.
Ed tapped his fingers on his side table irritably.
"CUT THAT OUT!" He hissed suddenly.
Winry glared at him. He turned away, hiding his anger under his hair. Slowly, her gaze began to soften.
"What's up, Ed?" she asked.
"I'm PISSED, that's what! Get used to it."
"I have Ed," she moaned, "That's part of the problem. Usually you're so talkative when you're angry. What's wrong? Why can't you speak to me anymore?"
"Er…er…" Ed stuttered. Her hand was resting on the flesh of his leg, where skin met metal. She didn't even realise.
"Why's your face going such a funny colour?" she frowned.Ed bit his lip. "Your hand is on my thigh." He whispered. "Huh?" "YOUR HAND IS ON MY THIGH!" Winry looked down, laughed and removed it. "Is that all?" She giggled, "Sorry! I didn't even notice." "Cuh, figures." He mumbled. "What are you doing!" Winry was moving further in-between his legs, slotting herself under his left thigh and pulling it into position. "Your connection is loose," she said innocently, "I need to tighten it." "Oh, OK." "You alright Ed? Maybe I hit you too hard this time. Do you want me to kiss it better?" "Huh? WHAT?" Her hand was tightening around his leg. "Your head, Ed. I was talking about your head. Honestly, what did you think I meant?" "Er, never mind!" Winry shook her head fondly and got on with her work, her hands always sub-consciously stroking passed his skin. Each touch caused him panic momentarily. "Relax Ed, seesh!" She rolled her eyes, "There's no need to be so tense!" Tense? Who's tense? I've got a barely dressed girl feeling me all over my body and sitting next to my crotch! And I'm not even allowed to touch her! Tense does not explain the way I'm feeling right now! "There's definitely something on your mind," She observed. "Yeah," he agreed…and it's all to do with you. He had a sudden vision of Winry slinking up to him and pressing her full, warm body onto his. She reached up to his ear and whispered 'and I bet it's all to do with me…' before pulling him onto her lips. Edward shook himself and shivered. Seductive Winry… scary, but Winry now? Here, on his bed? All the time he'd felt these feelings, he'd never asked himself why he actually had them. Was it simply because Winry was a girl? Was it because he couldn't have her? Or was it something else? She glanced up, smiling. For some reason it just made him worse. His hands gripped the bedsheets. "You want to talk about it?" she asked. Ed shook his head fervently. "Nope!" He squeaked. "I'm fine!"
"Well, you look like you've swallowed a lemon. Turn over." "What?" "I need to reach the back of your leg. Turn over." "Why?" "Because it's easier to reach. Otherwise I'll have to unscrew it and fix it back on. Do you want that?" "No…" grumbled Ed, and moodily shifted around and lay flat out on the bed. This was easier, he decided, at least this way, he didn't have to look at her… just occasionally feel her fingers across his skin, her hair brush passed his thigh. Honestly, how could a mechanic have such soft hands? Winry was strong (her wrench hand proved it) but she didn't look it. How could she be so damn cute even when she was smeared in engine grease?
Oh no… He didn't. He did. He just admitted to himself he found Winry, in some small way, appealing.
"Jeez, you're a guy!" he shouted mentally, "You're allowed to like girls! It would be weird if you didn't!"
Yeah, but your best friend?
He wished she'd hurry up and finish. This was destroying him! But then, she'd have to leave again, possibly for the last time… and he'd probably do something stupid like say 'great. Now you can leave!' and then she'd get upset, and he'd feel guilty, and then Al would make him feel worse and give him a huge lecture about Winry's feelings and how if he liked her, he should just say it.
But, things were complicated, and until they got their real bodies back, things always would be. He supposed they didn't have to be so complicated, but in an odd way that made it easier. Easy to leave and forget, like burning down their home, so they had no where to go back to.
"Say… Win?" He started, "After you're done with repairs, you don't have to go straight away, you know. There's a really nice restaurant in Central… maybe Al and I could take you there for dinner."
Winry smiled weakly and snapped something shut. It sent a jolt all the way up his nerves.
"Al doesn't eat." She said simply.
"Well, I could still take you." He said, and then mentally hit himself. He, and Winry… alone. Eating out. It was like a date or something, not just a 'thank you, have a nice trip' meal he'd got planned.
He expected Winry to make a big deal out of it. Instead, she just said:
"Sure, just let me finish screwing you."
Ed tensed again. Winry laughed.
"I meant literally Ed! Honestly, don't be so serious all the time."
He felt her weight shift on the bed, her legs glide over his. She began etching forward over his body, and settled herself at the root of his back.
Sweet lord, what on Earth did she think she was doing?
He made a noise like a deflating balloon.
"Relax, Ed!" she chuckled, "The back of your arm's been damaged, I'm just going to repair it. Don't move."
He didn't want to think what this must look like to anyone who suddenly walked into the room. He was already imaging some of the comments that Mustang could shoot at him.
The girl's soft thighs were pressing into sides, her breasts kept embracing his back. Did she honestly not realise what she was doing?
"No," thought Ed, "it's because we're friends. She doesn't see it any other way."
Despite his racing pulse and beating heart, the maintenance was over fairly quickly. It was almost as if he'd enjoyed it. Whatever the case, he breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.
"There!" said Winry cheerfully, "That wasn't so hard, was it?"
It bloody well was!
"No, not really." He lied through gritted teeth, flexing his newly-repaired arm.
Winry jotted something down on a piece of paper and handed it to him. He stared at it.
"My hotel number," she chirped, "you can pick me up at eight!"
For some odd reason that he couldn't explain, Ed was tempted to fake another loose screw just so she'd come back. The tension had gone, but somehow, he still wasn't able to relax. He could still feel Winry all over him. And it was nice. Uncomfortably nice.
Dammit, it was just another distraction to add to his long, long list.
A/N: Yeah, it's way more serious than 'Mechanical' because it had to be. Boo me, whatever. I want to have an alternate end to the series in this fic, so there needs to be some actual plot to it, and more action that Winry's wrench. Damn, I can't write action... well, I'll to try.
I will update this soon!