Winry Rockbell hummed to hereslf as she made some last adjustments to a new automail arm. It had put her in mind of the Elric brothers - of Ed in particular - even though this was to be a woman's left arm, from the elbow down. It was nice to remember the two from before - and it always put a proud, sad smile on her lips to remember Ed's iron determination in the face of the painful automail surgery.

Working on the piece had done more than bring back memories. Winry was thoughtful as she put the finishing touches on the automail, making her more detached from her work than her usual absolute concentration. The limb she was working on was lighter, streamlined, and though it wasn't as structurally strong as Ed's automail, Winry could see ways to apply certain concepts to her masterpiece.

She frowned in thought as she sat back, grabbing a rag to wipe off her hands. The finished piece on the worktable before her was giving her ideas, and Winry could already see herself making this and that alteration to Ed's arm. It would have to wait, however, until he broke his automail yet again.

Sighing, Winry threw the rag back onto the worktable. That boy wasn't going to decide to visit just because she'd finally admitted to herself what she felt for her old friend and best customer. Though she could make an educated guess as to what his feelings were, something as trifling and selfish as that wasn't going to distract him from his quest.

Leaning forward again to begin cleaning up, Winry paused. She could have sworn she'd just spotted movement in the newly shined metal. Casually laying a hand on her trusty old wrench, she continued to putter around her workspace, keeping an eye on the metal limb before her. Nothing moved for a good five minutes, and Winry was beginning to doubt what she had seen before. She was tired, she wanted to close up the shop and take a shower, she was not helping herself by being paranoid.

Except that the movement came again. Winry wasn't a stupid girl - she knew that if this were an actual customer, they would have said something by now. Ed never did say how his automail kept getting destoryed, but Winry couldn't help but wonder how many enemies he'd made. Her grip on the wrench tightened.

Her wait wasn't long. She'd started to clean slower, not even watching what she was doing in favor of keeping an eye on the automail's reflection. It was because of this that she was prepared when the movement came a third time, suddenly moving forward and resolving itself into a figure.

Before Winry fully realized that she had spun in her seat to face the threat, her wrench flew true. Her trusty tool struck her assailant with a dull sound and the man dropped like a stone without so much as a sound. Surging to her feet in fierce triumph, Winry strode over to the prone figure.

The hand came over her mouth and nose without warning, a damp cloth pressing tightly against her face. Winry bucked frantically as another hand wound over her chest to grip her shoulder, but she could already feel herself becoming sluggish. Her desperate thrashing continued, but the grip on her was unrelenting and solid.

As consciousness fled Winry, a rush of despair and anger roared in her ears. She tried to scream something, anything, but the darkness overtook her vision, and her body sagged in her captor's grasp.

Only the unfeeling automail stood witness as Winry was taken.


AN: First of all, a thank you to Yellow Mask, who is the best beta ever (:

Next, welcome one and all to my first multi-chapter fanfiction since I was a Sue-writing, illiterate n00b lo all these many years. Hopefully, this will work out better - I actually have an outline for this one.

Please enjoy, and feel free to leave a review. Thanks.