The sun wasn't even fully up yet when Edward felt Winry shake him awake. He supposed she was in a better mood towards him since their talk the night before, and opened one eye to look up at her with a questioning mumble.
"Up," she replied. "We're coming into port."
She stepped out of the way as he rolled out of his hammock and stumped over to the small wash basin Winry had apparently filled with water when she'd woken up. With a quick glance over at her, he lifted the bowl and dumped the entire contents over his head. As expected, the water was cold and he was a little more awake now. Shaking the water out of his face, he grabbed the towel Winry held out to him and began to dry himself off.
She watched the spectacle with a raised eyebrow as he shook out his hair and scrubbed at it with the towel, then shrugged and headed above deck, calling down for him to do the same.
Edward tossed the towel onto a peg and grabbed his shirt from a peg near his hammock. He'd soaked it the night before, and it still smelled of vinegar, but he pulled it over his head anyway, leaving his vest for now and grabbing a thin leather thong Hughes had given him the day before when the string he used to tie his hair with broke. Hurriedly yanking his boots on, he hurried to catch up with Winry, emerging on the deck with the thong in his mouth, still gathering his damp hair.
She wasn't anywhere to be seen, but he spotted Mustang and Hughes near the bow, discussing plans. He finished tying his hair and jogged up to them. Hughes grinned, seeming to read the question on his face, before nodding up the main mast.
"Morning, Ed. Winry's above."
Edward nodded and turned to leave when Roy raised an eyebrow at him. "You smell like vinegar, Mr. Elric."
Edward nodded without turning back to face the man. "Soaked my shirt last night."
"Ah," Roy nodded. "Good man. Carry on."
Edward jogged over to the rigging and glanced up to see Winry standing on the crosstree of the foremast, looking out over the bowsprit to the harbor the Panthress was pulling into. He climbed up opposite the mast to her, but she wasn't paying any attention to him. She seemed to be looking off somewhere into the city, a small smile on her face.
He scowled and looked back over the city. Port Royal was where he was born and raised, but he held very few fond memories of the place. He envied Winry a little. Apparently she had no problem returning here, and seemed to have someplace in town to go. A home, perhaps. She did mention that her grandmother lived here, and he was pretty sure that she, and whether he wanted to or not, he as well, were going to be staying with the old bat.
His thoughts were interrupted when Winry spoke. "Roy and Hughes will be making arrangements for a shipwright for repairs. Dominic should still be around; he's the one who always repaired the Panthress when my grandmother was captain. You and I will be going to stay with my grandmother. Hughes and possibly Havoc will be joining us later. Everyone else will likely stay in the inn down the road."
Edward blinked. "Your grandmother has room for Hughes's family, Havoc, and us, but no one else?"
"Oh she has room," Winry assured him. "But I'm not sure everyone will want to stay there. I think Roy's still afraid of her, and Riza will go wherever he goes, and your brother where Riza goes. Fuery doesn't like staying at my grandmother's place very much and Breda and Falman usually go with Fuery, but occasionally tag along with Havoc and stay with us, so it's hard to tell where they'll be." She ticked off all the crew members on her fingers as she spoke, and Edward had to marvel at her balance when she let go of the rope she was holding to steady herself as she ran out of fingers on one hand and ticked off on the other. "Thing is, there are already a lot of people living there as it is, so yes, room can get a little cramped at times. Meals are usually all at our place though. Roy finds it hard to argue when his mouth is full of food."
Edward was a little disappointed at the prospect of being separated from Alphonse in their lodging arrangements, but the prospect of seeing him for meals every day didn't make it too bad. "So who all is living with your grandmother?"
He didn't miss the smirk that flashed across her face for a split second before she replied. "Mostly a few members of the old crew who swallowed the anchor when Granny did. They've always followed her anywhere, even into retirement. Hughes's wife and daughter live with us too."
Edward nodded. "Sounds… interesting."
After the Panthress was docked and Winry had discussed with Mustang which shipwright to talk to (mostly scolding the older man), she hefted her small bag over her shoulder and motioned for Edward to follow. Having nothing more than the clothes on his back, he simply slung on his vest and followed her, looking around at the city as she led him. From what he could tell, not much had changed, and yet at the same time, a lot had changed. It was odd, returning to a hometown he hadn't seen in many years. Admittedly, he had hoped to keep it that way, but here he was. When Winry passed through his old neighborhood however, he was unable to mask his surprise. She stopped when she couldn't hear his footsteps behind her anymore and walked back to him, wondering what was wrong.
"They haven't rebuilt on it…" he murmured quietly. She followed his gaze to an empty lot between two houses that looked like it once held a house itself, but the only evidence of that was a little stone rectangle of a foundation. All the rest of the house had been burned to the ground.
"Should they have?" She asked.
He started, apparently not aware he'd spoken out loud, before simply replying. "I lived here. I never had any intention of coming back, so if they were going to rebuild it for me, it would have been a waste of their time. I think they knew that." With that, he turned away from the property and left, saying no more on the subject. Winry looked after him curiously, but respected his silence and kept her mouth shut.
Vinegar – Disease spread quickly on a small ship, so there were many measures taken to prevent it in the first place. Decks were often scrubbed with vinegar to kill germs, and sometimes sailors even soaked their clothes in it, hence why Ed soaked his shirt in vinegar the night before.