A/N: Wow. I'm really really impressed, guys. As usual, I update when I get enough reviews, but this time it only took you all like, two days to get the amount that satisfied me. O.o So, like I promised, here's the final chappie. Again, there may be an epilogue, but I haven't written it yet, so it's debatable.
Winry shivered, bracing herself against the wall, trying to find a little heat. Her jacket had been taken from her early on, leaving her in a tang top and a skirt. Normally, that would have been fine for the night, but the weather had taken a turn for the worst. It was now, quite literally, pouring on her. And the water, with nowhere to go, had been soaked up into the dirt, making a very sloppy mud. Winry had tried to stand to get away from it, but had found that standing only made it worse, as she slipped and fell into the muck.
Instead, she was kneeling against the wall, trying to get away from the torrents of rain that pummeled her skin mercilessly. This had been going on for about an hour now, and Winry could tell she was going to get sick from it. She didn't even hear someone knocking on the metal door, and then fiddling with the lock. She did, however, notice when someone opened the door slowly, and dim light flooded into the cell.
"What do you want?" she growled as she saw the guard's uniform, "Here to make sure I'm suffering?"
A chuckle, and she blinked as she recognized it, "Good to see you still have a fighting spirit, Winry."
"Edward!" she stood up immediately and took a few steps forward, running to her best friend. Halfway there, though, she tripped and began to fall. Strong arms caught her, however, and she was hauled upward. Ed hugged her close to him, and she relished in the warmth of his body. He tightened his hold on her, grinning in the crooked way that he did.
"Thank god you're still alive," he murmured into her hair. Winry nodded as she continued to bury her head in his shirt.
"I wouldn't die. Not without saying goodbye first," she joked. Edward squeezed her again and then pulled away.
"We'll talk later. Come on, I have to get you out of here," he poked his head out of the cell and looked around, "There're a few guards along the way to the main entrance, but if we escape through the hole in the fence that we got through last night, then we should be okay."
"Let's go to the fence then," Winry breathed, clutching his automail arm. Edward nodded shortly and gently pried her off.
"Pretend that you're miserable, and don't show any recognition that you know me, just in case someone stops us. Let me do the talking," his voice sounded tight.
Winry nodded and let go of his arm, and he promptly grabbed her upper arm to steer her towards the gate. His grip loosened as Winry winced, and he looked at her arm to see large bruises covering the area just below her shoulders, "Aw, Win… What did they do to you?"
Winry shook her head slightly, "Later."
Edward didn't say another word as he looked ahead and walked stiffly towards the gate. With the uniform, he completely blended in, and she didn't think anyone would think he was out of place. Unfortunately, another guard stopped him halfway to the fence.
"Hey, you! What are you doing with that girl?" he demanded. Winry said nothing, following Ed's orders.
Edward cleared his throat, "Varick ordered me to take her to a different cell. He doesn't want her to die of pneumonia before he gets a chance to get answers out of her," he faked a perfect accent, identical to the other guard's. The guard narrowed his eyes and glanced at Winry.
"Did he really?" the guard sounded convinced, but he didn't move from the path, "What's your number?"
"8561B754," Ed recited. The man peered closer.
"B, huh? Well, you outrank me, so I have no power to stop you. I suppose if Varick told you to do it, then it's okay either way," the guard stepped aside, "Sorry to trouble you."
Winry made an act of glaring, first at the other guard, then at Edward as he began to tow her once more towards the gate. To the other guard, it looked like he was leading her to the building just in front of the hole in the fence, but Winry knew better. They kept a casual pace until Edward was sure that he was out of range, then veered to the left of the building. The fence loomed in front of them, and Edward waited for Winry to get through the hole this time before following. Then he led her, by the small of her back this time, through the woods.
Winry kept walking until Edward stopped by a tree. There he left her on the ground, shielded slightly by the pouring rain, as he retrieved his backpack and clothes. He threw his jacket at her.
"Put that on, otherwise you really will catch pneumonia," he ordered. Winry mindlessly put it on, swaying slightly from exhaustion and hunger. Edward noticed, of course, "Winry, are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she responded lightly, "Just a bit tired is all," her stomach chose that moment to rumble, revealing to Edward that she was, in fact, hungry as well.
"How long has it been since you've eaten, Win?" he asked with concern. She silently cursed her stomach as she tried to count how long it was.
"Um… The hotel, maybe?" she continued to think.
Edward furrowed his brow, "That long ago? Didn't they feed you at all when you were there?!"
Winry sighed, "They might have. I can't remember…"
He looked closer at her, "Win, you're falling asleep on your feet. Come on, let's get a bit farther away from the camp, and then we'll stop and call it a day, okay?" he started to lead her away, but Winry was oblivious to it all. To her, all that mattered was she was back with Edward again.
She didn't remember stopping, or climbing the tree, or even eating the food Ed gave her. All she remembered before falling asleep was leaning up against Edward and having him whisper to her, "Sweet dreams, Winry," like he used to do whenever she was sick and he stayed the night to help her get better.
Winry groaned and opened her eyes, greeting sunlight along with chirping birds. She blinked drearily, "Where…?"
"You're finally awake, I see," Edward's voice came from behind her, and she whipped around to see him behind her, sitting straddled against a strong limb of a tree with his back to the trunk. She was leaning against his chest in the same position.
"Yeah… Where are we?" Winry made no notion to move away from her best friend.
Edward chuckled, "We're in a tree, of course."
"Well, they would have found us had we stayed on the ground," Ed told her. Winry froze.
"The Nazis are after us?"
Ed shrugged, "They were, but they didn't bother to look up once they searched the ground. They're long gone by now."
Winry blinked, "Oh. That's good…"
"Here, eat this," Edward produced a bar of something and handed it to her, "It's called chocolate. It'll help you get your strength back."
She took the chocolate and bit into the side of the bar. The sweet flavor of it spread throughout her mouth, and the taste lingered long after she swallowed, "Thanks," she took another bite.
Edward surprised her as he wrapped his arms around her again, "Winry, I'm so sorry that I didn't get to you sooner. If I still had alchemy, I would have turned that camp upside down looking for you."
"But you don't have alchemy, Ed. Besides, it's not like I was there for very long. I told you that I could handle myself, and I did," she snuggled into his chest, taking another bite of chocolate.
"Which is why I found you in the middle of a downpour, in a roofless cell, soaked to the bone and shivering up a storm?" Edward shook his head, "Why didn't they put you in one of the cells with a roof?"
Winry thought for a moment, "I think it was because I didn't tell Varick about you and Alphonse," she chuckled at the memory, "He got pretty mad about that… Or it might have been that when I first met him, I gave him the silent treatment… I don't know, I don't remember."
Edward began hitting the back of his head against the tree trunk in frustration, "Winry! Why didn't you talk? You should have told him something, anything, to make him happy! He might have released you, or at least put you in a cell with a roof!"
"I won't betray my two best friends for my wellbeing, Edward," she said sternly, "Got that?"
Ed growled slightly, but said nothing else. Winry finished the chocolate bar and wiped her hands on her skirt to clean them.
"How did you know where I was? And how did you get that uniform?" she asked, pointing to the discarded uniform on another branch of the tree. Edward shifted, and she noticed that he had changed clothes sometime during the night, as he was now wearing some of his German clothes.
"I jumped a guard and stole his uniform. Then I impersonated him to get inside. I knocked out a few guards and hid them, taking the keys out of their pockets. I found out that the letter in their identification number signifies how high of a rank you are, so I changed his number to B instead of E. I think the only one who has an A rank is Varick. Then I found your cell and opened it, though that inside itself took me about fifteen minutes because of all the keys I had to try," he grinned.
Winry frowned angrily, "You jumped a guard, and then broke in, just to rescue me? Edward Elric, what were you thinking?"
Ed sighed, "God, it's been a long time since I've heard you say that, Winry," he hesitated, "I'll keep better watch on you next time. I've actually been thinking about meeting Alphonse in Poland, then going back to Germany one more time to get Noa. Then we could all four travel back to the border and live in the countryside of Poland until the war is over. That way we could all be together."
"No!" Winry cried, "You guys can't just stop helping people because I showed up! I'll do better next time, I promise!"
"Winry," Edward cocked his head, "We've been doing this for two years; I think we've done our part. There's nothing wrong deciding to settle down. Besides, sooner or later, we're going to get caught. You can only be careful for so long, and I'd prefer not to be killed for helping some people I don't know. I know that sounds mean, but we have two years of helping them to back our decision up."
Winry said nothing, biting her lip.
"Edward, if you want to stop, then that's your choice, and I'll back you up. But please, don't stop because I messed up this one time. Please, don't stop doing what you think you need to do just because I get in the way…" Winry trailed off.
"I'm doing this for all of us, Win. Besides, it's time that I settle down, I think. Find a nice girl, maybe, have a few kids. What do you think?" he squeezed her gently.
Winry nodded slowly, "Y—Yeah. Sure."
Ed chuckled, "You do know that I meant you, right?" he inquired. Winry froze.
"If you want to, I would like to spend the rest of my life with you. Finding you, only to lose you again, made me realize that. Please, Winry," he paused dramatically, "Marry me?"
Winry nearly fell out of the tree, and would have if he hadn't been holding her. She twisted to see his face, staring into his honey-golden eyes with her crystal blue ones, trying to see if he was telling the truth. She saw sincerity, hope, and love, but nothing else, and that was good enough for her. He blushed slightly at the lengthy pause, and Winry decided to end his impatient waiting.
"Yes, Ed. Of course I'll marry you," she grinned, embracing him in a tight hug, and then leaning back. Edward pulled her closer, and they kissed under the light streaming through the tree's leaves.
A/N: Ok, sorry that was kinda short, but I hope it got the point across. :D I love EdxWinry fluff! Either way, that's the end of the fic. An epilogue is a possibility, but I'd have to rewatch the movie to get back in the FMA kick again (because I have random obsessions, where I totally fixate on a certain fandom. When I wrote this, it was FMA. I've moved onto .hack, but if i watch the FMA movie, I'll get back to it for a while. My writing is better when I'm in the fandom i'm currently obsessing over. Weird, huh?) Ok, review please! I always love to hear comments:)