Disclaimer: I never claimed to own this, so guess what. I do not!
Summary: When faced with Love's difficulty, can three people locked in its hold push aside their fear for the sake of it? Sequel to Feel Me, Shame Me, Heal Me.
A/N: Hello again everyone. Yes, this is the sequel to Feel Me, Shame Me, Heal Me. I think it will be the most emotional yet! For the first couple of chapters/episodes of this fanfiction it will be like what ended up on the cutting room floor when the FMA series and movie was edited. I've watched the series many times to find the perfect spots to add Roy and Winry scenes. Hopefully it will work out, and it won't seem too far fetched. There will be series and movie spoilers.
I hope you enjoy this.
When the Cherry Blossoms Bloom
Episode 1— Back to Armetris?
The tent was decorated with bright colored silks, strung from the tip of the tent and hanging down around the three inside. Different colored crystals, jewels, and candles stood upon small tables about the room. Now the smell of burning incense irritated the noses of almost twenty one year old Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse. They both felt like pinching their noses closed, but the smell was so strong they didn't think that would stop it. They were both sitting at a small round table in this fortune teller's tent somewhere in the French countryside. Neither Edward nor Alphonse could speak a word of what this world called French. The Fortune Telling Gypsy Chloe, who was wearing a long white dress with a knitted dark blue wrap around her waist that held small golden pieces hanging off of the fringed hem. Chloe was the Gypsies resident Fortune Teller, Chloe had a gift with ancient magicks and crystal use. Her mother was a very a eccentric German, but her ancestry started in Greece. Her father was some French man that didn't stick around for more than a one night stand. As she traveled with her band, she spoke mostly German.
It started out a horrific day, as Edward had woken from what he would consider a terrible nightmare of his best friend Winry Rockbell and that no good Colonel or General or whatever the hell he was now, Roy Mustang engaged in a very dirty affair. It was enough to make him want to vomit, numerous times. He knew it had to be a dream, that Winry was smart and would never allow herself to become another one of those jerk's women, and maybe it made his stomach twist painfully at the idea of her being with that bastard like that.
Edward felt an elbow jab him in the side and he turned a sour expression to his brother who was next to him. The younger Elric gestured to the gypsy woman with a nod of his head and Edward turned his attention to her as she was weaving her hands over a large crystal ball that had been placed in the center of the round table upon a piece of red silk. He felt his eyes roll at the ridiculousness of this whole scene, surely this was a scam to weasel money out of him…only the woman never asked for a cent. No one could see the past of his friend, especially a past that he had been a part of somewhat. Sure he was hardly there, but if Winry had been involved in a nasty sexual relationship with the enemy of women, he would know it. She kept nothing from him.
Chloe lifted her brown head and opened her eyes, "I require something that would link you two together." She looked at Edward expecting him to produce that very object. She watched him pat his clothing and he shrugged while rubbing the back of his head, feeling foolish for not having anything. The Automail didn't even work in this world and it was back in his tent, so he had to go back to using those metal and rubber attachments his father had made for him.
"I might have something." Alphonse said, "It kind of connects both my brother and I to our friend Winry back home." He lifted his sleeve of his coat and there wrapped three times around his wrist was a gold chain with a heart charm dangling from it.
"Hey, is that...?" Edward pointed at the necklace as his brother unclasped it.
"Yeah, this was our birthday gift to her when we were all little." Alphonse held the necklace up that it caught a bit of the candle light and it sparkled. "Winry gave this to me and told me when I went off to study with Teacher again to never take it off and that it would bring me good luck because it forever connected the three of us. She said that it was in that way where we all would always be together, no matter what."
"She was always so positive, and always waiting for us to come back." Edward said with a sigh, his head falling back as he slumped in the chair.
"That she was, Brother." Alphonse replied with a kind smile as he handed the necklace to Chloe.
Chloe clasped the necklace around the crystal ball so it hung in the middle. She closed her eyes and chanted a few words that actually sounded Greek while her fingers were pressed against the crystal. Her chin dropped and she appeared asleep as the crystal ball filled with light swirling mist.
Edward and Alphonse moved closer to the crystal ball as the mist started to clear, they saw a moving picture, Much like those silent movies the two of them had seen here in France but in color and they could actually hear laughter. There was house situated in the country among beautiful grassy hills and a pond.
Edward recognized that laughter, it was Winry's.
Was this real? Who were those two older people with Winry?
"Mustang," the man's deep voice rumbled.
"Rockbell," Winry's voice replied.
"Mustang," He said again a bit more forceful, his eyes narrowing.
"Rockbell," Winry replied just as tough, with the same expression.
The two had some how moved closer and staring each other down. Winry did not look away, not for anything and neither did the man.
"You're a stubborn woman, Winry." The man said with a smirk, which just made Winry smirk back.
"Look who's talking." She replied not dropping her half grin.
The three of them were seated in chairs beneath a large umbrella in the backyard, there was an older woman with soft brown hair with wisps of gray, her face was kind, and next to her was a rather distinguished looking gentleman, older as well. The older man looked a lot like Mustang with the dark hair, eyes and facial features.
The man leaned back, lifting his finger in the air. "Children should have the last name of their father." He said with his eyes closed and seeming very important.
"Not if the so-called father is not in the picture." Winry replied, as she leaned back in her chair. She glanced over at the laughter of two small children and the barking of her dog Den a few feet away. Den was chasing the children around. One was a very young blonde girl with all her hair held up on the right side of her head with a blue ribbon, her eyes were a very dark color, almost black and she was giggling chasing after a small boy who was no bigger than her. The boy had short raven hair and bright blue eyes. He tripped and the little girl leapt over him and ran towards Winry.
Den bent down and starting lapping at the little boy's face, and the child started laughing as he sat up on his knees. Den barked and wagged his tail sitting down.
The little girl fell to her knees at Winry's feet huffing and puffing, her little face flushed from running around so much and she smiled up at her.
Winry leaned forward and tightened the young girl's hair ribbon that was coming loose. "Don't run around too much, Anna. You're just getting over that fever." She smiled.
Anna grinned, "okay, Mama." She wiped her running nose with her sleeve and looked over her shoulder. "Brian fast. I try keep up." She looked over her shoulder at the boy wrestling with Den.
"Yeah, your brother is pretty quick there." Winry said with a smile as Anna lifted herself onto her feet and quickly hugged her, before turning around and running to her brother and their dog.
"The twins are beautiful, Winry." Jenny said smiling fondly at her grandchildren. She heard her husband grunt. "Don't you agree, Gerald?"
The man snorted and anyone could tell he was not pleased. "Well my son finally managed to do something worth being proud of." He took an unnoticeable deep breath, before turning a serious expression to the young blonde woman. "I'm not going to give up on the surname, Winry. They really should have my son's name."
Winry shook her head, "No. They will have mine. I will not give them a name without the man actually being in their lives." She said calmly without a hint of malice, because she was not bitter and maybe it was better this way.
Gerald leaned forward, folding his hands in between his knees. "Then why don't you tell him about the twins?"
Taking a deep breath, Winry glanced at her babies. "He doesn't need to know about them. I'm not in his life anymore. He kind of made that clear last time I was in even in the same place as he was. Sure, I went there because he contacted me briefly about strange quakes all over the country, and I went there mainly in the hopes that it was Edward coming back, but I had hoped Roy would see me, and yet, he would not."
Jenny reached over and placed her hand on Winry's. "There has to be some kind of explanation. The way he was with you when you two visited back when you were fifteen was very affectionate, and the way you're describing him now is a little odd."
Winry shrugged, "Odd or not, I'm not going to waste time on him. He could have contacted me in the last two, almost three years, but he has not." She stared down at the grass as she felt that familiar sensation of her heart lightly squeezing, but she inwardly grunted and pushed it down. She was not going to feel that! Not now! "My children are almost five years old now. We don't need him; we're perfectly fine on our own."
Looking at Gerald, Jenny saw the same disbelieving expression in his eyes, even if it was slight. "Do you really mean that, Winry?"
"Yes." Winry said with a smile. "I've moved on. He's fine where he is and I am doing just great where I am."
"I remember getting the photo of you and the children in the mail, but they weren't newborns." Jenny said, sitting back in her chair. "So when was the last time you actually saw Roy? Which had to have been—" She trailed off, not wanting to get too personal.
Nodding, Winry sighed. "Yeah, I think they were about two years old when I sent you two the photo. I was seventeen when they were born." She stared blankly and knew exactly when the last time was that she saw Roy; it had to have been that one night when this very house was full of military people after Edward and Alphonse's father had returned. And that was when she had to have gotten pregnant and it was a complete accident. The two of them hadn't even planned that night, it just happened. But she didn't want to think about it. She had moved on. "I don't really remember when the last time I saw him was, it's a really fuzzy and everything was so hectic then." She looked away from Jenny so that the woman couldn't see her lie.
Gerald stood up, neither of the women paid any mind to him as he walked to the house and pulled the back door open, he stepped inside the house. 'I'm doing this for your own good, Winry.' He thought to himself while glancing around.
"Can I help you with something?" Pinako's voice announced and the tall man turned his head.
"I would like to use your telephone. I need to send a telegram." Gerald saw the old woman's brow arch.
"It's in there." Pinako pointed to the living room and watched as the man headed in that direction, she followed after him. "Surely, you aren't thinking of making trouble for my granddaughter, are you?" Suspicion laced her voice.
Gerald smirked, "Of course not, Ma'am." He thought he heard the woman chuckle lightly. There was certainly more to this woman than met the eye. Usually, Gerald would go down to the post office and send a telegram, but this time he would order it over the phone and have them bill him at home. He dialed the operator and had him connected to the post office. "Yes, I'd like to send a telegram. Address it to Brigadier General Roy Mustang, Military Headquarters in Central City." Gerald heard an amused snort come from the short old woman and he looked in her direction.
"Good luck," She snickered and turned around to head back into the kitchen.
Turning all his attention back to what he was doing, Gerald started to explain what he wanted his telegram to say and perhaps if he used the words problem and urgent, it would convince Roy to pay a visit to this young woman here.
Mist filled the clear picture in the crystal ball and Edward growled threateningly at it, he smacked the crystal hard a few times as if it would bring the visions back into focus. "Come on you stupid ball! What the hell is wrong with this?!" Enraged, he reached over and picked it up, he was gonna chuck this piece of junk.
"Brother, no!" Alphonse shouted in worry as he also grabbed the crystal ball and tried to pull it from his brother's grip.
"This piece of crap is broken, the picture is gone!" Edward struggled against his brother's hold on the ball and tugged it forward, nearly throwing Alphonse off balance. "Let go of it!"
"No…" Alphonse grunted, strained. "You…let go." He pulled it back towards him, the crystal ball started slipping from his grasp. "Brother, it's gonna—"
The ball fell from both their grips and sped towards the ground when a feminine hand reached out underneath it just in time cupping it securely. "I would appreciate it if you boys were a little more careful. Good crystal balls are very hard to come by." Chloe said, she lifted the large ball and placed it back in the center of the table.
"Your damn ball is broken. So it's obviously not as good as you think." Edward complained tightly as he crossed his arms over his chest bitterly. He was really mad… no not mad, he was completely enraged, livid and every angry word he could think of.
Chloe's fluttering laughter filled the tent, "It's not broken. It's just your vision was over with. There was no more."
"No more?!" Edward shouted, red faced. "But that's impossible. It cut out right in the middle of—and that certainly wasn't the past! It looked like it was the present day!"
"Brother, please calm down." Alphonse pleaded as he had bent down to retrieve the necklace that fell off it when his brother lifted the crystal off the table.
"Calm down? Why should I calm down?" He plopped harshly down in a chair, "I can't believe it, I just can't. That vision wasn't real, it's a lie!"
Alphonse stood upright and stared at the floor. "Brother…"
"There is no way in hell Winry would ever screw Mustang, let alone have two of that bastard's brats." Edward stomped his feet on the floor and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees where he folded his hands. His heart pounded in disgust and anger, while jealousy coursed through his veins like poisoned dark ink. He felt ill to his stomach.
"Is it really that surprising that it could have happened?" Alphonse asked carefully. Lifting his head he found his brother's bitter expression and the fierce fire burning in his golden eyes. "We weren't always there with her when we should have been, since we were more worried about getting our bodies back to normal. So how do you know Winry couldn't have found some kind of companionship in—" He cut himself off, that look his brother was giving him was creepy.
Edward's eyes narrowed and he stood stiffly; his brother was much too calm. He knew that at one time Alphonse had a crush on Winry, so why is he taking this so lightly? Unless…"You know something." He saw his brother look away guiltily.
"N…no I don't." Alphonse averted his gaze from the floor to the left and then back to the right.
Lunging from his chair with such a force that it knocked the chair over, Edward made a grab for Alphonse's ear, pinching it hard, he made his younger brother yell out in pain, but that didn't stop Edward's torture. "Tell me, tell me what you know!" He dug his nail into the flesh of his ear.
"Ow, Ow, stop it, that hurts!" Alphonse had forgotten how bad having his ear grabbed hurts. It had been a long time since his brother used this tactic on him like this. "All right, all right!" He couldn't resist the pain. "It was early morning that Dad left again; I saw…I saw the Colonel and Winry! I had come back to the house to see if Dad had gone back there. The sun was still rising and the Colonel and Winry were outside almost by the road and they were talking. I was too far away to hear what they were saying, but then the Colonel, he moved forward and kissed her and she let him! That's all I know! Honest!" Alphonse felt his brother let go of his ear and he reached up and rubbed it soothingly. "No fair, Brother!" He sulked.
"And you didn't think to tell me this?" Edward stared hard at the floor, his hand curled into a tight, tense fist.
"Winry never knew that I had seen her. I was going to bring it up to you but by the time I let it sink in and returned to the house, Winry was in the process of telling you about Lieutenant Colonel Hughes' death." Alphonse sighed, "It wasn't appropriate a time for me to say what I saw."
Edward felt really betrayed. Winry had never said anything and according to that vision, that older brown haired woman said that Winry had visited her with Mustang when she was fifteen! He felt his throat coat with disgust. So when they traveled all around together looking for the Philosopher Stone, she not once said anything, she gave no indication that she had even been with Mustang in that infuriating way. How could she keep something like this a secret from him! He felt his fists curl tighter. He was pissed and rightly so!
"Why are you so angry?" Chloe asked, looking up at Edward pleasantly.
"My friend if I could even call her that, wasn't what I thought she was." Edward said harshly.
Chloe smiled, "Is that all she is to you, your friend?" She saw the young man give an unsure expression. "It seems to me that if she was just your friend, you wouldn't be so mad at her finding happiness even for a short time in another man's arms, that you would be happy for her." She heard Edward scoff.
Edward grunted and looked away in irritation, "She lied."
Alphonse sat down, "No she didn't." He held his hands up defensively as his brother's head twisted around and he glared at him. "Well, she didn't lie about anything, Brother. We never asked her what was going on in her life, and she never offered us the information. It was all about you and me remember? We didn't even want her with us anymore, which you were really rude to her about it." Alphonse said remembering it exactly. "We never appreciated her and what she was capable of. We always took her for granted and you were even irritated by her a lot of the time. So you really shouldn't be so surprised that she had sex with the Colonel, who probably made her feel important."
"Don't say that! It's gross!" Edward hated hearing the truth from his brother and perhaps it made him feel a little guilty, bah! What did Alphonse know about relationships? "The way that jerk goes through women, it's disturbing. He had to have just been using her, he tricked her. That's all there is to it," He said with a wave of his hand. "And now she's stuck with his rug-rats."
"Winry isn't stupid, Brother. She wouldn't let anyone use her." Alphonse replied.
"I know she isn't." Edward crossed his arms. Maybe he did feel more for Winry than he thought. But there was just no time for that kind of stuff back then; he was always more focused on getting him and his brother back to normal. Winry had been his friend for a long time and no matter how rude or angry he had been with her, she always welcomed him home with open arms and a smile. Edward slapped himself in the forehead, "I'm such an idiot." He said quietly, she was always very supportive and never let him and his brother accept defeat when they ran into a snag. She was positive and pushed him when he needed it most, and he never appreciated Winry for all that she was. He figured she would always be there for him. She was kind and understanding, no judgment from her. She even shed tears for him, smiled for him, made him feel so much, he just didn't notice it then.
Edward had missed her while he had been stranded in this other world. He had yet to come across her double. He didn't know what would happen if that did occur. At times he found himself thinking about her, what she could be doing these days. He never thought in a million years that she would be a mother. He felt his heart tighten and squeeze, the mother of that bastard's children. Edward didn't like that, he hated it. It was hard to stomach and it pained him right down to his soul, that the man had touched her, that she let him. What were the real reasons? How could she end up ensnared in that kind of a web with Mustang as the saliva dripping fanged spider ready to devour her. Edward shuddered at that disgusting image. Sick, sick!
It was true, he never thought about how she felt about anything, it never occurred to him to even ask her. He was always so selfish and she was so giving, unless they happened to pass by an appliance store or Automail shop. Then she was tugging on him to buy her this and that. Edward found himself smiling a bit at those brief memories. Her blue eyes would light up so much and her face was nothing but pure joy. She did have some kind of power of him, only he didn't let it show too often.
Winry was tough too, boy could she kick butt when she needed to. He never really defended her, even though many times he should have. Edward now knew that he had been oblivious to so much when it came to her. He never saw her for the joy that she really was. But through all the travels and people he had met along the way. Winry was always his home.
"There's only one thing to do." Edward stood up and started pacing. "We have to get back to Armetris." He had to get home, he needed to tell Winry how he really felt about her, no more holding back, no more excuses. He could face some of the worst things imaginable, so telling a girl how he felt should be easy.
"As if we haven't already tried that, right?" Alphonse said with a roll of her eyes. "There's no way to get back without Alchemy, a gate on this side and one on the other." He traced a groove in the table with his forefinger.
Chloe laughed, "I think I can help you."
Edward rolled his eyes, "No offense, lady, but what do you know about us or our world. I'm surprised you don't think us nuts for even suggesting another world."
Standing smoothly, Chloe smiled. "When I went into my trance and allowed you the visions of your friend, I was able to see inside your world, to become one with it. I know you don't understand what I mean, but my blood is of the ancients, our abilities are strong. I know of a way to send you back, but you'll be facing your worst fear Edward Elric, and its not the kind of fear like from a monster or of the dark, but the worst fear of your heart."
Alphonse stood in surprise, "You can send us back to our world?"
Chloe laughed softly while stepping closer to the two boys. "I'll need a bit of your life energy for it to work and I will create the gate. You will need to pass through a series of your fear; you will have guides along the way to lead you through your heart's fear. Don't fall off the path or you might end up lost between worlds, so you must confront it."
"What is your heart's worst fear, Brother?" Alphonse asked looking at him in shock.
Edward shrugged, "I have no idea. It could be anything. We aren't exactly filled with happy memories, Al. Mother, Philosopher Stone, Nina, Greed… We're tragic, Al. Very tragic so it really could be everything that we had gone through."
Placing her hand on Edward's chest where his heart was, she did not notice the boy's cheeks tint pink. There she felt his heart beating steadily. Chloe closed her eyes. "Hmm, your worst fear is not as frightening as someone else might think. In fact, it's relatively tame to the other hearts that I have seen into." She opened her eyes. "Your worst fear is not something that you have conquered yet and you might not ever conquer this fear. I did see some of what you mentioned but you were never afraid, you were strong. This is something that is out of your control, when something is not in your control it can be frightening to you."
"I don't care what it is. Al and I are going to get back there, no matter what we have to face."
"Then come with me," Chloe said, grabbing a rucksack that sat in the corner of the tent. The boys followed her out of her tent, where she led them up on a hill that overlooked the gypsy camp.
Opening her rucksack, she pulled out a six large crystals and organized them into a circle, each crystal was twelve inches apart. Next, Chloe pulled out a large white feather, and a black stone, holding them in her hands she immediately started dancing around the circle weaving the feather about, the words she spoke sounded again like Greek. She stopped and looked at Edward, where she waved him forward with a subtle gesture of her forefinger.
Edward looked at her oddly, before walking over to her with Alphonse following him.
"Hold out your hand." Chloe requested, she waited as the young man did just that and she dropped the black stone in his hand.
"YEEOW!" Edward shouted where the stone hot, burning his tender flesh. He sharply tossed the stone up. "What was that for!?" He growled.
Chloe's arm shot up and she caught the black stone in her tight fist right in mid-air. "I now have some of your life energy."
Ed stared in disbelief, wondering why the stone wasn't burning her like it did him. He watched Chloe step into the circle and start dancing and chanting around the circle again. She hopped out of the circle and threw the stone into it.
A whirlwind of dark mist burst up from the ground and filled the circle spreading upwards high into the air. Red lightning streamed through the dark mist as did the sound of thunder clapping. Both Edward and Alphonse stared in awe at the display. The mist dissipated and left there in the circle were two extremely tall, large white marble doors with golden handles.
Edward sure hoped that whatever was on the other side of these doors wasn't going to result in the loss of his other limbs or the loss of Alphonse's body. These doors looked nothing like the other ones that brought him here to this world, except for maybe their size.
"This is it," Chloe said, "If you want to back out then this is your last chance."
Both Edward and Alphonse both shook their heads and took a few steps forward towards the doors that slowly began to part; bright golden light nearly blinded the two of them.
"Is there anything you may need?" Chloe asked, and both Edward and Alphonse turned their heads in her direction.
"Nah, all I need are the clothes on my back and my brother." Edward said, looking at his brother with a slight smile.
"Same here," Alphonse said with a big grin.
"Good luck you two." Chloe said with a nod of her head.
Edward and Alphonse looked at each other laughing and grinning. They were just so happy to be going home, even if the path to get there would be difficult. Chloe smiled affectionately as the boys raced between the doors.
Slowly the door closed by themselves behind them and disappeared.
Both Edward and Alphonse were standing upon a slightly raised platform of pink stone. Ahead of them was a pathway made of crystal bricks and in the distance were two tall red doors. Shooting up from green crystals in what looked like grass on either side of the pathway was tall clear quartz; the sky above them was cobalt blue. It felt like being inside a gemstone.
"We have to stay on the path." Alphonse reminded and Edward nodded.
The boys started walking towards those doors.
Alphonse started dragging his feet, it felt like it had been forever since they started walking along this pathway.
"Chloe mentioned something about guides, who do you think—" Alphonse cut himself off for the nearer they got to the doors they noticed the figure of a person resting against the right side door.
"No way," Edward said in shock as the figure straightened up. Finding himself face to grinning face with… "Hughes?"
"Hiya, Edward," Maes said with a tilt of his head and his grin grew.
Well that's it for the very first episode/chapter. I hope you don't feel it was too silly with the way I'm managing to get Ed and Al back to their world and I hope I didn't make them too out of character. Don't worry, several things will come to light in accordance to the Roy and Winry situation as Ed faces his greatest fear. Hahaha. Yeah that part might be a little corny considering what he actually has faced in the series and the movie. But if you think about it he can handle danger, but matters of the heart are completely different and scary! Haha
Thanks for reading,