Because Sinners Deserve A Second Chance
Disclaimer: I Don't Own Fullmetal Alchemist in Any Way.
Author's Note: Takes place one year after the movie.
LET THE STORY BEGIN!
Edward was in his room, nose buried in a book about science, rocketry and such. His younger brother, Alphonse, came into the room, also holding a book. They were busy, writing down formulas for acceleration and speed of a new type of rocket that was being built. The room was silent. The only thing that could be heard was the ticking of Ed's pocket watch and pencils meeting paper.
Al felt uncomfortable; he was not accustomed to silence. He and his brother would always talk to one another, and, whenever it was silent, he would get nervous and fidgety. "Ed?" he asked, finally breaking the silence. "Yeah, Al?" Ed responded, still writing away at his paper. Alphonse honestly didn't know what to say, he just didn't want it to be so quiet. "Um" he stuttered nervously, "what time is it?" he asked. Oh yeah, that was real smart! He thought automatically.
Ed pulled out his pocket watch. "10:35, why?" Ed asked as he closed his pocket watch and placed it on the desk. "Uhh, kinda late, don't you think?" he retorted. Ed paused in his work. "Yeah, you're right. If I wanna wake up tomorrow, I should go to sleep early" Ed declared as he marked the page of his book and closed it. Al was contemplating. Well, that was severely quick! He thought, somewhat annoyed.
Ed stood up and stretched a little. "Well, I'm off to bed" he said wearily. Al had barely heard him, he was thinking of Resembol. There had been something he wanted to ask Ed but was afraid of his reaction. Now is when he decided to ask him.
"Ed?" he asked, nervousness shaking in his voice. "Yeah Al?" the elder Elric retorted. "Do you ever…Think of home anymore? You know, like Resembol and everyone we left behind?" he asked quietly. Ed's eyes widened. He hadn't expected Al to ask him that and yet, he couldn't leave his brother hanging.
"I try not to" Ed declared. "But, every time I'm doing something, my mind decides to betray me and trails off. I think of Resembol's beautiful grass plains and open skies….And then…" his voice trailed off. "And then…I remember I may never see it again…" Al could see a small teardrop formed at Ed's eye. "Brother, I… I'm sorry" is all Al could manage before guilt began to consume him. "It's OK Al… You made the same sacrifice, you have your body back and there's nothing more I should ask for. If I had asked to get your body back and to stay in our world… No, that would've' been an unfair trade… Equalivalent Exchange after all" he stated sadly.
Al no longer wished to ask questions, he actually wished the silence would return. "Good night Al" Ed said quietly as he exited the room and headed to his bedroom. Al did the same and they went off to sleep.
In the middle of the night, Al was awoken when he heard Ed's voice from his bedroom. He quietly stepped out of bed and went to Ed's room. When he entered his room, he saw Ed, tossing and turning from an apparent bad dream.
Ed clutched the sheets at his sides and was breathing heavily. He had a nervous sweat going on as well. "Win… Winry..." he muttered though breaths. He's dreaming about Winry Al thought. But from the looks of things, it was not a pleasant dream. Ed clutched the sheets tighter. "Winry…Win…" he said, once again. Al quickly walked over next to Ed and shook him a bit. "Ed! Ed, wake up!" he demanded quietly.
After hearing Al's voice and feeling his gentle shaking, Ed's eyes finally shot up. He quickly sat up and scanned the room. "It was… It was just a dream" he stated, his nervous breath returning to normal. But he could still feel his heart beating, almost threatening to destroy his rib cage and come out. "You were dreaming about Winry, huh?" Al asked quietly. Ed finally caught his breath and thought for a moment. "I… I miss her…" he muttered under breaths. Al placed a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder. "It's OK" is all he could say.
Winry was busy in her room, working on some new automail designs. Her grandmother, Pinako, stepped in. "Dinner is ready" she stated. "OK, I'll be there in a little while" Winry declared. With a puff of her pipe, Pinako went off back to the kitchen.
Why am I even working on automail? Winry asked herself suddenly. It's not like he's coming back or anything! She was thinking of the one who would usually put her to work on new automail designs. The one she'd pull all-nighters over. The one who only came when his arm or leg got busted. Edward Elric.
"Winry!" she heard a male voice call her from downstairs. A cheery and kindhearted voice. "Marcus" she said quietly. Marcus was a young man, same age as her, who had moved in just a few days ago. He was a bit taller than her, had bronze hair that hung over the left side of his face and had brown, hazel eyes. "Coming!" she said as she turned away from her work and quickly went downstairs.
Marcus was on the sofa, happily petting Den, awaiting Winry. "Hello Marcus" Winry said shyly. "What are you doing here?" He ceased petting the dog and stood up to look at Winry. "Your grandmother invited me over for some dinner, that's not a problem, right?" he asked kindly. She smiled at him. "Of course not, the more, the merrier after all!" she replied cheerfully.
After dinner, Winry and Marcus went outside onto the porch and sat down on the chairs that were there. Winry was enjoying the gentle breezes that pass by, while Marcus was fidgety, seemingly nervous about something. She looked over at him and frowned. "Hey, is something wrong?" she asked worriedly. He looked up at her suddenly and shrugged nervously. "Winry, there's… There's something I'd like to ask you…" he responded. "Well, what is it?" she asked gently. "I… Know I've only known you for a few days, Winry, but… I think you're very pretty and, no, you're beautiful! And I was hoping… Maybe we could… Have dinner together sometime, just the two of us, you know, like a date?" he asked happily but nervously.
Winry could only stare in slight shock. She couldn't possibly go on a date with him! She still had feelings for Edward… And yet…
Ed… she thought sadly. She clenched her fists tightly. No! I won't let him control my life! I'm sorry Ed, but… I have to get over you sooner or later! She thought angrily. "You know what Marcus?" she asked politely. "Yeah?" he retorted, afraid she was about to reject him. "I'd love to go on a date with you" she replied happily. "Wha!? R-really?" he asked, surprised. She nodded once, smiling graciously. "Yes! How about… Friday at eight?" she suggested. He smiled happily. "Alright, I'll see you then, and thank you!" he said gratefully and then went off to his own home. Winry smiled as she watched Marcus run off to his house.
That Friday, Winry was getting ready for her date with Marcus. She picked up her hair in a high ponytail, was wearing a beautiful blue dress that reached just above her knees and blue strapped high heels. Her grandmother was leaning on the doorframe, watching her granddaughter get ready, scowling somewhat. Winry looked down at her grandmother. "Is something wrong?" she asked curiously. "You always told me you'd wait for Edward for as long as it takes for him to accomplish his goal" she stated simply. Winry scowled at her for a moment. "I got tired of waiting, and besides, it's not like he's coming back" she said sadly. "And if he does?" Pinako asked. Winry paused before replying. "Then he's too late" she said quietly.
Pinako took a puff from her pipe. "Fine" she said quietly and then left the room. "Hmph!" Winry muttered angrily, grabbed her purse, and went off downstairs. Just as she took the last step, the doorbell rang. She quickly walked over and answered it to see Marcus standing on the other side. "Ready?" he asked happily. "You bet!" she replied, and with that, he took her arm ad they went off to their date.
Over the past few days, Ed had been having several unpleasant dreams and would wake up extremely tired in the morning. On Friday night, while he and his brother were working, he decided to sleep a little to regain some of his energy. He woke up suddenly, though, when his soft, comfy bed suddenly switched to hard floor.
"What the?" he muttered under a breath as he woke up fully. He took a look around to see… Nothing. He scanned the area and looked up to see… No! It… It can't be!! He thought, scared. The Gate stood in front of him. The huge doors opened, but nothing came out. Instead, he heard a deep voice say, "You wish to return home?" Ed gulped nervously but said nothing. "Do you wish to return home?" the voice asked once more.
Ed shook his head and quickly gathered his thoughts coherently. "I would but…I've nothing to sacrifice" he replied quietly. "What if I made a deal with you?" the voice asked. "Depends, what do you mean by 'deal'?" Ed asked. "I shall let both you and your brother pass but" the voice paused for a moment. "You will not be able to do alchemy for exactly one year" the voice said. "And my little brother will be able to pass as well?" Ed asked. "Yes" the voice stated. "One question: why are you doing this?" Ed asked. "Because, even sinners deserve a second chance, now, do we have a deal?" the voice said.
Ed looked at his hands for a moment. "You've got a deal! No alchemy for one year and me and my brother get transported safely to the other side" Ed said. "Hmm, deal!" just as he finished speaking, black arms went out and quickly grabbed Ed from all over and began pulling him in. "As for your safety, you may end up with a few new scars" the voice said and the arms pulled him in completely, everything going black.
Marcus and Winry finished their dinner and went out for a stroll. "So, Winry, was it OK?" Marcus asked. "It was very nice, thank you" she replied contently. They had talked much during their date and had gotten to know each other too. They enjoyed each others company, to say the least. They continued walking. Winry looked up at the night sky, the beautiful starry sky and full moon. "It's a beautiful night, isn't it?" he asked. She looked over at him and smiled. "Yeah, it is" she replied.
After strolling around a little more, Marcus took her home. "Well, Winry, good night then" he said quietly. She smiled happily. "Good night" she said. He came up next to her and kissed her cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow" he said finally before turning around and walking off. Winry blushed heavily and put a hand to the cheek he had just kissed. She smiled, entered her house and went off to her room to sleep.
That night, everyone in the Rockbell home was fast asleep. Well, almost everyone, Winry was still awake as sleep would not seem to come. Her mind kept swimming from Marcus to… Ed. She sat up, feeling defeated and tired. I don't like Ed any more! He made me wait too damn long and… I'm tired of him already!! She mentally scolded herself, trying to convince herself that Ed no longer meant anything to her. Den, who was at the foot of her bed, could feel her owner's disposition and woke up. She walked over to her and nuzzled her shoulder. Winry looked at the dog and smiled. "Oh, Den, sometimes it feels like you're the only one who can help me" she said as she patted Den gently. Den shrugged and licked Winry's cheek. She laughed quietly. "Go get some sleep, girl, I think I can sleep too" Winry said and Den went to the foot of her bed and went to sleep once again. Winry sighed and managed to get to sleep.
Central, The Next Day
Ed's eyes fluttered open. "What the?" he muttered as he realized he was on lying on concrete. He put his hands to his sides and forced himself up. Did… Did it work? He asked himself. He blinked his eyes a bit and cleared his vision. "I'm in a damn alleyway… But maybe I'm not in Munich anymore…" he pondered and then stood up fully, which was difficult because his legs were shaking.
He leaned on the wall for support and slowly made his way out of the alley. He looked up to see a large building ahead of him. It's Central's Military Headquarters'… Then that means… I'm in Central! Ed thought, surprised. "I'm… I'm in Central… It… It worked!!!" he said excitedly and happily. He ran his fingers through his hair, still trying to breathe everything in.
Al! That's right; The Gate let us both pass! I've got to find him! Ed thought suddenly and then turned around back into the alley, only to see his brother's body on the floor a few feet from where he had laid. He slowly walked over to his brother; his body was aching, therefore making it very difficult to walk. He knelt down next to the younger Elric brother. "Al! Al, wake up!" he said, gently shaking Al's shoulder. Al's eyes opened slowly. "What the heck?" he asked wearily.
"Al, you OK?" Ed asked. "Aside from a couple of aches, I'm fine" Al replied as he slowly forced himself to sit up. "What happened?" he asked. "Well, Al, you see… The Gate opened and I made a deal with it in order to get here" Ed explained. "Where? Aren't we still in Munich?" Al asked. "No, we're in Central" Ed replied. "What!? What did you sacrifice!?" Al asked as he started to search his brother for a missing limb or something.
"No Al! I didn't sacrifice anything. I just can't do alchemy for one year" Ed explained. "But… Why did The Gate do this?" Al asked curiously. "It said that 'even sinners deserve a second chance'" Ed replied. "Weird" Al said quietly. "Whatever! Who cares!? We're back!" Ed said happily. Al smiled and nodded. "Yeah, you're right!" Al agreed. They both stood up and began walking out of the alley.
"Hey Ed?" Al said suddenly. "Yeah Al?" Ed replied. "Um…Where are we going?" Al asked. "Resembol, of course!" the elder Elric replied happily. "Oh yeah! Winry and auntie will be surprised, won't they?" Al asked. Ed stopped dead in his tracks, eyes widened fully. "Brother?" Al asked worriedly. "Winry…" Ed whispered. "Don't worry! I'm sure she'll be happy to see you" Al said encouragingly. "Hmm, yeah, you're right! I'm sure she will be!" Ed agreed.
"So, how are we going to get to Resembol, I mean, I don't have any money for train tickets" Al asked. Ed franticly started searching his pockets for money. Front pockets; nothing, back pockets; nothing! "Um… Al… I don't have any money either" Ed said nervously. "You've got to be kidding me!" Al said, surprised. Ed looked back at his brother and smiled sheepishly. "Do you have anything that we can probably sell or pawn?" Al asked. "I only have my pocket watch, but that won't get us much" Ed responded. "Damn!" Al cursed under a breath.
"In a walking mood?" Ed asked. "There is no way I'm walking all the way to Resembol!" Al declared angrily. "Alright then… Any other ideas?" Ed retorted. Before Al could respond, a car pulled up next to them. A military vehicle, to be exact. Ed and Al stared at the car curiously. Suddenly, the front doors on either side of the car opened. On the passengers' side, a woman with blonde hair and deep red eyes stepped out. On the drivers' side, a man with black hair and a patch over his left eye stepped out.
"Colonel Mustang and Lieutenant Hawkeye" Al said. Ed didn't say anything but simply scowled at Mustang. "Edward, Alphonse… But how?" Hawkeye, or Riza, asked. Neither of them spoke. "Hey shorty! Answer her!" Mustang, or Roy, demanded. "WHO YOU CALLIN' SO SMALL THEY CAN'T EVEN BE SEEN UNDER A MICRSCOPE!!!??? I'LL RIP OFF YOUR HEAD FOR THAT, DAMN IT!!" Ed demanded with his usual attitude towards anyone who discriminates his height. "Calm down Ed, he didn't' mean anything by it" Al said as he held Ed around his waist to hold him back. "Let me go Al! I'll rip him up to shreds for calling me short!" Ed demanded, Al simply continued to hold him back.
"You're making a scene, Brother" Al said quietly. Ed tried to struggle free one last time before huffing out a breath of defeat. With that, Al carefully let him go. "Same snarky attitude as always, I see" Roy mused. "Shaddup!" Ed demanded as he crossed his arms. "Now, how is it that you're here? Last time I saw you, you were on your way to the other side of The Gate" Roy asked.
Ed let out a breath. "Well, you see, I was… Um… I was asleep and then, all of a sudden, The Gate opened and I made a deal with it…I can be here, I just can't do alchemy for one year" he explained. "That's a strange offering" Riza interjected. "Yes, well, nonetheless, you are here. What's done is done" Roy said.
"Hey, Roy?" Ed asked, rather shyly. "Yes Edward?" the colonel retorted. "This is kinda embarrassing, but… We need money for train tickets, are there any job openings around here?" Ed asked nervously. Roy raised a brow and broke into laughter. Riza shook her head and shrugged. "What the hell is so funny?" Ed demanded. Roy gathered his thoughts and finally stopped laughing. "C'mon, we'll take you to the station. I'll pay for your tickets" Roy said kindly. "What's the catch?" Ed asked immediately. "No catch, I just want to help" Roy replied.
"C'mon Ed, I'm sure Roy really just wants to help" Al reasoned. "I don't know" Ed said quietly. "C'mon boys, Roy has changed… Somewhat…" Riza stated. "Hey!" Roy complained. The Elric brother's laughed a little. "Alright, we'll take you up on your offer" Ed said and made his way over to the car and he and Al entered.
Once at the train station, Roy gave Ed the money for two train tickets. "Well, Roy, I'm… Grateful for your offer so…Thank you" Ed choked out. The colonel laughed a little. "Don't mention it, good luck Fullmetal and Alphonse as well. "Thank you, sir" Al said and bowed respectfully.
"You're welcome Al, see Ed? Can't you be grateful like your brother?" Roy said sarcastically. "Don't push your luck!" Ed remarked and then went off to the ticket stands. With that, Roy drove off.
The Train Ride
Ed was staring out his window, nervously tapping his fingers on the arm rest. "Why are you so nervous?" Al asked. "We'll be seeing Winry and Auntie Pinako again, why shouldn't I be nervous?" Ed retorted. "Oh, I know what this is about! You're nervous about seeing Winry, huh?" Al asked, suggestively. Ed's eyes widened and he blushed furiously. "Uhh! Of course not! I mean, it's just Winry, it's nothing like that!" he lied. "Uh huh, sure, whatever you say" Al said sarcastically.
"It's just… What if she doesn't want us around anymore…? We did make her wait a good while" Ed said sadly. "I'm sure she misses us just as much as we miss her, she'll be happy that we're back!" Al insisted. "What if…What if she's got a boyfriend?" he asked quietly. "I knew it!! This is about her!!" Al declared. Ed scowled at his younger brother. "Yes, Al, this is about her and I do happen to have feelings for her and, yes, I am afraid that we come back and she has a boyfriend and hates our guts!" Ed stated, somewhat angrily.
Al put a comforting hand on Ed's shoulder. "I'm sure she doesn't hate our guts. And, if she does have a boyfriend, we should be happy for her because she was able to move on" Al said. "Hmm, I guess you're right" Ed said. "But still, I'm kinda nervous" Al sighed heavily. "Just wait 'till we get there!" he encouraged. Ed shrugged and continued to stare out the window.
They arrived at their hometown of Resembol and smiled. "Nothings changed; the open skies and beautiful green field are as beautiful as ever!" Ed said happily. "C'mon! Let's go to Winry's house!!" Al said excitedly. Ed nodded and they began running along the dirt road…The dirt road that would lead them to a place they could call 'home'.
After a few minutes of running, they finally reached the Rockbell home. They walked up the few steps that led up to the porch. "Go on, Ed, ring the doorbell" Al said encouragingly. Ed couldn't contain his excitement. Any feeling of sadness and nervousness was now replaced by utter happiness! He gulped once, before, finally, ringing the doorbell.
In just a little while, Winry opened the door. But, once she saw who was standing on the other side, she gahsped. "E-Edward! Wha-What are you doing here!?" she asked, shocked. "Hi Winry" is all Ed could say. "But… How…You're supposed to be on the other side of that…Gate thingy! How did… But… Roy closed it and… How!?" Winry stuttered. "Sentences' Winry!" Al reminded from behind.
Winry looked over Ed to see him. "Al!? You too!?" she asked. "Of course!" Al replied. Winry looked at each one of them individually. Things were swimming too quickly in her mind. So many questions and no answers. Her head hurt, a little too much. Her knees fell weak and she fainted.
One Hour Later
Winry's eyes slowly opened and adjusted to the light. She realized that she was lying on the sofa and slowly sat up. "Winry, you're awake" Pinako said as she stood next to her. "Granny, I… I had the craziest dream. The doorbell rang and I went to get it, but when I opened the door, Ed and Al were on the other side" she said, still somewhat dazed.
She heard someone clear their throat from across the room. She looked up to see Ed, leaning against a wall across the room and looking at her sadly. "Ed?" she said quietly. He shrugged and looked away. Guilt was beginning to eat away at him. He hadn't wanted to make Winry faint, and now, he blamed himself for it and felt sorry. It… It wasn't a dream? Winry asked herself.
She carefully stood up and slowly walked over to Ed. Once he felt her walking towards him, though, he took small steps away from her, not really wanting to face her. Winry stood behind him, a couple of feet away, but kept her glare on him. "Granny, can you leave me and Ed to talk? Alone?" she asked. "Very well" Pinako said and left the room.
Ed wouldn't dare turn around to look at her, but he could feel her undying gaze on him, nonetheless. "Ed, look at me!" she demanded. Hell the fuck no! Ed thought nervously. "Edward Elric, look at me!" she demanded once more. Uh-Oh, she really is pissed! Ed thought. She only says my full name when she's pissed! He still refused to face her, but, sadly for him, every action has a consequence.
Winry put her hand in her back pocket, quietly, and produced a wrench, and Ed didn't even notice. She pulled her hand back as far as she could and, as hard as she could, swung it strait at Ed's head. Ed whelped and screamed in pain, but then bit down, hard, on his bottom lip, to hide the pain, and put his hands on the back of his head where the mechanic had hit. Winry could still hear him whimper slightly, though.
"Serves you right for ignoring me!" she remarked angrily. He slowly looked over his shoulder to her and shot her a nasty glare. "I come back after one fucking year and this is how you welcome me!?" he asked. "You wouldn't look at me, you jerk! What else was I supposed to do!?" she demanded. He shrugged and looked away once again. "How!?" Winry said demandingly. "How what!?" Ed retorted. "Don't play dumb with me, Ed! How the hell did you get back from the other side of the Gate… Thing!?" she asked angrily.
He let out a breath and finally faced her. He explained to her how The Gate just appeared and made the offering to him. How he can't do Alchemy for one year. At the end of his explanation, she could only stare at him in shock.
"So… You sacrificed one year of Alchemy to get back?" she asked, feeling guilty for yelling at him and hitting him with her wrench. He nodded once. "But… You love Alchemy so much, it was such a big part of your life" she said. "It's a small price to pay, I've already been a year without Alchemy, and another year won't kill me and besides… I love this world and everybody here more than it" he stated.
Winry smiled sheepishly. "Well, that's good, I guess" she said. "So, uh, what's happened while I've been gone?" Ed asked nervously. "Not much, I guess… I did get a boyfriend" she said and Ed… Ed could swear he heard his heart crack into a million little pieces the moment she said… Boyfriend.
"Oh… Really?" he asked quietly. "Well, yeah. I wasn't going to stay single for the rest of my life" she responded. "Oh, um… OK…" he said silently. "I'm… Gonna go for a walk. Al's outside, by the way, I'm sure he'd be happy to see you again. You should go say something" Ed suggested and then walked towards the front door and left.
Al saw his older brother exit the Rockbell home. "Is she awake?" he asked. "Yeah" Ed replied as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Did you guys talk about anything?" Al asked. "Um… I don't wanna talk about it, OK Al?" Ed said subtly. "Um… OK, I guess…Where are you going?" he asked. "For a walk. You go ahead and greet Winry, I'll be back later" he replied simply and began walking down the dirt path. I wonder what happened Al thought curiously.
Winry stepped outside and saw a very confused Al and Ed's back, slowly moving away. "Um, hi Al" she said quietly. Al turned around to face her and smiled brightly. "Hi Winry! Long time, no see, huh!?" he asked sarcastically but happily. "Hmm, yeah" she replied with a smile of her own.
Author's Note: This was originally meant to be an oneshot, but then, it got complicated. So it may be a two or three part thing… Sorry :(