I've listened to Utada Hikaru's new song "Beautiful World" more then a hundred times…trust me I know! Seventy-nine times on iTunes then even more on Windows Media Player. I'm obsessed with the song and the meaning of it and even though it was made special for NGE, I don't care…it made me think of FMA! (And not just the beautiful boy line blah)
This is a manga-verse fanfiction so that lets me do whatever the hell I want to the ending (My fluffy factors going to ten with this one…)
Is this an EdWin story? Stupid question, that's all I write for this series…a-duh.
I have an outline up to chapter fifteen so let's see where this story takes us, huh?
Thanks to my beta-reader Loyal Subject.
Chapter One: OPENING
If one of my wishes were to come true…
None of them were happy about it at first…
Honestly, how could they? After all the work, after all the hardships...when they finally returned home, it was to a sickly Pinako...and it wasn't as if they were just going to leave Winry all by herself. It wasn't even an option.
Nothing stopped them from coming home.
"Damn it hell!" Came a booming voice from outside, "This is heavy!" Edward exclaimed, his voice strained. "What the hell is in here, rocks?" he asked, kicking open the front door of the Rockbell home and throwing Winry's luggage upon the floor. All of the things she had left in Rush Valley had finally been returned to her, and frantic about it, Winry pushed Edward out of the way to check the bags she held so dear.
"Tools, Ed! TOOLS!" She told him harshly, picking up her bags and bringing them upstairs. Though when she lifted them, it appeared they magically lost their profound weight in only moments.
"What the hell?" he asked her roughly, throwing a simple shoulder bag on the chair in the front room and followed her upstairs.
Less then a moment passed before a quiet sigh came through the doorway.
"Granny we're here!" Alphonse called sweetly but softly, closing the door behind him as he walked in the house. The boy too, was not as well as he once was, getting over his own weakness. But in a sense he was strong and would come through, fully recovered.
After a minute or so, the old woman came into to the living room from the kitchen, her appearance frailer than he had ever seen her before. But he would not make a face, fearing the worse and was grown up enough to handle it.
"It's so good to see you Al," she said softly but with that same tone of voice she had always used around the children she cared for most, wise yet loving. Alphonse quickly realized that he had missed home quite more then he had thought.
"You too Granny." He smiled softly as he bent down to hug her. She barely squeezed on to the growing boy as he embraced her.
After pulling away, Pinako glanced around the room, as if searching for something. "Where are Ed and Winry?" She asked him as he helped her to the couch. He sat down beside her, his movements soft and careful.
At first Alphonse shrugged his shoulders, but after a loud bang was heard from upstairs he pointed upward. "Upstairs, arguing over something most likely," he laughed. "Now would you like me to get you something?" he asked her, standing up and dusting off imaginary dirt from his pants.
She shook her head tenderly. "I'd just like to rest for a while boy. You go upstairs and tear those two lovebirds away…" She paused for a moment, as if to gather her thoughts. "Before they do something stupud..." She chuckled softly, closed her eyes, a fell into a quick and hopefully quiet nap.
Alphonse nodded and whispered a soft yes as he walked up stairs towards the oddly quiet hall. He peered into Winry's room and spotted her putting her things back into her closet and draws. She looked upset, he noted, but that was to be expected.
He deeply sighed as he reluctantly walked towards the room he and his brother were going to share. He opened the door.
"Granny...she seems like herself…tired, but her personality is the same." he said, shutting the door behind him. He sat down on his bed as his brother unpacked the very few items they each owned.
"That's good to hear," Edward told him with a quiet voice, unlike him but it fit his mood...how much he cared but wasn't ready to show it. "Winry's real worried, it's really hurting her, ya know?" Edward then turned around to face his younger brother fully.
"I know," Alphonse replied, "And you hate to see her hurt more than anyone, Brother." He grinned despite himself at the slightly red face of his elder brother as he got up from his bed. "Now, maybe you should go talk to her...and don't fight with her, please!" The younger boy pleaded and laughed as he left the room, off to attend other things, Edward assumed...or maybe just be out of the way.
Edward sighed as he stood in the doorway of the shared bedroom. If he went to Winry it would have certainly been the best way to cheer her up…but he wasn't sure if he was good enough for that.
He took a deep breath as he walked to her room anyway, knocking on the open door.
"Hey," he greeted, walking into her room without her permission.
Winry looked up at him, her blue eyes slightly duller than how they usually appeared. That stung his heart slightly. "Hi," she replied, a small smile gracing her face, completely fake and plastic.
"Don't force smiles for me," he told her sitting down on her bed. "If you don't feel like smiling then don't." The upset look that had plagued her face for most of the day returned as she sat down beside him.
"I'm scared," She confessed in barely a whisper, leaning her head on his shoulder, her bangs falling into her eyes. He sighed, fixing her position so his arm could wrap around her waist securely, a quiet reminder that he was there for her.
"I know…" he paused, thinking of anyway to help his best friend. She needed it more then she needed anything else it seemed. He thought for a moment, looked down at her and spoke: "So this is what we're gunna to do…" he drifted off as she lifted her head to see him, curious of his plan. He grinned at her widely as it formed in the depths of his mind, or so he liked to think.
"Tomorrow when you wake up, everything will be normal." She furrowed her brow and sighed, any chance of faith leaving her. She shook her head and looked away.
"Normal. What's normal? It's not possible. So many things have changed and have happened over the years that have gone by. I don't know what normal is," she sighed again as her head went back to his shoulder and her eyes closed tight. "Granny's sick. You've been away for years...and me too." She was quiet for a moment, collecting her thoughts and thankful that Edward was being nice enough to wait and listen. "I don't know what to do."
Edward thought over her words for a moment.
"You aren't going about it right," he told her with forced lightness. "Pretend like nothing bad ever happened. Think that we never left…time has just gone by in Resembool…pretend." He grabbed her shoulders and held her out in front of him, a hopeful look filling her eyes as she looked into his. "You can make believe, can't you?"
"I can…" she said quietly, looking down at her hands that rested in her lap. Edward grinned at her and let go of her shoulders, handing her the pillow that rested at the top of her bed. He threw it gently and she caught it, a real smile finding its way to her face, and a real light filling Edward's heart.
"You look tired, so sleep and when you wake up, just pretend it's okay...and if ya can't," He was silent for a moment before a small smirk came upon his face, "I'll still be here." He ruffled the top of her head as he stood up. She laughed for the first time in what felt like weeks.
"How old are you anyway Ed?" She asked him playfully. She patted her messy hair down and threw her pillow back to its original spot, glancing over her shoulder at Edward's disgruntled face.
"What's that supposed to mean?" He asked her with a voice of near shock. "You aren't calling me S-H-O-R-T are you?" After that talk and she makes fun of him? The nerve of that girl sometimes!
"Jeez, Ed...no this isn't about your height." She moved inbetween the sheets and giggled at an image that appeared only in her head, "You know...you'll make a good Daddy if you keep an act like that up!" She laughed harder as the blush crawled back to his face, "Ruffling a kid's hair and giving speeches like that!" She smiled widely, being completely honest though of course to Edward it sounded like a joke.
"Shut up! I'm a grown-up you know?" he stood proudly and Winry shook her head slightly and sighed.
"Don't you know when ever someone says they're a grown-up it really means they're just a kid," she laughed and rested her head down on her pillow, her eyes closing. "But you look grown-up so you're taking a step in the right direction Ed," her voice was distant as the sleep started to take her.
"You're a mess. I help you and you make fun of me." He cursed under his breath as he walked out the door, ready to shut it behind him when he heard her voice whisper…
"Thank you Edward."
"Yeah…you're welcome…" he replied as he closed the door and let her sleep at least some of her troubles away.
He smiled to himself as he walked down the steps towards the kitchen where he found his younger brother at work making dinner for his family. It wouldn't be spectacular, Alphonse had told him, but it would be just what they needed.
"Well, one won't be joining us tonight," Edward told him bluntly, sitting down at the table. Alphonse looked up from his food, a worried look crossed his face. "Is it Granny?" he asked, fearing the worst.
"No, Winry. I told her to sleep, at least for a little while that everything's okay." He looked up bashfully at his younger brother's smirking face, "I wasn't sure what to say...I thought that was the best thing for her."
"I think you always have what's best for Winry on your mind." Alphonse replied, a strange mocking in his voice. He then went right back to work on his food, completely ignoring his brother's loud and arrogant protests. The younger brother shook his head, "Well, then whatever…" He said this more to himself than to Edward.
"You aren't even listening to me are you?" Edward asked with a ruthless tone, his eyes narrowed at his little brother.
But the reply did not come from Alphonse...
"No one listens to a pip-squeak like you," Pinako said quietly next to him.
Edward nearly lept out of his seat, "When did you get here Tiny Old Lady?" he asked, his face exaggeratedly frightened from her sudden appearance.
"Just now, all your screaming woke me right up…now where's my granddaughter?" She took a quick glance around the room and saw that the girl was obviously nowhere to be found.
"Sleeping…you know, you being sick really got to her," Edward told her truthfully. It was better to just say it all openly than work around it in some idiotic way.
"I see…" Pinako replied sadly, her voice quiet. The room was silent for a moment before the old woman spoke again, "Well, let her sleep. That girl deserves it I think." With help from Alphonse, Pinako took a seat. "Now I'm hungry so let's eat!" Alphonse nodded thoughtfully a served the prepared meal to his Brother and Granny. It was strange that not a long while ago he himself had no reason to eat...
They all ate it with no complaints.
When the meal was finished Pinako pushed her plate away, "Well, I thank you boys for this...I mean it now," Pinako told them quietly as she got up from the table. Alphonse smiled while Edward nodded quietly, not wanting to think about it much anymore.
"I'm heading up to bed and I'll hear no worries from you two! Just do your jobs and clean up this kitchen!" she ordered, turning around and leaving the two. Edward sighed, seeing the same fire Alphonse had spoken of early. As he cleared the table and Alphonse started on the dishes, Edward couldn't help but stop and look over the leftover food.
"If she wakes up, she may want something to eat," Alphonse commented without turning towards him, almost as if he could read his brother's mind.
"I guess…" he trailed off, hoping to leave a sound of disinterest in his voice.
It didn't work on Alphonse though…
"Just do it," he commanded in his sweet tone. He started humming softly to himself as he began drying. Edward didn't bother to hesitate from there and walked over to the cabinet where they kept the plates. He set it up as such and placed it in the icebox for her.
…Just in case…
"Well, I'm done here," said Alphonse as he flicked excess water from his hands. Edward nodded and sat back down at the kitchen table. His younger brother glanced over worriedly for a moment before he spoke: "Wanna talk?" He asked but Edward just shook his head, hearing him but yet at the same time did not. Thoughts paraded through is brain, marching over logic and common sense, a headache in every corner.
What exactly was it he needed to do now?
What was he supposed to do about his feelings?
Should he act?
Should he try to forget he ever had them?
Was there anyway he could stop thinking of himself?
Alphonse interrupted the hurricane of problems and thoughts with a light touch on his brother's shoulder. Edward looked up and gave Alphonse an apologetic look.
"Did you say something?" he asked, scratching the back of his head. He wasn't sure about much anymore…that needed to change as soon as possible…
Now, there was always tomorrow.
"Not a thing," he said simply, looking around the empty home, knowing the other two housemates were already asleep, "What to do now I wonder…"
"I'm going to go write…" Edward started, rising slowly from his chair and facing the doorway to the next room.
"Write?" Alphonse asked, the surprise obvious in his voice. "What about? I didn't know you liked to write anything except journals entries...and you never really kept writing them…" Alphonse trailed off, not knowing what else to add from there. He never knew his brother to be one of prose. Alchemy? Yes of course…but writing? It seemed too creative for him, and God knows how Edward lacked taste...so...this new idea troubled the younger Elric.
"Neither did I…" Edward laughed stiffly, finding small humor in his new ambition. "But I need to do something." There was more meaning behind what he meant but Alphonse found no sense in trying to define him now.
"That sounds like a good idea Brother…," Faking a yawn, Alphonse reached up as if he was tired, "I think I'm going to go to bed so…"
"Good night," he finished; giving his brother a slight wave and walking over to the chair he threw his bag over hours earlier. He searched through it soundlessly as he tried to find his required items…
A blank notebook he had purchased in Central…
And a brand new black pen…
He pulled them out and walked back into the kitchen and sat down at the table, opening the book. He brainstormed for only a moment before his pen touched the book lightly, the heavy words poured from his heart onto the frail, thin paper.
He pressed harder on the pen for the first word, showing its importance and underlining the remaining text, excluding this one part from the rest of the writing later on.
OPENING - I start this without knowing where the ending lies…only knowing that tomorrow is when my normal life begins…
Can this be a beautiful world, a normal world, after all I have been through?
He looked up after his thought was completed…everything would be normal tomorrow…
Tomorrow a new adventure begins…