This is an alternate ending to the series. Read it, then tell me if I should write a sequel or not. I might leave it, but it seems too weird to keep it this way. Let me know your opinions.
For the very first time, both Edward and Winry were alone in the Rockbell household. It was partially comforting, yet also utterly awkward. It was strange sitting in a house that was filled with nothing but thick, quiet air. Pinako wasn't tampering away with some automail or cooking stew for dinner, Den wasn't barking or whining or lightly snoring, and Alphonse wasn't running around the house. No, the only sounds in the house contained yelling once in a while, or even small talk before they went their separate ways to bed. Sometimes Winry would make Ed chuckle with a joke she had, or Ed would slam his alchemy book shut whenever he was tired, or Ed would leave the house, the only sound being his arrythmical footsteps and the slam of the front door. Winry would sometimes do automail jobs somewhere else, sometimes going to the bedridden Leo's house down the street to give his mother her automail maintenance, or she'd shop at Rush Valley, sometimes dragging Ed with her, sometimes going alone.
In the two years Ed and Winry had been alone in the house, it was as if their friendship rotted away and they were both alone. One was often without the other most of the time.
Winry felt they were far too different now to keep a friendship. However, since Edward was all she had left and vice-versa, she had no choice. She selfishly kept him with her, and whenever he said he wanted to leave, she would come up with some excuse for him to stay, whether it be his automail, his health, visiting his mother's grave, even going with her to automail duties. Sometimes her excuses never worked, he would leave for Central for days, weeks, the longest he'd been gone was a month and a half, but he still kept coming back, trudging down the road to her house, with no one beside him but his own shadow lying sadly on the ground.
Sometimes she went with him to Central, either because she wanted to (she hated being alone nowadays), or he told her to come (deep down, he didn't want to be alone either). He'd often say to go with him, saying he'd take her shopping, how she needed new tools, new clothes, repairing someone's automail, whatever his brilliant mind could come up with. Winry was all Edward had left, and selfishly, he clung to her with invisible hands, so she would never see how lonely--how desperate--he was without someone to accompany him.
Edward never cried, and Winry never cried anymore. There was little to no laughter, and the house seemed so incredibly gloomy they had few visitors, except for some clients.
Lately the visits to Central had grown more frequent. And Winry accompanying Edward was also frequent now.
Just a week after his last visit, Edward had called Winry into his room, where he was packing a single suitcase with belongings.
"Pack your stuff, you're coming with me to Central," was all he said, not looking at her as he flung whatever clothes he had sloppily into his suitcase.
"How come?" Winry would occasionally ask questions before running to her room to pack.
"I've looked around, you need a new wrench. It's chipping."
"It is?" Winry lifted up her old wrench, and noticed yes, he was right.
"You also need a new toolkit. Everything. Besides, I already bought two tickets."
"Hm? When?" Winry raised an eyebrow.
"Yesterday. The train's leaving in three hours."
"What?!?!" Winry widened her eyes, yet part of her wasn't particularly surprised. Ed was so reckless nowadays that if someone told him to smash his head on a rock for five sens, he would do it.
"So you coming or what?" came Ed's voice.
"Is there a catch?" Winry asked quickly.
Ed regarded her for a nanosecond, then shut his suitcase, "No."
"I'll start packing, then."
In another half-hour, Winry had packed. Like Ed, she never packed much for trips. In another twenty minutes they were standing in the train station, about to enter the train.
Soon after getting approved by the conductor, they sat in their own private compartment. There was no talking, except for the occasional 'what are we going to do in Central?' question. Edward would stare out the window, and Winry would stare up at the ceiling, counting cracks and running in her mind how trains worked.
Since it wasn't a connecting ride, the two managed to get to Central in mere hours. Ed rented a hotel room for himself and for Winry, separate beds (he stressed this many times to the receptionist at the counter, even though the woman glanced at the two suspiciously), for two weeks.
After unpacking and relaxing in the room for a while (with no one talking, as usual), Ed suddenly rose from his bed, stretched, and said,
"I'm taking a shower. You can get room service if you're hungry."
Winry only watched him until the bathroom door closed and she heard the shower run. She sighed sadly at that moment and deep down, she realized yes, even though the friendship seemed gone, she still missed the fact that they could talk, or even run around like nuts in the rain and jumping into puddles. She was tired of eating alone, leaving her thoughts bottled up, having awkward conversation, it was just so...it just wasn't Ed and Winry. It was as if some foreign souls entered their bodies and they became two different people.
Well, Winry wasn't going to just sit around this time.
I want our friendship back.
Edward exited the shower about forty-five minutes later, in nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. Winry merely watched him, thinking about what to say in her mind. She didn't want to sound too childish, she didn't want to sound too cold or angry, she wanted to sound like...like herself. It wasn't easy to explain in her mind.
As he managed to find clean clothes, he went into the walk-in closet to change, out of courtesy for the young lady in the room.
Even though the door was closed, Winry stared at it as if it was actually Ed and she called out softly,
"Yeah?" a muffled reply came from the door.
"Um..." suddenly she felt awkward. That same awkwardness whenever she tried talking to him. It almost made her dismiss the discussion.
"...can we talk?" was what emerged from her mouth instead.
The door opened, revealing Ed fully dressed, but his golden curtain of hair was still unruly,
"Yeah, what's up?"
He reached for his hair tie on the nightstand, but Winry leapt for it and already had it in her hands and she rose,
"Let me braid it."
Ed managed to take the tie from her, and he held the tie in his mouth as he twisted his hair, "Nah, I got it." came the muffled reply.
For some odd reason, Winry collapsed onto her bed as if he'd slapped her. Hurt tears fell from her eyes and blurred her vision, as she yelled out in a frustrated tone,
His hair was suddenly forgotten, and he stared at her, eyes alit with some annoyance, and also some concern, "Winry?" his voice was suddenly more delicate, "What's wrong?"
"Us!" Winry rose, matching his height and not caring if anyone heard her yelling, "That's what's wrong! We can't just ignore each other! Ever since we lost Al, Granny, and even Den, I feel like I don't even know you anymore! You're this completely different person, and I can't take it anymore, Edward, I just can't take it!"
Edward grew defensive at the mention of his younger brother,
"Don't tell me I've changed! If anything, it's you who's changed!" He let out a heavy sigh, ran a gloved hand over his face, and mumbled, "Need to rephrase that..."
Winry was shocked. Ed had changed so much that he even started rephrasing his sentences.
Soon after, he yelled again,
"You haven't changed, Winry, and I think that's the problem! You can't stay stuck in the past, crying over what's gone, because no matter what, they're not coming back!"
"I'm not the one who's crying over the past, Edward!" Winry retorted angrily, "I'm too busy crying over the present loss we've suffered!"
Ed froze, "What are you talking about?"
"I mean us! Slowly, gradually, Edward, our friendship died...and now, after all this...is this what death costs? Robbing a friendship? Why do we even live under the same roof...? You really want to know the reason, Edward? It's because I don't want to be alone...and you don't want to be alone...all we had left was each other...but now it's like we've lost each other, too. I can't take it..." Winry lowered her head, a familiar, unspoken tense air surrounding them. This was familiar. This was more--them. And for the first time, Winry was relieved. The old feelings of friendship and something else Winry never expressed finally flooded her body, filling her up with some life again.
Ed narrowed his eyes and stared at the floor, placing both hands in his pockets as he muttered, "Winry...I..."
There was nothing else for him to say...because Winry was right. About everything. And it stung him. It stung like hell. He was determined not to cry, not to show weakness, and he managed to swallow the lump in his throat and his urge to break down and cry like a baby faded away.
The unexpressed something came to Winry like a bullet in her head. The unexpressed something she'd felt for years suddenly flooded her with fear, and it was too strong to swallow down.
Ed's voice came slowly, "Winry...there's nothing left to do. Nothing left to do but to just start--!"
Winry's voice came too fast, cutting him off, "I love you."
That now expressed something had pushed past her throat and came out through clenched teeth and she'd finally said it. She looked up, tears long dried, and watched his shocked expression as she exclaimed,
"I'm saying all this because I love you, you idiot! I love you too much to lose you, and I'm not about to! Not...not again." her voice wobbled and new tears filled her eyes.
"Again...?" Ed's words were slow and Winry's were fast,
"Yes, Edward, again. I lost you the day you attempted to bring your mother back, you were just never the same. And then, after you came home, I thought I had you back--but I'm wrong. As usual. I keep losing you, Ed, but I don't want to find you again. I'm keeping you with me...and we're going to find our friendship again...together."
"Doesn't seem to be a friendship after that little confession," Ed spoke quietly, not looking at her.
"We'll find it again, Ed...and maybe...if you're willing..." Winry's unspoken words were the ones Ed heard the most.
"I dunno..." he trailed off, and there was a long moment of silence between the two.
Ed's voice filled the room after what seemed to be years of silence,
"I'm gonna go downstairs and get something to eat. I'll get a plate for you when I'm done."
And within seconds, Ed left the room, the familiar air that surrounded them suddenly fading back into that awkward unfamiliarity Winry hated.
And so she fell to her knees and buried her face in her hands, crying harder than she'd ever cried before.
So this was what the end felt like.