This is my first time at writing a Full Metal Alchemist story.It's a one shot. This is my take on what could have happened between Winry and Edward after his fight in Episode 34 titled Theory of Greed. After having his arm busted up, Winry would have to fix it up, wouldn't she? That'd give them some time alone to talk and maybe Ed to express some feelings for a change without anybody knowing except for Winry. Poor Ed. I really felt for him in this episode. Anyway, this story DOES contain spoilers!!! Read at your own risk! And this is a very sad storyPLEASE DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN EPISODE 34 OF FULL METAL ALCHEMIST!!! THIS STORY DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!
Open Up to Me
Ed was seated rather uneasily in an oak wooden chair, his left elbow leaning on the table next to it, his chin resting in his gloved hand. His fingers tapped consistently on his cheek. The last place he wanted to be was here. Actually, he'd like nothing more than to run. Just run until his torment and frustration were burnt out. Ed didn't want to dare look at the lovely blonde girl next to him as she finished tending to the repairs on his busted automail arm from his fight with Greed. Everything that had happened to him that night...reflecting on what he had done burned within the alchemist's mind and no matter what, he couldn't seem to push it away. The pure and horrific, simple truth was that Ed had killed for the first time in his life. Somebody's blood had been spilt on his behalf. The thought had simply made his stomach turn and his heart burn with regret. Ed never once had planned on killing Greed. The Homunculous always boasted about how he was the 'ultimate shield', saying he wasn't that easy to kill at all. Always taunting him about how he'd have to 'be ready to kill' or that he'd 'have to do better than that.' It was always something, but this time Ed had figured if he fought him the right way using his alchemy to a certain degree, he could injure Greed just enough to find out where his little brother, Alphonse, currently was.
The boy who's soul was attached to a suit of armor, Edward's younger brother Al, had been kidnapped, and since that day the alchemist had searched in vain to find him. Now that Greed was at his mercy, he was certain that he'd find Al, but never never in a million years did Ed once think that he'd kill the Homunculous. The shock of killing had completely overwhelmed him and Ed had fallen to his hands and knees, breaking down in tears at what he'd done, not understanding why it happened. He had killed the Homunculous in cold blood right on the floor of Dante's mansion using the sword that extended from his metal arm. Would he ever be able to forgive himself? Greed was never as rash or horrible as Lust or Gluttony had been, so why? Why did it all have to happen this way? Why did he, just a simple teenage state alchemist have to go and kill him when all he wanted was his little brother back? Ed forced the thought from his mind and let out a sigh as the clanking and twisting sounds of wrenches, bolts and screws filled his ears, bringing his tormented mind back into reality.
"Ed?" came Winry's soft voice from next to him. He kept his head averted from her, not wanting to look into Winry's gentle, blue sympathetic eyes. The guilt was already enough. He didn't want to have to see that look of hers. "Edward, I'm talking to you," came the young mechanic's voice once more sounding a bit more stern. She folded her arms across her chest, staring at him, clenching her wrist tightly in one hand.
The alchemist heaved a sigh, but still did not look her way. "Yeah, I know. I hear you."
"Ed...what you did...what happened back at Dante's mansion isn't all as bad as it seems," the blonde girl blurted out, still concentrating on fixing the broken pieces of Ed's right arm.
"What the hell do you know?" Ed snapped, still not looking her. "You've never killed anybody before so you have no idea what this feels like!"
"I'm sorry, Edward," Winry's voice dropped like a sack of hammers. "I wasn't meaning it like that...I just..."
"I know, I know. I'm sorry," the state alchemist sighed as his golden eyes turned upward to stare at the ceiling. "It's just...nothing, nevermind."
"What Ed? I know you've been through quite a lot, but you never talk to me. We've been friends since we were kids and I know this isn't just nothing. Why can't you open up to me? It's not like there's anybody else in here that would hear what you were saying anyway," Winry pointed out. She stopped, placing her wrench down on the floor and put her hand on Ed's metal fingertips, squeezing them gently. "Please. I want you to know you can talk to me. I won't go repeating the things you've told me, but Ed...it's not good to hide things inside all the time." the girl stated quietly.
"I just...never thought I'd ever actually kill anyone, Winry. Even a Homunculous," came the alchemist's voice. It was softened, filled with sorrow and remorse. The little blonde girl felt her heart leap gently in her chest and she listened intently as the young, state alchemist began to pour his heart out to her.
"I was only trying to find out where Al was located. I never once meant to kill him, ever. I just wanted my brother back. Greed never struck me as the type to kill. He was just out for the women, the money and the power. He never wanted his hands on the Philospher's Stone unlike the others. He was always carrying on about how his body was the ultimate shield and how he wasn't easy to kill and I believed him, Winry, but I never meant to kill him. I swear I didn't," he explained, sounding almost pleading as if he wanted Winry to understand his actions weren't intentional.
Ed spoke in such a small voice, that Winry could feel the sympathy for him rising in her chest. She gazed longingly at him as the alchemist finally turned his face towards her, gazing into her bright blue eyes. Winry offered him a small smile as those golden eyes, filled with sadness and self-reproach stared back at her. Something about her eyes had always somehow made him feel warm inside, calm and at peace with himself. Yet seeing the growing commiseration and empathy that the girl felt for him made Ed nearly go numb with even more remorse at what he'd done. Nobody should be feeling sorry for him for killing Greed. They should all be feeling sorry for Greed whom had his life taken away, killed by himself...Edward Elric. The Full Metal Alchemist. He was the people's hero, was he not? And now he had just achieved the title of a murderer in his own mind. How could a murderer be the people's hero?
Ed nearly choked on the thought and closed his amber eyes tightly against the bright light in the room. The alchemist turned his head away from Winry once more. It was so hard to look at her. It was only him and Winry, though. He was fairly certain nobody else could hear him. What was the harm in expressing his feelings every once in awhile? He just didn't want anybody to think of him as weak. What would his teacher Izumi, Al, Roy or anybody else think if they knew that the Full Metal Alchemist was temporarily weakened by emotions? Hadn't he grown past that already?
Especially Winry, whom Ed kept his affection for completely hidden, what would she think? Actually, she probably would be the only one that wouldn't think of him as weak. She was infact, offering to be his support at the present time and that made his longing affection for her grow in his chest. Ed had learned that to become a state alchemist would mean to detatch himself from emotional attatchment, meaning that even though he carried feelings for Winry, Ed could not and would not be able to express them. However, what was the harm in talking to her atleast? The young, blonde man was interrupted in his thoughts as her gentle tones filled his ears.
"But Edward...you didn't know. You couldn't have known," Winry replied, removing her hand from his metal fingers and scooting her seat to sit beside him so she could look at his face. She tilted her head slightly, causing her blonde hair to fall down to one side making her look very pretty indeed. Her comfort was extremely inviting, and Ed had force himself not to fall in her arms. Ed closed his eyes as Winry continued to gaze at him with her glistening, blue orbs. "C'mon Ed, now that won't do. Look at me, please," Winry pleaded slightly.
Ed sighed and opened his eyes, finding himself staring once more back into Winry's. "That's just it Winry...I shouldn't have doubted myself. I shouldn't have doubted that I'd be able to kill him. I never ever once meant to take his life," his voice replied slightly choked.
No matter what he did, no matter how much he tried to convince himself that killing Greed was by accident, Ed could not get the image of the Homunculous's face out of his mind. The way Greed had vomited up his insides, the way he'd fallen on his back so helplessly, yet still smiling. The words that Greed had left Edward with...how to completely destroy the other Homunculi played over and over in his mind. The way his body had tensed up, the way he'd raised his hands to his head, screaming as though he were in pain and then nothing, except for the contorted position his body had been in, and Greed was no more. Eventually, his body just evaporated to disgusting pool of what he once was. Ed couldn't remove the images flashing one after another before his eyes and he buried his face in his hands, trying to remove the grotesque pictures from his brain. They did nothing but torment him.
"I know that, Ed. We all know that," Winry continued sympthetically. "We know you'd never kill somebody unless it was to save the ones you care about, right? Besides, you weren't aiming to kill Greed, Edward. It was by accident," the girl continued to try and be understanding, but it didn't work.
Ed stood up roughly from his seat, shoving it out of the way and walked over to a window. He stared out, watching the sky. The moon was bright and the stars twinkled down on the world, winking their majesty one by one on every living creature bound to the earth...every living creature now except for Greed. Ed gritted his teeth, pressing his forehead against the cool glass and banged his white, gloved fist on it, causing the window pane to rattle. Winry stood back away from him, allowing him to vent his frustration and agony in silence. Ed's eyes found the large, shadowed form of his younger brother Alphonse and his teacher, Izumi talking outside. What they were talking about, he didn't want to know. In fact, it did nothing but infuriate him.
"It doesn't matter if it was by accident or not, Winry," the state alchemist began. He whirled around to look at the girl, an expression of agony painted on his features. "I killed him! He cannot come back! I was the one that took his life away! I've...I-I've...," Ed stammered on his words as he felt the tears beginning to burn his amber eyes. He couldn't bring himself to say he had become a murderer.
Growing even more upset that he was allowing his emotions to get the better of him, Ed brought back his metal hand and slammed it into the chair that he had been sitting on, sending it flying across the room and slamming into the wall. The chair instantly broke on impact, it's splinters littering the floor. Winry didn't speak a word, but just brought her hands to her mouth as she watched the tormented alchemist. He lowered his head, allowing his bangs to curtain his face from sight, his blonde braid falling over one shoulder and dropped to his knees.
"I never once meant to kill him. I swear I never wanted him to die. I only wanted to injure him just enough to make him tell me where Al was," Ed's voice brimmed with tears. Winry watched as she saw a few drops fall and soak the wood on the floor, and she moved to the front of Ed. Winry dropped to her knees as well, placing her arms comfortingly around the alchemist's trembling body and held him close. Ed melted into her comfort, buried his face into her shoulder and cried. She shooshed him gently and ran her hand over the back of his soft, blonde head in a soothing motion. Ed's entire body shook and trembled as he sobbed, allowing himself to cry the tears of remorse, of grief and self-reproach that he hadn't shed right after he had killed Greed. "I never...ever wanted...to kill."
"I know, I know, Ed," Winry spoke softly as she continued to soothe him to the best of her ability, her eyes burning with unshed tears.
She allowed a few to slip down her cheeks for him. Winry had always shed tears for him, though Ed only knew of one time and that was when Winry had taken his pocket watch in which he carved in the date, he and Al and burnt their house down. This would be another where she wouldn't tell him. Instead, she concentrated on comforting Ed's tormented being. This was the first time that Ed had ever expressed himself like this in front of her, or even allow her to comfort him for that matter. Winry could remember when Ed and Al's mother died, the boys had been overwhelmed with grief. She had seen how Ed reacted when he and herself were nearly killed by Barry 4 years ago in his butcher shop, but moreso Winry believed that Ed had broken down because of not only fear, but not being able to save Nina from her tragic demise. Ed had been so young then, only 12 years old. He had only just become a state alchemist, but now here he was, nearing manhood and Winry couldn't recall any other time she'd ever seen him so broken. She continued to rock his body gently until his soft sobs subsided. Ed pulled back, still keeping his head down, his long bangs curtaining his face. The alchemist rose to his feet, clenching his fists at his side.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I just...I feel so...I don't even know how to describe how I feel."
"It's okay, Ed," Winry assured him, standing up as well. "You have nothing to be sorry for, okay? I just want you to know and understand that I'm here for you. I'll always be here for you, Edward."
Ed turned his tear-streaked face up at Winry and smiled slightly. He raised his gloved fist and wiped the back of it across his eyes. "Thanks," was all he could say. He walked over to the chair that he had broken and stared down at it. "I'm sorry about this," the alchemist apologized. Ed clapped his hands together and placed both on the floor in front of the chair. He began creating the usual technique with alchemy needed to fix anything broken and mended the shattered wood. Once the chair had been fixed, he moved it back to it's rightful place and sat back down in it. He forced another smile up at Winry. "Well, I can't do much with a busted arm...I suppose we should probably get it fixed, huh?"
Winry smiled and nodded her head in agreement, gathering her wrench, a handful of screws, bolts, metal and set to work once more on Ed's arm, happy that the alchemist had finally opened up to her atleast about one thing. It might not have been much, but it was a start. A start from all the traumatizing things he had suffered through. Though he wasn't going to allow much more to show now, Ed had to admit to himself that Winry's comfort was even more welcoming and relieving than anything he'd ever felt. He admitted to himself that was grateful she had been here and also that he did in fact, feel a little bit better. Ed watched as Winry began busying herself once more with finishing the repair work on his arm, grateful for a friend like her, that she was somebody who would be there for him no matter what.