She was laughing at them long before they ever saw her. They shambled like some weird three-legged creature; only part of that creature didn't get along with the rest of it. Another peal of laughter rang out from her balcony as she watched Ed try to push his brother away, only to fall on his own rump. The laugh faded away a little as the elder Elric brother sat in the dirt and struggled to shed his outer layer of clothing. She frowned a little, he must be uncomfortable, and disappeared back inside. Sighing a little she threw her work clothes over her shoulder and headed downstairs for a glass of ice water. After she beaned Ed in the head for whatever he messed up this time he'd probably appreciate a cool drink.
Clanking stomps and boys voices ringing out through the house let her know they had at least made it up the steps in one piece. She heard her granny start an argument shortly after and looked around for her trusty wrench as the voices rose. She stopped in the doorway to the common room and surveyed the scene. Granny and Ed in each other's faces shouting ridiculous comments, Al holding a bone up in the air as Den was jumping around trying to reach it, the brother's belongings had been dumped in a pile at the entryway. She sighed dramatically taking a sip of the water in her hand. Al looked over at her, his eyes brightening.
She timed the wrench throw perfectly. Right after Al's "Hey Winry" Ed looked up as the flying metal hit him right in the forehead. She did a little dance of victory, careful not to drop her glass or clothes. She was laughing as Al stepped over his brother's prone, groaning form. "Look, we brought you guys' gifts." She let out a little shriek of surprise as Al opened his armor in front of her, various fruits and packages raining out and almost knocking her to the ground.
Ed sat up, "Al, you missed her. Try again."
She calmly threw a screwdriver in his direction, smirking when he let out a groan and flopped back down to the ground. She was already gingerly picking her way over the pile of fruit to Ed when Granny intervened, "Al, help me pick this up. We can put it away while Winry deals with that shrimp." She smiled as Ed sat up again, mouth open to yell out some comeback to the shrimp comment she guessed before he spied her water. She giggled as his eyes went from the glass to her and back again.
"Yes, I brought this for you. I thought you might be hot from the walk." He grabbed the glass from her hand as she squatted down in front of him. He gulped it down noisily before glaring at her.
"You mean you watched us that entire way and didn't come out to help?"
"What do you mean, Ed? You don't need help from an innocent girl do you?" She batted her eyelashes at him playfully earning a growl. "Besides you were barely letting Al help you. I didn't want to get shoved, too." She watched as different emotions played across his face; irritation, guilt, sadness, anger, and finally just relief.
"You're a jerk, Winry. I wouldn't have shoved you."
"Yeah, well you're short and it's too late now. So what did you break?" She smiled as he glared at her again before he answered.
"It's my ankle. I kind of slept in a field for a couple of nights and then it locked up."
"Okay, then. Let's get you to the exam room. You can get cleaned up after I look at it." They scooted over to the couch, giving Ed something else to leverage up against besides her. Even with the sturdy furniture he was still a bit of a pain to get up. They were both gasping, pressed together with arms around each other, when they were finally standing. She didn't notice Al look in and leave again. Ed let her help as they shambled to the workroom before he collapsed in a chair. She felt a little sorry for him as she looked down at him, sweat rolling down the sides of his face and out of breath.
She called for Al and hearing his reply shouted back that he bring some water before she got to work. She slipped her jumpsuit on under her dress and then shed the light summer garment, a tube top already in place underneath. Then she got to work undoing Ed's boots. She didn't notice him staring at her, intent on her work. Getting him out of his tank top was easy and Al came in the room as she was doing it. "Thanks Al" Ed rumbled out as he was handed a glass. "Brother, you know, you could be a little more helpful in getting your clothes off." Ed just laughed in response, "yeah, but that's no fun." She blindly lashed out with one of the hands currently undoing his belt to slap him upside the head. "Fine, Fine, I'll help."
She gave Al a grateful look as Ed's hands shoved hers off his waist. The younger brother fidgeted for a second and she wondered what could be up with him as she began to poke and prod at the metal ankle. "Ew, it looks like someone just poured gunk in here. There's no way you did this rolling around in the dirt." She missed the glare Ed threw at his brother, "Sorry, I don't know what else it could have been." She ignored the armor fidgeting beside her. "I should have you back on the road in two days. I have to make some other adjustments, too."
"That's great, Winry. I was afraid it wouldn't be able to be fixed." Al cut in. She glanced up at that, seeing the death glare Ed was giving his little brother and added her suspicious glare to it. "Why wouldn't I be able to fix it?" "Oh…uh, no reason. I think I'm going to go help Granny. By the way, Ed bought you a gift." The armor ran out of the room as the golden glare intensified and the suspicious glare remained. Her expression softened as she turned back from the door to look up at Ed. He fidgeted before smiling at her "I'll give it to you later." "Okay" and she went back to the ankle. When he spoke again a few minutes later she looked back up in surprise.
"It was a long spring." She couldn't read the expression on his face as he said this and the slight flush that rose to her cheeks confused her.
"Here too. Welcome home." She looked back down, trying to hide the heat on her face. The muscles of Ed's legs lost some of their tension after she spoke and she heard him sigh.
"It's good to be home."