Winry opened the front door to her Granny's house, totally stunned to see Riza standing there. "Riza, I thought you were in Ishbal." Her brow creased. "Don't tell me the idiot broke his automail again!"
Riza held up a bulging bag. "For you."
Winry looked inside and her jaw fell. "Pieces…there's nothing but pieces. Is he alive? If he's alive, I'm killing him myself. Even Ed wasn't this bad."
"He's alive and fussing with Havoc and Dev. He doesn't want to sit in a wheelchair but the doctor doesn't want him up on his other leg either," Riza said wearily, pointing to the car.
"Get him up here!" Winry hollered at the men then stalked inside. She opened up one of the patient rooms, hearing the creak of the wheelchair as it entered the house.
"If you'd just give me crutches none of this would be necessary!" Roy groaned.
"You took shrapnel in your leg, Boss. You heard the doc, no walking," Havoc said wearily.
"Oh, just let him maim himself. He's too much trouble. Tell me again why I had to come…here? It smells funny," Dev grumbled, not helping Havoc in the 'taking care of Mustang' campaign.
"That's sheep you smell and you need to see Winry anyhow about your arm," Riza said then looked at the blonde girl and mumbled, "If I don't shoot all three first."
"Leave Mustang to me," Winry said viciously. She pointed to the bed. "Help him into bed and you…you damn well better have a good excuse for why your leg is in a bag!" She poked a finger into Roy's chest.
"I rescued an Ishbalan child out of a minefield and accidentally triggered a mine," Roy said, not waiting for Havoc's help. He hopped a step then all but fell into the bed.
Winry deflated. That i was /i a good excuse. She tapped his head. "Keep off the other leg. Why is following orders so hard for you?" Winry sat on the bed with him and put his stump across her knee. She inspected the docking port. "A mine?"
"Yeah. There are some old mines left in the desert. The kid was too young to know or to read the warnings. He went in and I just happened to be nearby when the cry went up. I followed his footprints in, figuring if he was okay then I would be, too. Problem was, on the way out the wind kicked up, damn desert sand. I was just a hairsbreadth from the edge when I heard the click. The mines go off when you release the pressure. I handed off the kid then made sure the automail was the only thing on the mine when I jumped. I figured that it could handle the blast much better than flesh and bone. I was just afraid it would blow up between my legs." Roy shuddered.
"He's a hero…again," Dev grumbled. "Though castration by bomb would have saved future generations from the likes of him."
"You blew up my automail, ON PURPOSE?" Winry's blue eyes flashed.
"I did and it worked beautifully. We all lived and I just needed a few stitches here and there in my other leg," Roy said very quickly.
"And in your ass." Dev snickered.
Roy pushed his stump down into the bed, trying to lever himself up on the side so he could glare at his assistant. "Shut up! I think I did hire him because I needed to fill that tiny little void left by a certain alchemist."
Winry slapped him in the head. "Get off my docking port. It's not meant to be used like that."
"You take care of the big pest, granddaughter," Pinako said, coming into the room. "I'll handle the young one." She looked up at Dev. "Let's have that arm off and have a look-see at what we'll be working with."
"Huh?" Dev stared at the old woman.
"She's Pinako Rockbell, also a mechanic," Riza said in way of introduction.
"My grandmother," Winry added then glared down at Roy, grabbing his waistband. "Let's get these pants off so I can see what you've done." She started undoing his zipper.
Roy swatted her hand. "There's a roomful of people."
"Who've all seen a man in his boxers before." Winry paused then yanked his pants down then shoved him down on the bed, getting him off his stump. "You'd better be wearing some."
"I'm wearing underpants. I just wasn't planning the world to see them," Roy grumbled.
"Me, Granny and probably a few others in here have already seen them, you'll live." Winry tapped his belly. "Riza, he's getting skinny again."
"He doesn't eat." Riza waved Winry off, something glinting in the movement.
Leaning on Roy's belly, Winry reached for Riza's hand. "What is that? Is that a ring?"
Riza held out her hand for inspection. "Yes."
"It's beautiful," Winry said with a little bounce, her hand digging into Roy's belly.
"You're squashing me!" Roy groaned, trying to dislodge her.
"Hush." Winry looking at the ring with its brilliant sapphire stone and gold and platinum metals swirling like wood grain. "This is that Xing metal folding technique, right? It's beautiful! I want to know how that's done."
"That would make for a pretty leg," Roy said contemplatively.
"Yes, do learn how to do the folding metal technique, Winry, that way this peacock I'm marrying can strut about properly." Riza rolled her eyes as Winry gave her back her hand.
"Havoc, just don't stand there. Save me from these two," Roy ordered.
"Sorry, boss, this is too funny," the man said, tapping out a cigarette.
"Don't look at me, I only have one arm." Dev waved his stump, now standing shirtless in front of Pinako, baring large burn scars over his chest and shoulder. "Besides, I want to see you suffer."
"I had no idea Edward had an Ishbalan cousin," Winry said wryly.
"Or a Xing one, either," Riza said, giving Roy a look then took Havoc's arm. "Come on, let Winry work in peace."
"Goes for you, too." Granny turned Dev around. "Let's you and I talk about automail." She shooed the young man from the room.
Winry watched them go then took another long look at Roy's docking port before getting up. She gazed down at him. "So, you finally did the right thing."
He rubbed under his eye patch. "We didn't want to tell you like this. We were going to come on the way back to Central and surprise you but then I got hurt."
"Well, I'm happy for you. I think she's been waiting for a very long time for this, when she could finally let go of duty and just do what she wanted." Winry's face fell. "I wish Ed could have managed that."
"I think he has, now…I'm just sorry he couldn't do it here with you. I'd bring-"
Winry put her hand over his mouth. "I know you would. And I know while you're here recovering, you'll be going through those tired, fat old books because Riza is just right about you being so very like Ed. We've already had this conversation several times. I accept they're gone and won't be coming back."
"I know. Riza wants to talk to you about the wedding. I'm sure she'll ask you to be in it." He smiled at her.
"You leave all that talk to us women." Winry pulled the thin blanket up over him. "You look exhausted, Roy. Take a nap."
"Don't you have to work on me first?" he asked resigned.
"You didn't damage the docking port. I'll just have to make a new leg," Winry said. "You get some rest."
Roy just nodded and shut his eye.
"And later, when you're good and rested, I'm going to beat you simple for ruining my best work." Winry smiled and darted out the door.
Roy wondered if he could hide behind his fiancée. No, she'd help Winry. Oh well, counting himself lucky to have such options and such people in his life, Roy let go of the brave façade and let the pain and exhaustion claim him.