I set this roughly after the movie, but it's also kind of a mix of the manga and the anime. I actually started to write this when I was about 12 or 13, - 6ish years ago! – so the manga was nowhere near finished at that point, which is why I didn't set it after the end of the manga. I have actually re-written (or started to) this fic, but I can't really be bothered to overhaul the entire plot, so as weak as it is, I thought I'd just leave it be, and just try to revamp the actual writing a little. Maybe one day I'll overdo certain aspects of the plot, but right now, it'll stay pretty much the same. I was most concerned about the failing of my written talent back then, and the way some scenes read, so that's what I focused on when re-writing! :)

Anyway, back on track. Ed and Winry are 18 and Al's 14 (mentally 17, but... well, you'll understand if you've seen the movie. If you haven't seen that far in the anime or seen the film... Go watch it! :D There might be spoilers otherwise!) The plot, as I've said, is pretty random, but I hope you'll enjoy it, and that it really does seem improved!

SPOILER: I know Hughes is supposed to be dead by now, but I like him so I kept him alive... with absolutely no explanation for why. Haha, sorry!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own FullMetal Alchemist or any of its characters. I would be writing much better and much more publishable fiction for it if I did. Hur hur.

Edward had been missing for a month now.

It had been two months after he and Al had come back from beyond the gate, and Ed had gone to Central in order deliver a report to General Mustang. It was supposed to have been a quick visit, with Ed returning to Risembool within a few days, but somewhere along the way, he had vanished.

Winry sighed as she stared out of the front window of the house.

Heavy rain had been falling for days.

After Führer King Bradley had been deposed and defeated by Roy Mustang, Edward disappeared through the gate and Al – who had reappeared as a twelve-year-old boy – had been staying with her and granny until the incidents in Central had occurred, two years later. It was then that he and Ed were reunited and both left for the strange world that Edward had been living in for so long.

Winry had thought she would never see either of them again.

Then, about five months later, Ed and Al had returned! With Ed still missing an arm and a leg, but otherwise unharmed, and Al's memories of the time he and Ed had spent searching for a way to restore their bodies revived, Winry had been overjoyed to have them both back. They were a little shady on the details of exactly how they had managed it, making Winry wonder if their methods had been something less than savoury, but she had overlooked questions on the matter in favour of just being happy to have the boys back. But then two months after they had come back, Ed disappeared. Again.

No one knew where he had gone, and no one had seen him go.

Winry missed him. Weeks had passed with no word, and a hollow feeling had begun to take root inside her. Time seemed to drag by in slow, heavy circles, never bringing her any release from the loathsome 'wait' she was forced to endure. Each morning rolled in with nothing but disappointment on its shoulders. Sure, she was used to having to wait, it was a familiar feeling to her, having to wait for both or one of the Elric brothers to return from one of their various endeavours, but this time it felt different. Ed had disappeared with no warning whatsoever! He almost never disappeared without letting someone know where he was headed – especially Alphonse. No, this vanishing left her with a devastating sense of foreboding, and her instincts on these matters were unfortunately correct the vast majority of the time.

Winry sighed once more and began to rise from her chair by the window. As she did so, a flash from outside caught her eye. She peered through the rain to see a young man standing outside the house. A young man with long, rain-drenched, blonde hair.

A young man with an Automail arm.

Winry gasped. Her chair had barely touched the floor – knocked over by the force of her movement – by the time she had reached the door. She flung it open and ran into the torrential downpour of rain outside, one word dying on her lips;

"Edward…"

Ha-ha, short beginning chapter, and kind of annoying where I left it. :D

Please Review! I know some of you might have read this before, but it's all shiny (well, sort of) and improved (hopefully)! Love is appreciated!