Hey y'all, I'm back with another FMA fic. This time it's EdxWin, and it takes place after Conqueror of Shamballa, so there are movie spoilers in it. But other than that, I hope you enjoy it!!
Disclaimer: I own nothing here.
Letters from Nowhere
The workshop was noiseless, with the exception of the occasional pencil scratching against the paper that lay on the desk of one Winry Rockbell. But even though the girl knew she should be more focused on this design, that just because her family was vanishing that didn't mean her customers were as well, she just couldn't keep her mind on her work. This was unlike her, she knew that. She was supposed to be Winry Rockbell, a budding automail genius, one who applied herself wholly to her job. But today she just couldn't keep her mind on her paper.
It wasn't just today. This had been going on for weeks, and both she and Pinako had known the cause. The girl sighed as she dropped her pencil and looked the calendar she had posted up on the wall. It was the 5 week anniversary of the day that Edward Elric had returned from wherever he'd been the past three years, only to leave again, this time with his brother Alphonse in tow. Winry knew she should be happy for them; it had been so many years ago that night when the two brothers had been forced to go on that grueling journey to recover their bodies, and now they were finally re-united. But she couldn't help but be selfish, fate had first taken away her parents, then Auntie Trisha, and now her two closest friends, practically her brothers, and she wanted them back.
Sighing, she dropped her pencil and slouched slightly in her seat, her eyes wandering to the window and staring at the perfect blue sky. She felt as though it was mocking her, the sun was shining too brightly, and there were absolutely no clouds in sight. It should have been raining; there should've been a massive downpour, just like the one on the day that Ed and Al met their teacher, Izumi-san. That was the first time she'd been separated from them, but back then it had been different; back then she had known it was only going to be a matter of time until they would return. Now though, she was entirely positive that she was never going to see them again.
'There are so many things I want to tell them…'
And somehow this thought released a memory; one that she had forgotten had ever even been created.
The chair in the guidance counselor's office was hard, and it made Winry feel as though she had done something wrong. The counselor was a middle-aged man with a gentle face that Winry had normally seen turned up into a smile, but now he just looked sad and serious.
"I'm so sorry to hear about your loss Winry," He was referring to her parents, she knew. She had only received news of their death 2 weeks before school had re-started for the year, and now, on the very first day back, he had to remind her.
"I know it's hard to keep moving when people you care about are gone, so if you want someone to talk too, you are always welcome here. Of course, everything we talk about here is confidential." The man said, but Winry didn't really care; she had already agreed that she was going to talk to Auntie Trisha if she ever felt sad. But there was one thing that she could never have brought herself to say to her surrogate aunt…
"There's…there are just so… so many things I wish I could have said to them…"
Winry wiped away a stray tear as this memory had replayed itself in her mind, much as she had when she'd actually made that comment. She was never going to forget the advice the counselor had given her that day; his exact words were currently ringing in her head.
"Just write them a letter with everything you wanted to say."
Instinctively the teen went into her closet and pulled out a box, which she then placed on her bed. Sitting beside it and crossing her legs, she opened the box and pulled out many sheets of paper, some old and very messily written on, other neatly folded and placed in envelopes labeled "Mom" or "Dad". It was her secret, this box of letters that she had written to her parents anytime she needed to tell them something, anytime something had happened, good or bad. She hadn't written recently, she'd been too distracted to remember to keep them informed.
Winry sighed slightly, remembering how much better she had felt that first time she wrote to her parents, and every time after that. Closing the box and hiding it again, she sat back down at her desk and grabbed a fresh sheet of paper.
Dear Alphonse, She wrote, figuring it would be easier to start with the younger Elric. But something hadn't felt right. When she pressed her pen against the paper again, she found that she couldn't put any of her thoughts into words, that she couldn't even figure out what she was thinking. Sighing yet again, her eyes wandered back out to the sunny day outside of her window, and she dropped the pen. Her eyes closed and she breathed heavily, before restarting.
Al, how are you doing? I hope everything's alright, and that you made it safely to the other side with Ed again. Things around here are… quiet, I guess. The wars have let up, and life is starting to get back to normal, which is good. But I'm starting to miss the busy, bustling house I got used too. Rose and her son are doing alright, I just got a letter from them several days ago. They miss you, too, and Ed, of course.
I do have some good news for you, Roy and Riza finally got together, as did Havoc and Sciezska. They actually make a pretty good couple, albeit it was unexpected. And Elysia just started 1st grade, she wrote me a letter too. She really misses you guys, she's always asking about you. Actually, everyone misses you, even though they aren't all saying it, it's very obvious.
But I think you did the right thing, by following Ed, I mean. He needs someone with him to make sure he doesn't damage his automail!! But more importantly, he needs you Al, and you need him too. So you guys, make sure you always stick together, alright?!
Tons of love,
Dropping her pen, Winry sighed, this time with relief. Re-reading the letter, she felt like she had still left something out… she felt like she was a stranger writing to him. Picking the pen up again, she added:
P.S: Al, you will always be my brother and I'll always miss you!!! Never forget that, okay!!!
Better, she thought, re-reading it again. Placing the completed letter to the side, she picked up a new sheet of paper. Taking in a very deep breath and feeling her stomach begin to twist, she started:
I… How're you doing, Ed? How is you're automail holding up? I hope you're taking good care of it; I'm not going to be there to fix it for you anymore! Aside from that, how's everything? I wonder what it's like on the other side of the gate…
Actually Ed, I think you'd have been pretty proud of me if you'd have seen what I did to Mustang after he told me her let you guys go… let's just say that compared to the bashing I gave him my whacks at you were just bug bites… it took 2 weeks for Riza to speak civilly with me again. They're getting married soon; the wedding is in 2 months… Riza asked me to be her maid of honor and I accepted. It's about time, isn't it?
Life around here is so different now, everything's has gotten quieter. There are a lot of less visitors coming; it's only our patients now. And, I'm actually starting to get a bit worried about Granny. She's become a lot more tired lately, and she coughs a lot too… I'm trying to convince her to quit smoking, but it only seems like she's smoking more often. I just don't want anything to happen to her because… because then I'll… be alone…
Oh God Ed, I love you. I love you so much that it hurts, especially because I know I'm never going to see you again. I just wish that I hadn't been so stupid; that I had told you a long time ago. I just thought… what if he doesn't love me back; I can't distract him from his mission; what if it ruins our friendship… but now, knowing that it's all over, that I let you go without telling you…
It hurts so much, I feel so alone all the time… and I know Granny's getting worried about me, she's always giving me these looks and making sure that I'm still eating and sleeping enough… but it's not just her, everyone is treating me like I'm sick and weak and depressed… I guess it's because I am…
Oh God, I'm such an idiot… I'm supposed to be writing you a letter, not pouring my heart out… if I knew there was a chance you'd get this I'd be ripping it up and starting all over. I just wish so much that you and Al were still here, that none of this had ever happened and that we were still the Resembool trio…
Remember when we were little and we used to read those fairy tales, and you'd always get annoyed when they ended in a happy ever after? I guess you were right; there are no happy endings, just a broken painful one.
And there I go again, writing all about myself and my pain… Don't worry about me, okay Ed? I'll be fine.
Never forget me, alright?
Winry dropped her pen and placed her face in her palms, letting her tears drip freely into her hands. But a moment later she inhaled deeply and wiped them away, looking back down at her letter. It was almost completely tear stained, but somehow she just couldn't bring herself to throw it out.
And yet, looking at the two letters on her desk only made her feel worse. She had said everything she wanted to say, but none of it would ever reach the Elric brothers, and that truth was going to drive her crazy.
Her eye drifted to the window yet again, but this time not to the now orange sky, but to the river where she, Al, and Ed had always played. An idea suddenly hit her, and she grabbed both letters, as well as an old glass bottle from the kitchen, as she ran out of the house.
The wind was pushing her mousy blonde hair back and forth slowly as the girl gently rolled up both letters and slipped them into the bottle. She sealed the bottle tightly with the cork and held it in her hand, staring intently at the green glass. She exhaled, her whole body relaxing as she pulled the bottle up to her chest and pressed in against her heart.
She stayed like this for several moments, before gently placing the bottle in the river and stood, watching as the water carried it away. A breeze blew in, and she quickly held her arm to her chest, wishing that she had brought a sweater with her as she walked back up the hill under the stars.
"So Al, what'd you want to eat for dinner?" Ed asked as the two brothers were walking back to their apartment after work one evening. The occasional car drove past them on the road, and the river was running on their other side, at a much lower level than the street was.
"You're already hungry? Is your stomach all you think about, brother?" Al joked, but Ed still felt the need to defend himself.
"Of course, the last time we ate was 3 hours ago!- Hey, what's that?" Noticing something strange in the river, Ed walked over to the gate that prevented people from falling in and peered in, Al following suit.
It was a tall glass bottle, and from what the brothers could make out it looked like there was a paper inside of it.
"I thought that only happened in books…" Al commented, and Ed nodded his agreement before deciding "I'm going to go grab it."
And with that, the elder Elric jumped the gate to go after the bottle. "Be careful Brother!" Al called and Ed stuck up his arm to show he was listening. But he was faced with a problem; he couldn't jump in after the bottle, it would mess up his automail. But while he was trying to figure out how he could grab the bottle without getting his automail wet, the gentle rapids had pushed the bottle up to the rocks, right next to where Ed was standing. He picked it up, and for some odd reason he felt as though there was something immensely important inside of it.
"Brother! Are you alright!?" Al called, and Ed looked back up.
"Yeah, I'll be up in a second!" And with that, he slowly rescaled the gate and swung his legs over, landing with a 'Clang' beside his sibling. He handed the bottle to Al, who pulled the cork off and let the contents of the bottle, 2 sheets of paper, slid into his hands.
His eyes widened immensely when he looked at the papers in his hands, and when he spoke, his voice barely went above a whisper.
"Brother." He held the paper in his left hand out, "Look."
Ed took the paper from Al, confused until he saw the name signed at the bottom. Then his face became the same as Al's as he went back to the beginning of the letter. But as he took in the words of the letter, he could feel his eyes burn; and soon the hot tears began to slide down his face.
"Guess everything's alright there hu- Brother? What's wrong?" Al became worried at the sight of his brother's tears, and reached out to read his letter. But before he got the chance to, Ed pulled the letter closer to himself and held it tighter, and obvious sign that he didn't want Al to see it.
"Come on Al, let's get ho- keep going." And with that, he continued to walk in the direction of their apartment, his confused and saddened brother following him.
That was actually pretty depressing, wasn't it? I was pretty much crying when I wrote the second letter, but I feel kind of guilty because I don't like the one to Al so much. I mean, Winry isn't the type to make others feel bad so there wasn't much I could make her say to Al when she was so upset that would be in character. This will, unfortunately, always be a one-shot, so please don't ask for a sequel (unless maybe I get inspired to write one).
Reviews are very much desired, especially constructive criticism!!!