By Suzi a.k.a. KatsyKat
Summary: My take on a very cliché theme of Winry getting hurt when the brothers are magically in town... with my own twist. Loosely based on a true story. :D
Chapter 1 (I've decided that I SUCK at naming chapters and I'm no longer going to try.)
Winry had barely tightened the last screw on Ed's forearm when he jumped up from her work bench. If she'd had a lighter grip on her screwdriver, it would have been sailing across the room. As if was, she had to juggle to keep it from the floor as she stumbled back to make room for Ed to stand up.
"Feels great." Ed flexed his arm as if showing off his metallic bicep. "Just in time to spar with Al before it gets dark, too. You're the best!" He called over his shoulder as he, in typical Ed style, sprinted out of her workshop without a proper thank you.
Winry sighed. Some things never change.
"You're welcome." She grumbled, after he left.
She was getting better with disappointment, she decided. A year ago she'd be screaming and throwing a wrench at him for his rudeness. Now she was only mildly put-out by the lack of appreciation for her two straight days of hard work to repair the appendage. As if thinking about her lack of sleep reminded her, a jaw-cracking yawn burst from her mouth.
She should have known better than to reconnect the arm earlier in the afternoon and expect Ed to sit through the minor plate adjustments rather than do it all before it was attached. It was only that he'd been so eager to have her attach it as soon as possible. Ed and Al had train tickets to return to Central tomorrow. And Winry supposed he didn't want to spend his last night in agony from the reattachment.
She was never able to refuse him something that was in her power to do. Even when she wanted to delay his repairs if only to have a little more time with her friends, she still pushed herself to meet their insane time constraints.
Winry shook her head with a knowing smile. Ed didn't do well with sitting still for the long period of time it took her to weld the last metal pieces together. He'd gotten on her nerves in the last hour, repeatedly tapping his automail foot just because it make more noise on the concrete floor than his flesh foot. When would she learn?
Looking across her messy table, her smile fell. She'd forgotten to ask Ed to help her haul a box of spare parts back to the basement. She'd brought it up earlier in the afternoon when Ed was recouping from the attachment, because she needed some insulated wire covers, but the heavy box had turned out to have everything but. She'd wasted her time and effort hauling it up and emptying it.
More than a little annoyed, but unable to figure out if it was aimed at Ed for never offering to help or at herself for forgetting to ask him, Winry threw the items back into the box in a flurry. Wires, splitters, metal boxes, and even some welding rods all went into the box with no order. A spool of almost gone 12-gauge blue wire was tossed in and snagged on the edge of the box. Winry threw a rod on top of it and saw the spool disappear into the box after loosening enough for a small coil of wire to poke out of the top.
Unconcerned with the many small bits sticking out of the top of the box, Winry looked for a marker. She rationalized that the box was hardly organized to begin with since it hadn't even contained what it said it did on the outside of the box, so it didn't matter if she put it away neatly or not. Pinako would probably razz her when she discovered it, but Winry didn't care.
Finally finding a marker in her pencil tin, the blonde crossed out some words and wrote down the few new items she'd added, on the side of the box. Tossing the marker a few short feet, Winry smiled when she heard the satisfying clunk of the marker landing in the tin. Score for her.
Winry bent at the knees and slid her hands under the front corners of the box tilting it back into her stomach. As she straightened her knees, she was forced to move her left hand to steady the back of the box and stumbled for a second under its weight.
Was it this heavy earlier? She wondered. She hadn't added many things. But she supposed the several pieces of metal she did put in could have been a bit much. Still, now that she had it in her grip and the bottom wasn't going to fall out – there was no point in putting it down to wait for Ed or Al to return.
She couldn't quite see over the front edge of the box to check the clock on her workbench so Winry glanced out the window. The sun wouldn't set for another two hours or so. Better to get this done now, and then she could get started on something for Ed to eat when he returned.
Her grandmother was at a client's house for the night. The man wasn't doing so well after recouping from his 2nd bout of automail surgery. He was well enough to be at his own house, but he'd been running a fever and Pinako had insisted on staying until it broke. He was in an important stage of healing and it wouldn't be good if an infection set in.
So the task of getting the box back down to the basement fell to Winry or one of the boys. A vision of Ed boasting the entire night about her being a weak little girl quickly pushed the idea of asking for help from her mind.
Winry began the trek to the basement. Her steps were small and jerky as she tried to compensate for the added weight. Her hands regripped the bottom of the box several times on the short trip. As she reached the stairs she had one last fleeting thought of asking for help, before she decided that since she'd already made it half way there was no point in backtracking.
Pushing the box against the wall and securing it with her hip and right hand, she reached with her left hand to grip and turn the handle to unlatch the door to the basement stairs.
As the door swung open, she let the weight of the box fall into both hands again. Unfortunately for her she couldn't see the wire spool inside the box.
If she could see through cardboard she'd notice that as she jostled the box to open the door the spool began to spin freely in the box. With gravity aiding it, the wire fell faster and faster until it almost touched the ground in front of the unsuspecting girl. As Winry jostled the box again to maneuver it around the door jamb, a rod settled inside the box, pinning and effectively halting the decent of the wire.
Winry thought about turning the basement light on, but dismissed it as too troublesome, she'd have to switch hands to reach the switch. It wouldn't be the first time she'd descended the stairs with out it. She was confident she'd be fine until she reached the bottom where there was another switch and a place she could set the box to rest her tiring arms before putting it away.
Making her way cautiously down the stairs, Winry was more than half way down when her left foot stepped far enough to capture the loop of wire under her foot in it's downward motion.
Having caught on the rod, the spool did not give any more and the force of Winry's step jerked the box down sharply. Winry scrambled to maintain her grip and, realizing that she'd stepped on something tried to lift her foot at the same time.
The combination of the two left her off balance on the stairs and before she could adjust she was falling head first into the dank basement.
The scream was stolen from her throat with a grunt as she registered a sharp pain in her side from a piece of metal sticking out of the box. She fell first on top of the box. Extending her arms forward she pushed against it to prevent her face from impacting the stairs. The momentum from her fall and strength of her arms, catapulted her over the box to land painfully on her back.
Her head contacted the stairs with a resounding thud and the last thing Winry remembered was the metal and wires from the box raining down on her before darkness claimed her.
Tee-hee. Such a teaser, I know. But this story is coming out fast. I apparently can't help myself from torturing Winry. I'll have the next chapter up really soon.
I've read enough of the "Winry's injured" stories to KNOW that this 'idea' is a little CLICHÉ, but I was carrying a radio down my basement stairs and tripped in a VERY SIMILAR fashion (less the bout of unconsciousness and miraculously without any serious injury) – and POP goes the idea for the story.
I have strived to be true to the characters and as far away from the cliché's as possible – I promise. But I needed an opportunity get in some senseless EdWin fluff after finally finishing Maintenance.
Thanks for reading!