What Hurts the Most

Disclaimer: I Don't Own FMA In Any Way.

Rating: PG—PG-13 Due To Some Angst and Crude Language.

A/N: This is a song-fic to Rascal Flatt's song 'What Hurts the Most.' When I first heard it, I fell in love with it and, not long after, I got an idea for a story for it :) so, without any further a due, I hope you like this story.


I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house
That don't bother me
I can take a few tears now and then and just let them out
I'm not afraid to cry every once in a while
Even though going on with you gone still upsets me
There are days every now and again I pretend I'm ok
But that's not what gets me

Edward Elric, now eighteen years of age, stared out of the window of his home as rain could be seen and heard in front and all around him. It wasn't as much a light rain as much as a great downpour from the heavens, with thunder roaring and lighting brightening up the entire sky, if only for a moment, before fading back into darkness. The elder Elric had returned from his job as a major in Central's headquarters several minutes ago, before the rain had come with big, grey clouds full of water. Aside from the sounds of pelting rain, his home was silent; only a stray creak every now and then could be heard escaping from who knows where. Alphonse, Edward's younger brother, was off to Lior to help out a bit.

The younger had asked his brother to come along but Ed's current job kept him from doing so. It's been approximately two years since the younger left before coming for a visit one day and tearing Edward's world apart by saying that he would have to stay there for a long while, to Ed's great dismay. The elder Alchemist had been quite lonely within his home without his younger brother as company. Not to mention, he didn't speak to Winry anymore after he told her that he would be joining the military once again after his quest to get Al's body back, which he did. Winry was very upset the day he told her, saying she felt it was better if he just never came back to her.

Ed tried explaining that he would still visit for more than just Automail upgrades and tune-ups but Winry didn't want to hear it. It was then that the silence between them came and Ed, soon after, packed his things and moved to Central with Alphonse. He had not even called Winry once within these two years and she had not called him. His Automail was still functioning properly; therefore, there was no real need for him to visit her. Aside from that fact that he had grown slightly taller, there just wasn't enough reason to go and get new limbs.

Sadly, however, those exact metallic limbs that allowed him to walk and hold things was what caused him much grief in the past two years, or his entire life, to be more precise. The Automail were Winry's creations and that, alone, made Ed think about her all too much. Lately, it seemed that his Automail just stood out more than anything else. Whenever something was about to fall, it was always seemed to be to the Elric's right side and his quick reflexes would allow him to catch whatever was falling with his right arm. The sound of metal gently clinging and clanging reminded him of Winry shuffling through his arm or her toolbox.

As for his leg, the simple mismatched sound of his feet whenever he walked barefoot within his home was enough to make him think of the blonde mechanic. These thoughts haunted him in more ways than one; even staff at the office had noticed his change in behavior. Edward had taken to becoming unusually slow when his train of thought was heading straight toward Winry. When he got off said train, anybody talking to him would have to repeat themselves. The Elric had also taken to becoming quite sluggish at his work; the inbox at his desk seemed to grow more each day, seeing as the bottom of the stack were older files that he hadn't yet reached and probably wouldn't reach anytime soon.

Now, Edward wasn't one to let his tears flow so easily…when people were around, that is. Now that Ed had been alone in his house, he had found it easier to shed a few tears every once in a while and just let it out. It was difficult for him to force his tears aside for so long and, although it didn't solve much, he felt somewhat better after having a few tears flow. With both his younger brother and his best friend gone, he was left far too upset to hold it in. He still heard Al's voice and saw him because the younger would call him to check in and even visited every so often.

He was not so fortunate with Winry, however. He hadn't heard her voice for two years now, but he couldn't let her sweet sound escape from his mind. Sadly, he was not able to see her beautiful form neither. This suddenly made him wonder how much she had changed since he had last seen her smiling face. He had no pictures of her, so he was forced to keep only bittersweet memories of her and have a permanent mental picture of her.

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that
loving you
Is what I was trying to do.

The closest he had ever been to having Winry happy was when he came back for tune-ups, letting her know that he was at least alive and breathing. When he finally returned home with Alphonse in his rightful body and saying that their quest was over, he knew Winry was truly happy. She laughed and smiled more often, and had cried the tears of joy he had promised her so long ago. He was so close and it was when he had so very much to say to her. Even now, there were things he wanted to say to her.

Technically, he was the one who chose to walk away but knowing that she disapproved of his leaving and work made it feel like it was the other way around. She walked away from him by saying that she never wanted him around her anymore. The moment those words had escaped her lips was the moment he died a little inside. She had never said something like that to him before; she usually just insulted him, whacked him with her wrench and left with tears running down her cerulean eyes. She wouldn't tell him to stay away.

He'd been haunted everyday with the memory of when he told her he was joining the military once more. Reliving those moments so much, however, made him realize just exactly what it was that he had given up. Although he tried to ignore it, there was always that depressing question in the back of his head: What could've been?

What would've happened between them if he had stayed? Would they still be 'just friends' or something deeper? What would've happened if he had told her his feelings towards her instead saying that he was rejoining the military? Although he could barely admit it to himself, Edward desperately wanted the answers to these questions. The day he told her he was leaving was another thing added to his list of biggest mistakes.

It was simple; he loved her. He didn't know when or how, but he fell in love with that beautiful, blonde and blue-eyed Automail junkie. He even recalled himself calling her 'cute' when he was younger. It was usually a thought concealed to his mind alone but it was something. She was cute with her antics but who was the Elric fooling?

She was more than just cute; she was beautiful, intelligent and sweet. Not to mention, her strength and independence was what Ed truly found so amazing about her. She didn't let people boss her around and, if they tried, she would just show her strength and tell them off or hit them with her infamous wrench. She tried her hardest to not let people bring her down. The only person that seemed to do that was Ed.

He never let her into his life. Winry never knew where the hell he was or if he was even alive and well. Not to mention, the fact that he only came when his Automail was busted didn't help much either. It only made the Rockbell worry and wonder what in the world had caused the metal to be destroyed in such a manner. Again, since Ed never told her, she never knew.

It's hard to deal with the pain of losing you everywhere I go
But I'm doing It
It's hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I'm alone
Still Harder
Getting up, getting dressed, living with this regret
But I know if I could do it over

I would trade give away all the words that I saved in my heart
That I left unspoken

It was difficult to deal with this pain wherever he went. It seemed everything reminded him of that blonde young woman, making it difficult to focus on other things. People at the office weren't making much easier neither. Some had already suspected the situation between him and Winry while others assumed or pestered him for answers. Roy Mustang had even taking to asking him if Winry was doing alright, at least once a week.

He would usually glare or hiss out an angry and annoyed response like 'get a life and stay out of mine' or 'none of your damn business.' It was, however, difficult for him to smile whenever the subject was about something else and deal with the pain. He was struggling but he was doing it. He was a strong person but there was only so much that his broken heart could handle. Getting up every morning had become more of a drag than usual, considering he wasn't a morning person.

Getting dressed sometimes took more time than he'd like, causing him to be late to work. His usual excuse was that he slept in by accident or that he forgot to set his clock the night before. Living with that regret everyday of his life made things very difficult for him, including his usual habits and responsibilities. He knew that if he could just turn time back, he would redo many things. But, if he had to choose one…it would most likely be what he had told Winry two years ago; he would replace 'I'm going back to the military' with 'I love you.'

What hurts the most
Is being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

So much regret so much pain and sadness…any other person probably would've killed themselves at this point or died of their own depression. Edward was stronger than that, however. His pain could consume him, eat away at his already-tortured soul until he was nothing but a pathetic shell of his former self but he wouldn't allow it. He had lived through all his years with much grief and it only made him stronger; it made him exactly who he was. Without all the turmoil in his life, he probably wouldn't have ended up as strong a person he was now.

He had seen The Gate at the mere age of eleven and it took away his leg at that time. Then, to save his poor brother's soul, he sacrificed his right arm. Only a year later, he was the true definition of a 'Human Weapon' and a 'Child Prodigy.' How ever many titles people gave him, it did not matter; nothing could take away the pain that he had caused to the ones close to him, especially Winry. No one deserved what he had done to her over the years and he knew she much less didn't deserve it.

What hurts the most
being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

Edward sighed quietly to himself as thunder roared loudly in the distance, proudly claiming its dominion over the land. The Alchemist looked to the kitchen table beside him; a small stack of letters and promotional ads lay upon the wooden table. After staring at the rain for such a while, he finally reached over and took the stack in his left hand and then brought them down to his lap. Crossing one military pant-covered leg over the other, he began looking at each paper.

As he suspected, a few were notices for the bills he soon had to pay while others were ads for nearby shops and stores. Truly, nothing of great interest; he always paid his bills on time and he didn't give much thought to ads. He tossed his mail, gently, back on the table before looking back outside to the window, just as a scene was unfolding across the street. The Elric's eyebrows tensed slightly and he feared for the victim of the soon-to-be situation.

A young woman with blonde hair was struggling to get home under the terrible downpour but refused to run, as she was holding some bags in her arms; bags for of groceries or supplies, Ed figured. Behind the woman, however, was an odd, much elder fellow wearing dark clothing and with menacing dark eyes. Edward stood up; he couldn't stand on the sidelines and witness this without trying to stop it. If he didn't, an innocent life could be lost. He kept staring for a few moments, praying to the God he didn't believe in that what he was assuming wasn't really going to happen.

Sadly, however, once the young woman was close to an alleyway, the shady man quickened his pace up to her before forcing her into said alleyway. It was that moment that Ed lost it. He ran towards his front door and quickly opened it before exiting his home, slamming the door behind him, and running towards the alleyway. Once he reached it, he slid to a stop and immediately glared; the man had already pinned the young woman, by her wrists, to the wall at the end of the alley. The tension could clearly be seen in Ed's golden eyes.

"Let her go!" he demanded. He could not see the victims face because the man was preventing it. The man, of which, perked his head up and looked over his shoulder to who was ordering him. He raised a curious brow as he forced the young woman to the ground, of which fell with a slight gasp and yelp. With her back facing him, Ed could already tell that the man had ripped part of her shirt to the young woman's right shoulder.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" the man questioned in a deep, husky voice.

"I'm a State Alchemist," Edward stated as he pulled out his watch momentarily before putting it away once more. "And you're under arrest for sexual harassment!"

"Ha!" the man mocked terribly. "You think one little dog of the state is gonna stop me?"

"Who the hell you calling 'little?'" Ed seethed through gritted teeth. The man laughed silently to himself.

"I'm not going to waste my breath on you, dog," he stated as he began reaching towards hi right pocket. Ed's eyes widened nervously but heatedly.

"Brace yourself!" he warned, mostly the young woman who was on the ground. The young woman covered her arms over herself before Ed clapped his hands together before placing his metallic arm on the wall next to him. That, in turn, caused a shock of electricity to crack through the wall until the man's area. Then, a stone whip shot out of the wall and attacked the mans hand, causing the weapon he had pulled out to be thrown out of his grip and against the opposite wall before ricocheting onto the floor in the center between the mysterious man and Edward. The man held his now-injured hand and glared at the Alchemist before him.

"You," he muttered. "You're not human." A menacing grin appeared across Ed's features.

"You're wrong," he declared. "I'm quite human…I'm just better than you." The shady man growled irately at the young blonde before running towards him, ignoring the pain of his burning hand. When he was close enough he threw a punch with his opposite hand but failed as Ed caught it in his metallic fist and threw a punch with his other hand, straight towards the man's jaw. The dark-eyed man was forced onto his back on the ground, sadly right next to his weapon.

The Elric shrugged heatedly and quickened his way towards the man. He was, however, too slow. In the short time that it took him to come up to the man, the mysterious figure had already grabbed the gun and aimed it at Ed's head. The Alchemist, however, saw what was coming and swiftly dodged right. This didn't stop the man from shooting, causing a pained scream to escape Ed's lips; the bullet had grazed his left cheek. He looked back at his opposed and glared with burning golden eyes.

"You're going to wish you hadn't done that," he threatened in a low, angry voice as a small, thick drop of blood rolled down his cheek. The man quickly stood to his feet once more, aiming the gun at Ed once more. For a moment, all that could be heard was the hard rain pelting on the ground all around them. Once that moment ended, though, Ed ran towards the man. When he reached him, he miscalculated his punch because the man attacked first, hitting him across the jaw with the handle of his gun.

This, in turn, caused Edward to take a few steps back and examine his burning jaw. He leaned back on the wall of the alley, bending his knees somewhat and lifting his flesh hand to his sore mouth. He wiped his lips on his sleeve and could see some blood smeared across the blue material of his jacket. He groaned lowly before looking back to his adversary. He straightened out his knees, causing his military jacket to slide, slightly off the shoulder of his right arm.

The man immediately took notice of the shining arm beneath the jacket and widened his eyes.

"Automail," he muttered irately. Once Ed was on his feet again, he allowed his blue jacket to fall off his shoulders and to the ground behind his feet, revealing the tight, black tank top he had underneath.

"The jacket was weighing me down anyway," The Elric said cynically as he placed himself in fighting stance once more, grinning at his opponent in a maniacal way. The mysterious man suddenly felt uneasy; he knew, now, who this was and regretted messing with him. This blonde Dog of the State was the one and only Fullmetal Alchemist. He forced himself to put on a strong face as he growled at the teen. But just the way Ed was grinning at him so cynically was making his knees go weak.

"I…I'm not going to waste anymore time on you, freak!" he said nervously as he dropped his gun and ran for the exit of the alley. Ed's eyes widened.

"Don't even think about it!" he demanded as he clapped his hands together before placing his right palm on the ground. This caused another blue shock of electricity to shoot through the ground and up to the shady figure. When it reached him, the ground beneath the man lifted up into a gigantic fist which grabbed him before wrapping its fingers, tightly, around him, holding him captive as he struggled to get free. Edward grinned and chuckled in a triumphant yet evil way.

"Bastard," he muttered. He suddenly heard some shuffling behind him, causing his grin to quickly fade and a worried look to replace it. He looked over his shoulder to the victim, who was leaning on her left shoulder to the left wall, clutching her opposite arm tightly from an apparent injury she had. He rapidly turned around and came up behind her, kneeling down on one knee.

"Ma'am," he said in a worried voice. "I'm the Fullmetal Alchemist, State Alchemist, I'm here to help you," he stated as he nervously reached his metallic hand to the young woman's shoulder. She immediately flinched the moment his cold hand connected with her arm, causing Ed to quickly jerk his arm back. "I apologize," he said. "Is your arm injured?" he questioned but got no response from the blonde. This caused the Elric to raise a brow.

"Excuse me, can't you speak?" he continued, softly interrogating her to try and get some answers. Once again, he didn't get a response, not even a shake or nod of the head. The sound of engines roaring began coming nearer and nearer, causing Ed to look over his shoulder just as three military vehicles stationed themselves at the entrance of the alley. The Alchemist looked back to the young woman.

"I'll be right back, please stay here," he ordered gently before standing up and running towards the entrance of the alley. Once he was standing on the sidewalk, the three military cars opened; two had military officers, each armed with guns or rifles, while the last one held Colonel Roy Mustang and his First Lieutenant, Riza Hawkeye.

"Colonel," Ed breathed as he pulled a quick salute to the higher-ranking officer and held it. Mustang walked up to him, switching his focus between the blonde Elric and the man who was held up in a stone fist.

"Major, what happened?" he asked, wondering what the man would've done to get the Elric mad at him. Ed, of which, let his salute fall and looked to the man at his side with a disgusted expression.

"I've put this man under arrest for sexual harassment," he stated sternly. The ebony-haired colonel raised a brow.

"Towards who, prey tell?" he asked. Ed looked over his shoulder to the young woman who was still leaning on the wall while on the ground. Roy and Riza followed his gaze to the young woman before turning back to the Fullmetal Alchemist.

"I tried asking if she was OK," Ed stated as he too, looked back towards his commander and chief. "But she refuses to answer. She's holding her arm tight which leads me to believe that her arm is injured. Why she won't talk, however, is still a mystery to me," he explained in a monotonous tone of voice. He looked up to the higher-ups before him; they were both looking at him as if he was crazy, causing him to raise a brow at them. "What?" he questioned the two.

"Edward," Roy said, his voice hinted with anxiousness. "Don't…you know who that girl is?" he asked him in the same voice. The Elric gave him a curious look before looking back to the young woman. He noted that she had long, light-blonde hair, reminding him somewhat of Winry's hair, she was wearing a long-sleeve white blouse and a brown vest over that with pants that reached her knees in the same color and white two-inch-high boots. He looked back to Mustang.

"Colonel, what are you talking about? I've never seen her before," he stated curiously. Roy and Riza looked at each other before looking back at him.

"Edward," Riza said now. "We thought you knew…that girl…she's…she's Winry." The Elric's eyes widened more greatly than saucers and he took a step back from them.

"What?" he asked nervously as his body began trembling. "No…you're lying," he told them, his voice threatening to crack. The two higher-ups looked dead-serious. He growled at them now. "If this is some kind of sick joke, Mustang, it's not funny!!!" he said angrily.

Their solemn expressions didn't change. This caused the tension in Ed's eyes to be lost. Swiftly, he looked over his shoulder to the young woman before running up behind her once more and sliding to stop before kneeling down next to her once again.

"Is your name Winry Rockbell!?" he demanded from the girl but, again, got no response. "Answer me, damn it!" he ordered heatedly as he grabbed her arm, suddenly and harshly. This caused a pained scream to escape the young woman's mouth.

"Get away from me!" the woman commanded, finally, as she quickly leaned on her opposite side and slapped the Alchemist across the face, causing his head to turn to his left as his eyes stay wide and shaky. Nervously, his hand slid off the blonde's arm as he kept looking to his left with wide eyes. He was beyond shock at this point; he had caught a glimpse of the woman's face and her severe voice sounded all-too familiar. He was met, for a split-second before being slapped, with familiar sapphire eyes and light blonde hair that framed the young woman's face. It really was Winry.

Not seeing that loving you
That's what I was trying to do


A/N: Whoa .-. longsong-fic -nervous grin- and it's not even done yet -looks away- anyway, that's right; this story isn't over just yet :) you honestly think I'd leave you like this? Yeah, right! This is too juicy to not continue! So, please R&R, constructive criticism, no flames ;) thanks!

By the way, yes, Slave Driven is still in process ;) don't worry; I'm writing, currently, about four different stories, including that one :) so an update will be up soon, for both that story and this one.