Never Too Late
Disclaimer: I Don't Own FMA or the Song Never Too Late. FMA Belongs to Hiromu Arakawa and the Song Belongs to Three Days Grace.
Rating: PG—PG-23 Due To Violence, Blood, Bad Language, and Angst.
A/N: YOU MUST ALL READ THIS BEFORE BEGINNING STORY!! Ahem, first off, the story plot is not, I repeat, not mine! I saw a video a few days ago with the song Never Too Lateand it was (an extremely well-made) EdWin video :D with a story behind it; this being that story. You will discover why this story is different as the story progresses; all I'm saying is that, in this story, Edward is an only-child. That is the story the original maker of the vid, DaughtryFanatic on YouTube, had made the story to her vid and I'm just trying to follow it as best I can. Anyway, if none of you have any problems with that, please read and I hope you enjoy ;)
Also, if anyone wishes to see that vid but doesn't want to go through the hassle of trying to find the user on YouTube, please e-mail me and I'll be more than happy to send you the link ;) anyway, this is for all the EdWin fans out there and for DaughtryFanatic :D I hope you all enjoy!
Six Years Earlier…
A ten-year old Edward Elric, his gold bangs flowing with the wind and his matching eyes sparkling with the setting sun, stood several feet down the trail that led away from school and to his home. He was waiting for his good friend whom he had known for as long as he could remember. His hands clutched the straps of his backpack as his eyes remained on the doors of the school, watching all the other children flow out of the school, obviously grateful that it was the weekend; long weekend, at that. However, his wide eyes were scanning the area for a certain bright-blonde. Eventually, he saw her small form walk out behind some kids who were smiling and laughing.
The young girl was wearing a jumper dress with a striped green shirt under. Her hair reached just below her shoulders and her eyes were a deep ocean-blue. She held onto the strap of her bag as she carefully stepped down the stairs in front of the school.
"Winry!" Edward called out with a big, happy grin on his face as he waves to her. Winry hears his voice and looks up to the golden-blonde who was trying to get her attention. She had a frown on her face and it stayed there. This caused the young Elric to give her a curious look. He stood still as he waited for the light-blonde to come over to him. She stepped in front of him with a gloomy aura about her.
"Hey, Win, what's wrong?" Ed asked worriedly as his head cocked to one side.
"Ed…do you remember today in class when I got called to the office?" the young Rockbell questioned as her gaze came up to his. The Elric looked back in his memories and soon remembered. She had been called and was asked to bring all her things as well.
"Did they just let you out right now?" he asked, surprised. "What the heck did you do?" Winry had always been a good student in school. It was unlike her to be in any kind of trouble. Of the two of them, Edward was actually the more troublesome; he had gotten trapped in detention more than once, but had later escaped with no one noticing. Winry hung her head low so that her bangs could shadow her eyes. Ed noticed that her shoulders began trembling slowly and he could hear her sobbing silently.
"Winry?" he questioned, hoping he hadn't said anything offensive.
"Ed…my parents are dead," she mumbled finally. With those few words, she managed to make Ed widen his eyes and his muscles to become stiff.
"What do you mean?" he asked, unsure if he had fully comprehended the situation. Winry shot her head up quickly and glared at the young Elric with a tear-streaked face.
"They were killed in the war, Ed! My grandmother called the school so they would let me know…they didn't tell me how but they're gone…" she mumbled the last bit as she hung her head once more.
"Winry…" Edward mumbled but, before he could say anything else, Winry quickly walked past him and then ran towards her home. Ed stood there and watched her run away as he sighed sadly and finally decided to walk home himself, alone.
A Week Later…
Edward, Winry, Pinako and several others of the town who knew the departed stood before her gravesite as they waited for her coffin to be placed into the ground. Ed's eyes were trembling slightly as he fought off the tears while Winry was at his side, sniffling slightly. Pinako, always strong, kept her face as impassive as possible. Several women could be heard crying as their husbands and whatnot comforted them. This was the funeral of Trisha Elric, Edward's mother and only guardian, for his father had abandoned him when he was barely one year old.
The preacher spoke of how her soul would now be free of suffering and pain and she could find peace now. The coffin was placed into the ground and they began digging dirt over her. After a few words of prayer and some speeches of how much of a good woman Trisha was, everyone soon left back home. Only three stayed; Winry, Edward and Pinako.
"Come Winry," Pinako said suddenly, however. "We should be getting home; it's getting late." Winry nodded and turned to Ed, who was staring at the gravestone of his mother as his hands clenched tightly.
"You coming, Ed?" the young Rockbell questioned her friend quietly. For a moment, no response came from him.
"I'll be there later…go on without me," was his response. With no words, Winry and her grandmother, and now guardian, left towards home while Edward stared down to his mothers grave. Once the two were out of sight and hearing distance, Ed's golden orbs became determined.
"I'll bring you back, mom," he muttered. "I'll get better at Alchemy…and I'll bring you back…that's a promise." He turned around and then walked towards Winry's home, his fists held tight and his eyes full of meaning and purpose.
Ed had found a woman who could perform Alchemy by simply clapping her hands together. Her name was Izumi Curtis and Ed had desperately asked her if he could become her apprentice. Izumi had told him sternly that she wasn't taking apprentices but Ed stubbornly persisted, telling her he wouldn't let her down. Eventually, the woman gave in and asked if his parents would allow him to become an apprentice into the science of Alchemy. That was when the young Elric's head lowered sadly.
"His mother died and his father left him years ago," Pinako had replied for him finally. "I'm in care of him now and, if he wishes to leave, I have no say in the matter." Izumi, somewhat reluctant, agreed to take him on as an apprentice. She told him he had one day to pack his things; she would pick him up the next day and they would leave to her home several towns away. Ed thanked her many times and went off to pack immediately.
The next day, Ed was in his train and he looked out the window to bid Winry and Pinako final goodbyes.
"When I get back, I'm going to be the best Alchemist out there, I swear!" he said with his signature grin. Winry waved to him sadly and, soon, the train began to move and Ed disappeared into the train as it picked up speed and soon became out of sight. Winry sighed sadly as she watched the train leave. How long would it take it Ed to become the supposed best Alchemist ever? He was already very good to begin with…but how much more did he need to know? Would he ever come back at all?
Would he miss her as much as she already missed him?
One Year Later…
Eleven-year old Ed stepped off his train with his bag in tow. He had a bandage on his face and a few scratches but he still managed to grin as he walked on to the train station. He as so grateful to finally be home after his one-year trip away full of nothing but hard-core training, studying, and even sparring with his teacher, undoubtedly what caused his newfound injuries. He promised Izumi he would call Pinako and Winry to let them know he was finally coming home but he had lied; he wanted it to be a surprise. He walked into town, greeting all the familiar faces.
All of which said he had gotten a bit taller, or teasing that he had gotten shorter, which only made him upset. Some even stated that he looked as if he had gotten stronger. Soon, he made it to the light-yellow, two-story house of his childhood friend and her grandmother. He read the sign, Rockbell Automail, and sighed happily as a smile graced his lips.
They're gonna be surprised I'm back; he thought and could just imagine Winry's face when she saw his face again. He walked up to the porch and could feel the butterflies in his stomach as he brought up his hand and knocked on the door. He had missed Winry so much and he was happy to be able to see her face once more.
Winry was in kitchen, eating a sandwich with one hand and adding finishing touches to her first Automail design with the other. She had shown the design to Pinako and the elder woman praised her, telling her to make any finishing touches so they could build it. Winry happily obliged and got to work. She was happy to finally be getting into her grandmothers business, even though she was doing it more herself than anything else; she loved Automail and there wasn't a force on the planet that make her change her mind about that.
Suddenly, she heard the front door knock. Her head cocked up curiously. She swallowed the sandwich that she had been chewing on and stared at the door.
Who could that be? She asked herself. Today's been a slow day. Then another thought quickly made her smile. Ed…what if Ed's finally back? She became excited as she placed her food on her plate and dropped her pencil on the counter. Quickly, she stood up from her seat and headed towards the door. Pinako came into the room, a stern look across her face.
"Probably a stray customer," she said monotonously. Winry rolled her eyes and quickly unlocked and opened the door. Her eyes were immediately on the unforgettable face she had not seen for a year now.
"Edward!" she said happily. "You're back!" Ed grinned at her playfully.
"Long time, no see, huh Win?" he asked in the same playful manner. Winry smiled and blushed lightly at what she'd say to him.
"I missed you Ed," she said quietly. Ed's eyes widened for a moment before he smiled contently at her.
"Yeah, it's been pretty quiet without you around here…" Pinako said teasingly. "By the way…did you get shorter?" and so began the all-out verbal war of Elric against Rockbell.
"I wouldn't be talking too much, you tiny, old hag!" Edward said heatedly.
"Big words for such a miniscule shrimp!" Pinako retorted. The two continued back and forth until the elder woman simply decided to cram a wrench into the young Elric's cranium. His eyes span from the pain as a bump formed. The house stayed somewhat silent for the rest of the day, as Ed joined Winry in the kitchen and they talked. He told her all about what he'd been up to the past year and what new things he had learned.
Later that day, they had dinner and Winry told him about what she had learned as well. After dinner, Ed left out on his own, saying he was going to visit his mother's grave. He asked to be alone. However, he had lied to his friend and caretaker. He wouldn't be heading to his mom's grave but to her home.
He had calculated already that he would need at least one week or so to prepare for the transmutation he would perform. If nothing had happened, all his father's old Alchemy books that he left behind should still be in the house and he could use those for help. Lucky for him, they did. He found out the exact ingredients he would need, as well as the transmutation circle needed to perform it. He looked around the house for some money; the ingredients weren't particularly expensive but he had none with him.
Tomorrow he would go to town and buy what he needed. The rest of the week would be spent studying the books of his father. When he felt he was ready, he would draw the circle and perform a sin against God.
A Human Transmutation.
It had officially been a full week. Ed had crammed practically all the information in the books his father had provided into his head. There was nothing stopping him now. He knew everything that an Alchemist needed to know. He was now in his father's study, using chalk to draw a 20-foot diameter transmutation circle. It was perfect in shape and had several odd shapes and words within it.
After a few minutes, he had finally finished. He dropped the chalk to his side and then went on to place the ingredients in place. According to what he had read within that week, the average human body was basically made up of 35 liters of water, 25 kilograms of carbon, 4 liters of ammonia, 1.5 kilograms of lime, 800 grams of phosphorous, 250 grams of salt, 100 grams of saltpeter, 80 grams of sulfur, 7.5 grams of fluorine, 5 grams of iron, 3 grams of silicon, and trace amounts of 15 other elements. That knowledge alone was what led him to believe that he could bring his mom back to him. Once he placed them in place, he knelt before the transmutation circle. He pricked his finger with a pocket knife and let a drop of blood fall into the other ingredients and then knelt before the circle before he placed his hands on the circle; there was no turning back now.
Outside, it was raining and, inside, a bright light had begun to glow from the shape he had drawn. It was a light color, making Edward think that everything was going as it should. He grinned as he remembered his mother's smile. However, the once inviting light quickly changed into a menacing, darkish purple. Ed's grin faded into a worried frown. A bright light caused him to close his eyes quickly. When he reopened them, he found himself kneeling before two huge double doors in an empty space. He looked around; nothing could be seen. H stood up and looked up to the doors. Their massive size and the odd shapes upon them made him stand in awe.
Where am I? He asked himself worriedly. Suddenly, the two doors shot open and several little black arms did the same and grabbed Edward from all over, pulling him into the dark abyss that was within the doors.
"Let me go!" he demanded as he could feel those arms grabbing him and pulling at his face and limbs. A face at his side grabbed his right arm and caused it to be transmuted away from the rest of his body. Ed gasped at the sight and screamed. "No…NO!" The same face, with wide purple eyes and a sinister grin on its face, came to his left leg and pulled it off as well. The pain was horrible and Edward screamed from it.
He managed to open his eyes and could see a glowing form ahead. He smiled as he recognized the form as his deceased mother.
"Mom..." he said, almost unbelieving. "Mom…MOM!" He reached towards her but, before he could, a blinding light assaulted him and he was forced to fall back.
"I'm worried, granny," Winry said as she was looking out the window into the pouring rain outside. "Ed's been gone for along time…" Her grandmother was sitting at the sofa, reading a book.
"He'll be fine, Winry," she said sternly. "He's a strong boy." Winry sighed and continued looking out the window. Lightning struck and thunder cracked throughout out the night sky as she desperately prayed that the young Elric was safe and well. Lightning struck once again but, this time, it was accompanied by a painful scream. This caused Winry to gasp. Apparently Pinako also heard it because both she and Winry ran onto their porch and stared towards the direction of the Elric home.
"That sounded like Ed!" Winry said nervously. Without another thought, she ran towards the Elric home. She heard her grandmother calling out behind her but she refused to turn back. Ed could be dying for all she knew. Her pace quickened at the thought and she could feel her long hair sticking to her shoulders and face as the rain trailed down her skin.
"No…no," a pained Edward muttered as he was on the ground of his father's study. "It wasn't…it wasn't supposed to be like this…" he heard something moving ahead of him, causing his eyes to open slightly in intrigue. From what he could see, an arm was moving around slightly. This caused Ed to smile slightly. Maybe he had succeeded.
"Mom…mom, is that you?" he questioned anxiously. The smoke form the transmutation soon cleared but the view Edward got wasn't one he wanted to see. His eyes widened as they were met with, not his mother, but…something. Something with glowing, purple eyes, a heavy and coarse breath and looked as if all its innards were inside-out. Ed panicked at the sight and became sick. He immediately looked away but the smell of fresh blood and open flesh was still floating about the air.
He felt like vomiting from that smell. This only added to the pain his now-missing limbs were in. Blood kept pouring out form his right shoulder and left leg. He knew he was in deep now; his body would give in on him soon. Then, he'd die if no one came to help him. As if on cue, he heard a voice within his home.
"Edward! Ed, where are you!?" he immediately recognized the voice as…
"Winry…Winry…" he coughed from everything around him. He couldn't call back to her. He was far too weak to even think about calling for help. If she didn't find him on her own, he was as good as dead. He had already lost far too much blood and he was becoming more and more nauseated. Light-headedness began to take control of his body.
"No…my body," he mumbled. It's going to shut down…I'm going to die here…in that moment, his eyes closed and he fell into darkness.
The next morning, Ed found himself lying in bed with covers up to his shoulder. He could feel he was wearing nothing but boxers as his eyes slowly cracked open to the burning of the sun. Once he had adjusted fully to the strength of the burning sun, he was able to open his eyes fully and look around his surroundings. He remained lying on his back on the bed he was on and only moved his head around. The room looked familiar but he just couldn't pace his finger on it. Where had he seen this room before?
He suddenly heard the door to said room opening. He looked to who was entering and then realized why the room looked familiar; it was the patients' room within the Rockbell home. Winry walked into the room with a bowl of water and a small towel. A roll of bandage tape was also on her wrist.
"Hey there," she said softly. "How're you feeling?" she asked as she came to his bedside and placed the bowl on the night desk next to the bed. As she waited for his response, she dipped the white towel into the cool bowl of water and carefully strained it so that it stayed warm a little moist before placing it on the Elric's forehead. Ed shrugged with some pain hinted as he allowed Winry to place the fabric on his forehead. It felt very soothing.
"Like I went to hell and came back," he replied with a husky voice. Winry shrugged in return.
"Let's hope you'll feel better soon," she said in a soft voice that made Ed smile slightly. The young Rockbell placed the roll of bandage on the night desk. "I'll be back in a little while to replace your bandages, OK?" she asked, her voice full of care. Edward nodded and said nothing. Winry left the room once again, leaving Ed to think to himself.
What the hell happened? He asked himself. He looked back into his memories and, after digging a little, he got his answer. He had performed Human Transmutation and it had failed miserably on him; if he recalled correctly, he had lost two limbs in the process but had still failed. The thing he had created wasn't his mother; it wasn't even human. It was a sin against nature, against God.
He closed his eyes and tried to get some rest. He needed to think on his next move. The Elric wouldn't allow himself to stay on a patient bed for the rest of his life nor would he be left without limbs. There was only one thing he could do; something that would change everything.
"I need you to give me Automail." Those were Ed's exact words after Winry had replaced his bandages with new ones. He had even surprised Pinako with his request.
"Ed, Automail surgery is painful," Winry was the first person to say it, silently and nervously.
"I don't care," the Elric replied immediately. "I can't stay here like this…I refuse to live without my limbs…even if they're fake, I need to move around…I need to leave from this place to forget about this mess…" he told the two Rockbell's sternly and full of determination. However, this confession made Winry widen her eyes.
"What's that supposed to mean?!" she demanded heatedly. Ed looked up to her and became nervous as he saw that she looked like she was about to cry at his words.
"Winry…I'm sorry…but I can't stay here…there's too many memories…last night was a nightmare…I never want to relive those moments again; that was the biggest mistake of my life. The moment I recover from Automail surgery, I'm taking the first train to Central…I'm gonna become a State Alchemist," he explained seriously. Winry closed her eyes tightly and clenched her fists. She ran out of the room, tears beginning to fall down her young face.
Ed shrugged and looked to Pinako.
"She hates me, doesn't she?" he asked the elder woman. The Rockbell shrugged in response and walked out of the room as well.
Blazing heat and bright orange with the smell of burning wood and the sound of smoldering and cracking materials were tingling four of the five senses as Edward stood before his home as he had just torched it. He threw the last of the torches into the already-wild flame that had engulfed his ex-home. His face was impassive; there was no turning back now. He had no home, and no reason to return home except for Automail tune-ups.
He stared at the building a while longer before grabbing his things and turning on heel away form the house and towards Resembol's train station. After taking only a few steps, he stopped next to Winry, who had watched him burn down his home with her grandmother at her side. She turned her head to look at him with tears down her face. Edward, however, refused to look at her and kept looking ahead with empty golden eyes.
"I'm sorry." That was all he told her before he continued walking on his mismatched legs. Winry's tears increased and her fists clenched tightly.
"He's not coming back…is he granny?" she asked sadly. Pinako took a puff from her pipe.
"Only he knows."
This world will never be
What I expected
And if I don't belong
Who would have guessed it
I will not leave alone
Everything that I own
To make you feel like it's not too late
It's never too late
A/N: Well, feels OK, I guess :P anyway, if anybody hasn't already noticed, this won't be like my other songfics; this one will show the lyrics throughout the story instead of in the first chapter. Anyway, please R&R, no flames :) thanks; I hope you guys like it so far, as well as DaughtryFanatic ;D