College. It's eating my brain.
Anywho, honeymoon in this chapter! It didn't turn out like I wanted it to, but I think I've wrestled with this chapter enough. So enjoy and get your EdWin fix.
40. Falling of Cherry Blossoms
If the treatment they were getting in Xing was payment for Ling's food bills, then Winry couldn't figure out how in the world Edward hadn't gone bankrupt over the years. Yes, state alchemists received a hefty paycheck and Ed wasn't known to go on shopping sprees, but really.
Besides having their train tickets paid for, they had:
A private wedding,
Rooming in the royal quarters,
Several thousand cens' worth of spending money,
And two weeks in a private cabin on the outskirts on Manchu.
Needless to say, Winry was impressed.
After the wedding (from which Ed still seemed to be recovering from) they had taken a train to the far side of Manchu, where they had a secluded cabin and daily transportation to and from the city.
It was a nice cabin, Winry had to admit. It was well off the main road, with a path was lined with cherry trees leading up to the cottage. The couriers had dropped their bags off earlier and she and Ed were free to stroll up the path by themselves.
"Nice place, isn't it?" Ed asked, draping his arm across Winry's shoulders. "Supposedly the Emperor's heirs come here a lot."
Winry hummed in agreement and raised a hand to brush one of the lower branches of the cherry trees. "It was really nice of Ling to let us stay here."
Ed smirked. "Well, that stupid prince owed me like you wouldn't believe."
She punched his arm. "I find it hard to believe that he could have eaten that much food, even if it was over a couple of years."
They arrived at the cabin and Ed unlocked and opened the door. It was a small cabin- it was mostly the bedroom with an attached bathroom and a small kitchen in the back. The decoration definitely lent itself to Xingese royalty, as it mirrored their arrangements from back in the palace.
Winry untangled herself from Edward and made her way to the bedroom. She had planned on unpacking, but the large pile of boxes on the bed made her stop in the doorway. "Ed? What's all this?"
Ed, who had been digging through the pantry, poked his head in the room. "What's what?"
She waved a hand at the wrapped packages.
Ed's eyes widened and he grinned. "Wedding presents!" he said, pushing himself all the way into the room and vaulting himself over the pile and onto the bed.
Winry blinked at Ed's childish display before sitting next to him on the bed. He had made a grab for a long, slender box, and had already discarded the note attached. As Ed began to tear off the wrapping, she picked up the note to read. Surprisingly, it was only addressed to her.
Sorry for buying Ed one of these, but I promised I'd get him one. Don't worry, I got you something too. Please don't kill me.
Winry jerked her head up from the note to find Ed holding a sword above his head. The hilt was a bright red, inlaid with golden carvings. The guard, much to Winry's horror, was some sort of horned, fanged beast.
"This is so awesome! I love you, Al!"
With a sigh, Winry leaned over and began to unwrap the second box Al had sent. It turned out to be something much more functional (and tasteful) - a brand new automail tool set straight from Drachma.
Well, she supposed she could forgive Al after all.
It took some convincing to make Ed put the sword down, but they finally managed to get to the opening of the other presents. Mei had given them an authentic Xingese tea set (which Ed wasn't too thrilled about until Winry pointed out the dragons that were carved into the handles) and Havoc had sent an entire collection of cooking ware- pots, pans, and all.
The last package was from Ling and Winry flipped the small, flat box open as she pulled the last of the paper off. Inside was a leather-bound book with a heavily Xingese-styled picture on the cover that looked suspiciously like Ed and Ling sitting around a boiling pot. She glanced at the title, written in the elegant, flowing script of an Imperial scribe: The Man Who Fed Shoes to the Emperor.
"Umm, Ed? Care to explain this?"
Ed looked up from his examination of his new sword. "Explain what?"
She held the book out to him. Edward stared at the cover, eyes slowly getting wider and wider until he finally began to laugh. "That stupid prince!" he howled, one hand covering his eyes. "I didn't think he'd actually do it!"
Winry scowled, eyes going back to the book. "…You mean you actually fed Ling one of your shoes?"
By this point, Ed was laughing so hard he had fallen over onto his side on the bed and only managed to nod in response.
She shook her head. "That's disgusting, Edward."
"It was from my left food, so it wasn't sweaty or anything."
"That makes it worse! That boot was probably soaked with oil and grease from your automail!"
That made the laughter stop. Ed sat up so quickly he almost smacked heads with his wife. "Wait, really?"
"Oh." Ed looked off to the side and frowned. "Well, we're still alive now, aren't we?"
"You could have killed Ling, you know," she said, ignoring Ed's defensive mumbling and opening the book. Inside the cover was another note, this time from Ling:
I figured I'd go and have a copy of this made, even though I'm not the Emperor yet. Still, we all know it's coming. Consider this a way to prove to your future offspring that yes, you do know the famous Emperor Ling Yao of Xing. And I can promise you that this will become a popular tale when I'm running this country.
P.S. - I'll stick this in the history books if you name your first born son after me.
Ed, who had leaned over her shoulder to read, muttered something offensive and rolled his eyes. Winry, while part of her agreed with Ed, chose to flip through the book instead. It was written like a storybook- lots of pictures and bright colors with any violence conveniently glossed over. She did want to read it, but she closed it and put it away before Ed had the chance to notice the obvious height difference between him and Ling in the pictures.
Their two weeks turned out to be more romantic than Winry would have thought
possible. Yes, Ed was… exhausting a good part of the time, as he was just being Ed, but she knew he was at least trying to be gentleman.
And she really hadn't been expecting it. When he actually pulled out her chair at a restaurant for her one night she almost fell on her face in surprise.
They spent almost the entire trip in the city, visiting museums, shopping, eating out, and touring the various attractions the capital of Xing had to offer. And during the nights, well…
…Let's just say they had lots of "together" time.
They returned to their cabin on the last night of the honeymoon after one of the fanciest dinners Winry had ever eaten. Even Ed, who had been forced to dine at the occasional formal dinner with the military, seemed completely thrown by the fact that there were half a dozen forks, two pairs of chopsticks, and three different napkins. Luckily, they had a private room, and so any social faux pas they committed were well hidden from the public.
Ed yawned loudly and stumbled into the bedroom, kicking off his shoes as he did so. "I'm so full," he groaned as he face-planted onto the bed, limbs splayed out around him.
Winry rolled her eyes as she changed clothes. She nudged Ed's arm off of her side of the bed and laid down, pulling the covers up over her. Some shuffling from the other side of the bed signaled that Ed was doing the same.
"'Night, Winry," he mumbled, already half-asleep. She smirked and wrapped her arms around his waist; after a moment, he did the same. He was still embarrassed about displaying affection, even when they were alone. It was adorable, the way he would always sputter over anything that even hinted at their relationship.
Ed wasn't sure what had woken him up. It was quiet in the room, and still dark outside. He wasn't hungry and he didn't have to use the bathroom… The alchemist frowned and closed his eyes again, but a wet, squelching noise caught his attention.
He sat up and glanced to the other side of the bed, which was empty. The light from the bathroom was on, and the alchemist looked down at the empty bed. After a moment to sleep-laden thought, he finally put two and two together.
Ed scrambled out of the bed and over to the bathroom door. "Hey, Win? Are you alright?"
There were some more noises and Ed cringed. He tried to open the door, but it was locked, and he knew better than to use alchemy to try to break the door down. Winry probably had her wrench in there with her.
The toilet flushed and Ed stepped back as the door opened. Winry rubbed at her eyes and made a face. "Yeah, I'm fine. Must have been the fish I had for dinner," she told him, fighting back a yawn.
Ed crossed his arms and followed Winry back to the bed. "You sure? We could get Ling to set you up with one of the doctors."
Winry shook her head. "No, I'll be fine, Ed. It's the just the fish."
But clearly, it wasn't. The third time Winry got up for the bathroom, Ed refused to budge on the doctor issue.
"You're going," he said, pointedly ignoring her pout.
And so, when they arrived back at the palace, Winry was led to see one of the on-call doctors and Ed was immediately ambushed by Ling and Al.
"Soooooooo?" Ling asked, grinning smugly. "Was it good?"
Ed smirked. "It was fantastic, Ling." Al, Ed noticed, didn't go quite as red as he normally did.
Ling clapped his hands happily and scooted closer to Edward. "Tell me!" he demanded, as if they were old women gossiping over the latest developing love triangles in their town.
The blond leaned in towards the Xingese prince. "You can have all the women you want in that harem, Ling, but none of them will even come close to what I've got."
Ling raised an eyebrow. "Is that a challenge, Elric?"
"It would seem so, Yao."
For the next hour, Ed and Ling exchanged dirty looks and smirks from across the room while Al made a point of ignoring them while he went over some of the formulas in this research journal. Sometimes he wondered if he was really related at all.
Footsteps broke off one of Ling's retorts and the three men looked up to see the middle-aged doctor approaching them. Immediately, Ed was on his feet, arms crossed over his chest.
"Mister Elric?" the doctor asked, voice thick with his Xingese accent. Ed nodded once, too worked up to form words at the moment. The doctor clasped his hands behind his back. "Congratulations- you're going to be a father."
Ohoho! Daddy Edward is on the way!
And I loved the bit in the manga about Ed feeding shoes to Ling. Brotherhood kind of skimmed over it, unfortunately. So it gets a shout-out here.