Winter


Spring had spread its wings come and gone. Summer could only hold out for so long. Then there was fall; a brief glimpse of the sun and a gentle breeze. But as the howling wind bitterly reminded her, winter was here to stay.

Its icy demur had long since covered everything in a shiny coat of frozen water, the piles of snow deepening with each day.

It was somewhat unsettling that it should be so bright out but hold no warmth. The snow reflected the light with a brutal glare that forced those who gazed upon it to squint into its never-ending whiteness.

It was an early winter morning and the nights below freezing temperatures had yet to climb to a reasonable level.

It was a silly thought that had woken Winry up so early that morning. For some odd reason she felt that sitting by the window gazing out into the never-ending sea of white might bring them back. She was sure that today was different.

The only response to her thoughts came in the form of the soft pitter patter of Dens feet as he trotted over to her. He began to whimper as he pawed at her leg, his eyes full of sadness as he tried his best to sympathize food out of the young girl.

With a small smile she patted him on the head giving in to his whines. "Alright, alright I'll get you some food."

Walking towards the kitchen with Den at her heels she suddenly felt uneasy. Looking at his bowl and then at the clock on the wall she tried to put her finger on it. Just as she heard the wind tear at the house in a rather threatening gesture her mind clicked on what wasn't right. It was already 9am…surly her grandmother should have awoken by now and fed Den.

Her eyes grew wide as she dropped the bag of dog food to the floor her body turning to the staircase where he legs threw themselves at each step with haste. Arriving on the threshold of her grandmother's room she threw open the door letting her body fly through its frame.

There lying peacefully in her bed was Winry's grandmother. Her face wrinkled with age and wisdom. There was a emptiness that cascaded from her calm face.

Winry stifled a sob as she walked slowly over to her, her arm shaking as she brought it to her grandmother's wrist. She knew what it was even before she gripped her wrist praying for a heartbeat.

Mrs. Hughes sat next to Winry gently stroking her back in an attempt to comfort the grief stricken girl. She knew that Winry would be upset when she got the phone call, but she had no idea she would be as devastated as she found her.

It wasn't as if she didn't expect death. Death had taken the ones she loved away for quite some time. This was different though, this time she was alone. Sure she had friends but they could no more leave their homes than she could leave hers. This was it; the last of her family was dead.

Her tears had run dry leaving behind their trails with swollen eyes and pink cheeks. She trembled with the suppressed emotion; her body not able to keep up with her heart. As the ducks of her tears began to rise again she bit her lip to keep them at bay.

Gracia finally spoke to her, "Winry she lived a long life. I know that she was especially proud of raising you and seeing the woman you have become."

Winry smiled at the kind words of her friend and at times surrogate mother, but her comfort could only do so much. There was still the unsettling feeling of what would happen next that was running through her veins.

Winry felt sick as she sat alone on the front porch her breath coming out in a puff of smoke. Her lips which had turned a pale shade of purple trembled under her body's weak condition. She put a hand to her cheeks brushing away the tears that ran down her skin. It was peculiar that of all the things that winter had frozen it still could not stop those tears.

The only tracks now that led up to her empty house were her own followed by the small prints made by den. How she wished they would come home, that they would be here for her like she had always been there for them…

Was it possible that this new feeling of resentment was a result of the winter freezing over her heart? She had never had such thoughts flicker through her mind, yet alone dare to believe them. But as fast as winter had come so did feelings of anger. Feelings of anger brought on by their absence. An absence when she needed them the most. Her mind was lost and her heart heavy; those brothers were now the closest thing to family for her. She had never felt anger for them that a well placed wrench could fix. Her anger with no one to direct it at began to fade away into the short days and the long nights. She thought sadly of all the people she had once called family that were now gone.

As the snow began to now fall in earnest she shifted slightly letting it cascade down her hair and onto her jacket. Pushing her hands deep within her pockets she let the wind chill her until she was numb. A small sad smile grew on her face as she could no longer feel anything. She could at least thank the season for allowing her this one small remedy to her pain. She had never seen such a winter in Resembool but as she thought depressingly it fit perfectly.

Ed groaned in his sleep the blankets wrapped around him not nearly enough to stop the cold from seeping through. Tossing and turning he was finally roused from his slumber by a terrible aching in his auto mail ports. His flesh hand gripped at the shoulder where the auto mail connected as his face flinched with pain.

It was disheartening to think that he was beginning to get used to this pain. There was the physical pain that his auto mail was giving him along with the daily reminder of not what but who he was missing that could make it all better. He clenched his fists tightly. "Damn winter."

This season just seemed to bring out the worst in everything. He turned on his side to stare out the window as the snow fell softly on the ledge, the glass slightly fogged up from the miniscule amount of heat that filled the room. Trying to get warmer he pulled his legs closer to his body. He glanced at the clock next to his head and saw the hour hand point lazily to a three the minute hand lingering on the six. Ed closed his eyes; he had to be up in four hours for work. Continuing the grumbling he had managed in his sleep he rolled out of bed and walked out into living room or rather what should have been a living room. For now it was Al's room. He had insisted on staying on the couch refusing to take the bed. Never one to back down from his words Ed sighed when he remembered the big fight that had developed over such a stupid problem. He was too stubborn to let his little brother sleep on the rather rigid couch while he got to sleep in the bed. Despite the couches downfalls Al had insisted that Ed take the bed saying he much preferred the couch. Ed however knew him too well. As of late it had been getting harder and harder to hide the pain that he was experiencing with his auto mail and he had a feeling his brother was trying to ease the pain any way that he could.

Ed chuckled softly as he turned back to his room sitting on his bed. For as big of argument as they had had, the bed wasn't very comfy. In fact he thought disdainfully maybe Al had a point, the couch probably was nicer.

Still frozen to the core he thought wistfully of his home town, he wondered if it was as cold there as it was here. He laid back down across the bed putting his hands behind his head lost in thought. Her laugh echoed through his head sending a warm feeling through his body. It was troublesome this winter month, he wondered why in all his years he had never noticed how cold it could get. Then with a smirk he closed his eyes, of course there was a reason it was colder. Without granny's hot chocolate or Winry's bright smile a lot of things here seemed much colder.

Al shivered slightly as the sound of footsteps broke him from his restless sleep. He knew at once that it was his older brother. Edward had taken to pacing around the house at night. He could tell instantly that the cold had woken him, his auto mail reacting painfully with his nerves. With a sigh he sat up, there was no way he would be able to fall back asleep and from the sound of Ed walking back to his room he could tell that his brother wouldn't be able to either. Knocking gently on the door he walked into Ed's room. Ed was laying on his back a rather pained smile on his face his eyes shut tightly. Stepping forward he cautiously spoke into the cold room. "Brother you awake?"

Ed turned his head to look at his younger brother, "Al? What are you doing up?"

Al shifted uneasily as he tried to bring up the thing that he knew only his brother would understand.

"Brother do you miss them?"

Ed's mouth formed a thin line as he swallowed hard, "Miss who?"

Realizing that his brother was going to play it this way Al threw caution to the wind. "Everyone on the other side."

Ed turned his eyes to the ceiling, "I suppose so. Why do you ask?"

Al slammed his fist against the doorframe his eyes flashing with wetness. "How can you be so calm?! You mean to tell me that you really like being here in this horrible place?"

Ed seemed taken aback by the sudden display of emotion emitting from his younger brother.

"You don't understand."

Al narrowed his eyes, "Who better than I? Are we not brothers? Did we both not leave our loved ones in the dark?"

Taking a steadying breath Al sat down at the edge of the bed. "We promised her brother. We promised Winry we would come back." His voice flattened for a moment, "Well at least I did."

Ed sat up so that he was shoulder to shoulder with his younger brother. His voice came out low and unyielding, "We can't go back Al. There is no way back…we made sure of that."

Al stood up quickly and turned to the door, "Then you don't deserve her."

A deathly silence followed his words as Ed stared lifelessly at him his eyes betraying his worst fears.

Al felt his words sting his brother but he didn't regret them. It was high time that he made his brother realize just what it was he was doing, what they had done. He needed to make things right and he was determined to keep his promise. And at these desperate times he needed to really scare his brother back into reality.

That was the true horror of being here. That to be here meant that they could easily forget the world they left behind, it was all too easy to dismiss it all. But the heartbreak and the pain that surfaced every night was all too much for Al to bare and he knew by his brothers reaction that he felt the same.

Ed was suddenly on his feet his hand on Al's shoulder his voice cracking, "Please, don't give up on me too."

He felt remarkably like the elder of the two as he patted his brother on the back trying to comfort the broken man.

"You're right I don't deserve her."

Al felt his regret surge at Ed's defeated tone; he never wanted to make him feel like this. All he had wanted to do was to surface that determination that had once fueled their lives. But this unbearably broken and fragile human before him was almost too much. "Brother I honestly didn't mean it the way it came out."

Ed however seemed to have already made up his mind. The words that left his mouth sounded much more like the older and immature brother Al had grown to love.

"I don't deserve her friendship, but I know that she doesn't deserve to be alone. I agree we owe it to her to keep our promises. Besides this auto mail is killing me."

Ed flashed his brother his trademark grin earning a small smile from his brother.

Once he was sure he could hear Al's light snores coming from the living room he let the tears fall and fall fast. He shivered violently as the cold returned to his limbs, what he wouldn't give to take back all the things that had torn them apart. As he laid there he wondered helplessly whether she was happy or if she was stuck like him in this bitter cold winter. Stuck wishing that the sun would come and unfreeze what had been caught in its wrath.


I dislike winter

can you tell? haha

Amy