Disclaimer: I do not own anything, including any of the lovely characters you are about to be reading about.
Something of Value
She trusted him enough to let him walk out that door, watching his back once again disappear from Risembool. He told her to have an apple pie ready when he returned, and to keep it warm. She promised she would, because he promised he would come back.
He promised he wouldn't die. And she trusted him. Winry loved him.
Maybe she had loved him all her life. Maybe she never thought of him as a friend, but as something more; something she has always been too young to understand. She had seen him cry, and laugh. She had watched him fight and bleed. She has seen him act and explain. He could be hard to understand at times, but she knew he would always pull through.
Anything he wanted to do he would do.
She expected him to return to Risembool with two real arms, and two real legs, with Al close behind walking in his real body. She always knew it would happen one day because Edward was a perfectionist and kept his promises. He was strong, too. Both psychically and mentally.
It must of been about two months after he left for the 'Promised Day', his opportunity to return Al to the flesh, as well as returning his right arm and left leg when she got the call.
It was late, she was awake lying in her bed, lost in thought. The 16 year old girl sat propped up against the wall, working on her latest design, a new auto mail arm. It was cold outside, the wind blew harshly against her window. It cracked loudly as a tree rubbed up against it. She remembered hearing the phone ring three times before Pinako answered it.
She could hear it, but ignored it.
Only a few minutes later, the stairs shifted outside her room, and a knock on the door startled her.
"Yeah, it's open, grandma." She stated, looking up from her sketch, bringing the pencil she held in her hands behind her ear exposing her four pircings. The old woman walked in, Den following behind. She closed the door behind her as Den jumped on Winry's bed, lying next to her.
At first, Pinako refused to give the teenager any eye contact. She sighed, as her eyes slowly found the ceiling.
"Wha-" Winry started noticing her grandmother's strange mood instantly, but was quickly cut off.
"Winry there has been an accident. Edward is on his way home." Winry smiled for a brief second, caught off guard by Grandma Pinako's facial expression. She wasn't sure if she should act happy, or confused. Or maybe that was just it, she was confused.
"Yeah, him and Al said they would when they..." Winry looked further into the old woman's eyes trying to understand them. Unspeakable fear hit her suddenly, as thoughts from every direction became words. Tears formed, slipping down her cheeks as she felt the short, blond, hair on her skin lift. She wiped her eyes immediately trying to cover them. "What's wrong?" She managed to speak through sobs.
And for the second time in Winry's life, she watched her grandmother cry.
"I don't really know. They told me Al passed away."
Three days later, Ed returned to Risembool wih several people from the military accompanying him. Winry waited for him to reach the door with Pinako silently smoking a ciguar, with an expressionless face. The two were informed of him returning that morning, and Winry had waited by her bedroom window until she was sure she saw him walking down the dirt road, from the train station.
He was broken. Pinako stood on the grass as Winry stood next to the open door, leaning on it hard. Three other men walked with Ed, none of which Winry knew. He walked right past Pinako, climbing the stars of the Rockbell house slowly. Winry watched their eyes meet once, yet he quickly looked away and entered the house with in seconds. His hands fell deep into his pockets, a pale face and eyes that could kill a thousand, grown men.
She watched him disappear up the stairs heavily, with a huge door slamming soon after. She starred at the place he had disappeared, with open eyes.
Moments later, Pinako's hand found her way to Winry's shoulder.
"What did those people tell you?" Winry asked, barley above a whisper, her eyes glued to the stairs.
"Nothing more then I already knew."
"What should we do?" Winry asked instantly. And it was a question even she could not answer. The young girl sighed, walking to the kitchen to pour a glass of water for her self. She collapsed at the wooden table, burying her head into her crossed arms. She couldn't imagine how he felt, upstairs alone. She knew he must of went to his room, the room him and Al used to share. He had failed his mission, he had broken his promise. This was his best friend, and now he was gone.
Alphonse was gone.
She wanted to see him, but was scared of how he would respond. She knew he was mad, and upset. He probably wanted to die, but was too strong for that. That's taking the easy way out, isn't it? Four long years, had gone to nothing, only pain and heartbreak.
Four years the two had been away from home, together. Every night Al would watch his brother sleep, and every day they would continue their search for something that could surpass God, himself. And in the end it really did only end in suffering.
At least in this case.
'I probably would have gave up on life by now.' She thought to herself. Finally after a few minutes of silence, she grabbed the glass sipping it loudly, then wiping her dry eyes. She had tried to cry, but nothing came out.
Night fell quickly, the house was deadly silent. Pinako had disappeared in her room, and neither her or Winry had heard a sound from Edward. Winry decided to skip dinner that night, as she cut a piece of the apple pie. One light lit the lonely kitchen.
She made sure she cut the pie perfectly, placing it on a glass plate with her hands. She walked over to a draw under the sink, for a piece of plastic to wrap the remainder of her apple pie. Focusing back to her pie, she made sure to wipe the ends of the slice, so it was perfect.
It needed to be perfect.
Her hair layed on her shoulders, loosely, as she pushed her bangs out of her eyes. She picked up the plate, resting it on her elbow, balancing a clean fork on top of it. A white, napkin was tucked, neatly in her left hand as she switched off that only light in the room.
She headed for the stairs, holding the rail loosely; trying her best not to make a sound. Once she reached the top, she found the door that lead to Ed and Al's room. She froze, suddenly terrified.
'I just hope he doesn't hit me...' She thought again. He had a nasty temper, and she could only imagine how mad he was at himself. Pushing it aside, she knocked softy, questioning if she should of just helped her self. When there was no answer, she wondering if he could of possibly gone to sleep already. No, he wouldn't. Would he?
She grabbed the handle and turned it with out a second thought. The room was pitch black, as she turned around and shut the door quietly. She found a lamp on one of the three nightstands in the room, turning it on, hesitantly.
There he was, on the last single bed in the room. He sat cross-legged, his hands covering his face. He looked up, sensing the light immediately. The small light didn't provide much, but she could see his eyes cutting through the room. She watched from her position, as he looked away.
"Just go..." She heard him grunt softly. He was too upset to speak, really. She ignored his request walking over to the bed he sat on. He wore a black tang top with his pants and boots still on from when he had first entered the house. His hair was in a messy braid, looked to have been about a day or so old. He looked like he needed a shower, but was too exhausted and depressed to do so.
She stopped once she reached the end of the bed. He still had no interest in looking at her.
"Hey Ed..." She mumbled placing the plate on top of the mattress. "You should eat this, you must be hungry... Granny told me you haven't eaten or slept in two days..." He didn't want to look at her for, if he did, he might lose it. He just might not be strong enough to hold in the tears any longer. The only thing that he could think about was that he had failed, and had taken full responsibility of his brother's death.
'It's my fault...' He would repeat again and again in his mind. 'It's all my fault... I put his life at risk...' Winry's eyes watched the boy in front of her as she frowned, taking a step forward.
Then stopped to think.
Her body seemed to suddenly control her as another step brought her just a little closer to him. And finally, she was able to reach out and touch him. She bent down, rapping her arms around his back. She could hear him gasp slightly, as she knew she caught him off guard. She closed her eyes hard, breathing in his musky smell.
"I'm sorry..." She whispered. She knew that wouldn't help, nothing would right now. His body was tense and warm. He was shaking. "I am..."
Finally she let go, standing back, looking down. He was too upset to blush, as rage suddenly came over him. He needed to take it out on somebody, and Winry happened to be there for him to do so.
"You should knock next time..." He grunted again, standing up; starring her down. He stomped his way out of the room, hitting the door against the wall as he passed it. She was too much in disbelief to start an argument that she had indeed knocked before entering... And well, she could have taken that much further.
Maybe she shouldn't have bothered him, she thought looking out the window as he marched his way, away from the house. She wasn't sure where he was going, it was pretty cool outside. She sat down in the place he had used to sit. It was still warm.
He must of been in that same spot for hours.
He hadn't taken in any interest in the pie, and that worried her. If he hadn't eaten or slept in two days, that meant he must of bearly had any energy at all. Where would he go? He would return, wouldn't he?
She fell asleep on his pillow, with a single tear escaping down her red cheek, and the apple pie uneaten at the end of the bed.
The sun shown brightly through the window, as the cold wind was finally gone. Winry's eyes opened slowly, as she forgot where she was for only a second. Taking a breath, brought her knees up to her chest, causing the bed to creak. Between her legs, she could see the apple pie that hadn't moved, still sitting at the end of the sheets.
It was then she heard a sigh.
Edward layed in the twin bed next to her's, his back to her. He hadn't the desire to pull the made bed apart, as he slept on top of the entire quilt. She was surprised to see him back, not to mention he returned to his room. He slept on Al's bed, but that might of only been because she'd fallen asleep on his.
Maybe he didn't want to smell that scent of metal. She must of passed out again after that, on her back. Usually, Winry would wake and stay up early. But today she slept on only inches away from Edward. She slept soundly, for what seemed to only be about 15 minutes.
After waking for a second time for really an hour later, she slipped on her robe, grabbed the now stale apple pie and found her self in the kitchen letting Ed sleep as long as possible. Reaching for two coffee cups, she found a small note taped to the counter. She scractedh her head, realizing it was from her grandmother. Winry read it to her self twice, baffled of the sudden notice. The note read this:
I'll be gone for a few days. I had to make an emergency trip a few towns over.
I'll call you in a few days, take care of the house.
Try your best with Edward.
She hadn't signed her name, though Winry knew from first glance that it was her handwriting. After making coffee, and cleaning a few dishes in the sink, Winry placed her cup on the wooden table, returning to her seat from the night before. She cupped the warm cup with her hands, starring into brown liquid.
She wanted to know more about Al, and what happened. It was going to affect Ed for a while, and she wanted details. However she wasn't sure exactly how fast those would come for Ed didn't seem like he ever wanted to talk to her again.
Would he ever return to his normal, stubborn self? Well, maybe he still was stubborn.
She was still sulking over how he skipped out on the pie she promised to make, and how she even had kept it warm.
She had cried while making it for it was only the day after she heard about Alphonse's death.
She jumped suddenly when a hand appeared on her left shoulder.
"Ouch! Damn it, that hurt..." She sighed, turning to Edward who stood behind her. She has spilled the warm coffee on her pants, soaking right through to her skin. Taking a breath, she had to cool down. She couldn't be angry at him, for he would surly explode. "Morning..." She said, forcing a smile.
He seemed to frown even more then when she first saw him.
"Yeah..." He took a seat next to her, starring blankly in front of him. Becoming nervous by the awkward silence, she smiled another cheesy grin.
"Uh, um if you want, there is a cup of coffee on the counter, up there for you." He glared at her annoyed he had to stand up again, but obeyed her offer by finding the coffee immediately, then returning to the table. "Do, do you want anything else?" She stuttered. He grunted.
"Stop acting like that, no I'm fine." She took a breath, her eyes returning to the coffee. The steam began to dry out her eyes.
"Hey, Ed?" He turned his head, angrily. She wanted to ask him, 'What happened?' or something so blunt he would have no choice but to answer, but instead stopped herself by biting her lower lip.
"What?" He asked, annoyed by her long pause.
"Uh, well... When was the last time you've taken a shower?"
"Damn it, Winry! I don't know! Why?"
"Geeze Ed, I was just ask'en-"
"That's none of your business, why would you even care?" His face had grown bright red, as his temper became more and more out of control. She took another breath, controlling herself. His chest began to breath heavily, as his eyes had started to lose it's gorgeous color. His bangs fanned round his face moved to each breath he took.
And a sudden urge hit her, that had never had much of an impact as much as this one. She... She wanted him. His anger appeared to hit her, sending off a sexy vibe.
And as she began to study his face more, she realized he was ready to cry. Winry knew he hadn't cried ever since Al had died, because he thought he was too strong for that.
He wanted to let go of that little boy that was buried deep inside his heart, that wanted ever so badly to come out. To explode.
It was a strange reaction.