(( A/N; My very first Fanfiction so go easy on me, okay? By the way- I used spellchecker and some words keep coming up as mispelt because I've spelt them in Australian English. I do live in the country, so deal with it. It's not incorrect spelling ; ))

((Lyrics used: "The Call"- Regina Spektor))

***

No Need To Say Goodbye

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word

And then that word grew louder and louder
Til it was a battle cry

Winry awoke, for the first time in a long while, early. Instead of engaging in her daily tasks, for instance cleaning up late night's mechanical mess, Winry took the time out to appreciate the small things, such as watching the rising of the morning sun.

Her sapphire-blue eyes glued enthrallingly to the rising orb of fiery hydrogen, the emission of scarlet and orange engulfing the night sky and all of its entirety like a raging fire fervently seeking to satiate its hunger.

Winry kicked off her sandals as she sat outside atop a brick wall. She dangled and swung her feet cheerily, reminding her of what she used to do back when she was barely capable of articulating her sentences.

Whilst dwelling on the topic of childhood, Winry was suddenly reminded of the special guests who had returned home. She smiled to herself, glad that even after five years that the Elric boys decided they'd leave Risembool altogether, she'd still remained a profound part of their lives, just as they were in hers.

I'll come back
When you call me
No need to say goodbye

Shockingly, Winry had sat outside not only for the sun to rise but to see the rest of Risembool's inhabitants begin their day. She'd managed sit outside for more than two hours.

When she finally returned inside the house, the first thing Winry had noticed was hearty breakfast being served formally at the table.

"Wow Scieszka, you've really outdone yourself," Winry marvelled in the finesse of the female's home cooking.

"Heh, well..." Scieszka flushed humbly, "I have been practicing. Oh! Everything's almost ready...maybe you should go wake up the brothers?"

"Still asleep?" enquired Winry disbelievingly, "those lazy bums. Yeah, I'll wake 'em up." Winry paced to the foot of the stairs and called the brothers. When she received no answer, Winry muttered in petty annoyance and made her way up the steps.

"Ed, Al!" called Winry, twisting the door handle to the boys' bedroom, "are you planning on sleeping all d-"

Winry blushed and hesitated by the door, not sure what to do. After all, seeing Edward wearing nothing but his white boxers on his wasn't a daily occurrence for Winry.

"S-sorry..."

"That's okay," responded Edward, impartial to the fact he was in his underwear.

Winry stood awkwardly in the hallway, almost unsure of why she'd come up in the first place. What was wrong with her? Why was she acting so strange around Edward?

"Um...Breakfast is-" Winry looked up and watched inquisitively as Edward positioned a shallow dish full of darkly-coloured dye between his legs.

Edward then clapped his hands and pressed them over the surface of the liquid. Winry gazed on, marvelling as the bright blue light shone over the liquid and Edward submerged the tips of his hair into the water. The inky liquid instinctively made a grab for Edward's golden tresses, sprawling and coating Edward's hair jet black.

Winry watched the little performance with deep fascination, chortling with a quiet, impressed squeal and clapping.

"Don't look so surprised. A trick like that is basic alchemy." Edward informed his close friend.

Winry knew that as well. She knew if she'd watched any Alchemist do that, Winry would just go about her daily business, unimpressed. But this was different. It was Edward who she was watching.

Winry tried to stifle her natural reaction to blush at such a thought, to no avail. More encouraged this time, Winry took a step into the room when something large and daunting entered her sight. She stared up at the object, only to be stared back at by a large rock statue which reminded her of a strange, twisted version of Major Armstrong.

Winry's first reaction initiated, her scream echoed so loudly throughout the house it could no doubt be heard from outside the house. Winry scuttled behind Edward, gripping to his shoulders whilst peering from the side at the statue.

"W-what is that thing?" asked Winry, still spooked. Edward's almost bare body shook with laughter.

Winry squeaked in fear when the rock statue suddenly began to swing from side-to-side.

"Don't be scared, it's just me, Winry!" called a sweet, child-like voice from within. Winry knew that voice anywhere.

"...Al?" she murmured in disbelief.

Edward finally ceased his snickering. "I used a few materials I found to make Al a disguise- there are no seams either... no one will know he's in there unless they break it open."

Winry paused to absorb what had just been said. Like a puzzle, the pieces had begun to fall into place. And when Winry realised, she was deeply saddened.

"So you guys are leaving again...?"

Edward closed his amber eyes, thinking. "Sorry Winry there's something I need to do."

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never
Been this way before

All you can do is try to know
Who your friends are
As you head off to the war

"Wait I know! You're going off to find some way to get Al's body back right? Why don't you just do your research here?" implored Winry, as she pleadingly clasped onto Edward's wrist, her hands forming the shape of manacles.

Edward gazed at the female, deeply saddened to have to leave her this way. For a long while, the two exchanged not a word, allowing them to immerse in words and feelings between them that was- more than often- left unsaid.

"There is something I have to take care of..." Edward finally broke eye contact. He couldn't bear to look into her pained eyes.

Winry desperately wanted to ask when they'd be back, but a sinking despair in her heart told her she'd get no answer. And even if she did receive a response she would not like it. She didn't want to part with her Edward. Not this time.

The silence dragged on mechanically, the tension so thick- as the expression goes- you could cut it with a knife.

Winry was pained to have to draw the conclusion that the Elric brothers were leaving and could not be delayed even if she tried to. Her fingers sought out Edward's now midnight locks, clutching onto them and giving it a harsh tug.

"Oww-aaouch! What do you want?!" screeched Edward as he attempted to pull himself free from Winry's grasp.

"I'll braid your hair for you." she stated in a low, melancholy tone.

"It's okay, I'll do it myself later," insisted Edward, continuing to struggle in her grasp.

"I...I'll do it!"

Edward's amber eyes widened at the sudden close proximity between Winry and himself. Winry had leaned towards Edward, the desperate plea evident in her expression. Edward's face heated up, unable to tear his gaze from her face. Edward didn't want to be the one to deny Winry of whatever could ease her sadness.

"...Okay." he finally agreed , his gaze averting elsewhere whilst his cheeks ignited with a splash of red.

Pick a star on the dark horizon
And follow the light

You'll come back
When it's over
No need to say good bye

You'll come back
When it's over
No need to say good bye

Edward quickly dressed into his disguise, as Winry, Scieszka and Pinako dragged the Alphonse statue carefully down the stairs outside. Winry couldn't help but giggle a little when she'd saw Edward had masqueraded himself with a long back trench coat, a large scarecrow-like hat and miniature spectacles that sat on the very edge of the bridge of Edward's nose. He looked adorable to her.

The four worked together to carefully carry the rock statue with Alphonse encased inside towards the side of the train tracks where the larger cargo was to be loaded onto the train. As a couple of train staff lifted Alphonse into the cargo carriage, Edward turned to bid farewell to his loved ones.

Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget

"Later, Granny Pinako!" Edward donned a cheery grin as he hugged the old lady.

"Do take care of yourselves, boys," reiterated Pinako, just as she did every time they'd see them off.

"Will do," he replied. Edward politely said goodbye to Scieszka, but as he turned to Winry, Edward adopted a more delicate expression.

"I guess this is Goodb-"

"Don't," interrupted Winry.

Edward blinked in confusion. Did he say something wrong?

"Don't say goodbye." Winry threw her arms around the teenage boy in a full embrace. Caught off guard by the sudden intimacy, Edward blushed and grew more confused when he felt wetness from Winry's eyes stain his clothes.

"Winry?"

"Why...does it feel like you're going away for good...?" asked Winry, her voice muffled by the hefty clothes Edward was wearing. He didn't know what to say. Edward knew fully well his journey ahead was reaching its climax as he was headed off to eliminate the homunculi once and for all but...

...To never return?

Her quiet sobs ceased after a short while, still sniffling.

"I...No-" Winry pulled away from Edward, still gripping onto his sleeves, tear drops still moistening her cheeks. "No, this isn't goodbye. I won't say goodbye."

Edward wiped a tear from her slightly flushed cheek. "No. This isn't goodbye. We'll meet again. I'm not sure when...but we will..."

Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
Til they're before your eyes

You'll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye

You'll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye

"Hurry back!" Winry called eagerly, waving her arm at full's length as the train began to grind and screech against the tracks. Edward continued to wave to them, until he was sure they were completely gone from his sight.

Winry still continued to wave the hardest, even long after the train left her sight. As Pinako, Scieszka and herself headed back home, Winry smiled in a way she hadn't each time the brothers left Risembool.

It was a hopeful smile.

I'll wait for your return, Edward. She thought to herself.

No need to say good bye...