Winry sighed heavily as she proceeded to reconstruct a new arm for Edward. That boy was always getting into some sort of shenanigans that led her to pull more than just all-nighters. Three to five days with no sleep and constant concentration left her nearly brain dead. But the reason why he was in this time was different. How he actually returned to Resembool from the other world was hard to believe. And she didn't want to think about it. She was glad that he was back.
But his arm that he had before was quite different than from the automail that she always made for him. Edward told her that he wanted his automail back; it was the least he could do for her. It gave her something to do. She had already crafted his leg, which was attached to him now. She couldn't believe that he had actually grown taller, just about as tall as she was.
Just as she screwed in a shiny new bolt, the stairs wailed out a loud creak. Winry pulled up her protective goggles and stopped working. Because Edward would always creep in her room to see the progress, she decided to move downstairs. However, that didn't stop him from coming downstairs anyway.
Edward entered through the archway gradually, closed the door behind him, and graced the room with his presence. He tried to get a peak at what his arm looked like. Winry put her goggles back on, and continued to make his metal arm. It usually looked the same, but something about her making his arm got him curious. She lifted up her goggles again to inspect her work, to make sure everything was in the right spot. She felt Edward's fingers lightly wrap around her ponytail; he gave a gentle tug.
"Ed," Winry groaned quietly. Edward looked over her shoulder, observing her work. "I'm not done yet."
Edward sighed right in her ear, and then drifted over to the couch, plopping down on it. Winry felt his eyes upon her. She pulled up the sleeves on her white button down shirt that was covered in grease and oil, and continued to concentrate.
"I don't understand why you just didn't ask Al to fix your arm," she said quietly as she grabbed another screw. Al was human; Al didn't have to worry about his armor breaking anymore, which meant he could do alchemy.
Edward shrugged and then stared out the window. He wriggled his metal toes and flexed them.
"Alchemy can't fix everything," he said with a sigh. "You're the one mechanic I trust."
"I'm the only mechanic you trust," Winry corrected. She looked over at him. He had no shirt on, and was only dressed in his pajama bottoms. Either he started sleeping shirtless, or he knew that she was almost finished. She eyed the long scar near the right side of his chest, which sent a chill down her spine. It reminded her of the day when he had lost his limbs. "No one knows how to construct automail like I do."
"That's why I didn't let Al fix it," Ed said as he propped his feet up on the coffee table. "I would've let him do it, though…that's if I thought you got rusty."
Winry gripped the wrench that was near her and pointed it in his direction as a threat. Edward held up his left hand---his only one at the moment---as if he was ready to catch it…or try to make amends.
"Are you saying that I've gotten rusty?" Winry asked through gritted teeth. A small gleam hit her eye, like she had something evil up her sleeve.
"No!" Edward said before she chucked the wrench at him. "Did you hear me say that?"
Winry put the wrench down as Edward narrowed his eyebrows at her. His golden eyes cast a glare, and she could see a fire burning in them. His expression then softened, and he turned his attention to the window again. Winry continued to work in silence for a few moments, but it didn't last for long. She was curious of why Edward was down here, besides to see if she had finished his arm.
"How's your leg doing?" she asked. "Is it holding you up?"
"It's great!" Edward answered quickly. "You did a great job."
Winry smiled slightly but then frowned.
"Why aren't you in bed?" she asked as she inspected a piece of metal. She was almost finished with his arm. All she had to do was screw two or three things in and shine it.
"Couldn't sleep," Edward replied with a yawn. "Al is sleeping like a log, though. It's hilarious to hear him when he talks about the dreams he had. It's like one big saga. He tells it so well, that it sounds like a modern myth or something."
Winry smiled to herself again; ever since Al had gotten his body back, he enjoyed the feeling of sleep again. Edward had that luxury already, but it looked like sleep was stolen from him. It was probably because he was wondering if she had finished crafting his other limb yet. "Have you gotten any sleep?"
The question caught her off guard. He would usually ask if she had finished his arm or leg, and she would kick him out. Ever since they were kids, Edward had been a little self-centered. There was always envy and greed pulsing through his veins, but it was just a human impulse: a natural feature. The good thing about him, though, was that he always loved and cared for his friends, and they usually came first. To get back his brother's body, he wanted the Philosopher's Stone, and he craved for it, which drove him up the wall. But in the end, it was worth it. A typical human action.
However, the question he asked was so simple yet it lingered in her head.
She was nothing more than his mechanic.
And for him to ask her something like that, shocked her.
"I haven't been sleeping well at all lately," Winry said quietly. Two more pieces to place in and then she would shine the automail.
It was growing hot in the room. She took off her button down shirt, and placed it on the back of her chair, leaving her in her black tank top. "So I guess you could say no. But thank God you're here, or it would just be another restless night."
"You are the automail freak after all." As he called her by her playful nickname, a small smile tugged at her lips. Smiling to her felt so strange; it'd been a while since she felt jovial.
"Edward, listen carefully now," she said as she screwed in the last piece. She then took off her goggles, and took out the shiner. "This arm is definitely lighter---"
"Don't get too careless now," she said, ignoring him completely. She grabbed one of the many rags that was nearby, and opened up the jar with the shiner. "I made sure this time that ever bolt and screw was in there. So it's less likely to break…unlike last time."
"Winry, that was an accident---"
That almost got him killed.
"But you should be able to move it a lot faster, and Al helped me out pick out the metal for alchemy use. It may be lighter, but it can withstand alchemy. So if you're going to fight any State Alchemists or criminals with alchemy, you should be in good hands."
Edward remained silent for a few moments.
"How did you know that I was going back to Central?" Edward asked.
"An arm and a leg that's asked to be made in at least three days?" Winry said as she wiped his new arm clean. "Why else would you want the order on rush?"
"And you're not mad about it?"
"The arm? No, no. I enjoy making automail---"
"I meant," Edward interrupted quietly. His voice was almost in a whisper. Winry had finished shining his new automail. She got up before Edward could talk with his new arm in her hands.
"You meant," she said, wanting him to continue. "Hold out your other arm, please."
Edward held out his fleshed arm, and Winry placed the superior part of the automail arm near his shoulder socket. She compared the lengths, and sighed with relief when she saw that they were equal lengths.
"You're not mad at me for going back to Central?" Edward asked.
Winry avoided eye contact with him, and just said, "Try not to yell now, okay?" She saw Edward bite his lip, and brace himself for when the nerves would connect to his automail. Winry counted, "One…two…three---!" She connected his automail to his body with a hard shove; Edward leaned forward, letting out a groan that replaced his scream. Winry gently pushed him back against the couch, and stood up from her crouching position. She wiped her forehead with the back of her hand, and let out a quiet, "Phew!" She was elated that her craftsmanship turned out well. It satisfied her. Hopefully it would satisfy Edward too. Winry walked over to the table she was working at, took a clean rag, and wiped her hands clean.
"Thanks," Edward grunted, still aching from the impact. "God, I hate that part. It's almost as worst as getting stabbed."
Winry glared at him, but he didn't seem to perceive.
"Now, let's get some sleep, shall we? I think all of those all-nighters will finally put me out."
"Do you have a hair tie?" she asked as she eyed his golden hair. It was an opportunity that she couldn't pass up; it was a once in a blue moon chance.
"I'll fix your hair for you. Maybe you'll feel better if it's pulled back."
Edward took a black band off of his wrist, and handed it to her. When Al wasn't around, Edward would ask Winry to braid his hair for him. He never argued when she asked to do his hair. She and Al came up with the idea that Edward secretly loved it when someone would either braid or pull it back, even though he was capable of doing it himself. Winry always loved playing with it when they were younger. It brought back old memories of when he would come home from wherever, and would ask her for her help when she didn't work on his automail. She would pull it back after she attached his limbs; it seemed to put him in a rather tranquil and pain free state. It would take his mind off of the pain that he would still have after the ball and socket reconnect, allowing the nerves to sew his limb together. As he turned in his seat, she went behind him on the cushion next to him. She gently ran her fingers through his hair; it was smooth and silky. She started to pull his hair back in a ponytail, and tried to pat down all the bumps. With her nails being long, she gently ran them over his scalp as she pulled back loose strands, but left his bangs alone like she always did. Edward slumped his shoulders, like he was releasing the tension in his system.
"You didn't answer my question," he said darkly.
Winry exhaled through her nose, and finally tied his hair back. She split his ponytail into two strands, like she was going to braid it, and gave it a light tug, making sure it will stay in and not be lose. She stood up and faced him. She was exhausted; her fingers felt numb. Her stomach was empty, and surprisingly, there was no desire to use the bathroom like most women would have the urge to do. "It's just like déjà vu to me now." Winry shrugged slightly. She had grown tired of Edward and Al going to Central. It soon dawned on her that it was one big cycle. They would go off to Central, come back in a few weeks because Edward messed up his arm, and then they would leave again, only to come back and do it all over again. "But," she said with a sigh, "I can't stop you from doing your job, Ed."
Edward's eyes grew wide, and he quickly cast them down to the ground. He golden hair slid off of his shoulders and framed his face.
"You protect people. Save lives. Fight for what's right," Winry continued. "So I can't get mad at you for doing what you live for. That's like you stopping me from making your automail, and getting mad if I continue to do it. Ed, I'm very proud of you for what you do." Edward seemed to settle down into the couch. "I know I've cried a lot in the past when you guys left, or didn't come home for months but---" Winry laughed slightly; it almost sounded sad. "---I'm just a girl. Girls get emotional, you know that. We're over dramatic and over exaggerate everything. But I've learned to be strong."
Winry knelt down, and placed both of her hands on either of his knees. It was such a rare chance and change that Edward let her talk without having him interrupt. Maybe being in the other world changed him…but Winry liked him the way he had always been. Or maybe Edward was so tired, that he couldn't speak.
"I guess because of what happened in past made me so worried…and now everything is the way it should've been. Al has his body back. You got the answers you've been looking for. Everything is slowing down now…so I've taught myself to lay off of you guys, and not cry over every time you leave. I've said goodbye so many times, Ed. It has finally grown on me that we're not kids anymore, and that you're old enough to go out on your own."
"You still wait, though," Edward whispered. The corners of his lips turned slightly upward.
"I wait for your return. Not for the day where you'll stay home."
Edward's eyes lock with hers, but it was the blankest stare she had ever received from him. Usually he showed anger or fear; some sign of emotion. But there was nothing. It sent a chill down her spine, but she restrained herself from shivering. The last thing she wanted to show him right now was that she was upset. She had to be strong.
"What do you mean?" Edward asked slowly, like he was drugged.
"I know that you'll never stay home, Ed," Winry said as she looked away from his chilling gaze. "You live your life traveling and working with the military. It's just one of those jobs and lifestyles that makes you move constantly. Every time you leave, I wait for the day you guys come back and visit for a repair." She saw Edward's hands grip the fabric of the couch. Her eyes met his again. "I gave up on the idea of safety a while ago. I've braced myself for whatever is coming my way. I've embraced the fact that you're never going to stay." Winry stood up, and she got a head rush. Her heard swirled for a moment before she refocused on Edward.
"I'm sorry," he said as he stood up. This was going to make her teary eyed if she didn't leave now. After giving that speech about strength, she didn't need to show him that she was about to cry.
"It's alright, Ed," she said with a small shrug while crossing over to the window. She managed to feign a smile. No, it wasn't okay. It wasn't okay at all. "You do what you need to do. I'll always be here, you know that. I'll be home." She looked away from him, embarrassed that tears were surfacing. She blinked them away, or tried to. She wished he could stay home for a while. She wished that he wouldn't leave for a long time. The fear that had been buried deep in her mind was that he was never going to come back. But it sounded selfish that she wanted him to stay. She couldn't have him all to herself; she figured that out a long time ago. She then whispered under her breath, "But I've given up on you a long time ago."
Winry didn't know if he heard that or not, and frankly, she didn't care if he did. When she felt his cool metal hand on her shoulder, she jumped. When he saw the sadness that she wished she didn't show in her eyes, he just groaned.
"I…." he began. He dropped his hand from her shoulder and looked down at his feet. "I hate it when you're upset. You really make me feel guilty, you know that?"
"No, I didn't," Winry said truthfully. She felt his hand rest on top of her head, and he ruffled her hair slightly.
"What am I going to do with you? You worry too much," he said with a snicker, trying to lighten the brooding mood. She gazed up at him, letting her guard completely drop. Whenever she was near Edward, knowing that he was there, she felt safe. Not because he was a soldier. It was because she knew that he would protect her in a dire situation. He would put her first before himself.
"I don't know," Winry said halfheartedly.
Neither one of them moved as silence filled the room.
Winry took Edward's metal arm, and held it up to her. It was nice and clean, but he would soon come back with chips and dents in it, or it would be completely blown off of his body. "Take care of your arm and leg, Edward," she said as she patted his metal arm.
"I will," Edward said as he rolled his eyes.
"Yes?" he asked exhaustedly. She winced at his tone; she knew he was getting tired of her perturbing.
"You're only human."
"Heh, not really---" He held up his metal hand. But Winry grabbed it, and pulled it down gently, and held onto it.
"You are," she insisted. She grabbed his other hand; if she put her hand up against his, his fingers would probably be able to double over her fingertips. She felt his fingers twitch, and they finally folded over to grasp her hands lightly. "You can't do it all."
"I know…I've learned," he said as flatten out his metal palm. "I learned that a long time ago."
Winry flattened her palm out under his, and then pushed it up so that it was eye level to both of them.
"I've learned from my mistakes too," she whispered. She folded her fingers with his, and he surprisingly returned it, intertwining their fingers together. Winry could have any guy she wanted. But she chose the one who was impossible to reach. And yet he was standing in front of her, holding her hands. She didn't care if it was metal on flesh; she knew his story. She knew a lot about him. She understood him. But she couldn't have him. That's the story of her life. She took a slight breath and said, "But sometimes you can't let go of them." She let go of his hands, wanting to escape the feeling of a long lost blissful misery.
Edward didn't say anything back. What can you say back to that? Winry's body was telling her to high tail it out of the room, but she forced herself to stay. Stay for what? Another heartbreak? Another useless emotional breakdown?
Winry threw her arms around him, catching him off guard. In only a few hours he and Al would deport, and disappear for months before returning. She didn't want him to leave. She held onto him like she was holding on for her dear life.
"I'm probably not going to be awake when you guys leave," she said softly. Edward put his hands on her waist awkwardly, attempting to hug her, but not ready to. It's like he's never hugged a girl in his life. Winry knew he wasn't the best with women. That still didn't give him an excuse to not return a hug from a girl back. And furthermore, she was his mechanic…and his best friend. "So I'm saying goodbye now."
The embrace they were in tightened as Edward finally wrapped his arms fully around her. She felt safe for once. She felt like she was in her own little haven. The likelihood of her saying goodbye to him had always been slim. He and Al would leave at the crack of dawn while she snoozed in her bed.
"This isn't going to be goodbye forever," he said. They still held onto each other. Winry hugged him tighter.
"Last time you left…you didn't come back," she said. She felt Edward stiffen. "You crashed that flying thing---"
"It's called a plane."
"And then as soon as you got your limbs…you and Al just disappeared for a few years."
Edward pulled back from their tight embrace, and his eyes bored into hers. They had a roaring fire blazing in them, and it made Winry go taut. She was inflexible; her body didn't want to move. His hands were resting on her shoulders, holding her in her place. He wasn't letting her go anywhere.
"Winry," he said calmly as possible. He was trying not to frighten her, but it was failing. But Winry mentally told herself to stand her ground. "Stop. Just stop thinking about that! We're---"
Winry bowed her head, trying to hold back her tears. Edward's hands slipped off of her shoulders and dropped to his sides.
"I came back, didn't I?" he inquired in a hush tone.
"If you say goodbye, that means that we would never see each other again. That you would forget me forever."
Winry had heard that saying before. She finally looked up at him with wide eyes; she stood up straight to show that she wasn't scared.
"Ed," Winry whispered. "I know I said that I've said goodbye many times, but…" She paused to let herself gather up the courage and power that she was potential. As much as she wanted him, she couldn't have him. He wouldn't allow it. "I would say it to remind myself that…I have to give up on the thought that…" She could feel the blood rush to her cheeks. She was blushing; what bad timing she was having tonight. She exhaled loudly, and then said, "I've already said goodbye to you a long time ago."
"…I don't get what you're saying."
Of course he doesn't get! Men never understand! Especially Edward Elric. Women were at the bottom of his list when it came to knowledge. This science nerd could figure out any problem and formula, but he couldn't use any chemical formula or some form of alchemy to figure out her feelings for him.
"Damn it, Edward! You can be so oblivious sometimes!" Winry said as she stormed off towards her work station. She made herself busy by attempting to clean up, so she wouldn't have to do it later. But she made such an ass of herself, that it was hard for her to make her desk spick and span.
"No, you're oblivious to the fact that you think I'm oblivious to how you feel," he said as he came up behind her. She whipped around, but found herself trapped between him and the desk.
Edward was a Sin. He was a taboo that was constantly broken. As much as she would ask for forgiveness for loving him, she would still turn around and go right back into the flames of temptation. It was like the saying, "What you want the most, is the one thing you can't have." And he was the one thing she wanted the most.
"I can't, Winry," he whispered with a sad look in his eyes. Winry felt her stomach tie in the tightest knot she'd ever experience. And now her heart's last hanging piece just fell. She knew what he would say, but to hear it and expect it was more than a slap to the face. It was a blown to the head.
"You…." Winry said as she looked away from him. "You better get some sleep. It's not a good idea to sleep on the job." She brushed past him without another word, but he grabbed her hand before she reached the door. "Please---"
Edward let Winry's hand slip out of his. That didn't make the situation even better. It now made her feel like a complete bitch. The only time Edward would try to show her some compassion, and she rejected it.
"Winry," Edward said seriously. "Don't let me be your biggest mistake."
"It's too late for that…."
Winry opened the door slowly, and she felt Edward following her as they trekked upstairs. As she reached her room, she stopped before entering. When she turned around, he was still with her. He took a stepped closer to her. She cast her eyes down to the ground, and her face flushed with shame.
She hated the silence between them.
"Thank you for the automail….Get some sleep now," Edward said as he shifted his feet. Winry glanced up at him, and his eyes made her melt. She was getting weak in the knees.
"Goodbye, Edward," Winry whispered.
She felt him tuck a loose strand of her hair behind her ear, and then his metal hand lingered on her cheek. She was probably the only girl that he will ever know who was actually comfortable with his automail. She pressed her cheek against his cold palm, and he grabbed her other hand.
"Goodnight, Winry," Edward said in return.
Winry felt his lips plant a long kiss on her other cheek. It was like a poison had just seeped through her flesh and was now intoxicating her. A drug. Something that made her sick in a good way, and was going to knock her out. It seemed to last forever. But she took it all in, knowing this was the only time he would do this.
Edward released her, and leered at her before he walked down to his room. Winry watched him walk down to the room he and Al shared, until he disappeared. She staggered into her own room, and closed the door behind her as quietly as possible. The kiss that was left on her cheek was burning, but it felt good. Yet, it hurt her at the same time. She still couldn't make him stay. She still couldn't have him.
Winry changed into her nightgown, but when she fell down on her bed, she couldn't fall asleep. Even if she tried to sleep, it felt like something would kick her awake. Her heart was beating incredibly fast. Time had reached dawn already, and she sat up in bed. Not even ten minutes of sleep. She felt restless and torn.
"Hey, Brother!" Al said from downstairs. "Hold on!"
Winry jumped out of bed, and opened up the doors to her balcony. She saw Edward on the path just before the house waiting for his younger brother.
"Hurry up, Al. Mustang is going to have my head if we're late," Edward said sharply. "I'm going to start walking!" He started to make his way up the path at a very slow pace.
She couldn't let him go.
She wasn't ready to say goodbye.
"Shit," Winry muttered. She raced downstairs in her nightgown with messy hair and tired eyes. She was a disaster.
"Thanks again!" Al said.
But Winry pushed right past him before he made it through the door way, and ran outside.
"WINRY!" cried her grandmother from the house. "Are you alright, Al---?"
From up the path, Edward turned around, and stopped walking when Winry met up with him. She stood there, her chest heaving as she regained her breath. Edward raised his eyebrows for he was surprised.
"What? Did you forget a screw?" Edward joked as he held up his metal arm.
"Don't make me get my wrench, Edward Elric," she choked as she tried to catch her breath. "I'm----" Winry couldn't talk. She hadn't ran that fast in a long time. But Edward gave her time to breathe. When she was ready, she continued, "I'm not ready to say goodbye. I--I know I have before, but…but…."
Edward held up his hand to stop her. But she blabbed on anyway.
"Like I said before, Ed. You're only human. But everyone has their breaking points. Everyone has to stop at one point. And I don't care what you think, but I'm not saying goodbye to you. Ever!"
Edward gave her a soft smile, which was very atypical to see on his face. The smile played smoothly across his lips, and it fit his face perfectly. He put his suitcase over his shoulder, and dared himself to move closer to her.
"I know I can't have you," Winry said, on the verge of tears, "but I'll still wait for you."
"Get some sleep, Win," Edward said with a wink. "We'll be back before you wake up." He looked over her shoulder and yelled, "AL! LET'S GO!" He then turned back to Winry. "I'll see you later." He started to walk away from her.
Just then, Al finally caught up to his brother.
"See ya later, Winry!" Al yelled as he rushed up to Edward, his bag flying behind him. Winry watched them walk down the path. As much as she wished that this was a dream, it was everything but that. In her dreams, he would've turned around and came back to her. But he didn't. He and Al just kept walking.
Go to sleep, Winry told herself. I'll have to wake up from this nightmare eventually.
First stab at an EdwardxWinry story.
I'm not totally happy with it, but it'll do. I'm a big shipper of these two, and I found it difficult to write a romance story with them, because of Edward's personality. I knew that he wouldn't just kiss her on the mouth. He's hard to get....he's not datable XD I wish he was....so it would be easier to write a story about them! I had about...three different versions of this story, one where it just full on, "Whoo! I love you!" and another one that was "kiss kiss". But I stuck with this one. I didn't want to make Edward's character...not him. And I attempted to make Winry not seem so whimpy like the majority of FMA fans would say. But I love Winry. SO HA!
P.S. I've looked at this story many times, and I'm trying to find an editor XD (I need to get my friend online). So discharge the errors. I already know about them.