I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist.
Summary: Mangaverse, from Chapter 84. Winry returns home to Resembool after her long stay in Lior and finds Ed hiding in her bedroom. Why didn't Ed say anything when she started to undress in front of him? Let's take a peek into his mind and see just what he might have been thinking….
Rating: Mature, for Ed's occasional unsavory language and slightly naughty fantasies.
Warnings: none, unless you find the musings of a testosterone imbued teenage male and coarse language a bit too much.
This is one of my older works, first posted in my LJ journal over a year ago on August 9, 2008.
My eternal gratitude to my beta reader ibshafer for looking over my work and helping me to become a better writer!
Indirect sunlight filtered through the curtains that covered the sliding glass doors, infusing Winry's bedroom with soft light. Even though the fabric was parted, the small gap still didn't allow very much extra light to be introduced into the twilit space. By this time of day, the sun had passed through the sky far enough so its more direct light touched the back of the house instead of warming the its face.
Edward absently took another bite of his sandwich, his intense gaze fixed at a point well beyond the opening in the pale blue fabric of the curtains. Deep topaz- yellow eyes watched for any sign of movement on the dirt path that led to the sunny yellow house; there was still the potential Wrath would send someone out to this quiet rural location, the house Ed now called home. And even though Winry was in hiding, there was a still a possibility the homunculi would go in search for more of her family. If it had been reported back to Wrath that Ed had been sighted in another town after one of the chimeras had accessed his account, the one the homunculi called 'Father' might very well want to find another person dear to Ed in order to draw him out of hiding. They still needed their precious 'human sacrifice' in order to carry out their horrendous plot and Ed was quite certain they'd stop at nothing to recapture or control him.
Ed sighed heavily, sending crumbs scattering from his sandwich as he lifted it to his mouth to take another bite. He chewed distractedly, his thoughts elsewhere.
The young automail engineer had been on his mind a great deal since last fall, thoughts of her resurfacing from time to time, occasionally superseding his growing concerns about the rapidly approaching "Promised Day". Was she okay? Had the homunculi already found her again? If they hadn't, where was she now?
His eyes left the verdant world beyond the window to drift around the darker recesses of her room. Everywhere he looked, Winry's belongings reminded him of her presence, her personality. A hairbrush, creams and lotions sat amongst a small assortment of tools on her dressing table, an odd dichotomy of soft femininity and strong will. There were no cosmetics or jewelry, but was that a bottle of perfume? When had she acquired something so not…tomboyish? Then there was the bookshelf brimming with volumes of books pertaining to Winry's passion, anything automail. The bed stand alongside the wide, quilt-covered bed supported an alarm clock, now silent from not having been wound for months, and a lamp with a rather plain lampshade. Her favorite wrench, which usually sat next to the lamp, was conspicuously absent. His gaze drifted idly toward the hallway door where a full-length mirror on a stand stood to one side and a small stack of boxes the other. Ed absently speculated the boxes most likely contained things related to automail before his eyes continued their lazy journey around the barely lit room.
Another bite from the sandwich, a sip from his cup of tea.
Ed scanned her room again, his eyes bypassing her slightly open closet door before resting once more on her bed. The bed looked like it had been untouched for months--no, it had been nearly a year since she'd been home, hadn't it? It had been a year since she'd moved to Rush Valley. Regardless, it felt like ages since they parted, deep within the frigid Briggs fortress.
Distant memories from his childhood resurfaced as his gaze lingered on the thick, soft patchwork quilt draped over the bed, memories of Al, Winry, and himself napping together. They were three? Or was it four years old? He recalled the numerous times they would play hide and seek and Ed had one distinct recollection of an incident where he and Winry had hidden together under the colorful quilt, hoping Al wouldn't find them there. Of course, Al had eventually found them. But while the two friends waited in hiding, they had fought to suppress their helpless giggles, both full of childish mirth at the prank they were pulling on the younger boy. It was when Ed had given Winry a quick kiss on the cheek she'd given the very loud, indignant yelp that instantly revealed their location.
Ed scowled at the memory.
He had given her a kiss back then?
Now lost in his daydreams, the young alchemist pulled together more moments from his childhood, all of them revolving around the energetic blonde teenage girl, from the time they were small children up until when he'd first visited her in Rush Valley for repairs. In his head, he played out the scene when Ling had shown a great deal of interest in Winry, recalling the intense stab of jealously he'd felt when the Xingese teenager had showered Winry with attention and had all but proposed to her.
Jealousy? That's what it was?
His train of memories continued to wander like wisps of smoke, eventually coiling around another incident, one more recent. He was sitting in Lt Hawkeye's apartment, across the kitchen table from her, discussing recent events where Winry had accidentally discovered who had killed her parents and Ed's supreme effort to protect her from Scar's attack. The older woman had been efficiently cleaning the gun Ed returned to her, her words casually rolling off her tongue as if she had already accepted them as fact:
'You love Winry, don't you?' she had asserted.
He couldn't even begin to explain what had gone through his mind at that moment. Shock? Embarrassment? Fear she was right?
Ed's eyes briefly focused on the quilt once more as he pulled his thoughts away from the memory of a very damp Hayate looking up at him with puzzled surprise. The mouthful of tea he'd just taken just seconds before Lt. Hawkeye's question had been violently expelled in Hayate's direction, drenching the face of the small black and white dog. At the time, her words had traumatized him, leaving him stunned and stuttering lame excuses. But even as the excuses had tumbled from his lips, Ed realized just how guilty they made him appear; his vehement denial had been completely involuntary, a knee-jerk reaction he hadn't thoroughly understood at the time.
He really didn't want to remember this, not now, but it had been those five insidious words that had set his mind, his feelings, in a new direction, one of deep introspection. Over the last few months Ed had thought long and deeply about Winry Rockbell, but still hadn't come to a clear-cut conclusion about his feelings toward her. After all, just how were you supposed to feel about someone who had been there all your life, your best friend, your port in the storm?
His focus on the quilt softened as his mind wandered again, this time thinking about the bedcovering, itself. The quilt didn't really have a defined pattern, instead it was a random jumble of various fabrics, all in a variety of colors and patterns, sewn together haphazardly. Ed recalled old lady Pinako calling it a "crazy quilt." Not a bad analogy for how his thoughts and feelings jumbled together whenever his mind lingered on Winry for too long.
All the colors and patterns ran together like a watercolor painting as his eyes went further unfocused, lost in his mind's musings. He and Winry had spent a great deal of time in this room, playing together, napping together…
Abruptly, another image flashed into his mind, sprouting unbidden from his hormone-induced imagination. Of him and Winry hiding under that soft, warm quilt once more, not as children, but their current age of sixteen. And…they were kissing and touching in a much…friendlier way.
Horrified at the audacity of his active imagination, Edward shook his head like a dog shaking off water, trying to dispel the unexpected fantasy and banish it from his thoughts. His teeth ground together in aggravation as he felt an unsettling warmth creep up his neck to settle on his cheeks, causing them to blaze hotly. The heat rose through his body so rapidly that he had to resist the urge to hold down the top of his head with both hands to keep it from flying off.
"No way! The Lieutenant is way off base," he grumbled to himself as he slouched in the chair, his countenance now fixed with determination. He viciously tore another bite from his sandwich, nearly consuming the remainder in one mouthful, taking his frustration out on the soft bread and slices of mutton. Even as he chewed with much more force than necessary, the little voice returned, taunting him.
'Yeah, right,' the soft, little whisper mocked him relentlessly, 'You're the one who's kidding yourself if you think you can ignore Lt. Hawkeye's words forever. You know how you feel about her, you just won't admit it to yourself.'
"Gah!" The sound exploded from his throat as his face screwed up into a scowl. "I'm an idiot!" he muttered, now angry with not only himself, but also with who ever the hell was inside his head tormenting him.
Resolutely, Ed turned back to the window, raising a snack chip to his mouth and shoving it in whole. Perhaps the loud crunching would drown out his wayward thoughts. The resulting racket was satisfying, creating a thunderous noise in his head that temporarily canceled out his inner dialogue. As he reached for a larger quantity of chips—more chips, more noise, anything to completely drown out that annoying little jackass in his head—his sharp eyes caught movement down the path leading up to the front of the house.
It wasn't Granny returning from the Spring Sheep Festival…
Ed was instantly on his feet, senses on high alert. His heart beat wildly as he quietly moved toward the window with catlike stealth, careful to keep out of sight behind the curtain. For an instant, the thought of going downstairs to the basement to retrieve Greed and the chimeras crossed his mind, but he quickly dismissed it. There wouldn't be enough time, anyway.
Topaz eyes followed the odd procession approaching the house. There were two men handling a large cart, one in front pulling, the other behind pushing. All the while the two looked about suspiciously as if watching for onlookers, appearing overly concerned about being discovered. They were dressed plainly in peasant's work clothes, not unlike the local farmers, but were unfamiliar to the young alchemist; Ed knew most the locals by sight if not by name and he didn't recognize either of them.
Inside the cart's box was a large vessel secured by ropes. Ed vaguely remembered seeing these types of jars sitting around Central's military train depot when he had visited it several years ago. Weren't they used as water containers for the locomotives going on extended trips through areas where there were fewer stops?
This was getting more and more interesting by the minute. Men in worker's clothes schlepping a locomotive water container to a secluded country house which was a fair distance from the train depot and looking guilty to boot…
Remaining silent and motionless, Ed continued to watch as the highly suspect pair advanced with the cart until they stopped outside the house. The man who had been pulling the cart ascended the steps to stop at the front door and knock. 'Polite intruders?' Ed still didn't move; no one was to know he was here unless it was absolutely necessary. He only hoped Greed had enough sense to mind his own business and stay put in the hidden room in the basement.
Now he could hear the man rattle the doorknob, testing to see if it were unlocked. Voices drifted up to him, diminished by the walls of the house.
"The door's locked."
"No one's home?"
Ed watched as the man who had been pushing the cart moved to lift the container's lid. He tensed, adrenalin surging through his system. Were they going to destroy the house with explosives? Had they secreted a homunculus here to spring on the unsuspecting occupants when they returned home? A sheen of sweat broke out on Ed's forehead as his muscles tightened in readiness and other horrific scenarios flitted through his head. There was no way he would let them carry out their plot, no matter what it was.
"We're here, miss," the man said as he set the lid aside.
"Thanks, you two," came a familiar feminine voice.
The young alchemist's brow furrowed in confusion as a young, blonde woman rose out of the jar, assisted by the man standing near her; who was this woman? She seemed familiar, somehow… Ed almost let out a squeak of surprise as his brain finally registered the woman's identity.
A huge sigh of immense relief escaped him, releasing the breath he'd been holding, and relaxed as a mixture of, was it joy? Fondness?, swept over him, washing away his tension. She was home and she was safe. Immediately, his concerns about the two men evaporated like mist on a hot, sunny day--it was most likely these men were harmless if they'd gone to this much trouble to clandestinely bring her home.
But despite his elation, Ed forced himself to remain hidden, fighting back the urge to step out onto the balcony and greet her. There was still a chance they were being watched and didn't want to lose the element of surprise if it were necessary. No one would ever harm Winry if he had any say in the matter. He would put his life on the line for her again without a second thought.
Watching secretively from his hiding place as the automail mechanic stepped down from the cart, Ed was suddenly struck with how much she had changed since he'd seen her last fall. There was something about her that was different. Was it she looked a little older? Or was it more mature? After all, her birthday should be any day now, if it hadn't already passed. The teen had to admit to himself he wasn't good with remembering important dates—well except for the date he'd been accepted into the military and had burned his childhood home to the ground, anyway.
For the first time, it seemed, Ed noticed just how beautiful she was—no longer the cute little tomboy, Winry was now a stunning young woman. He had never really paid much attention to Winry's appearance before, she had always been his best friend who had lived next door, the girl that didn't fear things creepy or crawling and loved everything mechanical. But she'd had grown up during her absence and in the very next moment Ed's teenaged hormones kicked in as he observed, not without a tinge of fascination, that she seemed to have…more curves…than the last time he saw her. His stomach fluttered, tied itself into knots. So that's what seemed so different about her. She now carried herself with a fluid grace that spoke of maturity and confidence, and that combined with her new, voluptuous figure, Ed found very…alluring.
Again, he shook his head violently, trying to rid himself of the less than wholesome thoughts. 'Where the hell did that come from?' He lightly rapped an automail knuckle against his head, wincing at the sharp contact between scalp and metal—maybe a little pain would bring him around. Winry was family, that's all. He shouldn't be thinking such thoughts about a family member.
Believe what you want. You know the Lieutenant is right. Don't you? Heh, heh, heh.
A low growl formed in his throat and Ed had to bite it back. Damned voice. It looked like the only way it would be silent was if he were asleep or unconscious, and being unconscious was a very high probability if Winry ever learned of his lecherous thoughts. As it was, her 'Wrench Of Doom' had put him out of his misery more times than he could count and for far lesser reasons.
Winry's faint voice interrupted his tumultuous inner dialogue, "Yes, we've got a huge basement. I should be fine down there."
Panic. She was already in the house and was likely to come upstairs next.
Shit! Now what?! She won't be very happy about finding me in her room!
He frantically looked about and, for a brief second, contemplated heading for the door. But upon hearing Winry's voice from the bottom of the stairs as she spoke to her two escorts, Ed changed his mind.
Too late! She would see him the minute he exited. Could he hide under the bed? No, he wasn't a small four-year-old any more and there was no way he'd even begin to fit into such tight quarters.
Damn straight! I'm not short!
Her closet? Nonono, there were girly things in there and it would be a definite death sentence if she caught him anywhere near her 'unmentionables.'
Get a grip, Elric, this is no time to think about panties! Since when have you been interested in Winry's panties?
…I wonder if she has white ones with little pink flowers, or low cut ones, or something lacey…lacey ones would be really sweet… She'd look really sexy in them... Yeah, little black lacey ones with a matching bra…
With great effort, Ed ripped himself away from the resulting racy image that formed in his mind. He pinched his left arm, hard, with his automail hand, biting back a yelp of pain.
Good. At least now he was grounded in the present and no longer dwelling on Winry's underwear. Or Winry in her underwear.
A tentative, nervous calm settled over Ed as a sense of self-righteousness possessed him. 'I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm here for a reason!' he rationalized, 'Hell, she'll probably be happy to see me again.'
Ed heaved an annoyed sigh as he went back to the chair and plopped onto the seat heavily, pulling up his legs to sit crossed-legged. Fighting down his lingering sense of fear, he picked up the other half of his sandwich and resumed eating his lunch. 'I'll make it a surprise. Surely she won't be upset to find me here when I tell her why.' A last, more desperate rationale intruded, stemming from his guilt, 'Besides, she can't read minds. Can she?'
Then his mischievous nature obscured his common sense. 'Heh. Let's see how long it takes for her to notice me.'
Now vaguely secure in his decision, Ed kept quiet and nearly motionless as the door opened to reveal Winry's backlit silhouette in the doorway.
Heh, heh. She'll see me any moment, now.
"Wow, I haven't been here in forever," he heard her sigh as she entered the room and closed the door. She walked to her closet without turning on the light, mumbling about the state of her bedroom's tidiness as she opened the door and sorted through her things in search of a change of clothes. Finding something desirable, Ed watched as Winry pulled it from a hanger to drape it across her pillow and headboard. She slipped off the shirt she was wearing over a dark tank top to toss it onto the bed, unconcerned about where or how it landed.
Once again, his teenage hormones surged at the sight of her undressing before him. Transfixed, Ed said nothing. He drank in the sight of her curves through the close-fitting tank top and snug fitting jeans as she tossed the tan overshirt aside, carefully noting the sensuous swell of her bust and hips, the gentle dip of her waist. There seemed to be a lot more of Winry now—in all the right places—and all his higher brain functions shut down, reverting to the simple functions of a testosterone saturated teenaged male. He sat unmoving, rendered speechless by the scene unfolding before him, the sandwich he had lifted to his mouth now completely forgotten. He wouldn't have been able to swallow it anyway; his mouth was now as dry as the sand dunes surrounding Lior.
But when Winry reached for the bottom of her tank and began to pull it up, the voices in his head, now a small army, vied for dominance all at once:
She is…curvier. A lot curvier than the last time I saw her. Holy crap….
What's wrong with you?! She's family!
Take it off, take it off, take it off!
But she's not actually family, you know…
"You love Winry, don't you?"
Say something before she undresses herself!!
Is that her panties I see above her jeans? Her navel is so… Sexy.
C'mon, Elric, speak up!
Take it off…ooh…ahh…just a little bit more…
Oh, god, she doesn't have a bra on?!
TAKE IT OFF, TAKEITOFFTAKEITOFF!!
TAKE IT ALL OFF!!
All the voices in his head abruptly fell silent with a choked squeak as Winry looked toward him and their eyes met--well, Ed's eyes took an extra second to appreciate a tiny glimpse of the underside of those wonderfully filled-out breasts before his gaze met her's. Winry stood, frozen in mid-action, a stunned expression on her face as she stared wide-eyed in his direction. In that painfully long instant, dread seeped through him, filling his veins with ice water. With wisdom borne of hindsight, Ed realized he should have said something the moment she entered the room. But now? Now he'd have a better chance surviving an extended fight with the homunculi or Scar than surviving the next few moments with Winry.
"Kiyaaaaaa!" Winry's shriek of surprise and utter panic shattered the stillness of the poorly lit room.
"Waaaaaaah!" followed Ed's scream of fear a spilt second later. He startled, nearly falling off the chair.
Jerking her top back into place and covering herself, Winry jumped away from Ed to lurch for her closet. There was no indecisiveness or fear in her movements, just a steady determination to defend herself.
Oh, shit, it's too dark in here, she doesn't' recognize me! She's going for a wrench! I'm dead unless I do something fast!
"Winry, it's me! It's Ed!" he yelped, jumping to his feet and throwing his hands up in front of him in a futile attempt at self defense. For a brief moment he contemplated the probability of just how ludicrous he looked standing there using a sandwich for a shield. Really now, bread and mutton held even less of a chance of surviving a wrenching than he did.
'I am such an moron!' he mentally berated himself.
Winry hesitated mid-motion, her sapphire blue eyes wide with fear as she peered back over her shoulder at him. The fear seeped out of them to be replaced with confusion.
"Ed?" she ventured timidly, a mixture of relief and happiness in her shaking voice. She turned to face him again, "You're okay?" Even in the dim light he could see the corners of her mouth turn up into a fragile grin.
"Yeah." Edward lowered his arms slowly, still expecting some form of flying projectile to come his way. He knew all too well just how quickly Winry's mood could change on a sens.
In the next instant, the door flew open and the men who had escorted Winry home burst into the room with guns leveled at Ed, interrupting their awkward reunion. Almost instantaneously, the two chimeras that had allied themselves with Greed and Ed burst in from behind, guns held on Winry's benefactors. As the following moments erupted with chaos, Ed stepped up to stand beside Winry, watching the bedlam that ensued between the two factions. Voices rose between the different camps until the din became almost unbearable.
As he stood alongside Winry, Ed calmly observed the ongoing insanity, grateful for the distraction; anything that pulled the temperamental mechanic's attention away from his indiscretion was welcome. He serenely finished his sandwich, pulling it into his mouth as he chewed, deeming it was no longer necessary to use his lunch to protect himself from Winry's wrath.
Finally, the young woman had her fill, especially when Greed callously picked poor Den up by the scruff, causing the dog to yelp in pain and surprise. Building herself up to quite the Angry, Winry retrieved the wrench she'd originally intended for Ed and jumped into the melee, clearing the room in no time flat. Her wildly swinging wrench ejected the burly men one by one in rapid succession; the four men never had a chance, not even Greed.
"GET THE HELL OUT OF MY ROOM, NOW!"
Ed looked on with a mixture of wonder and fear as she threw each and every intruder out of her bedroom with wild abandon. She might be a woman, she could sometimes be a crybaby, but at this very moment in time she was a warrior. And he found that dead sexy.
'Damn, I'm impressed! She can really take care of herself!' the thought crossed his mind seconds before he realized Winry's demon gaze had latched onto him, homing in on him like a lioness getting ready to take down a wildebeest.
'I'm dead,' timidly offered the last remaining voice in his head before it retreated to hide in some dark corner of his mind.
Instead of throwing Ed out after the others, the bloodlust left Winry's eyes as she shyly cast her gaze down at the floor, "I was so scared," she nearly whispered.
She's so cute when she's like this.
Fighting down the sense he wasn't safely out of the woods just yet, Ed slowly started to back away. "Y-yeah. I'm really sorry. I'm glad you're safe, too." Perhaps he should consider following his comrades out of the door before Winry's mood changed. Leaving under his own power would be an infinitely more dignified than being ejected by a wild wrench-wielding woman.
Too late. Again.
Stars and bright flashes danced before his vision and blinding pain filled his head as the automail engineer's hefty wrench connected with his cranium more than once. The floor came up to greet him in slow motion, adding to his misery as it made solid contact with his body, leaving him numb and senseless. Eventually, the sparks slowly dissipated to leave behind multiple images of Winry standing over him, all still brandishing a bloody wrench with deadly intent. For a brief moment, as he lay on the floor in abject pain, Ed thought he saw his life flash before his eyes.
No, no, wait--it was only the delicious recollection of his recent fantasies as one by one, the Winries appeared before him dressed only in lacey black panties with a matching bra, each and every one of them holding a wrench in a corresponding color.
Yup, Winry would look really sexy in black lace.
"Now exactly WHY were you in MY room?"
Oh, dammit, I'm so dead.