Leonahari: I realized that after writing Of Bullets and Mercury that I was starting to miss writing this couple and there is just not enough Envy/Winry fics out there to satisfy my craving for it. So, I'll have to fix that.

Please take note that this story will contain sexual/mature scenes later on as the rating suggests. Please review, but flames will be laughed at. If you don't like this couple then why the hell are you reading this story when it specifically says that it's an Envy/Winry fic?

Another note: This plot is based on the manga, so for those of you who have no idea and haven't read it there's a SPOILER warning. Also, Envy and all the other characters are going to be based on their personalities from the manga. If you haven't read the manga but still wish to read the story despite the spoiler warning then I'll sum it up for you: Wrath is actually Pride (King Bradley) in the manga, Pride is his son Selim, and the little boy Wrath from the Anime hasn't made an appearance yet as Wrath at least. More importantly, Envy's personality is different in the manga. He doesn't hate/loath Edward, in fact he just likes to make fun of him, and he's more psycotic and prone to mood swings (but that makes it all the more fun!).

Now that that's been dealt with, let me give you the idea I'm running with: What if Winry met Envy before the series even started, before Ed and Al even knew they would become dogs of the state? Would this chance meeting change the destiny of these two characters within the story and how much? (Yes, I know Winry is young in the beginning, but bare with me this is just the prologue to get thing's kick-started). I promise Winry's age will be appropriate for the majority of the story.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy my second Envy/Winry. I don't own FMA and this is NOT a sequel to Of Bullets and Mercury...

Fragile

Chapter One: The River

"Winry, look at what we made you," Edward and Alphonse Elric stood before Winry Rockbell with wide smiles. In Edward's outstretched arms was a gigantic pink colored teddy bear with yellow ears and black beaded eyes. The thing was as big as the girl who squealed in delight at the present.

"Happy Birthday, Winry!" the two boys sang. In the background Granny Pinako and Trisha Elric carried a large square cake into the dining room and set it on the table, alight with five pink and blue candles. It was homemade and beautifully decorated. Her father and mother stood on either side of her with looks of anticipation.

The cake was placed in front of her and Winry had to make a wish. She closed her eyes, but didn't, couldn't smile, and after she had finished, she took a deep breath and blew out all the candles in the same moment. Everyone clapped their hands and looked happy for her. Superstition had taught them not to ask what the wish had been.

Winry knew that once the candles were out on the first try, her wish would come true.


Two months later…

Winry slipped past Granny Pinako and ran to the front door with a burst of excitement that usually came naturally to her. The old woman didn't turn to look at the young child, as she finished up whatever work she had been scheduled to do with her automail business. Winry's mother and father were standing in the kitchen having a quiet discussion about something, when her mother glanced over at Winry. Winry had been trying to unhinge the chain lock at the top of the door, but even when she stood on her tip toes she was still a head too short.

"What are you up to, Winry?" her mother asked with an amused smile. She came over to help her daughter and unhinged the chain. Winry placed a small hand on the door knob and glanced up with a smile too big for her face. Her eyes lit up in excitement, "I'm going to ask Ed and Al if they want to play hide and seek with me!"

"Well, that's not a bad idea. It's a beautiful day after all. Just make sure you're home for dinner, and you can invite Edward and Alphonse along too," Winry's father suggested. He went and sat down at the table where he had laid out a daily newspaper, headlines read 'Ishbal Refuses Peaceful Negotiations Offered by King Bradley'.

"Okay, I'll ask them." Winry agreed, "Love you! See you at dinner!"

With that, Winry flung the door open and ran down the little dirt road towards the Elric's household. Risenbool was a wide open county town surrounded by green rolling valleys and sandwiched between deep forests. A large river cut through the town at the bottom of the valley and ran parallel to an old train track that lead straight to the heart of Amestris, Central. The Elric's lived on the edge of town next to the Rockbells, only a yard of natural hillside separated the households from each other.

It didn't take Winry long before she was knocking politely at the Elric's front door. Trisha Elric, Edward and Alphonse's mother answered with a welcoming hug and told her that the boys were playing down by the river.

So, Winry left to find them. Her happy image of playing hide and seek with her two close friends was fading quickly from her mind. She knew that when Ed and Al were 'playing' they usually had their faces buried in their father's old alchemy books.

It had only been a couple of weeks since they had been allowed into their father's library, and already Winry was certain they had read a good portion of it already. It irked Winry somewhat, because she liked when they used to play together. There was never any argument on what was what and how things came to be. Since Ed and Al had been studying alchemy, Winry hadn't seen very much of them and when she did she was sure they forgot she was even there. Stupid alchemy. Stupid boys. Winry wondered why they cared so much about it all anyways…

…It wasn't like the world would end if they didn't become alchemists.

As soon as Winry came over the hillside on the edge of the river she saw the two boys lying next to each other, a book in their hands. She wondered if she would be able to sneak up on them…

"Winry?" Alphonse's golden eyes were warm with a smile as glanced up unexpectedly from the encyclopedia-sized textbook. Ed was second to notice her after his brother, but he didn't look as happy to see her.

Winry felt a little annoyed at this, "Stop studying, nerds! Let's play hide and seek instead!"

"Nerds?" Edward said with a look of befuddlement. He exchanged the same look with Alphonse and turned back to Winry, with a bit of a whine in his voice, "Winry, why don't we play hide and seek later? Al and I are really busy –,"

"But we haven't played since my birthday!"

Alphonse was quick to defend, "That's not true," he said gently, "We played together last week. Remember, Winry, we made you that doll –,"

"That's not playing, Alphonse! That's just boring alchemy!" Winry huffed and put her hands on her tiny hips, a frown was evidence of her growing frustration.

"Winry, please just –,"

"Fine!" Winry declared in a pout, "I'll go play by myself then."

The boys watched her run down the hill and skip along the river bed. Her back was turned towards them as she picked her way across the large rocks and over mini ponds that had formed from the off streams, eventually the river bed would be surrounded by lush greenery. She hadn't let them say anything else to her, but in the distance she could hear them yelling at her, "Winry! We're not allowed to go into the forest on our own! Come back! Winry! Winry!"

Winry was well aware she wasn't allow into the forest. Her parents had told her that she could get lost and never find her way home, but she knew that if she stayed on the riverbed she could just follow the river back. However, she hoped she wouldn't have to enter the forest at all. She was waiting to see if Ed and Al would follow her and then, to keep her from going into the forest, they would agree to play hide and seek with her.

Unfortunately, that hadn't happened yet. Winry was at the edge of the forest now and refused to look back. She thought maybe the boys had run back home to tell on her, but that wasn't like them. If anything, they probably didn't think she was serious about going into the forest. They knew she was smarter than that.

But Winry was determined. Her frustration moved her forward into the patch of forest and she was suddenly bathed in cool shadow from the evergreens. It was refreshing, and the smell of damp soil and moss made her think of camping and summer hikes with her father.

Something made a sound to her left, but it was masked by the rushing rapids of the river so Winry couldn't tell what it had been. She wasn't worried, though the fact that the boys hadn't come after by now bothered her to no end. Didn't they care about her? Or did they care more about disturbing their study of alchemy?

Winry made a little growl in frustration and kicked the dirt at her feet. Now what was she going to do? She couldn't stay in the forest or she'd certainly get in trouble, but she didn't want to go home either. It was such a nice day out. It was almost a shame she had nobody to spend it with. Then again, she could always go back home and help Granny Pinako with organizing her drill bits.

Winry kept walking, being careful to not stray to far from the river's edge. She picked up a stick and started drawing designs into the dirt as her mind wandered to her Granny's automail shop. She had been helping Granny organize her shop since she turned five. Granny Pinako had told her if she was interested in helping her out she would pay her some pocket money for the work she did.

Winry's jobs were simple. Granny wouldn't let her touch the important stuff like the heavy electric drills and grinding machinery, but she did let her organize bits and pieces of the shop. Drill bits, different sized screws and polishes were just a few of the little things Winry was allowed to touch. She found that she was getting to know a lot about it all, and she was excited for when Granny Pinako would start letting her work on the bigger, more important things. Granny had said she would teach her how to assemble fingers and toes when she thought she was ready.

Something made a loud crash to the left of her, and Winry suddenly looked up from her drawing of an automail arm to see what it had been. She was certain it was an animal this time. It had sounded like something had fallen out of a tree somewhere. Whatever it was it had to be huge.

Winry's eyes darted between trees around her. Her heart was pounding in her chest, but she stood her ground. She knew if it was a bear she wasn't supposed to run, but she was too busy pushing down the emotions that rose up in that moment to think too logically. Everything in her wanted to bolt from the area and find a safe, cozy spot to hide.

She hadn't blinked, afraid that if she did whatever was in the forest with her would suddenly spring up at her in her moment of blindness. But the longer she waited the more convinced she became that whatever it had been wasn't there anymore. The odd thing was she could feel something watching her. It made her take a cautious step backward.

She felt the ground beneath her foot crumble as she suddenly realized she had stepped off the edge of the path. A gasp escaped her lips as she fell backward off the path. She dropped the stick she'd been holding and felt her body smash into the hard slippery rocks at the rivers edge. The water chilled her to the bone as it lapped over her body. It wasn't deep but the current was quick and powerful. She felt her legs get caught first before it started to pull her entire body toward the center of the river.

Winry let out a cry of panic and was momentarily gagged by a mouthful of water. She managed to get her head up above the water, coughing and spluttering, only to get dragged under again.

Her body felt numb, and the panic had made her movements sporadic and involuntary. The powerful surge of the underwater current was pulling her under at every given chance, and her tiny limbs weren't strong enough to fight against it. Though she still waved and kicked with as much strength as she could muster it was futile. She could only keep her eyes closed to keep out the cold water, and that made her even more vulnerable.

Winry could only hear the rush of the water turning and splashing and rushing, and there was a moment when she was brought under and couldn't come back up for a while. Winry had gasped for breath, panic-stricken once she got her mouth above water, but was dragged under a second time.

She could feel the current getting faster, more powerful, and just after she had realized this she slammed into a hard, coarse bolder. Pain surged through her body and she let out a cry as she came up to the surface. She tried to catch her breath, but her legs smashed into another rock and dragged her under again. Despite the numbness, every limb in her body started to sting and burn as each new wound was exposed to the icy touch of the river.

Winry needed air, but the river wasn't letting up. She could hear the dull thrashing of the current under the water, but she had her eyes tightly shut. She could feel her energy draining with every movement she made against the current. It felt like she was lifting a ton of rocks each time she brought her arms up to grope for the surface. With every passing second she remained submerged her body's scream for air grew louder, causing her thrashing to become more panicked and in turn draining her of energy even faster.

Just when she thought she would never feel her face break the surface, just when she felt her limbs give out and her body scream its last cry for air, the river showed mercy. The current slowed momentarily and Winry felt her body be pulled up by an iron grip. When she broke the surface she squeezed her eyes tight and gasped for air, readying herself to be pulled under again.

But it never happened.

The numbness of her body was starting to ebb away slowly. Winry felt her body be lifted completely out of the water, and realized from the sting in her right forearm that something was putting an uncomfortable amount of pressure there. She felt her limbs dangling helplessly in the air, numb and stinging.

Winry let out a cry and felt tears of both fear and joy slide down her face as she opened her eyes to the brightness of sunlight. The first thing she saw was an odd-looking man with spiky, deep green hair standing before her. He was holding her up above the rushing rapids with one arm and looking at her with cat-like violet eyes like she was the strangest thing in the world aside from himself.

"What? So, you are alive," he said in a voice that teetered between both genders. His statement was relatively curious, and at least he didn't seem disappointed. It was such an odd reaction given the situation that Winry half-expected him to throw her back into the river. She was thankful he didn't.

Instead, he turned to the soft riverbed and dropped her not too gently into the dirt as if she were just a random fish he'd managed to catch but didn't want to eat. Winry gave a cry in pain as she felt her whole body slam into the ground. On top of that, her skin was starting to tingle unpleasantly as the numbness lifted from her body. She looked down at her legs and saw all the ugly gashes and red marks left over from the river bottom. She was pretty certain her sides and arms looked the same. She could barely move. Her energy had been drained completely and the only thing she could do was sob quietly at the pain that wracked her body. Her mind was still in shock. She couldn't believe what had happened let alone that she had survived.

The odd man was still watching her with a frown, a bored look was in his eyes. He obviously wasn't taking the situation half as seriously as Winry. Winry could feel her eyelids getting heavy and she let her head roll gently to the side. The only thing she could see in her line of vision were the man's feet and ankles, oddly covered by black, toes and heal exposed, very pale skin.

She could hear his voice in the distance, "Hey, don't do that now." She had no idea what he was talking about. She noticed his feet shift as he crouched and she felt a hand on her forehead, forcing her line of vision up at him. One of his dark eyebrows was raised, hidden underneath several locks of long dark hair that touched his knees as he knelt next to her. His hair fanned out around his head like an umbrella or some tropical tree. If Winry wasn't in such a state, she may have had a giggle or two.

"Don't die now," he was saying, though he didn't sound in the least bit concerned, "that would be so unprogressive, don't you think?"

Winry thought he said strange things. Her mind was too tired to come up with an answer, if there was one.

It didn't seem to matter though. He seemed to be keeping a conversation all on his own, "Man, what a drag… If you die, I'll be pissed. All that effort to save you for nothing."

Winry finally managed to string a few rough-sounding words together, "I'm…going to…be in so…much trouble…" She remembered back home her parents would be waiting for her. After they saw her like this and found out she went into the forest alone she would be in deep for sure.

Confusion passed momentarily through the man's eyes, but it was replaced quickly by a terrifying, feverish look. He replied with a wicked grin spread across his face, "On second thought, if you think it would be better if you died I would gladly do the honors?"

Fear and panic set in to Winry's mind again as she watched his maniac stare bore into her own blue one like he was trying to read her mind, search for the answer he knew she would never voice.

Upon seeing the fearful look on her face though, his face fell and he seemed rather disappointed, "Too bad…but I can't just leave you here and I don't really want to hang around either – you're not the best of company when you're half dead, you know."

Winry, still shocked from his earlier comment, felt herself get gathered up in his arms and lifted. She could feel all her bruises pushing against his body. Her head bounced against his shoulder as she was too weak to keep her head up. "I guess I have no choice but to cart you over to your house. Geez... why do I always get stuck with the dumb ass jobs?"

The last question seemed to have been directed at himself, because Winry didn't understand what he meant by it. She still had no words to share with him and even if she did, from what she had seen of his strange behavior, she wouldn't know how he would react to even a regular statement like 'thank you'. He did seem awfully eager to end her life for her back there. Perhaps if she had thanked him for saving it, he would have just cut her loose and thrown her back to the rapids.

Just as the forest started to thin, Winry heard him utter, "Okay, close your eyes and don't open them until I say you can."

Feeling a bit nervous, Winry obeyed his wish. It was easier after her eyes were closed. She was so tired she didn't want to open them again. She heard an odd sound like that of an electrical outlet shorting out, and after it had passed the man said, "You can open your eyes now."

Curious, Winry opened her eyes half way and saw that he was already carrying her down the dirt road towards her house. She was a little confused at how he had gotten there so fast and when she had looked up to question him she was silenced yet again. The man whom she had met in the forest was no longer the man who was carrying her. The man she was with now was average looking, brown hair, brown eyes and his clothing had changed too. He was now wearing an outfitted that suited that of a fisherman.

Before Winry could ponder this phenomenon any further, she heard her name being called from the house they were passing. The man stopped and Winry saw Trisha Elric running towards them, the clothes she had been hanging to dry a moment ago were now strewn across the lawn. "Winry! Winry? Oh my goodness, what happened?"

Trisha immediately zeroed in on Winry's battle wounds and then turned to the man holding her, who seemed to have taken on a completely different personality, "Are you her mother, Miss?" he asked.

"No, she lives up the street. Please tell me, is she okay? What happened?"

"You should take her home," the man said and gingerly dumped Winry into Trisha's arms. Trisha seemed a little taken aback by this odd gesture, but the man didn't seem to notice, "She was playing by the river and fell in. I got to her just in time, but she's badly scuffed. I wouldn't waste another moment before giving her treatment. There could be some real internal damage."

"O-of course," was all Trisha could say. If Winry hadn't of met that odd man in the forest she would have been just as confused as Trisha Elric. However, she was still mulling over the fact that he had completely changed himself in the blink of an eye. Winry was positive it was still the same odd, green-haired man from before. He still had that same unruffled voice. Yet, if that was the case, she couldn't explain what or who she had seen in the forest… had she imagined it? She could feel his awkwardness as he bid them farewell and disappeared in the direction of the forest again.

Before Winry knew it, Trisha was walking with her up the driveway of home. She had said a few things like 'don't panic, everything will be okay' and 'you'll be all better soon', but Winry's mind had fluttered in and out of consciousness and couldn't pay attention to her.

The only thing Winry remembered of that walk to her house was the moment when her father had answered the door to her gathered in Trisha's arms. There was a loud gasp as her mother laid eyes on her weakened, battered state, and the voice of her father ushering Trisha inside and ordering her to lay Winry on the couch for treatment. Winry distantly heard the voice of Granny Pinako saying, "Where on earth were Edward and Alphonse when this happened?"

After that Winry let fatigue drag her into the deepest sleep.


Leonahari: Did you enjoy? I certainly hope so. Next chapter will be up as soon as I write it. Reviews would be appreciated; tell me what you think. I'd really like to hear from my old readers from Of Bullets and Mercury too, that would just be so COOL!