Lights Will Guide
S J Smith
Word Count: 5,320
Characters: Roy/Ed; Al, Winry, Maes, Riza
Summary: He'd be whatever he had to be.
Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, Arakawa Hiromu.
Series: Alternate Reality but set within some of the constraints of FMA:B
Warning: Dub Non-con
A.N.: Thanks to D. M. Evans and Leni for their assistance with this story. Written for the 'metamorphosis' prompt at the LJ community, FMA_fic_contest.
A.N.2: A very dark look at the idea of Roy/Ed.
* * *
The cold rain rushed down over him, making his clothes cling to his body. Edward bowed his head, knowing he could have called a car, but walking in the rain seemed too appropriate for this night. It had been difficult to leave the warmth of the hotel, the warmth of his family; and even his explanation that Mustang wanted these meetings to just be between the two of them did nothing to stop Winry's frown.
"I don't see why he wants you to go out in this." She waved a hand at the window, at the downpour outside. Her calculating gaze roamed over his body. "Your ports are aching. Just call him and tell him you'll come tomorrow morning."
That had started a stream of explanations that Al had always believed (or at least never questioned much); that this sharing of information wasn't something Mustang wanted anyone else to know about (true) and the fewer people in the office, the better (also true), and this way, they could be sure that no one was listening in (very, very true) to figure out what Mustang and he were discussing.
Winry's eyes had narrowed even more. "You have to sign in at the front desk. They have a log of you being there and what time you walked through the doors. You don't think someone would think it's weird, you showing up after office hours to meet with Mr. Mustang?"
Dammit, why did she have to go with him to headquarters and be so observant? And now Al was swiveling his helmet between them and Edward was sure his brother was going to start asking questions, too. "Look, it's just better this way. I'll be gone an hour; maybe three, tops, depending on what the bastard has to tell me." Edward gave them both a stern look, hoping nothing showed through. "You wait here. You don't want to get out in that." He nodded at the windows and the rain lashing against the glass.
Winry hadn't seemed likely to give in, then, reluctantly, she did, making Edward sag inwardly with relief. If she and Al had decided they had to tag along, it wouldn't have gone well with Mustang. Of course, from Edward's point of view, these meetings never went well.
He stepped through the main doors of military headquarters, water streaming down his clothes to leave puddles on the floor. Lieutenant Grossman was behind the desk. He was always behind the desk, when Edward came for these 'meetings'. The Lieutenant nodded, waving Edward past without signing in. Edward swallowed, wondering, as he always did, what Mustang had over Grossman that he would go against military protocol like that.
His boots squelched on the marble flooring as Edward trudged through the nearly empty halls. There were always people working late at night; he could hear typewriters and voices distantly down the corridors. The few times he'd been in Central City during a military emergency, the building had been humming like a wasp's nest and Edward had been happy to escape outside with Major Armstrong or Lieutenant Hawkeye. When they'd gone up against the Ice Alchemist, he'd managed to avoid one of these scheduled appointments. There'd been too many people in the building.
Mustang's office was on the third floor. Edward's dripping clothing left tell-tale marks as he climbed the stairs but he was sure by morning, all traces of his appearance here would be gone. There weren't any sounds of occupation down the hall that led to Mustang's office. There never were. Mustang had joked once in his hearing about having the best office in the building, the one near the secretary pool and all the beautiful women there. The clerks went home at night, every night, no one to witness Edward's after hour meetings with his superior. Even the anteroom to Mustang's office was silent, where generally the desks were filled with his men.
Edward swallowed hard, tugging fitfully at his sodden jacket. He felt so cold, like all the warmth in his body had been leeched out by the rain. Pausing in front of the closed door, he had to force himself to raise his fist, to knock on that door. He trembled, eyes closed, lips moving in a silent plea that Mustang might have decided against tonight's meeting and gone home.
Mouth dry, Edward reached for the doorknob, twisting it so the door opened. The room was dimly lit, just the desk lamp, but that was enough for Edward to see Mustang sitting behind the desk. Edward knew the room layout; the desk to the left of the door, facing the opposite wall rather than the windows. The green leather sofa, making an 'L' with the desk. The chairs, padded with green leather, opposite the sofa. A small bar on the wall opposite the desk, with decanters of whiskey, discretely tucked away behind glass. A small closet built into the inner wall. Its open door made Edward tense. Mustang kept things in that closet.
"You're wet, Edward." Mustang rose from his chair, a fluid motion, coming around the desk. He picked up something from its corner, shaking out the towel. "You'll catch your death if you don't get dry." Somehow, he crossed the room before Edward could move, closing the door gently, the soft click of the lock being shot home amazingly loud to Edward's ears, making him start like a wild animal hearing the snap of a branch. Mustang stood before him before he could react. "Let me help you with your jacket." He didn't fight as Mustang pushed the heavy red coat from Edward's shoulders, hanging it up on the coat rack near the door. With a tsk, Mustang fingered the second jacket Edward wore under the first. "You're soaked through. You need to get out of those clothes and dry them off." He waited expectantly.
Edward pulled his gloves off first. It was difficult working hooks and buttons with the fabric in place. Trembling fingers moved to unhook the collar piece holding his jacket closed. Edward mechanically hung it next to his red coat. With each layer of clothing gone, Edward changed, becoming something other than who he pictured himself as. As each piece of clothing was removed, Edward became the thing that Mustang wanted him to be: a toy to be played with. Biting his lower lip, he stripped out of his shirt, shivering when the wet fabric left his skin. He worked the tongue of his belt loose, setting his sodden boots under his jackets before stripping off his trousers and underwear in one jerky motion. The cloth seemed to cling to his flesh, as if unwilling to leave him unprotected. Edward wrestled his clothing off anyway, gooseflesh rising on his skin at the cool dry air of the office. Mustang had said once that he hated the heat, that it reminded him of Ishbal. Edward wished that second for desert warmth, remembering almost fondly what his trip to Xerxes had felt like, even with his automail roasting his flesh.
Fabric landed on his shoulders, hands scrubbing the towel over his back. Edward stiffened under that touch, trying hard not to shiver. "You're so cold, Edward." Mustang's voice curled over him, an oily caress. "I'll have to think of something to warm you up." The towel moved briskly over his skin, roughing it to a pink glow. Edward's jaw flexed though he didn't speak, staring at the water gathering in the hem of his red coat and slowly dripping to the floor. "But I suppose you should dry your clothes, first." There was a hint of an order in Mustang's voice and he draped the towel over Edward's shoulders, his hands resting on top of it.
Edward closed his eyes, forcing the transmutation circle to come to mind. These encounters with Mustang always drove clear thought from his head. He pressed his palms together, touching the soaking fabric of his clothing, his boots, drying them and leaving behind a humid cloud that lingered in the room. Mustang made an appreciative noise. "You dried the floor. Good." His hands tightened on Edward's shoulders, gently turning him around. Edward focused his eyes on the front of Mustang's chest. He couldn't meet the bastard's eyes, wouldn't let him see the helplessness that swarmed over him during these meetings. Gooseflesh still marched across his flesh arm and leg and the towel draped over his shoulders was captured by Mustang, who rubbed it over his chest and arms, moving down to his hips and legs, taking his time with drying Edward off. "It's a chilly night, isn't it?" Edward didn't answer, his body tensing as Mustang toweled his thighs, moving down his legs to his ankles. "And I don't have any tea made to warm you up." Edward could see Mustang's head move, knew he was looking toward the bar.
"You know I don't drink." The words came out thick and slow but Edward got them out anyway.
Mustang laughed, a low chuckle that seemed to leave Edward dumped in a snow bank. "Yes, you don't partake of many of the things soldiers are notorious for." He flipped the towel behind Edward, sawing it up the back of his legs. The towel stopped at his ass. Mustang tugged at the towel, smiling up as Edward glanced involuntarily down to watch his feet, not wanting to ram into the man. "I wonder why that is." The words brushed over Edward's crotch, the only part of his body still wet after Mustang's ministrations.
Jerking his eyes up so he stared straight ahead, Edward grated out, "I'm not the average soldier."
Another laugh and another tug, jerking Edward even closer. "Yes, we're all aware of that." Something hot and wet moved over Edward's flesh. Edward inhaled harshly, his hands fisting as Mustang continued his exploration with his mouth. It was a slow, thorough examination, and Mustang used lips and tongue and teeth. Leaning slightly back, Mustang licked his lips, nodding in approval over Edward's erection. "But in some ways, you're just like everyone else."
Dropping the towel, Mustang reached in his pocket, pulling out a strip of leather. Edward bit down on his tongue at the sight of the wide, flat ribbon, knowing what would happen next. Afterward, Mustang nodded in satisfaction. "There. That should help keep you warm."
His cock bobbed at being wrapped, blood throbbing through the entire length. Edward shuddered, knowing all too well what would happen next. Mustang rose to his feet, offering his hand and Edward had to take it with his flesh fingers, letting the man lead him to that leather sofa. Mustang sat down in the corner; one leg stretched the length of the couch, the other dangling off the edge. "Don't you want to sit on my lap, Eddy? It'll warm you up the rest of the way."
That gentle, coaxing voice was the worst. Edward had to fight to keep from vomiting. Rage and embarrassment warred within him, making him shake. Mustang's sick games gave him the information he needed to try to find a way to return Al to his body but having to succumb to this made Edward want to spin on his heel, grab his clothes and leave. But that wasn't the deal Mustang had struck with him.
"Don't you know what the military would do with your brother? Don't you know what they'd do with you, knowing what the two of you have done?" The voice dug its claws into his brain. Mustang's hands were on his shoulders. "I can protect you both but in exchange, I need you to do something for me."
And Edward, desperate to protect his brother, had agreed without knowing the entirety of the contract. At the very beginning, it had been little things; a discussion over tea; running a few errands. Alphonse had even been invited along to join them. When Edward reached fourteen, though, Mustang had requested he come to the office after hours, alone, and explained the rest of the agreement. Edward had refused – vehemently – but Mustang had reminded him of all the information he'd already provided – and, with a smile as flat and wicked as Envy's, reminded Edward of all the intel he could still have access to. "And remember, the military looks unfavorably on those who try to recreate life, Edward." He'd spread his hands. "Surely you understand why I want recompense for keeping my mouth shut."
Edward had reluctantly bowed his head, allowing this use of his body in exchange for all the secrets Mustang kept. He couldn't even use Mustang's desire to become fuhrer any longer as a bartering chip – especially not since Bradley hauled them both in to discuss their place in the military and the situation of their hostages. Edward wondered once if Bradley was aware of the chain Mustang had set around his neck and decided Bradley probably wouldn't care – one more thing to keep them at each other's throats rather than protecting each other would be to the homunculus' advantage. And Winry's safety gave Mustang added leverage against Edward, a 'promise' that included her protection, as much as Mustang could provide.
Mustang patted his thighs, breaking Edward from his memories. "Eddy? Don't you want to sit down and get warm?"
Swallowing back the words that wanted to spill out, Edward climbed into Mustang's lap, straddling his thighs awkwardly. He tried not to stiffen when Mustang slipped his hands under his ass, shifting him even closer. "There, that's better, isn't it?"
The rough wool of the military jacket enclosed him along with Mustang's arms. There was something akin to a sick fondness in the older man's eyes as he smiled at Edward, leaning in for the first of many kisses. His mouth moved slow and warm across Edward's, his tongue tickling along Edward's lips, seeking entrance. Obedient, Edward opened his mouth, mentally blotting out the physical sensations, fixing his mind on transmutation circles. Mustang released his lips to taste his earlobe, sucking on it, making an approving sound at the hiss that escaped Edward. "Good," he whispered, smoothing his hands up and down Edward's back, "that's nice, isn't it?" Mustang leaned back slightly, brushing Edward's bangs from his face. "I don't want to hurt you, Eddy."
The howl in his head at those words surely would spill from his throat but Edward managed to nod once in response. He knew what Mustang would ask next and his hands moved to the man's jacket, opening it. He had to help Mustang remove the garment, tossing it toward the end of the sofa. Edward's fingers shook as they manipulated the buttons of Mustang's shirt through the holes, revealing a nearly hairless chest. Mustang sighed, pressing his hand on the back of Edward's skull, guiding his face down. Edward knew what Mustang wanted and licked the already erect nipple, hearing a soft groan as Mustang arched up into him.
The rest of Mustang's clothes were quickly dispensed with and soon, he was as naked as Edward. His kisses became rougher, his touches more incessant. Regret coloring his voice, he said, "I can't leave any marks on you in case your mechanic has any tune ups she needs to do." That didn't stop him from biting Ed's nipple, sucking on his earlobe. His hands cupped and squeezed Edward's ass as Edward obediently stroked Mustang. "Need you, Eddy," he murmured against Edward's mouth and guided him back onto the sofa, rising over Edward. He positioned himself, smiling warmly as he hovered above Edward.
Edward turned his face away, closing his eyes, not wanting to see what was written across Mustang's face. He felt the heat of Mustang's erection pressing against him, knowing that it would happen now, like it had so many other times. In his mind, he saw his little brother's face, saw Winry smile, and Edward tried to tell himself that he was doing this to protect them both, letting himself be transformed into Mustang's plaything to keep them safe.
There was a knock at the door, a sudden tattoo of sound that threw Mustang back against the corner of the couch. Edward's eyes snapped open, staring at the door, hearing someone out there, the shuffle of feet, the rattle of keys on a ring. The door sprang open, two people standing in the opening, horror stamped on their faces.
"Roy, what the hell?" Hughes stepped through the doorway, his gaze taking in everything. In two strides, he crossed the office, hauling Edward off the sofa and behind him, into Lieutenant Hawkeye's arms. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I," Mustang began, his skin mottling under the combined gazes of Hughes and Hawkeye.
"Sir," and that honorific dripped with Hawkeye's contempt, "Edward is a child." She moved him toward the coat rack.
"He stopped being a child the day he signed up with the military," Mustang protested and Edward saw the man move, attempting to get around Hughes.
Hughes blocked his access. "Maybe in some ways but not in others." Hughes shook his head. "How long has this been going on? Damn it, Roy, I trusted you. You were my friend."
"I'm still your friend. It was a mutual thing. Tell them, Edward!"
Edward shuddered, the rage that had always been inside since the very first time bubbling up, threatening to overwhelm him. "Because you said you had information you wouldn't give me unless I let you do this! I didn't want it. I never wanted it! Do you think I liked it?"
Mustang hesitated. "You did like it! I could tell!" He sounded hopeful. "Your body; the way your skin flushed up."
"Sir!" Hawkeye's voice cut through the office and Mustang took a step back, something like fear suddenly in his eyes.
"No! I went along with it because of what you told me, because you'd protect me and Al and Winry!" Edward howled, taking a step away from Hawkeye, his fists clenching. "Some sort of protection, if you're going to abuse me!"
"It wasn't abuse. Your body is as easy to read as your face, Edward." Mustang pulled free from Hughes, grabbing Edward's shoulders, giving him a shake. "Tell them. Tell them you enjoyed it." Desperation made his fingers into claws, showed in the stink of his sweat as he glanced over Edward's shoulder at Hawkeye.
Edward punched him, the metal flanges of his fist cutting into Mustang's cheek, sending him sprawling back. Hughes caught Mustang before he could retaliate, holding the smaller man against his chest. "Get Ed out of here, Hawkeye, I'll deal with this."
"Sir." Hawkeye threw the long red coat around Edward's shoulders, grabbing his boots and pants from the floor.
"Edward. Fullmetal." Mustang struggled with Hughes, trying to break free. "You understand, don't you? It's the way things are done. It's equivalent exchange. Commanche taught me that in Ishbal."
He looked back at that, nearly missing his clothes still on the coat rack. Mustang's face went pale and he bit his lip. "Commanche, Bas Grande." He shook his head, nearly wriggling out of Hughes' grip. "A young man needs a tutor." Mustang sounded bitter, maybe resigned. Edward wasn't sure and didn't want to wait to find out. "A young man needs someone to show him the ropes."
"Roy?" Hughes's eyes were wide behind his glass lenses.
"Equivalent exchange, Hughes." Mustang's smile went cold.
Hawkeye shoved the rest of Edward's clothes into his hands, pushing him through the door. "Get dressed," she said, "and go."
"But - " Edward glanced back into the room. Mustang held out a hand to him and Edward jerked out of the opening, fighting to keep from vomiting.
"Now, Edward." Hawkeye gestured toward the hallway. "Your brother and Winry are waiting for you."
"I…" He searched her eyes, seeing something there that promised he'd be safe and Edward nodded. Hurriedly dressing, he watched as Hawkeye squared her shoulders in preparation for walking back through that door. "Lieutenant?"
She turned to him.
"I…" Edward ducked his head. "Thanks. Tell Hughes, too."
Hawkeye gave him a tight nod. "Thank Alphonse and Winry. They're the ones who called us." With that, she slipped a hand inside her wet jacket, pulling out a pistol and opened the door.
Edward stared at the door as it closed behind Hawkeye, his larynx bobbing. The sounds of the argument increased and he hurriedly dressed, clamping his gloves in his teeth as he scurried out of the anteroom and down the corridor. He'd nearly made it halfway down the stairs when the faint sound of a pistol shot reached his ears.
At that noise, whatever had been holding Edward upright snapped and he collapsed, his butt hitting a riser of the stairs. He buried his face in his palms, shudders racking his body. His throat closed up and his eyes burned. He heard footsteps and shouts; people raced past him up the stairs and down the corridor but he didn't move.
"Brother?" Alphonse's voice came to him as if in a dream. The clatter of an armored suit climbing the risers was enough to keep him awake.
"Ed?" Winry, too, but Edward was afraid to look.
"How?" Out of all the questions he wanted to ask, that was the only word that would come out before his throat closed.
Metal squealed as Alphonse sat next to him. "You changed, Brother. Every time you had one of these appointments with the Colonel, you grew cold and distant."
"The light went out of your eyes, Ed. Didn't you think we could see it?" Edward could feel the warmth of Winry's body, nestled at his feet. "You wouldn't talk about it but we knew something was happening." The rough leather of his brother's gauntlet ruffled Edward's hair and the scent of honeysuckle and machine oil invaded his senses as warm, damp fingers wrapped around his wrists, pulling his hands away from his face. "Edward?" Winry sat in front of him, Al beside him, though their figures kept blurring and shattering. There had to be something wrong with his eyes. Winry reached up, wiping his cheeks with her thumbs. "It'll be okay now, Ed."
Edward slumped sideways into Alphonse's chest plate. Al squeaked in response but Winry moved even closer, wrapping her arms around Edward's waist, her face buried against his chest. The heavy weight of Al's greave came down to rest on Edward's shoulders and he sighed, a great, shuddering exhalation, hot tears burning down his cheeks. They sat that way forever, Edward's flesh fingers twisted into Winry's hair, Al's arms around them both, Winry's face on Edward's chest, together, safe, almost whole.
Hughes' voice broke them apart. "Edward?" He stood over them but walked down the stairs, crouching near but not very close. "It's over. You should go back to your hotel." Regret colored his eyes and voice, and he removed his glasses to scrub them with a handkerchief. "I'll get in touch with you tomorrow about your new assignment, all right?"
"Mr. Mustang?" The words came out tight and shrill from Winry, and Edward tightened his grip on her hair, as if that might stop her from running back up the stairs if she wanted to go.
Face closing in on itself, Hughes lowered his eyes. "It's over, Winry. That's all I can tell you right now, all right? I promise, I'll meet with you tomorrow, all of you," he added, as if to forestall any protests. "There's a car waiting for you outside." His large hand reached out, hovering over Edward's head, then fell back to his side. "Try to get some rest, huh?"
The interior of the commissioned car seemed cold and Edward was shivering by the time they got to the hotel. Winry ran upstairs ahead of them, turning down the bedding and turning up the radiator. Alphonse bundled Edward into the bed while Winry hurried back to the first floor to ask for tea from the concierge.
"Why didn't you tell me, Brother?" Alphonse asked, his big glove stroking Edward's back.
There was no real answer for that and Edward squeezed his eyes shut, hoping that Al wouldn't press. Fear, self-loathing, embarrassment; none of those were really good enough reasons. He shivered, wishing he could get warm. Wishing Al had a real body that he could curl up with.
The door to the room opened and Winry blew through it. "I got some extra blankets but it's too late even for tea." She scowled at that but spread the covers over Edward's trembling body. "You're in shock, Ed, that's why you're shaking." The side of the bed sank and he risked a glance over his shoulder, eyes widening as Winry stripped off her jacket, reaching down and untying her boots to toe them and her socks off. "Scoot over, Ed." She slid under the covers with him, wrapping her arms around his waist, plastering herself against his back. "You're so cold."
She felt like the sun pressed against him and Edward shuddered at the feeling of her warm breath on the back of his neck. "It's okay, Ed." Her hands moved over his chest then linked together on his stomach when he stiffened. "If it's too much, let me know." There was a faint, apologetic pause. "It's the fastest way to get you warm."
"…d-don't m-m-m…" Edward's teeth chattered hard enough to cut off his words. He grabbed Winry's hands when she loosened her grip. "F-feels good." Squeezing his eyes shut when she folded herself even closer to him, Edward luxuriated in her warmth. He reached out to grasp his brother's hand. Winry's fingers twined around his metal digits, clasping it with hers on his stomach. Tremors lessening, Edward relaxed in Winry's arms as Al's leather hand stroked his hair.
"It's okay, Brother. Just rest. Things will be better come morning."
It wasn't over. Edward wasn't fool enough to think that. The things Mustang had done to him were things he probably deserved. His death didn't stop it and worse, Mustang had been a chosen sacrifice. Bradley would've wanted him alive. How safe would Winry and Al be, when Bradley found out? And Hughes, what did he want to talk about? The questions twisted and spun in Edward's mind, not letting him rest.
"Shh," Winry whispered into his hair.
Bradley could destroy her life, could have her killed. He could have Al sent to the scientists. He could threaten Hughes' family, take them away, too. And it would be all Edward's fault. His life probably wasn't enough to offer now and he didn't have any other coin to bargain with.
The thought came to him like a flash of light, nearly sending Edward halfway out of the bed. Winry yelped at the kick of his feet against her legs.
"What is it, Brother?" Alphonse hovered at the edge of the bed as Edward cast around for his boots.
"Gotta go." Edward found them, shoving his feet in. "You two stay here."
"Oh, no." Winry climbed out of the bed, grabbing her boots and socks. "We're going with you, wherever you're going." Alphonse nodded his agreement, rising from where he'd been sitting on the floor.
Edward showed his teeth. "You're staying here, both of you," he began, stabbing a finger at them. "Al, you're - "
The heavy knock on the door shocked him into silence, making Edward turn slowly, transmutation circles flashing in his mind. His hands poised to clap, he realized Alphonse had taken a protective stance in front of Winry. Good. The last time she'd been involved in any of this crap, he'd nearly gotten her killed. "Who is it?" The words came out gruff and sharp.
"Hughes. Ed, it's me." A pause. "I'm by myself."
"Yeah?" It could be Envy behind the door, or the M.P.'s forced Hughes to bring them here. "Prove it."
"Well, the hallway's empty," Hughes said through the door, "and Lieutenant Hawkeye sent you something you forgot."
Edward clenched his jaw, making his way to the door. He opened it just wide enough for Hughes to slide in and shut it up again. "What'd she send?"
Hughes dragged out a strip of leather from inside his damp coat. "Your belt." He tossed it toward the bed.
Sagging in relief that it wasn't the other piece of leather, Edward dropped heavily onto the low couch. "Thanks, Hughes."
"There's more that I figured you kids wouldn't want to wait to hear." Hughes moved closer, lowering his voice. "Colonel Mustang committed suicide at nine fifteen tonight. I wanted you to be the first to know. Riza and I tried to stop him."
Edward had the dark thought that Hughes should work on the sorrow in his voice. "Yeah?"
"All the things he did in Ishbal finally got to him." Hughes' mouth went taut. "At least, that's what he told us before he pulled the trigger. Fortunately, there's a Lieutenant Grossman who's already verified he saw the Colonel drinking in the hallway earlier, and there is evidence that Mustang might have been drunk. The Fullmetal Alchemist was never at H.Q. tonight. Got it?"
"Yes, sir," Alphonse said when Edward couldn't get his mouth to work.
"Good." Hughes met their eyes each in turn. His own eyes were wet. Edward didn't want to think why they might be. "I expect to see you all tomorrow, still. There are things we need to talk about." He leaned over the back of the couch. "Right, Ed?"
He jerked his head in a nod, waving his hand to let Hughes know he'd heard. There were things to talk about. Maybe just not with Hughes. Or maybe just something to think about. He barely heard Winry walking Hughes to the door; barely realized it when she returned, standing next to the sofa. "I guess I'll go to my room now, if you're not going to do something stupid, Ed."
"No…I mean…" Edward knew if it was any other time, he might have blushed. He felt far beyond that right now. "We should stick together, huh? Why don't you sleep on the bed and I'll take the couch?" It'd be harder for Bradley to steal Winry away if she was that close. And Alphonse…Edward never thought he'd be happy that his brother didn't sleep, even if he personally felt he wouldn't be able to even close his eyes tonight.
Winry gave him a soft, sad smile. "Okay, Ed. Can I get my pajamas and get changed?"
He really didn't want to let her out of his sight but Edward reluctantly agreed. Better than getting a wrench or a lamp or chair or something upside the head. That didn't stop him from following her into the hallway and waiting outside her open door for her to get her things. Until Edward could offer up another sacrifice, until he could lure Hohenheim into Central like he had Scar, he wasn't taking any chances.
* * *