Winter Wonderland – by BandGeek99
Hey, everyone! Anyone who's read my stuff in the past knows that I try to do a Christmas/holiday/winter fic every year. This year, though, instead of my usual Digimon one-shot, I did an FMA one instead!
It's EdxWin. YES NoCirclesNeeded!! AN EDxWIN!! I KNOW YOU HATE THIS BUT YOU CAN DEAL WITH IT!!! Grrrr… *frowny face*
Anyhow. This is a spin-off of something I'm writing On My Own (yes, Les Mis reference) and have yet to publish. But it will be published here. At some point.
Edward and Winry are the same age. Their age is specified. Alphonse is six years younger physically.
THIS STORY DOES MIX SOME MANGA ELEMENTS INTO THE PLOTLINE OF THE ORIGINAL ANIME! For example: Hawkeye tells Ed about her involvement in Ishbal, etc.
The Drachman invasion never happens (so far as I know… 102 chapters in…), its just a little plot idea I came up with to add to this.
"Edward! You wanna come on a walk with me?" Winry Rockbell called from upstairs in the newly-rebuilt Elric home.
Edward sat on the couch in the sitting room downstairs, his eyes focused on a book as if it were the most incredible thing in the universe. He grunted noncommittally as he idly turned the page, eyes narrowing as he tried to comprehend the novel.
"After a brief silence, the old man raised his finger toward heaven, and said, 'The infinite exists. It is there. If the infinite had no me, the me would be its limit; it would not be the infinite; in other words, it would not be. But it is. Then it has a me. This me of the infinite is God.'"
Edward's brow crinkled. This didn't totally make sense to him… There was an infinite, the Gate was living proof of that, but what was the whole bit of the "me" part of the old man's speech? If one looked at it analytically, then—
—then one could assume that what the old man meant was that because there was an infinite—
"Edward Gavroche Elric! Are you even listening to me?!" Winry cried, suddenly in front of him, yanking the book from his grasp and holding it above her head.
"Sorry, Win, I was reading and—"
"Edward. Really. I asked if you wanted to go for a walk with me, try out that new winter automail." Winry handed him his book, which he shut after carefully marking the page. "It's only snowing a little bit now, and I could really use to get out of the house."
Edward sighed and looked up at her. She was doing it again… She was giving him that… that look… "Fine." He stood up, ignoring her squeal of delight, and meandered over towards the small coat rack beside the door where his heavy, dark red jacket hung. He yanked it on over the thick, brown sweater he'd worn around the house all day and then slid his feet into the heavy black boots he'd had since time immemorial.
"Thank you, Ed," Winry sang happily as she followed suit, pulling on a dark blue coat and black boots. "Sorry to drag you away from your precious book."
Psh…No. You're not sorry and you know it… Edward grunted noncommittally. "Let's go," he said, pulling on a black cap that was tucked halfway into the jacket's pocket.
"Hey, Al, we're gonna go say hi to Granny and go for a walk! Don't wait for us to have dinner; we'll make something when we get back!" Winry shouted, opening the door and stepping outside.
Alphonse yelled something in an affirmative response, but neither Ed nor Winry bothered to stay in the house long enough to hear it. After leaving the house, the two of them made their own snowy path down what would have been the front walk to the street, which had not yet been cleared of snow.
"It's so nice out!" Winry remarked, throwing her arms up into the air and taking a deep breath of the crisp winter air. "I love winter!"
"It's not that great," Edward muttered. "Snow's too deep." Secretly, he enjoyed the winter in Resembool, and to be honest, the only reason he minded the snow was that it made his leg port twinge if he tried to do too much in weather too cold.
"Shut up, you know you don't care," Winry laughed, smacking his flesh shoulder lightly and stumbling over the snow.
"Careful," Ed warned, his honed reflexes causing him to reach out and grab her elbow, holding her up.
"Heh, sorry!" Winry giggled, straightening herself. "Much appreciated."
"Let's just get to Pinako's place," Ed sighed. "It'll take forever to get there and back in this weather."
Winry sighed and nodded. "Alright."
The two trekked through the stiff white snow in silence, listening to the far-off jingle of sleigh bells and children's laughter from the village in the valley. Winry's face suddenly brightened and her lips curled into a smile as she hummed a tune that Edward didn't know.
"What's that?" he asked, looking at her in mild surprise. Winry had never been someone who would whistle or hum or sing very often.
"A song I heard listening to the radio last night," she said, her smile growing wider. "Wanna hear?"
The blonde girl grinned and began to sing.
"Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
In the lane snow is glistening
A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland."
The tune almost clicked in Edward's mind, but he still listened in earnest, very much liking the sound of Winry's mezzo-soprano voice.
"Gone away is the blue bird
Here to stay is the new bird
He sings a love song as we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland."
At this stanza she coyly snaked her arm around Edward's and leaned against him as she tried not to fall while climbing up the hill.
He grinned and slid that arm around her waist. "Don't fall," he instructed her.
She looked up and stuck out her tongue. "I won't."
Edward laughed. "Don't be such a kid."
"I'll be a kid if I want."
The two continued up the hill for a while longer, and Edward was silently contemplating how long it would take to reach the Rockbell house. It shouldn't have been this far away.
Snow began to whirl down from the heavens once more and Winry looked elated. She childishly stuck out her tongue, looking to eat the snow, letting her grip around Edward's flesh arm to loosen to just holding hands. Her blue eyes widened in wonder at the flakes and she laughed out loud. "It's so pretty!"
It's just water, Edward thought, but didn't say anything. Winry was always yelling at him to stop making his boring, scientific, un-magical views known, and for once, he decided it would be smart to just humor her.
"Look, Granny's house is up ahead!" Winry pointed to the yellow automail shop excitedly.
"Great! Now I can finally get something decent to drink," Ed said gleefully, his face lighting up. "It's been too long since I had whiskey. Napoleon Cognac only tides you over so much…"
"No whiskey for you," Winry said, whacking him upside the head. "You are to remain sober, do you hear me?"
Edward looked aghast. Nobody had ever denied him his alcohol—nobody! "Please, Win? I haven't had whiskey since before..." He stopped midsentence before starting back up again. "I haven't had it in a while! Come on, I won't get drunk, I just want a drink!"
Winry glared at him. "Edward. I have my wrench."
"Fine, fine, forget about it!" he sighed, silently lamenting the lack of alcohol there would be to drink.
When the couple finally reached Pinako's house, Edward bolted inside the second the door opened, eager to get his automail out of the cold.
"Do your ports hurt?" Pinako asked casually as she carried a tray of tea to the sitting room.
Edward had made himself comfortable in the huge, overstuffed armchair that Winry's father used to sit in while he read aloud to the three children or something of the like. He had his left leg propped upon the coffee table so he could massage the area around the port gently. Winry was on the couch and had rolled up Edward's pant leg to make sure his automail was functioning properly.
"Just my leg. The water from the snow is killing me." Edward winced as his fingers hit a sensitive spot. "See what I mean?"
"Hm…" She set the tray down on the coffee table. "Take these," Pinako said, pulling a small bottle from the pocket of her apron and tossing them to Edward.
He squinted at the label. "Painkillers?"
"Yep. Specially made for people with automail, like you."
"Much appreciated, old lady."
"Not a problem, runt."
"I'm not a runt, you miniscule hag! I've grown, you know!" Edward growled, feeling too lazy to stand up and attempt to whack the elderly woman with a chair, as he might have done only two or three years ago.
"Yeah, yeah," Pinako sighed, pouring a mug of tea and holding it out to him. "That's enough out of you!"
Edward glared at her.
Winry sat back on the couch, dropping her wrench with a clatter onto the coffee table. "Isn't this just some lovely family time?" she muttered under her breath, folding her arms.
"What was that?" Ed asked, his focus suddenly shifting to her.
"Nothing," she sang, feigning mild-manner. "Nothing at all!"
The blonde nineteen-year-old didn't quite believe her, but decided not to say anything about it.
Several hours flew by quickly as the three reminisced about the times when Edward, Alphonse, and Winry were small, during the years that the two brothers had traveled in search of the fabled Philosopher's Stone, Edward and Alphonse's return from Germany, the Drachman assault on Fort Briggs, which the brothers had prevented from turning into yet another war, and the resurrection of the Elric home, which Edward himself had burnt to the ground when he was twelve.
"You'd better get home," Pinako said wisely, rummaging through a cabinet under her workbench. "Alphonse will worry. Take this." She held out an old oil lantern, which Winry took graciously. "It's dark out already and I don't want to have to find you two as frozen blocks of ice next time I head into town."
Winry laughed and Edward sighed. "Pinako…"
"All right, I've kept you long enough. Now, git!" And with that, the two "youngsters" left the Rockbell Automail Clinic, feeling much more light-hearted than they had in a while.
"Aw, it stopped snowing!" Winry whined, shoving the lantern at Edward and looking up dejectedly at the cloudy dark blue sky.
"Yeah, yeah, boo hoo," Edward said with a smirk. "It'll snow again tomorrow. The weather man said that on the radio this evening."
"I know! I was there with you when it was on!" Winry snapped. Her demeanor changed instantly back into a rather dejected, somber mood. "But… It's kinda nice to be in the falling snow… With people you love…" She mumbled the last bit of her sentence, cheeks flushing.
Edward's brow furrowed. "What did you say?"
Winry gasped. Did she really say that aloud? She giggled nervously, saying (rather hysterically), "Oh, nothing, nothing! Stupid girl stuff, that's all! Hahaha, silly me! Ohwouldyoulookatthat, Alphonse is still up!" She pointed at a lit window in the upstairs of the Elric home, looking desperately for a distraction.
Edward didn't quite believe her, but dropped it. "Huh. I guess he is."
"Maybe Nellie came to visit?" Winry jibed.
"He better not be doing anything stupid," Edward muttered quietly. "Or I'll have to kill him."
"You'll have to kill him? Hell, I'll have to kill him," Winry said loudly, punching the palm of one hand with her fist. "Little brat."
"If you hurt a hair on his head, I'll kill you!"
"You just contradicted yourself!"
"No, I didn't!"
"Yes, you did!"
"Did not, did not, did not, did…" Edward ranted on and on, reverting to a childlike state he hadn't experienced since before his mother died.
"Stop repeating yourself!"
"I'm not repeating myself, I'm not repeating myself, I'm not repeating—Oh, God, I'm repeating myself," Edward groaned, whacking his forehead with his flesh hand. "Damnit!"
"Take that back!"
"Never!" Edward put the lantern down and, in one fluid movement, dived into the snow. He picked up a handful and packed it tightly, then throwing it at Winry.
Winry ducked and (barely) dodged it, choosing to jump into the drifts after him. She laughed and formed a snowball, aiming it directly at his head and hitting him square in the face.
"What the hell, Winry!" he cried, shocked, as he wiped the snow from his nose. "Uncalled for!"
"You started it," she said simply, somehow managing to climb through the snow to him and shoving him over. "You're going down, State Alchemist."
"And you're coming with!" he yelped, desperately grabbing her around the waist and pulling her down with him.
"Edward!" Winry yelped, realizing just how close their faces were to one another. She could have sworn that she could have counted all the freckles of brown in his golden eyes and wondered if he could see the flecks in hers.
"Hi, Winry," he said with a childish grin.
She was frozen for a moment before her brain caused her mouth to spit out the first thing she could think of.
"In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is Parson Brown."
"You wanna build a snowman?" Edward's brow furrowed, making no move to release his hold on Winry. "Sure, we can do that. Up you get," he gently slid out from Winry, somehow managing to lift her up with at the same time. Leave it to the Fullmetal Alchemist…
"Thanks," she said quietly, letting out a silent exhale.
Edward crouched down in the snow and began to pack a snowball. He ran it through the snow in a squiggly line, making a sort of pinwheel around nothing. Winry followed suit, making a slightly smaller ball for the midsection of the snowman.
Edward hoisted the middle ball onto the bottom and waited patiently as Winry packed a head and plopped it on top.
"He's Parson Brown, from the village," Winry declared. "But we need to give him a face…" Her face dawned in realization and she pulled two buttons from her coat sleeve cuffs, sticking them into the snowman's face.
Edward pulled his coat from his shoulders and transmuted it to a black robe. He threw it around the snowman and fastened it in the front, grinning. "Now he looks the part, too."
Winry smirked and sang again, just loud enough for Edward to hear her.
"In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say, 'Are you married?'
We'll say 'No man,
But you can do the job while you're in town'!"
Edward heard this last bit and turned to stare at his companion. Only one side of her face was visible in the light from the forgotten lantern, but he could tell, just barely, that she was blushing and smiling at the thought of it. And he felt his lips tugging upwards, too. It's only a song, yeah. But, someday… Someday it might be nice.
"It's cold," Winry said simply, folding her arms across her chest and hunching over. "Feel like heading home?"
"Yeah," he murmured quietly. "Sounds good."
The two walked in companionable silence all the way back to the Elric household, Edward not bothering to collect his jacket and Winry carrying the lantern.
"Brother, Winry, you're—Brother! Where's your coat?!" Alphonse was sitting in the living room with an open book and the radio on, playing some staticky holiday music. He stared at his brother, aghast.
"With Parson Brown," the blonde man stated simply, waltzing towards the kitchen. "Hot chocolate, Winry?"
"Please," she said with a sigh of relief. It was warm in the house! Alphonse had started a crackling fire in the hearth in the living room where he sat, and he'd made sure that the kitchen stove had stayed full of wood, keeping the house nice and toasty.
Alphonse stared after the two of them, baffled, as they disappeared down the hall and into the kitchen. What a strange couple they are…
As Edward prepared the hot cocoa at the stove, Winry slid a chair out and plopped down into it, her cheeks still frozen but her heart on fire. Edward was sweet, when he wasn't being a total military freak or a complete jerk. Then how did I fall in love with that ass in the first place…? she wondered.
Meanwhile, similar thoughts were racing through the blonde alchemist's mind. When Winry wasn't chucking wrenches at his head for a tiny scratch on his automail, she could be sweet. Cute. Beautiful, even. When she wasn't covered in grease, that was, the gear head… And yet, this happened. What is this, anyway? Was Hawkeye right? Edward thought back to when Lieutenant Hawkeye told him her part in the Ishballan Massacre and what she had said when he mentioned Winry being a military hostage—"You love Winry, don't you?" Before he had shrugged it off, blushing profusely, claiming only to be good friends. But is does that have to be the case, even now? I mean, we're adults capable of making our own decisions. We could… date. Maybe… If she… Oh, damn it all… Even in his head, Edward swore like a sailor.
There was absolute silence as he poured the hot chocolate into two mugs, setting one down in front of Winry before taking a seat for himself.
"That was fun," she remarked, forcing herself to smile nonchalantly. As if she weren't in love. As if there was no tension slowly building between the two of them. As if she weren't an idiot who fell in love with the most thick-skulled, bone-head, clueless, short, obnoxious Major in the entire Amestrian military.
"Yeah, I guess it was." Edward made himself grin back at her. "That snowball fight was fun. But I'll beat you next time."
"Did we ever decide who won?" Winry asked, surprised.
"Nope. I just kinda assumed it was a tie." He shrugged and took a sip of his hot cocoa, not bothered by the scorching hot liquid on his tongue and down his throat.
"You're nuts, you know that?" the mechanic told her companion, blowing gently on her drink as she shook her head at Edward. "You ought to be committed."
"Heh, Hughes tried to commit me once, on the other side of the Gate. I would talk with Al about home and when he found out, he had a conniption. I mean, he almost had me instituted in Bedlam when we visited London; he was that paranoid about it. They had me take so many tests to prove that it was just my imagination." Here he winked. "Suckers."
"So, the infamous Fullmetal Alchemist, Hero of the People and Dog of the Military outsmarted the doctors at the crazy house. Clever, Ed," Winry said with a laugh, taking a small sip. "Damn, it's hot," she muttered, biting the tip of her tongue.
"Swearing isn't ladylike, Winry."
"You're always telling me I'm not a lady, I'm a grease monkey. Why do you care?"
Edward pondered this for a moment. That was a good question. Why did he care? "Dunno," he said, "but maybe it's just time for you to grow up and start acting like a girl. I mean, you look like one, and a lot of times I'm pretty sure you are one. But you're so weird, Miss Gear-head. Maybe guys would notice you if you acted like a girl."
"I don't want guys to notice me," she told him simply, setting her cocoa down. She leaned across the table ever so slightly. "There's already someone on my mind. Shorty."
Edward's eye twitched, but he leaned across the table, too, willing to play her stupid little games. "Anyone I know?"
"Taller than me?"
"Bout your height," she said with a smirk.
"What kind of long? Long enough for you to braid or just shaggy long."
"Long enough for me to braid."
Edward had an idea—well, more like a hope—of where this was going. "Birthday?"
"February seventh, 1899."
Edward cocked an eyebrow. "Really, Winry."
"Really, Edward." She smirked.
"Well, there's this girl. She's pretty and nice and likes to chuck wrenches at my head. But she's the only person I ever really thought about on the other side."
Winry smiled widely. "What's her name?"
"Cute name, Ed. Real cute."
"She is indeed, Win. She is indeed." And with that statement, he planted his lips firmly on top of hers. The cocoa was forgotten for the time being, leaving the two young adults to be much more interested in each other for once than in anything else.
When they finally pulled apart, the only thing Edward could think to say was, "You smell nice."
"Smooth, Elric. Real smooth."
"Love you, Grease-monkey," he said with a tell-tale smirk.
"You're lucky I don't have my wrench, alchemy nerd. Love you too."
They sat there for a moment, just staring each other down, before pulling each other into another kiss.
"You taste like cocoa."
"Yeah, well so do you. It's cute."
"Later on, we'll conspire
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid the plans that we made
Walking in a winter wonderland.
Walking in a winter wonderland."