Chapter 1: Bottoms Up
The sound of the stairwell door slamming once, twice and a third time had her wriggling farther under her covers. She was restless with the irritating polar opposite of being completely exhausted. A minute passed, maybe more, before she sat up in a flurry of motion with her heart racing. Shit. Winry stared helplessly at her alarm clock sitting uselessly on the floor, its plug a good foot from an outlet. With a knowing pang she looked up at the foot still housed in a red stiletto, its owner passed out in the clothes from the night before. She remembered pulling her pillow over her head the night before to avoid her drunken roommate Rose returning from what was probably a frat party. As far as roommates go she knew she could have gotten worse, but she was tired of trying to feign civility. Rose had managed to find an excuse to go out and party almost every single night of the week despite the clear age restriction and lack of attention to her grades. Then again if she had a mom and dad footing the bill for school maybe she would be a little looser in the way she spent her time.
It had been quite a leap of faith for her to commit to an 8am lecture, but she needed the class and the other times had been full. The hierarchy of students meant that poor little freshmen like herself were resigned to picking from the leftovers. Managing to pull something on, she grabbed her bag and bolted out of the dorm room. The weather was a somber gray, sheets of rain pouring down from the sky and flooding the streets. Rounding the corner of a building she briefly excused herself as her body collided with an unsuspecting passerby. In her rush to make it to class she hadn't even bothered to grab an umbrella, the idea a lost cause to her now.
It wasn't exactly 8am, but she was well aware that it was crucial to arrive early in order to claim a reasonable seat in the large lecture hall. As she finally managed to push through the doors to the auditorium she tried, without success, to keep her now two minute tardiness a secret as she scanned the room for vacant seats.
The idea of a lecture hall being full at 8am was ludacris but this was an honors class and the professor was very anal about attendance. That and lab material that was associated with this particular section was only given out during class time. Trying not to let her rough start of a morning tamper her spirits she begrudgingly turned her sights on the back of the room. She shivered as her wet clothes clung to her slim frame. Perhaps she should have forgone the fashion atrocity and worn that hideous red rain coat. Maneuvering quickly before she could become an object of the audience's restless attention she spotted a seat in the corner of the back row. Dodging legs and slipping past backpacks and purses she finally reached the back corner. Her frustrations surfaced again as she was halted by one last student. The boy was slouched down in his seat, his feet obstructing her way to the seat next to him. It was one thing after another and her patience was closing in on zero.
"Excuse me." She spoke in a loud and embittered voice.
When his eyes didn't even flicker open she tried once again, this time with a little more force. "Excuse me."
Her temper snapped as the boy remained motionless to her request. There was a sincere lack of chivalry in this world and it irritated her to no end. She forcibly pushed his legs out of her way and proceeded past him to the empty seat. Still reeling with contempt she forced herself to ignore him and try to make some sense out the words on the chalkboard. It was a miracle that anyone could manage to take good notes from so far back. Her attention was slowly claimed by the obnoxious habits of those surrounding her. The students in the back were all sleeping, texting or just staring off into space. She pondered who they could possibly be texting at eight in the morning and after a few glances around she concluded they must be texting each other. Sighing, she sank back into her seat and tried to concentrate on the chemistry lecture.
She shivered again as the cold began to sink in. Her clothes were still wet and the large auditorium was ill heated and cold enough to mistake the season for winter. Trying to ignore the cold and focus on the lecture she grew irritated at the guy next to her. His repeated attempts to catch her attention were growing tiresome, why couldn't he have just fallen back asleep like she'd found him?
Unable to pretend indifference for any longer she turned her fiery stare in his direction. "What?" she whispered menacingly.
The guy frowned in response, "Take it."
It was then that she noticed the sweatshirt he had offered in his hand.
"No…thank you." she added the ending after hearing her own rude response. All she wanted was to get the class over with and her reserves were on empty. Turning her attention back to the endless ramblings of her professors she was struck once again by his persistence. His hand tapped at her shoulder a few more times before she acknowledged him. Turning back to face him she was about to retaliate when he threw the sweatshirt at her.
"Take it." He announced irritably. "I can't concentrate with you shivering so badly."
Winry's mouth fell open as she stared at the stranger next to her. Scowling she pulled the sweatshirt over her head, though she wasn't entirely sure why she did. While she planned on shivering just to piss him off she found instantly felt warm, the heat still trapped in it from his body. It hadn't dawned on her until then that he was sitting in a short sleeve shirt; he had given her the sweatshirt right off his back. She didn't expect that kind of chivalry, especially from him. Despite her earlier aggression she was suddenly curious about this man; she was no stranger to the metal arm that sweatshirt had been hiding.
For the rest of the class time she found herself thinking of ways to thank him. A simple verbal proclamation might have done the trick, but she wanted something more than a quick exchange. It was easy to see that his automail was top of the line, but maybe she could give him one of the pieces she had worked on with her grandma. Her grandmother's customers swore that it was the best automail they had ever received. She snuck a glance out of the corner of her eye. In her rush and irritation she had failed to notice how attractive he was. His long hair, which had originally marked him as a slacker was something else entirely. After careful observation she noticed it's composition of long, silky, golden threads. Though, as an afterthought, she wished they had not covered his remarkably unique eye color. She quickly averted her gaze and tried to get back to the boring tedium of the discussion. What had gotten into her today?
Concentrating hard on trying to piece together the impossibly small print on the board and the bland tone of the Professor's voice she never saw the guy next to her get up and move. When the lecture was completed she found his feet halfway out the door by the time she had gathered her notes together. Throwing her messenger bag over her shoulder she looked down at the sweatshirt she was still wearing. Groaning she pushed her way through the exiting crowd, she didn't even know his name.
Scanning the sea of students she finally caught sight of her target. Racing forward she shouted out to him, "Hey!"
Part of her wanted to laugh as several heads turned toward her, his not being one of them. Now she really wished she had been polite enough to ask his name. With one last spurt of energy she practically tackled him.
Halted by her hands on his arm he peeked at her over his shoulder. Winry felt her uneven breathing hitch as she stared into his eyes. Yet the beauty of the moment was altered as soon as he opened his mouth.
"What do you want?" He asked in agitation, the rain still coming down all around them.
Flustered she pushed the wet hair out of her face and just stared. What had possessed her to stop him? Oh right, the sweatshirt. Throwing her bag at him to free her hands, she proceeded to lift the sweatshirt off.
Perfect, just perfect.
Her face flushed as her wet shirt clung to the outer garment, exposing her bare stomach and bra. Trying to act nonchalant about the whole ordeal she quickly pulled her shirt back down and finished removing the now troublesome piece of clothing. She was about to take the cowards way out and make a run for it when he switched roles and grabbed her arm.
"Your bag?" He asked, holding out the black shoulder bag towards her.
She was sure if embarrassment could kill she would have died in those few seconds. Sighing she reached out and grabbed it from his grasp. Before she turned to walk away she swallowed her pride and offered him a weak smile. "Thank you."
Every day the same monotonous schedule, wake up, go to class, go to sleep. Somewhere in between he usually ate and hit the gym but other than that it was pretty dull. Most would count him among the lucky few but he had a hard time stomaching that. Having a rich father made college a walk in the park, almost. There was no need for him to worry about tuition when the new wing of the library was named after his father. Out of spite he had never stepped foot in that particular part of the building.
With the rain irritating his automail he had been in a foul mood, but as he walked back to his dorm room he couldn't help but chuckle. As annoying as it was, he had to admit the girl made him laugh. The way her pretty features blushed had been very attractive. Once he was back in the small cubicle of a room, he laid on his bed deciding to skip his next lecture. The professor was a quack; he did better on exams when he didn't listen to the man's cock and bull theories.
All thoughts of sleeping went out the window as he caught a whiff of the most alluring scent. Opening his eyes he searched the room for the source but after smelling around he came up with nothing. Finally he grabbed his sweatshirt. How had he failed to notice how good she smelled? Feeling vaguely creepy he sniffed at the sleeve and laughed, he should have at least asked for her name.
Looking around his room most would say he was well off. That he should be grateful that his father's overhead had secured him a room to himself as well as a parking pass. But despite all his father had done for him monetarily the man hadn't ever really been a father. Business trips had taken him as far away from his family as possible and Ed knew better; he knew his bastard of a dad had been all too happy to go.
Whatever, he planned on reaping the benefits before his dad realized he wasn't about to follow in his footsteps. If not for his younger brother he would have flown the coup a long time ago.
The room to his door opened, the need for knocking not a custom to the people living down the hall from him. Annoyed at the unannounced intrusion Ed sat up and glared at the guy.
"Elric, you sleeping the day away?"
"I'm surprised you're not Havoc, especially after I heard you roll in around 4am." He raised his eyebrows at the notorious playboy.
A grin stretched across his face. "Well freshman, you will learn that from sophomore status on these freshmen girls just keep getting better and better."
Despite his clear anti-social demeanor everyone seemed to think he was a hidden playboy himself. He rolled his eyes. "I'm sure having them stalk you afterwards is just as fun."
The blond laughed, looking sheepish. "Yeah well I make it a rule to not meet the same girl twice…if I can help it."
He thought of the blue eyed girl from the morning, he wouldn't mind running into her again. "You don't feel any kind of remorse?"
"Yes." He admitted wistfully, "I do regret not figuring out how great college was until now."
"I don't know why we're friends." He responded sarcastically.
Havoc frowned, "You need to get out more."
"Yeah and you need to study, but we both know that won't happen either."
Folding his arms across his chest he sighed. "You're hopeless but don't worry I'm not going to give up. The brothers of Beta Tau Alpha are holding their annual fall rush night and that's a guarantee for two things. Free kegs and girls." He added proudly. "Besides, as membership chair for BTA, it is my duty to bring in new guys."
"You just want me to join so your membership GPA will go up." Ed smirked.
To this Havoc was silent for a few seconds before he nodded, "Well I guess that could be a reason but we would need a hell of a lot more like you before we budged our GPA."
Ed had to admit, the fraternity life didn't exactly match up to his personality but he hadn't been out for quite a while. "I guess I'll go."
Havoc's mouth dropped open in surprise, "You're really going to show up?"
"Yeah." Ed voiced. "My dad was a Delta Tau."
Havoc groaned audibly, "Your dad was a DT? You do realize they are our number one rival here right?"
Ed nodded, "Yeah, nothing would piss him off more. So what time is this thing?"
"Come on Win, you have to come out! I just know you'll have fun!" Rose gushed as she sat in front of the mirror in their room.
Winry brushed her long blond hair, her bed looking much more appealing than a night babysitting her roommate's drunken escapades. Rose was one of those girls who had been sheltered all her life, all girls boarding school and what not. Now Winry was sure she was trying to cram 18 years' worth of misbehaving into the past three weeks since they had started at Central State University.
In an attempt to escape the pleading looks of her roommate she shrugged her shoulders. "I have nothing to wear."
Rose rolled her eyes, "Worst excuse in the book. You're practically the same size as I am; go look through my closet."
When Winry made no move towards the closet Rose theatrically stormed across the room and threw open the closet. She was quite the drama queen when she wanted to be. As she skimmed through her clothes Winry found her eyes widening in horror, how could any of those small garments be considered clothes?
When Rose turned back around with a short black skirt and white v-neck shirt Winry breathed again. It was a little revealing, but not flashy or ostentatious as the other pieces were. Trying it on she looked skeptically at herself in the mirror.
"I don't know, maybe I should stay in tonight…"she mused softly.
"Really? Winry you never go out and this is a Friday, do you plan on ever having a social life? Besides are you even looking at yourself in that mirror? By the end of tonight you are going to have all the boys wrapped around your finger." She squealed excitedly.
It was hard to object, they really didn't do much together so maybe she should put in more effort to get to know her roommate. If going out for one night would keep her from nagging it also seemed like a good idea. Scratch that, going out and drinking with Rose should never be put in the same sentence as good idea.
After letting Rose use her as a canvas for her artful makeup and hair touches Winry found herself wide eyed at the girl in the mirror. Was that really her? It wasn't like she never put on makeup or did her hair before, but nothing like this.
"Thank me later." Rose smirked as she made her way over to their mini fridge. Pulling out a jug of orange juice she moved to her dresser draw. "You owe me; you wouldn't believe how long it took me to seduce the guy in the liquor store into letting me buy this." She yanked out a fifth of vodka, her eyes sparkling dangerously. "Bottoms up."
Swallowing nervously she fidgeted with a piece of her hair. "I don't know Rose; I haven't really drank before." Ok so she had never had a drink in her entire life, but she wasn't particularly fond of what was happening to her grandma. The older woman after all her younger years of drinking and smoking was not in the best physical shape anymore. It worried her that she too might fall into such a habit.
"Come on; just have a few shots with me. It'll loosen you up for the night, honestly it'll help."
How in the world did this girl come from a catholic boarding school was beyond her. But as she felt the shortness of her skirt, she wondered if a few drinks might be the ticket to getting rid of her nerves about the whole thing. Trying not to think about all the reasons this was a bad idea she took a few gulps of the bottle like she would water from a glass. It didn't hit her until the liquid began to burn that this wasn't the sort of thing one could just continue to drink to quench their thirst. Her hands trembled as reached frantically for the orange juice. Cringing, she gulped down the chaser. Her eyes watered as she tried to keep from yakking it back up, it was the single worst thing she had ever tasted in her life.
Rose rubbed her back comfortingly. "Wow champ, way to gulp that down." She laughed, "It's easier if you just take a quick swig, you don't have to chug it. Here…"
She grabbed the bottle took a quick swig and then chased it down with the glass of orange juice. "See." Her lips curled up into a smile, "Not that bad." she extended the bottle towards her, "Try again."
Making a face she took a deep breath as he roommate motioned her on with her hands. "Bottoms up."
Ed threw back the last of his beer, his thoughts jumbled. It was definitely an experience, after the third can he felt himself loosening up. He grinned as he thought about how pissed his dad would be if he knew he was drinking. The hypocrite had no room to talk; the man was definitely an alcoholic. A small part of him wondered if he was drinking to drown out his family problems.
"Ladies, ladies, ladies!"
Looking over his shoulder he spotted Havoc welcoming a group of girls into the frat house. The place was already beginning to fill and it was only 11. He was content to just sit back in the living room, he really wasn't much of a socialite. Though he had to admit, as the night wore on he was beginning to forget why he didn't come to these things in the first place.
Crunching an empty can in his hand he wondered what number it had been. He had stopped counting after six and from the way the room swayed he was sure he was long past seven. As he sat watching girls in short skirts sway to the booming music, he rubbed his temples. Even in a room full of people, he felt alone. It was then that a girl fell into his lap, her brown hair streaked with pink. He stiffened as she put her hand on his groin.
"Opps!" she giggled, her hand slowly retracting. As if she had just seen him for the first time she wrapped her arms around his neck. "How come I've never seen you here before?" Her eyes lit up as she drunkenly played with his hair.
He was a guy, of course it felt good. But the girl was obviously wasted and he wasn't sure he trusted himself to make good decisions at the moment. He pushed away her hands, attempting to help her stand. "I don't go out to parties."
The girl laughed as if that were the funniest thing she had ever heard. "But why?"
Shrugging his shoulders he tried once again to help her up. She was pretty cute, but her voice was like nails on a chalkboard at the moment. Especially the whinny and needy way that she clung to him; he didn't particularly like girls like her.
She swatted away his hands, taking his beer from the table next to him and chugging it down. Grinning she threw the empty can over her shoulder before leaning in towards him. "Looks like you're all out." She pouted sarcastically, "Guess we'll have to grab some more." The girl brushed her lips against his before settling by his ear. "We should check upstairs for some more."
He knew exactly where this was headed but for some reason he followed her. Maybe it was the alcohol or maybe he wasn't in the mood to object such an easy offer. He felt a few pats on the back as he stumbled after the brunette, even some words of encouragement, none of which really mattered.
It took several tries before they managed to find an unlocked room. Havoc had told him that girls like this existed, but he was having a hard time remembering why the idea hadn't sounded good at the time. She stumbled right along with him, and though his body was telling him one thing he was beginning to think that maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
For as tiny as she was, he was surprised at the sheer force of her. Pushing him off balance she tackled him to the unmade bed. He wondered briefly whose room they had just invaded. As the room swayed back and forth in an unnatural and confusing way he tried to stop things from going further. But the damn girl was making things much harder than he would have thought. She had already discarded her form fitting dress and was proceeding to straddle his hips, a drunken but coy smile on her lips.
When she finally realized he wasn't responding to her actions she tried to pull his shirt off...that was until she saw the metal glint in the light. Backing away as if she had touched a hot stove she stared at him in disgust. "Are you some kind of freak? What's wrong with you?"
That sobered him up real fast, the comment stirring up memories. He narrowed his eyes at her, pulling his shirt back down. "It's none of your business." He tried to say without slurring his words. He had let this go too far already. He watched her fall ungracefully to the floor as she tried to get away from him. Edward quickly grabbed her arm as she was about to leave.
Going to a frat house when she couldn't even walk straight was not something Winry actually wanted to do. But she couldn't object when her roommate was halfway in the house and a few guys began to walk her way. She tried her best to stay as close to her roommate as possible; she had no idea where she was or who these people were. It was only a matter of time before her roommate was lost to the crowd and she was stranded in a sea of strangers. Panic surging through her she began to regret having drank so much.
While she tried scanning the room again she managed to fall into an unsuspecting guy. He turned around quickly, his eyes flashing for a moment before he looked her up and down. His face immediately lit up at the sight of her. Winry quickly pulled her hair over her shoulder in an attempt to cover the cleavage he was staring at.
"What's a pretty girl like you doing all by herself?" He mused.
Winry shot another look around the room she was in, but still no sign of her roommate. The guy was twice her size and she was in no state to upset him. Trying not to appear bitchy she smiled sweetly. "Thank you, but I didn't come here by myself…my roommate left me."
Weird she didn't mean for that to come out. She scolded herself; she should have said she came with a boyfriend or something else to turn him off.
Looking like he had just won the lottery he put an arm around her shoulder, "Here have some punch and then I'll help you look for the girl ok?"
It didn't take a genius to see through his pretense, but for some reason she didn't. Deciding he really was going to help her she gladly accepted the punch and drank.
As if she was being launched into the future she couldn't remember how she got upstairs or who the guy looming over her was. He was kissing down her neck and his hands were…oh god. She started to shake, her mouth not being able to form the word she wanted so desperately to say. Feeling queasy and upset she finally managed to get it out. "S-stop, please no." she tried.
Either he wasn't listening or he just didn't care because he wasn't doing as she asked. The fear building up, she knew the night had been one mistake after the next. Had it only been hours ago that she had looked down on girls for letting this very same thing happen? Had she not been one to wonder why they let themselves fall into such situations?
Scared of where this was headed, where it had already gone she threw her knee up, effectively hitting him where it would deal the most damage. As he moaned in pain she rolled out from under him and ran out of the room, slamming the door in her wake. Running the wrong way down the hallway she realized the stairs were back past the door she had just come from. Afraid that he would see her pass she opened the closest door to her and stepped in.
To say she was relieved, shocked, embarrassed and angered would all have been truthful. Standing in her bra and underwear was her roommate, a boy holding her back. She noticed the upset look on Rose's face and assumed the worst as she caught sight of the metal arm stopping her from escaping. Having so narrowly averted this same predicament she took off one of her heels and chucked it at his head.
"YOU LEAVE HER ALONE!" She spoke in a dangerous tone.
The guy instantly let go of her roommate as he held his hand to his head. "What the hell?"
Rose walked towards her looking relieved. "Winry!" she gushed. "I can't believe I almost slept with a mutant!" She laughed as if nothing of consequence had occurred and tried to walk past her towards the door but the guy stopped her once again. This time Winry noticed the metal hand and felt her stomach drop.
Now that she had really looked at the situation, she knew why the guy was halting her roommate. In his other hand he held out her roommates dress. "I was just trying to give her this! The girl came on to me!" He spoke angrily.
Her head spun as her stomach rolled. It seemed fairly reasonable, but reasoning wasn't coming easy to her at the moment. Finding it hard to stand, she just stared at the boy from class, completely unaware that her roommate had left without the dress. It was surprising that he didn't notice either, why was he staring at her like that?
Oh right. She wiped the tears from her face, trying to forget the memory of the guy's hands on her as much as she had forgotten most of the night already.
She was friends with the girl from class? He instantly felt guilty as she caught him in such an incriminating way…well that was until she beamed him in the head with her shoe. Why the hell he still found her intriguing was beyond him.
It was hard to not find her alluring while they were alone in a bedroom and his senses were altered. But it was the tear marks down her face that made him forget any ideas he might have had. He led her over to the bed and made her sit. As if snapping from her daze she suddenly looked frightened again. He rolled his eyes as he kneeled down and slipped the shoe back on her foot. If she really knew him she would have known he wasn't the type to take advantage of a girl like that.
Looking up at her he put a comforting hand on her knee. "Don't worry, I won't hurt you." Getting hit in the head had a good way of sobering someone up he concluded. "I'll take you home if you want." He offered.
Her eyes closed as she swayed a little, but she suddenly relaxed, her lips curling up in a fragile smile. "I trust you."
He griped her shoulders, "Hey!" He snapped his fingers in front of her face. "Don't go to sleep." He ordered her, but it was too late the girl was out cold.
Next chapter: Walk of Shame
A/N: I realize they are OC but they had to be a little bit to fit this story. That and I know I made Rose's character bad news bears so I apologize to any Rose fans.