The sun leaked into the room as the early hours of the morning crept up on the young mechanic. Her eyelids fluttered open and were met with the soft yellow glow of another day.
Sitting up, she worked her fingers through her tangled hair. She breathed deeply and noticed how dry the room had become through the night, so she made a mental note to leave her window cracked a bit from now on to prevent it from happening again. Her back popped as she stretched and swung her feet over the bed, rubbing her eyes.
"Winry!" her grandmother called up the stairs, "breakfast!" Winry stood slowly, trying to wake up.
"Alright," she called back, "I'll be right down." She had gotten up early for the last 3 weeks, since more and more customers had been coming in from Rush Valley to Risembool. She cursed her own craftsmanship sometimes.
Instead of getting dressed, she just stayed in her loose black shorts and white top, not expecting anyone for another couple of hours. The floorboards creaked as she walked across her room and opened her door, making her way down to breakfast.
Sitting on the kitchen table was a small stack of pancakes, a few sausage links, and a glass of orange juice. Winry smiled at Pinako as she sat down.
"Thanks Granny," she told her sleepily, beginning to eat the delicious meal. Pinako smiled in return and nodded, beginning to eat her own food as well. The time at the table was quiet, mainly from how tired Winry was from the previous all nighters that she had been pulling off for the past month. If she didn't know better, she would say that she was getting sick of automail.
After they were done eating, Winry took the dishes to the sink and began to wash them. She figured it was the least she could do since her Grandma had cooked breakfast.
"Winry, would you mind doing me a favor today?" asked Pinako, taking a drag from her pipe. Winry turned to face her, shutting the sink off and drying her hands.
"Sure, what is it?" she asked, finally having a bit of energy thanks to the food.
"I ordered some spare parts, and they're at the shop in town ready to be picked up. Would you mind doing that for me?"
Winry smiled and nodded. "No problem, Granny," she replied enthusiastically. This would be the first time in a while that she had gotten out of the house and seen a human being that wasn't another customer. "When should I leave?"
"In a few minutes is fine, after you get dressed and all that." With that, the elderly woman made her way to the couch to take a small nap. All of the customers lately had taken a toll on her as well. Winry made her way upstairs to do as her Grandmother had asked.
Once she had gotten her black skirt and cream colored top on, she went to brush her hair. As she looked in the mirror, she softly touched her hands to her ears. She still didn't have her ear rings back. Ever since that day at Briggs, she had gone without them, waiting for Ed to come back and give them to her again. It was like a hidden promise that assured her that he would stay alive. After the incident that had occurred with the solar eclipse, she was eager to see him home safe. She was almost afraid that he wouldn't be back.
She shook her head clear of those thoughts, assuring herself that he was fine. He had to be, he was Ed. So, she finished getting ready and slipped her boots on, deciding against the black jacket that went with the outfit, since it was incredibly warm outside. Checking her appearance one last time, she made her way down the stairs.
"See you soon, Granny," she called softly, in case she was sleeping. The snore that came from the living room confirmed it, so she left.
The town that day was bustling to say the least. Winry had to push her way through a few large crowds and sidestep merchants. Everywhere she went people seemed to be in a rush and gossiping. She found it rather odd, since even on the days of festivals, it was usually rather quiet. She paid no heed to it until, in the midst of a conversation between a couple of elderly women, she heard something about an overthrow of the Fuhrer. She stopped in her tracks and almost asked the women what they were talking about, but before she could get the chance, they had vanished in the crowed as well. She tried to forget about it, but that little bit of gossip really ate away at her. She hadn't seen or heard anything from Ed or anyone else that was involved with the coupe in so long. She expected Ed to return after she woke up in a daze, barely remembering why she had collapsed. When she realized that she hadn't been the only one that it had affected, she figured it must have been the Promised Day that Ed had been talking about.
Winry's curiosity got the best of her when she saw a newspaper stand. She bit her lip and gave into her need for knowledge and bought a paper, practically tearing it from the seller's hands. Her jaw dropped when she saw the headline.
Fuhrer Overthrown: The Heroes of Amestris Responsible
She was about to continue reading when there was a loud train whistle. She hadn't realized it, but she was standing right next to the station. Shortly after the eruption of noise from the train, the people of the town seemed to migrate to the doors would be opening. She wanted to know what all of the brouhaha was about, so she pushed her way through the crowed politely to get a better look.
After the doors opened, a few men in military uniform came out and attempted to get the crowd to calm down and back off to make room for the passengers getting ready to come out. Even over the noisy people around her, she could hear a couple of people yelling at each other that were still in the train.
"Damn it!" one of them yelled, "I told you that coming here so soon was a bad idea!" The voice was deep and authoritative. The other voice seemed just as angry, but a bit younger.
"Shut up! This is all your fault for letting them print that article!" Winry gasped after the short exchange of words before pushing herself the rest of the way through the people to get to the very front.
"I'm sorry miss," one of the officers stopped her from going any further, "you can't go past this point." Winry tried to push past them but was held back.
"But I think someone I know is on that train," she protested, still struggling.
"Yes, yes," the officer replied condescendingly, rolling his eyes, "we're all friends of the heroes of Amestris." Winry had never wanted to hit someone so bad.
"Fine," she mumbled, stepping back until the officers figured it was clear enough for the all so important people to step out.
She was halfway through the crowd and figured she could just wait until they cleared out to see who they were talking about, although she was extremely anxious to see now. She took a seat on a bench that sat next to a lamppost on the street and faced the mystery passengers.
"Alright, everybody back up," said a female voice, though she seemed even more intimidating than the other officers of the group. "No questions will be answered as of yet, so there's no point in asking." Apparently, that had been enough to get the crowd to disperse, since they all started to continue on their way, a bit disappointed.
Winry's eyes followed them until she heard a voice that could only belong to one person.
"Winry?" it questioned, sounding like it was a bit surprised. Winry snapped her eyes to meet the speaker's and her eyes grew wide. She stood up shakily, not being able to believe what she was seeing right in front of her.
Standing there, supporting a boy that seemed to be a good two inches taller than himself, was none other than Edward Elric.
It took her a few moments to register that the boy being supported was Alphonse, since she hadn't seen him in the flesh in years.
"Ed," she paused, looking to both of them, "Al." Before she could stop herself, she broke out into a sprint at them. Al moved to stand on his own so that both he and his brother could be ready for the embrace that would come in less that a few seconds.
What an embrace it was. She flung her arms around both of them, putting most of her weight on the elder Elric, since she knew that Al had to be somewhat weak still. They both returned it, a small smile gracing Ed's face and a sheepish grin that Al wore.
After a few moments of silence, she pulled away, her eyes misty and tears threatening to spill over. When a stray drop did, she smiled and laughed shakily, looking to Ed.
"I guess you kept your promise," she told him with another small laugh, wiping away more tears that had escaped. Ed nodded, his smile broadening and a blush creeping up on to his face.
"I guess I did," he replied, rubbing the back of his head before putting his right arm back down in front of her, rolling up the black sleeve that he wore to reveal what Winry hadn't seen occupy that arm in so long; flesh.
That was all she could handle. She broke out into more tears, throwing her arms around Ed and smiling, laughing through her tears of Joy and clinging to him for dear life. He wrapped his arms around her in response, for once not being stand offish and secluded when it came to his emotions. He could afford to express them now.
Lieutenant Hawkeye stood next to her superior, Colonel, or rather, soon to be Fuhrer, Mustang. "Touching, isn't it?" he mumbled to his subordinate, only half joking. In his heart, he knew that there was nothing more joyous than a soldier coming home to the person waiting for him, safe and sound.
Lieutenant Hawkeye nodded a small smile on her lips. "How are your eyes today, Sir?" she asked, though it was off subject. He turned to her and smiled.
"They get better every day, don't worry. How's your wound?" She had suffered in the battle as well, though he was relieved that she had pulled through.
"Its fine," she answered, touching her neck softly and feeling the slight rise in her skin from the stitches that she had received. Roy nodded in understanding before turning to face the officers that had joined them.
"You all can go back to central if you want; we have things under control here," he assured them. They gave him a crisp salute and boarded the train once more since it would be leaving in a few minutes.
When Roy turned back to the adolescents, they were conversing happily. Figuring that they could handle themselves, Roy motioned for him and Hawkeye to go and explore the town. She agreed and they were off.
Winry had so many questions about what had happened, and they were eager to answer since everything had worked out for the best. After a bit though, Winry realized what she had come into town to do in the first place.
"Shoot," she mumbled, biting her lip, "I have to pick up some spare parts for Granny, I almost forgot."
Al smiled, putting most of his weight on a cane that he had. "We can come with, I need the exercise anyway," he told her with a small laugh. Winry was glad to hear it, but turned to Ed for confirmation that it was alright. Townspeople might bug them if they went.
"Sure," he agreed, "a walk sounds nice." This was the most relaxed that Winry had ever seen Ed, but it just succeeded in making her happier. With an eager nod, she began to make her way to the shop, the brothers following behind.
As they went, Winry's worry was confirmed. Everywhere they went, people were eager to talk to the Elrics. They politely declined, saying that they were too tired to get into it just yet.
After they arrived at the shop and Winry picked up the parts, they were on their way back to her house. There were a few more parts in the box than she thought, and it began to get rather tedious to carry. Ed saw this and without saying anything took the box off her hands and carried it with little trouble.
"It's alright Ed, I can get it," she told him, reaching out her arms in an attempt to take the box back. He shook his head, pulling the box out of her reach slightly,
"No, its fine," he replied, "I have to work my right arm anyway, it's going to take a while to get it to look like the other one." He gave her a small smirk for good measure before turning his eyes back to the path in front of them. Winry's face turned a light shade of pink and she was glad that Ed had turned away so that he couldn't see.
Before they knew it, they were back at the familiar yellow house on the hill. Winry opened the door and walked in first. "Granny, I'm home! And I brought some guests," she called, eager to tell Pinako the great news.
"Really, who?" she asked, making her way to the front door. When she saw who was standing there, she nearly dropped her pipe on to the floor. "Well now," she said, regaining her composure and smiling, "it's about time you two!"
They all enjoyed a good laugh and Ed and Al bent to give the old woman a hug. She was glad to have them home; it would make her rest better at night.
Pinako told Ed to just drop the parts off in the basement workshop, seeing that he was carrying them. Al made his way to the couch in the living room with Pinako following to make sure he got there okay. Winry on the other hand followed after Ed, though he didn't know it at first.
Making his way down the stairs carefully, he pulled the string that turned the light on and set the parts down on the table that sat in the corner before cracking his back and turning, only to see Winry standing about a foot away from him. He jumped a bit since he hadn't heard her following, but smiled a second later.
"Hey, I didn't see you there," he told her, speaking his thoughts. She apologized softly for startling him, smiling a bit. They stood like that, looking at each other in a comfortable silence for what seemed like forever. Then, as if they had read each other's minds, they both moved in for an embrace, though Winry was a bit more adamant about it.
As they stood there in each others arms, Winry made a note that Ed was now taller than her. Come to think of it, he had been for a while; she had just been too stressed to notice it. She held her arms around his torso, her face turned to the side and leaning against his shoulder. One of his arms rested against the small of her back, the other near her shoulders. This had been the second time that they had held each other like this and he blushed slightly at how natural it seemed.
The minutes passed and neither of them said a word, just enjoying the moment they had. Winry could hear the soft beating of his heart from where her head rested and could feel him breathing. She had never been this close to him. She was the one to finally break the silence though.
"I can't believe you're back, I'm so happy," she told him, slightly tightening her grip as if she were afraid to let him slip away. Once again, tears began to form in her deep blue eyes, and she didn't make an effort to hold them back.
"Me either," he replied, his voice getting a bit shaky as well from the emotional moment. He wasn't used to showing this much affection and it gave him butterflies, though he would never admit it. In all of the years since his mother had died, Ed hadn't shed a single tear, afraid that he would become weak. However, standing there, in the arms of his mechanic, a small tear slid down his cheek and ran over his smiling face. When he had been fighting Father, he had come to the realization that because of the transmutation circle being activated, everyone was gone. That included Winry, and that thought alone was enough to tear him apart from the inside. When he had seen her sitting on that bench, he couldn't have imagined a more beautiful sight.
It took a while for Winry to come back to reality, though she would have preferred to stay like that forever. She had to keep her promise as well. She pulled away slightly and met his eyes, wiping her own with the back of her hand. She saw his single shining trail that the tear had left on Ed's cheek and her eyes widened.
"Ed," she began, thinking of how to phrase her thoughts without making him feel weak. This was a major breakthrough; Ed never cried.
He seemed to know what she was thinking about and wiped the tear away, the smile never leaving his features. "Sorry," he mumbled, a bit embarrassed, "I guess I'm just as much of a crybaby as you," he joked, receiving a small smack on the chest from Winry at the comment.
"Shut up," she laughed childishly, before making her way to the stairs.
"Where are you going?" he asked, and then inwardly cursed himself for being so stupid. They were in a basement after all, not exactly the most comfortable place to catch up.
"Well," she answered, turning to smile at him, "I do owe you and Al apple pie, don't I?" she questioned with a giggle, continuing to go up the stairs. Ed smiled and nodded, turning the light off and following her up.
So, what do you think so far? I know that as soon as I post this, the latest chapter of the manga will contradict me most likely, but I don't care! I will have my happy ending! Please Review!!!