Hello! I know anyone reading my multi-chapter Storm Hawks fic "Shattered" is wondering what on earth I'm doing writing a oneshot (and for another fandom, no less) instead of working on the next chapter, but I have an excuse! The idea for this fic has been running around my head for the past month, and I'm hoping that writing it will fix the motivation problem I've been having in writing "Shattered." I promise a new chapter in the next week!
For FullMetal Alchemist fans, I'll admit right off that I'm fairly new to this fandom. I've know about FMA for a while, but on started reading the manga (the first manga I've ever read) and watching FMA:Brotherhood online in the past few months. So, I do not know these characters as well as many of you reading this and I have no plans for writing a longer fic until I'm much better acquainted with them and can keep the characters truly in character. I see this as a test to see how well I have a grip on these characters' personalities, so please feel free how close or far off I am!
Disclaimer: I do not own FullMetal Alchemist or any characters, plots or concepts related to it.
Alphonse felt the annoying tug of his conscious trying to awaken. He fought to stay in the blackness, not yet ready to leave this blissful comfort, but he was only prolonging the inevitable—no one can sleep forever.
So he slowly became aware. First of his limbs. They were heavy and seemed to only sink further into the mattress beneath him. His head ached, as did his stomach. It took him a moment to realize it was from hunger—he still wasn't used to all these feels or what exactly they meant.
The sounds came next. There was a rustling, like a breeze through fabric or leaves. Someone must have opened the window, he decided, feeling the cool air brushing his cheek. But there was something else too, on his other side. A scratching, and quiet chatter. A mummer of sounds that mingled into an odd aria that floated around him, the melody and lyrics just beyond his reach.
Turning an ear toward this jumble of notes, Al concentrated on listening, until the many sounds separated into only three. He picked out his brother's voice first, a little weary on the surface, but still as eternally strong underneath. Over Edward's bass came Winry's alto, clipped and staccato. On top was an unknown soprano, trilling in the clangs and tinks of metal upon metal.
It was then that Al remembered the last time he'd come out of his hazy dreams.
He opened droopy eyes upon hearing a shocked gasp followed by a resounding CLUNK. Standing in the door to the hospital room was Winry, hand over her mouth, tears in her eyes and tool kit lying forgotten on the floor. She froze, wide eyed, for a few moments, just looking at him. Then, she was across the room before he could blink and had him wrapped in a tight embrace.
Winry pulled back just as quickly, her hands moving to cup Al's face. She smiled brilliantly at her childhood friend, tears of joy following freely down her cheeks.
"I just... I just can't believe it," Winry said breathlessly, her hands, unable to keep still, brushed through his hair, gripped his shoulders, then slid down to intertwine their fingers. "It really is you, sitting here, staring back at me..."
Al nodded, grinning brightly. "Yeah," he croaked, voice rough from lack of use.
"Hey!" the heads of the two on the bed snapped to the door, "Quit manhandling my brother!"
Any threat in Edward's words were lost in the grin on his face and sparkle in his eyes. The older Elric leaned casually against the doorframe of the room he and Al shared. Ed insisted that he could be discharged whenever he pleased and that he stayed around to keep his younger brother company. However, Al knew his brother needed to be in the hospital just a much as he did, and that Ed hid many bandages under his baggy pajamas.
"Winry, why'd you come straight up? Didn't I tell you to meet me in the lobby and I'd show—" Ed never finished as Winry sped back across the room and flung herself at him.
The young alchemist staggered a bit on impact, but soon regained his footing. He stood stiffly, a look of shock—with perhaps some fear—on his features. Winry didn't seem to notice. She had her arms wrapped around the—now—taller boy's neck while she sobbed quietly into his shoulder. In the silence that feel upon the room, Al was just able to make out the girl's low chant of thank you, thank you, thank you...
Ed's wide eyes locked with Al's, a silent plea for help evident in their golden depths. Al just smiled innocently and shrugged, before closing his eyes and feigning sleep. As he turned his head towards the window, Al snuck a peek through his eyelashes and was happy to see his brother's eyes soften as his arms tentatively encircled the girl and pulled her closer.
Since regaining his body, Al had spent most of his time sleeping, wakening for only an hour or so at a time. His body gaunt and weak, he got most of his nutrients from an IV and he was still unable to eat any solids. But Al could feel his strength growing by the day and his bones were no longer as apparent under his skin.
Al rolled over to face away from the window, enjoying the feel of the thin blanket brushing against his skin. He could see the faint light of a lamp through his closed eyelids, but didn't open them, happy to just listen for now.
"You done yet?" Ed complained a little too loudly over the clanking.
"Shush. You'll wake Al." Winry whispered harshly. Al had to fight back a giggle. To late, he thought.
"Oh, like I'm making more noise than you—" there was the all-too-familiar sound of metal hitting flesh, "Ow! Hey! What was that for?"
Al couldn't resist sneaking a peek at what had to be a hilarious scene. Through half opened eyes, however, Al found himself surprised at what the dim light revealed. For a moment, the young Elric wondered if he was still dreaming.
Ed was sitting up against his pillows, his face twisted in an annoyed scowl and flesh had rubbing a nasty bump on his forehead. Winry had situated herself between the alchemist's legs, her back and shoulders leaning against his chest. Propped up on the mechanic's bent knees was Ed's automail arm, which she was tinkering away at intently.
"Why do you have to do this now?" Ed whined, having recovered from his assault.
"Because the only way I could get in here this late was to say I had to do an emergency repair on you automail," Winry explained without looking up from her task. "This way, I wasn't totally lying."
Ed chuckled, "So, this is all for your conscious, is it?"
"That," Winry agreed, "and the fact that if a nurse were to come in here because someone was making too much noise, my alibi still stands."
The pair drifted into a comfortable silence, broken only by the scratches of Winry tightening the odd bolt. When she finished, Winry returned the outer plate to its original position before leaning further back into Ed's chest. Giving a light sigh, she leaned her head against his.
"Thank you, again." Winry whispered softly, a smile of contentment gracing her lips.
"You've said that enough already," Ed commented, his cheeks reddening slightly. "And what are you thanking me for anyway? What did I do?"
"You kept all your promises."
In the silence that followed the simple answer, Winry's hand slowly made its way down to Ed's, which had come to rest against atop the blanket. Three sets of eyes watched as Winry's fingers intertwined with Ed's, one at a time. Al waited for his brother to stiffen or pull away, but he didn't.
"How's Al?" Winry asked. "He hasn't woken up since I first arrived."
Al closed his eyes so he could just see through his lashes as the pair on the other bed turned to look at him. He was grateful that the light from bedside lamp was weak and his face couldn't be made out clearly through the shadows. Al wasn't quite sure why he didn't want the others to see he was awake, but he felt like he was intruding on something private.
"The doctors say he's doing much better," Ed answered. "He'll be able to try eating regular food next week. I'm hoping that we'll be able to take him home to Resembool soon, get some normality back in our lives."
Al saw the same worried look in his brother's golden gaze that he'd woken to the other day. He'd told Ed not to be so serious and joked he was only making up for all the night's he'd missed these past few years. That had made his brother smile, but Al could see now that none of Ed's anxiety had been alleviated.
Winry turned her head and caught the haggard look on Ed's features as well. "He's going to be okay, Ed," she reassured, giving his hand a quick squeeze. "He is your brother, after all. You two are going to come back to Resembool, even if I'm dragging you kicking and screaming. Then, I can keep my promise."
Ed's gaze fell from his—supposedly—sleeping brother to the girl in his lap. Their eyes locked, the autumn sky meeting a golden corn field in the far off horizon.
The young alchemist raised an eyebrow questioningly, a smirk running across his face, "And what promise would that be?"
"To make you that apple pie, of course." Winry smiled sweetly.
Faster than Al could comprehend what was happening, Winry turned her head back while Ed dipped his slightly so their lips met briefly. Their movements were easy, relaxed, and blatantly portrayed that this was a practised gesture.
Lying stunned in his bed, Al began to wonder just how long he'd been asleep.
Okay, how bad did I do? I didn't put any details in here about how Al got his body back because I didn't want to drive into anything too deep for now, and we'll find out pretty soon how it all turns out anyway, right?
The character I'm most worried about in this fic is Ed. I think I've made him too easy-going. I think I handled Ed and Winry's relationship fairly well. As to Al's question as to how long he's been asleep, I'd say about a month, at the rate Ed and Winry's relationship appears to develop ;) But really, I don't think a quick kiss is going too fast or taking their relationship beyond what it could progress. I don't think it would go beyond kissing very quick, but I think it could be possible. And, I did give the impression (I hope) that we've missed some happenings and time, so something has happened to get them to this point.
Anyway, I seem to be thinking too much into things (as always). Sorry for having such a long ending note! If you have any comments or criticisms, please feel free to review!