Beware eveyone! This has a couple of spoilers in it. If you haven't seen the latest manga chapter, 108, then please don't read this till you read the manga finale first (or the last chapter of Brotherhood, for that matter). I really don't want to spoil anything to anyone.
Just a small peek into the near future, after the manga ended. Set after chapter 108 of the manga.
EdxWin drabble, some fluff and minor... Errr. Stuff. Not sure if it's the finished version just yet. One-shot (or maybe not...).
And let me tell you. I was VERY surprised with one thing. I'll tell you what it was in the end.
CHAPTER 1 - Officially Commited
It was the best thing that could have happened to her that day.
Winry was, as per usual, sitting on her working bench in the early morning, repairing someone's old piece of automail. This particular piece desperately needed some reinforced attention…
When the phone rang.
She went to pick it up. "Hello?"
"Hey there!" Said the familiar voice from the other side of the line, "How've you been doing?"
"Edo! Hello! I'm fine, what about you?"
"I'm okay, I'm okay… Things are truly interesting here in the West. Lots of stuff you'd love… The scenarios and all. Huge mountains! Oh, and remember I talked about their food? I bought a recipe book."
"That's great, I'd love to try those recipes. Bring it over next time you're heading home, okay?"
She missed him. After that day when they parted at the train station, she missed him more each day that went by. Of course it helped each time he called her – almost every day, if not just to ask if she and Granny were okay – but still, she would like to hug him again. Hold his hands.
She kept thinking about what they told each other at the train station, and each time she did it seemed like she was made out of bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles, just bubbling about and being very happy.
Of course that thought made her miss him even more…
"Lots of pretty ladies here, too."
"Wha… EDWARD!" she roared into the phone, which forced Ed to back away from the telephone speaker. He didn't want to wind up deaf so young.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding! You know… I don't really… You know… Look at other girls. And such. You know."
They didn't need to tell each other that they were both blushing over the phone. They could almost feel the heat of the other's cheek on their own.
"Hmmm… You'd better not, Ed."
"You know me! I'm no good with girls anyways."
"You're good with me. And for me. And that's what matters, right?"
"Well… But I guess I'm no Don Juan though, right?"
They both laughed for a while at the thought – until there was a loud knock and a creaky door opened behind Winry. Her grandmother, reminding her that a customer was waiting.
"I gotta go Ed. I have a big customer waiting. Call me back later?"
"No need! I just called to let you guys know I'm heading over for a tune-up. I'll be there tomorrow night."
"Really? So soon?"
She was thrilled! She would take a long, scented tub bath and put on her best clothes and the fancy perfume he'd mailed her just a couple of weeks ago. She still giggled when she thought of the letter attached to it.
"Dear Winry", it spelled,
"It's not that I don't think you smell nice already. Because I do. I mean, you smell nice. But you girls love perfume, don't you? I hope so. And anyways, this one is nice. The lady from the store said it was summer freshness and all that, and wild berries. Or something nice like that.
"It reminds me of you, somehow. Without the oil smell all over yourself, anyways.
"Not that I mind the oil though! You still smell nice.
"Edward Elric, the globe-trotting adventurer."
Of course she had every reason to laugh about it and tease him. She could picture him hitting his head on the desk as he scribbled the letter at the post office before mailing it. He'd rushed his already poor handwriting, but she still managed to decipher it.
Continuing the phone conversation:
"Why? Don't you think I've been gone for long enough? My automail needs some attention after these four months."
"Edward, my automail's not that frail…. Are you sure it's the automail that needs attention?"
"Humph. Well, I gotta go. Train to catch and all that. See you tomorrow, Winry! Give Granny a hug."
"Sure, I will. Have a safe trip."
The following day, Tuesday, had been hectic so far. Winry cursed the poor customers as they waited for their repairs. What's with the client boom all of a sudden? Today of all days?
She had to rush her bath, get dressed in a hurry, and dinner was late. It was past ten PM and still no Edward. Could he have run late?
She continuously peeked outside her window, but all she could see was an empty pathway. The moon had been shining with all its might though, and it almost seemed like it was daytime… But no sign of Ed.
After a while of staring into the distance, the clouds shifted and covered the moon – thus reducing visibility.
She cursed the clouds as well. Why was he running so late?
"Winry," her grandmother called, "Stop staring. Did he tell you what time he was coming?"
"No. He just told me he'd arrive this night."
"Well, it's not very late yet. So let's just have dinner now."
Pinako's granddaughter sighed in defeat and sluggishly tended to the dinner table. She put on three seats just in case.
"Did you get the mail today? I was expecting a letter," Pinako asked as she opened the pot containing the stew – Ed's favorite – and smelled it.
Winry groaned, "I forgot."
"Go get it then, because I need to know if old Colonel Jameson needs me to go over to Arandash (1) for his routine maintenance. That old hag… Good thing he pays lots of live money. It's almost three hours by train from here to his house. And I'm getting too old for that."
"Yes, yes grandmother… I know…"
Winry already had her hand around the doorknob when someone knocked at the door. She froze.
"Could this be him?"
She flung the door open to reveal the handsome, golden-eyed young man holding a large luggage and a handful of letters.
"I see someone forgot to grab the mail today, huh?"
"Edward, finally! Welcome home!" she threw her arms over his neck – he dropped the luggage, and the letters, and held her back tightly.
"I'm glad to be back. But… Don't choke me!"
She stepped back hesitantly – she didn't really want to let go.
"I was beginning to worry about you! I was starting to think that there could have been something wrong with the train or something."
She fussed over the letters on the floor and picked them up, flipping them until she found the one her grandmother had been expecting.
So old Colonel Jameson needed Pinako to go over for maintenance tomorrow after all… Knowing the old lady, she'd take her time in Arandash to go to one of her favorite automail-parts shop. She would probably ask Winry to go along with her.
But how did Pinako know the old army man would be needing a revision by now?
"You worry too much, Winry-san!" he teased, pulling her tongue at her as he grabbed his luggage and stepped in, closing the door behind him. "It's good to be back! Hi Granny."
"Just in time, kiddo. Welcome home! Have a seat and let's eat."
"It smells great, you two. And I'm starving!"
They sat down at the dinner table, conversation taking them well beyond half past eleven. Pinako complained at how late it was and how early she needed to get up tomorrow morning, so they cleaned up the kitchen and each proceeded to their rooms, bidding good night to each other.
Both Winry and Ed lay awake in their respective beds for a long time, thinking of tomorrow.
Edward woke up late. He was groggy, tired from the long trip. It was almost noon, and he needed a shower badly.
So he crawled into the bathroom, pulling a large fluffy towel from the wardrobe on his way there, and jumped into the warm shower – when he left, he was all freshened up.
Then he realized he was very, very hungry.
With the same towel he dried his hair a bit, springing his antenna up to finish it off. Towel wrapped around his waist, he opened the bathroom door so he could get dressed and head downstairs to fill his stomach up with some bread, jello and tea.
At that moment, Winry was rushing through the hallway carrying of bundle of her clothes in her hand, because she hadn't been able to find a damn basket to throw them into. She needed to take those over to the washing tank.
After her grandmother expressly told her she didn't need Winry to go with her to Arandash, she'd spent the whole morning in a cleaning frenzy. Mostly to keep her mind busy and off the sleeping boy in the room next to hers.
And just as Fate would have it – and we all know Fate works in funny ways – in the exact moment Ed opened the door Winry slammed against it, hitting the wooden floor with a large thud.
Her clothes scattered all over the place, as if they had a mind of their own and were trying to escape the washing tank.
"I'm sorry! So sorry! I'll help you up!" Ed nervously apologized and bent down to grab Winry's right hand. He pulled her on her feet and examined her for bruises.
"I'm fine, I'm fine… Ow."
She rubbed her pained bottom, for it had hit the ground very hard. Her left arm and shoulder were sort of hurt from the impact against the door, but otherwise she was okay.
"Guess we're both kinda clumsy! It wasn't your fault. I shouldn't have been running here anyways."
"I guess, but… I'm still sorry. Here, I'll help you with those." He rubbed her head with his hand, in a kind gesture.
"No, there's no need for that, thanks…"
She realized he only had a towel around his waist. She forgot about her aching bottom and arm and stared at him for a bit too long. She couldn't help it anyways.
He was still dripping wet from the moisture. His skin, darker than hers, revealed the scar around and below his right shoulder. She hadn't had a chance to see his torso after he and Alphonse returned from the Promised Day; but it seemed different. His right arm, which at the time she noticed was quite skinnier than the left, was now just about as… juicy, as the other one.
There were changes in Edward. He was definitely becoming an adult.
For one, his shoulders were much broader than she could even remember. He now towered practically a full head head over her – no bean-boy there anymore. He would need another readjustment on his automail leg, alright.
His torso was longer, yet still firm and muscular. His chest only had a hair or two upon it, but she noticed what could be the shadow of a beard round his jaw line.
His hands were bigger. She felt the urge of seeing how one of her hands would fit inside one of his.
Of course Ed felt a little uneasy. He felt weird. And maybe because he wasn't quite fully awake yet, he blurted out:
"Winry. You're not, you know, checking me out or anything. Are you?"
Well, needless to say that statement was really awkward for both of them. He mentally kicked himself for saying that.
"Wha- what are you talking about? Of course I'm not! God, you're so cheeky sometimes."
He made a face and apologized again. "Hahaha! I was just messing with you. Umm, here, lemme help out."
She tried, but she couldn't stop him from grabbing a couple of her shirts, a pair of trousers, a sweatshirt – and her underwear.
Wrapped in one of her shirts was one of her panties. Small, black, cotton. Lace at the front. He tried dropping everything on the floor again, which only resulted in said clothing article getting caught right on the towel around his waist.
He awkwardly brushed it off and, apologizing once again, turned around and quickly hid inside his room.
That had to have been one of the most embarrassing moments, ever.
Breakfast – should they really call it that? It was already past noon anyways – Winry had left him the tea kettle with his favorite tea bag inside, plus an empty cup, sugar, toasts, eggs, jam.
And half a cup of milk.
"Haha. Funny," he huffed, referring to the last item.
"That was mine, if you must know."
Ed filled his own empty cup with tea and added in three small spoons of sugar. While stirring, he said casually, "Funny how I turned out tall, when I don't even drink any milk at all. And you do, yet you're still short. Isn't the world funny?"
In response, a piece of toast hit him right above his right eyebrow. Winry glared over at him, pretending to be offended.
"Ha! See? It's not good to be in the receiving end of the jokes, is it? Or should I call it… the short end?"
Yet another piece of flying toast, but this time he skillfully dodged it. One more thing to tease her about.
"What's wrong Winry? Ran out of wrenches to hit me with? Come on, isn't there even one little bolt around here you can throw?"
He smiled one of his cocky smiles at her and placed his hands on his hips as if saying, ' I'm invincible! '.
"That's it, you cocky little…!" She stood up and got ready to chase him to the end of the world, such the need for revenge.
"Heee! 'Little'? I don't think so, short stuff!"
Still smiling like a dummy, and laughing like one as well, he bolted off into the living room with Winry hot on his tail.
"I'll get you!" she yelled as she chased him around the sofa, the living room table, the staircase.
"You can't catch me!" he teased.
"Just wait and you'll see!"
"I'm lightning fast, baby! Whoo!"
He opened the living room door before she could skip from behind the table and grab him. He took one step into the porch and then jumped over the staircase, running off into the grassy exterior that surrounded the house; once he reached the low stone wall surrounding the Rockbell residence he sat on it triumphantly.
"You're such an idiot! Are you nuts?" she half-yelled, half-laughd as she ran step by step down the front staircase of her house.
"I can't hear you from far out here!"
She was already half the way through when he jumped out form the top of the wall and ran toward the back of the house. He felt energetic and spunky, happy that he was revisiting this familiar scenario.
The scenario he loved the most out of any other he's ever seen…
This quiet little village. He wanted the next generation to know it, love it, and grown in it. Surrounded by calm, peaceful neighbors and friendly travelers, a happy family of his own. To raise, love, teach – and never, ever, leave their side.
Well, they could travel with him if he needed to go places. He'd like nothing else than to travel around, like a nomad but with his own troupe behind him and a home to return to.
But before there ever was a home… There needed to be a house. He slowed down his pace…
"Wait, Ed! I'm running out of breath already. Stop!" Winry commanded.
She just didn't expect he'd comply.
He stood to a halt and turned around so she didn't have time to stop before bumping into him. She fell right into his arms. He embraced her as tightly as he had at the train station, months before.
"Ah… wait…" She gasped and tried to wriggle out of his grasp, "I still need to punch you over the head!"
"Right. As if your little arm could reach this high!"
"Don't tempt me; I can reach whichever places I want!" and to prove it, she stood on her toes and gently hit the top of his head with her fist.
They continued laughing for quite a while, swaying back and forth with their arms gingerly placed around each other.
He untangled himself from her and held her hands. She was right – his hands were a lot bigger than before. She noticed he was making a serious face and frowned.
"What's wrong, Ed?"
He looked around. He breathed in heavily and locked the precious air inside his lungs for a while before releasing it. This was, definitely, his favorite place in the world. Beautiful landscape, pure air, safe and quiet. He just needed a library…
He stared into her blue eyes one more time just to make sure he was doing the right thing. He held her hands a little tighter within his own.
"Hey. Are you still set on our promise?" he asked. His voice was serious, set, determined. Strong.
She hesitated, caught unaware. She thought about it and forgot how to breathe for a few moments; when he tilted his head sideways, waiting for her to reply, her lungs started working again.
"Yes," she breathed out nervously, "Eighty-five percent, was it?"
He chuckled. "Let's make it at least ninety-five percent then, if you don't mind."
"Oh! Well, I… I don't know… I guess I don't mind, uh…"
"Winry. Is that a yes?"
"Hm," she hesitated again for a split second, unsure of what he meant. But she knew what she felt for sure. One hundred percent sure. "That's a yes."
They smiled at each other again.
Edward felt a little dizzy, but he had made up his mind. He was afraid his heart or his chest would collapse at this time, so he took one more deep breath, slowly, before he spoke again.
"Okay," he said, "Let's just do this once more. Properly, this time."
It was all appropriate. She was wearing the cutest white dress, backless. Her loose hair hung over her shoulders, still messy from the run. So he released her hands and gently brushed her head with his hands, holding on to a single lock of hair for a moment before letting it hang loosely.
Sunny and warm outside, little clouds in the sky as witnesses – and Den, sitting next to the water barrel just behind them.
It was now or never.
So he reached for the content of his left pocket with his left hand. At the sight of Edward pulling out the small, red velvet box Winry almost felt like she was fainting.
He kneeled on his left leg, the automail leg she made for him. The reason he's been able to stand up for so many years now.
With his right hand he pulled the little lid open, revealing the thin, embroidered gold ring that hid inside it. Also with his right hand, he gently took the engagement ring out of the box – which he then set on the floor.
He took her left hand within his own.
"Winry… Will you… Ummm," another deep breath, concentrate. "Take whichever percentage of my life to keep as yours, giving me in exchange the same percentage of your own?"
She couldn't see him very well anymore, because of the all those tears welling up in her eyes. With the last of her breath she mustered, determined:
"Yes. It's a promise!"
He smiled again, softly still. Happy. Relieved. Thrilled.
"A promise for the rest of our lives, then…"
The ring slid into her finger perfectly.
She couldn't remember ever smiling and laughing so much in one day.
Pinako congratulated them when she arrived home later that afternoon. Turns out she already knew Ed was proposing.
"You know, he's a real gentleman. He called me a couple of weeks ago asking for my permission. Took a lot of nerve from him! But I'm damn glad he did."
Winry was perplexed, of course. She hadn't expected that. That really was the deed of a gentleman.
He rubbed the back of his head, embarrassed. "Well, you know. I just had to ask. I didn't want to do this without your consent, Granny."
They called Alphonse – who, of course, already knew about the proposal but still pretended to be pretty surprised. He promised he would be there to help with the arrangements, when they needed him to. He congratulated them and wished he were there for a big hug, but sadly the Xing desert is really hard to cross...
"I'm so happy though!" he kept saying over and over again.
Winry could swear she could somehow hear the tears of joy running down Alphonse's cheeks. She even heard Mei squeal and congratulate them.
By the end of the next day, no one knows how exactly, every neighbor was coming over to congratulate them on the betrothal.
"Winry, you're so lucky!" said one of their childhood friends, Melinda. "Edward really has grown into a handsome young man. He's so tall now!"
Remarks on Ed's height and how pretty the ring was were a constant, especially from the friends whom they'd attended school with.
"Have you set a date yet?" Another girl, Amanda, asked.
"Oh, what about the ceremony? Will you have it here at our church? My great-uncle would love to be your priest!" Samuel was a couple of years older and great-nephew of the main priest in Risembool, probably the future priest himself. He was really happy for his friends.
"Is Alphonse going to be the best man?" someone else asked.
"Wait up, you guys!" Winry pleaded, desperate under the gaze of so many curious sets of eyes. "We don't have a date or anything! It's just…"
"I just wanted to make a promise official, that's all. Nothing defined just yet, so quit being so curious!"
Edward was glad that everyone was happy for them, but he just didn't want all that fuss around him.
"We should throw an engagement party!" One of Pinako's friends and the town's main butcher, Mr. Hicks, spoke out a little louder than he could have. Intentionally.
Everyone cheered and agreed.
"We have a wedding on the way, and between these two of all people! The whole village should celebrate with a fire, barbecue and the finest of wines, of course!" said Mrs. Hicks.
The three – Pinako, Edward and Winry – all sighed with relief as soon as everyone was thrown out of the house by the Rockbell elder.
"You know kids, the town really is happy. Besides, it'll give them a reason to throw on a party and have a blast, as usual. But they sure can be annoying!"
It was late, almost midnight, when everyone left. The place was a mess – tomorrow they would have a huge headache cleaning things up. They couldn't even image the party that the villagers were thinking about throwing at the town square, two days from now – Saturday.
Winry slipped into her bed and tried to get ready for some sleep, but she couldn't. Everything inside her head was spinning too fast for her liking.
After about an hour and a half – still no sleep – the door to her room gently creaked open. The intruder shut the door silently behind him and tiptoed as quietly as he could to the side of her bed. Luckily, his slippers muffled the sound of his automail.
"Ed!" Winry hissed, "What are you doing here?" she turned on the lamp that stood on her nightstand. He was dressed in his shorts only, which didn't seem like a very good idea to her.
Did he come here shirtless on purpose? Was he nuts?
"I couldn't sleep. Can I sit here?" He asked but sat on her bed anyways, without waiting for her reply.
"I couldn't sleep either…"
"These past two days have been kinda long, right?"
"You know everyone always gets excited over this kind of stuff."
"I mean, they're throwing a party and we don't even have a scheduled date. Or even a year!"
"And I was planning on staying here for a week, but I guess I'll have to stick around for longer."
"Well, that's good. You'd better."
After almost a minute of silence, he had to ask: "And who the hell spread the word around anyways?"
"Umm. That could have been Rosie this morning. I was picking some flowers near the trail and she walked by, came to say hello and ask me for a glass of water… And she must have seen my ring." Winry was now looking tenderly at her left ring finger, turning the ring around with her thumb. It was her prized possession, and she couldn't fit the happiness for it inside her chest.
"You should have seen the look on her face! Her eyes were so wide! And she took forever to grab the glass of water. But she didn't say a word at first. She must have told her sisters… Magdalena is 21 and she's never even had a boyfriend, not one. And Roberta is only 13 but she's such a nosy kid!..."
Silence. Ed didn't quite know what to say. He noticed the way she looked at the ring he gave her: proudly. She was genuinely happy.
"Hahaha," he tried not to laugh too loud, "I bet every girl here is dying of jealousy!"
"Hm?" she tore her eyes from her precious promise ring and glared at him. "And exactly what is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, you know… I'm a tall and, let's face it, really handsome guy. Plus I'm smart and I've got some cash – and did I mention I'm tall? Yup."
She giggled and punched him in the arm.
"Stop talking gibberish, you dummy!"
He stuck his tongue out to her. "Wel, I am all that," he mumbled.
"You know, I've been thinking. I'm not as old as Magdalena, but I've never had a boyfriend just like her, too. I guess I've been waiting for you all along. For a day like that one at the station."
"Hm? Uh. Well, me too. You know, but a girl. I mean, never had a girlfriend before. I mean. Uhhh… What's this all about anyways?"
She fidgeted with her ring nervously, embarrassed at her own thoughts. But she needed to say it.
"You know. We're not… We've never really been a boyfriend and girlfriend, have we?"
Why did she have to blush so hard? And why does he have to chucke so irresistibly?
"I have no idea. But we're kinda more than that now. We're …" he was oddly afraid of the word 'engaged' and also 'betrothed' didn't seem quite right, so he avoided those. "Commited. To each other. We made a promise for life. That's a greater bond, right?"
"We've never even kissed…" she thought bitterly.
"Yeah, I guess. I guess it is, right?" She half-smiled, not entirely sure of herself.
"Yeah, it is Winry. But you know what? You're right. We are missing out on something," he breathed in and out slowly, set on the task that had brought him to her room tonight in the first place.
He gingerly placed his hand on hers; and she shyly entwined her fingers with his.
"Let's seal this bond further."
He readjusted his position on top of her bed. Slowly, he moved towards her until they were sitting side-by-side. He faced her and leaned closer until their noses touched. She had no idea why, but she tried to back away – of course she couldn't because her back was already pressed against her bed frame.
He didn't keep his eyes off hers until their lips touched. A slight brush at first, and then they both closed their eyes. The sense of sight reduced to nothing, only the touch and sound were present, heightened.
The sound of their breathing and of their hearts pounding in their ears. A slightly longer kiss, lips moving unsure of what to do.
A pause for breath. Eyes still closed, one more kiss. Longer, not quite as shy as the previous ones – and long enough to taste each other.
Their first kiss.
First of many to come, hopefully.
After a few minutes, they had to stop. Somehow they had pressed a little too much against one another and found themselves tumbling over her bed, arms entangled.
He took his lips away from hers and kissed her jaw; he continued down to her neck and then her collarbone. She shivered all over, despite the fact that he was very warm and he was lying right on top of her.
She felt something press lightly against her thigh. It could only be one thing – she gasped.
Edward snapped out of it, realizing maybe they'd gone too far. He rolled over so he would lay there next to her, to catch his breath. He grabbed some of the sheets and tried to cover his – uhhh – overjoyness-indicator.
"… That was... intense." She breathed out.
"Oh. Look, I… I'm sorry. I couldn't help this, it's just that it's like it, uh, has a mind of its own and –"
"What? Oh," she covered her face with her hands, embarrassed. It was somehow weirder to have him talk about it than it was to have felt it. "Just, just… never mind that. It's okay. I, uh, I understand."
He waited perfectly still for a few more moments, speechless, right next to her. He needed to calm down.
"I, uh, should go back to my room. Good night, Winry."
He sat up and got ready to get out of the bed and leave, but then she caught his hand. He sat back down again, his boxer shorts still unable to disguise his body's natural reaction.
"Wait. Just… Do that again. Kiss me again."
END OF CHAPTER 1
(1) Arandash. Just the name of some random little town nearby. I made it up and that's why it sucks. xD
I know this was kind of rushed and all. It's still open for improvements. This was supposed to be a one-shot, but I'm not entirely sure if I'll make a short sequel of the wedding day and night or something like that. (oh, and DO NOT mind eventual typos. I get them a lot)
The thing that suprised me was how it was actually Edward who had the guts to "pour" his heart out and ask what he asked to Winry like that. I never would have thought!
So I figured, "Hey, I bet he'll go back in a few months to make things official. Why not?"
So here goes. How things evolve from the train station until they are married and have the kids is within our own imagination. Maybe I'll share mine with everyone out here. :)
Review, let me hear your thoughts! Vote if you want to see a sequel - party, preparations, wedding, wedding night, BABIES. Who knows? :D
-goes back to glooming about the fact that FMA is finally over-