A/N: Okey-doke, so here we have another "missed moment"- it starts with Ed and Al making their way back to Resembool, and ends... a little differently :P. I like to think that it DID end this way, and we just didn't see it. I like to make these things as believable as possible, and although it might seem OOC, I think they'd act like this if they were real! Much as I love FMA for soooo many reasons... people don't always interact as they just WOULD. For example, the boys never get enough hugs.
Who here has watched the series and NOT wanted to hug Al soooo many times? I know he can't feel it, but the thought is there! Anyway, enjoy.
Disclaimer: Don't own FMA. If I did.. it would have had this scene. :P
Edward and Alphonse wasted no time getting off the train at Resembool station and making their way up the winding roads towards the Rockbell house. It was a journey they'd taken many times before, but it felt different this time, perhaps because, for the first time since they'd left, they were coming back for real. Not just for a visit, not just for repairs but just to be going...
Al stopped for a second and sat down on a pile of logs. Ed leant beside him.
"You all right?" For the past few years, Ed had rarely had to worry about his little brother. He was stronger than him, much less breakable. Now, he was the one lagging behind while Ed ran ahead. Mind you, Ed thought, he should probably enjoy privilege while he could. Once Al got back to full strength, they'd be no stopping him.
"I'm exhausted," sighed Alphonse, "I had no idea my muscles would be so atrophied."
Ed grinned. "Want a piggy-back ride?" It had been a long, long time since he'd been able to offer his brother that. It felt good.
"No, I'm fine." Alphonse smiled. It had been a while now since he'd gotten his body back, but he still loved being able to do something as simple as smiling. He could tell by the look on Ed's face that he loved it too. "I want to walk home on my own two legs. I'll take my time. You can go on ahead."
Ed, still grinning, shook his head. "No." he said, looking out at the hill where the house was just about visible. "We left together. So we'll go home together."
Alphonse climbed to his feet and starting hobbling along again. He didn't mind how difficult it was, each step, each struggle, was just a reminder of how brilliant it was to feel again.
"I wonder what Winry will do when she sees us."
Al stopped in his tracks. "You're way too optimistic, brother!"
Ed scratched the back of his neck and turned slightly red. "I guess so, huh? Don't even know why I said that! I mean, I don't think of her that way! I mean, she's a friend, that's what we've always been! I don't know really want her to do that..."
"Do you not?" said Al slyly, and grinned secretly.
"Quiet Al!" Ed made a move to punch him in the shoulder, but Alphonse dodged just in time, falling back on his stick and toppling over. "Oh, God, Al! I'm sorry! Are you all right?"
Alphonse waved away Ed's help and pulled himself up, shaking the dirt off his clothes, still grinning. "If you don't stop asking me if I'm all right every five seconds, I'm telling Winry about all those letters you used to write for her and never send."
"You wouldn't dare."
Ed narrowed his eyes and then burst into a smile, and the two of them continued up the road together, the house rushing up to meet them. They felt their hearts swell with each step, growing warmer the closer they got. A childish glee spread through them, and Ed found himself surpressing his desire to run, for Al's sake, straight up the hill and through the door.
He couldn't stop thinking about the look on Winry's face, what she would say first, what she would do. He wondered what he would do, in return. He hoped she would speak first, he wasn't sure he would be able to say anything at all.
At last, they'd reached the garden gate. Den sat snoozing by the steps to porch, his head resting on his paws. He looked up as he heard them approaching, a startled look in his eyes.
"Den!" Alphonse exclaimed excitedly. "Den, it's me!"
For a second, the old dog stared at him in complete surprise, everyone of his hairs standing on end. Then, just when the brothers were sure he was going to run away, he rushed towards Alphonse as fast as his legs would carry him and started barking delightedly, only breaking off to try to lick his face.
"Hey! Careful, careful!" laughed Alphonse, balancing on his crutch.
Neither of them noticed the door clicking open and Winry stepping out onto the back porch. She stood there, stunned, unable to move, as she stared at the two of them in utmost disbelief before finally letting out a strangled gasp when she finally believed what she was seeing.
Eventually, the two of them looked up.
Suddenly, there was only one thing Ed needed to say.
"Hey Winry," he smiled, waving at her. "We're home."
She stared at them a moment longer, taking in Ed's hand of flesh and bone, before an angry sigh passed her lips. "Ooh! How many times have I told you to call before you come home! How... many..."
The pretence of anger over, tears began to rise in Winry's eyes. She began to run, falling down the steps two at a time with her arms outstretched. The boys opened their arms to embrace her as she crashed into them. Six arms wrapped together as three bodies tumbled to the ground. None of them could sit still. Den barked happily and licked everybody, while Winry took each of the boys in her arms again and hugged them so hard they thought their ribs would break. Tears were streaming down her laughing face as she released Ed and gathered up Alphonse, hugging and kissing him like an over-exuberant elder sister. She kept muttering things under her breath which didn't make much sense and that they could only gleam a few words from.
"How did – never mind- look! Oh! You guys -Al!- ooh!"
Alphonse smiled and realised he was crying too, tears running from his eyes for the first time in five years. "Hey, Winry!"
"Oh, Alphonse!" She promptly starting crushing him again.
It took a little while, but Ed slowly grew a little bit jealous of the attention his little brother was getting. It was understandable that Winry was being a little more attentive to him given the circumstances, but all the same, she hadn't showered him with kisses...
"And you!" Winry released Al and spun around to face him, hitting him squarely in the shoulder where his automail had been.
Oh... I see how things are. Al gets kisses. I get punched. Figures.
"You could have called!"
Then something happened that neither Ed or Al (or even Winry) had been expecting. Winry took her spare hand (the one that wasn't beating Ed's shoulder), took hold of the back of his jacket, wrenched him towards her and crushed their lips together in a movement so violent and swift that if it caught everyone by surprise. No one looked more stunned than Winry when she shied away, blushing furiously and looking decidedly embarrassed.
Ed looked up at her, eyes wide in shock, trying desperately to catch her gaze. "Winry..."
"Um... I... er... I'm going to make apple pie!" Winry got up and turned back towards the house. Edward stared after her for a split second, her name still on his lips. Al looked confoundedly from one to the other, not sure where to look, or what to say.
"Er... brother? Winry?"
Ed reached out and caught Winry's wrist before she'd had a chance to move away and wordlessly pulled her back to the ground before she had a chance to protest. His left arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her into him, while his right hand went to her cheek. Al looked on in shock as their heads came together and they promptly began kissing like seasoned pros.
"Wow... well... um..." Al looked to Den, turning his gaze away from the spectacle. "It's not exactly like I didn't see that coming... but all the same... I really didn't see that coming."
Shortly after this, the front door swung open again and Pinako appeared on the porch.
"What's going on out here? Oh," she suddenly caught sight of Ed and her granddaughter entangled on the ground, then her view widened to include Al. "And who- oh. Ooh! Oh!"
Suddenly, it was Pinako running down the steps to embrace her returned family, crushing down on her knees and embracing Al like a long-lost son.
Edward and Winry took this moment to part, and the four of them, plus Den, all enveloped each other in one massive hug and cried.
Ed and Al looked at each other across the rest of their family, thinking the same unspoken word together.
Home. We're finally home.
A/N: Did you enjoy? Please review! PS, I'm going to change this story to "complete". This doesn't mean I won't be adding to it, it's just because the stories are all complete in themselves. Ah, OK, it's an attempt to get more reviews. But they are still complete in their selves!