by. Poisoned Scarlet
Summary: Winry Rockbell becomes a war hostage as the war between Amestris and Drachma reaches its climax. Used as bait to lure out the supposed 'dead' Full Metal Alchemist, she has no choice but to obey their commands – even if the very soldier in charge of her captivity is none other than Edward Elric.
Rating: T+, for heavy language, graphic nature, mild sexual implications, etc.
Pairing(s): Ed/Winry. Roy/Riza; assorted others.
Author's Note: I will briefly state that this is definitely set a few years ahead, two years to be accurate. Everything has settled down: Alphonse has his body back, Ed still has his automail leg. However, they have not gone to the east and west respectively. They stayed in Resembool but moved to Central eventually along with Winry. Once you read the story, it'll all make sense.
Edward can still use alchemy!
I wrote this story before the manga even ended, so his alchemy is essential if I want this to end the way I had planned it to.
Now then, I'll shut up and let you read and see if you deem this fiction alert-slash-review-able :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or any other media involved in this work of fiction. This is for my own entertainment!
Chapter 1: Complications
"I know it's short-notice but I seriously didn't know until now, okay?"
"Ed, what're you talking about?"
"It's not that I want to..." Edward told her, holding his breath when her face abruptly went blank at his words. "I know that I said that once we came back from all that Promised Day crap we'd settle down and go on with our lives but...well... Mustang ordered me back and he really needs us."
"Let me guess: you're leaving again," she stated flatly, chaining down the surge of anger she felt. She held her palm over her stomach, swallowing the fury that threatened to rise in her throat.
It was suddenly painful and it made her angry, this realization of hers. The sudden epiphany she was victim to as she looked into his intense gold eyes, which were downcast and troubled.
She always knew he wasn't really cut out for the domestic lifestyle...
"I promise I'll come back as soon as it's over," he stated firmly, stepping forward to envelop her in a tight hug. Winry gripped the back of his black jacket and dug her fingers into the material as her eyes stung with bittersweet tears.
"Yeah, I know you will, Ed," she whispered in reply, closing her eyes and inhaling the scent she would be kept from for the next year or so. Ed usually exaggerated when he said he would be back in half the time. Half a year roughly meant a year... or two, in his language. "You always keep your promises."
It was a weak statement but it was true.
Edward Elric always kept his promises.
"Just wait a little bit longer," he breathed into her hair, squeezing her tightly against his body. "Please. I have to do this – it's something I need to do whether Mustang asked me to or not."
Not need, want, she thought scornfully before she could stop herself. Winry felt the tears start to fall but she nodded into the crook of his neck. "It's alright. I understand... just... come back to me alive, okay?"
"Promise," he sighed out, sounding much happier now. Winry felt him start to pull away and, though she wanted desperately to keep him close to her, to keep breathing his unique scent, she reluctantly released him as well, giving him the most sincere smile she could muster as he thumbed her tears away with a warm smile.
The news had been so sudden Winry was sure she still hadn't digested the information well. She should have been in a fit of uncontrollable anger, raging and steaming, smacking him repeatedly atop the head with her wrench and cursing him into the deepest inferno she could imagine. She should have called him an idiot repeatedly and gotten into a spat with him, ending with both of them angry and frustrated.
But she didn't.
She swallowed down the anger.
She stomped down the hurt.
Instead, she gave him one last long kiss, one wry smile, watched him pack his bags and hurry out their bedroom to store them in the state-vehicle parked outside their small apartment complex.
"Be careful you two! And take care of your automail, Ed, or else you'll get it when you come back!" she shouted, crossing her arms protectively around her as she saw them wave back and watched the car disappear into the mid-evening traffic of Central.
Alphonse had been the one to really break it to her; Edward had only continued on from there.
Alphonse had given her a great big hug once they had exited from the bedroom she and Ed had only shared for less than half a year. Al had been the one to explained to her what Ed had failed to. But Winry didn't necessarily hold it against him – after all, these were military-executed assignments and therefore to be kept strictly confidential.
Actually, she'd be lying if she said she didn't hold it against him. She did hold it against him. Because even though she wasn't married to Ed, he could at least explain to her what he was going to run out on her for!
While Ed had gone upstairs to retrieve some things he'd forgotten, Alphonse had rushed the details to her.
They were heading to Xing, where Ling Yao was still apparently battling for his shot at the thrown but had offered them lodging for the time being. They were to go to Xing to master their style of alchemy called Alkahestry. Once they had mastered the style, they were to head to Fort Briggs, a place Winry was much too familiar with, and prepare battle plans for the upcoming war Drachma was going to start.
Apparently, Amestris and Drachma had reached their limits; it was only a matter of time before one of the two attacked and Amestris was firm on not being the aggressor in the situation. They had made a contract, after all. It was a contract the Fuhrer was positive would hold out until the end, despite the animosity brewing the two countries, though Brigadier General Roy Mustang was quite sure that if they did not create some sort of plan, Amestris and it's civilians were going to suffer a horrifying wake up call.
A flimsy piece of paper was not going to keep thousands of Drachmian soldiers from invading Amestris during the next couple of years.
That was where Ed and Al fit into the Brigadier's systematic plan.
They were the most experienced alchemists out there; the best of the best. With their skills and quick thinking, the fact that they did not need materials like chalk to preform a transmutation, they were the best choice for the assignment. They were the soldiers that were to infiltrate Drachma headquarters and ferret out as much information as possible, as fast as possible, and leave the instant they had acquired enough and let the real soldiers handle the rest.
They were going to pose as Xingese men banished from their country for one offense or another and try to join the Drachma militia as soon as possible because they had a grudge against Amestris. It would be enough of an excuse, Al assured, though Winry was still a little skeptical about that...
Of course, everyone would recognize them with their gold eyes and hair trademark, so that was a small set back recently promoted Major Riza Hawkeye quickly solved. They were going to dye their hair a different color before they left. Alphonse was going to style his hair like Mustang during his younger days. Edward had to chop his hair off completely and probably grow a beard if push came to shove.
"He won't be happy," Winry had commented in amusement, shaking her head when she heard her boyfriend drop something upstairs and curse loudly afterward. "Ed has always been fond of long hair, you know. And he hates beards – it reminds him of, you know..." Hohenheim, she added mentally.
"Yes, but he has to," Al had sighed, cringing when his brother continued his string of obscenities. "So I guess he has no choice but to cut it all off. And grow a beard," he laughed brightly.
Winry crossed her arms protectively around her stomach: "I'm going to miss it."
She had tightened her grip around her stomach. Her eyes tentatively rose up the stairs, to the man who appeared at the top juggling two suitcases and glaring childish daggers at the worn suitcase in his right flesh hand.
"His hair. I always loved his hair."
She didn't think it would be this hard.
Sometimes she had the thought that maybe she should've told Edward or at least Alphonse before they left.
But she knew it'd only cause complications and she didn't want to be burden because of one night of passion. She also had faith they would come back to her alive but a little beat up – like always.
The sudden rise in her appetite had been alright. Her hormones had acted up a lot and she found that her patience had been reduced to a hairs breadth. She was moody, snapping at people and delving into depressions before she could blink but she had handled those quite well if she had any say.
Her second month had been normal; third she began to get sick and by the middle of it she was throwing up everything and longing to be held by Ed.
By her fourth month, she had gotten used to the morning sickness. It bummed her out that her usual favourite plates made her nauseous but she figured that if she was breathing life into the child of Edward Elric, it was worth the sacrifice.
By her sixth month, she was already starting to show. This was bad, since she had wanted to keep the pregnancy private. It was a blessing that she had moved back to her grandmother's house in Resembool shortly after Ed's departure and that she had never been one to go out much, anyways.
It was also a blessing that she had started showing in the sixth month and not the months prior. But it was like someone had blown air into her: she went from thin to huge before she could screw in a bolt.
Pinako had found out much earlier than that, however, when she had literally fainted from exertion one busy day in the clinic during her fourth month. Her grandmother had not been happy but she had come to accept her... condition, they had codenamed none-too-subtly.
Pinako did cheekily comment that if she had not gotten pregnant then she would have to go smack Ed around and yell at his stupidity.
She'd obviously anticipated this ever since Winry had announced she and Ed were moving to Central – together.
It during the end of her eighth month, however, that disaster struck.
Winry had worn an old shirt of Ed's that day, meaning it covered most of her stomach and made her seem thinner than she actually looked. It was good thing – she couldn't stand to see the disapproving look in her neighbors eyes every time they caught sight of her bulging stomach. So what if she had gotten pregnant at twenty? It was Ed's child so it meant nothing to her what other people thought. She was actually very excited for the coming of her first child.
She had been diligently working on a pair of automail hands when the knock had been struck.
"Miss Winry Rockbell?" the two soldiers had stoically asked, looking at her with a chilling glance that made her uncomfortable.
"Yes, that's me. How may I help you?" She opened the door some more, allowing them to step inside. She quickly excused herself to make some tea and brought back two steaming cups as the two men settled on the sofa.
The first soldier took a sip before continuing: "We are here on official orders of Brigadier General Mustang to alert you of some grim news our intelligence has recently acquired."
"Grim news...?" she repeated worriedly, not liking where this was going already.
"Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric were proclaimed Missing In Action roughly two weeks ago," the second soldier took over. "We received information just this morning stating that perhaps... they might not have survived the explosion."
Explosion? The word that echoed through her mind. Explosion? They were in an explosion?
Her heart stopped as the words sunk in. She felt chill sweep through her body, clutch her heart and tighten like a vice. The word refused to quiet in the plains of her mind; thousands of gruesome scenarios exploding in her head with the frightening word. Her hands gripped her stomach, which was hurting so much now, as the two military elites stood, alarmed by the sudden pale her skin had taken.
"Miss Rockbell? Ma'am, are you—!"
"Explosion?" Winry repeated, anxiety pitching her voice. "What explosion? What do you mean? What the hell are you talking about! Where's Ed? Where is he?"
The first soldier pipped up again. "We were informed that Major Elric was involved in a brawl some twenty miles from where he was designated to stay. He was ordered to stay within Drachma premises but it seems he did not heed his orders..."
"So he was caught in a heist situation and there was an explosion," the second solider continued. "The details are blurry, but that is all we need to know that something went wrong. His brother may have followed Major Elric during all this since we have not received any letters regarding him since and sources say he has not been spotted within the Military HQ of Drachma, where they had been ordered to stay."
"No," Winry whispered, holding her stomach. It was then that she soldiers took notice of her swelled abdomen and widened their eyes. "It can't be – no! Are you telling me that Ed and Al... Ed and Al might be...?"
"Deceased, ma'am." The first soldier completed, somewhat shakily, still staring at her stomach.
It wasn't suppose to end like this, they weren't suppose to die!
Winry had never thought of the concept of death when it regarded the Elric brothers. Sadly enough, she tried to never think that they might just never come back one day. She ignored these thoughts, letting them fester within her, and only gripped onto the small flower of hope within her.
"Waiting is scary," she told her grandmother one long day years ago. She had been sixteen then, still learning automail engineering with her grandmother and some other mechanics that traveled the globe. She was still an amateur although she did pride herself in creating the best automail limbs Resembool, and perhaps even Dublith, had ever seen along with Pinako.
Her grandmother closed her eyes and silently agreed.
"They might... never come back," she told her, tucking in her knees to her chest. "They might never come back like mom and dad did..."
"Don't say that, Winry. Never give up hope. Those boys know better than anyone not to die while you're waiting here for them. I bet they're just fine."
"You really think so?"
"Yes, I do."
It had started as minor aches in her stomach, as the soldiers pulled out some paper work indicating that Major Edward Elric had written her name down in his will if anything were to happen to him. They were explaining things to her: their mouths were moving but no words registered in her mind.
She wouldn't let them.
This was all too final, too sudden.
She did not want to believe it, as she fearfully watched the men ask for her to sign so she could get a monthly pension to help her with the child she was carrying. They held out a pen to her and to her, the pen symbolized defeat; it indicated giving into the grief that was slowly beginning to consume her.
"I'm not married to him," she whispered tremulously.
"It's alright – he specifically asked for all of his funds to go to you," the first soldier asserted, waving the pen in front of her. "All we need is for you to sign your name right here as proof that you have received this information."
No... they're not dead.
"They're not dead," she hissed with conviction and the moment seemed to be the turning point for the worse. That was when the pains intensified and prolonged. That was when her chest hurt so badly and her eyes stung so fiercely she had trouble focusing on the two soldiers sitting across from her.
"Ow!" Winry flinched, clutching her stomach. It was hurting so much now. It felt so heavy and the stabbing pains were not making it any better. Her back ached and her legs felt like jelly beneath her as she stood and tried to pace around the room, kneading a palm into her abdomen to stop the violent muscle spasms. "Ow—oh no..." She felt something warm, sickly warm, trail down her leg and she dropped to her knee's since she could not longer support her weight with all the stabs that attacked her lower body.
Tears brimmed her heavy eyes. "My water broke! My water broke! Oh, no, I—OW!"
"Are you sure?" The first soldier asked, dropping to one knee as she clutched her stomach.
"Well, either I pissed myself," Winry grimaced, "or my water broke. And I haven't urinated on myself since I was six years old!"
"Shit," the second soldier cursed, wringing his hands. They looked at each other, in terror almost, and asked in unison: "Should we take her to Central?"
"No!" Winry yelled, wincing when another paralyzing spasm hit her stomach. "Not Central. Anywhere but Central!" She gasped, pointing at the phone. "I need... my grandmother... she's the doctor who's going to deliver my baby! Hurry! HURRY DAMN IT!" she shrieked when they simply stared blankly.
The two men carefully carried her to the phone, where Winry weakly dialed in a number and waited for her grandmother to pick up. The pains grew worse and sweat began to build at the base of her neck. The room felt sweltering and the sharp stabs were starting to tell her that true agony was soon to begin.
She wished Ed was there to help her and the weight in her heart worsened.
"Grandma, it's time!"
Brigadier General Roy Mustang had been in his new office when they had barged in unannounced.
Major Riza Hawkeye had been on the other side of the room, furiously scribbling something that was probably boring and dull. Piles of paperwork, one over the other, sat on his desk, as the Brigadier fixed his hands under his chin and watched his partner complete some of his own work.
It was a shame, to let a woman complete his work, but Roy didn't mind. She usually just grabbed stacks of his paperwork and occupied herself with it. He didn't mind one bit – the less paperwork, the better, he said. And it seemed that the higher the rank, the more paperwork he received.
Roy leaned back in his chair and flicked a crumpled ball of paper off his desk, watching it hit the floor and bounce away.
This day was beginning to seem like another boring—
"Brigadier General,sir!" a soldier shouted breathlessly, slamming the door open and saluting hastily. Soon another soldier came barreling in, slamming into the first soldier and sending them both spiraling to the ground in a heap of limbs.
Roy quickly stood, recognizing the familiar look of chilling panic on his soldiers faces'.
Something had happened.
"What's wrong? Speak, solider!"
"It's miss Winry Rockbell," the first soldier wheezed, dusting himself as he stood at attention.
"What about miss Rockbell?" Riza had long since abandoned her paperwork to see what all the ruckus was about. "Private?"
"It's miss Rockbell! She's—!"
"In labor!" the two privates yelled in unison.
There was a thick silence that followed.
Roy was speechless, staring at his two subordinates. "Pardon?"
"Miss Winry Rockbell—!"
"PREGNANT!" They both finished together again, panting. The first private took out the paper that was to be signed by her and returned it to Roy, pointing at the dotted line. "We could not get it signed, sir, because she had gone into labor when we... broke the news... to her?" His voice had become unsure at the sudden fury in Riza's eyes.
"Yet you revealed information that could have gotten her this agitated!" Riza set her lips in a thin line. "You were suppose to refrain from blurting out this information if you were positive she was in this condition!"
"But, sir, I mean, ma'am—!"
"Out of my sight," Roy commanded with a weary sigh, rubbing his temples as he felt a headache begin.
Things had gone from dull to interesting faster than he would have liked.
"Yes, sir!" they saluted and quickly exited, looking even paler than before as the door shut behind them.
"Roy," Riza began, dropping all formalities. "You know what this means, right?"
Roy was silent, staring at the spot where the two soldiers stood prior. He closed his eyes and took a deep, meaningful breath. "Yes, I do. How troublesome – and here I thought the shrimp was too much of a wussy to pull this off."
"I didn't think she was... with child," Riza said slowly, a little guiltily.
"But you had an idea, right?" Roy rose an amused brow at her. "Riza, were you holding out on me?"
"Sir," she started, looking as expressionless as usual. But Roy could see the anxiousness in her eyes. Riza could never hide her emotions from him, not when her eyes were as expressive as a child's. "I only assumed, sir. Edward has been in a relationship with her for nearly half a year. It was only an assumption... I honestly didn't anticipate this becoming a hazard to our plan," she told him frankly and sincerely.
Roy fell back in his chair and laced his fingers together in thought. "Well, we can't tell her now I guess. It'd cause too many complications to do so."
Riza looked surprised. "But—!"
"We can't," Roy closed his eyes. "The plan was to let her stay in grief for a few days, just enough to dissuade any Drachmian spies that should be lurking around the area before we relocated her quietly. If we were to inform her that Ed and Alphonse are not dead... it's too risky. We cannot afford it – Ed still has three more stages to execute before I could let him show his face again!"
"Yes, but, her child..." Riza looked torn. "She is going to have a baby, sir! Edward's child!"
"I know," he agreed, voice going dark. "Which makes it imperative to relocate her as soon as possible. Drachma is still clueless as to Ed and Alphonse's double-spy status. All they know is that they were caught in an explosion and their bodies have not been found. But they won't be in the dark for long. Our plan was to inform Winry of their MIA status, have her grief-stricken for a couple of days to make it look real, then reveal to her our true information and relocate her before the spies lingering in Resembool had enough time to execute her. As we both know, Drachmian spies have assignments to take out anyone who has come in contact with Full Metal... mainly Winry Rockbell." Roy stood up, looking out from his window.
Riza nodded. Alphonse had sent forth information just shy of twenty eight hours ago informing them of this grim news. The brothers snooped around pretty well and had found these missions ready to be delivered within hours notice.
Needless to say, Roy spent no time at all sending forth faulty information to Winry, as she was not very vital to their plan regardless of her title as Full Metal's girlfriend, and everyone else who wasn't involved in their conspiracy, about the brother's deaths-by-explosion.
Of course, this was a lie.
The 'explosion', truthfully, was a simple brawl between Ed and a random Drachmian soldier. But no one else knew that. Drachma thought that Ed and Alphonse died in an explosion they themselves had ignited when they caught news of the 'brothers' current location; it being near their territory. But, in reality, the brothers were nice and safe, cozy and warm, inside their facilities.
And the brothers in the explosion were fakes, doubles, and died on impact.
They were actually war-captured Drachmian spies, something Roy darkly thought would only infuriate them further when they found out, and make them act on this anger, which would be the start of the third stage of their plan.
As it should be.
But now, Winry was pregnant and in labor. News traveled fast and Roy had no doubt it would not be long before Drachma was informed of this and they'd want to capture her for the sole reason of taking her son.
The Full Metal Alchemists only child.
If Edward and Alphonse had been borne of a man proclaimed to be a Philosopher's Stone himself and had developed faster than normal children should, then a child from the one and only Full Metal Alchemist, who had crossed to forbidden lands more times than he could count, would be a child with special... abilities.
Or so Roy followed. He was pretty darn sure the kid would be normal in every way, shape, and form but he could not be certain. Edward had been through many feats and if his father had been a Philosopher's Stone, that made Edward and Alphonse a bit more special than most children, meaning that Ed's kid was probably special, too.
In a nutshell: Roy had about an hour to think of something good.
He played with the thought of just relocating her without telling her a thing as they had planned. It would work – all he had to do was make up some half-truthful monologue and have her kicked out of Resembool and into another place; one where she would be safe and sound for the time being...
"She was not vital to our plan. That was our first mistake – we should have paid more attention to her," Riza voiced her superiors thoughts, eyes downcast in concern. "Now we'll have to tweak our strategies."
"Drachma isn't stupid," Roy stated after a while. "They know Ed and Al are still alive, somewhere. If they were really dead, we'd have panicked more than this," he smiled grimly. "I suppose this plan partially backfired on me..."
"What should we do now, sir?"
"What I don't get is how we weren't notified of this earlier," Roy murmured, ignoring his comrades question. "Being pregnant is almost impossible to hide..."
"Do you think she knew?" Riza asked, quietly.
"No," Roy said finally after a few moments of deliberation. "I think she simply wanted this to be kept secret. For what reasons, I am not sure, but surely not because she knew of what was happening. If she knew, she wouldn't have reacted the way she did."
Riza conceded silently.
"First things first," Roy sighed out, grabbing his black coat and draping it over his shoulders. He beckoned Riza to follow him. "We cannot let anyone else know about this. Especially Full Metal."
"Hah?" Ed yawned as he rolled over on his side, scratching his exposed belly a few times before focusing his eyes on his younger brother, Al, who was sitting up in his bunk with a small lamp lit right next to him. He looked worried. "What is it, Al?"
"Do you think Winry's alright?"
This again. Edward was sure that when Alphonse had barged into their room, ash-faced and wide-eyed, something terrible had happened. And something terrible had, when Al had managed to rush the details to him and take him to the room where he had discovered the data. It seemed that Winry was a target for many Drachmian undercover spies: the reason being they wanted to lure Full Metal, aka him, out of hiding.
And Edward was pretty damn sure he would have revealed himself within a second of hearing this news if his brother hadn't discovered it beforehand.
Of course, they had sent forth a demand to have Winry relocated and Edward was sure that, even though the Brigadier General was a bastard, he wouldn't expose Winry in danger if he could help it.
He wholly trusted him on that, no matter how morally bankrupt he was.
"Of course, Al," Ed reassured. "Roy wouldn't just leave Winry out in the open like that – Hell, I bet she's already in East City! Or even Rush Valley, by now." She better be, Ed thought venomously. If she wasn't, there would be some hell to pay with the Brigadier General. And Ed had learned several new combat moves that would have the older man on his knee's and begging for forgiveness...
Al looked a little less worried now. "Yeah, I guess you're right. I bet she's heading to Rush Valley as we speak! She'd definitely love to live there – it's automail heaven, right, brother?"
"Right, so go to sleep, Al." Edward laid back down, facing the ceiling. "She's alright. Granny Pinako and Winry are alright so there's no need to worry about them. We have to focus on the next stage of the plan right now."
Alphonse looked rather apprehensive about this stage. He picked at his blanket for a moment. "R-right..."
"What was that?" Ed taunted, turning his head to the right and grinning a wicked grin. "Is that hesitation I hear, little brother? What, you scared?"
"No!" his brother shouted defensively.
"Right," Ed snickered, smugly. "You're scared! Scardy cat!"
"No, I'm not!"
"Yes, you are!"
"No, I'm not!"
"Yes, you are," Ed emphasized, grinning from ear to ear. "Ha! You're scared! I thought I'd never see the day when you'd be scared about a stupid little mission!"
"It's not stupid!" Alphonse shouted back fiercely. "You could really get hurt out there! You heard Brigadier General Mustang's warning 'there is a twenty percent chance you might not make it'! He was looking at you when he said it!" his voice dropped towards the end, eyes growing heavy with worry.
Ed's smile disappeared once he caught sight of his brother's somber expression. "Hey, Al?"
"I made a promise to Winry that I would come back," he revealed, intense golden eyes boring into the concrete ceiling above them once more. "And I'm not going to break it anytime soon. I will come back. We both will. Together. No matter what."
Alphonse nodded as he snuggled deeper into his blankets, bringing them up to his chin. It felt good to be able to feel the warmth of the fabric, the scratch of it. Yes, Winry would be okay. She would be safe and sound and waiting for them with wide open arms.
If his brother was sure of it, then there had to be some truth in it. He felt his eyes grow heavy and he stifled a yawn. A few minutes later he was asleep, the concern for his childhood friend pushed to the back of his mind for time being.
Edward stared resolutely at the water-stained, peeling, ceiling; his fingers gripping his flesh right arm underneath the blanket subconsciously. Alphonse had brought up the alchemists intense concern for the girl, which he had managed to ignore enough to sleep through the entire night.
Now it was back and pressing – urging him to take more action than just sending a stupid letter to Roy.
He needed to be there, with her, protecting her; not some second-rate soldier who would probably panic if a true emergency happened and abandon her without a second thought...
Ed growled to himself, glaring holes into the ceiling. So many devastating scenarios flashed through his head, so many dangerous situations, and so many ways to just... capture and hurt her...
"I will come back to you, Winry," he vowed, jaw set.
Edward didn't sleep well that night.