A/N: I'm right on the edge with you, these characters have a will of their own!

Brave

It sounded like the world itself had cracked wide open; its contents being pulled back to its fiery core. Winry breathed in through her nose and exhaled through her mouth. Even though things looked bleak she must remain calm, cool and collected. Grimacing in pain her chin sank to her chest as another contraction seized her body. Edward better be alive because she was going to kill him when all this was over.

Sara looked scared but steady as she held her mother's hand in hers. Winry knew she was asking a lot but it wasn't as if she had a lot of options at the moment. Going into labor during a tornado only proved that she was carrying her husband's children; his gene pool thrived in the midst of chaos.

Eddy slumped against the basement wall, beads of sweat pouring down his face. Winry knew how much that transmutation had drained her son and for once she was eternally grateful her husband had taught the children alchemy. "I don't think I can get us out of here." He gasped apologetically.

Winry clenched her teeth together but nodded her head. "You saved us sweetheart; we'll figure a way out."

Her son might have overdone it when he sealed them off from the storm, but they were alive. The basement now looked like a makeshift bomb shelter, but her husband would be proud. A pain in her chest that had nothing to do with being in labor made her want to cry. Edward, she needed him now more than ever.

Letting out a moan of pain Winry held on to her stomach. She needed to calm down, she needed to be the adult and by the scared expressions on her children's faces she needed to be the brave one.

"Eddy, I know you're tired but can you warm up that pitcher of water?"

He wiped his forehead but managed to get to his feet in an instant. Sara seemed to come to her senses then, as she pulled her long blonde hair back out of her face and grabbed some of the blankets from their pile of hastily gathered supplies.

Maybe it wasn't enough to be brave, there were so many lives hanging in balance and a part of her wondered if equivalent exchanged might haunt them. Winry cried out as the contractions started to come on quicker. After giving birth to three children she knew this one was coming on much faster than any of the others. It should have been a relief, but having her teenage son and daughter attempt to deliver twins was far from ideal.

Tears began to roll down her cheeks, she should have been more prepared, but who could have anticipated any of this? If she could just keep breathing calmly she might be able to slow down her labor long enough for help to come. Once again she was assuming that someone was out there and able to help them.

"Shh Mom, it's okay." Sara squeezed her hand briefly. "If you could deliver a baby during a storm then the two of us can do it too."

Winry didn't want to mention that she had read about delivery numerous times and that Sadilla had only given birth to one baby. Instead she tried to at least pretend to be brave again because she knew as scary as this was to her; it had to be terrifying for her children.

Winry closed her eyes as the pain made her dizzy; it was becoming much harder to act like everything was okay. Once her water broke she knew there was no going back. Eddy tried to make her comfortable and in his exhaustion she knew a lot of the responsibility would fall onto her little girl. Sara was just a little younger than she had been the first time she had helped a woman give birth. There was no time to feel scared anymore, no time to dwell on how risky it was to deliver a baby, yet alone twins. As a scream bubbled up in her throat Winry knew that time waited on no one.


"Come on boy, find brother and sister, find Mom!" Alan kept prompting the dog as they sifted through what was now a pile of junk.

Edward knew they needed help, but the closest people to them were still at least a mile away, and by the looks of it, everyone in Resembool would need help. Pulling out boards he felt the rubble shift and groan. "Stand back Alan!" He pointed away from the mass of broken and battered parts of their home.

"No."

The pieces he was standing on groaned again and Edward looked up when Alan protested, noticing just how grown up his youngest was. Without his roaring laughter or practical jokes Alan looked like a young man. Taking a deep breath he gave in. "Fine, you need to listen to me and follow in my footsteps. Understand?"

Alan nodded.

It was then that Edward saw it and the hope that he had pushed to the back of his mind surged again. There was no mistaking it, the signs of alchemy and the persuasion used on the materials were an obvious trademark. "Eddy! Sara! Winry!" he yelled loudly.

No one answered but that could easily have something to do with the armor like shield that was buried just under the surface. Pulling boards free and pushing away some residual effects, Edward and Alan both pounded on the surface.

Edward found himself relieved that it didn't actually budge; he imagined he would find his family safe and sound below. A part of him debated which of his kids had done this, was it Eddy who took more of a mechanical approach to alchemy or his daughter and her more scientific work. Regardless which one had done it, now they needed to undo it. With his palms flat against the surface he finally looked over at Alan.

The youngest Elric stared back as if he knew exactly what was coming. He had been studying with his father but that didn't mean he was ready to do something on this scale. Alan's transmutations had included fixing a few toys and gadgets around the house, not creating a safe opening for his family to escape. If his son did not handle the material wisely it could very well collapse endangering those below.

"Please. I have to try." Alan asked with such a strong conviction in his voice that even Edward had no doubt.


Sara held onto the newborn baby but her gaze was fixated on her mother. "Mom? Mom! You have to keep going!"

The tiny baby boy cried, his fists balled up as she handed him over to her brother in a panic. Eddy looked as if he might pass out but there were still two lives in danger, he would have to suck it up.

Sara had never seen her mother in so much pain and while it had been relieving to see a healthy baby boy, she didn't know what to do when his twin didn't come. Winry's cries had stopped and now Sara feared the worst. "Mom!" She scrambled to her mother's side and brushed her sweat soaked bangs from her face. "Mom you have to stay with us, you can't give up. We need you."

Her mother's breathe was shallow as she slowly opened her eyes. "I'm so tired. "She begged softly.

Eddy began to cry and Sara found herself wracked with guilt and fear. She was such a little girl, a silly little girl who had no idea how to save a life; even one that meant the world to her. Her mother had trusted her and she was failing them.

Eddy held on to their brother with a strange look on his face. "He's so tiny, I don't know…I can't, he needs you Mom."

Sara watched helplessly as the ceiling suddenly began to crack open and then there was light.