I am SO SORRY for being so late. So…..I'll make it up with this chapter..;) I felt there was a large lack of romance between the couples lately, so I'll spice things up.

What Meets The Eye

Chapter 10: Influence

Since she had been living there for only a while, Winry had learned something that would always come in handy:

Everyone in this house is crazy.

One person had the domino effect that led to the demise of others as well. One little, tiny mistake can create the most awkward moment there could be, and that was something Winry strongly disliked for several reasons. She could only believe there were coincidences that would occur in the world, but she never expected so many to happen in a small amount of time.

Lan Fan has once told her in her first day that the house held more secrets in than any person would ever let out. Riza has pointed out that the people the Elrics plus Roy Mustang and Ling knew were rather miscellaneous. Mei just expressed her thoughts by saying how the boys acted well mature (or at least in most occasions) when someone was visiting their lovely home. And by studying and observing the boys from afar, Winry was able to see how the boys act when the ladies aren't there to fully watch their antics.

But all their personal opinions about the guys were different, since each had a different view point of them. Winry believed the guys weren't that bad once you got to know them. Riza would only let her conversations or leads to getting to know someone get so far. Lan Fan saw the guys as lazy pigs who only had a dream of annoying people to be fulfilled. Mei, being the youngest and most teenager of them all, would only do so much to actually make contact with them; even with Al did she feel a bit insecure due to her lack of interactions with other teenage boys.

So right after Hughes and his family settled in the house, Winry and the girls were told to get the table set for the guests to dine. Mei had brought fresh daisies and placed them in center, brightening the room up. Riza carried the plates while Lan Fan walked behind her, holding the utensils and new cloths to place them on. Winry was in the kitchen, helping the chef prepare the food to speed things up. After the famous family sat down, and the boys sat, Winry uncovered the roasted chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, beans and carrots, small bread rolls, and last but not least Mei walked with a bottle of wine held in her hand. Gently placing it on the table, the girls backed up on the wall and waited for any orders.

The girls looked at each for a second before turning their attention back to the table.

Winry stood there, bored out of her mind and waiting for anything interesting to be said or done. It was not until the wine was being poured into a glass when things picked up from there.

Ed reached for his own glass and brought it up towards Mei, who was the server of the fabulous wine, that his father spoke up.

"Ed," The older man piped up, catching everyone's attention, even Winry's, "I know you're almost a fully grown boy but you're still under the legal age of drinking."

"Are you serious-?" Raising an eyebrow, Winry turned to Ed who was getting upset; his mood had gone from relax to causing a heavy cloud of tension in the room.

"Dead serious." His father replied, giving him a stern look. "Now put your glass down and let's get back to dinner-"

His voice was cut by the younger Elric, who wasn't backing down from the fight just yet. "As if! You don't own me, old man! I can do whatever the hell I want."

"Ed, please." Hohenheim pleaded to his son, shaking his head to the side. "Not in front of the guests, Just understand, alright? Just be patient."

"Aw, come on! Loosen up, will you?" Another voice, more energetic and happy, cut in between the argument. "Let the boy drink," Hughes told Hohenheim, flashing him a glance before letting out a laugh. "The boy is old enough to understand there is consequences when drinking, and it will be his responsibility. And he won't be able to learn if you don't let him try-"

"Alright, alright…" The older man replied, sighing in defeat. "Only this once, Edward. Mister Hughes has a point that what you do will be held in your responsibility-"

"Yeah yeah. Now may I have my glass of wine or not?" Mai hurried to Ed's side and poured the wine into his glass, everyone enlightened to know the tension had lessened.

Hohenheim then told the girls they could go back to the kitchen and wait to be called out once again. Nodding her head, Winry led the girls back to the large kitchen. Before she exited the dining room, she turned her head to the side in time to see everyone smile which in return, she couldn't help but to smile as well.

"Now let's dine in!" Hughes announced, lifting his glass into the air and waiting for everyone else to do the same.

Except Elicia, who just sat there sipping her own cup of water.

Time seemed to go slower than usual in the kitchen, and all four girls were bored and silent. They would shoot glances at each other once in a while, but then go cold once again. Irritated by the silence, Winry finally spoke up. "So when do you think they'll finally finish?" The other three girls looked at her with curious eyes before shrugging their shoulders.

"Who knows," Riza replied, crossing her arms across her chest in frustration. "They usually take their sweet, precious time when dining."

"No hurry," Lan Fan piped up in a sarcastic tone. "Not like our maids are going to care since their entire existence is based on serving us for the rest of their lives. So why not eat slowly and start many conversations while they wait for their cue in the kitchen?"

"They don't sound like that!" Mei looked at her with a glare, clearly not pleased by the fake tones Lan Fan was trying to make. They shot each other deadly looks before turning their heads to the opposite directions, making a humph noise as they ignored the other's presence. "Your voices suck for your information."

"I never asked for your opinion, princess," Lan Fan said in an annoyed tone. She watched as Mai stuck out her tongue at her. Rolling her eyes, she turned her attention towards the floor. "Oh, how mature.."

"Teenagers….Am I right?" Winry asked Riza, raising an eyebrow. Riza stood there, her stare clearly showing she was uninterested.

"You're a teenager too, you know?" She replied, which Winry only looked like she was taken back.

"So are you!" Winry argued back, placing her hands on her hips.

Riza shut her eyes and sighed. "Which proves my point."

"And that point is?…" Winry questioned.

"That I'm the most mature-"

"As if! You're always complaining about Roy-"

"Don't bring him into this conversation!" Riza argued in a commanding tone. "What about you and Ed, hmm?" Riza raised her eyebrow once again, giving Winry a curious look.

"What are you suggesting, you pervert!" Winry gave her a sick look, wrinkling her nose in disgust. "Please do not take this conversation there. It's rather…unappealing for someone my age. Plus, I barely met the dude so nothing can be between the two of-"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Riza placed her hands in front of her, stopping Winry from continuing that sentence. "I wasn't going to suggest that! Your own thoughts led you off. I was only going to point out that you seem to talk about Ed in a friendly way, you know. Like you two obviously started getting along since the beginning. But I am intrigued in what you were about to say…" Riza sent a weird look at Winry, wiggling her eyebrows at the blond.

Mei and Lan Fan, who had been quarreling and sending each other insults were not also intrigued by what she had said. Leaning in towards Winry, the two gave her the same look as Riza.

"You two got something going on?" Mei asked a curious tone.

"And who would've thought Winry would ever have a connection with Ed, huh? I guess desires can't be fought against…" Lan Fan mumbled in her common tone.

Winry gasped, before she thought of a way to strike back with her own words. "Oh, does Ling and Al not ring a bell, girls? And you seem to be infatuated with Roy, Riza. Maybe you secretly have a crush on-"

"You just had to bring the conversation to this-" Riza replied, her cheeks reddening. Mei and Lan Fan were also blushing, trying to hide their faces away from Winry. The girls were now arguing about the guys, each one of them using their own comebacks when they heard a loud voice calling them to the kitchen.

Walking to the dining room as if the conversation had never popped out, the girls stood next to each other to face an empty room, besides Hohenheim. He gave them their orders, and each girl went to work when he exited the room. Riza picked up the dirty dishes, stacking one on top of the other. Mei collected all the glasses and several empty bottles of wine. Lan Fan was collecting any other trash before the three girls exited the room, leaving Winry alone who was giving the task to broom the room. She looked around the room and sighed.

"What a mess," She blurted out with realizing. Everyone had left and were busy off somewhere else. She herself found that her job was more tiring than previously thought, and she only wished she could drift off to sleep.

Oh well…Getting back to her job, she was surprised to hear a voice call out her name. Turning around, she found Ed slumped up against the wall, and his face showed he was clearly uncomfortable. The nice clothing he had wore earlier was now less tight; the first buttons of his shirt unbuttoned, and the tie around his neck was loosened.

"Um, are you okay, Ed?" Winry asked, walking closer to the blond. Just a few inches away, Winry could smell the intoxicating smell of the wine, and the realization hit her:

"You're drunk, aren't you?" She asked, raising her eyebrow. She couldn't help but to chuckle at this thought.

He looked at her straight in the eye before his cheeks became redder. "Can you…Walk me to my room?" His eyes were hazy, and he seemed to be confused of his surroundings.

Turning around towards the entrance of the kitchen, Winry shrugged her shoulders and turned back. "Why not? Come on, let's get you back to your room," Grabbing his arm, Winry placed it around her neck and instantly felt his weight on her shoulder. They struggled to walk straight at first, but after a couple of seconds theu regained a better posture. "Come on, fella….Don't wanna keep the girls waiting."

"They won't mind though," Ed replied in his drowsy voice. "You're old enough to take of yourself, so they shouldn't w-worry.." Several hiccups escaped Ed's lips as they walked up the stairs. Winry found herself giggling at Ed's present state, and wondered if he would be able to recall the memories of that night. As she pushed open the door to his room, Ed mumbled something Winry wasn't able to catch.

"What was that?…" She whispered, getting closer to Ed as she helped him lay down on his bed.

"I said…" He paused, pulling the small, thin fabric that held his hair in place off; his hair cascaded down his shoulders. "That I think you're really pretty for someone that was caught between poverty and war. Usually…..p-people aren't that great in shape, and have really bad hair or something. But you don't…"

Blushing, Winry turned her face as the same moment Ed began to remove his tie and shirt.

"Like I said, really p-pretty…"Watching him yawn, Winry was caught off guard when she felt a pair of strong hands grab her by the wrist and pull her into the bed. She watched, at the same time blushing to levels she thought weren't possible, as Ed wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer to his chest.

To his bare skin, causing the moment to become more awkward.

She felt his warm breath, along with the scent of alcohol, hit her.

"You smell…..really good.. too…" She heard him mumble between pauses, which only made the situation more embarrassing for Winry.

And before she knew it, Ed was out cold.

Last time I updated for this story, it was Christmas.

I am just….Words cannot describe how messed up I feel, so I only hope this chapter can clear everything….maybe?

So I wonder how Winry's gonna get herself out of this predicament. And also, I've been captured by tumblr's awesomeness….Maybe that's why I haven't updated lately…..NAH! XD

Ta ta, dearies~!