Disclaimer: I don't own FMA. If I did...hm, this wouldn't be here. It'd be drawn out as a Gaiden or animated as an OVA.
Rain has fallen in a frozen form,
In puffballs, collected by the surroundings.
Lovely and pleasant, yet sharp and unwarm,
It has brought forth a revealing founding.
That which leads to the path of torment and doom,
But let's you see the light at the end of the road unwinding,
And with this mixed feeling brings a new beginning
Of life to those that endure and know
That the controversial feature is that of snow.
Night and snow fell upon the city and the street lights flickered as they turned on for the evening. The white puff balls accumulated on the streets and decorated the concrete, giving it a bright contrast.
The group of men were scattered around. Even if Winry tried she couldn't evade attention and they were just waiting for her to come their way.
Winry, the old woman, and Heinkel were exiting the market with the ingredients they bought cautiously for they knew that they had to be careful at such an hour. Maybe they shouldn't have gone out, but Winry wanted to make a meal and the old woman wasn't objecting. She heard shuffling, though, and paused in her path with the chimera that sensed auras around them.
'It's probably nothing', she thought and decided to continue and join the old woman, but Heinkel grabbed the women's shoulders and stopped them.
One of the males stepped forward. "Wow, I haven't seen anyone like you around here," he said. "Big guy, let us have some fun with the blonde and we'll give her back shortly."
"What if I object?" Heinkel asked.
The only answer received was a smirk from the one that spoke.
Winry felt numb and swallowed. She was really hoping someone that was blonde was behind them and she didn't have to be the person the man was referring to. He looked young and so did the rest of the group when they let themselves be known. A trio of them came towards them and pointed something at Heinkel and Winry sensed someone behind her and doubted that it was the blonde she was hoping for. She felt something sharp touch her back and panic made its way to her brain.
'We really shouldn't have gone out tonight,' she thought. But what could they do now? The old woman and her couldn't put up a fight.
"I don't think you'll be able to object," the man said. "We won't harm her," he added.
"I'll be pissed if you do," a rough voice was heard.
'Edward?' she thought. 'What is he doing out of the room? He's not even supposed to know where this place is.' But while she thought of this, her body was washed with relief. Edward was there and no one like him could protect her.
"We can hear you, but can't see you," the man replied. "So I'll take her now."
Winry felt cool metal come in contact with her skin. It felt as if someone was trying to peel her skin off, and the pain was slow to rise even if it was a burning sensation. But it was extracted soon after and sensed someone else behind her. This one put a hand around her neck, but she didn't feel threatened because she recognized the metal. Automail.
"How about I take her?" Ed proposed.
"We saw her first, blond!" one of the other men shouted.
"Yet I'm the one taking her," Ed responded. "Weird, huh?"
"Kid, what are you doing here?" Heinkel asked.
"Saving your asses," Ed answered as he brought his hands together. The light he emitted from his hands looked like lightning to Winry and he shot it around the street where the men were.
"What the hell was that?" they asked.
'They've never seen alchemy before?' Winry asked herself.
As the light faded Edward had his blade and Heinkel stood ready. He pushed the old woman behind him and Edward began to walk backwards with Winry, knowing that the men wouldn't let them escape that easily. He invited the adrenaline he had kept dormant for the past months.
'Come on, you bastards', he thought, 'if you have the balls to take her from me.'
"Get my blonde, boys," the head ordered. But as they all stepped forward to attack Heinkel and Edward, their weapons shattered.
"Really, guys," Ed began, "I wasn't joking when I said I was taking her."
"What the hell did you do to these?" one of them asked showing Ed the pieces of the knife he had in his hand.
Edward glared at them. "I'd tell you, but I'm too busy with her," he taunted as he looked at Winry and caused them all to step forward.
"Heinkel, take the old woman," Ed ordered.
"Let me have some fun," he answered as he held on to Winry and let the men come closer. 'Just trust me, Lion King,' he thought.
As soon as Heinkel and the woman were out of sight, Ed brought his hands together and let the energy go to the concrete under the group's feet as he jumped ahead of them with Winry in his arms.
"What are you doing?" Winry asked.
"Getting your ass out of here," he repeated.
"But is it necessary to cause so much damage?"
"You have no idea how secluded I felt, right?" he asked.
"You're not done healing," she pointed out.
"Just appreciate the escape, Winry," he suggested as he landed at the end of an alley way and near a police car loaded with cops.
Winry instinctively got Ed's hood and covered his hair. "Cops, Ed," she said.
"I know," he murmured. "You feel like being a desperate victim?"
"After almost being stabbed," she hinted as Ed let go of her so she could run to the officers and give them the appropriate information and pointed in the direction in which she believed they were coming.
"Don't worry, Miss," the officer said. "You and your boyfriend don't have to worry about it. Come on, boys."
Winry headed towards Edward again and pulled him out the officers' way. "Just keep acting, Ed," she said as she wrapped her arms around him.
"You, too," he said as he followed what she was doing. He just wondered why she was in such close proximity.
Once she heard the yells of the group, she continued her skit and looked at Edward with fluttering eyes. 'What is she up to?' Ed asked himself.
"Don't get mad at me for having some fun, too, Ed," she pleaded before she brought her face closer to his and closed the gap in between their lips. "Close your eyes, dumbass," she ordered.
'Is this part of our act?' he asked and followed the gesture. Just in time, too!
When the group of men arrived, the head began telling the officers that the guy with the hood had taking his girlfriend and began making a scandal. But when the officers turned their heads to see the girl with the supposed crook, they found them kissing.
"What girlfriend?" they asked the head as they surrounded the group and allowed Winry to leave with Edward.
But Ed wasn't going to let Winry walk off without talking to her first and pulled her into another alley.
"Winry, I need to ask you something…that's been bothering me for a while," he said.
She saw his serious face and felt the sudden humor of their skit fade away.
"Why didn't you go with Scar?" he asked her, bringing up the matter that had been left for another time so many times.
"Excuse me?" she said, trying to hear right.
"Instead of going with Al, Scar, and the others, why did you come with me?" he clarified.
She stayed silent, trying to bring together an answer that was valid enough for him, but no words would come to her. She tried walking away from him, but he managed to pin her to the wall.
"Answer me, Winry," he demanded.
'What do I tell him? He'll be angry either way,' she thought.
"Winry, why?" he kept asking.
"We were ambushed," she finally said.
Ed's face was confused. "What?"
"I was distracted when the group got attacked and I couldn't turn back. The only choice I had was to go with you." Her eyes were shadowed by her bangs and Ed knew she was getting emotional. "There was no where else to turn."
"Oh… I thought it was…" he let the comment stray and his face changed from serious to apologetic. He didn't mean to hurt her feelings or get her so silent. "I just wanted to know," he continued. "I'm not angry, though."
Winry was taken aback. "What?"
"I feel like it's a good thing you're with us…with me," he added. "Who would have controlled me to get better?"
Winry didn't know how to feel about that comment. "But…I caused so much trouble for you."
The lack of light shadowed Ed's face and she could only see his golden eyes and part of his hair as he waved his hand in a 'whatever' attitude. "I get into trouble all the time, Wirny. It's nothing new."
Winry smiled, with her emotional thoughts forgotten. "Alright, then, if you don't mind," she began as they were reeled back to their current situation, making Edward realize that he was invading Winry's personal space, "can you let me go?"
Edward was silent now.
"Um, Ed," Winry addressed, "really, let me…go."
It was then that she saw what she was supposed to see. Why Edward had really chosen the dark alleyway. Ed wasn't the type to show his emotions so easily. He wasn't an open person, even if he knew her since childhood, and he definitely didn't admit anything that disclosed his affection towards anyone in public. He did things privately. Ed's face was completely shadowed now and Winry could feel his breath. Winry just wondered how her face looked like to him.
"One more question," his voice interrupted her thoughts. "Why did you kiss me back there?"
Winry couldn't answer. She wasn't the type to disclose her thoughts, either.
"Did it bother you?" she countered instead, and had the satisfaction of seeing Ed's eyes widen.
She wondered if he could feel her breath touch him and wondered if he was going to keep her waiting. However, his grip on the wall lessened and, instead, landed on her shoulders. Now she was more inclined to his face and it was easier to be held that way.
"Are you still acting?" he continued to counter.
Winry thought for a moment. "Do you want me to act?" she asked as she shortened the space they were in and felt his breath hitch when her arms let go of their fixed position and landed on Ed's shoulders. This way, they were able to see each other eye to eye and the space they were in was reduced even more.
'Just a small space', Ed thought as he felt sweat gather on his forehead. His heart accelerated and his grip on Winry's shoulders tightened. But that didn't bother her.
"Well, do I act again, or not?" she repeated.
Ed was out of answers. He was able to backtalk at anyone when they got snippy with him. He could cuss all he wanted and win the argument. He could even win some against Winry. But he wasn't prepared for something like this. They weren't arguing, and she wasn't throwing her wrench at him. How could he handle such a situation? Should he lean forward and just stay there? Taste her lips? Suck on them? What! He had never observed anyone do this before, even if he was knowledgeable of a little bit of everything. Why was it so difficult? Why was he over thinking this?
Winry was out of strategies as well. The reason she kissed him back there was to evade the gang that tried to hurt them, but now…. She wanted to kiss him because of a completely different issue. She just didn't know how to advance. The intensity was there, the feeling, the emotion, the mood, the darkness, the privacy; even the falling snow was setting the right mood and temperature. Why couldn't she do it? Did she want him to make the first move?
'I'm asking for too much,' she thought. 'He would never break first.'
Of course, she was too proud herself to give in, but somebody had to do it. Somebody had to have the balls to give the kiss. She realized, too late, that Ed was the one with those. And he showed it by leaning forward and simply kissed her.
She knew how to react to that.
Edward didn't mind the trouble that came his way when the group came back to the apartment. The doctor was pissed, but Winry wasn't in the hands of that idiotic gang. Somebody needed to save her ass. And he did give a fair argument, countering that Heinkel needed the help that Ed gave at the last minute. Because of him, Heinkel and the old lady (the doctor's wife who was very thankful for the save) were able to get away from the gang that had gone after Ed and Winry. However, after the cops took care of the men, due to a desperate Winry who wanted to be left in peace with her boyfriend, Edward (the hooded guy that took the girlfriend of the head of the gang), the couple was able to relax. That was considering after their real kiss. Not the fake, acting one. They didn't know how to explain that if it was found out by the adults, so they kept it to themselves. What they didn't know wouldn't hurt them.
Winry came through with her promise and cooked the stew the old lady was looking forward to tasting. Edward secretly desired her dishes more than ever because the little scandal that had gone on made him hungry, not just for her meals. He had this new perspective on Winry and he knew it had to do with that kiss he gave her that she returned. He just blushed when he thought about it. When Winry saw his face turn an unusual shade of pink, her face would heat up as well. She knew what he was thinking by just looking at him. They didn't let that get in their way. Any small chance they would get, they wouldn't waste it. They just…needed to do it again. They wanted to remember what it felt like to kiss, to caress, to…feel some affection. It wasn't just some crush that sprang out because of puberty. It was something they couldn't explain, something he couldn't transmute with alchemy, something she couldn't build with automail engineering. It was spontaneous and just needed to be done, or else they wouldn't be able to contain their emotions for too long. The adults already thought they were an item, so why not just keep going with it? After all, they didn't have much time. If they needed to do something, they needed to do it now before it was too late.
The day was decided for when they would leave. Darius just needed to withdraw money from Ed's research account to pay the doctor and his wife, who had promised to keep quiet if they received a bonus for their services. After all, they had fugitives in their apartment, and one of them would have never healed properly if it wasn't for his girlfriend forcing him to sit still for a few months.
The plan was set:
"Donkey Kong gets the money and then we'll go buy supplies," Ed said.
"But what if they track me down?" Darius asked. "And stop calling me that!"
"We'll just have to kick some ass," Ed stated simply. They were dealing with a state alchemist here. If soldiers wanted to bring him down, they would need a lot more than just men to get the job done. Ed was a hell-bringing, loose cannon; he could practically kill someone if he set his mind to it. But he wouldn't.
"Just to save you some trouble," the old lady interrupted as she left the dark brown liquid she was mixing on the table, "here's something to buy the most essential."
Ed didn't know what to say. No one had held money in front of his face so he could buy groceries since he was a kid. "I can't accept that," he said. "Thank you, but we can manage." Even if he needed it, Ed was too proud to let a woman give him money. It didn't seem right to him, seeing as he was a male and was supposed to have his cash with him. It sounded sexist, but it was part of his morality.
The old lady turned to Winry. "Then I'll give it to her." She and Winry had 'bonded' for the time they had stayed there and had grown fond of her. "Take care of him, girl," she winked.
Winry blushed and took the money sheepishly. "Thank you, that's so kind of you." Then her eyes landed on the thick, brown liquid.
"I never realized the old lady cared," Heinkel told Darius.
The old lady overheard, though. "I actually wanted to kick you out," she replied. "You fugitives are making us more nervous as the days go by."
'If we're going to go out there,' Winry thought, 'then I have to be careful not to call attention to myself.'
"Excuse me," she addressed the old lady, "can I have some of what you're mixing?"
Winry looked around the market place to locate Edward. Splitting up to cover more ground and finding twice the amount of food in half the time worked for them. But the idea of getting lost wasn't working for her.
'If only he wasn't so short,' she thought. 'Where is that pipsqueak?'
As she rounded the corner of the aisle she crossed, she noticed a blond with long, loose hair with the same jacket Edward left in. 'Speak of the devil and he will appear,' she thought.
She walked towards him and just stared at him with slight annoyance.
"What?" he asked.
"Nothing," she said. "I can't stare at you, or what?"
"You can, but you usually give me that look when you're mad at me," he pointed out.
"Poor you," she mocked as Ed reached for what he wanted and placed it in his basket.
"Is it my fault you got lost?" he asked.
"I thought we were splitting up to cover more ground?" she asked irritated.
"So then, why are you so annoyed?"
"Because I couldn't find you."
"Here I am," he stated. "Did you get anything for yourself?"
She went back to her usual mood when he asked that. "Yep."
"Good. Shall we go now? I want to leave," he said.
"Yes, yes, because you are in such a hurry," she continued with her sarcasm.
"So how come you wanted for your hair to be a different color?" he asked looking at her brunette locks. She hadn't really dyed it; she asked Ed to use a the thick, brown liquid the old lady had on the table to color her audacious locks with alchemy. It would wear out in a few days.
"So I wouldn't be so conspicuous," she said. "It's bad enough you're blond and noticeable. Imagine if they have some Wanted signs out there? We could stand out easily."
"I have considered that," he said. "Why do you think I didn't let you braid my hair today?"
"Point taken," she said as she remembered that they went into the privacy of the patient's room one last time to kiss. "But I thought that just slipped your mind."
"Nope. I do things for a reason."
Winry rolled her eyes.
"Did you know you give hard kisses?" he asked randomly.
Winry raised her left eyebrow. "You kiss harder," she pointed out. "It hurts sometimes."
"Yet you haven't complained," he said. "Which means you like them."
"You don't complain either," she countered, "until now."
"That wasn't a complaint," he cleared up.
Winry blushed. "Oh, okay. Thank you?" She didn't know whether to be glad or conscious about that.
There was silence for a moment. "So, uh…how hard do I kiss?" he asked.
"Do you want me to show you?" she asked incredulously.
When he asked that, they automatically began to inspect their surroundings. That was too private to do in public.
"How about when we get home?" she proposed.
"Sounds like a good idea."
They waited in line shortly and Winry handed Ed the money to pay for their groceries.
"How do you think Darius and Heinkel are doing?" she asked.
"If they're smart and do as I told them, they won't get caught and get us caught," Ed stated as he rummaged in the bag for that shish kabob he was eyeing.
"I hope Darius is able to get the money," Winry said.
"I just hope that doctor doesn't charge me to keep his and his wife's mouths shut forever," Ed said as he bit into his kabob.
As they arrived to the doctor's office, they noticed a group of soldiers parked outside the apartment.
'Shit, here we go,' Ed thought. 'Just when I thought we were home free.'
There was an officer outside the door and ordered the couple to halt. "Do you work at this doctor's office?"
"Yes," Ed answered. 'If I have to lie to get the off our backs, so be it.'
"What's going on, officer?" Winry asked.
"We're a search party, Miss," he answered. "Have you seen anyone unusual come here frequently?"
"Any descriptions," Ed prompted as he chewed his food.
The officer took out a small note from his pocket. "He's wearing a red coat, blond hair tied in a braid…and short—"
Edward broke the shish kabob's stick with his bite and the officer met Edward's metal fist, knocking him down.
"Ed," Winry whisper-whined.
"I don't think you want some of this, Winry," he said irritated.
He made her step to the side and waited for the reinforcements to come, if any, so he could attack them.
And sure enough, a bald officer came out yelling "Harris" to see if he reacted. That officer also met Ed's fist and he knocked him down as well. He had a feeling there was a third one in there, but he wouldn't wait until he came, knowing that people learned from others' mistakes, and the remaining officer would wait until Ed made his move. Like hell, he was going to make it; his automail arm made a hole through the wall of the room the officer was in and was able to wrap his arm around the man's throat to take him out on one strangle.
"Ed, you're so reckless," Winry told him as she came into the apartment.
"I told you that I'd kick ass if I had to," he answered.
"You took them all down on your own? You aren't even completely recovered, kid," Darius added.
"Don't treat me like I'm still laid up," Ed began. "I'm all fired up and ready to go."
Once Edward fixed up the wall his arm damaged and placed the three knocked out soldiers outside the apartment, the four were ready to take their leave and thanked the doctor and his wife for all they had done for them.
"Yes, just hurry up and go. We've had enough trouble already."
But the military was persistent and a few more officers entered the building. That was when Darius and Heinkel got the bright idea to take Ed and Winry as 'hostages' and pointed their guns to their temples.
"If you move, we'll blow their brains out," Heinkel threatened as they each carried one of the blonds and ran out of the building.
Winry felt uncomfortable. Heinkel had his arm around a place that she didn't like for people to touch, or even stare at, but what could she do at the moment? They had to make their escape. So as they ran and tried to evade the officers, Winry tried her best to look indifferent. She just didn't realize Ed and her were so light enough to be carried. Or it could be that the chimera were a lot stronger than normal humans. That had to be it because Ed wasn't exactly a light feather, and she knew that. Why? What went on in the patient's room stayed in the patient's room. And she blushed about that.
After Heinkel managed to get some wheels for them, Darius had to drive at full speed. The military wouldn't let them get away with the Fullmetal Alchemist in their possession.
"Drive faster, Donkey Kong," Ed ordered as he checked out of the car's rear window just how close the soldiers were getting.
"They're northern troops; do you think we'll be able to outdrive them?" Darius asked, avoiding with all his strength a crash that could have ended them on the spot.
"Just keep driving," Winry encouraged. "We have to beat them. Otherwise, we're dead."
"Otherwise, we're screwed," Ed added. "Turn on this corner."
"Just listen to him and turn!" Winry ordered this time. She wanted to have some peace and if it meant ditching the military, then so be it.
Edward brought his hands together and began his transmutation even before the car turned. By the time the officers passed their car, they couldn't even find them. They didn't even suspect the buggy with horns contained Edward, Winry, and the chimera.
Winry sighed. Ed was crazy.
"Well, that was close," Ed said.
"Yeah, now transmute the car back to what it looked like," Heinkel ordered.
"What the hell? You two have a problem with my design?" Ed asked.
"Too many to count," they said.
Winry didn't care what the damn car looked like as long as they could have some peace of mind for a little while.
"Where do we go now?" Heinkel asked Ed.
"We have to know what's going on first," Ed pointed out. 'I hope Al was able to catch up with Scar and the others.' "So we need to meet up with Al."
"You were staying in Fort Briggs, weren't you?"
"But didn't Central troops take control of Briggs?" Winry asked as she tried to remember what had gone on when she was up there.
"That's right. I just have to figure out where Al headed to." 'If I were Al where would I go?' he thought. His little brother had to be predictable to him. What place could Al go to that Ed would go to as well? 'Resembool?' That could be, but that would be where the military would start to look as well. So, that was too predictable. 'Liore?' Why would Al go there? 'Central?' Maybe. But any place could be predictable. 'The outskirts of Central?' He could be in that cabin they were in where Gluttony's fake gate opened up!
"Let's head for Central," Ed ordered. "Better yet, the outskirts."
Winry didn't know what Edward was thinking, but she just hoped that he was right and knew where his brother was most likely to be. She leaned closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder to feel the short peace of mind she was feeling as they headed for an even tougher challenge.
The snow kept falling and as they exited the city inconspicuously, she took Ed's hand in hers and her mind recorded the white background and cool puffballs that mixed up her feelings.
End of Part I
Thank you for reviewing LooneyLolita, Yakumo Saitou, sashimigirl92, animelover199514, Joker Oak, LovernonFighter89, Queen NekoChan, FullmetalFan16, and 4master! Here's to you, I hope you enjoyed and sorry for the wait! I just had to get in tune with my snowy self. That and I have free time on my hands. Look out for the sequel that's coming soon!
About the rhyming lines in the beginning: I just wanted to put something related to snow that didn't give anything away. I wanted Nirgilis' Snow Kiss lyrics, but it's a dead give away. I just quoted myself. Also, I used some of the dialogue from chapter 81, but I tried to insert as much of my dialogue as possible and I tried altering this as best I could. I'm still learning guys, so I'll improve. :)
If anyone is following my other stories : & n, I'll update soon. I need to get in tune with my funeral self now. :P
So I hope you all enjoyed this! R/R, plz! Support is love! And I'll be back...with more fanfiction!