Title: Teachings of the Parents
Summary: The Rockbell women talk shop.
Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist and all associated characters, settings, etc., belong to Hiromu Arakawa-san. The only profit I make from this work of fiction is my own satisfaction and, possibly, the enjoyment of others.
Author's Notes: I hope the technical language doesn't throw anyone too much. On the plus side, I now know way more about the anatomy of the hand than I ever have. Title comes from the Tinsagu nu Hana, a traditional song in Okinawa. This was written for prompt 97 at fma_fic_contest – 'midnight'. Thanks to everyone for reading, and special thanks to Queen NekoChan for reviewing.
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It was late when Winry finally put down the automail hand with a contented sigh. She spared a moment to run her eyes over the fine lines of the metal, noting the smoothness of the supporting screws and how their heads lay flat along the opisthenar. There would be no snagging this hand on fabric or skin. She was especially pleased with the digits; she had managed to shave down the metal 'pads' of the fingers so they were flatter, less rounded, which would make it easier for the client to grasp slippery objects. Ed may have been their most problematic patient, but his particular needs for automail were certainly inspiring.
Winry smiled, satisfied, before a yawn cracked her jaw. She stretched, feeling her back pop, and turned to the clock on the wall. Midnight exactly. She yawned again. Her mouth was dry. Well, stopping to get a glass of water wouldn't hurt, and maybe she could take a fifteen-minute catnap. Her stomach growled as she made her way up the basement stairs, but if she ate now Winry knew her nap would go for much longer than her allotted quarter hour.
Light shone through the kitchen doorway. Winry blinked at it for a moment before realization hit, and she let pride creep into her voice as she entered the room. "I finished the hand already, Granny."
Pinako, sitting at the table, tamped the tobacco in her pipe before sticking the end back in her mouth. "Did you double-check the metacarpophalangeal connectors?"
"Yep!" Winry pulled out a glass from one of the cabinets. "And I did the measuring for the wrist already, so I can start on that without waiting for Ed to wake up."
"Good girl," Pinako murmured approvingly. Winry felt warmth fill her chest as she filled her glass with water. Her grandmother was never overly severe – at least when it came to automail instruction – but she never praised unduly either. Winry gulped the water down, trying not to beam too widely around the lip of the glass. "What are you going to do now?" Pinako went on, leaning over her own notes and marking something off with a pencil.
"Mmmm." Winry wiped her mouth on the back of her hand. "I thought about lying down for a couple minutes, then I wanted to start outlining the wrist."
Pinako puffed out a smoke ring, giving Winry that weighing look out of the corner of her eye. "Come here, girl."
Raising an eyebrow, Winry did as she was told, sitting in the chair her grandmother gestured towards. Pinako leaned forward in her own seat, taking Winry's chin in one hand and moving her head one way, then the other, eyes keen behind her spectacles. "Granny?"
"You need more sleep than just a 'couple minutes,' girl," Pinako said as she released Winry's chin, leaning back in her chair and tapping her pipe decisively.
"Aw, but Granny—"
"But me no buts, Winry Rockbell."
She pouted, flopping onto the table dejectedly. She really wanted to work on that wrist tonight! "Twenty minutes."
"An hour and a half."
"One hour and you eat a sandwich before you go upstairs." Winry opened her mouth to haggle some more but Pinako forestalled her with a stern look. "Listen to your grandmother."
"Ugh!" Winry threw her hands into the air. "Fine." She dropped her arms back to the table, folding them and propping her chin on her forearms. Pinako smirked as she returned to her drawings of Ed's old leg, making a few more corrective notes as Winry watched. "Where's Al?"
"Taking Den for a walk, since the weather's pleasant tonight. And don't think you can waste time down here talking, young lady. Go eat your sandwich and take your nap."
"Okay, okay." Winry pushed her luck for another moment or so before standing again and walking over to the pantry. Her stomach growled, louder than before, and she could hear Pinako snicker. She felt her face warming and hoped her grandmother couldn't see the blush. "Um, do we have any ham left?" she asked, sheepish.
"In the icebox," Pinako replied blandly. Winry started to sigh in relief before Pinako added, "I told you before, girl. Your grandmother is always right."
The sigh turned resigned instead. "Yes'm."