A/N: The final chapter guys! I know, can you believe it? I can't. And since I gave you all such a terrible cliffy the last time, I decided to be extra nice and post this chapter up a touch earlier then I'd planned too. So, I shall not keep you any longer... enjoy the final addition to Game Over!
A dark, wood board ceiling was staring down at her as she opened her eyes. The regal puffiness associated with newly washed, barely disturbed bed sheets billowed out around her, her hands compressing the airiness as they laid sprawled beside her. The smell of oil-smeared tools coagulating with the fresh Resembool air, an air that somehow mixed the scents of freshly ploughed wheat, dirt, and sheep… it struck her nostrils with surprising verve. Someone must have left the window open.
She sat up groggily, a yawn breaking her face as she flicked the hair from out of her eyes. Something felt odd. Her bedroom… it just didn't feel the same. Everything looked about right though. She patted her covers, their chilled fluffiness seeming almost too fluffy. Maybe it was because of the dream she'd just had.
Her thoughts were strewn apart as the door creaked open. She looked, a heated rant boiling up in her throat as she expected to see Ed pop his head in and complain to her about having nothing to eat for breakfast, but the face she saw was not who she expected to see.
"Honey look, she's awake!"
The sun-kissed blonde hair, the sparkling azure eyes… it… it was her mother. Her mother was standing in the doorway, smiling that contagious smile of hers. She was quickly joined by her father.
"Mom? Dad?" her voice had never carried such a heavy load of shock. "What are you… how… where…"
They both welcomed themselves right in, eventually seating themselves gently at the end of Winry's bed.
"Is this a dream?"
Her mother shook her head, a knowing twinkle illuminating her eyes. "No. But it's not where you should be, Winry."
She expected an outbreak of tears to assassinate her eyes, but her face remained calm. "But I was just… I dreamed that I was having a child. Wasn't that a dream? That didn't actually happen or—"
"That wasn't a dream either Winry," her father's kind voice answered her this time, his smile only growing as Winry's face crinkled in perplexity. Frantically, she began touching her body, a sense of panic overtaking her that lacked any actual feeling of anxiety.
She couldn't feel anything. No contractions, no cramping, nothing. And her stomach, it was… it was flat. It was perfectly flat. Everywhere she touched, an overwhelming sense of lightness came over her, as if trying to mask the real pain and torment that technically should've been crippling her body. Unable to tear her gaze away from her stomach, she began to tremble. "A-Am I dead?"
Her parents exchanged a look before turning back to her. "Honey," her mother leaned in, her hand resting atop Winry's with eerie softness. "You're a mother now."
Just hearing the word, just having the title of the role thrown so casually onto her like that, elicited an overpowering wave of emotion Winry didn't fully understand, awakening an overwhelming feeling of withdrawal, a dangerously addictive yearning, this nerve-numbing, blood-contaminating, crippling longing that just consumed her. Yet almost as soon as the feelings came on, they died out, fizzling into a numb, distant sort of sensation.
"Winry," now her father was leaning towards her, a soft look of pride accenting his face. "Don't leave your child the same way we left you."
"That's right," her mother nodded concurrently. "Edward's going to need all the help he can get, don't you think?"
Ed. Her… her everything. Her heart slammed against her chest, sending her ribs into a furiously vibrating escapade. "Ed…"
Unable to move, unable to connect any thoughts, Winry sat there, gawking, as she attempted to even minutely understand what was going on. Every time a thought floated into her head, it would slip away before she had the chance to revive its cohesive powers. She looked at her parents for support, for even the tiniest of hints, but they just continued smiling back at her, unaffected by her confusion.
"Mom, Dad, I…" she didn't even know what she was saying, her words were just coming out in forceful mumbles, completely unaware of what grammatically preceded them. Her hand levitated with cataleptic impulse towards her stomach.
"Winry," her mother came towards her, gently kissing her atop the forehead before looking deep into her eyes. "Keep making us proud, honey."
"Mom…" she wanted to hug her, but instead was made to lay down by her mother's comforting touch. "D-Dad…"
"Take care Winry," her father was looking down at her, still smiling, along with her mother on the other side, as they both took each of her hands in their own and filled them with healing warmth. "Whenever you need us…"
"… we'll be with you, dear."
Vocal cords struggling to make even the faintest peep, Winry felt her eyelids become unnaturally heavy, as if every one of her eyelashes had been dipped in iron mascara, until her bedroom and her parents' faces became nothing but a mere sliver of light, all blurred and grainy…
The game wasn't over yet…
The feeling of iron-clamped eyelids quickly became overridden by the sweltering throb of her vaginal region, its tender fragility openly grieving at its bruised exterior. Violent surges of shivering felt like they were dissecting her body into tiny little bits, an insane coldness chilling her to the point of turning her blood into super-fine popsicles. Never before had she felt so ruthlessly robbed of body heat, her limbs and bones petrified into an icy hypnosis of blizzarding strength.
Trying hard to divert her attention away from the coldness, she focused her eyes on a jungle of tubing, followed by the dreary angularity of the room. Winry tried to sit up, but her body was too tightly sealed within a wrapping of toasty blankets.
A brain-rumbling wailing sound was coming from somewhere nearby, immediately arousing the previous feeling of insatiable, incurable withdrawal pulsing inside of her. The urge to feel her baby, to touch and kiss and share her eternal, endless supply of love, sent her body into a terribly trembling tantrum, throwing her IV tubes into a hiccupping panic, pushing tears from her eyes with abusive intensity—
His voice attacked like the most deadliest of allergens, twisting her body into self-initiated anaphylactic shock till her lungs were too stunned to breathe. Opening her mouth, she begged her voice to overcome its exhaustion. "Ed… is that… you?"
"Winry, y-y-you're…" his voice trailed off, a chain of jerky sobs replacing it momentarily. "Y-You're… you're…. fuck….. y-you're alive…"
Finally, she was able to turn her head just enough to see his swollen, tear stained face. "O… Obviously d-d-dumbass—" she took a huge gasp, her voice crushingly weak from both overexertion and tears. "I'm W-Winry Rockb-bell!"
Ed gave a huge, snotty sniffle, briskly wiping his nose across his sleeve before beaming down at her with tear-cracked eyes. "Dammit Winry, you're not supposed to see me like this!"
"Well y-you're not s-supposed to see me l-like this either!"
He gave a crackly laugh, although it swiftly turned to a swearing shout as his head was shoved to the side by a tear-choked Al. "Winry!"
"Get off my leg idiot!"
"Nii-san why didn't you tell me Winry had woken up?"
"Shut up and wipe your snot off already!"
"Nii-san!" Shooting him as stern a glare as Al could possibly give, he turned back to Winry, his face a disaster of snot and tears. "Winry, I'm so glad you're okayyyy—" his words broke off into a cacophonous parade of tears.
She smiled at him softly, the tips of it only lengthening as Ed began yelling at him to shut the hell up (completely oblivious to the fact that he was being ten times louder). A flash of black and pink, however, made her turn and look the other way; May was at the side of her bed, a serene look of elation on her face despite her weary, tear-wrangled eyes; a tiny bundle of life was being cradled in her hands—her baby boy.
"It's time to meet your mother, little one," May cooed sweetly, her hands extending towards Winry as she took the baby from her grasp. Holding him snug to her chest, she pushed back the light blue blanket covering his pink skin.
A surge of love so incredibly strong, so indescribably magical, shook Winry into a state of silent awe as she looked upon her baby with wide, mesmerized eyes, his chubby little fingers treading at the air with lively zeal. Every twinge of pain, every little prick, every little throb, it all became trivial somatic trash in the face of such a miraculous bundle. Here she was, holding this breathing, kicking baby that had just lived inside her stomach for almost nine months… her attachment was stronger than the gravitational force of the Sun, stronger than the suction of a black hole, stronger than the explosive death of a star. Nothing could separate them. Nothing could stop her from protecting him. Nothing could sever the bond that would forever tie them as mother and son.
"Isn't it hard to believe?" Ed muttered, his eyes resting on his child with immeasurable love.
Winry kissed his smooth little head, patches of ultra-blonde hair dotting its surface. "It is."
"But it's not hard to believe how small it is!" May piped up, her eyes glinting sharply at Ed. "Just like his father…"
Winry hardly even noticed the drama unfurling around her; all she cared about was the baby tucked within her arms. Despite him being so underweight, the feeling of his weight resting solely in her arms, so real and so warm… it was incredibly peaceful. Unable to contain herself, she continued to kiss him every five seconds, the need to be as close to her baby boy as humanely possible the only thing in the world that mattered.
"Feel free to feed him, if you're up to it," a nearby nurse was smiling at her encouragingly. "He's probably hungry by now."
Winry looked back down at her baby, a strange rush of knowledge coming to her at that moment. Instinctively knowing what to do, she lifted up her shirt, carefully lifting the baby's tiny set of lips to her nipple. Immediately he began to suckle, leaving Winry stunned by the automatic sense of trust he had in her.
"Hey Winry," Ed was back, although he was still glaring at May off in the corner. "Do you need anything? Water? A blanket? An animal control man to exterminate that bloody panda maybe?"
"Watch your mouth, would you?" Winry scolded, her attention quickly diverting back towards the baby. "I don't want our son to have a dirtier mouth than you."
"With you, I don't think that'd be possible."
The baby unlatched from her nipple, his hands curling up into teensy little fists as he gave a yawn the size of his head. "I think he looks like you."
She nodded lightly. "He totally has your face."
"Yeah, but he definitely has your eyes."
A twinge of joy rung her belly at that comment. Grinning, she lifted the baby from off her chest, a cold empty void replacing his newborn warmth. "Here, hold him."
"I wanna see you hold him."
"But…" his voice dropped significantly, cheeks burning up in blush. "I… don't know how."
"Well I didn't either idiot!" Winry shoved the baby right into the crook of his arm, delighted to see Ed's face widen into an expression of petrified interest. The baby began squealing in amusement, his hand yanking at Ed's braid with inquisitive spunk. "Look, he likes you!"
He grinned, obviously pleased that he was able to hold the baby without it throwing a fit. "Well before you held him he was whining nonstop."
Giggling, Winry realized she had become completely numb to the intense exhaustion, pain, and chills her body had been torturing her with. She could still remember, with grotesque vividness, the whole horrific process of pushing and gushing blood in an effort to give birth, the scenes replayed over and over again in her mind for reasons she wasn't quite sure of. Yet now, as she watched her newborn son giggle atop his daddy's shoulder, the whole process seemed like the most surreal experience. She had overcome her body's error, pushed past the blood and nausea and pain, and given life, given force to a miracle.
For nearly nine months she had put up with her body taunting her, sending her messages of bloody distress, purging her of all food and water with almost every passing morning, piercing her with its paralyzing contractions—all for this baby. And then, just when she thought it was all over, that she had lost the game, the game of birth and the goal of life… she came back. And she made a victorious recovery. Motherhood… it was a whole new game. A game she couldn't wait to play. And the best thing about it was…
There was no such thing as game over.
A/N: WHOOO, it's done! Owatta! As far as this chapter goes, I know I failed miserably with it, and there are so many errors and such, but I'm so sick of editing the crap out of this story now that I just couldn't bring myself to give it the proper maitenence it needed. I know, I'm a terrible human being, I do not believe I will ever be forgiven for this. But ya, of course I wasn't gonna have Winry die! She has to live on to have a baby girl, right? And plus I could never bear to separate my most beloved anime pairing permanently. But I am quite glad I was able to successfully elicit emotions from out of some of my readers. Those of you who told me you were crying or wanted to throw your computers at the wall, thank you very much, your words meant a lot to me and made me feel oh so happy! And I think I went through about 10 virtual kleenex boxes trying to mop up all the stray tears you guys left all over my work, psh! But anyways, a big huge enormous thank you to all of you who stuck with me from the beginning, as well as those of you who joined me throughout this process and to those of you who will read this long after I've completed it. You guys, some of your reviews touched me so deeply... this story was a huge deal for me, and it changed me and my life in ways you probably wouldn't believe. Sounds abnormally sappy, but its the truth, and I feel I've really grown as a writer and individual from writing this particular fanfiction. I hope you were able to find some enjoyment from this story, and hopefully I was able to leave you feeling some sort of emotional pangs or whatnot. I'd love to hear your final comments on the whole story, if you wouldn't mind! So thanks again everyone, and Edwin for EVER!