Several states away in centeral-

Mustang hung up his phone and slowly pushed back his chair and stood up as he snagged the black velvet jewery box from his desk. He knew that he shouldn't be doing this, Ed had made it clear before she left what she thought of him. But now that he was Furor, he was being pushed to marry and settle down. And he couldn't think of anyone who could keep up with the demands of being a Furor's wife like Ed.

Pocketing the piece of jewelry, he grabbed his hat and coat and hit the door with a small smile tugging at his lips.

Ed was going to kill him once she saw him. That is if her brother or didn't beat her to the punch first.


Alphonse had been sitting outside on the porch ever since he had recieved the call from Mustang, waiting for Edith to show up so that he could warn her. His mind wandering from the bits and pieces of their past to the present before he bothered to check the watch on his wrist. It was well past five in the evening. Close to dinner time.

Something that he knew both Ed and Greed didn't want to miss since granny Pianko was making a pot roast with vegetables. One of Ed's favorites.

Sighing tiredly and hoping that Ed hasn't gotten into any mischief that Greed couldn't get her out of, he let his head drop back on his shoulders and let his mind drift a bit and was startled by Winry asking, "They aren't back yet?"

Jumping where he sat, Alphonse let his eyes snap open to look at his childhood friend whom stood a foot or so from him with a riffle slung over one of her shoulders. "No." He answered before asking, "What are you doing with that gun?"

Winry removed it from her shoulder and held it out to him. "Granny was wanting it oiled and checked. But I don't know anything about guns."

"Hand it here-" Alphonse said as he held his hands out to take the weapon. Winry hesitated for a moment then handed it to him, and watched in fascination as he disarmed it and took it apart. "Do you have oil and a rag?"

"Hmm? Oh yeah, right here." Winry said as she pulled out a dirty rag and a small tin of oil.

"Awesome-" Alphonse said to himself as he took the oil tin and rag from Winry before saying, "You can go back inside Winry."

"Wha?" She asked, looking more than a little bit insulted by him when he looked up at her with a scowl on his face and growled.

"I said go inside. I don't need you out here distracting me."

"Distracting you! How the hell am I distracting you?" Winry fairly shrieked in outrage causing Alphonse to give her a cheeky grin to hide his unease with her closeness.

"You're shrieking at me."

"I am not!"

"Liar." He said calmly as she turned and stomped to the door and disappeared inside. Once she was inside, he sighed again. Jesus that had been close. He'd been just a moment away from snapping and telling her exactly what would happen to her if he messed up with the gun.

Just because something seemed safe didn't mean it was. The same could be said for people.

And Alphonse knew from experience that he was one of those people.

He sat there oiling and checking the gun until it grew harder and harder to see outside, by which time he could hear Ed and Greed making their way up the walkway to the house. Pausing in his work to put the gun back together without the bullets he had just snapped the last piece in place when his sister and Greed came into view.

"And just where the hell have you two been?" Al asked in a dark tone, his eyes going from his sister to Greed. Looking them over for injuries as the two eyed the gun in his grasp warily.

"Over that way... In town." Edith said nervously as she pointed towards town. Greed stayed silent, evidently not wanting to get himself into trouble.

"And you're just now getting back?" Al asked in a growling tone. Edith looked up at Greed as he shifted closer to her as if to protect her from Alphonse. Al noted the slight movement and narrowed his eyes at the two as realization struck as he hissed, "Oh you have got to be kidding me!"