A/N: I so love Full Metal Alchemist/Brotherhood. This anime is in my top five and I will pay it homage. AU of course and Ed/Winry as it states but of course there will be other canon couples like Maes/Gracia,Roy/Riza and a few of my favorites like Miles/Olivier,Al/May,Scar/Lust...and you'll figure out the rest. This starts on the summer break before Ed starts high school and he wants to commit suicide so he calls a suicide hotline that Winry volunteers at and she talks him out of it and Ed ends up calling every day to talk to her, not knowing that she will be going to his high school as a freshman as well. This story isn't about high school though, it's will contain them in high school but it is more-so about the depressing and pathetic friendless life Ed had before and how when he enters high school,how meeting and befriending special people will turn his life upside down. Now I'm just gonna tell you this, Maes does not die in my story, I [heart] him way too much,sorry for all you Maes haters out there.
Chapter 1:The Suicide
Winry sighed softly, volunteering tonight was really taking a toll on her and her nerves. She took on this volunteering job at the youth crisis hotline to help people, not to get prank phone calls about stupid people drinking too much alcohol and trying to get her phone number, it was just annoying. Go figure, she was wasting her Saturday at the Resembool Library in the youth crisis room, on their phone waiting for another call.
It's not like she had anything else to do, her automail lesson with Gran ended at noon, as it did everyday this summer. She chose to do this because she had no friends anyway.
She heaved out a loud sigh, taking a sip of her mountain dew before the shrill ring of the phone sounded in the otherwise silent room. She quickly picked it up and said her normal greeting, completely expecting the same old douche bags who asked her lewd questions like what color her panties were.
"Hi, this is the youth crisis hotline. My name is Winry Rockbell,how can I help you?"
"I'm gonna do it. I'm finally gonna do it this time." Came a broken voice from the other end. Do it?
"Do what?" She asked, confusion evident in her tone of voice.
A loud sigh came from the other end, his voice small and defeated as he spoke. "I'm going to end this miserable existence. I hate everything about my life. It's not even worth the shit and torment I put up with."
Winry gasped loudly,her hand clenching the phone as she heard the finality in his tone. He wanted to do it, but if he really did then why call here? She was sure glad he did though.
"But, why? Tell me why your life is so miserable."She said softly, only pausing to breath."I'm sure your family will be devastated if you do that..."
"No Winry,nobody will give a rats ass. Why is my life so fucking shitty you ask? Well every single day of my damn life I get ridiculed at school for being short and wearing automail. They call me every name you could think of and they play stupid tricks on me and my little brother. He doesn't even have anything wrong with him for gods sake! Just because he is related to me..."
This forlorn boy sounded so angry when he spoke of his treatment, it made Winry ponder how people could be so harsh to somebody like that for no reason. Just because he was different. Wait...he said automail...
"That's so awful!People are such jerks,I swear! I know how you feel,a little bit. I get ridiculed as well for being a tomboy who likes fixing automail and working on cars. You can't even imagine the names those stupid idiots call me." She ran her fingers through her long blonde tresses as she recalled how excited she was to get the hell out of eighth grade and away from her bullies,her gran transferring her to a school across town from her middle school so her tormentors didn't follow her there too.
"You fix automail?" Came the boys surprised voice.
That made Winry smile, her sky blue eyes were twinkling as the boy sounded a little happy to hear it.
"Yea, my Gran is teaching me. Hey, if I can ask,how did you get automail?"She took a leap of faith and hoped the boy would tell her about it, praying that this wouldn't drive him over the edge.
"Well...my father was...uh...driving us home from a Christmas party a few years back, and we didn't know that he had been drinking like a freaking fish. My mom offered to drive but my dad just told her that he would. Well we ended up getting into a fatal accident where my dad drove straight through a red light and we were hit on both sides of the car. My arm and leg got trapped under some metal shit when I tried to shield my little brother but I couldn't help him at all. All of Al's bones got shattered in the accident. My mom...wasn't so lucky. She died immediately upon impact. A fucking semi hit her and Al's side of the car! Alphonse barely survived and had to go through some pretty serious surgery but he's okay now...aside from the multitude of scars marring his body due to all the surgery. That's why Al is picked on...They call him the meanest shit. And me, well my arm and leg had to be amputated and automail was the next best gets worse,my stupid fucking father got a broken colarbone from his seatbelt jerking. How fucked up is that!"
Winry felt her sky blue depths fill with tears at this boys explanation. This boy was now crying,she knew that for a fact, sobbing through his explanation about how his mom and brother had been hurt. How could people treat him this way after what he fucking went through? That kind of crap is the reason why Winry did what she did, so she could be there for people like...Hey what was his name anyway?
"I-I'm so sorry!You seem to have been through some pretty traumatic things...how about your friends? Did they help you through it?"The blonde haired tomboy found herself silently crying as well, finding herself losing faith in human kind everyday thanks to douches like the ones this boy and his poor brother had to deal with.
The kid scoffed at her question. "I don't have any friends. They all turned on me when I came back to school after the accident with automail. They call me stupid crap like tin metal freak and throw food at me and spit on me like I'm some sort of animal. I'm not that different from them..."He sounded a little lost when he spoke, his voice sounding far away as he speculated as to why people were so mean.
"No, you're exactly right. You aren't that much different from them and honestly, you aren't the only person in the world with automail. It's their ignorance and inability to accept people who are different from them that makes them treat you that way, so don't think you are doing anything wrong. Besides, those people don't deserve to be your friend anyway, those assholes. If it makes you feel better,I don't have any friends either,besides my Gran and my dog Den." Winry said with irritation marring her normally kind voice. There was no excuse for their treatment of this guy.
He surprised me by chuckling faintly,a smile in his voice as he spoke. "You know,you're a really good person. I don't know what possessed me to call this number but I really wanted to kill myself but I don't know, I thought you would be some pretentious jackass who would just read from a script or something but...you really made me feel better. To be honest, this was the first time since that accident that I have confided in somebody. I never did because I felt that they would mock me or ridicule me but you didn't."
She smiled brightly, even though he couldn't see her because she had indeed saved a life today. This kind of satisfaction and joy made it all worthwhile,even through the prank calls. This one boy giving her the time to console him made her day, hell probably her whole week.
"Of course I didn't,silly. There is nothing to ridicule."
"Edward."The boy said out of nowhere, catching Winry off guard and confusing her at the same time.
"My name is Edward, but I like to go by Ed."He said, his voice stronger and more defined than it had been the whole time they had been talking. That warmed Winry's heart that she had made a difference and that he had confided in her his name when he didn't have to.
"I'm glad you decided to tell me your name,Ed." She said, a gleeful smile on her face as the words came out of her mouth sounding flirtatious.
Wait what? She didn't just flirt with a suicidal guy did she?He could be like 300 pounds and ugly as sin and here she was, but she couldn't help it. Ed was grateful and she found somebody who had automail.
"Well thanks again,Winry. I have to go cook dinner for my brother..."He sounded reluctant to get off the phone and suddenly Winry felt the same. Why didn't she want to get off the phone? She glanced at the clock to see that she had gone over her time by an hour, but she didn't seem to mind.
"You're welcome, no need to thank me, it's something I wanted to do. Oh and if you ever feel that way again, just call here. For the next month I will be volunteering here from 2 pm. To 6 pm. So feel free to...I'm the only one who volunteers so nobody else will answer the phone." She offered then wondered why she had just done that. She had NEVER said anything like that to the other hundreds of people she had talked away from jumping off bridges,slitting their throats,popping pills and shooting themselves in the head...but she had to him.
There was something about this Ed guy that calmed her and made her feel like she needed to be there for him. Maybe it was because the fact that he had no friends...yea, that was it. Definitely.
"Cool, I'll do that." He simply said before she was met with the dial tone. Before Winry could mull over her last call, she quickly gathered up her purse and made a mad dash through the library.
"Oh crap!Gran is gonna kill me for being so late!"She screamed as she ran as fast as her legs would take her, thanking her lucky stars that she lived only ten minutes from the Library.