Heigh ho, here we are again. I've been really looking forward to this one. I would have thought FF would be flooded with fics on this subject by now, but there aren't many.
Before I forget...I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist. It belongs to the brilliant cow lady (I mean that in the absolutely best possible way) Arakawa Hiromu and I'm not making any money off of this, I swear!
It was autumn in Resembool, but when Winry woke up that morning, she expected the ground to be blanketed in snow. She had dreamt that she was back in Baschool in the middle of a thickening blizzard. All around her was a feeling of dread, although there didn't seem to be another living soul in sight. She was certain that something terrible was going to happen that she couldn't bear to face and she forced herself to wake up. She still felt chilled and she wrapped a blanket around herself as she went downstairs to start a pot of coffee. She sat down at the kitchen table and stared distractedly at the clear glass knob on top of the tall, blue enameled pot, waiting for the coffee to start percolating, but her mind wandered back to the events that had stirred her dreams.
They had climbed up the concrete steps to the very top and out through the roof access door. The wind from the impending blizzard whipped her in the face as soon as the door was open, even though the broad bulk of Scar's back shielded her from the worst of it. He stood still for several moments, listening for sounds other than the keening of the wind. Then he tensed, waiting for Ed's signal. Down below them, a portion of the front of the building was blasted away.
He turned to her, his expression hard and cold with determination but with something else just underneath the surface. It might have been remorse, but she frowned back at him. Neither of them could afford to consider that right now.
"Let's just do this!" she said through her chattering teeth.
He gave a curt nod and stepped around her so he could pick her up with his right arm. His injured left arm wouldn't bear her weight for long. He wrapped his arm around her waist quickly, but with surprising gentleness, and lifted her off her feet. It wasn't comfortable and she let out a little oof of a grunt.
He hiked her up a little more securely and headed for the edge of the roof. She hung limply in his grip, as though he had somehow stunned her or knocked her unconscious. It was more practical than having her put on a show of struggling and screaming, which would have wasted a lot of energy. She also didn't want to risk the chance of him dropping her, for all his pledge of not letting any harm come to her. She could hear Ed yelling down below, but she couldn't quite make out the words. She really hoped he wouldn't blow the whole thing and would just keep to the plan. Other voices floated up to them, but nothing clear. Then Scar's voice boomed out.
"Kimblee! Do you remember when we first met! It seems we've changed places!"
Whatever that means, Winry thought. I sure hope you're not going to waste time gloating.
He set her down, her back against the lip of the roof. She kept to the limp rag doll act, but cracked open one eye just in time to meet a look of what might have been concern if he had kept it up long enough for her to figure it out. But he looked away quickly and turned back toward the edge of the roof. He lifted his right hand and tensed it. A bluish light seemed to crackle around it, and then he slammed it down onto the edge of the roof. She was jarred as the building shook, and she was suddenly terrified that he'd overdone it and the whole roof was going to collapse.
He reached down and scooped her back under his arm. He carried her from the edge of the roof with an unhurried step as though confident that he had the upper hand. But once they got back inside, he immediately dropped her back on her feet and they made a desperate scramble down the stairs, taking two steps at a time. They had to make it all the way down to the ground floor and then outside to reach the mineshaft entrance before anyone saw them. It seemed to her as if they were never going to reach the bottom in time. Scar must have felt the same frustration, because once they hit the top of the last flight, he turned toward her, snatched her up in his arms, and leaped over the railing, landing with a grunt on the concrete floor below.
They rushed out through the back of the building and across a snow-covered expanse. Through the thickening snowstorm, they could make out the headframe that stood above the entrance to the mine shaft, and they ran toward it. The snow covered a number of hazards on the ground, and at one point she tripped on something and pitched to the ground. Scar scrambled back and gathered her up, slinging her over his shoulder to make the final sprint.
They got to the shaft entrance and Scar pulled the heavy metal door open. Once inside, he set Winry back on her feet and pushed the door closed as well as he could. As he turned, he weaved and stumbled. His knees began to buckle underneath him, but Winry quickly wedged herself under his arm, taking a lot of his weight and nearly going down with him.
"Are you all right?" she demanded. "Do you need to stop and rest? I can't carry you, you know!"
He shook his head slowly to clear it. It was no wonder he had nearly fainted. He had already lost blood, and with the exertion he had just been through, a weaker, less disciplined man would have been flat on the floor by now.
"I'm fine!" he replied gruffly. "Let's keep moving!"
They hurried on and met up with the others. From there, they continued their long journey through the mine's tunnels. Throughout this time, the two of them had little to say to each other. All the conversation was between him, Dr. Marcoh, and Mei as they tried to analyze that little book. She just sat off to the side and watched and listened. She found herself studying him. Even in quiet moments he never seemed to relax. Only when he slept did the fierce intensity of his rugged, angular features seem to ease and except for the scar, he looked the way he must have once looked.
The hissing sound of coffee boiling over and spilling onto the top of the stove shook her from her reverie. She got up, poured herself a cup of coffee and sat grumpily back at the table, frowning out through the window. She should have felt happier. Her dear boys had come home, restored except for Ed's leg—something that would at least keep him in mind of her if it didn't keep him humble. The past two years had been a peaceful, pleasant, almost idyllic time. But finally, the boys grew into men and had gotten restless. They had things they needed to do, promises they had made to themselves and to others that they had to fulfill. And so they left. Al went first, heading east to Xing. The railroad that Brigadier General Mustang wanted to build, linking Amestris with Xing, was still in the planning stages, and anyone wanting to cross the desert safely had to use the age-old method and travel by caravan. So Al headed for Ishval, which had been established as the gateway to the east. After a few weeks they received a postcard from Al, stating simply that he would be traveling with the Chang family caravan and that he had spent some time with Doctor Marcoh, who had established a hospital in Ishval, and with Colonel Miles, commander of the garrison at Fort Ishval. He ended his note home by saying what an interesting place Ishval was, although he didn't elaborate on why.
Then Ed left. It didn't cause her much sadness; she knew it wouldn't be long before his automail started acting up out of neglect or, heaven forbid, fighting. Honestly, who was there left to fight? Then he'd be back. But even better than that, Winry cherished a thrill of excitement whenever she recalled their parting. Yes, it was a little awkward, but he had made her fall in love with him all over again.
But the fact remained that they were gone, and here she was, three months later, still sitting at her kitchen table, waiting. There were only so many pies she could bake to pass the time. Sure, she had a few orders for automail that she could be working on, and a few of her customers from Rush Valley would come down by train for maintenance or just to visit, but somehow it was beginning to pall. Life in Resembool, for all its pastoral splendor, was becoming just a little dull.
As the days wore on, she was unable to shake this feeling, and one afternoon, Pinako finally took her pipe out of her mouth and gave her granddaughter a severe but concerned look.
"What on earth is eating at you, Winry?" she demanded. "You're just not yourself today! As a matter of fact, you haven't been for a while!"
Winry had been sitting at her workbench, idly twirling a wrench in her fingers, the automail shoulder coupling sitting neglected in front of her. She set the wrench down with a sigh.
"I don't know, Grandma! I just can't seem concentrate on anything."
Pinako chuckled softly. "Well, it has been awfully quiet these past few months. It's a little hard to come down off of all that excitement and get back to business as usual, isn't it?"
Winry nodded. "I guess that's it," she replied. She got up from her stool and went over to the radio. "At least we can do something about the quiet."
She switched on the knob and gazed at the old radio while it warmed up. It finally hummed into life, just in time to pick up one of East City Radio's music programs.
"…with me, your host, Johnny Cross, that's Cross by name, not by nature! Next for your listening enjoyment, we've got some numbers from even farther east, featuring Spirit of Ishval!"
Winry gave a little gasp. "Oh, good!"
Ever since their music was first broadcast on the radio, Winry had been captivated by the exotic yet warmly inviting music that this group performed. She dearly hoped that she would be able to go to one of their concerts the next time they went on tour. Earlier this year the group's leader, Dejan Shua, had published a book telling of his life and of how he escaped from the war in Ishval with the group of young people who became his musical ensemble. It was a wonderful story, and Winry had read it several times. It made her laugh and cry and made her feel as though these people had become her friends. When she went to bed that night, she picked it up and started it all over again until she dozed off, Al's postcard tucked between the pages as a bookmark.
When she woke up the next morning, she knew exactly what she was going to do. It was rather daring, probably highly presumptuous, but she was going to do it anyway. The last time she did anything on a whim like this was when she visited Rush Valley, and that had turned out better than she expected. Besides, she ought to be able to presume upon her acquaintance with Dr. Marcoh and Colonel Miles. The excitement of planning this trip was just what she needed.
Three days later, Granny Pinako watched with puzzled concern while her granddaughter packed a suitcase.
"Are you sure this is wise?" the diminutive old woman asked. "Have you made any sort of arrangements?"
"I've seen to all my customers here, and they won't need me again for some time," Winry replied. "And I got them all to pay up, so I have plenty of cash."
"No, I meant arrangements out there in Ishval. Do you have a place to stay?"
Winry paused as she was trying to decide between a blue sweater and a pink sweater. "I'm sure I can find something," she said with a little frown. She wasn't all that sure, but she wasn't going to admit it.
Pinako gave a shrug. "Well, Winry, you're a big girl now, and you always manage to know what you're doing, so I'll leave you to it."
Winry beamed at her. "Thanks, Granny! I'll be fine! Don't worry!
The lady who worked at the train station thought she was crazy. "First Alphonse, then Edward, now you?"
Winry scowled. "Well, why not me? Maybe I don't want to just sit around, either!"
"But…Ishval?" The woman peered at her through her glasses. "Ishval, of all places?"
"Why not?" Winry demanded, beginning to lose patience even with this nice lady. "Alphonse went there and he said it was interesting. I want to go someplace interesting. I want my own adventure! It's been two years since they started fixing it up. They've got to have some sort of inn or something. People do go there, after all!"
"Well…yes…" the woman conceded, "But they're not tourists. They're always soldiers or people who are going out there to do work."
"Fine, then!" Winry replied loftily. "If they need me to help out with anything, I'd be happy to, so I could say I'm going out there for humanitarian purposes!"
The station attendant chuckled and handed Winry her ticket. "I'm sure they'll love you out there, Miss Winry."
When she stepped onto the passenger car, Winry hesitated. The car was only half full, and all the other passengers were in blue uniforms. All conversations stopped and they stared back curiously at her. She stood at the head of the aisle, feeling increasingly awkward and holding a large suitcase in one hand and a large basket in the other.
"Uh…Miss…" one of the soldiers finally said, speaking politely. "Are you sure you're on the right train? We're heading out to Ishval."
Winry drew herself up. "So am I," she declared. "I'm…visiting a friend there."
The soldiers perked up with interest. "You got a sweetheart stationed out there?" one of them asked.
Another soldier with sandy blond hair grinned mischievously. "If you don't, I'm available!"
Winry blushed fiercely, and not entirely with pleasure. "I'm engaged, thank you very much."
"Is that why you're running away?" Sandy Blond asked, gesturing to her suitcase, and several of his comrades burst out with laughter.
Winry was about to fire back an angry retort when she heard the clomping of boots behind her.
"Belt up, all of you!" a voice growled, and Winry felt a hand drop on her shoulder and she turned around with a start to see another soldier standing behind her. He grinned at her. "Well, as I live and breathe, it's Miss Winry!"
Winry's eyes widened with recognition. "Benji?"
The soldier tapped his epaulettes. "Sergeant Major Augustus Benjamin, at your service, Miss." Benjamin jerked his head toward the other soldiers. "Don't mind them," he said. "They may have brains made of oatmeal, but they've got hearts of gold. Let me get those for you." He took her suitcase and put it up on the luggage rack, followed by her basket.
"Thank you," Winry said, sitting down in the seat underneath where her bag sat on the rack. "I didn't know you were back in Resembool."
Benjamin shrugged. "I was only out for a couple of days. I didn't really have time to make the rounds. So," he said with a grin. "You look good! And did I hear correctly? You're engaged?"
Winry smiled and nodded. "That's right! Ed proposed just before he left." She assumed that's what he had done. Anyway, that was her story and she was sticking to it.
"Have you got a date set?"
"No," Winry said with a sigh. "It was kind of…spontaneous. We haven't really made any plans yet."
"Well, don't let him drag his feet too long," Benjamin said. "I can personally recommend being married. I got hitched just a little over a year ago."
Winry perked up in surprise. "Did you really? Anybody I know?"
"I doubt it," Benjamin replied. "I married an Ishvalan girl." He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Opening it up, he took out a small photograph and handed it to Winry. It showed him with his arms around a very attractive young Ishvalan woman, and they were both smiling happily at the camera.
"She's lovely, Benji!" Winry said. "I'm surprised you left."
"Well, I had to go see my folks, and Sima would've come with me, but she's gonna have a baby, so she's not feeling so good right now," Benjamin said with a sympathetic grimace.
"That's wonderful!" Winry exclaimed. "I mean—about the baby! Not about her not feeling well!"
Benjamin waved his hand with a grin. "I figured." He leaned on the back of the seat across from her. "So what made you want to travel to God's Own Country?"
Winry gave him a curious look. "What?"
Benjamin chuckled. "It's half a joke, half respect," he explained. "The people out there are pretty religious, you know? It's kind of what sets the rhythm of life there, even at the fort sometimes. Oh!" Benji had a sudden thought. "I bet you're coming out to see your folks' memorial."
Now it was Winry's turn to look startled. "What?"
"You didn't know? Well, I guess it didn't make the front page or anything. I'm surprised nobody let you know. It was Dr. Marcoh's idea."
"Was it really?" Winry exclaimed. "How kind of him!"
Benjamin nodded. "Yeah. Him and the khorovar."
Winry looked blank. "The what?"
"His Honor the Provincial Governor of Ishval. Khorovar is the local name. He's the one who actually…" Benjamin thought for a moment, as though trying to retrieve the right words. "…put it up," he concluded.
"Oh. Well, that was nice of him," Winry remarked, somewhat mystified.
"Yeah, he's okay," Benjamin said with a slight smile, then said, "Dr. Marcoh talked about you. He had some awfully nice things to say."
Winry smiled. "Well, I think he's a wonderful person!"
"Oh, he's a real good egg," Benjamin agreed. "Everybody thinks the world of him."
"I also know Colonel Miles," Winry went on, encouraged to do a bit more name dropping.
Benjamin's eyebrows flew up. "Do you now?"
"Well, we travelled on the train together once," Winry added. "I don't know him as well as Dr. Marcoh."
"Oh, he's the best! I still can't believe we got Briggs to let go of him! He terrifies the men and they love it!" Benjamin leaned in a little closer. "I'm his adjutant, you know."
"That's great, Benji!"
"Yeah," Benjamin said with a nod. "I gotta say, Ishval's been pretty good to me."
The train whistle let out a piercing shriek and the engine gave a slight lurch forward. Benjamin steadied himself against the back of the seat.
"Well, I'm gonna get back to my men and make sure they behave themselves. Great to see you again, Miss Winry. When we get into Ishval, I'll make sure you get a ride in."
"Thanks, Benji," Winry said. "It's been nice talking to you."
Benjamin gave her a wave and returned to his comrades as the train pulled out of the station. Winry sat back, feeling excited. This was what adventures were made of!
Around late morning, the train pulled into Ishval Station. As the soldiers gathered up their belongings and crowded into the aisle, Winry peered with curiosity out of the window. The station itself was a rectangular whitewashed building with a flat roof and small windows. There were young trees planted around the station, and a sort of vine was growing on one side, spreading out thickly and clinging directly to the wall. On a large sign board next to the station building was painted the words Welcome to Ishval. Just below that were the words Doishteve na Ishval, and underneath that was a combination of squiggles and angles, as far as Winry could tell. Everything from the building to the plants to the platform to the sign looked new.
Benjamin showed up in time to pull her suitcase and basket down for her, and he carried the suitcase off the train. As she stepped onto the wooden platform, Benjamin pointed past the station building to a row of canvas-covered military trucks.
"One of those will take us back," he said. "The others are for supplies."
Winry nodded and followed the other soldiers to one of the trucks, a personnel transport vehicle. They started climbing up into the back, and Winry handed her suitcase up to Benjamin.
Winry gave a little start and turned around. Another soldier stood behind her with his fists on his hips, regarding her curiously.
"This, Corporal," Benjamin told him, "is Miss Winry Rockbell, personal friend of Dr. Marcoh and the colonel."
The corporal looked up at Benjamin, impressed. "Ya don't say!" He looked back down at Winry. "'Scuse me for startling you, Miss," he said. "It's just that we don't get too many actual visitors here. Ishval's still kind of a work in progress, and we're a little leery about folks who just wanna come out and poke around. They tend to kind of get in the way."
"Oh." Winry felt slightly uncomfortable. That was more or less why she had come.
"Don't give her a hard time, Corp'!" Benjamin argued.
"Yessir, Sergeant Major!" the corporal replied with a salute. He smiled at Winry. "Enjoy your stay, Miss Rockbell."
They helped her get up into the transport truck and she took a seat along with the soldiers. As they drove back, the soldiers continued to trade stories about what they'd done on leave and they talked eagerly about returning. It seemed clear to Winry that they had become very fond of Ishval, and she was looking forward even more to seeing it for herself.
The truck drove on for a while longer, and Winry peered out the back of it curiously. They rumbled past houses that looked a lot like the building at the station, as well as quite a number of people. Winry had spent some time in a community of Ishvalans, the village of Asbek, but then they had been all bundled up against the cold. Here the weather was mild, and the pace of life seemed more leisurely. A couple of soldiers leaned forward to wave at some of the people they drove by, and the Ishvalans waved back.
A few minutes later, the truck slowed and Winry realized they had just driven through an entrance between two thick walls where a couple of soldiers were standing with rifles resting against their shoulders. The truck continued on for awhile longer, passing by orderly rows of buildings, then came to a stop. The soldiers got to their feet, gathered up their belongings, and started jumping down from the back of the truck. Benjamin helped Winry hop down, then he handed down her suitcase and basket before jumping down himself.
"We have to report in," he told her, "and then I'll take you to see Dr. Marcoh, if you like." Benjamin pointed to a covered walkway that ran across the front of the closest building. "That's HQ. Wait in the shade there and I'll be out in just a bit."
Winry nodded and headed for the building. As she was about to step onto the boards of the walkway, a tall man in uniform stepped out of a door a few feet away. The soldiers that were gathered outside all snapped rigidly to attention, and Winry looked up and let out a little cry of surprise.
In mid-salute, Colonel Miles turned to her and gave a start. He took off his dark glasses and stared at her. "Miss Rockbell?"
Winry hunched up her shoulders and gave him a smile that was half embarrassed, half delighted. "Surprise!" she said in small, squealy voice.
A smile spread across Miles' face and he stepped toward her, holding out his hand. "I'll say I'm surprised!"
Winry promptly dropped her suitcase and basket and threw her arms around him, much to the amusement of his men.
"As you were!" he growled at them while he recovered from, then returned Winry's hug. He looked down at her, still somewhat amazed. "Don't get me wrong. It's good to see you. I just didn't expect you to come here."
"Yes, I know. It's not like I called ahead or anything." Winry looked up with a slightly worried pucker in her eyebrows. "I hope that's okay."
Miles looked down into her face with a slightly amused but kind expression. "Of course it is!" he replied firmly. "You probably already know that Alphonse came this way a few months ago."
"Yes, he sent us a postcard," Winry said. "Which seemed a little cheap considering the adventure he was going on. And then Ed left just a few weeks after that."
"Ah, I see!" Miles said with a knowing smile. "That explains it!"
Winry frowned. "It does?"
"You got left behind and you got restless, didn't you?"
Winry gave a little sigh of relief. "That's exactly it!"
Miles laughed quietly. "Well, I can't blame you for that."
"Begging your pardon, Colonel!" Benjamin stepped up and saluted. "I told Miss Rockbell I would take her over to see Dr. Marcoh."
"That won't be necessary, Sergeant Major," Miles replied. "I'm driving there myself, so I'll be her escort. Store her luggage until we arrange accommodations for her and then get everybody checked in. I'll send the car back so you can get into town. Sima's been blaming you for making her feel like crap."
Benjamin chuckled. "Nothin' a back rub and a box of fresh pulled taffy from Resembool won't cure!"
"Tch!" Miles remarked skeptically. "Yeah, good luck with that." He turned to Winry with a slight bow and swept out his hand. "After you, Miss Rockbell."
The driver dropped them off in what the colonel referred to as an access road. They were roughly in the center of Ishval, between the districts of Wahir and Lejia. Miles sent the car back to the fort, and they took a small flight of steps up to an outdoor marketplace. The colonel explained that cars weren't necessarily the best way to get around, particularly if you really wanted to see Ishval.
Winry had paused by the open door of a small shop to watch an older woman expertly pass a shuttle through the warp threads of a loom, and she turned to the Ishvalan officer. "So what is the best way to get around?"
Miles grinned. "I'll show you." He looked up and down the street, then gave a loud, sharp whistle.
Before Winry could ask him to elaborate, a couple of teenage Ishvalan boys came running up, seemingly out of nowhere, each gripping the shafts of what looked like two-wheeled pony carts. They both came to a halt a few feet from each other.
"I was here first, Yoru!" one boy declared hotly.
"My auntie's goat, you were!" the other boy retorted. "You snatched one of my fares once already today, you little turd! Besides, you're part of the Kanda pullers, so why are you even here?"
"Calm down, boys!" Miles ordered sternly. "We happen to be heading into Kanda, Atash. Yoru, why don't you go wait by the Wahir access road? Sergeant Major Benjamin's on his way back and he'll be wanting to go see his wife."
The first boy, Atash, perked up. "I'll be happy to pull the sergeant major!"
"You got goat shit in your ears?" Yoru snapped. "The colonel told me to fetch him!"
Atash was about to fire back with a fitting reply, when Miles held up his hand. "I said calm down! If you keep up this bickering, I'll have to speak to the chieftain of Kanda."
Rather than looking chastened, both boys grinned. "Zhaarad Stanno's making too much money off of us," Atash said.
"He doesn't mind a bit of friendly competition," Yoru added.
"Then I might have to take it up with the khorovar," Miles went on. "And he just might take issue with Stanno passing on his lack of business ethics to you boys."
This only caused the boys further glee. "I'd love to see those two go at it!" Atash chuckled.
Miles let out a huff of exasperation and pointed down the street. "Yoru! Move your ass and go wait for the sergeant major!"
Still grinning, Yoru trotted away with his cart. Atash smiled cheerfully at Winry and the colonel. "Kanda, was it?"
"That's right," Miles said, stepping up to the cart and holding out his hand to Winry, helping her up onto the bench seat. "We're going to the hospital."
Atash drew in a sharp breath. "Is it an emergency?"
"No, it's not an emergency," Miles replied, taking his own seat beside Winry. "And I don't need you to set any personal records for speed. And try not to run over anybody's chickens this time."
"Eh-h! That was an accident, Colonel!" Atash gripped the shafts of his cart tightly and set off at a steady lope.
"This is something we're experimenting with," Miles explained to Winry. "A couple of our boys got the idea from one of the caravans from Xing. The chieftain of Kanda, who is a carpenter by trade—"
"A master carpenter!" Atash corrected him.
"How could I forget? Anyway, he took the idea a step further. He built a small fleet of these rickshaws and hired any able-bodied young fellow who wasn't already apprenticed to pull them. It's definitely become a lucrative business, although some consider it a little demeaning."
"Not us!" Atash put in.
Miles pitched his voice lower and slightly gravelly. "Humans are not beasts of burden!" He and Atash both laughed.
"I've pulled the khorovar myself a few times," Atash said. "And then he lectures me about not learning a proper trade. It's like being back in his class." Then he gave another laugh. "But he's a big tipper!"
"He just feels sorry for you."
"He didn't feel sorry for me when I was in school."
"That's because you were a brat. You still are."
Atash just laughed as he turned a corner.
Winry was amazed that he didn't even seem winded. "Isn't this heavy to pull?" she asked.
"No, Zhaarana, not at all!" Atash replied. "Zhaarad Stanno knows his craft, and these things have great balance!"
"Don't worry about Atash, Miss Winry," Miles said. "Believe me, if this was actually hard work, he wouldn't be doing it."
Winry sat back in her seat, still feeling a little odd but taking the colonel and Atash at their word. "So who is this person, the khorovar? He's actually the provincial governor?"
"Ah, yes," Miles said. "The khorovar. It's a bit grander than the title of governor as far as the Ishvalans are concerned, but it suits the purpose." He smiled, almost more to himself. "An interesting gentleman."
Winry looked at him out of the corner of her eye. "All Benji said was that he was 'okay'."
"He is," Miles replied. "A decent fellow. Married. Three kids. Gorgeous wife." He grinned. "I married his cousin, who is also gorgeous, by the way."
Winry gave a little cry of surprise and smacked him on the arm. "You got married and you didn't tell me?"
Miles bowed his head slightly. "My apologies! You'll get to meet her when we reach the hospital. She's due in about two months, and she went in for a check-up today."
"Now you're having a baby?" Winry threw her hands in the air. "How many more surprises have you got for me, Colonel?"
Miles gave a quiet laugh. "Ishval is full of surprises, Miss Winry."