Title: Turn the Page
Author: S J Smith
Summary: Sciezca finds something in an old book she thinks would interest Winry.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Note: Written for the prompt of 'rebound' for the LJ community FMA_Fic_Contest. Thanks to Cornerofmadness for her edits.
The books were old. The glue, leather and threads holding them together were alternately worn, cracked or chewed by hungry mice. Still, they were amazing. Sciezca stroked the leather cover of the top book, feeling the dust trapped in the whorls of her fingertips. Rubbing them together, she thought the first thing this book needed was to be rebound, and possibly recovered in some way to preserve the leather, as well. These books had been rescued from an old abandoned house in the north, kept in a closet out of the light. Sciezca shuddered to think what sort of condition they'd be in if they'd been stored in a basement or an attic. Someone had cared at least a little about these books, even if they'd left them behind. She wondered what else might have been in the house, besides these alchemy texts.
Pulling on a pair of cotton gloves, she opened the book. Having an eiditic memory meant she could rewrite the texts she was studying now, and eventually, be able to provide new copies to Amestris. Sciezca didn't know how many people would really want to study ancient alchemic theories, but a reprinted book with might fascinate someone.
She squinted a bit at the typeface of the author's name. "Van Hohenheim?" Pretty sure she'd read that name before, Sciezca tucked that thought aside to think of later. Carefully turning the pages, Sciezca stopped at something wedged up next to the spine. Her mouth pinched at the sight of a photograph, one edge nibbled on from the outside of the book's spine in. Catching hold of the photo, Sciezca pulled it out, mourning the acids used in preserving a picture that was pressed into this book. She started to set it aside, but stopped at the glimpse of a name written on the back.
"No," she mumbled. "It can't be." Squinting, she held the photo a little closer.
Three faces were frozen in time, a pair of boys, one barely out of diapers, the other maybe a year older, and a woman, kneeling with them, her arms around them both. All three of them smiled at the camera.
Sciezca swallowed hard. No doubt it was Ed and Al, and their mother, but why they'd be in...her eyes widened in remembrance of Ed and his father, at Winry's house. "Oh!" She clapped her hand over her mouth. More memories swarmed over her, of how Winry had been after both brothers disappeared, how long it had taken for Winry to rebound from that loss, and for the joy to come back into her eyes.
Wavering, Sciezca stared at the picture for what seemed like a long time, then set it aside. Winry, she knew, would appreciate the reminder of a childhood full of promise, back when three children vowed to be friends forever. If only, Sciezca thought, then shook her head. The past couldn't be changed, just moved on from.
The book went into the stack with others to be rebound.