I do not own Full Metal Alchemist, its characters or its settings.
Hello, I hope you all enjoy my FMA fic. Tell me what you think, but don't be mean about it.
Fifteen year old Edward Elric sits next to his fourteen year old brother Alphonse Elric on a train headed to their home town of Resembool. Edward has his arms crossed and a very sour look on his face. Alphonse notices the scowl and frowns at his brother's bad mood, "Why are you so mad, brother? We haven't been home in forever."
Edward lets out a disturbed sigh, "It's not the going home I'm mad about…it's Winry and mad isn't the right word." His scowl deepens with his next words, "I'm more…anxious than mad."
"I think a more appropriate word is frightened."
Edward shoots Alphonse a dirty look, "And, why would I be frightened of Winry?"
"Well, when she sees the shape your auto-mail is in, she's going to be pretty mad." He shrugs his indifference knowing his own metal body isn't damaged at all, "I would be pretty frightened if I were you."
He looks at his damaged arm and tries to lift it from his lap with little success, "It's not in that bad of shape."
"You can barely pick up a fork." He lets out a soft chuckle at the angry expression that springs to Edward's face.
"Just shut-up!" He turns his head away from his younger brother and gazes out the window for the rest of the train ride. The both of them stay silent as they get off the train and make their way to the Rockbell's front door.
"Well, we're here." He looks at his older brother, "Are you frightened yet?"
"I told you I have nothing to be frightened of, Al." He gestures toward the door by nodding his head in that direction, "Now, knock on the door."
"Why don't you knock with your right hand since it's in such good shape?"
Ed gives his brother an annoyed look, but before either of them has a chance to knock, Winry opens the door and excitedly tries to hug both of them at the same time, "Oh, my gosh! What are you guys doing here?!"
She roughly hugs and jostles them around until she hears a loud clanking sound. She immediately stops hugging them and looks Ed in the eyes, "What was that noise? Are you here for repairs? How bad is it?"
"Slow down, Winry." The shorter of the brothers holds up his good arm to try and stop her quick-fire questions, "My arm is just a little banged up, but it's not bad."
Al clears his throat at Ed's obvious lie and Winry gives Ed a very angry look, "What was that sound for?" Ed shrugs making his auto-mail pop and Winry lets out a defeated sigh, "Get in here…both of you!"
Ed gives Al an angry look, "Way to go, Al."
The three of them walk into the house and Winry turns to face them, "Ed, you know where to go and Al, you're not off the hook either."
"What did I do?" His voice raises a few octaves when he asks this question.
She crosses her arms over her chest and gives him a superior look, "You shouldn't have let Ed go so long before coming in for repairs." She walks farther into the house with the two of them following close behind, "Ed, get in there where my tools are and have a seat. Al, just sit anywhere I guess."
Ed stomps his way into the back room with Winry following him and Al sits down with a sigh in the other room. Ed and Winry enter her work room and Winry shuts the door as Ed takes seat in the every familiar chair next to the wall. Winry closes the door behind them and then turns to face her childhood friend, "Okay, take your clothes off."
"What?!" His golden eyes widen at her words.
"Don't act so shocked. You've done this plenty of times. How do you expect me to take care of your auto-mail through all those clothes?"
A blush spreads across the young alchemist's cheeks, but he doesn't let Winry see and he begins taking off his jacket, shirt, and gloves, "Oh, right."
"What did you think I meant?" Her eyes show her puzzlement with his shocked reaction to her wanting him to take his clothes off.
His cheeks redden, but he pretends like it doesn't bother him, "I just…misunderstood you is all."
Winry ignores his embarrassed blush as she takes one look at his arm and cringes, "Edward Elric, I can't believe you let your auto-mail get this bad before coming to me!"
He gulps nervously, but tries to diffuse the situation, "B-but, my leg is still in good shape."
She lets out an irritated sigh, "Well, that's something I suppose." She grabs the tools that she'll need and sits on a stool beside him and begins taking the twisted auto-mail off his arm, "What did you even do to mess it up this badly?"
He shrugs the shoulder of the arm that isn't being worked on, "Nothing much." She looks at him with a pained expression on her face, "What is that look for, Winry?"
"You never tell me anything." She continues twisting screws and prying overlapping pieces of crushed metal apart as she awaits his response.
His blond eyebrows come together in confusion, "What are you talking about? Me and Al tell you all sorts of things when we visit."
"That's true, but the two of you only tell me about the safe things you've done."
He lets out a defeated sigh, "Winry…"
"Don't Winry me!" She cuts his explanation short with her outburst, but she immediately calms down before speaking again, "The only time I ever see you is when you've broken your auto-mail and when I ask you what happened you always say, 'Oh, nothing much' or 'Just an accident'. You never tell me the truth. I know you and Al get into dangerous predicaments, but you never mention them."
He's quiet for a moment, letting her words sink in as he listens to the clinking of tools on his auto-mail, "Well, what do you want me to do? Tell you about every little scrap we get into so you can worry yourself to death?"
"No, but you could write or call once in a while so that I know the two of you aren't dead. I worry about you and Al all the time." She lowers her blue eyes back down to his damaged arm, "My parents are dead and I don't think I could handle it if another set of military officers show up at the door to tell me someone else I care about is dead."
He turns away from her to look off into the corner across the room, "That's not going to happen, Winry."
"You don't know that." She stands up and takes a piece of his auto-mail to the work table and flattens it out with a hammer. When she returns to the stool, he notices the worry on her face, but he doesn't mention it, "Maybe, I should go with you and Al when you leave tomorrow."
His eyes widen as he begins shaking his head in objection, "No way, Winry! Absolutely not!"
"Why not?" She looks up at him with a desperate gleam in her eyes, "You break your auto-mail all the time and I'd be right there to fix it and you wouldn't have to come all the way here to Resembool."
"There is no way I'm letting you do that." He continues shaking his head stubbornly at her absurd suggestion, "It's way too dangerous."
"But, it's not too dangerous for you?"
He looks away from her with a scowl on his face. She works in silence for a few minutes and when Ed faces her again, a serious expression is plastered to his face, "Do you think you're the only one who worries? When Al and I are off doing whatever it is we're doing, I know that you're here with your grandmother and you're safe." He lets out a frustrated sigh before continuing, "I know how you feel, Winry. Maybe, both my parents aren't dead, but the only one who matters is and if anything ever happened to you or Al, I'd never forgive myself."
She puts her screwdriver down and looks into his golden eyes, "You don't always have to be responsible for everyone else, Ed."
"I made a promise." He clenches his left hand into a fist, "You know that and sometimes keeping that promise puts me in some dangerous situations."
"You always risk your life for other people because you think that will make them happy, but have you ever stopped to think that maybe your being alive is what makes them happy?" She picks up the screwdriver again and continues the final round of tightening screws, "What do you think Al wants more, his body or his brother?"
A deep frown is etched on his face at Winry's deep, yet truthful words, "He won't have to choose because I'll make sure he gets both."
"I know that's what you want, but let's be realistic, Ed. What good is a body if his brother isn't there to help him enjoy it?" He doesn't answer and she twists the last screw into place, "You sure your leg is okay?"
"Yeah, it's fine."
"Okay, you're all done. What do you think?" She stands back and awaits his approval.
He moves his fingers, bends his elbow, and rotates his shoulder, "Perfect, just like always."
"Try not to be so rough on it in the fu…" Before she can finish her sentence, he grabs her chin with his left hand and presses his lips to hers softly at first, but when her surprise fades and she kisses him back, he presses his lips harder against hers. They both suddenly realize what they're doing and pull away from one another. He turns his blush redden face away from her pinked one as he stares at the floor.
"I'm sorry, Winry."
She touches her lips delicately with her fingertips, still in shock that he actually kissed her, "Why are you sorry?" He moves his gaze from the floor and back to her face with astonishment in his eyes, "I've been in love with you for a long time, Ed."
He shakes his head from side to side, "You shouldn't have those feelings for me."
"Because, you deserve someone better. Someone you don't have to worry about all the time and someone that you'll see every day. Someone that isn't a part of the military and someone who's…whole." He tries not to look at her, not wanting to see her upset expression, but he can't block out the sound of her voice challenging his words.
"Do you think any of that matters to me, Ed? If I didn't worry about you then that would mean that I didn't love you. People only worry about the people they love and your soul is in one piece just like Al's and that's the only part that matters to me."
He returns her gaze and immediately wishes he hadn't due to the hurt expression plaguing her features, "I don't want you to end up like Gracia. I don't want you to have to go to my funeral and cry your eyes out because I'm gone."
"We could stay just friends for the rest of our lives and if something happened to you I would still be at your funeral crying my eyes out." She takes in a shaky breath and continues, "And, Mrs. Hughes knew what she was getting into and she married him anyway! Don't you think she worried about him when he left the house for work every day?! That didn't stop her from loving him and do you think she loved him any less after he died?! She will always love him just like I will always love you no matter what kind of relationship we're in!" She stands up and turns away from him with her arms crossed over her chest as tears spill from her eyes. When she speaks again, her voice trembles, "So for once in your life why don't you tell me the truth? Tell me what you're really thinking, especially about me and don't give me that 'I deserve someone better' crap."
She hears him take in a deep breath and slowly let it back out before he speaks, "Al and I have a long way to go. I don't know how long exactly, but it's not going to be over anytime soon. This is the first thing we've ever done that you didn't do too and for a long time I didn't think you were any different from me and Al. I mean, I always knew you were a girl, but for a long time I didn't really know what you being a girl meant." She turns to face him and he pauses for a second when he notices her tear stained face, but resumes his story, "What I mean is, you played all the same games with us, you ate the same food, you had the same chores, you had to take baths, drink milk, go to bed, and get up to start all over again just like we did even though we were boys and you were a girl."
She wipes her eyes and gives him a small smile, but she doesn't interrupt him, "I don't guess I really noticed that you were a girl and what that meant until I was nine years old. I realized that boys and girls could be more than just friends, but I never said anything because I was just a kid and I didn't know how to deal with those revelations." He stops for a moment and Winry knows the next sentence will be about his mother, "And, then a couple of years later mom died and I almost lost Al. Then I started thinking that everyone I love is going to die and I decided that if I pretended not to love you then you would be safe. Later, I realized how flawed my logic was and I was going to tell you how I felt, but then Al and I left and I became a State Alchemist. I thought with all the moving around and only coming by for repairs meant that I'd lost my chance to tell you how I felt all those years and how I still feel about you."
He stands up and walks to stand in front of her where she finally speaks, "Well, I'm right here, Ed. You still have a chance."
He puts his arms around her, pulls her into his body, and hugs her tightly. She feels his breath on her ear when he speaks, "I love you, Winry. I know I said that it's going to take Al and I a long time, but if you'll wait for me, I promise that when Al and I have our bodies back and we help the military capture Scar, then we can be together and I'm going to…marry you. If you just wait."
She brings her arms up to embrace him in return and squeezes him closer to her body, "Don't you see, Edward, I'm already waiting. I'll wait for you as long as it takes."
They end their embrace and he stares into her blue eyes, "What if I die?"
"Then I'll be at your funeral crying my eyes out because you're gone, but I've known you for a long time and it's going to take a lot to kill you. I don't think I have anything to worry about and if you do die it won't be because you have crappy auto-mail."
He smiles and she giggles as he places his hands on either side of her face and captures her lips in his once again. She quickly begins kissing him back and this time they don't pull away until they need to breathe, "You're auto-mail is cold."
He gives her a smile, "Why do you think I always wear gloves?"
She returns the smile and walks to her work table to organize her tools, "You'd better put your shirt back on so that we can get out of here. I'm sure Al knows it doesn't take me this long to fix your auto-mail."
She spins around to see what's made him so upset, "What is it?"
"You're not going to tell Al about our talk or our…kissing, are you?" His cheeks pale a bit with worry.
"Of course not…you are."
His face pales even more at her words, "What?! Why?!"
"Because, Al used to have a crush on me and I don't know if he still does, but if he does then he needs to know that there is no chance of he and I getting together and it would be best if he heard it from his brother."
Edward sighs as he puts his shirt, jacket, and gloves back on, "Fine, but can I tell him in a public place so that he doesn't kill me?"
She lets out a soft giggle and nods, "I don't care where or when you tell him as long as it's before the two of you come back here. If you don't tell him I'll know because I'm going to ask him next time…you know I will."
Satisfied with his answer, she walks out of the work room first with Ed following her. Al stands up when he sees them, "Is everything okay? You were in there a long time."
Ed blushes as he remembers why it took them so long, "Everything's fine, Al."
"Are you sure?" He looks back and forth between Ed and Winry, "You're acting weird."
The older brother lets out a defeated sigh, "We need to talk after supper, Al."
"Um, okay." He nods stiffly wondering what could have happened in the work room to make his brother so nervous.
That evening, Ed and Al join Winry and Pinako at the dining table for their evening meal. Al notices how strangely Ed acts throughout the meal and wonders what on Earth he needs to talk to him about. Ed soon excuses himself from the table after barely eating anything and not even having his usual playful argument with Pinako. That night, Al sits in the corner of the bedroom he and Ed share and watches his older brother lie stiffly in the bed pretending to be asleep under the blanket, "Ed?"
"What is it, Al?"
"Didn't you say we needed to talk?"
Ed lets out a huge sigh, but never moves his gaze to his younger brother and continues staring at the wall, "Yeah, we do, but I thought you'd forget about that."
When Alphonse speaks again, Ed hears the tone of worry in his metal brother's voice, "Is something wrong, brother? Did I do something to make you upset?"
"No, it's something I did and you really need to know about it."
"Well, what is it?"
Ed finally sits up to look at his brother with a hesitant expression on his face, "You have to promise not to get mad."
"How can I promise not to get mad if I don't even know what it is you're so upset about?" He shifts his metallic feet with anxious nervousness.
Edward runs a shaking hand through his loose blond hair and sighs, "Just promise, Al."
"Okay, I won't get mad." He leans in closer to finally hear the thing that's supposed to make him mad, but he still doesn't get to hear it.
"You have to promise." A serious look is stuck on Ed's face as he looks at his brother.
"I promise, Ed." He crosses his arms over his broad chest in aggravation, "Will you just tell me what's going on?"
Ed can tell that Al is getting impatient from the tone in his voice, "Winry and I…kissed."
Al remains quiet, waiting for Ed to elaborate, but when nothing else is said, Al responds, "Is that all, brother? I'm happy for you, I guess, but why do I need to know this?"
Ed gives his surprisingly calm brother a look of confusion, "You mean you're not…mad?!"
"Why would I be?" The intonation in his voice gives away his confusion.
"I thought you had a crush on Winry?"
Al laughs softly at the appalled look on Ed's face before he answers his brother's question, "I did have a crush on Winry, but that was three years ago. I saw the way she always looked at you and I knew she would never look at me that way…even before I became a walking suit of armor. I knew you liked her too and I decided to just be friends with Winry."
A relieved expression washes over Ed's features and he gives Al a little smile, "I was worried all day because of this. Do you realize how hungry I am?"
The younger of the two laughs again at his brother's expense, "I can imagine, seeing as how you barely ate anything at supper."
"I kinda feel bad about leaving so soon after telling her how I feel." He finally lies back down on the bed and lets out a liberated sigh.
"We could stay a few extra days if that's what you want." Al moves from the corner of the room the other bed and sits down.
Edward shakes his head at his brother's suggestion, "We have a lot to do, Al. We need to leave tomorrow…early. She and I talked and Winry understands."
"Okay." They're both silent for a long time until Al finally breaks the silence, "Was that your first kiss?" Ed can hear the amusement in Al's voice and chooses to ignore his younger brother, "Well, was it?"
Edward's cheeks begin to burn and turn bright red, "Just shut-up, Al! I don't want to talk about this!" He pulls the blanket over his blond head, "I'm going to bed!"
Al laughs at Ed's embarrassment, but soon the bedroom is quiet again. Ed is being so still and quiet that Al thought he was asleep until he pulls the blanket away from his red face and looks directly at his metal face, "And we kissed twice. Just thought you should know." Ed lies back down and pulls the blanket over his head just as quickly as he'd pulled it away, leaving Al speechless.
The next morning, Ed is awakened by Alphonse lightly shaking him, "Ed, time to wake up."
Ed slowly opens his eyes and rubs the sleep from them, "Thanks, Al. I'm awake." He sits up and yawns trying to get fully awakened.
Once he's dressed, he and Al leave the bedroom and enter the kitchen to see Pinako sitting at the dining table with Ed's breakfast already prepared. She beckons him over with a wave, "You'd better eat before you leave." He nods, still not awake enough to talk, and hurriedly eats his breakfast. He notices the way Pinako is looking at him and knows that Winry told her what happened between them, "I'll wake Winry up and let her know you're about to leave."
Before Ed can respond, Pinako has already left the table and disappeared into the next room. Ed finishes his breakfast, stands up, and pushes his chair under the table as he waits for Winry. Alphonse looks at his brother and finally breaks the morning silence of the dining room, "Are you sure that Winry won't be mad that we're not staying longer, brother?"
"I don't think mad is the right word, Al." He takes a sip of the coffee he's still drinking, "I think she'll be more worried than anything."
When Winry finally enters the room, she's alone and makes her way toward Ed and Al, "I'm glad I got to see the two of you. Don't wait so long before you visit next time." She looks at Al with a knowing gleam in her blue eyes, "Keep him out of trouble, Al."
She smiles and hugs as much of his metal waist as she can, "Take care of yourself too."
He returns the embrace by gently wrapping his arms around her slender body, "Sure thing." Ed clears his throat and Al realizes his brother wants to speak with Winry alone, "Um, I'm going to…um, do…something else."
He makes his way quickly out the door to sit on the porch with Den. Winry gives Ed a small smile, "You told him."
"I said I would." He puts his coffee cup on the dining table and moves a little closer to her.
She gives him a pleading look, but knows it won't change anything, "Please, be careful, Edward."
"I'm always careful."
She gives him a weak smile, "Not careful enough sometimes."
"Don't look so sad, Winry." He lets out a sigh as he looks at her disappointed expression, "We'll be back in no time, just like always."
She nods, "Take care of Al and don't lose your temper and be easy on your auto-mail."
"I know, Winry." He rolls his eyes at her mother hen warnings, "You tell me every time."
"And yet, you never listen."
He notices the tears in the corner of her eyes and frowns, "Don't cry, Winry. You know this is what I have to do."
She nods as the tears finally spill from her eyes, "I know, but that doesn't mean I'll miss you any less."
He takes the glove off his left hand and wipes her tears away with his warm fingers, "I'm going to miss you too."
She finally smiles as she grabs the lapel of his jacket and brings his lips to hers in a gentle good-bye kiss. When they part, she turns her back to him making sure he doesn't see the fresh tears on her cheeks, "You'd better hurry up or you'll miss the train."
"Until next time, Winry." He opens the door and joins Al on the porch, "Let's go, Al."
Al nods and they head to the end of the road where their driver is waiting to take them to the train station. Once they've made it to the train station, they get settled in for the long journey back to Central Command HQ. After several minutes of silence, Alphonse speaks, "Are you alright, Ed?"
Ed turns his gaze away from the window and looks at his brother, "Why wouldn't I be?"
"You've been awfully quiet since we left Winry's."
Edward props his head on his head and returns his gaze to the fast moving scenery outside the train window, "Do you think I did the right thing, Al?"
"What do you mean?" Confusion is very apparent in his voice as he tries to figure out what his older brother is referring to.
"Telling Winry how I feel even though we can't be together until everything is…done?"
Al notices the worry on Ed's face and hesitates for a moment not really knowing how to answer, "Well, it wasn't one-sided, she told you how she felt too and I think it's good that you were honest with her. At least now she knows where the two of you stand."
Ed turns his head to face Al again and gives him a smile, "I hope you're right, Al."
Their conversation ends for a few hours as Ed naps with his head against the window. When he wakes, he gives Al a serious look and begins a new conversation, "Do you think we'll always be welcome at the Rockbell's no matter what happens?"
"Of course we will. They're just like you when it comes to promises and they promised us." He looks at Ed's concerned face, "Don't you remember?"
He nods before speaking again, "Yeah, I remember, but what if us staying with them puts them in danger? We have made a few enemies through the years."
"I don't think that would ever matter to them. They love us just as much as we love them."
Ed nods again and lets out a convinced sigh, "You're right." The train finally pulls into the station and comes to a stop, "I hope Winry won't worry about us too much."
Alphonse chuckles and looks at his brother, "If she's as worried as you then she's a nervous wreck by now."
The two of them stand up with the rest of the train's passengers and walk toward the train's exit, "I'm not worried."
"If you're worried about not getting a good night kiss, then I'm sure someone at Central would be willing to help you out."
Ed gives his amused younger brother an annoyed look, "Shut-up, Al!"
That evening at the Rockbell's, Winry is standing on the balcony watching the last minutes of sunset when Pinako joins her, "It's getting cold out here, Winry. You should come inside."
"When did things get so complicated?" She turns to look at her diminutive grandmother.
Pinako stands beside her granddaughter and laughs, "Things have always been complicated, but you've just gotten old enough to realize it."
Winry doesn't reply for a few long seconds and finally looks at her grandmother, "Does it ever get easier?"
"You learn to tolerate it, but nothing is ever easy."
Winry nods her understanding, "Do you think they know they're always welcome here? That this is their home no matter what happens?"
Pinako smiles and takes Winry's hand in hers, "If they don't know that by now then they don't know us very well."
Winry returns her smile, "I miss them already."
"I know you do." She pats Winry's hand and releases it, "Now, light the lamp and come inside for supper."
Winry nods and Pinako returns inside, "Come home soon, guys."
She puts the lamp on the balcony's edge, turns it on, and walks back inside wondering when she will see them again.
Original: 9/28/2011 to 10/4/2011
Thanks for reading! As always, love ya!