AN: Here it is, the chapter where all is revealed...sort of lol. Huge thanks to; Le Confidant, ecmwrites, BuggyNess, BluezebraAFHS, xIcyChanx, TheMistOfThePast, midnightstardust, Mikigotagun, StoriUrahara, Rumia, Poopfeast42, MiraculousTaboo, RockingCass12, and Tairulz for taking the time to let me know how I am doing!
There will be a lemon in this chapter, if you do not wish to read it, please stop reading at the - and continue after the -.
Also, Le Confidant thank you so much for the many, many read throughs and opinions. You are awesome!
Disclaimer: No rights to FMA.
For Winry, the last few months had sped by. Time was marked either in the company of her boyfriend, working or at school. Her grades were high, as were her hopes that soon she would have the means to allow Alphonse to walk again. In actuality, while she would love to take all the credit for her recent successes, she couldn't. The head biochemist at the Complex, Von Hohenheim, after hearing about what she wanted to do to help her friend, had been more than willing to assist in developing her dream. When she had met him she had felt as if there was something familiar in the set of his jaw and coloring, despite the gray layered within the golden strands. In the months that she had been working alongside him, the pair had grown to know each other quite well. They would often pass the time talking about his sons, who for some reason that he wouldn't divulge, were estranged from him, or her relationship with Edward and friendship with Alphonse. She had learned about his wife passing away suddenly of a brain aneurysm, and even felt inclined to share the bitter history of her parents and grandmother.
Hohenheim had become almost like extended family in her eyes.
Sometimes he seemed like the only person that could give solid advice on how to handle Ed when he began to shy away from her, or act like the pigheaded idiot that he was on occasion. Of course there was always Sheska, but unless she wanted whatever she said to make it to Alphonse and then in scolding to the elder brother, her best bet was just to be thankful that her coworker had an open ear. Initially she had been hesitant in her interaction with the older gentleman, but after knowing how highly Mustang thought of him she had dropped her reservations. As far as she could tell, Roy was able to read people fairly well. She would never be able to repay him for the experience she was obtaining there. While she had always thought that she had an extensive knowledge of automail, the on-the-job scenarios taught her many valuable lessons. She had no doubt that when she went for her Master's Certification in May that she would easily surpass the qualifications.
While mostly she had nothing but things to be grateful for, this was the day that Winry had been dreading for some time; the first anniversary of her Granny's passing. Much like her mood, the sky was dreary, almost as if carrying the weight of her sadness in it's clouds. So far she had gotten through the day surprisingly well, doing her best to stay busy and keep thoughts of times past from her mind. Now that she was out of class and had the weekend off from both jobs, the gravity of her pain pressed against her heart. She knew that all week Ed had been able to tell that she was feeling melancholic, but he hadn't pushed her to tell him what was bothering her. So now she was headed home, by herself, to tinker with new automail that she had been working on for Edward. Once she got in, she changed into a shirt she had worn home from Ed's, and shorts that weren't even visible under the shirt. Walking to the kitchen, she made herself some hot chocolate, turned on the radio to the Oldies channel, and sat down to start.
About thirty minutes into her diversion, a song she knew well from Pinako playing it on the worn out record player she had inherited, came on. Lyrics about smoking cigarettes and kids kicking cans filled her room, and she couldn't help but picture her grandma puffing on her pipe, singing along with her tobacco rasped voice. As the words continued to swell around her, her eyes began to swim with tears. She began to sing along with a few lines, but faltered over the mention of dying and found herself clutching her wrench, a prized gift from the elder Rockbell, and crying over the immense loss of her best friend. Despite being her guardian, she had been Winry's most treasured connection even amongst people her own age. They had worked side by side and taken care of each other after her parents had passed away. Until Ed, there had never been anyone close to as precious as she was to her. She acutely felt the emptiness in her life where Pinako had been. The worst part was now with the arrival of Edward, she had even more to regret from her absence, the engineer would never get to see her get married. Not that she was expecting him to propose or anything, but still, she had always wanted her grandmother to be present for her wedding. As tough as she had been, Winry had never thought for one second that the older woman wouldn't live at least another ten years, however, life was like that for her. In the blink of an eye, she had lost her parents and after a case of pneumonia, she had also lost Pinako.
A knock on her door startled her nearly out of her chair. Jumping up quickly, she guessed Sheska was probably stopping over to talk her into going out. Wiping her wet cheeks, she opened the door to find Ed, who was staring openly at her bare legs before raking upward to fix on her unbound chest in his shirt. Though he had seen her multiple occasions like this, he still seemed to have trouble pulling his gaze to her face. However, when he did look at her, his golden brows furrowed in concern over her tear stained features. She gave him a weak smile in reassurance, but knew it came off more as a grimace. Stepping in and shutting the door, he pulled her into his chest in a tight embrace, and the sorrow she had been trying to keep him from seeing, poured out openly with the gesture.
To his absolute credit, he stood there without attempting to make her gain control of her emotions, and just let her use him for support. His strong arms were wrapped around her shaking frame and she could feel the warmth radiating from him. She had never let anyone besides her grandma take care of her like this, but then again she had never let herself be unguarded with anyone else.
After what could've been five or twenty minutes, Winry finally began to regain control of her temperament and offered him something to drink. He declined, but led them to her couch, with an expression that still looked worried that she would relapse any moment. A small snort of laughter on his behalf escaped her, and his amber eyes gazed curiously at her.
"Don't worry Ed, I think I'm done crying now." The set of his shoulders relaxed at this statement, and he sank more comfortably into the spot beside her.
"What made you so upset?" Hesitating nervously, he quickly added, "You don't have to tell me, but if you want to talk about it, I'm more than willing to listen." Sincerity was evident in every line of his handsome face, and it was then she realized that she would be able to tell him without breaking down again.
"Today is the one year anniversary of my grandma's death...thinking of her being gone made me think about my parents, and clearly you can see the result." Shrugging pointedly over her less than 'together' appearance, Winry glanced up through her lashes at her now quiet companion. He had seemed to stiffen visibly, and she could only imagine how uncomfortable finding her like this had made him. He had already gone above and beyond just by allowing her to fall apart and not making her regret the lapse. After a pause where he looked to be choosing his next words carefully, he swallowed thickly before beginning to speak. Then he stopped abruptly as if rethinking whatever he was going to say, and finally settled on something else.
"I'm so sorry Win." His voice was low and husky, and she realized then how close their faces were. Maybe it was weird, but even after nearly five months since their first kiss, she was still so affected by his nearness. As if sensing her focus on him, he closed the gap between them and pressed a light kiss to her forehead. Her skin tingled where his lips had touched her, and she wished that he would kiss her again. For some reason, the closer she was to him, the better and more whole she felt.
"Don't be, honestly." Pausing to give him a small smile, Winry met his eyes levelly, then she continued, "I'm just glad you are here with me. Having you beside me is comforting." Edward leaned forward and kissed her left temple, then her right, before trailing kisses down her cheek and jawline. She held her breath as he made a path to her mouth, giving her exactly what she had silently hoped for.
When his mouth met hers, the contact was gentle and reassuring. There was no rush in the action, as there often was between them, and she found herself charmed by this. He was simply letting her know that he was there for her, in the way he felt most comfortable. She knew he wasn't one to express his feelings with words, but with his tenderness towards her, he was showing his love for her.
His flesh hand smoothed over her arm, and moved up the bare column of her neck where his fingers spread into her hair, unconscious of the damage to her ponytail. A smirk played on her lips at the thought, and he smiled back into hers as he continued to kiss her chastely. Letting her own hands wrap around his back, she pulled him closer to her. In one fluid motion, he scooped her onto his lap, never breaking the connection of their mouths.
With this change in position, a shift in the urgency of their movements was palpable as she flicked out her tongue to taste his, and he met her eagerness equally. Their tongues slipped against each other, and she couldn't help the moan that escaped her at the deep nature of his kiss. He was able to draw out a need within her that she had never even known until him. During the months they had been together, she had tried to open him up to a more physical relationship, but he had seemed to shy away from the consummation of their bond. She knew that much of it had to do with his insecurities over his scarring and artificial limbs, so she had been trying to show him with her caresses just how much these things had the opposite effect on her. Now, they had done everything besides make love, and she was tired of waiting. He was the only man she had ever felt anything for both emotionally and physically. Not just that, but she knew unfalteringly that he loved her as intensely as she loved him in return.
Allowing every ounce of need to be evident in her explorative touches, she turned her body so that a leg hugged each side of him, going as far as to wrap them around his back in an effort to press them tighter against each other. His hands had lowered and were now fisting the fabric that covered her. Edward's mouth had left hers and begun trailing down the side of her neck, to softly nibble her ear lobe, which sent a tremor of desire through her. Wanting to feel him without the barrier of clothes, she tugged the hem of his shirt upwards until he chuckled before pulling it off and tossing it on the floor heedlessly.
She decided that Edward Elric shirtless was a sight she would never get tired of. His tanned, muscular torso was perfectly, imperfect. The jagged scarring and metal plate only enhancing the raw masculinity that he possessed. Seeing her stare at him unabashedly, an attractive blush covered his cheeks and he reached for her shirt as well. Quickly removing the layer that separated them, Winry felt her pulse thudding in her ears at the hungry stare that he gave her. His auric gaze took in the view of her topless, straddling him with lips swollen from his heated kisses. Cradling his hands on the sensitive skin between her under thighs and behind, he picked her up, eliciting a yelp of surprise from her, and began carrying her to her bedroom.
When they entered her room, he set her on the edge of her bed. Instead of sitting down next to her, he stood in front of her and reached behind her to let down her hair. Running his fingers through it slowly, causing it to fall sporadically around her. A few pieces were curved around her breasts, and noting this, Edward slipped down one of the specific strands letting his fingers graze her taut nipple. Biting her lip instinctually, she glanced to Ed and saw a blatant expression of carnal need surface. Pushing her back onto the bed, he confined her with his body as he leaned over her to take her mouth in a possessive, hungry kiss. Resting on his automail arm, he let his flesh hand trace up her side and circle her breast. Taking the weight in his palm, he eagerly caressed the tender flesh everywhere except where she was desperate for his touch.
His mouth left hers suddenly, and before she had time to complain, she felt the warmth of his tongue gliding across her tightened peak. Releasing a sigh of pleasure, Winry let her hands slide down his back to his hips, which were still hovering a tantalizing distance from her. Feeling Ed lavish attention on her opposite breast only served to make the ache for friction more unbearable. Pulling him down firmly against her, she began to rock her hips up in a motion that was instinctual. Grinding herself into his hardness, she pulsed with anticipation when he groaned huskily into her ear at her movements. With each press, she could feel her release building, however, Edward sensed this and rolled off of her. Nearly growling in frustration, she all but ripped his pants from him. She had been left wanting him for too long now, and while she had been nervous about expectations during her first time, she was comforted knowing that it would be a new experience for him as well.
Seeming to understand that this wasn't going to end like their previous encounters, Ed stared at her warily, as if weighing some decision in his mind.
"Please Ed, I want you to be my first. I trust you." She whispered this almost shyly, which was funny considering her boldness only moments ago. When she reached for him, his golden eyes met her sapphire blues and without any further hesitation, he unbound his own hair and captured her mouth once again.
They both went to remove each other's final piece of clothing, resulting in a fumbling of hurried hands and muffled laughter at their equal impatience. Finally, they were completely exposed before one another. He appeared to be trying to memorize every part of her, and despite having seen him naked previously, this time knowing that his impressive length would be inside her made her eyes flare in nervousness at the probability of pain. She knew the pain was supposed to be a one shot deal, and in her mind, would be well worth what she expected the gratification to feel like from their previous intimacy.
He moved to lean over her again, lowering his head to touch his lips to hers once more before he took himself in his hand and slid himself against her slick folds. Every nerve ending was anxiously accepting the new sensation. When she expected to feel him penetrating her barrier, she was surprised when he drew abruptly back.
"Um, should we-I mean, do you have any protection?" With a soundless laugh at the look of fear and embarrassment evident on his face, she smiled warmly at him.
"Actually, I'm on birth control, and have been for a couple months now." Seeing the tension leave his shoulders, she waited for him to resume now that he was reassured, but he was apparently at a loss on how to continue.
"Oh, right-" Cutting him off with her mouth, she sucked on his lower lip, drawing him towards her. His chest was flush with her own and she could feel the thundering of his heart, or maybe that was hers, actually. Distracting her by slanting a wholly dominating kiss on her, Edward pushed within her, breaching her limit easier than she would have expected. Realizing that had been his intention, she mentally thanked him for the action. He was unmoving inside her, allowing her time to adjust to the foreign intrusion. His tongue however, was still engaging her own hungrily. When he began, he pulled slowly out of her, concentrating on brushing the small bundle of nerves. Sliding back into her with the same attention to her center, she tightened in response to his skillful motion, drawing a hissed curse from him.
He had thrust cautiously at first to make sure all traces of pain were gone from her face. However, by the erratic pumps that were starting to speed gradually, she wondered how long he could maintain the pace. With every meeting of their bodies, she whimpered in building pleasure. Winry had been unsure of herself initially, but she had let the sensations that he was inciting in her, guide her. Wantonly, she matched his needy gyration, taking every opportunity to rub herself against him. Gasping his name as she felt her completion tingling low inside her, she was shocked seconds later when his metal fingers gripped her hip tightly and his hips stopped jerkily. Feeling his hot release spilling within her, she watched his features shudder in gratification, before he rolled to lay beside her. Despite her thwarted and still attendant arousal, she found herself completely fixated on his shallow breathing, and sated eyes. After noticing that she too hadn't relaxed, he turned to her in confusion, and then realization.
"Oh shit, Win- Did you get to-" Catching the frustrated look on her face, he continued anxiously, "I'm sorry, you just felt so good, and then when you moaned my name..." Trailing off with a crimson blush, Edward appeared uncomfortable by the result of their intimacy. Wrapping an arm around his toned stomach, she spoke.
"It's okay Ed, maybe next time you can just try and think about something else. Maybe try reciting the periodic table in your mind?" A goofy grin spread across the blonde's face as he considered the idea. Sliding his steel digits over her smooth skin, he began tracing the edge of her nipple, reminding her all too acutely of the achy need she still possessed.
"Should we test out that hypothesis now?" Without responding verbally, she rolled on top of him to collect the results of her theory, and was not disappointed.
Later, half asleep in each other's embrace, Winry silently thanked whoever might be looking over her, for guiding them to each other.
Waking early, and being unable to fall back asleep, Winry penned a note in her hasty scrawl before she left the paper in her place next to Edward. Slipping on jeans and his deep red t-shirt from the night before, she turned to drop a kiss on his sleeping head. Looking back at him, Winry smiled to herself thinking of the intimacy they had finally shared with one another, and closed the door quietly behind her. Entering the bathroom, she did a once over of her reflection. She had previously heard mixed reviews from other women who had lost their virginity over whether or not there was a visible difference in them afterwards. Now, having experienced the most personal thing she could with another human, she searched her face for some change. While at first glance she appeared the same, there was a subtle fleck of knowing in her eyes that she was sure anyone else would say she was imagining. Quickly rinsing her face of the tear tracks that had covered her cheeks, she briefly wondered how Ed had still been able to find her attractive. He had been so supportive while she had bared her soul to him over the grief of losing her grandma, and parents.
Despite his solitary attentions to her, he had also seemed distant in a way. Possibly he had been recalling his own sordid past involving his mother. In their time together, he had never said much more about her than the fact that she had been very ill. She had heard even less about how he became estranged from his father. Winry was resolute in letting him come around to telling her about his youth when he felt he was able to, though she was curious to know what made him the man that he was today, good and bad. Patting her face dry with a towel, she threw her hair up into a messy bun and headed out of the room. Putting on her shoes and coat and grabbing her purse, she turned the lock on the handle and walked out.
As she started towards the coffee shop, she let herself enjoy the crisp spring air. Though many would still find the weather too cool to enjoy, she had always liked layering clothes and watching things gradually come back to life. Lifting her face towards the bright morning sun, she thought of her Granny, and how she would have loved a day like this as well. Pinako had always been an early riser, and Winry had become one also. Seeing the colors of the dawn made her wish she were adept with painting, to properly capture the beauty found there. Thinking of Granny, she decided to skip the coffee shop and head over to the library. Today would be a good day to try and find the article that Sheska had mentioned to her first semester. Later, she could meet up with Ed and thank him again for taking care of her last night.
She still couldn't understand how she, a gearhead, had been able to catch his attention. Ignoring his stubbornness and inability to open up, he was everything she had ever hoped for. His devotion to Al, his intelligence, his sense of humor and also his quiet sensitivity that he reserved for her were all positive attributes besides his unique golden looks. In all reality, after pushing through his misgivings, he was exactly what she needed.
Climbing up the large, grey stone stairs that led to the building, she tugged on the door, only to have it shake in it's place. Taking her phone out of her purse, she checked the time. She had four minutes until it opened. Sitting down on one of the cement benches, Winry pulled her legs up and sat Indian style. She could almost hear her Granny lamenting about how sitting like that made her legs go numb just looking at her. A small smile spread across her lips at the picture of her wonderful and withered grandmother puffing on her pipe, staring sharply behind her glasses. She wished that Pinako could have known that the very boy she had helped to walk, was now the man standing behind her. The blonde could almost hear the teasing that would have been tossed back and forth between the two of them. Then there was Alphonse, who she would have dearly loved, because really who couldn't help but fall easily into step with him? Winry had only known him a little over seven months, but if asked who her best friend was, she wouldn't even hesitate over the answer being Al.
The small man who tottered up to the inside of the doors to unlock them, gave her a welcoming grin as she entered. Following him up to the counter, she got a computer pass, though she was only going to be accessing the archives. Heading over to a long row of nearly completely obsolete models set up on an awkwardly partitioned table, she set her purse next to her and signed in with the library log on information. Waiting what seemed an interminable amount of time for the archaic system to load, she watched as the icon flashed onto the screen. Finally she was able to perform her search. After a couple of useless tries, she did come across the article that praised Pinako Rockbell as a 'cutting edge, pioneer of her trade' and she couldn't help but agree with the assessment. Everything she knew about automail, she had learned from her. The familial pride she felt at such words couldn't be described.
Returning to the search menu, she went ahead and looked up different versions of her grandmother's name, checking out the random pages that came up. When at last she had run out of entries on her, Winry, out of curiosity, did a query on her parents' names. What slowly came up was more than she expected. At the time of her parents' deaths, she had been told little and not been allowed to view their bodies due to the apparent disfigurement of their accident. This had been a source of great turmoil because without being allowed to see her deceased mother and father, the idea that they were truly never coming back was surreal. Clicking the top result, Winry was stunned by the headline and photo the showed the aftermath of all involved. There was contorted scraps of metal scattered across the busy street, and people standing around with varying expressions of worry and shock. Reading through the article, and seeing the details in black and white for the first time was completely jarring, almost as if experiencing the pain anew.
Quickly, she scanned through the content to see what the name of the people in the other car were, however since this was the initial report the information had not yet been released. Continuing forward, the archive from 'The Central Truth' was a wealth of information about everything she never wanted to know; how Urey and Sarah were cut and burned, likely being conscious through much of the time before they did perish. The paper elucidating on the loss of limbs to the young male driver, and the comatose state of the even younger passenger in his car. The descriptions were enough to make her feel unwell, almost able to imagine the agony that was endured. Finally, she found the part she had been looking for, the name. The last name was released and the age, though no picture or further details since there was only speculation regarding whether the teen would be tried as an adult. Hohenheim. She knew this name well, and wondered if there was any connection between Von and the teen responsible. Furrowing her brows, she continued flipping through the archives, trying to find anything about the proceedings.
After what seemed like forever, she was stopped abruptly in her tracks by the familiar face of her grandmother standing next to a boy not much taller than her, that appeared sluggishly on the old monitor. The young man was being supported by the very person who had helped her research along tremendously, Hohenheim. All of this would have been enough to make her upset on it's own, but what made her heart slam inside her chest and her stomach churn in instant response was the teen. Golden hair in a barely tamed braid and equally hypnotic amber eyes that she could never forget, stared dully out at her. Edward. The boy in the picture was Edward. A sob erupted from her lips before she could even attempt to hide her tears. Immediately, they fell hot and steady down her cheeks as she repeated the cruel discovery over and over inside of her mind. It was Edward. Edward had killed her parents. Edward was why her parents were dead. She couldn't concentrate on anything else; not the fact that she was in a library where someone would surely see her falling apart, or even the fact that in turn, Edward had paralyzed his own brother, Alphonse. Suddenly every sound in the room was overwhelmingly loud; the tapping of keys from another computer on the opposite side of her, an old fan whirring above her, and the hum of the now harsh lights in the generally poorly lit area.
Pushing herself away from the table, Winry grabbed her purse and turned to leave without even returning the computer pass. Tears ran thickly off of her chin as she exited the heavy double doors of the library. Not even caring who might see her in this state, she began running towards her house. She just needed to be home, now. She prayed desperately that he would have already woken up and left her place. Her heart pounded in her chest as she struggled to inhale between her audible cries. She had been so fucking stupid. She had given her virginity to the very man who had ruined her young life. In fact, she couldn't even blame him considering she had thrown herself at him time and time again, despite his constant warnings to avoid him. Stopping dead in her tracks, she was jolted still by the thought that pervaded her mind then: he had known the whole time. Ed had known exactly who she was, had done everything in his power to avoid her actually, except the most important thing...telling her their tragic connection. Bile splashed the back of her throat as she fully realized this.
She was a fool.
AN: So...what do you guys think? Please review and let me know what you liked and hated!