Title: Red Coat
Author: S J Smith
Summary: The infamous red coat, through the ages.
Warnings: Pre- and post-canon.
Disclaimer: Arakawa never writes, she never calls, I guess she doesn't love me any more.
Notes: I consider this as a part of the "Little Things" series, but, like many of those stories, this can be read alone.
"What's that?" Pinako asked, squinting at the brilliant crimson fabric.
Ed hugged it closer to his chest. "Nothing!"
"Brother says he needs a coat before he goes to East City," Al offered with a shrug that rattled his shoulder plates.
Winry sniffed, grabbing a corner of the cloth. "Red?"
Jerking the fabric out of Winry's hand, Ed snapped, "It's a bad-ass color!"
"Uh, huh." Winry shoved her fists on her hips. "What do you know about making a coat?"
Pinako nodded her approval of the question, and Ed scowled at them both. He knew how to patch clothes, but he'd never actually sewn before. He'd never made a piece of clothing. Not that he'd let that stop him. "What do you know?" he asked Winry, screwing up his face.
"I know how to follow a pattern and use the sewing machine!" Winry tipped her nose in the air.
Ed sneered. "I don't need a sewing machine!" Dropping the cloth in a mass on the floor, he slapped his palms together, touching them to the fabric. A blue light engulfed the cloth, and, when it died down, Ed grabbed the coat, shaking it out at the gear head and the old hag. "See?"
Studying the coat with her beady eyes, Pinako snorted. "Better try that again, boy," she said, "one arm's longer than the other."
X X X
Winry found the red coat after Ed left for the West. She didn't consider it snooping; neither brother had much to even leave behind, and their room was used by patients in between their stays, so cleaning it out after someone stayed there was pretty much a given. The coat hadn't been left hanging in the closet, instead, it had been folded and tucked up on the shelf, pushed to the back. At first, Winry didn't even recognize it – she just saw a folded pile of fabric, and pulled it down. She tossed it toward the rumpled bed, seeing the cloth unfurl as it sailed through the air.
"Oh," she said, her eyes widening, and she hopped off the stool. Picking up the coat, she shook it out, sneezing at the dust. "Geeze, Ed!" Moth holes dotted the fabric; at least, Winry hoped they were moth holes. She didn't want to think about what might've caused some of the stains. Shaking her head, Winry set the coat aside. At least she could wash it, find out if any of the stains would soak out.
And maybe, when Edward came home, she'd wear it for him, and nothing else.
X X X
"Phew!" Al nearly fell into the couch, throwing an arm over his eyes. "How do you do it?"
"Do what?" Ed asked from somewhere in the room.
Raising his arm, Al peered out from under it until he spotted his brother, tossing a couple more logs in the fireplace. "How many kids are in this house?"
"I lost count," was the cheerful answer.
"Bet Winry hasn't," Al said darkly.
"She keeps agreeing to have them," Ed grinned back. "Speaking of which, isn't it about time for you to produce some more nieces or nephews?"
Huffing, Al covered his eyes again. "You talk to my wife; she's the one who's always busy." Realizing his brother might just do that, Al sat up, pointing at Ed. "Better yet, have Winry talk to her about working through a pregnancy."
"She will," Ed said, not quite solemnly.
Al glared at him, then noticed a flash of color hanging off the arm of the chair. "Hey…" Prying himself out of the couch, he grabbed the red fabric, holding it up. "Geeze, Ed, is this your old coat?"
"Tch! Try not to wake the kids." Ed rolled his eyes.
"I can't believe you still have this thing." Al held it up against his chest. "You really were a little shrimp, weren't you?"
Teeth showing in a horrible snarl, Ed growled, "Winry made that one for Becca!"
Looking down at his front, and the coat hanging against him, Al nodded. "Yeah, I don't remember you having boobs."
X X X
One thing that Fuhrer-Elect Roy Mustang insisted on was a statue. Edward Elric fought against it at every turn, hating the idea of such a stupid, grandiose waste of money. Even when Alex Louis Armstrong offered to donate the stone for the statue, not to mention offering to carve it, Ed still fussed at it.
"I don't know why the bastard needs a fucking statue," he groused as Winry adjusted the lapels of his black suit.
"Ed, just settle down, and enjoy the booze and food," Winry told him, "and remember, we're here without the kids, so we can enjoy each other later, too."
That perked him up a little bit, but he still fumed as they met up with friends and family to watch the unveiling of the first commissioned piece of art for the new democracy of Amestris. Winry had to keep a tight hold on his hand when they arrived, mostly to keep Ed from getting too loud at the idea that a piece of art was a bad idea. Her grip could still cut off the circulation in his hand, and Ed was rather fond of that right hand, now.
The good thing was, Mustang didn't spend a lot of time talking about crap; he talked a little bit about it being the anniversary of Fuhrer Bradley's death, and also the anniversary of change in Amestris. "There were a lot of people who could be considered heroes that day," he said, amid flashes of cameras from journalists, "but a couple of them stand out. They have had a big hand in this country moving toward democracy, even though neither of them have had any real interest in politics – they just want people to be happy."
Ed turned a wide-eyed look at Al, then glared at Winry, who grinned. "You knew," he hissed, pulling his hand free so he could poke her with his finger.
She batted it away. "Listen to the speech, Ed!"
"The names of these two men shouldn't be a surprise to anyone," Mustang droned on, "so, without further ado, I'd like to present you with the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse." He gestured, and the drape over the statue fell, revealing a granite representation of Ed and Al, the way they'd looked before the Promised Day.
After the photographs, and the damned reporters wanting comments, and Winry nearly laughing herself sick when Ed told somebody that he really wasn't that short back then, it was just the artist made Al's armor so big, Ed and Al stood in front of the statue, looking up at it.
"I have my hair back," Al said, "I'm glad the artist used my full crest!"
Ed rolled his eyes. Al never could get over the fact he was losing his hair faster. "Tch. This is still stupid. I mean, it's better than a statue of Mustang, but." He flapped his hand in the air.
"Hey," Winry said, disengaging from another reporter to join them. She leaned against Ed, gesturing with her champagne flute. "At least they got the coat right. It even has that sigil on it."
"Yeah," Al said, "too bad they couldn't do it in red." He nudged Ed with his elbow.
Snorting, Ed put his arm around Winry, effectively moving out of Al's reach. "C'mon, Winry, let's go. I think the hotel is calling our name." As they started off, he whispered in her ear, "So, uh, did you bring my old coat? Because I'd kinda like to see you in it again…"
~ end ~