Title // Vacation
Author // Brisa
Rating // PG-13. (Swearing, self-mutilation)
Genre // Romance, angst
Characters // Edward x Winry, Alphonse.
Summary // After another mission gone horribly wrong, Edward needs automail repairs and returns to Resembool.
Commnets // Word Count: 5095. One shot. No spoilers or anything like that, set mid-series. Written first person from Edward's POV. First time writing a 1st-person, but not my first fic. Let me know what you think. :)
“Haha, nervous?” Al asked
“What? NO! Well.... Yes. YOU KNOW HOW SHE IS! She always gives me plenty of concussions and a warm welcome whenever we return,” I told Al.
He and I were on a train for Resembool, after my auto-mail leg had been chipped badly and my arm stopped functioning. I was trying to keep my cool, but I was sure I felt a bead of sweat run down the side of my face. I always dreaded going back to Resembool. Seriously, women? Some scary shit. Especially Winry and her wrenches.
“You’ll be fine, brother, you always are! Your head is too thick for concussions from a wrench.”
I glared at him, hoping my eyes could get through his armour and get to his skin and through his skull and into his brain and pierce there.
“I’m kidding! Jeeze, brother, you need a sense of humour.”
“Who are you calling humourless?!” I returned, but never got an answer.
I had my elbow rested on the windowsill, chin rested upon my gloved palm. We’d been on the train for some time. Our train rides always started out chit-chatty, but eventually got quiet and thoughtful. Alphonse was reading a book, which was something I had stupidly overlooked packing. All of the books Al had were ones I’d already read, so there was no point in me reading. Alphonse suggested starting a journal, but it would end up how they always do; Just sitting in some drawer, long forgotten after the first entry. So, I just ended up like this, staring out at the scenery as it went by, deep in my own thoughts.
The Colonel Bastard had given us two weeks off, since our last mission came up unsuccessful. We had a lead on a man who claimed to have the Philosopher’s Stone, but it was just pure bullshit. He had a small vile, filled with blood red wine. He claimed it was ‘the Crimson Elixir’ and was trying to sell it off. Naturally, the Homunculus showed up to investigate. I was on orders to bring the goddamned wine back to the headquarters, so when Envy questioned about it, he thought I was bullshitting him to make him go away. I had it hidden in my pocket, and he fought me for it, stupidly. It wasn’t much of a fight as it was him groping for my pants pocket and me dodging. In the end, I was shoved to the ground (okay, I tripped on my coat, but I’m not going to admit that out loud), and I hit my head on a rock.
When I woke up, I was inside a cemented basement, being watched by Envy. My hands were tied behind my back, and my ankles had been tied with the same rope, forcing me into a very uncomfortable position.
“Where is it, O-Chibi-San?” Envy asked with a sneer.
“I told you already, I don't have anything you want! It was this senile old man who had put some red wine in a bottle and called it Crimson Elixir. And if you REALLY don't believe me, the vile broke in my pocket, there’s glass digging into my hip, and if it WAS Crimson Elixir, I’d be dead now, wouldn’t I?” I repeated for what seemed like the 349875409857639456th time.
“I don't believe you,” Envy said and stuck his nose in the air.
“Lets search him,” a cool, smooth, womanly voice said as a door opened behind me.
“Can... Can I eat him after?”
“No, Gluttony, not this time.”
Envy sneered as he trotted over and he kneeled over me, knees on either side. With jerky, unsmooth motions he checked my red coat for pockets.
“I told you, it’s in my pants pocket,” I told him, trying to make his search shorter.
“Which one?” he paused and asked.
He tried to open my pocket wide enough to look inside, but then started undoing my belt.
“What the fuck? You don't need to STRIP me!” I yelped and rolled over, but I was trapped by Envy’s thighs
“Your pants are too fucking tight! I cant open your pocket, and its digging through your skin anyway!”
“Ugh, but now you know the glass is in my skin, so you know that it wasn’t Crimson Elixir, because if it was, I’d be dead by now.”
“Just let him go. Father will want to know about this,” came Lust’s voice.
“Fine. I’ll be back, O-Fucking-Chibi-San,” Envy sneered
“Come on, lets go, Gluttony!” Lust called as they opened the door and left, but he didn’t follow. He stared at me, drooling for what seemed like hours, inching closer and closer. Eventually he was moaning and groaning as he just stared at me, with that fat index finger of his pressed into his drooling mouth.
“If you’re going to eat me, just fucking DO IT.” I said, getting really annoyed by his mere presence.
I guess that was the WRONG thing to say, though, since he giggled like a child being given a cupcake and he ran up to me and latched onto my left leg. He probably chose my left leg out of what little self-restraint he had, and he chomped down hard on my metal shin. It cracked under his strong jaw.
“Stop now, GLUTTONY!” came Envy’s annoying voice as he returned.
Gluttony let go of me and ran to a corner and huddled, shaking, holding his knees and rocking back and forth. He ran over to Lust as she came through the door like a child runs to his mother after a nightmare.
My shoulder suddenly pained as I realised Envy had grabbed the back of my coat and dragged me out of the room and down the building’s hallway. He kicked me out a door and down the steps, into the mud, slick from the rain. I landed on my left hip, the one with glass in it, and cried out in pain. Envy walked down, pulled out a knife and cut my ties, obviously annoyed about letting me go. I stood up and watched Envy walk back into the building and slam the door shut without a word.
‘Shit! Alphonse, I thought to myself as I walked down the nearest street and headed back towards where the town was. The rain made my clothes heavy and my hair stuck to the sides of my face. The dried blood on my face was washed away. I had a major headache and I didn’t think about anything as I slowly made my way, limping, back to the hotel room. Somewhere along the way, the rain had seeped into my circuits and sparked, and my arm stopped cooperating with me and just hung, a dead weight slowing me down even more.
It seemed like eternity before I finally got to the hotel room and stepped inside, leaning against the back of the door as it closed. I stood there, panting, tired, in pain as I dripped in the hotel room’s entry way. Alphonse was there and saying something at me, but I didn’t hear any of it. I strained to listen, but it made the black around my eyes come even faster.
“Sorry...” I managed to mumble as I fell to my knees and the rest of my vision blacked out.
A familiar voice was talking to me. I couldn’t hear it. I tried to listen, but then my head throbbed. Slowly, I opened my eyes.
“.... and then... collapsed... with him, so I dont know what happened,” Alphonse’s familiar, tinny voice filled my head. Who is he talking to?
I groaned as I, slowly, came back to consciousness. Where are we? I wondered silently. I slowly opened my eyes, squinting against a bright, fluorescent light blazing into my eyes from overhead. Where are we? Everything smelled of antiseptics. I was lying on a stiff bed with a curtain pulled around it. A hospital...? Al was on a seat next to my bed.
“Brother...!” Alphonse started, concern evident in his voice.
Lifting my head to look around, I noticed a man with dark hair looking at my hip. I couldn’t see his face as he pulled out tweezers, a strange set of needles and a green-ish string. As a reflex, I slammed the back of my head into the pillow and bit my lip to hold back a yelp as he slowly pulled multiple shards of glass out of my hip.
“Al... It was just wine... Hah heh... ngh.” I tried to laugh. All this fucking trouble for a fucking bottle of fucking wine. What the fuck.
“How’d you get glass in your hip?” the doctor asked, “It’s pretty deep, you need stitches.”
“Hah... Shit. I had a small vile in my pocket when some asshole had to push me down and it shattered.”
Subconsciously, my hand left my chin and went down to my hip, pressing gently. I sighed, staring out into the sun, which was just setting. The train bounced a bit, and I hissed through teeth as I pressed too hard on my hip.
“Does it hurt?” Alphonse asked.
“Not really. Its annoying, though, the stitches snag on my pants. I guess it does hurt, but its nothing I can’t deal with,” I replied.
“I’ll be right back...” Alphonse said as he stood.
“Huh?” What the hell..? Whatever.
I rested my chin on my hand again and just stared out into the sunset. I could see the reflection of my eyes in the window, glowing as yellow as the sun itself. Everything was cast in orange as the sun began its descent behind the hills.
My stomach loudly spoke its ming with a grumble as the scent of fresh cooked bread filled my nostrils. I heard Al’s armour clanking and clinking with his stride as he walked back over and sat next to me this time, rather than across from me.
“I thought you’d be hungry!” he said with a smile as he handed me a warm bag filled with assorted breads.
“Thanks, Al,” I said and dug in. The bread warmed me from the inside, making me realise just how cold the train car was this winter evening. I quickly ate the rest of the bread, and sighed. I leaned against Al, who had returned to reading, and I curled up between him and the window, and watched as the last bit of sun crept behind the black hills. Soon, it was dark and the dim lights of the train turned on. Slowly, the subtle rocking of the train lulled me to sleep.
“Brother, we’re here,” Alphonse was saying as he gently shook me awake. I groaned groggily, grabbing my bag and my coat and standing up, following Al even before I opened my eyes. Eventually, I started waking up as we headed toward the Rockbell’s. Now fully awake, I yawned as I knocked on the door.
The door swung open and Granny Pinako pulled me inside.
“WINRY!” she yelled, surprisingly loud for such a tiny old hag, “THE GUESTS OF HONOUR ARE HERE.”
I squeezed my eyes shut as I braced for a wrench hitting me in the face... But it was thrown at my feet instead. For a moment, Winry and I just stared at eachother.
“What is it THIS time?” she growled.
“Well, uh, this maniac wanted to eat my leg so its chipped pretty bad, and and and... OUCH,” Winry had stormed down the stairs and grabbed my braid and pulled, so I finished with a hurried, “I dont know why, but my arm isn’t working.”
She glared at me with devilish eyes.
“Pleasedon’tkillme,” I whimpered.
Winry’s glare turned into a smile, and I couldn’t help but sigh with relief.
“Lets have breakfast! How long are you staying? Knowing you, you’re probably going to leave right away...” Winry sounded disappointed at the end.
“Well, we DO have two weeks off...” Alphonse started, and Winry’s eyes lit up.
“I wanted to do some research in the library though! I want to be back at central as soon as possible...” I said, and felt a bit guilty when Winry slumped in her chair.
I was sitting in the usual chair, in my boxers as always, my right arm on a cushy arm rest, and my left leg out in front of me on a platform. Winry groaned as she looked at my shin, which had been crushed into an odd shape. Apparantly, some of the wires had been disconnected as well, making it less mobile, but of course, I never noticed.
Alphonse and I had been talking about some leads we had before we left Central, and which ones were more likely to come up successful and which ones we thought might possibly be dangeroous, and the usual other stuff. Winry had kept quiet, concentrated on her work.
“So, what exactly happened on that night?” Alphonse asked, “You still haven’t really told me anything except that it was wine.”
“Oh... Huh, I guess I haven’t.” I started, and I told him the story of how I had the vile in my pocket, and then Envy showed up, and then I ended up in some basement of a house on the outskirts of the city, and how they just let me go. I still find it kind of odd how they went to talk to this ‘father,’ of whom we still don’t know, came back, and just let me go, but that’s beside the point.
When I had finished my story, I noticed Winry was just looking up at me. She blushed slighty, which I would not have seen if I hadn’t known her very well. Grabbing a new metal plate to replace my battered shin, she looked away.
A little while later, Winry started working on my arm.
“I’m going to go read.” Alphonse said, and stood to leave.
“Alright,” Winry and I both said in unison. Al took his leave, and there was a short silence.
“Does it hurt?” She asked.
“Oh. We both know I’ve had worse...” I said and I pulled the top of my boxers down over my hip a bit and looked at the many stitches there. After that, the both of us were silent. I had been thinking about the different leads we had back at Central, but it always made me feel restless, so just quieted my mind and watched Winry do her work.
“I just have to replace all of the wires,” she said, not looking up at me. “Were you in the rain a lot or something? The inside of the arm is slightly rusty, nothing I can’t get rid of, but all of the wires have stopped working because of too must moisture.”
“Oh,” is all I could manage to say as I just watched her. It was almost like she was mesmerising or something. Her large, saphire eyes were lit with concentration as she removed each wire, inspected it, and replaced it with a new one. She paused ocassionally to place a bang back behind her pierced, perfect ears, to reveal a soft-skinned face that almost glowed. I shifted a bit in my seat, realising for the first time how pretty Winry really was.
Winry probably felt my gaze and looked up into my eyes. I looked away and I pretended to be interested in her bookshelf. I could feel her eyes tracing the slight blush in my cheeks that I could feel burning there.
“Ready?” she asked, placing a finger at the back of my shoulder.
“Huh?” I said, looking at her, forgetting about what was going on. “OH. Uh. Yeah, as always.”
“When are you leaving?” she asked again, flipping the switch on my automail.
“T-Tomorrow,” I said a bit shaky, trying to adjust with the sudden nerv attatchment.
“Oh...” she said, a bit throaty, stood up, and left. She’d been acting odd all day, and I didn’t understand it. I just stared out the door after her.
We all sat at the dinner table, Al to my left, Winry across the table, and Granny Pinako to Winry’s right. I grumbled as Winry slid a plate of spaghetti my way. What the fuck? It’s always spaghetti with Winry. I already told her how much I hate spaghetti. I might like it a bit more if it wasn’t what we ate every time I’m here.
I grumbled again and dug in, too hungry to refuse. Granny Pinako and I had our usual eating contest, seeing who could eat the most the fastest. It was always competition with Granny.
“I’m going to go eat in my room. There’s a new kind of automail technique I’d like to check out...” Winry said and excused herself from the table, taking her plate of spaghetti with her as she went up the stairs. I didn’t know if it was just me, or if that really did sound like bullshit.
There was no light in the room other than that of the moon, shining in through the window wich I was peering out of. I could see Risembool’s country side for as far as the moon would show me. I sat on the edge of the bed, staring, thinking. The door opened and I heard Alphonse walking in and he sat next to me on the bed. He was silent for a long time. I had almost forgot about him when he spoke.
“Brother? What are you thinking about?”
“Huh? Oh... I don’t know.” I lied.
“Well, it wasn’t anything important, so...” I shrugged.
“Do you think I care? I’m your borther! I like to know what you’re thinking,” he said, patiently waiting for my reply.
“Fine,” I said and paused, “Do you think Winry’s acting weird?”
“Winry? Acting weird? Maybe a little bit, but not something I’d be worried about,” Alphonse said with a face. Well, he had no face, but It was almost like the metal helmet was making a weird face at me. I gave him a face back. “She always acts like that when she finds out when we’re leaving.”
So why haven’t I realised it before? No, this is different from other times. She’s been hiding herself all day.
I just lay there in thought as Alphonse picked up a book, again, and started reading. He’d really gotten obsessed with reading lately.
I was on the way to the bathroom, just about to pass Winry’s room when I noticed a trail of light coming from beneath the door. I paused, thinking Winry would usually be asleep by now (it was the middle of the night now), and passed. On my way back, I paused outside the door and lifted my hand to knock. I stopped right before my knuckles would have hit the door, and thought about what I was doing. Winry’s probably just obsessing over that automail thing, and I was probably being too observant.
Turning to leave, I almost took a step away. I stopped when I heard a shaky sigh from inside the room. I turned back towards the door, took a breath (who knows, could end up getting hit with a wrench as always...), and knocked.
“WinWin?” I got no answer. “Win? Are you in there?” Still no reply.
“Winry,” I started again and stopped as I heard footsteps. The door opened and Winry stood there in her nightgown and a pink sweatter, looking at me with a puzzled face.
“What are you doing up?” she asked quietly.
“Heheh, well, I uh... I was going to the bathroom, and I uh... Saw the light under your door and... and I just wondered why you’d still be awake,” I tried not to sound too concerned, rubbed at the back of my hand and gave her a goofy grin.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d read up on some automail stuff...” she replied. There was something weird about her voice, and I thought it was just because she was whispering, but I also thought there was somethinga bout her eyes, but then, I couldn’t see it in the darkness of the hallway. I couldn’t figure out what was going through my head and why I cared so much. Something was just different. No, something was wrong. I dont know how I thought I knew, but I did, and it was making me feel strange. This hadn’t ever happened before.
“Oh, haha, funny, because I couldn’t sleep either,” I lied. I only had to go to the bathroom, “so, any new techniques you could use on my automail?” I asked, trying to make conversation.
“No, not really, I’ve read all of these books before,” she said boredly, and pulled me inside her room, closing the door behind her. “Don’t want to wake up Granny.”
“Right.” I said, and sat on a chair next to her desk. Den trotted over to me and rested his chin on my knee, demanding pets.
“Careless,” Winry mumbled.
“I was careless, I didn’t screw this on very well,” she said, looking at my automail. What? It looks fine to me... But then, what do I know? Haha. Winry grabbed a screwdriver and began working on my automail for the second time. I watched her for a few moments before letting my eyes drift around her room. I’ve never actually been in Winry’s room before, I realised. My stomach felt like it went to my feet as I scanned the desk and spotted a full plate of spaghetti, neglected and shoved to the side.
“Winry...” I mumbled, my voice not much higher than a whisper, “you didn’t eat?”
She didn’t look at me. She stopped whatever she was doing with my arm and visibly tensed up. I could see tears forming at the bottom of her eyes, and she closed them, probably hoping that I didnt see. I reached over for her screwdriver and tried to take it from her, but she held on tight, never wanting to let go of one of her security items.
“Winry, there’s nothing wrong with my automail,” I said and her grip on the tool lightened. I gently took it from her and placed it on the desk, then grabbed either wrist.
“What’s wrong, Winry?” She didn’t reply. “Winry... Did something happen?”
She stared at her hands and avoided me. Soon, she began to tremble slightly. I rubbed the sides of her arms, wondering if it was the cold of the winter night or discomfort that made her tremble. She still stared down. I didn’t know if I was welcome or not at that moment.
“Do... Do you want me to leave?” I asked. Still no reply. “I don’t like to see you like this... It hurts me. But... If you don’t want me here, I understand.” If anything, she started trembling harder, shaking violently. I leaned forward to stand, but stopped when she finally spoke.
“No...” her voice was quiet, uneven, and forced. She took a breath before finishing, “Please don’t leave me.”
I sighed, and just stared at her, unknowing of what to do. My hands just rested on her shoulders as she slouched over herself, cuddling herself with her arms.
“Winry.... Did somebody hurt you?” I asked, dreading the answer. Her body jerked forward a bit as she choked back a sob. “Winry....”
I was confused. Confused and at a loss of what to do or say. She was still curled over herself, head down, face veiled with long, blonde hair. I was getting a bit fed up. I was feeling desperate because I really wanted to help her and I didn’t know how. She wanted me here, but she was avoiding me. I stood up a bit, slid the chair away and kneeled in front of her. She ducked her head even farther down.
“Winry... Look at me?” I asked her softly. This was getting stupid. I needed to demand her. I placed a hand under her soft chin and tilted her face up, but her eyes were closed. “Look at me, please... Look at me!”
Winry sighed a bit shaky and slowly opened her eyes. I fixed her large azure orbs, which were beginning to get puffy and red, with mine.
“Winry.... If... If anybody hurt you, I’ll beat the shit out of them,” I said, unsure of what else to say. I slid my arms down from her shoulders, down the side of her arms, planning on putting her hands in mine. She winced as my hand rubbed down her forearms and I stopped. She really is hurt? I made no move. She took off her sweatter, revealing her left arm, which had been wrapped in a white bandage that was stained with blood.
My face went cold as the blood drained from my face. I watched as she unraveled the bandage, revealing numerous cuts, some scabbing over and old, some still bleeding slightly and new. She was now looking at me, tears running down her face. I looked into her eyes and she sobbed. She closed her eyes as I cupped her face with my hands and wiped her warm, wet tears away with my thumb.
“Who’s doing this?” I whispered, stupidly asking a question I knew the answer to.
“M-Me.” she sobbed, even more quiet than me, her lips trembling.
“Oh, shit, Win...” I wrapped my arms around her trembling, cold shoulders. Winry sobbed into my chest, muffling the noise. She was still trying not to cry.
“Its okay,” I whispered in her ear, so close my lips brushed the rim of her ear . “Let it out.”
I felt her melt in my arms and I pulled her in closer to me, rubbing her back. She wrapped her arms under mine and put her hands on the back of my shoulders, gripping tightly at the back of my tanktop. Winry just cried into my chest, her arms wrapped around my shoulders, my arms wrapped around her small frame and pulling her closer, nose dug into her yellow hair behind her ear. We stayed like that for what seemed like eternity, but I didn’t care. I would have guessed it was an hour or so before her crying finally reduced to sniffles. When I tried to pull away just a bit, Winry tightened her grip on my shoulders. She sighed and just breathed for a few minutes.
“I don’t want you to leave...” she said. When I didn’t reply, she continued, “Every fucking time you come, you just get your repairs and then you leave for more of your research. I never get to spend any time with you anymore. For a while, I told myself you didn’t care about me...”
Winry stopped and looked up at me. I didn’t know what to do, or what to think. I was angry that Winry would have thought I didn’t care, we’ve been friends forever. I was worried about what she was doing to herself. I sad that she let herself sink so low. I wanted, with whatever was in me, for her to be happy.
“Winry, you know that’s not true,” I said, a bit of my anger probably kissing the edge of my words. She looked away from me and closed her eyes, more tears coming silently to stain her face. Again, I cupped her face in non-metallic hand and wiped her tears away, “Is that what this is about? Me?”
“Why, Win? Winry.... Look at me.” I waited for her to open her azure eyes again. “I would do anything for your happiness, Winry. Please believe me when I say this. If there is anything in my power I can do for you, then please say it! I dont like seeing you like this, its tearing me to pieces from the inside out. I want you to be happy and I want you to be healthy. I really care about you, Winry.”
I rubbed my hand along her cold forearm as I grabbed her discared sweatter and wrapped it around her shoulders. She sighed, wiping her face with the backs of her hands, and then cupped her face in her hands.
“Hey...” I said softly, grabbing at her wrists and gently pulling her hands away from her face. I rested my forehead against hers and stared into her eyes, shifting my focus from one to the other. “No more of that. Are you okay now?”
“Yeah...” she sighed, her breath caressing my face.
“Why all of this for me, anyway?” I mumbled.
“I don’t know.... I...” she closed her eyes then and stopped talking.
“You what?” I prodded. She mumbled something quickly and blushed. I couldn’t actually hear what she said, but I knew what it was. I nuzzled my face in closer to hers, my mouth just a centimeter away from hers, and whispered under my breath, “What? I couldn’t hear you.”
“I love you.” she whispered so quiet I almost couldn’t hear her and with that, I closed the gap in between our lips. Hers were soft and warm, inviting. At first she was tense, but then she sighed and relaxed. I wrapped my arms around her once more, pulling her close as I sucked on her upper lip while she sucked on my lower. One of her hands reached back and found the back of my neck and rubbed there gently. Our lips parted with an audible sucking noise.
“I love you, too,” I told her. “And-”
I was cut off by her lips again on mine. She sucked hard on my lower lip and her hand traveled from the back of my neck to the back of my head, fingers threading through my hair. She pushed my face closer to hers. I asked for entry with my tongue and she quickly gave it to me. I tilted my head and pushed my open mouth against hers, exploring with my tongue.
The both of us froze for a second and broke away as we heard Al’s armour clinking down the hallway, coming toward us. I stood up when he knocked on the door and opened it.
“Sorry, Winry said she couldn’t sleep and I thought I’d talk to her for a bit,” I made up an excuse for my delayed return. “Good night, Winry.”
“I thought maybe you died on the toilet or something.” Al giggled. Winry poked her head out of her room before closing her door.
“Are you guys still leaving tomorrow?” she asked quietly.
“Nah. I think the both of us could use a vacation.” I smiled.