jordannamorgan: Winry Rockbell and Edward Elric, "Fullmetal Alchemist". (FMA Dedication)
[personal profile] jordannamorgan posting in [community profile] prose_alchemist
Title: Reawakening (2/6)
Author: [personal profile] jordannamorgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: PG for a small amount of violence.
Characters: Edward, Alphonse, the Curtises, Winry, Mustang, assorted original characters, and a special guest villain.
Setting: First anime. Continuation of my AU one-shot story “Rebirth”.
Summary: Fifteen years after being reborn as a child of the Curtises, Edward has grown to be a healthy, settled teenager with no memory of his first life. Yet shadows of the past are beginning to fall over the family’s happiness… and not all of Ed’s old enemies have forgotten him.
Disclaimer: They belong to Hiromu Arakawa. I’m just playing with them.


In the morning, Edward awakened without pain. His latest headache had passed. He kicked off the blankets and stretched languorously, staring up at the ceiling as he collected his first thoughts of the day.

Now that a night’s sleep had settled his emotions, his upset over the incident at the store seemed forgettably foolish to him. It was no different from any of the ignorant whispers he had heard before in his life—and just as meaningless.

He knew the truth. He knew who he was, and where he had come from.

Drowsily Ed gazed around his bedroom in the soft dawn light. The bed opposite his own was empty. That was normal; Alphonse still spent his nights there, reading or simply resting his ever-wakeful mind, but he always went downstairs to begin the day’s chores long before anyone else woke up. He worked with humble happiness, and his cheerful morning greetings in the kitchen started each day joyfully.

Preparing breakfast was one of the duties Al claimed for himself—and in spite of his own inability to eat, he had somehow managed to become an excellent cook. The thought of his pancakes and bacon was enough to hasten Ed’s waking. The teenager rolled out of bed, dressed quickly, and left his room, twining his long hair into its usual braid as he followed enticing aromas down the stairs.

Sometimes Ed wondered why his voracious appetite hadn’t put more meat on him… or more height, for that matter. Ronan had not yet begun to develop the dense build common to men of their family, but he was already as tall as Ed, and Shaya was more than an inch taller. Once again, Mother simply attributed Ed’s slightness to a genetic quirk. He accepted it with fairly good grace, but still—and increasingly, over the last few months—he felt it was a disappointing annoyance.

He told himself his small size was a part of what made him much quicker and more agile than his younger siblings. They never could beat him in the physical contests Mother put them through. His prowess came naturally to him; his body just seemed to know the elegant, effective moves he performed before they were ever taught to him, and sometimes without being taught them at all.

“Good morning!” Al welcomed him brightly as he stepped into the kitchen. The armored giant carefully set a stack of plates on the counter, and came forward to squeeze Ed’s shoulders fondly. “How do you feel?”

Ed grinned up at him. “Great! …Hungry. What are we having?”

Al cuffed Ed playfully on the arm. “I know you don’t really have to ask. You can smell it.” He turned to the stove and picked up the skillet that sizzled on it, showing Ed a light, fluffy apple pancake. “I hope it’s alright. I haven’t made these in a while… Winry is better at it.”

“It looks perfect!” Ed helped himself to half of an apple sitting unattended on the cutting board, and moved into the dining room, continuing to speak with Al through the doorway. “How is Winry, anyway? She hasn’t come by in a few days.”

“Actually, she did yesterday, while you were in school. She’s been busy with work—and she said her morning sickness has been a little rough on her this week.”

With that statement, the conversation encroached upon bizarre female matters that Ed found completely alien. He let the subject lapse, smiling at Al as his brother set a heaping plate before him, and was just about to dig in when his father strode into the room.

Sig Curtis truly couldn’t have looked any more different from Ed. He was a dark, hairy man-mountain, crags of bronzed muscle piled one upon another, towering almost as tall as Al. To any stranger, he would look frightening; but his children knew that under his foreboding exterior, he was the tender-hearted one of their parents. He had spent all of their lives quietly spoiling them behind his wife’s back.

“Morning, Father.” Ed rose from his chair. Standing when one of his parents entered the room was not one of the many good manners he had been taught, but he always did it anyway, because he genuinely respected them both that much.

Hrm,” Father rumbled deeply. It didn’t sound like a friendly noise at all—but the way he put his hand out and affectionately tousled Ed’s hair was the true expression of his feelings. He was a man whose actions more than made up for his few words.

“I have to meet with some of the farmers we buy from today,” he informed Al, as he poured a cup of strong black coffee. “You’ll mind the store until I get back?”

“Yes sir.” Al fidgeted loudly. “I just hope Mrs. Soper doesn’t come in today, then. Her little girl’s only two, and still kinda scared of me…”

“Good morning.” Mother’s velvet voice preceded her into the room. She greeted them each in turn, patting Al’s arm, kissing Father… and then she came to Ed’s side, to put her arm around his shoulders. “Do you feel better today?”

First Al, and now Mother. Ed blushed and twitched in her half-embrace, embarrassed by the concern he was attracting. “Yeah, just fine! Really. It’s only a headache I’ve been having—and I don’t even have it now.”

Mother pulled away from him. She looked into his face, with the unmistakable expression of hers that said she knew better, but that she wasn’t going to press the issue just yet. Her hand lingered on his shoulder for a moment as she sat down next to him, prompting him to reclaim his own seat.

“Well then, if you are feeling alright, I have a small errand for you. Winry has been having trouble with morning sickness—something I know a little about.” She smiled wryly. “I asked Doctor Lang to prepare a medicine of his that worked for me. He dropped it off here yesterday evening. Will you take it to Winry’s shop on your way to school?”

“Yeah—sure.” Ed nodded. “I’d like to see her, anyway.”

“Should I get Shaya and Ronan up for breakfast?” Al queried, as he set the platter of pancakes on the table.

“Not yet. Let them sleep a little longer.” Mother smiled—a bit ruefully, Ed thought—before turning to him again, with a softness in her eyes that he did not often see. “For now I want to have this time with you, Ed. We haven’t had much chance to talk lately… so this morning, I want to change that.”

Really, it was all rather strange.

For the next half-hour, Ed somehow managed to converse with Mother about mere trivialities, avoiding the subject of the troubled emotions he had lately been feeling. It wasn’t easy. Several times, he got the sense that she was fishing for exactly that—but he didn’t want to talk about it. Not with her, or really with anyone now, since he had resolved to ignore it for the nothing it was.

When he left the house with Shaya and Ronan, carrying a paper-wrapped parcel that was the medicine he had been tasked with delivering, he was still pondering Mother’s unusually tender behavior.

Mother loved him deeply, just as she loved his siblings. He had always known that—but the ways she expressed that love were ordinarily quite subtle. She didn’t cling or hover, as so many mothers did. She raised her children with a firm, wise hand, teaching them from a young age to be strong and independent, and trusted them to come to her when they truly needed her strength beyond their own. They appreciated the freedom that trust afforded them, and returned it by readily seeking her guidance and quiet comfort when they did face a problem they couldn’t resolve for themselves.

Now, however, Mother’s unwonted display of concern made Ed a little nervous. He had chosen not to share his feelings because he was sure they were just a contrary teenage phase. He expected her to let him work it out on his own, as always; but her discreet probing into the matter made him feel as if she was no longer trusting him to do that.

Or perhaps, adding the gradual onset and increase of his headaches into the equation…

Did Mother think there really was something physically wrong with him?

The thought frightened Ed. Could there be something they had never told him about the “genetic quirk” that made him so different from the rest of the family—something that would actually affect his health?

…No. It couldn’t be that. He had been perfectly healthy all his life, and he still was. He couldn’t be so active and athletic if there was really any illness lurking in him.

Ed! We’re here!”

Startled out of his disturbing thoughts, Ed looked up to realize he had almost walked straight past the shop that was his destination. Shaya and Ronan had both paused beneath its striped awning, and were looking at him: she with a frown on her lips and hands on her waist, and he with wide-eyed bemusement.

“Oh! Sorry. I was just—thinking.” Ed blushed and stepped back to them, awkwardly tugging at the strap of his book bag.

Shaya rolled her eyes. “You’ve been thinking way too much lately, if you ask me.”

Ed smiled wanly, and regarded his younger siblings for a moment, feeling a faint pang in his heart for no reason he could name.

Although the much older Alphonse held the deepest place in his heart, Shaya and Ronan were his childhood playmates in ways Al could never be. It was because they were so much closer to his age… and, admittedly, because they were flesh instead of steel. They could swim with him, whereas Al could only sit on the shore and watch them in the water. They could climb trees that would never hold Al’s weight. They could play games of dress-up and pretend that Al’s large, cumbersome form could not. Sometimes they even got into childish fights with him, too; a rite of passage Ed had never shared with Al, given their elder brother’s maturity in both age and temperament.

The two younger Curtises were quite different from one another. Shaya was growing to be a very studious, responsible young lady—albeit a little bit bossy at times. Ronan was much more laid-back, with a short attention span and a clownish sense of humor. Ed loved the qualities they both added to his life. His sister kept him focused, while his brother reminded him not to take himself too seriously.

His recent moodiness was trying their patience as much as anyone’s, he knew. Lately, things hadn’t been the way they used to be. They just wanted him to be the older brother he had always been before: a clever and even-tempered leader in misadventures, old enough to look out for them, but still young enough to share their wonder and fun.

“…Thanks,” he said to them, very softly, and he wasn’t at all sure why he said it.

Ronan squinted at him. “For what?”

“Just… for being here. For being who you are.” Ed’s blush darkened a little more. He scratched his fingers awkwardly through his hair, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “I don’t mean to sound weird. It’s only…”

He couldn’t find any words suitable to complete that sentence, to explain his strange mood. Fortunately, he didn’t need to. Ronan wasn’t likely to think about this moment for longer than the next two minutes—and Shaya thought Ed had been acting weird for months anyway. He knew they would both let it pass.

But a part of him did hope the sincerity of his feelings would linger in their hearts, even if they forgot the words.

He was spared from making any more of a fool of himself. A crowd of Shaya and Ronan’s schoolmates ran past them, laughing, trailing bright paper streamers in their wake from the decorations they had made for a birthday party. One girl stopped to call out to the Curtis children before rushing after the others.

“Go on ahead,” Ed told Shaya and Ronan warmly. “I’ll give this medicine to Winry, and follow you in a few minutes.”

His siblings were quick to agree to this plan. Smiling, they hurried off after their friends. Ed watched them for a long moment… and then he let out a sigh, reluctantly turning to face the shop door that read CURTIS AUTOMAIL in bold red letters.

Edward loved his cousin Winry. She was a Curtis only by marriage—the wife of Father’s nephew Mason—but she had been a part of their lives for as long as he could remember, having stayed with them to help Mother since before he was born. He was fairly sure that when he was very little, he’d had a crush on her. She was beautiful and good-hearted, and in spite of her occasional flashes of temperament, she always treated Ed with a special tenderness. Besides that, having her around meant he wasn’t the only blonde in the family, which was nice.

What he didn’t love, however, was Cousin Winry’s profession… because automail gave Ed the creeps.

He didn’t know why it was so. In his familiarity with Winry and her patients, he had seen firsthand the great value of her work: the way it made crippled people almost-whole again, allowed them to live essentially ordinary lives. It was noble and compassionate, and he respected that.

Nevertheless, just being around automail gave him a squirming, unnerved feeling he could never quite define. It wasn’t fear or disgust, as some people felt, at the idea of having machines in place of flesh and blood. His reaction was even more irrational and baseless than that. Looking at the polished prosthetics on their racks in the shop, or the jumbles of parts half-formed in the shape of human limbs on Winry’s work table, was somehow like seeing ghosts… or the terribly clichéd feeling of having one’s grave walked upon.

Ed was inclined to believe that as a small child, his first sight of those inanimate metal person-parts had frightened him, and now he still carried the scar of that reaction in some primal recess of his subconscious. It was the only sensible explanation. After all, he wasn’t the kind of person to be bothered by things when he could see no logical reason to be bothered.

…Not that anyone would know that from his recent behavior, of course.

There wasn’t much time left before class. Taking a deep breath, Ed gathered his nerves, and stepped into the shop.

Creepy. So creepy

Dozens of steel arms and legs were on display in the front showroom. They were lined up in the window for passersby to see, or they rested on satin cushions in glass cases—or more disturbing still, they simply hung on racks at the back of the room, like some kind of metallic parodies of the meat in his parents’ butcher shop. Ed couldn’t bring himself to see the intricacy and beauty of their construction, as Winry did. She prided herself on how perfectly they matched the form of the limbs they replaced; but to Ed, that imitation was somehow too perfect, too insidiously deceptive.

His breakfast unexpectedly turned over in his stomach. Gulping hard, he hurried through the doorway that led to the back of the shop, in search of his cousin.

The next room was Winry’s workshop—and it really wasn’t any better to see the gutted, half-constructed prosthetics that littered the counters, the shelves, and even the floor. Ed leaned against the wall and took slow breaths, fixing his gaze firmly on the battered old wrench that lay on Winry’s work table.

She was always carrying that thing around. When he was little and she had lived with his parents, he used to see her sleeping with it, the same way his sister slept with her beloved stuffed frog. To this day, Winry still even talked to the wrench, telling it what she was trying to do with it, or demanding that it cooperate. Sometimes Ed thought she was more than a little crazy… but for all that, he didn’t love her any less.

He jumped when a curtain rustled at his left, and Winry emerged through the doorway behind it. Her five-year-old son Yuri trailed along in her wake, clinging to the belt loop of her frayed khaki coveralls. That garment was unbuttoned above her hips, to allow for the weight of another burgeoning new life—her third child—that showed plainly under her black tank top.

“Oh—Ed! When did you sneak in here?” Without too much awkwardness from the burden inside her, Winry hurried forward to give Edward a hug. He welcomed it gladly, returning it with his right arm, while he laid his left hand fondly on Yuri’s head.

“I just came in.” Ed squirmed out of Winry’s grip and reached into his book bag, withdrawing the parcel he was to deliver. “Mother asked me to bring you this. It’s some medicine from Doctor Lang, for your morning sickness. How are you feeling?”

“Thanks,” Winry said warmly, accepting the package. She ran her free hand through her hair; it was once long, but she had cut it to shoulder-length when Yuri, as a toddler, had introduced her to the unpleasantness of its being pulled at by grabby little fingers. “I feel pretty good right now—lucky for me, because I have a lot to do. A patient is coming in for surgery to connect his port this afternoon, and Sarah’s been fussy. I just fed her and put her down for a nap.” She nodded toward the curtained-off room that served as a nursery for her children during the work day.

“You need babysitting later?” Ed offered, idly setting down his book bag, so that Yuri could plop down on the floor and burrow curiously into its contents. Most likely searching for candy—a bad habit Ronan had taught him.

Winry shook her head. “Nah, we’ve got it covered. Mason’s going to take the kids home early. I just needed his help with some metalwork this morning.”

“Where is he now?”

The mechanic grinned and planted her hands on her hips, with a gleam in her eye that Ed remembered from her two previous pregnancies.

“Oh. Right. Breakfast.” He chuckled. “Ice cream again?”

“Actually, I’ve been craving broccoli this time. I don’t know.” Winry laughed, patting her belly and the child-to-be inside it. “I just hope that means this one won’t have Yuri’s sweet tooth!”

Ed couldn’t help smiling at Winry’s unaffected joy. She loved motherhood, and it suited her beautifully.

“Okay, then. I’d better get going. I have to get to school.” Ed gently disengaged Yuri’s hands from a history book containing exciting pictures of horses and battles. He stuffed the book into his bag, and then straightened to look up at Winry once more. “You’ll come around to our place soon, won’t you? …I haven’t seen you very much lately.”

“And whose fault is that, Mr. Spending-Every-Minute-Studying? I’ve been visiting as much as ever—but you haven’t been there.”

The gentle admonishment made Ed squirm. On the increasingly frequent occasions when he strayed to Yock Island or some other isolated spot, to be alone with his headaches and his restless feelings, it seemed Winry believed he was off studying instead.

“…Yeah. I’ll try to catch you next time.”

Winry’s expression softened abruptly. She reached out, laying her hands on Ed’s shoulders. Her blue eyes sought his amber ones.

Thanks, Ed. Really. I know you’re not very comfortable coming here… but I’m glad you did.”

A blush threatened to spill across Ed’s cheeks again. He ducked his head, settling the strap of his book bag more securely on his shoulder. His eyes did not quite manage to meet hers.

“Well, Mother asked me—and I wanted you to get that medicine as soon as possible. I hope it works for you.”

“I’m sure it will. Thank your mother for me too, okay?”

“Sure.” Ed succeeded in raising his eyes, if only briefly. He pointed toward the doorway with his thumb. “I’d better go…”

He turned to leave, preparing himself for a rapid retreat through the main room with its collection of unsettling machine-limbs; but the first step only led to a collision, as a wall of flesh and bone and faded denim work clothes thrust itself into the doorway.

“Oh! Hey!” A broad hand planted itself firmly on the top of Edward’s head, tousling his hair with all the gentleness of a grizzly. “What are you doing here, kiddo?”

A part of Ed felt a wave of warm fondness—even as a fuming spark of irritation flashed somewhere deeper down. For some reason, his reaction to Mason had always been weirdly conflicted.

Hey, Mason.” He jerked his head out from underneath his cousin’s palm, and looked up at him. “Just dropping something off for Mother.”

Mason smiled. The dark-haired young man was nearly as large and muscular as his uncle—Ed’s father, Sig—but his easygoing friendliness made him far less intimidating. He had quit working for Father in the butcher shop nine years earlier, after his marriage to Winry, to become her partner in the automail business instead. Although he still couldn’t perform the delicate engineering of the inner mechanisms, he could handle the heavier and more laborious metalwork; and when he wasn’t doing that, he looked after their children himself. Like his wife, he loved raising his family more than anything else.

Winry came forward to greet her husband. Ed fidgeted, glancing away, as the couple snuggled and kissed.

“Did you get it?” Winry asked eagerly.

Mason grinned, holding up a paper-wrapped bundle of broccoli. “Fresh off the farm. They were just unloading it when I got to the market.”

Letting out an inarticulate squeal, Winry seized the vegetables and vanished in the direction of the shop’s small kitchen, before the two males in the room had the chance to say a word.

“…Huh. If she wasn’t pregnant, it’d take chocolate to get that reaction,” Mason chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, either that or a trip to the hardware store… Guess I’d better go cook that up for her before she eats it raw. You want to stay for breakfast, Ed? I’d promise not to make you eat any broccoli, but Win’s going to eat it all anyway, so you’re safe.”

“Uh… no thanks.” Ed took a backwards half-step toward the doorway. “I’ll be late for class if I don’t get out of here. See you around, though.”

With a grin and an affable wave of his hand, Mason drifted off after Winry, and Ed turned to make his way out of the shop.

In the outer room, morning sunlight poured through the plate-glass windows, casting a brilliant white glare on a hundred steel surfaces—and that bad feeling was back again. Ed hurriedly slunk past the lifeless automail limbs in their cases, trying not to look at them.

The reflected light hurt his eyes. It obscured and distorted the details of the prosthetics until they seemed to move at the corner of his vision, grasping, groping…

Changing to an inky, writhing blackness as they reached for him.

A violent burst of pain struck Ed inside the skull like a physical blow. He stumbled, muffling a sharp groan into his fist, and tried to regain his balance with a quick shift of his weight; but his left leg failed him, with a painful throb of its own. He tumbled to the floor, upsetting a display stand beside the door that crashed noisily somewhere behind him. Another, equally familiar ache twisted like a knife within his right shoulder, completing the descent of his entire being into torment.

Yet this wasn’t like before… because he knew, with every fiber of his being, that not all of this experience was even real.

The distraction of the physical agony was not even enough to make those shadow-hands in his mind go away. He shut his eyes, but he could still feel them, caressing icily across his skin like death itself. Tears leaked from underneath his eyelids as he clawed at the floor, whimpering like a child, trying to crawl away from their phantom grasp.


The voice seemed to come from a different world altogether. He was suddenly conscious of true touch, of movement around and over him. The black hands slithered away into nonexistence as he was lifted in powerful arms.

He must have faded out of consciousness for a minute or two. When he came to his senses, he was lying on a couch in the nursery room, with Winry and Mason looking down upon him anxiously. Little Sarah was crying in her crib, while Yuri stood in the corner, chewing on the edge of his shirt and looking frightened.

“…Geeze.” Mason breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of Ed’s open eyes, reaching out to smooth the teenager’s sweat-damp hair. “You gave us a scare, kiddo. What happened?”

Ed shook his head minutely against the pillow that had been stuffed under it. Although the aches in his shoulder and thigh had subsided to a twinge, the pain inside his skull was still roaring. It was making his eyesight a little hazy… along with the tears still caught in his eyelashes. He reached up hastily to scrub them away with the back of his right hand.

And there it was again: the feeling that the softness of flesh there was somehow wrong.

Quickly he jerked upright, not caring that it caused a particularly sickening throb in his head. All he wanted was to move, just as he had when that haunting sensation came to him before on the island. He ran his hands over his body, his face, his limbs, lingering in the places where the aches came. His fingers found nothing but firm, smooth skin.

Frozen in the act of reaching down to pick Sarah up from the crib, Winry watched him; but he never noticed the darkness in her eyes.

“…It was one of the headaches I’ve been having,” Ed partially confessed at last. His mouth was dry. He swallowed, rather unsatisfactorily, and gave a small shrug of his shoulders. “It just hit me really fast, out of nowhere. That’s all. I’m alright now.”

Mason frowned. “I don’t know. Maybe we’d better call Doc Lang. You’re pale as a ghost—and you’re still shaking.”

Glancing down at his hands in his lap, Ed realized they were indeed trembling. He clasped them together tightly, determined not to show Winry and Mason his fear.

“No,” he insisted, and then tried to soften his obstinacy by forcing a wan smile. “I mean… yeah, I guess I should go to the doctor about these headaches, but I’ll talk to Mother and Father about that later. I’m fine now, so I just want to get to school. I have a big test today.”

The words were nothing more than an excuse. Ed didn’t want to lie to his anxious cousins—but the truth was that he had no intention of seeing a doctor just yet. After that hallucination or whatever it may have been, he was terrified of learning that something really was wrong with him. He knew that finding out, and getting prompt treatment if necessary, was the reasonable thing to do; but everything in him just wanted to deny the things happening inside him until they went away. It was a childish impulse, but he couldn’t bring himself to go against it.

Surely this would all pass, even after such a serious incident. It had to… because somehow, instinctively, he was even more afraid of knowing why he had imagined those black hands than he was of seeing them again.

Winry studied Ed for a long moment. He thought her eyes were shining just a little too damply. At length she passed Sarah into Mason’s arms, and reached out to grip Ed’s shoulders with her strong mechanic’s hands, so tightly that it hurt.

“You had better talk to your parents,” she warned him harshly, although there was a slight quiver in her voice. “Because you don’t want them to hear it from me first.”

Knowing Mother and Father’s expectations of openness from their children, that was a perfectly valid threat. Ed gulped, nodded, and slid off of the couch, getting his legs underneath him with only a small wobble. The pain in his head was starting to diminish, at least.

Someone, probably Winry, had picked up his book bag and brought it into the room with him. He bent down to gather it up, hugging it in front of his chest like a protective shield.

“Would you mind if I go out the back door this time?” he asked, in a ridiculously small and nervous voice.

Mason exchanged a rather uncertain glance with Winry, but she nodded and took Sarah from him. Accepting her judgment, he strode forward, with a gesture for Ed to follow.

“Are you sure it was a good idea to let him go without seeing the Doc?” Mason asked skeptically, after he had returned from letting Edward out through the back door.

Winry was seated on the edge of the couch, with their daughter on her knees and their son sitting at her feet. Her gaze was downcast, fixed on Sarah’s small fingers, as the drowsy child tugged at the buttons of her coveralls.

“…I don’t think what’s happening to Ed is something a doctor can fix.” She looked up at Mason, revealing tear-trails from the moisture that had finally escaped from her eyes. “You saw the way he looked at himself after he woke up. It was like he almost didn’t expect all the parts of him to be where they belonged… and you heard him before that.”

Mason’s lips twisted thoughtfully. “Well… he was kicking and screaming pretty bad for a minute there. I couldn’t make much out of it. I’m not completely sure we heard what we thought we heard.”

I am. And I ought to know. I used to hear that same sound twenty years ago, at Granny’s. After… when he had nightmares.” Winry closed her eyes, shivering. “That was Al’s name he called out. And the automail… You know how he’s always felt about it. I should’ve realized that seeing it here might—remind him someday.”

“You really think he’s starting to remember?”

“He’s been different lately. I hadn’t noticed it myself, but Izumi and Al told me about it. I didn’t make the connection then, but now I see… they both already saw it coming.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t have let him go off alone,” Mason reflected, kneeling in front of Winry to meet her eyes. He gently tousled Yuri’s hair as the boy scooted over to lean against him—still spooked by their cousin’s fit of unwellness.

“I don’t know. I just felt like we should let him keep to his usual routine for now. After all, it was a little out of the ordinary for Ed to come here. If he goes on with his normal day, maybe nothing else will upset him, and he’ll be fine… at least, until he gets home. Then Al can talk to him.” A painful smile crossed Winry’s lips. “Nobody else will know better than Al about what to do.”

“But you’re going to call Izumi and let her know what happened, right?”

“Of course I am. It’s obvious Ed won’t. But they need to know… so they can decide what’s next.”

Shifting Sarah into one arm, Winry reached for Mason’s hand. He stood, helped his child-heavy wife to rise from the couch, and then reclaimed their sleeping daughter, to tuck her back into the crib.

“It’s okay now, sweetie,” he whispered. He glanced over his shoulder as Winry moved off to the front room and the telephone, to report the morning’s troubling events to a woman who loved as a parent herself.

“…At least, it is for us.”

Chapters: I. - II. - III. - IV. - V. - VI. - Alternate Ending


prose_alchemist: (Default)
Prose Alchemist

September 2017

     1 2