They were sitting on the porch, Rose and Winry, enjoying the sunset and the knowledge that Al was safe, sleeping inside the house. On Rose’s lap, her child slumbered as well, and the two girls talked.
As the sun’s final rays of the day tinged the sky purple and pink, Rose pointed to the ring on her friend’s finger and smiled. “That’s a nice ring,” she said. “Where did you get it?”
Winry pulled the ring off her finger and held it up so the pinks and purples in the sky reflected off the silver band. “It was a gift…” she said.
“Edward made it for me.”
“Hey, Ed…” Winry said softly as she worked on his busted arm. He was lying on his stomach on the bed, his eyes staring at his pillow. Alphonse had been moved to the roof a while ago, so they were alone. “Have you and Al been fighting?”
Edward sighed. “No, I don’t think so. Though he has every right to be mad at me.”
“What? Why is that, Ed?”
Ed turned his eyes to her for a moment, then looked away. “…There’s something I’ve wanted to ask him for a while now, but…but I’m too afraid to ask.” Winry frowned at the sadness in Ed’s voice.
“Winry?” Ed whispered suddenly. “You…do you think Al hates me for putting him in that armor?”
She didn’t respond at first, but concentrated on the automail arm. When a few minutes passed and Winry had not spoken, Ed sighed again and closed his eyes. Another half hour passed in silence, until, quietly, Winry patted Ed’s shoulder and said, “All right, we’re done.”
Ed sat up and flexed his arm, then stood up and started for the door. “Thanks, Winry,” he muttered.
“Wait! Edward…” she said, reaching out with her hand and grabbing his wrist. He glanced over his shoulder at her. “…I don’t think Alphonse hates you, Ed. He admires you so much, and…and how could he hate you, after all that you sacrificed for him to live!” She felt tears build up in her eyes, but they did not fall. She shook her head and smiled, then let go of his arm.
Ed nodded. “Thank you, Winry.”
“Alright then! Let’s get you fixed!” Edward said enthusiastically when they reached the hospital roof. Alphonse stared at them blankly from the helmet’s eye slits. Ed’s smile flickered, dimmed a little, but cheered up again as the spare metal scraps were placed next to his brother’s suit of armor. “Here goes!” Ed said as he clapped his hands together and transmuted the metal into the armor.
As the blue flashes cleared, Winry saw Al the armor standing over them, good as new again. And yet despite the fact that he was just a suit of armor and therefore should not be able to show emotion, she got a cold feeling from him.
“Good as new! So, Al, how do you feel?”
“Fine, I guess,” was Al’s cool reply.
Ed faltered, then frowned. “Al, what’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong? Shouldn’t you know that, my so-called brother?”
“Tell me, what was it you wanted to say to me back in Resembool? Was it that I’m not really your brother; that you created all these memories of mine? Was it that I’m a fake, and that Alphonse Elric never existed?”
Ed’s face was pained, and he seemed near tears. “So that’s what’s been bothering you,” he muttered.
“You don’t deny it, Edward. You did create me, didn’t you? And that’s why I can’t remember anything; because I never existed!”
“Al, shut up! Don’t you know how you’re hurting Ed? That isn’t what he wanted to tell you at all, he-”
“Winry,” Ed said, cutting her off. She turned to him, tears on her cheeks and in her eyes.
“I bet you’ve been in on it too, Winry, pretending that there ever was an Alphonse Elric!”
“That’s not true, Al! I remember you; you did exist! And why would Ed sacrifice his own arm for a fake brother?”
Al backed away from them, confusion in his every movement and word. “No, I know I’m not…I mean…I can’t remember things that never happened!” he yelled, then jumped over the side to the road below. Edward ran over to the side and tried to follow, but Winry held him back.
“Alphonse! Al! Hey, Alphonse!”
But he kept running and did not look back.
They sat in the hospital room, just the two of them, in silence. The silence ate up Winry’s insides with guilt on her mind. She stared at Ed’s automail arm for a long time, until she stood and, reaching into her pocket, pulled out a silver bolt. She silently handed it to Edward.
“Winry, what’s this?” he said, staring at the bolt in his lap.
“I…I’m sorry Edward. I- when I made your arm, I forgot to put that bolt in there. That’s why your shoulder gave out on you. I’m sorry; because of my carelessness, you could have…”
Ed stared at the bolt for a moment, then glanced up at Winry. He reached up and grabbed her hand in his, smiling softly. “It’s okay, Winry, really. In the end, your mistake may have saved my life. And…well, I was being rather rough on the automail, despite your warning.”
Winry sniffed and wiped the tears off her cheeks. “I know, but still…you trusted me to make your arm and I failed you. I don’t know…how I’ll forgive myself for endangering you like that.”
Suddenly, Winry felt a tug on her arm and the next moment she was sitting on the bed beside Ed. “Winry, bolts usually come with nuts, right?” She nodded. “Where’s the one to this bolt?”
She fished it out of her pocket and handed it to him; it was a hexagonal shaped nut, just larger than her pinky. Ed took the nut and placed it on the table beside him, clapped his hands, and touched them to the nut. There was a tiny flash of blue and Winry closed her eyes against the electric light.
A moment later, something was dropped into her hand. Opening her eyes, she spotted Edward smirking at her. “Well?” Winry glanced down at her palm, where there rested a small silver band. “What?” she muttered, picking it up and looking closer at the ring.
It was the nut, only five of the six sides had been smoothed into a circle; the inside threading had also been smoothed. Winry slipped in onto her pinky finger. It fit perfectly.
“Edward…” she whispered, looking up at him.
“It’s a…promise ring, of sorts,” he said, blushing a little. “It’ll serve to remind you of this mistake, so you’ll never do it again.” She turned her eyes down, but Ed lifted her chin and forced her to look at him. There was no anger or malice in his golden eyes. “Or you can think of it as a charm. As long as you wear that ring, you’ll never make a mistake.”
He pulled her chin a little closer, then quickly kissed her. “And, you can think of me, too.”
Winry slipped the ring back on her finger, then softly kissed it. She closed her eyes for a moment; in her mind’s eye, she could see Ed’s cocky grin. She stood up and smiled at the vanishing sun. “Well, I’ve got some work to do!” she announced.
“Winry?” Rose said, standing up beside her friend. “But I thought you were done for the day.”
Winry shook her head, her face bright. “Ed’s probably grown since we last saw him, and that means he’s going to need a new arm and leg. I think…I better get working on it now.”
Yay, that’s the second story! The first two flashback scenes actually occurred in the anime, just not the way I wrote it. I don’t remember the exact dialogue and my DVD that has that episode is already packed for college! Anyway, I adlibbed the scenes to work how I wanted them to; the main part of the story was that last scene. Though I think the first two were important in showing that this story and that situation revolves around Ed’s automail arm..anyway, please review! I may write more to this collection later, but these two were the main point.
And on a random note: I'm in college! Woot! Okay, until later- Rowan