The things Winry has to go through.
To the Elric Brothers.
Only a few hours to East City.
Alphonse occupied the seat opposite Edward and France's, since he was larger and he needed a lot of room. France had been asleep for the past few moments that went by on the slow ride to the East. Edward stared out of the window, and so did Al. They guessed that it was early in the morning, 3am maybe; but it was actually just somewhere in 11pm. Edward's body was used to sleeping so late, that he wasn't feeling sleepy as of the moment, but he would be around 1am. France, on the other hand, is used to tucking in at 9:30.
"Brother?" Alphonse asked, breaking the wall of silence between them. Edward turned around and looked at him curiously. "What is it, Al?"
"What do you think France's dad does for a living?" Alphonse asked. "I mean, she did say she doesn't know, and I really wonder how she's gotten that traumatizing encounter with the Philosopher's Stone, if she doesn't care much about it."
"I'm asking a lot of questions myself, Al. But we'll find out soon enough. We'll stay in the East until we get to the bottom of things. But until then, let's keep our fingers crossed," Edward said in reply. "I have a feeling that we'll actually get somewhere with this one."
"What do you mean, brother?" Alphonse asked once more. "That we'll actually get a step closer to the stone?"
"Yeah, Al," Edward answered. "Don't you feel it too?"
"I guess I'll feel it soon?" said Alphonse. "But brother, what if we don't get any leads? I mean; what if we just get thrown back?"
"What do you mean, Al?" Edward asked, looking at his doubtful brother disbelievingly.
"I mean... what if France doesn't remember anything still?" Alphonse replied. "Don't you think it'll be a waste?"
"Al, of course not," Edward reassured. "It'll all be good. She'll remember; we'll help her. The problem is, we can't rush it. If we force it, it'll cause more problems."
Alphonse simply looked at his optimistic older brother in a disagreeing manner; but he couldn't do anything about this. It wasn't often that Edward would be this confident about something, especially something this unsure. Alphonse merely nodded his head.
The rest of the trip remained silent.
- - - - -
Resembool was quiet, as always.
Pinako Rockbell had already turned in for the night. Den was already asleep on his special spot in the living room, on the gray carpet. Everyone was quiet inside the house, except for Winry; who was still awake in her room.
She was sitting at her old oak desk; the same one that had been in her room for almost all her life. The orange desk lamp was on, shading light on the papers and books on the table. Winry was writing something.
Apparently, she and old lady Pinako received a letter from the brothers some time between 6pm and 7pm.
To Winry and Aunt Pinako:
We'll be in Resembool in a few days after we go to East City soon. We were assigned something by the Col. and we have to bring someone home. Expect us in a week or so. Take care. Ed'll need an automail maintenance session when we get there.
Ed & Al.
Winry had already started writing a letter in reply to the brothers, but she couldn't think of anything to write, which was horrible for the young Rockbell miss. She always wanted to write the brothers lengthy letters, mostly because she wanted to have great stories to tell them, like they always told her; but she'd end up writing the shortest of messages. She had already utilized Ed and Al's whole names, not as a matter of formality, but she just wanted to make it seem longer.
Dear Edward and Alphonse Elric,
Grandmother and I will be waiting for your return home, here in Resembool. Do expect that we will be preparing the necessary materials needed in order to perform the automail maintenance session Edward will be having once you get home. We will be anticipating your arrival here at the Rockbell house in a week. We hope that you will surely arrive within that time limit. By the way, who is that "someone" you had mentioned in your previous letter that you would need to bring home? And what were you assigned? We pray that it will not be very dangerous and hazardous to the both of you.
Take care, you two. We expect you two unscathed when you retreat home to Resembool.
She read over her letter, noting the long words and sentences she used, and the extremely large space in between the body of the letter and her name. The message she had written disappointed her; it didn't sound at all like her. She wasn't even sure if what she wrote made sense, but it was long enough to please her. Winry opened the second drawer on the desk, pulling out an unused white envelope. She stuffed the piece of paper into the envelope and sealed it. 'Fullmetal Alchemist - Central State Headquarters' she wrote on the top left corner of the envelope; afterward writing 'Winry and Pinako Rockbell - Resembool' on the central portion of the lengthwise envelope.
She put the latest letter they'd received from the brothers inside the drawer that she had pulled open earlier. She kept all their letters to them, and she could count them by hand. The brothers barely wrote to them; they didn't call much either. They seldom returned to Resembool. They would usually pay the Rockbells a visit for a number of days, three was the minimum; and the reason for their visit would be Edward's ruined automail.
Winry felt like she had been forgotten.
She felt that Edward didn't feel like talking to her even; he would only talk to her properly when he needed something from her. She was used to Edward's arrogant and proud behavior towards her -- his teasing and rude remarks. But these only made her feel as though Edward only looked at her as a friend, a little sister even. This was, of course, an incorrect belief; but she had no idea.
She had no idea where they were.
She had no idea what they were up to.
She had no idea who they were up against.
She had no idea when they'll return.
She had no idea why they weren't able to return her calls.
She had no idea how they were.
Winry Rockbell always had no idea.