Ed and Al are back in Amestris after having stayed in the Real World for FAAAAAAAR too long. But when they come back, they're greeted with a face that's all too familiar...
It was a cold summer night, unusually cold... It should've been a little warmer, considering the fact that it was that month of July, but the people inside the Red Horn Inn didn't mind all that much. What with the warm fire...
Well, the Red Horn Inn would be your normal, family-run Inn, passed down from father to son, or mother to daughter; whichever you like.
When you first walked through the polished ebony door and twisted the gold knob, there was a musky scent of burnt wood and dried roses. Somtimes mixed with the faint odour of either beer or rhum; depended on the night's special and the men and women inside. On your right, there was maybe a douzen square feet, filled with seven or eight small round tables with chairs spread a bit everywhere. Illuminating the Inn, along with the lamps sitting at the center of each table, was a roaring, burning fire, over which rested a cauldron, probably filled with stew, by the smell of it.
On your left, you could see four three-place couches in a half-moon position, staring at a smaller fireplace, but THIS one had no lit fire in it. There were three small edge table beside the couches, littered with the latest newspapers and a few old pictures of the preceding owners were on the walls.
In front of you was a counter, which double as a bar, with an old man slowly cleaning his used mugs with a grey-ish cloth. Probably in his sixties, he didn't have much hair; only small strips of whitening hair were above his ears, and his silvery mustache nearly covered his entire mouth. There was also a long, sideway mirror behind him, reflecting the small croud inside; there weren't many people inside the Inn on this chilly saturday night.
Though, an unusually young girl,maybe-what?- fourteen, fifteen, sat at the furthest table from the door. The was sitting cross-legged on the crooked wooden chair, reading the newspaper she had brought in.
A few times she reached down to her right pocket, her metallic hand extracting a silver, crafted watch, and checked the time. Each time she did this, a short and quiet shrug excaped her lips before she put the pocketwatch away and resumed reading.
Her hair was a dark chestnut color, and by estimate, probably no more than an inch longer than shoulder length. Though, at this hour, it was tied up in a rather high pony-tail, her LEFT metal hand constantly brushing away a few stray hairs, too short to be pulled up.
As for the girl's clothes... It was rather unusual for a girl; she was wearing a black men's shirt, buttoned from the third one down, a few left unbuttoned for her to tie the bottom in a tight knot. As for her pants, they were plain jeans, covering black leather boots.
Her near-black eyes were quickly sooming from left to right as some movement at the door caught her attention. In a quick gesutre, she checked the time again on her pocket watch, put it away anew, got up, and greeted the newly arrived man.
His golden hair was tied behind his head as well, his golden eyes resting upon the girl approaching him hastingly.
Stopping in front of him, she hesitated before speaking in a hushed tone: "I'm... Glad you came, Edward..." she paused, before continuing in a seemingly happier note, "Anyways, did you tell her where you were going?"
The man named Edward, whose age was probably near twenty, smiled warmly and replied: "I told her, though she wasn't really acceptant... I had to run away before she called Mustang and order him to kill me." Edward paused for a short moment, allowing them both to laugh a little, before continuing, "Anyways, Anna, are you feeling better? Last time, you were..."
The girl named Anna spoke in a sadder tone, her voice still soft: "...suffering from rejection, I know, I know... But I'm feeling better now, I swear...! Please, let me go with you to Du--"
"I can't let you come, Anna." Edward cut off the girl, taking a seat at the table nearest the door. "Alphonse won't let me bring you along; he's scared as heck since last time you're body reject those-" he gestured at Anna's right ribs "-parts. He won't let you go in a hospital other than the one in Central... And I can't say I disagree. Come on; siddown."
Anna obeyed, sat down, and looked at Ed crossly, putting her left, metal hand on her right ribs. Openning her mouth twice, without any sounds, she spoke upon the third attempt at speaking: "I can perfectly handle myself, mind you...! And as long as I don't perform THAT alchemy, I'll be fine... I just can't push myself as much as I want to, is all..."
There was a long moment's silence as the old man approached the table, questionning Edward.
"Welcome again, M'ster Elric, sir! Y'r usual coffee, I s'pose?" he asked, his wide smile visible through the curling of his mustache.
Ed smiled and nodded, putting a small, heavy pouch in the man's hand. "I'll take your best two-bed room for the night, too, Germnad." Edward added, as Germnad rushed off behind the counter and, in a few clicking sounds, threw a pair of keys toward him. "Thanks!" was Ed's simple reply as the old owner now tended to the cup of coffee he was to prepare.
Ed stared at Anna a while, looking at her rather saddened eyes.
"Ed... Just this once! You've never let me come with yo-" Anna started to protest, but was rudely cut off by annoyance at Ed's grinning face. "W-what?" she demanded, crossing her arms across her chest. Catching the dim light of the moon was a pendant with a winged sword, a spiralling snake appearing to choke it.
Ed chuckled and sighed happily. "Honestly, Anna, you think I'd come here to tell you 'Don't come and stay here!'? Telling you by phone would've saved me the trouble of your non-stop complaining!"
Anna's face instantly lightened up as she uncrossed her arms, stood up and let her hand drop on the table. Ed's black coffee was served at that moment along with two sugar cubes, which he put in, and mixed with the small silver spoon.
Ed smiled again and closed his head, nodding faintly as he sipped his hot drink.
Anna jumped in the air once or twice, and, as they went up to the room Edward had ordered, Anna held him in a warm ebrace, smiling as she rested her head on his shoulder.
"You know I'd never let you go alone anways, right, Ed?" Anna asked in whispers, closing her eyes.
"Isn't that why I let you come?" was Edward's simple reply as Anna stood back, facing him.
"Then... First thing in Dublith, we go visit Izumi's grave... Okay?"
Ed nodded, proceeding into the room, propping himself on the warm bed.
Tomorrow would be the start of an other quest to find a way to get Anna's body back.