Categories > Anime/Manga > Full Metal Alchemist > To Protect

To Protect

by Zuppi 1 review

Her life is in danger... he knows this and it his duty to do whatever is needed to protect her, no matter the cost. Mangeverse fic. Spoilers up to Chapter 70. (EdWin)

Category: Full Metal Alchemist - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Edward Elric, Winry Rockbell - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2007-05-08 - Updated: 2007-05-08 - 2675 words

Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of the characters contained within this fanfiction. It is the property of Hiromu Arakawa, Square Enix Co., Ltd.'s and Monthly Shonen Gangan. I simply worship and adore... sometimes I write fic.

Ed truly thinks he may be sick. Obviously not as a result of something he has eaten, he has no appetite, but from stress, tension. He has vomited for lesser reasons before and so he knows it is perfectly possible he may be sick but he still forces himself to eat.

Winry and Kimbley sit across from him. She is unaware. Perhaps she is a little put out by his strange behaviour but she has yet to comment on it.

Kimbley on the other hand is truly trying to make Ed uncomfortable. He flirts with Winry, smiling at her and indulging her. Ed knows the show is put on purely for his benefit. To an outside observer it would appear Kimbley is solely paying attention to Winry but Ed doesn't miss the looks his way or the self satisfied smirk the man wears.

Ed wants to get up and leave. Or rather, he wants to drag Winry away from the abomination but he knows better than to make a scene. The situation is too delicate and foolhardy rescue attempts will only prove deadly.

And so he sits through the awkward meal, pushing his food around his plate and not really eating anything.

Eventually Kimbley excuses himself. He smirks at Edward before pointedly squeezing Winry on the shoulder as he leaves.

Ed almost feels dizzy with relief. He sighs, closing his eyes and massaging the bridge of his nose with his left hand.

"What's wrong with /you/?" Winry mumbles, her mouth a little stuffed with stew.

"Nothing." Ed sighs again, resuming his previous activity of pushing his food around his plate.

Winry rolls her eyes at him. "You're not eating, Ed, there's obviously something up."

Ed frantically thinks up an explanation. He could tell her the truth but he doesn't think it's right to scare her. There's nothing she can do, nothing he can do, and he doesn't see the point in frightening her. "It's..." He fumbles, hoping she'll let the subject slide.

She doesn't. Instead she places her fork on the table and gives him her full attention.

Ed sighs. "It's... it's just that I'm worried... about Al. He's still locked up."

Winry narrows her eyes at him. "You never did tell me why you were locked up."

He squirms in his seat. "It was just a misunderstanding, like Kimbley said." He can't look at her as he lies.

Winry frowns and resumes eating her meal. Ed picks at his own plate until Winry declares herself finished.

"I'll see if I can find a room to sleep in." She informs him, stretching her arms over her head and arching her back.

Ed's heart begins to race. He doesn't want Winry out of his sight with Kimbley around and so he blurts out the first thing that comes into his head. "You can stay with me in my room."

Winry ceases her stretch, a little startled by his outburst. "What?" She asks, her cheeks stained pink.

Ed's eyes widen at the impropriety but he ploughs ahead nonetheless. "Eh... I mean, you can stay in mine and Al's room. We always get a bed for Al even if he doesn't sleep so that's where you can sleep... in Al's bed. He's in jail anyway." He mumbles on, hoping Winry will interrupt his embarrassing display.

"Can't I just get my own room?" She asks meekly.

"Everyone's very busy up here at the moment. They probably don't have time to go looking for rooms for you." He gets up and takes her suitcase so she'll have no choice but to follow him. "Come on."

Winry hurries after him as he marches towards his dorm room. This time he has to recount the periodic table in order of descending atomic mass before he can calm down enough to so much as glance at her.

He opens the door, deposits her suitcase inside before stepping back to allow her entry. "I'll wait outside while you get changed."

"Thanks." She pushes past him but doesn't look up.

The door closes with a soft click. Ed leans against it and sighs. He brings his automail hand to his face in an effort to cool his burning cheeks. He really wants to go talk to Al but he's afraid to leave Winry on her own with Kimbley stalking the halls. This whole situation is getting quickly out of hand and he has absolutely no idea how best to act.

The door opens suddenly and Ed stumbles backwards in fright. Winry giggles as he regains his footing but it seems more like nervous laughter rather than out of any real amusement.

He frowns at her but only because it's easier to be angry with her than it is to walk on eggshells around her. She rolls her eyes at him and sits down on Al's bed to brush her hair.

It's not like Winry has never seen Ed in his underwear before and it's not like he's ever been shy about it... but in such close quarters as this he's suddenly very shy of prancing around in front of her in only a pair of cotton boxers. He resorts to wearing his boxers and an old greying t-shirt. After all, it is cold up north; it only makes sense that he would wear a little more than usual.

He turns to find her still brushing her long hair, her attention occupied elsewhere. With a sigh, he climbs under the covers, thinking that perhaps this won't be as embarrassing as he had first suspected.

Winry finishes with her hair and packs away her brush. "Do you mind if I look over my notes?" She asks, fishing around in his suitcase for her journal.

Ed glances over at her. Her pyjama top is loose around the neck and he can easily see down it as she leans over. He looks away quickly mumbling about being able to sleep with the light on and promptly turns over. If he can just fall asleep the morning will come and he can put all of this behind him.

It doesn't seem that much later that Ed finds himself drifting awake. He remembers flashes and colours and thinks he must be waking from a dream. The light above Al's bed is still on. He glances over his shoulder to find Winry asleep. She is lying on her front, her automail notes crumbled beneath her cheek.

Ed snorts in amusement. It is nice to know he's not the only one who succumbs to sleep while studying.

As quietly as possible he climbs out from under the covers and approaches Winry's bed. He debates whether or not to try removing the book without waking her but in the end he prods her shoulder gently.

Winry frowns, whimpering a little as he shakes her awake. She yawns as she opens her eyes, looking around blearily for what woke her. She glances up at Ed, who's now perched on the side of her bed.

"I find I drool on the pages when I do that." Ed doesn't know why he bothers to whisper. There's no one else in the room and the walls are thick enough to prevent sound passing through. Still, it seems the right thing to do.

"Oh no!" Winry whines, flattening out the crumpled pages with her hand. She sits upright.

Ed laughs quietly at her, laughing harder when she glares at him. "Are you learning much about cold weather automail then?" He's not even interested but it's nice to laugh again. It's nice to be this close to Winry without having to worry about who's watching.

"Yeah" She yawns. "It's really interesting actually... well, to me anyway."

"I think it's kind of interesting."

Winry looks at him sceptically. "You do?"

"Well... no, not really but I don't want my arm to seize up again so..."

Winry doesn't need much encouragement when it comes to talking about automail. She launches into a spiel about drivers and hydraulics, alloys and oil. He wonders if he is like this when he has some kind of alchemic break through; all fire and passion.

"You love Winry, don't you?"

He blushes as Hawkeye's words echo through his mind once more. The palm of his flesh hand is sweaty and his heart is racing but really, that's just a result of the stress he's under. It doesn't have anything to his close proximity to Winry or the way she continually licks her bottom lip as she talks.

"-so I think I'm going to look into developing a new lubricant for your arm. I know you probably won't use cold weather automail that often but I think it'll be worth it." She stops talking and looks at him expectantly.

Ed blinks at her. He stopped paying attention a little while back.

She shakes her head. "You didn't understand a word I said, did you?"

"Eh..." He tries to recall what so was so interested in. "Well, I know what lubricant is."

Winry snorts at his unfortunate wording.

Ed blushes as the double meaning becomes evident to him. "That's not what I meant!"

Winry laughs out right at him.

Ed rolls his eyes at her. "You're so immature."

Winry laughs louder. "That's rich coming from you!"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

She looks at him like she's explaining something incredibly simple to someone incredibly dim. "Ed, you spent the whole day huffing because some guys were paying attention to me."

Ed blushes brilliantly. "I wasn't jealous of those guys!"

"I...I just meant you were jealous people were paying attention to me rather than the famous 'Fullmetal Alchemist'." She explains quietly.

Ed stares at her flabbergasted, his mouth opening and closing like stranded fish.

Winry's eyes drop. "Were you jealous?" She glances up at him, her bottom lip caught between her teeth.

Ed still gapes at her, completely ignorant of how to diffuse the situation.

Winry continues to watch him but he can see she's leaning closer and closer to him. His heart is racing but he can't move, can't speak.

She presses her lips to his and Ed's breath catches in his throat. He wants to explain that this is not what he had in mind when he insisted she stay in his room but this thought is quickly forgotten as her hand slips around his neck and her tongue darts out to lick his bottom lip.

He quickly becomes as brave as her, his automail hand snaking around her waist and pulling her to him as he left hand finds its way to her cheek.

It is still Winry who makes the next move. She is the one who crosses the barrier and slips her hands under his shirt to stroke at his back and chest. Ed complies as she pulls at the hem of his t-shirt and lifts it off his head.

He watches as her eyes rake over his body. His heart hammering in his chest he climbs onto the bed and kisses her again, slowly easing her to lie beneath him. Somehow they have ended up at the foot of the bed but Ed doesn't think that really matters in situations such as this.

He has to stop kissing her in order to undo the bottoms of her pyjamas, his mind clouded by lust and incapable of multitasking. The most complicated item done away with he resumes kissing her as they combine efforts and manage to wriggle out of their remaining clothes.

Ed's not exactly sure how this whole thing works. He has a vague idea but it's not really something he has had time to study in-depth. It seems Winry knows this, she whispers little things to him, nudges his hands when they stray but somehow it still seems Ed is taking charge. It goes more or less the way he wishes it to but Winry still gasps against his neck and clutches at his shoulders so he assumes she's also enjoying herself.

It's over perhaps a little too quickly, but really, they're both young and inexperienced, it's only to be expected. He gazes down at her, heart still racing and panting like he has run a marathon. She smiles up at him, equally as breathless, and brushes the hair from his face.

He presses his lips to her forehead before he collapses into her neck, sighing contentedly. He feels her laugh more than hears it as she wraps one arm around his shoulders and uses the other to thread her fingers through his hair.

He feels the rise and fall of her breathing beneath him and tries to stay awake as long as possible to remember the exact feeling of her pressed against him, the gentle tug of her fingers lightly petting his hair, the exact smell of her neck, but sleep eventually claims him and theses sensations become wrapped up in dreams.

He wakes earlier than her. During the night she has wriggled from his grasp or perhaps he was the one to move away, either way she's lying on her side on the very edge of the single bed. Wisps of hair have fallen across her face and her lips are parted slightly. Ed cannot recall ever seeing Winry like this. He has seen so many emotions play across her face but such a peaceful expression is completely new to him.

For some reason it makes him nervous, afraid even. He's supposed to be protecting her... but really he has put her in even greater danger. The Homunculi had him completely under their control when they thought she was just a friend but now that they're... what? Boyfriend and girlfriend? Lovers...?

Ed's stomach drops as he begins to realise that giving in to hormones and lust has only put Winry in even greater danger. He wanted to keep her near him to protect her but it's only raised the price on her head.

He sits up, the palm of his left hand sweating as he tries to figure out what to do. How could he have been so foolish? He massages his temples as he tries to formulate a plan.


He starts when Winry addresses him. Looking over his shoulder he finds her propped up on her elbow, the sheet clutched around her breasts.

"Ed, are you ok?"

She looks nervous. She's blushing again.

He has to look away. He can no longer look in her face as he realises that in order to protect her he is going to have to hurt her.


"I'm sorry." His voice is tight and it sounds alien, even to him.


He hears the springs creak as she sits up. She places a hand on his shoulder and he flinches away.

"Ed?" Her voice cracks a little as his meaning begins to sink in.

"Last night... it was..." He swallows past the lump in his throat. "It was a mistake."

He hears her inhale sharply and glances around to see tears threatening to spill from her eyes. He looks away again, hating himself for breaking his promise and making her cry once more.

He can't look at her as he gets up and begins to dress, can't bring himself to see the pain and hurt in her eyes. But really, it's for the best. He's rather have her alive and hating him than dead and loving him. It's for the best.

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It really must seem that I enjoy torturing the poor little bean (though I imagine Winry wouldn't be all that impressed with this fic either). I should write a fluffy fic where I make up for all my past evils towards them both but I seem to have a mental block when it comes to treating them nicely. Oh well...

As always reviews are adored! Constructive criticism especially so.
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