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09 December 2010 @ 06:24 pm
Fanfic: Finding Sunshine After Rain (ch 6)  
Finally got some work done now that the Month of Hell is over! I know this chapter is a bit short, but the story is really going to pick up pace soon, so I guess its like a brief intermission before the inevitable.

Lots of Al in this one!

Title: Finding Sunshine After Rain
Rating: R 
Pairing: Edwin
Series: Anime 1, oddly enough. But there will be a few shout-outs to Brotherhood
Summary: In order to get revenge on the FullMetal Alchemist, someone sends Winry over to the other side of the gate and forces her to act like another Earth-lookalike of herself, but there's more at stake than just a broken heart...
chapter 1 chapter 2 chapter 3 chapter 4 chapter 5




It was a good thing Madame’s was closed for a good week and a half after the shooting.

Ed certainly didn’t want to go back there.

Al asked him why he was acting like this—especially once Madame’s reopened and he said he didn’t want to go. But Ed wasn’t about to tell Al the real reason why.

There was someone there he really didn’t want to see.

Well, at least the…er “thing” had been good for one thing. Turns out Wendy hadn’t been raped after all.

Not that it made him feel better about the whole thing. Actually, it made him feel about ten times worse.

He could just imagine what Al would say if he found out. “How could you do that to her? What the Hell is wrong with you?” and then “How could you betray Winry like that?”

And fuck, he really didn’t want to bring Winry into this mess.

The only way he could deal with his guilt over the matter was to slowly ignore it. It wasn’t the best method, but it was how he dealt with other things before. He went to his job during the day, and at night, he went back to the flat and religiously studied his chemistry and physics books.

Maybe he’d discover something he never noticed before and find a way to get him and Al the hell out of here before he was forced to confront the problem.

Unfortunately, there was a downside to jamming himself into a rigid routine—he had forgotten that the way back to his flat passed right by Madame’s bar. And while it usually didn’t matter—he passed by it before it opened for the night, so there was no reason it would catch any notice—

“Still alive, are you? And here I thought you’d died and had an excuse for not coming back to visit.”

Ed froze in his tracks and, cringing, turned to look back at Madame’s bar. Yep, she was standing outside, arms folded across her chest, looked very annoyed.

“I’ve been—busy.”

Madame huffed, and took a long inhale on her cigarette before exhaling the smoke in his direction. “We’ve all been busy. Your brother came by to help us get back on our feet again; why didn’t you show up?”

Ed wished he was better with coming up with excuses. “You know…busy…”

That was when the bell on the front door of the bar chimed. He saw someone with long blonde hair step out, turn to find Madame and—

Look right at him.

Ed couldn’t look away—he couldn’t look at her. The second his amber eyes met her blue ones, scenes of that night in his bedroom played out before his eyes. Wendy, kissing him. Wendy, touching him. Wendy—holding him tight even though he called out another woman’s name.

The tension was broken when Madame (wait, she had seen the whole thing?!) asked Wendy “Was there something you wanted, honey?”

Wendy instantly flushed up and said “No, nothing…I can...” and then hastily retreated back inside.

Madame gave another huff and then turned right back at Ed. He nearly jumped at her accusing gaze before she said with an evil smile, “Boy, you think you can help out an old woman with a few heavy boxes?”

“Wha—what?” he stammered. That smile of hers was worse than a certain Colonel’s…

Now she narrowed her eyes, “I’ve got a few heavy boxes behind the bar that need lifting. Come help me.” That wasn’t a request. That was an order.

Ed quickly went over his options, but he knew that he’d get it from Al and Madame and probably Wendy if he didn’t do it. Sighing, he followed her.

Maybe it really was a request she had because of trouble with her back and not about—

There were no boxes back behind there. “All right, out with it. What did you do to her?”

Ed froze as she turned an accusing eye to him. “Er…”

“I never saw her so upset in the time that I’ve known her.” Madame took another long puff on her cigarette. “And every time you’re brought up, she gets this look on her face and finds something else to do.”

She was that upset? Well, he should have figured…after that night, he ran off to work two hours early to avoid having to talk about the whole thing. She probably thought that he didn’t care for her at all besides something to get a quick lay.

It was actually quite the opposite.

But that was the problem here.

He felt his face flush, and he looked away. “Well…”

Thankfully, Madame gave a sigh and cut him off. “I know that happened, boy. I don’t run a brothel for nothing. But did anything else happen?”

Ed stared at the cement beneath his shoes. It was a preferable view to Madame’s look of disappointment. “We shouldn’t have done it,” he admitted in the smallest voice possible.

He expected Madame to agree, to berate him for taking advantage of one of her girls—perhaps to ban him from ever stepping foot into her bar again—but she did not. She gave him another casual puff on her cigarette, and then gave him a look that was almost pity.

Pity that he didn’t deserve.

“Why not?” she shrugged at last.

Ed didn’t quite follow. “Why not what?”

“Why not do it?” she asked again. “She’s a pretty girl and you’re a pretty boy and if there’s something between you two, then why not? Now don’t go on denying it,” she scolded when Ed opened his mouth. “It’s past the point of denial now.”

He wasn’t about to deny it, but Ed acknowledged that anyway. Yes, it was past the point of denial. It had been this way for a while, as far as he could tell. He let out another sigh, finally allowing himself to move from where his shoes felt rooted to the ground. “That’s the problem,” he admitted at last, leaning against the brick wall of the bar.

Madame gave him a funny look, but Ed finally decided to come clean. Bottling everything up had only made the situation worse. “There was a girl…back in ‘Germany’…a girl I grew up with…she didn’t come with me and I didn’t realize until I left that I…”

He trailed off, but Madame got the gist, if that grunt was any indication.

“I wanted to go back and see her, but no matter what I try, it always fails. I know I’ll probably never see her again, but…” He couldn’t complete the sentence. Closing his eyes, he finished. “Wendy looks like her. She reminds me so much of her, but she’s not her and—logically I should just give up, but I can’t…”

Not after he spent every night dreaming about her.

Every night waking up and wishing he was still asleep.

Every night hating himself for not staying with her when he had the chance.

He expected Madame to tell him that it was silly, wanting to get back to a girl when they were so far apart. But she didn’t say that. “You know you’re only hurting yourself and Wendy by doing this.”

He gave a small nod; oh, he knew.

Madame hadn’t changed expression, but Ed thought he saw a bit of pity in her eyes. “You need to make up your mind. You can’t have it both ways.”

“I know.” He knew from the beginning he couldn’t have both; he had to choose.

But how could he chose? He knew what he wanted—but what he wanted he’d probably never see again. He could settle, but he might spend the rest of his life wishing, and wondering. Was it really worth it?

There was a scraping sound, and Ed realized Madame was opening the back door to the bar. “I’m not telling you what to do, but I do know the path that’ll leave everyone less hurt.” She crooked her finger, and motioned him to follow her.

He did, wondering if she actually did have some boxes in the backroom that needed moving, but there weren’t any in here either. Thank God Wendy wasn’t there; he still didn’t know how he could face her after all this.

He knew Madame was right about the path that would leave everyone less hurt; in fact, Ed was sure that one day, he might even be happy with Wendy. He could live a life with her if he wanted; a happy life.

But…

Madame pulled something out of a small cupboard in the corner—it was so small and out of place that he hardly noticed it was there. He didn’t think dishes were in there… When she turned back around, he saw she was holding a paper bag.

“Here,” she tossed him the bag. He caught it, surprised by how light it was. Hmm…

Inside the bag were several flat, square packages. And inside those packages were…

Ed didn’t think he ever blushed redder. “Use one of those next time,” Madame said with a grin. “Though Wendy’s not one of my girls, I’m still gonna look after her.”

“How…how do you know we didn’t…” Ed found that he couldn’t say anything more.

Madame just gave a chuckle. “It’s my job to know these things, boy.”

Ed was about to say something about that, when the door to the backroom opened, “Brother, are you in here?”

Ed clumsily shoved the paper bag into his coat. “Al? What are you—?!”

“Oh, good,” Al sighed, coming over to him. “I was wondering where you were. Didn’t think you’d come by this place, though.”

Ed hoped his little brother didn’t see the redness in his face as he gave a quick look toward Madame. But she only puffed at her cigarette and gave no indication that anything besides friendly talk had taken place.

For once, Ed felt truly grateful to her.

He shrugged and said, “Well, I hadn’t been by in a while and I thought…”

Al stared. “That’s not like you.”

But Madame came to his rescue again. “I needed some help with some boxes,” she chuckled. “Your brother was willing to help.”

Ed shot her a look, and Al laughed. “I bet. Well, you think we should help them out a bit more? The bar opens in an hour or so, and Madame might give us free dinner—”

“No,” Ed didn’t care if he said it a bit too quickly. “We’ll get out of their hair. Besides, I bet you have homework you’re just blowing off.”

Though Madame was one thing, he wasn’t quite ready to see Wendy yet.

Al looked like he thought it was odd, but he didn’t question it. “Fine,” he sighed. “We’ll see you some other time, Madame.”

“Yeah,” grunted Ed, as they headed out the bar to go out the front—

When he spotted Wendy. She was there, sweeping up, and in was only a few seconds before she spotted him as well.

The moment was broken when Al slammed into his back. “Hey, what’s gotten into—” But it was too late; Al had noticed.

Ed and Wendy did their best to pretend the moment wasn’t as awkward as it had been. But Ed knew Al was smarter than his own good. “C’mon,” he said, heading to the door. It didn’t recover it completely, but it was something.

Al looked between them. He shrugged, as if he made up his mind, and then gave one last look at Wendy—

She was still sweeping up, pushing a bit of dust into a pile. Her hair kept getting in her face, so she had pulled a lock of it behind her ear.

Al’s eyes narrowed, and then followed his brother out the door.





He skipped school and came to the bar almost as soon as it opened the next day. He wasn’t taking any chances that his brother might show up.

Though considering that Ed was giving the place a wide berth, that was kind of unlikely.

The bell clanged, and Wendy was there, wiping down the bar with a rag. She looked up in case it was a customer, and then put on a huge, fake smile on her face. “Oh, hi, Al. Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

“Maybe.” He wasn’t in the mood for cheerful conversation right now.

Right now, he wanted answers.

She stood up like she expected him to sit down at the bar, but he didn’t. “Is Madame here?”

“No, she went out for a bit to talk to the police…about what happened that time…” Wendy trailed off, her smile fading, but she managed to pop it back on quick enough. “But she’ll be back soon—”

Good. He didn’t want Madame overhearing this. “Does anyone else usually come by this early?”

She looked at him carefully…maybe she was starting to catch on. “Not really…business has been really slow since the shooting.”

Even better.

She gave him another funny look. “What are you so serious about? You’re supposed to be the nice one,” she gave another fake laugh.

He couldn’t stand to see her faking any longer. “I can be serious. And you know it. Stop lying.”

The smile slipped off her face. “What do you mean?”

But now there was a fear in her eyes…fear of being found out? “I said stop lying. You’re lying to me and my brother, and I don’t like it.”

Now she gulped. “I don’t know what you—”

Al slammed his hands down on the bar. He could be as serious as his brother if he wanted to, and was he ever serious now. “I said stop lying, Winry!

Her eyes were wide with fear…and guilt. “I grew up with you in Resembool, Winry. I’m not about to not know my best friend that easily.”

She looked at the floor, and then asked in a tiny voice, “You knew?”

Now that she had finally admitted it, he allowed himself to sigh. “Yeah. You’re not exactly the best at hiding it.” What with the way she acted around Ed…how she let so many things slip…for a while, he wondered if she wasn’t intentionally doing it. “Plus, you’ve got about a dozen holes in your ear. That’s not exactly a fashion statement around here.”

Winry gave a little nod, and then put a lock of hair behind her ear. “I took them off after I first arrived—I knew one of you might get it if you saw.”

Al nodded. “Brother’s an idiot, but he’s not that much of an idiot.”

There was more silence. She had been found out, and Al had expected her to be a bit evasive—but not like this. “So why did you lie?” he asked. “Brother—you know how much he’s wanted to see you. He spends nearly every day reading books trying to figure out a way back home—he thinks about you all the time—ever since you pretended you were someone else, it’s been driving him nuts because he feels like he’s betraying you. So why are you making it difficult?”

Winry got quiet again. Al hated when she did that. “Al…I can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Just…just drop it, okay!” She said, picking up her rag and furiously scrubbing the wood of the bar. She was a lot like his brother in that regard—when forced into a corner, she would get angry. “It’s none of your business!”

Al gave her another glare. “I know it’s not. But it is when you’re hurting my brother doing it.”

She stopped her frantic scrubbing.

Al gave another sigh. “Winry…don’t you know how much this is killing him? He’s so confused and hurt and beating himself up that it’s driving him insane. I know he’s usually insane, but not like this. He thinks that every time he sees you as Wendy he’s betraying you as Winry. What you’re doing isn’t fair to him.”

“I know,” she told him. “I know, but…”

“And I don’t know what happened to make you two like you’ve been in the past week,” Al rolled his eyes. “It’s not like you two had sex or anything—”

The pinkness in Winry’s cheeks and her guilty silence made Al rethink his choice of words.

Um.

Well.

That was…

He gave an uncomfortable cough.

And another.

“Al,” Winry said, breaking the silence. Though her face was still a bit red. “I know it hurts Ed. And it hurts me too, but I just can’t…”

“Why not?” demanded Al, hoping he could quickly forget that previous choice of words. “Why not tell him? Don’t you understand how much he’s missed you? He’d be overjoyed—!”

“I know that! Al, don’t you understand how badly I want to tell him?” Tears were forming in her eyes. “Every single day knowing that he looks at me and sees someone else! Every day of desperately wanting to tell him that I’m right here! and I can’t! I waited five years for you both and now I’m stuck pretending I’m—!”

Al could only watch her as she tried desperately to keep the flow of tears at bay. He knew his brother wasn’t the only one hurt in this, but… “Winry,” he sighed again, “Why can’t you do it? What happened to you?”

She wiped the rest of the tears away. “I told you Al, I can’t tell you. If I did—” She glanced in the direction of the bar windows, eye wide and fearful. “And you can’t tell Ed, either. It’s…for his own good.”

How—?

“Just trust me, Al. Please.”

She busied herself with wiping down a glass that was sparkling clean, but Al wasn’t about to give up now. “Winry, is someone threatening you? If there is, we’ll do something about it—”

“No, you won’t,” she shot him a pleading look. “Just…let me solve this, Al.”

That as good as told him that someone was threatening her. “Winry, who—?”

But the bell on the door clinked. It was Madame coming back in. “Oh, how did it go?” Winry asked cheerfully, running over to her side.

“Damn policemen think I’m running a brothel,” Madame gave a chuckle. “But a few words from Masten set them straight.

“I’m sure,” Al rolled his eyes, as Madame lit a cigarette.

Madame gave another chuckle, and then asked Al, “So, you’re here, are you? Your brother comin’ by?”

Al and Winry exchanged hasty glances. “I don’t think so. He’s busy with work and…”

Madame gave a skeptical grunt, but said nothing more as she went to the backroom.

As soon as she was gone, Al turned back to his friend. “Winry, please, if someone is threatening you, we want to help.”

“Thank you, but…let me do this on my own,” she told him. “Al…I know you both want to save me, but let me try and save myself. I can do it.”

“And what if you’re not strong enough to save yourself?” Al asked. “It’s okay to ask us for help.”

She looked like she might say something, but she kept her mouth shut about it. “I’m sorry this is hurting Ed, really I am, but there isn’t any other way. Trust me.”

He knew this was the end of the line. Winry wasn’t going to say. “All right. But remember, we will do anything to help if you need us to.”

“I know,” she gave a small smile. “Thank you.”

He returned it. “And I am glad to see you, Winry. You don’t know how much. Brother—when he finds out, he’ll be so happy…”

The smile faded when he mentioned Ed. “I know. Just…give me time. I’ll figure something out.”

She was lying. Al could read her and tell that much. She hadn’t figured something out and she was hoping she could outlast it. Just waiting, waiting…waiting like she had all those years in Resembool.

It was strength, of a kind. The fact that she could wait for them when she had no word at all was commendable. But this situation was different.

If someone was threatening her to keep her mouth shut, she couldn’t just wait and hope it would resolve itself.

“I’ve got to go,” he said. “Got to go somewhere before Brother realizes I skipped school.”

Winry let out a little laugh, and then, “Please, don’t…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Al assured her. “I won’t tell Brother. That’s for you to tell him.”

She nodded, and then waved as he left the bar.

Well, that didn’t go as well as he hoped, but at least he learned a few things. It really was Winry. She really was here. How did she get here, on this side of the gate? Something must have happened…but she probably wouldn’t tell him those circumstances, either.

Winry might be in danger, but she wouldn’t call for help even if she needed it.

Al let out a sigh. He might as well go somewhere to blow off steam. Maybe Chinatown, there was a cute girl down there that seemed to like him…

Hmm… ‘Chinatown’… ‘Call for help’…

Al looked up at the roof of the bar. “Lang?”

An instant later, a body jumped down from where it had been hidden. “You rang?”

“What were you doing up there?” Al looked back up; Lang had been perfectly hidden in a shadow between a window and another building.

Lang wore his usual wide grin. “I told you to call if you needed me.”

Al decided to ignore the oddness of all of it. He did need help right now. He smirked to match Lang’s grin, and said, “Right. Let’s get to work.”
Tags: , ,
 
 
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Rain - FMA:B soundtrack
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on December 10th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOU
Long time follower, first time commenting. I have to say, I love your work so, SO much. Keep it up~!
Kit: Edwin2inulovinkit on December 10th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Re: I LOVE YOU
Awww, thanks for reading! <3
zeowynda312: EdWin USTzeowynda312 on December 10th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
YAY!!! AL AND LING (er..Lang) TO THE RESCUE!

Heh, it figures that Al found out first.
Kit: Alinulovinkit on December 10th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
I always figured Al was the more guy who's actually paying attention while Ed is the one that reacts before thinking. In this case, Ed's too busy being emo while Al has to pick up the slack.


Al and Lang = Nosy bros for life.
thebandolier on December 13th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Beautifully written. N-not that it wouldn't be! Haha, anyway, I'm glad you didn't die during November XD. This fic is really starting to get interesting......
Kit: Edwin2inulovinkit on December 13th, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, just been so busy that I didn't get a chance to finish writing.

The pace is really going to start picking up soon, with Al and Lang on the case!
Yuuki Hikari: Toddler!Al Loveyuukihikari on December 13th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
Oh props to Al... I know what you noticed just then... good on you. His skills of preception will save everyone a ton of agony. Al has the most logical thought processes, which'll probably get them out of a lot of trouble.

XD I love that Lang is the smiling "Omnipresent one".
Kit: Alinulovinkit on December 13th, 2010 06:02 am (UTC)
While Ed is off angsting, Al is the one to pick up the slack. You're right that he will be the one to save everyone a lot of trouble and agony.

Lang is always smiling. When he's not smiling, you know shit is about to get real.
Shellisonshellison on December 21st, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Wow.
HOLY. CRAP. I've never seen an FMA (or any) fan fic so awesome! I could go on for a while why it's so awesome but I think I'll save that for now. Just so I know when to start jumping up and down impatiently in anticipation, when do you think the next chapter is going to be coming out??
Kit: Edwininulovinkit on December 22nd, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Re: Wow.
I'm expecting the next chapter to be done sometime after Christmas, before I go on vacation on the 29th.

Glad you can't wait! XD
(Anonymous) on January 18th, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
Re: impatience
I'm getting impatient. Please tell me that you're at least close to done with ch.7. Love your work btw. Best fanfic EVAR!
Kit: Edwin2inulovinkit on January 20th, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
Re: impatience
It's up now!