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Ed gets conned into 'tying the knot' when Winry decides she wants to stay in Central to be by her grandmother while the old woman recuperates from a nasty fall. Chaos and misunderstanding ensues...
"Colonel... I need a house."
Roy refused to look up from his papers. Not that they were very interesting, in fact they were extremely boring.
It just seemed like any normal moment whenever Fullmetal entered his office. He'd stare down at his papers while the Whiny Prodigy ranted about something or other before demanding info for anything stone related in his missions.
Only... This was something unexpected. One worthy of immediate response.
"You need a house." Roy repeated, trying to see if he'd heard right. "And why is that?"
Edward stared intensely at the floor, as if trying to burn a hole in the poor berber carpet with his eyes. There was a slight twitch in his jaw before he spoke almost forcefully. "I just need a transfer from my dorms to an enlisted home, that's all I'm asking for."
Roy promptly abandoned his papers, looking up at Edward with reserved curiosity. "I'd prefer a few details before I decide about any sort of transfer, so what's the occasion?"
Edward looked up. "Occasion?"
"You’re aware that the enlisted homes are for soldiers who have either a family of three or more, and are married or soon to be, correct?"
Edward gulped audibly (Oh? curious...) and nodded.
"So..." Roy pressed on "Why do you need a home?"
Edward breathed out deeply before looking Roy in the eye, determined to speak what was on his mind whether he or his reddened face liked it or not.
"See, Colonel. My family... Well; it got bigger."
Edward Elric. The military prodigy and resound 'Hero to the Common Man' had recently gotten himself into quite the pickle.
Or to put it more correctly; quite the engagement!
There had been a terrible accident. Pinako had been outside merely setting the Rockbell Automail insignia up on a signpost when it happened. She'd fallen from the ladder and broken her hip. It had been such a serious injury that the doctors in Risembool immediately had her transferred by train to Central for medical care.
Winry, being the devoted granddaughter to her caretaker and mentor, followed after; not even taking in the fact that she would have no place to go in Central, and that even staying with Edward and Alphonse would be out of the question since the dorm rules only allow two per room and no one of the opposite gender.
It left Edward with only one ultimatum... if only by influence.
Everyone already knew damn well they weren't related since she'd been in Central so many times, so he couldn't pass her off as a sister or cousin.
So... she had to be...
He'd have to...
Roy Mustang had to blink a few more times, and horribly refrain himself from laughing out loud and earning questions about his mental wellbeing from anyone who heard him. Except trying to register what Edward just said seemed nearly impossible, so much that it almost deserved laughter.
And clearly it didn't seem possible for him either; only the tell tale sign of blush coating itself over his face begged to differ otherwise.
"So, so let me get this straight," Roy said regaining his composure "You got engaged."
Again the blush flashed and the floor took another burning beating from fiery golden irises.
"To miss Rockbell, no less..." Roy rested a forefinger and thumb against his own chin, as if he were on a stage giving some sort of critically acclaimed approval. "I have to say, it's about time you got your act together, Fullmetal. You certainly know how to pick'em."
Edward shot a venomous look at Roy. "I didn't come here to get critiqued by you, All
I need is your permission to register for a house."
Roy gestured with a wave of his hand for Edward to calm down. "No need to get twisted up, I wasn't saying anything bad about your Fiancée." Roy simpered as the last word that rolled off his tongue made Edward twitch slash blush. Roy decided he'd had enough of outwardly poking fun at the Fullmetal Newlywed, turning and opening one of his desk drawers to brandish the said papers Edward requested from him. "Just give me the name of the manager to your dorm building and leave the rest to me, alright?"
Edward nodded, digging his hands in his pockets as if he'd written the name down beforehand.
Roy felt completely in his element. While he may have looked cool and collected on the outside, inside there dwelt a devilish version of himself with a twisted mustache, sitting on a black throne and laughing giddily, basking in the forebodingness of it all.
'Oh... things would definitely be getting interesting for awhile.'
‘It's not as if were really married’
'It's not as if were really married'
'It's not as if were really married'
'It's not as if were really married!'
Edward let those words wash throughout his mind as he walked toward the front doors of Central military's housing offices, his left hand tightly clutched around the necessary papers Roy had signed and given him to show to the housing commission ('leave the rest to me' he says? yeah RIGHT!).
The blond soon-to-be-eighteen-year-olds usually fair weathered features were clearly riled up and noticeable to any passerby, even the coat he wore felt unbearable to wear despite the early fall breeze that flew by.
'E-even she agreed!' He continued to argue with himself as he pulled the door open and entered the building.
'Whole damn thing's her fault anyway!'
"Winry, how did this happen?" Alphonse said in a quiet voice that would make one think he could be on the verge of crying (unless any of those 'ones' knew perfectly well he couldn't)
Edward and Alphonse stood next to Winry Rockbell, their machine loving childhood friend. Like Edward she was his age and had blond hair. Only difference was it was lighter and she usually held it back in a ponytail. Although now she let her hair hang listlessly while her bangs curtained over her tired blue eyes that spent most of the train ride to Central in tears.
"Sh-she was trying to put up the shop sign on a post we got for the front of the house." Winry said sullenly, looking strait at the wall in front of where she sat. "At first everything was fine, but Den started barking and, I looked out the window, and she was on the ground-" Winry paused, choking back a sob. Clearly it hurt her to think about what had happened.
Edward looked away from Winry to the door that the paramedics had gone through with Pinako on a stretcher only a few minutes ago. A mark of sadness washed over his face, silently he hoped the old woman would be alright.
As if to confirm this thought, his brother Alphonse spoke up for Edward's inner optimistic hope, kneeling at Winry's side to pat her softly on the back "It's alright, Winry. She looked fine when the doctors brought her in, I'm sure she'll be okay."
Edward couldn't take not having an encouraging banter of his own to pile in, so he spoke up. "Of course she'll be fine, the woman's as stubborn as grease on a frying pan. She'll pull through."
Winry blinked at Edward's strange analogy before nodding. "I-I suppose you guys are right..."
A few hours later the small party received word that she would be fine, only the fracture would render her immobile for a few months or worst case scenario, a year. So after visiting with Pinako for awhile they made way to the Central Military base. At first neither of them spoke much, so it was pretty quiet the whole walk there.
Until Edward spoke up, that is.
"So, Winry," He said turning his head to look back at her. "When are you going back to Risembool?"
Winry looked up at Edward with a look of borderline mortification. "What? You think I'd leave Grandma here in Central all alone?! Get real, Edward!" Alphonse shirked away from Winry slightly. Edward rubbed the back of his head where she had smacked him with a wrench. "Geeze, sorry! I was just curious." Alphonse decided to intervene and pressed the issue on. "Winry, if your not leaving Central, where are you going to stay?"
Winry looked at the ground they walked on, as if thinking about his question carefully. "Well, I guess Miss Gracia might let me stay with her." She answered.
"That's a good idea." Alphonse said relieved. "Perhaps you could call her later to ask..."
Edward drifted away from listening to Alphonse and Winry speak. He too was concerned about how Winry planned on setting a temporary root in Central (or he was till she smacked him that is). Now that she had a plan he let his concern slide as he digressed to thoughts about some forthcoming mission he was told to report to Mustangs office for.
Sometime later Edward sped from Roy's office with assignment in hand, narrowly dodging a stray bullet from a ramped Hawkeye who had been vying for the Colonel's immediate departure from the planet when she had discovered that instead of signing the documents like he'd been instructed he had decided to doodle images of a cartoonish looking Riza in one of his miniskirts.
Edward still worked to calm himself down after avoiding being used by Roy as a shield when he made it to the lobby where Winry and his brother waited. He noticed a stiff complexion on Winry's face that almost matched Alphonse's own emotionless (yet strangely often emotional) face.
"Umm, bad news, brother..." Alphonse started off. Winry spoke up after Edward asked what was wrong. "Miss Gracia's moving from her house."
Edward gawked before forcing himself to regain his composure, wanting all the while to smack himself in the head. He completely forgot that he'd spoken to Gracia awhile ago, she specifically said she was having movers come in to get things from the house. Edward fixed a scolding look at Alphonse, since he too had been present when he was told this.
Although now wasn't the time to point out one's memory flaws, the more pressing issue was where Winry was going to stay.
"H- Have you spoken to Sheiszka yet?" Edward asked, making a quick suggestion.
Winry blanched and slowly turned her face toward Edward, making him think she would suddenly projectile vomit on him or something.
(cue Exorcist theme here XD)
Edward's thoughts were suddenly granted a reprieve on just why Winry looked ready to die as a mental image of towering pagodas ranging from 'Treasure Island' to 'How To Manage Your Budget' in hard cover leaflets conquered his vision as they fell straight for him.
Edward shuddered as he shook the thought away. Alright, so Sheiszka's place was out of the question.
So, then where else could she possibly stay? She was too damn stubborn to just high-tail it home or else Edward would have made her go home (if not because he also wanted to avoid any unnecessary metal on head contact)
"Why- why don't I stay with you guys?"
Both Edward and Alphonse made small noises like she'd said something strange. "Winry, you cant'" Edward said and explained his reason before she could protest.
Winry looked as if she had no choice but to go home, her face set in a sad prose. Then she said, "What about a house?"
Edward blinked. A house?
"Like the one Miss Gracia is moving from" Winry continued on. "You could get that Colonel guy to let you guys move into a house instead of living in a dorm so that way we can live together until Grandma heals."
Edward felt as if Winry had abandoned her wrench and smacked him upside the head with a brick wall instead. A house?! No, it was totally out of the question! AB-SO-LUTE-LY NOT!!
"Um, Winry..." Alphonse said, "That's not possible either."
"Damn strait it's not!" Edward snapped, earning both heads to turn in his direction quickly "First off more than two people have to live together in an enlisted house, not to mention they have to be family-"
"But," Winry said interrupting Edward's protest. "I'm already practically your family."
"You know what I mean!" Edward continued. "You’d also have to be part of the military family, like family that work for the military too."
Again Winry interrupted "Miss Gracia wasn't part of the military."
"That's because Hughes was MARRIED to her, the only exception would be if someone part of the military were married to someone who wasn't! Not to mention-" Edward ranted on, all the while missing the mischievous grin that broke across Winry's face.
"... Well, I think you already solved your problem, Ed."
Edward's mouth flew shut and he blinked at Winry. "Solved my- What?!"
"What are you talking about, Winry?" Alphonse asked, like Edward, he felt totally clueless to the obvious plot Winry had molded just now.
Winry looked Edward dead in the eye, making him twitch slightly before she spoke. "You’re in the military, Right Ed?"
Okay, what rock came out of nowhere and knocked her in the head? what kind of dumb question was that? "Winry...you KNOW I'm in the military." Edward said through clenched teeth.
"And I'm not?" She said pointing at herself with her thumb as if she were some sort of hotshot.
Albeit a very invalid hotshot.
Edward ignored the urge to scream and made himself calmly ask "Winry... What the hell are you getting at here?"
Edward looked at his brother, whom at the moment looked as if he'd just discovered a brilliant glowing light bulb that radiated from his cranium, he looked way too damn gleeful for a so called emotionless suit of armor. It was almost downright scary. And since when does Alphonse catch onto something before he does?
"I may go places with you, Brother. But I'm not part of the military either, just a family member!" He declared clapping his hands.
What. The. Living. Hell...
When did Winry and Alphonse suddenly decide to team up against him? Edward watched as if he were some helpless elementary kid about to be bullied out of his lunch money by two tag teaming high school yankees. There was nothing fair about this at ALL!
"Will you stop being cryptic and tell me what's so fucking special about the two of you not being in the mil-"
Again; another wall. Only this time it was a steel one. Being shot from a cannon. Knocking into him so fast he couldn't breath, think, nor summon the ability to jam up the staccato that hammered behind his lungs.
Alphonse and Winry stopped whatever victory party they were in and looked dejectedly at Edward, who had screwed his face into what he hoped was a convincing pissed off expression and not a 'Shit-I'm-embarrassed-and-don't-know-what-to-think' one.
"Why not, brother?" Alphonse said (or rather whined) "It's perfect, and I don't see anything wrong with it."
Of course Alphonse didn't see anything wrong with it...
It's not like HE was being asked to pretend that he was getting married!
"I'm not doing it!" Edward stated matter of factly, staring down the bullies with as much gusto (or rather ego if he had been thinking clearly) as he could muster.
"Well, I don't see any other way, Edward." Winry interjected, earning a heated look from said person. "Unless you want me to stay in one of the motels here in Central until Grandma heals."
The last thing Edward wanted for Winry to do was stay on one of the hundreds of potential danger places. Central was no place to live unless you were some super hero or if you had two or more friends to watch your back. Try to do anything here on your own you were lucky if no trouble happened upon you. (Yikes, I made Central sound like Detroit .)
Unfortunately trouble seemed to happen whether one intends for there to be or not.
And if the damn news papers about missing people on and off weren't proof enough...
Edward clenched a fist at his side. There was no way in hell he was going to pretend an engagement. Especially to-
"Please, Ed." Winry asked, still bent on making this matter play through till the end. "It's not as if were really married, and besides; later we could tell them it didn't work out after Grandma gets out of the hospital."
Edward opened his mouth to protest, only words decided to abandon him.
"I promise I'll be out of your hair after this is over, and I'll throw in a smaller budget when you come to Risembool to get repaired."
Edward's jaw closed tightly. The Rockbell's did tend to be over pricy...
He looked at his little brother (or up at him to his annoyance), who was all nods.
Forcefully he looked at Winry, who waited patiently for the answer she wanted to hear.
Edward left the building after waiting hours to receive the information about which house he would be residing in, located just outside of the busiest part of Central, and what street it was on.
That was it, for the most part anyway.
The only thing Edward had to wonder (and worry) about now was what he was going to do now that he was in this mess. Was it really worth it to cave into Winry's offer of a cut budget while the equivalent to it was that he'd be subjected to make others believe the Fullmetal Alchemist decided to settle down?
Edward sighed deeply, wondering just how things would really bode from all this, while groaning at the written street name which coincidentally read 'Advent Street.'
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