Fic: 2: Dawn
Disclaimer: Arakawa owns all.
Summary: Connection: Dreams. That's what kept them going. By imagining his face in her eyes, she could live. By promising her that he would return, he would try. Separated for four years, could they come together again, even if worlds come between them? Post CoS. EdxWinry
Warnings: Angst, memories, and emotional pain are included. 1st person p.o.v.
A/N: Well, I wanted to type something different. Hopefully, this is just that.
Previously on In Love: Positive...
I don't know if I could go on like this for another night. For if I dream like this again, I may stay in the dream and never feel the need to wake up. In the morning, I would grow tired and travel to the tree that Edward, Alphonse and I used to play on to stare out into the distance to study my recent, disturbing dream.
I did not sleep after my dream. Tears turned into shock, but even after I could shed them no more for the night, I could not get my eyes to close. This was by far, the strongest fantasy I have had about Edward. The most innocent dream my subconscious had brought into my mind was that Ed and I were little tykes, maybe five years old, playing in the river. I never imagined I would dream like this about him. I was shaking –the kind you would think someone was shivering because of the cold –out of pure astonishment. Then, I felt something hit my face.
It felt hot, but not even by getting burned would I close my eyes. It was blinding and I wanted to turn away, but I couldn't. Why should I when I know I wouldn't survive another night like this? I would just let this cruel white light consume me whole so that I would not keep experiencing this pain anymore.
I heard a firm knock on my door. Obviously granny. She knew the drill: wake Winry up before she kills herself. That was always her morning plan, and even though she has never voiced it out loud in my hearing range, I could still hear her silent screams of concern. And why shouldn't she worry? Since Edward and Alphonse left four years ago, it's been nothing but uncontrollable sobs, uncomfortable dreams, and surprising diligence from me. I'm surprised granny is able to handle all of that. And I'm surprised I haven't died because of all this depression. Times for me have been hard and even though I try –and I honestly do –to move on and have a nice life (not a happy one, but a nice one at least) my brain, eyes, and heart cannot visualize that. They control me and I follow. It's the only thing that's worth doing.
"Winry, time to wake up," I heard granny say.
I didn't respond. I knew my voice would quiver, signaling her that I had cried. And she would know it would be because of him. Or my dreams about him. I didn't turn either. I wanted the hot sun to kill me now so that neither of us would continue to suffer.
I heard my door open. I also heard foot steps; they came closer and I felt someone's presence. I inhaled that tobacco infested smell that was generated by my grandmother's pipe. So, it was one of those days? The ones when my granny and I would have to talk when I woke up. How fun. Especially if I start my own water works when she would ask her questions.
"You…dreamt about him again, didn't you?" She sounded reluctant to ask, but for her it was necessary to show concern. But she didn't need an answer. She already knew it. The same one. The simplest one. The one that she and I had memorized. Yes, yes I had. And I regret it ever since. I wish I hadn't had that…that…that disgusting scenery in my head. It only makes it worse. It feeds the fire in me. It fuels the bomb that's about to explode. It's the cruel punishment that I receive for not telling him how I feel. That I care for him deeply; that I miss him so much; that I love him…with all my heart.
And right on cue my tears came cascading down my cheeks. Again. For the billionth time in a row. I could give the exact number of times I have cried, but I'd lie. I lost count on day 5, and that was four years ago.
Out of my own free will I turned to face my granny. Her eyes showed defeat and exhaustion, fed up by my behavior that did not wish to change. Her eyebrows displayed an upset expression, saddened by the fact that her granddaughter was crying over a guy that was not with her. Do you consider that pathetic or do you want more points? Pathetic in a way that you cry when you hear, see, or speak his name? Pathetic in a way that you are reminded about him by working? Pathetic by remembering him when you hear about the state alchemists on the radio news, wondering if he's being careful during a mission? Pathetic in a way that you would consider thinking that he would all of a sudden pop out of Central City when you go once a month to work over there? Pathetic in a way that you feel like electricity might flow out from a circle, complex or simple, just by clapping your hands and placing them on it gently?
It was useless to think of any way possible that he would actually return to me. He was gone for good…and I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't perform alchemy because I didn't know the first thing about it. I couldn't ask any of the alchemists I knew (General Mustang and Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong mostly) to teach me or create a portal to somehow bring them back. I couldn't do anything and that's what killed my hope. That's what killed me inside: knowing that those two wouldn't return tore me apart.
I lifted myself off my pillow, sitting up so that I would fully awaken, unwrapping myself from my cocoon-like sheets so the fresh morning air would make its way to my heated skin. I looked down at my legs, not wanting to meet my granny's gaze for now.
"Winry, you have to stop doing this." She repeated to me what she had said yesterday and the day before that and the days following the past until they met up to a week after the date when Ed and Al had left.
But this day cannot be compared to those first seven days of my allotted hell. The days when no one would dare look at my face or bother to consulate me. No one would try anything because they knew what was wrong. And they didn't want to make it worse. They knew that it was good to give me time, until they got annoyed by my unstoppable sobs. Lieutenant Hawkeye was the first one to crack, well not really crack; more like build up the courage to face me and have a girl-to-girl-talk. Because she knew the pain I was going through. She sympathized for me because she got upset over General Mustang's departure to the north of Central. And she knew that it was hard to let go of someone you truly loved. I had gone through that pain once. But Ed and Al were there to suffer with me. This suffering, however, didn't include their company. I had to go through it alone this time.
But I honestly thought I would be stronger. Everyone thought I would be stronger. To get over the brothers' departure and move on soon enough to have a life. But it was a pure surprise to the entire world, or the world that knew me, that I was not over them yet. And I wouldn't get over them anytime soon. They are an essential part of my life that needs to be incorporated in it. I can't just simply forget about them. No way! They are my brothers, my family, and my best friends. Al: my smile and joy; Ed: my passion and love. Those two are hard to throw away. And even if I did exaggerate over them, well over Ed, they all either had to live with it or get the guts to kill me, over Mustang's and Armstrong's dead bodies.
After Riza's attempts to talk to me, Roy and Armstrong gave it a try. It was quite awkward for them, I could tell, but they still gave a rather blunt speech. With stutters included. They couldn't get over the fact that I was actually in love with Edward. I had to admit it to them after I broke down when they and Mustang's subordinates gathered at the spot where Scheska and I were. It was embarrassing, but I couldn't contain myself. They promised that they would visit once a month to give us a little company. But I knew what their game was; they wanted to keep a special eye on me in case I did anything stupid. And I was daring enough to set them off.
It was all a routine now.
"I can't," I finally answered.
"Don't you get it, Winry? This is not good for you. You have to see that all this unnecessary pain is affecting you greatly. Now, I want to help you, but you have to do your part in this so that you can get through—"
"Yeah, well maybe I don't want to be helped!" I cut her off. That was all I had to say. My voice cracked and I began to cry. I shook again, but this time calmly. Wow. I was that pathetic?
"Don't you raise your voice at me, young lady," she said firmly.
"I. Don't. Want. Help," I replied, each word treating it as a sentence, like a syllable in a word.
"Quit comporting yourself like a child. You're old enough to act like the adult you should be!"
"Well, maybe I don't want to be an adult. Maybe I want to be the child that you say I am!"
"It would be easier to take care of a stubborn five year old instead of a whining twenty-two year old."
"Well then, adopt another granddaughter because apparently this one is not that right for you!"
"Maybe I will."
"Maybe you should."
"Alright, then help yourself. Cry as much as you want because I can't take it anymore."
"Well, who said you have to keep up with me? You know you could just ignore me."
"Is that what you want then?"
I laid myself down again and placed my hands over my face.
"Leave me alone to die," I told my grandmother. I think she was crying or fuming. Either one, her voice was shaking.
"Fine, then I guess I won't bother anymore," I heard her walk away, not intending to comfort me like she would usually do. Because it was not part of the routine we had set up. Because I broke that routine.
I took in a sharp breath. Why do I have to be so hard-headed? Now everyone is tired of me, even my own grandmother! She'd rather take care of a five year old that put up with me. Was I really that bad?
I continued to cry. The tears were never ending, almost as if the faucet in my eyes had been broken.
I felt terrible. How…how could I say that to granny? I'm so ungrateful. All she's doing is trying to help her desperate granddaughter get a hold of herself. Yet I'm here –that desperate granddaughter –yelling at her.
I recovered from my tear-shedding scene a few minutes after granny and I held our quarrel. I wasn't really thinking on what I was doing or saying. I was just upset and I wanted to take it out on something. But I didn't intend to take it out on my poor little granny.
The sun was irritating me. Burning and regretting do not go together. So after I realized that the sun was hitting my back harshly, I got out of bed, made it, and dressed myself in my working attire. I made a trip to the bathroom to take care of some things and wash my flushed-tear-drowned face. The purple bags under my eyes were getting worse by the day. But I was the only one to notice since I had asked for granny's opinion and she told me that they weren't noticeable; everyone had bags under their eyes. But I did manage to apply a bit of make-up on that area. Although I was careful. I didn't want to get wrinkles at my age.
As I walked out of the now considered "ladies room", I tied my bandanna around the top of my head as always. I had my eyes half open since they were in pain from too much sleep deprivation. But I had to work. Many people need mechanical limbs. Like…–oh no, don't think, don't you dare think about–…Edward. It was difficult to resist, but I failed to fight back. By the time I rounded the corner of the living room leading to the shop, I had glazed eyes. If they felt like hot tears and they looked like hot tears, then they are hot tears.
But I saw granny there on the table, working with furrowed eyebrows and tears sliding down her cheeks. That worry came back to me. I hurt my grandmother. So bad I caused her to cry. That's not fair to her. She doesn't deserve to cry over me like I do over Edward. Damn it! What have I turned into? I hurt not only myself, but the people that surround me as well.
I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't stand watching my granny cry like this.
"Granny?" I choked out.
I surprised her since she jumped a bit when she heard my croak.
"What, you've come to tell me some more of your crap or is your appearance enough?" Her hurt tone was obviously telling me that she didn't mean any of the words she was telling me.
I hurriedly walked over to her, knelt down, and embraced her so tight that I even felt that she was suffocating. But she kept breathing and hugged me back because we both needed the comfort.
"I'm sorry, granny," I begged.
"It's al…right," she managed to choke out.
"No, it's not. You're right; I can't keep living like this. But it's inevitable. I can't resist it, granny. It's unavoidable."
"Okay, then I'll keep dealing with your attitude."
"You don't have to, granny."
"Yes, I do."
I backed up a little to see my granny's face. She was still crying. And it takes a whole lot of shit to make her crack like this. This shit was that kind. The one I was giving her. The one I should be swallowing.
"I'm sorry for raising my voice at you. I really am worse than a five year old."
"And I'm sorry for not understanding. I have to take care of you, don't I? I have to do it right."
I didn't know what to respond to my grandmother after that. So I hugged her again with a smile upon my face, a rare expression for me nowadays.
"Okay, Winry. We can hug later. Let's get started on work. You do want to go out today, don't you?"
She knew me too well and I couldn't really deny what she said. I stood a moment later so I could stop depriving my granny from working and so that I could get started on my own.
I didn't have too many customers today, so I would have time to wander around. I just wish he was one of my customers and I longed for his company so we could both wander about the village together.