Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Fiction ❯ Future Memories ❯ Those Whom We Love ( Chapter 11 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Those Whom We Love
As they walked along the dirt road that would lead them back to the house, Trisha couldn't help but cast glances at her son every so often. Their emotionally charged talk had been draining on them both. She could see it in his eyes and in his body language.
Though most of her questions had been answered, there were still a few that sat quietly waiting to be answered. And they would be, she was sure, in their own time, but…
There was still that one.
The one she'd been wanting to ask, but…
The brunette woman ran her fingers through her hair and took in a deep breath. If she didn't ask him now, would she have the chance again? Would they be alone like this again?
“Edward…” she began but was cut off by a yell.
“Ms. Elric! Ms. Elric!”
They both turned around to see a small blonde girl in a sundress running toward them.
“Winry…” Ed breathed.
Trisha glanced at him, and was reminded in a sudden painful way of the relationship between her son and that man. She really liked the Rockbells and had always thought, or at least hoped, that one of her sons would end up being married to their little girl.
“Ms. Elric…?” the girl asked in concern.
Trisha shook herself from her depressing thoughts and said, “Yes Winry?”
“Can I come over and play with Ed and Al?”
She opened her mouth to speak, but stopped when the teenager cleared his throat and made a slight shake of his head. Perhaps he was right. It would probably not be a good idea to have many other people know of what was happening…
“I'm sorry Winry, but I'm going to have them help me with some things. Perhaps later I'll send them over if they get everything done.”
The girl's face fell and she nodded her understanding. Winry started to turn around, then stopped when she saw Ed's face. Her eyes widened slightly and she said, “You look just like Ed!”
For a moment he just stared at her, then a big grin spread on his face. “Actually my name is Ling Yao,” he said and stuck out his hand in greeting.
Winry looked at him for a moment before taking his hand in hers. Suddenly her eyes widened as she squeezed his hand, and she shrieked in excitement, “Is this automail?”
He nodded and slipped his glove off for her to inspect it.
“Oh wow! This is just so neat! I want to be an automail engineer when I get older just like my grandma!” she squealed. “Someday I hope to make automail just as good as this!”
Ed knelt down and smiled kindly at the small blonde girl. “You will. You will be one of the best. I just know it, so study hard alright?”
Trisha watched as Winry's cheeks turned read and she looked down in embarrassment. “I'll try really hard,” she said, grabbing her skirt in her hands and twisting it around her finger. “When I do… will you come back to Rizembool? If you do… I'll do maintenance for you and I'll even give you a discount.”
To that Ed burst out laughing. “What? Not for free?”
The girl looked up and said, “Granny says never to give stuff out for free.”
The teenager just shook his head, then poked her nose lightly with his automail finger. “Study hard, and I swear I'll come back. Okay?”
The girl nodded emphatically, then declared, “I'm going to go study right now!” She started running down the road then stopped and waved, “Bye Ms. Elric! Bye Ling!”
The two of them waved at her for a moment until she was out of sight, then Trisha said with a raised eyebrow, “Ling Yao?”
Ed chuckled and shook his head, “It's a long story…”
“I see…” she said and watched him slip the glove back on. “You seem pretty confident in her abilities…”
He looked at her, nodded, held up his hand, and said quietly, “Who do you think made this?” He touched his leg. “And this…”
As they started back toward the house again she noticed that Ed seemed to be in more of a good mood, and she was glad. It hurt her to see him so sad. Trisha thought of her question again, and wondered if it would be best to not ask. Her little Edward always got so upset when she mentioned…
But this wasn't her little Edward. This was Ed, her son, but not her son… not the one she knew. He had matured so much… perhaps he could handle it better now…
“Edward…” she began, then stopped. She couldn't… what if…
He looked at her and said, “Yes?”
Trisha looked away. How could she ask him? How would he react?
“Mom?” he asked in concern.
“Ed, I have a question that… I've wanted to ask, but…” her voice trailed off.
The blond teen smiled slightly and said in a weak voice, “I've told you the worst things I could… you can ask…”
The brunette turned her gaze forward and nodded, though it was a few minutes before she asked softly, “Did he ever come back?”
When there was no answer she looked beside her only to see that she was alone. Stopping, Trisha turned around and saw him standing in the middle of the road, gazing at her with sad eyes.
That was her answer.
He didn't need to speak.
Trisha blinked in surprise at the sudden tears in her eyes. She'd supposed that all her tears had been shed…
Ed looked down and sighed before walking forward.
“Mom,” he said in quiet anger, “why do you wait for him? Why do you love him? He's a bastard. He… he doesn't care about us… if he did, then why would he go away? Why wouldn't he write, or… or… anything?” He raised his head, and she could see the pain and the hurt, the confusion and the anger, radiating from those large, golden eyes. “He didn't come… we tried… but he never came…”
She stepped forward and wrapped her arms around him.
“Edward,” Trisha said softly, “he does care. I know he does. Why he left… he left so you wouldn't know… he didn't want you and Alphonse to know… he… he said he'd be back… but I never expected him to be gone so long…”
The teen pulled away and asked, “What didn't he want us to know?”
She shook her head. “I could only tell you a little because I don't understand all of what he said. I don't think that small amount would make much sense so I'd rather not, but please know that he does love us very much…”
“I don't see how you can say that…” he mumbled and walked past her.
Trisha watched him slowly walk away from her with mixed emotions. He did love them. She knew he did. Why couldn't Ed see that? Why couldn't he understand just how much she loved Hohenheim?
And then the thought came to her. Hard and crushing was the understanding and she called, “Edward…” He stopped but didn't turn around. “You asked me why I love him. You said he's a bastard and that you can't see how he could possibly return my feelings…”
Ed nodded with a frown.
“What about you? What about that man? Why do you love him? I think he's a bastard! I can't see how he could possibly return your feelings… So why…?” she asked, her voice trailing off.
He nodded unhappily and walked back toward her. For several minutes they stood staring at each other, then finally Ed spoke.
“I didn't mean to love him. I never meant for it to happen. When things started happening… well… it… it wasn't love. It was just a game. We were… antagonizing… each other… I don't know…” he ran a hand through his bangs and shook his head. “The funny thing is that he really is a bastard sometimes, but I guess when you like someone enough you're willing to forgive even that.”
He folded his arms and continued, “Al doesn't know… no one knows… we can't let anyone find out. It's against the rules. We each have our own goals and we need the military to fulfill them, or at least I do… I have to… for Al. I… I want him to love me, but…” he trailed off and looked away.
“You don't know that he does,” she said mildly. Ed glanced at her with a questioning look and nodded. “I saw it in his eyes last night, when you said what you did. He was surprised…” she admitted.
“Yeah… we'd never spoke of love and that stuff… I… I'd thought about telling him several times but, I wasn't ever able to find the courage. Now though… now he knows, but we haven't talked about it. He's probably waiting… maybe until we get back or something… I don't know…” His voice trailed off as his eyes pleaded for her to understand what he felt.
She watched him for a moment then said, “I suppose it's hard for us to see those whom we love in each other's eyes…”
He looked at her for a moment with all the maturity that he'd gained during those years that she didn't know, that she'd never know… and said softly, “Yeah… I suppose so…”
Trisha reached out and held her son tightly for a moment before saying, “I'll think about what you said if you'll think about what I said.”
She felt him nod against her. “I'll try…” he murmured.
They stood that way for a long time, how long she didn't know, but when they finally pulled apart he looked around as if searching for something. When his gaze settled on a patch of wildflowers at the side of the road, he pulled away from her and walked toward them.
For a minute he stood there silently, back turned toward her, long red coat moving slightly in the breeze, then he walked to the side of the shrubbery and gave her a radiant smile before clapping his hands together and touching the flowers.
She gasped as they transmuted into a ring of flowers. He picked it up, walked to her and laid it gently over her head, letting it rest lightly on her shoulders. Trisha touched the soft flowers and again felt tears come to her eyes, only these were ones of happiness.
“Edward… you… how…” she stopped to gather her thoughts together, then said, “You're father… he… always used to make these for me…”
“I know…” he breathed, “you told me once… you asked me to make you one… but…” his voice trailed off as a hint of sadness crept into his eyes.
“Thank you Edward…” she said softly and kissed him on the forehead. “You even did this without a transmutation circle…” Just like your father “…I'm so proud of you. You've become so good with your alchemy…” You even looked like him when you did it “…I'd love to see more later.”
He nodded happily and they started back down the road.
She wished they could stay in this moment forever. Just being happy, just being family. But she knew they couldn't. Soon Ed and his commanding officer would find a way to go back, and just as fast as it had all happened, everything would end.
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