Sick

Wrench. Spanner. Blueprint kit. Metallic tubing. Roll of wiring. Box of assorted screws, bolts, and washers.

"I'm all set!" Winry shouted down the stairs, snapping her toolbox closed, and she heard Ed shuffle around downstairs. She started down the stairs, toolbox in hand, but Ed's face at the bottom stopped her in her tracks. "What's wrong?"

His mouth turns down in a worried frown. "It's Den."

She set her toolbox down on the side of the wide step and furrowed her brows, and Ed backed up to let her brush past him, grabbing her wrist before she passed him completely. Winry turned halfway, and Ed's features softened at the expression on her face. "The last train leaves in an hour. You should be on it."

"Not if my dog is sick." Winry replied evenly, and Ed let go of her hand. She made her way over to where Den was laying in the living room, and the dog's ears lifted at the sound of her approach. Her tail thumped weakly against the hardwood floor, and Winry leaned down to rub her hand over her head.

The sound of the stairs creaking let her know Ed was getting her toolbox, and after the dull clunk of him dropping it by the door, she felt him come to kneel beside her. Winry touched the tip of Den's nose, frowning when it was dry and hot. "She has a fever."

Ed moved to touch the dog's back, hand smoothing down black fur. "She didn't eat or drink at all today, she's just been sleeping." Winry felt a pang of guilt for locking herself in her study all day to finish work, and Ed shifted to touch her hand. "Hey, you were busy, you couldn't have known."

"Yeah, but I should have checked on her." She glanced to the door, where her toolbox sat, and she felt a rush of indecisiveness.

"You're going to that appointment." Winry turned back around to glare at Ed for the order, but he was already on his way to the kitchen. She straightened to follow him, but he interrupted before she could start. "I'll take care of her. You and Al can still make the train if you go now."

She listened to rush of the tap, and Ed rummaged in the cabinet for a rag while she mulled over her options. Finally Winry gave in, and she huffed out a sigh. "Fine. I'll go." Ed slung the rag over his shoulder, obscuring the sleeve of his black shirt, and Winry watched him cut the water and lift the bowl of cold water up out of the sink.

"Are you sure she'll be okay?"

"I'll call you if anything happens. Now there's some poor schmuck in Rush Valley who needs your automail prowess, so you better go."

As if on cue, the front door opened, and Alphonse's voice carried over from the front porch. "Winry! We're gonna miss the train!" Ed raised an eyebrow at her, and Winry pursed her lips.

"I'm on my way!" She called over her shoulder, and she touched Ed's hand gently, lingering for a moment. "Take good care of her for me." She turned to leave, grabbing her toolbox on the way out, and Ed watched the door slam shut behind them. He meandered back through the doorway to Den's bed, and she looked up at him inquisitively.

He plopped down next to her, moving to ruffle a hand over her scruff. "Bad day, huh old girl?"

Den made a pitiful whuffing noise, and Ed moved to dunk the rag into the cool water, wringing it out halfway. Wetting her nose for her, he draped the rag over her ears and head. She didn't bother to shake it off, either too tired or too uninterested.

They sit like that for a little while, Ed listening to the cagey rattle of her breathing as she dozes off. He wasn't sure how long he had been sitting in silence, but from the ache in his back, he supposed it had been a while. Ed shifted and pressed a knuckle to Den's nose, satisfied when it was cooler than before. She woke up and drowsily licked his hand, and Ed smoothed her ears down.

She clambered to her feet after a little while, nosing around the water before drinking half the bowl. She nuzzled her head up into Ed's hands once she was done, and he scooted back against the wall, letting her clamber over him to her bed.

Her metal leg clicked as she situated herself, and she turned around to face him, dropping her head into his lap as she laid back down

Ed tipped his head back to look up at the ceiling, and within minutes he knew she was asleep. He didn't have the heart to move her, not while she was still sick, so he ignored the pain in his neck and closed his eyes.

Pinako found him like that an hour later, and with a sigh, she draped a blanket over his knees. All of her idiot grandchildren cared too much, it seemed.