Author's note; Yet again I am without a quote, though I do hope you have enjoyed the story so far even without them. Thank you to the readers for sticking with me for this long. I don't thank you enough. Well, enjoy this chapter and please leave a review.

Chapter 21

They had been in Dublith a week already, Izumi had made Ed's favorite, her stew the first night they arrived. Jason came to name it his favorite dish as well, save of course Winry's apple pie and her chicken soup. He also liked a special dish that Noah made, but Ed couldn't really remember what it was called. It was actually a German dish.

Jason, Trinity, Al, Noah, and Sig had all called it a night an hour ago. So Izumi, Ed, and Winry had headed to the small pub about six blocks from her house. They sat at a small table together drinking simple beers and talking about all the time they spent in Central. Then Izumi told Ed about Al studying with he for the two years they were apart. She also told him about what she'd heard of Winry's success as an automail mechanic.

Ed ordered an Amaretto sour after a few hours, Winry ordered a magarita and Izumi had a few glasses of a fiery blue mustang. The smoke no longer bothered them with the alchohol in their systems. Izumi downed her fourth glass and looked at Winry; ''So, when are you two going to finally get married?''

Ed choked on his drink and forced himself to swallow while Winry took a drink of her magarita. Winry smiled at Izumi, ''I don't know, ask your ex-student.''

Izumi looked at Ed, ''Well?''

Ed downed his drink and cleared his throat, ''I don't know to tell you the truth. I'm not entirely sure I want to get married again. Not that I don't love Winry and all.''

Izumi and Winry smiled at each other; they liked how much more open Ed was when he drank. Izumi signaled for another drink and then looked at Ed closely.

''Ed, how about telling us what your first marriage was like. I want to know what made you think you could live forever with this woman. What could she have that made you decide to marry her and have a son with her.''

Ed signaled for another drink as well, truth be told he wasn't even buzzed, but he figured that being more open would somehow get them off his case. He also figured whatever he said, they wouldn't remember in the morning anyway.

After his drink arrived he took a drink of it then looked dead at Izumi. He sighed, ''She reminded me of Winry, she looked like her, had her name, her attitude most of the time. She was rather good at keeping me in line so to speak. She was an alchemy geek, alchemy in that world anyway. But their alchemy is closer to magic than alchemy. I ran into her at the University when I was studying science and junk like that. I didn't talk to her until Al dragged me along with him and Noah to some party with a bunch of other kids our age. I learned about her past, she had grown up in England as an only child. Her parents died when she was seven and she lived on her own and traveled a lot after that. Then she came to Germany and made friends and decided to stay and go back to school. She had a rough childhood and I noticed the inner strength in her, which just reminded me of Winry even more. So I gave it a chance, I never thought I would ever come back here. We went out on dates, science and alchemy conventions, studied together for a year then went on a trip to Italy together for two weeks. When we came back we were married, then a few months later she was pregnant. She seemed trustworthy, intelligent, compassionate, caring, strong, but she decieved me . . . she betrayed my trust . . . After years of finally admitting to myself that I would never be with the one I really loved I came to love her. It wasn't the same, or as strong, but it was there . . . then to find out she was playing me the entire time . . . That's why I don't think I will ever get married again.''

Izumi took a swig of her drink, ''Well, I think that with time you will be able to trust yourself enough to trust someone else that much again. Winry afterall is not Ry.''

Ed nodded and looked into his glass, ''Yeah, I know that . . . '' He downed the drink and then looked at Winry.

''I'm sorry Winry, this is bound to be really hard on you.''

She smiled and finished the magarita she had been drinking on for the past thirty minutes; ''That's okay Ed, as long as I can stay by your side, I can wait.''

Ed sighed, ''I know, but you've always waited for me, I don't like making you do it again.''

She placed her hand over his on the table; ''Normally I wouldn't, but I always make an exception for you. I love you Ed, I don't care if we get married, as long as you stay.''

The next morning Winry and Izumi didn't wake up until noon, and both looked and felt horrible. Ed was sitting at the table eating a sandwhich and reading the newspaper. Jason was finishing his lunch and they could hear Al and Sig in the meat shop at the front of the house. Noah had Trinity rested on her hip when she came into the kitchen as Winry and Izumi sat down at the table. Noah smiled at the two, ''Did you two have fun last night?''

Winry sighed and looked at Jason who was smirking and Ed hiding behind the paper.

''How do you not have a hangover Ed?''

Noah snickered, ''Ed have a hangover, not likely. He was the drinking king back in Germany. He only had one rival, but no one ever came close to outdrinking Ed.''

Jason nodded and stood to put his cleared plate in the sink, ''Yeah, dad only drank Amaretto last night.''

Ed glanced at Jason, ''How do you know what it's called Jason?''

Jason shrugged, ''Because dad, Ry told me.''

Ed glared at Jason, ''Ry?''

Jason nodded, ''Yes Ry, she hurt you and held us captive, and lied to all of us, so she's Ry, not mom. I decided that weeks ago.''

Ed shook his head, put the paper on the table, and pulled Jason over to him. He held Jason at his side, ''Okay then, if that's what you want to call her. But I have a question for you then.''

Jason looked at Ed, ''What is it dad?''

Ed smirked, ''If you are going to call her Ry, then you have to call someone mom, who will that be?''

Jason tilted his head to the side for a minute then he broke free of Ed's hold and ran to Winry's side. He jumped onto her lap which earned a painful huff from her and a slight laugh. He wrapped his arms around her neck, ''Can I call you mom, Miss Winry?''

Winry smiled and glanced at Ed, Ed smiled as well and nodded. She kissed Jason on the cheek; ''If you really want to, I don't mind.''

Jason kissed her on the cheek and got off of her lap, he smiled at her; ''I love you mom.''

She smiled warmly at him, ''I love you too Jason.''

Then Jason ran out of the room and Noah followed him. Izumi stood up and after fixing herself a glass of coffee headed to the meat shop to check on Al and Sig. Ed stood up with his cleared plate and set to washing the dishes in the sink. He turned and looked at Winry while leaning back against the counter when he was finished; ''Do you want to try and eat something?''

She shook her head, ''No, not really, but something to drink would be nice.''

Ed smiled and fixed her a glass of water, she drank it quickly. He sat down at the table after refilling her glass and sighed. She looked at him, ''Do you mind?''

Ed shook his head, ''No, Jason loves you, he needs a mom anyway. I don't want him to grow up like me and Al without one. Besides, I know he's also throwing a huge signal my way by saying that as well. He's angry with Ry for what she did, even if he doesn't fully understand it yet. But he was never really a momma's boy to begin with.''

Winry smiled softly, ''You were though, both you and Al were momma's boys.''

''Yeah, we were, but I really did turn out more like my father, just like mom always said I would. Al is more like her than I am. I think we should go back to Risembool for a while, catch up with Rose and Armstrong. Plus it would be nice to show Jason, Noah, and Trinity where we grew up.''

Winry smiled brightly at the suggestion, ''I think that's a great idea, when do you want to get going?''

Ed laughed, ''After you recover from your hangover, I didn't think you'd be much of a drinker. At least that's something you and Ry don't have in common.''

Winry gave him a worried smile, he shook his head; ''No, that's a good thing. I haven't drank much at all since Jason was born, I can still hold my liquor, but I don't like to drink that much anymore. It was something Ry and I did often together before Jason was born. On the rare occasions when I actually got drunk, I wasn't very pleasant. Everclear and I don't mix well, so when he was born I said I wouldn't drink like that anymore, a couple beers here and there, some weaker stuff like Amaretto, rare occastions and such only.''

Winry smiled, ''So you did grow up some while you were gone.''

Ed laughed, ''What's that supposed to mean?''

''Nevermind, I think you should go tell everyone else about your idea to go back to Risembool. I am going to go take a bath upstairs.''

She stood and left the room without waiting for a response from him. He sighed and got to his feet when her footsteps were heard upstairs. He walked into the living room and sat down on the couch, which when he did earned him Jason jumping into his lap.

''Dad, so where will we go to next?''

Ed laughed, ''Well, I was thinking of going back to the town where Winry, Al, and I grew up together.''

Noah looked at him from her seat on the floor where Trinity was playing with blocks.


Ed nodded, ''Yeah, Risembool, so what do you two think of that?''

Jason bounced up and down on Ed's lap, ''Really dad, really, we get to go to Risembool?"

Ed shook his head at Jason's energetic behavior and smiled, ''Yes, Jason, really.''

Noah smiled, ''I am looking forward to it.'' Ed started to tickle Jason to move him off his lap and let up after a few minutes. Jason looked at Ed once he caught his breath, ''Can I go tell Uncle Al, and grandma Izumi?''

Ed flinched when he heard the back door to the shop slam open. Izumi appeared in the doorway; ''Grandma Izumi?!''

Ed thought as she playfully chased Jason around the house; 'Her hearing is as good as mine when there's any reference to her being called old in any way.' Jason leapt back into Ed's lap and yelled, ''Help dad, the crazy grandma is trying to kill me.''

Ed laughed and picked Jason up as he stood to dodge Izumi leaping at the couch. She glared at them and Ed said to her, ''We're going back to Risembool in a few days.''

She calmed down and gave a slight smile, ''That's good, you should go home for a while.''

Ed nodded, ''Yeah, it will be good for everyone to spend some time in Risembool.''

They weren't really suprised that Risembool still hadn't changed much. There was more of a town by the station, a few more shops and a bigger school and doctors' office, but still the same rural town they knew. The three of them ran into a few people they knew, but Ed and Al quickly found out that most of the adults they had known growing up had passed on already. When they came up the dirt road to the Rockbell house they were suprised at the new size. It was twice the size it used to be. The front of the house was the automail shop and the back was the actual house. Armstrong and Rose were sitting at the table on the porch outside the front of the house.

Also sitting at the table with them were three kids, one Winry and Al recognized as Shami. He was now nine years old, his hair tied back in a ponytail at the base of his neck. He stood at four foot seven and was wearing a green t-shirt and blue jeans. Across from him was where Armstrong sat. Next to Shami on his left was where Rose sat in her usual white, short sleeved, knee length dress. Armstrong wore a white, button up, long sleeved shirt and khaki pants. On Shami's right sat his younger sister Elizabeth. She was four foot four inches tall, long blond hair, tan skin, and Armstrongs' blue eyes. She wore a light blue, short sleeved, knee length, summer dress. On her right in between her and Amrstrong was her younger brother. He had Amrstong's skin tone and eye color and Roses' brown hair. He stood at three foot five and was three years old, he wore khaki shorts and a white t-shirt.

Al wore khaki pants and a white button up shirt. Winry had decided to wear blue jeans and a black tank top with a jean jacket. Ed still wore the same outfit, but without the jacket. Jason was holding Winry's hand, he was wearing khaki pants and a white t-shirt as well. Trinity was fit into a short sleeved, knee length, light pick dress and Noah wore a light pink knee length skirt with a white blouse.

Armstrong looked over at them and stood up with a cheerful shout and huge smile on his face. Rose stood up as well and smiled when she saw them approaching. Armstrong ran over towards them and Ed stepped back cautiously when he got close. Armstrong quickly changed direction to Al, who he hugged tightly and said; ''Welcome back Alphonse Elric.''

He set Al down so Al could catch his breath and grinned at Ed. Rose was walking over to them holding Johny and Elizabeth's hands, Shami walked beside his sister. Alex nodded to Ed, ''Edward Elric, it is wonderful to see you again. And of course you as well Miss Winry'
He smiled at her, ''Now, how about introducing us to everyone/''

Ed sighed and pulled Jason back to his side, he'd hidden behind him upon Armstrong's strong greeting.

''This is my son Jason,'' Al took Noah's hand; ''This is my wife Noah and my daughter Trinity.''

Rose smiled at everyone, ''It's wonderful to see all of you again.''

She nodded to the children with her, ''This is Shami, Elizabeth, and Johny.''

Ed, Winry, Noah, and Al all smiled and greeted them politely. Then they all walked up to the house and Armstrong let them inside. Rose led them to the back of the house, which was still the same as they all remembered it to be. There were more pictures on the tool table where Winry usually stored all of her tools. Ed stopped in front of it while everyone else sat down around the room. He noticed the picture of Winry with Ping in Lior, outside a automail shop that read Rockbell Automail. There was another picture with her, Rose, Armstrong, a six year old Shami, three year old Elizabeth, and a one year old Johny. It was of the added on shop in the front of the house. Ed looked at all of them, he never saw her with a boyfriend, only traveling, friends they all knew, people they knew from their traveling. It made him a little depressed that she never tried, but also glad that she didn't as well. He smirked and joined everyone else sitting in the only empty seat in between Winry and Jason.

Winry was a little suprised when Ed took her hand under the table and smiled. Rose watched Shami lead Elizabeth and Johny upstairs, Al carried Trinity up stairs with them, of course dragged by Shami. Jason sat close to Ed and was shyly quiet. Rose looked back at them, ''So, how are all of you doing?''

Ed smirked, ''Well, we're alive'

Winry scoffed, ''We've been doing pretty good. How have things been going here?''

Rose nodded, ''They have been peaceful, though Elizabeth and Johny argue a lot. But siblings do argue at times. So, do you have anywhere else you plan on going?''

Ed shrugged, ''Not really, at least not that I can think of.''

Jason looked at Ed, ''Dad, when are we going to see grandma Izumi again?''

Ed laughed slightly, ''Well, I don't know, maybe when we plan your birthday party next month, how about that?''

He nodded, ''Okay, can everyone from Central come too?''

Ed looked at Winry who smiled at Jason and nodded, ''Of course they can. I will call everyone tomorrow so that they can clear their scheldules and come.''

''Even uncle Roy and aunt Riza, and aunt Gracia and Elysia?''

Winry nodded, ''Yup.'' Ed watched Jason as he got up and hugged Winry, ''Thanks mom.''

Ed smiled at him, ''How about you go tell Uncle Al?''

Jason nodded and ran from the room to go upstairs. Rose smiled at them, ''He's adorable you two.''

Winry smiled slightly at her, ''Well, Jason decided before we left Dublith that he wanted to call me mom.''

Armstrong looked at them, ''Jason isn't yours Miss Winry?''

She shook her head, ''No, but I love him as I would my own.''

Armstrong looked at Ed, ''Edward Elric, are you two timing your sons' mother?''

Ed shook his head, ''No, she's dead, has been for nearly a year now'

Armstrong looked at him with a sad expression, ''I'm sorry Edward Elric.''

Ed shook his head, ''Don't be, it wasn't like that. It's a long story . . .''

Ed summarized everything to them while the kids and Al were upstairs playing. Noah and Rose had made everyone tea and small sandwhiches. Even though the two looked like sisters, Rose was open, outspoken and could be stern. Noah was a little more soft spoken and was stern enough to make up for Al's soft heartedness.

Armstrong was still loud, way too cheerful, and in Ed's words, very fucking annoying. But they still managed to talk to each other. After Ed had told them the story then he and Winry updated Armstrong on how everyone was doing in Central. Ed was slightly suprised to learn that Armstrong had resigned from the military, in turn Armstrong seemed a little suprised he had as well. Ed had later found out that he had three million in his account, which had been slightly shocking to say the least.

Winry had volunteered to make stew for dinner and Noah went upstairs to help Al round the children up to wash up for dinner. Rose went into the kitchen to help Winry cook. Armstrong and Ed closed the shop and sat outside on the porch.

''So, your first wife died by your hand/ Your son Jason knows what she did, even though he doesn't understand it fully, and you are trying to be with Winry. But do you plan on marrying her?''

Ed sighed, ''I want to, but I don't know if I can . . . Ry . . . she . . . I know they aren't the same person. But it's my subconcious that makes it difficult.''

Armstrong nodded, ''That seems fitting, so how old will Jason be next month?''

Ed smirked, ''Eight, how old are the kids?''

''Shami is nine, his birthday is in two months. Elizabeth is six, her birthday is a month before yours. And Johny is four, he had a birthday three weeks ago. Your niece Trinity, how old is she?''

Ed smiled, ''Trinity is two, she'll be three in three more months.''

Armstrong smiled, ''What about you, Al, and Noah is it'

Ed nodded, ''Yes it's Noah. She's twenty-six, I'm twenty-five, and Al is twenty.''

Armstrong nodded, ''Hmm, so time doesn't flow differently in this other world.''

Ed shrugged, ''Not that I am aware.''

Armstrong nodded again, ''Well, it's great that you two have returned. I must ask, however, why did you not stay with the military?''

Ed smirked, ''I should ask you the same, what did your family have to say about you retiring from the military?''

Armstrong sighed, ''Well, my sister Olivia said the same as she always has, that I was always too soft hearted for the military. My father and mother were apalled and my younger sister Catherine was quite happy with my decision. They all come and visit us here for Christmas. I resigned because I always truly wanted to live a peaceful life. Rose is quite the woman, she gets along well with Olivia as long as she isn't insulting me because of my peaceful notions. Rose and Catherine get along very well, as do Rose and my mother. My father was concerned about how much younger Rose is than me, but with time he came to except it.''

Ed smiled, ''Well, you're really not that old, not to mention, Rose is only seven years younger than you. That's not really all that much.''

Armstrong nodded, ''Yes, so tell me Edward Elric, what was it that made you resign from the military?''

Ed was silent a moment before he answered; ''Well . . . truthfully it's because I'm scared of my alchemy . . . it changed when we crossed the gate again. It's stronger, but it's more than what it was and I don't understand it's power . . . '
Armstrong leaned forward on the table, ''Have you talked to your teacher or Roy about this?''

Ed shook his head, ''No, I . . . how would . . . '' Ed stopped suddenly and went very pale. He cupped his hand over his mouth and ran to the side of the porch where Armstrong couldn't see him. He spit out the bile and blood that had suddenly risen in his throat over the edge of the porch. He then felt his chest constrict and then the painful coughs came. Armstrong ran inside and called out for Rose and Winry. They were there in a matter of moments, Winry was at his side instantly.

She rubbed his back and closed her eyes against the blood he was coughing up. When he finally had time to regain his breath he fell down to his knees, he was drenched in a cold sweat and a little shaky. She had Rose help her get him to his feet and they walked him inside and laid him down on the couch in the living room. Armstrong followed close behind them and relocked the shop as he did so.

Winry sat on her knees next to him and brushed the hair out of his face. Rose made a bowl of watered down alcohol to help with the fever. Winry dabbed the rag on his face and forhead and after a while he finally calmed down. Rose sat in the chair to Winry's right and looked at both of them for a while. Armstrong stood behind her with his hand on her shoulder. Al and Noah had luckily already gone to bed and helped Rose and Winry put the children to bed. Rose looked directly at Winry, ''What's wrong with him?''

Winry watched Ed as he started to drift to sleep and combed her fingers through his hair; ''The hospital calls it tuburculosis, but that's only because that's the closest way to describe it medically. He is suffering from the same thing Miss Izumi once suffered from. His internal organs were pulled out, taken by the gate. The gate is also what took Jason's arm. Izumi, Mustang, nor Ed can figure out why the gate only took from them . . . I'm not the alchemist Ed is . . . but after talking to Izumi about it we did come up with a theory, but I know Ed will not like it at all. It would also defy what he did to get here and cause a hell of a lot more problems . . . ''

Rose sighed, ''Is there a way to reverse it, to heal him?"

Winry gave a slight nod, ''Yeah, but Ed would never be willing to do that . . . "

Armstrong nodded, ''The stone, just as his father did to heal Mrs. Curtis?"

Winry nodded, ''Yeah . . . Ed's too selfless, he'd never use the stone, let alone create it for his own means . . . it was different when he used it to restore Al."

Armstrong nodded, ''True . . . ''

Winry got to her feet and walked into the kitchen where the three could talk without worrying about Ed overhearing them. They sat around the table and Winry took a deep breath.

''The theory we came up with . . . is that Ed and Jason had to pay a price to cross through the gate because Ry and Pride are not really dead. They could have used the drugs there or the power of the gate to become something more than what they were to cross over . . . Just like in that war in Central seven years ago'

Armstrong nodded, ''Yes, that is plausible, but if that is so, then I believe we are all in danger. Especially with Edward . . . '

Winry looked at him, ''With Edward what?"

Armstrong sighed, ''Miss Winry, he told me that he is afraid to use his alchemy . . . he said that it has changed, become more than what it was, something he can't understand."

Winry thought for a moment, ''Something he can't understand, did he describe it?"

Armstrong shook his head, ''No, I'm afraid not . . . Have you told him?"

Winry shook her head, ''No, I still don't know if I want to. I mean, I know he will be able to figure it out on his own. But growing up I never pursued alchemy, and when I was little I was scared of it. I don't want to let him know I am an alchemist until he is fully certain that I am the Winry he has always known. His subconcious still nags at him from time to time because we look so alike and as he knew her we were also a lot alike. When I tell him, I want him to fully believe that I am me and not Ry.''

He nodded, ''I do wish you luck, you are a State Alchemist and employed by the military Miss Winry. It will be difficult to keep it from him for long . . . ''

''Keep what from me?'' They all jumped and turned to see Ed standing in the doorway with the rag in his right hand. He locked eyes with Winry and repeated his question, ''Keep what from me?"

She got to her feet, ''Ed . . . I . . . ''

Ed tiltled his head at her, ''Keep what from me Winry?''

She hung her head, ''Ed . . . after the two of you were gone for so long . . . I got desperate. I traveled to learn new methods to modify and upgrade my automail . . . and I took up studying alchemy . . . It was a hard decision, I was always scared of alchemy, but I knew it was the only way to get you two back or see you again . . . I was depressed, desperate . . . I couldn't . . . I couldn't handle being all alone after Pinako and Den died . . . I had waited for so long for you two to come home . . . I tried to be social, to move on . . . but my heart was too heavy . . . I had to try . . . It took me five years to master it, to actually understand it . . . I'm sorry . . . I wanted to tell you . . . but you said Ry was an alchemist as well . . . '

Ed nodded and walked over to her, he lifted her chin so she would look into his eyes; ''What else?"

She tried to pull away, but he tightened his hold on her chin. She closed her eyes for a moment then met his squarely; ''The only way I could have access to what I needed to know, to your alchemy journals . . . to anything that would give me an idea on how to open the gate . . . I joined the military. At first I just used my mechanical abilities and my knowledge on automail to assist the military . . . That was how I could afford to open all the shops and pay the workers and for the costs of schooling others on becoming automail mechanics. I made enough money on my own, but it was taking in apprentices and paying for the practice automail, and the money it cost me to buy alchemy equipment and books . . . I needed the money the military gave me. They tried to get me to build weaponary, but I refused . . . I still wanted to creat automail so that people could walk on their own, live their lives, that was never going to change, never. But learning alchemy was for a more selfish reason, getting Al and you, mostly I yearned for you to return, back home. I have been a State Alchemist for three years now.''

Ed let her go and stepped back, ''Okay . . . '' He refused to meet her eyes for a few minutes and the room fell silent. Ed looked her in the eyes again and took another step back from her. He sighed and then said, ''Winry, what was it I said to you that day when the sheets were hanging up outside?"

She gave a slight smile and nodded, she knew he was asking her to ensure to himself and his subconcious that she was indeed Winry and not Ry.

''Are you sure you want me to answer that in front of Rose and Alex?"

He smirked, ''I'll get over it.''

She cleared her throat, ''Okay, if you're certain . . . I had asked you Why are your sheets hanging outside? They're going to get wet.' Then you said, 'Oh, yeah, I know.' Then I said, 'Aren't you going to take them in?' Then you said stupidly, I might add; 'No . . . I, uh, like the rain.' Then I replied, 'Enough to sleep in it?' Then you again gave me a idiotic answer; 'Yeah, I really, really like the rain.' Is that good enough for you?"

Ed glared at Rose and Armstrong when he heard them snicker. They silenced, but were still smiling at him. Ed started to laugh and they joined him until he suddenly stopped and glared around the room.

''Okay,'' Ed stepped once towards Winry then he took a seat next to where she was sitting at the table. She sat back down and he looked at all of them before looking back to her; ''Now, I am glad you decided to tell me even if it wasn't exactly by choice. So I a few questions for you.''

She nodded, ''Alright.''

He nodded once and sighed, ''You are an alchemist, a State Alchemist has a title, what is yours?''

She smirked, ''The Ice Alchemist.''

He smirked as well, ''The Ice Alchemist, so you fight with Ice Alchemy?''

She nodded, ''Yeah, that is generally what the title means. But there is more to it than that. The Ice Alchemist became my title because of my calculated and precise use of alchemy. I do use Ice alchemy, but I also know Flame Alchemy. I did not learn that from Mustang, Riza taught it to me, somewhat.''

Ed nodded, he understood, he did remember that discussion he and Riza had concerning the war and Mustang learning Flame Alchemy from her father.

''Okay, now . . . since your an alchemist, then you of course had to study the same basics as every successful alchemist . . . the ingredients for remedies, medicines, potions in some cases. Do you know lab alchemy is what I'm asking.''

Winry shrugged, ''Somewhat, I can make medicines for the common illnesses and remedies to help with the long term, chronic, and fatal ailments that can't be cured. The remedies are really just to help with the pain and suffering so that the patients can die as peacefully and painlessly as possible.''

Ed smiled at that, 'Something Ry would never put in the effort to do,' he thought to himself. He nodded to her once again, ''Is that one of the services you provide in your automail shops and such?''

She nodded, ''Yes, but I do have the medical liscense to do so. Automail has a lot to do with surgical procedures and medical knowledge. I also used the funds from the military to finish the medical study Grandma started to teach me. All of my apprentices have to go through some schooling before I will accept them. I can't teach all of them everything they need to know medically to be automail mechanics.''

Ed nodded, ''That makes sense, do you teach alchemy?"

Winry shook her head, ''No, never have, most likely never will. Alchemy is dangerous and not everyone can handle having that power and not end up corrupt or abusing it. I wasn't sure I could, that's why I searched for teachers, Izumi refused me. But I found Ping in Xing and he and Mei helped me learn their alchemy. That's how I learned the Ice Alchemy, the precision and calculations within a split second. The flame alchemy is from here of course, but I also learned the healing alchemy of the Xing Dynasty.''

Ed smiled softly, ''Okay . . . well I think that pretty much covers all I want to know for now. I'm tired and want to get some sleep.''

He got to his feet and everyone else did as well. He smiled to himself as he headed out of the room, 'She may have started to learn alchemy to get us back, but then she went above and beyond and used her talents for it to help others, to find ways to help others. I don't see why Izumi wouldn't accept her as a student . . . ' He looked over his shoulder at her and then took her hand and led the way upstairs to her room. She smiled at him and fell in beside him after lacing her fingers with his.

Ed sighed and stopped just outside her room, ''Winry . . . "

He pulled her to stand in front of the door and leaned on it with his hand right next to her head. He met her eyes, ''I don't know why Izumi wouldn't teach you . . . she can be an old bat at times . . . but if you still want a teacher . . . I will see what I can do."

She smiled and opened the door with her arm behind her back. They tumbled backwards into the room and Winry stopped them from falling. She pulled Ed towards her by his wrist and leaned back against the door to close it. She held his hand on her hip and met his eyes, ''I appreciate it Ed, I just hope that with time alchemy won't be the only thing you teach me . . . ''

The story about the sheets comes from 'Fullmetal Alchemist-Under the Faraway Sky'' written by Makoto Inoue-translated by Alexander O. Smith-Original concept by Hiromu Arakawa-of course. Since I actually used the comments written in the book and I find that scene very funny it's only just that I give you such information. I do however forewarn you that the book is copyrighted and it is not in anyone's best interest to requote such without giving the original author the credit they diserve. That is another reason I have relayed the information on this particular recount of the scene.

Thanks for reading!