Rating: Teen for implications
Warnings: Mentions of dub-con. Mentions of Winry’s pregnancy. Angst.
springkink Prompt: Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed/Winry/Ling: polyamory, bisexuality - Ed's just going to have to learn to share.
Word count: 3,150 (appx)
Summary: Winry really doesn’t want to be jealous of Ling.
Disclaimer: Arakawa might be horrified by the things I do with her characters.
A/N: I originally started writing this for the above prompt, then thought, “This isn’t right,” and wrote a PWP with sexy tiems for the prompt. However, I thought I might go back to this story, and see if I could write an ending to it. Consider this a sequel to my story, Up a Tree, or at least in the same universe. Thanks to cornerofmadness for her help in editing this story.
X X X
Winry stomped through Alphonse’s bedroom door, her frown thunderous. Without saying anything, she flung herself on the bed.
“Uh, come in,” Alphonse said, blinking a couple of times. He closed the door, turning to walk a little closer to the bed. Cautiously. Winry could be as dangerous as those bombs Ran Fan was fond of testing at weird times. “Is something wrong?”
“Your brother,” Winry said through gritted teeth.
Alphonse winced mentally. And physically, too. “What has he done?”
Rolling over, Winry sat up. “This is supposed to be our vacation,” she said, “but since we’ve gotten here,” she waved her hand, indicating the whole country of Xing, but specifying the spring palace of the Emperor with the little fillip of her fingers, “I’ve seen less of Ed and more of you!”
“Um,” Alphonse said, scratching the back of his head.
Her eyes narrowed. “Not that I don’t like seeing you,” she said.
“Uh, thanks, I guess?” Alphonse smiled warily.
Winry went on as if she didn’t even hear him. “But this is our first real vacation! And he’s my husband, and it’s not like we’re going to get to do this kind of thing often, not with our work. Or later.” Her hand went to her stomach, resting on just barely visible sign of her pregnancy. “I mean, if he wanted to spend time with you guys, he should’ve told me, and I would’ve stayed home!”
Alphonse didn’t like the sound of her voice, particularly the way it wavered toward the end. If she started crying, he swore to himself he was going to pummel his brother. “Have you talked to Ed?” The flat stare she turned his way made Alphonse decide not to ask stupid questions like that again, except, well, he had to. “What’d he say?”
“What do you think he said? He’s Edward Elric. He stammered and yelled at me and then apologized, but nothing’s changed. We’ve been here two weeks, and I think we’ve actually slept together twice.” She slapped the bed, frustrated, and as frank as Winry could be about their sex life, Alphonse was pretty sure she actually meant slept rather than the euphemism. “Forget about anything else.” The waspish note let him know yes, she had meant ‘sleep’ and nothing more.
“Winry,” Alphonse said delicately, cautiously, thinking he might be taking his life into his hands, “you do know about Ed and Ling, right?”
“You mean about Ling being Ed’s first? Yeah.” Winry shrugged. “He told me after you guys came home to Risembool.” Alphonse wasn’t sure what she read from his face, but her brow furrowed again. “I wasn’t jealous then, Al.” She slapped the mattress again. “I don’t want to be jealous!”
Alphonse hadn’t spent a lot of time around pregnant women, but he’d read about the way their moods changed, and how fast that could happen. He kind of hoped Winry didn’t have a wrench hidden somewhere. The thought skittered through his mind that Ed might be avoiding her for just that reason – not that he’d actually say something like that out loud. “Winry, do you want me to talk to Ed?”
“What’ll you tell him? That his wife is jealous of his boyfriend?” Mouth twisting, she said, “I’m sorry. That was mean.”
Alphonse shook his head. “Winry, you know Ling isn’t his boyfriend.”
“I know, but.” Winry tossed her hands in the air.
Catching her hands before they landed in her lap, Alphonse gave them a squeeze. “Winry, men and women in Xing have very different lives than back home. A lot of times, married couples only see each other at the end of the day.”
“We’re not Xingese, Al.” The desert tone in her voice could suck the moisture right out of the air.
“No, but you are in Xing. I’ll talk to Ed.” Alphonse squeezed her hands again, feeling the strength in her fingers when she returned the pressure. “And Ling. Now,” he said, trying to change the subject, “have you eaten today? You know you have to feed that baby, too.”
Hissing through her teeth, Winry said, “I know, I know. I ate an orange and some bread and cheese and I didn’t throw it back up. I’m okay, Al. Really.” She didn’t say what Alphonse expected her to say, giving him her own, sunny smile. He was reminded of how much Edward and he had missed of her sorrow over the loss of her parents, how good Winry was at hiding her real feelings.
Sitting next to her, Alphonse enveloped her in a hug, thinking he really needed to have a talk with his brother.
X X X
The emperor’s bathing room smelled of eucalyptus and mint, the air so moist, Alphonse sometimes thought he might drown when he walked into it. Under his feet, the dark stone had a rough finish to keep him from slipping, at least until he reached the pool itself with its elaborate tile work. Ferns and orchids, as well as the lovely girls who assisted the patrons with their bathing, softened the look of the room.
Alphonse thought he’d have to change clothes as soon as he walked out of the bath. What he wore now was going to be soaked from the humidity. Usually, he entered the room naked, or, at most, with a towel, but he was here for a different reason than relaxing. “Ed!”
Edward lay on a massage table, his hair loose and sticking to his skin. He pushed up on his elbows, frowning at the sight of Alphonse and rolling off the table. “What is it, Al?”
Eyes widening, he grabbed Alphonse’s arms, giving him a shake. “What’s wrong with her? Is the baby okay?”
“The baby’s fine, Ed, but Winry isn’t.” As Edward’s worry turned to confusion, Alphonse hurried on. “She’s upset, Ed. She came here with you for a vacation, and you’ve spent all your time with Ling.” Holding up a finger to keep Edward from speaking – in theory – Alphonse said, “Winry’s thinking about going home. With or without you. She means it, Ed. If you want to keep her, you’re going to have to learn to share.”
Edward snapped his mouth shut, his jaw flexing. “Right,” he said tightly. “I’ll talk to her, Al!”
He wasn’t sure whether it was the heat or something else making Edward’s cheeks flush, but Alphonse thought, maybe, he’d gotten through to his brother. “Please do it soon, Ed. She deserves it.”
X X X
“Come with me,” Edward had said, “please,” and offered her his hand. She’d considered arguing, but something in his eyes, the way his fingers felt cool when she placed her hand in them, decided for her, and Winry let him lead her through the palace. They made their way through corridors that she’d never seen before, past statues and tapestries and intricately carved walls. Edward paused, opening a way into a room by sliding aside a door screen with a mountain with clouds and straggly trees painted on it.
Winry didn’t know what to expect, but the room definitely wasn’t it. There was a table with cushions around it, set with a tea service. Winry caught wind of a sweet-smelling tea, probably still brewing in the pot. A wooden shade, carved to allow light through, covered a floor to ceiling window, though Winry caught sight of the sky beyond the wood. “I thought you’d feel better talking here,” Edward said, opening the shade, almost as if it was a gate to a courtyard. A balcony revealed itself, and beyond, Winry could see more, a view of the palace gardens. Flowering vines climbed over the balcony, and a hummingbird buzzed by, pausing to sample one of the scarlet flowers before zipping off.
Pouring her a cup of tea, Edward passed it to her. “Raspberry leaves and some other stuff that’s supposed to be good for you and the baby. Why don’t you sit,” he said, and smiled ever so faintly when she did, though he remained standing. “There are things I haven’t,” he poured a second cup of tea, “haven’t told you. About me. And what happened when I was traveling with Heinkel and Darius and,” he took a breath. “Greed.”
Winry vaguely remembered Greed, the homunculus who’d taken over Ling’s body for a while. Edward had said that the homunculus had fought to help free Amestris from Father. Wrapping cool fingers around the cup, Winry appreciated the warmth of the liquid warming the delicate porcelain. “You don’t talk about Greed much.”
“Yeah.” The corners of his mouth turning down, Edward sat next to her, though he stared at the tabletop. “There’re reasons for that. I should’ve told you everything; I mean, I promised there wouldn’t be any more secrets, but.” His larynx bobbed as he swallowed. “Some things are harder to talk about than others.”
“Ed.” Winry laid her hand on his forearm. He almost vibrated from the tension in his body.
Glancing at her through his bangs, Edward mustered a weak smile, and covered her hand with his. “We picked up Ling – he was Ling, then – outside of Central City. He told me about the Promised Day, that it was probably the best chance for Al and me to get our bodies back. I told you that part, right?” Winry nodded as Edward released her hand to stand up, digging his fingers into his hair and rumpling it thoroughly. “There’s more, though. Greed…you met Greed in Risembool, but he was on his best behavior there. Too many witnesses or something, I guess.” Edward shook his head. “When we were traveling, he’d follow me when I…when I’d leave camp.”
Realization dawned, and Winry bit her lip, staring up at her husband.
Edward turned to her, though it seemed like he stared at her feet. “Greed knew…a lot. A lot about how to manipulate people. A lot about me, and how to get me to react the way he wanted me to. I trusted him because he looked like Ling, but he wasn’t Ling.” Sinking to his knees, Edward reached for her hands, holding them both in his. “Winry, I liked Ling. He was – is – my friend. But back then, I didn’t know what I wanted beyond living through the day and getting Al’s body back. I didn’t…couldn’t think about you. How I felt about you. And Greed, he used that; he had Ling’s face, Ling and I were friends and.”
Winry gulped, her stomach knotting. “Ed,” she said tightly.
“The things he did,” Edward said, “to me…with me. They felt…it…” He ducked his head, biting his lip hard enough for the color to rush out of the flesh; then his eyes lifted to meet hers again. Held her gaze as if it might be the string to lead him out of the maze. “It was overwhelming,” he said finally, “and that’s the way Greed wanted it. Wanted me. Overwhelmed. Confused – I was, so much. I knew he wasn’t Ling but I needed –thought I needed.” Edward’s mouth moved for a few seconds without any words coming out and he blew out a gust of air, angry with himself. “It’s hard to talk about.”
“So, you were,” Winry knew ‘rape’ might be too strong of a word, though she’d heard of this sort of thing happening with apprentices and their masters in Rush Valley. “Coerced,” she said slowly, trying to wrap her head around this idea, and exactly what had happened to Edward while he was traveling the countryside between Briggs and the Promised Day, “into having sex with Greed.”
Edward nodded jerkily. “Yeah.” He rubbed her knuckles with his thumbs, a caress of each scar and nick. Raising her hands, he pressed them against his mouth. “When we were hiding out in Risembool, I had a little time to think. Not much.” Winry felt rather than saw his smile. “But still, by the time you showed up, I knew – once Al was whole, I knew I wanted to come home to you. Greed couldn’t change the way I felt about you.” His grin widened enough that she could see it, even with his head bent down. “When you threw him out of your room, it was the funniest thing I’d seen since, hell, I don’t even know.”
“And then I hit you for being in my room,” Winry remembered.
Edward laughed, a short, sharp sound. “Yeah. That’s okay, though.” Mirth slowly draining away as he remembered, he told her, “Greed said you were quite a woman for me. I guess he knew I wouldn’t fall for him, no matter what he did.”
His gaze was steady and open, the way Winry expected it to be, not full of secrets and haunted by the past. “And Ling?”
“Ling’s my friend,” Edward repeated, and kissed her hands. “Sometimes, afterward, Greed would leave, and Ling would hold me. I needed him,” a bare split second hesitation, “I needed them both, and I knew we’d need Greed to have a chance at winning the war.”
So Edward set aside his own feelings and did what he thought he needed to – or what Greed wanted him to, Winry thought, and now, being in Xing, it had to remind him of Greed, and everything that had happened between them. Still, she had to know. “So, why’ve you been avoiding me?” she asked, trying not to sound hurt, and thinking that she’d failed miserably by the way Edward flinched, squeezing her hands tight.
“I hadn’t seen Ling since,” he jerked his head, bangs falling into his eyes. “The Promised Day. It’s been…harder than I thought. I keep expecting Greed to come back, and.” Releasing one of Winry’s hands, he rubbed his forehead. “Ling thought if we could talk it out, maybe, but I guess what I’ve really been doing is hiding. From you, from what happened. And seeing him again, it’s like…like something’s going to blow up in my face. That Greed isn’t really gone, and I need to keep him happy and.” Edward’s words died and his shoulders slumped. He searched her face, reminding Winry of a dog she’d seen once that had been beaten by its master, but still wanted some sort of affection.
Words wouldn’t work, Winry knew, so she lunged at Edward, knocking him back into the pillows and holding him tight. She tucked her face into the crook of his neck. His hands rested on her hips, so lightly, it was almost as if he was afraid to touch her. “You idiot,” Winry whispered in his ear, “don’t you know I love you, no matter what? That I’d stand by you, and beat anyone with a wrench who’d try to hurt you?”
“Yeah?” Edward murmured tentatively, but his hands moved so they rested in the small of her back, still barely holding on to her.
Winry lifted up so she could meet his eyes. Determined, she smiled at him, cupping his cheeks. “Yeah,” she said softly.
Wrapping his arms around her, Edward sighed his relief. “I’m sorry I haven’t been spending time with you,” he mumbled. “That’ll change, starting now. And.” He tugged a strand of her hair for emphasis. “I don’t want to leave you out of this any more. Next time we talk, I mean, Ling and me, I want you there with us.”
Not about to ask, ‘Are you sure?’ Winry knew that Edward’s request was part apology as well. She nodded solemnly. “Thank you.” If it had been her, she wasn’t sure she would’ve ever been able to tell him, or even invite him to share in something like that.
Edward gave her a faint smile, tickling her cheek with the fringe of her hair. “Do you want to get something to eat? I know you haven’t been eating.” At her look, he said, “Al’s been giving me reports. I know you haven’t been sleeping, either.” Reaching up, he touched the dark circle under her left eye. “That’s not good for you or the baby. Or me, because you’ll make me worry.” Edward nuzzled her. “I don’t like worrying about you.”
“Hmph. Now you know how it feels.” Winry poked him in the chest.
Smirking, Edward said, “Yeah, maybe you’re better at it than I am.”
“Maybe I have more practice.” Winry sat up, straddling Edward’s thighs before swinging off of him. “So, food?”
“The rest of the day is just for us,” Edward said. “Food and whatever you want.”
Winry smiled at him, letting him help her to her feet. “Whatever?” she asked, in her bedroom voice.
Edward froze, giving her a long look that warmed Winry’s insides, turning her both gooey and hot, and reminding her it’d been a while since they’d done anything even close to sex. “Maybe,” he drawled, though the intensity of his gaze told her it wouldn’t take much to convince him. He didn’t let go of her hand as they left the room, tugging on it to pull her even closer, wrapping his arm around her waist. Winry squeaked, then giggled as Edward nuzzled her jaw, and the door slid closed behind them.
X X X
The door to Alphonse’s bedroom opened and Ling swept through it, throwing himself on the bed.
Alphonse sighed. “Come in, Ling, I wasn’t doing any – oh, hello, Ran Fan.” He nodded as she came into his room, closing the door.
“Al, I am bored.”
“You have plenty of things to do; you’re the Emperor of Xing.”
“As I have told him,” Ran Fan muttered just loud enough for Alphonse to hear. He pursed his mouth to keep from laughing.
“I’m still bored.” Rolling onto his back, Ling pouted at Alphonse.
“Well, it’s been a little quieter since Ed and Winry went home.”
Ling lolled his head off the edge of the mattress, peering at Alphonse upside-down. His naturally narrowed eyes widened for a second, then he glanced away, his mobile, expressive face showing discontent. “I never wanted to hurt Ed,” he said, “or Winry.”
“You were captured by a homunculus in your own body,” Alphonse said, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“And your influence over him only went so far, my lord,” Ran Fan said from her position near the door. “You could not control his greed, not completely.”
Ling’s mouth twitched slightly, though he didn’t argue the point. Instead, he rolled over again, pillowing his chin on his folded arms, not looking at either of them. “I should’ve been able to control my own,” he said finally. Picking himself off of the bed, Ling touched Alphonse’s shoulder as he walked past. He walked to the door, Ran Fan opening it for him.
“Ling?” Alphonse wasn’t sure what he wanted to say, only that he needed to say something.
He laughed, a familiar sound, though the in it humor was muted. “What can I say, Al? Gold is so difficult to resist.” Waving his hand over his shoulder, he exited the door, Ran Fan trailing behind.
Alphonse thought, some day, he really needed to have a talk with his brother.
X X X