He was completely and utterly immersed in his mind. This wasn't completely unusual. It was dark, yet it was light at the same time. With the darkness came a familiar chill that he had known his whole life, and with the light came warmth that he did not, and would never welcome. He would only welcome warmth if it was in the form of his beloved. She was and would always be the only source of light in his life. But, she was not his. Not yet.
The room he was in was resembled his dark yet light concept he had come up with in his mind. Half of the room was light up by a dim ceiling light that would occasionally flicker, and the other half was enveloped in darkness. He preferred to stay in the dark half. The large rectangle of a room was damp. There was no breeze; the air was as still as can be. Silence. It was a place where he could think.
One chair. That was all this abandoned room in this abandoned building had to offer him. But, he hadn't thought much of it. He hadn't had many accommodations in his Germany home anyhow. As soon as he entered the room his mind overtook him, as it often did, while he took out the only photograph that he owned. Though, the memory of how he came to own in was vague. Of course it would be a photo of his precious one. The one that he was going to rip from Elric's hands. The one he wanted, Winry.
He thought out all of the possibilities, all the consequences, and all the conclusions. Every single detail of his orders for the fool Elric had been perfectly thought out. There was no way Elric would deny him, not unless he wanted his family to die. Not unless he wanted Winry to belong to him. Though, he thought, the latter did not matter. She would be his no matter the conclusion.
His flesh hand reached for the photo, which he had dropped while thinking of the fool, and he began to stroke it where her hair would be. He was laying out the scenario in his head. Every little detail, every moment, every glance
.. every touch- he cut himself short there. It wasn't time for that yet. He couldn't get carried away now. There was still some business he needed to finish with the Elric brothers.
All in due time, he thought, All in due time.
He silently got up, left the solitude of his mind, and walked over to the only window in the room. Peering out, he saw the Elric brothers leaving their hotel, and heading into a car.
"Good." he began speaking to himself, "Nice little obedient fools." A smirk was beginning to rise on his face.
All was going according to his plan. It would all work out perfectly for him. He turned from the window and began to dress identically to Elric. Knowing that Elric would never leave Winry on her own, he began to make his way to the place where he knew she would be. Central Command.
No one would question him there, and if they did, he already had Elric's behiavior, personality, and way of speaking perfected. It was all according to his plan. She would be with him soon enough.
All in due time.
As they were entering the car that would deliver them to the new hotel, Ed's mind began to wander. Looking out the window, he saw all the people that made up the morning rush. They were all going about their lives. Completely oblivious to what was going on in his. It was unfair. That was the only word to describe this situation at the moment.
They had finally gotten back home. Back to where they had belonged. For once he thought he would be able to just live his life without worries. To be able to just live his life out with Winry, Al and Granny was all he had wanted. But he guessed that his life would never cease to punish him for the taboo that he had committed. Though, his life did have a sense of humor. Who would've thought that the one to bring about more turmoil would be someone who looked exactly like him? As though it was he himself that was doing it. Like he had done to himself that day, in the distant past.
He mentally scolded himself, snapping back into reality. There was no way he would allow himself to think like that again. That was the attitude of someone who was going to give up. No. He couldn't afford to give up. It wasn't just him who was stuck in this situation. Al, Granny and Winry would be the cost if he failed to get out of this and take care of that bastard Erlich.
He stopped looking out the window, and glanced over at Al. Al's face had become expressionless. Another poker face that he didn't know what to think of. Just like the one Winry had that day he told her he was staying in the military. When did they develop these? Though he so desperately wanted to know the answer, now was not the time for that.
Slightly sighing, he turned his head and looked back out the window, wondering what Winry was doing at this very moment.
"Oh, this is just pure heaven!" She squealed to herself, taking in the room around her. She was completely automail struck. There was too much to take in all at once. The room was a wide rectangular shape and had six doors. Three on each side of the room, and what was behind them she did not know, but she would soon enough! The automail was everywhere! It was on walls, on floors, on tables, and even on most of the people that were currently working there. Oh how she wished had known about this place sooner, it was a treasure trove of automail!
As a young lady covered in oil, that was probably only a few years older than she was, began to lead her around the piles of automail and began the tour, she caught wind of the rooms scent. Even the smell of the room was enough to make her feel excited. The scent of oil and metal would always be home to her.
As she was walking around fawning over all the lovely pieces of work they had to offer, thoughts of Ed, or better described as worries, crept back into her mind. She stopped and looked at her surroundings for a moment and came to a conclusion on something. If she had had the option, she would've much rather spent the day with Ed.
She wanted to decipher his odd behavior. It was painfully obvious that something was up with him, but he had yet to tell her even a single detail. Though, she sighed, that was the usual when it came to him, but she hadn't expected Alphonse to do the same thing. When she met him this morning, he hardly told her a thing. When she asked him where he was going, he only told her a minimal amount of information. He didn't tell her why, or how long he was going to be like he usually does.
Her hands shifted to a different position on her body, one came up to her forehead and the other down on her hip. She was getting too frustrated. If it kept on like this, she wouldn't be able to tolerate it anymore and she would probably go and hunt them down.
She looked around, found a chair that had some old oil stains on it, and sat down. She was feeling a massive headache coming on. She gave a slight sigh and thought, 'Well that's what I get for thinking too hard.' Even though it had only been around three hours, she silently wished to herself that Ed would come back.
She got up and slowly made her way out of the automail wing without letting the tour lady know, suddenly wanting to talk to Ms.Riza. For some reason, she felt extremely at peace whenever she was talking to her, like she was something of an older sister. As she turned the corner of where her office should be, she bumped into someone with an extremely hard chest and it somehow felt familiar.
She looked up and instant smile came to her face, as did his.
The car began to pull over to the side of the road where the hotel was. Before getting out, Ed looked out the window to the building, preparing himself for what was coming next. He then looked over at Al who appeared to be doing the same thing as he was. Al quickly took notice of him, and gave him a quick nod, letting Ed know that he was ready.
Ed opened the door of the car, and went straight into the building, not looking, or talking to anyone else besides the lady at the desk. He quickly gave his name as instructed and received the room number and the key. The rest of the way up was maddeningly silent.
They both stopped at the door, Ed feeling utterly disgusted that he was about to enter the same room that Erlich bastard had been in. But there was no time to waste, so he put the key in and slowly opened the door, unsure of what might be inside, his awareness level shooting up.
Once the door was completely open, he spotted the letter laying on the night stand furthest away from them, looking completely innocent. Before going over he, made sure that no one else was in the room, and even if there was no one there, no telling if Erlich had wired the room. He quickly looked over to Al who was just a few steps away from him and put his index finger over his mouth, indicating that they should stay silent.
Ed looked all around him one more time, and then without any more delay he walked over to night stand, picked up the letter and ripped it open.
Greetings Edward and Alphonse Elric
I'm extremely satisfied that you have followed my instructions down to the letter. Now that you've arrived at this hotel I can assure you that this matter won't be too long drawn out. Now I'm sure you're aware that I'm not much for words so I'll get down to it.
Here is your next set of instructions.
1. You are to leave this room immediately after you are done reading this letter, which I assume you'll do anyway, and enlist the help of one person, excluding the new Fuehrer of your nation, and wait twenty four hours
2. Once you have gained the assistance of that one person, you'll need to board a train to your home in Resembool, your real home. There you will find something that is essential to this small endeavor.
3. Once you get there you will find another set of instructions in the mailbox of your dear old grandmother's home.
Now then, you'd best get to your duties. Oh, dear me, I've forgotten to tell you, your precious Winry is now in my custody. You'd better not disappoint me if you want no harm to come to her.
Until you read my words again,
Fury overcame his body and he crumpled the letter in his fist. Al, not knowing what was said in the letter, was sure it was nothing less than hell by the way his brother was reacting.
"Brother? What did it say?" Al said, being very cautious. He'd never seen his brother in so much rage.
Ed, without looking up at his brother said one thing, "He's a dead man Alphonse."