"It's been two years since I saw aircraft from another world invading the sky above my own. Two years for Central to pick up the pieces left in the aftermath of the fiasco. What really killed me about all of it wasn't the amount of time having passed since that day, but the people I hadn't seen since then.
"I know Edward was probably on the last piece of burning aircraft I saw, guiding it back through the portal to the world where it belonged. I don't know what happened to Alphonse, however. I'm sure Roy Mustang knows, because he wouldn't speak more than three words to me the next time I saw him. All I can figure is that Al found a way to go with Ed
or he's dead. But if he were dead, we would have found his body before very long.
"I don't think I've completely recovered from losing the two of them. I'm not even sure if I've recovered at all. I haven't come to terms with the fact that I'll never see either of them again and I don't think I'll ever be able to. After all, it's like losing brothers, not just childhood friends."
Winry was jolted from her thoughts by the piercing ring of the phone downstairs. She forced her heart from her throat and flipped the piece of paper so that the words on one side were facedown on the clipboard before she stood up. She pushed away from her bed and hurried to her door and down the stairs, where she saw that Pinako had already answered it. Winry froze on the stairs when she heard what her grandmother had to say. "It's for you, Winry. It's
it's Roy Mustang."
The words seemed to mix themselves up before reaching her ears. After a second or two, they rearranged themselves into a coherent order and Winry took a shaky step down the stairs, then another, making slow but sure progress until she gripped the phone in her own hands. She hesitantly brought it to her ear, almost unable to speak a word. She felt different when talking to Roy. It was a kind of different she couldn't shake, talking to the man who had murdered her parents. She had almost been able to forgive him, but part of her refused to let go. She finally managed to release a soft "Hello?"
"Miss Rockbell, I know I'm not in much of a position to call you, but it's urgent." Roy replied awkwardly on the other end.
"What is it, colonel?" Winry asked, finding her voice having returned.
Roy sighed. "It's not colonel anymore. But it has to do with Edward. Not him directly, but it links back to him."
Winry's eyes widened. "It's
it's about Ed?"
"It has a lot to do with him, yes. I'd like it if you came out to Central because I'd rather not go into detail on an unsecured line. Like I said, it's of the utmost importance."
"I'm on my way, then." Winry replied.
"There will be soldiers there ready to escort you to meet with me when you arrive, Miss Rockbell. I assume you'll be here within the next day."
"If not sooner, sir. If I can, I'll leave today."
"I'll be anticipating your arrival."
With that, Winry hung up and darted back up the stairs to her room, where she tore through her closet, pulling out clothing and her suitcase as quickly as she could. She was so focused on packing that she didn't hear Pinako calling her name until the old woman was practically shouting it at the top of her lungs.
"Winry, where are you going?" she asked once she got the girl's attention.
"I'm going to Central, Grandma. I have to meet someone there."
"You want to tell me what it is?"
Winry dropped all she was doing and took a deep breath. She couldn't leave her grandmother without letting her know what she was up to.
"Colonel erm, Mustang wouldn't tell me directly over the phone, but he told me it was linked to Edward. He wants me to meet him in Central so he can explain it to me."
Pinako was silent for a moment and Winry went back to packing. She heard her grandmother speak in an unusually quiet voice. "And you're doing this because you're hoping you'll get to see Ed again, I assume."
"Grandma, I've spent the last two years hoping I'll wake up one morning to you yelling at me telling me we've got company in the voice I know you've reserved for telling me that Ed and Al have shown up. I'm willing to go on a little faith here because faith is all I really have left right now. I don't mean that in a religious sort of way, but you know what I mean, right?"
Pinako nodded her head slightly, indication that she had heard what her granddaughter had said, not that she understood it all herself. Winry had something to hope for for the first time since Ed had disappeared and she wasn't going to end that. Winry continued stuffing clothing into her suitcase as fast as she could so she could catch the next train to Central. She didn't know what awaited her, but she knew that whatever was in store for her could hold the possibility of seeing Edward again, as well as finding out what happened to Alphonse.