I don’t know how I got here. No—I know exactly how I got here. I took a train, then walked, was met at the bottom of a hill by a black and white dog, and hoped Feury remembered Hayate’s afternoon treat.
Now I’m in the Rockbells’ kitchen with a mug of coffee. I hear Pinako tinkering nearby; from upstairs, the cry of a baby; from outside, a child’s laughter, a voice I never thought to hear outside of armor. Winry is at the counter, pouring her own cup.
“What brings you out here?” she asks.
“The General,” I answer. “He resigned his rank and got a transfer. They sent him up North. He’s alone there. I couldn’t talk him out of it.”
Winry sets her coffee down. “I’m so sorry,” she says, and means it.
“I took a few days’ leave,” I tell her, because I can’t say more about him through the thickness in my throat.
“Rose and Al took the spare bedrooms, but you can share with me,” she replies gently.
I nod my thanks.
“He’ll come home,” she says, as though there is no question. “When Ed does.”
I nod again, less certain.
“But you can cry, in the meantime.”
I can. The chair legs squeal against the floor; I shove my face into Winry’s broad shoulder, and she grips me hard like she can tell her arms are the only things keeping me from falling apart.
“They’ll come home,” she whispers. I nod.