There were hands on her breasts. Rough, large hands, pinching her nipples with too much force. A hand tangles in her hair, yanking it back with savage lust to bring her lips closer to a disgustingly large erection. The animalistic thrusting between her legs stopped, and she could only assume he had finished taking his pleasure in her unresponsive body.
Gunshots, screams, all the sounds of a war. When did it happen, that the sound of chaos was more comforting than silence? All of it blended into a high pitched scream, wailing, crying. It kept building, making her want to claw out her ears but her hands were pinned down as someone else took his place between her legs, not caring that this was a living person not another doll that he could abuse and the screaming would not stop...
Rose's eyes snapped open, wildly looking up at a somewhat familiar wood ceiling. The screaming had followed her, still rhythmically going in short, high pitched bursts. She bolded upright, heart pounding. Her head turned, slowly, to the exquisite crib that Ms. Curtis had transmuted for her. She clenched her jaw, trying to keep her stomach under control, as the wailing continued.
She didn't even manage to get out of bed before she lost the battle, vomiting onto the floor. When her stomach finally quit trying to escape via her mouth she looked up to a tangled mess of blonde hair. The screaming had quieted to the occasional hiccupping and cry while Winry softly murmured nonsense words. The blonde turned slightly as Rose stood on shaky feet, and nodded to the bathroom. Grateful, Rose escaped to wash out her mouth.
The truth was... she didn't regret keeping her child. She had always wanted to raise one, though she had preferred taking in a homeless child and giving him a new and brighter future than birthing one of her own. But she now had a child to watch grow and lead into a beautiful path. The situations surrounding the birth, however...
Rose nearly started another series of dry heaves at the thought.
Eventually, she managed to make her way out of the bathroom, cloths in hand to clean up the mess she had left on the floor. Winry turned, rubbing sleepily at one eye. "Hey," she whispered. "He just went back to sleep." No questions about her wellbeing, or about the dream... they both knew. After all this time, they knew.
Gently, Winry took the cloths from Rose's hands. "I'll help."
Rose blinked, confused for a brief moment. Winry usually reveled in having her extra five minutes of sleep, mostly because she often woke early and went to sleep late, not to mention the occasional violent waking from Rose's nightmares or her son's midnight feedings. She hated not being able to focus properly due to lack of sleep, and tried her best to make sure she got her full six hours.
Winry was furiously scrubbing at the floor, breathing shallowly through her mouth as she did so. A knot of hair fell in front of her face and she tried to shake it back, not willing to risk putting her hands in her hair. Hesitantly, Rose reached out, brushing it back for her.
"No... no problem." Her hair was soft.
Winry's lips quirked up in a wry smile as she looked up at the woman. "I know."
Occasionally, Rose took some time to help Winry with her busier days. She knew nothing about automail, save that it moved quite like an actual limb and that installing it was usually a long and very painful process. When she assisted Winry, she learned a few more things about automail. Namely, that it was really complex with too many wires and screws.
Today, though, Winry absently rattled off the uses of the wires she was messing with. "This one sends a very general feeling of pressure to the brain any time from here," she pointed to the elbow, "to here," wrist, "is touched. And... eesh. How did he manage that one?"
Winry shifted slightly, still holding several wires out of the way with one hand. "Here. It's twisted around the action wire, which should be over here." She poked at something with a probe.
Rose leaned in, frowning. All the wires looked exactly the same to her. "Um..."
"Green wire twisted around the red one."
"Oh!" Now she could see it, and that was a little weird, considering how strained the red wire seemed. "What would that do?"
"Exactly what Mr. Pearson was complaining about." Winry carefully followed the green wire down to the wrist and detached it from a port there. "Lack of free movement, no sensation of movement, and decreased ability to feel anything in the hand." She looked over at Rose, a bit surprised as she focused on her face. "Um... can you..." After a brief, strange hesitation, she looked back at the arm before her. "Can you pass me a screwdriver?"
Rose did so, confused at the slight blush that had crossed Winry's face.
"Rose..." Winry's voice held hesitation, not sure as if she should finish her thought or not.
"Yes?" Rose looked up at her as she finished brushing her hair out. Winry had that look on her face. The one that wondered about Rose's relationship with Edward. The one where she would wonder where Ed was. It was... welcome. At least it was familiar, something they both can talk about and understand.
"Why... do you stay here?"
That wasn't familiar. "What?"
"Why do you stay?" Winry looked away, almost ashamed to ask. "It's not like there aren't better places to raise a child. Better places to be... protected. I don't... understand why you stay with Granny and me."
Because they were women. Because they weren't threatening. Because they were strong, protecting... no. That wasn't it. Those reasons were almost insulting.
Because... they were smart. Because Rose was learning a lot from Winry. Because...
"I don't know."
"Oh." Winry sighed, relieved? Why relieved? "I see."
The blonde shook her head. "Nothing, nothing. Good night, Rose."
Rose carefully laid her child in his crib, wincing as her hair slipped through tightly clenched chubby fingers. Maybe she should have cut her hair. He certainly loved tugging on it, much to her dismay.
"Rose, can you help me with something?" Winry called from the front room.
Without yelling back, Rose tucked her son's favorite blanket next to him and started out to said room. Winry was bent over a mass of wires, using both hands to hold some apart. "Yes?"
"Take this side," Winry wiggled her right hand, "and hold it out of the way."
Winry quickly snatched some tool (Rose barely even recognized it) and started on something "Thanks a lot! Just keep it there until I'm done... there! Okay, you can let go."
Rose looked it over, carefully sitting into her observation seat. "What are you doing?"
"I found out that most of the wires here were burnt out, so I had to replace them. Except, stupid me, I didn't attach the bottom wire right away." Winry wiggled a mass of wires, watching them move. "That looks much better."
"Yep!" Winry stretched, face going red at the sudden stomach growl. "I didn't miss lunch again, did I?"
"We can reheat the soup easily."
Rolling her shoulders, Winry stood. "Thanks, Rose. Geez, and I thought that Ed's rush orders were..." Her voice trailed off on a sad note.
Rose hesitated, reaching out, gently touching her shoulder. "Winry..."
Winry reached up, squeezing the hand. "It's okay. Really."
"I just said that, silly!" Winry laughed, unforced. "Come on, let's heat that soup back up!"
Rose tightened her hand slightly. Surprised, Winry looked back at her. "I just..."
It was a surprise when Winry gently cupped Rose's face. "I know. Look, it's not your fault." She took a long breath. "It's okay. I mean it."
Winry was going to kiss her, Rose dimly realized. Firmly, comfortingly on the forehead. At first. She kissed Rose fully on the lips second. It was awkward, but... Rose tried not to let on how uncomfortable it felt. It was nice. It was safe. And she liked Winry, even if she didn't like girls.
Slowly, Winry reached up, pulling her into an embrace. Rose's eyes went wide and she pushed the blonde away, frightened. Her hands shook as she didn't see a mess of mechanical bits and wires, but a dark warehouse and several blue uniforms. The hands that went to her shoulders weren't thin and female, but hard and very male. She screamed, lashing out.
It was a nightmare that wouldn't stop...