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Himitsu Santa for esotaria

Title: Girl's Night In
Written For: Esotaria
Random: FMA
Request written: 1) Winry and Riza (and any of the other FMA ladies you feel like including) - sleepover [can I say I would love a drawing of this? Fic would also be wonderful, but art would be glorious]
Rating: G (wait, Catwho wrote something rated all audiences...? The world really is coming to an end.)

AN: So, I really wanted to do a drawing of this. I sketched it out and then I stared at my drawing and remembered I'm not really an artist... Dammit! So, you get fic instead, but I think I did a good job of evoking the images I wanted to include in the drawing.

This takes place several months after the manga ends.


Winry was bored.

She was not the sort of person who found herself in that position easily. There was always plenty of work to do, and grandmother would think of a new project or experiment or lesson if they'd finished all their commissioned work.

But Pinako Rockbell was off traveling to visit an old friend, leaving Winry alone for a week with no one but their dog Den for company. Den was getting along in years and slept most of the time.

The first day, she had excitedly tackled her own projects, finishing up a new prototype of automail for Ed's leg.

The second day she had been considerably less enthusiastic, but dutifully cleaned up her workshop like she had promised her grandmother she would.

By the third day, she wanted to throw wrenches at the walls as target practice.

So it was with a relieved sigh that she answered the door when someone knocked. Whoever it was, they would be most welcome to break up the monotony of her week alone.

She was not, however, expecting the two people she saw in front of her door.

"Colonel Hawkeye? Private Sheska?" Winry said in surprise.

"That's Specialist Sheska," the younger of the two piped up. "I got promoted!"

"Hello, Winry," Riza Hawkeye said smiling gently at her. They'd known each other for such a long time that Winry felt bad for keeping formalities, but Riza and Sheska were in uniform.

"How many I help you?" Winry asked cautiously. Then she mentally kicked herself. "What am I saying? Please come in."

"Thank you," Riza said politely, and followed the younger woman into her house.

Winry noticed the two military women were carrying small bags; they were clearly on a business trip for a few days.

"Please have a seat. Can I get you tea or anything?"

"Tea sounds fantastic," Sheska warbled, and Riza nodded in agreement.

Winry grabbed a tea set and started the water to heating. She assembled the tray and brought it to the living room, where she added in a small plate of cookies for the other women.

"Thanks! Gosh, I'm famished." Sheska dove into the cookies. Riza also carefully took one.

"So what brings you here?" Winry asked.

"Well," Riza said, speaking carefully in between cookie bites. "We did not originally plan to stay in Resembool. We were on the train to the Capital, and then our conductor announced that the train was experiencing mechanical difficulties."

"Oh dear," Winry said. "When will it be fixed?"

"Not until tomorrow," Riza said with a sigh. "The train had a full load of passengers as well, most of whom are going to be staying in the hotel overnight. We figured that since we were here in Resembool, we might as well pop in for a visit."

Winry clapped her hands in excitement. "Oh, but you must stay with me tonight then. The inn here is so tiny! And I have plenty of room. And my grandmother is gone, so to tell you the truth, I have been a bit lonely for the last few days."

She heard the tea kettle go off, and she hopped up to go grab it. She wasn't much on ceremony usually, but there was something rather nice about politely pouring your friends a hot cup of tea, just like a real lady.

"Thank you for your hospitality," Riza said with another small smile.

"So, did you finish your business... wherever it was you came from?”

"Yes and no. General Mustang is currently in the East, still working on the Ishval treaties. We were going to act as couriers with some sensitive documents." Riza shrugged. "I would have personally preferred to stay with the general, but the documents are encoded, and Sheska is our cipher, and still needs a bodyguard."

The newly minted specialist blushed. "I'm not in the army for my physical prowess..."

“We all have our niche,” Riza reassured her.

They sipped their tea and munched cookies in silence for a few moments, before Riza broached what she knew was a sensitive subject.

"How are you and Ed doing?"

Winry had not been expecting the question, and she almost inhaled a cookie crumbed. She coughed for a few moments before she recovered.

"Whoops, I didn’t mean to pry!" Riza's stern countenance faded into a smile around her eyes. "I take it, not well."

"He doesn't write enough," Winry complained. "He doesn't call me at all. I know he's learning a great deal out there in the world, but I miss him."

Now that she had said the words aloud, they were true. The two were quasi-engaged, after all, and she knew that Ed loved her in his own way - deeply, in fact - but he still had so much to learn about how to live without alchemy. She feared for him sometimes.

"Have you two eaten dinner yet?" Winry asked, changing the subject in the awkward silence. "Since it's just been me I've been picking at leftovers, but we have a roast in the meat drawer."

"No, we haven't," Riza said, and her comment was punctuated by Sheska's stomach growling in agreement. The three women laughed.

"I'll help," Sheska said guiltily.

It turns out that none of them were very good cooks. Riza had the most experience, but she usually only cooked for herself and Roy, and neither of them had heavy appetites. Sheska had memorized every recipe she'd ever read, however, and Winry's ability to analyze and interpret the often esoteric cooking instructions meant that between the three of them, they actually managed to create a decent meal out of the roast, with potatoes and carrots and biscuits on the side and a small loaf cake for dessert.

With the food safely in the often, Sheska left to wander in search of books she hadn't read while Winry and Riza cleaned up the kitchen.

"So what about you and General Mustang? Doing any better than Ed and I?"

Riza gave her a look that made Winry regret asking that question. Riza was private with her relationship with the general.

"I suppose. At least I get to see him most days," Riza said finally, softening. "I am happy that he is reaching for his dream of bringing justice to our country."

Winry guessed at a meaning beyond those words. The older woman next to her was full of mysteries, but only a fool would question her devotion to her superior officer.

They ate the dinner they had cooked together with only polite conversation, discussing the weather and matters of little import. Sheska had found a book she hadn't read before, and was flying through the pages at lightning speed while she ate her food with one hand.

While they were cleaning up the dinner dishes, Riza took one of Winry's hands and studied it critically.

After a few moments, she said firmly, "You need a manicure."

"Huh?" Winry held her own hand up and examined it as well. Her nails were clean, but chipped and ragged, and the cuticles were peeling. She had numerous small scars and callouses. Riza showed her one of her own hands, and Winry compared the two - the sharpshooter's nails were much neater and her hands were smooth.

"Sheska!" Riza called to the bookworm, who reluctantly stood up from the table, her eyes never leaving the book. "Give me your hand."

The younger solder complied to the direct order, proffering her left hand while her right firmly clutched the book she was inhaling.

Her hand, too, was in poor condition compared to Riza's well cared for ones.

"There's no help for it, then," Riza said with a sigh. "I'll need a bowl of hot water and a flat pick. Surely you at least have hand lotion, Winry?"

And so it was that the three young women ended up in Winry's bathroom, feet and hands dunked into bowls and tubs of hot water. Riza found herself in the unusual position of being the most feminine woman around, and she carefully tutored the other two on proper hand and nail care.

In addition to hand lotion, Winry had drudged up a nice facial kit that her grandmother had given her for the previous winter holiday They went from manicures and pedicures to green clay masks. Winry couldn't help but laugh at the vision of Sheska, nose still in book, her face covered in a pasty green underneath her glasses.

"This is fun," Winry said as she carefully applied a pretty silver paint to Riza's toenails. "I never had any girl friends my age when I was growing up, and Ed and Al weren't exactly up for this sort of thing."

"I never did this as a youngster either," Riza admitted. "And I doubt Sheska here ever thought to apply any of the things she read in woman’s magazines to herself."

Sheska waved dismissively. "I didn't think anyone ever did those things."

"Why would people write instructions they didn't expect anyone to follow?" Riza said sharply. "Don't be silly."

Winry's bathtub was unfortunately too small to accommodate more than one person at a time, so they had to take turns with their baths. Winry let her guests go first. When it was her turn, she sank gratefully into the hot water, admiring her newly enameled nails and softened skin.

She was not expecting to get tackled by Riza and Sheska as soon as she emerged. Riza had found her mother's old curling set.

Within ten minutes, her long blonde hair had been tightly pinned up in curlers.

"Sometimes I miss my long hair," Riza said, patting her short military cut. She had cut it when she had believed Roy would be blind, but when his sight had been restored, he admitted he liked her with shorter hair, and that was that. "But it's so much effort to take care of."

"Not really," Winry argued. "You wash it and you dry it and you have grandma trim it once every few months to cut the dead ends off."

Winry retrieved the spare futons from the linen closet, and set them up on the floor of her bedroom for her guests.

She looked on the scene of domestication from her vantage point on the bed - Sheska and Riza in their pajamas, the former with her nose still in a book and the latter carefully applying lotion to her feet. She reached up and patted the curlers on her head. She'd wake up with a head full of curls tomorrow, with luck. Too bad Ed wouldn't be there to see them.

Grandmother would be back the next day, though. Maybe it would still be curly then.
“Hey, you guys want to hang out here tomorrow as well?” Winry asked the other women, knowing the answer would be no. She grinned anyway.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
esotaria
Jan. 1st, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
EEEEEEEE oh my god this is so cute. And Sheska! I LOVE SHESKA! Thank you so so so much for this. :D I can definitely picture it in my head too.


EDIT: Would it be possible to unlock it? I want to share this with my FMA friends. :3

Edited at 2012-01-01 12:39 am (UTC)
catwho
Jan. 1st, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
I'm not sure, but if you want, I can pop it up on FF.net so everyone can access it that way.
esotaria
Jan. 1st, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
You can't edit the post?

FF.net would work too. :)
catwho
Jan. 1st, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
Oh, durka. Didn't realize I could override that. It's changed, share away :)

esotaria
Jan. 1st, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you again.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )