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A Storm of Ice

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The bitter winds raced down the mountains, the icy chill seeming to pool and eddy around the buildings below. Winry had sat hunched in her heavy weight jacket, wishing she’d worn something warmer than tights and a dress. The men surrounding her, waiting with her, didn’t seem to notice the weather at all but they were military and had cold weather uniforms provided for them. Rush Valley merchants didn’t have the same sort of suppliers, and Winry had heartily wished they did. She’d wondered if she’d be able to feel her toes and the tips of her ears very much longer.

Maybe it had been curiosity that made her respond so easily to Mr. Kimbley, though her interest was cemented when he brought up her parents. That he’d spoke highly of them surprised her; Winry had figured the military hadn’t approved of her parents tending to both Ishbalans and Amestrians with equal compassion. It had warmed her a little bit to know that someone else had found their goals worthwhile, particularly a military man.

* * *

His gaze was warm enough to make her skin prickle, though his hands were chilly when they smoothed up her neck to cup her cheeks. “Be very sure of what you want,” he whispered, his breath puffing against her lips.

And inside of her, something froze.

* * *

They’d chatted easily as the vehicle carried them up into the mountains and the Briggs fortress. Winry had thought she’d never seen anything quite so massive and wondered to herself at the engineering of it. It looked to have been made of steel plates and she couldn’t help but be curious as to what sort of machinery built the giant wall of metal. She’d also wished, once they’d left the cars behind, that the air inside the fortress was at least a little warmer than that outside.

* * *

His fingers felt like frostbite as they drifted across bared skin, leaving gooseflesh in their wake. Winry swallowed hard, reminding herself it was by her choice, hers, that this man of black ice and snow laid his hands upon her body.

His lips were as cool as the rest of him as they touched her ear, his tongue exploring the bar there. A little sound escaped her, a protest she instantly silenced when he pulled back, his dark eyes studying her.

And Winry tilted her head, smoothing her hair back over her shoulder, offering him better access.

* * *

Finding the Elric brothers imprisoned had startled her, made her yell, bringing some warmth to her blood. Winry had lost that heat as soon as Ed had told her she was a hostage, to be used to turn him into a killer. And then Mr. Kimbley had taken Ed away and she’d realized she needed to do something to make sure Ed and Al could continue their quest to get their bodies back.

When Ed was returned to the cell, Winry had gone looking for Mr. Kimbley, and made him an offer.

He’d stared at her over entwined fingers, making Winry feel like he’d pinned her in place with blades made of ice.

“Are you sure of this, Miss Rockbell?” he’d asked.

She’d nodded, unable to trust her voice not to come out as a squeak.

The smile Mr. Kimbley had offered her was cold as the wind in Briggs and twice as hungry.

* * *

After he’d left her with a cool kiss on her brow, Winry shivered, wondering if she’d ever feel warm again.