The sound of rain wasn’t unusual in the spring; the slap and slither of it on the roof making its own kind of music. Pinako paid it no mind. There were other, more important things to consider than the patter of raindrops.
Peering into the bedroom, she saw what she expected; Edward flat on his back, cheeks pink with fever. Winry hovered over him, running a damp cloth over his skin in an attempt to cool it. Edward had been laid up too long, Pinako had been concerned about it, and now, he’d developed pneumonia. The wet weather outside offered no relief for the boy, the damp seeping in no matter how warm they tried to keep his room.
“How is he, girl?”
Winry started slightly, turning to Pinako. Dark circles ringed her eyes and her skin looked pasty. “I’m not sure.” Grimacing, she bit back a yawn. “He’s still hot.” The plaintive whine echoed around the small recovery room.
“Has he woken up?”
“Yes’m. I gave him the pills.” Winry nodded at a little bottle on the bedside table. Knuckling her eyes, she blinked them a few times, squeezing them tight then opening them again.
“You should get some rest, Winry. I can sit with him.” Pinako squeezed her shoulder.
“No,” Winry said, with a shake of her head. “I want to be here.” She adjusted the cloth on Edward’s forehead. “I can catch a nap while he’s,” she hesitated, and Pinako mentally added the word, ‘unconscious’ to the sentence. “Al’s probably the one who needs you more than me!”
Pinako doubted that. Alphonse sat at the end of the hallway, his armor as cold as the rain outside. Patient as a stone, he waited for word on Edward’s condition. Pinako didn’t want to know what alchemy Edward had used to put his brother’s soul inside a suit of armor, and didn’t really want to think about it very much. Bad enough that Edward was smart enough to do something like that; but, Pinako reminded herself that Alphonse, at least, was alive in his own way. And if Al had actually died, Ed would’ve followed him to the grave.
Not that he might be fighting to keep from leading the way right now.
Tightening her mouth, Pinako checked Edward’s vitals. She reviewed Winry’s notes before making her own, gently nudging her granddaughter. “Go to sleep.”
“No,” Winry said, stubborn as the boy in the bed.
Snorting, Pinako said, “You need rest.”
“I’ll sleep when Ed wakes up.” Winry folded her arms, her spine stiff. She managed to keep from yawning, but Pinako could read in her eyes how much she wanted – needed – to sleep. Not saying anything for a few minutes, finally she sighed, her shoulders slumping. “Granny, people don’t die from pneumonia, do they?”
She couldn’t lie, but she couldn’t answer the question, either. Squeezing Winry’s shoulder, Pinako left the room.
Spotting her, Alphonse asked, “Is Brother okay?”
Pinako sighed. “Not yet.”
And outside, the rain pattered down.