Note: Please, bear in mind this is AU, and slightly confusing until the end, which is even more confusing.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING FMA. I just play with great things.
There were three blond heads, all living in one small house. One with gold eyes, one with bronze eyes, and one with blue eyes. Some people said the man and womanwere lucky to have such a cute boy, some said the man and womanwere lucky to have such a cute girl. Some whispered to the woman heavy with child she was lucky to have such a devoted husband, and some whispered to the man ragged from overwork he was lucky to have such a beautiful wife. All whispered to the child with striking gold eyes he was lucky to have such loving parents.
None of them considered themselves lucky.
"If I was lucky I would have hit that man before he got a clear shot at the Colo-" The woman would choke before the words got out completely, and the man would pull her close, whispering she could not have gotten a clear shot before the unthinkable happened.
"If I was lucky then I would have died instead of him." The man would whisper fiercely, and the woman would shake her head, and run her hands over his hair.
"Where's Al?" The child would ask, and the woman would hug the child before he saw her cry, and the man would look away.
The house was only two bedrooms, a bathroom, and kitchen living room stuffed into the same cramped space. The woman walked down the street to the washers to clean their clothes, and the man walked with her when he could. The child always went, since he hated being left alone in the house. Whenever he was left alone the house ended up partly destroyed from the inside out and covered in chalk drawings circled with blood.
"Jean, we need more eggs," Riza said as the man prepared to leave for work. She was sitting in a chair, and looking very ill. Lately she was always ill. Jean walked over, and kissed Riza's cheek. She sighed, and rubbed a hand over her bulging stomach. "If we have enough money for it Edward needs more shoes."
"We do," Jean responded. He placed his hand over Riza's, and she looked up at him. Their eyes met, and he smiled. She didn't smile back, and the tired expression she wore hurt him. She was no longer the proud quick woman she had once been, and she only now had the strength to muster up the persona once in a while. Her eyes lacked their former knowing look, and she slouched in her chair as if defeated. He could hardly stand it. He bent down, and whispered by her ear. "Yes sir, First Lieutenant."
She looked shocked for a moment, and then she reached out a hand. She placed it on the other side of his head, and ran her hand over his short cropped hair. "Oh Havoc..." She leaned her face against his, and sighed from the depths of her being. "If only it hadn't turned out this way..."
'If only'-that was the abused phrase of their lives. If only Mustang had been successful, if only Edward hadn't blown up his transmutation in his face, if only Fury hadn't 'accidently' fallen from a fifth story window, if only Falman hadn't been incarcerated for rebellion, if only Breda hadn't pulled the trigger of his gun while the barrel was against his temple, and if only Armstrong hadn't lost his mind over the sight of another dead child then everything would have been better.
"Breakfast?" A young voice asked. A neatly braided blond head appeared over the beaten up couch and the child slid over it. "Al?"
"Breakfast is done Ed," Riza said. She left the other question unanswered, and looked down at her stomach. Edward came galloping forward, and looked at her, grinning crookedly. Riza nodded, and Edward added his own two hands to her stomach. One hand was perfectly formed, smooth and unscarred, but the other was missing the middle and ring fingers and was curved inward too much to be normal or very useful. Edward giggled, and then hurried off to procure breakfast from the table.
Jean helped Riza to her feet, and left to continue getting ready for work. Riza shuffled to the table, and joined Edward, who was eagerly making his own breakfast out of bread and jam. "Edward, don't put so much jam on your bread," Riza chastised.
Edward pouted, but did as he was told. He knew he was putting too much jam on his bread, but he had hoped to get away with it this time. He contented himself to eating his semi-overly jammed bread. He watched Riza, who sat with only a mug of coffee in front of her. Edward frowned, and leaned back a little. He didn't like it when Riza looked so sad. "Cheer up," Edward leaned across the table, and touched Riza's hand. "Cheer up Hawkeye."
Riza looked us sharply, and then smiled. "Thank you, Edward." She squeezed Edward's hand, and Edward settled back, smiling to himself. Riza drew a short breath, and watched the blond child stuff himself. He was a far cry form his former genius. Now, if she was lucky, he would remember to call her Riza or Hawkeye instead of 'pretty lady' or 'Mom'. On a good day he would remember that he was sixteen and should act that way, but those days always ended badly, because Alphonse wasn't there. Alphonse wasn't there, neither were Fury, Breda, Farman, Armstrong, or Mustang. Riza felt her face crumple.
"Cheer up," Edward piped again. His face was sticky with jam, and his hair had some in it as well. The thick braid of blond hair was the only thing that remained unchanged about him, even his signature red and black ensemble was gone, replaced with plain drab clothes. Riza hid her trembling mouth with a sip of coffee, and let the hot liquid brush over her lip. She placed it down slowly, and didn't look up at Edward. She couldn't at this moment. She looked down at her stomach, and contemplated the ever growing bulk.
The baby, it was decided, would be named Alphonse. He would have blond hair like both of his parents, unless he was a throw back. Riza remembered Jean's mother had been dark headed. Hopefully the baby would have bronze eyes like Riza. It was never discussed what would happen if the baby was a girl. Riza knew, her name would be Winry, and she would have blue eyes like Jean.
"I'm off," Jean said. He walked out in his clean, pressed uniform, and smiled at them both. "My Ed-kun, what a mess you've made of breakfast." Edward stuck out his jam colored tongue, and Jean laughed at him. Jean walked up to Edward, and kissed a relatively clean spot on his forehead. The gesture was more painful then comforting, but it had become habit long ago. Normally Edward would not allow any contact so personal, but now he only smiled. "You be good today, boss."
"I'm good," Edward answered, smiling stickily, and grabbing another piece of bread. Jean smiled, and Riza stood with Jean's help to walk him to the door. She followed him to the door, where they were hidden from Edward. Edward, however, wouldn't have noticed much, since he was piling his bread with far too much jam in Riza's absence.
Riza smiled, and rubbed her stomach. "Three months to go."
Jean smiled, and bent down a little to kiss her cheek. She didn't turn her head for a kiss on the lips, meaning she had either been throwing up, unable to eat any breakfast, or possibly both. Jean settled for a chaste peck on her cheek. "I'll come home for lunch and help you with the laundry all right"
Riza shook her head. "No, Edward and I can manage it." She tried to smile and it didn't work well. "I'm just tired today Jean, that's all. Don't worry, okay?"
"I always worry about you both," Jean sighed, and ran his hands over Riza's hair. "Don't push yourself too hard. All right Riza?"
"I-I won't," Riza smiled, but her eyes were brimming with tears and her hands shook as she wiped the unspilled tears away. "I'm sorry Jean, I am sorry. Today, it's just..."
Jean set his bag down, and wrapped his arms around Riza. "It's his birthday, isn't it?" Riza nodded, and held tightly to Jean. Jean cursed Mustang softly, wondering how the alchemist could have died when he knew it would kill Riza. Havoc did the only thing he knew to do. He held her tighter as her sobs became harder, and whispered soft words into her ear.
"Havoc, did you make Hawkeye cry?" Edward asked. Jean looked up in alarm, amazed Edward had actually remembered his name. Edward walked forward. "Or was it Mustang? Did I do it?" Edward spoke the words as if they didn't really mean anything to him, and they probably didn't. Riza cried harder at the mention of Mustang, and her knees gave out. Jean sank slowly to the floor with her, cradling her in his lap. Edward came forward, and sat roughly by them.
"You didn't do it Edward," Jean whispered. Riza nodded, an and her shoulders jerked. Edward leaned forward, and wrapped his arms around Riza as well.
"I miss them too, Mom," Edward whispered softly. Jean reached out, and pulled Edward into the hug. He leaned his head on Riza's, and smiled sadly at how broken they all were. A genius who couldn't even remember who his mother really was, and a proud soldier reduced to a weeping woman who had lost her lover. He stroked both blond heads, watching the shoulders of both shake. Then there was him, the loyal soldier reduced to the provider of the love of his dead commander and comrade who should have been filthy rich by now thanks to his brilliance. He kissed Riza's head, and pulled them all closer together. These two were all he had left in the world now, and he would not let them go.
"We just have to make it through today," he told them. Then there was the day after that, and the day after that... The days would never stop coming, but somewhere along the way things would get easier. Jean whispered his assurance again, and blinked as the glint form the gold ring on his finger caught in his eye. Someday it wouldn't be so hard to forget or to remember.