(Author's Note: Hey guys... sorry it's taken me ages and ages to post again. I've been so busy and stressed out that I could hardly find time to right, and when I did,... well it wasn't up to par. So... I hope this was at least partially worth the wait. More soon, I promise!)

There was only one word that could accurately describe Roy's first week as a father; exhaustion. He was completely given out. Riza was just beginning to barely get out of bed for short periods of time. She could do simple tasks, but they left her with little energy to spare and a tired, far away look in her eyes. She was fine, she had told him, just tired and a little strained.

Roy did everything he could to make life easier on Riza. He took out the trash, swept the floors, put away and even cleaned his own dirty dishes, and even attempted to serve Riza breakfast in bed.

"I should have had a baby a long time ago!" Riza laughed at him after a week of this extra effort. "How long will this binge last?" She smiled at his helpless shrug. Never in her life would she have expected to see Roy, General Roy Mustang, look helpless. Marriage had sparked a change in him; a good change. He had learned to except what he couldn't control and stop feeling such agonizing guilt about the past.

"I,... eh," Roy failed at a reply.

"I know," she disguised another laugh with a quite cough. "I do feel slightly better today," she sighed. "Would you mind it terribly if I phoned Gracia? I'm sure she wants to see the baby, and maybe she could tolerate looking at you."

He scowled as he walked over to the crib to pick up Maes. "Unlike you, Gracia has always been kind to me," he chided playfully. "She's always welcome here."

"Alright," Riza nodded and looked at the baby. "And you know the doctor said not to hold him too much."

Roy looked at the tiny baby he cradled ever-so-carefully in the crook of his arms. "Pssh," was his only reply to that.

Gracia arrived soon after receiving Riza's call. Roy was more than contented with Riza's choice of friends. Gracia was a good cook and never failed to bring him an apple pie on special occasions and sometimes for no occasion at all.

Sure enough, she clutched then handle of a brown wicker basket in one hand and Elicia's palm in the other.

She looked good, Roy noticed as he answered the door. He doubted that she would ever marry again, but she looked at peace finally and ready to continue with her life.

Elicia, of course wasted no time in asking to see little Maes.

Roy guided them to Riza's room and took Black Hayate with him into the kitchen to put away the pie and let the women have their time together.

"He's beautiful," Gracia commented as she held her husband's namesake for the first time. Elicia sat by her mother's side, being very careful about touching the baby.

"He has black hair like Daddy," she spoke as she gazed into her mother's eyes. At a little past five years old, Elicia still retained memories of her father. Everyone who knew Maes counted this as a blessing. "I guess that's 'cause Uncle Roy has black hair too."

Both women chuckled and shared the remainder of a nice pleasant visit. The two didn't linger long. Gracia knew just how important it was for the new family to have some time just to themselves.

Roy reentered the room to see Riza resting against a pile of pillows, her eyes closed. Very quietly, he tiptoed around the bed and made it to his desk where he wrote out a note;

I've gone fishing with Hayate.

Don't worry, we'll be back soon.

With love,

Roy

He knew it would be easier for Riza to get back on her feet if he gave her time. She would be safe, and after all, the house was in plain sight of his little fishing pond.