A/N: Thanks to all of my reviewers, Vixyfox, Ed Fullmetal Alchemist, Fuebi, Luceid, I love Malfoy as a ferret, catwoman47, klnolan, kisapeterson16, walkthrough, SoSickOfNyQuil, Bittersweet27, silkendreammaid, Lady Drosselmeyer, edsgirl10310, Mask of Mirage, Yuyuxsan, Mystique Monique aka Mina, Karasu-Sukebe, Maximum Poofy, and AikiaJumper.
Hopefully, I can manage to get the sequel up here at It's got a bit more smut (but plenty of plot) and is considerably longer. But you'll get to see more of the twins, Roy and Ed as parents, and an old evil coming back to haunt them.
Ed hated that five days later, he and Roy were still stuck in the hospital. The doctors were all still watching to make sure his body absorbed the created organs and that the mock vagina was in fact, closing. All of which was happening, though at a pace that was much too slow to suit the anxious teen. However, Ed had to admit that however pushy or obnoxious Raine could get, it was rather nice that she had been able to speed the healing process.
Waking up against the body of his lover, Ed looked up at the still-sleeping figure of the former colonel. Roy wasn't recovering so quickly. Like it or not, the loss of his eye was causing problems with his mental state, and it bothered the teen to know it. Roy was genuinely happy when around his family, but it was those quiet moments, when the older man thought no one was watching him that he looked the most lost. He'd been through a lot, he sure as hell hadn't needed this.
Hearing Aideen whimpering in the corner, a sign she needed fed, and as it was still a whimper coming from the little raven-haired girl, Ed wasn't risking that it could become a full-out cry and he'd be dealing with two noisy babies and a moody fiancé.
Ed slipped out from under Roy's arm, pulling away from the warmth of the man's unconscious body. He glanced at Roy sideways. Yesterday had been hard on him. They had finished off all of the nodes for his eye and installed the glass orb that was to replace what had been there before. It had been painful for Roy, and he wasn't entirely recovered, but the stubborn man had insisted that the eye be put into place as soon as possible. If only that were the only thing he was being stubborn about, Ed thought to himself. Roy was also trying to micromanage the take-over of Central from their hospital room, which meant there was a constant flood of soldiers presenting reports and disturbing the babies' sleep, not to mention Ed's. For the first time in months, he was able to roll over, to sleep on his back and stomach, and Roy seemed to always be working, disturbing the teen's would-be slumber--when the babies weren't managing that on their own.
But not this morning. At the moment, the older man was still recovering and knocked out thanks to the older Mustang. Ed didn't know what she'd given or done to Roy, but the blond was grateful.
Moving to the tiny bassinette, Ed pulled the dark-haired little girl into his arms. She looked up at him with those almond-shaped eyes. She whimpered just a bit louder than before as Ed struggled to open his shirt.
"I know, you're hungry. I'm working on it." Ed made his way to a rocking chair the nurses had kindly provided for the room he shared with Roy, bringing it up from the maternity ward. He brought Aideen up to his right breast, cringing as she began to suck. "This is so gross."
Ed had learned without even a single doubt that milk, in whatever form, especially the form that came out of him, disgusted him. Still, it was better for the babies, and he could manage to stick it out for a month, even if it did make him want to heave.
There was a light knock on the door, as Al's now clean-shaven face poked its way through. "Can I come in?" he whispered. Then, he looked down at what Ed was doing, growing red in the face and almost immediately closing the door behind him. Okay, so there was a plus to this whole awkward, disgusting thing: it embarrassed the hell out of his little brother and made his face turn about ten shades of red, and Ed really enjoyed seeing his not-so-little brother's human face show such signs of life.
Trying to get his mind off of how gross the entire situation was, Ed was usually able to admit that whatever the nursing released in his own body, it usually left him feeling pretty damn good, easing headaches and the discomfort as his body worked to reclaim its permanent status as male--strange as it was that this female act had such a result. Sitting there for a while, listening to the sounds of his little girl suckling, taking the occasional deep breath.
"I still can't get over how much hair you have. You put your older brother to shame." Ed placed his right index finger inside of her tiny little hand, for just a moment feeling the loss of that limb all over again. He could barely feel her with it. Still, the tiny little hand with its long fingers--she was twenty inches to Nicholas's eighteen--clasped onto the metal fingertip, her chest letting out a contented sigh as she finished nursing.
Gently removing his finger from her grasp, Ed covered himself back up with his shirt and re-fastened it, still holding her in his arms. He glanced down at Nicholas, who had also managed to wake up, but apparently with no need for food at the moment. The little blond looked up at his daddy, large coal-black eyes already seeming to take in so much of the world. As carefully as Ed could, he shifted Aideen onto his right shoulder, as she never seemed to mind the feel of the metal beneath his clothing, while Nicholas definitely preferred to be held by his human arm. Ed scooped the little boy into his left, then walked to the door, lightly tapping on it with his foot, knowing Al was still waiting outside. The door opened, the taller brother smiling and offering open arms for whichever of the babies Ed felt like handing over to him. The blond handed Nicholas over, since it was rare the little boy wasn't hungry or needing his diaper changed. Al really hadn't gotten to hold the fidgety little baby much since he'd been born.
As Ed stepped through the door, Aideen shifted back into his arms, snuggling herself against his body, actually looking comfortable in the crook of his automail arm. He soon found himself swarmed by Mustang's men, none of whom had gotten to actually fawn over the babies yet--as much as a group of military men fawn, between working on gaining control of Central and taking orders from their demanding leader. The only one not hovering was Havoc, who had gotten a brief glimpse of the twins after they were born and was, if his conversation on the radio was any sign, trying to find out where Gracia Hughes was. Watching as Breda, Falman, Armstrong and Fuery began to make over the babies, he noticed a massive mountain of a man moving down the hall, crutch under his arm. "Sig!" Ed cried out, finding Al looked just as shocked standing at his side. They'd received reports that he'd survived, but hadn't expected him, with his injuries to be moving about.
The large man made his way through the crowd of well-meaning soldiers, right shoulder bandaged, left leg wrapped. He carefully laid a large hand on Aideen's head, smiling just a bit at the little girl, then did the same to Nicholas in Al's arms. He patted Al on his shoulder, congratulating him on getting his body back.
"She would have loved to have seen this," he said.
Ed felt himself welling up, not because of the female hormones that were still being pumped into him to ensure he could breastfeed the babies, not even at the loss of Izumi, he'd cried his tears for her and so many others already. It was at seeing how broken the large butcher looked.
"If you want to grab a seat, you can hold her if you'd like. After all, you're their grandfather." Sig again smiled, a little more easily, as he guided himself to a chair, happily taking the fiery-eyed child into his thick arms.
"You know, that little boy, he cried over her when she died," Sig said. "He really cried that she was gone, and I think she heard him before it was over, telling her he didn't hate her, calling her mother."
Ed nodded, not really knowing what to say. He'd shed his tears over Wrath, too, though the guilt lingered.
"Damn, I want a cigarette," Havoc muttered in his corner.
"Did you mean me, sir? Over." a voice came across the radio.
"No. And unless you can send me one through the radio, I'd have thought that would be a clue I'm talking to myself. Over."
Ed saw Winry, who had managed to keep her distance, come up to him, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. "How are you feeling?"
"Better. I just wish Colonel Bastard would stop making me worry so much. I understand the loss of his eye and the people he cares about, I really do, but I don't like seeing him depressed like this."
Winry rested her head on Ed's shoulder, then moved to rub over Aideen's downy-soft hair.
Al was hunched over Nicholas, making faces at the little boy, tickling his face with the long silky hair that Al had decided to let hang loose, after hearing Winry say how much she liked it that way.
"Look Mommy!" a little voice said from the end of the hall, a set of eyes peering beyond the medical personnel treating the other injured soldiers on the floor. "Big Brother Ed's thin again!"
Ed smiled to himself. Looking down at the sagging, stretch marked stomach last night, he hadn't felt particularly thin, but he supposed that in comparison to the beach ball he appeared to be smuggling under his shirt, he did look smaller now. He watched as Elysia Hughes poked her head out from behind a nurse, pulling her mother behind her.
With a loud crash, the radio that had been in Havoc's hand fell to the floor, breaking in more than a few pieces as he ran down the hallway, boots thumping on the tile floor. He threw his arms around Gracia, and almost as though he wasn't thinking, held her surprised face in his hands and kissed her full on the lips. He then scooped up Elysia into his arms, hugging her closely.
"I thought the worst had happened to you. I couldn't find out where you were staying. I was worried…" Putting a hand to his lips, mirroring Gracia, "I just kissed you, didn't I?"
Fingertips still on her lips, Gracia nodded, eyes wide, eyebrows raised.
"I'm so sorry." Gracia looked at him questioningly, still saying nothing. "Actually, I don't think I am. I'm sorry I did it so soon, but I was worried. I thought horrible things had happened to the two of you, and I just couldn't…"
His voice drifted off as Mrs. Hughes put a hand to his cheek. "You're right, Jean. That was a little sooner than I would have liked. Maes hasn't been gone a full year yet," She paused for a moment. "but perhaps it just means we need to talk to one another, figure this out."
Havoc let Elysia slide down to the floor, and the little girl took the two adults' hands in her own, walking down the hall with them, then quickly pulling their hands together and running ahead to hug her "big brother" and be re-introduced to the other.
"I don't think there's any question what she wants," Al said, with a smile as Winry came over to him and began cooing over Nicholas.
Later that afternoon, Roy had risen, a little more sullen for having forcedly slept through much of the day. Al and Winry had the babies, learning as Roy and Ed had, how to give the little ones sponge baths. Raine was changing Roy's dressing, but as she reached the large piece of gauze that served as the final protection over the useless eye and the wounds around it, the former colonel became very aware that Ed was in the room. He grabbed his sister's wrist, stopping her from removing this last barrier.
"I'm not going anywhere this time," Ed said, sitting on the bed, arms folded across his chest. "And I've already seen it when it was its worse. I'd like to see some improvement."
Roy released his older sister's hand, holding his breath in preparation for Ed's reaction. Roy had already seen the thing, the large star-like wound that centered at his eye, jagged lines reaching up partway on his forehead, farther down on his cheek. A graft had provided him with a functioning eyelid which covered over the false eye that was there for appearances alone. He watched the face of the young man he loved, looking for any reaction, but instead saw as the teen nodded.
"Much better than the last time I saw."
"Perhaps now that he's seen it, you'll let it get a bit of air. The wounds have all scabbed over," Raine said. "I'll come back in here in about an hour. Your babies will probably be hungry by that time, if not sooner, and I'll cover it back up then."
Roy leaned back on the bed, not really looking at Ed as he did, but was surprised to find a warm hand slithering itself beneath his own, a somewhat soft body pressing itself against his right shoulder to lean up and press wet lips to his cheek.
"Doesn't it disgust you? The cuts, the damage, the scarring that's going to happen?"
Ed leaned back, pulling open his shirt just a bit. "Do mine disgust you?"
"No. It's just… it's my face. My eye… You don't understand."
"No, I didn't lose something on my face or my eye." Ed roughly grabbed Roy's face with his right hand. "I can cover myself if I need to, but so what? Maybe your depth perception is always going to suck. Big damned deal. You are still here, still alive, and still have one eye that is capable of seeing your children. And you're the type that can pull off an eye patch and make it look damned sexy. You want to mourn the loss of an eye, fine, but don't give me shit about not understanding. Roy, I can hardly feel when my daughter wraps her hands around my finger, and our son can't stand being held in my right arm. I understand the loss, Roy."
Roy looked into those angry and pitying golden eyes, his jaws aching at the metal which gripped them. "Roy, they will probably be nasty scars, probably looking a lot like the ones on my chest and leg, but I'll take the scars if the option is not having you here, you asshole. And if you're worried that you'll look like him with an eye patch, remember yours would come down to here." Ed pressed his lips below the wounds on Roy's cheeks. "And up as far as here." He kissed Roy's forehead. "So it will look nothing like the fuhrer's. And, if you feel it is still too much, do without it. So there will be scars. So what?"
Ed leaned down and kissed Roy on his lips, hand still clasped on the older man's face. "This seems vaguely familiar, but you don't taste like ice cream and potato chips."
In spite of himself, Roy smiled.
"Now," Ed said, finally releasing the former colonel, "the next time you're feeling depressed or upset about something, tell me or I will repeat this again. Got it?"
The babies were two weeks old before their parents were finally released from the hospital, Roy now donning a large black eye patch, beneath which there still remained quite a lot of gauze. His left arm was very weak, but out of the sling. Beside him Ed looked almost back to his usual self, if not a little softer from the added weight he'd put on during the pregnancy or the chest that still had him forced to wear baggie clothes or layers, but he was grateful he no longer looked or felt like a whale. Today, as they exited, though the two were both wearing suits, each cradling a baby in his arms, prepared to go straight from the hospital to the courthouse to make themselves legally a couple. Standing behind the doors to the hospital, seeing a very large crowd outside, cheering and celebrating them as though they were royalty, Ed looked up at Roy.
"So, tell me, you've haven't given me an answer, but I think for our marriage announcement, I'd like to know whether to say Major Edward Elric, who kept his last name despite the insistence of his new husband, married today Fuhrer Roy Mustang, or Colonel Roy Mustang, or Private Roy Mustang, or civilian Roy Mustang…"
Before Ed could get an answer, he saw that outside, Havoc was holding a cake from Gracia with two little grooms on top, the blond one sunk about an inch into the cake, icing still on Havoc's index finger. Had Ed not been holding Nicholas at the moment, he would have flipped the Lieutenant off, and incidentally, the entire crowd of people.
"Look at that!" he yelled, feeling Al on his right, trying to calm him down. "Damn him! I'm not that short!"
Roy laughed, a good, genuine laugh. After Ed had cooled down, he pressed his right hand to the door.
"What was that?"
"You're marrying a fuhrer, if they'll have me."
"Look at that crowd. What do you think?"
With a smile, Ed walked out of the doors of the hospital, Roy at his side.
"Ulysses, wake up."
He opened his eyes, looking around. Above him stood a strange boy he'd never seen before. Where was he? How had he managed to wake up here? The boy was kicking him. He was on the floor, regaining consciousness, but had no idea where he was or how he'd gotten here or why this obnoxious pre-teen was assaulting him.
"I want to die. I don't want to go on." He remembered hearing those words just before he'd woken up here. It hadn't been his own voice, but it had sounded like him.
The brown leather shoe moved to make connection again, he grabbed the shoe, knocking its owner to the hard wooden floor.
"Ulysses what the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Who are you talking to. That isn't my name."
"Did we decide to change it?" the older boy asked.
He stood to his feet, looking down at his would-be assailant. "I've never gone by that name before."
"And what would you prefer to be called, oh mighty one?" The other boy, probably about twelve, stood.
"Call me Wrath." He looked over the taller boy's shoulder and gasped in shock at the reflection he saw in a tiny mirror. His hair was shorter, his eyes still violet, but his cheeks were ruddy, his teeth flat. Come to think of it, he felt different. Wrath held up his hands. They still didn't match. He still had Ed's limbs, but…
He was human.
And from the looks of it, somewhere he'd never been before.
"Where am I?"
"In the orphanage, you dolt."
"The city, the year…"
"London, 1921. Did you get hit too many times in the head?"
THE END (Until part 2, was this enough of a teaser?)