A play-date isn't exactly an ideal way for two full-grown men to spend a Sunday afternoon. But when said men's wives decide that the two couple's sons need to spend more time together, resistance is absolutely futile.
And so we join 25-year-old Edward Elric, holding his two-year-old son Troy as he opens his front door to find his good friend Ling Yao, also 25, holding his 18-month-old son Ryu.
"Yo," Ling said, half-waving with his free hand.
"Hey," Ed responded, motioning for Ling to come in.
"So, how did we get suckered into this?" Ling asked as a smile flickered across his face. Ed grumbled in response. Conveniently, the two who had planned the little get-together had decided to go shopping together at the last second.
Ling just laughed and put Ryu down. Ed followed suit, and watched as the two toddlers waddled off in the direction of Troy's toy box.
"You two play nice now," he called after them.
The two friends sat down on the couch to watch their sons.
"Heard you've got another one on the way," Ling said after a bit, his eyes still on the two boys playing.
"Got any names picked out?"
"If it's a girl, Trisha. If it's another boy, Alexander."
"Is it what you expected?"
"Fatherhood. Is it what you expected?"
"Well, I didn't know what to expect in the first place.
Ling glanced over at Ed, smirking.
"So is that a yes or a no?"
Ed glared at him, and they fell into silence again.
It was several moments before Ed spoke.
"It's a lot of pressure…Fatherhood."
"Pressure? How so?"
"I just…want to do it right, you know? And I never got much of an example to go by."
"You mean from your father? Yeah, I know how you feel," Ling said, a rueful smile on his face, "We've got something in common there."
"I want to be more of a father to my kids than my father was to me," Ed said.
"A least your father had a good excuse for not being there. He wanted to be there. My father never even gave me a second thought."
"It doesn't matter why. There's never a good excuse."
"Yeah…you're right. And that's what scares me the most."
"…You worried about Greed?"
"I got him under control a long time ago. But there's always that chance of him taking over again. And that…" He looked over at his son, playing with a red toy truck, a smile plastered over his face. "…That just scares me. More than anything ever has."
It was silent for a bit longer. Then Ed spoke up.
"We've been through a lot. Kinda ironic that something like this can scare us more than anything we've done before."
"…But that's just it, isn't it? We have been through a lot. We came through that. We can do this too. Together," Ling said, then grinned. "And with the help of our lovely wives."
Ed smiled. "Parenthood's just another big adventure, isn't it?"
"The biggest. And the best."
Ed chuckled. "You just wait until Ryu reaches his terrible twos stage. That'll make you rethink that statement."
"That bad, huh?"
"You'll be wishing we were fighting the homunculi again."
And as the conversation became more cheerful, so did the mood in the room. Both men still had their worries about what was to come. But somehow, they knew everything would work out in the end. And as they watched their sons, who were playing and laughing and having a wonderful time, they both felt as if nothing in the world could bring them down.
Just a quick one-shot that may or may not have turned out good. Hope you liked it.
Quick note on the names used: Ryu means dragon, but there was no real reason behind why I picked it. I just liked it, honestly. Troy is supposed to be Ed's way of naming his son after the Colonel; just take off the T. To understand Alexander, look at the first two letters of the name. And I bet you're all smart enough to figure out why Ed would want to name his daughter Trisha.
Kudos if you had already figured those out.
You may have also noticed that I never said the names of Ed and Ling's wives. I did that on purpose, so that you can you can insert whatever pairing you want into the story. Just thought I'd mention that.
So, read and review. I'll update my other stories soon, I promise.