Hello! Yes, I am alive and decently well. I am sorry for taking to long to update! Dunno if you all heard but good ol' Tennessee was bombarded with loads of rain and a lot of TN flooded terribly. My house was actually washed away =O. Luckily I survived and have found a place to live for the time being instead of hotels! Right after that though my computer broke and I had to send it in to be repaired which took two weeks. Anyway, enough excuses. The next chapter of the story is almost done, my beta's are proofing the first half. I decided to give all of you patient and loving fans a treat and wrote this super corny/emo/sappy side story. Sorry for any mistakes, I don't have my beta's proof side stories. Enjoy the mushy crap! =D 3 3 xoxo

Father's Day. In Ed's opinion it wasn't as bad as Mother's day, but it had its own thorns attached to it. The day wouldn't have bothered him nearly as much if it hadn't been for Elysia. Yes, the girl seemed very fond of Father's day, seeing as how she still had one who loved her. It made Ed feel sick listening to her all day ranting about how superb her father was. Ed tried everything to get his mind off the darker thoughts. He called Al and they spoke about their upcoming meeting. The call only lasted so long though since Gracia needed to use the phone to make sure Maes's cake was ready. So, Ed tried reading. That too failed when Ed realized he was reading the first line over and over. He tossed the book across the room and stomped outside and climbed the tallest tree in the backyard.

The moment Maes Hughes walked through the front door he was bombarded by Elysia who was screaming happy Father's Day. He smiled and picked her up to giver her a tight hug.

"Thanks, sweetie. I'm happy to be your father." He said teary-eyed looking up at his smiling wife. He couldn't ask for anything other than his beautiful family.

"Daddy, daddy! I have a present for you!" Elysia yelled pulling Maes forward. He fallowed her into the kitchen where the girls' had tied blue and green balloons on each of the chairs. All his favorite foods were on the table along with a large cake with his name on it. Sitting in his chair were two wrapped boxes with little blue ribbons tied on them. He felt his face would split in two if he smiled anymore than he already was. Maes laughed and grabbed both his wife and daughter into a crushing hug.

"Thank you. I've never been a happier man." He let go of them both and gave them both kisses on their cheeks. Elysia giggled before running and picking up the present she made for him.

"Open it daddy!" She said excitedly, jumping up and down.

Maes laughed as he took it and sat down at the table to open it. He was opening the gift as slowly as possible, enjoying watching Elysia anxiously hopping up and down on her tipy toes.

"Daddy! Faster!" She finally yelled, rushing to him to help him open it faster.

Maes smiled brightly when he finally saw his gift. It was a picture of himself with Elysia and Gracia, but what made it special was the frame it was in was handmade. It was oval and made of wood. Written all over the wood were words like "love", "family", and "happiness". It had fake yellow daisies in the corner and was all glittery.

He looked up and hugged Elysia again for the third time that evening.

"Thank you baby, I love it. It's going right next to my bed." He set the frame down and took the gift Gracia handed to him

Maes already knew what Gracia had gotten him. It had been a tradition of theirs since they first married to buy each other their favorite brands of cologne and perfume for birthdays and then Father's and Mother's Day. It was perfect timing in Maes opinion since he was nearly out of his. He kissed his wife passionately before they head Elysia giggling.

"I'm the luckiest father alive. Thank you I love both my gifts."

"Cake!" Elysia laughed and headed for the cake, but Gracia stopped her.

"I think not young lady. Dinner first, then you can have a huge piece of cake." Gracia said sternly, but with a smile.

Elysia pouted, but nodded and took her place at the table. Once they were all seated and everyone began to dig in Gracia stopped and looked at the empty chair.

"Oh, where's Ed?" She asked.

A pang of guilt hit Maes as he realized the boy was nowhere around and hadn't been since he walked into the house. He had been so wrapped up in everything that he had completely forgotten that today had to be a miserable day for Ed. He stood from his seat quickly.

"Maybe he's in his room." He said as he began walking away. Once he reached Ed's room he knocked twice, "Ed it's me, can I come in?" When Maes didn't receive and answer he opened the door to an empty room. Trying not to worry he headed back downstairs.

"He wasn't up there?" Gracia asked concerned. Now that she thought about it she hadn't seen him since she had asked him to get off the phone. "You don't think he went out? It's dark now it's not safe!" She looked at her husband.

"I don't know he..." Maes stopped and walked up to the patio's screen door. He was certain there was a leg hanging out from the tree. He looked over at his wife and nodded outside and without another word stepped outside and closed the screen behind him.

Ed swayed his leg back and forth. It helped keep some circulation in his butt. He had been sitting in the tree for at least four hours and branches weren't exactly comfortable. He had thought of going inside to his room, but that idea was thrown out the second he heard Elysia scream. He knew that meant Maes was home and he didn't feel like seeing the man. Or anyone really. Sure it was immature to be pissed at a man who did nothing wrong or at a little girl for loving her father. Ed just didn't give a damn today though. All he wanted for today was to be left alone or disappear. He was never lucky though and cursed under his breath when he heard the screen door creaked open and then close. Quiet footsteps made their way to the tree and stopped underneath the stop Ed was sitting on. He ignored the man and continued staring at the sky.

"Dinner is ready." Maes finally broke the silence and Ed cringed. He really didn't want to talk to Maes.

"Not hungry." He said quickly. Begging that the man just go back inside to his family. He heard Maes sigh and knew that some sort of annoying lecture was about to be given.

"Just go Maes. I don't want to eat. I don't want to be near you or your family. So just go." Ed tried to put some fire behind his words, but they just sounded tired.

It was quiet for several minutes and Ed thought maybe he didn't hear Maes leave. Just as he was about to check his leg was given a harsh tug and he tumbled out of the tree and onto the ground, ass first.

"The hell!" Ed yelled, but didn't have a chance to do anything because Maes knelt down in front of him and grabbed him into a hug. Ed was too stunned to do anything and slowly he felt himself give in to the hug. Why couldn't this have been his father? He pushed Maes away and stood. He was surprised at the thing he did next, even more surprised than Maes. Ed punched him as hard as he could with his left hand. A minute passed before Ed went into full panic mode.

"Oh shit. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. So sorry." Ed quickly ran inside and left a still stunned Maes sitting on the ground.

Ed ran past Gracia, up the stairs, and locked himself in his room. He just hit the one person who seemed to care. He laid down on his bed and buried his face into his pillow. After a few hours, he finally relaxed enough to fall into a trouble sleep filled with nightmares.

The next morning Ed reluctantly headed downstairs after hearing laughing. People who were mad didn't laugh, right? He peeked into the kitchen to see all three Hughes at the table eating breakfast and laughing. Ed lost his courage and was about to head back upstairs when Gracia spotted him.

"Ed, good morning, come have some breakfast." Ed noticed her tone didn't leave room for arguing. She was upset. Ed couldn't blame her. He did hit her husband.

Ed sat down in the chair next to Elysia who kept giving him glances from the side. The atmosphere was tense and it made Ed want to crawl under a rock and die. He made himself look up at Maes when a hand held out a plate. Ed winced at the huge bruise just under Maes's eye. Ed tried to take the plate, but Maes's wouldn't let go. The man locked his eyes with Ed's and Ed couldn't have looked away even if he wanted to. What surprised him was Maes had his goofy grin in place.

"Why the hell are you smiling at me? I hit you! You should be mad!" Ed said bewildered. This only made Maes laugh. Ed was royally confused and felt like an ass. He hit Maes and the guy was brushing it off like it was nothing.

"It make you feel better?" Maes asked after he was finished laughing.

Ed stared at him for a bit before a sheepish smile spread across his own face. He rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.

"Yea, it did actually. Sorry." He apologized once again.

"It's okay. Maybe next year I'll even get a gift from you too? Preferably not another punch." Maes let the question hang thick in the air and turned his attention to his wife.

Ed could only stare at the man. He was having trouble processing the question. Ed wasn't sure if Maes meant what he thought it did. He filled his plate with food forcing away the smile that wanted to attach itself to his face. Ed never wanted Maes to know how he was feeling right now. His heart felt a little lighter and a little happier. When Ed stole a quick glance at the man across the table, Maes winked at him and continued to eat.

Ed would never understand how Maes could think of him as a son. Really, Ed didn't care to understand. He didn't want parents, but he did want people who he could trust and maybe love him. Maes seemed to love him and was trustworthy. That was more than Ed could ever ask for. He kept that in mind throughout the rest of breakfast and hopefully throughout the rest of his life.