A/N: This will be seven chapters (at least, what I've outlined). This is a very AU story, with an FMA1 point of reference. No beta (PM me with corrections if you see them). Ed/Winry. Trisha/Hohenheim. Please enjoy :)
Chapter 1 – Things You Don't Have
What if these weren't the things you didn't have…
Woollen socks wrapped warm toes lying at the end of the footrest. A small knit blanket had been thrown over him, covering him from his knees to his chest. He lay on his back, stretched out along the extended rocker; it didn't rock when it was laid like this – the rocking chair locked in place almost like a bed. Some nights, this was the bed. Bundled in a heavy woven cardigan, his head had fallen to the side and his chin curled into his left shoulder. It was the middle of winter: January 1922. The cracks by the door were smothered by a blanket that had been thrown on the floor to hold out the draft. The seams around the window still let the season leak in, and those windows had nearly frosted over on the inside; it was so much warmer indoors. Even if the chill skulked around the fringes of the home, that's where the winter nip remained, because the house itself wasn't cold. The fire had run all night. Someone had been up to maintain it. That someone wasn't him though.
There was a weight on his chest – unspeakably warm, but not all that heavy. Like a cat that had curled up near his collarbone, but it wasn't a fuzzy little creature. His hands held this little warmth in place.
Soft fingers with trimmed nails brushed over the right side of his cheek. He knew this touch and it didn't bother him. It was as unassuming as a spring breeze. He liked her hand; it was familiar, it was safe, and it was nice. Several of those fingers swept his fallen hair from his face, and he didn't need to open his eyes to know the owner of that hand smiled at him. He always knew when she was smiling at him.
He cracked open his right eye, and then followed with his left, looking beyond heavy, exhausted eyelids at the comforting smile that covered him. Oh, she was pretty sitting there next to him. There was stronger definition to her cheekbones now, and there was a crease through her forehead that his brother jokingly insisted was his fault. The weight of her older skin had blemished a bit, but didn't make her any less lovely to look at. Even the permanent smile creases that were engraved around the woman's mouth didn't detract from her beauty.
He gave her his tired smile.
"Good morning, sweetheart," she said.
And her voice was always lovely, Ed concluded, "Morning, Mom."
"You slept," Trisha spoke like she'd just patted a toddler on his head.
Ed rolled his head off his left shoulder; a pink blemish remained imprinted in his cheek while Trisha's hand continued sweeping Ed's hair from his face.
"What time is it?" Ed asked.
"6:30," was the quiet answer.
The last Ed could remember it had been one in the morning. He didn't remember falling asleep – he remembered feeling beat, run out, and exhausted since that stress ended, but he didn't recall falling asleep.
Trisha squeezed herself onto the seat cushion of the stretched out rocker, and Ed carefully slid over to let her sit. She lay down next to him, wrapping her left arm through the elbow of his flesh right limb, and tucking her head in up against his cheek. She had a smile that never went away. The mother put a kiss on her son's cheek; she always kissed her boys no matter how old they were or if they protested. Ed absolutely hated that when he was fifteen, but it didn't seem so bad today.
"I'm glad you came over," his voice still sounded tired from the five hours of sleep – which had been far more than he'd gotten in the last few days, but still not enough.
"And miss this?" Trisha mocked her son like he had suggested she wouldn't have been there.
Ed tipped a tired cheek into her forehead and shut his eyes again.
"She's beautiful," Trisha said softly.
An golden eye cracked open, looking down at the weight on his chest. His mother's hand carefully touched what his hands cradled. The warm weight was tiny, curled up, and seemed to fit quite nicely in the basket of two hands. It was definitely bald, a little wrinkled, and a little pudgy, like it needed to be stretched out to fit into its skin. Its eyes were pinched, its fists were clenched, and it lay quietly in the green fleece blanket it had been wrapped in when 'dad' received the bundle.
It was his.
"I'm profoundly jealous of you, Edward Elric," Trisha's words sounded playfully harsh, like she were scolding him, "you cried and you fussed when you were born… for days. You were a noisy baby."
Ed rolled his eyes.
"But this little one cried on arrival, and now she just sleeps. She slept the whole night there on your chest and didn't peep. That's absolutely impossible and completely unfair," Trisha pouted with a bountiful lower lip.
Ed laughed lightly, his chest heaving as he did. Surprised by his own action, his hands carefully clamped around the sleeping baby ball hoping he hadn't disturbed it.
"Baby should have slept with 'mom'," Ed's brow began to show stitches of his concern.
Trisha's words softened, "Mom is exhausted," and she qualified the statement, knowing her son well enough to realize it was necessary, "and she'll be fine. Don't worry about her. That's why Izumi's here. She's a good midwife and she'll take care of her."
As much as his mother meant well, as far as Ed was concerned, that still didn't cut it. His mind cautiously began looking back into the day before... yet for all the trials and tribulations, this world blissfully robbed him of his focus to a rollercoaster day with a smell that began to filter through the house.
"… Who's cooking?" Ed blinked.
"Your father is," Trisha answered casually.
"Why?" he narrowed an eye, "its 6:30… the sun's not even up."
"We're up," Trisha giggled at him, "And your father and Alphonse have been up all night making sure your house stays in order."
A faint smile crept its way through Edward, "They're good with the all-nighters, aren't they?"
"That's because my family is made up of mad scientists. You all get that way," Trisha continued to giggle.
The baby moved and it stole Ed's eyes. She peeped and stole his undivided attention. Sudden panic hit once more – what's going on? What's wrong? What am I supposed to do? A sleeping baby was easy, but a woken one? He had no idea what to do with it.
"You should sit up," his mother encouraged, sitting up herself, watching her son carefully place both strong hands around the baby – one to cradle the child's head, one for its backside. Ed sat up.
Pushing his knees together, Ed put the scrunched up bundle down in the crevice of his thighs. He looked wide-eyed at the little thing engage in motion. The tiny bundle was magically able to cripple a great alchemist in a great family. Ed's one hand remained nervously at the infant's forehead, his other was held frozen at its bent knees. Alchemy could create many things. Edward Elric had created many, many things with alchemy… and yet this tiny little thing was something he'd help make in an entirely different manner. He understood alchemy to near perfection. He understood this tiny creature the least. Ed stared down at a terrifying learning curve.
Ed's expression tensed, watching the little thing fuss and sputter on his legs. Edward didn't think his mind could be so overwhelmed with thoughts that it would just shut off intermittently like it was doing. His mother interrupted his concerns with a kiss at his temple – this mom was an expert at resetting his tension.
The baby began to chirp, and squawk, and make some strange vocal sounds that an uncomfortable infant would make when it had no other way to communicate to the world that life had just gotten a million times harder.
Ed began to refit the soft green blanket around his tiny little person, while his mother's hand tickled behind his back as she put her chin down on her son's right shoulder to watch.
"You're doing okay…" they both said.
To Be Continued…
A/N: So, Arakawa gave Ed a first-born boy… and I want Ed to have a girl. Isn't it cute to see Ed as the father of a baby girl? I think its adorable. Originally the baby's gender was undefined, but I changed my mind on that.