Disclaimer: I don't own the world of FullMetal Alchemist: Hiromu Arakawa is the creator.
A/N: I really had fun with this one, 'cause I love seeing Ed all cutesy and sweet. I think this one has been my easiest one to edit so far, and I'm pretty proud of it. I don't own the characters or the universe of FMA, or the certain little person Edward is talking to... All credit goes to Hiromu Arakawa. AND, this is based on the Brotherhood/manga storyline, so don't get it confused with my first two stories, which take place in the original anime series universe.
Edward lay on his back, scowling harshly as his thoughts carried him away and kept him from sleep. Arms behind his head, body sprawled out over the bed, he was surprised Winry had any room at all to sleep; somehow, though, she had curled herself into a loose ball and had dropped off to sleep almost as soon as her head had hit the pillow. She was exhausted, Edward knew, from all the automail maintenance and repairs she'd been doing recently, in Resembool and in Rush Valley. Although she never told him outright how tired she actually was, he didn't miss the way her head would loll to the side when they sat together or how she was always either rubbing her burning eyes or, with a smile on her face, her stomach.
That was another thing: was she supposed to be working this hard when she was pregnant? Edward's scowl deepened. True, she was just in her second month and not far along enough to show, but Edward still secretly worried. Just today, he'd looked through her parents' old medical books until he had found one on pregnancy. Some things he had simply skimmed through, but others had caught his attention, like how so many things could go wrong during the pregnancy. Many problems could happen during birth, like the mother losing too much blood or amniotic fluid accidentally flowing straight into her heart, stopping it. He'd cringed at that one.
And then there was miscarriage. Triggered by stress or natural causes, a baby could sometimes be lost during the first twenty weeks of development. Ed noticed the way Winry almost constantly worked nowadays, and he'd also seen the results: the headaches, fatigue, the way she'd become even snappier than usual. The thought of Winry losing the fetus made him apprehensive.
Another thing to add to the list of how he annoyed Winry to no end: he refused to call the baby a baby, choosing to refer to it as a fetus. After all, that's what it was. "It's not old enough yet," he'd explained only a few weeks ago to her. She'd frowned at him, and he'd tried amending, "We don't even know if it's male or female."
"Twins?" he'd asked, slightly panicked. He could barely comprehend the fact that she was having one child and that it was his, but two? That was ridiculous!
"I'm just saying…" Her hand had gone to her flat stomach then, and, for some reason, Ed had, for some reason, found it slightly cute. "Just call it a baby, Edward."
He snuck a glance over at his sleeping wife, taking in her long eyelashes, the way her breathing was soft and deep. He looked at her hand, loosely curled near his arm, the way she was uncovered except for her feet, and he smirked softly. His gaze traveled down to her small stomach, and he tried to figure out how it could ever possibly be big; in a few months, though, she would be large with pregnancy, and that was something he could not just yet imagine.
Winry had been scared when she'd told him; not of being pregnant, exactly, but of Edward's reaction. She'd watched him intently after telling him the news, waiting for any outburst of anger. But Edward had been in shock, too amazed to even say anything but, "A baby?"
"Yes, Ed," she'd replied quietly, fidgeting with her hands. "A baby."
Edward had looked from her face to her stomach, then back and forth for several moments.
"Would you say something already?" Winry had ended up hollering after a full minute of silence.
Taking a deep breath, he'd asked, "Are you happy?"
"What?" Edward had taken a few steps forward until he was right in front of her, carefully taking her hands in his as her eyes widened.
"Are you happy that you're having a baby?"
Something had changed in her eyes then, a look of hurt that had made him flinch slightly. She'd smiled, though, saying, "Yes. Yes, I'm happy." Lips pulled up gorgeously, her eyes filled with tears, she had stepped into Edward's arms.
His hand had gone to her cheek and then her hair, head resting on her shoulder. "Then so am I."
That had slightly been a lie. Yes, Edward was happy about the baby, but…a baby? They hadn't even been married that long. A kid meant hard work, long, sleepless nights, and hardly any private time. Edward told himself this was why he didn't really want a kid yet, but something had settled in the back of his mind, nagging at him since he'd finally come up with his reasoning.
He glared at Winry's stomach, suddenly annoyed with the fetus. Alphonse should be the one having a kid, not him. Al was patient, good with words, and he loved kids, something not shared with his older brother, and Edward grumbled under his breath. Although his logic seemed clear to him, he knew that wasn't what truly bothered him; he could deal with all those problems. Something, though, still troubled him horribly; maybe the little nagging feeling in the back of his head?
It finally struck Edward when an old memory resurfaced, one that would always make his chest ache and blood boil. He saw his father, Hohenheim, tall and frightening and silent, as he looked down on a young Edward and Alphonse. Edward, confused and sleepy as he was, had watched him expectantly; his dad was leaving, but why wasn't he saying goodbye? Hohenheim had said something to his mother, Trisha, then had simply walked out the door.
Not long after that was when their mother died, which resulted in Ed and Al performing Human Transmutation to try to bring her back to life. In the course of their actions, Edward had lost his left leg and Al his entire body, and to save his little brother, Edward had pulled his soul from The Portal of Truth, sacrificing his right arm to bring him back. After that, he'd been equipped with automail prosthetics by Pinako Rockbell and her young granddaughter, Edward's best friend after Al, Winry Rockbell. He'd become a State Alchemist after recovering, which began the brothers' long, exhausting search for the Philosopher's Stone, an object that might not even exist and simply be a myth.
But it wasn't. And in the end, the Stone wasn't even required to bring Al's body back from The Portal. Al had sacrificed himself so Edward could defeat Father, which, by doing so, restored Edward's missing arm. After Father was destroyed, all Edward had done was give up his own Portal of Truth in exchange for Alphonse, and he'd been reunited with Al, flesh and blood Al, a human body with a human soul.
Along the way, he'd met up with Hohenheim back in Resembool for the first time in ten years. He'd wanted to kill him, to make him pay for leaving them and making his mother die, but something had stopped him. Eventually, with Hohenheim present during the final battle against Father, Edward had even ended up forgiving the bastard, not completely, but enough to let most of his anger go.
Shocked at the swelling in his chest, Edward gasped. He placed his hand over his heart, surprised to find it was beating way too fast, but he wasn't in actual pain. It was more like the feeling you get while holding your breath; sure as hell not comfortable, put not painful either.
It hit him then, after he'd finally recalled those old, painful memories, why he didn't want a kid: he was scared. He would never admit it, not even to Winry, but he was terrified by the thought of raising a child, that he had helped make a new life, one that resided within his wife at the moment. It wasn't just that he didn't think he was ready to be a father, but he was afraid of what kind he would be. Would he be like his own, a man who'd left his family and didn't return for years? Would his child hate him? Biting his lip harshly, he tried to calm himself as sweat broke out on his forehead.
There was something he needed to do, but he wasn't exactly sure how it should be phrased. He had no clue what he would say, but he needed to say it, now. Inhaling sharply, Edward raised himself up until he was looking down at Winry's slumbering form, and, making sure she was sound asleep and not going to wake up anytime soon, he slid down the bed slightly until he was facing her stomach. Keeping a few inches away from her abdomen, his arm folded under his head like a pillow, he felt like a complete idiot.
But if this was the right thing to do, he'd at least attempt it.
"Hey, you," he began softly, voice rough. What the hell am I doing? he asked silently, but somehow forced himself to continue. "I guess you don't really know me…you don't know anything…but I'm…Ed. I'm your…father. That sounds weird, doesn't it? Me, a dad." He laughed, somehow relaxing. "I don't talk to you like your mom. She thinks I don't see her, but she's dead wrong. I see her rubbing her stomach a lot…I guess that's you…and she always talks real sweetly to you. I'd never heard her sound like that until she found out about you." A gentle smile broke out across his face at the thought of her smiling as she touched her tummy, her voice gentle.
Realizing he was steadily avoiding the main part of the conversation, he sighed, trying to focus. "So…sorry, I guess…for always calling you 'the fetus'. I'm just not used to the word 'baby'. Hey, I still think alchemically." He propped himself up on his arm, his right arm, no longer cold automail but skin, blood, and bones, and pressed his forehead against her stomach. "I wonder if you'll want to learn alchemy. I won't force it on you, so don't think that. I don't think Winry will force automail on you either. Oh yeah, Winry's your mom. You know, you're lucky." For some reason now, this didn't seem quite as uncomfortable; it almost felt like he was actually having a conversation with the fetus—the baby, he corrected—and it felt…natural. As long as no one else could hear him, he was surprisingly okay with this.
"You're lucky, 'cause you're gonna have Winry as a mom. There are a few things I should warn you about though: she likes throwing wrenches, namely at me, but you might not want to get on her bad side, just in case. She's got a bad temper and…well, I have a bad temper too…" he realized. "So that means you probably will. Also, she's nuts about automail. That's what she does, she's an automail mechanic. She made an arm and leg for me when I was a kid, so I could keep moving. I don't have the arm anymore, but the leg's still there, and she's always wanting to upgrade it. We know someone who has a carbine in her leg, and Winry's always wanting to put stupid stuff like that in mine. She even tried to put in a machine gun once! God, she's crazy.
"But she's also the kindest, most determined, stubborn, beautiful person I know. She's got long, pale blonde hair and the most amazing eyes I've ever seen. They're like the sea and sky mixed in, but with some other color that's completely her own. Maybe you'll look like her. She's strong for a girl, and she can take care of herself, but that doesn't mean I don't like taking care of her. She's got this amazing laugh, one that always makes you want to laugh too. And her smile," he stated, his hand moving slowly over her stomach, a peaceful smile on his face, "saves me every time. She adores you already, and you're gonna get so much love from her when you're born. I don't know how it will work with me though. I guess I'll…yeah, I'll…love you. But you'll probably get sick of me eventually; everyone does. Still…just know, I'll be there, if you need me. Because I'm…I'm your dad."
Pulling back slightly, feeling accomplished and calm and, for the first time in weeks, truly happy, Edward grinned. "I'm just gonna say this, though: you'd better be a boy."
If Edward had been paying attention to anything besides his conversation with the baby, he would have noticed the change in Winry's breathing, signifying she was no longer asleep. He would have noticed her face take on an dangerously annoyed expression as he spoke of all her faults, her smile when he called her beautiful. He would have noticed her eyes, bright blue and soft with emotion, watching him as he spoke to their unborn child. He didn't notice any of this, though, until he looked up and saw her watching him.
Immediately, he turned red all the way down to his neck, and a frown spread across his face as all expressions shut off. "What?" he asked bleakly. "Are you gonna make fun of me now?"
She placed her hand on his cheek, smiling softly. "You're going to be a great father."
The scowl left his face, and he simply watched her, a strange expression crossing his features, almost like nervousness; it reminded her of when he'd proposed to her last year. "Really?"
She slid her thumb over his cheek, then his lips. "Definitely."
Once he had lain back down, Winry crawled into his arms, resting her head on his wiry shoulder. He wrapped his arms loosely around her, one hand on her back, the other near her stomach, itching to touch it again. Rolling her eyes, she took his hand and placed it over her belly.
He sighed softly, oddly content.
Winry had thought he was asleep until he suddenly asked, "Are you scared?" He was looking at her, eyes soft, his hand brushing against her bare arm gently.
"You shouldn't be."
"Because," he stated, ruffling her hair, "you're gonna be a great mother."
Winry smiled and kissed his neck, and she heard him moan softly. Smile widening, she kissed his collarbone, his grip tightening into a possessive hold.
Bur then his teeth grazed her ear, and it was her turn to groan, and she felt Edward smirk as he pulled her on top of him.
"You're mine. You've always been mine," he said, grinning deviously at her once she was looking at him; his smirk grew wider when he saw the same expression reflected on her pretty face.
"Oh, really? I'd say it's the other way around. See, I've got you," she stated, her hand grasping. Suddenly, Edward growled her name softly, groaning, body rigid and hard, and she knew that she'd won the battle.
For now, at least.
"That was dirty," he whined, voice thick, as she rolled back onto her side, still in his arms.
"All's fare in love and war."
"But we aren't at war."
"We are most of the time." Edward laughed softly at the truth in her words, pulling her to him tightly. Her fingers caressed his bare chest, then moved over the tender scar tissue on his shoulder left by the automail, giving him chill bumps, and she leaned down and gently kissed the sensitive skin. A satisfied sigh escaped him.
They were quiet for several minutes, each listening to the other's breathing, Winry's fingers twined in Ed's long, golden hair and his wrapped in her light blonde. His other hand, still on her stomach, was held softly in hers.
"Hmm?" he mumbled sleepily.
"You won't be mad if it's a girl, will you?"
Opening only one eye, he looked at her. "Nah. It really doesn't matter what sex it is, right? Just needs to be healthy and all."
"You just really want a little boy."
Edward smiled fondly. "Sorta."
"Good, 'cause so do I."
"You're lying," he argued, smiling slightly.
"No, I'm not. See, I want a little boy who's as beautiful as his daddy."
Edward, eyes widening, blushed, still not used to Winry saying things like that; she knew he wasn't good with words. Somehow, though, he managed to get out, "Well, I want a kid who's got your eyes."
Winry smiled brightly, and Edward knew he'd said the right thing.
"Are you scared?"
Smiling softly, he kissed her forehead. "Not really. Not anymore."
Winry sighed, smiling sleepily up at her husband. "We're actually having a baby."
Edward, who would have earlier brushed her words off, now felt a foreign pride swell up in his chest. "Yeah. We are."