Yes! I finally am publishing this one, and I love it! I got a review a while back on "Sweet Child O' Mine" from imnotobsessedwithanime, asking for a possible sequel, and here it is! I wasn't planning this at first, but the idea of Edward being all cutesy with his baby kinda just called to me, and I had to write it. This is my 7th story, and hopefully, I'm getting better at writing, so enjoy! I don't own anything (except the baby's name), everything belongs to Miss Hiromu Arakawa.
As soon as he opened his eyes, Edward shut them against the light. He lifted his lids slightly, trying to get used to the brightness of the morning, but wanting nothing more than to fall back asleep. Still, over the past few months, he'd come to almost grow accustomed to waking up around this time, sometimes even earlier. Turning his head, he glanced over at the clock on the nightstand and saw that it wasn't quite seven.
Ed threw an arm up behind his head, remaining on his back as he closed his eyes again, slowly trying to fall back into blackness, but knowing he'd have to get up soon anyway. A soft, mumbling sound caused him to look over to his right, where his wife lay, sound asleep, blankets curled up over her chin. She turned onto her side, now facing him, though her eyes never opened, and she made another little noise that was like a sigh.
Edward smiled at the sight; Winry's bangs were a mess over her forehead, a strand of her long hair stuck to her cheek. Her lips were puckered and slightly parted and her soft breath exited through them. A small hand, so much smaller than his that it looked like a little child's, snuck out over the edge of the blankets and lay near her face, her fingernails filed into perfect crescents. She looked younger when she slept, like a little kid, he decided; it was pretty adorable.
She wasn't a kid though, and he knew that better than anyone. One example of proof was just a few feet away.
As if hearing Ed's thoughts, a tiny, muffled sound came from across the room. Edward looked over and sighed at having to be taken from his warm bed, then extracted himself from the covers and stood up, shivering slightly as he was greeted by the cool morning air kissing his bare chest. He stretched for a moment, arms above his head, then headed toward the source of the noise.
The crib, only about five feet from the bed, was made of dark polished wood and, on his utter insistence and begging and whining, had a mobile hanging above it that had been transmuted by Alphonse, specially modeled after Ed's taste; instead of little blue stars and cream colored moons hanging from it, everything was a bright red. The star and moon were present, along with a sun in between them, but each was colored a different shade of red that was completely Edward's style; the moon was the palest of them, coral red in appearance, and the star was scarlet. Ed had decided to make the sun the same crimson red as his old cloak had been, but had told Al to add gold streaks along the sun's rays.
Honestly, he wasn't sure how he'd finally convinced Winry to let him do it.
The rest of the crib consisted of actual baby colors though, something Winry had forbidden Ed to change from the baby blue she had picked out months before their child was born. The mattress had a white sheet over it, but the blanket was the blue she'd decided on, trimmed with yellow edges.
As Edward drew closer to the crib, he heard the same little sound again, almost like a mumble, then the noise clothing made when it rubbed against something. He reached the crib and propped his arms on the top edge, a hand hanging down inside it.
Bright, golden eyes met his gaze head on, eyes not quite as angular as his because they were those of an infant; they were rounded more, but still possessed a similar shape to Ed's. There was no trace of sleepiness in them, only a sense of curiosity and familiarity toward Edward. Dark golden hair covered the crown of the baby's head, short little bangs already growing out, and Edward noticed the traces of a small antenna beginning to form on the top of his little one's head. He grinned.
"Morning, Josh," he said, smiling down at his son with utmost gentleness, a fondness and devotion filling him he never thought he'd possess; that is, until Winry gave birth and he fell in love with their baby.
And his son suddenly grinned up at him, a large, one-toothed grin, reminding Edward of himself in a way. Josh's eyes were brighter than before, having heard Edward's voice, and a laugh bubbled out of his chest as he reached his arms up for his father to hold him, feet kicking.
Edward smiled at the sight, laughing gently as he leaned over the crib and picked up his eight-month-old son. The baby immediately had his little hands fisted in Edward's shirt, holding it tightly like he always did, and he was grinning up at his father, speaking to him in a language Ed was unable to understand. He simply nodded, then said, "You got that right," and Josh's grin grew bigger. A little hand reached up and touched Ed's face, traveling over his jaw, then patting his cheek. Growling, Edward leaned forward, making a biting motion at his son's exploring hand; he grinned as Josh snatched his hand away, roaring with giggles.
Edward turned to see Winry watching him from the bed, a soft smile on her face and traces of sleepiness still apparent. She looked from Ed to Josh, and her eyes grew even softer, like running water. That was a mother's love, Edward figured; his mother had once looked at him with the same utter affection. He smiled as she yawned, and then Josh yawned, a loud, breathy little sound, and Edward laughed. Winry grinned at the two, then sat up, stretching slightly, her motions pulling her top up above her flat stomach; pregnancy had done nothing to her toned figure, and Ed was grateful for that as he gazed at her smooth, creamy skin.
"How long have you been up?" she asked, walking toward him. Josh immediately began to squirm, arms suddenly reaching for her, and Edward handed him over to her only a little reluctantly. She gave the baby a big smile, eyes brilliant pools of cerulean as she told him good morning, kissing his little cheeks and rubbing her nose against his.
"Not long," Ed replied, propping his arm on the crib, watching the two. It was amazing how their son looked almost nothing like Winry; all of his features seemed to come from Ed. The hair and eyes were one thing, but Josh also had his father's mouth and, though he was still a baby, his strong jaw. Josh's expressions were the same as well, especially when he was in a bad mood or sleepy; his eyes would get all heavy and bored looking, and Edward would laugh every time he saw this, amazed. Except for the fact that his nose resembled Winry's a little more than his, Josh was an exact replica of how Edward had looked as a baby.
Winry walked toward Ed, standing on her tiptoes to give him a kiss on the corner of his mouth. He sighed contently, resting his head against hers as she smiled at him, Josh in between them; the baby's gaze switched from one to the other, looking almost torn, before he finally decided to reach back out to his father. Laughing, Ed lifted him from Winry's arms and, once the baby was settled, gave her a slightly smug look.
Winrycocked an eyebrow, giving him a little smirk, blue eyes dancing. She sighed softly, rolling her eyes as she walked toward the door; once there, she turned back and gave Ed a very dazzling smile, the same one she'd been giving him since they were little kids. "Any breakfast requests?" she asked.
Ed felt his smug look drop away and it was replaced by the soft little smile he saved solely for her. "Pancakes?"
She nodded. "Sounds good."
As she left the bedroom, still in her nightclothes, Edward watched her figure slide around the corner, a flash of light blonde hair the last he saw of her.
A small little rumbling sound pulled him from his thoughts, and he looked down at Josh; his son was looking questioningly at him, one thin eyebrow raised slightly, and Ed placed a hand on the little boy's growling stomach. "Guess it's time for your breakfast too, huh?" he asked. Josh cocked his head to the side, then looked toward the door that Winry had just exited.
"Okay," Edward said, lifting Josh up a little more in his arms. "Let's get you something to eat."
The June heat blared down on Edward and Alphonse as the brothers sat together out in the grass of the older Elric's home, basking in the blue sky and enjoying the breeze that blew over them every few minutes. Both were flat on their backs, side by side; Al's eyes were open, staring up into fathomless blue, Ed's closed, a slightly sleepy expression on his face. In the background, they could hear the voices of Winry and May as they hung laundry, both sounding happy and as cheerful as ever. They were alike in many ways, the brothers had discovered, except for a few facts, and one of them was that while one was married, the other was simply dating.
A thought coming to him, Edward opened his eyes and looked over at his younger brother. "Al?"
"Are you gonna ask May to marry you?"
Alphonse's gaze jerked over to Edward, his eyes slightly wide, cheeks darkly stained. "What brought that up?"
"Well, you're about to be twenty-two, and I was married by then. I guess I just figure you'd have already proposed to her."
"Well…" Al was still blushing, but it was beginning to fade, and he turned his eyes back to the sky and away from Ed. "I've thought about it."
"Don't do that," Al whined gently, looking back over at his brother. Edward shrugged lightly, smiling. "What I mean is, I've thought about it, but I don't think I'm going to ask her right now."
"First of all, Brother, May's not even seventeen yet; it's illegal," he stated dryly.
"Huh, didn't think of that," Edward said, crooking his head back to see May hanging a shirt on the clothesline, her little panda, Xiao-Mei, sitting obediently at her feet. True, she was still young, but she looked older than her age. What Edward couldn't believe was that he'd forgotten that she was still just a kid. He'd known her since she was eleven and had watched her grow, in some ways; and though she'd annoyed him to no end for the first few months he knew her, he'd actually grown to care about her a lot. She was staying in Resembool, living in the Rockbell home with Pinako and Al and spending most of her time either with the younger Elric or over with Winry at the small home Edward, her, and Josh were now living in right down the road from Pinako's. It was obvious she was in love with him, just by the way she looked at him, eyes so innocent and joyful and filled with love, and Edward had come to realize not too long ago that, though he never out rightly said it, Al had fallen just as hard for her. "What about when she turns eighteen?"
Al was quiet for a moment, then stated, "I don't know."
"Aw, c'mon," Ed said, propping himself up to lean over Alphonse. "It's obvious you like her. A lot. It's probably even love."
Alphonse blushed again, but didn't deny it. Instead, he said, "I just don't want to rush anything."
"Like I did?"
"You know that's not what I meant. You and Winry were ready to get married. It's still kinda surprising though that you were ready," he said, smiling at his older brother.
Ed laughed, looking over at his wife as she leaned down to lift a towel from the basket beside her on the ground, taking in her curves, the way her hair fell over her shoulder as she moved; she laughed at something May said as she stood back up with the towel, saying something in return that Edward couldn't make out.
And that's when he noticed the trail of clothes covering the grass. Confused, he sat up and followed the shirts and pants and underwear that traveled across the yard; the line finally ended by the house, and Ed saw Josh sitting near the front steps, one of his shirt in his hands.
"Uh, Winry?" he called, trying to keep from laughing. She looked over at him, waiting for him to continue; biting the inside of his mouth to keep from grinning, he pointed toward the house.
And when Winry looked over and saw the trail their son had left and saw Josh sitting in the grass, the shirt now in his mouth as he bit at it, she immediately dropped the item of clothing she'd been holding and took off toward him.
At that, Edward couldn't keep the great burst of laughter from breaking out of his chest and he simply watched as Winry reached the baby, then tried to take the shirt from him. He heard Josh shriek, yanking on the shirt, trying to pull it back from Winry's grasp. Alphonse was sitting up now, laughing along with him; May was watching, torn between helping Winry and joining the brothers in their laughter. To keep from hurting Winry's feelings, she stayed where she was and kept herself from slipping into hysterics.
As Winry finally got the shirt free, a loud, extremely shrill cry sounded out from Josh, and Winry turned away from him and quickly began picking up the clothes he'd dragged away from the basket. Edward's laughter died away as he watched her, taking in the way she looked incredibly upset and guilty, her teeth biting at her bottom lip. Standing up, he walked toward her, Josh's cries still present, but he knew his son could wait; Al and May could watch him for a moment. "Winry?" he asked once he reached her.
"It was my fault, I was listening to May and forgot to check on him," she said, voice sounding incredibly fragile all of a sudden.
"It's fine," Ed said, trying to reassure her. "It wasn't serious or anything, he just pulled the clothes away."
"It could have been," she whispered, trying not to let Al or May hear. "He could have crawled off and gotten hurt and I wouldn't have even known about it." Her eyes were getting wet, filling with tears, and she looked up at Edward, sighing shakily. "It's my fault."
Frowning slightly, Edward put his hand on her head and pulled her into his side; she rested her head against his shoulder, her other hand grasping his. "Don't say something like that," he said, gently rubbing his hand over her hair. "If it helps, I wasn't watching him either."
"But you didn't have to," she said softly.
"I'm his father; of course I have to."
She looked up at him, eyes large and still moist, but she smiled slightly. Not saying a word, she nodded, and he smiled at her; words weren't necessary. Turning his back so his brother and May couldn't see, he leaned down and kissed her forehead, then whispered, "Get back to work. I got him."
He watched Winry as she walked back toward May, then turned toward the house and headed for the crying baby. "Hey, hey," he said, squatting down next to Josh as another loud cry rang out; the little boy's face was soaked with angry tears, his tiny fists at his sides as he sat there, looking up at his father with bright, liquid gold eyes. He stopped crying at the sight of him, sniffling softly, a little hiccup escaping him. Edward was in front of him, staring down at his son, and even though he knew there was nothing wrong with Josh except that he was mad, it still left his heart aching to see his son crying; this was something he was still trying to get used to, and so was Winry. It must have killed her, making him cry like that.
He reached down and picked Josh up under his armpits, then hoisted him in the air so he was looking him directly in the eye. Josh stared back, hiccupping ever so often, eyes wide and wet and containing a slightly hurt look because Winry took away his fun. Edward felt some understanding on that part; she took away his fun sometimes too. Still, he stared his son down with soft eyes, then said, "Mama's not mad at you. She just didn't want you to get hurt," in a very fatherly tone, surprising himself.
Josh's eyes widened a little, as if he understood what Edward had said; he looked over Ed's shoulder at his mother as she hung more laundry, then back at Ed, then to Winry once more before settling finally on his father. As if making sure what Edward said was true, he made a calling sound in Winry's direction.
When Winry looked over at the two, she felt herself smile. Although Ed wasn't very affectionate, even with their son, he showed enough feelings to make him feel better. Josh was watching her expectantly, and, she realized, so was Edward. He mouthed "wave", then made an eyes signal toward Josh.
And then Winry lifted her hand and waved at her baby, calling out, "Hey!" like she always did.
Eyes growing even larger, Josh's little hand flew up in response, waving furiously back at her, mouth parted as he hollered back what sounded like, "Hey!" He looked up at Ed, grinning, and Ed grinned back, waving along with his son at Winry.
It was in the afternoon, almost seven-thirty, before everyone finally headed back to their homes after dinner and Edward walked back inside his house. He'd spent the last twenty minutes or so with Alphonse, talking about everything and nothing, while Winry and Pinako cleared up the kitchen and May played with Josh. Eventually, Pinako had gone on back to her house, May staying behind to wait for Al, and it wasn't long after that that Alphonse decided to head back up the road, May at his side; Edward had smiled when he'd seen them holding hands.
Now inside, he was slightly surprised Winry wasn't in sight; neither was Josh. Looking into the kitchen and den and seeing no one, he called out, "Hey, Winry?"
"Yeah?" she called back from the direction of the bedroom. Edward walked down the hall until he came through the open door of their room and saw Winry leaning over a just washed, freshly diapered Josh, a bottle of lotion in her hand. She looked up at him and asked, "Did you need something?"
"Ah, no, just wondering where you where. When'd you give him a bath?"
"Right when Granny was leaving," she said, applying a small dollop of lotion to her hand, then warming it between her palms before rubbing it over Josh's belly and chest. The baby cooed softly, watching her with slightly droopy eyes; they immediately lifted when he saw Edward walking up beside her though. He reached for his father instinctively, but Ed simply patted his little head.
"Not yet, buddy," Edward said, watching as Josh kicked his legs while Winry rubbed them down. He pulled her hair back away from her face, throwing the long locks over her right shoulder, then wrapped his arms around her waist and held her. "So, what's on the agenda for tonight?" he asked, planting a kiss on the soft skin behind her ear.
Smirking, Winry answered, "Not yet, buddy."
Edward sighed, lessening his hold on her, but his arm remained on her waist as he pulled her around to where she was looking at him. "C'mon, Josh needs a little brother."
"Are you serious?" she asked, eyes going wide, trying to decided if he was kidding or not.
"No, not really. I just really wanna have s—"
"Edward," she said threateningly through clenched teeth; still, she was trying not to smile.
"Why not?" he whined, pouting slightly.
"Because I don't feel like it, that's why."
"When I feel like it, dammit!"
"Oh, and you get onto me for cussin' in front of Josh," Edward grumbled, releasing his hold on her so he could shove his hands in his pockets.
"…shut up," she said, turning her attention back to the baby.
Edward loved doing this. Yes, he wanted more than anything to actually sleep with his wife, but he knew it took time after pregnancy, and he tried not to rush her. She knew he was picking with her, so she always picked back, even if their words were always true.
"Since you're so willing to work," she said, crossing her arms over her chest as she faced him, "why don't you get Josh dressed for bed?"
Edward shrugged, saying, "Sure. But what are you gonna do?"
"Hmmm, nothing in particular," she replied, brushing past him and heading toward the door. "His jammies are in the top drawer of the dresser," she called over her shoulder, pointing to the small dresser against the wall by Josh's crib.
"I know that, I've dressed him before, you know."
Winry just laughed.
Making sure Josh was safely away from the edge of the bed, Edward walked to the dresser and pulled out the top drawer, reaching in and digging though the onesies inside until he found the red one he liked best. "At least she let me get this one for you," he muttered, pulling it out; of course, she'd put it on the bottom, so that told him she wasn't exactly fond of it. She'd told him long ago that while she thought he was sexy in red, it just wasn't a baby color, but Edward had replied that red was a color any badass little boy should have some clothes in.
"If you make my son badass, I'll kick your ass," she'd told him, completely serious.
Ed laughed at the memory, laying the onesie down on the bed and pulling Josh by his ankles toward him. The baby laughed, sounding suspiciously like, "weeee!", then tried to scoot away on his back. "No you don't," Edward said, pulling him right back down and holding his legs tightly to keep him from moving, even as Josh chuckled.
As he looked down at he giggling son, Edward found he couldn't believe just how much he'd grown. At first nothing but a tiny little bundle that had slept and cried way too much for Ed's liking, Josh had become an actual little person with a personality and habits, and Edward adored him. So this is what Hughes always went on about, he thought, grinning.
While Winry had decided to name the baby Joshua if it was a boy, it was Ed who had immediately started calling him Josh; before long, so did everyone else. For the first few months of his son's life, he'd done nothing but sleep and eat, cry, eat again, then sleep, and Edward had soon grown slightly bored. But after a while, he began to notice certain little things about Josh, like the way he had more hair than before, or the way he was awake more and slept less.
His favorite moment of understanding, though, had been when Josh smiled at him, a soft little giggle coming from his mouth, and he'd realized that his little boy was out of the uninteresting stage.
Looking down at his son, at the beauty of life and what he'd help bring into this world, Edward wasn't sure why he'd ever thought of his son as nothing more than a fetus.
Drawn from his remembrance, it was now to the task at hand; Edward had changed Josh plenty of times (though diapers were something he usually left to Winry), but it was usually Winry who got Josh ready for bed. She always did the same thing, covering him in sweet smelling baby lotion, then slipping him into his pajamas. That was something Edward liked the most, when Josh was all clean and warm and sleepy and he got to rock him until he fell asleep.
Edward had changed him before into his night clothes, but it hadn't been very often. It was easy, but he left this job to Winry because she enjoyed it so much; secretly, Edward liked it as well, as long as Josh didn't start to fuss. Now, the little baby watched him, waiting, flexing his small fingers.
He was just about to start dressing Josh when an idea struck him, something he'd seen Winry do thousands of times, but never doing it himself. Quickly making sure Winry was no where near the door, he put the onesie back on the bed, then leaned over to where his face was just above the baby's; Josh's breath was warm as it fanned over his face, his eyes wide and excited, unaware of what his daddy was about to do.
And then Edward kissed Josh's forehead.
He'd done this simple action countless times over the last several months, but never the way Winry did; after she'd bathe Josh, she would always start by kissing his forehead, then move to where she was kissing over his cheeks and down his little chest, kissing his belly. Edward had never been brave enough to show this display of love, but he wanted to try it.
He moved over to kiss Josh's cheek, then the other, both warm and soft and chubby under his lips. Josh's hands were on his face, rubbing over his jaw and along the stubble there as Edward came back and kissed the infant's nose. He felt Josh's eyelashes brush against his skin and he smiled, leaning up to kiss the space between his son's eyes, watching as Josh closed them, then reopened the topaz orbs. Ed moved down his son's face and over his shoulder, planting little bitty kisses on his soft skin that smelt like vanilla and oatmeal until he reached the baby's hand; he lifted it up, kissing each of his tiny fingers.
He moved over Josh's stomach, kissing his round little tummy as he listened to Josh coo, hands petting his father's hair. He planted a few more kisses along his belly before doing something he'd always wanted to do: he placed his lips to his stomach, then very quickly blew into it.
Josh burst into laughter, ringing little pearls of it, and Edward laughed as he repeated the action of blowing, tickling Josh's tummy. The baby giggled, hands thrown back as he basked in the laughter, and Ed buried his nose in Josh's stomach before pulling away, grinning down at him.
That, he had to admit, had been amazing, and he felt satisfied and so full of love that it scared him, but he allowed the feeling to grow instead of pushing it down. This was a good kind of fear, one that threatened to consume him; but he really didn't mind.
"Did you like that?" he asked, rubbing a hand over Josh's stomach, smiling as his other hand reached for the forgotten onesie. He began slipping in on over his feet, only having to stop once to get the baby to be still, and by the time he was fully dressed, Josh was kicking and shrieking and wanting to be held. Ed complied, tossing him lightly into the air before catching him, and Josh laughed even more, burying his face in his daddy's neck.
Unknown to Edward, Winry had seen most of his display of affection, but decided not to say anything; instead, she quietly turned around and went back to the kitchen, a gently smile on her face.
After Winry had fed Josh, he'd gone right to sleep, tummy full of Winry's warm breast milk, a thumb poked slightly into his mouth. Edward was gazing down at him, wanting so bad to just hold him again, but wanting more for his baby to get some sleep. He gently touched Josh's hair, holding it between his fingers, the strands soft and thin; the baby sighed softly in his sleep.
Winry wrapped her arms around him from behind, kissing his bare back with soft lips. He turned to face her, large hands landing on her hips, and her arms twined around his neck. He watched her hair as it flowed over the low cut of her nightdress, the tips brushing along the top of her breasts. Ed tried to hold the want back, instead smiling down at her; still, did she knew what she was doing to him?
Of course she did.
"You ready for bed?" he asked, trying to get away from the lust that was beginning to grow. He drew his hands away from her, throwing them up behind his head.
Winry smiled, a very innocent-though-not-really-innocent smile, and she lifted her hand, placing it on his chest. "You're heart's racing," she stated quietly.
"Is it?" he asked, suddenly nervous. What the hell was she getting at?
"Are you scared?"
She grinned, then sensuously pulled herself closer to him. Slightly startled and more than a little confused, he backed away, only to stop right before he crashed into Josh's crib; he turned to where his back was toward the wall and away from the sleeping baby. "W-what are you doing?" he asked, watching her as she drew closer.
"What do you think?" she asked, just before drawing near him and placing her lips against his throat. He inhaled sharply, blushing furiously, and she laughed against his skin. "I can feel you blushing," she said, and he flushed even more deeply, dark red staining his cheeks and traveling almost down to his chest.
"Are you trying to seduce me?" he asked, voice squeaking slightly as he managed to look down at her.
She gave him a little smirk, then repeated, "What do you think?"
"I think you are."
"You got that right."
"But…hey, you said you weren't ready!" he whispered, a sudden smile breaking over his face.
She shrugged, her hands traveling up his toned chest; one rested at his shoulder, gently massaging the scar tissue from his automail, while the other glided over the hard muscles of his chest, then down his washboard stomach, before finally stopping above the low waistband of his loose fitting sweatpants. She smiled as he shivered at her touch. "I changed my mind."
He raised an eyebrow, then asked, seriously, "You sure?"
Of course he would ask that; Edward had talked about having sex for the past few weeks, trying to get her to comply, but when it came down to it, he would never do anything that she wasn't ready for.
Winry smiled, leaning up to softly kiss his lips. "Yes."
She leaned in to kiss him more fervently, to really show him just how much she'd been wanting this, wanting him, but was stopped by Edward's finger against her lips. She raised an eyebrow, slightly annoyed.
He gave her an apologetic smile and laughed slightly, then jerked his thumb toward Josh's direction. "Um, maybe we should do this somewhere else. He just went to sleep, after all."
Again, of course he would think of that.
Winry smiled up at him against his finger, then was instantly caught up in his embrace as he picked her up, arms around her waist, and she quickly wrapped her legs around him; there was a satisfied and happy, if not predatory, tint to his eyes, and as he carried her out of the bedroom and headed toward the extra guestroom to do what married couples do, both were extremely glad Winry had finally relented.
Josh slept soundly that night to say the least.