A/N: I wrote this for the FMA Fanfiction contest for prompt 126: Heart BUT since my laptop doesn't seem to enable copy paste technique, I couldn't get this published in time.
Man, I'm angry.
This is AU story, but takes elements from both Manga and Anime 1.
I hope you enjoy this!
The Watchdog's Song
Jean Havoc knew there were many kinds of love and he was lucky he could say he had experienced each of them.
There was love for his family; the people who had made him what he was: His mother with her constant worrying, his father and his positive attitude and his little sister who was always able to get him back on his feet and make him laugh.
Unlike many other men in his unit, he still had close ties with his relatives, mainly because he came from the countryside. Unlike many who were in Christmas card term, he called his family frequently and visited them in his holidays unless Mustang had some important job for him. During the war, communication between them had practically. It had been his way to help his family, to protect them from the grim facts; the less they knew the better.
From his childhood, he had learned to treat everyone equally and that family became before anything else. Yet, his father always reminded him, family didn't need to be related by blood.
That aphorism was going to make him go far in later life.
Yes, the Havoc family created the basis but it was the later events that would make Jean Havoc the man he was always meant to be.
There was love for his friends and boy, did he have many friends. Their group was incredibly tight, with everyone watching the others' back. The loyalty and caring hadn't been born overnight; it had been a long process which had been overshadowed by the threat of death.
Sometimes Havoc had wondered whether he and his friends had stayed close to each other only because of the dangers they knew they were about to face. Were they only staying together because Mustang had single handedly chosen them to fight by his side? Over time, all of them had begun to question their motives of staying in Central City, in the Mustang unit, and little by little, usually in a bar, they had confessed their uttermost fears and feelings.
To his surprise, even Mustang had been thinking of the same questions. To his delight, everyone wanted to stay in the group because they genuinely cared for each other. Each of them felt they were more than co-workers.
They were brothers in arms.
Then there was sexual love.
After the war, he had seriously started to look for a life partner. He had been dating occasionally, hoping to find the one for him. Yes, Havoc knew he was a romantic and maybe that was why it had taken him so long to actually find someone with whom he could think of spending the rest of his days. He had high dreams for the future and wanted to find someone who could share those dreams with him.
Mustang had also tried to help him- by enchanting every woman he ever met. It had taken him years to find out the true motive behind the act, and the one to reveal it had been Maes Hughes, may he rest in peace.
He had been angry with the Colonel's latest act and had complained about it to Hughes over a glass of whiskey. At first, he had thought the man was only trying to protect Mustang; after all, he knew they were best friends. But when he had listened to the man's explanation, everything had started to make more sense.
Mustang was only trying to help him find a girl suitable for him. Mustang cared for him so much he didn't want him to be with someone who wasn't completely devoted to him.
After that talk, he had held the Colonel in ever higher regard. But still, the fact that the Colonel had such charm made him feel inferior. What was it that he was missing? Could he ever make a woman completely satisfied?
Little did he know, he had all the time been looking in the wrong places.
It had started out as a friendship. They could talk to each other openly, tell their worries to each other, and tease each other slightly. After some time, Havoc wasn't even sure how it all had developed, they had started seeing each other alone, in a café usually. Little by little, they started to notice certain attraction in one another. After their first night together, they both knew there was no going back.
"You make such a handsome pair," Gracia smiled.
"I knew there was something going on," Edward nudged his side.
"I wish all the happiness for the both of you," Armstrong cried a river.
Four years after their first meeting, Catherine Elle Armstrong became Catherine Elle Havoc, and Jean Havoc married money. Havoc could still remember every detail of the day, like it had been just an hour ago. The scent of roses, his and Catherine's parents crying when they gave their vows, the party where they had danced through the night. Most of all, he remembered his fiancée, no, his wife as she walked across the aisle, escorted by her father. Hughes always said his wife had looked like an angle in her wedding dress. To Havoc, 'angle' didn't even begin to describe how beautiful his woman had looked. The closest word for that perfection was 'goddess'.
He had married a goddess.
Last, there was the love for one's children.
Jean Havoc always knew he wanted children but he also knew that working in the Military could send his whole family in danger. Hughes had been a warning to all of them. The man had been stolen from his loved ones way too early. Everyone in their group still hadn't gotten over it but most of all it had affected his children.
Elysia understood why her father had died and loved him in a way, but was sad she couldn't remember the man everyone talked about. Although Mustang, Elysia's godfather, had tried act as a fatherly figure for the girl, Havoc was still worried Elysia would grow up bitter and get into trouble.
The Elrics and Winry had gotten over Maes's death much better, mainly because they had no blood relation to the man, but still got sad whenever they started talking about Hughes. Edward, who the man had had a special relation with, went to a small train station a day's travel away on the anniversary of Hughes's dead. He did it every year but refused to tell anyone the reason for it.
Those four children, no matter how old they got Havoc would always think of them as children, were the example of the worst thing that could happen. Still, Havoc knew many soldiers and higher ups who were leading a happy, normal family life. Being in the military didn't automatically make you incapable of having a family; it just made it a bit more difficult.
Catherine had implied that Hughes's case affected his decisions too much since he had been a close companion. The world was full of dangers and they couldn't prevent their possible children from seeing the grimmer side of reality. Anything could happen; they could die in their bed that night. They couldn't build their life on probabilities of death and war.
"Even though you're a major, you still have a permission to be happy," Catherine had kissed him.
9 months later Jean Havoc cried but not out of sadness. That day, Matthew Havoc , their son, was born. The tiny, blue eyed, blond haired miracle had stolen his heart the first time he had felt him kick in Catherine's stomach. There, holding the bundle in his arms, he felt content. He couldn't get any happier than feeling his son, little Matty, grasp his finger with his hand. His life got a whole new meaning. Everything was now about Matthew.
After that day in the hospital, life became a thrilling adventure. He would relive with his co-workers the important moments of Matthew's short life. From there, life was full of laughter and accomplishments: his son's first smile, first time he turned onto his stomach, his first word!
Overnight he had turned into a family man. Bar evenings were replaced by playing peekaboo with Matty. His days off were filled with playground visits and café lunches with Catherine got thrown aside by family dinners.
He couldn't think of loving anyone more than Matthew. He loved everything about the boy. He seemed to have inherited the best parts of both him and Catherine, both mentally and physically. With Matthew, he could honestly say he had never seen a more beautiful baby than him. He knew every parent said so but Matthew was the only case with which the saying held true.
With Matthew, he felt his heart was already full and nobody else could receive the same kind of love from him.
Then Catherine told him she was expecting again.
This time, he was not only happy, he was also afraid. Sure, he was ecstatic about having another child but this time, there was also anxiety. Matthew had already stolen his heart. Could he even love the second child the same way he loved his son? Would the junior feel inferior and be overshadowed by Matthew?
Edward laughed at those thoughts.
"Oh, Jean," He shook his head while feeding his daughter from a bottle. "I felt the same way when I found out about Melissa. I was unsure whether I could ever love her as much as I should and all that. But, when the doctor placed her in my arms, I just-"
"Fell in love with her, I know," Havoc smiled at memory as he watched his son build a castle from wooden blocks.
Edward burped his daughter and set her down onto the blanket on the floor. Matthew immediately got more interested in having a playmate and stepped aside to let Melissa knock down the incomplete castle with her fist. The baby laughed at the sound and turned her head towards her father, making sure he saw how funny it was to play with blocks.
Edward laughed with the baby. Havoc watched the young man beam of happiness he deserved after years of suffering.
"Those two really get along," The older man commented. Edward nodded.
"In a couple of years, they'll be playing to get married."
Edward relaxed on the couch, closing his eyes, with a stuffed bunny on his lap.
"Really, Jean, you shouldn't worry. What you're feeling is normal. Heck, I always found it strange that you were only excited when Catherine was expecting Matthew. You're now just experiencing the anxiety for the two."
The boy, no, the adult, patted his arm with his flesh hand compassionately.
The talk with Edward had given him some new perspective but didn't ease his mind. He was still worried and Catherine also noted his strange behavior. She questioned him of his worries but Havoc denied it all. He didn't want to bother his wife who was already having enough trouble with the side-effects of pregnancy.
He was sure Catherine didn't have the doubts he had. During the 9 months the baby was inside her stomach, Catherine had time to make a special bond with the baby. She would love it from the very beginning to the end. Hell, she was willing to go through horrible pain to have the baby in her arms!
There was no questioning of her feelings.
Eventually, the dreaded day came. After long hours of agony, curses and several cups of coffee, a girl, just as beautiful as Matthew, arrived to the world.
Again, Havoc couldn't stop his tears. How could he have been worried of not loving such an adorable creature?
"Edward was right," he said and kissed the sleeping infants forehead, letting his eyes rest on the perfect features of his little baby girl.
"He told me of your worries. Oh, Jean," Catherine shook her head with a tired smile, "you can be such a fool."
"Well," he started protecting himself, "I'm still new in parenting. I swear to you, when we have another-"
"Oh, no!" Catherine covered her eyes with her palm, the memory of pain still fresh in her mind. "Jean Havoc, if you don't want a brain damage don't even mention the subject in another year, got it?"
Havoc shrugged, fair enough.
"You want to hold her?" He asked while standing up from the chair ready to hand the baby to his wife when the girl let out a cry. The crying didn't stop until he had his arms around her again.
Catherine only laughed.
"Aww, she likes her father."
Havoc sat down again and looked at his wife. Even with her hair tangled and wearing nothing but that ugly hospital gown, she still looked as beautiful as the day they got married.
He rocked the baby in his arms with a content smile on his face.
"We should give her a name. We still have weeks to the ceremony but remember how long it took us to come up with Matthew's name."
"Oh yes, I don't want people to think of me as a horrible mother for calling her 'girl'. Well, Melissa is out of question, that's for sure."
"Some pretty name," Havoc kept rocking the baby while looking at the ceiling. "But it has to be modern and not too prissy."
"How about Jessica?" Catherine suggested after a while and some suggestions. Havoc blinked.
"Jessica?" He rolled the name on his tongue.
"It is beautiful name but not too long. Plus, it begins the same way your name does. Matthew came from my family; I think it's only fair her name comes from your side."
As Havoc still said nothing, Catherine quickly added: "But it's just a suggestion. We can call her Jessica until we come up with a real name."
"What real name?" Havoc smiled. "It's perfect!"
Catherine relaxed again, happy with the decision.
"Welcome to the world, Jessica Havoc," Jean Havoc whispered.
The girl kept sleeping and the husband and wife, mother and father, looked at each other and shared the same thoughts. Soon enough, Havoc's mom would come with Matthew and their little family would be together for the first time. They knew they had many days ahead of them. Many days filled with laughter, love and hope. There would also be days when things would go downhill, when children would come sick and they would lose people important to them. But it was at that moment when Jean Havoc truly realized it wasn't the future that mattered. It was the present day and how you spent but most importantly who you spent it with. With your course always on the future, you just might lose the gems of the present day and although it was good to be prepared, too much caution would just let the possible happy moments slip past your fingers.
Yes, Jean Havoc was perfectly happy.
Now, if he only could prevent his children from gaining the Armstrong's super powers.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed! Comments are always welcome!