Pairing: Implied Edward/Winry
Izumi always hated being in the hospital. The stale, disinfectant smell made her nose cringe. For once, though, she wasn’t there for herself so the discomforting thought of the place didn’t enter her mind as she walked toward the maternity ward. Through another set of double doors to another quiet white hall, the only inhabitant of which stood in front of a wide pane window, Izumi smiled when she saw him.
To say that Edward was a little worse for wear was the understatement of the century. His hair was tied messily into a ponytail and the clothes he’d rushed to dress in from two days ago were still as wrinkled as ever. Dark bags lined the undersides of his eyes and she could see the faint beginnings of light beard along his jaw. Ed looked exhausted, Izumi wondered how long he’d gone without sleep, yet he seemed more awake and alive than she remembered seeing him in a long time. Her presence didn’t go unnoticed by him as she came to stand by his side, though Ed seemed unwilling or unable to tear his eyes away from the slumbering infant on the other side of the glass, resting in the cot labeled ‘Elric’.
She wanted to ask him how he felt . . . if he should take a rest. But at the fire in his eyes her words stuck in her throat and she merely smiled. Her eyes turned then, with his, to lock on the small cot once again. Ed was a father, and he seemed so damn proud of it.
"His name's Jacob Alphonse Elric," He said in such a soft tone that she nearly laughed, it was strange for such a tone to belong to an Elric brother that wasn't 6'2" and made of metal.
Ed breathed out on a sort of giddy laugh, “It was Winry’s idea.”
Izumi’s eyes lit with mirth, “And a worthy name, indeed. How is she?”
“The doctors are doing a checkup on her now but they tell me she’ll be fine,” he sobered.
“Then shouldn’t you be with your wife instead of wandering around?” a slender eyebrow rose inquiringly at him. Edward grinned sheepishly and suddenly he was 16 again, rubbing the back of his head with his automail hand in the wake of a scolding from his sensei.
“I know, I know but . . . I just needed to see.”
She discarded of the ruse and patted his shoulder lightly, “Then I’ll leave you be.”
Her hands hadn’t grazed the doors for more than a second before Edward called her back.
“I . . . feel strange,” uncertainty crept silkily into his tone making him seem even more like a teenager instead of the 24-year-old he actually was.
You’ve been awake nearly 48 hours, Ed. You’re exhausted,” she told him with admonishing bemusement.
He shook his head slightly as if trying to clear his thoughts, “It isn’t that . . . I mean I don’t feel tired. I’m just . . . excited and . . . bewildered and petrified all at once. I can’t get my head around this. . . this whole . . .” He struggled for words; talking had never been his strong point.
“Beautiful mess?” Izumi offered him.
Ed sighed, “Yes.”
She chuckled slightly and rested her hands on his shoulders, gazing softly into the those familiar gold irises that had finally reached height level with hers.
“It’s okay to be scared. This experience wouldn’t be worthwhile without that fear. But letting fear account for doubt is what will turn the outcome grim,” Izumi told him, “People may say you look like your father, and they might be right, but you are your own man, Edward. So don’t forget this.” Her hand strayed to rest against his thudding chest. “Don’t forget what you felt when you first saw Jacob Alphonse Elric come into the world.”
Ed nodded stiffly, his throat working to form words that refused to come. Instead, he settled for a small smile as she pulled away from him. Turning back to the glass once again, he made sure his bangs hid his face as he continued his vigil. Izumi told him she would see him later, to which he gave no reply. Call it mother’s intuition or something; she didn’t need to see the tears on his cheeks to know they were there.