Pairing: Implied past EdxWinry, future EdxRoy?
Summery: Everyone says it gets better, but how do I go one without her?
Shh.. No one tell my beta reader that I wrote this.
Chapter listing can be found here.
Edward sighed as he pulled into the heavily crowded parking lot, 'Damn,' he thought as he began to search for an empty spot, 'get here early and it's still packed.'
He spotted an empty space, hidden in the very back back row. It would be a bit of a walk, but it was better than parking across the street like he saw some parents did. Pulling into the spot, Edward pulled his keys out and stepped out of the car. Locking the silver vehicle as he began to walk towards the building.
Their was still twenty minutes until the school day was officially over, so Ed was in no rush. He slowly walked towards the entrance, surrounded by other parents mingling about and hyperactive younger siblings running around the pavement. He let out another sigh as he walked towards his usual spot near the short iron gate (1) and leaned against it as he began to wait. He watched as the other parents socialized, 'Probably bragging about how well little Jimmy is doing at baseball.' Edward thought, snickering slightly.
Edward jumped slightly, the deep voice startling him as he broke out of his thoughts. He turned towards the voice, seeing a dark haired male standing beside him.
“I don't believe I've seen you here before.” The man said, “Are you new to the district?”
Edward nodded slightly, “Just moved here a month ago..” he said, his voice soft.
“It's a great school.” The man said, “My boys have been going here since kindergarten.” A smile spread across his lips as he turned towards Edward, “My name's Roy by the way.” He said, extending his hand out towards Edward.
“Edward.” Ed replied, shaking Roy's hand politely before shoving his hand back into his pocket.
“Nice to meet you Edward.” Roy said, “So what grade is your kid in?”
At the thought of her, Edward's face broke into a wide grin. “Kindergarten, yours?”
“Second.” Roy said, “They're getting so big.”
“Are they twins?” Edward asked, noticing how Roy only mentioned one grade level.
“Yup, two little trouble makers.” Roy said with a smirk, “They sure know how to raise hell for me.”
Edward chuckled, “Yeah, mine's a little spitfire too.” Edward said, “My brother always tells me how she's just like me.”
The two chuckled slightly before falling into an awkward silence.
“So why'd you move up here?” Roy asked suddenly.
Edward remained silent for a few moments, “My wife...” Edward started, stumbling slightly, “She recently passed away..”
Roy's eyes softened slightly, “I'm so sorry.” he said, his voice soft and laced with concern.
Ed let out a shaky sigh as his eyes darted towards his shoes. “It was too hard, staying in that house with all the memories of her.” He said, his voice trembling slightly. “My brother offered to let me move in with him for awhile, so I took it.”
Roy was silent for a moment, “My wife passed away a few years ago.” He said softly, “I know how it is, it's hard to go on without her.” Roy said, pausing for a minute. “But I had to, the boys were so little at the time.”
“How long has it been, since she..?” Edward asked, leaving out that awful word that was just so hard to say.
Roy got a sad look in his eyes, grazing off in the distance for a few moments before replying. “It's been about five years now..” Roy said, his voice soft. “How long has it been for you?”
Edward was quiet, a deep breath pressing through his lips before he spoke. “Three months.” Edward said, the words slow and his tone soft. 'Thirteen weeks, ninety one days, two thousand one hundred and ninety one hours without her..' Edward thought, 'Three months of pure hell.'
“I'm sorry,” Roy said, “You must be going through hell right now.”
Edward nodded, “It's hard, cause I gotta keep it together for the kid.” Edward said. “She can't see her Daddy fall apart.”
“It was hard for me too.” Roy said. “Their were two of them and one of me, and I had to try to keep myself together while figuring out how to be a single parent.”
“My brother has been a big help to me.” Edward said. “He's just willingly stepped in to help raise his niece, it's like Full House just without Joey.” Edward said, chuckling.
Roy let out a laugh, “Good one.” He said, smiling. “My best friend has helped me a lot, his daughter is just a few months older than my boys.”
“So you got Joey and I have Uncle Jessie.” Edward said, a smirk spreading across his lips.
“Well, he doesn't live with me.” Roy said, a string of laughter escaping his lips. “But he is pretty annoying at times.”
The bell suddenly rang, it's loud shrill sounding even outside. It surprised the two Dad's, jumping slightly as they turned to look for their little ones.
A flood of children broke through the doors, their small bodies squeezing through one another in an attempt to escape the building first. Edward watched as Mom's excitedly met their children, how they'd grab their little hands and guide them to the car to take them home. He felt a pang of sadness eat at his heart, the wounds were just so raw. 'I should've had Al get her again..' Edward thought, 'This is just too hard..'
Ed turned at the sound of his name, seeing Roy still standing beside him. “Hm?” He mumbled in a reply, not trusting his voice right now.
“I know it's hard right now, and all you want to do is lay in bed and just wallow in misery...” Roy trailed off, “But it does get better.”
Edward was about to give him a bitter rebuttal, how could he go on without her. Who could ever replace her? How the hell could he go on without his best friend? It was on the tip of his tongue-
At the sound of her voice he turned, watching as the little girl- his little girl- with golden blonde hair and sapphire – that looked so much like hers – orbs sprinted towards him with open arms. Dropping to one knee, Edward enveloped the little girl in a big hug. They stayed like that for a few seconds before she excitedly pulled away. “I thought Uncle Al was going to pick me up,” She said, “but I'm so happy you picked me up Daddy!”
Edward gave his daughter a big grin before turning to to Roy. “Roy, this is my daughter Annelise.” Edward said, “Annelise this is Daddy's new friend Roy.”
Annelise gave Roy a big smile, “Nice to meet you Mr. Roy.” She said.
Roy smiled, getting down to the kindergarteners level. “It's nice to meet you too, Annelise.” He said, “How old are you?”
Annelise excitedly held up four fingers, “Four!” She said happily.
“Wow, that's really little for a kindergartener.” Roy said.
“Daddy says I'm smart so I got to go to school early.” Annelise answered, giving Roy a toothy grin.
Roy smiled, getting up from the ground and looking back at Edward, “She's a doll.” Roy said.
“Thanks.” Edward said, beaming slightly. “She's a good kid, where are your boys?”
Roy shook his head, “Taking forever, as usual.” He said with a chuckle, watching as the doors opened and two little boys slithered out. “Here they come now,” Roy said, “wonder what trouble they caused today.”
The two boys searched the crowd of parents, quickly spotting their Dad and sprinting across the concrete towards him. Wide grins spread across their faces as they met their Dad, “Daddy!” They cried. Dropping their lunch boxes as they hugged at Roy's legs.
Roy chuckled, “It's nice to see you too, boys.” Roy said, ruffling their raven colored locks. “Can you get your lunch boxes for me?” He asked.
The two boys nodded, quickly releasing their Dad's legs and going to gather their lunch boxes.
Edward smiled, “Cute kids.” Edward said, “They look so much a like.”
“Thanks,” Roy said, watching the boys. “It was hard to figure out who was who when they were babies, but after awhile it was easy to tell them apart.”
The boys came back, handing Roy their lunch boxes. “Thank you boys.” Roy said, “Now I want you to meet my new friends.” Putting a hand on each boys shoulder, Roy turned them towards Edward, “Boys, this is Edward and his daughter Annelise.” Roy said, “Edward, this is Lucas,” he tapped the little boy on the left, “and this is Ronan, boys say hello.”
“Hello Mr. Edward.” The two boys said in unison, smiling at the adult.
Roy slowly got up from the ground, lunch boxes in hand. He was about to tell the boys to say hello to Annelise, but he quickly stopped, watching as the two boys walked towards the kindergartener.
“Hi.” The boys said in unison.
“Hi.” Annelise said, getting closer to the boys.
“I'm Lucas.” The boy on the left said.
“I'm Roman.” The boy on the right said.
“I'm Annelise.” Annelise said, smiling as she played with her hair.
“Do you like Angry Birds (1)?” Lucas asked.
“Do I!” Annelise said excitedly, “I love Angry Birds!”
“Cool, let's go play!” Roman said, throwing his backpack on the ground and sprinting towards the playground.
Annelise and Lucas giggled before quickly throwing their backpacks at their Dad's feet and chasing after Ronan.
“Lucas! Roman!” Roy shouted, “I didn't say we could- oh god, I'm sorry.” Roy said, turning towards Edward.
Edward chuckled, picking up Annelise's backpack before turning to Roy. “It's alright, we're in no rush to get home.” Edward replied with a grin, “Plus it'll tire 'em out, then they can go to bed sooner.”
Roy nodded, gathering his sons backpacks and throwing them on his shoulder, “Good thing it's Friday.” He said.
Edward nodded, watching as his daughter excitedly went down the slide. Giggling as she slid into the mulch before quickly getting up and chasing after the boys – God, he couldn't tell which boy was which.
“Our kids really seem to get along.” Edward commented.
“They do.” Roy said with a smile, “We should get together and do a play date or something one day.”
Edward turned towards Roy with a smile, “Annelise would really like that.” he said.
“You know,” Roy said. “We really seemed to hit it off too..”
Edward slowly nodded, “Yeah we did..”
“It's nice talking to someone who gets it.” Roy said. “Isn't it?”
Edward let out a sigh, “It is.” Ed replied, “You're the first person who hasn't given me the sugar coated sympathy speech, those just made me feel worse.”
“Those were the worst..” Roy mumbled, “All they say is how they're sorry and how it'll get better..” Roy groaned slightly, running his fingers through his hair. “It never made me feel better.”
Edward nodded, “It's been really nice talking to you, Roy..”
“I've enjoyed talking to you too, Edward.” Roy said with a smile.
“...You can call me Ed, if you want.” Edward said with a soft smile.
“Well Ed, if you ever want our kids to have a play-date,” Roy said, pulling out a piece of paper and pencil from one of the boys backpack he scribbled a number down. “then give me a call.” he said, handing Edward the scrap of paper. “Or it could be just us, it's nice to get a break every once and a while.”
Edward took the sheet of loose leaf paper, eying the number scrawled out in messy penmanship. “Thank you.” Edward said, shoving the piece of paper in his pocket. “I really appreciate it Roy.”
Roy smiled, “It's no problem.” he said, suddenly hearing the sounds of screaming he quickly turned around, “Boys! You better be playing nice!” he shouted.
They were quiet for a minute, both parents watching their kids for a minute. “Hey..” Roy started, “If you ever need to talk, you can always call or text me..” Roy said.
Edward smiled slightly, “Thank you.” He said, “Hey I'll talk to you later, I've got to get the kid.” Edward said, chuckling slightly as he waved goodbye to Roy.
“Annelise!” Edward shouted as he walked towards the play equipment, “Annelise, it's time to go home!”
He watched as the petite child waved goodbye to her new friends, smiling as she began to run towards he Dad. “Let's go home now sweetie!” Edward said, taking hold of the little girls hand as they began to walk towards the car in now near empty parking lot.
“Daddy, can I play with Lucas and Roman again?” Annelise asked they reached the car.
“Well, Mr. Roy and I were thinking you guys could have a playdate one day.” Edward answered as he unlocked the car. Opening the back door before picking the four year old up and placing her in her car seat. “Can you buckle yourself up?” Edward asked, the little girl nodded and Edward watched her to make sure she did it correctly.
After Annelise was all buckled up, Edward shut the door and made his way to the drivers seat. Starting the car up, Edward began to exit the parking lot and make his way home.
The car ride was nearly silent, Annelise quietly entertained by her thoughts. Not speaking until they were approaching a stoplight. “Daddy?” She asked quietly.
“What sweetie?” Edward asked, eyes focused on the road.
“Are you and Mr. Roy gonna have a playdate?” Annelise asked innocently.
Edward slammed hard on the breaks, inches away from the stop light. “W-What?” Edward asked, started at such a question. “No, Annelise where would you get such an idea?”
Annelise gave him an innocent look, “You and Mommy used to go on playdates..” she answered.
Edward let out a long drown out sigh, “Sweetie, playdates aren't the same as the dates Mommy and I went on..” Edward answered, watching as the light went green he quickly speed across the street. 'You're almost home, just try to make it home.'
“Daddy..” Annelise started, her voice softer than usual.
“What?” Edward asked, his mind focused on making it home.
“I miss Mommy..” Annelise answered, her voice near tears.
Thirteen weeks, ninety one days, two thousand one hundred and ninety one hours..
“I miss her too, sweetie.” Edward said, trying to keep his voice from breaking. 'You can do it Edward, keep it together for her...'
'That's all you can do, keep it together for her..'
Uploaded this awhile ago on my journal, but thought I'd post it here too.