Disclaimer -- Arakawa owns all.
Rating -- teen
Characters/Pairing -- Roy, Ed, and Al (Implied Roy/Riza, Ed/Winry, Al/Mei)
Word Count -- 953
Warning -- none
Summary -- Al sometimes wonders about his brother.
Author’s Note -- Written for the 12_daysofficmas community.
“I still don’t see why this trip couldn’t wait.” Al stifled a yawn as the cab pulled up to general Mustang’s home.
“So you’ve said all the way here. I keep telling you, Mustang got another shipment of alchemical tomes from one of Dad’s old contacts. Dad kept a library in the southwest.”
“I know that. My point is, I just got back from Xing before you jammed me onto the train to Central. You’ve been dodging my questions ever since.” Al wanted nothing more than to spend a week in his own bed with his wife instead of being dragged across the country on some harebrained adventure Ed had dreamed up.
Ed rolled his eyes. “You know that Mei and Winry took the kids to that camp up north. Riza went with them with the girls.”
“And this means I had to come to Central why?” Al could have done with the quiet of his empty home.
“It’s lonely at home, and while you were away Riza had her baby, only it was twins.” Ed’s eyes danced.
“Twins? I’d think you should have wrote and told me that,” Al groused, or Winry or Mei. What was wrong with everyone? Were they that busy with the kids?
“I was busy,” Ed said, echoing Al’s thoughts.
“Roy’s alone with the babies, isn’t he?” Al rubbed his forehead, anticipating what his brother had in mind.
“I’m betting he’s already dead.” Ed cackled as he stepped out of the cab and paid the driver.
“You are so mean.” Al handed the cabbie a tip. “Though, Roy might be grateful for some help.”
Ed wrinkled his nose as he got the luggage out of the trunk. “I don’t plan on helping.”
“You are so awful.” Al took his luggage, shaking his head.
“I’m exactly what you expect.” Ed retorted cheerily, sauntering up to Roy’s house, then knocked loudly before he discovered the doorbell. If the babies had been asleep, they weren’t now.
Roy opened the door. Al gaped. Roy’s usual causal messy hair was full on disastrous, sticking up all over. His eyes ere so bloodshot, the rings under them were so dark he looked like a hung-over raccoon. Ed, being his usual gentlemanly self busted out laughing.
“Fullmetal, you’ve been waiting to hear this for years. Kill me. Please!” Roy begged piteously.
“Oh, hell no. You deserve to suffer.” Ed slapped Roy’s arm.
“Alphonse, you can do it,”
“I think not, Roy. It’ll be fine. You’ll see.” Al pushed past him.
“You don’t know. I get one to sleep and the other wakes up.” Roy shut the door behind them. “Even worse, sometimes they’re awake together, and I swear they coordinate their pees and poops.”
“Looking at your face probably makes them shit.”
“Ed!” Al narrowed his eyes. “Be nice.” He nudged his brother. “We can go to the guest rooms later. Let’s see those babies first.”
“Want to keep one, Alphonse?” Roy sounded almost serious.
“I’m sure Riza will notice one’s missing.” Al laughed.
“But I’m betting they look just like yours and Mei’s kids. You can just blend him in,” Ed said.
“See? Edward understands.” Roy beckoned them toward the living room. Amid the chaos of stuffed toys and other minutia was a play pen from Roy’s older children. The twins lay in the middle of the pen on their backs. Both were awake. One had his toes in his mouth.
“I should be so flexible.” Ed grinned.
“It would be wasted on you.” Roy shot back sounding more like himself. “Poor Winry.”
“Dick!” Ed waved down at one baby who gurgled. “Too bad. I was hoping they’d look more like Riza, you know cute.”
“Roy, Ed, if the twins first words are dick and ass, Riza will shoot you both,” Al said, wagging his head.
“Cheerfully. Everyone’s already sure I can’t handle the twins on my own for four days,” Roy agreed.
“Look at you.” Ed swept a hand at Roy. “You’re a mess. They’re right, you can’t.”
Roy shot him an obscene gesture that Riza would shoot him for as well if the babies learned it. “The one with his foot in his mouth is Richard and the other is Ryan.”
“May we pick them up?” Al looked over at Roy who flopped on the couch.
“Sure. They’re awake.”
Al lifted Richard up and Ed took Ryan. The twins did look like their father, same dark hair and almond eyes. Richard tried to focus on Al, then touched his cheek with his tiny little fingers. Richard smiled, kicking in delight, not at all shy.
“Roy, they’re beautiful,” Al said, but Roy didn’t answer.
Ed snorted and nodded to the couch. Roy was slumped over, eyes shut. “He’s out cold. Wimp.”
“Be fair, Ed. We’ve not tried to raise twins,” Al said, cuddling Richard.
“Yet.” Ed made a face. “I can’t imagine it times two though, all the feedings and changings.”
“You keep teasing Roy and you’ll end up with twins,” Al warned.
Ed shuddered. Al didn’t think it would keep him quiet for long, but for now, they could watch over Roy’s children and let him get a well-earned nap. Looking at new alchemy books could wait. Al, for one, was happy with a little quiet time. Maybe he and Mei should think about having another one. Al had forgotten how sweet they smelled and how well they fit into his arms. He loved being a father, something not that long ago, stuck in that armor, he thought might be impossible. Feeling Richard squirming in his arms, Al counted his blessings. Maybe twins wouldn’t be so bad, but that was a conversation for another day. For now he was content.