Series: Manga, but proably slightly AU.
Rating: PG-13 for talk of certain medical issues.
Characters: Roy Mustang, Riza Hawkeye, one other.
Summary: Never forget what is most precious to you.
Warnings: No real spoilers.
Roy paced nervously back and forth in the waiting room of the hospital. The one time he had attempted to sit down, his feet were tapping so anxiously that he stood back up after less than a minute. The room was deathly quiet. The only sound was his stomach growling. A quick glance out the only window in the room confirmed that it was still well before dawn. Briefly, he contemplated getting a cup of coffee.
But only briefly. He had other things to worry about.
For the fourth time in less than 15 minutes, he glanced up at the clock. If he didn't know better, he would have sworn that the clock was moving backwards. Damnit! How long would it take for a doctor to tell him what was going on?
He had been pacing back and forth for close to 8 hours. It seemed like a lifetime ago when Roy was in an evening meeting at work Things had been going well when someone knocked at the door. A Lieutenant walked up to him, and immediately, his heart lept into his chest. Instinctively, he knew that something was seriously wrong. The soldier saluted the Colonel and didn't say anything, he just handed Roy a scrap of paper, then turned and left. There were only four words on it when he unfolded it- written in Havoc's messy, familiar scrawl. 'Riza in the hospital.' Everything after that had been a blur of hasty phone calls, weaving through the evening traffic to get to the hospital, and waiting.
And more waiting.
A lot of waiting.
His eyes canted back up the clock again. Three minutes had passed since he last checked. How much longer would he have to wait? He knew that he would wait as long as it took. When it had to do with his wife, he would wait until the end of time..
For a moment, his world stopped. His heart rose into his throat. He turned around to face the man who would give him the news that could lift his heart... or utterly destroy his world.
"What is it, doctor? How is she?"
The doctor didn't answer, he just turned around towards the door and gestured for Roy to follow.
After the first three turns, Roy was well and truly lost. He had no idea where he was going or how to get back to where he'd been. But he was finally going to see his wife, and that was all that mattered. Still, why hadn't the doctor said anything when he came in? He steeled himself for the worst, drawing himself up into a tall, straight stance as the doctor stopped at a door.
"You can go in, but please be quiet."
Roy put his hand on the doorknob. He had to stop and take a few deep breaths to calm his racing heart before opening the door to a darkened room. He could hardly see inside, but there was just enough residual light from the dim hallway to see a form in a bed in the corner of the room.
"Roy?" The voice was unmistakeable, and his shoulders sagged deeply in relief. He didn't bother closing the door behind him before he ran over to his wife and kissed her on the forehead.
"Riza.. I was so afraid. The doctor wouldn't tell me anything..." He couldn't stop kissing all over her face, cheeks, and neck. She tried to push him away gently, but she was too weak, and he was too lost in being able to see her again for him to notice. Finally, a small cry stopped his movements dead. He pulled away from her quickly, his eyes going wide.
"Riza..." He looked down at the small bundle that she was holding, and his jumbled mind cleared- the reason for all of his worry- nine months of anxiousness came rushing back to him.
"Roy, say hello to your son."
"My... " He felt his knees weaken under him, and leaned heavily on the edge of her bed to stop from collapsing to the ground.
"Come sit on the bed?” She patted a spot next to her. Somehow Roy found his way into a sitting position, pressing lightly against Riza's side. His son. He had never thought this day would come, when they could get married and start a family of their own. It was something that they had both wanted for so long. But here they were, all three of them.
"Do you want to hold him?" Her amused voice broke him out of his thoughts.
"I'm... not sure.. I don't know how. I.. don't want to drop him."
Riza chuckled softly. "You won't drop him. Here, just put your arms like this." Roy watched how she was holding the small bundle of blankets and emulated her position. He was trying to make sure that he had it right when he felt the warm, slightly wriggling form put into his arms.
Before he could even think about what he was doing, he quickly shifted himself so that his child was held closer to his body, moving him into a safer position. Roy didn't even realize that he had done it, but Riza had, and her smile grew. She always knew that he was going to be a great father, now she just had to convince him of it.
For a moment, Roy couldn't even look down at this tiny life that he held tight. He was afraid that if he did, his wonderful dream would come crashing down around him, and he would but stuck in his reality, waking up alone.
"Roy, you haven't said hello to him."
Finally, his eyes moved downwards, and he pulled the blanket open enough to see his son for the first time. His skin was still reddish purple and splotchy, his hair was wet and plastered to his skull, and his eyes were shut so tight that he seemed to be straining to keep them closed.
He was the most beautiful thing that Roy had ever seen.
It was too soon to tell who he looked like in the face, but the thick mop of black hair on his head left absolutely no doubt there. "Hey, son..." Roy leaned down and kissed his child on the top of his forehead, making the boy wiggle a little, though his eyes stayed closed.
"Maes would have loved to have seen you. Such a handsome little guy. Gonna be fighting off the girls when you get older, aren't you?"
"Oh... well, we were so busy working and worrying and getting ready that we never talked about names, did we?"
"No... I guess not."
"If you want to name him Maes, it'd be okay. I'm sure Gracia would be honored."
He looked down to his son, who seemed to be waking up a little. He was wiggling, but his eyes were still closed. "I wonder, will I be able to look at him, and know that he is sharing my dead best friend's name? Will it hurt every time I have to call him, or tell him that I love him, because I never got to tell Maes how much of a brother he was to me?"
"I don't know, Roy.” Riza sighed softly. “I'm sure that he knew how much you meant to him. I would bet he felt the same way. But, if you think it'll be too hard, it can be his middle..."
"No." He cut her off. "I'd like to call him Maes. And his middle name can be Berthold."
"You want to name him after my father?"
"He's the reason we're here right now."
"Maes Berthold Mustang. Poor kid's gonna get a complex." They both had a good chuckle at that.
"Hey, kiddo. You hear that? Little Maes. I'm positive you'll live up to your name." He leaned down and kissed his son once again. It definitely hurt to say his best friend's name, but he hoped that with time, the ache in is heart would lessen.
Finally, Maes opened his eyes. He blinked a couple of times and stared up at Roy, like he was trying to make out what this strange blur was in front of him. He had been used to a different blurry form looking down at him, and now there was this- something dark and deep and rumbly. Maes wasn't sure that he liked that at all. He kicked out his little feet and cried softly.
"He.. has my eyes." Two tiny little dark eyes, wet with tears looked back up at Roy. "Maes. Little Maes. Don't cry. It's just your father. I love you and I'll never let anything hurt you, stop crying, please."
It came as a surprise to both of them when he did stop crying, settling down into a soft, keening whimper. Roy handed him back to his mother and ran a hand through his black hair. "He's perfect, Riza. I can't believe it. When I came home last night, I thought you'd fallen down the stairs, and I feared the worst. If anything had happened to either of you I..."
This time Riza stopped him, gently putting a finger to his lips to quiet him. "Poor Roy. You must've worried yourself to death waiting. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you myself. As soon as my water broke, everything started pretty quickly. I called Central, but they wouldn't patch me through to you. So I talked to Havoc, and he said that he'd get the message to you. It was a long and painful labor. He's a fighter from the start."
"My little boy." Roy beamed, looking at the child, who was once again asleep against his mother's breast, his tiny hand curled around the edge of her hospital gown.
"He may look more like me, but he's going to be a momma's boy. Look at him. I stopped him from crying once, but he's totally relaxed in your arms."
"But he just met you, and I've been with him since before he was born- his entire life so far. Give him a little time. I know he'll love you as much as you love him."
Roy started to chuckle, but it quickly grew to a full on, belly wrenching laugh.
"Roy, what is it? You're cackling like a madman."
"I was just thinking to myself that I wish I had a camera right now. I'm afraid I'm going to turn into Maes Hughes. If I ever do that- if I ever become even half as obsessed as that goofball was, you have my permission to shoot me."
Riza shifted the little boy in her arms so she could lean over to kiss her husband on the lips. "As soon as we're out of the hospital, I'm going to ask Gracia if we can borrow her camera. I want us to have as many memories as we can of the three of us together."
One pervasive thought hung over the room, something neither of them wanted to talk about. Maes had only had a few years with his daughter. Even though Amestris was now more safe and stable than it had been in several generations, they had no idea how long either of them would be around, and they wanted to enjoy every single moment that they all had.
"Okay." Roy replied softly and kissed her back. He got up and stretched. This had tapped the last of his energy reserves, and his body was screaming for either coffee or sleep. He didn't want to miss a moment with his wife and their son- even for sleep, so he chose coffee.
"I'll be back in just a second. I need something to keep my eyes open."
He came back a couple of minutes later with coffee for himself and ice water for his wife. "Sorry, doctor's orders." He said with a sheepish, guilty grin- the type of grin that meant that he really wasn't sorry at all.
Maes was still sleeping, and she shifted him to one arm so she could drink with the other. Roy's eyes widened and he put his cup down. "Wait, I'll hold him. I don't want him to slip out of your arm.."
The look she gave him stopped him cold. He knew that look all too well. It was 'I know what the hell I am doing and don't you dare try to stop me'. He'd seen it many times through their years together- first working with her, then becoming her wife, and throughout her pregnancy. It had not been an easy pregnancy. Since she was over thirty, the doctors wanted her to take it easy earlier along. There had been a couple of scary moments, but the last thing she wanted was to be treated like she was a porcelain doll.
Riza held Maes tight with one arm while sipping her ice water with the other, and couldn't resist giving Roy a positively smug 'I told you so' look. Roy grinned back at her. He was so happy that he had his wife and child here with him that he didn't even care that he was wrong. "Okay, Okay. I give. You win." He held his hands out in a placating gesture, then went back to sipping his coffee."
The two enjoyed a comfortable silence for a while, at least until Maes decided to remind them both of his presence with a full on, red faced, kicking and screaming fit.
Roy panicked. He had no idea why his son had gone from sleeping to total meltdown in mere seconds. His eyes darted around the room. "Did he hurt himself? Is he in pain? What's wrong? What can I do?"
All Riza could do was shake her head and smile. She had thought that after Roy had held his son so naturally that he was going to take to fatherhood easily, but apparently that was not going to be the case. If he panicked over the smallest things, then it was going to be a long childhood for both the boy, and his father.
"Relax, Roy, Please. If he sees you're nervous, it'll make him feel worse. The doctor told me that a baby can sense when people are upset, and it makes them upset as well. Most likely, he's either hungry or his diaper needs to be changed. He seems to be hungry a lot, so I'll start there. I've fed him twice already."
"Feed him? What does..." A pause, then a grin. "Oh, lucky boy. He gets full access to those nice swollen breasts of yours while I have to sit back and keep my hands off."
Riza ignored the lascivious content. She pushed her gown aside and situated Maes at her breast. He seemed to get the idea right away, latching on and suckling at full force.
"Does it.. hurt?"
"A little, they're tender. But he only has gums right now, so it isn't too bad."
The new mother looked down warmly at her son, who was still gripping hard at her gown, his other little balled fist tensing and relaxing with each suckle. The only sound in the room was the soft sucking noise from Maes, and it lulled her into a soft, pleasant daze while she enjoyed the bonding of mother and son. After a few minutes, she noticed another sound in the room- soft, slow, long breaths.
When Riza looked up, she found that her husband had fallen asleep in the chair. His head was lolled to the side, and he was slumped slightly forward. He had a smile on his face. Even in his sleep- unguarded and unaware, she could see how happy he was. It had taken a lifetime, but they had finally found their happiness.
"Roy, what am I going to do with you?" She gently pulled Maes away from his meal, which warranted a whining cry for a few moments until he seemed to realize that sleep was what he wanted more than food, and his little eyelids started to droop.
Riza kissed him gently, put him in the small bassinet on the other side of the bed and tucked him in, then pulled an extra blanket off her the foot of her bed and laid it gently over Roy's sleeping form- being careful to be gentle enough that she wouldn't wake him. But she needn't have worried, he was deep in slumber.
When everyone else had been taken care of, she finally settled down into her bed. Funny, she thought to herself. I'm already acting like a mother, making sure everyone else is happy first. She smiled at that thought. A mother. It was going to take some getting used to, but with her husband by her side, she knew that all three of them were going to do just fine.