His Father’s Son

Edward and Alphonse were nearly inseparable almost from the day Alphonse was born—certainly from the day their father left, an event that was etched in Trisha's mind like an engraving of misery, although she tried to not think on it too much. Edward was an amazingly perceptive child, just like his father. It made her smile—he had his father's eyes, too, almost pure gold—but it made her a little afraid. She did not want him to pick up on the part of her that disappeared with Hoenhiem.

But Edward was mostly occupied with Alphonse. He'd always shown a fondness for Winly's father Mr. Rockbell, who would pick up Winly and hug her, rub his cheek against hers so she could declare his stubble tickled, kiss her and read her bedtime stories; Trisha would have sworn Edward was emulating him. Most nights after she tucked Edward in bed and lay down herself, she would hear the wooden creak of an opening door, then soft, hesitant foosteps towards the room next to hers. She knew, if she just opened the door, she would see Edward with a big book under his arm and his favorite blanket trailing after him, sneaking, as much as two-year-olds could sneak, into Alphonse's room. And if she listened carefully enough, she could hear Edward reading in a low voice to a gurgling Alphonse.

Reading at two years old. It made Trisha want to laugh and shake her head at once. Truly Edward was his father's son, a genius at every level.

She didn't have the heart to tell Edward that he shouldn't keep Alphonse up since he needed his sleep, not when that little, childish voice picking out the hard words and crooning the only lullaby Edward had ever liked to Alphonse made her smile and helped her sleep, too.

She did not mind that every morning before Edward woke up, she would come into Alphonse's room and find Alphonse cradled in Edward's arms, cheek to cheek with him. She did not mind that she would have to carefully separate the two and carry Edward back to his room.

Hoenhiem, she would think every morning as she made breakfast, would never have read the children bedtime stories, as sweet as he was.

Part of her was glad that Edward was not just his father's son.