[Edward and Claus are in bed together, snuggling in their sleep. Claus opens her eyes first.]
Claus: Hey, beautiful.
Edward: Shouldn't that be my line?
Claus: No way, sugar. You're way prettier than I am.
Edward: [sarcastically] Great.
[Claus gets out of bed and begins dressing.]
Claus: [mentally debating between two articles of clothing] Sometimes I wish we could all just walk around naked.
Edward: Have some decency, lady. You're a married woman.
Claus: Hmph. My husband is a lazy slob.
Edward: [sleepily] Am not.
Claus: [while pulling shirt over head] The kids need new summer clothes.
Edward: I love you.
Claus: Why yes, dear, I will do it for you.
Edward: I love you even more.
[Exit Claus. Edward rolls over and prepares to go back to sleep. There is a sudden scream from off-screen and Edward sits up.]
Kelly: GIVE IT BACK!!
[Edward groans and flops back onto the pillows, hands over face. End scene.]
[Edward is brushing his teeth in the bathroom. He just got out of the shower. Enter Claus.]
Claus: Have I ever told you how much I love your battle scars?
Edward: [without removing toothbrush] Yeah, about a bajillion times.
Claus: Bajillion, Edward? Really?
Edward: Hey. [He points his toothbrush at her.] I spend a lot of time around children.
Claus: Mmm. [She wraps her arms around his waist.] I love you.
Claus: Yeah. Almost as much as your scars.
Edward: And here I thought you married me for my money.
Claus: What money?
Edward: Ha, ha. [He goes back to brushing his teeth. The children shout from off-screen:]
Logan: Hey, Dad, you'll help me with my alchemy, right?
Samantha: Dad! My earring got stuck in my hair!
Andrea: Dad! Gregory is saying bad words!
Gregory: Am not!
Kelly: [screaming] Daddy!
[Edward freezes with his toothbrush in his mouth. He looks frightened and turns pleading eyes on Claus. She appears immune.]
Claus: Looks like you're popular this morning, Ed. [She smirks as she pulls out her makeup bag, pushes Edward away from the mirror, and settles in.]
Edward: [whining] Claus...
[Logan, Samantha, Gregory, and Andrea are sitting around the table eating pancakes while Edward pours himself some coffee and Claus serves the children bacon. Enter James and Kelly. James has one of Kelly's dolls and she is chasing him.]
Kelly: Give it back! It's mine!
James: No way! I'm gonna blow it up!
Kelly: [screaming] No! Daddy! [She begins to cry.]
Edward: James, give your sister back her doll. Unless you want it of course, in which case I'll be sure to get you one for all birthdays and Christmases in the future.
[James thrusts the doll at Kelly with a disgusted look on his face. Edward and Claus seat the two children around the table and serve them breakfast. Enter Trisha from a different direction than the others.]
Edward: Aren't you a little young for a walk of shame?
Edward: Well, where were you then?
Trisha: [shiftily] I was with Tim.
Trisha: Ugh! Dad! Make them shut up.
Edward: Don't look at me; I'm with them.
[Exit Trisha in a teenage rage. Edward and Claus walk into the kitchen to talk privately.]
Claus: Come on, Ed. You don't know that's what she was doing.
Edward: Claus. She was with her boyfriend all night. What else do you think would've kept them occupied for that long?
Claus: Well... [She pretends to ponder his question.] Mm, nope, I can't think of anything. That could just be me, though. [They laugh.] Seriously, though, Ed. Maybe a different approach will get her to talk to you about it, hm?
Edward: What d'you mean talk to me about it? Has she talked to you about it?
Claus: [teasingly, sing-song] I love you, Edward.
[Claus exits back into the dining room, leaving Edward looking put out. After a pause, he follows her. She is making a sack lunch while Logan stands up from the table.]
Logan: Hey mom? Can I stay over with my dad on Wednesday and Thursday this week? My friend Nikki is having a sleepover party and I wanna go, but Dad's house is closer, you know?
Claus: If it's all right with him, you can. I'll call him and ask for you while you're at school.
Logan: Cool! Thanks, Mom!
[Logan grabs the finished sack lunch from Claus's hands and exits. Gregory and James are poking and elbowing each other while Claus rushes around making the rest of the lunches with Edward following her around like a puppy.]
Edward: Why does she call both me and Travis 'dad'?
Claus: Why shouldn't she?
Edward: Well, I don't know. I'd just think she'd call one of us by our name or something.
Claus: So tell her to.
Edward: I don't want to make her feel bad...
Claus: So shut up. [She kisses him to ease the sting of her words.]
[Claus sets all the sack lunches on the table in a row and Edward straightens each one after her. After him, Samantha begins peering into the lunches. Andrea is brushing her hair.]
Claus: Andrea, don't brush your hair at the table.
Andrea: But, Mom-
Samantha: MOM! I hate ham!
Claus: I know you do, dear, that's why that lunch isn't yours.
Samantha: Then whose is it?
Gregory: It's mine, you big baby.
Samantha: Shut up! I'm older than you!
Gregory: I could call you worse.
Edward & Claus: Gregory Lane Hendrick!
Gregory: What? I didn't say nothin'.
Edward: C'mon, Greg. Be nice to your sister, please.
Gregory: Why should I?
Edward: Because you never know when you might need her to do you a favor.
Gregory: Ha! Whatever.
[Gregory exits with his lunch and Samantha sticks her tongue out at his back before searching through the sacks to find hers. Andrea is hopping around on one foot trying to put a shoe on.]
Claus: Andrea, honey. As endearing as your gracefulness is, you're flashing everyone.
[Andrea squeaks embarrassedly, gives up on the shoe, and pulls her skirt down. Edward takes the shoe and kneels in front of her to help her put it on.]
Andrea: I'm not a little girl anymore, Daddy. [She pouts.]
Edward: I'll decide that. [He stands and kisses Andrea's forehead.] Off to school with you.
Andrea: I love you, Daddy! [She exits with her lunch.]
Claus: Will you go check the mail, Ed?
Edward: What! Why do I have to go?
Claus: Because I'm going to go get Trisha back out of bed. If you'd like to trade...
Edward: No, I'll get the mail.
Claus: Mm-hm. That's what I thought.
[Edward pulls on a sweater as he and Claus exit in opposite directions. End scene.]
[Winry is standing by the Elric mailbox, waiting. Enter Edward.]
Winry: Hey, Ed.
Edward: Hello, Whitney.
Winry: How's Trisha?
Edward: She's just as good as the rest of my kids.
Winry: She's my kid too, Edward.
Edward: Do you wanna see her?
Winry: Well, I'm really busy...
Winry: I am!
Edward: I didn't say you weren't.
Winry: Her birthday was a little while ago, right?
Edward: If five months is "a little while".
Winry: She's, what, fifteen now?
[There is a long pause.]
Winry: [abruptly] I'm seeing Joe from the Post Office.
Edward: Look, Whitney, I just wanna get my mail in peace, okay?
Winry: I miss you.
Edward: I love my wife.
Winry: I was your wife once.
Edward: I remember. We got divorced.
Winry: We could make it work.
Edward: You cheated on me.
Winry: I was lonely. You were working a lot.
Edward: Have a nice day, Winry.
[Exit Edward with his mail. End scene.]
[Claus is waiting for Edward back in the house.]
Edward: Did you manage to get Trisha up?
Claus: Mm-hm. I got her to take James and Kelly to day care, too.
Edward: I married such a talented woman.
Claus: This talented woman saw you talking to Winry.
Edward: [sigh] Yeah. Can't my talented wife make things disappear? [pause] What're you looking so amused for? You're not going to get even a little bit jealous?
Claus: She's not threat to me. [She smiles and kisses him.] I have a big article due this morning, so I can't be even a second late.
Edward: A front-pager?
Claus: Could be. So I need you to call Travis for me about Logan.
Edward: I have to?
Claus: Yes, Edward, you have to. Please?
Edward: All right, all right. I was gonna call in sick today anyway.
Claus: Thank you. [She kisses him.] I love you.
Edward: Good luck on your article.
[Exit Claus. Edward picks up the phone and dials.]
Edward: Hey, Roy. I'm calling in sick.
Roy: You don't sound sick.
Edward: I know I don't. That's 'cause I'm lyin' to you.
Roy: Edward! You're a Lieutenant Colonel now; you have responsibilities-
Edward: Yeah, yeah. Whine and complain all you want but we both know I deserve some time off.
Roy: [exaggerated sigh] Fine.
Edward: Thanks, Roy. You and the missus should come over for dinner sometime. Oh wait, you don't have one of those, do you?
Roy: You've had enough for both of us.
Edward: Ouch. Thanks for that.
Roy: You asked for it. I'll see you soon, Ed.
Edward: Yeah, Kelly misses you like all he-
Samantha: Daddy? [Edward cuts himself off and slams the phone down guiltily with a stricken look on his face.] I don't feel good.
Edward: Oh, no you don't, Sam. Do as I say, not as I do. [He steers her toward the door.] Go on.
[Samantha exits reluctantly with her lunch and Edward is alone in the house. He paces around the phone for a long while, fidgeting. Finally, he picks up the phone again and dials.]
Edward: Uh. Travis. Hi.
Travis: Oh. Hi, Edward.
[There is a long and heavily awkward pause. Edward is fidgeting again. Eventually, Travis clears his throat.]
Travis: Was there something you needed?
Edward: Oh! Yeah. Uh, Logan.
Travis: What about Logan? Is she in trouble?
Edward: Oh, no! No, it's just she's got this friend who's having this party and she wanted to stay at your place for a few days this week so she can go.
Travis: That should be fine. What days?
Edward: Wednesday and Thursday, I think she said.
Travis: Oh, yeah, that's no problem.
Edward: Okay, cool. I'll tell Claudia.
[There is another long pause, this one even more tense than the last. It is clear that Edward has something bothersome on his mind.]
Travis: Was there anything else?
Edward: [He sighs and rubs the back of his neck uncomfortably.] Look, Travis, about-
Travis: Ah, Ed, don't apologize again.
Travis: Okay, so once upon a time you kinda stole my wife. But it was really her own choice to leave me and anyway it was years ago. Even if there were hard feelings, they're gone now. Hey, I'm even seriously dating someone else now.
Edward: Really? What's her name?
[There is yet another awkward pause. This time Edward is expectant and Travis is the one who is hesitating.]
Travis: Well, actually... It's Winry.
Edward: Oh. ...She told me she was dating Joe from the Post Office.
Travis: Oh. I probably should have expected that, huh?
Edward: Yeah. Probably. ...Sorry.
Travis: Yeah, no. No, it's okay.
Edward: Yeah, I'll... I can talk to her. If you want.
Travis: No, that's okay. I'll do it. It was probably gonna be weird anyway.
Edward: Yeah. Ironic, and all that.
[They suffer another silence.]
Travis: How're the kids?
Edward: [excited to be on what he thinks is a safe subject] Oh, they're good! They're great. Samantha's got this play she's gonna try out for, and Gregory made it onto his school's baseball team. Trisha and her boyfriend are... Ah, do you just wanna go?
Travis: Yeah. Yeah, I'll just go.
Edward: Okay. Sorry again, about Winry.
Travis: Hey, she's not your problem anymore, right? I'll just... call her. I guess.
Edward: Yeah, good luck. Bye.
[Edward hangs up the phone and shakes his head at it, heaving a put-upon sigh.]
Edward: Well, that was unreasonably awkward. Exes suck.
[Edward is sitting on the couch immersed in a book. His reading glasses are slipping down his nose and he pushes them up as the door opens. Enter Elizabeth. Elizabeth is talking to Trisha over her shoulder, leading the way.]
Elizabeth: Yeah, we could totally— [She turns her head a sees Edward sitting on the couch, peering at her over his book and glasses.] Oh, your dad. [She aborts her path toward the stairs and examines the bookshelf instead. It’s not very subtle.]
[Edward does an epic eyebrow-raise; he looks very unimpressed. Enter Trisha.]
Edward: What are you doing here? School’s not over yet.
Trisha: Uh. We had a half-day.
Edward: No, you didn’t. [looks from Trisha to Elizabeth] Who’s this?
Trisha: This is Elizabeth, my… friend.
[Edward looks between the two girls for a long time. In his mind, the pieces slowly fall together.]
Edward: Is she Tim?
Trisha: What?! Dad! No!
Edward: Well don’t get upset.
Trisha: What is wrong with you? Oh my god, I can’t even believe this.
Edward: Hey, whoa! I’m just making sure all my bases are covered. I don’t mind if you play for the other team. [He pauses and scratches his chin in thought.] Well, no, technically the same team…
[Trisha storms back off-screen, followed by a sympathetically shrugging Elizabeth. Edward stands, his book discarded, and calls after them.]
Edward: You had better be going back to school! [He stands for a few more seconds, debating whether or not he should make sure Trisha obeys him. He decides against it and goes back to his book. The phone rings.]
Edward: Agh! What do you want? [grumbles and glares at the phone as he’s picking it up, and then answers sweetly] Hello?
Receptionist: Is this the father of Gregory Elric? This is his school calling.
Edward: Yes, this is him. Is Greg in trouble or something?
Receptionist: Yes and no. He got into a fight today.
Edward: Damn it. Oh, sorry. Uh. Okay, so that’s the yes. What’s the no?
Receptionist: Well, normally we’d just send home a note about fighting. But we have to call you if injuries exceed what our school nurse can handle.
Edward: Holy shit! What the hell kinda fight was it?
Receptionist: [disapprovingly] Well. I see where he gets his… vocabulary.
Edward: [hissed through gritted teeth as he slams down the phone] —none of her business!
[Edward sighs, *facepalms*, and groans. He picks up the phone and redials the school office.]
Receptionist: Resimbool Middle School, how may I help you?
Edward: Hey, yeah. This is Greg Elric’s dad. Uh. Sorry about that whole… hanging up on you thing.
Receptionist: [sniffs condescendingly] Well.
Edward: So… He’s at the hospital, then?
Receptionist: Yes, he is. He has a broken nose.
Edward: A broken nose? Jeez, you had me worried that something serious was wrong with him.
Receptionist: I hardly think a broken nose isn’t serious.
Edward: I suppose it’s a relative thing.
Edward: Yeah. You know, like it depends on how bad-off the other guy is.
Receptionist: Hmph. With barbarous teachings like that from his father, it’s no wonder Gregory is such a horrible problem child.
[With a furious growl, Edward slams down the phone, harder than before. Then he makes another angry sound, he picks it back up and redials again.]
Receptionist: [exasperated] Resimbool Middle School.
Edward: Which hospital?
[The children are beginning to come home from school. Gregory is sitting at the table with an ice pack over his face. Samantha and Logan walk in together. Samantha has taken in the newspaper from the yard and she sets it on the table next to Gregory. Edward reaches for it.]
Edward: Oh, good. I wonder if— [Logan intercepts him. Secretly, she’s a ninja.]
Logan: Whoa-ho, Dad. You don’t want to read that. [She hides the newspaper behind her back.]
Edward: What, why not?
Logan: Just trust me.
Edward: [looking resigned] Did your mom write another article about me?
Logan: [backing slowly out of the room] Very unflattering. Honestly, I can’t even imagine what you did to tick her off so much before she wrote this. It’s pretty crazy.
Edward: [looking confused and helpless] I don’t even remember getting into a fight… [Logan surreptitiously exits. It’s not to be particularly noticed by the audience.]
Gregory: [He lifts the ice pack from his face to speak.] That’s how it always is with women, man.
Edward: How would you know? [Gregory freezes halfway to putting the ice pack back on his face, deer caught in the headlights. Edward folds his arms and glares; he hates being out of the loop.]
Samantha: Oh, I heard about you and Belle screaming it out behind the gym. She’s way too old for you anyway.
Gregory: Whatever. Her mom’s a total MILF.
Samantha: So you’re dating her just to ogle her mom?
[Gregory only shrugs in response, unapologetic. Edward looks horrified.]
Edward: Good grief! That snotty receptionist was right; you are barbarous.
[Gregory grins sharply at his father, proud of the title. Samantha rolls her eyes with a huff and exits.]
Edward: So. Belle?
Gregory: Like I said. Total MILF.
Edward: I’m gonna go with it’s your mom’s genes.
[Enter Claus. She looks tired but enthused.]
Claus: What’s my genes?
Edward & Gregory: Nothing.
Edward: Did you make the front page?
Claus: I did.
Gregory: Hey, congrats, mom.
Claus: Thanks honey. [She tries to kiss him on the cheek, but he flails out of her reach.]
Gregory: Ow, ow, ow, ow!
[Noticing the ice pack, Claus looks to Edward for explanation. He stands up straight with his hands on his hips, trying to look stern and stuff.]
Edward: Gregory got into a fight at school today.
Claus: [looking at Gregory with a raised eyebrow] Did he now?
[Gregory smiles sheepishly.]
Claus: Unless you can give me a good reason for the fight, I’m gong to have to ground you.
Gregory: Well… What’s a good reason?
Edward: Like defending your sister’s honor or something.
Gregory: Well, that’s great! Because I was defending my sister’s honor.
[Edward and Claus both raise an eyebrow and fold their arms skeptically.]
Gregory: Okay, no, I wasn’t. But the other guy was a jerk, for sure.
Claus: [She sighs and shakes her head.] No video games or TV for a week, Greg.
[Exit Claus. Gregory looks sidelong at Edward, judging what his reaction will be.]
Gregory: It was so worth it.
Edward: [He half-laughs and ruffles Gregory’s hair.] You are such a brat, you know that?
Gregory: Well, duh.
[Enter Andrea. Her hair is a mess, the skirt of her dress is crooked, and her knees are muddy. Edward laughs and begins to tidy her up.]
Andrea: Daddy! I told you I wasn’t a little girl anymore.
Edward: The jury’s still out on that one.
[Andrea rolls her eyes and acts bothered, but she takes Edward’s fussing with a smile. Enter Trisha, James, and Kelly. James and Kelly are screaming and trying to claw at each other across Trisha while she holds them apart.]
Trisha: Oh my God, I am never having kids!
Edward: Possibly for more than one reason?
Trisha: You are such a—ugh! Take these! [She pushes James and Kelly in Edward’s direction and storms upstairs.]
Edward: [at James and Kelly] Hey, hey, hey, hey! Chill out, come on. Be nice!
[The fight between James and Kelly escalates. Soon enough there is hair-pulling, and not long after that they are taking Edward down with them. Gregory is laughing, although it hurts his nose.]
Edward: [desperately] CLAUS!!
[Most of the children have gone to bed now, but from off screen you can hear Kelly crying and Andrea calling for her mommy. A loud crash causes Claus and Edward, who are in the kitchen, to jump and wince.]
Edward: I hate bedtime.
Claus: Me too. But I love what comes after.
Edward: Oh, really? And what comes after, exactly? [He gets closer to her with a grin, thinking she’s hitting on him.]
Claus: Sleep. [She leans into him with exaggerated fatigue and he groans, both exasperated and amused, and rolls his eyes.]
Edward: I know how you feel, though. I didn’t even go to work today, and life was still crazy.
Claus: Just think—you get to do it all again tomorrow.
Edward: Yeah, but it can all wait until tomorrow; I don’t have to do anything else today.
Claus: Of course. [She moves toward the door, looking at him over her shoulder.] Except for your husbandly duties.
Edward: [grinning again] Yes, well, that’s no sacrifice.
[Claus blows him a kiss and exits. He grins and shakes his head at her flirting and turns away from the door, pouring himself a glass of water. Enter Trisha.]
Edward: [without turning to face her] Yes, dear?
Trisha: Uh. …Elizabeth is Tim.
[Edward freezes with his hand on the faucet. He spoke too soon when he said he had nothing left to do today. He dejectedly pours out his water and when it has all gone down the drain, he turns to face Trisha.]
Edward: Okay. Let’s go talk about it.
[They head toward the living room with Trisha in the lead. As they pass the stairs, Edward looks longingly up them where Claus has disappeared, waiting for him. He sighs again, and allows Trisha to loop her arm through his and manhandle him off screen. The end.]