Winter Night Dance

By Lady Ava

Author's Notes: Hello everyone. It's me again and I come baring another FMA fanfic for you all. This is an Ed x Winry/ Slight Roy x Riza pairing. (Note: Ed is 16, as is Winry. Al is 15)

Onto the story…

Chapter One

The Invitation

Roy Mustang hated winter. There was nothing he found pleasant about it. Winter for Roy wasn't a sign of a happy holiday season or time with loved ones. To him, he only saw the negatives. Shoveling his car out from beneath piles of snow and having to wear layers upon layers of heavy and bulky clothing. Being the flame alchemist, of course it only seemed natural for him to hate it. It was harder for him to work his alchemy while his fingers where shaking and his teeth chattering in his head. But that wasn't the only reason.

Looking down at his desk, Roy curled his upper lip in disapproval in what he saw sitting there upon his paperwork. It was a tiny envelope, closed over with the silver seal of the military on the back. Upon the front, in delicate-looking writing was his name and office address. He dreaded opening that envelope, because he knew what was coming.

'Is it time for that already?' he asked himself in displeasure.

Hearing the door open, Roy looked up to see who broke him from his thoughts. To his surprise, he was met by the faces of three of his good friends: Maes Hughes, Jean Havoc, and Riza Hawkeye. All three, besides their daily paperwork, held similar envelopes to Roy's.

"Can you believe that it's already time for the Winter Ball?" Hughes stated happily, looking at his envelope with a huge grin. "Graica is gonna be so excited. She always loves the ball."

Havoc smiled, holding up his invitation as well, "This year I have a date. So, I won't be alone again." He told Hughes proudly, making Hawkeye roll her eyes slightly.

As he watched the two men speak in such a joyous manner about the military affair, Roy shook his head. 'I can't believe this. They are two grown men acting as if this was their senior prom in high school.' He thought to himself, not believing they were his subordinates.

"Why are you being so excited?" Roy finally asked, causing their conversation to halt, "This ball is just another boring attempt to win over the socialists of Central in order to gain more military funds." He leaned back into his chair, sighing, "Besides, it's always the same: Every. Single. Year."

Hughes let his eyes widen behind his thin glasses. He was surprised at his friend's words. Every year, Roy would show up with a beautiful woman on his arm as an escort. Then, for a great portion of the night, besides dancing with his date, Roy would network and talk to all the higher ranking officials. This was his way of getting in on a good note with all the higher-ups. Then, at the end of the night, he would leave with his lady friend to continue their night on the town.

"Roy," Hughes began with a smile, "This is the social event of the season. Everyone will be there. All state alchemists are required to attend. It's a military function in which superior officers can check up on the latest alchemy findings in a relaxed setting."

Roy scoffed at the statement and crosses his arms, "I realize what this ball is for. I've been to enough of them to know."

"Brother?" Al called quietly as he opened the door to the dorm room he and his brother shared. In his free hand, he held a bag filled with bagels and donuts in order to attempt to get his brother to eat. Earlier that morning, the youngest of the Elric brothers had discovered Ed hunched over Alchemy books, a small snore escaping him. Once again, as he always did at least twice a week now, Edward Elric had fallen asleep at the books. Granted, he was very anxious to find out more about the legendary stone, but he was starting to loose sleep over his obsession.

Before Al had left to go get some form of breakfast for his brother, he had placed the young state alchemist into bed, giving him a more comfortable place to sleep. He couldn't help but smile to himself as he watched his older brother curl up under the thick quilts like a little child.

Stepping into the room, Al could hear the sound of the shower running from in the bathroom. Upon the bed, Al found his brother's clothes thrown messily on top the twisted sheets. On the end table, Ed's hair tie and silver pocket watch sat neatly, awaiting to be placed back in their rightful place.

"Brother?" Al called again, placing the bag down upon the desk. The armor looked towards the door, waiting some kind of reply.

"I'll be out in a second Al," the voice of Ed called over the running water.

Within a mere few moments, the sound of the water was silenced and there was moving about within the small bathroom. Then, in one swift and dramatic pull, the door opened, grabbing Al's attention.

Edward Elric stood in the doorway of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist. Droplets of water clung to this bare chest and rolled down from his arms as he breathed. His long blond hair clung to his shoulders as his bangs dripped water from them onto his flesh foot below. His automail, being extremely waterproof, seemed to shine as brilliantly as if it were brand new. Ed took pride in keeping his metal limbs in the best condition, otherwise Winry would kill him.

Smiling broadly, the fullmetal alchemist moved into the room, heading towards the bed. "Morning Al," he said in a very lazy manner.

The armor watched as Ed shook his head out slightly, letting the water fly onto the floor and bed. "Brother!" Al shouted, sounding surprised, "You're getting everything wet!"

Stopping his head, Ed ran his hands through his hair, almost as if trying to attempt to brush out the knots. "Eh, it's not the end of the world if my bed gets a little wet." He told him, a slight smile on his face. He picked up his clothes and proceeded to dress, knowing that Al would simply turn while he did so.

"You seem to be in a good mood," Al noted, averting his gaze to the window.

Zippering his pants, Ed moved to grab his belt, "I accomplished a lot last night," he told happily, placing the larger of the two belts on first. "I found some interesting information on the way to prepare the materials for the stone." Grabbing his hair tie from the nightstand, Ed quickly threw his wet hair back into a ponytail. It was a rarity for Ed to wear his hair in a ponytail. He found it to be somewhat annoying to have his hair up like that unless he was working.

"As soon as I finishing eating, I'm gonna get back to work." Ed told his brother happily, placing his other belt onto this waist.

Sighing, Al looked back over at Ed. If it weren't for his armor shell, he would have given his brother a look of worry. "Perhaps you should take a break from working brother," the echoed voice spoke softly, causing the blond haired teen to halt placing his watch back onto his belt. "After all, you have been working almost every day and night since you we got back to central. You are gonna make yourself sick if you keep up what you're doing."

Glancing over his shoulder, Ed's golden eyes pierced through his wet hair. "I realize that Al. But I'm on the brink of something big here. I am so close to the stone, I can almost taste it. Besides---"

Knock Knock Knock….

The brothers silenced quickly at the sound of the tapping at their door. They looked at each other in question, wondering what the interruption was.

Knock Knock Knock…

"Mr. Elric?" a male voice called from the other side of the door. "Mr. Elric? Are you in? I have a message for you."

Ed raised an eyebrow to the voice. Normally, he would never receive messages from anyone unless it was from the Colonel, telling him that he did something wrong again. Thinking back, the blond thought over everything that he could have possibly done wrong to only come to no answer. Shaking his head slightly, Ed moved across the room and opened the door.

A young man of about 25 stood in the doorway, a look of question upon his face. He was somewhat surprised to see the younger alchemist without a shirt on and looking as if he had just rolled out of bed. In his hand, he held a small envelop with the crest of the military holding it shut. Over his arm, he held a large grey garment bag, making him look as if he had just gathered up someone's laundry.

Blinking in confusing, the soldier smiled weakly, "Mr. Elric?" he questioned, apparently not knowing who Ed was.

"Yeah. That's me." The teen told him flatly. An awkward silence hung in the air between the shocked young soldier and the spunky blond who gave him a look of disapproval. Pointing to the letter, Ed cleared his throat, "Is that for me?"

Shaking his head out slightly, the soldier nodded quickly, "Y—yes sir. This is your invitation to the Winter Ball a week from now." He explained, placing the letter into Ed's hand.

Looking at the letter, Ed couldn't help but raise his eyebrow again. He torn open the seal and withdrew the note inside. Sure enough, it was an elaborate invitation to a grand ball. And there, at the bottom, written in bold print, said the words:

"All Nationally Certified Alchemists Must Attend."

"All alchemists MUST attend!" Ed exclaimed, gaining his brother's attention from inside the room. Glaring back at the man, he held up the invitation and shook it slightly in the man's face. "What the hell! Why do all alchemist HAVE to attend!" he demanded.

Holding his hands up, the soldier gulped at Ed's fiery gold eyes that stared at him with rage, "It's…it's just a tradition," he staggered out, "Alchemists attend because they end up discussing their studies with the higher-ups and whatnot. Most of the time, they are trying to find ways to get grants."

Seeing the boy's look of displeasure continue on, the man cleared his throat to rid himself of the nerves. "This is the social event of the season. People would kill to be in your position right now, Mr. Elric. If you are invited to this ball, then you are on the A-list."

Rolling his eyes, Ed shook his head, "I don't care about being on any A-list!" Averting his gaze to the invitation once again, the boy sighed. 'If I don't go, the colonel will have my head. He wouldn't let me get out of this even if I begged and pleaded.' He thought to himself. Not like he would beg to the Colonel anyways. He wouldn't give Mustang that benefit of the doubt.

Sighing, Ed let his shoulders slump slightly, "Fine. Whatever. It seems like I have no choice BUT to go." He grumbled out.

The soldier smiled broadly, "Excellent then Mr. Elric. I'll report back to your supervisor at once." Suddenly, the man's eyes lit up, "Ah yes. Before I forget," Grabbing the bag off his arm, he placed it into Edward's arms. "Here is your uniform. Its been tailored to fit your size perfectly."

The fire that was in Ed eyes before erupted once again, "ARE YOU SAYING I'M SHORT!" he shouted, gaining the attention of the passer-byers in the hallway.

Backing up slightly, the man shook his head quickly, "No Mr. Elric! I was just saying that we tailored your uniform for you so you can wear it to the ball." He rambled out quickly, trying to cover himself from being murdered.

Seeing the man trembling in fear, Ed grinned, "Thanks." And with that, he shut the door, leaving the soldier to cower in the hall.

Al watched as his brother walked back towards his bed, letter in one hand and clothing in the other. He could see that there was a deep set of worry upon his face as he was re-reading the letter again and again.

"Brother? What is this about a ball?" he asked as Ed sat down on the bed. The armor had remained quiet during the duration of his brother's conversation with the soldier, pretending to be cleaning up the desk and whatnot while listening. Knowing his brother, he wouldn't be interested in going to something as grand as a military ball. But, because he had to attend, he would make the best of it.

Placing the invitation onto the table next to his bed, Ed ran a hand through his bangs, trying to get them out of his face, "I have to go to a military ball," he grumbled out, slumping over slightly. Resting his elbows to his knees, he placed his head into his hands. "And, I have to wear one of the uniforms."

Al moved away from the desk, moving to sit on the other side of the bed, "One of the military uniforms? But, I thought the Colonel said you would never have to wear one of them."

"Apparently, the Colonel is a liar," Ed quickly snapped back. Looking over at the garment bag, the teen grabbed hold of the zipper and proceeded to open it. There, sitting neatly inside, was a uniform almost identical to Roy's and just about everyone else he knew in the army. The only difference he could see was that he only had four bars on his coat, compared to the two rows Mustang and Armstrong had. Upon the shoulders, there were adornings that of a Major. In military terms, that was what Ed was. He was on an equal level to that of Armstrong. All Alchemists were that. The gold cording around the shoulder and arm sat pre-placed upon the outfit. A brand new pair of gloves clipped on to the collar of the jacket. In a bag attached to the top, there was a small note posted on it saying "Hat and boots." Everything was there to make Ed look like a true dog of the military.

Al looked at the uniform, and then at his brother. Upon his features, Ed wore a blank expression. For one of those rare moments in his life, Al could not read what his brother was thinking. There was a cold feeling in his eyes that could have meant his anger for having to wear the uniform. But, Al tried not to read into it too much.

Closing the bag back up, Ed looked back at Al. The empty armor shell was staring at him, as if trying to find an answer from him about what he was thinking. Of course he was upset about the uniform and the fact he had to go to the dance. And yet, in the back of his mind, another issue was plaguing him. Something he couldn't bring up to his brother in a flat out conversation.

"So, are you going to call Winry?" Al finally questioned, breaking the silence between them.

Feeling his face grow warm, Ed looked away from his brother, "W…why would I call Winry?" he mustered out, trying to hide his blushing face behind his bangs.

But, the younger of the two brothers knew that was something that would trigger a nerve with his brother. "Well, you're gonna need a date for this thing right? You don't wanna show up alone. The Colonel will have mocking rights for two months at the most." He explained, seeing Ed pick up the invite.

"And if I show up with Winry, he'll have the right to make fun of me until I die." He flatly retorted, trying to get off the subject. And yet, Ed couldn't see why he should not consider it. Of course he knew he would probably end up calling her about it. Why not just flat out ask her to accompany him as well?

Falling backwards onto the bed, Ed lay there holding the invite up above him. His gold eyes seemed to dart about the paper repeatedly as he kept re-reading what it said. There was a strange sensation growing within his chest as he began to think about his brother's suggestion more. His ponytail sprawled out around his head messily as his thoughts drifted away from the research he had been slaving over and to something else. He felt his cheeks begin to burn more and more as he thought of calling her.

Al watched his brother's eyes carefully. They slowly began to drift off into a dream-like state. Slowly, he saw Ed's face begin to glow a reddish pink. Across his lips, there was a soft smile that he tried to hide. Al had always known that Ed had liked Winry. He always tried to hide it, but it was always clear. He and Auntie knew that both he and Winry would never admit to liking each other, only because they didn't know what the other one would say.

"Brother?" he finally asked, causing Ed's eyes to widen slightly.

Clearing his throat, the blond quickly sat up and threw his ponytail over his shoulder. Rising to his feet, he quickly grabbed his black shirts and placed them upon his persona. Then, grabbing his pocket watch, he headed towards the door.

"I'm gonna go call Winry," he told Al quickly.

The younger of the brothers watched as the door shut behind Ed. As he heard the footsteps disappear down the hallway, he chuckled slightly. "About time…." He said aloud, moving to start cleaning up the mess his brother had left behind.

Author's Note: Please Read and Review