"Are you kids crazy? It's freezing out there! You'll catch a cold and then I'll be stuck taking care of you! At LEAST wear a scarf!"

"Take it easy, grannie, it's just snow," Ed answered, rolling his eyes at Pinako. He put his lighter jacket on and his gloves, but that was it in the way of bundling up. "It's nice out anyway, what do I need a scarf for?"

Pinako chomped down on her pipe angrily. "You'll be the first, squirt, mark my words!"

"SQUIRT! YOU WITHERED HAG!"

"I'M NOT ABOUT TO TAKE SASS FROM A FOUR FOOT RUNT!"

"I'll have you know I grew another inch," Ed hollered back. Al, his younger brother, backed his six foot metal frame away from the table with their childhood friend Winry right behind him, peering at the two with wide blue eyes..

"Hmph, sideways maybe. Keep eating, boy, and you'll be a perfect square," Pinako answered dryly.

Al and Winry dove for cover when Ed exploded, arms waving around over his head and face redder than red. "ARE YOU SAYING I'M FAT! WHERE'S THE FAT? IS IT HERE? OR HERE? COME ON, PRUNE FACE, SHOW ME!"

The door opened a moment later and Ed went flying out of it, over the side of the porch and into a snow bank. Pinako came out, crossing her arms over her chest and a smug look on her face. "There you go! Freeze yourself, shortie!"

Al and Winry went outside as well, Winry tying her scarf around her neck. "Hey, Ed, you okay?" she asked, digging through the snow pile.

Ed pushed himself out, glaring at the door. "Great, now I've got snow in my boots! She's lucky she's family."

Winry shook her head and arched a brow up at Al. "You know, I think Ed's full of it, don't you, Al?"

"Yep. You wouldn't do anything to Pinako and you know it, big brother," Al said.

Ed, teeth clenched, grabbed a big ball of snow and threw it right at Al. And he got Winry with another while she was too busy laughing at Al.

Both of them turned on Ed when he started howling with laughter at them. "That's it, it's war now," WInry declared, grabbing snow and shoving it down Ed's back.

"Hey, hey, that's cold! Cut it out! AL!"

Al lifted his much shorter brother off his feet so he couldn't fight back. "Hey, it's only fair!"

"Put me down! No, NOT IN THE SNOW BANK! AAAAAAAALLL!" And Ed found himself tossed back in the snow.

"Quick, this way!" Al grabbed Winry's arm and pulled away as there was a flash in the snow and suddenly...

A very solid fort made of snow sprung up from out of nowhere. Ed had used a bit of alchemy to make it. And he was giving them the most evil grin from the top tower. "Hey, Al," he called in a sing song voice. "Wanna play catch?"

Al peered out from behind his tree, Winry looking from the other side. "Uh...that's okay, big brother!"

"Aw, come on! Here, catch!"

"NO!" The biggest snowball either of them had ever seen was sent flying over the side of the fort, slamming into the tree and throwing snow all over them.

"Hey, NO ALCHEMY!" Winry snarled. There was another, much smaller flash, and another enormous snowball went flying back at Ed.

Ed ducked, but it took out the tower he was in and collapsed into the fort.

Al and Winry's laughter faded when a deep rumble was followed by yet another flash and then they were running down toward the frozen river, a boulder of snow rolling after them. Ed was jumping up and down, whooping in victory of getting the enemy on the run. Until the snowball stopped and reversed itself, going back UP hill! He rolled out of the way as it splattered against the house.

And the war continued until they were all three breathless and freezing and soaking wet. Winry and Ed stamped off all the extra snow before going inside, Al opening his chest plate up to dump a load over the side of the porch.

Pinako gave them a stern look, setting a tray on the table with two hot chocolates and an extra bowl of marshmallows. "Get that wet stuff off right now," she ordered, snatching their coats and gloves from them. Winry handed her hat, scarf and snowpants over as well.

Once they were all changed, Ed and Winry wrapped in blankets with hot chocolate, Pinako went about cooking them dinner, muttering anytime either one of them sniffled.

After one such occurance, Ed let out a frustrated sound and said, "Relax! Do I look sick to you?"

"Hmph, it'll bite you right in the ass when you least expect it," she answered.

"Yeah, well, I've always been real healthy! Just you worry about Winry, okay?"

Winry glared at him and sat up. "Excuse me? I wasn't the idiot who went out with only a stupid coat, dress gloves and a sleeveless shirt!"

"Yeah, but you're a-,"

"Don't say it, brother," Al cut in quickly. He knew his brother too well. And he also knew how Winry would respond.

"A, what?" Winry pressed. The look on her face was anything but friendly.

Ed snorted and sat back. "Just you wait and see. I'm totally okay!"


THREE DAYS LATER...

Al and Winry grimaced (or, rather, Al WOULD have if he could make facial expressions) at the hacking sound from the closed off room. Pinako opened the door and came out with an untouched bowl of chicken broth and a glass of water. And looking very, very smug. "Hmph, I told that cocky little brat he'd get sick!"

"I am NOT lit-brruuuuuuaaahhh!"

"Ew, Ed that's gross," Winry complained.

Ed managed to fix her with a death glare before his stomach drew his attention back to the bucket by his bed. He wiped his mouth and flopped back on the bed, looking miserable. "I hate snow," he muttered.

Pinako laughed and said, "Well, it's like I always say. Once bitten, twice shy! Maybe next time you'll listen to me."

Ed groaned. He hated it when she was right!