Roy's head snapped forward with the force of the snowball that slammed into the back of his head. He froze in surprise, a chunk of snow sliding down his neck and into his collar. He turned around slowly, eyes narrowed as he dug the snow out of his shirt with a gloved hand. Ed grinned when dark eyes met gold, dancing back a few steps, the alcohol from earlier making his movements unsteady and his eyes bright.
"You're a dead man, Edward Elric."
Ed laughed at that and held his arms wide in challenge. "I dare you old man!" he shouted, voice echoing through the empty park. He was so relaxed, so bright and cheerful that Roy found it utterly enchanting and no little infectious. Grinning to himself, Roy bent down and took a scoop of snow, forming it into a ball as he carefully made his way closer to his challenger.
Hands dropping to his hips, Edward made no move to collect another snowball of his own, watching Roy with a cocky cant of his head and a grin that just wouldn't quit. Roy carefully circled around him, lobbing the snowball suddenly in hopes of catching the blond off-guard. Alas, it was not to be, and Edward rolled out of the way faster than a drunk man had any right to.
Roy scrambled for another snowball, but he was too slow and took one full in the face as he straightened up, causing him to lose his footing and sending him sprawling on his back in a spray of white. He lay there for a minute, listening to Ed laugh and wiping the snow from his face. After a moment he heard the crunch of snow as Ed approached, trying not to laugh and failing miserably when Edward's smiling visage appeared over him. "You suck," the blond announced, offering his hand. "I'm completely trashed, and I'm still better than you."
"That so?" Roy said, taking the offered hand and yanking Edward off his feet and into the snow. Ed squawked in surprise as he tumbled over, and Roy rolled over on top of him, pinning him to the ground while he stuffed a handful of snow down his shirt. "Cheater!" Ed shrieked, flailing helplessly under the weight of the bigger man.
Satisfied that he had salvaged his pride, Roy sat back on his heels with a smug smirk. "Give up?"
"Not on your life!" Edward surged to his feet and knocked Roy backwards, showering the hapless man with snow.
Roy threw his hands up, trying to shield his face from the onslaught, but it was no use. "Mercy!" he cried. "I give up, you win!" The shower of snow stopped, and Roy peered out from the safety of his arms, not entirely sure the blond demon was finished.
Edward seemed satisfied however, and got unsteadily to his feet, looking smug. Roy just grinned and shook his head, shaking snow out of his clothes and trying to ignore the icy trails of melting snow on his bare skin. "I can't believe I just had a snow fight. I haven't done that since I was a kid," he said, staring accusingly at his companion.
His stare was met with a too-innocent smile. "What? Gotta have fun every now and then, right?" Ed said, turning Roy's earlier words back on him. Roy just snorted and bumped shoulders with him as they continued on their way. Truly, he hadn't had this much fun in years. Getting Edward to agree to going out had been a task in itself, but once he had gotten the surly blond out and about, Edward had loosened up considerably. Maybe too much, if his drinking was any indication.
Roy grinned. Edward hadn't really had all that much, but the boy could not hold his liquor. At all. Which proved to be more than a little entertaining as the night wore on.
"What're you grinning at?"
"Nothing," Roy said, giving Ed's braid a playful tug. "Just in a good mood." He pulled out his watch, checking the time. Twelve minutes until midnight. They should make it to the square with a few minutes to spare.
They walked in companionable silence, Edward humming tunelessly to himself. More and more people appeared on the streets the closer they got to their destination, and Roy took Edward's hand to ensure he didn't lose the blond in the crowd. He glanced down at Ed and got a bright smile in return. "So," he said, leaning down so Ed could hear him over the commotion. "How much do you know about New Year's traditions?"
Ed blinked at him and shook his head. "All I know is that it gets noisy. I never really bothered with it before this."
Somehow, Roy wasn't surprised. Edward would probably shut himself up in a room with books until the end of time unless someone dragged him out every once in a while. "You know why people make so much noise?"
"Because they're dead drunk?" Ed hazarded, a faint smile curling his lips as he wobbled unsteadily over an ice patch, clutching Roy's hand a little tighter.
Roy chuckled. "That too, though that isn't the reason behind it. The noise is supposed to chase off evil spirits so that you won't have to worry about them in the year to come."
"Evil spirits," Ed snorted and rolled his eyes.
"Did you also know that it's considered unlucky for a blond to be the first to enter a house on the first day of the new year?" Roy continued.
Ed shot him a skeptical look. "Now you're just teasing me!" he accused.
"I'm serious!" Roy said, weaving around a group that had parked in the middle of the sidewalk. "Blonds, redheads and women are all considered unlucky if they enter a house first."
"I never thought of you as the superstitious type," Ed said, wrapping his other hand around Roy's arm as the press of the crowd got tighter. "What else?"
Roy stopped as they reached the crowded square, pulling out his watch. Four minutes to go. Right on time. "Well, there's the midnight kiss."
"Midnight kiss?" Ed sounded curious despite himself.
"Mm. You kiss the people important to you on the stroke of midnight to ensure a good relationship in the year to come."
"There are a lot of silly superstitions around New Year's, isn't there?" Edward said after a moment.
Roy shook his head with a smile. "There's no harm in a little superstition now and then," He peered at his watch again. One minute.
It began slowly, a slow rumble spreading over the crowd, and soon everyone was counting down. Thirty seconds. Twenty. Ten.
"Nine!" Roy shouted, grinning down at Ed.
"Eight!" Ed joined in, voice nearly lost in the din.
"Three!" The hand in his own squeezed.
"Two!" Roy squeezed back.
"One!" The crowd surged.
As one, a roar rose up from the voices of the hundreds gathered. "Happy New Year!"
It was chaos, and Roy loved it. He turned to Edward, grinning. "Happy-" He was silenced by the sudden press of soft lips against his own. It was over almost as soon as it started, Ed pulling back and staring at something quite fascinating on his shoes. Roy blinked at him and smiled, warmed down to his toes. He leaned over, lips near Edward's ear, "Silly superstitions, huh?"
Ed pulled back and returned his smile, shrugging slightly. "Well. You never know."