It's Tradition

Edward groaned, rather loudly. In fact, he groaned resoundingly enough that everyone in the small room turned to gaze at him with curious expressions on their faces.

"Brother? Is everything alright?" Alphonse questioned, crossing the room to where the alchemist was currently planted on the couch. He was clutching a warm cup of eggnog in between his hands and grinning.

Edward's right elbow was leaning on the armrest and his chin was plopped into his gloved, metal hand. For the last four hours or so, the Elrics, Winry, Pinako, Roy and Riza had spent decorating the Rockbell home for Christmas. He still didn't understand why people got so involved with decorating an entire house. Earlier, he and Al spent most of the afternoon placing strings of lights all across the roof of the Rockbell home, around the trees outside and strung them across the porch as well. Now they were done, and Winry was just finishing up hanging the last of the tinsel and had moved to the window to finish.

The older Elric however, was growing rather bored. Pinako, who had made them all cups of fresh eggnog, had been currently engaged in conversation with the two military officials across the room, whom for once was not dressed in military attire. Roy was dressed in a very nice red, button-down shirt and black, freshly pressed dress slacks. Riza had on a satin blue dress with spaghetti straps that criss-crossed in the back. Her long, golden-blonde hair that she normally wore up, was down around her shoulders. Everybody was dressed up in their best for the occasion. Edward was wearing a dark green, dress, button down shirt made of a very soft material, that Winry had talked him into buying, and a pair of dress khakis. His golden hair was tied back in it's usual braid. His brother was dressed the same, except his shirt was white. Pinako was even done up as well. Upon hearing the alchemist's groan they had stopped to face him, Mustang with an eyebrow raised, a look suggesting 'what the hell is your problem' in his onyx eyes.

"Is this all we're going to do is just sit here and drink eggnog and stare at the tree? It's decorated, the lights are up, the tree is on and now we're just sitting here. I'm getting bored," he grumbled placing his mug down on an end table next to him.

"Edward, you're just never satisfied are you?" came an exasperated voice from the window. "I'm trying to get the rest of this done before the party starts."

There was a blond woman standing on a chair and hanging up what looked to the alchemist like a bunch of green leaves with white balls hanging off of them. She turned around to stare down at the older Elric from her chair, hands planted firmly on her slender hips. Edward was about to take a sip from his mug when he stopped the cup halfway to his mouth. He couldn't help but notice how incredibly attractive his mechanic looked tonight, even when she was irritated with him. She was wearing a long, strapless red dress that tied up at the back of her neck. The material was made of a glistening fabric so whenever she moved and the light caught her just right, it looked as though her dress were shimmering. The mechanic also had her sunlight, blonde hair pulled into an elegant updo he'd never seen on her before. She had long, light-gold ringlets falling around her neck and shoulders accompanied by loose, curled tendrils and a red-glittered gold poinsettia. Edward could feel the heat rising on his cheeks and hurriedly turned away from her and back to his eggnog before anybody could catch him staring at Winry. The last thing he wanted was Mustang to give him hell for checking out his automail engineer.

"Shaddap," the golden-haired man shot back, regaining any lost composure at Winry's sight. "You know I can't stand sitting around here and doing nothing. When's everybody supposed to be here anyway?"

"Well, Havoc should be here soon. Fuery is coming and so is Armstrong. Havoc's also bringing his new girlfriend for us to meet," Mustang spoke up with what sounded like a sarcastic snicker. The Flame Alchemist leaned back in the chair he was sitting in and tipped back his mug for another sip of eggnog.

"Yeah, it'll be interesting to meet her. According to Havoc she's his dream girl," Riza replied with a chuckle. Edward couldn't help but grin slightly. He'd never really seen the Lieutenant so relaxed and open with people. Then again, she and Roy had been dating for quite awhile now. Every since then, the older woman had seemed quite a bit different.

Edward was about to open his mouth and say something when a loud crash followed by a scream came from the kitchen. "OOOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOOOOO!! I'VE RUINED IT!!!!!" a familiar wail came drifting through the doorway. Everybody had jumped up from their seats and dashed past Winry and Edward, into the kitchen.

"Scieszka what did you-," Winry began, ready to leap down from the chair and follow the rest to the kitchen to help her friend. However she'd forgotten she was wearing strapped heels on her feet and began toppling over, losing balance on the chair. "WOAH!" she cried out as the mechanic completely lost her footing, and the chair slid out from under her.

"Shit!" Edward lept up from the spot he was sitting at on the couch and dashed to the window the moment he saw Winry start to fall. She was about two feet from the ground when the older Elric leaned downward and caught her in his arms before she could hit the floor. Winry had her azure eyes squeezed tightly shut, and her hands drawn up to her chest were in fists as she prepared herself to land on the hardwood floor. However, she never expected to land on something softer than the floor. The automail technician slowly opened her eyes with a bewildered expression on her face to see that Edward had caught her before she fell. A warm, pink blush sprinkled across her cheeks as she found herself staring up into intense, golden irises.

"You okay?" the alchemist questioned, still holding Winry in his arms.

"Y-yeah...just scared me is all," she told him breathlessly, a hand on her chest. The blonde's heart was positively pounding against her hand, though she wasn't sure if it were pounding because the fall had shocked her, or if it was pounding because of how close she and Edward currently were. He wasn't letting go of her either.

"You scared me. I thought you were going to get hurt," the older Elric admitted, a blush also rising on his face. Edward was leaned down on one knee, still holding Winry in his arms before he realized what was going on. Swiftly, the mechanic lept out of his arms and stood up, brushing off her dress and touching her hair to make sure it was still okay and the poinsettia was still firmly in place. Edward had abruptly stood, placing his hand on the back of his head and rubbing it, determined not to look at Winry.

"So...uhhh, you sure you're alright then?" he asked, staring up at the ceiling, his golden eyes swiveling back and forth across it as though trying to study it's structure and still not looking at his mechanic.

"Yes, I'm fine," Winry insisted and she also looked upward. The girl let out a small gasp as her eyes met where they were standing. "Ummm, hey Ed, do you realize where we're standing?" she inquired, tugging on the soft green sleeve of his shirt.

"Huh? What?" the alchemist sputtered, startled by Winry tugging on his shirt. She pointed upward a finger upward at the mass of green leaves they were currently placed underneath. "Uhhh...uhhh ummm...," he tried to say, coming to realize that himself and his mechanic were standing unexpectedly underneath the mistletoe. Edward was no fool, and he knew one of the oldest Christmas traditions in history was the kiss under the mistletoe. His heart began pounding so heavily against his ribcage that he thought it might burst through his flesh and land on the floor.

"Yeah we're...under the mistletoe," Winry told him with a nervous, hesitant laugh, the blush becoming even more pink on her cheeks.

"Yeah, I s-suppose we are," Edward told her. "Well uhh...nobody's in here and we can't, well...we can't break a Christmas tradition can we?"

"Oh!" Winry voiced softly, surprise imminent in her tone. Certainly she never in a million years expected that Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist wouldn't want to break a Christmas tradition, especially a kissing one. "Well, no I guess not. It'd be kinda sacrilege huh?"

The mechanic and the alchemist began moving closely towards one another, staring at each other with apprehension and intenseness in both of their eyes. Edward reached his hand out, placed it around Winry's waist and pulled her close to him. Winry brought her arms up and wrapped them around Edward's shoulders. She had to fight back a small giggle at realizing that he'd finally grown taller than her.

"Winry," he began, tenderly laying his hand on the side of her face and staring down into her glistening, ice blue orbs.

Edward leaned down slowly while Winry leaned upward and their lips met in a gentle brush. Her eyes fluttered shut at the chaste kiss. However it was obvious that they both wanted more than just a soft peck and so Edward dove down once more, capturing her lips softly in between his own. The blonde opened her lips and prodded at the alchemist's with her tongue, asking for entrance to which he obliged. Her warm tongue entered his mouth and massaged his appendage. He returned the favor, exploring her mouth with his own. The two were so lost and engrossed in their kiss that they never heard the group from the kitchen return back into the living room. At least, not until they were interrupted by Mustang clearing his throat.

"Well, it's nice to see that Fullmetal knows how to follow tradition," Roy said teasingly, a very cocky grin on his face. Riza came up behind him and smacked him on top of the head, scolding him for picking on the alchemist.

"Way to go, Brother!" shouted Alphonse gleefully.

"Nice move, pipsqueak!" came another cocky voice which Ed had come to recognize as Havoc's. When in the hell did he get there?

Winry and Edward quickly broke apart and jumped back away from each other, staring off to the side and not looking at one another. Edward's face could have passed for a lobster and if Winry had a wrench, it no doubt would have been on Mustang's skull.

"Oh please, continue. It's not like you were doing anything against military orders or anything, Fullmetal," Mustang continued with his usual beleaguering.

"Oh shut up," Edward grumbled, turning his back towards everyone and stared out of the window at the gentle snow falling outside of the house. He smirked to himself and seen that Winry had also joined him to look out the window, determined not to face everyone else that still stood dumbfounded in the doorway. Their eyes met and they shared a knowing smile. Their expressions were unreadable to everyone else, but to Edward and Winry, they both knew that this kiss wasn't just a traditional mistletoe kiss.