"Come on, Roy! Why don't you come join the fun?" Breda called, his face flushed with alcohol and holiday cheer. Roy Mustang just scowled back at him and crossed his arms, leaning back against the wall. There was no way in hell he was going to start drinking, not here.

The last time he had gotten drunk, he had not only set the furniture on fire, but had woken up with a raging headache, curled around his youngest subordinate, with Black Hayate giving them both kisses and Hawkeye pointing her pistol at his groin. It had quite possibly been the most traumatizing experience of his life. The only blessing was that they were both dressed, which had probably saved both his life and his career. He was pretty sure, though, that there were still some pictures circulating, despite the threats he had issued upon discovering their existence.

Roy glanced around hopefully, but was disappointed. It was a small get together to celebrate the coming New Year, and Riza, Maria, and Sheska were the only women around. Unless you counted Olivier Armstrong, which he didn't. It was times like this that he missed Hughes the most, knowing that if the other man were here, he'd either be tolerantly listening to him blab on about his precious beloved wife and daughter, or would be having some sort of intelligent, meaningful discussion.

The door opening distracted Roy from his musings, and he watched in surprise as Edward Elric walked through the door, talking animatedly to his brother, who was smiling tolerantly at his older sibling. Affection curved Roy's lips briefly as he contemplated the struggles and triumphs of the Elric brothers. Both had managed to restore their bodies, but the transition hadn't been easy, and the price had been high. Still, it was a story of success that gave Roy hope that perhaps all his endeavors had not been futile where the boys were concerned.

Quickly schooling his features into neutrality, Roy observed as the brothers were greeted by the others. Even Black Hayate bumped against them, demanding to be pet. The two boys were quickly swept up into conversation. Ed, though, had little patience for small talk, and was soon looking around for a more interesting pastime. Spotting the banquet table filled with various snacks, Edward left Alphonse chatting happily with Falman and made a beeline for the table, missing Roy's presence in his single-minded quest for food.

Waiting until his timing was perfect, Roy spoke. "I'm surprised to see you here, Fullmetal." The blonde promptly choked on his food and glared up at Mustang, his face flushed red with anger and embarrassment. "I was pretty sure you had sworn off these types of gatherings," Roy continued, unfazed in the slightest by the young man's behavior. After all, the last time Edward had come to a party – without his brother – he had ended up sleeping on the floor with the Colonel. The fallout had been tremendous, and Roy was still sort of surprised that he had lived through the building caving in on them.

Those gold eyes flickered momentarily towards his brother, who was rather pointedly ignoring them, before dropping back down to his plate. "Yeah, well, Al wanted to come. He hasn't seen the others in a while." Roy just raised an eyebrow; Alphonse had wanted to come visit them?

Roy just smiled benignly and murmured, "Very well, then, Fullmetal. Just try not to drink too much this time. We wouldn't want a repeat of last time." To his credit, Edward didn't choke a second time, though his face did flush an even deeper red at the reminder. Good. If Roy had to endure the not-so-subtle teasing of his subordinates, then Edward should suffer, too.

Edward recovered with an unamused snort. "Yeah, well, of the two of us, I'm pretty sure you were in the wrong. Fraternizing with your subordinates, Bastard Colonel?" he taunted, falling back on the familiar nickname for Roy that he had developed almost immediately after entering into military service as a State Alchemist.

Roy opened his mouth to snap something witty back, but was interrupted by Alphonse's arrival. "Hello, Colonel Mustang," he greeted politely, and Roy swallowed, closing his mouth on a sharp retort. Alphonse might be the younger of the two brothers, but he was scary when he was angry. And the worst part was that you'd never see it coming. One minute, he'd be chatting to you politely about the weather, and the next thing you knew, you were pinned to a building without use of your hands or alchemy, and left there to free yourself, if you could.

Or to request help from amused underlings, Roy thought darkly, remembering the last time he had seriously offended the two brothers. Riza had been the first to find him, and had left shortly thereafter with a reminder that the paperwork was piling up, and could he please get it done at his earliest convenience. The bullet hole was still in the wall next to where his head had been.

Alphonse turned to his brother, and Roy watched the two interact. It was obvious that they cared a great deal for each other, and Al seemed to cool his brother's temper, while Edward was obviously fiercely protective of his younger sibling. They worked well together, a fact which Roy had been forced to acknowledge years earlier. Not only did they get the job done, but fewer buildings were destroyed in the process when they were sent on missions together. Which kept damage fines down, which meant less paperwork for Roy to do.

"Come on, Nii-san. Major Hawkeye wants to talk to you." The lie was completely transparent, but Roy pretended not to notice as Alphonse sent his brother away, leaving the two of them alone. Hazel eyes, so different from his brother's, lifted to meet Roy's gaze, and the Colonel realized belatedly that Alphonse really wasn't much shorter than he was.

Smiling pleasantly, Alphonse spoke first. "He wanted to see you, you know," he commented matter-of-factly. Roy felt both his eyebrows rise in surprise before forcing himself to appear neutral. It didn't fool Alphonse for a minute, and he offered Roy a genuine smile, eyes bright. "He was worried about you, after last time."

Roy frowned; so Edward had told his younger brother about what had happened. Then again, he had destroyed most of the building, so perhaps he had been trying to pin the blame on Roy. Which would be typical Fullmetal style.

Alphonse turned as if to walk away, heading towards his brother before making his parting shot. "He didn't destroy the building because it was you behind him. He destroyed the building because he was still hung over, and your people were too noisy for that early in the morning."

Leaving Roy to contemplate on the strange feeling of the world tilting on its axis, Alphonse walked away, whistling cheerfully. Dark eyes turned to stare contemplatively at an oblivious Edward, who was busy yelling at an overly excited Black Hayate. Slowly, a wicked smile appeared as Roy's mind turned towards the future. Perhaps the new year would be something to celebrate, after all.