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Good Will Towards Men


The eggnog was sweetly spiked with something more than either one wanted to admit, and they found out what a wondrous thing it was to have a party in one's home. This Christmas holiday that everyone celebrated was still odd, still funny, more so to Edward who was such a man of science rather than religion, but Al had grabbed onto it like a lion on a gazelle; he didn't need a reason to have good will towards men and to give gifts, but it was a lot easier when there was one.

And then, there were the customs. Stockings and Santas and trees with shining bulbs, carols about Christ and bells and quiet nights. Al had taken up humming them during the days, moving like a ghost through the house, the red coat he still claimed from his brother wrapped around him on the chilly days, and Edward would spy from the other room. When caught staring, he would laugh it off, of course, claiming that he was just seeing how off-key Al could really get.

Such was the fun of sibling rivalry.

When the Christmas party was posed, Edward and Al had looked at one another with eager smiles and mutual nods. They had gathered a few companions in the days since coming to Munich, and it was to them that they owed their company, especially on perhaps the most important day of the year. So, gathered in the living room, someone had spiked the nog which Al alone drank ("That has MILK, Al! MILK!"), someone else had brought out the folder with all the songs, notes, and began a round of singing. It wasn't until several hours later that everyone else had gone home and that the brothers were standing blissfully tipsy in their living room.

The only other tradition that was better than eggnog to Al, was that of mistletoe.

Neither brother claimed to have hung such a decoration in their hallway, just as neither one claimed to remember anyone bringing it into the party. In retrospect, it didn't matter; sometimes little miracles come in green and red packages.

"I don't want to clean it up!" Edward frowned, stumbling past the tree to try to make his way towards the bedroom. The fluffy mattress sounded good, comforting, a lover in blankets and pillows, something to cradle him when he woke ill tomorrow.

"But I don't want to do it all!" The younger Elric stomped after his brother, intent on following him and ordering him to change his mind, because, dammit, it wasn't fair! Wasn't at all! "You got to sleep last time we had a party!"

"You were the one that wanted it, Al!—"

"You agreed with me!"

"Did not!"

"Did—" But before the rest of the statement could be finished, forced from a thick, slurring tongue, Alphonse Elric found himself tripping on an empty box that had once contained a new book on the up and coming sciences. His arms struck out to either side, waving as if he could fly, as if he could stop himself crashing into his brother with a grunt, and landing on the floor.

Landing on the floor... with their lips smashed together, that is, right beneath the mistletoe.

Drunken, glassy eyes stared across the massive space of centimeters, both refusing to back away, both refusing to fall into the fear of being the weaker, so they stayed there, kissing, waiting each sibling out.

Waiting. Kissing. Holding. Spread over one another.

Finally, mutual needs pulled them apart, leaving them blushing and looking away, away at the paint on the walls, or the sprig of mistletoe that dangled menacingly over their heads. Edward muttered something under his breath, and it took a curious look from Al before he repeated it in a tone that was a little easier to understand.

"That's why I don't clean."

Al flushed a little deeper before scooting away to pick up the malevolent box, only to be stopped by the single flesh and blood hand that Edward sported. "But—"

"Leave it, Al." He climbed to his feet as graceful as he could, tugging his brother up along with him. "I liked the outcome. Might want to revisit it tomorrow."

And all the youngest Elric could do was roll his eyes and laugh with all the Christmas spirit he had inside him. Love was a discarded box, a container of eggnog, and a bit of mistletoe.

...Well, that, and warm lips, sweetened by alcohol, tea, and sibling bickering.