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The knock came unexpectedly. Edward had been laying against Roy on the couch, a bowl of popcorn on his belly and one sock-covered foot dangling off of the arm rest. It’s a Wonderful Life was in full swing on the television.

He leaned his head back and looked up at Roy as the knock came again. Roy was staring at the door in surprise, his brow furrowed as if he concentrated enough he could see through the door. “Are we expecting someone?”

Edward shook his head. “Nope.”

Roy frowned. “And Rian has a key.”

“Yeah, I meant to talk to you about that,” Edward said, poking Roy in the side. Whoever it was on the other side of the door was very insistent, because this time it was a thump as they kicked the door. Edward’s nose twitched slightly, and then he sat up in a flailing motion, nearly overturning his bowl of popcorn. He grabbed it at the last second, catching the bowl before it could completely flip over and dump its contents onto the floor. “Man, they’re persistent!”

Roy watched as Edward gingerly put his bowl of popcorn on the couch behind him, and then snagged a couple pieces. Roy could eat real food, and enjoy it, too - he just could not survive on it alone. The lights were off, except for the light cast by the television screen, but they usually had the blinds closed anyway. Edward peered out the peep hole and, after a moment laughed and popped open the lock, and then the door. “What in the hell are you doing here?”

The door was propped in a way that Roy could not easily see who Edward was talking to - although if he concentrated he could hear just fine. Edward stepped aside and Winry Rockbell stepped through the door, several cloth bags on her arms. She maneuvered her bags so that she could pull off a knit cap that she was wearing, covered in a light dusting of snow. “Merry Christmas,” she called to Roy cheerfully.

“Merry Christmas,” Roy said, amused. Behind Winry was another woman that Roy had not met. She was slightly shorter than Winry, with short mousy brown hair and glasses. As Edward closed the door behind them both, the brown-haired woman saw Roy and made a noise of panic, immediately putting Winry between herself and the couch.

Roy raised an eyebrow and looked at Edward, who shrugged.

“This is my friend Sheska,” Winry introduced. “She’s from a sister coven in Baltimore.” Winry tried to step aside but Sheska stayed glued behind her. “Also, she’s never seen a vampire before, sorry, Roy.”

Edward grinned. “I would say that he doesn’t bite, but that would be a lie.”

Winry gave Edward a dark look. “Okay, you are not helping.” She held out her arms pointedly, bogged down in bags. Roy stood up from the couch to take Winry’s bags. Once freed of the cloth bags, Winry started taking off her winter coat.

“Why are you here, Winry? What is all this?” Roy looked in one of the bags curiously.

“Well, it was just me an’ Sheska this year, and I figured you two wouldn’t be up to anything so we’d stop by. Besides, I bet he,” she turned and poked Edward in the forehead, “has eaten nothing but cookies and popcorn for two days and likely needs a good Christmas dinner.”

Edward huffed at the implication. It did not matter that she was right, of course - just the implication. Roy offered to take Sheska’s bags as well … and after a moment she very reluctantly surrendered her own. Edward’s nose twitched instantly. “Is there a bird in there?”

“A small turkey - and it’s going to be cooked, Ed, I saw you eat that raw chicken once and it’s haunted me ever since.” Winry tossed her coat at Edward, who caught it and pouted.

“But I like raw poultry.”

“You are such a DOG.”

“Everyone keeps saying that,” Edward sulked, as Roy hauled the bags all into the kitchen. Winry laughed and ruffled his hair as Sheska tentatively gave Edward her coat and hat as well. “Do I look like a dog to you?” he asked Sheska.

“Well,” she said, peering at him. “You look human to me.”

“See, SHESKA doesn’t think I’m a dog,” he called after Winry, who had followed Roy into the kitchen.

“That’s because she doesn’t know you yet,” Winry called back.

Edward rolled his eyes and huffed again, hanging the coats on the hooks beside the door where his own jacket and Roy’s longer coat usually hung. He cast a last glance longingly at the abandoned couch, and then snagged the bowl of popcorn on his way into the kitchen. So it was not his original plan for Christmas Eve … but there were worse ways to spend the holidays than among friends.


Promises to Keep: Prompt 11 - "Christmas Eve"