As she sobbed harder into the pillows he found himself wishing again that Ed were here. He always seemed to know how to get Winry to stop crying, even if he was the one who caused it half of the time. When she turned her face to the side, presumably to avoid suffocating, he took the opportunity to grab her hand and sit on the floor in front of the bed.
"I'm sorry, Al."
"It's okay. Big Brother will know what to do; he always does. We just have to believe in him as much as he believes in us."
At this she let out an anguished cry, shoving her face back into the pillow and sobbing even harder than before. Al panicked. He grabbed her shoulder, accidentally bruising her. "What Winry!? I'm sorry. I didn't mean it! Please stop crying!" They failed to notice the door cracking and two Xingese faces spying on the proceedings. Leaning against the pillow on Al her sobbing gradually subsided and she raised her red-rimmed eyes to stare into his.
"I know, I'm sorry. I do believe in him, more than anyone. I just……I wish I could do more."
His grip on her shoulder loosened and as he used a thumb to smudge away her tear tracks they both calmed down.
"Winry, you do the most for him. Without you backing us up, we would be nothing." When he tried to pull his hand away both of hers came up, pinning it to her cheek and she smiled. As she opened her mouth to reply a yawn came out and they both giggled, hands falling back to their sides.
"Change into pajamas," Al stated as he stood up, "I'll get you something to drink."
Before she could protest he was at the door, running smack into Lin and Lanfan. "What are you guys doing out here?" Exchanging looks, Lin answered. "We wanted to make sure everything is okay." "We're sorry," Lanfan supplied. "You guys should get to bed, too," was Al's response as he closed the door behind them. They sulked a little as they followed him to Ed's room, (which they had taken over). After calling down to room service for Winry he turned to their pouting faces. "Cheer up, guys. It's not like you really knew. It's okay." Not waiting for their reply he grabbed a few books and headed back out.
He opened the door to find Winry already in bed, sheets pulled up a little past her chin, looking a little sheepish. Room service had been fast, not too many calls so late at night, and tea was cooling on the table.
"I always order that for Ed when we have a bad night. Lt. Hawkeye suggested it to me as a way of keeping colds away."
"How was the Lt…after the big fight, I mean?"
Not knowing if he should wait for Ed or not, he decided on a neutral answer. "They're all fine, they're tough after all. Now eat up. I'm going to crash in here again if you don't mind."
"I don't mind. It's just like old times when we had sleepovers." At this of course the usual childhood stories were brought up and the two giggled over old jokes and pranks as the tea and croissants were consumed. As yawns became more frequent and eyes drooped Al decided to call it a night. Putting the tray of treats outside the door he pushed Winry back against the pillows gently as she struggled against him.
"I don't have to sleep, yet. I don't want for you to be lonely."
"I'm not lonely, Winry. You're right here. Now go to sleep. We'll talk more when you wake up." He answered in his gentlest voice as he won the physical confrontation and she slowly closed her eyes. She reminded him so much of Ed when they first started their travels that he couldn't resist sitting in the floor beside her, running his unfeeling fingers through her hair, and watching her sleep until the morning.