A warm hand on her shoulder caused her to jump, waking from a light doze.

She craned her head back against the warm abs of the person responsible.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." She softened her glare as he apologized, looking genuinely chastised. "How is he?"

She looked down at the figure in the bed whose hand was entwined in hers. "He ate a bowl of soup and some bread while you were out. We talked for a little while, then he asked me to sing and he fell asleep."

The hand on her shoulder squeezed gently. "You should get some sleep, too."

She hesitated before answering, "I don't want to leave him."

The hand lifted off of her shoulder and missing it's warmth she turned around in the chair to see where he was going. She heard his uneven steps shuffle down the hallway and turned back to the figure in the bed. Placing a hand on his forehead, she made sure he was well and fast asleep. Standing, she leaned over, letting her lips brush the sleeper's temple and headed for the door.

She had to walk carefully in the hallway; the way was dark and unfamiliar. A scraping sound in the shadows at the far end caught her attention and she peered into the gloom, hoping to make out what it was. A chair appeared in one of the few rays of murky light. It moved towards her. She tensed until she saw the hands on the chair back holding it. "What are you doing?"

The chair halted in mid-air. She heard a sigh and then a slight chuckle. "I thought you wanted to stay with him."

"I did, but I thought you might have been upset."

"I'm not. I understand. It was really hard to tear myself away for a few hours of rest. I'm not even sure I really managed to fall asleep." The chair resumed its movement towards her.

"That doesn't answer my question."

"I thought I'd bring another chair in, so we could both be there."

She nodded satisfied and turned back to the room, the man holding the chair following. She sat down as he made himself comfortable beside her. She was surprised when he wrapped an arm around her, leaning her back against him. She struggled to sit back up, to ask what he was doing when his voice rumbled in his throat against her ear. "Get some sleep. We'll both be here, you can count on it."

She opened her mouth to reply, but yawned instead. She could hear his heartbeat and his warmth was steadily driving the chill away. Her hand skimmed over the blanket and finding what she was looking for, she entwined her fingers with that of the person lying there, and fell asleep.

Author's note: Al is sleeping in the bed, recovering from the malnutrition caused by his being in the gate for so long. Winry and Ed are the observers.