Winry had been confused by the birthday present she received from Gracia, this year. It wasn't that she couldn't find a use for a camera, just that she didn't see why she needed one. Ed, clad only in a pair of rumpled boxers snatched from the floor of their bedroom, had poked it with a metal finger and in a voice thick with derision announced "You are NOT taking pictures of me with that thing. You'll turn into Hughes."
"Tell me why I'd want to," she had replied without missing a beat, as she inserted a roll of film into it. "Besides, bean, I'd probably get backache from crouching to get you in the lens. Or maybe you could stand on the table?"
"WHO DID YOU—-?" Ed sputtered, shaking with the effort to suppress his instinctive reaction to kill anyone insulting his height. Winry laughed as he got steadily more and more irate, reaching out to ruffle his hair. At eighteen, he was still two inches shorter than she was... his growth spurt had been and gone, as she reminded him when he annoyed her.
"I don't have to stay around for this," he snapped, stomping on his boots and shrugging on his coat. "I'm going. AL! We're going to the river!"
"What? Wait—brother—" Al's bare feet had pattered against the floor boards and he'd bounded down the stairs too fast, clumsy and uncoordinated in his new-old ten-year-old body. Ed had caught him as he tripped off the bottom step, frowned at his scruffy appearance—"You've been helping Auntie Pinako in the workshop again, haven't you?"—and attempted to wipe a smudge of oil off his cheek with his thumb. Winry crossed her arms and shook her head, following them out to the patio and leaning on the railing by the steps as she watched the pair of them leave.
She knew she didn't need to worry. He'd be back, as always.
She didn't see him until sunset, when she went to call him in for dinner. She'd been distracted with a new client, and had lost track of the time; when she found him, he was still on the river bank. He'd fallen asleep, sprawled out over the grass with his arms underneath his head. Al was curled tightly against him, sleeping equally deeply. The light from the setting sun highlighted the gold in his hair, toyed with the shadows around his eyes, soothed the lines around his mouth. Watching them, Winry felt no guilt for unhooking the camera from her belt and raising it to eye level.
Two pictures of her lover and his younger brother, finally at peace, finally at rest.
Winry made a note to personally thank Gracia, the next time she was in Central.