Al couldn't cry.
It was such a silly thing. Neither of the brothers cried anymore. Big boys didn't cry, after all. But he missed it. The big things, like not being able to feel anything he touched or not being able to feel his body moving... he'd already mourned those losses. It was the silly things he started to miss. The feeling of rain evaporating on skin. The cold. Crying.
He looked over at his brother getting his limbs readjusted. Ed hadn't lost any automail bits this time, but rather had reported a strange tightening in the joints. Winry chatted with the older brother happily, slapping his thighs whenever Ed made a weird comment about her automail fetish.
Al would have given anything to have smiled at that point. Winry was such a metal head. It was nice to see nothing had changed and nothing would change about her. Well, except her body. He didn't feel the blush he knew he would have had if he had been human. Winry had grown up so nicely, and she didn't hide her body away. Ed even had noticed, blushing slightly whenever she bent over to tinker with his leg.
But that was the thing, wasn't it? Winry could notice someone with an actual body. She would notice when that body's pulse went up around her, the flush of cheeks, and the way the eyes followed her curves. Instead of just having a hunk of tin tell her she was beautiful, she could see it in how her partner's body reacted. Al sighed, looking down at his hands.
He would have given anything to have felt that arousal at the sight of the girl.
"Al?" Winry bent down, looking the armor in the face. "Are you okay? You've just been sitting there."
"A-aah! It's nothing... just thinking!" Al lifted his hands, in part to hide the sight of what he couldn't have. Where was nii-san, anyway? Had he been caught up in his thoughts that long?
Winry frowned, putting her greasy hands on her hips. "You can't fool me, Al. You've been sitting there, quiet. Didn't even try to get in the middle of Ed and myself."
Al turned his head, the sound of metal grating against metal hateful to him at this point. "Winry, it's nothing, really!"
The girl pulled her hands off her hips, ignoring the black smears they left behind. "I know you better than that."
"Winry, it's..." Al flexed his hands. "I realized I couldn't cry. It's stupid, I know. But I've noticed these little things... things I can't do anymore."
"But it's really nothing. I promise, Winry." He turned his head towards her, his voice dying as he saw the sad look on her face.
"Ed doesn't cry either," she muttered. "I thought you two had forgotten how to cry." Winry started to raise a hand to her face, then noticed the oil smeared all over them. "Bleh."
Al started to reach out to her. "Winry, don't..."
"Don't what? Cry?" She sniffed, wiping her hands off on her overalls. "You two put yourselves in so much danger, and Ed... he just shrugs it off, ignoring what he almost did. You two won't come back one day, and the next thing I know, I'll get the automail limbs saying it's the only thing they could find..."
Al just watched her, shocked. "Winry. We'll won't leave you alone. We'll come back, I promise." He reached out, carefully drying her tears. "When we do, I'll... I'll hold you, okay?"
Winry looked at him, surprised. "Al."
He couldn't blush. He couldn't show her with his body that he meant that. But Al could wipe away her tears, trying to show with that motion that she meant so much to him.
Only too much to him.