His new body was a thousand joys all at once, and just as many pains and exasperations. He could feel the warmth of a hug, but also the pain of a banged knee when his legs folded under him. He could taste sweet water and good food again, but he also had to endure the pain of a bit tongue or his brother's cooking.

"Good morning, Al!" Winry chirped, bustling into the room. "Ready for more excercises? You'll be walking again in no time, at this rate!"

"Yes, with your help," he said gratefully, and she beamed.

"Hey, now," Edward scowled, elbowing his way into the room with a breakfast tray, "don't mother-hen him so much, Winry."

Both Edward and Winry were on hand day and night, looking for anything they could do to ease his way. That had its own exasperations, though, with the way they constantly fussed and vied for his attention.

"He needs help..."

"I can help him just fine!"

"Bah, this requires a woman's touch!"

"Like hell! I should help him, he's my brother!"

"Well, he's going to be my husband!"

"Says who?"

The two of them stood poised at either side of his bed, glaring at each other so fiercely that sparks flew in the short distance between them.

And before either of them could react, Alphonse had reached out his arms and gathered them both into an embrace—his two most beloved people in the world—and laughed until he cried tears of joy.