1. the condition of being young.
2. the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young.
She's not surprised to learn of Al's feelings as much as she's surprised to realize her own. After all, an Elric in love is not the most subtle creature on the planet, and while Alphonse doesn't subscribe to Edward's theory of romance (bickering, sulking, and the occasional compliment) it's hard to miss the way his eyes follow her through the room, or how eager he always appears in conversations, or how generously he gifts his smiles.
They're all little things that Paninya could once have chalked up to Al simply not having remastered his human body, his general enthusiasm for life; no, each subsequent trip to Rush Valley, each conversation with Al while Ed and Winry are off trying not to kill each other, each moment spent together just cements it in her mind. Al likes her, and she has no idea what to do about it.
Most of her fear is the realization that she likes him back – he's funny, and earnest, and his calming influence does not extend just to his brother and adopted sister. Something about him makes her feel safe, which is almost terrifying to her. There are very few people she's ever cared about in her entire life, and even fewer she'd grudgingly admit to loving. It all seems too new, too soon, out of nowhere.
Still, it can't be ignored and it's finally Garfield and not Winry who breaks the silence and finally asks her about it. "I think Alphonse has a crush on you," he remarks one afternoon, and Paninya knows he's not letting this one go because he's said it in the same tone he usually reserves for teasing Winry.
Paninya's face flushes, her eyes dropping down determinedly to focus on the piece of automail she's idly been playing with. "He's a kid," she finally mumbles, when the force of Master Garfield's stare is practically burning.
Garfield laughs. "Oh Paninya!" There's a scoffing tone to his voice. "So are you."