"Good morning, Fullmetal. Are you reporting in for your first assignment already?"

Edward blinked a little at the nice greeting and his new title; wondered at whether the colonel had his assignment already prepared; and though quickly about how to proceed.

"Good morning, sir. Um….Requesting permission for side trip on way to said assignment."

The man blinked as the words came out, fast and a touch too loud.

"Very well, I know an excellent stilt-maker ---"

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SMALL THEY NEED SPECIALIZED STILTS TO BE AS TALL AS A KINDERGARTNER?!"

A throat cleared and they both turned with a look of dread towards the door. "Sir is everything all right?" asked Lt. Hawkeye as she crossed the room with a service tray full of coffee. "We're fine, Lt. Now, where is it you want to go?" Colonel answered and turned back to Ed.

"I'd like to return to Resembool."

"Why?"

At this Ed hesitated before replying, "Automail maintenance." A sly look and a smile were exchanged between Hawkeye and Mustang, which Ed couldn't help but notice.

"What?"

"Nothing. Permission granted."

"Huh?"

"Permission granted." Mustang replied sharply. "Pay better attention to your superiors, Fullmetal. Here is your first mission. I expect a report in 3 weeks. You're dismissed."

"Yes sir." Ed replied, snapping off a salute and exchanging nods with Hawkeye. He left quickly.

"Sir?"

"They'll be fine alone, Lt."