Oh, she's my dear, my darlin' one,
Her eyes so sparklin' full of fun.
No other, no other
Can match the likes of her.
She's my dear, my darlin' one,
My smilin' and beguilin' one.
I love the ground she walks upon,
My pretty Irish girl.
-Darby O'Gill And The Little People
It had been quite sometime since Hohenheim had last courted a lady for more than a night or two of mutual enjoyment. He was afraid he'd nearly forgotten everything important, which caused him some measure of consternation.
For this woman, he wanted to do things perfectly. He wanted to do things right. Trisha was like no other woman he'd met, with her combination of sweet and innocent, and precocious and daring. She'd approached him first, all but laid claim to him without giving him much say in the matter and he found he didn't mind that at all.
Thankfully, he did remember one thing a gentleman courting must always do. Find out the lady's favorite kind of flower.
Pinako gave him a shrewd look across the table of her clinic, not fooled by his nonchalance in bringing up the young Trisha. "I knew you'd be a lost cause as soon as she walked over to you," Pinako said.
Hohenheim tried to look indignant. "I am far from a lost cause," he lied. "You can't act as if you've never seen me display interest in a woman before, Pinako."
The woman laughed. "Yeah, but I know Trisha. She wraps everyone she wants around her little finger. That includes you now."
"As you care to believe," Hohenheim said dismissively. "But very well. Yes, I have an interest in her. Now will you tell me what kind of flowers she likes, or do I have to transmute you to your chair?"
Pinako gave him a warning look at that. "Don't think it, you old coot. But, since you asked, she likes daisies. The colored kind, not the white."
A daisy. Such a common weed, it hardly seemed appropriate for a woman like Trisha. But as the lady wished, he would deliver.
He spent a bit more time in Pinako's company, trying to buy himself some dignity before he bid her farewell and headed down to the lake. Trisha was usually down there, and Hohenheim hoped to see her.
She wasn't there when he got to the lakeside, but he took advantage of the time to try to figure out how to go about giving Trisha colored daisies. The obvious answer of alchemy presented itself, but he wanted something more creative than a simple bouquet that would die in a few days.
It took awhile before inspiration hit him, and he gathered up some sand and dust from the shore, gathering it together in a little pile. He clapped his hands, transmuting the dust and sand into a hard, glassy substance that slowly took the shape of a hair comb with a purple daisy on it.
There. Far more fitting than a bunch of weeds that would die on her.
Hiding the hair comb in his coat pocket, he made his way to her home, finding her under the tree in her front yard, an apple in one hand and a romance book in the other. She didn't look up until he'd cleared his throat nervously, but she smiled when she saw him, dog-earing the page she was on in her book and setting it aside. "Why, Mister Hohenheim, this is a surprise."
Hohenheim smiled. "Not a bad one, I hope."
Trisha shook her head. "Not at all." She smiled, and Hohenheim knew exactly what Pinako meant when she said Trisha tied people around her little finger. He would've done anything to keep that smile there.
"Would you care to accompany me to the lake?" he asked, nervously playing with the hair comb in his pocket.
Trisha's face lit up at the idea. "I would love to. Give me just a moment," she said, then grabbed up her book and hurried inside. She came back out a few minutes later, a small parasol for keeping the sun off the face in hand. "So what were your plans for this outing?" she asked, and Hohenheim couldn't tell if her tone was simply innocent, or entirely too innocent.
His head spun at the inadvertent implications and he coughed, trying to kill the faint flush he could feel building. "I had noticed a rowboat tied to the pier," he said, "I thought we might go boating." Never mind that Hohenheim didn't know who that boat belonged to. Whoever it was would just be missing out on their boat for awhile.
Trisha's smile was bright enough to put the sun to shame. "I would love that," she said, walking over to him and taking his arm without invitation.
Neither spoke as they walked back down to the lake, nor as Hohenheim gently helped lower Trisha into the boat, nor even once they were slowly rowing across the glassy surface of the lake.
Trisha leaned over the edge just enough to trail her fingers in the water, that same bright smile fixed on her face, and what a crime it would be if anything caused it to go out.
After a time of the companionable silence, Hohenheim cleared his throat again. "Miss Trisha, if I may, I've made something for you."
She looked up at him, smiling as if she'd known all along. If she did, she had the grace and aplomb not to say so. "Oh? You do?" She sat forward eagerly.
Hohenheim dug around in his pocket. "I do hope you like it," he said, realizing how nervous and young he sounded even as he said it. He pulled out the comb, presenting it to her and feeling like the entire world hinged on her reaction to his gift.
If her smile had put the sun to shame before, now it could light up the world for the rest of time as she put her hand to her mouth, then gingerly reached out for the comb. "Oh, Mister Hohenheim, it's lovely," she said, watery-eyed from the gift.
"Please, just Hohenheim," he said, watching her, every second of silly, boyish nervousness worth it for that look on her face.
She folded up her parasol, setting it down in the boat and carefully twisting her hair up, sticking the comb in to secure it. "Well, then, Hohenheim, please just call me Trisha." She smiled, touching her fingers to the comb. "How does it look?"
"It looks beautiful, Trisha," he said quietly, reaching out and touching his fingers to hers lightly. "It looks even more beautiful on you."
She blushed, which he thought was terribly adorable, and looked away shyly, something he knew she was not in the slightest. "I've been wondering when you would say something like that, Hohenheim," she said, looking vaguely amused as she looked back to him.
"Were you hoping I would?" he asked.
That earned him another smile. "I've been getting impatient for it," she admitted. "So can this mean what I hope it means?"
Innocent she may be, but she was just as precocious if not more so.
It was his turn to smile. "If you'd have an old stray mutt like myself," he said.
Trisha reached across the boat and took his hand, entwining her fingers with his. "I do," she whispered.