"Hey, uh, Winry...?"

Winry Rockbell-Elric knew that tone. She wasn't sure she liked it either. Whatever the reason behind it, her husband had something to tell her (or, more likely, to ask her) and he knew she wasn't going to be happy about it. Often, this was a symptom of waiting too long to bring the matter up in the first place. "...Yes?" she kept her voice mild and even. Both of them had a tendency toward volcanic flares of temper, but she going to do her best to give him the benefit of the doubt.

He was going approach it head on. "Can I have a live-in student?"

Out of all the possible topics she might have guessed would come up during those few seconds of silence, this wasn't one of them. They'd talked a little before about teaching as one of those things Ed might want to get into in the future when helping around the house and editing Al's manuscripts grew too tedious for him, but he'd seemed content lately. And they hadn't been talking about taking kids in like his teacher had. Winry had been thinking something more along the lines of moving back to Rush Valley and letting Ed set up shop there alongside here. Here in Resembool there were some serious logistics issues to consider. "Ed, are you sure we can handle that? Our house, I mean. We've already got five people and a dog living here and a sixth on the way."

"I know, I thought about that." He was glad they were going to be able to discuss this in a manner that wouldn't bring either of their children running from the next room to investigate raised voices. "I'm not just casting about for any random kid- there's someone in particular I have in mind. He's about twelve, so it's not like he won't be able to pitch in and pull his own weight when it comes to choirs around here. He's serious, well-mannered..."

"Hand-picked, huh? You must think he's pretty special. ...It does make me wonder where you found the opportunity to meet someone like that though. None of our friends' children are that old."

"Do you remember when I was still going on a lot of trips? It was when I went down into Aerugo."

"That trip?" Winry wrinkled her nose. She was fairly sure a certain odd and babbling phone call she remembered Ed making to her from South City had been on that particular excursion. "...Is he the one who..."

Ed started speaking again, obscuring the end of her question as it faded into uncertainty. "Winry, I've been thinking about it a hell of a lot lately. I may not be able to use alchemy anymore, but I don't think that means I'm not qualified to teach it," there was passion in his argument not intended to convince so much as it was necessary to express the intensity of his feelings. It was a side of him Winry liked. "...And I think if I teach anyone, I'm kind of obligated to teach this kid right."

And with that, Winry saw beyond Ed's uncertainty, his melodramatics, and his heart. "He's already here, isn't he?" She had a suspicion that in some ways, Ed was never going to grow up.

"Heh heh," he scratched his head, "How could you tell?"

"Oh, come on," she hooked Ed's arm through hers and headed toward the front door, "You think I can't see right through you after all this time? Let's not leave him standing on the porch. ...Or wherever it is you've hid him."

"It's the porch."

When the door popped open, the waiting boy stumbled back against the wooden railing. It was clear he had seen Winry first from the, "Ah, shoot, I've been caught," look in his golden eyes. "H-hello," he blustered. His gaze darted nervously from one side to the other under the shadow of his dark bangs.

"Hey, don't get any sudden urge to run off on me," Ed joked, coming forward and clapping his student on the shoulder, "It's okay. She said yes."

"What kind of stories have you been telling him about me?" Winry gave her husband a playful roll of her eyes along with her grumbling, but made sure to face the new member of their household with a welcoming smile on her face.

"This is my wife, Winry Rockbell-Elric," Ed proceeded to give her a formal introduction. "...And Winry, this is...Daniel."

"Mrs. Elric," the boy shook her hand, "Daniel J. Kimblee- pleased to meet you. Thank you so much for your extending your hospitality to include me. I promise to do my best to avoid inconveniencing you and your family in any way. I'm lucky to be able to learn alchemy from one of the best. I'm going to study as hard as I can."

Winry looked him over, from his nicely shined shoes to the stubborn cowlick withstanding his off-handed efforts to tame it. "I'm sure you'll do fine here," she assured him, "Why don't you pick up that suitcase and we'll see where we can squeeze you in here."

"Thank you. Really, thank you so much, ma'am," Daniel beamed.

"You're welcome. Maybe while you're here you can teach Ed some of your good manners in exchange for the alchemy lessons."

"Hey," Ed griped.

"Since I have your permission," Daniel let out a subdued laugh.

"And really," the automail mechanic insisted, "The pleasure is all mine."