"There's more sorrow on your face than someone twice your age should have."
A worried voice said to a now attentive Edward Elric. He looked up to see a waitress for the outdoor cafe he claimed a seat from watching him. She was about his age, with light brown hair that was put up in a ponytail that fell past her shoulders, and light colored eyes that he couldn't identify as any one color.
"Are you okay? You look like you're lost, anything I can do to help?", she said cheerily, hoping her positive attitude could help cheer the young man up.
"Not unless you've got an inter-dimensional portal hidden back behind your coffee pots."
"An intra-what-a-ma-portal? Look, I don't know all that much about science, professor, but how about I bring you something to drink. Coffee, or maybe some ice cold milk or juice?"
"Blech, even here I'm getting the 'drink your milk' lectures...", Edward mumbled, getting defensive and crossing his arms.
"Yeah I suppose I'm not a big fan of plain milk either. Well how about I bring you some soda and a few snacks, I'll be right back!", the waitress said as she went off to the cafe's kitchen.
Soon after she returned with a glass of soda, cookies, and a sandwich.
"I appreciate the gesture, but I don't think I have enough to pay for all of this...", Ed spoke while pushing his hands into his pockets.
"Don't worry about it, I just wanted to help make your day a little better, I know it's not my business, but I have a sixth sense when it comes to reading people's emotions, and you just reek of sadness. No offense of course!"
Ed stopped eating (he really did need the food after all), looking shocked and slightly embarrassed, "Well, looks like whatever sense you had was right, my name's Edward, by the way."
"Oh, silly me, all this chatter and you don't even know my name. It's nice to meet you Edward, my name is Aura, and it's no problem at all, I just enjoy helping people."
"Thanks, I kinda did need a little food for a pick-me-up after all. I hate to leave without paying anything though, is there anything I can do around here to help?" Edward said hopefully, thinking an odd job could help take his mind off of his current situation.
"AURA! GET OVER HERE NOW!" a gruff, stocky man yelled from the entrance of the cafe.
"Uh oh, I'll be right back, go ahead and finish your food." Aura walked back to where her boss now stood, obviously not amused that she had given away food again.
"How many times do I have to tell you Aura, if you give my food away, I don't make money, and if I don't make money, I don't pay you."
"I'm sorry sir, but he just looked like he could use some help."
"This isn't a homeless shelter Aura, it's a business, and I am tired of seeing my money being wasted because you have a soft spot for the needy. You can't go around trying to save every lost cause that wanders your way."
"Well if I don't help them, no one in this sorry town will! People are supposed to help those who need it, and then they can do the same for the people they meet."
"That's wishful thinking sweetheart, you're young but you'll find out soon enough that the world doesn't operate on the same high ideals you hold yourself to. Now who's gonna pay for what that little urchin ate? Are you gonna pay for it?"
"HEY, WHO ARE YOU CALLING LITTLE?!" said Ed, who was really trying to respect the privacy of their conversation until he was mentioned.
"Gee, he sure looks like he's going to pay back your kindness now, doesn't he Aura, smart mouthed brat!"
"Can't blame him for being angry, it's rude what you just said about him! Paying customer or not!"
"I've had about all I can take from both of you, get your stuff together Aura, you're fired!"
"That's fine with me! I'd appreciate it if you'd pay me the wages I've earned, since I don't intend on ever coming back after I walk out of here."
Aura's boss grumbled to himself as he got some money out of the register and counted out what Aura earned since her last payday.
"There, that's what you've earned, minus the cost of the meal you provided for your new 'friend' over there.", he said while handing her the money.
"Thanks, best of luck to you and your booming business!", she said cheerfully as she watched him grumble and walk back into the cafe.
"Whoa, did I just get you fired, Aura?" Edward said, worried but not sure why.
"Don't worry about it, that guy was a jerk from the day I started. Now let's spend this money the right way," she said with an evil smirk on her face.
Aura's former boss came back out to wait on the tables Aura had left behind, and noticed his patio was empty.
"What the hell... I know I had at least 5 tables that ordered here?!", he looked around bewildered. Then he happened to look towards the rival coffee shop across the street and saw his customers, as well as Aura and that strange young man smiling and waving to him.
"What's the meaning of this?!", he yelled across the street, eyes glaring at Aura and the kid in the red coat.
"Well I figured I'd put the last bit of the money I earned from you to good use. I offered it to the people at your shop as an inconvenience fee of sorts for having to listen to all your grumpy and rude remarks. Then I brought them here for some good food and service!"
The words coming from her former boss' mouth were rather unintelligible by the time they made it across the street. After a long satisfying sigh, Aura decided to get going. Edward was rather impressed with the way she handled the situation, but was still left with a twinge of guilt for being the cause of all the ruckus.
"So, where are you off to now? You heading home?" Aura asked Edward, who got that same worrisome look on his face once more.
"No, to be honest I don't really know where home is right now. It's a long story, but as far as I know, home isn't anywhere near here for me."
"Well, I know we just met and all, but if you want you can crash at my place, get some rest, and maybe check some maps or do some research on where you should go next. Give you a base of operations, so to speak."
"That would be great! I don't want to burden you too much though, so I'd only ask to stay long enough to figure out where I am and where I should go."
"It's no problem at all, it'll be nice to have good company for a while." said Aura as she opened up the door and let them into the house.
It was a modest family home, with room for a full family, not just one person. Strangely, there were no pictures displayed showing Aura or any of her family around the house. She showed him into the spare room and then went into the kitchen to make something to eat. As they finished eating, she told him that they can look up the information on her computer. She found it odd that he'd never even seen a computer before. They went into her room to start looking up maps and information. Aura turned around to see if Edward was paying attention, but he had quickly dozed off sitting on Aura's bed.
"Well I guess we can start tomorrow." She said smiling to herself as she gently laid him down on her bed and covered him up with her blanket. He didn't look as sad as he did when she first noticed him that afternoon, she noted as she left the room and went into the living room to sleep.